This time, Shi Mu did not attempt to parry the incoming sword again. On the contrary, he crouched his body to the ground before leaping up again, one of his hand now in a black glove, with which he punched his enemy in midair.
“Hahaha you fool! You are courting death!”
Wu Tong mocked with loud laughter, as he sent his tumbling sword shadows in a maneuver that parted to avoid the incoming fist, before they once again united into one streak of cold light flashing towards Shi Mu’s shoulder.
A shrill sound was heard as the sword pierced Shi Mu’s clothes but failed to penetrate his shoulder. Something blocked the sword! The sword tore his clothes at the shoulder, cutting a slit of several cun long, revealing a glaring golden armor beneath.
“The Golden Armour!”
Wu Tong could not help but blurt out in astonishment upon seeing the armor, and without a counter force that could send him back into the air, he was unable to spring up this time. Shi Mu had been waiting exactly for this moment: he grasped at the extremely sharp sword causing the the glove to be cut open instantly, and his fingers to bleed profusely. But Shi Mu had actually ignored the pain and was quite excited, “Finally I caught you! Let's see where you can flee this time!”
His weapon now caught in Shi Mu’s bleeding hand, Wu Tong’s eyes flashed with coldness. Without a word, he shook his wrist in the same peculiar way he had done before to cause the sword to turn soft intending to escape Shi Mu’s grasp and simultaneously cutting fingers off. Shi Mu, with an earth-shaking shout, wielded his blade in his other hand and instantly threw out nine blade shadows that rolled one after another to Wu Tong at a lightning speed, far surpassing any of his previous attacks.
“Nine cuts in one breath! You are actually have reached advanced stage!”
Wu Tong screamed as he was caught unguarded. Wu Tong released his sword quickly before he rolled backward as far as three zhang where he flopped heavily on the ground. Wu Tong gauged that three zhang should have been out of the scope of Shi Mu’s attacks temporarily, or at least safe enough for him to steady himself and prepare a counter blow. But that was mere wishful thinking: before he could find his feet back on the ground, a silvery streak of cold light flashed in his eyesight, followed almost simultaneously by nine dagger shadows that chased him like hyenas thirsty for his blood.
“No!!!” Wu Tong absolutely did not expect this, and was left no time to dodge. He steadied himself to take a deep breath and suddenly, a layer of blue shimmer appeared between his arms. As soon as the layer of qi formed, Wu Tong struck continuously at the incoming dagger shadows causing the shadows to dissipate! Wu Tong had dispelled most of the shadows with his bare hands! But he missed one deadly shadow, whose cold light turned out to be the real Sun and Moon daggers, slicing his shoulder. Although his arm was not cut off, the blue layer of qi was dissipated and a cut appeared several cun deep.
Flexing his arm, Wu Tong sighed contentedly at the successful block. But just was he was to step back, a crisp sound came from the handles of the Sun and Moon Daggers. Before he could realize the daggers had already sprung up from his flesh and swept across his neck with a flash of blade light.
Instantly, a bleeding wound emerged on his neck; Wu Tong stared hard at the sharp daggers that had thrust into the earth near his feet after flying through his neck. It was then he found a thin black chain cunningly attached at the back of the handles, which had blended itself totally into the darkness before it showed revealing itself after the fatal attack.
“If I had known before that I would have died, I would have gone all out...Had it not been for the Golden Armour...Had it not been for the goddamn chain...Or your crafty tricks...and the blade art...”
Wu Tong tried with all effort to press his wound where a blood river was gushing out wildly, and murmured with deep regret, causing red froth to bubble out from him mouth and neck. Finally, his head tilted, and flopped down, rolling over the ground.
The big head, now tainted by dirt, was eyes wide open staring vacantly, forever unable to close those hatred-eaten eyes.
The thin chain did not pause to lament for Wu Tong at all; it shook with a jerk and brought back the blade back to Shi Mu’s hand, safe and sound. The youth had killed his enemy from a distance of several zhang! Only until now he threw himself unto the ground in a relief, grasping for breath.
Actually, the fight was not a long one, while to describe the actions took time, the fight started and ended in as fast as twenty breaths. But the pressure! The pressure to face this HouTian warrior at his level, still far exceeded his expectation, taking him much more energy than that when he fought with the previous Wu riders. If he had not come up with the plan to forcefully take cut by Wu Tong’s sword deliberately with the Golden Armour, there was no way he could have forced an opportunity to strike. Along with the chain on the daggers he had just escaped narrowly from the crushing strength of his enemy.
But after a moment of shocked reflection he bursted into wild, uncontrolled laughter. “Who would believe, I, a mere practitioner, could have killed a HouTian warrior! Others may say Wu Tong was only an early level HouTian warrior, and I only won by crafty tricks. But still I killed him, a HouTian warrior! Wonder if the messenger from Kai Yuan Martial Arts School would change his mind once knowing this. “ He knew he still in a state of adrenaline from the fear from the fight, but he knew he was actually mocking his own weakness by saying such seemingly triumphant words.
After the nearly delirious self talk, he fumbled in his clothes and took out a small bottle. From it he rubbed ointment on the wounds in his hand and face. The ointment’s cooling effect on his wounds caused him to lift his head up again in joy as he stood up and walked towards Wu Tong’s body.
A moment later, there was a jade case and a craftily designed belt in his hands. The belt was no doubt the sword Wu Tong had used earlier, and the jade case contained a thick wad of silver notes, amounting to at least some seven or eight million silvers. Without hesitation Shi Mu kept all these to himself. With a last glance over the messy bodies on the ground, he sighed and turned to leave.
After a while he reached once again the end of the woods.
“Brother Shi, I’m so happy to see you unharmed!”
Zhong Xiu cuddled Shi Mu’s body closely, her delicate body pressed against his hard muscled body without reserve. No longer able to constrain herself after tearfully watching the scene, she burst into tears. Such a close bodily contact made Shi Mu’s muscles grow stiff; moreover, the faint flowery fragrance from the Zhong Xiu’s body caused his mind to blank out.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I just lost my manners. Brother Shi, what should we do next?” The girl came to herself quickly, unlocking her arms that had been pressing her body into Shi Mu with all her delicate strength. She stepped backwards and asked with a blushing face.
“Simple, we’ll return to the original route.” Shi Mu offered the answer without hesitation.
At the other end of the woods, Wu Hua was now leaning against the cart, his mind roaming. And the other two Wu riders who stayed to watch the horse were doing their job dutifully on alert. Near them some ten-odd Blue Gale Horses were grazing leisurely as if in a care-free world rather than this blood soaked woods.
All of a sudden, two loud sounds exploded. Before anyone could realize it the two rides were shot by two feathered arrows, their bodies forcefully thrown back as the arrows penetrated their heads. The next moment they fell to the ground, no trace of movement or life left in them.
The youth leaning against the cart reacted quickly, he shouted out and darted towards the horses. But hardly had he made it a couple steps before a third arrow pierced his back and nailed him on the ground.
Wu Hua uttered a heartrending cry and tried desperately to grasp at his back, attempting to pull out the arrow in his back. But it was already nailed hard into the ground, as if something had grown from the earth, immovable as the mountains, leaving Wu Hua to flail helplessly like a baby bird failing to fly after being pushed out of the tree.
Just then footsteps came from the woods, and Shi Mu appeared with the purple steel bow in hand, followed closely by Zhong Xiu.
“It’s you! No way! How could you have escaped from my third Uncle! Don’t kill me, please! I can be the perfect hostage, Uncle will let you go in return for my safety!” Wu Hua managed to turn his head to look at the two coming out of the woods. As soon as he caught sight of the two people he hated most in the world, he mournfully cried out in despair.