The mysterious young man in the azure robe was obviously a consummate expert. In the blink of an eye, he had cut down eighteen executors, all of whom were just on the verge of reaching the mid Terrifying level.
It really had been in the blink of an eye, as Star Swordlife had literally closed his eyes in preparation of death, only to open them a moment later and find all eighteen of his enemies beheaded.
Life really was fragile. Moments ago, those executors had been boundlessly domineering, only to be dead shortly after. It was a tragic thing that would provoke a sigh from anyone who heard the story.
“Why aren’t you criticizing me for killing them, Star Swordlife?” the young man said, a mysterious smile on his face. “You like saving people, and if you could have, you would even have saved those people who were just about to kill you. That is your dao of the sword, and that is your philosophy, something that you’ll never abandon. Even if you lose your life.”
“I won’t criticize you, Senior. After all, you just saved my life. The fact that you killed them in the blink of an eye shows that your cultivation base is unimaginably high. And that means that you could kill me with the snap of a finger. If I criticized you, and then was killed, wouldn’t it be a big waste? I save the lives of others, but I can also watch out for my own. That doesn’t violate any of my ideals.”
As usual, Star Swordlife was using reasoning that most people would consider fallacious.
“Well put,” said the young man in azure. “Except that I just killed those executors to save you. So was it an act of killing, or an act of saving?”
“Killing, of course,” Star Swordlife said. “Considering how strong you are, Senior, you could easily have sealed them to save me. Instead, you chose to kill them. So in the end, it was an act of killing.”
“What if I wasn't strong enough to kill them? What if I was weaker than them, and saw you about to be killed? Should I try to save you, or just leave quietly?”
“Leave quietly. If you weren’t as strong as them, then your act of trying to save me would actually be suicide. And suicide is killing yourself, so obviously, it would also be considered an act of killing.” 
“Excellent,” the young man said, smiling. “Wonderful. You really do stick to your ideals, Star Swordlife, and that means that you’re worth helping.”
“Helping?” Star Swordlife said, surprised. “Helped by whom, Senior? Why would you help me? We're neither relatives nor friends.”
“What does being a relative or friend have to do with offering help? I’ve taken a liking to you, and I want to help you. Who would stop me from doing that? No one exists who can stop me from doing what I want, and that includes you. I know that you have incredible skill with the sword, and that you’ve settled into your role as an Inheritor. Unfortunately, you still managed to get yourself surrounded by eighteen executors, and nearly killed as well. How will you manage to seal Yang Qi if you go around acting like that?”
“Yang Qi?” Star Swordlife said, his eyes flickering with malice. “He’s a slaughterer of innocents, whereas I want to save all living beings. I can never let him off the hook. I’ll definitely seal him and never let him out for all eternity.”
All of a sudden, the young man’s expression turned ferocious, and he growled, “If I tried killing Yang Qi, would you attempt to save him?”
Star Swordlife suddenly tumbled backward as if he had been hit in the chest with a hammer. Falling into a sitting position with a look of shock on his face, he coughed up a huge mouthful of blood. This young man was far and away the strongest person Star Swordlife had ever encountered.
A single glance had nearly killed Star Swordlife, which made it obvious that this young man could take his life without any effort at all.
The young man took a few steps forward, aggressively looming over Star Swordlife as he said, “If I go to kill Yang Qi, and you try to save him, you’ll be committing suicide. And you just said that the right thing to do would be to walk away, rather than commit suicide. To not be stained with unnecessary karma. Isn’t that right?”
“Er, yes…” Star Swordlife said, finding it hard to breathe. “I won’t interfere with your affairs, Senior. If you have a grudge with Yang Qi, then obviously you have to end it by killing him.”
“Exactly. Besides, who cares if I kill him? Because of various circumstances in the past, I missed quite a few opportunities to kill him. Thus, I traveled through time specifically to end his life. Unfortunately, he's even stronger than I expected, and has joined forces with another particularly powerful person to oppose me. If I don’t kill him, how can I ever resolve our grudge? What's more, he has something that I need. Otherwise, I would’ve never come back from the god world. You see, I could have become a god long ago. But what good would it do to be a Lesser God? Am I supposed to go around bowing and scraping like a servant to the other, more powerful gods? How could I ever crawl? There’s no way. I want to defy heaven. I want to shake the legion of gods, and force them to acknowledge me as their leader!”
At a certain point, the young man’s voice lowered to the point where he was almost talking to himself, although the psychic pressure radiating off of him didn’t lessen a bit. In fact, it increased, causing Star Swordlife to shiver and wilt until he finally croaked, “Senior, don’t kill me!”
“Kill you? I'm not going to kill you.” The young man reined in his energy flows and psychic pressure, then reached out and pulled Star Swordlife to his feet as casually as if he were a child. “I'm going to help you. In fact, I’m going to push you directly into the mid Terrifying level. Then I’ll send you to seal Yang Qi, and even become the ultimate Inheritor of the Great Necropolis. All of the other Inheritors will be under your command, got it? And if I kill them, you won’t do a thing to stop me.” He burst out laughing.
“Senior, who are you?” Star Swordlife asked, his voice quavering. “I've never seen anyone as powerful as you. Are you a god?”
“A god? No, I’m not a god. But I might as well be one. There’s no one in the mortal world who could possibly be a match for my strength. Well, since I'm going to help you, I guess I might as well tell you who I am. I'm Yang Qi’s father, Proud Heaven!”
At long last, he had appeared. Even Star Swordlife had heard stories about Proud Heaven. Star Swordlife was from the Star River Sword Sect of the Ancient Road to the Gods. Although they were considered a relatively minor sect, even less important than the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect, they were still privy to many secrets. So of course they knew about the famous Proud Heaven, who had killed countless almighty entities and shaken the ancient road.
The question was, did it count as good luck or bad luck to have met him?
“Yang Qi told me that he's a Fateless One, and has no father,” Star Swordlife said.
“Bullcrap!” Proud Heaven said with a cold smile. “Without me, how could he have ever been born, this Fateless One? He can refuse to admit that I'm his father, but he’s still my son. And even if he weren’t, I’ll make sure his blood becomes mine. Hmph! I’ll take that Fateless blood of his and add it to my own. That way, he’ll always be my son. He might take it to be a humiliation, but that’s fine with me.” He burst out in laughter again.
“I suppose that as long as you don’t kill him,” Star Swordlife said, “it should be considered mercy.”
“Well said. As long as I don’t kill him, it should be considered mercy. Very well said. And now, the time for helping you has begun. I have a few dozen godpower seeds that I'm going to give you; that way, you’ll instantly reach the mid Terrifying level.”
As the words left his mouth, he waved his hand, sending out a host of seeds, all of which dripped with blood. Obviously, Proud Heaven had ripped them out of other Inheritors.
The sight of the blood caused Star Swordlife to grumble inwardly, but of course, he didn’t dare to say anything out loud. He simply watched as Proud Heaven inserted the seeds into his sea of consciousness.
He was already an Inheritor, so the seeds went in without any resistance, a marked difference from when Yang Qi had taken his original collection of seeds.
The power of more than forty seeds surged within Star Swordlife’s sea of consciousness, prompting him to throw his head back and let loose a mighty roar as stone-like true energy began erupting from every pore on his body.
“Get back in there!” Proud Heaven growled. Thrusting his hand out, he sent golden light to shove the true energy back inside Star Swordlife. As of this moment, Star Swordlife was experiencing a major baptism as the impurities within him were cleansed by golden fire.
He began to float up, slowly rotating as his true energy grew stronger and his psychic power raged.
“Be broken!” Proud Heaven said with a cold smile. “Magical laws. Natural laws. Shackles. Be broken, all of you! When I want someone to have a breakthrough, they do. If I say someone needs to be in the mid Terrifying level, they will be!”
He struck Star Swordlife with a palm, causing Star Swordlife’s body to roil as though it were boiling water. Then, Proud Heaven clamped his hand down on Star Swordlife’s head. Star Swordlife felt explosive force surging through him, then suddenly gained immense enlightenment of the mid Terrifying level.
As he clenched his hands into fists, an image of an enormous sword appeared behind him. “I refuse to believe that you can beat me now, Yang Qi! As a true Inheritor, I'm going to seal you!”
“Confident you can win?” Proud Heaven asked. “Then go. Head to the depths of the Great Necropolis, where the essence is. That’s where Yang Qi is. If he finds the essence and absorbs the power there, he’ll gain control of the Great Necropolis, and no one will be able to stop him!”
Star Swordlife looked over at Proud Heaven, well aware that the man was using him as a pawn. Now that Proud Heaven had helped him advance his energy arts, it was probably going to be impossible to be free of his control ever again.
And in the end, Proud Heaven’s pawns always died miserable deaths.
“What, don’t tell me that you’re going to turn on me right after I helped you?” Proud Heaven chuckled. “Things in life don’t work that way. There’s no way you could ever stand up to me.”
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