Chapter 48- Hunting and Retribution

Yin Demon's Qi -> demonic yin qi

Defiant Martial God Chapter 48- Hunting and Retribution

Along with their men, Prince Qi and the Taoist rushed to the arena and found three bodies on the floor. One’s abdomen was sliced opened by a knife while all that remained of the other two bodies were pools of dirty liquid and battered clothing with black smoke rising from them. The clothes had been terribly corroded by smoke and were worse than those of the previous man who had been attacked by the demonic yin qi.

The middle-aged man’s facial features contorted into an ugly expression as he gazed upon the corpses. Three more dead. Counting the three men who previously died, six of his men were already gone. These were the elites Prince Qi had painstakingly groomed, a team that would be loyal and serve him in the future. The death of a single man was a huge waste of his efforts.

“Your Royal Highness, these corpses indicate the Slaughter Array contains not only people who can attack using the demonic yin qi but other skilled cultivators as well.” The old Taoist suspected the three men had died by different hands. The two who had died from the demonic yin qi had most likely been killed by the same man, while the other man with a slit abdomen might have been killed by someone else. It would never occur to him that, in reality, all three had been killed by the same man.

“We must eradicate the man using the demonic yin qi as soon as possible,” declared the prince. His tone was cold and grave as his face clouded over.

Of the six men who died, three of them succumbed to the demonic yin qi. Thus, the man using the demonic yin qi posed the greatest threat, and his death was paramount. Otherwise, at this rate, the number of people who would die in the same way would be inestimable. Plus, more than a decade of the prince’s efforts would all go to waste.

“Your Royal Highness, it’s not difficult to kill someone; what’s difficult is finding them. Trying to find someone within the vast mountain ranges of the Slaughter Array is a tough task,” the old Taoist responded while frowning. “It’s a pity my teacher left to attend to other matters after he set up the array. He didn’t teach me how to control it; otherwise, controlling the lives of everyone under the array would be nothing, much less searching for someone. He was right.

For an illusionary array, the one who set it up was the director of the space; so, tracking someone down would be easy. However, the monk was not the director, and there was nothing he could do. It wasn’t as if no one wanted to teach the old Taoist, it was just that he was clueless about arrays, so it was useless to teach him.

The middle-aged man looked at the old Taoist with anticipation. “Master Taoist, could you find your teacher?”

The Taoist smiled grimly and shook his head. “My teacher doesn’t have a fixed agenda, and it’s difficult to track his movements. Of course, I will do my best.”

“Hm, that’s that for the time being then. If we have no choice, we can only continue sending our best men into it,” the prince ruthlessly stated with a solemn expression. “We must kill that man.”

The old Taoist looked worried. “Your Royal Highness, I’m afraid that we can’t do that. We’ve reached the limit for the number of people who can enter the Slaughter Array. It has automatically closed already. People can only exit but not enter unless my teacher arrives. Aside from that, we’ll have to wait for the array to expire in three months.”

“What?!” The middle-aged man’s face soured. He had never expected the array to have a limit. Now, he couldn’t control the happenings within the Slaughter Array and could only watch things develop. Even if his son were to be killed by someone inside, the prince could do nothing to stop it. No, not this! Prince Qi hated feeling powerless.

Grinding his teeth, the middle-aged man commanded, “Master Taoist, please find your teacher as soon as possible. I’m saying that you must.” He exuded an imposing aura.

“Yes, Your Royal Highness.” Although the Taoist felt uncomfortable, he could only obey the prince’s commands. The monk had no alternatives and could only send his men to search. Whether his men succeeded would depend on their luck.

In a cave at the foot of a mountain within the Slaughter Array, Qin Yu, Mu Rongyue, and her guard Ruo Feng (the young man in blue) were together. Ruo Feng had suffered a severe injury. Fortunately, Qin Yu knew some first-aid and healing methods. Mu Rongyue had also brought plenty of high-quality pills and medications. Altogether, they managed to save the guard.

“Ruo Feng, are you feeling better?” Mu Rongyue asked with concern, staring at the young man laying on the floor and slightly gasping for air.

“It’s fine, Miss. I won’t die yet,” Ruo Feng grinned and comforted her.

“Don’t worry, Xiao Yue. His injury is not that extreme. He should recover after resting for a few days,” Qin Yu also attempted to soothe Mu Rongyue’s nerves.

Mu Rongyue looked at Qin Yu with gratitude in her eyes. “Da Ge, thank you for saving us.”

“Why should you thank me?” Qin Yu asked curiously and grinned. “By the way, why did you come here? You’re competing in the Martial Arts Examination as well?”

Upon hearing this question, Mu Rongyue’s sophisticated face twisted into an angry and painful expression. “Da Ge, this is no longer a martial arts competition. My father was tricked by my third uncle and heedlessly agreed to establish this Slaughter Array to single out elites. In reality, my third uncle is going to use this array to eradicate all of the Qiongxi’s young talents.”

“Your third uncle?” Qin Yu’s expression turned grave.

“Yes, Mu Tianqi, my third uncle. Currently, Prince Qi holds overwhelming power within the Imperial Court.” Mu Rongyue attempted a grim smile.

“Why is he doing this?” Qin Yu asked in a cold voice.

“My father wanted to select a group of elites from this batch of youths and build a loyal team to serve my brother. Prince Qi knew of my father’s plan and plotted this scheme.” As she elaborated, Mu Rongyue’s face gradually hardened. “What’s worse is that we covertly received news that Prince Qi had already secretly trained a group of soldiers more than a decade ago.They’re now the hunters within the Slaughter Array. Not only does my uncle want all of the young elites of Qiongxi dead, he wants them to be prey to train his army.”

“How cruel!” Qin Yu was appalled by Prince Qi’s merciless tactics. “But, there may be something you haven’t considered. All of those who entered the Slaughter Array had a fire bug stealthily injected into them without them knowing. This bug occupies their Dantian. Once a person dies, the bug will immediately absorb all of that person’s spiritual energy. These bugs are called ‘fireflies’ by the hunters.” Qin Yu’s words made Mu Rongyue shiver. Her brows knitted together, and she looked thoughtful.

“No wonder. I finally understand why they’re seeking this so-called ‘firefly’ and draining the spiritual energy of thousands of people. If the hunters use it all for themselves, that’s terrifying. Third Uncle, why are you so vicious?” Mu Rongyue sighed with deep sadness.

“Princess, it seems like Prince Qi has lost his mind and is using the most ruthless of methods to usurp the throne and overthrow the king,” furious, Ruo Feng spat out the words in fury.

“Ruo Feng, call me ‘Miss’ when we’re outside,” Mu Rongyue reminded him.

“Yes, Miss. However, even if I don’t call you ‘princess,’ I think your cover’s been blown already. If not, they wouldn’t hunt us down to such an extent, leaving only two of us remaining.” Ruo Feng’s slightly hoarse voice became soft near the end. Perhaps he recalled the companions who’d died.

“Ruo Feng, there’s no time for us to be upset. We have to toughen up and avenge our dead brothers.” Mu Rongyue’s delicate features held traces of a deadly aura. She had always been strong and would not be beaten easily.

“Da Ge, you must help me!” Mu Rongyue looked toward Qin Yu with pleading eyes.

Qin Yu smiled grimly in his heart. If she asked, he couldn’t say no. “Tell me, how do you want me to help?”

“Thank you, Da Ge,” Mu Rongyue said before continuing. “Three days ago, Father sent Ruo Feng and an entire elite team rushing to Luosang City to find me and inform me of Prince Qi’s scheme. Thus, I brought Ruo Feng and the others into the Slaughter Array in hopes of stopping the hunters.”

Qin Yu could not understand. “Such a small number of you trying to stop all this?” Was this a joke?

“Of course we weren’t the only ones. Father had sent other elites who are now in the array; I just don’t know their current situation.” Worry flashed through Mu Rongyue’s eyes. She feared the elites had suffered the same fate as them and had been attacked. From the beginning, she and her father had never expected the hunters to be so strong and well-trained. They had underestimated their enemy all along, and the outcome was obvious.

“Da Ge, I hope that you can join us in putting a stop to this killing and Prince Qi’s scheme. We could save thousands of lives and the future of Qiongxi. If the examinees all die here, wouldn’t Qiongxi’s future…” Mu Rongyue didn’t dare to continue. If this could not be stopped, the dire consequences were unthinkable.

*Sigh* Qin Yu stood up as he shot a sharp gaze shot along the outside of the cave. He spoke calmly. “Xiao Yue, there’s nothing much to say about this. Whether I join you is unimportant. What’s crucial is that we, the ones participating in the Examination, survive. For this, we must kill the hunters—all of them.”

Mu Rongyue shot a sharp gaze as well. “Yes, Da Ge. In order for more people to live, the only thing we can do is kill.” She’d seen too many deaths amidst the ruthless battles that occurred within the palace, so she didn’t frown upon it. Besides, it wasn’t like she wanted to kill, she was forced to. In order for more to live, they needed to kill.

Qin Yu was shocked that Mu Rongyue would say something so resolute. He broke into a smile. “Xiao Yue, you’re different from the rest. So daring! Fine, we will stop the killing by killing, but he...” Qin Yu looked at the injured Ruo Feng on the floor. If they were to bring someone injured to the fight, they’d only be an inconvenience.

Ruo Feng understood what Qin Yu meant and answered quickly, “Miss, don’t worry about me. I’m fine.”

Mu Rongyue frowned and came to a decision. “Ruo Feng, you’ll recover here. I’ll leave some pills for you. After you’re fully recovered, look for us.”

“Yes, Miss,” Ruo Feng replied decisively. After promising Mu Rongyue, he looked at Qin Yu and spoke earnestly. “I will entrust Miss to you, Master Qin. Please protect her well. Let me kowtow to you.” As he spoke, he really knelt and kowtowed.

Mu Rongyue shouted to stop him. “Ruo Feng, don’t! Don’t do this!”

Qin Yu was very touched by Ruo Feng’s loyalty. He sincerely nodded and agreed to the guard’s request. “Don’t worry. Your mistress won’t be in any danger.” Then Qin Yu turned to Mu Rongyue. “Let’s go.”

“En.” Mu Rongyue nodded and stepped out of the mountain cave with Qin Yu.

From that moment, a bloody slaughter of hunting and retribution officially began.

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