Chapter 136: Back to the City
Translator: JL Editor: - -
Despite having been affected by the blood poison and undergoing shocking changes, insects were, after all, still insects. While they could be as fast as lightning, they were unable to sustain that speed for long distances. Ai Hui and his fellow students ran with all their might and gradually shook off the swarm.
Forty kilometers was not a long distance. Under the looming threat of death, everyone exerted all their strength and even the weakest girl moved as quick as lightning.
When the city gates of Central Pine City came into view, almost all of the students fell to the floor and cried tears of joy.
Looking at the heavily guarded city gates, Ai Hui knew that something serious had happened, otherwise the entrance would not be so heavily guarded. It was as if they were awaiting the arrival of an enemy. He felt worried. Was Lou Lan all right? Master, Mistress, and Senior Mingxiu should be fine too, right?
The day he returned, he flew over Central Pine City. When he saw how quiet it was, he felt an immense sense of peace, despite having just escaped death. Now, he became worried when he saw such tight security.
He had more people to worry about now.
Ai Hui laughed mockingly at himself. Before, he had been alone in the world, with nothing to tie him down. Even if he'd died, he wouldn't worry about whether or not he'd be buried. He could have still taken pleasure from being decomposed by artillery shells.
Once Fatty saw that it was safe, he started to chew on malt candy without a care in the world. Hearing the familiar crunching sound, Ai Hui shook his head helplessly. Fatty sure did not waste any time.
Fatty had saved him once again. It was hard to calculate such a debt.
Thank goodness they had the easily identifiable Duanmu Huanghun. The guards recognized him with a single glance and quickly allowed the students to pass through.
Back in the familiar Central Pine City, everyone relaxed immediately. After escaping death twice, they didn't need to put on a brave front anymore. For many of them, their tears started to flow and they gathered together to sob quietly. Only with this were they able to release their fear. Only with this were they able to calm their thoughts of their homes, their parents, and the family members that they had missed.
Ai Hui looked at the other students in silence. He gave a soft sigh; they were just a bunch of kids.
He had already forgotten that he was not that old either.
Fatty stopped crunching on his malt candy. He was slightly dazed because of everyone's sobbing.
There were those with a tougher temperament as well. A lanky male student walked up to Ai Hui and said sincerely, "Ai Hui, thank goodness for you. If not for you, all of us would not have been able to make it back home. My name is Jiang Wei. Do let me know if you need any help in future, don't feel shy to ask me!"
His name had the demeanor of a general in the olden times. He was a student from Fatty's class and was quite capable. Like Ai Hui, he was a metal elementalist and his speciality was archery. Ai Hui had seen him perform before and he was extremely good.
Ai Hui replied without an ounce of modesty, "Do not worry. I definitely would not be modest about asking you for help."
Jiang Wei laughed heartily. He was appreciative, feeling that Ai Hui was without airs and not at all a hypocrite.
Suddenly, many people came up to thank Ai Hui. Thanks to Ai Hui's warning, they were able to narrowly escape death twice. Without Ai Hui, it was likely that none of them would have made it back alive.
With Jiang Wei alone, Ai Hui's behavior was still as per normal, but with so many people conveying their thanks, he became flustered. This was his first time experiencing something like this.
At the side, Duanmu Huanghun jealously said, "If all of you are so thankful, why don't you show it by giving him money."
Ai Hui shot a flabbergasted glance at that ingrate; he had managed to guess Ai Hui's thoughts, as in that moment, he had thought the same thing.
"How could you say that, Student Duanmu!" a girl said angrily. She stood up and continued, "Can Student Ai Hui be such a person?"
Ai Hui nearly said, "Yes, yes I am."
"Student Duanmu, how could you misunderstand Student Ai Hui like this?" Another girl also stood up to express the injustice.
Duanmu Huanghun felt extremely wronged and pathetic. He wanted to say, "Isn't that the case? Ask him if you do not believe it," but after seeing everyone's furious expressions, he could only say that he was joking. Only then, everyone's anger appeased.
Of course, everyone should also be thankful to Duanmu Huanghun. His [Viridescent Flower] had saved many of their lives.
The words that were at the tip of Ai Hui's tongue were forcibly pushed back. But then, on second thought, this wasn't right. Clearly that ingrate knew that giving money was the most practical. The dispute due to the two promises from before was clearly meant to deceive him.
The look Ai Hui gave Duanmu Huanghun became increasingly unfriendly. Indeed, his character was disdainful!
After living in peace for so long, they needed more time to react to dangers; unfortunately, in times of crisis, time was the thing they usually lacked the most.
Ai Hui shook his head. He was merely a nobody. All of these big events were of no concern to him. What was of concern to him was getting his hands on a big bowl of noodles.
He brought Fatty back to the training hall and they had yet to enter the door when Ai Hui shouted at the top of his lungs, "Lou Lan! I am back!"
Lou Lan, who was sweeping the training hall, stopped and tilted his head to look at Ai Hui. Surprised, he said, "Welcome back, Ai Hui!"
"This is Qian Dai, also known as Fatty, my best buddy." Ai Hui pulled Fatty over to do the introductions, after which he faced Fatty and said proudly, "This is Lou Lan, my sand puppet!"
With a bang, Lou Lan transformed into two words, "Welcome Fatty!"
"Wow, this is interesting!" Fatty smiled until the crinkles on his face trembled and he eagerly ran over and said, "Have some sweets, Lou Lan. Can you change again?"
Lou Lan took the malt candy and threw it into his mouth. Crunch, crunch. That image was an exact replica of Fatty. "This consists of malt. Fatty, what should Lou Lan transform into?"
What should he transform into? Fatty frowned and pondered.
"Transform into a bandage having diarrhea." Ai Hui suddenly interrupted. He threw out the hardest request he could think of while they had been on the road.
"Bandage having diarrhea......"
Lou Lan and Fatty looked dazed.
After accomplishing his evil scheme, Ai Hui announced that he was going to the embroidery workshop and left with a breeze.
At the workshop, he saw that Senior Mingxiu and Mistress were safe and sound. To his surprise, Master was also actually there. Master looked like he had aged a lot and Mistress also looked more frail. Ai Hui was touched; he knew that they had been worried about him.
Upon seeing him, everyone became agitated, especially Master, who looked as happy as a child.
They only managed to calm down from the joy of reuniting after a long moment.
Ai Hui recounted in detail what he had experienced.
Wang Shouchuan sighed and said, "It's hard to believe that there's such a peculiar blood poison in this world. Who knows which wood elementalist came up with it. It's going to be a complete mess this time, you should not run about and just stay in the city instead. After all, Central Pine Academy is here. With the teachers' strength, I would be more at ease."
Senior Mingxiu gave an unhurried explanation and Ai Hui learned what had happened recently.
A few days ago, someone came down with a weird illness. After getting Teacher Xu and Cui Xianzi to examine, they diagnosed the person with a blood poison infection, and against their expectations, over the next few days, more cases of blood poisoning appeared. They only realized afterwards that it was being caused by a group of blood rats which had made its way into the city through an abandoned sewer.
Thankfully, the blood rats had not fully mutated and were not very strong, so they were easily destroyed, but many people had already died by that point.
The crisis that Central Pine City had faced led to panic occurring at the slightest movement. Emergency measures were imposed on the city and the whole place was probed for possible dangers.
Those who were infected were sent to an isolation bay for observation.
Ai Hui could not help but become speechless after hearing the news. Previously, he had already thought that if there was a blood poisoning epidemic, the situation would become very dire. He could not believe that what he had worried about the most had already happened, and not in a city that was near the Garden of Life, but in Central Pine City instead.
If Central Pine City was in such a state, then he reckoned that it was no better in the other cities.
The blood poison was too frightful!
After thinking about it, however, he guessed that it was normal for the Induction Ground to have such a slow reaction. It was likely that everyone was still at a loss as to what to do about the situation.
Master's only worry was Ai Hui; he only let go of it after seeing Ai Hui back in one piece. He felt that ultimately, the city was a safer place to be. There were enough people and the teachers each had a different absolute art. It would not be easy for the blood fiends to invade this city.
Ai Hui did not refute, but only answered, "Disciple had some thoughts after escaping from death. I feel that my contingency plans are lacking, and I would like to learn some new moves."
Wang Shouchuan thought so too. While he felt that it was safe in the city, at times like this, self-defense moves were the most important. In the past, he had wanted Ai Hui to grow step-by-step instead of learning techniques hurriedly, but now that the situation had worsened, he could not afford to be learning so leisurely.
"Master has been thinking of this too. What sort of moves would you like to learn?"
Ai Hui replied, "Disciple would like to learn some sword moves."
"Sword moves?" Wang Shouchuan was not the least bit surprised. He had long realized that Ai Hui had a passion for the sword. He thought for a while before saying, "Swordplay has been in decline for a long time. There were very few people practicing it, so few legacies could be formed and passed on to future generations. The same could not be said for absolute arts, so a legacy would not be a problem."
Ai Hui was at a loss as to what to do. Those arts that could be called legacies definitely had something extraordinary to them, but this way, he would have to give up on the sword embryo. If it was in the past, Ai Hui would not hesitate, but now his sword embryo was getting better. Moreover, it would be a pity if he did not use his unique sword elemental energy to practice sword moves.
Mistress spoke up and said laughingly, "I have an absolute legacy. If Little Ai Hui is willing to learn, Mistress can teach him everything."
A vision of himself floated into Ai Hui's mind; countless bright needles danced around him as he grasped an embroidery needle, then he turned around and smiled sweetly. He suddenly felt cold and could not help but tremble.
Looking at Ai Hui's state, everyone laughed heartily. Even Han Yuqin convulsed with laughter and was not at all angry.
Ai Hui thought carefully and made up his mind. "Disciple has decided to expand and work on his sword moves."
After making that decision, he felt surprisingly at ease. He had the sword embryo within his body and training required the brandishing of sword moves. Elemental energy was also a part of sword elemental energy. If he did not expand the development of his sword moves, what area should he expand on?
He was not someone who was overflowing with talent. It would be like courting death if he wanted to be greedy when he had a terrible aptitude.
Wang Shouchuan and Han Yuqin gave each other a glance and saw the tell-tale signs of a smile in each other's eyes.
"Mistress and I had long predicted this." Wang Shouchuan did not bother to conceal his approving expression and laughed. "Every major event that you have encountered was decided with the sword. Mistress and I both feel that you should learn swordplay."
"So what if swordplay is in decline?" Han Yuqin continued haughtily, "Was Mistress's embroidery not invented by herself? Maybe our Little Ai Hui would be the first Swordplay Grandmaster in the future!"
Mingxiu took out a wooden box and said smilingly, "Master and Mistress had long taken care of it. Junior, quickly open this box and take a look."
Suddenly, a warmth which he had never experienced before engulfed Ai Hui, and he was momentarily caught off guard.