Chapter 142: Bandit Hunter
"I have never before stolen things," Xu Min said while looking uncertain, "but there have been events where others have sought to kill me, and I, wanting to live, have killed them. Only then I have taken some items. I don't consider myself a bandit though since I would never kill innocent people for their possessions."
The armored man looked at Xu Min with a deep glance and scratched his chin. All of a sudden he started laughing out loud. His placed his hand on Xu Min's shoulder and patted him with a friendly expression on his face.
"Kid, I believe you!" he exclaimed with a strong voice. "now tell me, what is a strong warrior like yourself doing in the middle of this danger zone all alone if you are not going to rob someone?"
"I am on my way to Ri Chu City," Xu Min said truthfully. "I have to meet up with someone dear to me, and the fastest way would be to travel through this danger zone. However, I am somewhat in a rush, and I can't afford to take the long way around."
"I see." The man was silent for some time. His arms were crossed over his chest; his eyes were closed. It was clear that he was deep in thought, but as to what he might be thinking about, Xu Min had no idea.
Just as Xu Min was about to beat a retreat, he sensed someone coming his way. This time it was not just one person but a group of experts. His eyes hardened. He had planned on avoiding the bandits, but it seemed as if they had already noticed him.
"Excuse me," Xu Min said with a nod to the armored, pondering man, "I need to go now," he continued. Nonetheless, before he could start fleeing, the man opened his eyes; his hand shot out and grasped Xu Min's arm.
"No need to rush!" the armored man said with a grin on his face. "This is going to be fun. I am here to hunt bandits, and now a group of bandits have appeared. Technically, I should be able to deal with them myself, but it will be easier if you are by my side." he explained. His words displeased Xu Min. He had promised Cao Cao and Ye Ling not to fight if he could avoid it. On the other hand, this man was strong. He would like to see his strength as he had not often seen eight-star Warriors fight.
"Haha, look at this!" a third voice drifted over the flat plane as a group of bandits came into view in front of them. At first, Xu Min was stunned. Was this all?
In front of him was an eight-star Warrior; behind him was around three hundred bandits. Although the eight-star warrior might prove to be troublesome to deal with, the three hundred warriors would be as simple as killing chickens. The strongest out of them was just two seven-star Warriors. The rest were six stars and below.
"Do you want the leader or the cannon fodder?" The armored man asked. Xu Min, who was itching for a real fight with an opponent that was his strength, did not even have to think before answering, "I'll take the leader."
The armored man gave a long glance at Xu Min, but he said nothing. He just nodded his head. Usually, the easiest task would be to kill the large group of followers. Even so, Xu Min had chosen to take the more challenging part. This decision said a lot about Xu Min’s character. The armored man respected this young warrior more for his bravery.
Right now, though, Xu Min could not be bothered about how much respect he had gained. All he wanted was to try and use his abilities and to see if he had a chance to defeat eight-star Warriors as easily as he thought he could.
The likelihood the Zhong family leader becoming an eight-star warrior was rather high. Since this was the case, this battle would be a great way to gauge whether or not his revenge was foolish or if he truly held the upper hand.
Brandishing his sword, Xu Min took one step after another towards the leader. At first, the steps were slow and steady, but the more steps he took, the faster his speed became.
The sword howled through the air as it slashed down. The bandit leader was surprised by the speed displayed by this youngster, and, concurrently, he was deeply shocked by the force which was behind this sword attack.
"Physical strength? How primitive!" the leader snorted. Even though secretly, he was surprised, he did not feel that he was going to lose. He was used to internal use of Qi and backed away after which he took a stance.
Qi gathered in the surrounding air. Fireballs appeared which hovered around him. They were ready to be shot towards Xu Min.
Seeing the fireballs, Xu Min grinned and the sword was sheathed on his back. As Xu Min lifted his hand and an even larger fireball appeared.
"Playing with fire, I see?" Xu Min asked with a sinister expression on his face, "I can do that too!"
The fire in Xu Min's hand was real fire. It was made from the element of fire; whereas, the Qi stance the leader had made was imitating the real elements.
The moment the real fire appeared in Xu Min's hand, the temperature increased in the area. Many of the bandits stopped what they were doing to glance at Xu Min.
In their hearts, they became increasingly uncomfortable. Many who had tried to get rid of the armored man, roared as they rushed towards Xu Min.
"Don't throw your lives away," Xu Min mumbled, but he still lifted his hand to attack. The ball of fire grew to an unimaginable size before it spread out as a ring of fire.
Then this ring exploded forth from Xu Min's body and spread throughout the battleground.
The experts closed to Xu Min burnt to ashes. The experts farther away only suffered minor burns and injuries.
The eight-star leader of the bandits had also been hit by the fire. Xu Min's fire completely absorbed his fire orbs. They had not been able to leave any damage, and the disdain he had felt towards this youngster instantly turned to fear.
"Everyone go against that young man! If we kill him, we will be fine!" the leader yelled out. All the bandits raised their weapons and charged at Xu Min. However, when they charged at him, the leader did not follow. Instead, he turned around and started running away as fast as he could.
"You think can escape me, huh?" Xu Min growled and set after him. Both were eight-star Warriors, but Xu Min had the aid of the wind element.Consequently, his speed was faster than most other eight-star Warriors.
He pushed his speed to their limits, and within a brief moment he caught up to the bandit leader.
In a sweeping motion, he drew his sword and slashed it through the air, sending out a horizontal slash which cut through the neck of the leader as easily as cutting through butter.
Even though the leader had a defensive layer of Qi around his body, this defensive layer was being greedily absorbed by the sword and was incapable of producing any resistance to Xu Min’s sword.
Moments after the head fell from the body and the bandits who saw this all felt listless and fearful. They tried to flee, but how could they flee from two eight-star Warriors?
Xu Min and the armored man’s speed were many times faster than the others. Within a short time, the armored man and Xu Min had caught everyone and executed them without any hesitation.
Although Xu Min did not like killing for no reason, he did not approve of bandits that killed innocent travelers. In turn, he felt no qualms about helping this armored man in clearing out a bandit group.
"Thank you for your assistance, everything went much smoother than I had expected," the armored man said. His face filled with a great smile as he looked at Xu Min, but deep within his eyes shown some fear. He had seen Xu Min's prowess, and he was worried that Xu Min would attack him as well.
Nevertheless, Xu Min had other plans. He wished to reach Ri Chu City as soon as possible and to do so he had to move on. He had already tested his strength against an ordinary eight-star Warrior. Fighting another was not a great idea, especially since he could feel that this armored man was stronger than the man he had just killed.
"Let us split the loot, and then I will be off," Xu Min smiled. The armored man nodded his head in agreement. Although Xu Min was a great helper to him, he couldn't trust someone he had just met. Thus splitting up was the best idea for them for now.
Xu Min and this armored person also had different goals with their trip. Xu Min wanted to cross the danger zone as soon as possible while the armored person wished to find as many bandit groups as he could and attack them.
"Thank you for your help," the armored man said. Xu Min cupped his fists and bowed slightly before he turned around and started leaving.
Lingering around would waste time, and time was the only thing he did not have.
Having fought the eight-star thief leader, Xu Min had gobbled up some of his Qi. Now as he started traveling forward once more, his speed was a bit slower. He was refining the Qi and making it into his own energy, causing him to slow down.
Although the fight had been brief, he had managed to obtain quite a bit of energy. He could feel that he was at his peak strength after a few minutes, even surpassing it. As every minute past, Xu Min was becoming stronger.
Although Xu Min enjoyed the feeling of getting stronger, he was not negligent at all. He continued to observe everything which happened around him. His senses were on high alert, and he observed the surroundings around him as he shot forward like the wind, traversing the wilderness swiftly.
From time to time he would take out the map and see where he was and what way to continue moving. Nonetheless, he would continue to avoid the roads where he knew that even more bandits would be patrolling. Moreover, he would also avoid the caravans this way.
This way, Xu Min managed to move even further and further into the danger zone. He spread his soul out to the max. Whenever he sensed bandit groups, he would take a detour to avoid detection.
This was only possible because the groups he was sensing possessed no eight-star Warriors in them. The further into the core of the danger zone he came, the more bandits he had to avoid.
"Well, let us just keep moving forward," Xu Min said with gritted teeth. He had not gone to the very center of the danger zone, but he was still in the core, and many bandits were still around. Xu Min believed he would still be able to avoid them. If he could not avoid them, then he could always run away. Although his strength was strong enough to contend with these bandits, he was not in the mood to fight anymore. Rather he wanted to just continue forward to Ri Chu City and ran from everyone who would try to stop him.