Chapter 683 – Plants vs. Zombies
Seeing Li Long rush out through the door, Liu Hong, Wang Lei, and everyone else followed along.
However, they were unable to see through the dark like Li Long. All they could make out was a blurry, black figure. Liu Hong was startled, and he came to a stop, but Wang Lei continued onwards, rushing towards the black figure. “Who is it!?”
Li Long took a step forward, projecting his true qi out of his body as a hand and grabbing Wang Lei.
A huge force overcame Wang Lei, sending him flying backwards uncontrollably. The place where he originally stood suddenly exploded, kicking soil and rain into the air. He shivered inside. If he had still been standing there, he would not even be a whole corpse anymore.
“A tenth layer Qi Practitioner!”
Xiong Batian was alarmed. He never expected a tiny village to actually have a tenth layer Qi Practitioner. He tossed out the heads like hidden weapons before rapidly retreating. He had cultivated for all these years, but he was only at the eighth layer of Qi Practitioner. Even if he had another decade, he might not necessarily reach the tenth layer.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Li Long shot off with a flash in pursuit, avoiding the heads.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
The heads exploded in the air one after another, sending countless bone fragments flying. It was much swifter and more dangerous than any hidden weapon from the jianghu. Li Long was protected by true qi, so he obviously did not fear such an attack, but Liu Hong, Wang Lei, and the disciples of the Iron Fist school were right behind him. If he ignored the attack, none of them would survive.
Kicking down with both legs, he shot backwards and swung his hands around. There were not any special moves or tricks, but his movements were natural and graceful like he was working in the fields. True qi surged out and sent the bone fragments flying.
There were a few howls. A few disciples of the Iron Fist school were still struck. Although it had not hit vital points, the wounds immediately blackened and hardened. They collapsed and convulsed on the ground, immediately dying on the spot.
Li Long’s eyes narrowed. If they were Qi Practitioners, then he could save them as long as they could last for a moment. However, these regular disciples were no different from mortals, so how could they withstand something like that? The poison would ravage their bodies and kill them as soon as they came in contact with it.
By now, even Liu Hong had not reacted to what had happened. All he saw was Wang Lei rush out before flying back. With another blink of an eye, over twenty heads filled his vision, exploding together.
Li Hu and Li Bao rushed over to the entrance of the building, gasping for air. “What’s happened!?” They squinted and used the lantern light to make out the dead disciples of the Iron Fist school. Immediately, they squealed like pigs that were about to be butchered. “Murder!”
Their extremely penetrative voices stirred up the entire courtyard of the Li family before spreading through the entire village and rousing many people from their sleep.
Liu Hong said, “Who was that earlier?”
“I don’t know!”
Li Long’s face was stern. If the person earlier was a cultivator who knew how to refine corpses, then massacring the entire village to refine corpses would be nothing strange. However, the matter clearly was not as simple as that, or he would not have beheaded everyone.
With his cultivation as a tenth layer Qi Practitioner, killing an eighth layer Qi Practitioner was nothing difficult at all even if he were a disciple of the school of Agriculture that was not skilled with battle. However, once they started fighting, Crouching Ox village would definitely sustain heavy losses.
And, from how the enemy attacked, it made him even more worried. With a flash, a hoe appeared in his hand. He called out, “Who are you? Why are you making trouble in our Crouching Ox village? Don’t you know about Li Qingshan?”
“Hmph, Li Qingshan! You’re not Li Qingshan! This has got nothing to do with you, so why would you risk your life for mortals? You should mind your own business!”
Xiong Batian’s voice rang out from the other side of the village.
“I’m from Crouching Ox village, so how doesn’t it have anything to do with me? It’s still not too late for you to run away right now, or I’ll definitely take your life.”
Li Long had immediately understood what was going on. He could not help but find this both infuriating and ironic. This person definitely had grievances with Li Qingshan. Once he left the village, he would definitely chase him down and take his life!
“If that’s the case, then you can stay here and die with Crouching Ox village!”
Xiong Batian said some alarmingly big words. He rolled up his sleeve, revealing a series of bronze bangles for controlling corpses. His other hand was the same. Powered by true qi, the bronze bangles lit up together.
Li Long suddenly felt a tremendous cloud of corpse qi. Riding on his spiritual artifact, he arrived in the air, and his heart sank. It was like what he had been expecting.
Densely-packed swarms of Corpse Soldiers appeared from thin air, radiating with an aura that was even colder than the autumn rain. Most of them were regular zombies, or not even zombies as they had not even been refined properly, just walking corpses converted by corpse poison and corpse qi, but they numbered one or two thousand, and there were many Iron Plate corpses among them.
Against such an army of corpses, even a tenth layer Qi Practitioner would be whittled to death if they were alone unless they could kill the controller as soon as possible. However, his enemy was surrounded by these hordes of zombies, taking extremely careful precautions.
During the several years of war between humans and daemons, combined with the rampant famine and banditry, the number of people that died ranged into the millions, and the arts of corpse refining were commonplace. Only when it led to the disaster of Burial Mound mountain did this practise slowly die away.
However, basically every single Qi Practitioner of the Clear River prefecture was in possession of bronze bangles for controlling corpses. The enemy had used explosive corpses and corpse poison right off the bat, so he clearly practised a cultivation method that was relevant to corpse refining, which allowed him to control even more zombies.
“I swear that I will butcher the entire Crouching Ox village today, leaving none alive. I will avenge my father. It’s not too late for you to escape right now, or once you fall into a tight encirclement, all that awaits you is death!”
Xiong Batian was like a general. With a great wave of his hand, the army advanced, slamming against the huts and buildings. With a rumble, the earthen walls were directly pushed over, unable to stop this flood of corpses. He actually wanted to flatten the entire Crouching Ox village!
Liu Hong’s face changed drastically. He had witnessed the trials and hardships present in the jianghu, but never had he seen something so terrifying. It was as if a colossal, terrifying beast was lunging towards him from the darkness. As for Wang Lei, he was completely frightened out of his wits. His legs trembled as he yelled at the sky, “Junior brother!”
“Be careful, everyone!” Li Long said before flying off towards the zombie army.
At this exact moment, the disciples of the Iron Fist school who had been poisoned to death suddenly opened their eyes and slowly crawled up from the ground. Everyone around them scattered immediately. Li Hu and Li Bao basically scrambled away desperately for their lives.
Liu Hong bellowed out and unleashed his “Charge of the Heaven Cavalry”, hurling a fist at a corpse’s head. With a thunk, the corpse’s head split open like a watermelon, and it collapsed on the ground again.
He leapt about, throwing his fists like the wind and unleashing his martial arts to the limit. He struck a head with each punch, making the rising corpses collapse on the ground again.
These were merely regular walking corpses converted by the corpse poison. Although they possessed great strength and did not fear death, their reactions were delayed, so they did not pose a threat to masters of the jianghu like Liu Hong.
The disciples of the Iron Fist school erupted with cheers. Liu Hong stood imposingly among the corpses, but his back was already drenched with cold sweat. He composed himself. “Everyone, don’t be afraid! There’s just a few corpses!”
However, what Li Long faced right now were not only a few corpses, but thousands of them, covering all demographics. They pushed and shoved each other, even producing meaningless growls, which merged together into a terrifying cacophony.
Before he knew it, the unending autumn rain had already stopped. The clouds dispersed, and the moon shone with cool light, illuminating a small part of the village. However, it was a nightmarish scene.
The wave of corpses ignored all obstacles, rapidly pushing forward. Some walking corpses even fell over, trampled and crushed by the corpses behind them, returning to a pile of flesh in the blink of an eye. Cries and screams rang out of the collapsed houses, but they immediately came to a halt, having been ripped apart by the zombies.
Li Long’s palms were sweaty, but after going through the Exhibition Matches of the Nine Prefectures, his mental tolerance for things like this had increased greatly. Although his life would not be in much danger today, he could only take a very small number of people with him away from here if he could not stop the zombie horde. His other family would all have to die. He took out a handful of seeds, and with a wave of his hand, they scattered out.
The buildings in Crouching Ox village were not particularly packed. There was a lot of empty ground between the houses, turned into vegetable patches. A seed landed in a vegetable patch and immediately began to sprout, growing up rapidly and turning into a black thistle. It continued to grow and spread rapidly, covering the entire vegetable patch in the blink of an eye.
The other seeds were the same. Thistles crew endlessly, weaving together into a wall of thistles. The black thistles were different from regular thorns. Every single spine was long and sharp, glistening with a metallic lustre.
Xiong Batian did not take notice of it. The zombies were not even afraid of death, let alone pain. They dove head-first into the thistle wall. Originally, with the terrifying strength of the zombie army, they definitely could have ripped through it with ease.
However, the roots to every thistle plant extended several meters underground, and they continued to spread. The thistles themselves were as tough as iron. As they were tugged at, they produced a metallic, grating sound.
The thistle bushes were like monsters that had sprung alive, dancing about madly. The regular walking corpses would directly be pierced and torn apart as the thistles coiled and moved about, reducing the corpses to chunks of flesh. The thistles were like meat grinders working at full capacity. Even when they came across the refined zombies, they could keep them firmly entangled, drawing them in.
The school of Agriculture was not skilled with battle, but they had their own ways to vanquish enemies, which involved wondrous plants. First, they would gather offensive plants and nurture their seeds over long periods of time so that they possessed great life force. That way, they could rapidly grow as soon as they touched soil. What Li Long sprinkled earlier were seeds to “Iron Blood Thistles”.
However, plants all needed to be rooted to the ground, so most of the time, they could only be used to defend. And, they could not distinguish between friend and foe, making them very difficult to control. Apart from the person who nurtured them, anyone who entered the thistle bushes would be under attack, but they were perfect for a situation like this.
Li Long riled up with vigour, becoming a little more confident. He took out another handful of seeds and scattered them, but this time, nothing happened on the ground.
“I’d like to see how much longer you can stop them!”
Xiong Batian mobilised the army to concentrate their attacks on places where the thistle bushes were thinner. At the same time, he took out a bronze bell and swung it forcefully. The bell rung frantically, and the zombies became even more frenzied, pushing forward without any regard and forcefully tearing apart the thistles.
Although the thistle bushes had killed many walking corpses, the corpse qi in their bodies were fatal to plants too. The thistles all withered away.
The zombie army burst through the thistle bushes like a flood that had breached a dam. They were about to annihilate the tiny Crouching Ox village.
A leading zombie stepped down with his left foot, and the pressure passed through the ground. Before anyone had realised it, a tuber shaped like a sweet potato had already formed underneath. Sensing the pressure, it exploded loudly and blasted the zombie away, causing the zombies in the surroundings to suffer collateral damage.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
The zombie army advanced mindlessly, leading to a string of explosions. The seeds that Li Long had just scattered were known as “Sweet Potato Mines”. Ancient disciples of the school of Agriculture regularly buried them in the surroundings of their fields to prevent wild beasts from destroying their crops.