Chapter 167: Reunion
Translator: Irene Editor: Lis
Thanks to the sword embryo, Ai Hui had long become accustomed to having control over the surrounding movements. His six senses were sharper and better than most master elementalists'. Even the high-altitude, noiseless blood bats could not escape him.
But the voice behind him was like a ghost appearing from nowhere.
He detected nothing until he heard it.
He was shocked, but his real-life combat experience benefited him at such a time. Before his brain had time to process the situation, he had already launched his Dragonspine Inferno behind him out of instinct.
But it was empty. The Dragonspine Inferno caught nothing.
"So it's you, One Thousand Yuan boy." A lady's sweet, sticky voice sounded from before him.
Ai Hui raised his head. He knew not when, but a woman dressed in red smiled at him while standing on the branch that had entrapped the elementalist. She sat down easily, her red dress like a waterfall.
Ai Hui was utterly shocked. It was the same lady in red whom he had met in front of the noodle shop.
"Seeing an old friend makes me so happy." She looked Ai Hui up and down with excitement. "Those who came before were either old or ugly; you look the best. See, you didn't pay me, but I said you're pretty."
Ai Hui's mental state was highly tense. The lady in red had unfathomable powers. Plus, it seemed...
His gaze fell on the branch below her. The tree roots which had been so wild before were now quiet and placid. But recalling how they had sucked that elementalist dry earlier, the sight before him frightened him still.
His throat dried up and his heart pounded increasingly fast, but he forced himself to remain calm. "Who are you?"
"I'm a beauty!" the lady answered matter-of-factly before blinking. "Didn't you say that? Beautiful as a fairy."
She then shook her head, feigning sadness. "Men are heartless, forgetting what they've said just a few days prior? Indeed, if you want to trust a man's words, you might as well believe that there's a ghost in this world. Spending a thousand yuan is useless!"
Finishing her sentence, she was unable to restrain a smile.
Ai Hui did not relax in the slightest. The tree roots remained still and the surrounding forest was quiet, but the pretty and flirtatious lady before his eyes was immeasurably powerful. Her laughter tinkled like silver bells, reverberating around the woods.
"You planted the blood poison?" Ai Hui swallowed his saliva and kept his cool.
"I'm not that capable." The lady looked Ai Hui up and down again before continuing, "Blackie died in your hands, right? I smelled his scent on your body earlier."
"Blackie?" Ai Hui opened his eyes wide and dared not loosen up.
"The blood fiend baby that I'm keeping. It's a very powerful bat." The lady was doubtful. "How strange. You're not that strong, so how did you kill Blackie?"
Ai Hui's scalp started to feel numb. He finally understood why he met her in front of the noodle shop. She was trying to track down that blood bat!
"Whatever!" The young lady stretched. "You killed Blackie, so you must be more powerful. I only like powerful things! Plus, how interesting-beautiful as a fairy! I feel so shy! Don't worry, follow me in the future, and I'll let you have a good life."
Interesting... it was his first time being called interesting.
Ai Hui was not happy at all. Instead, he was trying to find an opportunity to escape, but the situation was not in his favor.
Her power was unpredictable. He was unable to detect her presence even when she was close by. The same was true for when she flew up to the branches. Moreover, the surrounding roots and vines did not affect her, but they were fatal to him.
Then the dense weeds, thick like walls, were natural obstructions blocking his path.
On his way here, he had carefully avoided the weeds' serrated edges when pushing through. The moment he got cut meant a dead end for him. There was absolutely no antidote for the blood poison at this point.
The hope for a direct and successful escape was very slim.
As for any regrets he had over his decision to risk his life like this, it was meaningless to think of it now.
He was thankful only that the lady did not attack him directly. Perhaps she had insufficient experience, perhaps it was deliberate, or perhaps it was a game to her. No matter the reason, stalling for time was a good option in his current situation.
There was no lack of strong elementalists this time. If they happened to pass by, he could take the chance to escape.
Ai Hui's mind was turning rapidly, but his face showed no sign of it. Rapidly formulating a plan, he initiated, "Why are you guys doing this?"
"Why?" The lady in red asked naively, "Then why are you training?"
"To control my own destiny," Ai Hui responded.
"Control your own destiny?" The lady in red gave a blank stare but soon started laughing happily. "I like this saying! Indeed, you're worthy of being my subordinate. How interesting."
"And you guys-why?" Ai Hui asked in a low tone.
"Only God can control his own destiny." The lady in red looked Ai Hui over again, her gaze flickering. "How can ordinary beings struggle free from fate's stocks and chains? Of course, they can choose a better lock. For example, becoming my underling will ensure a bright future. Think about it? I like it when people act according to their wishes!"
"And then I'll be sucked dry like him?" Ai Hui replied coldly while pointing at the desiccated corpse on the ground.
"You killed him." The lady's smiling face was like a flower. Seeing Ai Hui's look of disbelief, she continued unhurriedly, "Although he was trapped, it was actually his good fortune. Do not look down on these bloods. They are the spiritual essence of countless blood insects and beasts, and maybe a thousand or ten thousand of them entered his body. Don't you think that's good fortune? If he had survived, his strength would have increased exponentially, much faster than your training. Are you moved? Do you want to control your own destiny? How can you do it without power? I can give you power-much more than what you have now! How about it? Are you moved?"
Hearing this, it was as if raging waves had hit his chest. He was no longer able to remain calm. "You guys swallowed all of the blood insects, treating them as nutrients, and gather them into a human body...."
"A human body? No no no!" The lady in red shook her head like a rattle-drum. "No one can endure the power of so many blood insects. Even God can't do it. Humans mustn't be so greedy!
"Maybe you have the gift!" She sized Ai Hui up before continuing, "I'll let you try later, don't worry. I'm very generous. If you want it, I'll give it to you."
The lady gave a charming expression and winked at Ai Hui.
Ai Hui finally understood why the forest was so deathly still and silent. He felt a chill in his body, an incorporeal hand firmly strangling his throat.
The events currently unfolding completely subverted all of his knowledge.
A sound like that of a watermelon splitting suddenly rang out from deep within the forest.
"Hey, these people have such weak essence." The lady was clearly displeased. "They can't even endure such little blood spiritual force? Useless. God wouldn't even want such rubbish. The greatest contribution trash can make is to become nutrition for a genius. Sigh, there's enough nutrients but not enough talents. Hey, are you a genius?"
Ai Hui sharply inhaled in an attempt to restrain the throbbing of his heart.
That exploding sound couldn't have been an elementalist who had failed to endure the infusion of blood spiritual force....
Blood spiritual force!
Ai Hui soon grasped the crux of the matter. Blood spiritual force-spiritual force! Having disappeared for over a thousand years, the once-resplendent and magnificent spiritual force had actually reappeared....
This isn't real....
"Spiritual force, you said?" Ai Hui asked hoarsely. His state of mind was utterly unguarded at this point. He even forgot about escaping.
Because of spiritual force.
He knew what its reappearance meant.
His sword techniques and secrets could be of use. The countless sword manuals he had read that were covered in grime and regarded as rubbish could be useful again. Their dust-covered brilliance, scattered into years of legends and folklores, would reemerge on this land.
The extinct cultivators would reclaim their world. Be it the Avalon of Five Elements or the Wilderness, neither were worth mentioning in front of them. No one would be able to stop the cultivators.
"Yes." The lady smiled. "Looking forward to it? Cultivation is becoming a long-forgotten term. Look, we're finally able to recover our legacy. How about it? Are you all fired up? Probably getting impatient...."
All of a sudden, with great strength, Ai Hui charged towards Central Pine City like a launched arrow.
"Men are full of empty words!"
The indistinct voice travelled from behind Ai Hui. Her breath was fragrant and stuck close to his body.
A cold ray flashed past Ai Hui's eyes. Without a sound, the Dragonspine Inferno struck backward from his left underarm.
Fell through again!
Things were not looking good. Without waiting for Ai Hui to turn around, the voice sounded once again from the back of his neck.
"Know why I'm talking to you for so long? So much trash is bothersome enough, so I'm just waiting for these trees to recover, and I can prepare a big meal for you. Am I not especially nice to you?"
Without warning, Ai Hui braked and with the power of both legs, lunged himself backwards with all his might.
[Arching Fish Back]!
But it was once again fruitless. Ai Hui's heart dropped.
The voice came from behind his neck again. The lady stuck onto him, her puffs of breath landing just above his ears.
"Although I like it when people act according to their wishes, if they can't do it, I find it tasteful to force myself upon them too. One Thousand Yuan boy, I will make you comfortable."
Ai Hui's body tensed as suddenly, his body was bound by the root-like objects. The immense force made his body lose all control, and with how tightly he was wrapped, he felt himself losing consciousness.
Was he going to die?
Or become a monster?
Ai Hui's limbs were ice-cold.