Bai Yunfei wasn’t the only one surprised; Ta Shan was even more surprised!
Ta Shan clearly felt his sword ‘hit’ something, but Bai Yunfei looked completely unharmed from that collision!
“Impossible! How did he take on that strike!”
Incredulous, Ta Shan began to inspect Bai Yunfei. As Ta Shan’s eyes observed him, he soon noticed the floating Cataclysmic Seal right next to Bai Yunfei, “That soul armament! It isn’t a defensive item. It seems to be an extremely rare item that can make energy barriers, a strong barrier in fact!”
“Hehe… it’s no wonder you came after me yourself; you’ve all these strong soul armaments with you, but do you think you can rely on those to win against someone who’s a higher level than you!?” Ta Shan barked in laughter.
He despised those who relied on soul armaments like Bai Yunfei, but that didn’t mean he would underestimate them. For a moment, his entire body glowed bright with an orange light, and the next second, the ground around him began to climb up his body. Surprised, Bai Yunfei could only watch in silence for the next three seconds as a ‘stone man’ began to take form in front of him.
It was a defensive type soul skill, Terra Armor!
Ta Shan was already a tall and bulky man in his own right, but as soon as the Terra Armor fully encapsulated him, he grew to a height of three meters. He was like a veritable mountain in stature. Only his blood-thirsty eyes could be seen within the armor. The giant stone sword had ‘fused’ into his hand.
Now that this ‘transformation’ was complete, Ta Shan saw no reason to speak any more. Pushing off against the ground, Ta Shan shot straight for Bai Yunfei with the momentum of a war chariot!
This was the first time Bai Yunfei had ever seen a soul cultivator fight with a ‘get-up’ like this. Assuming that Ta Shan wouldn’t be able to move as quickly as an earth-type soul cultivator, Bai Yunfei prepared to use the Wave Treading Steps to move out of the way and exploit any holes in Ta Shan’s defenses. However, he had miscalculated one thing.
He was up against a Soul Exalt of all people!
“Fast!!” The thought of attacking Ta Shan immediately bled away from Bai Yunfei’s mind since… the supposed ‘cumbersome’ Ta Shan was coming at him at a breakneck speed!
Of all the elements in the world, earth was thought to be one of the slowest, but the explosiveness of a Soul Exalt’s strength was beyond what Bai Yunfei could account for.
When the giant rock sword was practically upon him, all Bai Yunfei could do was activate his barrier and hope for the best.
Like before, the barrier remained upright and in one piece, but the blow was still hefty enough to worry Bai Yunfei. Bai Yunfei was unable to stop himself as he took a single step back. He then grit his teeth and stabbed out with his spear.
Soul Exalts generally enjoyed using the powers of elements to attack their enemies head-on. As such, Ta Shan was an aberration to Soul Exalts since he enjoyed close quarters combat where he could crush his enemies into a pulp. Each swing of his mighty sword required practically no exertion, and even Bai Yunfei’s Fire-tipped Spear would be powerless against it.
There was still a sliver of fear, of the explosion the spear might bring, so Ta Shan was reluctant to clash tips with his sword. No matter how much confidence he had in his armor, he wasn’t willing to task that big of a risk.
Bai Yunfei tried his best to take the upper hand for several exchanges, but every move he made was fruitless. Every move Ta Shan made in response seemed like they were made in casual jest. There were no holes in his defense. After several exchanges, Bai Yunfei felt as though Ta Shan was playing with him rather than fighting him!!
“As I thought… even though I’ve regained my strength, I still can’t fight against a person as strong as him?” Defending himself against two mighty strikes, Bai Yunfei sighed in slight vexation.
“What if…” A flash of inspiration ran through Bai Yunfei’s eyes, “What if I used my ‘special’ technique!?”
Parrying another blow with his spear, Bai Yunfei spun the spear around his waist to transfer it to his left hand. Jumping up as he did so, he leaped three meters up to where Ta Shan’s head was!
Leaping into the air meant that Bai Yunfei wouldn’t be able to move out of the way or put enough force behind any strike he made; this meant that Bai Yunfei had left himself wide open!
“You’re going to die!!” Ta Shan barked in laughter.
As he prepared to swing his sword, Ta Shan saw a brilliant gleam of light appear when Bai Yunfei raised his right arm. The next second, a nearly two-meter-long blade of fire appeared above over the same arm!
Thanks to the effects of gravity, Bai Yunfei was starting his descent back to the ground when the Flame Winged Dagger appeared. Borrowing the momentum of his fall, Bai Yunfei turned his body so that the Flame Winged Dagger would slice down on Ta Shan’s head!
“What soul skill is this!?” Ta Shan exclaimed; this move was simply far too sudden for him to expect.
Due to its unexpectedness, Ta Shan had to forego his attack. He raised his left hand to shield the weakest part of his body—his eyes.
The Flame Winged Dagger exploded upon contact with the coarse arm of Ta Shan, leaving a wave of fire to pour over his body afterwards. While the fire surged over his body, Ta Shan waved his other arm so to blow open a crack in the fire.
He was unharmed by the fire, but the Flame Winged Dagger left a darkened mark on his armor. This mark was by no means a wound to worry about.
Despite not doing a thing against Ta Shan, the Flame Winged Dagger had accomplished its task of robbing Ta Shan of his eyesight for a moment.
By the time Ta Shan lowered his arm, he was greeted with the sight of Bai Yunfei’s spear stabbing into his chestplate!
This time, he was unable to defend himself. Eyes dilating in shock, Ta Shan’s mind was shouting that he should try to evade as fast as possible. Even though he had faith in his armor, he still shouldn’t take this blow!
A strange sight occurred when Ta Shan’s right hand twitched. From the very back of his stone armor, cracks appeared on the surface like ripples of water before a single figure ‘broke’ from it in retreat; that figure was Ta Shan!
Somehow managing to eject himself from his armor, Ta Shan was able retreat and leave behind the shell as a shield!
The events that happened after that went as Ta Shan expected.
As soon as he fully detached from his stone armor, the spear stabbed into it. With an ear-piercing explosion, the Fire-tipped Spear exploded at the tip and blew apart his entire armor!
“That spear is definitely strange! I can’t be hit by it!!” Retreating to a safe spot a hundred meters away, Ta Shan shook away the lingering fear from his head. As he looked at Bai Yunfei, the light in his eyes was no longer as playful as before.
“Tsk! Then let’s try this!” Foregoing the idea of close quarters combat, Ta Shan changed his fang-shaped stone sword into a more spherical bat-shaped weapon. Priming the weapon behind him, the muscles on Ta Shan’s arms bulged in a mighty display of strength before he swung the weapon!
Swinging in a half-circle, the soul armament flickered orange in color as several stone spikes detached from the soul armament and flew toward Bai Yunfei like arrows!
There were roughly a hundred of these stone spikes. They covered a huge area. As they flew, several spikes trailed behind the others in hopes of striking down Bai Yunfei. Left with barely any room to dodge, all Bai Yunfei could do was have the Cataclysmic Seal summon another barrier for him to hide behind.
“Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!!” Slamming against the barrier with a rhythmic staccato, the stone spikes were stopped stone-cold. They were reduced to nothing more than sand and dirt.
The barrage continued for three whole seconds. During that time, Bai Yunfei came to a startling discovery—the barrier was starting to tremble!
With each successful spike it defended against, the barrier would weaken in color by a smidgen, and Bai Yunfei could feel his soulforce slipping into the Cataclysmic Seal as it tried to replenish the barrier’s strength.
At last, the barrage came to an end with the barrier at about half the intensity as before.
Bai Yunfei let out a sigh of relief. Taking notice of the cloud of dust around him, Bai Yunfei was startled to see a black figure come running through the cloud and swing a giant sword down toward his head!!
Visible to the horrified eyes of Bai Yunfei, the giant stone sword of Ta Shan slammed squarely into the barrier. It broke through what was once thought to be an invincible barrier!!
This orange-flashing sword of Ta Shan still possessed enough strength to come smashing down on Bai Yunfei’s head!