Chapter 252 – A Hopeless Situation
In the Sword Collection palace was a divine mountain called Sword Collection. This mountain was not connected to the ground and hovered in the sky instead. It was covered in treasured swords. As long as a disciple of the Sword Collection palace had undergone their first heavenly tribulation and become a formal disciple, they could pull a sword out from there as their own, personal sword. On the day of their passing, the sword would return to the Sword Collection peak to await its next owner.
The cultivation methods of the Sword Collection palace were about becoming one with the sword. Cultivating was training the sword, while training the sword was also cultivating.
Even a piece of scrap metal could become a terrifyingly powerful weapon after being refined by several generations of masters, so the power of these swords was self-explanatory. Moreover, it was rumored that these swords contained the spirit and will of their past masters, so only when they came across suitable masters could they be drawn from the mountain. As a result, not only did the person choose the sword, but the sword chose the person too. All tricks were useless. It was completely up to luck.
Once a sword was drawn, it was like meeting a great mentor or a close friend. The benefits brought to the sword wielder would be far more than obtaining a powerful sword. This was where the foundation and legacy of the Sword Collection palace resided, as well as why the sect was called Sword Collection.
And, sword cultivators were stronger than regular cultivators in battle anyway. Accompanied by a treasured sword, it was like giving wings to a tiger, making them even stronger.
The many swords varied in power. Among them, there were ten swords renowned throughout the world—the Ten Renowned Swords. Any disciple who drew them would receive the full support and nurturing of the Sword Collection palace. Basically every single master of the Sword Collection palace wielded one of these Ten Renowned Swords. The Green Ruins sword happened to be one of them.
This was not as simple as giving wings to a tiger anymore. Instead, it was directly turning a tiger into a tiger daemon. It was as easy as cake to deal with these three old men. However, the strange part of it was that Fu Qingjin had only gone through his heavenly tribulation recently, so how did he grasp the Green Ruins sword so soon?
Originating from a powerful clan, Hua Chengzan was very intelligent. He possessed encyclopedic knowledge, probably knowing even more than the entire Book of All. He obviously knew about the histories and stories regarding the larger sects of the Green province too.
Suddenly, he remembered another reason why the Green Ruins sword was renowned. Among the Ten Renowned Swords, there was only one pair of male and female swords. Green Ruins was the female sword, while the male sword was Violet Clouds. It was even stronger than the Green Ruins sword. Once one sword had been drawn, the other would be drawn soon too.
Since Green Ruins had been drawn, where was Violet Clouds?
When he thought of that, he suddenly looked at Yu Zijian. She currently stared right ahead. Was she it?
Thinking back to how Fu Qingjin had looked at Yu Zijian earlier, his head immediately cleared up.
She was. With how large the Green province was, there was no need for Fu Qingjin to travel over five thousand kilometers to the Clear River prefecture to kill a Daemon General. With his strength, were there any Daemon Generals that could match him evenly? As it turned out, his objective was this.
Large sects definitely possessed figures skilled at divination and could peer into the heavenly secrets. Apart from seeking talented juniors to join the sect and learn their arts like regular sects, they had another special method, which was searching for “fated people”. They rarely ever recruited anyone like that, but they could find a few figures with startling talent among the sea of people out there with this method.
These people were like uncut jade. Most of the time, they would not demonstrate any special cultivation talent. Cultivation should have had nothing to do with them for their entire lives. They would live their entire lives as regular people until their deaths. However, once they were given some guidance, stepping into the cultivation world, they would immediately be like dragons in the sea, completely in their element. They would rise up swiftly and abruptly.
If he had guessed correctly, then Chenglu would be the one benefiting from their tie of friendship, not Zijian. Although the Hua family had some power in the Clear River prefecture, they were nothing compared to the Sword Collection palace. His thoughts immediately extended to a very deep and far-reaching level, wanting to see how he could derive benefit for the Hua family using this piece of information. The battle below had instead stopped concerning him.
Victory had been predetermined anyway.
Fu Qingjin appeared in the green ruins, standing on half a pillar, as if he was aloof from the world.
It would take several dozen people to hug the pillar given its circumference, so it was possible to imagine just how glorious the palace it once supported was.
“The Sword Collection palace!” Li Qingshan’s eyes narrowed. Fu Qingjin overlapped with a certain figure in his memory. Although that person had been easily killed by the black ox, the impression of his sharp sword qi still lingered in his heart. He was not bold enough to forget about it.
“You’ve heard of it?” Fu Qingjin looked back and asked. He had just lifted the Green Ruins sword before stopping again.
Before Li Qingshan could answer him, the Ancient Bronze Corpse General finally broke free. Its rusted bronze armour was in a horrible shape, while a few of its bones had twisted and broken too. It roared furiously at Li Qingshan, about to lunge at him.
Fu Qingjin glanced at it, and the roar stopped. The Ancient Bronze Corpse General fled in a hurry, rushing back to the Lone Grave Elder like a frightened hound to its master.
The three elders gathered together and slowly pacified their spiritual energy. They no longer had any intention of fighting, as they knew that there was no need for them at all since he was already here. When they thought back to how they had clashed on the Green Vine mountain, they could not help but sigh in amazement.
“Is there anything else you want to say? Forget it, it’s all pointless. You won’t get anything out of speaking more.” With the same resolve as the Soaring Dragon Elder in the past, Fu Qingjin swung down with his sword.
The light was like a streak, a deep green in colour. It seemed like a green eye had opened up in the air, projecting the complete state of mind of a certain person. It was filled with emptiness and melancholy, narrating the rises and falls through the ages and the great changes that time could bring.
No matter how glorious a civilisation was, there would be a day when it would wither away. No matter how powerful an empire was, it would not be able to escape the fate of destruction, only for future people to visit their ruins and ponder about the past. As for the measly people who lived among them, there was nothing.
Li Qingshan’s willpower was still as tough as ever, so he returned to his senses with a single jerk. He threw a punch as he retreated abruptly, using the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell at the same time. He basically completed all three tasks simultaneously.
Li Qingshan immediately retreated to over a hundred meters away. The streak of light landed on the Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell, and his daemon qi depleted rapidly. The Spirit Turtle’s Profound Shell trembled violently, but it managed to hold up in the end.
His breathing had become slightly ragged while his scarlet pupils burned like fire. He was no longer the Li Qingshan of the past. He would not be slashed by someone again while being unable to react.
The three elders looked at one another. They could all see each other’s shock. What kind of daemon was this? Right now, they could accept the fact that Li Qingshan could block their attacks rather easily, but they had experienced Fu Qingjin’s strength first-hand, so they understood it extremely well.
“Oh?” Fu Qingjin was surprised as well. Originally, he planned on killing this weaker daemon with a casual slash before dealing with the Daemon General. Instead, he was slightly taken aback now. “Among the level of daemons, you can be regarded as rather impressive. You really are a hybrid after all. However, exactly because of this, it’s even more reason for me to kill you right now and eliminate you for good.”
Just when Fu Qingjin wanted to attack once again, a black shadow enveloped him. He turned his head slightly, and Milliped’s vicious mandibles were only inches away. His huge, gaping mouth was like the gates of hell.
Launching a sudden attack from so close, it was a little too late for Fu Qingjin to dodge even if he wanted to. The foul breath gushed into his face and kicked up his hair, but he remained unfazed.
With a great rumble, Milliped smashed the pillar with his head, but there was no delight on Li Qingshan’s face at all. He would never underestimate an opponent, while Fu Qingjin was an existence that he could not afford to underestimate. He took a powerful step forward and a crack rapidly stretched forwards. The pile of rubble exploded, but Fu Qingjin was not amongst it.
A green streak of light flew past his eyes, and afterwards, thousands of specks of light gathered together like fireflies, turning into Fu Qingjin.
Li Qingshan’s eyes widened. Was this the power of the Green Ruins sword? Didn’t that make him undefeatable?
Fu Qingjin casually tossed out the Green Ruins sword and wielded his finger like a sword. He used the most common sword controlling technique, but the Green Ruins sword twisted and turned, and the blade of the sword completely vanished. It wove out a complicated geometric shape that enveloped Milliped.
Milliped hissed in pain as blood spurted from everywhere. He twisted his body and tried to bite Fu Qingjin.
Fu Qingjin turned into green light and scattered again, condensing somewhere else. He stroked his chin as he muttered to himself, “You really are a carapaced Daemon General, aren’t you? Your vitality is extraordinary. It looks like I need to behead you.” His gaze landed on where Milliped’s head connected to his body, and he raised his sword in a simple manner before swinging down.
Even a half-assed, third-rate swordsman like Yu Zijian knew that move, but in his hands, it had become an unstoppable killing move.
The surging daemon qi turned into a flood, which gushed towards Fu Qingjin. His swing cut through it all.
The two skulls descended from the ground. At the same time, the remaining Steel Plate corpses on them all lunged at Fu Qingjin together while roaring out. The sword qi turned into thousands of green strands, tearing the Steel Plate corpses to shreds.
Fu Qingjin suddenly became surprised. He turned around and unleashed a strike, colliding with a shiny, bone sword. He praised, “Impressive sword style!” The sword move and sword intent that had erupted instantly even surprised him to a certain degree. When he saw that the sword wielder was a skeleton, he became even more surprised.
Xiao An had remained hidden all this time, sacrificing all the Steel Plate corpses as bait to deal this full-powered attack, but all she earned from him were three words of praise.
The sword style transformed, sometimes light and nimble, sometimes heavy and dignified, sometimes without a single trace at all, completely unfathomable. Xiao An completely unleashed the sword style she had learnt from the Cursive Sword Calligraphy, merging all the various strokes into the sword. Combined with the fact that she had launched every move desperately with the intention of dragging him down with her, it only seemed even more fearsome.
Fu Qingjin did not use his sword controlling technique. He wielded the sword in one hand and used his own sword style, engaging in a sword fight with Xiao An. He wanted to see her sword technique.
Xiao An advanced, and the sword moves fluctuated drastically. Fu Qingjin retreated, swinging and slashing randomly, but he would be able to block Xiao An’s moves every single time.
In a single moment, they had clashed over a thousand times, emitting a strange, prolonged thrum. Countless strands of sword qi, as thin as a strand of hair, peppered the ground. Dust filled the air wherever they passed by.
Along the way, a relatively complete building collapsed loudly. Its structure had been completely destroyed by the sword qi, collapsing under its own weight.
Countless cracks appeared on Xiao An’s bone sword. She had only attacked, without defending at all. If she were in human form right now, her flesh and blood would have been ripped to pieces by the sword qi already.
Li Qingshan howled at Milliped, “Turn back quickly!” The advantage that came with his colossal body had completely evaporated. There was no chance for them to win this battle. They needed to flee.
However, everything around them had been replaced by the illusion. Let alone the caves, they could not even find the pit. If they wanted to escape, they had to break out of this illusion first, but that was easier said than done.
However, Milliped ignored him this time. With his trembling body, he charged at Fu Qingjin again. Every single movement of his was as swift and fierce as lightning, but these attacks were useless no matter how many times he tried them with Fu Qingjin’s strange technique of turning into light.
As expected, Fu Qingjin turned into beams of light again, which gathered in the air. He shook his head. “Foolish!”
Having run out of power, Xiao An fell down from the air, and Li Qingshan caught her. No, this won’t work. I have to come up with an idea!