Chapter 171: Crescent Moon Killers
"Their target is me... but who? Who would want to fight me?"
A strange but doubtful feeling welled up inside of Bai Yunfei's head. From what Shao Ling was saying, Xiao Fang was captured by enemies for the express purpose of provoking him.
"Is it the Glacial School? Or maybe the Beast Taming School?" Bai Yunfei just had to laugh when he made these two conjectures. There was practically no way that the Beast Taming School would be after him, and the Glacial School wouldn't bother with trying to capture a random commoner to get to him.
"The fact that they've kidnapped Xiao Fang is very obvious. They want to intimidate me. This means I've only a few options left ahead of me... But this means that creepy feeling of someone looking at me was actually them! Dammit! I was an idiot to think that just because I was in a remote village, I'd have no enemies around...
"And if they came for me, that means they know I'm a soul cultivator, but to take Xiao Fang as a hostage means they're unsure of if they could beat me in a one-on-one battle!
"There's two people. That means the strongest one shouldn't be anywhere past the Soul Sprite stage. There'd be no point on kidnapping her then, but I can't be sure if they've any other hidden comrades with them. If that's the case, their strengths should be weaker than the other two. In short... their strengths must be on par with mine. They just want an extra assurance that they'd be able to beat me! So, there's a hostage, a trap, the advantage in terrain, and probably several other factors on their side...
"But just who are they? And what do they want with me?" Bai Yunfei's mind raced furiously as he tried to think of a solution.
"If we rule out the motive for revenge, it has to be something else then. I do have plenty of items worth looking after... the Upgrade Technique and soul items!" Suddenly, Bai Yunfei's eyes light up as if he had reached a realization. "They know about the soul items I have, they know about my strength, they know that I'm a strong soul cultivator, and they've been spying on me for the past several days... Ah! They have to be the soul cultivators that stole the treasure from the cave with the scorpion!"
The more he thought about it, the more he felt that he was right! Then a flash of fury washed over him, "This is the 'oriole' from before! They stole MY treasure, and now they want to take my upgrade equipment! And they're using a delicate woman as a hostage to boot!"
"Whatever the case, saving lives is most important!" Now that he had the general gist of things, Bai Yunfei was no longer hesitant.
In the eyes of some soul cultivators, the lives of a commoner wasn't even worth mentioning. There was no time to waste then. If something happened to Xiao Fang, how would Bai Yunfei ever forgive himself?
By now, the wounds of Shao Ling were practically healed, and the heavy wounds of Zhu Zi were more or less stable. With a quick stabilization of the wounds on his left arm, Bai Yunfei said to Zhu Zi and Shao Ling, "You two head on back first! I'll definitely bring Xiao Fang back!"
"No! I'm going with you!" Zhu Zi tried to speak with as much of a calm demeanor as he could. With his right arm pulling at his left arm, his expression was rather calm despite his wounds.
"I'm... I'm going too! I have to save sis!" Shao Ling spoke in earnest.
"What in the world are you doing?" Bai Yunfei's eyes narrowed together, "This isn't something you two can get involved in. Let me take care of it."
"No! I'm going! Even if I can't beat them, I'll die trying!" Zhu Zi stood his ground.
"Big brother Bai, I'm going with you! We'll hide by the side, who knows, maybe we'll be of help..." Shao Ling refused to back down and pleaded with Bai Yunfei.
There just wasn't any time to finagle with them any longer. Giving just a few seconds to mull it over, Bai Yunfei grumbled, "Fine! You guys can come, but you better listen to whatever plan I have!"
The Crescent Moon Killers were one of the most prominent figures in the underworld of the Beiyan Province. Tang Ya and Su Xia were brothers both at the level of a Late-stage Soul Sprite with the wind affinity. Even Primary-stage Soul Ancestors would think twice before engaging with them.
There was a good reason for that. The two brothers were said to be in possession of a pair of exceptionally strong soul items, two crescent moon blades-the reason behind their titular title, "Crescent Moon Killers."
These two brothers were well-known in the underworld for always being greedy, but the 'wealth' they wanted didn't mean money or material riches. It referred to what soul cultivators would consider as wealth: soul items, soul crystals, soul techniques, etc.
Whenever they saw something they wanted, they'd do their very best to steal it. Of course, if they were to just blindly loot everything they saw, then the powerful soul cultivators in the world would be sure to make sure not a piece of their corpses remained. They never went after dangerous game. They always went after game they could for sure beat. f they were unfortunate enough to make enemies with someone they couldn't beat, they'd have no qualms with turning around and fleeing without fighting.
They made their first 'appearance' eight years ago, and from there, their names skyrocketed throughout the entire Beiyan Province.
It was a coincidence that they heard wind of a flying scorpion in this area, so they came to investigate the mountains. After several days, they were planning on distracting the scorpion and stealing the treasure within the cave. The monster guarding the cave was a fifth-tier Soulbeast, so while the task wasn't impossible, the risks and chances of failure were too high for them to try taking it head-on.
As soon as Bai Yunfei appeared, the two men were able take the wind mushroom and even set up an ambush in the cave to kill the weakened flying scorpion.
To them, this profit was completely unexpected, but then they also saw just how many extraordinarily strong soul items Bai Yunfei had. It was enough for them to covet them, so they decided to steal them.
It was very possible that he might be from the Crafting School or even from a major house or another school, but the enticement was so huge that they completely disregarded the potential risks in favor of their greed.
In any case, Bai Yunfei was by himself. In this desolate mountainous area, a death could be easily committed and hidden.
Thus the two brothers spent one day tracking Bai Yunfei's steps and then another two days to observing him. Today, they finally struck. They captured one of the villagers close to him to drag him out.
"Big bro, you think this is going to work? There's no way that kid's going to try to save a commoner while knowing that this is a trap, right? It's been too long already." The squinty-eyed Su Xia glanced at Xiao Fang who was incapacitated due to several of her acupoints being pressed. Turning his head back, he looked to the white-robed Tang Ya for an answer.
Tang Ya's eyes glanced to the peaceful-looking valley down below, "What's the rush? According to our two days of spying, we may as well try this. Even if he doesn't come, we won't be losing anything major, but if he comes... then we'll bury his remains, bones and all!"
A sudden source of furious soulsense was picked by Tang Ya at that moment, causing his eyebrows to perk up.