“Young Lord, could you have achieved the things that King of Hell Chu did in those conditions and circumstances if you had been in his place?” Qin Zhan had spoken these words somewhat impolitely. But, there were good intentions behind them.
“No. I couldn’t have done it!” Ao Xie Yun remained silent for a long while at first. Then, he finally spoke up. A trace of pain flitted across his eyes while he was speaking these words. However, he somehow felt relaxed in his heart.
Ao Xie Yun had previously analyzed the events that had taken place in the Lower Three Heavens. And, he had reached a conclusion – [I couldn’t do it!] But, he didn’t know why he felt that he was very distant from that conclusion at that time. However, the words ‘I couldn’t do it’ had genuinely come from his heart this time.
He had genuinely admitted that he wasn’t as good as King of Hell Chu. Ao Xie Yun had said such a thing for the first time in his life.
Du Qing Yun gently inhaled the air, and slowly blended it into his breath. It nurtured his body. Then, he said in a serious voice, “Young Lord, you’ve said these words in an unpleasant way. Your biggest resource isn’t your aptitude. Instead, it is your family background. Tu Qian Hao, Ou Du Xiao, and the others must think that they may not have been worse than you if they had been born in the Ao Clan! Therefore, they refuse to accept you as someone superior!”
Ao Xie Yun muttered, “Could it be that being born in the Ao Clan makes the entirety of my hard work go in vain? Who can know that living in the top aristocratic clan is much more difficult that living in any other clan? Doesn’t one need to make several times more efforts if one wants stick out in the Ao Clan?”
Qin Zhan remained silent for a while. Then, he said, “It doesn’t matter how much hard work you do. After all, the first thought others will have would be of the Ao Clan if someone mentions about your achievements. And, they would bring out your name after that only. This is the glory of being born in a great clan. But, this is also the helplessness of being born in a great clan.”
Ao Xie Yun pondered and slowly nodded. He then said, “But, I am Ao Xie Yun and a member of the Ao Clan. And, no one can change this fact. So, it is better that I accept it since it can’t be changed!”
“That’s right. You are you no matter what happens. And, this won’t change.” Qin Zhan exposed a joyful smile as he said, “Young Lord, I believe that you will leave everyone gob-smacked when you return to the clan.”
Du Qing Yun and Qin Zhan looked at each other. They both found a trace of sadness in each other’s eyes. [That’s right. Ao Xie Yun will be a changed man if he can return to the clan after experiencing this hunt. He would be more mature and more sensible. Moreover, his fierceness towards the people of Jianghu will also increase. But, it’s unfortunate that the two of us wouldn’t be there to see that.]
They sighed at the same time. Then, they slightly smiled. [What difference does it make if we get to see it or not?]
Ao Xie Yun suddenly smiled and said, “I’m not as good as King of Hell Chu, and I can’t achieve the things that he can. But, it’s not necessary that King of Hell Chu can also do the things that I can! After all, King of Hell Chu isn’t a member of the Ao Clan.”
He smiled confidently. He was still proud even though he was in a difficult situation. Then, he insipidly said, “Moreover, I have the Ao Clan. And, I have you two. What difference does it make even if King of Hell Chu is extraordinary? After all, there’s no conflict between him and us. The state of the entire Middle Three Heavens will change because of the three of us if we escape. And, that’s how the matters stand!”
“And, both you uncles will have made the history of the Middle Three Heavens when the time comes!” Ao Xie Yun’s eyes shone.
His thoughts were finely detailed. How observant he was? He could obviously see that these two uncles were facing this dead end, and had started to feel that they had nowhere to go. Consequently, they didn’t have any fighting spirit left.
[I’m afraid that both of them will sacrifice their lives to protect me when we meet the next attack if they continue to carry this mindset.]
[Therefore, they both wish to educate me in these last moments! They want to teach me about the experiences of their lifetime in this short period of time.]
[But, how can I – Ao Xie Yun – not be a man with a conscience? You both are ready to risk your lives for me. But, how can I watch you die in front of me?]
The fighting spirit of these two men had been constrained by their struggles thus far. So, his current intention was to evoke their pride and a ‘sense of mission’ first. After all, that could help them in finding a way out of this dead-end.
As expected, a flash of brilliance exploded in the eyes of Du Qing Yu and Qin Zhan after listening to his words.
“Moreover, we may not necessarily be out of options here,” Ao Xie Yun calmed down and said, “We mustn’t go in the direction of the Ao Clan. Instead, we should go back!”
“Go back?” both of them asked in unison.
“That’s right. We should go in the Northern Wilderness’s direction once again!” A light flashed in Ao Xie Yun’s eyes, “This choice of route would inevitably be far from their expectations. After all, they expect that we must be attempting to take the long detour route back to the Ao Clan. Therefore, we wouldn’t be able to make through if we take the detour. And, we anyway can’t take the direct route. So, it would be best to draw back in this situation.
“First, we would be able to buy time if we go back. Second, we would be able to save our lives for the time being. Third… our clan would find out that we haven’t reached the clan in scheduled time. So, they will send people to look for us! And, that would be our chance!”
Ao Xie Yun said with a smile, “I believe that the three of us are strong-enough to prevent ourselves from starving to death even if we are in the Northern Wilderness!”
“That’s right.” The spirits of the two men got aroused.
“I have a plan for today. First, both of you will recover. I’m the Young Lord of the Ao Clan. But, you must know that I will only become a corpse if I don’t have you two by my side! What hope would be left for me if you both die and I am left alone?”
Ao Xie Yun sincerely heaved a deep sigh.
“Don’t worry, Young Lord. We won’t die until we see you out of danger with our own eyes!” The two of them looked at each other, and made up their minds.
[Now isn’t the time to die!]
“Um, both the uncles must first drink the two bottles of ‘spirit beast blood essence’ since we’re going to follow this plan,” Ao Xie Yun took out the ninth grade spirit beast blood essence from his bosom, and handed it over to them. “This blood essence will anyway be wasted if we aren’t able to return for some time. So, you two must gulp it down. You’d be able to restore some strength even if you can’t comprehend anything.”
However, Du Qing Yun and Qin Zhan had conflicting views.
[But, this is a treasure that our clan desperately needs. The main task of this journey was to take back the blood essence of spirit beast. Wouldn’t it prove that we had no benefit from this journey if we drink it up right now?]
[But, it will expire after a certain time period if we don’t drink it now. It may even get ruined during an enemy attack. Wouldn’t that be an even more reckless wastage of resources?]
Du Qing Yun heaved a deep sigh after struggling for a long while. Then, he took the two bottles, and said, “The situation compels us to do this. We have no other choice but to improvise the strategy! So, both of us will drink it along with and you, Young Lord! All of us will drink it in equal proportions. And, the matter of reaching a state of comprehension can only depend on fate. After all, everything depends on luck.”
“Very well!” Qin Zhan also straightforwardly complied, “We must save our lives first since this is the case.”
None of the three had any objections. So, they each gulped down one mouthful of the spirit beast’s blood essence.
All three of them opened their eyes after an hour of drinking the blood essence. But, their complexion was bizarre…
“Sixty-percent of my injuries have gotten healed… But, I was unable to comprehend anything. Nothing has awakened…” Du Qing Yun smacked his lips and scratched his scalp.
“My injuries have healed to fifty-percent. But, I too have achieved nothing.” Qin Zhan’s complexion looked a little better. But, he was also puzzled.
“My injuries have healed to ninety-percent… And, I also don’t sense any other signs.” Ao Xie Yun’s cultivation level was the lowest among them. Therefore, he had recovered the most with the same amount of the blood essence.
“But, why has nothing exceptional happened?” All the three became extremely depressed. They looked at each other in dismay. They were extremely disappointed.
They obviously didn’t know that half of the blood essence of most of the ninth grade spirit beasts in the Northern Wilderness had already been extracted by Bu Liu Qing. And, the one they had run into was precisely one of ‘those’ spirit beasts.
This kind of blood essence was capable of healing their injuries. So, it could be considered good. However, it couldn’t help one in attaining a state of realization…
All of them sighed. But, Du Qing Yun’s complexion suddenly changed a moment later. He then said, “I heard something!”
Everyone became alert.
Birds started to fly in alarm from three directions from faraway in the jungle. Moreover, they were heading towards this direction!
“Run!” there wasn’t enough time for sighs or regrets. So, all of them dashed backwards while facing ahead.
Numerous concealed weapons were suddenly launched from the front. They were beaming with deep blue and purple colors. It was evident that they had been dipped in highly toxic poisons!
Du Qing Yun lightly snorted. His body slid and he appeared in front of his group. He had already taken off the robe he had been wearing. His elementary energy infused into his robe as he wielded it as a shield. All the three of them positioned themselves behind this shield as they dashed backwards like arrows.
“Don’t let them get away!” Eight people’s shadow appeared flying high in the sky from four directions. These people were moving towards to the middle. Sharp, long, and loud whizzing sounds also started to echo from all directions. These sounds had basically announced that the enemy was here!
The sound of fluttering of sleeves echoed unceasingly.
Du Qing Yun laughed out loud. The concealed weapons shot towards them were enough in number to fill the entire sky. Moreover, they were rushing towards them from all directions now. Du Qing Yun shook his arms around as he prepared to receive the concealed weaponry on to his robe. He also shot out palm to attack at the same time!
The weapons of these three individuals had already been destroyed over the course of the several besieges they had faced up until now. Therefore, they only had their palms to face the enemy!
A sword-light flashed on the opposite side. A saber-light also began to move unhindered. Two tall and sturdy figures appeared behind the saber-light and sword-light. They were dressed in all black, and had worn masks on their faces. They had abundance of murderous aura in their eyes!
Du Qing Yun and the other two were retreating with everything they had. However, Qin Zhan suddenly stepped up from behind and patted on Du Qing Yun’s back with a ‘bam’.
Du Qing Yun’s body stopped drawing back as a result. Instead, it started to rush forward.
Qin Zhan pulled Ao Xie Yun towards the back of Du Qing Yun. Then, the three of them took advantage of this fleeting moment, and crazily rushed away like tornadoes.
Multiple whistling sounds resounded from behind. However, Qin Zhan suddenly had a stroke of luck in this moment. The long robe behind his body had flown upwards with a fluttering sound during this moment. It had thus spun up behind him, and had obstructed the incoming concealed weapons. Therefore, he simply continued to dash forward without turning his head back. He took advantage of the fact that the people who were coming from the three directions hadn’t encircled them yet, and entered into the jungle.
However, Ao Xie Yun’s body suddenly shivered when they were about to enter the jungle. Qin Zhan grabbed him with his big hands without the slightest of hesitation. A needle laced with a blue poison had stuck itself to Ao Xie Yun’s back. And, Ao Xie Yun started to convulse as a result. However, Qin Zhan carried him, and didn’t stay here. He then rushed towards the back of Du Qing Yun like a whirlwind while ignoring the blood that had started to flow out from Ao Xie Yun’s body.
Sharp whistling sounds came from behind. Countless enemies had begun to chase after them…
“Pursue them! Don’t spare anyone. Kill them at all costs!” a grim voice firmly ordered. The half-unconscious Ao Xie Yun heard this voice in his state of immense pain. And, he suddenly felt that this voice sounded familiar. But, Qin Zhan gushed out fiercely while holding him before he could think any further. They then leapt into the jungle, and rushed towards the direction of the Northern Wilderness…