Chapter 568 - Death's Door

 Chapter 568 - Death's Door

If there was one thing Tang Wulin was confident in, it was the might of his Golden Dragon Dreadclaw. Empowered by his blood essence, the ability of the soul bone was undoubtedly the strongest attack in his arsenal. The instant he unleashed it, all the energy his Golden Dragon Tyrant Body stored up, as well as a third of his blood essence. He was confident that this attack would pose a threat to even a five-ringed Soul King. 

But to his shock, his attacker showed no intent to evade. 

The five dark-gold blades of energy crashed into the man and instantly shattered into oblivion. The man’s body, which shone dark gold like a temple, was untouched. Before Tang Wulin could react, the man grabbed him by the throat. This time, he suppressed all of Tang Wulin’s soul power and blood essence.

Tang Wulin’s eyes quivered as he stared at the man through the dark waters. He’s fine! Completely unscathed! Even against my fully-powered dreadclaw! 

Both Tang Wulin’s mind and body were numb. He knew there was no hope for him. This man was not an existence he could even grovel at the feet of. 

As the sea’s crushing pressure grew stronger and stronger, Tang Wulin’s internal organs quickly sustained damage, a process that was only intensified by his outburst of power. A warm haze enveloped his mind. His consciousness began to fade. Scales still covered the right side of his torso. His blood essence struggled to keep him alive. However, it was being thoroughly suppressed by the man’s grip. 

A bitter smile traced its way on Tang Wulin’s mouth. It’s over, huh? I never thought I’d die in the sea like this. Maybe I’ll become dinner for some marine soul beast. Just some more nutrients for the sea. 

Tang Wulin’s vision faded to black. He couldn’t even see the golden man right in front of him. The tension drained from his limbs and began to float freely. He saw a tunnel shrouded in darkness before him. 

A tempting voice called to him from beyond it. 

However, right before he could cross the threshold, the pressure around his neck disappeared. In his eleventh hour, Tang Wulin’s blood essence roared to life. His body burst with power, his blood essence flowed in reverse, and the fog in his mind cleared up. 

Tang Wulin blinked, eyes flickering as his vision return to normal. He groggily scanned the water and managed to catch sight of his attacker jetting up to the surface. He, himself, continued to sink.

Tang Wulin was sorely in need of oxygen, but adrenaline was pumping through him now. He bit his tongue, using the sharp pain to clear away the last of the cloudiness in his mind. Did he think I was dead? If he really thinks I’m dead, then this is my chance!

Tang Wulin didn’t immediately swim for the surface. Instead he waved his arms in circles to stop his descent and steady himself in the water. He had to wait for his attacker to go farther away before he acted. He couldn’t his attacker discovering him and returning to finish him off. 

Ten seconds later, Tang Wulin’s body ached with excruciating pain. He was on the verge of hallucinating again, so he bit his tongue to clear his head once more. He simply couldn’t wait any longer. 

An ordinary person would have long since died from lack of oxygen and the immense pressure this deep in the sea. However, the Golden Dragon King’s bloodline granted Tang Wulin’s body a godly level of tenacity. This crisis pushed his body to its absolute limit. Tang Wulin was straddling the line between life and death. Wielding a miraculous burst of strength, he filled his arms with all the soul power he had left and desperately swam for the surface. 

Having grown up in a seaside town, Tang Wulin was a skilled swimmer. Furthermore, he was even more buoyant in salt water. By circulating his soul power to make his body lighter as well, he rapidly floated to the surface. As he did, the crushing influence of the water around him began to take effect once more. His vision blurred yet again. On top of that, his body still craved oxygen. 

Tang Wulin gritted his teeth. My life is on the line! No matter what, I have to endure! 

In the sea, darkness surrounded Tang Wulin on all sides. He couldn’t even see how far the surface was on this moonless night. All he could do was persevere and continue swimming upward. 

As time wore on, Tang Wulin’s blood essence churned slower and slower. His limbs grew as heavy as lead. It was a struggle for him to even lift his arm up and pull himself toward the surface. The water pressure decreased as he ascended, but his movements still became slower. It didn’t seem to matter how much he swam. The distance between him and the surface was virtually endless. 

Then his body trembled and seized up. He began to spasm. He had no more oxygen to burn. The weight returned to his body. He started sinking once more. 

No! Tang Wulin screamed in his heart. A wave of clarity flooded his mind, and he felt another burst of strength flooding from deep within him. The fourteen remaining Golden Dragon King seals quivered and squeezed out all of the strength hidden inside of him. A golden aura enveloped Tang Wulin and relieved the pain in his gut.

With this newfound strength, he clad his arms in golden scales and clawed toward the surface with renewed vigor. He was practically soaring through the water. He flailed and kicked toward the surface. He knew this could be his dying spurt of energy. If it was, he had to make use of it. This was his last chance at survival. 

The flood of strength waned quickly. It was nearly impossible for him to refrain from trying to gasp for breath. 

This can’t be the end! It can’t! Tang Wulin roared in his heart. Against all odds, he summoned yet another burst of strength and swam even faster. 

Moments later, he broke the surface with a loud splash. Before he could catch his breath, however, a large wave washed over him and sent him under. He resurfaced in an instant, gasping for breath. He inhaled with such force that it seemed like a veritable gust of wind was being drawn into his mouth. Air surged into his lungs and quickly spread to the rest of his body.

Tang Wulin’s limbs and organs continued to scream in pain. The sudden ascent from several hundred meters deep in the sea gave him a bad case of decompression sickness. Furthermore, the sudden influx of air only increased the pain. 

Tang Wulin slowly treaded water until he could move into a starfish position and float on the surface of the sea. As he sucked in huge breaths of air, he circulated his blood essence to try and recover. 

This was truly Tang Wulin’s closest brush with death. All he could do now was limply float on the water. Pain stabbed at every inch of his body. It felt like he was being torn apart and remade again each and every moment. But still, he smiled. Pain was proof that he still lived! 

Soon enough, Tang Wulin’s tenacious body was in good enough shape for his blood essence to settle into a smooth flow. With each round of its circulation, the pain tormenting him grew weaker. 

As he stared up at the cloudy, moonless sky, Tang Wulin couldn’t help but laugh hysterically. It looks like I didn’t spend my years eating all that food for nothing! It’s thanks to my powerful blood essence that I’m still alive. 

While Tang Wulin had survived drowning, he knew that his crisis wasn’t over. The ship had already traveled quite far, and if he couldn’t catch up, he would be stranded in the middle of the sea. By then, he would be fated to succumb to fatigue and die. 

Tang Wulin shifted his weight forward and began to sluggishly tread water. He looked around him, and a bitter smile formed on his face. The two ships were nowhere to be seen. Even if had been able to see them, he wasn’t confident that he would be able to catch up to them in his current state. It would be impossible for him to swim fast enough to catch up to such large ships. 

Am I really destined to die in the sea after all? 

It took a huge amount of effort for Tang Wulin to stay afloat because of how extremely dense his body was. Simply doing that was making him more and more tired. At this rate, fatigue was sure to catch up to him and drag him down to a watery death. 

Just as Tang Wulin was about to resign himself to his fate, he caught a glimpse of dark gold flickering in the distance. His eyes went wide at the sight.

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