The flying sword rushed to attack Xiao Chunmian’s neck.
Yu Qiu’s face turned white from fear, and he quickly reached into his sleeves.
At the most critical moment, an earth wall rose out of nowhere, jamming the flying sword and obstructing the attack.
The man in black frowned, turned his gaze to the side and sneered. “Another one dares to block my sword. What’s with today that so many people are looking for death?”
Just a moment ago, Yu Qiu came running and immediately threw out an earth talisman. He was so tired, he was gasping for breath. When he heard this, he couldn’t help but curse him in his heart, yet he wore a flattering smile on his face. “This yingxiong1英雄 – Yu Qiu is literally calling the man in black as “hero,” perhaps referring to the guy as someone very strong. But Yu Qiu saying “hero” in English sounds very weird, so I kept it in pinyin., please don’t take offense. I have no idea how these people offended you, but can’t we talk it over properly?”
“Dage!” Gu Qing didn’t expect that Yu Qiu would show weakness as soon as he came. He was both alarmed and angry.
“You shut up!” Yu Qiu roared at him, then continued to curry favor with the man in black. “Yingxiong, at one glance I could tell that you are a master. And look at these people, each one of them are three-legged cats2三脚猫 – A jack of all trades. Why bother with them? It doesn’t fit with your status as a master.”
“Oh?” The man in black narrowed his eyes. “Are you their dage?”
“That’s just a joke by my brothers.” Yu Qiu wiped the sweat from his forehead. “I’m also just a three-legged cat. Surely, a yingxiong like you can confirm it.”
While they were talking, Yu Qiu ran past and stood in front of Gu Qing and Xiao Chunmian. He saw Xiao Chunmian’s sword at his feet, which had been broken into two parts. Thinking of the man in black’s words from before, the man must’ve wanted to once again settle Gu Qing with a sword, but then Xiao Chunmian came and blocked him. However, Xiao Chunmian’s cultivation was too weak. Although he had successfully blocked the attack, he was shocked by his opponent’s spiritual power.
And Yu Qiu’s cultivation was only one level higher than Xiao Chunmian’s. Naturally, he didn’t want to confront the man in black.
Listening to Yu Qiu showing weakness, the man had a shadow of a smile on his face the whole time. “You still have some self-awareness.”
Yu Qiu’s heart scolded the sky: Merely in the late stage of Qi Refining but pretends to be a big-tailed wolf! 3大尾巴狼 – “Pretending to be a big-tailed wolf” is used to ridicule those who are pretending to be serious, pretending to be authoritative, pretending to be a gentleman, pretending to be big, pretending to be competent, and anything along those lines.
However, he was weaker than someone of the late stage of Qi refining, so he had to keep on smiling, his face almost going stiff from it. “Yes, yes, so please let us go this time, yingxiong.”
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“For what reason?”
“Why should I let you go?” The man in black sneered. “You guys overestimated your own abilities, you asked trouble yourself!”
Before his voice died away, the flying sword, which was originally nailed to the earth wall, suddenly shook, breaking the wall, and flew out again.
But the sword was blocked halfway when it hit a different wall, this time, it was made of ice.
This time, sweat was breaking out on Yu Qiu’s forehead. He didn’t have an ice wall talisman on hand, only an ice seal. Ice seals, in theory, would affect the water vapor in the air, condensing them into ice and then launching out as an ice blade. However, an ice blade wouldn’t have been able to stop the attack. Yu Qiu had to exhaust his spiritual power to adjust the scope of the ice seal, creating this ice wall.
The man in black snorted coldly, the flying sword shook again and the ice wall burst in an instant.
“Yingxiong, why do you…”
“I think you still have a few talismans!” The man in black didn’t listen to Yu Qiu at all. In the blink of an eye, the flying sword attacked for the third time.
Yu Qiu sighed and stepped aside, revealing the two people behind him.
Gu Qing’s eyes widened and his face turned pale. The man in black raised a brow in interest. “You’re actually quite smart.”
But the reason why Yu Qiu took this step was not to hide.
He put both hands into his sleeves and each took out a talisman. His right hand reached for the flying sword that was about to pass, while his left was extended to the path the sword had already crossed.
The man in black was stunned by his actions and his eyes were fixed on Yu Qiu’s right hand that was about to touch the flying sword.
But at this moment, the main point was actually on Yu Qiu’s left hand.
He was holding a small talisman in his left hand. The so-called Spirit Disrupting4驳灵 – Actually means to contradict/refute the spirit, where the character for spirit (灵) is the same character used in 灵气, which refers to spiritual qi… so I’m guessing it’s a kind of talisman that can refute the use of spiritual qi. I originally translated 驳灵 as Refuting Spirit talisman, but from how Yu Qiu is going to use it, I think “negating” would be more appropriate. However, the word “negating” is too far-off from “refuting,” and the latter, in English, is a word usually used when referring to arguments, so it doesn’t fit either. Hence, I went with the word “disrupting,” which is sort of in the middle between these two words. talisman, including the mini Spirit Disrupting talisman, the medium Spirit Disrupting talisman, the large Spirit Disrupting talisman, and so on, were generally used to form the heart of the Spirit Disrupting array. In the absence of the array, they were considered useless.
Since the majority of cultivators use talismans the same way, using a bit of qi to activate it could get things done and over with. However, once the Spirit Disrupting talisman was activated, although it could disrupt qi, its effect would disappear in the blink of an eye. Even if one wanted to employ this effect only at the most critical moment, grasping the time difference between the launch of the spiritual qi attack and the moment the qi disrupting should be employed was not something ordinary cultivators could do.
Of course, Yu Qiu, who was once the number one seal cultivator, was no ordinary cultivator.
Not only did he perfectly grasped the time difference of the effect of disrupting qi, he also knew how to correctly wrap his spiritual power around the talisman in order to extend its effect until the critical moment he wanted came, then released it again. And because the effect of the mini Spirit Disrupting talisman was too weak, he also used his spiritual power to focus the effect within a small desired range in order to amplify its strength to what he wanted.
The location of this range was in the straight line connecting the flying sword and the man in black. While in the Qi Refining period, all magic weapons were dead objects. One must always use spiritual qi to control them. However, spiritual qi in the Qi Refining period were not flexible enough and could only travel in a straight line. So, in this moment, Yu Qiu accurately disrupted the qi on this straight line. Ka-cha, and the line was cut.
When the spiritual qi was broken, the spiritual power covering the magic weapon dissipated, and the divine sense was severely damaged.
The man in black couldn’t help but stagger and be frightened.
However, Yu Qiu’s counterattack was not yet over.
The magic weapon that had lost qi stagnated in the air. Yu Qiu quickly caught it with his hand, then tightly wrapped the talisman that had been in his right hand around it.
The man in black clearly saw the talisman, and his face changed in an instant. “Stop!”
It was too late.
Yu Qiu had already activated the talisman–a Spirit Devouring talisman.
The so-called Spirit Devouring talisman was more common among ordinary cultivators than the Spirit Disrupting talisman. Although it was called “Spirit Devouring,” its function was not only to gobble up spiritual qi, but also to forcibly devour the soul mark placed by the cultivator on the weapon. It was truly an essential commodity for raiding homes, killing people, and seizing their properties. After all, even if the former owner was killed, the soul mark would only naturally disappear for more than half a month to half a year after the owner’s death.
Now as soon as this Spirit Devouring talisman was activated, the soul mark that the man in black had originally attached to the flying sword suddenly turned into smoke.
The divine sense was inflicted again, and the man in black directly vomited a mouthful of blood.
“You…” The man in black looked very fierce. How he wished he could swallow Yu Qiu alive. “How dare you…”
Yu Qiu held the sword in his hand. “How about using this weapon to exchange for the lives of the three of us?”
The man in black laughed angrily. “Just three ants, you think I can’t kill you without that thing!”
“Of course not,” said Yu Qiu as he took out another talisman, holding it up for the man in black. “But think about it. Does this kind of uneconomical thing have to be done?”
This talisman was dark blue all around. At first glance, it looked like mold and even seemed to be surrounded by a layer of mist. Only after looking carefully would one notice the fine lines on it.
The man in black’s face changed again.
Blue Mist talisman, one of the most notorious talismans in the cultivation world, was more detestable than the Spirit Devouring talisman. The Spirit Devouring talisman would only devour the soul mark. One could still reapply it as long as the weapon was retrieved. However, this Blue Mist talisman could corrode the weapon itself.
When a Blue Mist talisman was used, no matter if the weapon was worth several low-grade, middle-grade or high-grade spirit stones, it would directly turn into a pile of scrap iron.
“Although this is only a small flying sword, its craftsmanship is by Bailiantang5百炼堂 – literally, Hundred Refining Room. The whole body of the sword is forged with fine iron. Even more, the edge of the blade is plated with the golden essence of the Golden Crow6 金乌精金 – The Golden Crow (金乌) or the three-legged crow (三足乌) is the Sun spirit in Chinese mythology. It lives in the Fusang tree (扶桑), which is a giant mulberry tree in the Eastern Seas, and travels the sky in a carriage every day, and it has two seals engraved on it. The price should be at least several middle-grade stones.” Yu Qiu carefully observed the weapon, then he looked up again and smiled. For the lives of these three ants, are you really willing?”
The face of the man in black changed again and again. After a while, he sneered. “I hate being threatened.”
Yu Qiu couldn’t help but smile.
Why couldn’t he see that the person before him was such a proud and arrogant master? If he had known, then was there no need to act weak right from the start? He didn’t want to be so hard on this guy, but how he dealt with people made no sense. There was no other way.
“So you’ll entangle with us forever?” said Yu Qiu. “There’s no need, ne. An exchange of blows may lead to friendship. We might as well be friends.”
As he said so, he took out another stack of stuff from his sleeves. “Otherwise, it would be too uneconomical for the both of us.”
It was a pile of talismans, and at a glance there were at least dozens of them.
Yu Qiu said with a smile, “Do you really want to see how many talismans I have?”
“You…” The man in black was stupefied.
The difference in cultivation was a big factor in deciding the outcome of a match, but some external things, such as magic tools, arrays, and talismans, can close the gap to a certain extent. When there were too many external things, it was very likely that someone with lower cultivation could stand a good chance against someone with a higher cultivation.
Yu Qiu now took out a lot of talismans, and these were obviously too many.
For these talismans, the man in black, who was still arrogant despite suffering a great loss, finally put down his arrogant stand. At last, he was willing to look straight at Yu Qiu. Although some people think that external things were not indicative of a cultivator’s own strength, the man in black obviously did not support this belief… What a joke, how could financial resources not be a sign of strength?
But after carefully scrutinizing Yu Qiu for a few times, the man in black didn’t think that Yu Qiu was such a rich man.
However, what he didn’t know was that under such a well-thought out exterior, Yu Qiu was actually so nervous that he was sweating.
For only a shichen, how could he have drawn such a large number of talismans with only a pile of extremely cheap materials? No, to be exact, if he had continuously drawn talismans correctly, then it may have been possible to obtain such a result.
Without selecting and using the required materials for each talisman, one could not be 100% successful. This sentence, actually, was only “theoretical.”
The reason why the materials cultivators used in drawing talismans were fixed was because each talisman had a fixed veined pattern, and the materials play a role in how these patterns would manifest. On the contrary, if one wanted to change the pattern, then naturally, they’d have to change the material used in making the talisman. This was a subject Yu Qiu studied in his previous life. However, because his skills were too good, the chance of success was always raised to a certain extent. There was almost no probability of failure in his hands. Whether the new pattern could reach a 100% success rate was too difficult to verify in the past.
Now, because of his tragic beyond compare kind of luck, Yu Qiu had been given the opportunity to verify and improve.
Crazily drawing talismans in the previous shichen, he had improved the success rate of several talismans’ drawing methods using new materials to 100%.
Now the problem was, at that time, his main purpose was to feed the system; second, it was to improve the new method. The talismans he finished were merely by-products. After succeeding in one kind of talisman, he will immediately move on to another one. He had drawn a few of them, but now he was about to use them all up.
Only the one in his hand and the two at his side were unadulterated. The remaining dozens of talismans were useless, a complete bluff.
With the man in black sizing him up again and again, Yu Qiu’s heart was rising to his throat.