Chapter 30: Descent Into Madness
As the days went by, one after another, Xue Wei was busy cultivating his abilities and his Qi. He would spend a week in the medicine bath, and then a week out at the back of the mansion at the training fields.
Sometimes, Shen Mu and Luo Zhirou would come visit. They would not stay for long as they could feel the conviction in Xue Wei’s entire being, but they still stayed for a bit to talk with him.
“Brother Xue, the whole town knows about you and that wayfarer girl – do you miss her a lot?” Luo Zhirou asked one day, to which Xue Wei gave her a sad smile as he nodded his head. He saw no reason to deny it.
“I want to be strong enough to be worthy of her,” he said honestly. “I need to become a peerless genius and an expert above the Heavenly Warrior rank if I want to make it work between us. I do not have much time!”
Luo Zhirou sighed. “Life is cruel,” she said. “Not allowing two lovers to be together just because their families are against it. I am sure that one day you will become an expert that reaches the apex. You have your unique physique to help you, after all!”
Luo Zhirou could feel that Xue Wei was truly depressed because of his sudden split with Wang Xiaoyun, and she often used the excuse of bringing him cookies to come and visit him to see how he was doing. However, slowly as the days went by, she noticed that all his negative emotions started changing into determination. He was utterly determined to become someone worthy of Wang Xiaoyun. He would become someone that all that knew him would be proud of knowing.
When Luo Zhirou and Shen Mu were not visiting, Xue Wei was training and taking medicine baths.
While he was bathing, Manager Su would also sit in a trance in a bathtub by Xue Wei's side and absorb his medicinal ingredients.
At the start, he had been against the idea of also cultivating as he felt the need to look after Xue Wei at every waking hour, but after hearing Xue Wei talk about the allure of reaching the Heavenly Warrior rank and what benefits it would bring Xue Wei and Xiao Lei, Manager Su finally succumbed to the temptation.
However, he would only agree as long as he was within eyesight of Xue Wei. After making such a big spectacle out of himself, Xue Wei was aware that many families were aiming for his head. As a result, it was safer to have Manager Su by his side.
Xue Wei had personally made the herbal concoction for Manager Su, yet the manager refused to let Xue Wei pay for the materials needed.
Manager Su’s concoction needed a beast core equivalent to the Heavenly Warrior rank. However, there had been none available in the entire Tiankong City. As a result, they went into the vault where Xiao Lei had left the most treasured items he had gotten while fighting Fierce Beasts and Primordial Beasts.
Xiao Lei had fought many such beasts. The Primordial Beasts did also have beast cores, and Xue Wei, who was now the owner of the Xiao Lei Mansion, picked a Primordial Beast core to use in the herbal concoction for Manager Su.
He never told Manager Su this fact, as he knew that he would refuse to use it. At this, Xue Wei could not help but sigh. It was clear that they had been left by Xiao Lei for his sake, but it would take a long time before he would be able to use such potent items – and there was a full seven of them, which was why he decided to use one of them on Manager Su.
He used the same herbs, but all of them were much older than the ones Xue Wei used for his bath. He also added a Rising Mountain Dewflower that was around five hundred years old.
This concoction was so filled with energy that when Manager Su lowered his body into it, he hissed and his eyes bulged. "You brat, this hurts!" he exclaimed. Xue Wei just chuckled in response. Just being close to the fumes that came from the other bath was enough to make Xue Wei having a hard time breathing. With every breath, more and more energy entered his body.
Each breath felt like swallowing small needles that then wandered through the various energy passageways in his body. And even more so whenever he entered his own bath.
The water was powerful. Manager Su said nothing about his advances, but Xue Wei could guess that he experienced rather significant progress as he continued to enter the baths at the same time as Xue Wei. If it were pointless, then he would have given up after the first bath.
It took the two somewhat equal time to absorb the energy in the bath. When they had finished, the two went out to the back of the mansion where Xue Wei started practicing again.
This routine continued for three weeks before Manager Su excused himself. He had to go and deal with the managing of the mansion. So far, nothing had happened to Xue Wei, and when Manager Su left, he ensured that there was, at the minimum, three guards present to watch over him.
Although they were in the Xiao Lei mansion, Manager Su was incredibly alert. He knew the extent of He Tong’s power, and now enough time had passed for him to have descended into complete insanity.
His most promising child had been crippled. His guards had been crippled. He had been mocked in town, and people had stopped using his shops in a display of support to Xue Wei for his protection of the commoner girls.
He Tong had lost all face that he could lose, and secretly he held a high enmity towards the Li family as well as Xue Wei. Although Xue Wei was the direct reason for all of this, had Li Jian not ordered his son to bully commoners and then chase Xue Wei, would he not be perfectly fine this day, today?
"I need my revenge," He Tong screamed for the umpteenth time within the mansion, and all servants hid away out of fear. He Tong's wives dared not speak; his remaining children were silent.
The only other sound at the He mansion was the constant sobbing of the Young Master of the He family. After realizing that the tendons in his legs had been cut and that his legs would never be as they were before, he was filled with depression. However, above all, he hated Li Jian and Xue Wei.
"Father, you have to avenge me!" he howled, his howl causing everyone to shiver. The father and son pair had descended into complete despair and insanity by now, and they would no longer be able to back down.
He Tong had been waiting for the moment Manager Su left Xue Wei's side. He had waited painstakingly for more than a week, observing every single move that was made by the two. Although Manager Su had been on high alert, he was unable to sense a man who was out of the mansion itself.
As Manager Su left, Xue Wei did not feel too uncomfortable. He had a tingling sensation telling him that he was being watched, but he did not find it strange considering the guards that were staring at him.
Unfortunately, this feeling only got stronger and stronger. At some point, suddenly, he felt a critical sense of danger.
Activating Forbidden Rush and without caring for his destination, Xue Wei flew into the air, continually changing his direction like a fluttering butterfly in the wind.
Right where he had stood was a large crater on the ground, and a boom resounded out as dust billowed up and made it all impossible to see.
Xue Wei did not slow down; his gut feeling told him that the moment he calmed down, he would be caught by whoever was chasing him, and he also knew that he had to move randomly if he wished to get through this.
The power behind the hit that had left a crater on the training field was so powerful that if it had even grazed Xue Wei, he would have become a meaty pulp right away.
Realizing that he was this close to death, Xue Wei did not panic. His eyes focused on the figure that landed on the training field before they narrowed slightly.
Everything in Xue Wei's body was screaming danger, and he knew that he had to get away. He used the cloud of dust as cover to rush away from the descending figure and maneuver through the grounds of the Xiao Lei mansion in no time by relying on the Forbidden Rush technique.
Xue Wei did not slow down, moving irregularly. He moved in one direction at one time and then made a sharp turn to run in another direction to disturb the pursuing assassin.
Although Xue Wei was fast and his speed was almost near impossible to see for an Ordinary Warrior, his pursuer was not an Ordinary Warrior and could see every move Xue Wei made with perfect clarity.
Unfortunately, one thing was seeing it; another was actually catching up with him. Xue Wei continually changed directions, jumping high in the air at one time and down on the ground at another.
Xue Wei was like a fly that buzzed about. Although he used a movement technique, he was only just fast enough to escape his pursuer despite pushing his speed to the limits.
In almost no time, Xue Wei had reached the marketplace, but he did not stop for even a moment. He knew that he would be killed if he did.
The pursuer had truly descended into madness. He did not mind who would be sacrificed along with Xue Wei. As long as Xue Wei died, he would be satisfied.
The intense chase continued through the entire Tiankong City before Xue Wei returned to the Xiao Lei Mansion, hoping that Manager Su was available.
Just as he arrived, Xue Wei could feel a deadly aura surge out from within the mansion. Immediately following that, a loud shout resounded through the entire area as Manager Su charged out from inside the mansion.
Xue Wei could feel an aura even more intense than the one he had felt when Manager Su had released his aura earlier.
Usually, one could not guess the cultivation bases of those ranked higher than oneself. They could be in the same rank as oneself, just a few layers above, or they could, in theory, also be Heavenly Warriors.
The only time one was capable of guessing the strength of a Warrior was the moment their aura was released. This aura was usually converged within the cultivator, waiting to be released, and one would typically release it during a fight if it were face to face, as the aura could boost morale, increase one’s ferocity, and also intimidate their opponent.
The aura could be different all depending on what kind of background the cultivator had. He Tong's aura was heavy. It was overwhelmingly powerful to someone like Xue Wei, but there was no special trait to it. He Tong had not gone down a path of killing, so it did not have a natural killing intent added in. He had not gone down the road of righteousness, so it did not feel otherworldly.
The only thing that Xue Wei could feel was an overwhelmingly dense aura that had locked onto him, making his every move slower and slower. The blood in his body began to roil, and his heart started to beat rapidly If this continued, then he would, without a doubt, be caught.
Manager Su, on the other hand, had walked a road of killing when he was younger. He had paved his way through the corpses of Fierce Beasts and seen his comrades die repeatedly, so the aura he released was fierce and cold. It felt as if one had fallen into a freezing lake.
The aura erupted instantly when Manager Su saw what was happening, and it enveloped everything around the two, Xue Wei and his pursuer.
Xue Wei suddenly felt that the aura that had been pushing down on him, the aura that had been making it impossible for him to display the utmost of his abilities, had been lifted. He darted behind Manager Su like an arrow leaving its bow.
At the same time, Manager Su glanced at Xue Wei to ensure that the young man was uninjured. When he saw that he was in one piece, albeit soaked in sweat and looking incredibly exhausted, he heaved a sigh of relief.
"He Tong, you scoundrel! Attacking the younger generation is a serious crime – allow for me to administer the correct punishment!"
Manager Su stepped forward, and each step he took made the ground beneath his feet crack open. His aura gathered momentum and increased step by step. He Tong's face turned ugly. He understood that he had indeed kicked a hornet's nest this time.
"You old slave, how can you be so much stronger than me?!" he shrieked out as he dashed backward, trying to avoid Manager Su’s attack.