Chapter 344: To Stand One’s Ground
Grunting, the sleazy man noticed that the constant barrage of ice shards put them on the defensive, and he knew this couldn’t continue; therefore, with a ferocious roar, he rushed forward as two daggers appeared in his hands.
He mercilessly slashed at the younger man, but no matter how much he pushed his speed or how fast he wielded his weapons, the young man managed to constantly evade the strikes. He didn’t even let the older man touch his sleeves.
Everyone was watching shocked. Although Hui Yue kept retreating in a circle and blocking the attacks, he still managed to keep sending the ice shards at the four experts.
Seeing the sleazy man advancing while throwing out a flurry of slashes and stabs, none of the others followed up with attacks; instead, they stayed behind. Their eyes were filled with reverence towards the man who was swiftly attacking Hui Yue. Seeing their gaze, Hui Yue understood that this man was without a doubt the leader of the group. Until he asked for help, none would step up. They would ensure that Hui Yue didn’t flee.
Snickering at their reactions, Hui Yue relaxed. If he had to fight all four of them at once, he would have to put forth some effort and focus a little, but one expert alone was really not worth more than a glance.
Without inserting Wu Wei into the sword, Hui Yue stopped retreating. Instead, he drew the sword and easily blocked the flurry of blade shadows that the leader rained down upon him.
Amused at his pathetic attempt to take his life, Hui Yue decided not to waste any more time. With a sliding motion, his sword once more blocked the daggers before slipping in through a hole in his opponent’s defense. Slight resistance was felt before the sword suddenly entered the body of the older man.
It was as though time had stood still. Shock was evident in the eyes of the man as blood slowly sliding down the corner of his lips. The moment seemed to last forever, and as the leader tried speaking blood started oozing out, and his eyes rolled upwards before his body slid off the sword collapsing on the floor.
The corpse landed with a thump on the floor and as it sounded out the spell of silence broke. Screams came from the three experts who had been waiting for their leader to finish the fight; they were completely unable to understand how their leader could die as easily has he had.
If they had been thinking straight, they probably would have reconsidered attacking someone who could effortlessly kill their leader, but currently, their thoughts were clouded by their emotions. In such a state they immediately jumped at Hui Yue, completely unconcerned about their safety. Seeing their desperate attacks, Hui Yue knew that this would not be as simple as the previous battle.
His eyes which had shown mockery turned serious, and the smile on his face slowly vanished. He enhanced all his senses to that of a wolf as he looked around him. The world turned gray in front of him; however, even though the world started to change, his features stayed the same. After his hard training in human form, Hui Yue had learned how to easily control his beast form. He learned how to enhance his senses to be equivalent of those of the red wolf, yet without having to transform his body into that of a beast.
Moving to the side, he narrowly escaped an attack from the massive man as a fist appeared where he had been moments before. Seeing the arm, Hui Yue lifted the sword and with a beautiful arc he cut down towards the incoming arm.
Seeing the sword heading towards his arm, the large man withdraw it, only to find that he was a split-second too slow, and then a blood-curdling scream sounded out as an arm landed on the ground. It had been cleanly severed.
Although the man was screaming out loud, Hui Yue paid him no more attention. He would deal with him after he had finished the other two experts.
He had not had the time to truly look at these two as they had stayed back. Although they were currently blinded by anger, neither did anything stupid like the large man who was now missing an arm. Instead, they bided their time waiting to strike.
Seeing their opponent watching them, they nodded to one another with gritted teeth and rushed towards him. Their hands flickered, and weapons appeared in them. One of them had a barbed whip while the other had small knives which were thrown at Hui Yue.
Avoiding the knives was no hard feat, unfortunately, they then continued their trajectory, and innocent bystanders were hit causing a few screams to sound out. Sighing, Hui Yue understood that it was not a good idea to simply ignore the small knives, so he channeled Wu Wei into his hands and effortlessly stopped them in the air. One knife after another fell to the ground.
While he was catching knives, Hui Yue also had to deal with the whip which constantly harassed him. Despite their vicious attacks, it was impossible for them to stop him. Soon they understood that the man in front of them was far superior to them and that it was simply impossible to defeat him with their current abilities.
Looking at one another, the two experts got ready to rush away from the location when a golden flash blinded everyone present, and moments later the two experts found themselves incapable of moving even an inch. Their feet and legs were rooted to the ground by golden roots that had sprouted upwards.
No one knew where these golden roots came from, but looking at the two experts that had been caught, their surprise turned to shock as the last breath of air left their bodies. Then the two experts fell lifelessly to the ground. Only one of the four kings was still alive, and he had lost an arm. Looking at the man, Hui Yue went towards him and with an expressionless face severed his head from his body. Hui Yue had learned a lot throughout his adventures, and a big lesson was not to release a tiger back into the mountain unless one wanted to invite trouble to come later.
Looking at the roots, Hui Yue bowed towards the large group of spectators. “Your highness, I never expected to meet you here,” He said and was rewarded with a chuckle from a person who was clad in a big hat and a black cloak.
Hearing the words, everyone started mumbling to one another and glances were thrown at the chuckling figure before they all retreated.
Hui Yue went to the dead experts and scoured their bodies. He picking up all the storage stones he could find before he handed the golden storage stones to Cou Ling. “Give the merchants back their money and keep the rest for yourself,” Hui Yue said with a voice loud enough for the closest merchants to hear. This caused gratitude to well up in them before they told the good news to the other craftsmen and merchants who had not heard the news.
Being handed the golden storage stone, Cou Ling instantly gestured for Fang Wei to follow her and they left Hui Yue and the cloaked person alone as they started the deliver the coins to their original owners.
“I see that your highness managed to successfully learn the Golden Roots,” He said in a friendly manner to the cloaked man, and slight admiration could be detected in his voice.
‘You are great at acting,’ Lan Feng commented from within, but Hui Yue completely ignored him as he kept smiling at the prince in front of him.
“I just came to see how you were doing. Strangely enough, the Grand Marshall of the beast army was seen together with the spiritual blacksmith Cou Ling. It surprised me quite a bit,” He laughed as he sat down on the ground. Smiling, Hui Yue sat down next to him, “Cou Ling and I have history together,” He commented with a shrug. “When I saw her here, I figured she would be better off if I were here to protect her.” He continued, and the prince nodded his head.
“Well I came to ensure that you are still interested in entering this grave,” He said with a smile. “This grave is supposed to be filled with treasure, enough treasure for everyone here to get at least something. I do not wish for people to kill one another, but, sadly, this is impossible to completely avoid.”
Shrugging Hui Yue said nothing. He would do everything in his power to ensure that the third prince would not step out of the grave, and at the same time, he did not care about the majority of the people who were here. Although he was slightly worried about his friends, he knew that they would not do anything dumb, and because of this, he was certain that they would survive.
The prince and Hui Yue were seated in comfortable silence for some time before they split up. The prince returned to the royal family while Hui Yue waited for Cou Ling to return.
‘I keep wondering how so much treasure can be kept at one place. Although he was a Saint, he should not possess so much right?’ Hui Yue said to Lan Feng, but he was answered with a snort.
‘Saints don’t just die,’ He said as though he was speaking to a small child. ‘He has most likely lived a whole life filled with excitement. During this life, he collected many things and while collecting them he has stored them within this grave. At first, it was his home. He must have created everything inside and used it as his base, but I wonder if this is truly the grave of a Saint ranked expert,’ Lan Feng mused, and his words caused Hui Yue to raise an eyebrow in surprise. If it were not the grave of a Saint then what could it be?
Before he had time to ask Lan Feng, Cou Ling returned. Her face was flushed red, and the golden coin storage stone was in her hand. “I gave everyone’s money back,” She said as she quickly sat down next to Hui Yue. “They were incredibly grateful, some even a little too grateful,” She commented as her face turned even redder, yet Hui Yue pretended that he saw nothing. He nodded to her with a gentle smile on his face.
“I’ll keep you safe until we reach the grave,” He said while smiling at his two friends. “Afterwards head straight back to Muchuan City. I imagine that the royal family will send someone to protect the merchants and craftsmen. When it comes down to it, you are all very important to the royal kingdom of Taiyang.” He said, and Cou Ling nodded. It made perfect sense.
Hui Yue said nothing, but he was ready to ask Shiu Ye for a favor to have someone protecting Cou Ling and Fang Wei on the way back to Muchuan City. There was no reason to not use the favor he had earned from giving out the Golden Roots. The prince was supposed to die within the tunnels anyway.
His gentle and clear eyes suddenly turned hard and chillingly cold as Hui Yue thought about the third prince. Fortunately, none of his friends noticed anything, and he quickly forced himself back to his normal expressions. No one was allowed to know anything before it was too late.
Sighing, he looked up into the sky and laid down on the grass. He was smiling as he allowed himself to be enveloped in the warm feeling of being with his friends before he slowly dragged his body into a cultivating stance and started refining the Yin energy from the moonlight.