“No!” Xue Long rejected Shi Hui’s offer neatly with one word.
Shi Hui’s face grew grim as he said, “Brother Xue, I bet you understand perfectly well that our strengths are equally matched. If things get ugly, you won’t be able to protect him anyway, so why would you do such a thing? What’s in it for you if you go to battle against me just to protect this swanking little punk?”
He turned to nod towards the four men standing beside him. After receiving Shi Hui’s signal, the four of them, who used to be guest elders of the Blood Skull, began moving towards Nie Tian stealthily.
“Someone asked me to take care of Hua Tian for a few days.” With these words, Xue Long rose to his feet, and a sword wreathed in a frosty aura suddenly appeared in his hand.
Holding the sword, he looked deeply at Shi Hui as he said, “Hua Tian is under my protection. If any of you dares to touch him, I won’t let you off easily!”
“Now that you’ve refused to give me face, don’t blame me for my manners!” Shi Hui exclaimed.
WHOOSH! WHOOSH! WHOOSH!
One after another, numerous clusters of flames shot out of Shi Hui’s palms and the cuffs of his sleeves.
At the same time, Shi Hui took out a whip made of snake bones.
The moment the Snake Bone Whip appeared, blazing flames shot out from within it, turning it into a giant, burning python.
Shi Hui seemed to be holding the tail of the giant, burning python. With a gentle swing of the Snake Bone Whip, Shi Hui immediately unleashed raging flames into his surroundings, turning the area around him into a sea of fire.
“Leave Xue Long to me. You four go capture Hua Tian alive!” The moment the Snake Bone Whip appeared, Shi Hui seemed to have dropped all scruples, as if he knew that it had come to the point where the veneer of mutual respect between them was already gone.
“Don’t mind me, Hua Tian!” Xue Long called out, his face as grim as lake water. “Leave whenever you find an opportunity!”
He knew that Nie Tian had mastered many secret magics, and he was skilled in certain escape magics. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to escape from the numerous Hunters’ blockade and pursuit repeatedly.
Shi Hui threw his head back and laughed broadly. “Hahaha! Who are you kidding, Xue Long? If an insignificant Heaven stage Qi warrior can manage to escape from the four of them, I’ll write my name backwards!” (see note 1)
CRACK! CRACK! CRACK!
As he spoke, the Snake Bone Whip shivered violently before swooping directly towards Xue Long.
The torrential flames that had been hovering around Shi Hui followed the movement of the Snake Bone Whip as they rapidly engulfed Xue Long.
Simultaneously, the four middle Greater Heaven stage cultivators charged towards Nie Tian with evil smiles on their faces.
An incomparably sharp sword made of spiritual power shot straight up into the sky from within the sea of raging flames where Xue Long was standing.
It split into numerous smaller swords, and like sputtering, shattered pieces of swords, they pierced towards the four men in an attempt to intercept their attacks towards Nie Tian.
Shi Hui let out a cold laugh and said, “Your opponent is me!”
All of a sudden, numerous sparkling magical symbols appeared within the torrential flames.
They were like transparent, crimson crystals, within which were branded the profound truths of fire.
Each of them seemed to have their own awareness as they targeted the fragmented spiritual power swords Xue Long had unleashed with great accuracy.
The moment the magical symbols clashed with the light swords, they both exploded, sending dazzling, bright light into their surroundings.
Shi Hui and Xue Long snorted almost simultaneously as they engaged in fierce battle with each other.
Nie Tian turned his head to take a look at them, and discovered that light swords and blazing flames were flashing across in the area where they fought. A giant, burning python was slithering in midair as it continued to nibble away at the light swords unleashed by Xue Long.
It seemed that Xue Long and Shi Hui were indeed equally matched in strength. It would probably take a long time for a winner to surface.
The fact that they were equally strong was none other than the reason why, even though they disliked each other, they had exercised restraint when Shi Hui was still a guest elder of the Blood Skull.
They hadn’t done any business or started a feud with each other back when they were both in the Blood Skull.
It was only until now that the two of them confronted each other for the first time, since Shi Hui had left the Blood Skull and Xue Long insisted on protecting Nie Tian.
“Hey brat, you’d better not fight back and immediately submit to us so that we don’t kill you by accident.” One of the four men, whose name was Qiu Yang, tilted his head as he approached Nie Tian. Without any warning, he suddenly reached out to grab Nie Tian’s neck.
Numerous pitch-black strings that were as fine as hairs suddenly shot out from within his palm and flew lightly towards Nie Tian’s neck.
The other three were standing to Nie Tian’s sides and back respectively, where they cooperated with Qiu Yang and formed a joint-attack formation.
Seeing that Qiu Yang had make a move, they didn’t rush into action. Instead, they observed with cold looks in their eyes, as if they wanted to see how powerful this young man, who had the lowest cultivation base among all of the Blood Skull’s guest elders, really was.
“Come and kill me then, if you think you can.” Already wreathed in his chaotic magnetic field, Nie Tian’s expression was as calm as ever, as if he hadn’t realized what he was facing.
The pitch-black strings Qiu Yang had unleashed, which were as fine as hairs, finally entered Nie Tian’s chaotic magnetic field.
The moment they flew straight into the chaotic magnetic field, they were distorted and began to tremble as they moved forward.
“What?!” Qiu Yang exclaimed as he sensed the anomaly. That was when he planned to put in more psychic power, so that he could continue to manipulate those strings accurately.
At that very moment, Nie Tian formed a spiritual energy ball and strode a few steps forward.
With a swing of his hand, the spiritual energy ball left his hand and crashed towards Qiu Yang, like a misty gray ball of air.
Shaking his head disdainfully, Qiu Yang swiftly floated away into midair, as if he had become an inflated balloon.
The spiritual energy ball exploded. However, Qiu Yang was suddenly nowhere to be seen. In the next moment, he appeared in a location very close to Nie Tian’s left.
Nie Tian cast a short-range Starshift without any hesitation, and appeared behind Qiu Yang, where he formed a Rage Punch with thirty percent of his strength. Along with a heaven-overthrowing rage, his clenched fist bombarded towards Qiu Yang’s back.
As soon as Nie Tian appeared behind him, Qiu Yang was enveloped by Nie Tian’s chaotic magnetic field. His face couldn’t help but twitch.
The different types of spiritual power within him sudden fell into a state of chaos. He even experience a stabbing pain in his mind. This made him realize he was in a terrible situation.
Then, thanks to his keen perception, he sensed a surge of raging power approaching his back.
He turned around violently and met Nie Tian’s incoming Rage Punch with his left palm.
Meanwhile, many more pitch-black, hair-like strings flew out of the center of his left palm and wrapped themselves around Nie Tian’s fist.
Nie Tian’s fist bombarded Qiu Yang’s palm heavily.
Upon contact, Nie Tian had a strange feeling as if he had hit a ball of cotton, and that all of his power had somehow been discharged.
Qiu Yang, on the other hand, staggered two steps backwards and left Nie Tian’s chaotic magnetic field. Most of the black strings, which had flown out of his palm and wrapped around Nie Tian’s fist, had broken off.
However, the broken strings didn’t disappear. Instead, they pierced into Nie Tian’s fist and arm like steel needles, leaving numerous fine wounds.
Meanwhile, the black strings that remained intact on Nie Tian’s fist rapidly tightened, as if they were struggling to cut into Nie Tian’s skin and flesh.
After escaping from Nie Tian’s chaotic magnetic field, Qiu Qing shook his left hand in pain as he grimaced.
He waved at the other three men and said, “This kid indeed possesses some bizarre skills. Be careful, all of you. He’s surrounding himself with a strange magnetic field, which can disrupt our internal powers and keep us from displaying our battle prowess fully. Also, try not to fight him up close. His physical strength is also quite impressive!”
“Hahaha! Big Brother Qiu seems to have suffered a loss from this little kid.”
“This is fun.”
“Rest assured, Big Brother Qiu. No matter how many strange skills this kid has, he won’t be able to get away from us.”
The other three spoke with easy tones. They even teased Qiu Yang for making a big fuss out of this unimpressive young man.
After launching the strike, Nie Tian stood within his chaotic magnetic field and looked down at his fist with a deep frown.
The numerous pitch-black, hair-like strings were still wiggling as they attempted to get inside of him. Some strings that had succeeded were following his meridians up into his arm.
He noticed that his arm was growing thicker by the second, as if it was being inflated.
Soreness came from the parts that had been invaded by the pitch-black strings. As his arm gradually expanded, it occurred to him that if he didn’t do anything, his arm would probably expand to the point where it would explode.
Furthermore, if he let those pitch-black strings swim into his internal organs, his whole body would expand until he eventually exploded.
His expression flickered as he finally realized that even though he had entered the middle Heaven stage, he probably wouldn’t have a chance at killing Qiu Yang, unless he used the Flame Dragon Armor.
Not to mention that, other than Qiu Yang, three other middle Greater Heaven stage cultivators were glaring at him like tigers eyeing their prey.
The only reason he hadn’t left at the first possible moment was that he wanted to clash with Qiu Yang and test his own battle prowess.
The result of failing to inflict serious damage to Qiu Yang make him realize that the sizable gap between cultivation bases wasn’t that easy to make up for.
With these thoughts in mind, he turned to check Xue Long’s situation, and discovered that the battle between him and Shi Hui couldn’t possibly end any time soon. That was when he made his decision.
“See you later, Uncle Xue.” With these words, he cast a long-range Starshift, not waiting for Xue Long to give his response.
In a split second, Nie Tian disappeared from the blockade formed by Qiu Yang and the other three.
Note:Chinese people take their names seriously. They think their names represent their face and reputation. It’s a major insult to the write someone’s name backwards. So by saying “If something happens, I’ll write my name backwards!”, people want to express that they are very certain that thing won’t happen.