Defiant Martial God
Chapter 64: The Blood Demon Dies.
A resplendently dressed young man with a hint of a royal temperament entered. "Your Highness! Your Highness!" The people present shuffled to the sides respectfully. Even Can Bao dared not stand on a higher platform, and he hurried down to face the young man.
"Your Highness," said Can Bao, bowing slightly. The affluent young man was none other than the son of Qiongxi's Prince Qi (Mu Tianqi), Mu Rongrui. A few days ago, he'd pleaded to bring a small team of ten elites into the Illusory Battlefield to hunt down the man who used the demonic yin qi to attack others. However, Mu Rongrui had yet to find this man. The culprit might have died in the Battlefield for all he knew. Nonetheless, he was furious that his efforts seemed wasted and what he'd done useless.
Mu Rongrui's indifferent gaze fixed on Can Bao, and the young man's pupils constricted slightly. He'd long heard of Can Bao's incredible reputation: His father referred to him as a cultivator so gifted that it would be impossible to find another like him in a thousand years. At merely 20 years old, Can Bao became a strong cultivator in the Transformation Realm and had even grasped the spiritual nature of Wind. At least in the country of Qiongxi, none before had achieved such accomplishments, and probably none would ever again.
Every time his father spoke highly of Can Bao, Mu Rongrui felt very indignant. He'd long wanted to meet this man and even desired to fight him to see who was the stronger. He wanted to know precisely who's a genius that could not be found in a thousand years. Today, Mu Rongrui finally encountered Can Bao; although, more precisely, he'd seen Can Bao in a painting before. The hundred elites groomed by Prince Qi all had portraits stowed in a secret place. "You're Can Bao?" Mu Rongrui stared sharply at the King of Hunters as he questioned him.
Can Bao lifted his head and nodded slightly. "Yes, I am your subordinate, Can Bao." To Can Bao, Mu Rongrui couldn't be more familiar: He'd once protected Mu Rongrui in secret; so, he'd seen Mu Rongrui, but the young man had never seen him.
"Release all of your aura and show me," Mu Rongrui commanded in a deep voice.
Can Bao was stunned for a moment, but he didn't dare go against his order and could only comply. "Yes." The strength of his aura increased manifold at an unfathomable rate, and the air danced around him in turbulent torrents. "Your Highness, is this enough?" Can Bao looked at Mu Rongrui's shocked expression and asked with a slight grin.
"Ye-yes," Mu Rongrui exhaled, his heart disturbed. He'd been indignant, but now he was truly convinced: Can Bao could, indeed, be considered as unsurpassed by those before and after him! "You're very strong and truly live up to your title as the elected King of the Hunters," walking to the highest platform, Mu Rongrui praised Can Bao. The young man's eyes dropped to a pair chasing each other within the mountain ranges of the Battlefield. "Why didn't you kill them both in the tower? Why did you let them go? "
Can Bao walked to Mu Rongrui's side and said calmly, "Your Highness, the Illusory Battlefield will only open after three months. It hasn't even been a month, and we have ample time. At least they could amuse us in the meanwhile." Mu Rongrui's fair face twitched, and he gave Can Bao a weird glance; this man enjoyed playing with the lives of others. But, Can Bao was right: Only 20 days of the three months had passed; and, without any distractions, the Illusory Battlefield would be extremely boring indeed.
What would the participants of the Martial Competition think of this conversation if they had heard?! The contenders had undergone round after round of elimination, fighting to the last for glory and a bright future. Now, they were finally eligible for pre-selection and had entered the so-called Examination Array. But, the absurd thing was that the competitors were simply toys to amuse others, and their lives were being played with.
"Hm? What's wrong? Why is nothing happening?!" Someone beside them suddenly shouted, startling the rest. Mu Rongrui swiftly shifted his gaze away from Can Bao, and his eyes fixated on the vast mountain ranges. The peaks shrouded in mist had, indeed, become peaceful once again. The howls of the Blood Demon, the booming noises produced by the ferocious attacks, and the sound of the sky and earth giving way were all gone. Even the two silhouettes had disappeared into the hills.
"The battle is probably over, and the Blood Demon has killed the man," someone guessed.
"Summon the Blood Demon," Can Bao gravely ordered.
"Yes," a man responded, and he lifted a small scarlet bell and shook it slowly. The sound produced was strange. The bell didn't clang, but sobbed; the sound resembled the cries of evil spirits from the depths of an ancient hell. However, after the man shook the bell for some time, a look of confusion surfaced on his face. "The Blood Demon hasn't responded."
"What did you say?" The faces of the surrounding people changed.
Can Bao remained calm. His hostile gaze swept the Battlefield, and he commanded with a cold voice, "Shi Yan, take some men down to check." 1
"Yes," a man of strong build answered and flew out of the tower with a few men. They headed into the deep areas within the mountain ranges below.
Shi Yan and his men rushed through the vast mountain ranges. Since the hunters had made a mark on the Blood Demon, they easily found it. But, the current Blood Demon was no longer a Blood Demon; it was just a corpse rotting in black Qi. When the hunters stepped closer for a look, they found the corpse was beyond recognition. If it was not for the marking, the men would have suspected they'd found the wrong person. However, the marking was that of the Blood Demon and the only reason the corpse did not sink into the ground and disappear like the others. Otherwise, the hunters would have found nothing.
"Senior Shi Yan, how…how could this happen? The Blood Demon has died?!" The few of them standing around the corpse could barely believe their eyes. The Blood Demon had the Demonic Blood-Devouring Blade and was undefeatable within the Illusory Battlefield. How could he die?
Upon recalling the Demon's weapon, everyone suddenly realized something, and someone yelled, "Right, where's the Demonic Blood-Devouring Blade?!"
Comparatively, as the leader, Shi Yan appeared very calm. His gaze swept indifferently over the rotting corpse, and he reasoned, "The Demonic Blade is likely to be in the hands of the new Blood Demon. He'll definitely be stronger."
"Senior, are you saying the Blood Demon's changed?" Someone, with brows deeply creased, asked him. "However, even if the Demonic Blade has a new owner, the Blood Soul Bell should have still been able to summon this new Blood Demon. Why was there no answer when we attempted the summoning above?" Once he heard this question, a ripple surfaced on Shi Yan's peaceful expression, and he frowned.
"Senior Shi, why don't you try again with the Blood Soul Bell?" Another man suggested.
"Hmph, sure." Shi Yan immediately took out the Blood Soul Bell and shook it again to produce the ghostly cries; yet, no matter how he shook the bell, there was no response from the Demonic Blood-Devouring Blade. This time, Shi Yan's face changed as his heart was filled with confusion and doubts.
Someone else asked hurriedly, "Senior Shi, the Blood Demon did not respond; what do we do next?"
Shi Yan thought for a moment before responding with a solemn voice, "One of you will go report to the Royal Highness and our leader. Another will stay here to watch this corpse, and the rest will follow me to search for the new Blood Demon."
"Yes!" The men immediately obeyed his orders and set off to fulfill their respective tasks. Shi Yan took a few men and began searching the surrounding mountains.
In a forest a few kilometers away, a young man with torn, tattered clothing and blood all over limped forward. He seemed to exhaust his strength with every step. Finally, when not an ounce of strength was left, he staggered and fell to the ground with a plop. The young man was none other than Qin Yu. "Huff… huff… No, I can't die. I must live; there are too many things I must finish." Qin Yu gritted his teeth as his body squeezed out a little more strength. His nails dug into the soil, and he crawled on, little by little. Behind him lay a ghastly trail of blood.
"Miss, look! There seems to be someone there." Suddenly, a slightly familiar voice came from nearby.
"There really is someone. Let's go and take a look." The voice that responded belonged to a girl and was even more familiar. Mu Rongyue! Xiao Yue! Qin Yu was overwhelmed with happiness as he opened his mouth wide, ready to shout. But, it would've been better if his mouth had remained closed. When his lips parted, rather than his voice, a mouthful of gurgling blood gushed forth. The breath he'd held in reserve also rushed out. His vision went black and he fell face-first onto the ground, unconscious with blood continuously flowing from his mouth.
At the moment Qin Yu fainted, two people entered the forest, Mu Rongyue and Ruo Feng in search of Qin Yu. When they were outside the woods, the pair spotted a demonic and terrifying man drenched in blood with a blood-red knife hunting down another. The pursuit spanned the mountain ranges, and Mu Rongyue seemed to recognize the man being chased. He resembled Qin Yu! Worried that it really was Qin Yu, she ignored Ruo Feng's discouragement and stubbornly headed in Qin Yu's direction. And, she really did end up stumbling across him.
"Miss, that's…" Ruo Feng walked ahead and stared at the bloodied man sprawled on the ground. Vigilant, the guard immediately drew to a halt over the fallen form. Mu Rongyue approached and saw the body. Although she could not see his face, her impression of Qin Yu was so great that his shadow and his smell were deeply engraved in the bottom of her heart. A single glance was all she needed to recognize who lay there.
"Brother! Brother!" Mu Rongyue cried as she threw herself beside Qin Yu. When she saw his back full of blood, she could bear it no longer, covering her face and crying aloud. "Brother, what happened to you? Brother! Brother Qin! You must get up!" Mu Rongyue sobbed bitterly, and she heaved at Qin Yu. His young face was as delicate and familiar as ever. However, his expression was pale as a sheet and blood ran from the corners of his mouth. "Brother, don't scare me. You won't die! You'll be alright. Wake up, wake up…" Mu Rongyue shook his body helplessly. In this moment, her heart ached unbearably.
"Miss, stop crying. There seem to be people coming. We have to get out of here fast!" Ruo Feng kept his cool, and he quickly coaxed at her. "Miss, Master Qin's injuries are very severe. We have to find a place to heal him."
Only when she heard the word "heal" was Mu Rongyue able to pull herself out of her grief. She responded, "Yes, yes, yes! Heal his wounds. Brother, I will heal your wounds!"
As she spoke, Mu Rongyue prepared to carry Qin Yu on her back, but Ruo Feng hurried to stop her. "Miss, I will carry him."
"No, I will," Mu Rongyue refused curtly. Gritting her teeth, she balanced Qin Yu on her back. Ruo Feng's pleading fell on deaf ears, and he was deeply troubled. Luckily, the princess was not a normal woman, but a cultivator; or else, she wouldn't have been able to carry Qin Yu's body. "Brother, fear not! Xiao Yue will carry you. Let us go!" With tears in her eyes, the young girl set her teeth and strode out of the forest with the man on her back.
"Miss, be careful!" Ruo Feng quickly chased after her and guarded her carefully. If Mu Rongyue could not carry Qin Yu any longer, he would take over. The two of them walked out of the forest.
"Stop there!" As the pair exited the trees, a shout suddenly arose. With a whoosh, a figure jumped out from the woods nearby and leapt towards them
"Miss, leave quickly! I'll hold him off!" Ruo Feng's huge sword swished as he withdrew it; and, screaming, he pounced on the man.Editor's note: Poor Shi Yan, always on investigative duty. CSI: Illusory Battlefield whips off sunglasses, straightens hairpin ↩