Library of Heaven is Path
1941 Dan Xiaotian’s Birthday
Huo Jianghe, Huang Tao, and Bamboo had fought with World's Edge back at the Ethereal Hall.
World's Edge's swordsmanship was like an enigma to them. It rendered them completely bewildered. They could tell that his swordsmanship was formidable, but they just weren't able to discern what was it about it that made it so formidable.
To put it in other words, they only knew of the result but not the causes behind it. As such, they weren't able to accurately interpret his strength, much less evaluate it.
But such was not the case for Dan Xiaotian. They could clearly see that every single strike he executed was aimed directly at Huo Jianghe's weakness, so Dan Xiaotian's strength was easy for them to comprehend.
In less than ten seconds, the twenty blows that were executed rendered Huo Jianghe unable to retaliate at all.
Even true inner disciples wouldn't have such sharp swordsmanship!
Even terrifying wasn't a sufficient adjective to describe this anymore.
"Is he World's Edge?" Square-faced asked.
He had never crossed blows with World's Edge, so he didn't know the latter's moves and means. However, the others had fought with him before, so they might be able to see something that he couldn't.
"World's Edge defeated us as soon as the battle began… He didn't really execute any ordinary moves, so I can't really tell either. Unless he were to execute that move again, or else it would be difficult for us to verify it!" Yun Feiyang said.
It was not that their eye of discernment was lacking, but that sword toss was simply too powerful!
Everything ended so quickly that they couldn't even gauge the true strength of the one executing the move. As such, they weren't able to evaluate his strength through his normal swordsmanship either.
"But given the current circumstances, it doesn't seem like Senior Huo would be able to force the other party into using that move either…" Huang Tao remarked with a bitter smile.
The crowd fell silent.
The other party was already able to force Senior Huo back without using that technique. At this rate, even after Senior Huo lost, they would still be unable to confirm that if Dan Xiaotian was World's Edge.
"Actually, there's a way to test that. Just watch…" Square-faced turned his head over and shouted, "Senior, use A River's Glance!"
A River's Glance was both Huo Jianghe's nickname in the Ethereal Hall, as well as the sword art he was the most skilled at.
This skill was reminiscent of a river that flowed relentlessly until every boulder that stood in its path was crushed into bits.
It was with this sword art that Huo Jianghe dominated over all of the outer disciples, solidifying his position as the First Senior.
Huo Jianghe's immediately understood his junior's intentions. With a furious roar, he infused his zhenqi furiously into his sword and drove it forth. In an instant, it was as if he had morphed into a vast river that threatened to sweep away everything that stood in his way.
Seeing that Huo Jianghe had used his ultimate technique, Dan Xiaotian unhesitatingly flicked his sword forward.
If he wished to defeat the other party, he would have to first crush the river before it reached him.
Dan Xiaotian's sword pierced across the air.
He had cultivated this move for the entire night, practicing it at least a thousand times. His sword immediately vanished from the spot, and by the time it appeared once more, it was already right before Huo Jianghe's throat.
"Crap…" Huo Jianghe widened his eyes in alarm.
He had been so engrossed in trying to get World's Edge into using his ultimate technique that he forgot about the risk it posed. He immediately released the seal on his cultivation.
In an instant, the might of an Ancient Sage 4-dan Dimension Shatterer realm expert poured forth.
It was only after regaining his true strength did he manage to block the sword outside. Nevertheless, cold sweat still poured down his back.
If it had been an opponent of the same tier, that move would have already taken his life!
Huang Tao and the others trembled in agitation upon seeing that move.
There was no doubt about it anymore. Dan Xiaotian was definitely World's Edge!
Xue Gan's body also swayed weakly from side to side before falling to the ground.
Ever since he returned from the Ethereal Hall yesterday night, he had been wondering who the expert known as World's Edge could be… He would have never thought that it was the son-in-law whom he despised and looked down on!
Xue Qin also nearly went insane at that moment.
She was with Huo Jianghe yesterday night when the latter challenge World's Edge, so there was no way she wouldn't recognize that move… If Dan Xiaotian was World's Edge, didn't it mean that she had become his maid?
Instead of being his fiancée, she had fallen to become his maid instead…
At this moment, she really wanted to dig her eyes out!
There was once such a brilliant jade before her, but she actually thought of it as nothing more than a concrete brick and cast it away!
Watching the proceedings of the whole match, Elder Lu Yun nodded in excitement as he announced the results, "Dan Xiaotian has won the duel!"
It was no wonder why the other party didn't agree to join the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion right away back then. It turned out that he was waiting for an opportunity to slap this city lord's face!
He wanted to make the other party dearly regret the vile deeds he had committed in the future!
Youths nowadays sure were hot-blooded… But again, considering that his family was torn apart, anyone in his place would have probably done the same as well!
"The fact that you were able to defeat Huo Jianghe means that you would be able to clear the inner disciple examination with ease. Given that you were able to reach Great Sage 3-dan consummation by sixteen without ample resources, it's almost a certainty that you'll be able to advance to Ancient Sage by seventeen!
The more Elder Lu looked at the young man before him, the more satisfied he was with the latter. Thus, he declared loudly, "In my position as an elder of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, I announce that Dan Xiaotian has cleared the inner disciple trial. He has been accepted as one of the inner disciples of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, and he'll enjoy all of the privileges that inner disciples possess!"
"Thank you, Elder Lu!" Dan Xiaotian heaved a sigh of relief before kneeling onto the ground to thank him.
With this identity, even if he didn't have concrete evidence, he would still be able to kill Xue Gan and exact vengeance for his parents!
Noticing the cold gaze Dan Xiaotian was directing toward him, Xue Gan's face warped in horror as he retreated fearfully, "What are you going to do? You still have a marriage agreement with Xue Qin. I am your father-in-law!"
"Senior Huo, I beseech you to help me take him down. I want to exact vengeance for all 97 members of my clan!" Dan Xiaotian gritted his teeth furiously.
While you were killing my family members, have you ever thought that you were my father-in-law?
While Xue Chen was colluded with the bandits and nearly had me killed, have you ever thought that you were my father-in-law?
To only recognize it right now, don't you think that it's far too late?
Huo Jianghe and the others moved in unison to take down Xue Gan. While Xue Gan was a formidable foe, Yun Feiyang, Huang Tao, and the others weren't weak either, not to mention that they possessed superb swordsmanship as disciples of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion. They were able to curb him with ease.
"I don't kill the innocent. The jade token doesn't just contain the evidence of Xue Gan plotting against the Dan Clan; it details all of the vile deeds he has committed over the past few years!" Dan Xiaotian said.
He took out the jade token once more and infused his zhenqi into it. In an instant, a huge chunk of text appeared in the air, showing all of the crimes which Xue Gan had committed over the years.
"He was the mastermind behind the Autumn Grassfield Disaster? All along, I thought it was the deeds of the bandits…"
"He was actually the culprit who plundered and murdered the Liu Clan! That was a huge family of forty members!"
"The young daughter of the Chen Clan was violated before her death… How could he have the cheek to claim that it was a deviant pervert who did it? For a city lord, he really has no decency at all…"
"It's a pity that I viewed him as my idol all this while… I respected him, thinking that he was an upright and honorable individual. I would have never thought that he has committed so many atrocities in the shadows…"
The words revealed in the air invoked a huge commotion amongst the crowd.
Xue Gan valued his reputation a lot, so he had done a lot of things in order to build a good name for himself, thus making him a highly respected figure in the city. Thus, when all of his deeds were revealed at this instant, everyone felt goosebumps rising on their arms.
It was as if everything they had believed all along was just a lie!
"What else do you have to say for yourself?" Dan Xiaotian glanced at Xue Gan and said.
He slowly walked up to the subdued Xue Gan and placed his sword against the latter. As long as he pushed his sword a little further in, he would be able to easily impale Xue Gan's throat and exact vengeance for his family members!
"I…" Xue Gan trembled in fear.
Even though he had done a lot of cover-up work, he knew that it was impossible for him to destroy all evidence. As long as the crowd investigated those matters carefully, they would surely be able to find bits and pieces of evidence.
If Dan Xiaotian was only an ordinary cultivator, he would still be able to take measures to silence Dan Xiaotian and quell the crowd, forcing them to stay silent. However, with Dan Xiaotian becoming an inner disciple, there was no way he could make a comeback anymore.
It was the end.
"N-no! You can't kill my father!"
Just as Xue Gan had closed his eyes, resigned to his fate, Xue Qin suddenly rushed over and howled madly.
"Do you want to try that and see?" Dan Xiaotian narrowed his eyes in scorn.
"You can't kill him! You aren't qualified to be an inner disciple of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, so you have no right to pass judgement on my father!" Xue Qin cried out desperately.
"What do you mean by he's not qualified to be an inner disciple? Are you questioning my authority as an elder of the sect?" Before Dan Xiaotian could speak, Elder Lu Yun had already interjected with a darkened face.
He had supervised the duel right in front of such a huge crowd, and it was obvious that Huo Jianghe had used his full strength too. Xue Qin had no right to question this judgement of his!
"N-no, that's not what I mean!" Realizing that she had misspoken, Xue Qin hurriedly raised her head and replied anxiously. "Elder Lu, you mentioned earlier that there are two conditions Dan Xiaotian has to fulfill in order to become an inner disciple. The earlier trial was fair and impartial, so I dare not to question anything about that… However, I disagree with the first condition, which states that Dan Xiaotian has to become an Ancient Sage before his seventeenth birthday!"
"Oh?" Elder Lu Yun looked at Xue Qin, indicating for her to go on.
"I am engaged with Dan Xiaotian, so I know his Eight Birth Characters. His birthday happens to be on today's Shen hour, which means that he would seventeen by the time the Shen hour passes!" Xue Qin said with tightly clenched fists.
"There's only another hour till the Shen hour, but he's only at Great Sage 3-dan consummation at the moment. How could he reach Ancient Sage by seventeen at this rate? Given so, I believe that he's unqualified to become an inner disciple of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion!"
"This…" Elder Lu Yun was stunned.
He turned to look at Dan Xiaotian, only to see the latter with a reddened face.
"My birthday is indeed on today's Shen hour…." Dan Xiaotian said awkwardly.
He had wanted to say it earlier, but he was interrupted by Elder Lu.
So, he thought of pushing ahead with it so that he could exact his vengeance. At most, he would just have to work doubly hard to make up for it in the future. He didn't think that Xue Qin would remember his birthday.
Seeing that Dan Xiaotian had admitted to it, Elder Lu Yun looked at the sun by the horizon and noted that it was already on the verge of setting. It was already afternoon, which meant that there were less than two hours left to Dan Xiaotian's seventeenth birthday!
To advance from Great Sage 3-dan consummation to Ancient Sage within such a short span of time…
That was practically impossible!
If Dan Xiaotian couldn't become an Ancient Sage by his seventeenth birthday, he wouldn't be able to meet the criteria required for him to become an inner disciple of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, which meant that he had no rights to sentence Xue Gan either.
This meant that his vengeance would have to fall through.
"It seems like it is heavens' will…" Elder Lu Yun shook his head and sighed.
He thought that he could finally recruit an inner disciple and make a huge contribution to the sect, but who could have thought that there would be such a hiccup.
"However, you need not worry. Even if you can't become an inner disciple now, there's still another chance. As long as you cultivate hard and reach Ancient Sage 4-dan Dimension Shatterer realm before thirty, you'll still be able to become an inner disciple!"
There were different phases where one could be promoted as an inner disciple. After all, there were cultivators who displayed tremendous potential only later in their lives. If not for this, Huo Jianghe and the others wouldn't have stood a chance anymore either.
However, if Dan Xiaotian were to go after this instead, he wouldn't be able to exact his vengeance anymore.
Of course, as an elder of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, he could report this matter upward, but by the time an investigation team is sent down, quite some time would have already passed. Most likely, Xue Gan would have already gotten away by then.
"Yes, I understand…" Dan Xiaotian clenched his fists tightly as his eyes reddened in regret.
In the end, he was still unable to exact vengeance for his family members. Was everything really going to end just like that?
At this moment, a calm voice suddenly sounded.
"There's still another hour. Are you going to give up like this?"
Dan Xiaotian hurriedly raised his head, only to see that his teacher, who seemed to be dozing off all this while, had already stood up. There were still metallic chains tied around his arms, but his face had a smile that reflected composure and confidence.The Eight Birth Characters are the eight characters that depict one's date and time of birth.Shen hour is 1500-1700.