Library of Heaven is Path
1277 Poison Needles
As soon as his Dominion appeared, Zhang Xuan felt as if a sturdy armor had been formed around him, and the sense of security he felt made him heave a sigh of relief.
In the next moment, the sword qi fell into the range of Zhang Xuan's Dominion.
A sizzling sound reminiscent of searing metal coming into contact with ice was produced. Despite being impeded by Zhang Xuan's Dominion, the sword qi was actually still able to edge forward bit by bit.
It seems like my Dominion doesn't necessarily grant me invincibility. If the strength of my opponent were to exceed my limits, the effects of my Dominion will be on my opponent would be discounted… Zhang Xuan noted grimly.
He had tested his Dominion on the Golden Origin Cauldron shortly after comprehending Dominion, and he had successfully halted the Golden Origin Cauldron's movement instantaneously. But thinking back, the reason why he had been able to do so might have been because the Golden Origin Cauldron's cultivation was only at Leaving Aperture realm advanced stage, and it didn't specialize in offense either.
On the other hand, Ji Lingfeng had consumed an Insane Demon Breakthrough Pill, and he was wielding a Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle sword as well. In the face of such overwhelming strength, it was inevitable that the effects of Zhang Xuan's Dominion would be limited.
Nevertheless, while his sword qi might be strong enough to move in my Dominion, an attack of this level won't be able to faze me at all.
While Zhang Xuan's Dominion failed to halt Ji Lingfeng's sword qi entirely, it did manage to slow and weaken it to the point where the sword qi could no longer harm him.
With a cold harrumph, Zhang Xuan flicked his palm.
The slowly advancing sword qi immediately dissipated on the spot.
As powerful as the other party's sword qi was, most of its energy was expended while trying to overcome the might of his Dominion, such that the threat it posed was already minimal by the time it arrived before its target.
"You have already made your move. It should be my turn now!" While saying these words, Zhang Xuan flitted forward.
In an instant, Zhang Xuan traversed over a hundred meters and appeared behind Ji Lingfeng's back. Clenching his fist tightly, he dealt a powerful punch forward.
A torrential might that could reverse even the flow of a river burst forth for Ji Lingfeng's heart.
At Zhang Xuan's current strength, even without utilizing the 2-dan Heavenly Art of Dimension Unravel, his strength was already on par to a Half-Grand Dominion realm expert. Pairing such strength with the Heaven's Path Fist Art, even Pavilion Master Yue would be hard-pressed to receive this attack!
My attack didn't work?
Ji Lingfeng had devoted his full strength to the previous attack, and he hadn't thought that a Primordial Spirit realm pinnacle cultivator like Zhang Xuan would actually be able to withstand his sword qi, let alone launch a counterattack shortly after that. In an instant, his face turned livid in grimness.
Nevertheless, while he was taken off guard by the situation, his movements didn't stop at all. With a swift reversal of his blade, he turned his sword around and pierced it through the opening beneath his armpits.
What swift reaction speed! Zhang Xuan was astonished.
He thought that the sudden surge of strength would make Ji Lingfeng prone to carelessness. After all, the most fatal mistakes usually occur when one was certain of victory, so he was planning to catch Ji Lingfeng off guard by launching an attack right after his offense.
Yet, to his surprise, Ji Lingfeng was actually able to react to his attack with nearly no delay time at all.
As expected of a warrior who had fought on the Ring of Death! Through undergoing multiple life-and-death situations, one would become more adaptable to unexpected situations, allowing one to see opportunity amidst the threat of danger.
Take the current situation for example. Instead of going on the defensive, Ji Lingfeng had chosen to launch a counterattack instead. He angled his sword in a trajectory such that if Zhang Xuan's fist were to proceed any further, Zhang Xuan would first find a hole punctured into him by the sword.
"Excellent! Let's see who will be able to last till the very end then!" Seeing Ji Lingfeng's swift and sharp reflexes, Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up in excitement. In this crucial moment, he suddenly felt a surge of adrenaline rushing through his veins.
All along, his opponents were either way stronger than him, or they would be defeated in a single move after having their flaws exploited. As a result, he couldn't really say that he had gone through a real life-and-death battle before.
Thus, when he saw how the other party was actually able to match him in battle, he couldn't help but feel his heart leap in exhilaration.
Against Ji Lingfeng's counterattack, Zhang Xuan decisively morphed his fist into a palm while twisting his body to advance forward.
The sword should have pierced Zhang Xuan if he were to proceed any further, but this maneuver allowed him to move parallel to the sword, thus bypassing the sword with ease.
With his sharp instincts, Ji Lingfeng also swiftly noticed that something was amiss. He quickly dashed forward to retreat, but it was already too late. Zhang Xuan's fingertips struck the back of Ji Lingfeng's body squarely, pumping a powerful might through his body that shattered many of his meridians simultaneously, and a spurt of blood escaped from his mouth.
Nevertheless, Ji Lingfeng's forward dash wasn't completely meaningless. It had allowed him to ward off a significant portion of the might behind Zhang Xuan's strike, thus minimizing his injuries. At the same time, he had also managed to create some distance between the latter and him. Making use of this opportunity, he quickly turned around to launch a decisive counterattack.
In the next moment, however, the scene that came into his sight made his hair stand on end.
He realized that no matter how fast he moved, Zhang Xuan was actually able to move faster than him! The young man was like a bug firmly plastered to his back! No matter how he twisted and turned, he simply couldn't shake the young man away!
His movement technique is really a drat to deal with... Left with no choice, Ji Lingfeng could only swing his sword frenziedly and form a protective barrier around him, choosing to go on the defensive for the time being to bide his time for the next opportunity to strike.
Just as what Zhang Xuan had guessed, he had once stood on the Ring of Death of the black market using another persona, and with his superior strength, he managed to rise to the position of Conqueror of Hundred at one point in time! It would be foolish for anyone to underestimate his fighting prowess!
Even an average combat master of the same cultivation realm was no match for him!
Yet, despite possessing cultivation significantly lower than his—not to mention the fact that he had even consumed the Insane Demon Breakthrough Pill for this—he found that he was still unable to claim the upper hand in the battle...
How in the world could a monster like that young man before him exist in the world?
"I admit, you are indeed a far stronger opponent than I have thought you out to be. It won't be easy for me to kill you using ordinary means..." Ji Lingfeng uttered coldly as a callous glint flashed across his eyes.
In the next moment, he propelled his sword behind with his zhenqi and drove it straight toward the young man behind him.
Then, making use of the time that the young man was preoccupied with his sword, he turned around and flicked his left hand powerfully.
Sou sou sou sou!
Several hundred sharp needles flew forth like a raging storm.
In order to remain the undefeated champion of the Ring of Death, on top of being strong and vicious, one must possess countless different means up one's sleeves as well.
The Storm Needles happened to be his strongest trump card. Every single one of those narrow needles was forged of a unique material, allowing it to pierce through the skin of a Half-Grand Dominion realm expert. On top of that, it was also laced with lethal poison that would swiftly kill any cultivator afflicted with it.
Uncountable was the number of experts who had fallen right to this move.
Despite having used his hidden weapons, Ji Lingfeng didn't get careless. He swiftly rushed forward first in order to free himself from the young man's relentless pursuit before turning around to assess the situation before deciding on his next course of action. But when he turned around once more, the sight that unfolded before him made him narrow his eyes in shock.
The young man had successfully halted all of the needles through a sphere of light around him, allowing him to collect all of the needles into his hands. However, perhaps out of curiosity over the needles, he picked them up and began fiddling with them.
Slowly, Ji Lingfeng's shock turned into overwhelming agitation, and he exclaimed excitedly, "Hahaha, I never thought that you will actually court your own death!"
He had specially found a 7-star pinnacle poison master to concoct the poison he had laced on the needles. Even if the needle didn't pierce his opponent's skin, the poison would be able to kill his opponent just by coming into physical contact with him!
Usually, there would be no cultivator who would dare to pick up the hidden weapon of another carelessly, but that fellow actually picked up his needles directly with his own hands... Was he tired of living?
But instead of seeing the young man's face slowly caving in to despair, the latter simply glanced over and shook his head in disappointment.
"The poison you have used on the needles is too weak. You have probably been scammed. You might be able to scare others with it, but there's no way such an inferior poison is going to kill anyone!"
RIght after saying those words, Zhang Xuan intentionally pinched the tip of the needle, as if trying to prove his point.
"You are able to discern the poison on the needles?" Ji Lingfeng narrowed his eyes.
The lethal poison concocted by the 7-star poison master was colorless and odorless, making it impossible for any ordinary cultivator to perceive it. Yet, to be able to see through the poison just by holding it up... how did he manage to do it?
"If I can't even discern such an obvious poison, I would have already died countless times over!" Zhang Xuan scoffed coldly. Then, with a sudden flick of his wrist, he shot the needles back at Ji Lingfeng.
These needles were further enhanced by Zhang Xuan's zhenqi, allowing them to move at a speed that seemed to be as fast as lightning. In just the blink of an eye, the needles were already right before Ji Lingfeng.
Knowing that the needles were laced with poison, Ji Lingfeng didn't dare allow any of the needles to land on him. Thus, with a powerful swing, he spun the sword before him in a continuous circular motion to deflect the needles.
Ding ding dang dang!
As the Boss of a black market in Qianchong Empire, Ji Lingfeng possessed considerable talent in swordsmanship as well. His mastery over the sword had at least reached the level of Upper Sword Heart. Under his tight guard, all of the needles were easily deflected to the ground.
"If you think that you can injure me using my hidden weapons, dream on..." After knocking away the storm of needles, Ji Lingfeng sneered coldly.
But before he could finish his words, the vision before him abruptly blurred. Without any warning, Zhang Xuan materialized right before him and raised his hand up, preparing to send a slap over.
To his astonishment, it seemed like in the span of time that he was dealing with the hidden weapons, the young man had already closed in the distance between them once more.
"You…" Livid, Ji Lingfeng quickly raised his sword, intending to counterattack. Unfortunately, it was already too late.
A fiery pain consumed Ji Lingfeng's face, and he was sent flying away. A sweet sensation welled up in his throat before a spurt of fresh blood spilled from his mouth along with several teeth.
The young man had used his full strength in that slap. Had it not been for the Insane Demon Breakthrough Pill that he had eaten earlier, his head might have exploded from that move.
Even so, he still felt intense vertigo assaulting his head, leaving him feeling deeply disoriented for a moment.
"Damn you!" Ji Lingfeng's body trembled uncontrollably under the impact, and he roared in frenzy.
He had lived for several centuries now, and yet, he actually suffered two consecutive setbacks in the hands of the same person. The overwhelming feeling of shame left him so angry that he could explode on the spot.
"You bastard, I will rip you into pieces!" Roaring angrily, the zhenqi in his body billowed as he prepared to charge forward. But before he could make a move, a derisive smile had already emerged on the lips of the young man in front of him.
"I advise you not to move recklessly. And also, it would be wise for you to avoid driving your zhenqi as well... Otherwise, you will only be hastening your own death!"
"What do you mean?" Seeing the fearless smile on the young man's face, Ji Lingfeng narrowed his eyes warily.
"I don't mean anything much... Just that when I struck you earlier, I inserted two needles into your cheeks." Zhang Xuan replied calmly.
"Needles?" Ji Lingfeng's body froze. It was only in this moment that he realized that there were indeed two additional needles on his cheeks. Due to the powerful might of the slap he had suffered earlier, he hadn't sensed the presence of the needles at all.
"The antidote…" Swiftly withdrawing the needles, he hurriedly retrieved a pill from his storage ring and swallowed it.
He had witnessed the formidable potency of the poison with his eyes—even a Leaving Aperture realm pinnacle expert had died within three seconds of being afflicted with the poison! While his cultivation was currently at Half-Grand Dominion realm after consuming the Insane Demon Breakthrough Pill, he still wouldn't last more than ten seconds before a poison as lethal as that!
"Consuming the antidote can spare you from death, but if my eyes fail me not, the side effects of the antidote will induce numbness in your body in the short run. You aren't even a match for me in your peak condition, so how do you expect to defeat me in your current state?" Zhang Xuan chuckled softly as he slowly made his way forward toward Ji Lingfeng.
He raised his palm slowly and thrust it down lightly.
A tremendous pressure fell on Ji Lingfeng and shattered all of the bones in his body in an instant, rendering him completely helpless on the ground.
The young man was right. Since he wasn't a match for the other party in his peak condition, how could he possibly defeat the other party in his current state?
"What other trump cards do you have? Take them all out at once! If this is all you got, don't you think that it's laughable for you to attempt to take my life?" Crushing Ji Lingfeng firmly to the ground, Zhang Xuan glanced down at him impassively.
The both of them had crossed blows with one another back at the black market, so Ji Lingfeng should know that he had over a hundred puppets and sabers in his possession. To be safe, the latter should have assumed that he would have other means in his hands as well.
Yet, Ji Lingfeng still dared to attempt an assassination on him, even declaring proudly that he would claim his life... If this was all Ji Lingfeng had, a pill and a sword, he was really being a little too conceited over here!
"Oh? You are indeed a smart person... But smart people tend to die premature deaths!" Spurting another mouthful of blood, savagery returned to Ji Lingfeng's face.
Gathering whatever strength he had left, he flicked his wrist, and the sword in his hand flew into the stream not too far away.
"I have already given you the sword, so it's about time for you to fulfill the end of your bargain…"
The stream began billowing furiously before a massive column of water rushed into the sky, as if heralding the arrival of an unparalleled existence. Following which, an old man slowly walked out of the water column, headed toward Zhang Xuan.
He naturally commanded a grand and imposing appearance, reminiscent of a deity.
"It's no wonder why Ji Lingfeng wants to kill you. You are indeed extraordinary." the old man chuckled. Then, his eyes abruptly turned cold, "It's really a pity to see someone as talented as you going down prematurely, but I guess it can't be helped…"
With a flick of his finger, a sharp surge of sword qi whizzed toward Zhang Xuan.