“Die!” Mu Tian shouted at the wandering cultivator he had just spotted dashing towards Nan Xingyuan. A beam shot out from his Mutual Joy Bell, piercing through the wandering cultivator’s heart, killing them instantly.
“Who did this to you?” Mo Yuluo finally got to Nan Xingyuan and quickly fed Nan Xingyuan a pill.
“Gu Suihan!” Nan Xingyuan had a terrified and despairing expression on her face. She knew that this expedition was meant to kill the four disciples that survived the previous attack; giving the external disciples experience was only the secondary objective. But to her surprise, it turned out that Li Rong wanted Gu Suihan dead as well.
Knowing this made her feel a lot more relieved. The chances of Gu Suihan dying would increase if there were one more person after his life, after all.
She was genuinely terrified of Gu Suihan now. She did not expect him to be able to survive Chuan Xin’s attack even though Chuan Xin was at a higher level of cultivation and Gu Suihan had just finished that insane duel with Li Xianlong. It was terrifying just thinking about it.
After she learned from Mo Yuluo and Li Rong that Gu Suihan was also somewhere in the secret realm, she had been on tenterhooks1. She knew that Gu Suihan would not hesitate to kill her if he was given a chance.
She ended up being extremely cautious right from the beginning. To prevent Gu Suihan from attacking her secretly, she gave up on some spiritual herbs and formed a team with other disciples.
Thankfully, even though she ran into some dangers along the way, she still managed to meet up with Mo Yuluo and the rest. She thought that Gu Suihan would not appear here since he would probably end up dying if he did. To her surprise, Gu Suihan came and was such a formidable fighter. Mo Yuluo had given her a high-grade magic weapon to protect herself, but she still nearly lost her life.
Gu Suihan had disguised himself, but Nan Xingyuan recognized those distant eyes that made him look more like an asura than a human, as well as the way he brandished his sword so violently and confidently.
“Where is he?” Mu Tian asked gently as he carefully helped Nan Xingyuan to get up.
“I don’t know. He’s changed his outward appearance, but I recognize his eyes. Also, the sword he’s holding is a rather strange looking one,” said Nan Xingyuan in a fearful voice as she leaned weakly against Mu Tian’s shoulder.
“The more urgent matter right now is getting that fig tree. We’ll still have time to hunt him down after that,” said Li Rong calmly as he looked at Mo Yuluo.
Neither Li Rong nor Mo Yuluo was surprised by how badly injured Nan Xingyuan was. They had fought him earlier, after all. They hadn’t managed to kill him because he had sprung a surprise attack on them, but the fact that Gu Suihan managed to get away completely unscathed proved how formidable he was.
“I agree.” Mo Yuluo gritted her teeth and looked towards the fierce battle at the lake with an indignant look on her face.
“Bury the Heavens and the Earth! Spiritual Coffin of Spirits!” Li Rong remained expressionless as he focused on making hand seals at top speed. A three-meter long intricately carved coffin that gave off murderous qi appeared before him.
Li Rong watched the coffin quietly emit more and more murderous qi, and his lips curled into a smile. He raised his hand, and seven retched smelling corpses covered with white hairy and greenish mold on their faces appeared next to him instantly.
Perhaps it had sensed the presence of fellow undead souls, so the body lying inside the coffin began to make several noises. The heavy lid of the coffin shook with every thud the body inside made.
“Demon Lord, rise!” Li Rong made a hand seal, then slammed his left palm onto the mysterious golden carvings on the coffin.
“Demon Lord Bronze Corpse!”
The tremendous blast caused by the coffin bursting open drew the attention of everyone still fighting in the cave. Some of them recognized the bronze-colored body that had just stepped out of the coffin. They gasped as they looked upon the corpse, which stood nearly two stories tall.
“You’ve prepared something pretty powerful, haven’t you?” Mo Yuluo’s expression was grim as she felt the bronze corpse's frightening aura, which seemed to weigh down on her. “Xiexin Zhenren gave this to you?”
“Who else?” Li Rong nearly rolled his eyes at her.
It hadn’t been easy for him to beg his father to lend this to him at the last minute. Not everything was going according to plan, and he had to seize the first opportunity to create his own personal jiangshi. He had hoped to wait until Gu Suihan had reached the Advanced Foundation Establishment or even the Perfect Foundation Establishment, but things did not go the way he had hoped.
“Demon Lord, go!”
Li Rong frowned as he made hand seals and shouted commands. It was tough for someone at Foundation Establishment to control this bronze corpse, so he had to focus as hard as possible and make sure he wasn’t distracted.
“Tsk,” thought Gu Suihan as he teased another Seven Kill Sect disciple with his unpredictable moves. But even as he fought off his opponents, he would always glance towards Mo Yuluo and the rest from time to time.
He was looking for a chance to strike them a fatal blow.
The fight got more and more intense, and rocks continued to fall from the ceiling of the cave while more and more cultivators either got injured or died.
Luckily for Gu Suihan, quite a number of wandering cultivators had still chosen to stay behind to fight. Otherwise, all the Seven Kill Sect disciples combined would have wiped out all the wandering cultivators in no time at all.
ROAR! The bronze corpse roared and grabbed hold of one of the wandering cultivators. Everyone watched in horror as the corpse sank its fangs deep into the cultivator’s body, and the cultivator’s body instantly dried up.
With such a powerful creature on their side, the Seven Kill Sect disciples felt as if their prayers had been answered and loudly cheered as they ran towards the remaining wandering cultivators.
At the same time, they made sure to keep their distance from this bronze corpse since it did not distinguish disciple from wandering cultivator. A female disciple from the Nobles Clan got in the way of the bronze corpse earlier, and it stepped right through her. They could still hear the echoes of the last scream she let out.
“Get it!” yelled Mo Yuluo as she moved past everyone else swiftly. She held two fingers out and used them to slice through the neck of a Qi Activation wandering cultivator that came too close to her, separating his head from the rest of his body soundlessly.
Yan Wuheng let out a roar, and his breathing was as loud as thunder. His heavy sword was covered with many cultivators' flesh and internal organs, and the stench of rotting flesh emanated from its blade.
“Got it!” Hang Chulong ran like the wind and flashed past everyone like a bolt of lightning. He punched a fist right through the abdomen of a wandering cultivator in his way and used that bloodied hand to pull the Blood Jade Fig tree out of the lake, including the rock under it that weighed a few thousand kilograms. He flung it back towards Mu Tian without even turning toward Mu Tian.
He brandished his sword to block the attack of a heavy ax that was about to strike him and stumbled backward from the impact.
“That’s my chance!” Gu Suihan’s eyes lit up. He flung the sword in his hand aside, then kicked his opponent so hard that his chest caved in, and blood spurted from every orifice. Gu Suihan used the opponent’s body as a springboard and used his other hand to withdraw Red Dust. Its blade cut through the air and gleamed with a dark green glow.
“Help me!” Hang Chulong knew when he needed to fight and when he needed to retreat, and he intended to withdraw after he had barely managed to dodge that heavy ax. But he suddenly felt all his hair stand on end as he saw that the burly man with the heavy ax was swinging it at him again. Hang Chulong fell to the ground and rolled to the side without thinking.
PAK! Hang Chulong looked up just in time to see the ax barely miss his face. But the sharp blade of the ax had also broken through his Steel Strength Talisman and shattered it.
“Hang Chulong! Watch out!” Mu Tian had caught a dark green gleam from the corner of his eye, and his heart sank.
“What?” Hang Chulong instinctively turned around and saw an aloof pair of eyes staring straight at him. He felt something strike his neck, and then he died.
At the Foundation Establishment stage, a cultivator was powerful but still merely a human. Those who managed to gather Three Huas into the dantian could separate the soul from the body. So, even if spells or weapons attacked the body, the soul could still escape the body. The soul might face issues like finding a suitable body to take over or losing some cultivation progress, but at least the soul was still alive.
While cultivators at the Foundation Establishment stage had all their Spiritual Meridians open and linked up and could thus gather spiritual energy and use spiritual sense, this stage was only the starting point for any cultivator. Severe damage to vital organs could heal over time, but if the dantian or Spiritual Root were destroyed, or if their head was chopped off, the cultivator would still die.
Gu Suihan rotated the tip of his blade to chop off Hang Chulong’s middle finger so that he could pick the storage ring right off it. Then he put away Hang Chulong’s severed head inside his magic storage bag. The look of horror was still on Hang Chulong’s lifeless head.
His next step was to turn to smile faintly at Nan Xingyuan, who was hiding in Mu Tian’s embrace like a fearful little chick seeking shelter under its mother’s wings.
“Yin Yang Rotation! The Way of Mutual Joy!” Mu Tian’s expression was solemn as he rotated the bell in his hand rapidly and held a handful of the pink poisonous powder that could break one’s soul. He continued to chant incantations that nobody could understand to the beat of the bell’s clapper.
Gu Suihan felt as though he had entered a dream. There were rare treasures all around him and pretty women in all directions. The sound of faint laughter echoed in his ears, and he could feel a wild surge of energy within him as if he were an animal on the prowl.
“Everything is an illusion, all these are mere delusions. Everything I see, the good and the bad, are as transient as the reflection of flowers in the mirror, or the moon in the river, a dream that bursts as easily as a bubble.”
Gu Suihan didn’t panic at all. He held Red Dust gently as he made hand seals with his left hand. His expression was serious, yet peaceful. He resembled a monk who had spent decades meditating in a secluded temple.
Mu Tian was too shocked to do anything as he watched Gu Suihan shatter the illusionary world around him in a matter of seconds before vomiting a mouthful of blood.
DANG! Gu Suihan swung his sword to the back to block Yan Wuheng’s swift and vicious attack from the other direction. He used the impact of the collision to fly up into the air and run toward Mu Tian, who was still in a daze.
It was hard to say if he was aiming for the Blood Jade Fig tree next to Mu Tian or Mu Tian himself, or maybe even the woman still hiding in his embrace.
Editor: Tenterhooks are the hooks meant to tie clothes to a tenter, wooden frame meant to air dry clothes while also preventing shrinkage. In this context, it means someone is nervously waiting for something to happen. ↩️
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