Chapter 85: Level Up! A Flawless Victory

Demoness's Art of Vengeance

Under the talisman’s life aura concealing effect, Ye Xiuwen arrived at the Demonvine’s heart unobstructed. There, he lifted his Frostburn Sword and made a clean slash towards the Demonvine. Instantly, countless gleams of light shone through the Demonvine’s appendages that had been tightly wrapped around Di Yue’s body, severing them into numerous pieces. However, Di Yue was not out of harm’s way yet. Within moments, several sets of new appendages shot out of nowhere and once again coiled themselves around Di Yue, burying him within their layers.

Furthermore, because the Demonvine’s appendages had been cleaved into pieces earlier, the Demonvine that had developed some spiritual awareness began to fly into a fit of rage. Even though it could not detect where this living being Ye Xiuwen was, it nevertheless began to flail its appendages about with reckless abandon, hoping that it would by chance be able to strike this “invisible being”.

Ye Xiuwen immediately operated his Windwalk technique, increasing his speed by several folds as he avoided the Demonvine’s attacks while looking out for an opportunity to rescue Di Yue. Di Yue was not in an optimistic condition right now. In fact, he appeared to be on his final breaths, and he was on the brink of passing on at any moment as a result of blood loss or the poison in his body.

While Ye Xiuwen was trying to rescue his team member, Jun Xiaomo busied herself on the sidelines. She swiftly set up four identical formation arrays, one each at the north, south, east and west of the Demonvine’s main vine. Then, she used four Talisman Threads to tie these four formation arrays together.

This formation array was called the Savage Augmentation Array, and it was created by connecting four smaller formation arrays with Talisman Threads to form one large formation array. Each small formation array was powered by a mid-grade spirit stone, while the person who held the key to activate and operate these formation arrays remained Jun Xiaomo who stood by the side of the formation array.

Jun Xiaomo had to remain close to the heart of the formation array because the operation of this formation array required its user to channel a constant flow of spiritual energy into the formation array. In turn, the Savage Augmentation Array’s effects were highly dependent on its user’s cultivation level and his spiritual root affiliation. The user’s cultivation level determined the strength of the formation array’s resultant effects; while the user’s spiritual root affiliation determined the type of attack generated at the heart of this formation array.

Simply put, the Savage Augmentation Array was akin to a massive magnifying glass which amplified its user’s offensive abilities. Every formation array served to ramp up the effects of the user’s abilities in order to unleash a massive destructive force against the target at the heart of the formation array.

This was a formation array that Jun Xiaomo was thoroughly familiar with. In fact, this was one of Jun Xiaomo’s favourite formation arrays in her previous life. She had time and again used it to great effects by luring her opponents into the heart of the formation array before unleashing immense devastation on her persecutors who came from the well-reputed, “upstanding and righteous” sects.

That said, the use of this formation array was predicated upon her having sufficient preparation time to set it up to begin with. If she encountered these persecuting cultivators unexpectedly, there was no way she would be given the luxury of time to set up these formation arrays.

Right now, Jun Xiaomo did not have the luxury of time to carefully set up a perfect Savage Augmentation Array either. Therefore, Jun Xiaomo had made a few adjustments to the formation array under the constraints of time.

This might well result in a diminished effectiveness of the formation array, but Jun Xiaomo had no time to concern herself with these trifling matters.

Adapt to the situation and hope for the best! Any exigencies can be dealt with as they come along!

A brief moment of time later, Ye Xiuwen had managed to leverage on his nimble and flexible sword art to finally extricate Di Yue from the entanglement of the Demonvine appendages.

At this moment, Di Yue’s skin looked as though it had been corroded by the Demonvine’s appendages. Flesh and blood were ground together into a bloody pulp, and he was left in a horrifying state.

“Brother Ye, hurry on out! I’m going to activate the formation array now!” Jun Xiaomo shouted at Ye Xiuwen. He was located just beside the Demonvine right now.

The greatest pitfall of using the Savage Augmentation Array was that it did not distinguish between friend and foe, and the devastation it unleashed was directed at anything and everything within the heart of the formation array. Therefore, Jun Xiaomo naturally had to warn Ye Xiuwen to leave the area of effect of this formation array before activating it.

Ye Xiuwen’s footwork was nimble and masterful, to say the least. Hearing Jun Xiaomo’s warning, he swiftly stepped onto one of the Demonvine’s flailing appendages, utilizing its momentum to increase his movement speed as he quickly shot out of the heart of the formation array in the blink of an eye.

The Demonvine relentlessly pursued Ye Xiuwen. Even though it could not detect Ye Xiuwen’s life aura, Ye Xiuwen was nevertheless carrying Di Yue with him, and Di Yue’s life aura was not masked by any talisman. Furthermore, Di Yue’s entire body was covered in his own blood right now, and this nauseating bloody stench thoroughly stimulated the bloodlust of the Demonvine, causing it to lash out with a crazed fanaticism.

Besides, how could the Demonvine just let its prey get away from it like that?! Therefore, in the moment that Ye Xiuwen extricated Di Yue from the Demonvine’s clutches, the Demonvine immediately increased the viciousness of its attacks by several times and it sent almost all of its appendages chasing after Ye Xiuwen!

Fortunately, Jun Xiaomo’s reaction speed was incredibly quick as well. Once Ye Xiuwen landed on the floor outside of the formation array, she immediately activated her Savage Augmentation Array. A stream of her true energy was now being constantly converted to spiritual energy and channeled straight into the heart of the formation array, and the four smaller formation arrays glowed with a soulless blue light. A brief moment later, the heart of the formation array erupted with an incredible inferno that engulfed everything within it, causing the main branch of the Demonvine to emit a cold and shrill shriek.

The Demonvine’s roots were buried deep within the ground, and it had no way of escaping this blazing inferno. It could only helplessly continue to flail its appendages about, causing immense destruction to its surroundings. Within moments, the towering trees around the Demonvine were snapped in half like twigs and felled by its temerarious attacks. On the other side, Ye Xiuwen was still carrying an injured Di Yue, and he was unable to swing his sword as he normally would. Therefore, he could only continuously operate his Windwalk technique to avoid the relentless blows of the Demonvine.

Jun Xiaomo had envisioned that it was not going to take much time for her to completely obliterate this Demonvine. After all, she possessed a fire-based spiritual root. Of the five main elements, the element of fire naturally subjugated the element of wood. Therefore, coupled with the incredible effects of the Savage Augmentation Array, it was fairly reasonable for her to have expected to destroy the Demonvine with ease.

However, she had underestimated the Demonvine’s resilience. Every time she managed to burn off the surface of main vine, the Demonvine would retract some of its recklessly flailing appendages back to the main vine and wrap these appendages tightly around the main vine, forming a new layer of defense around it.

“Damn! Why is it so hard to kill!” Jun Xiaomo gritted her teeth, and once again increased the output of her spiritual energy to the Savage Augmentation Array, raising the intensity of the inferno to new heights. The flames became white-hot, and the heat started to penetrate the joints between the appendages and the main vine. The Demonvine’s main vine had also begun to char on the outside.

Just a little bit more… Jun Xiaomo stared viciously at the Demonvine as the flames of battle ignited within her heart. But just this moment, Jun Xiaomo suddenly experienced a violent tremor emanating from her Dantian.

Damn! Jun Xiaomo cursed silently as her heart swelled with a bad premonition – she was breaking through into the next level of cultivation!

Breaking through into the next level of cultivation during battle was an incredibly perilous matter. If one did not control it well, he could very well experience cultivation deviation or even explode and die.

However, Jun Xiaomo knew that she could not stop now. The Demonvine’s ability to retaliate was extremely strong. If one could not kill it in one fell swoop, there was a good chance that the Demonvine would then detonate its spiritual core to take down its enemy with it.

Bear with it…It’ll be fine once I kill this Demonvine… Jun Xiaomo muttered in her heart as she gnashed her teeth and fought through the pain.

Jun Xiaomo had already established for herself a good cultivation base, and under the accumulation of her efforts over the past few months, she had long since reached the bottleneck before the second level of Qi Mastery. Right now, given the immense output of spiritual energy in this critical juncture, her cultivation level finally broke through the bottleneck, pushing her straight into the second level of Qi Mastery. This timing was something completely outside of her control.

Jun Xiaomo was aware of this fact as well. Therefore, she could only continue to maintain her output of spiritual energy into the formation array while she manipulated the remnant true energy within her Dantian and meridians to sort out the fresh inflow of spiritual and demonic energy into her body in order to prevent any permanent or lasting damage to her Dantian or meridians.

This level of multi-tasking required immense focus and concentration, and it thoroughly drained Jun Xiaomo. Very soon, she found herself at her limits!

By now, Ye Xiuwen had come to a large tree in the distance. Seeing that there were no appendages in pursuit of him at this moment, he set Di Yue down, before speeding on his way back to Jun Xiaomo’s side. He knew that leaving Yao Mo to deal with the Demonvine alone was an extremely dangerous matter. Therefore, he had to return to Yao Mo’s side in the shortest time possible.

“Little Mo!” Ye Xiuwen immediately noticed Jun Xiaomo’s peculiar behaviour. At this moment, the slim young man had beads of sweat rolling down his face as he continued to hold his palm to the floor. The dim, blue glow of the four formation arrays were flickering with varying intensities. It was obvious that Yao Mo had almost exhausted all of her energies.

Seeing this, Ye Xiuwen regretted his decision to bring Yao Mo here with him. While the Demonvine’s roots was an important medicinal element which could be used to treat this scar on his face, Ye Xiuwen would never agree to it if he knew this entailed putting Yao Mo’s life at risk. He would much rather consider other sources of medicinal elements.

After all, Ye Xiuwen had already grown used to the scar on his face, and it did not matter too much whether this scar could be cured or not. On the other hand, he was not willing to let anything happen to Yao Mo at all!

Ye Xiuwen sped over to Yao Mo’s side, and attempted to carry him away from his formation array.

If this goes on, the formation array was soon going to drain Yao Mo dry of all his energies!

“Stop! It’s just a little bit more, let me continue…” Jun Xiaomo muttered in a slightly dazed fashion. The pain in her meridians and Dantian had intensified so much that she was already in a state of semi-consciousness. Right now, she was moving based purely on her instincts.

Hearing this, Ye Xiuwen’s heart felt extremely pained. He tightly embraced Jun Xiaomo, before placing his arm on the back of her arms, saying slowly, “Little Mo, be good. Let me do it.”

As he finished speaking, he immediately began to imbue the heart of the large formation array with his own spiritual energy, and the flickering blue glow on the four small formation arrays once again intensified with a magnificent flourish. Then, the heart of the formation array suddenly started to shift as an incredible gale started to blow. This gale carried within it countless sharp wind blades which swept through the Demonvine, slicing both its appendages and the main vine to pieces before it could even begin to self-detonate. In turn, the little pieces of the shredded Demonvine were completely consumed and burnt to ashes by Jun Xiaomo’s blazing inferno.

All of this happened in the blink of an eye. Under the combined forces of Ye Xiuwen and Jun Xiaomo, the vicious Demonvine had completely perished in these woods.

Once Jun Xiaomo sensed that the Demonvine had been thoroughly destroyed, and their battle was finally over, Jun Xiaomo immediately relaxed her spirits and slumped into Ye Xiuwen’s warm embrace. However, the spiritual energy and demonic energy were presently wreaking havoc within her body. If she did not quickly operate her cultivation technique to transform them into the inert true energy at this moment, Jun Xiaomo could very well implode and die!

Even if the clashing energies within her body did not tear apart her meridians and Dantian, she would nevertheless sustain severe internal injuries if this problem was left unchecked.

Jun Xiaomo shivered in Ye Xiuwen’s embrace and she made an extremely pained expression on her face right now. Seeing this, Ye Xiuwen sent a thread of spiritual energy into Jun Xiaomo’s body to investigate the cause of the problem, and he very quickly understood the root of it all – Jun Xiaomo had just broken through the next level of Qi Mastery.

Breaking through to the next level of cultivation was a personal matter. Outsiders could not be of any help even if they wanted to. Furthermore, it would be best not to rely on any medicines, pills, or other external forces to increase one’s cultivation level, because this might destabilize one’s cultivation base. Therefore, Ye Xiuwen could only suppress his urge to act as he allowed Yao Mo to rest and recover for a brief moment. He patted Yao Mo’s face gently as he spoke softly, “Little Mo, wake up. You can rest after you’ve properly broken through to the next level.”

Jun Xiaomo knitted her eyebrows even more tightly at this moment, and the immense pain within her body tempted her to fall into a deep slumber to sleep off the pain.

“Little Mo, wake up. Little Mo…” Ye Xiuwen called out to Jun Xiaomo time and again, fearing that she was going to succumb to the temptation to fall asleep.

Seeing the young man’s pale and sickly face made Ye Xiuwen’s heart ache. Ever since he had encountered Yao Mo, Ye Xiuwen had never seen such a weak look on his face.

Fortunately, armed with her previous life’s experiences, Jun Xiaomo’s possessed an incredible will to live. Her survival instincts kicked in strongly, and she finally roused from her state of semi-consciousness.

“Brother…Ye…” She had heard Ye Xiuwen calling out to her in her moment of discombobulation.

As her eyes gradually cleared up, her pristine clarity of her pupils took in Ye Xiuwen’s silhouette and body language. Despite the existence of Ye Xiuwen’s veiled conical hat, she could almost tell exactly what kind of worried expression Ye Xiuwen wore right now.

“It’s fine, I’m just experiencing a breakthrough in my cultivation bottleneck.” Jun Xiaomo grimaced as she consoled Ye Xiuwen.

“I know.” Ye Xiuwen held her hands tightly, “The Demonvine is already dead. Don’t worry about it and focus on your breakthrough. I will stand guard by your side.”

Jun Xiaomo mustered her strength as she laughed weakly, muttering, “That’s great. We managed to come out unscathed too…”

“Ugh…” As she finished speaking, the pain in her body intensified, and Jun Xiaomo knitted her eyebrows tightly together.

“Don’t speak for now. Focus on breaking through to the second level for now.” Ye Xiuwen cautioned.

Jun Xiaomo nodded her head compliantly. Through her sheer willpower, she suppressed the intense pain coming from within her body, clambered up and sat upright in a cross-legged fashion. Then, she placed her palms on her laps as she began to operate her Nineform Spirituo-Demonic Refinement Technique to sort out the clashing spiritual energy and demonic energy within her body, turning all of them into the inert true energy to nourish her meridians and Dantian.

Seeing how Yao Mo’s condition seemed to be stabilizing, Ye Xiuwen finally heaved a sigh of relief, stood up and released his diving sense to probe about at the surroundings. He was determined to ensure that nothing was going to interrupt Yao Mo’s breakthrough.

As for Di Yue who had been set down on the large tree some distance away, his existence was outside the ambit of everyone’s considerations at this very moment.

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