YinKong felt an explosion inside her head. A big wave of killing intent emerged all at once.Yet, she then recalled the scene she experienced inside the Valley of Harrowdale. That man with a gentle smile… The him in the past truly cherished her and all his brothers and sisters. That man was the person in front, Zhao ZhuiKong.
He gave YinKong a look of surprise. “Not bad. You learned to conceal your killing intent. We are both assassins. So remember, never show your killing intent before your target dies.” He slowly walked toward YinKong.
YinKong clenched her teeth. She stared without a word as he walked past her. The moment their bodies crossed path, she asked. “What are you going to do?”
“To kill your comrades of course. Was there a need to ask?” ZhuiKong kept a smile on his face and said without turning around.
YinKong slashed her sword without a second thought. The invisible sword sliced through his upper body. Yet, there was no feeling of cutting into anything. A second later, she found two fingers placed by her neck. ZhuiKong had moved to her back before she realized. The sword merely sliced through a shadow.
“You are not a good girl to block me. I can’t afford to offend the other man but this one is at his weakest. Plus, he hasn’t reached the power I was hoping. Death is the best for him. Otherwise, he disgraces that strongest potential.” ZhuiKong said, smiling.
YinKong stared coldly. “If you want to kill him… or them, you will have to walk over my dead body! Haven’t you wanted to kill me for so long already? Why not just do it now?”
ZhuiKong tilted her head up by the chin. He moved to the front of her then kissed her lips. Strangely, YinKong didn’t bite him this time nor expressed hatred. Two lines of tears rolled down her pearlescent face. Her tears couldn’t stop as he kissed her.
“ZhuiKong, you had your reasons right? The you that had always protected me and everyone, you had your reasons right?” As their lips separated, YinKong calmly said but the shine on her eyes were dim.
ZhuiKong’s smile faded. Along with it was the coldness in his eyes. It felt complex, unable to express himself in words, and with a hint of vulnerability. This psychopathic assassin actually showed vulnerability.
As soon as his eyes showed humanity, his body quivered as if he was going through an extreme pain. He uttered one word at a time. After he said only the second word, a wave of frost rose behind him. Several ice spears shot through the frost with a force that aimed to pierce through the two of them!
ZhuiKong’s eyes instantly changed back to sharp and cold. Without turning his head, he grabbed YinKong with one arm and moved a dagger to his back with the other. The dagger quickly blocked the ice spears as they approached him. He used the force from the impact to leaped forward.
The two of them were standing on the hillside. This leap brought him off the cliff that was several hundred feets above the ground. However, ZhuiKong floated down along with the wind. Three seconds later, YinKong discovered his secret. He somehow floated in the wind like a piece of paper, unaffected by the acceleration from gravity. He floated down at a steady speed that wouldn’t damage him upon landing. It was as if he jumped from a two meter high place.
The frost did not stop spreading after they reached the bottom of the cliff. They heard Gungnir’s mad shout. “Come! Come kill me! Didn’t you subdued me and my team with a sneak attack? Didn’t you skinned them right in front of me? Didn’t you castrated me then buried me alive in the swamp? I am here right now! Come kill me!”
This was indeed the voice of Gungnir, leader of team Northern Ice Land. He had used his Ice Age. The skill had limited duration like Zheng’s Destruction but its AOE power way surpassed Destruction. The several hundred cubic meter area of frost quickly expanded and turned the hillside into a large frozen boulder by the time ZhuiKong and YinKong landed. The roar of the frost was pressing down from twenty meters above the two.
“Fuck! I used up all my saved energy stones! Fuck sustain and surviving! I will kill you first even if I am going to turn into a ghost! This is the strongest power of Logia Devil Fruits! I am nature! Who dares to rival nature?”
Gungnir had obviously gone insane. His voice echoed from the most intense part of the frost. As he continued to release his power, a thick layer of ice covered a thousand meter area, despite Mordor being a place of fire, and being so near to Mount Doom.
ZhuiKong did not showed any concern at the frost chasing after him. He casually walked with YinKong in his arms. But his actual speed was much faster than the frost. The two parties ran with one chasing the other.
ZhuiKong jumped on top of a boulder then suddenly stopped. He smiled at the approaching frost. “I am curious… You mentioned energy stones, correct?”
The frost split up and surrounded the two people instead of sweeping at them. Gungnir’s voice came through. “Correct! I admit I am not qualified to use the strongest power of Logia fruit. The power of the Hie Hie no Mi rivals the force of nature. Only those who unlocked the fifth stage and gained control over energy can possess such power. I rely on energy stones to use this power!”
ZhuiKong nodded. “Oh, good then…” He stomped several times with his foot. The force shattered the boulder he was standing on. At the same time, the frost swept at him and YinKong.
Right before the frost reached the two people, boiling water and steam rose from the ground around them. The water froze upon coming in contact with the frost but it continued coming out as if there was an endless supply. In just two seconds, they heard Gungnir’s wails.
“The fourth stage has an ability called infinitesimal control. Every time I touched the ground, I can feel what is buried underneath. The rebound force from the ground, the flow of water, the lava. The mountain over there is a volcano. Underneath the ground here is the water from a hot spring. Its temperature is quite high.” ZhuiKong said.
He didn’t merely stomped the ground several times as they could see with their eyes. Every one of his stomps was formed by dozens of stomps in continuous succession. The hundred stomps he did created a resonance that shattered the ground. Then the hot spring and steam burst out from around him. His mastery of infinitesimal control was beyond imaginable.
“And then look at how much time you spent chasing. How much energy do you have left? I think you can freeze this area. I am standing in the center. Freeze my feet and I won’t be able to run.” He said with a smile.
The frost that was Gungnir collided with the hot water and steam. Each impact reduced the intensity of the frost’s coldness by a little. The steam’s temperature way exceeded the boiling point of water. This steam was trapped in the ground all this time and its temperature kept increasing. Endless steam burst out from the ground at this opportunity. Even the two people in the middle felt the heat, not to mention the frost that was taking the steam directly.
The frost finally broke through the steam but it could no longer remain its form. Gungnir appeared in front of them with his upper body in human form and his lower body remained part of the frost. ZhuiKong wasn’t in the mood to waste time talking with him. He flashed by Gungnir. The next moment, Gungnir’s head was in his hand.
“Such a powerful ability… Unfortunately, you don’t have the potential. You are also not the cute unripe apple… Yo, YinKong. I will spare your comrades for now. You have to tell him that if he doesn’t want to die, grow as fast as he can. He’s still too weak.”
ZhuiKong was carrying YinKong with one arm and holding Gungnir’s headless body with the other. He threw the body at a spot where the steam was weakest. As the body blocked the steam, he jumped on the body then again. The next moment he had already left this steaming area.
ZhuiKong released YinKong after they arrived at an empty place. He did not look at YinKong again before he disappeared, leaving only his last words.
“Do your best to grow stronger, YinKong… And then I will come back to kill you.”