Chapter 237 – The Golden Pheasant Elder
A map was unfurled on the table before the three of them. It shone with light as it projected a three dimensional image above. It was an underground mental map, even larger than Li Qingshan’s.
This underground mental map had been created over many years after the disciples of the three mountains ventured underground again and again. At the cost of countless lives, they had managed to come up with a relatively safer region, which was Milliped’s territory!
The Golden Pheasant Elder pointed at a corner of the map with his shriveled, claw-like hand. “The disciples of my Pheasant’s Grace mountain will be entering through here.” This was the safest route. It crossed a few spiritual grounds that had spiritual herbs growing, which also happened to be worth a lot.
The Green Vine Elder stared at it for quite some time before slowly shaking his head. “Won’t do.”
“Yep.” The Lone Grave Elder nodded quickly before returning to his half-dead state.
The Golden Pheasant Elder stood up impatiently. “This is exactly what annoys me about the two of you. Can’t you be faster? I don’t care if you agree or disagree. Just hurry up and come up with the rules. You waste so much time everytime!”
The Green Vine Elder said, “Fellow Golden Pheasant, you’ve already grown so old, yet you’re still so impatient!”
“Yep,” the Lone Grave Elder spat out another word.
The Golden Pheasant Elder glared at the two of them. Just when he was about to say something, his heart skipped a beat. His expression changed drastically, and he abandoned the other two elders, rushing out the window.
Everyone raised their heads together in the town below the Green Vine mountain. They saw a golden speck of light appear at the very top of the mountain, like the brightest star in the night sky. Qi Practitioners with exceptional eyesight managed to see the true form of the golden speck of light. It was a golden pheasant that shot through the air with unbelievable speed while its long, golden tail feathers dragged behind like a golden comet.
All of the Qi Practitioners could not help but sigh. So this is the strength of a Foundation Establishment cultivator!
The town momentarily fell silently before recovering its clamor. It seemed to be even noisier than before, as if the fighting spirit and ambition of all the Qi Practitioners had been riled up.
They had no idea why a Foundation Establishment cultivator, someone who always remained discreet, would suddenly rush off the Green Vine mountain. They wondered whether something had happened between the alliance of the three mountains.
Li Qingshan suddenly looked back at the sky. Through the snow and wind, he saw a golden star appear on the distant horizon, shooting directly towards his direction.
As it was simply too far away, it did not seem to be very fast, but Li Qingshan felt an unprecedented sense of danger, like an imminent catastrophe was about to take his life.
The golden star definitely was not something he could oppose right now.
He concealed all of his aura and changed directions, venturing into the mountains. However, the golden star immediately changed its course as well. As a result, he knew that his ability to hide his aura could not fool the senses of a Foundation Establishment cultivator.
As a result, he simply gave up on hiding his tracks. He used an accelerating talisman and rushed towards the cave as quickly as he could.
This sight seemed to overlap with the snowy night from a year ago. They were surprisingly similar. Unknowingly, he seemed to have gone through an entire cycle, returning to where he had started again.
But this time, brother ox would not be there to help. He needed to rely on his own strength, as well as Xiao An.
Xiao An listened to Li Qingshan and hid herself within the dark clouds high in the sky. She was ready to rush down and provide assistance as soon as Li Qingshan gave the signal. If Li Qingshan could suppress and hide his aura, then she had no aura at all. She existed between life and death, a special existence that was neither alive nor dead, neither dead nor alive. No matter how sensitive the Golden Pheasant Elder was, it was impossible for him to discover a hidden set of bones.
The view in front of Li Qingshan rapidly changed. He rapidly conquered the rising and falling landscape, but the golden star in the sky drew closer and closer. Li QIngshan now experienced an indescribable pressure, no longer just an obscure sense of danger.
The golden star grew larger and larger in his eyes. Even from five kilometers away, Li Qingshan found the glorious aura to be chilling.
The golden pheasant also discovered the fleeing Li Qingshan. It raised its head, unfurled its wings, and let out a cry, blazing with golden light.
It was like it was welcoming dawn, allowing the sun that had sunken into the west to rise once more.
The golden light clearly depicted the shape of the golden pheasant, complete with a cockscomb, a beak, and feathers. It was life-like. However, it was like a fighting cock, filled with rage.
The Golden Pheasant Elder inside glared; his eyes were like a fighting cock’s too. His hair and beard stuck up from anger. His beloved disciple had been killed, so sorrow and rage filled his heart. He swore revenge!
From the moment he saw Li Qingshan, he knew that Li Qingshan was the person he was searching for. This was not because Li Qingshan was running away. As the sect master, he obviously knew about the humiliation that his inner disciple Song Ming had suffered in Salt Mountain city. However, as the Green Vine mountain then took over the Proud Sword manor, he could only leave the matter unsettled.
Before the first senior brother had ventured out to avenge Song Ming, he had definitely reported it to his master, which was why he was bold enough to bring the disciples of the Pheasant’s Grace mountain with him. However, he had never thought he would actually die.
The resonant crow of the golden pheasant shook up the mountains, reverberating through them. For a moment, only the pheasant’s cry was audible in the snowy mountains.
Li Qingshan experienced piercing pain in his ears as his mind shook. His true qi surged controllably. He could not help but be shocked. This was the power of a Foundation Establishment cultivator!
The spirit turtle’s daemon core revolved in his body, suppressing all of the discomfort. The cave was near now. Once he made it over this mountain, the valley ahead was it!
He could not allow the golden pheasant to draw near, or just a single attack would put him in life-threatening danger.
But at such a close distance, Li Qingshan could finally get a feel for the golden pheasant’s startling speed. The first senior brother glided quite quickly already, but he seemed as slow as someone crawling along the ground in comparison to the golden pheasant.
And, the golden pheasant did not glide. It truly flew through the air.
When Li Qingshan had just made it halfway up the mountain, the golden pheasant had arrived one and a half kilometers from him. He twisted his foot and forcefully changed directions, lunging towards the other side of the mountain.
The golden pheasant flapped its wings and unleashed several dozen golden feathers that shot over with lightning speed. It was like a sun shedding its light. Every single feather was even swifter and more vicious than the spiritual artifact controlled by the first senior brother.
Li Qingshan had been expecting this move. He would move left at times, right at times, pause at times, or even slow down at times. His movements became completely unreadable.
The Whale’s Ingestion of Water was no longer a weapon, but a huge, ice shield that covered his surroundings. Even with that, he was still worried, so he stuck a high grade Golden Shield talisman on himself.
However, as soon as he had completed all of this, golden light filled his eyes. He was not even able to respond in time.
The ice shield shattered, and the golden shield broke. As if he had been struck by lightning, Li Qingshan halted completely.
A tiny hole appeared in his chest. A golden streak of light had penetrated him. His tough skin that could even stop the swing of a spiritual artifact seemed to be completely useless. The golden feather pierced through his three layers of defence and penetrated deep into the rock below.
The Golden Pheasant Elder instead furrowed his brows. With his cultivation at Foundation Establishment, he had actually failed to kill this weak Qi Practitioner in a single move. Perhaps no one would believe him, but the golden feather should have directly pierced Li Qingshan’s heart.
Li Qingshan’s defences had not been useless. They provided him with a moment to react. In the final moment, he had forcefully twisted his body, which was why the attack missed his heart. However, a sharp, scorching aura suddenly erupted in his body, as if it was trying to rip him to pieces and reduce him to ashes.
The golden pheasant paused in the air. The Golden Pheasant Elder was in no hurry to continue his attacks. Even if he had failed to penetrate Li Qingshan’s heart, the spiritual energy within the attack should have still been enough to kill him. Instead, the Golden Pheasant Elder felt rather regretful over the fact that he had not held back under his rage. He should have captured him, found out about his origins, and then tortured him to death!
Xiao An’s expression stiffened. Li Qingshan had not given her the signal this entire time. The Golden Pheasant Elder had struck out like lightning, so Li Qingshan had no time to do so. Moreover, he would not want her to risk her life.
The flames in her eyes roared. She was about to fly down without any regard anymore.
Li Qingshan suddenly sprang up from the ground. He basically dragged his body around to the other side of the mountain, even if it meant rolling and crawling, escaping from the Golden Pheasant Elder’s field of vision.
The Golden Pheasant Elder was slightly surprised as he smiled viciously. He roared out, “You will regret not dying earlier!”
Li Qingshan ignored it. Who knew how many times he had heard rubbish like that already. The spirit turtle’s daemon core managed to make an impact again in this critical moment, forcefully suppressing the foreign, explosive spiritual energy.
Suddenly, his face lit up. The cave detailed on the mental map was right in front of him. Just when he was about to charge in, a golden light enveloped his head.
The golden pheasant flapped its wings and made its way over the mountain, rediscovering Li Qingshan’s tracks. All it needed was a single lunge and grab, and it would be able to capture Li Qingshan.
Xiao An’s fists creaked from how hard she clenched them. It took her tremendous willpower to remain in the air. If she could not endure it any longer and showed herself, not only would she fail to provide any assistance to Li Qingshan, but it was even very likely for her to destroy his only chance of survival. If she ended up being captured, Li Qingshan would never flee by himself. Before absolute strength, the combined efforts of the weak were meaningless. Instead, they would just drag each other down.
Li Qingshan unleashed all the strength left in his body and leapt forwards, lunging towards the cave that was covered in half-snow and half-vines. Due to using too much strength, his muscles and bones twisted and creaked.
He turned around mid-air, facing the sky and looking at the golden pheasant claw that reached over swiftly. Before the shining claws had even reached him, his skin already stung. Since they were so close, he was able to see through the golden pheasant and see the Golden Pheasant Elder’s old, arrogant face and the contempt and hatred on there.
The corner of Li Qingshan’s lips curled up. The talisman in his hand flashed and broke, turning into a scarlet fireball. It rose into the air and struck the sharp claws.
The Golden Pheasant Elder’s expression turned into one of shock. He exclaimed, “Supreme grade talisman!”
Red light filled the entire sky.
The mountains swayed as the earth quaked!
The boulders in the distance were launched high into the air. Meanwhile, everything at the centre of the explosion, whether it be rocks or vegetation, directly melted, turning into flowing lava. Subsequently, it all solidified rapidly in the ice and snow, forming a black circle.
The Golden Pheasant Elder was unscathed, but the golden pheasant’s right leg had completely vanished. His face reddened and twisted.
This was because Li Qingshan had vanished with the explosion. Even the cave had been swallowed up by the fireball, completely collapsing in the explosion before being covered up by several hundred tonnes of rock.