Two slashes, two heads rolling over. Blood splattered everywhere and a great disorder spread among the surrounding people.
“You monster, what are you doing?”
“Disciples of the same sect killing each other, betraying the teacher and exterminating the ancestor!”
After reprimanding him countless times, some of them became very impatient, even already taking out talisman gems. But as soon as the JieDan stage experts in charge of the Heavenly Stairs issued the command, all the others immediately flocked around him, desiring to dismember Yang Chen’s body into a thousand pieces.
Yang Chen coldly humphed and disdainfully said:
“Even if you illusions pretend to be real, in my eyes, you are still just illusions for me to destroy!”
Suddenly everything disappeared and now in Yang Chen’s eyes, only a Stairway which was limitless and leading to the ends of the earth was left. One could not even see the ends of this stairway. On every step, a single person was stationed, looking coldly at Yang Chen.
“Willfully slaughtering the innocent, you will die without a burial ground!”
When Yang Chen was setting foot on the first step of the stairs, on the step, a disciple of Ye Xiu Manor of the Pure Yang Palace was stationed, these words were flung at Yang Chen.
As soon as he finished speaking, Yang Chen extended his hand and slashed once, soon directly stepping onto the second step of the stairs.
“To the one who kills without any regards, be careful of karmic judgement!”
On the second step, another disciple of the Ye Xiu Manor was stationed similarly and also spoke a similar phrase about the wrongness of killing a living creature. Yang Chen’s way to respond, however, was absolutely simple: Just one slash, no matter who the other person was, he just simply slashed and afterwards moved on to the next step.
All of the people gave an identical reason, a hundred people, a thousand people, ten thousand people, Yang Chen himself did not know how many had he killed nor how many reasons had he listened to.
Yang Chen recognized those disciples of the Pure Yang Palace. All of these long dead people announced their identities when they appeared. Greatest Sky Sect, Universal Sect, Clear Sky Sect, Five Phases Sect, Green Jade Immortal Island and Tian Quan Sect’s countless disciples, all were killed and beheaded by Yang Chen, one by one. Apart from these, there were also those prisoners who were killed by Yang Chen just a moment ago, including the old, the feeble, the sick as well as those infants.
The words they said, were told to Yang Chen, at least, a thousand or ten thousand, and every time he heard them, he would consult his own heart.
Three people are enough to make a tiger (Ed. note: We’re not sure about this idiom), hearing the same thing many times can convince a person that these words are the truth, this was increased by the fact that all of these thousands of people here were all repeating the same arguments, again and again, just wanting to denounce Yang Chen’s conduct and deeds.
The Heavenly Stairs were also known as Heart Finding Path and the words of all of these people were almost entirely aiming at Yang Chen’s identity as an executioner. Adding to that, the people he killed earlier, all of the people who appeared had the aim of making Yang Chen waver by using the people he had killed previously.
Yang Chen was aware that as long as he was to waver even a little bit due to the words of these people, it would immediately destabilize his foundation and he would be pushed out of the Heavenly Stairs. In the end, all this didn’t have any effect on Yang Chen, he just kept on slashing his blade like a machine, killing, one by one, stepping onto the next step.
The cultivation bases of the people appearing became greater and greater: Foundation stage disciples, JieDan stage masters, these disciple with great cultivation were not only using words to disturb Yang Chen, but they were also trying to oppress Yang Chen with their imposing auras, to make Yang Chen yield.
But unfortunately, no matter what sort of ways these people used, Yang Chen would always remain unmoved. However, before every slash Yang Chen carried out, he would always ask himself if he would feel regret for the people he killed and those he would still kill, or not. Then, in a brief moment, Yang Chen would take care of them and would not feel even the least bit of regret.
Originally when he was at the XianTai Stage, the will of the fearful blade, had already entered Yang Chen’s body and after Yang Chen left the XianTai Stage, that fierce will didn’t disappear from within Yang Chen’s body, rather it went into hibernation. Perhaps it was because it had killed too many immortals, so when facing ordinary people that killing intent didn’t rise.
However at that time due to these hundreds and thousands of words, all asking the same question, the killing intent was finally roused. Under Yang Chen’s incessant questioning of his inner being and the beheading of people without the slightest hesitation, this portion of killing intent began to slowly rise.
The Yang Chen from before would kill just to kill and have never before thought whether the killing was right or wrong, or whether it was right to kill like this, however now, walking every step, he would think over this question. And every time Yang Chen came to a conclusion, his innermost being was tempered.
Having no regret was precisely his true feeling, when his conviction became more and more steady, then no matter what he would do, he would do it fearlessly. Because he truly felt no regret, the will of the XianTai Stage started fusing with Yang Chen’s true feelings bit by bit.
While he was harshly examining his innermost being, it had apparently sped up this mixing process and every time he questioned his innermost being, a trace was fused together. After few ten thousand times, Yang Chen had already completed almost half of the mixing process.
The complexion of the JieDan stage experts who were responsible for maintaining the spell formation became more and more earnest. Initially, they believed that they could easily suppress this minor second qi layer disciple, however, the present circumstances were anything but encouraging.
By now Yang Chen had already stepped on the fiftieth rank of the Heavenly Stairs, and he still hadn’t shown any signs of stopping. These few JieDan stage experts had prepared this kind of ‘examining the heart’ hurdle for Yang Chen, however, it had instead begun to influence them.
The loftiness of these JieDan experts was not only unable to suppress Yang Chen, rather it had increased the killing intent on his body to the extreme. Even if it were these JieDan stage experts, just now coming in contact with this will, they couldn’t help but shudder. Even if it was a unique and fearful devil, they wouldn’t have this kind of fear which had emerged from their innermost being. However, one minor second qi layer disciple of the younger generation had made them feel this kind of sensation.
Only, at the moment, they were responsible for maintaining the spell formation so they could not leave. Of the ten JieDan stage experts, at least, those nine were not able to endure this kind of killing intent, which nobody could confront, coming from Yang Chen’s body, but they were also unable to stop him.
Most of these JieDan stage experts were secretly cursing that Tian Quan Sect’s Foreign Affair Hall’s Hall Master, in order to avenge his sect’s Han Jiande and to vent his frustration, he had absolutely insisted on making use of Yang Chen’s identity as an executioner, to test him. If you ride a tiger, it’s hard to get off, the outcome of that was the current situation. Yang Chen’s killing intent became more and more vigorous, they were even unaware that after his improvement by being minced and ground by the Heavenly Stairs, Yang Chen’s killing intent had transformed by that much.
Only at the moment, they could not afford to care about this, what they were concerned about was how long Yang Chen would be able to support himself because they almost could not support him going on!
On the outside, the spectators were all entirely dumbstruck. With Gongsun Ling climbing to the sixty second step, she was indeed a talent. However, currently, Pure Yang Palace’s second qi layer disciple, could surprisingly also climb up to the fiftieth step of Heavenly Stairs. What is this? Had the talent of the Pure Yang Sect suddenly exploded this year?
Tian Quan Sect’s JieDan expert was complaining endlessly in his heart, how could he have known, he couldn’t possibly have known, that just because he was incited by Gongsun Ling demonstrating her extraordinary talent, it had created disequilibrium within his heart. Adding to that the affair of Yang Chen beheading Han Jiande, his heart had suddenly exploded, and just because of this curious coincidence he wanted to exploit Yang Chen’s background of being an executioner to suppress him and destroy Yang Chen’s Dao Foundation, but now it had evolved into this kind of situation.
To use the guilt of killing incessantly to torture Yang Chen’s heart, Tian Qian Sect’s JieDan stage expert’s intention was also not so simple and without maliciousness. In case Yang Chen had wavered over the fact that he had killed, the outcome would not be as simple as him being thrown out of the Heavenly Stairs, rather these countless torturous questions were sufficient to stab a thorn into Yang Chen’s most innermost being.
Any time Yang Chen would want to advance his cultivation, because of wavering in his conviction, this thorn could evolve and turn into an enormous Heart’s Devil. Then when the time came, not to mention breaking through to the next realm, just being able to live his life without being haunted by the terror of the Heart’s Devil would already be the best possible outcome.
Illusions are born in the mind, other people wouldn’t know what Yang Chen’s illusions were about. And these JieDan stage experts responsible for maintaining the spell formation were merely acting in accordance with the reflection of weak points of the person climbing the Heavenly Stairs. The purpose of doing this was so that they could provide their own imagination to attack, so that they could adapt to the illusions coming further ahead on the Heavenly Stairs, so that, when they were thrown out of the Heavenly Stairs, the tested person could gain some benefits and also learn of their own weak points.
Yang Chen had faced the plans formed together by these JieDan Stage experts and absolutely didn’t have the opportunity to adapt to it, and had directly withstood the incessant questions directed at his identity as an executioner. But now, not only did Yang Chen not withdraw, instead of being dragged down by these people, he became even more determined to not give up.
All of the spirit power in the bodies of these JieDans stage experts was already entirely absorbed by the spell formation, under this situation they had no other choice but to begin taking magic potions incessantly, to be able to keep the spell formation working. Even under this situation they did not dare to give up, in case they let down their guard, the spell formation would, in turn, devour them. Compared to the exhaustion of their spirit power, that outcome was far more dreadful.
“I don’t believe, that Yuan Ying and Da Cheng stage experts would also be unable to suppress him!”
A JieDan expert shouted within his heart.
He spat out a mouthful of blood and it blended within the spell formation.
In front of Yang Chen, another expert appeared, his power and might incomparable to anyone before. Under this enormous pressure, Yang Chen even felt himself being forced to kneel on the ground. However, the surging killing intent within his mind did not in the least want to lose to this pressure and made him choose the option of slashing at the great expert.
Every time he ascended one more step, it became incomparably more difficult. To the outsiders, Yang Chen’s steps had already appeared to be slowing, little by little. Every step was getting matchlessly difficult, it appeared as if he would lose at any moment now.
Fifty seventh, fifty eighth, fifty ninth, in a moment Yang Chen was going to step on the sixtieth step. The countless people watching outside were already thoroughly dumbstruck. Both of Pure Yang Palace’s qi layer disciples were simply monsters. One was at the sixth qi layer and the other only at the second qi layer. These people did not know any other way to describe them.
Yang Chen’s footsteps had still not stopped, however, and as before he was steadily continuing forward. Despite being slow, they hadn’t stopped even once since the beginning.
As if after he had stepped into another space, Yang Chen suddenly felt all of the pressure around him disperse. In front of Yang Chen, the people he remembered from the spiritual world appeared and no matter whether they had a good or bad relationship with him, facing Yang Chen, they would merely incessantly ask him the same questions. Now, on every step, two more people appeared.
The original pressure however, didn’t have any increase in quality. Yang Chen had realized that these JieDan experts were making Yuan Ying and Da Cheng stage experts appear, but were only barely able to imitate their imposing manner. However the experts had already expended most of their energy, so they were basically not in any position to be able to imitate that sort of imposing manner and state, but, on the contrary, it made Yang Chen feel like the pressure had lessened.
The will of the XianTai Stage was fusing itself with Yang Chen. Apparently the more people Yang Chen killed, the higher its approval of him became, fusing with him even more.
As Yang Chen moved upward step by step on the Heavenly Stairs, the JieDan experts on the outside were already incapable of persisting. Apart from Xu Cheng Xin, who was providing just enough spirit power for the spell formation to work, the others were already becoming more and more desperate.
“He even dared to behead those seniors who have already ascended to the spiritual world? Who could possibly still create problems for him?”
Yang Chen had already reached the step which had neither predecessors nor will ever have successors.
The Eightieth Step.
This had led to all of the other nine JieDan stage experts to feel despair in their hearts. All of them had already contributed a mouthful of their blood essence. Their consciousness was almost unable to resist now.
If the illusionary space was broken, that would mean that the cultivators responsible would be devoured instead. The Tian Quan Sect’s Foreign Affair Hall’s Hall Master clenched his teeth and formed a resolution.
Two mouthfuls of blood essence sprayed above the center of the spell formation, he greatly regretted what had happened within his heart.
“I refuse to believe! You dare to behead in the spiritual world, but are you also daring enough to behead immortals of the Heavenly Court?”
After an exchange with their spiritual awareness, the other JieDan experts responsible for the spell formation also agreed with this decision and all of them coughed up two mouthfuls of blood essence and began the final duel between them and Yang Chen.
All of them were delighted in their hearts, but they were not in the least aware, that when Yang Chen faced the people from the Heavenly Court, even that last little bit of pressure had completely faded away. These guys had all already died at his hand, so while Yang Chen still met with their questions, how could he admit that killing them was wrong?
On the later steps, Yang Chen was able to increase his pace again, first walking rapidly until he was running as fast as the wind when he finally reached that last, one-hundredth step of the Heavenly Stairs. As Yang Chen had reached this step, the emotions of the entire crowd at the Floating Mountain began to boil.
Since the time Heavenly Stairs had been created, never before had anyone been able to climb to the top. However now, everyone was witnessing a legend being born before their eyes. Pure Yang Palace’s second qi layer disciple Yang Chen had unexpectedly reached the apex of the Heavenly Stairs. This… This was just miraculous. Countless talismans flew into the sky around the Floating Mountain and in a flash, the sky was hidden from view.
At the instant when Yang Chen ascended the peak, all of the ten JieDan stage experts simultaneously coughed up blood. But Xu Cheng Xin was merely supporting the spell so for him, it was only his spiritual influence’s wear and tear, so long as he would recuperate for three to five days, he would recover very quickly. Xu Cheng was very ecstatic within his heart, a Pure Yang Palace’s disciple had ascended the entire Heavenly Stairs, the Pure Yang Palace had never before shone like this.
Indeed, the other JieDan experts hadn’t been as lucky as that. Even before they had already coughed up few mouthfuls of blood essence, but after this mouthful, even their internal organs started shaking. Even if they had the best elixirs, they couldn’t recover to their earlier prowess within a short time, even if they were able to recuperate to their current state within half a year, they would already be fortunate.
Only who would take notice of what was happening here, as everyone’s vision was entirely fixed on that radiant and lofty figure standing at the peak of the Heavenly Stairs. All of them wanted to know what kind of benefits one would receive after ascending to the top of the Heavenly Stairs.
At that time, Yang Chen was stuck in the final process of the fusion of his killing intent and was unable to move at all for the time being. The Heavenly Stairs under his foot, however, had begun to make spirit power rush forth and enter his body as if the Heavenly Stairs were trying to assist him.