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Book 2: The Golden Lock of the Eight Gates
Chapter 23: No Survivors
The face of Elder Qian grew purple; the poison was spreading throughout his body. He managed to suppress it merely with his genuine energy. It was only a temporary solution. He desperately needed a window of time to expel the poison from his body. Though his power was substantially reduced, being someone who was at the top level of Xiantian, he was still able to wield his sword, making it difficult for Zhong Shan to get a upper hand.
Zhong Shan, even with his power doubled from the first level of the Demonic Body Toning Method, was unable to overpower Elder Qian.
“Ci~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”
Elder Qian cut through the edge of Zhong Shan’s clothes. Zhong Shan widened his eyes. They had been going at it for quite a time, he couldn’t let it drag on.
The second level of the Demonic Body Toning Method.
With three times his original strength, Zhong Shan moved his machete upward.
A powerful killing intent seeped out of the machete.
“Dang~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”
The tremendous force flung the Elder Qian back. A lock of hair fell from his head, the machete barely missed him.
Elder Qian looked at Zhong Shan in disbelief. Why was Zhong Shan’s power increase so much in the blink of an eye? It was impossible? Why had it turn out this way? Didn’t he just reach Xiantian about a year ago? The head of the Qian family had told him that Zhong Shan had very poor innate talent and would progress very slowly. Was this slow?
“Hou~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”
The machete swung vertically downward. Elder Qian blocked it with his sword, yet the power was almost unbearable.
The force of the blow pulverized the bricks beneath Elder Qian as he fell down to one knee. His face had grown a darker shade of purple.
“Ci~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”
“Ah~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~”
Elder Qian’s left arm flopped onto the ground amid a shrill cry.
“Dang~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”
Zhong Shan mercilessly smacked away Elder Qian’s long sword.
The battle was settled.
Zhong Shan raised his machete, prepared to end Elder Qian.
“Wait, wait~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~” Elder Qian cried out in fright; the horror of death permeated his entire body.
Death? Was he going to die? Though Elder Qian was quite old, when faced with death, he tried to cling on for as long as he could. However, would Zhong Shan listen to him?
“Weng~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”
At the last moment, Zhong Shan’s Nightmare stopped right in front of Elder Qian.
He looked at Elder Qian, a man who’d reached the top of Xiantian, who was poisoned, missing an arm, and weaponless.
Zhong Shan didn’t kill him right there, but stared at him without dropping his guard. To Zhong Shan, even a pile of shit had its value.
“Don’t kill me, don’t kill me.” Elder Qian spoke trembling all the while.
“Don’t try to persuade me because you’re an Elder. Since you chose to be my enemy, then I will fight with you till the end. What else do you want to say?” Zhong Shan stared at him.
Elder Qian was relieved to see Zhong Shan stop his machete. Zhong Shan didn’t kill him, then there was room to negotiate.
“I have a Kong Ling Gem. I’ll trade the Kong Ling Gem for my life.” Elder Qian suddenly said.
“Oh?” Zhong Shan gazed at Elder Qian.
“Ci~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”
Some distance away, Zhao Suoxiang’s spear punched into Zhao Danchen’s right chest, straight through his lung. Zhao Danchen had lost.
“Ci~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”
Zhao Suoxiang retracted the spear, then pointed right at Zhao Danchen’s throat.
“Don’t kill me, don’t kill me.”
Zhao Danchen shrieked in horror. He hadn’t expected for Zhao Suoxiang to fight so fiercely with his spear that he would be rendered defenseless in such a short time.
“Hong~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”
At the other side of the yard, there was a loud boom accompanied by a wave of heat. Everyone looked over and found Elder Li had been blasted by Tianling-er’s Jade Rune. He was burnt badly, black all over, yet, he survived due to his strong will. Tianling-er twisted the red silk around Elder Li; tightly bound, his movement was sealed.
“Humph,” Tianling-er sneered, happy with herself.
The three intruders were totally defeated and petrified.
“I have a Kong Ling Gem. I’ll trade it for my life.” Elder Qian repeated.
Would Zhong Shan agree to it? The constricted Zhao Danchen and the blackened Elder Li wouldn’t believe that he would.
However, quite bizarrely, Zhong Shan nodded.
Elder Li and Zhao Danchen watched on coldly. They were certain that once Zhong Shan got the gem, he would turn around and kill Elder Qian.
With the flick of his hand, Elder Qian took out a Kong Ling Gem and threw it to Zhong Shan. For Elder Qian, this was his last chance.
Incomprehensible, to the others, Zhong Shan caught the Kong Ling Gem and withdrew his machete, even backing away.
Everyone was shocked. Zhong Shan was letting Elder Qian go? Even Elder Qian didn’t quite believe it. He carefully picked up his severed arm from the ground, glanced at Zhong Shan once more, then jumped up onto the roof. He looked back down at the people below again as if he couldn’t believe that he was free. When he looked at Zhong Shan again, there was animosity in his eyes. Then, he twisted his head back and ran away.
The Elder Li immediately shouted after witnessing what had happened.
“I have a Kong Ling Gem as well. I’ll trade it for my life.” Elder Li shouted.
His indifference from earlier had transformed into a trace of hope. Elder Qian was free, maybe he could do the same.
“Ling-er.” Zhong Shan called to her with a frown.
“En.” Tianling-er released the red silk right away.
Elder Li quickly took out a Kong Ling Gem and hastily threw it over to Zhong Shan. Then, he leapt onto the roof, his body badly wounded, and speedily ran out of the Zhong residence.
After receiving two Kong Ling Gem, Zhong Shan turned to look at the last one left, Zhao Danchen.
Zhao Suoxiang watched Zhong Shan with a puzzled look. Why was Zhong Shan letting his enemy go for just a Kong Ling Gem? Releasing the tiger back to the wild?
“I have a Kong Ling Gem too. Let me go.” With two precedents, Zhao Danchen followed suit.
With the turn of a hand, Zhao Danchen threw the Kong Ling Gem to Zhong Shan and thought that he was saved. Yet, Zhao Suoxiang’s spear was still pointing at him.
“I agreed to let you go, but he hasn’t.” Zhong Shan grabbed the third Kong Ling Gem and said with a laugh.
Zhao Danchen panicked. He was too hasty to give him the Kong Ling Gem.
“I have other things, other treasures. As long as you can let me go, they are all yours.” Zhao Danchen clamped his chest spoke in fright.
“You killed my second uncle. The death of a relative can’t be compensated by any treasure.” Zhao Suoxiang squinted his eyes and said coldly. It was obvious that his hatred to Zhao Danchen couldn’t be erased so easily.
“No, no, I have a very important information. It’s definitely worth sparing me for.” Zhao Danchen shouted immediately.
Zhao Suoxiang flashed a cold smile, “Information? Alright, tell me. Let’s see whether it’s valuable enough to buy my hatred towards you.”
“Yes, lately, has your headmaster away from the Iron Spear School?” Zhao Danchen said right away.
Zhao Suoxiang frowned and gazed at Zhao Danchen with killing intent.
“In the near future, the Bright Sword House, the Ten Thousand Demon School, and Tianyou Valley School are going to invade the Iron Spear School to rob the mine of the Spirit Stone there.” Zhao Danchen continued in a hurry.
“Humph, the Bright Sword House is friendly with us. Why would they collude with the demon world?” Zhao Suoxiang angrily stared at him.
“Every word I said is true. I’m from the Ten Thousand Demon School and this is the secret order my master gave me. It tells me to go to the Iron Spear School within twenty days.” Zhao Danchen immediately took out a piece silk cloth and threw it at Zhao Suoxiang.
Zhao Suoxiang doubtfully caught the cloth and read it carefully. It was exactly as Zhao Danchen had said.
Zhao Suoxiang’s eyebrows furrowed.
“How about it, is this enough for my life?” Zhao Danchen called out.
Zhao Suoxiang frowned but pulled back his spear.
Zhao Danchen stood up, looked once more at Zhong Shan, Zhao Suoxiang, and Tianling-er, then without any delay, he jumped onto the roof and was preparing to jump to another roof.
“Loose~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”
From the courtyard in the distance, there came the same crisp voice again.
That crisp, sweet voice made Zhao Danchen’s hair stand on end; it was death beckoning him in his ears.
Another forty javelins fell, eight of which struck Zhao Danchen.
The head of the Sun family had been nailed to the wall at full strength, Zhao Danchen, now severely wounded, couldn't possibly escape the same fate.
“Peng~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”
Zhao Danchen was impaled onto another wall.
Of the two who had escaped earlier, Elder Li, badly burnt by Tianling-er’s Jade Rune, soon saw the flash of a purple blade not long after his escape. He didn’t notice it earlier because his injury slowed him down and distracted by his own excitement from being freed.
He swiftly dodged, losing an arm. He turned to face his foe and saw a man in black. The black clothed man battled with Elder Li.
Elder Li was also a fearsome person. He still fought tenaciously against Anhuang despite his heavy wounds and missing an arm. The fighting attracted the attention of the patrolling guards not long after.
Under earlier instruction from the Zhong Estate, the guards all carried bow and arrow and would shoot whenever there was a fight.
“Peng, peng, peng…………”
Anhuang blocked Elder Li’s route of escape, being struck twice himself in the process. Elder Li died on the spot.
Anhuang quickly disappeared into the darkness.
At another location, Elder Qian had run to the city walls. He breathed a sigh of relief when he couldn’t detect any pursuers. However, he was only able to relax for a brief moment before being spooked by a long sword suddenly appearing from his own shadow.
This terrifying sword pierced Elder Qian’s heart. Before he died, his last thought was that he had run into a ghost.
A black shadow separated from Elder Qian’s shadow and took Elder Qian’s storage bracelet. It quickly moved towards the Zhong Estate like a ghost.
Footnotes^ 天幽谷, Tian You Gu, means literally “Heaven Hidden Valley.”