“Branch Master.” Xu Yangyi stood before Thousandedge, towering above as he gazed at his soon-to-be-dead branch master. “Didn’t you think about the price to kill me?”
Thousandedge raised his head with difficulty, his gaze carrying boundless hatred. He glared daggers at Xu Yangyi, yet suddenly began to laugh in a terribly frightening manner. “The price? How… could you garner such a thing… hehehe… HAHAHAHA!”
Following his mad laughter, his mental state unexpectedly recovered somewhat from the clutches of the Heavenly Opening Second Erosion. He glared at Xu Yangyi and sneered. “Yes… This Throne fell head first into your hands, I admit it… but what about yourself?”
“From here on out, you’re just a dog…” Struggling with great might, he propped himself up and looked at Xu Yangyi as if he wanted to devour him. Grim laughter came from between his clenched teeth. “Even a cultivator in the initial phase of drawing qi into their body will look down on you… You’re nothing more than trash that’s fallen from the cultivation world’s beautiful dream into the mortal dust…”
Before he even finished speaking, Xu Yangyi pinched both of Thousandedge’s cheeks.
“Did you know?” Xu Yangyi clenched his teeth as he laughed, “I’ve thought about doing this for a long fucking time.”
“Hehehe…” Thousandedge’s burning gaze looked straight at Xu Yangyi, and his lips trembled. He wanted to say something, yet no words were said. He only cackled sinisterly.
Xu Yangyi laughed coldly and said to Wei Zhongxian and Quan Ningyue, “You guys can head out first.”
Wei Zhongxian raised a brow in understanding. Likewise, Quan Ningyue said nothing. One who destroyed another’s qi sea could be said to be a mortal foe! Thousandedge had severed Xu Yangyi’s cultivation foundation! There was no greater torture!
Quan Ningyue and Wei Zhongxian took their leave. Xu Yangyi raised his hand and waved, completely isolating space. He then released Thousandedge.
“Hehehe…” Thousandedge lifted his neck and burst into laughter, yet because of Devour Blood’s might, his voice hissed like a viper. From the outside, nothing could be heard at all. Finished laughing, he glowered at Xu Yangyi with reddened eyes. “Just… you… cough, cough… you wild dog… of a Qi Condensation… mongrel. Do you… want to torture me… as well?!”
“Torture?” Xu Yangyi laughed, sat in front of Thousandedge, and shook his head. “You look down on me too much.”
“Before I send you on your way, I have one last thing to ask you.” Xu Yangyi removed the dagger hanging on his neck without the slightest remiss. “My talents aren’t bad. Under your lead, you and I would’ve originally complemented each other pretty well. But from the start, your murderous heart has always been stirring.”
“Do you regret it?”
Thousandedge seemed to be daze for a second. Afterwards, he hissed in laughter, “There is only death for those who block my path, no mercy.”
“If you died… it would’ve been a proper death for the Grand Dao of I, Thousandedge… You should be besides yourself with joy because of this!”
Xu Yangyi nodded. In the next second, Thousandedge frantically propped himself up on the ground. His lips were shivering uncontrollably. “You… You! You actually!”
Thud! Before he even finished speaking, Xu Yangyi had stomped down on his back without an ounce of mercy. Xu Yangyi ruthlessly stomped him into the livyatan’s mouth.
“No… No! NO!!! This can’t be real!” Thousandedge’s face was stuck to the livyatan’s foul-smelling tongue. Nonetheless, he seemed not to feel anything at all now. He struggled with his utmost effort, wanting to raise his head as he roared hoarsely. As if he’d gone mad, his eyes were trained on Xu Yangyi’s sole remaining right arm.
There… a fire was rising!
“How… is this possible?!” His voice was wavering, his vigor seemingly restored. “Your qi sea was destroyed… How you can you still use qi?!”
“Yes…” Xu Yangyi smiled as he studied his hand. He then looked at Thousandedge whose entire face had ashened in an instant. “How is this possible?”
“In one of Master Jin Yong’s novels, someone’s heart was on the right side of their chest.” His laughter was rather calm. Thousandedge’s lips began to tremble violently. “Don’t tell me that I didn’t tell you… that my qi sea isn’t in my dantian?” 
The Eternal Alchemy Canon! Xu Yangyi’s qi sea had been displaced long ago!
As if he’d fallen into an ice cellar, Thousandedge shut his eyes in despair. A lone sentence had plunged him into the depths of hell. In the end, even his pride could no longer hold on.
Xu Yangyi had just used the Ten Cardinals Red Lotus, but moments ago his qi sea had been destroyed. The presence of qi still in his meridians explained everything.
Yet not even in his dreams had Thousandedge expected… that Xu Yangyi’s qi sea hadn’t been ruined! Instead, he’d made a total error in finding the right location! It was precisely because of this that Xu Yangyi didn’t wish to reveal this secret, so he ordered everyone else leave.
So in the end… Thousandedge managed to accomplish nothing. From the start of the head to the tip of the tail, all of his hopes and efforts were futile, like using a wicker basket to draw water. Such a devastating feeling was like a poison freely spreading through his heart!
This devastation of confidence caused his expression to become dull. His faint breathing was like airy silk. He had already lost his fighting spirit in its entirety.
“But there’s still a very minor question that I haven’t solved yet.” Xu Yangyi smiled and laughed, “You said that you had a friend called Nameless. If you die here, and he goes off and tells Floatingcloud, things will be pretty hard on me.”
Thousandedge’s expression was sluggish, and he said nothing. It was unknown whether or not he had heard. Maintaining his expression and posture, he sat there like a wooden sculpture.
Xu Yangyi laughed and approached the other’s side. “Sometimes, realm doesn’t represent strength. Your teacher should’ve taught you these words when you entered the cultivator world.”
“But that’s not what I want to ask. What I want to say is if—and I’m saying if—wouldn’t it be much easier if you and Nameless were the same person? Floatingcloud’s last thread that he could act against me with would be completely severed. Hmm?”
Xu Yangyi was none the wiser if Thousandedge had heard him. After no less than five minutes had passed, he furrowed his brows. At this time, Thousandedge’s entire complexion fell into ease.
“Huff…” Thousandedge seemed to take a long sigh, yet suddenly knitted his brows together. He looked at his body in confusion and then snapped his head up in disbelief. He glared at Xu Yangyi like a wolf.
This fleeting glance caused all of Xu Yangyi’s qi to surge! Unrestrained in the slightest, spiritual pressure was released, fiercely pounding him like a hammer!
If not for the fact that Thousandedge was presently not far from death, this mere glance would’ve caused Xu Yangyi grave harm!
“Junior.” As Thousandedge spoke, his voice had become completely different. His expression was also incredibly natural. “Was it your hand that moved against me?”
Sure enough, this was the situation!
Xu Yangyi slightly narrowed his eyes. The Animus Armament that had evolved into a black dagger was flying along his fingertips. “I can tell you why, but you have to tell me who you are right now.”
“Impudent.” Thousandedge sneered. Ultimately, his lips thinned into a straight line. “This Throne is Nameless.”
Just as Thousandedge’s voice fell, Xu Yangyi’s black dagger sunk into his throat without the slightest hesitation.
Swoosh! Cold light suddenly appeared. In the wake of bloody arrows dashing through the air, Thousandedge, or perhaps it should be said Nameless, opened his eyes wide in disbelief. He clutched at his throat and fell down.
“Dissociative identity disorder.” Xu Yangyi apathetically took the dagger and used the other’s clothing to wipe it clean. Blowing on the blade, he carelessly hung it on his neck again. He glanced at Thousandedge in pity. “Maybe it can be said to be... the division of a cultivator’s spirit. Otherwise known as… a heart devil!”
“I thought it was weird back then. You two didn’t use spiritual sense to communicate but talked to each other instead. The mouth is one of the head’s seven orifices. Once the mouth opens, there’s bound to be qi leakage. You weren’t careful enough in hiding it, but I sensed it oh so carefully. There wasn’t even a sliver that could be felt.”
“Because of this, I specifically combed through your entire life. Your talents were outstanding, but because your arcane effort wasn’t enough, you just couldn’t advance to the late stage. But at some unknown point, this Nameless appeared. Not a single person in the entire branch had met him… There was no problem hiding this for ten years… but you actually did it for somewhere around thirty to forty. I couldn’t help but suspect if this person existed.”
“When you finally made me take on a mission, I finally discovered that two people’s voices were coming from where you were. What a shame…” He took one last glance at Thousandedge’s corpse. “In order to enter late Foundation Establishment, you had already walked through the fire and into the devil. A qi deviation. At the end, your long-term planning transformed into a heart devil. There was no difference between you being dead or alive.”
As he reached the entrance, Xu Yangyi was against the light. He turned his head back, his expression unclear. “That’s right.”
“At the very end, it’s still better for me to send you off on your journey, Senior. I hope you can be satisfied that I’ll be seeing you off to your coffin.”
With a wave of his hand, the Ten Cardinals Red Lotus roared into being and turned Thousandedge’s corpse into flying ash. Afterwards, Xu Yangyi’s finger gently hooked and Thousandedge’s storage ring flew into his hand as it refracted the sunlight.
In the outside world, the vicinity of Longsu Province’s Nanzhou was under the martial law of several thousand troops. Nanzhou was already an empty city.
In a place that mortals couldn’t see, there was a tremendous heavenbound door. Supporting heaven and earth, it stood tall, and rays of incomparably pure qi revolved around it. Looking at it in the distance, it seemed to be the door to the kingdom of heaven.
After everyone entered, the door had shut tightly again. Presently, it was daytime, roughly around four in the afternoon.
Rustle… An aged figure rose into the air. In contrast with the gigantic door, his silhouette was more or less the size of a grain of sand. However, at this moment, none dared to ignore him.
“Deputy Clan Elder of the Ming Clan.” In the air, atop a giant tortoise-styled palace, in a quiet and solitary space at the throne’s summit, Daomaster Ancientpine’s brows faintly stirred. His eyes were shut, and he was propping his head against his hand at an angle. “Troublesome old coot… why has he come as well?”
“Ancestor, it’s not just the Ming Clan. Nearly all the second-in-commands of several great lineages have arrived. Almost all of the major clans have come,” a voice rang out in the empty and grand palace hall.
Ancientpine slightly nodded. “Jadesun.”
“Disciple is present.”
“Can you still not probe what the internal situation is?”
“Yes, Master-Ancestor,” Jadesun answered respectfully, “Since everyone entered… everything appears to have been cut off. There’s nothing I can sense. I’m afraid… that we’ll have to wait until the junior brothers and the others exit to find out.”
Ancientpine said nothing and waved his hand. Jadesun’s spiritual sense noiselessly withdrew. After a long time passed, he dimly opened his eyes. “That is, if they… can come out…”
“A deadland for all eternity… even I was wounded and had to leave… so how could they have a chance to come out?”
At this time, both of his eyes snapped wide open! With a loud rumble, black qi erupted! Two streaks of black smog-like qi charged straight out from his eyes towards the summit! Furthermore… Core Formation spiritual pressure wildly swept through the entire palace hall!
“This…” In the next second, he suddenly emerged in the air and looked down below incredulously!
Rustle rustle rustle… The door, which hadn’t budged for the past several days, had now actually cracked open by a seam! Inside… myriad rays of white qi glimmered with a loud bang! They rushed directly to the horizon!
It was as if… the sky had been cut open!
“The door… has opened…” He gazed deeply at the marvel below, a scene not met once in perhaps a century. “and… there are actually people coming out alive! I can sense… the existence of spiritual sense from within!”
“In the end, who… can actually leave an eternal deadland?!”
1. Jin Yong is known as one of the three great Wuxia novelists. The other two authors are Gu Long and Liang Yusheng. If you haven’t read them, there are quite a few completed Gu Long novels on Wuxiaworld!
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