Chapter 133: Danger Arrives
Translator: YH Editor: - -
It was not until the sixth day after obtaining the sword elemental energy that he noticed the strange atmosphere in the camp.
The atmosphere in the camp had become tense, and the guards who were originally in charge of monitoring them had been frequently transferred. On the seventh day, Teacher Xu and Cui Xianzi were also hastily mobilized and had yet to return.
Ai Hui meticulously counted the number of guards, concluding that their numbers were constantly declining. By the tenth day, the headcount had been reduced to a quarter of the initial number.
Fatty had always had an innate sensitivity toward danger. He also quickly picked up that something was amiss.
What should we do, Ai Hui?" Fatty asked, deeply worried. "I have a feeling that something bad is going to happen."
Just as Ai Hui was about to console him, a shrill scream from one corner of the manor rang through the air.
The two of them looked at each other.
All of the students immediately rushed out of their rooms. The guards, also alarmed by the scream, dashed over and questioned, "What's going on?"
At that very moment, Ai Hui's keen eyes spotted the figure of a dark-red wild beast atop the perimeter wall. His expression turned to one of shock as he exclaimed, "On the wall! Blood fiend!"
Ai Hui could see clearly that it was a blood rabbit. Its appearance, however, was a far cry from the one which they had first encountered.
The blood rabbit was almost as large as a wolf, with ears that were short and pointy unlike a typical rabbit. Its deep maroon-colored fur was as thick and hard as palm fiber. Lined with bulging veins and solid muscle, its hind legs were stronger than its front legs, though they were also robust. A sharp-looking head and even sharper teeth further complemented its menacing look.
Beyond all of that, however, the most terrifying part of the rabbit were its eyes.
Those demonic eyes stared at them like a predator.
The blood rabbit jumped off the wall with its powerful hind legs, becoming a red shadow dashing through the sky.
One of the guards who was standing near the blood rabbit failed to react in time and his throat was ripped out by the beast. A fountain of fresh red blood spurt out of his neck, spraying onto the blood rabbit's body. Looking satisfied, the rabbit shook its entire body and absorbed the fresh blood into its fur.
An eerie crimson luster coated its dark red fur.
Everyone was deeply frightened, and a few of the more timid girls started screaming. When had they ever seen such a gruesome and bloody scene? They were just typical students who were living a comfortable and peaceful life.
The guards charged forward, cursing under their breaths.
Ai Hui suddenly shouted loudly, "Fellow students, please move toward Duanmu Huanghun! Quickly!"
Duanmu Huanghun's face was as pale as a sheet. He too had never experienced something so gruesome. Luckily, he had greater mental fortitude than the average student and was still able to maintain his composure.
Hearing Ai Hui's announcement surprised him a bit, but he promptly responded, "All students, move toward me!"
The frightened students were momentarily roused from their petrified states as they hurriedly rushed toward Duanmu Huanghun. Duanmu Huanghun had gained recognition for his strength during the escape from the Garden of Life. Since Teacher Xu and Cui Xianzi were not around, Duanmu Huanghun was the strongest among them.
Without hesitation, Duanmu Huanghun used his [Viridescent Flower]. Branches shot out from beneath his feet, spreading all around them.
He knew just how sharp Ai Hui was.
When they were hiding in the mound, Ai Hui was somehow aware of what was going on outside. Duanmu Huanghun felt a bit freaked out by how keen Ai Hui's senses were. Knowing that Ai Hui was not someone who enjoyed taking the initiative to speak, Duanmu Huanghun deduced that the current situation must be highly dangerous.
Ai Hui was very familiar with the attack pattern of wild beasts. Seeing the blood rabbit swagger and taunt the guards into charging forward made Ai Hui suspect that there were others lying in ambush.
Wild beasts were not stupid.
Ai Hui saw a red flash streak across his field of vision.
He slashed his grass sword out without thinking.
Over the past several days, Ai Hui had incorporated many sword techniques into his training sessions. During these sessions, Ai Hui realized that his sword techniques were getting more and more potent as he practiced his execution to perfection. The sword embryo's response was also getting stronger and his training of elemental energy was more efficient.
After so many days of practice, Ai Hui's elemental energy had advanced quite a bit, becoming much deeper. In the past, each of his hand palaces was only the size of a green bean. They had since grown to the size of a broad bean. Even Ai Hui was surprised at his speedy improvement.
Besides having an improvement, Ai Hui had also become more familiar with sword techniques.
Ai Hui first started practicing sword techniques back when he was still in the Wilderness. After developing his first shred of elemental energy, his focus shifted toward further training.
He had recently spent copious amounts of time and effort to sculpt his elemental energy using sword techniques. As a result, his familiarity with the sword increased tremendously.
His vast improvement could be seen in this stroke that was as fast as lightning yet completely silent.
The sound of metal striking stone reverberated through the air.
Ai Hui felt a tremendous force against the sword's blade. Rather than resisting the impact, he borrowed its strength and took several steps back.
He was not particularly jolted by this since raw strength had always been the wild beasts' strong point. Ai Hui's [Copper Skin] might make him stand out among the students, but even the most common wild beasts in the Wilderness were stronger than him.
Of course, victory was not determined by brute strength alone.
Humans, who were not as strong as wild beasts, had always been the winning species.
Ai Hui bent his legs, lowering his body slightly like a coiled spring. His gaze was stone cold and his face expressionless while the tip of his sword circled in a small arc.
His eyes were locked onto the blood fiend that was a short distance away.
It was a blood snake, more specifically a blood krait. Blood-red spots, reminiscent of red flowers, covered the snake's silver body. Its eyes looked like blood-colored glass, with a sparkle that made it appear much lighter than the blood rabbit's eyes.
According to what Ai Hui had surmised from the incident in the Garden of Life, the darker the color of the blood fiends' fur and eyes, the more potent the blood poison. However, carnivorous wild beasts were much more dangerous than herbivorous ones.
Ai Hui scanned the snake's body, noting that his attack had only left a single white spot on the snake's otherwise unblemished body.
His heart quivered with anxiety as he realized that the blood snake's skin was almost as tough as some of the weaker species of dire beasts. A short while ago, these blood fiends were still just normal wild beasts. The speed at which they grew stronger was truly frightening.
Given more time...
Ai Hui's pupils contracted as his killing intent surfaced.
His gaze was fixed squarely on the blood snake in front of him. Nearby, the intense battle between the guards and the blood rabbit seemed to fade out of existence as Ai Hui focused all of his attention on the impending battle against the snake.
As if it had sensed Ai Hui's killing intent, the blood snake suddenly raised the upper half of its body. Its red, glassy eyes locked onto Ai Hui, completely devoid of emotion.
And so, the confrontation began.
Duanmu Huanghun was flabbergasted to see Ai Hui confronting the blood snake.
His impression of Ai Hui had already changed drastically from when they were in the Garden of Life. Ai Hui's acute sixth sense, coupled with his experience and decisiveness, were what made Duanmu Huanghun feel taken aback.
As for his fighting abilities, Duanmu Huanghun felt that they were not particularly impressive.
In that moment however, Duanmu Huanghun felt his pupils contract in response to Ai Hui's killing intent.
Duanmu Huanghun, himself, possessed exceptional strength. Thus, he had a greater understanding of things like auras and intents when compared to the average student. These were not illusory ideas but actual phenomena.
Experts who possessed advanced knowledge in combat were often able to pinpoint their opponents' strengths and weaknesses. Because they had the sufficient abilities and methods to alter the circumstances in their favor, these experts remained composed and acted as the situation required without a moment's hesitation. Accordingly, their demeanor on the battlefield naturally allowed them to exude an intent or aura that vastly differed from the majority.
Duanmu Huanghun never expected Ai Hui to have such an imposing presence.
This guy was pretty good at swordplay...
He thought back to Ai Hui's first strike against the snake while his eyes remained focused on the current situation. Feeling annoyed, he wondered if Ai Hui had been hiding his true abilities all along. The other students were also gawking at Ai Hui, having the same thoughts as Duanmu Huanghun. They had been under the impression that Ai Hui reminded them to stick to Duanmu Huanghun so that they could all use him as a protective screen.
Little did they know that Ai Hui had been planning to engage the blood snake.
Fatty was extremely anxious.
Ai Hui maintained his composure and remained completely unperturbed. He suddenly lowered his sword, prompting the blood snake to spring at him.
A red blur streaked toward Ai Hui at an alarming speed!
Ai Hui's eyes lit up at the sight of the snake advancing, satisfied that his bait had worked. He was experienced in dealing with wild beasts and knew that they were especially susceptible to feints.
The red blur might be fast, but Ai Hui was well prepared. Ai Hui swiftly accelerated the grass sword forward in a thrusting motion.
The grass sword in his hand was a military-grade weapon that belonged to one of the guards. Grass swords used in the military were of excellent quality and were way better than the sawtooth grass sword that he had bought.
Its blade was constructed with steel wood and heavy reeds, making it extremely hard and resistant to damage. These swords, however, were very heavy and not suitable for use by students as a consequence. Its weight was just right for Ai Hui, who was not just any other student.
Infusing elemental energy into the sword made its edges glow with a cold, pale light that possessed an oddly penetrating feel to it.
The red and white flashes collided.
A ear-splitting sound even sharper than the one before pierced through the air.
The blood snake retreated at an even faster speed. It dug into the ground, leaving a small hole behind.
Ai Hui's arm was so sore that he was almost unable to lift his sword. The blood snake's second strike was much stronger than the first. Even Ai Hui, who had developed the [Copper Skin], could not handle the attack.
A red flash flew out of the small hole, once again charging toward Ai Hui.
The blood snake was visibly injured this time, its forehead sporting a deep gash. Ai Hui had used up practically all of the sword elemental energy stored within his hand palaces to execute his previous attack.
Charging through the air at an impossible speed, the blood snake bared its gleaming fangs.
Duanmu Huanghun noticed that Ai Hui's right arm had weakened and that he was probably no longer able to fight. He had not expected Ai Hui to have such a confrontational fighting style, trading intense blows with the opponent without first testing the waters.
Surprised by the turn of events, Duanmu Huanghun was unable to provide support!
Was this guy trying to die? Had he not thought of his next move? Was he crazy?
Duanmu Huanghun was stunned when he caught sight of Ai Hui's grass sword.