Pursuers were chasing them from behind, and in front lay the edge of a cliff. What should they do?
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Elder Long ambled up to the pavilion with his staff, and at once, You Mengzhe fell into such a fit of laughter that he almost fell straight to the ground. Tang Hui, looking rather astonished, shot a glance at You Mengzhe.
The entire Long family made their grand entrance, and Elder Long, with his wrinkled face full of tears, began to recount his misfortune a fortnight ago in Jiangzhou. The more they heard, the more the crowd members shook with anger.
"That little devil used Heaven and Earth Extinguishing Bone Piercing Needles to injure our entire sect, and even helped an imperial lackey humiliate all those who came to celebrate my birthday!" Elder Long sobbed, "Alliance Leader Zhao, please avenge us!"
Zhao Feihong placated Elder Long, and after consoling each of the Long family members one by one, grasped both of Elder Long’s hands with his own. Righteous indignation surged within each person in attendance.
Then, another old lady took the stage. "My daughter-in-law..." the old lady choked through her tears.
Zhao Feihong introduced her to the three thousand attendees. "This is the compassionate Eighth Nun Zheng from the East Sea."
The old lady nodded at Zhao Feihong and continued, "Three years ago, the Demon Cult’s cursed Left Guard coveted my daughter-in-law, and in the middle of the night, captured her and took her to Yuheng Mountain. My 27-year-old son chased him to Yuheng Mountain to demand an explanation, only for those demons to torture and ravage him so viciously that after he returned home, he didn’t say a word, hid in the house, and refused to come out. It's truly a sin!"
Everyone sighed wordlessly, but You Mengzhe asked quizzically, "Isn't she a Taoist nun? How does she have a son?"
With an air of mock seriousness, Tang Hui answered, "Why can’t a Taoist nun have a son? Her son is also a Taoist monk."
Then the Thousand Blossoms Sect Leader also came up to complain. Sixteen years ago, a female disciple had been imprisoned in Yuheng Mountain, and to this day, they still hadn’t heard from her, and didn’t know whether she was dead or alive.
Then another victim replaced him, weeping and accusing the Demon Cult of vile conduct. On the night of a wedding, someone from the Demon Cult had seized the bride.
A family in Taizhou had been robbed of everything they had.
Someone from Yunmeng had quarreled with people of the Demon Cult on the streets of Huzhou, and they beat him within an inch of his life.
The prices in the sea salt business in the East Sea had been driven up by the Demon Cult, forcing the young businessmen of the righteous sects to lose all of their investments.
And when the Qingping Sect sent all its male disciples to visit the town of Sili, they entered the House of Blossoms brothel managed by the Demon Cult, and one of the girls cheated them of all their belongings. The youngest son carried the sect’s most treasured Qingping Sword, and even that was mortgaged to the House of Blossoms. Several times they had visited to demand it back, and each time, the House of Blossoms had reacted viciously. They went as far as to report them to the authorities, forcing the sect’s most precious treasure to stay in the pleasure brothel. To this day, there was still no resolution. However, the head of the Qingping Sect was so furious when he heard this incident, that he vomited blood and died on the spot…
"HAHAHAHA—!" You Mengzhe couldn't hold back his raucous laughter, which burst out of him abruptly and uncontrollably.
Tang Hui immediately shot him a meaningful look, cautioning You Mengzhe to keep his voice down. Several people in the pavilion glared at him, and You Mengzhe self-consciously piped down.
Tang Hui eyed You Mengzhe suspiciously, and asked, "Are you not a member of our righteous sects?"
You Mengzhe didn't want to tell Tang Hui the truth, lest there be more complications, when suddenly he thought of Sun Bin's enemy. He should be in this group of people, but what about Sun Bin? Why didn’t he see him anywhere?
After the victims who had been bullied by the Demon Cult finished speaking, Zhao Feihong cleared his throat and continued, "That is why I have invited you all here today, so we can work together as one to root out the Demon Cult. Until we eradicate it, there will never be peace in the Central Plains!"
"The Alliance Leader is right!"
Many people echoed in agreement, "Especially that House of Blossoms, it must be uprooted! It's not a good place, let’s tear it all down!"
Then someone else asked, "What should we do with the girls after we demolish it?"
"Naturally all the brothers will each take one home with them hahaha..."
They laughed wantonly, one after another.
We’re just trying to run a business here, You Mengzhe thought, and you people want to tear down the brothel and seize the women? I wonder who’s behaving more like the Demon Cult here?
Zhao Feihong coughed awkwardly, and stated, "This matter will be discussed later. However, the Demon Cult has weathered hundreds of years, and abruptly rose to prominence fifty years ago and now has very rich resources..."
"Yes, yes!" Someone exclaimed, "There must be many secret martial arts manuals. After we obliterate the sect, let’s grab them..." Before the young man could finish, the leader of his sect loudly berated him, and he had no choice but to stay silent.
Zhao Feihong responded with annoyance, "The eradication of such a powerful sect can not be done in a day; it needs to be done step by step. I invited you all here today, so that we can carefully deliberate and brainstorm ideas..."
You Mengzhe's eyes swept back and forth. From a distance, a group of young people sat cross-legged by the lake not far from him, headed by a middle-aged man with a fierce-looking face. Wait, huh? Why does one of these people look a little familiar? That young man was also eyeing You Mengzhe suspiciously.
You Mengzhe turned to Tang Hui and asked, "What sect is that group from?"
Tang Hui glanced at them from the side, and answered as though commenting on the weather, "The Yangzhou Thunderbolt Hall. They practice the ‘Thunder’ and ‘Lightning’ methods."
As soon as he mentioned it, You Mengzhe immediately remembered that that guy was the owner of whatever Sun Bin had stolen the other day! Thunderbolt Hall...
You Mengzhe asked, "Do they use thunderfire bombs and fluid steel swords?"
Tang Hui seemed to have discovered something, and shook open his fan, teasing, "You know them? Why is his gaze so fixed on you? That guy is Thunderbolt Hall’s young master Liu Wuwei, who wields an electric sword and throws thunderfire bombs. It’s no joke that he can blow a few holes into you. However did you stir up this love debt?"
You Mengzhe felt increasingly apprehensive under Liu Wuwei’s intense gaze. He had probably seen him when Sun Bin had carried him out of the House of Blossoms that night. To make matters worse, Liu Wuwei had also seen him face-to-face through the window, which had left a deep impression on them both.
"I'll go first to...relieve this matter."
You Mengzhe retorted, "Don't look at me like that. I'm not a rabbit like you, don't assume."
Tang Hui thought "Fuck you" and said, "Anything for you."
It would have been better if You Mengzhe hadn’t moved, but who would’ve guessed that as soon as he stood up to leave, that young man would suddenly get up and push through the crowd with a murderous aura?
At that time, Zhao Feihong was still discussing strategy, something along the lines of dividing and conquering to chip away at the Demon Cult’s stronghold, and how each region should select a leader to fight against the Demon Cult. You Mengzhe couldn’t afford to listen anymore and broke into a sprint.
Liu Wuwei immediately roared, "Stop! What's your name?!"
Liu Wuwei took a sudden, big stride forward, and You Mengzhe called out from a distance, "What's it to you!"
"That guy’s with the thief who stole my Thunderbolt Hall’s Supreme Sky Splitting God Killing Blossom Scattering Over the Realms Thunder Bomb! Stop him!"
The name of Liu Wuwei's weapon was far too long; by the time he finished, You Mengzhe was nowhere to be found.
At once, Liu Wuwei burst into a fit and roared, "Grab him! He’s from the Demon Cult!"
Now that woke everybody up; the crowd exploded, and even Zhao Feihong couldn't help but stop.
The Demon Cult had infiltrated them?! That was IT!!!!
Someone immediately shouted, "There! I just saw him!"
You Mengzhe wanted to leap over the crowd and beat his way towards the mountain road, but there were way too many people here. So he bore into the crowd, causing women everywhere to shriek while covering their chests.
"You little devil——!"
"That devil touched me!!" A brawny man's voice shouted in panic.
You Mengzhe shouted back, "Wow, who would want to touch you? Don't be so shameless…!"
At the same time, a voice sounded from the west, "That devil’s over here!"
Immediately, the swarm in the west descended into chaos. Baffled, You Mengzhe thought, there’s another one? Then he suddenly realized... That was Sun Bin's voice! Sun Bin was here too! He was creating a diversion! You Mengzhe hurriedly slipped away, and with great difficulty, used the vital qi he had cultivated from Sun Bin to leap onto the wooden bridge, bypassing the crowd. Then he heard another shout.
"It's him!" Even though Elder Long had just turned seventy, his eyes were extremely sharp. He pounded his staff and roared, "Grab him! Beware of his Heaven and Earth Extinguishing Bone Piercing Needles!"
As soon as they heard his warning, the crowd suddenly scattered, running for their lives.
You Mengzhe, who had just been reminded, immediately took out the round box from his sleeves and threatened, "Don't come any closer!"
Zhao Feihong, still positioned at the heart of the lake, narrowed his eyes slightly. After taking stock of the situation and feeling something amiss, he immediately stated, "Virtuous Brother, you chase east, and I’ll chase west."
Zhang Yuanshan cupped his fists and nodded, and the two of them shot out like arrows. Zhang Yuanshan chased after You Mengzhe, while Zhao Feihong pursued Sun Bin.
Meanwhile, everyone else fled for their lives, pushing and shoving each other until some people fell into the lake with a shriek. It was a pathetic sight.
You Mengzhe turned and continued running on the bridge, while Elder Long howled from his hiding place in the back of the crowd, "Grab him! Grab that little devil!"
You Mengzhe pressed the mechanism, and immediately swept his pursuers to the ground, all of them flailing and wailing.
"Don't be afraid of his needles!" Tang Hui was an expert in poison, and understanding the situation with a glance, announced in a clear voice, "My Tang Sect will detoxify everyone!"
With a shake of his fan, pollen filled the sky, assailing their nostrils with the wonderful fragrance of the Tang Sect’s signature anti-anesthetic, Heavenly Fragrance Pollen. The anguished wails gradually died down, and the dozen people who had been pierced kicked themselves up and rushed towards You Mengzhe.
You Mengzhe continued pressing the mechanism as he ran, and that group of Thunderbolt Hall disciples who had just been pierced, ran only a few steps before they got struck by another round of Heaven and Earth Extinguishing Bone Piercing Needles, and again fell to the ground wailing. Tang Hui shook his fan again, twelve Thunderbolt Hall disciples crawled back up, You Mengzhe shot again, the Thunderbolt Hall disciples fell, Tang Hui shook again, You Mengzhe shot again... After several rounds of this, he had exhausted all of his needles!
In no time, the black-robed Zhang Yuanshan had caught up to You Mengzhe, who could only see his long, outstretched arms, a single foot kicking off the railing of the bridge, pouncing at him like a black hawk, the weapon in his hand poised to strike! With a meridian spike in his left hand, and a judgment brush in his right, he formed a gorgeous arc, aiming straight for You Mengzhe’s huantiao acupoint!
You Mengzhe frantically backed up, hearing the thunderous applause from the audience, and someone screaming Hero Zhang! Hero Zhang!
You Mengzhe thought, this guy has outstanding martial arts! With a quick glance, he admired Zhang Yuanshan's slim face, deep-set eyes and tall nose, with dual-cultivation on his mind. On second thought, this man definitely wouldn’t be easy to handle. So he sprinted for his life.
Out of the blue, a gray shadow rushed out of the crowd and with one hand, dragged down Zhang Yuanshan’s ankle. Zhang Yuanshan was just half an inch away from You Mengzhe when PA, he fell flat on his face on the wooden bridge. The crowd erupted.
Zhang Yuanshan leapt back up, about to look for the person who had blocked him, only to find... no one there. Rage clouded his eyes, and if he could speak, he would have sworn and cursed, but he was a mute and could do nothing but hold it in.
You Mengzhe had no time to look behind him, and continued his mad sprint all the way to the center of the wooden bridge.
Liu Wuwei passed Zhang Yuanshan at this moment, chasing after him, and bellowed, "Don't let him escape!"
Liu Wuwei hardly finished speaking before he hurled a thunderfire bomb, and with a deafening BOOM, half of the bridge ahead collapsed.
You Mengzhe rushed to a sudden halt, nearly plunging into the lake, and after flailing his arms for what seemed like forever, finally caught his balance. More than half of the bridge had fractured away, the wreckage flowing towards the waterfall. You Mengzhe turned to face Liu Wuwei, who had finally caught up to him.
"Are you from the Demon Cult? What’s your name? Where’s your accomplice?! Hand over the thunderfire bomb!" he demanded sharply.
"I don't know who you’re talking about, you got the wrong person."
Elder Long shouted from the distance, "It's him! Everyone, let’s all capture that little Demon Cult bastard, kill him and sacrifice his blood for our alliance!"
Liu Wuwei drew out his sword, and You Mengzhe pressed the mechanism, ka-cha, but nothing came out.
"He ran out of needles!"
Right away someone howled, "Everyone! Attack!"
You Mengzhe put away his round box, thinking this isn’t good, I’m about to get caught, yet he let out a cold, mischievous laugh.
The wooden bridge was extremely narrow, only permitting one person to pass at a time. It also didn’t have any railings. A dozen Thunderbolt Hall disciples had no choice but to walk single-file on it. More and more martial artists piled on the bridge, but they didn’t dare to move carelessly; one wrong move could cause the whole bridge of people to go plummeting down.
"Who’s laughing with you!" From his belt, Liu Wuwei drew out a three-chi eight-cun long, fluid steel sword, which flashed so brightly that it practically blinded everyone.
You Mengzhe noticed that only Liu Wuwei had caught up to him, so he decided that he could still hold on, he just had to think of a way out.
Sun Bin’s ‘Floating on Water’ was a technique exclusive to his sect, and none of these martial arts experts knew it, otherwise they would have all stepped over the water and surrounded him a long time ago. At the moment, everyone was standing on the bridge in a long line, and even Zhang Yuanshan was stuck in the middle, unable to deal with him. It was a pity that he hadn’t diligently practiced his Qinggong, otherwise he could leap across the water and escape to the opposite bank right now.
In the midst of You Mengzhe’s calculations, Liu Wuwei brazenly slashed at him with his sword!
You Mengzhe already had a foundation in Qinggong, and he reflexively ducked back, dodging the electric sword. Then Liu Wuwei aimed for his ribs.
"Ai?" You Mengzhe stood at the end of the bridge, his waist weaving to the left, like a dance. Liu Wuwei aimed at the left of his waist this time, and You Mengzhe maneuvered to the right with a twist.
"Eat my sword!" Liu Wuwei bellowed.
Liu Wuwei stabbed, chopped, slashed, swept, sliced, his electric sword swinging without pause as You Mengzhe stood still, with only his torso bending and swerving. Liu Wuwei huffed and puffed, unexpectedly unable to touch an inch of his skin.
"Leave while you can."
As soon as he heard these words, Liu Wuwei's face immediately flushed red.
On the winding wooden bridge, the onlookers heckled and jeered, and Liu Wuwei roared, "You really know how to shame people!"
Then, three thunderfire bombs charged his way, forcing You Mengzhe to duck. Then Liu Wuwei stabbed at him with his sword, and this time, when You Mengzhe dodged, he lost his balance, and Liu Wuwei charged forward.
"Hey, the water is extremely cold! Don’t tell me you want to die together!"
Midair, his foot slipped, and with a wrong kick, You Mengzhe crashed into the water.
As soon as he fell in, an earth-shattering commotion arose from the bamboo bridge. With a BOOM, dozens of people flew from the bridge and plunged into the water.
A gray-clothed man swept by like a gust of wind and gently tapped the shoulder of the outermost disciple standing in line, tossing the whole group screaming into the air like candied hawthorns. Shortly after, the grey-clothed man shot out like an arrow into the lake, and grabbed You Mengzhe by his wrist.
You Mengzhe had choked on a few mouthfuls of freezing water. In early winter the lake was colder than ice, and he couldn't stop his shivering. Just as he was about to lose consciousness, someone suddenly hugged him, and the two of them drifted towards the shore.
The crowd clamored, asking each other what had just happened. Many people rushed to the shore to watch the excitement, pushing and shoving until quite a few got squeezed into the water, falling in like dumplings. It was utter chaos.
When You Mengzhe gradually regained his consciousness, he saw himself holding the gray-clothed man, and then completely lost his mind.
“AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH——!” You Mengzhe frantically screamed, clutching the gray-clothed man by the neck, wildly splashing and thrashing at the edge of Mirror Lake, before they plunged over the waterfall.
When they resurfaced, You Mengzhe could only see stars and weakly held on to the gray-clothed man as they bobbed up and down, the river washing them downstream.
"Hu...hu..." You Mengzhe trembled.
"Young Master... hold on for a bit longer."
You Mengzhe: “???”
Shadow guard: “.....”
The two floated in the water, surging along a stream between the mountains. You Mengzhe still had his arms wrapped around the man’s neck.
He wrinkled his brow, and asked, "Who are you?"
"What’s a shadow guard?"
"A shadow guard is... a type of bodyguard. A personal bodyguard who usually stays hidden and doesn’t come out.”
“En.” The shadow guard felt a little awkward.
The shadow guard seemed to have a protective vital energy. Even though he had also soaked in the frigid waters, his body emitted a cozy warmth, which made You Mengzhe feel not so cold anymore. A surge of emotions flooded his heart. A shadow guard! He had no idea when his father had arranged for a shadow guard by his side. If he had known earlier, he would have called on him, and there would have been far fewer problems. How nice it would have been to have had someone to chat with when he had left the mountain.
You Mengzhe momentarily let his imagination run wild, then asked, "What is your name?"
"Yuwen Hong." The Shadow Guard was extremely sincere and respectful, and continued, "Today I had no choice, I had to show up."
"N-no… problem. In all this time, why didn’t you show up?"
"I was afraid to cause you trouble, so I usually just watch you in secret."
"Oh...so secretly protecting me, so I don’t find out."
Yuwen Hong carried You Mengzhe ashore, then expressed, "I will hide now."
In a flash, Yuwen Hong vanished.
"Wait! Come back!"
"What?" Yuwen Hong emerged from behind the tree.
"Don't hide, just stay with me, otherwise in this desolate wilderness, sooner or later they will catch up to me.”
As soon as he lost Yuwen Hong’s protective energy, You Mengzhe couldn’t help but shiver against the mountain breeze.
Yuwen Hong immediately responded, "I will obey Young Master’s orders.”
They heard a call from the distant stream. Presumably, the heroes of the righteous sect had already followed them down.
"Let's first find a place to hide,” suggested You Mengzhe.
With one trailing the other, Yuwen Hong and You Mengzhe walked from the stream towards the woods. After a while, they reached a precipice.
Pursuers were chasing them from behind, and in front lay the edge of a cliff. What should they do?
Yuwen Hong peered over the precipice. "There’s a cave below."
With one hand wrapped around You Mengzhe's waist, he jumped off the cliff.
You Mengzhe nearly couldn’t bite back his scream, but then, Yuwen Hong lunged, grabbing a pine tree near the mouth of the cliff, swung in an arc, and leaped steadily into a cave just below the precipice.
You Mengzhe heaved a sigh of relief. The two raised their heads, hearing the sound of conversation from atop the cliff.
"They’re not here!”
"You search over there!"
The voices faded away. Safe.
"Did my father send you here?" You Mengzhe asked inquisitively.
"Your mother sent me to follow you.”
You Mengzhe was instantly stunned.
hehehoho what do you think will happen next with two wet bbs in a cave?
I will continue to add pictures since some people said they liked them 🙂 thank you for the feedback!
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Ruini.