Chapter 197: Face to Face

After chuckling for a moment, Mi Li’s face suddenly turned severe. “I won’t waste my time fooling around with you anymore.”

This time around, she rushed straight toward Zu An herself. After her sword ki failed to take his life time and time again, she decided to make the move personally.

Zu An was appalled by the sight. He quickly dodged to the side while berating, “Tai’e, you bastard! I swear that you’ll be dead meat if you don’t get down right now!”

The Tai’e Sword shuddered a little as a metallic reverberation echoed in the air. It fell from the cliff and flew straight into Zu An’s hands. 

Overjoyed, Zu An immediately swung the sword toward the incoming Mi Li.

Mi Li was horrified by the turn of events. She wouldn’t fear Zu An and the Tai’e Sword if she had been in her peak, but in her current state, she had no choice but to avoid facing them directly.

Zu An finally got a chance to examine the sword in his hand closely. He flicked its blade as he remarked, “What a wretched sword you are. You refused to move when I asked you nicely. You needed me to raise my voice at you and threaten you before you're finally willing to move.”

Weng weng weng~

The sword whirred a little in protest, unhappy with the way how Zu An was phrasing it.

Mi Li glanced at the Tai’e Sword for a moment, but she decided against confronting it head-on. “Isn’t that just like you? It’s no wonder why it resonates well with you.”

“Hey! Just because you can stuff whatever you want into your mouth doesn’t mean that you can let whatever you want spill out from it!” Zu An harrumphed. “What do you mean by that it’s like me? Do I look wretched to you?”

“Is that not the case?” sneered Mi Li.

Even Qiao Xueying, who was collapsed weakly in a puddle of blood, nodded in agreement.

Zu An coughed softly to conceal his awkwardness before swiftly changing the topic. “What’s the use of saying so much? Now that I have the almighty sword in my hand, I shall show you why flowers are red!”

“You want to teach me a lesson?” It was as if Mi Li had heard the most hilarious joke in the world. “If Tai’e Sword is at its peak, I might still hesitate a little in its face. But now? Heh!”

Right after saying those words, she suddenly appeared right in front of Zu An.

Zu An was horrified. He quickly swung his sword at Mi Li frantically, launching a barrage of extremely aggressive attacks. He had chosen to abandon all defense and go all out to bring Mi Li down at all costs, which was a wise move since he had the Heiress’ Ball of Delight sustaining the final bit of his health bar and the Primordial Origin Ki constantly healing him up.

Mi Li frowned in response. She couldn’t bear the thought of even suffering the slightest injuries in the hands of a mere ant. She began to retreat, but it only raised Zu An’s spirits higher and he upped his aggression a notch higher.

Unfortunately, the gap between the two of them was too great. It didn’t take long for Mi Li to find an opening in his attacks and retaliate, knocking him into the sky, where he flew in an arc before crashing heavily into the ground.

“Ah Zu!” exclaimed Qiao Xueying. 

She tried to rush forward to catch him, but the severity of her injuries hindered her movements.

“Since you care for him that much, the two of you can become a pair of lovebirds in the afterlife!” sneered Mi Li. 

She raised her hand to end Qiao Xueying’s life too, but a feeble voice suddenly sounded behind her, “I’m not dead yet!”

The two women immediately turned around. Qiao Xueying was overjoyed to see that Zu An was still breathing whereas Mi Li was utterly shocked. The force she had used earlier would have been enough to kill even a fifth rank cultivator, let alone a third rank like him!

Zu An shakily got back to his feet. It was extremely strenuous at first, but his posture got more and more firm. The Primordial Origin Sutra was desperately taking in primordial ki from the surroundings to repair his body. Of course, the rate of recovery couldn’t possibly match the rate he was sustaining injuries at, but fortunately, he had the Heiress’ Ball of Delight to keep the final sliver of his health bar hanging, so he was somehow still able to maintain his condition, no matter how awful it was.

Mi Li’s face turned cold. She was starting to lose her temper. That fellow is like a cockroach who simply wouldn’t be squashed! Annoying!

You have successfully trolled Mi Li for +444 Rage!

It was a substantial amount of Rage points, but Zu An wasn’t happy in the least. He had raised a flag previously that he wouldn’t get anything good for the next three draws. So, no matter how many Rage points he earned now, it was just going to go down the drain.

He was just impressed with himself, really. How could he still be so calculative even when he was already on the verge of death?

Mi Li darted toward him once more as swiftly as a bolt of lightning. Zu An swiftly gathered his strength and retaliated with his Tai’e Sword.

Bam!

Once again, Zu An was sent flying. The massive force struck his vitals squarely, such that he would have surely died under normal circumstances.

However, Mi Li dared not to let her guard down. She kept her eyes on him intently.

Her wariness wasn’t without reason, for Zu An shakily rose to his feet once more right after.

“Big sis empress, harder!”

Mi Li’s face turned cold. She zapped forward once more and launched a series of sharp stabs toward Zu An’s body. 

Yet, a moment later, the bloodied Zu An struggled to his feet once more and shouted, “Harder!”

Bam!

He was responded with yet another fatal blow.

“Big sis empress, have you not been eating at all? Ah, I forgot that you’ve been trapped in that coffin for thousands of years.”

Bam!

“Harder!”

Bam!

… 

Meanwhile, Qiao Xueying’s eyes had already been blurred with tears. She cried for Zu An to stop provoking that demoness, but the latter simply wouldn’t listen to her.

This torture happened for countless times before Mi Li finally stopped. There was a complicated glint in her eyes as she said, “I must say, you might be weak, but I’ve never seen anyone with as much willpower as you. It’s no wonder why you were able to conquer the Tai’e Sword.”

“But it’s a pity that I’m still no match for you.” Zu An sighed deeply. While he was still in no danger due to the effects of the Heiress’ Ball of Delight, the absurd difference in their strength made him completely helpless before her. He didn’t stand a chance at all.

“Forget it. Your courage and willpower has won my admiration. If it’s a man like you… Cough cough.” Redness tinged Mi Li’s face. “Now that I think about it, it’s not something completely unacceptable either. I’ll let you off for now.”

After leaving behind those words, she turned around to leave. However, Zu An immediately spoke up to stop her, “Wait a moment! You might have let me off, but that doesn’t mean I’m letting you off. Return my wife to me!”

He knew that it was just a matter of time before Mi Li destroyed Chu Chuyan’s persona entirely. By then, she would be really dead.

Mi Li turned around with a malicious look on her face. “Don’t test my patience!”

The Great Qin Dynasty was known for its strict laws, and she was an empress who stood only beneath a single man. While she wasn’t a tyrant like Ying Zheng, she wasn’t the type of person to value the sanctity of life either. Even if it was a close aide who had served her for many years, she wouldn’t hesitate to kill him if the other party were to get on her bad side. 

Under normal circumstances, she would have unhesitatingly sentenced Zu An to ‘death by a thousand cuts’ for daring to offend her here. She was only sparing him out of admiration for his strong willpower, but the latter actually tried to climb over her head instead!

Qiao Xueying immediately tried to persuade Zu An to step down, “Ah Zu, you’ve already tried your best. I believe Miss Chu has seen your efforts and is thankful to you for it. There’s no need for you to persist any longer. You can’t win here.”

In her view, it was already a miracle that Zu An was still to survive till now, but there was only so much that a human body could take, not to mention that he hadn’t been able to inflict the slightest damage on Mi Li thus far. This was a completely hopeless battle, and there was no point prolonging it.

However, Zu An shook his head and said, “That’s my wife over there. We’ve already consummated our marriage. There’s no way I can watch as she loses her life indignantly here!”

“Very well, I’ll grant your wish then!” Mi Li was getting deeply annoyed by now. She was born in the royal family, and the only relationship she had in her life was with Ying Zheng. These circumstances led to her not believing in love and whatnot. However, Zu An’s determination was shaking the pragmatic values she had embraced thus far. 

How is this woman able to acquire something that I was never able to so easily? No, it matters not. I’ll just have to sever this bond that they share then!

She flitted right in front of Zu An instantaneously, which spurred Zu An to immediately raise his sword to protect himself. However, he had sustained injuries far too grievous that even with the recovery from the Primordial Origin Sutra, it took all he had just to barely remain standing. He was in no condition to use his sword at all.

Mi Li flicked her finger, and the Tai’e Sword immediately flew several meters away and stabbed right into the ground.

Following that, she wrapped her hand around his neck and sunk her long fingernails into his skin, causing a spurt of blood that dyed her fair fingers with a touch of seductive red.

“I can’t understand how you are able to survive thus far. It might be due to some secret skills you possess, or a special lineage perhaps. However, regardless of what you are, there’s no way you can survive once you lose your head.

“I’ve been going easy on you thus far, which is why I’ve never specifically aimed for your head. However, since you don’t know what’s good for you, there’s no need for me to spare my grace on you any longer. I don’t believe that you’ll be able to survive one I tear your head off!”

To be honest, Zu An was also curious as to whether the Heiress’ Ball of Delight would be able to continue protecting him even after his head was twisted off. If he was still alive at the end of which, how would it work? Would his fallen head simply reattach to his body?

But what if she crushes my head like a watermelon, reducing my brain to mush? Will I be able to come back to life with that?

Zu An’s complexion turned awful at that thought.

Noticing the subtle changes in his expressions, Mi Li sneered coldly as she prepared herself to twist off his head. But all of a sudden, her body froze up.

“Ah Zu, kill me!”

The malicious look in Mi Li’s eyes vanished without a trace, replaced with Chu Chuyan’s anxious expression. Her eyes were glistening with tears.

Zu An was delighted to see her. “Honey, you’ve managed to overcome her?”

“I am only able to temporarily wrestle control back over my body from her, but I won’t be able to last too long at this rate. Hurry up and kill me!” exclaimed Chu Chuyan. 

There was no way someone as proud as her would allow another woman to take over her body. Just the thought of how that woman would use her body to do that kind of stuff with other men in the future made her shudder in disgust. She would rather die than to allow something like that to happen!

Her words made Zu An hesitate. Chu Chuyan had completely put down her defenses, such that even Zu An, despite his severe injuries, could kill her with ease at this very moment. However, how could he really do that?

If he was really able to accept her death, there was no way he would have persisted for so long.

“Hurry up!” Chu Chuyan cried pleadingly.

Zu An’s complexion turned dark. He knew what was the logical decision he ought to make here, but was this even a question that should be answered with logic at all?

This brief moment of hesitation allowed Chu Chuyan’s body to be taken over by the domineering Mi Li once more. “You lowly woman. How dare you try to fight against me?”

“You’re the lowly woman here!” Chu Chuyan’s eyes regained their clarity.

Chu Chuyan’s face kept alternating to and fro between Chu Chuyan and Mi Li, speaking to one another in completely different tones. It was really an extremely eerie sight.

Zu An knew that he couldn’t hesitate anymore. So, he picked up the Tai’e Sword and aimed its tip toward Chu Chuyan’s heart. As long as he pushed it forth a little, her life would come to an end.

Seemingly knowing that Zu An wouldn’t be able to do it, Chu Chuyan gritted her teeth, grabbed the sword with her left hand, and pulled the sword toward her chest.

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