Su Yang silently watched as Li Qiang's lifeless body lay slump on the floor, his gaze as tranquil as a still lake, looking as though the situation couldn't affect him even the slightest.
"I had only planned to give you a warning tonight, but seeing how you were so eager to get yourself killed, I went ahead and fulfilled your wish."
Su Yang shook his head and turned to approach the window.
However, just as he was about to leave, the door to the room violently opened, and Liu Lanzhi walked inside while yelling: "Why the hell are you making so much noise in the middle of the night?! I will fucking kill you, Li Qiang-"
Liu Lanzhi was already aggravated by her inability to sleep, yet she still had to listen to the commotion in this room, but her expression and lips quickly froze when she saw the situation.
The first thing she'd noticed was the handsome middle-aged man because of his absurd and staggering appearance. She then noticed Li Qiang's lifeless body on the floor with blood dripping from his lips, looking as though he'd sustained grave injuries.
"Who are you?" Liu Lanzhi was on guard after a quick observation of the scene, her hands already touching her storage ring in preparation for battle.
However, she did not immediately attack Su Yang and only stood there, looking apprehensive.
Although Li Qiang was below her in terms of his cultivation base, he was still one of the top experts in this Sect, yet for him to be dealt with so quickly and efficiently by this middle-aged man, Liu Lanzhi did not dare to overestimate her abilities by attacking him without knowing anything about his identity.
"Relax, little girl. I came here tonight only for that fool who is already dead on the floor," said Su Yang with one leg on the window.
"Little girl?" Liu Lanzhi frowned.
While her appearance resembles that of a young lady who is still in her prime, she is actually well over eighty years old.
Su Yang noticed the anger in her eyes when he treated her like a little girl despite her efforts in hiding it, and he smiled and continued: "Perhaps if you manage to live another thousand years, I will consider calling you a young girl..."
Liu Lanzhi was more shocked than offended this time around. Someone who is a thousand years old was only a young girl in his eyes? Just how long has he been alive thus far? What cultivation base could he possibly have achieved to have such a long lifespan? It was something that she couldn't even mentally fathom since Earth Spirit Realm experts like her normally have a lifespan around three hundred to four hundred years.
"Why would someone as profound as you appear here to kill someone small like Li Qiang?" Liu Lanzhi suddenly asked him. "He was the Patriarch of this Sect, you know? How am I supposed to explain this to the Sect?"
Despite Li Qiang's death, Liu Lanzhi didn't seem to display any signs of grieve for him, which made Su Yang feel a bit surprised.
"I killed him because he laughed at my appearance while I was passing through," said Su Yang with a serious expression, dumbfounding Liu Lanzhi who clearly wasn't expecting such an answer.
"B-Because he laughed at you?"
For him to kill a Patriarch like Li Qiang over such a ludicrous reason, Liu Lanzhi no longer doubted his old age, as only those old monsters with prolonged life and a deep cultivation base could possibly exhibit such eccentric behavior!
"Do you have a problem with that, little girl?" Su Yang removed his leg from the window and slowly approached her in an overbearing manner.
Liu Lanzhi instinctively retreated a few steps when Su Yang's overwhelming pressure filled the room, her back soaked in cold sweat.
"I-I had planned on replacing him when I find a better candidate anyway, and he was at fault for offending Senior, so I have no problem with Senior's decision! Instead, I would like to thank Senior for assisting me in dealing with him, even though it wasn't Senior's original intent!" Liu Lanzhi said with a bow, thanking him for killing Li Qiang.
Su Yang halted his steps and nodded his head with approval, acting like a profound old man.
"Very well, I accept your gratitude," he said a moment later.
"Although I didn't plan to cause trouble for your Sect, my actions have done exactly that, so my humble-self shall compensate for your lost..."
"Senior need not worry about such minor details!" Liu Lanzhi suddenly said, her forehead dripping with sweat.
Although it would be rude to refuse his offer, Liu Lanzhi didn't want to accept compensation from someone who'd just killed the Patriarch of her own Sect, afraid that his offer might do more harm than good, not to mention his fearsome presence that was forcing her to sweat buckets from just his presence alone.
Having his offer refused, Su Yang frowned, deliberately looking offended despite feeling calm inwardly: "You are refusing my goodwill? It's been over four thousand years since someone had last refused my generosity..."
Liu Lanzhi trembled violently upon hearing his low voice that was spoken in a displeased tone, and her legs were even shaking clearly from the killing intent that radiated from Su Yang's narrowed gaze.
"F-F-Four thousand years!?" Liu Lanzhi exclaimed inwardly, nearly screaming out loud.
What cultivation base would one need to have to be able to live for over four thousand years and still look so young and energetic?
By now, Liu Lanzhi was sweating so much that the spot she stood was covered in liquid, making it seem like she'd just pissed herself.
"Hmm? To be leaking at your age, you really are a little girl..." Su Yang continued to tease her while recalling the arrogant attitude she had with him initially at the Examination Hall.
Liu Lanzhi looked down at her feet and came to a realization that the liquid under her feet was actually pee and not sweat! She'd accidentally pissed herself from fear!
"I-I-I apologize for showing such a disgraceful sight before Senior..." Liu Lanzhi said in a trembling voice, showing more concern for his presence than her own dignity.
Seeing that she was really about to cry, Su Yang decided that it was time to stop teasing her, and he said while pointing to Li Qiang's dead body: "My compensation to your Sect for killing your Patriarch is that I am willing to become its Patriarch until you find another replacement for that trash over there..."
Liu Lanzhi looked at him with dazed eyes, looking as though she was in disbelief. She was so dumbfounded by Su Yang's words that she was still doubting her own hearing after many moments.
"You heard me-" Su Yang paused to walk over to the wardrobe, where he retrieved a clean set of the Patriarch's robe, even wearing it over his Outer Court disciple robes, and continued: "I happen to have a lot of time on my hands, so I do not mind wearing this clothing until you find a proper replacement."
"B-But..." Liu Lanzhi wanted to express her concerns, but Su Yang was already a step ahead of her.
"What is there to be concerned about? I will only be the Patriarch in name, so not only will I not change anything within Sect, but I will even protect this place for as long as I am here."
Despite his words, Liu Lanzhi was still feeling doubtful towards his actual intent. Why would he offer to become this Sect's Patriarch when there is nothing he could benefit from being the Patriarch? Why was he wearing clothes meant for her Outer Court disciples? Did he also forget that he was the reason why the Sect no longer has a Patriarch?
"Hmm... how about this?" Su Yang continued to speak. "I understand that you are wary of my intentions, as anyone would feel the same way. However, you seem to have forgotten that I have the ability to crush this small place without the need to waste my time by role-playing as the Patriarch. I really have no malicious ambitions towards this place, only being bored and wanting to find something to do to pass my seemingly eternal time. Although I did kill your Patriarch, that was truly just an unfortunate incident that he'd brought upon himself."
After a moment of silence, "What do you say, little girl? I may even bless this Sect with a few cultivation techniques that I'd obtained during my humble life..."
Liu Lanzhi remained silent, yet her eyes seemed to have changed drastically after his explanation. There was still doubt in her heart, as everything he said sounded too good to be true, but he also gave her little reason to refuse his offer.
As a matter of fact, the advantages that could be gained from his offer far outweighs its disadvantages!