Xue Wei and Tie Haolong looked at one another; one’s features were hidden beneath a bamboo mask, the other stood confidently in his white robes, looking dashing and giving off the air of a young master fresh out of the capital.
"We might meet one day again," Xue Wei said before he turned around and fluttered in the wind like a leaf, leaving with his fastest speed and traveling as far as he could with the Forbidden Rush movement technique.
While traveling, Xue Wei's heart was warm, but he was also worried. He had known Tie Haolong for a short time, but this person had already done him a huge favor by not contacting the Primordial Beast Hunters the moment he located him, and instead warned him about the forces that were coming for him.
Xue Wei knew what this meant. If anyone from the group betrayed him, Tie Haolong would suffer unspoken hardships. He might even be seen as someone who colluded with beasts.
There was no doubt that Song Yuyan would keep quiet, and so would Gu Dixing, but Xiao Jie and the new person that Xue Wei had never seen before and who had looked at Xue Wei with a hostility that was clear in their eyes, were unpredictable factors.
They were firm in their belief that Xue Wei was a Primordial Beast, and they poured all of their hatred for him through their eyes when they saw him. Now that they knew that Tie Haolong was friendly with him, they might even turn on him.
"Since he risked his own neck for my sake, then I have to make the best of it," Xue Wei said through gritted teeth. His wounds had fully healed, and the rush through the Eastern Administrative Region of the Kingdom of Heping had strengthened him in more ways than one.
But he understood that now he no longer had the time to relax. If he wanted to reach Lingyun Town, he had to rush it. He had to rely on the Forbidden Rush movement technique for the future, even if it would most likely give away his identity. Albeit careful of using it, he would have to risk it frequently from now on.
"I got myself into this mess," Xue Wei said to himself as he steeled his resolution. "I will get myself out of it, too. I will leave the kingdom as soon as I have seen Lingyun Town."
"I cannot afford to let myself get caught," he continued with a determination evident in his eyes. "I have too many people who believe in me. Uncle will definitely know the truth considering that he gave me the Azure Dragon Scripture. Lan, too, knows the truth. And I am sure that Xiaoyun will believe me when I tell her the secrets behind it."
"For these three people, I cannot allow myself to get caught." Xue Wei motivated himself. "I might feel alone right now, but I am never alone. My dear ones believe in me, and I believe in them," he said as he continued to rush forward elegantly.
He then neared a large city, one of the few cities that bordered the Northern Administrative Region of the Kingdom of Heping. It was one of the most important trade points in the entire kingdom. When he saw the gates, he instantly came to a standstill.
Guards were waiting at the entrance, checking the appearance of everyone who sought to enter the city. Some of them held a wanted poster in their hands, and they were eager to check everyone, their eyes shining with light.
The guards were at most within the Earth Warrior stages, the highest ranked being a seventh layer Earth Warrior, but Xue Wei knew that other, stronger, experts would appear if he made a ruckus here.
He, therefore, turned to leave, but unfortunately he had gotten too close, and one of the guards noticed him turning to leave.
"Hey, you there! Halt!" he called out. Xue Wei knew that if he truly allowed them to see his face, then he would be done for, which was why he executed the Forbidden Rush movement technique to the limits and rushed in the opposite direction.
It was not hard to enter the northern regions of the kingdom, but Xue Wei was now aware of the magnitude to which the kingdom wanted him dead. They had used their shadow crows to send pictures of him to all major cities!
"It seems that they just wanted an excuse," Xue Wei muttered to himself while fleeing at his fastest speed. The seventh layered Earth Warrior was hot in pursuit, but he did not have a movement technique and slowly fell behind.
He was constantly yelling into a communication device that hung around his arm, telling whoever was on the other end about the direction that they were traveling. This made Xue Wei feel a sense of crisis.
This person was likely a Primordial Beast Hunter. If he was lucky, he was a Sky Warrior, but the likelihood was small. It was most likely a Heavenly Warrior, as most Primordial Beasts Hunters were Heavenly Warriors.
If a Heavenly Warrior was chasing him, Xue Wei knew that even if he had the Forbidden Rush movement technique, it would be impossible to escape. It might even be impossible to escape from a Sky Warrior if he did not have a headstart, so he ran with all that he had.
He was floating forward with speed so shocking that the seventh layered Earth Warrior on his tail quickly understood that it was impossible continue the pursuit, and thus he took the means to contact the resident Primordial Beast Hunter of their trading city.
Suddenly, a sharp whistle sounded, and a Fierce Beast descended from the sky above. The Fierce Beast was a tamed beast, and flying tamed beasts were the most versatile and also most expensive to come across.
"What luck I got," Xue Wei wanted to cry, but he had no tears. Although he could use the Forbidden Rush to move like the wind, how could he compare to a flying beast?
The most depressing thing was that it was a Lightning Sparrow, a bird that was built for speed and agile movements. It was not large, and was just large enough to bring one person on its back, and it was not great at battling, but Xue Wei did not doubt that the person on top of the bird was brilliant when it came to doing the fighting while the bird was skilled at doing the catching up with him.
"Your friend, that kid from the Tie family, has been charged with treason!" the person on top of the bird yelled out. "He has been found guilty in aiding a Primordial Beast, and he is being sent back to the capital where he will have the death penalty!"
"Don't you feel guilty?" the person on top of the bird laughed as he saw the distance between them narrowing. He was like an overlord that had descended into the battlefield, and had his enemy on a leash, completely under control.
Xue Wei gritted his teeth. "You are lying," he muttered to himself, "Haolong is smarter than that," he tried to convince himself, "Haolong would never let them catch him. And even if he is caught, what can I do? I need to escape first of all. If I manage to escape, I can get some information, but if I get caught I can only share his fate!"
The person on the Lightning Sparrow laughed out loud as he saw Xue Wei speed up even further. "It is hopeless," he chuckled. "You will come with me back to the capital where we will keep you in prison. We have contacted a Diviner who will come and tame you. If that fails, we will execute you as a person who colluded with the beasts. Either way, your life is forfeit. Why struggle so hard?"
Xue Wei did not answer; he just kept running. The more he ran, the more exhausted he became, but he understood that he had no other option. He used all his energy to run away. While running, he felt the same familiar killing intent rise within him.
He felt how his head turned light and he felt his blood boil. He wanted to kill the fellow behind him, he wanted to stop himself from fleeing and instead face off against this special person on top of the bird, but Xue Wei kept a clear head. Although he had all the symptoms of the killing intent breaking through, he was not going to let it make him throw away his life again, and he kept fleeing in a straight line deeper and deeper into the Northern Administrative Territory.
"Kid, you run quite fast!" the person who was pursuing him laughed. He was still acting as if everything was within his control and going according to plan, and it made Xue Wei frustrated beyond belief.
The day turned to night, and Xue Wei kept fleeing. He ran through many places, through forests and fields, past rivers and mountains. No matter where he went, the beasts rushed away from him, something that made the man on top the Lightning Sparrow rather puzzled.
While Xue Wei was incapable of seeing the retreating beasts, the man could see them easily. Every time Xue Wei got close, they would retreat and watch.
"He must still have the scent of the Ice Harpy on him," the pursuer muttered. "It is natural for Fierce Beasts to fear the stronger Primordial Beasts, and the Ice Harpy is without a doubt one of the strongest that have ever been born."
"If she left a mark on him, or her scent, it makes sense that they will not attack him. She must value him greatly," the pursuer's eyes were glistening with excitement, but Xue Wei was feeling more and more exhausted.
He had run for a day without a pause, and it had caused him to use up almost all the Qi in his body. Had it not been for the Forbidden Rush movement technique borrowing the force of the wind and being less reliant on Qi, he would have been caught long ago.
Xue Wei felt his energy leave him, and hopelessness started to wear him down. He raised his head to the skies, and a resounding roar ripped its way past his throat and escaped his lips.
It was a bestial roar that was filled with the most primal emotions of grief, indignation and unwillingness.
The moment the roar escaped his lips, the Lightning Sparrow faltered in the sky.
It blacked out completely and plummeted to the ground together with its owner, both of them falling through the sky down to the ground.
The Primordial Beast Hunter on top of the Lightning Sparrow was a Heavenly Warrior, but after having met Lan, Xue Wei understood that a Warrior was but the beginning of cultivation, and even though they were strong in comparison to Xue Wei, they were truly fragile when compared to other cultivators.
The Heavenly Warrior that had been chasing him was capable of flying to some degree, but he was currently strapped to the bird. And even if he could fly, it was the very elemental stages of flight - he would never be able to catch up with Xue Wei; he would only be able to soften his landing.
He was not as fortunate as Xue Wei either when it came to possessing a movement technique that granted him greater bodily control and speed. While strapped to the Lightning Sparrow, he plummeted to the ground, falling at rapid speeds, and his face was white from fear. Such a fall was likely to kill both him and his mount.
Xue Wei did not linger around to figure out if he died or not. He rushed away as fast as his legs could carry him. He ran for his life now that he finally had the chance.
"I wonder if Chu Huiyin has done something to me which affects other beasts," he muttered to himself in curiosity, but he did not have the time to test it now, nor did he have any desire to figure it out. As long as the beasts stayed out of his way, he would stay out of theirs.
What did matter to Xue Wei, however, were the words that the pursuer had said. Was Tie Haolong truly in danger? Was this a trap to ensnare him, or had they truly decided to execute him for assisting Xue Wei in escaping? He needed more information before he could decide on his future actions.Previous Chapter Next Chapter