As Xue Yuhua led her subordinates out of the valley, her heart was still quivering.
She was terrified!
He hadn't really made any moves, yet he could make an S-grade dire beast yield. What sort of strength and might did he have?
"Boss, look..." a shaking voice said, making Xue Yuhua raise her head quickly. What she saw was a cold gaze.
Xue Yuhua felt her body tremble under this gaze. If looks could kill, then her body would have evaporated right then and there!
"Come here!" said a dull, yet imposing voice. The source of the voice was a tall, bulky man.
This man was the leader of the Great Snow Mountain's 18 Guardians and the second-in-command at the Great Snow Mountain after the Guardian Deity. He watched Xue Yuhua like a hawk watching a tiny bird that was about to become lunch.
"What did you see inside?"
Many thoughts flashed through Xue Yuhua's mind. She wasn't willing to betray Luo Yunyang, but the man's bearing didn't make her feel good either.
When she hesitated, the big man smacked his palm hard against a martialist standing next to Xue Yuhua.
That man was a martial master, as well as Xue Yuhua's right-hand man. He had gone through fire and water with her for many years, yet he had been killed by this big man with one blow!
"That was for the 10 seconds you wasted. From now on, I will be killing one person every 10 seconds!" the big man said icily.
Xue Yuhua felt a chill spread throughout her body. She didn't want to betray Luo Yunyang, but she had no choice under the circumstances.
"We work at the Farm God Research Center. We really didn't find anything here. Luo Yunyang... Luo Yunyang is inside. He is searching for the treasure that is about to appear!" one of Xue Yuhua's underlings blurted out before she could speak.
"Ha ha ha!" The big man roared with carefree laughter. The 30-year-old young man next to him chuckled as well. "Seems like I will have to congratulate Master Xue Yuan this time."
"Helping the Sangu Research Center kill off Luo Yunyang will be a piece of cake. I will still need an extra share of the rewards, though," the big man said in a domineering fashion.
The young man didn't get angry. Instead, he smiled faintly. "As long as Master Xue Yuan can kill this menace, giving you an extra share will be worth it."
Master Xue Yuan looked all around him.
There were about eight martial grandmasters around them. Although he was displeased with these people, he wasn't willing to act irresponsibly and let the others reap the benefits.
"Come!" Master Xue Yuan gestured with his hands as the murderous look in his eyes intensified.
Although Xue Yuhua and the others seemed very unwilling, they were forced to walk into the valley once again.
There were no obstructions along the way, so Xue Yuhua spotted Luo Yunyang sitting cross-legged on a rock in no time.
Suddenly, Luo Yunyang opened his eyes slowly.
"Mr. Luo, these people are from the Great Snow Mountain. They have come here to deal with you!" Xue Yuhua didn't know where she got the courage to shout this warning at Luo Yunyang.
The moment she shouted, she started running for her life in his direction.
She was rather quick, yet as she attempted to flee, Master Xue Yuan launched a violent attack.
A golden palm about the size of a millstone formed in the air and struck Xue Yuhua hard in the back.
Unable to resist, Xue Yuhua was blown forward, her body smashing hard into the ground.
"Are you really Luo Yunyang? You can't even save a woman relying on you to protect her, yet you call yourself the youngest martial grandmaster in existence! How laughable!" Master Xue Yuan unceremoniously provoked Luo Yunyang, who had already stood up.
The Guardians following Master Xue Yuan threw their heads back and roared with laughter. The sound of their laughter reverberated all around the area.
A cold glint radiated in Luo Yunyang's eyes. His cold glare intensified as he watched Xue Yuhua lie still on the ground.
Suddenly, a deafening roar echoed around them. The instant the lion roared, Luo Yunyang took a step forward.
This step was all he needed to reach Master Xue Yuan.
Then, he used the Shrinking Earth To An Inch Technique!
When Luo Yunyang brandished his fist, ready to strike Master Xue Yuan's face, Master Xue Yuan met his strike with his own palm.
Their hands collided in the air.
"Your speed is decent, but you are still too young to think about launching a sneak attack on me!" Master Xue Yuan said with a complacent look on his face.
He was the leader of the Great Snow Mountain's 18 Guardians and the second strongest person on the Great Snow Mountain, so although he appeared haughty on the outside, deep down he was actually a cautious, shrewd man.
Even though he seemed arrogant to Luo Yunyang, he treated Luo Yunyang as an opponent he needed to be wary with.
Therefore, Luo Yunyang's Shrinking Earth To An Inch Technique was blocked.
"You need to train for at least a few more years before you have any chance of striking down Senior Xue Yuan!" a cross-eyed bald man said, roaring with laughter.
"The difference between you and Senior Xue Yuan is too great, little doll. To think you even tried to touch Senior Xue Yuan... You are really ignorant!"
"You think Senior Xue Yuan can be beaten down by a young kid like you?"
Every single one of the Great Snow Mountain's 18 Guardians laughed heartily and arrogantly.
Meanwhile, all the other people who had entered the valley along with them had looks of disdain on their faces.
Jing Xinghe, who was sitting on a huge snake, shook his head. The bear-like Eight Pole King sneered, "He's grossly overestimated his own abilities!"
Luo Yunyang glared at the sneering Master Xue Yuan, but didn't say anything. Instead, he took another step forward and used the Shrinking Earth To An Inch Technique once again.
However, this time, he also used his attribute regulator. Luo Yunyang's Speed immediately reached 2,000 points!
Despite the fact that his Power would drop to half, Luo Yunyang still raised his Speed to 2,000 points right away.
A 2,000-point Speed Attribute was so fast that Master Xue Yuan wouldn't even be able to react. After a succession of slaps, Luo Yunyang landed gently by Xue Yuhua's side.
His move hadn't been perfunctory. He had used strength in all the areas he should have. As a result, Master Xue Yuan was standing on the spot in a daze with red marks on his face.
Silence fell all around them.
The few Guardians who had been laughing heartily weren't even able to squeak now. The Eight Pole King and the others looked just as flabbergasted.
They simply couldn't believe what had just happened before their eyes. Actually, they hadn't even been able to see exactly what had happened.
Everything had happened too fast!
Luo Yunyang stood like a proud celestial being among mortal men. However, his hand was actually hurting pretty badly.
The Shrinking Earth To An Inch Technique in combination with his attribute regulator had allowed his speed to reach astonishing levels, so even a martial grandmaster like Master Xue Yuan had suffered a beating.
However, there was a small problem. Whenever he used his attribute regulator to raise his Speed, Luo Yunyang's power was reduced. Master Xue Yuan was the leader of the Great Snow Mountain's 18 Guardians, so his face was as tough as the thickest iron in the world. These slaps had only felt like a tickle to him.
However, Master Xue Yuan and the others didn't see things that way. In Master Xue Yuan's opinion, this was a humiliation of the highest order.
When he had found out that the person in the valley was Luo Yunyang, he had immediately decided to pursue and slaughter him.
He hadn't just wanted to fulfill his promise to the Sangu Research Center. Master Xue Yuan had planned on using Luo Yunyang's murder as a way to display the Great Snow Mountain's might!
However, he hadn't expected that after he struck Xue Yuhua to display his own strength, he would get slapped on the face by Luo Yunyang.
It felt like his face had been thrown in the mud and trampled over.
From that day on, Master Xue Yuan, the leader of the Great Snow Mountain's 18 Guardians, would become a laughing stock.
Of course, if he slaughtered Luo Yunyang violently, he would be able to redeem himself somewhat. If he was defeated that day though, his influence among the great sects would be tarnished.
"Fellow disciples, let's kill off this threat immediately. We'll use the Ocean-Suppressing Guardian!"
When Master Xue Yuan said this, the young man from the Sangu Research Center looked stunned. The other Guardians also had bewildered looks on their faces.
The Great Snow Mountain's 18 Guardian Array was a creed that had been passed down for many years. Although its reputation hadn't been very illustrious before the apocalypse, ever since the emergence of source powers, source cores and the sixth factor, its various mysterious aspects had started to show.
The 18 Guardian Array had both offensive and defensive abilities. Their strongest offensive technique was the Demon-Vanquishing Guardian, while their strongest defensive technique was the Ocean-Suppressing Guardian.
What was up with Master Xue Yuan? Why did he want to use the Ocean-Suppressing Guardian? Shouldn't they be using the Demon-Vanquishing Guardian instead?
The other 17 Guardians, who were much more familiar with the Guardian Array than that young man, had puzzled looks on their faces.
The Ocean-Suppressing Guardian was an extremely firm technique. Back in the day, the 18 of them had joined forces to stop an SSS-grade White-Jade Dragon Elephant's attack and made the Guardian Array famous all over the world.
As a result, this technique had become the Great Snow Mountain's second most precious treasure after the Guardian Deity.
Why would they use this technique just to deal with Luo Yunyang?
Could their Senior Brother have suffered some brain damage because of Luo Yunyang's slaps? Although everyone entertained this thought, when they recalled Master Xue Yuan's imposing manner, they pushed this fancy notion aside.
The 17 Guardians soared into the sky and got into position, forming a small lotus. Master Xue Yuan stood solemnly in the center.
When the 17 of them brandished their hands quickly, layers of source power shot forward from their hands and converged on Master Xue Yuan's position.
Master Xue Yuan had a grave expression on his face as he moved his arms and formed a few abstract seals in the air.
Although these seals might not have seemed peculiar to the ordinary eye, when Master Xue Yuan completed them, the source power converged to form a huge golden guardian.
This guardian, which was over 30 meters tall, looked like a small building. Although its body was made of condensed source power, and was kind of fuzzy as a result, it started emanating a desolate vibe all around it the instant that it was formed.
The guardian's glaring gaze could probably even suppress the ocean.
"Luo Yunyang, this woman was hurt because of you. Do you know what move I used to strike her? It was the Great Snow Mountain's Samsara Palm!"
Master Xue Yuan rubbed his own bald head as he said icily, "I'm afraid that you do not know what a Samsara Palm is. Let me explain. A Samsara Palm Strike wouldn't normally kill a person, but if said person came in contact with the same attribute again, the palm power contained within the body of the victim would immediately explode."
"This means that, if this woman felt my palm power again, she would die on the spot. You could take this woman and flee, but I don't believe that you would be able to protect her within the range of the Ocean-Suppressing Guardian without coming into contact with its palm power."
Master Xue Yuan threw his head back and roared with laughter. "Of course, the Ocean-Suppressing Guardian has a special characteristic. Its palm power does not disperse within a 10-meter range, but it is omnipresent beyond those 10 meters."
"What will you do? The decision is completely up to you!"
As he spoke, Master Xue Yuan raised his palms slowly. The huge guardian above their heads mimicked his movements by raising its own giant palms.
Source power started to gather in its palms.
"How despicable!" Mild fury flickered across Jing Xinghe's eyes. Although he didn't hold a grudge against the Great Snow Mountain's 18 Guardians, he was bitterly disappointed with Master Xue Yuan's actions.
Even the word 'despicable' was not enough to describe this fellow.
Meanwhile, the others shivered. Although they always fought alone and didn't fear the 18 Guardians, when they witnessed this Guardian Array, they still had to take a step back.
They hadn't expected that Master Xue Yuan would actually use the life of a woman to pull this trick on Luo Yunyang.
Of course, Luo Yunyang could choose to leave, but what would everyone say about his character if he abandoned someone who had risked her life for him in front of so many people?
All eyes were focused on Luo Yunyang. Everyone wanted to see what choice he would make.
"Master Xue Yuan is really great!" The young man from the Sangu Research Center gave Master Xue Yuan a thumbs-up.
Master Xue Yuan didn't reply. He just kept raising his palms slowly with a tyrannical glint in his eyes.
He felt like he was one with the huge guardian in the air, who was in complete control of the fate of the young man who had humiliated him.
"If it were me, I would give up!" the Eight Pole King said decisively as he saw the light formed by the convergence of huge amounts of source power in the air.
The others nodded their heads in acknowledgment of what he had said.
Some of them were martial grandmasters, while others were seasoned warriors that had experienced many battles and murders. When it came to choosing life or death over morality, they were all very clear on the decision they would make.
Who cared about morality? Losing one's life was way more frightening!
The giant palms of the huge guardian picked up their pace as the guardian descended towards Luo Yunyang, who was standing in front of Xue Yuhua resolutely.