Chapter 39: A Plan to Kill a Hou Tian Warrior
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Maggie
Shi Mu didn't try to ward-off the incoming sword shadows. He crouched low to the ground, and then leapt-up to punch his enemy mid-air. He wore a black glove on his hand now.
"Haha... you fool! You're courting death!" Wu Tong laughed loudly.
He manoeuvred the sword shadows. They scattered to avoid Shi Mu's punch. Then, they united again into one streak of cold light, and continued to dart towards Shi Mu.
The cold light grazed Shi Mu's shoulder. It didn't penetrate into his flesh, but sliced through the cloth at his shoulder. A several-centimetre-long slit was created in the cloth. This slit revealed a glaring golden armor beneath.
"The Golden Armor!" Wu Tong exclaimed as he saw the armor.
However, he couldn't spring-up again since there was no counter-force to launch him into the air.
It was precisely the moment Shi Mu had been waiting for. He grasped Wu Tong's sword with his gloved hand. His glove was cut open, and his fingers began to bleed profusely. Shi Mu ignored this and said excitedly, "I've finally caught you! Let's see how you escape now."
A cold ray flickered in Wu Tong's eyes as he realized that Shi Mu's bleeding hand was clutching his sword. He shook his wrist to soften the sword. This was done with the intention to free the weapon from Shi Mu's grasp and cut-off his fingers simultaneously.
Suddenly, Shi Mu shouted and threw out nine blade shadows from the Sun and Moon Daggers which he had been holding in his other hand. The shadows rolled out in quick succession at a lightning speed in Wu Tong's direction. This attack was far superior to any of his former attacks.
"Nine cuts in one breath! You've really reached the advanced stage!" Wu Tong screamed.
He quickly let go of his sword. He then rolled ten meters backwards and landed heavily on the ground.
He had estimated that this distance would be out of the scope of Shi Mu's attacks.
He had expected that it would provide him with a safe spot to steady himself and prepare for a counter-strike. However, this proved to be wishful thinking. A streak of cold silver-light flashed in front of his eyes before he had gotten a chance to find his feet on the ground. Then, the nine dagger shadows started to chase him just the way someone chases a maggot to crush it under their feet.
"No!" Wu Tong screamed.
He hadn't expected this. He took a deep breath and steadied himself since there was no time to dodge the attack. Suddenly, a layer of blue shimmer emerged between his hands. He began to dissipate the dagger shadows by striking at them continuously.
He managed to dispel most of the shadows with his hands. However, he missed one deadly shadow. It turned out to be the cold light of the actual Sun and Moon daggers. It sliced his shoulder and dissipated the blue layer of Qi. Wu Tong's arm wasn't cut off, but a several centimetres deep cut appeared on his shoulder.
Wu Tong sighed. He was about to take a step back when the handles of the Sun and Moon Daggers made a crackling sound. Suddenly, the two daggers went past his neck from either side.
A bleeding wound appeared on Wu Tong's neck. He stared at the sharp daggers which had cut through his neck and then sunk into the earth near his feet.
He then discovered a thin black chain which had been cleverly attached to the end of the daggers' handles. He hadn't been able to see it since it had been camouflaged by the darkness.
"I would've given it my all if I had known that my life was at risk. Had it not been for the Golden Armour... or that goddamn chain... or those crafty tricks... or the blade art..." Wu Tong murmured.
Blood began to bubble-out from his mouth and neck. He made several efforts to press the wound tightly in an attempt to stop the blood from gushing-out wildly. However, his head dropped down and rolled over on the ground.
His big head was now tainted with dirt; his eyes were wide open. It seemed as if his dead eyes were brimming with unfulfilled grievances.
The thin chain then shook with a jerk as Shi Mu took the blades back in hands. The young man had managed to kill his enemy despite the distance of several meters between them.
Shi Mu gasped for breath as he sat on the ground in relief.
While the act of describing this confrontation took some time... the actual fight wasn't very long. It took place within the span of twenty breaths. The pressure to face this Hou Tian warrior was far greater for Shi Mu than he had expected. Therefore, he had to use a lot more energy to deal with Wu Tong than he had used to fight with the Wu riders. If it hadn't been for his plan to deliberately get cut by Wu Tong's sword and then reveal the Golden Armour... then he would've had no way to force an opportunity to strike. The chain on the daggers had helped him to escape from the crushing strength of his enemy.
Shi Mu reflected on the events for a while. Then, he burst out laughing.
"Who would've thought that a mere Martial Disciple would be able to kill a Hou Tian Warrior? The others will probably argue that Wu Tong was at an early level of the Hou Tian realm. They might even say that I won because I used some crafty tricks. But still, I managed to kill him... a Hou Tian Warrior! I wonder if the messenger from Kai Yuan Martial Arts School would change his mind once he hears about this," he said.
Shi Mu knew that he was mocking his own weaknesses by uttering these triumphant words. He was aware that the adrenaline rush from the fight still hadn't left him.
Shi Mu then fumbled with his clothes and produced a small bottle. He took some ointment from the bottle and rubbed it on his wounds. The cooling sensation of the ointment lifted his spirits. He stood up and began to walk in the direction of Wu Tong's body.
A moment later, Shi Mu held a jade case and a craftily designed belt in his hands.
There was no doubt that the belt was Wu Tong's sword; the same one which the deceased had used earlier. Shi Mu opened the jade box and found a thick wad of silver notes. They amounted to seven or eight million silvers.
Shi Mu took the money for himself. He glanced at the messy bodies lying on the ground for the last time. Then, he sighed and turned away.
After a while, he had reached the end of the woods.
"Brother Shi, I'm so happy to see that you're unharmed!" Zhong Xiu said as she hugged Shi Mu. She pressed her delicate frame against his hard-muscled body, and burst into tears.
"Miss Zhong, please relax. We're free from danger now," Shi Mu said.
His body stiffened, while his mind went blank as he inhaled the faint flowery fragrance coming from Zhong Xiu's body.
"Oh! I'm sorry, I forgot my manners. Brother Shi, what should we do next?" the girl asked. She blushed as she regained her senses. She loosened her arms and took half a step back.
"That's simple. We'll return to the original route," Shi Mu replied without any hesitation.
On the other end of the woods, Wu Hua leant against the cart as his mind wandered casually.
A couple of Wu riders had been asked to stay and keep an eye on the horses. They were doing their job alertly.
Around ten 'Horses of the Blue Wind' were grazing leisurely near them.
Suddenly, there were two loud explosions.
The two riders were shot dead by two feathered arrows before they even had the chance to react. Their bodies were thrown backwards on the ground with great force as the arrows penetrated their foreheads. There was no trace of life left in them.
"No!" the young man leaning against the cart shouted. He reacted quickly and darted towards the horses.
He had only been able to take a few steps when a third arrow pierced his back and nailed him to the ground.
Wu Hua screamed as he desperately tried to pull the arrow out from his back. However, it seemed as if the arrow was a part of the earth and was as immovable as the mountains.
Suddenly, the sound of footsteps emanated from the woods. Shi Mu appeared with the purple steel bow in his hand. Zhong Xiu followed close behind him.
"It's you! That's impossible! How did you manage to escape from my third uncle's hunting party? Please don't kill me... I can be a perfect hostage for you. If you don't harm me... my uncle will let you go... and will even provide you with a horse," Wu Hua cried out in terror as he saw the two people he hated the most; they were walking out of the woods, and towards him.