It was a drizzling night, misty and foggy.
Outside Meng Fortress, on top of the mountain guarded by Heaven Breaking Sword Sect...
Sitting right next to a stone table with four stone chairs, Wu Qi was carefully handling a little clay stove and a little purple-clay teapot. He just realized that some disciples in Mo Sect were experts in making tea sets, and they produced some fine quality ones, just like Mo Sect's ingenious skill in the crafting of gears of war.
The fragrance of tea filled the air. Sitting around the stone table, Lu Chengfeng, Nie Yaonu, and Nie Baihong could not help but inhale deeply. With good spring water and good tea, and Wu Qi's rather acceptable skill in tea making, the tea leaves harvested from one thousand years old tea trees in the depth of Meng Mountains were exuding most of their fragrance, smelling refreshing.
The drizzling rain came falling down from the sky, but was pushed away by a layer of invisible barrier above them. Not a single drop of rain could come within thirty feet around them.
Wu Qi served everyone a cup of tea. He took the lead and brought a teacup to his face, inhaled the aroma deeply, then gulped down the boiling hot tea. A scorching hot stream rushed through his throat into his stomach, and slowly rose back up again. In just a blink of an eye, the hot stream blended with the fragrance of the tea sprayed out from every single pore on his skin. He felt extremely relax and refreshed, as if he were walking on a cloud. The energy contained in the tea dispersed in his body and strengthened his energy by a little bit.
"A fine tea indeed!" Nie Yaonu tilted her head up, then exhaled a long breath. The green sword energy storm behind her back slowly retracted. A buzz of sword rang out, and her sign of Gold Core vanished completely. Vaguely, sharp sword energies were emanating from her body, and it felt like she had fused entirely with the surrounding. Yet, the Heaven and Earth were still the same Heaven and Earth, and she was still herself. Although she had fused with the surrounding, they had yet to merge completely.
Nie Baihong and Lu Chengfeng gasped, and they rose immediately, bowed at Nie Yaonu and said, "Mother (Grand Elder), congratulations for forming your Nascent Soul!"
Nie Yaonu placed down the teacup and smiled. But Wu Qi was shaking his head. While refilling tea for himself and Nie Yaonu, he said in a plain tone, "I think it must be more than a few years since Grand Elder formed your Nascent Soul, isn't it? Hmm, throughout all these years, you have disguised as a Human Immortal of Gold Core realm, emanating sword energies at all time, forming the sword energy storm so to mimic the sign of Gold Core. I reckon that must have wasted a lot of your sword energies. And presently, I think Grand Elder has already..."
Wu Qi paused, raised his head and gave Nie Yaonu a deep look.
Nie Yaonu looked deeply at Wu Qi as well and said, "What a smart kid! I just can’t understand why Baihong is so stupid. If his mother only had a cultivation base of Gold Core realm, how could Heaven Breaking Sword Sect soar as the strongest sects among all thirteen sects in Great Yan Dynasty in just a few hundred years? Although the competition among all thirteen sects is dominated by Gold Core cultivators, how could those Nascent Soul Ancestral Masters behind them not do something?"
Nie Baihong's face blushed with embarrassment. He looked at Nie Yaonu, forced out a smile, and said, "Mother, this..."
Nie Yaonu turned to look at him. Her eyes flickered with sharp gleams as she said coolly, "I had formed my Nascent Soul two hundred and seventy years ago, after consuming a Sword Origin Divine Pill left behind by the Ancestral Master. It has the effect of helping one quickly condense sword energies and break through Nascent Soul realm. Unlike the cultivators from other sects, we, the sword cultivators, can rip through any bottlenecks as long as we've accumulated sufficient Sword Intent. Breaking through Nascent Soul did not waste too much of my energy."
She glared at Nie Baihong fiercely, who appeared to be in a great confusion, then breathed out a long sigh and said, "During these years, some Great Yan Dynasty's Nascent Soul sinecures did try to put us down. However, before they could do anything, I stealthily wounded them, and forced them to swore an oath that they will enter a secluded cultivation and never interfere with anything again. Funny that these fools thought it was His Majesty Yan Dan who sent a sinecure to warn them, and thus, they dared not to act rashly again."
Wu Qi nodded and said, "I see. Grand Elder, I must say you've done well in hiding that. But, what makes you decide to stop the disguise today?"
Nie Yaonu laughed, stuck out her chest, and said, "In the past, I've had to protect my child, Baihong, and the foundation of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. Thus, I was forced to keep my disguise. Fortunately, the cultivation technique practices by sword cultivators is completely different from the rest, as the look of my Nascent Soul is exactly like a flying sword. I've fused it with my flying sword, and refined them into my Prime Flying Sword. As a result, I don't have a Nascent Soul in my body, which allowed me to fool all Great Yan's ministers."
She gulped down another cup of tea, then continued in a deep voice, "From this day on, everyone will be White Cloud Immortal Sect's disciples, and we are no longer bound by Great Yan Dynasty. Why should I care for those rules and regulations imposed by Great Yan Dynasty? I'll never hide my actual cultivation base again, and I'll kill those who I should have killed long ago with my sword!"
Suddenly, a cold laugh came from the darkness. Together with a few loyal Gold Core cultivators, Yan Li came swaggering by. "Who are you going to kill, Yaonu?" said Yan Li with a cold voice, "Hmph! No longer bound by Great Yan Dynasty's rules and regulations? Actually, I'm here to inform you that some rules..."
All of a sudden, Nie Yaonu sprung and leaped into the air. A vague, green shadow of sword shot out from her body, then her entire body exploded, transforming into a clump of pure sword energy and fusing into the sword. A glinting green sword, about one foot and two inches long, emerged and blinked in the air. In a twinkle, it pierced through Yan Li and the other few Gold Core cultivators through their foreheads and dantians. Yan Li's eyes went wide in utter despair. Up until he was dead, he still hadn’t figured out how Nie Yaonu killed him. He had never heard or seen a technique of fusing oneself with a flying sword, and never seen Nie Yaonu use it before. How did she find such a formidable and brutal sword technique?
A green light flashed by, Nie Yaonu reappeared before everyone. She stared at Yan Li, who remained standing even though he was already dead, and said coldly, "Baihong, Wu Qi, Chengfeng, have you watched carefully just now? This is the true sword technique of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, the Ultimate Unity of Sword Energy Script, which I never taught any of you before. The Unity of Sword Energies Script is just the elementary script to this ultimate script. Yan Li, you treacherous thief, do you think you've found out all my trump cards?"
Everything happened in just a twinkle. The sudden arrival of Yan Li, and the shocking murder by Nie Yaonu, it gave no time to Wu Qi and the others to interfere, and they lacked th ability to interfere as well. During the very night after the entire Great Yan Dynasty surrendered to White Cloud Immortal Sect, Nie Yaonu had finally revealed her formidable cultivation base of peak-stage Nascent Soul realm, and murdered Yan Li and his loyal disciples with one single sword strike.
Taking a deep breath, Nie Yaonu reached out to Yan Li's head and grabbed it by hand. With a twist, she plucked his head from the neck. Carrying the head, she walked to the cliff, then threw the head down into the valley below. "Old Ghost, look! Yaonu has killed one of the culprits who murdered you!" Nie Yaonu cried with a very shrill voice, "I'll never spare those who were involved in your murder! From this day on, Yaonu can finally kill them at will, without having to fear their revenge, and having to fear they might hurt our son!"
Nie Yaonu's voice was forlorn, sad, and shrill, sounding like the cuckoo crying blood. It made Wu Qi and the other's flesh creep. They felt wisps of cold air squeezing through their skins into their bodies, as if there really was a ghost hiding among them, casting a quiet eye at them. Wu Qi's heart raced. Relying on the Sword Origin Divine Pill left behind by the immortal, Nie Yaonu had already formed her Nascent Soul two hundred seventy years ago, and presently, she had even attained a cultivation base of peak-stage Nascent Soul realm. Heaven Breaking Sword Sect's cultivation technique was indeed miraculous, and the divine pill was indeed powerful.
How did she manage to hold herself for such a long time?!
There was a blade in the character of 'Ren'(忍) . For this old lady, whose hair were gray but face young, how many blades were there stabbed in her bleeding heart during the course of so many years? She had to hold herself back, watching Yan Li showing off his might and devouring the foundation of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, which she had built with all her efforts?
Under the constant distraction and spying from Yan Li, how strong she had to be, so she could secretly raise so many Gold Core cultivators in the inner sect of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, and eventually raise Ye Zidou, a City Lord that ruled over an entire city, from among all her disciples? Nie Yaonu was very good at enduring hardships, especially from the fact that she actually had the overall strength to kill Yan Li easily. She was indeed a very fearful old lady.
Once an opportune moment arrived, she killed her enemy like killing pigs and dogs. An easy sword strike had ended her enemy's life. She did not provide any opportunities for the enemy to escape. She wasted no time in explanation and did not show off her achievement. With just a swift sword strike, she ended everything. It was like an act of valor, like how a true hero killed his enemy on a busy street, ending the debt of revenge in a twinkle!
Wu Qi breathed out a long sigh and rose. He came before Nie Yaonu, bowed deeply, and said, "Grand Elder, you have my respect. But we have a tough situation to face after Yan Li's death. After all, he is Crown Prince's son, and Wu Qi is Crown Prince's future son-in-law. I am trapped in the middle. There is only one thing we can do now. Grand Elder, please assemble all your loyal disciples and leave for White Cloud Immortal Sect immediately."
Suddenly, one after another figure came out from the surrounding darkness. They were Nie Yaonu's loyal disciples, while some of them even carried human heads dripping with blood. Shockingly, those heads belong to Yan Li's loyal disciples, including Qin Xuewen. They were all murdered by Heaven Breaking Sword Sect's inner sect disciples. Wu Qi gasped with terror, then turned to look at Nie Yaonu with perplexity.
Nie Yaonu laughed, "I'll now bring all my loyal disciples to White Cloud Immortal Sect. Young lad, do remember that Baihong is your Master. Although you've officially acknowledged a Heaven Immortal as your Master, you'll still have to supply all the energy stones, spirit pills, and the resources for my future disciples!"
Wu Qi bowed and said solemnly, "I do remember that, Grand Elder. It is merely a measure of expediency to acknowledge Patriarch Jiang Yun as my Master. Sect Leader Nie will always be Wu Qi's Master. Rest assured, Wu Qi will take care of all the future supply for Grand Elder, Master, and all my senior brothers."
He bowed deeply again, then pulled out a communicative talisman made by White Cloud Immortal Sect. He wrote Jiangcheng Zi's name on the talisman, shook his hand, and threw the talisman out. Immediately, the talisman transformed into a jet of flame and shot away. Not long after that, Jiangcheng Zi arrived on a cloud, standing right before Wu Qi.
Wu Qi explained what happened to Jiangcheng Zi briefly, and told him about the debt of gratitude and revenge between Nie Yaonu and Yan Li. Jiangcheng Zi's heart filled with deep veneration, as he turned to Nie Yaonu, cupped his fist, and bowed deeply. He said in a deep voice, "Please follow me. In the future, you can continue your cultivation in the Five Swords Mountain of White Cloud Immortal Sect. It is a core territory that belongs to Jiang clan. No one will act recklessly and disturb you there. Once everything is settled, I'll pay a visit at Granny Qing Wu, begging her to take Grand Elder as her disciple. When Granny Qing Wu roamed the world many years ago, she always killed her enemies with swords. I'm sure she will like you, Grand Elder!"
Hastily, Jiangcheng Zi brought Nie Yaonu and her disciples away, rushing to the Grand Universal Teleportation Formation built by White Cloud Immortal Sect a few days ago. With his help to settle down Nie Yaonu and the others, Wu Qi had no more worries.
Flinging his sleeve, Wu Qi rolled up Yan Li and the other's dead bodies, throwing them out from the cliff into the valley below. Then, he threw his head back and breathed out a long sigh.
"Chengfeng, my brother, are you willing to stay here in Great Yan, and be the chief supervisor of ore mines for White Cloud Immortal Sect?"
 忍 - Hold / endure / tolerate.