Just as Yang shi had guessed, the reason that Zhang Hongtian dared to challenge Old Geezer Yu and even agreed to his conditions was because he knew the flaws in the latter's moves.

It might seem as if he was in a disadvantageous position, but in truth, he was also looking for an opportunity to inflict a critical hit and kill Old Geezer Yu in a single strike.

Endless sword qi warped into many dragons that swept across the sky, forcing Old Geezer Yu to swipe his phantasmagoric claws upward.

"This is the moment!"

Seeing that there was an opening in Old Geezer Yu's movements just as Zhang Xuan had said, Zhang Hongtian immediately concealed his sword in the midst of the soaring dragons to direct a jab toward Old Geezer Yu's blind spot.

Flowing Water Hidden Sword!

This was said to be a technique that had been created by a hopeless romantic sword genius in the Zhang Clan. After his spouse was killed by his enemies, he had spent many years perfecting this move in order to exact vengeance. He had known that his strength lay in maneuvering and concealing himself amid water, making it nigh impossible for his enemies to grasp hold of him, so he had waited patiently for the moment to pierce through his enemies' throats with a swift stab.

The technique that Zhang Hongtian was using to conceal his sword amid the dragons was similar.

"Break!"

As expected, Old Geezer Yu did not notice the sword. His phantasmagoric claws continued clawing fervently at the incoming sword qi, warding them off.

Weng!

From the midst of one of the dragons, a long sword bolted forth, growing larger and larger in Old Geezer Yu's eyes.

But it happened that he had just pushed his speed to the limit, thus maximizing his momentum, rendering him powerless to dodge or protect himself.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.

Puhe!

The sword pierced right through Old Geezer Yu's throat, and devastating might poured forth to destroy the vitality within his body.

"Y-y-you… How could you have known that there's a hundredth of a second intermission at the end of this technique of mine?" Old Geezer Yu's eyes were widened in disbelief.

He dared not believe that he was going to lose his life just like that!

For the past ten thousand years, the two of them had fought on multiple battlefields, and they were already familiar with one another's techniques. It was true that Zhang Hongtian had always been slightly stronger than him, but even though Old Geezer Yu was unable to win against the other party, he had never faced any problem protecting himself.

But at that very moment…

The battle technique that he had just executed consisted of him launching swipes in quick succession with his phantasmagoric claws. On the seventeenth swipe, due to a trauma that he had sustained in the past, there would be a hundredth of a second opening in his movements. However, as the technique was simply too swift, the peers that he had cultivated with and even Sovereign Chen Ling were unaware of this opening.


How did Zhang Hongtian know about this opening of his and even sharply grasp the timing to breach his defenses?

"You have lost!" Zhang Hongtian uttered coldly as he raised his eyebrows imposingly.

Boom!

Endless sword qi exploded within Old Geezer Yu, causing his body to burst apart.

Tzzzzz!

A book swiftly flew over to devour the splattered flesh and blood of Old Geezer Yu.

Zhang Hongtian raised his head, only to see that Zhang Xuan had successfully tamed the straw garment and was looking over, clasping his fist. "Congratulations, old ancestor!"

"It's due to your credit that I was able to kill him!" Zhang Hongtian chuckled heartily.

However, as soon as the tension left his body, his body collapsed weakly to the ground.

He had managed to kill Old Geezer Yu, but he had completely depleted himself in the midst of doing so.

"Old ancestor!"

Alarmed, Zhang Xuan rushed over and desperately infused his Heaven's Path zhenqi into the body of the other party. However, as if a sack filled with holes, Zhang Hongtian's body was no longer able to retain energy.

"How could this be?" Zhang Xuan panicked.

He quickly took out a couple of grade-9 pills and fed them into Zhang Hongtian's mouth.

His Heaven's Path zhenqi had rarely failed him, and there were many times when he had brought others back from the gates of hell. This was the first time that it was proving to be completely useless.

Zhang Hongtian was the final Ancient Sage of the Zhang Clan, and Zhang Xuan was extremely fond of his personality and temperament. He could not allow anything to happen to him!

"Allow me to take a look!" Ancient Sage Yan Qing flew over and helped Zhang Hongtian up. Placing his finger on the latter's pulse, he lowered his gaze contemplatively for a moment before shaking his head. "I'm afraid that he has already reached the limit of his lifespan. There's nothing that you can do that will help him anymore."

"How can this be? He's the youngest of you lot! How could he have reached the end of his lifespan first?" Zhang Xuan refused to believe what he was hearing.

Zhang Hongtian was known as the most talented expert of his era, having reached Ancient Sage in his five hundreds. Even though ten thousand years had passed since then, he had spent most of his time in hibernation. In terms of lifespan, he should be able to outlive all of the other Ancient Sages!

How could he possibly have reached the end of his lifespan ahead of the others?

"He expended most of his blood essence in the battle with Sovereign Chen Yong earlier. In order to ensure that Old Geezer Yu is dead through and through, he went all out and overexerted himself. At this very moment, he's already completely dried out. There's nothing that you can do to save him."

The Ancient Sages gathered there knew that they did not have too long to live, but Ancient Sage Yan Qing still could not help but sigh in desolation upon seeing that another person of his era was going to meet his end.

Ancient Sages were able to reattach severed limbs and revive themselves from a mere droplet of blood, but they were unable to break free from their destiny and outlive the limits of their lifespan.

No matter how powerful a cultivator was, once they reached the limits of their lifespan, they would be reduced to a pile of dirt. No matter how nobly or humbly they had lived, this was the ultimate fate that awaited all life.

Even though Zhang Hongtian was comparatively younger than the Ancient Sages gathered there, he had gone all out in every battle that he had been in, causing a severe deficiency in his body's vitality. In fact, if not for the blood transfusion twenty years prior, he would have already met his end.

In a way, it was a miracle that he had lasted so long and even fought two good battles.

Zhang Xuan turned to Yang Xuan and exclaimed anxiously, "Yang shi, aren't you able to transfuse bloodlines? Move my blood to the old ancestor. Perhaps, it might save his life…"

Looking at the flustered Zhang Xuan, Yang Xuan shook his head with bitter helplessness and said, "Senior… you have already transfused your blood to him once. Your blood won't be effective on him anymore…"

"But…" Zhang Xuan wanted to argue the matter, but he was interrupted by Yang shi.

"Birth, ageing, affliction, and death; this is the natural cycle of life. Not even Ancient Sages are able to break out of this cycle. Back in its prime, the Zhang Clan was famed for its Nine Great Ancient Sages, and there was no one who didn't look up to it. But as time went by, each of them turned into a tablet on top of an altar, becoming legends of the past that others recall now and then!"

Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan fell silent.

"There's no need to grieve over me!" Zhang Hongtian looked at his descendant with a faint smile on his face. "The reason I held on for so long is because I'm the only Ancient Sage left in the Zhang Clan. If I had died, the entire clan would have fallen into decline… I'm really glad that you have appeared. With your ability, you would even be able to stand your ground against me. I have no more worries!"

"But…" Zhang Xuan's eyes reddened.

"Life and death are part of the world's natural cycle. From the moment that the Aeon of Ancient Sage vanished from the world and I decided to go into hibernation, Zhang Hongtian was already dead. The only reason I've been clinging on to life was to prolong the survival of the Zhang Clan and mankind!" Zhang Hongtian said deeply.

"Your appearance has liberated me of the responsibilities I shouldered. I can finally rest without any worries. This is not a sorrowful occasion but a happy one. The only remaining concern I have is you. You are only an Aureate Body realm cultivator at the moment, but you will have to carry the entire Zhang Clan and perhaps even mankind as a whole. The path ahead of you will be fraught with even more difficulties than mine."

As Zhang Hongtian spoke, he took a look at his surroundings and chuckled weakly.

"Alright, my friends. May we meet again in our next lives and fight together as brothers in arms! I'm feeling a little tired right now, so I'll take my leave…"

And so, Zhang Hongtian closed his eyes one last time.

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