Chapter 321: Rascal
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
The crowds, watching from outside the Hidden Dragon Gorge, clamored in adoration. “The Taotie Clan’s Devour is truly powerful!”
“Yes, Yes. But she even has the Grand Sun Primordial Flame…to be honest, this is rather unexpected.”
“Not really that unexpected…it must have been given to her by that Leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders. It is well-known now that the Celestial Sect of Wonders has mastered the techniques to cultivate and control the Grand Sun Primordial Flame.”
“True. The First Disciple of the Leader, Xiao Yan, for example – he possesses simultaneously two Primordial Fires, the Nefarious Spectral Primordial Fire and the Grand Sun Primordial Flame. Such boundless might…come to speak of it, he did not attend the Conference this time, or else the Celestial Sect of Wonders would be truly unstoppable.”
“Come to speak of it, the Leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders said that this pureblood Taotie is his Unofficial Disciple…he wasn’t joking, it is true…”
Unease was brewing in the spectators’ hearts. “The Celestial Sect of Wonders, truly, does not lack talent…”
Little do they know that Tuntun, so powerful and awe-inspiring in their eyes, was moaning internally at this moment as she unleashed silent tirades against Xiao Budian (and his ancestors, for good measure).
Every single human swear word that she knew has been used multiple times on Xiao Budian at this point.
However, regardless of how incensed Tuntun was, she has more on her plate than to get even with Xiao Budian right now. She was utterly tied down dealing with Li Dongtao and Yun Mei’s dual combo attacks, unending and unstoppable like tidal waves. In spite of her Taotie physique, suppressed by the boundless waves of swords, she was having a hard time handling the situation.
“Shi Tianhao! You bastard, better don’t let me catch you, or else even if your Master sides with you, I’ll swallow you whole!” Tuntun’s face was twisted by anger, completely forgetting that she herself has previously been plotting to land Xiao Budian in the hot seat.
Outside the Hidden Dragon Gorge, Zhu Yi and the other disciples were oblivious yet. From their perspective, Xiao Budian was just concealing himself to look for an opportunity.
Unlike when Yue Hongyan fought the Dual Swords of the Sun and the Moon, Zhuge Fengling was almost completely helpless. Still, as long as Xiao Budian found a suitable opportunity, there was still the possibility of snatching back victory.
In addition, he was still plagued by old injuries. To fight guerrilla-style, with Tuntun on the frontlines tying the foes down, was also an appropriate tactical arrangement.
Only Lin Feng could, to some extent, guess that Xiao Budian and Tuntun have, in fact, completely abandoned the other – or even digging traps for each other.
This caused him much silent amusement. “You two perfectly illustrates that old maxim – with friends like this, who needs enemies?”
Within the Hidden Dragon Gorge, Tuntun has been locked into a tedious stalemate with Li Dongtao and Yun Mei. Most of their concentration was devoted to the foe, to the extent that none was able to detect any trace of Xiao Budian.
However, the spectators outside the Gorge were able to see Xiao Budian and his actions via the reflections and shadows at the opening.
Instead of the impasse that was the current battle, many have their attention on Xiao Budian. Clearly, Xiao Budian has the ability to tilt the balance – any developments in the situation would likely rest on Xiao Budian’s next move.
In the Purple Clouds Sect camp, Li Kuiyin gazed at Xiao Budian nervously. “What do you think he’ll do?” She asked Gu Lei.
“Difficult to say. If it’s me, I’ll hide myself carefully first and then patiently wait for Li Dongtao and Yun Mei to expose a fatal flaw, before finishing them off with a coup de grâce.” Gu Lei thought for a moment and said, slowly.
“After all, by concealing himself, he will cause tremendous stress for Li Dongtao and Yun Mei. It is incredibly difficult to keep your cool and not make a single mistake under anxiety and stress.”
“Even the slightest emotional disturbance could affect the entire situation, but especially so for a fighting style like the Sun Moon Sword Sect’s Dual Sword Combination that requires extreme coordination and synchronization.
In the Great Qin Empire camp, Shi Xingyun and Jiao Junchen were exchanging views as well.
“Actually, there was no need to go to such trouble.” Jiao Junchen said dismissively. “Together, Shi Tianhao and that Taotie could only be stronger than the Dual Swords of the Sun and the Moon. Even in a head-on battle, they have the upper hand.”
“Maybe, Tianhao’s injuries are much more serious than we thought, such that even with the help of the Leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders, the root of the problem remains.” Shi Xingyun said slowly as he stared at the Hidden Dragon Gorge.
A slight disturbance rippled across Jiao Junchen’s face. “You mean, although he seems to have largely recovered, this is but an illusion?”
“It is hard for me to say, but at the very least, if he tried to take on the Dual Swords of the Sun and the Moon directly like you said, it is very possible that his injuries will flare up again.” After some musing, Shi Xingyun said cautiously. “Or maybe, he is trying to preserve as much of his strength as possible in preparation for the Conference afterwards.”
“Since that Taotie only needs to fight this one battle, might as well as use all your strength – no need to preserve any energy.”
In the Sword of Radiance Sect camp, Zhao Yan glanced at Tao Yaoyao with the same confusion. “Big Senior, what will he do next?”
Tao Yaoyao, clad in white, shrugged. “Regardless of what he plans to do next, it would center around one goal – severing the link between Li Dongtao and Yun Mei. This, is the most effective and most fundamental way to neutralize the Dual Sword Combination.”
“Once the two of them cannot establish a link, the Dual Sword Combination has been neutralized. Then, at the end of the day, they will just be two pretty good Advanced Aurous Core cultivators – instead of being able to take on Nascent Soul cultivators like now.”
As someone who has personally attained the achievement of one versus two – defeating a pair of Sword Partners from the Sun Moon Sword Sect, Tao Yaoyao’s comments on the Sun Moon Sword Sect’s Dual Sword Combination were doubtlessly convincing for those around her.
Previously, in that battle, Tao Yaoyao had done exactly that. Using the superior speed of her Instant Sword Teleportation, she had made her adversaries, the Sun Moon Sword Sect disciples, struggle to keep up with her and thus unable to maintain their usual rhythm and coordination, until they were finally isolated and destroyed by Tao Yaoyao.
At this moment, everyone were focused on the Hidden Dragon Gorge – specifically, on Xiao Budian within – wanting to see what sort of decision he would make.
Then, they saw Xiao Budian leaping into the wilderness.
“First vanishing from the enemy’s sight, then maneuver to find a better attack position. Meanwhile, concealing yourself would cause stress for the opponent as well.” Many nodded as they interpreted Xiao Budian’s moves themselves.
Following that, they observed Xiao Budian strolling in the woods leisurely. Suddenly, a look of delight came across his face as he picked several spiritual flowers under a large tree.
“Huh? This is hard to understand. What does this mean?” The spectators were completely baffled.
“Are the spiritual herbs in the Hidden Dragon Gorge real?” Jiao Junchen glanced at Shi Xingyun.
“That’s right. The Hidden Dragon Gorge is an Alternate World-type Magic Treasure. Spiritual Energy is abundant within – not only can it nourish cultivators, all sorts of spiritual flowers and herbs can be planted as well.” Shi Xingyun nodded.
“But even if they’re real, what is he picking that spiritual flower for? Poison?” Jiao Junchen’s eyebrows crunched into a frown.
“Shouldn’t be…that spiritual flower he picked is called the Heavenly Fragrance Iris – a nourishing herb, with no poison at all. I know there exists ways of mixed poison that can produce impossible toxins by mixing several harmless substances – but I’ve never heard of any that uses the Heavenly Fragrance Iris…” A look of confusion came across Shi Xingyun’s face as well.
Befuddled, everyone looked at Xiao Budian as he ambled through the woods and picked one flower or fruit after the other. Looking at him, it seems as if he entered the Hidden Dragon Gorge specifically to pick herbs instead of fighting.
Summoning their patience, the company watched as Xiao Budian walked towards the top of the hill, casually picking whatever arouses his interest along the way.
When he reached the top, Xiao Budian already has a huge pile of items he picked in his arms. Turning, he planted himself firmly on a rock, gazing at the intense battle below and nodding with satisfaction.
“Is he about to make his move?” At this instant, everyone’s stomach knotted up as they nervously observed Xiao Budian’s every gesture. His next move was very likely to transform the entire battle.
Since Xiao Budian has revealed himself, with their sight, Li Dongtao and Yun Mei naturally saw him sitting on top of the hill instantly. Both of their chests tightened at once; “What is he trying to do, occupying that sort of high ground? Trying to imitate mortal archers?”
The Sun Moon Sword Sect Sword Partners were instantly alert. These sort of ranged attacks were usually spells with great speed, accuracy and penetration – maybe Xiao Budian wanted to dispatch one of them first with such a spell.
Widening the distance, especially, hinted that his next spell might require extended preparation and was vulnerable to being disturbed and interrupted. This sort of spell, obviously, would be tremendously powerful.
At this moment, even Tuntun temporarily forgot about Xiao Budian’s previous misdeeds and trap-digging as she filled up with anticipation. “Quickly settle them and I shall magnanimously forgive your previous…”
A crisp sound reverberated in the air.
As if completely unaware that all attention were on him, Xiao Budian leisurely picked up a fruit and bit into it, juice dripping from his mouth.
“Great taste.” Xiao Budian sighed contently. As he continued eating fruits, his glimmering eyes peered at the intense battle below with interest and amusement.
In addition, as he eats, he was mouthing comments, his head bobbing from side to side.
“Nice blow just now!” As he spoke, Xiao Budian tossed a date-sized fruit into the air and caught it with his mouth.
“Tuntun, you should have dodged to the right and then counterattack.” Xiao Budian hit his palm with his hand, with a woeful expression on his face. He picked up a thick vine and bit through the skin; loads of juice leaked out instantly.
Xiao Budian took a sip of the vine juice and complemented it with a bite of fruit, a look of content surfacing on his face.
“Hmm, the Dual Swords of the Sun and the Moon have such a transformation within their move? I haven’t anticipated that.”
He watched, enthralled, oblivious that outside the Hidden Dragon Gorge, the entire bank of the Sea of the Northern Wind has fallen into a deathly silence. The place where hundreds stand now resembled a remote graveyard in the dead of the night.
A wind gusted by, and the crowd finally regained some life. Almost every single person gazed up at the sky, with tears in their eyes.
“Beat him! Beat him! Beat that rascal to a pulp!”
Not a single person spoke, but everyone’s will seemed to solidify and materialize at this instant, silently reverberating through the space.
In the Hidden Dragon Gorge, Tuntun’s enraged voice was deafening. “Shi Tianhao! I will kill you! Kill you! Even if your Master kills me afterwards, I will still butcher you! Even if we were to die together, I shall butcher you!”