"What the hell is this!" Junior Leopard cried in irritation, having suffered a loss.
"Be careful. There will be all kinds of monsters in a place where the essence of the world is this thick. Don't think you can be fearless just because you have Level Seven strength and Gang Qi. In a place like this, it'll be good enough if you can just protect yourself," said Green Spirit.
Junior Leopard exhaled gloomily. He was dressed in a dark robe and wearing a pale Smiling-face Mask over his face. His Blue Sword had spread its Gang Qi and transformed into a cyan streamer that danced around him in case of danger.
"Where should we go? Leave this island?"
"They must be on this island. If you want to find them, you just have to search this place. And you better not think about leaving the island before you're able to achieve a Level Nine cultivation," the Green Spirit said. "It's only on this island that your pitiful strength is capable of protecting you. Don't be fooled by the calm waters. Underneath the current is turbulent and all kinds of monsters lurk in an endless stream. You wouldn't be safe even if you fly using your Reigning Sword. Never mind those three!"
"I know they're definitely still here. I'm asking if we should stay here for a while longer or think of a way to leave."
"You still have the mood to think about this!" Green Spirit clearly didn't expect this answer. "You're really such a money-hungry person. Do you know how dangerous this place is? Do you know that if you can't find a way out, you'll be stuck here for the rest of your life?"
"It took a lot to come here! Of course, we can't leave without treasures!" Junior Leopard chuckled. "If I let this chance go, I'll never find another place like this again. What a pity it would be. You also know that some opportunities are gone forever once you miss them."
Green Spirit said nothing and sighed helplessly. He then added, "Forget it. Since that's what you think, nothing I can say will change your mind. But I suggest you take a walk around this island. Very soon you'll realize that it's not a place for a Level Seven kid like you can stay in."
"Then I'll keep my eyes peeled!" Junior Leopard smiled and dashed into the woods in a flash.
Whether it was due to the strong Spiritual Qi here or something else, the plants here were all tall and many resembled the towering tree they first saw. The lofty trees reached into the clouds and even the ordinary bushes were nearly the height of the tall trees. Standing in the woods, Junior Leopard felt like he was a little mouse that had made its way into a shrub.
He ventured into the tall woods, making his way through the soft mud by following the footsteps that Ji Yeyue's group left behind. He walked through the woods for about an hour and met some trouble along the way, though he easily handled those. He came here as the Water Leopard of Winnowing Basket carrying his powerful Blue Sword. Though there were many evil beasts, they were nothing against his sword and Silver Moon Sword Technique. Everything was going well for him. The only thing that displeased him was how he still caught no sight of Ji Yeyue's group even after such a long time.
"Damn it! Who says that all the stones here are precious? What an exaggeration. I've found so many stones but none are special!" Junior Leopard complained as he continued on his journey. With so much Spiritual Qi around, the world had no shortage of good things but none were familiar to him. Besides, the space that he had created through his Space Division Skill was limited and he didn't dare to put too many things inside. So he just put away some herbs that were evidently Magic Drugs and a few odd-looking stones that he found.
Green Spirit never said a word since they entered the woods. He knew it was because he hadn't found anything that was worthy of Green Spirit's attention. Since Green Spirit didn't find any of what he had found important, that could only mean that his spoils weren't precious even if they were treasures of heaven and earth.
Amid his complaints, he heard a sudden sharp yell.
He was startled. "It's Ji Yeyue and the rest!"
"Nonsense! The three of them are the only ones here except you. What's there to be excited about?" Green Spirit couldn't help ridiculing Junior Leopard when he saw his reaction.
"No one will think you're mute if you don't talk!" Junior Leopard blushed and started speeding up. The strong pneuma around him meant that there was a fierce battle going on nearby.
He followed the sound and ran through the woods until he reached a spacious ground. A pool sat in the middle, its water greatly different from the Spirit Sea. It was green and luxuriant like a cyan jade, translucent and beautiful as it emanated refreshing Spiritual Qi.
But a place that was supposed to be serene was no longer peaceful. Ji Yeyue was hanging in the air, fighting two iron-feathered birds.
The birds were nearly three meters long, the span of their wings about ten meters when fully stretched. Their dark feathers seemed to be cast out of iron. Only their necks and tails were dotted with yellow streaks. When the birds blinked, their eyes would flash with an evil green glint.
Yu Qingyong and Wu Lingxiao were lying at the edge of the pool pathetically, covered in blood. The latter's face was pale and there was a gash that stretched from his left shoulder to his stomach, revealing a faint outline of his entrails. If he wasn't a Level Six master, he would have already died.
With two of them rendered completely useless, Ji Yeyue was the only one left to battle the peculiar birds.
But it was precisely under such circumstances that she could demonstrate the best of her strength.
"They're Dragon Divine Sparrows!" The birds captured Green Spirit's attention but he instantly denied his own statement. "No, they're not Dragon Sparrows. I think they're hybrids."
"What do you mean? Can these birds interbreed?" Junior Leopard was confused. He had never heard of birds crossbreeding.
"The Dragon Sparrows are so licentious that all of their kind can produce offspring. These two birds look similar, but there are differences. The Dragon Divine Sparrows have cyan streaks in their necks but these two have yellow streaks. What's more, the pattern in their tails shouldn't be so striking. They're probably first-generation hybrids. That means there's definitely another Dragon Divine Sparrow here! That'd be troublesome!"
"How strong are they?"
"They're definitely powerful considering that they're called divine birds. They're born with Level Nine strength and an adult bird has the strength of an Individual Immortal. The strong ones can even reach Genuine Immortal Karma Rank."
"That powerful?" Junior Leopard was surprised but not all that concerned. So what if they were in the Individual Immortal Karma Rank? The Evil Fire Kylin under the earth vein of the Greensword Mountain was in the same rank but he still dealt it great injuries. A bird was just a flat-feather beast. He wasn't afraid as long as it didn't possess true strength.
"Of course it's powerful. The Dragon Divine Sparrows aren't just powerful because of their strength. They're also full of Divine Sense and has an extraordinary mastery of cold ice. You're blessed with good luck but it won't be that easy for you to win against the bird. You should be more careful!"
"I will." Junior Leopard nodded and focused all his attention on the battle.
To be honest, Ji Yeyue intrigued him. It wasn't only because she had an attractive figure or admired him. She had great strength as well.
That was right. He liked her strength!
Her Level Seven strength!
She was a teen expert in a world where there were so few of them. There were only her, Li Xiu, Yan Fei ―who was the eldest son of the Xinning King― and him.
Discounting himself, she was actually the most powerful one of them.
It was probable that the four of them would fight against one another to dominate the entire martial arts world. Unless he managed to make this beautiful leader of Jade Pool into his partner, they would likely be rivals in the future. Now that there was such a great chance for him to witness the true strength of his future rival, he would definitely not miss it. After all, if he knew his enemy and himself, he need not fear losing a battle.
Ji Yeyue wasn't doing too well under the attacks of the talons and iron wings of the two peculiar birds. The birds emanated a chilling glint in their eyes and aggressive spirit, trying to claw her vital parts. She commanded two maroon stripes in her hands, made of neither silk nor satin. They were extremely flexible but more importantly, they were enveloped in red Evil Qi. It was a celestial device that could be coordinated with her Gang Qi. Even if it wasn't in the Extreme Yang level, the device was nevertheless in the Metaphysical early stage. The stripes were like two peculiar pythons, hissing and twisting as they bound the birds without any sense of grandeur.
From the sidelines, Junior Leopard saw everything clearly. The birds weren't harmed despite being trapped by the stripes. They were so powerful that a Metaphysical early stage device wasn't capable of hurting them at all. On the contrary, the stripes would tremble whenever they were attacked by the birds. Each time the stripes trembled, Ji Yeyue would be affected. Her face behind the black vein began to turn pale.
She knew she couldn't let the situation continue. She didn't expect her Supernatural Crimson Silk to be so weak against these birds. How could they be so powerful? How did they come here when she didn't see them here the last time? Could it be…
She thought of a possibility and couldn't help feeling anxious. She wielded her stripes even more rapidly. Red blood surged and transformed into thorns that fired at the birds.
The birds were confused by the sudden attack and were forced backward by their taste. But they quickly regained their wits and responded. The icy spirit instantly enveloped them and blocked all the thorns.
The icy spirit wasn't that smooth in the beginning but grew stronger as it firmed. The surrounding temperature dropped drastically as the icy spirit fully materialized. The faster the birds flapped its wings, the stronger the cold winds became.
The winds repelled the maroon awns and stripes. The Mysterious Level celestial device was finally activated and the awns disappeared. In its place, a layer of hazy red light began to emanate from the stripes.
Swish, swish, swish!
The endless icy spirit vanished like falling snow the minute the red light appeared. The attacks from the two birds also slowed as if they were dreading the light.
One of the birds made a strange cry when it accidentally brushed against the red light. Its body went stiff and it instantly fell on the ground, shivering. The other bird didn't dare to be careless after seeing this and spread its wings, flying out the parameters of the red light. A blue light began to frame the bird, causing all of its iron feathers to stand on its end.
A black iron feather flew out from its wing, transforming into hundreds of imaginary feathers that rained down upon Ji Yeyue.
Dipped in blue light, each feather was like a wizard weapon on its own that carried a thundering force. There wasn't any place for Ji Yeyue to run for cover.
If she couldn't avoid it, then she could only take it head-on. With an angry cry, she wrapped herself in her Supernatural Crimson Silk at the exact moment that the iron feathers rained down on her.
Puff, puff, puff!
The Supernatural Crimson Silk managed to block out every single one of the feathers but it also gradually lost its layer of red light.
The peculiar bird croaked again and charged at Ji Yeyue, who had been exhausted by her continuous use of a celestial device. With this sudden attack, she was forced toward the edge of the pool, so close that she would fall with a single step.
"Be careful, Junior Sister!" Yu Qingyong instantly cried in concern, worried that she would fall.
Ji Yeyue was feeling anxious and gnashed her teeth. She wielded her two stripes, emanating a chilling light.
"She hid her sword in the stripes!" Junior Leopard was stunned.
Swift as the thunder, the chilling light shot directly at the bird.
Everything happened so fast and violently that the peculiar bird that it didn't have any chance of avoiding the light. The bird was hit squarely on its body, sending its feathers flying everywhere.
Ji Yeyue didn't plan to stop. Having pulled off an effective attack, she stepped forward and starlight suddenly appeared in her hands. It burst violently with a silver glow, bringing out an air of Qi so sharp that it threatened to cut the atmosphere.
The attack had sliced off the bird's wing and a growing sense of unease grew inside it. It didn't dare to face off with Ji Yeyue anymore and was trying to retreat, but it was already too late. When the chilling light appeared, it took a step back and narrowly avoided a deathly blow. But it nevertheless sustained heavy injuries and fell to the ground. Just as it was struggling to get up again, the chilling light came close again.
She was pushing the bird too far! Junior Leopard sighed. He then aimed his Blue Sword straight at Ji Yeyue.
The sword radiance from the Blue Sword created a trail of light as it sped past the air before hitting a bird that had appeared behind Ji Yeyue.
The peculiar bird, about ten meters in length, croaked and soared up to the sky, instantly rushing at Junior Leopard.
"Humph!" Junior Leopard sneered and utilized the Dragon Flying Technique with his Extreme Yang Heavenly Sword. Countless tiny golden Sword Qi emanated from his body and attacked the bird.
Puff, puff, puff! His Sword Qi hit the blue light enveloping the bird and successfully forced it to retreat. The bird rapidly rose a hundred feet into the air and directly confronted Junior Leopard.
It was only now that Ji Yeyue and Yu Qingyong finally reacted.
Swift! It was too swift!
The appearance of a third peculiar bird was so instantaneous that it was beyond their imaginations.
Junior Leopard's sudden appearance also surprised them. They didn't expect there would be someone else besides them on this island.
"Be careful, kid! This bird is a real Dragon Sparrow. It has the strength of a Metaphysical Individual Immortal!"
"I understand." Junior Leopard naturally wouldn't take his personal safety lightly. He stepped out of his hiding place and faced off with the bird.
Everything that happened too quickly that Ji Yeyue only realized what was going on when she saw Junior Leopard. When she was trying to deal the peculiar bird the final blow, a third bird had appeared. What was more, the third bird was far bigger and faster than the first two birds she had been battling. If not for this mysterious master, she would have been torn up by the new bird while trying to kill the injured bird on the ground.
"I, Ji Yeyue of Jade Pool, thank you for saving my life!"
"Now isn't the time for courtesy!" Through the mask, Junior Leopard's eyes barely swept over Ji Yeyue before he focused his attention on the Dragon Sparrow.
"Take the other two and leave! This bird is in the Metaphysical Realm. I don't have the confidence to defeat it!"
"Metaphysical Realm?" Ji Yeyue and Yu Qingyong were astonished. Their doubtful gaze drifted from Junior Leopard to the peculiar new bird. Even among everyone in Jade Pool, only their teacher had such an ability! Could this ordinary large bird in front of them possess such a strength?
The bird looked up and burst into a strange cry as if it understood Junior Leopard's words. Its cry was resounding with solid Real Essence Energy. Yu Qingyong couldn't take the pressure and instantly fainted, his body quivering and mouth spewing blood.
Ji Yeyue fared a little better. Her Supernatural Crimson Silk instantly emitted a red glow, blocking her from the worst of the bird's cry. The light vanished with a terrible sound. She was forced backward several steps and spat blood. Still, she was much better off than Yu Qingyong thanks to her celestial device.
The bird's cry also injured Junior Leopard, who could only regain a firm footing after taking several steps backward.
This bird really knew how to bully people using its cultivation! Before Junior Leopard could curse more, the bird appeared before his eyes once again.
He was about to wield his sword for another strike but before he could make his move, a burst of chilling Qi surged around him. He felt his entire body stiffening and everything inside him frozen, handicapping his ability to manipulate Internal Qi. Instead, his Blue Sword flickered and slashed the Dragon Sparrow directly.
The bird didn't expect Junior Leopard's sword to be so powerful and flexible under the pressure of its chilling strength. It wasn't aware that the sword was Junior Leopard's External Elixir, refined by the Heavenly Peach Wood and the Primordial Loach Monster's skull. Naturally, it wouldn't be affected by its chilling strength. While it could freeze Junior Leopard's blood, it was useless against his thoughts. Therefore, his sword remained as sharp and free as it was.
Junior Leopard knew this bird had the cultivation of a Metaphysical Individual Immortal so he didn't dare to restrain himself. With the sword light flashing, he manipulated his silver light sword skill. The net of lighting and the rain of sword Qi completely suppressed the Dragon Sparrow. He then seized the opportunity to activate the black fire in his Dantian, triggering the Internal Qi of the Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire. The Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire and the Primordial Loach Monster was the bane of the bird's chilling strength. So it didn't take long for Junior Leopard to recover.
"What are you waiting around for? I can't protect you for long!" Junior Leopard yelled as he went forward again. He wasn't willing to demonstrate his Nine Dragons Heavenly Fire in front of Ji Yeyue, so he could only use his sword. He had the upper hand for now but the bird was nevertheless a divine bird from the Antiquity TImes. Its sharp claws, iron feathers, and chilling strength were all formidable. More importantly, its cultivation was in the Metaphysical Realm. Though he had the advantage now, his sword alone wasn't enough to defeat the bird.
Ji Yeyue knew the situation was dangerous and it wasn't the time to ask questions. If she stayed here, she might trouble this eccentric person. Carrying her senior and junior brothers on both hands, she disappeared among the bushes.
The bird cried when it noticed the one who killed its offsprings had disappeared. It flapped its wings ferociously, sending harsh whirlwind toward Junior Leopard, and tried to run after Ji Yeyue. Naturally, Junior Leopard wouldn't allow the bird to leave. His sword glowed in a blue light and released its Jade Original Power Gang Spirit at once.
"Dragon Sparrow, oh, Dragon Sparrow. Just stay here obediently and help me practice my sword skill!"