Chapter 401 - Killing Numbly
When Ai Hui stuck himself onto his opponent’s back, his somewhat trembling wrist had already regained stability and his expression had returned to its original calmness. That blow from [Red Muslin] had mostly been endured by his sword. Although Ai Hui used many techniques to dissolve the impact, the remaining force still made his wrist numb.
From the corner of his eyes he noticed Cao Ning and the gang charging toward him, but his hands moved without the least bit of hesitation or inaccuracy. With a flick of his wrist, the sharp sword ray pierced directly into his opponent’s back while his body was like a swimming fish, nimbly making his way into the crowd.
The Grass Bandits were a mess. They knew that their enemy had intruded and in a panic they rushed, one after another, to defend. The disordered group hindered Cao Ning and a few other backbone fighters, aiding Ai Hui’s shield against them.
Ai Hui was extremely fast. Be it his attack or body movement, he was going to finish it quickly and regardless of the battle outcome, he wasn’t going to stay unnecessarily long.
He executed a simple [Heavenly Thrust] with his Dragonspine and sword rays flew toward the crowd like raindrops. Some smashed onto the defense barrier, producing sparks, while others collided with the grass rattan, causing leaves to fly everywhere. Some entered the bandits’ bodies, causing blood to splatter.
In reality, these sword rays did not cause great damage. Instead, it triggered mass confusion and panic.
Ai Hui knew very well that one could only catch fish in muddy water.
No one noticed that Ai Hui was drilling his way through the crowd like a swimming fish. The number of leaf blades on the black wings on his back was reducing in number. Black tree leaves fell silently from his Starry Gem Swordwings like small black fishes cruising underwater.
Ai Hui had spent a lot of effort on building the Starry Gem Swordwings and he was finally able to unleash its potential.
A black shadow flashed past, causing Cao Ning to feel dizzy.
His pupils shrank. What was that?
A black leaf!
He suddenly thought of the wings on his opponent’s back. He scanned his surroundings quickly and saw countless black leaves floating close to the crowd. Lights were flickering, explosions rang across the skies and angry cries could be heard everywhere. Amid this chaotic scene, no one noticed these rather motionless black leaves.
Cao Ning spotted the enemy within the crowd and noticed that his black wings had disappeared and only the skeletons were left.
He quickly understood what was going on and his face paled.
Before his frightened but loud voice could be heard, the quietly floating black leaves moved suddenly.
Each leaf was a mini black sword and Ai Hui’s Starry Gem Swordwings had a total of three hundred and sixty tree leaves, which equated to three hundred and sixty mini swords.
The three hundred and sixty mini swords moved simultaneously.
The black sword rays were like rain, intertwining in the sky and forming a deathly black light net.
Anguished shrieks sounded simultaneously and a huge amount of blood splattered all over the place at the same time.
Ai Hui’s premeditated move revealed its malicious fangs with its first blow. Ai Hui had progressed tremendously and was no longer comparable to when he’d first created the swordwings. But when he was creating it, he had already taken his future progress into consideration.
Even then, Ai Hui did not expect this move to be so formidable.
It was his first time operating so many mini swords and hence he was unable to exercise precise control over them. The good thing was that there were many enemies and he was alone without companions, so he need not worry about hurting the wrong people. His opponents were unguarded so whether or not his attack was fatal, this battle would end as long as their speed was quick and their power destructive enough.
The majority of the Grass Bandits did not notice the tiny black leaves and some even thought that Ai Hui’s wings were faling apart as they weren’t able to endure the intense battle. As such, they were caught off guard when the sword rays rose up violently.
Ai Hui succeeded on his first blow. Not daring to hesitate he quickly summoned his mini swords back.
Without the mini swords, the buoyancy of his skeletal wings was pathetically lacking. He would fall into a miserable plight if the situation before him lost its flexibility.
Countless black leaves flew onto Ai Hui’s back from all directions, like many wiggling black snakes.
"Stop him!" Cao Ning bellowed, the horrifying situation making his eyes pop. He’d never seen such a terrifying scene. The sight of over a hundred people spurting blood was beyond impactful.
Intense fear enveloped him. His opponent’s abilities, and even his ruthlessness, had far exceeded his expectations. He killed people as if he was picking dried grass. Even as a bandit, Cao Ning’s heart felt cold.
Who exactly had they offended?
The scary sight before his eyes had completely aroused Cao Ning’s determination. No matter how big a price they had to pay, even if this bunch of people were all to die, they must kill that fellow!
If that fellow was playing hide and seek with them in future, they would not be able to live another peaceful from then on.
In actuality, Cao Ning was frightened. Although Ai Hui’s attack seemed dreadful, only just over thirty people lost their lives. Other elementalists weren’t badly injured and their battling abilities weren’t badly affected. There were also many who guarded themselves vigilantly and managed to avoid getting struck by the mini swords.
But regardless of whether they were injured or not, they were taken aback by this sudden move.
From the start of the battle up till now, their opponent had been alone. Yet, the rhythm of the battle had been under his control all this time. The number of casualties on their side continued to increase but that fellow remained unhurt.
Ai Hui’s strength and agility intimidated the grass bandits, effectively destabilizing their morale.
The Grass Bandits were very different from Deathgrass Division.
Although Zheng Xiaoman and Cao Ning had rich family resources and hoped to train and develop Grass Bandits into another Deathgrass Division, it was just wishful thinking. They’d learnt from their experienced older generations when it came to selecting and training members, but what they created was still a group of roving bandits. Perhaps they were stronger than regular bandits, but they were still far away from becoming a legitimate combat division.
At least Grass Bandits had courage, were swift and wear fearful.
Upon seeing that Ai Hui’s wings were not completely filled and that his movement was affected, a few grass bandits charged over without hesitation.
Like a javelin, the grass rattan shot out, releasing a sharp whistle.
A handful of grass seeds were thrown toward Ai Hui. As long as they were within three meters of him, they would burst into big nets, effectively trapping him.
A green snake, formed from strange green ripples, passed through the crowd silently and pounced on Ai Hui.
But he was faster than all of them.
It wasn’t that Ai Hui had long predicted their moves. He was just very aware of his flaw and chose not to bet his life on the assumption that his enemies were going to ignore it.
He swatted his Dragonspine downward in a light movement. With a clap, as if hitting a water’s surface, his body shook and an injured grass bandit appeared beside him.
There was a bloody hole on the bandit’s neck. This small injury was practically non-existent to him. He growled and many grass rattans appeared around him, moving toward Ai Hui like the tentacles of an octopus.
Clap, clap, clap!
The sword in Ai Hui’s hand accurately struck all of the grass rattans. The bandit’s body stiffened as a sword ray shot through a grass rattan, pierced his chest and exited from his back.
Ai Hui’s legs were like springs. He stepped on the grass rattan forcefully like an agile cheetah, and with a change of direction, he entered an empty spot in between two grass bandits.
The black leaves formed a black snake that flew nimbly toward the skeleton wings on Ai Hui’s back. The leaves quickly adhered themselves onto the wings.
Ai Hui was fast like lightning. His outstanding body was of an important use in this crucial moment. In that small space, his body’s burst of energy made his movements exceptionally quick.
At times, he would borrow the power of his Dragonspine. He would also borrow the momentum gained from his thighs or use his enemies’ bodies as a shield.
He was like a demonic bolt of lightning, traveling back and forth through spaces between his enemies. His cool-headedness allowed him to make the most suitable choices amid this chaotic battle. His ability to react quickly also allowed him to deal with unforeseen circumstances with ease.
Wherever he passed, fresh blood splattered.
His sword rays were always striking the enemy’s vital points from unexpected angles.
Cao Ning and his gang were chasing wildly behind, but Ai Hui was like a slippery loach, always finding ways to dodge them and throw them off. At the same time, he was like a wandering death god, accurately and efficiently collecting souls with a lack of regard for anything else.
The Grass Bandits fell from the sky like dumplings.
The once densely packed team was now much sparser, and in the blink of an eye there were less than two hundred of them left, and many of them were injured and dripping blood.
Fear started creeping onto their faces. They were all desperate criminals, but seeing the number of lives being taken away so rapidly had their hearts and limbs turning cold nevertheless. Whatever courage they had vanished in a puff of smoke.
Ai Hui had that same expressionlessness plastered onto his face, and his sword thrusts were still fast and precise, without the slightest wavering.
The Starry Gem Swordwings on his back were back to normal, with all the leaves back in place. Mobility restored, Ai Hui was like a tiger that had grown wings, his sword moves became much swifter.
[Six Moons] appeared as six scythes, like that of a grim reaper. They would harvest a soul the moment a weakness was being exposed.
Suddenly, someone started to flee.
Once an avalanche occurred, it became difficult to contain. This was a unique characteristic of the bandits. No matter how surly bandits were, they crumbled easily when met with danger. Yet, the Thirteen Divisions had to, time and time again, battle until there were only a few people left and a definite victory was won.
Cao Ning and Zheng Xiaoman might have been able to duplicate the discipline and code of conduct of the former Deathgrass Division, but they were unable to instill in them the spirit of Deathgrass.
What were they fighting for?
For the place where all power and weakness originated from.
When things were going smoothly, they saw it as a joke that was being played on them. There was no need for reason when there was talent. Only at the end of the road did they realize that there were always things that made them afraid, unwilling and unable to retreat even if a blade was held close to their eyes.
The mental breakdown hit them hard. To the grass bandits, this battle was merely a one-sided massacre. They’d seen for themselves how Ai Hui, alone with a single sword, killed their people numbly and indifferently.
But not everyone was feeling defeated. Cao Ning and more than ten other people stood where they were and surrounded Ai Hui, trapping him in the middle. They glared at him like wolves on grassland.
Influenced by their older generations, they had been kids with lofty aspirations. Even if fate made it tough for them, even if Nature played tricks on them, and even if their faith had been destroyed, they stood strong and proud, their courage and valor unwavering.
They weren’t afraid to die in a battle!