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Chapter 1087: Chilling Breeze
Chapter 1087: Chilling Breeze
Heart sinking, everyone flinched back from fear, now that this evil was coming for them.
They still gave Zhuo Fan hopeful looks, like looking at their last lifeline to save them from this despair and terror.
[Bro, d-do you have anything else?]
Zhuo Fan muttered under his breath then raised his hands to give a light clap, not looking the least bit terrified like his peers.
Ouyang Lingtian and the old timers stood at his side with a grave look, picking up on his intent behind such a gesture.
The Invincible Sword’s brow shook, looking confused.
“Sir, you’re too nice, and the right thing to do is thank you for such a favor.”
The crisp clapping halted and Zhuo Fan said, “Thank you for making us witness such a rare showdown, of letting me peer into the heights of humanity’s cultivation. It allowed me to have a clear goal and for that, you have my deepest gratitude.”
Zhuo Fan leaned and offered a sincere bow. Ouyang Lingtian and the other two followed along.
The Sword Kings’ faces twitched, not getting anything.
[What’s this guy up to this time?]
Ouyang Changqing’s group were dumbstruck, “Big brother Zhuo, dad, what are you all doing? That monster’s here to kill us and you’re here bowing? You should be thinking hard on how to get us out of this mess, for crying out loud…”
“You don’t get it, Changqing!”
Ouyang Lingtian broke the silence, “In our world, practitioners don’t get to choose. Remember that. All our affairs belong to this circle, but as a practitioner, a cultivator, this bow is a tribute to the strong. By not bowing now, then the secular world is holding you back and preventing you from ever reaching the top.”
“We have been around for far too long that we’ve forgotten our initial goal for Dao along the way. Now, having met Sir Zhuo, his actions and words have opened our eyes. People may be practitioners, but their hearts fall behind. We’ve been wrong for too long!”
Murong Lie sighed with wisdom, the trio giving Zhuo Fan another look of respect.
As a fellow cultivator, this young man understood this truth better than these old relics, who’d forgotten. That was why they fell short.
Ouyang Changqing gave them a blank stare, then jerked, recalling the monster hanging over their heads.
The Invincible Sword looked to be sympathizing with them, his gaze showing a rare and calm expression, actually coming to see the four as equals.
This never would’ve happened before.
The Invincible Sword was the best of the best, be it among humans or beast. Who could be his equal? This time, however, he had such a gaze. His Sword Kings were baffled.
Putting away the sword, the Invincible Sword cupped his hands, filled with respect, “I’ve been roaming the lands in solitude, but now I’ve finally met true fellow practitioners. Sir Zhuo especially, so young yet so enlightened to Dao, neither arrogant nor impulsive. You have my respect. It’s a true loss that our intentions align, but not our positions. I am thus forced, by our circle of practitioners, to take your heads. Especially, Sir Zhuo, yours is an absolute must. It has been my greatest fortune to have met you today, Sir Zhuo, but now it’s time to say goodbye…”
Baili Yutian sighed one last time in regret, but then his eyes steeled, pointing the sword at Zhuo Fan with the intent to end him.
Ouyang Changqing was on the verge of crying.
He still thought Zhuo Fan was taking the refined approach with the Invincible Sword, appealing to his heroism to instill fondness in another hero so they’d all make up in the end. The thing was, the old freak was buying it.
That was until he flipped and drew his sword.
[Brother Zhuo, he ruined your last feelings, so what do we do now? If only I knew this, I wouldn’t have complimented him and just died. Now I’m not just ashamed but also getting killed.]
How could he possibly understand these true practitioners’ feelings? At the very least, they were all clear on their grudges and affairs, public and private, and respect had no part in this at all.
By refusing to admit the opponent’s strength, you yourself would never grow either. Your potential would be crushed by your own denials.
Easier said than done, such people being rarities.
As Zhuo Fan took the lead, Ouyang Lingtian and the old timers realized this truth as well, earning them the Invincible Sword’s own respect as well, but also fueling his desire to kill Zhuo Fan.
He knew the youth would soar and one day would threaten him.
He might be searching for a good opponent, but finding one with the potential only filled him with fear. He had to snuff it out.
A human heart was wrecked with contradictions and dissonance, something not even the best could escape from.
The Invincible Sword’s sword lifted, humming softly, the eulogy of all here into hell.
Ouyang Lingtian was wounded heavily, but felt no fear, pointing his sword at the sky.
The old timers were finally doing this not for anyone else, neither to defend, but to challenge the very top, for their own path forward.
A Dao heart warded all fears, for having the world within, one understood all.
Here and now, the top of their respective land finally showed the strength they should have. The Sword Kings could even sense the trio’s change, despite how weakened they were. It was as if energy gathered around them from the world, the same with Patriarch.
[Their hearts… had grown…]
The Sword Kings’ brows tense, hearts sinking.
[They must die here and now, before they grow so strong they might even surpass Sword Kings.]
[They have to die now, to avoid a worse future.]
Ouyang Changqing was clearly blind to the change, sweating buckets.
[There’s no way three wrecked people can defeat that monster.]
[It’s over, this is the end…]
The one-sided battle was on the cusp of igniting when Zhuo Fan shouted, “Sir, I recommend you don’t take it further and just fall back!”
“Afraid, is it?”
“Ha-ha-ha, not fear, but reluctance.”
Zhuo Fan sighed, “I didn’t care much about your fate so far, but seeing your battle made me realize that you’re an opponent I’ll have to take down myself. My strength is lacking now, so I’d like for you to keep living, for when I personally come to challenge you. I’d hate to end you now.”
Baili Yutian started, then cracked up, “Sir Zhuo, you sure know how to speak in riddles. Not even I understand you. If you have the power now, why wait to kill me? If you do not, why then speak of wanting my life? Why on earth would I let you go just to bring me more trouble?”
“Sir Invincible Sword, there’s nothing conflicting about it.”
Zhuo Fan smiled, “I want your life, but would hate to do it any other way than with my own fist. It would rob both of us of an enjoyable battle. So I say sir should save his energy, to let us live so that we may settle our fight fair and square. The winner enters Devil Mountain and the loser will be buried in the dirt.”
The Invincible Sword’s eyes shook as he cried out, “Devil Mountain? Aren’t you part of it? Why would you want to enter it?”
“To be frank, I came from Devil Mountain, but can’t return due to lack of strength.”
Shaking his head, Zhuo Fan opened his heart to the one opponent he recognized, “Sir, the five lands are tiny. Only when entering Devil Mountain will you know the true world of the strong. There’s an endless amount of others above you. Though when it comes to talent, there are rarities. All you need now is a way in. On the day of our battle, you’ll get your ticket. If I fail, it proves I’m not worthy to return, you are doing it for me.”
Baili Yutian was plagued with indecision.
Baili Yuyun urged, “Patriarch, the punk’s words are poison. One minute he says he’s from Devil Mountain, the other that he can’t return. What kind of sect wouldn’t allow the return of their disciples? He knows he’s on death’s door and clings to anything to fool us into letting him live. You mustn’t let him get to you!”
Baili Yutian glared at Zhuo Fan, though deciding still came hard.
“Devil Mountain is filled with experts?”
“Beyond anything you can imagine.” Zhuo Fan nodded, looking nervous as he recalled those days, “There’s no end to their legends. Your strength could hardly even qualify. The Dragon Breath Pill sir calls it a toy, ha-ha-ha, well, it’s even less than one in Devil Mountain. But I have something way better, something that would scatter your ashes in the wind. Would sir like to see?”
Baili Yutian stared hard, unable to say a word.
It was then that a thick fog spread from the sea inland, carrying biting cold winds…