“Fist? Sword? Could this be the work of that painting…? How mysterious,” Lin Yun muttered. “My Ferocious Tiger Fist transformed. I’ll need to look into this more when I return.”
Lin Yun would normally stand no chance against a demonized Saber-toothed Tiger. If not for the image in his mind, which allowed him to resist the baleful aura, he would’ve likely been torn to shreds. At this moment, a faint flicker happened to catch Lin Yun’s eye. It was coming from the chest of the Saber-toothed Tiger. “A beast core? Lucky me, not every demonic beast has one.”
As long as a demonic beast managed to form a core, they would be able to advance in their cultivation like cultivators. For example, the strength of an ordinary Saber-toothed Tiger was at the pinnacle of the fourth stage of the Martial Path, approaching the fifth, at best. But the moment it formed a core, it could break through into the Sixth, Seventh, or even the tenth stage of the Martial Path.
“If I didn’t kill it today, a beast king might have been born on Cloud Horizon Mountain!” Lin Feng remarked, a tinge of fear in his eyes. “It must have formed a core after consuming that fruit.”
Even the core of a quasi-demonic beast was worth a significant sum. Compared to this beast core, his harvest for the past three days wasn’t much. Lin Yun didn’t give it a second thought. He took out his dagger and started cutting open the Saber-toothed Tiger’s chest. After extracting the core, the faint glow around it disappeared, making it look like nothing more than ordinary rock. But he could still clearly sense a powerful spiritual aura as he grasped it in his hand.
Lin Yun carefully stowed away the core in his bag. He was in no rush to harvest the rest of the Saber-toothed Tiger’s corpse. He walked over to the tree to collect his sword, a hint of shame on his face. A swordsman losing their sword was a disgrace.
Just when he returned his sword to the sheath, Lin Yun heard footsteps approaching in his direction. Judging from the sound, it was a group of people. He knitted his brows. It would be terrible if he were discovered. But before he could do anything, a group of disciples in Azure Sky Sect uniforms entered his vision. Lin Yun swept his eyes over the group. He recognized their leader. Chen Xiao, an outer disciple. He’d carried out sword maintenance for this fellow in the past.
“It looks like whoever fought it must have been heavily injured and immediately left after retrieving the beast core. Why else would the corpse be abandoned?” Chen Xiao said, gazing around at the surroundings.
“Senior Brother Chen, are we going to chase after him?” one of the group members asked.
“He’s probably long gone by now. Let’s ask any possible witnesses.” Chen Xiao then turned to Lin Yun, as if finally taking notice of his presence. “You arrived here earlier than us? Did you see anyone else pass by?”
Lin Yun immediately understood. The thought of him being the one who killed the Saber-toothed Tiger didn’t even cross Chen Xiao’s mind. Then again, that made perfect sense. In Chen Xiao’s eyes, he was only a sword slave. How could he possibly defeat a demonic beast? Even Lin Yun himself didn’t believe he could kill the Saber-toothed Tiger in the beginning.
“No one.” Lin Yun replied calmly, not a trace of panic on his face.
“Hmph! Useless trash! Then get out of my sight!” Chen Xiao barked, the contempt in his eyes as clear as day.
This was exactly what Lin Yun wanted. Chen Xiao was in the fifth stage of the Martial Path, and the rest were all at the fourth stage. It was impossible for him to go against so many people alone.
“Wait up!” Chen Xiao called out. He tossed his sword over in Lin Yun’s direction. It stabbed into the ground between his feet. “It’s good that you’re here. Perform maintenance on my sword. Saving me a trip back to the Sword Cleaning Chamber.”
“I’m sorry, but I’m no longer a sword slave, Senior Brother Chen,” Lin Yun refused.
“Hoh? Fine. I won’t let you work for free. You can have a small share of this demonic beast as well.”
Lin Yun’s expression flickered with rage. The Saber-toothed Tiger was killed by him, so the corpse belonged to him to begin with. Chen Xiao was crossing the line.
“Haha, this sword slave seems to have some attitude. Senior Brother, why don’t we give him a bashing?” one of the lackeys said.
“Heh, I bet that if it was Su Ziyao’s sword, this sword slave would definitely go crawling to her, begging to perform maintenance for her,” said another.
“Hahaha!” The group laughed. It was no secret that the previous Lin Yun was in love with Su Ziyao. The whole affair was a huge joke in the sect.
“Lin Yun, be obedient. I don’t have a habit of bullying. After all, giving you a beating won’t do any good for my reputation. Perform maintenance for my sword and I’ll speak a few words for you to Senior Sister Su.” Chen Xiao teased.
“Hahaha!” The rest of the group erupted into another round of laughter. Lin Feng stared coldly at their jeering faces, when a thought crossed his mind. He walked up and picked up Chen Xiao’s sword from the ground.
The body of the sword vibrated as a bloody aura permeated into the air. The sword was two-fingers wide with a wavy cloud pattern running down the blade. An amateur could tell that it was a superb sword at a glance. The edge was stained with blood from the past few days of slaughter, but it couldn’t hide the sharpness of the sword.
What an excellent sword!
This sword was several grades above those distributed in the sect. Although it was not a profound artifact, it wasn't far from being one.
“Careful. My sword is expensive. It cost me nearly half a year of my savings, and I—”Chen Xiao remarked with smug pride.
Before Chen Xiao could finish speaking, Lin Yun crushed the sword into pieces. The smile on Chen Xiao’s face froze. He felt as if his heart had been ripped out. All the other outer disciples stared at Lin Yun dumbfounded.
So it wasn’t a coincidence that all those swords broke in the Weapons Chamber.
“Senior Brother, it looks like you bought a fake one with your savings.” Lin Yun said sincerely, holding out the empty hilt.
“M-my Cloudline Sword!” Chen Xiao roared. His eyes turned crimson red, looking as if he wanted to devour Lin Yun alive. This sword was his treasure, and he’d only gotten it half a month ago. All that money. Gone. It was easy to imagine how much mental anguish he was in after seeing it shatter in Lin Yun’s hand.
“Y-you! You’re dead!” Chen Xiao raged. He charged at Lin Yun, unleashing his fifth stage aura completely.
Lin Yun was mildly shocked. Based on the pressure, Chen Xiao was at the pinnacle of the fifth stage, only a step away from breaking through. That said, it was only to this extent. He calmly greeted the attack without a trace of fear on his face—
Just as Chen Xiao was about to reach Lin Yun, a deep roar rang out from the distance as a powerful demonic aura swept over the surroundings.
“Demonic beast!” Chen Xiao and the other outer disciples went pale when they felt the thick demonic aura.
The Saber-toothed Tiger’s corpse had attracted the attention of another demonic beast! It was a wonderful nourishment for other demonic beasts. It was this sword slave’s fault that they did not have any time to harvest the corpse.
“Sword slave, count yourself lucky that I’m letting you off the hook today!” Chen Xiao left these words behind before swiftly departing. After all, he did not dare to risk his life fighting a demonic beast.