His words made Qi Zhongdao’s eyelids that were full of ice shiver for a moment. The coldness on his frozen face slowly thawed.
Flushing, Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar scratched his face and apologized. “Yes. It was inappropriate of me to have said that. Qi Zhongdao, this beggar is best at speaking nonsense. Please do not be bothered by what I said! I know that it is quite hard to look at those smiling jerks every day without a chance to punch them in the face!
“Years ago, it was exactly because I could not bear the smugness of those jerks that I simply abandoned my own sect. It is much more comfortable to live as an unaffiliated Cultivator among the common folk! I can cry when I want to cry and laugh when I want to laugh!”
Before Qi Zhongdao replied, Master Bitter Cicada said, “You were free to leave your family’s sect, but Master Qi cannot leave the Grand Mystery Sect and the shaking community of Cultivators.
“Right now, despite the internal conflict of the Cultivators, some ground rules are still kept on the surface. We all appear to be at peace, serving justice together. Whoever dares to openly violate the rules and swallow other sects, just like the Roaring Tiger Hall and the Black Devil Cult, are considered evil and will be lambasted!
“If the ground rules on the surface are wiped out, the world of Cultivators will completely fall apart and retrograde to the primitive dog-eat-doge jungles again. Too many people will suffer in a lawless, chaotic era!
“The lives of the ordinary people are not easy when the days are peaceful nor when we are at war, but in general, they still suffer more during wars. Just as the saying goes, it’s better to be a dog in a peaceful world than to be a human being in a war!
“When a plaza is falling, it is impossible for one pillar to hold it. Does Master Qi not know that he is doing the impossible? If he only considers his own interests, why would he bother to be elected as the leader, which entails all kinds of trouble but absolutely no gains? He has simply been doing whatever he can!”
Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar was greatly touched. He looked around, only to discover that the bailers that he used as bowls had been used up. He picked up the bailer that he had drunk from just now and wiped it carefully with his clothes before pouring wine into it until it was full. Delivering the bailer respectfully, he said, “Fellow Cultivator Qi, over the past few decades, although we have been respected as the Three Saints together by other Cultivators, we have always been on our separate paths. I was always a beggar, and you were the leader of all the Cultivators. We barely had any intersection!
“But after tonight, I hope we can be friends!”
Qi Zhongdao did not say anything. Hearing what Master Bitter Cicada had just said, and looking at the wine that Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar had given him, he accepted the wine with both hands and chugged it, his eyes suddenly turning red. Bubbling sounds were rumbling from his throat to his abdomen.
“That’s some delicious wine. Any more?”
His voice sounded like a rusted gear that was being lubricated by oil.
“Yes, of course!” Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar clapped his hands and laughed. “If we run out of wine, this beggar can always go back to the city and steal more!”
Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!
He simply attracted another few barrels of wine with spiritual energy. Too lazy to find a utensil anymore, he simply broke the seals, craned his neck, and poured the wine into his mouth. The golden liquid ran into his throat like a flooding river, but not a single drop of it spluttered out of his mouth. It was quite amazing!
In the blink of an eye, a whole barrel of wine had been drunk up. He chuckled and filled half of the empty barrel with mud from the pool. Summoning his spiritual energy, he tossed the barrel into the darkness far away!
After a dull noise, the barrel was smashed by something. Then, all the mud in the barrel swooshed back. As if it had eyes, the mud was not coming at anybody else but fully focused on Ba Xiaoyu like pebbles.
After a shriek, Ba Xiaoyu soared up like black smoke to the top of the crooked tree. He shouted toward the darkness, “Hey, Yan Liren, I’m holding a feast here, entertaining my guests with delicious wine. What are you doing here?”
The bald dwarf swordsman slowly walked out from the darkness on the mud, but his shoes were not stained at all.
Holding his short sword, he replied casually without any expression, “I’m here to practice my sword.”
“Why don’t you practice in the city?” Ba Xiaoyu said.
“The city is too raucous,” Yan Liren said. “It’s quieter here.”
Master Bitter Cicada smiled. “Together with Fellow Cultivator Yan, the ‘Three Saints of Great Qian’ are all here. Master Spiritual Vulture is also a magnificent figure that according to the Cultivators will be added to the Three Saints shortly. Now that fate has arranged for us to meet here, why don’t you come here and have a drink, Fellow Cultivator Yan?”
Yan Liren did not bother to look at them when he shook his head. “I don’t drink. My sword is slower if I drink.”
Rolling his eyes, Ba Xiaoyu chuckled. “How do you know that your sword will be slower after you drink if you don’t drink wine? I have heard a certain art named ‘Drunk Sword’, which is an unparalleled technique whose power will be maximized only when the swordsman is dizzy because of drinking!”
“How come I never heard about it before?” Yan Liren said. “You just made it up, just like you told me last time that, if someone learns to hold a sword with his foot, he will be able to hold four swords with four limbs and thereby quadruple the power of a sword art.”
To everyone’s surprise, Ba Xiaoyu nodded and said, “You’re right. It’s true that I just made it up. But since you are so awesome, it is possible that you will invent such a technique named ‘Drunk Sword’ while you are sipping the wine. Wouldn’t it be wonderful?”
Yan Liren tilted his head and thought for a moment. Then, to everyone’s surprise, he nodded solemnly and said, “Fair enough. Since I’m so awesome, if there really is a ‘Drunk Sword’ in the world, I will certainly be the one who invents it!”
While saying that, he strutted toward the plank.
Right when everybody thought that he was going to step on the plank, Yan Liren suddenly vanished without a sign.
The next second, however, he appeared on the head of Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar who was standing on the top of the crooked tree, with four sharpest edges glittering around him!
Nobody saw how he leapt up and took off his shoes and socks. Nobody could tell where he found the four swords that he was wielding with both hands and both feet!
The four streaks of brilliance instantly multiplied into forty, four hundred, and four thousand streaks when they met the wind, enveloping Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar like crazily dancing snakes!
Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar screamed. He jumped backward in a hurry and put the tobacco pipe that was on his back into his mouth. Then, he spurted out a mouthful of smoke, which turned into vivid ermines that seemed to be alive and swallowed all the sword auras!
“What are you doing, Yan Liren?” Ba Xiaoyu craned his neck out of the colorful smoke and shouted angrily, “I was kind enough to invite you to the party. Is this how you reward hospitality?”
After launching four thousand sword auras instantly, the four swords disappeared without any trace as unpredictably as they appeared.
Yan Liren landed on the plank softly before he spoke to Ba Xiaoyu who was still hiding in the colorful smoke in midair. “I just wanted to tell you that the technique to control four swords with four limbs has been grasped by me. However, it cannot increase the power of a sword by four times as you claimed. The best it can do is double it.”
While speaking to him, Yan Liren picked up a barrel of wine without greeting anybody else. He broke the seal and poured half the barrel of wine into his mouth before he smacked his lips and mumbled, “Drunk Sword?”
Deep in thought, he poured the remaining half the barrel into his throat.
Shouting angrily, Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar dashed out of the colorful smoke. It was not until then that everybody realized why he was reluctant to get out.
As it turned out, Yan Liren’s swords were so fast and sharp that, although he managed to evade the sword auras, his ragged clothes had been ripped apart. They were dangling from his body like broken clothes. He could not have looked more devastated.
“This wine is good. I feel like I’m onto something!” Yan Liren broke the seal of a second barrel of wine and said seriously, “If I grasp the ‘Drunk Sword’ one day, I will practice with you again, Brother Ba!”
Ba Xiaoyu shrank his neck and stopped talking. He snatched a barrel of wine, widened his eyes, and poured it into his mouth, too.
Yan Liren was still drinking while touching his sword.
Holding the wine barrel angrily, Ba Xiaoyu seemed to be planning to chew the container.
Holding a bailer of wine in his hand, Master Bitter Cicada was not in a hurry to drink it. Instead, he was savoring the thickness of the wine. The pity on his face was more or less dispersed by the fragrance of the wine.
Leaning against the crooked tree, Qi Zhongdao looked rather lonely when he gazed at the lively Roaring Tiger City that was ablaze with lights. Silently, he simply poured the barrels of wine into his mouth. His dark face was slowly glowing red, as if he were an iron block that was being heated from inside to outside.
Li Yao was sipping the wine slowly while he secretly observed the top experts in the world who all looked rather interesting. The depression in his heart was more or less dissolved by them.
The five of them were all super experts close to or beyond the peak of the Nascent Soul Stage. The delicious wine in the mortal world would not have intoxicated them even if there was a whole warehouse of it.
However, the wine that they were drinking was the secret medical wine brewed by Roaring Tiger Hall specifically for the three Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators of the Duan family. Besides the bear hearts, the leopard gallbladders, and the tiger bones, almost a hundred incredible Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures had been mixed into it, which made the wine nurturing and narcotic even for the powerful Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators.
Very soon, the dozens of barrels of wine were split up by the five of them.
Among them, Li Yao and Master Bitter Cicada drank the least. They basically shared only one barrel.
The other three, however, seemed to be having a competition with each other. They each poured more than ten barrels into their mouth.
‘Iron Saint’ Qi Zhongdao’s eyes were completely bloodshot.