South County .
Sword Pavilion, Zhongnan Mountain .
The tall Zhongnan Mountain was like a long sharp sword soaring into the clouds . At the peak, there was a big field, on which a giant bluestone sat .
The snow continued falling from the sky . The entire Zhongnan Mountain looked like an unsheathed white blade .
Ximen Xianzhi opened his eyes .
He found himself covered with a lot of snow .
He shook his body, and Spirit Qi flowed out of his Qi Core and flew through his meridians . Then all of the snowflakes on him were sent away .
A sword was stuck to the snow ground, shining coldly .
Ximen Xianzhi got to his feet . He harnessed his Qi and blood to warm his frozen body a little bit .
He grasped his sword .
And he was lost in thoughts .
Holding the sword, he felt a warm current flowing in his mind .
A white light ball floated in his mind .
Ximen Xianzhi pricked the light ball . Countless currents instantly flowed into his mind .
The energy in him did not calm down until a good while had passed .
Ximen Xianzhi was a little shocked .
“This is a cultivation system . Although it’s also swordsmanship, it’s taking a different approach… It’s using the sharpness of light to demonstrate the sharpness of the sword . ”
Ximen Xianzhi sat cross-legged on the bluestone .
Ximen Xianzhi used to be as famous as geniuses like the Overlord and Li Sansi, but as the era of cultivation began, he lagged behind .
Ximen Xianzhi had a great title earlier . He used to be called the Sword Geek .
He was obsessed with the sword—even more obsessed than the Sword Saint Hua Dongliu was .
And Ximen Xianzhi deserved the title Sword Geek because his sword skills were superb .
At the moment, Ximen Xianzhi was a little pleasantly surprised by the inheritance of the light sword he had received . He thought he had reached the end of swordsmanship, but by now, he suddenly found a brand-new path to go .
As he still sat cross-legged on the bluestone, the snowflakes continued to fall gently to the ground .
Ximen Xianzhi was fascinated . He was ordering the theories in his head .
He did not follow all of them completely . He liked the sword, but the inheritance of the light sword was not just about the sword…
Ximen Xianzhi grasped his sword and started to brandish it on the bluestone .
When he was slowly brandishing the sword, the snowflakes seemed to fall from the sky somehow slowly .
The snowflakes were unhurriedly dancing in the air .
A brilliant light burst forth from Ximen Xianzhi’s sword, like a beam of light that cut the sky open . It was dazzling and eye-catching .
In the Sword Pavilion .
Hua Dongliu, who was studying sword spirit and sitting cross-legged in his room, suddenly opened his eyes .
His eyes looked sharp .
His sword spirit vaguely sensed something sharp and brilliant .
Hua Dongliu got to his feet . His azure robe was fluttering . He took a step forward, and the door was opened automatically .
He went toward the field at the peak, wondering who was evolving sword skills, which had triggered his sword spirit .
Ximen Xianzhi had no idea what was happening around him .
He was immersed in the sword .
He integrated his understanding of the light sword with the sword in his hand .
His Spirit Qi was activated . The falling snowflakes were all cut in half .
The sword in Ximen Xianzhi’s hand started to crack . Then it was smashed into pieces . Iron pieces from it fell on the ground .
Ximen Xianzhi trembled .
Countless beams of light gathered in his hand . They formed a light sword .
His hand shivered . He even lost his grip of the light sword . The sword pierced hard into the snow on the ground .
The thick snow instantly exploded .
Snow splattered all over .
The light sword struck the bluestone and left a mark on it .
Ximen Xianzhi trembled . Beads of sweat seeped out of his forehead .
However, his eyes were as bright as the moon hanging in the dark night sky . He lifted his hand to grasp…
As if he grasped light .
The light turned into a sword!
The snow ground was like tofu . Cut by the sword, it was full of thin sword marks .
Ximen Xianzhi reached a moment of clarity . He gained some insight at this moment .
A swirl emerged over his head . In the swirl, Spirit Qi was tumbling .
He achieved a breakthrough .
He reached the Internal Organs Realm!
This disturbance astonished the disciples in the Sword Pavilion .
And Hua Dongliu came in person, walking across the snow while carrying two swords on his back, one of which was the Morning Chrysanthemum and the other was the Green Peach .
“It’s Xianzhi indeed… He achieved the Internal Organs Realm!”
Hua Dongliu’s old face showed excitement involuntarily .
Although he had started to cultivate, he was only in Peak Qi Core at that moment .
However, Ximen Xianzhi had broken through to the Internal Organs Realm .
He had surpassed Hua Dongliu, the leader of the Sword Pavilion .
Hua Dongliu was very emotional . The world had changed . The philosophers of the Hundred Schools of Philosophy had lagged behind, surpassed by youngsters who newly rose .
The Sword Pavilion’s disciples came one after the other .
They were all pleasantly surprised to see Ximen Xianzhi, who had just realized a breakthrough .
“Senior Brother Xianzhi realized a breakthrough?”
“We, Sword Pavilion, finally have a cultivator in the Internal Organs Realm!”
“Senior Brother Xianzhi hasn’t been very influential for years . Now he finally is going to rise . Will he compete with Li Sansi from Dao Pavilion and the Overlord from Western Liang once again?!”
The Sword Pavilion’s disciples all had a complicated feeling .
Some of them were glad, while others were envious .
With a swirl overhead, carrying the sword case on his back and holding the sword handle in hand, Ximen Xianzhi was in a trance .
Hua Dongliu stepped onto the field .
Not until then did Ximen Xianzhi come to himself . Grasping the sword handle, he bowed at Hua Dongliu .
“Master . ”
“Xianzhi, you reached the Internal Organs Realm?” Hua Dongliu asked with a smile .
Ximen Xianzhi nodded . Although it was thanks to the immortal encounter that he gained insights and then broken through to the Internal Organs Realm, he was still a cultivator in Internal Organs .
“You are now the Sword Pavilion’s hope . ”
Hua Dongliu was a little emotional .
“The new overthrow the old . ”
“Did you comprehend the sword spirit?” Hua Dongliu asked .
Ximen Xianzhi shook his head .
“Work harder . You can’t be a successful swordsman without mastering the sword spirit,” Hua Dongliu said .
“Master, can light be used as a sword?” Ximen Xianzhi asked as he stood in the snow .
Snowflakes fell on his body .
Hua Dongliu was stunned . He stroked his beard as if he had seen the puzzle in Ximen Xianzhi’s eyes .
“Everything can be a sword . A flower, a raindrop… Even this snowflake,” Hua Dongliu answered .
A featherlike snowflake fell before him .
He lifted his hand to reach out for the snowflake . Then he threw it over .
The snowflake whizzed across the air like a flying sword . It tore the air apart and struck the bluestone . It did not melt until a long time had passed .
Ximen Xianzhi’s eyes lit up more and more .
“As long as you have the sword in your heart, everything can be a sword…” Hua Dongliu said .
Ximen Xianzhi nodded . Everything could be a sword, so light could be a sword too .
And light was everywhere, which means his sword was everywhere .
Ximen Xianzhi found a wide path . He was very happy .
Hua Dongliu certainly knew Ximen Xianzhi had been enlightened . Smiling, he asked, “Xianzhi, how long have you not left the mountain?”
Ximen Xianzhi did not expect Hua Dongliu to ask him this . Cupping his hands, he answered, “Almost three years . ”
“I thought it would have taken me longer . After all, it took Master decades to comprehend the sword spirit . So I figured it would take me decades too . ”
“Dissociating yourself from reality won’t lead you to anything . The world has changed . It’s easier to comprehend the sword spirit now, but… Even so, closing yourself will still hinder the evolution of the sword spirit . ”
“It’s time for you to go down the mountain . ”
“You have enigmas about the sword, don’t you? Go and meet some strong people . Challenge them . Maybe you’ll gain something in such fights,” Hua Dongliu suggested .
“Jing Yue is in Beiluo . His swordsmanship might inspire you . You can go and practice with him . ”
Jing Yue’s improvement in swordsmanship was beyond Hua Dongliu’s expectation .
He thought Ximen Xianzhi could gain enlightenment from Jing Yue .
“Yes . ”
Ximen Xianzhi did not hesitate, because he did have experienced the hardships of working hard alone .
His cultivation had just started . It was not the time to practice in seclusion yet .
However, Ximen Xianzhi was a little lost . Beiluo…
“Go ahead . These two swords are yours now . ”
“Beyond Internal Organs, it’s Heavenly Lock . We should practice the most powerful sword skills . The Dao of Golden Elixir is not suitable for the sword . You will be the leader of Sword Pavilion when you achieve Heavenly Lock,” Hua Dongliu said .
He gave Ximen Xianzhi the two swords he had been carrying on his back .
Ximen Xianzhi took them . He instantly felt how different these two swords were .
Hua Dongliu burst out laughing .
The new overthrow the old . He felt delighted, but at the same time, he was a little lost .
He turned around with his hands behind his back . In the snow, he disappeared from the peak .
Ximen Xianzhi put the Morning Chrysanthemum Sword and the Green Peach Sword into his sword case . He bowed toward where Hua Dongliu had disappeared .
Then he cupped his hands at the Sword Pavilion’s disciples around the field .
With his azure robe blowing, he strode down Zhongnan Mountain .
He was going to Beiluo . He had a bold idea .
He was going to challenge some strong people .
Capital city .
In a narrow alley .
A shadow stumbled to his feet . Blood oozed from the corner of his lip .
Liu Yuanhao lifted his head . His face was black and blue, but his eyes were full of sharp lights .
He, Liu Yuanhao, had received it!
This was an era of cultivators, especially in the chaotic capital city . The Western Liang Army had captured the capital city and established order, but…
For gangs that had to hide in the dark when the capital city had been prosperous…
This was the best era ever .
The current Jianghu adored strength . Gangs led by cultivators were in a very high position .
Liu Yuanhao wiped the blood from his mouth and his nose .
He walked out of the narrow alley and looked into the distance .
The Imperial City still stood there, looking extremely magnificent .
He sniffed . As the founder of the Black Dragon Gang, he called himself Young Leader instead, because the real leader of the gang was his biological elder brother Liu Hao .
Who was Liu Hao?
The first armored man from the Thirteen Black Dragon Armored Men under the command of the Great Zhou’s young emperor, who were once glorious .
But unfortunately, Liu Hao was killed by the Overlord when Western Liang and the Great Xuan had lay siege in the capital city .
Liu Yuanhao fled, and he established the Black Dragon Gang .
However, it was not easy to found and manage a gang . He was not strong enough, so he had suffered a lot .
He opened his hand and looked at his palm . With his eyes shining, he said, “Immortal encounter…”
“I was neither qualified nor strong enough to find the Black Dragon Guards who had retired, but… I think now I’m qualified . Just give me some time . I’ll reunite the Black Dragon Guards and expand the Black Dragon Gang…”
“I’ll make the Black Dragon Gang the number one gang in the capital city!”
Liu Yuanhao closed his fist .
A dark flame extended from between his fingers .
Liu Yuanhao was shocked .
Then, with a thought, the Dead Spirit Fire extended from his hand and distorted his face .
Liangzhou City, West County .
Located on the southwest side of West County, the city adjoined with the Maurya Empire’s territory .
Liangzhou City was always combat-ready . After all, although the Maurya Empire was an empire, it was one of the Five Barbarians .
And as the stronghold of West County, Liangzhou City had to be combat-ready at all time .
It was cold when it snowed in Liangzhou City .
Yongcheng Pawnshop .
The principle of the only pawnshop in Liangzhou City was as follows: there is nothing I dare not take, and there are only things you dare not pawn .
The Liangzhou people had no idea how rich a pawnshop boss could be . The only thing they knew was the boss of Yongcheng Pawnshop was extremely rich . He was as rich as Croesus .
However, such a wealthy pawnshop only hired one clerk .
Ding Jiudeng, sitting on the threshold, opened his eyes . He remained in a trance for some time . Then he finally recalled that he seemed to have been to a place called Immortal Ascension Site .
Ding Jiudeng touched his bald head . He had been a little scared, but since he had been in a trance for some time, the fear had been gone .
He heard invocations in his head . A bald man seemed to be looking at him with affection . And there were all kinds of scriptures and texts flowing around .
Ding Jiudeng patted himself on the bald head . He was not feeling very well .
All of a sudden…
Someone behind him gave him a kick .
“Ding, hurry up . I pay for your food every month and provide you with a place to sleep . Am I doing this so that you can idle around?”
“Pack your things and get out of here if you don’t want to work hard!”
A man behind him scolded him .
Ding Jiudeng got to his feet . He answered fearfully in a muffled voice after a period of silence, “I’m going now . ”
He had a giant body, but his bald head, which looked like a lantern, was a little eye-catching .
It was the boss of Yongcheng Pawnshop that was behind him—an old man with a slim face wearing luxurious clothes .
Seeing Ding Jiudeng turn around to work, the boss stroked his beard and smiled .
He hired Ding Jiudeng because this idiot was cheap . He just needed to provide Ding Jiudeng with food and a place to sleep . As to salary, he could find as many excuses as possible to dock all of the pay every month .
And the bald man would not curse back or fight back . How great that was!
The boss rubbed his hands together, with shrewd lights flashing in his eyes .
It was time for the transaction again .
The slim-faced boss smiled . His eyes shone with greed . Once the transaction was completed successfully, his wealth would be doubled!
“Ding, work hard . If I find you haven’t done a good job when I come back tonight, your pay for the month after the next month will be docked too,” the boss said .
Then he left Yongcheng Pawnshop, humming a tune .
Ding Jiudeng did not answer the boss until he had left the pawnshop for quite some time .
Ding Jiudeng stopped working . He stood there motionlessly, for he did not know how to answer until a long while had passed . Then he finally looked where the boss had walked out . “Boss, the pay for the month after the next month has all been docked . ”
However, the boss was not there anymore .
Ding Jiudeng touched his bald head . Then he went on working .
All of a sudden…
A shadow wearing a bamboo hat with a veil came into the door . It was impossible to see his face .
“I have something to pawn . ”
The man’s voice was a little hoarse .
There was no response until a long while had passed .
“Coming . ”
Ding Jiudeng showed up behind the counter . Looking at the shadow, he asked, “What do you want to pawn?”
The man groped in his pocket for some time . Then a silver pair of scissors appeared on the counter .
“How much do you think these scissors are worth?” the man wearing the bamboo hat asked .
Ding Jiudeng reached out for the scissors . However, before he could touch them, the silver scissors floated in the air, spinning at high speed . The man wearing the bamboo hat grasped them and pressed them against Ding Jiudeng’s throat all of a sudden . His skin was scraped . Blood flowed out .
Ding Jiudeng looked emotionless .
The man wearing the bamboo hat was stunned . This clerk was surprisingly bold .
“Where is your boss?”
Ding Jiudeng finally came to himself . Terror had seized him . However, since the moment to feel scared had been gone, he only looked at the man wearing the bamboo hat in panic . His body was trembling .
“Boss… He went out for business,” Ding Jiudeng answered .
“Take me there,” the man wearing bamboo hat said .
When that had been said…
The scissors were pressed against Ding Jiudeng’s bald head .
Ding Jiudeng was stunned . When he had come to himself, he felt the best moment to feel scared had gone . So he felt very dull, and the feeling of fear faded . He only answered mechanically, “Okay…”
The man wearing the bamboo hat was speechless .
He was really audacious and steady!
Ding Jiudeng did know where the boss was replenishing his stock .
However, he figured he should not take this man there, although the boss was not very nice to him . He was either beating or scolding Ding Jiudeng and docked Ding Jiudeng’s pay frequently .
At least the boss offered him shelter .
He had been living alone in misery after his father had died on the battlefield of Liangzhou City . If the boss had not offered him shelter, he would probably have been living on the street or died from hunger or cold weather .
Therefore, Ding Jiudeng took the man wearing the bamboo hat into the alleyways of Liangzhou City that extended to all directions .
He paused as soon as he entered an alleyway . He stood there motionlessly for a while .
Then, he suddenly accelerated to run through the crisscross alleyways .
He looked back after a long time had passed . He patted himself on the chest with a lingering fear when he had found he had got rid of the man wearing the bamboo hat .
He went where the boss was selling things after leaving the alleyway .
He knew that place . He followed the sergeants of Liangzhou City there once when they were investigating the boss .
Ding Jiudeng had no idea .
On a building next to the alleyway, a man wearing a bamboo hat, whose black robe was blowing in the wind, was sitting on the roof, watching him walking out of the alleyway and leaving calmly .
The magnificent Beiluo City stood on the plain covered with snow .
It was snowing heavily . The snow covered the footsteps of pedestrians who had trekked across the plain .
All of a sudden…
Horse’s clip-clops came .
White snow splattered around .
A black horse ran over from the far end of the plain covered with snow . Its horse mane was blowing in the wind .
And a giant man was sitting on the horseback .
On the city tower of Beiluo .
The guards saw the black horse running across the snow at high speed .
That horse was a breed from Western Liang!
And the man on the horseback shocked the guards even more!
“It’s… It’s the Overlord!” A guard shouted in surprise .
It instantly created a disturbance in the city tower .
Gazing at the man on the horse, Luo Cheng turned slightly pale .
The Overlord was here too?
The Lord of Beixuan, the Lord of Western Liang…
How come the lords of the Great Xuan and Western Liang were both in Beiluo?
Tantai Xuan should have come for Jiang Li . But what about the Overlord? Was he here for Tantai Xuan?
Luo Cheng was speechless . He harnessed a wisp of Spirit Qi to move across the city in person .
Lake Island, Beiluo .
Tantai Xuan had just climbed onto the second floor of White Jade City Pavilion .
Lu Fan, leaning on the back of the wheelchair, showed a weird facial expression .
He looked at Tantai Xuan, who had just sat down . Smiling, he said, “Overlord is in Beiluo too . ”
When that had been said…
The pupils of Tantai Xuan, who had just sat down, shrank . He felt as if some needles were pierced into his butt .
He took a deep breath .
The Overlord was going too far…