In the ruined city, in the cave Xu Qing was in, the ground was covered in bird feathers, mixed with an unpleasant-smelling turbid air.
The rocks and miscellaneous items that he had used to block the gap were now severely corroded by the anomalous substances.
There was also more dust in the surroundings than when he left.
Evidently, even if the forbidden zone was formed, there would still be scavengers coming to investigate.
However, his shelter was too hidden, so no one came here after he left.
Hence, the smell of dust and decay mixed together entered Xu Qings nose continuously but he didnt mind.
At that moment, Xu Qing was sitting cross-legged and meditating.
The Mountains and Seas Art in his body was fully circulated.
After accumulating strength, he was trying his best to break through to the seventh level.
In the outside world, the roars and strange mournful sounds were mixed with cries that caused ones hair to stand on end.
This caused Xu Qing to be in a trance for a moment, creating an illusion.
It was as though he had returned to half a year ago.
At that time, when the gods opened their eyes and the blood rain descended, he was struggling to survive in this city filled with bones.
Xu Qing fell silent.
After a long time, the past no longer surfaced in his mind.
His mind was completely immersed in his cultivation.
As the cultivation in his body continued to circulate, the spirit energy in the surroundings slowly gathered and flowed rapidly into the pores on his body.
The thumping sounds gradually reverberated in his body.
The sounds grew louder and louder and in the end, they turned into a rumbling sound that reverberated in his mind.
Accompanying the rumbling were the black-colored impurities secreted from the pores all over his body.
These impurities were increasing in number and density.
As it was secreted, the body under Xu Qings clothes also erupted with astonishing strength at that instant.
All of his blood vessels bulged and his flesh and blood were constantly being torn and compressed.
His bones also emitted sounds.
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Two hours later, as the thunderous sound in his mind exploded, Xu Qings eyes abruptly opened.
Purple light then erupted from his pupils.
At this moment, the kui shadow appeared behind him once again.
But this time… his shadow was completely different from before!
Its entire body was even darker and its body was even more muscular.
There was no longer a single horn on its head but a pair of bull-like horns instead.
Moreover, they were in the shape of a spiral and there was faint black lightning lingering at the tip.
Its face was even more sinister.
When its bloody mouth opened, it looked as though it could devour evil ghosts alive.
This was especially so for its sharp claws.
Coupled with its purple eyes, it exuded a soul-stirring viciousness.
Powerful fluctuations spread out from the shadow, as though they could penetrate the cave and shock the surroundings.
Kui Shadow, Grand Formation!
This was a transformation that could only occur when one had perfected the Mountains and Seas Art.
If it was anyone else, they would have already reached the peak of the Qi Condensation Realm after cultivating to this level.
They wouldnt be able to improve further.
However, Xu Qing was only at the seventh level.
As for his body, it had also changed greatly at this moment.
His body was longer and more refined.
The purple light in his eyes also lasted longer than before.
Especially his face…
If it was said that he was incomparably handsome when he was at the sixth level of the Mountains and Seas Art, then at this moment, under the purple light in his eyes, even though his face was covered in dirt, he wasnt far from being demonic.
However, Xu Qing didnt care about these.
What he cared about was the energy that was bursting forth from his body.
Hence, he quickly lowered his head and looked at the bulging veins on his clenched fist as well as the veins on his arm.
As the purple light in his eyes slowly dissipated, he could clearly sense his strength…
It was more than double the amount from before!
“Strength of one kui” Xu Qing mumbled as he surveyed his surroundings.
It was pitch-black outside and there was no light in the cave either.
Although Xu Qing could barely see everything, he couldnt see a shadow.
However, with his perception, he could sense the existence of the shadow.
Hence, after pondering, he attempted to control it.
Five minutes later, Xu Qings eyes revealed a hint of excitement and wonder.
His perception told him that his control over the shadow was much better than before.
He could even control it slightly, allowing a portion of the anomalous substances contained in the shadow to return to his body.
Although it was useless to do so, it could indirectly prove that his control over the shadow was more flexible.
All of this made Xu Qing feel that with his current battle prowess if he were to encounter the camp leader again, he wouldnt even need the Divine Statues Heavenly Saber.
He only needed a single punch… to shatter the arm of the camp leader who was at the eighth level of Body Refinement.
“Unfortunately, the gap between me and the Diamond Sects ancestor is still too great.”
Xu Qing shook his head.
Although he hadnt truly fought with the other party, his escape along the way and the fist shadows from the Sects ancestor allowed him to clearly understand the gap between them.
Hence, even with the shadow catching him off guard, Xu Qing was very clear that it was impossible for the current him to have the strength to fight against Foundation Establishment cultivators.
“However, if I encounter those two at the ninth level of Qi Condensation, I can still kill them.”
A cold glint flashed in Xu Qings eyes as he looked outside through the gap in the cave.
The roars and strange sounds rang out one after another, sometimes near and sometimes far, forming a clear contrast with the silence in the cave.
This scene caused Xu Qing to once again feel as though he had returned to half a year ago.
He instinctively took out the iron stick and slowly held it in his hand, musing in his heart about what he should do next.
If he left now, he felt that there was a high chance that he could successfully reach Antler City.
However… Xu Qing was a little unwilling.
Killing intent flashed in his eyes.
“If I dont kill those people, this hidden danger will make me feel very uneasy.” Xu Qing narrowed his eyes as the map of the entire city appeared in his mind.
He was very familiar with this city.
At that moment, as the streets appeared one after another, be it the location where the mutated beasts were sleeping or the birds shelter, everything appeared clearly in his mind as he began his analysis.
“City lords residence!” A long time later, Xu Qing mumbled as the coldness in his eyes intensified.
He planned to leave the city first.
It would be fine if he didnt encounter anyone from the Diamond Sect on the way but if he did, he would counterattack according to the established method.
Sensing the roars from outside, Xu Qings expression turned decisive.
He moved the miscellaneous items blocking the entrance away and slowly crawled out.
The entrance to this spatial rift was narrow.
Xu Qings body had grown a little bigger now, so it was a little difficult for him to exit.
However, his expression was as usual.
After he squeezed his way out, even though his body was injured, his injuries would heal very quickly.
After coming out, Xu Qing was on his guard.
He looked at the pitch-black surroundings and directly rushed out.
He proceeded carefully into this ruined city.
This level of caution even exceeded that when he was in the depths of the jungle in the forbidden zone.
Compared to that place, there were more mutated beasts and bizarre existences in the city at night.
Fortunately, Xu Qing understood the structure of the city.
Hence, although he encountered some dangers on the way, he mostly avoided them with his speed and familiarity.
If he really couldnt avoid it, he would swiftly neutralize it and leave once again.
Just like that, under the influence of the dense anomalous substances, Xu Qing carefully advanced through the city for over an hour.
Just as he was about to reach the edge, he suddenly heard a rumbling sound in the distance.
This voice caused Xu Qings eyes to narrow.
In the dark night, his gaze was like that of a lone wolf turned sharp as he moved closer to the source of the sound.
After the time for an incense stick to burn, he saw two figures being chased by seven to eight mutated beasts.
These two people were the elders of the Diamond Sect.
They only arrived at the city after Xu Qing and the Old Ancestor entered the city for a period of time.
When they arrived, it was already late at night.
Hence, after some hesitation and weighing the pros and cons, they didnt choose to enter the depths.
Instead, they hid at the edge and waited.
It was just that there were too many mutated beasts and bizarre existences in the city and their hiding place wasnt a relatively safe shelter that they could find, so it was inevitable that they would encounter them.
Because they didnt want to cause too much commotion and attract even more mutated beasts, the two of them avoided as much as they could.
They only attacked when they really couldnt avoid it.
Their cautious behavior, in addition to their extraordinary strength, made it so that even if they were attacked now, they would still be able to deal with it.
At that moment, just as they were about to shake off the mutated beasts behind them, a cold light instantly shot over from afar.
His speed was so fast that he was like an arrow released from a bow in the dark night.
He whistled as he charged toward the Diamond Sect elder in front of him.
This person wasnt the one who had fought against Xu Qing earlier.
He was a latecomer who had followed the Diamond Sects ancestor.
His expression immediately changed and he performed a series of hand seals with both hands before pushing forward.
Immediately, the surrounding ice rumbled and spread out.
His body also had a protective barrier that solidified, blocking the incoming cold light.
However, the might of this cold light was astonishing.
It instantly penetrated the ice and directly pierced through his defense.
As the spirit energy fluctuations trembled intensely, traces of cracks appeared on his protective barrier.
However, he still managed to block it in the end.
This also allowed him to clearly see that what attacked him was a black-colored iron stick!
This scene caused the eyes of this Diamond Sect elder to narrow.
He abruptly turned his head to look at his companion behind him and was about to take action but it was still too late.
The instant he was attacked, a black shadow had already transformed into a bolt of black lightning from the alley beside him, instantly approaching the other elder behind this person.
This black shadow was Xu Qing.
The iron stick from before was a cover-up.
The first target Xu Qing wanted to deal with was the middle-aged man whom he had fought against before and whose left leg was destroyed by him!
At that moment, Xu Qings speed completely erupted.
He was much faster than when he was at the sixth level of the Mountains and Seas Art.
As he sped, he created a sharp wind sound and instantly arrived beside the injured middle-aged cultivator.
This middle-aged cultivator was injured and the anomalous substances in the forbidden zone were very dense.
As such, he couldnt continue using the flight talisman to fly.
As such, when he compared himself to his companions, his footsteps were a little unsteady.
At that moment, in the face of danger, his eyes widened and an intense sense of life-and-death crisis rose in his heart.
His body abruptly retreated, wanting to dodge but how could Xu Qing give him a chance The instant he got close, his body instantly leaped up and his right hand clenched into a fist as he punched out ruthlessly.
Regardless of speed or strength, Xu Qing used his full strength in this punch.
At that moment, when he struck out, a malevolent kui shadow appeared behind him.
When it let out a soundless roar that shook the surroundings, it gathered in Xu Qings fist.
At the instant the punch was thrown out, the air seemed as though it was about to explode.
As waves of cracking sounds rang out, it seemed to contain a suppressive force as it landed on the middle-aged cultivators chest amidst the ferocity of his shadow.
The protective barrier in front of the middle-aged cultivator instantly shattered.
Xu Qings fist then smashed into his chest like a hot knife through butter.
An earth-shattering boom suddenly reverberated through the silent city.
Accompanied by a blood-curdling screech, the middle-aged cultivator who had lost his left foot spurted out a mouthful of blood as his chest caved in deeply.
His internal organs were about to collapse and shatter at this moment and his figure was like a kite with a broken string, tumbling uncontrollably.
However, he was still at the ninth level of Qi Condensation after all.
At that moment, his expression was one of terror as he forcefully suppressed his injuries.
The flight rune on his right leg suddenly flashed and the power of flight spread out, causing his falling body to twist as he tried to escape.
However, at the next instant, a cold light flashed again as a longsword whistled over.
It instantly got close and sliced through his right leg.
Fresh blood spurted out as a mournful cry echoed in all directions.
His right leg, which was stuck to the flying talisman, was instantly severed from his body.
However, before the person who lost his right leg landed, Xu Qing exerted strength in his thigh and charged out once again.
The instant he charged out, the ground he was on earlier was penetrated by a large number of ice blades formed by another persons spell.
As they passed each other, Xu Qing didnt even glance behind him.
He directly caught up to the falling middle-aged cultivator in the air.
In his despair, his right hand punched out.
The Kui shadow roared and fused into his fist, pouncing ferociously toward the middle-aged cultivator.
It directly struck the persons forehead.
With a bang, the middle-aged cultivators body trembled violently and his head exploded.
Fresh blood splattered everywhere as he died!
When the corpse landed on the ground, the mutated beasts that were chasing pounced on it and tore it apart.
Xu Qings body didnt stop at all.
He tore off the flight talisman on his broken leg and turned to look at the pale-faced Diamond Sect elder not far away.
After licking his lips, a cold glint flashed in Xu Qings wolf-like eyes as he quickly rushed toward the elder.