From Li Qingshan swinging his sword to charging into the great banyan tree with Hua Chenglu, his actions sounded complicated, but he actually completed all of them naturally and smoothly in a single stroke.
By the time the people in pursuit arrived before the great banyan tree, Li Qingshan had already vanished into the tree hole, while the dwarf was frozen midair, maintaining a defensive posture.
“Why didn’t you stop him?”
Among the questions, everyone finally noticed his abnormality. His eyes were bulging as his mouth was half open, producing a puzzling sound. His body trembled gently as if he was doing everything he could to endure and hold back something.
“Hey, what’s wrong with you?”
The scarred man frowned and patted him on the shoulder gently. The dwarf’s eyes rolled up; he suddenly widened his mouth, letting out a twisted sound like someone had grabbed him by the neck. He who already seemed rather strange became especially frightening.
However, his frightening state only lasted for a second. There was a bang, not too soft or loud, and the dwarf exploded in the air, turning into a ball of bloody mist.
Everyone was stunned. Their gazes all gathered on the scarred man, as it seemed like his hand had killed the dwarf. The scarred man also stared at his hand, becoming stunned on the spot.
The slash that Li Qingshan unleashed did not produce an alarming disturbance, and only the dwarf truly experienced the terrifying sword intent it was hiding. No one expected the dwarf to die to the slash.
Before they could even return to their senses, countless strands of sword qi immediately pierced through the bloody mist and shot off in all directions, scattering everyone instantly.
The scarred man flew over thirty meters away before stabilising himself. His iron arms, which could even split open rock, were covered in bloody gashes. Some of them even reached his bones.
The others were struck by the sword qi too. Although they all possessed protective arcane and spiritual artifacts, it had happened right in their face, and they were stunned, so they were unable to activate them in time. The sword qi easily cut through their protective spiritual qi, leaving behind gashes on them.
The wounds were not life-threatening, but it was a heavy blow to their morale. They looked at one another, all frightened. Through a clash with Li Qingshan, one of their strongest, the dwarf, had been killed in a single strike. He died mysteriously, and almost everyone was injured in the process.
The dwarf was a rather eccentric figure, but they all recognised his strength as great. Let alone Foundation Establishment cultivators, he could protect himself to a certain degree even if he faced regular Golden Core cultivators. Despite raising his defences, he was still unable to avoid death.
If Li Qingshan used that move against them, who could have withstood it?
“Is he really a Foundation Establishment cultivator? He might be a Golden Core cultivator hiding his strength!” Someone questioned in surprise and bewilderment. He could not help but admit this guess was truly quite reasonable, but immediately, he was refuted. “Of course he’s a Foundation Establishment cultivator. If he were a Golden Core cultivator, he would have slaughtered us all without batting an eye. Why’d he still be hiding?”
“Then how is his attack so powerful?”
The person was rendered speechless. Someone else speculated. “The sword he was holding earlier was quite peculiar in design. Don’t tell me it’s an arcane treasure?” “That’s nonsense. How can a Foundation Establishment cultivator power an arcane treasure?” “Yeah, even Golden Core cultivators won’t be in possession of something like that!”
The large group of people discussed among themselves, unable to hide the worry on their faces. The mission they originally believed to be extremely easy had suddenly become so troublesome. It was unexpected.
The scarred man growled. “All of you, shut up! That strike of his seems like nothing special, but it must have come at an extremely great cost. He won’t be able to use it consecutively, or with just him and his sword, he would have slaughtered us all! Why would he still run?”
His guess was right. Li Qingshan’s slash did not possess so much power purely because of the sword qi. Otherwise, even if it had absorbed half of his spiritual qi, all he would achieve in the end would be sending the dwarf flying and leaving him heavily injured. He definitely would not be able to kill him in a single strike.
In that moment, he had used the ability of the Traitorous Demon sword and found a weak point. All of the sword qi whistled in through there and invaded his body like wildfire, ravaging everything madly. The dwarf mobilised his spiritual qi in an attempt to suppress it, but he encountered the same situation as Li Qingshan. Not only was he unable to suppress the sword qi, but the sword qi even absorbed his spiritual qi and constantly grew stronger.
As a result, the dwarf seized up in the air, desperately trying to maintain his body that was on the verge of collapse. The contact from the scarred man immediately broke the final bit of balance, and he was unable to suppress the sword qi any longer, so it all burst out of his body.
The sword qi had only become so powerful after absorbing the spiritual qi of two people. However, after absorbing the dwarf’s spiritual qi, it lost its strange ability to devour spiritual qi and grow stronger. Otherwise, at least another three or four of these cultivators would have died.
And, after slashing out, not only did Li Qingshan have to build up the sword qi again, but a lot of the demon heart that served as the pupil on the Traitorous Demon sword’s hilt had been depleted. However, the terrifying power from combining the Three Absolutes Calligraphy and the Traitorous Demon sword had already been demonstrated thoroughly, and both of these items had the possibility of growing stronger.
After hearing the scarred man’s explanation, they were all well-versed in battle after all, so they found it to be extremely reasonable and composed themselves very quickly.
“Then what do we do now?”
“We wait! No matter where he comes out from, he’ll be under attack from the sun vines first. We’ll stop him from emerging, and he’ll be dead for sure!”
“What if he never comes out?” “Yeah, with how disadvantageous the current situation is, I think we’d be better off avoiding him. We still need to collect the medals. We can’t waste all of our time on him!”
“It won’t be long before this battlefield vanishes. He’ll be forcefully transported to a battlefield nearby. We’ll be transported with him, and we’ll be gathered together!”
The scarred man said. Si Qing had set this rule to increase the intensity of the battles.
Everyone smiled in understanding. They all felt that the rule his highness Si Qing set down was truly clever. If Li Qingshan discovered in the blink of an eye that the great banyan tree protecting him had vanished and was surrounded by them instead, just how would he react?
By then, before Li Qingshan could even swing his sword, their lethal strikes would have arrived already. It would be enough to kill him a few times over.
“C’mon, let’s take a look inside. It’s best if you find somewhere safe and hide. I’ll go finish them all off and come back for you!”
Li Qingshan strode off towards the depths of the cave. This was no longer just out of curiosity. Instead, he could sense extremely dense wood spiritual qi in the depths of the cave. The piece of bark he had obtained was already so great. If he dug out a piece of the pith, it might be even more nourishing.
And, he needed to rest up and recover his spiritual qi. He planned on nurturing the incomplete sword in his dantian with all of his spiritual qi and seeing what would happen.
“It’s so dangerous, so why would you go out? Can’t we just stay in here?” Hua Chenglu caught up to him in a hurry. She also understood that Li Qingshan would be facing a pincer attack once he set foot outside, which would involve extraordinary danger. And, the thought of staying behind in this pitch-black tree hole alone made her very uneasy.
“Didn’t you see the rules of the competition? Many battlefields will vanish with each passing day. We’ll be directly teleported to a nearby battlefield, and it’s very likely for us to be gathered together. By then, I’ll be fine, but you can’t keep hiding in my arms!”
Li Qingshan said as he walked. Noticing how worry loomed over Hua Chenglu’s beautiful face, he teased her again.
Hua Chenglu was in no mood to respond to his joke. She wanted to say, “We might not be so unlucky and all end up in the same battlefield.” However, as the master of the Dragon Arena, Si Qing clearly would never give up unless Li Qingshan was dead, so perhaps they really might be so unlucky.
If she had not been with him, he might not necessarily have forcefully made his way through the sun vines and entered this tree hole. It was completely possible for him to directly escape. She stopped and lowered her head. “Sorry, big brother Li. I’m an encumbrance to you.”
She vaguely understood that this was where the chasm between the strong and the weak lay. Even if the strong was not arrogant and the weak was willing to be close with them, they still walked in two different worlds. Once they encountered danger, it would be impossible for them to fight alongside one another. She suddenly felt rather sad.
“Don’t say something so disheartening. What encumbrance? Even if I carry you in one hand and wield the sword in the other, I can still slaughter them all! Though, I was afraid of scaring you earlier, so I held back with my murderousness a little, letting them live a little longer.”
Li Qingshan smiled, purposefully putting on an arrogant facade.
Hua Chenglu smiled. “I don’t believe you!” She knew that Li Qingshan was very powerful, but there were almost twenty Foundation Establishment cultivators. Moreover, she had heard Hua Chengzan mention that these cultivators from the Dragon province were all extremely tough.
However, the sight that Li Qingshan described left her slightly excited for some reason. Weapons would be raining down from all directions as he held her against his chest, wielding his sword freely and quickly among the powerful enemies as she listened to his heartbeat fearlessly and stared at his face. She shook her head and dismissed these thoughts in a hurry.
What am I thinking about these for? He’s already engaged to big sister Han. And even if he wasn’t engaged, how could I…
Seeing her shake her head, Li Qingshan thought she did not believe him, so he smiled. “You’ve seen it for yourself. Didn’t I already kill that dwarf while holding you?”
“Huh? You killed him?”
Hua Chenglu was astounded. All she saw was Li Qingshan swing his sword and the dwarf assume a defensive posture. She never thought he would die to that strike.
“That’s why you don’t need to worry. Let’s go!” Li Qingshan patted her shoulder and made his way into the depths of the cave. He took a few steps before turning around and saying, “Oh right, there’s something I forgot to say.”
Hua Chenglu happened to be surprised by his strength. Seeing how serious he was, as if he had something important to tell her, she dismissed her thoughts in a hurry and asked, “What is it?”
Li Qingshan smiled. “Girl, you’ve developed very nicely!”
“Big brother Li!” Hua Chenglu crossed her arms before her chest, completely embarrassed.
“Haha, that’s the last time!”
The two of them followed the tree hole that they had no idea what had carved it out and constantly advanced through the mountainous banyan tree. The tree hole did not lead directly towards the pith. Instead, it constantly twisted and turned.
A rustling sound suddenly appeared in the darkness. It was still very soft in the beginning, but the further they advanced, the louder it became. It was ear-splitting.
“Big brother Li, what is that sound?” Hua Chenglu frowned.
“We’ll know very soon!” Not only had Li Qingshan noticed this sound long ago, but he had also sensed the existence of a cluster of daemon qi. Si Qing’s Dragon Arena actually had daemons!