The impact staggered the taotie several steps backwards, and it smashed into the wall behind it.
It shook its head as it crawled back up to its feet.
The strike had made it a little dizzy.
Zu An shook out his arm.
The blow had also made his own fist really sore.
He actually regretted doing that.
If hed known that this would be the outcome, he wouldve hit its waist instead.
He was worried that Pei Mianman wouldnt be able to hold on much longer.
Noticing that the monster was still dizzy, he seized the opportunity to strike with his Taie Sword.
However, a crafty look suddenly appeared in the taoties eyes, and its two horns suddenly crackled with purple electricity.
A ball of electricity materialized in the space between them, and it launched the ball of electricity straight towards Zu An.
The whole process—from the first crackle of electricity to the launching of the ball of lightning—was almost instantaneous.
Zu An couldnt use Grandgale, so there was no way he could evade the attack.
The ball of electricity smashed squarely into his chest.
An intense pain rippled out from the front of his chest, accompanied by a burnt smell.
That wasnt the most terrifying thing.
His entire body had gone numb, and he couldnt move a single muscle.
This was an electrical paralysis effect!
Zu An turned pale with fright.
He couldnt be more clear about what losing all mobility at this crucial moment meant! However, there wasnt a single thing he could do in this situation.
That taotie opened its mouth, and its long tongue shot towards his forehead.
The monster clearly intended to crush his skull in one move.
Zu An felt the fine hairs all along his body stand on end as he watched that tongue inch closer and closer.
He knew that he was moments away from death.
The tongue was just too quick, and he was paralyzed as well, with no way to put up any sort of effective resistance.
However, the scene of his head exploding was not realized.
Instead, the tongue stopped an inch in front of Zu Ans forehead.
Both Zu An and the taotie were similarly stunned.
The taotie retracted its tongue and fired it out again, but once again, it stopped an inch from Zu Ans forehead.
Zu An finally realized what was going on.
He had cut off a chunk of its tongue earlier when it had stabbed Pei Mianman.
The taotie was accustomed to the usual length of its tongue, which was why it instinctively felt that it was close enough for it to impale its opponents head.
It had forgotten that it was missing a chunk of its tongue.
There was no way Zu An would let this opportunity slip by.
While it was distracted, he summoned Hundredwarble and launched a spiritual attack.
Because of the limits of his level of cultivation, Hundredwarble, in its current form, excelled more in defense than offense, but that only applied with high level cultivators.
Even though the taotie was cunning, it was still a beast that was incapable of speech, and had not developed any true intelligence.
This made it weaker towards spirit element attacks.
Sure enough, as his Hundredwarble screeched, sending an invisible wave rippling outwards, the taoties body trembled, and its eyes went blank.
Even its tongue, which was extended straight out like a spear, fell limply to the side.
Zu An, who had been on the brink of death earlier on, felt his blood ignite.
The numbing effects gradually receded, and he just about recovered his ability to move.
He didnt dare hesitate for even a second.
He gripped his Taie Sword and stabbed it into the taoties side.
He recalled the pain that hed experienced when he struck its head, and chose a different target this time.
Instead of striking its head, he stabbed the longsword through the eye on its shoulder.
This monster was so grotesquely shaped, it was impossible to know whether it had a real head, like any other creature.
Generally speaking, however, the eyes wouldnt be too far from the head.
The sword pierced the eye and went right in, almost up to the hilt, and the taotie shrieked miserably.
Its entire body went rigid for a second, before collapsing to the ground.
Zu An pulled the sword back out.
Vile liquid poured out from its eyeball, scorching the surrounding earth black.
“Thank goodness the Taie Sword is an extraordinary treasure.
If it had been any other sword, it would have already been melted by its blood.” Zu An pulled out his sword.
He didnt have time to examine the taoties corpse.
He rushed over to check on Pei Mianman instead.
Pei Mianman had been watching the battle the whole time.
She had her heart in her mouth each time she saw him dancing on the brink of death.
Only when she saw that he had killed the taotie did she heave a massive sigh of relief.
However, as soon as she let it out, all of her strength left her as well, and she collapsed to the ground.
Zu An immediately rushed to support her.
Pei Mianman struggled to open her eyes.
A smile graced her lips.
“Ah Zu, youre so amazing.
You even managed to kill such a terrifying monster.”
Zu An would usually never pass up such a great chance to boast, but he only felt his mood sour as he examined the terrifying wound on her shoulder.
He couldnt bring himself to tease her at all.
“Manman, dont speak.
You need to preserve your strength.”
Pei Mianman shook her head, which was resting in the crook of his arm.
“Im going to die soon, so I wont be able to say anything else if I dont do it now… Actually, I still have many… many things I want to say to you, but when I think about it… even if I tell you anything… Its… Its better if I dont say them at all… Instead, I wish you and Chuyan… the…”
The light in her eyes gradually grew dim.
Zu An quickly said, “I wont let you die! I wont let you die!”
His brain moved at lightning speed.
He quickly fished out a glass bottle filled with bright-red liquid and poured the contents as quickly as he could into her mouth.
At the same time, he nervously muttered, “Manman, you have to hold on, you cannot give up here!”
In the end, however, her eyes slowly fell shut.
Zu An felt as if his entire body had been thrown into a frozen abyss.
He carried her as he muttered to himself, “Why did it take me so long to remember that I still had a bottle ofFaith in Brother Spring! I should have given it to you to drink earlier, then you wouldnt have died…”
“Its my fault, its all my fault… Youre so beautiful, and you have such extraordinary talent.
You shouldve been able to enjoy an amazing life… If you hadnt tried to save me, you would never have died here…”
Zu An held onto her, his heart broken into a million pieces.
All of his feelings for her poured out.
The scene of their first meeting filled his mind—her charming eyes and beautiful smile were still fresh in his memory.
He remembered their fight in Chu Chuyans room, and how she had snuck into his room late at night to teach him her martial skills.
He cherished all the times she had spent with him, and all they had experienced together…
The ache in his heart grew and grew.
He embraced her tightly, sobbing in grief and sorrow.
“Hey, its itchy.
Your snot is getting on my clothes.” A sudden giggle tickled his ears.
Zu An straightened his body in disbelief.
When he looked down, his gaze was met by a beautiful face, looking back at him.
Those clear peach-blossom eyes were just as lovely as before.
“You… youre not dead” Zu An asked in disbelief.
“Did you want me to die” Pei Mianman snorted.
“What kind of medicine was that I already had one foot in the grave, but it somehow dragged me right back.”
“Its a medicine that grants eternal life, which was bestowed upon me by an immortal.” Zu An said with a smile.
“A medicine that grants eternal life” Pei Mianman was stunned.
“Couldnt you grant immortality to everyone around you with this”
Zu An scratched his head.
“I only had this one bottle left.
I might be able to get some more later.”
Before he could finish, Pei Mianmans expression changed.
“You gave me your only bottle of this miraculous medicine”
Zu An laughed and said, “I was just messing with you.
Theres no way this medicine could grant eternal life.”
Pei Mianman pursed her lips.
“Even so, the fact that that thing could drag me back from the brink of death means its pretty damned close.
I cant believe you actually used something like that on me! How can I even repay you”
“Hmph, whats all this talk about repayment” Zu An smacked her bottom in annoyance.
“You were already fine a while ago, werent you Why didnt you say anything You just had to watch me cry my heart out.”
Pei Mianmans face turned entirely red.
She pouted and said, “I really did fall unconscious at first, before gradually waking up.
Actually, Im quite grateful.
If this hadnt happened, how would I have found out how much I meant to you”
She looked deeply into his eyes as she said this, her own eyes filled with tenderness.
Zu An stared back into them, lost in their beauty.
She seemed even more beautiful than usual.
He found himself in a daze.
“Ah!” Pei Mianman suddenly cried out.
“What happened” Zu An asked.
He was worried that something bad had happened to her.
Pei Mianman turned towards her shoulder, “My shoulder injury feels really itchy.
Can you help me take a look at it”
She remembered that her shoulder had suffered a terrible injury.
The taoties corrosive saliva had inflicted some horrific wounds, and she was afraid that it hadnt been completely cleared away.
Zu An gently prodded her wound.
“Does it hurt Dont worry.
This medicine is powerful enough that it can regrow lost limbs.”
He had experienced this himself, after all.
Previously, his wounds had been far worse than hers, yet he had still recovered.
“It really doesnt hurt.” Pei Mianman was surprised.
She moved her arm around.
She could clearly feel that the huge hole was gone, and that she was already back to normal.
However, there was one other thing that she was worried about.
“Help me remove the clothes covering that area.
Can you check if theres a scar”
Even a regular girl would cherish the appearance of her skin, let alone an exceptional beauty like her.
Any girl would be afraid of their injuries leaving behind marks and blemishes.
“Oh.” Zu An subconsciously raised his hand towards her shoulder, but then hesitated and said, “Thats not very appropriate, is it Guys and girls shouldnt do this sort of stuff.”
Even though the bottle of red medicine could restore her life force, it didnt repair her clothes, which were already in tatters.
If he tried to take one part of them off, everything else might just slide right off as well.
The last thing he wanted was to be mistaken as some lecherous scoundrel.
Pei Mianman giggled.
“Youre normally so careless with the things you say, and you were hugging me however you wanted to earlier on.
Whats up with this sudden gentlemanly behaviour”
“I was only doing that to save you! Besides, Im always a gentleman, what are you talking about…” Zu An felt his confidence leaking away the more he spoke.
Pei Mianman gave him a warm look and said, “You silly man, the two of us are already so close.
So what if you end up seeing something Its fine.”