The mighty apprentice of a chief elder, who had cultivated the art of the sword to an extremely high level, couldn’t even last for ten moves. In fact, people were starting to suspect that perhaps the junior superintendent, despite not being in the Terrifying level, actually had Terrifying fighting prowess. What was even more telling was that he hadn’t even used any magical treasures in combat. He only used his own true energy and martial disciplines to win in short order.
Although Chang Rong wasn’t the best of the best among the disciples, he was definitely top tier. If he couldn’t last for ten moves, then few other people would dare to try.
Furthermore, it wasn’t as if Chang Rong had defended against nine moves and lost with the tenth move. No, he had launched nine moves of his own, then was defeated by a single blow.
Many of the disciples were looking around in the hopes that someone was going to step forward, but no one did.
Obviously, there were lots of people who would love to get the reward for saving the sect, but no one wanted to just throw their life away. Five disciples had been killed, and one had become feebleminded, which was just about as bad as death.
It seemed that only someone who was suicidal would possibly accept the challenge of the junior superintendent.
The junior superintendent roared with laughter. “What a bunch of useless chickens and dogs. As it turns out, the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect doesn’t have a single genius at all! Maybe we should just disband it. Or put it under my command, so I can use the sect resources to make some good cultivation advancement. Sectlord, if not a single person in your sect can stand up to me, what do you suggest we do? Are you going to concede to our five demands? If not, that's fine. Since you took the life of one of our executors, I’ll just wipe you people out. Your existence, or lack thereof, won't really change anything in the Great Necropolis. And if your Will Manifestation Heaven Sect claims to be a superpower sect, then that means there are hundreds of thousands of superpower sects here.”
“Hold on!” someone said. It was none other than Emperor Heart-Celestial. “Do you honor your word, Junior Superintendent?”
“Oh? Another disciple who seems to be up to snuff. You’re Emperor Heart-Celestial, right? I heard you’re the strongest disciple from Celestial Peak. Are you saying you want to compete with me? Yeah. I keep my word.”
Aggressively striding forward, Emperor Heart-Celestial continued, “You said that if someone can last for fifty moves against you, then you’ll temporarily call things even and not cause any more trouble for the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect. You’ll really honor your word in that regard?”
“Are you kidding me? Do you really think I would go back on my word?” He looked over at the four executors and said, “Do you four hear? I said that if anyone can last for fifty moves, I’ll temporarily let the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect off the hook. You have to abide by that as well. Got it?”
“Understood, sir!” the four executors said, saluting respectfully.
Everyone who looked on felt their hearts going cold.
In any sect in existence, Terrifying experts were considered extremely powerful and important. For experts such as this to be bowing and scraping was very telling. In the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect, not even a sectlord’s son would treat Terrifying elders with anything other than reverential respect.
Anything other than that would be considered rebellious behavior.
Strength was the one and only most important thing. With strength, one earned respect. A title or position based on anything else wasn’t important. And it was meaningless to give an important title or position to a weak person.
Yet, right here and now, these executors were virtually fawning over the junior superintendent. Although some of it had to do with the fact that he was stronger than the average person, there was clearly more to the story; this junior superintendent must be backed by someone whose strength defied imagination.
Obviously, killing the junior superintendent wasn't an option. Cutting him down would enrage his backer, and they were clearly not the kind of person who could be underestimated. Of course, even if the sectlord unleashed all the power at his disposal, and mustered the entire sect, there was no way they could wipe out this group of five. Maybe they could kill a few, but the four executors would definitely do everything to ensure that the junior superintendent got away with his life.
And that wasn't to mention the spy, or spies, in the sect.
If they weren’t completely rooted out, it would only lead to further disasters. So obviously, killing the junior superintendent and his bodyguards was out of the question.
Right now, all eyes were locked onto Emperor Heart-Celestial as he stepped forward and accepted the challenge.
Most people thought of Emperor Heart-Celestial as the top disciple in the sect. Although some disciples would compete with him, the truth was that people would only come out on top if he let them. He always seemed to be holding something back. Truth be told, he was stepping forward, not because he sought some reward, but because he couldn’t stand the humiliation to the sect.
“In that case, I’ll trust your word, Junior Superintendent,” he said. “Let’s see if I can stand up to fifty moves from you.” Respectfully clasping his hands, he said, “Please, begin.”
“Fifty moves? You really know how to run your mouth.” The junior superintendent chuckled. “I’d say it would be impressive if you could last for ten moves. As for fifty, not even those pieces of trash”— he pointed at the five chief elders he had knocked back into their seats— “could possibly last that long.”
The five chief elders were so angry their faces went white, and they were about to start shouting when the sectlord glared at them. “Chief elders, please maintain silence. There’s no need to add fuel to the fire.”
The five chief elders struggled to regain their composure. To be spoken to in such a way by someone from the junior generation was so infuriating they felt like coughing up blood. Unfortunately for them, it was true that they had reached the Terrifying level with the psychic scaling systems, which meant that further breakthroughs would be incredibly difficult for them.
One of the main reasons the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect had been able to grow so quickly was because of the psychic scaling systems. In fact, shortly after they began their rise, the Great Necropolis appeared, filled with godhood. It was thanks to all the godhood they had acquired in their campaigns that they now had so many chief elders with powerful cultivation bases. Without the psychic scaling systems, they wouldn’t have had more than ten Terrifying experts.
But even the weakest of the Terrifying old-timers, no matter how inferior their cultivation bases, still looked down on the junior superintendent. To have someone like him speaking so disrespectfully to them was virtually intolerable, and if it weren’t for the interference of the sectlord, they would have immediately taken deadly action.
Emperor Heart-Celestial suddenly burst into motion, unleashing the very same Deathless Emperor’s Dao Fist that he had used against Yang Qi. It was the move Unprecedented and Unduplicated. He threw one hand out in front of the other, then separated them as he sped in a circle around the junior superintendent. Obviously, he had pushed this move to its ultimate limit beneath the Terrifying level.
Quite a few disciples, and even some of the elders, were so impressed that they began to cheer and say things like, “Amazing!”
Yang Qi also nodded. Obviously, Emperor Heart-Celestial had been holding something back in their previous clash, otherwise their fight might have ended much differently. Of course, Yang Qi had plenty of his own magical treasures in reserve, such as the Engine of the One God.
“What’s so amazing about that?” the junior superintendent said disdainfully. “I’d say it’s sloppy at best, Emperor Heart-Celestial. Are you randomly running around in the hopes that I won’t be able to touch you?”
Suddenly, his palm shot out, seemingly casually, and yet in accord with the dao of heaven. In the blink of an eye, his palm collided with Emperor Heart-Celestial’s fist, backed by the power to exterminate everything in existence.
The junior superintendent held his footing, but Emperor Heart-Celestial staggered three paces backward, his face flush. Obviously, he had sustained an internal injury thanks to the clash.
Who could possibly have guessed that this junior superintendent would be so strong?
‘This is bad,’ Yang Qi thought. He could sense the deadly fluctuations in the palm strike Emperor Heart-Celestial had just sustained. Worse, he could tell that the junior superintendent wasn’t even close to running out of energy.
“Be careful, Emperor Heart-Celestial,” the sectlord said. “He's using the Soul-Seizing Psyche-Exterminating Grand Palm. It's a really top rate energy art. Combine your nascent divinity, blood, and soul!”
“Yes sir!” Emperor Heart-Celestial said. He thrust his hands out again and his vital energy surged, healing all of the injuries he had just sustained and returning him to full health.
Hands clasped behind his back, the junior superintendent said, “Very good. Move one is out of the way, leaving nine more to go. Go ahead, your turn. I actually don’t need to take the initiative to deal with you. Just go ahead and show me everything you’re capable of.”
His tone of voice couldn’t have been more arrogant and conceited, yet everyone present knew that what he was saying was true.
Emperor Heart-Celestial didn’t react. He remained calm as he smoothly led with a fist strike that turned into three palm strikes as he dashed back and forth with dazzling speed. It was the move Beyond All Compare, which was one of the best in his arsenal. Its combination of one fist strike that turned into three palm strikes conformed to the profound truth of: One begets two. Two begets three. Three begets all things. The one fist was a fist of primordial chaos, whereas the three palms represented all living beings. As soon as it was unleashed, the entire area filled with palm projections that then exploded and released devastating shockwaves. 
This grand hall was locked down with spatial warding magics that were even sturdier than those in the Cave Temple of the Vajra Māyādevī. It was difficult to unleash power here, yet Emperor Heart-Celestial’s every strike still seemed strong enough to devastate everything around it.
“This move has some redeeming qualities after all!” the junior superintendent said. “What do you say I forget about the Soul-Seizing Psyche-Exterminating Grand Palm for now, and show you something else instead? Do you know what this is?” He struck out with a single finger.
As his finger moved forward, all of the energy flows in the area began converging at its tip.
Even Emperor Heart-Celestial’s palm projections flew toward it. It vanquished all opposing energy arts, then touched Emperor Heart-Celestial’s actual palm. He reacted as though he had been struck by lightning, flipping backward through the air with blood spraying out of his mouth.
This time, he suffered even worse than he had during the first exchange.
Everyone was shocked.
“That was the Finger of Adjudication!” the sectlord exclaimed.
“Exactly. The Finger of Adjudication!” The junior superintendent laughed. “I could have taken your life if I wanted to, Emperor Heart-Celestial. But I’m having too much fun. Come on, keep going. I’ll wait until the tenth move before I kill you.”
Emperor Heart-Celestial calmly stood there, trying to recover from his injuries.
Meanwhile, a new voice rang out, and it belonged to none other than Yang Qi. “Chief Elder Winter Bladedark, do you mind if I take a look at Chang Rong? I can treat him, if you’d like.”
1. The saying One begets two. Two begets three. Three begets all things is from the famous Daoist text Dao De Jing a.k.a. The Classic of the Virtue of the Dao. This isn’t the first time it's come up in the story. It was mentioned back in chapter 615.