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Chapter 1833 A Devastating Clash
Lin Mu hadn't expected the sword slash to move like that at all, not to mention the injury that he had sustained.
"What is this?" Lin Mu frowned feeling his skin continuing to burn. 'My body cultivation isn't working and even the metal defenses of the True Gold Body Forging Arts have been suppressed.' He observed.
The Tyrannical Aura of the Tyrant Bull was actively trying to resist the invading energy of the Sword Slash but was struggling. Meanwhile, Lin Mu's vitality was pouring into his arm, trying to heal the damage that was being done.
At first, his vitality was unable to do the energy from causing more damage, but a few seconds later they managed to reach a stalemate. The invading energy couldn't progress anymore and the Vitality couldn't heal the damage either.
"The spreading stopped at least." Lin Mu muttered as he gazed at his skin which had turned an eerie gray.
It looked like he had been poisoned but knew that attack had no poison in it.
But before Lin Mu could think of much, he was attacked again, multiple sword slashes filled with the lifeless Slate Grey energy flew towards him.
"Dammit!" Lin Mu flew about to dodge the attacks, but they continued chasing after him as if they had a mind of their own.
"True Earth Heart Dao Embryo! Great Shield Form!" Seeing that dodging wasn't working, Lin Mu knew he had to take the attack head on.
And what better way to do so than using his defensive Dao Embryo.
The shield like Dao Sh.e.l.l rose from Lin Mu's chest and quickly grew a layer of rocks to transform into a large shield.
Just when the attacks were about to hit Lin Mu, the great Shield had formed and blocked them.
Surprisingly, the rock layer on the shield cracked and fell off from the attack. At the same time, Lin Mu felt a drain on his Immortal Qi as the Dao Embryo tried to repair the shield.
Lin Mu watched with bated breath, whether the shield would be repaired or not. After all, his arm had still not healed and the burning sensation within it continued.
Thankfully, it seemed like the Dao Embryo was a lot more resilient than he had thought and the shield repaired itself quickly. A new layer of rocks grew back on it, while the True Earth Dao Embryo continued to throb within it.
But Yao Changying wasn't one to let Lin Mu rest and slashed out with her sword again.
This time though, the sword intent combined with the Slate Grey energy and took on an illusory shape. It condensed to form a large chain that was covered in deadly looking spikes.
"Withering Life Chain." Yao Changying muttered, her voice strange.
Her words weren't heard by anyone else, but Lin Mu's Immortal sense was always close to her thus he picked up on them.
'Her voice… seems different.' Lin Mu wondered what was going on.
"Dodge that, Lin Mu!" Suddenly he heard an urgent call.
"Senior!" Lin Mu heard Xukong's warning and knew that the incoming attack was a lot more serious. 'If even Senior Xukong has to warn me, this must not be something simple.' He realized.
As such, Lin Mu decided to avoid it all costs.
First, he flew back at great speed while covering his back with the earthen shield. At the same time, he gathered Qi and vital essence in his right arm, turning it into a spiral.
And the moment that Lin Mu felt it was ready, he turned around.
'Boulder Collapsing Fist- Third Form: Devastator!'
Lin Mu unleashed one of his strongest attacks while also amplifying his strength with the Tyrannical Aura.
The pinkish red ribbon of energy shot out of Lin Mu's fist, leaving his knuckles bloodied from it. The ribbon of energy looked otherworldly and the people that watched it were left astounded.
They had no idea what it was but knew that it made the hair on their necks stand up.
The ribbon of energy shot towards the deadly spiked chain and collided with a great impact.
A bright red light spread from the collision, blinding the formation screen for a few seconds.
"We can't see anything again." The audience was getting restless.
They were sitting at the edge of their seats, looking forward to how the fight was progressing.
"Elders, please do something!" They called out to the elders of the temple that were overseeing the fight.
The formation masters stained around the platform quickly got to adjusting it all, and the point of view changed.
They could now see the two illusory constructs clashing from the distance.
The pinkish red ribbon and the spiked chain spun endlessly and tried to eradicate each other.
Lin Mu too was surprised as this was the first time Devastator had been stalled this way.
'Is this her true strength?' Lin Mu wondered.
He had been able to handle her so far just using his own strength and hadn't gotten the chance to use the bracelet that the Crown Princess had given him. Lin Mu had even wondered if it would be necessary for him at a certain point.
But now he was sure that he really had to use it.
'That lifeless slate grey aura of her continues to strengthen… I cannot let it progress anymore.' Lin Mu made up his mind and thought of a plan to use the Bracelet.
Before he could do that though, Lin Mu heard Xukong's voice again.
"You cannot carelessly approach her, that lifeless slate grey energy that you are seeing is a type of Baleful energy." Xukong warned.
"A Baleful energy?" Lin Mu raised his brows while continuing to move.
He still needed to put distance between him and Yao Changying after all.
"I was able to withstand the Baleful energy on the battlefield, so why can't I block this?" Lin Mu asked. "Is this stronger than that Baleful energy?"
"Yes, more particularly it is Withering Baleful energy. It contains traces of the Withering Dao and is rather hazardous for all living things." Xukong replied. "Your injuries won't heal as long as the Withering energy lingers within your hand. Your vitality can only stall it for now, but it will continue to consume your vitality." He explained.
"How do I stop it then Senior?" Lin Mu asked with concern.
"You need to get rid of the person who used it." Xukong replied. "I do not know how that girl managed to obtain control over the Withering energy, but it is not normal at all. Considering she can use it without stop like this, she has great proficiency in it." He added before taking a pause as if deliberating his next words.
"What is it senior? Please tell me," Lin Mu urged.
"The Withering Dao isn't something even a Transcendent Immortal can grasp easily. In order to understand it, one needs to first experience 'Withering'. How do you think one would do that?" Xukong asked instead.
"Hmm… By watching things wither?" Lin Mu guessed.
"If it was as simple as that, there would be many experts using it." Xukong denied. "Rather than watching other things wither, the person attempting to learn it needs to watch themselves wither!' he revealed.
Hearing that Lin Mu's eyes went wide.
"Does that mean… They need to die?" Lin Mu asked in doubt.
"Not die, but they need to be in a perpetual state of withering. Always stay at the doorstep of death, suffering at its edge." Xukong replied. "And the only ones who can do this are those that can afford to sacrifice the longevity to experience this." He added.
"So even a Transcendent Immortal's longevity isn't enough?" Lin Mu frowned.
"No… perhaps not even the combined longevity of ten Transcendent Immortals would be enough for this." Xukong stated, surprising Lin Mu. "Only a celestial might be able to take on such a grave endeavor." He revealed.
"There's no way Yao Changying can't be a Celestial though!" Lin Mu couldn't believe it. "It is well known who she is and what power she belongs too. Plus, even her cultivation base is still at the fifth tribulation stage of the immortal realm right now." He added.
"You are correct. It shouldn't be possible for someone like her to learn the Withering Dao at all." Xukong agreed. "Which is exactly what makes her much more dangerous. It might be a treasure of some kind that is allowing her to do this."
"Could it have come from that world that Yao Changying raided?" Lin Mu suddenly put the pieces together.
"It is likely… the sacrifices that she used might have been used to feed the Withering Dao somehow," Xukong said, having doubts of his own. "That Bracelet that you were given seems to contain a counteracting energy that stalls the functioning of the Withering energy of Yao Changying.
Considering that counteracting energy is still able to work on her, we at least know that she doesn't have full control of the Withering Dao."