Chapter 127 – Demon
Soon after the match between South Star and Polaris finished the gathering crowd dispersed and returned to their accommodations to rest. Everyone needed to prepare for the second day’s matchup of this month-long tournament.
“Hahaha! Wei, you truly are an impressive cultivator! You didn’t give Qi Xiu any breathing room towards the end of the fight! You have avenged Mu Feng and our school. I don’t think anyone from Polaris Academy will have the guts to mess with us from now on!” Liu Jian enthusiastically said hugging Ye Wei like his own brother.
The excitement of victory did not disappear for the South Star youngsters; they were still talking about details of the fights and their saliva was flying all over the place as they discussed how Ye Wei defeated Qi Xiu.
Cao Ning in particular was feeling ecstatic. He was proud to have performed better than anyone expected and glad for his best friend who had grown to become unimaginably strong.
“Qi Xiu used a forbidden low-level Myst stance! I could feel its recoil all the way from the back! I don’t think he will recover without half a month’s rest. Judging by how things are going, Polaris would need to wait until next year if they want to get into top ten!” Liu Jian was ecstatic because the bully finally became the bullied.
“Alright enough, stop bothering Ye Wei. Everyone go get some rest! Tomorrow is as important as today if not more!” Xu He gave each of the students two pills, one for healing and the other for restoring Qi and will-force.
Everyone took their pills and hugged Ye Wei before they went back to their own rooms. All of them had used up a large amount energy and some of them were quite injured despite what their newfound confidence let them believe.
Ye Wei was debriefed by Xu He before he went back to his own room. Soon everyone was cultivating and preparing for tomorrow as they knew time was of the essence. There was an unspoken sense of urgency as the contestants’ condition would ultimately dictate their final ranking.
The mountain eventually calmed down as night fell on this day of bloodshed. Everyone who fought was now focused on recuperating before they would once again have to be at their best again tomorrow.
The clear moon hung high in the dark sky shining down its white light onto Ye Wei’s body. He had his eyes closed while cultivating and visualizing the Shifting Star form he learned from fighting Qi Xiu.
“It’s still not enough… Although fighting Qi Xiu taught me a lot, it’s not enough to help me to become a condensed prime Warrior. But who knows, if I get the chance to fight more cultivators of his caliber or stronger I might just find how I need to strengthen my body in order to breakthrough.” Ye Wei opened his eyes as a spark of inspiration hit him, and he mumbled to himself as a smile shone on his face.
After learning the principals of the Star Shifter formula, Ye Wei worked on refining Driftwind Steps for the rest of the evening. He knew how he wanted the stance to develop but had not yet tasted any success; however, he could feel the pieces slowly coming together.
When the moon was high in the sky, Cao Ning decided to join Ye Wei in training. They ended up working on the Onyx Tortoise stance.
Helping Cao Ning refine his stance turned out to be great revision of basic rune flow for Ye Wei, and they were both enthusiastic to take advantage of the situation.
“Yea, that’s it, just take it slow.Don’t hurry!”
In the dead of night, Ye Wei guided Cao Ning under the faint moonlight. They were productive and refreshed by the breeze. Cao knew he was not the most talented cultivator, but what he lacked in talent he made up for with hard work.
All of a sudden, the cold breeze brought an intoxicating scent to the pair’s faces. Ye Wei could not help but closing his eyes at the pleasant smell but then he faintly felt a strange presence.
“Who is it?”
Ye Wei widened his eyes, and his posture changed from relaxed to alert as he stared at the empty space in from of him.
Cao Ning was shocked as he did not expect Ye Wei to shout; he turned his eyes from the runes in front of him to where Ye Wei was looking.
“Wei? What’s wrong?” Cao Ning could see nothing but the patchy moonlight on the floor. He looked over confused.
Ye Wei kept staring at the air completely ignoring Cao Ning.
“Kikiki, outstanding Soul Sensitivity! I must admit you scared me!” Just when Cao Ning was about to ask again, a cold, hoarse voice sounded out.
A thick black mist suddenly appeared from where the voice came from, and a completely black silhouette of a robed person appeared within the mist.
“Who are you!?” Cao Ning felt a chill in his scalp, and his clothes were immediately soaked in cold sweat before he took a few clumsy steps back.
“Farther back!” Ye Wei placed his hand on Cao Ning’s shoulder and sent him flying backwards with a gentle push while he tried to figure out what exactly he was looking at. He was increasingly convinced that whatever he was looking at was not human due to its peculiar presence. ‘If he is from the Blackmist clan, this could go really bad…’
“How courageous of you sneaking around Galaxy Academy’s grounds. You do know some of the best human cultivators of this region are here with us right?” Ye Wei was cautious but not scared. He was wondering how a demon managed to infiltrate the tournament under the strict security.
“Don’t worry about me, worry about yourself. These powerful cultivators you speak of did not notice how I got in, and they will not know that I killed you!” A pair of sharp white teeth appeared in the black mist together with the sound of chuckling.
The demon then loosened its grip and dropped a black jade pendant onto the floor. The pendant shattered and each of the broken shards had scale-like patterns on them.
The jade scales after hitting the ground bounced back up, flew into the night sky and then fell to the ground with a curve leaving a semi-spherical body of black mist isolating a spot in the courtyard from the rest of the palace.
“Black Scale Array!” Ye Wei looked up worryingly to see a distorted moon through the mist. His pupils dilated as he breathed in the thickening air inside the concealed space.
“I am curious, is it really worth you wasting this array just a trap a mere Warrior like me?” Ye Wei frowned and stared at the black silhouette.
“Not really!” The demon shook its head and made a strange cracking noise. “You are just unlucky. My idea was to find myself a talented human during the tournament, and suffice it to say, you really stood out.”
Listening to the demon, Ye Wei figured this could be a part of a bigger scheme that the demon could not share, as there was no other logical reason to use a sealing array as powerful as the Black Scale Array.
“A demon…” Fear was written all over Cao Ning’s face. He never expected to be in the middle of an assassination attempt and certainly not one that involved the demon clans.
“Just stay calm, it’s just a demon. As cultivators we will have to confront them sooner or later. Just stand back, I’ve got this.” Although the demon was stronger than himself, three years of intense training gave him confidence and there was no fear in his eyes.
A flash of gold glittered through his eyes as he became determined to fight his way out of the situation if that became the only solution.
“You might think you are a hunter but I am no prey.” Ye Wei stepped forward and the moment his foot touched the ground it generated a strong gravitational pull within the mist.
“It’s a shame that you are not a girl. I’ve always prefered the sweetness your females’ meat,” A sharp laughing sound came from the black figure as the demon licked his lips with a forked red tongue.
The demon then stomped the ground, and its heartbeat could be felt through the floor. The runes Ye Wei planted beneath the surface scattered under the pulsing pressure wave which caused the gravitational pull to disappear.
Demons could not use mystic stances but they did not need them. The energy in their blood made up for this shortcoming.
The black figure floated towards Ye Wei and slowly rose its arm, and a thick black, fluid-like texture floating around his hands felt similar to Qi for Ye Wei, but much colder and denser.
Ye Wei was slightly startled by the his overpowering energy and was reminded what fear felt like. A strand of silvery Qi appeared in his hand and transformed into the ancient sword he found in Bloodmist Valley, the five-star medium-grade mystic arm.
As he had never fought a demon before, Ye Wei was cautious and left no room for mistakes.
“Medium-grade mystic arm! That is something I did not expect to see… But you will be dead either way, and this weapon will become mine.” His vertical pupils dilated as he kept walking towards Ye Wei. The black figure was moving forward, but the grass underneath him did not move at all.
The black mist then faded and eventually disappeared.
“Where did he go?” Ye Wei’s heart stopped and he immediately reacted by closing his eyes trying to locate the demon with his exceptional Soul Sensitivity. It was not long after that when the courtyard was filled by Ye Wei’s will-force.
Ye Wei turned around and swung his sword backwards as the black figure threw its heavy cold fist at his blindside.
The sword lit up and the blade caught fire as it flew towards the demon’s neck at a tricky angle.
‘Burning Sun Sword!’ Ye Wei’s strike deflected the demon’s fist, and the moment it touched the demon’s neck, the black figure turned into smoke and the sword went through without any resistance.
“A Runemaster? I am in for a treat!” The hoarse voice became enthusiastic. The next second, the demon appeared in front of Ye Wei, and he threw another punch. This time it was aimed at his chest.
“Humph!” Ye Wei kept his eyes closed and grunted indifferently. He shook his sword and swung it towards the sinister figure’s neck.
The demon turned itself into a mist of black smoke and whizzed around Ye Wei keeping a three inch distance. The sword could therefore never land and did no damage, but Ye Wei was also fine as he was able to keep the demon in a form which it could not attack. Although it looked like the fight was dead even, Ye Wei was actually slightly at a disadvantage as he could not predict the demon’s movements so in order to protect himself, Ye Wei was wasting a large amount of will-force for detection.
‘Such amazing speed; he is tiring to follow,’ Ye Wei was startled and slowly realizing the demon was stronger than him.
‘I have to set the tempo! Burning Sun Sword Wheel!’ Ye Wei jumped up and swung his sword down filling the sky with fire. He then spun his sword around and created a fiery sword wheel.
The sword wheel fell down like a burning star, and the bright runic light evaporated the black mist revealing the demon behind its cover.
“Where can you hide now!?” Ye Wei struck down and pressed the sharp burning blade at the demon. The sword wheel in front of him reduced the grass and small trees in the courtyard to ash.
The black figure then moved in a strange way dodging the speeding sword wheel and the pursuing young cultivator. The two kept attacking and dodging leaving behind a dark blur and a burning trail in their wake.
‘So he was not giving it his all earlier today when he fought Qi Xiu…’ Cao Ning was shocked by the power he felt pressuring his trembling body. Although he could see a mystic arm in play, Ye Wei’s movement were clearly swifter, and his strikes were harsher.
But Ye Wei was not the only one with precise movements, the demon was able to match his speed and deflect his strikes.
A harsh noise sounded as Ye Wei finally landed a strike on the demon, and just when he felt relieved, he realized from the sensation in his hand that his sword did not do any damage; it just crashed onto the demon’s cold hard fist.
The demon’s fist was heavy, fearfully heavy like a mountain, and his strike caused Ye Wei’s hand to become numb.