AGM 188 - Gazing upon the Celestial Lake
Qin Wentian pulled his ancient halberd out from the ground, his Astral Energy having already been fully restored by the Stellar Fruits.
By contrast, Mu Baifei and the two swordsmen didn’t have any Stellar Fruits to consume. Fighting against the four female cultivators from the Greencloud Pavilion, fighting a battle with Qin Wentian, and especially executing their sword-combination technique; all these factors had already exhausted a large amount of their energy reserves. As they watched Qin Wentian strutting over, traces of wariness could be seen reflected in their eyes.
Mu Baifei raised the long-sword wielded in his hands, pointing it towards Qin Wentian. The reputation of the Swallow Swordsmen must not be besmirched by their hands.
The two other swordsmen raised their blades as well, the sword intent that emanated forth growing stronger by the second.
Pssst~ Qin Wentian’s silhouette transformed into a blurry shadow, and with explosive speed his ancient halberd erupted forth towards Mu Baifei. He opened the battle with the first stance of his Great Dream Halberd Art – Mountain Splitter. Cleaving apart mountains with a single strike, the power of this attack would undoubtedly strike fear in people’s hearts. And what’s more, this attack of Qin Wentian, was powered by the sword-type Divine Yuan Energy in his body.
As the leader for this group of Swallow Swordsmen, Mu Baifei’s combat prowess was naturally the strongest, and he undoubtedly deserved his reputation. He moved his long-sword in gentle arcs, manifesting several streams of light from its tip, boiling with killing intent.
BOOM! The momentum forced Mu Baifei backwards, but at that moment, the swords of the other two instantly slashed out quick as lightning. Qin Wentian spun, maintaining his marvellous footwork, dodging while simultaneously blasting attacks out with his Fallen Mountain Palms. The might of the attacks he unleashed felt as heavy as a mountain and imbued with boundless strength, blocking the sword beam from the left. As the other sword beam shot towards him from the right, he flung out his ancient halberd, transforming it into a streak of light, flying straight towards Mu Baifei. He had voluntarily chosen to give up his weapon.
Puchi~ Qin Wentian spat out several beams of sword light towards his right, instantly dulling the sword might of his opponent. At the same moment, the sounds of gushing water gushing could be heard from the arterial pathways of Qin Wentian, as the Astral Energy within him began to seeth and surge.
“DIE!” The Astral Energy flowed into Qin Wentian’s arms, filling them with an incredibly fearsome power as he blasted forth with the Kuji Imprint. Within the palm imprint he struck out, layers of bloody light could be seen flickering within, as an aura of destruction emanated forth from it. Just as a thunderous sound echoed, the impact of collision flung the sword out of his attacker’s hands.
How ferocious was Qin Wentian’s speed? Along with this long-prepared strike, Qin Wentian simultaneously executed his Garuda Movement Technique to its absolute limits, appearing in front of his opponent in an instant. The countenance of the attacker turned incomparably unsightly. With a howl of rage, he hurriedly stabbed out with his sword fingers, as a surge of powerful sword intent gushed out from it.
But how could there be anyone who could compare to Qin Wentian in terms of close combat? His now-demonic eyes stared at his opponent, causing the other to experience a surreal sensation, akin to that of a nightmare. The earlier blood palm reached him, effortlessly destroying his pathetic attempts at a mounted defense, before barreling through and exploding the head of his opponent.
All that happened in a split-second, however, Mu Baifei and the other attacker swiftly countered his earlier attacks and responded with another of their own, causing a strong sense of danger to rise in Qin Wentian’s heart.
In that instant, Qin Wentian adjusted his attack, as the terrifying Divine Yuan Energy within him gushed out in a frenzy, transforming into resplendent astral swords explosively flying towards Mu Baifei. Evidently, Mu Baifei’s threat to him was obviously greater. At this exact moment, the sword of the other attacker neared. Qin Wentian sent out his left palm in response, only to see a beam of glimmering sword light slashing apart the space, as traces of blood appeared on his palms. The sword of his opponent was too sharp.
Against such an opponent, a moment of carelessness would mean death.
Qin Wentian retreated with rapid speed. Mu Baifei and his remaining crony knew that they had missed the best opportunity to kill Qin Wentian. Their gazes turned heavy as they stared at the corpse of their comrade, their killing intents soaring to the limits.
Qin Wentian turned back, glancing at Mo Qingcheng. Shiki was half-mad with anger; he had already went all out, transforming into his half-demonic form. He felt extreme shame at the thought of being unable to suppress Mo Qingcheng despite his status.
However, there was no need to worry about those from the Mystic Moon Hall. Ouyang Kuangsheng was truly powerful, so with him supporting those from the Mystic Moon Hall, as a group they weren’t inferior to those from the Skydemon Sect.
And as for those cultivators from the non-transcendent powers, they silently watched with glee. They were in the weaker position, and any outcome resulting from this fight would be extremely beneficial to them.
“Brr, what a cold wind.” At that moment, someone suddenly shivered. And the gale of cold wind only grew stronger and stronger.
The crowd of spectators furrowed their brows, as they gazed in a particular direction. The converging point of their focus was none other than the only gap through the Mountain Rampart! The suction force of that pathway became increasingly stronger, to the point where the nearby granules of sand and gravel started to fly towards it.
“What’s the hell is happening?” A few seconds later, a terrifying windstorm formed and could be seen swerving with incredible speed towards the gap. The suction force intensified as though the gap was the mouth of a gigantic demon wishing to devour everything.
Even the clothing worn on the bodies of the cultivators were fluttering in response to the suction force. Some of the weaker cultivators felt as though they were about to be swept off their feet, about to be drawn in. This terrifying sensation only escalated in strength.
Everyone ceased their attacks, and Qin Wentian was forced backwards by half a step from the force generated from the terrifying windstorm. Stabilizing his posture, Qin Wentian couldn’t even open his eyes, the demonic wind was simply too bizarre.
Underneath the pressure borne from the gale of demonic wind, many cultivators could no longer keep their steps steady but instead found themselves flustered as they stumbled about, trying to find their footing. A random cultivator was seemingly ‘directed’ by the suction force, barreling towards the direction of Qin Wentian. However, when he neared, that person abruptly turned about, brandishing a gigantic axe. He chopped down with ferocious speed, intent on smashing Qin Wentian apart.
Qin Wentian instantly broke out in a cold sweat. Under the suction force and the incoming windstorm, he couldn’t even move his body. How could he then dodge the strike? It was even tougher to summon the required strength to defend against the attack, not to mention the extremely terrifying force his attacker used to swing down the gigantic axe with. This ‘random’ cultivator was most definitely someone also standing at the peak of the younger generation scheming to obtain his Stellar Fruits.
Qin Wentian relinquished total control of his body, not fighting against the pull of the demonic wind. His body flew directly towards the gap in the Mountain Rampart, as the gigantic axe cleaved past. A fearsome axe light flickered, as sounds of laceration rang out. His robes were slashed apart as a long wound appeared in front of his chest.
BOOM! Qin Wentian slammed into the mountain wall, excruciating pain assailing his senses. The intensity of that surge of demonic wind was too terrifying.
“Wentian!” Mo Qingcheng’s worried voice drifted over. She had personally witnessed that terrifying axe cleaving downwards earlier, and was struggling to move towards Qin Wentian.
“I’m alright.” Qin Wentian turned his head, smiling at Mo Qingcheng. He felt the power of his bloodline limit surging, as the bloody wound on his chest slowly recovered. After which, he sensed the blood seal within his body leaping towards the direction of his wound, as his recovery rate visibly heightened. His heart trembled slightly; only now did he understand how powerful his bloodline was.
“Over here.” Mo Qingcheng reached her hand out to Qin Wentian, as he leaned against the mountain walls, moving towards her. With her dainty little hand finally in his grasp, he spoke, “Qingcheng, I don’t think anyone would be able to resist such a powerful gale of wind. Let’s allow nature to take its course, and we shall enter that pathway.”
“Mhm.” Mo Qingcheng lightly nodded her head, as they tightened their grasp on each other’s hands.
“Go.” Qin Wentian didn’t bother retrieving his ancient halberd, neither did he bother to look for the wielder of the gigantic axe. The most important thing now was safety. These cultivators were all extremely ruthless, and even in the face of the windstorm, people were still unwilling to miss a chance to get the Stellar Fruits.
The two of them completely stopped resisting the pull of the wind, allowing the currents to steer them towards the direction of the pathway. Yet another thunderous sound boomed. Qin Wentian could only feel his head spinning, not realising that he had slammed into the mountain walls. That gust of wind was so strong he couldn’t even open his eyes.
Circulating Astral Energy around his body, his blood seethed and surged, protecting his inner organs and vital channels. At the same time, Qin Wentian pulled Mo Qingcheng into his arms, using his body as a shelter to shield her from any collision as their bodies soared together with the currents of the raging wind.
Mo Qingcheng’s inner organs shuddered violently, when suddenly she felt the warmth of a embrace. Sweetness filled her heart as she snuggled into Qin Wentian’s protective hug, hugging him even tighter.
Qin Wentian was slammed again and again into the mountain walls by the merciless wind. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, Qin Wentian and Mo Qingcheng were ruthlessly hurled to the ground. Entwining their bodies together, they rolled sideways to cushion the force of the impact.
Opening his eyes, Qin Wentian gazed into the clear eyes of Mo Qingcheng, as a smile broke out on his face. They were still alive!
Mo Qingcheng smiled back sweetly in response.
As the two of them struggled to sit up, they felt as though their bodies were treated like punching bags, just bags of loose sand only held together by their tenacious wills.
Contemplating their surroundings, they were currently situated in the middle of a windstorm. The reason they could still feel such intense gales of wind was right in front of them; yet another terrifying windstorm faced them, with gusts of cold wind akin to sharp swords and sabres blowing in their path.
But as their eyes penetrated the windstorm, they saw a beautiful scene lying ahead. Towering stone pillar after pillar, so tall they seemingly reached the Heavens, were positioned to the side of a beautiful, starry lake. Star light cascaded downwards, illuminating the stone pillars. That must be the celestial lake.
As long as they could advance past the windstorm ahead, they would be able to immerse themselves in the waters of the celestial lake.
At that moment, the cultivators that survived from the suction force had all already arrived. When their eyes caught sight of the celestial lake, many discarded all traces of caution, madly rushing ahead to step inside the windstorm tempest. However, those same people quickly slowed their steps, shrouding their bodies with Astral Light in a protective radiance. They could sense how terrifying this final test was.
Advancing step by step, several of the cultivators had already entered the boundaries of the windstorm. Abruptly, one of the cultivators in the lead gave a bloodcurdling scream. His body was shredded into pieces, as blood fanned out in a mist. He had completed a third of the journey, but his energy reserves had been fully used up, and was unable to breach the final barrier.
Such a scenario was met with gasps of shock, especially from those that had already entered the windstorm. However, they had no time for regrets, and could only grit their teeth and continue persevering onwards.
The stench of blood grew increasingly stronger, causing many to tremble in fear. All of the cultivators that entered the windstorm had died. For the cultivator that travelled the farthest, he crossed no more than half the required distance.
“Stellar Fruits.” The gazes of several of the remaining cultivators landed on Qin Wentian and Mu Baifei. Those two were the only ones that possessed the Stellar Fruits, other than Ouyang Kuangsheng.
Without sufficient Astral Energy to protect oneself, entering the windstorm equated to certain death. The existence of the Stellar Fruits were precisely for this purpose - to breach the final barrier: entering the celestial lake.
The crowd moved quickly, surrounding Qin Wentian, Mo Qingcheng and Mu Baifei. Within the blink of an eye, they blocked their path, preventing them from entering the windstorm. It was not just them, even Ouyang Kuangsheng found himself surrounded.
They definitely had to obtain the Stellar Fruits, and were left with no other choice but to take this risk.
The windstorm whirled with ever increasing fury, until someone at last made their move. Wang Xiao of the War Continent was the first to take action, and his chosen target was none other than the Swallow Swordsman, Mu Baifei.
Qin Wentian glanced askance at the other Swallow Swordsman standing near Mu Baifei. Currently, he was the only one remaining out of the three Swallow Swordsmen; one had died and the other was occupied. When he finally noticed Qin Wentian’s cold gaze directed towards him, his heart shivered with debilitating dread.