Xu Yangyi closed his eyes, silent. Afterwards, he faced the sky and screamed.
In that moment Xu Yangyi came back to life, Floatingcloud himself already knew that he no longer had a chance. He could admittedly meditate at once and stabilize the seal, but would Xu Yangyi let him?
The answer was quite definite!
If he didn’t commit himself to the seal, then the Dream Walker would devour him!
That scar on his neck was a pill fiend, and it was because of this pill fiend that Xu Yangyi’s sword had turned black. It was simply a trace, and all it could do was slow Floatingcloud down a tiny bit, but this tiny bit caused Floatingcloud’s mind to totally collapse!
He was hopeless, and with a fierce tiger ahead and pursuing forces behind, despair had fully swallowed his mind. Under the Dream Walker and Xu Yangyi’s two-prong attack, he’d finally reached a dead end.
Physically, Xu Yangyi couldn’t win. In such an extreme situation, though, he had forcibly pressured a Great Circle Foundation Establishment cultivator to death!
“We won… We won?!” Eyes wide and mouth ajar, Rocjourney looked to the sky. This fight between Great Circle Foundation Establishment and middle Foundation Establishment could be said to determine the present battle situation. Unexpectedly, Xu Yangyi was the victor!
Indeed, Xu Yangyi was heavily injured and his footing was unsteady at this moment. His hand clutching at his sword was trembling.
But he was standing.
In his battle with a Great Circle cultivator—a battle with a great cultivator who could kill anyone present within ten minutes—Xu Yangyi had actually forced Floatingcloud to death while the man was still alive!
Such battle accomplishment stunned everyone present.
“I… have lived so long…” the puppet murmured without noticing, “I have never seen middle Foundation Establishment… within ten minutes, force Great Circle Foundation Establishment to death… This child… if he can form the core, then he is certain to be the hero of a generation!”
“He won… I dare not imagine it… he actually beat a Great Circle Foundation Establishment cultivator?!” Moonless’s face shook in excitement, and his voice was floaty. “I can’t believe it… I dare not believe it! If this battle accomplishment gets out… then he’ll instantly climb all major rankings!”
The puppet’s gaze flickered rapidly. It didn’t make a move. Far away, Bladevessel was also shocked. He could hardly believe everything before his eyes.
“He… defeated Floatingcloud?”
“Middle Foundation Establishment… prevailed over Great Circle Foundation Establishment?”
He secretly took a step back. Madness… this was all madness! This script hadn’t played out how he’d imagined it at all! He was unsure… whether or not there was any need to stay here.
“Unbelievable… this child… is the greatest variable in my plan!”
His figure strangely faded away in space.
Xu Yangyi was almost numb.
He was excited, absolutely, even his blood boiling now.
But currently, the rebound pain running through his entire body left him with no choice but to strongly force his excitement down at the bottom of his heart.
“Victory…” He shut his eyes, faced upwards, and took a deep breath. “Finally… I won…”
“Yin-Yang Spring, Qi Explosion Pill… the once-in-ten-years Life Hangs By A Thread, the Lotus Reincarnation… all my divine abilities came out… except that card. In the end, the one standing here is me!”
He opened his eyes and looked at Floatingcloud’s corpse with everyone else.
Floatingcloud was lying flat on his back in the air, still intermittently twitching. Xu Yangyi had no doubts that Floatingcloud was a genius cultivator. That wasn’t to mention alone that Floatingcloud was still able to counterattack during an extremely desperate situation and forcibly possess the Dream Walker. This was enough to prove that Floatingcloud’s Great Circle Foundation Establishment definitely wasn’t dogshit luck.
Still, everyone was now closely watching the middle of Floatingcloud’s brows. There within, vast golden qi was madly gushing out, and the golden clouds in the sky were gradually becoming larger. In addition… they were slowly gathering into the likeness of a massive beast.
Unexpectedly, Floatingcloud had used his body as a cage, trapping the Dream Walker’s spiritual sense in his brain!
The massive beast was large, approximately 300 to 400 meters in size, but… it was very serene. Great swaths of black qi spread up from its white misty form, rising into the endless void. It was serene, but this was only its spiritual sense. There were no signs of awakening, indicating that it was still in slumber.
Xu Yangyi didn’t move any further, but his spiritual sense was swiftly unleashed, sweeping over the entire plaza. He didn’t believe Bladevessel would just leave like that. Regardless of the other’s goal or history, both were a riddle. After carefully scouting the area though, he didn’t find traces of Bladevessel.
“He’s gone just like that? Was he being decisive? Or is this a trap?” He furrowed his brows. In kind, he didn’t believe that Bladevessel could hide from the range of his spiritual sense.
Moonless and Rocjourney had already silently circled the puppet in between them. The three-eyed puppet had given up all resistance, only letting out a long sigh, “Man proposes but God disposes… I admit defeat… Middle Foundation Establishment actually forced the Great Circle to death. This deficiency, I admit…”
Moonless, Rocjourney, and Xu Yangyi met each other’s eyes. Moonless and Rocjourney both shook their heads. Neither of them had found traces of Bladevessel.
“Senior Brother?” Xu Yangyi studied Moonless and said in a low voice, “You’re… Fang Cheng?”
Moonless didn’t answer. Eventually, he replied, “I don’t know…”
“It seems there are some things in my head… like someone planted them in my mind decades ago… I don’t know, I don’t even know who I am anymore…”
Xu Yangyi didn’t continue question and nodded. His gaze shifted to the spirit ape-puppet. After ages, he laughed coldly, “Realm Spirit?”
The puppet let loose a human-like sneer, but didn’t comment.
“I don’t care what you are; I’ll give you a chance to keep living. Open the passage to Earth now and keep it connected forever, Li Gui. 
Moonless’s gaze began to blaze, but burned out in a flash. In his mind, memories related to Fang Cheng overturned rivers and flipped seas. At this moment, he unexpectedly didn’t have the slightest inkling to plunder.
“Li Gui?” the puppet snickered ominously, “Cease this. Even if I don’t speak, what can Fellow Daoist do?”
“No whats.” Xu Yangyi swallowed a pill and said indifferently, “I’ll kill you.”
The demon slayer didn’t know why, but he kept on feeling that he still didn’t understand today’s events. Furthermore, starting from the instant the Floatingcloud fell, an extremely faint, but very strong, sense of danger was constantly hovering around him. It lingered in the air without leaving.
The puppet sneered, “I told you, what benefit is there in it for me?”
“You seem to be mistaken,” Xu Yangyi said dimly, “In five seconds, give me the answer I want, and I’ll let you live.”
Xu Yangyi dangerously narrowed his eyes, laughing coldly while nodding. “Good, I hope you can stay so firm until the end.”
“Fellow Daoist, this is no such way. You force one too much,” the puppet said neither slowly nor swiftly, “Regardless of how many seconds you give, impossible is impossible.”
“Fellow Daoist…” The puppet’s voice became icy. “In this place, you cannot kill me. Me and Floatingcloud are different.”
Before it even finished speaking, Xu Yangyi had already interrupted it. “Three.”
“I…” Xu Yangyi said an indifferent voice, and the armament in his hand hummed. “All of a sudden, I don’t want to count two.”
Swoosh swoosh! Xu Yangyi and the puppet’s qi almost rose up at the same time, sharply opposed to each other. The puppet met Xu Yangyi’s eyes with an icy glare. “I surrendered merely because I didn’t want to wait to take arms against thou. If I want to speak, you can only listen. If I don’t want to speak, what can you do to me? Very quickly you will know that I will come back no matter how many times I die… wait, wait!!! W-What is this?!?!?!”
The puppet broke off mid-speech, shrieking as it took several steps back. With an astonished look on its face, it caught sight of the object flying in front of it.
The Azurecloud Seed flew out from Xu Yangyi’s qi sea, and revolved back and forth in front of the puppet. But even more terrifyingly, the trace of Butterflymother Southflower’s consciousness followed again as the seed flew out. As the butterfly circled the puppet, it caused the puppet to instantly begin screaming.
“What is that thing?! It has such a strong smell of a dreamland!” The puppet continued to step back, and took a deep breath. Its nerves were stretched taut to extremes, and it glared daggers at the Azurecloud Seed. “Such a feeling… seems even above the Dream Walker! No… it goes even farther and farther beyond! It’s basically like a dreamland’s ancestor and infant… W-What the hell is this?”
The puppet promptly discovered that the aura of a terrible dreamland wasn’t coming from the Azurecloud Seed. On the contrary, it was coming from the delicate butterfly imprint that was whirling around the cocoon.
“Eat it.” Xu Yangyi raised his chin, and the Azurecloud Seed violently shivered, immediately emitting a feeling of extreme hunger and thirst. It quickly rushed towards the puppet.
“I do!!!” In the instant the azure light overlooked its body, the puppet nearly hollered out without taking time to think, “I have a way to leave this place!”
Swish! The Azurecloud Seed shook twice, leading it to shriek fiercely. Immediately, it flew back, and the butterfly imprint also dived back into Xu Yangyi’s qi sea from close behind.
Everything seemed to have never occurred. All that remained was the puppet standing as if it was facing a great enemy, having entered this state from its prior carefree meditation. Its hair shook in disarray, and it watched Xu Yangyi as if it had seen a ghost.
It simply didn’t understand what other cards this man possessed!
Here, in its willpower, it was a nigh-unkillable existence. But that entity just a few moments ago was truly capable of killing it!
As expected… its ‘allowed’ flying time can’t go over three seconds. Xu Yangyi’s gaze slightly flickered. This show of strength wasn’t merely to intimidate the puppet, this was his true killing move! In his experimentation of combining the butterflymother’s attack properties, he now saw that it was indeed as he’d predicted.
On top of that, I can’t make it fly out until about an hour passes.
Concluding his thoughts, he raised his head and looked at the puppet. “Talk.”
“At the center of the Dream Walker’s forehead, there’s a magik treasure… pull it out three inches, and the way leading to Earth will open right away!”
Once it rapidly fired out an answer, the puppet seemed to take big gulps of air like a human, yet its gaze was trained on Xu Yangyi like a viper. It was unknown how resentful it would be at this moment if it could make an expression.
Xu Yangyi nodded and flew towards the Dream Walker without the slightest hesitation. Regardless of how truthful the puppet’s words were, an arrow nocked on a bow had to be fired!
In not even daring to try, could it be that he really was going to spend his last years in meditation in the Clearcloud Realm?
He was absolutely unwilling!
Between layers of white mist, he swiftly found the Dream Walker’s forehead. The beast’s spiritual sense was changing every moment. From time to time it was like a tiger, and occasionally it was like a leopard, but from beginning to end its forehead position didn’t change. He merely touched around in a gentle manner, and he then felt a magik treasure.
But just as he was about to pull it out by three inches, his eyes suddenly narrowed.
The treasure was a staff!
He took a deep breath and quickly brushed away the fog in front of his eyes. Sure enough, a centimeter-thick staff in the fog was inserted at the middle of the Dream Walker’s forehead.
The object wasn’t strange, but what if… this staff was the Divine Sealock Needle—Sun Wukong’s legendary staff—which was suppressing the door?
“You’re lying to me!” A terrible thought suddenly flickered through Xu Yangyi’s mind, and he turned his head back with a flash of understanding. He bellowed angrily, “This is the seal suppressing the Dream Walker!”
“Once I pull it out… it’ll wake up straightaway!”
“Of course… Of course this poor monk knew that I wouldn’t be able to deceive you… Benefactor’s gaze is like a torch, how could I have deceived you?” But as Xu Yangyi was about to ask a question, a voice echoed from all around like a tidal wave!
“Enihilus!” Xu Yangyi’s heart grew cold, but he discovered that he was rendered stationary just as he was about to stand up!
It wasn’t that he couldn’t move, but his hand seemed to be glued to the staff, totally stiff!
“Enough… It is enough… Earth’s seal cannot be touched by anyone except Earth cultivators. Accomplishing this step was arduous work for benefactor… Now, hand it over to me…”
In the next second, a grand voice resonated through the entire space.
“His, Heart, Knows.” 
Without warning, Xu Yangyi felt a link with another’s spiritual sense!
In the next second, he oddly appeared a hundred meters away, much to his surprise, and where he was originally standing, Bladevessel was there with reddened eyes. The false watcher’s hand was gripping his golden awl, and all his veins were revealed.
In the next second, he stabbed the awl down on the Dream Walker with all of his might!
“ROOOAR!!!” An angry howl, like rolling thunder, echoed from the Dream Walker. Everyone felt a slumbering spiritual pressure instantly rise up in the clouds! However! The awl surged with countless lightning sparks and tenaciously held the monster back!
The Dream Walker… had fully awakened!
1. The name here is “Li Gui (李鬼)”, a reference to a character from a Chinese classic, The Water Margin. In The Water Margin, Li Gui is a character known to assume another’s identity. I thought about just localizing as two-faced imp, but meh.
2. So this is actually a classical Buddhist technique “他心通 (His Heart Knows)” that has parallels with a similar Daoist technique. In any case, the “him” here, might be referring to Buddha. This move, traditionally, subscribes to the idea that everything has a heart, and through this reading of the heart, one can find out what they want to know.
Thanks for reading! If you're enjoying the novel, consider recommending or reviewing it! If you'd like to discuss Archfiend, report a typo, or check on update status please come to the Archfiend channel on the Wuxiaworld Discord! Access to the channel can be accessed via the bottom-right image of discord on the web page or https://discord.gg/FKUPcue!