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Chapter 225 – On the verge
Finally, Jing Feng reached the bottom of the crack and hence he stopped asking for more rope.
The crack was so deep that by this time, Jing Feng couldn't hear the shouts of Bi Fan and the others anymore.
On the other hand, Bi Fan and the other people were growing more and more anxious with each passing moment since Jing Feng had ceased to reply.
It had been quite a while since Jing Feng had stopped asking for more rope.
"I should go and have a look." Bi Fan said.
"No, you shouldn't. This place would soon be swarming with several powerful people. With Ji Ying Lan and Jing Feng gone, we need you here to fight with us till Jing Feng comes out of that crack with Ji Ying Lan." Mo Nan stopped him.
Bi Fan thought for a while and realised that Mo Nan was right, so he decided to stay there and wait.
Mo Nan's prophecy was fulfilled soon as a large group of powerful martial artists could be seen approaching in their direction.
These martial artists belonged to the Hong School and Bai Sheng Palace. Two 'Gold Dan' layer people were leading this group.
"Do these Gold Dan layer martial artists also know that the transportation token flew away in this direction?" Bi Fan wondered.
Since these people had earlier tracked the exact location of the incomplete spirit weapons, it didn't seem strange to Bi Fan that they had also discovered the location of the transportation token.
"Zi Wei, why are you still here? Quickly return to our camp." One of the Gold Dan layer men said.
He was the chief disciple of the Bai Sheng Palace. His name was Shen Danyang. He was approximately forty years old in age and had a fair complexion.
"Chief disciple! You are here?" Zi Wei was clearly surprised.
Just then, she saw Hong Yan standing among the other people. She was bearing an expression of utter despise and didn't even bother to look back at Zi Wei.
Zi Wei felt herself guilty for the miserable state in which Hong Yan was.
"We are here to track down the transportation token." Shen Danyang said. "What are you doing here?"
Zi Wei replied: "One of our companions fell inside this crack and another one has entered the crack to rescue him."
"Oh! I thought you have found the whereabouts of the transportation token and that's why you all have gathered here."
Such remarks revealed the greed of the disciples of the Hong school and Bai Sheng Palace. Finding the transportation token would be a great feat for them.
However, even if they couldn't find the token, they already had two incomplete spirit weapons with them.
"We don't have any time to find that stupid token. Our companion is missing. We would like to stay here and find him first." Mo Nan coldly said.
"Do you really think it's that easy to deceive us? We will see for ourselves whether the transportation token is here or not." The Gold Dan layer disciple of the Hong school said. He was called Hong Sheng and was equally talented as Shen Danyang.
"You want to go down the crack to check for yourselves, fine, but I have one condition." Bi Fan said.
The Hong school and Bai Sheng Palace were influential schools and could pose a great threat to their lives if they showed even the slightest of negligence.
Bi Fan wasn't afraid that they might find the transportation token in the crack since he knew it wasn't there.
"What condition is it? Speak up." Hong Sheng said.
Hong Sheng had already assessed that Bi Fan was a fierce warrior. He didn't want any unnecessary casualties, so he tried his best to avoid picking up a fight with him.
Moreover, the disciples of the Hong school had the disciples of Bai Sheng Palace with them who were checking their each and every move. A single rash decision would break the alliance and cause massive bloodshed.
"Before any of you people steps inside the rack, I want you all to take an oath that none of you would attack me or my companions." Bi Fan stated his condition.
"What rubbish! We aren't going to pledge anything to you." Hong Sheng immediately rejected the condition.
In this world, oaths and pledges contained great mystical forces within them. Once bound by an oath, a person had to comply with it. If anyone tried to disrespect an oath by breaking it, he or she would face severe consequences. That's why no martial artist would pledge anything to anyone in a casual manner.
"Alright. If you refuse to take an oath, you shall have to face me in order to enter the crack." Bi Fan stood resolutely in front of the opening of the crack.
"Well, well. If that's what you wish for, I'll be more than happy to fulfil your wish. But let me warn you, by standing against Hong school and Bai sheng palace, you are courting your own death." Hong Sheng was visibly angry as he disdainfully uttered these words.
Bi Fan smiled and said: "It's true that we are far inferior from you all in strength, but that doesn't mean we don't know how to fight. There will be casualties on your side too. If you get down in the crack and find the transportation token there, you can certainly walk out of here guilt-free, but if there's nothing down there, you'll get your companions killed in vain."
Bi Fan knew that there was no way they could compete with Hong school and Bai Sheng palace so he tried to buy some more time to let Jing Feng come out of the crack.
Bi Fan's words made Hong Sheng think deeply about it. He realised that Bi Fan was right.
He had seen the transportation token flying away in this direction with his own eyes. It would be a pity if he came this far and didn't even try to seize the token.
But if there was no transportation token inside the crack, his companions would surely get injured in vain.
All these thoughts puzzled Hong Sheng, so he asked Shen Danyang: "Shen Danyang, what do you say?"
Shen Danyang looked at Zi Wei and said: "Miss Zi Wei, why don't you help us?"
Zi Wei calmly said: "We don't know whether there is some transportation token inside the crack or not. We all have gathered here solely because one of our companions fell inside the crack." She was not lying.
Shen Danyang said: "I completely trust Miss Zi Wei's words; therefore, Bai Sheng Palace would not attack these people."
"Since your Bai Sheng palace will not fight, I hope you will not meddle in whatever the Hong school does next." Hong Sheng had got what he wanted. He dreaded that Bai Sheng palace would interfere in order to save Zi Wei, but now he had bound Shen Danyang to his own words.
Zi Wei anxiously shouted: "Chief disciple, help us."
"I'm sorry Zi Wei, I can't let my companions suffer for nothing. Hong Sheng, we will not meddle in whatever you do if you assure us not to harm Zi Wei." Shen Danyang said.
"Alright. We won't hurt Zi Wei." Hong Sheng replied.
Bi Fan, Mo Nan, Blue Dragon, Wang Zhong and Zi Wei knew what they had to do now. They all prepared themselves to fight as they pulled their weapons out.
They were ready to do all they could in order to save Jing Feng who had entered the crack to find Ji Ying Lan. They weren't sure whether Ji Ying Lan was still alive or not.
"Look, the rope is moving! Brother Jing Feng is coming out." Blue Dragon exclaimed with joy.
After they pulled the rope three times, they could finally hear Jing Feng, who told them that he was fine.
"Great! He found Brother Ji Ying Lan!" Bi Fan shouted in excitement.
Hong Sheng smiled viciously: "You are being happy too soon. Have you forgotten that you have to fight the disciples of Hong School now?"
"I just can't believe someone could be as mean as you are! At this time, we surely are no match for the disciples of your Hong School. We can't defeat you today, but we can run away to save our lives. You won't be able to catch us. But I promise you one thing today, Hong Shen. When I'm as strong as you are, I will return and destroy you!" Bi Fan said, clenching his jaw.
Hong Sheng's complexion changed. If Bi Fan really did what he just said, he would become a formidable enemy.
Hong Sheng had got a fair idea about Bi Fan's powers from Hong Yan.
"Chief apprentice, since their companions are coming out of the crack, shouldn't we wait for them to tell us what exactly is there inside the crack?" Hong Yan said to Hong Sheng.
"Alright, but they better don't test my patience. I will seize that transportation token at any cost." Hong Sheng coldly replied.
Bi Fan was relaxed. He looked gratefully at Hong Yan.
Jing Feng was still inside that crack, so they all put their full efforts in pulling him back.
"We all should make harder efforts. Pull the rope together. We need to get Brother Jing Feng out as fast as possible." Bi Fan said.
Mo Nan, Wang Zhong, Blue Dragon and Bi Fan - all four of the boys pulled the rope together to get Jing Feng out of the crack.
After rigorously pulling the rope for one whole hour, the four boys were finally successful in pulling Jing Feng and Ji Ying Lan out of the crack.
Ji Ying Lan had lost consciousness due to the injuries that he had been suffering from. His clothes were tattered and bloodstained.
"Brother Jing Feng, what happened to Ji Ying Lan?" Bi Fan asked.
"I don't know, brother. When I found him he was unconscious. However, his heartbeat seems normal." Jing Feng told Bi Fan.
Soon he noticed the presence of several other powerful martial artists and figured out that something was wrong. So, he decided not to talk much.
"Now hand the transportation to me fast. Your lives depend on it." Hong Sheng shouted.
"Transportation token? What transportation token? I don't have any such thing with me, neither have I seen it anywhere." Jing Feng told him.
"Ah! Do you really think your word will suffice to make me believe you?" Hong Sheng sneered.
Jing Feng smiled and said: "I don't think there is any other way to save my companions apart from telling you the truth. I have not seen the transportation token anywhere."
Amidst this tense atmosphere, the disciples of Hong school encircled them and were ready to attack.
Bi Fan and all his companions put Ji Ying Lan in the middle and encircled him to protect him. They were ready to retort back.