Chapter 129: Young Master Xie
Translator: Translation Nation Editor: Translation Nation
"Ssssss sssss ssssss"
The air was moist and damp. Some movement could be heard coming from down below. Several seconds later, the venomous snakes gathered around Pei Zi Yun. He looked down at them, 'There are only a hundred snakes, but I guess that's enough.'
Pei Zi Yun frowned, as he used his fingers to count the snakes at his feet before taking a deep breath. He then moved off quietly, as his shadow tailed him, slowly moving.
It was dark, moments before the sun would rise. This stronghold wasn't a military camp. Naturally beyond its mudwalls were uncleared forests and trees.
Although a warrior had dispatched someone to start a forest fire some time ago in order to clear the trees to better defend their stronghold, it was futile. Since they were short on manpower, it was a hopeless task.
He gathered some vines before swinging it upwards and climbing over the vines. Pei Zi Yun then rested for some time, carefully avoided detection. When he realized that there was nobody nearby, he then flipped himself over the wall and landed within the interior of the walls.
"Who is it?" A warrior looked around, and yet could not see anything. The warrior then thought he was being overly cautious.
Pei Zi Yun sneaked closer and saw a small wooden hut. The foundation of this hut was comprised of rocks. Although the rocks were not chiseled to perfection, it still looked smooth and leveled. There was a small trench dug out around the house, where quicklime was scattered to prevent any venomous snakes or bugs from entering.
Within the small hut were about twenty warriors. Pei Zi Yun cast a glance at them and realized that they looked tired, yet were still able to maintain their fearsome appearances. Pei Zi Yun quietly observed them as his eyes followed their rhythmic footsteps, their faces were stoic and expressionless. They held their blades in their hands, which glistened under the embers of the torches.
'If only I had my full energy and strength, then I might consider charging through and killing all of them.'
'But right now I have too little energy. I would not be able to take on so many warriors. Although the two hundred people outside are just average fighters, I would only decide to ignore the dangers and charge toward them if I really hated them.'
Pei Zi Yun then crept towards a big house and crouched down, leaning against it. All of a sudden, a warrior walked past the house and walked past him. His pants were stained black with dirt, he was less than a meter away from him, and yet did not notice Pei Zi Yun.
Once he walked past, Pei Zi Yun realized that he was carrying an oil lamp, and his eyes sparkled with an idea. He drew his sword decisively and followed behind him quietly. With a swift movement, he stabbed him in the back, into his neck. The stroke was so lethal that it severed his arteries and windpipe. Blood gushed out onto the floor.
This warrior trembled violently before crashing heavily down. Pei Zi Yun's reflexes were quick as he hurriedly grabbed the oil lamp, not letting it fall. He then stepped down hard on the warrior's neck, drowning out the gurgling sound he was making.
After some time, he realized that nobody had noticed anything. He then tipped the oil lamp over and sprinkled a little oil everywhere. In fact, he did not need much since there was dry straw and grass covering everything.
He then tossed the oil lamp onto the ground, the straws burst into flames.
Since he had scattered the oil, and the straw and dry grass were extremely prone to catching fire, the flames grew big really quickly. Before long, everything around him was a huge red.
The mountain people shouted out in panic. Someone rushed out of the house and tripped over the dead body on the ground, which was still bleeding out, leaving a huge stain of red on the straw covered ground.
Just as he was about to scream out in fear, a sword appeared from the fire and made a swift slash. This man's mouth was still open as his head soared into the air.
Since a fire had been started, thick smoke started bellowing into the air. Whenever Pei Zi Yun saw an opportunity, he would slaughter an unsuspecting warrior or two, to create as much chaos as he could muster. However, the chaos was not just limited to within the boundaries of the stronghold. Outside the walls, someone screamed out, "Not good, snakes! There are poisonous snakes. Hurry light a fire to scare the snakes away."
"Hurry, light a fire." A warrior shouted frantically. Both sides of the wall were thrown into pandemonium.
Someone from within the wall then shouted, "Hurry, extinguish the fire, it's spreading rapidly."
"Ah, there are enemies here!"
The small hut
The black robed Priestess had not managed to rest for long. The backlash from using dark magic had a cold effect, and the medication was hot. The combination of these two caused her to spit out a large mouthful of blood. She then felt the tight feeling in her chest recede, she started feeling significantly better.
She then started to pant when she heard the shouts coming from outside, "Save us! There's a fire. Extinguish the fire. Not good, the spirit of the High Priest has returned!"
"No! Hurry! Extinguish the fire! it's getting bigger!"
The conflicting shouts became louder and more frantic. The black robed woman felt a certain dread well up in her stomach as fear struck her, and yet she found it hard to believe. She then mumbled to herself, "No, this won't do. His martial arts are to a point of perfection, and he still has power over the snakes, I am no match for him."
Thinking this way, she began to sink further into fear and panic. Furthermore she was still feeling giddy from all that backlash and had not properly recuperated. She then struggled to get up before shouting, "Someone come! Hurry! Hurry! I know that there's a secret passage somewhere around. It's not safe here anymore. We have to leave, and it has to be now. Let's follow this secret path, where we can escape safely."
"Yes, your Excellency." The guard standing watch at her door turned around and entered her room.
At this point the fire had spread to most of the stronghold. The houses nearby were all being consumed by fire and were collapsing soon after. The fiery flames licked the ceiling of a house before bursting forth into the skies. Widespread panic was upon the people around the houses, as they fled as far as they could. The door to the small hut then burst open as several warriors rushed out. They huddled together in a group and fled together.
Amidst the fire and all the chaos, Pei Zi Yun had retreated to a quiet place where he laid in wait for his prey. In the dark, the flames were extremely bright and allowed him to see exactly what was happening outside, 'This is called beating the grass and alerting the snakes. Now I have to see if my enemies fall into my trap.'
'If they do not, I will have to retreat and find another way.'
'I actually only have a hundred snakes here, which means the people outnumber my snakes. As long as they remain calm, they shouldn't have any problem dealing with them.'
Just as he was thinking about this he saw four people running away together hurriedly. One of them was wearing the robes of a mountain warrior, however this person was using Dao arts to support herself. Pei Zi Yun's eyes were extremely sharp and he saw everything clearly. He then laughed, "Haha, this is lucky, they really came out here."
In the dark, the shadows could be seen flickering in a particular direction. The route that they were running along seemed to stretch on forever, and yet the fires and shouts were getting softer, and the sound of running water was becoming louder.
At last, the few of them stopped by the edge of a small cliff. It was no taller than seven or eight meters. Below the cliff was a rocky drop all the way to the river, where the currents were strong and fast, crashing unrelentingly against the rocks.
"We made it out, we should be safe." The black robed woman took a step forward as she tried to steady her breathing. She patted her chest several times, feeling much better after regulating her breathing.
"Yes, Priestess. At this point, nobody is chasing us. Seems like we've evaded the slaughter." The warrior then continued, "As long as you can make it back safely, you can rally the six tribes closest to you, they will all obey your orders."
"Besides, with such dramatic actions, the other tribes will hear of it soon. They will probably rush to your aid by tomorrow, as long as we manage to escape tonight. We didn't lose too many men tonight anyway. The next time, we shall attack all the way and kill them all."
"Haha, you won't have another chance!" Even before the warrior could complete his sentence, he was interrupted by Pei Zi Yun's laugh. Everyone turned around to look at him.
"No! Impossible! How could you have followed us?" The black robed Priestess asked in disbelief.
"Oh? Why would it be impossible?" Pei Zi Yun asked plainly.
"Defend the Priestess! Kill him!" The three warriors understood what was happening, and knew what would happen. They stuck their chests out and took a deep breath of fresh, cold air. Without saying another word, they rushed forward to attack him.
A split second later, their blades collided with Pei Zi Yun. A flash of the sword, and the first man lost his sword hand. Although he used purely sword skills, Pei Zi Yun moved as quick as lightning, and had a murderous intent in his eyes.
"Feng!" The head of the first person flew into the air.
"Kill him!" The remaining two warriors ignored all dangers to their bodies and rushed towards Pei Zi Yun. He dodged away nimbly, and swung his sword down at the warrior on his right. The stroke connected with his forehead as a line of blood formed just above his eyebrows. He paused for a second before falling flat on his face.
The last person witnessed this brutal massacre, his courage gave way. He then turned around to leave, and his speed was so fast that it even startled Pei Zi Yun. However, Pei Zi Yun took several strides and kicked him hard in the back. A sword from the ground then flew up and stabbed him from the back, through his heart, causing the point of the sword to exit from the front of his torso.
The sounds of an agonizing last breath gradually receded. In the blink of an eye the three of them had perished. The Priestess, who had changed into the clothing of a warrior looked at Pei Zi Yun and cowered in fear, still in disbelief.
"Haha, you were surrounded by more than ten warriors just now, and I could not do anything. You were harmed by your own intelligence, and revealed your secret entrance to me in a moment of panic. Where do you want to go now?"
The Priestess looked up at Pei Zi Yun, trying her hardest to maintain her composure, "Since you're not him, why do you have to defy me? You should know of my status. Let me go now, and we can still be acquaintances. If you kill me, you will make an enemy out of the entire Southern Kingdom."
"I'm not afraid of that!" Pei Zi Yun laughed joyfully, "Indeed, your status is high and lofty. But I still want to take your life. You're right, if I were to remain here after killing you, I shall see no end to my problems."
"But why would I want to stay here after I kill you? I think you should know my status by now as well, I am a High Scholar from Ying Prefecture!"
The Priestess glared at Pei Zi Yun with cold and heavy expressions. Her forced composure had finally given way to true fear. She then saw Pei Zi Yun laugh once more, "If I were you, I'll stop threatening me and be good, reveal everything to me. I shall maintain what I just said, I am not here to stay, and have no grudge with you. If you tell me, I might even let you go."
At this point, the Priestess was exhausted and had little to no energy left. She reared her head back and laughed, "Haha, I collaborated with the King of the Southern Kingdom, and managed to earn the title of Priestess. My fame is renowned across the entire land. How could I possibly surrender to you?"
"You do have some backbone!" Pei Zi Yun smiled, "If you were a person who came from hardships and a tough background, I might have believed you. However, you lived in comfort your entire life. How much suffering have you ever endured?"
"Even I cannot say I can endure being tortured, much less you. It's inherent in human nature to think highly of their own endurance."
"Hahaha! I will never speak." The Priestess laughed maniacally.
"Oh, so stubborn." Pei Zi Yun said. He then cut through a small patch of cloth from her clothes and stuffed the cloth into her mouth to prevent her from biting her tongue to end her suffering.
He then pulled one of her fingers toward himself and bent it backward. There was a snap and the entire finger was bent, taking on a deformed look. The Priestess gave a muffled cry, as she shook violently in pain.
"We're only just starting." Pei Zi Yun then broke another finger before removing the cloth from her mouth and speaking coldly, "We are still only at the start, how much more can you endure?"
The Priestess had fainted once from pain, and did not shout anymore at this point, she then said hoarsely, "I'll speak, I'll speak. It was a man surnamed Shi who informed me secretly."
"Surnamed Shi?" He searched the original owner's memories and could not find such a person. He then hesitated before asking "Who sent this man named Shi? Why would you listen to him?"
"He's Young Master Xie's man....." Even before the Priestess could finish her sentence, a patch on her forehead started turning black, before it transformed into the head of a wolf.
"No!" A cry of anguish rang out, the Priestess then spat out a mouthful of blood before falling to the floor.
The wolf on her forehead gradually disappeared as well. Pei Zi Yun walked forward to take a closer look and shivered. Her vital signs showed no signs of life. This was a restricting curse!
Even she did not know that a curse had been placed on her to prevent her from ever speaking this. At this point, she violated the curse and thus suffered the consequences. Such underhand methods were indeed very familiar. The original owner had been victimized this way before as well.....
"Young Master Xie!"
"Xie Cheng Dong?"
Pei Zi Yun stood up, his entire face gave a cold look as he gazed up into the skies. At this point someone then shouted, "The person in front is Pei Zi Yun, Top Scorer Pei?"
The voice was extremely familiar. When Pei Zi Yun turned around, he saw a group of people with torches. More than ten men appeared. The leader among them was a plump man who looked familiar.
"Registrar Shi? You've come at such a good timing?" Pei Zi Yun's eyes twitched. Although his words were polite, he carried a killing intent within his tone.