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Chapter 48 - My Fair Lady!
Half a day later.
While most of the candidates were still sleeping, Shi Mu and the other three were wide awake, not daring to move a muscle, out of fear of being killed like Ma Yun Fei. Han Xiang Xiu, distressed by Ma Yun Fei’s death, had a ghastly pale face as she leaned against Shi Mu, extremely frightened. Shi Mu, though in shock, still tried to calm himself by closing his eyes and resting his mind.
No one knew how much time had past when they heard a thunderous roar outside the room, perhaps on the deck, and then an old voice trembling with anger,
“Ning Ping, you scoundrel! How dare you have entered Heavenly Qi’s territory and injured our sect’s messengers! Don’t you even think about leaving without paying the cost!”
Another loud noise resounded as the voice fell, which caused the ship to tremble again.
“Wow, I have been wondering who would come this time! I never thought it would be you, Senior Zhao. By the way, since you know I’m not alone in this task, you must have brought helpers too. Why not have them show themselves?” The blue-robed man’s shouted, his voice rather calm and steady.
Suddenly a third voice - clear and cold - sounded out, “Good, since you’ve asked, let’s not waste time on meaningless introductions.”
“Yu Qian Ji, it’s you?” Seeing the new enemy the blue-robbed man lost his calm at once, crying out involuntarily, his voice somewhat husky due to panic.
“Hehe, Ning Ping, it must be a surprise to you! Brother Yu was quite near when he got my signal, so he arrived quickly. Just call Tiger-Bone out, we know he’s with you.” The old man burst into triumphant laughter.
“Well, since Brother Yu, a star-grade magician, has made his presence known, the least I can do is come out and pay my respects.” A fourth, hellish voice broke forth, full of threat, as well as poorly concealed fear of Yu Qian Ji.
Right after he finished speaking, air-piercing noises resounded outside the room, along with occasional explosions, which made the vessel wobble helplessly, like a thin leaf in the air.
Hearing this, the big-mouthed youth and the long-haired youth exchanged words of excitement. “It’s the Black Tortoise Sect! Thank goodness! We will be saved then!” Han Xiang Xiu was also elated, as was Shi Mu. After the gloomy prospect of being kidnapped by the queer blue-robbed man, being saved by the Black Tortoise sect was like sunshine after a season of storms.
Loud shouts and strong vibrations shook the ship. From the shouts and screams the fight on the deck seemed to be a landslide Black Tortoise victory. After a short while the blue-robed man cursed exasperatedly in a frenzy of rage, “Yu Qian Ji! You dare to look down on us! Understand death as you watch your precious candidates die! Behold! My Ocean-Awakening Charm!”
Barely a second after his voice had died away, an ear-deafening noise, as if massive billows were swallowing the sky, resounded, followed immediately by massive waves surging at one side of the vessel. The vessel began to tilt over, violently shaking.
“No! The ship is capsizing!” Shi Mu and his fellow companions were shocked to find themselves sliding down the floor. Without delay, they all stumbled to their feet and leaned closely against the wall. As for the other candidates, who were still in a coma, they were now rolling over on the floor, some hapless sleepers even wounded after knocking against tables or chairs. Surprisingly, such bruises and wounds could not rouse the sleeping candidates. Shi Mu sucked in a cold breath in astonishment as he thought about the potent sleeping medicine, which must have far surpassed the ones recorded in the Secret Arts of the Zhong Clan.
Just as the entire vessel was about to turn completely over, the old voice rang out suddenly, “You dare kill them under my watch? Your efforts are in vain!
‘Black Tortoise Shakes the Heavens!’”
Instantly, the vessel shook twice, immediately it stopped capsizing and regained its steadiness.
Seeing this, the blue-robed man let out an irritated cry, swearing, “You old demon, I never thought you could have reached such a high level! I’ll teach you a good lesson next time we meet. Tiger-Bone, let’s go!” Then an air-piercing noise echoed as the blue-robbed man fled with his companion.
Such an abrupt development made Shi Mu and the other three candidates wild with joy. Before long, their room was opened by force and a young man in his twenties strode in triumphantly, his robe glaring in gold color, his face extremely delicate.
“Wow, so many still sober. Good! You’ve done well enough. Now, all of you, to the deck! We need to count the number of recruits. Here, give these pills to those who are asleep.” The sight of four still sober faces apparently surprised the handsome youth, his voice full of shock. This was none other than the, so-called, star-grade conjurer, Yu Tian Ji.
Just as his voice fell, he threw a small bottle to the big-mouthed candidate, who took the bottle obediently and distributed the pills inside to his companions.
Just as Yu Qian Ji was about to turn around and leave the room, Han Xiang Xiu rushed to him and hurriedly spoke, “Senior Yu, I just found the Black Demon’s trick! They seemed to have installed a God-Fire Mine, of the Wind and Fire Sect, somewhere under the deck.”
“What? A God-Fire Mine! Where are they exactly? How do you know?” The weapon’s name itself was like a bomb to Yu Qian Ji, whose expression changed immediately as he turned to ask.
“Senior, there’s not enough time left. Let me show you the spot of the mines.” Han Xiang Xiu stood several steps from Yu Qian Ji, answering with a frightened face.
“Alright, let’s meet Senior Zhao first.” The youth knit his eyebrows and said resolutely. Then he moved his body quickly, catching the girl’s wrist, ready to rush out of the room. The next sight astonished all the sober candidates. The youth howled in anger, shook his wrist, and threw the girl to the nearby door as heavily as he could as if throwing a fish on the ground to end its life. But just as the girl was about to collide with the door get crushed into mush, she giggled unexpectedly. Her body flashed and the next instant she was already dangling from the ceiling. The youth stared fixedly at the girl, whose sleeve shook once before something thudded on the ground: a small black snake, around a foot in length, was now on the floor, stiff as if dead.
“The Black Demon Snake! Such a sinister trick! So you are Jin Xiao Chai of the Black Demon Sect!” A quick glance at the snake made Yu Qian Ji realize who he was dealing with.
“Wow, you really deserve your name, the genius conjurer of the Heavenly Qi country, most promising to reach the moon-grade! You can tell my identity at a glance! But you should have been more careful with my baby snake! How does its bite taste? One bite, and in three to four years you won’t be able to sleep soundly[A]!” Han Xiang Xiu laughed grimly. Simultaneously, a booming sound came from the deck, mixed with Senior Zhao’s desperate curses. Yu Qian Ji swore, “So it’s all your crafty trick! Tiger-Bone and Ning Ping never really left!”
 Yu Qian Ji: Yu is a family name. QianJi means resourceful and crafty.
[A] - apparently the venom slowly dehibilitates a body.
Read the original.