Han Sen asked around for the entrance that would take him to the prestigious fifth floor, as that was his next destination.
But suddenly, Qiu Ping appeared before him to bar his path.
"You really are going to the fifth floor, aren't you?" Qiu Ping said.
Han Sen nodded, and told him, "How else am I going to learn the truth? I need to go there if I aim to receive the answers I am looking for."
"Okay. Then take this strike!" Qiu Ping brought out his sword with an alarming amount of calmness.
It was an unsettling calmness, full of the tension that preceded a storm.
Han Sen did not think Qiu Ping was as good as he believed himself to be. Han Sen had encountered other humans before who had opened their gene locks through the assistance of spirits. They were much weaker than humans whose strength had been unlocked through deeds of their own.
Qiu Ping had opened eight gene locks through spirit geno points. That meant his true strength was equivalent to someone who had opened seven gene locks by themselves. But that was at best; it was likely he was even worse than that. This is what Han Sen had previously believed.
But Han Sen's opinion changed when he saw Qiu Ping draw his sword.
Qiu Ping was an elite of the truest sense. Seeing how he drew his sword, Han Sen was able to tell how strong he was.
Han Sen used his Dongxuan Aura to give Qiu Ping a scan, but he was unable to feel Qiu Ping's energy flow.
Qiu Ping's lifeforce was like an ocean, deep and unpredictable.
The next second, Qiu Ping's sword blazed with a glaring flare of light. It was a display of that ocean inside him.
And when the sword was out, the ocean inside him changed.
As Han Sen watched all of this unfold, he was shocked. He had been witness to many strong attacks in the past, and while Qiu Ping's performance was not as beautiful as Yi Dongmu's, it possessed that same lethal and cunning edge.
It was like smelling a rose and waking a lion that slumbered in your heart.
Qiu Ping's casual strike looked plain. It was a deceptive facade, though, one that sought to mask the true strength of the strike beneath a veil of weakness.
But this plain attack, if you looked closely, looked like a horizon-spanning ocean.
If it was a sharp sword coming his way, Han Sen could block it. If it was a bomb, Han Sen could dodge it. But this was an ocean, and it was too much to comprehend and avoid.
Han Sen was curious what kind of man could wield an attack such as that.
If Yi Dongmu's strikes were full of cruelty and stubbornness, then Qiu Ping's strikes were ones that had experienced a tumultuous lifetime, carrying every emotion under the eye of the sun.
Facing this strike, this was the first time Han Sen did not know what to do.
No matter what power was used against someone, there was always a viable counter or solution to negating what it sought to do.
But this attack, for the first time ever, seemed flawless. Han Sen could not think of a way in which he might avoid it.
Qiu Ping's move did not have a consistent theme, and it changed whenever it sought to, like the rolling of the tide. To create something such as this, a person would have had to have gone through a lot.
This attack gave Han Sen a feeling he had almost never felt before.
Ever since he received the Dongxuan Sutra, Han Sen had possessed the powers of near-flawless prediction. He very much loved it, being able to tell what was to come.
It wasn't perfect. One had to be well-versed in its teachings and practice with it a lot to become proficient, but even still, it could not predict everything. After all, the man who created the Dongxuan Sutra was unable to predict he'd die in the First God's Sanctuary.
If people wished to control the world, they had to have control over themselves first.
"Am I doing well?" Han Sen saw this strike, and all of a sudden, every inch of his body was a reflective fraction of a mirror.
In that moment, Han Sen felt a chain break inside his body. He had managed to open the sixth gene lock of the Dongxuan Sutra.
"I have always thought too much about what my opponents can do. I never take the time to think about what I myself am capable of." Seeing the strike come towards his face, Han Sen received a sudden boost of clarity and vision. All the hesitation he was experiencing was gone.
The moment he was going to get hit, he used his finger to stop the sword.
In the fraction of a second, the hurricane of emotion stopped. The ocean that swelled, bubbled, and boiled with a watery rage was quelled. Qiu Ping was done.
In shock over what had happened, Qiu Ping put his sword away.
Han Sen brought his finger back down as if nothing happened.
"You are looking for a king spirit," Qiu Ping said and left.
Han Sen looked at him strangely. The woman that had caused all this commotion was a king spirit; it was difficult to believe.
Qiu Ping should have known Zhang Yuchen would not have been able to do anything to a spirit who was that powerful. Perhaps he had pretended not to know, all so he could save his life.
Han Sen thought he might have given up more than Zhang Yuchen had. He had not said anything, just swallowed it all this time.
Qiu Ping had told Han Sen that she was a king spirit so Han Sen would question whether or not he really wished to proceed on his current course.
After that strike he had witnessed, Han Sen was able to see right through Qiu Ping. Qiu Ping now also knew that Han Sen had what it took to handle himself going forward.
"Interesting. I'm keen to see who this Smoke is. How did she make Qiu Ping like that?" Han Sen wondered, as he approached the entrance to the fifth floor.
Seeing Han Sen walk towards the fourth floor, Qiu Ping chose to follow.