After the deathmatch between Su Yang and Dai Zheng that ended immediately after it started, Su Yang's name quickly became the center of attention once again. Those who happened to witness Su Yang's display of dominance began spreading words of the event like wildfire.
They portrayed Su Yang as though he was a devil from hell who could kill without batting an eyelid. They also mentioned the cruel scene of Dai Zheng splitting into two pieces, causing many who heard it to nearly vomit from disgust and shock.
However, what scared these disciples the most was not Su Yang's cruelty that allowed him to kill with ease but his sharp and harsh words that could easily kill anyone weak-hearted, especially when they learned of Su Yang's last words to Dai Zheng before slaying him. They all had a feeling that Su Yang was not talking only to Dai Zheng but to everybody that dared to think of causing trouble for him.
"You dare knock on my door for trouble? Then I will take your girl before and after your death as compensation!"
These words that could very possibly haunt them even after their deaths resounded — sounding like Su Yang's cold voice — in the head of those who were there to witness his deathmatch, causing them to tremble in fear even in their dreams.
Very quickly, the name Su Yang became something to be feared by the Outer Court disciples. As for those who went to challenge Su Yang with Dai Zheng, they all locked themselves inside their homes and refused to come out, afraid that Su Yang might look for them for revenge.
Inside the Morning Wood Pagoda, a group of sect elders gathered around the meeting table and discussed the deathmatch between Su Yang and Dai Zheng with serious expressions.
By the time Elder Zhou finished recalling the events that occurred during the deathmatch, every sect elder there showed a shocked expression, seemingly in disbelief at what they just heard.
"Sword Intent? Are you absolutely certain about this, Elder Zhou?"
"I know it may sound like I am cracking a crazy joke, but I can promise you that I am absolutely serious in this matter. I also doubted it at first — I mean, who wouldn't doubt their eyes if they saw a 16-year-old using Sword Intent? If I never saw it with my own eyes then I wouldn't believe it even if you told me while beating me to death!" Elder Zhou reassured them his seriousness.
"A 16-year-old Swordmaster… how frightening would that be if it were true?" However, despite Elder Zhou's clear voice, the others still doubted Su Yang's ability to use Sword Intent, as it was something unimaginable for them.
It was extremely hard for them to believe it even if such a story came out of the Matriarch's mouth, especially since there are currently less than ten Swordmasters still alive in this world, all who are profound and renowned experts with more than 100 years of experience under their belt.
Elder Zhou knew that his story would be hard to believe and had already prepared himself prior to the meeting, so he wasn't that bothered by their doubt.
"Whatever, I give up. It doesn't matter if you believe me not at this point. When you see it for yourselves, then you will know the truth." Elder Zhou left the room while sighing, leaving the other sect elders dumbfounded.
Meanwhile, Su Yang directly went home to clean the dried blood on his body, his calm expression looking as though the deathmatch never happened.
Afterward, he laid on the bed and closed his eyes, and the scene of the moment when he first embraced the beautiful general appeared in his head.
The feeling of her smooth yet sturdy skin, her warm body, the lingering smell of the battlefield in her hair — all of that resurfaced at once in Su Yang's head, feeling as though it happened just yesterday.
He stayed like that for many hours, seemingly asleep, but he was actually wide awake, thinking about the precious time he had spent with his first love in his previous life, who was also the one who made him into a cultivator.
But alas, despite winning that general's heart, by the time he reached to that point, she was already past her prime age for growth and had long met her limit as a cultivator, and as a mortal. However, Su Yang himself continued to grow stronger, even breaking his mortal shackles in the near future, becoming an Immortal with a profound longevity that the mortals desired since the ancient times.
And because of his growth and ever-increasing cultivation, Su Yang looked the same as the day he met the general even after many years whilst the general became an old lady, who died from natural cause a few years later.
"I fell in love with you when I was a mere kid, about the same age as currently, perhaps even younger, but you were already an adult. By the time I obtained enough strength to stand beside you, you had already existed for more than 50 years. Yet, you still looked as beautiful as when I saw your brilliance for the first time many years ago, maybe even brighter. My only regret during that era was my powerlessness – my inability to support your cultivation base while I selfishly grew stronger by myself..."
Su Yang recalled the moment when he stood in front of her grave as a young man who looked no different than the day when he first held her hands.
"After your death was when I truly realized the difference between Immortals and mortals, and I became a coward – a coward who feared that he might one day fall in love with another mortal and experience the same grief as he did with you – so I left the mortal world, only returning thousands of years later for a short period of time..."
Su Yang suddenly opened his eyes, and he showed a bitter smile to the plain, boring ceiling. "I am once again in the mortal world, and there is this sect elder who has the same stubborn demeanor as you… Is this fate, or is this a joke the heavens created just to mess with me?"
He left the bed and walked to the windows where he noticed a young lady approaching his doorstep. This young lady wore a different kind of robe than the ones normally worn by Outer Court disciples. Instead of the plain white robes that all Outer Court disciples wore, the color of this young lady's robe was green; it even has a different air to it, seemingly with a more profound and noble feeling to it.
"An Inner Court disciple?" This is Su Yang's first time seeing an Inner Court disciple, and with a single glance, he could tell the vast difference between Outer Court disciples and Inner Court disciples.
"Interesting…" he mumbled to himself as he prepared to greet her at the door.