“My Lord can provide you with the answers that you have so desperately sought out for so long."
Editor(s): namio, juurensha
“One, two, three, four, five… five,” Shi Hai said slowly. “Come, destroy my five drought fiend kings, just in time to replace them, to help me protect my great array of ten thousand souls…”
Instantly, Shi Hai turned into a gust of ferocious black wind, rushing towards the seven of them. All of them used their weapons to block. Xiang Shu held his sword out to the side, when a thought suddenly flashed through Chen Xing’s mind. He sensed that there was danger, and he took one step forward.
Shi Hai created a burst of cold wind on the flat ground, and in the black fog, his human silhouette brushed by Xiang Shu’s side, rushing towards Xie Daoyun’s body before suddenly rushing directly into it! But Chen Xing’s movements were even faster; he lit up the Heart Lamp, firmly slamming it into Xie Daoyun’s back!
Shi Hai had just sunk into Xie Daoyun’s body when Chen Xing lit up Xie Daoyun’s meridians with the Heart Lamp. Shi Hai let out a loud shout, and before he had the opportunity to take over, he was exorcised from Xie Daoyun’s body!
Chen Xing smiled. “Try again?”
Chen Xing’s single magical attack with the Heart Lamp was exactly this intangible being’s greatest weakness, and the others attacked with their weapons at Shi Hai’s body. In the places where the weapons sliced through, though the black fog dissipated, not a hair on Shi Hai was disturbed.
Shi Hai turned his body, rising with the wind, once again leaping towards Xie An!
Xie An: “Hey hey!”
In that instant Chen Xing grabbed Xie An’s wrist once again, sending the power of the Heart Lamp through Xie An’s entire body, once again forcefully exorcising Shi Hai from the vessel he was trying to obtain!
Shi Hai saw that he couldn’t gain any advantage in this situation, so he could only leave, watching Chen Xing down on the ground from high above. For a while he couldn't think of any strategies. Chen Xing too kept mulling things over, before he gathered up the Heart Lamp in his hand, preparing to release his entire power. Even if he vomited up blood and fell into another coma, he would still use all the energy in his body to strike this heavy blow against his opponent.
But Xiang Shu took a step back and said, “The Dinghai Pearl is already in our hands. Don’t tangle with him, let’s go first!”
Chen Xing suddenly remembered that he was clutching the Dinghai Pearl in his hand when Shi Hai chuckled coldly. “You’re leaving this easily? Did you really think that I, waiting here for you all, would not have made any prior arrangements?”
As soon as he finished his sentence, from behind Shi Hai, the waters of Lake Hong suddenly began to roil before the lake’s surface exploded outwards as a rotten jiao took Sima Wei rushing to the sky!
Everyone suddenly lifted their heads, and Shi Hai rose higher as he shouted, “Stay here ba! Don’t try to struggle futilely anymore. Come with me, and I’ll let the two civilians behind you all live --”
Sima Wei straightened out his wrist and rib, riding that rotten jiao as they rushed towards the people on the ground. Shi Hai, meanwhile, maintained his physical form made of black fog as he flew towards the jiao’s head. Xiang Shu shouted, “Disperse--!”
Everyone turned at the same time, Feng Qianjun with Gu Qing, Xiao Shan with Xie Daoyun, and Xiang Shu hugged Chen Xing as they split off and leapt to the side. Xie An rolled and crawled as he ran towards the grove of trees, dragging along that unconscious literary official called Huan Mo as he shouted, “What should we do?!”
“I don’t know!” Chen Xing crawled out from the mud puddle, only to see the demon jiao open its mouth and spew out poison that blanketed the earth. Xiang Shu covered Chen Xing’s mouth and nose with his hand as he shouted, “Don’t breathe in! Run!”
Shi Hai: “You want to escape just like this? Shulü Kong, Chen Xing, originally I thought that I would properly teach you a lesson, but oh well, you all can go. Since tonight I haven’t played enough, then I can only head over to the village on the shore of the river to take a walk. I do have to feed Xin Yuanping something, don’t you agree?”
Feng Qianjun shouted, “Return to Chibi and gather troops to kill it!”
If at this moment they all ran away, the city of Chibi was wholly unprepared, and the guards and defenses were extremely weak. Meeting this rotten jiao’s slaughter head on, millions of civilians would lose their lives, and the resentment would only grow stronger.
The people on the island hid in the grove of trees, and Chen Xing grabbed Xiang Shu’s hand tightly as he said quietly, “I’ll ignite the Heart Lamp, and then you end him with one blow.”
“No way!” Xiang Shu shut down Chen Xing’s suggestion without even thinking about it.
Chen Xing: “That’s Shi Hai! If we kill him, then everything is resolved!”
“Think of a way to use the Dinghai Pearl.” Xiang Shu pressed down on the pearl in Chen Xing’s hands with one finger. “I’ll go buy us some time.”
“Wait…” Chen Xing reached out to grab Xiang Shu, but Xiang Shu already leapt up onto a tree, letting out a whistle at the same time.
Not far away, Xiao Shan returned the whistle and flipped up onto the tree as well.
“Ha -- ya!” Xiao Shan’s young voice cut through the dark night like a sharp knife, and soon after he turned into a black shadow, speeding into the sky! At the same time, Xiang Shu rushed out, and the two met in midair. Xiang Shu lifted his sword out horizontally, pushing forward with great strength, and Xiao Shan touched down first on the back of Xiang Shu’s sword, before once again borrowing his strength to fly out nearly ten zhang, tracing out an arc in the sky, spreading his two claws wide as he attacked with a sky-shattering blow!
Shi Hai was currently riding on the demonic jiao as it traced circles in the sky, and he hadn’t expected any common human to have such strong leaping power. As he tried to escape upwards, Xiao Shan had already hooked onto the head of the jiao with a claw as he tossed out a rope!
Sima Wei immediately flipped down, swinging his blade down at Xiao Shan, and the rope dangling below flew away. Xiang Shu first lifted up his hand, and before that rope snapped, he moved his wrist in a circle, flying upwards into the sky!
Feng Qianjun said to Gu Qing, “Find a place to hide!”, before sliding his double blades back into their sheaths, rushing up to the rope as he too grabbed the end of it and flew upwards, shooting up into the sky!
Chen Xing ran out of the tree cover into the open field, and Xie An and the sword-wielding Xie Daoyun rushed out as well.
Xie An: “Little shidi, what do we do now? This is the Dinghai Pearl?”
“You two go quickly!” Chen Xing responded. “Don’t worry about it anymore! Run towards the top of the bank! Quickly!”
He watched as that demonic jiao brought Xiang Shu, Xiao Shan, and Feng Qianjun directly up to the vault of the vast, thousand zhang high sky above. In the darkness it was already impossible to distinguish their silhouettes. Chen Xing knew that now he must immediately take care of the Dinghai Pearl, but how was it used? From the past to now, there had never been any records of this artifact at all, and aside from Zhang Liu, no one else had ever gotten their hands on it.
But why would Zhang Liu leave the Dinghai Pearl here? Forget it, Chen Xing already had no time to think this through thoroughly, he had to first try to cleanse this pearl like any other magical artifact.
In the instant the power of the Heart Lamp entered the pearl, the air all around him suddenly began to flow, as if a turbulent wave washed over him. The trees around him were blown by the strong wind, leading Chen Xing to feel as though he was in the eye of a tornado. Xie An hurried to block in front of him as he led Xie Daoyun and Gu Qing away from the middle of the island.
“With the physical body of a mere mortal, you can achieve such a level today,” Shi Hai said coldly. “It must have been hard…”
Xiang Shu grabbed that rope and leapt upwards, and in that instant he already flew towards the head of the jiao. As he flipped in the air, he pulled out his heavy sword, slashing out towards Xiao Shan and Sima Wei who were currently exchanging blows. But that lump of black fog at the head of the jiao let out an odd laugh as the demonic jiao suddenly turned its head, once again speeding towards the ground!
Feng Qianjun and Xiao Shan let out loud shouts at the same time. They had been brought up to the peak of the arc at almost a hundred zhang high, before they were slung down harshly as the demonic jiao sped downwards!
That spurt of fierce acceleration was something even Xiang Shu couldn’t handle, and his heart felt as if it would burst out of his chest from how violently it beat. In the blink of an eye, the demonic jiao had already slammed into the surface of Lake Hong!
Chen Xing did his best to control the Dinghai Pearl. He felt that the magic energy was swirling around all about him, but he didn’t know how to get it under his control. The tornado unraveled itself layer by layer, yet the Dinghai Pearl still didn’t absorb away the power of Chen Xing’s Heart Lamp. Instead, it spun uncontrollably, sending the powerful mana contained within it violently outwards!
“Not good!” Chen Xing shouted towards the air. “I can’t control it for much longer! Xiang Shu!”
In lieu of a verbal response there was a huge boom, and the demonic jiao came crashing down from hundreds of zhang in the air, impacting the surface of Lake Hong, sending waves like the tide crashing outwards to the banks. No one heard Chen Xing’s loud shout. In the instant they crashed into the lake, the violent impact rendered Xiao Shan and Feng Qianjun temporarily unconscious.
In the water, Xiang Shu wildly tread the water with his two legs as he held his sword in one hand, swimming towards the surface. The demonic jiao left Feng Qianjun and Xiao Shan behind as it swam speedily towards Xiang Shu, and the jiao’s body slammed heavily into him, sending him head over heels in the water, spurting out a trail of air bubbles.
“Your swimming skills, on the contrary, are really good,” Shi Hai’s voice said quietly in the lake. “Did your father pass them on to you?”
Resentment flooded the scene, and the waters of the lake turned pitch black. Chen Xing was already using all of his energy by the lakeside to control the Dinghai Pearl, and Xie An ran to the side of the lake, shouting, “Will it work?”
Chen Xing shouted, “Quick, run! Quickly run away ah! This artifact’s going to explode!”
Chen Xing felt that there was a horrific amount of power contained in this artifact, and he began to regret his decision; who came up with this idea of trying to release the mana inside of the Dinghai Pearl here ah! The resulting explosion would definitely flatten the terrain for hundreds of li around!
“Feng-dage!” Gu Qing saw Feng Qianjun bobbing up and down on the surface of the lake.
Gu Qing tossed everything else out of her head, immediately leaping into Lake Hong.
At the same time, Xiang Shu rose from the surface of the lake, and Chen Xing’s eyes immediately widened.
Xiang Shu’s shoulder had been bitten heavily by that demon jiao, and fresh blood seeped out. He dragged his arm along as he rushed out of the lake, and as he struggled, the blood spread out across the lake surface. Just as he sent a sword attack out, he was once again caught by the demon jiao, and they sank back to the depths.
Chen Xing’s blood seemed to have congealed in his veins, and in that instant, he gritted his teeth and let out a loud shout, his eyes rimmed red, as he channeled all of his power into the Dinghai Pearl!
Feng Qianjun was being hugged by Gu Qing as they were buffeted about by the water currents, and he suddenly woke up, sticking his head out of the water, taking a deep breath, before pushing aside Gu Qing, shouting, “Go back! Quickly, go!” before turning and diving back into Lake Hong.
The lake waters were already more turbulent than ever before, and Xiao Shan whirled his claws, which drew the resentment from the demonic jiao’s body to it. He sent out an attack, uprooting countless entangled weeds at the bottom of the lake. Feng Qianjun shot straight through the water, his two swords coming out at once, and resentment swirled around the knife as lotus roots, algae, and thousands of aquatic plants wrapped themselves around the demonic jiao like tentacles, binding it tightly!
With this, Xiang Shu finally freed himself and flipped over in the water, separating the head of the demonic jiao from its body!
The black fog that had been sitting on the jiao’s head turned into Shi Hai’s real form, and Xiang Shu’s eyes opened wide as a stream of bubbles came from his mouth.
Xiang Shu exerted all his effort in that slash, and finally Wang Ziye revealed his real form at this moment in time. A strange smile appeared on his face, and in that instant he changed once again, turning into the Han person with his face covered.
“Kjera!” Xiang Shu shouted vengefully in the water.
“You horrified and anxious, resentful and wild lot,” Wang Ziye raised a hand, pointing it towards Xiang Shu. The resentment exploded outwards, blanketing the heavens and the earth as it coiled over the bottom of the lake.
“Do you know where the root of your pain resides? Come with me,” Wang Ziye said, “My Lord can provide you with the answers that you have so desperately sought out for so long…”
The resentment grew heavier and denser, coiling around Xiang Shu’s entire body and the Acala Blade in his hand. A spot of black energy sank into Xiang Shu’s forehead, and the resentment seemed to reach out thousands of black tendrils, dragging him towards the darkness.
But at that instant, a white light flashed from the center of Xiang Shu’s chest.
Chen Xing’s right hand gave off a strong light, and his left hand, still clutching the Dinghai Pearl, plunged into the dark lake waters. His sleeve billowed with the current, and it was as if from up high near the surface of the lake, thousands of bright rays of sunlight broke through the long night!
The Dinghai Pearl entered the water, and the dark depths of the lake began to swirl. The whirlpool spread out to both sides, like a pair of wings unfurling out on either side of Chen Xing! With a loud roar, all of Lake Hong exploded, rushing up to the sky!
“Exorcise!” Chen Xing’s voice resounded next to Xiang Shu’s ear.
In that instant Xiang Shu recovered his clarity, and the resentment wrapped around his body shattered under the light of the Heart Lamp. Xiang Shu flipped over in the water, and with an earth-shattering amount of power, his sword lit up with strong light as he slashed it towards Wang Ziye!
The waters of Lake Hong exploded, and in that instant it seemed as if a million strong suns had gathered at the center of the lake, rushing out towards the banks. The water that could collapse mountains barrelled into the heavens before crashing back down like a tsunami. Xiang Shu’s body was clad in the gilded warrior’s robe, and he hugged Chen Xing close as they turned into a golden streak of light that shot out out of the bottom of the lake!
The demonic jiao let out a wild roar as it was swept aside in the tornado that the Dinghai Pearl caused. Shi Hai once again let out an angry roar as he turned into a black fire meteor that spun around on the surface of the lake. Xiang Shu drew his long bow, nocking an arrow of light to it, and said lowly, “Kjera, it’s over.”
Gu Qing hugged a length of driftwood as she stuck her head out of the water, panting nonstop. Xiang Shu landed, placing Chen Xing down on the bank, just as Shi Hai coincidentally found Gu Qing. With a shua he flew towards the center of the lake, heading directly for Gu Qing!
Xie Daoyun shouted, “Qing’er!”
Feng Qianjun was extremely bedraggled, and just as he crawled his way up the shore, he suddenly opened his eyes wide.
In that instant, Gu Qing’s entire body was enveloped in black energy, and a hideous smile appeared as she rose from the water, landing onto the head of the demonic jiao. Xiang Shu subconsciously lowered his arrow, and Gu Qing said coldly, “Think about it clearly, Shulü Kong, you and I will see each other again eventually.”
And with that sentence, that demonic jiao skimmed the surface of the water as it flew towards the Yangtze not too far away, and with a loud crash, sank into the river.
The Dinghai Pearl fell to the ground with a dang lang as Chen Xing swayed dangerously. He grabbed at Xiang Shu’s sleeve as the scene in front of his eyes grew distant, then drew in close again. Xiang Shu immediately sank to one knee, tightly hugging Chen Xing who was leaning against his own shoulder.
“I’m… I’m alright,” Chen Xing panted. “The Ding… Dinghai Pearl…”
“Chen Xing!” Xiao Shan swam to the bank.
The waters of the lake roiled, and a pitch black body washed up on the shore. That corpse was still struggling incessantly, and when Xiang Shu turned his head to look, Sima Wei was currently struggling desperately to get up from the bank of the lake he was slumped on.
Three days later.
With rapid steps, Xiang Shu walked into the Jiankang Taichu Palace.
The gathered officials rose to greet him, and Sima Yao made a placid “please sit” gesture at him.
“The preparations have been made as you all wished for,” Xie Xuan said. “Ships have been dispatched to the Yangtze River estuary, and the iron net we use to drag rivers has been set up. If anything passes by, any strange movements will be picked up on and properly investigated.”
Xie Shi said, “Jiangnan, Jiangdong, and other water-based regions, including the canals that run through the villages, have all had troops assigned to them as well, to keep watch.”
Xiang Shu nodded, and Sima Yao asked, “How is Chen-xiansheng’s body?”
Xiang Shu responded, “He’s already taken a turn for the better, but he still needs to rest. You guys need to be very careful from now on. Shi Hai’s real identity is that of Wang Ziye, and since that has already been confirmed, if the North sends troops down south again, then I predict there will be many drought fiend troops amongst them.”
Sima Yao said calmly, “The martial god is right. Starting today, Zhen will send out many messengers, and no matter if it’s the land of Qin, Shu, Jin, or the North, or if they’re enemies or friends, all of them will receive the information.”
Xie An said, “The great war of the Divine Land has been delayed for a long time, but from the leaders of the Hu down to the general masses, all of them know the principle of when to act and when not to. The wars of humans belong to humans, and if Wang Ziye uses the living dead, then I imagine the various powers won’t sit around and watch without doing anything.”
Xiang Shu’s brows furrowed deeply as he swept his gaze over the people gathered there.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), moon.