“Then let's go quickly and take a look!” Hua Chenglu said curiously and excitedly.
“What, you’re not afraid anymore?” Li Qingshan asked in surprise.
“Hehe, aren’t you right next to me?” Hua Chenglu let out a toothy grin. Her teeth were pure-white, and her nose wrinkled slightly, still a little childish, tempting Li Qingshan very much to pinch her cheeks.
Li Qingshan recalled what happened when they met unexpectedly. Back then, she only seemed to be thirteen or fourteen. She had already left home, even using mechanical ships to flatten the Island of Cherishing Flowers. She could be regarded as possessing quite the adventuring spirit. As if he had remembered something, he suddenly smiled.
“Hey, what are you smiling for?” Hua Chenglu became ill at ease under his stare.
“I’m thinking about when we first met. In comparison, you were much more serious back then.” Li QIngshan smiled and waved his hand. A cloud rose up beneath their feet and lifted them up.
“I’ve already been like this- Ah!”
With a swish, the cloud took off, leaving behind a long, wispy trail.
Hua Chenglu let out a cry of surprise. Wind buffeted her face as she shot off into the darkness. She grabbed Li Qingshan’s hand before letting go again in a hurry. Her cries of surprise also turned into soft cheers of joy.
They did not fly for too long when the space around them suddenly opened up. They arrived in a spacious hole. Daemon qi filled the entire cavern, together with a deafening rustle. Li Qingshan understood what it was now. It was the sound of chewing.
A huge, white burrowing mite wriggled around as it bit into the banyan tree with large mouthfuls.
The tremendous daemon qi made Hua Chenglu’s breathing become a little forced. A dim, blue barrier of light wrapped around them, and only then did she ease up. She glanced at Li Qingshan gratefully and said.
“This tree sure is unlucky. It’s being eaten by insects and being strangled by vines.”
“Yeah. How unlucky, but what can I do?”
Li Qingshan’s eyes narrowed as his body tensed up, as that did not come from him, or the strange insect right before him. Instead, it sounded out from everywhere, echoing through this space. The voice was ancient and senile.
Li Qingshan composed himself very quickly and clasped his hands. “I’m Li Qingshan. Who are you sir? Please show yourself!”
The burrowing mite that had been focusing on eating the wood had been alarmed as well. It suddenly turned around. Actually, there was not much difference between the ends of its body at all. Only the vicious mouthparts distinguished the two ends, constantly opening and closing and flowing with transparent drool.
A primitive and cold murderousness assaulted Li Qingshan. The burrowing mite violently shrank up. This was the sign that came before an attack.
Li Qingshan had already made a judgement the moment he saw the burrowing mite.
A Daemon General, and a carapaced Daemon General that was relatively difficult to deal with. Only when it heard him did it respond, which meant its senses and intelligence were very weak. Although it had undergone the first heavenly tribulation, it probably could not even assume human form, so there was no need for him to take it too seriously.
The burrowing mite’s shrunken body violently stretched out, and it sprayed a thick, green liquid from its mouthparts.
A wall of water rose up out of thin air, blocking the green liquid like a dam, but the green liquid ate a huge hole through it in the blink of an eye. However, having been impeded, the green liquid ran out of power and landed on the ground, creating a swathe of acidic, white smoke.
Li Qingshan said, “No wonder it can eat such tough wood!”
Seeing how the acid was useless, the burrowing mite directly lunged over, moving its countless legs together and hurtling over like a train.
Hua Chenglu felt like the huge insect had already arrived before her after blinking. She was unable to respond in time at all. She felt her waist tighten, flying over the colossal burrowing mite before landing safely on the ground.
Li Qingshan rested the Traitorous Demon sword on his shoulder and glanced backwards. Carapaced Daemon Generals truly possessed very powerful bodies. From such a short range, probably most Foundation Establishment cultivators would not be able to react to a single charge.
The burrowing mite missed and came to a screeching halt. A thin mark appeared down the centre of its colossal body, growing wider and wider from head to toe.
Against an attack riddled with openings like this, Li Qingshan did not have to use the evil eye at all. He only swung his sword casually and cut the mite in half.
However, the burrowing mite’s daemon qi did not vanish. It did not even weaken by much, nor did any fluid flow out from the cut through its body. Instead, it constantly grew until it healed completely, turning into two smaller burrowing mites that turned around and charged over again.
“What a tenacious life force!” Hua Chenglu said in surprise.
“Interesting. This must be its second innate ability!” Li Qingshan lowered his head and smiled at Hua Chenglu in his arms. “Didn’t you miss it earlier? You can take a proper look this time! I’d like to see how many times I can cut it apart.”
Before Hua Chenglu could even reply, her body moved with his, and she saw a flurry before her eyes. All she saw was the sword flickering about, leaving behind sharp traces in her vision that did not disperse even after a long time.
The huge burrowing mites had been constantly cut in half, split into two, into four, and then into eight. They swarmed over as they clicked their mouthparts. In the blink of an eye, who knew how many burrowing mites filled their surroundings, becoming a sea of insects. Every single one was the size of a wild boar, constantly wriggling around as they continued to swarm over tirelessly.
After refining the new Three Absolutes Calligraphy, Li Qingshan gained a new understanding over the way of the sword it contained. Perhaps because of his constant cultivation, his ability to comprehend had become much better than the past. These burrowing mites were perfect for him to practise his swordsmanship, which he was prepared to use when slaughtering Si Qing’s lackeys once he left here.
Every single stroke he unleashed hid countless different forms, perhaps powerful and heavy or perhaps light and graceful. However, they all merged as one, hidden away in the stroke. These burrowing mites that did not know to dodge were the perfect targets.
As he held Hua Chenglu, he advanced and retreated in the swarming sea of insects like he was on a leisure stroll. He was at great ease, constantly splitting open the sea of insects. At this moment, he suddenly narrowed his eyes and saw a hedgehog-sized mite rapidly fleeing towards the cave.
These insects actually also know to run. Looks like survival is an instinct that all creatures possess!
Li Qingshan surged with azure light, violently charging through the sea of insects and grabbing the burrowing mite. He closed his hand around it violently, but he failed to crush it. Instead, it scattered as even more mites that were even smaller.
The countless burrowing mites behind him seemed to be alarmed at the same time, all lunging over. Bang! Bang! Bang! They all exploded as balls of acid in the air.
Li Qingshan let go of Hua Chenglu and the Traitorous Demon sword. Without even looking back, he pushed his left hand forwards while capturing a table-tennis-ball-sized mite in his right hand. He crushed it gently, and it revealed a milky-white daemon core. It constantly trembled around, wanting to escape.
Li Qingshan used the power of the spirit turtle and immediately suppressed it before tossing it into his hundred treasures pouch. The thousands of burrowing mites scattered immediately. The ancient voice rang out once again.
“Oh my, don’t let them escape, or they’ll keep chewing away!”
Li Qingshan thought of something. With a wave of his hand, a stream of water flew out, turning into thousands of ribbons that pinned down all of the burrowing mites on the spot.
“Fellow, are you… the Great Banyan Tree King?!”