Chapter 44 – The Conflicted Tang Xiao Xi
Song Bafu crashed onto the floor like a pile of tofu. The talks of treasures and gold were all things of the past, because all that was on his mind was the thought of staying alive. In his blurry vision, he saw that his twin brother was already lying dead still on the ground with a bloody hole in his chest.
Song Rentou, dead!
Song Bafu could only try to run. Using all the strength he could muster, he crawled along the grass without even bothering to pick up his long bow. However, his true energy and strength were quickly dissipating due to Intoxicating Breeze to the point that he didn’t even have the strength to crawl anymore.
Lin Mu Yu took a deep breath as he collapsed onto the ground. He had used up almost half of his energy in defending against the two strong warriors’ attacks. His martial spirit was heavily wounded while his internal organs suffered the heavy backlash of overexertion, so much so that his breathing became abnormally irregular.
Chu Yao stood up and felt for Song Rentou’s breath. “He’s dead. What about the other one?”
Lin Mu Yu sat silently as he remarked, “We’ve killed a lot of people, but… if we allow Song Rentou to escape, he will definitely come back for revenge. I’ll leave the choice to you, Chu Yao. I’m too tired right now. I can’t even feel the strength in my body anymore.”
Chu Yao’s look became increasingly stern as she picked up the bloodstained spear lying by Lin Mu Yu’s side. Standing up, she stabbed the long spear right through the crawling Song Rentou’s back. Fresh blood instantly erupted from the spear wound while Song Rentou ferociously convulsed in pain. Though the man was wildly swinging his limbs around, Chu Yao clenched her teeth and pushed harder. The spear pierced through Song Rentou’s body and stabbed solidly into the ground, leaving Song Rentou to die as he stayed pinned down.
She gradually turned around to face Lin Mu Yu. Her short hair fluttered in the night breeze, but there was no longer any hints of the innocence and naivety of a young girl. Instead, there was a look of determination and tenacity.
Lin Mu Yu looked at her in silence, but deep down, it was as if a knife was cutting straight through his heart. What kind of world could transform Chu Yao so much? Were it not for those gold-seeking mercenaries and their relentless pursuit, perhaps Chu Yao would not be the way she was right now. Of course, Grandpa Chu Feng’s death had a great impact on Chu Yao, so that was probably the biggest reason for her change.
Looking at the pot of soup nearby, Chu Yao turned and smiled at Lin Mu Yu, “Ah Yu, luckily our dinner wasn’t ruined by the battle. Let’s eat first. You’re wounded, so we’ll set off tomorrow, alright?”
After having his fill of dinner, Lin Mu Yu sat stoically as he focused his energy into self recovery. Due to the injuries he’s suffered, he had to carefully nurture his body back to good health. Otherwise, he might end up with unseen injuries or even disabilities. For a martial artist, there was nothing more important than a healthy body.
As such, he didn’t spend too much time training at night, instead focusing mainly on healing his injuries and exhaustion.
As he leaned against the cold rock wall, his mind wandered back to the events of the last few days. Ever since he had arrived at this world, killing and being hunted both seemed to have become a natural occurrence. He was conflicted with how he felt towards things like killing a human being. However, now that there were two corpses lying a short distance away, he was surprised at how he had grown accustomed to it all.
The meandering then lead to Tang Xiao Xi. What was that beautiful yet kind-hearted princess doing now? If she knew of him becoming a fugitive of the Empire, how would she react?
In the next second, he recalled the look on Tang Xiao Xi’s face as she slept peacefully under the moonlight. Her beautiful countenance and tranquil character… She was probably the most amazing girl he’s ever met in his whole life.
The scorching pain of his wounds shook him out of his thoughts, so he gave up and decided to go to sleep. Due to his energy reserve having been mostly drained in the fight, he needed to quickly rest up to recover his energy. Who knows what kind of enemies would be waiting for him on the road?
In the blink of an eye, daylight had arrived at dawn, accompanied by the howls of Swift Wolves in the distance.
Suddenly, Lin Mu Yu was startled awake from his dream. An aching pain was felt in his chest, but he didn’t know what had happened. He could only clench down on his teeth and force himself to sleep, although he was unable to fall asleep in any way.
At the same moment elsewhere deep in Dragon Seeker Forest…
Clusters of bonfires burnt restlessly around a camp within a small valley. Almost everyone had fallen asleep. A few guards remained on guarding duty with weapons in hand, but most of them could be seen dozing off as they leaned against trees for support. They had entered Dragon Seeker Forest for quite a few days already, but they had yet to find any news on Lin Mu Yu. Honestly, most of the men wanted to return home to the Capital, but the willful little princess was unwilling to give up.
The light of the bonfire danced and shined on the beautiful girl’s face.
Wrapped in a fur blanket was the beautiful figure of Tang Xiao Xi. Her body trembled slightly. A blanket was simply unable to ward off the autumn chill.
She slowly opened her eyes, her dark pupils looking as if they were gemstones. Looking up at the starry sky, her body suddenly grew cold. Her heart felt as if it was being pricked by countless knives. She let out a silent sob as the tears collected in her starry eyes and called out softly, “Mu Mu… Where are you? Please don’t die. You have to wait for me…”
Two soft sounds came through the night sky, followed by the sound of two guards crashing down onto the ground. On both of their chests was a single black arrow. The uniform steel arrows signified that the attacker was a close-range archery expert!
It was unknown who shouted loudly, but the voice was interrupted quickly in the chilly night. It sounded as if his throat had been torn apart.
A sliver of cold light swept past Tang Xiao Xi while she jumped up on alert. The Firefox spirit appeared in a ball of fire while she immediately grabbed a sheathed sword next to her and immediately guarded. With a metallic clash, she saw clearly that the enemy was using a long sword. Only a pair of emotionless eyes appeared above the attacker’s mask. Having failed the attack, the attacker immediately performed a sweep kick.
Tang Xiao Xi clenched on her teeth and asked angrily, “Who are you all? You dare to attack people from the Duke’s Manor of Seven Sea City?”
At the same time, she lifted her slender leg and stepped down with a flame enveloped foot. The extraordinary power immediately interrupted the attacker’s kick and directly shattered the attacker’s lower leg. The attacker did not respond, instead swinging his sword back around for a fast slice. However, Tang Xiao Xi reacted even faster. With a single turn of her hand, the blade left the sheath and immediately torn open the attacker’s throat.
Wretched cries sounded throughout the camp. A dozen guards quickly approached and roared, “Protect the princess! Protect the princess!”
Guards kept falling left and right as the attackers’ cold arrows continued firing. The near hundred guards was quickly wounded and killed off. However, those arrows seemingly had eyes, looking as if they were purposefully avoiding Tang Xiao Xi.
These people want to capture me. Tang Xiao Xi understood the enemy’s intention quite clearly. With a sudden movement, the light of the Firefox rose from the sky and transformed into a wave of raging flames. The wave crashed down onto the area, immediately killing 4 assassins.
“Charge out with me!”
Tang Xiao Xi led the way as she was the strongest one of the group.
“Don’t let them escape. You have to capture Seven Sea City’s princess alive!”
A cold voice was heard from the hill on the right. Tang Xiao Xi couldn’t help but feel a chill down her spine.
Behind her, a guard lifted a heavy shield to continuously block the incoming arrows. Manipulating his energy into his voice, he shouted, “Who are you? Why are you attacking us?”
In the incoming crowd, a masked figure laughed aloud, “Someone who is about to die won’t need to know that much!”
Tang Xiao Xi replied coldly, “You guys are Warrior Company’s men, aren’t you?”
“Ou, as expected of the 2nd most beautiful girl of Lanyan City, Tang Xiao Xi. To be so exceptionally intelligent, us coming all this way was not in vain, hahahaha!” In the darkness, a sharp-sounded voice laughed cruelly, “Capture Tang Xiao Xi alive for the five hundred thousand gold Yin reward. As for those unnecessary personnel, send them on their way. They don’t have any value anymore!”
At least a few hundred black-clothed figures rushed out from all directions, all with a sword in hand.
Tang Xiao Xi’s heart grew colder. She looked with regret at the guards as her voice trembled, “I’m sorry. It’s my fault that you all might die here tonight. It’s all my fault. I shouldn’t have acted so rashly. I’m sorry…”
A guard spoke with determination in his eyes, “Princess Xi, it’s not your fault. It’s just that this Warrior Company actually dared to attack you. How outrageously audacious and proud. We’ll just have to kill a way out and the duke will definitely call upon the army to trample down every Warrior Company on this continent! These bastards. This is practically treason! We…”
Before he could finish, his throat was already punctured by a sharp arrow. Unable to speak another word, he crashed stiffly onto the ground.
The strongest of the guards were at most practitioners of Earth realm’s first stage, so they basically had no way of fending off the countless men of the Warrior’s Company.
“Princess, we’ll watch your back and cover your charge. You can use your Firefox to raise your mobility, so you should be able to get away in a forest like this. Leave quickly!” A guard rushed over with his shield raised high. He hid his head below the shield, but his legs were continuously hit with arrows. Time and time again, he looked as if he was about to fall, but continued charging forward.
The other dozen of guards also rushed forward. They knew that it meant death, but there was already no other way out.
Tang Xiao Xi looked with bloodshot eyes. Regret and hate boiled deep within her chest. The Firefox chirped softly on her shoulder as if trying to console its master.
In the next moment, Tang Xiao Xi unleashed another flame charge. She grabbed her sword and leapt into the air. The Firefox cried out wildly as rows of fierce flames appeared under Tang Xiao Xi’s feet. Although it was no where close to the speed of Starfall Steps, this was probably enough to shake off those wandering warriors of the Warrior Company.
Tragic cries came from behind as the guards fell one by one to the hands of the warriors.
Tang Xiao Xi felt as if thousands of arrows had pierced her heart. Her tears sparkled and scattered in the night breeze, but she ran towards Lanyan City’s direction without turning her head. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to save Lin Mu Yu anymore. Even the question of whether she could survive this situation was an unknown.
Thorns and thistles torn apart the luxurious clothing and left scratches on her skin, but it was as if Tang Xiao Xi couldn’t feel pain anymore as she paced unceasingly towards the distance with the Firefox ability.
The sound of the pursuers continued unceasingly as well. When the warriors realized the Firefox’s increase mobility, they were already regretting letting her run. As such, they even began to shoot out arrows in hopes of hunting Tang Xiao Xi down.
A scorching sensation suddenly came from Tang Xiao Xi’s back while she staggered onto the ground. An excruciating pain was then felt coming from her back.
She had been struck!