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Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Zi’An retreated at once with a hideous gash at his midriff. But Lu Ye wasn’t just about to let go. He doggedly kept chase and delivered another blow.
That forced the Thousand Demon Ridge challenger to leap to the ground in a roll just to avoid the stroke, getting himself soiled with blood-soaked grime and dirt that only further accentuated just how desperate and unsightly he was.
Even when he just got up, he could feel something coming at him from behind. He ducked again, throwing himself flat on the ground with every semblance of a lowly hound lunging for a bone. That was when he felt the unmistakable sensation of something fast—and incredibly sharp—slicing through the air right above him, shaving off parts of his scalp.
Zi’An crashed to the ground but that was not all; his confidence plummeted as well as he began to comprehend his impending doom.
At the same time, he was still reeling with the disbelief that despite being broken, his opponent’s weapon still retained every bit of its deadliness—its sharpness and its sturdiness—while his own broken weapon was now as good as a glass hammer.
Then came the next blow. Zi’An knew that he would never be able to evade it. The prospect of dying daunted him, but the pride and prestige of being a member of a Tier-Three sect kept his jaws locked, preventing him from saying the words that would have spared his life.
Yet before the sharp edge of the saber came close to piercing his skin and anywhere near his artery, a voice hollered, “YIELD! WE YIELD!”
That was one of Zi’An’s seniors. She knew that if she hesitated any longer, Zi’An would die. As much as she knew that surrendering would mean that the Thousand Demon Ridge had all but lost its chance for triumph, she did not want to see her junior dying for nothing.
Lu Ye halted his chase at once. He withdrew his saber and peered at Zi’An clambering ignominiously back to his feet.
A deafening cacophony of raucous cheers and whoops erupted from the Grand Sky Coalition side with the magnitude of violent volcanic discharge that sent tremors across the entire length and breadth of Goldentip’s plateau.
A fatigue-dazed Lu Ye slowly meandered back to his corner with his broken saber. He peered at Li Baxian and Wei Yang with eyes he could barely keep open and said, “Is it done?”
The joyous revelry at the Grand Sky Coalition side that could rival even an uproarious New Year celebration left him befuddled.
Li Baxian grinned at him, “I’m afraid not.”
Lu Ye sat back down and tossed another Spirit Pill into his mouth and activated his Gluttonous Feast cultivation discipline to expedite his assimilation.
[What the hell are they being so happy for?! The fight’s not even over!]
“You have only one more fight left,” added Li Baxian from over his shoulders. “See that fellow with the fire-shaped brand on his forehead? That’s a Blackfyre Cultist; he’s your last opponent. But there’s nothing to be afraid of; Blackfyre Cultists are all Spell Cultivators.”
A duel against a Sixth-Order Spell Cultivator would have posed more risks to Lu Ye if this was a skirmish elsewhere, but they were fighting in a ring where space was limited and that would greatly impair a Spell Cultivator’s threat towards him.
On that account, Li Baxian was relieved that he did not neglect to set into stone the limits of the ring during the forging of the Sacred Pact.
In the rounds before, Lu Ye did not have any difficulty at all in dealing with the Spell Cultivators that the Thousand Demon Ridge put forth. His speed and agility made it easy for him to close the distance before the enemy challengers could fire more than a spell or two. Those with greater skill might have managed a few more than that, but all thanks to Glyph: Protection that helped to fend off whatever offense thrown at him, Lu Ye could effortlessly turn the tide into his favor, forcing the enemy Cultivators either down a course that led straight to their maker or an ignoble surrender to save themselves.
Lu Ye looked around in the direction of the Thousand Demon Ridge side. There really was someone else waiting to enter the ring, a Sixth-Order Spell Cultivator with a brand on his forehead that resembled a flame.
That must be his final opponent.
But Lu Ye wasn’t feeling hasty at all. He patiently examined his condition. He had only a little more than one-tenth of his Spiritual Power left and the duration of his respite wasn’t going to improve the situation one bit at all since there was barely enough time to restore his Spiritual Power up to two-tenths. But with some prudence, he might be able to survive just yet.
“Is this the last fight, Brother?” Lu Ye asked softly, so tired that he could barely lift his voice, “After this, we can go home?”
“That’s right. Survive this last one and home it is!” Li Baxian responded.
“All right!” Lu Ye lowered his head to focus on recuperating as much as he could.
In the meantime, the atmosphere on the Grand Sky Coalition side was nothing if not gay and jubilant. The death and defeat of both Hu Ping and Zi’An—both acolytes of Tier-Three sects and orders—had all but sealed Lu Ye’s victory and survival. As far as the Grand Sky Coalition side was concerned, the last and only challenger left, a Blackfyre Cultist, would never survive fighting Lu Ye and celebratory toasts were already underway.
In an ironic juxtaposition, the Thousand Demon Ridge mob now appeared absolutely glum and sullen.
But one could hardly blame them. The Thousand Demon Ridge mob started with so substantial an advantage. Aside from the first round where a Fifth-Order was sent forth only as a means to gauge Lu Ye’s combat capabilities, the rest were all Sixth-Orders who stepped into the ring with defeating him in mind. But Lu Ye had surprised them all by not only surviving all forty-two rounds, but he had veritably routed whatever the Thousand Demon Ridge mob had hurled at him, leaving only one last challenger left, a Blackfyre Cultist that barely anyone could stake his or her hopes on.
If anything, the huge contest which had swept the entire length and breadth of the Battlefield had as good as reached its end with the Grand Sky Coalition emerging as the triumphant victors. The Thousand Demon Ridge had suffered losses. But an all-out war against the Grand Sky Coalition would undoubtedly incur losses as casualties are just part of the deal. But what daunted the leading champions here were the prospects of facing their mentors and the greater leadership of their respective sects and orders. Fierce admonishments if not punishments would surely await them in the aftermath of their failure to kill Lu Ye.
The leading Thousand Demon Ridge champions all huddled around the Blackfyre Cultist, speaking to him in hushed and furtive tones and the Cultist’s ominous shake of his head left them all looking grimmer than ever.
Lu Ye’s moment of respite quickly came to an end.
For the forty-third time, Lu Ye stood up again. Armed with his broken weapon, he paced to the center of the ring and stood there, waiting for the Blackfyre Cultist to make his entry.
Yet there he stood, motionless with his head kept low.
The boisterous Grand Sky Coalition crowd behind Lu Ye took this as a sign of cowardice. Calls roared from all sides, calling for Lu Ye to attack, with some taunting the Cultists, heckling them to just give up and retreat with ignominy.
But if the Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivators had all but lost hope in besting Lu Ye in this final round, they were not yet eager to admit defeat in verbal warfare against their counterparts in the Grand Sky Coalition. Scores of enemy Cultivators hurled insults and jeers back in the direction from whence they came and the war atop Goldentip just exacerbated from one of blood into one of saliva and spit.
But there was little doubt that this violent bicker would have deteriorated into a melee if not for the Sacred Pact.
Just when the Thousand Demon Ridge mob thought that everything was lost, a figure stepped into the ring.
The discordant and chaotic mayhem immediately died down in the blink of an eye as several thousand pairs of eyes panned toward the figure. It was not the Cultist that everyone saw earlier, but rather, a female Cultivator.
“What is the meaning of this, you Thousand Demon Ridge lot!?” Li Baxian thundered with an enraged glare.
There was no other reason for Li Baxian’s simmering wrath; despite being also a Blackfyre Cultist herself, everyone could see even with their naked eyes that the glow the female Cultivator radiated indicated that she was not just a Sixth-Order.
But rather, a Seventh-Order Cultivator!
From the looks on their faces, it was apparent that even the leading Thousand Demon Ridge champions did not see this coming either. The terms of the Sacred Pact had limited all challengers to be at the Sixth-Order and no higher. That Cult Blackfyre would put forth a Seventh-Order was a blatant disregard for the rules agreed upon.
Direct disobedience to the authority of Heaven was not only audacious but also foolish; as soon as Heaven let its vengeance fall, every single champion, and the de facto leaders of all Grand Sky Coalition and Thousand Demon Ridge sect and order present—every single person who had left their mark on the Sacred Pact—would be bound by the sacred rule of the Pact to attack Cult Blackfyre, whether the Cult was an ally or not.
No one has ever survived defying Heaven before, not since the inception of the Spirit Creek Battlefield.
For all the oddities and eccentricities that Blackfyre Cultists were famed for, that they would dare to endanger their very own existence was a wholly new level of madness.
Despite the outwardly fierce and threatening appearance, Li Baxian was rather pleased. If doom was what Cult Blackfyre wished for, then this would veer the status quo in Lu Ye’s favor.
[Have these lunatics really gone insane because of that holy fire nonsense?!] he mused with glee.
And he was hardly the only one. The rest of the other champions of the Grand Sky Coalition were having the exact same thoughts or they would have acted to strike down the Seventh-Order Cultivator before she could ever get further into the ring.
“Just what in Heaven’s name do you think you’re doing?!” the leading champion of the Thousand Demon Ridge side and one of the Roll of Supremacy’s twenty best demanded of the champion of Cult Blackfyre furiously.
Even if they were about to lose, a direct defiance of Heaven’s sacrosanct authority would bring about terrible retribution!
As if on a cue, just as soon as he finished, the sky rumbled with thick dark plumes clustering over Goldentip with menacing flashes of illumination in the middle of sporadic groans of mounting wrath.
So fell the vengeance of Heaven for this transgression…
The Thousand Demon Ridge mob roused with panic. Those who were anywhere near the Blackfyre Cultists retreated at once, giving them such a wide berth that the Cult’s members all stood together like an island in the middle of a storm.
Yet, even in the face of impending doom, the Cultists all looked as composed and serene as ever. For one moment, enemies and allies all looked at them and felt a tinge of admiration for their fearlessness, although that would do little to rewrite the dismal fate that would befall them all.
“We are the flame that lights the darkness, In the face of Death we feel remorseless!”
The champion of Cult Blackfyre and Cultists’ de facto leader on site chanted softly.
Standing in the ring, the female Cultivator kept her head low like a reverent devotee before the god she worshiped and echoed after her champion, reciting, “We are the flame that lights the darkness, In the face of Death we feel remorseless!”
At the same time, she raised aloft a hand and held out a thumb, which she tapped a spot just below her chest with, and pressed very, very hard.
“That’s—” Li Baxian gasped with dread as he realized what she was doing.
Everyone heard a distinctive pop like a balloon being punctured, followed by the female Cultivator staggering unsteadily, looking like she was going to collapse. But she managed to remain upright. At the same time, huge violent waves of air and force burst from within her in destructive ripples, rumbling in all directions.
She grunted with an unmistakable hint of grimace on her face; her Spiritual Power signature weakening rapidly.
“She’s destroying one of her Spiritual Points!” Li Baxian yelled over the riotous pandemonium, his teeth gnashing with frustration at not being able to stop her.
Everyone—no matter Grand Sky Coalition or Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivators—tottered unsteadily in the tossing winds from the raging tumult with shock and disbelief.
For one to destroy his or her Spiritual Points was easier said than done, especially with the repercussions that followed since anyone brave or otherwise foolish enough to do so would have veritably given up all future prospects for advancement. He or she would forever be stuck in the Spirit Creek Realm, unable to ascend any further. Li Baxian was living and walking proof of such a setback. Blessed with gifts that even the Grand Master of the Northern Profound Sword Sect himself admired so greatly, the destruction of his Spiritual Points had indefinitely delayed his ascension for more than ten years and counting. Stuck forever in the Eighth-Order, he could come nowhere to completing his last Microcosmic Orbit and thus preventing him from ascending into the Ninth-Order.
While the damage to one’s Spiritual Points could be repaired, to do that would nevertheless incur a hefty cost. That and the risk of not being able to recover made self-mutilating one’s own Spiritual Point a disastrous folly that no one would dare attempt.
Yet, right in front of several thousand pairs of eyes from both the Grand Sky Coalition and the Thousand Demon Ridge, the female Blackfyre Cultist had, in all her valiant lunacy, destroyed one of her own Spiritual Points with the serenity of one clipping off her hair.
The sheer resolve and callousness she displayed could make even the bravest of all Cultivators shiver, more so, the thousands of Cultivators who could feel numbing sensations crawling all over their scalps. [She really lives up to the name of being one of the Blackfyre lunatics! How could she do such a thing!] many mused in silence and bewilderment.
But everyone swiftly recollected themselves from the initial shock and looked up into the skies to observe the stirring storm clouds overhead, the gathering storm that would bring Heaven’s retribution.
When she first stepped into the ring, Heaven’s machinations immediately whirred into motion like clockwork. There was no doubt that retribution would come and the dark clouds that heralded its coming sent everyone in the vicinity reeling with fright and apprehension.
But as soon as she had destroyed her Spiritual Point, effectively falling back into the Sixth-Order, the baleful and malefic dark clouds looming overhead Goldentip immediately dispersed into nothing, and Heavens ceased its execution.
Radiant rays of sunlight once again showered upon Goldentip.
And every Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivator all beamed with joy.
6 thoughts on “Humanity’s Great Sage – Chapter 166, Self-Mutilation”
how in hell is he going to defeat basically another Dong Shu Ye when he’s dead tired? i’d like to see the plot armor that gets him out of this
He hasn’t used his fire chicken yet, at least it is not mentioned anywhere. And I think even the hag from the green mountain thingy doesn’t know about that. So my guess would be that the chicken will get the job done somehow.
With only two-tenths of his spiritual energy available? Is that even enough to just use it once?
I don’t remember the chicken using a lot of spiritual energy?
Spells in general use more energy than patterns, and chicken is essentially a bundle of explosive energy in a pudgy package
Yes, I agree. I have been waiting for the fire spell lol. Please let this end tomorrow. But i fear it’ll be Monday.