Book 2, The Lake in the East Mountain, Chapter 14 – The Godbeast, ‘Azure Skysnake’
“What?” Ji Ning, staring in front of him, couldn’t help but come to a halt. “Could it be that this Azure Skysnake King is really about to appear?” Not taking the time to consider anything else, Ning immediately turned and dashed across the surface of water towards a different direction, desiring to flee.
An incomparably beautiful, enormous serpent head emerged from the surface of the lake, covered with jade green scales.
Staring at the enormous serpent head of the Azure Skysnake King which had emerged, Ning’s face grew solemn. “I’m in trouble now. I didn’t expect the Azure Skysnake King to be this fast! With my ‘one with the world’ footwork, I can escape the attacks of many Diremonsters. In Eastmount Marsh, there’s only a few Diremonsters that pose a threat to me, but the Azure Skysnake King is one of them.”
“On my very first trip to Eastmount Marsh, I encountered it!” Ning’s brain quickly flashed through the information regarding the Azure Skysnake King which he had read, back in the West Prefecture.
The Azure Skysnake King was a Godbeast known as the Azure Skysnake! According to the records of the Ji clan, the last time they investigated it, it possessed the power of an early Xiantian lifeform! But although it was only an early Xiantian lifeform, due to it possessing the lineage of the Fiendgods, its power was actually comparable to that of the Diremonster, Serpentwing.
The Azure Skysnake King was famous for its agility! In other aspects, it was perhaps a bit inferior to Serpentwing, but in terms of agility, it was superior to Serpentwing! In addition, the Azure Skysnake’s venom possessed extremely potent, hallucinatory qualities. If it landed a bite on its target, generally speaking, even Diremonsters would be affected by hallucinations!
“My strongest attribute, my agility, is countered by it.” Ning was worried.
In this sort of life and death battle, agility was even more important than strength and speed!
For example, the strength of the Aquatic Rhino King was far superior to that of Ning! Its defense was far superior to Ning!
But in Ning’s eyes, the Aquatic Rhino King was nothing more than a stupid, clumsy idiot. He was able to effortlessly circle around the Aquatic Rhino King and then kill it. It wanted to ram into Ning, but it couldn’t. But what this Azure Skysnake King was most skilled at was agility!
“Huahuahua…” From afar, the surface of the lake was beginning to slowly reveal an enormous serpentine scaled body.
The Azure Skysnake King raised its serpentine head high, staring towards Ning, its eyes filled with confusion. It let out a few low growling sounds.
“Huh?” Ning frowned, looking back at the Azure Skysnake King. What was this Snake King saying? He couldn’t understand. The Azure Skysnake King was a Godbeast…and at the early Xiantian level, wasn’t able to transform, nor was it able to speak in the human tongue.
A human form suddenly rose from the water to stand next to the Azure Skysnake King. A thin, white-robed man appeared, staring towards Ning. He shouted, “My King asks you, were you the one who killed the Aquatic Rhino?”
“If I say I didn’t, would you believe me?” Ning asked.
“In this area, aside from you, there are no other humans at all. Who could have done it besides you?” The tall and thin white-robed man laughed coldly. “In addition, you are able to run atop the water, showing that you have reached the ‘one with the world’ level!”
Suddenly, the Azure Skysnake King let out a few more growls, and the white-robed man changed the subject. “However, in the area around the Aquatic Rhino’s body, there are no Xiantian energy ripple remnants. Could it be that you are not yet a Xiantian lifeform?”
“If I answer you, will you let me go?” Ning asked.
“How could that be possible?” The white robed man laughed coldly. “You killed one of the King’s subordinates, the Aquatic Rhino. If we so casually let you leave, what would become of the King’s prestige?”
Ning frowned and shouted back, “If that’s the case, then enough chitchat. If you want to fight, then fight. If you don’t want to fight, then I’m leaving.”
The Azure Skysnake King stared at Ning with its enormous serpentine head, filled with questions. The little human child in front of it…it wasn’t afraid of him, naturally. But the area around the Aquatic Rhino was simply too bizarre. There clearly wasn’t any Xiantian energy ripples in the area, but why did the Aquatic Rhino die? Could someone who wasn’t at the Xiantian level kill a Diremonster?
“Hrmph.” Ning immediately began to run atop the water, transforming into a gust of wind, fleeing at high speed.
Although he had come out to adventure, he knew his own limits. If he went to engage in battle against Diremonsters that were too powerful, he was asking for death! Ning had never intended to do battle against the Azure Skysnake King…
“Hua…” The Azure Skysnake King swam across the surface of the lake, transforming into a silver tidal wave.
In an instant, an enormous serpentine head appeared in front of Ning yet again.
“He really is faster than me.” Ning came to a sudden halt, his eyes blazing with wildness. “It seems this fight cannot be avoided. If that’s the case, then let’s fight!”
“In Eastmount Marsh, the only one faster than my King is that ancient monster, the Snow Toad! Do you know of the Ancient Snow Toad? That is the most powerful Diremonster of the entire Eastmount Marsh. It can freeze and kill you with but a single cold breath!” The white-robed man was walking atop the water, each step causing the water to ripple slightly, his movements not nearly as agile and graceful as Ning’s. “It is best that you simply accept your death before my King…”
Ning frowned, then transformed into a streak of light, charging towards that tall, thin, white-robed man. “Monster, you sure are noisy. Eat a sword from me!”
A cold light flashed towards the man. The white-robed man was so frightened that he immediately dove into the water with a splash. He served under the Azure Skysnake King, and in terms of power, he was actually a bit weaker than even the Aquatic Rhino King. How could he dare to fight with this human youth?
“Groooowl.” The Azure Skysnake King suddenly let out an angry roar.
Ning turned his head to look at him, not afraid at all. Since he wasn’t going to be able to flee, Ning naturally wiped the hesitation and fear away from his heart, leaving only a blazing heat. The heat of battle! Only by fighting an opponent’s whose strength totally surpassed his own would the blood in his entire body truly begin to boil!
Hua…suddenly, an enormous green scaled tail emerged from the lake at high speed, sweeping towards Ning at incomparably high speed.
“So fast!” Ning’s entire body was turning faintly red. Clearly, the Solar and Lunar energies in his body had been raised to their limits. At the same time, his feet began to move in accordance with the Shadewind Steps, and he wielded his twin Darknorth swords in his hands, one of which was flashing with blue light on its edge; poison! The Darknorth swords composed of three swords and a sheath. Two of the swords were normal, but one of them had been coated by Ning with poison.
In fact, even a small part of the arrows he had brought were treated with poison! After all, while adventuring and engaging in life-and-death battles, the ultimate goal was to kill the opponent! Naturally, any means of accomplishing this would be acceptable. When battling with the likes of the Aquatic Rhino King, Ning didn’t bother with poison, but this Azure Skysnake King was simply too dangerous.
With one hand, he executed ‘Thin Streams Flow Forever’.
With the other hand, he executed ‘Rain Line’.
Both Darknorth swords moved, instantly drawing forth the power of the natural world. Huahuahua…a visible, thin, and long stream of water was currently arcing towards the serpentine tail in an attack. This stream of water was incomparably tough, and it wildly wrapped around the tail, causing the power and speed of that tail to slow.
At the same time, drops of water had solidified into a thin line, and that thin line chopped directly towards that enormous serpentine body!
“Bang!” Ning was blasted backwards at high speed by the force of the collision, and water splashed everywhere.
“Huala!” Green, emerald-like blood came flying out of a large wound on the serpentine body, but quickly, the flow of blood slowed and the wound shrank. The blood, however, had a faint black color as well, but moments later, it returned to an emerald color. Clearly, the poison on the Darknorth swords didn’t pose much of a threat to the Azure Skysnake King, which was venomous by nature.
Ning rose high into the sky, leaping off the surface of the water.
The Azure Skysnake King coiled up its enormous body, staring at the distant human youth. This human youth had actually wounded it in a single exchange.
The enormous body of the Azure Skysnake King began to shrink at high speed. Previously, it had been even larger than Serpentwing, but in a few seconds, it transformed to a size of only ten meters long, and its serpentine body was now only as thick as a person’s thighs. At the same time, this jade-green Azure Skysnake continued to stare at Ning, emitted a ‘Hisssssss’ sound.
“Not good.” Ning’s face grew even more solemn.
The Azure Skysnake King was a Godbeast. It could increase or decrease its size, and was famous for its agility. When it shrank its size, that was when it was the most fearsome!
A violet pill suddenly appeared in Ning’s hand out of nowhere, and he immediately tossed it in his mouth. This was an antivenom spiritual pill. It was one of multiple different types of antivenoms which Ning had prepared for this adventuring expedition for when he encountered Diremonsters. This one was particularly effective against hallucinatory toxins and venoms.
Ning wielded his twin blades, staring death at the Azure Skysnake King.
The Azure Skysnake King’s serpentine head swayed slightly in a confident manner. It seemed like an experienced hunter, searching for Ning’s weaknesses. While swaying, it also slowly began to move closer to Ning, but Ning, striding on water, took one step back after another, maintaining the distance between them.
Suddenly, the Azure Skysnake King transformed into a flash of emerald lightning!
It charged at Ning!
Ji Ning’s eyes flashed with a fierce light. The Darknorth sword in his right hand suddenly transformed into a flash, chopping ray of light as his speed increased to its maximum. This was one of the three killing strokes of the [Thunderflame Sword], ‘Thunderflint Flash’. This technique relied on a single word; ‘Quick’! It could be described as the fastest sword attack Ning was capable of, and he used it now to deal with this sudden pounce of the Azure Skysnake King!
In but an instant, the Azure Skysnake King changed direction twelve times, transforming into a magical, illusory shadow which passed through the Darknorth sword in Ning’s right hand, and even used its serpentine body, now greatly reduced in size but clearly much more powerful, to strike at the Darknorth sword.
But Ning’s left hand, also wielding a Darknorth sword, transformed into circles of spinning water as he put on display the most defensively powerful stance of the [Raindrop Sutra], ‘Watertight’!
The serpentine head and the edge of the Darknorth sword collided, and the Azure Skysnake King couldn’t help but have its trajectory slightly altered to one side.
The two of them passed each other!
“Pa!” In that instant when they moved past each other, a terrifying shadow suddenly emerged from the water, striking towards Ning. Ning, unable to block in time, was struck heavily on the chest with a ‘Bang!’ sound…Ning couldn’t help but immediately vomit out a mouthful of blood, his face turning red as he was sent flying across the surface of the lake.
The Azure Skysnake King swam at high speed through the waters of the lake, pouncing towards Ning’s position.
“Those whip-strikes of that tail are too fast. Much faster than the tail strikes of that old monster Serpentwing.” Ning, in mid-air, flipped around and gracefully landed on the surface of the lake. He couldn’t help but clutch his chest. He could faintly sense that his bones were broken, but the powerful regenerative energies of the Fiendgod Body Refining method was quickly restoring them.
Kakaka…the two shattered ribs in his chest quickly were repaired.
“But his strength is quite a bit lower than Serpentwing’s.” Ning stared at his chest. Only his fur clothes had been ripped apart. With the added protection of the Goldstar Shirt, his body hadn’t been injured too badly.
The Azure Skysnake King once more shot towards him as fast as lightning.
So very fast!
“Come.” Ning wildly wielded his twin swords in an effort to defend. The Azure Skysnake King moved its head as if to bite, moved its body as if to coil around him, and also used its serpentine tail to strike at him. Its entire body was a weapon, and it coiled around Ning, wildly attacking. In this sort of extremely close quarters combat, often, a single second would allow numerous blows to be exchanged.
Ning’s [Raindrop Sutra] and [Thunderflame Sword] had both reached the ‘advanced’ stage, but he had yet to reach the ‘one with the world’ level of swordplay!
If his swordplay was at the ‘one with the world’ level, every ordinary pierce, thrust, scrape…any attack would be able to call on the natural power of the world. Only then was one’s level of swordplay truly at the ‘one with the world’ level. Because Ning had yet to reach this level, thus in this sort of high-speed combat, some of the postures and movements of his attacks were no longer carrying the power of the world.
Upon losing the natural power of the world, the power of his swordplay decreased noticeably. This was an enormous flaw, one which Ning was relying on his twin swords to make up for, but still, in the end…if one only defended, one would be defeated!
The Azure Skysnake King’s serpentine head bit viciously at Ning’s calf, and its sharp, venomous fangs pierced straight through the fur clothes and the Goldstar Shirt, the venom in its fangs instantly transmitting into Ning’s body. A powerful, numbing, intoxicating sensation quickly spread from Ning’s calf to the rest of his body, and Ning hurriedly swallowed the antivenom spiritual pill which he had been holding under his tongue.
“Die.” Ning struck out with the Darknorth swords in both hands, both of them simultaneously executing the ‘Moth Flies into the Flame’ of the [Thunderflame Sword]. The two swords instantly seemed to have transformed into two scorching lines of fire, piercing down directly towards the head of the Azure Skysnake King which was latched onto his calf!