Nine Paths Of Asura Chapter 38

38 Reaper
Behind him from about thirty meters in the trees, six black robed cultivators came shooting out on flying swords, though one was running on foot, he had just launched the surprise attack on Lineir with his flying sword.

"Disciple, this is why we should have kept going. You gave up the element of surprise by lingering so long in one place. While I'll admit, this is a fast way to attract your enemies, it's a dangerous methodology to get into. If too many come, or someone truly powerful shows up one day, what would you do?" Mei was simply pointing out the shortcomings in Lineir's choices. However, it could be said that these weak elders of the Nero Sect were definitely being cheated. With their Second Hearts being sucked away their entire lives, how could they possibly compare to someone who's power was wholly his own, with a body filled with forbidden techniques?

Lineir's first response was to immediately rush towards the six elders. He entered the midst of the five on flying swords before they could react. Once again, it was as if someone was guiding his hand. This wasn't like Mei who in the past had actually taken complete control over him, this was simply a suggestion, like a sense of dj vu. It was as if someone with incredible experience and battle sense was showing him the way. A bone scythe to the throat, and Lineir had slain the leading elder. This time, Mei formed her sword in Lineir's right hand. With the extra reach it afforded, and Lineir's incredibly strong footwork, combined with the guidance of the unknown entity which accompanied the madness character in his eyes, he simply stepped over and slashed straight through a second elder, who did not even remain in one piece but toppled over in two. The first two elders were close to the ground, but the last three on flying swords had finally realized that something was off. They tried to back off and fly up, but the sky was not a refuge.

As lightning flies up from the ground to smite the heavens, Lineir leaped from the ground. For the first time, he summoned the hazy power of darkness to wrap around his leg and increase his power. Additionally, a bit of static electricity flickered around and the speed of his leap was increased greatly. By combining the two, speed and power became explosiveness. This explosiveness caused his jump to far outstrip the slow flying speed of the immortal swords.


Just as before, Lineir had dispatched the three immortals, landing while blood and bone rained down from the sky. This time however, the enemies had been far higher up, and they hadn't even had a chance to react. To an ordinary onlooker it would like Lineir had jumped once and then landed, and the cultivators had just suddenly started spurting blood. However, to the cultivated eyes of the sixth elder who did not have a flying sword, it was like watching a reaper ascend from hell to drag down the souls of sinners. He could just barely make out the fact that Lineir had jumped once from the ground, instantly found himself level with the first cultivator and dug out his throat. Then he had kicked off of that same cultivator in midiar, ascended to the second higher in the air, and cut out his throat with another bone scythe. Lastly, he had pushed off this second cultivator, and spinning, delivered a backhanded blow with his sword which ripped the highest cultivator into two bloody pieces framed before the shining moon which seemed to be crying red tears now. To complete the horror, Lineir had kicked apart those two bloody halves to accelerate his descent to the ground. To the cultivator on the ground, the body of his comrade disappeared as it passed out of the moon's light and Lineir suddenly landed directly in front of him.

Indescribably terror! That is what this man felt looking at the crimson stained figure in front of him. What he was looking at could only be called madness! It was just too terrifying, and the elder didn't even try to run. His heart began to pump incredibly fast and his legs refused to budge an inch, instead freezing in place. A flash and the man was no more, a great hole punched in his chest where his beating heart had lain. Lineir sighed.

"It seems you were right Mei, this snake of mine is only usable in a real live fight. Furthermore there's a limit to how much it can consume at a time. For now, it's quite full digesting the elemental energies contained with two Sacred Hearts." He walked off further away from Dracherus City. He had had his fill of the Nero Sect. Mei however brought up a question.

"Uh disciple, what about that kind man's message. You only left a note, there's no guaruntee it will make it to the king. What will you do about that?" Lineir thought it over for a moment. In fact, while he had originally went to Dracherus for the express purpose of carrying out the man's last will, he had forgotten about it after the life changing events which he had experienced of late.

"I'm sorry old man, I tried to help, but your king is simply too untrustworthy, he tried to sell off his own daughter for gain. If he reads the note than that is his fate, if not, then that too is his fate. But rest easy in hell, I'll find those bandits and take them to hell to apologize to you in person." He turned around and cut back. He had planned on heading directly away from Dracherus and entering the wilderness.

"A short detour to honor a friend won't hurt. Besides, Mei, didn't you say you wanted a bunny?"

The journey was swift, Lineir did not dawdle and cultivate on the way, he would rather get out of Nero Sect territory. However, the Second Heart's which his hydra spirit had devoured continued to be digested, and he felt himself grow stronger with each passing hour. The speed was incredibly fast, he could feel his Second Heart gaining density far faster than it ever had before. At this fast speed, he quickly found himself at the site of the ambush before. No traces of the slaughter remained, the wagon was long gone and even the corpses had been removed. Falling leaves had long since obscured the ground and the rain had long since scoured the mud underneath clean of blood. This would have detoured any average tracker, the time frame was simply too long. However, Lineir was a cultivator, and Mei was incredibly experienced.

"Disciple, while I do not specialize in tracking, it would be a disgrace if I could not at least point you in the right direction. Those corpses were hidden somewhere. They must have been dragged somewhere. Blood spilled less than a thousand years ago cannot be hidden from me!" Lineir waited for her to do something.

"Idiot! Stab me into the ground, what, do you think I can do this sitting in your hands?" Lineir snickered and hurriedly buried the sword in the ground. Then he waited. And waited. "Find them yet?" Mei simply told him to hush,

"Shut up, I need to focus. Without a body this is a pain. Actually, lend me some of your cultivation!" Lineir laid his hands on the blade, and Mei slightly cut his palm to siphon off a bit of blood. Then they waited some more.

"Done yet?"

Lineir was exasperated. It had been a good hour with him standing there doing nothing. Finally Mei answered,

"Well disciple... I found something."

"What is it master, which way did they go?"

"Well to be exact... I didn't find any traces of blood."

"What? So your saying you didn't find anything at all! I've been standing around all day for nothing!"

Mei sighed.

"Ok, I didn't find anything, but that doesn't mean we know nothing. There's only one way they managed to dispose of the corpses without leaving any traces of blood. Something highly unusual must have happened here for that. There must have been a spacial ring involved!"

With a gasp, Lineir exploded, "A spacial ring? Like one in the legends? The treasure which can store a thousand other treasures in a thousandth the space?"

"Well that depends on the grade, but yes disciple, that very type of ring. How curious, I wouldn't expect the king of most of the small cities around here to have one, let alone a group of bandits. Something is fishy here. Whoever was backing this ambush was extremely powerful considering the area. As a matter of fact... the only group around here with that kind of clout is the Nero Sect... and the only one with the wealth to afford a special ring is... the patriarch!"

"**** I'm going to have to fight this man aren't I?" Lineir was irate. Life was just too ridiculous, it was as if fate itself was out to get him. He had sworn revenge, but fighting a patriarch was a little much. He would be surrounded by countless elders, and he had leeched off of all their cultivation bases. One on one, Mei had said Lineir stood a chance, but against the whole sect?

"Wait just a moment disciple, this might not be so impossible as you think." Mei was quite calm at the moment. She was considering Lineir's options, and had already decided on a course of action.

"Not impossible? Do you realize how many of those guys there are? I might be able to take small groups, but I heard the Nero Sect has over fifty elders not even including the ten I killed, at least half of which will be guarding the patriarch at any time."

"Well disciple, I would have agreed with you before. However, you gained this devour ability, and these strange madness. Your combat potential has risen at a rate even I could not have foreseen. At the moment, your Second Heart has already reached the peak of the first stage. Soon you will break through and ascend to the Gathering Storm Stage. When this happens, you will gain the power of the second realm of my cultivation technique and access to power, which is not only far greater quantitatively, but superior qualitatively. At that moment, it won't matter how many trash elders the patriarch of the Nero Sect surrounds himself with. You will be able to walk in and end him as if it was a one on one. There is just one problem with this however."

Lineir was excited. The idea of walking through a sea of enemies, uncontested was a dream which most could only hope to have on the best of nights. Lineir could actually experience this himself. Who wouldn't want this kind of power especially at such a young age?

"Alright master what is the problem?"

Mei sighed,

"The Gathering Storm Stage is the next step in cultivation. However, in order to reach it, you must build up an imbalance. Storms begin to form when the imbalance in the atmosphere reaches a critical point. Inside of you, you already have an excellent spin in your Second Heart. But you lack the raw power needed to ascend. Only by pushing your cultivation past the limit will you break through and cause a great enough imbalance within yourself to ascend the realms. Fortunately, I have thought of a solution for this. Well, there are two. One, train in the wilderness for a few months until you collect enough beast cores to break through. This will take a while, and there's always the risk of running into that dragon girl who has a grudge against you. Two, and I'm afraid this is the only real option. Those fifty elders of the Nero Sect. Hunt them all down and devour their cores one by one. When you have consumed enough, you will naturally break through. Of course, that's if you can stomach the slaughter of all these elders. But remember, this can be said to be cutting off the legs of the lion before hunting it tomorrow. You will need to fight most of these elders anyway to reach the patriarch. Taking them out early will only bring you benefits in the future. Decide, will you take an ordinary path of training, or will you enter the path of a reaper."

Lineir didn't even hesitate for more than an instant. His enemies were enemies, and if he had a reason to kill them, he would. It was as simple as that. His conscious had almost gotten him killed before. Thus he had long ago chosen to let it die. Words like mercy and lenience were simply synonyms for regret and death in the dictionary of a cultivator. His Third Heart, his way, was to survive and to survive, you must eat!
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