It was a simple suggestion and a simple issue, yet it was enough to cause everyone's hearts to tremble.
"This concerns our survival!"
Temporary silence fell over the hall as everyone mulled over this issue. How should they choose?
"What's there to choose?" Suddenly, one of the guests spoke. "We're guests that the Mortal World Pavilion invited. You people are the organizers of the flower-viewing drinking banquet, you people are the ones who chose the location, and you people own the dragon ship that we're on. Naturally, now that we're facing the attack of monsters, you people should stay behind and we should leave. In the first place, it's your duty to protect us."
"That's right! The guests should leave first. You people from the Mortal World Pavilion should stay behind to protect your dragon ship."
"So do I."
Nonconformity would be punished in such situations. Now that someone had spoken up, the rest naturally echoed his sentiments. This was a life-or-death moment, after all.
Taking a step back meant life, while taking a step forward meant death.
However, these yelling guests failed to notice that the low-level executives nearby, now no longer numbering one hundred, had narrowed their eyes at them. Their breathing became urgent as well. "So these are the people that we protected earlier. Timid, cowardly, and without a sense of responsibility. They knew only to escape in the face of danger and couldn't even be bothered with the most basic word of thanks."
"The guests to leave and the executives of the Mortal World Pavilion to stay behind? To think they can say something like that!"
"Aren't they embarrassed?"
"Aren't they ashamed?" Some low-level executives were beginning to mutter under their breath.
Leng Wuxin stared at the group of guests in front of him without speaking. He was surprised but upon second thought, found their behavior reasonable. "These merchants and influential officers who live a life of comfort and safety have never experienced battles involving monsters and beasts. It's already impressive that they can still stand upright now."
Unfortunately, imagination was often beautiful while the reality was harsh. Leng Wuxin said emotionlessly, "We'll assure your safety. That's what we're obliged to do. If an accident happens during an activity organized by the Mortal World Pavilion, naturally there's no such thing as having the guests die before we do."
"That said, I don't agree that you should leave as it's very dangerous. But I won't stop you either."
"The problem is that there aren't that many small boats on this dragon ship. There aren't enough to accommodate all the guests here."
No matter how hard the guests considered this matter, they never thought they would receive such an answer. They felt as if someone had dumped a bucket of cold water over them.
The fat and wealthy merchant spearheading the group was initially stunned. Then, a decisive look appeared on his face. "We'll take whatever boats that are available. I suggest that ordinary folks leave first and those who know martial arts or cultivation to follow after."
Looking at the people around him, the merchant raised his voice as he said, "It's natural for the strong to protect the weak. Don't you all agree?"
There were quite a number of affluent merchants and influential officials among the guests but even larger in number were their bodyguards and visitors. Naturally, the bodyguards were martial artists and the visitors were cultivators.
The merchant's words were reasonable and logical but the atmosphere instantly became frozen.
A crisp noise resounded as an arrow coming from an unknown direction cut through the air and pierced the throat of the Devious Iguana that was about to break through the Barrier Combined Assault Formation outside the hall.
The arrow penetrated the Devious Iguana, with its coarse skin and thick flesh, with one hit like it was paper.
Even so, no one noticed the arrow. It was like anyone who got on the small boat would be able to survive and anyone who stayed behind would die. If that was the case, was there any need to guard the dragon ship anymore? Then for whom were those blood on the deck of the ship spilled for? For what reason?
No one agreed with the fat and wealthy merchant's suggestion aside from those wealthy merchants and influential officials. The majority of the guests chose to be silent. The only thing was that the breathing of these quiet guests had become slower. If they didn't retaliate during the silence, then they would be dying in silence.
"Who dictates that you people should leave while we stay behind?"
"Who are you people?"
"What were you people doing when the dragon ship was attacked? Don't you guys know who guarded the hall? The entrance? Why aren't you asking the names of the corpses outside? They all have mothers and fathers. There's no rule as to who should live on and who should die!"
Finally, a youngster among the group of low-level executives of the Mortal World Pavilion trying to recover their strength stood up with a red face. He yelled, "We belong to the Mortal World Pavilion. We eat the food the Pavilion provides and the money the Pavilion prepares. It's our duty to die for the Pavilion but what do your words mean? Why can't I hear even a word of thanks after listening to you for so long? Don't you think you guys are overdoing it?!"
The youngster had just finished speaking when Leng Wuxin chided him.
"Silence. You don't have the right to speak here."
"I think this youngster is right. No one is born to die," an attendant of one of the wealthy merchants said, suddenly stepping out from the crowd. "Mr. Leng, I don't belong to your Pavilion."
"Exactly! We don't agree with this."
"Who wants to stay behind should stay behind. Either way, I'm stepping on the boat. I'll kill whoever who dares to fight me over the boat," a martial artist said viciously. "I'd like to see whose fist is harder."
"That's reasonable. The boat belongs to whoever who manages to snatch it. This is the fairest way."
"That's right. We shouldn't distinguish between classes."
In order to escape and survive, everyone unleashed all of their negative feelings at this moment.
However, no one noticed that the battle on the ship deck was still continuing. The two Barrier Combined Assault Formation made out of eight people were able to block the assault of the Devious Iguanas just like that. Moreover, Devious Iguanas were continually emerging from the river to climb onto the deck.
The crisp noise from earlier resounded again. It was still the same long arrow of two Chinese feet and three inches. It still perforated a Devious Iguana with matchless precision.
Each time the arrow flitted across the sky, a Devious Iguana would fall to the ground without exception.
Few noticed this as most were immersed in the argument, including the nearly one hundred executives of the Mortal World Pavilion. Not even Leng Wuxin could control the situation and no amount of yelling seemed to be effective.
The will of the people seemed to have crumbled in an instant at this critical moment.
The sound of the sword piercing the sky once again resounded and yet another Devious Iguana fell. However, perhaps the beast crashed with too great a force. Inertia caused its entire body to fly and crash into the main entrance of the hall.
Following the loud noise, the doors of the hall entrance snapped.
A throat poked out of the throat of the Devious Iguana.
Soon, a large pool of green bodily fluid appeared near the entrance. Less than a minute later, the arrow slowly faded until it completely vanished.
"It's an arrow condensed of True Energy!" a cultivator muttered in shock.
"Did the arrow alone kill the monster?"
"That's too outrageous, isn't it?!"
The death of the Devious Iguana stopped everyone from arguing.
Once again, a crisp sound reverberated as yet another silent arrow brought down a Devious Iguana.
This time, everyone saw where the arrow had come from. They finally noticed why the ship deck was still intact and why the people inside the hall had the time to argue despite there being only eight executives left and there being a defense gap of about five meters.
The reason was someone on the first floor.
The reason was that someone was silently killing the monsters.