Chapter 285 - Panicked State
Not even ten minutes after Ai Hui left, two lightflows broke through the sky as two silhouettes, one male and one female, landed on the ground.
The man was tall and handsome, his eyes exceptionally clear and bright. He held a longsword and his gestures were graceful but fear-evoking.
Shock was evident in the lady’s voice as she realized that the head on the ground belonged to Shi Youguang. His expression was sinister and his eyes were wide open, a clear sign that he died with a remaining grievance.
The man squatted to inspect Shi Youguang’s head. The slash was cleanly done and there was no signs of sloppiness. Looking at the headless corpse not far away, the man imagined the fight scenario in his head and his expression turned grave. "Outstanding swordplay!"
The lady asked curiously, "Perhaps one of your people? A swordsman from Karakorum?"
The man shook his head. "I heard that the thief is called Chu Zhaoyang. Not one of us. But we did observe him. His skills are pretty good, just that he has a low base level and has yet to attain elemental externalization. Looks like he’s actually much more powerful than we first thought."
Karakorum always had much interest in swordsmen who somewhat famous.
The man continued, "I had thought initially that Great Wei’s words were a diversion tactic but seeing Shi Youguang’s corpse now, I’m quite convinced."
The lady asked in shock, "Don’t tell me you too, believe Great Wei’s excuse?"
"It’s a fact that Chu Zhaoyang managed to defeat Shi Youguang, so he’s really not as simple as we thought. He has some hidden abilities. Moreover, he has a lot of wisdom. There’s no way Great Wei would destroy Auspicious, which means that explosion was Chu Zhaoyang’s doing."
"Is he really that powerful?" The lady asked in disbelief.
"Judging from his head and body, that fatal slash easily snapped Shi Youguang’s neck. His head did not receive a big impact since it did not float far. It is extremely challenging to execute such a heavy blow in a light manner during a frontal confrontation."
The man then flipped Shi Youguang’s corpse over. His sword mastery was excellent and he could naturally tell that the perpetrator had an outstanding level of skills.
Shi Youguang’s body was completely naked and the lady turned her head in revulsion.
"Shi Youguang is not a simple fellow as well. Look at his corpse. A third of it had become sand."
The man reached his hand out to press on Shi Youguang’s skin and a portion of quicksand emerged. It was a strange sight. A few minutes after dying, the elemental energy within a body undergoing sandification would gradually dissipate and the area of sandification would transform into quicksand.
"He actually transfigured his own body?" The girl’s voice became louder suddenly, her face full of fear.
Body modification was taboo yet by no means extinct.
Essentially, elementalists’ training was an energization process which deepened the elemental energy within their bodies. The faster the energization, the greater the elemental energy storage, which meant a better mobilization of the heaven and earth elemental energy.
At the beginning, body modification was used to help disabled elementalists. Its effectiveness then became apparent since not only did the elementalists’ abilities not decline, they actually became more powerful.
Elementalists who transfigured their bodies could garner tremendous force in a short period of time and their initial training speed far exceeded that of the average elementalists. Some extremists began to use pure ingredients to modify their bodies in order to expedite the energization process.
For a period of time, it was fashionable to have had one body modification done.
But as the number of body modifying elementalists increased, malpractice and abuse set in.
No matter how exquisite the ingredients’ grade was, they were ultimately man-made. The human body was rather amazing. With further developments, the foreign, man-made matter started getting rejected more apparently by the human bodies.
The fatal part was that such repulsion would affect one’s intelligence and temperament. Many elementalist who had undergone modifications started acting strange and irritable, and started developing a liking for slaughter. Within a short period of time, many cases of violence by transfigured elementalists shocked the whole Avalon of Five Elements. Eventually, the Elders Guild personally ordered the Thirteen Divisions to hunt and take down those transfigured elementalists.
From then on, transfigured elementalists were regarded as taboo and whoever followed their path would be killed.
Hence, the lady was seriously in shock when she realized Shi Youguang was actually a transfigured elementalist.
The man wasn’t surprised by her reaction. Instead, he nodded, "And that’s why I said Chu Zhaoyang isn’t simple."
The lady was now convinced. Transfigured elementalists were much stronger than normal ones and their survival means were weirder as well. Chu Zhaoyang must not be weak if he managed to take down a transfigured elementalist.
"Then let’s head to Magic Cloud City?" The lady asked.
The man shook his head. "No, let’s keep our eyes on Great Wei Enterprise."
He muttered to himself, eyes flickering with wisdom and quick-wittedness. "There’s something suspicious here. If Chu Zhaoyang was a thief trying to blend into the Great Wei’s caravan and finally defeated Shi Youguang down upon crossing paths when he was trying to escape, his first reaction should be to flee far away as opposed to loot. Of course, it’s possible that he’s a money grubber but chances are low. Such a wise and crafty person should be able to control his emotions well. I’m starting to doubt Great Wei."
He raised his head and revealed a confidence smile. "Let’s watch. If the item is in Chu Zhaoyang’s hand, they would definitely find a way to get it back. That will help us locate him as well. If they were lying, they would find ways to leave."
The lady said sweetly, "I’ll listen to you!"
Ai Hui had been flying non-stop and as fast as lightning for a whole day and night, changing directions a few times midway. When he was certain that no one was following behind, he stopped by an empty valley to rest.
He could feel his whole body falling apart.
After descending, he found an isolated corner before popping another elemental energy bean into his mouth to drive his elemental energy for the Circulatory Cycle Revolution.
That short fight had engaged all his wisdom, experience and, perseverance and strength such that he almost collapsed from exhaustion during that moment of victory. However he dared not stay long and quickly fled all the way here like a stray dog.
A stray dog was a stray dog. He had no poise but surviving was more important.
To fly a day and night straight in that worn out state, Ai Hui had been completely relying on his excellent willpower. But he had already reached his limit. These past three years, he had been involved in many battles of different scales but he never allowed himself to fall into such a pitiable state.
The pure essence of elemental energy was like gluey mercury, circulating within his body.
Ai Hui’s body was like dried up mud, which tirelessly and diligently absorbed moisture from the rain.
He seemed to have lost consciousness. It was his instinct driving the Circulatory Cycle Revolution. One after another revolution transformed the pure elemental energy into wisps that entered his five residences and eight palaces, and his limbs and bones. They were being absorbed by the flesh and Ai Hui’s withered body began to sprout and flourish once again.
An unknown number of revolutions later, the wisps of elemental energy steadily seeped out from every corner of Ai Hui’s body to rejoin the Circulatory Cycle Revolution. Following it, they gradually turned into elemental energy sword pills, which were unique to Ai Hui.
When Ai Hui woke up, he felt as though his whole body had been cleansed. It felt indescribably empty and pure.
When he checked the elemental energy within his body, the elemental energy sword pills made clear, crisp sounds and the odor became abnormally introverted. If the pills from the past were somewhat thorny, the pills now were perfectly round and smooth without any sharpness.
There was vigor within his body. His whole person became exceptionally clear and pure.
It was his first time experiencing something like this.
Just then, Ai Hui’s body jolted and his mind rumbled, as if a big gate had been opened within.
He seemed to have seen countless silvery light pouring out like a flood from Silver Mist River, drowning him in an instant as his mind went blank.
All of a sudden, the area between his brows lit up and a silver whirlpool gradually took shape. Elemental energy from the his surroundings came pouring into the whirlpool from all directions.
The elemental energy first entered and filled the sky palace, so much that Ai Hui’s brain felt overfed and was about to explode.
Ai Hui’s remaining thread of consciousness told him that the most important thing to do now was to start the Circulatory Cycle Revolution!
Following the Circulatory Cycle Revolution, the congested sky palace finally found an opening for drainage.
The influx of elemental energy was simply too high, causing Ai Hui’s circulatory cycle revolution to lose control.
A huge volume of elemental energy was like a havoc-wrecking deluge, destroying everything in its path and flooding whatever possible openings and crevices. The speed of the Circulatory Cycle Revolution far exceeded what was usual.
A black, fishy-smelling matter started seeping out of Ai Hui’s skin. This continued for a period of time before the black substance gradually faded.
By now, Ai Hui had already recovered his spirits and could feel the elemental energy within his body filling up. The absorption of elemental energy by his sky palace had also slowed down quite a bit and the whirlpool between his brows started to shrink.
Once the whirlpool between his brows closed up completely, he would attain elemental externalization!
Just then, the blood plum blossom in Ai Hui’s chest lit up with a devilish bloody glow and started wildly sucking in elemental energy. The circulating elemental energy, which had practically come to a stop, began operating once again and the whirlpool between his brows, which had started to close up, stopped shrinking.
The sudden change of events caught Ai Hui off guard.
The blood plum blossom was like a bottomless pit, greedily and incessantly swallowing elemental energy. The elemental energy within his body started operating quicker and quicker. What frightened Ai Hui more was the fact that the elemental energy whirlpool between his brows had actually started to enlarge.
Ai Hui’s body had already been cleansed by the elemental energy and if the energy continued pouring in, his body would gradually collapse and combust under the powerful current.
Overdoing was as bad as insufficiency.
The surrounding elemental energy formed a halo around Ai Hui and elemental energy within a radius of about two miles gushed wildly toward the valley. An underground metal vein of ore exuded silk threads of silvery light, which seeped out towards Ai Hui, who was above ground.
Ai Hui tried all sorts of ways but the current within his body did not slow down and the blood plum blossom wasn’t affected all as it continued absorbing the elemental energy avariciously.
What oozed out from Ai Hui’s skin was no longer that black, fishy-smelling matter but drops of fresh blood. In the blink of an eye, Ai Hui looked as if he was covered in blood .
Ai Hui’s skin started to crack as silvery light seeped out. It looked exceptionally scary.
Just then, the all along quiet bandage seemed to have smelled the odor of a prey.