Li Taisui stood on a mountain range that had been named “Broken Ridge” by the White Tiger Territory’s Demonkin. Below his feet was a thick, impenetrable sea of trees. Countless bellows echoed in this endless forest. Hoots, hisses, roars, and howls were issued without end, making one’s heart tremble in fear.
Nevertheless, the old man turned a deaf ear to the noise, his hazy, aged eyes merely gazing into the horizon.
Reflected in his eyes was the shadow of a mountain peak that stuck straight into the clouds.
“Even the enormous White Tiger Territory is unable to conceal the immense shadow of that Maiden Mountain. This Old Man truly is more and more eager to scale the mountain and investigate it.” Li Taisui fanned himself and slowly spoke.
The white-robed woman bracing him from the side had a pair of absolutely calm eyes and a refined temperament, as if the two words “outstanding hero” were custom fit for her. Her bangs were lifted by the wind, revealing a prominent blue birthmark. Blue Faced Beast Yang Zijin listened to the old man speak, merely slightly raising her eyebrows as she glanced at the far-off “heaven-supporting pillar,” Maiden Mountain.
“Taisui will definitely achieve it.” Yang Zijin gently answered.
“But that Purple Thunder Monster is a problem.” Li Taisui smiled.
Although they succeeded in releasing the Liao Emperor at the Crystal Dragon Palace’s Treasure Banquet, this endeavor had cost the White Tiger Seven Spirit Stars two of their number. Not only this, they had originally wanted to rely on this adept who had once unified the White Tiger Territory to become a weapon to set foot on Maiden Mountain, yet they never expected that she would be unable to even last to the end of the banquet.
Compared to this, what Li Taisui was even more mindful of was the Purple Thunder Monster who raised a reign of terror in the Azure Dragon Territory.
In terms of cultivation, Li Taisui was the absolute superior. What made him concerned was the Star General Strength Star Jade Qilin who appeared together with this Purple Thunder Monster. The thousand year uncontracted Lin Chong and Wu Song followed him unswervingly. Now, even that head of martial force Strength Star to stand on his side, this gave Li Taisui no choice but to attach value to him.
Yang Zijin calmly said: “Taisui did not lose to him at all.”
“This Old Man’s power did not lose to him, but our formation is nevertheless a complete shambles compared to his, ha, ha.” Li Taisui laughed. He did not conceal his failure at all. “This Old Man was mistaken. This Old Man never thought that this person would indeed possess some skill. This Old Man ought to recruit him. Next time, This Old Man shall ask him if he is willing to unite with This Old Man to charge Maiden Mountain together.”
“Taisui can try.”
“En.” Originally, because they had the moniker White Tiger Seven Spirit Stars, Li Taisui had treated the Star Masters outside of the White Tiger Territory as obstacles, merely something to kick away.
Now, Li Taisui felt that he needed to change his previously held notions. There were many formidable Star Masters outside of the White Tiger Territory who were worth recruiting.
Compared to this Purple Thunder Monster, there was also that young woman who possessed the Supreme Ultimate Diagram.
Their quota for the Seven Stars Assembly was short by two. They probably would not decline if he offered them.
Although they had fought several bouts against one another, these Star Duels had only one goal. For one unanimous goal, it was very normal for enemies to become allies.
Just as Li Taisui thought this.
Several lights flew over from the horizon.
The escape lights descended to reveal one ice-cold woman in clothes as white as snow. The girl’s expression was extremely cold, as if they were made from Thousand Year Black Ice. Wherever she passed, a cold wind nipped, snow flew, and frost condensed. The originally high-spirited sounds in the background were frozen into silence.
“Han Bing, not bad. It appears your cultivation has had very significant progress.” Li Taisui nodded in satisfaction. These past few days in seclusion were not wasted. Han Bing’s cultivation had broken through to Supervoid Middle Stage. Her “Stepping On Thin Ice” ability had already reached a realm on unhindered transmission. It appeared that this feast at the Crystal Dragon Palace was not wasted.
The girl was as expressionless as a glacier as she slightly nodded.
“This Old Man wants to allow the Purple Thunder Monster to become one of the finalists in the Seven Stars Assembly. Han Bing, your thoughts?” Li Taisui shook his fan, leisurely speaking.
“Him?” Han Bing’s brows tightly wrinkled, “Taisui, at the end of the Seven Stars Assembly, there is only room for one overlord. If he ascends Maiden Mountain, then Taisui, you…” She had traded blows with the Purple Thunder Monster and was defeated. She knew that he was indeed very strong. It was not strange for Li Taisui to consider adding him into the Seven Stars Assembly; Han Bing’s nature was already trained to an ice-cold, merciless state. She was not like the others who would brood over those enemies that defeated her, but Han Bing still wished to remind this old man whom she revered that to allow the Purple Thunder Monster to become one of the Seven Stars Assembly finalists signified that someday, they would be facing a powerful enemy in possession of several top-notch martial generals. This simply was inviting a fox into the chicken coop, too unwise.
Li Taisui chuckled to himself. “Han Bing, This Old Man has pondered over your worries already. But the man who can be favored by Lin Chong and Wu Song will presumably not be so superficial. Is toppling these Star Duels together not even more interesting than the overlord position?”
“Han Bing is willing to listen to Taisui’s decision…” Han Bing did not continue her opposition.
“To hear you say this, This Old Man is relieved.” Li Taisui smiled: “Whether Ye Futu or the Purple Thunder Monster, This Old Man, in the end, believes only in his own people.”
Han Bing nodded.
After a while, Xin Lao and Cang Feng arrived in succession.
Li Taisui similarly spoke with them about the Purple Thunder Monster. Xin Lao nodded, and Cang Feng thought the same as Han Bing. Both believed that having one Star Master who broke the equilibrium join the Seven Stars Assembly bode ill for their entire group. However, in the end, they left this to Li Taisui’s personal decision.
“Right, Taigong, Ye Futu has gone to kill the Clinging Heaven Vermilion Jian. He has asked Your Servant to tell Taigong of this.” Cang Feng said.
“He has gone to kill the Vermilion Jian?” Li Taisui shook his head. The Clinging Heaven Vermilion Jian was a fire-type Divine Bird. Although this was extremely beneficial to Ye Futu who practiced the Vermilion Bird Blackening Flame and other fire element cultivation methods, the Clingign Heaven Vermilion Jian was not so easy to contend against.
This Ye Futu would most likely suffer humiliating defeat.
When all was said and done, humans were humans. They would always believe themselves superior to all other creatures.
“Cang Feng, you go as well. If needed, bring him back.” Li Taisui said.
“As you command.”
“There is another matter that requires you, Han Bing.”
“Taisui, your orders, please.”
“Daredevil Third Brother Shi Xiu has frolicked about the White Tiger Territory long enough. It is time to make her swear allegiance to the White Tiger Territory.” Li Taisui slightly smiled.
Han Bing understood Li Taisui wanted her to use the Double Stars Button to contract with the Bright Star. The Daredevil Third Brother was able to survive the White Tiger Territory that was full of danger at every corner up to this stage before the Three Heavenly Books. One of the very big reasons for this was the Li Taisui deliberately allowed Shi Xiuxiu to train her martial arts, saving time.
However, Li Taisui was evidently aware of the phrase “nurturing a tiger invites calamity.” The current Daredevil Third Brither’s martial arts were superb, her realm exceptional. Han Bing and Ling Feixue completely had no way to defeat her. “Xin Lao, you go help Han Bing.” Li Taisui said to the woman.
“Zijin as well, you go help.” Li Taisui turned his head to stare at Yang Zijin, his abstruse eyes full of a deeper meaning. “This time, we must be determined to contract SHi Xiu. She is a capable martial general we need for our future aspirations. Zijin, do you understand?”
“Zijin understands.” Yang Zijin indifferently nodded her head.
Only then did Li Taisui relax. “Go with speed. There can be no mistakes whatsoever.”
“And you, Taisui?” Han Bing asked.
“The Liao Emperor is at ‘Kaifeng’ preparing the a passageway array to Star World. This Old Man must go supervise.”
The White Tiger Territory possessed Liangshan Continent’s most ancient, primordial forests. The green upon range after range of mountains made the forest’s territory boundless, becoming an oppressor to the eyes. Unlike the other three territories, the White Tiger specially had an ancient aura that made people entering this territory feel they were in the midst of ancient, prehistoric, primal chaos. That kind of pressure squeezed in from all directions simultaneously, making people unable to draw breath.
In the sky, there several faintly visible giant birds circling the forest. At first glance, they looked like bats several hundred times their normal size. From time to time, the activity of giant beasts came from the forest, as if telling of the dangers in this place.
The Su Xing who was on his first trip to the White Tiger Territory was greatly stunned by the scene before his eyes.
He had only entered the borders of the White Tiger Territory when he spotted Demon Beasts this large. If he entered the center of the White Tiger Territory, perhaps there would be some monstrous existence.
“Rumor has it that the Liao Emperor is at the White Tiger Territory’s old ‘Liao’ Kingdom, the capital of Kaifeng. If that’s true, then she is truly defiant of the natural order.” Su Xing stood on the Star Riding Boat, muttering to himself.
“The capital is even called the City of Ten Thousand Demons. Many cultivators want to see it.” Xi Yue had a longing expression. Ever since the Crystal Dragon Palace, after she learned the Liao Emperor was a woman, her position notwithstanding, Xi Yue admired this type of powerful woman.
To be able to conquer a place like the White Tiger Territory, what level of courage was needed.
“I also want to witness that.” Su Xing’s eyes glinted, full of interest towards the Liangshan Continent that never ceased to amaze him.
“However, the gravity here is many times stronger here than other places.” Su Xing clenched his fist a few times. His body could clearly feel the weight.
“What is gravity?” Hua Wanyue rolled her eyes at the never-before-heard of term that burst out of this man. “But this place honestly makes Me feel displeased.” The Hero Star sensed her body seemed to be bound, far from her previous ease.
“The Daredevil Third Brother is fully deserving of the name, to surprisingly train her martial arts in this sort of place.” Su Xing was incapable of imagining of how she managed to live. If that Wisdom Star Shi Xiuxiu currently still had not Starfallen, her martial arts realm perhaps would be considerably formidable.
Thinking about her, Su Xing could not help but recall that silent as a flower Blue Faced Beast Yang Zijin at Li Taisui’s side.
She also had superb martial force, one that did not lose out to top-notch martial generals.
It seemed that they must be careful in this place.
Just as Su Xing thought this, their first battle in the White Tiger Territory nevertheless beckoned.
Several of the faraway birds had caught onto their scent. They flapped their wings and shot over. Even though they were separated by several dozen li, he could hear the gust from their wings.
These Demon Beasts known as “Demon Bats”1 were the equivalent of Supervoid Early Stage according to the Azure Dragon Territory’s measures. However, because they were in the White Tiger Territory, facing them was not as easy.
Hua Wanyue brought out the Heaven Earth Sun Moon Bow, about to teach these blind Demon Beasts a small lesson.
The “Demon Bat” shifted. Its figure suddenly turned indistinct, disappearing all of a sudden.
“Wanyue, careful.” Su Xing extended his arm.
Bang.A bolt of Purple Mansion Immortal Thunder struck in midair, colliding with a black shadow.
After a loud noise, several Demon Beasts surprisingly appeared before them instantly. These Demon Beasts had just thought of using their powers to capture these people when at this moment, there was a loud and clear phoenix cry from the heavens.
Beautiful flames immediately flowed down.
In the flames, an absolutely beautiful phoenix spread its wings, flapped them, and sent several giant fireballs smashing into the Demon Bats. The Demon Bats hissed. Every Demon Beast had its own instinct, and as if intimidated by the divine bird, they struggled and finally broke clean away using a strange escape technique.
Su Xing instead calmly raised his head to look at this grand and noble phoenix.
It was none other than the Di Nü Heavenly Phoenix.
Little Huang stood on top of the Di Nü Heavenly Phoenix, gently floating down onto Su Xing’s shoulder. Then came an absolutely sweet, “Your Highness.”
“With the Di Nü Heavenly Phoenix, we can save on a lot of trouble. Little Huang, we’ll have to count on you for this.” Su Xing patted Little Huang’s shoulder.
Gongsun Huang very earnestly nodded her head.
Hua Wanyue had originally thought of releasing the Heavenly Hero Red Luan, but seeing the natural grandeur of that Dragon in the Cloud’s Star Beast Di Nü Heavenly Phoenix, she felt her own Heavenly Hero Red Luan was just like a servant girl. For an instant, she felt embarrassed to summon it.
Previously, Hua Wanyue would not have these kinds of strange thoughts, but for some reason, she begain to somewhat care. She especially did not want a comparison in front of Su Xing.
“We have not come for a scenic tour. Milord, quickly find the location of this Clinging Heaven Vermilion Jian.” Hua Wanyue restrained the odd feeling in her heart, turning her gaze away from the Di Nü Heavenly Phoenix.
Su Xing’s Divine Intent moved. A vermilion jade strip flew out and hovered in front of them.
The jade strip released a red, flaming aura, like a swirling vortex.
Rather than say this Vermilion Jian Map was an actual map, it was better to say this was a magic weapon. This map had been refined with the flame of the Clinging Heaven Vermilion Jian’s flame by the previous owner. Just by taking the Vermilion Jian Map out, it could sense the Clinging Fire of the Clinging Heaven Vermilion Jian. So long as they followed its directions, they could find the Clinging Heaven Vermilion Jian.
“En, should be this direction.” Su Xing followed the Vermilion Jian Map’s indication towards the north of the White Tiger Territory.
“The White Tiger’s north?” Xi Yue looked. Was this place not in the furthest reaches of the White Tiger Territory? This was very close to the White Tiger Territory’s legendary capital city, Kaifeng.
“En, let’s go. We can save a lot of time.” Su Xing and Xi Yue had the same idea.
Without delay, the group rode in the Heavenly River Star Riding Boat, following the Di Nü Heavenly Phoenix as it opened a path, towards the White Tiger Territory’s most northern place.
Several hundred li away from Su Xing.
Four demon bears currently surrounded a woman in an open area.
That woman’s figure was slim. She was dressed in a disheveled, slovenly manner. Her clothes had many holes, and she was draped in the pelts and plumage of several kinds of Demon Beasts, mixed and matched somewhat eccentrically. Her hair was bundled in a ponytail. The woman rode an enormous white wolf with perfectly flawless fur. Her hand held a broadsword, and her eyes were full of provocation towards these Demon Beasts.
The demon bear’s bodies were like iron towers. Their fur was like iron, as if they were wearing armor. They bared savage fangs, and theirs sharp claws that could tear apart metal and stone as if they were paper demonstrated the Demon Beasts’ fury.
They were the rulers of the area, but they had been entangled for several days by the woman in front of them. This made them exceptionally enraged.
The lead Demon Bear roared.
The four demon beasts suddenly charged.
The ground shook. Let alone that these Demon Bears were massively built, they were nevertheless abnormally quick. Their claws that were sharper than magic weapons tore at the girl. The air chilled, and killing intent unsheathed. It was like a net, leaving the woman nowhere to run.
“Berserk killing intent, excellent agility, invulnerable armor, and…” The woman’s expression did not change, instead wearing an excited smile as she uttered these words of praise that should have described a martial general.
She soared up riding the wolf.
The net of air twisted towards the Heavenly Feather Giant Wolf, like a feather caught in a storm.
“And that Star General-like battle talent…” The woman said as she leapt off the Heavenly Feather Giant Wolf. Her body techniques were nimble, breaking through the gaps in the killing intent.
That practically inescapable king of claws was surprisingly evaded by her odd movements.
The Demon Bears snarled and pounced.
At this moment, the woman showed a severe expression.
The broadsword in her hand spun several times. Then, the woman descended. The moment she touched the ground, she did not stop in the slightest. Her entire person pounced forwards like a storm. That aggression did not lose out to a tiger’s.
The Demon Bears had never seen such a frightening human cultivator. For a moment, they thought they had encountered a Demon Beast in human form. The Demon Bears immediately smashed their paws against the ground, creating earth spikes that sprouted from the ground in succession, but the woman was like a butterfly flitting through flowers. Her stance gracefully evaded every earth spike.
Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.
Cold light leapt forth.
Immediately, their fury was extinguished.
The four Demon bears fell to the ground with a thud. They were unexpectedly dispatched in an instant. Upon closer inspection, the fatal wounds inflicted upon these Demon Beasts were all slashes aimed at the weakest part on their chins. The precision was chilling.
“Please become a part of Your Servan’t martial arts…” The woman sheathed her sword in satisfaction, her ponytail bouncing.
Without a doubt.
Such an abnormal, all-out, battle stance that could frighten even Demon Beasts.
Only Wisdom Star Daredevil Third Brother Shi Xiu could possess this.
“Little Feather, are you alright.”
Shi Xiuxiu asked her Star Beast. The Heavenly Feather Giant Wolf was covered in wounds from the Demon Beasts’ attacks. None of them were fatal. It was already accustomed to wounds like this in the White Tiger Territory. The Heavenly Feather Giant Wolf cuddled with its mistress in a very human manner.
“There is not much time left to spend in the White Tiger Territory.” Shi Xiuxiu raised her head to look at the sky.
The Heavenly Feather Giant Wolf suddenly let out a low growl, baring its fangs as it howled at some trees. Shi Xiuxiu’s back was towards the forest, but she did not even need to look behind her. “Who else wants to become a part of Your Servant’s martial arts?”
“Truly worthy of the Daredevil Third Brother, to surprisingly be able to saly these demon beasts so easily.”
The wind suddenly gusted, and the surrounding temperatures fell to zero.
The woman who walked out seemed like an ice sculpture. She was ice-cold from head to toe. The moment she appeared, the entire surroundings seemed to have entered winter.
“Elder Sister, you are truly too formidable. Feixue is too impressed.” The young girl beside this ice-cold woman on the contrary exhibited a spring-like warm smile.
This was already not the first time they had crossed paths.
Heaven Shaking Thunder Ling Feixue and her Star Master Han Bing.
“You wish to defeat Your Servant to sign a contract, is it?” Shi Xiuxiu sighed, her misty breath like an arrow, reaching out several meters.
“Can’t Elder Sister Xiuxiu and Little Sister be together? Let us ascend Maiden Mountain together and end the Star Duels. Feixue pleads with Elder Sister, Feixue truly likes Elder Sister very much.” Lin Feixue showed pouting, pitiful eyes, itching to throw herself into Shi Xiuxiu’s arms.
“Your Servant is very impressed with your decision to end the Star Duels, regardless of whether that is true or not.” Shi Xiuxiu indifferently raised her blade which had two swirling stars.
Daredevil Third Brother shook her head: “But Your Servant has not interest at all in a contract.”
“Elder Sister Xiuxiu, Feixue really likes you a lot. Elder SIster, are you saying your daredevil training in martial arts isn’t for the sake of ending the Star Duels? If that isn’t the case, then what’s the point.” Ling Feixue said bitterly. “Doesn’t Elder Sister want to wield her martial arts in someplace useful?”
“Your Servant truly has no interest in the Star Duels.” Shi Xiuxiu shut one eye, showing a begrudging expression: “Battle is Your Servant’s sole belief.”
“In other words, we must defeat you to contract you?” Han Bing finally spoke, her voice chilling to the bone, freezing the air.
“Even if you defeat Your Servant, Your Servant does not wish to sign a contract.” Shi XIuxiu shrugged.
“Since this is the case, you will be beyond help when the time comes.” Han Bing coldly said.
The Black Frost Flying Swords emitted cold air as they twisted straight towards Shi Xiuxiu.
“Elder Sister really is stubborn, however, Little Sister will properly straighten Elder SIster out in the future.” Ling Feixue also abandoned persuasion. Her triple cannons suddenly appeared behind her, the muzzles rotating.
Thunder clapped furiously, and fire dragons soared.
The moment they entered battle, Shi Xiuxiu’s expression already became even more chilling than at any other time. The Heavenly Feather Giant Wolf rushed over as well. Ling Feixue’s cannons and Han Bing’s Flying Swords were surprisingly unable to match Daredevil Third Brother’s pace.
What a formidable Realm.
Han Bing shuddered, and she withdrew.
A ray of saber-light directly flit by. In the blink of an eye, it had separated Han Bing and Ling Feixue.
Shi Xiuxiu slightly smiled as she drew her sword, slashing at Han Bing.
A rampart of ice suddenly appeared. Fortunately, Shi Xiuxiu’s Star Weapon was still relatively weak. Barely blocking this attack, Han Bing’s hand pointed. The Flying Swords quickly attacked. Just as Shi Xiuxiu was about to surprise attack, she suddenly sensed danger and dodged backwards.
A shining bracelet manifested a scene of all things as it attacked.
Shi Xiuxiu had no way to block this attack and could only evade.
“Oh. It appears you are not alone.” Shi Xiuxiu gazed indifferently at another cold and detached woman.
- 魈蝠. Apparently, 魈 is also a word for “elf” ↩