“I don’t understand you… Why bother?” A man came out of the crowd. It was Yun Yiyuan.
“And I don’t understand why you’ve never questioned whether this is right!” Li Yiming said angrily. He knew fully well the reason why he was surrounded.
“I’ve had my doubts, but in the end, it’s just the reality of things” Yun Yiyuan replied calmly.
“You’ve killed enough.” Li Yiming clenched his fists.
“They need to die…”
“Over my dead body.” Li Yiming had no intention to yield.
“Oh? What about you? Do you hold the same kind of conviction?” Yu Yiyuan looked at those who stood behind Li Yiming, pausing briefly on Stargaze.
Aside from Liu Meng, who remained inflexible, the rest of Li Yiming’s friends seemed to hesitate. Having sworn to serve Heaven’s Laws when they climbed the Stage of Ascension, they thought that they knew where their loyalty lied. However, they were now faced with a test of faith. Torn between Li Yiming and their long-held beliefs, they had to make a decision.
“Alright, let me just say something.” The apparent wavering of Li Yiming’s friends caught Stargaze’s attention.
“Wang Liping, what are you trying to say?” Yun Yiyuan asked in a cold voice. He had already tired himself with fighting Li Huaibei, and going up against another sage was the last thing he wanted.
“Don’t worry, the only one on our side who can still put up a fight is Li Yiming. As for you… Yun Yiyuan, the strongest man in the world, you would not deign winning through numbers now, would you?” Stargaze said calmly.
“Are you saying that…” Yun Yiyuan scrutinized Li Yiming for the first time.
“Of course. What better way to prove your righteousness than through your own hands.”
‘She’s asking me to duel him…’ Li Yiming was aware that his friends would be left unattended against the other guardians if he were to fight Yun Yiyuan.
“Don’t worry. I promise you that they’ll be safe.” Stargaze saw through Li Yiming’s doubt and looked around, making her will clearly known.
“Alright!” Li Yiming turned toward Yun Yiyuan, his heart burning with a desire for combat.
Yun Yiyuan frowned and glanced at Stargaze again. His pride did not allow him to refuse the duel proposed by Stargaze. ‘But… why is she confident? This young man is level six at best… It’s suicide to try to fight me…’
“You have potential, kid. Are you sure you want to do this?” Yun Yiyuan said with severity as he examined Li Yiming from head to toe.
Li Yiming did not answer Yun Yiyuan, but the way he postured himself made it clear that a fight was inevitable.
“If words are not enough to convince you, then perhaps my spear will.” Yun Yiyuan was a little irritated by the fact that Li Yiming had completely disregarded his “well-intended” counsel.
“Careful… Li Huaibei lost…” Liu Meng said.
Li Yiming nodded and walked forward.
A ripple came out of Yun Yiyuan’s hands. Just as he extended his arms, both he and Li Yiming vanished.
“Come at me. I don’t want to take advantage of your youth.” Although the spectators had vanished, Yun Yiyuan was still as prideful as ever.
Li Yiming lowered his arms as sparks wrapped around his limbs. His pupils slowly turned purple.
‘Are you crazy?’ Bai Ze exclaimed.
Li Yiming had decided to consume the power of his Thunder Purity. This was akin to a suicidal attack, but Li Yiming had no choice; Yun Yiyuan had defeated Li Huaibei, and Li Yiming was aware of the extent of Li Huaibei’s power to understand that he would never come close to being able to defeat Li Huaibei, even less someone who was stronger.
Against overwhelming odds, Li Yiming’s only chance at winning was Thunderous Strike. However, unsure about the effectiveness of the attack at its current level, he consumed his Thunder Purity to enhance his attack power. After witnessing the power unleashed by Liu Meng when she consumed her phoenix essence, he held onto the slim chance that he would be able to defeat Yun Yiyuan with one strike.
Yun Yiyuan prepared himself for Li Yiming’s oncoming attack. He clasped his hands around his spear and lowered the tip, ready to strike.
“Thunderous Strike!” Li Yiming could feel the jolts of electricity raging violently within his own body. He glared at Yun Yiyuan and pushed forward with both of his hands.
A ray of purple light suddenly traversed the sky. Yun Yiyuan looked up in stupor, only to see a fissure open up in the sky, and a giant eye staring at him from across the chasm.
”Heaven’s Punishment? You’re a sage?” Yun Yiyuan screamed. He would never have thought that such a young man could be a sage, much less an attack of such destructive force as the opening act.
Yun Yiyuan retreated swiftly, but he realized that the giant eye was following him no matter how fast he went. A bolt of black thunder came from the fissure and reached him in an instant.
“No!” Yun Yiyuan’s weapon irradiated with white light, and his power climbing to its apex as he prepared to fight for his life.
Yun Yiyuan roared in anger as the miniature sun he created with his spear collided against the purple thunder which descended from the sky.
A flash of light suddenly gleamed the entire area of the battle, blinding Li Yiming.
And then nothing. No sound, no light, only dead silence. Blood colored Li Yiming’s lips as he fell down to his knees. The hill that was in front of him had been obliterated, leaving a massive hole in the ground.
“He’s dead?” Li Yiming could not feel Yun Yiyuan’s presence anymore.
‘He’s gone… He sacrificed his own weapon…’ Bai Ze said with a weak voice. Li Yiming’s attack had also depleted all of her power.
The Boundary created by Yun Yiyuan soon collapsed, and Li Yiming returned to where he was a few minutes ago.
“This fast? Where is…” Stargaze was dumbfounded when she saw Li Yiming, and even more so when she did not see Yun Yiyuan. ‘Did he…’
Li Yiming fell to one knee and wiped away the blood on the corner of his mouth.
“Li Yiming!” Liu Meng rushed toward to help him stand up again.
“Does anyone else want to try me?” Li Yiming’s gaze swept across the crowd of guardians, sending a shiver down the spines of those who dared to make eye contact.
“What happened to Yun Yiyuan?” A ruckus occurred in the crowd of guardians as the implications of Li Yiming emerging from his duel first became obvious. Some of the guardians were already remembering the nightmarish scenes of Li Yiming tasting the blood of his enemies back at the Eastern Gate.
“Run!’ Someone in the crowd yelled, and the guardians scattered, each running for dear life.
“You cannot run…” A quiet voice came. The guardians who were fleeing at full speed just a second ago were nailed in place. A skinny, short man walked out of the shadows and appeared in front of Li Yiming. He wore plain clothes and a pair of flip-flops. His right hand was held open right next to his ear, and with his other hand he held a small, knit bag.
“Kong… Kong…” Stargaze trembled in terror as she recognized the stranger. However, to finish his full name seemed like an impossible task.
“Ugh…” Mr. Kong sighed and clenched his right fist.
A shower of blood fell as the guardians who were frozen in place were crushed into balls of flesh and bones before completely vanishing from sight.
“Mr. Kong…” Li Yiming was surprised at Mr. Kong’s pitiless slaughter.
“They cannot stay… “ Mr. kong suddenly turned his head toward the people behind Li Yiming.
“No…” Before Li Yiming could react, Mr. kong raised his head, and all of Li Yiming’s friends fell to the ground. The survivors from Lianyun City, which Li Yiming had so painstakingly saved, all disappeared, leaving only Lin Lu, Chen Quan, Shen Jianming, and You Fang behind.
“They…” Li Yiming held Liu Meng in his arms, and her steadily beating heart calmed him down somewhat. He was not quite sure of what to say.
“They also need to go…” Mr. Kong sat down on a rock in front of Li Yiming.
“You’ve surprised me. I don’t understand you anymore…” Mr. Kong took out a pack of cigarettes and lit up one for himself without offering any to Li Yiming.
Li Yiming stared at the mysterious man who seemed to possess unimaginable powers. He put Liu Meng down with care and approached Mr. Kong.
“What do you think of Lianyun City?” Mr. Kong took a puff and exhaled smoke from his nostrils.
“Is there going to be a disaster if Lianyun City merges with our world?” Li Yiming asked a question instead of answering Mr. Kong.
“What do you think?” Mr. Kong said in a calm voice.
Li Yiming turned his head toward Shen Jianming, who was still in a coma.
“The Dao is the one which watches over the sun and the moon as they nurture our world, but it is also pitiless…”
“Yes…” Li Yiming looked at the sky above him.
“The Dao constitutes the rules. Before you’re powerful enough to make your own rules, you should obey them.”
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