Xiao Chen turned around. Seven masked, black-clothed men stood in the small forest earlier but they were in a sorry condition. There were burn marks on their clothes. Evidently, they had suffered attacks before.
"Hehe. How did you like the taste of my Nine Yang Explosive Formation? Did you guys have a good time?" Xiao Chen chuckled.
He had been planting talismans on the ground as he walked, laying an offensive formation. When his enemies accidentally step on it, it would be just like stepping on landmines.
The seven black-clothed men looked positively murderous. Evidently, they were beyond annoyed. The leader said coldly, "Stop resisting and maybe I can consider letting you have an easy death."
Xiao Chen chuckled. "That depends on whether you have that ability." He dared to conclude that these were assassins that Chu Hanyan hired from the Violet Manor. This so-called competition was naturally a trap that Chu Hanyan set to eliminate him.
This was an incredibly clumsy trap that he had no need to fear since several thousand years ago.
"Give it a try then!" the leader of the black-clothed men yelled. With the flash of a cold glint, he slashed Xiao Chen with his sword.
"Shh..." Xiao Chen placed a finger on his lips and then chuckled. "Listen to what sound it is." As his voice fell, a loud bang resounded. Nine streams of red light soared into the sky from inside the forest as blaze trailed. The force sent the leader of the black-clothed men and the two subordinates standing behind him flying.
Upon seeing this, the other four men gripped their machete and attacked at lightning speed. However, Xiao Chen was even faster. He immediately seized one of the men's machete and slammed it on another man's shoulder, spilling his blood.
"What's wrong?! Didn't they say that he's only in Lv 7 Qi Refining Realm?!" one of the black-clothed men shouted.
Xiao Chen chuckled. "Correct. I'm merely in Lv 7 Qi Refining Realm."
To be fair, these seven assassins were in the initial stage of the Foundation Building Realm in the Violet Manor. However, they were subject to restrictions in the Human World. Those from the Violet Manor could not unleash the entirety of their cultivation. Moreover, they were also not used to the insufficient Spiritual Qi in this world and their cultivation suffered an even greater decline. Eventually, their strength was equal to those in Lv 7 Qi Refining Realm or Lv 8 Qi Refining Realm.
"Well, now the anti-hunting begins. Remember to hide well. I'll come back and find you guys at night." Xiao Chen smiled before disappearing in the vast twilight.
One of the black-clothed men was terrified. "Quick! Notify the other teams at once! We made a calculating error. This person is at least in the Foundation Building Realm and even has strange weapons in his arsenal!"
They could only assume that Xiao Chen possessed some sort of powerful magic treasure to be able to bury an offensive formation and move as unpredictably as a ghost.
The night came quietly, the endless darkness swallowing up the last glimmer of the horizon. The hunt had begun.
Xiao Chen was like the shadow moving in the middle of the night, acting more like an assassin than actual assassins. During his journey, he had already slit the throat of one of the assassins and casually tossed the body into the river.
It was true that his method was gruesome and bloody but the failure from his previous life told him that showing mercy to his enemy would only bring harm to himself and even implicate people dear to him.
Since these people were assassins, then they must be equally prepared to be assassinated. More importantly, Xiao Chen wanted to see how Chu Hanyan would react after the men she sent all died while her opponent returned unscathed after three days. This competition was becoming more and more interesting.
In the woods next to a small canal, four figures were visible in the moonlight. They were watching their surroundings raptly with their machete in hand. Their gaze like that of an eagle, not letting of any movement in the wild.
One of them said earnestly, "Why isn't there news from the other side? Is it not an accident? Don't tell me that something happened. I heard that our target this time isn't simple..."
Another person replied, "It's nothing. He's just a Qi Refining Realm cultivator of the Human World..."
Xiao Chen, who stood some ten feet away, overheard their conversation. He moved soundlessly in the darkness with his breath suppressed as he waited for the best timing to attack.
Suddenly, when the clouds in the sky covered the moon, a murderous aura quietly spread throughout the forest. killings in the forest spread quietly. Xiao Chen threw a stone-bullet into the river as he trekked under the shadows. The plopping sound was particularly ear-piercing at night.
The four cold lights immediately swung their machetes in the direction of the river, causing water splashes to fill the sky. However, at the next moment, they heard only a thudding sound as one of them fell.
"Fourth Brother! Fourth Brother!"
"The target is nearby! Stay alert! Don't make a noise..." The words came to an abrupt end. Evidently, the one who was speaking had collapsed. It was to the point that the other two could feel hot blood splashing on their faces.
The remaining two stood with their back against each other. They could feel a chill that traveled straight to their bones. Right now, the clouds were covering the moon, preventing them from seeing anything. However, their opponent came and went quietly like a ghost.
Right then, the two seemed to have fallen into an endless nightmare. They had always been the one to take others' lives but this time, they finally tasted the feeling of their lives being taken.
"Are... you a human or a ghost?!" Blood splashed before the voice could even resound. Yet another person had fallen.
"Second Brother!" The last man standing was in a state of mental confusion. He slashed maniacally at his surroundings with his machete in hand. In the blink of an eye, four men had been reduced to only one. Fear gradually occupied his heart.
Moments later, the dark clouds that shrouded the sky finally dissipated. Suddenly, the man saw a face in front of him. With a single gasp from him, he thrust his machete.
Xiao Chen put two fingers together and caught the machete with a clang. Using some force, he snapped the machete in half. He then consecutively directed the force of his fingers at the man, sealing his cultivation. He said coolly, "Now I'm the one asking questions and you're the one answering them!"
The man looked as pale as a piece of paper as he trembled all over. He thought to himself that this target could come and go like a ghost and was even equipped with such profound skills. He nodded in a daze.
"How many people did you come with this time?"
Xiao Chen sneered. Chu Hanyan sure showed him enough respect, to send twenty-four people here. He asked coolly, "Did Chu Chuanyan tell you that you could consider letting me live if I beg for mercy?"
In a trembling voice, he replied, "She told us not to bother and kill you directly..."
"Hehe! Go to hell then!" With the flash of a cold glint, the man's head separated from his body.
Under the cover of whistling winds in the moonless night, Xiao Chen immediately changed to another location and killed another four people. Cultivators these days could no longer project their Divine Sense, yet he could. Thus, the dark night was his best weapon and protective screen.
Before dawn, he found a hiding spot. When night arrived, he continued to hunt. On the noon of the third day, he went to a brook to wash away the blood on his body.
Looking at the reflection of his expressionless face in the water, Xiao Chen was stunned. Was this truly him? He recalled what Yu Yifeng told him before leaving: "There's a Sword Spirit in this sword. Don't stain it with too much blood..."
However, he had now become so addicted to killing. It seemed to have started from killing Ye Fei that day. From time to time, the anti-devil Mystic Diabolic Enchantment would emerge in his mind. Each time he was confused, a murderous intention would be born...
He was engrossed in his thoughts when there was a sudden gust of wind behind him. With his sharp Divine Sense, Xiao Chen immediately rolled to his side. Two loud sounds of collision resounded as the splashed water in the brook rose three feet high, sprinkling all over him.
"You've killed so many of us. Don't you think you should pay with your life now?!"
Facing the sudden emergence of six men, Xiao Chen's first thought was to run. He immediately unleashed his Immortal-override Steps and ran in another direction.
These six men were unlike those he had killed in the past two days. They were at least in the middle stage of the Foundation Building Realm, with one of them even reaching the peak of the realm. It was impossible for him to handle them.
The cold wind hit his face as he dashed madly, sending the leaves in the forest flying. These six men were out of Xiao Chen's expectations. He had planned to return to the mountain today, but these people had suddenly appeared to block his way. They were elite assassins. Without his Immortal-override Steps, they would have long captured him.
Obviously, these were men that Chu Hanyan sent in an emergency. She was determined to prevent him from returning.
One hour later, the six men were still chasing after him. Xiao Chen was busy looking for a path so as to avoid entering the prohibitive formations while evading the glint of swords and Sword Qi coming from behind him from time to time. He was panting at this point. He hastily reached for an Energy Pill from his Divine Vessel and swallowed it.
The six men behind him were incredibly vexed. Every time they were about to catch up, their target would consume an elixir, increase their distance again, and proceed a break-neck pace. The stalemate continued for more than two hours. Seeing as the sun was about to set, the six men began to worry. They would no longer be able to find their target once it was dark.
Xiao Chen also understood that he needed only to run until it was dark. However, the one problem he had to face now was that he had run out of Energy Pills. His remaining True Energy could only last him for an hour before he would have drawn the energy from his body. The consequences would be grave and he wasn't willing to do so.
So, he began throwing out all the useless things in his Divine Vessel to maximize the use of his True Energy. Seeing this, one of those six men said, "He's about to exhaust his True Energy! Hurry and chase after him!"
Half an hour later, Xiao Chen came to a dead end. There was a cliff in front of him and to make things worse, there was also a prohibitive formation there. Once he got near, his body and soul would be instantly destroyed.
"Haha! He has nowhere to run!"
The six men swiftly sealed off all of his exits but dared not to approach the cliff. The calm-looking Xiao Chen summoned the remains of his True Energy in anticipation of a desperate fight for his life.
At the tensest moment, a small voice suddenly came from behind a bush. "Did... did you guys come here to capture me? Xian'er doesn't want to go back with you..."
This sound was as light as the rain and sounded incredibly moving as if there was heavenly music playing next to one's ears. Xiao Chen couldn't help feeling stunned that he failed to detect the presence of another person next to him. Immediately, he used his Divine Sense to sweep his surroundings. He saw a white-clothed girl squatting inside a bush about a foot away. She was clutching the Three Immortal Leaves in her hand. There was a little dirt smeared on the corners of her lips.
"Who is it?!" the leader of the six black-clothed men yelled. He slashed at the underbrush, causing the flash of a dazzling cold glint. The girl looked like she was at death's door but Xiao Chen immediately threw himself at her. He rolled several times on the ground with her in his arms, dodging the man's sword.
The girl was so frightened that she was shaking. Several of the Three Immortal Leaves in her hand fell out of her clutches. In a trembling voice, she said, "Xian'er... Xian'er doesn't want to go back with you..."
Xiao Chen's eyes turned cold. He glared at the man who attacked earlier. "It's one thing to kill me but you wouldn't even let a girl go! Hehe, looks like it's not a mistake to kill you people!"
The leader sneered. "You could barely protect yourself, but you still wish to save someone else. You two can die together then!" He slammed the sword, causing the flash of a drawn-out sword radiance in the air. The light was dazzling.
The wind whistled and the soil splashed. It was impossible for Xiao Chen to withstand this attack. He picked up the girl next to him and immediately moved his fingers to cast a spell. Then, he jumped off the cliff.
It was now a gamble whether he could break the prohibitive formation with all the knowledge he had acquired in his life. However, when he fell into the formation, all he could feel was pain all over his body. He felt as if his soul was torn into pieces. The girl cried, "Elder Brother, don't be afraid. I'll help you."
She casually moved her fingers to cast a spell, immediately producing a white radiance that enveloped Xiao Chen.
The six men standing on the cliff were stunned after seeing Xiao Chen holding the girl and jumping off the cliff. One of them asked, "What should we do now?"
The leader replied, "This immortal formation was something that an immortal emperor lay down a millennium ago. Even if a Nascent Soul Realm cultivator would see his soul destroyed if he enters the formation. He's dead. Let's go. We only have to report the completion of our mission."