Chapter 91: Brother
As the battle ended, everyone went silent. Xu Min had saved Shui Wu and killed Ji Tian before the other fighter even had the chance to show off his abilities. He had died in seconds. He did not even offer one attack!
Xu Min was as shocked as the others. He felt as though he had been struck by lightning. However, this quickly changed as he felt a hard hand hit his cheek squarely on the face, making his lip crack and blood flow.
Everyone gasped. Shui Wu, who had just been saved, had been filled with resentment towards Xu Min after he had shown his indifference in whether or not she lived and died. Consequently, to let go of the anger that was burning inside her, she had no other option than only to slap him as hard as she could.
Closing her eyes, Shui Wu was sure that she had just signed her death certificate, but Xu Min just chuckled.
"You know, your name is the same as my late sister’s," Xu Min said with a chuckle as he gently touched his cheek. His cheek had a large red mark of a hand imprinted upon it. "What should I have told him? That I didn't want him to kill you?" He continued to ask. His mood was not bad; he completely understood why Shui Wu had done as she did. Nonetheless, he still wanted to defend himself.
"Had I acted differently, then you would already have been dead, but you’re alive now." Xu Min argued; Shui Wu had no way of disagreeing with him.
Shaking his head, Xu Min turned to leave. Ye Ling was still by his side but paid no attention to either Shui Wu or the others. He just left them behind.
Shui Wu glanced one more time at the many people she had been accompanying. Without a second thought, she decided to follow after Xu Min.
"What are you doing?" Xu Min asked, shocked when he saw her following him, but she said nothing in return. Instead, she just stopped right behind him. Her face was determined, and her teeth clenched tight. It was clear she had nothing to say, but she was not going to change her decision either.
Feeling exhausted, Xu Min knew that he had no other option than to allow this woman to follow him. She obviously had no malicious intention towards him. He could not very well just kill her. Furthermore, leaving her alone would also bring her trouble now that he had saved her once already. However, bringing her with him would put her in danger time and time again. There was still some time left in the Immortal Valley Ranking, and it was only natural that the stronger experts would come and try to kill Xu Min. His head was worth a lot. The rewards offered by the Snow Mountain was enough to make anyone eager to kill him so that they could gain the cores and step into the top rankings quicker than normal.
Xu Min was obviously aware of this. Had it been someone else than himself, then he too would have joined the hunt. The promised rewards were outstanding, but since Xu Min could not go hand in his head, he had other plans in mind.
"Say, Ye Ling, do you remember how, before we went to the Blood Pagoda, we were discussing what to do with that Lakeside Marketplace?" Xu Min asked smilingly. His words caused the Golden-Furred Blood Lion to ponder for a moment before a smile slipped onto its face.
"Are you saying we are going to do that?" he asked curiously. Xu Min nodded his head. A killing intent billowed outwards from the two warriors. Shui Wu was caught unguarded; she felt her entire body grow cold. She started having trouble breathing as she unconsciously stumbled backward and even fell hard on her behind.
Hearing the soft bumping sound, Xu Min turned to look behind him. Almost instantly, the killing intent vanished. "Sorry," he said with a sheepish grin on his face. "I understand you want to be safe, but being with me will place you in danger," he commented. "I am going to do something incredibly dangerous.So dangerous in fact even I don't know if I will survive it. I can't have you hanging around as well. I'll just have to worry about you too."
Xu Min was honest about it. Shui Wu could hear from his voice that it was not something that could be argued about. The only thing she could do was accept that the two of them could not travel together anymore and turned to leave with a sigh.
She did not go back the way they had come, but she turned to move another way, towards a new and unknown future and towards treasures that could belong to her. If Xu Min did not want her there, then she would not impose herself on him either.
Seeing the woman leave, Xu Min suddenly felt much more comfortable. He heaved a heavy sigh of relief before he straightened his back and placed all his attention on Ye Ling.
"You were a bit rough with her weren't you?" the lion asked curiously as he looked at the departing figure in the forest. Xu Min shrugged his shoulders, "I had to be," he said as he too turned to look at Shui Wu. There was no hostility in his eyes, but he sighed slightly.
"If she joined us and took part in the mess we are about to create, then Snow Mountain would have a reason to go against Bu Huang and his family. If that happens, they will be eradicated most likely. Everyone knows that I am but a guest of the Bu family. They cannot be blamed for my actions, but if their students start cooperating with me, it will end up badly."
Xu Min had already thought it through. For the sake of keeping Bu Huang out of danger, he decided to shoo Shui Wu away.
"Then why did you act up like this?" Ye Ling asked. "We already planned to go to the Lakeside Marketplace to get our hands on the rewards. Why did you have to make it sound as if you just came up with the idea only now when she was present?"
Xu Min smiled as he moved towards the location of the Lakeside Marketplace, "She will spread the word. She is most likely insulted by the fact that I troubled her. Thus she will spread the fact that I am moving towards the marketplace. Anyone of some rank and with enough ability will rush towards the marketplace. Then we can deal with them one after another. Having everyone gathered in one place makes it much more fun, don't you think?"
Hearing Xu Min's words, Ye Ling was stunned. "But you can't fight everyone at once!" He said, shocked. Xu Min started laughing out loud, "Do you think everyone hates me?" He asked curiously.
Thinking about the question, Ye Ling was devoid of an answer. Didn't everyone they had met so far hate him to the core?
"The ones we have met have been searching for us or been blinded by greed," Xu Min explained while noticing the strange expression on Ye Ling's face. "If everyone shared the opinion of Snow Mountain, would they not already be the hegemons of the entire Immortal Ruins?"
"Clearly, a faction as powerful as Snow Mountain has enemies, and these enemies will also react to the news of how I am on the move for Snow Mountain. Some will try to reel me in. While others just want to add fuel to the enmity between our two sides and have more people die at our hands."
"I don't care why they come, but I will have them join me in my attempt to destroy the Snow Mountain within this Immortal Valley Ranking. If I can get a relationship with some of these high-ranked sects or families, I might be able to stay alive for long enough to leave these Immortal Ruins afterward."
Xu Min was laughing. However, his words were quite somber. As soon as the Immortal Valley Rankings ended, it was more than likely that the Snow Mountain would do anything in their power to get their hands on Xu Min in order to make him suffer for all eternity.
"Don't worry," he grinned as he saw the worried expression on Ye Ling’s face, "I won't die that easily. We'll sneak away from the Immortal Ruins when we leave this ranking thing. Or would you rather have your freedom returned and stay within these borders of the Immortal Valley, the place you have lived your whole life?"
Ye Ling was silent for a long time before he looked at Xu Min with big eyes, "you are saying that I can leave this forest and experience the world outside?" He was not able to fully understand what Xu Min was saying. "I won't be left behind in here?"
Xu Min started laughing again and patted his friend's head, "you are my good friend. We have already been together for this long, and you even took me to the Blood Pagoda. How can I just leave you behind?"
Becoming serious, Xu Min looked into the distance, "well, if we survive this whole ordeal, then I will take you with me if you want to accompany me."
Ye Ling nodded his head. He was from the Ye family. Although the Ye family was very influential in the Immortal Valley, every lion would have to leave this family at some point and depend on their personal strength to live. He had nothing more left in the Immortal Valley to hold him back; he never found a mate, and he was now finally together with someone who treated him like a brother. Ye Ling felt comfortable around Xu Min, but most importantly, he felt accepted!
"Let us go and show them what we brothers can do when we go all out!" Ye Ling growled. His eyes turned blood red and dangerous. His imposing aura was stirring, "If anyone wants to kill you, they will have to step over my dead body first!"
Hearing this, Xu Min felt warm in his heart, but he also felt his killing intent. He, who had lost everything once before, had learned how to value what he had. Those whom he held dear were people whom he would never allow to be hurt. Cao Cao was one of these dear ones; Meilin was another; and now Ye Ling had become the newest addition to Xu Min's dear ones, someone he would not hesitate to give his life for.
"None of us will die," he said decisively, "we will get ready to kill anyone standing in our way; we will make sure that no one dares ever to look down on us again. Although I just reached the five-star Warrior rank, I am not as easy to bully as people might think. I learned a lot of things within the Blood Pagoda, and these new techniques will be displayed in all their splendor. In this battle, I don't think we will be able to hide anything. Therefore, I will go all out from the start."
"Anyone who tries to attack me will get killed. Anyone who gets in our way will get butchered. They will team up and think they can defeat us, but we too will team up and prove just how strong we are!"
Hearing Xu Min's certainty, Ye Ling was filled with excitement. This human was correct; they would not die. They would kill the enemies and shock the world. They would steal treasures and rank the highest in the Immortal Valley Rankings. Ye Ling was not certain as to what the winner of this ranking would get, but the glory and honor were enough for him. For him to stand by Xu Min's side and prove that they were no pushovers was all he could ask for. Even strong families like the Snow Mountain were nothing compared to them! He sighed in praise as he thought of all these glorified thoughts. Xu Min, who was standing on the side and looking at him, was grinning at the aloof expression on his friend's face.