Gao Yu’s face turned dark and his eyes grew cold. Killing intent swirled around him as he advanced, step by step, towards Qin Lie.
Fresh blood dripped from his shoulder, his clothes were all ragged, and he looked severely miserable. He seemed to have suffered a ridiculous amount of hardship.
His fellow Gao Family martial practitioners also had blood smeared all over their bodies as though they had just gone through a grueling battle.
With only three of the original nine Gao Family members remaining, including Gao Yu, the casualty rate could only be described as a complete disaster. From that, it no wonder that his eyes turned red the instant he saw Qin Lie.
“Leaving us behind to attract their attacks while you take advantage of that time to escape, what a scheme!”
Gao Yu grit his teeth, and both his palms started to emit continuous streams of black fog that looked strange and mysterious; as though they were floating vengeful ghosts.
“What are you trying to do?!” Ling Xin roared, positioning himself in front of Qin Lie while glaring at Gao Yu. “It’s your own problem if you didn’t make it out! Had our First Miss not notified you at all, none of you would still be alive!”
Gao Yu waved both his hands, and balls of pitch black fog lunged towards Ling Xin with forms akin to the faces of ogres.
With only a cultivation level at the sixth level of the Refinement Realm, Ling Xin was simply unable to compete with the eighth leveled Gao Yu. As soon as he was engulfed in the pitch-black, a sinister chill could immediately be felt spreading through his entire body as though he were invaded by evil spirits. Terrifying illusions surfaced in Ling Xin’s mind, and his eyes were filled with horror as he screamed while retreating.
Qin Lie scrutinized Gao Yu and realized that his hands were adorned with a pair of identical rings that each had the face of a green ogre with long fangs engraved on them. Qin Lie immediately deduced that the balls of pitch black fog came from those Ogre-faced Rings.
Evidently, the two rings were an extremely rare kind of spirit artifact.
“Whoosh!” A pretty figure suddenly appeared standing firm in front of Qin Lie. Before he could react, Ling Yushi spoke sweetly, “Gao Yu! I was the one that made the decision. If you want to find someone to vent your anger on, come at me instead!”
“You?” Gao Yu sneered, his eyes full of skepticism. “With your personality, you couldn’t have made such a ruthless, vicious decision if there wasn’t someone else instigating you. The Ling Family would definitely not dare to sacrifice anyone from Nebula Pavilion so easily!”
Whilst talking, the two Ogre-faced Rings on Gao Yu’s hands started to spew pitch-black, ink-like fog again, which curled upwards to the sky, coalescing into a chilling figure of an ogre’s face and swiftly flew towards Ling Yushi.
A gust of ghastly cold air pervaded the vicinity, and the wails of ghosts could be faintly heard as though there were actually ghosts floating about in the darkness.
This scene truly shocked Ling Yushi, and she suffered a state similar to Ling Xin, witnessing many phantom images lunging towards her which caused her to knit her eyebrows in pain as she bitterly fought against the illusions within her head.
Gao Yu had come across the Ogre-faced Rings by chance, and they held some sort of sinister art formula. It was precisely by cultivating the spirit art within the rings that he was able to improve at such a tremendous pace, becoming more and more proficient in wielding them.
Until this day, Gao Yu and the entire Gao family had yet to determine the grade of this spirit artifact.
Regarding the ring, Gao Yu was gradually touching upon its capabilities. He discovered that he was compatible with this spirit art and was able to form the ogre-like Yin black fog which could directly invade his opponents’ mind, such that even those whose cultivation slightly surpassed his would find it hard to escape.
Ling Yushi was at the same cultivation level as him, hence, the moment she was invaded by the fog, she was trapped and could only struggle helplessly.
Gao Yu scoffed with a sneer and strode past Ling Xin and Ling Yushi, making his way towards Qin Lie and taunted, “Do you only know how to hide behind a woman?”
Seeing the situation take a turn for the worse, Ling Ying, along with Ling Feng and the rest, hurriedly moved to try to help Qin Lie.
Sadly, they were further away and didn’t expect Ling Xin and Ling Yushi to not even be able to put up a fight. Therefore, they weren’t able to get close enough to help in time.
“Whoosh whoosh whoosh!”
Wisps of pitch black fog emanated, gradually coalescing into ogre-faced specters which floated towards Qin Lie.
From the beginning, Liu Yan stood a short distance away and had yet to speak a single word to stop Gao Yu. He wanted to have Gao Yu teach them a lesson as he was simmering furiously from Qin Lie’s schemes.
The chilling black fog permeated Qin Lie’s body, and he turned icy cold as he faced the horrifying feeling that there were ghosts swirling around him, just waiting to pounce onto him.
At the same time, as though there was another source from elsewhere, an evil force sneakily bored into his mind…
Qin Lie immediately understood, upon contact, that Ling Xin and Ling Yushi became dazed due to the invasion of that mind force.
That wisp of mind energy infiltrated him and congealed into countless illusions of vengeful demons that appeared in front of him, furiously rushing to kill him!
Those scenes were intimidating, and they severely shook his state of mind. Just like Ling Xin and Ling Yushi, he had to try very hard to withstand the invasion on his mind!
A breath of cooling air seemingly rippled out from the Soul Suppressing Orb between his eyebrows, instantly rousing him from the hallucination!
One moment he was struggling, and the next, he found that the foreign mind energy from within his mind had vanished without a trace; the illusions had been completely swept away.
Qin Lie’s expression shook, and he immediately channeled Heavenly Thunder Eradication, covering his entire body with the energy of thunder and lightning.
“Boom boom boom! Zzt zzt zzt!”
Roars of thunder and lightning rumbled, and the chilling pitch-black fog that had enshrouded him dispersed rapidly under the assault of his Heavenly Thunder Eradication. In the blink of an eye, the fog was eradicated.
Even Ling Yushi and Ling Xin nearby were both quickly released from the fog as he neared them.
“What happened?” Ling Xin jolted awake, blankly surveying his surroundings.
Ling Yushi kept quiet, her clear eyes revealing a hint of suspicion as she looked ahead.
Gao Yu’s face paled considerably, and his eyes flashed in astonishment. He looked straight at Qin Lie and shouted, “You, you are actually… actually able to break my move?!”
“Young Master Gao! That’s enough!” It was at this moment that Liu Yan finally walked over. He patted Gao Yu on the shoulder to calm him down and turned to look at Qin Lie in surprise. “Those who train in the power of lightning are rare. The power of lightning is the bane of all that is evil. Hence, for Young Master Gao’s art formula to lose against you is certainly no injustice.”
At his words, Gao Yu reacted as well, as his face turned increasingly unsightly.
The spirit art within his Orge-faced Rings had touched upon this point, indicating that the might of this “Nine Hell Wandering Soul Record” was peerless, sinister, and mysterious. As the cultivation realm increases, one could gather the wandering souls and tormented spirits to invade the enemy’s mind, destroying opponents both in body and mind. But this “Nine Hell Wandering Soul Record” also indicated, that the worst enemy possible for the user would be a martial practitioner who cultivates in the power of lightning.
Martial practitioners who cultivate in the power of lightning, just happened to be the direct bane of the “Nine Hell Wandering Soul Record”. The power of lightning specializes in exterminating wandering souls and tormented spirits. Therefore, it was best to not use the “Nine Hell Wandering Soul Record” to fight such an opponent, else it was just asking for trouble.
“Let bygone be bygones for now. I shall report to Nebula Pavilion upon my return for instructions from my superiors.” Liu Yan turned towards Ling Yushi and Qin Lie and spoke, “The matter at hand is more pressing, and everyone should pull their efforts together to deal with Shattered Ice Manor and the Feng Family pursuit. How about it, Ling Yushi?”
“The Ling family naturally obeys Nebula Pavilion’s arrangement.” Ling Yushi lightly nods her head and continued, “I hope that next time you can restrain the Gao Family sooner, in case he acts up again.”
Upon seeing that Gao Yu was going to blow up in anger again, Liu Yan hurriedly patted his shoulders to calm him down and quickly replied, “It’s good that you are willing to accept my arrangement. We sped along through the forest, and our losses were extremely severe on the way. Those that were unlucky encountered spirit beasts several times, our several brothers had all been killed by spirit beasts. Rather, ones who died under the hands of Shattered Ice Manor were fewer…”
“Not just us, it is the same for Shattered Ice Manor as well. Seven or eight of their members all died under the spirit beast’s assaults. There are many strong spirit beasts in this forest, and once accidentally encountered, it would be very difficult to get away unscathed.”
He then paused to look deeply at the Ling Family before continuing on, “I am very curious, as to why you have only suffered one casualty. Could it be that you have only had a single encounter with a pack of spirit beasts?”
As they were escaping, Liu Yan and Gao Yu’s company only had two members die by the hands of Shattered Ice Manor. The majority were all killed by the spirit beasts; therefore, compared to Shattered Ice Manor, the forest was a greater trouble. Upon seeing that the Ling Family’s losses numbered so few, astonishment birthed from his heart, and he wished to learn the cause.
And then he noticed, that right after he asked, the expressions of the Ling Family members all turned weird.
“What happened?” Liu Yan asked again.
“I’m sorry. Previously… I was too rash, and wronged you.” Ling Xin eyed Qin Lie and lowered his head in apology.
“I am ashamed.”
“It was our foolishness.”
“Qin Lie, do not take it to heart, alright.”
The Ling Family members who previously ridiculed Qin Lie were all full of shame now as they finally realized through Liu Yan’s words that they were incredibly fortunate to have Qin Lie guiding them.
It was laughable that they were scolding him incessantly throughout the journey, accusing him of slowing them down, resulting in the Feng Family catching up to them. Thinking back, quite a few of them wanted to burrow into ground and hide in shame.
Qin Lie only smiled and didn’t say anything, sparing them from further awkwardness.
“It’s fine as long as everyone’s alright.” Ling Yushi consoled everyone, smiled plainly towards Liu Yan, and continued, “We didn’t meet any powerful spirit beasts. None of us were injured due to spirit beast packs. Our only clansman that died was due to the Feng Family. However, the Feng Family members we killed were far more, only letting Feng Yi to escape with two others…”
Towards the end of her words, Ling Yushi’s bright eyes glanced at Qin Lie, her face written full of pride.
“Impossible!” Gao Yu shouted in disbelief.
“H-how is that possible!?” Liu Yan was similarly in disbelief. “The forest is so huge, and there are numerous large and strong spirit beasts gathered here. How could you take care of every aspect when hurrying through? Also, you said that you killed many from the Feng Family, how did you accomplish such a feat?”
As he finished his words, he discovered that every member of the Ling Family had involuntarily turned their gaze towards Qin Lie.
Liu Yan froze for half a beat, then understood and said while nodding his head, “Looks like young brother is even more miraculous than I imagined.”
“Your spirit artifact seems to be broken.” Qin Lie said, looking towards the a hexagonal shield in Liu Yan’s hands.
The shield was bronze in color, shaped in a hexagon with six protruding corners. Every single corner sported a pointed edge that was as sharp as a sword’s. The edges all had traces of blood on them, revealing that they were obviously sharp weapons capable of attacking. As such, the hexagon shaped shield could be counted as a spirit artifact capable of both offense and defense.
However, on the surface of the hexagonal shield, the engraved strange pattern was as though a severed snake, disjointed and unable to connect together.
Furthermore, on the surface of the shield, there were several traces of caving in. From the looks of it, the spirit diagram within the hexagon shield had ought to be more or less wrecked.
“Mn, it broke during battle, and I can’t pour spirit energy into it anymore. It already can’t… be considered a spirit artifact anymore.” Liu Yan revealed a bitter expression and shook his head, sighing, “I’ve used it for a long time, it has become so familiar and comfortable. Changing a weapon now would be too uncomfortable, hence I plan to continue using it. Sigh, this Hexagonal Shield of mine is actually a Common Grade Five spirit artifact, you know. It really pains my heart that it broke…”
“Can I take a look?” After thinking a bit, Qin Lie suddenly asked.