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Nine Paths Of Asura Chapter 66

66 Danger In The Stone Sky


Lineir walked deeper into the Valley of Stone Mushrooms and soon lost himself amidst the fields of stone. Every time his feet directly touched one, he would shudder slightly at the firmness which was definitely stone and his teeth would ache. Slowly, the valley took on an upwards incline and began to slope up gently. In the distance, wisps of morning fog rolled off of a spectacular sight. Rows of ascending stone mushrooms pushed out of the ground, and rose up on stone stalks 100s of meters long into the sky. Their rounded caps were hundreds of meters wide, and they formed a dense canopy which rose off the ground like a forest!

"Heavens! These mushrooms are ascending to the Heavens! The ones before must have only been spores, these ones are fully grown!" Even Mei was startled by the imposing size of the mushrooms ahead. Lineir however quickly realized an interesting quandary. The mushrooms where he was standing in the valley were starting to increase in size. Soon, they would be taller than he could easily climb. If in the distance, they were massive, there would essentially be a split between the tops of the mushrooms and the ground! Like heaven and earth, the tops of the mushrooms were so large as to form a sort of level surface which one could walk on, up on high in the sky! Alternatively, Lineir could travel on the ground underneath. Eventually, he started ascending the mushroom caps which had begun to reach the size of large buildings. His reasoning was that if he changed his mind, and decided he would rather be at ground level he could always descend the stalks by stabbing Mei into them and grinding his way down, in much the same way he did the Pillar. If he had instead chosen to stay at ground level, going up would be much more difficult than going down.

Over time, Lineir walking on the top of the mushroom caps, quickly began to leave ground level. While the ground sloped upward at an alarming rate, the mushrooms increased in height at an even faster rate, 10, 20 times faster! After some time, Lineir mostly just saw mist through the gaps in the caps, with only the occasional spot of green when the wind gusted particularly hard to part the stalks below. Then a terrible omen of danger flashed through him.

"Evade!" Mei quickly sent out a warning, and Lineir smashed a kick into the ground which blasted him sideways from his original position.

Weng!

A slight whisper of sound, like the noise silk makes as it slips from the hand to the floor, but magnified ten times came to the ear. It was loud enough to hear, but at the same time, nothing appeared to have happened and Lineir stared hard at where he had been standing. No overt changes had appeared, the spot he had been standing on looked exactly the same.

"Huh... I definitely felt a sense of danger just now... and that noise... so soft yet sharp...the only thing I could compare it to would be...hmmmm" Lineir glanced once more at his previous position and gingerly walked over, staying alert.


"Mei, doesn't that sound just now remind you of something?" Mei could only agree and simply murmured,

"Indeed disciple, so familiar to the ear..." She trailed off evidently deep in thought as Lineir came closer and closer to his previous spot which still appeared unchanged. As Lineir stopped and scrutinized, he thought he saw a miniscule black line...it ran through where he had been standing and continued perpendicular to where he was standing along the mushroom cap when...

PENG!

Suddenly the mushroom cap Lineir was standing on split into two pieces along the black line which grew into a giant gap. Lineir recalled where he had heard the sound before at the same time as Mei, they both gasped out, one mentally and one physically as they tumbled into the open air,

"A sword cut!"

DAN---GGG!

A great screeching noise came as Lineir leapt off the rapidly falling halved mushroom and stabbed Mei into a nearby stalk, halting his fall. He hung there by the blade and looked down as from above, a vast swath of mushroom caps in a straight line were falling in front of him. It was as if they were sliced by the invisible blade of some strange god!

"By the Heavens... to cut so many stone mushrooms with one blow, what force, I don't even want to know what will happen if I'm hit by whatever that was!" Lineir felt a touch of fear inside at the thought of what had almost occurred. Regardless of any legacies he had, of the amount of internal Qi he had protecting him, the amount of force concentrated into one of those cuts would not be pleasant to experience firsthand. While true Qi was the energy of the Heavens and the Cosmos, physical force was still one of the most basic laws of the universe, and that level of force was more than enough to challenge Lineir at his cultivation level, true Qi or not. Mei suddenly spoke but Lineir sensed something falling towards him from above and didn't have time to pay attention,

"No...disciple, that was not the sound of a sword cut..."

Drip...Drip...

Lineir's enhanced cultivators reflexes were extraordinary, and he used a miraculous acrobatic ability to twist himself around Mei's sword as he sensed something dripping down from the sky. Unsure of whether or not it might be toxic or a threat, he twined himself around the blade and jammed it into the side of the mushroom stalk. Then he looked above as more and more strange liquid fell. Like a golden rain, it showered down from the cloven caps of stone mushrooms above, and disappeared down below into the fog. All around, it appeared to be raining golden drops of syrup.

"This is...honey?!!!" Lineir stuck out his tongue at the realization and sure enough, from the split caps of the mushrooms above came the sweetest drops of golden honey. As the sweetness hit his brain, so too came Mei's warning,

"THAT WAS NO SWORD, DESCEND, GET DOWN NOW! GO! GO! GO!" Instantly all the hair on his body stood up as a lightning bolt of pure reaction came. He felt the same reaction to danger he had felt before...except this time instead of coming from one direction it was all around him!
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