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At this moment, Qin Wentian felt slightly depressed. He’d just been acquainted with Zong Qian and yet he was being treated as someone hired by the Zong Clan. And now there were even people who wanted to deal with him. What utter nonsense.
His gaze swept ahead over to Zong Qian, only to see him similarly blast forth with his palms as resplendent sword rays shone, materializing into many terrifying sharp swords floating before him. He then turned and spoke to Qin Wentian, “Brother Qin, this matter has nothing to do with you. You leave first, they wouldn’t really dare do anything to me.”
“You want to leave? Do you think you will be able to succeed?” The female in the middle snorted coldly, as a sharp sword appeared in her hand. Among the three major powers of the Sword Reverence City, almost everyone focused their cultivation on swords.
Qin Wentian felt the tip of the sharp sword pointing at him, feeling its sharpness boring down against him. He sighed in his heart, these opponents were all at the ninth level of Yuanfu and were pretty strong. But sadly, opponents at the ninth level of Yuanfu weren’t even worthy of mention.
“You better move your sword away.” Qin Wentian glanced at the female as he emotionlessly spoke. “I, Qin, have just arrived at the Sword Reverence City, and I am not willing to fight against anyone.”
That female evidently didn’t appreciate his words. Killing intent gathered at the center of her brows as she icily retorted, “Since you are hired by the Zong Clan, you should be very clear on the rules. Why do you have to pretend to be a beginner, lying to others? What purpose does that serve? And since you’ve already been embroiled in this matter, you should already be prepared for death.”
“Li Nian, stop being so barbaric.” Zong Qian’s sword-type Astral Soul erupted forth as he hovered in the air, radiating battle intent.
“I’d rather kill someone unjustly, than spare an innocent that might be guilty.” Li Nian’s voice contained a deathly chill within.
“Oh, are you bullying people from my Zong Clan just because you win in numbers?” A cold snort drifted over from afar. Sword-light flashed as the whistling of flying swords slicing the air apart with great speed could be heard. In that moment, several people descended around the area beside Zong Qian, coldly regarding the three from the Li Clan.
Yet another voice resounded in the air. All of them inclined their heads, and their countenances changed. A character around the age of thirty stood atop a flying sword, projecting an extraordinary aura while staring down at all of them.
“Li Ran.” The expressions of those from Zong Clan grew incredibly unsightly when they noticed the arrival of this person. Li Ran’s status in the Li Clan was ranked quite highly. He’d stepped into the Heavenly Dipper Realm at the age of thirty and his combat prowess was astonishing. He could be considered one of the rare elites with outstanding talent, the strongest among the younger generation. His sword was like graceful lightning, killing people so quickly that they died even before their blood stained his swords.
In the near future, the three major powers of the Sword Reverence City intended to vie for the ten-year rights of extraction around the flatlands of the sword precipice. This was an extremely important issue, enough for them to bare their teeth with daggers drawn in a state of mutual hostility. This was especially true for members of the younger generation, as they were the focal point of this whole event. Hence, when these people from the Li Clan discovered Qin Wentian was ‘hired’ by the Zong Clan, they readied themselves to deal with him.
Li Ran’s sharp gaze swept over everyone, before finally landing on Qin Wentian. The intensity of his eyes seemed capable of piercing through Qin Wentian, yet his gaze merely lingered for a moment before turning to Li Nian. “Nian`er, what’s going on?”
“This person was the rumored beginner sword cultivator that was practicing in the Sword Reverence Precipice. But we found out that it was all a lie—he was already proficient in swordplay and is someone hired by the Zong Clan,” Li Nian calmly spoke.
Li Ran’s eyes turned back to Qin Wentian as he stated detachedly, “In this, I won’t bully you. Fight against Li Nian and if you win, you are free to go.”
“What if I lose?” Qin Wentian’s countenance looked extremely indifferent. A recent Heavenly Dipper Sovereign? That was basically the same level as him, he didn’t fear Li Ran at all.
“In the future when you represent the Zong Clan to fight on the platform, defeat means death. Since that’s the case, then if you lose here today, you should already know what will happen,” Li Ran casually spoke, as though he was speaking of a matter of no significance.
Qin Wentian coldly laughed. If he won he can go, but if he lost, it meant death?
Flicking his sleeves, Qin Wentian took a step forwards, prepared to act.
“Li Ran, don’t go too overboard.”
At this moment, Zong Qian’s voice rang out. A ruthless light flashed in his eyes, and with an intention of his will, a small resplendent sword appeared in front of him. The keening of this sword made the entire space shudder from the intensity of sword intent gushing forth from it.
“This sword was bestowed on me by an elder in my clan. Don’t push me too far or I will definitely take Li Nian’s life as compensation.”
Zong Qian’s expression was ice-cold.
Li Nian’s countenance changed, becoming exceptionally unsightly. She could feel the sword locking down on her.
She rapidly stepped back, only to see the small sword instantly zooming forwards, hovering before her as the sword keen increased in intensity.
“If I choose to kill you, then you cannot escape.” Zong Qian’s voice was filled with a strong sense of threat.
“If you kill her, all of you will die here by my hands.” Li Ran stepped forth, and the instant he did so, the entire sky seemed to be swallowed whole by a towering sword-might. Those from the Zong Clan felt as if their bodies were about to be lacerated into pieces. This was the oppressiveness from a second level Mandate of Swords.
“One breath, and I will reap her life.” Zong Qian’s voice was ice-cold. He then stared at Qin Wentian and spoke, “Brother Qin, let’s go.”
Initially, Qin Wentian was already prepared to act. But seeing how Zong Qian was treating him as a friend, he didn’t want to stir up any trouble from the Zong Clan and thus, refrained from doing so.
His temperament now was already different from the past. Even Li Ran wasn’t worthy of mention in front of his eyes. To kill or not to kill him, it was just a matter of whether he wanted to do so or not.
These few opponents didn’t have the qualifications to stir up his anger.
Nodding slightly, Qin Wentian left with Zong Qian. That keening of the small sword was still tightly locked on to Li Nian, causing her countenance to pale as she trembled with impotent anger. Several moments after Zong Qian and the others disappeared, only then did the small sword fly through the air, returning back to Zong Qian.
“If I meet them again, I will definitely slay them,” Li Nian icily stated.
“You will have the opportunity to do so soon enough, there’s no need to be so hasty about it,” Li Ran calmly spoke, before their group departed as well.
Right now, Qin Wentian and Zong Qian were heading towards the Zong Clan. Zong Qian bitterly shook his head as he smiled, “How dangerous. Li Ran is truly powerful and could be considered one of the strongest in our generation. He has already stepped into Heavenly Dipper and if it weren’t for my sword treasure, we might all have suffered badly today. I’m truly sorry to have implicated Brother Qin in this, and humbly seek your forgiveness.”
“It’s a small matter,” Qin Wentian casually replied.
“Brother Qin is a magnanimous man indeed.” Zong Qian laughed. “This matter arose because of the existence of that range of swords. In the depths of the Reverence Sword Precipice, there is an ancient demon sword embedded within. It was rumored to have descended from the Heavens, while others also said that this sword was left behind from powers who warred against each other during the primordial era. The precipice itself was sliced apart by that very sword, and right now in this age, it still remains deep within the depths. It is able to absorb demonic light from demon-aligned astral constellations within the Nine Heavenly Layers. Eventually, this formed a range of swords below, occasionally causing terrifying demonic beasts to manifest.”
“Is this true?” A sharp light flashed in Qin Wentian’s eyes. He had witnessed the exalted majesty the Reverence Sword Precipice exuded. Could it really be birthed from the terrifying sword slash of a sword that had sundered the earth? If that was true, how powerful would that sword be?
“Yes. And many precious swords were also unearthed from that sword range, hence, every ten years, the three major powers each select three people to contest for the rights of excavation. They mistakenly assumed that Brother Qin is someone our Zong Clan hired and hence tried to make a move against you.”
Zong Qian slowly explained, as Qin Wentian nodded in understanding. So this was what was going on. The three powers could enlist the help of an outsider for the sake of the contest. No wonder they had reacted so sensitively and wanted to remove him.
“Experts are as common as clouds in the three powers, but why has no one seized the demon sword for themselves yet?” Qin Wentian puzzledly inquired.
Zong Qian had a wry smile on his face, “This sword is too demonic, capable of absorbing the blood of others. Previously, there were indeed people who wanted to acquire it, but the instant they touched it, all the blood in their bodies drained out, and they turned into a dry husk. The sword is simply too terrifying, and no one dares to even think of obtaining it.”
“Truly, it does live up to its name as a demon sword,” Qin Wentian mused.
“There’s something even more bizarre. Once every year, the demon sword lets out wails filled with sadness, as though it yearns for an owner. Every time the wailing starts, an abundance of demonic energy descends from the demonic constellations above in the Nine Heavenly Layers, vibrating and immersing the sword range. I know it sounds unbelievable, but any swords unearthed from the sword range after that are all demonic swords. They’re able to absorb demonic-aligned astral energy, resembling the shape of a demon, and even has the potential to evolve further.”
Zong Qian shook his head as he spoke. Were it not for him personally witnessing all this, he wouldn’t have believed it himself.
He would often wonder, would there be a character in the future that could master the demon sword?
At this moment, Qin Wentian and the others had already arrived at the sword clan. Outside the entrance to the Zong Clan, nine gigantic swords could be seen embedded in the earth, with each reaching a height of twenty metres. A terrifying sword intent pervaded the air, so strong that it made people breathless.
“Indeed, as befitting a major power that focuses on swords.” Qin Wentian stared at the nine swords as he laughed.
“Brother Qin is too nice.” Zong Qian smiled, only to hear Qin Wentian inquiring, “The roots of the Zong Clan are too deep, how powerful is your clan exactly?”
Zong Qian was slightly bewildered, and he stared at Qin Wentian as he replied, “Truth be told, I’m not sure how strong my clan is exactly. But I’ve once heard my clan lord stating that disciples of our Zong Clan, should all be as low profile as possible, taking pride in being reserved rather than revealing their brilliance to the world. Hence, our Zong Clan refrains from recklessly offending others. But that’s only applicable during normal times. For sword cultivators, when they truly explode forth with their brilliance, they have to do so overwhelmingly, ensuring that all will be dazzled by their performance. With a sword in their hands, nothing in Heaven and Earth can stop them. If there’s anyone who dares to step on our heads just because we maintain a low profile, we shall retaliate in kind.”
Qin Wentian’s countenance froze slightly, before he nodded. The clan lord of the Zong Clan had such strength of character. With the amount of hidden reserves they possessed, in terms of resources and talents, the Zong Clan had no need to fear either of the two other major powers.
“Your clan lord’s principles strike the chords in my heart. Will Brother Zong introduce me to him?” Qin Wentian smiled, his words causing Zong Qian to regard Qin Wentian curiously. “You wish to meet with the clan lord?”
“Mhm.” Qin Wentian nodded lightly. “You will know of this in the future, it’s not appropriate for me to talk too much now.”
A bright light flashed in Zong Qian’s eyes before he laughed, “Seems like even if I didn’t invite Brother Qin over, Brother Qin would have taken the initiative to visit my Zong Clan. But no matter, since Brother Qin desires a meeting with my clan lord, I will do the initial introductions and pave the way for you.”
“Many thanks.” Qin Wentian clasped his hands. He hoped that the Zong Clan wouldn’t disappoint him.
Everyone knew that in Grand Xia, there were several places one could go to to cultivate in the sword. The Yan Continent was one of the best locations, even stronger compared to Sword Reverence City. However, Qin Wentian chose to come here because other than cultivating the path of swords, he had another purpose in mind.
“But before all that, Brother Qin must still accompany me to drink till we’re both satisfied,” Zong Qian replied, irreverently straightforward. Qin Wentian answered him with a smile. “Sure, with excellent wine, how can I reject such an invitation?”
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