Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
“What are these things?!” Liu Qingbo angrily exclaimed. “No matter how we kill them, they don’t stay dead!”
The Frenchman was so frustrated that he wanted to cry. “We don’t know either!”
Above them, Suge, possessed by the demonic qi, flew down with an icicle in his hand, once again flying towards Dong Zhi’s head!
Dong Zhi swung his sword, cutting the icicle in half with one blow. He grabbed Suge’s ankle with his left hand and pulled it down hard, dragging Suge down. His eyes were red, his face strange, and he grinned at Dong Zhi, curling his fingers as he grabbed towards Dong Zhi, fiercely and mercilessly. He seemed determined to rip Dong Zhi’s heart out.
At this close distance, Dong Zhi saw a faint black qi floating around Suge’s head, almost imperceptible unless one looked carefully.
You’re the one!
The Changshou sword buzzed with astral qi and flew towards Suge’s head, as if it were guided by spiritual assistance.
Dong Zhi followed with a leap, but his target was not Suge but the void behind him!
“The heavens give birth to water, the earth gives birth to fire, the heavens give birth to wood, the earth gives birth to gold. The five central palaces, subdue malignity, overcome disasters, and eliminate all traces of evil!”
A spark of talisman fire shot out of Dong Zhi’s hand, exploding into a dazzling light. The Frenchman had no idea what Dong Zhi was doing and thought he had also been possessed by a demon. The captain, Galan, was hesitating about whether to come to the rescue. Under the light of the talisman fire, a dark shadow appeared in his line of sight, vaguely revealing a human form.
“It’s Anton!” exclaimed a member of Galan’s team. “That Russian guy!”
The shadow gradually became clear, and it was indeed a tall man, with a ferocious and strange expression, staring at Dong Zhi.
“Old friend, we meet again!”
Dong Zhi didn’t have many “old friends”. Apart from normal friends, they were probably the demons he had enmity with, and it was obvious that the one in front of him belonged to the latter.
Although this heavenly demon, Mara, was incomplete and couldn’t even be considered a complete incarnation yet. It was just a remnant soul that had survived Long Shen’s pursuit but still retained the consciousness of the heavenly demon, and its strength had recovered to a certain extent after this period of nourishment. It no longer had to hide in the dark corners, waiting for an opportunity.
Mara divided his power into several parts, targeting the weak-willed participants, possessing them, and taking advantage of their unpreparedness to attack their teammates, such as the Japanese participant, Eguchi, who was determined to win back his master Fujikawa’s honor, and the Russian in front of him, Anton.
The reason why demons could wreak havoc was because everyone had inner demons, whether big or small. The small ones could be resolved by themselves, but the big ones were coveted and used by demons. There were also natural-born demons like Otowa Yasuhiko, who, although born with human skin and a human heart, would one day voluntarily become a demon and a scourge in the human world.
“Old friend, you’re not dead yet?” Dong Zhi smiled slightly and threw three more talisman fires.
The three talisman fire split into three paths–top, middle, and bottom–like arrows shot out with almost no reaction time. The three Frenchmen were stunned, unable to react. Even though they were all practitioners, each of them had different methods. They saw Dong Zhi use fire with such ease that they started to believe he was a wizard.
However, the powerful technique that impressed the Frenchmen was extinguished with a wave of Mara’s hand. Not only that, but Mara was unafraid of the sword qi and directly attacked Dong Zhi’s face. Suddenly, Dong Zhi missed Zhang Song. Although he was rude, he was the best at using talismans on the team. With him, the power of the talisman fire would increase significantly.
The puppet Suge, controlled by Mara, attacked Dong Zhi from behind. The Frenchmen and Liu Qingbo were entangled by sea monsters and unable to help. Even if they could get rid of the sea monsters, they couldn’t reach him in just one or two seconds.
Suge’s hand holding the icicle smashed towards the back of Dong Zhi’s head but was suddenly entangled by a soft tentacle. He roared low and twisted to attack the octopus entangling him. Although the tentacles and eyes of the octopus Meika were not fully grown, its thick skin wasn’t affected. Although Dong Zhi and the others had cut it for a long time before, it only left a few superficial wounds on its body. Now, even Suge couldn’t cause any harm to the octopus. Instead, the octopus became impatient and lifted him up.
“Is he a contestant? Can I kill him?” It asked Dong Zhi and the others.
“He has been possessed by the demon and is beyond help!” Liu Qingbo said.
The octopus nodded and shook its tentacles. Suge was tossed high into the air and heavily thrown towards a distant snow building. His body hit an ice column, which collapsed, and a large piece of the building fell with a crash.
“I’m done. Elizabeth will kill me!” The octopus murmured.
“Who cares?” Liu Qingbo said unkindly. “Look at how you turned out!”
On the side of Mara, a whip was drawn from behind and cut through the air, directly wrapping around Mara’s neck. Liu Si exerted a little force, and Mara’s whole body was dragged back and fell.
Dong Zhi took the opportunity to strike with his sword and aimed directly at Mara’s forehead.
The sword light completely devoured the demonic qi, and Anton cried out in pain. He tightly grabbed the willow whip wrapped around his neck with such strength that it could almost tear a living person apart. However, the willow whip was the true body of Liu Si and was different from ordinary whips. No matter how hard Anton tried, the whip only tightened around him until the sword light entered his body.
Black and white clashed and trembled in the interweaving, and the demonic qi rolled and roared. This was its last struggle, unwilling to completely dissipate. Although it was only a trace of a remnant soul, the strength of the heavenly demon avatar couldn’t be underestimated. It occasionally broke free from the sword light and rushed eagerly towards Dong Zhi, but was quickly destroyed by talisman fire. This repeated several times until the demonic qi finally gradually dimmed.
At this moment, everyone suddenly felt the ground shake. The shaking became more and more intense, and the snow buildings collapsed one after another. The sea was also churning, and even the sea monsters trembled and shattered in such a tremor. People couldn’t stand steadily and fell to the ground one after another. The demonic qi took advantage of the opportunity to escape from the sword light, and immediately broke through the encirclement and burst into laughter.
“God, what’s happening!” exclaimed a Frenchman.
“Oh my god, that huge creature’s waking up!” the octopus also cried out.
The Frenchman had no idea what the huge creature in his eyes was. The giant octopus was already a huge creature to them. But Dong Zhi and the others had heard a few words from the octopus just now and could guess that there was a monster on this island that even the organizing committee didn’t know about. The heavenly demon wanted to awaken the sleeping monster and create more trouble. Now it was obvious that the disturbance was caused by the monster that was about to awaken.
“Meika, can you stop it from waking up?” Dong Zhi shouted.
“I can’t. I don’t even know where it is!” The octopus replied with panic. “Elizabeth may be able to freeze it and let it continue to sleep, but she doesn’t know where it is!”
“No one can stop it now!” This was the voice of the heavenly demon. “My consciousness will eventually merge with it. All of you will die here!”
William and his team finally escaped from the maze and met Tom, who was waiting for them by the sea. They learned that Dong Zhi and the others had already taken the speedboat to Princess Island. They had thought that the organizing committee had gone to great lengths to build the maze, so the golden apple must be inside it. They had been circling inside the maze, and even fought with the possessed contestants. They didn’t find the golden apple but had a fierce battle with the demon. After finally getting out of the maze and were told that the golden apple was not on this island, William and his team despaired.
Helpless, they and the other teams who managed to get out of the maze had to quickly take the speedboat to Princess Island, praying in their hearts that the challenge on Princess Island would be extremely difficult and that the golden apple hadn’t yet fallen into anyone’s hands, meaning everyone still had a chance.
They didn’t know if their collective prayers made things more effective, but just as William and his companions set foot on Princess Island, they hadn’t had time to feel the shock of the ice castle before they were shaken to the ground by the sudden earthquake, unable to get up for a while.
The earthquake caused the waves to become higher and higher and soon formed towering waves that surged towards the shore one after another, almost like a tsunami. The sky and the earth turned dark, the mist was chaotic, and in the face of such power, everyone seemed so small. William and his companions did not have time to think of anything else and rushed towards the ancient castle inland.
Their speed was already fast enough, but the speed of the fierce winds and waves was even faster than they imagined. Some people ran slightly slower and were immediately swept away by the sea, never to be seen again.
But this wasn’t the most terrible thing. William and his companions soon discovered that the ground on the island was also cracking, causing the ice to quickly split into small pieces. Something seemed to be slowly rising in the center of the island, causing all the shattered ice to slide towards the ocean.
The yellow soil exposed under the ice layer also shattered inch by inch under the power of the earthquake. The whole island suddenly came alive, with the surrounding seawater churning endlessly. Waves over ten meters high rushed towards them, and the beautiful ice castle collapsed from the middle and quickly collapsed from bottom to top. If nothing unexpected happened, it would turn into ruins in a few minutes.
“Oh my god, is this an earthquake!”
William and his companions clung to the ground firmly, staring in disbelief at everything in front of them.
“It must be what Dong did!”
“This is not something that can be caused by human strength at all. What happened!”
People screamed in the fierce wind, but soon they knew the answer. When the ice castle on the island completely collapsed and disappeared as the whole island roared. The yellow soil layer under the ice layer also cracked, revealing the dark object underneath.
In the center of the island, where the ice castle was located, a black object slowly rose, and as it rose higher and higher, the cracking on the ground accelerated. The ice and loess fell into the sea together.
William was lucky enough to catch the speedboat that was originally anchored by the sea in time. His body rose and fell in the waves, and he could still see the true form of the black object—
Holy shit, it’s a giant snake, almost as big as the entire island! No, it is this entire island!
William suddenly understood that this sea snake had been sleeping on the sea surface for who knows how long, covered in thick rocks, and had become an island. No one knew that there was actually a snake under this island. Now the sea snake had awakened, and the soil layer on its body had fallen off.
In other words, the whole island had come “alive”!
“Oh my god…”
William looked up at the huge sea serpent slowly rising from the sea with its layer of soil still falling off, causing the surrounding seawater to boil. The spray from the waves mixed with the original mist. It was as if he were witnessing the creation of the world by God. Although it was spectacular and rare in his life, William didn’t want to experience it at all if he could.
The speedboat kept flipping in the huge waves, and William had to hold it tightly to ensure that he wouldn’t be swept away silently. Despite his efforts, he used almost all his strength, and his head was already dizzy from the dramatic change. He had completely forgotten about the golden apple, and now his only thought was to save his life! A figure next to him flowed by, also swept up by the waves and was about to pull away. William quickly grabbed the person and pulled them back. The other person, who could surprisingly maintain relative clarity and agility amidst such turmoil, grabbed him back, and together they grabbed the speedboat.
“Miss Li!” William exclaimed with joy.
Li Han’er was soaked all over. Her hair was all wet, sticking to her head because of the strong wind and sea water. She was a mess, without any elegance or composure, but William didn’t have any romantic thoughts either. He was purely happy to see a familiar face after such a dramatic change.
The huge sea serpent finally shook off all the soil on its body and washed away the dirt that had been stuck to it for years in the sea, but it just shook its tail, immediately causing a towering wave to come crashing towards William and Li Han’er.
“This is Jörmungandr*! It must be Jörmungandr!” William murmured, as if he were possessed by a demon.
*Also known as the Midgard Serpent or World Serpent, is an unfathomably large sea serpent or worm who dwells in the world sea, encircling the Earth (Midgard) and biting his own tail, an example of an ouroboros. As a result of it surrounding Midgard (the Earth) it is referred to as the World Serpent. When it releases its tail, Ragnarök (the final battle of the world) will begin.
“What is that?” Li Han’er was confused.
William turned around abruptly and said to her, “In Norse mythology, Jörmungandr’s body is large enough to wrap around the world, and it will bring disaster to the world!”
Li Han’er asked, “Is it the black rooster you mentioned before, called Gullinkambi?”
William replied, “No, that was a joke I made up to fool you. I didn’t expect them to bring a monster from Norse mythology. Oh my god, are the organizers crazy? Are they trying to destroy the world with this competition?!”
Li Han’er’s face turned black when she heard that William had lied to them before.
William quickly explained, “That was just a little joke I made to confuse you, as we were competitors. But I didn’t lie to you about the harpies, did I?”
While he was busy explaining to Li Han’er, the sea snake opened its huge mouth and its massive neck bent down slightly, suddenly spewing a large amount of water that rushed towards the people floating in the ocean. Even outstanding practitioners could only struggle to survive against such a giant creature with no other choice.
“Quick, call the emergency contact of the organizing committee on the speedboat and ask them to take this thing back!” William shouted.
Li Han’er was closer to the button on the speedboat. She stretched out her hand and pressed the emergency contact with all her strength, but she was almost swept away by the huge waves with just this simple action.
“It’s useless. This is not from the organizing committee at all!” she shouted at William, with no trace of a ladylike manner. “It was awakened by the remnant soul of Mara!”
William turned pale.
“My ice castle! You destroyed my castle!” A sharp voice suddenly sounded in the huge waves, like that of a five- or six-year-old girl.
A white figure rushed towards the sea snake from the sea surface. Although her figure was far inferior to the sea snake’s, her whole body was as tall as the sea snake’s head. The giant was completely transparent, as if made of ice. She waved her hand, and the seawater surged up and condensed into ice arrows, shooting towards the sea snake.
“Who is that?” William was startled.
“It’s Elizabeth!” A few minutes ago, the character who had caused Li Han’er a headache was now the vanguard to deal with the sea snake. It was quite surprising, as if dawn were breaking through the darkness.
When Dong Zhi and Liu Qingbo fell into the hole created by the heavenly demon, Li Han’er, Zhang Song, and Yang Shouyi had to go find Elizabeth, who was mentioned by Octopus Meika.
The twists and turns of this journey need not be mentioned. Elizabeth was so capricious and mischievous that, from the sixth floor to the eighth floor, Li Han’er and her companions were baptized with countless ice weapons. Even inconspicuous snow piles in the corners of the walls could suddenly turn into soldiers and attack them.
They went through many obstacles that were no less difficult than Dong Zhi’s and Liu Qingbo’s, who were fighting the sea monsters and the demon under the hole. Finally, they saw the holder of the golden apple.
According to the octopus’s description, Elizabeth was a girl who loved beauty and shiny, pretty toys, like all girls who had a dream of becoming a princess. Even though they knew that whoever guarded the island here couldn’t be a simple character, they were still shocked when they saw the real Elizabeth.
Elizabeth, who could manipulate ice and snow, was indeed a demon made of ice and snow. She was huge, with ice crystals as white as snow. At first glance, she looked like the life-size ice sculpture in the first-floor hall had come to life.
However, even if she became friends with Octopus Meika, Ice Demon Elizabeth’s mentality wasn’t mature enough to the point where she would help the three of them eliminate the heavenly demon. Not only did she refuse to cooperate, but she also caught Li Han’er off guard and created an icy prison for her. Elizabeth demanded that Zhang Song and Yang Shouyi break the ice prison and rescue Li Han’er within a limited time frame, or else she would turn Li Han’er into an ice sculpture forever.
Zhang Song’s hot temper was immediately provoked by Elizabeth’s childish trick, but before he could confront her, a violent earthquake occurred, causing even the ice castle to completely collapse.
Amidst this unprecedented chaos, Li Han’er was left to fend for herself, and she became separated from Zhang Song and Yang Shouyi. She narrowly avoided being swept away by the giant waves, but she was at a loss as to how to subdue the sea serpent. Unexpectedly, Elizabeth appeared and engaged in a fierce battle with the sea serpent.
Dong Zhi, Liu Qingbo, and Liu Si were not far apart, with their arms tightly entangled by Octopus Meika, preventing them from being swept away. Nearby, the Frenchman was lucky enough to grab a piece of driftwood on the island.
“My god, the demonic qi has merged with the sea serpent! Elizabeth can’t defeat it!” The octopus floated in the water, firmly holding onto a huge coral reef with one of its tentacles.
Elizabeth waved her hand, and the seawater around the sea serpent instantly froze, but this was only a difficult test for humans. The sea serpent didn’t care at all. With just a slight movement of its body, the ice immediately shattered. Its tail raised, slamming heavily on the surface of the sea, causing another disaster of towering waves.
The sea serpent lowered its head, and in its two huge eyes, it saw the small figure of Dong Zhi looking up at it.
In its eyes, Dong Zhi was like an ant, not even large enough to get stuck in its teeth after swallowing him. But in Dong Zhi’s eyes, in the crimson pupils of the sea serpent, there was a black flame burning fiercely.
That was the remnant soul of the heavenly demon, which had escaped from Long Shen’s sword in Xianda Village and eventually came here, merging with the sea serpent, awakening it, and wanting to use it to create disasters.
The remnant soul summoned by Song En from the abyss of hell wasn’t actually the true demon Mara. It only had the desire of a demon but had already separated into an independent consciousness. With the inferiority of a residual soul, it even refused to admit that it was a remnant soul.
Based on this, its nature became more extreme and radical. It came to the Senluo Islands not only to absorb the vitality of the practitioners but also to find a suitable host.
Dong Zhi knew that he was originally one of the possible vessels for the remnant soul of the heavenly demon because his appearance was attractive enough for it. However, dark creatures naturally gravitate towards power, so when the remnant soul of the heavenly demon found a stronger creature, it immediately shifted its target. It would have to pay a considerable price to successfully possess Octopus Meika, who had a simple mind and no inner demons. Therefore, it set its sights on the sleeping ancient monster, the huge sea serpent hidden under Princess Island.
The sea serpent, which had been asleep for who knows how many years, was suddenly awakened and became an unstoppable killing machine. As the saying goes, “one force can conquer ten*”, under this power that could destroy half of the world, almost no creature would be its match.
*(一力降十会) Idiom referring to a single individual can accomplish great feats through hard work, perseverance, and determination, and that the power of one can have significant impact on a group or situation.
The octopus monster was already large enough before it was injured, but compared to the sea serpent in front of them, Meika was like its little brother.
“Is it going to eat us?” The octopus trembled in the sea, and its tentacles involuntarily wrapped around Dong Zhi a little tighter, like a child trying to hold onto something to ease their fear.
“Meika, I need your help,” Dong Zhi suddenly said. “I need to deal with this sea serpent.”
“What, what! I can’t do it. It will eat my head in one bite!” Meika said with a sob.
Liu Qingbo angrily said, “Why are you so useless!”
The demonic pressure emanating from the sea serpent spread out, controlling the surrounding waves and causing chaos. It also suppressed everyone, making it impossible to move. Countless people disappeared in the hurricane and raging waves, and many people like William were struggling to survive.
Even Meika, who wasn’t afraid of anything, began to feel fear.
“Your friend is fighting it! If we don’t help, she will soon be defeated and die! If she dies, the next one will be us!” Dong Zhi made up his mind and said in a deep voice, “I will fight it. You will be responsible for dealing with its tail and supporting us. Do you hear me?!”
Liu Qingbo was confused in the wind. “What do you mean? What are we doing?”
Dong Zhi said, “It’s you, me, and Lao Liu. The others are too far away to help. Let’s give it a try!”
Liu Qingbo said, “What the hell? Did you ask for my opinion?”
Dong Zhi said, “Now it’s time for your Fumo Sword to show off in front of all the practitioners in the world. Isn’t this what you’ve been dreaming of? Don’t miss this great opportunity!”
In the raging wind and waves, he reluctantly turned his head back and asked, “Lao Liu, any questions?”
Liu Si said, “No problem!”
“Okay!” Dong Zhi shouted loudly, “Changshou Sword, come out!”
What’s wrong with all these people? At no point did any of them even raise the question of, maybe we should tell the organizing committee about this demon running amuck and trying to awaken an even bigger demon…
Nah… the golden apple is too important.
Also known as the Midgard Serpent or World Serpent, is an unfathomably large sea serpent or worm who dwells in the world sea, encircling the Earth (Midgard) and biting his own tail, an example of an ouroboros. As a result of it surrounding Midgard (the Earth) it is referred to as the World Serpent. When it releases its tail, Ragnarök (the final battle of the world) will begin.
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