"You are already done… learning it?" Yang shi's eyebrows shot up, thinking that he might have heard wrongly.

You have only grabbed the jade token and nothing else. Heck, you didn't even infuse your zhenqi into it to browse through its contents, and yet, you are telling me that you are already done learning it?

Furthermore, the Severing Yang Finger is complex and hard to grasp. Even when I came into contact with it the first time, it took an entire hour before I was able to finish reading through the manual and comprehend it. Yet, right after grabbing hold of the jade token, you are telling me that you have already mastered it?

Surely, you jest!

"Since it's your battle technique, you can lower your cultivation and try it out," Zhang Xuan said with a smile. "You should be able to tell whether I am lying or not once we trade blows."

"Very well then!" Seeing how confident the young man before him was, seemingly not fearing his identity or strength at all, Yang shi nodded.

The young man was right. The best way to test a cultivator's mastery of his battle technique was to trade blows with him!

If the young man was able to execute it fluidly in the midst of battle, that would mean that he had truly mastered the technique.

Boom!

Yang shi took in a deep breath, and the next moment, his cultivation plummeted to the same level as Zhang Xuan, Dimension Sundering realm primary stage!

"I'm going to make my move now…"

Yang shi raised his forefinger and middle finger, gathering a rotating surge of energy at the tip of his fingers. In an instant, the surge of energy had already gathered together in a cataclysmic storm.

Devastating might roared furiously from the midst of the storm, on the verge of tearing the surrounding space into shreds.

Simply replying with a nod, Zhang Xuan raised his finger casually and lightly tapped the space in front of him.

His finger did not wield the power of the storm, unlike Yang Xuan's, and his movements were slow as if an old ox plowing the fields.

Yang shi was intending to say that he had executed the finger art incorrectly, but when he saw the tip of the finger pointed at him, his eyes narrowed in alarm. In that moment, he could not even spare a shred of his attention toward speaking anymore.

He swiftly focused the crippling energy that he had gathered together and shot it forward to defend against Zhang Xuan's finger art.

Boom!

As the two fingers collided, the storm that had gathered abruptly vanished without a trace. Following which, Yang shi felt an enormous force striking him head on, forcing him to retreat uncontrollably. He swiftly released the seal on his cultivation, and only when he had recovered up to Dimension Sundering realm pinnacle did he finally regain his balance.

"You…" Suppressing the turbulence in his zhenqi, Yang shi was utterly shocked by what had just happened.


At first glance, the finger art that the young man had executed bore no resemblance to the Severing Yang Finger at all. However, the moment that the finger art struck him, it had suddenly made the full transformation into the Severing Yang Finger.

While he had altered the execution of the Severing Yang Finger, the might of the finger art did not weaken in the least; on the contrary, it had grown almost two times stronger!

Furthermore, the intent of the finger art was on point as well. He could feel the force of the finger consuming his entire body, nearly severing the zhenqi in his body into half!

This was a level of power that even he did not possess despite having mastered the Severing Yang Finger!

"Are you injured?" Zhang Xuan asked sheepishly.

"I'm fine," Yang shi replied. Unable to hold himself back anymore, he asked, "You didn't just master the Severing Yang Finger; you have even improved it as well, right?"

Through the previous clash, it was apparent that the young man had not only mastered the Severing Yang Finger but even managed to improve it. How in the world did he do it?

To do all of that within just a few minutes… even when he was seeing it with his own eyes, he still felt as if he was dreaming!

Was it really possible for someone to be so formidable in the world?

"In the first place, to design a battle technique solely for the sake of killing isn't optimal. The purpose of battle techniques is to allow a cultivator to better utilize their zhenqi, exerting force that would have otherwise been impossible," Zhang Xuan explained. "The Severing Yang Finger is too domineering, placing it at disharmony with the world. Thus, I altered it a little so as to place the focus on severing the enemy's zhenqi instead. This way, not only will it not result in unnecessary bloodshed, it will also be able to let the opponent realize that they are outmatched."

The Severing Yang Finger was indeed a formidable technique, but it was simply too demanding on a cultivator's zhenqi, spirit, mind, and will. If the attack missed, the cultivator could end up creating an opening for the enemy to strike.

But after compiling the Severing Yang Finger with many other finger art manuals, Zhang Xuan had managed to resolve the flaw.

"It's true that severing the opponent's zhenqi is a less violent way of subduing one's opponent and can avoid unnecessary bloodshed, but… what if the enemy that you are facing is an Otherworldly Demon? Your act of mercy will not necessarily be reciprocated. Often, just the slightest difference in intent could bring one the greatest of calamities!" Yang shi said.

While killing arts were at disharmony with the world, there was still a reason for their existence.

One would not use it when fighting against fellow master teachers, but when facing the Otherworldly Demons, the slightest mercy could end up creating an opening for the other party to exploit, placing oneself and one's allies in danger.

Such cases were simply too common.

Back then, when he entered the Subterranean Gallery for the first time with his teacher, out of a moment of compassion for the enemy, he had given the enemy an opportunity to launch a counterattack. Eventually, his teacher had ended up being severely injured while trying to save him, nearly losing his life.

He had spent a very long time regretting his indecisiveness back then. That incident had taught him a lesson that he would never forget—it was fine to have mercy when fighting a friend, but against one's enemies, one had to cast aside one's morals and be as ignoble as possible. Otherwise, the ones who would pay the price would not be the enemy.

"Indeed. You can't afford to go easy against the Otherworldly Demons!" Zhang Xuan nodded.

"If you agree with my point of view, why did you still diminish the destructive might of the Severing Yang Finger?" Yang shi asked in bewilderment.

If the young man understood his logic, it seemed counterintuitive for him to still choose to alter the battle technique into such a form.

"Ah. To be honest with you, I only used thirty percent of my strength in the fight earlier so that I could exert and retract my strength freely. If I used my full strength, the might it commands is still not too bad!" Zhang Xuan replied with a smile.

"Thirty percent?" Yang shi staggered on the spot, and he thought that his mind would blow up. "You said that… you only used thirty percent of your strength?"

Using just thirty percent of his strength, the young man had actually managed to push him back and force him to raise his cultivation to Dimension Sundering realm pinnacle before he was able to steady himself once more.

Was the young man really serious about this?

"Indeed. A full might attack would be something like this…" Zhang Xuan nodded as he raised his finger once more.

This time, the young man's movement was even slower, but for an instant, Yang shi felt as if the entire world had collapsed on him. A feeling of despair swiftly crept its way into his mind, leaving him feeling as if he would be completely helpless no matter how he struggled.

Kacha! Kacha!

Not daring to hesitate in the least, Yang shi quickly released the seal on his cultivation, and in an instant, his cultivation rose back up to Saint 9-dan Macrocosm Ascendancy realm.

Following which, he thrust his finger forth to face Zhang Xuan's attack.

Peng!

The young man's strength surged toward him like a relentless tide, threatening to disintegrate his meridians and render him completely helpless.

Once again, Yang shi was forced to retreat more than twelve steps back. His zhenqi was jolted into turbulence under the impact, and he had to take deep breaths in order to calm himself down. His face was as pale as a sheet of paper, marked with utter disbelief.

As one of the strongest experts in the world, even if he had suppressed his cultivation, the young man should not have been able to be a match for him. Yet, the young man actually overpowered him using his move after learning it for just a couple minutes…

That was too frightening!

Were there really geniuses in the world who could grasp anything upon sight and even alter it stronger in just moments?

"The strength isn't too bad, right?" Zhang Xuan asked with a smile.

"Yes…" Calming down the turmoil he was undergoing inside, Yang shi exhaled deeply. With glowing eyes, he asked, "Since you don't have any teacher at the moment, will you consider taking me as your teacher?"

The fact that the young man had claimed to be his teacher showed that the young man did have an interest in his lineage. He had still been able to remain calm about it in the past, but after witnessing the young man's unbelievable talent, his heart as a teacher immediately lit up into a passionate inferno.

He could not even begin to imagine just how far the young man could go under his guidance.

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