Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“Charge four feet towards the south. Retreat six inches towards the west. The poisonous beast is beginning to move towards its left.”
Li Changshou remained in the warm and comfortable tree trunk of the old cypress tree as he kept sending voice transmissions to Youqin Xuanya.
Youqin Xuanya was now about 3,000 feet from the old cypress tree.
This cliff was a protruding, horizontal structure. At that moment, the Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent was slithering out from the narrow slit in a rock, where it had been hiding. It kept close to the stone wall below the cliff and stuck its head out beside the old cypress tree trunk.
It was already alerted by Youqin Xuanya and her six attackers. However, Yuwen Ling, who was still in the sky, still had not noticed it.
This saved Li Changshou the hassle of coming up with more plans and schemes.
Li Changshou was already working at full capacity. Firstly, he had to actively keep his aura hidden. Secondly, he had to keep guiding Youqin Xuanya. Thirdly, he had to keep an eye on the poisonous beast’s movements—he could not allow Toxic Xuanya to be harmed.
The flour had not even been milled—he could not possibly give the donkey up to be barbequed1.
Youqin Xuanya was only 1,000 feet from the old cypress tree now!
The Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent was captivated by the few people who were engaged in battle. It stuck close to the rock wall and slowly slithered forward, blocking their path to the Immortal-Emancipating Herbs, but not wander too far away.
It was an experienced hunter, well-versed in the art of ambush. It remained patient as it waited for Youqin Xuanya and her attackers to come closer. At that moment, these people were as good as a meal on a plate for the serpent.
Li Changshou could already imagine how horrific and exciting it would be once this three-feet-long serpent jumped out without warning.
This world was just that terrifying.
As he chanted the Wood Escape mantra, Li Changshou wandered freely up and down the trunk of the old cypress tree. Slowly, he dove into one of its stolons.
Li Changshou kept sending voice transmissions to Youqin Xuanya.
“Advance three feet to the east. Retreat nine feet, south-west. The poisonous beast already has its eyes on you. Listen to my directions closely. When I say jump, use all of your energy to burst up into the sky. Do not hesitate.”
Youqin Xuanya muttered a sound of acknowledgment in her heart. She kept waving her hands around, directing the flaming, flying swords around her to shuttle back and forth.
Her rapidly developing sword defense and her dress fluttering in the wind made her look like an immortal dancing in flames. She looked exceptionally charming and captivating.
In the air, Yuwen Ling held onto Yuan Qing’s shoulder, helping to shield him from the surrounding Miasma Qi.
Yuan Qing kept his eyes on Youqin Xuanya underneath him. There was obvious infatuation in his eyes.
“General Yuwen! Do not let Xuanya escape this time!”
“Don’t worry, Fourth Young Master. We neglected that she had a Precious Shifting Talisman the previous time,” answered Yuwen Ling in a low voice. “She does not have many Dharmic powers. Once she gets to the edge of the cliff, I will step out to pressure her further. Fourth Young Master, you can then appear by her side and protect her. If she only has hatred for you, Fourth Young Master, the Love Parasite will only be half as effective. We have to turn that hatred into positive feelings towards you.”
Yuan Qing’s expression twisted as he nodded and said, “Thank you for your hard work, General Yuwen.”
Yuwen Ling replied in a low voice, “I’m confused about how you did it as well, Fourth Young Master. Even after 60 years, you did not manage to move the Sixth Princess. If we fail today, or if the Love Parasite does not work, we will have to kill the Sixth Princess on the spot. Fourth Young Master, please be prepared.”
Yuan Qing clenched his fists, his eyes filling with fury. However, he said nothing in response.
Underneath him, Youqin Xuanya was already nearing the edge of the cliff. She approached the shade of the huge, old cypress tree.
Li Changshou was already in the roots of that tree. All of a sudden, his eyes lit up. The words ‘jump’ traveled into Youqin Xuanya’s ears through Li Changshou’s voice transmission!
There was an explosion of light as the flying swords rushed under Youqin Xuanya’s feet, carrying her body up into the air. The beams of light that were directed at her hit the ground one by one!
The six people, who had been attacking Youqin Xuanya, had no idea about the dangers in front of them. Thus, they charged straight into the shade of the old cypress tree!
They did not even think about stopping. All they thought about was charging forward and jumping up to continue their attack. Little did they know that within the tree hid the line between life and death!
There was the sound of something cutting through the air. The Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent, which had been waiting at the edge of the cliff, jumped out without any warning!
“Retreat!” Yuwen Ling shouted from mid-air, but the poisonous beast had already clamped its teeth down on the masked man on the far left!
The serpent’s sharp teeth cut through the flesh as it flung its head violently. The top half of the man’s body was torn off at once.
From inside the roots of the old cypress tree, Li Changshou considered what his own fate would have been if he had fought the poisonous beast alone. It would not have been easy for him to win.
The remaining five people tried to retreat at once, but how would the Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent allow these delicacies to escape?
Several shadows shot out of the serpent’s tail, causing one of the men to fall down on the ground, thus blocking the others’ escape route. The scales on its body opened up, emitting rich, poisonous fog, which engulfed the group of men.
“How dare you, wretched beast?!”
There was a furious howl in the sky. A tall and sturdy figure cut through the clouds and cast his broad axe to the side as he charged towards the Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent.
The Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent, which had a fleshy horn on the top of its head, immediately felt threatened. Thus, it raised its head to knock away the broad axe.
The evil-looking bulge on the top of its head was the hardest part of its body!
The sound of metal hitting metal echoed throughout the surroundings. The broad axe had been deflected, while the Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent’s head thrashed around on the ground. A huge gash had appeared in the bulge, and golden blood was gushing out of the wound.
The poisonous beast cried out in rage, and its tail leaped up all of a sudden.
Yuwen Ling had finally landed from the sky. He raised his hand to summon his broad axe back. Once again, he was ready to strike with it!
Inside the root of the tree, Li Changshou held three paper dolls in his right hand. He hesitated for a couple of seconds, before pulling out a fourth one. He paused again and then pulled out a fifth and a sixth!
In his left hand, he held his strongest incapacitating agent—his supreme-grade Soft Immortal Disperser.
Li Changshou waited for the right time to use his Soft Immortal Disperser. He wanted to be sure that the Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent was dying before he stepped out.
The Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent would not be affected by poison, but Yuwen Ling would.
At the same time, Li Changshou did not neglect to expand his spiritual awareness and keep an eye on the area within a five-kilometer radius. He was looking for any hidden dangers.
On the other side, Youqin Xuanya had already acted according to Li Changshou’s instructions. She had retreated all the way to the back of the cliff, just like Li Changshou had told her.
Without Yuwen Ling protecting him, Yuan Qing did not dare to remain among the clouds. Finally, he had to make his move. He charged towards Youqin Xuanya from the sky, his three-feet-long green sword at the ready. He wanted to stop Youqin Xuanya from leaving.
However, Youqin Xuanya had no intention to leave. She directed all of her flying swords towards Yuan Qing, suppressing him at once.
Even though Yuan Qing’s cultivation level was slightly higher than Youqin Xuanya’s, it was extremely difficult for him to defend himself against her attacks.
Yet, Youqin Xuanya was very distracted. She was keeping an eye on the battle taking place near the edge of the cliff with her spiritual awareness.
She could sense that Li Changshou, who had been sending her voice transmissions the entire time, was there. However, at that moment, she did not know his exact position. As a result, she became increasingly anxious.
Little did she know that the entire situation was in the palm of Li Changshou’s hands.
The Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent took Yuwen Ling, an early-stage Essence Immortal, as its biggest threat. It had no intention of retreating and continued to guard the Immortal-Emancipating Herbs faithfully.
Yuwen Ling held onto his broad axe and attacked the serpent relentlessly. He was protecting his three subordinates, who had been knocked out cold by the serpent’s poison.
Under these circumstances, Yuwen Ling could not show mercy—both sides had to fight till death!
Li Changshou waited patiently and silently inside the root of the old cypress tree. He was waiting for the opportune time to act. As he waited, he prepared his escape route.
The entire situation had happened suddenly. He was reacting as the situation developed. Thus, he decided to slightly lower his expectations of himself.
As long as he was 80% to 90% confident this time, he would act. It was not realistic to always pursue full confidence.
A while into the battle, a few slightly-bald branches of the old cypress tree were cut into half. Yuwen Ling’s broad axe also made several deep gorges in the cliff, causing part of it to collapse.
The Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent was not yet immortal as well. Even though it was fighting an early-stage Essence Immortal, who did not have any particularly amazing Dharma treasures, it soon could not hang on any longer. Poisonous blood was flowing out from multiple wounds around its body. Li Changshou guessed that it would be slaughtered at any moment.
‘Thank you for your hard work, Lunkhead.’
Li Changshou thanked the serpent in his heart. Then, his left hand shook slightly, pouring the colorless supreme-grade Soft Immortal Disperser out from its bottle, and wrapping it with his Dharma powers. He carried the Soft Immortal Disperser to the trunk of the tree and then allowed it to seep out towards Yuwen Ling.
Very quickly, Yuwen Ling’s movements slowed down, and his vision became blurry.
‘This wretched serpent’s poison is so powerful!’ Yuwen Ling cursed in his heart. His eyes widened and became bloodshot as he tried to fight the drowsiness overcoming him. His head felt extremely heavy, and his legs felt extremely light. He let out a furious, guttural cry.
Yuwen Ling did not dream of fighting continuously anymore. At once, he decided to deal a final, powerful blow. His body flew up into the sky as he released immortal powers to keep the serpent still. His broad axe headed straight for the Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent’s neck!
The Three-Eyed Blue Wave Serpent immediately thought of retreating. It started to turn away, but as it did, it looked reluctantly at the Immortal-Emancipating Herbs at the edge of the cliff.
It was this moment of hesitation that took away its chance to escape.
The broad axe, steadied by two muscular arms, landed squarely on its neck. The serpent’s head flew up into the sky as its poisonous blood splattered around the ground.
Yuwen Ling landed on the ground. However, his legs could no longer hold his weight. He stumbled backward and only managed to remain standing with the support of his broad axe.
He pulled out a Detoxifying Pill and slipped it into his mouth, but his movements were already extremely slow.
‘What kind of poison is this? Why is it so powerful?!’
There was a weak voice coming from behind him. As Yuwen Ling tried to turn around, his legs turned to jelly, causing him to almost fall over.
The Detoxifying Pill was not effective at all. The sky was spinning before his eyes.
Just then, he heard something cutting through the sky!
A wooden arrow appeared in his peripheral vision and pierced Yuwen Ling’s neck. The hunk’s body swayed as he turned around and looked in the direction of the old cypress tree furiously.
There, ‘Li Changshou”s body emerged from the tree. He threw out his Heaven-Changing Treasure Umbrella and lifted up his bronze crossbow. At the same time, he scattered three paper dolls.
Pew, pew, pew!
The paper dolls turned into clones of Li Changshou and charged towards Yuwen Ling!
‘Li Changshou’ circled around and arrived back at Yuwen Ling’s side. Rapidly, he pulled out another wooden arrow for his bronze crossbow and readied himself to pull the trigger.
The crossbow glowed with a strange light. The speed at which it shot the arrow was extraordinary.
Yuwen Ling was so heavily poisoned that he could not put up a fight. Once again, the arrow pierced into his neck. His immortal blood rushed out and dyed the ground.
The three paper dolls rushed towards Yuwen Ling and stood on three different sides of him, dispersing more green fog from inside their individual porcelain bottles.
The green fog seemed to have a life of its own as it wrapped around Yuwen Ling. The sturdy man’s body emitted buzzing sounds. With the last bit of strength in his body, he raised his head and howled—it was a howl of pure pain!
Unfortunately, the Heaven-Changing Treasure Umbrella had already set up the array. The area was isolated from the outside world, and so the howl was not heard by anyone.
Yuwen Ling’s immortal body was rotting in the green fog. His white bones were already showing at several parts of his body, and transparent bubbles were appearing in his skin at others.
He tried hard to deal counter-attacks. His broad axe moved lazily and slowly, allowing the three paper dolls to nimbly dodge his swings.
The third arrow pierced Yuwen Ling in his rotting chest, right through the heart!
The three paper dolls began to conjure hand seals, spewing white flames from their mouths, which consumed Yuwen Ling!
It was only then that Yuwen Ling recognized Li Changshou. Listlessly, he shouted, “It’s… you…”
This Essence Immortal had just ascended to immortality a while ago. However, at that moment, he was on the brink of death.
Immortals were immortals after all—how could they be happy about their lives ending?
While in the white flames, Yuwen Ling suddenly closed his eyes. Immortal light began to shoot out of his terrifying-looking body, and faint images appeared at the top of his head!
His essence soul left his body!
Yuwen Ling’s essence soul shouted, “Die!” It withstood the effects of the Soft Immortal Disperser and dealt Li Changshou a blow!
This blow carried with it the force of Mount Tai, and it felt like there was a flood crashing through the mountains!
Li Changshou immediately tried to dodge, but a hand had a death-like grip on his ankle. He looked down and saw that it was one of the masked men that had been heavily poisoned by the poisonous beast—he was suddenly moving!
The man was writhing around. Li Changshou did not know how he was withstanding the poison in his body, but while his three immortal souls and seven mortal forms were being destroyed, the man used everything in him to destroy Li Changshou’s last chance of survival.
‘Pui, a miscalculation.’
Li Changshou shook his head slightly, as Yuwen Ling’s attack finally reached him. The impact caused the upper half of his body to be blown to pieces.
Yuwen Ling’s essence soul laughed mirthlessly.
‘This boy’s Dharma powers are quite good, but he still has not ascended to immortality…’
Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh…
Once again, the sounds of something cutting through the air could be heard from underneath the cypress tree. Seven spikes shot out, piercing various points on Yuwen Ling’s essence soul at the same time!
Each spike carried complicated restrictions and white flames of the underworld!
Yuwen Ling’s essence soul looked down in shock. The three paper dolls around him did not stop spewing flames. Before his essence soul jumped out of his body, his physical body had already been reduced to bones.
At that moment, the masked man, whose own soul was burning, looked up to find the lower half of a paper doll dancing in the wind as it combusted into flames.
That man had destroyed his last hope of reincarnation in order to bring half of a paper doll down with him.
Under the old cypress tree, ‘Li Changshou’ suddenly appeared. He opened his left palm and faced Yuwen Ling’s essence soul. Then, he lightly clenched his fist. The seven Soul-Extinguishing Spikes, which he expended a lot of effort refining, suddenly exploded!
Li Changshou used his spiritual senses to focus on the rack of immortal bones that could not seem to be completely burnt from inside the roots of the cypress tree. While frowning slightly, he made Paper Doll Five throw out a Soul-Conserving Pearl. Then, he increased the intensity of the flames that Paper Dolls One, Two, and Three were spewing.
The Cold Flames of the Underworld were not powerful enough on immortals. Li Changshou had to think of another way to obtain the True Samadhi Flames from the sect.
He waited for a while longer before the rack of bones finally collapsed and reduced to a pile of ash on the ground. The three paper dolls read their respective sutras. It was only then that Li Changshou finally moved.
Li Changshou would only be at peace if he did the ceremonial step of scattering the ashes himself!