"How can this be…"

Feeling the immense pressure emanated by the massive head, the group froze in place.

They could feel that the massive head was not just for show. The strength that it wielded was boundless as well, and even though it had not made a move yet, the indomitable aura that it emanated had already sealed the surrounding space, making escape nigh impossible.

"This… Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle?" Wu shi gulped down a mouthful of saliva.

He could vividly sense the other party's strength—Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle! There was no way they could stand against an expert of this caliber!

Zhang Xuan nodded grimly in response.

At Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle, Vicious was far stronger than the Qingtian Emperor, and this was without taking into account the powerful means that he possessed.

"What do we do?"

The group swiftly fell into a state of panic.

If the enemy was only at Leaving Aperture realm advanced stage, they could still have given it a try, but Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle… there was no way to win no matter how hard they struggled!

"To be able to think of using another formation to break the altar, Zhang Xuan, I have to admit that you are indeed a clever person. But it seems like clever people like you have a tendency to fall prey to their own wits. It's thanks to your help that I managed to escape from my restraints! Won't you tell me how you are feeling at the moment? You have been desperately trying to kill me all along, only to end up freeing me with your own hands. Regretful? Guilt-ridden?"

The floating face in the sky eyed Zhang Xuan with a playful look in his eyes.

He had sealed the surrounding space, so there was no way that the group of humans before him would be able to escape. At this point, victory was already his!

"I do feel quite regretful, but since the situation has already played out this way, there's no point crying over spilt milk. However, I'm just curious to know the origin of the altar. How did you manage to get trapped in it?" Zhang Xuan replied calmly.

This was the only thing that he just could not comprehend at this point.

It was obvious that the altar was an artifact of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, so how did Vicious end up being trapped in it?

"Since you are about to be devoured by me, I'll accede to your request, since it's the last one you are going to be making anyway!" the face in the sky sneered coldly. "That altar was the doing of that Qingtian bastard!"

"The Qingtian Emperor?" Zhang Xuan frowned in astonishment. "But… isn't he your student? Didn't you impart the heritage of the soul oracles to him?"

Why would the Qingtian Emperor seal his own teacher into an altar?

"Humph! Two thousand years ago, when I summoned that Qingtian bastard over, I was only a pair of tattered eyes and a sliver of will…" Vicious harrumphed coldly.

"I taught him the heritage of the soul oracles for one simple reason—I wanted to make use of his strength to find my other body parts so as to return to my peak!"

"Un." Zhang Xuan nodded.

He had also deduced this much.

How could a person who was given the nickname 'Vicious' possibly be so kind as to accept a student and pass on the lost heritage of the soul oracles for free?

It went without saying that he had his own motives.

"That fellow wasn't too bad too. He regarded me as his teacher, and he even captured many celestial designers and blacksmiths and gathered countless precious ores to forge this head for me!" Vicious said.

"Forge?" Zhang Xuan suddenly remembered the countless rooms he had seen earlier.

If the entire little island was Vicious' head, those rooms should have been the internal structure of his brain.

To forge such a massive head, not only would an immense amount of materials be required, more importantly, the manpower needed would truly be massive as well. It seemed like in the past two thousand years, on top of master teachers, many celestial designers and blacksmiths had lost their lives, too.

Just that, due to Vicious' means in concealing the 'little island' and the innate treacherous nature of the marshland, no one had suspected that those deaths were part of someone's scheme.

"From the very start, that Qingtian bastard was extremely respectful toward me, carrying out whatever orders I had for him without any hesitation. As such, I never doubted his loyalty, but… he actually dared scheme against me!"

Overflowing rage could be heard within Vicious' voice. "At some point in time, he brought the altar over under the pretext of helping me regain my strength, but in truth, he was using it with the head he had the celestial designers forge to have me sealed! By the time I realized it, I was already imprisoned here."


"That's right! However, that Qingtian bastard's intention was not just to imprison me. From the very start, he had intended to use the soul arts he had learned from me to steal my memories and replace me!" At this point, Vicious sneered in disdain, as if mocking a mere ant for having such ridiculous thoughts.

Even though the Qingtian Emperor had been Vicious' subordinate, he had still been a proud and lofty Emperor of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, an existence that was born superior to others! Even if the other party was the powerful Vicious, there was no way he would willingly submit to him.

Not to mention, the current Vicious was nothing but a mere shell of his former self.

"Steal your memories and replace you?" Zhang Xuan shook his head and sighed in pity. "As a legendary expert who rivaled Kong shi back in your prime, you actually fell for the ploy of a mere Qingtian Emperor?"

Even if Vicious had fallen from grace, he should still have retained countless protective measures and trump cards.

Yet, to still be outplayed by the Qingtian Emperor despite that… this was truly inconceivable.

"Humph! Even though I did not doubt his loyalty, I did guard against him from the start to the end. But two thousand years ago, I had only just awoken from my slumber, and my cultivation was not even at Saint realm then. I needed his strength and the resources he provided, so I had no choice but to go along with him."

At this point, a cruel glint flashed across Vicious' eyes as he said, "But as you have said, how could I possibly be outdone by that Qingtian bastard so easily? I secretly left a sliver of my will in his mind so that if he attempted to act against me, I would be able to crush his soul instantly!"

Hearing those words, Zhang Xuan's lips twitched.

They sure were a good pair of teacher and student. Beneath the seemingly calm waters, they were actually stabbing daggers into the backs of one another. Both adept at playing the game of treachery!

"After the forging of the head, in order to revive myself and gain some fighting prowess, I would have to extend my consciousness to cover the entire little island. However, if I were to do so, I would temporarily lose my consciousness… and he made use of this opening to used the altar to seal me!"

Recalling the matter, Vicious' rage flared. "Just as he was about to kill me, the will I had left inside his head triggered. He did not want to die, so naturally, he had no choice but to heed my orders. However, it seemed like he had prepared a hand to ensure that I would not be able to kill him, so I did not dare make a move either. As such, we could only maintain the stalemate between us."

"This…" Wu shi and Hall Master Xing glanced at one another.

The word 'teacher' had a very deep significance to those in the Master Teacher Continent, including ordinary cultivators.

If a student was found to have betrayed their own teacher, they would be killed without any hesitation.

Heaven, Earth, Kin, Teacher, Sovereign!

The position of a teacher was even above that of one's country, just beneath that of one's parents!

Given the culture of the Master Teacher Continent, it was very rare to see a student scheming against their own teacher. However, with this pair of Otherworldly Demons, the teacher was thinking about how he could make use of his own student everyday whereas the student was thinking about how he could replace his teacher every day.

How eccentric!

Noting the incomprehension among the others, Zhang Xuan explained, "The Otherworldly Demonic Tribe pledges their loyalty to the Spirit God. The word 'teacher' has no significance to them at all."

He had encountered quite a few Otherworldly Demons on his journey and even eliminated the Qingtian Lineage from its Kings up to its Emperor. Due to his frequent encounters with them, he had come to learn a bit about their culture and beliefs.

There was only a single existence they were truly loyal to, and that was the Spirit God. Only the words from the Spirit God would they unconditionally obey. On the other hand, the term 'teacher' really meant nothing to them at all.

Putting aside scheming against their own teacher, there was not any social stigma even toward the killing of one's teacher among them. They did not consider it a reprehensible act.

It was for this reason that the Qingtian Emperor and Vicious had no qualms about clashing with one another in the shadows over the past two thousand years.

In fact, Zhang Xuan suspected that the reason the Vicious in Wu Yangzi's underground chamber had been able to regain consciousness could very well have been the doing of the Qingtian Emperor in order to keep his teacher in check.

Zhang Xuan raised his head and asked, "To make someone like you hesitate to make a move, what is the Qingtian Emperor's hand?"

One must know that the Qingtian Emperor intended Vicious harm, and considering that Vicious was in a good position to exact vengeance, there was no need for him to hesitate.

"It's regarding the news concerning a Celestial Amulet of Legacy," Vicious said.

Perhaps the years of isolation and solitude had really left him deeply stifled. Facing the group of master teachers who would very soon become his prey, he revealed everything without any worry.

"Celestial Amulet of Legacy?" Zhang Xuan had searched the Qingtian Emperor's memory, and he had learned of this matter as well. As such, he was not too surprised by the revelation.

On the other hand, however, the eyes of Wu shi and the others narrowed in astonishment,

Ignoring the shock of the others, Vicious harrumphed before continuing. "It was a puppet loyal to that Qingtian bastard who uncovered this piece of intelligence. As a master teacher, you should also know how valuable a Celestial Amulet of Legacy is."

The crowd nodded in agreement.

The Celestial Amulets of Legacy were artifacts that Kong shi had personally left behind, and they concerned the supreme artifact that Kong shi had forged himself, the Great Codex of Spring and Autumn. As such, the value of a Celestial Amulet of Legacy was so great that it would leave even the 9-star master teachers of the Master Teacher Pavilion going into a frenzy over it.

An excited gleam surfaced in Vicious eyes. "If I could obtain a Celestial Amulet of Legacy, I would be able to free myself from this hellish state I am in, quickly find my remaining body parts, and return to my peak! Perhaps, I might even be able to steal the Great Codex of Spring and Autumn and surpass Kong shi!"

Ordinary Otherworldly Demons might not have known what they should do with a Celestial Amulet of Legacy even if they did obtain one, but as one who had fought with Kong shi for many times, Vicious knew very where to use one and how to best use one.

"Due to my current condition, I am unable to leave the marshlands. Thus, I could only rely on him to obtain a Celestial Amulet of Legacy. As such, I had no choice but to spare his wretched life! Furthermore, he also knew where a few of my body parts are, and if he had destroyed them before I got to them, my recovery would have been severely impeded!" Vicious continued.

"No wonder…" Zhang Xuan nodded in realization.

The allure of a Celestial Amulet of Legacy was simply too great, and after a long period of hibernation, Vicious would surely want to regain his strength as soon as possible. As such, it was understandable why he would choose to spare the Qingtian Emperor despite the latter's betrayal.

Noticing a peculiar aspect in Vicious' story, Zhang Xuan tried to sound him out. "You said that the intelligence was procured by a puppet loyal to the Qingtian Emperor? Considering that this is a piece of news that even Tian Qing is unaware of… it seems like the Qingtian Emperor trusts that puppet quite a bit!"

Tian Qing was a sliver of the Qingtian Emperor's will, so he could not be considered a puppet.

As for King Zhongqing, he could only be considered a lackey at most, so the 'puppet' that Vicious spoke about probably did not refer to him either. If that was the case, could it be that there was another close aide of the Qingtian Emperor hiding within the Qingyuan Empire?

But again, assuming that that was true, why didn't he discover anything about that in the Qingtian Emperor's memories?

"There's no need to try sound me out. That fellow has already pledged his loyalty to me," Vicious sneered coldly.

Then, seemingly losing interest in speaking any further, a cold glint flashed across Vicious' eyes as a surge of killing intent burst from him. "Alright, story time is over. You should be happy that you have managed to learn so many confidential secrets. Now, it's about time for me to send you on your way!"


A compelling pressure suddenly descended from the heavens, causing a suffocating sensation to crush their chests. Everyone's breathing hastened.



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