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Chapter 263 - Understanding People
No one had thought that the treacherous and cruel sword had come from their own side, that the perpetrator of the sneak attack was Liang Xiaoxiao.
Zhexiu had an incomparably rich experience in battle, and his temperament always had been cold and detached. Because of the environment in which Chen Changsheng had been raised in, he had always been cautious in handling his affairs. Thus, regardless of how enticing or pitiful those two demon women were, they had been unable to deceive the two of them. However, even the two of them could have never imagined that Liang Xiaoxiao would suddenly revolt.
From the Mausoleum of Books to the Garden of Zhou, Chen Changsheng had always felt that Liang Xiaoxiao had a faint sense of hostility towards him. However, Chen Changsheng had become acquainted with the Divine State's Seven Laws. Gou Hanshi was a sincere and earnest noble, while Guan Feibai was a fierce fencer, or perhaps a rival or enemy. However, he had never believed that these Mount Li Sword Sect disciples were lowly traitors, much less that Liang Xiaoxiao would actually be colluding with the demons.
The war between the humans and demons had already stretched on for nearly one thousand years. Whether it was the Zhou Dynasty in the north or the Longevity Sect and the other sects in the south, how many predecessors and fellow disciples had gone bravely towards their deaths? As cultivators, they should have understood even more clearly that this was a war of extermination. So why did Liang Xiaoxiao join hands so willingly with the demons?
Of course, the person most shocked by this was Qi Jian. His abdomen had been run through by Liang Xiaoxiao's sword. This was a severe injury, but what had been even more injured was his heart. He looked at Liang Xiaoxiao. His face was pale and his expression was frustrated. Even now, he still failed to understand. This Third Brother had grown up together with him, and cared for him every day, so why would he perpetrate such a vile plot?
Liang Xiaoxiao said nothing. His face was pale and a faint struggle could be seen within his eyes. However, deeper within those eyes was a mad sense of painful delight.
It was pain, and it was delight.
Chen Changsheng and the two others thought of many matters, many possibilities; however, in reality, only a very short time had passed.
The demons had always been cold and emotionless. Seeing that their plan had finally succeeded, and that Liang Xiaoxiao's sneak attack had gone off without a hitch, how could they have given them any time to catch their breaths or wait for justification?
Teng Xiaoming once again hefted his carrying pole against the three youths. With both hands grasping it, he smashed it towards their faces without pity.
The wind was suddenly broken into countless strands. The nearby trees were all knocked down as that that terrifying carrying pole swung down like a mountain.
Even if Chen Changsheng and the others were uninjured, it would have been very difficult for them to block a whole-hearted attack from the famously ferocious twenty-fourth Demon General, let alone their current disastrous situation.
Zhexiu's two shoulders were a bloody mess. In between the chaotic lumps of fur that still had not receded yet, dense bones could be faintly made out from underneath. What was even more frightening was that these wounds had been caused by that demon woman whose nails contained the Peacock Plume—deep within the eyes of that wolf youth, an extremely small tinge of green could already be seen.
The legendary Peacock Plume was a poison that could kill the most powerful monster. That poison was now beginning to wreak havoc in Zhexiu's body.
Qi Jian was in an even sorrier state. Blood continued to spill from his abdomen. Even using the very last of his strength, he could only keep his grasp on the Mount Li Relic Sword. He could not even stand up, so how could he fight?
Chen Changsheng seemed to be in a somewhat better state. He had come out of that pit with his dagger covered in dust and cut a rather sorry figure, but there were no wounds on his body nor blood on his clothes.
However, in reality, he only seemed to be in a better state.
Previously, in that crater where he had received Teng Xiaoming's first strike of the carrying pole, he still was unable to completely block it even though he had bathed in dragon blood. The bone in his left arm had already cracked, while several of his ribs had already fractured. Even more troublesome was that his sea of consciousness had received a massive shock, which he found incredibly hard to bear. His stomach felt smothered, and at any moment he could spit up blood.
How could these heavily injured youths possibly withstand this mountainous carrying pole?
After Liang Xiaoxiao had succeeded in his sneak attack, he had made a swift retreat. Separated by dozens of yards, he looked upon this scene in silence.
The demon woman's smile was like a flower.
The dignified noble daughter had a calm expression.
Liu Wan'er sympathized, then waited.
She waited for Chen Changsheng and the other two to die as expected.
Of course, Chen Changsheng did not want to die.
It could be said without a doubt that, from the age of ten, he was the person on this world who had least wanted to die.
For the sake of not dying, he had expended much effort, and had naturally made many preparations as well.
Everyone, including Qi Jian, thought that they were dead beyond a doubt. Een Zhexiu, who had walked at the border of life and death so many times, thought silently that this was it. However, Chen Changsheng got to work once again, and took out the item he had prepared beforehand.
It was a metal ball, and its surface was covered with lines like fish scales.
Chen Changsheng poured his true essence into the metal ball. The surface of the ball flashed, then it began to tremble as those scales began to split open.
A cacophony of metallic clicks began to resound from it.
The split metal ball transformed in a flash, forming the thin canvas of an umbrella, then the pole, and finally the handle.
This transformation took a very short time. When the handle fell into Chen Changsheng's grasp, the Demon General's powerful carrying pole had not even landed yet.
A rather old oil-paper umbrella had appeared in Chen Changsheng's hand.
This umbrella seemed very ordinary and uninteresting, just like Chen Changsheng.
This time, the lakeshore did not gain a new crater. Instead, it gained dozens of deep cracks.
That force had been dispersed in all directions. It struck against the pebbles, leaving very distinct scars.
Of the Qi that had arisen from that terrifying collision, some of it had been pushed deep into the forest, mottling the bark with scars. Countless birds that had been unable to escape in time fell miserably to the ground.
The dust gradually settled, and the echoing in the mountains behind the lake gradually faded off into the distance.
Chen Changsheng had not died.
The carrying pole had been blocked by the ordinary and unremarkable umbrella.
A yellow light hung down from the edge of the umbrella. Like a hanging curtain, it completely enveloped Chen Changsheng within.
He stood in front of Zhexiu and Qi Jian.
Seeing this scene before her eyes, the demon woman covered her mouth with her hands. She shocked speechless.
Liang Xiaoxiao arched his brows and his expression became grave.
Liu Wan'er creased her brow, her expression one of thought, as if she had remembered something.
Only Teng Xiaoming's expression was as wooden as ever. His right foot took another step forward, his two hands lifted up that carrying pole, and he attacked once more.
The clouds above the lake were carried along by the carrying pole as it struck.
There was another boom.
The Yellow Paper Umbrella blocked it once more.
However, Chen Changsheng's face became even paler.
Back in Wenshui City, the Old Master of the Tang clan had given this magical artifact to him as a gift. Zhexiu had once said that this umbrella could block the full-on attack of a Star Condensation expert.
Similarly said by Zhexiu, since the demons had used some method to forcefully suppress the cultivations of these two Star Condensation Demon Generals and send them into the Garden of Zhou, then Teng Xiaoming and Liu Wan'er could only display a strength at the peak level of Ethereal Opening at most.
Logically, the umbrella in his hands would obviously be able to block their attacks.
The problem was, how many full-on attacks from the Demon General could he block?
Using magical artifacts also consumed true essence. He had much less true essence than cultivators of the same level, so how long would he be able to hold out?
Most importantly, the area covered by this umbrella was not large. If the demon experts all began to attack, how would he be able to protect Zhexiu and Qi Jian?
There was no other way.
He had no means of protecting his companions. The problem would only get worse as time passes, so the only thing he could do was send his companions away.
Just as the Yellow Paper Umbrella was blocking thecarrying pole, his right hand moved like lightning. He took several pills and stuffed them into Zhexiu's mouth. Simultaneously, he also stuffed a small item into his hands.
Those pills had been refined by the Li Palace priests under Chen Changsheng's specifications and were meant to detoxify. His medical skills were passed down from Daoist Ji, the person most skilled in the medical arts in the entire continent, so it could be imagined how effective these pills were. Perhaps they could not remove the Peacock Plume, but at the very least, they could help Zhexiu suppress it for a time.
As for that slightly chilly small item, it was a button.
Before leaving the capital, he had only brought a single button with him. Originally he had planned to use it in the Garden of Zhou to save his life when encountering some sort of danger.
However now, it seemed he had to give it to someone else to use.
In the Orthodox Academy, when Luo Luo had first gifted him this button, she had said very clearly that this button could at most carry two people away.
Carrying the umbrella and seeing those demon experts speedily approaching, Chen Changsheng did not turn around. He calmly said to Zhexiu, "Take him away."
It was a certainty that the demons’ plan in the Garden of Zhou was not just this, but the series of events that had occurred at the lakeshore had allowed them to confirm that amongst the group of three, Qi Jian was their priority target. Otherwise, the demons could have came together and killed him and Zhexiu off first, instead of what was happening now. Instead, they had waited for Qi Jian to enter their fatal plot, at which point Liu Wan'er said those words and Liang Xiaoxiao made his move.
Zhexiu understood this point, though he failed to understand another. Even if Qi Jian had been the final disciple of Mount Li's Sect Master, it did no't seem to be enough for the demons to view him so highly.
He also understood that when Chen Changsheng had given him this button, he had also given him the hope of living. Howeverm Chen Changsheng had guaranteed his death by staying.
He also understood that Chen Changsheng would not take Qi Jian away, nor would he abandon Qi Jian. Thus, this left only a single possibility.
Simultaneously, he understood that he was heavily poisoned and had no strength to fight. Since he would be of no help to Chen Changsheng, it would have been better for him to take Qi Jian and escape.
What he understood the most was that Chen Changsheng had already made his decision. Regardless of what Zhexiu did, it would all be meaningless, only a waste of time.
Without hesitation, Zhexiu hugged Qi Jian and simultaneously activated the button in the palm of his hand.
Resting in Zhexiu's bosom, Qi Jian's face was abnormally pale. His eyebrows were wrinkled, his eyes were closed, and his lashes were barely moved. He looked extremely pitiful, but he was not conscious of any of the events occurring around him.
A puff of green smoke appeared under the umbrella.
At the very last moment, Zhexiu stared at Chen Changsheng's back. He impassively thought, just who was the bodyguard here? If he could live past this day, then it would have seemed that he owed someone a life.
At the same time, the Demon General's third strike from his carrying pole fell.
The ground shook, causing dust to suffuse the air and obscure that green smoke.
Countless cracks formed on the ground, exposing new clay. It was as if this were a newly plowed field in the spring.
The dust gradually settled.
Chen Changsheng stood alone.
His left hand held an umbrella.
His right hand held a dagger.
His expression was exceptionally serious, preparing for his final battle.