Lilian raised an eyebrow upon hearing the Sword-Saint's impressive guess. She remained silent however, not concerned about him finding out the truth, but instead to seize any opportunity to frustrate the Sword-Saint.

The Sword-Saint paused for a moment, letting Lilian have time to speak and explain herself. She remained silent, not playing into his games. He narrowed his eyes for a brief moment, then continued.

"The information was from the person that found you," the Sword-Saint continued. "He said that he saw your arrival, like a fiery comet streaking down from the sky. He followed your trail and eventually found you, but mentioned that when you had appeared, you arrived as a twin comet."

"Your point?" Lilian finally said something.

"Someone else clearly arrived with you," he continued. "The second 'comet'. Was that comet this boy? Was he the reason you came up with that little wager of yours? Your confidence in placing that bet always felt misplaced, but if my guess is correct, it would make much more sense."

Lilian gave the Sword-Saint a level gaze, then smiled lightly.

"And if he was? Does it make any difference?"

The Sword-Saint narrowed his eyes, a deep breath pulled in a moment later. His mouth twitched with a range of conflicting emotions, then he turned and began to walk away.

"No, there is no difference at all whether you know this boy or not," the Sword-Saint said firmly. "If he runs into Ji'Han, he will be destroyed. And you," he said, turning to look at her over his shoulder. "You will then marry Ji'Han and give him an heir. That is the only outcome to this gamble of yours."

"Do you want to increase the stakes of the wager then?" Lilian asked with a sly smile on her face.

The Sword-Saint stopped at the room's exit, then left without uttering a word. She watched him leave, then returned her focus to the jade piece in her hand. A pill appeared in her other hand a moment later, one brimming with profound death Qi, which she then swallowed.

"You shouldn't taunt father like that," Ji'Han said, eyes still focused on the trial happening far below. "His temper has gotten worse since the illusory scores were announced, and provoking him won't serve you any good."

Lilian shot him a quick glance, then returned her focus to the jade piece, studying its contents within. Silence filled the room for a long time before Ji'Han spoke up once more.

Lilian looked up from her jade piece, studying Ji'Han for a while.

"Your father is the one who discovered me, the one who…purchased me…the one who 'betrothed' you and I, and yet despite all that, you've never told either me or your father your opinion on this matter," Lilian said, her words causing Ji'Han to turn towards her and meet her gaze.

"From what I can tell, you only care about your way of the sword, and your cultivation" Lilian continued. "So why do you go along with your father's plan so obediently?"

Ji'Han's gaze lingered on Lilian for a while, then returned to the trial far below.

"I will eventually have to marry, so why not accept the hand of a heavenly-beauty," Ji'Han said flatly. He paused for a moment, as if considering his next words.

"Besides," he continued. "You're right about my Sword Dao being everything to me. It is the pinnacle martial Dao, and I intend to take my Sword Dao to the peak of this universe, dominating all who stand in my way. While I climb to the peak, I will use any and all advantages and opportunities to get there."

He turned to meet her gaze again, his expression calm yet firm.

"And your vital yin will be an important aid to my ascension," he said, holding her gaze. "The first exchange of vital yin in a cultivator's life is the most important, the most potent, the most nourishing. In this regard, I will find no better suitor than you."

"My vital yin?" she mused, eyebrow raised, then sighed and returned her focus to the jade piece in her hand. "What a disappointing answer."

"You will also benefit greatly from our exchange of yin and yang," Ji'Han said flatly, as if talking about a mundane subject. "It is not only me who is obtaining something valuable from this situation."

"Hmmm…is that so?" Lilian mumbled, not taking her eyes off the jade piece. "Just remember not to upset John too much, and especially do not mention to him what you just said to me. I'd rather not have your death on his hands. That would cause him quite a bit of trouble which I'd much rather avoid."

"Your friend is not strong enough to beat me," Ji'Han replied evenly, as if his words were simply fact, and not opinion. "In this endeavor, you have made a grave error in judgment."

The rest of the preliminary trial carried out without much fanfare, much to the crowds disappointment. After being entertained by John's antics, the rest of the usually exciting trial had seemed rather boring and mundane.

In the battlefield before the finish line, dozens of chaotic battles were taking place as the participants there desperately tried to make their way forward. In the chaos of it all, a girl from the Arcane-Dao Sect, a tier-two subsect of the Mage-Dao Sect, managed to break through and step over the finish line, sealing herself as the last qualifier.

A blaring noise filled the arena a moment later, officially signaling the end of the preliminary trial. The crowd erupted wildly with cheers, excited by what they had seen, and even moreso, excited for what was to come. The end of the preliminary trial meant only one thing; that tomorrow, the tournament proper, the one they had all been looking forward to for three years, was about to commence.

A tournament filled with heavenly geniuses, grudge-fueled rivalries, and unknown dark horses. It was no doubt going to be a tournament of the ages. A tournament that none of the tens of millions of spectators would ever forget for as long as they lived.