Chapter 236 – Slaughtering the First Senior Brother
The Cursive Sword Calligraphy unfurled with a swish. The first senior brother saw the profound, intricate, and sharp handwriting. It was clearly just strokes of ink on paper, yet it was so sharp that it seemed like it had been carved into a cliff using a sword.
A tremendous sense of danger filled his heart. The sound of the blizzard seemed to stop. Compared to the speed of the sword qi, the violent wind and drifting snow seemed to be frozen.
The first senior brother’s eyes narrowed. He extended his hand and waved it. The Golden Pheasant’s plume expanded in size by a hundred times and protected him like a steel wall.
Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang! The screeching of metal rang out. The furious wave of sword qi rushed towards the first senior brother in the air. As he drifted through the air on the Golden Pheasant’s plume, he was like a rowboat in the raging seas, in danger of capsizing at any time. However, it also went with the flow, actually striking a special form of balance. It swayed and drifted, enduring and redirecting the force.
Not only could the Golden Pheasant’s plume attack and defend, but it also defended in a manner that Li Qingshan had never seen before. It was as graceful and natural as possible. The unique styles that sects had developed themselves really could not be underestimated.
The Gui Water true qi in Li Qingshan’s body flowed into the Cursive Sword Calligraphy furiously, launching stroke after stroke of sword qi. He held a spiritual stone in his hand at the same time to constantly replenish his true qi. In the blink of an eye, Li Qingshan had already tossed aside three spiritual stones.
“A supreme grade spiritual artifact! You actually have a supreme grade spiritual artifact!” The first senior brother stood on the Golden Pheasant’s plume and called out in the snow and wind.
He suddenly burst out laughing. “Haha, I never thought I’d have such good luck. Kid, with your current strength, you can’t unleash the full power of that supreme grade spiritual artifact. It’s no different from wasting it when you wield it, so hand it over! I am the one who has been chosen by the heavens. I will step over your corpse to a higher realm of cultivation!”
If a high grade spiritual artifact could make all Qi Practitioners envious and make their hearts thump, then a supreme grade spiritual artifact could drive all Qi Practitioners crazy. That was a treasure that even Foundation Establishment cultivators would use all their strength to obtain.
Li Qingshan’s mouth opened and closed slightly. His voice was swallowed by the snow and wind, but the first senior brother still managed to read his lips. “Go die!”
Two, huge skeletons descended from the sky as they revolved around one another. They ripped through the wind and produced sharp screams, like the cries of ghosts at night, enough to strike fear into the very hearts of people.
“What are those?!” The first senior brother’s expression changed drastically. He controlled the Golden Pheasant’s plume and flew through the snow and wind. He actually borrowed the force of the sword qi to make a few unexpected turns in the air, leaving behind a twisted golden trajectory as he dodged the attacks of the skulls.
Bang! Bang! Bang! They disturbed the cushion of air underneath the plume, causing him to rapidly fall down the pitch-black cliff. He thought, Oh no, I’ve fallen for his trap!
The screams gathered like shadows. The first senior brother looked behind him, and the two skulls caught up from left and right. Blood-red flames flickered in their eye sockets as their teeth chattered, eager to rip out his flesh and blood.
From afar, it seemed like a golden streak and two thin red streaks were falling straight down a bottomless abyss.
The trajectory of the golden streak was extremely swift and unstable, while the two red streaks constantly revolved around each other, sealing off any direction of escape for the golden streak.
At this moment, the two red streaks suddenly intercepted the golden streak.
The two skulls lunged towards the first senior brother. He snorted coldly. “Foolish tricks!” He pinched both hands and extended them. Two golden pheasant beaks pecked the foreheads of the skulls viciously.
With two thumps, the two skulls were sent flying, but in the final moment, they opened their mouths. From the roaring flames, two figures emerged.
One was large and one was small. They were Li Qingshan and Xiao An. They had leapt out of the skulls at the same time. Li Qingshan wielded the Cursive Sword Calligraphy, while Xiao An held a shiny, white rib as a sword.
The unstoppable sword qi and Xiao An’s startling attack were unleashed at the same time. The two sword moves fused together wondrously, without any imperfections at all. They formed a net of slashes that shot towards the first senior brother.
The first senior brother felt like the entire world had been cut into pieces by the criss-crossing sword qi. Fear and panic finally appeared in his eyes for the first time as he reached towards the hundred treasures pouch on his waist.
He moved extremely quickly, but compared to the sword qi, he seemed sluggish. He had never imagined he would have to waste talismans and spiritual stones in order to deal with a fourth layer Qi Practitioner, so he had not been prepared beforehand.
I’m a genius, the future sect master of the Pheasant’s Grace mountain. My future is limitless! I can’t die here! This thought flashed through the first senior brother’s head.
The sword qi vanished with a flash. The first senior brother lowered his head to check himself. He laughed aloud. “I didn’t die! I won’t-”
His voice halted, and his chin fell off. Many criss-crossing, bloody marks appeared on him, which began to shift.
With a poof, he exploded into a mist of blood in the air. Pieces of his body rained down, devoured by flames before they hit the ground.
No longer under anyone’s control, the Golden Pheasant’s plume turned back to its original size and drifted off with the wind.
Li Qingshan and Xiao An landed on the ground simultaneously. Xiao An held the Golden Pheasant’s plume. Li Qingshan opened his palm, and a hundred treasures pouch sat there quietly.
The two of them smiled at one another. An indescribable feeling of teamwork and cooperation rose up in their hearts.
Li Qingshan placed the talisman between his fingers back into the pouch on his waist. That was the supreme grade talisman he had obtained from the West Gate Granny. He had no idea what its effects were. He checked the Book of All according to the inscriptions and glyphs on there, but he failed to find any information on it. Though, there was plenty of information available on low and mid grade talismans.
Clearly, the supreme grade talisman was so precious that it would not be recorded in the Book of All. However, the book was not all useless either. Xiao An looked at the styles of the other talismans as a reference to forecast that the talisman should be an offensive fire element talisman.
Fire had the greatest power to kill out of the five elements, while the power of a supreme grade talisman went without saying.
Li Qingshan’s plan was that if he and Xiao An failed to kill the first senior brother even when working together, he would immediately activate the supreme grade talisman and kill him for good. If that failed too, he would transform at the risk of leaving behind traces of daemon qi and still kill the first senior brother.
Before the battle had even begun, he was already certain that he would win.
“The people behind are coming,” Xiao An licked her lips. The flesh and blood of ninth layer Qi Practitioners was far more delicious than that of regular people.
“Let’s send them all to the afterlife!” Red light flickered in Li Qingshan’s eyes. After three tough consecutive battles, his bloodthirstiness and killing intent had been completely activated. His exhaustion had vanished, while even his confused thoughts and internal conflict had ceased to exist. All he needed was even more slaughter.
Faced with the crossroad of life or death, there was no need to think too much about his choice. He wanted to live, so he had to kill all his enemies. It was as simple as that.
Li Qingshan and Xiao An did not even look at each other. They just quickly hid themselves in the dark, ready to launch a two-pronged attack. They quietly waited for the prey to take the bait.
Li Qingshan buried himself in a snow hole, holding his breath and resting.
The second wave should consist of two eighth layer Qi Practitioners. They would not be easy targets either if he did not daemonify. If the two eighth layer Qi Practitioners worked together, they might even be more difficult to kill than the ninth layer Qi Practitioner from earlier.
They needed to kill one of them the moment they launched the sneak attack. Then the other one would be easy. After this wave, everything else would be much easier to handle.
The Cursive Sword Calligraphy could instantly kill sixth and seventh layer Qi Practitioners. Combined with Xiao An’s two Skull Prayer Beads and her sword style from the Cursive Sword Calligraphy, they could be finished off from the get go.
Once the disparity in strength reached a certain level, numbers no longer meant anything.
He also had absolute confidence in this battle, but for some reason, the uneasiness in his heart did not settle. Instead, it grew more and more intense. His heart thumped uneasily, faster and faster.
“Oh no! Let’s go!” Li Qingshan leapt out of the snow hole and signalled to Xiao An.
Afterwards, he immediately rushed towards the underground cave he had decided on already.
Xiao An flew to Li Qingshan’s side and asked in confusion, “What’s wrong?”
Li Qingshan said, “I don’t know, but it’s very dangerous!”
Xiao An pondered for a moment before suddenly raising her head. “I know. It’s the sect master of the Pheasant’s Grace mountain, a Foundation Establishment cultivator!”
Li Qingshan furrowed his brows. A Foundation Establishment cultivator? Fair enough. Probably only Foundation Establishment cultivators can make me feel so much danger and pressure. If it were a Qi Practitioner, even if they were at the tenth layer, he was confident that he could kill his way out at the risk of exposing himself and transforming. There was even a chance for him to turn the situation around.
However, Foundation Establishment cultivators were masters on a whole different level. The techniques they used had the power of supreme grade talismans, while the power of their spiritual artifacts was as clear as day too.
Even if Li Qingshan transformed, there was no way he could hold his ground against him. However, all he had done was kill a Qi Practitioner of the Pheasant’s Grace mountain in these snowy mountains. That fellow had no chance to seek reinforcements, so how did he alarm a Foundation Establishment cultivator?
Xiao An saw Li Qingshan’s confusion, so she explained, “The Book of All details that core disciples within sects will often have life lanterns. The life lanterns will be in the possession of the sect masters. If the disciple dies, their life lantern will be extinguished, and the location of their death will be made known.”
It went without saying that a ninth layer Qi Practitioner would definitely be a core figure among core figures within a sect.
Li Qingshan had no idea that the first senior brother had already been designated as the future sect master.
A while earlier, over fifty kilometers away, three old men sat together at the top of the Green Vine mountain as they discussed matters regarding the Herb Gathering ceremony.
They held paramount power among the three mountains. They were the sect masters of the Green Vine mountain, Pheasant’s Grace mountain, and Burial Mound mountain. Together, they were known as the three elders.
The Green Vine elder served as the host, so he sat on the highest seat. He wore a set of green robes, and his face was covered in curly, entwined hair. Basically all that was visible was a pair of clear eyes.
To the left of the Green Vine Elder was a grey-robed old man. His eyes were milky, and he was expressionless. Even his face seemed grey. He gave off the faint aura of corpses. His eyes would swivel only once in a while, but he did not possess any aura befitting of the living.
Regular people would probably treat him as a corpse. Even if they saw his eyes swivel, they would treat him as a living corpse. He was the sect master of the Burial Mound mountain, the Lone Grave Elder.
To the right of the Green Vine elder was an old man in luxurious, golden clothes. He was obviously the sect master of the Pheasant’s Grace mountain, the Golden Pheasant Elder. Embroidered on his clothing was no longer a pheasant’s tail feather. Instead, it was the impressive golden pheasant’s head. The cockscomb was as red as fire, while the beak was sharp like a blade.
Compared to the other two old men, he gave off a spirited, youthful vigor, like a rooster heralding the break of dawn. He would always hold his chest up high like it was full of air, but it did make him seem a little haughty.