“Why is Lin Yun in such a hurry? You don’t think he actually completed all three spiritual stone missions, do you?”
“There’s no way! One of them is to kill the bandit, Kuang Yan!”
“What’s the point of discussing? We’ll know if we follow him into the Administration Hall!”
“Good point, let’s go!”
The entire crowd disappeared into the Administration Hall, leaving Chen Xiao and his lackeys behind.
The door creaked loudly as Lin Yun entered the hall. The place was as crowded as ever, but an unnatural hush greeted Lin Yun when he entered. Spiritual stone missions were extremely difficult, and among the outer disciples, only the top ten were capable of completing them. Naturally, news had spread quickly after Lin Yun accepted three. His actions had caused quite the stir.
“The sword slave is back!” someone shouted, breaking the silence.
“I wonder if he managed to complete the missions.”
“We’ll find out soon enough! If he failed, he’ll be severely punished.”
A deluge of whispers flooded the Administration Hall as the crowd eyed Lin Yun anxiously, but Lin Yun paid them no mind. It was human nature to be wary of someone who rose so quickly.
“Easy! Don’t push me!” came a cry from the mass of people behind him. The Administration Hall had become quite crowded upon his arrival, and people continued to pour in.
“What’s that matter? Why are so many people here?”
“Haven’t you heard? Lin Yun defeated Chen Xiao with only one punch!”
“Are you serious?!”
“Don’t take my word for it. Half the people here saw it! Honestly, it was brutal. Blood wouldn’t stop pouring from Chen Xiao’s mouth. He couldn’t even get up. I’m pretty sure he’s still lying on the ground outside right now.”
The whispers had become a roar. So many people were talking at once it was almost impossible to hear the person standing next to you.
“Administrator Yang!” Lin Yun shouted, “I have the Blood Lilies that were requested. Please check through them.”
Administrator Yang examined the Blood Lilies and confirmed, “Well done. They are all in perfect condition. Here is your reward, 400 low-grade spiritual stones. As a bonus, you’ve also earned the right to purchase one Blood Refining Pellet.”
Lin Yun nodded graciously as he received his reward. The 400 low-grade spiritual stones were nice, but the bonus reward was shocking. The crowd roared with envy as word of his bonus spread.
“If I could get my hands on a Blood Refining Pellet, I would be in the fifth stage of the Martial Path by now! Instead, I’ve stagnated...”
“I wish I was brave enough to take on that mission.”
“You? Forget it. The Blood Lilies are hard enough to find in the Hundred Flower Valley, not to mention the demonic beasts that guard them. Even if you’re lucky enough to find one, you’ll die before you can harvest it.”
Their astonishment continued to grow as Lin Yun handed the Flaming Inked Tigers’ claws to Administrator Yang, receiving another 600 low-grade spiritual stones as a reward. He had completed two of the three spirit stone missions! All that was left was to prove he had killed the bandit, Kuang Yan!
Kuang Yan was known throughout the Aquasky Nation for his evil deeds. Every disciple in the four sects wanted him dead, but none had been able to kill him. It seemed impossible that a sword slave would succeed where everyone else had failed.
But as the tension mounted, an invisible pressure came crashing down from the higher floors. An old man slowly walked down the stairs with a smile. The outer disciples trembled as they watched him descend. It was the Hall Master of the Administration Hall, an expert in the ninth stage of the Martial Path!
“Greetings, Hall Master!” the outer disciples cried as they paid their respect.
“Get up! Get up! I have only come down to announce one thing,” Hall Master Wang smiled.
“What could it be?”
“Hall Master Wang rarely appears in public. It must be something big!”
“Do you think it has something to do with Lin Yun?”
Now that he had their proper attention, Hall Master Wang came before Lin Yun and announced, “Outer Disciple Lin Yun has killed the bandit, Kuang Yan, in Clear Water City, bringing pride to our sect! The Sect Master was so pleased by the news, he has requested that I personally give him a reward!”
The Administration Hall went silent. Lin Yun had not only completed the three spiritual stone missions, his act of killing Kuang Yan had earned the respect of the sect master himself!
The last part was shocking, but made sense given enough thought. Kuang Yan had been recklessly terrorizing the entire Aquasky Nation. His notoriety had spread far and wide. As the four great sects represented the pinnacle of the Aquasky Nation, they naturally had to send people to hunt him down. Whoever killed Kuang Yan was guaranteed to bring pride to their sect.
It was especially true for the Azure Sky Sect! Kuang Yan had killed many more disciples from the three other sects than he had from that Azure Sky Sect, hence, the sect master would be able to use it as leverage over the other three sect masters. It was only natural for him to grant Lin Yun a reward.
“It’s my responsibility to serve the sect,” Lin Yun said graciously. Though he didn’t show it, he was surprised that killing Kuang Yan had caused such a huge commotion.
“Neither conceited nor impatient, very good. Here is your reward of 500 low-grade spiritual stones. Furthermore, you may ascend to the Martial Chamber and pick a fragmented Xiantian Art,” Hall Master Wang smiled.
When everyone heard Hall Master Wang’s words, their eyes blazed.
Despite being fragmented, its value was unimaginable. If anyone could comprehend a move from it, they would become invincible amongst their peers! Almost all the cultivation and martial techniques in the Martial Chamber were derived from fragmented Xiantian Arts. Just having one was a huge boon to a person’s cultivation.
“Come with me,” Hall Master Wang said to Lin Yun before turning for the stairs. Lin Yun obeyed, trying his best to avoid the envious glares of the crowd as he followed.
Hall Master Wang explained as he led Lin Yun to the top floor, “Xiantian Arts can only be practiced by Xiantian Martial Practitioners. The sect only has two complete Xiantian Art, and they are terrifyingly powerful. They are the foundation of our sect, and only the sect master has access to them. But the fragmented Xiantian Arts are all here.”
Solemnly, he continued, “The Xiantian Arts here are fragmented and are only meant to be comprehended. If you force yourself to learn them, you could find yourself in trouble. It’s meant to broaden your eyes, to help make a martial technique your own.”
“I see. I’ll avoid practicing it recklessly,” Lin Yun replied, a sense of awe in his voice.
“Good. You will be fine as long as you heed my words. The fragmented art will only bring you harm if you are reckless.”
Lin Yun was beginning to doubt the value of the fragmented Xiantian Arts. The other disciples were clearly jealous, but Hall Master Wang’s explanation made them out to be more trouble than they were worth. Still, he couldn’t deny he was excited to flip through them.
It only took a few minutes for Lin Yun’s opinion to change. He grew solemn as he came to understand the true nature of his reward. A whole new world had been given to him.
Through the words before him, he experienced first-hand the might of the Xiantian Martial Practitioners. Their feats included such things as unleashing a strand of sword aura from their finger to claim the head of their opponent a thousand meters away; leaping three meters into the air and destroying a city wall with a single punch; and splitting rivers with a single palm strike.
When his gaze fell on a copy named the Dragon-Tiger Fist, he felt an immediate attraction.
“This is the fragmented Xiantian Art, the Dragon-Tiger Fist. The Ferocious Tiger Fist that you practice originated from it,” Hall Master Wang explained.
“That sounds perfect. I’ll take it!”