Chapter 168: Blood Refinement
Translator: Irene Editor: CakeHermit
All was black before Ai Hui's eyes. His whole body was tightly tied up and he felt like a dumpling. Even his mouth was tightly bound. Luckily, his nose was not completely blocked or else he would have suffocated. That would have been depressing.
He felt like he had soared up into the clouds and was flying amongst them, floating unsteadily as he rose and fell.
Was this how flying felt?
It wasn't actually a wonderful experience.
Initially, panic and dread had occupied his mind and body, but as time passed, he struggled free from the fear. As the fear lessened, so did the panic. Panicking wasn't useful at all since it would not loosen the vines wrapped around his body.
During his three years in the wilderness, the biggest change Ai Hui had undergone was learning how to fight with his all despite the danger he may be in; if he could not alter the situation, he just had to face the problem with a calm and collected mind. Every day was like a roulette on a gambling table. No one knew what would happen in the next second, so whether or not you were willing and whether or not it was alterable... you would have to face the result eventually.
Supposing ignorance was commonplace, what one sees is merely a watery reflection on the surface. In that case, only when undisturbed can one see more clearly.
Having calmed down, Ai Hui's brain recovered from its frozen state and his thoughts started spinning once again. Every sentence from the conversation he had just had with the lady in red re-emerged in his mind. He suddenly felt that what she had said was fragmented and dishonest.
If the so-called blood spiritual force really was spiritual force, then they had no need to resort to these tricks. A blood catastrophe was completely unnecessary.
Cultivators had many advantages over elementalists.
The lady in red and her fellows had killed so many people, enough to cause terror in the populace; however, at the same time, they had created countless nemeses who were now seeking vengeance. Threats were a weapon for the weak. The truly strong would have no need to talk; they would simply crush their opponents.
If this group of people were really so strong that they were superior when compared to everyone else, then there should have been no need to create such a dramatic bloodbath.
There was a ninety percent chance that the lady in red was lying.
Beautiful ladies are indeed liars, Ai Hui cursed silently. Unable to resist, he decided to give the lady in red a name to express his disdain.
What to call her? Oh, how about One Thousand Yuan? Need "One Thousand Yuan"! Pfft, what's the use of being pretty? She was only worth one thousand yuan anyway!
Ai Hui drew circles and cursed non-stop in his heart, but his brain did not stop thinking.
It looked like the blood wave was caused by One Thousand Yuan and her group in order to create a batch of powerful soldiers. Currently, this method had proven to be greatly flawed since it had extremely high requirements for the test subjects.
All the elementalists had failed.
He wasn't sure if even he could succeed. Okay, he probably couldn't. He wasn't that gifted.
How pathetic. He was going to become a firecracker, explode into meat dregs, and die without an intact corpse. So ugly...
So, what if he did succeed? He would become an evil monster. How could he bear killing Fatty and the rest? Fatty and Bangwan owed him so much money too, it would be such a loss. Oh wait, he still owed the noodle shop lady eighty million yuan. Forget it, a monster had better prospects...
Disorganized and scattered thoughts filled his brain.
He was even more pessimistic when it came to Central Pine City's future.
What if One Thousand Yuan used this kind of method to create a whole bunch of blood fiends? Not many were needed, trouble ensued even if only ten tiny, weak insects combined their strength.
Yeah, he had probably reached the depths of the forest by now.
"Sorry to keep you waiting."
The gentle voice of the lady in red sounded like the eerie sneer of an executioner to Ai Hui's ears.
He was going to leave this world without becoming an elementalist after all!
He ridiculed himself for wanting to control his own fate. His so-called dreams were about to die.
Okay, it would be considered a blessing if he could just live for a few more years. A tiny small-fry like him had no rights to complain, right? It was destiny, huh... he could only accept his fate and surrender his life!
Please loosen the vines gripping my mouth...
Hey, hey, hey, I'm about to surrender. One Thousand Yuan, oh, no, beautiful fairy, I'm going to surrender...
Beautiful commanding officer, your loyal subject is here...
Hey, hey, hey...
The lady in red did not read his thoughts. "I find you interesting. You must be different from the other bunches of trash, so I prepared a big meal for you. You'll enjoy it very much. When you get used to the taste of blood spiritual force, you'll know why it's a world delicacy. Be good, it won't hurt at all."
Using her gentle fingers, she pulled a tree root as thick as a thumb over to Ai Hui and stuck it into the hollow of his left palm.
Ai Hui's body stiffened and an intense pain made him blank out.
He'd had no time to react. The red, hot-as-lava juice entered his body ceaselessly through the wound. He wanted to struggle, but was unable to move at all. He wanted to shout, but not a single sound came out.
The seemingly boneless, soft white palm grabbed Ai hui's right hand. Seeing the tightly held sword, she tried to take it away. Who knew that Ai Hui's grip was so strong. She was unable to take the sword from him no matter how hard she tried.
"I like stubborn people." The young lady laughed and said, "The more stubborn, the more suffering they'll feel. Blood spiritual force is the best wine and pain is the best accompanying dish. The more you taste, the more pain you experience. My first subordinate is indeed different from the rest. Such happiness."
Another tree root was stuck into the back of Ai Hui's right hand.
The lady in red looked at Ai Hui, who was tightly bound, with great satisfaction. Countless tree roots swarmed in from all directions, like snakes lured by the smell of fish, towards Ai Hui.
Each surrounding tree was taller and more solid than the others. The more roots they had, the more concentrated the tumors on the trunks were. The tumors seemed to take the form of human faces and started turning and twisting.
"I'm really looking forward to it."
More and more tree roots started pricking Ai Hui's body and a steady flow of fresh red juice entered within him. Ai Hui's body twitched uncontrollably and eventually became still, like a senseless corpse.
Time passed slowly. An hour went by and Ai Hui still showed no signs of bloating.
The lady in red was beyond pleased. She muttered to herself, "Indeed, I've picked the right subordinate."
She appeared to be admiring her best work of art.
Suddenly, movements were detected from far away and her expression changed, but then quickly returned to her usual pretty and flirtatious face. She wrinkled her brows slightly and pouted her rosy lips. "How annoying, finding trouble at such a time."
Nevertheless, she got up and took a last look at Ai Hui, who was wrapped and bound tightly by countless tree roots.
She crooked her head and thought for a while before disappearing in a flash.
Having flown over ten meters, she came to a stop in front of a big tree. It had dense tree roots and a suspended rattan ball.
The lady revealed a hurt expression, but still clenched her teeth and slashed across the roots supporting the rattan ball. The dense roots broke without a sound and the ball fell to the ground.
The lady flew over and landed in front of it, then peeled it open carefully.
A mastiff dizzily crawled out from inside.
This mastiff was big, around the size of a young horse. The soles of its feet were blood red and its claws looked like they were dyed the same color. The fresh, blood-like red extended upwards from its claws in a meandering design before forming complicated patterns on and throughout its ash-gray body.
The mastiff's eyes were like red rubies, pure and sparkly.
It bared its fangs, displeased by the disturbance; however the moment it saw the source of the disturbance, it lay on the ground obediently.
The lady in red felt some heartache. The mastiff was only half complete. Disrupting its blood refinement process like this meant that it would be difficult for the wolf to be strengthened in the future.
She quickly recovered from it however. No matter how gifted a blood fiend was and no matter how much refinement it underwent, it would never be on par with a human. There were too many things a blood fiend couldn't do.
"Greenie, come here." She waved her hand and floated towards where Ai Hui was.
The mastiff gave a low howl and followed closely behind.
The half-complete, blood-refined mastiff had gotten quite a lot stronger, satisfying the lady in red. Its huge body made no noise while it sprinted as fast as lightning.
In this blood forest, the mastiff's power wasn't something average elementalists could fight against.
"Greenie, guard him. You can kill whoever comes close." The lady in red instructed the mastiff while pointing at Ai Hui, who was suspended in midair.
It let out a whimper and licked the lady's palm.
"Be good, Greenie. When I'm done settling the problem, you can continue your blood refinement." The lady in red caressed its head with much tenderness.
Having said that, she flew up and away.
She was incomparably fast; a red blur flashed across the sky as she flew by.
The mastiff laid down below the suspended Ai Hui.
Ai Hui felt as if he had fallen into lava; his whole body was burning. The tremendous pain washed over his whole body like the tide. The torment was so intense and distinct that it was like a purgatory he couldn't escape.
The red-hot lava-like juice was naturally fond of elemental energy. It charged from all directions to wrap tightly around Ai Hui's recently activated limb palaces and natal residence.
Ai Hui's elemental energy was slowly swallowed up as the red juice seeped into every single piece of flesh within his body. Every bit of elemental energy was its prey.
It was like elemental energy's mortal enemy. It existed to destroy elemental energy and the five residences and eight palaces.
Ai Hui's limb palaces and natal residence started to crumble bit by bit.
The leg palaces lost ground, followed by the hand palaces. Intense anguish and despair enveloped Ai Hui. The price he had paid, the time and effort he had put in to activate the residences and palaces, and his dream were slowly being swallowed by the red juice right before his eyes.
When his natal residence was drowned in the red juice, an unprecedented hopelessness devoured Ai Hui. At this moment, his heart's despair far exceeded any physical pain.
He had fallen into the darkest abyss, where not a trace of sunlight or hope could be felt. Only boundless and profound gloom and cold pervaded.
Just die like this, he said to himself.