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Chapter 264 - A Courageous Path
"That was the Thousand Mile Button?” Liu Wan'er looked at the umbrella, then asked in surprise, "Don't tell me that's the umbrella that not even Su Li could afford?"
The war between the humans and demons was exceptionally cruel. At the dividing line in the snowy plains, things like assassinations had never stopped. In order to obtain the final victory in this war of extermination, both sides were willing to commit all sorts of crimes. As long as there was a chance, they would pay any sort of price. To kill members of the opposite side was an opportunity to nurture young geniuses. This was the reason why Zhexiu, who had been such a young age and was still in the Meditation realm, obtained such a famous reputation in the continent. It was why his solitary self was able to exist in the most cruel and dangerous place.
In order to protect their young geniuses and give them sufficient time to mature, the sects and schools of the human world would dispatch experts to protect them from the shadows, or gift them with life-saving magical artifacts, before sending out their most valued disciples to truly mature. For instance, when Tianhai Shengxue was battling in Snowhold Pass, the Divine General Fei Dian would often be hidden at his side. For young geniuses like the Divine State's Seven Laws, Zhuang Huanyu, Su Moyu, and Zhong Hui, they all had similar arrangements. The demons had chosen the Garden of Zhou to carry out their assassinations because the Garden of Zhou was very special. The human senior experts were unable to enter. The young human cultivators could only rely on themselves for protection.
Of course, those young human cultivators would certainly have life-saving magical artifacts. For someone like Chen Changsheng who was doted upon by the Pope, this should have been the case even more so, only… the number of magical artifacts on Chen Changsheng was truly somewhat excessive. Moreover, they were all rare and powerful. Whether it was the legendary Yellow Paper Umbrella, or the Thousand Mile Button that cultivators valued as much as their lives; in the continent, they were all considered top-ranked magical artifacts.
As for the seemingly ordinary dagger in his hand, it possessed an unimaginable degree of sharpness, which caused Liu Wan'er to fear it all the more.
According to their original plan, the demon experts that had entered the Garden of Zhou would use the rumor of the Sword Pool to gather their targets by the lake. With the help of a surprise attack from their human spy, they should have been able to kill Chen Changsheng, Zhexiu, and Qi Jian very easily. Having completed three-quarters of their mission, they would rendezvous with the Lady and then kill Xu Yourong.
Who could have imagined that, in the end, their meticulous plans would have been shattered by Chen Changsheng alone?
Zhexiu had been poisoned by the Peacock Plume while Qi Jian's abdomen had been run through. Presumably, his internal organs and meridians had also suffered injury. However, in the end, they had both managed to leave the lakeside, temporarily evading their deaths.
Liu Wan'er turned to Liang Xiaoxiao. Her gaze rested upon the cloud pattern threaded around his wrist. She then nodded her head.
She did not actually recognize this disciple of the Mount Li Sword Sect and only knew that he was the Third Law of the famous Divine State from the south. She also knew that before she had entered the Garden of Zhou, the Military Advisor had said that this human would assist them.
Liang Xiaoxiao's face was still pale and his voice was somewhat shaky, but his tone was very stable, "I must confirm that Qi Jian has died......everyone that comes to this place must die."
Chen Changsheng had used a precious Thousand Mile Button to let Zhexiu and Qi Jian escape. If this were the real world, then no matter how strong these demon experts where, they would still be unable to pursue them. Regrettably, this was the Garden of Zhou, where there was a natural barrier. Zhexiu and Qi Jian could have traveled a thousand miles, but they were still within the Garden of Zhou.
Crucially, Liu Wan'er could, at any time, grasp their whereabouts.
"I don't need to kill you. I'm very satisfied because I really like you."
She looked at Chen Changsheng with a gentle expression. "It's very difficult for me to like a human. You so earnestly urged me not to eat human flesh so earnestly. Other humans, and even many of my fellow demons would have only detested or been afraid of us when they found out about the rumors regarding us. None of them would give us some honest advice like you. You're a very different child."
"It's a pity that you cannot continue to live, because that is what the Military Advisor has commanded."
With these words, she lifted up her giant pot with its hole in the middle. Her body abruptly disappeared, appearing again on the surface of the lake as she floated way across it. Teng Xiaoming had fastened the two baskets back onto his carrying pole and followed her.
Only the demon beauty, the dignified daughter, and Liang Xiaoxiao remained on the lakeshore.
Chen Changsheng looked at Liang Xiaoxiao and asked a question, "Why?"
This was something he really wanted to know, and it was also what Qi Jian wanted to know most. In the past several hundred years, very rarely had there been a case where a human served the demons, let alone the fact that Liang Xiaoxiao was of the Divine State's Seven Laws. His future prospects were incomparably broad and radiant. The demons could not possibly offer him benefits or prospects. No matter how one saw it, his betrayal made no sense.
Liang Xiaoxiao did not answer. He slowly raised the sword in his hand, and his face was as frigid as ice.
"Leaving behind the three of us, would you think that we are underestimating you? I must tell you that we are all very curious about whether you have any more precious treasures on your body,”
The demon beauty said to him flatteringly.
The husband and wife had gone off in pursuit of Qi Jian and Zhexiu. It could be viewed as a sort of contempt, but Chen Changsheng did not think in such a way. The one behind the plot was that enigmatic and terrifying Black Robe. His countless deeds over the countless years had testified to the fact that the demon Military Advisor’s plans were flawless. If the demons had left behind three people to kill him, then it meant that the three people would most definitely kill him.
"For the youngest Principal of the Orthodox Academy to die so quietly like this, even I feel somewhat disappointed." The demon beauty sighed.
The dignified beauty gave off a completely different atmosphere from the other demon woman, but when they stood next to each other, they actually seemed very similar, like twins.
Chen Changsheng could even faintly make out that behind their backs was a clear wing made of light, just like previously when the woman had grown a new hand.
A powerful and cold Qi exuded from this wing that had emerged from the backs of the two women.
Chen Changsheng's spiritual sense was exceptionally acute. He was very certain that this was not a power he could stand against.
What was more was that Liang Xiaoxiao's contemptible and insidious, yet still powerful sword was still waiting at the side.
Several of his ribs were broken, while his arm bones had who knew how many cracks. He had been on the verge of puking blood several times, but he had managed to force it back down. His sea of consciousness had been severely shaken, and now the true essence flowed through the formerly hardly-opened meridians even more slowly. On the surface he did not seem to be injured, but in reality, his injuries were rather severe.
It was very obvious that his enemies already knew this.
This was a battle without suspense, even if he had this powerful magical artifact or this extremely sharp dagger.
If the battle were to continue for a moment longer, then he would soon become unable to even hold up this umbrella or be able to keep a grasp on his dagger. So then what use were they?
However, Chen Changsheng had no awareness of these things.
With one hand wielding the umbrella and the other wielding the dagger, his expression remained serious and concentrated.
Despair? No, as long as he pressed on, there would always be hope.
In the distant mountain forest, the figure seemed to hesitate.
If he could display his will and ability in this battle, perhaps he could inspire some courage in that figure.
Moreover, he was still waiting for the Black Dragon to bring back good news.
The white ceremonial robes lightly swayed in the mountain wind. The young lady walked silently through the mountain ridge. It was somewhat lonely, so she was tired, but her expression was as serene as ever.
Seeing the longbow on her back, the Black Dragon suddenly grew fearful. Although she had come to find her, she suddenly no longer wanted to approach her.
The Black Dragon's gaze followed the trail of the white-clothed girl, resting upon that mountain peak which thrust into the depths of the plain.
At this time, the sun was once more setting in the west. The mysterious plains began to blaze once again. The peak turned the color of blood.
Her spiritual sense felt the peculiar sensation that she had felt yesterday when looking at that peak once again.
She thought about going there. There was something calling her from the distance.
However, she did not dare.
Because at this very moment, a girl of around ten years old and a zither-playing old man sat at the peak of Sunset Valley in the splendor of the sunset.
The Black Dragon had very good eyesight, so she could even make out the childish air that still hung about that girl's appearance.
She also knew very well that of the fear that appeared in her heart, half of it came from the longbow on the white-clothed young lady's back, while the other half came from this small girl.
As a member of the world's most noble and most proud Black Frost Dragons, that she felt this fear and unease made her feel incredibly ashamed.
If she was in her original body—regardless of whether it was the white-clothed young lady, or the young girl and her zither-playing old man—she could have easily gulp them down in one bite. She would not have even needed any water to wash it down.
However, right now, she was only a strand of a dragon soul attached to a jade ruyi.
She did not have the power to participate in Chen Changsheng's battle against those demon experts.
As for now, when a new battle was just about to begin, she did not dare get any closer.
The young lady dressed in white continued to pass over the mountain ridges.
The girl with the cold appearance continued to wait at that mountain.
Regardless of how much time passed, they would eventually meet.
In the weeds that filled the mountain slopes, a depression suddenly appeared, which began to expand down the mountain. It was like there was a large rock tumbling down the mountain.
The thing tumbling down the mountain was no rock. It was Zhexiu and Qi Jian.
The sharp blades of grass and the hardness of the mountain rock did not leave any marks on Zhexiu's face.
Qi Jian was draped over his shoulders, dejected and weak. His black hair was in complete disorder and his small face was pale.
With Qi Jian on his back, Zhexiu madly rushed towards the direction of the setting sun, dripping blood all the way.
At this time, they had already passed through that lake which had reversed heaven and earth and arrived in the world at the other side of the cliff.
He did not know that the Demon General couple was chasing them, nor did he know that they could grasp his whereabouts at any moment. However, Zhexiu had always had an instinctive sense for danger, which made him exceptionally wary. It was like he could hear the footsteps of his pursuers, and even the strange sound being made as air rushed through the hole in the iron pot.
He had to go faster.
However, in the very next moment, he stopped.
Qi Jian opened his eyes with some difficulty and saw the perfectly straight path ahead. He weakly asked, "What's wrong?"
Zhexiu looked impassively ahead at the path before him, and asked, "Where should I go next?"
Qi Jian weakly replied, "How would I know?"
Because of their battle in the Grand Examination, he had always loathed this wolf youth and wanted nothing to do with him. However now, he was being carried on his back, which already made him feel rather wronged. Who would have known that this guy would actually ask a heavily injured person like him which way to go? Truly, absolutely useless.
"I can't see anymore, so from now on, you'll have to guide me."
Zhexiu's voice was very calm, devoid of any sort of emotion.
The light of sunset that reflected off his eyes was not red, but a deep green.
The poison of the Peacock Plume had finally made its appearance.
The sunset also illuminated the mountain path, making it seem all the more tranquil, and all the more long.