Chapter 1173: The Heart Beaten Ten Times
Dry Bone King continued to drum the heartbone incessantly. Each sonic-boom made Han Sen cough more blood.
Each beat was stronger than the last, increasing the amount of pain and strain Han Sen’s heart had to withstand. Dry Bone was going to do this ten times.
After the wooden fish’s tenth strike, the damage each subsequent strike made would not increase, but Dry Bone King could still go on and on. And so far, it had been enough to suppress anything Han Sen thought to do.
By now, he had only struck the wooden fish seven times. There was more pain yet to come for Han Sen, and on the seventh strike, he fell to the ground in a puddle of his own blood. His heart did not yield yet, though.
Dry Bone King could read the fitness level of a person and evaluate what would be required to kill them. He had believed the sixth strike would be enough to kill Han Sen, yet there he was, unbent, unbowed, unbroken.
Much to his surprise, Han Sen had survived the seventh beat.
This was not to say Dry Bone King was very concerned over the matter. He knew he’d kill Han Sen sooner or later, and that was that. After the seventh boom, the eighth followed swiftly after. It cracked a thunderbolt directly upon Han Sen’s heart, or so it felt.
Han Sen’s heart was thumping, and it felt like it was ready to leap through his ribcage and jump out of his chest. A pain like electricity surged through his body, dealing immense pain to every limb and every organ within him.
Han Sen’s skin began to crack. The veins were inflamed, making him look red like some monstrosity that had been st.i.tched together.
“Watch his face. Not that you’ll have to remember it for too long; I am sure it is to be replaced by even sorrier sights in the near future,” the woman said to Qiu Ping.
If Qiu Ping had the necessary power, he’d have killed the devil in his ear. But she wouldn’t even allow him to close his eyes, and so he was forced to watch Han Sen writhe in torture and torment.
Gritting his teeth might have once been an outlet for anger, but it didn’t help this time. He felt hopeless; he was to blame for Han Sen lying on the ground in a pool of his own blood.
“Let him go and I will kill Zhang Yuchen!” Qiu Ping trembled as he muttered those ghastly words he never thought he’d hear himself speak.
He knew he had no choice in the matter. The woman was practically demanding it, and it’d be folly of him to resist much longer. It’d only cause more pain, particularly to those who were not deserving of an ill fate. He couldn’t bear the thought of others dying in such cruel ways on his account.
But the woman then said, “You need to know who is in command here, you witless worm! That’s me; you don’t strike deals with ME! He could have lived, but that s.h.i.+p has sailed. He will die because you are weak. He will die because you have always been weak. You are pathetic. You are the one who has gotten him killed! How could you allow this?!”
The woman was colder than the devil, and her mind was more twisted than the flames of h.e.l.l itself.
Han Sen sat up on the battleground. The pain had yet to ease, but despite the frantic torment his heart was enduring, his mind was as crystal clear as ever.
The first few attacks from Dry Bone King had not been all that effective, but he noticed something interesting as the power ramped up. Han Sen hadn’t fought back because he had been mulling this discovery.
Heresy Mantra came from the Evil Sutra. The Evil Sutra was not too different from the Dongxuan Sutra and the Frost Sutra. Because the Evil Sutra was missing, the techniques themselves had been lost. Heresy Mantra was another recreation that was simply more complete.
Han Sen had maxed out all he could with the Heresy Mantra, as Curse of Immortality was supposed to be the final tier of the skill.
But when witnessing the attacks dealt through the heartbone, Han Sen knew he could continue his practice of it.
The heartbone attacks attempted to destroy one’s heart. For Han Sen, it made his heart squirm and thump faster than when he was in the midst of learning Curse of Immortality, and this told Han Sen there had to be a way to take Heresy Mantra farther.
As Han Sen’s heart pounded like a thousand drums, he focused his mind, trying to learn what Dry Bone King was doing. He wanted to be able to replicate it for himself, the next time he was given the free time to practice.
It was impossible to get the Evil Sutra back, but Han Sen could at least keep going with Heresy Mantra. He was going to unlock the fifth curse and make it stronger, no matter the cost.
When the ninth drum beat sounded, Han Sen felt as if his heart was on the precipice of being torn asunder.
But his heart was like a balloon. The fierce powers emitted by the heartbone inflated it, but it was all quickly released in the break between each beat. Cracks and seams began to form with each beat, but they did not matter; his Heresy Mantra ensured that his heart healed immediately and was ready for what came next.
The agony made Han Sen want to scream in joy, learning his heart was becoming better than what was required for Curse of Immortality. And so, he continued trying to record what Dry Bone King was doing to him. It might very well be the key to opening the fifth curse.
Han Sen’s enjoyment of the heartbone was starting to become apparent, and it made Dry Bone King frown.
Han Sen had withstood nine attacks so far, and Dry Bone King was starting to have second thoughts. His judgment of the human’s power might have been incorrect, he thought.
His red eyes stared at Han Sen once more. The young man’s fitness really was not up there with king-cla.s.s spirits, though. But it was not as if he could turn back now. Dry Bone King had to finish what he had started and push on with the tenth heartbone drum.
“I don’t believe you have what it takes to withstand the tenth attack.” Then, Dry Bone King ama.s.sed a frightening power in his left hand. He unleashed it on the wooden fish.
It wasn’t only Han Sen’s heart that had to suffer, then. The entire battleground quaked and was thrown into disarray. The entire stadium was wrecked, as a plume of haze and dust began to cake the atmosphere and stifle vision.
Qiu Ping’s eyes possessed a fury like no other as he stared across the battleground. Beside him, the woman just laughed callously.
But when the dust settled, Han Sen was sitting still. He looked undamaged.
He wiped the blood he had oozed and stood up without trouble.