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Not only was Xue Ren's sword impossible to dodge, but after he dual-cultivated traditional swordsmanship, the strengthening from the sword intent was even more effective. Xue Ren could be said to be the strongest he’d ever been in his life.

However, Gu Nan acted like nothing happened. The parts of his body damaged by the sword intent quickly recovered, and he punched straight out.

Xue Ren reacted at light speed. The sword flickered again, and the signature wave sword instantly shot out, enveloping Gu Nan's fist like mist.

After all, he was also a powerful Star Ruler who stood at the pinnacle of the Myriad Heavens, second only to Unified Dao existences. Xue Ren had never feared anyone.

Even though Gu Nan once borrowed the power of his astral world to injure the similarly Tier 10 Fang Chaoyun, how could Fang Chaoyun compare to Xue Ren?

The best swordsman in the Myriad Heavens, the person closest to Unified Dao, the founder of a new branch of swordsmanship… Xue Ren had earned many titles, but Fang Chaoyun only had one—"Song Fei’s disciple".

However, Xue Ren and Fang Chaoyun did share one similarity, which was that neither had a good method to deal with Gu Nan's punch.

Be it wave motion or matter, all the laws instantly shattered when the sword cloud collided with Gu Nan's punch, immediately destroying all sword intent.

Under the crushing might of pure strength, even the most exalted and mysterious of laws could no longer exist.

Gu Nan's punch broke the sword cloud without hindrance and hit Xue Ren's chest.

Xue Ren was like a normal person being hit by a cannonball. Droplets of blood so fine they resembled mist exploded from his chest. Blood even sprayed out from behind Xue Ren. Countless pieces of blood and flesh slowly rained down, filling the air with a strange fragrance.

Given Xue Ren's current realm, his flesh, blood, and bones were all treasures, but now they were being squandered away like nothing.

But how could Xue Ren have energy to care about that?

Without bothering to say anything, his entire body turned into sword energy and quickly shot out of Gu Nan’s astral world.

"Huh, he didn’t die?" Gu Nan glanced in that direction, then looked at the flesh and blood scattered on the ground with a shrug.

Since Xue Ren didn’t die from this punch, Gu Nan couldn’t be bothered to pursue him. There was no benefit in killing Xue Ren. On the contrary, his identity would be exposed even faster if he caused a big fuss.

He still had to deal with Fang Chaoyun, and it would be best to kill him in a single blow. There was no benefit in exposing his power in advance.

The result seemed to be no different from what Xue Ren originally said. The two sides went their separate ways after one strike—but this result may not necessarily be what Xue Ren wanted.

……

Extreme Sword Heaven.

Immortal Empress Taisheng sat there, no longer as high-spirited as her earlier years, but she had yet to completely lose her vigor.

In the end, she decisively abandoned her astral world in exchange for her own escape. After fleeing, she immediately came to Extreme Sword Heaven, still holding onto the hope of returning to Imperial Glory Heaven.

There were two people next to her. One was Zhuangxuan, who came here again after hearing the news, and the other was naturally Zi Luo Elder.

After seeing Zi Luo Elder here and knowing that Xue Ren was still in seclusion, she originally thought there was no hope of regaining her astral world for the time being. Unexpectedly, Xue Ren came out of isolated cultivation at this critical moment.

After hearing what transpired recently, Xue Ren didn't say much and immediately rushed towards Gu Nan’s astral world.

Next… They all saw what happened next.

Xue Ren didn’t hide his whereabouts from them. Through Xue Ren's existence, they saw what just transpired in Gu Nan’s Divine Kingdom.

Immortal Empress Taisheng fell silent and never brought up revenge again. She even felt a little lucky—if she hadn't fled so quickly… Though Xue Ren could tank that punch, she didn't have that ability.

After a long silence, Zhuangxuan coughed lightly and said, "If Senior Xue Ren’s life is not in danger, then the most important matter right now is to invite Senior Gu Nan back into the Heaven-God Alliance."

There was only calm indifference in his eyes as he said this, lacking any emotion.

Xue Ren once said Zhuangxuan and his master, Daoist Lingyang, were the same type of person. This wasn’t entirely accurate, because Taoist Lingyang still had friends, relatives, and a social network, while Zhuangxuan had none.

He was like the calmest bystander, always making the most rational decision.

No one knew how long it would take for Xue Ren to recover after receiving that punch. Instead, Gu Nan became the target they had to win over.

No matter the method, he ascended from Realm Level to Heaven Level in the blink of an eye and grew to the point where he could easily injure Xue Ren. As long as Gu Nan was already standing in this position, he was worth fighting for.

The Heaven-God Alliance needed another Unified Dao member. This was the entire organization’s most urgent goal at the moment.

But as the party involved, Immortal Empress Taisheng had just lost her entire astral world, so she obviously couldn't be so open-minded.

"He must have used some kind of secret technique… Unified Dao is no child's play!" She stood up and spoke quickly, as if she wanted to refute Zhuangxuan with all her strength, "How long has it been since Gu Nan started cultivating? Not even two hundred years! How can he have the resources and accumulation needed for Unified Dao?"

Zhuangxuan's expression remained unchanged as he calmly answered, "Someone who started cultivating less than two hundred years ago, yet can already easily defeat Senior Xue Ren, is also unprecedented."

Immortal Empress Taisheng's expression slowly darkened. Of course she knew that at least the organization wouldn’t suffer any losses if they could win over Gu Nan… But how could she swallow her anger?

"Gu Nan killed Alfred and openly attacked Imperial Glory Heaven. We still want to keep such a person in the organization?" Immortal Empress Taisheng said scornfully, "If that’s the case, why not let Fang Chaoyun join too?"

Zhuangxuan, however, remained expressionless. "If Senior Gu Nan rejects our proposal and Senior Xue Ren's injury doesn’t look good, accepting Fang Chaoyun is not out of the question."

"You…" Immortal Empress Taisheng didn’t know what to say anymore, so she could only glare at him coldly. "You and Gu Nan really are the same. You’re both equally unscrupulous!"

Regarding this pure denunciation, Zhuang Xuan said nothing, as if these words were just a cool breeze.

Zi Luo Elder also had no expression and just watched the two argue from the side. Only now did he slowly speak, "Let's not argue about this for now. Xue Ren is back."

As soon as he finished, the other two saw Xue Ren's figure materialize, standing right in front of them.

Xue Ren's face was pale, and a portion of his chest seemed to be missing, leaving a large, gaping hole that could be seen through. Half of his heart was completely destroyed, but the other half was still beating.

"Gu Nan…" Xue Ren staggered over and sat down on the chair with difficulty. "He’s not human."

The first words Xue Ren spoke after arriving stunned the three of them. Because the fight happened inside Gu Nan’s astral world, not even Zi Luo Elder noticed Gu Nan's strange aura.

Only Xue Ren, who personally met Gu Nan, discovered the strange aura on Gu Nan's body.

"Could he… really be a Nine Abyss Heavenly Demon?" Immortal Empress Taisheng knew Gu Nan well and recalled this rumor.