Ghostfang and Shangguan Tianyou were already in the process of bombarding Song Que’s spell formation. Although the spell formation was cracked and crumbling, it still held.
Song Que’s ninth vortex spun rapidly overhead, sucking in earthstring energy from all over the Fallen Sword World.
His eyes were closed, but they were still completely bloodshot. As he sat there cross-legged, he went all out with every resource at his disposal, which included absorbing earthstring energy via the energy nodes throughout the Fallen Sword World, which he had linked together as a spell formation.
Although no one could see those nodes, cracks were now starting form on them, especially the node in the location where Bai Xiaochun had first met Song Que outside the body of the sword. As the cracks spread out, the surface of the enormous, otherworldly sword began to destabilize to the point where it was starting to crumble.
However, the signs of the potential destruction of the sword were impossible to detect, even by Ouyang Jie outside on Mount Flamecrane.
“Must go faster!” Song Que howled inwardly. His hands were splayed on the ground in front of him, and his hair whipped about his head as he absorbed huge quantities of earthstring energy. As the vortex spun, he got closer and closer to completing his ninth Tideflow, and the world around him trembled. Even the sky seemed to be weakening.
In fact, there was another trend that could not be detected except by someone sitting exactly where Song Que was sitting. In the very middle of the vortex up above in the weakening sky, there was... a strand of energy... that was so faint nobody would ever notice it!
It was completely different than earthstring energy, something that existed on a higher level... a completely shocking type of energy!
Only someone sitting exactly where Song Que was sitting would be able to detect it, the reason being that he was sitting on the last energy node in the Fallen Sword World! Song Que had selected this location to reach Foundation Establishment for a very specific reason!
As soon as Song Que sensed the energy, his heart began to beat with excitement. He had been waiting for this day for a very long time.
“The peak of Earthstring Foundation Establishment doesn't count for anything. That’s just the first step. What I'm really here for is... Heaven-Dao Foundation Establishment! Only then will I have the power to crush anyone in my path after I get back to the sect. Then I can finally compete with aunt Song Junwan and that damned Xuemei to be the blood master of Middle Peak! As one of the four great blood masters, I would rank even higher than the grand elders in the Blood Stream Sect!” Song Que was already starting to get excited.
In terms of seniority, the blood masters of the Blood Stream Sect were on equal footing with the sect leader. From that peak level of power, all they had to do was take one more step to reach Ancestor Peak, which was an incredibly high position.
However, just as Song Que was about to complete his ninth Tideflow, a beam of light shot up toward him, which was none other than Bai Xiaochun. His eyes were completely bloodshot, and he radiated a murderous aura. A pair of wings could be seen behind him, every flap of which propelled him forward with incredible speed.
Combined with the power of nine Tideflows, he could move infinitely faster than anyone in the Qi Condensation stage, and it only took him a moment to reach Song Que’s spell formation.
Almost instantly, incredible pressure exploded out from Bai Xiaochun, becoming a crushing force that caused Ghostfang’s pupils to constrict. Worried that his own Dao foundation might be destabilized, he gave a cold harrumph and then backed up.
Shangguan Tianyou didn't even measure up to Ghostfang, and with the power of only five Tideflows, had no choice but to back up begrudgingly, chuckling bitterly.
As Bai Xiaochun approached like a blazing sun, Shanguan Tianyou felt himself trembling from the pressure that naturally weighed down from the peak of Earthstring Foundation Establishment.
“Song Que!” Bai Xiaochun roared. Inside the spell formation, a tremor ran through Song Que, but he wasn’t capable of opening his eyes. He felt a sensation of imminent danger, and his heart began to pound. Filled with a sensation of madness, he tried to get his Tideflow to end as quickly as possible.
But Bai Xiaochun’s voice was like thunder from the heavens. As it stepped into the perimeter of the spell formation, everything trembled. Then, he lifted his foot and stepped down onto the spell formation itself.
The ground quaked, and more than half of the spell formation shattered. Off to the side, Shangguan Tianyou’s heart was pounding, and Ghostfang had to work hard to suppress his desire to fight.
“Considering you tried to interrupt my ninth Tideflow, did you really think I would let you succeed in yours?!” He lifted his right hand, and golden light glittered as his fleshly body power erupted. Calling upon all the force of his Undying Gold Skin, he unleashed a fist strike.
The spell formation trembled, clearly on the verge of shattering. Bai Xiaochun took another step forward, and unleashed another fist strike. Then another, and another!
All four fist strikes were backed by the full power of his Undying Gold Skin. Each punch was filled with force which came from breaking through the first shackle of mortality, and burned with Bai Xiaochun’s rage and fury. After four such fist strikes, the spell formation protecting Song Que collapsed.
Finally, Song Que was revealed, sitting there cross-legged in meditation, completely unable to move even a muscle.
Bai Xiaochun didn’t stop. He strode forward and then swished his sleeve, causing violet qi to stream out and form the shape of a huge violet cauldron. It seemed almost completely corporeal, its surface covered with magical symbols and designs of birds and beasts. Under Bai Xiaochun’s control, the magical symbols began to swirl around the cauldron, and the birds and beasts began to move as if they were alive. At the same time....
The violet cauldron smashed downward toward Song Que.
“Since you can’t end the ninth Tideflow on your own, I’ll help you!” Massive rumbling sounds echoed out as the violet cauldron descended with tens of thousands of kilograms of force.
Rumbling sounds echoed out as Song Que’s personal defenses attempted to protect him. When the cauldron hit the light of his defenses, they shattered. Then, streams of magical items flew out, but they were just as easily crushed. Finally, the cauldron actually slammed into Song Que.
A bloodcurdling scream echoed out of his mouth, and his eyes opened. He had just been on the verge of finishing his ninth Tideflow, but had been ripped away from it by Bai Xiaochun’s interference. The partially complete ninth Dao foundation in his dantian region shattered into pieces.
At the same time, the earthstring energy that had been brought together by the ninth Tideflow began to flow away from Song Que, rapidly spreading out and merging back into the world around it.
However, for some unknown reason, Song Que managed to force the escaping earthstring energy into a column of light that shot up into the clouds, making it merge back into the world even more quickly than before.
At the same time, the ninth vortex up above him not only ceased moving, it actually shattered into pieces.
All of the rest of the disciples throughout the Fallen Sword World were completely shocked and began to cry out in surprise.
“Song Que failed!!”
“Bai Xiaochun interrupted his ninth Tideflow!”
“Heavens! Bai Xiaochun couldn’t get Song Que to hate him more even if he killed him! He’s destroyed his Dao!”
Everyone was so shocked that they were going mad. Xu Xiaoshan had been rushing over from off in the distance, but as soon as he saw what was happening, he stopped in place and didn’t dare to get any closer.
Further off in the distance, Nine-Isles was wiping the blood off of his mouth and rotating his cultivation base. When he sensed what was happening, his eyes shone with terror.
“Bai Xiaochun... is invincible!!”
Ghostfang clenched his fists tightly. He wasn’t a person who was easily affected by emotions, but as of the moment, he was filled with countless indecipherable feelings.
Shangguan Tianyou was left gasping. He felt like his heart had been bitten by a poisonous viper, and madness and envy filled him completely. “Bai Xiaochun! If it weren’t for you, all of that would be mine!!”
As everyone was shaken, Song Que fell back at top speed, blood spraying out of his mouth. His eyes were crimson, and his hair was in disarray. Looking like he wanted to eat Bai Xiaochun alive, he let out a miserable howl.
His ninth Tideflow was a failure, leaving him with only eight Tideflows. As his Dao foundation stabilized, his cultivation base became that of the Foundation Establishment stage. Even as he retreated, his power increased far beyond what it had been before.
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes flickered, and he blurred into motion, appearing a moment later directly in front of Song Que. Then, his two fingers shot out like lightning.
Throat Crushing Grasp!
Just before they landed on Song Que, Song Que performed a double-handed incantation gesture. Then he opened his mouth and spit out a finger-nail sized blood sphere.
Despite being at the peak of Earthstring Foundation Establishment, Bai Xiaochun instantly sensed that he was in incredible danger.
The spiritual power within that blood sphere was terrifying!
For some reason, there was something familiar about this crisis, although Bai Xiaochun wasn't sure exactly what it was.
When his two fingers made contact with the blood sphere, a shockwave blasted out in all directions, along with a deafening boom.
As the force of the shockwave spread out in all directions, Ghostfang and Shangguan Tianyou were forced backward, and the lands down below were crushed.
Blood oozed out of the corners of Bai Xiaochun's mouth as he staggered backward several steps, reeling in shock. Despite the fact that he had his Undying Gold Skin, the blast from the blood sphere had actually injured him. Although the injuries weren’t serious, they were shocking nonetheless.
The sense of familiarity he had experienced moments ago had grown even more intense when he made contact with the blood sphere. And yet, he still couldn’t figure out why that was.
“Why does this seem so familiar!?!? Just what exactly is that blood sphere!?”
Bai Xiaochun looked up to see Song Que flying backward like a kite with its string cut, blood spraying out of his mouth, his chest caved in. Clearly, his injuries were much more serious than Bai Xiaochun’s.
Because he had been interrupted in the middle of his ninth Tideflow, his cultivation base was still in the process of stabilizing. He was definitely less powerful than Bai Xiaochun, and furthermore, he had suffered a backlash injury because of the blood sphere.
Even still, he looked up with maddened viciousness at Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun was just about to launch another attack when Song Que turned and fled. Even as he sped away, he produced a priceless teleportation jade amulet, which he crushed. A moment later, teleportation power snatched him up, and he vanished.
When he reappeared, he was hundreds of kilometers away, fleeing at top speed.
“I hope he didn’t notice,” Song Que murmured through gritted teeth. “Dammit, he showed up just a moment too soon. One step away, just one step.... Oh well, it doesn’t matter. Even if I didn't reach the peak of Earthstring Foundation Establishment, I can still surpass Bai Xiaochun. And once I do, he’s dead!” With that, he produced a Feng Shui compass which featured nine glowing dots of light. Those were none other than the energy nodes he had activated throughout the Fallen Sword World!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translator: Deathblade. Chinese language consultant: ASI a.k.a. Beerblade. Editor: GNE. Memes: Logan. Meme archives: Tocsin. Transcendent Patrons: Daoist Elder N, BLE, ttre208