The Primordial Beast Hunters were not wrong when they assumed that Hei Gou was burning all his energy to be able to increase his speed.
They had, however, underestimated his willpower.
"No!" Xue Wei called out in despair when Hei Gou picked up in speed. "Don't do it! We can escape without you burning your blood essence!" he said in panic, but Hei Gou did not reply and instead pushed himself harder.
A red mist had started to appear around Hei Gou. He was exhausting all his energy for the sake of fleeing. Every single ounce of energy in his body was being squeezed out so that he could fly faster.
Xue Wei was filled with fear. Blood essence was something that should not be burned unless one was in a serious life-or-death situation. When one burnt their blood essence, one would be weak for a time afterwards until the depleted blood essence was restored.
Even worse was burning the heart-blood essence, the blood essence that was stored in one’s heart. This could never be replenished unless one used treasures, herbs, or pills of sufficient quality, and each one of these were incredibly difficult to obtain.
Since these items were so difficult to obtain, most common people would never even see it in their lives. In fact, even the entire Kingdom of Heping would be incapable of producing such a treasure from their treasure-houses.
So far, Hei Gou had only burnt his normal blood essence, but Xue Wei looked on with worry and could see that the black dog’s eyes were filled with determination. He would burn his heart-blood essence if he had to, to ensure that they could escape.
"Look at the red mist that appeared around him!" one of the Primordial Beast Hunters called out. "Their speed has increased drastically... the dog must be burning blood essence! Don’t lose sight of them! He’ll run out of blood essence to burn soon enough!"
"We cannot allow him to escape! I know that we cannot ask of our beasts to burn their blood essence since we own them, but our control over them is limited. We just have to hope that the sudden boost in his strength is temporary."
The faces of the other hunters were ugly. They had expected this to be a simple hunt, but the Primordial Beast that Xue Wei was flying on had burnt its blood essence, causing him to suddenly pick up in speed and widen the gap instantly. Even if they wanted to catch up, it would be impossible at this rate.
Since they could not catch up, all they could do was simply watch as Xue Wei and Hei Gou vanished into the distance. Their faces turned darker and darker. Their certain victory was now no longer so certain.
"He has burnt his blood essence," the calmest of the hunters said in a serious voice. "It is true that they have escaped us, for now, but do remember that the Primordial Beast used its blood essence. It will be weakened for some time, which means they won’t be moving as fast. Now that we know they are two, we will adjust our search accordingly. We will find them eventually, so let us continue our pursuit."
Hei Gou and Xue Wei had long shaken off the pursuers, but Hei Gou did not stop burning his blood essence.
"Stop it now! We have a big lead. You will only harm yourself like this!" Xue Wei was in pain when he saw that Hei Gou was still trying his best, but the beast did not listen to him. Instead, it changed its direction. So far, they had fled towards the south all along, but now they were heading west.
Hei Gou was flying nonstop for a full day while burning his essence blood. When the moon rose to the blackened sky, the blood mist that enveloped them was now so dense that it looked like a red cloud.
They had been flying at high altitude, and now the moon in the sky caused Hei Gou to feel even more exhausted. Before long, he could no longer maintain flight.
The flying dog, who had completely ignored Xue Wei’s attempts to stop its wanton consumption of blood essence, finally descended to the ground.
It changed its body back to its human shape, revealing that breathtakingly handsome face. The shadows of exhaustion lurked on Hei Gou’s human face, which looked so pale that it had turned grey.
All blood was drained from his face, and he was staggering while trying to move.
"You dolt!" Xue Wei scolded him, "You know there’s terrible consequences to burning your blood essence like that! What is the point of surviving if I have to see you die from over-exhausting yourself?!"
"I won't die from this," Hei Gou said, panting, with a weak voice. It was a struggle for him just to stay standing, and speaking made him almost collapse right then and there.
Xue Wei sighed deeply, unsure of what exactly to say. He knew that they were temporarily safe now due to Hei Gou's sacrifice, but he also knew that they would be chased down by the Primordial Beast Hunters endlessly as long as they were still within the boundaries of Heping Kingdom.
"You flew west all the time right?" Xue Wei finally decided not to continue talking about the sacrifice Hei Gou had made. He would instead make sure that the sacrifice would be worth it in the long run - that they would escape Heping Kingdom together safely.
"We are not far from the border," Hei Gou replied, nodding his head, but the movement caused his body, which was currently exhausted to the limits, to double over. He fell flat on his face.
Xue Wei rushed to his side and helped him roll over onto his back. It was a miracle that Hei Gou was capable of maintaining his human form with his current condition, but Xue Wei understood that he was doing it for the sake of not attracting any trouble to themselves in case someone noticed them.
"Grab onto me," Xue Wei said and hoisted Hei Gou up. He placed the black dog's arm over his shoulders and supported him while he slowly began to move.
"This reminds me of the first time we met," Xue Wei said with a slight smile on his face. "You decided to follow me with no real reason, simply because we were in the same position. Who would have thought that we would actually feel such a connection after a short amount of time."
"I feel that you only decided to join me because you did not want to die alone, and you knew that we would never make it out of the forest... but looking back, we made it out just fine. We even managed to escape the death trap that was Lingyun Town."
"Now we have come this far with your sacrifice. I am not going to make it all pointless in the end. We will survive."
Hei Gou did not speak. He was spending all his remaining energy on shuffling his feet along. Meanwhile, he felt a constant stream of gentle Qi running into his body from Xue Wei.
Although this Qi was very pure, the amount that was poured into his body was now much smaller than what he had to handle earlier during their escape, which made him feel much more comfortable rather than painful.
"I feel like crap," Hei Gou finally said. His voice was hoarse and his handsome face was twisted in a strange grimace.
"But if we can survive this way, then so be it," he continued.
"Well done!" Xue Wei smiled, his words spoken solemnly. There was no doubt that they were said from his very core.
"Tell me about your life while we walk. If I listen to some stories, I might forget my pain," Hei Gou requested. Xue Wei thought that it was the least he could do.
"I was born in Lingyun Town. However, as a matter of fact, I had no memories of this place for the past six years of my life." Xue Wei began.
"I regained some memories back when we visited, when I passed out inside that pharmacy, but the key memories are still hazy. It is as if something is blocking them."
"Anyway, I can tell you about my life that started six years ago." Xue Wei did not hesitate and began to tell Hei Gou about how he had awakened in Xiao Lei’s mansion, unaware of who he was.
Xue Wei told him about how his uncle had doted on him, and how he had been trash that could not cultivate. How everyone apart from Shen Mu and Luo Zhirou had looked down upon him and tried to bully him.
He told him about his crush on Wang Xiaoyun. "When I first met her, it was as if I had been dropped from the sky. Butterflies flew in my stomach and I was nervous like never before. She is a blinding person. I admire her so much, and she is kind like the gentle breeze."
Xue Wei sighed, "I swore to her that I would become a Primordial Beast Hunter with a name so illustrious that I’d make her Wayfarer peers and elders acknowledge me and make her mine, but that is not going to happen now," Xue Wei smiled wryly.
"But that does not mean I am going to give up on her. I guess that if I cannot get the permission from her family, then I will just elope with her. She makes me feel whole... she is like the moon, a shining light on the darkest moments of my life."
"So young and already having a lover!" Hei Gou nodded his head. "No wonder you were so creeped out by my attempt at humor before. So it was because you already have someone in mind. I am sure that if you did not have a woman in your heart, you would be slightly swayed by me. I mean look at this handsome face, who can not enjoy perfection?"
Xue Wei got goosebumps listening to Hei Gou, but he also felt slightly better knowing that the return of Hei Gou’s narcissism meant that his condition was improving.
"I don't like men, and definitely not you!" Xue Wei denied him with a straight face, and then Hei Gou grinned, flashing that charismatic smile that always played on his lips.
"I don't like men either, but when you put it like that, it kinda hurts my feelings," he joked around. However, the moment he said that, his face turned solemn.
Xue Wei had no time to retort, he too had noticed that someone had arrived not far away from them. The person did not seem to be overly strong, as they had been able to sense him, but they both feared the worst.
Just one person recognizing them could lead the Primordial Beast Hunters barreling in their direction.
If the hunters managed to catch up with them once more, the duo would have no way to escape anymore.
"Kill first, questions later," Xue Wei said brutally. A killing intent soared within his body. The threat that this person posed as a potential whistleblower confirmed and amplified Xue Wei’s rational conclusion that he had to get rid of the stranger, and his eyes turned slightly red.
Hei Gou was of the same opinion, but he knew that he would be able to do absolutely nothing to help Xue Wei in his current condition, so instead he released his arm that was slung over Xue Wei's shoulders and sat down on a branch.
"I will leave this to you!" he said excitedly and stuck up his thumb while smiling at Xue Wei.Previous Chapter Next Chapter