"You overestimate your abilities!" Du Lin frowned slightly, his eyes scornful.
Su Yu was certainly very strong; he utilized various kinds of martial arts and, just as the rumors said, he had exceeded Level Six Peak of the Martial Path. But in the eyes Du Lin, he wasn't strong enough to withstand a single blow.
His heart fueled by murderous intentions, Du Lin brazenly made a move!
Suddenly the sound of a far-away bell boomed throughout the sky and land. Du Lin quivered, his face aghast as he looked back toward the center of the Sanctuary. Therethe sound came from an ancient hall, suspended among the clouds. The senior disciples, who had gathered to watch the commotion, turned around in shock and profound reverence.
The second bell sounded!
"What? The Holy King sounded the bell twice?" Du Lin was shocked. Without hesitation, he headed toward the Sanctuary; he even neglected Su Yu and his former challenge. The rest of the senior disciples, each in awe, urgently left in a flash.
Swish, swish, swish
Numerous figures appeared from all over as they dashed toward the ancient hall among the floating clouds. Su Yu and Xia Jingyu looked at each other; what did that bell mean?
A pale man swept past Su Yu and paused, "The Holy King has summoned us, why are you not hurrying there?" The man reprimanded himit was Qiu Changjian!
The Holy King had summoned them? Su Yu's face was shocked. The Holy Kingthe legendary martial force of the Alliance of the Nine Empireshad summoned them? Without another word, Su Yu and Xia Jingyu left together with Qiu Changjian, in awe.
Qiu Changjian explained on the way, "Inside the hall of the Holy King, there is a Holy Bell. Only the Holy King has the ability to sound the bell.
"One strike is a regular summons by the Holy King. Two strikes mean it's an emergency summons!" Qiu Changjian's eyebrows tightened with worry, his heart ached.
Su Yu's eyes flashed, "Senior Brother Qiu, may I askhow often do emergencies occur?"
Qiu Changjian shook his head and gravely replied, "Emergency summons? In the history of the Sanctuary, they have only occurred twice; the first time was when the Sanctuary was established. The bell summoned everyone to the Sanctuary Congregation.
"That was a hundred years ago. Today is the second emergency summons."
Su Yu's pupils contracted. There had only been one other emergency summons since the Sanctuary had been established? Now, unexpectedly, another had been raised! What did that mean? Should Su Yu be excited Or worried?
Xia Jingyu's pretty face looked somber, "Senior Brother Qiu, you often have audiences with the Holy King, do you know what's happening?" She and Su Yu remembered that Qiu Changjian had hurried to the Holy King for his debriefing after they had all arrivedcould that have been related?
How could she know? Qiu Changjian laughed to himself, "Often? Junior Sister Xia thinks too highly of Senior Brother Qiu. A Holy Disciple is just a nominal disciple, I have no real virtue nor ability, how could I meet him?
"I have been at the Sanctuary for fifteen yearsI was lucky to have seen him when I was promoted to a Holy Disciple. I haven't seen him in fifteen years." Qiu Changjian's face full of admiration, "The Holy King is always in seclusion. He issues commands to the hall directlyhis real face is almost never revealed in public.
"With this emergency summons, the Holy King is sure to have left isolation. You're lucky, you just arrived and now you get to see the Holy King in person. Senior disciples who have been here for ten years have never seen the Holy King's face." Qiu Changjian concluded enviously.
Lucky? Su Yu's expression was still grave.
Within moments, people had arrived at the hall of the Holy King amidst the floating clouds. Their heads were bowed in deference while they stood. The top great Holy Disciples, the ten great prospective Holy Disciples, and countless senior prospective Holy Disciplesaltogether, more than a hundred people had gathered. No one dared breathe too loudly; the atmosphere was tense and strangely quiet.
An ancient stone door opened slowly. An unfortunate wind swept through. The stone door opened wide in a cloud of mist to reveal the ancient temple insidethe Holy King was nowhere to be found!
Su Yu tried to focus his eyes; he had the ability to see in the dark. But, when he tried to look, he was unable to decipher anything! There seemed to be a layer of divine power which blocked his view.
"Ah..." There was an aged sigh. Everyone was touched by a hint of apology.
"There is a single reason for why I have summoned you all here today." The Holy King's voice sounded distant and remote. Logic inferred that his voice came from somewhere inside the hallbut, to Su Yu and the others, the sound seemed to envelop them; it was everywhere at once.
After a moment, the Holy King's aged voice came again, "I wanted to say... that the Sanctuary will be dissolved from today onwards!"
Though his voice was soft, the words pierced the souls of all who heard them. Everyone was incredibly alarmed! The Sanctuary dissolved? The Sanctuary of the Alliance of the Nine Holy Empires, the martial arts holy land of millions, dissolved?!
No one remained calm as they faced the news. Even the senior disciples, such as Senior Brother Zhao, Senior Brother Zhang, and Qiu Changjian found it difficult to accept. More than a hundred people were instantly and indescribably shocked! They whispered among themselves; it felt as though the sky was falling.
Swish, swish, swish
The ten great Holy Disciples simultaneously knelt.
"We beseech you Master, please revoke your edict!" Qiu Changjian was so shocked, it was hard to bear such an upheaval. The vast Sanctuary dissolved overnight?
"Please, Holy King, revoke your edict!"
Swish, swish, swish
The ten great prospective disciples, followed on their knees, looks of horror in their eyes!
Swish, swish, swish
Hundreds of disciples all knelt in succession as they looked toward the Holy King imploringly. If the Sanctuary were to be dissolved, where would they go, what would they do?
Inside the dark hall, the Holy King sighed at their fate, "If only... The matter has been decided. All martial artists aside from the ten great Holy Disciples are to prepare their things and leave the Sanctuary tomorrow."
"Holy King!" Hundreds of devastated voices rose in despair.
It was their Armageddon. The Sanctuary was the only place in the whole world where they could better their skills and progress along the Martial Path. Without the Sanctuary, they were just average men in a world they had not trained for.
Su Yu and Xia Jingyu were dazed and despondent! They had only arrived yesterday, and now the Sanctuary was being dissolved! Where would they go and what would they do!? Xia Jingyu could return to the martial arts training institute, but what about Su Yu? Without the Sanctuary, how could Su Yu train enough to be able to take on Fenghuang Valley?
An imposing force flowed from the hall. It evoked terror and determination in those who felt itall the disciples were shocked to silence as cold sweat gathered on their brows. The Holy King was angry!
"This matter has already been decided!" The Holy King would not tolerate dissent.
This declaration would shock the Alliance of the Nine Empires. How could they dissolve the Sanctuary?
"No!" A young man stood in protesthe dared defy the Holy King!
"Back down!" Inside the dark hall came the indifferent old voice. It sounded as though it could order heaven to fall and hell to risebut the boy still stood.
"Someone is depending on me, I must stay!" It was Su Yu! His powerful speech resonated in people's hearts.
"I beg the Holy King to please fulfill my wish!" Su Yu bowed in supplication.
He needed the Sanctuary to train. Xianer was his fiance, he had to see her!
"Don't make me tell you twice!" An oppressive energy rumbled forward.
The Holy King was enraged! Su Yu's body trembledhe felt like he had a mountain on his shoulders. He was anxious and adrenaline flowed freely. Extrem pain spread all over his body as fresh blood spilled from his mouth.
But Su Yu still stood. His starlike eyes projected an unprecedented fierceness. "Please... Holy King... fulfill!" He struggled to speak around a mouthful of blood.
The crowd was in awe. Who was this boy? What did he need to do so badly? Who was this person who depended on him? The small boy seemed to grow in the hearts of all who saw him. Qiu Changjian's eyes quivered, his inner heart moved!
Su Yu had traveled a thousand miles to the imperial capital in order to fight in a death match for no personal gainonly to save the life of his friend. Now, he had publically disagreed with the Holy King, despite a hundred others who stayed silent!
The dark hall suddenly glowed brilliantly, the inside clearly visible.
There was a white-haired bony old man with a beard, white like a crane's feathers and an innocently rosy colored face. An air of otherworldliness surrounded his celestial appearance. He seemed like a fictional deity pulled from an ancient text.
He sat cross-legged openly in front of allbut his appearance seemed blurred as if it was an illusion or projection.
This man was the legendary martial force of the Alliance of the Nine Empires, the Holy King!
His aged eyes, as placid as an ancient deep well, held no waves. He looked over Su Yu apathetically, "You think I would not dare to kill you where you stand?"
Everyone under heaven would clap and agree that defying the will of the Holy King was a capital offense. The Holy King was the legendary martial forceanyone who defied him deserved death!
Su Yu, mouth full of blood, tightly clenched his jaw, "No! You'll kill me!"
Su Yu realized how elitist the Holy King truly was; he viewed common people as insectshe would have no problem killing Su Yu!
"if I can't see the person who needs me, I'm as good as dead!" Su Yu articulated every word carefully, his deep eyes filled with unprecedented determination.
Without a Sanctuary to train in, Su Yu would surely be obliterated at Fenghuang Valley. Now or later, his death was inevitable.
As good as dead? What kind of heavy burden could he be shouldering with such a skinny body?
The audience's hearts were moved!
"You wish to tell me you're not afraid to die?" The Holy King was cold, murderous, and indifferent. He had lived for a century and seen countless determined individuals; Su Yu was no different than the rest.
"I'm afraid!" Su Yu spat out blood and words, "But, I'm most afraid of dying with regrets!"
Dying with regrets? The Holy King looked reminiscent.
After a long silence, the Holy King deeply sighed, "if I had your comprehension long ago, perhaps, this would be another type of encounter."
Everyone's hearts were shaken; Su Yu had unexpectedly touched the Holy King's heart! Would he be able to stay?
But, the Holy King's abruptly turned cold and resolutely shook his head. "But, I can't keep you! You are too weak, only the ten great Holy Disciples are adequate enough to follow mebarely."
Su Yu gritted his teeth, his body almost on the verge of collapse. His mouth was full of blood as he growled, "Then I will become a top ten ranked Holy Disciple!"
These words were a shock to the heart! The Sanctuary had existed for a century, but holy disciples were scarce. The only Holy Disciple from the past decade was Qiu Changjian! Countless prospective Holy Disciples had sadly withdrawn and left the Sanctuary. What made Su Yu think he could be a Holy Disciple?
Still, no one mocked him. Everyone dreamed of becoming a Holy Disciple when they arrived at the SanctuarySu Yu's boldness put him above the rest, his bravery in going against the Holy King shocking them all.
The harsh nature of reality had broken them allbut Su Yu's bold act had moved them; what could possibly motivate a man to act so brazenly? Who gave him the courage to rebel?
The Holy King glanced at Su Yu indifferently and slowly shook his head, "You won't do!"
His words were law. The Holy King's judgment was shrewd and ruthlesshe knew, with a single glance and ninety-percent accuracy, the nature of a person's fate. The last ten-percent was left to chance.
"I can!" Su Yu roared. He had come from a poor background his girlfriend had been snatched by Qin Feng. He had started as the lowest silver student and now had he not worked his way up to the much-revered Sanctuary?
A single, determined phrase invoked fire in the hearts of many. Countless disciples secretly clenched their fists. Many of them suddenly understood that, perhaps, their years of halted progress was not due to lack of resources, but due to a lack of determinationsimilar to the determination Su Yu now showed so openly! The determination to die with no regrets!
Staring at that pair of dedicated eyes, the Holy King suddenly felt offended. Not only had Su Yu failed to move him, but he had actually angered him. The Holy King slowly rose, his expression ice-cold. His body language was tense, a moment away from breaking out into a destructive rage.
"Stand down or die!" The Holy King said.
That one sentence completely destroyed all hope!