The man wearing the conical hat in the black clothing was none other than Zhuo Rusui.
Those who had left the Illusionary Realm were usually killed by him.
"Why would you do it?" Tong Yan suddenly asked.
"I think it's too slow and also too brutal for someone to become the ruler of the entire world in order to win the Bronze Tripod, and the nonstop battles and killing would ruin many people's lives. I have found a simpler way to achieve this."
Zhuo Rusui continued, "As long as I kill all the participants in the Dao Competition, I'll become the final winner."
"This idea sounds sensible, but nobody could do it. No matter how talented and strong you are in fighting, you still can't achieve it."
Tong Yan pointed to the grey sky and added, "There is a lid here."
This statement had an implicit meaning.
The highest Cultivation state in the Illusionary Realm was the initial state of the Yuanying or the Free Travel, which was a set rule for the competition. Given the upper limit of the Cultivation state, the difference of talents among the participants was leveled to some degree. Even if Zhuo Rusui had an exceptional talent and could attain the initial state of the Free Travel faster than anybody else, he still couldn't fight against all the participants and win.
Zhuo Rusui said, "That is why I have to try to kill them all before those imbeciles catch up to me."
"It's easy to find me and Jing Jiu; but it's not as easy to find others," Tong Yan said. "I wondered how you found Xiang Wanshu."
"I found Que Niang in Yunzhou," said Zhuo Rusui.
Hearing the names of Yunzhou and Que Niang, Tong Yan sighed inside, because he figured out what had happened.
"Her luck was not very good. She was born as the son of a chess house owner, and she was bullied and oppressed by the local gangsters. The disciples of your Center Sect like to help others. Well, don't glare at me. It's true. It's called 'taking care of the welfare of the whole world'. Anyway, Xiang Wanshu helped Que Niang a few times, and as a result, exposed himself. I killed him as well as Que Niang."
Zhuo Rusui added, "Well, do you know how I found Que Niang? She had become a male here. Normally, she should be the hardest one to find."
Tong Yan fell silent for a while before saying, "Don't even think about impairing the relationship between the colleagues of our sect. I don't expect you to kill Jing Jiu; likewise, you shouldn't expect me to harm my colleagues."
Zhuo Rusui said solemnly, "The situations are somewhat different between our two sects. He is my senior master, so I can't kill him; but Bai Qianjun is merely your Big Brother, so why can't you kill him?"
Tong Yan didn't respond to this, but said, "You knew it was hopeless for you even before you entered the Illusionary Realm. As a result, you have given up on winning the Tripod and started killing other participants randomly."
Zhuo Rusui said, "I stayed in the manor cave on Tianguang Peak for too long. Though I progressed a great deal in the Cultivation state, I didn't have enough experience in actual fighting, like the Great Grandmaster Jing Yang back then. Killing people here can help me improve my fighting skills faster. As such, I think of it as another way of cultivating."
The wind and snow suddenly stopped. The leisure boats on the lake moved again, but they were like leaves twirling on the ground and not going very far.
It was quiet for a while on the lakeside.
Though every word said by Zhuo Rusui was as sharp as a sword, Tong Yan listened to them nonetheless. And Tong Yan responded with even sharper words, but he couldn't harm his opponent.
"Will you continue the killing?" asked Tong Yan.
Zhuo Rusui replied, "Of course I will. And I know it will get harder and harder, because I have no idea where some of the participants are."
"He Zhan and my Young Sister, for instance," Tong Yan chimed in.
"You can't possibly entice me to go to the palace of Zhao State."
Zhuo Rusui continued with an odd expression, "I don't know what is wrong with the fellow. He is full of deviant energy in this world; so I don't want to touch him for now."
Tong Yan laughed, as he asked, "What about my Young Sister?"
"I thought she was the ill-fated princess; but it doesn't make sense for Bai Qianjun to imprison her in the back garden. It would be better if the two of them combined their forces to take back the throne."
Zhuo Rusui added, "Later, I found Que Niang was born as a man, so Bai Zao could be a man as well, so I am not as determined now."
Tong Yan said, "That is why you've decided to kill all those participants whose identities have been ascertained."
Zhuo Rusui said, "Some participants are not afraid of being discovered by others, because they either hide in the deep end of the palace or are protected by the armies, so they are not easy to kill. Compared to my senior master and Bai Qianjun in the royal palaces, you are easier to kill."
"You have just revealed your intention," Tong Yan reminded him.
Zhuo Rusui fell silent for a while, and then craned his neck to look at the green bird on the tree branch, saying, "Master, to strike a senior master would be the last thing to do. You shouldn't take it the wrong way."
Tong Yan pressed, "Since I'm easy to kill, why haven't you carried it out yet?"
The participants in the Dao Competition were the loneliest people in this world. When they met, it was natural for them to talk with each other a little.
Tong Yan and Zhuo Rusui were also observing each other while they were conversing.
Through observation, Zhuo Rusui was certain that Tong Yan had an inborn disability and a lower Cultivation state…
Still, Tong Yan had prepared more sufficiently than he had expected.
Though the leisure boats on the lake were real and the girls on the boats were also real, the guests on the boats were not; there were many powerful crossbows hidden inside the boats.
Moreover, a scholar was watching the snowy scenery on a small hill not far away with an umbrella in his hand.
The scholar had gray hair in the sideburns. Judging by his age, he was not a participant in the Dao Competition, but had a formidable energy.
"Master Mo, I have heard of you."
Zhuo Rusui said while looking at the scholar in the distance, "I heard that you are probably the most powerful person in this world. I'll definitely find an opportunity to ask for your guidance, but not today."
The scholar closed the umbrella and trod down the hill.
The wind and snow rose again.
Zhuo Rusui said to Tong Yan, "Goodbye."
"Are you sure you can leave?" Tong Yan asked.
The guards and soldiers on the leisure boats knew that their ambush had been discovered, so they came out from the hiding and aimed their crossbows at the lakeside, all this accompanied by the frightened screams of those girls on the boats.
The guards at the lakeshore had also moved closer.
"I of course can leave here; it's because you are not the only one who had prepared beforehand."
Having said this, Zhuo Rusui put on the conical hat and turned around, heading to the wind and snow.
The leader of the guards looked at Tong Yan, waiting for his order.
Tong Yan remained silent, and raised his hand a moment later, signaling for them not to take any action. The guards were all shocked, as they thought that they had already cast a large net today and had the best opportunity to kill that man in black, not to mention that they had the help of powerful Mister Mo; why would the son of King Jing suddenly stop them from taking action?
Master Mo came to the lakeside and also felt baffled while looking at the young man in the wheelchair.
It was then that the green bird flew to a higher tree branch while knocking down the accumulated snow on the branch she had been on.
A man walked out from behind the tree. The man was a bit thin and dark, wearing the uniform of royal guards.
Seeing this person, Tong Yan realized what the preparation Zhuo Rusui mentioned was, and he also realized that the remark Zhuo Rusui made earlier was for this man behind the tree to hear, rather than for the Immortal Liu of Green Mountain.
He said to the man, "I heard that you have never strayed far from His Majesty. I think you must have something important now that you came to Cangzhou today."
The royal guard said, "His Majesty asked me to bring you a message in case I can't kill you."
"The decree of the Emperor is indeed more important than my life. Please tell me," Tong Yan said.
The royal guard said, "His Majesty said that it was pretty annoying that you always sent people to the capital to spread the rumor that the Grand Scholar intended to seize the throne; he asked you to stop doing so in the future."
Tong Yan thought it was indeed the way that guy spoke; but that guy could speak so many words at a time, indicating it was really annoying for him.
Thinking of this, his mood improved. He flicked his finger to show that he knew what to do.
The royal guard didn't say anything more. He turned around and left.
Seeing the back of the royal guard and thinking of the conversation he had with the Grand Scholar back in the thatched hut, Master Mo seemed to reflect on something.
Tong Yan said to him, "Thanks, Master."
Master Mo remarked meaningfully, "Your conversation with the assassin is very interesting. Though I don't quite understand it, I think that's the very reason why it is so interesting."
Tong Yan didn't expect that his conversation with Zhuo Rusui would be heard by Master Mo on the distant hill; he was startled, but his countenance remained unchanged.
Please go to https://www.readlightnovel.cc/The-Path-Toward-Heaven/
to read the latest chapters for free