It happened so quickly that the old man couldn't respond at all. From besieging the Younger to being killed, dozens of the Black Dragon Triad elites all lost their defense within one breath.
On the one hand, this was because his attack was so sudden, but on the other hand, it proved that his mastery of posture and motion was brilliant. Even if he hadn't taken them by surprise, few of his opponents could have held their ground for long against such skilled movements. With such speed, his level of cultivation must already exceed Level Six.
Racking his brains, however, the old man couldn't figure out just who the young man with such wickedly handsome features could be. He wondered when on earth such a youthful expert could have appeared in Yunzhou of Jin.
"Even if you want to kill me, you should let me know who I am slain, right? And as for the way to practice the Heavenly Sword of Qisha, do you really think that I'll give it to you without a fight?"
After decades in the jianghu, he had experienced every kind of storm. It was clear that he couldn't survive much longer, for the Younger had adopted so many vicious means. So he simply lay on the ground and operated Qi secretly, so as to rupture his heart vessels by himself. But a current of wind from the Younger's figure had fixed onto his chest before he could operate the only Internal Qi left inside his body. Then, he felt he was stagnated and limp as a noodle. He could no longer direct Qi to rupture the vessels, let alone bite his tongue and commit suicide.
"Don't cling to wishful thinking anymore. In front of me, I forbid you from suicide." the Younger squatted beside and edged closer to him, enunciating each word clearly. With a merciless expression in his dark eyes, he continued speaking. "Your behavior dissatisfies me. First I will punish you, and then I'll interrogate you."
After saying that, the Younger softly pointed onto the elder's forehead. The old man suddenly opened his eyes and exuded an expression of extreme hopelessness. He wanted to howl, but no sound came out. In one breath he started to cramp slightly. As time passed by, the extent of the cramp grew greater and greater. All the pores of his body began to bleed, so did his seven apertures. It was even more severe than the pain that could be inflicted by the Yin and Yang Heavenly Sword.
After inflicting this upon him, the Younger left him alone and turned away, walking towards the One-eyed Wolf which lay lingering on the ground.
The One-eyed Wolf twitched its eyelid weakly. It rolled a glassy eyeball to take one glance at the Younger, and then looked away. It believed that today would be the day it met its final fate. Whether those people or this young man, all seemed to have the wolf in their sights. It had tried its best—it knew that it would not live much longer, even though the first group of people had all been killed. Therefore, it showed no fear in seeing the Younger appear at last, showing only a temperament of indifference, being as unsentimental about death as it was about life.
"You damn wolf!" In sensing this dying One-eyed Wolf's sight, the Younger's eyes twinkled. He squatted in front of the wolf as if he had found a new world. After searching his pocket he brought out a vermeil pill and fed it to the wolf. The wolf felt that vermeil pill immediately burst into a warm flow upon being swallowed. The efficacy of the pill dispersed to all its tendons and vessels, coursing through the wolf's veins, and started to cure its wounds.
The One-eyed Wolf ought to have been in a state of desperation. It finally looked back to the Younger, full of confusion.
"It seems that we have opened a psychic connection. Aside from your inability to speak, your spirit is little different to that of humans, am I right?" the Younger smiled and said, "If you understand, then nod. If you understand but feign confusion, then I'll nail you on the cliff and let you bleed to death."
Those words were said with a smile, but the One-eyed Wolf trembled in terror. Looking at the Younger's icy eyes which contrasted sharply with his smile, the One-eyed Wolf nodded its head hastily, just as it felt a stream of cold air rushing to its head.
"Good job. I'm different from those who want to harvest your Inner Elixir or plunder your essential blood and flesh. Such things are of no use to me. But, you have the bloodline of an ancient and supernatural beast. Though your bloodline now is faint and of limited strength, its potential is inestimable. At present, I am with no spiritual creatures, so I shall make you this offer: How would you like to make a blood bond with me and pledge loyalty to me?"
Spiritual Creatures? Blood Bond?
The One-eyed Wolf didn't know what these two phrases meant. But it could not help itself from flinching back, and a feeling of unease came over its body.
Under such circumstances, however, it had no chance at all to resist. The words "you agree" had barely left the lips of the Younger, and before the echo of his voice had died away, he had already cut his finger to draw, in blood, some abstruse rune on the One-eyed Wolf's forehead, leaving no time for it to respond.
At the same time, the Younger dripped another drop of blood above the rune.
Right when the blood mixed with the rune, a glimmer of light flashed out. The glimmer disappeared very quickly, as if it had permeated into the One-eyed Wolf's forehead. Meanwhile, it felt as though something had burrowed into its consciousness. The wolf tried to concentrate and seize control of whatever it was which had entered its consciousness, but it was no good. At this point, it heard the Younger's voice from its ears, "Well, stand up now."
Though it had taken a strange pill which had largely fixed up its wounds, standing was still difficult. The One-eyed Wolf was about to refuse when it found it had lost control of its body and started standing up gradually, obeying the Younger's voice. It felt a burst of pain but could do nothing to resist.
"Not bad, not bad at all!" Seeing the One-eyed Wolf standing up, the Younger felt highly satisfied. "It seems to me that you must be drawing upon your instincts to practice. With such a thin bloodline of ancient supernatural beasts, it is impressive that you can practice to such a high level. Nevertheless, you are less able to step forward if no one directs you. Now that you are my Spiritual Creature, I will never treat you unfairly. I'll impart to you the authentic way of the Evil Beast to help you in your practice."
"Owooh... " The One-eyed Wolf howled, as if to confirm that it had understood what The Younger said. It walked toward him and wagged its tail unceasingly, cute and obedient.
The Younger turned back this time, looking at the elder, whose back was humped like a ripe shrimp's and who was foaming at the mouth.
"Now, how about you? Are you ready to reveal the way of the Heavenly Sword of Qisha?"
The trembling elder nodded ferociously. He had lost all control of his body now. His trembling made it even more difficult for him to nod his head. Some would take his nod as an inertial convulsion if they weren't paying attention.
"Are you nodding or shaking?" The joking voice from the Younger came to his ears again. He opened his eyes with difficulty. This handsome youth standing before him seemed to him to be a youth of diabolical evil, as if he had come from the dungeons of hell. How terrible he was!
The phrase "meat on the chopping block" could serve as a vivid and apt description of the situation he had found himself in.
He nodded with all his strength this time, with a look of pleading in his eyes. He wished now not for survival, but for a swift death.
"Well, such great progress. You ought to have acted like this from the start, so that you may have suffered fewer torments. Instead, you chose to puff yourself up at your own cost. After all, we all know it's not easy to be a hero."
The Younger shook his head with a smile, pointing at the older's forehead again, "Now, you can speak out loud."
The older man breathed heavily. Instead of saying any words, he managed to point to his chest with his right hand.
The Younger squinted his eyes, raised his hands, and cut open the elder's shirt-front, revealing his muscular chest.
"It seems that it was a good idea." the Younger sneered upon seeing the scar. He waved gently and carved out a huge bloody gap above the scar. Casually, he fetched a black scroll which looked like paper and silk.
The Younger changed his expression all of a sudden. His seemingly perpetual smile disappeared in a flash after he had taken a few glimpses of that scroll.
"Yin and Yang Heavenly Sword! This is not a secret skill but a Special Technique! I never expected that my assumption would be so wrong!"
The Younger raised his hand and tucked the scroll into his sleeve. And then with a casual flick of his sleeve, his made the body of the elder spring up through the air, crashing into a pile of jagged rocks several meters away. He spat blood out of his mouth as he fell heavily to the ground. His body sprung up into the air one more time, and after that, no sound could be heard.
The Younger paid no attention to his death. He flicked his sleeves again, and his body moved like a falling leaf floating in the wind, leaving behind him a ground strewn with corpses and other such residues.
If little Shiba had been here and had seen what had happened just now, he would have gaped in astonishment—the ruthless means by which the Younger had captured the One-eyed Wolf showed clearly that the martial arts world was not as he imagined it. At least, it was not a simple world.
While what happened next proved this further still.