Clutching his wounds tightly, He Yan slowly rose to his feet.

"This is… Suppression of Sword Intent?"

As a genius sword practitioner, a core disciple of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, he swiftly realized what had happened. The Sword Intent that he had cultivated with great difficulty had been utterly suppressed by the Sword Intent of another man.

But this was mystifying to him, too. What he had cultivated was none other than the unparalleled Sword Intent of the sect!

How could he possibly be suppressed to such an extent? That should have been impossible!

"Ye Lian, are you the one who did it?" He Yan asked in astonishment.

The only core disciples who had gone there to assess their swordsmanship were him and Ye Lian. Could it be that the latter had cultivated some kind of formidable swordsmanship over the past half a year, resulting in his Sword Intent paling far in comparison?

He Yan turned his gaze over, only to see that the manifestation of Sword Intent in the adjacent room had been suppressed as well. Seemingly under great pressure, it stood motionlessly like a snake groveling on the floor.

"It's not me… I can't control my Sword Intent either… Pu!"

Before he could finish his words, Ye Lian's manifestation of Sword Intent suddenly dissipated, causing him to spurt a mouthful of blood.

Seeing such a sight, He Yan widened his eyes in astonishment.

Sword Intent could be depicted as a conceptualization. Naturally, there were different levels of conceptualization.

Take poetry as an example. Back in the Tang Dynasty, even while Li Bai was worried about the plight of the country following An Lushan's rebellion, he had to first soar into the heavens and have a good time with the goddesses before ending with a 'Flowing blood dyes the lush field red, depraved beasts dressed in silk coronets'. For those who were a bit lacking in conceptualization, they would be shouting 'The sh*t, those b*stards'.

Of course, that was just an analogy. There was a hierarchy among true Sword Intent. When Sword Intents of lower conceptualizations encountered Sword Intents of higher conceptualization, it was only natural for the former to cower in fear.

In a sense, it was similar to the Bloodline Suppression that existed within the Dragon Tribe. If there was too huge a gap between the conceptualization of Sword Intents, the weaker Sword Intent would have already lost without even being able to put up a fight.

Both He Yan and Ye Lian were experts of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, but their Sword Intents were still suppressed to such a frightening extent. Just what the hell was happening?

Could there really be a person in the sect who wielded such formidable ability?

"I won't accept it. There's no way there would be someone in the world who can surpass me that much!" He Yan roared furiously as his Sword Intent burst forth once more.


Peng!

But this time, before the white mist could even gather, he could already feel an omnipresent sword of unparalleled sharpness eyeing him. If he showed the slightest hint of retaliation, the sword would tear through his guts and bring him a swift death.

Huala!

Cold sweat poured down He Yan's forehead as he dared not move at all.

The little bit of Sword Intent that he had comprehended could not compare to this overwhelming force. It was like candlelight trying to pit its brightness against the majestic sun!

Any comparison would just end in his humiliation!

When did such a powerful expert appear in the sect?

Even those monsters among the core disciples were not capable of such a feat.



The same sight was happening in the other rooms as well.

In an instant, all of the examinees in the Sword God Hall had been suppressed by the Sword Intent, and they found themselves unable to move at all.

Cries of agony filled the tower.



The Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion's Compendium of Sword Wisdom was a massive library with innumerable books.

Walking amid the shelves was Elder Wei, who had been busy packing the books by its classifications over the past few months. It had taken him a great deal of effort to complete this grand operation.

"Elder Wei, it's really been tough for you. With your new classification system, it will be much easier for others to find the resources they require in the library!" an elder said with a smile as he walked over.

He was the other elder of the Compendium of Sword Wisdom, Jiang Yuan.

"Indeed. The books of the Compendium of Sword Wisdom contain the Sword Intent from many generations of predecessors. Depending on one's innate talent and experiences, the Sword Intent that each sword practitioner comprehends can vary greatly from one another. It has indeed been tough trying to classify all of these books," Elder Wei said as he stretched his back lazily. "After so many months, it's finally done! But this is the only time that I'll be doing this. I'd rather commit suicide than reshelve these books!"

Elder Jiang Yuan nodded. "The Sword Intent is sealed within the books, such that sword practitioners can comprehend the strength of our predecessors by opening the books and perceiving them closely.

"Unfortunately, there are simply too many different Sword Intents in the world, and if the books aren't classified properly, a sword practitioner might accidentally grab a book that is at odds with their sword cultivation. Not only would that be not beneficial to their cultivation, they might even sustain great damage as a result!

"To be honest, I'm impressed by how detailed your classification is. You even labeled the genre and sword art… I can't begin to imagine how much effort you have put into this. I believe that the sect leader will reward you handsomely once we report this to him!"

"Indeed. I feel like my eyes are going blind after looking at these books day in and day out!" Elder Wei complained. "Please keep a close eye on these books. I'll just go and rest for a moment…"

"Un!" Elder Jiang Yuan nodded.

Hualala!

All of a sudden, the books on the shelves began rattling nonstop. It was as if some kind of force was summoning the books, causing them to float in the air. Sword Intent gushed out and filled the entire library, producing the metallic reverberations caused by the clashing of swords.

Elder Wei's body stiffened upon seeing this sight. His months of hard work…

You b*stards! Do you know how much trouble I went through trying to compile all of you? Why are you leaping out all of a sudden?

Huala!

But it had not yet ended.

The books all turned in the same direction and bowed deeply, as if servants paying respects to their king!

Pilipala!

The problem with this bow was that it caused the compiled books to collapse onto one another. In fact, some of the bookshelves even fell to the ground as a result of the trembling, turning the entire library into a huge mess.

"The heck!" Elder Wei nearly blacked out from sheer horror at this sight.

Are you joking with me?

Do you know how hard it was for me to compile all of these books? What should I do now?

"Someone has probably comprehended a higher level of Sword Intent, and these books are bowing down to express their submission," Elder Jiang Yuan muttered.

"I know… But of all times, this just had to happen when I just finished reorganizing all of the books!" Elder Wei clutched his hair in frenzy.

Looking at the huge chaos around the room, Elder Jiang Yuan sighed helplessly as well. "So… do you want to try reorganizing it again? Forget it, I think you'll be better off killing yourself!"

"…" Elder Wei.



Before the massive gates that towered at the entrance of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, two figures were floating in the air.

Those two figures were elders that appeared to be in their fifties.

The elder on the left was dressed in a silk robe with a jade belt wrapped around his waist. There was a sharpness in his eyes that seemed ready to cut down anything that stood in his path.

The one on the right had a bubbly appearance, and there was an amiable smile on his face. He seemed like someone who was easy to get along with.

The space in the Azure was extremely stable, which made it exceedingly difficult to warp the laws of the world. Even a Pseudo Immortal like Elder Lu Yun was unable to fly. Yet, those two men were able to float in the air. There was no doubt that they were top-notch experts.

"Elder He, you have been cultivating here for thirty years. Have you comprehended the Sword Intent left behind by our founder yet?" the bubbly elder asked with a smile.

"How can it be that easy for us to grasp the Sword Intent of our founder?" Elder He shook his head. "The reason I choose to cultivate here was just to use the Sword Intent of the founder to temper my spirit, thus refining my Sword Intent…"

"It has been so many years, but no one has been able to match up to the talents of our founder…" The bubbly elder nodded.

Before he could finish his words, his eyes suddenly widened in shock. He quickly raised his head and looked at the massive sword in front of him.

Boom!

The massive sword suddenly began to shake nonstop, and it seemed as if it would rise up and soar into the heavens at any moment. At the same time, the towering gate also began trembling, seemingly on the verge of collapsing due to the tremors.

Those two elders narrowed their eyes in shock.

This massive sword symbolized the greatness and prestige of their Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion. If it crumbled, they would become the laughingstock of the other five sects!

"It's Sword Intent… Our founder's Sword Intent seems to have sensed something…" Elder He clenched his fists tightly together.

"Is it possible for our founder's Sword Intent to sense something?" The bubbly elder was taken aback. Following which, his body tensed up as he murmured, "Cr*p…"

Huala!

The massive sword before them seemed to have suddenly lost its support, resulting in it swiftly crumbling to the ground.

Naturally, the massive sword in front of the entrance was not a real sword. It was made out of granite and concrete stacked together. The reason it had stood for thousands of years was because their founder's Sword Intent had been keeping it in place.

However, with their founder's Sword Intent pulsating furiously, seemingly on the verge of bursting out at any moment, this massive but delicate structure immediately lost its support.

Hong long long!

As the sword collapsed, the massive gates also came to the limits of their durability and came crumbling down. Countless rocks of all sizes came pattering down to earth, producing craters of massive proportions one after another.

At the same time, with the collapse of the structure containing it, the Sword Intent within the massive sword darted into the distance and vanished without a trace.

"What the hell just happened?"

Looking at the wasteland and clouds of dust beneath them, the two elders were completely frenzied.

The majestic sword and grand mountain gate that our Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion pride ourselves for… have been destroyed just like that?



"Why? It still isn't working at all!"

Running through all of the Sword Intents that he had experienced in his lifetime, he looked at the manifestation of Sword Intent before him, and it still had not exceeded a meter. This left him feeling so frustrated that he could have exploded on the spot.

He was a renowned swordmaster on the Master Teacher Continent!

If others found out that his was only a meter long, he would die of embarrassment!

Zhang Xuan felt so exasperated that even his will to live was starting to wilt.

"Forget it, I guess this is my limit then…" Sighing deeply, Zhang Xuan was just about to retract his Sword Intent when a blur suddenly flashed across his eyes.

His head suddenly jolted back a little as it felt like something had entered his head, and the next moment, he felt an excruciating sharpness assaulting his consciousness.

Hu!

The golden page in the Library of Heaven's Path flew out.

Padah!

It quickly sealed whatever had entered Zhang Xuan's head.

"W-what? My golden page!" Zhang Xuan nearly fainted from shock.

That was the golden page that he had received not too long ago from Dan Xiaotian's earnest acknowledgement. It was going to be his greatest trump card on the Azure. He would rather fight many duels and drink the bathwater of a stupid gourd in order to recover from his injuries than use the golden page.

Yet, it had suddenly flown out of its own accord to seal something. What a waste!

An intense ache assaulted Zhang Xuan's heart, and he nearly stopped breathing.

Why were things not going his way at all?

He had been thinking of going into the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion's Ethereal Hall to challenge their sect leader and elders, but without the golden page, he would not be able to protect himself if those old fogeys came looking for him to exact vengeance!

While one's identity was concealed in normal Ethereal Halls, it would be naive to assume that it was the same for the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion's. Considering that it was an independent server under the complete control of the sect, it should not be too difficult for the upper echelons to track him down.

"Let me see what the nonsense that wasted my baby is…" Gritting his teeth furiously, Zhang Xuan quickly retracted his sword qi before opening up the Book of Heaven's Path.

In it, he saw a pure congregation of sword qi swimming around like a goldfish in a fish tank.

"A golden page was wasted just on this thing?" Zhang Xuan felt the pressure clutching his heart tightening further.

It was already frustrating enough that he could not even manifest a meter, but who could have known that even his greatest trump card would be wasted on this nonsense?

Sighing deeply, he was just about to close the Book of Heaven's Path when he noticed something. He took a closer look at the sword qi, and his eyebrows suddenly shot up. This surge of sword qi felt strangely familiar to him.

"It seems to be from the same source as the Sword Intent that I felt from the massive sword at the entrance of the sect."

He was just about to reach out and touch it when flurried footsteps sounded outside.

"Brother Zhang Xuan, are you fine?"

Turning his head around, he saw that the door behind him was rattling nonstop. It felt like if he did not open the door soon, Elder Lu Yun and Dan Xiaotian would barge in to check on his safety.

"I'm fine!" Zhang Xuan shouted back.

He quickly slipped the Book of Heaven's Path back into the library before walking out.An Lushan was an official in the Tang dynasty. He held incredible power back then, serving as one of the regional commanders, which meant that he is able to mobilize the regional military at his own discretion. He eventually exploited that power to stage a rebellion, creating a rival Yan Dynasty and crowning himself as its emperor. His rebellion is viewed to be one of the main reasons for the eventual downfall of the Tang dynasty.This is a reference to the 19th Poem in Li Bai's fifty-nine Ancient Style Poetry. This poem is portrayed from Li Bai's perspective, showing the contradictions of a poet in desiring to stay out of secular affairs yet still pained by the problems that plague his own country. The poet envisions himself living a transcendental life, meeting and enjoying life with the gods and goddesses of the world. Yet, when he gazes down, he sees enemy troops marching on his homeland and the evil An Lushan wearing the noble coronet of an official and using his power for vile deeds.

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