A God in a Xianxia world

by

jmj1011995

Chapter 51 – The Best Laid Plans (2)

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Everyone stood there, wide eyed, in utter shock, unable to process what had just happened, unable to react.

Rosaline’s face drained of colour after Dug’s body fell to the ground. This was not because she was in anyway sad over his death, on the contrary, in any other situation, she would probably be celebrating. No, the reason her face drained of colour was because of what was revealed after Dug’s body fell to the ground.

In her vision, Rosaline could see a man with curly light brown and grey hair. He had yellow qi wings on his back, a two handed longsword in his hands and was looking down at the ground where he had just sliced with his sword. What’s more, Rosaline could clearly tell that this man was at the peak of qi expansion.

Rosaline knew. She understood that this man was here to kill them.

This thought made her more frightened than she’d ever been in her whole life, because, she knew that he was stronger than her. That he’d most likely succeed.

All of a sudden, while Rosaline and the others were still standing there in shock, a change occurred on the yellow qi wings of the man in front of them.

The yellow qi wings on the man’s back seemed to shine slightly and the feathers all started ruffling. What came next was a 360 degree attack as the man launched the 3rd stage of his martial technique and razor sharp, metallic like feathers shot out in all directions.

Those that were weaker and those that were slower to react got caught in the attack and suffered an untimely end.

One woman had a feather puncture directly through the centre of her forehead and out the back of her head, while another one of the bandits became riddled with holes.

A third was quicker to react, but, he panicked. He wasn’t able to concentrate properly and failed at operating his defensive art properly, instead just blasting a lot of his qi outside of his body, without it taking proper form. Despite this, his actions saved his life from the salvo of qi feathers. He ended up with several light wounds on his body and a more substantial one where a qi feather pierced through his leg and caused him to collapse to the ground.

The other, stronger and more experienced members of the group managed to react faster to the incoming threat. None were able to dodge; however, they were all able to deploy their defensive techniques.

At the front, Rosaline operated her martial art. A glass barrier appeared a couple of feet in front of her and glass armour formed around her body. Several qi feathers hit the barrier and caused several cracks formed, however, it held firm and protected her. The others too, managed to successfully defend against the qi feathers by using their defensive techniques.

Despite the feathers only killing two of them and wounding another, the man who had launched the attack was unconcerned. He knew that the 3rd stage of his martial technique was also the weakest and hadn’t expected too much from it. It was just easy to launch before he moved onto the 4th stage.

Still with his head down, immediately after he had launched the qi feathers, the man moved onto using the 4th stage of his martial technique. The qi wings on his back underwent a change. Whereas before they were full of metallic looking yellow feathers, they now appeared to be made up from large and wide blades.

So long as he had his qi wings active, the time taken to operate the 4th stage of his martial technique was quite fast. Because of this, the blades launched just a moment after the feathers.

The bandits who had previously blocked the qi feathers were only able to experience a short lived respite before the blades came at them. There were some that were confident in being able to block them as they had already successfully blocked the qi feathers; however, the 4th stage of the man’s martial technique was far stronger than the 3rd stage. The difference in offensive power couldn’t be compared. Those that had believed they could defend against the blades quickly learned that they were sorely mistaken.

One person was impaled by a blade and pinned to a tree a metre behind him. Another had two qi blades pierce through his body, destroying his vitals and knocking him onto the ground. A third had tried to dodge but was too slow. A qi blade flew horizontally and sliced through half of his neck, causing it hang at an odd angle and blood to gush forth.

Unfortunately for the man with the qi wings, this attack had only killed 3 people. Since the qi blades were far larger than the feathers, they were a lot more powerful; however, this also meant that he couldn’t create as many of them. He could launch several qi feathers at each of the bandits before, but, he could only launch one or two qi blades at the remaining people and as an omnidirectional attack, their accuracy was limited. This made it easier for the remaining bandits to dodge them.

At the front, two qi blades pierced through and shattered the glass barrier formed from Rosaline’s defensive technique; however, they missed her and she was left unscathed. Not just her, around the man, several of the bandits who were at the 5th and 6th level of qi expansion had managed to avoid the qi blades.

[NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! THIS ISN’T HOW IT ENDS] Rosaline thought in her head, discarding her fear and regaining her ferociousness.

Rosaline’s face contorted in rage as she reached for the sword hanging at the right side of her waist and started drawing it. When the man with the qi wings operated the 4th stage of his martial technique and shot out all of the qi blades, the wings formed from his yellow qi disappeared. Rosaline believed that while they were gone, she would be able to strike at him and end his life.

Her thoughts however, were premature and very wrong. Just because the man had lost the wings formed from his qi, by no means meant he was defenceless, nor did it mean his offensive capability had dropped. True, he had gotten the nickname Yellow Feather because it was the primary technique he used, but, he still practiced and was adept at many others. In fact, he was recognised by many cultivators who knew him as a blade master because he was able to form his qi into a sharpness that could cut through metal as though it was butter.

While Rosaline was still drawing her sword and had just gotten it out of its sheath, Yellow Feather suddenly moved forward. Instead of feeling fear or dread, Rosaline smiled with bloodlust. She thought that he was being foolish by moving forward so quickly and believed that she would be able to land a killing slash with her blade as she drew it.

She was wrong. After his sudden dash forward, Yellow Feather planted his foot on the ground, stopping his forward momentum, and swung his sword far faster than Rosaline was moving hers. He skilfully positioned his blade under hers and struck at her wrist, easily cutting through her glass armour, severing her sword hand from her body.

Just as Rosaline began to scream at the loss of her hand, Yellow Feather removed his left hand from his sword and grabbed her right hand. While holding it and keeping her arm outstretched, he moved his sword in a circular pattern and then raised it quickly, cutting off her other hand and causing her to stumble back, crazed and wide eyed in shock and horror at the two stumps at the ends of her arms that were spewing blood.

While she was stumbling back, for good measure, Yellow Feather dropped her severed hand and then clenched his left hand into a fist. His fist shot forward and the image of a ram’s head appeared over it as he punched Rosaline in the chest.

Like before, her glass armour technique was unable to match up to Yellow Feather’s technique. The glass armour completely shattered and she was sent flying back, where she hit into a tree. A crunch could be heard from the impact before she rebounded off it and fell to the side. Yellow Feather surmised from the sound he had heard that she had broken something, most likely her shoulder from how he saw her hit into the tree.

After dealing this blow to Rosaline, Yellow Feather had to deal with two 6th level qi expansionist bandits who had finally recovered from the attack of the qi blades and were approaching him from either side, each preparing to release a deadly martial technique in close quarters. They were both confident in their attack. After all, Yellow Feather had already lost his qi wings and had left himself exposed while dealing with Rosaline.

Noticing the two bandits get within striking distance and start to launch martial techniques at him, Yellow Feather just smiled. Ever since he had used the 4th stage of his beast wings martial technique, even while he was fighting Rosaline, he was accumulating qi at his back and preparing to form his beast wings again.

As the two bandits launched their strikes at Yellow Feather’s unprotected sides, Yellow Feather activated the 1st stage of his beast wings technique. Two skeletal wings, devoid of feathers or blades like before, suddenly emerged from his back and impaled the two bandits that had come forward to attack him, before they could land their hits.

Although the 1st stage of his beast wings technique lacked the defensive ability of the 2nd stage of the skill, nor did it aid him in airborne, 360 degree manoeuvres, it could still be used quite effectively in close range combat.

Taking into account several factors, such as his high degree of mastery over the skill, his cultivation level at the peak of qi expansion and his overall skill as a cultivator and in using qi, he could display a fair amount of power when using this technique. Add in that his opponents were several cultivation levels below him and were also both sub-par when it came to their martial techniques and skill in using them, it was no surprise that Yellow Feather was able to easily dispatch them.

Manipulating the skeletal qi wings, Yellow Feather slammed the two, now dead, bandits into the ground and turned his attention to the side, where he could see one of his opponents running off. The combat that had happened so far had occurred within a short period of time and whereas the two bandits he had just dispatched had chosen to try and attack him unawares from the side, there was one man who had instead chosen to run.

This man was the oldest member of the group, already in his mid-60s and at the 6th level of qi expansion. His name was Harold.

When Yellow Feather had dropped down from above and bisected Dug in half, he, like everyone else present, had been completely stunned. However, when he regained his composure, unlike the others who had entertained the idea of killing Yellow Feather, he instead chose to flee.

He was involved in a dangerous business and had been for a long time. His experience was far greater than anyone else present and he didn’t survive as long as he did by being reckless. Actually, he was one of the few people that didn’t look down on Dug for the precautions he was trying to make.

When he saw Yellow Feather drop down and saw his cultivation level, he knew he wouldn’t be able to take him on. The others thought they had a chance and they weren’t entirely unreasonable in thinking so. After all, just because someone was at a higher cultivation level, didn’t mean that they would be able to survive the onslaught of several weaker opponents. In fact, even during a 1v1, didn’t mean that a higher level cultivator would win. This was because ultimately, the personal skill of the people involved and the martial techniques they used played a large role in the outcome of battle.

However, those that had tried to attack Yellow Feather were really just being too arrogant. None of them could be regarded as exceptionally skilled for their cultivation level, not that they thought that way themselves, and they had made a fatal mistake in underestimating their opponent.

Harold was different though. Although he was at the 6th level of qi expansion, he knew wasn’t a particularly talented cultivator. Be it in his speed of advancement, mastery over his martial skills or just the actual quality of the martial skills he knew, he knew he wasn’t exactly the cream of the crop. So, when he saw Yellow Feather brazenly drop down in the middle of them all, he made a conscious decision to flee.

Unfortunately for Harold though, fleeing wasn’t an option either. With Harold as the only one still moving about so vigorously, he attracted all of Yellow Feather’s attention. Well, even if he wasn’t the only one still standing, Yellow Feather wasn’t about to just let someone go.

Although Harold had gotten a head start, Yellow Feather was much faster than him and had no problem in closing the distance. While still in pursuit, Yellow Feather once again operated the 3rd stage of his beast wings martial skill and shot out many feathers towards Harold.

Harold saw the salvo of feathers out of the corner of his eye when he was checking to see if he was safe and quickly kicked off of a tree trunk to dodge to the side. Although he was able to easily defend against the feather attack earlier, that was an omnidirectional attack that had no particular target. This however, was a concentrated attack aimed solely at him. Even if he could defend against several of them, they would still wear down his defence and possibly break through. He wasn’t about to let that happen.

Seeing the salvo of feather attacks coming towards him, Harold knew that he wouldn’t be able to escape, so, after kicking off the tree trunk and while he was still in mid-air as he dodged to the side, he spun around with sword in hand and slashed it in the direction he had come from, unleashing a green qi sword in the process.

However, as he looked forward at the place where the salvo of qi feathers had come from, the place he had just released a shooting sword made from qi at, he couldn’t see anyone.

Still airborne and with confusion in his eyes, Harold looked up just in time to see Yellow Feather slam down from above, impaling him on his sword and nailing him to the ground.

The sword pierced directly through Harold’s heart and he died when he impacted on the ground.

Yellow Feather stood up and removed his sword from Harold, a layer of blood visible all the way up the length of the blade. He then started making his way back over to where Rosaline was.

He knew that she wasn’t dead because she wouldn’t bleed out that fast from where he cut off her hands and because when he had last hit her, he had purposefully held back. He did this because he wanted to capture her alive.

He had been following them for a while and although there seemed to be some discord between her and the first person he had killed, he could clearly tell that she was the leader. If the fact that all the others were obeying her orders wasn’t enough to evidence that, then her cultivation level at the 7th level of qi expansion was. Even if she wasn’t the leader, since she had the highest cultivation level among them, she would probably know more valuable information than any of the others.

As Yellow Feather returned to where Rosaline was and looked at the carnage he had caused, he started to mutter to himself.

“There were 11 in total. I killed one at the beginning, two with the feathers and three with the blades, immobilised the woman, another two after that and I just took that one down there. Hmm, there seems to be someone missing”

Yellow Feather was frowning as he walked forward and was getting closer and closer to the spot where Rosaline was. Suddenly, his face relaxed and he chuckled to himself. He chucked his sword into the air and then caught and held it as though one would hold a javelin. Then he coated it in sharp qi and threw it at a particular tree. The longsword easily penetrated through the tree and skewered the person hiding behind it.

This person was one of the weaker members of the bandit group. He had been injured by the feather attack at the beginning and after having his leg pierced through, he fell to the ground. This had saved him from the following blade attack and while Yellow Feather went to deal with the rest of the bandits, he had crawled over to and hid behind a tree in the hope that he would go unseen.  After all, there wasn’t much else he could do. Even in peak condition, without a crippled leg, there was no way that he, a cultivator still at the 4th level of qi expansion, could possibly outrun or fend off a cultivator at the peak of qi expansion. Unfortunately for him, Yellow Feather wasn’t so careless as to forget about him.

Yellow Feather went over and retrieved his sword before moving to where Rosaline was. While the rest of the fighting had been going on, she had managed to operate her martial art to staunch the flow of blood from her now handless arms and was now kneeling on the ground looking at her bloody stumps, tears running down from her eyes.

“Hello there” Yellow Feather cheerfully greeted her.

“My name is Jeffrey and I have some questions to ask you on behalf of the Cardinal clan”

“MY HANDS! YOU CUT OFF MY HANDS!” she screamed hysterically in response.

“Yes, well, you’re a dangerous woman. I couldn’t run the risk of you striking at me when I have my guard down”

“My hands… my hands” she just repeated as she stared at where her hands used to be.

“That reminds me” said Jeffrey as he walked around her until he was facing her back.

“I can’t have you running away either” he said as he swung his blade.

A scream echoed in the forest.

……………………………………

In a place not too far away, but, out of sight and out of the range of hearing, Tom, Adam and the others were making their way through the forest.

Tom frowned while looking at Ray.

“Ray, what’s the matter? You keep looking behind us. Is something wrong?” Tom asked, catching everyone’s attention and bringing the group to a stop. Everyone looked between Tom and Ray, unsure what this was about.

“Oh, I thought there was something but it turns out its fine. Nothing to be concerned about” replied Ray.

“Oh? Did you see something following us?” Adam asked curiously and also confused because neither he, nor his friend Marcus, who were both at the 4th level of qi expansion and had better senses, had noticed anything stalking behind them.

“It was more like heard, but, like I say, it seems I was worrying over nothing” said Ray.

Everyone was a bit confused by what Ray had said. None of them had heard anything. They started to talk amongst themselves to confirm with each other if any of them had noticed anything.

“Speaking of which” Ray continued.

“There seems to be a couple of boar over there” he said, pointing into the distance and directing the attention away from himself.

Tom, Adam and the rest looked over to where Ray was pointing at and lo and behold, two red skinned boars came into their view.

“You heard them. Wow, that’s… impressive. Your hearing is inhuman” praised Adam.

“One of my many talents” said Ray, a friendly smile on his face.

“Well then Tom” said Adam as he turned to face Tom.

“I think this is as good an opportunity as any”

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jmj1011995

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