Sword of Coming

Chapter 264: (2): Above the Great Dao

The man in golden robes pursed his lips and disappeared again.

The momentum of the old boatman's spear didn't weaken in the least, and it instead became even stronger. A black ripple surprisingly appeared on the tip of the spear, yet the snow-white tip didn't falter at all as it easily pierced through the water like a hot knife through butter. The shaft of the spear appeared distorted to the naked eye.

A strange sight then appeared. Dozens of old men in golden robes appeared around the old flood dragon, yet there was a spear tip piercing down at each of their glabellas, with some of the spear tips measuring three meters in length and some of the spear tips only a foot long.

Almost all of the old men in golden robes laughed in unison, exclaiming, "You truly gave your everything to unleash this strike. It must have been very tough for a Golden Core Tier cultivator like you."

They extended a hand and grabbed the tips of the spears.

There were flashes of lightning, and the entire space became snow-white.

Only a single man in golden robes remained silent. He stood directly behind the small boat that Chen Ping'an was in, and he was in just the right position to clearly see the young boy who was sitting in the shade of the osmanthus tree. He was unable to determine the level of the azure talisman paper, but he could sense that it was filled with a magnificent and righteous aura. The calligraphy brush was also a valuable item, one that even he would covet.

Looking at the empty spaces on the Lock Slashing Talisman, it was evident that it was only three quarters done. Even though the young boy's arm, fingers, and calligraphy brush were yet to tremble, his mind and concentration were already starting to waver. Judging from this, it was clear that drawing this talisman was still far too difficult for Chen Ping'an.

The old flood dragon became increasingly curious. Even though the Lock Slashing Talisman was a decent-level talisman, the young boy had already managed to complete a talisman on the bamboo pole before. In other words, the problem didn't lie with the talisman itself. Rather, the problem was with the azure talisman paper. It was this talisman paper that made it extremely difficult for the young boy to move his calligraphy brush. He was like a little child trying to climb a mountain with heavy luggage on his back, so it wouldn't be an exaggeration to call his efforts infinitely painful.

He was drawing the Lock Slashing Talisman, a high-grade talisman that contained the decree of the rain gods.

If the elderly golden flood dragon had faced this before he had become the sage of the region, he would have indeed felt some sense of apprehension. After all, there was a notion of natural suppression. Back when rain gods, river guardians, and water lords were still regarded as legitimate deities, flood dragons would all respect these beings who were akin to their superiors.

Now, however, the elderly golden flood dragon thought little of the Lock Slashing Talisman no matter how powerful it appeared. In fact, it felt slightly eager to see this talisman again.

After all, the old flood dragon had still been young during those countless years of suppression and humiliation. Even so, what it had seen and heard was deeply ingrained in its mind.

Using this opportunity, the old flood dragon wanted those old fossils in the depths of the Flood Dragon Trench — the ones of a similar age yet were unwilling to follow him —to open their eyes and once again witness this profound talisman. At that time, perhaps those listless old fossils would finally rediscover a sense of ambition and courage.

If the entire Flood Dragon Trench could reach a consensus and fight together, it would definitely be far more powerful than just one or two sect-level immortal forces.

The dozens of old men in golden robes shattered the spear tips in unison.

The snake spear was the old boatman's bonded weapon, and the damage dealt to it instantly caused him to collapse to a sitting position on the small boat. He couldn't stop himself from vomiting blood.

Apart from the elderly golden flood dragon silently observing Chen Ping'an as he drew the talisman, the other old flood dragons who had become extremely aggressive all roared with laughter before viciously stomping a foot in unison. There was little commotion, yet it was as if the formation protecting Osmanthus Island were a fragile city gate being heavily rammed by countless battering rams. The formation shook violently, appearing as if it might shatter at any moment. Once it was breached, the flood dragons and their kin could instantly charge into the island to target the passengers. At that time, would the passengers have to engage in close-quarter combat with these vile beasts who had innately powerful physiques?

Ordinary Qi refiners would naturally be unwilling to face this. To say nothing of them, even the most destructively powerful sword cultivators and physically tough militarian cultivators would be unwilling to face this.

Just then, many Qi refiners at the Middle Five Tiers had been unwilling to take out their most powerful treasures regardless of how Ma Zhi had tried to convince them. At this moment, however, their expressions all changed drastically. They no longer dared to hide their treasures, and they all retrieved their spirit tools and immortal treasures one after another.

Flashes of brilliant light instantly appeared all over Osmanthus Island and shot toward the sky, helping Lady Gui and the ancestor osmanthus tree to defend against the stomping attacks of the old flood dragons in golden robes.

However, after the Qi refiners on the island unleashed their full strength, some powerful figures from the Flood Dragon Trench who had been observing the situation from the sidelines also decided to act at long last. They channeled their water-element mystical powers, and it was as if a rain of arrows were descending upon Osmanthus Island.

Thus, even though Osmanthus Island was receiving help from the Qi refiners now, it was surprisingly still at a disadvantage.

At this moment of critical danger, a tall and skinny elder unexpectedly flew over from beyond the Flood Dragon Trench. However, he was clearly hesitant about whether he should involve himself in this dangerous conflict.

He was none other than the Nascent Soul subordinate of Jade Tablet Sect's Young Master Jiang.

In the end, he eventually decided to silently observe the situation.

Lady Gui was forced to return to Osmanthus Island, and she no longer had the luxury of caring about Chen Ping'an's talisman. She hadn't expected that the large formation would be so fragile. If she kept her soul and body separated the entire time, then even if Chen Ping'an succeeded in drawing the talisman, it would be pointless if the formation around Osmanthus Island was already destroyed at that time. The wanton flood dragons and their kin would face no resistance as they charged onto the island, and the outcome of this could only be a massacre.

As Lady Gui dashed away, she turned to the old boatman and said in helplessness, "Look after Chen Ping'an!"

The old boatman nodded with a bitter smile, struggling to stand up as he did so.

He could only try his best and leave the rest to the heavens.

All of the old flood dragons in golden robes slowly walked toward the two small boats.

Only the elderly golden flood dragon who had remained standing in the same spot the entire time, the one who had kept his eyes on Chen Ping'an from the beginning to the end, used his mind to warn, "Young boy, if you don't finish this talisman and turn the tables soon, all of you are going to die. Lady Gui is going to die, the old boatman is going to die, you're going to die, and everyone else is going to die."

Concentrate on the task at hand, decree of the rain gods. There were only these few characters in the Lock Slashing Talisman, yet Chen Ping'an was only able to finish six of the eight characters after all this time. Moreover, his characters were written in a way that broke many rules, so if nothing unexpected happened, this talisman could already be considered useless.

In fact, Chen Ping'an had already taken a very long time to finish the first four characters. It had taken him far longer than drawing the talisman on the bamboo pole before. However, Chen Ping'an couldn't complete even the first stroke of the character "rain" no matter how he channeled his aura. It was as if the azure talisman paper refused to accommodate this character no matter what. This was like a battle between two armies. Chen Ping'an was a one-man army fighting tooth and nail, while his opponent was a majestic and towering city with formidable power. What could he do?

Human power had its limit, and this couldn't be changed by ambition, perseverance, or tenacity.

Chen Ping'an struggled for a long time, yet he was still unable to complete the first stroke. When his arm trembled for the first time, a mouthful of blood rushed to his throat. He forcefully swallowed the blood, and he could only skip over the character "rain" in helplessness. The character "god" was also an insurmountable gulf, so Chen Ping'an decided to skip this character as well.

Fortunately, he could still struggle on and just barely complete the two characters representing "decree". He finally managed to complete the two characters when his breath of True Qi reached its absolute limit.

Chen Ping'an was already absolutely exhausted after consuming this breath of True Qi. His writing hand that held the Wind and Snow Awl fell limply to his side. He had forcefully summoned the breath of True Qi just then, so his failure to complete the talisman undoubtedly added insult to his injury.

His blood and qi churned, and apart from the consumption of his heart's blood that caused him fundamental injuries, countless extremely small beads of blood also seeped out of his body. Beads of blood seeped out from his soul, acupoints, tendons, bones, flesh, and skin before reconverging in someplace else.

The elderly golden flood dragon was enraged for the first time, and it furiously scolded, "Useless piece of trash! I waited for so long, yet you failed to even write the characters 'rain god'?!"

The flood dragon strode forward and continued, "I'll give you another chance. Lift your brush and start writing again! Write another talisman!"

Chen Ping'an dazedly stared at the azure talisman paper in front of him. The situation didn't become worse.

However, it didn't become better either.

After parting ways on the level of the Great Dao with that Daoist nun from the Divine Edict Sect, Chen Ping'an's fortune — which had been very good ever since leaving Jewel Small World — seemed to be going downhill again. It was as if he had returned to the unshattered Jewel Small World again.

This time, he was directly facing death.

Chen Ping'an looked up and asked, "You want me to complete the Lock Slashing Talisman this badly? What are you trying to achieve?"

The elderly golden flood dragon carefully looked the young boy up and down before nodding with a smile and replying, "I naturally want you to complete it. However, it has already become meaningless to talk about these things. You've already wasted so much of my time, so I'll turn your three immortal souls and seven mortal forms into numerous candle wicks in a short time. I'll have them burn in the depths of the Flood Dragon Trench for hundreds and hundreds of years."

Chen Ping'an glanced at his left arm, his writing arm where he held the Wind and Snow Awl. He then took a deep breath and slowly lifted it up. Blood seeped not only from his left arm, but also from his face and skin. "I'll definitely complete these two characters before I die."

There was a dark look in the elderly golden flood dragon's eyes, and it chuckled, "You're a young boy with ambition; I look forward to seeing the results. In fact, I'll go as far as to personally guard you. Don't disappoint me again."

Chen Ping'an cracked a grin.

He raised his right arm and crudely wiped his eyes, rubbing away the streaks of blood that were blurring his vision. After roughly seeing the blank space on the talisman where the characters "rain god" belonged, he closed his eyes and silently recited in his mind, "Concentrate on the task at hand... Concentrate on the task at hand..."

In the next instant...

Chen Ping'an started to write on the azure talisman paper.

The elderly golden flood dragon sneered and remarked, "Young boy, this isn't the character 'rain'. Perhaps your wounds are so bad that your brain is damaged as well?"

Another moment later...

The smile vanished from the elderly golden flood dragon's face.

The talisman paper no longer radiated spiritual light.

Instead, a wisp of divine light rapidly accumulated on the talisman.

Chen Ping'an simply remained in the same posture. It wasn't that he didn't want to move, but it was rather that he was unable to move at this moment.

This Lock Slashing Talisman was no longer a genuine Lock Slashing Talisman.

This was because the characters written on it weren't "Concentrate on the task at hand, decree of the rain gods."

Instead, they said, "Concentrate on the task at hand, decree of Lu Chen."

Decree of Lu Chen!

Meanwhile, the elderly golden flood dragon was also completely unmoving. It was also unable to move.

Chen Ping'an's lips moved slightly as he silently experienced the warm divine intent radiating from the talisman paper under his calligraphy brush. His mind was blessed by this fortune, and his voice quivered as he said softly, "I once read this in a book. The sages once said..."

Chen Ping'an broke into a coughing fit, and it took him a while to finally say the second half of the sentence, "Dragons in the abyss."

These eight spoken characters appeared to be no inferior to the eight written characters on the talisman paper.

There were sixteen characters in total, and they were like a sudden thunderbolt smashing into the Flood Dragon Trench. It was as if the Flood Dragon Trench were facing a rain of lightning.


"As you command!"

Such replies rang out from the depths of the Flood Dragon Trench one after another, endlessly rising and falling.

Heaven and earth fell silent.

The dozens of old men in golden robes fused together and returned to a single body. His head was lowered, and his fist was cupped in a respectful salute. However, there was a twisted smile on his face as he spat, "Young boy, you can die before I accept this command."

Above the Flood Dragon Trench, a golden sword ray that was as wide as a mountain peak descended from the sky.

It directly descended toward the young boy's head.

There were people who could save him, yet were unwilling to do so. For example, the old woman at the Nascent Soul Tier standing beside the young boy in bamboo clothes.

There were people who wanted to save him, yet had no option but to shrink back for the sake of the Fan Clan's future. For example, Lady Gui.

There were those who were absolutely helpless, yet it was precisely they who were willing to sacrifice themselves to save the young boy. For example, the old boatman sitting nearby.

However, there were even more people watching on as if this were nothing more than a show. The situation was already settled, so what did they still need to worry about?

At this moment, it was as if Chen Ping'an had seen through all worldly emotions and affairs. However, there was neither sadness nor joy on his face.

A pair of seals slid out from his sleeve. The mountain and water seals hovered above his head.

After the golden sword ray shattered and dissipated, only the water seal still remained above his head. The mountain seal was no more.

Above the Great Dao...

... a single person walked forward.

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