Chapter 984 – The Lurking Snake
Right when the locust Daemon Commander was about to breach the city, the woman vanished from the hill outside Clear River city, only leaving behind the sounds of the night wind rustling over her previous location.
She paced through the chaotic streets. The way she advanced made people think of “strolling” for some reason, avoiding all obstacles gracefully and silently. Her figure melded into the surroundings, such that both humans and locusts ignored her.
A great swarm of locusts blocked her path, so she made a turn and entered a small alleyway. Abruptly, a locust rushed straight towards her, holding a young child in its six legs who bawled away.
“My child! My child!” A horrified cry rang out, and a dishevelled woman burst out of the doors without any concern, chasing after the locust.
The woman shifted to the side, brushing past the locust. The locust bit down on the child, and blood splattered everywhere. One of the droplets stopped mid-air, landing on her cheek like a red mole.
She smiled and extended her tongue, licking away the droplet of blood and abandoning the howls in the alleyway behind her. She arrived within the vicinity of the Hawkwolf Guard very soon and exhaled gently. Her aura deepened, and her movements became much slower too.
She watched as the hawk forged from scarlet bronze fell down from the rooftop, kicking up a cloud of dust with a great rumble.
Hua Chenglu retreated to the centre of the room—if it could still be called a room—under the small, golden bell.
“Don’t be scared, my little precious. I won’t kill you!” The locust Daemon Commander stepped into the room and approached her. As he spoke, his mandibles opened and closed.
With a thunk, a golden bell composed of light enveloped Hua Chenglu. A bell’s ring lingered around.
The locust Daemon Commander placed both of his claws onto the golden bell, and the sound immediately became twisted. The bell distorted and was torn apart. Suddenly, he lifted his right claw. “Get out here!”
Determination filled Hua Chenglu’s eyes. She shone with dazzling light that seemed to take shape as a blooming sun vine flower.
“You want to die? It’s not going to be that easy… What is this!?”
The locust Daemon Commander’s claw came to a halt. He lowered his head and looked down, only to see a colourful little snake passing through the floorboards, biting him on the ankle. Intense pain followed.
A pair of eyes abruptly lit up within the darkness outside the building. Narrow irises stood within the yellow eye whites. As they met the locust Daemon Commander’s compound eyes, it dyed him with a layer of greyish-white as if they were trying to turn him to stone.
“Venomous Snake hell!”
Within the chilling hiss, countless snakes shot out from the darkness, biting the locust Daemon Commander.
“Argh!” The locust Daemon Commander howled out, experiencing agony that reached the depths of his soul.
“Sister Chenglu, now is still not the time to die.” Qian Rongzhi emerged from the darkness, setting foot in the runed room. Her snake eyes made her smile rather terrifying.
“Sister Qian, you’ve come so quickly!” Hua Chenglu was surprised. Rushing over here from the Ruyi commandery would take quite some time.
“You’re in trouble, sister Chenglu, so of course, I have to move a little faster,” said Qian Rongzhi. Both you and this city are fantastic bait.
“You bitch! You’re asking to die!” The locust Daemon Commander shuddered, and the greyish-white petrification collapsed. With a roar, he turned around and lunged towards Qian Rongzhi. Even the venomous snakes on him could not stop him.
Qian Rongzhi’s irises turned back to normal, and a trail of blood tears streamed down her face, suffering from the backlash of the failed technique. She thought, He really is a great Daemon King after all. His willpower is startlingly powerful. Even in the Poisonous Snake hell, he can maintain so much mobility!
“Be careful!” Hua Chenglu called out. If a carapaced Daemon Commander was allowed to get up close to a Golden Core cultivator, basically nothing good would come out of it.
However, the locust Daemon Commander came to a halt and lowered his head in disbelief. Qian Rongzhi’s hand pressed against his chest gently. The Heaven Climbing Vine penetrated the locust Daemon Commander’s thick carapace, extending into every corner of his body with its tendrils.
Qian Rongzhi shut her eyes as joy flooded her face. Endless power surged into her body, even pacifying the pain from the venomous snakes. If the locusts had come here to massacre the city and eat people, then she was here to “eat” the locust Daemon Commander.
“I’ve remembered you!” the locust Daemon Commander said viciously.
With a thunk, he fell backwards and kicked up a cloud of dust. He was even lighter than they imagined him to be as if all that remained was an empty shell. There was not the slightest hint of life left.
“Thank you, sister Qian!”
Hua Chenglu expressed her gratitude politely. Qian Rongzhi had a very good reputation in the commandery city of Ruyi. She was very friendly and gentle. However, ever since she underwent the wisdom imbuement, she felt instinctively vigilant of Qian Rongzhi, or perhaps she feared her. Just like how newborn calves did not fear tigers, ignorance led to fearlessness. The wisdom that the Great Banyan Tree King had shared with her allowed her to distinguish many dangers that regular people could not notice.
“You’re welcome.” Qian Rongzhi smiled, and the tiny snakes slithered back onto her skin, hiding away under her uniform as a White Wolf commander. Suddenly, she looked back. “The person you’re waiting for is here.”
Boom! A black figure descended from above, and Li Qingshan emerged from the dust. “Chenglu, are you fine?”
“Big brother Li, I’m fine. Sister Qian saved me!” Hua Chenglu stumbled over.
“Qian Rongzhi! Li Qingshan frowned and gazed at Qian Rongzhi. He never expected her to have undergone the second heavenly tribulation as well.
“Long time no see, Qingshan!” Qian Rongzhi gave him a friendly greeting as an enthusiastic smile stretched over her face. However, she felt an intense pressure, like a tiger was staring at her.
“Don’t smile at me!” Li Qingshan said.
“Oh sorry, I forgot.” Qian Rongzhi’s smile vanished, exposing her cold aura. She asked, “So what do you say?”
Hua Chenglu was taken aback. She had never seen Qian Rongzhi with an expression like that. She instinctively stood a little closer to Li Qingshan.
“It’s no problem!” Li Qingshan glanced at the locust Daemon Commander’s corpse on the ground. Just like many years ago, they did not need any empty words of thanks between them. They only needed actual exchanges of profit. Li Qingshan did not want to owe this woman a favour.
“We’ll talk about it later! Even though I don’t mind watching a sight like this for a little longer.” Qian Rongzhi gazed out of the building. The raucous night had yet to pass. Firelight continued to blaze in many places.
The army of locusts in the city had already collapsed, hunting for prey blindly based on their instincts to devour flesh. When the locust Daemon Commander had been killed, the Soaring Locust King made all of his clones retreat, fleeing off in all directions.
As a result, Li Qingshan became the saviour of the world yet again, but this time, his Asura Field could only suck away the locusts on the streets. Most of the locusts were hunting for humans within the buildings, which led to a complicated urban war. He was powerful, but even he felt like his hands were a little tied.
He thought of an idea, and Yin Qing descended from above with her group of asura, carrying out a complete search through the city. Only then did they stop the locusts’ maddening slaughter. Then the Academy of the Hundred Schools sent reinforcements, and Qiu Haitang rushed back as well. They busied themselves for most of the night before finally cleaning up all the locusts in the city. The corpses of insects piled up like mountains.
Qiu Haitang remained just as cold and distant with Li Qingshan, reactivating and rebuilding the protective formation. She refused to leave the city so easily again.
Gazing at the eastern sky that was about to light up, Li Qingshan could not help but grind his teeth in hatred. This night should not have unfolded like this. He decided to return to the Chain mountains first and get Xiao An to butcher these damned clones of the Soaring Locust King, but Qian Rongzhi intercepted him again. He said impatiently, “What request do you have? Make it quick!”
“Xiao An has returned, hasn’t she? I want to see her.”