Opening the door, Zhang Xuan saw Elder Lu Yun and Dan Xiaotian looking at him with tense looks on their faces.

"What's wrong?" Zhang Xuan frowned upon seeing the solemn looks on their faces.

He just went in to have his swordsmanship evaluated. Was there a need for the two of them to be this worried?

On the other hand, Elder Lu Yun heaved a sigh of relief upon seeing that Zhang Xuan was unharmed, but he couldn't help but ask doubtfully, "You aren't injured?" 

"Injured?" Zhang Xuan was slightly baffled by Elder Lu Yun's abrupt question. "I just went in to try out my swordsmanship… Is there anything that could have injured me inside?"

Was there actually some kind of trick to this examination that requires the sword practitioner to pit his life on the line? So, if one didn't get injured, one's manifestation of Sword Intent wouldn't be able to get too far?

"No, that's not it. I mean… Teacher, just take a look at it for yourself…" Seeing the confused look on his teacher's face, Dan Xiaotian scratched his head as he gestured to the surroundings.

Zhang Xuan looked around him, and he couldn't help but widen his eyes in shock.

Cultivators were streaming out from the rooms all around, and every single one of them had pale faces and were coughing out mouthfuls of blood. Their faces looked so withered that it seemed as if someone had just violated them again and again.

Just what kind of a disaster had happened here?

"Is the swordsmanship evaluation… supposed to be so extreme? I mean, Xiaotian, you didn't cough any blood earlier when I saw you earlier…" Zhang Xuan was appalled.

"No, this is not due to the swordsmanship evaluation. Earlier, during the midst of your test, an extremely powerful Sword Intent suddenly emerged. Due to the vast disparity in the tier of their Sword Intents, the others had their Sword Intents suppressed, thus resulting in the current situation!" Elder Lu Yun explained.

As an external elder, Elder Lu Yun had a deep understanding of swordsmanship. While he wasn't in one of the rooms earlier, he could still clearly feel the tremendous strength of that Sword Intent.

It felt almost as if a regal dragon were gazing down on all of them. In that dragon's eyes, all other Sword Intents were probably no different from mere ants.

"An extremely powerful Sword Intent? Could it be something that has reached the level of Sword God?" Zhang Xuan was stunned for a moment before he hurriedly asked.

Something that exciting actually happened while he was concentrating on his examination?

"It would be of the level of a Ten Li Sword God at the very least!" Elder Lu Yun replied grimly.

He had never seen a Ten Li Sword God before, but this was the level of the most formidable sword practitioner recorded in the history of the sect. The earlier pressure was enough to crush everyone's Sword Intent, rendering them unable to retaliate at all… That was more than enough to show the sword practitioner's unparalleled strength!


Even if that sword practitioner wasn't a Ten Li Sword God, he probably wouldn't be too far away from that.

As for anything higher than that… it was not something his mind could conceptualize anymore.

After all, in the past several thousand years of the sect's history, there had only been a single man who had reached this level.

"Ten Li Sword God?" Zhang Xuan was astonished. An excited gleam crept into his eyes as he asked, "Elder Lu Yun, do you know who that person is?"

His manifestation of Sword Intent couldn't even go beyond a meter, but the other party was able to extend it to an unimaginable length of ten li… He would love more than anything to witness the true strength of an expert of such caliber!

He was still thinking that he could use his superior strength amongst cultivators of the same realm to dominate the local Ethereal Hall, but from the looks of it, it seemed like he had been underestimating his opponents. There were actually plenty of formidable opponents here, and some of them might even be far stronger than him.

A Ten Li Sword God… 

That was the title bestowed experts who had reached the very pinnacle of swordsmanship. Probably even he would have to kneel in defeat if he were to encounter a Ten Li Sword God!

"I'm afraid that I don't have any idea…" Elder Lu Yun shook his head.

The results of the swordsmanship evaluation were private. Unless one was in an adjacent room and witnessed the feat personally, or one had somehow acquired the individual's result jade token, otherwise there was no way of knowing how well one performed.

"Right, what is the result of your swordsmanship evaluation?" Elder Lu Yun asked curiously.

To be honest, he was extremely curious about Zhang Xuan.

While Dan Xiaotian had claimed that Zhang Xuan was his friend, he could tell that something was peculiar about the relationship between the two. For one, Dan Xiaotian was extremely heeding of Zhang Xuan's words. Even good friends wouldn't be so obedient to one another, right?

Another thing that sparked his doubt was the extreme level of respect that Elder Yi and Cao Chengli displayed toward Zhang Xuan.

It was just that Zhang Xuan had kept a low profile all along. He had tried several times to sound the young man out, but in the end, he felt like he had been the one who was sounded out instead. Furthermore, it felt like the young man knew nothing much about the Forsaken Continent, and he kept pressing for more details about what that should have been common knowledge here.

It was due to these doubts in his mind that he allowed Zhang Xuan to come along to the Sword God Hall too. He was hoping to catch a glimpse of the latter's strength.

Otherwise, there was no way he would bring an outsider in that easily. After all, using the facilities here weren't cheap at all!

"My results?" Zhang Xuan's face immediately soured. "I think that we can still remain friends if you don't ask this question."

"Even if you don't want to say, I can just head in to take a look myself…" Elder Lu Yun replied with a casual shrug.

He walked into the room, and a moment later, he came out with the result jade token in his hand. Inscribed on it was Zhang Xuan's earlier result. 

It seemed like Zhang Xuan had come out in too much of a hurry that he forgot to take it when he left earlier.

With a triumphant smile, he lowered his head to take a look, only to find his lips twitching in the next moment.

"2.5 chi? You didn't even reach… one meter?" Even Elder Lu Yun couldn't help but feel terribly awkward in Zhang Xuan's place.

It was no wonder why Zhang Xuan refused to speak of his results. Such a result was indeed something that mustn't be spoken of!

Dan Xiaotian also took a glance at the jade token, but contrary to Elder Lu Yun's awkwardness, his eyes gleamed with admiration instead.

All along, his teacher had said that he was humble and wanted to maintain a low profile. This was solid evidence that what he had been saying all this while wasn't just empty words! He was really the very personification of low profile itself!

Even by executing the sword art his teacher had taught him, he could acquire an unbelievable result of 499 meters with ease. Yet, when his teacher went in, he held himself back by so much that his result didn't even reach one meter… Just how transcendental must one's state of mind be to completely disregard honor and glory and live one's life solely based on one's principles?

On the other hand, he took another person's credit for his own and treated it as if his own accomplishment… Could it be that his teacher had seen through his facade and was trying to teach him a life lesson through this?

It seemed like he still had a lot to learn from.

On the other hand, when Zhang Xuan saw Elder Lu Yun taking out the jade token and flashing it in front of his disciple, in that very instant, the thought of simply crashing his head into the nearby wall and ending his life really flickered across his mind.

Never once in his entire lifetime since transcending over to this world had he been humiliated like that in front of his disciples before!

Stifled. My heart feels so stifled!!

"Alright, shall we return?" Elder Lu Yun was the one who broke the silent awkwardness in the air.

When he saw so many people spurting blood but that this fellow was perfectly fine, the notion that this fellow might have been the Ten Li Sword God crossed his mind for a moment. But when he saw the record on the jade token… he had indeed been thinking too much into it!

A Sword Intent of less than one meter was pretty much nonexistent. With such a weak Sword Intent, it wasn't surprising that he couldn't sense that overwhelming Sword Intent that was crushing down on the Sword God Hall earlier, and naturally, he wouldn't be harmed by the backlash from the suppression either.

As for whom the Sword God was… as an external elder, he wasn't privy to such information. A genius who had reached the level of a Sword God was already far beyond his jurisdiction. This was a matter for the top echelons to deal with.

After escorting Dan Xiaotian and Zhang Xuan back to their residence, Elder Lu Yun clasped his fist and bade farewell.

After Dan Xiaotian cleared his examination, he still had to bring his result jade token to the Elder's Conference to apply for an inner disciple token for him. For bringing in a genius whose manifestation of Sword Intent was able to extend for 499 meters, the rewards were bound to be handsome.

Perhaps, he could use this as an impetus to push for a promotion to become an internal elder!

Sitting on the aerial beast, it didn't take long for Elder Lu Yun to arrive at the Elder Council.

Before entering the premises, he saw quite a few elders whom he was familiar with rushing in his direction.

They were all internal elders of the sect. Prior to their promotion, they worked with the outer disciples as well, and it was then that they got close to one another. However, due to the differences in their job scope, it was hard for them to keep in contact with one another nowadays.

"Elder Mu, what are you in such a rush for? Did something happen?"

Seeing the flustered look on everyone's faces, Elder Lu Yun couldn't help but stop the elder whom he was closest to and asked.

"Such a huge matter happened, but you haven't heard of it?" Elder Mu was a scrawny old man with green beard. He was dressed in blue silk robe. "Oh right, I forgot that you are just an external elder. You aren't qualified to participate in the Elder Council, so it's only normal that you didn't hear of it…"

"..."

Elder Lu Yun suddenly felt an urge to punch the old man in front of him.

"Don't get angry. You know that I have always been so forthright with my words, saying whatever I want to…" Elder Mu said with a light chuckle. "You should know of the First Elder He Tian, right?"

"Un!" Elder Lu Yun nodded.

As the First Elder, He Tian wielded a lot of power within the sect. While the sect leader was not present, he would have discretionary powers to make decisions on everything in the sect.

"It's fine that you don't know him too. There's no need to go along with me just because you feel awkward. I mean, it's only normal that you wouldn't get to see him given that you are only an external elder…" Elder Mu waved his hand and said.

Veins bulged out on Elder Lu Yun's temples as his knuckles cracked under the pressure. Taking in a deep breath, he interjected, "I think you can get right to point. What happened to Elder He Tian?"

"Elder He has just sent a message to all internal elders and above that, saying that… the mountain gate and the massive sword have collapsed!" Elder Mu exclaimed. Then, he suddenly tilted his head as realization seemed to have struck him, "Ah, that might be why you didn't receive the message. You are just an external elder after all…"

"The mountain gate and massive sword collapsed?" Elder Lu Yun widened his eyes in astonishment.

The mountain gate and the massive sword could be said to be the insignia of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, and it represented its motto 'With ambitions above the clouds, shatter the Nine Heavens!'.

But those two actually collapsed… 

This would be a huge blow to the prestige and reputation of the sect!

"Why would it collapse? What happened?" Elder Lu Yun asked anxiously.

"I have no idea either. Earlier, there was an incredibly powerful Sword Intent—you should have felt it yourself too. The Sword Intent seemed to have swayed the Sword Intent within the massive sword, resulting in its collapse…" Elder Mu was also not too sure about the details of the matter. Shaking his head, he said, "Alright, I need to attend the Elder Council that is exclusive for inner elders and above, so I can't continue chatting with you anymore…"

After which, he quickly turned around and rushed into the Elder Council.

"That fellow really hasn't changed at all…" Elder Lu Yun sighed helplessly.

Due to his mouth, Elder Mu had offended far too many people over the years. After so many years, he still hadn't changed that bad habit of his. 

But in any case, bearing through the pain, he still managed to acquire a crucial message from the other party—the massive sword and mountain gate had fallen!

"Sword Intent… Could it really be the doing of the Ten Li Sword God earlier?" Elder Lu Yun thought.

Having felt that Sword Intent himself, he knew that it was extraordinary… but he didn't know that it was actually that powerful!

To be able to sway even the Sword Intent the founder had sealed within the massive sword… 

Just who in the world could that Ten Li Sword God be?

"Since the elders are in a serious meeting at the moment, would it inappropriate if I walk in right now to report about Dan Xiaotian?" Elder Lu Yun thought.

Considering the severe implications caused by the collapse of the mountain gate and massive sword, it didn't seem to appropriate for him to barge in at this moment to report about a new inner disciple.

"Screw it! I think I should still make the trip in. After all, it was Dan Xiaotian's first try and he has already achieved a score of 499 meters. That is even more formidable than most core disciples. More importantly, his cultivation is only at Ancient Sage 1-dan at the moment… I think that the elders will regard this matter highly, and my reward should be generous too!" Elder Lu Yun eventually made up his mind.

The intake of talents was an important issue to the sect too. With all of the important elders around, there should be a greater chance of promotion for him.

Putting aside all of his hesitation, Elder Lu Yun began making his way into the Elder Council.

 ...

Meanwhile, in the residence of an inner disciple, Zhang Xuan was staring at his disciple intently. Eventually, unable to suppress the doubt in his heart anymore, he asked, "How did you manage to manifest your Sword Intent to 499 meters?"

This matter had been weighing on his mind all this while. He was unable to manifest it by even a single meter, but this half-baked disciple of his was able to get it that far. No matter how he looked at it, it simply didn't make sense.

"I…" Hearing his teacher's question, Dan Xiaotian scratched his head in embarrassment and said, "I used the sword art teacher has imparted to me and tossed the sword outward… I didn't think that the manifestation of Sword Intent would fly that far as well!"

"You tossed the sword? The conceptualization behind that move is indeed not too bad… Wait a moment!" Zhang Xuan's lips twitched as he noticed an anomaly in Dan Xiaotian's words.

"You mentioned that you tossed a sword. Does that mean that you were holding a sword during your test?"2.5 chi = 83.33cm

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