Chapter 58: Escaping the City
Cao Cao left the neck of Xu Min and slithered to the ground. Standing side by side, the two friends looked once more at one another before their eyes went towards the road in front of them. Steps came closer and closer before suddenly the first person could be seen rushing towards them.
Having moved through the roads for as long as they had, Xu Min and his followers had left behind them many footsteps and a few corpses here and there. They were doomed to be noticed at some point. Though Xu Min had hoped they would have been slower, he could only thank that they had not been noticed previously. If anything, he was happy that the group of women had gained the possibility of running away.
"I wonder how many people will be coming?" Xu Min said between his gritted teeth. "I had not had a serious battle since before I met you," Xu Min said. His heart was beating rapidly, "ever since meeting you, I have had a cushion which could defend me. Even in the tournament you and I were never in any danger as you could move any time necessary." Xu Min mused as the figures in front came closer and closer. The sword on his back became unsheathed. "This time we will have to go all out," he stated. The adrenalin was pumping in his blood. Looking at the snake on the ground, he also noticed that Cao Cao’s eyes had turned red; a grim smile appeared on the scaley face.
A grin showed on Xu Min’s face, as well. He could not afford to die here, but looking at the people appearing, more and more experts were turning towards them. "Let us begin!" Xu Min yelled out loud as the first opponent reached him. The sword flashed in the dim light within the alleyway. With a downwards sweep, the sword cut through the chest of the first person reaching him.
The alleyway was a perfect place for Xu Min to battle. It was narrow and tight. He was standing at the far back with a large wall against him, ensuring that no one could sneak behind him. In the front, two, at most three, experts could stand side by side, but even if they did stand side by side they would be incapable of wielding their weapons; thus, only two experts could launch an attack at a time.
Cao Cao was rushing through the people, biting right and left. Bodies fell to the ground in his wake, but new experts jumped on top of these fallen comrades. They did not even show the slightest hesitation to stop. This made it easier for them to move forward since they did not step in the mud which would have slowed them down.
Although Cao Cao was an arrogant snake, he dared not move too far ahead. Instead, he moved just in front of Xu Min, catching every second expert. The others were left alone as they rushed towards Xu Min who was twirling, slashing, stabbing, striking and thrusting the sword in one expert after another, killing them almost instantly. Every time he cut through the expert he felt the Qi being poured into his body. He was soon at the maximum of how much energy his dantian could contain.
'Cao Cao come back!' Xu Min called out while slashing the last expert. He jumped back so that his back was right against the wall. Without hesitating, he took the stance of Radiant Jade Shower. Qi started swirling around him before it quickly crystallized into shards as sharp as swords and as beautiful as jade. It resembled the starry night sky; the little light within the alleyway made the attack dazzling, stunning the advancing experts.
Seeing the thousands upon thousands of Qi shards being ready to launch, the experts started backing away. Terror was in their eyes yet how could they rival the speed of the Radiant Jade Shower which rushed through the sky and embedded themselves within the bodies of the experts.
Previously, Xu Min had been able to unleash the strength of the Radiant Jade Shower, but now he could even control the Qi which had left his body. He used all the Qi possible to make the embedded Qi jade shards explode within the bodies of the experts, causing severe damage to the closest ones had gotten hit.
Seeing that Xu Min was done with the internal attack, Cao Cao once more rushed through the human wave of experts coming their way. His fangs bit time and time again, and Xu Min wielding the sword, allowed for the Qi to once more float into his body and dantian.
'This is never ending!' Xu Min yelled to Cao Cao, and the snake could only grit his teeth and agree. Biting one last person, he turned back to Xu Min and slithered up onto the neck 'I am out of poison,' He complained as he comfortably laid on the neck, but Xu Min felt the pressure. Previously, he had only needed to deal with half the experts. Now, he needed to deal with them all.
Closing his eyes for one second, Xu Min calmed himself within. When the eyes were opened again, he was filled with determination. He would not allow himself to die here. The sword dance even swifter than before. Unfortunately, he was also injured. One of the opponents had cut his thigh; another grazed his shoulder. One stabbed his arm; another nicked his forehead.
None of the attacks were lethal. However, blood had started to flow, and Xu Min had to use his Qi to close the wounds. The current situation was bad for both of them.
'I think we need to accept that we cannot win this,' Cao Cao said with worry in his eyes. Xu Min could only nod in agreement, but he was not in a position where he could run away. Experts kept charging towards him. The wounds he sustained became increasingly more serious, and the fighting became more and more frantic and desperate.
'We need to escape now!' Cao Cao urged him, but Xu Min nodded his head. Pouring the Qi into his legs and with a high jump did he manage to land straight up on top of the building before he started running from one building after another before they finally reached the city wall.
Looking down, Xu Min swallowed his saliva. It was far down, but even so, he decided to jump. A cracking sound could be heard as he landed coming from his leg followed by a sharp pain. Even so, Xu Min quickly stood up and started running as fast as he could away from the city.
Looking back, he found that the experts were not following him. Instead, they stood on the city wall looking at him; their eyes filled with anger, yet none of them showed any signs of jumping down to the ground. Seeing this a stone left his heart; he felt relieved. Looking at the ground, he found that he was moving on a group of footsteps, clearly steps from the women and children who had escaped the city earlier.
Xu Min did not know even closely to enough information about the Immortal Ruins. Thus, he quickly decided to follow these footsteps. Moving at his highest speed was virtually impossible. He had a broken leg and many wounds on his body. Some were very serious while others were not so much. He could at most keep the pace of a normal commoner.
It took him three hours before he finally reached a large village. This was clearly nowhere near as big as the city, but it was big enough to house all the women and children whom he had help.
The city had massive stone walls surrounding it while this village had a three-meter tall wooden fence and only one entrance into the village. In front of this village was four guards, clearly cultivators, yet they were at most experts with the strength of the third-star Warrior.
"Begone pest!" one of the guards yelled. They were aware of the trouble which had transpired in the major city. Consequently, they quickly guessed that they had gotten new overlords. In turn, accepting someone who might be an enemy of this new overlord was not a good idea. It could bring misfortune to the entire village.
"Stop!" a female voice suddenly rang through the air. The guard instantly stopped speaking. "Miss," he called out and bowed deeply, however, the moment the woman reached them, Xu Min collapsed on the ground. The final Qi left his body, and the world turned black.
Everything was black when Xu Min opened his eyes. Looking around, he found himself in a corridor, but feeling around there was no way to find light. The moment his hand touched a wall, he kept holding on to it as he moved forward.
Suddenly a flash of white appeared in front of him, but it vanished just as swiftly. Seeing the light, however, made Xu Min excited and he sped up his pace, no longer moving slowly but running down the dark corridor hoping to catch up with the flash of white.
Moving further and further into the dark corridor, he from time to time saw the flash of white which kept him moving, constantly rushing forward.
The black corridor slowly became lighter and lighter, and suddenly he reached a large room where everything was light.
Just as he reached the room, his eyes opened up, and he sat up with a jolt. Looking around, he found that there were four women within the room he was placed in. He was sleeping on a bunk bed, and he could feel a cool piece of cloth on his forehead.
The women were as shocked as he by the sudden awakening. However, they soon regained their composure. Looking at the four women, Xu Min instantly recognized them as the women from the city.
"Thank you, mister," one of the women said quietly, "you will be safe here for only a few more days. The Snow Mountain will soon have taken full control of the city. Once they have all our small villages, we will have to submit to them. Having you living within our city when you fought against them will not be possible.." The woman was apologetic. She knew that she and her friends had been saved by this man, but they were unable to save him in return.
"Don't worry about it," Xu Min said with a smile on his face. After having slept his body was refilled with vigor, and his wounds had almost healed. Cao Cao was sleeping on his side, but he was using the shroud of darkness. No one was capable of seeing him; only Xu Min would notice him.
"Thank you for looking after me," Xu Min said smilingly as he stood up. In his backpack, he found a clean set of clothes which he quickly changed into before he decided on moving forward once more. Picking up his things, he quickly left the room.
Looking around he found many of the women and children he had saved. He was relieved to see that all of them had been received with great friendliness. These women, although no longer living in town, now had a new lease on life without being mistreated.
"We owe you our lives," the woman who had been there when he woke up. "I am but the daughter of a small village chief. However, if you ever need shelter come back here, and I will help you. Even if it costs me my life, I will gladly help you," she swore as she looked at him
Laughing Xu Min waved his hand, "You just got your life back. Why don't you cherish it some more?"
Having said the words, Xu Min left the village. He walked away from the city the Snow Mountain experts had just conquered. He needed to find another city where he could get information about the Immortal Ruins. It seemed that something major was happening in the area. aA change in the powers was happening just as Xu Min had entered the area. Already dangerous ground had just become even more dangerous to traverse.