Chapter 76 The roads to Mount Pong is few and far between
Above the sky of Xuanyun Peak, an atmosphere of apprehension enveloped the surroundings, while the figure of a woman slowly materialized, gradually taking form. A strong gust of wind, an blue tornado, howled across the land, causing her dress to billow. The disciples of Outer Peaks were left in shock, scattered and falling to the ground. The oppressive aura of ancient deities weighed heavily on their hearts, and amidst the cries of agony, blood was spat out.
The crowd, stunned and fearful, propped themselves up with trembling hands, gazing upward.
“Who is she?”
“…Such terrifying power.”
Their instinctual response to danger was to retreat, with their scalps tingling and mouths dry. However, as their gazes fell upon the snowy figure in the center of the arena, a miraculous calm settled within them. They opened their mouths, slowly standing up.
That was Pei Yuzhi, the embodiment of Yunxiao’s faith in this generation.
The power of the Queen Mother was terrifying indeed. In a moment when the winds of creation ran wild, it felt as though a giant blade had been brought down upon the entire mountain.
Pei Jing turned around and gave a cold, indifferent look at Chang Wu’s lifeless body.
The Cloud Slayer Sword in his hand trembled with excitement in the presence of a powerful opponent, making a buzzing sound.
The Queen Mother smiled gracefully, her lips red as blood, and spoke in a gentle voice, “So, you’re a descendant of the Yunxiao Sword Master? But you’re so young, how can you be a match for me? I fled from Western Kunlun to this place. As a ninth-generation deity, your sect’s disciple offended me. This grudge must be settled with blood.”
As she said the words “settled with blood,” the atmosphere grew tense, and the sword in the sky began to move!
Upon hearing this, Pei Jing sneered, “Did our disciple offend you? Wasn’t it you who used your strength to bully the weak and threatened our Sect’s disciple with violence?”
He raised his eyebrows, his expression as cold as ice, and said, “You believe in the principle of debts and retribution, so today, I will avenge the dozens of innocent lives that were taken unjustly by taking your life.”
“Hahaha.” The Queen Mother burst into laughter, but her eyes showed a dark intent, her face twisted. She no longer resembled the elegant and refined Queen Mother of legends. Instead, she seemed like a crazed killer from the depths of hell. “Ignorant child!”
She discarded her elegant and dignified facade, revealing her true self as a deranged being consumed by resentment and a thirst for blood!
Swish—A hurricane formed behind her, like a giant capable of causing devastation. The Queen Mother extended her hand—five fingers poised and slender. Immediately beneath Pei Jing’s feet, a vortex emerged, a pitch-black whirlwind filled with a destructive force!
Pei Jing thrust his sword straight into the vortex’s eye. In a dazzling display, the sword erupted with an intense silver glow. The Cloud Slayer Sword was a precious gift bestowed upon him by Immortal Master Xuhan when he joined the Institute of Celestial Ascension. While an ordinary blade would have surely been shattered by the winds from the ancient Primordial Era, the Cloud Slayer Sword defied all odds and shattered the very core of the tempestuous storm.
Crack! The eye of the storm shattered.
The white-robed swordsman took a step forward, a mocking smile playing on his lips. “Do you think you can act as recklessly in Yunxiao as you did in Western Kunlun?”
In reality, in a one-on-one battle, he stood no chance against this woman. He might even be killed in just a few moves. The Queen Mother had at least reached the cultivation level of a half-step Nascent Soul. She possessed a chaotic and malevolent power similar to Zhang Qingshu, granting her immortality.
Qingying had said that only with a mask could they suppress her. Pei Jing also knew that he couldn’t kill her today. But did she really think she was invincible in the presence of the Yunxiao Formation, which had existed for thousands of years?
The Queen Mother narrowed her eyes and asked, “Do you think I will let you activate the Yunxiao Formation? Go!”
She gave a clear shout, and the “giant” formed by the swirling winds behind her suddenly opened its mouth and let out a mighty roar.
The sound waves took shape, causing everyone on the arena, except for Pei Jing, to feel intense pain in their chests and spew out blood, rolling to the ground.
Thud, thud. The wind giant stepped onto the arena, and cracks spread beneath its feet. It was enormous in size, yet agile in its movements.
It possessed the ancient power of primordial creation, mysterious and vast, capable of destroying the withered and decaying.
Pei Jing’s robes billowed as he silently looked up at the giant, towering over him several times in height.
The Queen Mother laughed softly and said, “I’ll kill you first, then Yunxiao will be exterminated.”
The giant became enraged and stretched out its hand, which transformed into a massive blade! Descending from above, it obscured the sky and turned the entire world into a perilous situation in an instant.
The Inner Peak Elders on the high platform were anxious, but they couldn’t find a way to intervene. To protect the disciples outside, Pei Yuzhi, primarily relying on the Cloud Slayer Sword, applied a defensive technique at the edge of the arena using his internal energy.
The disciples below the arena slowly stood up with support, their eyes fixed on the snow-clad swordsman facing the furious wind blade. Their hearts were in their throats as they called out, “Senior Brother Pei!”
Their shouts echoed for a moment, and at the same time, Pei Jing heard a distinct voice.
Ding, a very low but crystal-clear sound.
Like morning dew sliding along the veins of a leaf, gently falling onto the ground.
The pressure brought by the power of creation dissipated.
Azure threads gradually surrounded Pei Jing, protecting him. The azure light was refreshing and seemed like an illusion. A cold sensation spread in his chest as the bead he wore around his neck broke free from its string and ascended into the air.
In the dim and murky world, that single shimmering azure light illuminated the heavens and the earth.
The smile on the Queen Mother’s face gradually turned cold.
Her fingers clenched tightly within her sleeve, and her eyes became infused with icy fragments.
The bead shattered, and the young girl transformed into a tangible form.
Her jet-black hair cascaded down as she slowly opened her azure eyes, filled with countless emotions and profound silence. Covered in injuries, her dress, exquisitely woven with thousands of feathers, fluttered down, stained with blood. There was a twisted, finger-wide wound resembling a centipede on Qingying’s neck.
She remained silent, slightly tilting her head. The sacred artifact ring of the Azure Bird Clan slowly lifted from the pool of blood and affectionately flew to her side.
The Queen Mother burst into wild laughter, her demeanor manic. She advanced, emanating a chilling and murderous aura in the air. Words squeezed out from between her teeth, one by one: “Qing… ying! It is indeed you! I should have never considered our past friendship and left you alive—I even saved you. Your entire clan should have perished atop the Western Kunlun Mountains!”
With the ring back on her hand, Qingying gazed at the unfamiliar yet familiar woman before her. She had long become numb from the pain.
The karmic burden was too heavy, love and hatred had turned into desolation, rendering everything meaningless.
The young girl spoke softly, “You sought revenge for your two lifetimes of grievances, while I sought retribution for the annihilation of my clan. There is no right or wrong.”
The Queen Mother laughed loudly, crazed. She moved forward, and a cold and murderous intent surged through the air. Words escaped from her teeth, sharp and icy. “Well said, no right or wrong. Your Azure Bird Clan ɢᴏᴜɢᴇᴅ ᴏᴜᴛ ᴍʏ ᴇʏᴇꜱ, ꜱᴇᴠᴇʀᴇᴅ ᴍʏ ʟɪᴍʙꜱ, ᴅᴇᴠᴏᴜʀᴇᴅ ᴍʏ ꜰʟᴇꜱʜ ᴀɴᴅ ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ, condemning me to be reborn as a deranged child. You feigned benevolence and righteousness, secretly grinding away at my very foundation. If it weren’t for your ultimate decision to kill me completely, I might never have regained my memories.” She seethed with hatred, enunciating each word as if cutting through ice and jade. “These debts, in this lifetime, are far from settled!”
Qingying’s voice was barely audible, “And what about you? Wiping out my people, destroying my spiritual roots. How should I settle the score with you?”
The Queen Mother’s eyes were bloodshot, and her teeth ground with a grating sound.
Qingying’s heart was filled with a desolate calm.
She extended her hand, frail and pale, as a ghostly azure flame tinged with lightning ignited in her palm.
Caught between responsibility and duty, loyalty and justice, she couldn’t have both.
On a stormy night atop the Western Kunlun Mountains, she rushed in like a madwoman, using her own body to shield the young clan leader from the savage attacks of the three Elders of the Azure Bird Clan. The still unawakened young leader was incredibly fragile, and with a single blow, her arm was drenched in blood, revealing the chilling sight of white bones. The Elders transformed into their human forms, blood staining their lips, their gaze towards her ice-cold. “You should leave. This is not where you belong.” The young girl, tears streaming down her face, pleaded, “No, Elders, don’t devour her. Why do you have to devour her?” The three Elders had never liked her, considering her weak and timid, a disgrace to the ancestral spirits. With a violent slap, they struck her down. “If you don’t leave now, we will devour you along with her!”
She cried breathlessly, her chest filled with an icy chill, her mind blank.
Behind her was her gravely injured close friend, once elegant and dignified, now fallen from grace in a miserable state.
The divine maiden reached out her trembling, desperate hand and clutched onto Qingying’s sleeve, as if seeking her last source of support.
Qingying closed her eyes, then opened them, wiping away the tears from her eyes, and said, “I won’t let them kill you!”
It was the first time she had unleashed the power of the Azure Bird. Unexpectedly, she found herself facing her own kind. The palace of West Kunlun was ablaze with the furious flames of the Southern Ming’s Dividing Fire. The three Elders were filled with rage and had completely set their minds on killing her. In the midst of the battle, she transferred all the formations and pain that were imposed on the Queen Mother of the West onto herself—allowing herself to endure the torment of her soul scattering!
In the end, both were left severely wounded. She lay on the ground, barely clinging to life, but she heard a faint, chilling laughter behind her.
The world trembled, and the moonlight turned icy cold.
Rising from the pool of blood, her garments tattered, her hair cascading down, the divine maiden, devoured in two lifetimes, smiled, blood trailing from the corners of her eyes. Consumed by hatred, she returned from the abyss, bearing an additional aura.
Making Qingying feel both unfamiliar and familiar.
“The Azure Bird Clan, unfaithful and treacherous, defiled the divine, their crime deserves punishment.”
She was unwilling to recall the memories that followed. The three Elders and the young clan leader engaged in a deadly battle, both suffering severe injuries. In the midst of the raging storm, in the Western Kunlun, who remained to shelter her innocent people? Her azure eyes reflected nothing but despair.
In their dying moments, the three Elders wished nothing more than to tear her apart: “It’s you—! It’s you who caused the demise of the Azure Bird Clan! Wretched woman—how can you face our ancestors with such audacity!” This accusation haunted her thereafter.
Finally, she fell into a state of unconsciousness, carried by someone familiar, the scent of green plums, but tears streamed down her face.
The past became hazy like a dream.
She apologized to the Azure Bird Clan, apologized to the Phoenix.
As a sinner like herself, what right did she have to live in this world?
The flame in her palm burned more intensely, the ring emitting a mournful light, as if the spirits of her ancestors were trying to stop her.
A hint of a smile curved Qingying’s lips, but she shook her head.
The most powerful technique of the Azure Bird Clan was their innate true fire, the Southern Ming’s Dividing Fire. Initially, she was unable to utilize her power due to severe injuries, which led her to borrow the power of Thousand-Faced Woman to assist in killing the Queen Mother. However, the Phoenix was also present on this mountain, and the jade bead had healed the wounds in her soul.
By igniting the souls of countless ages and unleashing the ultimate Southern Ming’s Dividing Fire, dying together seemed to be the final option.
The grudges and grievances of Western Kunlun should have long been buried.
Upon seeing the fire in her palm, the Queen Mother’s face turned pale, then filled with extreme anger as she laughed, “Southern Ming’s Dividing Fire! Hahaha, Southern Ming’s Dividing Fire! You are so determined to kill me! Willing to let your soul scatter just to kill me. Qingying, well, hahaha, since you have no regard for our past affections, why should I spare you? I’ll send you down, reunite you with your beloved people.”
She shouted the last sentence.
Pei Jing suddenly froze, turned his head, and looked at the floating girl in the air. “Don’t be like this. The Phoenix doesn’t blame you.”
Upon hearing the word “Phoenix,” the silent girl, who had always remained calm, burst into tears.
Tears filled her eyes, her voice trembling as she said, “I’m sorry… I’m sorry, it’s my fault—I failed to protect the Azure Bird Clan.”
The Southern Ming’s Dividing Fire blazed with violent lightning, fueled by the power of ancient divine beasts flowing through her bloodline, tearing through the fabric of space and time. Within the flames, her frail figure became incredibly sacred.
She self-ignited her divine soul!
Pei Jing wanted to stop her but didn’t know how to intervene. The grudges and grievances of Western Kunlun were actually unrelated to her, but as the young leader of the Azure Bird Clan, even though she had never received the respect she deserved since childhood, she was born with a mission.
As she was about to be completely engulfed by the Southern Ming’s Dividing Fire, transforming into a gigantic dragon to battle the Queen Mother, a cry of the Phoenix resounded from the sky—filled with agony, sorrow, and anger—the blazing crimson fire of rebirth approached from a distance.
The Phoenix Emperor, clad in a golden-red robe, spoke with icy coldness, “The destruction of the Azure Bird Clan has nothing to do with you! You have not wronged anyone!”
Crimson Iris cried with heartache, flapping its wings vigorously. It flew exceptionally fast, tears streaming down its eyes, breaking through the barrier of the arena without regard for the Southern Ming’s Dividing Fire, and flew directly to Qingying’s side. It chirped incessantly, unable to express whether it was anger or something else, but its tears fell drop by drop onto Qingying’s hand.
Crimson Iris tried to peck her hand with its beak but stopped upon seeing the gruesome wounds, awkwardly using its wings to gently support her instead.
Qingying resembled a child who had done something wrong and murmured, “…My Lord… I…”
Crimson Iris’ tears gradually dispersed the yet unformed Southern Ming’s Dividing Fire in her palm.
The Phoenix Emperor descended from the sky, with eyes of dark gold brimming with fury, longing to kill the woman before him.
“You have repaid what you owed to the Azure Bird Clan, and now it’s time to settle the debt you owe to my Phoenix Clan.”
A prolonged silence ensued.
The Queen Mother’s face remained expressionless. After the boundless rage, she seemed to have completely changed, and the last trace of human sentiment was extinguished.
With her black hair fluttering in the wind and her garments billowing, a cold and icy aura enveloped her beautiful and ethereal face.
She sneered and spoke, “Yunxiao Sword Sovereign, and Pheonix Spirit Lord. Are all your descendants so arrogant and ignorant of their own limitations? Not to mention that I am the Ninth Divine of Yunxiao. Now, with the power bestowed by the heavens, granting me eternal life, your alliance is nothing but a path to death!”
Qingying suddenly looked up, worry filling her gaze as she turned to Feng Jin, “Pheonix Emperor…”
Feng Jin turned back, his eyes shimmering with anger as he snapped at her, “Silence! If I were to watch you **, how could I face the Peacock?”
Qingying hesitated, wanting to speak but hesitating. “But… I have awakened and inherited the ancestral power to summon the Southern Ming’s Dividing Fire. And now, the Pheonix Emperor is still in his youth. How can he possibly contend with her?”
Feng Jin said, “Didn’t you hear what she said? The Queen Mother has inherited the power of the heavens, granting her eternal life. Even if you unleash the Southern Ming’s Dividing Fire, it will only harm her momentarily!”
Qingying bit her lip and cast her gaze toward the woman in the aqua-blue gown.
The Queen Mother’s gaze, however, did not turn toward her. She merely smiled ominously, observing everyone.
In the instant Qingying unleashed the Southern Ming’s Dividing Fire, their bond of friendship had been severed completely.
With no lingering worldly attachments, her entire being exuded a terrifying aura.
Crack! Pei Jing’s barrier created by the Cloud Slayer Sword shattered.
Many disciples beneath the arena faced the oppressive aura of the Queen Mother for the first time, screaming in agony as they coughed up blood. The Elders on the high platform were also filled with unease, forced to kneel down. Chen Xu descended from the clouds, holding the Dust Breaker Sword, and stepped onto the arena. The entire Xuanyun Peak trembled with fear and whimpers.
Bloodlines traced from the corners of the Queen Mother’s eyes surged upward, forming a small mark at the center of her brows. The golden hair ornaments in her temples trembled, jingling with every move, and her ethereal gown fluttered. Standing at the peak of the clouds, the divine maiden possessed unparalleled beauty. The ‘giant’ beside her dissipated. From all directions, the mountains and earth roared as an unprecedented force surged forth, surpassing anything before.
It raged violently, as if tearing apart the heavens, the earth, and the sun and moon! Beyond the depths of the cosmos, above the Heavenly Dao!
“Ah!” The Outer Peak disciples, caught off guard, had their foundations shattered, letting out cries of despair.
Everyone collapsed on the ground, writhing in pain.
From the edge of the extreme winds, on the pinnacle of the clouds, she not only possessed the power of the Mountain Goddess but also emitted an aura connected to the vastness beyond the six realms.
The Queen Mother said, “I have said that no one shall survive.”
The power fluctuations on Xuanyun Peak were too intense.
They even reached Tianqian Peak.
The little yellow bird trembled in fear. It scurried away, wanting to embrace the pale fingertips with its wings.
However, Chu Junyu coldly raised his hand, his sleeves brushing across the table as he stood up. The black robe fluttered in the wind, unaffected by the awe-inspiring aura that shook the four seas. His silver hair scattered in the breeze, and his youthful eyes turned icy like glaciers.
“Finally, you’ve shown yourself.”
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