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The Dragon

The Dragon By Nov 10, 2023 8 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 51

Chapter 52

On the Edge of Survival

Having just left the main peak with Gu Fuyou and the others in tow, the White Ape witnessed the peak collapsing behind them. The thunderous rumble echoed as the surrounding peaks quaked in response. Without hesitation, White Ape pressed on.

Gu Fuyou gazed back at the crumbling main peak, her heart sinking. Although she was not an inner disciple and had not been at the sect for long, she had grown fond of this place. Both the Xuan Miao Sect and Xiaoyao City were facing similar predicaments. Seeing the once beautiful mountains in such a state evoked a sense of sorrow and inevitability; it reminded her of a chain reaction – the demise of the Xuan Miao Sect was just the beginning, and Xiaoyao City might be next. She was frightened and anxious, not daring to think deeper.

Suddenly, she heard a soft groan, Gu Fuyou turned to see Zhong Michu moving slightly. The White Ape held them tightly in his arms, as if afraid they might escape. Sensing Zhong Michu’s discomfort, Gu Fuyou thought she might be uncomfortable and managed to insert a hand between the White Ape’s arms, and gently pulled Zhong Michu closer to her.

She wanted to comfort Zhong Michu but was at a loss for words. Having been at the Xuan Miao Sect for only a year, she was deeply affected by the situation. Zhong Michu, who had spent much longer there, had endured the near destruction of the sect, witnessed Yunran’s death, and faced the uncertain fate of Ji Chaoling. Such events would be overwhelming for anyone, even the most resilient, and all the more for Zhong Michu, a woman deeply moved by Yunran’s death, having experienced it firsthand.

Even though Gu Fuyou wasn’t sure what to say, she knew something needed to be said. Dongli spoke up, “Michu, the sect leader entrusted you with the sect leader’s token, entrusting the future of the Xuan Miao Sect to you. You must be strong and not let him down.”

Zhong Michu remained silent. Just as Dongli was about to continue speaking, the White Ape let out a low growl. In their current state, this slight change immediately put them all on high alert.

The White Ape led them to Jiansu Peak, east of the main peak and exclusive for beast-taming, where the dense forest teemed with spirit beasts; it was the same place where Gu Fuyou had been bullied by Yuan Changshou, leading to Zhong Michu’s summoning, now a distant memory. Overseeing this part, Jiu Yuan was intimately familiar with the peak, indicating the White Ape’s purposeful choice in bringing them here: likely in search of a hidden teleportation formation.

However, dangers loomed everywhere; with the main peak breached, the other peaks had also been invaded. Shortly after entering the forest, pursuers from the southeast appeared, prompting the White Ape’s growl. Swift on the ground, they surrounded the White Ape in the air, making escape impossible.

The White Ape, extremely intelligent, avoided conflict, focusing solely on getting the four deeper into the forest. The pursuers moved in an unusual manner, their limbs bending at strange angles. They threw silk threads at each other, weaving a net to block Jiu Yuan’s path, while others chased with swords and knives.

Gu Fuyou and the others couldn’t just watch. Fortunately, the pursuers didn’t seem highly skilled, allowing them to fight back. Liu Guizhen and Dongli both used swords, one breaking the net and the other dealing with the chasers.

Who would have thought that with a clanging sound, Liu Guizhen, a Golden Core master and a sword cultivator, couldn’t cut through the net. Although Dongli wasn’t a physical cultivator, her cultivation was not weak, and her sword struck several people. These assailants, seemingly of lower cultivation, pursued relentlessly as if unharmed, even when one’s head fell off and the body kept running.

Gu Fuyou exclaimed, “They’re puppets, impossible to kill.”

With the White Ape unable to free its hands to fight back, the puppets wrapped the net around it. Five or six puppets pulled the net, but they couldn’t overcome the White Ape’s brute strength. Leaping with the net still on, the White Ape kept running, while more puppets threw themselves onto the net, trying to hold it back. As the White Ape’s speed slowed, more and more puppets swarmed in, resembling a disturbed anthill, leaving everyone in shock.

Dongli said, “This is not working.”

Gu Fuyou responded, “I have a solution. These puppets are immune to physical damage but they fear fire. We should burn them.”

Dongli noted, “But among the four of us, none have a fire spirit root.”

Gu Fuyou, while holding Zhong Michu with one hand, rummaged through her storage bag with the other, “You guys find a way to remove this net; I have a fire attribute magical artifact. Brother Liu, you use it.” Her spiritual power was insufficient to unleash its full potential, so someone more powerful must wield it.

Both of them acknowledged her. Dongli closed her eyes, likely channeling her spiritual power. Gu Fuyou knew she was an internal cultivator specializing in spiritual plants and healing arts, similar to Si Miao but focused more on medical treatment. Dongli, with her wood spirit root, was adept in nurturing spiritual plants. Soon, the trees ahead seemed to come alive as countless branches descended, entwining and firmly holding the net. The intelligent White Ape immediately leaped backward, finally shedding the net.

Gu Fuyou had just retrieved the artifact, a fire agate. She had found it during their previous visit to the wandering market and handed it over to Liu Guizhen. Once he infused it with his spiritual power and tossed it into the air, flames erupted from the agate, charging towards the puppets like an army on fire, halting their advance and giving the group a moment’s respite.

But this relief was short-lived.

The Xu Ling Sect had learned early on from Ji Xiyan that there were many one-way teleportation formations in the mountains. After the Xuan Miao Sect’s mountain defenses were breached, the Xu Ling Sect split their forces. The Sixth Elder led some to fight the wandering immortals, while Du Pan dispatched others to guard the teleportation formations. However, as the formations were set by Liuhe, Ji Xiyan couldn’t know every location precisely, leading to potential oversights. Thus, puppets were deployed to guard the peaks, ready to alert Du Pan of any disturbances.

When the puppets clashed with the White Ape, Du Pan sensed it and quickly arrived at Jiansu Peak; Gu Fuyou and the others had just shaken off the puppets and taken a few steps when they suddenly felt an immense weight pressing down, making their bodies heavy and breathing labored, nearly causing them to pass out.

Struggling, the White Ape took a few gasping steps forward, still slowly moving. Liu Guizhen panted, “It’s a formation!” At the edge of their vision, they could see the formation; just one more leap from the White Ape would get them there. But moving was now difficult for the White Ape. They realized another powerful cultivator in the Hallow Void Stage was approaching. They hadn’t fainted because the White Ape bore most of the suppressive force. In such a dire state, escape seemed impossible. Were they really destined to be the downfall of Xuan Miao Sect?

Gu Fuyou’s mind raced, considering every possibility, but found no way out. Intelligence was futile against overwhelming power.

She looked up and saw a familiar face floating in the air. The fanaticism in his eyes as he stared at her sent chills down her spine. It was Du Pan, and he was rapidly approaching them. Suddenly, the White Ape let out a furious roar and hurled them towards the formation, turning to charge at Du Pan with a fierce bite.

Though Du Pan didn’t consider the White Ape a real threat, its savage and determination caught him off guard. Its wounded body, with eyes rolled back revealing bloodshot vessels and saliva dripping from its mouth, focused solely on attacking Du Pan. It wasn’t until the white ape was obliterated into a mist of blood that Du Pan was finally delayed.

His fellow Nascent Soul cultivators had already pursued Gu Fuyou and the others. Thrown towards the formation, they were only a dozen steps away but struggled to move. Gritting their teeth, they thought they must not faint now, crawling if necessary. Behind them, the White Ape’s screams and howls were heart-wrenching, but they dared not look back, transforming their grief and anger into the strength to move towards the formation, inch by inch.

The pursuing cultivators seemed amused by their plight, smiling and leisurely following them, not in a hurry to capture them, until they were just a few steps away from the formation. Du Pan shouted coldly, “Insignificant creatures, how dare you mess around in such a grave situation! Attack now!”

Gu Fuyou teetered on the brink between fainting and consciousness. If it weren’t for Zhong Michu pressing down on her, shielding her from the tremendous pressure, she would have already vomited blood and passed out. Even now, she didn’t feel much better, her head felt heavy and swollen with what felt like blood, leaving her dazed. The formation was right in front of her, only a few steps away, but everything felt agonizingly distant.

Just as a few cultivators were about to apprehend them, Gu Fuyou noticed Zhong Michu’s hand moving subtly. Her fingers closed together in a particular pattern, signaling the formation of a spell. Gu Fuyou wanted to stop her, knowing that using spiritual power in her severely wounded state was tantamount to suicide. But then she thought, would being captured by the Xu Ling Sect mean any better chances of survival?

In that brief moment of hesitation, the summoning formation was activated. Initially, Gu Fuyou was unaware of its purpose and had thought Zhong Michu incapable of summoning; however, upon learning that Zhong Michu was from the Dragon Clan, it all made sense. When Zhong Michu summons, a tide of beasts follows.

This summoning formation was extraordinarily large; with an elephantine trumpet and a flash of spiritual light, various spirit beasts charged out, from tiny insects to long-haired elephants bigger than trees. Their cultivation ranged from the Qi-training stage to the Nascent Soul stage, indicating Zhong Michu’s limitations in summoning more powerful beasts. The wave of beasts, causing the ground to shake and stirring the native spirit beasts of the forest into a frenzy, rushed towards the cultivators.

However, the disparity in cultivation couldn’t be compensated by numbers. Despite the overwhelming number of spirit beasts, they were no match for Du Pan and his subordinates. With a mere wave of his hand, Du Pan vaporized a vast swath of them into bloody mist.

Still, these loyal creatures continued their desperate charge, resembling moths drawn to a flame. Gu Fuyou glanced back, shocked by the sight of such indiscriminate slaughter, marked by blood and corpses strewn everywhere, a scene surpassing even the carnage caused by Zuo Tianlang’s Xing Tian explosives in Xian Luo. Fighting back nausea, she persisted in crawling forward, carrying Zhong Michu.

The relentless sacrifice of the beasts bought them precious moments; Dongli and Liu Guizhen had reached the edge of the formation and were pulling them closer.

In this critical moment, Du Pan, obsessed with the Qilin marrow and with red eyes, had only one thought: not to let Gu Fuyou escape. He struck with full force to destroy the formation, a move that would inevitably injure the four of them severely. But that didn’t matter to him; he planned to revive them later if needed.

A dark mist, like a ghostly fire from the underworld, surged towards the teleportation formation, filling Gu Fuyou and the others with a chilling energy, rendering them immobile and unable to resist.

However, in the blink of an eye, a powerful gust from beyond the heavens, accompanied by a brilliant light, like a celestial flame, split the dark mist and charged directly at Du Pan. Startled, Du Pan wrapped his hands in black mist and stepped back several paces to counter the attack, feeling a sharp pain in his palms.

Upon inspecting his hand, his expression drastically changed. It was an arrow, but not just any arrow; the tip was a Golden Dragon’s tooth. His face turned extremely grim as he instinctively looked skyward: “Have the Dragons arrived?”

In that brief moment of distraction, Gu Fuyou and her group had already reached the center of the formation. Du Pan exclaimed in shock, “Damn!” Gu Fuyou took out a spirit stone, and with a flash of spiritual light, the four of them vanished without a trace!

Du Pan’s expression darkened. His initial shock had prevented him from thinking straight. With recent news about Gu Fuyou’s encounter with the Dragon Clan, finding the Dragon’s tooth had led him to naturally assume that the dragons had arrived. Now, with the targets escaped, he cooled down and thought more clearly. If it were truly the Dragons, they wouldn’t resort to hiding and shooting arrows; they would have openly confronted and taken their own.

Du Pan flew into the sky, shouting coldly, “Who dares to meddle in the affairs of the Xu Ling Sect from the shadows?” The Jingdu Mountain was thoroughly guarded by the Xu Ling Sect’s people, leaving no room for intruders.

Far away on Gushen Peak, on a horizontal tree branch, one person held a bow equal to their height, while another crouched beside them, hand shielding their forehead, peering into the distance. The one with the bow patted their chest, exhaling a sigh of relief, “Good, we made it in time. If anything had happened to her, Kunling would have skinned alive me upon her return.”

The other, sounding regretful, said, “Vice President, what’s good about this? We lost her again. The one-way teleportation formation could send them anywhere, and we have no way of knowing. When Lord Kunling returns from the Eastern Sea with the Dragons, and they ask us for her, what will we give them?”

The Vice President expressed his frustration, saying, “This young lord is extremely perceptive. If I approach too closely, she detects my presence, forcing me to keep my distance, which unfortunately often results in losing track of her. Kunling instructed us to shadow her stealthily, without her realizing it, Xiao Qian, and that’s a tough task for me. Just as we had finally located her, the Xu Ling Sect interfered. The two of us couldn’t possibly take on so many from the Zuo family; if we had intervened, we would have been beaten to death. Our only option was to shoot from the shadows.”

“But you’ve lost her again.”

The veins on the Vice President’s forehead bulged in frustration, “Alright, alright, I know! Let’s go, quickly, before they discover us. If we get caught, how will we find her?”

“If Lord Kunling asks, I’ll say it was due to the Vice President’s incompetence.”

“…”

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Previous: Chapter 51

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Shakthivel
Shakthivel
8 months ago

Thanks for the chapter

Alex POTUS
Alex POTUS
8 months ago
Reply to  admin

Thank you, admin! It’s fixed and everything is okay now. From 48 to 52 in one go, such a thrilling battle scene! I even cried a little when Michu’s mother sacrificed herself. It is also touching to see Michu protecting Gu Fuyou even though she’s wounded, weak, and merely alive.

I am frustrated with Gu Fuyou not knowing her own blood power. I mean, she may even heal Michu with her blood. When will she find out? Ughhh!!!

Btw, I felt like I have heard Kunling somewhere before. I am not sure but I feel like I know this name. Is that Dragon grandfather? Can someone please tell me?

dadin
dadin
8 months ago

new characters or already mentioned but I forgot?

Hatimo
Hatimo
28 days ago
Reply to  dadin

I think they are staff from the red dress woman in gambling place before.. I have a hunch they are from dragon clan or smth

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

That was a lot. Hot damn. ZMC just lost nearly everything ahhh it’s so sad 😭😭😭😭

Lovingbaihe
Lovingbaihe
5 months ago

Kunling is the lady from the market

MatrixM
MatrixM
3 months ago

Completely forgot about both the spirit beast summoning and the merchant guys.
All these things coming together!