Ch.63: Struggle
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Thanks to Trardossa for the kofi~

Xie Yi felt himself lose control and let it happen. He knew the man as one of the cultivators in the sect that he had overtaken at some point in time. They had never gotten along, but that wasn’t the point at the moment.

The point was simply that the man belonged to the Demonic Sect at all.

All the fury and hate dragged Xie Yi into the abyss, the howling and crying existence deep in his heart clawing its way out as it screeched. Pushing him away, taking control of his body and tearing the bastard apart.

Yet, killing him didn’t calm down the rage at all. Tearing out his arm, tearing off the rest of his head, nothing was calming down the furious shadow that just cried out more and more, blocking out any sound in his head.

His core was throbbing painfully as it pumped more and more spiritual energy through his body, enough to tear his channels. At the same time, they repaired themselves, only to tear again, holding back against the raging current that went through his body.

There seemed to be another sound beyond the screams in his eyes and the tearing of flesh, but it was too far to hear. Something wrapped around his body, threatening to stop his movements, but he growled and destroyed it.

Out of the bubble that was surrounding his consciousness, Shi Yue watched the high-level spell shatter around Tiankong and cursed.

Since the man had killed the other, he seemed to have gone into a blood frenzy. He was obviously focusing only on the Demonic cultivator and not harming the waiter at all, which was some relief to Shi Yue, but he couldn’t let the man continue to rage around.

He had tried a spell to bind him first while calling out to him, but then the sound had appeared. Like something was slowly shattering; a snapping sound that chilled Shi Yue to the bones. Just once had he heard it before.

The cores of humans were different from those of beasts in the way they were formed. Although they were called the same, you couldn't compare them completely. It was just like different material - beast cores could be hard or brittle, but in the end, you could compare it to stone. If you ground them to dust, it was a very distinct sound.

The one time he had met a Demonic Master, that woman had directly crushed a human’s core in her fingers. That sound was different - like crystal or ice breaking. Higher.

And the same sound, that high frequency, was crackling all around Tiankong. 

Whatever was happening to the man, he was currently destroying himself.

“Get a grip!”, Shi Yue shouted, thankful that the customers had begun running outside a while ago. He had a barrier around them, but by now he was doubtful how long it would last. The aura emanating from Tiankong was suggesting him to be a mid-level Grandmaster - higher than him.

“I’m avoiding one fight with a Grandmaster and get thrown right into one with another”, Shi Yue lamented quietly to himself, clenching his jaw and forming another net. “God, hopefully this counts as helping him.”

It hurt when his spells got shattered, but his heart was aching worse. Tiankong had begun to cry soundlessly - the visible lower half of his face was still distorted in a mindless rage, but tears were dripping down from under the mask without a break. Once in a while, instead of a breath he would sob, the sound with absolute certainty the same as the one in Xie Yi’s mind.

He had thought that the unknown man must have been very cruel to Xie Yi. Now he wondered if maybe it had been Xie Yi witnessing the cruelty done to another, instead.

It was all the more reason for him to stop the other before he continued to self-destruct.

The wall got a deep, splintering dent when Tiankong shook off the next net and hit it in the process, but it also caused him to pause for just a moment.

Lowering his eyes, Shi Yue took the single second of the break to reach out for the stretched-out arm with both a binding spell as well his own hands. The arm quivered when he touched it and pulled it back to cause Tiankong to stumble half a step backwards.

His other hand wrapping around the others mask and eyeslits, Shi Yue tried to divert his attention. If the cultivator just regained his mind, then he could control himself.

Tiankong instantly struggled against the grip, letting the corpse, that was nothing more than a mangled heap of flesh and fabric by now, fall down.

Shi Yue breathed a mental sigh of relief when he noticed that Tiankong wasn’t using a single spell to counter him. The pulsing, unstable current of his spiritual energy was mostly wasted due to its overflow, the rest of it was spent on so violently enhancing Tiankong’s physical abilities that he could tear whole spells apart.

It would have been highly dangerous if he used that against Shi Yue. But he didn’t.

Just like with the waiter, Shi Yue instantly noticed how the spiritual energy retreated wherever Tiankong tried to tear off the hands on his arm and face. Even mindless, he wasn’t willing to truly hurt anyone other than the dead Demonic cultivator.

He struggled in Shi Yue’s grip, his throat screaming out in incoherent sounds.

Sweating, the Grandmaster scanned the situation. The restaurant was still standing in a miracle, the waiter was laying fainted at the side and the bloody mess on the ground as well as the single dent were the only signs of a fight happening at all. 

Despite going crazy… Tiankong was being surprisingly tame. Most of the rage seemed to have turned against his own body. His arms were beginning to tear open from the sheer force of spiritual energy running through him. 

Shi Yue breathed in deeply, then brought the two of them to the ground. It was hard to do anything when both of his hands were occupied. If he wanted to do something to bind the other, then he needed both of them.

Outside the barrier, down at the stairs, someone shouted nervously.

“Shi Yue?”

“Get out”, Shi Yue shouted back at the anxious Zhi Ruo. “There is a rampaging Grandmaster here and I’m not sure if he will continue keeping the damage so low!”

“But-”, Zhi Ruo shouted again, peeking around the corner and then muffling a scream when she saw the blood dripping down the stairs towards here.

“Tell people to go away as far as possible”, Shi Yue ordered, flipping Tiankong on his stomach and placing a knee on his back. Even as he did the movement, he could feel his body shaking when Tiankong resisted and tried to push himself up again, his body twisting into the direction of the cultivator’s upper jaw.

“Okay”, Zhi Ruo gave in, her voice trembling. Not long after her hurried steps sounded towards the door.

Shi Yue resisted calling out in frustration when Tiankong began to use his spiritual energy to move. Holding struggling people down was hard enough in itself, doing it while the other was stronger than you was near impossible. He didn’t have the option of knocking Tiankong out, after all, as that might not necessarily stop the flood of spiritual energy and cause it to go havoc.  

The greatest problem was the increasingly loud snapping sound that alerted Shi Yue of the growing damage the cultivator was doing to himself. He neither could nor wanted to let that go on. Once the other was back to clarity, maybe he could convince him to talk about it.

Shi Yue cursed when his knee slid off the other’s back due to the sudden movements of his body, essentially freeing him again. 

But the time had been enough.

With full concentration, Shi Yue managed to use his strongest binding spell. Glowing white, the tendrils wrapped around Tiankong - where he tore one, two would grow, thicker and thicker intertwining themselves and creating a cocoon around his body to tie him to the ground.

Mindless as he was, Tiankong could not find his way out of the hundreds of strings that gently but with determination restricted his movements. Where his arms had torn they just cut deeper into his flesh and dyed the wooden floor in crimson.

Shi Yue shook his head to rid himself of the daze that came with the sudden plummet in spiritual energy. He leaned forward t steady himself-

And pulled his hand back with a hiss.

Stunned, he stared at the small cloth bag that had at some point of time slipped out from under Tiankong’s belt. Whatever was inside had burned his hand through the fabric.

Shi Yue frowned, then carefully but quickly reached out to untie the bag and turned it upside down. It was a small sphere, the size of a walnut. With its white sheen and the translucent core, Shi Yue immediately recognized it as a soul crystal.

At the moment, then crystal was shivering lightly and giving off a little light that pulsed hurriedly. It had been hot but the heat had dissipated now, leaving it just warm.

Shi Yue hesitated, then picked it up slowly.

“Are you already sentient?”, he whispered to it, watching the light recede.

From one second to the next its temperature rose rapidly again, prompting Shi Yue to jolt back his hand. The crystal fell, landing on the struggling Tiankong, and despite all his violent movements didn’t move from his chest at all.

:< (I'm annoyed that I'm not good at fighting scenes.)