Chapter 326 – Assassin
With Lin Ming’s strength, rushing full speed into the groups of vicious beast was no different to a saber slicing into soft silk, matchless and unstoppable. In an instant, he had broken more than ten miles deep. There, he was close to the edge of the vicious beast horde.
The blurry shadow that followed behind Lin Ming was suspicious, ‘Why is he in so deep? Did he discover me?’
This blurry shadow had thought that Lin Ming was galvanized by the killing speed of the yellow-clothed youth, and didn’t have the face to stay near his side, thus he had rushed into the beast tide. But in a single breath, he rushed all the way to the edge of the beast horde – he was just too deep.
‘This boy, is he trying to force me out?’ The shadow’s complexion sank as he thought this.
‘He doesn’t know how deep my strength is and yet dares to lead me out? He wants to turn the tables and kill me? This boy is truly confident to the point of being arrogant, does he think he is invincible under the heavens!?’
This blurry shadow didn’t have full assurance that he would be able to assassinate Lin Ming. After all, Lin Ming was a heaven defying talent that even Divine Phoenix Island was concerned about. Before, he wouldn’t have been surprised if he was hiding his strength or some life-saving trump card, but he never thought that Lin Ming would have the ability to kill him.
He was an official faction disciple, his cultivation was at the late Houtian period and he had a solid foundation. How could he possibly be killed by Lin Ming, a little boy at the middle Pulse Condensation period? Not even mentioning Lin Ming, he didn’t even place that foppish yellow-clothed youth from the Moon Seizing Sect in his eyes.
Considering all aspects, even if he couldn’t defeat Lin Ming, he could still safely retreat. After all, he was still a late Houtian martial artist from a sect. If he used his full force to escape, it would be difficult to stop him, much less kill him.
Although he didn’t have a complete grasp on killing Lin Ming, currently he had to act. Otherwise, if reinforcements came to Green Mulberry City, he wouldn’t have this chance again. His own life was tied together with Ouyang Boyan. When Lin Ming grew to the point that he was able to disregard the rules of the Seven Profound Valleys, that would be the day he died.
The blurry shadow suddenly accelerated, all of his murderous intent converged onto himself. His entire body shimmered with a dim black illusory light as if he were melting in the air, his body hidden in the void.
“Heart Piercing Blade!”
His sword light was nearly completely hidden in the dark of night. Using the massacre of vicious beasts as cover, he thrust towards Lin Ming’s heart!
“You’re finally here!”
Lin Ming sneered. He wasn’t afraid of thieves, only thieves that lurked in the shadows. As long as they came out, he had nothing to fear.
True essence revolved within his entire body. Lin Ming’s spear turned around, lightning flashed, true essence rushed forth, his spear thrust forwards!
This was one of the basic moves found within the simple Foundation Spear Technique. However, under the enhancement of the azure true essence and power of thunder, the spear’s strength had reached an incomparably terrifying level.
The black sword energy was twisted to pieces; Lin Ming’s spear thrust forth, piercing the shadow’s throat!
“Mm? Afterimage? No… it’s an illusion!”
In that split-second, it was too late for Lin Ming to retract his spear. Wind howled as a sharp sword stabbed from a blind angle, thrusting towards the left side of Lin Ming’s ribcage, wanting to pierce his heart!
Power of thunder!
With an explosive eruption, the coiling dragon steel needle hiding within Lin Ming broke free. Countless arcs of lightning twisted within the air, writhing like snakes. The shadow gave a stuffy cough, then rapidly drew back.
But Lin Ming also felt pain in his ribs. His clothes had been torn, and a shallow bloodstain appeared under the left side of his ribcage.
The coiling dragon steel needle that was fused into his body could be used to defend against close-range attacks. This was a move that he had once used to deal with Jiang Baoyun, and had relied on it to stop Jiang Baoyun’s peerless speed.
“You finally came out.” Lin Ming casually swiped away the bloodstain; there was only a tiny inch-long wound left over.
This assassin was an old man. He was tall and stooped down, his face covered with a black mask. He held an extremely thin soft sword in his hand that was only two feet long. This sort of sword was best suited for assassinations. Two feet was enough to reach the heart from any angle, and this thin and short sword was also easy to hide.
As this old man looked at Lin Ming, he could hardly believe that his sword strike hadn’t wounded Lin Ming more. His expression sank. Although he couldn’t land a solid attack because of the power of thunder, it still shouldn’t have caused so little damage. Did Lin Ming have some special method to increase his defense?
“You are Ouyang Boyan’s henchman?” Lin Ming tranquilly asked, his eyebrows curved up in a question.
“Hehe, you do not need to twist around words. Between you and me, we have no past injustice nor any current enmity. I only came to kill you because of money. I came here to send you to the netherworld, but do not blame me…” As the old man spoke, his voice was extremely hoarse, and the mask on his face shook. If one looked closely, they could even see the thin edges of this man’s face under the mask; he was no different than a skeleton.
Lin Ming suddenly smiled, “The mask you use as a prop in this act is also quite good.”
The old looking man’s expression sank, “What do you mean?”
“Haha, Martial House Master Bi, even now you still pretend and try to hide. With your ability, why do you need a mask? Just take it off. I’ve already experienced your appearance changing technique before, and was deceived quite miserably by you. You think that you can fool me again with the same method?”
Lin Ming thought that the one lurking in the shadows was an apprentice of Ouyang Boyan. After all, this sort of matter could only be entrusted to an apprentice; otherwise, Ouyang Boyan would never feel secure.
Since Ouyang Boyan was an Acacia Faction disciple, his apprentice should also be an Acacia Faction disciple. But why was this person so good at concealment techniques? This ability should only belong to a disciple from the Mirage Faction.
And the only Mirage Faction disciple who held a grudge against Lin Ming, and whose cultivation was at the Houtian realm, was Bi Luo!
Only Bi Luo could have planned this with Ouyang Boyan. The two must have totally cooperated, planning on assassinating him.
Lin Ming remembered that originally, Bi Luo’s cultivation was at the peak of the middle Houtian realm. But now he had broken through to the late Houtian realm. It might have been because of some help given to him by Ouyang Boyan.
Of course, these were only his guesses. Bi Luo’s appearance changing technique was not something that Lin Ming could see through, so he was putting forth a front towards Bi Luo.
The old man was expressionless. He coldly said, “I have no idea what you are saying. Delaying for time is useless. You are not my match, and today you will die without a doubt.”
“Oh? You think you can?” As Lin Ming spoke he excitedly smacked his lips, his eyes full of fighting spirit.
After Lin Ming’s cultivation had broken through to the middle Pulse Condensation period and he had obtained the Purple Comet Spear and Earthcore Crimson Flame, his strength had increased by a great deal. Now he was hoping to find a good match to assess and confirm his own strength. Before, the yellow-clothed youth who was barking in front of him could not arouse the least bit of interest from Lin Ming.
But Bi Luo was a great choice.
“It is good for the young to be arrogant, but to be too arrogant is the same as being an idiot! Die!”
The old man moved and his body shifted, a gray light shining out from him. Every time this gray light shot out, another one of him appeared.
In an instant, there were 36 clones behind the old man.
This was fast to the degree that a normal martial artist would not be able to see it. It would only leave behind an extremely brief flash on the visual field of the iris; this was the afterimage.
But, Lin Ming’s perception was surpassingly keen. It was impossible for this old man to create 36 afterimages, thus, that meant that this old man before him hadn’t released afterimages, but illusions.
This was also a Mirage Faction cultivation method!
Lin Ming smiled, “You hid your appearance, but you can’t hide your cultivation method. What you just used was a cultivation method of the Mirage Faction.”
“What is a Mirage Faction cultivation method? Once you go to the netherworld, I’d love to see how you keep guessing!”
At the same time, the 36 old men flicked the swords in their hands; 36 sword lights flashed!
“36 Swords Absolute Killing Array!”
Cha cha cha cha cha cha cha!
36 sharp beams of light pierced towards Lin Ming from all directions, causing the air to tremble. The thick true essence was at least 10 times better than that of the yellow-clothed youth from the Moon Seizing Sect!
The old man had suddenly used his killing blow. Since things reached this point, Lin Ming naturally didn’t need to hide his strength any longer. True essence flushed into the Heretical God Seed.
Heretical God Force – open!
Compressed azure true essence rushed out of the Heretical God Seed like a tidal wave. The 36 white lights were completely caught within the surging azure true essence waves, and were drowned out by the endless power of the True Dragon!
The old man’s complexion immediately changed. The power of the 36 Swords Absolute Killing Array was in the top three of all the skills he knew. Yet it was so easily blocked by Lin Ming.
He had guessed correctly: Lin Ming had been hiding part of his strength. But he never imagined that Lin Ming would he be so strong. If Lin Ming was depending on some sort of special item or incomparably exquisite cultivation method to avoid him, the old man wouldn’t have been surprised. But a moment ago, Lin Ming had extinguished all of his sword energies in a full frontal collision!
In a frontal impact, what mattered was how thick one’s true essence was. But whether or not true essence was thick depended mostly on one’s cultivation. How could a late Houtian realm master’s true essence be suppressed by a neophyte at the middle Pulse Condensation period?
Lin Ming grinned. Since he had opened the Heretical God Force, he planned to bring this battle to a quick conclusion. “Martial House Master Bi, it’s quite regrettable that neither you nor Ouyang Boyan had gone to the Total Faction Martial Meeting. Hearing rumors is always inferior to seeing with your own eyes. Martial House Master Bi has made the wrong judgment, and for that reason you will pay the deep price!”
“Humph! What nonsense!” The old man was not intimidated. He would overdraw his true essence and use the even stronger 72 Swords Absolute Killing Array, and definitely be able to kill Lin Ming in a single blow. But at this moment his complexion suddenly changed, because above Lin Ming’s speartip, a red wisp of flame and a small purple steel needle appeared.
In the vast night sky, the two tiny lights seemed insignificant. But the old man’s eyes suddenly widened, almost rolling back into his head.
‘This… this is…’
‘Impossible! It’s impossible! It cannot be a Flame Essence!’
The old man paled. He almost couldn’t believe his own judgment, but he felt a terrifying power of fire within that small red flame.
“Impossible, no, this can’t be… a thunder and fire dual-attribute body. A mere 16 year old can control a powerful thunder energy weapon, but can also control a Flame Essence; there probably isn’t a single person like that in the entire mainland.
The old man seemed to be in a trance, muttering to himself as his mouth twitched.
“You think that it’s a thunder energy weapon?” Lin Ming smiled, extending out his hand. The coiling dragon steel needle immediately jumped into his palm, turning around and around. “Martial House Master Bi, please open your eyes and take a careful look. This is an instrument condensed from pure thunder energy.”