Chapter 42 – Brothers
A heavy slap struck down on a dark wooden work desk. Tea cup and papers scattered onto the floor. Cangnan Province’s viceroy, Hu Tie Ning (Beard-Iron-Peaceful) yelled out with agitation, “What did you say!? Say that again?!”
The kneeling messenger trembled with fear as he said, “Viceroy… Pegasus Battalion’s cavalry found the bodies of the Seven Martial Saints Guan Yang and Ye Liang in Seven Star Forest. Guan Yang’s death state looked extremely similar to that of Hua Tian’s. Ye Liang had been poisoned, and then had his throat slit. His horse and weapons had all been snatched away.”
“Useless. A bunch of useless trash!”
Hu Tie Ning’s complexion turned sinister as he huffed in the cold air. After a short pause, he asked, “Is Pegasus Battalion still in pursuit?”
“Yes, but they had been attacked several times by spirit beasts on the way, so they lost a few men.”
“Exactly how many?”
“Three hundred men… They came across a 4000 year old giant python.”
Hu Tie Ning ferociously slapped his desk again, “If I don’t kill Lin Mu Yu, then I, Hu Tie Ning, don’t deserve to be the provincial viceroy! Immediately send a letter to General Xiang Yu. Tell him that he must lay out an inescapable net around the outskirts of Lanyan City. If he catches Lin Mu Yu, he is permitted to execute him on the spot!”
Ninth day of exile, Seven Star Forest.
At the edge of a clear stream, Chu Yao was busy washing their change of clothes. Meanwhile, Lin Mu Yu was feeding their horses while looking at the legend on his map. Frowning, he muttered, “This map… I really can’t make heads or tails out of it, but we shouldn’t be too far from Lanyan City’s territory now. We should be able to enter the Dragon Seeker Forest in about one more day’s travel. Chu Yao, do we need to enter Dragon Seeker Forest?”
Chu Yao wiped away the sweat on her forehead and laughed, “Our arrest warrant is from Cangnan Province, so most of our pursuers should be from Cangnan as well. Lanyan City is the Empire’s capital, and does not belong to any province. If we enter the region of Dragon Seeker Forest, the pursuing mercenaries would surely be quite wary of the consequences, at least to the point of not so brazenly trying to kill us.”
“Alright then, we’ll set out after we eat.”
In order to minimize the amount of killing, the escape route that Lin Mu Yu picked went along places with the least signs of human habitation. Like this, they had not met any others for the last two days, so naturally they didn’t run into any other mercenaries.
Their lunch was quite simple, but it was still a meat soup. However, Chu Yao looked at the stream with a sullen look.
“What’s wrong?” Lin Mu Yu asked with a laugh.
Chu Yao lightly knitted her brows, “Ah Yu, after running for so long, I still haven’t gotten the chance to bathe once…”
“Oh…” Lin Mu Yu was between laughter and tears. Being a man, he didn’t even think once about whether his body smells during the whole escape. In contrast, Chu Yao was a girl after all, so she was not as unconcerned as he.
“Then Chu Yao, you can go wash yourself. I’ll wait here for you.” He said.
Chu Yao nodded, “I’ll bathe over at the mountain head, I’ll be back soon.”
“Okay. Just yell out if you come across any kind of danger.”
Lin Mu Yu continued boiling the meat soup in the pot while Chu Yao walked away with her change of clothes.
The meat soup’s aroma became stronger and stronger, but the meat is still venison like the day before.
Not long after, Lin Mu Yu’s stomach had already begun to rumble. Right as he was debating whether or not to secretly eat a piece of meat, Chu Yao’s screech was heard from over the hill.
Picking up his sword, Lin Mu Yu dashed ahead using Starfall Steps. Looking over the hilltop, Chu Yao’s snow white figure was right before his eyes. She faced away from Lin Mu Yu, splashing at the water as she backed away frantically, screaming, “Go away! Go away!”
There’s something in the water!
Lin Mu Yu charged down with a single arrow step and jumped into the stream. The light reflecting from his sword bounced around as it slashed through the water. Immediately a stream of blood squirted out from below the water. In the next moment, two halves of a water snake floated to the surface. Lin Mu Yu was immediately confused. Although this water snake was a little bigger than normal water snakes, but… it’s still harmless, no?
Chu Yao hugged him tightly as she trembled, “Is… is it dead?”
“It’s dead…” Lin Mu Yu wanted to cry, “Chu Yao, this was just a regular snake. It’s not even strong enough to be considered a spirit beast. You… you’re a practitioner of the Earth realm’s first stage, so how could a snake scare you like this?”
Chu Yao pursed her red lips, feeling as if she had been wronged, “I… I’ve always been afraid of wriggling things, especially snakes. So… once I’m panicking, I even forget about my cultivation level…”
As she spoke, her cheeks flushed red, “Ah Yu, I’m not wearing clothes…”
“I know, I saw…”
“What, you saw?” Chu Yao’s little heart seemingly betrayed her and started to flutter and pulse rapidly.
Lin Mu Yu couldn’t help but snicker, “Elder sister Chu Yao’s back is truly beautiful. I won’t look at the front now. Just submerge yourself back in the water, and I’ll go back now. Hurry back soon to eat.”
Chu Yao slowly lowered her body while Lin Mu Yu jumped ashore and went back over the hill without turning back at all.
Chu Yao looked at his back, but did not know whether to feel happy or disappointed.
Not long after, Chu Yao had changed into a new set of clothes and returned to camp. Looking at the dew-like droplets of water in her hair, Lin Mu Yu immediately laughed, “Chu Yao is most definitely a genuine beauty!”
Chu Yao’s cheeks flushed red, “Obviously!”
“Hurry up and eat, or else the beauty might starve into an old grandma.”
“You want to fight? You rascal…” Chu Yao said in embarrassment.
The two quickly shared the food, then proceeded to clean up the grounds. Setting off immediately, their movement speed was quite fast, given the fact they now had two horses.
One day later, the two arrived at the edge of Seven Star Forest.
An ancient-looking stone tablet marked with the words “Dragon Seeker Forest” stood before them. Lin Mu Yu rode past it and smiled, “We’ve finally arrived at the Capital of legends: Lanyan City!”
Chu Yao couldn’t help but laugh at him, “You wish. Dragon Seeker Forest surrounds almost the whole Lanyan City, and it covers quite a large area. We’ve only arrived at Dragon Seeker Forest, and it will be at least another 3 days before we’ll reach Lanyan City. Furthermore, we won’t be going there anyway. Don’t forget that we are fugitives of the state, so there must be drawings of us in the Capital.”
“Alright, we won’t go in. I guess we’ll just stay inside the Dragon Seeker Forest. We can wait for some time to pass, then we’ll be able to leave.”
Night fell upon the forest, so it looked like the two didn’t have to continue so hurriedly. As a result, the two set up camp in a small hollowed depression on the mountain range bordering Cangnan Province and the Capital territory. Lin Mu Yu opened up the simple tent and cleared out enough space for Chu Yao to lie down, then went to collect firewood to boil a pot of meat soup again.
The night breeze was extraordinarily tranquil, so Lin Mu Yu made use of the night to first practice a set of Sonic Punches, then the hand methods for throwing the Sonic Blade, finally ending the session with some Wind Sword Style practice. Chu Yao sat on a nearby rock and happily watched Lin Mu Yu. She was quite pleasantly surprised by this hardworking junior, so much so that watching him train had become something of an enjoyment for Chu Yao.
The meat soup’s aroma wafted through the air while Chu Yao smilingly called, “Ah Yu, come eat!”
Lin Mu Yu returned a faint smile and stopped his sword style practice. But right at that moment, his spirit sense suddenly kicked in. Two strong auras had entered into the surrounding area.
He immediately rushed over to Chu Yao and covered her mouth, “Someone’s here!”
As he spoke, he picked up Chu Yao by the waist and dashed off to the bushes a short distance away. Hiding inside the thicket, Lin Mu Yu looked towards the distance while whispering, “Reduce your breathing and energy. Don’t channel energy and it would be best if you can hold your breath. Try not to emit any hints of your energy…”
Chu Yao did as she was told. It wasn’t difficult for someone as meticulous as she was.
Lin Mu Yu also calmed his breathing while lowering his energy emission to the lowest state, to that of a normal person. This way, others would have a hard time detecting him by his aura.
A few minutes later, two shadows galloped down the mountain at shocking speeds. Their speed was comparable to that of horses. Furthermore, the two actually looked exactly the same, with the only difference being their weapons. One had a long bow, while the other had a serpent spear. Both had looks of ruthlessness and killing intent.
“We found them!” The spear-wielder softly said, “Older brother, don’t act rashly. They should be in the tent.”
The bow-wielder snickered, “Rentou, let me give them a few transparent holes first. Take my four-arrow chain-shooting!”
The bow-wielder pulled out an arrow from his quiver, which was immediately shot at the tent. With lightning speed, he pulled out three more arrows and shot each one in rapid succession, punching four holes in the tent. This man’s cultivation and training was definitely quite astonishing, and he could easily be considered an outstanding archer.
The spear-wielder charged forward while striking down with a flaming spear.
The tent immediately disintegrated into a pile of ashes.
“They’re not here?” The bow-wielder looked blankly, “They can’t have already left, right?”
The two dashed out with the speed of lightning.
When the two disappeared from view, Lin Mu Yu let out a breath, “Who in the world were those two?”
Chu Yao took a deep breath, “Ah… A pair of twin cultivators. They are probably the Gemini Saints of the Seven Martial Saints. Ah Yu, get our horses quickly. We can’t stay here tonight.”
The two immediately rushed over to get their horses. This time, Lin Mu Yu was prepared as he kept his spirit sense active on the surroundings. Suddenly, he realized that balls of energy from the distance had increased in speed, he exclaimed, “Chu Yao, careful. They’re back.”
As he spoke, something whistled through the air.
Immediately creating an Ebony Scale in front of him, Lin Mu Yu blocked off three successive arrows. All three arrows had been blown away.
In the dark of the night, two figures slowly walked into the light. The bow-wielder laughed coldly, “I guess the rumored Lin Mu Yu definitely knows a trick or two. To be able to avoid my triple chain-shot, not bad.”
Lin Mu Yu pulled out Prairie Fire, and asked insipidly, “Who are you?”
The bow-wielder sneered, “One of Seven Martial Saints, Song Bafu!”
The spear-wielder chuckled, “One of Seven Martial Saints, Song Rentou!”