Chapter 213 – Memories

“I will hold him back, leave!” Wei Hanzi commanded, making the decision instinctively.

At this point, Gu Lingzhi could not understand what Wei Hanzi was thinking. Was she dumb?

“I will hold him back. You run!” The only way for the two to escape was if Wei Hanzi left first. By then, Gu Lingzhi could not be bothered if her identity as a Spirit Tribe member was exposed.

Instead of heeding Gu Lingzhi’s words, Wei Hanzi shook her head ferociously and insisted, “I am not leaving!”

Tch, what deep sisterhood among you two. Since none of you can bear to leave the other behind, then both of you remain here!” Brother Qi scoffed. There was no escaping from death’s door.

With the both of them unwilling to leave, they could do nothing but hear the bone chilling sounds of hooves trotting towards them. In the next instant, six men riding on three wildebeests appeared in front of them.

When had their organization become so poor such that two people had to share a single wildebeest? 

This doubt was immediately dispelled the moment they recognized the men on the wildebeest.

“It is Master!” Wei Hanzi exclaimed in gleeful surprise.

Wasn’t the man seated on the leading wildebeest Rong Yuan?

Gu Lingzhi beamed with joy. She had thought that the men that had arrived would be Brother Qi’s allies and had not expected it to be Rong Yuan. After such a long wait, Gu Lingzhi had almost forgotten that she had a fiancé she could rely on.

Reality proved different from expectations and Brother Qi had no hopes left. With a last full force attack that forced Wei Hanzi to retreat backward, he tried to escape the scene at lightning speed.

All of a sudden, a large sword appeared in front of him without any warning. Brother Qi’s face turned pale with fright, not expecting the sudden appearance of the sword. Without any chance to avoid the sword, the sword sliced horizontally across his chest and a pool of blood spilled out of Brother Qi’s wounds.

“Asshole!” Brother Qi cursed in anger as he continued to stumble away, a valiant attempt to escape.

“You won’t be happy for long. Once the Third Prince is engaged to the Princess of the Dayin Kingdom, I’ll see how you…”

The last few curses that Brother Qi wanted to say was caught in his throat as he stared wide-eyed at the man who had suddenly appeared in front of him.

Was this the power of the man rumored to have the highest chance of becoming a True God? 

Brother Qi was known to be exceptional even among his peers of the same cultivation rank. Yet, he had not even seen Rong Yuan move before his throat was caught in Rong Yuan’s hands. They were both Martial Lords, but the difference in their powers was drastic.

“I will not marry anyone other than Lingzhi in this life,” Rong Yuan muttered under his breath as though he was making an oath. “As for the Princess of the Dayin Kingdom that you have mentioned, she will be joining you in hell.”

With these final words, Rong Yuan cold-heartedly crunched Brother Qi’s throat in his hands.

Rong Yuan had guessed how the sudden sword from Gu Lingzhi had appeared. She could not let anyone who could expose her secret live.

“You should have let him live to interrogate him.” Yan Liang who hurried over much later chided Rong Yuan.

He thought that Rong Yuan had been too rash with his actions.

Nonetheless, Rong Yuan only took a sideward glance at him before saying, “Even if I didn’t interrogate him, I can still guess who is the mastermind behind this.”

With that, Rong Yuan didn’t bother about the others any longer as he spun around and hugged Gu Lingzhi in his arms tightly.

“Thank goodness you are alright……”

It seemed that these few years, he had always left Gu Lingzhi in danger by herself. This made him question himself on whether he could really protect her.

This time he would head to the Secret Territory upon his return to meditate in seclusion. He promised that he would not leave until he had advanced to become a Martial Sage! 

Rong Yuan’s closest aide could not know his thoughts. A doubtful expression crossed Tianfeng Jin’s eyes as he took in Rong Yuan’s words.

“Such sweet words, but what are you going to do about Ding Rou?”

“You will know it soon,” Rong Yuan nonchalantly replied Tianfeng Jin’s question.

“You are purposely making things complicated.” Tianfeng Jin mocked slightly before turning silent. Thereafter, he asked Gu Lingzhi, “How are you? Are you injured?”

“I am fine but the Black Thorn has suffered some injuries that need immediate treatment.”

Wei Hanzi had sustained severe injuries from Su Nian’s sudden attack previously. Additionally, she had also exchanged injury for injury in a bid to escape the sudden ambush by the few Martial Teachers. Gu Lingzhi would not have used such a shoddy method to distract Brother Qi otherwise. Thankfully however, the outcome was good.

They had managed to wait until Rong Yuan and his reinforcements arrived to save them.

The moment Tianfeng Jin heard that Wei Hanzi had been injured, she rushed over to check her injuries, only to see the long bloody open wound across her chest. Blood stained her clothes and Wei Hanzi looked dishevelled.

With a small gasp, Gu Lingzhi retrieved a long sash from her Storage Ring at lightning speed and used it to cover Wei Hanzi. “Turn around and don’t peek,” Gu Lingzhi barked out an order to the men.

The men obediently turned their eyes away while Rong Yuan took the chance to cheekily tease, “Rest assured Lingzhi. I only have eyes out for you. No matter how beautiful other ladies are, I will never look at them.”

Gu Lingzhi replied to him with a roll of her eyes.

On the other hand, Yan Liang nodded his head with a stern expression and said, “I hope that you can abide by what you said. Don’t hurt Lingzhi because of Ding Rou.”

“Of course.”

The two had suddenly developed camaraderie from the interactions they had with each other. Their impressions of each other had improved dramatically, perhaps due to the fear that Gu Lingzhi was in danger. It allowed them both to see the other’s genuine concern for Gu Lingzhi and by then, Yan Liang had suspicions on Rong Yuan’s attitude towards Ding Rou previously.

Truthfully, if not for Ding Rou, Rong Yuan was definitely a person Yan Liang would have trusted. Hence, Yan Liang had to think over Rong Yuan’s act of being ‘concerned’ previously.

One should not brood over matters he should not ask. Yan Liang was hesitant for a slight moment before he abandoned the thought of poking further on the topic. As long as Gu Lingzhi did not suffer, Yan Liang was fine with liking her from a distance. If Rong Yuan ended up hurting Gu Lingzhi, it would not be too late for him to steal Gu Lingzhi back by then.

As Rong Yuan observed Yan Liang’s stern expression relaxing, he twitched his lips and placed his hand on Yan Liang’s shoulder. “Give up that thought, you will not have that chance,” Rong Yuan assured.

The confidence in Rong Yuan’s words made Gu Lingzhi shudder and she rolled her eyes again, “Since when did you know how to read minds? Are you not going to think of how we are going to return? The next batch of masked men who are going to patrol this area is going to arrive very soon.”

Speak of the devil. Just as Gu Lingzhi finished her sentence, a louder array of hooves beating the ground echoed from the distance.

The group exchanged looks and Tianfeng Jin paused her actions of treating Wei Hanzi. Under Rong Yuan’s signal, the group hid themselves behind a small shrub while Yuan Zheng kept the wildebeests in his Demon Beast Pouch.

This Demon Beast Pouch seemed similar to an embroidered pouch. However, it was a special item that could allow beasts to live for up to three hours inside it without dying. Furthermore, it could only be made by a high-grade Black-Level Weapon Forger.

The hooves sounds drew closer and closer, arriving before the group not long later. Gu Lingzhi held her breath in. She had thought that Rong Yuan had wanted to avoid being found out by these group of men by hiding behind the shrub. However, upon seeing the light rays that shot out a second later, she knew she was wrong.

In the next instant, the pitch-black area was lit up by bright rays of light. Even Tianfeng Jin had released her golden spiritual energy in an attempt to attack the group of men.

The array of spiritual powers shot out and before Gu Lingzhi could question anything, the battle was over.

The leader of the group had been taken down from the wildebeest he was riding by a ruthless attack coming from Rong Yuan. More than eighty percent of his body sustained third degree burns and the awful smell of burnt flesh permeated the air. At the next instant, the body of the leader fell lifelessly onto the ground in front of Gu Lingzhi.

With that, the remaining masked men dropped down one by one helplessly onto the ground, none of them a match for the group.

“Ask away. If they remain silent, kill them straight away.”

Had interrogations ever been so casual? 

Gu Lingzhi glanced at Rong Yuan. How could she think that Rong Yuan had ordered them to hide to get away from the masked men? These masked men were no match for Rong Yuan. Rong Yuan had ordered them to hide to ensure that he could sneak an attack upon the masked men and defeat them in a quicker manner!

“Lingzhi, you can be the one to interrogate them. We met quite a few groups of masked men on our way here and have tried to interrogate them already. Maybe you can get something out of them instead.” Xin Yi’s words made Gu Lingzhi understand why the group listened to Rong Yuan so quickly previously. Without any orders, they had attacked and defeated the masked men so efficiently. So they had done this before…

These masked men were trained assassins. It would be harder to get anything out of them than killing them. Without even waiting for Gu Lingzhi to interrogate them, the masked men bit their tongues and committed suicide.

“Again…” Rong Yuan sighed, a hint of disappointment in his voice. Thereafter, he continued, “We cannot underestimate the mastermind behind this since he could send out so many trained assassins at once. Even I would find it hard to gather so many trained men to work for me.”

Rong Yuan’s words caused the expressions of many in the group to harden with seriousness. This was not the first time that Gu Lingzhi had been the target of other scheming people.

“If those gangsters from before had not lied to me, this is the second time they are targeting me.”

Under the concerned look of others in the group, Gu Lingzhi revealed. She had almost forgotten about that incident. Back in the first week of being in the Royal School, she had been surrounded by a group of gangsters when she returned to the school by herself. According to the leader of the group, they would be rewarded by a man in a black mask if they attacked Gu Lingzhi. That masked man had a mask similar to the ones this group of men were wearing.

“Does this mean that the group had had their eyes on you for a long while now?” Tianfeng Jin asked with concern, “If I had known, I would have returned with you back then.”

Gu Lingzhi chuckled lightly, “It’s alright. In the end, I killed all of them. If you had returned with me, would you be trying to steal my kills?”

Tianfeng Jin laughed, reassured.

Yet, Rong Yuan could not bring himself to laugh at Gu Lingzhi’s light heartedly recalling the danger she had been in. If the masked man had not tried to go through the gangsters to harm Gu Lingzhi but acted personally instead, would Gu Lingzhi have been able to escape with her cultivation level back then?

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