Clear blue sky stretched 'till the edge of the Cosmo. Against this perfect backdrop, scattered clouds floated quietly with the wind. Mirroring this gorgeous shade of blue, the emerald green field that extended as far as the eyes could see completed this stunning portrait.
What the eyes cannot see beyond this picturesque portrayal of nature was the tension in the air.
More than a dozen hideous beasts had caught up with Ling Xian. He was surrounded on all sides by vengeful beasts seeking to end his life.
Leading the pack was the Emerald Eyed Snow Lion. The beast was also visibly the most agitated of all creatures, its roars creating a dust storm that echoed its hatred for Ling Xian.
This human was the cause of its blindness in one eye. It had sought revenge ever since that incident. The beast couldn't contain itself, ready to pounce at any moment.
The storyline between Ling Xian and the Lion was a straightforward one. The Lion confronted Ling Xian for killing one of its companions. He had expected a swift victory but instead received an epic beating that saw it escaping without its eye and barely with its life.
That was no ordinary eye. The Emerald Eyed Snow Lion was only a beast of the ninth realm, but it came from a long and rare line of species. It was placed 103rd on the list of rarest beasts to ever exist inside the Taoism Community.
The reason was that the Lion was born with a set of emerald colored eyes similar to the Setting of Heaven and Earth. The eyes yielded an incredible power - a gaze can temporarily freeze time and suspend all that was happening. Although not the strongest power amongst magic of a similar caliber, if used properly, it can turn a battle in an instant by freezing the opponent in time and launch a fatal counter-attack to claim victory.
What is the Setting of Heaven and Earth?
It is the seventh most valuable artifact ever created, a dream of all cultivators dead and alive.
Unfortunately for Lions born with this gift, they never needed to learn to fight without their eyes. As a result, when they lose an eye, they would have lost the only weapon that kept them both relevant and dominant.
The tragedy just described here happened to this particular Lion. Relying on this powerful weapon, it had dominated the realm for many years, bullying other occupants and submitting only to the four Almighty Rulers and the Privy Council. It was a much-hated beast amongst its own kind.
Now, with only one eye, its powers had been reduced by half.
The Lion was handicapped. The victims of its past bullying had joined forces and driven it out of its home. The Lion became a homeless wanderer, thanks to Ling Xian.
Unsurprisingly, the Lion believed so as well. Ling Xian was the cause of all its misery.
It never occurred to the beast that it had no one to blame but itself.
One can only say, an eye for an eye, no one is in the wrong. The Lion wanted to avenge its companion. Ling Xian was acting in self-defense.
If it were to blame something, it could only blame human nature, or animal instinct, or question life itself.
Ling Xian never intended to become a cold-blooded killer. Since entering the Hidden Territory, every kill had been in self-defense, starting with the Golden Tiger.
Since then, endless battles, endless bloodbaths, nonstop running.
Hatred was sinking deeper and deeper into every living being.
By now, the situation was unrecoverable. No need for discussions only fights to the death.
No matter how many came today, they would all die!
Ling Xian glared back at the Lion and smirked, "This is all you have, a dozen beasts? You've forgotten about last time? Perhaps you want to gift me your other eye!"
"Damn, you arrogant humans!"
Ling Xian's words hit a sore spot. The Lion was furious, "You can't hide your injuries. This pitiful display of strength, who do you think you are fooling? You're dead meat!"
"Ha, ha, ha…" Ling Xian bellowed, gesturing the beast to come forward with his fingers. "Then come! But I warn you, the price of defeat this time is not an eye, but your life!"
Seeing that Ling Xian was showing no fear, the Lion let out a cold sneer. However, it was hesitating. Ling Xian had left such an impression during the last battle that recalling the details that occurred last time sent an anxious shiver down the Lion's massive spine.
More importantly, the Lion was not certain how bad the human's injuries were. But it doesn't matter. Its mission this time was not to kill him, it was merely to stall him long enough for the other, stronger beasts to arrive.
"What, are you scared of me now? Or perhaps, are you waiting for reinforcement?" Ling Xian thought to himself. A moment later, he decided the Lion was indeed attempting to stall him. He became rather concerned, not for his own safety, but the safety of people who were waiting for him to rescue them."
"You're right, I am waiting for reinforcement. The Bare Winged Crane has made its orders clear - find you, stall you, and it'll personally come to finish you. My guess is the Crane is on its way, and you are about to meet your creator," the Lion announced, proudly, hoping to witness a hint of fear from the human.
The Lion was destined to be disappointed.
"That mix-feathered bird." Ling Xian recalled his earlier encounter with the Crane, now full of excitement and anticipation.
"You wish to stall me, I never agreed to that."
Focusing his gaze through his dark, loose hair, strings of air began to swirl around Ling Xian's body. In the palm of his right hand, a sword with a bloodstained blade appeared.
The Sword of Extinction!
Immediately, he refocused his gaze, summoned all his powers, and lifted and concentrated his Reiki up through his chest. Continuing through the sixth realm and stopping when he reached the eighth realm.
One of the key mastery skills he had acquired - Rising of the Amplitude.
He was not finished.
A silvery flame began to swallow Ling Xian's body from head to toe. Wrapping around it and protecting it while igniting the air around it, sending temperatures close to a boiling point. The entire Cosmo seemed on the verge of collapse.
The Flame of Purity had blasted through the air.
Then the sky above the battle began to darken. A multitude of stars began rising into the empty sky. The air around the battlefield had been consumed by a depressing halo.
The Heaven Shadowing Palm Technique had descended.
Terrifying weapons were awakened one after another, their collective power stretched out towards the four edges of the Cosmo.
The battled had climaxed.
Ling Xian was growing increasingly worried about the fate of Ling Tian Xiang and the rest of the Clan. He summoned every power he had, risked worsening his injuries and prayed that this battle ends soon.
"Emerald Eyed Snow Lion, come meet your death!"
Ling Xian bellowed, exuding a mighty force that would frighten even the most fearsome creatures ever conceived by Heaven and Earth.
"Why hasn't the Bare Winged Crane arrived yet?" Seeing that Ling Xian was pulling out all stops to end this battle as quickly as possible, The Emerald Eyed Snow Lion began to grow restless. The beast was growing weaker by the minute, overcome by a growing fear of the human standing alone in front of its mighty army.
The Lion had witnessed battles identical over the past days to the one it was now witnessing. The outcomes were also identical - dozens of beasts against this merciless killing machine, all turned to dust by the end of the battle.
The Lion was beginning to explore the option of escaping with its own life and abandoning its troops to their fate. However, the thought of being punished by the fearsome Crane made it restrain itself. The beast shivered, then, biting down on its teeth, yelled with all the determination it could master, "He's heavily injured, he won't last long! Everyone, do not be afraid, kill him!"
Before the sound of the Lion's voice fell, all remaining beasts let out a collective roar, summoned their powers and pounced towards the man surrounded by the silvery flame.
In an instant, fireballs, sharpened blades, water guns, lightning balls simultaneously dashed toward Ling Xian. Every possible shade of the color spectrum exploded in unison to create an enchanted festival of lights. Magic filled the air and extended beyond the Cosmo.
"Come to die!"
Ling Xian took a giant leap forward. The earth beneath him cracked. He chose not to evade this powerful incoming force. Instead, he chose to confront it head on. Swinging his right hand, The Sword of Extinction appeared to let out a blinding flash of light that lit up the sky.
Magical Reiki collided with a spell, a gargantuan wave exploded out of thin air.
Ling Xian moaned in pain. His internal injuries were yet to completely heal. However, confronted with such an army of beasts, his only chance at ending this battle swiftly was by direct combat. There was no time to waste. People were waiting to be saved.
In the blink of an eye, Ling Xian landed directly in front of an unknown beast. Without a moment of hesitation, he summoned up a killer spell and pushed it out through his palms.
Before the beast could react, its head was being ripped from its body. The beast screamed in agony. A waterfall of blood rained down on its lifeless body. Ling Xian was already onto the next opponent. He had to end this speedily.
"The Heaven Shadowing Palm Technique!"
Ling Xian yelled, and an enormous hand emerged from behind. The sun and the sky disappeared behind this giant cloud of darkness. The power of its grip simultaneously ripped apart two giant beasts in the process.
More blood splattered. Bones and fragments of unrecognizable body parts flew in every direction.
In only a few short moments, three beasts had been murdered. This was a not a battle, this was a massacre.
A massacre committed by Ling Xian against over a dozen beasts inside a magical realm.
"Damn, this killer is too strong. We can't hold him for much longer!" The Emerald Eyed Snow Lion thought to itself. An idea suddenly flashed across his eye. The Lion turned to a heavily armored Rhinoceros and blinked. Then the Lion bellowed, "Come fight me to the death if you dare!"
"Fight to the death?"
Ling Xian laughed hysterically. Ripping out the heart of the Silver-Mooned Wolf he was battling and tossing the wolf's corpse into the air, he sneered, "You think you are a match for me?!"
Without a pause, Ling Xian headed straight for the Lion. The surrounding beasts retreated in fear and uncertainty, carving out a perfect path between him and the Lion.
"But since you wish to die, then let me help you."
Ling Xian tossed the Sword of Extinction into the air and blasted a sharp spell that collided with the sword in midair. Instantaneously, the bloodstained sword morphed into a 30 feet weapon with a laser edge that was coming straight down towards the Lion.
"Now's the time!"
The Emerald Eyed Snow Lion let out a devious smirk. In the blink of an eye, the Lion disappeared under a cloud of smoke, reappearing 10 feet away.
The giant sword touched the earth, the ground underneath instantly broke in half. The crack raced towards either end, beasts scattered in fear.
"The Amulet of Broken Air?" Ling Xian was slightly startled but quickly regained his composure. "That's what you've got. Not a second time, let's see what else you've got!"
"Who said I was hiding from you?" The Lion let out a ferocious laughter and yelled, "Steel-Armored Rhino, CHARGE!!!"
The Lion's command was immediately followed by a distant, earth-shattering noise. The Rhino could be seen stomping on the earth where it stood, creating a suspicious wavelike force that charged towards Ling Xian and threw him high into the air.
Ling Xian's heart sank. He was helplessly suspended in midair without an ounce of strength to retaliate. There was nothing he could do except wait for that fatal blow.
"I'm not wrong, what comes next is the Lion's specialty."
He was not wrong. A blinding flash of emerald struck his dangling body.
This spell was indeed a specialty of the Emerald Eyed Snow Lion. As feared as the devilish forces of the Setting of Heaven and Earth, anyone who has been struck by it would instantly be paralyzed where he is suspended. All his spells would be contained, and there would be nothing left for him except imminent death.
Ling Xian felt the color of his flesh draining from his face. A magical power locked his body in place. He tried, but couldn't move. Frowning, he thought to himself, [Nothing to do now except take what's coming.]
"Ha, ha, ha. Everyone, unleash your spells, let's finish this killer!" The Emerald Eyed Snow Lion roared with laughter.
The remaining beasts surrounded Ling Xian from all sides and simultaneously aimed their spells at him. The numerous spells collided and lit up the darkened sky.
Amongst these spells, a charcoal colored tiger unleashed a giant paw print, which landed directly in front of Ling Xian's hapless gaze.
A thousand pounds hung by a thread.