After settled the wounds of the few Sect Elders and also feeding Qin Xuewen some healing potion, Yan Li turned to Nie Baihong and asked, "What is going on? I only took six months of secluded cultivation to peruse some sword techniques, but why does it seem to me that Heaven Breaking Sword Sect is going to disband? The Sect Leader is fighting with five Sect Elders, and the disciple of Sect Leader is taunting and jeering at Sect Elders… This is outrageous!"
Nie Baihong didn't say anything but just kept sneering, as if he didn't hear what Yan Li said.
Among the few Sect Elders present at the scene, Shangguan Yuhong was the one who had a ready tongue. Pulling a long face, cold and expressionless like a dead man, she told Yan Li what had happened in detail. Nevertheless, her ability to turn black into white was similar to Wu Qi's, as she had pushed all the wrongs onto Wu Qi. In her narration, everything was caused by Wu Qi. Wu Qi had turned into a treacherous man who harbored evil intention, mixing into Heaven Breaking Sword Sect just to engage in illegal activities.
After listening to what Shangguan Yuhong said, Yan Li's expression turned unsightly and darkened. As he had a dark facial complexion, it made his face look even darker, like a thick dark ink. He coldly gazed at Wu Qi and said with an indifferent voice, "Wu Qi? Is what Elder Shangguan said true? Kill yourself then, and I'll spare one of your broken soul, so you can be reincarnated."
A cold smile emerged on Wu Qi's face. The overbearing manner of this Yan Li was at least a few hundred times stronger than Shangguan Yuhong and few others. Shangguan Yuhong merely wanted to kill Wu Qi with her own flying sword, yet this Yan Li simply asked Wu Qi to kill himself, and didn't even want to waste his energy in killing Wu Qi with his own flying sword. As a matter of fact, in Yan Li's eyes, Wu Qi was just a small potato, an ant who he could decide the fate with a casual word.
A winning smile appeared on Shangguan Yuhong and few other Sect Elders' faces. Qin Xuewen had awakened and was also laughing coldly. When Yan Li decided Wu Qi had to be killed, his death was inevitable. In Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, Yan Li's words were more powerful than an Imperial Decree. No matter it was reward or punishment, whether an apprentice could live or be punished with a death sentence, he had the final say.
Nie Baihong suddenly broke out into a loud laughter, "Patriarch, Shangguan Yuhong forgets to tell you one thing. Wu Qi is not harboring any evil intention and trying to wreak havoc in Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. He was here because of Princess Zhang Le. She had sent someone here and requested me to accept Wu Qi as my apprentice. If Patriarch really wants to kill Wu Qi, please explain your decision to Princess Zhang Le yourself. Don't get me into trouble."
Shangguan Yuhong's expression suddenly turned unsightly. On the other side, Yan Li let out a faint snort, turned his head and looked at Shangguan Yuhong over his shoulder, "Is it true?"
Shangguan Yuhong bowed her head, acted timidly and dared not to say anything.
Yan Li sighed. He raised his right hand up slowly, casually and lightly pressing towards the direction of Shangguan Yuhong's chest. An invisible sword energy shot ragingly out, and Shangguan Yuhong let out a shrill cry as a thumb-sized hole was pierced through her chest. A thick stream of blood shot out from her back, hitting the wall nearly one hundred feet away. Yan Li stared at the pale-faced Shangguan Yuhong and said, "Since I can bring you up, I can wipe you away too. Remember, next time when you talk to me, tell me from the beginning to the end. Don't try to hide any details from me."
All Human Immortals had a vigorous life force. Although her chest was pierced through by a hole, Yan Li actually had a precise control over the sword energy. It didn't hurt or damage any of Shangguan Yuhong's vital internal organs. Therefore, Shangguan Yuhong could still bow staggeringly towards Yan Li and answer hastily.
Yan Li sighed lightly again and retracted his hand. His thick brows that looked like two sharp blades frowned into a tight knot, "Requested by that little girl, Zi Xuan? Ha, Wu Qi, I'm really curious. What kind of approaches you have used to make that unruly girl speak for you? No matter what, even with Zi Xuan supporting you, you've still violated the Sect Rules of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, and you deserve to be punished. Cut away one of your arms and legs, and remove one of your eyes… Or go face the wall three days at the Freezing Pond of Sword Tempering at the back of the mountain. Choose yourself."
Cut away one arm and one leg, then remove one eye? Wouldn’t that make him a crippled man? Wu Qi had no idea where that Freezing Pond of Sword Tempering was, but it was obviously a place with extreme danger. Wu Qi hadn't gone insane, and he was not a silly man either. Thus, he wouldn't be stupid enough and really do as what Yan Li said. He gave Yan Li a strange smile, at the same time, the boiling blood essence in his body had transformed into a stream of spring water, circulating and flowing throughout his body. He then suddenly took three steps back.
After the third step, Wu Qi would initiate the Innate Water Blood Burning Escape Art and flee from this place. Among all escape arts of innate water, it was the one that hurt the most source energy, the one that brought the heaviest load to the body, and the one that he had to pay the heaviest price. However, it was also the escape art that brought him the best result. With Wu Qi's current cultivation base of Meridian Cultivating, once he initiated the escape art, unless he was faced with an Earth Immortal of Nascent Soul realm, no one else could stop him from fleeing away.
As Scroll of Stealing was an ultimate art of stealing that aimed at the Dao of Heaven and Earth, how could the escape art contained in it be a trivial art? In order to perform well as a thief or bandit, one would have to make sure one didn't get caught by the target. Or else, once he failed and got captured, how was he going to steal again?
In the eyes of other people, Wu Qi was taking three steps back because of fear, and his legs were stumbling. But in Wu Qi's mind, he knew what he was doing. Ninety percent of the blood essence stored in his viscera had transformed into clear water, and the enormous power contained in this blood essence had now fully filled and rocking in his meridians. With just a thought of his mind, he could turn into a stream of blood and flee a thousand miles away.
Right at the moment when Wu Qi was still hesitating, a tender and sweet, yet emotionless voice was heard coming from a far distance.
"Yan Li, Heaven Breaking Sword Sect is under the charge of Baihong right now. As the Patriarch of the sect, you're merely holding the title without any actual power. If you want to interrupt in any affairs in the sect, you'll have to wait until I, Nie Yaonu, die." As the voice came, countless tiny threads of sword energies that looked like silk were shooting into the hall together. In the blink of an eye, they turned into a strong wind that swept across the entire Heaven's Will Palace, removing a thick layer of the floor.
Amidst the wild wind formed by countless sword energies of dark green, a petite, slim and curvy body gracefully made her appearance. With keen eyes, Wu Qi saw the lady. She was clad in a simple black long dress of burlap, and there were even patches found on the edge of her dress. She didn't wear any jewelry, looking clean and primitive, like a girl one could find in some villages. The lady had an extraordinary face, and although she looked sixteen, she had a head of long white hair that touched her ankles. Together with the look of tiredness and age attached on the corner of her eyes and brows, she gave off a feeling that only an old man who had lived many years could have.
She was Nie Yaonu, the previous Sect Leader, and the current Patriarch of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. Accompanied with a strong wind of sword energies that blotted out the air, she gracefully walked into Heaven's Will Palace with five vague, incorporeal images of swords hovering above her head. Like an old hen protecting its children, she walked straight in front of Nie Baihong, standing before him.
The cold, stern, and arrogant face of Nie Baihong suddenly became softened. Respectfully, he bent and bowed toward Nie Yaonu's back, then greeted her with a soft and gentle voice, "Mother, why are you leaving your secluded cultivation? This is just a petty matter, your son can still handle it."
Nie Yaonu said with an indifferent voice, "Although both Earth and Fire sword techniques are missing from the script of Unite of Sword Energies, everything comes to those who are willing to pour in hard labor. I've nearly finished perusing and completing it. I'll teach you later." She paused for a brief moment, then continued saying with a sneer, "Hey little kid whose name is Wu Qi, don't be scared. With granny here, nobody would be touching you. Yan Li, are you the one who asked this little kid to cut off his leg, arm, and eye?"
Yan Li stared at the five vague images of sword above Nie Yaonu's head, his eyes filled with a complicated look. With a rather hollow voice, he said, "Although both Earth and Fire sword techniques are missing, yet you have completed the script of Unity of Sword Energies? Well, your hard labor of dwelling in a secluded cultivation for more than one hundred years has finally paid off."
He breathed out a faint sigh, lowered his voice and said gently, "Yaonu, since it is you who intercedes for this little kid, what else can I say? It is just some petty matters, let's forget it. As long as he doesn't cause any trouble in Heaven Breaking Sword Sect in future, I promise that no one would touch even his finger."
Nie Yaonu instantly burst out in a mocking laughter. "I intercede for him? Since the day I, Nie Yaonu, married you six hundred years ago, when did you see me asking a favor from anybody? Yan Li, you've thought too highly of yourself. After Baihong was born, I've made a pledge: For the rest of my life, I'll never ask a favor from anyone!"
The dark green wind of sword energies that filled the entire main hall suddenly came to a stop, transforming into a vague sword beam and came whistling by, thrusting right toward Yan Li's chest.
Yan Li cried out in shock. He opened his mouth and spat out a silvery beam, controlled it and greeted the vague sword beam. A loud cracking noise broke out, and the silvery beam shot out from Yan Li's mouth was shattered instantly. The vague sword beam continued its way and came beside him, flew three full circles around his neck at top speed before disintegrating and transforming back into tiny sword energies that filled the air.
Yan Li's body stiffened as he remained standing where he was. Cold sweat was breaking out on his forehead. His bloodshot eyes were fixed straight at Nie Yaonu's face. After a long while, only then Yan Li suddenly opened his mouth and spat out a stream of blood. The silvery sword beam was actually a lower tier Magical Treasure which Yan Li had cultivated using his own life for over seven hundred years, the flying sword named 'Silver Dragon'. He never expected that Nie Yaonu would shatter it with just one single strike. The Magical Treasure that had almost merged with Yan Li's Nascent Divinity had been destroyed, and it had inflicted a serious injury to him as well.
To make things worse, just now, the vague sword beam had flown three full circles around his neck, which meant it could slice off his head easily, anytime it deemed necessary. Thus, Yan Li knew that he had just knocked on the gate of doom and came back. No wonder his expression had suddenly turned unsightly.
Nie Yaonu had both hands hiding under her long sleeves, gazing at Yan Li with a cold and detached manner. She then said with a cold voice, "Have you understood now? I'm not asking you for a favor so you can spare Wu Qi, but I forbid you from touching even a strand of his hair. Also, Shangguan Yuhong and the others, listen to me carefully. I don't care what kind of resentments lie between you and Wu Qi. As long as I'm still alive, no one is allowed to touch him. If anyone disobeys my words, I'll kill him personally!"
She laughed, then turned to Yan Li and said, "Yan Li, now have you understood my words? It is not only the matter concerning this little kid Wu Qi, from now onwards, anything and everything related to Heaven Breaking Sword Sect will not be your business. Or else, don't blame me for bringing you into a situation where the fish died and the net was torn!"
Yan Li's body was shivering with rage. He sprung up to the height of eight feet, pointed his finger at Nie Yaonu and said furiously, "Why can't I interrupt? I'm Baihong's father!"
Once again, Nie Yaonu let out the cold mocking laugh. "You know that you are not, but why are you still putting feathers in your own cap? Could you, Yan Li, give birth to a son who looked like Baihong? Do you know how exactly your own appearance is?"
She let out three long and loud laughs into the sky, turned and strode out from the Heaven's Will Palace.
Nie Baihong also let out three wild laughs into the sky with a winning and nearly arrogant manner, and followed behind Nie Yaonu, striding out as well.
As for Wu Qi, he opened his mouth and gathered up all his strength. With it, he let out three extremely loud laughs that filled the entire hall. After that, he walked with big and steady steps, following quickly behind Nie Baihong while humming a small tune. Luckily, that Wu Qi didn't have a tail on his back, or else it must have pointed straight into the sky right now.
Yan Li opened his mouth and spat out some blood again.