AIP - Chapter 130: Who Will Take This Fine Head?
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In a cloud of blood, Tang Jie completed his rebirth, like a phoenix being reborn in the flames.
Gu Changqing was still trying to push out the golden needle as Tang Jie strode out. "Gu Changqing, today is the day you die!"
Gu Changqing snarled, "You think that you're enough?"
He thrust a hand into his Mustard Seed Bag and threw out an item. This item spun in the air and released a barrier of light that seized Tang Jie, rendering him immobile.
The Soul-Sealing Stake!
This was an art relic the Hawk Hall members used to capture powerful foes. It could intimidate targets and render them immobile, paralyzing their minds. It was also sometimes used for interrogation.
Tang Jie had been suppressed by this Soul-Sealing Stake before, but unfortunately, his will was firm, and so even under the pressure of the Soul-Sealing Stake, he refused to talk.
To protect himself, Gu Changqing had used this item.
But Tang Jie was ready. As the Soul-Sealing Stake appeared, Tang Jie was already punching at the air.
This blow struck the Soul-Sealing Stake, and there was instantly a surge of spiritual energy in response. The blow was many times stronger than any of his previous punches.
Gu Changqing had been acting in that earlier battle, so why not Tang Jie as well?
The Soul-Sealing Stake trembled from the punch as Tang Jie roared, "You might have the Soul-Sealing Stake, but an art relic without a master controlling it is much weaker! With its own power, I don't believe it can last very long! Break! Break! Break!"
He punched the Soul-Sealing Stake ten-some times, each punch strong enough to shatter stone. In the air, the art relic flashed with flames of light.
"How is this possible?" Gu Changqing was stunned.
Although the Soul-Sealing Stake truly was much weaker without him directly controlling it, just how strong was this guy's body if he could fight against an art relic using just his physical strength?
"There's nothing strange about it! For this battle, I borrowed one hundred thousand spirit coins from Basking Moon Academy to temper my body. My body is an art relic, so why can't I fight one!?" Tang Jie bellowed as he punched several times more.
One hundred thousand coins?
The number had Gu Changqing feeling dizzy.
How much was one hundred thousand coins?
Back then, the Essence-Refining Pills that Wu Xing had wanted to buy would have saved him forty days of cultivation, and they had only cost one thousand spirit coins. Using this comparison, one hundred thousand coins was equivalent to saving four thousand days of cultivation, which was ten years!
Ten years was enough time for a four-cycle student to enter the Mortal Shedding Realm without the help of any resources.
Of course, the actual calculations didn't work out this way. After all, spirit medicines could only work on the foundation of hard training, and the higher one went, the less effective they became. But this was still one hundred thousand coins, and all of it had been used on refining the body. These effects had made his body long ago surpass that of an art relic.
At this moment, Tang Jie stopped hiding his strength, punching the Soul-Sealing Stake with all the power he could muster. The winds created by his punches produced a furious storm around him.
The Soul-Sealing Stake gradually began to falter under the onslaught, its flames dimming as it neared collapse.
Gu Changqing knew that this wasn't good and pointed a finger at the Soul-Sealing Stake in the air. "Intimidate!"
The Soul-Sealing Stake erupted with light as Gu Changqing funneled spiritual energy into it, strengthening it once more. But by doing this, Gu Changqing had drawn focus away from controlling the needle. The golden needle that he had slowly been forcing out immediately jabbed back into his heart.
"Agh!" Gu Changqing yelled in pain as he turned his hand around and punched himself in the chest. As that immense power entered his body, it managed to stop the golden needle from intruding farther. But at the same time, he vomited a large amount of blood.
Gu Changqing immediately took something else out of his Mustard Seed Bag and threw it at Tang Jie. It was a puppet.
This puppet was covered in gold armor and wielded a saber that it slashed at Tang Jie.
"A Goldplate Soldier?" Tang Jie laughed.
He was far too familiar with such things. Wasn't this just the gold-armored version of the Celestial Defense Hall's Blackplate Soldiers?
But unlike the Blackplate Soldiers, this Goldplate Soldier didn't have the restriction of gradually increasing its strength, immediately starting out with heavy blows.
But Tang Jie madly laughed as he punched back.
Fist and saber met, the collision creating an explosion of sparks. The Goldplate Soldier was actually forced back by the punch.
Even before his fourth refining, Tang Jie was able to defeat a Blackplate Soldier. After his fourth bath, his strength had soared, and he was far above what a puny Goldplate Soldier could handle.
Gu Changqing knew this, so he had not planned to use the puppet at the start. But now that he was at death's door, even if this Goldplate Soldier could only buy a short amount of time, it was fine.
After the Goldplate Soldier, Gu Changqing took something else out: a refined beast talisman.
What came out this time was a giant ape warbeast, much stronger than the one that had been given to Zhuang Shen. This was a proper middle-grade warbeast, and the moment it appeared, it lunged at Tang Jie, joining the puppet in encircling Tang Jie. Together with the Soul-Sealing Stake's intimidating aura, the three of them formed a triangle.
And then Gu Changqing took out another item, a small bronze mirror. He flashed it at Tang Jie, and Tang Jie immediately felt like his strength was being drained away. Twenty percent of his strength had instantly vanished.
"An Essence-Pinning Mirror?" Tang Jie shouted.
A smile emerged on Gu Changqing's face. "How are you going to kill me now?"
As an Eagle Master of the Hawk Hall, he truly had a diverse array of excellent items, but in order to deceive Tang Jie, he had never taken them out. But now, he was tossing them out one after the other.
If it weren't for the fact that most art relics required someone to control them to unleash their true power and that he needed most of his focus to drive out the golden needle, he could have taken out even more treasures.
But these treasures alone were enough to crush Tang Jie to death.
As a Nine Revolutions Mortal Shedding expert and Eagle Master of the Hawk Hall, even when he was at the end of his tether and had suffered a fatal blow, he was not easy to kill. Tang Jie's refined body was so strong that even a Spirit Sea Tier student would be no match for him, but he was still far away from someone who was several tiers above him.
"Is that so?" Tang Jie chuckled.
He turned his head and shouted, "Yiyi!"
"Understood!" Yiyi jumped onto Tang Jie's shoulder and bit into his neck.
"Spirit transfer?" Gu Changqing yelped in shock when he saw what they were doing.
Spirit transfer wasn't some secret art. It was normally a way of getting rid of excess spiritual energy.
This method wasted a lot of spiritual energy and was normally worthless, but the greatest benefit was that it could bypass the vast majority of curses that restricted spiritual energy.
Yiyi wasn't strong in combat, but as a sprite that was born through the spiritual energy of the world, she had a significant amount of spiritual energy—even more than Tang Jie. With the two of them working together, Tang Jie immediately regained the ability to use spells.
Since Tang Jie could account for and take countermeasures against his body being crippled, he naturally would have considered the possibility of his spell arts being sealed. Spirit transfer was the simplest and most effective way of getting around it.
In his plan, Yiyi had two missions. One was to deliver the formation diagram, and the other was to transfer spiritual energy to him.
Frankly speaking, Tang Jie didn't dare to have her do anything more complicated. After all, she was still too young and liable to mess up if things got too complicated.
As Yiyi bit down, Tang Jie laughed and pointed a finger at Gu Changqing. Gu Changqing immediately felt the golden needle in his body shuddering as it continued to wreak havoc on his heart.
Gu Changqing let out a howl of pain as he jumped to his feet and formed numerous hand signs, desperately trying to suppress the needle. While the needle slowed down, it continued to jab here and there, seemingly not willing to rest until it had turned his heart into a pincushion.
"Bastard! Hurry up and kill him!" Gu Changqing pointed at Tang Jie, and the puppet and refined beast charged out.
As Tang Jie did his utmost to stop Gu Changqing, Gu Changqing sent out the order to kill Tang Jie.
The tables were rapidly turned. As the puppet and refined beast charged at Tang Jie, the Soul-Sealing Stake and Essence-Pinning Mirror blazed with light to weaken Tang Jie.
"It's useless!" Tang Jie roared, swinging both his arms. "Formless Golden Body!"
His body erupted with golden light as the Formless Golden Body activated.
He had previously been relying purely on his physical body to fight, which was still rather taxing. But now that he could use spell arts, his strength instantly soared.
As the Formless Golden Body activated, Tang Jie produced a silver needle.
A Silver Cloud Needle!
When Tang Jie had come down from the mountain, he had not dared to bring the Heartbreak Saber or the Azure Light Sword, since they were too large to hide.
If he had Yiyi take them away, Lin Dongsheng would have immediately noticed that he was missing something, and so the Hawk Hall would realize that Tang Jie had a companion. But the Silver Cloud Needles were small and would not be noticed, so they had become his only weapon.
"Thousand Rupture Needle!"
Tang Jie activated his spell art, sending eighteen needles shining with spiritual energy at the Soul-Seizing Stake. Of Gu Changqing's four assets, the Soul-Sealing Stake was the most troublesome.
Eighteen needles collided with the Soul-Seizing Stake in a dazzling burst of light. Amidst the radiance, the Soul-Seizing Stake was knocked high into the sky, and the power that had restricted his movements instantly disappeared.
Tang Jie instantly strode forward, taking on the charge of the giant ape while punching away the puppet. He was weakened by the Essence-Pinning Mirror and failed to send the puppet flying.
But at this moment, the eighteen needles flew back. Tang Jie grabbed one and flicked it at Gu Changqing. "Energy Needle!"
Gu Changqing formed several hand signs, and a curtain of light appeared in front of him. The needle struck the curtain and failed to penetrate.
But in doing so, Gu Changqing once more allowed the golden needle to run free.
At the same time, Tang Jie rushed up using the Violet Lightning Lunge and savagely punched at the curtain. Boom! He punched several times in rapid succession, sending Gu Changqing flying.
In a panic, Gu Changqing swung the Soul-Seizing Claw, creating five waves of black energy that tore five talon-like wounds in Tang Jie's body, almost slicing open his stomach.
A normal person would essentially be dead after such a blow.
But a moment later, Tang Jie's astonishing recovery power began to heal the wound.
Tang Jie didn't even care, continuing to rain down blows on Gu Changqing.
"Kill the little one!" Gu Changqing shouted, pointing at Yiyi.
If one had to point out a flaw of spirit transfer, then Yiyi was undoubtedly the greatest weakness. As she was giving all her spiritual energy to Tang Jie, Yiyi had no way of counterattacking.
The puppet stomped over and punched at Yiyi.
Yiyi continued to bite down on Tang Jie as that fist got closer and closer, the terror in her heart reaching maximum saturation.
She knew that if she evaded, retreated, yielded, then all of the spiritual energy sustaining Tang Jie would disappear, and he would lose out on the chance to deal the killing blow.
Thus, she watched that steely fist but didn't dodge.
Just when the fist was about to touch her face…
With a massive shock, the puppet was punched away. Tang Jie had managed to push back the puppet in time.
But this had allowed Gu Changqing to finally create some distance.
His face seething with fury, he viciously spat, "You forced me to do this!"
He thrust his fingers at several points on his body, and then his entire body began to radiate a bloody glow.
Tang Jie had seen this bloody glow before, during Gu Changqing's battle with Zhao Xinguo and the others. Whenever Gu Changqing's body flashed with blood energy, the attack was certain to be particularly powerful.
But the blood energy had never been like this, so coarse and fierce, so unrestrained and without fear of the consequences.
"Godhead Immortal Body!" Gu Changqing howled.
Tang Jie snorted, "It really is the Godhead Immortal Body!"
Just like the Formless Golden Body, the Godhead Immortal Body was a kind of body-refining spell art.
Unlike the Formless Golden Body, which focused primarily on defense and secondarily on strength, the Godhead Immortal Body comprehensively boosted all attributes. Not only were strength and defense increased, one's vitality also received a major boost. Once it was activated, one would be brimming with a savage strength, but one would be extremely weak in the aftermath.
Gu Changqing had activated the Godhead Immortal Body, but rather than to deal with Tang Jie, it was because the golden needle was getting more and more uncontrollable. As the golden needle madly jabbed at his heart, Gu Changqing roared, his fingers turning golden.
Golden Eagle Talon!
He jabbed his hand into his chest!
The claw penetrated into his chest, his hands searching for that golden needle that had penetrated into his body.
He was going to drag that needle out!
Blood gushed out of his chest, and Gu Changqing's eyes burned with hatred. As he searched inside his body, he madly yelled, "Out! Get out right now!"
Supported by the Godhead Immortal Body, his wounded organs were shattered and healed again and again. Gu Changqing seemed to have gone insane, his body drenched in his own blood.
Tang Jie was horrified by this sight.
This guy was absurdly cruel and vicious!
Yiyi was so scared that her mouth came loose, ending the spirit transfer. Tang Jie shouted, "Yiyi, don't get distracted!"
She quickly bit down again on Tang Jie.
Tang Jie rushed over and punched at Gu Changqing.
Gu Changqing thrust out a palm. "Out of my way!"
Fist and palm met, and Tang Jie felt a powerful force pushing him away. Supported by the Godhead Immortal Body, Gu Changqing had physical strength on par with Tang Jie's.
As Tang Jie was pushed away, the Aquagel Shroud appeared, fending off the attacks of the puppet and giant ape. He fired off another needle, which struck Gu Changqing, yet he didn't appear to notice. The Godhead Immortal Body quickly healed the wound while Gu Changqing continued to search his body for that golden needle.
"Shit, even this isn't enough to kill you!" Tang Jie felt his head aching.
Tang Jie finally had a full understanding of Gu Changqing's strength. The man had been through multiple tough battles, was greatly weakened on a fundamental level, and had even fallen prey to Tang Jie's trap, yet he was still able to hold on, and he still even had some hope of turning the tables. Tang Jie was truly amazed.
The giant ape and puppet once more came to stop him, and the Essence-Pinning Mirror was still working, reducing his strength by twenty percent. For a moment, Tang Jie couldn't break through, and the one or two attacks he made barely tickled Gu Changqing. He was starting to get worried.
He knew that he couldn't let this keep going. His body suddenly began to seethe with blood energy as he howled.
This howl was like that of a tiger, resounding through the valley and bouncing between the trees.
Tang Jie rammed his head into the giant ape, letting the ape strike his body with its palms. He grabbed the ape's jaws with both hands and began to pull outwards. "Open up!"
The Blood Refining Spirit spell!
Tang Jie's body had a red glow as an immense strength surged out of him. Boom! The giant ape's head was torn into two pieces by Tang Jie.
The puppet charged in and aimed a punch at Tang Jie's temple.
This punch had Tang Jie seeing stars, and not even the combined power of the Aquagel Shroud and Formless Golden Body were able to keep him up.
Another punch came down, this one aimed at Yiyi.
It was a heavy blow, and Yiyi was immediately dealt a heavy wound, the light on her body dimming, but she continued to bite down on Tang Jie.
"Yiyi!" Tang Jie called out.
A tiger roared, the little cub charging out when he saw that Yiyi was injured and biting on the puppet's foot and trying to pull it away.
The puppet turned around to punch the poor thing to death.
Tang Jie heedlessly lunged out.
He thrust a finger at the Goldplate Soldier.
The Weapon Mantra!
After breaking that Blackplate Soldier, Tang Jie had never again felt that mysterious sensation where he was capable of breaking everything.
He hadn't even tried to break anything besides weapons and tools.
But this time, his mind was free of extraneous thoughts.
Break the puppet!
Save the little tiger!
In this battle, it was win-or-die!
Tang Jie mentally roared.
"As a cultivator, I bravely press forward, unafraid of death! The Dao of the Martial Lord is dominance through battle!"
As he made this frenzied declaration, Tang Jie's finger touched the puppet.
The puppet froze, and then there was a soft clack.
The Goldplate Soldier had crumbled into countless fragments, but in this pile of dust was a flashing golden light, dazzling and enchanting.
"Awooo!" Tang Jie raised both his arms and howled.
This one finger had consumed far too much of his energy, and his entire body felt weak. But his heart seethed with a peerless will to fight, and his stimulated blood energy filled his heart and spurred him on to fight like never before.
At the same time, Gu Changqing suddenly roared, "I caught you!"
Turning his head, Tang Jie saw Gu Changqing's blood-drenched hand emerging from his chest, a golden needle between his fingers. There was a large hole in his chest, and through it, it was possible to see his heart, covered with so many holes that it was almost in tatters, still beating and even beginning to heal.
Gu Changqing madly laughed as he held the golden needle. "Now what do you have to deal with me?"
"You think that matters," Tang Jie coldly replied.
He reached out with a hand, grabbing that point of golden light from among the dust, and then he flicked it at Gu Changqing.
The golden light extended into a long thread that shot at Gu Changqing.
Gu Changqing raised his arms and shouted, "I have the Godhead Immortal Body! You can't kill me…"
The golden light penetrated through Gu Changqing's forehead, leaving a hole.
Gu Changqing's body trembled.
He felt his head, and his fingers came away with a white substance.
That was his brain matter.
"How… how could it be…" he muttered.
He still wasn't dead. He was under the effects of the Godhead Immortal Body and had a Nine Revolutions body, so even when his head was severely wounded, he wouldn't die. But his vision went blurry and his head fiercely ached. He could no longer cast any spell arts, and even his reaction speed was slowed.
"Raooo!" Tang Jie roared like a tiger and charged in, his fist once more stirring up a storm.
Gu Changqing could vaguely see the image of a fierce tiger behind Tang Jie, its roar resounding through the mountains and dominating the world!
Tang Jie punched his left hand that was holding the golden needle, and his hand exploded in a bloody mist as the golden needle flew through the air.
"No!" Gu Changqing shouted. His body erupted with bloody light as the Godhead Immortal Body was pushed to its limit.
His shattered hand regrew as Gu Changqing shot over to Tang Jie like a bolt of lightning. In his right hand, the Soul-Seizing Claw unleashed a golden wave of light at Tang Jie's chest.
At the same time, Tang Jie grabbed the golden needle and pointed into the distance. The golden light from before and the golden needle in Tang Jie's hand both began to extend, connecting into a golden thread.
He threw out his arm in front of him as the Soul-Seizing Claw passed through the golden thread, the five talons penetrating through his body and leaving five bloody holes. At the same time, Gu Changqing's entire arm was bisected, both halves flying in Tang Jie's direction.
"Aaaaah!" Gu Changqing screamed. His arms were crippled, and there were holes in his head and his chest. But the Godhead Immortal Body kept him alive, and he jumped up and kicked Tang Jie.
This kick landed right on Tang Jie's face, caving half of it in. Tang Jie's head tilted, one of his eyeballs almost dropping out of his socket. He pulled back the golden thread in his hand, and that long thread came back around and wrapped itself around Gu Changqing's neck.
Gu Changqing kicked again, this time at Tang Jie's chest, shattering his ribs and sending him flying.
As Tang Jie flew through the air, his eyes remained cold and callous. As he was kicked away, the golden thread in his hand became taut.
A moment later, the thin golden thread sliced into Gu Changqing's neck.
A head flew into the air!