On the battle stage surrounded by spectators, Xu Hui was hell-bent on destroying Li Qiye. He wanted to pull out his muscles, flay his skin, and smash his body into a thousand pieces.
Nan Huairen and Protector Mo wanted to believe in Li Qiye. Although the chance of him winning was slim, he had continuously performed miracles.
“Hey, can he really beat Senior Xu?” Ever since Li Qiye went through the Chaotic Heart Forest in one go, the disciples of the Nine Saint Demon Gate considered him a real opponent.
An older senior shook his head: “The difference between them is too great. It is a mortal versus a Heaven’s Mandate cultivator. Li Qiye won't be able to win unless he was somehow given an Immortal Emperor True Treasure, but even that isn’t realistic. Even with it, he wouldn’t have enough blood energy to activate its power.”
“That's right, a mortal cannot activate an Immortal Emperor True Treasure. The ‘Fierce Slaughter Sword’ technique of Junior Xu is overly powerful due to its mysterious truths. A life or death battle with that technique would not bode well for his opponent.” A disciple that had previously sparred with Xu Hui offered his opinion: “And don’t forget about his Golden Hawk Physique. Although it is only a Houtian Physique, it has considerable speed. If you combine both his speed and power, you can say that his offensive power is nearly unmatched in our generation.”
Cultivators valued physiques very highly. There were six stages of physiques — Mortal Physique, Houtian Physique, Xiantian Physique, King Physique, Saint Physique, and lastly, the Immortal Physique.
The majority of the world had a Mortal Physique, including Li Qiye. It was the weakest both in terms of physical strength and blood energy.
Xu Hui roared. Sword energies began to rotate around his body in an upward manner. They became a giant, impenetrable fortress of visible, radiant swords, all pointing towards Li Qiye. The technique served as a defensive measure as he was channeling his energy.
“Open!”A heavenly sword came out from Xu Hui’s mouth and split into eight different heavenly swords. These swords were gigantic, towering at two hundred meters each. A single strike could split the earth itself.
A disciple couldn’t help but voice their jealousy: “Fierce Slaughter Sword, Heavenly Sword Yan Jin!”
“Xu Hui’s true energy is formed by Yan Jin’s Heavenly Sword due to its completely magical pattern. Yan Jin's Heavenly Sword for offense and Fierce Slaughter Sword for defense. Within our generation, he is nearly unbeatable."
Witnessing the scene, Protector Mo was humbled. Xu Hui proved to be more powerful than expected, especially when he had the possession of the Yan Jin sword. Protector Mo himself wouldn’t be able to penetrate Xu Hui’s defenses. After his failed attack, the Yan Jing sword formation would immediately counterattack when he was the most vulnerable.
Xu Hui maneuvered his swords at Li Qiye and maniacally yelled: “Come here you bastard. Today, I will slice you into a thousand pieces!”
“Phoo, phoo!” Li Qiye spat into his palms and then rubbed them together. This rather crude gesture was completely different from his normally elegant bearing.
Li Qiye repeated: “A thousand pieces?"
Then he slowly took out the Serpent Punishing Stick: "You, alone, are not enough. Let me beat you into a pig’s head. Even your parents will not recognize who you are after I am done.”
Nan Huairen almost went unconscious. Wasn’t that the stick from the Cleansing Incense Ancient Sect's grand chamber's fireplace? He was expecting Li Qiye to use the “Invisible Dual Blades” technique, maybe its miraculous power would help him tie the fight.
However, Li Qiye wasn’t using the blades but a wooden stick instead… The Yan Jin sword would split that thing in half in a mere second.
Protector Mo’s only thought at this moment was to save Li Qiye’s life the moment it was in danger, no matter the cost.
“Using a wooden stick to fight against the Yan Jin sword? Could it be an Immortal Emperor weapon?” Yu He squinted his eyes and opened his heavenly eye in order to see through the wooden stick. He was indeed worried that the stick was a treasure made by an Immortal Emperor.
However, despite his numerous techniques, the wooden stick was determined to be just a wooden stick. There were no magical enchantments nor cultivation techniques to utilize. A wooden stick versus a Heaven’s Mandate level sword... Yu He was at a loss for words.
Protector Hua was not as skeptical as Yu He, he only wanted to witness Li Qiye’s death.
Li Qiye pointed his Serpent Punishing Stick at Xu Hui like a ruffian and said: “Little boy, come here. Let this grandpa shatter your butt!”
“I’ll kill you!” Xu Hui screamed as the eight heavenly swords became one. Straight from the sky, the Yan Jin sword — surrounded by a gigantic amount of energy — swung down towards Li Qiye. Its path was filled with fire; the battle stage was now bathed in a sea of flames.
“This is the end!” Nan Huairen turned around, not wanting to see the result of this monstrous strike. It seemed like Xu Hui wanted to finish this in one move; he used his most powerful technique.
“Good!” Li Qiye paid it no mind. He shouted in a strange manner and jumped forward with a random motion while swinging his stick.
The scene that everyone was expecting did not happen.
The Serpent Punishing Stick met the weakest part of the Yan Jin sword in the middle of its trajectory. The sword’s energy dissipated and the physical sword plunged to the ground. It was as if the sword was bitten by a poisonous snake and became unable to obey Xu Hui’s commands.
“Little boy, I will beat you into a pig’s head!” Xu Hui hadn’t regained his composure when Li Qiye was already in front of him. The stick passed through his sword fortress and rained blows directly onto his body.
“Die!” Xu Hui didn't retreat. He gathered his sword energy once more and surrounded Li Qiye with it.
“Gather!” However, his Virtuous Paragon sword technique had no effect. The Serpent Punishing Stick continuously struck at the formation’s weakest points, successfully negating the blows. Finally, it struck Xu Hui’s face. This one blow made Xu Hui's face redden with blood. He became disoriented with stars in his eyes and thunder in his ears.
“Bam, Bam, Bam!” In the blink of an eye, Li Qiye had pummeled Xu Hui ten times, all of them hitting his meridians and weakest spots. Xu Hui was like a snake without its skeletal body; he was no longer able to stand. His blood energy was in disarray and his cultivation techniques were unusable. He fell to the ground with a busted face.
Hitting a snake required one to aim for its head — this was true for the blows Li Qiye struck. They had to hit the weak points and holes in the opponents defense. Unless the opponent had reached the Heaven’s Primal stage, they wouldn't be able to escape the blows. This was because they wouldn't have perfected their own understanding of the defensive mysterious truths. One of the requirements for Heaven’s Primal is a rebirth of one’s body and the understanding of techniques as well as a body protection aura that would render the Serpent Punishing Stick useless. However, since Xu Hui was far from Heaven’s Primal, the wooden stick was his nemesis.
Keep in mind that even Immortal Emperor Min Ren was beaten by the stick repeatedly, and the same applied to all of his strongest generals, including the Nine Saint Virtuous Paragon.
The Serpent Punishing Stick was not a treasure or divine artifact. It was only a regular branch grown from a small tree in the Ghost Forest and basked by a demonic aura for ages. However, this made it anything but ordinary; the Ghost Forest was one of the few burial grounds.
A stick of this level was exceedingly rare. At the beginning of the Emperors Era, the Dark Crow entered the Ghost Forest and spent countless efforts to obtain this stick.
The stick also had another property that made it appealing to Li Qiye. No matter how many times a person is struck by it, they would not die from its blows. It was a stick specifically meant for punishment and teaching. This made it very appropriate for Li Qiye when dealing with the powerful geniuses under his tutelage like Immortal Emperor Min Ren.
“Bang, Bang, Bang!” After Xu Hui fell to the ground unconscious, Li Qiye did not show any mercy. He kept on striking Xu Hui's body. His body was now covered in wounds, and no one could tell if he was dead or alive.
This scene jolted the spectators. Yu He activated his heavenly eye again to look at the Serpent Punishing Stick, but he still couldn’t find anything special about it.