Chapter 100 – Climbing the Ice Sword Cliff
Li Qingshan caught her. His mouth was open, but he was unable to say anything.
The tornado roared furiously, slamming into the Soaring Dragon Elder and smashing him into the ground, firmly pressing him down. It spun downwards like a drill, destroying and shattering the tough, icy ground and kicking up clouds of dust.
The tornado went from being a white dragon of snow to a black dragon of earth.
Boulders collapsed in the ravine as soil was thrown around.
Gu Yanying’s face was completely sunken. She had rushed over here as soon as she received news from the rat king of Black Rat mountain, but she had never thought she would still be a step too slow. She stared firmly at the ground that the tornado drilled into. “Take her away!”
It was impossible for Golden Core masters to be killed so easily. She was confident she could take him on easily in an individual battle, without losing the upper hand at all, but protecting the two of them would be basically impossible.
Light emerged from the deep hole the tornado created. Several dozen streaks of light immediately tore the tornado to pieces. The Soaring Dragon Elder rose up, enveloped in a ball of protective light.
“Gu Yanying, you can’t stop me!” A sliver of blood flowed from the corner of his mouth. As it seemed, forcefully enduring the attack was quite painful. However, the resolve in his eyes was like a finely forged weapon. It was unstoppable.
“Quit boasting!” Gu Yanying was infuriated as well. “Heavenly Dance of a Hundred Dragons!” With a swing of her fan, a hundred tornados surged over from various directions and various angles, all heading towards the Soaring Dragon Elder.
Everything that blocked the tornados were torn to shreds. They left behind deep markings on the ground and rock faces. The trees that were as wide as several men would be completely uprooted, sucked into the tornados and ripped to pieces.
At that moment, sand was swept into the air as mountains collapsed, and the ground cracked. It seemed like the end of the world.
The Soaring Dragon Elder became even more determined. Biting the tip of his tongue, he sprayed a mouthful of blood onto his Soaring Dragon sword.
The master of the Black Wind stronghold, Xiong Xiangwu, could use his blood to power a talisman despite being a mortal. He managed to unleash strength that completely exceeded his own, so just how terrifying of a move would it be if a Golden Core master needed to do that as well?
Covered in blood, the sword immediately twisted like it was alive. Under the blinding light, it transformed into a golden dragon several dozen meters in length. It did not just look like a dragon. It was an actual dragon, claws and all. Waving its tail, it charged towards the tornados, actually taking all of them on alone without losing the upper hand at all.
“You actually-” Gu Yanying was stunned. For Golden Core masters, such an act was not as simple as a mortal spitting out some blood. Instead, it was a self-cannibalising action. He would never use it without careful thought.
The golden dragon smashed through the tornados, while its own glow gradually dimmed.
The Soaring Dragon Elder took out a talisman from his sumeru ring1. “The Divine Elder had already calculated that there would be some obstacles during this mission.”
“A violet talisman!” Gu Yanying became even sterner. Among talismans, yellow were low grade, scarlet were mid grade, and violet were high grade. Their powers differed tremendously between the various colours. Only Soul Nascence cultivators could create them, and they were consumables. They were extremely rare to Golden Core cultivators, who would treat them as life-saving talismans. He was actually willing to use it.
“World Cage, seal!”
Li Qingshan carried Xuanyue and leapt out of the ravine, making his way north. He charged towards the icy cliffs.
Xiao An followed closely behind him. Li Qingshan roared to him, “Go away! Don’t follow me!” If Gu Yanying could not stop the Soaring Dragon Elder, and he managed to catch up to him, Xiao An would die with him.
Xiao An chose to follow him, refusing to leave. Li Qingshan said, “Are you deaf?” He swung his hand and knocked him several meters away.
Xiao An stared at him blankly. Li Qingshan looked back. “Go hide somewhere. Don’t come out!” He left resolutely.
Li Qingshan carried Xuanyue and advanced towards the Ice Sword cliff. Even though he was already five kilometers away, he could still feel the flash of light behind him. Under the fierce gale, his hands became moist as the colour of blood deepened.
Xuanyue said weakly with a pale face. “I’m a good meowster.”
Li Qingshan said, “Shut up! Stop talking!”
Xuanyue said, “I’m still your master after all. Can’t you just be nicer? You always get mad and make things difficult. You’re even more capricious than me.”
He had no idea how long he had run for in the snowstorm. It might have been a moment, or it might have been a year. Suddenly, he raised his head, and an icy cliff blocked his way. He had finally arrived.
It was already a breathtaking sight from afar, so now that he was standing right beneath it, he was basically stunned by the uncanny craftsmanship of nature. Raising his head, he could not see the top. He had no idea just how tall it was. It seemed like it was going to fall on him.
Li Qingshan gritted his teeth and extended his hands. Touching the icy cliff, a chilling coldness permeated his bones. His sharp claws that could tear through steel like paper only left behind a shallow mark on the ice. This was not ordinary ice.
Xuanyue opened her eyes. “We’re finally here. Legend has it that the Ice Sword cliff is the divine sword of a god that fell down. Since the day it appeared, it has not melted at all, instead rapidly freezing the surroundings and expanding. It’s very difficult to climb. You won’t be able to make it up.
Li Qingshan said, “Shut up! Hang tight!” He placed Xuanyue on his back, making her grab him by his neck. Afterwards, he extended his sharp claws and hooked onto the ice face. Just when he was about to raise his feet, he discovered that they were no longer the feet of humans, but a pair of iron hooves.
The ice cliff was harder than steel, and it was flat and smooth. It was more difficult to scale than anything else in the world. Without his feet for support, it would be impossible to climb!
“Meowhahaha!” Xuanyue laughed heartlessly, just like when she usually harassed Li Qingshan. However, her laughter became weaker and weaker, easily drowned out by the snowstorm.
Li Qingshan punched the cliff heavily and knelt on the ground.
He had arrived here after so many trials and hardships, yet he was unable to take another step forward. The Ice Sword cliff really was like a gigantic sword, severing all of his hope.
The Spirit Turtle’s Method of Sea Suppression circulated through his body madly. Almost like a miracle, his feet actually turned back. Although they were larger than ordinary feet, and the toenails were long and sharp, they were truly a pair of feet, not claws.
Originally, he could only recover his human form after reaching the first layer, but he had used willpower alone to forcefully change his feet back.
Xuanyue said in surprise, “Impressive!”
Li Qingshan was in no mood to celebrate. He leapt onto the cliff face. “Let’s go!”
In the snowstorm, Li Qingshan carried Xuanyue on his back, climbing up step by step. His sharp claws locked firmly onto the ice.
The coldness constantly permeated his body, freezing his bones. He was unable to see the sky, nor was he able to see the ground. It was as if only the two of them were left in the world, working bitterly.
“So what’s great about the Dragon province? Is the Nine-tailed Fox Empress beautiful? Even more beautiful than the Dark Queen?” Li Qingshan said endlessly. He, who had constantly wanted Xuanyue to shut up, now actually chattered on and on, as he needed to do everything he could to stay awake. He needed to avoid being overwhelmed by the cold, to avoid collapsing from despair.
This was because Xuanyue’s body gradually grew colder. She gradually fell silent. She closed her eyes, hanging onto Li Qingshan’s back, trying to make conversation. “Of course… they’re beautiful…”
Her voice might have been just too weak, causing the snowstorm to drown it out.
“Hold on. I will definitely, definitely take you to the Dragon province,” Li Qingshan said constantly.
“I still haven’t heard you call me master, have I?”
1. Sumeru rings should have appeared in other Chinese fantasy novels as well. They are based on the Buddhist concept that even a mere mustard seed can hold the mighty Sumeru, a mountain within Buddhist cosmology, which implies that it can hold things that are larger than itself.