The disciples of the three religions stared at Kong Xuan who was suspended in the mid-air. In their resentment was a hint of admiration, particularly Guang Chengzi who had the deepest thoughts. He was once given a severe warning by Liu Er, Kong Xuan's senior. Back then, Liu Er was fearless even in the face of Honored Lord of the Origin and so was Kong Xuan now in the face of the four Sages. Guang Chengzi thought it was impossible for him to do so even with his master backing him up.
Two streaks of flowing light shot across the sky just then, aiming straight at Kong Xuan. Everyone in the Untainted Land knew this meant the Sages had started making their moves. The Three Treasure Jade from Honored Lord of the Origin occupied one beam of light, while the Magical Tree of Seven Treasures from Zhunti occupied the other. Both no longer cared about looking as if they were bullying the weak. They wanted nothing more than destroying Kong Xuan to the point that his soul disintegrated.
Kong Xuan looked solemn when he saw the two magic weapons charging at him. Attacks from the Sages were not anything to be joked about. With a wave of his sleeve, he raised the Wuji Apricot Flag, one of the Primordial Flags of the Five Regions. The flag originally belonged to Minghe's Self-centric Separation, Musen, but his Hegemonic Body of Martial Arts already had a strong defensive capability. Further, the use of such a supreme defensive treasure might even hinder Musen from practicing his Martial Arts. Thus he gifted the treasure to Kong Xuan for self-defense.
The disciples of the three religions were stunned to see the appearance of the flag. Most of them probably knew its history. Honored Lord of the Origin's protective supreme treasure was a peerless defensive treasure called the Natural Cloud Realm Flag, one of the Primordial Flags of the Five Regions. They never thought Minghe would gift such an amazing treasure to Kong Xuan. Besides Xuandu who received the Floating Flame Flag from his master, Laozi, the other disciples were envious of Kong Xuan.
Though the Wuji Apricot Flag was unmatched in its defense, the one using it was a mere Sage-to-be. How could Kong Xuan resist the fierce attacks from the two Sages? The barrier made up of 10,000 gold lotuses from the Wuji Apricot Flag was instantly crushed. Kong Xuan spat out blood and his face paled, having been seriously injured.
Just as he was about to be hit by the two treasures, the Red Lotus of Fire under his feet suddenly shined with great brilliancy. Gradually, the illusionary shadow of a twenty-four grade Red Lotus of Fire appeared to cover him. The shadow shook slightly when the two treasures hit it, but managed to ward off their attacks.
Just then, two figures appeared in the sky and the disciples of the three religions bowed at them, greeting them. They were none other than Honored Lord of the Origin and Zhunti. Both their attacks were hindered by the illusionary shadow of the twenty-four grade Red Lotus of Fire. They naturally knew who was responsible for such a move.
They looked at Kong Xuan, their killing intent flaring. The wrath of the Sages was like a turbulent sea and he was like a boat in that sea, possibly capsizing at any moment. Honored Lord of the Origin glanced at Kong Xuan before looking around, saying indifferently, "Minghe, show yourself now that we're all here."
A black-clothed Heaven and Earth Taoist, Minghe's Good Separation, suddenly emerged out of the Void. He went to Kong Xuan and injected some supernatural power inside him, and he instantly looked better. Heaven and Earth Taoist raised his head to look at Honored Lord of the Origin and Zhunti, saying coldly, "You're not deserved to be called Sages. If you want a fight, I'll play along. It's too shameless of you to bully a junior."
Honored Lord of the Origin became even angrier. "He killed my disciples without mercy. Am I wrong to take revenge on him? The fall of the Shang dynasty and the rise of the Zhou dynasty is in accordance with the heaven's will. Our Clan of Enlightenment disciples are assisting an enlightened ruler, while Kong Xuan is aiding a tyrant and obstructing the army. He is rebelling against God, so he'll die to fill the vacancy on the Investiture of the Gods."
Heaven and Earth Taoist sneered. "Don't use God's will as an excuse. It's not your place to interfere with the affairs of our Blood Sea. So what if we rebel against God? We can do it anytime if we want to. So what if we injure your disciples? If we feel like it, we can kill one or two each day. Why? Are you angry? Do you want to strike us? Go on then, we'll play along."
Honored Lord of the Origin was fuming and Zhunti also wore a solemn expression. Though Heaven and Earth Taoist was speaking to the former, he was dropping the latter a hint. His words were unreasonable, but so was many things in the Untainted Land. In the end, strength was everything here.
Minghe had the strength to do so. So did his disciples. Therefore, they could behave recklessly. Kong Xuan wounded and killed more than ten elites at once, but so what? The three religions weren't allies with the Blood Sea in the first place. Worse, they were enemies. But it would not be easy for the Sages to kill Kong Xuan who had Minghe's protection. Judging from what happened earlier, Minghe had evidently taken preventative measures to protect his disciple's life.
It was true that Minghe's disciples, whether the second or third generation, were gifted with a Red Lotus of Fire. Though the lotuses differed in grade, Red Lotus Taoist had imbued each one with three supernatural powers to resist three fatal attacks. That was what protected Kong Xuan earlier.
Zhunti took a deep breath, trying to suppress his anger. He said coldly, "I don't want to talk crap with you. Since Kong Xuan has wounded so many of our people, you must give us an explanation. Otherwise..." His words were full of fury and killing intent, carrying even menace.
Zhunti was also aware that it was impossible to make Kong Xuan pay with his life. Heaven and Earth Taoist could just take Kong Xuan and leave anytime. Moreover, Minghe would not allow Kong Xuan be in trouble. Under the current circumstances, he could only seek a less-than-ideal alternative and claim for indemnity. Those dead disciples were fortunately on the Investiture of the Gods, so they were not truly dead.
How could Heaven and Earth Taoist not sense the implications of Zhunti's words? Even if they were Sages, anything could be negotiated as long as they were provided enough benefit. That was what happened during the selection of the Three Royals and Five Emperors. But Minghe was now strong enough that he didn't have to concede. Heaven and Earth Taoist sneered and said, "You were the ones who said the life and death of a person are predestined during the signing of the Investiture of the Gods. You can only blame the death of your disciples on their lack of skills and no one else."
Zhunti was so enraged that he could not swallow his anger any longer. He had made a concession, yet Heaven and Earth Taoist still showed no compromise. Did Heaven and Earth Taoist really think that he was afraid of him and dared not to kill Kong Xuan? When a Sage lost his temper, the countenance of heaven and earth would be altered and killing intent would be generated. All of a sudden, terrifying black snowflakes condensed from killing intent swirled between heaven and earth.
Just then, a domineering voice suddenly echoed in the air. "Zhunti, if it's a fight you want, it's a fight you'll get. It just so happens that there isn't a victor between us the last time. Now we can complete our fight." Someone suddenly appeared beside Heaven and Earth Taoist and Kong Xuan. It was Musen, Minghe's Self-centric Separation.
Musen was full of fighting intent, sweeping away the black snowflakes between heaven and earth. He was no weaker than Zhunti. The sight of him surprised and terrified Honored Lord of the Origin. From his momentum, Musen was obviously going to break through the Early Stage of The Origin Realm. It would not be long before he would make another breakthrough. When that happened, Minghe would become even more powerful and harder to deal with.
Their fight hadn't even started but the collision of their momentums had overshadowed heaven and earth. Even the disciples of the three religions could not stand the Sage's and the Origin's pressure. Never mind the ordinary people who had all fallen on their knees. If these two truly fought again, it would spell disaster for them. How could they withstand the aftermath of a battle between the Sage and the Origin? Perhaps not even the three religious disciples were capable of that.
Honored Lord of the Origin stared at the two and suddenly calmed down. He was now irrevocably involved in the current situation. If they really fought, the three religious disciples and ordinary people were bound to suffer disasters. Moreover, he might not be able to defeat them. Laozi did not show up despite his rage. Jieyin was absent as well, yet Zhunti was here. Since the two of them were one, the presence of one was the presence of both. What Honored Lord of the Origin could not determine was Laozi's stance.