Chapter 90: Weakness
An uproar exploded amongst the people present, for who did not know about the Golden-Furred Blood Lions? They were terrifying creatures. This one especially since he was so high-ranked a beast. How could someone as weak as Xu Min successfully tame this lion? None of them knew. However, many of them started guessing that perhaps this Xu Min came from a super-sect and had been gifted thousands of items that had helped him.
It only made sense that he had many treasures on his body. Otherwise, why would the Snow Mountain want him so badly? Furthermore, why was it that they were satisfied with only his dead body? Had he perhaps eaten a treasure that made them want to use his body for medicine? The guesses were many, but none of them knew the truth, just as none of them knew how powerful Xu Min truly was.
"Brother Xu Min," someone suddenly said. He was the oldest and most experienced in the group. He was also the only one who had not participated in the discussions before, the discussions about how he was as strong as he was and why the Snow Mountain wanted to procure his body. He was one of the individuals Xu Min knew to watch out for. Although he was only a four-star Warrior and below Xu Min in rank, there was something about him which made Xu Min alert.
It was clear that it was not only Xu Min who was alert, but Ye Ling was sticking close to Xu Min as well. While he was not too threatened by this young man, he also knew that the young man was hiding his real strength. As to what this young man's true cultivation level was, Xu Min could only guess.
Fortunately, this also went the other way. Although this young man was capable of sensing that Xu Min was hiding his strength, he could not fully determine just how strong Xu Min was, and the same went for Ye Ling. He had a disadvantage because his opponents were two against one and their individual strength was likely to be similar to his own if not greater.
"You are?" Xu Min asked tentatively. The young man bowed slightly as he introduced himself, "I am Ji Tian," he said with a small smile on his lips, "I am from the Ji family of the Descending Dragon Mountain," he continued his introduction.
"Our family is not as prominent as the Snow Mountain, but we have had good relationships with them since many years back. Tell me, what did you do to insult them so much that they spare no effort to kill you?"
This Ji Tian was curious. He had not taken Xu Min seriously before, as the man was only a weak two-star Warrior, but the expert who had appeared in front of him was nothing like the person he had been described as. Had it been his Ji family who had noticed him, then they would have done all they could to recruit him – not try to kill him.
"I killed their guards," Xu Min said as he shrugged his shoulders, "I might have killed quite a few of their guards actually, but they were the ones who started it. If they had not tried to kill me, I would have left them alone."
Xu Min felt enmity towards the Snow Mountain faction. Now he no longer felt that there was a way of reconciliation between the two sides. For him, he was willing to kill anyone who stepped in his path.
Even though he was alert around this Ji Tian, he did not fear him. If push came to shove, he would prove just how serious he was about anyone supporting the Snow Mountain.
Wrinkling his brows, Ji Tian could easily guess what Xu Min was thinking. He took a step back and raised his arms. "Don't worry, I will gain nothing from killing you," he said with his smile on his face, "but do understand. Although I will not act against you, I will not act against the Snow Mountain either. I cannot be an enemy, but neither can I be an ally."
Xu Min did not care about allies. He already felt he had enough help with Ye Ling by his side; he was rather uncaring for what Ji Tian said.
"I came to help because I owe Lord Bu Huang for allowing me to enter this Immortal Valley Ranking. Miss Shui Wu is part of his faction. Thus it was only natural that I came to support you," he said as he stood to leave. "I have no more reason to stay here. Good luck in the future."
Xu Min turned around and started leaving. He did not notice that Ji Tian's eyes flashed coldly and that a sinister smile crept onto his lips. Suddenly he reached out his arm and captured Shui Wu within a steel-like grasp. He pointed a sword at her throat.
"Xu Min!" He called out with a loud yell. Xu Min stopped, turned around, and narrowed his eyes as he saw the scene in front of him.
"You should not have told me your weakness. You owe the Bu Huang house a lot, and you cannot afford to let this woman be injured! Now come here and let me take you prisoner. If you let me do so without a struggle, I promise to let her go."
Hearing this Shui Wu paled, but she also started cursing. None of them had expected what happened next, so she could not avoid or prepare for this situation. Xu Min and Ye Ling had looked at one another before they both started laughing out loud. Their laughter was so sudden and shocking that no one actually understood what was happening.
"Did you know that the first day I met Shui Wu she was incredibly arrogant, as if I was nothing? She insulted me and did not give me face. Now tell me, what do I owe her? Yes, I owe Lord Bu Huang, and yes I need to help him when I can, but I am not a part of his faction, nor am I willing to risk my life for the sake of his faction."
"You are bound right now," Xu Min continued. "As long as you hold her in your arms, you will be able to stay alive. Nevertheless, the moment you let her go, Ye Ling and I will attack you. The moment you kill her, Ye Ling and I will attack you."
"Now decide, do you want to have only me as your enemy, or do you wish to make the Bu Huang faction into your enemy as well?"
Suddenly, Ji Tian understood just how pointless his action had been. For a moment, he had thought he held Xu Min's weakness in his hand. He had been blinded by the treasure promised by the Snow Mountain, yet now he understood just how naive he truly was.
"You say that the Bu Huang family might not become my enemy, but considering that I already took Miss Shui Wu hostage, I fear that they do not see it the same way as you do. I fear they already see me as an enemy."
Xu Min pondered for a bit before he carelessly shrugged his shoulders. He smiled at Ji Tian, "I don't know, and to be frank, I don't care," he said while he grinned, "now decide. Do you want to kill Shui Wu or let her live? To me, either works."
Ji Tian became more and more panicked as he thought about it. Xu Min just crossed his arms and started tapping his fingers, waiting for the decision to be made. He was rushing Ji Tian in his silent way.
"Come on!" he called out, "I don't have all day. This is the Immortal Valley Rankings, and I need to deal with the Snow Mountain. Make your decision, or I'll make it for you." He sneered. His words caused everyone present to step back a few steps.
"He is seriously going up against the Snow Mountain?" someone whispered to a friend. Soon everyone was discussing this news amongst themselves. It was clear that these experts had no chance of defeating Xu Min since their leader Ji Tian was this cautious. Thus they all just stood aside, enjoying the show.
Ji Tian cursed at himself over and over again. Why did he have to act on impulse like this? It was not his usual way of behaving. Today, however, he had been tempted by the treasures of the Snow Mountain. He had been tempted by all the materials and resources that they promised. Although the Ji family was big and he was one of their geniuses, it was hard to get his hands on that many resources all by himself. Thus, his usually rational thought had been shadowed by greed. The more he thought about it, the more he wanted to kick himself. Who was stupid enough to show his weakness in the Immortal Valley Rankings?
"Time's up," Xu Min said. Without restraining his aura anymore, energy burst out from his body. The attack, devouring world, erupted, causing Ji Tian to lose control of his body. Shui Wu was wrested from Ji Tian's grasp; the two began revolving around Xu Min akin to limp ragdolls, incapable of controlling their movements.
Xu Min did not need to unsheathe his sword. Instead, he made a flick with his hand. The spirit bow of the elf appeared in his hand, and an arrow of Qi took shape moments after in his other hand. After taking aim, this Qi arrow shot through the air and buried itself in Ji Tian's neck.
Blood started flowing. Both Xu Min and Ji Tian were shocked. Xu Min had never expected that someone like Ji Tian would die so easily. He would not even be able to put up a fight against the attacks that he controlled, but he was not the only one. Although Ji Tian had felt worried and threatened by Xu Min, he had never expected that their fight would end that quickly – that he would lose that badly.
Outside the Immortal Valley, the many observers all had grim expressions on their faces. No one could blame Xu Min for killing Ji Tian. As a matter of fact, many families felt that it was only proper that he got killed after taking a woman hostage.
However, none of the people outside the Valley knew what had been said between Xu Min and Ji Tian. Thus the latter seemed like the villain. Even the Ji Family who were present were not making a big fuss about the fact that one of their geniuses had died. Though it was clear they were furious, they dared not voice this anger. They knew that if they did, they would be ridiculed by the other families.
It was not only the Ji family with ugly expressions on their faces; the people of Snow Mountain were equally hideous. They knew Ji Tian’s strength. He was a genius. He was one of the few experts who had reached the rank of a five-star Warrior. This was a caliber of strength only a few youths from within their own Snow Mountain had attained. To know that even this expert had died at Xu Min’s hands forewarned them. They had made a major mistake in making an enemy of Xu Min.
The name Yanluo surely fits this young man perfectly. He was like a death god sweeping by; anywhere he went, death would follow. Sometimes he would kill a few people; at other times, he would kill anyone in sight. Anyone who stepped in front of him with the intention of insulting him or stood in his path to his advancements towards his goals would be killed. Now Snow Mountain started to fear him truly.
"Don't worry too much," an elder suddenly mumbled. His words did not allude to anything specific, but it was clear that he had something special in mind. "Although this Xu Min had been hiding his strength, he is not the only one. Think about the little monster from our clan. He is as talented as this Xu Min, but he is older. With the advantage of having spent more time cultivating, I believe that our monster can handle this unimportant little fly."