He seemed absent-minded. Then, he arrived at a familiar place; there was hardly any crowd at the place.
He took a few turns, and continued to move forward. He had already crossed the Liu Feng Martial Arts School.
Liu Feng Martial Arts School was the place where he had initiated his martial arts practice. Li Cang Hai was his teacher back then.
Shi Mu pulled the reins of his horses. His horses turned around, and headed towards the Liu Feng Martial Arts School. Shi Mu planned to visit Li Cang Hai.
Suddenly, he wrinkled his brows. He then turned over and looked behind him. A shadow flashed more than a hundred feet away in a small alley; it then quickly vanished.
Shi Mu’s vision flashed.
He didn’t know how long he had been spied upon for. The spies were hiding in the surroundings in a careful manner, but they couldn’t conceal themselves from Shi Mu’s eyes and ears.
Shi Mu snorted coldly in his heart. But, he continued to move his vehicle forward with a calm and collected expression on his face.
Shi Mu then arrived on a ten feet wide street. There were old-fashioned buildings on both sides of the street; no one could be seen nearby.
This area belonged to the old city. The Black Fox Gang used to manage this area back in those days.
Shi Mu pulled the reins of the horses, and stopped the carriage.
Four or five tall and sturdy people attired in black robes stood side-by-side not far from Shi Mu’s carriage; they held weapons in their hands. And, they had obstructed his way.
A golden dragon pattern was embroidered on the sleeves of a few of those people. They all had a malicious and evil look on their faces.
Then, seven or eight people scuttled out from inside the alleys behind Shi Mu. They were armed with swords, sticks and various kinds of weapons. In addition, some people among the group were holding powerful crossbows, and they were obviously aimed towards Shi Mu.
A chill and desolate aura pervaded the air.
"Your Excellency must be Shi Mu, right?" The leader of the group – a scar-faced man – took a step ahead. He then laughed mischievously and asked.
"Who are you people? Why are you blocking my way?" Shi Mu didn’t reply to his question. Instead, he looked around and asked.
"We’re the Golden Dragon Gang… and I’m Deputy Chief Mai Zheng. What you did back then is impossible to forget. I never thought that you would dare to return to the Feng City. Well… I admire you for coming back," the scar-faced man said coldly.
Shi Mu raised the tip of his brow, but didn’t speak.
It seemed that the time had finally come.
However, this Golden Dragon Gang was unknown to him. He remembered that there was no such gang in Feng City in those days. They must’ve appeared a few years after he left Feng City.
"So, do you people wish to take my head to receive the reward?" Shi Mu’s vision flashed. He then asked with an expressionless face.
The scar-faced man seemed quite strong. He seemed to be a Hou Tian initial-level warrior. Feng City had a lot of gangs back then, but nobody’s strength had reached to this level. Moreover, this man was a Deputy Chief. So, his strength mustn’t be weak.
The scar-faced man hadn’t even opened his mouth to reply when a ‘whiz’ sound was heard.
A long arrow with a wind piercing sound was launched towards Shi Mu’s back. Its speed was quite astonishing.
A single-eyed man was crouching on the rear of a wall behind Shi Mu. He held a crossbow in his hand; it was as big as a man. The trace of a proud smile appeared in the eye of the one-eyed man.
The scar-faced man became angry. He had received an order that Shi Mu must be brought to the headquarters, and handed over to the head person – exactly the way he was; not in the form of a corpse.
Suddenly, the scar-faced man exposed an incredible look on his face.
He saw that Shi Mu didn’t even turn his head. He merely moved his hand, caught the approaching arrow, and pressed it between his two fingers. He then threw it back.
‘Whew!’ – A shrill and sharp sound echoed.
The arrow rushed back towards the one-eyed man with thrice the speed with which it had come. The people present at the scene could only see a black line flash before their eyes. The one-eyed man’s body flew several feet away, and got knocked against the wall behind him. However, he didn’t fall to the ground.
Everyone gazed towards him. Then, everyone realized that the arrow had pierced through his heart; his body had been nailed to the wall as a result.
He looked extremely scared. He opened his mouth, and issued a few sounds. Then, his body twitched a little, and his pupils became dilated.
The people of the Golden Dragon Gang looked extremely surprised. They couldn’t help but drew a step backwards; the weapons in their hands started to shiver. They looked towards Shi Mu with astonishment. Only their leader – the scar-faced man – still remained tranquil. But, a trace of fear could be seen in his eyes.
He evaluated the situation, and concluded that it was impossible for him to capture Shi Mu.
"I’m not very patient. So, quickly tell me why you’ve stopped me?" Shi Mu said coldly.
"We had received a letter at our head-quarters… it carried the news that you’ve entered the city. The helper from the gang had come over to pass the message… that there’s a powerful man who wants to see you. He commanded me to take you to him," the scar-faced man swallowed a mouthful of saliva, and said carefully.
Shi Mu raised the tip of his brow as he heard this. Then, a thought crossed his mind.
"Alright. I’ll go with you," he hesitated for a while, and replied.
The scar-faced man and the people around him were startled as they heard this. It seemed as if they couldn’t believe their ears.
"Don’t act so clumsily," Shi Mu urged in an impatient manner.
The scar-faced man quivered and responded. He nodded, and started to walk ahead in order to lead the way.
The other people put away their raised weapons, and followed closely behind the scar-faced man.
The people on the streets saw a strange scene. The Deputy Chief of the Golden Dragon Gang – a member of an underworld gang – was running amuck in the city along with a group of people. But, everyone had an uncomfortable expression on their faces. A youth with an unfamiliar face was following in a carriage behind these men. But, this man’s expressions were calm.
The group arrived in front of the door of a manor in a remote area of the city half-an-hour later.
The carpet-area of the manor seemed quite big through the door. It seemed to consist of seven or eight acres of land. The building inside it looked extremely clean and tall. Two gatekeepers from the Golden Dragon Gang stood on the entrance in black robes.
A variety of sounds of various activities and people talking could be heard from inside the manor. Then, a few tall and strong-looking people came out to welcome them.
"Deputy Chief Mai, is this the man Master told us about?" a man with a muscular body and a dark face shot a quick glance at Shi Mu and asked.
The scar-faced man looked towards Shi Mu and nodded.
The muscular man didn’t notice the uncomfortable expression on the scar-faced man’s face. He took a few steps forward, and sized Shi Mu up.
"Boy, you’re smart…" the muscular man laughed nastily, and spoke.
He had spoken in a general tone. Shi Mu had jumped down the carriage by this time; he had an expressionless face. He didn’t pay attention to the muscular man, and started to walk towards the manor. He was carrying a watermelon-sized black stone – tied-up in chains – in his left hand.
The muscular man’s complexion changed; his face turned red in anger. He wasn’t an ordinary low-ranked person of the Golden Dragon Gang. He had never been ignored in this manner… that too in front of so many people.
"Boy… stop! I want to talk to you…" the muscular man shouted in anger. He then raised his palm – like a palm-leaf – in order to grab Shi Mu’s shoulder.
"Wan Qing, stop!" The scar-faced man was shocked. He then shouted out loud.
But, it was too late. The fuzzy shadow of a hand flashed, and patted on the shoulder of the muscular man.
‘Click!’ a bone-breaking sound was heard. The muscular man’s body went out flying – like a scarecrow. His shoulder and collarbone had been broken. And, they had caved-in as a result. Blood started to gush out of his mouth as he rolled on the ground. It couldn’t be determined if he was alive or dead.
The surrounding people turned pale with fright.
Shi Mu didn’t pay attention to anyone. He didn’t stop walking either. He then entered through the gate of the manor.
"Lead the way…"
The scar-faced man stared blankly as he heard this. He then nodded. A few members of the gang shot a meaningful glance towards him. He then ran in front of Shi Mu, and started to walk while leading his way.
The other men looked at each other in dismay as they saw this. But, they forced themselves to follow behind Shi Mu, and entered the manor.
A large number of people stood in a large courtyard in the depth of the manor.
There was a fifty-year-old man attired in black clothes. His stature wasn’t too high, but there was an extremely strong aura around his body. Everyone seemed to be feeling low in front of this man.
This man was a consummate-level Hou Tian Master.
A middle-aged man with a white face stood behind the old man; he too was attired in a black robe. This man was emitting an aura of a late-stage Hou Tian Warrior.
One of these two men was the Lord of Wu family of Feng City; the other one was his younger brother – Wu Feng.
The other men in the courtyard included a few followers of the Wu family. The rest of the men attired in black-robes were the men of the Golden Dragon Gang. The head of this group was a tall and gigantic man. His eyes were like copper bells, and his facial features were malicious. His cultivation was quite extraordinary. He had reached the middle-stage of the Hou Tian realm.
"This is Wu family. I thought that the Jin family would find me first." Shi Mu stood in the crossing of the courtyard. He swept his gaze towards the men. He then yawned as if the other person was saying something uninteresting.
"Hmmm… Shi Mu, you killed three members of the Wu family including Wu Tong and my son Wu Hua. You deserve to die ten-thousand deaths for the crime you committed. Today, I’m calling for your blood." A deep-rooted hate emitted from the eyes of the white-faced man – Wu Feng. He then waved his hand and said.
A few followers of the Wu family stopped at the exit door of the courtyard. The disciples of the Golden Dragon Gang slowly came towards Shi Mu.
"The men of your Wu family wanted to kill me back then; I was just protecting myself," Shi Mu replied.
An ominous glint flashed in Wu Feng’s eyes. He moved his hand, and a handle of a sword – glittering like frost and snow – appeared in his hand. The weapon seemed prepared.
Shi Mu’s enemies looked at each other in a furious manner. Wu Feng was thinking to dismember Shi Mu’s body into ten-thousand pieces.
Suddenly, a hand gripped Wu Feng’s shoulder. It was the Lord of the Wu family – Wu Liang. He then pulled Wu Feng back.
"Wait a minute," Wu Liang said heavily.
Wu Feng genuinely believed in Wu Liang. So, he stopped obediently… even though he seemed unwilling.
"It’s hard to imagine that your strength has forged ahead in this manner only in a few years. It has already advanced to the advanced-stage of the Hou Tian realm," Wu Liang looked at Shi Mu and spoke.
"What?!" Wu Feng and everyone from the Golden Dragon Gang were surprised as they heard this.
Shi Mu sneered, but didn’t speak.
He hadn’t concealed his aura. So, Wu Liang – a Hou Tian Warrior of consummate-stage – was naturally capable of perceiving his present cultivation.
Wu Liang’s body gradually started to emit a strong aura. His clothes started to prop-up as he walked towards Shi Mu. He left deep footprints on the ground in his wake.
"The death anniversary of Wu Tong and Wu Hua will arrive after three months. I would’ve sent men to slaughter the entire fisherman village of yours… if you hadn’t shown your face today. It would’ve been a sacrifice to Wu Tong and Little Hua’s souls in Heaven. I didn’t think that you had the courage to come back. Well… this has simplified the matter," Wu Liang said.
Shi Mu’s complexion sank as he heard this. Several cold awns flashed in the depth of his pupils. His real Qi also started to revolve within his body.