Asto headed slowly for the Sacred Land. The reason why he was walking so slowly was because he wanted to give the other party time to prepare.
He believed that with the current prestige of the First Prince and the current situation Fang Xingjian was in, they would choose to make the correct decision.
Anyway, Asto had decided to make his way there to apply pressure on Fang Xingjian. If the latter were to act on impulse and decide to fight it out, it would be bad. However, even if Fang Xingjian wished to fight it out with him, Asto still had the confidence to suppress him.
Concurrently, he thought of the relevant information in regard to Fang Xingjian. The latter's sword arts potential was considered to be amazing, even to Asto.
'It's a pity that he was born in the wrong generation, or it can be said that he has chosen the wrong path,' Asto thought. 'Fang Xingjian, even if the others don't know where you've gone, do you think that we aren't aware either?
'Although I have no idea why you've headed there, but the way you openly flew toward the shores of the Western Sea... Do you really treat us as dead?'
The First Prince—or rather, the upper echelon in the First Prince's faction—knew of Earth’s existence. This was further accentuated after they started working with Li Shuanghua and managed to get even more information about Earth.
However, aside from doing some special research, they did not place Earth's martial prowess in high regard. They knew that it was a desolate land and that there were no experts there at all. Although the people of Earth leveled up fast, they were a far cry from Knights when compared at the same level. Even their Divine level experts were a far cry from the Empire's Divine level experts.
'It's a pity, Fang Xingjian... Although you have outstanding talent, of all times, you chose to leave at the most crucial point when the world went through a metamorphosis. For the past three months, the density of ether particles have increased at a rapid rate. Not only have all the top notch experts in the world grown stronger at a tremendous rate, but they've also been able to receive all sorts of information from the ether particles, dating back from ancient times till now, regarding cultivating experience and secret martial arts. It can be said that all top notch experts have improved tremendously.
'These three months have been deadly for you. It's this period of three months that has caused there to be a great difference between you and the current experts.
'Two years ago, I had yet to perfect my sword arts and ended up losing to Heng Tianxiao's Astral Obscurity Sword after 3,000 moves.' Asto sighed. 'With you defeating Heng Tianxiao, I have wanted to prove myself by defeating you. However, with the passing of these three months, Heng Tianxiao would probably have improved tremendously by now.
'Even if I defeat you now, I won't be able to prove that I'm stronger than Heng Tianxiao.'
Just as Asto was thinking about these, he suddenly stopped in his tracks and stood at the entrance to the Sacred Land with 100 times the density. He then looked at the several people who were heading toward him.
They were Zhou Xingwen, Anderson, and Lilia.
Before Fang Xingjian left, the three of them had been imparted with the legacy of the third level of mystical prints. Their aptitude could be said to be worlds apart compared to how they had been in the past.
Then with the world's metamorphosis during the last three months and the rapid increase in the density of ether particles, their cultivation speed had been increasing tremendously. After all, aside from increasing their aptitude, the mystical prints also had the function of filtering the information, reducing the chances of them becoming deranged.
Zhou Xingwen had already reached level 25 now and was starting to condense specialty seeds. 50 streams of aura rose up from his specialty seeds. Lilia, who was standing next to him, had also completed her second transition and reached level 24. She was ceaselessly absorbing all sorts of light and heat energies from the surroundings to replenish her own energy.
The most surprising of them all was Anderson. Right now, the aura of over 100 specialty seeds was rising from his body. Not only had he reached level 25, but he had also surpassed Zhou Xingwen.
However, although their progressions were already very fast, they were far from being able to threaten Swordless Sword Asto.
As an expert who could fight a close match with The School of Sword Arts' Supreme Chief, Asto had long been a Demigod with two tiers of perfection in his body's toughness and in the area of specialty seeds. Moreover, he had been making preparations to attain the third tier of perfection in brain regeneration all this while.
For the past three months, he had been receiving information impacts from the ether particles and engaging in long discussions with countless experts from way back in the history. He continued to train his sword arts and martial will time and time again, growing stronger at rapid speed in all aspects. His cultivation had also finally reached a new juncture for breakthrough.
One week ago, he had finally completed the ability for brain regeneration, so he now owned a physical body that was close to being indestructible.
Asto's Killing technique, the Swordless Sword, had even received a boost from various ancient sword techniques and become even more perfect.
'I heard that after Heng Tianxiao was defeated, he went to The School of Sword Arts' previous Supreme Chief to restudy his sword arts. I wonder how much stronger he has become now.'
Even with Zhou Xingwen and the others right before him, Asto's mind was still full of thoughts of his rival, Heng Tianxiao.
Zhou Xingwen said, "Lord Assistant, may I ask why you've come to the Sacred Land?"
Asto threw a cold glance at Lilia and said, "The Sacred Land is a forbidden land in the academy. Everyone can only train in the respective areas based on their entitlements. What is this girl doing here? I recall that she isn't a student of the academy, right?"
Zhou Xingwen had not expected Asto to not show any civilities in the least and to cause trouble by immediately bringing up the matter of Lilia. He thought, 'It seems like there's no room for discussions.'
Then Zhou Xingwen said, "She's a servant Xingjian specifically asked for, and she is in charge of taking care of his daily life. The academy allows each cultivator to bring one or two servants to stay with them, right?"
"Hmph. Don't let me find out that she has used the Regional Academy's resources. Otherwise, even if it's Fang Xingjian, I won't let him off," Asto declared. Then he spoke nonchalantly, "Where's Fang Xingjian? Why hasn't he come to meet me?"
Zhou Xingwen answered honestly, "Xingjian is currently training in seclusion. Before he went in, he instructed us that no one is to disturb him."
"Hmph, he is merely a student of a Regional Academy. Since when does he have such rights? His right to use the Sacred Land has already expired. He can't possibly still want to hog the spot, can he?"
Zhou Xingwen said, "Lord Governor has given the instruction that as Xingjian is making preparations for the National Selection, he can be given an exception and his right to use the Sacred Land can be extended for three months."
"Ridiculous," Asto scoffed, and streams of sword intent seemed to fill up the world, pressing toward Zhou Xingwen and the other two. Their faces turned extremely pale, and they shook as if they were about to fall.
"It's not as if the entire Regional Academy's resources belong to Fang Xingjian alone. With so many students waiting in the line, why should he be given an extension? Without any fairness, how can one manage the entire academy? How can everyone be appeased?"
Zhou Xingwen's teeth were clattering under the immense pressure, but he summoned up the courage to say, "Sir, this is the instruction from the Governor. He said..."
"B*stard!" With a loud bang, Asto’s palm sent Zhou Xingwen flying. Zhou Xingwen crashed into over 100 big trees and over ten mounds before he dropped to the ground.
Asto looked coldly at Anderson and Lilia, who were left. "Right now, I'm the one in charge of all the matters in the academy. It's also the First Prince's intention for the roles of the Headmaster and Governor to be split into two in the future. It's the future policy of the country. Do you guys still have any problems?"
Anderson frowned and clenched his fists tightly. The shadows under his feet started trembling like he would take action any moment now.
Asto looked at Anderson coldly, as if he was waiting for him to make his move.
With Anderson's personality, he was not one who could tolerate someone acting so arrogantly toward him. However, Asto was a Demigod after all and not Anderson’s match. If Anderson were to make a move now, he would just be asking to be humiliated.
"Have you said enough? If you have, then scram. The academy's matters aren't for you to get involved in."
Just as Anderson was hesitating, Lilia made her move. With a cry, Lilia's longsword thrust out toward Asto at lightning speed.