Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Unlike the scales on the sea serpent’s body, its internal organs were soft. But Dong Zhi didn’t know which organ would be the breakthrough point, so he decided to try every part.
As a result, Liu Qingbo and the others outside witnessed the sea serpent suddenly going berserk, causing chaos and upheaval. Even the sea serpent itself didn’t expect that the “little insects” it had casually swallowed could “expand its territory” inside its body, causing unbearable pain and forcing it to open its mouth and vomit, trying to expel the source of trouble within its body.
Dong Zhi also felt uncomfortable inside the sea serpent’s body, but he wanted to continue exploring. However, the sea serpent desperately tried to vomit him out, so he had to rely on the light of his sword to clear a path and venture deeper into the area. Stomach, small intestine, large intestine…
Suddenly, his eyes lit up. He realized that if he went further down the large intestine, wouldn’t it be the same method they used to deal with the three-headed python last time?
However, it was Liu Qingbo who took action last time, and this time it was up to him.
Dong Zhi glanced at the Changshou Sword and sighed softly, saying, “I’m sorry.”
The sword emitted a faint light, flickering and responding to his words.
Under the power of the sea serpent, the Senluo Islands were now in ruins. Not only were the islands completely submerged by seawater, but even many trees were uprooted, let alone Liu Qingbo and the others who were at the mercy of the tsunami. If they weren’t practitioners, they would have long been reduced to bones.
The Ice Demon Elizabeth carried two people on her shoulders, Liu Qingbo and Lilith. Elizabeth was the only creature present who could float in the air. The raging winds and waves had no effect on her, but she was powerless against the monstrous beast before her.
“My ice castle! I spent three days and nights building that ice castle! This despicable monster—I’ll kill it!”
Tears of sadness streamed down Elizabeth’s face, like droplets emerging from an ice sculpture, making it difficult to distinguish. Only from her infuriated tone and the hint of a sob in her voice could one recognize her current emotions.
“You can shout all you want, but you can’t kill it. Instead, save some energy and think about what to do!” Liu Qingbo rolled his eyes.
“And what should we do?” Elizabeth asked, confused, as she sucked her thumb in her mouth, resembling an ordinary three-year-old girl.
Liu Qingbo pondered for a moment. “The head is its most vulnerable spot. Its eyes are already blind. We can enter through its eyes and destroy its brain to kill it completely! Elizabeth, can you still attack it with ice?”
Elizabeth replied, “I can, but it doesn’t fear it at all. When the ice arrows hit it, they automatically melt, and even the ice layer can’t hold it for long. We already tried earlier!”
Liu Qingbo said, “As long as you can buy us a few minutes, freeze the area below its neck with ice. We’ll concentrate our full force on attacking its eyes and see if we can kill it!”
Lilith suddenly exclaimed, “Uh-oh, it’s coming out again!”
With her words, the layer of ice surrounding the sea serpent shattered, and it was on the verge of completely breaking free from the icy restraints. Liu Qingbo urgently said, “There’s no time. We must act immediately. I’ll count to three, Elizabeth. Freeze it again. Lilith, take me up. We’re ready to strike!”
Lilith, perhaps due to her military background, spoke and acted in a decisive and efficient manner. She didn’t compete for command authority with Liu Qingbo at such a critical moment and simply agreed, allowing Elizabeth to lift her to Liu Qingbo’s position, ready to activate the aircraft.
At Liu Qingbo’s command, Elizabeth swung her arms once again, reinforcing the layer of ice around the sea serpent. White ice piled up, eventually freezing the sea serpent in the center of the ice mountain. Amidst the seemingly chaotic ice peaks and edges, there was a touch of artistic beauty. Lilith suddenly thought that if Elizabeth wasn’t a demon, perhaps she could pursue further studies at an art academy and become a talented student loved by professors.
But those were thoughts for the future. At this moment, she and Liu Qingbo flew into the air. Suddenly, Liu Qingbo drew his sword from its sheath, and before Lilith could react, he pushed her aside and leaped towards the sea serpent’s head.
Was he out of his mind? They were still in mid-air!
Lilith widened her eyes, thinking that Liu Qingbo would fall. But suddenly, the sword radiance surged, enveloping him entirely, transforming into a dazzling sword aura and piercing into the sea serpent’s eye.
The original eye area was now just an empty cavity, bloodied and mangled. The sword light burst there, causing the sea serpent to roar in pain. Its body twisted, and the ice layer suddenly shattered. Elizabeth hurriedly reinforced the ice, but it was futile. The deranged sea serpent completely shattered the thick layer of ice. Its sharp fangs opened wide and bit off one of Elizabeth’s arms!
Amidst Elizabeth’s screams, the tail of the sea serpent heavily whipped onto the nearby Full Moon Island, causing the entire maze to collapse, turning into mud and flowing into the sea. Octopus Meika, unable to withstand the waves, had to enlarge its size to prevent its miniature body from being washed away.
“I think I’m going to drown!” it yelled in panic, distraught.
The Frenchman, clinging tightly to its tentacles and avoiding being swept away, couldn’t help but twitch his face. He had never heard of an octopus drowning!
Lilith piloted the aircraft and descended on top of the sea serpent’s head. She clung to its body and aimed at its other eye, firing several shots, unsure if they hit the soft flesh inside the sea serpent’s body. However, she was fiercely thrown off.
Kenta clung to a speedboat, floating in the water. As an apprentice of Master Xinchai, he wasn’t the most outstanding witchdoctor on this mission. However, due to his participation in the previous battle against Songen and Mara, he retained a certain level of vigilance and caution. While his companions were lured into the ice castle, he held a different opinion and was ultimately left outside. As a result, he survived the collapse of the castle. Unfortunately, his curses had no effect on the colossal sea serpent. Instead, it only fueled its madness. He could only go with the flow, watching the sea serpent grow increasingly frenzied, feeling more and more hopeless.
Given the current situation, they had no chance of killing the sea serpent. Who could have predicted that a seemingly innocent competition would turn into a deadly journey for everyone?
Kenta remembered his Master Xinchai sacrificing himself to protect him, trading his life for his. Now, instead of making a name for himself and bringing honor to his master, he was likely to perish here. He couldn’t help but feel a sense of desolation.
Suddenly, a loud noise rang out from above. Kenta quickly looked up and realized that the mist had completely dissipated, replaced by dark clouds filling the sky. Faint lights flickered within the clouds, hinting at an approaching storm of greater magnitude.
At a time like this, a storm would only worsen the situation, Kenta thought in despair. He discovered that the curses that humans feared and changed color upon hearing were nothing more than children’s play in this situation. It was not only ineffective but also utterly useless. He had once had his own pride, but now that pride was completely shattered. He could only beg for mercy from the heavens, hoping for a way out.
After the lightning, thunder rolled in, but it didn’t strike above Kenta’s head as he had imagined. Instead, it continuously struck the sea serpent’s body.
Kenta then noticed someone not far away, holding a sword in one hand and summoning thunder with talismans in the other. It seemed like they were… invoking heavenly thunder?
Zhang Song was still using forbidden incantations to attract the lightning. This time, he directly used his own blood as the conduit, summoning even more powerful heavenly thunder. Amidst the lightning, Elizabeth continuously bolstered the ice and snow, but the sea serpent continued to thrash, causing chaos on the water’s surface.
Not to mention practitioners, even beasts like the three-headed python wouldn’t have been able to withstand such intense attacks. However, the sea serpent’s power was immeasurable. It repeatedly broke free from restraints, ignored the attacks, and continued to wreak havoc.
Zhang Song coughed up another mouthful of blood, not only because using the forbidden incantations drained his mental energy but also because he had been accidentally struck by the sea serpent earlier, likely causing internal injuries.
But the situation wasn’t any better for the others. Yang Shouyi had attempted to attack the serpent’s tail but disappeared after taking a heavy blow. The Frenchman who had been on the sea serpent’s body was long submerged in the water. Octopus Meika’s figure was faintly visible amidst the surging waves, but that was because its size allowed it to firmly grasp onto the coral reef underwater. Even so, Zhang Song could still hear its cries for help coming from nearby.
They were both monsters, so how could it end up in such a pathetic state? Zhang Song cursed inwardly. He twirled his long sword in his hand, and another lightning struck the sea serpent’s head.
This lightning exhausted the last of his strength. Zhang Song’s grip loosened, and the sword fell into the sea, slipping through his fingers. No, he couldn’t hold on much longer…
Zhang Song could almost hear the violent thumping of his own heartbeat within his chest. With each beat, it felt as if it was about to burst out of his body. As the final lightning descended, his legs gave way, and he fell directly down.
Feeling completely drained, just as he was about to close his eyes, Zhang Song suddenly sensed a surge of brightness before him. He instinctively raised his hand to shield his forehead and struggled to keep his eyes open. In the next moment, his eyes widened.
He saw a dazzling burst of light erupt from the white chest of the monster, merging with the lightning. It enveloped the sea serpent, and with a thunderous sound, in the area where the dark clouds split open, it was as if an invisible hand had hurled the long-awaited energy ball of lightning, directly striking the sea serpent. There was someone else attracting the lightning!
Zhang Song realized this and immediately became excited. He desperately flailed in the water, but his limbs wouldn’t respond. A tentacle reached out and wrapped around his waist, and amidst cries for help, he was saved. The cries echoed in his ears.
“Wuwuwu, why did it suddenly thunder? It’s so scary!”
“Shut up!” Zhang Song couldn’t bear it any longer and shouted at the top of his lungs.
However, his roar was overshadowed by the thunder. All eyes were drawn to the commotion on the sea serpent’s body. Suddenly, a burst of light erupted from the monster’s chest, soaring into the sky before arcing back down, heading towards the sea serpent. The light pierced through the sea serpent’s brain like a sharp arrow, followed by another thunderbolt striking down. The sea serpent, now headless, finally toppled towards the sea.
It was Dong Zhi! Zhang Song opened his mouth wide, but he realized his voice had become hoarse.
Dong Zhi, wielding his sword, emerged from the sea serpent’s body while simultaneously invoking the Five Thunder Talisman internally. This perfectly complemented Zhang Song’s external thunder invocation. Under the dual pressure of internal and external forces, the power of the heavenly thunder increased dramatically. With the previous efforts of Liu Qingbo, William, and the others, they finally succeeded in completely defeating this ancient monster.
The thunder rolled down, and Dong Zhi, suspended in midair, appeared as if a divine being had descended. He punished this monster that had evaded heavenly tribulation and deceived time itself. The gigantic head of the sea serpent dropped into the sea, creating a massive tsunami. However, at this moment, Dong Zhi reappeared in a dazzling manner, capturing everyone’s attention even more than the monster itself.
Dong Zhi raised his sword high above his head. The tip of the sword connected with the purple lightning, as if guided by some divine will or instruction. In this awe-inspiring moment, Dong Zhi resembled a mythical figure, radiating a brilliant halo that made it impossible to look directly at him. His down jacket had long disappeared during the fierce battle, leaving him dressed in black clothes. Standing at the center of the swirling hurricane, he lacked his usual smile, exuding an almost cold and indifferent calmness.
The sea serpent roared and writhed, unwilling and filled with resentment, even after losing its head. It wanted to destroy the world and drag everything down with it. The nerves that had already been contaminated by demonic qi seemed to be venting their final trace of resentment. Even though its body had been pierced by the Changshou Sword and was in tatters…
“Oh my God, is that Zeus*! Han’er, is your team leader the reincarnation of Zeus?” William, holding onto a piece of driftwood, mumbled. He even mispronounced Li Han’er’s name, making it sound like “Hane”.
*God of Thunder in ancient Greek mythology, who rules as the king of the gods on Mount Olympus
“That’s right, he must be Zeus. Only the divine king Zeus can wield the power of thunder and subdue the enemy. Oh my, he’s so handsome!” Li Han’er restrained the urge to roll her eyes. “That’s Taoist thunder magic, not Zeus!”
William: “No, my dear, you don’t understand. In that instant just now, he must have received the divine will of Zeus. I wouldn’t mistake it. Look at his figure and aura. It’s not how he usually is. Only those called by the gods would…”
Li Han’er rubbed her sore head. If this person hadn’t pulled her down with him during the descent, she would have kicked him away by now to prevent further rambling.
In fact, not only William but even Liu Qingbo wondered inwardly when he saw Dong Zhi’s expressionless face looking in his direction: ‘Has this guy been possessed by a god again? Otherwise, why would he have that expression? He can attract thunder, but does he not recognize his comrades anymore? Zhang Song isn’t like this!
They locked eyes for a while, but Dong Zhi shifted his gaze away before Liu Qingbo had a chance to fully contemplate the situation. Liu Qingbo narrowly avoided being crushed by the sudden falling body of the sea serpent.
Even in death, this sea serpent, which may have caused several calamities in ancient times, stirred up a terrifying storm. Several islands were once again submerged by the surging floodwaters. When it fell, it happened to land on Full Moon Island, instantly causing the remnants of the maze that hadn’t been washed away by the sea to collapse completely. The end of its existence also marked the destruction of the remaining structures. It was unlikely that the organizers, when they came to clean up the aftermath after the flood receded, would recognize the original form of this island.
If they had died under the rampage of the sea serpent rather than drowning in the flood, it would have been too embarrassing. That was what all the participants thought. They exerted all their strength to find a way out of the flood. Zhang Song and Liu Qingbo were relatively fortunate. At the critical moment when they were about to be struck by the massive corpse of the sea serpent, a tentacle reached out and wrapped around them, throwing them onto the least affected Rose Island.
Rose Island had the highest elevation. Although most of it was submerged, some areas emerged as the water gradually calmed down, providing a relatively safe place. The whereabouts of the speedboat were unknown, so everyone had no choice but to swim desperately towards this location and wait for the organizers’ rescue.
Zhang Song weakly raised his hand and waved it toward the octopus, saying, “Thanks.”
Octopus: “You’re welcome. Five tons of fish.”
Zhang Song: …
He was completely exhausted and had no energy left to speak. He simply fell to the ground and played dead. But he didn’t need to pretend because, given their physical condition, they were indeed not far from death.
Elizabeth was still venting her anger about her ice castle, fiercely pounding the sea serpent’s corpse. Several other people were saved by Octopus Meika, sparing them the arduous task of swimming over, including Dong Zhi.
Dong Zhi leaned against the ground, took a few steps forward, and gasped as he asked Liu Qingbo, “Why didn’t you ask Elizabeth for the Golden Apple earlier?”
Liu Qingbo was taken aback. He had actually forgotten about it. “With such a dangerous situation just now, who would remember such a thing?”
Dong Zhi expressed his dissatisfaction. “Didn’t I keep giving you signals after invoking the thunder just now?”
Liu Qingbo replied in annoyance, “Who could tell that you were giving me signals? I thought you were just showing off after inviting god!”
Dong Zhi angrily retorted, “I was trying to attract other people’s attention so that you could buy time to get the Golden Apple!”
Liu Qingbo was also angry. “I’m not a mind reader. We were the ones who put in the most effort and made the greatest contributions. Even the final fatal blow to the sea serpent was delivered by you. The Golden Apple is rightfully ours!”
Dong Zhi helplessly said, “Then go quickly and call Elizabeth over, so that we don’t waste time.”
Liu Qingbo gathered his luck in his lower abdomen and suddenly shouted, “Elizabeth, Dong Zhi said he has a gift for you, many beautiful dresses. Come over here!”
Dong Zhi: …
Elizabeth, with teary eyes, raised her head and glanced in this direction, sobbing as she flew over.
“Where are the dresses?”
Dong Zhi: “Elizabeth, thank you. Without you this time, we would probably be dead by now. I will request a significant increase in your compensation from the organizers. You want many beautiful dresses, right?”
Elizabeth: “Yes, I want a lot, enough to fill an entire island, embroidered with gold thread and adorned with gemstones, just like…”
She turned her head and glanced at the four islands, pointing to the largest Full Moon Island. “I want that many!”
Dong Zhi: “No problem. You deserve it.”
Who asked the organizers to choose such a place that almost caused their complete annihilation? Afterward, Dong Zhi not only wanted to secure compensation for Elizabeth but also demanded reimbursement for their mental distress.
Elizabeth cheered. “That’s great! My dearest Dong, I love you so much!”
Dong Zhi smiled and said, “So, my dear Elizabeth, give us the Golden Apple.”
Elizabeth blinked. “Okay.”
But at that moment, someone suddenly said, “The Golden Apple should go to the ultimate victor!”
Captain White of the French team, thrown up by Octopus Meika, gasped for breath as he spoke.
William, eager to stir up trouble, joined in, “That’s right, Dong, it seems we haven’t decided who the Golden Apple should go to. You can’t cheat!”
Li Han’er directly pointed her sword at his neck and said coldly, “Didn’t you just say that Dong Zhi is the reincarnation of Zeus? Now it’s cheating? Don’t forget who saved you all!”
William tried to appease her, saying, “Darling, don’t be so rude. Let’s talk things out. We’re all civilized people. Dong Zhi is indeed formidable. I admit that without his final blow, we might still be under the rampage of the sea serpent. But my admission is of no use unless others also acknowledge it, right?”
Li Han’er sneered, “I don’t care about others. I’m asking if you acknowledge it!”
William hastily said, “I acknowledge, I acknowledge!”
Dong Zhi smiled faintly at White. “If you’re not convinced, we can fight right now. The winner gets the Golden Apple. How about that?”
White couldn’t even lift his fingers now, let alone fight.
A wise person would know the current situation. Under the intense gaze of Liu Qingbo, Zhang Song, and others, White fell silent for a moment and reluctantly said, “I acknowledge that you are the winners of this competition.”
William also grinned, “Although I’m the deputy captain, in the absence of the captain, I can also announce…”
“Who said I’m absent!” Lilith stumbled over, falling to the ground in a disheveled manner, but no one laughed at her. Everyone’s condition was more or less the same. “Dong, this time, your team is indeed qualified to receive the Golden Apple. Congratulations.”
Elizabeth opened her mouth, and a golden object appeared in her palm.
Her gaze lingered on it, reluctant to let go.
Dong Zhi chuckled helplessly and took out a small linen bag from his body.
His backpack was long gone, but he kept this bag close to him, saving it from the disaster.
Inside were the silver coins they had collected along the way.
“These silver coins are in exchange for your Golden Apple,” he said to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth’s eyes lit up, feeling that it wasn’t such a bad deal, and immediately made the exchange.
Although the Golden Apple was palm-sized, it wasn’t heavy in her hand. Dong Zhi didn’t know if it was made of pure gold, but seeing the Golden Apple in his hand, he felt a heavy burden lift from his heart.
Countless days and nights filled with fear, tension, and sleeplessness.
Demon remnants, zombies, harpies, labyrinths, an octopus monster, an ice giant, and an ancient sea serpent.
So many hidden crises, constant dangers, almost causing their demise.
Holding this Golden Apple that was almost exchanged with their lives, they knew that their journey was not in vain.
Lilith looked at the Golden Apples in Dong Zhi’s hands, unable to hide her melancholy expression.
White was not only melancholic but also disappointed.
However, they couldn’t deny the efforts of Dong Zhi and the others. In the recent battle, Dong Zhi’s performance was so brilliant and outstanding that everyone saw it. It was something that couldn’t be taken away or erased.
Even if they didn’t admit it, even if they had another match afterwards, offending others wouldn’t necessarily lead to victory. Instead, it was better to be generous, admit defeat, maintain dignity, and foster friendships. After all, the competition was only once, while there would be many opportunities for future interactions.
Though they thought rationally like this, seeing their efforts of the past few days go to waste and gaining nothing after going through a life-or-death ordeal, it was inevitable for others to feel disappointed and melancholic.
After this battle, Dong Zhi’s reputation would undoubtedly spread to various countries. The practitioners who participated in the competition would surely recount the performances of everyone involved upon their return. When Lilith and the others had just arrived in Los Angeles, they couldn’t have anticipated that this new member who had joined the Chinese Special Administration Bureau less than two years ago would lead his teammates to victory.
Meanwhile, at that time, the Frenchman George, who planned a prank targeting the Chinese in his pursuit of Red-haired Grace, had already played tricks on two teams in a row and was confident that the Chinese would also fall victim to it. If he could make Dong Zhi and the others feel afraid or even withdraw from the competition in advance, it would be even better. Little did he know that this prank would end with him lying in the hospital and unable to participate in the upcoming match.
If time could be reversed, if George, still lying in the hospital, could foresee the current result, he probably wouldn’t dare provoke Dong Zhi and the others.
The author has something to say:
Small theater unrelated to the main text:
Dong Zhi: Wasn’t I constantly giving you signals earlier? I was trying to snatch the Golden Apple!
Liu Qingbo: Oh, I thought you were suffering from some post-summoning syndrome. Like you summoned a Western version of Zeus, and then Zeus naturally had an eyelid twitch or something.
Dong Zhi: …
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