Chapter 39: Third Layer Earth Warrior
The bandits felt the dangerous air surrounding Xue Wei, and many of them could not help but look at him as he slowly strolled towards them.
His sword was in his hand, hanging level to his body. When they looked at it, they saw that it shone with an azure light.
"You guys, go and stop that kid!" someone yelled out, and five ninth layer Ordinary Warriors stepped forward. They completely ignored everyone else and headed straight for Xue Wei.
Xue Wei did not seem to care. He was heading forward at the same pace as he had moved at before, but just as the first person appeared in front of Xue Wei, the young man thrust out the sword so fast that no one was able even to see the movement he made.
The man he was up against was a ninth layered Ordinary Warrior, but they were nothing more than ants in front of Xue Wei. When he used the Sacrificial Stab, they died instantly; the Qi sword pierced his heart fast and painlessly.
The bandit did not even know what happened before he was dead. Xue Wei dissipated the Qi sword, and with but a thought created a new sword in his palm. He turned towards the next one of the five experts.
He could feel a strange energy bursting into his body. The Sacrificial Stab was an old heritage skill from the monks and priests.
All priests and monks in the continent were of the same religion. They all revered the ancient god, a figure that had created the world and had transcended the limits of mortality. This religion was named after this god and the outsiders often referred to it as the Church of the Ancient God.
This religion was known to be very mysterious. No one knew much about what exactly went on behind the scenes of the temples, but one thing was certain, the monks and priests were not to be messed with, they were one of the largest organisations on the entire continent.
The Ancient God had left behind different abilities and techniques as his heritage, all of them now owned by the monks and priests, and the Sacrificial Stab was one that the monks used quite frequently. As to how Xiao Lei had gotten his hands on it, no one knew, and Xue Wei did not care. He just felt the divine boon make its descent upon him and felt how he grew stronger and stronger.
He felt the Qi in his body roiling as the soul of the target dissipated into thin air. A red layer of energy shrouded Xue Wei's body, and he felt that his strength had almost grown by a quarter of his usual strength.
This strength made his body feel hot, the energy was slightly out of control at first, but it quickly settled down, allowing for Xue Wei to integrate it into his own strength.
"Well then, let us see if it truly stacks," Xue Wei mumbled as he swung the Qi sword and slashed at a bandit that was wielding a pair of battle axes.
The first sword slash was blocked, but the attack was enough to push back the bandit and for marks to appear on the axes.
As soon as he was pushed back, another group rushed forward, but Xue Wei brandished his weapon and swung it twice, blocking the incoming attacks and returning them with some fast attacks. One of them was a Sacrificial Stab; it was so fast that the target had no chance to go against it, so he died on the spot, and his soul was sacrificed to the Ancient God, causing the red energy shrouding Xue Wei to increase in size. The energy that Xue Wei could control once more grew by an additional fourth of his original strength.
Suddenly, his strength had soared through the heavens. And together with his strength, his speed also reached another level. By using the Forbidden Rush movement technique, Xue Wei was now capable of becoming a shadow moving around on the battlefield as he pleased.
One Sacrificial Stab after another was unleashed, and every attack killed a target, continuing to increase Xue Wei's strength. The malicious red energy that had surrounded him grew in size and got deeper and deeper in color.
Xue Wei would be able to use approximately ten attacks of Azure Light Finger or Shattering Mountain Palm, but things were different with the Sacrificial Stab.
If he did not manage to sacrifice a soul to the Ancient God, it would instead become an attack that relied on Xue Wei's inner Qi to be activated. However, the moment a soul was sacrificed, it would be a free attack, allowing for Xue Wei to use it wantonly, not caring about the expense.
Xue Wei's strength and speed were continually growing, and soon he had more than doubled his strength. Behind him was a road of corpses, all of which had been killed by a simple stab through their hearts – none of them had had a chance to retaliate.
At the start, only a few of the bandits noticed what was going on, but as Xue Wei killed his way further and further into the group of bandits, more and more died to his sword. His strength kept soaring, making them all feel the pressure, so the Earth Warrior bandits started to aim for Xue Wei.
Xue Wei had expected this. He wanted to try and challenge his strength, see how far he could go. To do so, he had to challenge the next rank. Ordinary Warriors were not his opponent, not even without increasing his strength.
At the same time, he was also aware that it was not possible for him to stand against an Earth Warrior as things were now. There was simply too far a gap between the two ranks. As a result, his only option was to boost his strength and then fight to his heart's content.
The first Earth Warrior to notice him was a third layered Earth Warrior. He frowned as he saw the elusive movements of Xue Wei and suddenly a hint of greed appeared in his eyes.
He had a great beard adorning his rough and sunburned face; his body was dressed in the same black clothes as all the others; and his eyes were brown as the autumn leaves, while his black hair was cut short so as to not be in the way when fighting.
This Earth Warrior was many times stronger than the normal Xue Wei who had not boosted his strength by relying on the Sacrificial Stab.
Xue Wei could feel that the boost he had gotten would continue to sustain him for at least half an hour, but he was worried as to whether or not it was enough.
Had it been a first layered Earth Warrior, then Xue Wei would not have feared him with all the extra power he had gotten from the Sacrificial Stab, but things were different. This was a third layer Earth Warrior, and he was feeling slightly nervous. The palm that held his sword was starting to become sweaty.
"Well then, why not boost my strength a little more?" Xue Wei asked himself. Although he could feel the killing intent within him, he had not allowed for it to take over and place him in a trance-like state again.
He was still thinking rationally, and as he looked around, he found that a lot of bandits were pressuring the other youngsters. A grin appeared on his face, and he instantly turned and fled, away from the Earth Warrior, towards a group of bandits of the Ordinary Warrior stage.
The sword flashed out time and time again; the Sacrificial Stab executed multiple times, and seven experts fell to their knees, their eyes filled with disbelief and their souls dissipating into thin air.
At the same time, the deep red energy shrouding Xue Wei turned darker, and now it was almost black.
Xue Wei could feel that although his strength was still being increased, it was not being increased as much as it was at the beginning.
"Not enough!" Xue Wei said to himself as he looked over his shoulder. The third layer Earth Warrior had a face filled with anger as he chased after Xue Wei. Although the bandit would have been much faster were it any other time, Xue Wei had the Forbidden Rush and the augmentation from the red energy shrouding him.
Xue Wei did not stop there; he continued to rush towards the next person, and the person after that. He attacked one bandit after another, and the Sacrificial Stab was being unleashed continuously, killing a bandit with each strike.
Xue Wei's strength was constantly rising until finally the energy surrounding him had turned completely black and could no longer increase.
By now, Xue Wei had killed over two hundred bandits, so many experts that the others were looking at him with disbelief in their eyes. He had moved so fast that no one had seen how he did it – they had just felt the dangerous air around him, and the pressure he emitted, before their opponent had fallen down. Now that he had come to a stop and was looking at the one chasing him, the third layer Earth Warrior, Xue Wei took a deep breath.
"You killed so many of my brothers!" the man shrieked, madness spilling from his eyes. "If I do not kill you now, I am not worthy of my name!"
Laughing out loud, Xue Wei flipped his hand, and the Qi sword appeared in his palm once more.
Xue Wei knew that he could not afford to be carefree now. He had to be careful, he had to be serious about this battle. At the same time, despite his calm, all of his clothes were drenched in the blood of his enemies and drops of blood ran down his face as a sinister smile played on his lips.
"Bring it on!" Xue Wei laughed as he activated Forbidden Rush. Although his speed had been increased, he was aware that he needed his movement technique to avoid this third layered Earth Warrior bandit.
"Flood Dragon Thrust!" the bandit called out. A spear in his hands shot out and the Qi that had been imbued into the spearhead acted like a flood dragon. It roared out, and the Qi took the shape of a dragon head.
Xue Wei knew that this was a severe attack. The bandit wanted to kill him right away, but how could Xue Wei allow for him to attack him so quickly?
He pushed the Forbidden Rush to the fastest speed possible, and his Qi sword brushed against the side of the spear, allowing for Xue Wei to use the power of the spear to make an elegant retreat.
The strength behind the Flood Dragon Thrust was so horrifying that although Xue Wei had maxed out on his sacrificial boost, his hands went numb. This made him understand that although he had increased his strength tremendously, he was in a significant disadvantage against this person.
Having retreated, Xue Wei used the strongest Azure Light Finger he could muster, shooting a beam of Azure Qi towards the bandit.
The bandit was surprised by this sudden attack, but he did not panic. Instead, he lifted his spear and used the body of it to block the beam, only to have an ugly expression on his face as he was forced back five steps. He felt blood well up his throat.
Forcing the blood back down again, the bandit stared at Xue Wei with venomous eyes, and Xue Wei now understood that there was a significant difference in strength. Although he was strong and he should be able to deal with a two-layer Earth Warrior, the third layer was just too strong.
"Well then, I cannot kill him, but he cannot kill me either!" Xue Wei was stubborn. "I have half an hour to fight him. In this time, there should be a backup, and until then I will hone my skills."
Xue Wei stomped on the ground. A big cloud of dust appeared around him as he shot towards the bandit that had been pushed back.
The Sacrificial Stab was unleashed, and the bandit quickly tried to defend himself.
He managed to raise his spear in time, and a loud hong sounded out as the two, Qi sword and spear, collided.
The force behind made Xue Wei retreat again, but the bandit was not much better off. He had not had the time to defend himself, and this time he could not force the blood down his throat and vomited a mouthful of blood as he struggled to get to his feet.
"Perhaps I do have a chance after all," Xue Wei thought to himself as he once more stomped on the ground and used the rebound to rush towards the bandit, both hands holding the Qi sword.