Chapter 33 – Formless Net
In mounted combat, the arrow formation was the best formation to simply outman the enemy. Not even gods would be able to escape once they fall within an arrow formation charge.
Lin Mu Yu walked several steps forward and rummaged through Hua Tian’s clothes. As expected, a book was hidden within. It was the Medicine God Index, covered in blood stains. He didn’t know whether it was Hua Tian’s blood or his own. Anyhow, he quickly stuffed the book into his breast pocket and grabbed Hua Tian’s pike. Arching back like a longbow, Lin Mu Yu took up a throwing position, as energy swarmed around him.
Following an angry shout, the pike shot out like an arrow and impaled the chest of the frontmost horseman. The force threw both the rider and his horse several feet away, leaving behind rows of muddy trails.
But right at that moment, the two cavalry wings began to close their formation. Two cavalrymen, one from each side, came over, and they swung their long swords ferociously at Lin Mu Yu. With the hasty attack, Lin Mu Yu saw that their sinister looking faces had the looks of arrogance and extreme confidence. With the combined strength of the horsemen’s charging power and the speed of their sword attacks, this charge was obviously going to be quite strong.
At the split second before contact, Lin Mu Yu raised his arm and called forth his spirit ability: Ebony Scale!
The great impact ravaged Lin Mu Yu’s arms as he was thrown into the air along with his sword. Falling into the mud, he could not gather strength into his numbed arms. Those two armored riders weren’t much better off. They were shaken off their horses by the Ebony Scale, then trampled upon by the riders behind them. Their wretched cries of agony tore through the air.
Right as Lin Mu Yu stumbled back on his feet, a patch of searing pain shot through his shoulder, as a cavalryman’s spear pierced through his arm.
He immediately chopped down onto the wooden shaft and snapped it forcefully. Lin Mu Yu huffed and summoned his martial spirit once more. Several vines erupted from the ground, and bound this soldier where he stood. Following up with a fierce left hook through the air, Sonic Punch completely shattered the man’s internal organs!
Treading through the mud, the rain created several patches of muddy depressions in the ground. Lin Mu Yu’s arm had become completely red with his blood. As the rain seeped into the wounds, they burnt with a scorching pain. He quickly used Stellar Step to leave in haste, as he retreated several steps back. He had to leave now, since now that he was injured, he would die if he was caught in the armored cavalry’s charge.
Excluding the fact that he was a new level 30 Battle Master, even if he was a level 90 Saint realm expert, he would not be able to directly face off against the hundreds of horsemen before him. After all, there was a limit to a single man’s strength, while the cavalry troop’s killing potential was endless.
Luckily, Starfall Step was extremely fast, thus Lin Mu Yu was able to escape out of the soldier’s attack range after several dashes.
“Don’t let him get away. Catch up to him and kill him. Take revenge for the lord and young lord!” A group of cavalrymen shouted loudly.
Lin Mu Yu ran madly through the rain, as blood ceaselessly flowed out from his wounds. He really wanted to go back and retrieve Xiang Xiang’s corpse, because he was not willing to let her corpse be subjected to anything else. But that was impossible now, since once he turned back, what awaited him would most definitely be death.
Suddenly, another burning sensation pierced his back and shook him slightly. A mounted archer’s arrow had pierced through his Verdant Shell, and dug itself several centimeters into his back. Although it wasn’t much, it simply made his bad situation worse.
“I can’t stop here, Chu Yao is still waiting for me…”
The rain had blurred his sight, but Lin Mu Yu still continued running. Leaping into the shrubbery, he felt the pain of thorns stabbing into his flesh. But as he recalled Xiang Xiang’s tragic death, this amount of pain was nothing compared to the heart wrenching guilt that he felt.
“I had caused her death.”
He blamed himself inwardly for what happened with Xiang Xiang:
I should never have told her that one liner about how “honor is worth using life to fight for.” I wasn’t able to help her, and instead caused her to fall to her death. What kind of hero am I?
His strength continually dissipated and his inward guilt pushed him little by little to the edge, but everytime he fell down on the ground, he remembered Chu Yao. If he were to die, what would Chu Yao do? How would she face everything that was going to happen by her lonesome? As such, he could not not fall now.
Perhaps this belief was what saved him.
After running madly for near 20 minutes with his body full of wounds, Lin Mu Yu turned around, only to see that there was no one following behind. It was a several kilometer long mountain road, so it was not suitable for horses. If the Silver Fir armored cavalry were to dismount and continue their chase, their walking speeds would be far too slow compared to Starfall Step.
In his blurred line of sight, Chu Yao’s voice appeared before him.
His knees bent softly as he lost strength and he fell into Chu Yao’s embrace. His face rested upon her shoulder as a familiar fragrance entered his nose. He cried out in a brittle voice, “I’m sorry… Chu Yao, it’s all my fault. It was this Medicine God Index that had caused Grandpa to die so miserably. It’s all my fault!””
“Your injuries are too great, don’t speak anymore!”
Chu Yao looked at the spear wound on his arm as well as the arrow in his back, and tears rolled off her cheeks along with the rain.
Late at night, scant firewood lit up a tiny cave. It was a feral bear’s den, but its original owner was already reclined in a pool of its blood. A new wound adorned Chu Yao’s shoulder from when she had killed the bear, but it was still nothing compared to the injury of the one lying on the makeshift grass bed.
Lin Mu Yu gradually opened his heavy eyes and saw the side of Chu Yao’s face before him. He lifted his head and saw that his shoulder wound had been bandaged up. Faint throbbing pain came from his back, but it was definitely not as much as before.
Chu Yao turned to look at him with a warm smile on her face, then turned back to stir the “pot” on the campfire. Frankly, calling it a pot would be too lenient; perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a pot-shaped rock. There was a pile of broken stones lying about from when Chu Yao was trying to make a pot like this. Within the rock pot was a boiling soup with bear meat as its stock. Furthermore, in order to help Lin Mu Yu quickly recover his stamina, Chu Yao had even dug out the bear heart and tossed it into the stew.
“You’re probably hungry now right? Give me a second, the meat soup will be done soon.” Chu Yao gently spoke, like a sister who was tenderly taking care of her brother.
However, Lin Mu Yu noticed her shoulder wound at first sight, “Sorry…”
“Dummy. What are you saying sorry for?”
“Nothing. Thanks a lot.”
“What are you being so polite for?” Chu Yao laughed, but her smile quickly faded away. Pursing her lips, she mumbled, “It’s all because I’m so useless. I couldn’t even help you, and instead became your baggage. Grandpa and the other apprentices are dead, even that Xiang Xiang is dead. We…”
Lin Mu Yu struggled to an upright position. As he held onto Chu Yao’s arm for support, he said with a dry chuckle, “Chu Yao, don’t blame yourself anymore. I’ve already gotten revenge for them.”
“Huh?” Chu Yao gasped in surprise.
Lin Mu Yu looked at the dancing flames and faintly smiled, “Hua Wan had died at my hand. Hua Tian as well. They were the masterminds behind it all, so I’ve avenged Grandpa and everyone else.”
Chu Yao looked at his with disbelief, “Ah Yu, you’re not kidding, are you? Hua Tian is… He is near the power level of a Battle Saint expert. He is Silver Fir’s strongest practitioner, so how could you have killed him?”
“Because of these guys…” Lin Mu Yu caressed the four throwing knives at his side, “Sonic Blade. It originated from master Qu Chu’s specialty skill. Without Sonic Blade, I’m afraid I would have been long dead under Hua Tian’s pike.”.
Chu Yao sighed, “Yeah, it’s good that you were able to avenge everyone, but… perhaps we will have to wander about to a faraway place from now on. Hua Tian is Silver Fir’s lord after all. Although Silver Fir isn’t a big city, Hua Tian is a genuinely important figure in the empire. The Empire will most definitely send out troops to hunt us down for what we did to Hua Tian…”
“It’s alright, I’ll protect you.” Lin Mu Yu smiled cockily, but had stirred his wounds, so he could not help but groan out loud.
Chu Yao couldn’t help but smile, “Oh you. You’re just as headstrong as always. Lie down and rest. I’ll take care of you before you completely heal up.”
After lying back down onto the floor, Lin Mu Yu began to quietly tune his energy pathways and unblock the flows that were clogged up from his combat injuries, or else they would leave him impaired. A long while after, Chu Yao held before him a stone “bowl” with steaming hot meat soup. Although he didn’t know what time it was, since he had not eaten for so long, he immediately began to gulp down the soup. This left Chu Yao chuckling softly, “Slow down, don’t burn yourself…”
When he finished eating, Lin Mu Yu went back to repairing his body. He knew deep down that countless dangers would be coming their way, so he had to quickly return to a combat-ready form. Otherwise, Chu Yao would definitely not be able to hold them down on her own.
“Chu Yao, what kind of plans do you have for our next move?”
“Let’s just put survival first.” Chu Yao gloomily stated, “I’ve seen the map of Silver Fir’s surrounding areas. If we follow along Seven Star Forest’s edge and evade the our persuaders’ path by going north, we should be able to reach the the territory of the Imperial Capital, Lanyan City, within half a month. We’ll decide on the next step when we get there. Anyhow, let’s first survive through this before we plan any further…”
When Chu Yao mentioned Lanyan City, Lin Mu Yu couldn’t help but recall the image of a beautiful girl. Tang Xiao Xi should be in Lanyan City, right? Perhaps, the two of them should go find her?
No, the situation doesn’t seem very suitable. I killed an important figure of the Empire, so if Tang Xiao Xi was to protect me, she would most definitely get in trouble herself. Furthermore, our friendship… are we even close enough for her to help me?
That night, Lin Mu Yu restlessly manipulated energy for self recovery in conjunction with healing medicines to heal his injuries. The arrow wound in his back quickly formed a scab and began to close. His shoulder wound was slightly more serious, so it needed a bit more time before it could completely heal. Luckily, it would not affect the continuous growth of his strength.
At the peak of dawn.
At the Cangnan Province Governor’s mansion in Wugu (Five Grains) City…
Provincial Governor Hu Tiezhu looked at the flight mail under the dim light of his lamp and couldn’t help but furrow his brows. He exclaimed, “Silver Fir City’s Executive Guardian, Hua Tian was killed by an unknown fellow called Lin Mu Yu? How did this happen?”
By his side, his counsel general grabbed cupped his fist and asked, “Governor, the problem is urgent, what should we do?”
Murderous intent dashed through Hu Tiezhu’s eyes as he said, “Silver Fir is a subordinate city under Cangnan Province. I’ve been the Provincial Governor for more than 11 years, and something like this has never happened before. We must deal with this quickly. Assassinating a minister of the court is an unpardonable crime! Immediately put down the order for General Wang and his cavalry division to head over to SIlver Fir. He must capture Lin Mu Yu. If he lives, want to see him. If he dies, I want to see the corpse!”
The counsel general narrowed his eyes and said, “I heard that Lin Mu Yu escaped into Seven Star Forest. Our army might not be able to reach there in time, should we sent a flight mail to Silver Fir and offer a bounty? Maybe mercenaries can help us get rid of Lin Mu Yu and Chu Yao?”
Hu Tiezhu’s voice was very soft as he spoke, “Do as you suggested. Put up a 100 thousand gold Yin bounty for Lin Mu Yu’s head.”