Chapter 1139 – Stealing the Feather
With the bellow, the clouds that wrapped around Clouded city suddenly dispersed like smoke, like a passing cyclone.
Daemon qi rushed into the air and immediately enveloped the entire city. The azure sky seemed to be dyed red.
The featherfolk were surprised and confused by what was going on. They all looked in the direction of the voice.
“Who are you? How dare you come and stir up trouble in Clouded city?”
Over a dozen streaks of white light rose up from the city, all featherfolk cultivators that had undergone the third heavenly tribulation. Their auras gathered into a sea of light, bursting through the red sky, but for a moment, they were actually unable to disperse the turbulent daemon qi, which astounded them. They had never imagined that such a powerful cultivator existed in the world.
“It’s you, Li Qingshan!”
Bai Jie met the scarlet eyes in the air with a frown. They no longer possessed the same lethargy and tipsiness as the other day. He had come with rage today, truly possessing a bearing that could conquer all, which left her secretly surprised.
If it were not for the fact that she was currently located in Clouded city and could rely on the Featherfolk King here, she almost would have been overwhelmed by an urge to turn around and flee.
“Bitch!” Li Qingshan lashed out as soon as he saw that it was her. He reached out with his right hand.
Abruptly, an invisible force caught Bai Jie, and she began to fly towards him uncontrollably. She could not help but be overwhelmed by shock. White light surged out around her as she flapped her pure-white wings, putting up a desperate struggle. At the same time, she drew her bow and unleashed an arrow. It turned into a furious column of light, whistling through the air.
So he’s Li Qingshan. Sure enough, you live up to your reputation! However, no matter how powerful you are, you’re just a single person. You must be tired of living to stir up trouble in our Clouded city!
That was what the featherfolk had in mind when they attacked at the same time.
Featherfolk regarded themselves as elegant. They disliked and were unskilled in close combat, so their attacks were all streaks of white light. Not only were they extremely swift, but they also possessed enough force to destroy mountains, like the wrath of heaven. It swallowed Li Qingshan instantly.
“First father!” Li Fengyuan cried out in joy and surprise.
He wanted to fly over, but a band of white light wrapped around his neck, immobilising him.
“Where are you going?” the Featherfolk King said.
“My first father is here. You’re done for!” Li Fengyuan called out.
“Oh?” The Featherfolk King was unconvinced.
“Do you know what the Dragon King of Ink Sea’s fate was?”
“This isn’t the Ink sea. Very well. Since he’s delivered himself to me, that’ll save me some trouble… hmm?” The Featherfolk King suddenly became surprised.
Li Qingshan stood without budging within the furious light. Pieces of the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell rose up as he used his innate ability, the Last Reflection of the Setting Sun, reflecting all the attacks. He did not merely send the attacks back to where they came from. Instead, he adjusted their angles carefully, so the light all bunched up and shot towards Bai Jie.
Light filled her eyes, and Bai Jie opened her mouth slightly. An unprecedented sensation of fear filled her mind. The stream of light had combined the full-powered attacks of all the featherfolk. If it landed on her, then she would definitely perish with it. She had no chance of surviving.
In that instant, various rumors regarding Li Qingshan filled her head again, from the devastation on Fire Melt mountain to the dragon slaying in the Ink sea. Perhaps provoking him was an incorrect decision.
“You want to force me to leave Clouded city? Alright, then let’s go see this first father of yours.”
The Featherfolk King backed away in surprise before recovering his composure again. With a gentle swing of his wings, the dark azure feather trembled gently, and he immediately ripped open the space there.
Before Li Fengyuan could even respond, he had arrived outside the city all of a sudden. The turbulent white light filled his eyes.
Li Qingshan’s expression changed. He never expected Li Fengyuan to suddenly appear. Even if he wanted to stop, it was already too late now.
“Your majesty!” Bai Jie saw the familiar figure before her and beamed with joy.
The Featherfolk King looked back and nodded. With another swing of his wings, the devastating attack was completely sucked into the ripped space as if it had never existed in the first place.
Li Qingshan eased up slightly, but his vigilance also multiplied. Sure enough, just as Gu Yanying had said, the Featherfolk King was extraordinary. With his appearance, even the all-conquering Force Field of the Earth had been interrupted. The Featherfolk King was only standing there, but he seemed to reside in a completely different world. This was definitely not something he should have been capable of normally.
At this moment, Gu Yanying caught up from behind and secretly approved of what she saw. Drawing the Featherfolk King and the other featherfolk cultivators out of Clouded city would only increase their chances at victory drastically. He was rather unhappy with this, but once it came to actual battle, he would still plan and scheme calmly, which brought her peace of mind. He was a fantastic partner to work with.
As a result, she stayed quiet about what she originally wanted to say. He obviously knew what he had to do!
“First father!” Li Fengyuan called out, and he warmed up inside. He could not help but recall the children’s song Li Qingshan had sung for him in the past, ‘Fathers are the best in the world. Children without fathers are like a blade of grass.’
“Don’t be afraid. I’ve come to save you!” Li Qingshan said softly before looking at the Featherfolk King. “Are you Bai Chen?”
“I am. Why have you come to make trouble in my Clouded city, sir?” The Featherfolk King struck back verbally.
“Cut the bullshit. Let him go!” Li Qingshan said.
“This is an honoured guest that I’ve invited here. How can I just let him go at your request?” The Featherfolk King smiled. Li Fengyuan wanted to rebuke him, but the band of light around his neck suddenly tightened.
“What an impressive honoured guest!” Li Qingshan sneered. “I was once invited to Clouded city too. Am I an honoured guest too?”
“Of course.” The Featherfolk King smiled as he rubbed his hands. “Why don’t we sit down in Clouded city then? I’ll order people to arrange a banquet immediately, to welcome you as well as the fellow Gu beside you!”
“You know about me?” Gu Yanying said in surprise. She did have some reputation, but she had only undergone the third heavenly tribulation recently. She personally did not believe she could catch the Featherfolk King’s attention.
“The daughter of the Hawk God, the rising star of the avians. How can I not know about you?”
Gu Yanying’s eyes lit up slightly when she saw the dark azure feather on the wings behind the Featherfolk King. She immediately realised what was going on. The Featherfolk King was in possession of a precious treasure, so he was wary of all avians in the world coming and trying to steal it. As a result, he constantly paid attention to any lurking opponents, which happened to be all the avian Daemon Kings. On top of that, her father was definitely one of the opponents that posed the greatest threat.
Li Qingshan sank into his thoughts for a moment, clearly wary of the consequences. In the end, he nodded. “Alright, I’ve heard about Clouded city for quite some time now. Let’s check out just what kind of lair of danger it is!”
“Please!” The Featherfolk King raised his hand elegantly.
Li Qingshan took a step forward, and Gu Yanying followed close behind. Both of them were tense. This was not just a show that they were putting up. Whether they could unleash the effects of the sleepy bug and get up close to the Featherfolk King would be critical to their success in this battle.
Their behaviour was also so that the Featherfolk King could grow accustomed to all of this. Being too composed would instead draw suspicion.
The Featherfolk King frowned slightly. As Li Qingshan drew closer, he felt a sense of danger for some reason. He felt like his advance was like a tiger preparing to pounce, about to hunt its prey!
The featherfolk cultivators all gathered around him too, assuming a formation that immediately suppressed Li Qingshan’s daemon qi. However, none of them seemed to be in a particularly great mood. During the clash earlier, Bai Jie had almost died, which was a great hit to their morale.
The Featherfolk King relaxed as a result. They had already established the formation. No matter how powerful Li Qingshan was, he would merely be a caged tiger, while the Gu Yanying beside him was even more limited in strength. She seemed like she was already running out of patience. Once they entered Clouded city, even escaping would become a fantasy.
Thinking up to there, he suddenly felt rather saddened. He was the mighty king of featherfolk, in possession of a peng’s feather and a hostage, yet he was actually so fearful of a junior, which was an utter joke. It only made him realise even more that it was not just his body in decline, but his mind as well.
Li Qingshan must have been less than a century old. He truly was enviously young. However, they were most vulnerable to setbacks when they were young and aggressive. Even dying would not be surprising.
Gu Yanying’s body trembled gently. Suddenly, she extended her hand and grabbed Li Qingshan’s hand.
Originally, Li Qingshan thought she had been overwhelmed by the featherfolk’s aura, but he felt pain from the depths of his soul instead. He immediately understood what was going on. She had already begun to activate the hot winds of hell at full force. She was making preparations to strike!
In the eyes of the featherfolk, she was seeking his assistance, but in reality, she was sharing some “clarity” with him.
“Fellow Gu, what’s wrong with you?” The Featherfolk King seemed to notice something as he asked suddenly.
“It’s nothing. Just an old problem,” Gu Yanying said with difficulty, but her mouth had already become parched. Her skin became a burnt-yellow. Even her aura began to decline. Only her hawk eyes shone with spirit.
“Don’t tell me it’s the school of Legalism’s Illustrations of Naraka? What you practise should be the Hot Wind hell!” the Featherfolk King said.
“You truly are knowledgeable, your majesty. You even know about this.” Gu Yanying praised.
“It’s said that those who practise this cultivation method have to endure the hardships of hell regularly. Your willpower is astounded, fellow.”
The Featherfolk King smiled in a reserved manner, but he would never be able to imagine what kind of a threat this masochistic cultivation method could pose to him. Just that bit of hot winds of hell could not even touch a hair on him.
Gu Yanying would never share even a hint of clarity with him either. She sighed and said, “Living in this world, everyone has to go through a bit of pain. I’ll have to endure it for now!”
By now, Li Qingshan had already arrived within ten paces of the Featherfolk King. “Some people are just always looking for trouble and pain!”
Abruptly, he took out the amber that sealed the sleepy bug and flicked it gently.
The amber shot out and shattered in the air, but the sleepy bug vanished.
“What did you do?” Bai Jie called out.
Li Qingshan was taken aback. Don’t tell me this is a fucking sham!?
But shortly afterwards, endless sleepiness immediately became adhered to every single featherfolk like an invisible spider’s web. Even the featherfolk in Clouded city were affected, all collapsing on the ground.
At the very centre of the web were the Featherfolk King, Li Qingshan, Gu Yanying, and Li Fengyuan.
Li Fengyuan immediately fell asleep.
The Featherfolk King dropped down on one knee. His eyelids drooped, but they remained open as he asked feebly, “What did you do?”
“I fucked you over!”
Li Qingshan erupted with curses, but his eyelids weighed heavily, constantly drooping. His body swayed as well. He could sense that he had even lost control over his daemon qi.
Even moving a finger became difficult. All he could do was power the Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression and do his best to remain conscious.
The sleepy bug did have an effect, and the effect was much greater than they had ever imagined.
Just as Gu Yanying had said, it was not truly an insect, but a technique, a spell. It had been lost in the Frost province, constantly giving off its power. In this manner, it formed a forbidden area that could even halt the steps of the Heavenly Frost Wolf King. Now that Li Qingshan had shattered the amber, that was equivalent to releasing all of its power.
At this moment, Li Qingshan was no longer in the state to think about just what kind of a person could cast such a spell. Instead, he was worried over whether Gu Yanying could hold on or not. Bai Jie and the other powerful featherfolk had already fallen into deep sleep, falling out of the sky. They vanished into the stretch of clouds in the blink of an eye.
Gu Yanying’s strength was impressive, but it definitely was nowhere close to Li Qingshan’s or the Featherfolk King’s. Her cultivation was more than a minor realm away from theirs. Right now, even they were immobilised, let alone her!
Looking back, Gu Yanying had already let go of his hand, making her way towards the Featherfolk King.
Her supreme beauty that had once made Li Qingshan fall in love at first sight had withered away by an almost terrifying degree. Buffeting hot winds around her sapped her skin of all moisture, rapidly charring it and making it turn black like she was burning.
This woman… Li Qingshan blinked his eyes with difficulty. Suddenly, he understood why she had accepted Qian Rongzhi as her disciple.
Gu Yanying tread through the air, advancing forward step by step like a toddler learning how to walk. Every single step was so difficult, requiring all of her willpower and resolve.
She gathered the hot winds without any regard, casting herself into hell mercilessly.
Her organs burned, and her soul was on the brink of collapse.
With a boom, her long hair caught on fire, and her charred skin cracked. The glow of fire poured out from the cracks. Before she had even reached her opponent, she had already become heavily injured and was on the brink of death. If she continued like this, she would die before long.
Yet, she had only taken three steps so far towards the Featherfolk King that was ten steps away.
It’s just horrendous!
Li Qingshan sighed inside. Right now, she was like a chicken that had been plucked and tossed into the oven, only to be forgotten by the chef. She was being burnt slowly. She no longer possessed any of the valiant bearing of a hawk.
However, she was also like a phoenix in flames.
The fourth step!
“Stay away! Stop right there!” The Featherfolk King ordered, but his voice was filled with hints of fear.
Gu Yanying took another step forward. She had to reach the Featherfolk King’s side and pluck the feather before the effects of the sleepy bug subsided, before she was burnt to death by the hot winds. Otherwise, once the Featherfolk King struck, perhaps Li Qingshan could still slip away, but she would definitely die.
However, when she took the seventh step, she was unable to continue any further. Pain and exhaustion attacked her together before seemingly merging together in the end.
The voice of her subconsciousness rang out once more, So tiring, so tired. Just what is the point of living painfully like this? You might as well just die. That way, you can sleep properly, and you don’t have to face any more pain.
The Featherfolk King was already inches away, within arm’s reach, yet also at the opposite end of the world.
At this moment, Li Qingshan began to move. The state he was in was absolutely horrendous as well. There was basically no better description of him right now than crawling his way over.
“You’re right. Old people do like to sleep more. Go!”
As he said that, he pushed Gu Yanying on the back viciously. She lunged towards the Featherfolk King, and the Featherfolk King tried all that he could to dodge. However, she gripped his clothes firmly to pluck the feather, yet she was also afraid to touch his body. It was not because she was afraid of intimate contact with a man, but because she was worried the hot winds of hell would give the Featherfolk King clarity.
Li Qingshan made his way over to assist her, except their movements had all become very sluggish and heavy. This clash between the peak cultivators of the nine provinces had devolved into something akin to a fight between kids in the end. Perhaps it was even worse than that, which really could render people speechless. However, the danger involved was no less than any of the battles Li Qingshan had faced in the past.
Time trickled by, but it was actually only a short moment. Li Qingshan felt his frozen daemon qi begin to budge slightly. He understood that the effects of the sleepy bug were vanishing. A sudden outburst also meant a rapid decline.
If the Featherfolk King managed to recover, then this battle would truly be hopeless, and it would cost Gu Yanying her life all for nothing.
Thinking up to there, he brought his arms around the Featherfolk King’s neck firmly. He said sternly, “Pluck it!”
Gu Yanying seized the Featherfolk King’s wings and gripped the dark azure feather, plucking it forcefully.