Chapter 1697: The Tone From The Top

The eyeballs of the gigantic serpent spirit were bigger than a lantern. Its horrifyingly bloodshot eyes shone with murderous intent.

Jiang Chen remained calm in the face of the evil spirit blocking his way. It wasn’t the first time he faced down a giant monster. He wasn’t afraid in the slightest.

The serpent suddenly opened its mouth wide.

Huff!

A whiff of filthy breath shot viciously towards him, the pungent smell repulsive enough to make one wish for the mercy of death.

He instinctively knew that it was highly poisonous. However, no poison in the world could harm him thanks to his golden cicada bloodline. With a simple wave of his sleeve, he diverted the gust of air.

It dispersed and rotated around him in continuous circles. 

He shot a ray of light from his Evil Golden Eye at the enormous serpent’s lantern-like pupils, splitting the air like keen swords.

The spirit hadn’t taken the human’s attack seriously at first, but it realized how powerful the attack was when the sharp golden light drew close. It tilted its head, narrowly preventing the light from taking its eyes.

The two rays of light cut into the center of its forehead instead.

Splurt.

Blood spurted violently out of the two cuts.

His Evil Golden Eye could attack not only the consciousness, but also apply physical force. It alone was powerful enough. With the seal on his consciousness strengthening it, its effects were boosted greatly. 

The secret methods benefitted the most from the seal—the Evil Golden Eye, God’s Eye, Ear of the Zephyr, Psychic’s Head, and Boulder’s Heart. Any having to do with the consciousness were also greatly enhanced.

The injury enraged the serpent. It threw its head back with a screech, its eyes violently bloodshot and killing intent surging. 

Its enormous body scurried to and fro with its mouth opened wide. A blood red ribbon looped around Jiang Chen like a rope of flesh, who calmly inflicted a series of slashes with the Supernova Point.

The tongue was surprisingly tough. Even the powerful Supernova Point was unable to slice through it, leaving only a shallow cut in its wake. Moreover, the cut instantly healed with the serpent’s saliva. 

Jiang Chen was dumbfounded by the bizarre scene. The serpent’s tongue was even tougher than the stone mountain!

Although the Supernova Point wasn’t his strongest martial method, it could inflict considerable damage to a single enemy. Even an empyrean expert wouldn’t dare take the point head-on.

The serpent’s tongue was even tougher than its skin?? He’d managed to puncture its forehead, but the Supernova Point had only left a glancing blow on its tongue. He finally understood why the ninth cave was so intimidating, and why no geniuses had managed to pass it.

Even without the giant serpent spirit, the series of dangers he’d encountered so far were more than what most people could deal with. The serpent and its descendants were all venomous, and the entire area was covered in poison.

If he hadn’t been of the golden cicada bloodline, he would’ve long since been knocked out by the poisonous fumes. He wouldn’t even be able to fight.

The serpent’s tongue whipped at him with great velocity, an agile band. Fortunately he was adept at movement.

By distracting the serpent with the Pentecolor Divine Swords, he was able to stand his ground against it, albeit with some difficulty. The serpent continuously breathed out foul odor as it attacked with its tongue.

Its poisonous breath was obviously its greatest strength, and it happened to be the one thing Jiang Chen was immune to. He knew if he could hack through the serpent, he’d be close to exiting the cave.

That was easier said than done, however.

Jiang Chen observed the serpent’s behavior and the surrounding landscapes as he fought. He could’ve made quick work of the serpent by summoning the Confounding Puppets, or at least hold down the serpent long enough for him to pass through safely.

However, there must be many watching him outside the Nine Winding Caves. He didn’t want to show all the cards he had. That was why he had such a difficult time fighting the serpent.   

……

The first prime kept her eyes on everything happening in the cave. She closely watched Jiang Chen’s fight with the serpent.

“What’s happening, First Prime? Has Shao Yuan entered the serpent tribe’s territory?”

“Oh, he won’t be able to defeat the serpent spirit.”

“He should be proud of himself for escaping the stone mountain alone. Throughout history, none of the cultivators entering the ninth cave were able to pass that region. Shao Yuan’s record is already unparalleled, right?”

“That’s right. I hope the young man will bring us the ultimate miracle.”

The first prime looked ahead deeply. “The young man seems helpless against the serpent spirit, but the serpent seems incapable of taking him out either.”

“What? The serpent can’t take him out? Isn’t the serpent’s poisonous gas very powerful? Is its army of descendents unable to deal with him either?”

“That can’t be. The whole region is the death zone. It’s covered in snake venom. No one can pass through the area. Has the serpent gone easy on him and not attacked with the poisonous miasma?”

The elders didn’t have their mind’s eye open and couldn’t see what was happening in the cave.

“Haha, the serpent has attacked him with poisonous air many times, but the young man has a mysterious method of defense that protects him against poison.”

The elders were dumbfounded. It wasn’t rare for a cultivator to know anti-poison methods, but most of them only worked for a short period of time. Their effects would wear off after prolonged exposure to poisonous gas.

“Elder Ziju, what do you think is the method that protects Shao Yuan from poisons for so long?” The first prime was very curious. Methods against poison were something all cultivators cared about. Even someone at her level wouldn’t say she was invincible against all poisons.

There was a great variety of poisons in the world. The same poison could have drastically different effects in different hands.

A poison that didn’t work on an empyrean expert when used by a great emperor, could threaten the former in the hands of another empyrean expert.

At the same time, even the most powerful cultivator wouldn’t claim to be immune to all poisons; none in the Eternal Sacred Land at least. The same was true for Ziju Min, recognized as the figurehead in pill dao.

Thus, Ziju Min didn’t immediately respond. He thought for a good moment. “There are many ways to defend against poisons—pills, magical items, or antidotes. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, it’s almost impossible to be immune to all poisons. It’s said that there was a bloodline in the ancient times that granted immunity. However, there’s never been such a case on Myriad Abyss Island.”

“A bloodline that grants immunity to all poisons? Is there a human bloodline like that?”

“Bloodlines of the human race are complicated. Our bloodline is flexible and able to incorporate many others of the ancient times as our own. If a human bloodline has been mixed with that of an ancient race, the power may awaken after some generations.”

The first prime smiled. “Is Shao Yuan’s immunity from his blood, a pill, or some treasure?”

Ziju Min didn’t have an answer.

The first prime didn’t push. “Why do I have a feeling that this isn’t Shao Yuan’s full power?” she commented suddenly. “He seems to be pulling his punches even as he fights the serpent. The young man is more extraordinary than we imagine.”

Her comments surprised the others and they exchanged looks.

“Why has a talented young man like him remained unnoticed before?” someone spoke up. “It seems suspicious.”

“I agree. Shao Yuan’s history is an odd one. He appeared on the Bluesmoke Isles as a nobody and latched onto House Yan. He then came to us after a short period of time. I feel like there’s someone pulling the strings behind the scenes.” The ones who spoke were Ziju Min’s rivals.

They were insinuating that Shao Yuan’s backstory was suspicious, and that he might have joined the Eternal Sacred Land with a hidden agenda.

Ziju Min looked at them, but surprisingly didn’t say anything.

The first prime smiled. “Don’t overreact. If Shao Yuan has joined us with ulterior motives, he won’t succeed. As long as he isn’t a spy from our enemy factions, we must devote everything we have to support him. His potential is unrivaled. Besides, I don’t know what faction would be generous enough to send a genius like him out as a spy.”

Factions hostile to one another did plant spies, but the spies were always of mediocre talent. 

If a spy was too remarkable, it’d be a great loss for the faction once the spy was exposed. In addition, talented people attracted too much attention. It’d be difficult for a spy like that to do his job.

Regular disciples who were unremarkable in every which way were the ones most suitable for going undercover.

Ziju Min bowed slightly to the prime lord and promised with heretofore unseen conviction, “This subordinate can’t guarantee that the young man has no personal agenda, but I can promise that he is no spy.”

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