More than a dozen cultivators appeared at the entrance of Frostcloud Sect, in their early twenties, stunning in appearance and natural beauty. However, the expressions on their faces were frosty, making people afraid to look at them.
When the disciples of Frostcloud Sect guarding both sides of the mountain gate saw their arrival, they suddenly gasped, face flushed, and tongues knotted with excitement.
“Qin… Qin-zhenjun, welcome!”
The young man nodded slightly and led the group of fellow sect members into Frostcloud Sect.
This group of people belonged to the world’s number one sword sect, the disciples of Sword Inscription Sect.
Actually, they have embarked on their journey very early on. After all, the appointment of a new patriarch in Frostcloud Sect was a big event that shocked the cultivation world. Be it formal or private reasons, the Sword Inscription Sect attached great importance to this occasion, so how could they be late?
However, they received news about demonic cultivators along the way, so the delay was inevitable.
Some of the disciples in the group were here for the first time. As soon as they entered the mountain gate, they were immediately astounded by the dreamlike scenery of Frostcloud Sect.
“I’ve heard that Frostcloud Sect has the best view in the cultivation world, and it really deserves this title.”
“It’s rumored that the boundary stone of the sect was carved by Daoist-Master Jing Yuan. I’ve always wanted to come and admire it. When I saw it just now, my soul almost left my body!”
“I wonder how amazing the new patriarch is. I’ve heard that even the three patriarchs who have gone into recluse will show up for today’s ceremony.”
“After all, he has inherited the legacy of Daoist-Master Jing Yuan himself. No matter which sect or clan he goes to, who wouldn’t regard him as a treasure?”
The disciples chattered excitedly when they were stopped by the young man. “Watch your words!”
They startled and immediately fell silent.
Suddenly, they heard the cry of a bird. Everyone raised their heads reflexively and saw a crane flying above them with a person on its back.
Who was that?
They could not help but wonder, who dared to fly in Frostcloud Sect? Could it be the new patriarch?
On the square of Aquazither Island, a light fragrance lingered and soft music filled the air.
The patriarchs of Frostcloud Sect who had not shown up for a long time slowly appeared one after another, causing shock and excitement among the guests. After thinking about it carefully though, it was to be expected.
The Patriarch Initiation Ceremony this time was in fact a Disciple Acceptance Ceremony for Daoist-Master Jing Yuan. As the other living disciple, of course Patriarch Yi Ye must be present. As for Liu Yun and Liu Feng, the new patriarch had become their Shishu in terms of seniority ranking. If they do not attend, it would be equivalent to disrespecting the ancestors.
Suddenly, the few patriarchs stood up and looked towards the sky.
From a far distance, a crane soared through the clouds carrying a young boy of eleven or twelve. The youth had a graceful and delicate appearance, like a little male fairy stepping into the world on auspicious clouds.
Was that the new patriarch of Frostcloud Sect?
The guests were stunned before quickly laughing at their ludicrous conjecture. How could the world’s number one school appoint a child as their patriarch? However, after they saw Wei Tianli and the other elders bow their greetings, everyone was stupefied.
It was really him?! Such a young boy? Could it be that he was the person Frostcloud Sect was looking for more than a year ago?
“Is Frostcloud Sect crazy? That child is only a level-3 Qi Refining cultivator. Even if he did inherit the legacy from Daoist-Master Jing Yuan, there’s no need for him to hold the position now. Don’t they realize a big tree attracts more wind?”
“Yes, for him to be revered by everyone like that, if he is feeble-minded and gets blindsided, wouldn’t it be a problem instead? If that hindered his practice and made him unable to find his path of Dao, what will Frostcloud Sect do about it then?”
Amidst the doubts, some people gloated.
The disciples of Mauve Aurora Sect exchanged glances with each other. The elder thought secretly to himself: The more inconceivable the actions of Frostcloud Sect, the better for Mauve Aurora Sect.
As soon as Jing Yue landed, Wei Tianli invited him to take a seat.
Thereafter, Yi Ye sat next to Jing Yue, while Liu Yun and Liu Feng separated on both sides.
Facing the crowd, Wei Tianli announced loudly, “This is the fourth disciple of Frostcloud Sect’s ancestor, Daoist-Master Jing Yuan, and also the person of great auspicious to the sect, Jing Yue. Today, Frostcloud Sect proclaims to the world that Jing Yue is the new patriarch of Frostcloud Sect, and anyone who insults will henceforth suffer punishment!”
As soon as his voice fell, everyone in the vicinity felt three coercive suppressions descending on their heads like ten thousand mountains.
The elder of Mauve Aurora Sect only felt a flurry before his eyes and vaguely saw a bright red word ‘kill’ in his daze. He could smell a bloody stench in his nose, an endless roaring in his ears, sometimes piercing, sometimes gravelly, sometimes shrill, sometimes low-pitched, again and again.
The sound was thunderous, shaking his entire being until his blood surged, almost falling to his knees.
He was furious. He led his disciples to attend this celebration, so why was he insulted? Unbeknownst to him, the coercion was only aimed at people who disrespected Frostcloud Sect. Although other guests felt the pressure too, it was not so uncomfortable for them.
It was a threat! And a warning from Frostcloud Sect!
The elder tensed his neck and glared vehemently ahead, and happened to collide with the gaze of the new patriarch. The dark eyes of the other party seemed to consume his soul, causing him to be devoured by a frosty chill from head to toe, and he could not help but tremble from shock.
He quickly came back to his senses and lowered his head hurriedly.
No matter how things would develop in the future, but today, the Frostcloud Sect was still the top cultivation school with a Tribulation Passage powerhouse as its guardian, and it would not allow any other sects to look upon it with contempt!
Behind the square, one hundred thousand disciples knelt, touched their foreheads to the ground, kowtowed three times and said loudly, “Greetings to the Patriarch!”
The deafening roars echoed repeatedly, as if the rolling waves of thunder, as if the mighty surges of the ocean, making everyone go numb at the scalp.
No matter what the guests thought before, they all bowed slightly now and said in unison, “Congratulations to the Patriarch!”
From a distance, the Jadecloud Bell responded, the chime intertwined with the human voices, solemn and majestic.
But among the one hundred thousand disciples, some looked terrified and nervous.
Although they had never seen Jing Yue’s true face, and they could not see it clearly now either, once they thought of his age and the recent changes that happened within the inner gates, it was sufficient to guess his identity.
The new patriarch was most probably Jing Shan!
This answer left Yu Xiaobao in a daze. He could hardly imagine that he had the gall to entrap the new patriarch! He also dared not speculate why he disguised himself as Jing Shan and infiltrated the inner gates?
Several people who had had direct conflicts with Jing Shan, such as the Long brothers, were remorseful and wished they could disappear from the spot!
Mu Feng also recognized the other party. The person who gave him redemption in his despair turned out to be the new patriarch of Frostcloud Sect! At that moment, he made an oath in his heart: He would follow him to his death even if there was no salvation!
As for the high-ranking officials of the Primary, Noble, and Civilian factions, their tenterhooks had reached the limit! They felt as if there was a sharp knife hanging above their heads, not knowing if it would drop at any point!
Everyone was lost in their own thoughts. At the front, each clan presented generous gifts one by one.
A clear voice was suddenly heard…
“Sword Inscription Sect, Qin Yanzhi, here to pay respects.”
A silence fell over the court but Jing Yue’s spirits lifted. He had been curious about this person for the longest time.
A young man dressed in black slowly stepped out from the shadows. The sunlight poured over him, the rays flickering between his inky eyebrows, illuminating his bright eyes.
Qin Yanzhi held a gift in his hand, his footsteps steady, leading a group of disciples through the crowd. There was silence where the group passed.
Finally, he stopped three feet away from Jing Yue.
“Sword Inscription Sect is late and hopes for the patriarch’s leniency.”
Jing Yue startled violently. For some strange reason, he felt that this person was very familiar, but after thinking about it carefully, he could not recall this face in his memory.
He concealed his doubts and said, “Don’t fret about it. Qin-zhenjun, please take a seat.”
A disciple stepped forward and accepted Qin Yanzhi’s gift. He was about to lead him to the Sword Inscription Sect’s seating location when Qin Yanzhi said, “The reason for being late is because we found traces of demonic cultivators along the way.”
“Demonic cultivators? In the Evernorth Lu region?” Wei Tianli suddenly interrupted, his expression grim.
Nowadays, the forces of the demonic cultivators were weak and compelled by the righteous Dao to be confined within the West Shu region. It had been a long time since the Evernorth Lu region heard any news of demonic cultivators. The entire Evernorth Lu region could be regarded as the territory of Frostcloud Sect, and as the sect leader, he would never allow the demons to wreak havoc in the Evernorth!
“Not only that,” Qin Yanzhi said. “It appeared on our way through the Central region.”
He gave a brief summary of their encounters during the journey. It turned out when they were in the Central region, they heard that the ancestral tombs of several small sects had been dug up, and they lost their ancestors’ sarcophagus.
But these sects were far apart and assumed that it only happened to their sect, so they were unaware of the gravity of the situation. But Qin Yanzhi quickly perceived the oddity of the circumstances. After some investigation, they could only confirm that the case was related to the Cadaver Gate, but no one was caught.
“Cadaver Gate?” Wei Tianli glanced at Liu Yun subconsciously. “Wasn’t Blood Corpse-laomo severely injured by Liu Yun-laozu back then?”
(TN: Laozu 老祖 old ancestor or patriarch. Laomo 老魔 old demon, same ranking as Laozu within the demonic clan, but this term is mainly used by the righteous dao.)
“That’s right. The Cadaver Gate has concealed themselves and hasn’t been heard of for hundreds of years.”
“No, no, haven’t you heard? The Cadaver Gate controlled Fairy Mengyan and made her go to Sword Inscription Sect and assassinate Qin-zhenjun.”
“This is actually true? I thought it was just a rumor!”
“But the cultivation level of the Blood Corpse-laomo was diminished during the fight five hundred years ago. How could he recover so soon?”
“It’s possible if he met a chance encounter. If the old demon really regained his Return to Void cultivation level, Frostcloud Sect that has forged a great feud with them back then maybe…”
At this time, the bright sky suddenly turned dark and ominous clouds rolled in instantly. A huge black coffin appeared out of thin air, pressing directly on Jing Yue!
“Since Frostcloud Sect has appointed a new patriarch, how can the Cadaver Gate not offer our congratulations?”
The shrill voice sounded both near and far. Many people’s expressions changed drastically—someone from the Cadaver Gate had snuck in!
Who was it?!
Very quickly, however, they realized that all the powerhouses of Frostcloud Sect remained calm. The new patriarch even stared at the coffin curiously without any trace of panic.
In the next moment, several red lights pierced through the dark clouds and smashed the coffin into pieces.
When the sky was clear again, Wei Tianli shouted furiously, “How dare such filthy minions like you cause trouble within the grounds of Frostcloud Sect!”
“Teehhehhee, Wei-zhangmen doesn’t appreciate our gesture. Blood Corpse-laozu has specially prepared a generous gift. If you don’t accept it today, we will only give it again in the future… ah!”
Among the guests, an Amethyst Abode cultivator’s chest suddenly ruptured, a wisp of black smoke rose from the wound, and he hastily fled.
Very quickly, another sword glare shot out. The light was merged with the forces of Yin-Yang and contained the laws of nature, shining like the bright sun and dying like the solitary star.
Jing Yue opened his eyes wide. Even if he was stung painfully by the sword glare, he was unwilling to blink, reluctant to miss such intoxicating swordsmanship.
So, that was the Daoyi Sword!