Chapter 21: Miner
Su Chen and Gu Qingluo walked through the Chu imperial palace’s flower garden side by side. Chu Jiangyu followed behind them as if he were an attendant or footman.
“Right, when are you planning on leaving?” Gu Qingluo asked.
Su Chen sighed. “I originally wanted to stay a few more days, but now it seems like if I stay for too long, our good friend the Crown Prince will die of exhaustion.”
Chu Jiangyu wore a passive expression that seemed to indicate that he had heard nothing.
Gu Qingluo nodded. “Since that’s the case, then I suppose you should head back.”
Su Chen gazed at Gu Qingluo unwillingly.
He really didn’t want to leave so soon.
But just as he had said, if he were to stay here for a few more days then Chu Jiangyu would probably go insane.
Right now, the Chu Clan wanted nothing more than for Su Chen to leave Empty Mountain as soon as possible, so that he would take down the notice. Actually, the best outcome was him dying somewhere else, bringing all of this to an end.
Of course, Su Chen did not care about Chu Jiangyu, but there was another reason why he had to leave very soon.
“You must be careful once you leave Empty Mountain. Don’t think that they are being polite now; once they no longer feel threatened by the notice, they are willing to resort to any tactic,” Gu Qingluo reminded Su Chen.
“I understand. This is also why I need to leave as soon as possible. The longer I stay, the more thorough their preparations will be,” Su Chen said as he held onto Gu Qingluo’s hand.
Chu Jiangyu felt his ears burn.
I’m right here! Do you really have such little faith in us?
Even though we have indeed already sent people outside in preparation to kill Su Chen, you should not be so faithless!
Where was the trust between one party and another?
Chu Jiangyu was very unhappy.
The couple was still whispering sweet nothings into each others’ ears.
They had only been together for a very short period of time, but it was already time to part yet again. Neither of them were willing to do so, so they continued to drag out their departure and basically ignored Chu Jiangyu.
Chu Jiangyu felt like he had been force-fed a handful of dog food. He was incredibly unhappy in his heart, but at the same time there was nothing he could do about it.
After a moment of reluctance, Su Chen still left in the end.
“Don’t worry. I will return soon. I promise that at that point, no one will be following us around, and I will be able to take you to the ends of the earth!” Su Chen said to Gu Qingluo just before parting.
As she stroked Su Chen’s face lovingly, Gu Qingluo began to giggle like she had gone mad.
At that point in time, she felt a surprising sense of faith.
This was because Su Chen had said it.
Anything Su Chen said, he would definitely accomplish!
Later, the Cloud-Piercing Shuttle shot through the air, taking Su Chen away along with Gu Qingluo’s heart.
Su Chen sat in the Raging Sun Shuttle, staring down at the ground until he could no longer see any sign of Gu Qingluo. Then, he directed, “Turn and head northwest.”
Cloud Leopard was taken aback. “Are we not going back to Ten Thousand Swords Mountain?”
“The Chu Clan’s people are already there waiting. As soon as we leave the Chu Clan’s land and take down the notice, pursuers will immediately show up. We’re going to go through Liaoye Country, wrap around Long Sang Country, and return to Ten Thousand Swords Mountain that way.”
Iron Cliff asked, “Master, will the Chu Clan try to attack Ten Thousand Swords Mountain?”
Su Chen replied, “As long as I am fine, Ten Thousand Swords Mountain will not have any trouble.”
“Understood.” Iron Cliff turned the Raging Sun Shuttle to the northwest per Su Chen’s directions.
After a few days of flying, the Raging Sun Shuttle arrived at the border of Liaoye Country.
Borders were typically set up to defend against weaker opponents, since it was relatively easy to stop weaker individuals, while powerful individuals wouldn’t be stopped regardless of their actions. In addition, the Seven Countries were in a temporary alliance, and they were still relatively unified.
The Raging Sun Shuttle very easily slipped through the border. Once he was through, Su Chen entered the Dreamrealm and removed the notice.
From that moment on, he no longer possessed a protective bargaining chip.
“We will head east from here. Past Thousand-Edged Mountain is Horizontal Mountain, and then after crossing White Sand River, Black Mountain, and Will of Heaven Spring, we will have entered Long Sang Country,” Cloud Leopard said as he traced a path on the map.
“Horizontal Mountain?” The familiar name echoed through Su Chen’s mind as he sank into thought.
Wasn’t that where the Zhu Clan was located?
Horizontal Mountain Zhu Clan!
When he thought of Zhu Xianyao, Su Chen found that his heart had suddenly warmed up.
Logically, he shouldn’t have gone to see another woman so soon after leaving Gu Qingluo, but Zhu Xianyao’s bewitching appearance, slender body, and delicate aura was hard to forget.
These qualities had made a deep impression on his heart, making it impossible for him to ignore them.
How is she right now? Su Chen couldn’t help but wonder.
Iron Cliff understood Su Chen the best. When he saw Su Chen like this, and he thought about how they had been talking about Horizontal Mountain, he realized what the struggle in Su Chen’s heart was about, and suggested, “Just go if you want to.”
“Is it appropriate?” Su Chen asked.
“It’s appropriate!” Iron Cliff nodded with conviction.
“Why is it appropriate?” Su Chen asked.
Iron Cliff cracked a smile. “Because if I said that it wasn’t appropriate, you would beat me up.”
Su Chen was speechless.
Then, he began to guffaw.
He understood Iron Cliff’s meaning. He had asked Iron Cliff a question, but he had already determined an answer in his heart.
The only reason he had asked Iron Cliff wasn’t because he didn’t know what to do but because he wanted some support.
Ironically, Iron Cliff had supported him in one sentence and exposed him in the next.
This feeling of trying to find an excuse for himself and then being seen through was not easy to stomach.
But just as Iron Cliff had said, he had already settled on the answer a long time ago. All he needed was a passable excuse.
“It seems like I’m really not a faithful person,” Su Chen muttered to himself.
“Even the strongest hero can be seduced by a beautiful woman, and talented geniuses often have complex and intricate romantic lives,” Cloud Leopard said calmly.
Su Chen’s eyebrows jumped. “Who knew that you could speak so elegantly.”
Cloud Leopard chuckled. “I’ve been reading more often recently.”
“But it seems that you’ve been reading the wrong things,” Iron Cliff replied.
Cloud Leopard shot him a glare. “Like you’re the boss of me!”
Iron Cliff chuckled and didn’t respond.
Su Chen also laughed. “Fine. Since that’s the case, then let’s go and take a look around Horizontal Mountain and see an old friend.”
Cloud Leopard profoundly said, “I’m afraid that your definition of ‘seeing’ doesn’t quite match mine.”
Su Chen smacked him hard on the back of the head.
Horizontal Mountain was at the center of Liaoye Country. Because of its high prominence, it was like a wall dividing the eastern and western regions of Liaoye Country. Hence, it had eventually been named Horizontal Mountain.
Politically, Horizontal Mountain belonged to Liaoye Country’s Jian Province, and the province’s capital was known as Flat Sky City.
The Zhu Clan was one of the largest clans in Flat Sky City.
Flat Sky City was located in the center of Horizontal Mountain and was surrounded on all sides by tall peaks. Horizontal Mountain was mostly made of rock — which meant that the surface soil layer was quite thin, and immediately below that was hard mountainous rock, which prevented any substantial vegetation from growing. However, this mountain also contained the best mine in all of Liaoye. Thirteen large veins of ore had been discovered here one after the other, including veins of the extremely rare Starcloud Gold and Moonlight Stones.
The Zhu Clan owned the Moonlight Stone mine.
The Raging Sun Shuttle descended and landed on a patch of empty ground outside of Flat Sky City. Su Chen, Cloud Leopard, Iron Cliff, and the others all disembarked from the shuttle. Death’s Shadow of a Youth was still a Demonic Beast, so to avoid complications he activated his void concealment and hid himself in Su Chen’s shadow.
As they walked along the road, they passed by a large number of miners hard at work.
Mining was the mainstay profession here, so miners could be found everywhere.
Su Chen’s group walked past a small mining entrance. A large group of miners was gathered there, drinking wine, gambling, and cursing profusely. Truth be told, they lived quite satisfying lives.
“Ask them how we can get to the Zhu Clan,” Su Chen said.
A Sword Servant named Lin Xiao walked over. “Greetings. May I ask, how can we get to Horizontal Mountain’s Zhu Clan?”
One of the large men glanced at Lin Xiao. “Out-of-towners?”
Lin Xiao nodded. “Yes. Is there a problem with that?”
The large man began to guffaw before turning around to yell, “There are outsiders here asking for directions to the Zhu Clan!”
Upon hearing these words, the drinkers, gamblers, and cursers all stopped what they were doing and walked over, staring down Lin Xiao and Su Chen’s group.
Lin Xiao took a few steps back as he stealthily placed his hand on the hilt of his sword. “What are you thinking of doing?”
“Why have you come to the Zhu Clan?” a voice drawled out lazily.
The crowd parted. A half-naked large man walked forwards, a tiger-face demon tattooed on his chest. He was carrying a large hammer on his back.
That hammer was obviously very heavy. Whenever the large man’s feet touched the ground, it would tremble slightly.
Lin Xiao replied, “It has nothing to do with you.”
“He said that it has nothing to do with us!” the large man yelled as he turned around. The miners watching began to chuckle.
The large man said, “It seems like you guys aren’t enemies of the Zhu Clan, huh?”
Lin Xiao replied, “We’re not.”
The large man pulled the hammer off of his back. “Since you aren’t an enemy of the Zhu Clan…… Then you are our enemy!”
The massive hammer crashed down towards Lin Xiao.
This attack was both quick and savage. It had come so suddenly that any normal person would have probably been struck. This large man was obviously very powerful, and yet he had still chosen to use such a despicable means of attack.
The hammer seemed like it was about to crash into Lin Xiao’s face, shattering it. However, at that exact moment, Lin Xiao placed his hand on the hammer and moved along with its momentum, borrowing it to fly into the air like a willow branch being carried by the wind. His entire body had become lightweight.
Even though the massive hammer strike had been quite vicious, it was completely ineffective against its target, who was able to easily nullify the attack of the hammer.
An instant later, Lin Xiao floated back to the ground.
He stared angrily at the big man. “Despicable!”
The big man chuckled. “You have some skill afterall, huh? Brothers, attack!”
As he yelled, countless miners waved their tools in the air as they charged at Lin Xiao and Su Chen’s group behind him.
Mining was extremely physically demanding, so anyone who could mine had most likely cultivated before. Even if they weren’t Origin Qi Scholars, they were at least high-layered martial artists.
When dozens of martial artists charged at them, most normal people would have been scared off. Unfortunately, they had picked a fight with the wrong opponent. There was no way that their outcome would be good.
The twelve Sword Servants that Su Chen had brought along this time were all at the Yang Opening Realm, and the peak at that. Every one of them was extremely close to breaking through. Actually, one reason why Su Chen had brought them along with him was to help them break through this bottleneck — Shi Kaihuang’s formation hadn’t been completed yet, but Su Chen himself was already able to form a simple prototypical structure. And with this prototype as the foundation, if he were to find another way to increase the outside pressure, it logically followed that he would be able to help them break through into a higher cultivation realm. Su Chen wanted to help them accomplish this so that he could further analyze and understand the process of breaking through.
A peak-layer Yang Opening Realm cultivator could easily steamroll a horde of common martial artists.
All Lin Xiao needed to do was silently unleash his aura. A massive wave of energy subsequently pulsed through the miners, causing them to immediately go weak in their legs like a doe that had run into a fierce tiger. They all fell to their knees.