Chapter 402 - Fight Till The End
Many of the Grass Bandits who’d fled turned around and observed the battle from afar. They were afraid of receiving punishment upon return. What if Cao Ning and the others claimed victory? It wouldn’t be too hard for them to escape even if Cao Ning lost. If so many of them dispersed like birds, how could their opponent, alone, chase all of them down?
They scattered around, keeping their gazes on Cao Ning and the gang.
Cao Ning glared firmly at his opponent’s young face. He still found it hard to believe that this young fellow, close to his own age, could defeat almost all of his people.
Through his gritted teeth he asked, "Who are you, Sir?"
Ai Hui kept an indifferent face, as if unconcerned about the fact that he’d been surrounded. "I’m Ai Hui."
Cao Ning opened his eyes wide. He finally understood why that fellow looked so familiar.
The Lightning Blade’s mirage bean pod had spread across the whole Avalon of Five Elements and Jadeite Forest as well. And why wouldn’t the Grass Bandits located between Jadeite Forest and Palette Cloud Village know about it? In fact, at that time, Cao Ning couldn’t help but praise that good fellow.
Ai Hui’s performance in the battle of Central Pine City was admirable even to those who were judgemental.
A complicated look flashed across the faces of not only him, but of the other bandits as well. They’d all seen the clip and were aware of Ai Hui’s past achievements.
Only after their real-life match did they realize that Ai Hui’s abilities were much stronger than what awas reflected in the movie beanpod.
A person’s reputation was like the shadow of a tree – never disappearing. Ai Hui showed potential in becoming Central Pine Faction’s leader. While the faction never did address him as their leader, they assembled from all around to serve him whenever he appeared.
If he wasn’t a leader, who was?
Cao Ning took a deep breath, suppressing his murderousness. He said in a low voice, "The Lightning Blade, why do you take Grass Bandits as your enemy?"
Ai Hui thought it funny, but kept a straight face. Instead, he asked, "Why did you guys block my path?"
Cao Ning thought back to their earlier actions and felt that things had gotten inconvenient.
Thinking about the help signal, he realized that it must have been because of the conflict his subordinates had gotten into with Ai Hui. But none of those who called for help survived, so he wasn’t able to know exactly what had happened before he arrived.
He did not mind losing a small team; the problematic part was the fact that they’d offended a strong fighter. Other than the main players from the team, all other Grass Bandits were merely cannon fodder. In this messy world where people were like grass, mere cannon fodder was easily replaceable. He was more agitated because the small team leader was someone he thought highly of.
He asked in the same low voice, "There had been a misunderstanding but why did you have to kill all of them? We know about The Lightning Blade, and if the team from earlier had known about your identity, why would they have made things difficult for you?"
Ai Hui looked at him before responding, somewhat mockingly, "That was not what your noble subordinate said. Resist and be killed was what they said. After thinking about it I was certain that I could not allow that to happen, so killing them was the only way out."
Cao Ning replied harshly, "Seems like you’re belittling us, with no desire to dissolve the misunderstanding or give us a proper explanation. In that case, we will have to talk with our swords and fight till the end!"
"Fight till the end?" Ai Hui nodded. "Alright, I did not say all that wanting to resolve this misunderstanding. I’m also uninterested in your explanation and words. I just want to let you know something."
He scanned slowly across the observing Grass Bandits with a piercing gaze, his voice sonorous and impactful.
"I, Ai Hui, am heading toward Asakusa City to visit Senior Mingxiu. Those who obstruct my path shall die and those who stop me shall be killed. Senior Mingxiu stays away from worldly affairs, so whoever tries to do her harm will have to face me afterwards. I will do whatever it takes to track and destroy him and all three generations of his family. Just to let you know!"
The last sentence seemed to echo, rising in spirals along with the surge of elemental energy, causing those present to turn pale.
There was an ominous glint in Cao Ning’s eyes when he muttered softly, "So you’re here for her…"
A few others made eye contact and a vengeful look appeared on their faces.
A murderous looking Ai Hui lowered his head suddenly and laughed. "There, a simple test was all it took."
With an intense murder-lust filled smile, Ai Hui’s body shot forward toward Cao Ning in a swift manner.
Confirming his suspicions, Ai Hui wasn’t the least bit elated. He would rather have guessed wrongly and would rather have been overly sensitive.
Grass Bandits had plans for Senior Mingxiu indeed!
Before, he had no malice toward the Grass Bandits. There was nothing strange about getting to the top by ridding oneself of those at the bottom, just like the poor folks, Gu Tianning and so on. In this chaotic world, there was no disguise. The law of the jungle became even more direct and bloody.
The feud between Grass Bandits and Deep Sea Enterprise would make one sigh.
To Ai Hui, that was nothing. Whether or not Grass Bandits was admirable, good or evil, it had nothing to do with him. He wasn’t the guild and wasn’t required to determine others’ fate. He need not rule the world.
His world was very small and only a few people existed within it.
Whether those outside it lived or died, whether the world lived or died, he did not care.
Such was his relationship with the Grass Bandits. Before this, they were neither friends nor enemies and had nothing to do with one another.
But Senior Mingxiu was included in his small world, so whoever made her their enemy made him theirs as well. Those who targeted her, targetted him too.
He did not care if people treated him as an enemy. He wouldn’t take it to heart. In fact, when killing, he could even understand where they were coming from. No one had it easy, right?
But he could never forgive those who try to harm his senior. No, rather than being unable to forgive, he couldn’t stop himself detesting them.
He seldom developed such intense emotions, but when those in his world were involved he just couldn’t control the hatred within.
It was just the way he was, selfish and narrow-minded.
He was like a stingy landlord, guarding whatever barren land he had. He was just a nobody and had little tolerance.
But once his limited land had intruders, Ai Hui’s counterattack would be exceptionally ferocious and reckless. No matter how strong his opponents were, he wouldn’t hesitate to charge toward them like moths toward flames.
His world was barren and desolate to begin with and the things he cherished were few, so why wouldn’t he protect them with all that he had?
The hatred emerging from deep within his heart had no influence over his actions. He kept his usual calmness, throwing himself and his enemies onto the chessboard.
Ai Hui’s objective had never been this resolute. He just wanted to kill all of them right now.
Facing Ai Hui, who was charging toward him, Cao Ning rushed forward with a growl. The elemental energy within his whole body was bubbling. Earlier, Ai Hui had been slippery, like a loach and Cao Ning couldn’t even grab hold of his clothes. He could only watch him slip away and slaughter his members. It was only natural, then, that flames were raging within his heart.
Right now, Ai Hui chose to meet force with force, striking those below him. They had the advantage in terms of numbers, and regardless of how strong Ai Hui was, he wasn’t a Master. He was still in Second Elemental Realm after all, so no matter how powerful his inherited arts and skills were, his elemental consumption was significant and definite.
Cao Ning practiced [Three Sun Hatchets of Aoki]. He had a tall, naturally powerful and sturdy frame, which was extremely well-suited for this absolute art. Practically every generation of the Cao family had served Deathgrass Division and had rich battling experience.
Cao Ning held onto two solid hatchets, a stopgap for the Cao family’s most valued Three Sun Hatchets since they’d fallen into Deep Sea Enterprise’s hands.
His moves were well-controlled, each axe producing a big sheet of green light. These green lights were firm and forceful. Ai Hui’s sword rays fell onto them, but only sparks lit up. His rays were unable to deal a blow to them at all.
Furthermore, they did not disperse immediately upon appearing, causing Cao Ning’s surroundings to be covered in layer upon layer of green lights that became increasingly thick. His whole body was completely engulfed in the lights, which became an incomparably solid armor.
Ai Hui executed different moves consecutively, but was unable to shake up these dense green lights.
Some others made eye contact before moving forward to surround Ai Hui.
One of them reached about twenty to twenty five meters behind Ai Hui before throwing a handful of grass seeds forward. In order not to catch Ai Hui’s attention, he did not shoot them directly at Ai Hui. Instead, the seeds floated toward him slowly like how duckweeds would on water.
The others started attacking as well.
Suddenly, the elementalist who was carefully controlling the seeds shuddered, as if being spotted by a lurking poisonous snake.
Cold air tingled the back of his neck. With his rich battling experience, he just knew that he was in trouble. Not good!
With a hand summoning elemental energy, he patted his neck at lightning speed, but to no avail as nothing had been struck.
A moon-shaped sword ray about the size of a palm coiled around his neck and spun.
A head fell onto the ground.
The grass seeds lost control in mid air and exploded like stir-fried beans.
Cao Ning, who was surrounded by the green lights, shouted with his eyes popping, "Old Five!"
He realized at this point that he had fallen into Ai Hui’s evil plan!
Ai Hui had long figured out their intentions.
Cao Ning would cling onto the enemy while the rest mounted sneak attacks. This strategy was something they were very familiar with. Ai Hui pretended not to sense it and appeared as though he’d been distracted by Cao Ning when in fact he had his eyes on the others. The time that the remaining few got ready to attack was exactly the time they had their guard down.
[Six Moons] was like a silent killer, dealing them a fatal blow.
Fresh blood splattered everywhere simultaneously once again, but the areas of attack were different. Some were wounded in their necks and hearts while others were hit in their lower vital organs, extremely treacherous and vicious on Ai Hui’s part.
The sudden form reversal had everyone dumbstruck.
Cao Ning sensed danger and the odor of death. Even during the night of the bloodbath, the aura of death wasn’t this intense and palpable.
He was going to die here today, he thought all of a sudden.
The Lightning Blade indeed, living well up to his name, Cao Ning thought in admiration, without the least bit of regret.
They had been planning this strategy for a long time. Lu Mingxiu was their enemy and so was the whole Lu family. Who could stand alone in this chaotic world? Who could isolate themselves completely? A white cloth that was stained with blood was no longer a white cloth.
They had to take revenge! They had to live!
Cao Ning was obdurate. Determined to fight with his life on the line, the elemental energy within his body surged as he threw the two axes toward Ai Hui with all the strength he had. Cracks started to appear on the surface of the axes, revealing a dazzling green light beneath. As the cracks started to peel off, the light became increasingly brighter.
A carefree smile appeared on Cao Ning’s face. He was finally going to die!
To die for a greater cause… It was worth it!
Xiaoman, live on! Avenge us!
He grabbed both axes, his flesh rupturing inch by inch, but he seemed to feel nothing. He utilized all the strength he possessed in his body as fresh blood sprayed out. The two solid axes, wrapped in green light, got closer and closer.
As long as two balls of green light touched, [Three Sun Hatches of Aoki] would end in a final blow.
[Duo Sun Destruction].
A strange sword chime sounded overhead and Cao Ning’s movements became rigid. He got distracted and his eyes glazed over.
Regaining awareness, Cao Ning saw that his green lights had already collided.
His final thought upon getting swallowed up by the boundless green light was this: What a pity...