Chapter 399 - Encounter
Ai Hui’s Starry Gem Swordwings flapped powerfully. Ai Hui was like a giant crane soaring high up in the sky. Amid the humming of the wind he focused his gaze far away.
The distant, green forest extended on and on and Ai Hui couldn’t see where it ended. Its vastness was admirable. A slight wiggle for it was like a big, furious wave, its surging force overflowing.
Jadeite Forest had never been this formidable.
Be it Elders Guild or Blood of God, both held it in high regards.
With a Grandmaster who was at his peak overseeing it, Jadeite Forest was like a green monster and no one could ignore its power.
Ai Hui was startled as the closer he got to the forest, the more he felt it was different. The Nature’s elemental energies were different from that in other places.
Jadeite Forest’s elemental energies were flowing toward a certain direction, and it seemed as though there was a bottomless pit in that area, constantly absorbing the energy.
The energy flow was very slow. He wouldn’t have sensed it if not for the fact that Ai Hui had knowledge about his teacher’s theories, and was extremely sensitive to the flow of elemental energy.
Generally speaking, Nature’s elemental energies rarely flowed toward one direction. Instead, they would intertwine through many, tiny, turbulent flows. The energy flow here was abnormally neat.
Where are these energies flowing toward?
Ai Hui was full of curiosity.
Such a large-scale energy flow would require a terrifying force. Only an area like Silver Mist Sea could create such a huge motion. But Silver Mist Sea, blocked by a dam, had only managed to accumulate such strength through over a thousand years of expansion. Jadeite Forest wasn’t like that in the past. Who could have developed a scene like this within such a short period of time?
There was only one person of course. Grandmaster Dai Gang!
Only Grandmasters’ profound and immeasurable knowledge and power could produce such a breathtaking sight like this.
Could it be that Grandmaster Dai was trying to build a miracle like that of Silver Mist Sea?
Furthermore, Ai Hui had yet to figure out how to recycle elemental energy. If the energies in this large-scale flow weren’t recycled, this place would have long become an elemental energy desert, like Old Territory.
Nevertheless, Jadeite Forest had not dried up so there must be something special about the way elemental energy channeled. Ai Hui was brimming with curiosity now. This unexplainable method of energy flow interested him greatly. Teacher’s plan of [treat the city as a piece of cloth] essentially controlled elemental energy flow through nodes and elemental traces.
Was Dai Gang using this method as well?
But this wasn’t the time to delve into it.
Ai Hui noticed a group of people flying in his direction from far away. There were about ten of them.
Ai Hui was rather curious, but seeing that they did not slow down, his gaze sharpened.
"This path is blocked! Retreat quickly!" Someone shouted from over there.
Ai Hui furrowed his brows and raised his voice, "I’m heading towards Asakusa City, if you guys could make it easier…"
Upon hearing that, a cold gleam flashed across the lead elementalist’s eyes. He cried out in a stern voice, "Dubious intentions, arrest him! Resist and you shall be killed instantly!"
The Grass Bandits split up and got into their formation quickly. They formed three sections and the few in the middle section pounced on Ai Hui, while the other two groups closed in from both sides to prevent him from escaping.
Ai Hui had not expected their response to be this aggressive. He then thought about how he had mentioned Asakusa City. Could it be that the Grass Bandits were doing something in the city?
A murderous glint flashed across his eyes.
If the Grass Bandits were doing a big operation in Asakusa City, the only thing Ai Hui could think of was that they were targeting Senior Mingxiu. From Zhao Boan’s description, Ai Hui felt no malice toward the Grass Bandits, in fact he felt sympathetic. But if it involved Senior Mingxiu, Ai Hui absolutely would not relent, no matter who the opponents were.
Senior Mingxiu was Ai Hui’s Achilles’s heel.
Ai Hui’s temperature decreased abruptly, emitting traces of coldness. Seeing the incoming groups, he narrowed his eyes and flapped his Starry Gem Swordwings forcefully, his body dashing straight for the people in front.
Ai Hui’s move alarmed this group of Grass Bandits instantly.
"Watch out!" The elementalist at the front shouted. He took the lead and threw pine needles toward Ai Hui.
The flying needles exploded and split up. One became two and two became four…
In the blink of an eye, closely packed pine needles flew toward Ai Hui like dark green drizzle. Each needle had a wisp of fine green fog. It was a type of highly toxic poison.
The other elementalists were in shock. They did not expect their leader to execute such a fatal blow the moment he attacked.
Not only did [Autumn Drizzle] have plenty of pine needles, the area it covered was very wide, leaving enemies with no place to escape to. After a long period of refinement, pine needles could break elemental energy, and the fine wisp of green fog that was wound around them was highly poisonous. It had a very good affinity for elemental energy and could easily infiltrate it and enter the enemies’ bodies.
Ai Hui had no intention of dodging them, causing everyone to relax their beating hearts.
As the distance between the needles and their target closed in, even the head elementalist smiled. According to the effective range, his target was no longer able to escape.
Ai Hui had never thought of escape.
He increased his speed further and the familiar wind barrier reappeared as he thrusted his Dragonspine repeatedly. The results of his sparrings with Qing Feng were thoroughly evident in his strikes. They were faster and sharper, and three consecutive thrusts were all it took to shatter the barrier.
Ai Hui felt his body become lighter.
The Grass Bandits, who thought they’d succeeded, became dizzy as the pine needle rain disappeared suddenly.
A hole appeared in the densely packed needle rain, facing them directly.
A blurry silhouette appeared before them and the sharp and fast sword momentum overwhelmed them. An explosion resounded like rolling thunder from deep with the cloud layers, arriving a little later.
The leader of the Grass Bandits opened his eyes wide as his pupils dilated. He cried out in alarm, "Stop…"
Ai Hui was like a ferocious tiger breaking free from its cage. With an indistinct shadow, his rainbow-like sword gleams drew breathtakingly cold light traces that went straight for the leader.
The other Grass Bandits, as if awoken from a dream, were pale faced, but proceeded to defend out of instinct.
Multi-colored light screens appeared before them and before things could stabilize, the sword rays struck them like meteors from outer space.
Upon breaking the wind barrier, Ai Hui’s speed was so fast that he couldn’t change moves. But at such a terrifying speed even a small stone had shocking destructive power, so he didn’t need to change moves.
A dull, drum-like sound resounded throughout the plains as all the light screens collapsed in a split second and the fragmented rays vanished into a surging puff of colored fog.
Under the strong impact, four elementalists were being tossed about and started spurting blood.
Four were injured with one hit!
The faces of the other bandits changed greatly and they threw themselves on Ai Hui simultaneously. One of them hoisted his arm up and shot an arrow towards the sky. The arrow travelled miles up and with a cry it transformed into a huge ball of flame. At such a height, the bright red, eye-catching flame could be seen from far away.
Ai Hui shot a glance over and knew that they were calling for backup but he did not mind.
Guessing that Senior Mingxiu was likely to be in danger, Ai Hui’s murderousness intensified.
With a bend of his body, he pounced on the remaining few Grass Bandits. He was fast as lightning and his moves were sharp, without the least bit of compassion. Executing [Six Moons], he drew six fatal arcs which emerged quietly in unguarded spots, looking like six deadly bats in the sky.
Fresh blood spattered everywhere as a few Grass Bandits held onto their throats with their eyes were wide open.
The leader had a look of desire on his face but in the next moment, his eyes bulged out as a sword ray pierced through his throat, squirting blood foam out.
Ai Hui did not hold back. He had not planned to provoke them, but their attack had been too sudden. He was not afraid of offending them, and he would not place his hopes on them being courteous and moderate.
None of the twelve Grass Bandits survived.
Ai Hui was not in the mood to collect the spoils of war. He held onto his sword with a cold expression on his face as he continued his journey toward Asakusa City.
While he was expressionless and apathetic, the murderous spirit enveloping his whole body was so thick that it seemed substantial.
The gale whistled past as Mistress’s last words echoed in his ears. If anything happened to Senior Mingxiu, he would never be able to forgive himself. The war of Central Pine City, the rainy night and the color of blood buried deep within his memory came back to him and spread throughout his whole body.
He felt as though he had returned to the final battle in Central Pine City.
The thick, black sky and the fresh blood mixed together. He looked at the blurry figure in the sky, his heart sinking bit by bit. On the verge of desperation, he tried with all his might to search for a chance until he realized that he was in a plight with no way out, and his last trace of hope was lost. Then, a sudden grief and sadness overtook him and destroyed him in an instant.
Peace came after grief. There was a certain consolation in knowing that whatever he did would not be enough to save him from despair.
He had fallen into an abyss, lightless and isolated.
It all felt clear to him.
A murderous spirit engulfed Ai Hui. He was like a dried up mummy, walking out from his rotten grace with the aura of death lingering around him.
Many closely packed black dots appeared on the horizon. More Grass Bandits had come upon seeing the signal for help.
Ai Hui turned a blind eye to it. Alone, he held onto his sword and flew toward that very direction.
There were about three hundred of them and the leader was a towering and fierce looking man. Seeing that Ai Hui was alone and that he wasn’t trying to avoid them, but was instead coming for them, the leader knew that he must be a strong fighter.
Plus, they did not see any of their own elementalists. Needless to say, they could tell just how disastrous the situation had been.
While he looked crude and forthright, he wasn’t rude and impetuous. He was extremely calm.
Provoking a strong fighter was the last thing these Grass Bandits wanted. Many of them had died because of that. Some enraged Masters were taken down immediately. Others started feuds but let their opponents slip away, eventually losing their lives when those opponents became stronger and came back for them.
Bandits were bandits. What kind of bandits would they be if they were living harmoniously and amiably?
Real bandits were those who were pleased to avenge, kill for property and plunder like the wind.
They weren’t afraid of death to begin with, and killing was a common occurrence. It was kill or be killed.
No matter how powerful the fellow before them was, he wasn’t a Master. Since that was the case, they would not give him the chance to become a Master.
With the burly man’s order, three hundred Grass Bandits sped up. Sharp, non-stop hissing noises sounded like waves as murderous spirits permeated the whole place.
With an aura of death lingering around Ai Hui, he advanced forward, carrying an apathetic expression like that of a death god when walking out of hell.