Chapter 56: Crusaders
Seated across from Deng Wu, Hui Yue looked at the older boy in his tent. In front of Deng Wu was an azure figurine, yet nothing was emitting from it. Little dragon was quiet, and his aura was completely hidden much like Lan Feng’s had been previously.
“Stop being such a scaredy-cat, you dumb lizard.” Lan Feng said through Hui Yue’s mouth as the phoenix took over the body. He had no intention of waiting forever for the other divine beast to start talking The taunting seemed to work as a low voice snapped, “You stupid birdbrain, what would you know!”
Finally, the aura which had been locked up was released, and the figurine slowly came to life as it frowned at the small white-haired boy.
“So,” Lan Feng asked, completely ignoring the previous statement, “who are those black cloaked men for you to be so scared?”
Throwing a long glance at Lan Feng, little dragon was quiet for a long time while he fidgeted with his scaled body.
“Those men are crusaders.” Little dragon was looking uncomfortable as he spoke. His head kept going back and forth as though he felt like someone was following him, yet nothing was there, only then did he seemed to relax ever so slightly. “Crusaders are known as his strongest force, but no one knows about their true power and for them to be here, something is amiss.”
Hearing this Hui Yue felt how Lan Feng was alarmed and in turn was quite worried as well.
“If he sent them, then we should have been dead by now, right?” Lan Feng said through clenched teeth, hostility emitting from his whole body.
“That is the weird thing.” Little dragon continued, looking genuinely confused. “These crusaders were of the lowest rank; they were definitely only Emperors so they should not be able to see you nor me. Why were they here?”
“I know.” Hui Yue said quietly, “I am quite sure they are looking for ‘Li Fen’.” Hearing this, everyone within the tent went silent and contemplated how this affects their future actions. It was obvious that none of them wished for others to know their secrets, yet these crusaders have already shown up appearing to know something.
“Although we can’t underestimate them, you were clearly not their target.” Little dragon finally sighed. “If you had been you would be dead right now. Either they did not notice the little phoenix, or they were not on a bird hunt.”
Hui Yue could only shiver as he thought of how close he had gotten to once again experiencing death. A sigh escaped him, and he stood up on wobbly legs and made his way out to the look for the others. Although he had wished to keep it a secret, he knew that everyone around him could be in danger. Bringing danger to his friends was something which Hui Yue did not wish to do.
Gao Yan and Rong Ming were discussing something about the two Fanged Hogs they were holding, and Hui Yue could not help but laugh when he heard that they were debating who had caught the biggest hog. Ma Kong and Rong Xing were completely ignoring the two of them and instead they sliced into the heads, obtaining the beast cores from another two beasts.
As everyone saw Hui Yue and Deng Wu arriving, they stopped their work and moved towards them. Worry was still evident on their faces and gratitude flooded Hui Yue’s heart.
“Gather up.” He said quietly, and everyone followed suit. Even if Hui Yue was the youngest in the group, he was clearly the one who had the final word and the others looked up to him with veneration.
“There might be someone after me.” Hui Yue said with a sigh, causing the worried expressions on the four faces to dramatically increase in intensity. A wry smile appeared on Hui Yue’s face, this was why he had not wished to tell them in the first place.
“The two of you might know them.” Hui Yue said while looking at the Rong twins smiling. “I believe they have been staying at the City Lord’s mansion. It is the seven men wearing black cloaks.”
Hearing this, Rong Xing’s eyes widened dramatically while Rong Ming frowned slightly. “I know about them.” Rong Xing said quietly. “They are here looking for an ultimate expert, at least that is what father told me.”
Hearing this caused a certain amount of relief to flood Hui Yue. Had they noticed Lan Feng, then they would probably not have allowed Hui Yue to wake up in such a calm manner.
“Did your father ever tell you about them?” Hui Yue asked curiously. He had previously heard that they were known as crusaders, yet he knew nothing else about them.
Rong Xing shook her head regrettably, “Father would not answer me when I asked, but I know they are here to find someone.”
Hui Yue nodded, although slightly disappointed he had already expected that Rong Liang would not mention important information to his children.
“Those black cloaked men were most likely looking for the expert which is hidden inside me,” Hui Yue explained with a sombre expression on his face, “you might be targeted if you stay together with me.”
Hearing this, although fear was evident, an expression of determination appeared on the various faces as they looked around nodding to one another.
“We are bros and bros will never betray each other!” Rong Ming said with a steady voice, and the rest solemnly nodded their heads. Hui Yue smiled as he explained what had happened earlier that morning.
The rest of the day, Hui Yue managed to hunt down another four Fanged Hogs along with a few wild kirins and a Vampyric Rabbit. Gao Yan managed to hunt down seven Fanged Hogs as he misunderstood and only went for that one kind of magical beasts.
Deng Wu caught no beasts as he had only followed Rong Xing around, yet the girl had been more annoyed than usual, and she completely ignored the suitor who tried everything possible to get her to even look at him.
Rong Xing had teamed up with Rong Ming, and together they caught the most beasts out of all of them. These twins did not go after the Fanged Hogs, instead they caught nine Vampyric Rabbits and even managed to catch two kirins alive.
Although the Rong twins already each owned a qilin, which they used for their travels, they had never subdued their own mounts before, and when they saw the low ranked kirins moving around, they took the chance to catch them alive.
As the two wild kirins sat in the same pen as their other mounts, Hui Yue and Gao Yan were slowly cutting out the beast cores from the multiple beasts they had slain that day.
Hui Yue was generally against slaying animals just for the sake of killing, yet the more he thought about it the more benefits he saw when he looked at these animal carcasses that were lying behind him. The first obvious benefit was the many beast cores which made Hui Yue smile happily.
Although these could be sold for money the money they could get would be limited; however all six of them would soon reach the middle dantian, and by doing so they would be given elemental affinities.
With elemental affinities came the ability to refine energy from these beast cores, and use them to craft items. Having these cores already could be beneficial to the team should Deng Wu break through into the Master rank within the next month like Lan Feng and Hui Yue were expecting him to.
The carcasses were given to the village; they salted some of the meat and smoked the rest. This meat was enough to sustain the entire village throughout the year. Although Hui Yue had given them coins from the Ma Family, they still did not dare use too many of them, as they would attract attention bringing it to and from the markets.
Using the carcasses allowed the villagers to gain the raw materials they needed along with food, and it also increased the safety of the villagers. The defeated beasts were not of a high cultivation rank, but they were still high enough to be dangerous to most villagers, as they all had poor purity Qi and their cultivation base was fairly low. Every villager would be in danger if they ran into these magical beasts, which the group had killed throughout the day.
In the evening, Hui Yue suggested that the six of them go into the Magical Forest from the same area they had been hunting in and the next couple of days they went on daily visits to the forest.
“What the fuck?!” Zhong Fai yelled, as he threw the memory stone down onto the ice floor where it instantly shattered into thousand pieces and the resulting white mist got picked up by a fierce wind which slowly dissipated it into the air.
“Do not tell anyone what you experienced on that trip!” Zhong Fai said, the anger evident on his face before a wicked smile appeared. “Go now,” he continued, “return to your post and protect my castle.”
“What did you see?” A woman asked as she stepped out from the corner behind Zhong Fai. This was the same woman who had been there the previous time, yet this time her features were much clearer than before.
The woman was tall with golden hair and golden eyes. Her skin was white like the icy surroundings, and her lips red like fresh blood. She moved towards Zhong Fai before she leaned against his chair and allowed for a sigh to escape her lips.
“It was not Sang Young,” Zhong Fai said with an annoyed expression on his face, and these words caused the blond beauty to raise an eyebrow beckoning the young man to continue his explanation.
“Some kid has managed to seal a Saint ranked magical beast. He knows a few high ranked skills. According to the intel, it was him who pretended to be an expert, and caused all this ruckus.” Saying this the young man suddenly started laughing out loud for an extensive amount of time, before wiping the corners of his eyes with the back of his hand.
“It seems as if Sang Young has been quite busy.” He said with a smile on his face, “one day I will definitely catch him!”
“That is good and all.” The blond woman said with a dissatisfied expression on her face, as she observed the hysterical laughter. “What do you plan on doing about this small kid and the Saint ranked beast?” She asked while clicking her tongue. “You don’t plan on offering them up to him, now do you?”
Hearing the disagreement in her voice, a wry smile appeared on the young man’s face as Zhong Fai leaned back, resting his hands on the chair, thinking quietly for a short moment before finally answering her question.
“I don’t think I will tell him about this one.” Zhong Fai’s voice was slow and quiet as the smile on his face grew larger and larger. “A boy who managed to subdue a Saint ranked beast with such a low cultivation base can only promise great things in the future.”
Hearing this the blond woman frowned slightly, “What will you do if he causes trouble later on?” she asked.
“It is none of my concern.” Zhong Fai laughed once again as he started playing with the ice crystals within the air, seemingly completely ignorant to how serious the conversation was. “Best case scenario I can use the boy. Worst case, I will just have to kill him. You think a small child will prove to be trouble for a Saint ranked expert like me?”
Hearing this a slight expression of relief appeared on the woman’s face, but it did not take long before it once again vanished. “What will you do if he finds out about this?” She asked, her voice revealing slight panic.
“Don’t worry.” Zhong Fai continued to laugh as he focused more of his attention on the ice crystals from which he was creating an ice sculpture of Hui Yue that stood in front of him. “He needs me.”
Zhong Fai shrugged his shoulders, and a satisfied expression appeared on his face as he looked at the ice figure of an eleven-year-old boy that was standing in front of him. “But he will never know either way. Get rid of the seven Crusaders.”
“You cannot do that!” The blond woman yelled terrified only to be rebuked by a cheerful expression on Zhong Fai’s face. “Of course I can.” He grinned, “I own them.”
The young handsome looking man stood up from his chair and moved in the same direction as the crusaders who had left just earlier, before pausing slightly. He tilted his head back and a vicious grin appeared on his lips as he said “officially it is not me but Sang Young who has killed them.”