In the City Lord Residence of Starlight City, two young men were chatting with one another as they made their way toward a courtyard.

"Where did Yun Feiyang and Huang Tao go to this time?" The young man on the left harrumphed. "They have been acting mysteriously for a while now, refusing to attend even our gathering. If they knew how many beautiful young ladies were there earlier, their guts would turn green with regret!"

He had a tall but skinny figure, reminiscent of a bamboo pole. One thing that was exceptionally eye-catching about him was the long arms that hung by his sides.

"Why would they regret it? They bought two Ethereal Token as soon as they arrived and assumed the identities of Dire Swordsman and Soaring Clouds to challenge the locals!" the young man on the right replied impatiently.

He had a squarish face and a boorish voice. From his tone, it was clear that he disapproved of the actions of the two.

"They went to challenge the locals?" Bamboo burst out laughing. "They are disciples of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, but they came here to challenge these countryside bumpkins? Has their pride been gnawed by dogs? What honor is there in that even if they win?"

"I really don't know what they are thinking either. In the entire city, I reckon that only the lord of Starlight City would be a match for us in our swordsmanship. Yet, they lowered themselves to challenge a bunch of ordinary folks. Are they suffering from an attention deficit or something?"

While shaking their heads, Square-face and Bamboo walked into the courtyard.

As soon as they entered, they saw one of the people whom they had been talking about, Huang Tao, sitting before a stone table with his eyes in a daze.

"Did you have fun dominating the cultivators of Starlight City? Did they kneel down and beg the hero you are for mercy?" Bamboo walked up to Huang Tao and teased him.

Square-face patted Huang Tao's shoulder and asked, "You have always been quite the gentleman. How many moves did you let them have?"

Seeing that it was those two, Huang Tao lowered his head in embarrassment as he drew circles on the table. With a voice that indicated that he could still hardly believe what had just happened, he said, "I lost!"

As if serving as proof of his defeat, there was an Ethereal Token shattered into several fragments on the table.

"You were killed in the Ethereal Hall?"

Square-face and Bamboo widened their eyes in disbelief.

They were disciples of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion! In terms of technique, they would never lose to any of their peers. Their combat skills should be enough to awe any of the locals, but Huang Tao had actually ended up dying.

The entire matter was so incredulous that they found it hard to accept.

"Did you wield your sword?" Square-face asked.

"I did! But I still got defeated by a sword tossed right at my head… I didn't even have a chance to display my swordsmanship at all!" Huang Tao felt like diving into the ground at this humiliation.


"You couldn't even execute a move before you were stabbed in the head?"

Those two felt as if they were mishearing things.

Seeing that those two doubted his words, Huang Tao added, "Senior Yun Feiyang was with me when it happened, but he isn't out yet. I reckon that he's challenged that fellow. You can ask him about it when he finally comes out."

"Feiyang was there as well? He's the one among the four of us who is most likely to become an inner disciple. Given his formidable prowess with the sword, he should be able to quell any opponent here with ease," Bamboo consoled.

Following which, the three of them stood up to head over to the neighboring courtyard to see how it was going for Yun Feiyang. As soon as they walked in, they saw the person whom they had been full of praises earlier staring at a shattered Ethereal Token in front of him, just like Huang Tao had been doing. His expression was a mix of shock and confusion, and it seemed as if he had just been inflicted with severe mental trauma.

With twitching lips, the crowd rushed forward and exclaimed, "It can't be… You were killed, too?"

Yun Feiyang was the strongest of the four of them. If even he had been killed, how powerful must the person who had made the move be?

"I executed the Boundless Flowing Water, but I still wasn't able to withstand his sword toss! That single move… was more beautiful than anything I have seen in the world…" Yun Feiyang's thoughts drifted off as he recalled the earlier sword toss.

"You executed the Boundless Flowing Water?" the crowd exclaimed in shock.

That could be said to be the most advanced defensive swordsmanship among the outer disciples of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion. The swordsmanship would wrap one's surroundings in a dense layer of water vapor, reminiscent of flowing water. No matter how the opponent attacked, the defensive layer would either repel or redirect the attack.

It could be said to be a move that no one of the same cultivation realm could break.

Despite having executed the move, Yun Feiyang was still defeated in a single strike. Was the enemy really that formidable?

More importantly, even though he had been so brutally killed, he still thought that the swordsmanship was beautiful. That intoxicated look on his face was as if he was passionately reminiscing about a lover!

"I would like to see that sword art with my own eyes. Feiyang, do you have any other Ethereal Token that I could use?"

After a moment of shock, Bamboo and Square-face found themselves trembling with curiosity. They were filled with anticipation to meet the person whose swordsmanship was superior to even that of Huang Tao and Yun Feiyang.

"I sent my men to purchase some Ethereal Tokens as soon as I awoke. We should be able to get some soon," Yun Feiyang replied.

Every single Ethereal Hall had their own Ethereal Token. It was using the specific Ethereal Tokens that one could connect to the 'regional network'.

It did not take long for a servant to rush in with eight Ethereal Tokens in hand.

Every single of these Ethereal Tokens was worth tens of thousands of Ethereal Coins, but while it was a huge sum to Dan Xiaotian and the others, it was nothing of note to the disciples of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion.

Hu!

The four of them hurriedly connected to the Starlight City's Ethereal Hall before rushing toward the dueling ring.

"The seventh round, World's Edge is the winner!"

"I wish to move on to the eighth round!"

As soon as they entered, they saw that World's Edge had won his seventh match.

His seventh opponent was a renowned figure in the dueling ring, Windherder. Windherder was known for his exceptional light and swift movements, reminiscent of a breeze. At the very start of the duel, his silhouette had vanished from view, making it impossible for any other spectators to locate him. Yet, with a sudden upward kick into thin air, World's Edge had managed to strike the other party squarely in his crotch…

And well, that had spelled the end of Windherder.

"Is there anyone who wishes to participate in the eighth round?"

Not a single person among the crowd replied.

It was true that crossing blows with an expert could temper one's skills, but that was only if the gap in fighting prowess was not too huge. What was the point if they were just going to be finished off a second after going up onto stage? No one had that much money to waste on something futile.

"I'll do it!"

Bamboo quickly registered with the female attendant, and in a moment's time, he was already standing in the dueling ring.

Seeing that there was an opponent, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.

He had earned quite a substantial sum by winning seven rounds consecutively, but it was still insufficient for him to purchase the Bluesun Pill. If no one accepted his challenge, he would really have some trouble trying to accrue sufficient money.

Standing on the stage, Bamboo assessed the young man before him carefully.

The other party looked extremely ordinary; there was nothing of particular note about him. How did the other party manage to defeat two of his seniors just like that?

"Another sword practitioner?" Zhang Xuan asked when he saw the young man before him whipping out a sword.

The Bamboo nodded as he drew his sword from his scabbard. Without any hesitation, he drove his sword forth.

Based on Yun Feiyang and Huang Tao's accounts, it was clear that the person standing before him was a true expert. Thus, he decided to make the pre-emptive strike.

Alas, before his sword could even come close to the opponent, there was a brilliant glow in front of him that was reminiscent of the dawn sun. Its radiance left him stunned for a moment.

Peng!

Another body collapsed weakly to the ground.

Square-face's face twitched.

He had thought that Huang Tao and Yun Feiyang had overexaggerated the strength of their opponent, but from the looks of it, they had possibly even understated it!

Yun Feiyang's defensive ability was one of the strongest among the outer disciples, but when it came to defense, Bamboo was definitely ranked at the top. Even so, he had still been defeated before he could even touch his opponent's sleeves.

This could not even be described with terrifying!

Huang Tao looked at Square-face and asked, "Do you wish to give it a go too?"

"I…" Square-face shook his head bitterly and said, "If even the three of you aren't a match for him, I don't think I'll fare any better than the rest of you… I'll pass!"

The price was not the problem. It was just that Bamboo and Yun Feiyang were already the two strongest individuals among the outer disciples, but they were not even close to being a match. He would just suffer the same fate as them if he challenged the other party.

"When did such a powerful expert appear in the ranks of Starlight City? We must report this matter to Elder Lu," Square-face said.

"You're right!"

Nodding in agreement, the three of them swiftly backed out of the Ethereal Hall and disappeared.



"Finally, I'm done with my eighth opponent…" Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.

He had worried that a lack of opponent could hinder his money-making, but fortunately, another fool had leaped forward at the last moment. There sure were plenty of generous people in the world!

He waited in the dueling ring a little longer, but no one was willing to challenge him for the ninth round. Thus, he could only back out of the dueling ring in disappointment.

He returned to the earlier store, and when he met the male attendant once more, the other party's attitude was completely different.

Given the huge commotion that he had caused in the dueling ring, the male attendant had already heard of the matter.

He had thought that the customer was just a naive poor bloke who thought too highly of his abilities, but it turned out that the other party was a true expert!

Cold sweat poured down the male attendant's forehead as he feared that the customer before him would pick a grudge with him due to his earlier disrespect. However, looking at the amiable smile on the other party's face, seemingly not blaming him at all, he quietly heaved a sigh of relief.

"Elder World's Edge, you still have 105,500 Ethereal Coins on your card after purchasing a Bluesun Pill!" the male attendant replied after processing the transaction.

"I still have more than a hundred thousand Ethereal Coins?" Zhang Xuan was stunned.

The returns of the duel should only total up to around 25,500 Ethereal Coins, so he should only have had 5500 Ethereal Coins remaining. Where did the extra 100,000 come from?"

"Elder, the opponents you faced in your fifth round and sixth round were equipped with weapons that they specially purchased. Due to their deaths, the swords were automatically sold back to the Ethereal Hall, and each of them was worth 50,000 Ethereal Coins. As you are the one who killed them, the sum was credited to your account, which is why you still have an excess 100,000!" the male attendant replied.

"They bought their swords? But the specifications of their swords didn't appear to be any different from the ones provided in the dueling ring…"

It was not as if their swords were sharper or were imbued with some special properties, so why would they be so expensive?

"While the swords do have identical attributes to one another, their swords were inscribed with a unique design, and the color of their handles was different. Just the design itself makes them worth 50,000 Ethereal Coins each…"

Zhang Xuan's lips twitched upon hearing those words.

So, it was possible to buy 'skins' too, and the price was not cheap at all.

Those darned capitalist gaming companies.

Then again, there were plenty of vain people in the world, and those who had the money to do so often liked to set themselves apart from the masses. While they were unable to alter their cultivation and item attributes, they could at least set themselves apart through their clothes and weapons.

"How can I take out the pill that I have bought?" Zhang Xuan asked.

"Elder World's Edge, you just have to communicate telepathically with your Ethereal Token after leaving the Ethereal Hall and activate the Teleportation Formation on it. The items you have bought will immediately be brought to you!" the male attendant replied.

"That's convenient!"

Not expecting such convenience from this service, Zhang Xuan nodded in satisfaction.

Having acquired what he needed, he quickly backed out from the Ethereal Hall and returned to the silent chamber.

Crossing his legs, he placed the Ethereal Token in front of him and communicated with it telepathically.

Weng!

With a light buzz, a jade bottle appeared in front of him. Inside the jade bottle was the Bluesun Pill.

I should be able to recover quickly after consuming it, Zhang Xuan thought as he uncorked the bottle and placed the pill on his palm.

He was just about to swallow it when he suddenly felt a cold sensation on his palm. A gourd suddenly appeared and devoured the pill whole.

"The heck…" Zhang Xuan's face immediately turned red.

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