Chapter 422 Igniting the Powder Keg
“Today, all the heroes are gathered together to discuss how to kill the devil, Li Mu.” A middle-aged man wearing Western Qin’s royal robes announced resentfully in a large inn in the Longcheng Pass.
He is the brother of Emperor Qin Ming, Lord Ming Shan of the Western Qin. This time, he audaciously sneaked into Longcheng Pass under disguise.
There are dozens of people in the inn, most of whom were the high ranks of Western Qin’s major factions and sects, powerful people who had lived in seclusion, old freaks of various noble families, and some rising stars from the younger generation who were not afraid of tigers like newborn calves.
“Yes, Li Mu has no respect for his seniors and even His Majesty. He should be killed!”
“Well, when tigers come down to the plain, of what use are their claws? Now is the time we took our chance.”
“If a devil like Li Mu keeps breathing, then, we guys will have to endure the boundless darkness.”
The heads of the Guanshan family, the Northern Brilliance Sect, the Nan Clan, and many other ancient factions all expressed their stands on that matter.
Those days, no less than several hundred experts from the three empires had gathered in Longcheng Pass. Those people usually kept their traces secret and seldom cared about what was happening in the world. But recently they all turned up in Longcheng Pass.
A young man with gentle and refined deportment was among them. He was probably a Semi-Sage. Standing there with a smile on his face, he did not speak but sized everyone up with his bright eyes.
Bloody-moon Evil Master was standing by the young man.
“Your Highness, we are not going to cooperate with this bunch of people, are we?” He did not understand why Saint, who had told him not to meddle in that matter and just let the martial art forces blinded by greed test Li Mu, suddenly changed his mind and came to the inn.
“Cooperate?” The Saint of the Blood Sea gave a noncommittal smile and snapped, “For what? Even if Li Mu was seriously injured, it would take him less than a second to clear up these defected goods. Well, don’t you think these people are very delicious?”
Bloody-moon Evil Master went speechless at once.
“Saint is really outrageously daring! He has come here to devour the blood of those powerful experts in this gathering?”
Nevertheless, he could not deny that the martial arts experts that had appeared in the Longcheng Pass were the top ones in the world. For the Blood Sea race, those people were indeed the best nutrition. In Longcheng Pass, it was easy to fetch a strong practitioner full of vigor and essence. That made finding food more convenient, because he no longer had to look around blindly in different places.
But Saint was hunting under Li Mu’s nose. That was too risky.
Bloody-moon Evil Master suspected that Saint’s initial purpose of arranging people to spread the news was just to give him more convenience for hunting for food, wasn’t it?
“I’ll teach you the Blood Sea Drinking Method. When you practice it a few times, you can also start feeding on blood.” Saint then imparted a method in scripture to Bloody-moon Evil Master.
That was a reward to Bloody-moon Evil Master’s dedication those days. Saint also hoped that Bloody-moon Evil Master could take this opportunity to improve his strength and become his right hand after the opening of the Tomb of the God of Sin.
Bloody-moon Evil Master was overjoyed at the reward.
As the experts in the meeting were talking, suddenly, Zhou Wu, a Supreme Guardian of Rules of the Northern Brilliance Sect appeared. The burly man strode in, carrying in his hand a man wearing the armor of General Great Moon Empire. Zhou Wu threw the man to the ground and said, “Finally caught a man alive. This man is the centurion of the Great Moon Empire. He ought to know something stuff.”
The other experts all rejoiced at the news.
Lord Ming Shan rubbed his hands and laughed heartily. He walked to the centurion and asked, “How on earth is Li Mu’s injury? Do not worry. We will not pick on a small potato like you. As long as you tell us the truth, we’ll let you leave alive, otherwise…”
Speaking of that, he smiled darkly and added, “Those people here are Sages of the ancient factions of our Western Qin. I’m sure they have all kinds of means to make you beg for a quick death.”
Although those people already arrived in Longcheng Pass several days ago, they had not taken any action, because they had yet figured out the situation. Even though they knew Li Mu was seriously injured, they still had no idea how bad his injury was, what he was doing, or where he was.
As the old saying went, a lean camel was still larger than a horse.
Those people did not dare to act rashly, so they were fishing for information by various means.
During those days, they had captured and tortured many military men of the Great Moon Empire army. But without exception, they were rather unyielding and were all tortured to death. However, that centurion was the highest-ranked official they had caught. As to Semi-Sages like Zhang San, they had no balls to take on them in case they alerted the enemy first.
“Sh*t! You scoundrels hiding in the shadows dare to trick his honor? You don’t know what you are doing!” The centurion with a thick beard, large eyes, and a wide mouth yelled, “You are not good enough to be his honor’s opponents, you know? I’ll wait for you all in the underworld!”
With that, a loud bang broke out, and his body burst open right away.
Blood spattered. Instantly, blood was all over the lobby of the inn.
No one knew that the centurion in the Natural Realm could be so steadfast that he committed suicide without hesitation.
Lord Ming Shan looked quite awkward.
The Supreme Guardian of Rules of the Northern Brilliance Sect exclaimed in surprise, “But I did have sealed his natural qi…”
Guan Shanyue, Head of the Guanshan family, said, “Don’t blame Guardian Zhou. I’ve heard that soldiers of the Great Moon Empire have a secret method which helps them die quickly to avoid being tortured by the enemy.”
“Then, what to do next?” The head of the Northern Brilliance Sect asked. “We’ve been patient for several days. If Li Mu really still had the power to fight, he would have long noticed what we were doing and could not have laid low till now. We’ve tortured and killed dozens of soldiers of the Great Moon Empire. They cannot still be unaware of it. We might as well just force our way in and face Li Mu directly.”
“No, no. We’d better be careful.”
“But how long shall we keep waiting?”
“I say, let’s start the kill. Li Mu is just one person. How can he stop so many of us?”
A quarrel started in the lobby of the inn.
The Saint of the Blood Sea shook his head, his face written with contempt. “They are just a ragged mob.”
He sprang to his feet and left.
After about a quarter of an hour, an elder of the Guanshan family stumbled in. With a look of horror, he stuttered, “Master, bad news, our people… have been killed…”
Before his words died away, something bizarre occurred.
The blood of that senior Semi-Sage from the Guanshan family ridiculously rushed out from the back of the neck, shot to the southwest like a blood-colored. His blood was drained instantly, and he was turned into a dried body, which fell to the ground and cracked into a few pieces.
All the experts on the scene were shocked.
The more 60 elders following the head of the Guanshan family were enraged.
The group of experts went out to see more than 20 experts of the Guanshan family stationed outside simultaneously turned into dried corpses. Their bodies broke up and scattered on the ground like pieces of deadwood, as dead as the doornail.
Those experts included one Semi-Sage and a dozen ripe Celestial Beings. The power of the ancient Guanshan family was indeed impressive. Yet, more than 20 their members just died silently outside the inn. That was hair-raising.
Everyone looked at each other and felt a chill coursing down their spines.
At that point, Bloody-moon Evil Master, who was hiding in the crowd, shouted, “This is Li Mu’s evil magic. I’ve seen it before. He extracted human blood to restore his strength. It proves he must have been seriously injured. Now, he is trying to scare us away. And that further shows he is just putting on a fierce appearance. Otherwise, he would have attacked us already…”
“That makes sense.”
“Right. That explains everything.”
“That jerk is dying. That’s why he employed this terrible method to restore his strength.”
Bloody-moon Evil Master dashed to a different spot and altered his voice to continue fanning the fire. “Can’t wait any longer! When Li Mu has recovered, we will all get killed…”
Lord Ming Shan chimed in with a booming voice, “Yes. Now that we have killed so many Great Moon Empire’s soldiers, Bastard Li will certainly seek revenge and won’t let us get out of here alive.”
The rest of the experts were immediately convinced by that statement and under the impression that there was an imminent crisis.
The Bloody-moon Evil Master switched his position and voice again with the Blood Sea’s secret technique and went on motivating the group. “Right. Now is our last chance to fight a way out. Let’s go out. Kill Li Mu! Rid the devil!”
With that, the urge of rushing out flooded into the heads of many experts.
“I will wait any longer! If I don’t take action now, I’ll regret it.”
Bloody-moon Evil Master hurtled straight to the outside first while shouting, “Kill all the evil remnants of the Great Moon Empire! Snatch the treasures Li Mu carries! He must have a certain unique secret method to progress so fast…”
Those people heard a loud bang in their heads and saw Bloody-moon Evil Master sped out of the lobby. Without thinking, they all followed suit for fear of the treasures being preempted by others.
“Kill Li Mu! Take treasures!”
“Kill! Kill! Kill!”
The crowd suddenly went crazy.
Dozens of powerful men from various noble families and ancient factions raced out.
Bloody-moon Evil Master, who rushed to the front at first, curiously fell behind the rest of the experts. He cracked a spooky smile, and then slowly disappeared out of sight.
“Thank you very much for your assistance.” Qin Zhen said to a middle-aged, good-looking scholar.
The middle-aged scholar answered with a smile.
Next to him, Bai Mochou let out a snort and did not say a word.
Qin Zheng was standing beside Bai Mochou. Cladding in a small-sized scholar suit and quietly carrying a book basket at the back, the little boy looked quite cultivated. Right now, he was eyeing the scholar with a tranquilized look.
Bai Mochou and her party had set off from Taibai City riding the white crane and finally rushed to Longcheng. The eldest princess, Qin Zhen, had also hurried over with her younger brother, Qin Zheng. Except for Qin Zheng, the rest of the team were all beautiful women. So, they were quite eye-catching on the road.
Outside the city, a group of some unknown experts saw those attractive girls coming and attempted to flirt with them as they noted the girls did not look like martial arts practitioners. Yet, the middle-aged scholar stepped up and scolded those experts, eventually drove them away.
That could count as a story of a hero rescuing the beauties.
The cultivation of the middle-aged scholar was unfathomable, but he was also heading for Longcheng Pass. He remarked, “Sisters, are you also going to Longcheng Pass? The world of martial arts is unpredictable. Longcheng Pass is now the most dangerous place. How about I escort you there?”
Bai Mochou snorted coldly but surprisingly did not object.
Half an hour later, Bai Mochou and the others entered into Longcheng Pass.
The previous bustling border town of the Western Qin was now a ghost town. The survivors of the Great Moon Empire were collecting the bodies of the folks who died in the massacre. The troops were dispersed. The city was in disorder. And all they could see were martial arts experts from other places.
Suddenly, a wave of shouts carried over.
The main government of Longcheng Pass was besieged.
“Li Mu, come out!”
“We’ve traveled thousands of miles to exchange notes in martial arts with Sage Li. But Sage Li avoided us the whole time. That’s really rude.”
“Kill Bastard Li! Remove the evil!”
Several thousand men cried and bellowed with a look of collective frenzy.
Qi Huai, the second strongest expert of the Wendao Academy in the Southern Chu, was sitting on the second floor of the attic opposite the main government, a smile playing around the corner of his lips. He was watching all that with an aloof face. But abruptly, he sensed something and sharply turned his head towards Qin Zhen, Shangguan Yuting, and the others who had just entered the city. At last, his eyes settled on the middle-aged scholar for a few seconds before he tore them away from him.
Longcheng Pass seemed to have become a powder keg that might explode at any moment.
At that precise moment, holding the baby girl in his arms, Li Mu had come to the west gate of Longcheng Pass to re-enter the city with hundreds of soldiers of the Great Moon Empire.
There was a glimmer of bright light in his eyes.
The baby girl who just had a meal already recovered her strength. She was particularly naughty and just couldn’t stop giggling in Li Mu’s arms. Her big eyes were full of curiosity, which were now fixed at Li Mu’s unshaven face, and she even reached out for Li Mu’s cheeks.
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