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Is he harnessing the power of the Secret Arts?
The punis.h.i.+ng force continued to rain on him. Gu Dongliu had no time to slowly comprehend the changes occurring in his body. His spiritual will seemed to have broken through the power of Sealing of All Creations, spreading out to the greater surroundings about him. The light of the Nine Words grew intensely dazzling as they resonated with the heavens and the earth.
Voom. At that very second, the Nine Words surrounding his Life Spirit went to bombard the eight G.o.ds of war. Limitless power gushed into the ancient words, making every word seemingly infused with some mystical power as they rained down below. Eight earth-shaking rumbles were heard as the shadows of those G.o.ds of war were being torn apart. The power of Sealing of All Creations disintegrated, but that terrifying shadow of the ancient G.o.d attacked with its halberd still.
The shadow of the Life Spirit behind Gu Dongliu grew increasingly huge, becoming a true holy shadow. It lashed out with its giant palm at that ancient G.o.d. Nine mudras emerged as the palm continued on its path, with the powers of the world gus.h.i.+ng into the mudra in the hand.
The ancient G.o.d shadow's Heavenly Halberd continued to be brought down with the might of divine wrath. The mudras shattered violently, but that halberd was unable to survive the clash as well. The holy shadow was thrown back with a huge rumble, and the body of that great ancient G.o.d broke apart.
"He became stronger." Countless were shocked to see what Gu Dongliu had become. Mystical powers seemed to have emerged from within him, bringing the limitless power of the world in and fusing it with his body. However, Gu Dongliu's eyes remained closed all that while. Having the world in his heart and being free of yearning in his mind, the greater world had indeed opened up to him, enabling him to sense the heavens and the earth at a vastly greater capacity.
The power of the heavens rushed at him. One shadow after another was seen leaving his body at that very moment, and all of them were illusory shadows of Gu Dongliu himself. The shadows morphed into blinding lights and powerful flashes as they traversed the air, appearing before Bai Luli and went straight into his body. They were the manifestations of Gu Dongliu's will, and the manifestations were so real that they looked tangible.
Bai Luli remained standing proud in the air with his eyes looking forward. Countless shadows of Gu Dongliu appeared between Gu Dongliu and Bai Luli, heading for the latter, bringing the might of the world to bear.
"Such powerful spiritual will." Everyone watching from below was able to feel the power permeating the air above. Gu Dongliu was fighting a battle of wills with Bai Luli. Such battles were even more perilous, as any missteps would leave the wielder's will crumbling, turning them into beings little more than vegetables.
Despite the mystical nature of the power welling up from within Gu Dongliu, the man himself was still of a lower plane compared to Bai Luli, and his crazed antics were deemed unthinkable.
A pair of gigantic eyes seemed to have appeared behind Bai Luli. The Eye of Devastation unleashed tremendously terrifying light. Bai Luli's eyes themselves turned demonic. Everything in the world seemed to have been put under his will before, yet at that very moment, the will that was heading his way was something totally out of his control.
A shadow of will of intense holiness walked out of Gu Dongliu's body as if his very own will had left his body. All life signs in his body ceased as all that holy brilliance gathered about the shadow of the spiritual will walking out. Thousands of others like it walked at the same time, bringing with them the resonance with the powers of the heavens and the earth. They seemed like the sharpest blades to ever be made in the world as they walked towards Bai Luli.
"This guy is insane." Everyone watched Gu Dongliu with stunned expressions. The consequences of that very move he pulled could have very probably led to utter destruction. Once one's own was completely destroyed, the person in question would be rendered a useless cripple, if they were able to even survive.
Watching Gu Dongliu walking towards him, Bai Luli was able to tell without a doubt that his opponent carried incredible will power. At that very moment, he felt like there were endless sword wills hanging in the air, ready to penetrate his body.
Fearsome will emerged from within Bai Luli as well. A great will of an ancient G.o.d appeared, encasing his body. At that moment, Bai Luli looked like a G.o.d himself.
"My spiritual will has already been made flawless when I trained in the Sage Hall. Your plane is lower than mine. Do you think you have a chance at winning this?" Bai Luli looked at Gu Dongliu and continued, "Have you ever thought about what will happen to you if you lose?"
"With my mind flawless and my will steeled, I do not see how I will end up losing," Gu Dongliu replied.
"That is your idea of flawless," Bai Luli said. "If you fight, you will definitely lose."
"What is victory and what is defeat?" Gu Dongliu's gaze was locked onto Bai Luli. The lights of the Nine Words s.h.i.+mmered around his body as the endless shadows melded into one and moved forward. He extended his finger and pointed forward. Power gushed at the extended finger in a frenzy, as a devastating storm whipped about where the finger pointed at, penetrating everything as the mighty finger remained extended.
The eyes of the shadow of the ancient G.o.d turned completely grey. A devastating will out to tear everything apart invaded Gu Dongliu's mystical, divine body, yet he was totally unfazed as he continued to move forward. He headed straight for that devastating storm, and with his finger lowered, the powers of the heavens and earth seemed to have melded at the tip of his finger before raining down on the body of that ancient G.o.d. At that very instant, countless streaks of light appeared on that body, resembling an ancient G.o.d, forming like cracks.
"I walk the great path alone and my mind remains adamant. So long as I remain firm in the righteousness of my actions, I will not be defeated." Gu Dongliu's voice penetrated everything.
The hearts of many trembled below, yet Bai Luli remained standing where he was, looking at Gu Dongliu.
The ancient G.o.d shadow formed by Bai Luli's spiritual will looked increasingly cracked. Streaks of devastating light leaked from within as if the construct itself would shatter soon. The expressions of Liu Chan and the City Lord of White Cloud City turned somewhat in response.
A moment was stretched to feel like an eternity. Bai Luli stared at Gu Dongliu. While Gu Dongliu seemed to be at the verge of destruction, it seemed, at the same time, that he was not going to be destroyed.
Gu Dongliu's eyes remained forward as he said, "My mind is flawless."
His divine body clashed with the shadow of the ancient G.o.d shortly after. Appalling might encompa.s.sed the air above. Everyone below and outside Crouching Dragon Mountain watched in astonishment, the battle raging on. They had no words to describe what they were seeing, and the appalling nature of the battle was felt only in their hearts.
A powerful beam of light shot out, and the body of the ancient G.o.d seemed to have been penetrated. The holy shadow dissipated and withdrew into Gu Dongliu in an instant. Blood spouted from his mouth, as the seemingly lifeless body of Gu Dongliu opened his eyes, falling down onto Crouching Dragon Mountain below.
"Third Brother!" Ye Futian and the others shouted. Zhuge Mingyue leaped into the air as well. The City Lord did not bother with her actions this time. He had no time for her, turning his eyes on Bai Luli instead.
Zhuge Mingyue held Gu Dongliu's body as she fell together with him. She ended up sitting on the ground. Her skirt trailed as she cradled the bloodied body in her arms. Streaks of tears poured out from her eyes.
"You cried." Gu Dongliu smiled as he looked at Zhuge Mingyue.
"You smiled." Zhuge Mingyue gazed at Gu Dongliu. The idiot can smile too.
"You look beautiful today." Gu Dongliu was still smiling.
"I knew you would show up," Zhuge Mingyue replied.
Ye Futian and the others dared not interfere with the conversation between the two, and simply went to stand beside them.
On the other side, Bai Luli's eyes were shut as his body fell straight down from the air, hitting the ground hard. The life signs of his body were intact, but they turned weak at frightening speed as if Bai Luli was incredibly exhausted. Cultivators were always filled with vigor, and exhaustion was something that was deemed impossible. It became apparent that Bai Luli was severely injured as well.
Gu Dongliu, as a mid-level sage, had actually managed to damage Bai Luli.
What did he do that enabled him to awaken that mystical power within?
Bai Luli's eyes opened soon.
"Are you alright?" Liu Chan asked Bai Luli.
Bai Luli shook his head lightly as he turned his eyes at Gu Dongliu. A streak of murderous intent was seen in the eyes of Bai Gu, the City Lord of White Cloud City, as Zhuge Mingyue cradled Gu Dongliu. He said coldly, "This is Crouching Dragon Mountain. Are you trying to force my hand here?"
Some members of the Zhuge family wanted to move against him but halted as they turned to look at Zhuge Qingfeng, who ordered everyone to stand down.
Ye Futian turned his eyes at Bai Gu, as he remained at the side of Zhuge Mingyue and Gu Dongliu, staring at the City Lord coldly.
Many great figures looked at Zhuge Mingyue and Gu Dongliu. Their sentiments for each other were something to be empathized on, yet those same sentiments were apparently seen to be unforgivable to White Cloud City. Their predicament remained intact and difficult.
"City Lord Bai, the events have turned. There is no need to cling to it," a clear, enlightened, and composed voice was heard. Many turned around and saw the one who spoke the words; it was an old monk.
Monk Qingdeng of Qingdeng temple, a powerful monk who ranked 11th on the Barren Sky Ranking. His cultivation was performed in line with the Buddhist way.
"Master, the Buddhist way is said to be the way void of vanities. What made you come here today?" the City Lord asked the monk.
"My student requested me to visit an acquaintance of his." Monk Qingdeng put his hands together.
"You take students too, master? Is that person here? How are they doing?" the City Lord asked.
"He is right before you." Monk Qingdeng continued, "And he is doing well."
Many sported peculiar looks on their faces as they turned to look at those before the City Lord; it was Gu Dongliu and the rest around him.
Who would that person be?
"I suggest you best have that acquaintance of your student leave my sight, master," Bai Gu said.
"City Lord Bai, why cling to something that doesn't belong to you?" Monk Qingdeng put his hands together and asked.
"Give it a rest, Bai Gu." Another voice was heard somewhere else. Bai Gu turned his eyes and found himself looking at You Chi, the City Lord of Alchemy City. He said coldly, "I suggest you get your son-in-law out of the way."
"Please, just let it end here." Many were shocked to hear those words, and their eyes were soon frozen at the one who said them.
The City Lord of White Cloud City himself was stunned as he looked at the one who spoke, Luli.
Bai Luli walked forward and looked at Gu Dongliu and Zhuge Mingyue, before saying, "You were right. Your mind remained adamant, and so long as one remains firm in the righteousness of one's actions, one will not be defeated. You were not defeated, and I was not defeated in today's battle as well, for what I did was righteous too."
He then turned his eyes at Ye Futian and said, "You were right too. If one has the talent of a saint and the potential to achieve sainthood, there is no need for borrowing help from external forces. I also think that I can achieve sainthood within resorting to using help from external forces. However, the Holy Zhi Palace has high hopes for me. If it is something that enables me to reach such a goal in a more a.s.sured manner, I see no reason to deny it."
He then turned to look at Zhuge Mingyue and said, "I'm not a perfect person, and there is no perfect person in this world. I would not have needed to explain anything, but in this battle, if he had not earned respect for himself, I would have killed him without hesitation. I need to do something for myself for what happened today."
Finally, he turned around and said to Liu Chan, "Teacher, let's go."
Liu Chan looked at Bai Luli with eyes of admiration. This is indeed Bai Luli, the genius of his generation like none other.
"Indeed." Liu Chan nodded. He did not say anything further and did nothing to blame anyone. If Bai Luli himself wanted to end things that way, then so be it.
Bai Luli nodded and leaped into the air. His silhouette was high in the air as he said, "I walk the great path alone, and while I'm not perfect, my mind is flawless!"