Chapter 11: The Ghost King is Born
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“Hahaha, this Fiend’s Bell is finally mine.” Suddenly, out of nowhere appeared a person standing on the thistles in the center of the array formation. The man appeared to be about forty to fifty years old and was dressed in full black with even his face covered in black stripes. He excitedly held onto the box that the young cultivator had dropped.
“It’s you!” Just as Cultivator Lu was about to wake the girl up, he looked up and saw that person.
“You know him?” Yi Qing asked.
“He… he was just at the Treasure Pavilion bidding against me for my Dharma artifact.” Cultivator Lu glanced at the man whose face was covered in black stripes, shrunk back and said, “Never did I expect him to be a Fiendish Cultivator.”
“Hmph, you punk!” The Fiendish Cultivator took out a bell-shaped Dharma artifact from the box and glared at the young cultivator. “This Fiend’s Bell should be a fiendish cultivation Dharma artifact. How dare a puny punk like you snatch it from me.”
“Nonsense. A Dharma artifact is not a spirit item, it does not need to recognize its owner. It was obviously bought by me.”
“You lived long enough to buy it, but let’s see if you can live to use it!” With a wave of his hand, a mass of thistles and thorns erupted from the ground again, thrashing towards them.
Yi Qing immediately rushed towards the field of thistles with his sword. The sword shone as it weaved through the thistles as if it were alive. Within a moment, the thick forest of thistles was sliced into small bits and fell to the ground.
“You’re a Golden Core cultivator!” The Fiendish Cultivator’s brows furrowed together, his face filled with dread, and then he stared at Cultivator Lu who was standing nearby. “You punk, never did I expect you to get a Golden Core cultivator to escort you. But too bad…” He waved his hand to remove the seal and sneered, “Since all of you met me, you are destined to die here.”
The next moment, the array formation on the ground turned red, and those thistles and vines that had been chopped down suddenly disintegrated into copious amounts of black smoke. In the blink of an eye, the whole forest was engulfed in the smoke and the surroundings became extremely chilly.
“It’s Yin Qi!” Yi Qing held onto his sword tightly as he turned back to give a warning. “Stand back. Shut your five senses to prevent the Yin Qi from entering your body.”
Cultivator Lu hurriedly did as he was told. While setting up a simple defense array formation, he warned the girl beside him, “Fellow Daoist, get into the array formation quickly. Yin Qi can cause a great deal of harm.”
However… he was only met with snores.
Still… Still… Still asleep. How exactly did she walk all the way till here!
Engulfed in Yin Qi, the surroundings had become much darker. Even more thistles emerged from the center of the Fiendish Cultivator’s array formation. With the black smoke being used as a shield, the opponent’s attacks became more aggressive. Yi Qing cut down a few thistles, but he realized that the opponent was aiming for the two people at the back.
It seemed like the Fiendish Cultivator not only wanted to steal the treasure but was also eager to kill Cultivator Lu. Yi Qing furrowed his brows and then with no hesitation, he mustered all the Spirit Qi in his body. With Sword Qi being manifested, ten swords formed out of Sword Qi appeared all around him in an instant. The swords flashed with a glaring light as they cut through the array along with the forest of thistles and the black smoke.
The array formation below the Fiendish Cultivator’s feet cracked open all of a sudden, and he spat out a mouthful of blood as he stared at Yi Qing in disbelief. “How is this possible? My array formation of Yin! You… you are a Sword Cultivator!” The other party’s cultivation was clearly above his. With this array formation, there was no way the other could have beaten him unless the opponent was a Sword Cultivator—only Sword Cultivators would be capable of challenging him regardless of cultivation level.
Sword cultivation was about the cultivation of Sword Dao. The focus was on the sharp sword in hand; heart and sword as one. Without relying on any spells or alchemy, this path of cultivation was focused on the cultivator himself. Hence, they were always more powerful than cultivators of the same level. Other cultivators would thus find it difficult to measure up to Sword Cultivators of the same level. They were very rare to come across, so little did he expect to meet one, and one that was a Golden Core Sword Cultivator at that.
“Sword Cultivator, Yi Qing,” Yi Qing said.
“Yi Qing!” The other party was shocked, seemingly recalling something as his face turned white as a sheet. “You, you… you are the one who killed Rui Mi!” His expression changed and without caring for a response, he made a move with all his strength; he summoned forth a skull-shaped cloud of black smoke to attack as he turned to run away.
Yi Qing switched to another sword technique and used it to cut right through the black smoke, and then the spiritual swords surrounding him charged toward the direction that the Fiendish Cultivator had gone. Now surrounded by a sword array, the Fiendish Cultivator was trapped in the middle.
The Fiendish Cultivator panicked. He struggled to try and break the sword array but to no avail, his face so pale that there was no sign of blood on it. Panic-stricken at the sight of Yi Qing flying nearer to him, he quickly threw the Dharma artifact over. “Here… here you go! I don’t want it. Since all of you are alright, how about you let me go? I was only momentarily blinded by greed so it won’t happen again. Please, I am begging you!”
“You are a Fiendish Cultivator.” Yi Qing stepped closer without a change in expression. “It must not be your first time committing such acts of murder and stealing treasures. If I were to let you go, wouldn’t I be helping you do evil? This time I must not let you off!”
He raised his sword at the end of his words, and as the brilliant gleam of his blade consumed the surroundings, a massive amount of Sword Qi was directed towards the array.
“No, no!” The Fiendish Cultivator was seized with terror as he screamed. Just as the Sword Qi was about to pierce him, a ringing sound was heard—the bell-like Dharma artifact that he had thrown out flew above and headed straight for Yi Qing.
“Dao Lord, be careful!” Cultivator Lu cried out.
Yi Qing’s sword paused and his basic reflex was to retreat and avoid the Dharma artifact. But all of a sudden, the Fiendish Cultivator broke apart the sword array and threw a sharp palm attack at Yi Qing’s chest. Although he missed, he seemed to have grabbed something away.
“The Soul Devouring Gonfalon!”
“Hahaha…” The Fiendish Cultivator held the Soul Devouring Gonfalon as his black smoke grew in abundance and broke free of the sword array. “It was really a piece of cake getting this.”
His laughter grew wilder, his face filled with excitement. “I had originally just wanted to snatch a small Dharma artifact, but never did I expect to come across such a gonfalon. You were even stupid enough to bring it along with you! You really thought that this sword array could hold me down!”
He had purposely acted as if trapped by the sword array so as to throw the fiendish bell at him in a sneak attack. His target was actually the Soul Devouring Gonfalon on Yi Qing!
Yi Qing furrowed his brows; he had been too careless. Although the gonfalon was already sealed, its Ghost Qi would seep out and dissipate into the surrounding. He had thought that his Spirit Qi could contain the Ghost Qi in the gonfalon which was why he brought it along with him so that it would not cause harm to others. However, he had forgotten that even the tiniest amount of Ghost Qi could be easily spotted by a Fiendish Cultivator even if a normal cultivator could not sense anything.
“Let go of the Soul Devouring Gonfalon!”
“Let go?” the Fiendish Cultivator sneered. “Do you think I am like that fool Rui Mi?! With such a treasure in hand, how could I lose to you! So what if you are a Sword Cultivator. Today I will sacrifice you to the gonfalon!” He then mustered a stream of Yin Qi, tapping directly on the seal of the gonfalon.
“Stop it!” Yi Qing flew forward in an attempt to stop him, but it was too late. The seal that he had placed on the gonfalon shattered—the golden Dharmic amulet broke into thousands of pieces, and the temperature fell rapidly as dense Ghost Qi spewed out.
“Hahaha, the Soul Devouring Gonfalon is mine!” The Fiendish Cultivator’s eyes widened in excitement along with his growing laughter. He excitedly looked at the eerie Ghost Qi surrounding him. “From now on, no one below Soul Formation stage can stand up against me. Millions of ghosts are at my beck and call, and I… pfft!” But before he could finish what he was saying, he spat out a mouthful of blood and the situation suddenly took a turn.
Out of nowhere, a claw appeared above his chest. The claw did not have a solid form; it was formed out of black smoke yet it had directly punctured his chest, and gripped within the palm of the claw was a heart that was still pumping.
Shocked, the Fiendish Cultivator looked down at the fresh and still-beating heart, and he seemed unable to react. The next moment, the claw tightened its grip causing the bloody heart to burst.
“Ghost… King!” Speaking his last words, the Fiendish Cultivator’s eyes were still wide as he fell straight from the sky, utterly void of breath.