Chapter 82: Falling Prey to a Plot
Jiang Chen nodded, asking, “How were your gains?”
“They were alright originally, but Yan Yiming seized them all.” Fatty Xuan’s face was suffused with anger as he gritted his teeth.
“Just hunt more if your spirit pearls were stolen. The greatest outcome is that you’re alright.”
Jiang Chen turned his head and spoke to Ouyang Ping, “Ouyang Ping, many thanks to your message today. I’ve got two extra green spirit pearls, here, take it as your reward.”
Ouyang Ping scratched his head, “This… how can I accept this?”
“Take it!” Jiang Chen’s forehead creased.
“Heh heh, then, I will accept deferentially as opposed to declining courteously?” Ouyang Ping carefully walked forward with the jitters and an arched back. He accepted the two green spirit pearls, and thanked him continuously, “Thank you Brother Jiang Chen.”
Fatty Xuan cried out and said, “Brother Chen, my shoulder blade still hurts. Can you come and see if it’s been dislocated?”
“Dislocation is a small matter, is it really worth making a big deal of like this? You’re still six meridians true qi. At the very least, can’t you even handle such a small thing?”
“Heh heh, that’s because Brother Chen is here!” Fatty Xuan had an exceedingly thick skin.
“Damned fatty.” Although Jiang Chen cursed outwardly, he still walked over and stretched out a hand towards Fatty’s shoulder blade.
Suddenly, the nine meridians true qi in Jiang Chen’s body roared to life, bursting out of his palm and reaching towards Fatty in the form of a fist. The abrupt punch crashed down onto Fatty Xuan’s chest!
Fatty Xuan cried out and hastily retreated, but he was still a beat too slow.
The punch that encompassed the mysteries of four cycles of blooming and wilting landed solidly.
Fatty Xuan’s tubby body smashed violently into the rock walls, as he spewed out fresh blood from his mouth.
Almost at the same time at which Jiang chen made his move, Hubing Yue at his side also shifted. A short sword had appeared in his hand at some point, and came piercing down towards Jiang Chen’s ribs like a viper.
There were no fancy flourishes to this strike – it was like the attack of a viper, directly aiming for the critical points.
Jiang Chen had obviously come prepared, so that when his fist punched out towards Fatty Xuan, his other hand clasped the sheath of the nameless blade, halting the attack of the venomous blade.
Jiang Chen’s body retreated rapidly, wanting to dodge to the side.
At this moment, a surge of strength without the slightest forewarning shot rapidly through the air in the darkness.
A bow and arrow!
“True qi forming currents, a true qi master?” Jiang Chen was greatly startled and wanted to dodge, but it was already too late.
The arrowhead landed on Jiang Chen’s back with a loud crash like a shooting star.
A dull thud sounded out. The arrowhead was uncommonly sharp, and it contained the accumulated strength of a true qi master. It should have pierced through Jiang Chen’s chest, but that scene didn’t happen.
The arrowhead connected with Jiang Chen’s bag with a dull thud, and the force from the strong true qi sent Jiang Chen flying more than ten meters, crashing heavily into another rock wall.
A mouthful of fresh blood sprayed out.
Even with the protection of the skysilk armor preventing the arrowhead from piercing through his body, the impact of the tremendously strong true qi permeating throughout Jiang Chen’s body was enough to send tremors through his organs to the point at which they almost shifted places.
After spitting out the mouthful of fresh blood, Jiang Chen’s right hand grasped the nameless treasured blade as he pushed himself up off the ground. His God’s Eye was deployed to its maximum strength as he scanned the surroundings.
He actually wasn’t that worried about the people in front of him. The bow and arrow attack from the shadows was what he feared the most.
If he was hit by another arrow, he’d at least suffer heavy injuries, even if he didn’t die.
And a true qi master existed in the enemy’s camp!
“Just who are you?” Jiang Chen’s tone was calm but he didn’t dare let up his guard even a little. All sorts of weird stones came into view as his God’s Eye swept the area.
“This won’t do, there’re too many obstacles here. I’ll have to use Ear of the Zephyr.” Since God’s Eye was unable to discover the target, Jiang Chen once again deployed Ear of the Zephyr.
Ear of the Zephyr could catch any rustle in the grass within a radius of five kilometers.
Nothing to the east!
And nothing to the west!
Apart from the sound of underground creatures disturbing the marshland to the south, nothing as well!
Jiang Chen perked his ears up to the north and listened carefully, capturing the slightest hint of a breathing sound. It was suppressed to the extreme, and he wouldn’t have heard it if it wasn’t for his Ear of the Zephyr.
“There’s an archer at the level of a true qi master to the north!” Jiang Chen was a bit reassured after capturing his opponent’s position.
“Jiang Chen, you’re quite strong! You could discover our flaws when you’re in the mere advanced realm of true qi. You’re not simple, not simple at all.”
The person pretending to be Ouyang Ping threw the two green spirit pearls to the side, and the trace of a sinister smile was revealed at the corners of his mouth. “What a pity you’ll be dead without a doubt today.”
“Dead? My single death for all of yours? Even if I die, I’ll bring down a few others with me to cushion the road.”
“Huh. Your punch would have at most harmed number four. With your level in the advanced realm of true qi, there’s no way you could’ve killed him!”
“Is that so? You’ve rather overestimated your companion’s ability to take a beating.” Jiang Chen smiled faintly.
A punch that encompassed the mysteries of “Divine Aeons Fist”… even if the other was a true qi master, he’d be dead without a doubt if his chest suffered a blow.
Jiang Chen still had this little bit of confidence.
“Number four, are you alright?” The killer who had faked Ouyang Ping called out raspily.
The killer pretending to be Fatty Xuan only murmured lowly, the breath of life in his body wispy and tenuous.
“No need to call out to him. There’d be no hope for him even if the immortals descended to the mortal realm.”
The fake Hubing Yue also dashed out from the shadows, “Number three, we’ll attack him together. Boss, lock onto him with your bow, and torture this kid to death!”
Jiang Chen’s figure wavered as he dashed beneath another rock wall, covering his body, and just so happening to stay out of attack range of the hidden archer.
“Kid, stop hiding, you’ll be unable to escape, even if we fight three against one.” The fake Ouyang Ping leered.
“Three against one? Are you sure you still have such combat ability?” Jiang Chen laughed in contempt.
“What do you mean?”
“Oh no, number three, you took his green spirit pearls just now! They were probably poisoned! According to the intelligence from the employer, this kid may be adept at using poison!”
The fake Hubing Yue was number two, and immediately spoke up to issue a reminder to the fake Ouyang Ping.
Jiang Chen took advantage of their confusion to once again leap up and dash into the darkness like a ghost. He vanished without a trace with only a few rise and falls of his body.
“No, this kid is escaping!”
Although Jiang Chen had fled, he didn’t get very far. Firstly, these people had provoked him, and Jiang Chen wasn’t the type to easily let them off the hook.
Secondly, since they had faked being Fatty Xuan and Hubing Yue, this caused Jiang Chen to be slightly concerned. Were Fatty Xuan and Hubing Yue safe and sound at this moment, or had they already been killed by these fellows?
“Judging from their skills, they must be professionally trained killers. Except, wasn’t the entrance to the Boundless Catacombs sealed? How did these fellows make their way in?”
How would Jiang Chen have known that the Duke of Soaring Dragon had spent a large amount of money to hire these four killers? They had long since targeted four heirs, and secretly disposed of them on the day that everyone had left for the catacombs. They then disguised themselves with the appearance of those four heirs, and made their way into the Boundless Catacombs.
And all of this was an arrangement from the Duke of Soaring Dragon – the plan of Long Zhaofeng!
They had originally used a few special methods to partner the Long family brother and sister together, in order to attract as many Swordbirds from the first and second level to the third level.
This location was the place they had set up to lure Jiang Chen to within the third level.
However, Jiang Chen’s hunting skills were great, and he had obtained enough green spirit pearls in spite of their plans.
Jiang Chen would even be able to complete his mission early, and leave without setting foot into the area they had set up.
Therefore, they had started executing another plan, which was to disguise themselves as Fatty Xuan and Hubing Yue. They had planned on acting out the ruse of inflicting an injury on themselves to win the confidence of Jiang Chen, and attack unexpectedly when Jiang Chen was looking at Fatty Xuan’s injuries.
Except, never in their wildest dreams did they think that Jiang Chen would be able to see through them! This was outside of their expectations.
One had to know, the killers of Hidden Hand were all masters of disguise. Even if they had to disguise themselves as a chubby character like Fatty Xuan, they portrayed him with a living resemblance.
Actually, Jiang Chen hadn’t even suspected that this was a trap in the beginning.
When the fake Ouyang Ping had led the way, Jiang Chen had only thought that it was vaguely strange. This Ouyang Ping was only six meridians true qi, how could he keep up with Jiang Chen’s pace?
This little bit of strangeness had bothered Jiang Chen, but it didn’t cause him to become suspicious.
The flaw that Jiang Chen truly did pick up on was the sentence the fake Fatty had said, when he said that he was of six meridians true qi.
One had to remember that on the bright morning before they had entered the catacombs, Fatty Xuan had come to specially tell Jiang Chen, gleefully, that he had broken through to seven meridians true qi.
Jiang Chen still remembered this matter vividly.
Except, the breakthrough had happened the night before they’d entered the catacombs. How was the killer pretending to be Fatty Xuan supposed to know?
However, even with this sentence, Jiang Chen had only suspected that maybe Fatty Xuan had said the wrong thing when he was injured.
But when he’d probed afterwards — You’re still six meridians true qi, at the very least, can’t you even handle this small thing?
Jiang Chen had once again emphasized six meridians true qi, and tested with his words.
This fake Fatty Xuan once again didn’t offer a rebuttal and didn’t correct him.
After twice in a row, as well as Jiang Chen’s God’s Eye, he finally discovered that there were still some differences in detail between the fake Fatty and the real one.
Many of the differences in detail were concealed by the boundless night. However, to Jiang Chen’s God’s Eye, they were as clear as looking at fire.
If you added the flaws in speech, it allowed Jiang Chen to discern that this was a trap.
So Jiang Chen turned the trick into something of his own use, and covertly applied poison to the two green spirit pearls, and then used the excuse of checking Fatty Xuan’s shoulder to lay a lethal blow onto the killer pretending to be Fatty Xuan.
The end goal of his continued steps of plotting was to decrease the other’s battle capabilities.
In this way, he had used one punch to kill number four who was pretending to be Fatty Xuan, and had employed poison to finish off number three who was pretending to be Ouyang Ping.
With this, there would only be the killer boss lying in wait from the shadows, and number two , who was pretending to be Hubing Yue, left.
“Heh heh, I was truly naive to think that the Duke of Soaring Dragon wouldn’t move against me here! Who would’ve thought that the Long family would go to such extremes to take care of me. They think highly of me indeed.”
Killing intent also surged within Jiang Chen’s heart. The Duke of Soaring Dragon had overstepped his bottom line again and again.
“Boss, this kid is strange. He killed number four with one punch, and number three with poison.”
“Hold your ground. He’s been injured by my true qi and won’t make it far. Remember, be on your guard against this kid’s poison!”
“Huh. He plotted against number three. How would I fall for the same thing, knowing that he’s adept at using poison?” The tone of the fake Hubing Yue was filled with a depth of hatred that reached the sky.