Chapter 249 – Conscience
One of Miliped’s long, spiny legs tore through the air and stabbed over like a spear. The zombie dodged it dexterously, almost no different from a living person.
The Lone Grave Elder stood in the distance with a cold expression. At this level of corpse refining, he no longer refined mindless puppets. There was no need for him to actively control it.
He had dug up thousands of graves and eventually found the ancient corpse of a disciple of the school of the Military in a general’s cemetery. Back then, the corpse was already close to zombifying. He spent a tremendous effort to suppress its free will and refined it into an Ancient Bronze Corpse General in the end.
Not only was it immune to fire, water, and regular weapons, but its combat awareness from when it was alive remained too. It was equivalent to a Foundation Establishment cultivator. Whenever he fought against people, he just had to summon it, and the battle would basically be two against one.
Failing to achieve anything with a punch, the Ancient Bronze Corpse General threw out another punch. With a series of thunderous thumps, the shell on Milliped’s belly cracked and bled.
Milliped writhed in pain, suddenly breaking free from the restraint of one of the green vines and biting at the golden pheasant above him.
The golden pheasant flapped its wings and tried to climb higher into the air. Suddenly, it felt a tug on its tail. Milliped had clamped down on the golden pheasant’s tail feathers, throwing it against the rocks with a swing of his head.
Milliped was so powerful that he seemed unstoppable, shocking the Golden Pheasant Elder. This Daemon General’s strength is actually so great. He made up his mind to cut his losses. Golden feathers rained down from the sky as the golden pheasant climbed higher, hovering above the pit. It had lost most of its tail feathers, such that its tail was almost bald.
The Golden Pheasant Elder called out, “Green Vine, since when were your techniques so useless? Are you trying to kill us?”
“You have absolutely no idea. This wretched daemon is just too strong. I can’t last for much longer. Hurry up and kill it!” The Green Vine Elder basically forced these words out through gritted teeth. His face was bright red. He was trying to contend with Milliped’s physical strength with his spiritual energy alone, so he was under the most pressure.
The golden pheasant circled around the stream of smoke and arrived higher in the sky. It shone with resplendent, golden light, rapidly gathering the golden sunlight and gradually blurring itself. A miniature sun seemed to appear in the sky.
Milliped instinctively sensed danger. He lowered his head and spat out a mouthful of pink acid at the Ancient Bronze Corpse General. Even the Ancient Bronze Corpse General was afraid of touching that, so it retreated to thirty meters away. Meanwhile, a huge pit had already formed before it.
Contaminated with acid, over half of the vine’s main stalk was eaten away instantly. Milliped used his full strength and pushed down with all of his legs at the same time, about to break free.
“Trees Grow and Grass Sprouts, in an Endless Cycle!”
The Green Vine Elder bellowed out, and he exploded with dazzling, green light. His hair, beard, and skin all turned green from the light, like he was not a human, but a carving of green wood. He shone together with the Golden Pheasant Elder in the distance.
The green vines grew crazily, sprouting from the ground and the cliffs, wrapping around Milliped in a great cocoon.
“Vines Wither and Trees Age, Between Decay and Glory!”
All of the vines ran out of moisture, becoming a withered, yellow colour, like the withered vines in ancient forests and on cliff faces that had been there since forever. They were the toughest, where even machetes would fail to leave a mark on them.
The rate of corrosion immediately slowed down. Milliped had been sealed within this cage of withered vines.
At this moment, there was a pheasant’s cry that filled the wilderness. The golden sun fell from the sky.
The golden pheasant had pulled in its wings, with its beak at the front and tail feathers at the back. It directly rushed towards the immobilised Milliped with a long tail of flames.
The Ancient Bronze Corpse General returned to the Lone Grave Elder, who watched on with his head raised. He felt shocked too. He had nothing to fear if he faced against just the Golden Pheasant Elder or the Green Vine Elder, but if they worked together, he would be dead for sure, even despite that move of his.
The three mountains had suffered heavy losses, but he was the least affected by it. Apart from the fact that his heart was like a zombie’s, basically emotionless, his thoughts were surprisingly similar to that of the first senior brother of the Burial Mound mountain. If he could refine this Daemon General’s corpse into a daemon corpse, his strength would definitely increase significantly, enough to surpass the Golden Pheasant Elder and the Green Vine Elder. After that, merging the three mountains into one mountain would no longer be entirely impossible.
Hua Chengzan sighed gently. He was prepared to return and report this to his commanding officer. Who knows what kind of disturbance the death of a Daemon General would cause. Probably even Wang Pushi would not be able to bear the consequences. He could only make her come.
At this moment, another daemon qi surged into the air, and Hua Chengzan’s expression changed all of a sudden. There were actually daemons bold enough to emerge at a time like this. He squinted his eyes and peered through the clouds and smoke, but he failed to spot the daemon.
The Green Vine Elder and the Lone Grave Elder felt a violent tremor from beneath their feet. The tremor was not just an ordinary earthquake. The power hidden within was utterly shocking. They leapt up at the same time and saw large parts of the pit crack. The cracks rapidly expanded towards the edges.
The vines were originally rooted in the ground, so they began to loosen as well, but it was already too late.
The golden pheasant fell. With a great rumble, countless beams of golden light erupted in the pit as the cracked rocks began to collapse like booming thunder. The yellow dust in the air, combined with the pink gas, was illuminated by the golden light. The pit was like a huge pot, violently boiling right now.
The golden light was so dazzling that Hua Chengzan struggled to make out what was happening in the pit. However, the Daemon General’s daemon qi did not vanish. The Golden Pheasant Elder had missed.
Another huge, blurry figure appeared in the dust and smoke.
Li Qingshan had completely transformed. He stood over forty feet tall as he gasped for air. Milliped laid behind him, having finally broken out of the vines and recovered his freedom.
The perfectly-round pit now had a huge tear. It was possible to imagine what the consequences would have been if the attack had landed. Fortunately, the Golden Pheasant Elder did not have complete control over that move.
When Li Qingshan and Xiao An arrived at the entrance, they sensed the three Foundation Establishment cultivators encircle Milliped and attack him with their spiritual energy. Every single one of them was more powerful than he was, but he would never back down when his friend was under life-threatening danger. He immediately cast aside the possibility of danger and was about to rush out to assist Milliped. However, he was stopped by Xiao An, who told him not to panic.
After calming down, Li Qingshan waited while holding his breath. He wanted to see whether an opportunity to heavily injure a Foundation Establishment cultivator would present itself, but he also knew just how unlikely that was. However, in the final, critical moment, he tore through the ground and used a drastic measure against the situation, destroying the foundations of the vines before grabbing Milliped by his tail and pulling him aside, allowing him to avoid the Golden Pheasant Elder’s killing strike.
The blurry, humanoid figure made the three Foundation Establishment cultivators narrow their eyes. Was this another Daemon General? They retreated to one side of the pit cautiously, recovering their spiritual qi as they watched Li Qingshan vigilantly.
Li Qingshan ignored them. He turned around and punched Milliped’s head, yelling, “You idiot! Wake up!” It was as if he was trying to verify the three elders’ thoughts. Regular daemons would never be bold enough to hit a Daemon General. However, while the daemon qi he gave off was tremendous, he did not feel like a Daemon General.
Milliped shook his head, and his mind seemed to clear up slightly. He hissed at Li Qingshan and said through his daemon qi, “You’ve come. My head hurts.”
Li Qingshan replied with daemon qi, “If it hurts, then you deserve it! Why don’t you turn back into human form and leave with me!”
“Okay!” Milliped transformed and turned back into the bald-headed, idiotic-looking fatty. He rubbed his belly. “My belly hurts too!”
Li Qingshan said nothing. He grabbed him and shoved him into the cave.
“Oh no, they’re trying to escape! Trees Grow and Grass Sprouts, in an Endless Cycle!” The Green Vine Elder said.
Just when Li Qingshan wanted to dive into the cave as well, countless vines pierced through the rock and merged together, blocking the entrance and separating him from Milliped. Milliped roared furiously as he tried to tear apart the vines.
Li Qingshan sighed instead and said, “Run!” A violent gust of wind kicked up behind him. The golden light projected his figure against the rock face as the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell rose up automatically.
With a few clings and clangs, the pheasant claw that was as tough as a high grade spiritual artifact locked down on the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell. The golden pheasant flapped its wings and lifted Li Qingshan into the air.
The golden pheasant lowered its head. It started at Li Qingshan with its golden pupils filled with fury. “You want to run? That one has escaped, so you can replace him!” The Golden Pheasant Elder was vaguely visible inside.
The pit below his feet rapidly shrank in size, but the Green Vine Elder and Lone Grave Elder seemed to shine no matter how far away they were.
Li Qingshan immediately understood the danger that he was in. His blood boiled, but his mind instead became calmer and calmer. He sucked in a deep breath and unleashed the Tiger Demon’s Fierce Roar. The sound wave flooded the wild wind and slammed against the golden pheasant together.
The golden light shuddered, and the claw of the pheasant loosened. Li Qingshan fell out of the sky, but before he had even hit the ground, countless thick vines extended over from the surroundings of the pit like arms, wrapping around the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell and turning it into a ball of vines.
Under the control of Foundation Establishment cultivators, the ground immediately became even more distant than the sky. Cut off from the depths of the underground, Li Qingshan had nowhere to run. He was extremely large, but against the three Foundation Establishment cultivators, he was like a skinny child facing three tough adults. That was how puny he seemed.
The three elders flew through the air and revolved around the ball of vines.
The Green Vine Elder said, “Oh no, he’s only a regular daemon!” Although his shape and strength was very extraordinary, his daemon qi did indeed make him a mere daemon. It was a huge contract compared to their original target.
The three of them had worked together and schemed against the unsuspecting, yet they still failed to kill the Daemon General and exact revenge. They were humiliated so much that their faces immediately twisted!
“Dammit!” The Lone Grave Elder slammed the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell emotionlessly. With a rumble, the shell shook violently, but it remained undamaged.
The three elders were surprised, but their fury only intensified. The Golden Pheasant’s Elder said, “Smash through his shell. I want to skin him alive and cut him to pieces out of hatred!”
The Green Vine Elder thought of something. “Perhaps we can lure out that Daemon General.”
The Golden Pheasant Elder said, “Green Vine, you’re dreaming. Daemons have no concept of friendship or loyalty. They’re heartless. All they know is to struggle for survival. Carapaced daemons are the dumbest out of all of them, so it’s even less likely for them to understand what ties of friendship mean.” As he said that, the pheasant’s beak struck the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell viciously, while the Ancient Bronze Corpse General threw out a punch.
The shell trembled uncontrollably. No matter how tough it was, just how much longer could it last against the combined attacks of three Foundation Establishment cultivators?
“It’s true that daemons have no concept of the ties of friendship.” What Li Qingshan said stunned the three elders, “They only act on their own conscience!”
A huge, pink bug leapt up as hard as it could and left the ground like a carp leaping out of the water before biting onto the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell.