Chapter 38 – This World Is Filled With Secret Plots
With a sharp hawk-cry, a black goshawk dove from the sky and descended upon an aged oak. Waiting below was a man riding on his red-maned horse. A golden engraved-bow hung limp on the horse and a slight shimmer could be seen coming from the inlaid gemstone. The rider lifted his arm to serve as a rest for the goshawk. After listening to the goshawk’s short cries, a faint smile appeared on the man’s face. “Looks like we’re not too far away. This Lin Mu Yu sure is something. To think he was able to kill Broadsword Guan Yang… Perhaps I, Ye Liang, did not come here for nothing!”
As he spoke, Ye Liang struck his whip and immediately set off to the neigh of his horse.
The fact that this fine steed was able to pace between shrubbery and rocky cliffs as if it was flat ground was a testament to its magnificent lineage.
In the blink of an eye, night had fallen upon the forest. Lin Mu Yu had been the most wary of this period of time for the last few days. He had to find a suitable location for setting up camp. It had to provide adequate cover for the campfire, as to not attract attention with the light. As such, he had to find places like swamps or caves. However, most caves are usually occupied with their “owners”. A beast’s nocturnal vision had always been far better than that of humans. Lin Mu Yu knew the extent of his ability and his limitations, so unless there was no other option, he would never be willing to challenge spirit beasts in the night.
“Let’s stop here. We won’t be able to go much further.”
He looked towards the distance, where howls were frequently sounded. He didn’t dare to attract a pack of wolves. Most of the Swift Wolves in Seven Star Forest were less than 1000 years of age, so Lin Mu Yu would have no problem taking them on one at a time. But if a pack were to come, then he and Chu Yao could very well become a swell meal for the wolves.
Tonight’s dwelling was a small cave of about 3 meters deep. In actuality, it was no more than a little sunken depression in the cliff, so it could not even be considered a cave.
Chu Yao scavenged around for a bit of firewood, while Lin Mu Yu used the water in his waterskin to clean the venison they had carved off a buck. The buck did not produce a beast spirit as it was no more than 5 years of age, so it was used outright as a meat supply. Luckily, the venison was very tender, so at least this meal would be quite nourishing.
Everytime he kills wild beast, Lin Mu Yu did not dare to harvest too much meat, as it will become a burden on the road. In this hunted state, he and Chu Yao must always reserve enough stamina to react to an attack at any moment.
A short while after, a pot of appetizing venison soup was boiling before the two. Chu Yao used her cleaned dagger to stir the meat as a hint of hope danced on her pretty cheeks. It was quite something that she could retain a speck of innocence with how life had been treating her.
“We’ll be eating soon, Ah Yu!”
“Got it. I’m coming.”
Lin Mu Yu walked back with a armful of firewood. They had to prepare some extra firewood for the night, or else spirit beasts will be able to approach to easily.
Right then, Lin Mu Yu heard a familiar bird-cry in the air. He couldn’t help but look up with a frown. It sounded too familiar, as it was shrill and cold. It must be that goshawk from before.
“What’s wrong?” Chu Yao walked out.
“It’s that hawk again. It is tracking us.”
Chu Yao looked up at the starry sky and pouted, “It can’t be right…Don’t tell me that someone is using the hawk’s tracking ability to follow us?”
“Can’t rule out that possibility.”
Lin Mu Yu set aside the firewood and asked, “Chu Yao, do you have any information on traveling mercenaries? In the Seven Martial Saints, is there one that is good at training tracker hawks?”
“I don’t know much about the Seven Martial Saints, but…” Chu Yao pondered for a second and suddenly said, “I know one. Ye Liang the Hawk Tamer, one of the Seven. He has an old tracking hawk, but…it should be quite unlikely. I heard that Ye Liang’s family background is very good. His father is the master of a villa, so he probably won’t haplessly give his life for the 100 thousand gold bounty.”
“That’s not always the case. Everyone is after different goals.”
Sitting down, Lin Mu Yu wrinkled the corner of his mouth, “Big sis, let’s eat quickly. We’ll leave this place after we finish.”
Chu Yao asked blankly, “Do we have to depart at night?”
“Yep. We have to shake off that hawk, or else I would feel as if we are sitting on pins and needles.”
Chu Yao poured a bowl of soup with a large serving of meat for Lin Mu Yu. He didn’t care too much for the hot soup and quickly gorged it down. After waiting for Chu Yao to finish her soup, the two packed up and left after extinguishing the flame.
However, before they walked too far, the sound of hooves were heard from behind them.
“Not good. He’s here!”
Lin Mu Yu quickly thrown off his luggage and pulled out his sword. But right at that second, a whistling sound torn through the air. Lin Mu Yu tried to turn around immediately, but it was too late. With a flesh-ripping sound, an iron arrow pierced through his chest and out his back.
Chu Yao’s cry was especially miserable. She had just watched helplessly as an arrow pierced through Lin Mu Yu’s chest, while blood flowed out ceaselessly out from the arrowhead.
“Don’t move. Lie down.”
Lin Mu Yu endured the sharp pain, but was extraordinarily calm. Pressing onto Chu Yao’s shoulder, he pushed her down into the shrubbery.
The sound of hooves approached closer and closer. Two more arrows flew out, but neither landed into the thicket.
Lin Mu Yu had made the correct decision. The attacker was using the target’s movement to place the arrows. If he didn’t move, then the attacker basically would have no idea where he was.
The attacker flipped off his horse and unsheathed his sword. The flaming glow of the blade shined onto his face. It was Ye Liang of the Seven Martial Saints.
“Just come out, Lin Mu Yu!” Ye Liang laughed heartily and suddenly swiped at the trees. Flames swelled and glowed from his sword as the shrubbery was lit ablaze. The fire illuminated the whole area, so much so that there was no where to hide.
Lin Mu Yu grabbed hold of the arrow shaft and slowly pulled it out. The pain almost caused him to crumble mentally. Chu Yao teared up at the sight and immediately applied a bottle of healing potion on both front and back wounds. However, Lin Mu Yu had already realized through inner-sight that his lung had been pierced, so even his breathing was becoming increasingly difficult. He had to finish this one quickly.
Clenching Chu Yao’s hand, he lowered his voice and said, “Use Intoxicating Breeze, I’ll go distract him for a bit.”
Chu Yao was just about to continue, but Lin Mu Yu had already stood up.
Looking from afar, Ye Liang was a youth of no more than 30 years old. An engraved bow hung on his steed, but the quiver was not out. Lin Mu Yu was a little relieved at the sight. Behind him, Chu Yao had already opened a bottle of Intoxicating Breeze. Immediately, the colorless, odorless poison began to diffuse through the air.
“You’re Lin Mu Yu?”
Illuminated by the light of the flames, Ye Liang had a face of arrogance and unabashed cruelness. He laughed, “Looks like you can’t even withstand a single blow. With someone like you, how could you have killed Broadsword Guan Yang?”
Lin Mu Yu inwardly fumed. If it was you squirt that attacked me with a cold arrow, then I will kill you as well.
But he didn’t have this kind of confidence now. The opponent was a level 51 Battle Saint, so Ye Liang’s strength was already much above his own. Furthermore, he had been gravely injured, so his only winning chance was to wait for Intoxicating Breeze to take effect!
“Who are you? To go as far as to shoot from hiding to injure me, how shameless.” He tries to stall for as long as possible.
Ye Liang sneered, “I, Ye Liang, am the third ranked of the Seven Martial Saints. Let me tell you something. I, the young master, had only casually launched the shot. It was just your bad luck. Moreover, even if I didn’t sneak attack you, I can still kill you! For someone like you, you can probably only kill a trash like Guan Yang who couldn’t even break into Earth realm’s 3rd stage.”
Ye Liang’s sword trembled steadily as a flame snake slowly coiled up the blade. This was his rank 6 martial spirit: Flame Serpent, which could greatly enhance the owner’s flame control and power. It was with the might of the Flame Serpent that Ye Liang could place into the Seven Martial Saints at his young age.
Lin Mu Yu could only feel his gasps for breath becoming increasing difficult, and each breath became heavier than the last. With his right hand tightly gripping his steel sword, he looked up at Ye Liang and said, “Even if you kill me today, it will still be a one-sided battle. You will be the laughing stock of practitioners everywhere.”
Ye Liang laughed grimly, “Dead men can’t talk.”
As he spoke, he couldn’t hold back any longer. With a single leap, a flurry of sword swings came flying at Lin Mu Yu. Lin Mu Yu couldn’t even see Ye Liang, but could already feel the flaming sword auras running through the air.
Must not attack, this hit must be defended!
Suddenly spreading out his left palm, the Green Gourd materialized and began to condense energy into an Ebony Scale!
Clang! Clang! Clang!
Ye Liang’s sword continuously slashed at the Ebony Scale, and was able to cut out three cracks. However, the strong shock-reduction startled him as he was dumbstruck, “What an incredible defense. Do you really only have the strength of a Earth realm first stage?”
Lin Mu Yu did not respond. At the second when the Ebony Scale faded, his steel sword struck with fire and lightning at Ye Liang’s abdomen!
Taking the heavy strike, Ye Liang was unexpectedly not harmed in the slightest. On the contrary, pieces of energy armor slowly crumbled off his abdomen. That was the special ability of the third stage of Earth realm: Energy Armor – condensing energy into armor to shield the body.
Looking at the flame red energy on Lin Mu Yu’s body, Ye Liang couldn’t help but laugh, “So you’ve actually stepped into the second stage of Earth realm. No wonder, hahahaha. Good! Good!”
He took several steps back while his flame snake quickly transformed. The snake became longer and wider, and the true Flame Serpent began to dash at Lin Mu Yu.
Lin Mu Yu had no other choice but to defend. Forcefully calling forth energy, the Ebony Scale formed once again!
Under the frenzied attacks, he was forced back several steps as the clothes in his shoulder had been charred. The situation was all the more grim. How could he be a match for Ye Liang under the significant difference in power?
“Accept your death!”
Ye Liang approached once more. Right as he was planning to end Lin Mu Yu with a swing, a vine suddenly bursted out of the ground and wrapped around his feet. It was the Green Gourd’s Coiling Roots ability.
“Fuck, what is this?” He bellowed in anger and immediately started to channel flame energy to burn the vines.
But how could Lin Mu Yu give up a chance like this? With a muffled call, energy turned into a poisonous acid and was spat out through the flower on the gourd vine!
This world is filled with plots.
Ye Liang taught Lin Mu Yu once, so this is now Lin Mu Yu’s turn to teach him a lesson.