Chapter 37: Silence before the Storm
Landing on the arena ground once more, Xu Min smirked as he saw that the large man who had been so loud previously was now screaming in agony as his nose had been broken. He was not the only one who was shocked. Everyone within the arena was astonished to see how he had moved around with such nimbleness. How he had managed to use the strength of his opponent to put enough force behind his attack to do some real damage was incredulous.
Unfortunately, this man was far tougher than any other opponent Xu Min had faced before. After having released a few agonizing screams, he glared at the young man in front of him. His eyes told that when he got hold of the young man, he would ensure that he did not make it out of the arena alive.
At the start, this large man had wished to show his prowess to Yong Meilin and some sort of real strength to this man who was rumored to be Yong Meilin’s beloved. Now the young woman was nowhere within his mind. The only thing he could think about was to get revenge for the broken nose and redemption from having been wounded by a mere One-Star Warrior.
Yong Meilin lifted her hands to cover her face as she saw the attack Xu Min had made. Her eyes filled with disbelief. Although she knew that Xu Min’s physique was far above the One-Star Warrior, she was instantly certain that he was at a disadvantage against such a physically strong man. To see how Xu Min managed to be the first to draw blood, she was shocked. Her eyes were now glued to Xu Min, waiting to see other surprises he had in store.
Xu Min was grateful that this man had appeared as soon as he did. Had he fought two or three more experts before this one appeared, then it was highly likely that he would not have had the stamina to deal with him. But, he was the second opponent and the young man held nothing back as he dashed around on the stage. He was abusing his speed to the limit and managing to dodge every single attack from the large man.
Although his opponent was far stronger than Xu Min, he had focused all his practice into becoming strong. Such strength was useless against a nimble and swift Xu Min. If he could not get his hands on the person, how was he to trash him?
Xu Min knew that he was only able to keep running so long before his stamina would be used up. By constantly glancing at the large muscular man, he quickly found that his gamble was paying off. The muscular man was getting more and more frustrated. His eyes were turning red and the blood from his nose kept dripping, He soaked both himself and the floor of the arena deep red. He left a metallic scent within the air.
Waiting for a bit longer, Xu Min glanced over the body of his opponent. For once, he swore at the Hall of Champions for not allowing weapons. Had he had his sword, the one he had been gifted by his teacher, he could easily deal with such a large man. He could force enough strength into the blade and catch enough momentum to thoroughly defeat this giant. However, it was not allowed and Xu Min had to find another way to deal with him.
Suddenly. his eyes were caught by the blood pool on the floor. A sinister smile appeared on his face as he once more charged towards the giant man. His focus was fully on the two arms and he expertly dodged the both of them before he twisted his body slightly and placed a foot behind his leg.
Having done so, Xu Min pushed his two hands forward. He borrowed momentum from his advance and the two palms heavily collided with the bare upper body. He released a slapping sound before the bulky man tripped in the blood. The large man was incapable of regaining his balance as a foot was placed behind the legs. This caused him to fall and his head banged into the stone flooring.
Once more, Xu Min retreated as far back as he could. His main goal was to stay alive and ensure that no one was allowed to reach his dantian so that it would be smashed.
Now lying on the ground, the man once more let go of a scream. Yet this time, it was not an agonizing scream. Instead, it was a roar of rage that he, who was clearly stronger, was incapable of defeating this youngster who was nimbly running all around.
Had this man used any sort of martial art skills instead of trusting one hundred percent on his physical strength, it was highly likely that Xu Min would have lost. Now the two of them were battling completely based on their physical strength. It was a duel where they ranked the same, but their strengths were different, In the end, Xu Min’s speed was what determined the advantage he had gotten.
Standing tentatively to the side, Xu Min waited to see whether or not the opponent once more stepped up. He waited to see what he was going to do this time.
Coming to the conclusion that he could not wait without having at least an attack ready, Xu Min took for the Radiant Jade Shower. While his hands were reaching forward, a translucent mist left his body before it crystallized into thousands upon thousands of small jade shards behind him.
Waiting patiently for the large man to step up once more, Xu Min’s senses were on high alert. He could see how countless men within the arena were staring at him in disbelief and jealousy visible in their eyes. Some of them even showed strong hatred.
Sensing the hatred which was aimed towards him, Xu Min did not care. He had been hunted before. This was nothing compared to the life he had led when he was on the run. Not to mention how he constantly had feared for someone to recognize him back when he moved to Honghe City.
Now he was in Ri Chu City and he knew that there was no need for him to fear his past sneaking in on him. Now, he was once more a hunted person because he had become close with the most beautiful woman in town.
Most men would have accepted the fact that Yong Meilin had found herself someone she loved. The cultivators had a hard time accepting this since accepting that he had been chosen meant that he was better than them in one way or another.
The man whom Xu Min was battling was in no way different from the others. He too had challenged Xu Min because he thought that he was a far better option for Yong Meilin. He found himself injured time and time again. This time when he had been knocked to the floor, he had heard a terrible cracking sound coming from his skull. Blood was flooding the stone floor once more and it did not take long before his entire world turned black.
Seeing that he had succumbed, Xu Min could only heave a heavy sigh of relief. Although he had the stamina to continue for a few more minutes, his speed was not unlimited. He could already feel how he was pulling on his reserves. This caused him to leave the arena after only two matches, still two away from the four that Cao Cao had told him to fight.
‘You owe me a great meal,’ Cao Cao said, his usual words as they left the Hall of Champions. Yong Meilin was by their side and many experts slowly making way for them to move through.
Although the higher ranked experts felt like attacking him, they knew that if they stooped to that level, they would have no face left to live within Ri Chu City.
Having shown that although he was only a One-Star Warrior, he had managed to defeat Two-Star Warriors and even the ones with physical strength. Everyone had to admit that this man was truly a talent amongst talents. They started to understand why Yong Meilin paid attention to him. However, this did not make them more prone to accepting the young man.
After having battled at the Arena, Xu Min and Yong Meiling went back to the Alluring Treasure Pavilion together holding hands.
“I never believed that you would be able to defeat that large loaf of muscles,” Yong Meiling said with a giggling voice. “I actually expected that you would be the one to lose.”
“Harumph,” Xu Min pushed out his chest and made a serious expression on his face as he twisted his voice and said, “I am the great Xu Min. How can I lose to a bundle of muscle but no brain?”
Hearing the words, Yong Meilin’s giggles increased and the two of them walked in comfortable silence.
“How long do you plan on staying within Ri Chu City?” Yong Meilin suddenly asked as she rose her head and looked at the sky above. Her brows were furrowed and her heart beating rapidly in fear for the answer.
Looking at the young woman, Xu Min could not help but sigh. He had become friends with her after all the time they had spent together. But even now, his heart was set on nothing more than getting revenge for his sister. To do that he needed to train, to gather strength. Although he could gain some of this strength within Ri Chu City, he needed to experience true life and death battles. He needed to pave a road for himself in the world, not just within the city’s Hall of Champions.
The question Yong Meilin had asked required all her courage to ask. Her heart was pounding hard and a sadness welled up within her as she saw the complicated expression within Xu Min’s eyes.
“I will stay here until I am strong enough,” Xu Min finally said with a sad smile on his face. He dared not say how long that would be. He was unaware of how long it would be, but he did know that he was currently weak. The only reason he dared acting as arrogant as he had the previous night was due to Cao Cao. His revenge had to be taken by his own hands, not by Cao Cao stealthily attacking.
“Strong enough for what?” Yong Meilin asked as she furrowed her brows. It was true that everyone trained to be strong, but the young men within Ri Chu City were not training for any specific goal. For them, it was enough to be stronger than their peers; however, hearing him speak sounded as though he had a goal in mind. This caused her curiosity to pique.
Looking at the sincere and curious eyes in front of him, Xu Min felt a heavy weight on his shoulders. In many ways, Yong Meilin was like his dead sister as he got to know her and a melancholy overtook him. It swept him away in emotional struggles until he finally managed to calm himself. A sad smile was on his lips as he petted Yong Meilin’s head.
“You don’t need to worry your pretty head with my affairs,” he said gently. Moments after he excused himself, he turned down a road heading for the courtyard he had been given.
Standing back in the dark night was Yong Meilin. Her heart was hurting and her eyes moist. Although Xu Min had smiled at her, that smile had contained a world of pain and sadness. The young woman finally gave up and accepted that she would do anything as long as he never showed such a sad face again.