Chapter 507 - Brewing Storm
A whistle sounded from overhead.
This sword whistle was of a different kind of sharpness. It rumbled, heavy as thunder, causing even the sky to tremble.
The illuminated ground before him swayed continuously. Xiahou Jie’s shadow extended amid the constant shaking.
Xiahou Jie subconsciously tilted his head toward the sky. His body turned rigid.
An eye-piercing light ray rapidly magnified in his eyes. The light ray was so intense that he shut his eyes automatically, his mind blanking out.
What… swordplay is this?
The light ray descended so quickly that he was unable to react and could only watch it approach him at an alarming speed.
He was not even able to make out its shape since there was only light in his field of view. Bright, white light.
Xiahou Jie’s final impression of the world was just a sheet of white. Endless bright light, like an ocean of light that he was unable to break free from.
Lost amid the boundless white light, his world gradually turned into complete darkness and emptiness.
Seeing his brother being struck and killed by the sword ray with his own eyes, Xiahou Jun’s tears overflowed. They were twin brothers and had a telepathic connection from a young age. Since they hadn’t been separated before, the pain he felt right now was as if his body and heart had been ripped apart.
In order to escape, they had deliberately distanced themselves, resulting in him being unable to provide support in time.
He simply hadn’t thought about how he could save his brother.
Once again, fireworks started rising from the faraway mountain top.
Xiahou Jun felt emotional. He stopped in his tracks, turned around, and looked toward the sky.
Out of nowhere, a spot of silver light like an unremarkable looking star appeared overhead, but in the blink of an eye, it suddenly and rapidly increased in size.
From darkness to glaring brightness, it only took an instant.
The dazzling white light ray was so piercing that it blinded him like a silver ocean would.
He grinned, hysteria evident in his face. He roared wildly, "Bring it on!"
The surrounding elemental energy gathered toward him like a tide. His body was like a balloon, frantically expanding.
Not only did his eyes reflect the piercing silver light, the reflection of a crazy, angry sea of fire could be seen as well.
Before, there would have been another surge of elemental energy that echoed with his, but now, he was all alone. The space around him, within a 10 meter radius, became bright red.
The devilish red flames were like the tongues of many monsters, sticking out from the emptiness and licking his body.
Xiahou Jun stood in mid air, his legs spread out in a slight squat, as if there was an invisible floor beneath his feet. He clenched his right hand into a fist and turned his body slightly to one side. His entire figure was like a drawn bow.
The devilish red fire traces swifty appeared on his cheeks, causing his sinister grin to look even more terrifying and demonic.
The flames circled around his clenched fist.
He released a punch toward the sky!
The red fist beam shot skyward like a fire pillar. The deafening whizz was about to burn through the blue dome of heaven.
[Yin Flaming Earth Fist]!
This was his Path of Master, originating from hollow Yin fire. Xiahou Jie’s path was the exact opposite–[Yang Flaming Heaven Fist]!
The devilish red fist beam collided with the sharp silver sword ray without the least bit of pretense.
A blazing light ball blossomed abruptly, illuminating the whole Blackfish Mouth mountain range as if it was daytime.
On the Metal Basket Sword Pagoda, the swordsmen shook. There was a rising mist since they were all sweating profusely. Their heavy pants filled the air as their evaporated sweat formed a fog that enveloped the whole pagoda.
Not only was steam rising from Ai Hui’s body, his mouth was filled with a salty bloody taste as he stifled a groan.
His body was weaker than an average elementalist, but he had been dealt a more impactful blow, so he was immediately injured.
"Take three breaths and get ready. Once more."
Ai Hui’s voice was rather hoarse, but his tone remained the same. There was unwavering vigor in his eyes, as if the previous blow had had no impact on him.
The other members could feel Ai Hui’s determination. They spontaneously adjusted their breathing and the raging elemental energy within their bodies.
Three breaths passed in an instant.
The oscillations of the Metal Basket Sword Pagoda stopped as it returned to its original calm. A calm before the storm. Everyone was waiting to take action after having accumulated energy and power. They were like drawn bows waiting to release their arrows.
A brief, but intense, sword chime sounded again.
252 curling sword rays accompanied 252 pairs of hands as they turned and raised their swords, as if adorning a heavy black steel monster with a layer of fine bright silver chain mail.
Fireworks rose in the sky.
Xiahou Jun’s body was covered with blood. He looked up at the mountain peak, which was silent for a brief moment before firework-like sword rays exploded. He grinned.
He knew he wasn’t going to escape today.
He simply stayed where he was, motionless.
The weak were prey for the strong, and his life was about to come to an end. He thought about how he’d committed all sorts of evil deeds in his life. He killed people without feeling any emotions. Such a happy life—not at all bad!
Dying together with his brother and dying under such an exceptional weapon. What was there to be displeased about?
He thought about how shocking this would be for the world. Panicked and lost faces appeared before him.
He laughed out loud, like the hooting of owls, reckless and egotistical. His voice pervaded his surroundings.
The dazzling silver light blossomed overhead and became increasingly brighter, illuminating his malevolent, wild, and bloodstained face. Cast on the ground, his shadow trembled intensely like a candle flame in the wind.
The sword ray descended like a meteorite.
The silver light ray swallowed up that willful and brash shadow, leaving not the smallest trace.
The last remaining enemy had long lost his last trace of resistance and willpower. He shook like a sieve. He raised both arms in the direction of the faraway Blackfish Mouth Volcano. He plopped down on his knees and cried out incoherently with all the strength he had left, "Surrender! I surrender! I surrender!"
A few miles away, Blackfish Mouth Volcano was like an incomprehensible monster occupying its territory. The brightly lit Fishback City was like the monster’s mocking eyes.
He was filled with fear and had no courage left. He had seen with his own eyes how more reputable experts had fallen one after another in front of him. He was about to have a mental break down.
Xiahou Jun’s death was the final blow to his already tensed state of mind.
He broke down completely.
Another firework rose into the sky from that faraway mountain.
His body stiffened, his pale face full of despair. He cried frantically, "No, no, no, I surrender, I surrender. I’ve already surrendered. What else do you want…"
The light ray above his head shone down on his lifeless face and shadow as well as on that helpless despair.
The light ray swallowed everything before the night sky resumed its darkness.
Ai Hui exhaled a deep breath atop the mountain. "Battle over."
His tensed mind loosened and an intense dizziness took over. He tottered and almost fell over, but managed to grab ahold of the pagoda railing before stabilizing himself.
"Boss, are you alright?"
"Are you okay, Boss?"
Members around quickly noticed Ai Hui’s condition and gathered around, faces full of concern.
Lou Lan squeezed his way through with a transparent jade green bamboo pipe. "Medicine, Ai Hui."
Inside the bamboo pipe was an inky black medicinal syrup. Ai Hui removed the cork and gulped it down in one shot. As the syrup entered his throat, he felt a rush of painful heat, as if it was about to burn up. Immediately after, a slight chill gushed to his brain.
Ai Hui felt a burst of energy. "Thank you, Lou Lan."
Lou Lan replied happily, "It’s what I should do."
With a slight cheer in his tone, Ai Hui instructed, "Go clean up the battlefield, the enemies have been crushed."
After a short pause came earth-shattering cheers.
Many of them were completely exhausted, depleted of both elemental energy and physical strength. They plopped down onto the ground with a silly smile on their faces. Members who still had some strength left dove down the mountain like a nest of bees.
Ai Hui stood on the highest point of the Metal Basket Sword Pagoda, fixing his gaze far away.
It had been a close call. The final enemy had almost left his perceptive region. If not for the fact that he had been too scared and chose to surrender, Ai Hui would’ve only been able to watch him as he fled.
Wiping out all the enemies hadn’t been Ai Hui’s plan, but a choice he’d made since he realized he had such a large range of perception.
There were many advantages to wiping out all of the enemies.
One could imagine how the outside world would reevaluate their judgment of the Central Pine Valley’s combat power. More importantly, they had no information about the valley, so they would refrain from acting rashly.
Thus, Ai Hui had killed that last surrendering elementalist without any hesitation.
Ai Hui was different from Master Dou and Yang Xiaodong. He had yet to recover and was no longer a Master. He could bring out the Metal Basket Sword Pagoda’s power, but once he left it, he became a weakling unable to even truss a chicken.
Accommodating a foreign Master at this point was risky since any moment of disloyalty would put Ai Hui into an extremely dangerous situation.
Ai Hui knew just how frail he was.
They would finally have time in future to lead a more peaceful life, so this period was extremely crucial.
This battle had shocked and impacted Ai Hui greatly as well. He was aware that the warfare level of the world had gone up a notch.
Although the Metal Basket Sword Pagoda was his own design, even he, himself, had not expected it to be this mighty!
He could imagine how this battle would trigger all new warfare innovations if the outside world knew about it.
The position of Masters would weaken significantly since ordinary elementalists would be able to increase their combat power intrinsically through accumulation and practice, just like the pagoda.
The God-subduing Peak required a Master to control, but the Metal Basket Sword Pagoda was a step more advanced. It was cheap to construct and did not require a Master to control it. Ai Hui also firmly believed that there were many other ways to verify this fact.
He even wondered if a Metal Basket Sword Pagoda full of Masters would be able to contend against a Grandmaster.
He did not know, but felt it wasn’t impossible. It was difficult for him to imagine what kind of scene would unfold when a sword pagoda formed by a group of Masters completed its attack.
If it was successful, the current idea that Grandmasters were supreme would be subverted. The reason why Grandmasters were at the top was because their strength had reached another realm. A realm that human strength and accumulation could not defeat.
Ai Hui felt a storm brewing.
What would future battles become? He did not know, but what he knew was that future battles would undergo major changes.
It was this vague premonition that made Ai Hui determined to not let off any enemies. He had to protect the secret of the Metal Basket Sword Pagoda.
He wasn’t ready. The Sword of Lightning wasn’t ready.