Yun Xiaoyao was fearless. He had been long prepared, he pulled his sword, that was at its peak of countering force, out of the scabbard and brought it up to block the attack.
The thin wisp of black clouds collided against the long sword in Yun Xiaoyao's hand fiercely with the sound of a mountain cracking in half. Yun Xiaoyao felt himself being pushed by an immense force; his feet lifted from the ground and he was flung away like a broken kite.
With a loud crash, he smashed into the palace wall several hundred feet away behind him.
Blood seeped from the corners of his mouth as he emitted a low grunt. Lowering his head to look at the sword he held, the beloved sword that had served him for so many years was adorned with tiny cracks, not unlike a spider web. The center of the blade was dented; the sword had almost broken in half!
Yun Xiaoyao could not help sucking in a cold breath. It was only a tiny wisp from the big ball of clouds, but it contained such power! If the entire mass of black clouds had dropped down, could it have leveled the entire Yutang palace?
The jaws of those who witnessed the scene dropped.
With Yun Xiaoyao's current cultivation base level that was the eighth level of the heaven realm, he could be considered the top expert in Yutang. Aside from those in the other empires, it was possible that no one else could be compared to him. After all, cultivators who reached such a level would have long stayed away from the political conflicts of the imperial court in pursuit of personal gains.
Nonetheless, it was such an expert who was unable to block the ambush of this tiny trail of clouds. It wasn't hard to imagine how powerful that cloud had to be for this to happen. With that in mind, one would shudder to ponder upon the cultivation base of the person hidden within the clouds.
With the crisis at hand, the entire entourage was facing certain death, no matter how powerful this person was. Still, other than being slightly startled by the display, they did not feel much fear.
They did not anticipate that the black clouds would rise swiftly and drift away without pausing after the mass of ink had leveled that single blow. Within the clouds, a sepulchral voice resounded, "One strike won't kill you. Think of it as a punishment… Commit another offense in the future and you shall be beheaded."
The black clouds then spread out.
When everyone's eyes followed the grasping motion, they were surprised to note that there was clearly an extended tentacle at the far end of the inky mass of clouds that seemed to have come to a realization, speeding away with a purposeful direction.
It was only until the entire mass of clouds had left the space above the palace that the emperor and his entourage finally breathed in relief. At the same time, they thought that it was ridiculous.
What had actually happened? It had come appeared with such fanfare yet had left in an instant. Furthermore, it had done nothing to anyone present.
The emperor was befuddled as well. He had thought that the black clouds had an ulterior motive and had come especially for him, but that was clearly not the case. What was it here for then if not for him? This was the palace, but that person had confessed that he had gotten the wrong location. With how powerful and unrestrained the person was, how could it get the wrong place and target?
The entire case was unexplainable.
"Xiaoyao, how do you fare?" It was only now that His Majesty managed to turn around and ask the man.
"I'm fine, I'm alright, don't you worry." Yun Xiaoyao pushed himself up with some effort, his gaze still alarmed. "It was a cultivator who was hidden in the clouds. The impressive power that drives the black clouds, while masterly, is a part of mystical Qi!"
Everyone grew more astounded when they heard the announcement.
How could such a natural phenomenon, driven by a God and resembling the end of the world, actually be formed from mystical Qi? Not only was it frightening, it was unimaginable; even the effort of trying to figure it out gave birth to fear. What sort of level could such a person be at then?
"Still the same old truism; there is always someone better than you." Yun Xiaoyao sighed, "There is truly no limit to the universe. I have never imagined that such a powerful cultivator could actually exist! This person's cultivation base must not be any weaker than the legendary Ling Xiaozui or Dugu Chou; it's so much higher than mine."
Leng Daoyin, who had been observing the black clouds' movements, suddenly frowned and said, "The direction this black mass is moving toward… why does it look like it's going to the Residence of Nine Supremes?"
Another wave of shock washed through everyone as they looked up and paid closer attention to the said object's motion. The huge mass of ink was indeed drifting swiftly towards the Residence of Nine Supremes, like a gigantic lizard that was dragging its tail.
"What… is he doing… going to Residence of Nine Supremes?" The surprised emperor murmured to himself with a frown.
Leng Daoyin said with a smile, "Maybe this fellow's cultivation base is frighteningly spectacular, but it's still a force tethered to the human realm all in all. The power stored within the Residence of Nine Supremes is from heaven and earth, a natural power. He will be safe if he doesn't recklessly attack the structure; if he does, it can only mean suicide… he can come, but he won't be able to return!"
As the entourage thought about it, they agreed with the old man's logic. For so many years, anyone who dared invade the Residence of Nine Supremes had perished within, without exception. The confidence in the residence was sky high and everyone firmly believed that nothing in this world could possibly damage the Residence of Nine Supremes.
It was due to this confidence that even when they knew that the mysterious person's capability had exceeded most of their knowledge regarding a mystical Qi cultivators' power and that he harbored no kind intentions as he headed towards the Residence of Nine Supremes, the crowd was not worried.
"We would have the best ending if that fellow was killed by the Residence of Nine Supremes' lightning, just like Dayuan's legend, Liang Yunqi!" Leng Daoyin's tone was filled with irrepressible glee as he gloated over the idea.
The group chuckled as well, agreeing to the optimism in his judgment.
Yun Xiaoyao was the only one with misgivings. Just like he said, there was no limit in the universe, the powers of cultivators in this world could hardly be estimated. What kind of significance did Dayuan's legend, Liang Yunqi, hold now? He was but a peak realm cultivator who had yet to reach the heaven realm. In that split second when they exchanged attacks earlier, Yun Xiaoyao would dare say that the mysterious cultivator within the black clouds could kill Liang Yunqi with a simple wave of his hands or an exhalation of his breath.
He was not entirely certain that the Residence of Nine Supremes could take this person down without a fight.
The black-gowned man in the inky clouds rode the airy mass and cast the Providence Flag again, racing towards the Residence of Nine Supremes in accordance to the flag's orientation. The response from the Providence Flag showed that the source to everything that had transpired was inside the Residence of Nine Supremes.
Now that he had found his target, the man was filled with joy and ecstasy!
Consequently, he subconsciously focused all of his cultivation base, prepared to kill his target with a single strike the moment he found it. As long as the Providence Flag had locked onto the target, the target would not be able to escape the might of his blow.
Yun Xiaoyao was called the Unrivaled Expert of Yutang, but look how vulnerable he turned out to be! It would be child's play to exterminate anyone else who stood in his path.
"The entire school was helpless, but once I received the news, the situation is as good as solved the moment I strike! This battle will proclaim my genius and demonstrate my valiance!" As the man continued to preen, he could not help thinking about the conflict that was happening in the school and was even more gleeful.
As long as his strike achieved the desired effect, he would take the upper hand immediately. This went without saying! As for finding others for help… with his superior and unique cultivation skill, would he even need any help?
The idea was laughable.
Despite his supreme confidence, doubts still swirled within him.
"If the source of my woes is here, why did the Providence Flag lead me to the palace first? Why? Wasn't that a wasted trip?"
"Could the Providence Flag be erroneous? But, that would be impossible!"
He cast his doubts away as his target began to loom large ahead. The black clouds sped along its way, approaching the space above the Residence of Nine Supremes with frightening speed.