HSSB982: Simply killing him
Blazing as fire, flourishing with vitality.
The powerful aura virtually caused everyone present to feel suffocated and hallucinate.
It was as if amidst boundless blazing fire, a treasured Wutong tree towered into the heavens, the clear cry of a phoenix resounding from its branch.
Then, that treasured Wutong tree seemed about to descend from the heavens, landing on the peak of Vast Spirit Mountain.
While no words were spoken, everyone present knew the identity of the one who had come.
A longtime Elder of Phoenix Ritual Mountain's Wutong Slope and a late Immortal Bridge Martial Saint, 'Treasured Branch Suppressing Peak' Zhang Shuren.
The martial practitioners of the south all felt like jumping for joy.
While they had already known that Zhang Shuren was rushing over from the conversation between Yan Zhaoge and Zhao Zhen from earlier, seeing it was believing it, really.
Also, even if Zhang Shuren had been rushing over like Zhao Zhen had said, if he had arrived late to the scene, all of them might already have long since been killed by Yan Zhaoge then.
And now, Zhang Shuren's appearance gave confidence to all the martial practitioners of the south.
Yan Zhaoge naturally sensed Zhang Shuren's approach.
He had discovered Zhang Shuren before everyone else here, even Yuan Xiancheng and Zhao Zhen.
Facing the arrival of this ninth level Martial Saint, Yan Zhaoge did not halt in the slightest after hacking off Zhao Zhen's hand with a sword as he now struck out with yet another sword.
With both hands crippled and his sword arts dispelled, Zhao Zhen whose protective true essence had fallen apart could only helplessly watch on as Yan Zhaoge's sword arrived before him.
A low roar resounded within the sky as a fiery streak of light descended.
The target of this fiery streak of light was not Yan Zhaoge but Zhao Zhen.
A thread of white qi appeared amidst the blazing flames, giving Zhao Zhen a lease of life in guiding his escape amidst this peril.
Yet, Yan Zhaoge extended his other hand, his thumb and index finger closing together in mid-air as they performed a pinching action.
That thread of white qi of nether virtue which ensured one's safety was instantly broken apart, with Zhao Zhen thus being doomed to death.
Light circulated on the tip of the Cloud Circulating Heavenly Light Sword as a head flew straight into the air.
The head reached its highest point before succumbing to gravity, revealing the face of someone who had died with unseen grievances as it rolled within the air.
A famed mid Immortal Bridge Martial Saint expert of the eastern region of the southern Blazing Heaven Territory, the 'Purple Tide Swordsman' Zhao Zhen who reigned supreme throughout the Bright Connection Sea, died beneath Yan Zhaoge's sword right there and then.
On seeing this, their hearts just having calmed, the martial practitioners of the south collectively shivered again.
They unconsciously retreated as even that treasured Wutong tree whose branches and leaves swayed with the wind as it descended from the skies amidst blazing fire could not dispel the chill within their hearts at this moment.
Seeing Zhao Zhen about to perish, Yuan Xiancheng's expression had instantly changed as he had made to rush over.
Yet, that vigorous, tyrannical Extreme Yang Seal had smashed downwards, blocking Yuan Xiancheng thoroughly and well as he had only been able to helplessly watch as Zhao Zhen's head was removed from his body.
"Oh, interesting?" Yan Zhaoge casually turned to look at Yuan Xiancheng as though nothing at all had happened.
Still, the Yuan Xiancheng who had undergone nirvanic rebirth this time was different from before.
Currently, other than his right eye which was tightly shut, Yuan Xiancheng no longer looked as old and decrepit as he had before.
Now, he looked like a middle-aged man in his forties or fifties.
From his facial features, he was still recognisable as that old man from earlier. Still, he was much younger than before.
His outer appearance had not changed following his first nirvanic rebirth.
Having sacrificed his clone which he had continually refined with his right eye to undergo nirvanic rebirth this time, Yuan Xiancheng's appearance had changed as he had seemingly returned to his younger years.
It was just that while Yuan Xiancheng looked like he had returned to his prime, he was clearly much weaker than before.
While he was still a powerful mid Immortal Bridge Martial Saint, of the true intent of his four Virtues, his thick earth of meritorious virtue had become much less substantial.
Thinking of how two phoenixes had flown out of Yuan Xiancheng's eyes when they had first clashed, one bearing the white qi of nether virtue and one bearing the thick earth of meritorious virtue, Yan Zhaoge clicked his tongue in wonder, "If I blind your remaining left eye or force you into sacrificing your eye, undergoing a third nirvanic rebirth, would you return to when you were a youth then?"
Yuan Xiancheng's actual age was greater than that of the 'Phoenix Prince' Zhuang Chaohui, the son of Zhuang Shen.
Still, he was far younger than 'Treasured Branch Suppressing Peak' Zhang Shuren and 'Blazing King' Peng He.
Of course, Yuan Xiancheng would definitely be very old too relative to normal peoples' longevities.
Still, going by the longevities of Immortal Bridge Martial Saints, Yuan Xiancheng was extremely young.
It would not be inappropriate to call him a youth.
It seemed now that his previous aged appearance was related to him having refined his pupils into phoenixes.
The phoenix clone refined with his right eye bore the thick earth of meritorious virtue while the one refined from his left eye bore the white qi of nether virtue.
Benefiting from this, Yuan Xiancheng had only needed to conscientiously cultivate in the purple light of fortuitous virtue and water ripples of holy virtue previously, having already been bolstered by four Virtues when at the Seeing Divinity stage.
As Yuan Xiancheng's cultivation base advanced, he had later come to begin cultivating in the true intents of meritorious virtue and nether virtue too.
With these two clones assisting him, his accumulation was more substantial than other martial practitioners of Wutong Slope.
Still, if a clone of his vanished before he had truly attained these Virtues, his strength would be affected as a result, deteriorating greatly.
Having lost the clone refined with his right eye, his attainments in the thick earth of meritorious virtue had drastically decreased.
If the clone refined with his left eye vanished too, his white qi of nether virtue would similarly be damaged terribly.
Yuan Xiancheng's right eye was tightly closed as he glared vehemently with his left eye at Yan Zhaoge who had just slain Zhao Zhen.
At the same time, an old man descended from the skies, appearing beside Yuan Xiancheng.
All the martial practitioners of the south recognised him as the longtime Elder of Wutong Slope, 'Treasured Branch Suppressing Peak' Zhang Shuren.
"Even Yuan Xiancheng was not your opponent?" Zhang Shuren appraised Yan Zhaoge in earnest.
Yan Zhaoge spread his palms apart, "Bullying the weak as the strong and ganging up on others are all not in line with the true intent of holy virtue. With all of them attacking me together, the power that he can wield is actually less than if he were acting alone. Still, alone, he is already not my opponent."
"Even Southeast Cao probably did not see through your full potential and strength," Zhang Shuren was not troubled over this as he just switched to saying, "This old man received news from junior apprentice-brother Peng that you returned to the World beyond Worlds from extradimensional space. Also, many disciples of my lineage entered the place that you were previously at as well."
Gazing at Yan Zhaoge, Zhang Shuren slowly asked, "What has happened to them?"
"All dead," Yan Zhaoge answered calmly, "To be more specific, I am related to all their deaths. Zhuang Chaohui was personally slain by me."
Zhang Shuren was silent for a time before he raised a hand, "Since that is so, let this old man see exactly how outstanding you are."
Unlike the others of Phoenix Ritual Mountain's Wutong Slope who cultivated mainly in sabre arts, Zhang Shuren was proficient in palm arts.
He had self-created the Wutong Divine Palm, adding on to the legacy of Phoenx Ritual Mountain's Wutong Slope with a new supreme martial art.
As Zhang Shuren raised his palm, the massive Wutong tree towered into the skies, turning tangible as along with the powerful vitality which was manifested also came a suffocating level of pressure.
The space enveloped by the branches and leaves of the Wutong tree was completely devoured by blazing fire, incinerated into nothingness!