Chapter 246 – Exchange
Mu Chen softly landed in the stone hall. Everyone wore a shocked expression as they watched Cheng Shi still coughing up blood in his sorry state. His expression was extremely different than it’d been before. This outcome had clearly been outside of his expectations.
Cheng Shi, a Quasi-Heavenly Transform Stage expert, had been defeated by a single move from a Heavenly Fusion Stage youth?
“How is that possible?!”
The members of the Lion Tiger Regiment cried with hoarse voices. The arrogant and belittling expressions had melted away from their faces and were replaced with fear as they looked upon the youth.
Mu Chen stood in the air, watching Cheng Shi, who was still hemorrhaging. A chill flashed through his eyes. Without warning, he burst forward towards Cheng Shi.
It was clear that he planned to kick the enemy while he was down.
Chen Hu snarled when he noticed Mu Chen’s relentless pursuit. The Draconic Spirit Bracelet on his wrist flared with spiritual light and the roars of dragons. The bracelet itself transformed into a fiery-red flood dragon and burst towards Mu Chen with a raging Spiritual Energy.
A look of concern flashed through Mu Chen’s eyes. This Draconic Spirit Bracelet was so powerful that it made his skin crawl. So, there was this much distance between a High Rank Spiritual Artifact and a Middle Rank one?
When Cheng Hu acted, he’d forgotten about Li Qing, who was still keeping an eye on them. She coldly snorted and raised her Draconic Spirit Bracelet, as well. Hers, likewise, turned into a massive dragon shrouded in surging scarlet pulses, which quickly moved to block the other scarlet dragon.
The scarlet dragon and scarlet flood-dragon collided in midair as waves of wild Spiritual Energy rippled out. The very air itself was compressing and exploding under the force of their battle, further wrecking the ruined stone hall.
Mu Chen raised his head towards the dragons’ fight with a dignified look on his face. Recently, he’d been straying away from Spiritual Artifacts — he’d come to believe that they weren’t that powerful, after all. But, now that he’d witnessed the power of a genuine High Rank Spiritual Artifact, he realised just how much a Spiritual Artifact could increase one’s strength in battle.
If Cheng Shi had possessed another High Rank Spiritual Artifact, then Mu Chen definitely wouldn’t have defeated him so easily. In fact, they might’ve been caught in a long, drawn-out fight just because of a Spiritual Artifact. Then, all Cheng Shi had to do was use his greater Spiritual Energy to wear Mu Chen away.
The expression in Mu Chen’s eyes flickered. Seems like he can’t underestimate the effect of a Spiritual Artifact. If possible, he’d like to have a Spiritual Artifact to protect himself. Otherwise, if he ever encountered someone who possessed a High Rank Spiritual Artifact, he’d be forced on the defensive.
The thought didn’t delay Mu Chen’s charge towards the pale-faced Cheng Shi at all.
“Stop him!” Cheng Hu realised that Mu Chen didn’t plan on letting his brother go, so he issued an enraged order. But, he was currently caught up with Li Qing, so he couldn’t afford to divert his attention any further.
Dozens of Lion Tiger Regiment experts responded as they rushed towards Mu Chen.
Mu Chen’s expression turned cold as he gripped his cyan longsword even harder. The black flames surged and entirely shrouded the blade as he thrust it forward. The sword light and black flames swept as one towards the members of the Lion Tiger Regiment with an earth-shattering force.
So, among those members were even Heavenly Fusion Stage experts. But still, it was impossible for them to take down Mu Chen. A dark-burning sword light arced towards them, instantly slicing through their defenses, and sent them flying backwards, while trailing blood.
Mu Chen was as fierce as a wolf or tiger as he smashed through them and reappeared in front of the pale-faced and fear-filled Cheng Shi.
“What do you want?!” Cheng Shi snarled, even he couldn’t hide the fear in his eyes. This youth was only a Heavenly Fusion Stage. How could he be so ferocious?
Mu Chen lightly smiled at him as he stepped forward. His palm trembled as the dark-burning sword light halted right before Cheng Shi’s exposed throat. Cheng Shi froze as he felt the sharp and blazing energy lap at his skin.
“Hey.” Mu Chen grabbed Cheng Shi as he stared over at the dim Cheng Hu with a smile. “I wonder how much you value your brother’s puny life?”
“Kid, if you hurt him, there’ll be an irreconcilable blood feud between yourself and my Lion Tiger Regiment. None of us will rest until you’re dead or we’ve been eradicated.” Cheng Hu threatened. He clenched his fists as rage filled his eyes.
“Cut the nonsense.” Mu Chen smiled while shaking his head. Then, his eyes turned cold. “Hand over the Draconic Spirit Bracelet in exchange for your brother’s life.”
“You…!” Cheng Hu flew into a fury as he held Mu Chen’s eyes. He looked as if he wanted to swallow Mu Chen whole.
However, Mu Chen only returned a cold smile as he brought the longsword and its black flames closer to Cheng Shi’s throat. A thin line of blood trickled down and was burned away by the black flames.
Cheng Shi’s face turned even paler. He was too terrified to even breathe due to the heat at his throat.
Chen Hu trembled as he fixed his eyes on Mu Chen. The other members of the Lion Tiger Regiment took note of the situation and didn’t dare approach.
The other spectators in the ruined stone hall clicked their tongues when they saw Mu Chen take Cheng Shi hostage. Truly, a ferocious individual. They never expected the two leaders of the Lion Tiger Regiment to fall into Mu Chen’s hands.
Li Qing also put away her Draconic Spirit Bracelet as she flew to Mu Chen’s side. Her beautiful eyes stared at Cheng Hu, whose body trembled from anger and tension.
Mu Chen coldly smiled at the expressions that ran through Cheng Hu’s face. “It looks like you think that your brother’s life is worthless compared to the Draconic Spirit Bracelet.”
Cheng Shi trembled by the ruthless intention in that sentence. The members of the Lion Tiger Regiment also looked at Cheng Hu. If he didn’t make the exchange, then many of them might end up with cold hearts.
Cheng Hu only glared at Mu Chen with deep loathing. This kid was still young, but his heart was extremely ruthless. If he didn’t exchange the Draconic Spirit Bracelet for his brother, then he might lose the hearts of the Lion Tiger Regiment.
“Alright. I’ll give you the Draconic Spirit Bracelet! But, you must release him first!” Cheng Hu bit his teeth as those words were stifled out from the gap between his teeth.
“You’re in no position to make those demands.” Mu Chen smiled. “Hand over the Draconic Spirit Bracelet.”
Cheng Hu’s eyes turned bloodshot as he glared at Mu Chen, before he finally made his decision. He reached out and made a motion as if to pull something out of thin air. The huge scarlet flood-dragon quickly shrank down and returned to its bracelet form before landing in Cheng Hu’s palm.
Cheng Hu clutched the bracelet with a look of heartache in his eyes. But, ultimately, he still tossed it towards Mu Chen.
Mu Chen flicked his wrist out and pulled the Draconic Spirit Bracelet into his hand. An intense Spiritual Energy coursed from his palm, through the rest of his body. In that instant, even Mu Chen couldn’t control it and cried out in admiration. Truly a High Rank Spiritual Artifact. It was many times stronger than a Middle Rank one.
Mu Chen passed it to Li Qing.
Li Qing gave him a surprised look — she didn’t expect Mu Chen to simply hand it to her. After all, he was the one who’d fought hard for it. Back in the Northern Heavens Spiritual Academy’s Spiritual Value Hall, something like this would be worth millions of Spiritual Value Points. That wasn’t a small amount.
Li Qing looked as if she was struggling for a moment, then shook her head. “It’s your spoil of battle. I can’t take it.” She knew that the Draconic Spirit Bracelets together formed a single Spiritual Artifact, but that one still belonged to Mu Chen.
Mu Chen smiled, shook his head, and tossed it to her anyways.
Li Qing panicked when she saw Mu Chen toss it so casually and quickly dove to catch it with her jade-like hands. Anger flared in her chest as she demanded, “What are you doing?!”
She was a beautiful woman, even though she was usually a little too cold. Mu Chen was temporarily stunned by her upset expression. However, he quickly recovered and smiled. “Senior Sister Li Qing, you’re rather beautiful when you smile.”
Li Qing’s face turned red as she snorted and put the Draconic Spirit Bracelet on her wrist. Her face returned back to its usual icy-cold form.
“I’ll consider this a favor I owe you. When we return home from the mission, I’ll give you the 1,500,000 Spiritual Value Points that I’m supposed to get.”
Mu Chen smiled, “No need.”
“I don’t like owing favors. If you don’t want the points, then you should take this Draconic Spirit Bracelet back,” Li Qing pressed.
Mu Chen smiled and shrugged. Senior Sister Li Qing could be quite cute when she was being stubborn. Pity, given how cold she normally was.
Cheng Hu’s eyes nearly sprouted flames as he watched Mu Chen flirt with Li Qing. “Are you still not going to let my brother go?!”
In one swift move, Mu Chen hauled Cheng Shi to his feet and printed a palm on his back. The force of the palm sent Cheng Shi flying out in an even sorrier state than he’d been before. His pale face turned even paler, if that was possible.
Cheng Hu caught his flying brother and immediately examined his pale face. His expression changed. “What did you do to him?”
“I put something inside his body. Don’t worry, he won’t die. He just won’t be able to circulate his Spiritual Energy for half an hour.”
Mu Chen smiled and shrugged a very insincere apology. “Sorry, you guys have greater numbers. I was also worried that you might attack us after I let him go. Please forgive me.”
Cheng Hu stared at Mu Chen with dark eyes, then flashed him a bit of a ferocious smile. “Little piece of shit! Did you really think we’d let you walk away like this?”
That caught Mu Chen’s attention.
A rumbling of footsteps sounded from outside the stone hall and everyone watched as a cluster of people rushed in like a tsunami. Some of them were members of the Lion Tiger Regiment, though many others wore an entirely different uniform — all the members of this second group wore the same crest sewn onto their breast.
“It’s the Nine Blade Troop!”
“The Lion Tiger Regiment and Nine Blade Troop are allies. That kid is doomed. Sigh. It’s as the saying goes: ’The older piece of ginger always bites harder than the younger piece.’ The Lion Tiger Regiment must have sent someone out for reinforcements.”
Mu Chen knitted his brows at the whispering as he watched two individuals separate themselves from the rest of the Nine Blade Troop — clearly the leaders and Quasi-Heavenly Transform Stage experts.
The two newcomers glanced around the stone hall and laughed. “Haha. Brother Cheng Hu, I rushed over immediately after I received your message.”
Cheng Hu cupped his hands. “I’ll have to thank you two brothers.” Then he looked at Mu Chen with a fierce expression and laughed. “Little piece of shit. Let’s see if you can still dance?”
Mu Chen’s expression turned cold as his black flames slowly spread over his body.
Li Qing clutched the Draconic Spirit Bracelets even harder and prepared to exert all her strength.
The atmosphere in the stone hall could only be described as a state of pure hostility.
Suddenly, a strange sound rang throughout the room. Everyone frowned as they turned their eyes towards the source at the end of the stone hall.
Their faces changed.
Mu Chen and Li Qing had also turned around and their pupils shrank at the sight before them. The mottled stone statue was bursting with lights in the form of a complex array. A surge of frightening Spiritual Energy rippled from the ancient stone statue.
The stone statue slowly opened its eyes and looked upon them with it’s stone-dead eyes.