The bugle horn continued to sound. Under the command of war flags high up above, the Yunqin Army that surrounded Master Painter was also quickly making adjustments. Several mounted armies began to quickly make their way through the alleys.
Suddenly, an observing guard’s pupils narrowed, immediately understanding the intention behind Master Painter’s change in direction.
He saw three children dressed in ragged clothing.
This alley was originally already meant to be demolished, the residents already relocated… normal families’ children, even if they came here to play, their clothes wouldn’t be this shabby.
That was why these should be three unfortunate beggars who had no home to return to.
Even though Yunqin was prosperous and most people didn’t have to worry about starving, able to eat white rice, this was still just most people. There were still some poverty-stricken families who suffered some unexpected events, especially those without able-bodied workers who could earn enough salary to feed themselves, they could only resort to begging along the streets.
The oldest of the three was only around ten or so years old, a girl, the other two boys at most seven or eight years old. It seemed like this was an older sister taking care of her two younger brothers. These three little beggars should have long heard the thunderous war drums and continuous sounds of explosion not long ago, but perhaps because they didn’t know what was going on, perhaps out of alarm, they felt like hiding in an alley corner was the safest. That was why right now, these three little beggars were like three pitiful puppies, huddled up together, trembling.
Master Painter rushed towards these three children.
From when he killed Su Zhongwen until now, time was extremely short. However, his clothes were already covered with many holes, even his skin having several cuts, blood seeping out from them.
This was especially the case when his shoulder was hit by a crossbolt, leaving behind a bone deep bloody hole.
However, under the mottled colored mask, his face was still perfectly fine. Intense sounds of breathing came out from the nostril holes, forming two continuously extending white streams, even releasing some ear splitting whistling sounds, making him seem even more terrifying.
Under the mask, Master Painter’s face was alarmed and deathly pale, sweat pouring down like starch. However, when he saw these three little beggars that finally appeared before his eyes, his expression of alarm immediately changed into malevolence.
His body was still crazily erupting with power from endless soul force. His figure only rose and fell, and then half a roof collapsed. He leapt down, landing next to those three beggars’ bodies, and then stopped.
The military continued.
One after another, these soldiers formed iron streams, rushing out from the alleys and homes. However, when they saw that Master Painter already stopped, saw the scene before them, these soldiers’ steps also suddenly slowed, coming to a stop.
In that instant, the alleys originally filled with shouts of killing quickly became silent.
There were trampled homes in all directions. Even more soldiers gathered. In just a few breaths of time, Master Painter’s body was already completely surrounded by black armored soldiers, forming a giant encirclement.
However, none of the soldiers entered within twenty steps of Master Painter’s body.
It was because when he saw these iron stream like Yunqin soldiers instantly rush over, Master Painter only made a simple movement. He pressed a curved sickle against the neck of the little girl who was so scared that she even forgot to cry, and then used a tiny bit of his powerful strength, drawing out a bit of blood.
“Release her! You even have the nerve to harm a small child like her?!”
A military officer squeezed to the very front, furiously roaring at Master Painter.
“I can let her go, but who will let me go?”
Master Painter coldly looked at this furious officer. “Either let all of us go, or they can accompany me in death.”
“You… you can be considered a Yunqin cultivator as well…” This officer was angry to the point where his entire body was shaking, momentarily unable to say anything more.
Master Painter said in mockery, “Even the most powerful cultivator, before the army, they are nothing.”
Metal hooves sounds rumbled over. All of the black armored soldiers at the very front clenched their teeth as they turned around. They knew that this should be Li Anting and some heavy armored soldiers who rushed over.
Li Anting who was releasing low coughs appeared at the very front.
“You should understand that there is definitely no way you can leave this place alive today. It is because if we let you go, who knows how many more people will die under your hands.”
Li Anting gave Master Painter a furious and hateful look, coldly saying, “Doing this type of thing is completely meaningless.”
“What you said is correct. If you let me go today, I might kill more people, or more soldiers will die the next time I am surrounded by the army.” Master Painted nodded, releasing cold laughter from beneath his mask, “Three little lives, it doesn’t seem to compare to the lives of soldiers loyal to the empire at all… In that case, why don’t you order your troops to take action? What are you still waiting for?”
“You are only an ordinary cultivator. That is why you still don’t understand our Yunqin soldiers, or Yunqin army.”
Li Anting remained silent for a moment. Only then did he look at Master Painter, slowly speaking.
“As a soldier, for the sake of victory, sometimes, we have to give up on many things. For victory, we can give up our lives… We can even allow many of our comrades-in-arms to throw their lives away. Sometimes, we will abandon our humanity.”
“If it was just me fighting you alone, I am only an ordinary cultivator. When facing this type of situation, I would let you leave. However, I am a Yunqin soldier… For the sake of preventing you from inflicting more harm on this empire, I must kill you today. This is my responsibility, this is a sacrifice I must endure.”
When he heard Li Anting speak these words that weren’t all that loud, but were extremely resolute, Master Painter’s expression instantly changed from malevolence to deathly pale. His hands also began to tremble uncontrollably. The sickle blade in his hands also began to tremble on that girl’s neck. He could hear Li Anting’s fury and decisiveness, also knowing that what Li Anting said was true. Today, no matter what, it seemed like there was no way he was going to leave this place alive.
“Since that is the case, then what are you still waiting for?” His mind was trembling, releasing a screaming roar.
“I am waiting for you to recover a bit of your humanity.”
Li Anting looked at Master Painter, saying with a low voice, “I still believe that in the end, no matter who it is, even if it is a Yunqin serious criminal, they are still people in the end, they still have some humanity within them. If you let these children go, I can promise you that I will grant you an honorable death.”
Master Painter didn’t immediately respond.
His entire body was trembling, releasing cold sweat. Drops of sweat the size of beans trickled out from within his mask drop by drop.
All of the soldiers were holding their breaths, waiting, waiting for this cultivator to let those three children go.
“I fear that you won’t obtain the result you want.”
However, what made everyone’s bodies shiver in coldness was that Master Painter suddenly raised his head, saying with a malicious laugh. “I still want to try one last time, try and see if you guys can truly watch as these three children die.”
When he heard Master Painter say this, Li Anting’s expression immediately became snow-white.
However Master Painter didn’t stop. The curved sickle blade pulled back slightly, hacking fiercely at the girl’s neck.
Lin Xi’s hands and feet became a bit ice-cold and rigid.
When Master Painter stopped, he also saw those three little beggars, knowing that even though his plan was perfect, there were still some variables he didn’t consider.
In his opinion, Master Painter obviously deserved to die. Moreover, for Master Painter to be able to do this type of thing, he naturally deserved death even more.
However, he didn’t want to see these three little beggars die.
If he used his rewind ability and tried to help the army kill Master Painter, he might be discovered by the army, this leading to many complications.
However, he didn’t seem to have a choice.
However, right at this moment, what made his body tremble slightly was that in the place where he was staring at, more variables appeared.
Lin Xi didn’t know that in a nearby alley, there was another person who quietly watched this battle between a Yunqin army and a powerful cultivator. This person came from the distant Great Mang, arrived at the world’s most majestic Central Continent City, a runaway who had just arrived not too long ago in Clear Distant City, Zhantai Qiantang.
After he saw the Central Continent City he longed for since his childhood, Zhantai Qiantang experienced a perplexity he rarely experienced in his life. Then, he who had no direction decided to follow a bit of impulsiveness, wishing to meet Auspicious Virtue’s shopkeeper.
Zhantai Qiangtang heard that Auspicious Virtue’s shopkeeper was in Clear Distant City, so he decided to come to Clear Distant City.
Even Lin Xi didn’t know that under yesterday’s ice-cold rain, when Master Painter prepared to enter Lingering Garden, Zhantai Qiantang also wished to meet Chen Feirong during the night.
It was because in Zhantai Qiantang’s opinion, those who achieved greatness didn’t care about trifling details. If it was a truly exceptional individual, just a few sentences would be enough to tell. Perhaps he could remain in Auspicious Virtue and Auspicious Virtue could become an assistance in his return to his country.
However, he arrived a bit late. That was why apart from seeing that crazily leaving carriage in the rain, he also saw Master Painter who was puzzled by Chen Feirong’s sudden departure, as a result furiously cursing from a lack of ways to vent his desires.
He didn’t know Master Painter’s identity, but he sensed that Master Painter didn’t seem to carry any good intentions towards Chen Feirong. As such, he began to secretly tail Master Painter.
In Zhantai Qiantang’s eyes, this might become a source of karma for him getting closer to Chen Feirong.
However, he didn’t expect this great battle that followed, mysteriously erupting precisely in this alley.
Even though Zhantai Qiantang had seen many descriptions of Yunqin’s army from books, this was also the first time he personally witnessed Yunqin army’s battle against a cultivator. This type of battle, for him, naturally had reference value, even more so had a need to be broken down.
When he noticed Master Painter approach the three little beggars, he already reacted earlier than anyone else, realizing Master Painter’s intentions.
From that moment, he began to struggle with internal conflict and torment.
He didn’t know that there was still a cultivator like Lin Xi in this place. He only knew that he could stop Master Painter from doing this type of thing that completely lacked humanity.
He didn’t want to see these three pitiful little beggars die… However, these were three ordinary Yunqin children.
Meanwhile, he had a country on his back.
Taking action in this type of time… would definitely result in many complications, to the extent where it might lead to life threatening consequences.
Three foreigners, children that were of the enemy empire, compared to the sole hope of many people’s sacrifices, an entire nation, this didn’t seem like a hard decision at all.
Zhantai Qiantang’s sweat also permeated his clothes.
However, in the end, Zhantai Qiantang still acted like how he did in Central Continent Imperial City and remained loyal to that voice within his innermost self. He still decided… to take action.Previous Chapter Next Chapter