Chapter 148: Returning
Neither Cao Cao nor Ye Ling disturbed Xu Min while he was polishing his sword and reminiscing about Overseer Wang and the old days.
They understood this reminiscing about the past was something that he had to go through on his own. He had to overcome his emotional troubles. Xu Min would never have thought Overseer Wang would leave the city on his own adventure. He had felt that whenever he returned to this city, he would see his teacher.
This unexpected reality was harsh. He would not be able to meet his teacher whenever he wanted to, and he could not feel too sad about it either.
The letter that had been left behind for Xu Min stated his master had found something to live for. He had discovered a purpose in living. Because of this new-found purpose, his master moved on with his life.
Consequently, since his master had decided to move on, who was Xu Min to stop him and hold him back?
"If fate decrees it, then we will meet someday again," Xu Min sighed to himself. He nodded his head in acceptance as he put his sword away again.
"Let us head out," Xu Min decisively ordered. He was going back to his origins, to the beginning, yet, most importantly, he was going back to gain vengeance.
Cao Cao and Ye Ling nodded their heads. They said nothing but they understood how important this was to Xu Min. This last trip was a trip which had taken him years to get through and here he was so close to finishing it.
Back then he had fled for his life, but now he was returning with style. He was not fleeing anymore. Anyone who blocked his path would be slain, and anyone who tried to stop him would be slaughtered.
They left Honghe City together as the first rays of sunshine shone through the soft clouds.
The city was already bursting with life; many were coming into or leaving the city through the gates. Xu Min, Cao Cao, and Ye Ling were amongst the ones who were departing the city. Everywhere move they made, others moved to the side to leave space for them to move through.
The snake and lion were merely too stunning to look at. Although Xu Min caused trepidation amongst the many who looked at him, he was not as awe-inspiring as these two beasts. The children especially stared with their eyes wide open, and their mouths ajar.
The roads outside of the city were dusty and filled with caravans who came to sell their wares in the city. However as soon as they had left Honghe city, they would increase their speed and rush towards the Zhong family compound.
Xu Min's speed had exponentially increased since he was fleeing from the Zhong compound. Back then, running away had taken him years, now it only took him a few days now. They soon made it into the forest that surrounded the small valley where the city that the Zhong family controlled was located.
It had been many years since Xu Min had left the forest surrounding the Zhong village. Nonetheless, as soon as he stepped into the forest, he was like a fish in water. He recognized every path of land and every single trail that led through the forest.
Cao Cao and Ye Ling were silent. They could feel that the closer Xu Min came to the Zhong family compound the more murderous his aura became.
During their trip in the forest, every beast would avoid them. As well, once Xu Min noticed the presence of another cultivator, he would change their route, ensuring that they would not be seen.
"I need some information before I can deal with the Zhong family," Xu Min said with a sinister smile on his face. "I need to know what the trashy young master is up to and how his father is doing too."
"These two were the main reason for my sister's untimely death, and they will pay the price for their actions. One has to understand that every action has consequences with it, and some consequences will be just too heavy to bear. In those cases, the people can only pay with their lives."
Xu Min's voice was cold and callous. There were no emotions behind it. Both Cao Cao and Ye Ling shuddered when they heard it. Nevertheless, they hardened their resolve, nodded their heads and stared at the city that was spread out in front of them.
"Let us enter the city, ask around and acquire some information. Let us arrive in glory, and let them see our might. When they see our might, there could be a chance we would be invited to the Zhong family's courtyard for a meal. This area is a backwater place, where many strong warriors rarely come through, Having warriors like us is a rare event." Cao Cao said after thinking over it for a long time.
Ye Ling nodded his head, "It makes sense for us to gather information at the city's inns. I am sure that all common knowledge will be easily obtainable."
"The big question is what do you wish to do with the Zhong family?" The question was a thorny one. Both Cao Cao and Ye Ling were looking intently at Xu Min to see what he would say.
"Family eradication," Xu Min replied with a cold gleam in his eyes. “Leave neither chickens nor dogs, women nor old men. Their family line is to come to an end."
It was correct that the culprits behind Xu Min's sister's death were the young master and the patriarch of the family. However, he had not forgotten the other young members of the family. All of them had eagerly bullied him, and all of them had been filled with joy whenever he had been beaten up, insulted or humiliated.
This was a family where everyone was worse than trash. Xu Min had not met even one decent person within the Zhong family. Now he wished to eradicate them all.
Cao Cao and Ye Ling had already heard much about Xu Min's past. They knew what his past was like, and they concurred with his intention. Killing the entire family might sound harsh, but it was best to get rid of every root that might sprout and cause problems in the future.
Letting a tiger return to the mountain was not Xu Min's style.
"Well, now that we decided, we will not rest before the entire Zhong family has been eradicated!" Cao Cao said with a sinister smile on his face and nodded his head.
"Let us move to the inn and gather some information," Ye Ling added. and Xu Min concurred.
He was filled with emotions. This was the first time he had returned after fleeing all those years back, and now that he had finally returned he was filled with mixed feelings.
"What will we do about the ones who work for the Zhong family? The guards, the servants?" Cao Cao asked as they were on the way towards the city. Xu Min paused for a moment before he said in a cold voice; "anyone who puts up a fight gets slaughtered. The only one who should be able to put up a fight against you should be the family head. Everyone else can be killed as easily as chickens."
"I will personally deal with the family leader and the young family master. Leave them to me but take care of everyone else."
The two nodded their heads; together in silence, the three moved towards the small town. On the road towards the city, they ran into many different experts, but no one dared to move close to Xu Min. His fierce beasts were simply too terrifying to look at. No one within the entire forest that surrounded their city was as fierce as these beasts.
Rumors quickly made their way around the town that a supreme expert has made it to their city, visiting from the outside world.
Many children who had been doing chores all came to see these beasts as well as the curious grown ups.
Xu Min, Cao Cao, and Ye Ling all moved around them as if they did not notice any of the many people staring at them.
"There should be an inn somewhere close by," Xu Min sighed as he looked around until his eyes landed on a smaller inn. The inn was not significant. It was not a place where many people came by, and the inn mainly survived because of the restaurant where people came to dine or drink every evening.
Xu Min entered the small inn together with Cao Cao and Ye Ling. Their entrance caused everyone to stand still and feel completely stunned. Even the innkeeper was frightened hysterical by one look from Cao Cao. The innkeeper was not a cultivator. Thus the heavy air around Xu Min and his two companions were enough to strangulate everyone present.
"My lordships, please enter," the innkeeper finally gathered his wits together and instantly welcomed them in. "What can this humble one do for you?"
"We are travelers from afar," Xu Min said with a smile on his face. The killing intent he felt was hidden deep within, and anyone who looked at him would think that he was truly a gentle and friendly person.
"We have come from the Immortal Ruins and have traveled a long way. We came by this city randomly and would like to settle down for a bit. Can you please tell me a little about this place?"
"Sure thing," the innkeeper was already feeling much better. He nodded his head, as he gestured for Xu Min to sit down in the restaurant.
Heeding the innkeeper, Xu Min sat down, and Cao Cao changed his size so that he was small and coiled around Xu Min's neck. Ye Ling laid down on the ground next to Xu Min, but also made his body smaller than it was before.
"What exactly would you like to know about this place?" the innkeeper asked curiously. He knew that he could trade information for information, and he was more than willing to do so.
"I would like to know about who the hegemony of this place is, as much information as possible about the leading families, and preferably some random information about the city."
"Easily enough, sir," the innkeeper said merrily as he nodded his head like a doll. "The leading family in this area is the Zhong family. The Zhong family earns their money on selling herbs. They have many herb fields around the city and are constantly expanding their fields."
"The Zhong family patriarch is very fierce. He is recruiting many experts to be the guards of his family."
"Let me tell you a story. Long ago, there was an exceptionally talented servant boy in the Zhong family. He had a sister who was beautiful as a fairy, but she was murdered by the Zhong family’s young master."
"They wanted to kill the young boy, but he managed to escape. Ever since this incident, he has become a heart demon for the Zhong family patriarch and young master, constantly instilling fear that he will return one day and kill them."