Moments later, Xiao Wan'er grinned. "Where are we going to play later, Cousin Brother? I heard a group of foreigners recently arrived in several of the nearby towns. I heard they put on great acrobatic performances."
Xiao Chen did not respond. Suddenly, he heard a strange cry coming from the shopkeeper. "Dear God! You haven't paid, young lady!"
"Put it on my account first! I'll come back and repay you!"
"Oh dear. We run a small business here and shouldn't have credit systems..."
Thus, the shopkeeper sent for two burly men to stop the green-clothed girl. The girl bellowed at them coldly, "Move aside!" When she finished her sentence, she flicked her sleeves. With the resounding of two clanging noise, the two burly men flew out and fell on the street outside. They were foaming in the mouth and twitching all over. Embedded on their respective chests was a serpentine-shaped needle emitting a sinister and cold glint.
"My God. Girl, it's already bad enough that you didn't pay your bill. How could you injure my men? We're under the protection of Three Pure Sect, you know..."
"Three Pure Sect? What's Three Pure Sect? Is it very strong?"
With a thud, Xiao Wan'er slammed her hand on the table with a loud thud and rose to her feet. She walked toward the girl in the green dress and said in anger, "Where did a girl like you come from? How ill-bred!"
By now, a crowd had gathered outside the shop. The shopkeeper noticed that Xiao Wan'er seemed to be wearing the apparel of Three Pure Sect and asked, "Young lady, are you a Sword Immortal of Three Pure Sect?"
Xiao Wan'er replied coolly, "Correct!" She then glared at the green-clothed girl with wide eyes. "Little girl! Pay up if you know what's good for you!"
"Little girl?" The green-clothed girl raised her head with a smile. "When I was born, I think you're not even reincarnated yet!"
"You!" Xiao Wan'er was burning with anger. She unsheathed the sword tied to her waist with a clanging noise and performed a set of introductory swordsmanship of Three Pure Sect. In a split second, cold radiance burst forth from all around her. The sword wind was biting cold. The Sword Qi in the air charged at the green-clothed girl to attack her.
"Hmph!" The green-clothed girl snorted and flicked both of her sleeves. She yelled, "Ten Thousands of Flying Leaves and Flowers!"
In a flash, a gale began to whizz. However, numerous green leaves abruptly appeared in the air. Despite being tender leaves, each leaf was a sharp blade capable of shattering gold and snapping jade. They crushed Xiao Wan'er's Sword Qi in an instant. Then, the crowd saw the green-robed girl moving her wrist and a green blade flew at Xiao Wan'er in an undefendable manner.
Just then, Xiao Chen's feet moved and he dashed in front of Xiao Wan'er like a bolt of lightning. He placed two of his fingers together and the people could only hear a loud collision. What was left was a serpentine-shaped needle that emitted a sinister and cold glint.
"Young lady, why go so far as to kill just for a disagreement? Please hand over the antidote." While speaking, he tossed the needle pinned between his fingers.
The two burly men outside were still foaming at their mouths, their faces alternating between green and purple. The green-clothed girl laughed coldly. "Antidote? I never carry any antidote on me..." She reached into her sleeves to her chest area, intending to shoot a poisonous needle at Xiao Chen. If Xiao Chen made even the slightest movement with his wrist, he would feel a tremendous force swiftly traveling from his wrist to all over his body. He would instantly feel numb all over and lose all movement.
It was Xiao Chen who moved in an instant and blocked all the acupoints in her body with a speed as quick as lightning. Everyone was stunned as they could not see what had happened at all. The green-clothed girl was equally as astonished. "This person is so swift!"
Left alone on the sidelines, Xiao Han busied himself with downing the alcohol. "And you still say you're in Lv 1 Qi Refining Realm..."
This method of sealing one's acupoints belonged to Mystic Cyan Sect. No matter how the girl tried operating her martial arts, she was unable to break through the seals. Moments later, tears fell from her eyes as she sobbed, "To think a person born with such upstanding looks would bully a weak girl like me! Hurry up and unseal my acupoints!"
Her beautiful eyes brimmed with tears as she spoke. The way she spoke, one would think she had suffered a great injustice. If she cried for help, even a steel-hearted person would soften after hearing her.
Xiao Chen smiled faintly at her. "You're not weak at all, young lady. If you still refuse to hand over the antidote, please don't blame me for being uncourteous..."
The green-clothed girl raised her head to glare at him. "You dare! If my Sister Bai finds out that you bullied me, she'll surely turn you into mincemeat!"
"Then, please excuse my rudeness," Xiao Chen said. Just as he was about to touch her chest area, a strange power abruptly pushed the door open. In the next moment, the green-clothed girl disappeared from where she stood and reappeared next to a young man who looked to be in his early twenties.
The man possessed a pair of maroon pupils and had his hair tied neatly behind his back. Both sides were black with purple going through the middle. His long robe was a mixture of purple and white fabrics. His lapel was woven from snow-white wool and feathers. Hanging from his waist was a palm-sized Zijin gourd.
Shaking his head helplessly, the man said to the girl, "Xiao Qing'er, you're being a bully again. Had I known this earlier, I wouldn't ask you to buy the wine on your own." He made a light pat on her shoulders as he spoke and the True Qi that Xiao Chen planted on her instantly dissolved.
Once the girl was released from her binds, she immediately cried, "Damned barbarian! He's the one bullying me! Aren't you going to help me kill him?!" She pointed at Xiao Chen, wanting no more than to chop him into eight pieces to ease the hatred in her heart.
The red-eyed man shook his head as he knocked on the space between his eyebrows with his fingertips. There seemed to be a deeply melancholic look on his face. "How many times have I told you to call me Brother Yi Tong?" He then turned to look at Xiao Chen with a faint smile. He said softly, "Don't you know that men and women should observe propriety? How does your action earlier differ from the actions of Dengtu Zi?"
Xiao Chen's expression darkened when he realized that he could not detect even the slightest hint of this man's breath. He replied, "I was acting out of desperation to save lives earlier. I have no intention of offending this young lady. Everyone here can be my witnesses." The crowd affirmed his words one after another after hearing this.
The red-eyed man laughed. "Life and death are ruled by fate. How can you force it? Moreover... Sometimes, it's not necessarily a good thing to live too long a life..."
He shook his head after reaching the end of his sentence. "Forget it. Xiao Qing'er, give them the antidote." The girl pouted after hearing this and said, "I refuse! It's his fault for bullying me!" She raised her head as she spoke.
The red-eyed man shook his head with a small smile and gave her a light pat on the back. Two white pills immediately shot out from inside her sleeves and flew into the mouths of the two men lying on the ground outside. After the two men swallowed the pills, the green hue of their complexions faded by more than half.
"Damned barbarian! You know nothing but bullying me! When we go back, I'll tell Sister Bai that you're drinking again!" The green-clothed girl stomped her feet in anger.
The red-eyed man smile as he shook his head. "Where's the money I gave you?"
"Lost it!" The green-clothed girl had her arms crossed in front of her chest and her head raised. She was evidently furious at him for refusing to help her and taking the outsider's side instead.
The red-eyed man smiled helplessly and felt for a piece of gold on his chest. The shopkeeper immediately waved his hand when he saw this and said, "It's fine! It's fine!"
"When it comes to trade, the most crucial thing is not taking unfair advantage of each other. Consider the remainder of the money as compensation for your place." The red-eyed man flicked the piece of gold over and said in a leisurely manner, "Life such is long and dull..." He walked out after finishing his sentence. The green-clothed girl stomped her feet in anger before following after him.
Moments later, Xiao Wan'er walked back to Xiao Chen and said furiously, "They're too arrogant! Are we just going to let them off like this?"
Xiao Chen chuckled. "What else? Even if your master comes here, he might not be able to defeat that man earlier." He glanced in the direction that the two people earlier left in. Those two ought not to be humans, particularly that man. There was not even the slightest hint of living breath in him.
For some reason, Xiao Chen felt that he was particularly sensitive to dead breaths.
Shortly after, the three of them also paid their bill and stepped onto the street outside. Before they could travel far, they heard a burst of clamor coming from the far end of the street. When they looked in that direction, they saw everyone wearing frightened faces as they screeched and fled in all directions. There seemed to be a person going ballistic among them, wantonly causing destruction. With a lift of his hand, a building would collapse.
"There's trouble! Let's go over and take a look!"
The three of them immediately ran over. There, they saw an exceptionally tall and large man with blue veins protruding over his entire face. His pupils had turned a maroon color like a beast that had gone mad. He had hurt quite a few people and purple blood was flowing from all of his victims. That was an indication that Death Qi had invaded their bodies!
"Evildoer! Taste my sword!" Xiao Wan'er bellowed. Her sword turned into a golden blade of light that flew toward the man. With a roar, the man waved his massive hand and shockingly sent her sword flying.
Xiao Chen and Xiao Han drew their swords and inserted themselves in front of her at the same time.
Just then, several golden blades formed out of Sword Qi came flying from a distance and pierced the man's body. The man howled and finally collapsed on the ground. Two streams of sword radiance arrived at the same time and transformed into two elderly men. They were none other than Fourth Elder and Fifth Elder of Three Pure Sect.
Seeing this, Xiao Han immediately went up to them and saluted them. "Master! Fifth Elder!"
The two Elders turned their heads to look at them. "Why are you three here?" However, they had no time to pay too much mind to this. They immediately absorbed the innumerable Mystic Power within the man's body.
The man's muscles and flesh gradually began to contract and he returned to his original appearance. Then, a strange safflower slowly bloomed on his chest. The flower, with its four connecting petals, was as red as blood. The pistil and stamen in the center of the flower were black. It looked strange indeed.
"Soul-consuming Evil Flower!" The expression of the two Elders changed at the same time.
The crowd was frightened listless. How could such a strange flower bloom on a human's body? Could the man be a Demon? The mayor immediately went up and saluted the Elders. "Immortal Elders! Please save everyone!"
The two Elders did not speak. Their expressions were incredibly grim. They did not dare to hastily pluck the flower because the man would instantly die once the flower wilted.
Suddenly, a breeze swept them. The safflower shook a little in the wind and slowly left the man's chest like it had a wisdom of its own. It dissolved into dust along with the wind while the eyes of the man gradually lost all life. There were now fresh layers of black Qi on his face.
It was Death Qi! It was a very dense Death Qi!
Others would not have been able to see this Death Qi yet Xiao Chen could. His heart jumped in surprise and he suddenly recalled the two people at the tavern earlier.
Xiao Chen looked at the other end of the street and vaguely saw the backs of those two people. He immediately moved, dashing toward them. However, he could no longer find any trace of those two people after a while.
When he returned to the scene, someone had already taken away the man's darkened and dried corpse for cremation. Fourth Elder looked at the three of them with a frown. "Why are you three here?"
"I..." Unable to answer, Xiao Wan'er lowered her head.
"Forget it. Let's first return and talk about this then."
Soon after, the three of them returned along with the two Elders. Xiao Chen was frowning when he returned to the courtyard. The Soul-consuming Evil Flower that he saw in Lingtai Town earlier gave him an incredibly bad premonition.
That Evil Flower seemed like it was only harming people but he could feel that someone was using the flower to collect countless living souls. The Evil Flower was an instrument for collecting souls!