The flames on the plumage of the Azure Firebird swirled around it as it flew in the skies, the desolate winds howling past it as it chased after that giant scaled and winged serpent.
On the back of the Azure Firebird were two figures who were each half-kneeling; Ji Yichuan, and that black-clothed woman. The black-clothed woman stared at the rapidly fleeing Serpentwing. “Yichuan, this Serpentwing is a late-stage Xiantian level Diremonster. It is quite a bit stronger than my Azure Firebird. Although the Azure Firebird is good at long-distance flight, it’ll still be hard to catch up.
“Lady Flower, I’ll handle this.” Yichuan’s face was as cold as ice. From within his hands, a silver greatbow suddenly appeared out of nowhere, while in his left hand was an arrow.
The bow was fully drawn. Yichuan stared coldly at the fleeing Serpentwing.
“Swish!” The arrow suddenly transformed into a ray of light, streaking towards the fleeing Serpentwing. At such a short range, the terrifying speed at which Yichuan had launched this arrow, combined with Serpentwing’s massive body, meant that there was no way it could dodge.
In terms of pure archery skill, Yichuan was perhaps inferior to Blindfish.
But most of the men of the Ji clan were skilled in archery, and this arrow of Yichuan’s…in terms of speed, was even faster than Blindfish’s!
The arrow struck Serpentwing’s body, then instantly exploded, creating an enormous, bloody hole. A massive, bone-exposing wound was revealed on the serpent’s body, and it seemed as though with just one more arrow, this serpent would completely explode from the inside. Actually, Yichuan’s arrow had been aimed at those bony wings. But Serpentwing knew…once his scaled, bony wings were injured, he wouldn’t be able to flee. Thus, he had used his own serpentine body to block the arrow instead.
“Crackle…” The flesh on the serpent’s body quickly closed, and blood stopped flowing.
Serpentwing continued to flee wildly.
“Yichuan, your Ji clan killed my son. Can it be that you won’t let me seek revenge?” Serpentwing shouted backwards.
“Vermin, if you let yourself die peacefully, I’ll let you die fast. Otherwise, I’ll make sure you regret it.” Half-kneeling on the back of the Azure Firebird, Yichuan once more nocked that silver greatbow.
Serpentwing hurriedly moved to dodge.
Yet another arrow blasted against Serpentwing’s body. Serpentwing howled in agony, and his heart was frantic. “Yichuan is the number one expert of the Ji clan of the West Prefecture, true, but how can he be this powerful? Earlier, from the great distance of two kilometers, the sword flash of Yichuan’s had still been powerful enough to injure me severely. And now, a single arrow of his can injure me. Even a peak Xiantian-level Diremonster is only at most able to hold me down; there’s no way one would be able to demolish me so easily!”
Serpentwing’s courage had been entirely shattered by that sword flash from earlier.
A sword flash that could heavily injure him despite having come from over two kilometers away.
If it was executed at a closer distance, wouldn’t it have killed him in one blow?
“Swish!” “Swish!” “Swish!” Yichuan fired one arrow after another, and Serpentwing could only grit his teeth and use his body to block it. Fortunately, his massive body was hundreds of meters long. Although his enormous body now had over ten massive craters in it, given his powerful life force, he could still maintain his high speed flight.
Soon, the wide expanse of earth below gave way to a wide lake.
“Hu!” Serpentwing immediately charged downwards.
“Serpentwing Lake.” Yichuan and the black-clothed woman’s faces both changed.
Serpentwing Lake was over a hundred kilometers long. One couldn’t even see the ends of the lake…and what’s more, it was Serpentwing’s lair.
The enormous Serpentwing plummeted down from the skies, diving into the lake. A few large waves arose, but the creature itself had disappeared.
As for the Azure Firebird, it continued to hover in the air above Serpentwing Lake.
“Yichuan, what should we do?” The black-clothed woman asked.
“Fled?” Yichuan stood on the back of the Azure Firebird, staring down at the massive lake. He said coldly, “He thinks that just because he is hiding in the water that I won’t be able to do anything to him? Lady Flower, loan me the Azure Firebird for now. I’d like to trouble you, Lady Flower, to immediately return to the West Prefecture…and have my spirit-beast, the serpent, come over.
“Alright.” The black-clothed woman nodded.
The black-clothed woman transformed into a streak of light, flashing across the surface of the lake, then disappearing into the distance.
In the depths of Serpentwing Lake.
The enormous Serpentwing lay coiled at the bottom, occasionally licking some of its enormous wounds with its tongue. His enormous life force and regenerative force was causing his wounds to quickly grow stronger, and his flesh was visibly regrowing and extending.
“Ji Yichuan.” Serpentwing’s eyes were filled with disbelief. “How can he be this powerful? That Ji Lee is the number two expert of the Ji clan of the West Prefecture. In the past, when we fought against each other, he only had somewhat of an advantage over me…but most likely, if this Yichuan is allowed to draw close to me, he would be able to kill me with one blow of his sword. How can the difference be this great?”
Before this, Serpentwing had been confident in his fleeing abilities. As he viewed it, he was a late-stage Xiantian-level Diremonster. Even if he ran into a terrifying peak Xiantian-level creature…he would at most be at an disadvantage. He would still be able to flee. As long as he wasn’t attacked by an entire group of Xiantian life forms, he should be fine.
But that sword of Yichuan’s had scared him silly.
The monsters within Serpentwing Lake all began to howl fiercely. This sound instantly caused great shock to Serpentwing, deep within the waters of the lake. He could understand those monstrous cries.
“A Diremonster has come?” Serpentwing was greatly shocked. “Right, one of the Diremonsters that the Ji clan of the West Prefecture has tamed is a water-type Diremonster.”
Some monsters were avian-types, skilled at flight.
Others were water-types, extremely powerful in the water.
Some non-water races, upon entering the water, would see their power drop! For example, Yichuan…in the water, his speed probably would be less than a tenth of his usual speed. But in the water, Serpentwing would be even faster than on land! Even if Yichuan were to use his sword techniques, with the water blocking him, the power of his techniques would be much lower as well.
Of course, although the power of Yichuan’s sword techniques would be greatly reduced, he could still kill Serpentwing! The problem was that in the water, he would be completely unable to catch Serpentwing. No matter how powerful his sword techniques were, it would be of no use.
“Brother Black, go search and find that Serpentwing.” Yichuan stood on the surface of the lake, but didn’t sink down at all. “Although he is more powerful than you, he is badly wounded. In addition, after finding him, you just need to tie him down for a while and prevent him from escaping. I will immediately charge over and slay him.”
“Leave it to me.” The coiled black serpent nodded on the surface of the lake, then immediately sank its entire body into the depths, beginning to search within Serpentwing Lake.
Those lesser monsters in the lake all fled in every direction, screaming in terror.
“Azure Firebird.” Yichuan looked at the Azure Firebird above him. “Stay up there and keep a lookout. Once Serpentwing flees from the lake, immediately chase after and kill him.”
“Alright.” The Azure Firebird spoke in a soft voice, then rose at a high speed.
Yichuan’s face was grim. Wielding his blue longsword, he paced about on the surface of the lake as though it were flat land. One step at a time, he walked, leaving faint ripples on the surface. His cold gaze stared at his surroundings, as though he could see straight through the lake water to the depths of the lake.
Ji clan’s West Prefecture.
It was dark now, and the commotion caused by Serpentwing’s attack in the Ji clan’s West Prefecture had died down as well.
“Father.” Ji Jadewich, his hair parted into dozens of braids, was seated on his knees. After draining all of the wine in his beast-skull goblet, he said, “Serpentwing, that Diremonster, has already fled back to his lair. Serpentwing Lake is extremely large, and so deep that the bottom cannot be seen. If it makes up its mind to hide, a single black serpent searching by itself will find it hard to locate him. Although Yichuan is extremely powerful, it will still be very hard for him to kill that Serpentwing.”
Lee nodded, but he was frowning. He hadn’t touched any of the wine or meat in front of him. Clearly, he was frustrated by something.
“Father?” Jadewich looked questioningly at his father.
Frowning, Lee let out a low sigh. “His sword flash travelled a distance of over two kilometers, but was still able to heavily wound Serpentwing, a Diremonster. The power of that sword has essentially surpassed the limits which a Xiantian lifeform can attain.”
“Father, do you mean to say…” Jadewich was shocked. “Zifu Disciple?”
Lee shook his head. “Hard to say! If Yichuan had opened his Zifu, the ‘Violet Palace’, then he should be able to fly about on magic treasures. He wouldn’t just stand there and watch as that Serpentwing, which almost slew his son, turn tail and run away. But if he hasn’t opened his Zifu…the power of his sword attack remains ridiculously large. Thus, I feel puzzled and unable to understand it.”
“I saw that Ji Ning had his arm severed, but in the blink of an eye, by the time the dust had settled and I rushed over there, Ning was totally fine.” Lee was frowning.
Many Xiantian-level people had seen Ning’s severed arm lying there in the rubble.
“The son of Ji Yichuan, Ji Ning, should be training in some sort of Fiendgod Body Refining.” Jadewich nodded. “In addition, he has already reached an exceedingly high level, for him to be able to re-connect a severed arm. Only, I am puzzled…how did Ning manage to survive the attack of Serpentwing on Dragon Castle?”
“I don’t understand either.” Lee sighed. “I suppose he is lucky.”
Why was Ning able to survive?
Perhaps it was because Serpentwing knew who Ning was and thus was afraid to kill him.
Perhaps it was because Ning had powerful lifeforce as a Fiendgod Body Refiner and thus was luckily able to survive.
Perhaps it was because Ning had some sort of protective treasure given to him by his parents.
The experts of the Ji clan of the West Prefecture were all abuzz, guessing wildly over the reason, but none of them guessed that the merely ten year old Ning had already reached the level of ‘one with the world’ in terms of footwork.
Ning was currently in the middle of his training area, displaying his Shadewind Steps. In the hundreds of meter wide training field, a blurred form was moving about at high speed. As it did…Shua! Shua! Shua! Dozens of Ning’s appeared out of nowhere.
“Ning.” A voice rang out.
Ning immediately came to a halt.
“Mother.” Ning immediately went over to welcome her.
Yuchi Snow slowly walked over, filled with joy as she stared at her son. After suffering from Serpentwing’s attack, during the day, the Ji clan had prepared a series of cremations and memorial ceremonies for the deceased black armored riders and clansmen killed during the attack. At that time, Ning had secretly informed his mother that his footwork had already reached the ‘one with the world’ level. But of course, his mother was the only one he told!
At just ten years of age, he had reached the ‘one with the world’ level of footwork. Snow had been to many areas of the Grand Xia Dynasty, but she had almost never seen someone as monstrous as this. Actually, because Ning had utilized the [Nuwa Painting] visualization technique since birth, his soul was extremely powerful. In addition, he had painstakingly trained in the [Shadewind Steps] since he was young, and thus reached the ‘advanced’ level two years ago. In that moment where life and death hung in the balance, he had suddenly been able to sense the world and reached the ‘one with the world’ level. This was nothing more than success naturally arriving when the conditions were right.
“Ning.” Snow looked at her son. “Your footwork has reached the ‘one with the world’ level. The next step will be to have your sword techniques also become ‘one with the world’. Do not slacken off.”
“Yes, mother.” Ning nodded.
For footwork to be at the ‘one with the world’ level meant for the man to become one with the world.
But for the sword to be at the ‘one with the world’ level meant for the man, the sword, and the world to all become one. Naturally, it was considerably more difficult.
“Mother.” Ning asked. “When will Father come back?”
“Your father went to kill that Diremonster. After killing Serpentwing, he will come home, of course.” Snow said.