Time went by slowly. Xue Wei was nervous and uncomfortable. So far, he had been okay because no one had come to contact him, but if any of the other Primordial Beast Hunters felt like chatting with him, then his cover would be blown, and he would be incapable of saving Tie Haolong. In fact, he might not even be capable of protecting himself.
The Lightning Sparrow was also nervous; Xue Wei could feel that its body was tense and that it kept observing everything around them lest someone sneaked up on them.
The time was slowly going by. Only when the sun was high in the sky did some activity begin on the stage.
A group of law enforcers moved onto the stage, followed by an executioner and two guards that dragged Tie Haolong with them.
Tie Haolong held his head high. He walked without hesitation; he looked at everyone present with eyes flaming with anger.
He said nothing. He just walked forward, walked towards the place where he was forced to kneel.
A judge appeared on the stage and lifted a scroll from which he read out loud, "Tie Haolong, disowned by the Tie family and judged guilty in colluding with a Primordial Beast, you are at this moment sentenced to death!"
Tie Haolong said nothing, but his eyes were blazing with anger. It was clear that he was not reconciled with what was happening to him, but he also understood that speaking with them was simply a waste of time. He could do nothing, but he would at least go down with dignity.
Xue Wei's eyes narrowed. "Not yet," he whispered as he saw how Tie Haolong kneeled in front of the executioner.
Everyone was quiet. All eyes were on Tie Haolong, and that was when Xue Wei struck. "Now!" he exclaimed, and the Lightning Sparrow shot down with such speed that thunder rumbled in the sky, and no one was prepared for it.
The Lightning Sparrow reached out with its claw and grabbed Tie Haolong within it before it beat its wings a few times and took to the sky again.
No one noticed what had happened before it was too late and the Lightning Sparrow was in the air with Tie Haolong hanging from the claw.
"You are not going past here!" someone screamed, and Xue Wei looked up only to find that their escape route had been blocked by three flying Fierce Beasts and their owners, the Heavenly Warrior Primordial Beast Hunters.
They had not wasted any time, their palms already sending attacks towards Xue Wei and the Lightning Sparrow, but fortunately he had the Lightning Sparrow which excelled at agility. It managed to barely dodge all the attacks, but it was not easy as the Lightning sparrow was one against three and it was carrying two people.
"Surrender, criminal!" someone yelled as he descended to attack Xue Wei and Tie Haolong again.
Down on the ground, the onlookers watched with bated breaths. They had finally understood what had happened, but it was too late for them to respond.
Now, the only ones standing in between Tie Haolong and Xue Wei's escape path were three Heavenly Warriors and their Fierce Beasts.
Although the tamed beasts only had the strength of Sky Warriors, they were three against one, and they had surrounded them.
Attacks were raining down on them, all of which belonged to the Superior category. The shockwaves of the attacks, although they did not hit them, caused both Xue Wei and Tie Haolong to turn pale.
The Lightning Sparrow was hit by a palm strike from behind and was shot far into the sky, but it kept hold of Tie Haolong, and Xue Wei kept his balance. The bird screeched, and suddenly wind started surging in the area.
Big, black clouds appeared in the sky, and a dangerous rumbling of thunder appeared. The lightning within the clouds descended with a clap and struck towards the experts, but they managed to fend it off fairly easily.
The Lightning Sparrow had a few attacks it could use, but right now its talons were occupied by Tie Haolong, so it had to use the most lethal but also the most energy consuming attack it had.
It had summoned a lightning storm, and although the experts managed to easily fend off the first couple of lightning bolts, they continued to descend and interrupt and harass the three Primordial Beast Hunters.
The Lightning Sparrow was injured. It had been heavily injured by the attack that had landed on it, as its defenses were very weak.
Xue Wei knew that the Lightning Sparrow was wounded, and his heart sank. It would be able to fly, but not at its highest speed. It would not be able to flee at a rapid pace. All it needed to do to escape was give up Xue Wei and Tie Haolong.
But the bird chirped lowly with a voice that was filled with resolution. Although Xue Wei could not understand the Lightning Sparrow’s words, he could sense the determination and the decision that this sparrow had made. Either they made it to safety, or they died together!
The sparrow suddenly threw Tie Haolong into the air, shocking everyone present, including Xue Wei, but then it turned into a blur and caught him on its back. Xue Wei grabbed him reflexively, and the sparrow began their escape anew.
"Hey," Xue Wei said calmly after grabbing ahold of Tie Haolong.
"Hey," Tie Haolong responded, perplexed at what had happened to him. Everything had happened so fast. He had accepted the fact that he would die on this day, and he did not regret his decision at all, as he was proud of having done what he felt was right.
His family had done nothing to try and get him released. In fact, they had disowned him the very moment they heard about the rumor, leaving him to fend for himself, and he had lost all hope of salvation. Yet here he was, on the back of a Lightning Sparrow with Xue Wei, who had risked his own life to penetrate into the middle of the city to save him.
Tie Haolong did not speak any words of gratitude; he just kept the gratitude in his heart. This man had saved him, and he had given him a chance to live on. This life was granted to him by Xue Wei, and thus he was willing to start from scratch somewhere else.
That was the genuine thoughts that went through Tie Haolong's mind when he looked at Xue Wei.
The three, two men and one beast, were all nervous as they saw the three Heavenly Warriors on their flying beasts closing in on them.
"Escape! No need to stay here any longer!" Xue Wei shouted. Meanwhile, on the ground, a group of experts started rioting.
"Young Hero Xue Wei, we believe in you!" someone yelled out loud.
After this yell, more and more threw themselves into the battle. At the same time, a large group of experts from the gates of the Inner City emerged. It was clear that all of them had come from the Outer City. They had managed to break through the gates and were now flooding the area, ready to fight for what they believed in.
They did not fight because they liked Xue Wei. In fact, Xue Wei was not important, but Xiao Lei was, and everyone was of the impression that he was being framed.
They wanted to protect the hero of humankind, the man who had grown from being a simple cultivator in the Kingdom of Heping to become the biggest hero of all time.
They were willing to throw their lives away for him, as he was someone who had saved them multiple times.
All of them were veteran soldiers, and they had all experienced multiple perils, of which many survived only because Xiao Lei had come to their rescue.
He had not saved every single person in the Kingdom of Heping, but he had saved many, far more than any other, and tales of his exploits had reached others, making them respect and revere this hero who took the time to save battalions of soldiers whenever he happened to be there.
Moving against him was the same as moving against the citizens of the kingdom, and thus their eyes were filled with rage as they all threw themselves at the guards and law enforcers that they found around the stage.
Although a big battle began on the ground, no one were in the mindset of killing one another. The rioting experts just wished to trash the law enforcers and the guards to show them their opinion about the matter, and the law enforcers were aware that if they started wantonly killing the citizens, then it was likely to turn into a revolution.
While the two groups fought on the ground, Xue Wei, Tie Haolong, and the Lightning Sparrow were being thrashed around in the air. The Lightning Sparrow was constantly evading attack after attack, using its acute senses to ensure that they were still not defeated, yet it was weaker than the three Heavenly Warrior Primordial Beast Hunters. It was starting to feel weakened.
Xue Wei and Tie Haolong looked at one another. They saw no hesitation in each other's eyes, and they even grinned slightly.
"Let us rush out!" Xue Wei said after a bit of time and poured all his energy into the Lightning Sparrow beneath him, trying to replenish what little he could of its energy reserves.
Tie Haolong did not waste any time and did the same, both of them aware that the energy that they could offer was very little when it came to a Fierce Beast, but it was better than nothing, and the Lightning sparrow's speed started picking up again.
The sparrow suddenly darted through a small hole in the encirclement of the three experts, and the three of them flew towards safety.
Unfortunately, the Heavenly Warriors were very experienced when it came to such pursuits and at the very moment that Xue Wei and the Lightning Sparrow shot out, a palm descended onto Xue Wei.
It was impossible for Xue Wei to move in time, there was simply too little space for him to move. If he did move, the attack would land on Tie Haolong, and neither could possibly survive such a blow head-on. This was a Heavenly Warrior they were up against.
Right then, Xue Wei had decided to take the hit, using all of his Qi to form a barrier in front of him, However, before he could react, he felt someone pull his shoulder backward, tossing him down onto the back of the bird so that he ended up laying down on his elbows rather than standing up.
"Idiot!" Tie Haolong sneered. Everything was in slow-motion for Xue Wei. He fell so fast that he could not move, yet the thing that happened in front of his eyes took forever.
The palmstrike descended onto Tie Haolong, causing his chest to cave inwards. Blood gushed out of his mouth and he collapsed onto the back of the bird.
Although it looked as if it took forever to Xue Wei, it had in fact all happened in an instant as the Lightning Sparrow shot past the other Heavenly Warrior.
They had left the pincer attack and were now free to flee, but a sad chirp could be heard coming from the bird as they flew at a rapid speed towards the mountains again.
While they flew, Xue Wei quickly rolled the crumbled up Tie Haolong onto his back, only to see that his chest had been destroyed. His ribcage had been shattered, and his heart was punctured by the many splinters.
"No!" Xue Wei felt his eyes moisten and a low growl escaped his lips. "This can't be true! We escaped, you will survive!" he growled out, partially to convince himself.
"I... am going to die," Tie Haolong said with much difficulty and with a raspy voice. "I am... jealous of you... But I admire you..."
"Thank you... You made me feel like I was worth something... You came to save me..."
"I once said that I would make you call me your brother," Tie Haolong said with much effort, after which he coughed up more blood, "but I guess it is too late for that."
Xue Wei shook his head soundlessly as tears fell from his eyes. "You are my brother," he stated seriously with a sob, "and as your brother, I will make sure to avenge you!"
A slim smile appeared on Tie Haolong's face and he seemed content. "Thank... you..." he said before his eyes turned dim and his body limp. However, even in death, Tie Haolong held a gratified smile on his lips.Previous Chapter Next Chapter