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Chapter 711: Snowfall

 Chapter 711: Snowfall

Translator: YHHH Editor: X, TYZ

Ai Hui couldn't budge and could only stare at the ugly, patchwork faces floating toward him.

The spirit swords danced around Ai Hui, knitting a tightly weaved web of light. Eerie wails continued to rise from all over, sending chills down Ai Hui's spine.

Ai Hui was becoming anxious.

What kind of evil had he stumbled upon?

This was the first time he had been attacked without noticing it first. The numbness that washed over his body had rendered his senses useless, but he was oddly still conscious.

The fragment of the tongue on his shoulder continued to gnaw away.

It was an extremely strange feeling!

The teeth's gnashing sounds rang out incessantly yet he could feel no pain. Ai Hui felt like a onlooker to his plight.

A moment later, the paralysis subsided a little. Ai Hui regained some of his movement and effortfully turned to look at his shoulder.

He relaxed upon seeing his shoulder.

The tongue fragment was still biting ceaselessly, its razor sharp, white teeth moving at high speed. His shoulder was however, completely unharmed.

Another tongue latched onto his body with a pop.

Gnash, gnash.

Ai Hui's body remained unscathed no matter how much they chewed.

He was completely at ease now, curiously observing the ugly, malevolent creatures.

His body was suddenly paralyzed again.

He had been hit by the same attack.

Now that he knew the faces could not harm him, Ai Hui relaxed and carefully observed their behavior. The spirit swords followed suit, slowing down significantly as more and more tongues made their way towards Ai Hui.

Ai Hui's current predicament would scare any onlooker. His body was covered in what looked like countless wriggling black snakes.

In the middle of the terrifying scene stood Ai Hui, completely unharmed. He was fast becoming used to the numbing sensation brought on by the faces. Ai Hui was recovering much faster with each wave of paralysis.

He eventually reached a point where he could no longer be fully paralyzed. All he could feel was a slight tingle, as though a small electric current was running through his body. His rapidly increasing immunity to this seemingly formless numbing attack rendered it unthreatening.

The faces were floating at the marsh's edge, unable to leave the biome. They were only able to attack Ai Hui from afar.

Ai Hui found it very interesting.

He wiped his hand against his chest, and the tongues plopped on the ground one after another. Once on the ground, they wriggled about frantically and let out haunting cries of pain. The tongues gradually faded into black smoke, disappearing completely.

Ai Hui stood a short distance outside the marshland, provoking the ugly faces.

Having established that they were of no threat, Ai Hui began to feel that the faces were not as ugly or sinister as he had initially thought. Seeing them stuck at the edge of the marsh made Ai Hui relaxed.

He was provoking the faces not out of boredom, but to learn more about them.

Through his observations, Ai Hui realized that the formless attack was a unique kind of mental shockwave. It was an extremely stealthy attack that could easily catch anyone without prior experience. However, those who knew what to look out for could easily detect it. Much to his surprise, he also noticed that this attack had a tempering effect on his soul. This was the reason why he had been able to overcome the effects of paralysis with increasing speed, ultimately becoming completely unaffected by it.

Another thing he discovered was that the faces had a cooldown period between attacks. He deduced that it took them approximately eight to twelve hours after an attack to do it again.

Yet another discovery was that the faces' black tongues were its only other means of offense besides the shockwave. Ai Hui was rather disappointed by their simple attacks, which were a total mismatch with their vile and sinister looks.

The biggest revelation he had was however, regarding himself. His soul was extraordinarily strong, which was why the snake-like tongues were unable to deal any damage to him. He was like a sturdy rock which the tongues' razor sharp teeth could not bite through.

A battle between souls was vastly different from physical combat. A well-tempered soul could completely crush a weaker one without any chance of fighting back.

Ai Hui felt thankful to Chi Tong for banishing him here. It was only in such a strange place that he could get such wonderful insights.

Knowledge and ideas regarding the soul were often cryptic and hard to grasp. Because the soul existed within the body, it could only be felt but not seen. The only way a person could attempt to understand and interact with it was through personal subjective experiences. This naturally made it much harder to comprehend its true nature. Such experiences were also difficult to put into words, and their subjective nature meant that they often varied between people. Recorded knowledge surrounding things such as the soul and consciousness were hence typically undecipherable to everyone but the author.

This was the reason why cultivation of the soul and the mind have been considered a treacherous road to take since ancient times. It was also why there were such few practitioners of the art. Ai Hui's shaky cultivation of the sword embryo was a good example of its difficulty.

In this strange world however, Ai Hui was able to directly observe his soul and consciousness.

This was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Ai Hui was now much more composed than he had been when he first found himself awake in this world. He was no longer in a hurry to leave and instead wanted to explore further. Furthermore, he knew how to cultivate Chi Tong's [Deathly Seeds of Demonic Consciousness], and there was nowhere better to comprehend it than in this world.

[Deathly Seeds of Demonic Consciousness] was the culmination of Chi Tong's life's work. It was a true masterpiece forged out of his blood, sweat, and tears.

How many people have dared to challenge life and death? It was the natural order of the universe that restrained every single living being. Chi Tong's ambition and bravery in choosing to defy this natural law was worthy of admiration and respect.

Tricking Chi Tong into divulging [Deathly Seeds of Demonic Consciousness] was a stroke of intuition on Ai Hui's part, but he did not realize just how wide-ranging and profound its concepts were until he delved into it. Its complexity had deterred Ai Hui from attempting to practice it.

On the one hand, Ai Hui found [Deathly Seeds of Demonic Consciousness] much too profound and was afraid that he would spend his entire life just to find the starting line. In addition, he had only recently made significant progress with his cultivation of the sword embryo, and was hesitant to divert his attention to something new.

On the other, he was afraid of the traps that Chi Tong might have laid inside. A sly old wily like Chi Tong would definitely leave surprises wherever he went. It would be a real shame if Ai Hui was led into a gulch and left to die there.

However, Ai Hui decided to read [Deathly Seeds of Demonic Consciousness] now that he knew of the wonders of this place.

He was still not going to practice [Deathly Seeds of Demonic Consciousness] but intended, instead, to use the knowledge within to his advantage. [Deathly Seeds of Demonic Consciousness] was the condensed form of everything Chi Tong came to understand about the soul. Under regular circumstances such knowledge would be beyond Ai Hui's capacity to grasp but in this world, the teachings would be wholly apparent.

For instance, the marshland faces' formless shockwaves were recorded in [Deathly Seeds of Demonic Consciousness] as [Yin Desires]. It was an ability associated with the evil spirits of the underworld, said to be capable of destroying lesser souls. If the shockwaves produced were weak, the ability would instead have a tempering effect.

Ai Hui had no idea how anyone could visit the underworld to find out what desires evil spirits possessed. Although, he was absolutely sure that he was currently not there yet.

[Deathly Seeds of Demonic Consciousness] contained many ideas that were far too abstract, and Ai Hui merely glanced over them. Despite this, he had learned a whole lot from it and came to understand more and more about souls and consciousnesses as he continued to read.

His spirit sword count had more than doubled, increasing from thirty two to seventy two. Seeing this made him much more confident of his progress.

Ai Hui decided to leave the Human-faced Marshland and press onwards.

He walked through the marsh, releasing weak shockwaves in an attempt to mimic [Yin Desires]. The clouds of fog and human faces rolled and floated around him, seemingly unaware of his presence.

The marsh was much larger than he had thought, taking him a good long while before he reached the other end.

He was back on firm, solid ground.

Ai Hui turned to look at the Human-faced Marshland, looking at it with a fresh perspective.

He was not sure how this marsh, with its rolling fog and haunting faces, came to be formed but according to Chi Tong's account, it was the result of restless spirits congregating. Of special note was the floating faces which were actually formed by restless spirits that tore away at one another until they fused into a single being.

Ai Hui wondered about the marsh's dark history and how its many restless spirits came to be.

A pity he was not powerful enough...

Ai Hui looked at his palm, at the arcs of electricity that jumped between his fingertips. He clenched his fist tightly, extinguishing the currents.

He decided then that he would erase the marsh once he was strong enough.

Looking ahead, Ai Hui picked up his pace and continued walking.

Seventy two spirit swords swirled around his body like a school of fish, making for a majestic sight.

As Ai Hui continued on his journey, the environment around him began to change. He felt as though he had just walked into the gobi desert, with nothing but sand and rocks as far as the eye could see.

Ai Hui was surprised. Had he reached another end of this world?

He had awoken in a similarly desolate location, which he took to be the border of this world. Following that, he later made his way onto a meadow filled with all sorts of plants, although he would not exactly consider them to be plants.

He soon rejected this border conjecture.

The barren land before him was different from the one he had arrived on.

The edge of this world was completely devoid of life but here, he could feel the life force of other creatures. [Deathly Seeds of Demonic Consciousness] was a masterpiece about life and death, and Ai Hui was very extremely sensitive to traces of life.

He could detect several weak traces of life force that gave him no more information than the fact that there was more to this barren land than meets the eye.

Ai Hui raised his head.

Ai Hui stuck his palm out, catching several snowflakes. The snowflakes were the size of goose feathers and saturated with a deep red hue. They looked remarkably like the shed feathers of a crimson coloured flamingo. The snowflakes on Ai Hui's palm melted and soaked through skin, releasing a warm sensation that spread throughout his body.

The entire world was covered in an all-encompassing blood red tint as a dense killing intent permeated the air.

The snowfall here... was much greater!

Ai Hui suddenly sensed danger. His vision tunneled as he looked towards the side.