Chapter 135: Insects
Translator: Irene Editor: Lis
Because he was utilizing the sword while sprinting, Ai Hui had to maintain balance which meant he was unable to lean forward. His upper body remained still while his lower back was like an extremely elastic and tough spring. The sword in his hand had to adjust and follow the movement of his body's rhythm and tempo.
This matter only concerned the center of gravity; what was more difficult was the issue of breathing.
Controlling his respiration was much more difficult when sprinting as opposed to standing still. As an old hand at this, Ai Hui knew very well that if the operation of elemental energy was the essence of an elemental energy attack, then breathing was the foundation of any attack.
This included the most basic rapier. Strict breathing control was a requirement, and if the breaths did not synchronize with the swordplay, then not only would the power be lacking but injuries would also ensue.
Of course, for Ai Hui, there was a more serious consequence, which was that he would be unable to generate sword elemental energy.
As Ai Hui gradually grasped the technique, he began to realize its benefits.
The sword embryo's pulse was stronger than before.
The most immediate benefit was the increased rate of sword elemental energy production.
The newly generated sword elemental energy flowed from the grass sword in his hands then back into his body to initiate the Circulatory Cycle Revolution. Twenty percent of the energy was absorbed by the sword embryo, and whatever remained re-entered Ai Hui's hand palaces after one circulation cycle.
Ai Hui's hand palaces, which had started off empty, charged quickly and gradually became full.
But Ai Hui did not stop there. He continued circulating until his hand palaces began to swell and ache. For every palace that he opened up, he became stronger with each training, like a small pond expanding into a lake.
In the process, developing his constitution played a key role.
People with good constitutions, like Bangwan, were like ponds surrounded by marshes-expanding into lakes was fairly straightforward.
On the other hand, people with weak constitutions, like Ai Hui, were like ponds in the middle of the desert. It was much more challenging for them to expand into lakes.
But things were never fair when it came to training; Ai Hui did not mind this at all. People with the time to complain were better off training instead.
Ai Hui no longer intended to resist the sword embryo state since he was now able to control his awareness within, meaning his psyche and strength had improved. Previously, he had been like a toddler waving a heavy axe around, but now that the toddler had grown up, he could wield the hefty weapon.
Ai Hui ended his training and casually plucked a grass straw from the roadside. Its stem was faintly red, causing Ai Hui's expression to darken.
Placing it before his nose, Ai Hui smelled a familiar, faint, and delicate fragrance-the temptation of the devil.
Throwing it aside, Ai Hui's expression returned to normal, but there was now a dimness within his heart. He could see in the distance the faint outline of Central Pine City. The quiet and peaceful city remained completely unaware of the imminent danger.
The noisy training halls bustling with activities and the flourishing night lights that filled the streets... Would they still be there in the future? The tranquil mornings he had experienced-waking up to warm sunlight against the cool air and the sleepy, droopy eyes of those fellows as he smelled the sweet pastries' rising steam-would he still wake up to these?
Ai Hui was in low spirits. He sighed inwardly, as if all that was beautiful was slowly fading away.
He shook his head, feeling that he was being a bit unreasonable. Only a few good days had passed, and he was already corroded by the easy comfort.
To be born in suffering and hardship and to die in peace and happiness-made sense.
Ai Hui regained his vigor. No matter how terrible, it wouldn't be worse than the Wilderness, right?
He rid himself of distracting thoughts and thought back to the Blood Bandage that had snatched up the blood snake's meat. He did not inspect it at the time, the intense situation not allowing him to. He quickly turned his attention to it.
It was white as snow, without any visible marks.
Ai Hui was stunned. He rummaged through the Blood Bandage but still there was nothing.
Where did it go?
He thought about the time when blood had seeped out of his palms, only to be absorbed by the bandage.
Could it be that the bandage was devouring blood?
He recalled his mistress' words. The Blood Bandage was an artifact of the blood sects back in the Cultivation Era. Blood sects... just from their names, it was obvious that they were related in some way to blood, so when the bandage had absorbed his blood, Ai Hui had not been too surprised.
But the blood snake's meat was poisonous. Would there be an issue now that the Blood Bandage had absorbed it?
Ai Hui started laughing involuntarily. He had actually thought of the bandage as a living object. What issue? Diarrhea?
Imagining the bandage having diarrhea... He simply couldn't picture it...
He decided to leave this tough problem to Lou Lan and let him interpret it.
His upturned lips disappeared in a flash and the next moment, with a tremble of his ears and a cold light flashing across his pupils, he shouted, "Something's wrong!"
Everyone tensed up.
Duanmu Huanghun had been paying attention to Ai Hui all this time. Without mentioning anything else, the smallest sign of trouble, no matter how small, never went undetected by this bastard. Duanmu Huanghun had no idea how he did it, but Ai Hui had clearly displayed this ability in their previous escape.
With his clear vision, Duanmu Huanghun did notice the faint red color of the grass blade Ai Hui had picked up, causing his expression to change slightly as well.
He rejoiced inwardly, thankful that they had already left the manor.
Although Ai Hui was a bit of a scoundrel, he had a nose sharper than a dog's.
Upon hearing Ai Hui's warning, he became highly focused and inhaled deeply. "Those under two palaces, stay close to me. Those above, get ready to attack, but be careful not to stray too far from my protection zone."
The teachers were not around anymore. As the strongest within the group, Duanmu Huanghun was obligated to take up the duty.
Ai Hui looked over at Duanmu Huanghun with surprise. He did not expect this ingrate to assume responsibility.
The students had complete faith in Duanmu Huanghun and upon hearing his command, they immediately got into their respective positions. The process was chaotic and the formation messy, but they nevertheless accomplished the task.
Duanmu Huanghun slowly found himself getting accustomed to the role. Since young, he had been called Brother Huanghun because of his experience in leading a fight team.
"Be aware of the distance, don't go too far."
"Support each other."
"Don't stop, we're not far away from Central Pine City."
He was a perfectionist with a haughty personality. Once he began something, he would do it to the best of his abilities.
Ai Hui observed as the ingrate instructed the students who were giving their best efforts to cooperate. They then stood still and calm, waiting quietly for the nearby blood fiends. Fatty carefully positioned himself beside Ai Hui like a fat cat facing off against a large enemy.
Rustling noises, amplified in Ai Hui's ears, sounded from the underbrush. He inhaled sharply before shouting loudly, "They're here!"
Before he finished speaking, the grass sword in his hand unexpectedly thrust forward.
The sword ray from Ai Hui's grass sword struck a fist-sized spider.
The spider's back was covered densely in dark-red streaks and its eyes were bloodshot. The sight made everyone shiver.
A clanging, metallic sound pierced the air as the spider's body froze rigidly before diving into the underbrush with an even faster speed.
Ai Hui's expression changed slightly. His sword stroke did not break the spider's carapace!
He had a rather sound understanding of spiders. He had seen all sorts in the Wilderness. While the spiders were highly toxic, their most fearful trait was their ability to ambush noiselessly with fatal attacks. But they were never known to have a solid defense.
That blood spider had evidently undergone some sort of mutation. To withstand his strike without breaking, its carapace must have been extremely resilient.
An assortment of insects with red patches on their bodies began to surface from the underbrush.
Duanmu Huanghun's [Viridescent Flower] was fully utilized. The green vines wrapping around the branches moved ceaselessly, creating a blurry, green shadow. The insects crashed into them, as dense as raindrops.
The soft, wound-up vines and branches diminished, but they effectively trapped the insects' attacks.
Awoken from their stupor, the other students hurriedly launched their own attacks.
The next moment, an array of colored lights flashed as dense as droplets-blaze, ice, quicksand, and vines.
Ai Hui couldn't stop from shaking his head. Their moves seemed flashy, but they were of limited use when targeting these blood insects which were once weak and frail but now extremely difficult to deal with.
The spider previously struck by Ai Hui reappeared and lunged at him, spitting out a red light midair.
Ai Hui, who was getting ready to swing his sword at the spider, was caught off-guard by its move. He knew the situation was amiss, and his pupils constricted. His power was almost used up!
Suddenly, a strong force tugged his body away from the red light, causing it to miss him by a tight margin.
It was Fatty, who had been alert all along. Upon noticing that something was wrong, he had hurriedly pulled Ai Hui aside.
A loud cry sounded from behind Ai Hui-a guard had been hit by the red light. It transformed into a crimson spiderweb upon touching his body, trapping him tightly within.
Before Ai Hui had time to assist, the guard was quickly drowned in a wave of insects crowding around him. In the blink of an eye, only a pile of white bones was left, not even a bit of flesh to be seen.
Ai Hui's hair stood on end. He noticed that the red patches on the insects had become brighter and larger.
Flesh made the blood fiends stronger?
In the Garden of Life, Ai Hui had already noted the blood fiends' frenetic attacks but failed to understand the reason behind it. Now he finally knew why. Like how elementalists hunted dire beasts, the blood fiends, too, saw them as delicious food that could make them stronger.
"Don't get entangled! Leave quickly!" Ai Hui bellowed while advancing with all his might. Fatty began to move as well, following closely behind.
Duanmu Huanghun reacted as well. "Follow up! Charge!"
The guards were scared out of their wits. With four men down, they had incurred the most damage. While Duanmu Huanghun and the others were weaker, they had experience from the Garden of Life and knew the characteristics of the blood fiends. And most importantly, they trusted Ai Hui's judgments completely.
The guards, on the other hand, were skeptical of Ai Hui's warning and hence reacted half a beat slower. This, coupled with their lack of experience in dealing with blood fiends, had devastated them.
Like a swarm of bees, everyone charged towards Central Pine City.