Chapter 22: Passing Through (1)
As he stared at the individuals lying on the ground, Lin Xiao walked over to the large man and stepped on his hand. “Will you talk now? How do we get to the Zhu Clan?”
Even though the large man’s attack had been reprehensible, he seemed to possess some courage, as he gritted his teeth and said, “If you have the ability, then kill me!”
Lin Xiao’s eyebrows jumped. He lifted a single finger and aimed it at the large man’s forehead.
The large man felt a cold chill run down his spine.
The fear of death overwhelmed his bravery, and the large man began to yell, “I’ll talk! I’ll talk!”
Lin Xiao’s lips curled up into a cold smile. “So all of your courage was faked, huh?”
Ridiculous. Aren’t you just asking for directions? Why would I resist to the bitter end? the large man thought to himself. After his attempt at being a hero was foiled, he could only obediently answer, “Once you enter the city, walk along the main western avenue until you come across Afternoon Alley. They are in the third residence along that street.”
“Why did you attack us?” Lin Xiao asked next.
Even though Su Chen hadn’t told him to ask that question, a skilled subordinate would know how to thoroughly take care of business.
The hammer-wielding large man frowned. “You guys came here to help the Zhu Clan start a war. How could you not know why?”
“Help the Zhu Clan start a war?” Lin Xiao was stunned and turned to glance at Su Chen.
Su Chen walked over. “Who is the Zhu Clan fighting against?”
The hammer-wielding man was taken aback. “You really don’t know? You aren’t the reinforcements they requested?”
“We’re not, for now at least,” Su Chen replied.
The fact that they weren’t right now didn’t mean that they couldn’t be in the future, but that would depend on the Zhu Clan’s circumstances. Su Chen always phrased his answers with a bit of wiggle room, even if he was talking to an enemy.
The hammer-wielding man sighed. “So I was just making trouble for myself. Well, not really, I suppose — since you are clearly their friends, you will definitely help them.”
“Don’t waste my time. Who is starting a war with the Zhu Clan? And why?”
The hammer-wielding man began to explain the entire situation.
One of the other large clans in Flat Sky City was responsible for this.
Bloodline Nobility Clans didn’t always see eye-to-eye. Fighting between clans for the sake of profits was quite the common occurrence.
The Bloodline Nobility Clans in Flat Sky City were no exception.
In order to seize control of Horizontal Mountain’s plentiful mines, the various clans fought quite fiercely against each other.
There were two Demonic Emperor clans in Flat Sky City. One of them was the Slyheart Fox Zhu Clan, while the other was the Darkness Snake Rong Clan.
The Darkness Snake was a Demonic Beast that possessed powerful darkness-type abilities. It lived in the darkness, and not only did it possess the ability to conceal itself, but it also had powerful assassination abilities. The bloodline was exceptionally useful for assassins.
As a result, these two clans had divided up most of the influence in Flat Sky City. The hammer-wielding man belonged to one of the smaller clans in Flat Sky City that supported the Rong Clan.
The two sides had been on bad terms for many years and had clashed many times during the history of Flat Sky City.
This time, Su Chen had just happened to arrive right before the two clans were about to fight again, and the flames of battle were being stoked higher and higher. It seemed like a massive conflict was unavoidable, and both sides were at the ready, preparing to spring into action.
No wonder these people had chosen to attack as soon as they saw Su Chen.
“So you guys don’t even know why they’re fighting?”
The hammer-wielding man cracked a smile. “The two clans will fight every ten or twenty years over profits, women, or even some random remark made in a brothel. The reason…… hasn’t been important for a long time.”
“So that’s how it is.” Su Chen understood.
Since they were just a bunch of miners, Su Chen had no heart to make things difficult for them, so he simply released them and left.
As the hammer-wielding man watched Su Chen leave, he slowly stood up as his expression darkened. “Send word that the Zhu Clan has received powerful reinforcements. The situation is very likely to change.”
“How strong are they?” a skinny, small miner asked.
The hammer-wielding man thought for a moment, then replied, “At least twelve Yang Opening Realm cultivators. It was impossible to determine the strength of the three individuals at the front, but I suspect that one of them is at least at the Light Shaking Realm. Whether or not they have any other hidden strength is currently unknown.”
“There was something wrong with that hammer-wielding miner,” Cloud Leopard suddenly said as they walked away.
“Oh?” Su Chen glanced at Cloud Leopard. “What was the problem?”
Cloud Leopard shook his head. “I don’t know, but I just can’t quite shake the feeling that something was off about him.”
Su Chen thought for a moment, then said, “The hammer user was at the Qi Drawing Realm, making him an official Origin Qi Scholar already. His biggest problem was that his attacks were too reckless, and not well-structured like an Origin Qi Scholars’ attacks should have been. Even though we restrained our aura, making it impossible to determine our exact cultivation base, Iron Cliff’s presence alone should have been enough to tell him that we weren’t your average group of people.”
Not everyone could have a Stoneskin servant. The twelve Sword Servants had restrained their auras, but their movements were all closely coordinated, so it was obvious that they were well-trained.
A group of people like this was obviously exceptional.
It was worth considering whether any Qi Drawing Realm cultivator who attacked a group like this was legitimately trying to kill themselves.
Cloud Leopard asked, “Then why would he still attack?”
His instincts could give him the answer, but not the reason for the answer. This was the biggest difference between instinct and logic.
Su Chen replied, “Because only by attacking would he be able to determine our actual strength.”
Lin Xiao’s unleashing of his aura had revealed his Yang Opening Realm cultivation base. Those martial artists couldn’t sense it, but a Qi Drawing Realm cultivator could definitely sense the difference. The twelve Sword Servants were obviously playing the role of bodyguard, so if one of them was at the Yang Opening Realm, then it followed that the rest of them would be as well.
And if the bodyguards were at the Yang Opening Realm, then logically the person leading them would be even stronger. Even though it was impossible to determine Su Chen’s exact strength, the hammer-wielding man had been able to make a rough estimate.
“That guy is really quite bold!” Lin Xiao criticized harshly.
Even though there were many reasons that could explain their behavior, the massive amount of danger their actions could have brought upon their heads was an indisputable fact.
Iron Cliff said, “This is probably what they mean when they say that people die for wealth just like how birds die for food.”
As they spoke, they had quickly arrived at Flat Sky City.
Upon entering the city, they saw martial artists wandering about everywhere. Blades hung from their waists, and their gazes were sharp. Obviously, everyone was extremely on edge.
It seemed that the brewing battle between the two Bloodline Nobility Clans had taken over the ambiance of the entire city.
The Zhu and Rong Clans each controlled half of Flat Sky City.
Su Chen had entered from the west door right into the Rong Clan’s territory, so the people all around them were the Rong Clan’s subordinates. People from the Zhu Clan didn’t dare enter this place casually.
If Su Chen’s group were to yell that they were the Zhu Clan’s friends here, then they would have probably been assaulted by much more than a simple group of miners.
As they walked through enemy territory, even the always fearless Cloud Leopard seemed to feel a bit skittish as he muttered, “If we had known earlier, we probably would have entered from the other direction.”
With the Raging Sun Shuttle, looping around Flat Sky City to the other entrance wouldn’t have been difficult. However, it was already a bit too late to do something like that.
As they walked along, countless individuals stared at them intently, their eyes filled with inquisitive expressions.
Su Chen continued to walk forwards as if nothing was wrong — he had seen great winds and high waves before, so this small Flat Sky City was not particularly noteworthy in his eyes.
The main road going down the middle of Flat Sky City was known as the Scarlet Road.
The Zhu and Rong Clans’ territories were split by this road.
Su Chen and his group slowly walked towards this main road, drawing more and more attention in their direction.
Just as they were about to reach the Scarlet Road, a man stopped them.
“Where are you going?”
“That’s none of your business,” Iron Cliff replied boomingly. “You’d best get out of the way.”
“What if I don’t?” the man chuckled in response.
As he spoke, a large crowd of people gathered around them.
A man with a shady-looking face savagely said, “It seems like we have some guests here that have gone the wrong way.”
Iron Cliff turned around to glance at Su Chen. When he saw that Su Chen wasn’t about to say anything in response, he had a rough grasp of the situation. “Then I can only apologize in advance.”
He lowered his head and charged at his opponent.
His movements weren’t very fast, and he held no weapon. All he did was charge at his opponent like a rhinoceros.
The man who had first stopped them didn’t take Iron Cliff seriously at first and merely raised his hand. A large amount of Origin Energy began to gather in his palm. He was obviously a Yang Opening Realm cultivator, which helped explain why he had walked into their path forwards so self-confidently.
An instant later, however, as Iron Cliff was charging at him, the man’s expression changed slightly when he sensed the immense wave of pressure washing over him. “Not good!”
With a boom, the man standing in Su Chen’s group’s way was sent flying. He arced through the air before landing heavily on the ground. The bystanders all tracked him with their gazes.
“Damn! Get him!”
It was unclear who yelled that command, but it kicked off a flurry of commotion as the surrounding individuals all charged at Iron Cliff.
Iron Cliff stomped his feet on the ground. A massive shockwave rippled in all directions, with his foot as the epicenter. People were sent flying into the air before they plopped down on the ground like spilled dumplings.
However, there were also some people who weren’t affected.
A few men stood there stably as if they were rooted to the ground, coldly smiling at Iron Cliff.
Iron Cliff wasn’t particularly surprised. This stomp of his was merely meant to clear out all the weaker individuals, as it wouldn’t do much against actually powerful individuals.
But that was not important, as it had achieved the desired effect.
The youth that had been sent flying by Iron Cliff had returned. He joined in with the other three remaining individuals facing off against Iron Cliff.
Iron Cliff cracked a smile. “Now that the trash has been taken out, we can get started with the main event.”
“You’re courting death!” The youth that had been sent flying rapidly closed in on Iron Cliff, jabbing his finger at Iron Cliff. This finger strike tore through the air, leaving a vacuum trail in its wake as it imposingly pressed down on Iron Cliff.
Another individual charged forwards, wielding a spear. Behind him, a large blue-green python image appeared. Obviously, this individual possessed a python’s bloodline. The python wrapped itself around this spear, jabbing relentlessly forward like a snake strike.
The third individual wielded a blade. The blade’s energy was incredibly concentrated, and every time he swung it, it would boom out thunderously. Actually, it had taken a different approach compared to Su Chen’s Thunder Blade, but it achieved the same results. However, the thunderclaps unleashed by this blade had a much greater penetrative ability, giving the blade a much more imposing appearance.
The fourth person wielded no weapon. He shapeshifted into a minotaur, and his body also expanded in size until he was around thirty feet tall. The sight was truly astounding. This was the manifestation of a person whose bloodline had been concentrated to the furthest extent. They would be able to give the normally illusory bloodline image physical substance. This person’s bloodline was not of a very high-level — only that of a high-tier Demonic Beast — but he had already awakened it eight times, and its density had already reached forty percent. He could assume the form of that Demonic Beast at any time. Even though he was similarly at the Yang Opening Realm, he was without question the strongest out of the four. However, given the fact that he was already able to morph into this beast form at the Yang Opening Realm, it was quite apparent that this individual didn’t have much of a future.
The four Yang Opening Realm cultivators simultaneously attacked Iron Cliff.
Cloud Leopard frowned and was about to jump into the fray when Su Chen reached out and stopped him. He said, “Let Iron Cliff fight.”