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Ryu cut his grandfather’s corpse down. If one was watching on, it wouldn’t be terrible of you to assume the two had no relationship whatsoever, Ryu’s features simply left nothing to be read...

In fact, you might be more drawn to the oddity of the situation. The very criminal the Zu, Basteel and Lao Clans were all searching for was right in front of them, but for some reason, not a single person made a move.

Ryu caught Amell’s body before it fell to the ground, laying it down carefully as his Freeze Talent surged.

The infections that ran rampant throughout his grandfather’s body iced over and shattered one after another. In just a few moments, Amell’s body was restored to the point of him looking no different from a middle-aged man taking a midday nap.

However, the fact this nap was interrupted by Ryu placing his body into a spatial ring shattered whatever dreams one had of a happy ending… Everyone knew the living couldn’t enter such a space…

Ryu rose from his kneeling position, turning back to the martial platform and simply stood upon it as though nothing had happened.

The expanse of white tiles, stretching a hundred meters in every direction, made Ryu’s lone figure seem incredibly bleak and soulless.

The referee chosen for the second round of The Selection didn’t know what to do. This was supposed to be an elimination tournament and it wasn’t yet the Loom Clan’s turn. What was he supposed to do if this young man took the stage now?

He looked around with a pleading gaze but there was no one will to help him. Even the female Zu Elder who had just gathered herself was more worried about her own face.

She had felt for a moment there that her mind went completely blank. By the time she awoke to her surroundings, her trophy had been cut down and taken away. This matter was yet another slap to the face of the Zu Clan.

Her long nails dung into her palms as a furious gaze overwhelmed her delicate features.

In the end, she forced herself to calm down. The only way to salvage this situation was by pretending as though this was her intention all along.

The female elder sneered. “Since you’ve come to accept your punishment, there’s no reason to continue humiliating a man who’s only guilty of having an unfilial grandson.

“This Selection is for the sake of my Zu Clan’s territory from the very beginning, in that case, I reserve the right to change the rules. This will now be a last man standing tournament. Since you’ve stepped up first, it’s either you win and die, or you lose and die. Either way, you won’t be leaving here alive.”

Maybe someone lesser in schemes might try to appear to be the bigger person by giving Ryu a ‘chance’ to live by winning, but this female elder was too cunning for this. Since she had the moral high ground, she would take full advantage of it.

“Of course, should he win, I’ll be kind enough to give the Loom Clan their due. And… If he loses, I can allow the next Loom Clan representative to step up and continue.”

City Lord Loom clenched his fists, biting the inside of his cheek hard.

Ryu’s actions were as good as forcing them into the deep end. Since Ryu stepped onto the martial platform, it meant that when he lost, Matheus would have no choice but to battle through everyone he hadn’t defeated. Since they were defending the platform first, they were inherently in a disadvantageous position.

“If you don’t shut your mouth, instead of leaving your head for last as I originally intended, I’ll take it right now.”

Ryu’s words cut through the female elder’s shrill voice. She was so stunned by these words that her breath became caught in her throat.

City Lord Loom was so enraged by Ryu’s actions that he nearly fainted in anger. It was over, his Loom Clan was finished, and all because he didn’t trust his own grandnephew from the very beginning.

“There’s no need to waste anymore words on this crippled trash, esteemed Elder Zu.” Tharon stepped forward, twirling a pair of very familiar violet glaives.

“You know, my Basteel Clan accepted your grandfather under our wing out of the kindness of our hearts. We thought him to be a great talent, with great potential. However, when it comes to the world of cultivators, one’s Mental Realm is even more important than one’s talent in most cases.

“Your fool of a grandfather actually dared to stand against the interests of my Basteel Clan, biting the hand the fed his dog lips, and even stirring up the rage of the Core Region, all for a trash grandson who also seemingly doesn’t know his place.

“Still… You know what I find most amusing?... Didn’t you say you were nameless?”

Tharon erupted into a fit of laughter. It actually seemed quite genuine despite the circumstances. He really did find this situation funny.

“You’re telling me that that old man willingly gave up his life for you, but you didn’t even acknowledge his family name? How trash can you be?”

The public support Ryu had was already minimal. After all, everyone knew the Zu Clan was in the right going after Ryu. How would you feel if someone turned a member of your family into a corpse puppet? This was something everyone could sympathize with.

But, Tharon’s words extinguished whatever small pity Ryu may have had left remaining. Rejecting your own family name, preferring to go nameless, even after your own grandfather gave up his life for you… Saying that his grime covered young man was unfilial was simply too kind.

“For garbage like you, I alone am enough. Be honored, you’ll be the first to fall to me after I broke into the Divine Vessel Realm!” Tharon roared, his body glowing with an earthen light.

But the next sequence was simply beyond everyone’s expectations.  

The young man they all saw as a villain simply stretched out two fingers, flicking them back toward himself.

‘[Demonic Strings]…’ Ryu thought expressionlessly.

In an instant, the two violet body glaives were ripped out of Tharon’s control. He couldn’t even react before they streaked through the air like mauve shooting stars, landing in Ryu’s hands. By the time Tharon understood what was happening, Ryu’s body had already disappeared, flickering to cover the distance of what amounted to several dozen meters in what looked like a single step.

The Basteel Clan Elders who had just been confident abruptly stood in horror, but it was too late. Ryu’s speed was beyond their imagining.  

Ryu’s right wrist flicked elegantly. The move was smooth and beautiful, albeit simple and straight forward.

With a single [Sweep], Tharon’s head was tossed into the air, his neck becoming nothing more than a blood fountain.  

Ryu’s left wrist followed suit, descending from the skies in a perfectly choreographed rhythm.

With a single [Slice], not only Tharon’s headless corpse was perfectly bisected, but so was his spinning head.

Before the eyes of the entire Inner Ring, a young master of the Basteel Clan had fallen without lasting even a single exchange.