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AIP - Chapter 133: Fight

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

A forest deep within the marsh.

Tang Jie was seated cross-legged on the ground, his soles facing upward and his hands on his knees. His palms were aimed toward the sky and his middle fingers were curled inward. This was the "Five Hearts Turned to Heaven" meditation stance, and there was white steam rising from the top of his head.

From time to time, he would make signs with his hands. With each hand sign he made, more white steam would gather over his head.

If one looked carefully, one would find that there was a golden thread in this white steam.

This was the special symbol of the Lesser Sea Grotto Metal Mantra, representing the character of this spiritual energy.

Spiritual energy had no character, and it transformed according to what cultivators did to it.

That there was only this thin golden thread indicated that the cultivator had yet to reach mastery. When the entirety of the white mist was made golden, it would mean that one had achieved greater mastery in the Grotto Metal Mantra.

That golden thread in the mist swayed in the wind. As Tang Jie made his hand signs, it gathered and scattered. Gradually, it became straight like a spear, and the spiritual energy around it began to condense, after which it slowly began to sink into Tang Jie's body…

It was a ceaseless cycle.

Yiyi nervously sat on the side and observed their surroundings.

This was now their thirtieth day in the Cloud Marsh.

Twenty-some days ago, he had broken the New Rain on Barren Mountain Curse and regained the ability to use spiritual energy. Ever since then, he had led the pursuers on a wild goose chase while cultivating.

Although Basking Moon Academy had the loan receipt that could track Tang Jie, there was only one loan receipt. So long as Tang Jie was constantly moving around, the Basking Moon Sect would have a hard time pinning down his location.

The only disadvantage was that Tang Jie had to frequently cut off pieces of his flesh.

In this process, his recovery abilities improved even more… The potential bought by one hundred thousand spirit coins still hadn't run out, and Tang Jie still had plenty of room to grow.

At the same time, while being pursued and tracked down, Tang Jie began to cultivate and work to increase his cultivation level.

With the cultivation medicines left behind by Gu Changqing and the others, Tang Jie charged at full speed at the Spirit Lake Tier.

Today, he was finally at the moment of breakthrough.

As the Major Circuit Heaven revolved, the Spiritual Space in his body expanded. Tang Jie's Major Circuit Heaven was revolving faster and faster, as he was no longer some clumsy rookie. His Spiritual Space could now hold 999 drops of spiritual liquid.

But at that final drop of expansion, he encountered an enormous barrier that he had failed to overcome.

Tang Jie knew that he would run into this sort of blockade while making this charge at Spirit Lake. This was a threshold to breaking through into the next tier.

It was said that advances in realm were qualitative changes while advances in tier were quantitative changes, but between each tier was a small blockade. The difficulty in overcoming it was much lower than advancing through the realm threshold, but even so, many students had to expend ten days to half a month to finally break through to the next tier.

Alas, Tang Jie didn't have much time.

Through the Major Circuit Heaven, energy constantly circulated through his body and charged at the blockade again and again, but Tang Jie still felt that he was just a little lacking.

After circulating the Major Circuit Heaven several times without a result, Tang Jie clenched his teeth and shouted, "Yiyi!"

"Understood!" Yiyi opened a small bottle and poured out all the Essence-Refining Pills, putting them in Tang Jie's mouth.

These were his last Essence-Refining Pills. If he didn't succeed this time, Tang Jie really would have to spend those ten days to half a month to slowly chip away at this threshold.

As the Essence-Refining Pills entered his stomach, a vast amount of spiritual energy spread out, instantly filling his body.

Tang Jie once more circulated the Major Circuit Heaven, guiding the spiritual energy through the circuit and creating a tremendous energy that entered the Spiritual Space. The spiritual surge howled within his body like a roaring storm as it carved away at the walls of the Spiritual Space.

The white mist again appeared over Tang Jie's head, that golden thread solidifying and then shooting straight into the sky.

"Oh no!" Yiyi paled at this sight.

She knew that this was a sign of Tang Jie's charge at the Spirit Lake threshold and that the blockade was about to break, but she hadn't expected that spiritual energy would shoot into the air as it did.

Even Tang Jie didn't know this, or else he would have never chosen to make his breakthrough here.

Although it wasn't exactly an impressive sight, someone with sharp eyes would easily be able to see that golden light. It probably wouldn't be long before someone noticed that someone was breaking through here and came to ask questions.

"You have to do it quickly!" Yiyi said, stomping her feet.

She did not dare to disturb Tang Jie, so all she could do was release green roses to stop any enemies from approaching. But Yiyi wasn't very confident in the ability of her green rose vines to stop powerful foes.

Tang Jie was at a crucial point in his breakthrough and could clearly feel the barrier slowly weakening under the spiritual surge. But the powerful pressure boosting the spiritual surge was beginning to weaken.

Tang Jie didn't know whether the barrier would break or the spiritual surge would run out first. He could only focus on breaking through, completely unaware of the outside world.

At this moment, there was a whistle in the distance.

Someone had noticed something going on and was coming over to see what it was.

Yiyi grew anxious.

With the flapping of robes, several dozen people appeared in the distance.

Their leader was a young man dressed in luxurious purple robes, and behind him was a group of warriors in martial attire. Next to him was an old man and two beautiful maids.

The richly-dressed young master saw Tang Jie sitting there as soon as he appeared and immediately gasped in surprise. "Eh? Isn't that Tang Jie? Why is he alone? Where is Gu Changqing?"

The Basking Moon Sect had sent a wanted notice and mobilized the entire country to hunt down Gu Changqing. The various sects naturally knew what Gu Changqing and Tang Jie looked like, so they were surprised to see Tang Jie alone, with no sign of Gu Changqing.

From the look of things, Tang Jie was making a charge at Spirit Lake.

Gu Changqing was nowhere to be seen and Tang Jie was making a charge at the Spirit Lake Tier. What was going on here?

Yiyi pointed at them and shouted, "None of you is allowed to get close!"

"There's even a sprite!" That richly-dressed young master looked at Yiyi with a greedy glint in his eyes. "And it's a sprite that hasn't fallen into ignorance. What a rare sight! If I can get it, it should be able to be refined into a spirit pill."

"Young Master, be careful. Since this sprite hasn't fallen into ignorance, someone is probably raising it," the elder next to him warned. "Our objective this time is Gu Changqing. The Five Energies Sovereign Essence Pill is more important! Don't cause any side issues."

"I know," the young master impatiently said. "But since we've seen it, why not just catch it?"

Just when he was about to give the order, another group of people emerged nearby. This was that group of cultivators that Tang Jie had spotted thirty days ago.

That doughty man charged up and formed a flank with that young master's group. When he saw Tang Jie all by himself, he froze, and when he saw Yiyi, there was a greedy glint in his eyes too.

The richly-robed young master saw that someone else had come and angrily said, "Tu Baixiong, my Jade Sword Gate was here first. Your Heavenly Extinction Sect has no place here!"

That man called Tu Baixiong glanced at the young master and snorted. "Young Lord Leng is incorrect on that. The Basking Moon Sect sent orders to all the kingdom, and any cultivator who's part of my Sageheart can kill Gu Changqing when they see him. When did this become the exclusive business of your Jade Sword Gate? Moreover, Gu Changqing isn't even here. Isn't it a little early to be claiming this place for yourself?"

The elder next to the young master said, "Gentlemen, let's not fight. Tang Jie is here, so Gu Changqing can't be far off. This person might be hiding somewhere right now, waiting to ambush us. This might just be a bait, luring us into fighting each other. Gu Changqing is Deputy Eagle Master of Godhead Palace's Hawk Hall. He is a cunning and sinister fellow, and even Elder Yu Hai of the Pine Tree Gate fell for his trap and died. We should all be careful."

The young master said in disdain, "That idiot Yu Hai thought that he was all that after getting half a step from Celestial Heart, so it's no wonder he fell into a trap."

He was saying that others were arrogant, but his nose was so high that it was practically pointing at the heavens. Truly, it was easier to talk about others than to know oneself.

That Tu Baixiong carefully examined his surroundings and frowned. "Strange. If there's a trap, why is Tang Jie advancing his cultivation here? And why is there a sprite at his side? And what about that little tiger? If this was a trap, it would be far too bizarre of a trap."

At this moment, a man in martial attire next to Tu Baixiong pointed at Tang Jie and said, "Senior Brother Tu, look at what he has."

Everyone followed that man's finger and saw that Tang Jie was clearly carrying three Mustard Seed Bags, and those Mustard Seed Bags had the image of a golden hawk on them. Tu Baixiong trembled as he blurted out, "That's a Mustard Seed Bag belonging to Godhead Palace's Hawk Hall!"

Tang Jie was carrying three Hawk Hall Mustard Seed Bags, and a single thought appeared in everyone's minds.

Could Tang Jie have struck back against Gu Changqing and killed him?

Everyone was left stunned by this thought.

The elder said, "Gu Changqing was badly injured when he killed Yu Hai. Might the long escape have worsened his injuries, allowing this kid to strike when he was unaware?"

"That's possible," Tu Baixiong said. "My Heavenly Extinction Sect learned that Gu Changqing and his subordinates had a falling-out one month ago, and he personally killed two of them and fled with heavy injuries. Apparently, even his Ink Falcon Wings were destroyed. He must have been very severely wounded."

"Can you confirm that?" the elder hastily asked.

Tu Baixiong replied, "The news came from Wu Xianguang. He found the remains of the Ink Falcon Wings on the battlefield, so there should be no doubt about it. In addition, three Hawk Hall experts scattered and ran. Two of them were killed, and only one was able to escape back into Sageheart. As for Tang Jie, the Basking Moon Sect has sent word that he has not once left the Cloud Marsh. The Basking Moon Sect was planning on locking the Cloud Marsh, but so that Godhead Palace wouldn't send people to cause trouble, it decided to entrust the task of finding him to us."

"In other words, Gu Changqing really might already be dead?" the elder muttered.

The young master said, "Why guess? Just take those Mustard Seed Bags and we'll know the truth. If Gu Changqing is dead, his head must be inside one of them."

The young master made a snatching motion in the air, and a claw appeared that moved to grab Tang Jie.

Tu Baixiong waved his hand at the same time, but he attacked that claw in the air. Boom! Their attacks collided and exploded in a shower of stars.

"Tu Baixiong, what are you doing?" the richly-attired young master furiously said.

Tu Baixiong sinisterly said, "Young Master Leng, I fear that you won't be willing to hand over the bags once you see what's inside. Gu Changqing's head is a treasure. The Five Energies Sovereign Essence Pill… The Jade Sword Gate wants it, but my Heavenly Extinction Sect doesn't want to give up on it either."

The young master angrily retorted, "Bastard, you're trying to take something belonging to my Jade Sword Gate?"

He waved his hand, and the long, jade-colored sword on his back flew out and stabbed at Tu Baixiong.

"Jade Pearl Sword!"

Tu Baixiong grunted, a pitch-black saber flying into his hand. He swung the saber and shouted, "Thousand Rupture Slash!"

When Tang Jie had been using the Divine Court Thousandshift, he had randomly called out "Thousand Rupture Slash", but now, Tu Baixiong was using the actual Thousand Rupture Slash of the Heavenly Extinction Sect.

As the saber swung, countless illusory sabers appeared and struck the jade sword. At the same time, voices shouted from both sides, "Grab the Mustard Seed Bags!"

The experts of the Jade Sword Gate and the Heavenly Extinction Sect charged at Tang Jie, at the same time unleashing various spell arts at each other. A storm of spells instantly engulfed the air of the Cloud Marsh.

The Jade Sword Gate specialized in controlling swords, and their speed was on the faster side. A Jade Sword Gate disciple activated his sword control spell, and he followed the sword and shot toward Tang Jie like a ray of light.

Yiyi shouted, and countless vines erupted from the ground to try and block him. The man swung his sword and shouted, "Scram!"

Sword light erupted, cutting down all the green rose vines. Yiyi shouted as she was sent flying. Meanwhile, the Jade Sword Gate disciple rushed up to Tang Jie, his hand reaching for the three Mustard Seed Bags.

At this moment, the disciple heard a gust of wind behind him.

He knew this was bad and instinctively swung his sword behind him.

There was a flash of light as countless streaks of fire exploded in front of his eyes. The disciple screamed as he was obliterated by the Heavenly Extinction Sect members.

The Heavenly Extinction Sect was infamous in Sageheart for its brutal methods. Tang Jie had once reviewed this sect and said that they were far too murderous and would be wiped out by the Basking Moon Sect eventually.

The problem was that the Heavenly Extinction Sect had yet to be purged, and Tang Jie was still in dire straits.

The attacks that had killed the Jade Sword Gate disciple would undoubtedly hit Tang Jie as well. The Heavenly Extinction Sect didn't care about the methods it used and did not care that Tang Jie was a student of Basking Moon.

He was just a kidnapped student, so they could just kill him and blame Gu Changqing for the deed. So long as they silenced all other witnesses, who could say any different?

A moment later, those attacks savagely blasted Tang Jie.

Spiritual energy erupted from his body, sweeping out from him like an ocean wave.

"Just a little more! A little more!"

Tang Jie had already sensed that something was going on outside, but he didn't have the attention to spare, focusing all his efforts on expanding his Spiritual Space.

But for some reason, his breakthrough was particularly difficult.

Tang Jie could sense that some of the spiritual energy he used in the charge was inexplicably disappearing, vanishing into his blood. This left him without the necessary energy to break into the next tier.

The teachers had never mentioned anything like this during class.

Was this because he cultivated the Parting Classic?

This thought left him stunned, but at this moment, he had no choice except to keep charging.

At this moment, he felt an intense pain all over his body.

A moment later, Tang Jie's blood energy created a powerful spiritual wave that surged against the flow. He suddenly felt the spiritual energy he was using for the breakthrough swelling, and it slammed against the barrier.

In the middle of this frenzied battering, that barrier that had shackled Tang Jie for so long finally shattered. Tang Jie could feel his spiritual power cheering, and that golden thread above his head went taut, no longer appearing so vague and indistinct.

Success!

Tang Jie was elated!

He had finally stepped into Spirit Lake!

At the same time, a Heavenly Extinction Sect disciple rushed up to Tang Jie and swung his saber to slice through Tang Jie's throat. At the same time, his other hand went to grab the Mustard Seed Bags at his waist. He really was planning to just kill Tang Jie.

Tang Jie's eyes opened, flashing with golden light.

"Seeking death!" Tang Jie barked. He thrust out a finger, striking the saber and instantly shattering it.

And then his finger flew like a shooting star straight into his assailant's throat.

hypersheep325's Notes:

It seems like Tang Jie has gotten himself involved with some very nasty people.

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Written by Yuanfen 0 缘分0. Translated by hypersheep325. Edited by Michyrr.