Chapter 60: Fierce Life-or-Death Battle
The sudden development occurred too quickly. In the time it takes a spark to fly off of a piece of flint, the number of cultivators who were in the eighth level of Qi Condensation was reduced from three to two. The remaining two gasped, but had little time to ponder the matter, and continued to charge toward Bai Xiaochun.
Blood oozed out of the corners of his mouth as he flew back, slamming into a tree and simultaneously pulling the greatsword out of his chest. He quickly slashed the sword out at one of the two remaining opponents. However, his target nimbly dodged to the side, allowing his companion to close in, whereupon his right hand flashed with an incantation gesture, and incredible power exploded out.
A boom echoed out as Bai Xiaochun was sent flying through the air, blood spraying everywhere. His clothes were now completely soaked with blood as the two Luochen Clan cultivators bore down on him. It seemed like a no-win situation, but Bai Xiaochun hadn't given in to despair yet; he desperately wanted to live. Roaring, he performed an incantation gesture, summoning a long spear, a huge axe, and two flying swords.
Using the Violet Qi Cauldron Control Art, he sent the weapons slashing viciously toward his enemies.
The faces of the two Luochen Clan cultivators fell. They quickly unleashed magical techniques, causing a boundless black fog to spring up. Booms rang out, and the magical devices Bai Xiaochun had just launched clattered to the ground. At the same time, Bai Xiaochun himself staggered backward, blood spilling out of his mouth.
"Time to end things!" For the third time, the two cultivators attacked. As the power of their cultivation bases erupted out, it seemed like they would strike Bai Xiaochun down at any moment.
"Stay alive!" he said in a hoarse voice, a gleam of madness in his eyes. "I've got to stay alive!"
His internal spiritual energy was flickering on the verge of sputtering out completely, but he let out a roar, and all of the power he had built up in his years of cultivation, power which had seeped into his qi passageways and bones, exploded out like hundreds of flowing streams.
Up to this point in the fighting, Bai Xiaochun had not called upon these scraps of spiritual energy, but now, in this moment of critical danger, he did. They poured into the main qi passageways, and in the blink of an eye, had transformed into a huge river. As it flowed through his body, a sound like pounding drums burst out within him.
At the same time, the cultivation base fluctuations of the seventh level of Qi Condensation suddenly erupted out.
When his two opponents, who were in the eighth level of Qi Condensation, suddenly sensed those cultivation base fluctuations coming off of him, their faces flickered with shock and disbelief.
"Making a breakthrough in the middle of fighting!?!?"
"How... how is that even possible?!?!" As they reeled in shock, Bai Xiaochun looked up, and his eyes were glowing brightly. The surge of spiritual power couldn't heal his wounds, but it could revive him from his state of listlessness, and give him one more chance to make it out of the situation alive.
He sprang forward toward the two Luochen Clan cultivators, who cried out in alarm as black light covered his right hand, and the Throat Crushing Grasp was unleashed.
A cracking sound was heard as one of his opponents, unable to dodge, was pulled toward Bai Xiaochun's right hand. It was almost as if some invisible force were dragging him to Bai Xiaochun, who summarily crushed his neck.
His companion looked on, scalp tingling in shock. When Bai Xiaochun turned to look at him, the man screamed, eyes shining with terror as he fell into retreat.
"Crown Prince, save me!!" This was the sole surviving clan member in the eighth level of Qi Condensation, screaming for help.
At the moment, Chen Heng was still ninety meters away. Seeing what was happening, he let out an enraged roar.
"Are you looking to die!?!?"
Bai Xiaochun didn't even look at him; he instantly flashed an incantation gesture with his right hand and pointed out. Immediately, the fallen magical devices in the area began to tremble, and then emitted droning sounds as they apparently sensed Bai Xiaochun calling to them.
Then they suddenly flew up into the air, moving far faster than they had before, speeding toward the approaching Chen Heng to block his path.
Banging sounds rang out as Chen Heng was forced to deal with the weapons. He was in the ninth level of Qi Condensation, but even he couldn't instantly bypass them.
As Chen Heng was being delayed, Bai Xiaochun closed in on the remaining cultivator. Eyes flickering with killing intent, he unleashed a fist strike.
A boom echoed out, and blood sprayed from the man's mouth. He was just about to continue to fall back, but didn't notice that Bai Xiaochun had just performed an incantation gesture with his left hand. A wooden sword appeared behind the man, closing in noiselessly and then stabbing through his head in a shower of blood.
The man's eyes went wide as he toppled down to the ground, where he twitched a few times, blood flowing out of his mouth. This his eyes faded, and he was dead.
Having accomplished these things, Bai Xiaochun staggered to the side. Although he had just experienced a cultivation base breakthrough, the series of deadly moves he had just unleashed had almost completely drained him. Blood oozed constantly out of his mouth as he once again lurched off into the jungle.
He knew that his final opponent was the strongest of them all, and was already able to sense that he was in the ninth level of Qi Condensation.
"Ninth level of Qi Condensation...." he thought bitterly. His burning desire to live caused his blood to surge through his heart. He knew that this time, either he would die, or his opponent would.
There was no third option.
As he made his retreat, Chen Heng let out an enraged howl. He was surrounded by a blood mist, which caused the magical devices to tremble, and then begin to crack. Moments later, they exploded, and Chen Heng shot out from within the blood mist. When he looked around at his three dead compatriots, he roared in fury, then shot after Bai Xiaochun.
The two of them sped through the jungle of the nameless mountain range, heading deeper and deeper in. Thunder boomed, even though it was daytime. No lightning was visible, but the rain poured down harder and harder.
"Are you Shangguan Tianyou, or Lu Tianlei!?" Chen Heng yelled. He quickly performed an incantation gesture, causing nine streams of blood mist to shoot toward Bai Xiaochun, like nine blood-colored anacondas.
"I'm your grandpa!" Bai Xiaochun retorted, despite how ashen his face was. After evading the attacks, he glanced back at the Crown Prince, who was getting closer by the moment. Trembling, he crouched down, then shot forward with even greater speed. Even as Chen Heng prepared to do the same, Bai Xiaochun's foot slammed into a tree, stopping him mid-flight.
Then, he twisted, borrowing the momentum of the tree as it snapped back to shoot toward Chen Heng.
"I don't care who you are," Chen Heng said, "today, you're gonna die!" Killing intent flickered in his eyes, and his right hand flashed with an incantation gesture. Nine blood anacondas once again shot toward Bai Xiaochun with gaping maws.
Bai Xiaochun's eyes were bright red as he let out a howl. His hands flashed in a double-handed incantation gesture as he drew upon what remained of his spiritual energy to form a violet cauldron. The cauldron instantly spread out to surround him, completely blocking the path of the nine blood anacondas as he smashed toward Chen Heng.
"Child's play!" Chen Heng said with a cold laugh. Another incantation gesture transformed the nine blood anacondas into a fog, which then re-formed around him in the shape of a blood-colored skull. Then the skull shot toward the violet cauldron.
Massive booms rang out as the violet cauldron cracked and then exploded. The blood fog skull was significantly damaged, but remained intact.
After the collision, the collapsed cauldron revealed Bai Xiaochun, who shot out of the fragmented remains toward the fog beneath him.
At the same time, Chen Heng's eyes flickered. Then he leaped upward out of the fog, right hand flashing an incantation gesture to produce a vicious ghost face.
At the same time, he threw his head back and glared at Bai Xiaochun.
Their eyes met, and then they slammed into each other, one using a fist, the other a palm. Black light flashed as the Undying Iron Skin went into action to meet the bizarre magical technique that was the ghost face.
A deafening boom rang out. Blood sprayed out of Bai Xiaochun's mouth, and cracking sounds rang out from within him as he was sent tumbling backward like a kite with its string cut, to slam into a nearby tree.
Chen Heng was shaken, and his face was ashen. His qi and blood were churning, and shock filled him regarding how powerful Bai Xiaochun was. However, he instantly shot back toward his opponent, raising his right hand, which caused all of the fog in the area to form together into a huge, blood-colored face which crushed down toward Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun's eyes flickered with the ferocity that comes from being pushed into a corner. He twisted in mid air, pointing toward Chen Heng to unleash the Violet Qi Cauldron Control Art.
He wasn't using it to control random objects, but instead, Chen Heng's body! It was a technique Chen Heng had never even heard of before. Suddenly, a powerful force wrapped around him, as though a gigantic hand had grabbed him.
He laughed coldly as his cultivation base erupted out, and the blood-colored face howled, causing Bai Xiaochun's spiritual energy to shatter. At the same time, Chen Heng quivered.
It was in that moment that a wooden sword shot toward him, and Bai Xiaochun also charged forth, holding nothing back as called upon the full power of his Undying Iron Skin.
"What a joke!" Chen Heng said, flicking his sleeve. The blood-colored face passed through him, crushing toward the wooden sword. When the two met, the wooden sword trembled, but didn't break. Instead, it stabbed through the face, opening up a gap.
Bai Xiaochun dove in through that very gap, relying on his Undying Iron Skin to deal with the injuries. As he shot out, Chen Heng's eyes flickered, and he performed an incantation gesture with his right hand.
The wave of a finger caused an arc of blood-colored light to appear, a curving blade that sliced toward Bai Xiaochun.
In the blink of an eye, the curving blood-colored light hit Bai Xiaochun, who coughed up a mouthful of blood. And yet, his fist, backed by the full power of his cultivation base, rocketed out.
A boom rang out as Chen Heng was shoved backward by several paces, his face draining of blood. However, Bai Xiaochun wasn't done yet. As of this moment, it seemed he was completely overdrawing on his strength and even his life force... to unleash an explosive attack.