The same goes for Conqueror of Creation. His name was well known throughout Yunzhou, but his background remained a mystery. He was notorious for being a ruthless killer. But deep down, he was also a cunning strategist.
What they had in common was their power. Compared to their peers, both were far ahead, reaching the Undefeatable tenth realm of cultivation and half a step away from the foundational level.
An hour ago, accompanied by their gangs, both had been searching for treasures within the vicinity. As they heard sounds of battle and observed that it was a battle between two foundational level warriors, both groups decided simultaneously to watch the battle in hiding. Of course, they had wanted to witness the powers of their mightier counterparts. But more importantly, they had hoped for both to be injured in the fight so as to emerge victorious themselves.
But unfortunately for them, Ling Xian was too strong to be injured enough for either one to take advantage. Ling Xian, on the other hand, had known all along there were uninvited spectators at this battle but waited until the end to reveal them.
"Vanquisher of Life, Conqueror of Creation, I think I may have heard of these names once before," Ling Xian muttered to himself as he recalled being compared to them.
He immediately burst out laughing. A comparison was perhaps understandable before he broke through to the foundational level. Cultivators at the tenth realm were leaders of the meditational level. But now, this comparison was borderline insulting.
Letting out a faint smile, Ling Xian said, "Friends, you’ve been watching this battle for a while. It’d be rude not to reveal yourselves."
"Well, here we are."
The youth in red was displeased, consumed by a furious rage. Throughout the entirety of Yunzhou, he was the strongest, the best of his generation. Since when does anyone force him to make an appearance against his will?
But he controlled his rage as he came face-to-face with Ling Xian, albeit one could easily sense his displeasure through the aggressive tone of voice which he had failed to mask.
"Looks like you have taken issue with me?" Ling Xian questioned, pointing his halberd directly at the youth.
Vanquisher of Life sneered but did not take his rage further.
The dark-faced youth was less concerned with pride. He hurried forward and said, "Ah, don’t listen to him. He’s got the temper of a child. He has no issues."
Ling Xian shifted his gaze towards the dark-faced youth and continued, "Perhaps no issues, but neither of you came in peace."
Conqueror of Creation frowned, his head spinning with ideas for a response. Finally, he rubbed his hands together and let out a dry smile. "Not possible, you’ve broken through to the foundational level. You are so far ahead of us. We would never dare challenge you."
Ling Xian curled his lips, pointed to the dusty book lying lifeless on the ground and said, "You were here for this, correct? You were waiting until we both die trying to kill each other. Then the treasures here are yours."
Seeing that Ling Xian had seen right through their intentions, Conqueror of Creation let out a weak smile. There was no use in continuing a lie. He had a face to save.
"Get out of here. The book is mine," Ling Xian uttered softly but commandingly.
Even though the two intruders were not aware of the origins of the golden book, they were sufficiently swayed by its powers. Clearly, Yue Lian Han was not enlightened enough to awaken all of its powers. The Golden Page’s full capacity was still waiting to be unveiled.
Now, the treasure was arms away from their grasp. How could they leave it for Ling Xian?
Seeing that the intruders hesitated, Ling Xian narrowed his gaze and asked coldly, "Why, you two wish to fight me for it?"
"Or what?" Vanquisher of Life bellowed. As a disciple of the House of Xiu Luo, his arrogance knew no bounds. He was confident in his own capabilities. This confidence had been more or less shattered by Ling Xian’s display of prowess today.
In other words, Ling Xian had defeated his confidence.
Growing up, he had always been steps ahead of his peers. He had expected to be the first of his generation to reach the foundational level. But Ling Xian had broken that dream.
Such was a feeling so indescribable and so incomprehensible even to himself that he didn’t know how to react. In his head, he knew he was no match for Ling Xian. But in his heart, his jealousy would not allow him to admit defeat. Life and death were temporarily out of the question.
Jealousy had consumed him. All he could think of now was how…why…this man was better.
Vanquisher of Life could no longer contain his anger. He had become dangerously irrational.
"Or what?’ Ling Xian frowned in annoyance. He hadn’t planned on another battle but quickly changed his mind upon sensing animosity.
The Taoism Community was a dog-eat-dog world, deprived of laws, honor or rationale. The biggest fist determined one’s fate. The weak could only whimper and hide.
The human character became ever so tainted as the human acquired increasing power.
"Let me tell you how this will end," Ling Xian said coldly. He swung the Halberd of the Divine Warrior as he spoke. Nature responded instantly.
The earth trembled and ignited a vicious sandstorm.
Vanquisher of Life, whose judgment was under a thick cloud of rage and jealousy, suddenly felt his mind clear up. Seeing that a foundational level warrior was standing in front of him, ready to face off, Vanquisher of Life froze. He quickly regained his composure. As he concentrated on deflecting the imminent attack, a giant, transparent tortoise emerged from behind him.
But sadly, he underestimated Ling Xian and overestimated himself.
All it took was a gentle tap of the halberd to shatter the smoky tortoise. Vanquisher of Life flew across the sky and landed hard on the cold, hard earth. Spitting blood, he looked at Ling Xian with a horrified gaze.
The fellows behind him were beside themselves amidst this fear and confusion. Shivers shot up and down their spines. Their bodies froze as if sinking deeper into a deep freeze.
Instant Downfall of Heaven’s Favorite.
Such was the depth of Ling Xian’s prowess.
A gentle swing of his weapon was enough to gravely injure a cultivator of the tenth realm. If he had unleashed his full powers, what awaited this man would have been instant death.
The boundaries of the cultivators were drawn with utmost precision. Every realm was guarded by a near-unbreakable boundary, no, a chasm. Only the mightiest of their realms were capable of fighting such cross-boundary battles. But this law applies only to ordinary cultivators, such as those who break to the foundational level via the ninth realm.
For cultivators who break to the foundational level via the tenth realm, this was winning a battle. Anyone who dared challenge such a cultivator would die within the first round.
Such was the case with Ling Xian and Vanquisher of Life.
Vanquisher of Life continued to cough up giant clots of blood. His face exuded contempt, but his body could do no more.
Ling Xian saw this contempt in his eyes. It did not bother him one bit. Instead, he moved his gaze towards the dark-faced youth and asked, "Conqueror of Creation, do you wish to fight for it as well?"
"How could I?"
Conqueror of Creation let out a dry laugh. If Ling Xian could so easily injury Vanquisher of Life within an inch of his dying breath, he, himself was no match either.
He would not be so foolish.
"Good. But listen to me, you a natural fighter. You live to fight. Do you not wish to dance a few rounds with me?" Ling Xian smiled. This one was not here in good faith. Although Ling Xian was not bothered, he felt they were both due for a life lesson.
Perhaps killing was too harsh of a lesson. Scarring would suffice.
"Well… ha ha, it’s true I’m battle hungry, but I’m not stupid enough to seek humiliation." Conqueror of Creation snickered. But silently, under his breath, he was swearing relentlessly. "You wish to teach me a lesson, don’t pretend to portray it as something magnificent. A few rounds of dancing? I’m not stupid!"
"But, my hands are a little itchy. I’d like them scratched," Ling Xian responded softly, accompanied by a bright smile. He advanced, one step at a time towards Conqueror of Creation, massaging both his fists as he walked. His knuckles popped one after another.
F*ck your itch!
Conqueror of Creation swore up a storm on the inside but was too scared to utter a single word of disrespect. Switching tactics, he began begging, "Oiiie, brother, just let me off the hook. My weak little bones won’t survive such a battle."
"Weak little bones?"
Ling Xian laughed out loud, eyeing his muscular body from head to toe. "You dare call yourself a weak little soul? Fine, I’m done here. Get out of my sight. The farther, the better."
"Ay, I’m leaving. I'll go now."
Conqueror of Creation was a youth of considerable skill. But he understood the importance of flexibility. Confronted with a threat from Ling Xian, there was only one option.
His feeble response shocked his followers. They couldn’t believe that this was the hero who had always been up for any challenge.
This form. This expression. At this moment, he acted like a tortoise, a soft-shelled tortoise.