First Immortal of the Sword - Chapter 466
A luxuriantly decorated hall.
A group of beautiful servant girls carried trays of all manner of delicacies inside—crabs the size of washbasins, fatty, white-fleshed spirit fish, and shrimp as thick as an arm…
There were also live oysters, scallops, and clams. Everything carried traces of spiritual energy, and the feast was accompanied by all styles of condiments. Everything was fresh and delicious.
Ying Que dined with Su Yi and his companions. In doing so, he learned their identities.
When he found out that Su Yi hailed from the Great Zhou, Ying Que was stunned. It seemed he dared not believe that someone as extraordinary as Su Yi could arise within a remote, tiny little backwater like that.
“I heard that the Great Zhou is on the southernmost edge of the Azure Continent, and that thirty thousand years ago, the world’s number one Buddhist holy land, the Prajna Meditation Garden, occupied its lands. Rumor has it that they worshiped a true dragon there, and that their accumulations ran extremely deep,” Ying Que said with a smile.
He wore long robes, and his temples were graying. His features were striking yet elegant, and there was no trace of the savage majesty of a mighty Spiritual Manifestation yao about him. On the contrary, he seemed detached from mundane concerns, with a mellow voice and a dignified bearing.
“That Buddhist faction really did have a true dragon. I once visited its ruins and obtained a drop of a true dragon’s blood essence, so I can say with certainty that the rumors are true,” said Su Yi casually. He was currently working on a washbasin-sized crab. Its cream was white as snow, savory, fresh, and delicious.
Ying Que’s heart shook, and his eyes blazed with a rare trace of heat. “Fellow Daoist Su, do the ruins still exist?”
He was a black flood dragon. In his heart, true dragons were representative of the ultimate goal of his cultivation; they were practically gods!
“The place has long since been reduced to ruins. Even if you go, you’ll surely come back empty-handed. Besides, among flood dragons, black flood dragons like you have first-rate bloodline talent. However, undergoing metamorphosis to become a true dragon is almost impossible for your kind.”
Su Yi’s words were like a bucket of cold water dousing the flames in Ying Que’s heart. He sighed ruefully, “The Grand Dao is difficult to pursue indeed, yet that is where my ambitions lie, and I must nonetheless forge bravely ahead.”
He paused, then smiled, “Besides, Fellow Daoist Su, you didn’t say it’s impossible. That proves that although the path to becoming a true dragon is almost impossible to walk, a thread of hope must exist.”
Su Yi nodded but said no more.
Becoming a true dragon was more difficult for a flood dragon than becoming an Imperial Realm expert was for a human.
Throughout history, countless shockingly talented flood dragons had attempted this, but success stories were rare; they practically only existed in legend. It was impossible to even verify whether or not the stories were true.
Under the circumstances, were he to tell the full story, he feared that Ying Que wouldn’t be able to bear the shock.
Sometimes, ignorance and fearlessness were good things. At the very least, when seeking the road ahead, you wouldn’t know the true meaning of despair.
After several rounds of drinks and all manner of delicacies, Ying Que rose and led Su Yi away from the banquet hall.
From this, Su Yi could see how cleverly Ying Que conducted himself. Although he was in a rush to obtain Su Yi’s aid, he forced himself to be patient and invited both Su Yi and his companions to a feast first. In this way, they could establish a degree of closeness. This was also a display of etiquette and consideration.
And indeed, this decision left a somewhat favorable impression on Su Yi.
“Father, I brought an expert to help you!”
Ying Que led Su Yi to a dimly lit, oppressive palace covered in layer after layer of restrictions. As soon as he entered, he knelt, looking excited but also grief-stricken.
In this case, “help” meant freeing his father from the torment of longing to die, yet being unable to do so. That is to say, it would mean his death.
Ying Que naturally felt a complex mixture of emotions over this.
Su Yi looked up and saw a listless, dying black flood dragon deep within the hall. It was over one hundred feet long and coiled like a little mountain. Its entire body was covered with dark scales, each the size of a cattail fan.
Most shocking of all, there was a sword jammed into the black flood dragon’s skull. The wound was covered in dried blood.
The black flood dragon’s midsection was a mass of indistinct blood and flesh. It was obvious that its flesh had been cleaved open, only for someone to stitch it back together.
There was no doubt about it: it was the sword cultivator who’d left that sword in its skull, while its ruptured flesh was the work of its tribulation of draconic metamorphosis!
Wisps of strange, inscrutable, taboo power lingered around the black flood dragon. Su Yi could tell at a glance that this was the power of the Prohibition of Ancient Darkness!
As if in response to Ying Que’s voice, the black flood dragon’s eyes opened. They were dim and lifeless, yet full of pain, bewilderment, and explosive rage. It was obvious that the flood dragon no longer had its awareness.
Suddenly, it seemed agitated, and a hysterical roar left its throat. “Liu Qianxing, this lofty one shall kill you! I’m going to kill you!”
The voice boomed throughout the hall, the sound rife with incomparable hatred.
When he saw that the black flood dragon was struggling to its feet, Ying Que took a formation disk out of his sleeves and circulated it.
The power of the restrictions covering all four corners of the grand hall surged, like layers of chains, firmly holding the black flood dragon in place.
“Who is Liu Qianxing?” asked Su Yi.
Ying Que’s face filled with fury, hatred, and pain. “He’s the sword cultivator who took advantage of my father’s tribulation of metamorphosis to ambush him. He was an elder of the Fulcrum of Heaven Sword Sect, but he died a long time ago while fighting my father.”
Su Yi instantly understood. No wonder the black flood dragon hated Liu Qianxing so much.
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He asked, “If I break the power of the Prohibition of Ancient Darkness, I’m afraid your father will last just long enough to brew a cup of tea before passing away. Are you prepared?”
Ying Que bowed. “I’ve already waited thousands of years for this day. Please, do it. Release my father from his suffering!”
Su Yi nodded.
The Abstruse God Sword landed in Su Yi’s palm. Its blade, as dark and ethereal as the night sky, shone with ripples of sharp light. Upon closer inspection, there was the faint, illusory projection of an unsurpassed vicious bird beating its wings within the sword.
“What an excellent spiritual sword!” Ying Que’s heart shook. He could tell how extraordinary the Abstruse God Sword was. The faint, nigh-indiscernible illusory bird made even him feel a hint of danger.
What kind of vicious creature did that soul essence belong to for it to have such a fierce, terrifying presence?
Before Ying Que could wrap his head around it, his entire body went rigid, and he felt a prickling pain on his skin. It was as if the sword’s lofty and unsurpassed majesty were bearing down on his heart. He felt suffocated, and endless terror coursed through him like tide waters. He was so scared that his mind went black.
Just what kind of power is this?
He’d suppressed his power at the peak of the Spiritual Manifestation Realm for close to a thousand years. With his strength, he could look down on the entire Great Xia. Yet now, he felt terrified, helpless, and as tiny and insignificant as an ant.
Practically simultaneously, the Spirit-Devouring Edict shone on the Abstruse God Sword, and a stretch of radiant, misty light rose from the blade.
Even more terrifying was the presence hovering around the edge.
It was like an abyss or like the pits of hell. It was mysterious and inscrutable, with a terrifying and imposing majesty that seemed to suppress the ages and dominate the heavens
It was that presence that filled Ying Que’s heart with terror and panic.
Su Yi swung his sword. Invisible sword qi flew through the air with perfect efficiency, entirely unconstrained. The black flood dragon roared in helplessness and terror. It quivered, but it dared not struggle or resist.
However, the slash wasn’t aimed at the black flood dragon.
A series of cracking noises followed, and the power of the Prohibition of Ancient Darkness surrounding the black flood dragon snapped like a severed rope, then crumbled into nothingness, bit by bit. In the blink of an eye, it vanished completely.
Practically simultaneously, the terrified, suppressed Ying Que felt lighter, and that feeling of helplessness and despair vanished without a trace.
Even so, he felt as if he’d escaped from the jaws of death. A chill coursed down his spine, and his expression had changed completely. Now, when he looked at Su Yi, his gaze contained deep-seated awe.
When he first met Su Yi on Broken Dragon Cliff, Su Yi seemed disdainful, as if Ying Que were prey he could slaughter as he pleased. Thinking back on it now, Ying Que was finally convinced that Su Yi wasn’t just boasting.
This Grain Avoidance Realm youth really did possess power sufficient to exterminate him!
This thought made Ying Que rejoice all the more for not recklessly attacking. Otherwise, he would have been courting death, and the consequences would have been dire.
The black flood dragon crouching deep within the hall gradually calmed down, and its dull eyes silently shone with a trace of clarity, as if it were recovering its rationality after countless years of confusion.
When he saw this, Su Yi put away the Abstruse God Sword, turned, and exited the hall. “Your father doesn’t have much time left. You two should have a nice chat.”
“Many thanks, Fellow Daoist!” Ying Que bowed deeply. His attitude had already undergone a cosmic shift.
Earlier, he had confidence in his status and cultivation. Although he had some fear of Su Yi, and although he behaved considerately and modestly, that was because he had a favor to ask of Su Yi.
Now, after seeing Su Yi’s abilities for himself, he felt completely shaken and intimidated, and he no longer dared be the least bit disrespectful.
After all, that was the power of the Prohibition of Ancient Darkness! Even he, a Spiritual Manifestation Realm existence, was helpless about it. He could only watch helplessly as his father suffered a torment worse than death for thousands of years.
Yet Su Yi had swept through and destroyed the power of the Prohibition in just one attack!
How could Ying Que not be stunned? How could he not be in awe?
“My son, is that you?” A feeble, raspy voice emanated from deep within the oppressive darkness of the grand hall.
Ying Que’s heart shook. Then, he was so excited that the rims of his eyes turned bloodshot. He hurried forward, fell to his knees, and kowtowed. “Father, you’ve finally regained your awareness!”
After leaving the hall, Su Yi let out a long breath of turbid air.
Dispelling the power of the Prohibition of Ancient Darkness was a simple matter; all he had to do was cleave it with the power of the Sword of the Nine Hells.
It was just that borrowing the sword’s aura drained an enormous amount of soul power. If he did so for an extended period of time, his soul would suffer a backlash.
The power of my soul is many times stronger than it was when I slew Fire Demon Lihuo and the others over the Sea of Chaotic Spirits, but even so, I can borrow the power of the Sword of the Nine Hells’ aura for seven or eight minutes at most…
If I push myself to exceed that timeframe, my soul will inevitably suffer enormous damage….
A hint of helplessness appeared on his face.
He was merely borrowing a portion of the sword’s aura, yet it was so draining. How much longer would he have to wait before he could use the Sword of the Nine Hells for real?
In his past life, with his Imperial Apex Realm cultivation, he reigned supreme over the Nine Provinces. Although he could wield the Sword of the Nine Hells, he could only sustain it for fifteen minutes.
However, Su Yi had long since deduced that, should he truly master the sword’s secrets, it wouldn’t matter how high or low his cultivation was. He’d be able to wield it with ease!