Numerous enchanting purple flowers formed by the purest of spirit energy fell from above like giant raindrops.
An aura that would freeze everything within range and seal the earth itself was imposed onto Qin Lie through the sky of flowers. They caused Qin Lie to freeze up and immobilized him immediately.
The enchanting and bright-colored flowers stabbed into his flesh like living roots the moment they fell onto his shoulders. The pain went deep into his bones!
In just a few seconds, Qin Lie had become an oddity with flowers blooming all over his body, the sole exception being his face. Even the surging evil energy in his eyes seemed to be suppressed by the fresh flowers, causing his gaze to turn dim.
There was not the slightest trace of emotions in Xie Jingxuan’s pure as crystal eyes. The only thing present on her exquisite face was indifference. “The Soul Devouring Beast must not be allowed to exist on the Scarlet Tide Continent, or there countless lives will be lost on this land. There is a trace of the Soul Devouring Beast’s aura on you, so even if it turns out to be a mistake, I will destroy you here.”
The scythe in her jade white hand enlarged little by little. Its blade glittered with a cold sheen like the sharp teeth at the corner of a devil’s lips.
Qin Lie’s heart fell as he watched the scythe grow larger and larger. His body also gradually turned icy cold.
He knew very well how terrifying Xie Jingxuan’s power was…
Once he was bound by the purple bewitching flower back at the stone forest, he had struggled with everything he had, but he could not break the bewitching flower’s shackles at all.
His condition now was even worse than it was than that day, so how was he going to resist Xie Jingxuan’s absolute determination to kill him?
“Miss Xie, how has my apprentice offended you?” Li Mu’s lazy voice suddenly fleeted over.
Holding the scythe, Xie Jingxuan’s expression quickly changed as a trace of absolute shock appeared inside those bright eyes of hers.
She still had her scythe lifted up high, but her body was strangely stiff, completely frozen. She wanted to move, but she discovered that she couldn’t!
It was as if an invisible globe of shackles had chained her four limbs, layer after layer, preventing her from moving even a finger. It was to the point where she could do naught but stare straight at Qin Lie.
The bewitching blooming flowers on Qin Lie’s body swiftly wilted at a swift rate.
Numerous petals dissolved into purple light even before they fell to the ground, dissipating just like smoke.
With that, Qin Lie regained his freedom.
“Milord, Qin Lie is over there!” The cries of Wei Xing’s subordinates could be heard from behind.
“What are you standing around for? Get back to the shop already.” Li Mu’s voice fleeted over again as if he was right beside him, but no matter how Qin Lie tried, he could not detect even a trace of Li Mu’s aura.
He frowned before staring oddly at the frozen Xie Jingxuan. After a pause, he said, “The Soul Devouring Beast really is dead.”
Once finished, he left in a hurry.
After his figure disappeared, the mountain-like shackles on Xie Jingxuan’s body promptly released her, and she subsequently regained her mobility.
Her pretty eyebrows were deeply locked against each other, and a deep sense of horror leaked out of her eyes. She thought on whether she should follow Qin Lie to Li’s Shop after gazing in the direction of Commerce Street from afar.
“Lady Xie? Why are you here?” Wei Xing rushed over with tens of Nebula Pavilion martial practitioners.
“Qin Lie has gone to Li’s Shop at Commerce Street.” After a moment of thought, Xie Jingxuan coolly threw down those words before heading to Commerce Street without looking back.
“Commerce Street?” Wei Xing’s eyes showed his surprise as he suddenly hesitated.
“Milord, about Commerce Street… Dark Asura Hall had previously given the order that no one is to fight there. Both Shattered Ice Manor and Nebula Pavilion have obeyed this rule for many years without fail.” A Nebula Pavilion martial practitioner looked solemn. “What should we do now?”
“It won’t be long before daybreak.” Wei Xing’s face was ugly as he stared at the sky. He abruptly yelled, “Return to the Pavilion at once! We will receive orders on the matter from the Pavilion Master!”
Qin Lie’s entire body was severely injured, and as blood flowed out one drop after another, his expression turned paler and paler.
He had made a mad dash the entire way until finally, just before his energy was completely exhausted, he arrived at Li’s Shop and entered inside.
There was only a single oil lamp lit inside the dark shop. Li Mu’s slightly shook in his rocking chair as if he had no idea that the entire city was shaken tonight.
Seeing that Qin Lie had returned, wounds covering his entire body, he nodded and smiled. “It’s good as long as you survived.”
“I was going to use my last Terminator Profound Bomb to blast a hole in the city wall before quietly slipping out.” Qin Lie entered with a bitter smile. “The city gates aside, I didn’t think that even the city walls would be stationed with Nebula Pavilion martial practitioners and people from Dark Asura Hall standing guard. My injuries are a bit severe, so I had no choice but to come back and hide in the shop for the moment. Once I recover a little, I will escape the city as originally planned and try my best not to implicate you…”
Just as he finished explaining, Qin Lie’s vision turned black as he fainted and fell onto the ground on the spot.
Li Mu’s expression changed as he abruptly appeared beside him and pressed a finger to his chest. After probing Qin Lie for a brief moment, he relaxed. “He just lost a bit too much blood.”
Without delay, he placed Qin Lie onto the table and stripped off the Beastskin Armor. Then, he picked up the jar of wine at the side and poured the spirits right onto Qin Lie’s body.
The sharp smell of alcohol immediately spread out. Soon afterward, blood stopped seeping out of the numerous wounds on Qin Lie’s body as soon as the drink made contact with them.
Once finished, Li Mu returned back to his rocking chair and narrowed his eyes at Qin Lie. He whispered, “What a crazy kid…”
The large, snow-white wolfdog slipped out of the backyard and glanced inside the house with a pair of eyes filled with intelligence.
In a flash, his eyes brightened as he stared straight at the wooden sculpture the fainted Qin Lie was tightly holding onto. An indescribable emotion took surface inside those wolf eyes.
A while later, a strange wave of energy rippled from the big wolfdog.
Li Mu, who was narrowing his eyes at Qin Lie, suddenly froze as he frowned and took a closer look. After a while, he suddenly grinned and laughed while nodding. “Now ain’t that a coincidence.”
“He went to Commerce Street?” Inside Nebula Pavilion, Liu Yuntao exclaimed with a scowl, “Wait right here!”
He passed through a quiet passage and arrived at Nebula Pavilion’s VIP tower. He stopped in front of the five floor stone tower and did not say anything.
“What is the matter?” Yuan Tianya’s voice came from the fifth floor of the stone tower.
“I hope I haven’t disturbed your rest, Hall Master.” Liu Yuntao bowed his head in shame. “That Qin Lie… has gone to a shop at Commerce Street. The higher ups had once laid down the order that no one is to fight on Commerce Street. Therefore, I have come to consult you on our next step.”
“That order was laid down by Xuan Rui and I. Tu Shixiong is one of Xuan Rui’s men, and Yan Wenyan is one of mine. We do not wish for Shattered Ice Manor and Nebula Pavilion’s conflict to escalate and cause a loss to Armament Sect in Icestone City which is why the order was given,” briefly explained Yuan Tianya before saying, “Nebula Pavilion is now under your control. Shattered Ice Manor and Nebula will no longer fight each other, so that order is now dispensable.”
“In that case we may act on Commerce Street then?” Liu Yuntao’s expression lit up.
“Naturally.” Yuan Tianya smiled.
Liu Yuntao nodded his head and respectfully walked a few steps backwards. Only then did he swiftly walk away.
“The Pavilion Master has given his word that we can kill on Commerce Street!” The martial practitioners who had gone to Nebula Pavilion for questioning excitedly returned to Wei Xing’s side and conveyed Liu Yuntao’s message, “He wants us to bring Qin Lie’s head and see him immediately!”
Wei Xing smiled eerily. “Very good!”
The group of men swiftly headed to Li’s Shop.
An hour later, Wei Xing and the others had arrived in front of Li’s Shop. They immediately noticed that Xie Jingxuan was also standing to the side.
“Lady Xie?” Wei Xing’s took a step forward, respectfully bowed, and said, “The Pavilion Master has consulted the First Hall Master, and the First Hall Master has given us the green light to kill on Commerce Street…”
Xie Jingxuan maintained her cold expression. “I’m just here to take a look.”
Wei Xing gave a smile and did not answer. He waved his hands and ordered, “Charge inside and kill Qin Lie!”
“This shop has closed and will not welcome any intruders.” From inside the house, Li Mu’s voice came unhurriedly, “Enter at your own risk.”
Shock clearly shone from Xie Jingxuan’s eyes as she subconsciously took a few steps backwards, lending space to Wei Xing’s subordinates.
Wei Xing cracked open an ugly grin. “Pretentious bastard! Commerce Street is no longer the safe haven of Icestone City, so I won’t mind seeing who can hold us responsible! Get inside and kill Qin Lie!”
The six ninth level of Refinement martial practitioners under the leadership of a Natal Opening Realm martial practitioner gripped their spirit artifacts and rushed into Li’s Shop with murderous intent.
“Crack Crack Crack!”
The sound of ice freezing suddenly rang out from all around Li’s Shop. A bone-deep chilliness suddenly spread out and seeped even into their marrows!
The seven Nebula Pavilion martial practitioners almost instantly turned into ice sculptures the moment the spreading cold energy touched them!
The thick and translucent hard ice covered their entire bodies in a most eerie fashion, turning them into living fossils sealed inside ice crystals.
With Li’s Shop at the center, the cold energy spread out and froze the streets and stone floors, covering them with ice, and within less than half a minute everything within thirty meters of Li’s Shop were all covered with a layer of solid ice!
An icy-cold aura from the snowy peaks in the depth of the Arctic Mountain Range came from inside Li’s Shop, causing Wei Xing to shiver all over.
—He wasn’t even within the range of the solid ice yet.
The light in Xie Jingxuan’s eyes grew even more defined as she wordlessly retreated until she was at least fifty meters away from Li’s Shop. Then, she stopped and continued looking at Li’s Shop.
“My… my lord?” A hall master under Wei Xing stuttered out.
“It’s already daybreak.” Wei Xing lifted his head and looked to the sky that was as white as a fish’s stomach. Then, with difficulty, he said, “Return to the pavilion and explain the situation here. Consult… Consult the Pavilion Master.”
“Un… understood.” The man looked at Li’s shop like he had seen a ghost in broad daylight before departing in panic.
“Where have you come from, senior?” solemnly asked Xie Jingxuan, fifty meters away with a trace of awe after a moment’s pause. “Is Qin Lie your disciple?”
“Girl, regardless of what happened today, Qin Lie did help you before. It may be a bit unreasonable for you to kill him just like that” coolly responded Li Mu.
“He has a trace of the Soul Devouring Beast on him. If the Soul Devouring Beast that had escaped from Nether Battlefield had stepped into Rank Four, then the situation will become completely unmanageable. My duty this time is to eliminate that Soul Devouring Beast, and I do not wish to be greeted with any surprises. So as long as I felt that Qin Lie’s existence may contribute to the Soul Devouring Beast’s growth, I will not show any mercy,” explained Xie Jingxuan with a cool voice. “If he does not have a trace of the Soul Devouring Beast on him, then not only will I not kill him, I may even… lend him a hand.”
“I see.” Li Mu nodded his head and casually placed a hand on top of Qin Lie’s head. Then, he said, “There is a trace of a Soul Devouring Beast on him, but that trace has lost its soul consciousness. All that is left is the pure energy of the soul. If I’m not mistaken, then the Soul Devouring Beast’s soul has been purified by him, so you can rest assured.”
“Purified…” Xie Jingxuan’s expression was strange. “Since senior has given his word, then I can relax now.”
After a pause Xie Jingxuan started again, “Senior, your realm is unfathomable, and I know that I cannot match you. However, the Hall Master Yuan Tianya’s true strength is just as unfathomable, and he is inside Icestone City right now. I ask senior to think twice on the matter.”
Li Mu smiled coolly and said in a casual tone, “It’s okay, let him come.”
Xie Jingxuan no longer said anything and simply quietly watched from the side. While she quietly waited for Nebula Pavilion’s movements, she also wanted to discover Li Mu’s true depth.
“What? Qin Lie has escaped into Li’s Shop? Everything within thirty meters of Li’s Shop has become frozen in ice?”
“Even the First Hall Master, Yuan Tianya, has been alerted?”
“My god, who on earth is living inside Li’s Shop?”
“Yuan Tianya and Liu Yuntao have departed together to Commerce Street. Every elite in Nebula Pavilion and Shattered Ice Manor have also departed.”
“I heard that Yuan Tianya has even summoned a few commanders with him!”
“This action, is he trying to kill Qin Lie or slaughter the entire city?”
The day was still dimly lit, but there were already countless voices like that in every corner within Icestone City.
Crimson Flame Association’s Ge Hong and Xiong Ba; Water Moon Sect’s Luo Wei and Na Nuo; Seven Fiends Valley’s Lu Li and Li Zhongzheng; the former Pavilion Master Tu Mo and Elder Han Qingrui and Kanghui; Tu Ze, Zhuo Qian, and Kang Zhi; and even Armament Sect’s Pan Jueming had been alerted by the commotion. They had all set out the first thing in the morning and rushed to Li’s Shop.
For a time, the entire city was alerted as all kinds of characters gathered at Commerce Street and headed to the little secluded shop.
Thick layers of solid ice had frozen everything within thirty meters of Li’s Shop. The streets, the stones, the trees, even the air itself seemed to be frozen solid!
The only thing that remained unchanged was Li’s Shop. No signs of frost could be seen anywhere as it stood as an oddity at the center of the frozen land.
—The scene was so strange that it was practically unbelievable!
“Wh-what is this?” Many people could not help but cry out when they saw that the truth was even more shocking and exaggerated than the rumors they’d heard.
“What’s going on? Since when did Nebula Pavilion dare to take a life on Commerce Street?” Upon recovering from deep shock after he arrived at the scene, Armament Sect’s Pan Jueming immediately and coldly stared at Wei Xing. “Have you forgotten all about the rules of Dark Asura Hall?”
“Please calm your anger, Elder Pan.” Wei Xing bowed and said with an embarrassed expression, “This is the order personally issued by the First Hall Master.”
“Yuan Tianya?” Pan Jueming let out a hmph. “How dare he go back on his own words. What does he think Armament Sect is? Even if Yuan Tianya is the First Hall Master of Dark Asura Hall, he is not allowed to do whatever he wants in Armament Sect’s domain! Otherwise, Armament Sect will cancel any standing agreements and refuse to cooperate with Dark Asura Hall in the future!”
Wei Xing’s expression bloomed all sorts of colors in anger when he was scolded, but he dared not retort and just lowered his head in silence.
“Armament Sect? Isn’t it Armament Pavilion?” someone interrupted.
“Armament Pavilion is the business created by Armament Sect, and Armament Sect is a… Black Iron force. Moreover, this force is formed by Artificers with the purpose of providing spirit artifacts to all forces. To anger Armament Sect is to refuse any further trade of spirit artifacts because no Artificers will be willing to forge artifacts for you anymore. It is not a consequence that even Yuan Tianya can bear,” someone faintly said.
Pan Jueming went on a rampage, blowing his beard and glaring at everyone. On the side, all the people from Nebula Pavilion and Shattered Ice Manor kept quiet and did not dare to look at him.
“How incredibly horrifying. Who on earth is the owner of Li’s Shop?” Lu Li came over and took a glance at the snowy lands, then at the lonely Li’s Shop sitting at a secluded corner of Commerce Street, exclaiming in surprise, “I wonder why, but I feel like I’m standing at the deepest depths beneath the snowy peaks and glaciers of the Arctic Mountain Range. This is a… most terrifying feeling.”
“Who is inside that house?” evasively asked as Li Zhongzheng’s lips shivered with chattering teeth.
“Whoever he is, he is not someone you and I can face.” Lu Li’s expression was complicated. “How on earth did a small character like Qin Lie know someone like this? How strange…”
“Little Ze, do you know the background of this shop’s owner?” Tu Mo asked.
Tu Ze shook his head with an expression filled with utmost shock. “We only knew that Qin Lie is working as an apprentice in this shop. We have never had any contact with the owner. I cannot believe that such a godly person is hiding inside Icestone City!”
Zhuo Qian, Kang Zhi, and Han Feng’s faces were completely red, and they looked absolutely excited at the snowy scene before them.
“Qin Lie may be able to live!” they screamed inside their hearts.
“Miss…” Liang Zhong quietly arrived at Xie Jingxuan’s side. “What happened? Who on earth is inside that shop?”
“I don’t know.” Xie Jingxuan shook her head.
“The First Hall Master is here!”
“The First Hall Master has come!”
“Pavilion Master Liu and Manor Lord Yan are here as well!”
Suddenly, noise flared up in the area around them.
Amidst the countless soft exclamations, Dark Asura Hall’s First Hall Master, Yuan Tianya, arrived with Liu Yuntao, Yan Wenyan, and five imposing men clad in black iron battle armor. The crowd had parted on their own to allow their passage, and they stood in front of everyone on the frozen-solid, icy road.