Jing Meng Hun too walked away. He was burning with anxiety, [King of Hell Chu will get away if we’re even a step late. There’s no time to lose; this lost opportunity will never return…]
Everyone dispersed in all directions. They searched for Chu Yang with their eyes wide open. They overturned even the rat holes to find him. They looked everywhere except for the short pine shrub which was in close proximity. They didn’t pay attention to it even though it was right under their noses. [King Level Expert Jing Meng Hun has been here for so long that even the rats have gone away… If King of Hell Chu were here… wouldn’t he have been caught by the King Level Expert already?]
[This is a vast expanse of flat land. How can a man stay hidden here?]
More pursuers arrived with a whooshing sound. Then, they scattered in all directions as well. They even passed-by Chu Yang’s hideout. Their eyes appeared like searchlights as they grazed past him from a distance of three feet…
Minister Chu lay curled-up in the shadow of the nearby pine shrub; he was motionless. [Tsk… tsk… you guys can’t even find fifty kilograms of meat… You guy better be prepared to give your meat to me… sooner or later…]
The sun was slowly setting in the west.
The blistering hot day was about to end. People searching for him in the jungle became more and more impatient, [We’ve been looking for him for so long; we have practically turned this mountain upside down. There’s still no trace of King of Hell Chu. Could it be that he has already escaped?]
“That’s impossible!” Jing Meng Hun concluded. [King of Hell Chu is seriously injured. It was a miracle that he managed to flee up till here. It’s impossible for him to escape any further.]
Jing Meng Hun was convinced of his judgement as he had a deep understanding of medicine.
[King of Hell Chu is undoubtedly hidden in this mountain.]
“Continue to search every cave… under every tree… on top of every tree… and in every patch of grass. If he’s in a snake-hole… then, turn it upside down and find him for me. Smash all the big rocks to bits. I can’t accept that he isn’t hiding in these mountains. King of Hell Chu can’t fly away into the sky.” Jing Meng Hun felt exhausted as he finished giving the order.
The experts got busy with search once again. A continuous rumbling noise could be heard in the mountains since the big rocks were destroyed. Everything that could hide a person behind it was smashed by the Golden Horse Riders Department.
The wolves, insects, panthers, tigers, foxes, squirrels, mice and even ants were having a difficult time on the mountain. They were fleeing in disarray since they had been rendered homeless. Moreover, they occasionally ran into some experts of Golden Horse Riders Department who would kill them to vent out their frustration…
Meanwhile, Chu Yang’s spiritual power was being assisted by the Sword Spirit; it was sixty percent restored. However, the medicinal efficacies that had been accumulated with so much trouble were consumed-up; even a drop wasn’t left.
Only two ripened Jade Snow Spirit Ginsengs were left. However, Chu Yang wasn’t willing to use them. They were the only things that he could depend upon in case he encountered a life-or-death situation.
The medicines which had been collected by Diwu Qing Rou and Golden Horse Riders Department over the years, as well as the massive amount of herbal medicines Chu Yang had stolen from the Imperial Palace of Great Zhao, had vanished into thin air – thanks to the valiant efforts of the Golden Horse Riders Department in chasing him all the way here.
It could be said that the medicines acquired from the Golden Horse Riders Department had been used to cure the injuries that they had inflicted on him.
It might be difficult to understand if it’s put in this manner. So, let’s assume – Chu Yang would’ve died as many as fifty times on this journey of sixty-five-hundred kilometres while fighting so many battles if he hadn’t stored so many efficacies.
In short, he would be dead by now; without counting the severe injuries he had already sustained. It was clear that this tragic journey was way beyond anyone’s imagination…
This could explain why Jing Meng Hun was so flustered and exasperated that he wanted to commit suicide. Anyone who has fought a battle and couldn’t kill their opponent… could relate to King Level Master Jing Meng Hun. But, he couldn’t anything except stomping around and cursing in anger until his liver hurt; he didn’t have any other way to vent out his anger.
The sun finally disappeared behind the horizon, and the mountain started to cool down. The search-party became more impatient as the sky became dusky.
Chu Yang hadn’t moved the entire time.
He had hidden the smell of his blood to a great extent. But, how could he hide from these denizens of the world? So, the wounds on his body had been filled with mosquitoes and ants. Moreover, the insects were also attracted by the juices of plants that he had smeared on his body.
The itching sensation was unbearable and overwhelming, but Chu Yang didn’t even frown. He had frozen his body in this posture; he didn’t move an inch from morning to dusk.
He would touch a light branch of the pine shrub if he were to move even an eyebrow. And, that would issue a sound. The sound would be faint and his possibility of being discovered was little. However, he didn’t take that risk either.
He wouldn’t give himself away because of negligence; even if he was unbearably uncomfortable.
He had no choice but to remain motionless as he was surrounded by the enemies. Chu Yang would rather endure being cut to pieces, or suffer this unbearable torture until he was bitten to death over falling into the hands of the enemy and make them happy. [I’d rather die a silent death. They’ll be scared as long as they don’t find my corpse. They’ll go through a lot of trouble to find me. And, Wu Qian Qian will be able to continue playing the role of King of Hell Chu in Iron Cloud.]
The sky was finally dark.
Chu Yang relaxed as the search voices became distant. He was still covered with insects; cicadas sang around him. He used his spiritual power to jolt his wounded muscles. This drove out the insects and ants from inside his flesh.
Several of his wounds had festered and had turned black.
The Sword Spirit tried to clean-up the wounds with his power, but it didn’t yield any result. He was powerless without the power of elixir.
Even the Sword Spirit was baffled as he saw Chu Yang’s perseverance. In his opinion, ‘Chu Yang endurance despite so many torments’ could be considered as one of the biggest miracles in the Nine Heavens.
Now, the sky was as black as ink.
Midnight was just around the corner.
Chu Yang finally moved his fingers. His body had become numb after remaining in the same posture for a long time. He moved all his fingers one-by-one until they became flexible enough to move freely. Then, he slowly moved his wrists – up and down in succession…
It was past midnight by the time he was through making subtle movements throughout his body to ensure that he could move without any stagnation.
He felt like he didn’t have any bones in his body; like a serpent. He slid from the side of the short pine shrub, and silently slid onto the ground. Then, he slid close to the big pine tree; a man in black had been monitoring from its top. He went closer to the tree, and ‘wrapped’ his body around it.
He looked like a snake as he silently slithered-up.
It was clear why the black-attired man had chosen this tree to keep surveillance. It was the tallest tree within a radius of several hundred feet.
Chu Yang climbed onto the fork of the pine tree without touching any pine needle. Then, he continued to climb-up. He seemed to have loosened his movements.
He arrived on the top.
He was being very careful of the pine needles. He looked all around – near and far. He heard the faint sound of human activity coming from afar. Some areas were densely covered with trees. He occasionally saw flashes of cold light; it was the light getting reflected off the weapons…
Chu Yang started to memorize their locations.
Finally, the men stopped searching. They stayed motionless in their original spots. After all, they weren’t made of iron. Moreover, they couldn’t see properly at night. So, the correct approach was – to sit back and wait for the right opportunity. If there was a movement — then it must be King of Hell Chu.
Chu Yang slowly climbed down the tree. His movement was brisk and agile. Then, he slowly walked on the ground inwards.
He didn’t walk outwards. Instead, he chose to break into the encirclement of the experts. There were two reasons behind this. Firstly, these experts would stop guarding this interior area and go outwards to the peripheral area in search of him after the dawn-break. They wouldn’t look for him in the area they had been guarding all night. Going to the peripheral area at that time would be more dangerous. Moreover, Chu Yang’s leg was injured. So, he couldn’t exert his full strength. He would be overtaken more easily in this way.
Secondly, Chu Yang remembered, [The main peak of Beyond the Heavens Sect used to have a herbal medicine garden. Even if the Sect has become an empty shell… they couldn’t have cleaned up all the elixirs… could they?]
[There must be some leftovers. Even the herbal medicines of lowest level can be useful…]
What Chu Yang needed the most was medicinal efficacy; he needed it urgently. Given his condition, he would give even a potent poison to the Sword Spirit if he found it. He would make the Sword Spirit find a tiny bit of medicinal efficacy that could be extracted from it…
This was the only way if he wanted to go to the main peak.
Chu Yang also had an idea. He remembered that he had witnessed the Seven Shades of cold energy when he had obtained the Nine Tribulations Sword Point…
It clearly had a cold spring underneath. The Sword Point would obtain formidable power if it absorbed the cold energy of the cold spring even if it wasn’t an elixir.
The cold spring didn’t have any owner as the people of Beyond the Heavens Sect had moved out. So, Chu Yang wouldn’t feel any mental pressure while taking it.
It could be said that this entire journey was frightening at every step. He had had several plans at each step of this journey. However, he didn’t have many plans now.
He must leave before dawn.
Chu Yang’s eyes became dark.
He bypassed two men…
Then, three men…
Then, he bypassed more men… Chu Yang stopped as he realized that his destination wasn’t far from his reach. Then, he hid his body by attaching it to a tree trunk.
There was complete silence.
Suddenly, a few people came out from the corners and started to search the pine tree on which Chu Yang had been hiding. Their eyes shone brightly as they turned around and walked away.
Chu Yang closed his eyes and counted their steps. He took three deep breaths. Then, he turned around and came out of hiding. He went in the centre of the encirclement; his back was covered in cold sweat.
It was extremely dangerous to be in the centre of the encirclement. Chu Yang restrained his breathing, and began to creep on the ground like a snake. He would creep forward a bit… then lay dormant. Then, he coiled his body like a snake…
Chu Yang wasn’t assured as he observed his surroundings. The rocks in the entire region had been smashed to pieces. Even the turf had been levelled-off in certain places. There were only a few places where someone could hide.
Chu Yang went north towards a small pit. The dug out pieces of the turf were piled on top of it…