The elders all had their heads lowered. Only Shangguan Jingshu stood up and said in a half fearful voice, "Sect Master, I've let them go."
Yuwen Taiji squinted. "Why?"
"Li Tianming has done us a great boon by retrieving the Grand-Orient Sword."
Everyone knew that Yuwen Taiji and Tianming had a blood feud, yet she had actually let him go. Many immediately thought that she was a goner. As far as they were aware, Yuwen Taiji was someone that was ruthless to the bone.
As expected, he looked to Shangguan Jingshu, someone who was old enough to be his grandmother, and motioned with his hand for her to walk towards him.
She grit her teeth and said, "Sect Master, I know I wronged you. Please allow me to die in service of the sect!"
Her words made many feel for her, but little did they expect Yuwen Taiji to take out two black pills and place them in her and Zhao Zhiyuan's hands.
"You two have served the sect well. Why would I punish you?" he said with a chuckle.
Shangguan Jingshu sighed in relief. She made the right bet that Yuwen Taiji would play the role of a good guy now that he had finally become sect master.
"Thank you, Sect Master!" Zhao Zhiyuan said as he knelt and teared up.
"Please drop the formalities," he said with a wave, then looked at Shangguan Jingshu and smiled. In a voice only the two of them could hear, he said, "I knew that you’d let him go so the Li Saint Clan would live on. However, I have a way to make sure he dies."
His words sent chills down her spine. By the time she looked up, Yuwen Taiji had passed her by. He stepped in front of the crowd and said, "Bring me every single member of the Li Saint Clan!"
The crowd didn't understand what that entailed. Fatepath Peak and Goldgleam Mountain had already been abandoned, and the members of the four bloodlines of the Li Saint Clan were mingling with the rest of the sect members. However, none of them dared disobey their new sect master.
With Li Xuanyi as leader, he brought the remnants of the clan together and came to Yuwen Taiji. There weren't many of them remaining; only old men and babies aged two or three days.
"Sect Master, do you need anything?" Li Xuanyi hurriedly asked.
Right as he finished, Yuwen Taiji thrust the Grand-Orient Sword into his chest. Li Xuanyi instantly collapsed dead with his eyes wide open. The only saint of the Li Saint Clan had died in an instant.
Yuwen Taiji raised the sword and announced, "Have everyone from the Li Saint Clan exiled outside the Grand-Orient Barrier. They are to be killed without exception!" Countless people paled in disbelief at those words.
"Sect Master, no!" Shangguan Jingshu cried anxiously. "The Li Saint Clan has supported the sect for millennia! Everything we have now is thanks to them! Even though they've fallen from grace, they’re still our benefactors! How can we exterminate them like this? Sect Master, you're attempting to end the thousand-generation legacy of the Li Saint Clan?!"
In fact, most of the remnants of the clan were either too young or past their prime. While they had poor talent, they were among the last traces of the once-glorious Lifesbane Clan. It was such an atrocious act that some other elders chose to speak up.
"Everyone, silence! I am the sect master, not you! Anyone that blabbers on will feel my wrath!"
That was enough to shut up the elders.
"Yes!" Many Grand-Orient guardians cultivated by the Yuwen Clan stood out and surrounded the Li Saint Clan members. Now that they no longer had a single saint, they were powerless to resist. Cries of agony and fear rang out all of a sudden. It was so abrupt that they had been apprehended by the guardians before they could try anything.
"Elders! Please, save us!"
"Sect Master! Sect Master! We know our place! We’ll support you! Please, don't kill us!"
Li Yansheng, Li Yunting, Li Xuanhe and the rest knelt in a panic and kowtowed with abandon. It was a horrifying sight to behold; nobody would believe that the once-glorious Li Saint Clan would be lined up for slaughter without a single one of them able to resist. Every last one of them cried and shuddered, but the key fact was that with their abilities, there was nothing they could do to resist.
In a world where might made right, their sin was being weak. No matter how they begged, the fate of the Li Saint Clan was sealed. Just moments before, the elders had supported Yuwen Taiji to become the sect master. And now, they had lost control over him and were powerless to stop him.
Huangfu Fengyun and the rest had long worried that such a thing would happen. Even so, regardless of how hard it was for the rest, the members of the Li Saint Clan were driven from the Grand-Orient Barrier without exception, including even newborns. Many others followed, but remained within the barrier to see what would happen to them.
The Cloudmist Sword School members watched from afar with interest, but they didn't approach in fear that it was a ploy from the Grand-Orient Sect.
"What’s the meaning of this?" Li Jingyu and the rest came forward and said. "They're all members of our clan!"
Tianming swept his eyes across and saw thousands of them lined in rows and forced to kneel by the guardians. The guardians’ blades were placed against the Li Saint Clan members’ necks—an obvious sign they were going to execute them! Were they going to exterminate the Li Saint Clan at their roots?
It wasn't just Tianming; not even Ye Qing, Ye Shaoqing, and the rest could ever have expected they would go this far. What would that mean for the Grand-Orient Sect? What kind of demon would take the lives of countless innocents, including a few hundred newborns? Only Yuwen Taiji could possibly have pushed the bar so low.
They watched as Yuwen Taiji brought his minions to the members of the Li Saint Clan. Many members of the sect watched him with rage, but no one could stop him. Huangfu Fengyun and the others had shot themselves in the foot, and there was nobody left to stop Yuwen Taiji, now that they needed him.
Yuwen Taiji dragged Li Yansheng of the Fire Bloodline to him and looked around. "Ye Shaoqing, I know you're nearby, watching! From now on, I'll kill a member of the Li Saint Clan every three breaths until you show up. Whether the Li Saint Clan is completely exterminated depends on you. To be honest, I don't wish to kill the old and young either. It's a shame that you're the one who caused them to die." The moment he finished, he killed the Heavenly Will Li Yansheng and his lifebound beast in an instant.
The others from the clan were pressed to the ground alongside their lifebound beasts. After that, Yuwen Taiji killed Li Yunting of the Lightning Bloodline, as promised. The members of the clan cried in shock for each member that was killed. Many younger ones had already fainted, including Li Chiling, Li Linghe, and Li Jincan. They crumbled as they watched their family die at the hands of Yuwen Taiji.
He was a master of psychology and knew exactly which buttons to push to get others to bend to his will. He knew that even if Ye Shaoqing left the sect, he wouldn't go far, and his guess was right.
"Shameless!" Ye Shaoqing's eyes were bloodshot.
"Don't go!" Ye Qing said, holding him back.
"Brother, he's definitely going to kill you. You won't return alive," Ye Yuxi said with a pale look.
With the Li Saint Clan having so many members, there was no way they'd be able to save them all. Where would they even hide them? Not to mention, it was partly their own fault for underestimating how cruel Yuwen Taiji could be.
"He’ll definitely kill them all if we don't show up! Dad, we can't wrong the Li Saint Clan like that!" Ye Shaoqing's eyes burned with passion as he looked in the direction of Fatepath Peak. The Li Saint Clan was the benefactor of the Ye Clan! "All I can do is buy time."
"He has the Grand-Orient Sword. Are you sure you can hold up?" Ye Qing said angrily.
"I must, even if I can't. Would you have me just watch them die? Dad, even as low as they’ve fallen, they're still the Li Saint Clan!" He managed to struggle free. "Dad, take care of Tianming if I don't make it back." He gave Tianming one final look; Tianming was unable to stop him.
"Master!" Before the words even left his mouth, however, the green silhouette zipped into the clouds and landed near the sect with his Azureflame Dragon. Despite how quickly he had made his decision, eight had already been killed. The Azureflame Dragon came charging in right before the ninth kill, but Yuwen Taiji smirked and let the blade fall anyway.
"Ye Shaoqing, it sure took you awhile. They wouldn't have died if you were faster." Everything was within Yuwen Taiji’s control. There was no way they would be able to escape.Previous Chapter Next Chapter