Silence echoed through the wine house.
Every pair of eyes was fixated on the youth in white, consumed by shock and fear.
No, not even one round, it was a mere exhale that made He Ying nearly die of agony and the entire crowd gasping for air. How skilled is this man?
Only a foundational level cultivator could defeat He Ying in under one round with a light blow of his nose.
Good Heavens, how old is he?
He’s already at the foundational level?!
The crowd stared at Ling Xian in silence, shocked to the core.
There were only seven cultivators inside the walls of the Sunset City, the youngest being around 30 years old. Ling Xian, on the other hand, appeared 15, 16 years of age at most. For cultivators of the Sunset City, one who reached the ninth realm by this age would be considered a genius, a child protégé. No one inside the wall of this city had ever come close to Ling Xian.
Even in the entire Zhou Dynasty, Ling Xian would be considered a miracle child.
"Unbelievable, he ended the battle with a blow of air, only possible by a foundational!"
"Not even that! He must be at the later stages of his foundational level. Look at him, 15, 16 at most. When has such a warrior emerged from inside the Sunset City?"
"He is terrifying. He can easily hold a match against any of the other seven foundational level cultivators."
"Indeed, even though I can’t figure out the true depth of his skills, he makes me want to bow down to him as if he were the Winged Serpent himself."
Ling Xian glanced over at the man on the floor, still rolling around in pain, and said over his jade wine cup, "Now you know how much of an idiot you are."
The skinny man, now pale as a sheet of paper, turned over and kneeled at Ling Xian’s feet. Overcoming intense pain from his wounded soul, the man begged, "Yes, yes, I’m an idiot, I made a mistake. Please spare my life. I won’t ever do this again."
"Fuck off, immediately, don’t ever let me see you again."
Ling Xian waved his hand lazily. He couldn’t be bothered with killing him. Anyone below the foundational level was unworthy of his strike. Not to mention, this attack on the soul had already caused irreversible damage. This man would never progress on his journey of cultivation.
This strike had ended this man’s life as a cultivator.
"Yes, yes, I’m leaving, right now." The man, still wobbly, stood up and slithered out the door. His biggest fear was for the foundational hero behind him to change his mind.
But it’s noteworthy to mention that his expression was not one of pain but one of malice.
Ling Xian shook his head at the disappearing shadow and promptly returned his gaze to the beautiful sunset. He calmed down and began to think about the next destination in his journey.
After the skinny man’s departure, the wine house did not return to its former octave. They guests lowered their voices and continued with their meals and wine, but all eyes were still fixated on Ling Xian, and all lips were exchanging guesses on who this youth was.
It was abnormal indeed to be graced by the presence of a foundational level cultivator. The seven local cultivators suffered the same fate. The action of each of them had always been closely monitored by the larger population.
After a while, the wine had been emptied. The sun had set.
Ling Xian hollered. Almost instantly, a smiling waiter dressed in a green robe rushed over to respond. He said, happily, "I dare not accept your spiritual stones. My master says today’s wine is on him. He welcomes you back, anytime."
"A foundational indeed enjoys much more of life, including free meals." Ling Xian sighed and waved his hand. Suddenly, a hundred spiritual stones appeared on the table. Without a second glance, Ling Xian stood up and walked out.
He didn’t consume any food, only a bottle of wine. At most, this liquid meal would cost ten stones. But he was in no shortage of spiritual stones these days. Ten stones and a hundred stone were practically the same for him.
He entered the streets and navigated through the crowd. Upon finding a small hotel at random, Ling Xian threw another hundred spiritual stones and was promptly led up to the Emperor Suite.
"Sleep here tonight, tomorrow morning, off to the capital,"
He uttered to himself and sat down to meditate.
But he suddenly remembered that the Petal of Enlightenment and the Golden Pages were kept inside the Painting of the Nine Immortals. Redirecting his energy, Ling Xian entered the Painting.
He wanted to visit the little Purple Dwarf and ask the Untainted about the origins of the Golden Pages.
Just as Ling Xian walked into the Painting of the Nine Immortals, many of the Heaven’s Favorites had emerged out of the Ruins and returned to their respective establishments.
Many of them had crossed paths with Ling Xian, especially during his battle with Yue Lian Han. Vanquisher of Life for one was never going to forget him. Immediately upon returning to their establishments, everyone reported the same message back regarding the power of Ling Xian.
Thus, Ling Xian’s fame has now touched every corner of Yunzhou.
He was a youth in possession of the mighty Eyes of Execution and the Heaven Shadowing Palm Technique, the first of this generation of Heaven’s Favorite to breach the foundational level. The only one to witness the return of the long-vanished Elfkind. Every achievement on its own was enough to take Yunzhou by storm, let alone all four.
Ling Xian once again became the focal point of discussion and desire for many dominant establishments within the Province.
His star power had only just been unleashed but had already lit up the Nine Heavens.
Some people, after hearing about Ling Xian’s many great deeds, couldn’t help but connect him to the young, gifted cultivator the House of Wan Jian had been desperately searching for. But without evidence, they could only speculate.
But just as people were speculating over the identity of this missing cultivator, Dao Wu Ji released another Order. The Order contained one line.
This man, no one touches him!
This time, even without sufficient evidence, the enemy Houses of Wan Jian were convinced enough to take action. Despite acknowledging Dao Wu Ji’s request in public, many Houses had sent assassins in secret to get rid of Ling Xian before he ever enters the House of Wan Jian.
Even the Houses that had always maintained friendly relations with the House of Wan Jian couldn’t resist but send assassins of their own.
The glory Ling Xian would bring the House of Wan Jian if he ever reached the House would be unimaginable. The treasures and powers that gathered around him were enough to drive everyone mad with desire.
His most prized treasures and powers perhaps couldn’t be easily taken. But the Eyes of Execution would do, even the Elfkind, the rulers of the future.
The Golden Pages was of particular interest to the leaders and elders of all prominent Houses. Upon hearing the description of such a weapon from their own disciples, these leading figures simultaneously decided to boost their troops to track down Ling Xian and wrestle the treasure from him.
At this moment, inside the House of Xiu Luo, Vanquisher of Life was down on one knee. His head bowed low, his body shook uncontrollably. Clearly, he was in deep fear.
He feared the man sitting in the high chair of ultimate authority.
The man was dressed head to toe in black, slouched to one side on the blood red throne. His body was protected by strands of murky energy so one could clearly make out his face. Even with his face hidden, one could feel the killer energy exuding out of his pores.
He was the Headmaster of the House of Xiu Luo.
"Vanquisher of Life, I remember you. You are an excellent disciple of your generation," The man said slowly.
"That’s me, I bid you good day, Headmaster. Your reign will last for eternity. Your enemies will be vanquished!" Vanquisher of Life was stunned that the Headmaster remembered him.
He was indeed one of the best. But in his generation, there were others. It was rare for the Headmaster to take notice of one or the other.
Only the mightiest of the Heaven’s Favorite or someone who’d successfully reached the completion level of cultivation would be noticed by the Headmaster.
"Let’s end the flattery. You should be aware of the House rules. If you fail to speak about anything of value here, you will be sent to the graveyard and reduced to a pool of blood," The black figure said without a hint of mercy.
"Yes, Headmaster, you can rest assured. The news I bring will be of incredible value to you," Vanquisher of life's voice continued to tremble as did his body. But he couldn’t turn back now. His only hope was that the stories of Ling Xian would be of interest to the Headmaster.
"Speak, I’m listening," The black figure muttered.
"Yes." Through gritted teeth, Vanquisher of Life explained the details of each encounter with Ling Xian.
In the beginning, the Headmaster showed little interest in the story. But the moment the term "Eyes of Execution" was mentioned, he suddenly felt his heart skip a beat, albeit he didn’t show it. But when he heard the description of the Golden Pages, his bloodshot eyes lit up. Fear expanded into the air around him.
"You are certain, that book you are describing produced a fantasy world?"
Feeling a wave of killer instinct from above, Vanquisher of Life responded hastily, "Headmaster, I speak the whole truth. There is not a single lie in my narration."
"Ha ha, good, I could have never imagined that the book would reveal itself again." The dark, bloody figure stood up suddenly. His terrifying pupils flashed an indistinguishable hint between one of euphoria and one of shock.
Evidently, the Golden Pages was a treasure of mythical proportions.
Nothing could ignite this much fire and excitement from the Headmaster of Xiu Luo.
Sensing the Headmaster’s joy, Vanquisher of Life sighed in relief. He knew his gamble had paid off. He wouldn’t be sentenced to die. Instead, perhaps he would receive some form of reward.
Just as he had expected, the Headmaster regained his composure, looked down at the trembling disciple and continued, "You’ve done well. I reward you with one opportunity to enter the Pool of Immortal Blood. It will help you break through to the foundational level. After you’ve succeeded, you are to track down the youth and bring me back the Golden Pages."
"Yes, many thanks to the Headmaster. I will not disappoint you. I will track down the book and present it to Headmaster!"
Vanquisher of Life nearly fainted with joy. The Pool of Immortal Blood – the dream of every cultivator. It would certainly propel him through to the foundational level. Then, he would murder the youth he scorned.
No, not murder, humiliate, torture, he would experience every form of pain but a swift and merciful death.
Vanquisher of Life shuddered in ecstasy as he envisioned the scene where he towered over Ling Xian in victory.
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