TGL Volume 5, Chapter 21 (1)

Lucia ate a last-resort berserk pill. She wasn’t even forced into a corner, so why in the world did she eat it? They’re labeled as last-resort for a reason! When faced with a group of sect members from the Flowing Water Sect, shouldn’t one take the first-resort action: talking? The Flowing Water Sect has been on the rise lately. They occupied and monopolized an important strategic water-based spiritual vein, allowing for an overall upgrade in their disciples’ techniques. In a few more years, when there’s a meeting to assess the overall strength of the human sects, the Flowing Water Sect might overthrow the Blazing Sun Sect to take first place. In fact, considering close to twenty of the Blazing Sun Sect’s most promising disciples perished not too long ago in an explosion, the Flowing Water Sect’s chances of surpassing the Blazing Sun Sect is all but guaranteed. …Unless, of course, their promising disciples happen to perish in the ancient ruin as well. 

“I’ll be honest; I don’t know much about beasts,” the leader of the Flowing Water Sect disciples said. I think his name was Low Sway. “However, I have heard that squirrels were morons, but I didn’t expect it to be true. Who initiates a fight with a self-destructive, timed technique?” Low Sway glanced at his followers. “We’re retreating until Big Elder Fluffytail’s pill wears off.” 

“Disciple Gu, we’re leaving as well.” 

Somehow, I don’t think retreating will work. The white-haired woman wouldn’t have fed Lucia that pill if it could be countered by simply walking away. Since that’s the case, why did she feed Lucia that pill? “Senior Mu, I think it’ll be better if we set up a barrier to isolate us from Big Elder Fluffytail’s senses.” 

Senior Mu narrowed her eyes at me. Instead of questioning me, she took a device out of her interspatial ring and tossed it onto the ground. A translucent barrier sprung up around us, and the device glowed with a faint golden light. 

I’m surprised she trusted me without asking any questions, but then again, she probably has her suspicions about me. Why wouldn’t she have any about me when I have plenty about her? If a cultivator isn’t suspicious, then there’s something wrong with their head. Since I managed to survive an explosion that killed the rest of our fellow sect members, Senior Mu probably thinks I have a method of keeping myself safe. In reality, I’m trusting the portion of my brain that’s telling me to hide under a blanket and not make a sound, and maybe the monster will ignore me. 

Speaking of the monster, Lucia’s body blazed with vermillion flames, forming the avatar she had used to defeat me not too long ago. However, there were a few stark differences this time. For one, the previous avatar looked tranquil and emotionless; this avatar was snarling and baring its fangs like someone had shoved a cactus up its but*. Other than that, this avatar was also holding a hammer unlike the previous one, which had no weapon. 

The flaming hammer’s head slammed into the ground, causing a small pool of lava to form around it. The hammer’s shaft was held at its very end by one of Lucia’s burning hands. Lucia let out a roar that was laced with the crackling of fire, and her body dashed forward past the hammer. Thanks to the grip she had on it, the hammer was dragged along behind her, leaving a red line of molten rock in the ground. The Flowing Water Sect members were flying away from Lucia, but without warning, they came to a sudden halt, their faces and bodies pressing flat against an invisible barrier. 

“Damn!” Low Sway said and took a step back, stumbling on the air like a drunkard. “When the hell did this barrier get here?” 

“That ugly wench from the Blazing Sun Sect must’ve created it before leaving!” one of the Flowing Water Sect members said. Beside me, I could hear the air crackle and distort as Senior Mu’s fingers clasped into a fist. 

“Forget it,” Low Sway said as his body lowered to the ground. “Even if she’s hopped-up on a forbidden drug, in the end, she’s still a dumb beast. To think anyone would try to fight against our Flowing Water Sect with fire-based techniques.” Low Sway stomped his foot and extended his right palm outwards. A puddle of water appeared and expanded as it continually rose out of the ground, taking the shape of the upper portion of a cow. Within seconds, a large cow made of water so dense it was opaque appeared in Lucia’s path. Low Sway stomped his foot again, and extended his left hand. The liquid cow shone with a silver light, and a layer of ice appeared on top of it, creating a spiked set of armor. “Go!” 

Lucia roared at the same time as the cow, and in the next moment, the two clashed against each other. A massive ball of steam surged into the air, and flecks of white exploded outwards. For a moment, all that could be seen of Lucia and the cow was a layer of white. The steam and snow settled, leaving a small hill of shattered ice resting where Lucia had collided against the cow. 

Low Sway scoffed. “In the end, isn’t a beast just a beast?” 

“Senior Low, look!” 

A furrow appeared on Low Sway’s brow, and I followed his gaze to the pile of opaque ice, which was glowing with an orange light. The light grew brighter and brighter, becoming redder in color as it did so. Low Sway stomped his foot again and grunted. “Sinking Water Burial!” Water seeped out of the ground underneath the mound of ice and spread, the mound of ice sinking as it did. When the ice was completely submerged, Low Sway whirled around and bent his knees to slam his palm against the ground. “Frozen Tomb!” A silver light flashed on the surface of the newly formed pond, and the whole thing froze at once. 

The white-haired woman blinked and appeared on top of the frozen pond. “Huh. That wasn’t supposed to happen.” She tapped her heel against the glossy surface, and the ice shattered. Seconds later, vermillion flames blazed towards the air, sending jets of steam out in every direction. The white-haired woman smiled and winked at Low Sway. “Again.”

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