"Die!" Xiao Chong bellowed, his fingers moving to crush the opponent's throat. But suddenly, he felt his fingers go weak, his entire body feeling somewhat numb and cold. He almost lost his grip on the opponent's neck — fortunately, the opponent was already powerless and unable to struggle, otherwise he might very likely have let the opponent escape.
Could it be that his previous internal injury had affected him? Xiao Chong had just begun to puzzle over the issue when all his confusion was driven away by a wrenching pain in his chest.
He instinctively looked down and was immediately petrified. The first thing he saw was a fair and soft-looking little hand, and in it was a strong-looking heart, still beating ... whose heart was it?
Immediately after, his entire face twisted in shock and fear, because he saw that a bloody hole had appeared on his chest. Right then, fresh blood was gushing out from the hole — not only staining his own clothes, but also painting the plot of land he stood on in red ... Meanwhile, the small figure standing before him remained spotless. Before any blood could spray onto the other, it would be repelled, as if there was some sphere protecting him.
Xiao Chong's vision once more returned to the heart in that little hand, and his mouth was unbearably dry and bitter. So that vigorous thing was his heart? When had his heart been pulled out from inside his body? And he hadn't felt anything when it happened?
At that moment, another fair and soft-looking little hand touched his wrist and gently pushed his hand away. Only then did Xiao Chong notice that he wasn't gripping onto the other's throat at all. There had been a distance of several millimetres between his fingers and the opponent's throat ... he just had not realised it.
After the little hand pushed away his fingers, it lightly patted his cheek. The initially icy and youthful little face of his opponent actually shifted into a smile. The smile was sweet and lovely, making Xiao Chong feel as if he had seen the sun, blindingly radiant yet so warm that people yearned for it.
"You can die now!" However, what followed the warmth of the sun was only cruel reality.
When this merciless murmur was delivered from behind this beautiful smile, Xiao Chong heard a 'splat', as if something had been crushed. He instinctively looked towards the sound, and then found his entire body gripped by wrenching pain, and his life quickly slipped away.
It turned out that his heart had been crushed by that little hand. He even saw the opponent's fingers pinch and rub it tastelessly for a bit before throwing away the shredded meat with a flick. The opponent's hand then immediately returned to its original pristine condition, not even a speck of blood on it, as if its crushing of the heart had all been in Xiao Chong's mind.
Even scarier was the fact that although the opponent had obviously been committing a horrifying and disgusting thing, the opponent seemed to see it as normal. In his gaze were traces of mockery, taunting, and curiosity — but there was no discomfort or disgust whatsoever, as if the other had long become used to doing such things.
This sort of carefree attitude in playing around with others' lives made Xiao Chong feel as if he had been plunged into icy water, his entire body turning cold ... a demon, he was most definitely a demon!
"Leader ..." Arduously, Xiao Chong turned his head to look towards his team leader standing at the left to the front of him, as if trying to warn his leader that a demon had come.
Domain stage combat experts were extremely sensitive to being watched. The team leader quickly turned his head and saw Xiao Chong's gruesome and tortured expression. His expression shifted and he swiftly retreated, pulling a distance away from Ling Lan and Xiao Chong. It wasn't that he did not want to save Xiao Chong, but Xiao Chong's gaze was clearly telling him to run. This made the team leader have no choice but to be cautious and try to figure out the situation before making a decision.
As he pulled away from the two, he could finally see Xiao Chong's condition. Both of Xiao Chong's eyes had turned greyish white, utterly dead and lifeless — he had used up the last of his life to warn his team leader.
The leader's eyes became awash with red, a dark rage sweeping briefly across his face, "Godd*mn, you actually managed to break the bindings of my Domain?"
To prevent any accidents, he had specially used his Domain ability to fully seal Ling Lan's movements, guaranteeing no chance of failure. Who knew he had still underestimated Ling Lan in the end. The opponent had actually managed to break his binding and even kill off his only remaining team member Xiao Chong right before his eyes. This caused him to be both livid and extremely regretful at the same time — he should have just killed the other immediately when he had first caught him, and not brought him back here.
Still smiling radiantly, Ling Lan prodded Xiao Chong who was in front of her with a finger, and then, with a thud, Xiao Chong's stocky body crashed onto the ground.
Only then did the team leader see the cause of Xiao Chong's death. There was a large hole in his chest, blood still flowing from it, and the team leader could also see the mangled bloody flesh on the ground near it. His entire face twisted up, and he cried out, "You're vicious!"
Hearing this, Ling Lan lightly waggled a finger in front of her and said with a grin, "Tsk, tsk, tsk, you're wrong. This is not being vicious, but creating a masterpiece. Look at his lovely expression ... normally, you won't ever see such a lovely expression." Ling Lan's smile grew wider. "You should thank me, for letting you see such a rare visage."
"Demon!" howled the team leader, "I'll definitely kill you!" Even as the team leader was filled with hate for Ling Lan, he hated himself for not just killing off this evil demon straightaway back then.
"Kill me? Can you kill me?" Ling Lan laughed and shook her head. The opponent's ignorant words were somewhat hilarious from her perspective. Her force of presence abruptly rose significantly, a terrifying and immense wave of pressure descending upon this little forest. The team leader's face fell and he could not help but exclaim, "Domain stage!"
The team leader's words had barely faded when he shook his head emphatically, face filled with disbelief. "This is impossible. He can't have jumped levels to advance into Domain stage. It's not true, this is definitely a lie ..." He tried to convince himself that what he felt from the other's terrifying presence earlier on was just an illusion.
Frankly, the team leader had reason to doubt what he felt. The further one progressed, the more crucial it became to take things a step at a time. In particular, after entering the Refinement stage, every increase in level was built on the accumulation of one's foundations. It was extremely rare for a cross-level advancement to occur, especially for the Qi-Jin stage, where every increase in level needed the accumulation of years of hard work. Take the leader for example, he had been stuck at the optimal peak level of Qi-Jin for a whole 10 years. Although the Domain stage was just a small step away, he had just never found the right catalyst.
If his comrades had not died silently one after another before him, causing his emotions to churn and destabilize his internal energy, which unexpectedly then led to the catalyst of his advancement, he might have lingered on the optimal peak level of Qi-Jin for god knows how many more years ...
His advancement had had a certain element of serendipity to it. Still, it wasn't strange — after all, he had already been at the optimal peak level of Qi-Jin; advancement was the natural and logical next step. However, this was not the case for the opponent. When he had exchanged that one move with the opponent, he had learned that the other had already achieved the peak level of Qi-Jin, but was still two ranks away from achieving the optimal peak level. These simple two minor ranks were impossible to overcome without 3 to 5 years of effort — how had he jumped straight into Domain stage in one leap?
Besides that, the Domain aura coming from the opponent was clearly thicker and more substantial than his, just as if the opponent had already entered Domain stage for many years. This was not something an expert who had just entered Domain stage should have — this was completely illogical!
"It wasn't easy to cultivate such a little abnormality, and it was almost ruined at your hands. Just thinking of this, my mood is just terrible. I am not happy at all." Although Ling Lan was saying that she wasn't happy, the smile on her face did not dim in the slightest, instead becoming increasingly brighter. But it was precisely this radiant sunny smile which caused chills to run through the team leader's heart, a never before experienced sense of danger looming in his heart.
"What do you mean?" asked the team leader cautiously. He was naturally very confused right now, somehow just unable to communicate with this seemingly rather insane child before him.
Ling Lan sighed softly, twirling her hair behind her ear gently with a finger, and said with a smile, "Even if I tell you, you won't understand ... it looks like there isn't much time left, let's finish things quickly." That said, he muttered softly to himself, "This lousy body, actually being unable to sustain my emergence for 3 minutes, how horrible ... Number Nine, put more effort into it in future and train up this little fellow's body. Make her just a bit stronger."
Inside the mindspace, expression stony, Number Nine warned, "Stop talking nonsense. Still not finishing off the opponent? Do you really want Ling Lan's body to break down because of your dithering?"
Number Nine was very unhappy. Number One had clearly asked her to go handle the opponent, but this punk Number Five had rushed ahead and snatched the initiative. If she were not afraid that forcefully taking control away from Number Five would accelerate the collapse of Ling Lan's body, she would definitely never let him continue to be in control.
Number Nine's strength was the weakest among the nine instructors. Initially, if she had taken control of Ling Lan's body, she would be able to last for at least 7 to 8 minutes; but because of Number Five's insubordination, rushing out on his own, the time limit was shortened to 3 minutes before it would break down. After all, Number Five's power was just too much for Ling Lan's current physical body to support.
It should be known that the greater the difference between the strength of the person in control and that of the host's, the greater the damage to the host. If Number One took control of Ling Lan's body, it probably would take less than a second for Ling Lan's body to collapse completely.
"Fine, being able to just come out for a while is already good enough." Number Five felt that he shouldn't be too greedy now ... if Ling Lan's roots were really harmed, he would definitely be pummelled so hard by Big Bro Number One that he would not be able to take care of his daily life, and at worst, his consciousness might just be wiped out completely. A shudder ran through Number Five's body, some fear swirling in his heart. He had just wanted to come out and see their host's world, somehow forgetting about his terrifying big bro.
Number Five decided to finish the fight in a few seconds, and then immediately go turn himself in to Big Bro for punishment. So, his fingers flicked lightly, and an invisible force blanketed the area for several li. The team leader felt as if he had been congealed in a thick liquid — every move he tried to make required the strength of nine bulls and two tigers.
"Activate Domain!" The team leader decisively activated his Domain, dispelling the pressure the opponent was forcing upon his body. Furthermore, his body began to become blurred and unfocused as the surrounding forest began to become thick with fog, and then his entire person disappeared within the fog.
Seeing this, Number Five's lips curved up into a smile and he said with a chuckle, "This innate talent ... interesting!" That said, he closed his eyes, as if listening intently for something, but also as if unconcerned by what was happening.Basically, he would be so injured that he would become incapable of living normally.This is a Chinese saying which basically means 'to require a lot of effort'. Kept it literal here as the imagery is pretty straightforward.