Chapter 156, Make It Up To You
Most considered the breed of Combat Cultivators specialized in the use of swords as a peculiar sort.
Hence the epithet of all Combat Cultivators of this kind: blade-freaks.
Yet despite whatever disdain or disapproval others might have of them and their eccentricities, no one would dare make the foolish mistake of underestimating them.
Blade-freaks were known to be capable of defeating even enemies that outrank them and that made them highly feared by everyone else.
The Northern Profound Sword Sect of Bing Zhou was a militant order of a modest size where most other Tier-One militant orders and sects could easily outnumber them three to one, for the Sword Sect was extremely strict in its enrolment of fresh members.
That was due to the fact that the Sword Sect, as its name suggested, accepted only Combat Cultivators specializing in the crafts of swordsmanship.
They studied only the skills and eldritch crafts of wielding the sword and nothing else.
Despite the Sword Sect’s relatively small number of members, it nevertheless remained an undisputed entrant of the ten greatest Tier-One militant orders in all of Jiu Zhou.
The sum of Tier-One militant orders that scattered around Jiu Zhou could reach almost a hundred, but the Northern Profound Sword Sect was the one name that everyone feared the most.
An entity that not even the rest of the other Tier-One militant orders would dare flippantly trifle with.
After all, the accounts of eight hundred swords marching down the slopes of Heavenstone into war remained a tale that could easily strike fear into any foes of the Sword Sect.
Li Baxian’s history had been a strange one.
Once a Crimson Blood Sect acolyte in his youth, he joined the Devoted Ones before being allowed to study with the Northern Profound Sword Sect at one point on exchange.
The few years with the acolytes of the Sword Sect had earned him their friendship.
In fact, the Grand Master of the Sword Sect himself had once traveled all the way to the stronghold of the Devoted Ones to implore to have Li Baxian transferred to the Sword Sect, although the Devoted Ones had declined the request at the time.
But the gesture was sufficient to demonstrate how greatly the Sword Sect valued him.
But being unable to make Li Baxian as one of his own students did not stop the Grand Master of the Northern Profound Sword Sect from giving whatever advice and tutelage to Li Baxian.
Whatever knowledge, skill, and experience he could impart, he bestowed them all to Li Baxian except for the carefully guarded secrets reserved only for members of the Sword Sect.
And Li Baxian did not disappoint.
As soon as he reached the Ninth Order, he managed to defeat the reigning number one on the Battlefield’s Roll of Supremacy and claimed the seat for himself in the same year.
If not for the damage he suffered to his Spiritual Points he would have long become a Cloud River Realm or even a Real Lake Realm Cultivator by now.
For more than a decade, Li Baxian had been wallowing in the Spirit Creek Realm, unable to ascend his rank further.
But he had not been idle.
His skill and technique had reached such heights that no other Spirit Creek Realm swordsman could dare claim superiority over him.
Even the Cultivators of the Northern Profound Sword Sect—blade-freaks known for their intransigence and austere rigidness—always treated him with respect and reverence whenever they met each other as if he was one of their own.
Such was the respect and fear he commanded being an Eighth-Order who now reigned as one of the ten greatest Cultivators of the Battlefield.
Right now, out of nowhere, he had appeared.
A lone man armed with just his sword, but his mere presence was enough to make every Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivator in his presence shudder with fear.
Wei Yang might be powerful enough to save Lu Ye alone but coming inside the Battlefield had forced her to move around with the Judgment of Heaven inflicted upon her.
She had killed enough enemies since her entry here for the Judgment to become stronger and thicker.
Any more killings and the effects of the Judgment would kill her—Cloud River Realm or not.
To that end, that was exactly the reason the Blackfyre Cultists had been goading her into attacking them.
None of them even resisted.
In fact, one could argue that they had been offering themselves to her as a sacrifice like lambs to be slaughtered.
That illustrated their resolve to have Wei Yang removed as a threat to their cause.
But Li Baxian was an altogether different case.
As an Eighth-Order Cultivator of the Spirit Creek Realm, he could kill without suffering any consequences.
While the mob of Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivators reeled with horror, Li Baxian ignored them and spun around casually.
He beamed to them brilliantly, “Which is my junior”
But there was no need to ask.
Being the only Fifth-Order Cultivator present, he could easily make out his relatively weaker signature of Spiritual Power, especially since he was the one being surrounded by Grand Sky Coalition Cultivators trying to protect him.
Their eyes met.
Li Baxian said to him, “I am your senior.
The fourth student of our mentor Tang Yifeng.”
“My respects to you, Brother!” Lu Ye bowed.
Li Baxian had mentioned himself being the fourth student of Tang Yifeng.
That would mean that there was a first, a second, and a third too!
“That’s great,” Li Baxian grinned, bobbing his head.
“The Old Man has finally let go and decided to accept a new student! Marvelous!”
He turned to Wei Yang and grumbled, “You should have told me about this, Sister Wei Yang.
I would not have known that I have a younger fellow student if not for Yuechan.”
“Blame it on the Old Man.
It was he who did not want me to tell you about it,” Wei Yang explained.
“That Old Man and his god-awful stiff-necked intransigence,” snorted Li Baxian.
He hopped off his perch on the top of his sword hilt and landed on the ground before he yanked it out of the ground, all with a smile that could have sent numerous lasses swooning with adoration and infatuation.
Even Lu Ye himself had to admit that Li Baxian was blessed with good looks and electrifying charisma.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Brother.
I’m sorry I came without gifts.
But let me kill a few enemies to make it up to you!”
He shook his weapon like he would with a whisk and let go.
The sword ripped out of his grasp like a falcon taking flight and turned into a sliver of light before streaking forward with the speed and intensity of a lightning bolt, zigzagging amongst the enemy host like currents of electricity zapping unimpeded.
“Careful!” cried a voice.
“ARRGGHH!” another voice screamed.
The flying sword tore its way through the enemy mob, unleashing bedlam and pandemonium while the air clamored with the sickening hubbub of steel shredding and rending through flesh.
The air roiled with the chaotic undulations of Spiritual Powers coming from the panicking enemies and Cultivators tried in vain to frantically summon their powers to fight back.
But Li Baxian’s sword was just too fast, and the deadly weapon easily felled anyone who dared to stand in its path.
Anyone witnessing the slaughter could almost comprehend how fragile life could be in the face of such vicious violence.
Blood collected in dribbles, into streams, and eventually pools.
In just the blink of an eye, more than twenty enemies had died because of the sword alone, and its feast had only just started.
A Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivator made the mistake of attacking Li Baxian.
As most swordsmen were defenseless during the use of their sword magic, this enemy Cultivator clearly believed that this would be his best chance to put down the all-famous Li Baxian by catching him unaware.
Also a swordsman, the enemy did not choose to use magic on his sword.
Instead, he opted to attack Li Baxian personally.
As he drew near, he brandished his weapon and lunged with his weapon piercing with lightning-speed dexterity.
Lu Ye could feel a knot in his gut as he watched the enemy approaching Li Baxian who merely stood there, motionless while he lackadaisically took another swig of wine off his gourd.
The blade of his foe’s weapon swept towards him, bursting into numerous doubles that all swarmed at Li Baxian simultaneously.
Unfazed, he opened his mouth and a tiny energy bolt shaped like a sword shot out.
Small and quaint, yet powerful and deadly.
The lone needle-like bolt met the deluge of death alone and single handedly incinerated them all before barreling straight for the enemy Cultivator with its speed and force undiminished where it easily speared through him and burst out the back of his rib cage.
Still standing but very much stiff, the man stared at Li Baxian in what were his final moments of life, awash with disbelief and frustration.
“The likes of you are unfit for a weapon as noble as the sword,” Li Baxian muttered with frost reserved only for his enemies.
The tiny sword did not dissipate like most other energy bolts did.
Like a little hummingbird of death, it joined Li Baxian’s first sword.
Big and small, the dual swords streaked around like a pair of large and small comets, crisscrossing and lancing their way through countless enemies that the Thousand Demon Ridge enemies suffered even bigger losses.
“Watch your Contribution Points,” Wei Yang warned all of a sudden.
An Eighth-Order at the moment, Li Baxian nevertheless retained the experience and techniques he learned as a Ninth-Order, not to mention that the disciplines and skills he embodied all belonged to the Heaven Grade.
Therefore, by authority of the inherently magical laws of nature that governed the Battlefield, Li Baxian could only kill Ninth-Order enemies—or more specifically, Ninth-Order enemies trained in Earth-Grade martial disciplines—to avoid the penalization of his Contribution Points.
His Points would still face deduction even if he killed an Eighth-Order enemy trained in Earth-Grade martial disciplines for the difference between their powers would still be absurdly vast.
This illustrated how actually powerful Li Baxian really was.
Contribution Points are hard-earned rewards Cultivators earned with their blood and sweat.
Rewards that could be extremely useful if used well, therefore no Cultivator would dare flippantly squander them.
Having killed so many weaker enemies must have cost Li Baxian a lot of points.
“Don’t worry about it,” Li Baxian answered.
He raised an arm and waved.
Both his swords shot back to him; one of them returned into his gourd while the other flew back into his grasp.
The carnage had ended, but the aftermath was no less terrible with the air was rank with the stench of blood and the ground littered with mangled viscera, muscle, cartilage, and even maimed limbs.
Still surrounded by allies making sure that he was safe, Lu Ye could feel his heart racing with exhilaration.
[Sister Wei Yang is already incredible enough and now a Brother Li Baxian who is an even deadlier figure… Just what in Heaven’s name is the Crimson Blood Sect!]
Dangers were still abound, but that did not stop him from grinning.
For once, Lu Ye felt relieved and relaxed.
[Doesn’t it feel so good to have someone to depend on!]
Then he remembered what Lan Yudie told him.
She mentioned a certain someone who was already on the way here.
So long as they could meet up, Lu Ye would be safe.
Lu Ye did not know who that was then.
But he now knew who Lan Yudie was referring to now.
“That’s enough dawdling! Take Brother Lu Ye and go!” Wei Yang urged.
Li Baxian shook his head.
“I can’t,” he said suddenly, “Someone’s here and he’s waiting for me.” Meaning that he would have taken Lu Ye away right when they met each other.
After all, Lu Ye’s survival was the singlemost important matter, and sending him into the safety of the Turbulent Watch outpost took precedence.
But he couldn’t.
As soon as he arrived, he picked up the Spiritual Power signature of his rival and that was when Li Baxian knew that he needed to do something.
His killing of so many Thousand Demon Ridge enemies was hardly just for some frivolous reason.
It was to lessen the pressure that his allies had to endure so that their job of keeping Lu Ye safe would be easier, even if that meant losing a lot of Contribution Points.
His rival had long arrived, but he did not choose to show himself.
With Wei Yang around, Li Baxian’s adversary clearly wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of being cut down by her.
“Even from so far away, I could smell you, you scoundrel! Show yourself!” Li Baxian swiveled his head all of a sudden to look in a particular direction.
He swung his sword and fired an energy bolt in the same bearing.
All enemy Cultivators nearby quickly flinched and some even ducked.
Still, some did not manage to escape in time.
The energy bolt speared through them before a wicked-looking saber slammed into it, defeating it soundly.
Wielding the saber was this man with a long mane of hair that was let loose down his shoulders.
Under a circlet that he wore around his head, his sharp eyes emitted a glare so fierce that it burned with as much hatred as a hungry wolf’s.
“That’s Yan Xing!” cried one of the Grand Sky Coalition Cultivators who recognized him.
In the real world of Jiu Zhou, members of the Jianghu often compared the Northern Profound Sword Sect to its bitter rival from the Thousand Demon Ridge—the Raving Bladesmen of Dingzhou.
Both Tier-One militant orders, the Sword Sect and the Raving Bladesmen were all blessed with no shortage of promising talents.
It had been a long-enduring tradition that practitioners of the saber loathed all who trained in the crafts of wielding the sword and vice versa.
With one in the northern regions of Jiu Zhou and the other in the south, the bitter rivals each enjoyed relative peace in the real world and never the twain should meet.
But the same could not be said inside the Spirit Creek Battlefield.
Their outposts sat just right next to each other, prompting frequent conflicts between the two sides.
The years of enmity and the countless deaths of acolytes from both factions had turned the rivalry into a blood feud that could only be resolved by the destruction of either side.
A Raving Bladesman himself, Yan Xing’s position on the Battlefield’s Roll of Supremacy far outranked Li Baxian’s, in second place just behind Feng Yuechan.
But what laid between Yan Xing and Li Baxian was more than just some simple rivalry.
It was a vendetta.
Long when Li Baxian was still learning his craft within the halls of the Northern Profound Sword Sect, he had once joined an assault by the Sword Sect on several Raving Bladesmen units.
It was during that attack that Li Baxian killed a female Raving Bladesman.
That woman was none other than Yan Xing’s sweetheart…
Since then, Yan Xing vowed to kill Li Baxian with his own hands to avenge her.
Part of the reason behind Li Baxian’s demotion in his rank of cultivation was because of Yan Xing, although his original plan, if worked correctly, should have culminated in Li Baxian’s demise.
But with his Spiritual Points damaged, Li Baxian had lost his chance of ascending into the Cloud River Realm.
More than a decade had passed since then.
Like Feng Yuechan, Yan Xing refused to ascend.
He adamantly refused to leave the Spirit Creek Battlefield, hoping for the chance to realize his dream of killing Li Baxian.
That was not good news at all to all other champions whose names were on the Roll of Supremacy as well.
Both the Number One and Number Two champions of the Roll were refusing to ascend because Li Baxian and all the rest of the other champions could only settle by being the third.
But seasons passed and the champions all decided to just leave this place of constant chaos and tumult by ascending into the Cloud River Realm directly.
Meanwhile, Li Baxian did not give Yan Xing any chance to enact his vengeance.
All the time, he steadfastly guarded the Devoted Ones’ outpost, holding his station at the iconic Hawksflight Rock within the outpost grounds.