After the idea popped up in the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator’s heads, it was like a flood that instantly occupied their thoughts.
Those Cultivators with immense computational ability thought quickly and immediately discovered that it was quite a plausible possibility.
Because Yan Liren’s attack was as rapid as lightning and as unpredictable as water, and it was aimed solely at Li Yao, nobody else sensed anything except Li Yao.
Therefore, in the eyes of the audience, who did not know the truth, this was what happened just now—
Yan Liren suffered a brutal failure in the competition; all of his three primeval swords shattered. One of them had even exploded into powder and was beyond repair.
Yan Liren was devastated and stained by blood himself, not to mention that he fell into a pit in the end. It was indeed a crushing defeat where he had no chance to fight back at all.
Right then, a guy who looked equally shabby and devastated went forward and had an uncanny conversation with Yan Liren!
They said that Yan Liren could have slain Qi Zhongdao easily, that Yan Liren had a fourth sword that surpassed the three primeval swords, that he was the strongest swordsman in the world…
Then, the guy even fell on one knee, covering his neck as if he had been cut in the throat by the will of the sword. Even his voice turned hoarse.
The incredible acting skills convinced everybody at that time, but once they reflected on it, they realized that it was just Li Yao’s empty talk, and he could have said anything that he wanted!
The conversation that they had later was the same.
At first glance, Li Yao seemed indeed capable of telling the specific shape of Yan Liren’s fourth sword just based on the previous illusionary attack. Also, the guy’s marvelous arts in sword forging…
But was all that not their word alone?
They were not bragging about themselves; they were adulating each other. Li Yao adulated Yan Liren sword arts, and Yan Liren adulated Li Yao’s expertise in sword forging. They flattered each other until everybody was confused!
With some further thought, did the so-called ‘fourth sword’ and the ‘heritage from Great Zhou’ really exist?
“What fourth sword? It can’t be real. This is just an act!”
“Also, he claims to have astonishing expertise in swords that allows him to perceive the shape and weight of the magical equipment, and even the internal injuries, just based on an illusionary attack? He must be exaggerating!”
“I have been refining for a hundred and eighty years. I have never heard of such arts before!”
“The conversation between those two fellow Cultivators was indeed unbelievably incredible. The mysteries and expertise that they described can only be described as ‘appalling’. However, what if they prepared everything in advance?
“Their goal was to save the Purple Pole Sword Sect’s face after Yan Liren’s brutal failure and to make us overestimate its capabilities so that they would be at an advantage in the negotiation later!
“Exactly. This ‘Master Spiritual Vulture’ might’ve had some fortuitous experiences in the southwest forests. Judging from the fact that he could suppress two fellow Cultivators in the Core Formation Stage easily, perhaps he has really advanced into the Nascent Soul Stage!
“But what of it? We have more than fifty Cultivators in the Nascent Soul Stage here. If he were just a regular Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator, he wouldn’t be much help to them even if he stood on the Purple Pole Sword Sect’s side!
“Therefore, they intentionally prepared a nice play by making use of Master Spiritual Vulture’s mysterious identity!
“Master Spiritual Vulture blurted out ‘Qi Zhongdao will surely fail’ in public before the battle. His statement could have gone either way!
“If Master Righteous One indeed failed, he would have forecasted the outcome wisely. When others were appalled, he would announce that he was a visiting elder of the Purple Pole Sword Sect gloatingly and demand benefits for the Purple Pole Sword Sect later!
“If Yan Liren failed, they would do exactly what they did. After a seemingly witty conversation, they almost managed to change their passive position and make us unable to determine the Purple Pole Sword Sect’s potential!
“This is obviously a trick of the fortune tellers, who won’t be wrong either way!”
“Exactly. That must’ve been what happened. As expected of the wise and thoughtful Senior ‘Tian Jizi’. Everything makes sense now after your interpretation!”
“Damn it. We were almost fooled!”
“Seventy years ago, Master Spiritual Vulture was merely at the peak of the Core Formation Stage. Despite his fortuitous experiences, he can only be a regular Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator at best right now. How can he be half as incredible as he described?”
“Anyways, we have fifty Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators here. Are we going to watch them go away without even having the courage to test them as if we are scared by their few words?”
“Below the Bronze Censer Mountain, too many Cultivators from the smaller sects are still waiting for the result of the battle. If they learn that the five major sects hesitated because of their empty talk when Master Righteous One secured an obvious victory, how are the Grand Mystery Sect, the Gold Armor Clan, Thunderstorm Valley, Flying Spirit Island, and the Monster Taming Pavilion going to stand in the world of Cultivators and awe the three thousand sects in the world?”
Suspicions, exclamations, and yells were flowing toward the center of the sword test field like tides.
When the tides of fury reached the peak, a thunderous roar finally rumbled in the crowd. “Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture, please wait!”
A streak of intimidating, golden brilliance soared into the sky, unleashing a blast in midair, before it smashed toward the center of the sword test field like a shooting star. The broken stones were flying everywhere, and the soundwaves were pushing out!
When the smoke died down, a tall, muscular man as magnificent as a tower was revealed. He was in heavy, golden armor, and his skin was dark gold, too. A golden sword more than three meters long, which seemed to be made of a whole piece of gold, was hanging from his waist!
“Bu Tiantong, the secondary leader of the Gold Armor Clan!”
Amid everybody’s exclamation, the gold-armored man bowed to Li Yao. Baring his white teeth, which must have been able to chew steel up, he smiled. “Fellow Cultivator Spiritual Vulture, your lecture on sword forging was indeed enough to enlighten the benighted! However, as a visiting elder of the Purple Pole Sword Sect, are you just going to walk away after throwing out a few empty words?”
The Gold Armor Clan, as its name suggested, was a super sect that focused on the manufacture of all kinds of armor and defensive magical equipment.
As a matter of fact, although the Grand Mystery Sect was leading the operation to threaten the Purple Pole Sword Sect together with the other four sects, it was because the Grand Mystery Sect had always been a ‘big brother’ in the world of Cultivators.
In terms of the foundation and the main business, in fact, the Grand Mystery Sect and the Purple Pole Sword Sect were quite different. The two of them were dominators in their respective fields, and the friction of their interests was not that intense.
The Gold Armor Clan’s case, however, was different.
It was also a major sect of refining. If a furnace could produce a suit of armor, it could certainly produce a flying sword.
The market for aggressive magical equipment was larger than the market for defensive magical equipment. The Gold Armor Clan was ambitious enough to have begun developing in multiple categories a long time ago. They had produced a lot of sabers and swords of their own.
However, theirs was a trade where the brand mattered. The Purple Pole Sword Sect had always enjoyed its reputation as the ‘best sword sect in the world’. Also, it had integrated the upstream suppliers and the downstream distributors, monopolizing the market a long time ago. It was more than difficult for the Gold Armor Clan to jump in.
When Lead Eunuch Wang Xi was in power, not only did the Gold Armor Clan fail to occupy the Purple Pole Sword Sect’s market share in the aggressive magical equipment, the Purple Pole Sword Sect even swallowed part of the market of defensive magical equipment by taking advantage of Wang Xi’s connection with them!
Stopping others from making money was like killing their parents. The Gold Armor Clan hated the Purple Pole Sword Sect’s guts and was more desperate to bite some meat off the sect than anybody else.
Therefore, Bu Tiantong, a secondary leader of the Gold Armor Clan, had to march forward and provoke Li Yao even while knowing that the guy could be in the Nascent Soul Stage!
What was the big deal about the Nascent Soul Stage? The guy was in the beginning level at most, while he was at the middle level. What was there to be scared of?
Frowning, Li Yao turned around and glanced at Bu Tiantong. “What do you have to enlighten me, Fellow Cultivator Bu?”
“You are flattering me!” The golden muscles on Bu Tiantong’s face were shaking, and he patted his sword heavily and laughed. “The Gold Armor Clan knows a thing or so about refining, too. This ‘Gold Crow Devil Sweeping Sword’ is an ultimate product that three great sword forgers of the Gold Armor Clan have produced after arduous work! Since you are good at examining swords, why don’t you examine this one?”
“Bu Tiantong is personally taking action!”
“He is most famous for his advanced Cultivation arts that are particularly tough and violent. He is a fearless and relentless expert!”
“I have heard about the ‘Gold Crow Devil Sweeping Sword’ before. It is said that the Gold Armor Clan accidentally found the debris of an extraterrestrial weapon that fell from the sky. Three great sword forgers spent five years finding hundreds of materials to merge with the debris. Finally, a marvelous sword was created!”
“I’m told that the Gold Armor Clan has been hoping to test the new weapons that the Purple Pole Sword Sect produced with the sword during the Dragon Spring Meeting and earn their fame!”
Whispers were soaring up to the sky again.
Even Qi Zhongdao, who had been seated below the Grand Mystery Sect’s banner the whole time, could not help but stand up and stare at Li Yao without blinking.
“Alright!” Li Yao thought to himself, [Thank god this bro jumped out. If they were all cool enough to bear my provocation, I would have had no chance to show off!
Before Li Yao’s voice died down, his clothes suddenly shivered. A few streams of smoke seemed to be crawling out!
The high-level Cultivators felt that their heads were dizzy. Li Yao’s bloodstained, common gray robe was standing there in midair, but the person inside was gone. Or rather, it seemed to be worn by someone transparent!
A long shriek that sounded like the shriek of a vulture suddenly echoed above Bu Tiantong’s head. A cluster of green, ghostly fire suddenly burst out into a dominating figure!
At this moment, Li Yao was like a totally different person!
Right below the gray robe was in fact another glamorous robe that was pure green, as thin as cicada wings and as smooth as silk, giving every feeling that it was extraordinary!
While his black hair was shaking, the green spot at the center of his eyebrows spread into a green vulture whose wings surpassed his eyes and extended to his temples.
Together with the ripples of spiritual energy that were spreading out like fire, the demeanor of an unparalleled, brutal man was fully revealed!