If Xiao Chen used his full power, Sima Lingxuan would not be able to withstand even one move of his.
Sima Lingxuan replied with a question, “How miserable can it be? Can it be more miserable than the battle during the Five Nation Youth Competition? I don’t believe it can be!”
Xiao Chen did not try to dissuade him anymore. He nodded and said, “In that case, make your move!”
Sima Lingxuan came prepared. Not spending much time gathering his aura, he stepped forward and immediately drew his sword.
“White Robed Bladesman Xiao Chen, do you remember this move, the sixth move of the Emperor’s Swordplay, Spanning a Thousand Peaks?!”
Thousands of mountain peaks appeared out of thin air. As the sword flew over, it passed the thousands of mountains. With every mountain it passed, it would absorb the weight of that mountain.
After the sword passed a thousand mountains, it became unimaginably heavy. This sword strike that gathered a thousand mountains in it suddenly pressed down.
All at once, the ground sank where Xiao Chen stood. Aside from the place where his feet was, his surroundings subsided deeply.
What a familiar scene. Back then, in that fight with Sima Lingxuan in the Five Nation Youth Competition, this was the move that he used at the very end.
Unexpectedly, even after ten years, Sima Lingxuan still had not given up on this move. Instead, he reworked it and raised its might to that of a Medial Grade Profound Martial Technique.
This was truly astonishing. How much talent and determination did one need in order to achieve this?
Unfortunately, Sima Lingxuan faced Xiao Chen, who was very different as well. Furthermore, Xiao Chen had improved even more. The gap between the two was not something that a Medial Grade Profound Martial Technique could offset.
Back then, Xiao Chen used the Four Seasons Saber Technique’s Grieving Frost to break this move after much difficulty.
Now, it was not even problematic for Xiao Chen anymore. With a thought, Xiao Chen activated five strands of Primordial Energy.
In that instant, an indistinct Emperor’s Might appeared on Xiao Chen.
Primordial Energy was an energy that was even stronger than the Law Energy of Heavenly Laws. Thus, it immediately suppressed the aura of Law Energy.
As of now, Xiao Chen still had not taken a step or drawn his saber.
Just when Sima Lingxuan’s sword reached within one meter of Xiao Chen’s body, Xiao Chen instantly drew the Lunar Shadow Saber.
A seventy-percent-comprehended lightning saber soul and five strands of Primordial Energy against a sword using Law Energy—the absolute disparity in strength allowed Xiao Chen’s saber strike to knock Sima Lingxuan’s sword out of his hands.
Horror flashed in Sima Lingxuan’s eyes. Before he could react, an irresistible energy easily knocked him back.
When Sima Lingxuan fell to the ground, he vomited a mouthful of blood. Then, his sword, which Xiao Chen had sent flying, stabbed into the ground beside him.
One move. Xiao Chen used only one move to defeat Sima Lingxuan. He did not even use a Martial Technique.
Sima Lingxuan smiled bitterly and said, “Indeed, it is an even more miserable defeat than that time. Actually, I should have known. Given your character, you will never brag.
“The grudges between you and me end here.”
Xiao Chen returned his saber to the scabbard. When he heard this, he felt his body mysteriously lighten. This set of grudges was part of karma. For him to be able to resolve this karma was a good thing.
After all, both of them came from the Sky Dome Realm. Whether they were willing or not, they could not deny this fact.
After thinking for a while, Xiao Chen said, “Many thanks. Incidentally, congratulations on getting over this karma.”
Sima Lingxuan stood up and put away his sword. After a long time, he said, “The Luck of our Sky Dome Realm is gathered on you. No matter what, I will always hope that you can successfully clear your Great Tribulation of wind and fire and ascend the Emperor’s Road.”
After saying that, Sima Lingxuan turned around and mounted his tall horse. Then, he flicked the reins hard and sent the horse galloping, disappearing down the road.
The many Great Bandits’ descendants rushing over happened to see Xiao Chen defeat Sima Lingxuan in one move.
This startled all of them. Since the Outstanding Talent Summit Meeting, Sima Lingxuan was the one who improved the most. Now, he was properly the top outstanding talent of the Black Sea.
Despite that, such a person could not even block one saber strike from the returning Xiao Chen.
In that case, these people who thought they could fight against Xiao Chen after their improvements would fare even worse.
If Sima Lingxuan could not block even one move, would they be able to block half a move?
As the many Black Sea outstanding talents watched Xiao Chen enter the Flame Rock castle step by step, they were all speechless. Originally, they wanted to challenge Xiao Chen, but now they buried that thought.
“Brother Xiao Chen, you and this Sima Lingxuan seem to be old acquaintances with a rather deep grudge between the two of you?” Ba Tu asked out of curiosity.
Xiao Chen nodded and gave a quick summary of the grudges between him and Sima Lingxuan in the Sky Dome Realm.
Now, Ba Tu understood. He said, “No wonder. I heard that after the previous Outstanding Talent Summit Meeting, many people saw Sima Lingxuan crying after he retreated without even fighting.”
This revelation startled Xiao Chen. How could man cry so easily? However, Sima Lingxuan actually cried.
Suddenly, Xiao Chen soared into the air and looked into the distance. He saw Sima Lingxuan riding on his horse and disappearing over the horizon.
The back view of Sima Lingxuan’s solitary figure appeared quite melancholic.
Lost in thought, Xiao Chen muttered, “So, you are an emotional person as well.”
Xiao Chen blamed himself somewhat in his heart. If he had known about this matter, he would absolutely not have defeated Sima Lingxuan in such a wretched fashion just now.
“Brother Xiao, are you alright? My grandfather is still waiting for you,” Ba Tu asked somewhat worriedly with a heavy expression as he looked at Xiao Chen, who was in the air.
Xiao Chen landed and replied, “I’m fine. Just somewhat sorrowful. Many of the people who came with me to the Kunlun Realm from the Sky Dome Realm are completely unheard of in the Kunlun Realm. I don’t even know if they are still alive. So far, I’ve only met a couple of these people. However, he is the first to offer me his blessings.”
On Xiao Chen’s path to advancing to Martial Emperor, the first of his old acquaintances to offer his blessing was actually an old enemy.
The Flame Rock Sovereign had already been waiting for a long time in the courtyard. So, after arriving, Ba Tu tactfully withdrew, leaving Xiao Chen and the Flame Rock Sovereign alone.
“After an absence of half a year, you unexpectedly really managed to become the second since the Blood Sword Sovereign to condense the Heart of an Emperor in advance. However, this is not exactly a good thing, either,” the Flame Rock Sovereign said as he glanced at Xiao Chen with some worry on his face.
Xiao Chen sat down and poured the Flame Rock Sovereign a cup of tea. Then, he continued the topic. “I understand. The Great Tribulation of wind and fire is based on the taker’s strength. The stronger one is, the more dangerous it will be.
“However, I had no other choice. I do not have much time left. I needed to advance quickly to Consummation quasi-Emperor. Otherwise, I would not even have the opportunity to take the Great Tribulation. By then, I would not have any hope of advancing to Martial Emperor.”
The Flame Rock Sovereign drained the tea in one gulp. Then, he sighed, “In my past five-thousand-odd years of life, I have seen many powerful talents. However, compared to you, they are all dim and lightless.
“Going even further back, even to the most glorious Ancient Era of the Kunlun Realm, there are not many whose journey to Martial Emperor was as difficult as yours.”
Xiao Chen said humbly, “Senior is being too polite. This time, I also came because I have some issues that I would like to seek Senior’s advice on.”
The Flame Rock Sovereign nodded and said, “I can guess some of them. After condensing the Heart of an Emperor, you surely have quite a few questions. Speak. I will answer to the best of my ability.”
Xiao Chen mulled over his questions for a moment before saying, “Might I ask if Senior knows what the abandoned land means?”
The Flame Rock Sovereign smiled and laughed, “Regular Martial Emperors might not know the answer to this question. However, once one reaches my level, the abandoned land is no longer a secret.
“Those seniors who disappeared from history mostly left this world. However, after the Hundred Race War in the Ancient Era, no one could leave this abandoned land anymore.”
Xiao Chen asked curiously, “Why?”
The Flame Rock Sovereign hesitated for a moment, swirling the tea in his cup. After thinking for a while, he said, “There is no problem with telling you now, given your current strength. After all, this is something you will have to face sooner or later.
“After the Hundred Race War, the Kunlun Realm fell from the peak of the Martial Dao. Although the Kunlun Realm won a bitter victory in that great battle of the Demonic Calamity, it gave the Dark Church a chance to seal off the path leading out of the abandoned land.”
This was the first time Xiao Chen heard of such news. He felt shocked in his heart as he exclaimed in astonishment, “The abandoned land has an exit?”
“There once was, but there isn’t anymore.”
“Where is it?”
“You must have seen it before. It is at the boundless peak of the Kunlun Mountain Range, which is sealing the Rock of Origin. That is the original path to ascension.”
Xiao Chen thought back and recalled. Back then, when he headed for the Heavenly Dew Divine Spring, there was indeed a boundless peak.
At that time, that boundless peak had made a deep impression on Xiao Chen. That mountain peak was vast and majestic, its summit beyond sight. There were also the Martial Emperors of the various races standing guard there.
“So, it is that peak. It is truly unexpected that there is actually such a path in the Kunlun Realm.”
The Flame Rock Sovereign smiled bitterly. “Don’t overthink this. Even if that path were not sealed, not many people would go there. It is a place filled with danger, where nine out of ten would die. Furthermore, it is completely blocked off now. The entire Kunlun Realm is like a huge cage. No matter what kind of genius you are, you will not be able to escape the butcher’s knife of time and will eventually die.”
The Flame Rock Sovereign’s words dripped with helplessness. His tone was quite similar to that of the Supreme Sky Emperor, Ying Zongtian.
Perhaps everyone who reached Sovereign Martial Emperor would feel such bitterness. While they seemed glorious on the outside, they had a bitterness that others could not understand.
“What exactly are the origins of this Dark Church? Why are they trying to drive the Kunlun Realm to a dead end?” Xiao Chen could not understand despite thinking about it for a long time.
The Flame Rock Sovereign made a face of being at a loss for an answer. Then, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “No one knows. The Dark Church already existed during the Distant Ancient Era. Nearly all the races that remained from the Immortal Epoch died at their hands.
“They seem like a nightmare. After that, the Desolate Ancient Era and Prior Ancient Era showed traces of them. Initially, the Prior Ancient Era was the very peak of the Martial Dao; that was the time where we had the best chance of getting rid of the Dark Church for good.
“However, the various races fought among themselves, killing each other. This ended up giving the Dark Church an opportunity. This was truly an irony.”
Xiao Chen recalled something. “When will the next Demonic Calamity arrive?”
“It is hard to say. Originally, the Primes of the various races predicted that it would happen within ten years. However, apparently, there were some changes that delayed it. The next Demonic Calamity could be extraordinary.
“If it does not come, that would be good. However, if it does come, it will sweep up the entire Kunlun Realm.”
Xiao Chen thought about what Chu Chaoyun said, how the Azure Emperor’s evil aspect, Teng Xiao, had died after failing to usurp the Dark Church Master’s position. Could this have been one of the changes?
However, Xiao Chen could not discuss this with the Flame Rock Sovereign. This was just his guess.