Chapter 148: Needles
Staggering backwards, blood sprayed from Xu Piao’s mouth as his gigantic hand was utterly destroyed by the mace, yet Xu Piao was not the only one who was severely damaged in the last exchange of blows.
The big mace vanished, leaving behind the sweat covered man a small stream of blood trickling from the corner of his mouth.
Looking at each other surprise and enmity was visible in their eyes as neither expected the other to be so strong, but gritting their teeth there was no other choice than to go all out.
While these two were fighting, Deng Wu, Sha Yun, and Wang Ju Long stayed behind, all aware that if they went in to fight the ‘small frys’ as they had been told to do, they were likely to be swept up in the Wu Wei attacks and die a pointless death.
Although Xu Piao lost the upper hand in the previous exchange the other side lost manpower as the supportive members of the mercenary group were greatly affected by the pressure. Many of the members had fallen unconscious while others were injured internally. Xu Piao did an amazing job with his first attack.
Looking closely at the ground one could see how it was caved downwards, a massive palm mark visible on the dusty road and within that palm mark various cultivators were laying around, some wounded and awake others unconscious.
A group of around seven men managed to back away quickly enough to not get touched by the pressure emitted from the palm.
Seeing that they managed to escape, Deng Wu and Sha Yun, although still hesitating, got ready to attack the seven men. Sha Yun was not known to be good at waiting patiently and suddenly flashed forward moving towards them. She managed to edge past the two fighting King ranked experts to unleash her fury on the seven men who were taken by surprise.
Sha Yun left nothing to be chance as her tail swiped through the air locking around the neck of a Master ranked cultivator and clenched tightly, severing the head from the neck.
Blood sprayed from the neck onto the dusty road below, and as the six remaining men were stunned by the swift attacks, Sha Yun activated her Earthen Spear attack. It injured two other men, however, no one was killed this time.
“That useless beast!” Deng Wu sneered, as he saw how Sha Yun ran straight into the enemies knowing that Hui Yue would blame him later if she suffers any serious wounds. Deng Wu followed suit to attack and slapping his storage stone producing one inscription after another.
Seeing that both Xu Piao and the mace-wielding man were gathering their remaining scraps of Wu Wei, Deng Wu activated two inscription rolls by injecting a minor drop of spiritual energy and within seconds two of Hui Yue’s red Fire Orbs appeared within his palms.
These two fireballs were then thrown at the mace-wielding man, causing activation of Wu Wei to be slightly interrupted, once more giving the upper hand to Xu Piao, and a gratified smile was shown on his face. Xu Piao focused on using the small advantage he was gifted by Deng Wu to quickly gather his Wu Wei and hopefully finish off this battle quickly.
Jumping into the battle, Deng Wu did just as Sha Yun had done moments before and released fierce attacks from the get go. Fire Orbs bombarded the six experts constantly from the sky as Deng Wu threw one after another. At the same time, they had to constantly watch the ground as Sha Yun was summoning Earthen Spears after Earthen Spears not allowing for the six cultivators to get their footing to return attacks.
Deng Wu had diligently spent day after day writing inscription patterns and after having completed as many as he had, he managed to perfectly merge with his element allowing him to release the attacks which he had spent hours inscribing with nothing but a thought.
By merging with his element, the abilities which were used by Deng Wu, along with the bond between his soul shadows and he himself had grown much stronger, allowing for the soul shadows to increase far more of their abilities along with them growing in strength.
Sending Fire Orb after Fire Orb through the sky and Earthen Spear after Earthen Spear through the ground while staying out of range from the opposing men, Sha Yun and Deng Wu quickly managed to make the cultivators unfit for battle with either severe burns or wounded and broken legs.
Standing as far away as they were, killing the other cultivators was a much harder task than injuring them, but the goal had never been to kill only to ensure that they did not interrupt Hui Yue. When he finished cultivating he would decide what to do with the survivors.
That had been the plan originally. The plan which Deng Wu told Sha Yun about, however Sha Yun, although she seemed human, was truly a magical beast by heart and magical beasts did not allow for their prey to live.
Every now and then Sha Yun would rush in for a kill and it was very rare if she did not succeed. After having killed four of the men and leaving behind only two behind, Deng Wu finally gave up tossing Fire Orbs at them aware that it was only a matter of time before these two would die as well.
While this took a long time to explain everything happened within a few moments, and during these few moments Sha Yun and Deng Wu completely suppressed their opponents.
The two, magical beast and human, were not the only ones who made a move, Xu Piao was the same, but unlike last time his weapon was not a massive arm nor a palm, instead it was small golden needles. They appeared within his hands and as soon as he threw them they moved faster than the eye could see all of them aimed straight for vital points going for the kill.
Had this been just one needle or perhaps two, then the mace-wielding man would have no problem blocking them with the oversized mace, however, it was a sea of needles, all of which were filled with Wu Wei ready to pierce through the body in front of them.
A very thin barrier of Wu Wei appeared in front of the mace-wielding man. At first a clattering sound was heard then the golden barrier shattered into thousands of golden pieces and only four or five golden needles were blocked the rest hit their target spot on and a blood curdling scream could be heard.
The scream broke Hui Yue’s meditation and also caught Sha Yun and Deng Wu’s attention, causing them all to look at the mace-wielding man who collapsed onto his knees, blood gushing from his heart and his throat where the needles slowly dissipated into nothingness. The man was dead after releasing his final scream.
Seeing how everyone’s eyes were stuck on the mace-wielding man who collapsed to the ground, the surviving two men who were both shaking in disbelief took the opportunity to flee as fast as they could, sparing no time to wait and see what would happen later.
Watching them run away, Hui Yue sighed but said nothing. He could already imagine that they were rushing back to their employer with the details about their failed mission.
Hui Yue managed to thoroughly absorb the entire divine flower and although his cultivation base was slightly unstable it was nothing he could not handle with exercise and sparring matches against his friends.
“You guys clean up here,” Xu Piao said as it was his turn to sit down. He was clearly wounded after the fight. Seeing him wounded Wang Ju Long and Xie Lan both rushed to his side to use their healing abilities.
Xie Lan was by far the most efficient of the two, however, Wang Ju Long did her best and as a reward she got to learn from the older woman. Xie Lan helped her pick up a few ways to make her healing more efficient.
Deng Wu sighed, as he looked at the ground where he was just fighting and depression was visible on his face because he knew how many inscription scrolls he had used. Although they were fairly simple to make, they were still something which took time and effort and considering that he had used fifty to sixty of these scrolls during the battle, a pained expression was evident on his face.
As though it was too painful to look at the traces left behind by the Fire Orbs, Deng Wu turned around and went towards Hui Yue who was standing up, stretching his body and generally looking much better than he had after exiting the illusion of the Endless Forest.
Sha Yun was watching the retreating men, but although she wished to pursue them she decided to stay behind and protect Hui Yue. He was after all more important than finishing off these two men who were escaping from her.
Hui Yue stood up and went towards the King ranked expert whom Xu Piao killed and nudged him with his foot until he turned over revealing his features.
Hui Yue frowned slightly as he saw the numerous holes that pierced through him; each was around one centimeter and seeing how they pierced deep enough to finish the man off, Hui Yue could not help but feel astonishment and somewhat surprised at the strength of Wu Wei. This was, after all, the first time he saw it close up.
Looking at the corpse near him, Hui Yue finally understood that although he was capable of fighting a Duke ranked expert it was definitely impossible for him to even hold the smallest candle to a King ranked expert.
Shaking his head with a wry smile, Hui Yue picked up all the memory stones he could find on the person and placed them within one of his own storage stones to check them later. He then created a Fire Orb which consumed the body leaving behind only a foul stench of burnt flesh and a small pile of dust.
He repeated this process with all the corpses which were laying around and the foul stench of burnt flesh increased, making even Hui Yue frown.
It was not long after Hui Yue burnt the last corpse before Xu Piao was up and standing again, his complexion much better than before, albeit still slightly pale.
Xu Piao was not the only pale person, Xie Lan and Wang Ju Long’s faces were the same slightly grey color, but none of them were injured and everyone was ready to continue their trip towards the capital of Demon Dwelling Cave.
Getting ready to move once more, Hui Yue and Xu Piao were standing side by side as they looked at the many piles of ashes which were spread on the ground and the torn up ground proving their battle.
The road was completely torn up, some broken Earthen Spears were still sticking out of the ground while the big palm print depressed a large area on the road. Looking at the ground one could easily see that a fight took place here and after ensuring that they had left nothing behind, Hui Yue and the group started moving down the road once more.
“There is only one person who knows about your mission,” Xu Piao said with a quiet voice and Hui Yue nodded with a sigh, “Yes.” He agreed, “The only one who knows about it is Zhou Long.”
“Do you think it was him?” Xu Piao asked curiously and Hui Yue nodded without thinking much about it. “I have a feeling that he has something planned for us, but considering the rank of the experts he sent after us I highly doubt he wishes to see us dead.”
Hearing that, Xu Piao could not help but nod. Although they were a fairly famous group of mercenaries, it was obvious that they were far inferior to Hui Yue’s entourage. But if he had no intention of killing them, then what was his plan, Xu Piao thought with an unsettled feeling in his heart.