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In the dark twilight, the monster tide was like a black ocean. Standing in front of the black ocean were the five demon experts. Above them in the sky was an even more massive shadow. It seemed just like this black ocean's reflection.
Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong stood on the stone platform in front of the main gate of the mausoleum. Separated by the several thousand zhang long divine path, they viewed this magnificent yet terrifying spectacle. They gazed at the black piece of wood in Nanke’s hand as it emitted countless rays of light and knew that their initial conjecture was correct. The Soul Pivot was in front of that obsidian coffin, but the Soul Wood was in the hands of the demons.
Xu Yourong said rather regretfully, "I've cultivated the Dao since I was a child, but it seems that what I believed to be the Dao was not the Dao. All those so-called calculations only allowed to me understand mortal affairs. It seems to me that you and I can only rely on heaven now."
Chen Changsheng gazed at the black ocean in front of them and the shadow in the sky above and said, "I believe that there is such a thing as fate, but I don't believe that it decides all things."
As he said these words, he was very calm and serious. It was only that last word, 'things', which caused his voice to softly tremble, indicating that he was a little nervous. He pulled himself together and then continued, "As expected, the Soul Wood was in the hands of the demons. No wonder we were able to get to the Mausoleum of Zhou without meeting a single monster, but...those demons could have commanded those monsters to come kill us a long time ago, but why did they not do it and instead gave us a clear path?"
Xu Yourong said, "We already discussed this in that patch of autumn reeds. The most likely possibility was that they needed us to guide the way."
Viewing it in this way, in the eyes of the demons, the location of the Mausoleum of Zhou was far more important than the life and death of those two. Why were the demons looking for the Mausoleum of Zhou? Was there something inside they absolutely needed to obtain? No matter how they thought about it, they felt that it all had to do with the Halving Blade Technique engraved on the obsidian coffin. As they thought about this idea, Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong glanced into each other's eyes.
Now that the Halving Blade Technique was destroyed, only by combining the characters and pictures memorized in their two minds would that blade technique reappear.
Using this to threaten the demons and exchange it for a way out? He used his eyes to ask this question.
"It's no use." Xu Yourong gazed down the divine path at that little girl's cold eyes and shook her head.
The phoenix and the peacock were predestined rivals. The meeting of these two geniuses from different races would lead to many stories in the future.
In that determined, even desperate, battle at the peak of Sunset Valley, no matter what terrifying strength Nanke had displayed, she had calmly responded. Just as she was about to cross the line of victory, the zither-playing old man entered the fray, causing her to suffer severe injuries. She plunged into the abyss, and then the moment she was at her most desperate straits, her blood went through its second awakening, causing a pair of pure white wings to emerge from her back and allow her to fly through the night sky.
If it had not been for the fact that she had to save Chen Changsheng, she was absolutely the victor of that battle. She only needed to leave the Garden of Zhou. Yet the current her, although her life had temporarily been saved, was still weak and exhausted, no longer able to engage in combat. Moreover, Nanke had clearly recovered her strength to its peak and was just as strong as she had been on the peak of Sunset Valley and appeared to be even more tyrannical.
Should she regret it? She should, she thought to herself as she calmly and silently gazed at Chen Changsheng.
Chen Changsheng did not know that she was looking at him because he was staring at that black ocean in front of the mausoleum.
That black ocean was made up of thousands upon thousands of monsters. Their powerful and bloody Qi soared to the heavens, as if they wanted to tear the sky apart.
The monster tide had gray dragon serpents, demon vultures, and even more monsters with such powerful Qi that not even his spiritual sense could perceive them, let alone that terrifying shadow which hung in the air behind them.
If all those monsters surrounding them began to attack, the black ocean could directly drown the mausoleum. Let alone him, even those Divine Generals who were at the peak of Star Condensation, perhaps even the Saints, could only stay far away. Besides Zhou Dufu coming back to life, who could possibly have the strength to resist this monster tide alone?
The monster tide was somewhat restless, especially those gray dragon serpents and demon vultures whose many companions had been killed by Xu Yourong. The monster tide incessantly sounded with shrill cries, and yet, perhaps because some of Zhou Dufu's Qi still remained about the mausoleum, or perhaps because that glowing piece of black wood was controlling them, they remained ten li from the mausoleum, not taking a single step closer.
The black ocean was a curtain, and a gorgeous stream of light was drawing upon it.
Seeing this picture, Chen Changsheng thought about that unforgettable encounter at the lake all those dozens of days ago. His pupils contracted and he subconsciously tightened the grip on the hilt of his dagger.
The stream of light needed only an instant to travel along that seemingly endless divine path and arrived by the several hundred zhang high mausoleum at the space in front of Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong.
The beautiful and ethereal wings of light gently flapped in the gloomy light. In between those wings of light were two beautiful women who seemed to have become as one.
Their appearances were both extremely beautiful, but their facial features and temperaments were very different, one could even say complete opposites. One was dignified, the other charming. One had a fluid gaze, her bearing like ten thousand flowers. The other had calm and gentle eyes, so pure that it made people presume she was an aristocrat's daughter. When they stood shoulder to shoulder, it gave people an intense sensation that brutally assaulted their minds.
If Chen Changsheng was a little older, perhaps he would have a little more experience to understand this sort of allure, but he was only fifteen years old. Moreover, his entire mind was put into cultivating the Dao to seek a longer life, so he had never thought about those sorts of things. In his eyes, those two women were still those frightening demon women that had attempted to kill him in the lake.
Xu Yourong said, "They are Nanke's two wings, or her two maids. One is called Hua Cui, the other is called Ning Qiu."
This was the first time Chen Changsheng had heard their names. He was a little startled, and the gaze he turned towards them now held other emotions.
From his chats with Xu Yourong on their journey, he knew that Nanke's two wings had through some ceremony of the Candle Shadow Shamans obtained spiritual bodies. They possessed spiritual sense and self-awareness, but they would always have to obey the orders of their master. Life and death were not in their own hands. Their master only needed to think about it, and they would vanish into a puff of smoke and thus die.
When he heard those names, he did not like them. Hua Cui? Ning Qiu? These were very common names for slave girls. It gave one the impression of someone timid and humble, never able to live a happy life. Of course, he knew that these two names had not been chosen by those two maids. The person he disliked was the one who had conferred these names upon them and who even held their lives in her hands, the Demon Princess.
Nanke's two maids had attended to their master every day, so it was very easy for them to understand the meaning in his eyes.
Hua Cui was that charming beauty with the extremely soft waist and fluid glaze. Her watery eyes gazed at Chen Changsheng, and she said with soft and sticky voice, "Truly a child that loves others."
Ning Qiu was that aristocratic daughter with an elegant complexion and dignified bearing, but she loathed the empathy and more so the pity in his eyes. She thought to herself, that day you almost died at our hands, but now you pity us because our master holds our lives in her hands? How absurd! How disrespectful!
With a hint of anger, she rushed up to the stone platform.
"Hey! What are you rushing for? I still haven't spoken with him!"
Hua Cui was carried along with her as she flew up to the stone platform. She spoke rather frantically, seeming very confused. Yet her fingers were already infused with a dark green light, sinister to the extreme.
With a swish, the space in front of the high platform of the mausoleum was filled with countless green specks of light, dense like stars in the sky.
All of those green lights were the poison of the Peacock Plume. If they were to enter the flesh and blood, death was a certainty.
At the battle by the lakeshore, they had thought of every method possible, and yet still had been unable to pierce Chen Changsheng's skin. For them to still use this attack, then presumably they had definitely concealed some other method within.
Xu Yourong calmly gazed at this scene, her right hand gripping the longbow as her fingers tapped out a light tempo on the smooth and ancient bow. At any time, she was prepared to take action should Chen Changsheng’s vigilance let up.
At the moment, she truly had no strength to battle, but she could still use the Tong Bow to block one attack from the enemy. Chen Changsheng did not give her this chance. His right foot took a step forward, and his shoes splashed water on the ground. His strength went from his waist to his shoulders to his wrist, and the dagger in his hand transformed into a straight line and thrust out towards the edge of the stone platform.
With a snap, it seemed like the air around the edges of the stone platform had been directly shattered by his attack.
Even more ethereal was that pure white snowflakes began to form in the air around the straight line drawn by his dagger. These snowflakes were ten times as large as naturally formed snowflakes and were both beautiful and tangible.
The snowflakes gently fell down. Evidently, they enveloped those two wings of light.
The two maids within the wings of light would individually have the strength of the upper level of Ethereal Opening, which was on par with his alone. When they combined, their power would abruptly increase severalfold, thus on that day when they battled on the lakeshore, Chen Changsheng had no chance. Today, because they were in front of their master, they had secretly concealed another method. Yet, they had not imagined that they would not be able to fully use any of their follow-up attacks before Chen Changsheng's single attack had broken their momentum.
This move performed by Chen Changsheng had not been seen on the continent for at least ten or so years. It had only appeared once in the Grand Examination two months ago, so no one could recognize it.
He used the Orthodox Academy's Toppling Mountain Staff.
In terms of sword speed, the Orthodox Academy's Toppling Mountain Staff was no match for the Heavenly Dao Academy's Sword of Hithering Light. In terms of sword energy, the Orthodox Academy's Toppling Mountain Staff was not up to the Three Forms of Wenshui, nor was it better than the great sword techniques from the Mount Li Sword Sect. However, the Toppling Mountain Staff was the staff technique used in the Orthodox Academy of the past to teach and discipline students, so what was most important for it was the word 'reason'.
This move seemed to not be reasonable, but it was actually very reasonable. The reason lay in the Black Frost cold Qi attached to the dagger, and it lay in the ten thousand snowflakes slowly falling down in the air above the stone platform.
Nanke's two maids were too fast, so fast that it was even meaningless for him to use the Yeshi Step. In addition, the stone platform was too small, making it difficult to put the Yeshi Step to its full use. He was even less able to battle in the air with those two maids, so he had to limit their speed and contain this battle into a relatively narrower space.
At the same time, the Toppling Mountain Staff of the Orthodox Academy also rested upon the word 'strict'.
'Strict' meant that there was no flexibility, you… cannot avoid!
Those two words were the heart of Chen Changsheng's sword.
Adding on the Black Frost cold Qi, this move could be said to be extremely chilling.
The snowflakes fell, touching those dark green lights. In a flash, the color of those green lights suddenly grew much dimmer.
The chilling sword move took advantage of the opportunity and pierced at the two women between the wings of light.
The mausoleum's stone platform suddenly sounded out with a strange yell, full of anger and unwillingness.
The wings of light swiftly moved, scattering the snowflakes. In an instant, they had retreated dozens of zhang.
Hua Cui and Ning Qiu's faces were pale.
A stream of blood slowly seeped from their two bodies.
Staring at Chen Changsheng at the edge of the stone platform with his dagger bared, their eyes were filled with shock and disbelief.