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unsheathed – Chapter 98: The Meddlesome Mountain God

Chapter 98: The Meddlesome Mountain God

Chapter 98: The Meddlesome Mountain God

Zhu He completed the Soil Molding Technique according to the instructions, molding a character before incinerating the yellow talisman. He then planted his feet on the earth as he exhaled before joining his index and middle fingers, pointing at the earthen talisman on the ground as he declared, "In the name of the Master of Three Mountains and Nine Lords!"

Zhu He held the same pose with his fingers pointed at the ground, and the look on his face was becoming more awkward by the second. The character on the ground wasn't moving in the slightest, and sweat was beginning to bead up on Zhu He's forehead. There were several important things that had to happen to ensure that the talisman was going to work.

For example, the correct amount of spiritual energy had to be injected into the yellow talisman from the correct acupoints, and Zhu He was certain that he had done every step correctly, so this should've been a success.

According to the explanation enclosed in the ancient book, the so-called process of molding soil into a mountain didn't give rise to an actual mountain, and in that regard, it was completely different from another talisman in the book, which allowed one to spit onto the ground to create a river. Instead, following the soil molding process, the character would become a bridge for the mountain god in the area to emerge from their abode.

As long as the request made by the one who had summoned the mountain god wasn't overly far-fetched, it would generally be accepted as that yellow talisman itself was similar to a gift, and as long as the mountain god or river god in the area was willing to appear, that was an indication that they were willing to welcome the visitor to their territory.

However, given the current situation, Zhu He had a feeling that his impromptu mountain god invitation ritual had most likely failed.

Right at this moment, a resounding commotion rang out, and Zhu He turned to find a series of trees falling one after another along the ridge of the mountain. It was clear that an enormous creature was rapidly scaling the mountain, and it was traveling directly toward everyone on the stone plateau with alarming force.

The thunderous commotion was audible across the entire mountain range, and Zhu Lu and the children hurriedly began to approach Zhu He, but he immediately turned to sternly drive them away. "Get back! Stand in the middle of the plateau and don't move. No matter what happens next, don't come near me."

Li Huai was the youngest of the bunch, and his face was deathly pale as he tugged on Li Baoping's sleeve and asked, "We're not being attacked by a man-eating monster, are we? Or it could be the mountain god displaying its wrath! Chen Ping'an kept telling A'Liang earlier not to sit on the tree stumps as they were the thrones of the mountain gods..."

Li Baoping crossed her arms across her chest as she replied in a confident manner, "Let's not panic and scare ourselves. Even if Uncle Zhu can't stop that thing, Junior Uncle and A'Liang will get back to help out soon."

However, at the same time, her hands were clenched into such tight fists that veins were bulging on the back of her hand, so it was clear that she wasn't actually as calm and composed as she appeared on the surface.

As it turned out, Lin Shouyi was the calmest of the group, and there was a hint of anticipation in his eyes.

Meanwhile, Zhu Lu was staring at her father, and she was even more concerned than Li Huai.

All of a sudden, Zhu He lowered his head and spotted a short elderly man who didn't even reach up to his waist. His white hair and beard were both quite disheveled, and he was holding a green bamboo cane, with which he was viciously thrashing at Zhu He's calf, as if he were venting his fury.

As Zhu He lowered his eyes, their eyes met, and after looking at each other for a moment, the old man sheepishly stayed his hand, then took several steps backward before asking in a raspy voice, "Do you know the official dialect of Eastern Treasured Vial Continent?"

Zhu He nodded in response with a dazed expression.

"What about the official dialect of the Great Li Empire?" the old man asked.

Zhu He nodded in response once again, still yet to recover from his shock.

All of a sudden, the old man jumped up before landing a blow on Zhu He's shoulder with his cane. Zhu He didn't feel anything from the strike, but as the old man landed back down on the ground, he almost stumbled and fell.

He hurriedly pressed a hand to his own waist, then began speaking in the official dialect of the Great Li Empire as he loudly cursed, "Screw you and your entire family line! You can't do ** aside from screwing over others! I've been hiding from these beasts like a scurrying little rat for several centuries, and I thought that I would be able to get by like this.

Finally, an opportunity for me to turn the tables has arrived. I just have to survive until the Great Li Empire officially assigns a new batch of mountain and river gods, and I'll finally be able to ascend from a mountain lord into a true mountain god. After that, I won't have to hide from those accursed beasts anymore. Even if I still can't beat them, I'll at least be able to ensure self-preservation..."

While cursing Zhu He, the old man was wiping away his tears with his arm in fury and indignation. He then whipped his cane forcefully against the ground as he continued, "If you're so brave, then why don't you fight those beasts yourself? Curse you and all of your blasted ancestors! Why did you have to summon me with that **ty talisman?

I can't even hide if I want to now! I'm going to end up in those serpents' bellies just like all of you pieces of scum! Why did you drag me into this? Are you worried you'll be lonely on the way to the afterlife?! Why?! Tell me! Fuck you and your..."

All of a sudden, the old man's voice was abruptly cut off, as if someone had closed their hand around his throat.

At the same time, Zhu He was greeted by a harrowing sight.

A massive inky-black head the size of a water vat was slowly rising up from the ridge of the mountain before emerging fully to everyone on the plateau.

It had a pair of silver eyes, and its bright red tongue was the size of a tree, rapidly whistling through the air as if it was flicking back and forth.

The astonishingly massive black snake slowly slithered the top half of its body onto the stone plateau, and there were scales running all over its body, which was as black and ink and glistening under the light of the dying sun.

Even though it was an animal, the look in its eyes was very humanized, and it was looking at the old man with a hint of mockery in its eyes, as if it was gloating about finally catching the old man after so many years of this game of cat and mouse.

The old man seemed to have accepted his fate, and he sat down onto the ground as he tossed his cane aside, flailing his legs and pounding his chest as he howled, "What did I do to deserve this? I am a mighty mountain lord, yet I've been cowering away for centuries from a pair of dumb beasts! How am I supposed to live like this?"

The black snake slowly straightened up its body as it raised its head, revealing a pair of small claws on the underside of its belly. As opposed to the five-tipped claws seen on the dragon robes worn by emperors, it had four-tipped claws as seen on the embroidered pythons on the robes worn by officials serving in the mortal empires, but this minor difference was completely negligible to the mountain lord and everyone else on the mountaintop.

All of a sudden, the old man seemed to have hatched a plot, and he abruptly rose to his feet as he looked up at the black snake with an ecstatic expression and said, "This martial artist's flesh has to be very tough to eat, so you must be targeting those tender little children behind him! I can see why you're going after them, given that all of them are teeming with vitality!"

The old man was becoming more and more excited as he spoke, and spittle was flying out of his mouth as he cackled, "Eat, eat, eat! Eat to your heart's content, and you'll be able to become a flood dragon! Once that happens, you'll no longer be tempted to come after me! I'll continue to serve as the mountain god of Go Table Mountain, while you enter the river to become a dragon.

Prior to that, you'll still be the ruler of this mountain, and you'll continue to be able to do whatever you please to me, so there's no point for you to eat me now. Eating me will enhance your cultivation base a tiny little bit, but don't forget that I am a mountain lord. If you eat me, you'll be setting up a major obstacle for yourself when you enter the river to travel to the sea.

All of the river gods will definitely come together to target you in retaliation, obstructing you at every turn..."

All of a sudden, the black snake bared its fangs slightly, as if it were sneering in mockery, and it indicated something behind the old man with its head.

The old man was stunned into silence again, then sat back down onto the ground in a defeated manner. This time, there were no longer any tears as he howled in despair, "So both you and your partner are searching for Dao attainment catalysts.

You're going to eat those children to establish a foundation for your future evolution into a flood dragon, while your wife is going to kill me in order to become the next mountain god. Looks like you had it all planned out. I accept my fate..."

A dazed look appeared in the old man's eyes as he murmured to himself, "The Great Dao is truly fickle and unpredictable."

A very long time ago, a pair of almighty immortals were passing through while soaring over the heavens, and they descended onto this mountain on a whim to play a game of go on the mountaintop. One of them swept a sleeve through the air, shaving off the mountain summit, then used his finger as a sword to mark out a 19 by 19 grid.

Meanwhile, the other immortal took the spirit of the soil before making them into black stones, and the roots of the clouds to make into white stones. The game of go lasted over a month, and each stone that was set down took root before transforming into a living being. The black stones turned into black snakes, while the white stones turned into white snakes, and they remained completely motionless on the go board on the mountain summit.

With each white stone that was captured, that white snake would be devoured by the nearby black snakes, and vice versa.

The two almighty immortals were evenly matched, and before the game had reached a conclusion, the two of them departed, content with the game that they had played thus far. At the time of their departure, there had still been over 100 black and white snakes left on the mountain summit, and those snakes went on to devour one another in a frenzy.

In the end, all that remained was a black snake that had the potential to evolve into a black flood dragon, and a white snake that had grown a pair of wings. For some reason, those two snakes ceased to attack one another, becoming a pair of mates instead.

They were extremely sly and cunning, initially refraining from the cultivators that could pose a threat to them, choosing to solely go after straggling travelers and merchants instead. Furthermore, they hunted very infrequently, mostly choosing to strike on days with heavy rainfall or snowfall.

Thanks to their naturally long lifespans, they were able to slowly accumulate power over the course of several centuries, patiently waiting for the arrival of a Dao attainment catalyst. They were very meticulous about the targets that they chose, and over time, they began to target martial artists and cultivators as devouring such humans allowed them to progress even faster, and it didn't take long before even the mountain lord had become a target for them.

However, the mountain lord was unable to oppose them, and they were unable to catch the slippery and elusive mountain lord, so the two sides had been caught in an impasse for all these years.

Li Huai was unable to hold back any longer, and he yelled, "How did a piece of trash like you become a mountain lord?! The gods must be blind!"

The old man had his back facing the group of children, and he whipped his bamboo cane forcefully against the ground once again as he grumbled to himself, "I guess they must be blind."

Zhu Lu was the most furious one out of the entire group, but as soon as she caught sight of the black snake, her entire body had begun trembling involuntarily. Despite the fact that she was at the pinnacle of the second tier, she couldn't muster up any courage to face such a fearsome monster, and she was too afraid to take even a single step forward.

As a fifth tier martial artist, Zhu He was displaying far more courage than his daughter. Additionally, he couldn't afford to cower as his young mistress and his daughter were both right behind him. He didn't even dare to turn around as he yelled with all his might, "Keep an eye on the cliff behind you, Zhu Lu! There's another one of these things lurking in the shadows!"

Zhu Lu's lips fluttered slightly, as if she were trying to tell her father not to worry, but her voice was no louder than the buzzing of a mosquito.

Zhu He didn't have the spare capacity to worry about his daughter's mental state. At the moment, the black snake in front of him was so intimidating that it was striking him with a sense of asphyxiation.

All of a sudden, a burst of loud buzzing rang out in the air outside of the stone cliff.

Zhu Lu and the others turned with stunned expressions to discover a slightly thinner white snake hovering in the air not far away from the cliff.

Instead of claws, it possessed a pair of near-transparent wings that were flapping rapidly. There was a dark look in its eyes as it scrutinized Zhu Lu intently, flicking its forked tongue out over and over again while viscous white saliva dripped down from its jaws, as if it were salivating over a delicious meal.

Its gaze roamed over Zhu Lu's body before finally settling on her face.

Under the scrutiny of the white snake, Zhu Lu's legs almost gave out from under her, and she felt as if all of her strength had been sapped from her body. She didn't collapse to the ground, but her breathing was becoming more labored. She knew that in her current state, even lifting a finger was going to be a herculean task, let alone fighting the menacing serpent.

In fact, she wasn't even aware of the fact that her face that she took so much pride in was already covered in tears.

From the very first day she began studying martial arts, she had longed for battles and adventure, but at this moment, her heart was filled with nothing but pain and remorse.

How could she die in a place like this?

Her tearful eyes were expressing a silent plea for the white snake to spare her, but it wasn't moved in the slightest by her pitiful expression.Finnd ew chapters on nve/lbi(.)com

Instead, more and more drool began to spill out of its mouth as it stared intently at Zhu Lu's face, as if it would be able to take on Zhu Lu's appearance after it devoured her.

Meanwhile, the old mountain lord appeared to be completely defeated and dejected, but in reality, his eyes had been constantly darting around this entire time. He was looking at the character that had been molded from soil out of the corner of his eye, as well as the ashes of the incinerated yellow talisman.

If that could prove to be effective, he would've gladly knelt down onto the ground and blown the ashes away from the character, but he knew that such efforts would be completely futile.

At the same time, Lin Shouyi was beginning to look around with a panicked expression.

Li Huai wanted to burst into tears, but he was unable to find his voice, and sat down onto the ground, pressing his back against Li Baoping's bamboo bookcase as he encircled his arms around his own knees. As he felt the cool sensation of the bookcase on his back, he was beginning to miss the scoldings that he received from his mother and his father's thunderous snoring every night.

In contrast, Li Baoping's expression was only becoming more and more resolute, and even though she was sweating profusely, her chin was still raised up high, and there was no fear in her eyes whatsoever.

All of a sudden, the black snake pounced directly at Zhu He.

Zhu He had been on his guard the entire time, and he immediately reacted, sliding one foot back while striding forward with the other foot before throwing a punch directly at the black snake's massive head.

Zhu He's fist was imbued with tremendous force, and it struck the snake's head with a resounding boom.

Following the violent impact, the black snake's head reared back, as did the top half of its enormous body.

Meanwhile, Zhu He's arm had gone completely numb, while his feet had sunk half a foot into the ground. He gritted his teeth as he quickly pulled his feet out of the ground, and instead of retreating, he charged forward with all his might, leaving deep footmarks on the stone plateau with every step.

Following that initial clash, Zhu He had discovered that the snake was not necessarily an insurmountable opponent.

The black snake barreled straight at Zhu He once again, and the qi within Zhu He's body was flowing rapidly like a turbulent river. The muscles on his arms bulged to such an extent that they almost tore through his sleeves, and he let loose a furious roar as he slammed a vicious punch right into the center of the snake's head.

This was an all-out attack from Zhu He, and the sound of the impact resembled that of a metal mallet striking a giant bell.

The huge snake's head was slammed onto the plateau by the punch, sending dust rising up in all directions.

Right as Zhu He was about to press his advantage, the old mountain lord behind him heaved a faint sigh.

All of a sudden, something swept through the air far faster than the black snake's previous two headlong strikes, instantly slamming into Zhu He's side before sending him flying over 100 feet through the air. The strike wasn't lethal, but it had left him with a gruesome wound and blood all over his face, clearly proving to be quite a heavy blow.

He rolled over the ground a few times, then forcibly arrested his own backward momentum and swallowed the blood that had surged to the back of his throat. He had no time to assess his own injuries as he clambered to his feet, preparing to charge at the serpent once again.

As it turned out, the black snake had intentionally lured Zhu He into a false sense of security to set up for that lightning-fast tail sweep.

All of a sudden, Zhu He's eyes widened in alarm and horror.

He had spotted the white snake pouncing out of the corner of his eye, hurtling directly toward Zhu Lu as it opened its cavernous mouth to devour her whole.

Right at this moment, a thin figure rushed along the spine of the black snake, then launched himself up into the air from the black snake's head, flying at the white snake with a bushcraft blade in his hand.

Chen Ping'an had swooped in right in the nick of time to sever the white snake's left wing with his bushcraft blade, but he was also sent flying back through the air by the white snake's flailing body.

Somewhere on the ridge of the mountain beneath the stone plateau, A'Liang was sitting on a branch of an old pine tree growing horizontally out of the cliff, taking small sips of wine in an expressionless manner.

He adjusted the conical bamboo hat on his head, and a faint smile appeared on his face.

Chapter end

<<Prev
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Catalogue
Chapter 31: Beating Around the Mountain
Chapter 32: Peach Leaf
Chapter 33: White Dragon Disguising as a Fish
Chapter 34: Gathered Together
Chapter 35: Licorice Root
Chapter 36: Ancient Book
Chapter 37: Fist Technique
Chapter 38: Ninth Tier
Chapter 39: Cursing the Locust Tree
Chapter 40: Returning the Courtesy
Chapter 42: Prodigy
Chapter 43: The Young Boy and the Old Dog
Chapter 44: Coming to Light
Chapter 45: Sunlight
Chapter 46: Skirt Dagger
Chapter 47: Going Alone
Chapter 48: The Hunter and the Hunted
Chapter 49: Porcelain Shard
Chapter 50 (1): One Who is Destined for Great Things
Chapter 50 (2): One Who is Destined for Great Things
Chapter 51: Confrontation
Chapter 52: Shudder
Chapter 53: Gift
Chapter 54: Facing the Enemy
Chapter 55: Feeling Proud in the Spring Breeze
Chapter 56: Nodding Bodhisattva
Chapter 57: Sword Nurturing Gourd
Chapter 58: Teacher
Chapter 59: Sleep
Chapter 60: There's a Ghost
Chapter 61: Helpless Pawn
Chapter 62: Falling Tree
Chapter 63 (1): So That's How It Is
Chapter 63 (2): So That's How It Is
Chapter 64: The Three Chens
Chapter 65: Jewel
Chapter 66: Looking Up
Chapter 67 (1): Long Journey
Chapter 67 (2): Long Journey
Chapter 68: Spring Under the Heavens
Chapter 69: Night
Chapter 70: Daylight
Chapter 71 (1): I’ll Like You for a While Longer
Chapter 71 (2): I’ll Like You for a While Longer
Chapter 72: Black Cloud
Chapter 73: Wooden Figure
Chapter 74: The Fire Dragon Roams the Water
Chapter 75: Mountain Selection
Chapter 76: Back to Back
Chapter 77: Entering the Mountains
Chapter 78: Another Dream
Chapter 79: Spring Welcome Seal
Chapter 80: Leaving the Mountains
Chapter 81: Imperial Preceptor
Chapter 82 (1): Master and Student, Senior Brother and Junio
Chapter 82 (2): Master and Student, Senior Brother and Junio
Chapter 83: Dreams
Chapter 84 (1): I Have a Sword
Chapter 84 (2): I Have a Sword
Chapter 85 (1): Conclusion of the Examination
Chapter 85 (2): Conclusion of the Examination
Chapter 86 (1): Walking the Same Path
Chapter 86 (2): Walking the Same Path
Chapter 87 (1): Little Teacher
Chapter 87 (2): Little Teacher
Chapter 88: Grand Entrance
Chapter 89: Two Heads
Chapter 90: Heavy Rain
Chapter 91: Jade Hairpin
Chapter 92 (1): Bamboo Bookcase
Chapter 92 (2): Bamboo Bookcase
Chapter 93 (1): There's a Character on the Wall
Chapter 93 (2): There's a Character on the Wall
Chapter 94: A Feast for the Eyes
Chapter 95: Too Small a Place
Chapter 96: Demons in the Mountains and Rivers
Chapter 97: Bowing to the Mountain
Chapter 98: The Meddlesome Mountain God
Chapter 99: The Mountain God and the Bamboo Saber
Chapter 100 (1): The World Beneath One's Feet
Chapter 100 (2): The World Beneath One's Feet
Chapter 101: Guard the Mountain
Chapter 102: Soaring White Ray
Chapter 103: Bamboo Building
Chapter 104: Sharing the Spoils
Chapter 105: Rootless Duckweed
Chapter 106: People from All Walks of Life
Chapter 107: Fishing Net
Chapter 108: Spring Hunting
Chapter 109: The Young Boy Has Some Words to Say
Chapter 110: All Good Things Must Come to an End
Chapter 111: Bamboo Hat
Chapter 112: Powerful Individual
Chapter 113: Unparalleled Might
Chapter 114: Seeing A'Liang Again
Chapter 115: There's an Old Scholar In the World (1)
Chapter 116: There's an Old Scholar In the World (2)
Chapter 117 (1): There's an Old Scholar In the World (3)
Chapter 117 (2): There's an Old Scholar In the World (3)
Chapter 118 (1): There's Righteousness In The World
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