Chapter 366: The only way out!
"We cannot... but the quality of the Nine Tribulations Pill concocted will be much better if we use the Jade Snow Spirit Ginsengs. The Nine Great Herbal Medicines are considered the most precious medicines because they independently hold the rank of best 'heaven and earth treasures', and they have the properties which can rival any other herb... this Jade Snow Spirit Ginseng belongs to the rank of 'heaven and earth treasure'. However, its medicinal property is lacking. Therefore, its intrinsic functions are lacking and cannot rival those of the Nine Great Herbal Medicines even though it is a wonderful herbal medicine!"
"So that's how it is," Chu Yang thoughtfully commented. His left hand shrouded the three Jade Snow Spirit Ginsengs. And then, he said silently in his heart, "received," the next moment. The three Jade Snow Spirit Ginsengs had entered the Nine Tribulations Space.
The Nine Tribulations Sword's Sword Point was suddenly unwilling to do anything.
It rushed-out from Chu Yang's finger and madly displayed grievance. Apparently, it felt terribly wronged. It was basically trying to say that since it discovered the item and guided him here... then why didn't it get its share...?
Chu Yang had no other choice but to try and comfort it. He telepathically tried to show it the analysis and poured bucketloads of explanations regarding the pros and cons of his decision. But, he eventually had to promise to give it one ginseng once the process of accelerated ripening was over. This dispelled the Sword Point's grievance and it became exhilarated in anticipation.
Chu Yang chucked in his heart, [this little guy wants to enjoy the Jade Snow Spirit Ginseng? To think that he's being so unwilling to let go... doesn't he wish for me to form a Nine Tribulations Pill?]
Jing Meng Hun was standing at the cliff. He was looking at the tragic plight of the three miserable-looking corpses that lay before him. There was a dark look on his face.
Over a hundred people were gathered around him, while more and more were rushing-over in succession. They would look at those three corpses, and would feel their blood run cold from terror.
Jing Meng Hun had informed them that the target had sustained serious injuries. These three were Revered Martial Artists. They had called-out to alert everyone. However, they had died a violent death within the short timeframe everyone had arrived on the scene.
[A severely injured person has such an attack power? He single-handedly killed three Revered Martial Artists at once? Isn't this... too outrageous?]
"The enemy seems to have a divine weapon that can cut-through iron as if it were mud! Everyone needs to be on their guard while they confront him," Jing Meng Hun stood up and spoke in an indifferent tone.
"Judging from the trail - there should no more than two paths which he could've taken. We came from the right... so he couldn't have gone that way. Therefore, the first path that he could've taken would've been to jump-off this cliff. The second path would've been to go left. He couldn't have gone back because our great army forces are stationed there." Jing Meng Hun spoke as he calmly analyzed, "Taking the left path would come with a big risk since it goes straight north. But jumping down from the cliff is the safest path since it's the easiest way to break away from our line of sight..."
He said this and then tried to look for the trail on the cliff. Then, he said, "You people must be aware that one can use their martial power to survive a fall from a cliff... irrespective of its height as long as one has the cultivation level of Revered Martial Artist. They wouldn't fall to their death... but you'd need to draw leverage from the cliff's face from time to time in order to get down safely."
He pondered for a while. Then he added, "If my guess isn't wrong... King of Hell Chu has jumped down from the cliff! What do you people think?"
Everyone looked at each other in dismay but didn't speak a word. This was the so-called 'decision-making time'. They must choose which direction to chase in. If any of them gave a suggestion and chose the wrong direction... bad luck would befall everyone since King Level Expert Jing wouldn't take that mistake lightly and may explode with anger.
"One squad of men and horses shall go left. I'll lead the other team down the cliff!" Jing Meng Hun's eyes revealed an angry look as he commanded, "Inform General Wang and General Lee to bring their hunting dogs as soon as possible!"
"Everyone, begin!" Jing Meng Hun issued the command and then led the people to rush to the edge of the cliff. Everyone peered down and couldn't help but suck in a mouthful of cold air.
Clouds and mist were present everywhere in the air; it seemed as if they were locking the cliff's mouth. They couldn't see anything even when they peered down to have a look.
Everyone was experienced and knowledgeable. They knew that such a phenomenon near the cliff's mouth could only mean one thing - the cliff was so high... that it was unobservable. They had initially thought that it wasn't that tall a cliff, and that they wouldn't plunge to their deaths if they jumped down.
However, they wouldn't dare to boast that anymore.
The clouds and mist had blocked their vision entirely. They could see nothing from above. This gave rise to a fear since they didn't know what was down there. Even a Ninth Grade Revered Martial Artist might fall to their death if they were to bump into a protruding branch and lose their balance.
In fact, it wouldn't be strange if a Ninth Grade Revered Martial Artist were to lose their life in the process of getting down this cliff since they didn't have the probing abilities that were granted by the Divine Senses of a King Level Expert.
They had been feeling strange ever since they had started the mission of encircling and killing King of Hell Chu. In fact, they had been feeling as if they were in a dream or something. King Level Expert Jing had said that the target was seriously wounded, and was on the verge of dying. But the target obvious seemed vigorous and lively.
King Level Expert Jing had said that the target would be emanating the fragrance of orchid. However, they hadn't smelled the orchid fragrance anywhere.
The strangest was the fact that every place which King of Hell Chu had passed-through on his journey was completely clean. Everyone had even begun to suspect, [is it possible that this guy doesn't need to eat food? Is it possible that he doesn't need to urinate and defecate?]
They hadn't found any traces of food that King of Hell Chu might've eaten on the way... nor did they find the slightest trace of his excreted faeces.
[Has he been... restraining himself and holding in his urine and sh*t this entire time?]
King Level Expert Jing had just said that King of Hell Chu must've jumped down the cliff... yet everyone was speculating in their hearts, [how big was the credibility of this sentence? Only a little perhaps...?]
[We might as well just get down without worrying much if the cliff's height was nsormal. However, this cliff is so terrifying... f*k, what if I fell to my death?] Some thought... [My parents, wife and children are waiting in the Continent Center Citadel. I cannot afford to go for a suicide jump.] While there were others... [I've recently married a concubine and I haven't even gotten a chance to enter the bridal chamber... how can I jump-off this cliff like a madman?]
"Everyone follow me; pay attention to your footing," Jing Meng Hun had seen everyone's faces. How could he not know what these guys were thinking? His complexion sank as he acted decisively. He took out the Meng Hun sword and jumped down. He inserted the Meng Hun sword into the rocky cliff after he had descended 70-80 feet and simultaneously pounded his left hand into the wall. The stone fragments fluttered about as a hole was opened in the cliff wall. This hole was big enough to accommodate the foot of a falling person.
Then, he continued to make similar footing-spaces as he descended the cliff. It was as if he was creating a ladder in the cliff.
The others followed after him one by one. Everyone was overjoyed. There wouldn't be any issue as long as they observed the footholds carefully. This descent had become safe under the guidance of the King Level Expert. Hence, everyone carefully and cautiously trailed downward.
Chu Yang had found and received a spirit mushroom by now. That was when he suddenly heard a 'bang'. He didn't hear it clearly because this sound had come from far.
However, Chu Yang was vigilant in his heart. [I've come down here... so who else can make this sound if not the enemy pursuers...?]
That was followed by another 'bang'... and soon another...
Chu Yang quickly figured it out. [It seems that someone is punching the wall to create a ladder! They wish to come down!]
Chu Yang didn't bother to think any further. He turned around and fled at the fastest possible speed. It seemed as if he was flying-away. As for ambushing the enemy... he thought of no such plans. [I can display only half of my strength, while the enemy has someone who can use punches to create a ladder down the cliff. It is definitely a King Level Expert! Perhaps Jing Meng Hun is personally leading a team of soldiers to catch me. Preparing an ambush for them will be equivalent to courting death...]
Chu Yang dashed without even turning his head back to look.
Jing Meng Hun and his squad carefully traced their way down the cliff, and began to search. But Chu Yang had already fled. In fact, he was more 5km ahead of them in the north direction.
This cliff-descent had created a buffer, and had given Chu Yang the valuable time for a head-start. The time Chu Yang had wasted in search of elixirs while dashing towards the mountain pass had been made-up by the slow cliff-descent of Jing Meng Hun and his squad.
However, Chu Yang's good fortunes soon came to an end. The fragrance of orchid that had stayed suppressed had begun to exude from his blood and had started to drift around...
This orchid fragrance was like a maggot crawling inside Chu Yang's tarsal bone; it was his biggest crisis.
And... then appeared a canyon up-ahead. There were towering mountain peaks on both sides of the canyon. These peaks reached into the clouds. The canyon was about 100 feet wide and a large squad of the Great Zhao's soldiers was slowly advancing from the opposite side in a circular formation.
The entire canyon was filled with troops, and there was no gap in their defense.
Chu Yang hid on top of a big tree and frowned. [I must kill my way through this army if I wish to pass. There are towering mountain peaks on both sides, and half of them are hidden in the clouds. I can't even see the summit. I'm afraid it will take at least two days to cross if I were to take a detour by climbing them...]
[Moreover, I can't even tell how many traps the enemy might prepare during these two days.]
[Even if it were to require only half a day's effort... I cannot afford that much delay. I might never be able to return to Iron Cloud in this lifetime if I were to slow down for even an hour!]
Chu Yang understood this point well.
[The Golden Horse Riders Department has been leading me by my nose. They've stuck to pursue me from behind. They could've rushed to the front to intercept me, but it would've been 100 times more dangerous than pursuing from behind! But it is evident that this army of 10,000 soldiers has been stationed here to block my path.]
[Jing Meng Hun is a fool... but not foolish-enough to send ordinary soldiers to capture me! I see... so that's why I didn't find any soldiers while making my way through the mountain-forest.]
[The main reason why this army has arrived is to trap me here!]
Chu Yang had understood the enemy's strategy.
A bugle horn sounded and enemy soldiers stopped in their footstep, and began to pitch the camps. It was evident that they were going to set-up their barracks in this canyon.
Chu Yang watched attentively, and couldn't help but have a cold feeling in his heart. [This is an army unit of well-trained elite soldiers. They seem to have expertise in war tactics! Their commander has to be a famous general!]
[This is the only way of return and an elite army blocks my path. I'm afraid the final outcome will always be... me falling into the hands of the Golden Horse Riders Department - no matter what I do!]
[Even if I charge forward... how could I deal with 10,000 elite soldiers alone? Should I take the roundabout route...?] Chu Yang could guarantee that he'd end-up bumping into the main force of the Golden Horse Riders Department even if he were to take a roundabout route.
He was completely surrounded, and the enemy wasn't far away. Jing Meng Hun would catch-up with him from behind if he continued to stay motionless and didn't act. He wouldn't have a way out in that were to happen.
His only way out of this predicament was to take advantage of the enemy who were busy setting-up their barracks, and crash his way through their ranks.
Suddenly, a sharp look appeared in Chu Yang's eyes.
[Since I've made up my mind - I will not change it! I just need to be prepared for the task ahead!]
"Sword Spirit!" Chu Yang called-out in his mind.
"What happened?" The Sword Spirit appeared.
"Will you be able to support me if I were to crash my way through the enemy forces... at the cost of several times the consumption on your part," Chu Yang's eyes dodged to the other side as he asked in a heavy tone.