Tiles of processed and paved limestone scattered across the area as an object barreled into the ground from above, heading towards Du Yongkang’s surprised countenance with an unstoppable momentum.
A powerful, bloodthirsty roar echoed throughout the deserted street as the handle-less sword rushed forth, a scarlet river heralding its march through the unforgiving desert of war.
The youth snorted as he extended his palm forwards, the hand emitting a faint golden radiance.
Du Yongkang murmured underneath his breath for a brief moment, before steadying his position on the paved road with both feet firmly planted.
“<Three Sunspark Flares>!”
In the face of an approaching landslide of malice and bloodthirst, an imprint of three golden orbs etched itself onto the center of Du Yongkang’s palm, the radiance emitting from the thin lines brightening the midnight sky to reveal a silver lining in the clouds.
The moment the imprint solidified its existence, the aura emanating from his body experienced a significant change.
Spiritual essence coiled around the youth’s body at an elevated concentration sufficient to manifest visible light, wrapping around his torso with twin coiled rivers of gold.
As Du Yongkang stood in the street in front of the rage-driven handle-less steel sword, the two coils of spiritual essence surged towards his right hand.
“<Three Sunspark Flares>, and he has manifested two of the five rivers…”
Tang Yunhe released an audible gasp as he lurched a step backwards, his countenance gradually paling in shock and disbelief.
“Completing the Initial Three Points and progressing through the Five River Stones at such a young age…”
The martial arts technique employed by Du Yongkang was sufficient to startle Tang Yunhe and cause his mouth to incessantly twitch, but the youth’s attainment in cultivation was the final blow that caused the handsome man’s heart to suffer a massive impact.
Tang Yunhe’s expression soured to the absolute worst he could muster, before becoming inundated by shame and self-disgust.
A brat who wasn’t even twenty years of age… and he had already encroached upon the later stages of the Spirit Building Realm.
He, Tang Yunhe, had only reached the peak of the Foundation Establishment Realm when he was at that age, and it was accomplished with the towering assistance of his Master expending a significant quantity of medicinal herbs!
Cultivation was divided into realms, and martial arts techniques were disassembled into stages.
Initial Three Points, Five River Stones, Small River, and Large River.
The Initial Three Points signified the bare minimum of qualification that a practitioner could achieve in the attainment of practicing a martial arts technique.
The spiritual essence of the practitioner was capable of molding itself to the strains desired by the technique, and with practiced fluidity of the practitioner, intervene with the world to employ a tangible result.
The Du Clan’s <Three Sunspark Flares>’s Initial Three Points was the completed manifestation of the imprint of the golden suns on the right hand’s palm, drawing the sigil of the bringer of sunlight.
The sigil granted a temporary manipulation of the practitioner’s capabilities to their finest, enhancing their physique’s ability by at least three folds.
The Five River Stones resembled the general attainment of the practitioner in the development of the martial arts technique – they could exhibit the unique traits of the technique that allowed it to distinguish itself from the rest; manifest a sea of flames, crystalize particles into a sea of drifting ice, introduce a gentle breeze in a silent environment…
The Five River Stones established the standard of which a martial arts technique, with the assistance of spiritual essence provided by the practitioner, could directly manipulate the elements and properties of the world.
It was at this stage that the practitioner could exert influence that far surpassed the limits of their attainment in cultivation, to rip at the threshold and identity that of a mortal.
As for the Small River and Large River stages… Tang Yunhe had not obtained the privilege of receiving such information.
Not even his Master could surpass the Small River stage at a sufficient degree to properly explain to her disciple, and the Du Clan’s Patriarch was trapped at the Small River of his <Three Sunspark Flares>…
The twin rivers fused into Du Yongkang’s palm, prompting the golden imprint of three suns to erupt with a dazzling radiance that enveloped the entire area.
Within their surroundings, midnight was chased away to welcome daylight, the darkened sky replaced by a sea of golden light.
As though it had received prompting from the youth, the sea began to surge towards the blazing trail that was the handle-less sword–
The pained cry of a youth echoed throughout the area as the golden sea of light was forcefully eviscerated and quelled into nihility.
Du Yongkang’s figure soared through the air to land several meters away from his original position, his appearance completely tattered and ragged compared to his reclaimed elegance and nobility.
Similarly, the forty soldiers of the Du Clan’s platoon had been knocked onto their feet, though their fates were not as fortunate as their Young Master.
Half of them lay on the ground without their legs, whilst the remainder gulped at the shocking sight of their arms detached so far away from their body.
The black steel armor had been ground into dust and sprinkled over their heads, creating a nauseating paste of reddish black surrounding their bodies.
Not only that, the soldiers discovered to their horror that their throats had been sealed by a mysterious force, preventing them from shouting aloud to relieve their pain by the slightest iota.
“What… just happened…”
The <Three Sunspark Flares> was defeated just like that…
Even if it was from a youth who was inexperienced in utilizing the technique, a defeat from a single blow was unbelievable and far too astonishing…
Tang Yunhe, Wen Jiu, and Yang Jian simultaneously shivered at the might displayed by the mysterious object that had struck an overwhelming blow onto Du Yongkang, the esteemed genius of the Du Clan’s younger generation.
Their spiritual essence was agitated to the maximum as they sought to discern the origins of such strength, their sea of perception fluctuating into overdrive.
“It ended just like that…” Shen Haoren mused, his eyes inadvertently glancing over the young girl’s downcast figure.
“Just what is this young lass’s identity, to have such a powerful expert protecting her from the shadows…”
The middle-aged man wiped at his brow with a handkerchief offered by his wife, his hands nervously patting at his bulging belly for relief.
As he recalled his interactions with An Fei, Shen Haoren finally released an exhausted by joyous sigh towards the midnight sky.
“I haven’t said anything that would have me killed by that expert… Second Elder Sister, this task is a little too strenuous, ah…”
An Fei aroused herself from her momentary reverie, the scarlet irises blinking away the temporary haze to be replaced by the customary dull sheen.
The young girl tapped the little raven awake from its self-induced bout of unconsciousness, ignoring the silent glare of crimson eyes.
“Do you think… I overdid it?”
An Fei hastily whispered, her eyes carefully roaming around to discover that everyone else was either standing in place trapped in their own mental confusion, or hastily probing their surroundings as if searching for a hidden treasure like Tang Shiqi.
The young girl’s heart jumped with satisfaction at the distraction imposed by the abrupt appearance and disappearance of the handle-less sword, though the prolonged silence was sufficient to trigger her concern.
Of course you overdid it, you stinky lass!
To waste that goddamned illegitimate child of a sword’s divine strength on a brat who hadn’t weaned from his mother’s milk…
The little raven turned to face the other direction, clearly unwilling to listen to An Fei’s questions any further. Forced to relent with pursed lips and an awkward chuckle, the young girl quietly crept forward to gently tap Shen Haoren on the back.
“Do you think that we should move soon?”
The middle-aged man bolted at the unexpected stimulus on his back, his voice screechy and high pitched in his fright.
After realizing that the culprit for the momentary shock was none other than An Fei, Shen Haoren’s back secretly trailed with lines of cold sweat, though an arrogant expression graced his countenance.
“Move soon? We should indeed move soon – those soldiers appear to be on their last legs and could perish anytime soon. Staying behind whilst waiting for the youngster to wake would probably be a bad idea.”
The middle-aged man silently cursed as he plodded off to awake his brothers, leaving his wife to stop their children and Tang Shiqi from devouring their surroundings with their eyes.
Having been forced to resurface after hastily immersing themselves into their sea of perception, Tang Yunhe, Wen Jiu, and Yang Jian equally displayed displeased expressions, but eagerly cooperated to depart from the area as swiftly as possible.
Hopefully that Du Yongkang wasn’t crippled in any form – otherwise, the Du Clan would probably rain a slew of curses and trouble onto their heads.