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Published at 19th of October 2020 05:21:47 AM

Chapter 974: 974. Shor
The sea of flames radiated a feeling of pure destruction while it spread in the sky and engulfed the barrage of spikes. The fire devoured most of Elder Marco's spell, protecting the part of the terrain where Noah was standing.

The rest of the spikes crashed on the terrain and destroyed most of the environment. Large cracks spread around Noah, who didn't move his eyes from the cultivator in the sky.

He could see Elder Marco's expression turning into one of pure astonishment at the sight of those flames. The attack that had destroyed his spikes was almost identical to that of his Patriarch!

His surprise didn't stop there. Seeing that Noah owned flames capable of imitating Ravaging Demon's individuality was already incredible. Yet, the fact that they could match a spell cast by a solid stage cultivator made them even more impressive.

Snore let out a proud hiss and rose in the sky to face Elder Marco. The cultivator was about to prepare another spell when he sensed danger coming toward him.

The Blood Companion's body turned into smoke, and a black shape pieced it to shoot toward Elder Marco. Cracks spread in the sky at the shape's passage, and part of the dark matter fell into the void among them.

The attack aimed directly at Elder Marco at that time, so his mind could sense it in time to deploy countermeasures. The air in front of him hardened and formed a series of spiked shields with the same shape.

Noah crashed into the spiked layers and stopped after breaking through them. However, Elder Marco had already left his previous spot.

The broken shards of condensed air began to take the form of a sphere meant to trap him at that point. Yet, four additional arms rose from his torso and wielded the copies of the Demonic Sword that had appeared next to him.

Elder Marco prepared an offensive spell high in the sky when another incoming danger forced him to dodge again. A fissure appeared right next to him, and the condensed air that he had prepared before disappeared without leaving any trace.

The Elder was about to turn toward Noah, but Snore had reformed in the meantime. Black sparks filled the Blood Companion's horns and condensed between them to create a massive lightning bolt that shot toward the solid stage cultivator.

Elder Marco couldn't believe his eyes. A liquid stage cultivator was able to corner him!

Nothing like that had ever happened in the history of the world. Even the most monstrous cultivators had managed to fight head-on with experts on higher stages only thanks to particular items of favorable situations.

Instead, Noah was fighting him fairly. He didn't use any sneak attack or troublesome tactic. The Demon Prince of the Hive was deploying his best techniques and gaining the upper hand in the battle with them.

Elder Marco felt a tinge of respect surging inside him. Noah was even better than what the reports said. He was a real monster capable of ignoring the common sense at the foundation of the cultivation world.

However, pride soon suppressed that feeling. After all, Elder Marco was still an expert that had reached the solid stage. He couldn't let a junior think so poorly of him.

"Don't die on me too soon!" Elder Marco shouted before releasing a loud laugh. The air in a large area of the sky became still, and the lightning bolt flying toward him slowed down, hindered by the dense atmosphere.

Noah's eyes sharpened at that sight. His mind sent warnings coming from every direction, but he couldn't pinpoint the exact nature of the attack.

The lines of the Divine Deduction technique began to consume mental energy to improve his mind's capabilities. Noah knew that he was insanely strong for his level, but he couldn't underestimate a cultivator in the solid stage.

His consciousness couldn't understand what Elder Marco was planning even after activating the Divine technique. Noah decided to resume his offensive at that point, but a sharp pain suddenly spread from his chest.

Noah quickly retreated as his mind analyzed the insides of his torso, and blood filled his mouth. He soon discovered that the air inside his lungs had turned into sharp spikes. They had pierced his organs and were trying to reach for his heart.

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His higher energy expanded to fend off the threatening spikes, and Snore reformed around him, covering half of his body with its gaseous properties. A roar came out of his mouth too, and the world lost its light for a second.

Noah spewed a trail of flames toward the dense atmosphere to destabilize the Elder's spell and clean his lungs with that tainted air.

The truth was that he didn't expect Elder Marco to have access to such a powerful ability. Noah had never imagined that even the air inside his body could become a weapon under that old monster's influence.

He knew the reason behind his miscalculation though.

Noah rarely found himself fighting cultivators that had a mental sphere more advanced than his. The improved awareness due to his hybrid status gave him a keener perception too.

However, Elder Marco had cultivated for far longer than him. He had taken his time developing an alternative training method for his sea of consciousness. That put his mind above his dantian in terms of advancement in the fifth rank, far above Noah's level.

The Elder had even hidden his strategy. Increasing the density of the air around him had been part of his plan. It made Noah unable to realize that the air inside his lungs was turning into spikes since his mind sensed too many threats.

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Elder Marco didn't let go of that chance. Spikes formed everywhere around him and destroyed the lightning bolt still in place. Then, they gathered to take the shape of gales that shot toward his target.

Noah had suffered injuries twice already. The first time had been when he had slammed on the spiked shields and the second one in the last exchange.

His understanding of a solid stage cultivator's actual prowess in the fifth rank expanded as the battle continued. He had always known that those existences wouldn't be easy to kill, but he couldn't be sure about how hard they were to fight.

Most of that came from his lack of experience in battles at that level. However, he was gaining a raw estimate of where he stood compared to those old monsters.

'I fall a bit short,' Noah thought as the feathers on Snore's wings rose to point at the incoming gales. Black sparks also appeared on its horns, and dark flames gathered at the top of its throat.

'But this doesn't mean that I must lose,' Noah calmly concluded inside his mind as Snore launched its attacks.

A series of lightning bolts and violent flames crashed on the gales made of sharp spikes, and feathers chased closely behind them, ready to destroy anything that survived that offensive.

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