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Chapter 152: Core Formation Sets to Task (6)

“Who?” Daomaster Skybearer’s voice echoed, bearing a profound displeasure. Such a situation between Dao Masters had occurred before the eyes of countless people. Who had tossed aside this face?

“Answer, Fellow Daoists.” A man of very few words, Daomaster Ancientpine said unhurriedly: “In order to guarantee everyone’s safety, I merely guarded against the unexpected to protect all the clan elders and a few important figures. This technique is called Shadow Substitution. It can avoid death in place of another once…”

“Fellow Daoist, you say… avoid ‘death’?” Ancestor Hiddenscent’s voice rang out without any audible emotion.

“Correct.” Daomaster Ancientpine laughed: “It will only ward off certain-death divine abilities or ones that will ensure death in the future. However, I didn’t manipulate it at all. I’m completely unaware from where this attack came from.”

Daomaster Floatingcloud inwardly sighed in relief, yet discovered he had actually broke out into a cold sweat for the first time in several decades. Tension and relaxation… Daomaster Ancientpine was warning him once. Later on, he would have to plead ignorance. As expected, Ancientpine also didn’t find it necessary to fall out with him. However, the next words caused the light of his eyes to quickly flicker!

“But… the target of this attack was young friend Xu. How about we ask him?” Daomaster Ancientpine said with a smile that wasn’t a smile: “I also want to know. Who would take action against today’s VIP? So unwilling to see the Dao of Pills re-emerge?”

To achieve this step, Ancientpine could already be regarded as supremely righteous and attentive to his duty. Benefits stirred the hearts of men, and the words that Xu Yangyi had spoke to him on that day truly rendered him incapable of NOT accepting. He naturally knew whose hand it was, but Xu Yangyi couldn’t possibly be aware. Following his excuse, he went through the motions and decided to let it pass.

Daomaster Floatingcloud’s gaze carried an incomparably gloominess, and he narrowed his eyes at Xu Yangyi. Suddenly, he felt that his heart was surprisingly somewhat… nervous? Tense? He checked again. That was right, it was nervousness! He… a Core Formation lord, actually felt nervous from a Qi Condensation cultivator?

“He…” His mouth parted to speak, and he sensed his lips were slightly dry: “He… discovered me?” In the instant the shadow snake had struck, he understood clearly that Xu Yangyi had saw it!

The masses focused their eyes upon Xu Yangyi. The current him was still elegant and graceful as before. He cupped his hands and nearly sensed over a hundred streaks of spiritual sense on his person! Welcoming everyone’s gazes, he bowed respectfully, according to status of a Qi Condensation cultivator: “It was Ancestor Floatingcloud.”

Without a sliver of hesitation. Without the slightest iota of apprehension!

Swoosh swoosh swoosh! All gazes of the audience centralized on Daomaster Floatingcloud’s pavilion!

“JUNIOR!!!” Fiery rage suddenly erupted in Floatingcloud’s heart! He had never thought that he could be so angry at this moment! How dare he?! How does he dare?!?! How does he dare in spite of my Dao Master’s prestige?! How dare he in spite of the Black Kill Order on his person?!

He… had been betrayed by a Qi Condensation cultivator before all of China’s Core Formation!

“You slander This Dao Master’s pure name! Who gave you such dog courage?!”

Boom! In the sky, the winds and clouds changed. Above Xu Yangyi’s head, an archaic bronze door suddenly appeared. With the momentum of a thunderbolt evading ear cover, the single-leaf door split open and a tremendous sword radiating terrible qi all over its body immediately pierced downwards!

If he didn’t nail this person dead on the spot, it would be difficult to dispel his heart’s hatred! Today’s dishonor! No one dared to speak to him, but that gaze was even more insufferable than a death of a thousand cuts!

“I… grant you death!” In his pavilion, the corners of his eyes faintly pulsed. Without the slightest hesitation, he used his vein-covered hand to firmly press down on a table: “Spring And Autumn Execution!!!”

BANG!!! The sword possessed a blurring speed that people couldn’t make out. On the ground, two shadow hands likewise acted with a blurring speed! It unwaveringly gripped the sword.

“Impure Shadows Reciprocate Joy.” Boom! Daomaster Ancientpine’s pavilion suddenly opened, and in merely a blink of an eye, a changpao-wearing old man stood in the venue. His hair was done in a Daoist topknot, and he held onto a horsetail whisk.

“This is…” Below, countless people gasped coldly. That name was at the tip of their tongues, yet because they were overexcited, it didn’t leave their mouths. He was very old, his skin wrinkled like a chicken’s and his hair white like a crane’s. His brows were soon to be a foot long and his white beard reached his waist. His entire person seemed to bear an immortal wind with the Dao in his bones, yet not a single person dared to look down on the terrible spiritual pressure which radiated from his whole body!

In particular… from his seven apertures and the sleeves of his gown, a black radiance flashed as if it was a shade of the nether! A Core Formation true body!

Swoosh… Swoosh… Swoosh… A person half-kneeled on the ground. Two people half-kneeled on the ground… In a twinkling, everyone below was half-kneeling on the ground. Soon after, their shouts were like thunder: “We pay respects to Ancestor Ancientpine!!!”

He was the Northwest King, Flowing Light Imprisoning Shadow, Daomaster Ancientpine!

The sleeves of Ancientpine’s gown moved freely, absent of the wind. He glanced deeply at the seemingly deferential Xu Yangyi.

Why others do so, I am unaware… His somewhat murky eyes flashed with a spirited edge: But in no measure are you delighted to take this knee… I don’t even know why you dare to expose Fellow Daoist Floatingcloud… What else is there that you dare not to do! In the Featherwood Guard, when did such a daring and tenacious junior arise? I was actually left in the dark?

He deeply concealed these thoughts at the bottom of his heart, and glanced again at Xu Yangyi’s silhouette. It was so diminutive, yet he carefully memorized it in his heart. As he was about to turn his head, he suddenly saw the other’s hands placed on the ground. They were using a strange gesture.

Six fingers...

At the same time, Xu Yangyi’s lips wordlessly moved, and his gaze glanced extremely ambiguously at Ancientpine. By chance, the duo’s gazes met. 

A sixty-forty split? At this moment, the shadows within Daomaster Ancientpine’s seven apertures rose sharply. Afterwards, he pushed down all the emotions in his heart, acting as if no one else was present. 

Without almost any hesitation, and moreover required consideration, his gaze coldly eyed Floatingcloud. Such a massive price… Since that’s how it is, then I’ll have to wrong you today, Fellow Daoist Floatingcloud... 

Squeezing forcefully, the two nigh-physical shadow hands and the sharp sword collapsed with a rumble.

“Fellow Daoist.” Floatingcloud’s words were already saturated with deep warning: “What’s the meaning of this?”

Daomaster Ancientpine still hadn’t spoke, but all of a sudden, Liang Jiugong’s pavilion quietly opened! Dressed in the garb of a Qing dynasty official, a figure took a gentle step and arrived in midair. His entire body was cloaked in a layer of green netherfire, his appearance simply indiscernible. 

“This is…” He trod into sky, and as if he were stepping on a tangible staircase, directly walked before Xu Yangyi who was taking a knee on the ground. With his fingers, he gently grasped a jade bottle which Xu Yangyi had taken out at some unknown time. 

The inside was fitted with three Minister pills!

“If seniors are unconvinced, an examination of the arcane effort’s traces can be made. If there was such a divine ability, it would spread out from the ceiling.” Xu Yangyi said, seemingly honest: “In order to express my thanks to senior for saving junior’s life, I am willing to offer my three Minister pills that my friend gifted to me.”

Liang Jiugong also appeared to be dazed. Xu Yangyi was capable of sensing a gloomy and cold spiritual sense roaming across his body for a long time. After a brief moment, Daomaster Liang laughed wrly as if with deep meaning: “If… This Dao Master and Ancestor Floatingcloud rumble for a spell, is it possible that they can be presented to me?”

At this instant, everyone was stunned! It was a plot of two peaches to kill three generals! Although it wasn’t the same, a different approach had lead to an identical result!

Xu Yangyi’s head was lowered, yet his eyes were already filled with killing intent! This was the result he wanted by taking out the present three pills! Right now, he simply dared not move against Ancestor Floatingcloud, but while he couldn’t take action, that didn’t mean another representative couldn’t!

The meaning of this bottle of pills brought everyone on the floor to understand that beneath the respectful exterior of this half-kneeling Qi Condensation cultivator, there laid a fierce and untamed heart. He wanted to announce this animosity. However, what Xu Yangyi said caused everyone spit out blood: “Perhaps junior was mistaken.” 

“Kekeke…” Daomaster Liang’s laughter was like an owl. In a matter of a second, a bone yaksha over a dozen meters tall took form behind him. He waved his hand behind, not even looking: “Then this is mistake, right?”

BOOM! A massive bone hand congealed solid from the empty space! Carrying a boundless death qi, it was a full seven to eight meters in size! The hand truly slammed towards Ancestor Floatingcloud’s pavilion! It even dragged out a thirty-meter-long void tear in the sky!

“Thou dares!!!” Ancestor Floatingcloud bellowed madly. Even now, it was as if his heart was dripping blood! It was too much of a disgrace… Here today, an unregistered Core Formation ancestor had actually acted against him for a Qi Condensation cultivator! He who stood majestic and towering above had been bitten so painfully by a mere insect that he wished he were dead!

Boom! Fury assaulted his heart. Similarly, the archaic door in front of his pavilion opened, and a white qi hand and the enormous bone hand violently slammed together!

Bang! A white ripple visible to the naked eye unexpectedly exploded! For the second time, Core Formation cultivators had confronted each other with force! All because of a single person!

At this time, Skybearer also glanced deeply at Xu Yangyi, but didn’t say anything. With a mere wave of his hand, all scattering explosions of spiritual force were wholly isolated in the air.

“Impudent… Impudent!” Ancestor Floatingcloud’s voice finally raised for the first time. The wrath in his heart was so humiliating that it could nearly burn the heavens! He said coldly: “Daomaster Liang, are you certain you want to move your hand against me because of a word from this insignificant bug?” 

The final syllable of these words suddenly raised in pitch, because at the same time, all shadows—in places that light existed and any shadow below—had surprisingly converged into an unlimited number of weapons emitting black qi amidst his unwittingness! All edges were aimed at him!

The whole floor was so quiet that a needle dropping could be heard! An additional Core Formation ancestor had moved against Daomaster Floatingcloud!

“ANCIENTPINE!!!” Extremely intense anger caused Daomaster Floatingcloud to forego honorifics as he yelled. He incredulously turned his head towards the side of the silent Daomaster Ancientpine who had his hands behind his back: “What is this?!”

A sixty-forty split… Daomaster Ancientpine smiled, black mist coiling around him from head to toe as if he was a giant in the black night. Without any response, all that remained in his chest was his voice of throbbing spirit stones: “Ten Thousand Shadows Heavenly Punishment.”

Swoosh swoosh swoosh! Countless weapons in all directions; blade, spear, sword, halberd, hatchet, battle-axe, hook, and trident were all aimed at Floatingcloud’s pavilion. Bearing an incomparably ear-piercing sound, they charged forth! 

Not one drop of water could leak out!

“AUDACIOUS!!!” Daomaster Floatingcloud’s snarl shook the entire venue. Immediately, a massive golden Buddha over thirty meters tall flashed with a rumble outside his pavilion!

“This is… the Motionless Wisdom Monarch?” In Daomaster Blackmountain’s room an immense eye closed: “Old ghost Floatingcloud must be really angry to force this out, eh…”

“Motionless Wisdom Monarch…” In the wake of Floatingcloud’s verse, the scene’s time, including breathing and heartbeat, seemed to slow. The various weapons that were just incredibly swift all grew sluggish. 

In his pavilion, Ancestor Floatingcloud’s eyes were fairly reddened! Trifling insect… Trifling insect!!! You actually dare stir a struggle between Core Formation! Why? Why would Ancientpine target me?!

However, he simply didn’t have the time to ponder it much. Outside his pavilion, the golden Buddha’s two hands joined in prayer, and limitless golden halos dispersed forth like torrenting mercury from these linked palms!

Buddha… in the area of his joined hands, there was a tremendous white hole spraying stars outwards with maximum effort!

“Motionless Wisdom Monarch, Exterminate The Six Desires!!!”

[1] In other stories, you may read about characters holding a horsetail whisk, but what is its significance? In Daoism, horsetails whisks have a special usage in ritual for purification. Similarly, they are thought to swat “evil and unnecessary” thoughts. 

[2] “A plot of two peaches to kill three generals”. This is a story that dates back to the Spring and Autumn period. One day a high minister walked past three generals but they didn’t bow. The minister was unhappy so he told the king that maybe one day, these people would be problems. The king valued the minister’s words, but didn’t know how to get rid of these three generals because they were too strong. The minister suggested a strategy of awarding the two strongest generals a peach each. This inevitably lead to the generals fighting, with the third general challenging the first two to a duel. This first two generals realized they had besmirched their honor, so they had killed themselves with their swords. The third general saw the first two and then killed himself too. This story is also where the idiom “killing with a borrowed sword” comes from. 

[3] A yaksha is a nature spirit in Jain/Buddhist/Hindu myth. 

[4] In Chinese, the six desires are sight/hearing/smell/taste/touch/passion

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