Zhao Tiefeng indeed possessed a sharp acumen. His words tapped awake an increasingly frenzied Zhao Ling, just when Lu Yun’s new technique had entered the most crucial moment of the development process.
Anguish and incompleteness left an exceedingly uncomfortable feeling in Lu Yun. Such an abrupt interruption in the midst of fighting to his heart’s content was simply worse than death.
“Do you truly believe you can halt my enlightenment just like this? All you did was ruin a fortuitous opportunity for others.” Scorn appeared on the governor’s lips, then he set foot through the Gates of the Abyss.
A dreary aura pervaded the broken netherworld, filling the air with the presence of devastation and decay. It wasn’t a suitable place for him to cultivate, but he’d already shaped the embryonic form of his new technique. All that was left was to unceasingly improve on it so that it could reach perfection.
“Aoxue, spar with me and help polish my new art!” he immediately requested, turning to the dragon princess.
A long sword appeared in her hand and she slashed at him, but her master’s figure vanished once more, giving way to enormous waves rising in a boundless sea. From these waves reared a giant dragon in Aoxue’s direction.
Compared to Zhao Ling, the dragon princess was a much better sparring partner. Someone with her judgment could easily determine what move and amount of force she should use in order to help her master refine his new technique.
The two lost all sense of time in hell, only stopping a long, long while later.
“Congratulations, sir! Felicitations! You have perfected the ‘Vast Dragon Seaturner’!” Stunned astonishment flashed through Aoxue’s eyes. “If this skill can be further improved to the realm of great perfection, it will surpass the Nineteen Cerulean Sword Dragons by far! It will rank in the top ten among all the sword arts in the immortal world!”
Lu Yun lowered his head in contemplation. “Heh, that’s to be expected. With the Tome of Life and Death as a medium, I can communicate with the heavens to analyze the Nineteen Cerulean Sword Dragons. By distilling the essence and discarding the dross, my version will naturally surpass the original. Aoxue, thank you for your help.”
“It’s Aoxue’s honor to help complete your technique, sir!” Happiness tinged Aoxue’s expression.
Meanwhile, the crowd around the arena wished for nothing more than to tear Zhao Tiefeng to pieces. Lu Yun’s ‘Vast Dragon Seaturner’ had been moments away from achieving proficiency. They could all see that once it reached perfection, the technique would become a sword art without compare.
In the present age, cultivators were almost all swordsmen. Apart from some treasures, almost everyone refined a companion flying sword. To witness the birth of such a peerless art would’ve been a blessing, not only for cultivators, but also for many immortals. However, Zhao Ling’s sudden withdrawal put a complete stop to this glorious opportunity. Unable to restrain their wrath, many in the crowd swore out loud.
“Zhao Tiefeng, you’ve crossed the line!” roared an immortal, looking at the Exalted Immortal Sect’s elder. “The birth of such a magnificent technique is one for the ages! But thanks to your petty narrow-mindedness, you prematurely broke it off! You’ve committed a grave sin against the entire world!”
Facing the ire of the crowd, Zhao Tiefeng merely smiled. “He’s still in the arena. If you all are so eager to see his sword art, tell your own disciples to challenge him so they can be a grinding stone for his technique!”
Many immortals seethed at his attitude. Opportunities to break through were fleeting and transient. Developing a new sword art necessitated completion in one stroke from a sudden spurt of insight. How could lightning possibly strike twice?
Such a coincidence had never occurred before, at the very least!
An old, wizened immortal suddenly stood and thundered, “Zhao Tiefeng, interrupting Lu Yun’s creation process is ruining an opportunity for us all! You and I can no longer live under the same sky! I, Wanderer Gu Hong, do hereby break all ties of friendship with you. We will only meet again as enemies!”
An immortal from Exalted Major, and one of Zhao Tiefeng’s acquaintances, his declaration agitated the crowd even further.
“Indeed! Zhao Tiefeng, for the crime of destroying our chance at enlightenment, you and us can no longer share the same roof!”
“From today onward, the Regal Exalted Sect is enemies with your Exalted Immortal Sect!”
“We will not rest till we see the end of you!”
Zhao Tiefeng blanched, the roars of countless immortals shaking his mind and setting his ears abuzz. He finally understood why these immortals were all so furious. To interrupt Lu Yun’s creation process was a trivial matter, but ruining the enlightenment of so many had made him a public enemy.
Creating a novel combat or sword art required formidable perseverance and wisdom. It was a communique with the land that shared resonance with the heavens! The shaping of the Vast Dragon Seaturner would’ve offered a glimpse of the grand dao, presenting onlookers a window into the principles of the universe and a chance to comprehend the truth of the world.
But it had all come to naught because of Zhao Tiefeng, hence their wrath.
Even those that were prejudiced against Lu Yun, like the Feng Clan and other immortals of Thundergale Major, now nursed a deep animosity toward Zhao Tiefeng and the Exalted Immortal Sect.
“The Exalted immortal Sect’s conduct is truly spiteful. Rumors of them disrupting someone’s tribulation for the sake of a mere treasure are definitely not unfounded!”
“That’s right! If they’re willing to interfere with the pill fairy’s tribulation out of simple greed, it wouldn’t be beneath them to possess the head of Dusk Province’s House Ge either, all for the sake of the ancient lord’s legacy!”
Forcibly taking possession of someone, or meddling in someone’s tribulation were both absolute taboos in the world of immortals on the same level as soul sacrifices. Once discovered, the entire world would view the perpetrators as criminals.
It was why Zhao Tiefeng would rather label Lao Nuo a traitor—even going so far as to make a shameless spectacle out of himself—than acknowledge responsibility for these two matters. Once their guilt was ascertained, the Exalted Immortal Sect would be beset from all sides.
Elder Zhao’s chest was fiercely heaving, but he dared not utter a word. Many immortals were already on the verge of going berserk, and one wrong word from him would immediately create a mob against him.
“Everybody, please hold your horses.” Lu Yun’s voice quietly cut through the din. “Fate is ordained by the heavens. My failure to create the ‘Vast Dragon Seaturner’ technique must have been written in the stars, so the fault lies not with Elder Zhao Tiefeng.”
The crowd sobered at his words. After all, no matter their own losses, Lu Yun was the greatest victim here. If even he didn’t take exception, what was left for the rest of them to say?
“Honestly, I’m also to blame for my lapse in judgement. I chose the wrong opponent. If it had been senior brother Mo instead, I’m sure he would’ve been glad to help complete my technique.” Lu Yun nodded at Mo Chenfeng.
The latter smiled. “That goes without saying. To assist senior brother Lu in creating an unparalleled sword technique would’ve been my honor. Senior brother Lu, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if there’s another chance for instruction.”
“The governor is quite correct. He made the mistake of failing to recognize the Exalted Immortal Sect for what it is!” someone laughed at Lu Yun’s words.
“From now on, only imbeciles will fraternize with disciples of that sect.” Many in the crowd chuckled as they echoed the same sentiment. With his extremely poisonous attack, Lu Yun’s retreat with his moral high ground had directly pushed the Exalted Immortal Sect into the limelight once again.