41 Mountain of Wealth

The bloody arena saw many strange battles between unique individuals with a vast range of techniques, so it wasn't often that the audience was left feeling stunned. However, Yaan's methods were simply too strange in their eyes. Almost nobody could understand how it was that all of his spells seemed to completely lack Yuan Qi, or any sort of energy for that matter!

How could they know that Yaan did not use Yuan Qi, and that he was not using spells, but sword arts? Nobody would believe that he was using sword arts, because sword arts were not supposed to produce such illusions without the usage of Yuan Qi like those displayed by Yaan! Only the Spirit Core realm Elders seemed to understand, whilst very few Qi Temple realm Elders were able to make some conjectures.

In truth, even Yaan himself did not quite understand how he was doing this!

It was as if everything from before was just a dream. Yaan stood there coldly with his sword stabbed through Shin Jinni's throat. The stunned old man fell to his knees and struggled to raise his hands towards the centre of his armour, but Yaan's eyes flashed. Before the old man could touch the armour, Yaan acted without hesitation or mercy.

Chi CHi!

"AHHHHHH!"

Yaan quickly sliced through his two wrists, removing both of his hands without even thinking about it. He had the feeling that this armour wasn't simple, and that it would cause him no end of troubles if this old man were to touch the central formation of the strange golden treasure.

"You, you can't kill! You can't kill me! You can't, I'm-"

Swichi!

Yaan quickly slashed at his neck, sending his head flying from his shoulders and ending his life instantly. Yaan couldn't help but remind himself that there was one benefit of having his dantian crippled; his body no longer absorbed the slaughter aura of those he killed, meaning he wasn't assaulted by feelings of bloodlust every time he cut down a powerful opponent. Since the ability to absorb slaughter aura was an attribute of the fiend's dantian, it was only possible to do so if the dantian was functioning.

The battle was seemingly over, however, despite beheading his opponent, Yaan felt like something wasn't right. This was a strange instinct of his, but Yaan trusted his instincts which had been honed through multiple life and death experiences! He narrowed his eyes, locating the source of his worries and quickly stabbing down into that golden armour, shattering the central formation that was now thoroughly weakened since it was not being maintained by the wearer.

The formation shattered and hateful screams echoed out as nine strands of light flew off in opposite directions. Yaan was bewildered, but he quickly grabbed the nine strands of light and held them in his hand curiously. He examined each of the unusual things with a dubious gaze. After seeing that they each contained a different variation of Shin Jinni's aura, Yaan squeezed his hand mercilessly and shattered the nine lights without a second thought.

Finally, the feeling that something was amiss vanished, truly symbolising the end of the fight and Yaan's victory. Yaan had no idea what just happened, but he had the distinct feeling that if he had allowed those lights escape, then Shin Jinni would have somehow survived!

Yaan furrowed his brows when he thought this, showing a confused expression.

'Why do I want to kill him so much? It's not like we have an irreconcilable grudge, and I'm pretty sure I won as soon as I stabbed his throat and destroyed the formation…'

Yaan wasn't the type of person that loved killing. In the past, he was actually quite resistant to the idea of killing at all, but he was no longer that same naive child. He killed when he needed to, or at least when there was a reason to do so. He didn't just slaughter for fun like some demons, 'killing for the sake of killing'.

He couldn't lie to himself that he was a good, righteous saint of a person, but neither was he a sadistic blood crazed demon. Yaan didn't particularly like killing, but he was no longer averse to killing in most situations. The cultivation world was cruel, it was often kill or be killed, and Yaan knew that he would prefer to be the one doing the killing.

It wasn't that Yaan was questioning his heart right now. No, rather than that, he was genuinely curious about why his instincts had screamed at him that he absolutely needed to ensure that Shin Jinni was killed properly.

'Perhaps it was a vague premonition, that if I let him escape, it wouldn't end well for me.' Yaan could only settle on this less than satisfactory answer. He stopped thinking about it for now. With a glance, Yaan turned back to the old corpse, then collected his spear and golden armour.

Whoosh!

"Here, Elder." Yaan handed the spear over to the Ghu Clan Elder without hesitation. If this person wanted it, did Yaan really have the guts to covet it for himself? From the sounds of it, this Shin Jinni should be rich, and the armour was definitely more precious than the spear anyway. Nadda's great grandfather was already being generous and showing his good will by allowing Yaan to keep all but three of Shin Jinni's treasures.

He left the arena to the sounds of thunderous cheers and awe struck chatter, followed by Ghu Nadda and his great grandfather, who were both wearing serious expressions as they watched Yaan's back.

They entered a hall that was usually reserved for Ghu Clan access only. Since Ghu Nadda's great grandfather was a Ghu Clan Elder though, it didn't matter and nobody would dare say anything about it.

"Yaan, you can't use Yuan Qi, right…?" Nadda couldn't help but ask the moment they were somewhere less crowded.

"Mm, that's right." Yaan nodded.

"But then…how?! How did you create those shocking scenes…those wind blades…the water sword…the typhoon?"

Yaan blinked, surprised to see Nadda so shocked for once.

Besides, he was fairly certain that he achieved a similar feat in the battle against the Qi Temple realm grandpa from before, but maybe Nadda had wrongly assumed that those scenes were actually caused by his opponent back then. After seeing the water blades, wind blades and blade typhoon for a second time, he realised that it was somehow accomplished by Yaan! Like the audience in the arena, Nadda wanted to know how Yaan could create a spell-like scene without using Yuan Qi!

In the end, Yaan smiled and shrugged.

"Not sure, it just happened."

"Hahaha, so it's like this, you don't even understand it yourself." Nadda's teacher and great grandfather laughed amusedly. Still, he didn't hide the gleam of admiration from his eyes when looking at Yaan.

"Unknowingly, you have been comprehending the dao of illusion to turn the essence of your sword arts into a reality. It has nothing to do with Yuan Qi, or any energy for that matter, but dao comprehension…usually such a level of comprehension would only be found on Rank 4 beings, but your dao comprehension is simply too far ahead of your demonic body cultivation."

By saying 'Rank 4 beings', the Ghu Clan Elder was referring to all paths of cultivation equal to 'Rank 4'. This included Spirit Core realm Qi masters, Demon Core realm demons, 4-Star demonic body cultivators, and even Rank 4 beasts, in their own way.

"Dao…the dao of illusions?" Yaan asked dazedly.

Yaan had heard the term 'dao' mentioned more than once throughout his life spent in the world of Qi masters and cultivation. It was said that at higher cultivation realms, it was necessary to comprehend dao in order to progress. At the lower realms, like the True Yuan Qi and Qi Temple realms, this comprehension was also needed, but only vaguely speaking. To reach the Spirit or Demon Core realm though, it was necessary to comprehend a specific dao and to use this dao comprehension to break past the realm boundary.

Dao could be nameless, but dao could also be named. A cultivator could comprehend dao as a general concept of enlightenment, or they comprehend a very specific type of dao, such as the dao of fire or the dao of water. In order to break through to the Core realms, it was necessary to gain this sort of specific dao comprehension. For Qi masters, the requirement was generally higher than for body cultivators, but those who cultivated the demonic body still needed dao comprehension nonetheless.

"Don't worry about it too much." The old man laughed at Yaan's confused expression. "With your comprehension, you will naturally come to understand it one day. For some people, people like you, it is best if they comprehend it on their own."

Yaan nodded slowly and decided to stop thinking about it for now. He turned his attention to the armour. As Yaan studied the golden armour, he glanced towards the old man doubtfully.

"You're really letting me keep this?"

After seeing the bizarre formation on the golden armour, he realised that this was nothing ordinary. Even now, the shattered formation was starting to restore itself! The old man noticed this and showed a serious expression. He walked across to the armour as Yaan lay it down on a table, then pressed his palm down onto the red rune. Yaan stepped back to give the Elder some space, but he didn't expect the old man's face to instantly turn pale. He trembled slightly and a drop of blood even leaked out from the corner of his mouth!

Yaan was shocked. This tiny formation could injured a Demon Core realm powerhouse so quickly?!

After a minute of focussing on the formation, ignoring his face which was growing increasingly pale, the old man finally removed his palm and sighed. He swallowed an unknown pill and most of the colour quickly returned to his face. He then formed a hand seal, creating a floating red rune, before repeating this 80 times to form a total of 81 runes. The translucent glowing runes fused together, before suddenly slamming down into the formation on the armour.

"Peugh!"

"Teacher!" Ghu Nadda's eyes widened and he exclaimed. Seeing the Elder cough up blood like that also stunned Yaan. In his eyes, a Demon Core realm Ghu Clan Elder was almost a peak existence in the Ghu Province, he didn't expect this random formation to give him so much trouble!

The old man didn't respond, but his expression became even more ferocious. He wiped his mouth and snorted coldly.

"Annihilation of former, replace with present. Devour!" After chanting this, a red disk formed on his palm. He actually slapped the golden armour so hard that metal ringing noises echoed throughout the hall!

"Hah…" Finally he stood up and looked satisfied.

"So…" Yaan didn't know where to begin. The old man chuckled and shook his head slowly, his gaze flashing as he stared at the armour.

"I really never expected it to be like this…that Shin Jinni, his soul was actually stored not in his body, but inside this bizarre formation in the armour! The armour's power stemmed from it having a sentient treasure spirit, now that the spirit has been killed, its power will be much weaker…I changed the formation such that a new spirit can be added at any time…but this isn't an ordinary spiritual treasure. It seems to require a portion of the wearer's soul to become the formation spirit! Only, that crazy fool Shin Jinni actually split his soul into nine and placed all nine fragments in the armour! No, perhaps it was his teacher that altered the armour to absorb and split his soul. As for why, I have no idea…"

All of this was a lot for Yaan to take in. He didn't know much about the soul, only that the mortal soul would develop into an origin soul at the Origin Soul realm or a primal soul at the Primal Soul realm, also known as the 5-Star realm.

Splitting souls was a technique beyond his understanding. The old Ghu Clan Elder understood this and didn't say much more, but he still insisted that Yaan keep the armour.

"It's still a good spiritual treasure for someone at your level, even without being complete. If you decide to complete it in the future, it will become at least ten times more formidable. As for me…it has no use to me. Splitting my soul at my stage will only cause me troubles when trying to reach the Origin Soul realm."

After taking the spear, the old man emptied Shin Jinni's spatial ring, took two more items, then directly left.

Staring at the mountain of treasure which was left behind, just like that, Yaan felt like he was dreaming. He couldn't even identify 80% of these things, nor could he guess their value, or even their usage!

In the end, Nadda agreed to sort everything for Yaan with the help of some specialists. If Yaan were to sort through these things, he would first need to spend multiple years studying up on treasures, which he simply didn't have the time for right now. Yaan insisted that Nadda should keep anything extremely useful to him, as well as the 15 Rank 4 recovery pills that he owed the young ghoul. They would both be working together in the inheritance after all, it would be good for both of them if either of them improved. Not to mention, Yaan still felt like he owed Nadda for all the assistance he had provided in locating the various resources and sword arts that Yaan needed.

A few days later, the loot was not only sorted, but everything useless to Yaan was directly converted to Rank 4 recovery pills, making Yaan feel a bit rich. He was sure that the Ghu Clan 'specialists' likely undervalued many items and kept some good things for themselves, but there was no other way around it since Yaan couldn't even identify the items. He needed wealth now, before the opening of the inheritance, so he would just need to accept the loss in exchange for the immediate benefits. Anyway, he had kept anything that looked particularly valuable before letting them sort through everything.

He still had multiple life saving treasures, weapons and spiritual treasures in his possession that he was unable to use…yet this was after many things were converted into recovery pills, which he directly spent on thousands of pills and potions of all varieties, whilst still retaining 46 Rank 4 recovery pills in direct funds!

Soon after they finished sorting Yaan's newfound wealth, Ghu Nadda entered closed door cultivation in an attempt to reach the 4th layer Qi Palace realm. Meanwhile, Yaan finally decided to attempt his own breakthrough.

The breakthrough to the 3-Star realm!

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