Chapter 29 – The Line between Life and Death
Ancient Strengthening Technique: The Line between Life and Death
“Huh?” Qing Shui inclined his head in surprise, and swiftly after, his expression changed drastically for the worst. A gargantuan shadow blotted out the sun and skies as it savagely zoomed towards him. The might of the wind force generated by the flapping of those huge wings was tremendously powerful, to the point where the huge rocks weighing a few hundred jin on the nearby ground were also chaotically rolling about, as if they were bereft of gravity.
Qing Shui immediately channeled his inner Qi down towards the soles of his feet, rooting him to the ground. The stone hidden in his right hand was also charged to the brim with the circulated Qi from the Ancient Strengthening Technique.
Qing Shui flicked the stone towards the gargantuan body of the huge flying beast and in the same instant, also executed the Ghostly Steps, speedily retreating to some distance away.
Qing Shui decided to target the heart of the flying beast. He knew that with only such a small stone as a weapon, there was no way for him to deal huge amounts of damage to the beast; he would at most only be able to slightly injure it. The only solution left was to target the critical weak spots.
“Xiu!” The stone created a terrifying sound as it soared through the air, with a speed so fast that it was almost to the point of breaking the sound barrier.
“eEeeEKK!” a ear-piercing sound screeched out. Hints of undisguised humiliation and rage filled the cry as the gigantic creature retreated back to the air.
Qing Shui knew that he had missed the heart of the beast, but looking at the blood showering down, akin to the squirting of a fountain, he knew that at the very least, he had managed to injure it.
The current Qing Shui had already retreated to a safe distance away as he took the time to identify the flying beast soaring through the skies. Upon closer observation, Qing Shui was incessantly astonished! The wingspan of this bird was approximately 30-40m wide. The head was similar to a eagle and condor. Its whole body was covered with inky black feathers with only a patch of white on its head.
“3rd Grade Desolate Beast, White-headed Inky Jade Condor!” Qing Shui breathed. He had finally identified the gargantuan flying bird.
Since that time Qing Hai explained the various professions in the Continent of the 9 Provinces to him, Qing Shui did some light research on the beast tamer profession, and also on the descriptions of the various beasts that inhabited this world.
There were a total of 4 levels of beasts. Wild < Ferocious < Desolate < Demonic. And each level could be split into 9 grades. In total, the ranking system for beasts could be ranked from 1st Grade to the 36th Grade. The White-headed Inky Jade Condor in front of him was of the 21st grade, no wonder the aura it emitted was so terrifying.
Only desolate beasts who had formed a demonic core would be considered to have stepped into the realm of demonic beasts. Even the weakest amongst the demonic beasts had strength comparable to a cultivator of the Xiantian realm. The longer the demonic beast had lived, the stronger it would be, the disparity in strength between each grade at the demonic level could be comparable to the difference between Heavens and Earth!
Qing Shui looked at the White-headed Inky Jade Condor hovering in midair, that gargantuan body was incomparably huge, just the size of the it’s leg could be comparable to the girth of a fully grown human male.
He remembered reading in the books he researched previously that the White-headed Inky Jade Condor was prone to nursing grudges. The injury that Qing Shui caused it to suffer earlier was just a small matter. What matters here was the injury Qing Shui had caused to it’s pride! From the cold and evil glint in the White-headed Inky Jade Condor’s eyes, Qing Shui knew that the bird would never give up on him, not unless one of them died. It was just waiting for an opportunity now to catch Qing Shui off his guard.
Transferring the stone in his left hand to his right, Qing Shui determinedly stared at the White-headed Inky Jade Condor. Maybe, it was the stone in Qing Shui’s hand that gave it pause and forced the giant condor to act out of caution. Earlier in that exchange, the condor could feel an unnatural strength infused in the stone that injured it. Once bitten, twice shy. Now that it knew of Qing Shui’s strength, it did not want to rush in blindly and possibly suffer injuries or death due to a moment of impulse!
Licking his parched lips, Qing Shui felt a great thirst bubbling up from inside of him. He had not drank any water for the past three days. In these three days, there weren’t even any traces of other flying beasts! Now Qing Shui knew why… it was probably because of this huge condor in front of him. The condor must have been the predator that scared everything away.
This can’t carry on, he needs water to sustain his life. If there were other beasts around, he could still drink their blood for sustenance. Coldness flashed in his eyes, “ Very well, it seems like today no matter what, I have to think of a way to ensure that this giant condor would not escape.”
Despite its huge size, it seemed to be like a fish in water when it was in the air. There was no deterrence to its speed! The aura emitting from it was tyrannical beyond measure, possessing herculean strength, it’s condor claws could split mountains and crush rocks. There was also the pair of jet black wings, being struck by it would be akin to disintegrating into piles of dust. Also not to neglect the beak of the White-headed Inky Jade Condor, a single peck would be sufficient to split a human-being into two.
What a majestic presence, what overwhelming strength. Rivulets of sweats were flowing down Qing Shui head, as he was contemplating how best to gain victory against the condor.
Qing Shui was somewhat nervous, but he was not afraid. Not being able to gain victory today would only mean that it was his destiny to die here. “If I can’t even prevail against a single desolate grade flying chicken, why am I still alive? The promises I made to mother was all just words filled with empty air?”
“F*** your mother, this damnable bird is freaking annoying. If you want to fight, get down here and I will be happy to accompany you to the gates of hell. If you don’t want to, just F*** OFF! Why the F*** are you hovering in the air?!” Qing Shui cursed.
However, it seemed that Qing Shui’s cursing was ineffective.
After a while, Qing Shui knew that this was not the solution, he could not stand there like an idiot enabling this feathery bastard to anger him to death!
After thinking for a short while, Qing Shui decided to lie flat on the ground. The remnants of the crumbled 100 jin rocks had been swept clean by the gale force generated by this White-headed Inky Jade Condor when it first swept in to attack Qing Shui earlier. However, in the same instant as he lay down, he also stealthily crumbled a part of the stone cliff, hiding a small stone in his left hand.
Qing Shui closed his eyes, and took a risk. He did not believe that the refinement of his current body with the power of only the 3rd level of Ancient Strengthening Technique would be able to defend against the White-headed Inky Jade Condor’s sharp claws and pointed beak. Those were no ordinary claws or beak, very likely, even if it was Qing Shui, he could not withstand a single blow.
Patience, Qing Shui did not lack. The fact that he assiduously spent all his free time in cultivating already proved that his will power was beyond the norm. He could be patient if he wanted to.
Time passed as the minutes drifted by, Qing Shui squinted his eyes as he peeped out of the corner of his eyes. His body was tensed up, Qing Shui was prepared to to grasp any opportunity that presented itself to perform a one hit kill!
“F*** it, is it even still interested in fighting? F*** its mother, staying in the same position, neither coming down nor flying away.” Qing Shui cursed.
Maybe, some God heard Qing Shui’s prayers as his curses were gradually beginning to affect the bird. That white-headed inky jade condor slowly begin to circle nearer and nearer.
“This cunning feathered bastard, just wait till I catch hold of it!” Qing Shui muttered hatefully.
The White-Headed Inky Jade Condor was no fool, it appears that it was trying to test the waters. Circling closer and soaring out of reach. This continued on for quite some time before it apparently decided to go all in. With a burst of speed akin to lightning, it finally flew towards Qing Shui.
This was the moment he had been waiting for! Qing Shui eyes snapped open, as he flicked both stones in his hands, aiming for the eyes of the White-Headed Inky Jade Condor!
The distance of 10m was covered in an instant! As he flicked out the stone, Qing Shui curled up his arms and legs, adopting the posture of a rabbit as the Qi from the Ancient Strengthening Technique circulated and infused his body.
A shrill voice cried out in shock, but the huge body of the white-headed condor didn’t even slow in the slightest. In fact, the speed even increased by a gear!
At the critical moment of impact, Qing Shui’s body was akin to a carp leaping out of the water. Gathering Qi in his arms and legs, and borrowing the force of impact, Qing Shui violently made use of his limbs to bounce away. The rebound was incredible, both his arms felt like they were going to break at any moment.
Because of that miss, the White-headed Inky Jade Condor was screeching in displeasure.
Qing Shui looked down at the red patch blossoming in front of his chest, there was a wound the length of a foot long! Blood was unceasingly flowing out from it. Even though he managed to avoid the full brunt of the impact, as Qing Shui had frantically dodged, the tip of the condor’s claw still managed to pierce his chest. The injury was bone deep! Although he had managed to escape from certain death, he was still inflicted with heavy injuries!
Looking at the blood flowing unceasingly from the wound, Qing Shui was shivering from the extreme pain of having his chest sliced open. Feeling bitterness in his heart, could it be that he was really going to lose his life today? In that instant, many things flashed past his eyes, especially thoughts of Qing Yi. Before he left, Qing Shui still repeatedly reassured her that he would take care of himself. He was extremely unwilling to die here just like this!
Qing Shui has yet to help Qing Yi fulfil her wishes, he cannot die here. If he is dead, what would happen to Qing Yi? She would be bereft of support, her only flesh and blood taken away from her. Just imagining that scenario happening actually hurts more than getting sliced open. What will happen if others trampled roughshod on her? No, he gritted his teeth, he cannot die here.
Despite his will, Qing Shui’s consciousness was starting to get fuzzy, the blood flowing out from his chest dyed his whole body red, and at the same time some of his blood also splashed upon the worn and tattered Yin-Yang Pendant that he always wore around his neck…