Chapter 203: A Fight to the Death
Ye Xiaotian crashed onto the ground at the gates of the Spirit Palace and spat out a mouthful of blood.
He could not believe what was happening.
He admitted that the masked man was a powerful foe, but who was this Elder Where did he come from, and why did he possess so much power
The pole which he held could shatter the very Heavens.
Could the Gods be playing a joke on them
Cen Qiaofu squatted on the tree stump and continued his game of chess with Xiao Qixiu.
From time to time, he would smack the snowy-haired child on the ground with his pole and bark out a laugh.
“Punk, you have tried twice and failed.
Are you still going to try again”
Xiao Qixius eyebrows twitched in fury as he watched the scene before him.
He was not the one who wanted to have the game of chess with the Elder.
But the latter had pressured him into playing the game!
If he had done nothing, those three white-haired men lying on the ground would never get back up again.
“And you, the young man at the back, are you done thinking Unleash whatever attack you have got up your sleeve.
My tea is getting cold.”
Cen Qiaofu threw a look at the man behind him before picking up his cup and taking a sip of tea.
He was talking to Qiao Qianzhi, who was standing the farthest away from him.
Qiao Qianzhi had watched quietly from the sideline.
He had made tea for himself as well.
Qiao Qianzhi stiffened in surprise.
He could not believe that Cen Qiaofu had caught him in the act when he had done so discreetly.
It was not his fault.
To set up and activate a massive array required some time.
As a Spirit Array Master, he would be faster than most others when setting up such a powerful array.
However, there was no way he could activate one instantly!
He scratched his head sheepishly and said, “You caught me, Senior.”
Qiao Qianzhis weak attempt to answer what he was doing made Cen Qiaofu spit out the tea from his mouth.
It spat on Xiao Qixius face.
Cen Qiaofu apologetically handed a piece of cloth to Xiao Qixiu and said aloud, “I will be honest with you.
I have dabbled with arrays during my time as a hermit.
I think of myself as something of a Spirit Array Master too!”
Everyone looked stunned when they heard him.
Ye Xiaotian, sprawled on the ground, seemed mortified.
It appeared as if his soul had fled his body.
They had pinned their hopes on this last resort.
Had it failed before they had even attempted it
Everyone fell silent.
The stillness in the air was stifling.
Cen Qiaofu shrugged nonchalantly and said, “It was just something I did to pass the time.
I refine pills too, but they are not as good as the pills one of the younger ones in my family makes.
I do not go around telling people about it for fear of embarrassing myself.”
“But I am passable at arrays.”
He eyed Qiao Qianzhi, then asked firmly, “Is it the Eight Pillars of Imprisonment”
He might have phrased his words as a question, but the look of certainty on his face made it clear he knew what Qiao Qianzhi was doing.
Qiao Qianzhis array wheel slipped from his hands and fell to the ground.
The look on his face was that of utter shock.
The Elder had not been joking.
He was a Spirit Array Master!
Cen Qiaofu placed another chess piece on the board and remarked, “Not bad at all.
I did not think that you had studied Dao Qiongcangs Divine Secret.
You are going to go far!”
Qiao Qianzhis face turned pale.
Cen Qiaofu even knew what the Divine Secret was.
He was, without a doubt, a Spirit Array Master.
Their enemy had deployed many types of skills, and the threat they posed had them utterly cornered.
Was there anyone who could free them from such a predicament
The Holy Vassal had trapped five Sovereign Stage cultivators from the Tiansang Spirit Palace by deploying a single Elder!
“How about you”
Cen Qiaofu eyed Jiang Bianyan, who was standing in one corner.
He asked bluntly, “What do you plan to do”
Jiang Bianyan grimaced before answering.
“You cannot be serious, Senior,” he muttered softly.
At that moment, he truly hated himself for coming alone.
If Cen Qiaofu intended to kill them, he might not walk out of the situation to return to the Holy Divine Palace alive!
They could not let the Holy Vassal run free anymore.
He had to notify the headquarters that Cen Qiaofu had joined the Holy Vassal as soon as possible.
They had allowed the Holy Vassal too much latitude, and their indulgence had resulted in danger in their backyard.
Xiao Qixiu continued playing chess with composure.
At that point, the bold swordsman was the only one who possessed the unwavering patience and determination necessary to play a game of chess with Cen Qiaofu.
Since their last fight with the masked man, he had expected more formidable foes from the Holy Vassal.
It was what he had expected, so he was not shocked.
It was then that the clear, piercing cry of a sword filled the Heavens.
The blade on Xiao Qixius back flew out of its sheath as if summoned.
“All Swords to the Master”
It surprised Cen Qiaofu as well, as the Master Stage Sword Will was not something a person could easily attain.
Such an achievement was no mean feat.
He could not believe that he had stumbled across the person on the very day he had paid a visit to the Spirit Palace.
Shock registered in Xiao Qixius eyes.
They had only a few Swordsmen with Innate Stage Sword Will in the Spirit Palace and had even fewer who had advanced to the Master Stage.
Even Su Qianqian needed some time before she could advance to the Master Stage.
“Hold on a minute!”
Xiao Qixiu shot up to his feet and accidentally flipped the chessboard over.
He grabbed onto the tree stump and straightened his back.
His eyes widened as he roared, “The masked man went to find the famed sword!”
Cen Qiaofu stared at the broken shards of chess pieces scattered on the ground in a stupor.
Had the man just resorted to feigned shock because he did not want to lose the match
“Was it not obvious”
Cen Qiaofu looked up and stared at the man before him.
He could not understand why Xiao Qixiu was in such a fit.
Xiao Qixiu appeared to be in a panic.
He whirled around and flew away, leaving Cen Qiaofu in a rage.
“Have you forgotten what I said Even if you do not enjoy nibbling on nuts, can you not just sit down and drink your tea”
He smacked the tree stump.
The black and white chess fragments scattered on the ground flew into the air.
With a flick of his finger, he shot some pieces through the air like streaks of light.
But Xiao Qixiu did not look back as he flew away.
Instead, he shoved his sword behind his back and used it as a shield.
Blood spilled from his mouth as the sound of something metallic rang out behind him.
He continued flying into the distance.
Cen Qiaofu frowned.
He smacked the tree stump again and flicked his finger once more.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
More chess pieces shot toward Xiao Qixiu.
The vast distance separating Cen Qiaofu and Xiao Qixiu did not prevent those chess shards from piercing the latters weakening body.
“You are not giving up, are you”
It surprised Cen Qiaofu as he had infused the chess pieces with the power of the Great Path.
Being hit by one of those pieces was not a pleasant experience at all.
The foundation of Xiao Qixius cultivation might get damaged if he did not remove them in time.
Cen Qiaofu had his mission.
He could not let the man leave.
He rested his pole over his shoulder and instantly caught up with Xiao Qixiu.
He swung his rod at the latter.
Xiao Qixiu showed no interest in fighting him and left his back exposed.
Something flickered in Cen Qiaofus eyes.
But it did not stop him from swinging his pole down mercilessly.
The Heavens shattered into countless glittering shards amidst a thundering explosion.
With one hand thrust into the sky, Ye Xiaotian sprang to counterattack the strike.
He had been the one who had taken the blow for Xiao Qixiu!
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
Suddenly, eight pillars descended from the sky and imprisoned Cen Qiaofu within the confines of the Eight Pillars of Imprisonment.
The two founding Elders reappeared, and their eyes were ablaze with bold defiance.
They declared, “We have lived long enough.
We will take these odds!”
Somewhere in the distance, Jiang Bianyan sighed.
He did not expect cultivators from the Spirit Palace to throw themselves into a fight with no warning.
He would not get out of a battle this time.
“Let us fight!”
Upon Ye Xiaotians command, dark lightning flooded the prison behind the eight pillars, sending violent ripples searing through the air inside.
The force behind the attack resulted from a Spirit Array Masters gradual accumulation of power.
No matter how highly Cen Qiaofu thought of his abilities, he would not risk taking it head-on.
He then realized the space that he was at had shackled him inside when he tried to flee.
They had gotten one step ahead of him!
A roaring explosion filled the Heavens and nearly blew up half the mountain.
The proximity of the Spirit Palaces array meant it did not escape unscathed.
It shattered and revealed slivers of the night sky under its protective barrier.
Every disciple in the Inner Yard clamped their ears shut almost at the same time.
Those disciples with lower levels of cultivation suffered from a loud buzzing in their ears after the explosion.
Fortunately, the array had shielded most of them from harm.
The number of casualties remained low.
Jiang Bianyan stared at Qiao Qianzhi in a stupor.
He could not believe that the latter had been the one who had set the explosion off.
Could he have survived such an attack if he got trapped within the array
Everyone waited with anticipation as the dust settled and the smoke in the air dissipated.
Had they succeeded
Their blood ran cold when they heard the hacking cough.
Cen Qiaofus eyebrows raised.
His face was blood-stained, but his clothes remained unchanged.
His clean set of clothes concealed the extent of his injury.
But the blood dripping from his fingertips showed he had taken quite a hit.
“Truly, I cannot wait to see how far you young ones will go.”
His pole got destroyed in the explosion.
The Elder unhooked the ax from his belt.
His eyes showed approval when they fell on Qiao Qianzhi.
“Not bad at all!” he said.
He loosened the joints of his wrists and shifted dislocated joints back into place.
Then, with a firm voice, he said, “I suppose it is time for me to be serious!”
Qiao Qianzhis lips twitched.
He could feel a mild chill running down his back.
He threw a glance over his shoulder, then tightened his fists.
“It is up to you now, Xiao.
I have bought you some time.
As for who you are going against next, be careful.”
Was it going to be the masked man
Qiao Qianzhi swallowed hard as he felt a lump in his throat.
Both foes were formidable opponents.
How could they defeat them
But the determination in his eyes never wavered.
The will to fight set the light in his eyes ablaze once again.
“If my disciples life is at stake, I will fight to the death if I have to!”