Chapter 531 – Killed Off and Opportunity
A whip pierced through the air. It was a translucent white, having been weaved together from thousands of threads. It was Lolth’s poisonous whip. Although the toxins had been diluted, it was as tough as before. It was still her most suitable weapon.
Lolth raised her hand and caught it. It became as straight as a spear with a tremble, and the tip thrusted straight towards the immobilised Wen Zhengming. All he felt was his forehead ache from the chilling killing intent.
“Be careful, junior brother!”
The three grandmasters paled in fright and swung their swords at Lolth. Never did they think that Li Qingshan could still do something like that even after being stripped of his flesh.
However, Lolth was completely focused. She did not even glance at them. At that moment, only Wen Zhengming existed in her eyes!
With Wen Zhengming trapped, the Sword Formation of the Four Seasons had already fallen apart. Even though the three swords were all rare arcane artifacts, they were still not enough to get through her defensive ability.
It was like a white bolt of lightning falling from the clouds in heaven. No matter what obstacles it ran into, it would not even waver.
The three swords basically landed at the same time, kicking up sparks. The spear rapidly spun in her hand and it produced a deep yet ear-piercing thrum. It knocked the swords away without being derailed at all.
No matter what you throw at it, you can’t block the sharpness of this thrust.
Staring death in its face, Wen Zhengming erupted with dazzling righteous qi and forcefully broke free from Li Qingshan’s arms.
Having been reduced to bones, he did not die, but he was unable to unleash the great strength of the ox demon either.
But at this moment, rings of fire suddenly coiled around Li Qingshan’s boney body. Wherever, the flames passed by, his flesh regrew, just like the legendary rebirth in fire. The muscles on his arms twisted as he forcefully crushed down on the white light from Wen Zhengming.
A jade tablet hanging from Wen Zhengming’s waist suddenly shattered.
The spear passed through Wen Zhengming’s head, but it did not feel like it had pierced anything tangible. Wen Zhengming turned into a soul-like figure.
Li Qingshan fell through with his grip and Wen Zhengming flew to one side. Wen Zhengming’s face was completely sunken. If it were not for his life-saving countermeasure, he would have almost failed miserably with this simple mission and died here.
Now, Wen Zhengming no longer feared any tangible attacks. He did not have any weaknesses on him, but he could still control his sword and use techniques. As both daemons before him were weakened, he only needed to assemble the Sword Formation of the Four Seasons with his three senior brothers again, and they would definitely be able to kill them here.
Right as he thought of that, there was a flash of blood-red light, and a huge, blood-red banner rippled through the air, sweeping towards him.
Wen Zhengming wanted to take off with his sword, but the banner constantly extended and expanded with him, enveloping the entire valley. Looking back, the sea of blood surged as far as the eye could see. When he returned to his senses, he had already entered the sea of blood.
“Junior brother Wen!”
The three grandmasters rushed over to provide assistance, but Li Qingshan and Lolth’s combined efforts blocked them. All they could do was watch helplessly as Wen Zhengming was sucked into the Blood Sea Banner.
Revitalised, Lolth was about to chase after them, but she suddenly felt her waist tighten. Li Qingshan had wrapped his arm around her waist before pulling her backwards forcefully and throwing her into the Blood Sea Banner as well, producing a faint halo.
Li Qingshan unfurled his wings and grabbed Xiao An, turning around and fleeing immediately.
The three grandmasters tailed behind him on their swords in hot pursuit, but they immediately discovered Li Qingshan’s speed was far more startling than what the information from the Hawkwolf Guard detailed. He actually managed to widen their distance immediately.
Little did they know that Li Qingshan completely refused to move at top speed. Flying swiftly through the twisting and turning underground caves basically took up all of his focus. It was even more tiring than fighting.
Upon increasing the distance between them, he suddenly stopped and turned around. He shattered the space there with his fists, and great cracks filled the surroundings. The earth rumbled and trembled like a magnitude 12 earthquake. Rock and soil rose and fell violently.
Afterwards, he withdrew his daemon qi and dove into Xiao An’s Blood Sea Banner as well. Xiao An took off with the Blood Sea Banner on her shoulder.
The mega earthquake failed to harm the three grandmasters at all, but it did bring them quite a lot of trouble. It made their hearts sink.
All traces of them had been destroyed, and they still could not sense even a hint of their auras. They pulled closer and searched around, but they found nothing. They could only hope that Wen Zhengming managed to repel them. As long as he gave off a sliver of aura, they would be able to rush over and save him.
On the surface of the boundless sea of blood, Wen Zhengming stood with his sword in hand with a sunken face. Lolth stood nearby.
As for Li Qingshan, he eyed him viciously from behind. In the moment earlier, he had made a decision based on his instincts. Severing a finger of the enemy is better than grazing all ten.
With Li Qingshan, Xiao An, and Lolth’s strength, killing the four grandmasters together was virtually impossible. A moment of carelessness could even turn the tables and lead them to their deaths instead. Just with the Sword Qi of the Four Seasons along, if he took it on again, he would probably be done for.
And, it would be very difficult for Xiao An to suppress a Golden Core cultivator with the Blood Sea Banner if she were alone. Right now, he was using an advantage in numbers to cement his victory.
Lolth gazed at Wen Zhengming who had already become a sitting duck before looking at the familiar sea of blood around her. She could not help but think, When I oppose them, they’re without a doubt a great headache, but when I work with them, the battle becomes unexpectedly easy.
When the four Golden Core cultivators assembled a sword formation together, even she was completely helpless against them. However, as soon as he struck, not only did he save her, but he even managed to forcefully bring a Golden Core cultivator with him.
“Come, come, come! You want revenge, come for revenge. If you have grievances, let’s get them settled!” Li Qingshan made a gesture of invitation and said to Lolth.
Lolth let out a snort, but she was in no hurry to fight. She smiled gorgeously. “Do you have any last words? Let’s hear them.”
Wen Zhengming said with composure, “Just do it! If I really end up dying here, then that’s fate. However, you might be able to kill me, Wen Zhengming, but you won’t be able to kill the righteous path of the world. You won’t be able to kill the countless disciples of confucianism. Lowly wretched daemons, only death awaits you for the heinous sins you commit.”
Even Li Qingshan developed some admiration for his spirit of being able to cast aside the issue of death. Hearing what he said, he smiled. “The righteous path of the world? Whose righteous path?”
“The path of humanity is the righteous path! Man of all creatures is the one endowed with intelligence! Why else do you think you all transform into humans?”
Li Qingshan said, “Then if I were human, I’d be part of the righteous path too? Forget it. Who cares if it’s some path of humanity or some shitty path? Carving it up and splitting it into groups is merely a waste of time. Today, you’ve ended up in my hands, and that serves you right. If I were to die in your hand some other day, I wouldn’t complain either.”
With that, he surged with malice.
The sea of blood surged with a colossal wave. Wen Zhengming cut through the wave in a single stroke and Li Qingshan leapt forth, striking the sword with his claws.
Clang! The sword was sent flying.
The poisonous whip twisted like a snake and coiled over. The tip was slightly black like it was a snake’s tongue, plunging into Wen Zhengming’s body.
Even though he had already become ethereal, the venom still spread very quickly.
Wen Zhengming was still hiding many tricks up his sleeve, but if he fought alone, he could not even defeat Lolth, let alone when she had Li Qingshan’s assistance and the Blood Sea Banner suppressed him.
The sea of blood surged. There was no other possible outcome for this battle.
Wen Zhengming said nothing else. Even on the brink of death, he was fearless. He wanted to blow up his golden core, but Xiao An’s Samādhi Flames of White Bone swallowed him.
In the moment Wen Zhengming fell in battle, two figures shot over. In that moment, Li Qingshan and Lolth clashed a hundred times before brushing past one another.
A hundred treasures pouch had appeared in Li Qingshan’s hand, while Lolth held a golden core.
With an opponent like him and an ally like her, it had always made Li Qingshan wonder whether the path he took was correct or not. Even though he was neither human or daemon anymore, he actually still understood the righteous path that Wen Zhengming was talking about.
However, it was pointless to say anything else. When he faced suffering, he did not see any righteous path. The assistance he received did not come from a confucian gentleman of upright character, but a demon among demons, a daemon among daemons.
The first thing he had taught him was to rely on himself and rely on the blade in his own hand. So what if there were countless disciples of confucianism? Did Li Qingshan even exist in any of their eyes?
“Hand it over!” Li Qingshan extended his hand towards Lolth.
“Did you really think the two of you could kill him without my strength?” Lolth clutched the golden core in her hand. The power it contained tempted her very much.
“I saved your life- No, you can say whatever you want. I’m not going to be negotiating with you. Hand it over!”
Li Qingshan’s face sank, and the malice he gave off grew heavier. The sea of blood began to surge again like a huge, roaring beast wanting to devour her.
Lolth wavered for a while before tossing out the golden core reluctantly. It flew through the air as a dazzling curve before landing in Li Qingshan’s hand.
Li Qingshan stowed the golden core away and only then did he ease up. He smiled. “That’s more like it! Now, let’s go find the other three. We can split the spoils evenly. It’s three against three now!”
And, the opponents’ sword formation had been destroyed. Most importantly, they must have been occupied by anger and hatred. Injured animals were terrifying because of their wildness, but once humans lost their rationality, they would become extremely feeble.
“Junior brother Wen is dead!” The scholar in white suddenly stopped and shuddered.
“What! How’s that possible!?” The expressions of the other two changed drastically. They were in disbelief.
Anyone who reached Golden Core would possess many life-saving countermeasures. They could never be killed so easily. However, the strange, red banner did become a blood-red shadow that loomed over their hearts. Arcane artifacts that created their own region of space were far too rare.
As if it were to verify what the scholar in white had said, the moon demon’s daemon qi surged once more, like a lantern in the darkness, drawing them over. However, Wen Zhengming’s aura did not appear with it. Clearly, he was likely dead already.
“We have to avenge him!”
Their eyes reddened slightly as they surged with murderousness.
The scholar in white stopped his two junior brothers and said reluctantly, “Let’s retreat!”
“I understand what you’re feeling, but now’s not the time. We aren’t going to let our junior brother’s death slide like this.” The scholar in white’s eyes shone coldly.
“I didn’t think they’d actually retreat! They sure are decisive!”
Li Qingshan felt the three auras burst through the earth before vanishing from the underground world in the end. Although he could catch up to them if he tried, he would be alone and he could be killed off if he was not careful. It was possible for the tables to turn with that.
And, he had another important thing to do!
Now, there was no longer anyone who could prevent him from refining the Clear river. This opportunity could vanish in the blink of an eye. He had to do it before the Ruyi commandery responded.
Taking Xiao An with him, Li Qingshan found a hidden river and travelled upstream, arriving in Moon Court lake very soon.
He burst out of the water and flapped his wings, spraying the air with water. They seemed like pearls under the sunlight. He pushed his speed to the limit. Mountains appeared in the horizon before being thrown behind very quickly again.
But in a short while, he arrived in the Boundless mountains, at the source of the Clear river.