Liu Dalu hurried through the forested path.
It was hard to see at night, but Liu Dalu’s steps were decisive and full of confidence.
Suddenly, he came to a stop before a tree with an incredibly thick trunk. Liu Dalu glanced around cautiously before knocking on the tree’s trunk three times.
An instant later, three knocks replied back from within the tree.
Liu Dalu responded with two more knocks of his own.
A previously invisible door swung open, revealing the interior of the tree.
A man with hair as messy as a crow’s nest appeared. His face was obscured by a black cloth. He glanced at Liu Dalu before dryly asking, “What took you so long?”
“My wife was keeping a close eye on me.”
“No one followed you here, right?”
“Do you have the items?”
“Yes, they’re right here,” Liu Dalu said as he patted the bundle in his hands.
“Come in.” Crow’s Nest quickly ushered him inside the tree.
Liu Dalu jumped through the hole in the tree, and Crow’s Nest tossed him a piece of black cloth so that he could also cover his face.
Liu Dalu hastily put it on before following Crow’s Nest into a broad and open general hall. There were a few dozen black-masked individuals bowing and worshipping.
In front of them was a tall statue of a deity.
This statue had three eyes and six arms. Each hand held an item, which were a candle, battleaxe, copper cymbal, golden truncheon, water pitcher, and calligraphy brush.
All of the black-clothed individuals were chanting in sync, “Praise and glory be to the God of Six Desires......”
Only one individual was not worshipping — a white-haired old man.
After Liu Dalu arrived, the old man immediately asked, “Did you bring it with you?”
Liu Dalu hurried over to the old man and offered up the bundle.
The old man opened the bundle. Inside the bundle was an infant.
The old man took a deep breath to confirm that it was still alive before sighing in relief. “Well done. Our god will reward you handsomely.”
Liu Dalu was delighted. “Praise be to our god!”
His last offering had been rewarded with incredible vitality. After he went home that night, he had given his wife quite a bit of pleasure while demonstrating the power of his new manhood.
After acquiring a taste for such things, Liu Dalu wanted even more. He had even accepted such a sinister, demonic request as offering up an innocent baby.
The elder propped up the infant with his left hand and raised a dagger with his right hand. The dagger’s hilt had a serpentine motif, and when the dagger was raised, the carved figure slowly extended, wriggling its way into the tender flesh between the elder’s thumb and index finger. The dagger and its wielder had become one.
The elder raised the serpentine dagger and yelled in a frenzy, “Great god, please accept this lowly sacrifice! We are eagerly awaiting your return, and we offer our wills up to you!”
The voices of the worshippers below began to swell in volume as they called out to their God of Six Desires.
As their chanting continued growing in intensity, the statue began to somewhat respond to these worshippers. Its shadow actually began twisting perceptibly, closing in around the infant. Its image also grew much fiercer under the candlelight.
The chanting grew even more feverish.
A bloodthirsty glint flashed through the elder’s eyes as he let out a reverberating cry. “In the name of our god!”
The dagger descended.
Just as the dagger was about to pierce the infant’s heart, however, it stopped in place.
The elder discovered that something seemed to be holding him back, preventing him from fully following through with his strike.
At the same time, the sounds of slaughter could be heard off in the distance.
The elder was briefly stunned, but he quickly recovered. “Not good! It’s the Demon Hunters!”
The elder hurriedly threw the infant at the ceiling.
The ceiling above the elder was made out of stone. Under normal circumstances, the infant would most likely have been killed upon impact.
But the infant gently came to a stop in midair and remained there, floating calmly. At this moment, it opened its eyes and began to giggle innocently as it took in the novelty of its surroundings, totally unaware that it had almost died multiple times.
The elder had already turned tail and started running away. While he did so, he tossed out an item, which caused giant plumes of smoke to immediately appear out of nowhere.
The smoke immediately made the situation even more chaotic.
Those worshippers were only common, ignorant townsfolk. They cried out in terror as a large horde of disciplined soldiers charged in through the passageway, preparing to arrest them all.
The elder backed up all the way to the statue and then smacked it with his palm. A small door appeared in the back of the statue.
The elder immediately jumped through the door, but after a moment’s thought, he poked his head back through, placed a small wooden figurine at the feet of the statue, and then continued charging through the door.
Behind the door was a tunnel. Even though the elder was quite advanced in his age, his steps were light and quick. Soon, he reached the end of the tunnel, which led to a well in someone’s backyard.
The walls of the well were quite slippery, but it was obvious that this elder was familiar with the escape route. With a firm stomp of his feet, he easily jumped out and landed on the ground next to the well.
He had just barely landed when he heard someone start chuckling from behind him. “Not bad.”
The elder froze.
He slowly turned around, only to find that there was a young man standing not far away from him, laughing and slowly clapping his hands.
The elder sneakily started backing up as he laughed nervously. “Haha, I’m sorry. I seem to have gotten lost. I’ll take my leave now.”
The youth stopped clapping as he angrily responded, “Hey now, don’t insult my intelligence, alright? You don’t really think that you can still receive salvation, do you? Right, I should introduce myself. My name is Chang He.”
“Thousand Flower Palms Chang He?” The old man was stunned.
At this point, Chang He’s name had become quite well-known. He was one of the Boundless Sect’s three Demon Hunter leaders. Because he was capable of using all kinds of different approaches to deal with these worshippers, he had been given that nickname.
When Chang He heard the nickname, he unhappily replied, “That name doesn’t sound imposing at all. I say, Old Zhang, you won’t get away this time, alright? We’ve spent so much time catching and trapping you, after all.”
The elder chuckled wryly. “Sir Chang, you seem to have caught the wrong person. My surname is Li, not Zhang. Yes, my clan worships the gods and is defying the Boundless Sect’s orders. I admit my wrongdoing, but my surname is really not Zhang!”
Chang He’s expression grew frosty. “Zhang Tianshi, originally known as Zhang Erlong, is a sixty-four year old man who was born in a small village hidden in the mountains. Three years ago, you slaughtered your entire village to offer their lives up as tribute to the God of Six Desires. I must say, old man, you are quite vicious. You’ve reaped quite a few lives over the past few years. It’s time for you to pay that debt now.”
Upon hearing Change He’s words, the elder’s expression turned cold as he realized that he would not be able to weasel his way out of this predicament. “Sir Chang seems to have done his homework.”
“Why else would I personally make an appearance? So are you going to surrender peacefully, or will you force me to beat you into surrendering?”
Zhang Tianshi chuckled as he replied, “Sir Chang may be powerful, but do you think that I’ve survived all this time due to just pure luck? I just didn’t want to bother with you earlier, but if you insist...... I’ll be more than happy to show you just how powerful the gods are!”
As he spoke, his entire body began to swell, and his withered physique rapidly morphed into that of a muscular young man’s.
“Is that all? You’d better skip right to the good stuff,” Chang He nonchalantly replied, not even batting an eye at Zhang Tianshi’s transformation.
Zhang Tianshi also knew what caliber of an opponent Chang He was and that normal techniques would be totally useless against him. Actually, he already knew that he would be lucky to escape with his life in this situation.
As such, he immediately raised the small wooden figurine in his hand and desperately cried out, “God of Six Desires, bestow your power upon me!”
A ray of divine light flickered across the surface of the figurine before shooting into Zhang Tianshi’s body. Zhang Tianshi immediately began to glow a faint golden color as he gave off quite the imposing aura.
Unfortunately, he could not use this power to battle.
Zhang Tianshi quickly stowed the figurine in his hand away, threw a wave of surging golden light at his opponent, and then whirled around to take advantage of that opportunity to leave.
“Trying to leave? Don’t forget that I’m called the Thousand Flower Palms,” Chang He chuckled calmly as he reappeared before Zhang Tianshi once again.
His mastery of battle techniques was just as varied as his hunting tactics. His familiarity with Whitetower Teleportation was quite impressive at this point.
Unexpectedly, however, Zhang Tianshi continued charging forwards, a strange luster flickering through his eyes for the briefest of moments. Chang He suddenly felt as if his consciousness had gone slack, and he immediately froze in place.
Chang He knew that he was in a tough spot. But how could he not have blocked that glance from Zhang Tianshi given his strength? What was going on?
“Die!” Zhang Tianshi raised the serpentine dagger in his hand. The carved serpent’s eyes seemed to bore straight into Chang He’s soul, and a cold, dismal aura enveloped him. It was as if he had been thrown into a cold, dark prison.
He knew that he had been tricked. If this dagger managed to wound him, even with a slight scratch, he would probably become one of Zhang Tianshi’s sacrifices.
Chang He revolved all of the energy in his body, managing to exhale a breath of air.
That was the only thing he could do. As he breathed out, the small wind whipped up into a column of air that slammed into Zhang Tianshi’s face, impeding his forward momentum.
At the same time, the pressure enveloping Chang He decreased somewhat. Chang He was able to gently flex one of his feet, sending him flying through the air.
Zhang Tianshi gave hot pursuit. The serpentine dagger swayed dangerously in front of Chang He, casting a sinister, cold shadow over him once more. Suddenly, he found that he was short of breath, and he began to plummet from the sky.
Zhang Tianshi raised the dagger once again. “I can’t believe that you’ve forced me to consume my divine blessing, but that’s fine. As long as I can kill you, I will obtain much, much more!”
Just as the dagger was about to descend, Chang He glared at him. “Do you dare kill a god?”
In Zhang Tianshi’s mind, Chang He had suddenly disappeared, only to be replaced by the God of Six Desires. His fear surged, and his grip on the serpentine dagger slackened by the unexpected change.
A voice rumbled through his mind. “You idiot, that’s an illusion technique!”
Zhang Tianshi quickly broke free from the illusion and was about to continue stabbing down with the dagger, but by then, Chang He had already planted his foot firmly into Zhang Tianshi’s chest.
He could finally move freely once more.
Just as Zhang Tianshi was sent flying, however, he cried out, “May God use my mortal body!”
The wooden figurine shattered. A powerful, imposing will surged forth, enveloping the entire area. Even Chang He could do nothing besides tremble in fear, frozen in place.
“The God of Six Desires?” Chang He was stunned.
“You dare kill my worshippers? Die!” A three-eyed, six-armed god had manifested behind Zhang Tianshi’s body, just like an Aspect. But unlike an Aspect, this image was much more tangible and imposing.
The arm wielding the golden truncheon rose high into the sky before it domineeringly slammed down towards Chang He.
This was the Soul-Shaking Truncheon. Even though it was just a projection, the effect that it had on a person’s consciousness was quite impressive.
Just as the truncheon was about to smash Chang He’s head open like an overripe watermelon, a streak of brilliant sword light suddenly descended from the heavens.
It directly pierced the image behind Zhang Tianshi, causing the Soul-Shaking Truncheon to momentarily freeze in the air as the sword light passed through the image and easily lopped off Zhang Tianshi’s head.
Zhang Tianshi’s head exploded from that single strike.
“NO!” the God of Six Desires roared with anger.
The streak of sword light then returned to its owner — a youth dressed in plain white robes. It was Ye Fenghan.
“You bastard! I’ll be back! And when I do, I will rule over this world and slaughter you all!” the fragmenting image roared in abject fury.
“You can see yourself out,” Ye Fenghan said in a tepid tone as he calmly slashed out with his sword once more, ripping both Zhang Tianshi and the God of Six Desires’ image into pieces.