Such pirates would sometimes deliberately seek the Yin Yang Sect's swift boat to loot.
It was precisely because they feared this type of pirates that every once in a while, the Yin Yang Sect elder standing in front of the swift boat would steer the direction of the swift boat so as to avoid traveling in a straight line.
This way, their safety would be significantly enhanced.
Of course, this did not mean that absolutely nothing would go wrong. Sometimes, anything could happen when one was down in luck.
Time continued to flow by quietly.
Another two weeks had gone by. The swift boat had already traveled half of its journey. Just another one and a half more months and they would be arriving at the Inner Land.
Seeing that their journey had already made to the halfway mark, the two Yin Yang Sect elders breathed a sigh of relief. However, before they could fully exhale, their expressions suddenly changed as they looked towards the direction where the swift boat was heading in unison.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
A series of ear-piercing whistling reverberated from the front of the swift boat. The sound inched nearer and nearer.
This was the reason why the two Yin Yang Sect's elders had a change in expression.
"Pirates!" At lightning speed, the two Yin Yang Sect elders exchanged glances and spat out this single word in unison.
They did not deliberately suppress their voices, so it appeared particularly loud in the quiet swift boat. In an instance, they had awoken half of the people.
They were still in a daze at first upon waking, but when they finally returned to their senses, horror dawned on them one by one. "W-What?! P-Pirates?!"
They had come across pirates on the Ruo Shui River?
They had heard of the pirates of the Ruo Shui River before. They were far from the ordinary vicious-looking pirates from the Inner and Outer Lands. Some of them were even on the first-rate Martial Monarch Stage!
Very soon, the people who had awoken glanced in the direction where the swift boat was heading to. They could see a few black spots that gradually became bigger as they rushed towards them.
"Huh?" Xiong Quan had also been awoken by the noise as well. After he realized what was happening, his face darkened...
"The swift boat that we ride on belongs to the Yin Yang Sect… So, this means that the pirates wouldn't be so bold as to come to pick a fight with us, would they?"
"The two elders are both on the Martial Monarch Stage. Even if they dare to come to pick some trouble with us, the people who will be at a loss wouldn't necessarily be us."
"Now that I've finally made a journey across the Ruo Shui River, being able to meet the pirates means that my journey this time is pretty well-accomplished!"
Many people were whispering to each other.
It was the first time for most of them to embark on this swift boat across the Ruo Sui River. They had absolute faith in the two Yin Yang Sect elders and thought that they would be safe. Right now, they were on the edge of their seats, anticipating to see the two Yin Yang Sect elders kill and make the pirates retreat.
"Hmph! How naive!" Upon hearing the words of these hot-blooded people, some people who had taken the swift boat across the Ruo Shui River snorted more than once. "Can't you see that the two elders' faces have already changed? Do you really think that those pirates don't know that the swift boat that we're on actually belongs to the Yin Yang Sect?"
"The pirates of the Ruo Shui River are all very smart! If they didn't have any faith in themselves, do you think they would even make a move on us?"
The moment these words left the person's mouth, the crowd who had just woken up in the swift boat immediately looked at the two Yin Yang Sect elders hopefully.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
After they saw just how terrified the two Yin Yang Sect elders' faces appeared, horror dawned on them once again as they realized that these pirates in front of the swift boat indeed had bad intentions.
"Even the two Yin Yang Sect elders' faces have changed now! It's evident that they don't have the confidence to fight these pirates… What should we do?"
"I don't wanna die! I don't wanna die!'
"Why the heck did I go to the Inner Land for fun?! Dammit! I'm gonna lose my life here now!"
Right away, the entire swift boat burst into an uproar. Most of the people turned pale with frightened expressions on their faces as though the world was coming to an end.
Under such a noisy environment, even a person who had his utmost attention in cultivating was also awakened by this.
Among them included Duan Ling Tian, Feng Tian Wu, and the old man sitting not far away from them — the old man who kindly warned Duan Ling Tian when they were by the Ruo Shui Riverside last time.
"Pirates? And even the two Yin Yang Sect elders have no confidence as well?" Very soon, the group of people who had just woken up, including Duan Ling Tian, finally learned about the critical situation that they were in now.
"Young brother, it looks like we're gonna meet with our maker today," the old man looked at Duan Ling Tian and said with a long face.
A glimmer flashed across Duan Ling Tian's eyes. Without saying anything, he looked towards the front of the swift boat immediately. In just one glance, he could see seven miniature swift boats whistling as they made their way there to the front, back and side of their swift boat, surrounding it tightly.
"Friends of the Yin Yang Sect, listen! Stop your swift boat now. Otherwise, we're gonna wreck your boat and kill you all!" At that moment, a boisterous voice resonated from the miniature swift boat in front of theirs. The voice was filled with iciness as though it came from inside a thaw hole, so cold that it made one's heart shiver with frigidness.
"No! No!" Right away, panic burst out on the Yin Yang Sect swift boat.
"Hmph!" A cold snort reverberated and overwhelmed the clamor of the scene. It was the Yin Yang Sect elder standing in the front of the swift boat who harrumphed as he began to control the swift boat again.
Soon, the swift boat slowed down till it finally came to a halt.
The swift boat that had just come to a halt suddenly plunged down again, dropping down from the sky and taking many of its passengers by surprise that the blood drained from their faces right away.
It was only until the swift boat finally stopped plunging that the color came back to their cheeks again.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
After the swift boat had stabilized, a series of swift whistling reverberated as streaks of figures appeared by the front, back and the flanks of the swift boat. They were a group of men clad in black, who ranged from young to old.
While the crowd in the swift boat were on guard for all possible dangers, the two Yin Yang Sect elders turned ashen and cried out loud in unison, "It's you guys again!"
When the words left the two Yin Yang Sect elders' mouth, many people on the swift boat breathed a sigh of relief.
From the reaction of the two Yin Yang Sect elders, it was obvious that they had encountered these pirates before. And since the two Yin Yang Sect elders were still alive, it meant that these pirates did not possess the ability to kill them.
With his brows raised, Duan Ling Tian looked at the scene unfolding before his eyes with interest. He was rather curious too.
How would these two Yin Yang Sect elders know this group of pirates?
"Elders, we finally come to meet again after six months… I must admit that we really do have quite some fate," an old man in black stood among the group of the pirates standing at the edge of the front of the swift boat, looking at the two Yin Yang Sect elders and said with a faint smile.
"Who has fate with you?!" The two Yin Yang Sect elders' faces were incredibly dark.
"Half a year ago, the three of us battled it out with the two of you before. Even though we beat you easily, if the fight continued to go on and we killed the two of you, we'd have suffered some loss as well." As though he had seen through the puzzlement of the crowd on the Yin Yang Sect's swift boat, the old man continued nonchalantly, "That time, we made an agreement that we'd leave automatically if you gave us 1,000 Origin Stones. This time, I won't ask for too much too. It's still the same 1,000 Origin Stones. What do you think?"
The black-clad old man finished his words and looked inquiringly at the two Yin Yang Sect elders.
Just then, the crowd finally understood why these two elders did not die despite having met with these pirates in the past.
It turned out that they had paid a 'toll fee' to them in the past.
As though proving the point of the old man's words, the other two old men beside him abruptly spanned two gushes of powerful aura out, pressing on most of the people present on the swift boat so much that they could hardly breathe.
"A Martial Monarch powerhouse!" At once, horror dawned on everybody present on the swift boat, other than Duan Ling Tian and Feng Tian Wu.
"On top of that, they are no ordinary Martial Monarchs!' There were also some people who had sharp judgment. Their faces were incredibly pale.
The faces of the two Yin Yang Sect elders became even more unsettled. However, they did not immediately reply the pirate leader. Instead, their gazes shifted towards the end of the swift boat in unison.
Or to be more precise, it was towards a purple-clad young man.
Duan Ling Tian!
Right away, the pirate leader also shifted his attention towards Duan Ling Tian with interest as his eyes gleamed.
"Why are you two elders looking at me for? Since we could escape death just by paying, why would we still want to fight till both sides die?" Seeing the two Yin Yang Sect elders looking at his way, Duan Ling Tian flashed a smile. "There are roughly seventy of us here in the group. Each of us has paid thirty Origin Stones to ride on this swift boat, so there is a total of 2,000 Origin Stones. 1,000 Origin Stones is only half of the total fee that you guys have collected on this trip." Duan Ling Tian finished his sentence in one breath.
Most of the people on the swift boat agreed to Duan Ling Tian's words as they bobbed their heads in agreement.
"Y-You… You…" At first, the two Yin Yang Sect elders wanted to discuss with Duan Ling Tian how to get rid of this group of pirates together, but who would have ever thought that he would say such words instead. For a moment, they were so pissed that their lungs almost burst open in rage.
Even though they did not think that Duan Ling Tian and his group were more powerful than them, since Duan Ling Tian and the two others possessed the strength that could annihilate the Gold-Devouring Organization, they might be able to defeat the group of pirates in front if they joined forces together.
However, it had never crossed their minds that Duan Ling Tian was actually this gutless.
The pirate leader was originally looking at Duan Ling Tian with dread since the two elders turned to him at this point of crisis, so he should not be somebody simple.
However, the moment he heard Duan Ling Tian's words, he could not help but burst out laughing instead.
"Haha… What a sensible little laddie! As the saying goes, a man who recognizes the fact of a situation is a paragon of men. You two elders must learn from this little laddie instead!" When the pirate leader reached the end of his sentence, he took a contemplative look at the two Yin Yang Sect elders.
The two of them were so enraged that they almost spat out blood.
"Since I'm so sensible, don't you think you should give us some discount? Why don't you deduct 50 Origin Stones for us?" Duan Ling Tian cocked his head at the pirate leader and asked with a smile.
"How dare you?!" At once, the faces of many of the pirates by the side darkened in an instant as they roared out loud, "You lad! How dare you bargain with our leader? Do you wanna die now?!"
As the temper of the group of pirates flared up, the pirate leader raised a hand, and they quietened down right away.
"Interesting! Interesting!" The pirate leader looked into Duan Ling Tian's eyes for a moment. The face that had retracted the smile on his face just now once again flashed with a bright, toothy grin. "Then, for the sake of you, little laddie, I'll deduct 50 Origin Stones for you!"
"Thank you." Duan Ling Tian nodded before shutting his eyes once again, not giving a damn about whatever happened around him. Nobody knew whether he was closing his eyes to attain mental composure or if he was actually cultivating.