Book Six – 100,000 Leagues of Blood and Death
It was a long way from Azure County City to the Capital, Silken City, being 500,000 kilometers away.
If he executed the Starsky Wings and flew at full strength, then such a distance only required three days of time to traverse.
But he didn’t do so.
As the most terrifying assassination organization in the entire world, the Blacksun Pavilion’s force was so huge that even the Darchu Dynasty’s Imperial Family was helpless against it and could only act as if they didn’t notice the Blacksun Pavilion’s actions. Since they were targeting Chen Xi, they would surely have not overlooked this.
It was even to the extent that Chen Xi suspected the sky between the Azure County and Silken City had a tight encirclement set up around it by the Blacksun Pavilion since long ago. As soon as he exposed his tracks in the sky, he would surely encounter the most lethal assassination operation of the Blacksun Pavilion.
So for safety’s sake, Chen Xi decided to move on land.
Even though doing this was cause journey to be more than two times slower, but compared to the sky where he had nowhere to hide, there were obviously more things that he could use to conceal his tracks on land. Mountains, forests, rivers, cities… If they were used well, they could flawlessly conceal his tracks.
There were a few tens of cities between Azure County and Silken City, and the biggest amongst them were Inkcloud City, Tracing Wood City, and Thunder City. The other cities were cities of medium scale.
The Inkcloud City, Tracing Wood City, and Thunder City were like barriers that surrounded Silken City in a semicircle shape. Amongst them, Tracing Wood City resided at the center, Inkcloud City was at the east and was close to the eastern sea, and Thunder City resided in the west and bordered the thunder sea in the extreme west.
Because of these three cities, the routes towards Silken City from Azure County City were divided into three.
Amongst them, the Tracing Wood City’s route was the shortest and the safest. There were many cities distributed along the way and no dangerous places, causing most people to choose this route.
The Inkcloud City’s route took second place. Its distance was two times the distance of the Tracing Wood City route, and it required going around or going through a few dangerous rivers along the way. There were many people travelling on this route as well, but all of these were merchant groups because Inkcloud City was close to the eastern sea, and they were able to purchase numerous precious treasures that the eastern sea was rich in along the route.
The Thunder City’s route was the most dangerous amongst the three, and it was dangerous to the extent that it already fell into disuse a few hundred years ago, as no one was willing to joke around with their lives and set foot in it.
The reason it was like this was that the route from Azure County City to Thunder City, and then to Silken City was practically filled with dangerous and terrifying groups of mountains, ancient forests with demon beasts raging about, lands of extreme cold with whistling storms of ice… All in all, this route was filled with danger and more danger, and it practically didn’t have a single safe place.
A few hundred years ago, there were still a few cultivators that felt their strengths were formidable and sought to challenge their limits by setting foot into this route that was filled with killing intent with every step. But in the end, none of them survived, nor did a single one of them successfully arrive at Thunder City before entering Silken City. So from that time onward, this route fell into disuse and there was rarely anyone who had the courage to step foot into it.
But there were exceptions as well. When some violent and wicked villains that were wanted by various sects were forced to the point of having no other way, they would step foot on this route as well, and they relied on the various dangers within it to avoid capture. In this way, they were indeed able to avoid the various pursuits against them. But doing this was actually no different than seeking death.
Because up until today, there wasn’t a single fugitive that walked out from it!
But all of this was an unexpected pleasant surprise to Chen Xi. As far as he was concerned, these places of extreme danger that were covered in killing intent were indeed greatly dangerous when traversing them, but it was precisely because of this that he would be able to utilize these dangers to deal with the ambush the Blacksun Pavilion had set against him.
In other words, this route was entirely a natural life and death arena!
When battling in here, it was possible for any variable to arise, whereas he just had to properly utilize these variables, and it wouldn’t be impossible for him to completely crush the Blacksun Ambush.
So when he saw these routes in the map, Chen Xi practically settled on this route with a single glance, and he decided that he would depart from the Azure County and travel directly to Silken City through Thunder City!
Half a month after the Goldlake Meeting came to an end.
On this day, the blue sky was cloudless as the gorgeous sun illuminated the lands from high above. A Crimsonscale Treasured Wagon was drawn by 13 Crimsonscale Unicorns as it left Azure County City at lightning speed.
The Crimsonscale Treasured Wagon he rode was 300 meters in length and around 30 meters in width, and it was capable of accommodating over 100 people. This treasured wagon belonged to the Darchu Dynasty’s Darchu Soulguard, and it was used especially as a means of transport to carry customers between cities. It wasn’t only cultivators, even ordinary people could ride it after paying a fee.
Supposedly, there was a type of large treasured wagon, the Icemoon Treasured Wagon, that was above the Crimsonscale Treasured Wagon. It was capable of accommodating 1,000 people, possessed an extremely strong defensive strength, and it was extremely comfortable. The only drawback was that it was comparatively costly. But this wasn’t the reason Chen Xi didn’t choose the Icemoon Treasured Wagon. The true reason was that the procedures to ride the Icemoon Treasured Wagon was extremely strict, and Chen Xi didn’t want to expose his tracks as soon as he left Azure County City.
Even though the defensive ability of the Crimsonscale Treasured Wagon could only be considered to be normal, yet it possessed around 10 cultivators as guards. They were members of the Darchu Soulguard and represented the will of the Darchu Dynasty, so there were very rarely any bandits that set their eyes on the Crimsonscale Treasured Wagons.
After all, an action like this was equivalent to offending the dignity of the Darchu Empire, and if one dared to act in this way, one would suffer the vengeance of the forces of the Darchu Dynasty!
Of course, there was forever no lack of desperate people that disregarded their lives in this world. But luckily, there was indeed not much wealth in a Crimsonscale Treasured Wagon, as the customers it carried were mostly impoverished ordinary people with empty pockets, so there were few bandits that were interested in it.
Chen Xi noticed that the guards of this Crimsonscale Treasured Wagon were rather strong. All of them had experienced looks and were quite capable, and their strengths were roughly around the Golden Core Realm. With their presence, he at least wouldn’t have to worry about the safety of his journey before arriving at Firecrow Town.
Firecrow Town was 4,000km away from Azure County City. After getting off the wagon, he would be able to pass through Firecrow town and enter the Gloom Forest. So long as he set foot into the Gloom Forest, it would be equivalent to stepping into the route that headed towards Thunder City.
After he withdrew his gaze, Chen Xi slowly stretched his body, and he sensed that the energy of his Divine Sense had already almost recovered to its optimum state. Last night, he’d just finished using all the talisman crafting materials he’d purchased. He’d worked ceaselessly to finally craft the seventh high-grade Treasured Talisman right before dawn, and he didn’t delay in the slightest to ascend the Crimsonscale Treasured Wagon without stopping in between.
Moreover, Mu Kui had already entered the Buddha’s Pagoda to cultivate, so Chen Xi was now journeying alone.
“Big Brother, are you a cultivator?” An immature voice of a child sounded out by his ears, and it was extremely soft. It was a young boy around the age of six or seven in ordinary clothes who possessed an extremely ordinary appearance, and only his pair of eyes were pitch black and bright. When he looked at Chen Xi, his eyes carried dense curiosity.
This was obviously a commoner child. Moreover, the conditions of his family seemed to not be good, and it could be discerned from the rough linen clothes he wore that were washed to the point of becoming white.
Chen Xi was stunned, and then he nodded with a smile. He was able to discern that the young boy was slightly nervous and seemed to be afraid of infuriating him. Perhaps in the young boy’s heart, cultivators were surely like celestial beings that were high beyond reach, were capable of commanding the winds and clouds, soaring in the skies, and all powerful.
Actually, commoners still constituted the majority of people in this word. Comparatively speaking, the number of cultivators was only a small handful amongst the people in the world. They rose to work at dawn, returned at night to sleep. They were unable to escape age, sickness, and death, and they were unable to control their own fate. Perhaps in a few tens of years later, they would transform into a pile of dirt, causing their lives to be like ants, short and ordinary.
But it was precisely these commoners that formed the boundless mortal world and the changes within it. After all was said and done, cultivators were those that broke away and transformed from commoners.
So in Chen Xi’s heart, the abnormal concept that the lives of commoner were worthless and could be trampled on at will didn’t exist.
Seeming to have been affected by Chen Xi’s smile, the nervousness of the young boy dispersed by more than half, and he took a deep breath before mustering up the courage to ask. “Big Brother, can you teach me to cultivate?”
“Why do you want to cultivate?” Chen Xi was flabbergasted. He was about to face an unprecedented ambush, so how could he possibly agree to the young boy’s request under such circumstances?
The young boy said without thinking, “My younger brother’s natural talent is better than mine, and he’s cultivating in Southern Cross City now. I’m afraid he’ll become a celestial being in the future and I won’t be able to see him again. So I want to cultivate as well. But unfortunately, my Father said that my natural talent is bad and the wealth my family possesses isn’t sufficient to allow me to cultivate as well, so…” As he spoke, the young boy’s expression obviously dimmed greatly.
Chen Xi was stunned and went silent. He thought of himself and Chen Hao, he thought of the decision of his grandfather, Chen Tianli, and the only difference was that he’d already walked on the path of cultivation, whereas the young boy before him hadn’t taken this stride. If he didn’t help the young boy, then perhaps the young boy would only be able to be like strangers with his younger brother for his entire lifetime.
Because a cultivator and a commoner were different in the end.
“This is a qi refinement cultivation technique. Carefully hide it in your possession and don’t let others notice it. Otherwise, your life will be in danger. Be sure to remember this.” Chen Xi smiled. He possessed a pile of qi refinement cultivation techniques in his possession, as all of them were plundered from the corpses of his enemies, and he selected a simple and easy to understand basic cultivation technique before passing it to the young boy.
The young boy was stunned and seemed to have never imagined that the ‘fortune to become immortal’ would descend so easily upon him. After a long time, he recovered from his shock before hurriedly and carefully hiding the jade slip in his clothes, and then he said with an excited expression, “Big Brother…”
Chen Xi interrupted. “Don’t thank me. Cultivate properly, not only much you become strong in the future, you have to take good care of your younger brother and parents. Do you understand? Besides that, this is a secret between the two of us, and you must not allow a second person to find out.”
The young boy nodded fiercely. “I will, don’t worry Big Brother.”
Chen Xi smiled and didn’t speak any further because Chen Xi had already noticed that the father of the young boy had already awoken from his sleep, and he was staring suspiciously at Chen Xi.
“We’ll be arriving at Firecrow Town in 15 minutes. You’re getting down there, right?” Right at this moment, a guard walked over and asked Chen Xi.
Chen Xi nodded, and he acutely sensed that the expression of this guard carried a slightly strange feeling.
“Firecrow Town? My god! Isn’t that the place demons gather?” Someone cried out in shock. Moreover, along with the shocked cry, the customers that sat by Chen Xi’s side moved away as if they were avoiding a vicious creature, and even the young boy was embraced and brought far away by his father.
Everyone looked at Chen Xi with a gaze that carried a trace of terror, suspicion, and detest, and their gazes were unusual to the extreme.
Chen Xi instantly understood that Firecrow Town wasn’t peaceful, and it was even extremely chaotic. Due to it being the one and only entrance that led to the Gloom Forest and also the entrance to the third route that led to Silken City from Azure County City, so there were naturally numerous violent and wicked bandits gathered there. The cultivators there were mostly wanted criminals in the Darchu Dynasty, and once they noticed something was off, they would slip into the Gloom Forest to avoid pursuit.
In the eyes of everyone in the outside world, Firecrow Town was naturally extremely chaotic, and it was simply the place criminals belonged.
Obviously, the ‘demons’ these commoners spoke off at this moment was presumably describing those bandits, and when they heard that Chen Xi wanted to go to Firecrow Town, they obviously took him to be a person like this.
In next to no time, the Crimsonscale Treasured Wagon stopped, and Chen Xi walked out of the wagon right away.
“This demon has finally left.”
“How terrifying! We actually sat in the same Crimsonscale Treasured Wagon as a demon.”
“Yeah. Supposedly, demons are able to take human form and love to eat the hearts of humans. They’re terrifying to the extreme!”
Chen Xi had just walked off the wagon when everyone heaved a sigh of relief as if they’d sent away a god of plagues, and they started discussing animatedly.
“Big Brother isn’t a demon! In the heart of I, Lin Hao, Big Brother is a true celestial being, and I’ll surely repay him in the future.” Only the young boy lay at the corner of the wagon’s window as he stared at Chen Xi’s figure and seemed to want to brand Chen Xi’s appearance in his mind so that he wouldn’t forget it for his entire lifetime.