As Pi Yan watched Li Mo, Yun Ruoyan, and Zhuo Yifeng fly away, the killing intent that he had been suppressing once again burst into full force. He followed them into the skies, and, from an extended distance, drew the sword that could conjure up a field of lightning, infused spiritual energy into it, and thrust the sword toward Zhuo Yifeng’s back.
Sword aura was far harder to detect than a cultivator’s aura. The sword drew closer and closer to Zhuo Yifeng without being discovered, and Pi Yan’s murderous eyes filled with glee.
Just then, however, warnings rang out in Yun Ruoyan and Zhuo Yifeng’s mind.
“Mistress, there’s killing intent coming from the back, and it’s directed at Zhuo Yifeng!” Qiuqiu chirped urgently.
“Brat, someone’s trying to kill you from the back!” the demonic spirit warned.
By then, the sword was nearing Zhuo Yifeng’s back.
“Zhuo Yifeng, be careful!” Yun Ruoyan shouted, but he had already turned around, holding Pi Batian in front of him.
As the sword embedded itself deep within Pi Batian’s chest, Pi Batian opened his eyes wide and stared disbelievingly at it.
“Tian’er!” Pi Yan shrieked from a distance. “Zhuo Yifeng, Yun Ruoyan, Li Mo—I’ll kill all of you!”
Zhuo Yifeng released Pi Batian’s body, his face an expressionless mask. Pi Batian dropped toward the ground like a withered leaf.
“Run!” Li Mo urged. Now that Pi Batian had died, they had lost their insurance against Pi Yan. If the three of them were to tarry any longer, Pi Yan would kill them all.
“Kill those three cultivators at once!” Pi Yan hollered at the hundreds of swordsmen behind him, then morphed into a beam of light as he darted toward Pi Batian’s falling body.
Pi Yan had truly gone crazy, and his pain at losing his son had caused him to completely forget about the silver dragon clan elder’s command to not hurt Yun Ruoyan. The magnificent sight of hundreds of swordsmen taking to the skies seemed like a meteor shower happening in reverse.
The beggars who had found a temporary repose by the darkened alleys of the Pi city opened their eyes blearily to see the heavens streaked with light, bearing witness to the grand chase that was happening above the Pi city.
Yun Ruoyan, Zhuo Yifeng, and Li Mo flew so fast that the swordsmen behind them couldn’t catch up, but more reinforcements appeared before them. Yun Ruoyan released a slew of fireballs, Li Mo conjured up countless icicles, and Zhuo Yifeng cracked a black whip that Yun Ruoyan had never seen him use as they began tussling with the swordsmen from the front.
Zhuo Yifeng’s black whip could extend and elongate at will. As though it were alive, it struck whatever target Zhuo Yifeng willed with shocking strength.
By the time they had dealt with the reinforcements ahead of them, those swordsmen flying from behind had caught up and surrounded the three cultivators. Most of the swordsmen were mid-ninth-rank cultivators, and some were barely a step from becoming sword saints. Even though Li Mo was a second-rank sword saint, the fact that they were outnumbered at least fifty-to-one had their backs drenched in cold sweat.
“Given the situation, we should all split up and try to escape on our own!” Yun Ruoyan whispered. What she had proposed was indeed the best strategy when dealing with such large groups of enemies, but the two men beside her both ignored her words.
“Listen to me!” Yun Ruoyan hissed. “If I get captured again, the two of you can still save me. But if we all get captured, it’ll be hopeless!”
“Brat,” the demonic spirit spoke to Zhuo Yifeng, “she’s right. Let’s run away now, and once my cultivation recovers, we’ll raze this place to the ground!”
“Yan’er,” Li Mo suddenly began. “Why don’t we escort Zhuo Yifeng out?”
Yun Ruoyan nodded, but Zhuo Yifeng suddenly shouted, “Nonsense!” Then, brandishing his whip, he rushed into the group of enemy cultivators.
“Kill them!” Yun Ruoyan shouted, following Zhuo Yifeng’s lead. Li Mo stayed beside her, guarding her from harm.
Zhuo Yifeng fought like a demon unleashed, a whip in one hand and a longsword in the other. He whirled and slashed, felling half a dozen swordsmen in one sweep. The black whip in his hand was exceedingly strange, seeming to knock enemies aside without even touching them.
Yun Ruoyan flew on her Scarlet Eye, which radiated such heat that those swordsmen using ice- or earth-attuned spiritual techniques found the strength of those techniques drastically reduced. Many of the other swordsmen didn’t possess a sufficiently advanced cultivation to be a challenge for Yun Ruoyan, and she ended up fighting against a few fire-attuned cultivators.
Because she had a sage-grade spirit crystal, she had the advantage in terms of spiritual energy and spiritual energy recovery, so she was able to fight on even footing against three swordsmen of equal cultivation at once. Fireballs flew from her hands every which way, and the enemy swordsmen had cleared a wide berth around her to avoid getting hit by a stray fireball.
As Li Mo dealt with his own targets, he continued watching over Yun Ruoyan and Zhuo Yifeng, shocked by their explosive growth. They were now both peak ninth-rank blademasters, and it seemed as though they would break through to the realm of a sword saint at any moment.
Yun Ruoyan’s rapid advancement could be attributed to her bloodline and the dual cultivation technique which she’d pursued with Li Mo, but the fact that Zhuo Yifeng was also able to progress so quickly was quite a mystery.
As the battle proceeded, night turned to day. The citizens of the Pi city woke up to the sound of clashes overhead. Some of the more daring citizens began watching the fight in the open, whereas others peered at the skies from behind their windows. From time to time, swordsmen would fall from mid-air. The more fortunate ones would land in roofs or trees, but others fell directly against the ground.
None of these citizens knew what had provoked the battle, nor whom the two men and one woman fighting against the Pi swordsmen were, but their faces were imprinted in the citizens’ memories.
As the number of Pi swordsmen remaining in the air dwindled further and further, Pi Yan had lain Pi Batian to rest, returned to his rooms, and retrieved his mirror. Then, he flew back to the skies and thundered, “To avenge my son, the three of you will all die here today!”
“Not good, it’s the mirror!” Yun Ruoyan shouted.
The beam of light enveloped Yun Ruoyan, Li Mo, and Zhuo Yifeng, then began to shrink in size. The other Pi swordsmen were all excluded from the beam, leaving only the trio stranded within.
Li Mo raised his spiritual energy output to the maximum and punched at the barrier of light, which trembled. But when Li Mo tried to punch the barrier again, a hail of light blades suddenly shot out from the mirror towards them.
“Li Mo, be careful!” Yun Ruoyan pulled him back and deftly avoided the wave of blades, only to see a new wave shooting out from the mirror’s surface. Yun Ruoyan, Li Mo, and Zhuo Yifeng’s bodies were immediately enveloped in spiritual membranes, but the hail of blades was sufficiently strong as to rip apart Yun Ruoyan and Zhuo Yifeng’s membranes in a matter of moments. Li Mo’s membrane began to ripple, as though even his membrane would be unable to last much longer.
“To think this mirror would be so strong…” Yun Ruoyan murmured. Li Mo pulled Yun Ruoyan against his robe, then beckoned Zhuo Yifeng over as well.
Zhuo Yifeng glanced coolly at Li Mo, refusing his offer. He tried blocking the blades of light with his whip and spirit sword, but the blades were too strong and far too concentrated for him to be successful.
“Brat, use my shield!” the demonic spirit suddenly whispered. Only then did Zhuo Yifeng suddenly recall that, when he had first found the whip in the southern tower of Kongming Academy, it had come in a matched set with a black shield. After forming a spiritual link with the whip and shield, Zhuo Yifeng had forgotten entirely about the latter.
He conjured up the palm-sized shield, which instantly grew to half his height. Then, Zhuo Yifeng held it in front of his body. He didn’t know what material the shield was made of, but it easily absorbed the blades of light.
“I think the two of you had better join me instead.” Zhuo Yifeng turned to Li Mo, his lips curling up into an almost imperceptible smile...Previous Chapter Next Chapter