Chapter 244: Pure Malice
Bai Xiaochun's eyes widened. Jia Lie had stuck out among Xuemei's Dharma protectors earlier, so he recognized him. His attack burst with powerful energy, and it only took a moment for Bai Xiaochun to realize that this was a formidable opponent.
"Your cultivation base is higher than mine, but you were lying in wait to ambush me!?" he exclaimed loudly. "How shameless! Despicable! I hate your type! People like you should be struck by lightning!" Bai Xiaochun was very angry, and was just about to unleash an attack, when suddenly his eyes widened with disbelief. Jia Lie likewise was completely astonished by what happened next.
Almost as soon as the words left Bai Xiaochun's mouth, Jia Lie had laughed in response, and sent his blood-colored hand shooting forward.
But then, without any warning whatsoever, a deafening boom filled the sky, and a bolt of lightning appeared, as thick as a bucket. Before Jia Lie even had a chance to react, it slammed into him.
As the boom echoed out, Bai Xiaochun's jaw dropped. Jia Lie cried out in alarm, and the blood-colored hand was destroyed. Before Bai Xiaochun could do anything, a second lightning bolt appeared, then a third and a fourth, all of which shot directly toward Jia Lie.
Jia Lie screamed at the top of his lungs as the lightning smashed into him, causing blood to spray out of his mouth. At the same time, a look of utter incredulity could be seen on his face.
"What's going on!?!?" he bellowed in rage, simultaneously backing up as fast as possible. "What divine ability is this, Nightcrypt?!?!" Then he glanced up into the sky, and his scalp almost exploded from shock when he realized that a whole string of lightning bolts had appeared, over a hundred of them, and they were all beginning to descend toward him.
"No!!" Jia Lie screamed miserably and abandoned any thoughts of tangling with Bai Xiaochun at the moment. He slapped the top of his head, causing an ancient, dilapidated buckler to pop out of his mouth, which provided a modicum of protection as he fled.
However, the more than one hundred lightning bolts continued to slam down, and although the buckler managed to block them, Jia Lie was still left coughing up blood. The last dozen or so lightning bolts were too much for the shield, which shattered. Coughing up more blood, Jia Lie withered visibly. At that point, he pulled out a paper talisman, which he ignited, increasing his speed dramatically. With that, he sped off into the distance.
Bai Xiaochun hovered there, jaw hanging open. He hadn't even had a chance to unleash an attack. All he'd done was say something.
It was a completely shocking and unfathomable scene. In the mere moments in which Jia Lie closed in on him, he was struck by over a hundred bolts of lightning, and then fled with his tail between his legs. Despite that, Bai Xiaochun chose to do the cautious thing and just let him run.
Taking a deep breath, he looked up into the sky, and then looked at Jia Lie fleeing into the distance. Blinking, he suddenly started to get excited.
"Could it be... could it be that, without even my knowledge, my cultivation base has reached the point where I can kill someone with a mere word?!?!" The idea excited him, but the more he thought about it, the more he realized it wasn't very likely. After some more thought, he decided that it was either a coincidence, or something to do with the Undying Live Forever Technique. In fact, he was actually hoping Jia Lie would show up again so that he could analyze the matter further.
Filled with curiosity and anticipation, he slowly flew out over the ocean of blood.
Meanwhile, some distance away from Bai Xiaochun, Jia Lie finally came to a stop in an area close to the ocean. He had blood dripping down his chin, and his eyes burned with madness. However, within that madness could be seen fear, and even terror. As of this moment, he was absolutely convinced that the lightning which had struck him was not one of Nightcrypt's divine abilities.
"How did he do it? Dammit! How exactly did he do it? How did he get so much lightning to strike me!?
"Wait, I know. Nightcrypt is also known as Plaguedevil. He's vicious and merciless, as well as a profound schemer. He must have realized that I planned to ambush him, then figured out a way to cause anyone who neared him to get struck by lightning!" Even after more thought, he decided that this was the only possible theory that made sense. Although he wasn't absolutely convinced, he was having a hard time coming up with other ideas.
"Maybe it had something to do with that oasis. The area where it borders the desert had some unstable fluctuations. Maybe my sudden appearance and the unleashing of my cultivation base disturbed some natural law. As an apothecary, Nightcrypt knows a lot more about those kinds of things than me. Maybe he took advantage of that to cause the lightning...." Jia Lie gritted his teeth, and his killing intent began to rise even higher than before.
"I refuse to believe that if I prepare well enough, you'll escape my next attack. I'm going to hack you to pieces! You'll die in complete and utter torment!" Jia Lie had never suffered in such unlucky fashion, and it took him quite a bit of time to calm down.
"I'm going to sacrifice a bit of my cultivation base to completely conceal my life force and aura. With that level of concealment, nobody in the Foundation Establishment stage will be able to detect me without getting within 300 meters of me!" He gritted his teeth, and suddenly his face turned red and his body withered. Then he began to slink forward stealthily.
It took him about three days to track down Bai Xiaochun, who was currently flying around over the ocean. As he flew, his passage kicked up gentle waves, and yet, not a single bloodbeast could be seen anywhere. Bai Xiaochun was actually very interested in what the bloodbeasts looked like, and yet, still hadn't had a chance to see one.
As he flew along, bored out of his mind, he suddenly noticed the air rippling and distorting about 300 meters to his left. Even as he turned his head, he saw Jia Lie suddenly materialize.
Jia Lie threw his head back and laughed uproariously. Eyes bloodshot, he summoned a blood mist that completely covered him and then transformed into a gigantic, vicious head that lunged toward Bai Xiaochun as if to consume him.
"Time to die, Nightcrypt!!" Considering how close he was, it only took a moment for the blood mist head to be just up ahead of Bai Xiaochun.
Before Bai Xiaochun could react, and before the blood mist head could actually reach him, brightly colored light flashed through heaven and earth, wind screamed, and rain began to pour down. Then, an indescribably powerful gale sprang up right in front of Bai Xiaochun!
The wind even caused the ocean water to rise up in shocking fashion. It smashed into the blood mist head, which shuddered for a moment before exploding to reveal the screaming Jia Lie.
"Impossible! How are you doing this, Nightcrypt...?"
He was completely helpless as the mighty wind swept him away, shredding his clothing, ripping at his skin until blood flowed. In that critical moment, Jia Lie pulled out a life-saving magical item which teleported him away just before he was torn to pieces.
Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath. Moments ago, he had only been about 60 meters away from Jia Lie, and yet the mighty wind and the surging ocean hadn't even moved a single hair on his head.
That 60-meter distance was like the gap between heaven and earth....
Bai Xiaochun watched mutely as Jia Lie was swept away in terrifying fashion. If he didn't understand what was happening by this point, he wouldn't be Bai Xiaochun.
"This world is protecting me? We're related because of the Undying Live Forever Technique, so it's helping me?" Moved, he looked around at the world, and was more convinced than ever that this was the case. Excited, he stuck his chin up and then swished his sleeve.
"With the snap of a finger, I, Bai Xiaochun, can reduce measly Foundation Establishment cultivators to ashes!"
The pride he felt cleansed him of any nervousness. With that, he flew in grand fashion up into the air, sighing emotionally. Meanwhile, quite a distance away, Jia Lie was coughing up mouthfuls of blood. By this point, he was on the verge of going crazy.
"Dammit, dammit, DAMMIT!!" Enraged to the point of trembling, he simply couldn't accept the situation.
"First there was the lightning, and then that wind. Just how is Nightcrypt doing it all? Don't tell me this world is actually taking care of him?! I refuse to believe it! I refuse to accept it!" Then he coughed up another mouthful of blood. Eyes completely bloodshot, he looked down at his injured and damaged body, and was relieved to see that his bag of holding was still clutched tight in his right hand.
He put on a new set of clothing, killing intent surging. His hatred for Bai Xiaochun had reached the point where he couldn't bear to live under the same sky as him. Gritting his teeth, he pulled a small statue out of his bag of holding.
The statue depicted an evil ghost, completely vicious in appearance. After a moment of hesitation, Jia Lie bit the tip of his tongue and spit some blood onto the statue. The statue immediately melted, transforming into a black liquid that then took the shape of a magical symbol, which flew up and branded itself onto Jia Lie's forehead.
Jia Lie shuddered, then let out a piercing cry as the magical symbol spread out from his forehead, transforming into a black suit of armor. In the blink of an eye, the armor covered his entire body, healing his wounds, and causing his gaunt figure to suddenly ripple with muscles. Closer inspection would reveal that the transformation was partly corporeal and partly illusory.
"The Lesser Marsh Peak blood master gave me this Ghost Body. It will temporarily restore my cultivation base, and even advance it a bit! Nightcrypt's bizarre abilities won't do any good against the Ghost Body. I already understand his lightning, and although I don't really get that wind, I can now attack him from under the water! Plus, the Ghost Body can pass right through the wind!
"Nightcrypt, I refuse to believe that this world is taking care of you. And even if it is, I can defy the heavens and kill you!" Gritting his teeth, he reigned in his cultivation base and then dove down into the water, where he sped along at top speed.