Chapter 654: Eighteen Sword Sects

‘It has a majestic atmosphere,’ Yang Qi thought, ‘but to be honest, I'm not particularly impressed.’

The Sage Sword Heaven was huge, and its sword nebula warding spells were impressive. However, after taking a closer look, he realized that this place was actually not superior to the Brahman Immortal World. The Brahman Immortal World was only a fifth ranked immortal world, but it had deep reserves and the place was full of crouching tigers and hidden dragons. After it had built up enough power, it would be able to unleash it in a way that actually surpassed the Sage Sword Heaven.

Yang Qi couldn’t help but smile coldly in his heart at the thought of taking the Brahman River and the talisman that was the Brahman Institute. He wondered if Proud Heaven would show up when he destroyed the Brahman Institute.

Of course, Yang Qi didn't want to be there when it happened. He wanted to borrow the power of the Sage Sword Heaven, making it impossible for Proud Heaven to identify the true culprit. He wanted to instigate a classic sandpiper, clam, and fisherman situation.

As Yang Qi, Sword Seventeen, and Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit shot into the sword nebula, its deadly warding magics recognized Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit and let them right through.

They were soon in the interior of the Sage Sword Heaven, where the energies on display were even stronger. The ground appeared to be made of gold, and the entire area radiated an aura of metallic sharpness.

There were buildings and towers that were made entirely of gold, even cities. And all of them radiated powerful auras that would induce goosebumps among those who sensed them.

There were space-time wormholes everywhere, which facilitated travel. Soon, Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit led Yang Qi and Sword Seventeen into just such a wormhole, whisking them toward the Ice Spirit Sword Sect.

Several hours later, they emerged from a teleportation portal to find themselves in the midst of hundreds of thousands of towering mountains, filled with icy energy. Countless flying swords were stabbed into the mountains, more than Yang Qi had ever seen in one place. And there were hosts of young women flying back and forth who were obviously the disciples of the sect. The Ice Spirit Sword Sect only had women as disciples; not a single one was a man.

Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit’s aura created a resonance with the enormous mountains and she was immediately noticed by everyone present.

“We offer respectful greetings on your return, Sword Matriarch!”

“There’s no need for such formality, everyone,” she said. “The Ice Spirit Sword Sect has two honored guests here today. All leaders are hereby summoned to the main meeting hall. I have something important to announce!”

“Yes ma’am!” 

The fact that the leader of the sect had brought two men in for a meeting was a shocking thing, and it was even more shocking to hear that they were honored guests. All of the disciples knew that their sword matriarch had gone to Castle Heaven-Devil to stand guard, and she shouldn’t have returned for several more years. Obviously, something strange was going on.

The top experts immediately began gathering at a palace deep within the sword mountains.

Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit sat on a throne at the head of the hall, and had two other thrones brought in for Yang Qi and Sword Seventeen.

Looking around at the gathered experts and matriarchs of the sect, she said, “The first thing to announce is that I will step in as this young man’s Master to offer him training. This is Junior Brother Sword Seventeen, who is the newest member of the Ice Spirit Sword Sect. He’s now your Sect Uncle, understand?”

An uproar immediately ensued.

“What?”

“But our Ice Spirit Sword Sect doesn’t accept men! Why would our sectlord bring a man in!?”

“What exactly happened?”

“The sword matriarch went to stand guard at Castle Heaven-Devil. Maybe she was infected with devil energy and experienced cultivation deviation!” 

“This is completely inappropriate!” someone said in a booming voice. At the same time, a beam of sword light shot into the depths of the hall and an old woman appeared. She had hair as white as frost and was flanked by three other old women, all of them with white hair and skin wrinkled from age.

They were all Godmyths, but clearly none were past the Seer God level.

“This is the Ice Spirit Sword Sect!” one of the old women said in a screeching voice. Pointing an accusing finger at Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit, she said, “We’ve never had a male disciple, so this is completely inappropriate. What possible reason could there be for breaking the rules!?”

“That’s right,” another old woman said. “Under no circumstances can we do something like this. Furthermore, we prime elders would like to know why you left Castle Heaven-Devil early! We have strict rules about how long to stand guard, and if any of our enemies found out about this, who knows what they would do. Coming back early is a big crime that comes with a stiff penalty! Well? What do you have to say for yourself?”

“Shut your mouth!” Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit shouted, slapping her hand onto the arm of her throne. “When you talk to me, you address me as a superior. Who leads this sect, me or you? You stubborn fools. Maybe you’re Godmyths, but you failed to successfully cultivate our sect's godly-class energy art, which forever ruined your good looks and leaves you looking like doddering fogies. You lost your qualifications to vie for the spot of sectlord, and have resented me ever since. That's why we always butt heads. Am I right?”

“What are you talking about, Sword Matriarch?” one of the old women said. Chuckling coldly, she continued, “You might lead the sect, but we’re prime elders and we have the right to correct errant behavior on the part of the sectlord. And we’re especially responsible for enforcing the rules. Now get back to Castle Heaven-Devil immediately to stand guard! We’ll take care of everything here in the sect.”

“How impudent!” Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit said, her voice ice-cold. “Look, I'm not interested in banter. Be quiet while I make my second announcement. Castle Heaven-Devil has been permanently locked down. Cleaned out. The devil energy is deactivated, and I recovered the holy swords of King Life-Killer. Furthermore, I’ve reached the Tempered God level.”

Countless disciples and elders were so shocked that their jaws dropped. The old women began trembling as they stared wordlessly at Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit. A very long moment passed. Then, finally, one of the old women said, “I don’t believe you. Not even Traceless Slasher from the God-Slashing Sword Sect could do that. How could you have pulled it off?”

“On your knees!” Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit shouted in fury. All of a sudden, massive force weighed down on the hall, causing the trembling old women to all drop to their knees.

The level disparity that was on display was now very obvious.

Now that Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit was a Tempered God, she could dominate this crowd with ease. Even if the old women all teamed up, they were only Seer Gods, making them as far from a Tempered God as the dirt was from the sky.

“You think that just because Traceless Slasher can't do something, I can’t either? You prime elders are always causing a scene around here, and you never treat me with respect. Maybe I should sacrifice you to my sage swords as a punishment!”

Whiz. Whiz. Whiz. Whiz!

Killing energy pulsed off of Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit as fifty-six sage swords appeared, flying through the air and pointing directly toward the old women.

One of the old women, visibly terrified, said, “Those… those are King Life-Killer's sage swords! Not seven. Fifty-six!? How could there be so many? Our Sage Sword Heaven used to have seven, and not only did you recover them, you—”

“Yes, I found a large cache of King Life-Killer’s sage swords in Castle Heaven-Devil. What do you think? Can Traceless Slasher compare to that? Your sins are too severe. Not even death could pay for how you’ve defied me.”

The old women immediately began kowtowing and begging for their lives, even swearing oaths.

“Mercy! Mercy!”

“We're prime elders, please, at least take that into consideration and spare us. And we're Godmyth matriarchs! Killing us would be a huge blow to the Ice Spirit Sword Sect.”

“We swear to serve you loyally, Sword Matriarch!”

“Hurry up, the rest of you. Swear oaths!”

“I swear to support the sword matriarch with all my heart, and if I ever stray, let heaven execute me.”

Considering how they were groveling, they didn't seem like Godmyths at all. The mere sight of it caused Yang Qi to shake his head in disapproval.

Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit could tell what he was thinking, and said, “Curious about their sudden change of heart, Daoist Brother? It's because of King Life-Killer’s sage swords. They’re just too impressive. I don’t think you really understand how important these swords are to our Sage Sword Heaven.”

Ding dong. Ding dong.

All of a sudden, bells of alarm tolled, the sound spreading out and filling all of the Sage Sword Heaven.

“What? What happened?” Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit said, rising to her feet. “The God-Slashing Sword Sect is sounding the alarm bells? They’re calling a meeting of all the sword sects? Considering this is happening right upon my return, it must have something to do with me.”

Looking down at the old women, she said, “Considering you scum just swore oaths of loyalty to me, fine, I'm going to pardon you for your crimes.” Looking back up, she continued, “This is actually perfect timing. The God-Slashing Sword Sect is calling all of the eighteen sword sects together. This will be the perfect chance to crush my opposition and unite the Sage Sword Heaven.”

“I absolutely agree,” Yang Qi said, similarly rising to his feet. “I’ll go with you to this God-Slashing Sword Sect. If they don't submit, they’ll die.”

The old women struggled up and looked over at Yang Qi, unsure of why he seemed so confident in the situation. But when they saw how reverently Sword Matriarch Ice Spirit treated him, they knew he must be someone very important and powerful, likely a consummate old-timer from some incredible location.

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