Chapter 74: Shen Yu's Anger
"This guy, Shen Yu, is quite protective of his followers." Xu Min said with a sigh to Ye Ling as the two of them looked down on the group below. They were consuming illusion spirit grass to keep their auras hidden while they followed the group for a few days. Though despite trailing them for so long, there had been no opportunity for them to attack. She Yu made sure that no one traveled alone. Even groups of two or three would be ok, but, unfortunately, they always moved in groups of at least ten. Even if Xu Min and Ye Ling were to attack together, the two of them would still need at least a few minutes to kill everyone.
"Oh look." Ye Ling said looking down, catching Xu Min's attention. Looking down, the young man saw that a group of four experts had split off and were moving on their own. This caused a smile to appear on his face. This was their first real chance since they had started trailing them days ago.
"Want to join me?" Xu Min asked with a smile on his face. The lion by his side bared his fangs in a silent smile of his own. Together the two slowly made their way down the trees while following behind the small group.
The group kept moving into the forest where they finally stopped. The four of them were chatting with one another, "I am so annoyed having to constantly be amongst these weaker cultivators, protecting them. I know that the young master will get his hands on their emblems later, but still protecting them is annoying." One of the experts complained. The others nodded their heads in response.
"Should we leave the group?" Someone asked the person who had spoken first, and the only response was a slap which resounded in the silent forest. "Are you a complete idiot?" The young man furiously asked as he looked at the person who was now on the ground. "Snow Mountain is clearly out to expand their territory, and although so far they had been satisfied with just controlling the Dragon Mountains, they are planning on taking over the entire Thousand War Valley."
"Since they are going to take over the valley, they will also be taking over our cities. Although this is an Immortal Valley Ranking, it means nothing compared to becoming allied with the Snow Mountain."
"No! We cannot leave and lose this chance. Although Shen Yu is just a five-star expert, he is not to be underestimated. He is very strong and backed by his grandfather who is an Elder of Snow Mountain. Becoming allied with Shen Yu is our most important task!"
Having been thoroughly scolded, the young expert turned silent. Secretly he was not willing to spend a full year following Shen Yu and fighting beasts by his side, but in the end, he had to forfeit the ranking by giving his very own emblem to Shen Yu. He had always been told just how important this ranking was, but now he was not allowed to give it his all for his family’s honor. How could he not feel annoyed?
"Well, young Master Shen shows great care and consideration for us. After losing a few of his allies, he did not allow others to be in a small group. The only reason we were allowed is because our overall strength is sufficient. Four four-star warriors are very tough to kill. Even if the expert is a five-star expert, he will not be able to deal with us so quickly that the main group cannot back us up."
Right after he had spoken, two shadows appeared. They descended swiftly on the experts. The four warriors were shocked, but they quickly adapted. One person dodged, while the other quickly pulled out a flute, blowing into it.
Because he had focused on his flute, he did not dodge fast enough. The result was Ye Ling's paws shredded the chest of the unfortunate young man. They split his entire body into two, only connected by a few, thin strands of flesh.
The one who dodged looked with cold eyes at the shadows which appeared where he had stood just moments before. Looking at this shadow which slowly straightened, his heart started beating rapidly.
Currently, it was a two against three situations, but both knew that since the flute had been blown, reinforcements would appear soon.
"I will deal with this guy; you take the other two." Ye Ling growled as he focused on the man who had previously dodged Xu Min. Without discussing, Xu Min turned his back on the lion and faced the two experts who were looking at him with fear while visibly shaking. These two had clearly never been apart of a life and death battle before, and although they were four-star Warriors, they were not mentally strong enough for this fight. They both hesitated when looking at Xu Min in front of them.
Seeing this, Xu Min’s killing aura strengthened enveloping the two youngsters making them shiver even more uncontrollably. Seeing their shock, he attacked. His speed could rival that of the five-star Golden-furred Blood Lion by his side, and these poor four-star experts, who lacked any mental fortitude whatsoever, were reduced to fearful, trembling experts.
Two slashes and the experts were dead, both beheaded. While they did not have the experience in killing, Xu Min had already killed many times before. Now, he finally had the chance to get rid of some of these experts he had been stalking for quite a while.
Having killed the two experts, Xu Min turned around to look at Ye Ling. Both he and the expert were fighting it out, and while Ye Ling had the advantage, his opponent was in no way easy to handle. Watching the fight progress, Xu Min waved his hand and swept up the three storage treasures and their emblems before getting ready to leave the clearing. "Ye Ling, retreat." He called out. Although the lion was in no mood to stop fighting, he too understood that their time was limited.
With an unhappy growl, he turned and together the two ran out of the clearing before they once more took to the treetops. After a bit, the two returned to the area where the battle had just occurred. Eating another handful of illusion spirit grass ensured that they could never be found by those below them.
Just as Xu Min and Ye Ling reached the clearing, the group led by Shen Yu also arrived. Looking around, his face turned dark; his eyes lit with anger as he looked at the three corpses within the group. Despite his group had been big, he had already lost many followers. Even though he did not mind losing his two-star followers, four-star ones were something completely different. Losing three just like this caused his heart to ache.
Going to each of the corpses his face turned, even more, sour as he realized that although the enemy was in a hurry, he still had the time to steal their emblems. He had lost three four-star Warrior emblems; emblems which were equal to four-star demon cores, something not easy to obtain.
"We cannot split up into groups anymore to search this area." He said through gritted teeth. "Although I wish for us to find the killer and tear him to shreds, it is highly unlikely we will run into him. Seeing as this b*stard could deal with four four-star Warriors at once, splitting up is just asking to be killed."
Everyone had been fired up to find the enemy but hearing Shen Yu’s words, they all understood what he said was correct. It was not the time for them to divide their strength.
"I will no longer allow anyone to leave the group. Someone makes latrines nearby because leaving the group means death. As long as our stalker has enough Illusion Spirit Grass, we will be without a way to retaliate." Shen Yu continued, and his words caused everyone to nod their heads.
"Seems like we won't be so lucky in the future." Ye Ling sighed, but Xu Min just smiled. "I never expected it to work for long anyway." He grinned sinisterly. "I am sure that what I do next will make them even more uncomfortable." He continued and explained the plan to Ye Ling who listened intently, and a toothy grin quickly appeared as he nodded his head. "Yes, that would definitely be a great idea." He agreed while nodding his head impressed. "I bet we will get ahold of quite a few experts in the night this way." He grinned and the two slowly settled in the treetop, resting for a moment before it was time for them to proceed with the next part of the plan.
"What did you say? A three-star Warrior?" Shen Yu's eyes were filled with disbelief as he questioned the sole survivor of the fight.
"I would not dare lie Master Shen. There was a three-star warrior together with a fifth-star Golden-Furred Blood Lion. The lion was the one who killed Guo Yan as he was alerting you while the human killed both Guo Shin and Guo Long. This person’s aura was terrifying, and even I was affected by it. His swordarts were also quite formidable. I never even saw his sword move. All that appeared was a flash, and the two had been decapitated. They were killed even swifter than if they had been executed." He praised with a sour heart. “After seeing this young man, and his features, I believe this person to be the young man Xu Min, your target." He continued, hesitating slightly, not sure if he was in a position to say so, but after a brief moment he decided to speak his mind.
"You think it’s Xu Min?" Shen Yu asked while rubbing his chin for some time, thinking quietly. "It would make sense if it was Xu Min..." He thought out loud with a nod of his head. "Xu Min is stronger than the average expert. He used to be a two-star warrior so reaching the third star is definitely not impossible for him. His strength should be quite outstanding, but to subdue a Golden-furred Blood Lion of the fifth-star, now that is quite an astonishing feat."
Shen Yu was speaking more to himself than anyone else, and the survivor was fully aware of this. Because of this, he stayed kneeled down in front of Shen Yu. He said nothing, just knelt there, awaiting his next order.
"Well if it really is Xu Min then he has done us a great favor." Shen Yu finally decided. "We want to kill him but finding him within the valley is truly problematic. If he has found us and thinks he can kill us, then he is very naive indeed. Having superior numbers is not our only advantage. Does he really think nothing of a person like me? A person who has an elder of the Snow Mountain as my grandfather?"
Thinking about this, Shen Yu started laughing out loud. "Well, this little game of chase will become far more interesting from now on." He said with determination in his eyes as he looked into the distance. Not far from there, Xu Min and Ye Ling were quietly waiting for night to descend. Neither of them knew what had been said within Shen Yu's tent, but had they known it wouldn’t have mattered anyways. Their targets had been selected. They would kill or die trying.