Chapter 248: Tree Spirit's Blood
Translator: YH Editor: X
Shi Xueman lashed out hatefully, putting as much power as she could into the attack. The elemental energy within the cavern appeared to be greatly disturbed by this swift, impactful blow.
The lady in red laughed lightly as she sashayed lithely into a wisp of red smoke.
"You have to be more gentle, my dear, or we'll all be buried together. Wouldn't he like that though."
The lady in red teased Shi Xueman in a dreamy, relaxed voice, making her blush.
Cirrus' speartip stopped right in front of the cavern's rock wall, but its spear ray sliced deeply into the wall like a hot knife through butter. Shi Xueman sneered coldly and took a step back. She skillfully spun her spear backward, making its base face the ceiling. Her entire motion reminded one of a large whale slapping its tail up into the air.
The spear's base accurately deflected the red sleeve that was stealthily flying toward the back of her head.
The power within the spear's base exploded, ripping the lady in red's sleeve to shreds.
Shi Xueman's face darkened. Although she managed to hit the lady in red's sleeves, that attack had felt empty, as if she had missed.
The scattered pieces of sleeves were constantly changing, eventually turning into a bunch of blood red butterflies. Their wings started lighting up with spots of brilliance, creating a gorgeous, multi-colored display of radiance.
"Oh dearie, you're so strong and so pretty to boot. I'd totally be smitten by you if I was a man. I guess it's not surprising that he's moved on from me already."
The colorful butterflies flew all over the cavern, their light lingered in the air and created a beautiful dreamscape that felt surreal, yet extremely lifelike.
A dreamy voice drifted amid the flowing, captivating lights.
Shi Xueman had never faced such an opponent before. She could not tell if the ever-changing butterflies were real or just an illusion. Additionally, no signs of the lady in red's elemental energy could be detected.
As Shi Xueman slowly lost herself to the dreamy display, Ai Hui suddenly swung his sword.
His sword stroke was executed without warning and was aimed at a strange spot. Ai Hui had thrust his sword diagonally upward into the space beside him.
The sound of metal clashing against stone rang out.
A shadowy curtain appeared before dispersing at the spot where Ai Hui appeared to have randomly stabbed. A red figure appeared from behind the illusion.
The lady in red was visibly astonished. She had not expected that Ai Hui was able to detect her true body.
Not giving her any opportunity to react, Ai Hui rained several sword rays down on the lady in red with a flick of his wrist.
She gracefully spun her red sleeves in the air and absorbed the harsh sword rays as they made contact.
"Seems like I've underestimated you," she said teasingly. "Come, follow big sister and you'll be rewarded with sweets."
Her red sleeves spread out in front of her, turning into wisps of lazy, red smoke that drifted toward Ai Hui.
Ai hui's hairs abruptly stood on edge. The red smoke looked innocuous and weak, but something about it made Ai Hui feel threatened. He arched his body like an angered wild beast, ready to attack.
Instead of retreating, he took a short step forward with his left leg. His body unleashed a cold, sharp intent as the Dragonspine in his hand lashed out in front of him!
A deep, clear sword ray appeared around his blade, accompanied by a melodious ringing sound. Seven daggers wove a web of lightning around it.
Accompanied by the silver lightning web, the biting cold sword ray plunged into the cloud of red smoke.
The sword ray pierced through the red smoke, bringing the lightning web into contact with it. Like how a water droplet touching hot oil causes it to pop, an explosion occurred the moment the lightning web and red smoke came into contact.
The wildly dancing Dragonspine caused a large portion of the red smoke to dissipate.
The lady in red let out a refined "hmph." She casually brushed off the sword ray, but was surprised by the lightning contained within it. Even more shocking was how damaging the lightning was against her.
There were no elementalists, blood or otherwise, who could control lightning. She had nott expected something like this and almost fell prey to Ai Hui's attack.
Her profound battle experience had saved her life. Having seen more combat than Ai Hui, the lady in red was especially adept at handling dangerous situations.
She used her other red sleeve to strike the sword ray, making use of the force to help her rebound and disappear into the brightly colored lights.
Ai Hui, himself, was taken aback by the lightning's effectiveness. The lady in red had disappeared by the time he snapped out of it.
He remained vigilant while he thought things through.
Since ancient times, the thunder stars had been blood refinement's greatest weakness. Blood refinement had always been the path and domain of those geared toward the more ghastly and demonic yin energy. Thunder stars on the other hand, were one of the strongest sources of yang energy and a natural counter to blood refinement.
The written accounts regarding zombies, demons, and spirits often mentioned that they operated mainly at night. Electricity was also recorded as being their biggest fear.
The electricity within his body had been absorbed and reformed by chance. To think its usefulness would be discovered today.
If that was the case...
Ai Hui glanced at Shi Xueman after he thought of something.
Shi Xueman immediately got the memo, gripping her spear tightly.
The lady in red cautiously remained in hiding. She was deeply shaken by the air of destruction that was present when the lightning burst forth.
This was what caused her minor injuries.
From when she first started nurturing blood spiritual force, she had never experienced such a situation before. Previously, nothing seemed to be capable of opposing her blood spiritual force.
The streaks of lightning were more surprising than they were damaging.
Even though lightning was effective against her blood spiritual force, Ai Hui's use of it was still underdeveloped.
The ironclad beauty's strength had also startled her. Even though she had the upper hand, Shi Xueman's power made the lady in red remain on guard. She was well versed in the differences between elementalists' base levels and rather impressed by Shi Xueman's achievement at such a young age.
Yet, the person who she was truly amazed by was Ai Hui.
How many days had it been since they last met?
How did he become so powerful?
Ai Hui's first sword stroke had completely thrown her off. She had no idea how he managed to hold his ground after executing an attack of that magnitude. What was even more shocking was the lightning contained within that sword ray.
Ai Hui was but an ant to her when they last met, easily squished to death. This time however, Ai Hui was actually strong enough to pose a threat to her.
A killing intent momentarily crossed her mind. If she could not capture him, she would have no choice but to kill them.
At his current rate of improvement, Ai Hui would soon become a huge pain in the neck. She certainly did not want to leave such a troublesome character alive.
Right at that moment, the lady in red sensed danger.
Noting that Shi Xueman understood his intentions, Ai Hui took a deep breath and began to channel his elemental energy.
He activated both his hand palaces as well as his earth palace, causing a silver glint to flash in his eyes. The Dragonspine in his hand slowly straightened and extended forward.
Ai Hui's tense muscles and slow, deliberate movements made it appear as though the Dragonspine in his hand weighed a ton. His eyes stared dead ahead.
The Dragonspine's blade grew brighter and brighter as it inched forward.
All of a sudden, the sword ray around the Dragonspine grew unbelievably bright. Countless lightning-shrouded sword rays shot off from the sword's blade, fanning out in all directions. The entire cavern was lit up in an instant.
The scattered sword rays fanned out, covering the entire cavern in a complex web of silver lightning.
The original [Dust Fall] created light, lively sword rays that scattered without much control. In Ai Hui's hands, however, the skill had gained new life. The surging lightning made the nimble technique much more violent and potent.
Half of the multi-colored butterflies and shadowy illusions vanished in an instant.
The lady in red was momentarily stunned as she became exposed. Ai Hui's lightning-enhanced attacks were not as weak as she had initially thought. This sudden realization made her scoff at her own naivety.
A spear ray was fast approaching her face.
Shi Xueman had totally abandoned her fanciful techniques and poured all of her elemental energy into one clean, unadorned stab.
Not a single shred of elemental energy was left in her body. In that instant, her focus was completely locked onto the lady in red. All those lives that were sacrificed in front of her eyes, all the fear and despair that she had experienced, and every ounce of hatred and righteousness within her bones allowed her to bring out more power than she had ever unleashed before.
All of her incorporeal energies were collectively incorporated into this relentless stab. It was all or nothing.
The snow-white spear had the power of a whale.
The lady in red's eyes filled with apprehension, but it swiftly disappeared. Having participated in so many battles, her psyche was not something to be belittled.
She extended her fingers and gently tapped the empty space in front of her. Her pale, slender fingers were as beautiful as a work of art.
She unleashed a seemingly demonic power that engulfed all light in the cavern.
The blood red smoke, colorful butterflies, shards of light, and shredded pieces of her red sleeve collected at her fingertips. Everything was swiftly condensed into a bright red drop of fresh blood.
There were no traces of the charming lady from before. The lady in red now had a cold, austere presence.
She flicked her perfectly sculpted middle finger.
The droplet of blood sluggishly flew toward the spear ray.
The entire process was completed in the blink of an eye, but Ai Hui could clearly see each and every move.
Ai Hui's eyes glazed over in fear.
He could not explain why, but a deep instinctive fear rose up from within his soul.
He leapt toward Shi Xueman without further consideration.
At the moment of impact, a barely detectable cracking sound could be heard. To Ai Hui and Shi Xueman, however, the sound was like a sudden clap of thunder.
The blood droplet ruptured, releasing streaks of blood. These streaks moved like tendrils and rapidly coiled their way up Cirrus.
Shi Xueman felt her elemental energy rapidly depleting, it was as though there was a black hole at the tip of her spear sucking up every last bit of it.
She wished she could withdraw her elemental energy, but it was too late. Her elemental energy was being devoured at a frenzied pace and was completely out of her control.
A sense of helplessness quickly overtook her when she discovered that she could not even toss Cirrus aside. The suction at the end of the spear was forcing the spear to remain in her hand.
The lady in red waved her sleeves. Hints of a wry smile could be seen on her pale face as she watched Shi Xueman struggle to no avail.
Her expression changed to one of annoyance when she heard a piercing sound coming from the other side of the crevice.
Although she had emerged victorious from this engagement, her injuries were not all that light. That droplet of [Tree Spirit's Blood] was extracted from innumerable blood trees and possessed a strong life force. The nurturing quality of the [Tree Spirit's Blood] was highly beneficial for her body. She could not bear to use it unless she had no other choice.
Now that she had lost that precious droplet, her strength had decreased by quite a bit.
She had no chance of beating Yu Mingqiu in her current state.
In addition, she probably would not be able to escape if she were to engage Yu Mingqiu again.
Without hesitation, the lady in red fled the scene.
Yu Mingqiu, who had just emerged from the crevice, relentlessly chased after the lady in red. In his fervor, he had completely missed Ai Hui and Shi Xueman.
Shi Xueman sunk deeper into despair as she watched the tendrils of blood creep up her spear toward her.
Was she going to die here? Her heart sank.
All of a sudden, a hand grabbed her spear.