It dealt quite a mental blow because he had immersed himself in the dao of archery since forever. He considered himself to be the current number one in this generation.
Alas, a junior had surpassed him today - not an easy revelation to swallow.
“Do you understand? This will be your last shot.” Li Qiye woke him up from his daze.
The centaur god’s heart skipped a beat, clearly understanding the implications.
“Buzz.” He took a deep breath and dispelled the defensive barrier around him.
Li Qiye was right - offense is the best defense. When an archer worried about putting up a barrier before the actual exchange, he was already at a disadvantage. The right train of thought was to kill the enemy with a single shot, not giving them a chance to retaliate.
This was perhaps his last shot, not just because it was the third one in this bet. It must be exceptional and brilliant.
He couldn’t afford to be conservative or he would let down his lifelong efforts.
“Rumble!” The world trembled at an increasing pace. The centaur god changed his style.
As he pinched his thumb and index finger together in the proper motion, the world, the dao, his vitality, and everything else turned into an arrow.
Great power in the form of an arrow existed between his fingers. This was the culmination of everything he got, even his lifespan.
“Buzz.” As he pulled the string back, the arrow manifested into physical form. It started as nothingness - only a culmination of various affinities. Now, it was as real as any other arrow.
It was made of shimmering, beautiful blood - looking just like a carved ruby. Its sharpness instilled fear into the spectators.
Bow at the ready; same with his arrow. He fixated on Li Qiye and assumed a state of oneness with his bow.
Everyone saw that he was the bow and the bow was him. The only thing on his mind was archery and the only thing the spectators could see was his arrow. The actual person had disappeared.
Even the strongest members of the crowd felt like they were prey targeted by this arrow. This made them shudder. Worst of all, dodging seemed futile regardless of the methods.
“Go.” Li Qiye smiled despite being the target.
“Whoosh!” The centaur god shot right when Li Qiye spoke, trying to take advantage of his distraction in order to seek an opening.
The fatal arrow left first and the whoosh came far later.
The bloody arrow leaped through space and time along with everything else. Distance didn’t matter, seemingly not existing.
A terrible scene emerged before the spectators. The various affinities making up the fabrics of reality instantly withered. Their forces were sucked out by the arrow, leaving behind an empty husk. A frightening scar of a trail was also left in its path.
The arrow also sucked away the vitality from the spectators nearby. Even their grand dao, true fate, and soul seemed to be affected. This was a non-discriminating all-devouring arrow.
“How frightening.” All the students here thought that they would die for sure, unable to escape from this fatal shot.
A while ago, a few students looked down on the centaur god because of his inaccurate claim regarding his cultivation. Now, yes, he should consider himself an Amaranthine. This shot alone earned him this title.
“No way he will survive this time, right?” Everyone shared this belief.
At this crucial juncture, Li Qiye retaliated by shooting an arrow despite not holding anything in his hands.
His arrow was formless and silent. People couldn’t sense its power at all.
Nevertheless, they felt something strange inside their heart - an arrow was coming out from within and shooting towards the centaur god.
He suddenly became everyone’s target. This was simply inexplicable because they had no feud with him yet the arrow within commanded them to kill him. This murderous thought shocked everyone here.
“Kill him!” The realization of the absurdity behind the whole thing didn’t lessen their murderous intent, only increasing it.
It eventually erupted and arrows shot out towards him! Their murderous intent culminated into a single physical arrow emerging in the sky. It pierced straight through the centaur god’s forehead.
Time paused ever so slightly. The centaur god stood there, still with the shooting posture.
A while later, he fell backward and slammed into the ground.
His eyes were wide open as blood slowly dripped down his forehead.
“Very deserving…” He uttered these last words before dying. He closed his eyes, ready to enter the yellow river.
The spectators staring at his corpse couldn’t believe it. They felt as if they were the ones who killed him due to the internal arrows earlier.
“What the hell?!” One student cried out.
The sensation was too real, unlike an illusion. It was as if they had personally raised the bow and shot the arrow at the centaur god.
Eyes of confusion were fixated on Li Qiye now.
Goldpython and Stonecarver True Emperor became afraid as well. They realized that Li Qiye’s shot earlier was the apex of archery. The centaur god spent his whole life and couldn’t reach it but Li Qiye did…
“Don’t look at me, you’re the ones who killed him.” Li Qiye shrugged: “You had thoughts of an arrow in your heart and mind, that’s why the shot was fatal. He would have survived otherwise.”
Everyone looked at each other, unable to respond. They truly felt that they were the culprits pushing the centaur god towards his death. This sensation was irrefutable.
The centaur god felt his hands trembling after seeing this state of archery from Li Qiye - something completely unexpected for him.