Jiang Chen knew the Mortal Silken Threads very well. They were a rare but deadly material feared not for their physical properties, but for their ability to attack a cultivator’s soul as well. Once the threads latched on, they changed color very quickly. A deep red meant that their victim had both his flesh and soul drained away.
More concerningly, they could attack others from afar. Even nine to fifteen meters of space weren’t enough to mitigate their effects, though the distance did dampen their influence somewhat.
The closer they were to their prey, the more powerful they were. However, a slow and methodical assault from afar was also useful to lull the opponent into a false sense of security. By the time they realized, it was often too late.
Thankfully, Jiang Chen had seen them in the past and knew how dangerous they were. He summoned an absurd amount of magnetic force all around him without hesitation. The surging waves blocked the threads’ brisk aggression.
He charged ahead as a streak of light.
“Where are you trying to go, kid?”
The barricade around him was airtight. Each corner and pathway was meticulously manned.
The one who stood in his way carried a lotus-flower hammer. Jiang Chen was blasted by countless streams of petal-shaped air currents, preventing him from proceeding.
Though this cultivator wasn’t as strong as the white-haired old man, he wasn’t too far off. Jiang Chen wasn’t certain of winning one-on-one, much less breaking through the defenses in a crucial moment.
“Out of my way!” Jiang Chen roared angrily.
He aimed a fierce shot at the cultivator without warning. The other didn’t expect an attack at such close range with minimal preparations; the arrow had appeared almost magically upon the string.
He hastily raised his hammer to block the missile, and Jiang Chen used the momentum to attempt to dash past.
“Where’re you going now, kid?” A sinister voice echoed from the side.
It was none other than Boss Luo. He had said he would assist in the initial attack, but was actually waiting in the wings. He’d been waiting to land that crucial strike and now his opportunity had come!
His own flash of light heralded a two-handed sweeping cut that pointed horizontally at Jiang Chen’s abdomen. It was so sudden and brutal that it could cut through space.
Jiang Chen was astonished. If he were hit by the attack, even his tempered body wouldn’t save him from severe injury. In fact, it was quite possible he would be cut in half.
Without much thought as to the consequences, he summoned a Confounding Puppet to deter the slash. He himself leaped higher into the heavens.
There was a harsh screech of metal on metal. The force behind the slash had been terrifying indeed.
Though the Confounding Puppet was quite sturdy, its arms were nevertheless sliced off by the blow. Thankfully, there was no blood – owing to the fact that the puppet was a mere construct.
Jiang Chen seethed when he saw the damage the puppet had suffered. The Confounding Puppets had been with him for a long time. He considered any damage to them as damage to his own siblings. How could he not be furious?
“I swear vengeance on Warmspring Island as long as I live!” The young man howled in anger.
Boss Luo was a little discouraged by the puppet’s interception of the lethal attack, but his expression quickly turned into a malicious grin once more.
“You think you still have a chance, kid? Lay down and die!”
Everyone could see that though the kid was capable, he couldn’t last much longer under their collective encirclement. It would only take a few more moments for them to get the kill.
The white-haired old man harrumphed softly. “Don’t be too eager for the prize. Keep to your own responsibility. Be careful not to give the kid an opening!”
The old man was concerned that a hole would occur in their formation. That meant an opportunity for their quarry to escape – not exactly something he wanted to see.
Though he had been attacked only a handful of times, Jiang Chen was in a real bind. He had never been so on the back foot in his entire life. Any attack from his assailants could be lethal at any time.
All six cultivators here could threaten him. One or two wouldn’t be enough to kill him, but it wouldn’t be difficult for them to take him down in tandem.
“I have to hold on.” Despite his passiveness, he wasn’t panicked. He had trump cards he’d still yet to play. Even if the Vermilion Bird and his draconic friend couldn’t get here in time, he could depart with his spacetime seal at any time.
The cultivators before him were clearly committed to slaying him; obviously he wasn’t going to let them do as they wished.
“Myriad Abyss lives up to its reputation. Even a place as small as Warmspring Island has many elite experts.” At the same time, Jiang Chen could admit that he had underestimated his enemy.
He had thought a place as minor as Warmspring Island capable of housing two to three empyrean experts at most. It was frankly remarkable that the island had been able to mobilize as many as it had.
He wasn’t going to give up anytime soon though, and wouldn’t activate his spacetime seal until the very last.
“Stop struggling, kid. You don’t have another chance.”
“Forcing us to do all we’ve done… you can consider yourself skilled.”
“Now, you can die!”
The white-haired old man’s Mortal Silken Threads filled the sky once more, cast upon Jiang Chen like a great net. This attack was several times more threatening than his last. It seemed that the old man was giving it all he had.
However, Jiang Chen had a definite plan to counter it. Tendrils from his Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice formed a dual attribute defense all around him. At the same time, he transformed into escaping light once more.
He wanted to use his Lotus’ illusory abilities to trick his opponents. Unfortunately, the white-haired old man had an exceptionally sharp eye.
“A decoy this time?” he harrumphed. His fly-whisk shook, throwing innumerable deadly threads in Jiang Chen’s direction.
Jiang Chen cursed the sly old fox. His heart grew heavy. Would he really need to use his spacetime seal?
It was at this time that a crisp bird call sounded at his ear. The sound was more beautiful to him than any music could possibly be in the world.
In the next instant, waves of fire burned across the skies. It descended to meet the Mortal Silken Threads that threatened Jiang Chen.
The white-haired old man smirked. He didn’t care much about counterattacks of this kind.
“Ridiculous. Normal fire won’t work against my threads.” Indeed, the Mortal Silken Threads were a remarkable material. Standard attacks of any kind failed to damage it in any capacity.
Alas, his smile barely had time to spread before his expression froze. Incredulity bulged from his eyes. His heart skipped a painful beat.
His Mortal Silken Threads, his pride and joy, was being burned by the fiery curtain and disintegrating into ashes at an incredibly rapid pace. The fire touched the handle in almost the next instant.
How could this be?
The white-haired old man felt his blood run cold. Not content with just the threads, the fire was attempting to consume his body as well!
Terrified, he rolled backward in a mad dash to retreat. He was filled with a fear for the unknown.
Jiang Chen was overjoyed. He knew that the Vermilion Bird had finally come.
“Young master Chen, is that you?” The divine creature’s voice sounded in the air.
“Hahaha, you’re finally here. If you’d taken much longer, you’d no longer be able to see me,” Jiang Chen responded in ancient beast language.
The six cultivators from Warmspring Island looked listlessly among themselves, unsure of what the young man was saying. They didn’t know why, but a cloying aura seemed to hang upon their hearts, giving them an apocalyptic pressure that they couldn’t relieve.
The white-haired old man backed off several hundred yards before halting in a daze. His eyes glittered as he glanced into the sky, his dread unabated.
“What is it, venerated elder Lu?” Boss Luo sidled over, his eyes burning with rage. Clearly, he was agitated at not having killed Jiang Chen in the prior effort.
“Be careful, everyone. The kid has a helper!” Though the old man didn’t understand the ancient beast language, the strange voice that had sounded was real enough.
“Hmph, so the kid had a backup plan? Not bad. What are we six scared of though? We’ll just take all of his helpers down too.” Boss Luo’s sinister declaration lacked the old man’s wariness.
Jiang Chen became very relaxed after reuniting with his bestial friends. The Vermilion Bird had finished its rebirth several years ago. After baptism in flame over all these years, it must have recovered to its original peak!