Nine Paths Of Asura Chapter 20


20 Fishing For Carp
The verdant green banks of the river were lined with many different magical beasts. These beasts oftentimes fought with each other, but would congregate into different areas based on strength. There were areas of higher level magical beasts, as well as areas of lower level ones. It was precisely one of these lower level ones which Lineir was looking for at the moment. With the sun filtering in gently through the leafy boughs, he quietly slipped about the edge of the shrubbery, avoiding open ground. While not all magical beasts were hostile to humans, the overwhelming majority of them would forsake their differences with each other to target him. Thus showing himself carelessly in the open was akin to suicide. Only a fool or a great expert walks into a group of enemies by himself. Lineir was neither.

"Mmm no, the Eight Throated Water Lilies over there are a favorite place of the legendary False Water Serpents. That area over there is teeming with Dappled Buffaloes, the herd would trample you without a second thought, besides they aren't predators. That pride of Green Speckled Lions is nice, but the odds of catching a straggler are slim, and the adults are 2nd tier magical beasts, too dangerous at your level. Keep walking, we'll find something eventually, surely there must be some pathetic area with some sick or crippled animals you can hunt!"

Mei was ruthless in judging Lineir's strength. While some might think this would tamp down his spirit, Mei only had the best in mind. Death was but one wrong step away at any time in the wilderness. Although it would be more accurate to say Mei more or less had Lineir's best interests in mind...

"This disciple of mine has a strong ego. Stepping on it every once in a while is also good...Quick, over there, a perfect match for you!" Lineir felt a slight tug from the sword in his hand, as if it was pulling his arm and not the other way around.

"What... the hell... is that?" Lineir said. Mei wasn't laughing, but he was pretty sure that she was holding it in,

"That, is a Scaly Segmented One-Inch Worm. It's named this because while its total length exceeds four meters, its brain is on average about one inch long. Of course, it has several of them, located at different parts of its body, so if you fail to destroy it completely, it will regrow quite quickly. However, while it has very low attack power, and its defensive behavior can be said to be so-so as it will just sit there and wait for you, it has quite the hard carapace. Thus, killing it and harvesting the magical core inside will be very beneficial to you. Also, it technically counts as a predator! It has been known to eat those Three Horned Goats, and at least has some slight combative instincts. Despite its appearance, it will put up more than enough of a fight for someone as weak as yourself!" Mei finished describing it while chanting,

"An animal almost at the peak of 1st tier magical beasts, truly a suitable match for my disciple."


Lineir was very skeptical. The thing Mei had referred to was currently sticking, half out, half in, the river bank and couldn't look further from the peak of anything but weakness. Yes, it had some scales which looked kind of hard, but it was really just a six inch thick length of grey worm. At a distance, it could be mistaken for a particularly thick coil of steel cable coming out of the ground. Unable to think of any reason to be cautious, Lineir burst out from the forest and rushed it,

"Such a thing can't possibly be very strong, Mei is definitely playing a joke on me this time." Not even bothering to use his sword, Lineir let his deadly bone scythes slide out and complained,

"It's not even moving... does it have a death wish or is it just too stupid with all its brains spread out across its body..." Using his hard earned training, Lineir dealt a fairly concise blow about a meter down the exposed portion. His hope was that if he severed the head, at least he thought it was the head, it was really hard to tell, the thing would go down. CLANG, with a bone shaking vibration, Lineir made a great expression of pain as the bony scythes cut in about an inch, then crunched to a halt. The worm itself wasn't even shaken enough to move a centimeter.

"Argh, that really hurt, its shell is damn hard. Also, it's so close to the ground that hitting it with any sort of power is really difficult," Lineir complained.

Mei, was laughing endlessly,

"Of course its hard, this thing is at the peak of the 1st tier magical beasts in terms of resilience. That blow you gave it will take a second to even register with the main brain!" Lineir thought it over for a moment. That was truly astonishing, he had hit it in the neck and it would still take a second for it realize he had hit it?

"Isn't a second too long?" At that moment, from below, there was a crunching noise and a hideous mouthful of ivory teeth, a good meter wide, erupted from the ground.

"Did I mention? You attacked its butt, the head was underground. Good luck, the armor plating is twice as thick around the head!" Still laughing, Mei stopped talking and watched Lineir fight. It wasn't an easy fight. After initially jumping back when the head burst out of the ground, he had immediately hefted the sword she was in, which was incredibly sharp. However, no matter how sharp a blade is, only with good technique will a student grow to have solid foundations. Mei actually blunted the edge of the blade, this was for Lineir's future development. If he had an invincibly sharp sword right now, he would be tempted to swing with little form and later on against opponents with real defensive capabilities, he would die without leaving a scratch. Lineir retracted his bone blades so he could fully utilize the advantages of a single blade. They weren't going to help against such a tough scaled opponent. The worm actually rushed out of the ground meter by meter and lunged at Lineir, with the intent of burying its teeth in him.

SSSSSSSAAAAA!!!

From it's mouth a disgusting hiss of putrid air wheezed out. In this first exchange, Lineir quickly evaded the attack as the worm's speed was really only so-so. But when he tried to slice the real neck, he could only cut about three quarters of the way through the scales. It quickly rushed by and plunged into the dirt. Fortunately, the worm was so long that before it could get its whole length into the safety of the earth, Lineir actually got in another hit at its tail portion, hitting it where he had originally hit with his bone scythes, and severing the last meter of it. The worm was silent for a moment underground, but eventually burst out again behind Lineir shrieking in pain and jerking violently.

SSSSSSSAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Despite its wound, it was too stupid to change tactics and blindly lunged at him again. The same result happened, though Lineir could only barely clip its shortened tail this time. He pleaded,

"This is too slow, I can't keep hacking at it this way, I'll only be able to lop off a bit of tail at this rate! Mei-Mei, how do I fight this thing!" Mei sighed, realizing that a little help was in order or they'd be here all day.

"Think about it, you've swung much harder when you weren't under pressure. Relax your muscles, when it lunges at you, stay firm and dodge just barely so that you stay close enough to strike it with power. You're too scared of getting hit, only someone who is willing to lose his own life can grow strong. If you are able to stay calm in the face of death, only then will you be relaxed enough to deliver a full force blow. Additionally, those last two attacks didn't externalize any elemental power. Concentrate and try to infuse your attack with some lightning or darkness. The worm should easily go down then."

Thinking it over, Lineir paused and allowed the worm to draw near. As the hundreds of viciously sharp hand-sized teeth closed in on his head, he twisted to the side without moving his feet and delivered a thunderous blow in the space of a second. A moment before it hit, a dark aura shivered around the blade emanated from his right hand, and the weight behind the blow greatly increased. Additionally, a single solitary yellow spark danced onto the blade from his left hand. This time when it hit, the blade traveled all the way through one side of the steely plates, through the flesh in the middle, only stopping as Lineir shocked by his power, didn't follow through with the stroke but instead jerkily ended the blow in astonishment,

"What strength, I feel like I could have gone out the other side!"Lineir was shocked and Mei was equally surprised as she explained,

"That's not really that impressive, the element of darkness allows for great weight to be placed behind blows, as darkness is supreme in regards to density. However, what is really surprising, is that you actually used a bit of elemental lightning as well! It wasn't enough, but as you'll notice, the worm isn't moving! Despite the fact that you only actually destroyed the main brain, the shock must have disrupted its nervous system and it is unable to revive! While I doubt you could kill even a mortal human with this yet, having two elements at the same time in your first fight against a predator shows that you have promise. Quickly now, retrieve the core of the worm and let us be off. This worm is only bait in the wilderness for stronger beasts."

The process of retrieving the core was rather messy. While his blade had traveled clean into it, he had to first widen the gash into an actual hole, and that meant cracking it open further. After three more strikes, he managed to get a reasonably sized hole going and was reaching in the gooey grey flesh to grab the core. It was as you might expect, rather disgusting. However, the alternative was to go in from the unarmored mouth...and he wasn't going to willingly put his hand in all those teeth. As his hand seized the core, his gaze turned to the gushing river next to him, unconsciously getting ready to wash all the gunk off of him.

A scenic view greeted him, a nice wide expanse of blue, broken by a lonely lily, and far off a waterfall tinkled, the water was really just too perfect in the midday sun. Mei too enjoyed the view,

"Say disciple, doesn't this sight just make you appreciate life? You need to properly enjoy these things while you're alive. While the pursuit of power is one thing, remember that there are other things worth living for." She sighed. At that moment Lineir pulled out the core with a sickening squelch.

"Aiya, I've ruined the moment. Let us take a moment to enjoy. Say isn't that drifting lily lovely?"
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