AST 673 - A Favorable Turn, Another Battle
Qing Shui went back to the Di Residence to tend to his wounds. Even though he had won the battle, his unfortunate injuries weighed heavily on everyone’s minds. The entire atmosphere in the Di Clan was gloomy, as if a mass of dark clouds had covered the sky above the residence.
Qing Shui was inherently uninterested in the spoils of war he had looted from the Ten Thousand Poisons Sect and the Sima Clan. He gave all of the items away to the members of Di Clan as gifts because he didn’t find any of them useful. None of these things would matter to him if his life was in great danger.
When he got back to the Di Residence, it was almost midday. After Qing Shui cleaned himself and changed his clothes, the glow on his face was restored. Because he couldn’t feel the ‘attacks’ of the Marrow Nibbling Worm for now, he was still fine and robust.
Di Chen, on the other hand, continuously stood silently by Qing Shui’s side as she stared off into space. Ever since Qing Shui had been wounded, the look of apprehension on her face had never shifted.
This was her first time being concerned and anxious for a man. Only now did she realize that these emotions felt terrible. Everyone had the potential for greedy tendencies, and Di Chen was no different. In her heart, Qing Shui would always belong to her and no one else.
Meanwhile, Qing Shui was wondering whether the Golden Buddha Image would resurface and save him again. He wished for that moment to come, but he knew very well that he shouldn’t pin all his hopes solely on the Golden Buddha Image because that would just be a huge gamble.
“Chen ‘er, don’t worry. Life and death will always be decreed by fate. Plus, it’s not likely that I will die from the worm any time soon.” Qing Shui casually hugged Di Chen from behind while he chuckled.
Di Chen did not resist at all. She placed her arms softly around Qing Shui and hugged him back as she rested her head on his chest.
Qing Shui felt extremely at ease as he hugged a beautiful woman such as Di Chen. Although this wondrous sensation made him feel extremely cozy, he didn’t have any thoughts of doing perverted things to her.
Even if Di Chen had wanted to behave intimately with him right now, he would outright refuse her request. If he managed to live on, he would welcome the opportunity with open arms, but at the present, he just couldn’t due to his current condition.
“Don’t mention the word ‘death’ ever again!” Di Chen said in a soft voice. She was swirling in a vortex of emotions and was visibly low-spirited.
Qing Shui would have never thought that Di Chen would be disturbed emotionally because of a man, especially someone like himself. This woman who originally seemed to have transcended from the heavens had been pulled into the world of mortals because of him.
He leaned closer to her forehead and said softly: “Let’s go out for a walk!”
The heat from the afternoon sun was still quite hot, but that didn't matter for martial warriors of Qing Shui and Di Chen’s strengths. Furthermore, they were walking under the shade provided by tall trees planted along the streets. Each flourishing tree was about 50 meters tall and had an abundance of leaves and branches. Even though the trees weren’t able to shade the whole street, the trees planted on both sides were still able to give a bit of protection from the sun’s ray.
Qing Shui and Di Chen walked along the right side of the path path underneath the shade. The scenery at the moment was magnificent. For Qing Shui at that moment, time felt quite long. Perhaps it was because he felt that death was near, or perhaps it was because he still felt reluctant to leave the living world behind.
He quickly shook his head and forced a smile. Qing Shui felt that he mustn't die any cost. He couldn’t afford to die now, so he was determined to find a way to force the Marrow Nibbling Worm out of his body. The worm was like a prick on his back, and it posed the greatest threat to his life. At any time, the worm might take his life away without warning.
“Chen ‘er, if I die, and I mean ‘if’ I die, I hope that you could keep the news of my death from the Qing Clan.” said Qing Shui while walking slowly alongside Di Chen.
Qing Shui didn’t want his mother to know about his current circumstances. He also had his own children, so he knew how painful it would be for her to know that her son would be dying soon. He wished his mother would take good care of herself for the sake of her grandchildren. He also felt terrible for Mingyue and the other ladies back at home whenever he thought about them.
“You won’t die. You can never die. Promise me that you won’t give up. I’m your woman, remember? You promised that you would take good care of me. I will never marry anyone except you for the rest of my life. If you die, I will die with you.” said Di Chen in a serious tone while locking her gaze towards Qing Shui. He could tell that her determination was genuine, and he had no doubts about her truthfulness.
“Promise me back, please don’t act like this ever again.” Qing Shui held her hands tightly. He didn’t know what else to say.
“See, that’s Qing Shui right there!”
Somewhere from afar, someone was speaking his name while talking loudly.
“Yeah, that’s right. That’s Qing Shui right there. Look at the beautiful lady beside him, that’s the young lady from Di Clan.”
“They do suit each other very well. Only a man like of his stature would suit a beautiful maiden like the young lady from Di Clan.”
In the span of a morning, Qing Shui’s name had already spread throughout the Seven Star Country. In the eyes of the younger generation, Qing Shui was their number one representative who deserved the title of a hero because he had single-handedly eliminated the Sect Master of the Ten Thousand Poisons Sect with his own powers. His name was now well-known throughout the Central Continent.
Sadly, a lot of people had already gotten the news that Qing Shui had been inflicted with the venomous Marrow Nibbling Worm and knew that it was miraculous that he was still alive. Because of that, many felt pity for him, but others felt joy knowing that his days on earth would soon be over.
Of course, the younger generation who adored Qing Shui sometimes loved him and sometimes hated him. Nonetheless, they also idolized him very much, so they didn’t even have the energy to be envious about his newfound status - they knew they could never accomplish what Qing Shui had already done in their whole life.
Suddenly, Qing Shui felt a sharp pain in his head. His face went pale, and then he gradually turned red.
It just so happened that they were in a more secluded area, with a pavilion a few meters away from them. Qing Shui didn’t feel the need to urgently consume the Golden Buddha Aura Lotus right away, so Di Chen carefully pulled Qing Shui by his arms one step at a time towards the pavilion.
“Don’t let anyone disturb me.”
As soon as he finished this sentence, Qing Shui quickly summoned his Fire Bird, the Diamond Gigantic Elephant, the Jade Emperor Poison Queen Bee and her legion of Jade Emperor Bees, as well as the Gold-Silver Colored Butterfly all at once, placing each of the demonic beasts around him.
“Okay!” Di Chen agreed in a panic. She watched with a worried expression as the entire scenario unfolded.
He quickly buried himself into his sea of consciousness!
Qing Shui made the decision to dive in quickly, and when he entered the sea of consciousness, he froze. What he saw was the mastermind behind his current excruciating pain - the Marrow Nibbling Worm!
The Marrow Nibbling Worm that was previously the size of a human thumb had now grown into the size of a small hill. The worm seemed more ferocious and terrifying, and Qing Shui seemed like a tiny speckle in comparison to it when the two stood together.
Qing Shui wanted to cry desperately. However, as long as he was able to locate where the worm was, its size didn’t matter much. At the very least, Qing Shui could try to fight it out with the worm. When he looked around, everything seemed quite ethereal in the sea of consciousness.
Even though he didn’t feel any changes to his powers, the worm had already become stronger and possessed unfathomable power. This filthy worm was now even stronger than Sect Master Qianxi Ye from the Ten Thousand Poisons Sect had been.
In this dimension, Qing Shui did not have his talismans, weapons, or the Diamond Gigantic Elephant’s Vajra Subdue Demons technique. He would have an extremely high chance of losing if he tried to battle the Marrow Nibbling Worm. Despite the odds, he couldn’t retreat and had no other choices.
Fiery Golden Eyes!
Qing Shui immediately inflicted two types of weakening abilities towards the worm. It was nearly impossible for the worm to evade his Fiery Golden Eyes and Emperor’s Qi because of its humongous size. Nevertheless, Qing Shui was still astonished to see that the worm was actually weakened by his abilities.
The Fiery Golden Eyes had taken off 1000 countries of strength from the worm, and the Emperor’s Qi had taken around 2000 countries worth of strength. If that was the case, then this big fellow had already grown to the strength equivalent to about 10,000 countries before it was weakened.
Qing Shui’s calculated that the Marrow Nibbling Worm might not have reached the Peak Martial Saint realm yet, but it was merely a foot away from surpassing that barrier. Still, Qing Shui felt extremely helpless - he had a ways to go before he could try to defeat it.
The Marrow Nibbling Worm had about 7000 countries of strength left, but it was still way stronger than Qing Shui currently was. Qing Shui didn’t know how to defeat the worm that had twice his strength without his Big Dipper Sword and Violet Gold Divine Shield.
The hill-size worm gave out a deep thundering roar as it rushed towards Qing Shui in a nimble motion.
Perhaps the worm was angry due to being inflicted with the weakening effects, and it opened its gigantic jaws as it grew closer to Qing Shui while simultaneously releasing an aura that could rumble the earth and shake the mountains. In an instant, Qing Shui’s expression changed.
He quickly retreated a few steps, and at the same time, he exerted his power to the maximum!
Art of Pursuing!
Qing Shui used the skill of his Taichi Fist to quickly push himself backwards, evading any critical hits from the worm. Even so, he still sustained a light injury to his body from the worm.
The Marrow Nibbling Worm’s speed was reduced by 20% from the Art of Pursuing. Its gigantic body also seemed to be moving a bit slower than usual, which might have been due to the 20% added weight to its body.
At that moment, the only move Qing Shui could use was his Taichi Fist. That was the only thing that was keeping him from being swiftly killed on the spot!
He was well-aware of everything in the sea of consciousness. Although he was hurt, he didn’t bleed. The only thing he was slowly losing was his life force instead. Getting killed in his sea of consciousness would be the same as just dying outside.
Blue Lotus Art!
Three golden lotuses appeared around Qing Shui, which promptly increased his defense power slightly. If this technique could help even slightly, Qing Shui would still be grateful.
The gigantic Marrow Nibbling Worm kept opening its jaws as it rushed towards Qing Shui again. Its gigantic eyes were flashing with a brutal and bloodthirsty intention, and there was also a hint of playfulness in its expression. This kind of attitude from a squirmy worm ultimately made Qing Shui’s blood boil.
In the midst of his rage, he accidentally struck two clusters of ‘Primordial Flame Balls’ and shot them into the belly of the Marrow Nibbling Worm. The flame balls went straight into its stomach without any restraints. In an instant, the worm let out a piercing cry of pain that echoed through the sky.
Qing Shui was shocked for a while, but then became excited when he knew he had a chance to defeat the gigantic worm. In his sea of consciousness, he didn’t have his weapons or hidden weapons, and Golden Needles. Because of that, Qing Shui had to think through some of his techniques that he could use, like the Taichi Fist, Thousand Buddha Palm Imprint, Sword Fingers, Combination Sword Techniques…..
However, when he was faced with an opponent twice as strong as he was with only his bare hands, the only thing that could severely wound the worm was with his Primordial Flames. The Primordial Flames was one of his first few techniques he had learnt, and was also the most formidable flame-type technique he had.
Even though Qing Shui’s Primordial Flames technique was not as insanely strong as he expected, the flames were still able to burn those of the Martial Saint level quite easily. The weakest part of the body - the inner vital parts - were much more susceptible to being burned than the tougher external body.
The Marrow Nibbling Worm squirmed around while screaming in pain, while Qing Shui took the opportunity to send two more Primordial Flame Balls into its gaping jaws. He was willing to endure the incoming hit from the squirming worm to be able to throw the flame balls into its mouth. Qing Shui didn’t need to worry too much because he could use his ‘Minute Subtlety’ and avoid a significant amount of damage from the worm.
The reason Qing Shui acted so boldly was because during the first time he was wounded by the Marrow Nibbling Worm, he could feel an immediate subtle warm energy healing his wounds. Based on that feeling, Qing Shui knew it was the work of the Yin-Yang Image floating in mid-air.
The mysterious Yin-Yang Image in the sea of consciousness gave Qing Shui a sense of confidence to face the ‘Marrow Nibbling Worm’ that was twice as powerful as him. Because of the constant regeneration of his health, Qing Shui was able to stand firm without fear of being killed. Despite being hit numerous times by the gigantic worm that was so much stronger than he was, Qing Shui would not have been able to endure the pain inflicted without the help from the Yin-Yang Image. Moreover, he would not have been able to stand back on his two feet without the effort from the Yin-Yang Image even if his Taichi Fist was amazing, or he had a strong physical body.
Qing Shui seized the moment and profusely struck his ‘Primordial Flame Balls’ straight into the worm’s jaws. The hill-size worm had two abnormally terrifying large mouths on both its back and front areas. The worm also had a disgusting-looking head, which was why Qing Shui thought the worm might have a low intelligence.
Whenever it was burnt by the flame balls, it would open without restraint its enormous mouth that was large enough to devour Qing Shui as a whole. It was to be expected as worm species generally had low intelligence, and this gigantic creature, despite its strength, was still in the end a worm. Even though its strength and the size of its body had been enlarged, its intelligence still remained the same. Once the worm was inflicted with severe pain, it would squirm around crazily and attack anything in its sight. It would also open its enormous mouth and screech in pain.
Soon afterwards, Qing Shui’s Primordial Flame Balls managed to burn both of the Marrow Nibbling Worm’s eyes, blinding it in the process. He was almost finished with the worm.
Qing Shui’s heart was burning with hope. He might be able to save his own life. Only when he had almost lost his life did he realize how difficult it was to do some things on his own.
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