Chapter 437 – Clashing
It was as if the cauldron-shaped Bronze Cauldron mountain erupted with light, like a volcano erupting violently. The ruins were reduced to dust within the light before rushing into the air. All traces of humanity had been erased in that instant, crystallising from the heat.
Li Qingshan cast his gaze through the dust. Fu Qingjin had not managed to escape in time. The Green Ruins sword pointed at the sky, wielded right before him. On one side was his dancing green robes and black hair, while on the other, he had already turned into starry specks of light, scattering and condensing.
In the final moment, he unleashed the Green Ruins Illusion. He was struck by the streaks of light, but he just dispersed into specks of light.
“Continue firing!” Li Qingshan waved his blade and roared. No matter how powerful the Green Ruins sword was, its power could not be endless. He seemed invincible, but that was only because he had not been forced into dire situations. He wanted to test the limit of the Green Ruins sword, so he did not let this heaven-sent opportunity slip by.
Light fell like rain, spraying over the top of Bronze Cauldron mountain. The rumbling reached hundreds of kilometers away as the mountain was sliced away. Fu Qingjin constantly disassembled and reassembled, remaining just as composed as ever.
This lasted for fifteen long minutes. Fu Qingjin frowned as the Green Ruins sword in his hand thrummed gently. He never expected he would actually fall into such an awkward predicament from a moment of carelessness. Northmoon, I’ve underestimated you.
He bit the tip of his tongue and sprayed a mouthful of essence blood onto the Green Ruins sword. The sword shone brightly with green light, and he merged with it, turning into a green streak that shot into the air.
“Now!” Li Qingshan’s eyes lit up. Having been waiting for this the whole time, he suddenly unfurled his wings and swung out with the blood-red blade, emitting a streak of light that forcefully severed the green light.
Fu Qingjin was not angered at all. Instead, he smiled. The Green Ruins sword produced ripples of green light, and the ruined palaces and walls unfurled in the air. Before he knew it, Li Qingshan had fallen into the Green Ruins Illusion once again.
Ye Liusu and Ye Liubo strode through the air, following behind him closely and ready to strike at any time. They swung their weapons at Fu Qingjin, but they missed. They directly passed through the green light, looking back in surprise. The Green Ruins Illusion was like a mirage in the sky, visible but beyond reach.
Fu Qingjin said gloomily, “Even if you have ten thousand people on your side, only you will face me in the end. Are you prepared, Northmoon?”
At this moment, many other Foundation Establishment cultivators who had received the distress signal arrived. They saw the devastated Bronze Cauldron mountain before glancing at the illusion in the air. They had no idea what to do.
Ye Liubo said loudly, “Quick, open a phantom path.” Although she had not clashed with Fu Qingjin before, this liaison of the Sword Collection palace had made a name for himself even underground. He had clashed with Strongboulder and Bloodshadow several times, gaining the upper hand every single time. Although he never managed to kill the two daemons, he would force them to return underground every single time with some wounds.
“There’s no need.” Li Qingshan said indifferently as he stared at Fu Qingjin. The Green Ruins Illusion was different from formations. It was completely under Fu Qingjin’s control. Even if she managed to force her way in, she would just be expelled again. “From now onwards, Ye Liusu will be in charge. Kill and injure as many cultivators of the Daemon Suppression alliance as possible.”
“As you wish, master.” Ye Liusu shot towards the Foundation Establishment cultivators who had come to provide assistance, while the remaining night roamers followed behind her. Mid-air, they had already merged with the darkness, vanishing completely.
The Foundation Establishment cultivators changed drastically in expression. Never had they seen so many night roamers that had all undergone a heavenly tribulation gathered together.
“Mountainous Sword Qi!” A middle-aged cultivator in the robes of a daoist priest drew the sword from his back, conjuring countless blurs of swords that revolved around him like a mountain of swords. If he wanted to face several night roamers, this would be enough to protect himself, as night roamers were not good with direct confrontations. However, what he faced right now were several dozen of the strongest assassins the night roamers had to offer.
Cling! Clang! Clang! Cling! With a series of collisions, the night roamers flickered like ghosts, and the Mountainous Sword Qi was forced back.
The middle-aged cultivator was shocked. He snatched out a handful of Thunderbolt bombs and scattered them, stopping the night roamers’ attacks with a series of explosions. He rode away on his sword in a hurry.
Ye Liubo sneered. She relinquished her sword and pulled out a bow, drawing it to full. A black arrow had already condensed between her fingers. Behind her, over a dozen night roamers did the same. Among the night roamers, archery was something they had to know.
A rain of black arrows pierced the smoke from the explosions, leaving behind black trajectories silently.
The middle-aged cultivator called to the other Foundation Establishment cultivators, “Save me, fellows!”
With the philosophy of “a dead fellow’s better than a dead me” in mind, the other Foundation Establishment cultivators took off without even looking back. They were not crazy enough to throw their lives at several dozen night roamers who had gone through heavenly tribulations yet.
The middle-aged cultivator did his best to block a few arrows. The robes on him began to stir. It was actually an extremely rare protective supreme grade spiritual artifact, which helped him block seven or eight arrows. If he faced a single night roamer, he would have basically been undefeatable, but faced with an absolute disadvantage in numbers, the robes did not have time to recover its strength at all. It was pierced by the arrows in a single instant, riddling the middle-aged cultivator with holes. He fell out of the sky.
His “fellows” had not managed to escape so easily either. The six matriarchs all went up to block them. Speed was one of their advantages. They did not have a lot of opportunities where they could kill so many Foundation Establishment cultivators with such ease.
“Are you thinking you can unsettle me like this?” As Fu Qingjin spoke, he used the Green Ruins Illusion to recover the strength he had used up earlier.
“I never planned on unsettling you at all. How is it? You never imagined this, did you?” Li Qingshan laid out his hands. He actually did not launch a preemptive attack. Instead, he began conversing with Fu Qingjin in interest.
He had never been one to blabber. He utterly detested those who wanted to monologue and pose around when they possessed an absolute advantage, only for the tables to turn against them later.
It was the exact opposite, as a matter of fact. After witnessing the speed that Fu Qingjin had unleashed earlier, he understood he had no so-called advantages at all. Now was clearly not the time for him to throw his life on the line for a great battle against Fu Qingjin. If Fu Qingjin wanted to leave, he would not be able to stop him.
At their level of cultivation, one-against-one battles were often all like that. Victory and defeat was easy to determine; life and death was not.
Moreover, winning this held no significance to Li Qingshan at all, which was why he purposefully put on a front to convince Fu Qingjin had a chance to kill him, just to keep him here. His helper was already on the way.
When he saw Fu Qingjin, Li Qingshan understood this was a heaven-sent opportunity to deal a heavy blow to the Daemon Suppression Alliance. His clone began to take vigorous action underground. The helper he was looking for was not Xiao An.
In the underground cavern, Bloodshadow stared at Li Qingshan coldly. “You’re bold enough to intrude upon my territory?”
“Fu Qingjin is on Bronze Cauldron mountain, locking in combat with my original body. If you want revenge, then come!” Li Qingshan cut right to the chase. Only Bloodshadow could catch Fu Qingjin with his startling speed and end him for good.
“Is that the truth?” Bloodshadow’s expression changed. He resented Li Qingshan no less than Fu Qingjin. Both of them had humiliated him before.
“Whether you believe it or not is up to you.” Li Qingshan turned around to leave and Bloodshadow appeared before him in a flash. “Where are you going?”
“I’m obviously off to find Strongboulder, Dragonsnail, oh right, and ma’am Spider Queen. I want to report to her that a good opportunity for a counter attack is here.”
Li Qingshan made his way around Bloodshadow and flew off. He did not know any battle tactics or strategies. He just suddenly discovered he had been dealt a good hand, and he wanted to win big.
War was not a game that could be won through scheming alone. Playing his cards right was nowhere near as complicated and profound as novels had described it. Varying factors were everywhere. A single coincidence could change the direction of the entire war.
And, what truly determined the victory was still the strength of the opposing sides. At the very least, the united night roamers right now were stronger than the half-hearted members of the Daemon Suppression alliance.
It only took Fu Qingjin a single thought to think through all this. He had gained an inkling of Li Qingshan’s objective too. However, he remained as calm as ever, smiling instead. “I know what you’re thinking. However, even if the blood demon and rock demon are here, you still won’t be able to kill me.”
“Don’t mind if I try.” Li Qingshan sat down on the mossy steps. “I hope your subordinates are as tough as you. All of your arrogance just comes from a single sword.”
Deep underground, Strongboulder smiled viciously. “You want me to assist you?”
“No, I’m advising you to use this opportunity to attack other sects. This is the perfect opportunity.” Li Qingshan left as soon as he came. Strongboulder was unable to match Fu Qingjin’s speed, and the Rock of Slaughter’s power probably would not be particularly effective either. However, he would be perfect for attacking other sects.
Fu Qingjin was right. Absolute confidence in killing him had never existed in the first place. However, he could destroy the Daemon Suppression alliance at the very least.
“Does a wise king not rule without using others? Have you achieved everything just by depending on yourself alone?” Fu Qingjin said slowly. He arrived near the broken walls to Li Qingshan’s right and sat down. He smiled. “A group of Foundation Establishment cultivators aren’t as important as you think they are. Compared to them, I care about you much more. In just a few years, you’ve gone from being a daemon, no, a daemonic beast to what you are right now. That’s truly astonishing.”
Li Qingshan raised an eyebrow and smiled. “They, however, are very important to me.” Without the battles, without so many spoils, would he still be standing here right now?
“Is it just through the pills that the cat daemon gave you? No, that’s nowhere near enough. You have other fortuitous encounters,” Fu Qingjin said to himself.
“Of course I’m fortunate.” Li Qingshan gazed down carelessly. The Foundation Establishment cultivators were like a herd of elk surrounded by a pack of wolves, gradually giving away. Another died.
“Oh right, do you know who killed the Soaring Dragon Elder?” Fu Qingjin asked suddenly as he clutched the xiezhi’s horn within his sleeve. He had remained here exactly to get to the bottom of this. This was what mattered to the Sword Collection palace. Everything he said before this was just in preparation for this. He was striking while Li Qingshan was unprepared.
The enemy obviously would not tell the truth, but with the xiezhi’s horn, he believed he could find the truth.
Li Qingshan opened his mouth, but he wavered. With a thought, he shut it again before just shutting his eyes. He could not afford to be careless when speaking to this person.
Green light flashed through Fu Qingjin’s eyes. He smiled. “Alright, I’ve already learnt what I want to know. Actually, you’re not particularly good at hiding what you’re thinking. That person’s the source of all your power, right?”
Li Qingshan snapped open his eyes. “What are you holding in your hand?”