"Tell me, how would you like to die?"
The voice of calmness and tranquility, the words of agony and death. The air suddenly tightened around them.
All gazes fell upon Ling Xian, gazes of admiration, adoration, and amazement.
Everyone knew Ling Xian was a student protégé. Breaking the code of Sang Lang and defeating the top Prefect Ling Chen were achievements enough to land him in the pages of the Ling Family's History. No one doubted him, but no one expected him to be this good.
Killing nine warriors of the enemy clan by himself in the blink of an eye.
There were seven cultivators of the fifth realm, two of the sixth realm, all nine of them working together with the same goal of killing one individual. This was unheard of inside the City of Qing. However, Ling Xian, with a few swings of his sword and a few flaps of his wings, had eliminated this horror with unimaginable ease.
This was the feeling shared by everyone who witnessed the events that unfolded, including the arrogant genius himself.
"Dead, all dead… The best and brightest of the Fang Clan, all dead in the blink of an eye…" Fang Han eyed the scattered, mutilated corpses of his comrades, overcame by a grave sense of sadness and fear.
One on one, or even two on one, would be no obstacle to him. But slaughtering nine warriors of the highest caliber training without encountering any resistance was a feat that surpassed his abilities.
His confidence was completely shattered. The devilish speed and the bloodiest word had certainly injected fear into his soul. Though presently, he could feel nothing but anger, anger that would drive him to avenge his clan and murder the culprit who slaughtered them in the worst possible way.
How do I want to die?
Fang Han's face was as calm as the surface of an undisturbed lake. He was contending to become the next Clan Leader of the Fang Clan. He was a cultivator of the seventh realm. He had grown in the midst of endless praises, respected even by the Elders of the Clan. No one had ever dared to speak to him this way.
Fang Han could also tell that Ling Xian was speaking neither deliberately nor conceitedly. Instead, his tone was one of pure indifference, confident that he would follow through.
This made Fang Han feel utterly disrespected. The youth protégé of the Fang Clan, the strongest of all pupils, who would dare disrespect him in this way?
"You've decided your manner of death? Let's hear it. One shall always honor a man's dying wish," Ling Xian said peacefully, the Sword of Extinction flashed in against the dark backdrop. Ling Xian's glare exuded no contempt or disdain, but for those observing from the sidelines, his calm demeanor had added an unexpected boast of divinity.
Never in his life had he ever been so publicly shamed and humiliated.
Fang Han finally lost his composure. A mess of emotion erupted in a volcanic display of fury, he shouted, "I want you dead!"
"But I'm not ready to die yet, so…" Ling Xian extended his wings and instantly appeared inches away from Fang Han. His sword left a bright trail across the air it had pierced. "I suggest that you die."
A touch ignited the murderous instinct of the bloodstained sword.
Fang Han's pupils contracted, his face numb. He had never personally experienced the speed of Ling Xian's attack. Now, having experienced it with his own eyes, he could not fathom how such skills and techniques could appear on a cultivator of the sixth realm.
However, reality cannot be disputed. At this moment, Fang Han finally understood that his fallen comrades stood no chance against this horrid creature.
It was safe to say that below the Foundational level, no cultivator in the world could surpass Ling Xian's speed.
Confronted with Ling Xian's lightning attack, Fang Han had no time to react with an evasive technique. His only option was to take the force head on. But he wasn't overly concerned. He had plenty of fight left in him, the strongest of his generation. He had nothing to fear.
Fang Han sealed his palms together and summoned a giant wave of smoke. From this thick smoke emerged an emerald colored shield. He positioned the shield in front of his body, separating himself temporarily from harm.
The Emerald Shield!
The mightiest weapon of the Fang Clan! The artifact was forged out of the purest Qi of Heaven and Earth, injected with the unworldly skills of its previous owners. It was amongst the top ten most treasured artifacts of the City of Qing.
However, before the crowd could fully appreciate the Shield's awe-inspiring form, the object exploded into a million specks of emerald dust, vanishing into thin air.
"How is this possible? What is this witchcraft?!" Fang Han screamed in astonishment. He was stunned. He couldn't believe what he had just witnessed. The most sacred artifact of the Fang Clan, destroyed in a flash, reduced to dust by a bloody sword?! What is this sword?
Ling Xian shook his head impatiently, unwilling to waste his time explaining. The Emerald Shield was indeed an incredulous artifact and powerful weapon, but only within the City of Qing itself. Against the Sword of Extinction, a weapon of the Eyes of Execution, the Shield could only be perceived as a child's toy. To use it against the Sword would be an insult to the Sword.
Fang Han had no one to blame but himself. He lacked knowledge of the world. Having lived a sheltered existence within the walled of the Fang Clan, of the City of Qing, he had mistaken a small speck of stardust for the Milky Way.
What a waste to pull the poor Shield out against the mighty Sword of Extinction.
"Can't continue like this!" Fang Han pondered urgently. Suddenly, he stepped backward, bit down on his lips and summoned his final card against death.
He let out a long, dreadful scream. Every last drop of his inner Qi burst out of his pores and formed a flash of lightning around his body. The wind howled around him, electrified, the lighting strikes resembled silvery snakes that slithered across the air, ready to attack anything or anyone that came too close.
Simultaneously, a pair of red boxing gloves materialized around his hands. As soon as these gloves locked into position, Fang Han struck down towards the bloodstained blade.
Lightning and thunder collided to create an unspeakable sound of terror. Fang Han's intent to destroy made the weapon all the more powerful. He finally succeeded in disintegrating the bloody glow around the deadly blade.
"You are a Thunder Root! You can release thunderous powers. No wonder you are this arrogant!" Ling Xian was slightly taken aback by this unexpected showcase of prowess.
The Taoism Community has three different types of Spiritual Roots. There are five Foundational Spiritual Roots, three Transformational Spiritual Roots, and ten Divine Spiritual Roots.
The five Foundational Spiritual Roots included gold, wood, water, fire, earth. These were possessed by the most number of cultivators, normally reserved for the slowest and least gifted of practitioners. The three Transformational Roots included wind, ice, and thunder. These were rare roots possessed by the gifted and most adored of each Clan. Within these, the thunder root was the rarest and strongest, possessed only by the mightiest and favorite of the Clan.
Fang Han possessed the thunder root. This was the reason for his power and arrogance.
"Ha, ha! You look surprised. Did I scare you? I am the best out of everyone I have ever battled. You are nothing compared to me. You insisted on pushing me when you should have stopped. You brought this onto yourself!" Fang Han roared with laughter. Breaking the bloody glow of the Sword gave him a much-needed boost of confidence. He firmly believed that his thunderous powers were enough to kill Ling Xian.
"You are the frog living at the bottom of the well."
Ling Xian shook his head and summoned his magical aura. Streaks of ashy clouds began swirling around his body to form a newly sharpened Sword of Extinction. His killer instinct became apparent to all that were present, sending shivers down the spines of every spectator.
The Sword was not forged with the purest Qi and thus shrank when collided with another magical weapon. The previous Sword had been used in the slaughter of too many men and beasts and was beginning to lose its sharpness. Now, the Sword had been reborn from the ashes, infinitely more powerful than before.
"How terrifying, what is this?!" Fang Han was suddenly re-consumed by fear. Eyeing this mysterious weapon, he decided that he could no longer wait. Spitting a mouthful of blood into his palms, Fang Han summoned every last drop of his residual powers, getting ready to launch the ultimate attack on Ling Xian.
"Unleash the Dragon!"
A gargantuan dragon materialized behind Fang Han, its body covered in great silvery scales, teeth the size of mountain tops, and paws large enough to swallow the sun. The dragon circled Fang Han, deafening roars of thunder pierced through the air, silencing every living being from here until the edge of the Cosmo.
The Dragon of Thunder had been unleashed. Real horror had begun. The sky turned the deepest shade of black.
Fang Han had acquired this dragon-unleashing spell by accident. It was beyond the powers of his normal capacity. Once he practiced this spell on a cultivator of the eighth realm and ended up killing him with ease.
This was indeed his last card.
"Ha ha, Ling Xian, this is my most powerful card. No one has ever defeated it, and no one will defeat it. Let's see you try!" Fang Han let out a vulgar laughter. He was certain nothing could defeat him now.
"If this was your most powerful card, then…" Ling Xian showed no fear. Extending his great wings, he ascended towards heaven. Looking down at his opponent, Ling Xian smiled. "Go to hell."
"Ling Xian! Come to die!"
Fang Han was furious. Unleashing his dragon, the creature let out a terrifying roar before dashing at lighting speed towards Ling Xian.
Ling Xian was suspended high up in the air. Fang Han had his feet steady on the ground. The dragon took off into the air as if emerging from the bottom of a valley.
The Dragon of Thunder has been awakened.
"Come now, come meet my sword!" Ling Xian tightened his grip, the 30-foot long sword suddenly transformed into a giant weapon hundreds of times its original size. Sparkling under the dark clouds, the sword came down in a swift movement to meet the unstoppable momentum of the attacking dragon.
The giant sword came crashing down with the force of an earthquake, surrounded by a faint, bloody glow. It would be hard to believe that something could rival the power of this blow.
The Dragon and Sword collided, unleashing a sea of horror. Blinding lights and deafening rumbles exploded in midair where the collision occurred. From the top of its head to the tip of its tail, the Dragon had been pierced in two. The Sword survived without a single scratch.
"This…this is impossible!"
The death of the Dragon of Thunder sent Fang Han into a state of shock. Moments later, a murderous cry could be heard from miles away. He couldn't believe this was real. The Dragon had been his strongest attack, his most revered skill. There was no recovering from this.
His confidence, his pride, everything he ever had, gone in the blink of an eye, destroyed by Ling Xian and his mythical weapon.
"I lost…" Fang Han accepted his fate. His pupils now reflected a shade of blood. He raised his head towards the sky, then bellowed, "No! I'm not defeated! Let's go again, 300 rounds if we must!"
"No, you lost."
Ling Xian flapped his wings and appeared in front of him. Without a word, the blade of the sword touched his neck in a swift motion. Fang Han opened his eyes wide, raised his hands to touch his wound. But before his hands reached his neck, Fang Han collapsed to the ground. Before he lost consciousness forever, his own voice of arrogance whispered softly into his ear.
"The latent dragon is just a latent dragon."
Yes, the latent dragon is only a latent dragon. The creature had never traveled the universe, never reached the heavens, how could it ever fight the mighty Sword of Extinction?