I Shall Slay Immortals (ISSTH fanfic)

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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Chapter 32. Two Years, Seven Battles. (Part I)


    “What, even you got swept in by that guy, little Chao?” Raisha called out with a laugh, walking into the resting space occupied by the Tattered Company.

    “Raisha? You are alive? I thought you got killed when our right flank suddenly collapsed in the very beginning,” the grey-robed Chao responded quickly and approached Raisha, taking a quick look at the people who came with her. “More than half of your team got wiped out?” Chao noted in disbelief, knowing very well what kind of destructive power Raisha’s Sword Guard could display on the battlefield.

    “Yeah…” Raisha sighed heavily. “We got done in the same way you did. That guy’s ‘Tattered Company’ took us off guard. I lost against the ‘Patriarch Wu Bai’, he offered me to surrender… so I did,” she admitted without shame and exchanged an understanding look with Chao.

    “We did the same. Really, they were scary to fight against… It felt as if we were facing your team, just ten times the numbers,” Chao joked awkwardly, feeling a bit embarrassed to have surrendered in such a huge numbers. If one were to add the six hundred who put their weapons down with Raisha and those who gave up on fighting to death towards the end… then practically a quarter of their Tribe had chosen to be governed by the Crow Divinity Tribe.

    Comparing that to the regular numbers who would usually surrender after grand battles, it was five or six times the average!

    “If they really were to have their respective members become as strong as your guys…” Chao laughed weakly, overwhelmed just by the prospect alone.

    “They would be unstoppable,” Raisha finished for him. “But, isn’t that our goal now? Become stronger with them and survive this Apocalypse.”

    Chao frowned, confused by Raisha’s attitude. He could understand that she had chosen to surrender rather than to die a pointless death, but for her to suddenly become optimistic and well disposed towards her enemies? That surely wasn’t something he would expect of her.

    “What, you weren’t told yet?” Raisha chuckled, then showed a look of understanding. “I guess that guy is just like that, huh? He didn’t appear too thrilled when he was explaining it to us, either.”

    “Long story short, when you join his Tattered Company, you won’t become a slave of the Crow Divinity,” considering the explanation to be finished, Raisha chuckled and gestured Chao to follow. “Come, they will be selecting Conclave members soon. I’m in of course and you should be too,” she said merrily, honestly looking forward to her future in the Tattered Company more than in the Eternal Universe Tribe which had chosen to die in the Western Desert.

    “Conclave member?” Chao blinked repeatedly, still too shocked to fully comprehend what Raisha just told him. They wouldn’t be enslaved? He could become a member of the Tattered Company’s Conclave? Which Tribe in the whole Western Desert, apart from the Crow Divinity, could have the guts to implement those crazy ideas?!

    “Heavens… then when their Tribe paid their respects to that man…” Chao smiled, his mouth hanging open. “This Tribe… it might just become something really terrifying,” he mused, then ran after Raisha and headed to Wu Bai’s place with her.

    ---

    After a few days, the Crow Divinity Tribe which now numbered four thousand people arrived at the village previously occupied by the Eternal Universe Tribe. With the recent changes in the internal policies of the Tribe, they had chosen to stay here for a day or two, until the important matters could be all resolved between their leaders.

    In the early afternoon, in the Great Hall of the village, a few dozen people gathered. Amongst them were people like Li Jie, the Greatfather’s son and Shan Shi, the High Priest’s son, with the addition of various representatives of groups and families of the Crow Divinity Tribe.

    Of course, Wu Bai, Wu Ling, Wu Chen and the group of people chosen from the Tattered Company to come along were also here. They counted for half the present people, being the largest and most influential group in the Crow Divinity Tribe.

    Among this group of thirty, the ones with whom Wu Bai had been talking with more often than not were Juan, Wu Hai, Xu Jun and Xu Tao, the old Shi Shi and the two recent additions to the company; a woman with a temperament as fiery as her hair, Raisha, and Chao, a thin, tall young man who appeared to be docile, but in truth could be as sharp as a blade.

    “There are many things we need to talk about,” Wu Ling spoke up first, standing up from her chair at the huge, round gathering of many tables that were placed here for their convenience. “But, the most important issue is the problem of slavery,” she said and suppressed a sigh, listening to the resigned and troubled murmurs appearing throughout the hall.

    “We can already see that with the existence of the Tattered Company, the very idea of keeping slaves in the rest of the Tribe becomes ridiculous. No one will want to be a slave when he can be free. However, our Tattered Company can’t and doesn’t intend to accept anyone and everyone into our ranks.” Wu Ling smiled, seeing how her words caused quite a commotion. In the past three days, the upper echelons of the Tattered Company had been discussing this problem and they came to one, decisive conclusion, which would result in quite a bit of problems, but which needed to be implemented if they didn’t want to face even worse disaster further down the road.

    “You should all be aware that after our battle with the Eternal Universe Tribe, ninety percent of those who surrendered expressed desire to join the Tattered Company,” she began saying, her voice naturally suppressing all the ongoing talks. “However, what we are is ‘Crow Divinity Tribe’, not a ‘Tattered Tribe’, unless the Tribe is soon planning to change its name,” she joked with a smirk on her face and what followed, was a bunch of worried smiles.

    The people who gathered here all knew that especially after they recognized Wu Bai as their Patriarch and after Meng Hao forbid the Nascent Soul Elders from getting involved in the affairs of the Tribe, their fate was pretty much in Wu Bai’s hands. To be completely honest, they were here today not to argue with Wu Bai’s side or to propose their own solutions to the problems. Their goal was to work out the minor details, making the various deals better for their own sides.

    “To make it clear, we are only going to accept those who fit our standards, both personality and ability wise. Overall, we are planning to keep the numbers of the Tattered Company to around twenty five, thirty percent of the whole Tribe at the very maximum,” Wu Ling spoke calmly, knowing that no one was going to speak up against those new policies.

    Yet still, when listening to Wu Ling, the thirty people who weren’t affiliated with the Tattered Company couldn’t help but sigh in their hearts. Tattered Company would take ‘only’ one fifth of the Tribe as their members? Surely enough they accepted that they won’t be the most prominent force in the Crow Divinity as long as Wu Bai was there, but knowing that realistically, half or more of the Tribe’s combat potential would lie in Wu Bai’s hands still made them feel somewhat resentful.

    Despite the not too pleasant atmosphere in the hall, Wu Ling didn’t mind and kept speaking. Compared to this situation, she went through much harsher treating when Wu Chen had been wasting family’s money after their parents both went and disappeared…

    “With regards to those who won’t be accepted,” Wu Ling smiled a little, concentrating on the current speech and not on daydreaming, “We are suggesting for the old families of the Tribes we have subjugated and will subjugate in the future to remain independent, without becoming slaves, with the requirement of exercising their faith in our Sacred Ancient and swearing loyalty the Crow Divinity Tribe,” smiling meaningfully, Wu Ling looked at the flabbergasted expressions of Li Jie, Shan Shi and their companions. They probably never expected an extreme proposal… or rather, a demand, like this one to be made.

    “In short words, we won’t be enslaving our enemies, but integrating them,” Wu Ling explained, then added the most important part. “As for those who refuse to integrate and obey our laws…” she paused for a second or two before concluding. “The punishment will be death,” she said strongly, her smile turning into something dangerous.

    Li Jie appeared to have shivered more than a little, while Shan Shi raised his eyebrows, smiled, then nodded in agreement. Had the Tattered Company suggested an extreme and soft approach without any real enforcement methods, he would have opposed. However, since this Conclave of the Tattered Company seemed to be aware of that well enough, their plan had a chance to work out.

    “Are there any complaints, suggestions?” Wu Ling asked in a very different, carefree tone and swept the hall with her gaze. Having been answered with silence, she spoke decisively. “Since there aren’t, the new law is passed and thereby shall be obeyed,” she concluded, peeking at the daydreaming Wu Bai from the corner of her eye and already wondering how to get back at him for making her do all the work when he was lazing around.

    ---

    In the time of great changes, one year passed for the Crow Divinity Tribe before anyone could even notice.

    During this one year, the Crow Divinity Tribe crushed four mid-sized Tribes who were stupid or desperate enough to attack them. Unlike before, the grand battles were steadily becoming quicker and more decisive with their outcomes. With the aid of Meng Hao’s neo-demon horde and Wu Bai’s Tattered Company serving as a lynchpin of the Tribe’s forces, as everybody implemented the new tactics into life.

    What previously took hours to resolve was now taking but ten minutes. The enemy ranks would fall and collapse under the Tattered Company’s assault, then the neo-demons would help to finish the enemies off. Out of the current eight thousand members of the Crow Divinity, that Tattered Company’s two thousand and Meng Hao’s neo-demon horde finished two grand battles before the remaining six thousand could even get properly involved.

    The difference in strength between the average mid-sized Tribes and Crow Divinity Tribe was now as apparent as day and night. It came to the point that it was agreed the Tattered Company would not take part in the next battle as to let others gain some precious experience in battle.

    Tattered Company was indeed powerful, but as far as Nascent Soul Cultivators went, it so far had none. The two early Nascent Soul Cultivators who had chosen to surrender naturally preferred to keep leading what was left of their Tribes and create a new family in the Crow Divinity than to join the Tattered Company. Overall, the Crow Divinity Tribe now had five Nascent Soul Cultivators and yet… the Tattered Company was still recognized at the most powerful forces in it.

    As for what it was like that, well. In that one year, the overall level of the Tattered Company Cultivators went through the roof. There was barely any people in the outer circle of theirs who consisted of Qi Condensation stage Cultivators and even those were the ones soon expected to advance to Foundation Establishment. The inner members were impressive, numbering one thousand and four hundred Foundation Establishment Cultivators. However, the most frightening aspect of the Tattered Company was their Conclave!

    From sixty, their numbers grew to four hundred in just one year! Four hundred Core Formation experts, such a formidable force would rarely be seen  in any mid-sized Tribes; it would virtually always only appear in Great Tribes! There were two main reasons as to why the Tattered Company managed to amass so many Core Formation experts.

    One was that during the battles, they would overwhelm their enemies and offer the exceptional foes a chance to surrender, just like they did in the battle with the Eternal Universe Tribe.

    The second thing was the Tattered Company’s mentality, which served to stabilize and toughen the dao-hearts of their members! Half of those four hundred elites were people who had successfully advanced from Foundation Establishment to Core Formation in just one year!

    Of course, Meng Hao’s medicinal pills had a great beneficiary effect on the Tattered Company’s and the whole Tribe’s strength, too. However, only those in the Tattered Company showed such a monster-like rate of progress.

    Today, just like they would do once every three months, the Crow Divinity Tribe stopped their travel and set up a camp. Originally the idea came from no other than the Tattered Company, which had difficulty managing all the people who needed a moment of peace and calm to properly make the breakthroughs in their cultivation bases. As such, it was agreed that camping for half a day would be overall worth the time lost. Everyone was aware that unless their Tribe acquired a large treasure capable of flight, they wouldn’t make it in time to the Black Lands anyway.

    In the middle of camp where the Tattered Company rested, a huge tent-like structure encompassing a terrain of well over two kilometers had been placed personally by Meng Hao, who was the only one in possession of large enough bag of holding to actually carry something so needlessly large. The huge tent, ‘naturally’ served as a rain-proof battleground for the Tattered Company which they used to try out their new techniques and perform small-scale battle skirmishes.

    When speaking about the so called mentality of the Tattered Company… each and every one of their two thousand members was in his own way fixated on becoming stronger. Some raised their personal strength, others focused on cooperation and joint techniques. There were also those who began collecting and re-forging treasures and artifacts, some even started learning alchemy from Meng Hao! The only lacking profession in the Tattered Company would be a Dragoneer, as with Meng Hao controlling the whole horde no one focused on developing unnecessary abilities.

    In the huge tent-like building, there was one of the four large, open spaces where the Conclave members were gathered. At the moment, two hundred  people of the Conclave were present there, while the other two hundred were resting in their own tents, seeking some quiet, peaceful time to make a breakthrough or meditate on a magical technique or a divine ability.

    In this sheltered from rain space a group of few dozen friends was chatting and laughing as they watched Wu Bai spar with a youth at the Foundation Establishment level ; most of them were of course cheering for the boy to beat their leader up.

    What was going on at the moment was a special internal exam performed by the Tattered Company. The three groups existing within it, the Slayers, the Warriors and the Guards, all had different testing methods to judge whether one was suited to become one of them. After the overall exam would be performed, then came appointing the new members to their exact leaders.

    As the Tattered Company’s numbers grew, it became impossible to simply have three main commanders, one for each group as they used to when having only three hundred members. Now all groups: Slayers, Warriors and Guards had more than one leader.

    The largest group, Guards, had nine hundred members and nine respective leaders.

    Warriors were the middle group, they numbered seven hundred and had seven leaders.

    Slayers had the least number of members, counting up to four hundred with their four respective leaders.

    After the initial processing was done, then came the ‘real’ testing that would decide whether you belonged to the elite, or to the bottom fodder. The results depended both on strength and one’s talent. Later during the battle the rewards would be split accordingly to one’s accomplishments and rank.

    Equality of everyone? It was a nice dream, but one that even good-natured people like Wu Bai and Wu Ling didn’t try to blindly pursue.

    In the faction of Guards, it was most desired to be the member of the one hundred led by Chao, with the old man Shi Shi as the close second.

    The Warriors were surprisingly spread somewhat equally, perhaps because they would usually split into groups based on one’s character and tendencies during the battle. Given the role of the Warrior faction on the battlefield, in other words, to provide a reliable support for the other two factions, it was a very desirable outcome.

    As far as Slayers went… Given their necessity to charge into enemy ranks and not be defeated instantly, they were elites of the elites of the Tattered Company. Both Wu Bai and Wu Ling belonged to the faction of Slayers and in consequence, led two out of the three most individually powerful battle units in the whole Tattered Company.

    The third unit obviously belonged to…

    “They are still at it?” Raisha asked with a laugh and judging from her expression, she was very pleased about something.

    “As you can see,” Wu Ling answered and looked at the woman who was three heads taller than her, then raised her eyebrow. “You advanced to the great circle of Core Formation? Congratulations,” she said purposely aloud.

    “Now we again don’t know which one of you two is stronger,” she added with a chuckle and giggled quietly, seeing Wu Bai look away and give her a grumbling look.

    “Got you!” the sixteen year old called out in delight, thrusting his dagger at Wu Bai chest.

    “Who got who?” Wu Bai said with a smile, taking two quick steps; one to the back and one to the side, thus letting the youth’s dagger slice the air a few centimeters away from his clothes.

    “There you go!” Wu Bai laughed, grabbing the youth’s hand and flipping him over, smashing him back-down to the ground. “Doesn’t this scene remind you of something?” Wu Bai mused aloud with a wide smile, disarming the youth from the dagger in his hand and chuckling a little.

    “You are terrible, big brother,” Xu Jun managed to say while smiling resignedly and trying to catch his breath.

    “Uh, don’t you say?” Wu Bai laughed and extended a hand to the sixteen year old. “You’ve gotten much better,” he said honestly.

    “Then,” Xu Jun grabbed Wu Bai’s hand and helped himself to his feet. “Does it mean I passed?” he asked expectantly.

    “Yup,” Wu Bai said clearly and the next moment, was knocked down by surprise by the sixteen year old who jumped at him with a big smile. Soon enough, the two of them forgot the place they were in and stated wresting away and exchanging playful comments with each other.

    “Geez, they are at it again…” Wu Ling shook her head, wondering just when had those two started getting along so well.

    “Yeah,” Xu Tao nodded in agreement. “Recently, it feels like he is treating Wu Bai more like a big brother than me,” he commented with a sigh, but also with a smile.

    Himself, Xu Tao, inherited his father’s calm and collected character, while his younger brother resembled their mother more. What was surprising for Xu Tao was that Wu Bai, who was by all means an antisocial person, could behave in this carefree and frivolous way when he was fooling around with someone he liked.

    “Really, just like kids,” Raisha spoke up, saying something strange enough for everyone to turn and look at her. “You think you can play alone? Let your big sis help you a bit!” she called out with a loud laugh, walking to where Wu Bai and Xu Jun were wresting and without hesitation, joining the contest.

    The few dozen spectating members of the Conclave all sighed simultaneously. Yes, that was more like the usual Raisha.

    “So embarrassing…” Wu Ling groaned and received some sympathetic looks from those around. However, most of them were already used to the scenes those three, who despite living in the world of Apocalypse, liked to cause on the daily basis.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Chapter 33. Two Years, Seven Battles. (Part II)


    Two months later, Wu Bai stood in the violet rain with his close friends and the two thousand members of the Tattered Company, watching the rest of the Crow Divinity Tribe fight against an enemy mid-sized Tribe.

    Since the beginning of the battle, with the aid of Meng Hao’s seventy thousand strong neo-demon horde, the bulk of the Crow Divinity forces managed to shave one third of the nine thousand foes while losing one thousand people of their own. Quite the shameful result, if one were to ask.

    “Are you sure we should keep watching and doing nothing?” Xu Tao asked, worrying about how many able cultivators their Tribe was losing in such a pointless way. An hour of fighting, merely three thousand enemies killed… Had their Tattered Company joined the fray, the enemy Tribe would have been annihilated in the span of fifty breaths. The rest of the Crow Divinity Tribe might have tried learning something from their tactics, but in the end, they were incapable of putting them to practice. They were simply painfully ineffective.

    “It’s inevitable,” Wu Bai responded with a shrug of his shoulders. “We can’t afford to be weighed down by those who can’t evolve. They will be relatively useless in the battle and they will cause our cultivation resources to be wasted,” he explained cynically, very apparently having no intention of intervening whatsoever.

    “I don’t know how I feel about it,” Xu Tao shook his head, feeling pity for all those people who were dying needlessly. He would have saved each and every person and preserved all lives possible had it been up to his conscience, but right now, Wu Bai was their leader. It wasn’t up to him to be making such decisions.

    “Stop being such a little whiny girl,” Raisha snorted, giving Xu Tao a displeased look. She couldn’t comprehend how someone so weak-minded ever stepped into the early Core Formation in this short period of time.

    “Raisha...!” Chao half reprimanded, half pleaded in a low voice. He really didn’t like it when everyone around Wu Bai started with their arguments. Especially Raisha was prone to stirring trouble and would only calm down after Wu Bai intervened, what he didn’t care to do often.

    “What?” Raisha asked angrily. “Don’t tell me you too think we should go there and wipe their asses for them?” she asked, eyeing Chao from above, being good half a meter taller than him.

    “N-no, I just think we shouldn’t argue with each other…” Chao replied quietly, shrinking under Raisha’s gaze.

    “Hmph, idiotic,” Raisha said, feeling quite displeased with a good part of her company. Yet, having said everything she wanted, she couldn’t be bothered to pursue the point.

    “Like a bunch of children,” Wu Ling smiled resignedly, not knowing what to do with this peculiar group of friends Wu Bai gathered around himself. What was the most surprising for her though, was that Wu Bai could for one reason or another get along with all those people who had so different personalities. Sure, he was closer to ones than the others with Xu Jun and Raisha sticking with him the most, but he somehow managed to gather all those people around himself without having the group break up over all the arguments they have had.

    Wu Bai smiled a little, enjoying another day in paradise. With people he could call friends, with the aid of Meng Hao, he could finally believe in the brighter future. They truly had a chance to get out of the Western Desert and although he wasn’t that bonded with the Crow Divinity Tribe itself, he wanted to save it as long as it was possible. The worst case scenario, however, he wouldn’t hesitate to take those most important to him and flee. With his abilities, it should be possible to have a small group of people enter the Black Lands undetected by the grand formations, or so he pondered when he was in the more pessimistic mood.

    The battle between the bulk of the Crow Divinity Tribe and the remaining six thousand enemies took another hour to finish. After getting exhausted by the combined assault of cultivators and neo-demons, which thanks to Meng Hao’s abilities were all on the Crow Divinity Tribe’s side, the desperate mid-sized Tribe finally collapsed and after a few moments of slaughtering, its remnants gave up and surrendered.

    All in all, over one and a half thousand Crow Divinity Tribe’s forces perished, while the number of captives reached barely five hundred. From the original number of seventy thousand neo-demons, sixty thousand remained. From the manpower point of view, this battle had been a catastrophe, but both Meng Hao and Wu Bai were satisfied with the results. One of them could feed all his starving neo-demons, while the other sought to increase the Tribe’s overall battle prowess. Despite the casualties, the two of them weren’t too saddened.

    The overall morale of the Tribe was another thing… but in those harsh times, no one voiced their discontent when the policy of the survival of the fittest was enforced. In their hearts, they all understood that unless everything possible was done, their ancient legacies could very well end in the violet rain of death. There was no other choice; they needed the strong, decisive leader and Wu Bai definitely qualified as one. That was the reason they’ve chosen him as their Patriarch, after all. Now that everything had been entrusted to him, they could only follow his orders.

    ---

    “Already close to the mid Core Formation strength,” Wu Bai mused, swallowing another pill of the latest batch given to him by Meng Hao. From what Meng Hao had said, it should have taken him much longer to close onto the level of true Nascent Soul body, but the physical changes due to his abilities as an Immortal Slayer seemed to be progressing on a daily basis. The pain that he used to endure when body-enhancing pills were being absorbed by his flesh was there no more, the limitation of one pill per day thus also vanished. At this rate, as long as they could obtain suitable ingredients, he could soon become much more powerful.

    “I would like to hunt for a Nascent Soul elder soon, but I’m still somewhat too weak. I need to at least reach the level comparable to late Core Formation. Then, I should stand a good chance against an early Nascent Soul opponent,” he thought to himself, laying down on a large piece of fur inside a medium-sized tent. After the battle, it has been decided that the Tribe would rest for half a day and then progress onwards. Not feeling like training at the moment, he used this rare time of indolence to slack and relax.

    “I really feel we should be doing something more productive now, you know?” Wu Ling said with a little sigh, leaning against a small pile of pillows and reading the text of an ancient novel written on a long, tattered scroll.

    “It’s important to rest, too,” Wu Bai said casually, having learned by experience that forcing yourself to do more when you are overworked is never going to end up well. Of course it was bad to be lazy, but being a workaholic wasn’t exactly productive either.

    “Maybe it is,” Wu Ling said and sighed once again. “But I just can’t enjoy reading or resting, there’s too much on my mind,” she explained, putting the scroll away into her bag of holding.

    “We will do everything we can, there’s no point worrying beyond that,” Wu Bai said calmly, but also realized that reassuring Wu Ling in this way had little to no effect. “Why don’t you just nap for a bit? I will wake you up if anything important comes up,” he suggested while holding back a yawn.

    “En,” Wu Ling smiled bitterly, aware that she should let her hair down and rest, even if for a few hours. Without thinking about it too much, she laid down at Wu Bai’s side and closed her eyes, trying to get some much needed sleep.

    ---

    “Are we sitting out this time, too?” Raisha asked as another battle was but a few moments away.

    After traveling in a relative peace for three months, yet another mid-sized Tribe decided to assault their Crow Divinity Tribe and try to take their Demon Spirit for themselves. After a rather late discovery of the approaching force of ten thousand cultivators, there was a need for making quick decisions.

    “Not this time. We are going all-out to crush them,” Wu Bai declared quite loudly, stirring up everyone’s hearts. They had been frustrated enough after watching one battle and doing nothing. They wanted to get stronger, they wished to kill their enemies and forge a path to survival!

    “Everyone, go to your units. We are going with the four-point formation. Make sure you don’t stand out too much so they don’t realize what is going on,” Wu Bai delivered a message to all members of the Tattered Company via his Heavenly Sense, at the same time scanning the forces of the approaching Tribe.

    “Four Nascent Soul cultivators, one at the mid Nascent Soul stage. As always, we wait for our experts to bind theirs in battle before we go,” he informed his two thousand men, then added with a smile. “There are no clusters of Core Formation experts, we will be able to plow through them,” he said mentally and drew his twin swords, as eager for some bloodshed as his men.

    The Crow Divinity Tribe’s seven thousand cultivators rose into the air in one big cluster, preparing to meet the incoming foes head-on. As per Wu Bai’s orders, the Tattered Company split into four groups, each consisting of one hundred Slayers supported by the more numerous forces of Warriors and Guards. They blended into the ranks of the Crow Divinity Tribe, ready to charge out at any given time.

    “Stay behind me,” Wu Bai said while looking at the sixteen years old Xu Jun who would be joining his team of Slayers for the first time. “I will cut down those who are too strong for you and leave remaining ones for you to handle. Remember, there is no time to get involved in long exchanges. You kill your target in one blow and if you can’t, you dodge and proceed to another one. Do not stop in one place, ever,” he reminded one more time, making sure that Xu Jun had properly hammered what he needed to do into his head.

    “Yes, I know. I will do my best to keep up and not slow you down,” Xu Jun said eagerly, clutching the sword in his hand tightly. His old daggers were still his favorite weapons, but they simply weren’t suited to this time of battle.

    “Mm, I wouldn’t have let you join if you were going to slow us down. You move fast, although you strength is a bit lacking,” Wu Bai stated and seeing that Xu Jun’s face sink just a little, added with a laugh. “If you give your best, you will become really strong in a few years of time. Focus on the battle, we are going in soon.”

    “Yes!” Xu Yun responded, perhaps a bit too energetically as many nearby members of the Tribe gave him and Wu Bai some curious glances.

    “They have only twenty thousand neo-demons?” Wu Bai noted aloud, watching Meng Hao fly forward and as the only one, seeing him release the Demonic Qi and wrestle away the control over the whole horde from the opposing Tribe.

    After three breaths worth of time, the two hordes joined into one mass of eighty thousand and at the same time, the Nascent Soul elders of the both tribes locked in battle against each other. With five experts on their side, the Crow Divinity Tribe had a clear advantage so Meng Hao himself once again didn’t get involved in the battle personally.

    Along with the neo-demons, the cluster of seven thousand Crow Divinity members and the ten thousand enemy cultivators moved to clash against each other. When the distance between their two armies shrank to a few hundred meters which was more or less the effective distance for their magical spells, the true contest finally started.

    “Go!” Wu Bai called out through his Heavenly Sense and instantly, four groups of Tattered Company’s cultivators separated from the bulk of the Crow Divinity Tribe forces and started encircling the opposing Tribe, using the early chaos throughout the battlefield and the neo-demon horde that supported them to avoid any focused fire.

    “We plow through!” Wu Bai transmitted to his team of five hundred and turned right, flying straight into the middle of the enemy’s left flank. Simultaneously at the opposite side of the battlefield, Raisha gave the same command and attacked the middle of the of right flank.

    Slashing any magical techniques that got past the swarm of neo-demons, Wu Bai led the charge. As an Immortal Slayer, he didn’t need to worry about depleting his strength, so he took his time to cut down every attack in his way as to lower the burden on his unit and protect those behind him, including Xu Jun.

    Very quickly, their five hundred reached the enemy lines and began the slaughter. Attacking with their swords, spears and all kind of physical weapons Slayers moved swiftly, dodging the attacks and laying waste to anyone in their way. Warriors made do with the remnants and protected their flanks, while Guards kept using long-range techniques and were responsible for securing the rear.

    Cooperating nearly perfectly, the arrow consisting of five hundred elite cultivators shattered the ranks of the opposing Tribe, along with the unit led by Raisha which did the same from the other side throwing them into the state of utter panic.

    The two attack in the left and right sides of the rear, performed by the remaining two five hundred units of the Tattered Company, were the nail to the coffin. Even before the bulk of six thousand Crow Divinity Tribe members could complete the encirclement of the opposing Tribesmen, their foes began surrendering in bulk, counting many hundred people at once.

    They were all completely terrified by the four groups that kept piercing through their ranks and slaughtering everyone in their way; they never expected something like this to happen, so they couldn’t help but lose the spirit to fight.

    The onslaught had been so great that in the time required for one twentieth of an incense stick to burn, four thousand members of the enemy Tribe had been killed by the Tattered Company alone. Counting the casualties inflicted by the neo-demons and the bulk of the Crow Divinity Tribe’s forces, the death count reached well over six thousand.

    “Mmm, more or less thirty breaths time,” Wu Bai said contentedly, then turned to look at Xu Jun who was breathing heavily and trembling a little, his body covered in blood of his enemies and his own alike. “Looks like you aren’t wounded too badly. You showed them, eh? Good job,” Wu Bai praised, unintentionally imitating the way Wu Ai used to speak to him when he was a child.

    A bright smile appeared on Xu Jun’s face as he wiped the blood from his cheeks and from under his nose with a sleeve of his shirt. He didn’t quite know what he should say in this situation, not used to being praised neither by his elder brother or by his deceased father. He simply glanced at Wu Bai, his face somewhat flushed, hoping that his ‘thanks’ will be conveyed clearly enough.

    Chuckling, Wu Bai tousled Xu Jun’s hair, caring little about the blood on it since both of them were thoroughly covered in it anyway. He really had not expected to get so close to this kid, not after doing something as ridiculous as killing his father, but apparently even such things were possible.

    At first, Xu Jun wanted to say something like ‘don’t treat me like a child!”, but in the end, he simply laughed, happy to be praised by Wu Bai. “Are we recruiting after this battle?” he asked, turning his gaze downwards at the three and a half thousand foes who had surrendered and landed on the ground.

    “Yes, but not too much. I’d like to see around eight to nine hundred new recruits,” Wu Bai responded, thinking about creating five well balanced units consisting of one hundred Slayers, two hundred Warriors and three hundred Guards each.

    “For now, let’s see what we can do. Seems like no Nascent Soul Cultivators submitted this time either, though,” he mused aloud and began descending, happy to leave most of the annoying recruiting process to Wu Ling and all the other commanders.

    As for himself, Wu Bai went around looking for specific people he could be interested in working with, but failed to find anyone fitting his criteria.

    ---

    Another five months later, the seventh battle of the past two years took place. The Crow Divinity Tribe with its bolstered numbers by that time counted ten thousand cultivators and nearly eighty thousand neo-demons. The Tattered Company numbered well over three thousand men, with three hundred relatively weaker members remaining out of the battle, still honing their cultivation bases before they could join any of the five elite squads.

    The battle which followed surprisingly proved to be very costly for the Crow Divinity Tribe, but not for the Tattered Company itself. The mid-sized Tribe they faced seemed to have more experience than their past opponents and although their tactics weren’t as refined as those of the Tattered Company’s, they proved to be a big headache for the bolster of the Crow Divinity Tribe forces.

    The battle was a long and bloody one. It continued for nearly half an hour, twenty times as long as the previous one had taken. In the end, even counting the two thousand who surrendered, the Crow Divinity Tribe was only where they started. In others words, they lost two thousand cultivators during this battle and gained about the same number of new members.

    Similarly, the neo-demon horde suffered heavy casualties and failed to increase in size. It remained at being eighty thousand strong, although now it was a well-fed horde and not a starving one.

    What was quite important was that two Nascent Soul elders who had been leading squads similar to that of Tattered Company’s had chosen to surrender with their people. After learning of the Crow Divinity Tribe’s policies, they rejoiced and set up their scions to create family branches from their old Tribe in the Crow Divinity, while the themselves they joined the Tattered Company, having been impressed by its fighting methods and the battle prowess they had displayed.

    As always after a battle, the Tribe set up a camp to rest for half a day. The two Nascent Soul cultivators were appointed by Wu Bai to lead two out of the three six hundred men units which until now hadn’t had truly elite commanders. Thus, just with this simple addition of two men, the overall strength of the Tattered Company has risen once again. Even though they numbered only three thousand eight hundred after the new batch of recruits was merged into their ranks, they were more powerful than almost any mid-sized Tribe of the Western Desert on their own.

    As for the whole Crow Divinity Tribe… it could be confidently said that no mid-sized Tribe stood a chance against it anymore. Only a Great Tribe would be capable of standing on even ground with them, but of course as long as Spirit Severing experts weren’t involved. Even though they were more powerful, the Crow Divinity would be incapable of resisting the might of Spirit Severing cultivator.

    Thankfully, all Great Tribes with experts on the Spirit Severing level had entered the Black Lands and wouldn’t directly compete against their Crow Divinity Tribe. Knowing that, everyone were feeling more and more confident, the dream of surviving the apocalypse becoming clearer and more realistic in their eyes.

    Little did they know, that the sworn enemy of their Tribe was preparing to launch an all-out attack with the goal of eradicating them to the last man, woman or child, and that the catastrophic clash would soon take place.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Chapter 34. The Return of the Five Poisons Tribe. (Part I)


    “A drinking contest?” Wu Bai asked with a chuckle, raising his eyebrows in surprise. It had been three months since the last battle and once again, the Crow Divinity Tribe stopped for half a day to rest. As for Wu Bai himself, he was sitting at the large table within an equally large tent and chatting with the closest to him members of the Tattered Company.

    “Why not? No using your Qi or any other abilities to get sober. The last one sitting wins,” Raisha said with a broad smile, already rising a large wooden cup full of ale.

    “Well, I don’t know…” Wu Bai mused aloud while pretending to hesitate, but he was quickly betrayed by the smile surfacing on his face.

    “Count me out, I don’t like getting drunk,” Xu Tao stated indifferently, causing Raisha to snort in response.

    “Count me in, though!” Xu Jun said with a laugh, making everyone stare at him with a mix of amusement and uncertainty. Technically, the boy was only sixteen year old. Drinking a bit wouldn’t be a problem, but going overboard was a bit…

    “At least the younger of the brothers has some balls,” Raisha laughed and gazed at Xu Tao out of the corner of her eye. She snorted once again, seeing that Xu Tao was ignoring her.

    “You young ones are always so rowdy,” Shi Shi commented happily, drinking directly from a bottle containing red wine. “If only you could get along better, you’d make such a nice pair,” he said out of the blue, making Raisha choke on the ale she was drinking and start coughing heavily.

    “Me and that wimp? In your dreams, old man,” she said angrily, but despite that her face turned into the same color as her crimson hair. She would never admit it, but if Xu Tao was only a bit manlier, she wouldn’t have anything against making him her man.

    “Who would be interested in that violent, foul-mouthed woman,” Xu Tao also rebuked and leaned back in his chair, closing his eyes. He was bearing with all those annoying exchanges only because he needed to keep an eye on his little brother, but recently, even that became less of a priority to him.

    After all, Xu Jun had not only moved to Slayers, but also was spending most of his time with Wu Bai, Wu Ling and with that annoying fiery-haired woman. The need to babysit his little brother truly wasn’t there anymore as Xu Jun was always protected by Wu Bai and himself was close to reaching the late Foundation Establishment, but… being in the close circle of Wu Bai’s companions was simply too beneficial in those dangerous times. Just because he didn’t find the company of everyone here pleasing, he wouldn’t go as far as to leave or create a big conflict over all those pointless arguments.

    Wu Ling sighed quietly, perhaps as the only one noticing the subtle change in Raisha’s expression. Did these two really need to bicker with each other all the time? And why did all men need to be so dense, not to even notice that a woman was interested in them?

    “I’m sure neither of you really meant what you said. Let’s forget it and drink,” Wu Ling suggested amiably and smiled at Raisha. The woman’s mood lightened a bit, but a frown remained on Xu Tao’s face.

    “Here you go,” Raisha smacked a large wooden pint of beer in from of Chao, who jumped up on his chair due to being startled.

    “Uh, thanks,” he said timidly and amazingly enough, grabbed the pint with one liter of alcohol and gulped it down in one go while everyone apart from Raisha were staring at him wide-eyed.

    He finished drinking and put the wooden cup down, then swept the white foam from above his lips. Suddenly, he hiccupped once and right afterwards, burped heavily before untimely covering his mouth with the palm of his hand.

    “So-*hic*-rry,” he apologized awkwardly and smiled, his cheeks becoming slightly red from the sudden intake of alcohol.

    Raisha chortled, then laughed out loud while smacking Chao on his back. “You will see, this little guy knows how to drink!”

    “Say,” Wu Ling brought up, tugging Wu Bai in the side. “The one who loses is responsible for making food the next time we stop,” she suggested with a cheeky smile, at least for the time being returning to her old, cheerful self from more than ten years ago.

    “Oh, then I will have grilled pork and beef with vegetables,” Wu Bai said and nodded to himself, for some reason recalling an event he wasn’t quite sure had happened or not.

    “I like that too, so you can make portions for both of us,” Wu Ling responded and chuckled, then exchanged a look with Wu Bai. Equally confident, the two of them received large pints of beer from Raisha and began drinking.

    ---

    Around six hours later, Wu Bai was swaying back and forth along with his chair, his legs on the table and a cup of water in his hand. Apart from him, the only relatively conscious people in the tent were Xu Tao, who hadn’t drunk much and the old Shi Shi who knew how to restrain himself. Xu Jun was sleeping on the table to his left, while Wu Ling was napping on the furs she managed to take out of her bag of holding before falling asleep. As for Raisha and Chao, the two of them drank much more than the others and both ended up completely wasted, but for some reason which Wu Bai couldn’t comprehend, they still didn’t use their Qi to sober up.

    “Well, my physical body is much stronger now than in the past, I’d need quite a bit stronger alcohol to get drunk,” Wu Bai mused with a smile. After all those liters of beer he had poured into his stomach, he was feeling a bit lightheaded, his cheeks were slightly red too, but apart from that there were no other effects of alcohol poisoning.

    “Too bad for you, huh,” he added quietly, gazing at his sleeping cousin. He would of course tell her why she lost later, but only after he ate the promised meal.

    While being lost in his thoughts, Wu Bai suddenly jerked up, sensing something really ominous. He quickly spread his Heavenly Sense and discovered something really horrifying at the exact moment it struck against Meng Hao. “More importantly…!” Wu Bai shivered, discovering thirty thousand cultivators flying towards them on top of a massive warship.

    He didn’t need to shout or yell at his friends for them to get ready. The sounds of Meng Hao’s struggle against that strange creature alarmed everyone without exception. At first, Wu Bai wanted to chase after Meng Hao and try to get rid of this ‘thing’, but he soon realized that Meng Hao was retreating in straight line. He wouldn’t catch up to him before the Five Poisons Tribe arrived.

    “Tattered Company, form the squads! The loose members join the bulk of Tribe’s forces!” Wu Bai’s voice resounded in the minds of over three thousand members of his Tattered Company. The command had been executed very swiftly and after but a few seconds, when the Five Poisons Tribe arrived, the six units of six hundred formed in the air.

    “What is this power…?!” Wu Bai was shocked to discover that in the distance, Meng Hao had erupted with a mighty strength, but regardless of it, had been sealed by a strange bulb of ancient blood. Thankfully, before that Meng Hao managed to release his eighty thousand neo-demons and send them to their aid.

    “Don’t stay on the defensive, attack or we are going to get wiped out!” Wu Bai sent mentally to everyone. He didn’t need to encourage the original members of the crow Divinity as they all hated the Five Poisons Tribe to the bone, but those who joined them later were slow to comprehend what was happening.

    The Five Poisons Tribe wasn’t like the other enemies they have faced until now, those thirty thousand men and women wouldn’t rest until each and every one of them was slaughtered!

    “Aim to rip them apart bit by a bit, there’s too many of them, we can’t afford to pierce into their ranks!” Wu Bai informed the six hundred members of his until, charging at one of the flanks of the Five Poisons Tribe. He was worried for Wu Ling, for everyone, but currently, he couldn’t afford to spare them any attention. The Five Poisons Tribe had ten Nascent Soul elders while their Greatfather was at the late Nascent Soul stage…! With their own seven Nascent Soul elders, they would be at a great disadvantage and certainly enough, there weren’t many things worse than a powerful expert roaming the battlefield and killing commanders one by one!

    Soon, the two Tribes clashed, the Crow Divinity supported by eighty thousand neo-demons and the Five Poisons by thirty thousand. Immediately, the middle ranks of the Crow Divinity Tribe began collapsing under the pressure and didn’t break apart only because the six primary teams of the Tattered Company halted both wings of the Five Poison’s Tribe, killing thousands enemies at once thanks to taking them by a complete surprise.

    After all, despite Crow Divinity’s rise to fame, there were no people to tell of their battle tactics. For any Tribe, meeting with a head-on physical assault would be shocking and would inventiably result in heavy casualties during the first clash of the battle.

    Wu Bai cursed, wishing that they had been given more time to roam freely. However, the Five Poisons Tribe reacted without delay and made use of their experts. While the two Greatfathers faced off against each other, the remaining nine Nascent Soul elders of the Five Poisons Tribe split up. Four of them engaged their counterparts within the main bulk of the Crow Divinity Forces, while five of them shot out to pursue the Tattered Company’s five commanders. As neither of them recognized Wu Bai as danger, they assaulted the other five teams, leaving Wu Bai with a hard choice.

    To try and break through to the back of the battlefield and try slashing the cocoon of blood with his Immortal Slaying arts, or to rush to Wu Ling’s and Raisha’s aid. Their two Nascent Soul commanders should by all means be capable of holding their opponents off by themselves, but Wu Ling and Raisha were still in the great circle of the Core Formation. Against someone from a higher cultivation realm… how long would they be able to hold on?

    “Raisha is at the same flank, I will help her, then we will join forces to aid Wu Ling,” Wu Bai decided, having little time for second thoughts amidst a great battle. He judged that with his unit alone, he wouldn’t be able to break through to the other side of the battlefield even if he wanted to pay a heavy price of lives of his subordinates.

    For now, he needed to regroup with Raisha and join forces with Wu Ling, at the very least before the sixth group of their Tattered Company with the weakest commander would get completely decimated!

    “Out of my way!” Wu Bai yelled, speeding ahead of his unit and using his naturally concealed presence to wreak havoc amongst the enemy ranks. He avoided direct confrontation with any late Core Formation opponents, instead slaying the weaker enemies by dozens. His grey clothes once again began glistening with fresh blood, which kept soaking the twin swords in his hands at least once every second. There was no need to think, all he needed to do was to kill anyone in his way and reach his allies as soon as possible!

    Amazingly enough, in the first minutes of the battle, the Crow Divinity Tribe managed not to collapse and despite the qualitative disadvantage of their forces, was putting up a heroic fight. Those of the original Crow Divinity, upon knowing they would be killed, would always decide to self-detonate just to kill a few more enemies. Everyone was crazed, their eyes turning bloodshot as they gave they everything to fight off the Five Poisons Tribe. And yet…

    The Five Poisons Tribe cultivators were equally motivated to win this battle. Similarly, many of them would self-detonate, knowing that acquiring the Demon Spirit was the only way for their Tribe to survive the Apocalypse! They fought like devils, intent on wiping the Crow Divinity Tribe off the face of the Western Desert once and for good! There was no middle ground in this battle, either they would win and live, or lose and perish!

    “Still can’t break out, Meng Hao?!” Wu Bai felt like shouting all kind of hideous curses. He was about to reach Raisha’s positions, but to get here he paid a heavy price and lost more than one hundred of his men. Were it not for him actively covering for Xu Jun, the youth would have also gotten killed along the way. The boy was fighting bravely, perhaps too bravely for his own good.

    “Join Raisha’s squad, guard me and her while we fight their elder!” he delivered a mental message, then shot out forward, hoping for a chance to kill his target while he wasn’t aware of his powers.

    At the moment, it looked like the man was focusing on suppressing Raisha with his totemic magic while keeping a distance from her and the very dangerous greatsword in her hand. “She’s wounded quite badly. Looks like poison,” the thought crossed Wu Bai’s mind as Raisha got blown away by a direct attack of the elder who started engaging her in direct fight after weakening her thoroughly.

    The man wanted to follow up and finish Raisha off, but then, he sensed a grave danger and literally at the last split second, flicked away with the aid of his escaping art before the sword’s blade could pierce deep enough into his spine.

    Having retreated, the man trembled as the spiritual energy in his body went berserk, causing him all sorts of internal injuries before he could regain control of it. He started coughing blood, looking at the person who had struck him, who by all means appeared to be a mortal with no cultivation base whatsoever.

    “Tch,” Wu Bai clicked his tongue, seeing the Nascent Soul elder retreat into the protection of his Tribe. That he failed to kill him in one blow was a major failure. The man would now inform the remaining elders of his peculiar existence and they would be wary, making another assassination attempt impossible.

    “We are going to go around our forces and to the other flank,” he informed Raisha and flew up to her, then grabbed her shoulder with his hand.

    “Sever the Immortal,” he employed his ability, concentrating and restricting its target to the poisonous energy within Raisha’s body.

    “To the right flank? We should sweep this one first, it’s going to be more effective,” Raisha argued back, but after noticing the look in Wu Bai’s eyes, she pursed her lips and chose not to say anything else. She quickly understood that Wu Bai wanted to save Wu Ling, even if it meant doing something disadvantageous for the battle as a whole. From his expression, she could tell that were she to refuse, he would forcibly take control of her unit and order them to go anyway.

    “We go!” Wu Bai’s voice sounded in the minds of the nine hundred nearby members of the Tattered Company. The two groups joined together and with him and Raisha at the lead, began slaughtering their way back to the main forces of the Crow Divinity, which were slowly getting pushed back by the might of the Five Poisons Tribe offensive.

    ---

    “Screw off!” Wu Ling waved her hand, releasing the power of her wood-type totem and killing the two early Core Formation cultivators who tried to assault her from behind. Yet, the very next second, she needed to pull out a protective artifact and toss it in the air, preventing a lethal blow from the enemy Nascent Soul elder from ending her life.

    Despite the item’s protection, the explosion has still blown her away and caused purple wounds to appear on her hands and legs, which she had used to guard herself from the impact.

    “You are holding on well, but today you shall die!” the elder of the Five Poisons Tribe shouted flashing incantation gestures and controlling the poison that entered Wu Ling’s body. The purple marks on her body began growing, threatening to reach both her heart and the core of her cultivation base. The moment either of the two would be polluted, Wu Ling would die.

    Although her expression was grim, Wu Ling produced a medicinal pill and swallowed it, for the time being, halting the progression of the poison. Given some time, she would be able to completely expel the toxin, but right now how could she do that?

    “There’s no other way,” Wu Ling recognized that she couldn’t keep delaying her opponent. The man specialized in using clouds of poison and various explosive magical techniques; every moment he wasn’t occupied with her, he would lay waste to the Cultivators of her unit. Were it not for Xu Tao coordinating everyone, they would have likely fallen apart already. The mad assault of the Five Poisons Tribe left them unable to retreat and regroup. With their mobility restricted, their biggest strength has been taken away from them. Met with the choice between risking everything and dying a few moments later anyway, the decision had been a swift one for her.

    Transferring her energy to her fire-type totem, Wu Ling sped forward, charging at the enemy elder with abandon. She was confident that in a melee fight, she would be able to heavily injure or even kill him. The problem was getting close to a man who specialized in fighting at long and mid ranges!

    “Stupid girl,” the man said to himself and raised both of his hands, releasing a cloud of poison and sending it to meet Wu Ling. He expected the woman to try and incarnate the cloud before continuing her suicidal rush, so he already began preparing to release another exactly same magic, but then, he gasped and frowned, seeing how she flew directly into his magical technique.

    “Has she gone stupid from fear?” the man wondered, switching to another technique and flashing incantation gestures. The few little bits of poison which had gotten into Wu Ling’s body were enough to cause her many injuries. For her to fly directly into the toxic cloud… she would never escape its vicinity before being poisoned to death.

    However, when his cloud suddenly got attacked with fire-type energy and exploded, the man couldn’t help but be confused. Had that woman forgotten that she can’t defend against his techniques with fire without suffering from the blast? “She must have panicked,” the man concluded, but just to be sure, used his spiritual sense to probe the spreading explosion and the moment he did, his eyes went wide. He tried to employ an escape art, but he didn’t have enough time. He could only raise his hands and defend with his body as the heavily wounded woman slammed her fire-covered fist against his arms.

    Having used the explosion to accelerate her own speed, Wu Ling attacked with all the strength she had left, putting everything she could muster into this one attack. She didn’t lose her mind, however, and aimed precisely at the little gap between the man’s raised hands.

    Scorching his arms and pushing his guards apart, she slammed into the man’s face with enough strength to directly blow his head into little pieces.

    On the verge of losing consciousness from the pain, Wu Ling clenched her teeth and swung her leg and going as far as to burn some of her longevity, she once again employed the fire-type technique and shattered the man’s Nascent Soul which separated from his body and attempted to escape.

    The death of one of their Nascent Soul elders caused the Five Poison Tribes cultivators in the area to be shaken. They might have given up everything to make this attack on the Crow Divinity Tribe, but the sight of Wu Ling floating in the air in her current appearance thoroughly terrified them.

    Without any hesitation, she attempted what everyone would have considered a suicide, but pulled through with it and won the gamble! Now, her whole body was covered in wounds, most of her long, black hair had been burned to crisp and the skin along with muscles had been torn off her back by the explosion. However, despite all of that, she still swallowed a medicinal pill and rushed right back into the battle!

    Wu Ling’s actions roused the spirit of the Tattered Company cultivators in the area, causing each and every one of them to fight like devils and demons. Following the example of their leader, they attacked furiously and through sheer force of will and pure brutality of their assault, began swaying back the balance of strength in the area.

    All the Crow Divinity Tribe’s Cultivators who saw what was going on at the right flank on the battlefield regained their wavering spirit and actually began pushing back against the Five Poisons Tribe. The morale had visibly risen, giving Meng Hao more time to break out from the prison of blood before the Crow Divinity Tribe’s otherwise imminent destruction.



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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Chapter 35. The Return of the Five Poisons Tribe. (Part II)


    “Wu Ling!” Wu Bai called out, his heart throbbing painfully at the sight of how terribly his cousin had been wounded. He cut through the remaining enemies between the two units he was leading and the thousand cultivators of the right wing gathered around Wu Ling and resisting the endless attacks of the Five Poison Tribe’s forces, then finally arrived at Wu Ling’s side. He slayed the dozen closest enemies in an instant, once again proving how superior in a large-scale battle the abilities and characteristics of an Immortal Slayer were.

    However, the moment his and Wu Ling’s gazes met, he was met with an entirely different reaction than he had expected.

    “What are you doing here?!” Wu Ling yelled furiously, caring little about the drops of blood she was spitting out of her mouth with each word. “Look at the damned left flank, it has collapsed! What were you thinking?!” she kept shouting, but had no strength to spare to slap Wu Bai in the face. As far as she was concerned, she needed to save every ounce of her strength for the Five Poisons Tribe, not to reprimand Wu Bai for his stupidity.

    At first, Wu Bai was at a loss for words, but right afterwards he gasped and ignoring that they were still in the middle of a great battle, yelled back at Wu Ling. “I was worried you are going to die, what else was I supposed to do?!”

    In response, Wu Ling only frowned and shook her head. “If you have time to be talking, start fighting,” she said while consuming another few spirit pills to replenish her strength. She then cut the argument for good and flew to engage more Five Poisons Tribe’s cultivators.

    Wu Bai trembled in anger, but pushed all those thoughts away for the time being and joined the fray himself. At this stage of the battle, with the Tribe being slowly overwhelmed, there was no time for the usual tactics, so he returned to his old habits and started hunting all careless early and mid Core Formation expert he could find all the while slaying the weaker, usually unaware of the incoming danger weaker cultivators by the dozens.

    He slashed, slashed and slashed, spraying blood and taking lives with each strike of his twin swords. As he gave in to the battle rage, he stopped thinking about anything. He didn’t want to be thinking about anything… but even though he didn’t, the scornful expression on Wu Ling’s face kept flashing before his eyes while her words repeatedly rang in his ears.

    The left flank collapsed because of him, she told him he shouldn’t have come… but why, why couldn’t she understand? Why couldn’t she give him a chance to explain? Why… did she need to look at him with those eyes?

    “Aaaargh!” Wu Bai cried out in fury, engaging in a short, but intense exchange of blows with a cultivator at the great circle of Core Formation. He cared little about the remnants of the magical techniques wounding him, he couldn’t be bothered by the countless scratches and injuries the weaker enemies were engraving onto his body when trying to attack him en-masse. Nothing mattered, nothing but the mad slaughter!

    The frightened man at the great circle of Core Formation managed to shout something inaudible before getting his chest cleaved across by a solid slash of Wu Bai’s sword. The deep injury caused all kind of gore to start falling out from his innards; the one blow was enough to end his life.

    By now, another Nascent Soul Elder of the Five Poisons Tribe made his way to the right wing, having killed his equally strong opponent from the Tattered Company with the aid of his subordinates. He had received the warning about a strange man with no cultivation base who would appear to be nothing but a mortal at the first glance roaming the battlefield, thus he wasn’t caught off-guard when the person in bloodied, tattered clothes assaulted him.

    The old man smiled and joined his hands in a peculiar sign, summoning two half-illusory images of centipedes . He waved his hand, sending the two summoned spirit beasts to fend off the madman who charged at him when he was still safely surrounded by his allies.

    “Screw off!” Wu Bai roared, cutting down one spiritual beast after the other with two consecutive slashes.

    “My control over the spirits has been broken?!” the old man couldn’t understand how, but it was indeed how it felt. It was as if his connection to his own divine technique had been severed and as a result, all the spiritual energy dissipated naturally.

    Luckily for the old man, his negligence to follow up with more magical techniques didn’t have any major consequences as his subordinates quickly assaulted and slowed Wu Bai down, preventing him from getting too close to him.

    “Dangerous, dangerous,” the old man at the early Nascent Soul stage murmured, then without any remorse, employed a wide-scale magical technique and sent thousands of poisonous fangs flying at both Wu Bai and his own subordinates who had the misfortune of being close him.

    Wu Bai cursed silently and seeing the barrage of spike-like projectiles approach, twisted his body and lowered his head, at the same time guarding his neck with one of his hands. He scowled furiously as the many waves of fangs clashed against his indestructible clothes but still ripped off hundreds bits of skin off his body by the sheer force of impact. His scowl soon turned into a roar and as the barrage ended and he quickly turned around, setting his eyes on the fleeing prey.

    “Don’t run, you coward!” Wu Bai shouted after the old man who chose to retreat deeper into his forces. Obstructed by hundreds of Five Poisons Tribe cultivators, being so far into enemy ranks, he had no way of breaking through. His body was dripping with blood and hurting all over and he lost the advantage of moving in relative stealth; it wouldn’t be strange if he got collapsed upon by a crowd of Core Formation Cultivators and killed. Yet… paying it no mind, Wu Bai pressed onwards, killing more and more enemies but with each death, paying a price with his own body.

    “Madman,” the old elder snorted, deep inside his heart feeling that were he to stay, this frenzied berserker would probably pull him into a grave together with himself. “Not worth it, I will go and aid the center. After we kill their Nascent Soul experts, we can team up and get rid of this madman,” the old man decided and was about to fly away, but then, his Greatfather’s voice resounded in his mind; and not only in his, but in all of the Five Poisons Tribe cultivators.

    “The seal of ancient blood? What?” the old man frowned and looked over at the sphere of blood, only to discovered that it was shrinking at an alarming rate. “Not good!” he inhaled air, immediately focusing on strengthening the magic which controlled the ancestral blood just like the Greatfather ordered.

    The pressure on the Crow Divinity Tribe’s forces lessened as all their foes were forced to divide their attention, but by this point, the casualties had reached too far for that alone to make enough of a difference. Yet, it certainly helped Wu Bai who once again disappeared from the field of vision of his foes and having been forced back, started roaming where the two sides were fighting and doing what he was best at; killing off the relatively weaker opponents at a frighteningly quick rate.

    The elders of the Crow Divinity were thoroughly exhausted and only four thousand of their original ten thousand men were still alive. Nearly fifty thousand neo-demons have also perished. Yet, the Five Poisons Tribe wasn’t about to celebrate victory. Rather on the contrary, they were frightened as the ancient blood that had been sealing Meng Hao was being steadily snatched out of their control…!

    The Greatfather of the Five Poisons Tribe knew what was going on and due to that, he was the most astonished out of everyone. Meng Hao was actually… actually refining the ancestral blood! He was doing something that had been deemed impossible after hundreds of generations of their Five Poisons Tribe attempted to do so! The worst of all was that despite the joined efforts of them all, he was still proceeding with the refinement until finally, the blood sphere collapsed and transformed into a creature of blood!

    The three Sacred Ancients of the Five Poisons Tribe, who had until now been fending off the trio of outlander beast, the meat jelly and the parrot, rushed to meet the strange creature head-on and at the same time, to kill Meng Hao. Yet, what awaited them was only inevitable death!

    Under a powerful wave of Demonic Qi, all the neo demons on the battlefield began roaring, being empowered by Meng Hao, swearing their loyalty to him and mutating. The sixty thousand strong horde obeyed their master’s command and assaulted the forces of the Five Poisons Tribe.

    As for the creature of blood, it clashed with one of the three Sacred Ancients and sucked out all of its life force and strength in an instant. The powerful neo-demon was helpless to resist and perished in but a few seconds, the sight of which caused all the cultivators of the Five Poisons Tribe to despair.

    They coughed up blood and their cultivation bases began falling. Without their Sacred Ancients, totemic cultivators like them were powerless! Recognizing the terror of the blood clone, the two remaining Sacred Ancients began fleeing for their lives, thoroughly terrified of the creature unleashed by Meng Hao.

    With the return of their Sacred Ancient, the Crow Divinity Tribe regained their spirits. When the Nascent Soul elders of the Five Poisons Tribe started dying one after the other, all slain by Meng Hao’s hand, they cheered and attacked with doubled efforts. The tide of the battle had been overturned singlehandedly, all by one person, by one man, by Meng Hao!

    When the last two Sacred Ancients of the Five Poisons Tribe were finally consumed by Meng Hao’s blood clone, the victory had been determined. Although the Greatfather of the Five Poisons Tribe who until now had been unable to catch Meng Hao now engaged in a fight with him, his cultivation base feel from the late Nascent Soul stage to the mid Nascent Soul and soon enough, would go down to the early Nascent Soul.

    After just a few dozen exchanges, the Greatfather used up all of his strength and had been gravely injured by Meng Hao.

    “The Five Poisons Tribe has lost this battle,” the Greatfather said as the miserable screams continued to echo out. Pain filled his heart as he turned to Meng Hao, clasped hands and bowed deeply. “I would like to earnestly request that the Crow Divinity Tribe totemic Sacred Ancient leave a bit of hope for the Five Poisons Tribe….”

    Meng Hao looked back at him silently as more and more bloodcurdling screams filled the air. After a long moment, Meng Hao replied calmly, “If the Crow Divinity Tribe were the loser, and I made such a request, would you have complied?”

    The Five Poisons Tribe Greatfather was filled with bitterness. He knew that such a thing would never happen. If the victor in the battle had been the Five Poisons Tribe, then the Crow Divinity Tribe would have been completely wiped out, including the old, the young and the ordinary Tribe members. The entire Tribe would have been completely eradicated, wiped clean off the face of the earth.

    This was not a personal vendetta; it was a war between Tribes. There would be no mercy, no pity. There was only life… and death!

    After Meng Hao’s declaration, the frenzied cultivators of the Crow Divinity attacked the weakened and demoralized forces of the Five Poisons Tribe with renewed vigor. Without their Sacred Ancients, without their leader and neo-demons, the remnants of the Five Poisons Tribe fell easily and after half the time needed for an incense stick to burn, none of them remained alive, including their Greatfather who Meng Hao killed personally.

    The Five Poisons Tribe had been exterminated, they past grudges had been paid! Without exception, each and every one of the three thousand Crow Divinity Cultivators who was still alive began chanting their Sacred Ancient’s name. Without exception… perhaps but for one young man, who was floating in the air without moving at all, with his eyes half-closed and with his spirit disheartened.

    “At least they are all alive,” Wu Bai snorted quietly, not feeling like landing on the muddy earth. He had taken his last medicinal pills a while ago, but all they did was to stop the bleeding and prevent him from dying. At this rate, however, a fully recovery would take him many weeks, even with a physical body as powerful as his. Yet, he didn’t feel like going to Meng Hao or to anyone to beg for resources. He simply… didn’t want to do anything, he didn’t want to have to do with anything or anyone, not now.

    “Three thousand people, fifty thousand neo-demons,” he counted without trying, making use of his Heavenly Sense. “Only this much is left of us,” he mused, lowering his altitude. He stopped twenty or thirty centimeters above the massive graveyard which formed below the field of battle and hovered in the air quietly.

    “This savagery… is there really a point to it? The stupid pride of the Tribes, their inability to cooperate with each other… It’s all so stupid, so pointless,” he thought restlessly, looking at the sea of corpses surrounding him from everywhere around. He looked at the feeding neo-demons and the Crow Divinity Tribe cultivators who started looting the slain enemies and could feel nothing but sorrow and resignation.

    Some of the Crow Divinity members saw how badly Wu Bai was wounded and wanted to speak up to him, but were too taken aback by the look on his face and the grim atmosphere about him. Others were aware of how the battle on the left wing went due to Wu Bai and how it affected the battlefield as a whole, so they avoided him. As for Wu Bai… he was pondering what in the world he should now do, as he was torn between getting away from the Tribe right now and following them from the distance, from somewhere no one could see him, and between staying with his friends… if he still had any.

    “How was it my fault? I only wanted to…” he shook his head, more bothered by the pain in his heart than the one affecting his body. He smiled bitterly, sensing a familiar group of people approaching. With Wu Ling at the front, there were everyone of this little group of ‘friends he had’. There were the people of the Conclave of both the Tattered Company and the Crow Divinity Tribe and even the six Nascent Soul elders walked up to him in a separate group. Thankfully, Meng Hao didn’t come and stayed away; at the very least for that, Wu Bai was grateful.

    “How long are you going to stay here like that?” Wu Ling asked in a voice more lighthearted than Wu Bai would have expected. “There’s no use in you damaging your body over some useless grief and self-pity. Everyone makes mistakes, just make sure not to repeat them,” she said brightly, making Wu Bai open his half-closed eyes. Although he didn’t look her in the eye, he still stared in disbelief.

    “We got so far thanks to your tactics. You made the Tribe stronger, no one is going to blame you for one failure. Come on, stand up and eat the pills already, what’s the use in sulking?” Wu Ling encouraged, not realizing that with each word she was hurting Wu Bai even more deeply. Worst of it, everyone who approached with her, be it the Nascent Soul elders of the members of the Conclaves seemed to agree with her.

    “A mistake? A failure? That’s how you see it?” Wu Bai raised his head and asked with a short laugh, a mix of disbelief and hopelessness painting itself on his face.

    “What do you mean?” Wu Ling asked with a light frown, aware that most of the Tribe was gathering around them to listen to this conversation.

    “Are you telling me that prioritizing your life was a mistake? That I shouldn’t have done it?” Wu Bai asked with a painful smile and shook his head. “You just barely won against their elder. It couldn’t be said whether you wouldn’t have gotten killed afterwards due to how weak you were if not for our reinforcements. Knowing that, are you telling me that it was a mistake of mine to go and rescue you?” he asked for the second time and snorted, noticing the way everyone was looking at him. They truly were accusing him of doing something ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, weren’t they?

    “Wu Bai,” Wu Ling said with a sigh. “You need to understand that the role of a commander and of a lone cultivator are different. Luckily, we didn’t all collapse before Men-… before the Sacred Ancient freed himself and joined the battle. But, what if we had been routed before that? Then you coming to save me would mean nothing, we would have all died, both you, me, and the whole Tribe!” she reprimanded in a loud, confident voice.

    As a result, the atmosphere turned even heavier and Wu Bai’s expression sank even further.

    “If your goal is to get me to admit to a ‘mistake’, then forget it,” Wu Bai stated grimly and spit some blood from his mouth. He smiled mockingly and shook his head, seeing how those around all had a look of contempt in their eyes.

    ‘Young Patriarch’ they called him, but the moment the winds changed and they stopped agreeing with him, they didn’t think twice about scorning him.

    “That’s why I wasn’t sure about taking any big role in the Tribe… to begin with, the Tribe itself matters less to me,” Wu Bai thought bitterly, unsure what he was going to do from this point onwards. He simply couldn’t see this argument ending in any reasonable manner. There was no middle ground, not for him, not when the lives of his loved ones were on the stake.

    “Fuck this,” Raisha burst out suddenly and stepped forward. “I don’t give a shit about whether he was wrong or right. There’s no way that any of you should be allowed to gang up on him just because he wanted to save somebody dear to him,” she said loudly, sweeping everyone with a disdainful gaze. She spit on the ground, then walked up to Wu Bai’s side.



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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Chapter 36. The Return of the Five Poisons Tribe. (Part III)


    “You are both too young,” the Greatfather spoke bitterly, causing the atmosphere which was already beginning to grow hateful to turn into a baffled, stern one.

    “In the times of peace, there could be a discussion if a sole person is more important or if the Tribe should be prioritized. However, we happened to live in the times of Apocalypse. The Tribe must survive no matter what sacrifices its individuals need to make,” the Greatfather explained patently, speaking from his heart.

    He himself had burned his longevity and even damaged his cultivation base in the battle with the Five Poisons Tribe; he would happily give everything up as long as the Crow Divinity Tribe could live on! He knew that even with the aid of Meng Hao’s medicinal pills he had barely half of a sixty years cycle to live, but nevertheless, he never once regretted acting with the best interest of his Tribe in mind. For the sake of his people, as the Greatfather, he was obliged to ensure that their legacy would be passed into the future!

    Seeing that Wu Bai wasn’t taking his words to his heart, the Greatfather took a deep breath and tried to reason him one more time.

    “I must admit, I had been doubtful when the Sacred Ancient ordered us to leave the internal matters of the Tribe in your hands,” he said, then continued after a brief moment of silence. “But, I saw with my own two eyes how you made the Tribe stronger. We all saw it!” he declared strongly, making a quiet rumor arise among the remaining three thousand members of the Tribe.

    What the Greatfather was saying was true; Wu Bai might have acted recklessly during the battle with the Five Poisons Tribe, but had it not been for him, they might have been wiped out without offering much resistance. They could all tell how much stronger they had grown under Wu Bai’s regime! If only he could accept his mistake, promise not to repeat it and move on, they would have nothing against following his orders once again.

    As if conveying everyone’s feelings, the Greatfather spoke again. “It’s not that we don’t understand what it means to push your feelings aside and fight for the greater good of the Tribe, often at the cost of your loved ones… but if you are to continue leading the Tribe as its Patriarch, now and into the future, you must change your way of thinking,” he advised gently, truly having great expectations for Wu Bai’s future. His abilities as an Immortal Slayer were exquisite, his mind was bright, he knew how to lead people and had a strange, natural way of attracting them to himself… however.

    After listening to the Greatfather, Wu Bai no longer knew whether he should laugh or cry. He sighed, then asked mockingly. “You mean that you will all ‘generously’ allow me to lead the Tribe as long as the next time someone important to me faces danger, I discard that person and prioritize the state of the battle?” he inquired while looking the old Greatfather in the eye. To begin with, his very reason for fighting was protecting his loved ones and his friends. Being asked to abandon them for the sake of some ‘greater good’ was unacceptable to him.

    “You might have put it in fairly extreme words, but yes, that’s exactly what is expected of you if you are to be our future leader,” the Greatfather spoke calmly, but the next second, he frowned a bit as Wu Bai snorted at his words.

    “Greatfather, let me ask you this then,” Wu Bai brought up, then asked bluntly. “Were your son, Li Jie, to find himself in a grave danger during a battle, wouldn’t you discard everything to save his life?”

    When Wu Bai’s words sounded, the Greatfather trembled slightly and forced himself not to look at his son, whose gaze he was painfully aware of. Would he have abandoned him if necessary? Yes. However, telling Li Jie that sad truth in the eye… it would be too painful for him to bear with.

    “High Priest,” Wu Bai moved his gaze to the youthful-looking High Priest and asked. “Were Shan Shi about to be killed, wouldn’t you forget about everything else and rush to his aid?”

    The High Priest pursed his lips and grit his teeth. His heart knew the true answer to this question, but given the circumstances, he couldn’t bring himself to answer. He couldn’t, as it would be equivalent to taking Wu Bai’s side in this dispute.

    “Wu Ling,” Wu Bai spoke quietly, forcing himself to look at his older cousin. “Were I about to be killed, what would you do?” he asked, but from Wu Ling’s expression he came to understood that he shouldn’t expect an answer. Yet, perhaps having enough of staying silent, someone else decided to reply instead of her.

    “I might not be too strong right now, but I would try to save you,” Xu Jun said loudly, although somewhat nervously. “I would do the same for my elder brother, or for the old man Shi Shi,” he added more confidently and even smiled a little, but when Xu Tao grabbed his shoulder and gave him a resigned look, his smile dimmed.

    “Stop that, the Greatfather is right,” Xu Tao said helplessly, not knowing what to do with his little brother or how to speak to him. He was very well aware that Xu Jun had gotten greatly attached to Wu Bai, but going as far as supporting him in something so controversial was too much.  Everyone could see that putting the Tribe first and foremost was the right thing to do, so all they should do was to not step out of the line and do not create unnecessary problems.

    “Big brother…?” Xu Jun looked at his brother disbelievingly. He was no longer that fifteen year old who recklessly tried to kill Wu Bai in revenge, he could think logically and on his own, thus so he came to ask. “So you wouldn’t come to save me if I needed help?”

    Xu Tao stiffened up as three thousand gazes focused on his person. His face became somewhat white and his heart began beating faster. He couldn’t go against the majority; he needed to behave logically, or so he reminded himself. “If it meant disadvantaging the course of battle, I wouldn’t,” he said in the end and felt his throat clench painfully when he saw his younger brother’s expression. Yet, he didn’t say anything, standing by what he had stated.

    “Let go,” Xu Jun said angrily and slapped Xu Tao’s hand off his shoulder. He looked at his elder brother hatefully, then turned his head sharply and walked away, joining Wu Bai and Raisha in the middle of this ‘grand gathering’.

    “If survival of the Tribe means that we will all end up alone and miserable, then I’d rather not have it survive at all,” Xu Jun said in a loud, bitter voice. He might have been one of the youngest people in the Crow Divinity Tribe, but just like everyone else, he fought in many life-or-death battles. By no means were his words empty or spoken without consideration.

    “You two…” Wu Bai murmured with a light smile on his face as he gazed at Raisha and Xu Jun. He needed to admit that before they sided with him, he was feeling pretty miserable. Now however it wasn’t so bad anymore.

    “Greatfather,” someone spoke up from amongst the crowd and stepped forward, seeking a permission to speak.

    The Greatfather sighed inwardly and gestured the young man to go ahead. By this point, suppressing discussion would do more harm than good for the Tribe. Even he understood that much.

    “Thank you, Greatfather,” Wu Ali clasped his hands respectfully, then looked at Wu Bai. He nodded his head, then started speaking.

    “Before the Apocalypse,” he said loudly, enhancing his voice with spiritual energy. “I used to be fixated on competing with everyone, I used to think about nothing but being the strongest, the best!” he shook his head, making it apparent through his tone and body language that he no longer adheres to his old beliefs.

    “Even during the first months of Apocalypse, I remained prudent and arrogant, thinking that I know everything the best. Yet… when Crow Divinity Tribe had been fighting for survival in our hometown, I was saved by the one whom the whole village had deemed to be worthless,” he said helplessly and move his gaze away from the crowd, and to Wu Bai.

    A surprised murmur rolled through the three thousand members of the Tribe since most of them hadn’t heard anything of Wu Bai’s past. That young genius had once been thought to be useless, he had been treated like a dropout? What kind of bad joke was that?

    “Wu Bai, the Immortal Slayer, Young Patriarch… However you wish to call him, he is the person who by his own efforts and hard work changed from being ‘worthless’ into what he is now,” Wu Ali said smoothly, then progressed onto the most important part.

    “You might wonder why am I speaking about that; what does it have to do with our current situation? Let me ask all of you, what do you think allowed Young Patriarch to go so far, to reach his current heights?” he asked, hoping that someone will reply to him. He could answer the question himself, but… it would be better if another person did. After a moment of prolonging silence, he was starting to get worried, but thankfully someone decided to speak up.

    “His loved ones, his friends,” Shan Shi declared, then gave a hopeful look to his father, the High Priest. Seeing that his father’s face lightened up, seeing his father’s smile and the slight glistering of his eyes, Shan Shi smiled and continued confidently.

    “His desire to fight for what was important to him made him strong,” he said strongly and swept the surrounding men and women with his gaze. “What our Tribe needs right now is not to be divided, not to argue the rights and wrongs! We need to have a common goal, a common banner! We need to be united, not divided! We all, each and every one of us, needs to have a great desire to live on burning in our hearts!” he exclaimed passionately, bringing forth many supportive voices from those who were listening to him.

    “We shall fight hand in hand with our family and with our friends! We shall protect the ones we love and through that, we shall grow strong like never before!” he kept saying, a passionate flame burning in his eyes as the clamor amongst the three thousand members of the Tribe was growing stronger.

    “The Tribe is the family! Do not fight for an exalted name, do not fight for the exalted ideals, fight for the person standing next to you as that is what will make us invincible!” By now, the voices of support resounded clear and loud as one after another, people were growing more confident in acting with accordance to their hearts.

    “We shall survive this Apocalypse…! We and everything that is dear to us! We shall fight together! As the Crow Divinity Tribe!” Shan Shi yelled and raised his fist into the air, causing an ear-deafening roar to be risen by the three thousand members of the Tribe. With the exception of the Greatfather and a few others, everyone cried out in support, even the High Priest and the rest of elders. At that very moment, something completely unprecedented happened.

    Over two thousand members of the Tribe, all at once experienced a breakthrough in their cultivation bases. Their strength rose by one whole qualitative level; hundreds of those who had been stuck at the peak of the Foundation Stage started breaking through to the Core Formation, those at the early Core Formation rose to its mid stages, those at the mid Core Formation advanced to late Core Formation. Nearly thirty people reached the great Circe of Core formation, while Shan Shi himself actually shone with a bright light as a Nascent Soul of fire began taking shape within his body!

    Wu Bai had already been speechless when Wu Ali has spoken up for him. He had been flabbergasted after Shan Shi’s speech and now, seeing how a miracle was occurring before his eyes, he could only stare at everyone, completely slack-jawed.

    The Greatfather gasped for air, sensing how the High Priest’s cultivation base began climbing from the early Nascent Soul stage, all the way to late Nascent Soul. He felt a shiver run down his spine when a similar change occurred in the remaining four elders, whose strength has risen to the mid Nascent Soul, the same as his own.

    “Heavens…!” the Greatfather exclaimed. He was so shocked that he began wondering if he could trust his eyes and senses.

    Xu Tao wanted to sink below the ground, feeling so ashamed of himself that he could die. Due to how confused and conflicted his emotions had been the whole time, he wasn’t swept by Shan Shi’s words. Thus, he experienced no breakthrough. On the contrary, his cultivation base seemed to have sank, threatening to regress to the Foundation Establishment.

    As for Wu Ling… She had been quiet this whole time, but now, she finally couldn’t hold it in anymore. She felt so weak in her knees that she fell on the ground. She didn’t want to, but she wept. She cried really badly for the first time in her life and then… a powerful, two-colored Nascent Soul formed above her, signing the moment yet another grand breakthrough!

    “Big sis,” Wu Bai stood up, still hovering slightly above the ground. He laughed with relief, then pushed Xu Jun on his back. The seventeen year old understood immediately and walked up to his older brother. He sighed, but smiled at him and extended his hand.

    Xu Tao shivered and hugged his little brother, forgetting about the dignity of an the elder brother as he cried on Xu Jun’s shoulder. As the emotions swelled up within the two brothers, their cultivation bases shot up, joining into the great miracle that was occurring to the Crow Divinity Tribe.

    High up into the air, Meng Hao smiled a little. “Today, the Crow Divinity has been reborn,” he mused, feeling that those people were truly worth saving.

    ---

    After the decisive battle with the Five Poisons Tribe, the Tattered Company had been disbanded with everyone’s consent. As for Wu Bai, he refused to directly lead the Tribe, but got persuaded into keeping the honorary title of the Young Patriarch.

    After a very brief discussion which had taken place after one day of rest on the gigantic flying machine acquired from the Five Poisons Tribe, it had been decided that the whole Tribe would adapt the tactics of the old Tattered Company. Those with close bonds to each other created units ranging in number from one to five hundred while separating themselves into the basic groups of Slayers, Warriors and Guards.

    By the natural turn of events, the six hundred strong unit led by Wu Ling proved to become the strongest force within the Crow Divinity Tribe. Consisting of the elites of the former Tattered Company and one other, allied faction, they could brag an astonishing number of four hundred Core Formation Cultivators among their ranks.

    The secondary leader of their unit and at the same time, their second Nascent Soul cultivator, was unexpectedly Shan Shi who along with Wu Ali and a hundred other people decided to join Wu Ling’s squad.

    With all internal conflicts gone, the dao-hearts of the three thousand members of the Crow Divinity continued to grow stronger. In just those few months it took them to reach the Central Regions, hundreds of them made future progress on their path of cultivation.

    Additionally, not too long ago Wu Bai’s physical strength has risen to a higher level, entering a stage comparable to mid Core Formation. Surprisingly, his mental state seemed to have a lot to do with how quickly his abilities as an Immortal Slayer improved, what included the rate and efficiency at which he could absorb the medicinal energy of Meng Hao’s pills and assimilate it into his own flesh.

    Another few days later, the Crow Divinity Tribe landed under Meng Hao’s direction and stopped for the time being. While Meng Hao and one of the elders were taking care of the business with the Eight Branch Alliance, the Tribe set a spacious camp and used the time to relax in the open space.

    ---

    “You going somewhere interesting?” Raisha called out, seeing Wu Bai raise up into the air from his usual resting spot at the very top of the flying machine.

    “Just some exercise,” Wu Bai replied with a smirk, then flew out of the encampment and soon, disappeared behind the line of the horizon.

    “Could have let us join the fun, too. It’s so boring here,” Raisha complained, but didn’t go out of her way to chase after Wu Bai.

    “Mm, I wonder who will he bring this time,” Xu Jun mused aloud, then put the cards in his hand down. “Three of a kind, I win,” he said with a chuckle.

    “You brat,” Raisha growled with a laugh. “One more time,” she said and handed Xu Jun one hundred spirit stones.

    “You sure? You already lost fifteen thousand spirit stones to me in the last few days,” Xu Jun mentioned with a broad smile. Whatever game they would play, ranging from ones based entirely on one’s skill like ‘go’ to simple card games, Raisha barely won against him at all. He wasn’t all that against receiving some more ‘pocket money’, but he was beginning to feel bad for Raisha.

    “If you are so worried, then let’s bet ten times as much on the next draw,” Raisha said somewhat angrily, annoyed to have a seventeen years old kid pitying her. She might have already lost one third of all her spirit stones, but sooner or later she would get back at that cheeky brat!

    “If you really want to,” Xu Jun said with a smile, enjoying those few relatively rainless days here in the south of the Western Desert.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Chapter 37. Something Ends, Something Begins.


    “One young woman, one teenage girl. They are being protected by the others, so they are probably young heirs of some family or Tribe?” Wu Bai mused, his tattered clothes fluttering in the air.

    “Still quite far away, three hundred kilometers or so. Hopefully they won’t get decimated by the other group before I catch up,” he thought with a sigh, wondering why that young woman at the early Core Formation wouldn’t order her subordinates to turn and face their pursuers head-on.

    Their enemies were twice as numerous, but they had no Core Formation experts and they only had one person at the great circle of Foundation Establishment. It wouldn’t end without casualties, but shouldn’t they be more than capable of winning against them?

    “Well, no need to jump to conclusions. They are only fifty in numbers, they must fear being withered down by repetitive clashes so they probably prefer to run than to stand their ground,” Wu Bai continued musing as he observed the faraway events through his Heavenly Sense. “All they are doing is shooting divine abilities and magical techniques at each other, how utterly ineffective,” he thought with a laugh, recalling how the Crow Divinity Tribe used to be.

    “Anyway… oh?” he raised his eyebrows, sensing another, this time much larger group of rogue bandits enter the range of his Heavenly Sense. “Four hundred of them, six at the early Core Formation, three at the middle, one at late,” he counted effortlessly, now understanding very well why those two girls were fleeing. Being pursued by a group like this one, they had no chance in a direct combat at all. Their only hope was to shake their enemies off.

    “Gotta hurry up, the main force is moving much quicker than those who are keeping the girls occupied,” Wu Bai said to himself, then mustered all his strength and sped up even further.

    ---

    “Lady Daiyu, we aren’t going to make it! Their main unit is catching up, we are moving too slow!” the old man directing the fifty guards called out in a pained voice. “Take young lady Meiying with you and run! We will try to hold them back for as long as we can!” the old man shouted, ready to make the ultimate sacrifice. As long as the Jun family could live on, as long as their two young mistresses could survive, he wouldn’t hesitate to give up his own life!

    “Are you stupid?!” the twelve, maybe thirteen year old girl shouted back at the old man, clearly furious. "How can we just abandon you all and run?! How many of our family members have already perished until this day?! It’s enough! Better to fight and die than to run and live!” the girl yelled in anger, having had enough of seeing people close to her die before her own eyes.

    In contrast, the older of the two sisters showed no change in her expression. She exchanged a look with the old servant of hers, then ignoring her little sister’s protests, she grabbed her by hand and sped up, leaving all of her men behind.

    “What are you doing?! Let me go!” Meiying yelled and struggled, but to no avail. With her cultivation base which had just barely been uplifted to the early Formation Establishment, she had no way of resisting her older sister’s grasp. She could only watch as their family’s guards engaged in a fight with the one hundred men who were on their tails, soon to be wiped out when the main force of the bandits would join the fray.

    “It’s better if the two of us live on than for us to die with everyone. Our deaths wouldn’t change anything,” Daiyu said very calmly. She made the only logical decision in this situation and she didn’t feel bad about it in the slightest. Acting on emotions instead of reason… as far as she was concerned, it was pure stupidity.

    “But, but…!” Meiying kept struggling, though with much less energy than previously. She lowered her head and stopped resisting, accepting that she couldn’t change the outcome no matter what she did.

    “I don’t disagree with your way of thinking,” a voice suddenly resounded in the minds of the two girls, startling them quite badly. “But it’s a bit too soon to give up, at least this time,” the voice concluded cheerfully and by the time it did, Daiyu spotted a figure of a young man in tattered, greyish clothes flying in their direction.

    “Who are you?” Daiyu called out as the young man struck past her and her little sister at a great speed, heading straight to the place where the battle was going on.

    To her shock, Daiyu realized that she not only was unable to perceive the man’s spiritual sense, but also that she couldn’t feel even a whisk of cultivation base in his body…! The only conclusion she could come up at the spot, was that this man in tattered clothes was a really powerful expert, perhaps even at the great circle of Nascent Soul. Otherwise, there would be no way she couldn’t sense any power from him whatsoever; there simply could be no way!

    “No one important,” Wu Bai replied through his Heavenly Sense, his voice sounding rather amused. The next second, he joined the fray and within the space of ten breaths, killed eighty out of the hundred forefront bandits. At his current level and given his abilities as an Immortal Slayer, even someone at the mid Nascent Soul stage would be unable to kill him. A bunch of cultivators amongst whom the strongest one was at the foundation Establishment? Killing them was as easy as beheading chickens.

    “That man…” Daiyu murmured, having stopped in mid-air when the one-sided slaughter had commenced. She gasped slightly when all of the sudden, Meiying shook her hand off and flew back to their family members and guards, paying attention especially to one long-haired youth.

    “So reckless,” Daiyu shook her head, still unsure whether that man in tattered clothes could really deal with the incoming, enraged unit of four hundred bandits. She would have by all means preferred to wait and spectate from a safe distance, but that could also represent her doubting their saviors strength, which could lead to more trouble along the way.

    After carefully considering both options, Daiyu finally followed after her little sister, hoping that the man in tattered clothes was going to be able to protect them and fend off all the enemies at the same time.

    “Who are you?” The man at the late Core Formation stepped ahead of his men, eyeing Wu Bai with caution. Originally, he had intended to order his subordinates to go and slaughter him along with the remnants of the Jun family, but after discovering that he was incapable of sensing Wu Bai’s cultivation base, he changed his mind. Thus for now, everyone came to a brief standoff.

    “The Young Patriarch of the Crow Divinity Tribe,” Wu Bai answered with a smile, in a rather mocking manner.

    The silver-haired man’s eyes twitched as he barely held himself back from attacking Wu Bai. He had heard about the Crow Divinity Tribe arrival in the area, but he wouldn’t believe that someone who looked like a peasant could be a part of this powerful Tribe, much less it’s Young Patriarch.

    “We’ve been chasing those people for a long time,” the silver-haired man said after taking a deep breath. “Fellow daoist, you are obviously very strong, but do you really want to fight us all? That blond girly over there has a fortune of a whole Great Phoenix Flame Tribe on her. It’s millions of spirit stones, not to speak of the amount of treasures she has. You don’t seem to have any kind of a relationship with her or her people, do you?” the silver-haired man asked with a light smile, making it quite apparent what his intentions were.

    Daiyu’s gaze became colder as she listened to the conversation between the two men. Her Tribe had been one with a Spirit Severing expert, they should have been able to enter the Black Lands without any problems… regrettably, their Patriarch had chosen to obtain a demon spirit to seek future gains. What followed were events which seemed to be nothing short of fate toying with them.

    They had gotten involved in a dispute over the demon spirit with another Great Tribe and ended up in an all-out war with them. During the battle, their and the enemy Patriarchs had killed each other and through the great explosion which followed, caused the demon spirit to disappear somewhere amidst the chaos. The slaughter between their two Tribes had continued… until only three thousand were left of their originally mighty Great Phoenix Flame Tribe.

    For the following three years of apocalypse they fled south, hoping to be taken into protection by one of the Great Tribes already located in the Black Lands. Yet, with the constant assaults of other Tribes, their forces had been worn down and even their flying machine ended up being destroyed. A few months ago, their last Nascent Soul elder perished in battle. Now, they were reduced to such a pitiable state that even random groups of bandits was enough to be a lethal threat to them.

    “You can’t just leave us!” Meiying shouted angrily while holding a long-haired boy of similar age by hand. Her unexpected outburst at first caused confusion amidst the group of bandits, but quickly, they all began laughing.

    “You see, fellow daoist? Such are the people you are helping, not even an ounce of gratitude!” the silver-haired man said with a smirk. Seeing that Wu Bai looked him in the eye and appeared to be prone to listening, he continued further. “I don’t want to lose many of my men to fight you, fellow daoist. I have a proposition; join us and I will give you one fifth of the wealth that woman has in her bag of holding. What do you say?” he asked straightforwardly, causing a displeased murmur to raise from behind him.

    One fifth! His subordinates weren’t too pleased to hear that so much money would go to one random man with an appeared of a beggar, not matter how strong that beggar appeared to be.

    “You can’t!” the twelve years old Meiying cried out once more, pulling the boy forward and approaching Wu Bai. She stared at him furiously, as if thinking that it was going to help and convince him not to abandon them.

    “Young lady!” the old servant of the family groaned, wondering why had the last three years not shaved off some of Meiying’s haughtiness.

    “Just as I said,” the silver-haired man laughed, by this point quite sure that Wu Bai would take him up on his offer.

    “I apologize for my younger sister,” Daiyu spoke up quickly, also approaching Wu Bai’s side. “We can’t offer you much, but I am willing to offer you one third of our wealth if you help us escape from this peril,” she declared, knowing that they had no other choice.

    “One third?” the silver-haired man smirked, then said with a shrug of his shoulders. “We can offer you half of what she has,” he declared, this time making his men really angry. One fifth was already too much, but half? Yet, thankfully some of them were smart enough to realize that their leader was probably lying, intending to dispose of that mysterious man after those of the Great Phoenix Flame Tribe were all killed. Thus, they quickly informed everyone thought spiritual sense, sparing their leader this effort.

    Daiyu looked at the silver-haired man disdainfully. “Half? Then if I said two thirds, you would claim to give him all of our wealth? Even blind would see that you are but a liar,” she said very rationally, resulting in the man clicking his tongue.

    “You aren’t all that stupid, eh?” the silver-haired man said with a frown. “That’s true, I won’t offer you more than one fifth, fellow daoist. If you think it’s worth fighting us for whatever this blond girly can give you, go ahead and try! And you’d better hurry up and decide which side you are on,” the silver-haired man declared sternly, gesturing his subordinates to get ready to fight. Yet, unbeknownst to him, during this whole time Wu Bai had been intrigued by something else than this whole conversation.

    “What a strange kid,” Wu Bai mused silently, gazing at the boy who was being held by hand by the young, blond-haired girl. The boy appeared to be rather unwilling to be in contact with the girl, but he wasn’t saying anything nor was he trying to struggle. At the first glance, the boy was at the early Foundation Establishment, but with his Heavenly Sense Wu Bai could tell that there was something wrong with his cultivation base. That something was… restricting it, sealing it.

    “Talking, talking,” Wu Bai said resignedly. He looked at the twelve years old girl, then at her older sister and finally, at the silver-haired man. “Too much talking,” he said with a smile, then without any warning, shot out in the silver-haired man’s direction.

    “Impudent!” the silver-haired man shouted, employing a divine ability of a legacy he had acquired by chance. He sent a surge or lighting at Wu Bai and prepared to retreat to join forces with his men, but he was left completely speechless as his ultimate magic, which had even heavily injured Nascent Soul cultivators before, got cut down and dispersed into nothingness with one slash of Wu Bai’s sword.

    “No!” the silver-haired man managed to shout as the second strike cut his flesh. He was pretty sure he managed to avoid a lethal blow, but then…

    “Slay the Immortal,” Wu Bai murmured, his attack causing all the Qi in the silver-haired man’s body to go berserk. His skin turned red from blood as all his blood vessels and organs began exploding, his eyes turned bloodshot and crimson tears began flowing down his face. The next second, the silver-haired man began falling down, representing nothing but a lifeless corpse.

    “Scram,” Wu Bai said with a hint of threat in his voice. The four hundred men looked at the remaining nine Core Formation cultivators of theirs, then as the nine turned and started fleeing, they did the same. Fighting someone who could kill their leader with utter ease… they wouldn’t be able to achieve victory even with four hundred of them working together.

    “Oh, smart bandits. That’s a first,” Wu Bai chuckled, the thought of pursuing and finishing the group off for good not even crossing his mind. With the state the Western Desert was in now, killing a few hundred bandits would make no difference whatsoever. After all, apart from those few Great Tribes with Spirit Severing Cultivators and those Tribes which were strong enough to either acquire a demon spirit or be recognized as subservient branches of Tribes in the Black Lands, everyone else with but a few exceptions turned to mindless slaughter.

    “Well, anyway,” Wu Bai thought aloud, then turned back to look at the long-haired youth. “Truly, the boy has hair as long as Wu Ling. It reaches all the way to his waist. It’s pitch-black too, but that’s nothing too unusual,” he thought quietly and smiled at the boy, who finally raised his gaze and looked him in the eye.

    “We are really grateful for your help,” the older of the sisters said as she clasped her hands. “My name is Daiyu, the last of the Jun family of the Great Phoenix Flame Tribe. That is my younger sister, Meiying. May we have the honor of knowing your name?” she asked, avoiding the term ‘fellow daoist’ on purpose as not to seem similar to the silver-haired man who had just died by Wu Bai’s hand.

    “I’m Wu Bai,” Wu Bai responded briefly, then asked half-jokingly. “So, how much of your belongings are mine? One third? Two thirds?”

    The air quickly turned heavy. The fifty low-ranked members of the Sun family and the guards were of course grateful to Wu Bai for saving them, but it didn’t mean they were exactly eager to hand over a great amount of spirit stones and items which they would need as a tribute to have any chance of entering the Black Lands. What’s more, all of them, just like the bandits, had taken Wu Bai’s words about belonging to the Crow Divinity Tribe as a joke.

    “You help people and demand money from them?” Meiying asked angrily. “Just gratitude of ours should be more than enough of a payment!” she declared unreasonably, causing her older sister to lose her patience and smack her head with an open palm.

    “What was that for?!” Meiying asked in a tone suggesting she believed to have been unjustly wronged. Pouting, she began massaging the back of her head with both of her hands. Why was she hit anyway? Her words were reasonable and made perfect sense!

    “Whoa,” Wu Bai chuckled as the long-haired youth suddenly jumped him and hugged him at the waist, giving him an expectant, hopeful look. “There, there,” he said with a smile, patting the boy’s head. The scene made the previously heavy atmosphere lighten up a little, but right afterwards…

    “Jiaozi, what are you doing?! Come back here!” Meiying said in a high-pitched voice and reached out to grab the boy, who to her irritation swiftly avoided her hand and hid behind Wu Bai.

    “Jiaozi?” Wu Bai asked with a frown, eyeing the twelve year old girl with a rather contemning gaze. A name like that… wasn’t it a bit too much?

    “What?” Meiying asked angrily, not understanding why Wu Bai was so angry with her. “We found him in the desert two and a half years ago, he is my pet. There’s nothing wrong with calling him however I want to!” she declared haughtily and with a loud ‘hmph’ as she crossed her hands over her chest.

    Wu Bai rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Don’t make me regret helping you, you spoiled brat,” he said with a sigh and laughed quietly, seeing the girl’s face turn red from anger. “Your Tribe is on the brink of extinction, you were being chased by the bandits and got saved by me and yet, you still do not know how to show proper manners. Talk about a clueless, spoiled rotten princess,” he said resignedly and without wasting any more time on the younger of the sisters, he turned to speak to Daiyu.

    “I will be going back to my Tribe. We are heading to the Black Lands, so if you want to join us you will be welcome,” he said without giving them any further explanation. After all, he had never liked to engage in long talks and various arguments and it wasn’t like these people made good enough of an impression on him to make him care about them.

    “I will be taking him with me by the way. Oh, and we are stationed about three hundred kilometers in this direction,” he stated and pointed with his finger.

    By all means, Wu Bai would have liked to fly away immediately, but since the long-haired boy was still clinging to his back, he couldn’t very well move in this awkward position. “Come on, move over,” he said with a laugh and extended a hand to the boy, which he eagerly grabbed.

    The sight aggravated Meiying, but before she could have any chance to voice her discontent, the two have already left. “What the hell, who does he think he is?!” she cried out furiously and would have stomped the ground if not for the fact that they were still hovering a few hundred meters above it.

    “Calm down,” Daiyu reprimanded her little sister, but didn’t have the heart to scold her even after everything she had done.

    “No, I won’t!” Meiying shouted, throwing a tantrum. “We will follow him and get my Jiaozi back!” she yelled, expecting everyone to go along with their demands, just like always.

    After a while of troubled silence, Daiyu sighed and said. “We will see what kind of Tribe this Wu Bai is traveling with and we will see what can be done about your… companion.”

    The old servant and the fifty subordinates weren’t too happy to hear that, but no one spoke up. Now that all the elders were no longer with them, there was no one to set those two sisters straight.

    “Thank you big sis!” Meiying called out happily. “Let’s go, quickly!” she urged impatiently, seeing how Wu Bai had already disappeared from their range of view. She flew ahead, soon to be followed by Daiyu and the fifty remaining members of the once Great, Phoenix Flame Tribe.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Chapter 38. A Valuable Companion.


    “Mm, they said they found you three years ago. Can you tell me what happened to you?” Wu Bai asked, curious about the boy’s past. He could guess a thing or two from how the twelve year old behaved and from how he had been treated by that young girl, but he’d rather hear about it from the boy himself.

    The youth looked at him, his face expressing a mix of eagerness and anxiety. “Alone,” he said and after a few seconds or trying to come up with words to describe what he could remember, he added sulkily. “Don’t know.”

    At first, Wu Bai was quite surprised to find out that the boy couldn’t even speak properly, but he quickly accepted the fact and smiled at the youth. “Don’t worry about it, you can tell me later,” he said reassuringly, wondering if the boy was at least capable of understanding what was being said to him.

    “Mm,” the boy nodded and smiled happily. From the looks of it, even though he couldn’t speak well, he understood what was being said well enough.

    “Oh well,” Wu Bai thought to himself, then chuckled. “Looks like they are following us. It’s going to take them good ten more minutes to arrive, though,” he mused, already flying into the large camp that had been set around the flying machine by the three thousand members of the Crow Divinity Tribe.

    “Oi, you brought a kid this time?” Raisha shouted, reluctantly handing another batch of one thousand spirit stones to Xu Jun.

    “As you can see,” Wu Bai replied with a laugh, landing on top of the flying machine. He sat down cross-legged and so did the long-haired boy, but only after Wu Bai raised his eyebrows and looked at his hand did the boy understand and let go off it.

    “To begin with, let me check that cultivation base of yours,” Wu Bai said with a smile, eager to try his powers of the Immortal Slayer in a new way. “Just don’t move for a little bit,” he said and chuckled quietly, seeing that the boy appeared to be confused. He raised his hand and put his fingers against the boy’s chest, then closed his eyes and focused.

    “As I thought, it’s being sealed,” Wu Bai thought silently, probing the layer of energy restricting the boy’s cultivation base. “I should be able to remove it,” he mused, then sent a thin strand of energy into the youth’s body, preparing to execute a new Immortal Slaying art of his creation, one which laid somewhere in between ‘Sever the Immortal’ and ‘Seal the Immortal’.

    As he was taking his time, Wu Bai gasped secretly. The normal cultivators of the Crow Divinity Tribe didn’t notice anything, but he could sense how far above the clouds of the violet rain, an enormous Tribulation Cloud began forming. He trembled a little, discovering that even after stretching his Heavenly Sense to its absolute maximum of five hundred kilometers, he found no end to the massive Tribulation Cloud.

    “If something like that were to descend…” he swallowed with a worried smile. “Maybe that will help…?” he wondered as to the boy’s confusion, he raised his other hand up in the air. He then began continuously executing ‘Sever the Immortal’, dispersing any leftover of spiritual energy surrounding him and the long-haired boy, thus completely isolating them from the outside world.

    The gigantic Tribulation Cloud shuddered, but refused to disperse, as if the sole threat of the seal being lifted was enough to make the Heavens send their lighting down regardless of anything else. “So stubborn, why don’t you screw off?!” on an impulse, Wu Bai ‘yelled’ at the Tribulation Cloud through his Heavenly Sense. The next second, he couldn’t help but open his eyes as the mighty Tribulation Cloud simply dissipated into a huge cluster of natural energy.

    “Let’s get it over with before it returns,” Wu Bai said to himself and once again closed his eyes, concentrating.

    “Release the Immortal,” he thought silently, reversing the sealing placed onto the boy’s cultivation base and at the same time, severing the connection the seal have had with the Heavens.

    Shocked, the long-haired youth breathed in and shut his eyes, a pleasant shiver running through his whole body. In the matter of seconds, his internal Qi erupted, changing and enhancing his physical body. His cultivation base also began climbing, swiftly rising from the early Foundation Establishment all the way to the early Core Formation.

    The whole process took only about a minute and after it concluded, the long-haired boy looked at Wu Bai, his eyes gleaming slightly from the energy accumulated in his body.

    “Whoa,” Wu Bai murmured, noticing the beast-like pupils of the boy’s eyes, which however quickly returned to their normal state. “How are you feeling?” he asked and received a very simplistic answer.

    “Good”

    Wu Bai smirked, then looked at the sky. “Seems like they are here. Sooner than I expected, though,” he said aloud, watching the two blond sisters fly towards the camp at the head of their fifty subordinates. He chuckled when the long-haired boy moved over closer to him and grabbed the sleeve of his shirt. “That’s going to be fun,” he commented merrily, patting the boy’s head by a habit he had developed when hanging around Xu Jun.

    “Young Patriarch, are those also the lost puppies of yours?” Shan Shi called out with a laugh, mocking Wu Bai just a little.

    “Uh, kinda? Could you take care of them for me?” Wu Bai responded, approaching the edge of the flying machine’s rooftop with the long-haired boy at his side.

    “And why won’t you do it yourself?” Wu Ling complained with a smile and shrugged her shoulders, aware that everyone in the Tribe was listening to this little exchange between the three of them.

    “Because I don’t feel like it,” Wu Bai said honestly, making many people, including Wu Ling and Shan Shi smile helplessly. “They are apparently remnants of some Great Tribe, though,” he added, this time raising quite a bit of interest in this particular group of newcomers.

    “Why don’t we do it together?” Shan Shi suggested, giving Wu Ling an anticipating look.

    “Well, why not?” she replied with a smile, knowing that sooner or later, this job would be pushed onto her anyway. One way or another, she was already getting used to dealing with people and leading various kinds of negotiations. She wasn’t deaf and blind either, so she had heard people talking about leaving the Tribe to her command in the future. Unlike Wu Bai, she wasn’t all that against the idea of becoming a Patriarch, so annoying or not she would accept some responsibilities coming along with this position.

    As for the two sisters flying through the sky…

    “It really is the Crow Divinity Tribe!” the old servant muttered in shock, albeit quite loudly. “Could that man really be?” he thought silently, having spotted Wu Bai and the long-haired boy on top of the flying machine.

    “This is bad,” Daiyu mused unhappily. She really wanted to make her little sister’s wish come true, but taking something back from a strong member of a Tribe as powerful as the Crow Divinity… even with a valid, proper reason, it would be nothing short of impossible.

    “Welcome to the Crow Divinity Tribe,” Wu Ling said calmly, flying up in front of the two sisters and the fifty men following them. She was soon accompanied by Shan Shi, who tagged along as he had been chatting with her the past few hours anyway.

    “Both are at the early Nascent Soul,” Daiyu discovered to her surprise, seeing as the young man and woman before her appeared to be very young. “Must be elite members of their Tribe,” she concluded and clasped her hands, greeting the two respectfully.

    “I presume you are here to join us?” Wu Ling asked amiably. “My little brother has probably not explained much, no? Let us land somewhere, I will introduce you to our rules,” she said and gestured at the border of their encampment with a slight movement of her hand.

    “No, we don’t want to join you!” Meiying shouted, causing many gazes to turn towards her and her group. She seemed blissfully unaware that only the unclear relation between her group and Wu Bai was stopping the three thousand members of the Crow Divinity from doing away with them.

    “Your little brother or whoever he claims to be has stolen my Jiaozi! Give him back!” she demanded brashly, seeing no problem with her own behavior whatsoever.

    “Jiaozi, Jaiozi; it really irritates me to hear her call you that,” Wu Bai said in a normal voice, then looked at the long-haired boy who was standing at his side. “Don’t you want some real name, not one that is used to call a pet?” he asked, gazing at the group in the sky out of the corner of his eye.

    By the looks of it, Wu Ling and Shan Shi were in the middle of bringing that clueless princess down to earth and judging by the look on her face, she was feeling quite shocked. Yet, it was hard to say whether she was coming to right conclusions, or simply falling deeper into denial.

    “Do you have anything in mind?” Wu Bai asked again, seeing that the long-haired boy was inclined to his proposition.

    “Make it,” the youth shook his head and relied, pointing at Wu Bai with his finger.

    “So I get to do it?” Wu Bai mused aloud and chuckled lightly. With the memory of the enormous Tribulation Cloud still fresh in his mind, he decided quickly. “Lei. How about it?” he suggested and crouched slightly, resting his hands against his knees

    “Lei,” the boy repeated with a smile, then startled Wu Bai as he hugged him over his neck. “Lei,” he said again, his voice sounding very happy and content. He liked Wu Bai much more than those people he had been with before, so he truly hoped to stay with him from now on, too.

    “What are you doing to my Jiaozi?!” Meiying shouted, completely aggravated. She rushed past Wu Ling and Shan Shi and flew towards Wu Bai and the long-haired youth, pushing the situation at hand dangerously close to having her whole group wiped out by the Crow Divinity Tribe.

    Wu Bai sighed resignedly and straightened up, tousling the boy’s hair. He gazed at the furious, twelve years old blond girl and shook his head. “Wrong, he is no longer ‘yours’ and neither is he called by that ridiculous name anymore,” he said loudly, but without enhancing his voice, not interested in letting everyone listen in to their conversation.

    Being taunted by Wu Bai, Meiying snapped and tried to grab the long-haired youth and pull him away, but when she did, the boy shrugged her hand off with ease.

    “What is…” Meiying mumbled, only now realizing that her ‘pet’ was emanating an aura of early Core Formation. The next second, she suddenly backed off, terrified by the way the youth looked at her and the killing intent he had released.

    “You want to kill her?” Wu Bai asked calmly, glancing at the long-haired boy. The youth glanced back at him, briefly considering this option.

    Hearing Wu Bai suggest something so outrageous so casually, Meiying finally came to the realization that she was far past being in a superior position and at the moment, he life could truly be conceded on a whim of her now former pet. Yet, she breathed with relief after seeing the boy shrug his shoulders, appearing not to care about whatever happened to her.

    “Well,” Wu Bai smirked, scratching the back of his head. “You’d do yourself a favor if you learned how to behave, little girl. It’s a miracle you are even still alive with this attitude of yours,” he said, this time making sure that everyone could hear him loud and clear.

    “You sure pulled in some troublesome people,” Wu Ling complained as she descended from higher up, followed by Shan Shi, Dai Yu and the other fifty people.

    “I sure have, eh?” Wu Bai responded with a smile, then looked at the older of the two sisters. “How about we deal with it quickly? You are remnants of the Great Phoenix Fire Tribe, you have a great amount of wealth on yourselves. Long story short, you will be allowed to join the Crow Divinity Tribe and your family will keep its partial autonomy as part of the Tribe, just like everyone else who had joined us in the past three years. However, since you can’t seem to be reasonable, I want you to hand sixty percent of spirit stones and items in your possession to the Tribe,” he laid the matter flat-out, annoyed by the prolonging situation at hand.

    Daiyu pursed her lips and just barely held herself back from clenching her fists, telling herself not to appear too hostile. It wasn’t that she didn’t understand that her little sister was behaving in a ridiculous way and didn’t realize she should have stopped her, but she was the last one of her close family, the one she loved the most… However, because of this leniency, she allowed everything to escalate far too much and as it seemed, the results were quite disastrous.

    “And what if we don’t want to hand over so much?” she asked, wondering if it would be possible to bargain with Wu Bai, but…

    “If you don’t agree,” Wu Ling spoke up, crossing her hands over her chest. “Then we will kill the fifty of you and take everything. With your level of strength, you wouldn’t be able to fight off any one of us three here, not to speak of the whole Crow Divinity Tribe,” she declared straightforwardly, having little compassion for outsiders during the time of Western Sea Apocalypse.

    “You already were stupid enough to let your little sister make ridiculous demands, just be happy that it ends with sixty percent. Were it up to me, I would have asked for eighty,” Wu Ling added with a meaningful smile, the look in her eyes saying that she wasn’t joking at all.

    “We will abide,” Daiyu said with a mix of regret and relief. Then, unable not to notice a certain part of Wu Ling’s words, she brought up. “That man, Wu Bai… who in the world is he?” she asked quietly, gazing at Wu Bai who was already retreating to his resting spot along with the long-haired boy.

    “My little brother, or rather my cousin, to be exact,” Wu Ling answered and laughed, seeing the ‘really’ expression on Daiyu’s face. “He is the Immortal Slayer from the legends and also the Young Patriarch of our Crow Divinity Tribe, if that’s what you were asking about,” she said with a light smile, enjoying the shocked expression on Daiyu’s and her follower’s faces.

    “A honorary one, to be exact,” Shan Shi corrected with a smirk, from which one would be unable to tell whether he truly liked or hated the man in question. “He stepped down and we haven’t officially chosen a new Patriarch since then. The most likely choice is probably the very woman you are speaking to right now,” he added, similarly conflicted about this portion of reality.

    By this point Daiyu didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. They have had the luck to meet those nice people who didn’t rob them, but due to how the events progressed, they managed to antagonize one of the most influential personas in the Crow Divinity Tribe and at the very least, make a bad impression on the other two.

    “That’s it, I need to teach Meiying some manners quickly. I and everyone else have been spoiling her for far too long,” she decided silently, looking at her still shocked little sister.

    “Our Sacred Ancient is busy at the moment, so the totem branding ceremony will need to wait. For now, come with us. We will settle all other important matters and help you settle in,” Wu Ling said calmly, then after receiving a thankful nod from Daiyu, led the group to one of the larger, empty tents used by the Conclave of the Tribe to debate anything considered to be important enough to spark a discussion.



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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Chapter 39. Greater Demon.


    “Is it tasty?” Wu Ling asked with a bright smile, taking a seat at the same low table everyone were resting at.

    “Mm,” the long-haired youth, Lei, responded with a nod, but at the same time, scooted away from Wu Ling and ended up right at Wu Bai’s side. Apparently quite comfortable with this state of affairs, he once again focused on eating the stew which Wu Ling had prepared for dinner.

    “Really,” Wu Ling said with a sigh, but didn’t stop smiling nevertheless. “You’ve taken in quite a strange boy. I never thought you of all people would be interested in taking care of a kid,” she said helplessly, thinking back to all those times when Wu Bai had been responsible for something but would usually push the whole thing onto her shoulders.

    “I never thought so either,” Wu Bai said honestly, then gazed at Lei and smiled. “But somehow, I really like being with him,” he explained vaguely, himself not sure why he was so well-inclined towards Lei. He simply found the youth very likeable and for a few other reasons, he also saw him as very intriguing.

    “It’s not like we have any problems to cope with your whims,” Raisha mentioned, but before she could finish the sentence, she became unable to resist the beer in front of her and drank a full haul of it. “But you should be more considerate towards one of us. The little boy had been feeling abandoned for the past three days,” she concluded with a chuckle, giving Xu Jun a meaningful look.

    “What are you talking about about?!” Xu Jun objected immediately, but ended up blushing from embarrassment anyway. He endured everyone’s smiles and laughs, in the end knowing that Raisha was right. He was somewhat… or rather, quite jealous of that kid, of Lei, who appeared out of nowhere and took his place by Wu Bai’s side. He knew it was stupid, but he just couldn’t help it.

    Wu Bai sighed, then closed his eyes and rolled them. “Why not tell me sooner? Were you planning to keep it as a ‘small but growing grudge’ in your heart if not for Raisha speaking your mind for you? Geez,” he said bluntly, perhaps too bluntly considering that he had been similarly indecisive not that long ago.

    “Anyway, we can hang around like always. Unless you can’t stand him?” Wu Bai asked, then looked at Lei who at the moment was licking the remaining bits of the stew out of the bowl. He then looked back at Xu Jun and raised his eyebrows in question.

    “No, it’s fine. I don’t dislike him. Rather, the problem is that he dislikes everyone else apart from you,” Xu Jun pointed out quite accurately. Just like he was saying, Lei was extremely hesitant to even stay close to most of the members of the Tribe; with the group of Wu Bai’s friends being the only exception he would tolerate in his close proximity without appearing obviously uncomfortable and stressed. The whole thing was indeed very troublesome.

    “Hmmm,” Wu Bai mused for a while. “Lei, do you think you could try getting along with my friends a bit better?” he asked, knowing that although Lei couldn’t speak well, he understood most of what was being said to him.

    “Get along better?” Lei repeated after Wu Bai, then after receiving a nod from him, looked at Xu Jun and gazed briefly at everyone else. “Will try,” he said simply, having made a surprising amount of progress in constructing rudimentary sentences in the span of the last three days.

    “So, I guess we have that settled,” Wu Bai said with relief, convinced of his words a little more than the others. Yet, rather than continuing the discussion, Wu Bai’s expression flicked slightly as a voice resounded within his mind.

    “Looks like we are setting out,” Wu Bai said with a smile and stood up. “I will do some talking with Meng Hao first, then you can bring our new members for totem branding. There will be not much of a ceremony; we are to head to the Eight Branch Alliance’s main base as soon as possible,” he explained briefly and headed out with Lei, who followed him without the need for any words or gestures.

    As Wu Bai was leaving, Shan Shi sighed secretly. He couldn’t understand why a man who had the door to the future wide open before him would choose not to follow it, not to pursue the path to greatness… and why would their Sacred Ancient still be so interested in such a man. He looked up to Wu Bai as a person, but to him leading the Tribe and making it strong and prosperous had always been his greatest dream. However… Wu Bai seemed to have different priorities and yet, was still receiving everything Shan Shi himself would have wanted to have.

    “Jealousy is a scary thing,” Shan Shi said to himself, then turned his gaze at Wu Ling. He might have not possessed the same abilities and destiny that Wu Bai had, but at the very least, his goals were similar to those of a woman he had fallen for. For that, he was grateful to the Heavens.

    ---

    “You came quickly,” Meng Hao stated the obvious, looking at the long-haired boy who Wu Bai brought along. “I’ve been told you wanted to discuss something with me. So, what is it?” he inquired, portion of his consciousness still focused on maintaining and controlling the faraway clone.

    “I will keep it simple and quick,” Wu Bai said with a smile. “The black one, my old neo-demon and around a few dozen of Lei’s choosing, I’d like to take them,” he asked straightforwardly and was met with a curious expression of Meng Hao’s.

    “Explain,” Meng Hao said, knowing that Wu Bai was teasing him by not telling what was it about from the very beginning. He needed to admit though, he was curious, so he naturally wanted to know. Given how many mysteries surrounded Wu Bai and his abilities as an Immortal Slayer, he came to expect more and more unusual things from him and the people he would take interest in.

    “So even you, who has the Demonic Qi can’t sense anything, even when Lei is so close to you?” Wu Bai said with a laugh, prompting Meng Hao to scan the youth with his spiritual sense. Seeing that Meng Hao discovered nothing, Wu Bai chuckled. “It looks like at the very least for now, when you are stuck at the great circle of Core Formation, my Heavenly Sense is superior to your spiritual sense,” he bragged a little, but noticing a light frown at Meng Hao’s face, laughed and proceeded to explain.

    “I only found out after he used it for the first time while training. It’s not easy to know how to find it when you don’t know where to look for it… After all, despite the seal I had removed, his body seems to be self-restricting his abilities.” Unintentionally, Wu Bai strayed from the main subject, but as what he was saying proved to be important, Meng Hao refrained from commenting on that and allowed him to continue uninterrupted.

    “It would be quicker to let you see what I mean, I guess. I will tell you about the seal I lifted later,” Wu Bai said eagerly, looking forward to seeing Meng Hao’s expression when he learns of Lei’s abilities and origins. “Lei, can you show him the same power you showed me yesterday?” Wu Bai asked the youth at his side, who nodded with a smile and reached deep into his cultivation base to then…

    Meng Hao gasped and instinctively moved his hand to his bag of cosmos to prevent the horde of neo-demons inside it from charging out all at once. He looked with his eyes wide open, seeing an aura of extremely pure Demonic Qi surrounding the boy’s body. Thankfully, the youth wasn’t targeting anything with this power of his and only releasing it passively. Were it not for it… many of the neo-demons would be more than willing to betray him and move to the youth’s side.

    “A Greater Demon!” Meng Hao exclaimed with disbelief, but having been faced with the powerful and more importantly, extremely pure Demonic Qi, he couldn’t deny the facts. “So the seal you were talking about…?” he asked, already connecting the pieces of information into one whole.

    “That’s enough,” Wu Bai said and tapped Lei’s shoulder. The youth relaxed and withdrew his Demonic Qi, then staggered and leaned against Wu Bai. From the looks of it, he wasn’t yet strong enough to actively make use of his abilities.

    “As you guessed, I think that the seal was keeping his true powers in check. It wasn’t that powerful in itself, as I was able to dispel it at my current level, but the reaction it triggered…” Wu Bai said somewhat helplessly, then finished what he was saying with a shrug of his shoulders. “Were it not for me being an Immortal Slayer, I fear that anyone who attempted to lift this seal would have been stuck down by the Heavens. I sensed a gigantic Tribulation Cloud forming above the violet clouds. It stretched at the very least five hundred kilometers in every direction, but that was only as far as I could sense. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was thousands, or tens of thousands kilometers wide.”

    “The amount of power lying dormant in this Tribulation Cloud… I wouldn’t be surprised if even the exalted Dao Seeking experts couldn’t stand up to it. Perhaps not even Immortals could… but as I’ve never seen either, that’s only my subjective gut feeling,” Wu Bai concluded, along the way having explained everything he needed or wanted to.

    “You’ve found somebody really amazing,” Meng Hao said truthfully, happy to have finally calmed his neo-demons down. “Too bad he seems to be attached to you, I would have loved to study his powers for a bit,” he said and laughed, seeing the boy back off behind Wu Bai’s back.

    “No matter, you sowed karma by saving him and lifting the seal binding his powers. In the future, a time to reap the karma will come for you,” Meng Hao waved his hand, causing the bag of cosmos to rise up in the air. “You wanted only a few dozen, right? I won’t tell anything if he chooses only the strongest ones, but I would like to avoid that if possible, too. He isn’t strong enough yet to draw out their full strength,” he advised, encouraging the youth to step closer and choose the neo-demons by himself, as Wu Bai was saying.

    After a brief moment of hesitation and a pat on the back from Wu Bai, Lei took a few steps forward and put his hand into Meng Hao’s bag of cosmos. He instantly recognized the presences of the sixty thousand neo-demons within and by instinct, knew very well which ones he would find likeable. He pulled back swiftly, causing around thirty shadows to move from Meng Hao’s bag of cosmos to his bag of holding. At the same time, ‘the black one’ landed on the floor, greeting Wu Bai with a lick on the hand before joining the other neo-demons in Lei’s possession.

    “He picked wisely,” Meng Hao nodded contentedly, then looked at Wu Bai, asking with his gaze if there was anything else he would have liked to talk about.

    “That would be all. Thanks,” Wu Bai said and nodded his head in the gesture of appreciation. Unexpectedly, Lei did the same, perhaps mimicking Wu Bai, perhaps feeling grateful for the gift of a group of neo-demons to his liking.

    “Get going, it would be best if your new friend gets used to controlling his beasts sooner rather than later. In about four days, we will arrive at the Eight Branch Alliance’s base. Most likely, we will be there to fight,” Meng Hao said with a dangerous smile, then added rather resignedly. “Do me a favor and tell the people who need branding to hurry up,” he said and gestured Wu Bai and Lei to leave, what the two promptly did.

    ---

    “Black one, you sure grew strong. A level ten neo-demon with strength comparable to that of a Nascent Soul Cultivator, eh? I wonder if you will become a Sacred Ancient, or maybe a Heavenly Neo-demon,” Wu Bai wondered aloud, scratching the black one’s large wolf head. His old companion had been released early by Lei, along with the other two level ten neo-demons in his possession; a gold-furred ape and a sword-feathered eagle, so for the time being, having nothing better to do, Wu Bai wasted some time by petting the black one.

    “Considering that your master is not a simple Dragoneer, but someone who very likely possesses a pure blood of Greater Demons flowing in his veins…” Wu Bai thought silently, smiling a little. “You’ve got quite a good chance at becoming a Heavenly neo-demon with the strength of Dao Seeking, then maybe even going further beyond,” he mused with a quiet laugh, for the first time being somewhat worried about being left behind in terms of power.

    “The whole migration won’t take much longer at this pace. It will be over much sooner than I thought, perhaps in just a year or so. Then, Meng Hao will be gone and so will the incredible pills of his which can strengthen my body,” he thought with a sigh, but then looked straight ahead, determination shining in his eyes.

    “To begin with, let’s hunt for a Nascent Soul elder. I might not be able to defeat one in a straight-on exchange yet, but there are other ways,” he reaffirmed his choice, intent on making best use of the remaining time.

    “How should I fight?” Lei asked, speaking rather slowly and taking his time to construct a proper sentence.

    “Hm? However feels best for you. I will stick close in the beginning, then I will go for a hunt. Alone,” Wu Bai replied in a casual tone, but gave Lei a serious look in the end. He had already explained his abilities to the boy and also mentioned his plan to hunt for enemy elders.

    “Mm,” Lei nodded strongly, already imagining how he would plunge into the fighting at first, but then retreat to the back. He looked forward to using his neo-demons , but since Wu Bai was telling him to be careful, he would do just that.

    “Good,” Wu Bai said with a smile and tousled Lei’s hair. He closed his eyes briefly and scanned the flying machine with his Heavenly Sense, taking a quick note of how their forces were distributed. He predicted the incoming battle to be won decisively, so his best choice would be to take note of those Nascent Soul elders of their Tribe who didn’t have particularly lethal techniques at their disposal. It would be likely to find them entangled in battle with strong foes, or simply to chase down the fleeing enemies; either of the two options would be fine.

    “I wonder if that will count as a clean kill, though. But the strength of the Tribe is partially thanks to me, so it shouldn’t count as ‘using foreign strength’ or anything,” he kept thinking, worrying about some relatively complicated things. He had killed his first Foundation Establishment Cultivator with the help of black one, he killed the Core Formation Cultivator, Xu Tao and Xu Jun’s father in a duel. Both kills could be considered as rather ‘fair’ as far as Wu Bai was concerned. However, ambushing an already wounded enemy…?

    “No point worrying about it I guess. I will see after I make the kill,” he reminded himself, the camp of the Eight Branch Alliance having already come into the range of his Heavenly Sense.

    “Everyone, would you mind if I asked you to look after Lei after I go hunting?” he asked mentally, delivering the question to Wu Ling, Raisha, Xu Tao, Xu Jun, old man Shi Shi and to Chao. Basically, to the people he could call his dear friends within the Tribe. He omitted Shan Shi, who was standing at Wu Ling’s side and Wu Chen, with whom he wasn’t talking too often, but he didn’t feel bad or regretful about it.

    He just couldn’t bring himself to like Shan Shi at all even after the supportive speech the man had made after the battle with the Five Poisons Tribe, while Wu Chen… after the two of them have grown up, they simply proved to have very different priorities. One of the things Wu Bai simply couldn’t cope with was Wu Chen’s fanatical faith in Meng Hao… but of course, he would no longer mention anything about it.

    “You need to ask?” Raisha replied a bit mockingly through her spiritual sense, appearing to be in a rather good mood.

    “Yes, yes.” On the other hand, Xu Jun didn’t look too happy, but sighed and smiled after exchanging a glance with Wu Bai.

    “Mm, just be sure not to go too far out if the battle proves harder than we thought,” Wu Ling reminded, having thought about biting her tongue beforehand but warning Wu Bai nevertheless.

    “As long as we can, we will guard him,” Chao said in a typical, worrisome way of his.

    “We will spare him some attention,” old man Shi Shi said with a laugh right afterwards, while Xu Tao simply nodded at Wu Bai.

    “Thanks,” Wu Bai said simply, already used to everyone’s behavior. All those friends of his had very different characters, but for some reason they stuck with him and got along with him… well, sometimes better, sometimes worse, but got along.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Chapter 40. Bloodbath.


    Wu Bai managed to bear with the ‘we are the Crow Divinity’ yelling, although not without difficulties. He felt sick every time people expressed their unwavering faith in Meng Hao, not because he thought the man was unworthy, but rather… he would have liked to see the members of his Tribe be more independent, more self-reliant. To put a true ‘faith’ in somebody… it wasn’t something he was capable of doing.

    “But maybe it’s the reason I am suitable as an Immortal Slayer,” he wondered as he proceeded along with the advance of the main force. Having reached the enemy ranks, he cut through the rain of relatively weak magical techniques flying at him and while paying close attention to Lei, began slaying the nearby foes.

    As expected, the neo-demons controlled by Lei displayed an ever greater ferocity and strength than when being led by Meng Hao. The three strongest of them actually coordinated their attacks and created the main offensive force, ripping apart enemies one after another with frightening speed and efficiency. The remaining thirty neo-demons circled around Lei, protecting him and not engaging into any drawn-out fights. The method was what skilled Dragoneers would often employ themselves, but the fact that it was displayed by a kid who only lately learned to speak properly was quite frightening.

    “He’s attracted some attention,” Wu Bai noticed a group of over two hundred Cultivators led by five late Core Formation experts moving in Lei’s direction. He wanted to move over and guard the boy from close-up, but then, a joint attack by five enemy elders using some strange formation broke into their lines, slaying dozens of Crow Divinity Cultivators at once.

    “No way I can guard against that,” Wu Bai flew out of the men’s way, making use of his unnoticeable presence. Soon afterwards, elders of Crow Divinity engaged the five enemies, causing their formation to crumble and stopping the onslaught.

    “How is Lei?” Wu Bai once again focused on the youth and cursed, seeing how three of the late Core Formation Cultivators dodged past Lei’s three strongest neo-demons and slaughtered their way to the boy himself. Already rushing towards Lei, Wu Bai was really worried, but what he saw next left him flabbergasted.

    His long hair fluttering in the wind, Lei smiled confidently and instead of trying to retreat, engaged the three enemies head-on.

    Caught in the middle of Lei’s unit of neo-demons, the three men were unable to retreat; the sudden assault also caught them off-guard, so their reactions were a split second late. However, just this much alone proved to be enough for Lei who shocked the three of them as he struck out with his bare hand and actually, as if it was a spear, pierced one of the men’s stomach with it.

    The man coughed up blood and when Lei withdrew his hand, the crimson liquid squirted out along with the intestines which the boy ripped off directly from his body. Unable to withstand this degree of pain, the man fainted immediately and began falling down, certain to die in the next few seconds.

    The brutal assault left the other two late Core Formation Cultivators speechless. They were certain they were attacking a young Dragoneer, one at the early Core Formation… but the boy’s physical strength was in reality much greater than theirs!

    They wanted to use their magical techniques, their divine abilities to fight back and flee, but as Lei’s neo-demons joined the attack, they simply didn’t have enough time to use magic. In seconds, the two of them got ripped to shreds as the long-haired boy observed everything with a very pleased smile.

    The sight of a smiling, innocent-looking blood-covered youth combined with the ruthless way of fighting the whole Crow Divinity Tribe displayed caused the hearts of the Eight Branch Alliance’s Cultivators to shiver.

    They began retreating, at first slowly… but in the matter of minutes, what was a slow, steady retreat turned into nothing more than a panicked flight as Eight Branch Alliance’s members were being slayed by the thousands, as their Nascent Soul elders began falling one by one. In face of the Crow Divinity’s might, they couldn’t do anything. Not when Meng Hao himself was leading the charge.

    “Whoa, I expected it to be one-sided, but not to this extent,” Wu Bai groaned, having completely missed his chance to hunt for Nascent Soul elders before the Eight Branch Alliance surrendered. “There will be more chances, but more importantly…” he mused, flying towards Lei.

    “That’s quite a bit of blood,” Wu Bai commented with a chuckle, looking at the crimson sleeve and skin of Lei’s right hand.

    “… I’m sorry.” Lei’s expression sunk for some reason. He lowered his head as he apologized and even the neo-demons under his command began yelping, sensing their master’s emotions.

    “Hey, why all the sulking?” Wu Bai crouched in the air in front of Lei and smiled at him from below. “I am not criticizing you, look at all the blood I have on my clothes,” he pointed out with a laugh and chuckled, happy to see Lei’s face brightening up.

    “I didn’t think you could fight like that. It was amazing,” Wu Bai complimented, honestly surprised and pleased to find out that Lei was fond of close-range combat. He didn’t have much to teach him about magic or using Demonic Qi, but fighting directly was after all what he specialized in.

    “Really?” Lei asked with bright eyes, as if he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He had fought like this once when he had been traveling with those two blond sisters, but the younger one scolded him very badly after he returned all bloodied after a battle. Since then, he wasn’t allowed to engage enemies head-on. Today, he had gotten a bit too eager after Wu Bai told him to fight as he liked… but thankfully, Wu Bai seemed not to mind it at all.

    “Yes, really, really,” Wu Bai said and laughed, then settled for patting Lei’s back since both of his hands were thoroughly covered in blood. Lei smiled at him merrily and paying no mind to the state of Wu Bai’s clothing, went ahead and hugged him tightly.

    “Dear me,” Wu Ling spoke up with a smile while shaking her head. “Watching you two, I don’t know if you are being cute and cozy or rather gruesome and scary,” she said with a shrug of her shoulders, moving over to Wu Bai’s side since the main phase of the battle has ended. Meng Hao was still bargaining with the various mid-sized Tribes but that matter no longer required the whole Tribe to remain in specific formations.

    “A bit of the both, I’d say?” Raisha called out with a loud laugh, amused by the scene of two bloodied figures hugging each other.

    Wu Bai smirked, unable not to agree with those comments. “Look, Meng Hao is about to make a scene again,” he said the moment one of the mid-sized Tribes which had been watching the battle tried to run-off without paying the Tribute of neo-demons.

    During the next few seconds, they and the whole Tribe had the pleasure of spectating Meng Hao’s prowess as he has easily slain four Nascent Soul elders at once, using the mysterious, demonic spear in his hand and at the same time, wounded the leader of the enemy Tribe, a woman at the late Nascent Soul stage.

    “Holy,” Wu Bai whistled, seeing an enormous horde of one hundred and fifty thousand neo-demons gathering in the skies, all of them under Meng Hao’s command.

    “Another bloodbath,” Lei commented suddenly, confusing everyone briefly before the grand horde stirred up and seemingly went berserk, killing the weaker neo-demons and literally treating them as a livestock.

    “We wouldn’t be able to feed so many of them, after all,” Wu Bai said and shrugged his shoulders. “It’s simply not worth keeping those weak neo-demons. Anything below level six will probably be consumed,” he took a guess, noticing how only the neo-demons at the level five and blow were being killed off.

    “That was somewhat anti-climactic,” Raisha complained, getting everyone who could hear her smile with mixed feelings. By this point, they were all hardened warriors. Death… they didn’t want their friends and family to die, but none of them feared death. In truth, their strived for a hard, bloody fight where they would be able to put everything onto the stakes and once again, taste the sweet taste of a great victory…!

    In one way or another, their desire could be compared to an addiction. An addiction to battle! Surely enough, after reaching the Black Lands their Tribe would need many years to adjust to the changes in their lifestyle. As for whether they would be able to enter the Black Lands or not, no one doubted they would be able to! Especially now that their Sacred Ancient commanded an elite force of one hundred thousand neo-demons!

    “Don’t worry, there will be more battles to come. In this central region, we will become a huge target, not only for our demon spirit, but also for the three flying machines we acquired after the Eight Branch Alliance surrendered to us,” Wu Bai mentioned with a mix of eagerness and bitterness.

    Their Tribe has grown incredibly powerful, so strong that even the Great Tribes without Spirit Severing Patriarchs would hesitate to attack them. However, the desperate people of the Western Desert would pay no mind to that. They would attack relentlessly one after another or worse case-scenario, they would bunch up into huge alliances just to have a real chance to beat them.

    “He’s right, there will be much, much more fighting in the coming months,” Wu Ling said with a sigh and waved her hand, clearing the blood from Wu Bai’s and Lei’s clothes.

    “For now, let’s go find some nice cabins to stay in,” Wu Bai chuckled and as one of the first ones, flew towards a flying machine. Lei followed him immediately and just a second after, everyone else started hurrying to pick rooms of their choosing. They might have had three undamaged flying machines now, but they would likely end up using one of them as to not waste spirit stones needlessly. Thus, if one wanted to have a pleasant stay… it was better to hurry up.

    The Nascent Soul elders of the Crow Divinity Tribe groaned inside, really feeling like discarding their dignity and joining the child-like rush to choose the best rooms. If they didn’t, they would likely end up in one big room altogether just like the last time and if possible, they would have liked to avoid it.

    “Ah, screw it,” some of the younger elders joined the rush, prompted by the fact that Wu Ling and Shan Shi were amongst the impatient members of the Tribe.

    “Talk about quickly changing atmosphere,” Meng Hao thought with a slight smile, amazed how quickly the bloodthirsty Tribe could turn into a bunch of children looking to get the best treats. “I’ve gained a lot of understanding about the Demonic Qi from this battle and Wu Bai will probably approach me to teach that kid later,” he murmured with a dose of helplessness, realizing that he would be spending almost all his time concocting pills and training the boy.

    “You’d better be grateful, Crow Divinity,” he said quietly, recalling the bird which decided to bestow him with this karma.

    ---

    “You want me to do what?” Wu Bai frowned, shooing the annoying parrot away with a wave of his hand.

    “How many times do you need Lord Fifth to repeat? You will Praise the Lord Fifth with everyone and create the most powerful spell formation, the Immortal Execution spell formation!” the parrot squeaked energetically, completely intent on getting Wu Bai to join other members of the Tribe in training the ancient, but rather awkward dancing formation.

    “Forget it, I’m never going to do something so shameful,” Wu Bai said sternly, having seen the kind of ‘training’ this damned bird made the other members of the Tribe do. ‘Three circles to the left, three circles to the right! Shake those butts…. Gaze upon the Immortal Execution spell formation!’, as if he was ever going to do this ridiculous dance while listening to this blabbering.

    “You sure, Immortal Screwer?” the parrot taunted, but yelped the next second as a part of his body blurred and disintegrated under a swipe of Wu Bai’s hand accompanied by the ‘Sever the Immortal’ art.

    “What are you doing, you bitch?!” the parrot squeaked furiously, his body quickly reforming. “Oi, you useless thing, that guy is obviously evil! Why don’t you try to reform him?!” he yelled to the silent ring on his feet, to the meat jelly.

    “No way! I can’t!” the ring responded in a pitiful voice, then transformed into the meat jelly as the parrot began scratching at him with his paws.

    “What do you mean you can’t, bitch?!” the parrot shouted, all the time trying to rip the meat jelly apart in the process of venting his anger, feeling too scared to get close to Wu Bai again.

    “Uh, ah, stop biting at me!” the meat jelly retreated behind Wu Bai, finally getting the parrot to stop attacking him.

    “His mind is closed, I can’t speak to it directly…! Also, he is scary!” the meat jelly shouted back at the parrot, in the end also getting swept aside by Wu Bai, who was getting really annoyed by all the pointless clamor around him.

    “You get it now, you toilet brush?” Wu Bai barked at the parrot, but didn’t stand up to chase him, knowing that he was too slow to catch that pesky bird anyway. “How about a trade? You can be saying that you have my support in this whole stupid-dance formation thing, but in exchange, you will leave me alone,” he suggested, hoping to finally get a break.

    “Your support, you say?” the parrot wondered for a while. He had started teaching everyone the formation without asking Meng Hao and he didn’t quite feel like going to ask him for an official permission. That would be below him, the Lord Fifth! But, if he got Wu Bai’s approval, it would definitely make everyone much more inclined to listen to him and to train eagerly.

    “Fine, I agree! Don’t forget your promise or the Lord Fifth will ignore that you have no feathers and will screw your rear… in your sleep!” the parrot threatened, making a very unpleasant shiver to run down Wu Bai’s spine after the last three words were added. Normally, the parrot would be unable to approach him, but it would be a different matter if he attacked while he was sleeping… Just thinking about it was terrifying.

    “No worries, I will make sure to properly seal you in such a case and rip off all your feathers, one by one until none will be left,” Wu Bai replied with a stern expression. The look in his eyes and his tone told the parrot that he wasn’t joking and in turn, the bird was the one shiver this time.

    “Hmph, Lord Fifth will recognize you as a worthy adversary!” the parrot said and puffed his chest. “Now if you excuse me, I have some disciples to be added to my cult… I mean, my… oh, whatever! Jelly, move your ass, we are going!” the bird gave Wu Bai one last glance, then showed him his tongue and flew away, looking to ‘convert’ some people.

    “How can Meng Hao have this thing as a pet…?” Wu Bai murmured resignedly, feeling mentally exhausted just after a few minutes of dealing with that crazy parrot.

    “You want to know the secret?” Meng Hao asked with a smile, leaving the training chambers with Lei following right behind him.

    “I would love to,” Wu Bai admitted and raised his hands helplessly. This time, he managed to bribe the bird, but what if he came to pester him again?

    “Just challenge his pride. He is so sure he knows and do can do anything, he can be pulled around by the nose if only you know how to keep your poker face,” Meng Hao explained briefly, then chuckled as he saw Wu Bai’s expression.

    “That might be impossible for me,” Wu Bai said with a sigh. His emotions always showed on his face and in his eyes. He wasn’t good at acting the part out, what was one of the reasons he didn’t like making public speeches or dealing with the more diplomatic problems of the Tribe. To trick that parrot was harder than it might have seemed.

    “Anyway, how did the training go?” Wu Bai asked, giving Lei a curious look. During the last three months, Lei had been spending at least an hour per day getting lectures about the Demonic Qi from Meng Hao. The training bore great results, as with the additional help of medicinal pills Lei’s abilities not only improved greatly, but his cultivation base also advanced to the late Core Formation.

    By now, the weakest members of the Crow Divinity Tribe were in the Foundation Establishment, while their weakest neo-demons were of the sixth level, representing the very peak of the above stage of human cultivation. Through the countless battles, the Tribe had been honed beyond any normal means of understanding and that of course included Lei, Wu Bai and even Meng Hao.

    “It was good,” Lei replied simply. Although his vocabulary has improved greatly, he still preferred not to say too much. Usually, he wouldn’t bother speaking unless asked about something with one sole exception of being with Wu Bai, to whom he would always talk to and would always stick to like a glue.

    “It was more than that,” Meng Hao added from himself. “He picks up very fast. As far as using Demonic Qi goes, there’s barely anything I have left to teach him. The level of his cultivation base is so far his biggest restriction, so he can’t use his abilities to their fullest just yet,” he praised and explained, quietly wondering if Wu Bai wasn’t watching them anyway through his Heavenly Sense. Truly, it was pretty annoying to know that someone could be spying on you and you wouldn’t even notice.

    “And to think that I am still unable to kill someone of the Nascent Soul, even after the last twenty battles…” Wu Bai stood up from the cushion and patted Lei’s head out of a habit, mocking himself a little. His pure abilities of an Immortal Slayer had improved, his body had gotten stronger, but he wasn’t advancing as quickly everyone else. The difference made by slaying thousands of people, even though each kill gave him a bit more power, wasn’t anything too noticeable either. Soon, he would be completely passed by by many of his friends.

    “You are trying too hard,” Meng Hao said with a laugh, unable not to chuckle when recalling how every time, Wu Bai was just moments away from slaying his target while the man or the woman would either get killed by someone else, or would choose to self-destruct. “Or maybe you did something bad and the luck refuses to smile at you,” he added more playfully than he would have expected from himself. Those times when he could forget about all the killing and just chat with Wu Bai proved to be unexpectedly pleasant and filled with ease.

    “Eh, whatever. I will just keep trying,” Wu Bai said and shrugged his shoulders, then after exchanging a glance with Meng Hao, bowed his head slightly and left with Lei.



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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Chapter 41. Slaughtering the Nascent Soul.


    “Back from your classes?” Raisha asked as Wu Bai and Lei entered the large room of theirs, in which everyone usually gathered to chat and play.

    “As you can see,” Wu Bai replied with a smile, somewhat surprised to see only Raisha and Xu Jun in his room. On the other hand, it was quite convenient as apart from Meng Hao, it was only these two whom Lei had gotten used to. “Playing dice, are you gambling again?” Wu Bai asked and sat at the table, helping himself to some sweet snacks.

    “Not this time, just playing for fun,” Xu Jun said with a cheeky smile, having gotten quite rich from playing with Raisha and quite a few other members of the Tribe who refused to believe they couldn’t beat him. He didn’t brag about it, but he told Raisha and Wu Bai, while also having Lei listen in from the side, that he already had three million spirit stones. Quite a ridiculous amount of wealth if one were to ask.

    “Glad to see you are having fun, but,” Wu Bai said and looked to the side, not looking at the wall, but seemingly staring into the distance. “Another mid-sized Tribe is coming to greet us. Eight thousand of them,” he informed calmly as he stood up lazily, feeling resigned by his lack of luck in hunting the Nascent Soul realm.

    “Again?” Xu Jun groaned, but quickly followed after Wu Bai. “It’s already the fifth time this week,” he complained, tired of the constant danger and unending bloodbath.

    “Will you be hunting again?” Lei asked, wondering about something.

    Wu Bai thought for a short while, then replied. “I won’t bother this time. Rather, want to fight together? We can compete as to who kills more.”

    “Mm, yeah,” Lei smiled happily, looking forward to ‘playing’ with Wu Bai especially as lately, Wu Bai kept running off after enemy elders and would often leave him to fend for himself. As a result, he began feeling a bit lonely during those battles.

    ---

    Lei rushed ahead, accompanied by Wu Bai and his own neo-demon household, which now counted over two hundred. He slashed down with the open palm of his hand, bisecting a man in half with the aid of his Demonic Qi. Without wasting any time, he flew towards another target, reflecting an incoming magical technique with a barrier he instantly created. The next moment, he twisted his body and kicked, smashing a woman’s head into smithereens.

    The black wolf neo-demon, the ‘black one’ roared excitedly, chewing the body of one of the enemy cultivators in half with one solid bite.

    The gold-furred monkey smashed with his fists, heavily wounding many opponents and creating an utter chaos and panic, as seemingly no attacks were capable of damaging his golden fur.

    The sword-feathered eagle flew at an incredible speed, cutting people apart with his sharp wings of steel.

    With the three level ten neo-demons at the lead, the two hundred beasts acted in unison, in a much more orderly fashion compared to normal neo-demons. They laid waste to enemies while also being cool-headed enough to quickly retreat when someone would suddenly try to blow himself up.

    Facing the enemies who long since gave up their lives, Wu Bai cut down one after another with barely any effort. Those people of the nameless Tribe, destined to forever be lost in the annals of history, very likely never intended to obtain a victory against the Crow Divinity Tribe. They sought a slimmer of hope and a place to die with honor, in battle instead of withering away in the violet rain of the Apocalypse. None of them paid much attention to safety, what made killing them effortless for someone like Wu Bai who possessed the abilities of the Immortal Slayer.

    “That being said, if the kills of his neo-demons count, I will never get ahead of him,” Wu Bai thought with a laugh, somewhat amazed how well Lei could fight now. To be completely honest, since the boy was now aware of his abilities and knew how to use them properly, he wasn’t sure whether he would be able to beat him anymore. Not with the black one, the gold-furred ape, the sword-feathered eagle and the other two hundred high-level neo-demons protecting him.

    “Eh?” Wu Bai raised his eyebrows, sensing an early Nascent Soul elder charging at Lei with abandon. “Maybe…?” Wu Bai asked himself hopefully, quickly flying over. He wouldn’t quite make it in time, but Lei was strong enough to repel the attack, if not kill the elder straight-out, so that wasn’t a worry.

    And indeed, after being wounded by Lei’s horde of neo-demons, the elder slammed against Lei, but faced with an -invisible to him- force of surging Demonic Qi, he proved unable to harm Lei and instead, had a good portion of his own stomach ripped off by the boy’s hand.

    Carried by the momentum of his charge, the elder turned around and after passing by Lei, flicked an incantation gesture, intent on killing the boy before the neo-demons could get to him. However, that very second a sword pierced his spine causing an indescribable, frightening energy to spread throughout his body. Heavily wounded, the elder was unable to retain control over his internal energy and exploded in a gruesome splash of flesh and blood, his Nascent Soul perishing alongside his physical body.

    “Finally,” Wu Bai thought with a laugh, enjoying the very pleasant, warm shiver of energy spreading through his body for the third time. Foundation Establishment, Core Formation and now, Nascent Soul! Three of the cultivation stages, claimed by his sword!

    “No apparent changes, but I feel… stronger?” Wu Bai mused silently. With each of his breakthroughs, came perhaps not knowledge, but a certain ‘awareness’ of his new capabilities. Just like he knew he could fly instinctively right after killing a Foundation Establishment cultivator, or like he came to immediately use his Heavenly Sense after slaying the man at Core Formation. Right now… he felt that his overall abilities have gotten stronger, yes, but there was also something he couldn’t quite grasp.

    “The best way will be to try it out,” he guessed and smirked, exchanging a merry look with Lei. The youth knew how much he wanted to claim a Nascent Soul expert’s life, thus he appeared to be quite happy for him.

    “Let’s see if I can get one more elder on my account. Want to give a chase together?” Wu Bai asked mentally, to which Lei responded with a quick ‘yes’.

    “Then follow me,” Wu Bai sent with a smile and sped closer to the left wing of the battlefield, as the center they were fighting at has already been dominated by the Crow Divinity Tribe. He slashed out with one of his twin swords, dissipating an incoming fireball into nothing but a mass of spiritual energy and what’s more, actually managing to send the remnants flying backwards instead of crashing at him.

    “Oh,” Wu Bai raised his eyebrows with a smile. He could tell that the overall increase in the pure power of his Immortal Slaying arts was great indeed. If the other two major arts of his became comparatively stronger, then killing an early Nascent Soul cultivator should be a fairly easy feat for the current him.

    “Talk about a power to break through the enemy ranks,” Wu Bai thought with a smile, paying close attention to how Lei’s neo-demons were skillfully avoiding any danger while plowing through the enemies in their way. One would distract the target and focus his attention on dodging, while two or three others would surround the poor man or woman and inevitably, rip them to pieces. Compared to the rough way neo-demons fought usually, those tactics enabled by Lei’s great degree of control over his so far small horde lowered casualties to almost nothing, while making the process of killing many times easier.

    So far, not even ten of Lei’s neo-demons fell or were heavily injured. Compared to the thousands of Meng Hao’s neo-demons which fell during the battle, the difference was clear. However, as Meng Hao didn’t solely specialize in skills of a Dragoneer and would always engage in a life-or-death battles with enemy Tribe’s top experts… such an outcome wasn’t all that impossible to occur.

    “I hope nothing unexpected happens,” Wu Bai said to himself as he and Lei cornered, then fairly easily killed an enemy elder.

    As the Tribe got stronger, Wu Bai came to believe they would truly be able to enter the Black Lands and survive. He also made too many friends to bear losing them all in battle. In the past, it might have been possible for him, Wu Ling and Wu Chen to flee and one way or another, sneak into the Black Lands. But now, with how many people he came to care for? It would be impossible.

    “It’s over,” Lei said calmly as Meng Hao’s neo-demon horde was taking care of the last few hundred scattered cultivators of the nameless Tribe. The battle had been won with minimal casualties, as usually. Yet, as not one person surrendered, losing even fifty people each time could very well wear them down considerably.

    “It sure did,” Wu Bai seconded, then chuckled helplessly when Lei cleared both their bodies from all the blood and gore. Immortal Slaying arts were useful in battle, but they really lacked utility the spiritual energy and Qi had.

    “You fight well, you control your neo-demons perfectly, too,” Wu Bai praised straightforwardly, in turn causing Lei to smile contentedly.

    “Time to return. Only nine months more on this goddamn ship,” Wu Bai commented with a sigh and flew to board the ship with Lei and all the cultivators of their Tribe.

    ---

    Three more months passed in the blink of an eye and not because the time had been spent leisurely by the Crow Divinity, but because the Tribe resisted over thirty more assaults.

    Two of them proved to be especially dangerous, as once they faced off against coalitions of three mid-sized Tribes and another time, and the other time against two especially powerful Tribes who merged into one Tribe for the sake of defeating them. Both times, however, Meng Hao killed the enemy experts and swayed the tide of battle in their favor, allowing them to miraculously win without sustaining heavy casualties.

    As for Wu Bai, he was using the opportunity of the brief period of relatively nice, not-rainy weather to stay on the desk of the flying machine and use some sun. He didn’t go to his usual spot, as wind would quickly blow away the piece of fur he was lying on and the set of tattered clothes he had taken off and exchanged for a shirt and a pair of short pants. In other words, he was sunbathing; and in a much more moderate way than some of the Tribe’s women, who couldn’t bear with their pale skin anymore and went out with barely any clothes covering them at all.

    “You’ve got a lot of scars.”

    Wu Bai opened his eyes and covered them from the sun with his hand, taking a look at the twelve year old, blonde girl in something  that seemed to be a rather skimpy bikini. Behind the girl was her older sister, on whom such clothes looked much better indeed.

    “Yeah, my body doesn’t heal as well as that of a Cultivator, so if the wound is particularly bad a scar will remain,” Wu Bai explained out of boredom, wondering why that girl - Meiying, if he remembered correctly - came and was trying to chat him up after avoiding him for half a year.

    “What do they want?” Lei asked grudgingly, directing the question more to Wu Bai than to the sisters. Despite another three months having passed, he still refused to talk to anyone but the four of Wu Bai, Meng Hao, Raisha and Xu Jun.

    “They could tell us, I guess,” Wu Bai responded, the tone of his words turning colder than before. He gave the two sisters and anticipating look, waiting for either of them to say something.

    “We…” Daiyu gazed at her little sister, but seeing that she was unable to force any words out of her throat, she spoke first. “We came here to apologize. Both for how Lei had been treated by us and for how we behaved during our first meeting,” she said honestly but at the same time, rather awkwardly as she had never needed to apologize to anyone before.

    “Come on, you too,” Daiyu whispered and put her hand on her little sister’s head. “Weren’t you the one who wanted to come here?” she asked in a low voice, finally getting Meiying to untie her lips.

    “I-I’m sorry for how I treated you!” she yelled out with her eyes shut tight and bowed simultaneously. As a result, hundreds of people turned to look curiously, wondering what was going on. “I’m sorry for treating you like a pet, I’m sorry for making you lick my feet and for everything, I am so sorry!” she shouted with abandon, making Wu Bai and her big sister facepalm. Couldn’t she have picked a better way to say sorry than to proclaim those shameful things to the whole Tribe?

    “Idiot,” Lei grumbled and gave Meiying a very angry look. With their current difference in strength, he wouldn’t be bullied by her anymore and to be honest, he sometimes felt like hurting her in revenge, but he felt that Wu Bai wouldn’t be happy if he did, so he always restrained himself. However, at the moment, he really felt like punching that stupid girl.

    By now, Meiying seemed to have also realized what exactly she just shouted out. Her body stiffened and her face became crimson red all the way to her ears. Seeing this reaction of hers, Wu Bai actually smiled a little. Compared to half a year ago, it was a major improvement. At least she felt guilty and embarrassed for what she had done.

    “It’s nice and all that you are apologizing, but ‘licking feet’…?” Wu Bai asked quietly, disbelief filling his voice. He exchanged a look with Lei, then with a sigh turned to look at Meiying again.

    “I have a proposition, if Lei agrees to it and if you comply that is,” Wu Bai suggested, giving the three an anticipating look. Lei was curious what his idea was so he nodded in agreement and as for Meiying and Daiyu, they also contented to the yet unclear proposition.

    “So, Lei. In exchange for having me spank her twelve times right here right now, do you think you could forgive her?” Wu Bai brought up with a mischievous smile, causing Lei to blink in surprise and Meiying to gasp in shock.

    “I can, but her too,” Lei said while looking at Daiyu, this time making the elder sister’s jaw drop. He wanted her to be spanked of all things, what’s more by a man and in front of hundreds of people?!

    Unsurprisingly, those who were relatively close and bothered to listen to the ongoing conversation immediately began passing the news to others, in the matter of seconds raising up quite a clamor. After Daiyu and Meiying made a scene half a year ago, virtually everyone from that time had learned of their conflict with Wu Bai while the rumors about Lei’s relationship with the sisters had spread soon afterwards.

    Wu Bai chuckled, sensing a few dozen spiritual senses reaching to within the flying machine and undoubtedly informing everyone of what was going on. In the matter of minutes, maybe even faster, everyone would be on board to watch the spectacle. All ten thousand people. To Meiying’s and Daiyu’s horror, some of them were rushing out of the corridor already and more and more were coming by the second.

    “You must be joking! There’s no way we can do something like that!” Meiying cried out helplessly, too embarrassed to even imagine agreeing to Wu Bai’s ridiculous offer. She would rather have Lei hate her forever than to go through something so humiliating!

    “This time, she is right. You really are asking for too much,” Daiyu shook her head, her cheeks flushed by the thought alone.

    “I don’t think it’s any worse than what you allowed to happen and what your little sister did,” Wu Bai mentioned in a low voice. “I could as well seal your cultivation bases and force it on you, but there is no point if you don’t agree on your own,” he added and shrugged his shoulders.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Chapter 42. Public Punishment and the Months to Come.


    Meiying didn’t seem to be convinced, but Daiyu on the other hand bit her lip and asked. “Would it be fine if it was just me?”

    “No,” Lei answered immediately, what came as somewhat of a surprise to Wu Bai. He was actually speaking directly to Daiyu? “She needs to do it more than you,” Lei said bitterly, at the same time confirming that he would forgive the sisters if they agreed to this sort of punishment.

    “Your only chance to reconcile with your past, little girl,” Wu Bai urged, seeing as half of the Tribe has gathered on the desk, creating quite a crowd for this ‘public punishment’ or whatever the idea which he originally had considered to perhaps be somewhat of a joke was developing into.

    For a second, Meiying looked like she was about to storm out of the place, but then, she tightened her fists and said. “I’m not a little girl, I’m Meiying!” or rather, she nearly shouted while sitting down right at Wu Bai side with a loud ‘thump’.

    “Do whatever you need to,” she said, this time rather quietly while giving Lei a stern look. “If you don’t forgive me with that, I will kill you!” she stated angrily, causing Wu Bai and quite a few other people to chuckle. Was that an attitude one should have while trying to settle the past grievances?

    Hearing Meiying’s words and seeing her face, Lei actually smiled. He crossed his legs and began watching with anticipation.

    “Anyway,” Wu Bai said with a troubled smile, noticing Wu Ling standing somewhere in the crowd. It was hard to say what her expression meant, but she really seemed not to believe her own eyes. “Ah, whatever,” Wu Bai murmured and sat in a kneeling position, then raised himself up and grabbed Meiying over her back with his left hand.

    Taken off-guard, Meiying squeaked and tried to struggle at first, but calmed down after a second or two.

    Beginning to wonder if he hadn’t gotten himself into doing something really, really embarrassing and awkward, Wu Bai sighed secretly and swung his hand, delivering a solid slap to Meiying’s butt. The sound resounded brilliantly throughout the board along with another squeak of Meiying’s.

    “Eleven more to go,” Wu Bai said loudly, discarding any dignity he might have still had before today. He was painfully aware of the strange way everyone was looking at him and at Meiying, but it was too late to back off. Much too late.

    “Ouch,” Meiying groaned when they were halfway through. “Can’t you be a little more delicate?” she asked, burning from shame with hints of tears glittering in her eyes.

    “Nope,” Wu Bai replied and smacked her again, resulting in Meiying releasing a short, high-pitched squeak. With how strongly Wu Bai was hitting her, both her buttocks turned as red as her face. Some of those who were spectating actually began feeling sorry for Meiying, but Lei appeared to be very satisfied with what he was seeing.

    Sighing, Wu Bai continued until all twelve smacks were properly delivered. When he released Meiying, she didn’t move at first, only breathing heavily and crying a little. However, after taking a deep breath, she raised herself up and looked Lei in the eye. “Satisfied?” she asked, wisely not trying to sit down.

    “Yes,” Lei said with a nod, then turned to look at Daiyu. Instantly, the male members of the Tribe began whispering to each other. As much as watching this little princess be smacked on the butt was fun and satisfying, seeing the same being done to her older, beautiful sister would be something on a whole different level.

    “Dear Heavens, do what you need,” Daiyu shook her head and after helping Meiying to her feet, laid down on Wu Bai’s things by herself.

    Willing or not, Wu Bai couldn’t help but notice the impressive and soft rack of Daiyu’s, which was just barely touching the side of his leg. He closed his eyes and rolled them, thinking that this scene didn’t look like a punishment, but rather like something of a very different kind. “A little more to the front,” he said resignedly and grabbed Daiyu in half, then pulled her more to the left. Having made sure she is positioned right and while trying his best not to look at Wu Ling, he took a swing and smacked her ass for the first time.

    As expected of a woman, Daiyu took the hit quietly, yet her face was no less red than Meiying’s used to be. Then, another smack came, and another… and with them, Wu Bai and all the watching males were stripped of their cool as Daiyu’s reactions, intentionally or not, were becoming more and more erotic. She wasn’t squeaking or crying out, but instead moaning with a closed mouth, making it impossible to differentiate whether she was bearing the pain in silence or simply getting aroused.

    When the whole thing was over, Wu Bai breathed with more relief than anyone else. “Um, you can get up…” he said in a troubled manner, seeing how Daiyu was still lying on top of his legs. Apparently brought back to reality by his voice, Daiyu quickly rose up and ended up sitting down, only to tremble a bit and rise her butt up.

    “I think you should wipe your mouth,” Wu Bai sent mentally, as there was no way he was going to say it out loud. Realizing somewhat late, Daiyu blushed in an even deeper shade of red and wiped the drool from her chin. She also smiled a little, seeing how Wu Bai reached out for his shirt and covered his crotch.

    “Heavens…” Wu Bai rolled his eyes and threw his pants at Lei for the boy to cover himself. He was pretty sure that he wouldn’t be able to look Wu Ling in the eye for a good few weeks after what he did today.

    “So, is everything settled?” Daiyu inquired, giving Lei a curious look.

    “Yes,” Lei replied, feeling more satisfied with this form of getting back at the sisters than he would have ever thought.

    “Great,” Daiyu said with a smile and tapped her bag of holding, taking out a large towel and putting it on the ground, then lying down on it; on the stomach, of course.

    “Big sis, you want to stay here?!” Meiying asked in a low, but high-pitched voice. After being… being spanked in front of so many people, her big sister really wanted to go sunbathing as if nothing ever happened?!

    “Why not? It’s not going to change anything and we have a rare day of nice weather,” Daiyu said and shrugged her shoulders. In her opinion, what was embarrassing was embarrassing, but there was no point crying over spilled milk. It would be more pleasant for her to spend the day relaxing in the open instead of locking herself away in a room and worrying what everybody was saying about her.

    With her pride being challenged by her older sister, Meiying snorted and produced a towel of her own, then also laid down. However, unlike her sister, she was too ashamed to spare even a gaze at Lei. She didn’t want to lose to her big sis, but it didn’t change the fact that she was feeling really awkward by staying here and sunbathing with her.

    “Okay, the show is over,” Wu Ling called out, a clear hint of anger resounding in her voice.

    Although reluctantly, the crowd slowly began to disperse with the exception of a few hundred people who decided to stay and make use of the sun, or in case of the men, to simply steal some glances at Daiyu’s body.

    “What a troublesome day,” Wu Bai complained silently, for the time being letting his back get some sun. He rested his head on his arm and looked at Lei, then said with a laugh. “You should stick to sunbathing your back for now, too.”

    ---

    A few days later.

    “What are those fools doing…?” Wu Bai frowned, listening to Meng Hao and a man from the Sky Cloud Tribe showering each other with compliments about their skill, fame and ability. By the looks of it, Meng Hao knew that man and he was going to prevent the battle from occurring, but… couldn’t it have been done in a bit more reasonable way?

    “I wonder if there really is enough simple-minded fools in the world who won’t recognize this ridiculousness,” Wu Bai thought with a sigh, annoyed that he needed to be woken up from a nice dream just for something like this.

    “They seem to be intent on having a leisurely chat…” Daiyu brought up with a chuckle as she approached Wu Bai and Lei. Most of the ten thousand members of the Crow Divinity Tribe were still expecting a battle to break out and just like that other Tribe, they were bursting with killing intent.

    Yet, a battle would likely never happen. For those honed warriors to stay in a battle-ready mindset for long would definitely be quite nerve-wracking, but thankfully, at least ninety nine percent of the Crow Divinity Tribe was fanatically loyal to Meng Hao. No matter the development, they would bear with it and wait, even if no explanation was delivered to them for hours.

    “He is called Zhou Dekun, eh? Must be an old friend of Meng Hao’s. No point staying here,” Wu Bai said with a shrug of his shoulders and turned around, heading back to his room in the ship’s interiors.

    “They won’t fight us?” Lei asked, quickly catching up to Wu Bai. He surely didn’t intend to stay here without Wu Bai and stare at the two men chatting in the sky since he also had been woken up from sleeping, so now that the adrenaline has left him, he once again began feeling rather drowsy.

    “Very unlikely,” Wu Bai said with a light yawn, giving Meng Hao and Zhou Dekun one last look before entering the ship. “If he wants to make fun of that Battle Tribe, he can go ahead, but why waste our time, too?” Wu Bai wondered, but quickly enough gave up on understanding Meng Hao’s intentions. Sometimes, he thought he knew the man, but on another occasion Meng Hao would behave totally outside the box. It nearly felt as if he had split personalities… or, as if he was a little bit like a whimsical child.

    During the few hours Meng Hao and Zhou Dekun kept chatting, the sky has slowly grown dark. However, only a few people of the Crow Divinity Tribe were brash enough to follow Wu Bai and go back to resting or cultivating. The few exceptions were Raisha, Xu Jun and the two sisters, Daiyu and Meiying. As for the remaining eighteen thousand cultivators… they all ended up with quite a headache, waiting for the other side to attack the whole time.

    “Oh, listen to them, more bragging,” Wu Bai mentioned while playing cards with the other five in his room. “Make us surrender by ‘virtue’?” Wu Bai chuckled and so did everyone, listening to the conversation through their spiritual senses. Normally, they would be reluctant to do so, but having Wu Bai’s protection, no one would cause trouble for them for listening in from inside the ship.

    “At least we didn’t stand there like total doofus,” Meiying said all of the sudden, then frowned a little, not knowing why everyone began laughing.

    “Didn’t think you would use words like ‘doofus’, little missy,” Raisha said teasingly, putting another card down from her hand.

    “I didn’t think he would invite us over to play cards either,” Meiying replied and looked at Wu Bai suspiciously. She couldn’t help but blush a little, recalling the very embarrassing situation from three days ago.

    “Well, why not?” Wu Bai said with a smile. “Certainly better than sitting alone and getting bored, right?” he asked, discarding a pair of twos at once. “Four cards for you,” he said with a laugh.

    “Sorry, six for you, big sis,” Meiying said as she put another two on top of the pile of cards.

    “This time, you need to take it alone,” Daiyu chuckled and put a king of spades down. “Or do you have anything else?’ she asked, but Meiying only grumbled and reached out to the deck to draw eleven cards.

    “I win, then,” Daiyu put her last card down with a broad smile, to which Meiying sighed with relief. At least she didn’t need to keep playing with this stupidly large hand.

    “Everyone is coming back,” Wu Bai pointed out, then smirked and asked. “Do we play again?”

    “Yeah, why not?” Daiyu agreed instantly.

    “Sure,” Lei spoke from the side, while Meiying already began shuffling the cards.

    The six of them had spent the afternoon pleasantly and continued to play around throughout the greater part of the night, whereas everyone else… well. They only had Meng Hao to blame for pulling off those stunts.

    ---

    Three days later, the Battle Tribe returned and by a coincidence, managed to interrupt Wu Bai’s and Lei’s nap once more.

    “Do we go?” Lei asked lazily, turning on the other side and pulling the sheets higher up.

    “Nah,” Wu Bai responded with a yawn, not feeling like wasting his time.

    In the end, the two of them ignored the ruckus and quite rightfully so, as no fighting broke out thanks to Zhou Dekun’s intervention.

    ---

    “Don’t you think you guys are getting along a bit too well with them…?” Wu Ling approached the mixed group of over two hundred people from the both Tribes, of which nearly everyone were involved in playing games and betting spirit stones.

    “Don’t be such a joy-killer,” Raisha called back, shouting above the omnipresent clamor. In those four months, their Crow Divinity Tribe and the Battle Tribe had come to get along well. There had been new friendships made, there were pointers about cultivation exchanged, and there was a regular gambling tournament set by Raisha; with a bit of help from Xu Jun and Wu Bai.

    The whole series of tournaments pleased especially Raisha, who got back her gambling self-confidence after stripping a few dozen men and women to their underpants. She was of course forced to admit that Xu Jun had a freakish amount of luck combined with a knack for gambling, but at least she could reassure herself that not many other people could beat her.

    “She’s right, you need to let your hair down a bit, big sis,” Wu Bai commented not too loudly as he walked up to Wu Ling. In the recent months, this cousin of his was only getting absorbed in cultivating and micromanaging the whole Crow Divinity Tribe, what truthfully caused more problems than it solved. “Are you worried about something?” Wu Bai asked, following this line of thinking.

    “Just a little… It feels like everyone has become too leisurely since we got the ‘protection’ of Meng Hao’s friend and his Tribe,” she explained with a little sigh, but couldn’t stop her expression from flinching slightly when she saw the well-shaped, slender golden-haired woman approach her and Wu Bai.

    “Want to join us? You could use some fun,” Daiyu said with a gentle smile on her face and stood beside Wu Bai, close enough for their shoulders to be touching each other.

    “No, thanks,” Wu Ling said angrily and turned on her heels and left, feeling greatly annoyed for a reason she didn’t even want to think about.

    “Pretty hypocritical of her, if you were to ask me,” Daiyu said somewhat resignedly, then backed off from Wu Bai by a step. Seeing the man in question give her a questioning look, she sighed. “You like Wu Ling, don’t you? Anyone could tell by the way you speak about her and look at her. Yet, you said nothing when she started hanging out with the son of the High Priest, but she gets all angry the moment she sees you with me,” she explained while shaking her head, holding her hands crossed below her chest. She clearly seemed to be very upset over the whole thing.

    Having gotten everything put so clearly before him, Wu Bai couldn’t not understand what Daiyu meant. Yet, he suppressed a sigh, not too sure what was he supposed to do. Go and talk to Wu Ling about the whole thing and honestly lay out his feelings? Right, as if he could be brave enough to do that. Fighting a Spirit Severing Patriarch would be less of a challenge.

    “What you do is up to you. For now, why don’t you go pick up Lei? His lesson with Meng Hao should be about done,” Daiyu suggested, putting her hand on Wu Bai’s shoulder. She smiled at him, then pushed him on the back, urging him to go already.

    Wu Bai took a few steps, but he stopped briefly and looked over his shoulder. “Thanks,” he sent mentally, then walked away.

    Daiyu smiled slightly, watching Wu Bai’s back for a little longer than needed. She then closed her eyes and took a deep breath. After a few seconds, a natural smile returned to her face as she returned to enjoying and taking part in the gambling tournament.



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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Chapter 43. Entering The Black Lands.


    “It really has been peaceful the last three months,” Wu Bai wondered aloud, staring into the distance at the bow of the flying machine. “Too peaceful if you ask me,” he added, thinking how all the Tribes avoided them at the mere sight.

    The terror of Meng Hao’s horde of three hundred thousand neo-demons appeared to be simply too huge for anyone to attack. Unlike in the past, there would be no ‘very slim chance’ of obtaining victory. Any attacker would get certainly decimated with no way to retaliate at all. As such, no sane Tribe chose to attack them. It was only normal… yet, it created a certain feeling of anxiousness amongst the Crow Divinity Tribe.

    “If you are so worried, why stand here for hours every day?” Raisha brought up bluntly, clearly suggesting that Wu Bai should spend this time training instead. She herself had finally broken through to the early Nascent Soul, but despite that, didn’t start lazing around at all. Just like almost every one of the Tribe, she was spending majority of her time on pondering the Dao and training her cultivation base. Now that they were so close to the goal that the vision of a bright future was becoming increasingly real in their eyes… Without exception, everybody was getting nervous. To fail now after going through all those hardships would be the worst nightmare and the greatest failure!

    “I can’t train if my mind isn’t clear,” Wu Bai replied with a resigned smile. Then, although he noticed Daiyu’s gaze, he averted his eyes. Yes, indeed that was one of his worries and he did try to approach Wu Ling, but every time they failed to have any sensible conversation. ‘Now’s not the time for such things,’ would be her most usual response.

    “Look, the mountains!” Meiying said excitedly, amazed by the sight of lightning falling down the sky as far as one’s eyes could reach.

    “South Cleaving Pass,” Wu Bai murmured, then suddenly chortled as he reminisced his own naivety. He had intended to flee with Wu Ling and Wu Chen in case the Tribe had fallen in the early days of their migration, thinking that it would be possible to sneak into the Black Lands. Never would he have imagined that the stories about the impregnable barrier which stopped even the armies of the Southern Realm were actually completely true!

    He alone could perhaps sneak through the pass itself as no Cultivator would recognize him as anything but a mortal. However, bringing people with him? It would be just as impossible as traveling through this endless streams of lightning at his current level of strength.

    “How powerful must have the people who erected those mountains been?” Xu Jun asked rhetorically, imagining how the great war between the Western Desert and the Southern Realm must have looked like in the past. Countless Cultivators on both sides, many experts whose power went beyond all imagination! Compared to that, the path of blood their Crow Divinity Tribe left during the migration wasn’t all that impressive at all.

    “Either way, it looks like we are going to have a battle on our hands. There’s a large Tribe up ahead, blocking the passage,” Wu Bai said with a grim smile, not sure if he should be feeling excited and happy about going out to risk his life and kill other people. Regardless of that, however, a battle would provide a nice outlet for his accumulated stress.

    “Don’t get yourself killed,” Daiyu said seemingly out of the blue, but judging from the look she gave Wu Bai, she understood very well how emotionally unstable Wu Bai was despite the casual way he was trying to act in front of everyone.

    “I won’t,” Wu Bai responded with a quiet laugh, but indeed, he was aware of how lost in thought he tended to be lately. He looked around at his companions, then smiled and said. “You guys don’t go dying on me, either.”

    Not having expected Wu Bai to suddenly turn sentimental, the five people were rather startled at first, but quickly reassured Wu Bai that they had no plans of dying. Raisha turned everything into a joke, as usual, Xu Jun appeared to be a bit more serious about the matter. Meiying was troubled by Wu Bai’s words and had trouble with responding, while Daiyu and Lei said nothing, only looking at Wu Bai with light smiles on their faces.

    Thus, a few moments later, the battle for the South Cleaving Pass began.

    ---

    Despite being heavily outnumbered in the terms of normal, human Cultivators, the results could be called only in one way; an overwhelming victory for the Crow Divinity Tribe. Apart for the short period of time Meng Hao struggled against the turtle-like treasure, the Sea Demon Tribe was incapable of resisting the savage attack of the Crow Divinity’s Cultivators in the slightest. It had been a total and utter slaughter.

    As the battle ended with barely any casualties at all, Wu Bai’s worries proved to be needless, at least this time.

    The eradication of the three bandit Tribes, hand in hand with the Black Dragon Tribe which followed the first battle was in turn more like a game of chasing a mice, whilst the Black Dragon and Crow Divinity Tribes were the cats.

    Tens of thousands foes perished, Meng Hao’s neo-demon horde grew in numbers. The strength displayed by both of the Tribes in possession of demon spirits was shocking. Yet, the three months which followed were filled with the scenes of carnage as dozens of desperate bandit Tribes assaulted the alliance of Black Dragon and Crow Divinity Tribes. Were it not for the two Tribes working together, they would have paid a heavy price to travel the South Cleaving Pass, but as the matters stood, they avoided such an outcome.

    During the many battles, Wu Bai and his close group of friends tended to stick together. Many people in the Tribe began acting in a similar way, joining forces with their friends and family rather than fighting in the strict units and formations.

    As it was now, the Crow Divinity could afford this minor decrease in battle prowess. The Conclave understood that the loss of the morale which would happen if they forbid people this degree of freedom would cost them more in comparison to allowing them to do as they liked. Since the goal was so close, it was only natural that no one wanted to lose anyone important to them.

    ---

    After slaughtering their way through the South Cleaving Pass, both Tribes finally arrived by the Blackgate Fort.

    Meng Hao and Xu Bai, the leader of the Black Dragon Tribe, stood at the head of the twenty thousand members of their two Tribes. The twenty thousand men and women hovered in the air in a crescent formation, laying their eyes upon the long desired goal… and upon what stood between them and survival, a great army of rogue Tribes counting two hundred thousand people!

    “I hope Meng Hao has an ace up his sleeve,” Raisha said loudly, standing in their air at the left wing of the battle formation with Wu Bai and everyone else. “Or one or two thousand will be left of us at best,” she finished with a grim smile, feeling her heart beating loudly inside her chest.

    “Yeah, he has,” Wu Bai sent mentally, establishing a connection with the few dozen of people who were a part of their small unit. “We, the Crow Divinity Tribe, will receive an order to back off and start setting up the formation of this damned parrot’s a few moments after the battle starts. Meng Hao probably plans to do something big, but he decided to keep the details secret. Anyway, don’t worry about anything and just fight like you always do,” he reassured, but admittedly was feeling quite nervous himself. It would be the last battle of the migration, one which would ultimately decide their fate. They would either gain everything, or lose everything!

    “It’s pretty disgusting how those people up at the Blackgate Fore are standing there and watching us,” Meiying brought up, annoyed that something that was a matter of life and death for them was but a form of entertainment for others. Creating some rules as to who is allowed to leave the Western Desert on their whim, causing countless Cultivators and mortals to perish… just like Wu Bai, she felt that it was all unfair.

    “Agreed, it’s disgusting” Xu Jun said with a snort, gazing at the faraway figures with a clear disdain present in his eyes. “They are treating this like some kind of a damned game. Scum,” he added, shaking his head resignedly. Since those Great Tribes which migrated to the Black Lands early knew what was going to happen for hundreds of years if not longer, then why had they never told others? Why had they caused tens of millions of Cultivators and hundreds of millions of mortals to perish so pointlessly? He couldn’t understand and to be honest, didn’t even want to understand their motives.

    “Focus on fighting,” Xu Tao said sternly, giving his younger brother a scornful look. “There’s no point in getting worked up over something you can’t do anything about,” he added with a good intent, worried that Xu Jun was going to fight worse when aggravated, but only managed to get his younger brother and Meiying even angrier.

    “Leave your arguments for some other time, it’s starting,” Daiyu warned and indeed, the next second Meng Hao released his four hundred thousand neo-demons, which met with an equally numerous force controlled by the over one hundred Dragoneers of the bandits Tribes.

    Although the sight must have been quite astonishing for the spectators, those involved in the battle couldn’t care less. Following Meng Hao and Xu Bai, the two Crow Divinity and the Black Dragon Tribe launched their offensive.

    The clash which followed was so savage that any battle either of the two Tribes had done in the past paled in comparison; in just under a minute, tens of thousands of Cultivators perished along with three times as much neo-demons. The corpses fell down from the sky in innumerable amounts, painting the ground crimson despite the endlessly falling violet rain.

    “Time to hunt,” Wu Bai smiled slightly, then cut down the man before him and sped up into the distance, hiding within the chaos of the battle. With his increased strength, he would have no problem fighting someone of the late Nascent Soul, but why would he? Instead, he roamed the area of the left wing and proceeded to slay enemy leaders and experts at the stages of late Core Formation up to the early Nascent Soul.

    As Cultivators relied heavily on their spiritual sense to do battle, his prey rarely noticed anything was wrong before a sword would end his or her life by cutting swiftly from behind. The immediate clash had been very bloody and even now, their two Tribes were losing hundreds of their members by the minute. However, with his efforts, the rate of the massacre had been visibly slowed down.

    “He’s gathering attention,” Wu Bai noted to himself, sensing how almost all enemy Nascent Soul elders began engaging Meng Hao one after another and yet, were utterly incapable of catching up to him. “Now?” he asked simply, sending the question through his Heavenly Sense.

    “Yes, do it quickly,” Meng Hao replied actively, proving that his own spiritual sense was strong beyond comparison to normal Cultivators. To communicate at this distance required more than even late Nascent Soul had to offer, while Meng Hao himself was still in the great circle of the Core Formation, although not many people were quite aware of this frightening fact!

    “By Meng Hao’s orders, Black Dragon Tribe, hold the line! Crow Divinity Tribe, retreat to the rear and start setting up the Immortal Slaughtering Formation!” Wu Bai sent to all members of the two Tribes, focusing on fending off the more dangerous swarms of enemies around the left wing to protect his friends to the best of his abilities. His efforts proved quite effective, as when they were returning, everyone could tell that compared to the center or the right wing of the battlefield, the losses sustained to the left wing of the Crow Divinity Tribe were three times less.

    Some people felt a slight grudge about this fact, having watched their family members and friends die… but in the grand perspective of things, they understood that even if Wu Bai wanted to, he wouldn’t have been too effective if he spread his efforts throughout the whole battlefield. After all, he was only one person, while enemies originally counter two hundred thousand!

    “I might have learned the dance by watching, but there’s no way I’m taking a part in this,” Wu Bai mused resignedly, watching how even the proud Nascent Soul elders of their Tribe took part in this… eh. “I know it’s powerful, but couldn’t it have looked less ridiculous? Knowing this parrot, he might have made it to look stupid on purpose…” he wondered, roaming the area where the Black Dragon Tribe pushed back against the incoming flood of enemies.

    As all experts of the bandits Tribes had their full attention on Meng Hao, Wu Bai’s task proved to be surprisingly safe; or as safe as assassinating people in the midst of a grand battle could be. With no experts to direct their troops against him and everyone fighting in more or less what could be called a mad rage, there were barely any people who tried to comprehend what was going on. He was basically left to roam free and in the brief period of time this battle had been going on, he managed to slay twenty early Nascent Soul elders and hundreds of Core Formation experts. As for the numbers of cannon fodder he had cut through to get to them… he had long since stopped counting.

    Currently, the seven thousand remaining members of the Crow Divinity Tribe had finished preparations for setting up the spell formation. No longer were they emanating killing intent. Instead, they began to run. As they did, fog rose up to roil out in all directions.

    At this moment, the parrot shot up to soar through the sky. Its face radiated arrogance and complacency as it squawked:

    “Come, come. Recite along with Lord Fifth. Have faith in the Lord Fifth, gain eternal life! When the Lord Fifth appears, who dares to cause strife!”

    As For Wu Bai, however… the second he killed another Nascent Soul Elder, he actually felt a turmoil run through his body as accompanied by a streak of spiritual energy, it entered a stage comparable to the late Core Formation. “That didn’t quite feel like a ‘breakthrough’, but I’ll take it,” he chuckled, amused to have advanced his strength through mere slaughter of his enemies.

    “Whoa,” Wu Bai opened his eyes wide as the appearance of the Exotic Heartdevil Flower filled the battlefield with a great amount of restrictive energy. He himself wasn’t affected despite still lingering outside the spell formation, unlike the Crow Divinity and the Black Dragon Tribes, but he couldn’t quite tell if it was because Meng Hao omitted him or if the power was incapable of affecting him, someone with no cultivation base to restrict.

    “Here it comes,” Wu Bai chuckled, observing an endless amount of Demonic Qi swirling around Meng Hao and shooting out in every direction. “It’s less pure compared to Lei’s, but this amount is ridiculous,” he mused, seeing how the hundreds of thousands neo-demons were affected by the Demonic Qi and without exception, swore their allegiance to Meng Hao.

    Wu Bai trembled all of the sudden, sensing a bunch of incomparably strong Divine Senses engulf the area. Without any doubt, these Divine Senses belong to no other than the Spirit Severing Patriarchs of the Black Lands!

    “What power, just their spiritual senses alone make me feel as if I’m about to be crushed. I knew there was big difference between Nascent Soul and Spirit Severing, but for it to be so huge?” Wu Bai swallowed. During this battle, for a second he had already been imagining himself in a role of some ‘hero’ getting into a random conflict with a Sprit Severing Patriarch and then killing him… but now, he quickly discarded these thoughts. Those people weren’t the kind he could afford to offend, no matter what! At least, not yet.

    “Have faith in the Lord Fifth, gain eternal life! When the Lord Fifth appears, who dares to cause strife! Lord Fifth, we welcome you back with respectful hearts!! Patriarch, we welcome you back with respectful hearts!!”

    “Good Heavens, even more morons,” Wu Bai thought with a sigh, but was happy to see reinforcements nevertheless.

    “That’s….”

    “The Church of the Golden Light!!”

    “The spell formation of the Crow Divinity Tribe is exactly the same as that of the Church of the Golden Light!!”

    The surprised cries rang out from the top of the Blackgate Fort, but failed to resound throughout the field of the battle which by now had reached its final stages. Having been hit in the back by the Church of the Golden Light, the bandit Tribes found themselves being grinded into mincemeat from two sides by formations they were completely unable to break.

    Moreover, with the addition of eight hundred thousand neo-demons, the Black Dragon Tribe charged out of the Crow Divinity Tribe’s formation and joined the slaughter. The bandit Tribes were simply too overwhelmed. They stood no chance and soon, only fifty thousand of them were left from their original number of two hundred thousand.

    “Well then, all that is left is this cluster of Elders trying to kill Meng Hao… not going to get close to it, though. Way too dangerous,” Wu Bai decided with a cool head, not getting ahead of himself despite having killed ten more Nascent Soul elders in the last few whiles. The victory was all but certain, so he saw no need to jump into the biggest danger and risk his life. Worst case scenario they would lose a few tens of thousands neo-demons more; it was a price he didn’t mind paying.

    “Everyone seems to be thinking the same thing,” he mused, checking if any of his friends was in trouble. Thankfully, they were all doing well and not one was even wounded. With the assistance of Lei’s five hundred neo-demons, they could fight with relative ease without worrying about getting overwhelmed by some desperate attack of the defeated enemies.

    “Oh?” Wu Bai turned his gaze at Meng Hao, but alas, it was fairly pointless as he couldn’t see much with his eyes. “Is he trying to establish his Nascent Soul? Why now, has he gotten some kind of insight?” he wondered, paying attention to the fifth blood-like element Meng Hao pulled out. So far, he had only bestowed the Tribe with totems of four elements…

    The metal, birthed by the spirit of the Golden Crow Divinity.

    The wood which came from the essence of the ancient Greenwood Tree.

    The mysterious earth, which Meng Hao acquitted from the Frost Emperor.

    And lastly, the fire which came from Meng Hao’s master, the Pill Demon. The Everburning Flame.

    Yet, now the fifth element appeared, one which closed the circle of worldly elements and actually came forward from the blood itself, water!

    “His cultivation base is rising, but…” Wu Bai chuckled. During all this time he had spent with Meng Hao, he at least came to understand one thing about this man. He always wanted to go further and beyond! He wouldn’t be satisfied with nothing short of perfection!

    “I should have noticed sooner, he didn’t complete creating his Nascent Soul. It’s only illusory. However, even that should be…” Wu Bai couldn’t help but smile when one of the late Nascent Soul Cultivators of the bandit Tribes was allowed to come close to Meng Hao, only to get slaughtered the next second.

    “Yeah, he is incredibly strong. As expected, heh,” Wu Bai noted with a laugh. Then, although it was a bit unexpected to him, he watched how the remaining thirty or so thousand rogue Cultivators gave up on fighting, following their Elders’ surrender.

    Wu Bai couldn’t quite understand what peace of mind those people wanted to have by scattering throughout the lands and ultimately dying in the violet rain, but he wasn’t about to call for an utter extermination either. The combined lives of those bandits were worth far less than even ten people from either of their three Tribes, so pursuing them had little to no meaning.

    ---

    “So bloody,” Lei said with a smile and waved his hand lightly, sweeping the gore off of Wu Bai’s body with the aid of a bit of Demonic Qi. He could have used spiritual energy as well, but as he felt more at place with controlling Demonic Qi he would more often than not opt for that.

    “Mm, thanks,” Wu Bai said and tousled Lei’s hair. He smirked, noticing Xu Jun’s expression and approached the eighteen year old with a smile. “What, you want it too?” he asked and after wresting away for a short while, locked Xu Jun’s neck with his arm and patted his head despite the silent protests of the youth.

    “Really, can’t you guys be serious for even a moment?” Wu Ling asked, raising her eyebrows in disbelief. They were about the enter the Black Lands, they won the last battle with relatively low casualties; it was a glorious moment! But these three… they just refused to not behave like children.

    “Apparently nope,” Wu Bai said with a shrug of his shoulders, perhaps in a colder tone than he might have wanted. However he didn’t care to follow up on this statement.

    “You need to loosen up your rear,” Raisha spoke up in support of the three, tired of Wu Ling’s apprehensive behavior. “We won, we did it, we survived. It wouldn’t hurt you to show a little happiness,” she said provokingly and snorted, seeing that Wu Ling backed off and refused to have an argument with her.

    “Isn’t it getting worse?” Daiyu asked in a low voice, flying up to Wu Bai and everyone with her little sister at her side.

    “It is,” Wu Bai replied and released a heavy sigh. He couldn’t understand what Wu Ling was thinking and since she herself refused to talk with him, he could do nothing but worry and wait. At the very least maybe now that this migration was over, she would be willing to sit down and have a talk with him… or so he sincerely hoped.

    “The Crow Divinity Tribe has arrived with a Demon Spirit!”

    “The great Black Dragon Tribe has arrived with a Demon Spirit!”

    The voices of Meng Hao and Xu Bai rang out one after another. A brief period of silence followed, after which a shuddering, rumbling sound resounded in the South Cleaving Pass as the gigantic gate of the Blackgate Fort began slowly opening.

    Excited, the two Tribes made their way into the Black Lands, followed by the forces of the Church of the Golden Light. Xu Bai exchanged a few words with Meng Hao, then flew deeper into the Black Lands with his Black Dragon Tribe. As for the Crow Divinity, its seven thousand members landed on the high ground, following Meng Hao’s steps.

    Everyone focused on Meng Hao and his words; everyone but Wu Bai, who at the very moment was feeling thoroughly shocked.

    They left the Western Desert and entered the Black Lands and with that… came the seemingly boundless spiritual energy freely coursing through the words itself. For Cultivators, it was akin to a breath of fresh air, but for Wu Bai, it was something more than that.

    His eyes closed, shivers running through his body, he recalled how before the Apocalypse began, he could sense the spiritual energy in the air. Since then, he lived nearly four years in an environment with barely any of it in the air and towards the later months, truly with none at all. However, now he was surrounded by a great mass of this incredible power of nature, of the world itself... and only now, did he came to understand the second half of the benefits which came with slaughtering his first Nascent Soul Cultivator.

    “Amazing,” he mused silently, waving his hand a little and seeing, sensing how the world itself responded to his will. “I bet I even could…” he thought with a smile, then suppressed a laugh discovering that his guess was indeed right.

    “He is leaving, eh?” Wu Bai murmured, hearing Meng Hao’s words. Most of the Tribe was shocked to discover that their Sacred Ancient would be leaving them, but Wu Bai knew all along that Meng Hao wasn’t a person to settle down and live a normal, boring life in a Tribe. This decision came as no surprise to him.

    “He is leaving Thorn Rampart with us?” Wu Bai said to himself, not having expected Meng Hao to give them something so precious as a farewell gift. “That being said, ‘Golden Crow Clan’, geez, what a strange name,” he thought with a quiet chuckle.

    A few moments later, Wu Bai’s and Meng Hao’s eyes met for a second. As the Tribe was begging Meng Hao to stay with them, the two men nodded at each other. Neither of them was good at soppy things, so they didn’t feel the need to exchange any unnecessary words. Then, Meng Hao looked at the thirteen year old youth at Wu Bai’s side whom he had been teaching for the last year or so. Lei smiled at him and just like Wu Bai, exchanged a nod with him.

    Somewhat amused by this similarity in the two’s characters, Meng Hao smiled a little and flew up into the air. To many people’s surprise, he headed back into the Western Desert, which would soon completely turn into the Western Sea. He soon disappeared from everyone’s view, leaving behind only a long-lasting legend of a man who led his Tribe through the Western Sea Apocalypse.

    “Time to settle down,” Wu Bai said with a note of melancholy in his voice. In truth, he desired both peaceful life and adventures… but he surely couldn’t have both. For now, he would probably settle with the former and see how everything proceeded. To being with, he truly needed to clarify many things with Wu Ling. In the following days, it would be his priority.

    “I can’t believe we are all actually alive,” Raisha declared loudly and happily, with a hint of amazement in her voice. That day, when her unit had been defeated by Wu Bai’s ‘Tattered Company’ and she herself surrendered to him, she would have never thought they would escape the Western Desert alive. And yet, here they were.

    “Say it more,” Chao approached the group with a few of his close aides. He had been recruited by Wu Bai the same day as Raisha and for him, the mere fact that he of all people was still alive was nothing short of a miracle.

    “It’s been a long way for all of us,” Xu Tao said with a sigh, reminiscing the battle during which their Tribe had been crushed by the Crow Divinity Tribe, while his and Xu Jun’s father had been killed by Wu Bai. He has long since forgotten about this grudge and was grateful to Wu Bai for taking good care of him and his younger brother, but… despite everything, he couldn’t bring himself to become true friends with Wu Bai. Their characters were simply too different.

    “But we did it, right?” Xu Jun said happily, exchanging a smile with Wu Bai. This time, he didn’t oppose when Wu Bai reached out to tousle his hair, but he was still a bit embarrassed to be treated like a kid.

    “Even the old me, if anyone still remembers,” Shi Shi said with a laugh. He had served the Xu family for as long as he could remember and somehow, he managed to fulfill his duty and assure the family’s survival. The two young masters of his… oh how much have they grown up during these four years. Thinking about everything that had happened, Shi Shi actually began to tear up, but in the end laughed merrily and rubbed the tears off from his eyes.

    “I didn’t think we’d be standing together like this, considering how our first meeting went,” Daiyu mentioned with a warm smile, looking Wu Bai in the eye. She sighed in her heart, keeping the words and her feeling to herself.

    “Can we stop reminding ourselves of that?” Meiying pleaded helplessly. From the perspective of time, she was incomparably ashamed of her own behavior and of practically everything she had said and done before joining the Crow Divinity Tribe. If she could, she would have liked to forget it all.

    “And you, do you have something to say?” Wu Bai inquired with a smile, giving Lei a curious look. Having suddenly found himself in the center of attention, Lei blushed a little and hid behind Wu Bai. He was used to Xu Jun and Raisha, but these few dozen of other people were making him feel insecure. A strange thing, considering how savagely he fought in every battle he had participated in.

    “I’m glad,” Lei forced out while hiding his face in Wu Bai’s shit, in turn causing most of those who were watching to chuckle or laugh. They all were so relieved that the ever-present stress in their minds and hearts was finally gone. They were so happy to be alive, to be breathing, chatting and laughing!

    At the moment, they all simply felt that the world was truly beautiful and that living was an incredible, great thing.


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  • Okay, time to do the second batch and begin the book 2!

    I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 1. Ten Years of Time.


    Wu Bai sat cross-legged inside a cave, which laid on top of the mountain which pierced the clouds and rose high up into the sky. His eyes closed, he was breathing slowly and continuously absorbing the natural energy of the world into his body. The spiritual energy in the vicinity of many kilometers was flowing quickly towards the cave, replenishing what Wu Bai absorbed at a steady peace.

    Were any Cultivator to accidentally witness this scene, he would have undoubtedly been dumbstruck. The mere amount of spiritual energy flowing towards Wu Bai’s cave was astonishing; to think that the process had actually been continuing without break for the past week would be unimaginable to anyone in the Black Lands… no, to anyone on the Planet South Heaven.

    Suddenly, Wu Bai opened his eyes and a bright, white light shone from within them. “Finally made the breakthrough,” he thought contentedly, enjoying the sensation of power filling every muscle and bone of his body. “The problem is, I seem to have reached a bottleneck,” he mused, wondering if would need to claim the life of a Spirit Severing Patriarch to progress any further. During the past years, he had engulfed himself in training and also, has long since used up the stash of pills left to him by Meng Hao. His strength in turn had risen far beyond what it was ten years ago.

    “That demand of yours… I don’t know if I can fulfill it,” Wu Bai said quietly, approaching the exit to the cave. His grey, tattered clothes fluttered in the strong wind as he looked at the clear, azure sky and at the sun illuminating the clouds which stretched all the way to the horizon, congregating many kilometers below the place was standing at.

    He stepped into the air, then without turning around, waved his hand and caused the boundless spiritual energy of Heaven and Earth to begin sinking into the cave, as if into a bottomless well. “Bestow the Immortal…” he murmured with a light smile, transforming the place of rest and meditation he had craved with his own hands into a priceless Immortal Cave of the highest quality.

    He then waved his hand once again, using the spiritual energy to crave a faceless image of a man in tattered clothes, wielding twin swords in his hands on one of the cave’s walls. “Slay the Immortal,” he said quietly, filling the craving with an astonishing aura and power that would bring extreme danger if not death to any careless Cultivator who would try to touch it.

    Finally, he waved his hand for the third time. “Sever the Immortal…” he murmured, causing the mountain itself to tremble as it was being cut-off from the world. The spiritual energy still flowed into and outside of it like always, but from now on, no spiritual or divine sense would be able to discover the Immortal Cave within the top of this mountain. Only if someone stumbled upon it by an accident would he be able to find it.

    Satisfied, Wu Bai headed back to the Crow Divinity Tribe… or rather, as he should be calling it now, the Golden Crow Black Dragon Clan. He didn’t, however, thinking that the name sounded more ridiculous than anything else.

    He flew unhurriedly, knowing that today much of his future would be decided. To be completely honest, he was a bit scared of finding the answers to his question… but at the same time, he deeply desired to obtain them. He had things he wanted to do in his life and to know how to proceed, he needed these answers. He had agreed to wait, but his patience has reached its limits.

    After traveling a few thousand kilometers, he reached the place where the Crow Divinity and the other two Tribes had settled. He flew into the developing city unobscured and landed before the Patriarch’s residence; before Wu Ling’s home and workplace.

    He sighed a little, then headed inside while ignoring the curious gazes of the new members of the Tribe. The guards at the entrance recognized him instantly and neither of the two tried to block his way. He spread his Heavenly Sense, discovering that Wu Ling was sitting in her office and talking with some Elders of the Tribe. Apparently, she was again solving more pointless, idiotic problems upon which those old farts couldn’t come to any sensible consensus without having her lead them by hand.

    “You can’t ent-,” the guard at the door to Wu Ling’s office began saying, but Wu Bai paid him no mind and pushed the door open, then entered the room. He glanced at his cousin, then at the three old farts whom he couldn’t recognize. They weren’t any of the Elders who survived the Apocalypse with the Tribe; it was no surprise they would create superficial problems, or so Wu Bai thought silently.

    “We are discussing a matter of utmost importance,” one of the old men spoke up, a stern frown appearing on his forehead. “Leave. Now,” he urged strongly, a hint of threat present in his words. By the looks of it, he mistook Wu Bai for one of the mortal servants who came here to deliver some kind of a message, After all, judging from Wu Bai’s clothing and the fact that he emitted no spiritual energy whatsoever, what else could he assume?

    “As funny as it could be to watch your face, old fart, I am in no mood for it. Get out, I need to talk with Wu Ling,” Wu Bai said bluntly, fighting off a strange sense of déjà vu.

    Wu Ling, being rather perturbed by Wu Bai’s sudden appearance and knowing very well for what reason he came has failed to speak up in time to settle the situation. The old Elder took to his feet furiously, releasing the pressure of his early Nascent Soul cultivation base. He stared at Wu Bai with bloodshot eyes, unable to recall any time in his life to have had been offended so heavily. If not for the fact that his family only recently joined the Golden Crow Black Dragon Clan, he would have killed the impudent mortal before his eyes without hesitation… but for the sake of relationship with the Wu family, he held back from shedding blood in their residence.

    “If you kneel right now and apologize, I will spare your life,” the old man said through his teeth, his  face red from anger, his temples pulsing strongly with all the blood which flowed to his head.

    Wu Bai rolled his eyes and shook his head. He couldn’t even be bothered to get angry; he couldn’t care less about this old fart. He felt no desire to reprimand or attack him either; he just wanted him and his two companions to get up and disappeared so he could talk with Wu Ling.

    The old man was about to burst with anger, while the two Elders from different families were equally displeased with the ‘mortal’s’ behavior, when Wu Ling finally coughed and said. “We will continue our talk tomorrow. You will be informed when you can come by my messengers. If you would please leave for now, as my cousin doesn’t seem to be in the right mood to be chatting with you,” she concluded with a light smile and truth to be told, couldn’t not feel a little bit happy and satisfied when the look of understanding and fear slowly crept upon the elders’ faces.

    With the realization, the three old men turned pale. Especially the Elder who had spoken to Wu Bai needed to use all of his willpower to not start trembling. He might have arrived in the Tribe only a few months ago, but he had heard many stories about Meng Hao… and about Wu Bai. The man who looked like a mortal, rarely associated with anyone apart from his close group of friends and wielded the legendary power of an Immortal Slayer. The man who had killed dozens of Nascent Soul Elders in the battle of the Blackgate Fort, the man who singlehandedly transformed the Crow Divinity Tribe into a true Battle Tribe!

    “Okay, enough shivering. Just leave, won’t you?” Wu Bai groaned resignedly. Just as Wu Ling said, he wasn’t in the mood to enjoy the look of fright on the faces of clueless people who for some reason failed to recognize him and went ahead to pick a fight.

    Thankful for this chance, the three Elders clasped their hands and vacated the room in seconds. They were pretty disillusioned about the degree of influence the ‘Young Patriarch’ held within the Tribe. Even if one were to omit the times of the great migration, there were rumors that Wu Bai was the strongest person in the whole Tribe and even their late Nascent Soul experts would be unable to fight him one on one. Additionally, Wu Bai’s antisocial lifestyle added more layers to the legends, exaggerating the existing rumors further and further, causing many people to revere him, but also to fear him.

    Following the Elders’ leave, Wu Bai and Wu Ling remained in silence. Wu Bai looked at his cousin with anticipation and hope, while Wu Ling herself seemed to be unable to meet Wu Bai’s eyes. She knew that Wu Bai came here for her answer… but she simply couldn’t decide, not matter how much she thought about it! Both things were equally important to her, she wouldn’t want to discard either one of them!

    “What should I take this silence as?” Wu Bai asked with a weak smirk, still standing at the door and not sitting down on the sofa or any of the armchairs.

    “…” Wu Ling groaned quietly, then forced herself to look at Wu Bai. “You are saying that your freedom is more important to you than me, but you are making me choose between you and the Tribe? How is that fair?” she asked, putting her feelings into words more clearly than ever before.

    She had always been avoiding the direct confrontation, but… from the look in Wu Bai’s eyes, she could tell that he would simply leave for good if she didn’t give him a clear answer. She might have not chosen either of the options yet… but she wanted to at least have the matters between them settled, no matter the outcome.

    Wu Bai chuckled a little, then looked at Wu Ling with a smile. He walked up and pushed one of the armchairs to the side and sat down, facing her straight up. “It’s not fair at all,” he declared with a shrug of his shoulders. “I love you and I want to be with you,” he said calmly, then smirked seeing that Wu Ling blushed a little. “However, I have no desire to have us spend our lives in the Tribe,” he added with a sigh, feeling a little sad about making Wu Ling’s expression sink.

    “I have watched you for ten years. I watched how you overwork yourself, how you give your best to make the ‘Golden Crow Black Dragon Clan’,” he still couldn’t help but say the Tribe’s new name with a snort, in a rather sarcastic way. “to become great and prosperous. But, how is that a life of happiness? It’s filled with stress, idiotic problems like the one those old creeps came to you with today… what’s the point? The Tribe won’t collapse if you leave, you don’t need to stay here,” he finished with mixed feelings as he was trying to convince Wu Ling, but could see that his words had no effect on her whatsoever.

    “Why don’t you try to understand me?” Wu Ling asked strongly, shaking her head slightly. “The Tribe is important to me. I want to make it strong, I want to make it eternally great! I want to have its name painted upon the cards of history!” she exclaimed with clear flames of passion burning in her eyes, but didn’t continue as she saw a look of contempt on Wu Bai’s face.

    “You don’t understand me, just like I can’t understand you,” she said resignedly, hitting the nail on the head. She couldn’t comprehend why Wu Bai wanted to be unrestricted so badly, why he wanted to adventure so badly… while Wu Bai couldn’t bring himself to think that anyone could truly see the Tribe as something worth working hard for and even giving life for.

    “Should I take it as a ‘no’, then?” Wu Bai asked, not too sure if his voice was trembling or not.

    “I don’t know,” Wu Ling said quietly, torn between the man she had fallen for and the Tribe which she had always deeply loved.

    “Can’t we be together and not leave the Tribe…?” she suggested hopefully. “I could live here, we could go adventuring together from time to time, while you yourself would be roaming the world just like you are always saying you want to,” she pleaded, seeking a compromise. Yet, she could only laugh bitterly when Wu Bai shook his head.

    “In such a case,” Wu Bai began with a dim smile. “Everything we would do would have its effects on the Tribe. Don’t do that because it might negatively impact the Tribe, don’t offend those people because they might seek revenge on the members of the Tribe… In the end, the Tribe would take priority,” Wu Bai explained his thoughts and seeing that Wu Ling was unable to deny, he confirmed to himself that he was right. It would end up being exactly like he said and certainly enough, it wasn’t a future he wished to live in.

    At this very moment, out of the blue the door to the room opened and a person neither of the two expected to appear at such a time stormed in, apparently unable to bear listening to the conversation from the sidelines any longer.

    “You really are a small man,” Shan Shi said with contempt, gazing at Wu Bai with narrowed eyes. “You can have a great woman, you can have a great life and create a family, but you are putting everything on the edge of a sword just because you want your ‘freedom’. Ridiculous,” he declared straight out, being so blunt that at first he caused Wu Bai to feel more baffled than angry.

    “You don’t even know in how much stress you had put Wu Ling through during the past ten years; you don’t even know how much she was thinking about you, you don’t even know that she cried while she did!” Shan Shi declared loudly, with each sentence the anger in his voice raising to another level. Was he jealous of Wu Bai? Yes, he was! Would he have wanted to take Wu Bai’s place in Wu Ling’s heart? No words could describe how much he wished for that to happen…! Yet, he was forced to watch the woman he loved be forced to such lengths by a man who wouldn’t even sacrifice his whims for the sake of her happiness! No words could describe how bitter and furious he was about this injustice!

    For all those years, he wanted Wu Ling to decide on her own, he wanted her to choose to leave Wu Bai by her own will! Despite that, he couldn’t resist coming to listen to the conversation between the two after reports of Wu Bai’s return arrived. Now that he was here… he would do anything to persuade Wu Ling out of this dysfunctional relationship.

    “It’s not your business to speak about us,” Wu Bai said sternly and also fairly calmly, but deep inside, he was thoroughly infuriated by Shan Shi’s claims about seeing Wu Ling worry and cry. He wasn’t stupid; he understood what Shan Shi implied - that he was there for Wu Ling while he himself wasn’t - and it angered him greatly.

    “She’s wasting away as a Patriarch. She is getting tired and stressed over pointless things. I do not wish to see her rot away in the Tribe for her whole life,” Wu Bai spoke his feelings, or perhaps, in Shan Shi’s eyes, only made up an excuse.

    “You don’t deserve her,” Shan Shi hissed in anger, rotating the Qi in his body and releasing the pressure of his late Nascent Soul cultivation base. “You don’t understand her, you don’t wish for her happiness, but only for yours! You don’t deserve her!” he repeated, by this point shouting in Wu Bai’s face. In his own eyes, he was much more suited to be Wu Ling’s husband; he perceived Wu Bai as inferior in every aspect and truth to be told, didn’t understand what Wu Ling saw in a man like him. Even if Wu Bai’s strongest suit, martial prowess were to be considered, he didn’t think he was any weaker than the ‘oh so great Immortal Slayer’!

    “You are seriously starting to piss me off,” Wu Bai said in a low voice, barely holding himself back from lashing out against Shan Shi. The worst thing was… that deep inside, he actually needed to admit that what Shan Shi said held some truth to it. He loved Wu Ling and wanted to be with her… but at the same time, he was being selfish. However, no matter how much he might have felt so in his heart, he was still far from admitting it openly.

    “Good, that’s what I intended,” Shan Shi said with a snort, but unexpectedly instead of making Wu Bai snap, he caused him to calm down. Having reached the boiling point, Wu Bai managed to suppress his surging anger and in the span of a second or two, and cooled down completely.

    “You won’t say anything?” Wu Bai ignored Shan Shi’s provocation and asked Wu Ling with a light smile, looking at the troubled expression she was wearing. Had she wanted, she would have interrupted the two of them long ago. Since she didn’t, it could only meant that…

    Wu Ling suppressed a sigh, then looked Wu Bai in the eye. “I could follow you and leave the Tribe, but without doubt, I would carry a misery in my heart for the rest of my life,” she said, then added from the other point of view. “Similarly, the reason you don’t want to stay with me in the Tribe is because you’d suffer the same kind of misery,” she stated with a weak smile, slowly accommodating herself to the thought that she and Wu Bai… simply weren’t meant to achieve happiness with each other. They came to want different things too strongly. The Tribe or one’s freedom. Neither of them was willing to abandon the desires of own heart.

    Wu Bai felt his throat clench painfully, but managed to keep his outward calm. He needed to admit that… Wu Ling had a point. She was right. The two of them leaned to each other on the basic level, but their ambitions and desires were incompatible.

    Wu Bai sighed quietly, then gave Shan Shi a stern look. “Can you leave? I want to have a peaceful talk with Wu Ling,” he said with the intent of clearing everything between Wu Ling and himself and then most likely, leaving the Tribe… but Shan Shi appeared to be too aggravated to understand it.

    “You’ve made her suffer enough,” Shan Shi said with anger and stepped between Wu Bai and Wu Ling. “It’s clear you aren’t good enough for her. Leave right no-,” he gasped in shock as in the middle of sentence, Wu Bai’s hand moved faster than he could react to and grabbed him by the throat, then clenched dangerously and raised him up by a few dozen centimeters. Seeing the look in Wu Bai’s eyes, he trembled unwillingly, overcome with a primordial, instinctual fear of facing a beast he couldn’t hope to stand up to.

    “I really am in no mood to explain myself to you,” Wu Bai barked, not feeling like explaining to Shan Shi that he decided to leave the Tribe, to leave Wu Ling.

    “It’s useless,” Wu Bai chuckled as Shan Shi first hit his arm with all his strength, then grabbed it and attempted to force it away. With how much difference there was between the two of them  he could as well go to sleep and let Shan Shi pound on his the whole night and he wouldn’t leave as much as a scratch on his body.

    Too shocked to understand what was happening, Shan Shi struggled helplessly, only to find out that he was utterly incapable of making Wu Bai budge.

    The most horrifying thing was, however, the fact that Wu Bai hadn’t used any of his Immortal Slaying arts…! The second he realized this fact, he relaxed his body and stopped rotating his cultivation base. If Wu Bai could overwhelm him without using his techniques, then the gap between the two of them… must have grown to be enormously huge.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 2. Happy Sad Reconciliation.


    Wu Bai suppressed a sigh and loosened his hand, letting Shan Shi fall back onto the floor. He felt a bit stupid about threatening Shan Shi out of resignation when he had successfully prevented himself from lashing out in anger… but in the end, he shrugged his shoulders. He didn’t injure him, so it didn’t matter.

    “Leave, please,” Wu Ling said calmly and gave Shan Shi a meaningful look. She remained clear-minded enough to realize that Wu Bai really gave up. The look in his eyes… it has changed. It was now more tranquil, yet at the same time very sad.

    Shan Shi’s expression stiffened, but after fighting with himself for a short moment, he nodded and after giving Wu Bai a bitter look, he left the room.

    Wu Ling sighed heavily and looked at Wu Bai with a light smile. “How strong have you gotten?” she asked since Wu Bai never really spoke about his training with her during those past ten years. After seeing how effortlessly he handled Shan Shi, she couldn’t help but be curious.

    “It’s hard to say how strong my abilities have become as I haven’t had the chance to fight anyone powerful,” Wu Bai began saying, then raised his hands slightly in a gesture of pretended helplessness. “I’m not going to get into details, but no one below the Spirit Severing should be of any match for me,” he said proudly, but with a rather saddened smile. After all, he was more or less forced to admit that he and Wu Ling weren’t meant to be just a short while ago. How could he act all happy now when he was bragging of his strength?

    “I don’t think anyone in the Spirit Severing would be a match either, though…” he thought silently, but kept that information to himself. Apart from those original seven thousand people who survived the migration, barely anyone in the Tribe knew him by the name or even by his face. All they learned about were the tales of ‘Immortal Slayer’, which were slowly turning into nothing but legends. He had been purposely keeping a low profile for the last ten years; there was no need to have rumors about his true strength surface now, as he was leaving. In the long run, it would only prove troublesome for him.

    “That much I could tell without asking,” Wu Ling said with a smile. “But fine, if you don’t want to tell me, I won’t ask,” she concluded, dismissing the question with a resigned wave of her hand.

    “Why don’t you sit back down? I will make some tea,” she suggested, somehow feeling much more at peace than before. Although she was regretful, at the same time, a huge weight has been taken off her shoulders. She would now be able to earnestly focus on one goal and if they could part without hard feelings for each other, it would definitely make her content enough.

    “Tea? Just get us some good wine. I don’t even know when I will come back to see how you and the Tribe are doing,” Wu Bai said with a smirk, similarly feeling lighter at heart. The whole affair proved to be a very painful thing for him and for Wu Ling… but he was sure than in a few years, and if not then in a few decades, they would get over it and live their own lives.

    “Oh well, why not,” Wu Ling chuckled and sat down, withdrawing with three bottles of wine and two crystal clear glasses from her bag of holding. Well, three bottles to begin with.

    “Why don’t we talk about some of your friends who left the Tribe? I’m sure you will want to visit them from time to time, too,” Wu Ling said teasingly, with a hint of irony in her voice.

    “I know where Lei is, we’ve been keeping in touch. I pretty much know where everyone else went, but I haven’t heard from them in years,” Wu Bai explained and drank some of the red wine Wu Ling brought out. He smiled, enjoying the sweet taste in his mouth and the light sensation of burning in his throat.

    “No surprise you haven’t. They sent us lists, but you kept coming for a few hours and going back to train or wander around,” Wu Ling rebuked with a laugh, keeping up with Wu Bai’s drinking pace.

    “Anyway, before we go deeper into it, let me tell you where they all ended up going to. The broad picture or something,” she said and exchanged a meaningful glance with Wu Bai, after which the two of them began laughing. During the migration, they would always begin meetings with the ‘broad picture’ of whatever they were discussing and usually, Wu Bai would stop listening after the first five minutes and quickly fall asleep.

    ---

    Three days later, Wu Bai glanced at Wu Ling one last time. The two of them had said everything they needed and wanted to each other, so he spared himself from long farewells.

    “See you around later, big sis,” he said with a smile, to what Wu Ling responded resignedly.

    “Back to ‘big sis’, eh? Not like I’m complaining, it could have ended up worse,” she said and chuckled, happy that they managed to at least reconcile after ‘breaking up’.

    “Yeah, it could have,” Wu Bai agreed, then looked to the north. “Lei is traveling the Black Lands and looking for neo-demons to his liking. From what Wu Ling said, he should now be making a deal with the Wild Flame Tribe of the ‘Heavenly Court Alliance’, or whatever was this organization called,” Wu Bai mused, then without saying anything else, flew up into the air and left the Crow Divinity Tribe.

    He didn’t look back, but quietly wondered if he really would have the heart to ever return here. To see Wu Ling married, with family and her own children… Annoyed by the thoughts, he sped up and accompanied by massive sonic booms, headed straight to the Wild Flame Tribe.

    Wu Ling sighed, but smiled at the same time. “Good luck,” she said quietly, then turned around and returned to her office. To begin with, she would need to listen to the nagging of all Elders and other important guests she had declined to meet for the past three days…

    “Maybe I should have gone with Wu Bai, after all,” she murmured jokingly, trying to get herself back into the mood for working.

    ---

    “Quite big,” Wu Bai mused, looking at the enormous city which was very clearly divided into four respective sectors. The outermost one could probably be simply called ‘plains’ where millions of mortals lived under the Tribe’s protection. Then, behind the first layer of walls was what appeared to be the Outer Sect. Naturally, the other two layers of walls separated the Outer, Inner and Core Sects, while above them all reigned a palace on top of the highest mountain around; which probably also served as the Patriarch’s residence.

    Not worried about being discovered, Wu Bai spread his Heavenly Sense, effortlessly encompassing the area governed by the Wild Flame Tribe. Feeling that he shouldn’t be too inconsiderate, though, he refrained from peeking at the Dao-reserves below the palace. He located Lei in the Core Sect and that was enough for him, but at the same time, he couldn’t not take note of one other thing.

    “Wu Ling said their Patriarch is at the first Spirit Severing, but clearly, he is at the second,” he thought with a laugh, wondering if it would be okay if he just flew inside the Core Sect. He could already imagine how tiresome getting there through formal means would be, but out of consideration for Lei and to not cause him any trouble, he chose to be nice and proper. Thus, he descended from the skies and landed on the road leading to one of the Outer Sect’s gates.

    Not paying much mind to the people who were casting surprised and confused gazes in his direction, he began walking up the road at a rather leisure pace. He looked as he did with his tattered, greyish clothes, so after a few kilometers people stopped paying him any attention. Here, among common mortals, he blended in quite well.

    “Hm, I took a pouch of high-grade spirit stones and a pouch of normal spirit stones. It’s not much, but I don’t really need more,” he mused, happy that with his ability to manipulate spiritual energy he could now make a proper use of a bag of holding. Certainly, this miraculous item was one of the best things the Cultivators have ever made and during the migration, it really was quite inconvenient not to be able to use it.

    Looking around, Wu Bai searched for anything that looked like a bazaar or at least, a large enough shop. A few minutes later he discovered a bunch of open stalls, selling anything from food and snacks through clothes and various items of daily use to even swords and bows. He approached the stalls with clothes and quickly found what he was looking for.

    “How much for this cape?” he asked and raised the fairly good looking, dark grey cape that could nicely cover his whole body.

    “Two spirit stones,” the old lady at the stall answered coldly. “You won’t get it cheaper, so if you don’t have enough put it back and go away,” she said bluntly, taking Wu Bai for a beggar.

    “Mm,” Wu Bai paid the woman’s attitude no mind. He moved his hand to the small pouch-like bag of holding at his waist and controlled a strand of spiritual energy in the air. The bag of holding opened slightly, after which it spit out two spirit stones. “Thanks,” Wu Bai said carefreely and put the payment on the desk under the shocked gaze of the old lady.

    “A Cultivator!” she thought, surprised by the way Wu Bai was carrying himself. She was usually good at telling normal people from Cultivators; the later ones had a certain feeling to them, which Wu Bai lacked. Thankful that Wu Bai didn’t care about what she said, she took the spirit stones from the desk, secretly happy to have made twice the profit on the cape she has just sold.

    Covered by his new belonging, Wu Bai soon found himself standing in the long line of mortals waiting to be allowed inside the city itself. He yawned, judging that it would take at least half an hour for him to the front. He didn’t mind waiting though, so he allowed his mind to wander freely and took his time, enjoying the nice weather.

    “Reason for coming?” the bored guard asked mechanically, not even sparing Wu Bai a glance as he approached him.

    “Visiting a friend,” Wu Bai replied, then smiled slightly as the man scanned him with his spiritual sense.

    The previously bored guard suddenly stood straight and eyed Wu Bai with suspicion. “What is a mortal doing with a bag of holding?” the man asked loudly enough to attract the attention of the few dozen other guards who at the moment were inspecting other common visitors to the city.

    “It’s mine,” Wu Bai said and shrugged his shoulders. He didn’t want to be identified as a member of the Crow Divinity Tribe, so he of course couldn’t explain to those guards who he really was. “Is it so strange for me to have it?” he asked helplessly, not too sure how to go about explaining it to those guys.

    The guard at Wu Bai’s side frowned, but after thinking for a few seconds, he snorted and gestured Wu Bai to enter. He had seen many people trying to smuggle illegal goods into the city, but no one has ever done it so bluntly. Thus, he assumed that Wu Bai was a simple fool who liked to show off amongst other mortals by carrying a bag of holding for no reason.

    “Lucky,” Wu Bai mused with a smile and headed forward, aware that it would likely end up being late afternoon by the time he arrived at the gate to the Inner Sect of the city. Yet, he still didn’t hurry, wondering if anything interesting would happen along the way.

    “A true Great Tribe, eh?” Wu Bai mused, walking around the outer city and sightseeing the place. “That’s what Wu Ling wants to make out of our Tribe of a few dozen thousand Cultivators? It’s going to take her a looong time…” he thought to himself, slightly amazed by how lively this part of the city was. He had always imagined Great Tribes and Sects as grim, dark places where everyone struggled for power and resources, but this place was very different from his imagination.

    There were countless mortals wandering the streets of the outer city, by the looks of it almost all of them involved in basic jobs like carpentry, sewing, baking… basically, in anything that could be of use to both mortals and Cultivators alike. In the crowd it was quite easy for Wu Bai to spot many Qi Condensation disciples of the Wild Flame Tribe, while Foundation Establishment experts were rather scarce.

    Basically, the atmosphere in the area seemed quite merry and easygoing. The omnipresent rumor of people chatting, laughing and walking around filled the streets to brim, causing Wu Bai’s mood to improve. The city was really to his liking; he wouldn’t mind spending a few months here while getting to know the people and enjoying what the city has to offer.

    “Hrm?” Wu Bai chuckled as one of the randomly passing by men bumped into him lightly. He turned to the right at that exact moment, recognizing that the man was about to grab his bag of holding, which he might have taken for a normal pouch. Their glances met for a split second and while Wu Bai smiled, the man pretended that nothing happened and quickly broke eye-contact before walking away.

    “Looks like even a place as nice as this has some pickpocketers ,” Wu Bai scratched his head, wondering what he should do. He didn’t quite feel like stalking a random mortal robber and playing a hero who wants to punish all criminals… it somehow seemed like a waste of time and effort. “Oh well, whatever,” he shrugged his shoulders and started walking unhurriedly, continuing to wander around the outer city.

    Having bought himself a hot meat bun, Wu Bai munched it happily while walking down the main street. From what he saw while up in the air, this spacious road circled around the whole outer area and connected directly both to the few hundred outer gates and the twelve gates leading to the Inner Sect; to the inner area of the city. The whole thing repeated itself in the inner city, but with only three gates leading to the Core Sect. This net created by one main road was really convenient for the citizens, as getting anywhere became relatively quick and easy. It also was good for trade which was going on the whole time in the many stalls and shops located at both sides of the main road.

    “Who would have thought, building your own city could be quite fun, too,” Wu Bai mused, but despite those thoughts he wasn’t anywhere close to wanting to deal with his own Tribe. He wouldn’t mind building a city for the fun of it… but to then manage it? No way.

    “Lei always liked sweets, should I look for something tasty for him?” Wu Bai was suddenly hit with the thought and decided that indeed, it would be a good idea. Not too sure where to look for good sweets though and not feeling like scanning the enormous city with his Heavenly Sense part by part, he looked around trying to find someone who looked knowledgeable.

    “Sorry,” he said with a smile, approaching a group of five young men. He gazed at the silver-haired man, the one who appeared to be the leader of this group of friends, or at the very least gave off such an air. “Don’t you maybe know where can I find good shops selling sweets in this city?” he asked straightforwardly, on the side noticing that even the man’s eyelashes were silvery. Compared to his own, fairly normal appearance, this person certainly was very good looking.

    To Wu Bai’s surprise, the silver-haired man ignored him and instead, one of the other four replied threateningly. “If you are looking for directions, go find someone else. A mortal like you doesn’t qualify to speak with young master.”

    Wu Bai raised his eyebrows, a rather amused look appearing on his face. He scanned the five with his Heavenly Sense, discovering that four of them were of the Nascent Soul stage, while the silver-haired young man was at the mid Core Formation. “I wonder why they are here?” he thought, the matter having piqued his curiosity.

    “I just want to know the directions,” Wu Bai spoke up again, his daring behavior surprising the four men who were quite sure he would walk away immediately. “If your young master doesn’t feel like speaking with me, then why doesn’t one of you tell me? I really want to find some really good sweets,” he explained with a carefree smile, then chuckled quietly and backed off by a step as one of the men moved up to him in a threatening manner.

    “I get it, I get it,” Wu Bai raised his hands and said with a laugh. “Then how about it, if you help me, I will owe you a favor. How about it?” he asked, the expression on his face turning rather cheeky.

    The four men were annoyed with Wu Bai, so they took him as nothing but a fool, but as the silver-haired youth looked over and accidentally crossed his gaze with Wu Bai’s. He hesitated, his gut feeling telling him that this grey-caped man wasn’t a simple mortal they were talking him to be.

    “Who needs your favors,” the man snorted, then gestured with his head for Wu Bai to get going. “You’d be wise to go away while you still can walk on your own two legs. We don’t want to cause a scene, but killing someone like you won’t bring us any trouble,” the man warned, but just like his young master, began feeling confused as he saw that the threat had no effect on Wu Bai whatsoever. On the contrary, it appeared to be making him feel… amused?


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 3. Wandering Around.


    “I personally know the owner of a large bar here in the outer city,” the silver-haired man walked up to Wu Bai, gesturing his four guards to move to the side. “There’s still time before I can meet the person I am waiting for, so I could bring you there. I guarantee the snacks they have are the best in the Black Lands; I often go there myself to enjoy them and their broad offer of alcohols from all over the world,” he continued saying, then got to the point while looking Wu Bai in the eye.

    “If you can escort me during my meeting later today, I will introduce you to the bar I spoke about. However, it might turn out dangerous even for people at their level,” the silver-haired man smiled, giving his for guards a brief look. “Are you up for it?” he asked, taking his chances. If the grey-caped man turned out to really be a mere mortal, he would simply have ended up introducing him to a place he couldn’t possibly afford. However, if he truly was a hidden expert… then this offer was definitely to his own advantage.

    “Sure, I will escort you in exchange,” Wu Bai chuckled, then urged merrily. “Come on, take me to that place. I want to have enough time choosing what I want to buy.”

    The four men were angered by the casual, disrespectful way Wu Bai addressed their young master, but the silver-haired youth waved his hand dismissively. “It’s not too far away from here. We can walk on foot,” the silver-haired young man informed and walked ahead.

    He didn’t mind that the grey-caped man chose to walk at his side, but also could imagine the expressions on his guards’ faces.

    “My name is Tang Shan,” the silver-haired man said quietly, just loudly enough for Wu Bai to hear him but not to let the passerby people make his words out clearly. He was quite aware that in case Wu Bai turned out to be no one, he would have made a fool out of himself and would probably continue doing so for the next few hours… but he was still young; he was willing to take this risk. As his father’s sixteenth son, he really didn’t have much of a face to loose. Nothing much was expected of him at all.

    “I’m Wu Bai,” Wu Bai named himself according to the truth. His surname wasn’t all that rare, while his name was definitely on the common side. Just from that alone no people would be able to tell that he was connected to the Crow Divinity Tribe’s ‘Immortal Slayer’ in any way.

    “Then…” Tang Shan groaned inwardly, but in the end resigned himself to the fate and continued in the familiar manner. “Brother Wu Bai, what brings you to our Wild Flame City?” he asked randomly, trying to feel Wu Bai out.

    “Just visiting a friend,” Wu Bai said vaguely and didn’t follow up on the question, making Tang Shan’s job a bit harder.

    “Are the sweets you are looking for meant as a gift for this friend of yours?” Tang Shan inquired, but after Wu Bai shortened his response to a simple nod, he gave up on forcing the conversation to go in this direction. Quite obviously, Wu Bai wasn’t intent on revealing anything about himself or this friend of his.

    “What exactly are you doing that you need four Nascent Soul guards?” Wu Bai asked after a moment or two, positively startling Tang Shan by the question.

    “So he really is a hidden expert!” the silver-haired young man rejoiced, at the same time feeling really thankful that he didn’t end up making a fool out of himself by being courteous to Wu Bai.

    As for the four men who were walking behind him and Wu Bai, they were heavily shocked. They couldn’t sense any spiritual energy from Wu Bai, but the man obviously learned of their strength. They were all of the early Nascent Soul, so according to their knowledge, Wu Bai must have been at the very half a step into Spirit Severing to completely hide his aura from them!

    In their hearts, the four men thanked their young master, appreciating his wisdom. Were it not for him, they might have ended up offending a powerful hidden expert but instead, they made friends with him!

    “It’s somewhat complicated,” Tang Shan replied hurriedly, realizing that he was being silent for a bit too long. “I am running…” he hesitated once again, but decided to reveal the truth; or at least a part of it. “A secret trading organization. We specialize in collecting rare and exotic items… but sometimes, trading with our more potent suppliers tends to be dangerous, especially in case we can’t come to an agreement about the price,” he explained briefly, not getting into the details of how his company worked.

    “Mm,” Wu Bai nodded lightly, not too concerned with legality of Tang Shan’s ‘trading company’. As long as it didn’t affect any of his friends, he really couldn’t be bothered to play the righteous knight who wants to free the world from all kinds of evil. “Do you trade neo-demons, too?” he inquired, wondering if he shouldn’t add a nice pup to the set of cookies for Lei. Of course, that was only if he found a suitable one.

    “Not really…” Tang Shan replied, trying to recall how often they were happening to deal with neo-demons. Since the Tribes tended to be really aggressive in collecting the rarest and strongest beasts for themselves, it was quite hard to get a hand on them. It was also surprisingly more risky than collecting and trading regular rare goods. “There were only a few times when we got any powerful neo-demons and none of them are currently in my possession, neither are scheduled to be traded anytime soon,” he added, taking care to answer Wu Bai’s question thoroughly.

    “Ah, too bad,” Wu Bai sighed a little, but didn’t feel too disappointed. He never expected to randomly find a rare neo-demon to begin with. After all, Lei had spent the past ten years looking for such beasts and went as far as going to the major Sects and Tribes to trade for them and still only collected a handful. In this part of the world neo-demons were simply too precious, thus making them hard to obtain.

    “We are here,” Tang Shan said as they were walking by a seven store high building of an impressive size, even in comparison to the many other high-class estates around the outer city.

    “A nice place,” Wu Bai said simply, following the silver-haired man inside. They firstly entered a large tavern-like hall where hundreds of people were gathered around round tables, drinking, eating and laughing. However, instead of staying on the ground floor, they headed to the stairs and were quickly greeted by one of the two men guarding the way up.

    “Young master Tang, welcome. The sixth floor again?” one of the men asked after bowing courteously. From the looks of it, Tang Shan really was a regular customer at this place.

    “Not this time. I’d like to see Vera, is she available?” Tang Shan asked, after which the man’s expression darkened a little. Unscheduled meetings weren’t looked favorably upon by the Fiery Palace, but due to who was asking, the man reached out with his spiritual sense and after exchanging a few sentences with his superior told Tang Shan to wait for a response.

    “Hasty as always,” Tang Shan grumbled quietly, then said. “I’d like to bring brother Wu Bai with me, though. Can you also communicate that to your superior?”

    The guard frowned even further, but did as Tang Shan requested. After a surprisingly short period of time, he received a positive response and although he was confused, he took out two crimson rings from his bag of holding and handed them to Tang Shan and Wu Bai.

    “The rules are as always,” he began explaining for the sake of being clear with Tang Shan’s mysterious companion. “The crimson ring allows you to stay on the sixth floor and enter the seventh. You aren’t allowed to stay on any of the other floors. You must have the ring on your finger all the time unless you want to be removed by force,” he recited sternly, wondering who this grey-cloaked man in front of him was. He and his companion only had cultivation bases of early Core Formation, so they saw nothing too strange in not being able to sense Wu Bai’s strength… but it still made them feel rather uneasy.

    As Tang Shan put his ring on, Wu Bai noticed that his cultivation base plummeted a little, as if being restricted. “So it’s also another kind of guarantee, eh?” he thought with a smirk, then put the ring onto his finger. However, in his case there was no cultivation base to restrict, so the item had no effects whatsoever.

    “Let’s go,” Tang Shan urged and Wu Bai followed. Yet, by now Wu Bai was beginning to wonder if this ‘Vera’ was really the sweets specialist he was looking for or rather another dangerous acquaintance of Tang Shan’s.

    “As long as she has good cookies, I don’t really care though,” he murmured with a chuckle, resisting the urge to scan the building with his Heavenly Sense. Leaving everything up to surprise would be much more interesting, after all.

    Getting to the seventh floor didn’t take them too long, as expected, and soon enough the two of them passed by another duo of guards and entered the sole room which was there. It didn’t escape Wu Bai’s notice that this time, the guards were actually at the late Nascent Soul stage. To have experts like these act as mere guards… this ‘Fiery Palace’ couldn’t be as simple as it appeared to be on the outside.

    After passing through the door, they entered directly into a spacious living room decorated in oriental style with the colors centered around the shades of red. Near the fireplace, a long-haired brunette was sitting with one of her legs on another. The woman have the two of them a curious look and smiled a little.

    “What brings you to me, little boy?” the woman, Vera, asked seemingly lightheartedly, but with a note of gentle threat deep in her voice saying something along the lines of ‘you’d better not be wasting my time’.

    “Cookies and sweets,” Tang Shan said with a laugh, walking up to Vera and bowing his head lightly, then sitting on the sofa opposite to her.

    “Right, I came with him because he promised me cookies,” Wu Bai said while unsuccessfully muffling a laugh. There simply was something incredibly amusing in this exchange of words and in Vera’s utterly confused expression. Not regretting that he gave Tang Shan a chance and ended up tagging along with him, Wu Bai sat down and gave the brown-haired woman an anticipating look.

    “I’ve heard you have the best cookies in the world, so I couldn’t resist,” Wu Bai added with a broad smile, slowly warming up to Tang Shan as he saw the young man desperately trying to withhold a laughter out of the corner of his eye.

    Vera groaned, massaging her forehead with the fingers her hand. She gave Tang Shan a resigned look and asked. “Okay, enough fun. I get it, you want to introduce your new friend to me. Now, is there anything specific you came for apart from a chat?”

    “Hm?” Wu Bai raised his eyebrows, then said with a light smile and totally composed expression. “Like we said, I need cookies and came to get them. You sell cookies and sweets here, don’t you?” Wu Bai managed to finish saying when Tang Shan’s loud snort and following laughter broke his composure. He joined Tang Shan in laughing, but seeing Vera’s face, added apologetically.

    “Sorry, but I really wanted only some good sweets for my friend,” he more or less apologized, leaving the part that they somehow ended up making fun of her out of his words.

    “Are you two serious?” Vera leaned back on the sofa and asked, flabbergasted. Out of all people in the Wild Flame City, they would trouble her for some goddamned cookies?! It was so ridiculous that she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. She needed to admit though, her bar had some really damn good and wildly popular sweets to sell.

    “Yeah, that’s mostly it,” Tang Shan said, taking on a half-apologetic tone. “However, I believe it would be beneficial for you to make brother Wu Bai your acquaintance. Don’t think I don’t know why you allowed him to come in with me so easily. It’s because neither you nor your ‘Black General’ could tell the level of his cultivation base, right?” he asked, partially taking a wild guess, but judging from Vera’s reaction, he was spot on.

    “So even those two who are at the great circle of Nascent Soul can’t tell. Just how strong is he?” Tang Shan wondered quietly, giving Wu Bai a curious look. Could it be that he was a rogue Spirit Severing Cultivator, or did he wield some rare kind of concealing magic? He really would like to know, but he was quite sure that asking Wu Bai wasn’t a good idea.

    “Yes, we couldn’t tell,” Vera confirmed verbally, then shifted her gaze to Wu Bai. “And you are telling me you really are here for… ‘cookies’…?” she asked rather helplessly, only to chuckle with a defeated expression on her face after Wu Bai nodded to her question.

    “I will have two full and fresh sets prepared for you in half an hour,” she said with a sigh. telling herself that eccentric people like Wu Bai really existed and she shouldn’t be that surprised about it after everything she had seen in her life.

    “I believe he would be interested in rare and powerful neo-demons, too,” Tang Shan hinted, this time making a spark characteristic of a lifetime merchant appear in Vera’s eyes.

    “Oho? And how much would he be willing to pay for them?” she asked, then shifted her glance to Wu Bai.

    “I don’t really have much money though,” Wu Bai scratched his head. He personally wasn’t interested in wealth; it served him of no purpose. However, if he wanted to get something nice for Lei, he would need those spirit stones after all, eh? “I can do you a favor, or owe you a favor in exchange. That’s about the extent of what I have to offer,” he said and sighed a bit, wondering if he should start collecting some riches in the future after all.

    Vera considered the options for a short while, then although she had been reluctant at first, asked Wu Bai straight out. “I might need a favor to be done… but without knowing what you are capable of, there can be no deal,” she stated, indirectly inquiring about Wu Bai’s strength.

    Wu Bai remained silent for a second, also having taken note that Vera had already used her spiritual sense to deliver a message of some kind, probably about the cookies… and maybe about some other things. “Why don’t you show me the neo-demon first? I am won’t be interested in anything normal, so there might not even be a point to bargain with you,” he said and shrugged his shoulders, apparently ticking Vera off. Being who she was, Vera hadn’t had anyone speak to her in this manner in… over three hundred years or so?

    “I can’t show it to you, because my supplier had been killed by the Wild Flame Patriarch and all his neo-demons were taken,” she said grudgingly, some of her anger manifesting in form of killing intent. “It wasn’t only my supplier who got killed or robbed, though. About half a year ago the Patriarch went mad and headed out personally, gathering all notable neo-demons in the province. Those of us who were affiliated with the palace received compensation, but everyone else…” she brought up grudgingly, aware that no matter how furious the underground community was, they couldn’t possibly act against a Spirit Severing expert.

    “Then how do you want to trade if you have nothing to offer?” Wu Bai asked with a sigh, quietly noticing the irony of this situation. The Wild Flame Patriarch had most likely done what he had because of Lei’s request. Additionally, by the looks of it, whatever compensation Lei had offered him was worth more than the cost of offending quite a hefty amount of people.

    “You don’t need to worry about that,” Vera said with a snort, the look in her eyes turning somewhat evil. “We are all going to get our merchandise back soon enough and when we do, if you grant a certain request of mine, I can offer you a level twelve neo-demon, a red-eyed salamander,” she offered, making Tang Shan’s eyes go wide.

    Red -eyed salamanders were neo-demons monopolized by the Wild Flame Tribe; they were incredibly powerful! To weigh one, a level twelve at that, against a request… What in the world would she want Wu Bai to do for her?

    As for Wu Bai, however… Vera needed to put quite a bit of effort into hiding how surprised she was when his mood suddenly turned for much worse, to the point of making the air in the room feel heavy and suffocating to breathe. Even Tang Shan, who at first had been startled by Vera’s generosity sensed that something was very wrong.

    “And how exactly are you planning to get those neo-demons back?” Wu Bai asked sternly, his calm and cold voice sending shivers down Vera’s spine.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 4. Playing Around.


    “Is he a friend of the Wild Flame Patriarch?” Vera asked herself, her heart beginning to beat so hard that it threatened to jump out of her chest. Had she been too hasty to tell Tang Shan’s acquaintance so much? Given that she couldn’t even sense his cultivation base, could she be sure that she would be able to restrain him if needed?

    “I asked you how do you intend to get the neo-demons back,” Wu Bai repeated, involuntarily causing the spiritual energy in the room to shudder.

    In response, Vera tensed up and almost intuitively activated the crimson ring on her finger. Instantly, the identical ring on Wu Bai’s hand shone with dense, crimson light and by all means, should have restrained him in place while sealing his cultivation base, but…

    “Sever,” Wu Bai said calmly, shattering the crimson ring into little pieces which then fell off and transformed into mere specks of dust even before hitting the floor. “I won’t ask a third time,” Wu Bai urged, somehow disappointed that just this little display had been enough to shock these two so badly.

    However, from Vera’s and Tang Shan’s perspective, Wu Bai had just shattered one of the nine rings of the precious Spirit Severing treasure. The set of crimson rings counted nine and after one of the ‘slave rings’ was put on one’s finger, it should have proven to be nearly impossible to remove even for a Spirit Severing Patriarch. Yet, the two of them  saw with their own eyes how Wu Bai shattered it effortlessly; how could they not be shocked out of their minds?

    “I’m not directly involved in that, but I know what is being planned and who is planning to do so,” Vera declared hurriedly and sighed with relief, sensing that Wu Bai’s killing intent subdued. By now, she was quite sure that Wu Bai would be able to kill her with a wave of his hand, so she promptly continued the explanation… at the same time, silently realizing the opportunity to truly befriend Wu Bai. With danger there always came some sort of an opportunity!

    “As he collected the neo-demons, the Wild Flame Patriarch managed to offend even a few chosen from the Great Sects of the Black Lands. He went as far as to stir a conflict with the very Heavenly Court Alliance he is a part of. In a few days, the Patriarchs will meet on neutral grounds and discuss what kind of reparations the Wild Flame Patriarch will need to pay them,” she laid out as clearly as she could, then quickly proceeded further.

    “We know that the Wild Flame Patriarch collected all those neo-demons for the sake of the level ten Dragoneer who arrived at the Wild Flame Tribe half a year ago,” she said, then smiled a little and continued. “Although I am not a part of the plan to recover the neo-demons, I know its details. If you so wish, I can tell you everything I know and you can warn the Wild Flame Patriarch. I would only request for you not to reveal my identity,” she offered carefully, having regained most of her calm as she was speaking.

    “And you don’t want anything in return for betraying your comrades?” Wu Bai leaned back on the sofa and asked with a smile. He had allowed his emotions to get better of himself, but now that he saw the whole matter more clearly, he calmed down and returned to his usual, carefree and half-serious behavior.

    “I beg your pardon,” Vera chuckled, hiding her smile behind her hand. “In the underground community, there are no ‘comrades’ or ‘friends’. The original request I wanted to ask of you was killing a few of those experts after they got their hands on the neo-demons. My Fiery Palace has been growing too influential in the recent years, you see. There are many who would like to see me out of business,” she said alluringly, using her charms as a woman in the bargain as per the old habit of hers. Yet to her surprise, he womanly charms appeared to have no effect on Wu Bai whatsoever.

    “Oh?” Wu Bai didn’t fully believe Vera’s claim, but he was inclined to listen to what she had to say. “Tell me what you know, then. If it proves useful, I will owe you a favor. If not…” he smirked meaningfully, pretty sure that the loss of color on Vera’s face indicated that she understood what he meant.

    “Tomorrow, the Wild Flame Patriarch will leave and won’t be back for at least three days. During this time, one of the underground agents in the palace will inform that Dragoneer of a spotting of a rare neo-demon. Given how fixated on obtaining those neo-demons this Dragoneer seems to be, he won’t be able to resist going to the place to check. They are probably taking into account him having assigned guards from the Wild Flame Tribe with him, so the ambush will be of considerable manpower,” Vera told Wu Bai everything she knew, then waited patiently for him to say something or react in any other way.

    “Knowing Lei, he really would go. Especially if a man he thought to be Wild Flame Patriarch’s subordinate delivered the news,” Wu Bai mused in silence, admitting that their plan had a dangerously high chance of succeeding. “I don’t think they would be able to capture Lei, but he would probably end up having many of his neo-demons killed,” he thought with a sigh, then randomly gave Tang Shan a look.

    The young, silver-haired man appeared to be fairly stressed by the whole situation and the fact that Wu Bai turned his gaze at him didn’t help much.

    “No need to be so nervous, I’m not an unreasonable person, or so I think,” Wu Bai said with a laugh, then looked back at Vera, a certain idea popping up in his mind.

    “I don’t want to warn the Wild Flame Patriarch,” Wu Bai declared to Vera’s confusion, then added with a cheeky smile. “Instead, I want to join this team in the ambush on that Dragoneer. Can you make that happen?” he asked, throwing Vera off by a large margin. He had gotten furious at the mere mention of that Dragoneer being attacked, but now wanted to join the operation with a goal of killing him?

    “He can’t be planning…?” Vera gasped secretly, realizing a bit too late that her lips curved into a very content smile. Were Wu Bai to slaughter the whole team sent after that Dragoneer, her enemies would lose their most powerful men along with many treasures. Her position in the underworld would instantly skyrocket!

    “It can be done. It’s required to send teams of at least three people, so I will make the necessary arrangements and inform you of the exact date,” she assured and bowed her head, but shivered a little when Wu Bai asked with a laugh.

    “Tell me the truth, you were sending people anyway, right? You lied to me about not being involved.”

    Her lips trembled and throat clenched as Vera tried to decide how to reply to that. Wu Bai was indeed right; she had her part in this plan from the very beginning. She lied that she didn’t because she was scared for her life… but due to that, she failed to make a convincing argument and she ended up being seen through. “Yes,” she said apologetically, forcing herself to raise her eyes and look at Wu Bai’s face.

    “Eh,” Wu Bai shook his head, then stood up. “I have my promise to Tang Shan to be fulfilled, so I think we will leave for now. As an apology for lying, you will provide me with a room and food until I set out for this whole scheme,” he said casually, not really feeling like taking some kind of revenge on the woman. Had anything already happened it would be an entirely different matter, but since Lei hadn’t been hurt… he saw no reason to go on a mad spree of slaughter. But well… he could also have some additional fun by proceeding in this way, too.

    “Uh, yes, of course,” Vera replied uncertainly. Wu Bai’s inconsistent changes of mood really were giving her quite a headache. She never liked to deal with unpredictable people, but at the very least, it looked like she was about to hit a true jackpot.

    “You going?” Wu Bai asked the silver-haired youth… young man… or however one should call a stunningly handsome man looking to be around eighteen years old.

    Tang Shan shook his head lightly, coming back to his senses. He had only wanted to introduce Wu Bai to Vera; he never expected events to take such a dangerous turn. Yet, he concluded that he had nothing to worry about, smiled and tried to relax.

    “Yeah, we will be too early, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they came before the set time,” he responded and stood up, then after exchanging a helpless, but amused glance with Vera, left with Wu Bai.

    “So, what is your relationship with that woman?” Wu Bai inquired, heading outside the city with Tang Shan and the four nameless side characters following behind them. He could tell that the silver-haired youth was still quite nervous, to the point of being scared to look him in the eye so one way or another, he wanted to lighten up the atmosphere.

    Wondering where to begin answering this question, Tang Shan smiled as he recalled his past. “I first got involved in the underground business when I was fourteen. Back then, it was nothing more than a way to kill some time and earn pocket-money. I’m merely the sixteenth son of my father, so I never was tended to too carefully,” he began telling the story, recalling the old days with a lot of positive nostalgia.

    “Surprisingly, it proved that I had a really good knack for these things and in a few years, I started making a lot of money,” Tang Shan chuckled helplessly, thinking about what had happened after that. He glanced at Wu Bai and startled at the realization of what he was doing as their eyes met, but seeing Wu Bai’s amiable smile, he fought off his nervousness and continued in the same manner.

    “Regrettably, I failed to realize that with money came a lot of enemies. I was eighteen when for the first time, someone tried to kill me,” he said and sighed, finding it hard to believe just how clueless and overconfident he had been.

    “Luckily for me, the guys who captured me were greedy and wanted me to lead them to my item storage. When they realized I was leading them to the gate to the Inner District, it was already too late. I got the guards to cause a ruckus and managed to run away,” he smiled awkwardly, then added. “Thinking back to it now, I should have stayed by the gate instead of trying to run. I really wasn’t thinking clearly at that time.”

    “Anyway, I ended up losing those guys. There wouldn’t openly chase anyone in the Wild Flame City, after all. Yet, I had the bad luck of running into them just a dozen minutes later by a random chance. I was sure I am done for when they dragged me into an alley… I shut my eyes, waiting for death to come, but when I opened them, it was those men who transformed into pools of blood,” Tang Shan scratched his head, unexpectedly finding it quite embarrassing to be telling this story to Wu Bai. Were it not for his dumb luck, he would have been dead; it truly wasn’t something he could be proud of.

    “As you can imagine, I was at a loss for words when Vera stood in front of me, eyeing my figure from head to toe,” he mentioned, then finished the last part of his little story. “I asked her why did she save me and do you know what she said? ‘I heard who you are from my informants, but more importantly, I thought it would be a pity to let such a good-looking young man die a pointless death,’” he said and laughed resignedly, his face growing rather hot from shame when Wu Bai began chuckling. What could he say? His life had been saved because of his nice face. There was nothing epic or glorious about it.

    “So that’s why she called you a ‘little boy’ at first,” Wu Bai brought up with a laugh, what the silver-haired youth reluctantly confirmed.

    “So, is there anything more between you and her?” Wu Bai asked teasingly, his smile turning rather mischievous.

    “Just what you would expect from the story I just told you,” Tang Shan replied with a meaningful smile and sighed a little. He wasn’t too proud of himself… but he was still young. He had a lot of time to make some proper achievements and accomplish his ambition; to leave a clear scar on the history of the world.

    “Mm,” Wu Bai nodded slightly and glanced at the guards of outer gate through which they were passing right now. The men failed to notice or recognize him, so his quiet desire to see the surprised looks on their faces was left unfulfilled. He just couldn’t be bothered enough to call out to them out of his own accord.

    “We can fly now, walking would take too long,” Tang Shan said and after receiving a nod from Wu Bai, flew up and headed to the meeting place, which for the security purposes naturally was quite far away from the Wild Flame City itself.

    The few dozen minutes it took them to arrive at the place, Wu Bai and Tang Shan spent in silence, not really knowing what to talk about. Wu Bai wasn’t all that curious about Tang Shan’s background to ask him about it, while Tang Shan wasn’t sure if it would be okay for him to inquire about Wu Bai’s personal matters. Having a chit-chat about everything and nothing seemed to be an out of place idea for both of them, so they didn’t force themselves to talk needlessly.

    “Just a random place at some forest?” Wu Bai wondered aloud. “I’m kind of disappointed, I was looking forward to seeing some secret hideout. You know, like a wooden house in the middle of nowhere with a large basement hidden below it, or some kind of a cave with concealed entrance,” he complained with a sigh, choosing not to scan the area with his Heavenly Sense to make it a bit more interesting.

    “Sorry to disappoint you,” Tang Shan chuckled, amused by Wu Bai’s view of how underground society operated. “It’s safer to meet in random places throughout the province. This way, it’s harder to track us down and we don’t risk leaving any evidence behind,” he explained briefly, slowly slipping into the business mood and getting ready to bargain with one of his suppliers.

    Seeing the familiar scar-faced old man and his comrades, Tang Shan could already smell trouble. He knew that it wouldn’t be easy for him to make any good profit this time around.

    “So you are the buyer this time around, kid?” the scar-faced man called out with a laugh. Neither him or Tang Shan knew who they would be dealing with beforehand; they have learned of the meeting place only today, too. Everything was to make the trades just a little bit safer, or at least as safe as an illegal activity could be.

    “Old scar face, you got your hands on something very precious again, eh?” Tang Shan said with a smile, sparing a quick glance at the old man’s group of twenty-something comrades. From what he could tell, nine of them were of the Nascent Soul, not including the old scar face who was already very close to Spirit Severing. The first time he had been dealing with the old scar face, he had been incredibly nervous about getting killed by him… but the man proved to be rather reasonable, although he wouldn’t refrain from half-joking about using strength in order to raise the price by another few hundred thousand spirit stones.

    “Sure did,” the old man chuckled, then frowned very slightly as his gaze stopped at Wu Bai just for a split second. “Never expected to see you at the ‘black’ rank trade. You sure you have enough spirit stones to pay up?” he followed up with a question, making sure that Tang Shan couldn’t notice his suspicions as to who this grey-caped person was.

    “Black ranked trade is between five and ten million. Don’t worry, I have enough,” Tang Shan replied with a snort, but soon enough frowned when the old man began laughing.

    “Good, good,” the old scar face said contentedly and smirked, seeing that Tang Shan finally realized his mistake. Now he wouldn’t be able to lower the price by saying he has only a certain amount on him! It might not amount to more than fifty thousand spirit stones in the end, but in the old man’s eyes, it was these little bits and slim advantages which always allowed him to earn good money and looking at how successful he was, he apparently had a point.

    “Let’s get to the business,” the old scar face tapped his bag of holding, withdrawing a peculiar treasure; a pair of pitch-black metallic gauntlets emanating a dangerous, ominous aura. “The opening price, fifteen million spirit stones,” he said mockingly and chortled, seeing the resigned expression on Tang Shan’s face.

    “Oi, who are those kids?” Wu Bai asked out of the blue, the tone of his voice immediately alarming Tang Shan. It was clear enough that Wu Bai was angered by something.

    “If you are interested in them, wait for us to finish here. Don’t interrupt the trade,” the old scar face said scornfully. He was of course a bit hesitant because he couldn’t sense the grey-caped man’s strength, but he refused to believe the youthful-looking man would be stronger than him.

    “They are all roughed up… are they slaves?” Wu Bai asked again, looking at the bunch of youngsters and children hidden in their cloaks and under their hoods.

    “Is something wrong with your hearing? I told you, if you want to buy them, wait for us to finish here. We just got them the day before, they aren’t set up for sale yet so need to worry,” the old scar face explained, thinking that Tang Shan’s companion was worried about that. He simply couldn’t see any other reason for the grey-caped man to act so agitated in this situation.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 5. Fooling Around.


    Wu Bai shook his head. Sometimes, it was convenient that Cultivators couldn’t tell how strong he was, but there would also be moments when this trait of his would annoy him. Either way, not in the mood to argue with the scar-faced man, he began walking towards the group of youths.

    “Where do you think you are going?” the old man’s deputy, a late Nascent Soul man with only one arm stepped in front of Wu Bai, blocking his way.

    “Just let him through if he wants to see them so much,” the old scar face said resignedly. As long as this peculiar grey-caped man wouldn’t go too far, he could overlook his behavior; at the very least until the trade with Tang Shan was finished. Then, he would proceed to rob this freak out of his savings, too. “He might be some young master who tagged along with Tang Shan out of curiosity, judging how he is carrying himself. I can make him pay up a nice sum for those slaves, lucky,” the scar face told himself, then returned to bargaining with Tang Shan.

    The one-armed man wasn’t too pleased, but he got out of Wu Bai’s way. “You can inspect and talk to them, but be careful not to damage the merchandise. If you do, we will make you pay the full price for them,” he barked at Wu Bai’s back, not realizing that he was kicking a sleeping dragon. He was quite lucky though, as the dragon ignored him completely.

    “Nine of them, five are in their teens, four are just children,” Wu Bai mused wordlessly. He couldn’t quite tell how many boys and girls were in this little group because of the cloaks, but he had seen too many wounded people not to know these nine weren’t in a good state. The moment he glanced at them the first time he already learned that most of those kids barely stood on their feet.

    “Mind screwing off?” he looked at the few men who were keeping close watch on the group of youths, annoyed to have them so close.

    The three men’s faces twitched and they were even quite close to attacking Wu Bai straight out, but having been taught not to act of their own accord they first glanced at their one-armed vice-captain.

    The man appeared to wish to teach Wu Bai a lesson right now and if possible, personally… but he shook his head slightly, ordering the men to stand down. He understood that the old scar face didn’t wish to attack this grey-caped man yet, so he wouldn’t do otherwise just because of some childish provocation by a snot-nosed brat.

    “Well then,” Wu Bai crouched, but sat down on a whim right afterwards. He took a better look at the face of the closest youth; of a boy who appeared to be around fourteen years old and had rather… unique appearance? “Think you can remove your hood?” Wu Bai asked and the boy, despite being in a pitiable mental state, immediately did what was asked of him. He might have been in possession of the old man scar face and his men only for two days, but he had thoroughly learned to obey orders.

    “A beastman?” Wu Bai murmured quietly, seeing a human of mixed species for the first time in his life. He didn’t even know that much about this race either, apart from the fact that they were really low in numbers and that the very majority of them were unable to cultivate at all, while even those rare exceptions who could rarely exceeded the level of Foundation Establishment.

    Either way… Wu Bai needed to admit that if the overall situation, atmosphere and the state the boy was in were not to be considered, then the beat-like golden eyes and the wolf ears of the fourteen year old in front of him would be quite a cute sight.

    “Do you have a tail too?” Wu Bai blurted out, his curiosity getting better of his empathy. He of course realized he was behaving like a dick right afterwards, but since he already asked the question… well. What was done was done, right?

    The gold-eyed boy grabbed the side of his cape with his hand and raised it, showing an unexpectedly fluffy-looking tail of his. He looked at Wu Bai hesitatingly, trying to feel out of this is enough or if he should stand like that for longer.

    “Don’t think you will be getting them cheap,” the one-armed man called out from a distance, seeing what Wu Bai was doing. “As you can see, beastmen are quite a pricy merchandise amongst the higher circles. It’s such a pity that they are just about extinct species,” the man added, but even blind would be able to see that he couldn’t care less. What he desired the most was wealth and power, just like the old man scar face and all of their subordinates.

    “You can let it down already,” Wu Bai said to the gold-eyed boy, ignoring the one-armed man’s remarks. He noticed however that the boy’s expression changed slightly when he head those word of one-armed man’s. It lasted only a brief while, but he definitely showed something else apart from the emotionless dejection. He showed another emotion which Wu Bai could recognize really well; hatred and desire to kill.

    “Why don’t you all sit down?” Wu Bai suggested, not too happy by the perspective of his words being taken as orders, but either way, he couldn’t do much about it for now.

    As expected, the nine youths did as he told them to and along with the gold-eyed boy sat in front of him.

    “So, a question for you,” Wu Bai said calmly, looking the fourteen years old boy in the eye, but so far being refused any eye-contact. “How did you end up as slaves of those guys?” he asked and smiled lightly as the boy finally looked up and glanced at him.

    Not too sure if he can safely answer this question, the gold-eyed youth ganced at the one-armed man and his men. They did that to them, so they probably wouldn’t care… but what if they were unreasonable enough to get angry over him telling the truth? What if he would get beaten up again, or forced to eat that scary pill one more time?

    “You can tell me and take your chances, or keep quiet and be left with those people. The choice is up to you,” Wu Bai stated the matter clearly. He wasn’t fond of evildoers… but he wouldn’t necessarily go out of his way to save someone who didn’t want to be saved.

    The gold-eyed boy gave Wu Bai a long look, after which his ears twitched in an animal-like fashion. The boy took a deep breath and said very briefly and right on subject. “They attacked our village, killed all adults and took us with them.”

    Wu Bai nodded slightly, having expected it to be something along those lines. He wondered why they killed all adult females, though. Were they too stubborn to be sold as slaves and would rather die than serve another in such a humiliating fashion? Perhaps. “So they also killed your parents?” Wu Bai asked straightforwardly, wondering how the youth would react.

    The gold-eyed boy nodded sternly, not saying anything nor falling into tears. He had cried at first… but he quickly learned that crying wouldn’t  help with anything. On the contrary, it would make those men angry and cause him to get roughed up and be told to shut up.

    “Okay, so I have an offer for all of you to consider,” Wu Bai began saying, all the while still considering the details of what he was about to put on the table. “Hmm, let’s do it like that. Those who want to come with me, I will take. Those who don’t... well,” he shrugged his shoulders and gave the gold-eyed boy a meaningful look, then added with a quiet laugh. “Of course, the old debts for those who tag along with me will need to be properly repaid.”

    The eight who didn’t have a chance to look at or speak with Wu Bai remained silent, too scared and too miserable to think about the deeper meaning of his proposition. The gold-eyed boy, however, seemed to have gotten a hunch about what Wu Bai meant and honestly, found it hard to believe. Was this random man in a grey cape saying that he would take revenge for their sake as long as they came with him? But why would he do that?

    “Those who go with you, are they going to be your slaves?” the gold-eyed boy asked in a low, muffled voice, pretty sure that those men would get angry if they heard this question of his.

    “I don’t need or want slaves,” Wu Bai replied resignedly. “I will help you to find a good place to live and stick around for a few months, though,” he said his thoughts, only now considering what to do with these nine beastmen after today. Or rather, with as many as would decide to go with him.

    “Why are you doing this?” the gold-eyed boy asked, a little of his old rowdiness and bravery returning to him as a light of hope appeared in this world, which otherwise had become pitch-black for him and the others.

    “Just a whim,” Wu Bai answered according to the truth and seeing the surprised and confused expression on the boy’s face, laughed and explained. “I met you, so I will help; or would it be more adequate to say offer you a chance to be helped? I’m not really into playing a hero of justice, you know. It was your luck that today I found myself here. Whatever happens next is up to you guys.”

    The other four teenagers among the nine young beastmen finally looked up from the ground, intrigued by Wu Bai’s words. “If we go with you, will you kill them all?” one of the girls asked a bit too loudly, but as the one-armed man got into a chat with his subordinates, he didn’t hear anything.

    Wu Bai chuckled, taking a better look at the girl’s face. She appeared to be around the gold-eyed boy’s age, her eyes were similar to his too, but closer to being a shade of deep orange than golden. Her hood was preventing Wu Bai from taking a peek at her ears, which he found regrettable.

    “I said that the debts will need to be repaid, but the manner will be up to those who come with me. But of course, killing them all would be quite simple,” he stated straightforwardly, this time making even the four children raise their heads and look at him in surprise. They didn’t quite comprehend or even listen to this conversation beforehand, but how could they not understand such a simple statement?

    ‘Come with me, then I will kill those who slaughtered your families’, how could any of them refuse an offer like that after their whole world had collapsed overnight? However, for Wu Bai that wasn’t the important point. What he wanted was to awaken the will to live within those kids. He had seen enough death and suffering to understand people’s emotions really well. Were he to simply ‘save’ them on a whim, it would take a long time for them to recover. On the other hand, if they called for help on their own, their scars would heal much faster and considerably easier.

    “I will go with you and do whatever you want, so kill them all!” the gold-eyes youth said in a quiet, but really strong voice. He had been suppressing the horrific memories of his parents dying a pointless death while trying to protect him from enemies who wielded much greater strength, he didn’t want to remember how his uncles and aunts, even the parents of his friends were all being killed without mercy. However, now that the perspective of getting revenge on those men appeared, his golden eyes began burning with hatred and unsuppressed desire to kill.

    “I will go, too,” the girl who spoke before said and took her hood off, revealing a pair of tiger ears.

    The nine youths were all friends and from the same village, so after the oldest two agreed to Wu Bai’s offer, the remaining seven followed readily in their steps… or did they all?

    “And you?” Wu Bai asked, looking at the smallest of the beastmen, at the five year old boy who failed to say anything. “What do you want to do?” Wu Bai asked again, seeing that he was being ignored.

    “He will go with you, too,” the tiger-eared girl moved over to the five year old and hugged him with one arm, giving Wu Bai a half-angered half-pleading look.

    “If he doesn’t say it himself, then there’s no point,” Wu Bai said and rose up from the ground just barely by a centimeter, then slid over in the air to the front of the girl and the five year old boy. He reached out with his hand, then stopped the motion briefly and smiled lightly at the tiger-eared  girl, asking for her to trust him. Seeing that she relaxed a bit, he took the hood of the boy’s head and sighed in his heart. He had seen many people who suffered… but none had eyes as empty, as dead as this boy.

    “What happened to him?” Wu Bai asked the tiger-eared girl, pretty sure that the boy wasn’t paying any attention to his surroundings and wasn’t listening to anyone or anything. He had likely completely closed himself off in the very darkest corner of his mind.

    “He lived with his mother and older sister… from what we could hear, he watched the two of them get raped and killed afterwards,” the girl answered bitterly. As beastmen, they wouldn’t break down mentally as easily as human children, but they were all still young. For a five year old who was really attached to his mother and sister to experience something taken directly out of horror story couldn’t not become an extremely traumatic experience.

    “You know which ones were involved?” Wu Bai asked, an idea as how to deal with the five year old’s problem already converging in his mind.

    “The young black-haired one with two golden earrings, the guy with brown hair and red adornments at his bag of holding, the guy with long beard and only one eye,” the gold-eyed boy recited by heart, glaring hatefully at each of the three men he mentioned one after another.

    “Despite what you had looked like,” Wu Bai looked at the gold-eyed boy and said with a smile. “You hadn’t just given up, eh? Very good,” he commented approvingly and nodded at the boy, who despite the situation couldn’t help but smile back at him.

    “Okay, stay tight together and don’t run around. Got it?” Wu Bai asked of the kids as this way, it would be easier for him to protect them just in case. He looked the two oldest of the nine in the eye one after another and after receiving nods of confirmation from both the gold-eyed youth and the tiger-eared girl he stood up, then walked behind the five year old boy. He crouched, grabbed the kid under his left shoulder and raised him up and held him at his chest.

    “Looks as if I was holding a doll,” Wu Bai thought with a sigh as the kid didn’t react to him in any way, keeping his whole body… relaxed would be a wrong word. Without any strength, as if a rug doll, would probably by the closest description.

    Wu Bai looked over his shoulder and raised his eyebrows. The two oldest beastmen quickly understood what he meant and gathered up the other six, sitting shoulder in shoulder in one tight group. “Mm,” Wu Bai smiled and began walking towards the one-armed man.

    “You want this pup? They are about done arguing so stay here and wait for a minute or two longer,” the one-armed man said dismissingly, taking a brief look at the dog beastman kid Wu Bai was carrying with him.

    Wu Bai glanced at Tang Shan and the scar-faced man, then out of curiosity extended his Heavenly Sense and checked how much money was going around. “Nine million spirit stones, quite a sum,” Wu Bai chuckled silently. At the same time, he gave the pair of gauntlets a curious look and nodded to himself. However, that would need to wait for a bit later.

    “One trade is over, going to another!” the old scar face said with a laugh and clasped his hands at Tang Shan. The gesture, however, looked as nothing but mockery. The old man knew really well that he made a great deal and wasn’t about to be hiding it by pretending to be upset.

    “I see you’ve chosen one already. Any more you are interested in, or only that puppy?” the scar face turned his eyes to Wu Bai and asked amiably, his mood bettered by the addition of a hefty amount of spirit stones to his bag of holding.

    “Actually, I would like this one to have a chat with three men of yours first,” Wu Bai replied with a hard to read expression on his face. The old scar face was pretty confused, but as he looked at the five year old who was acting as if half-conscious, he recalled that indeed, three of his men have had a little too much fun and ended up damaging their goods in the process. Mentally handicapped slave wouldn’t get as good of as price, after all.

    “I will give you a discount on this one, no need to interrogate my men,” the old man said resignedly. He wasn’t too happy to part with potential money, but since Wu Bai was putting it so straightforwardly, he couldn’t help but to do just that.

    “That’s not my goal, I was thinking if he won’t wake up if he sees and talks to those three,” Wu Bai said honestly and smiled a little. He didn’t even need to try too hard to cause a misunderstanding; those people were so convinced that no one would act good for no profit that they were adding the part and bits of the story to whatever he said on their own. It was quite laughable to be honest, considering what kind of fate he was cooking up for each and every one of them.

    “A shock therapy?” the old scar face asked with a laugh. He had ordered those three to keep away from the beastman kids hoping it would help the merchandise recover, but maybe he should have done the exact opposite. “Why not, let’s try. Oi, the three who managed to fuck the mind out of this kid, get your asses over here!” he called out and gestured for the three to hurry the hell up.

    “What is it, boss?” the man with golden earrings asked, sparing a quick look at Wu Bai and the beastman kid in his arms. The other two also walked up, wondering what the old scar face wanted from them. They had already been punished for going overboard and causing him to suffer losses, so what could he want now?

    “I don’t care how, try starling the brat awake. No hitting him, though. Only words,” the old scar face ordered, at first causing the three to feel confused. The men, however, found the idea to be rather interesting and quickly stopped wondering about their leader’s reasons.

    “The one who makes him react first gets ten thousand spirit stones from the other two,” the man with golden earrings suggested, exchanging a look with his friends.

    “Fine. And the one who makes him say something first gets twice as much,” the man with red ornaments at his bag of holding added from himself.

    “The strongest gets to try first, as always” the one-eyed man said with a laugh and stepped forward. He crouched slightly and leaned his hands against his knees, lowering his face to be right in front of the kid’s. He simply stayed like that, staring at the boy and smirking the whole time and unexpectedly, just by doing that he caused the boy to start trembling, then to shut his eyes and proceed to try to wiggle out of Wu Bai’s hold.

    “Twenty thousand for me,” the one-eyed man straightened up and began laughing merrily. This was the easiest money in his life. “Now to get him talk,” he declared confidently, collecting the spirit stones from his two rather unhappy companions.

    At the same time, the eight beastman children who were observing the whole thing from a few dozen meters away were getting anxious. They certainly didn’t like to see one of them suffer like that… but neither the gold-eyed boy or the tiger-eared girl said anything. They grit their teeth and clenched their fists, having no other choice than to entrust everything to the man whose name they didn’t even know.

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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 6. A Force to be Reckoned With.


    “Are you scared?” Wu Bai asked the five year old in his arms mentally. “Are you terrified?” he asked again, paying less mind to what the one-eyed man began saying.

    “Do you want to forget what he did to your sister and mother?” Wu Bai asked thrice, despite the five year old’s cries and struggles. The boy was obviously scared beyond belief, being forced to listen to the one-eyed man speaking in detail how he had enjoyed fucking his big sister and torturing her, before finally snapping her neck.

    “You scared, eh?!” the one-eyed man shouted in the boy’s face.

    “Do you want him dead…?” Wu Bai asked mentally, going out of his way to send his voice directly to the boy’s consciousness, just so he would hear his question even if he didn’t want to listen.

    The next second, the five year old stopped struggling. Everyone, including Wu Bai and the one-eyed man waited in anticipation.

    “Yes,” the five year old murmured, after which the one-eyed man rejoiced and proceeded to collect his winnings… and thus failed to notice how the boy grabbed Wu Bai’s arm and held onto it tightly.

    Wu Bai moved the five year old around and hugged him tightly, stroking the back of his head. “You did well,” he said quietly, having noticed that the boy’s eyes returned to life during the brief moment he could see them before the hug.

    “They will all die, so just stay with your friends and wait for a bit,” Wu Bai whispered, walking away from the group of twenty-six men. He left the five year old with the tiger-eared girl, who after taking a look at the boy smiled with relief.

    The old scar face didn’t see anything particularly strange in what Wu Bai did, so he wasn’t alarmed and simply waited for him to come back. He couldn’t even be bothered to send anyone back to ‘guard’ his merchandise; there was no way the brats would be able to escape.

    “Tang Shan, I’ve got a question for you,” Wu Bai brought up loudly, then asked with a smirk. “How will it influence your reputation if something were to happen to people you were trading with?”

    The old scar face and the one-armed deputy of his failed to immediately get what Wu Bai was implying, but Tang Shan had already seen this expression on Wu Bai’s face and knew what to expect. He swallowed, realizing that Wu Bai was intent on attacking the old scar face and disposing of the whole group at once.

    “The association knows I lack the strength necessary to endanger the old man scar face’s group. Any repercussion for me will be negligible,” he answered hurriedly and at the same time, sent orders to his four subordinates and started backing off as quickly as possible.

    By this point, the old scar face could tell that something was very, very wrong here… but now that Wu Bai has made up his mind, there was nothing he could do to stop the events from unfolding. He wanted to send a mental message to his men to be careful, but Wu Bai’s first action came too fast for him to have time to do that.

    “Let’s collect you three first,” Wu Bai’s carefree voice resounded in everyone’s minds.

    The one-eyed man was still staring at the afterimage left by Wu Bai when a hand tapped his shoulder. He wanted to react, to do something, but it all happened too quickly. A strange, oppressive energy suddenly flowed into his body and completely restricted his cultivation base, sealing his abilities to the point of making him nothing but a mortal. Then, as he became powerless, he was actually sucked into a bag of holding before he could even comprehend what in the world was happening.

    “And two more,” Wu Bai said with a smile, sealing the cultivation bases of the man with golden earrings and the man with red ornaments at his bag of holding. He collected them in the same manner, then stopped for a while and gave the old man scar face an amused look.

    “Looks like karma has finally caught up to you, eh?” Wu Bai laughed, enjoying the moment. He wished that he could let loose, but… for that, he would need to face a much stronger opponent than someone at the great circle of Nascent Soul.

    The old man scar face cursed, but surprisingly raised his hand and yelled at his subordinates to stay their hand. “Who are you and what do you want?” he yelled, clearly aware that he didn’t stand a chance against the grey-haired man before him. He couldn’t even see how Wu Bai moved, how was he supposed to fight against him?

    “No one important,” Wu Bai answered with a chuckle. He took a few steps and swept past the ranks of the remaining twenty-three men and at one go, collected the eleven of them who weren’t at the Nascent Soul stage all at once.

    “It’s a bit of a pity that none of you can prove a challenge to me. Let’s get it done with quickly, shall we?” Wu Bai’s voice resounded once again, his thought transferred directly to everyone’s minds. However, despite what he was saying Wu Bai could of course tell that this ‘fight’ would go like that from the very beginning; it was one of the reasons he didn’t opt to kill them all at the spot. After all, what kind of punishment would it be if they all died in an instant? It would feel quite underwhelming.

    “Good thinking, but too slow,” he sent mentally, appearing directly in front of the one-armed deputy who desperately rushed to the group of nine beastman youths. He tapped the man with his finger, sealed his cultivation base and stored him inside his bag of holding.

    The scar-faced man growled, releasing a whole bunch of sealing and offensive treasures from his bag of holding. He directed the artifacts, amongst which were three Spirit Severing treasures, with a gesture of his hand but alas… his efforts were very valiant, but nothing short of pointless.

    “Would be a pity to destroy them,” Wu Bai mused mentally, his body flickering and appearing at the old scar face’s side. “Now, cool down a little,” he said with a laugh and just in the nick of time before the old scar face could self-detonate, sealed his spiritual energy away.

    “That was actually close,” he praised and stored the man into his bag of holding for the time being. Seeing their leader stuffed the same fate as the one-armed deputy, the ten Nascent Soul men lost any heart they still had and started fleeing in every direction.

    Yet… they failed to get far at all. They were simply too weak in comparison to Wu Bai and without exception, got their cultivation bases restricted and were captured.

    “Out with you,” Wu Bai tapped his bag of holding and released the twenty-six men, putting them nicely in one place on the ground. Those who got captured earlier started coughing up blood and gasping for breath. After all, a bag of holding wasn’t fit for storing living people. A dozen of seconds was the most one’s body could withstand within, even if the person had a strong body of a Cultivator.

    Sighing a little, Wu Bai waved his hand and collected the bunch of fairly valuable artifacts released earlier by the old scar face. He waved his hand again, this time ripping the bags of holding from the waists of the twenty-six men and taking them for himself.

    “Tang Shan, would you mind staying a little longer? It would be troublesome for me to transport them on my own,” he called out through his Heavenly Sense, seeing as Tang Shan and his four guards managed to retreat a fair distance from the area the ‘battle’ had taken place at.

    Sensing that the five men began flying back, Wu Bai nodded to himself and glanced at the nine quiet and flabbergasted beastman youths. He raised his eyebrows and chuckled even though he knew that he really shouldn’t. He scratched the back of his head, reprimanding himself for acting like a dick. Those kids had seen those men effortlessly kill their parents and slay the majority of people in their village. However, now they saw those exact people be handled by him in a mere instant. It wasn’t hard to notice the sad irony of this situation.

    “You… who are you? Who asked you to do this?” the old scar face asked, his voice filled with bitterness and helpless anger. He couldn’t recall any powerful people he might have offended in the past, or at least he couldn’t recall anyone influential enough to send such a monster after him.

    “I already told you, I’m no one important,” Wu Bai said with a cheeky smirk. “As for who asked me to do that… well. I guess these kids did,” he shrugged his shoulders, taking a certain pleasure in the old man’s baffled expression.

    “He said he helped us on a whim,” the tiger-eared girl went out of her way to add, a light smile of grim satisfaction appearing on her face.

    The old man groaned, shaking his head. “So that’s how my life ends? On a whim of a self-righteous expert?” he asked rhetorically and laughed helplessly. He had great dreams and ambitions, he didn’t come from a sect of Cultivators or even from a good home. He had started out as nothing but a poor mortal! He dreamed to achieve greatness, to one day enter the Spirit Severing, then to ascend to the legendary realm of Dao Seeking! He feared death above anything else; he didn’t want to die!

    Yet, just as his dream was beginning to take shape, one random encounter crumbled everything he had worked so hard to accomplish for the past five hundred years.

    “Mind putting them all to sleep? Literally, not metaphorically. I can’t have them biting their own tongues, I am no healer to keep them alive if they do,” Wu Bai sent a mental message to Tang Shan as the silver-haired man returned with his four subordinates.

    Since he had spectated the brief battle through his spiritual sense, Tang Shan wasn’t shocked to see the old scar face and the other twenty five men subdued, but nevertheless the sight was quite frightening. He knew Wu Bai was powerful the moment he had shattered Vera’s Spirit Severing treasure, but to think he could overpower the old scar face and his subordinates to this extent… it was scary for him to even imagine how strong Wu Bai really was.

    He quickly gave an order and had one his four guards use a simple magical technique, engulfing the twenty-six men in grey mist and putting them to sleep. Since the men’s cultivation bases were completely suppressed, it didn’t require much skill to perform this feat.

    “Thanks. Think I can rely on you guys with transportation, too? I am not that good at controlling magical items,” Wu Bai said with a smile and although Tang Shan was growing increasingly confused, he agreed nevertheless. Being directly connected to disposing off the old scar face could cause him some issues with the association, but as far as he was concerned a good relationship with Wu Bai was worth much more.

    “So, how are you feeling?” Wu Bai asked, approaching the group of nine young beastmen after giving them some time to cool down.

    “Aren’t you going to kill them?” the gold-eyed boy replied with a question of his own, staring hatefully at the bunch of sleeping men.

    “They will die,” Wu Bai nodded at the fourteen year old, then smiled meaningfully. “But don’t you think just dying won’t be quite enough? I’m not into torturing people for years to make them suffer for their sins, but I have an idea and I think is going to be to your liking,” he suggested, but of course wouldn’t oppose if the kids wanted to have those people killed right here and right now.

    The gold-eyed boy wondered for a short second, then smirked and looked Wu Bai in the eye, appearing to be really satisfied with the suggestion. “What do you have in mind?” he asked, not even trying to pretend he wasn’t excited by the prospect of having those men die painful and horrible deaths.

    “Wait and see,” Wu Bai said with a laugh and tapped his bag of holding, sending nine low-quality medicinal pills into the hands of the youths. “Eat them, they will heal your injuries,” he encouraged gently and indeed, after the kids ate the pills, the bruises over their bodies disappeared along with any bone fractures and other various wounds they had sustained.

    Pills of this quality wouldn’t have had any effect on Wu Bai’s powerful physical body, but they were perfect for Cultivators at the Qi Condensation or those who never practiced cultivation at all. Aware of his tendencies to get involved in minor matters, Wu Bai had wisely taken quite a stash of those pills from the Tribe before leaving.

    “All better I see,” Wu Bai said contentedly and nodded to himself. He was about to say something else, when he noticed that the certain five year old wanted to say something but didn’t want to interrupt him. “Mm, what is it?” he crouched before the boy, then held back a chuckle as he saw his dog tail wagging from under the cape and scrubbing the ground from left to right.

    “U-un…” the boy only now realized that although he more or less knew what he wanted to convey, he couldn’t quite find words to do it. “T-thank you!” he ended up blurting loudly, causing Wu Bai and the other eight youths to smile or chuckle at his awkward cuteness.

    Having went through years of slaughter, Wu Bai was used to such sudden changes of mood after a battle would be over. Tang Shan and his four guards, however, were speechless as they watched the whole scene play out before their eyes. For most people, it was incomprehensible how despair could in the blink of an eye turn into relief and happiness, but it was indeed very possible.

    “You’re welcome,” Wu Bai laughed and patted the boy’s head, before becoming unable to resist the urge and beginning to scratch him behind one of his doggy ears. The older of the youths revealed a look of surprise, but began smiling again when they saw that their friend didn’t mind at all and instead appeared to be very happy.

    For the beastmen, the act of rubbing one’s ears was something rather intimate, usually kept between the family members and those really close to each other. Usually, if a human would try to do something like that to a beastman, it would be considered a grave offense. This time however it went by without complications… and on the contrary, it even made the remaining eight want to be pet too. Especially the other three younger ones amongst them began looking at Wu Bai expectantly.

    Beastmen were different than humans, after all. On many levels they had tendencies similar to animals. The quick rate at which they accepted Wu Bai as someone akin to their ‘caretaker’ had a lot to do with their natural instincts. Any regular human children would definitely need more time to get themselves to a similar degree of trust and affection.

    “You can come too if you want,” Wu Bai laughed in his heart and sat down cross legged. He really never expected these kids to warm up to him just like that, but since he found their animal ears and tails to be very cute, he looked forward to petting the lot of them.

    Apart from the five year old, the other three young children scooted over to Wu Bai, intent on getting him to play with them for a bit. They weren’t doing it quite consciously, but it was also a means for them to relieve some of the stress they had experienced during the past two days.

    Unlike their five year old friend, they were a bit shy about having their heads petted and ears touched, but they similarly got into it very quickly and soon enough, began going as far as hugging Wu Bai or leaning against him, all the while chatting and playing with each other.

    “Really,” Wu Bai thought to himself, incapable from holding back a wide smile. He glanced at the five teenage youths, as if asking if they are going to come over or not.

    The tiger-eared girl seemed to have understood the unspoken question as her ears twitched, but she ended up looking away and blushing a little.

    Wu Bai chuckled, amused by her reaction. After a few more seconds, he raised his eyebrows a bit as the gold-eyed youth stood up and moved over to sit in front of him. The boy then tilted his head slightly and gave him an expectant look.

    “Is it some kind of ritual, or is he just jealous?” Wu Bai wondered, but kept those thoughts to himself. He reached out with his hand and tousled the boys hair, afterwards proceeding to scratch his grey ears of a wolf.

    The gold-eyed youth seemed tense at first, but relaxed soon enough; even his tail began wagging happily. “Say, you wanted us to go with you…” the boy inquired, not too sure how to finish his question. Would you take care of us? What was going to happen to us from now on? Wouldn’t he seem to be rather ungrateful if he asked these things?

    “Don’t worry, I won’t leave you to your fate. I will make sure to find you a good and safe place to live at,” Wu Bai reassured, reluctant to stop petting the gold-eyed youth since he could see how much the boy was enjoying it. He muffled a laugh, noticing that three more youths approached him, leaving only the tiger-eared girl who couldn’t bring herself to give in and be petted.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 7. The Target - Core District!


    “Not gonna come?” Wu Bai asked with a laugh, then saw the girl glance at him very briefly before turning her head away the moment their gazes met.

    “You were always like that, weren’t you?” the gold-eyed youth spoke up and scooted over to the girl, grabbed her by hand and pulled over. He didn’t use any considerable strength, so it was pretty obvious that she wasn’t resisting much and only needed some direct encouragement.

    The tiger-eared girl puffed her cheeks, giving the gold-eyed youth a pouting look. It wasn’t that she was too reluctant or too embarrassed to approach Wu Bai… it was just that… she was worried that he would mind if she did… he as he, not he as Wu Bai.

    Getting annoyed with her friend’s cluelessness, she shook her head and gazed at Wu Bai in a challenging manner as if saying ‘come at me!’.

    Wu Bai chortled, giving his best to muffle the sound. He reached out and started playing with the girl’s ears, having long since given up on applying any logic or reason to this strange situation. He was simply enjoying the moment as if he was playing with a bunch of cute animals.

    “I can’t decide whether he is extremely dangerous, or just docile…” Tang Shan sighed bitterly, watching Wu Bai from the side and patiently watching for him to finish whatever he was doing. Dealing with people like the old scar face was one thing; he could always know what to expect from them, even if they were dangerous. Wu Bai, on the other hand… was completely unpredictable and that made him even more dangerous.

    For one instance, Wu Bai seemed to have no trouble with him being an underground merchant, but he couldn’t bear the sight of enslaved children. This imbalanced system of values made Wu Bai hard to understand and very… stressful to be close to. For example, Tang Shan himself had a few things he had done in his life of which wasn’t too proud of. Were Wu Bai to find out, would he kill him or would he put whatever degree of friendship they would have developed by that point in time above that? It was hard to say and exactly that worried Tang Shan. After all, if Wu Bai decided to kill him, there would be nothing that could prevent him from doing so.

    “So, where do you want us to take them?” Tang Shan asked after good fifteen minutes when Wu Bai finally stood up and walked up to him with the beastman children following right behind.

    “The Wild Flame City, the Core District,” Wu Bai answered, causing Tang Shan’s jaw to drop. The Wild Flame City? The Core District?! What was Wu Bai thinking?! Did he think they would be able to bring the scar face and his men through the main gates like nothing ever happened? Really?

    “Why do you look so surprised? We just need  tie them up, gag them with some cloth and stuff them on carts like slaves,” Wu Bai said casually and gave Tang Shan a look of anticipation, waiting for the silver-haired young man to start thinking and realize one important fact.

    It took him a few seconds, but the look of ‘oh, right!’ appeared on Tang Shan’s face as he once again scanned the twenty-six men with his spiritual sense. Their cultivation bases were sealed so perfectly that it was impossible to tell them apart from mortals! That certainly took care of one problem, but… “I can take us past the gates to Inner District, but the Core Area is a different thing. I could buy us entry with money, but not while carrying those guys with us,” he brought up, wondering If Wu Bai had some idea as how to solve that problem.

    “Aren’t you a merchant? Cool your head down and try guessing. You know enough to do it correctly,” Wu Bai encouraged habitually, used to leading many questions this way from all the time he had spent with Xu Jun and Lei.

    Tang Shan frowned, but since Wu Bai told him that he knew enough, he immediately revised what he had learned about Wu Bai. “Right, he intends to slaughter the people who are after the Wild Flame Patriarch’s guest, that Dragoneer. So, is he the Patriarch’s acquaintance, or maybe…?” he mused silently, then looked at Wu Bai and half stated half asked.

    “You either know the Wild Flame Patriarch or that rank ten Dragoneer and one of the two will grant us entry…?”

    “Yup,” Wu Bai said with a smile, but right afterwards raised his hand and added. “But I don’t plan to ask for help unless necessary. It will be more interesting if we try doing it alone, don’t you think? I want to surprise my friend, too… Ah, right! Remind me to go get those cookies from Vera before we go to the inner city,” he declared carefreely and chuckled, seeing the flabbergasted look on Tang Shan’s handsome face. Was it really so strange that he wanted to have some fun after all this time he had spent training?

    “Uh, we might as well try,” Tang Shan said resignedly, reaffirming his conviction that Wu Bai truly was an unreasonable and unpredictable person. “Are all powerful people eccentrics?” he wondered, not knowing whether he should be happy or sad that he was associated with Wu Bai.

    “You can ride in this,” Tang Shan withdrew two large carriage-like treasures from his bag of holding. The items weren’t of the highest quality, so it would take them good hour or two to return to the Wild Flame City inside them… but since Wu Bai wanted to transport those beastman children and the old scar face with his men, there was no other option.

    “Yay,” Wu Bai chuckled, recalling the years he had spent on the gigantic flying machine. He opened the door to the foremost of the carriages and peeked inside, then nodded contentedly. He tapped his bag of holding and released a bunch of fluffy carpets, having had reconsidered the use of furs… just in case. He would need to ask the kids about that later.

    “You guys coming?” he looked over his shoulder and asked with a smile, his leg already one step into the entrance. Once again, he was surprised to see how the whole bunch of nine beastmen followed him without any thought or even a second of hesitation. It appeared that beastmen really were quite straightforward; if they came to trust someone, then unlike humans they wouldn’t keep doubting that person somewhere deep in their heart.

    “But perhaps it’s because of that trait of theirs that they can’t compete against the human race…” Wu Bai thought silently and along this line of thoughts, he began wondering if there was a reason that beastmen couldn’t practice cultivation as well as humans. The highest level any beastman has ever achieved in the recorded history was a measly Core Formation… so perhaps there was something?

    Wu Bai sat down, waiting for the nine youths to choose their spots before asking anything. He smiled helplessly as the nine crowded around him despite the interiors being rather spacious. “Animal instincts, huh?” he chuckled at the thought and patted the five year old’s head, as the young boy was the only one brave or reckless enough to openly snuggle into his side.

    “By the way… I’m Wu Bai,” he mentioned, thinking that it was the highest time to get the kids to introduce themselves. He didn’t consider, however, that they would all start speaking over another and proceed to argue who is the one interrupting and who started speaking first… In an instant, the relatively calm situation turned into an utter ruckus.

    “Wait, wait, wait,” Wu Bai raised his hands, getting somewhat overwhelmed. “There’s no way I’m going to remember all your names if you just throw them at me one after another. Let’s do it in order, okay? In order,” he repeated with a laugh, only now appreciating how easy it had been to handle Lei or Xu Jun back in the years.

    “I’m Hyo!” the five year old said loudly one more time, too impatient to wait for any order of introductions to be decided. He lucked out however as the other eight proved to be less hasty than him.

    Wu Bai chortled and shook his head. He was slowly beginning to understand what those mothers in the Tribe meant when they complained about the pain of taking care of many children at once. Thankfully, the tiger-eared girl took care of scolding Hyo and setting order for everyone’s introductions. Were it not for her, it would have surely taken much longer to get the whole thing settled peacefully.

    Having learned all the names, Wu Bai more or less concluded that he would try to remember a portion of them to begin with, as they would all get mixed up otherwise. Apart from Hyo, the puppy-eared five year old, he made sure not to forget that the tiger-eared girl was called Lia, while the gold-eyed teen was named Jin. “Hyo, Lia, Jin,” he repeated in his mind, knowing that he tended to forget names easily until they finally got hammered properly into his head.

    “Looks like we are setting out,” Wu Bai said while looking out of the nearby window. He thought Tang Shan would enter with them… but apparently, he seated himself on the roof and had his guards control the two carriage-like treasures.

    “Let’s have something to eat and rest a bit,” Wu Bai suggested, taking out various kinds of food he had taken with him for the long months of traveling around the world.

    The food was welcomed by the kids with open arms and soon, after stuffing themselves full, they began feeling sleepy. The fatigue from the past two days caught up to them and without exception, they quickly feel asleep.

    ---

    Eight hours later, around midnight. Vera’s ‘Fiery Palace’.

    “You going somewhere?” a guard at the stairs asked sternly, seeing Wu Bai leave the room assigned to him and the beastmen pets he had brought along.

    “Just to say hello to the Wild Flame Patriarch,” Wu Bai answered with a smile and smirked, seeing that the man’s reply was to snort at him. He then walked past the man and down the stairs; he couldn’t be bothered to talk with him or to explain that he wasn’t kidding.

    “Make sure the kids are safe, I’m going out for a bit,” Wu Bai sent mentally to Vera and Tang Shan, his voice starling both of them. He felt as two spiritual senses enveloped the building and soon afterwards, he received two replies.

    “They will be safe at my place.”

    “I will see to it.”

    Satisfied, Wu Bai walked down all the way to the ground floor and after passing through the relatively noisy bar, went out onto the dark streets of the Wild Flame City. “Oh, the city sure has a different ring to it at night,” he mused, intrigued by how mysterious and at the same time, dangerous the streets felt to him.

    With his hands inside the pockets of his cloak, Wu Bai strolled the streets without any hurry. Vera had reached out for fresh information and confirmed that the planned attack on Lei would be still four days away and that the Wild Flame Patriarch would leave only the day after tomorrow, so there was no need to rush anything. A long walk through the streets of the outer city during a pleasantly cool night couldn’t be a bad idea, not when you were strong enough to take care of yourself and any potential problems you might stumble upon.

    “The main road is rather peaceful, so why not try out the alleys?” Wu Bai mused, looking for something interesting and just as he thought, he began seeing more and more suspicious people the farther away from the main road he got.

    He wandered like that for good half an hour, but no one struck trouble with him. There were some people who glared at him, but each and every one chose not to attack as there were no ripples of spiritual energy coming from him at all. They were all assuming that they couldn’t sense Wu Bai’s strength, which served as a powerful deterrent.

    “Aaa-aah, so boring,” Wu Bai shook his head and headed to the closest gate to the inner city. Apparently, in real world it was much harder to randomly fight trouble wandering down the street than one might have thought… but it couldn’t be helped, could it?

    ---

    “Entrance permit?” one of the six bored guards at the gate to the Inner District asked Wu Bai as he approached, then yawned lengthily.

    “Uh,” Wu Bai scratched the back of his head, but not because he was worried about the lack of papers per se… rather, he was wondering if trying to get into the Core District in this manner wouldn’t be considered something bad and would no longer count as relatively harmless fun he wanted to have. After all, the city had its own set of laws and he would be breaking them on purpose.

    “Sorry, it was my bad to try entering forcefully and making a scene,” Wu Bai apologized to the guard since he felt guilty about his inadequate behavior, but only managed to confuse the man.

    “You forgot to take the papers? What’s up?” the man inquired, not knowing what to think of Wu Bai’s behavior. He came up, then suddenly started apologizing?

    “No, no. You see, I planned on having some fun and trying to go in without documents, but then I realized I would be behaving like a total jerk,” Wu Bai explained, still lost in his thoughts as he attempted to settle with his conscience what would be okay to do for entertainment in the future and what wouldn’t.

    “Huh?” the man frowned, unable to follow Wu Bai’s story. “Can’t you just go back for them? Even if we aren’t allowed to fly in the city, it won’t be a problem if you speed through the streets at this hour,” he suggested, reluctant to let somebody he didn’t know in without an entrance permit.

    “I could, but it would look so stupid if I did, you know? I already told them I’m going while acting all cool about it. They would definitely laugh at me,” Wu Bai groaned, recalling that he could have taken the permit to enter the inner city from Tang Shan but didn’t, assuming that he would be fine without it.

    “Eh,” the guard clicked his tongue, then looked Wu Bai in the eye. After staring at him for a second or two, he sighed and moved out of his way. “Go, just don’t make any trouble,” he said resignedly, then chortled as he saw the surprised look at Wu Bai’s face.

    “What, you thought all guards are dicks? We are people too. Just go before I change my mind,” the man said with a laugh.

    “Uh, thanks man,” Wu Bai smiled and nodded politely, then walked past the gate. He didn’t quite understand what happened… but since he made it inside without stirring up trouble, it should all be fine. Probably. “How should I go about the gate to the Core District? There’s no way they are going to let me in just like this man did,” he thought with a sigh, wondering if it wouldn’t be best if he just flew in over the walls.

    The problem was that he has never tried to sneak past a large formation. As far as he was certain that he could easily breach almost any barrier, he wasn’t sure whether he could fly through it without being detected, without raising an alarm. “Birds can fly in just fine, but I am no bird. Mortals don’t tend to be flying through the sky on the daily basis and that’s what the formation would likely perceive me as,” he mused, but in the end gave up on the idea. There needed to be some other way to get in. Of course, some interesting way, not just asking Vera for help or revealing his strength and getting audience before the Patriarch without any effort. That would be no fun at all.

    “I wonder if I can get a false permit somewhere? Or tag along with someone who lives in the Core District?” he considered the possibilities, then began sightseeing the Inner District.

    In size, the Inner District was less than one hundredth of the Outer District, but even despite that it covered a great area of terrain. If it said anything about how large the Inner District was, it would take a whole day to make a circle around its main road while walking at a normal, leisure speed. However, the houses and residences here were obviously more luxurious than the ones in the Outer District, so the number of inhabitants likely didn’t exceed that of one million.

    “Should I go look for some underground community here? Or go to a bar? Maybe look for an auction?” Wu Bai couldn’t decide what he wanted to do but just then, as he wandered aimlessly, he spotted two groups of people in a standoff at one of the side alleys. “Good thing I wandered off the main road,” Wu Bai smiled and headed to the place, already sensing the killing intent emanating from this gathering of Cultivators.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 8. Mediating a Dispute. (Part I)


    As Wu Bai continued to close upon the group, he listened in to the ongoing conversation. He didn’t even need to conceal himself or anything; everyone were so frustrated by what was going on that no one paid him any attention… but anyway.

    From what he could tell, four people were in the middle of this strange argument. By the looks of it and from what he picked up from the exchanges, both duos of the arguing four were siblings. On one side there was an older brother and a younger brother, while on the other stood a pair of older brother and a younger sister. The older brothers both appeared to be in their mid-thirties, while their younger siblings seemed to be around twenty years old; at least appearance-wise.

    Either way, the argument between the two parties continued.

    “I told you, I haven’t done anything to her!” the young man yelled, by this point feeling too angry to care about causing a scene right in the open.

    “Are you telling me my little sister is lying?!” the red-robed man shouted furiously, only restraining himself from going rampart because of his relationship with Li Fu, the brat’s older brother. Were it not for the fact that the two of them were lifelong friends… he wouldn’t hesitate to start a war between their gangs for even a second. Not when his little sister’s honor was at stake!

    “Can’t all of you just calm down for a moment?” Li Fu urged, not wanting the conflict to turn into a fight. Were his White Ravens and Lo He’s Red Devils to engage in a full-scale battle, then the whole city would be thrown into a state of utter chaos and unless the Wild Flame Patriarch himself intervened… the deaths would reach unimaginable numbers.

    Li Fu didn’t wish for such an outcome; that was why he had suggested having a meeting on the neutral ground to settle everything peacefully, and yet… it looked like both him and Lo He held their respective siblings too dear for their own good.

    “You are telling me to be calm?” the stunningly beautiful girl in a long red robe asked grudgingly. “Your little brother forced himself on me, he raped me and you are telling me to be calm?!” she asked furiously, then gazed hatefully at the white-robed Li Gen. In normal circumstances, she might have been interested in him… but after what had happened yesterday, she only had contempt and hatred left for such a person.

    “How many times do I need to tell you?” Li Gen repeated helplessly, feeling stressed and frustrated beyond belief. “I remember that we were drinking, then somebody brought some mushrooms and we started smoking them. The next thing I knew was when I woke up in the morning, being choked to death by you!” he said and snorted, barely stopping himself from spitting on the ground. Whatever had happened, he was of the same mind as his older brother; he didn’t want a war to start because of something so stupid as a girl making ruckus for no reason.

    “And what would you have done if you got raped, eh? Would you want to kill that person?” the red-robed Lo Lifen asked angrily, offended that Li Gen was going as low as to argue about something like that. He did what he did and needed to suffer consequences!

    “Can’t we be reasonable?” Li Fu pleaded, sensing that both his and Lo He’s men were growing restless. At this rate, they would sooner or later jump at each other’s throats no matter if the talks have broken down completely or not. “I can’t see that you are hurt, so there should be no reason for the grudge to be unforgivable. We will compensate you with ten million spirit stones and the matter shall be forgotten, what do you say?” he offered, in his opinion being very generous. It wasn’t like Lo Lifen was a virgin before that and it didn’t look like she had been physically hurt in any way. Ten million spirit stones should be more than enough.

    “You think money will compensate me anything?!” Lo Lifen yelled, apparently not seeing the offer as neither reasonable or generous. “If you want me to forgive him, he needs to be castrated so that he doesn’t do anything similar to any other woman!” she declared, briefly stunning all present members of the White Ravens, Li Fu and Li Gen included. However, what quickly followed was a surge of killing intent from the forty white-robed people. That Lo Lifen would demand their junior leader’s balls to be sliced off… she was going way too far!

    “Lo He, tell her something before a war breaks out,” Li Fu asked helplessly, dismissing the demand to have his younger brother castrated without any comment. It went without saying that he wouldn’t ever agree to do that.

    “Li Fu,” the red-robed Lo He finally spoke up. “We’ve been as close as true brothers for as far as I can remember. However, this matter concerns our siblings, not us,” he said coldly, but suggested for the sake of their past and future relationship. “One hit. If your little brother takes one hit from me without using any treasures to defend and survives, then we will consider the grudge to have never been.”

    Li Fu frowned, but didn’t respond immediately. His younger brother was very talented and despite his young age, has already reached the early Nascent Soul. However… taking one attack from Lo He would nine out of ten times end in his death. Lo He was simply too powerful; he knew best how strong his friend was. Ten years ago, the two of them had actually joined forces to fight of an enraged Patriarch of the first Spirit Severing. To be completely honest… were Lo He not to hold back at all, then Li Gen would die one hundred times out of a hundred.

    “What will you do?” Li Fu asked after a short while of silence, glancing at his younger brother.

    “I know as well as you do, older brother,” Li Gen said with a sour expression while shaking his head. “If brother Lo He holds back, I have a chance to escape with my life and no damage to my cultivation base. Yet, if he wishes to do so, he will find it easy to either cripple me or kill me,” he stated and shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t want to die yet. I do not accept,” he said resignedly, at the same time wondering what the hell was going to happen now.

    “Still brazen enough to refer to my older brother as ‘brother’? Who do you think you are?” Lo Lifen pointed out grudgingly.

    “Enough,” Lo He said strongly, startling his little sister. “We talked, we couldn’t come to an agreement…” he mused aloud, then all of the sudden moved forward, his body surging forth with powerful, crimson flames as he punched out, aiming at Li Gen’s chest.

    Lo He wasn’t stupid enough to risk a war with Li Fu’s White Ravens. Their gangs were too evenly matched, so the number of casualties and the amount of wasted resources would end up being enormous. Thus, he had chosen the only other available option which would allow him to both avoid a drawn-out conflict and do justice to his little sister’s suffering.

    This way of doing things would likely result in a short, explosive conflict… but since it was inevitable anyway, it was better to settle everything quickly.

    Li Fu, despite matching Lo He in strength never expected his friend to act in this fashion. With merely meters separating both of their parties, the split-seconds between he noticed Lo He’s actions and the moment Li Gen would be struck was simply not enough for him to react.

    “Don’t!” Li Fu only had time to cry out through his spiritual sense as he watched powerlessly. If Lo He thought that he could avoid prolonged war by killing his little brother with a sneak attack, then he was terribly wrong! Until this debt of blood would be repaid in kind, he wouldn’t rest even in death!

    Lo He’s fist landed with a dull thud, the flames exploding outwards to the sides… but as the blow struck, both Lo He and Li Fu blinked, not too sure of what they were seeing.

    “So reckless,” Wu Bai chuckled, his arm extended in front of Li Gen’s chest and Lo He’s fist resting in the middle of his palm. “You didn’t even try digging into the story, but you start killing,” Wu Bai reprimanded leisurely and applied a little force to Lo He’s hand, thus sweeping the man back by a few meters with what he perceived as a great strength.

    Momentarily, everyone became speechless. Only a handful of them had seen how Lo He attacked, but the next second the blow which should be all means have killed Li Gen had been stopped in a manner which could be described as effortless. Judging by how shocked Lo He and Li Fu appeared to be, even the two of them failed to see the moment the grey-caped man stepped in. Having had someone like that interfere… no one dared to act recklessly.

    As Li Gen was hit by the realization of what had been about to happen to him, he trembled, but quickly suppressed the fright and turned towards the grey-caped man and clasped his hands. “Thank you for saving this junior’s life,” he said, feeling very grateful to this mysterious savior of his.

    When Li Gen’s words resounded, everyone else seemed to finally come back to their senses. The forty members of the White Raven clasped their hands nearly simultaneously, while the members of the Red Devil backed off by a step. Since this grey-caped man intervened on behalf of Li Gen’s, then it was very likely that he was connected in some way to Li Fu. As even those of them who were at the great circle of Nascent Soul were unable to sense the mysterious man’s cultivation base… they naturally became fearful of him.

    “Thank you for saving my little brother, senior,” Li Fu also joined his hands together and even bowed slightly as he did. He didn’t recognize the grey-caped young man in front of him, but it wasn’t disputable that this person saved Li Gen’s life. That alone created a great debt he wouldn’t hesitate to repay!

    Wu Bai eyed the white-robed man, then chuckled and nodded. This gathering of nearly one hundred people actually had fifteen cultivators half a step into Spirit Severing, while not even one person apart from the leaders’ siblings was below the late Nascent Soul. Those one hundred were stronger than the Crow Divinity Tribe altogether! Having one of the two leaders owe him a favor couldn’t be a bad thing.

    “Lo He,” Li Fu looked at his old friend, a silent fury rising within his heart. “You wanted to kill my little brother… no matter what, I can’t forgive you,” he said coldly, allowing his killing intent to emerge. The forty white-robed members of the White Raven gang behind him followed in suit, only waiting for their leader’s order to attack.

    “I did what needed to be done,” Lo He said with a frown. If this mysterious expert took Li Fu’s side, then forget about it being middle of the Inner District; that grey-robed man would be able to wipe them out single-handedly before the guards could even have a chance to intervene. After having had his fist stopped by him, Lo He was practically certain of that. Not even the first Spirit Severing Patriarch he and Li Fu had fought in the past would be able to catch his fist so effortlessly, not to mention not release any spiritual energy whatsoever while doing so.

    “Despicable,” Lo Lifen said through her teeth, looking at Wu Bai with a disgusted expression on her face. “You’d help somebody who raped a woman instead of letting him pay the price, one hell of an expert you are,” she said grudgingly, not concerning herself with the fact that she could anger Wu Bai and court her own death.

    “Little sister, don’t,” Lo He put his hand on Lo Lifen’s shoulder and shook his head. He would do anything for her… but rushing straight into certain death wasn’t the wisest option to consider.

    The red-robed beauty pursed her lips and said nothing more. She didn’t quite realize yet that she was looking death in the eye and by the looks of it, she wouldn’t become aware of it anytime soon.

    “Well, if he really raped you and you have suitable proof, I will kill him myself,” Wu Bai said with a slight smirk and shrugged his shoulders.

    His words gave Li Gen quite a fright and caused all the members of the White Raven gang to grow restless, while pleasing Lo He and… angering Lo Lifen…? What?

    “What do you mean? You don’t believe me? What kind of proof do you even want?” she asked angrily, offended by Wu Bai’s attitude. She said that Li Gen forced herself on her and raped her, what other kind of proof would he need? Or could it be that all women who were raped need to have detailed and certain proof to get their rapists to face justice? That wasn’t only unreasonable, but also sexist!

    “To begin with, I’d like to hear the whole story. I happened to overhear some of it, but so far it doesn’t really convince me,” Wu Bai stated cheekily, somewhat amazed that people could grow to be so spoiled and self-centered as the person before him.

    “What doesn’t convince you?” Lo Lifen asked sternly, eyeing Wu Bai as if she was looking at a bug crawling at her feet.

    “Mm, the two of you were at the same party, but you weren’t there together, no?” Wu Bai inquired, intent on leading the conversation step by step until he had a clear image of what had happened.

    “We weren’t, but so what?” Lo Lifen responded angrily, refraining from adding something else only because of the scolding look her older brother gave her.

    “So, who were you with?” Wu Bai asked lightheartedly, directing the question to Li Gen and throwing him off a bit by suddenly including him in the conversation.

    “I was with my friends. At that time… uh, I was introduced to one incredibly alluring woman and wanted to bed her at the party. I don’t remember anything after we started smoking the mushrooms, though,” Li Gen answered very honestly, without hiding anything.

    Wu Bai nodded with a smile. So far, his opinion of the young man was quite good; he couldn’t quite believe that he would go around raping women. “And I can safely assume that the incredibly alluring woman you were introduced to wasn’t the one standing here, eh?” Wu Bai asked with a chuckle, at first making Li Gen nervous, but soon enough causing him to return a meaningful smile.

    “Yes, it wasn’t her. She is beautiful I admit, but she isn’t my type character-wise,” Li Gen commented brashly, what resulted in Lo Lifen’s cheeks turning bright red from anger and embarrassment. How could any man resist her peerless beauty? She was about to yell at Li Gen, but she bit her tongue as Wu Bai waved his hand at her dismissingly and asked Li Gen another question.

    “And, did you and this girl here talk or interact at all before the mushrooms?”

    Li Gen frowned, searching through the blurry memories of that night. “I think she tried to start a chat with me, but I was so into talking with that other woman that I paid her no attention…” he said unsurely, only now having recalled this particular detail.

    “Oh?” Wu Bai smiled a little, then turned his gaze at Lo Lifen. “You claimed that you remember how you were raped, right? I didn’t mishear it?” he asked, referring to the part of the conversation he had heard from afar.

    “Yes,” Lo Lifen answered in a surprisingly small quantity of words, while also appearing to have lost some color on her face. Was it because she was disgusted by the memory, or did the reason lay somewhere else?

    “So, you were the only one not intoxicated enough by those mushrooms as to not forget what happened, or maybe you just didn’t smoke them at all,” Wu Bai mused aloud, giving the girl a questioning look. “You are at the great circle of Core Formation. That young man is at the early Nascent Soul. Can it be that even drugged, he was so much stronger than you that you couldn’t resist him at all? That you couldn’t even use your spiritual sense to call for help?” he inquired, asking his questions unhurriedly. After he finished, for the first time he could spot a hint of fear in the young woman’s eyes.

    “Now that you mention it, when I woke up the room we were in wasn’t destroyed… it only got demolished after I started fighting back as she was choking me…” Li Gen pointed out, noticing more and more flaws in Lo Lifen’s story. He was beginning to feel ashamed that he had been so perturbed by being accused of rape that he failed to bring those rather obvious points up on his own, without that grey-robed senior’s help.

    “So, were you raped by him or not?” Wu Bai raised his eyebrows and asked. However, just by looking at the girl’s expression, he could be pretty sure that the whole story had been made-up by her.

    “I… am not lying! He really raped me!” Lo Lifen said stubbornly, hints of tears appearing in her eyes. “What do you want me to do to prove it?” she asked in a shaky voice while shaking her head and smiling disbelievingly. “Was I maybe supposed to gather up the semen I washed out from my vagina yesterday morning?” she laughed helplessly, nearly hysterically and continued speaking at a quick pace.

    “You think it’s so easy to resist when somebody pushes you down and threatens to kill you if you disobey? You really think so?” she asked, swallowing loudly and only calming down a bit when her older brother hugger her with his arm. The emotional display has once again roused the anger of Lo He’s and his Red Devils, but… Wu Bai couldn’t help but snort at those words.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 9. Mediating a Dispute. (Part II)


    As far as Wu Bai was concerned, it wasn’t hard to at least try and resist. Not when the gap between your and your opponent’s strength wasn’t too big. He himself had went through hundreds of bloody battles and when he was younger, he had experienced the true agony of helplessness… he had experienced this horrible feeling first-hand many times, amongst which there was this one time in the forest near the village when one certain bastard threatened to kill him and the girl he loved. He knew the true fear, he knew the true despair and the look in this red-robed girl’s eyes had none of that!

    “Do you even realize how many people you are hurting by lying about this?” Wu Bai asked, for the first time during this conversation revealing hint of true anger. This whole affair brought back memories he wanted to forget. Additionally, the fact that the young woman responsible for making him suffer through them was spitting on the agony of true despair was causing him to feel incredibly mad.

    “I have no idea why, perhaps out of stupid jealousy, perhaps because you regretted going into the same bed as him after getting high… but you are trying to get many people involved, you want to cause many people to die just to satisfy your sick sense of ‘honor and justice’…” Wu Bai growled in a low voice, the killing intent he was releasing oppressing everyone enough to prevent even Lo He from speaking up. “So pointless,” he added with a snort, seeing the woman hide away in her older brother’s arms and being to weep.

    “Yet… no matter how I feel, I think I should remain objective about it,” Wu Bai said resignedly, attracting Lo Lifen’s attention. “For me, there is no way to be sure if you are lying or not, so I won’t get involved,” he declared, surprising everyone on both sides of the conflict. Especially members of the White Ravens were startled by this decision as previously, they became certain that Wu Bai would take their junior leader’s side.

    “However, instead of acting immediately…” Wu Bai continued, a his lips curving into a dangerous smirk. “I will make a trip to my old friend and bring him here. He will do me a favor of scanning your memories, young lady. By then, we will know for sure if you were lying or not, and in case you were… I will personally kill you and shatter your soul,” he declared resignedly and shrugged his shoulders.

    “For now, I am in this city to visit someone, so if you excuse me,” he added with a laugh and turned around, then began walking away.

    The whole act might have been half-baked and certainly wouldn’t trick anyone who knew Wu Bai well, but obviously enough Lo Lifen and the others met him but a few minutes ago.

    Lo Lifen stopped weeping and now was standing motionlessly. Her face deathly pale, she was trying to convince herself that Wu Bai was lying, that he didn’t have such a friend, that he wouldn’t bother returning… but… but… if he really did… and if he had her memories checked…!

    “Wait!” she cried out, letting go of her brother’s robe and running after Wu Bai. She felt her throat clench painfully as the contests of her stomach began trying to force their way outside, but nevertheless, after Wu Bai stopped and looked at her, she fell to her knees and prostrated herself. “Forgive me, senior. I lied,” she forced the words out as loudly as she could, what still ended up being nothing more than a weak, shaky voice.

    “There was no rape. Li Gen slept with that woman after refusing my advances time after time. I was so angry…” she began explaining chaotically as she cried, this time her tears being real and not acted-out like before. She was trembling in fear, thoroughly horrified by the perspective of death which became so very real, unlike ever before in her life. Tears were flowing from her eyes, snot was running from her nose… were she to raise her head, she would look terrible, but at the moment she couldn’t care less about her own appearance.

    “When I… walked into that room, I couldn’t stand the sight of him and her… so I carried her somewhere else and laid at his side… I swear I wanted to only stay there for a bit, get over my crush and move on… but… he hugged me… and he whispered her name into my ear!” she cried out helplessly, then looked at Wu Bai through her teary eyes. “I couldn’t bear it… I was so angry that I started choking him…” she said while slowly shaking her head.

    “He fought me off… then it all escalated so quickly… I was so angry... I shouldn’t have lied, I know, but…!” she pleaded, then noticing the look in Wu Bai’s eyes quickly lowered her head once again. “I’m sorry, I regret what I did. Senior, please give me a chance to make up for it!” she asked through her tears, wholeheartedly believing that her life was in Wu Bai’s hands.

    “Looks like it worked out,” Wu Bai thought to himself and smiled just a little. However, when he was pleased and satisfied, the other people who have just heard Lo Lifen’s confessions were shocked.

    Even the members of the White Raven gang were greatly surprised. True, they would always stand on their junior leader’s side, but most of them couldn’t help but have some doubts. On the contrary, those of the Red Devil gang… at first, they were flabbergasted, but quickly enough the prevalent emotion they were feeling turned into anger. They were ready to go to war with White Ravens for Lo Lifen’s sake, but her whole story ended up proving to be one huge lie! How could they not be furious with her?

    Yet, the one who was going through the strongest internal conflict at the moment was definitely Lo Lifen’s older brother, Lo He. The moment he had seen her run after Wu Bai, he started begging for what he thought was going to happen not to prove true. However… it had. His little sister lied to him, made a total fool out of him! He believed her without questioning her story; he loved her so much that he wouldn’t accuse her of lying about something as gravely important! And despite all of that… she betrayed his trust in the worst way possible!

    “Li Fu,” Lo He looked at his old friend, then as everyone gasped at the sight, fell down to his knees. “Forgive me…” he uttered weakly, tears beginning to glisten in his eyes at the thought that he had been an inch away from doing the unforgivable and betraying his life-long friend; he had been a hair’s width away from unjustly killing Li Fu’s little brother!

    Seeing their ever-proud leader kneel was quite a blow to the Red Devils, but the one who felt her heart throb most painfully was no other than Lo Lifen. It slowly occurred to her… that just like that grey-caped man said, she had been about to instigate a disaster. The scene of her older brother in this state proved to pain her like nothing else.

    Li Fu sighed emotionally. He glanced at his younger brother, who shrugged his shoulders and looked away. He smiled, then reached out with his hand to Lo He. “You did it for the sake of your sibling, I understand it very well. There’s nothing to forgive,” he said calmly, incapable of resenting his friend for what he did. After all, Li Gen was alive and well.

    “They seem to have made up, good for them,” Wu Bai mused quietly, then revealed a bit surprised expression as he once again ended up in the center of attention. “Right, there’s still this girl prostrating before me, eh?” he thought resignedly. He didn’t approve of what she had done at all, but at the very least she regretted it and came to the realization that it was wrong of her to make false claims of such a great importance. However, more importantly.

    “Uh, I appreciate that you are sorry… but could you stand up? I don’t really like it when people kneel before me,” Wu Bai said while scratching the back of his head. Also, even though it wasn’t quite appropriate at the moment, he thought back to how he had ‘punished’ the certain two sisters and wasn’t able to prevent a helpless smile from sneaking onto his face.

    “Y-yes,” Lo Lifen said uncertainly, unsurprisingly still feeling really nervous about what was going to happen to her. She somehow managed to get back onto her own two feet, then slowly raise her eyes and look at Wu Bai. She held her breath, waiting for him to say something and release her from this prolonged torture of uncertainty.

    Wu Bai smiled with a troubled expression on his face, knowing that everyone were waiting for him to deliver some kind of a verdict. Had this young woman been a person he detested, he wouldn’t be too hesitant to punish her as he saw fitting or to outright kill her. The problem was that after all, he was a whimsical person and right now, he didn’t quite feel like being harsh to that red-robed beauty.

    Wu Bai sighed, sweeping the hundred people in red and white robes with his gaze. “Right,” he said to himself, a simple idea coming to his mind. “If we are to be fair… then I think that your punishment should be up to the very man you have had wrongly accused,” he said casually, his smile turning carefree. In the end, it was these two parties who were involved. Leaving the final decision to them would be for the best… well. Maybe not objectively, but surely for the best for Wu Bai’s own conscience.

    Lo Lifen opened her eyes wide as she heard Wu Bai’s verdict. Her expression flinched in fear at the thought how Li Gen would want to pay her back for what she did to him... but nevertheless, she forced herself to keep her composure and clasped her hands. “Thank you for your guidance, senior,” she said without a hint of resentment in her voice, then after receiving a nod from Wu Bai, clenched her fists, turned around and walked up to Li Gen.

    “I will accept any punishment,” she said quietly and lowered her head. At first, she wanted to kneel, but knowing that the grey-robed man was still looking, she refrained from the idea, albeit the decision wasn’t a fully conscious one.

    Lo He gazed at his younger sister and suppressed a heavy sigh. Even after all of that, he couldn’t help but love her and care for her… yet, he also felt betrayed. It would take a very, very long time for him to once again fully trust his little sister. He looked at Li Gen, wanting to ask him to be merciful… but recalling how he had been about to kill him, he ended up being unable to utter a word. It has gone too far… everything has gone too far… there was nothing he could do anymore, not if he didn’t want to betray himself even further.

    Li Gen sighed, then reached out to his bag of holding and withdrew a handkerchief, then handed it to Lo Lifen. “At least wipe your face, you look terrible,” he smiled and said helplessly. After seeing with his own two eyes how the always lofty and proud Lo Lifen went as far as prostrating herself, weeping and begging for forgiveness… he couldn’t be furious with her anymore. He might be called an idiot by others, but still. He was simply that kind of a person.

    “Thanks,” Lo Lifen accepted the handkerchief with a weak chuckle, trying to bring her face back to more or less normal state. She didn’t expect Li Gen to express kindness to her in any form, so this small gesture already caused her to feel a lot calmer at heart.

    “Punishment, eh…?” Li Gen wondered aloud and involuntarily raised his hand to play with his fairly long, unruly hair. “Just promise me to never do something so stupid ever again,” he said alongside another sigh, throwing not only Lo Lifen but everyone else apart from Wu Bai into a state of confusion.

    “J-just that?” Lo Lifen uttered after a few seconds, staring at Li Gen as if she just saw a ghost. Just like that grey-robed man said, she nearly caused a war between White Crows and Red Devils. She had been about to throw thousands, if not tens of thousands of lives into the embraces of death with her lie! Her older brother was even about to kill Li Gen, but thankfully he had been stopped in the nick of time. And for all of that she was only supposed to promise to never to do anything similar ever again? Just that? Even she herself felt that such a punishment wasn’t nearly harsh enough!

    “If you want me to add something else, then you can also try being nicer to people and a bit more reasonable…” Li Gen said in a tone which made it hard to discern whether he was being serious or only joking. As Li Fu, Lo He, Lo Lifen and the others listened to him with disbelief, Wu Bai laughed merrily as he approached the group.

    “Personally, I would add a sincere apology to the mix,” Wu Bai said with a laugh and exchanged a glance with Li Gen.

    The young man was a bit surprised, but quickly sensed that Wu Bai was thinking along the same lines as him. Finding it encouraging to have support of the mysterious senior, he glanced back at Lo Lifen and asked. “Yeah, I will add a sincere apology to the mix. That will be all, unless you are not satisfied and want me to think up something else?”

    Wu Bai muffled a laugh, then sent mentally to Li Gen. “Yeah, like public spanking,” he smiled at the young man, who after a second couldn’t resist but to chuckle and suppress a laughter.

    Not knowing what was going on, others could only suspect that Li Gen exchanged some amusing remarks with the grey-robed senior, but still, the carefree attitude of the two caused the atmosphere to loosen up quite a bit. Just a moment ago it looked like their two gangs were about to start a bloodbath, but now both sides were considerably more relaxed.

    “No, let’s stay at this much, thank you,” Lo Lifen said resignedly, not knowing whether she should be happy or sad. She closed her eyes, thinking that no matter what happened, she would never be so irresponsible ever again. She promised himself to start anew, to try her best to become a better person, one of whom her older brother could be proud of!

    “Senior,” Li Fu spoke up and clasped his hands, happy to see that the matter had been settled. “I offer you my sincere gratitude for helping us today. If there is anything you need or if you are going to require anything in the future, this Li Fu and his White Ravens are up to your disposal,” he stated gratefully, scared to imagine what would have happened if not for this grey-caped expert’s intervention.

    Following Li Fu’s declaration, the over forty strongest members of his White Ravens turned in Wu Bai’s direction and joined their hands together, paying their respects.

    “Similarly, I Lo He and my Red Devils are at your command,” Lo He said briefly and clasped his hands, his Red Devils following in suit immediately.

    “Then you for saving my life, senior,” Li Gen smiled and clasped his hands. In the midst of events, it hadn’t quite occurred to him clearly enough, but it was unarguable that he owed his life to Wu Bai.

    “Thank you for correcting my ways, senior,” Lo Lifen lowered her head and clasped her hands. The meeting surely didn’t end as she might have expected before coming here… but despite that, she was happy. She felt much lighter on heart; she felt that it truly was a new beginning for her.

    “Mm,” Wu Bai smiled, unable to deny that he was feeling pretty good about himself. “Then, straight away. Do you think you could get me documents to enter the Core District?” he asked, remembering about the original goal of his for wandering the streets around here.

    The question baffled the two pairs of siblings and the members of both gangs. Wasn’t Wu Bai incredibly strong? How come he needed something like papers allowing him to enter the Core District? With his power, he would be welcomed into the city by the Wild Flame Patriarch himself!

    “Um, senior. Forgive me for asking, but why would somebody like you need documents to enter the Core District?” Li Gen voiced everyone’s thoughts, being the only one who actually dared to ask the question.

    “To being with, drop this ‘senior’ thing,” Wu Bai said with a smirk. “My name is Wu Bai,” he introduced himself, then answered the previously asked question.

    “As for why would I need them… I don’t quite feel like showing the guards my power and waiting for the Patriarch to come down to take me in… it would be such a bother. I don’t really feel like sneaking in, either. So, that only leaves me with getting the papers,” he explained as if it was the most obvious and logical thing in the world, wondering why all those people appeared to be so shocked. He knew that he was a peculiar person, but was there a need to be so surprised? Like really?

    Once more, the first one to break the silence was Li Gen. The young man smiled, then chortled and laughed out. “Wu Bai, you really are an amazing person,” he said lightheartedly while shaking his head a little. To think that someone like Wu Bai existed in this world, Li gen would have never guessed before meeting him at this very day.

    “We shall take you there personally, senior,” Li Fu said with a smile and exchanged a look with Lo He. The two of them nodded at each other, thinking the same thing. They probably couldn’t do much for a person of Wu Bai’s strength, so at the very least they would give their all to satisfy any of his desires as long as he stayed in the Wild Flame City!

    “Oh? Great, it will be amusing to have all of you tag along for a bit,” Wu Bai said with a slight nod, ignoring this ‘senior’ calling for the time being.

    Originally, Li Fu and Lo He planned to have only a few people go as they assumed that Wu Bai didn’t want to attract attention… but apparently, they weren’t familiar enough with Wu Bai’s personality to understand him just yet. Regardless, they wouldn’t oppose the idea.

    “Let us head to the closest gate,” Lo He walked up to Wu Bai, stopping at his left side. His little sister joined him and behind the two of them, the over forty red-robed members of the Red Devil gang positioned themselves.

    “Yeah,” Li Fu supported, stepping to Wu Bai’s right with his little brother and the white-robed members of his gang.

    “Mm,” Wu Bai laughed quietly and began walking, looking forward to what was about to happen.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 10. A Lucky Encounter.


    “Man, I can’t wait until our shift is over,” a youthful-looking man complained with a yawn, leaning against the wall in front of the relatively small gate; at least in comparison to the massive gates leading to the Outer District and the rather large ones at the walls of the Inner District.

    “I wonder if I shouldn’t just undertake some mission for the Tribe. It would be more dangerous, but I would collect money so much faster,” the young man said with a sigh. The pay for guarding a gate to the Core District wasn’t low, but the job was boring beyond belief. He came from a relatively wealthy family, but with as many siblings as he had he needed to provide spirit stones for his own expenses. He tended to stay away from danger, but suffering one year of thorough boredom made him consider changing his ‘better safe than sorry’ life policy.

    “Why don’t you practice cultivation instead of complaining?” the grey-haired man rebuked angrily. He hated talkative people and of all the guards he knew, this peculiar youth was the one who never knew when to shut up. Being a young master, the kid had never suffered any hardships so he didn’t even know how lucky he was to be where he was at his age… but it wasn’t like he would bother trying to correct the mistaken attitude of a brat. He simply couldn’t care less as long as the kid would finally shut his mouth tight.

    “Why are you always so angry, old man?” the youth asked resignedly. He enjoyed chatting with whoever he shared the shift with, but this one old man would always ignore him and would do nothing but meditate and train the whole time.

    “When your lifespan will be coming to an end, you will also start getting edgy. Now shut it and let me focus,” the grey-haired man replied bluntly, the spark of anger in his half-opened eyes giving the carefree youth quite a fright.

    Death… as a young Cultivator who had recently advanced to Nascent Soul, he was far away from thinking about this distant, vague thing. Yet, realizing that the old man was indeed very old and more importantly, stuck at the very peak of Nascent Soul, the youth lost some of his usual energy.

    “Sorry,” he said quietly, troubled by his own long tongue and ashamed by how inconsiderate he had been. After all, he often saw this old man stubbornly practicing cultivation day in day out, but he never even connected the basic facts together.

    Sometimes, it was important to think about the otherwise unimportant aspects from the other person’s perspective, eh?

    “If you get it, then stop talking,” the grey-haired man said with a snort, hoping that maybe now the blabbering kid would give him a break and let him focus.

    “Old man.” However, the youth spoke up again almost immediately, his voice sounding unnaturally excited.

    “Didn’t I tell you not to disturb me?” the grey-haired man frowned. He gave up and opened his eyes for good, all his focus having been destroyed by the constant nagging anyway. He firstly gave the youth an angered look, but simultaneously noticed a large group of people approaching the gate from down the street in the corner of his eye. He turned to look, then gasped and quickly extended his spiritual sense.

    “Heavens!” the grey-haired man uttered quietly, thoroughly shocked by the level of cultivation bases of the approaching hundred people. There were nearly twenty of them at the great circle of Nascent Soul, with only two being below the late Nascent Soul level…! And most importantly, that grey-caped man walking in the front, in the middle… he couldn’t sense his strength at all!

    “Those are White Ravens and Red Devils! The real deal!” the youth said excitedly, so pumped up to see the group of experts approaching that he was fidgeting and nearly jumping up.

    “White Ravens? Red Devils?” the grey-haired man asked. He had been focusing solely on cultivation for the past hundred years, so he knew little about the state of affairs in the city itself. All of his friends have long since died on various battlefields or turned to dust with the passage of time, so he naturally ended up rarely talking with people either way.

    Normally, he wouldn’t even want to listen about some ridiculous groups who named themselves something silly like ‘White Ravens’ and ‘Red Devils’, but seeing all those experts with his own eyes he couldn’t not be curious!

    “How could you not have heard of them?” the youth asked with disbelief, but was more than pleased to explain. “Apart from the very Wang family that rules the Wild Flame City, those two gangs hold the highest military power in the Tribe! Even the various branches of the Wang family cannot compare to them. Given their connections to the underground society, it can be said that it’s those two organizations that are the true overlords of the Wild Flame City!” the youth exclaimed, perhaps over-exaggerating a little, but not too much.

    “There is even a story about those two gangs having gotten into a very serious conflict over a treasure with one of the Great Tribes! The most shocking thing is that this Great Tribe was in the end was forced to give up pursuing them as their Spirit Severing Patriarch had been heavily wounded by the leaders of the White Ravens and Red Devils!” the youth repeated the overhead story without hesitation, not caring whether the rumors were true or not. If he had enough time, he would have loved to tell the old man about that conflict in detail, but alas!

    “If the descriptions of Li Fu, the leader of the White Ravens and Lo He, the leader of the Red Devils are accurate, then this white-robed man walking at the front is Li Fu, while the red-robed one is Lo He,” the youth said hurriedly and relatively quietly since the group of the hundred was getting closer and closer to the gate.

    “I wonder who this grey-caped man is, though. If we were to go by the way Li Fu and Lo He seem to be accompanying him, could he be the leader behind the scenes? Or is he some kind of exalted expert and a friend of theirs?” the young man wondered aloud, being surprisingly accurate in his guesses.

    “Kid, you didn’t make this whole story up on the spot, did you?” the grey-haired man asked, but when his and Wu Bai’s eyes accidentally met, he trembled and backed off by three steps. He was old; he had tempered himself through thousands of battles and he could immediately tell when a person he saw had experienced true terror and went through hell to stay alive and yet, survived! Without exception, such personas would quickly grow to be frighteningly powerful!

    “I might talk a lot, but I do not lie,” the youth said bitterly, appearing to be somewhat offended by the old man’s remark. However, when he saw the old man retreat in fear, he completely forgot about being angry and instead got even more excited.

    “We’d like to enter the Core District,” the white-robed Li Fu called out calmly to the two guards at the gate, bringing the old man and the young man back to their senses. Despite everything, they were still guards and had their duties to attend to.

    “Of course, as long as you have permits all of you can enter,” the young man replied without delay, as always finding his way with the words even when his emotions were running a bit wild.

    “You see, that’s the problem,” Li Fu raised his hands helplessly and smiled at the young guard. “Only about a quarter of us has the necessary documents,” he said rather vaguely, intending to let the conversation play out naturally. During the twenty minutes they spent walking to the gate he had chatted for a bit with Wu Bai and more or less came to understand his character. If Wu Bai wanted to experience something fun, then he would all by all means strive for the situation to develop to his liking.

    “I understand who you are, but exceptions to the rules can’t be made so easily,” the young man spoke up in a troubled manner. “Couldn’t you leave the portion of your subordinates who don’t have permits behind and enter with those who do?” he suggested, knowing that he would very likely lose the job if he let in a few dozen people without proper documents; even if those people were the conclave members of the White Crows and Red Devils.

    “That would be troublesome,” the red-robed Lo He said with a smirk. “You see young man, our benefactor doesn’t have the permit either,” he explained, engaging into the same little game which Li Fu seemed to be playing.

    “It would be quite pointless if we went in without the person we are accompanying, don’t you think?” Li Fu added from himself, admittedly finding the expression on the young man’s face to be quite funny. He never teased people in this manner before… but Wu Bai might have awakened this bad side of his.

    “T-that would be troublesome, indeed,” the young man agreed with a nervous laugh. He was convinced of Li Fu’s and Lo He’s strength to being with; the thought of offending someone these two were calling ‘benefactor’ was making him dizzy and weak in the knees.

    “Might I ask,” the old man stepped forward, having more or less recovered from the initial shock of looking into Wu Bai’s eyes. “Who the person you are escorting is and what reasons does he have to enter the Core District?” he inquired, planning to make a quiet exception for the grey-caped man as long as he sold him at least somewhat believable story.

    “I’m Wu Bai and I am here to visit a friend,” Wu Bai answered for himself, speaking in a lighthearted, carefree tone.

    The old man, however, was a bit speechless about the answer he had received. If Wu Bai was going to say something like this, he could have as well said nothing and exactly the same amount of information would be exchanged. ‘I’m here to visit a friend’, if such a reason was to ever be even half-valid then just about anyone would be able to enter the Core District!

    “If you don’t want to say, then there’s no need,” the old man said resignedly. He at least wanted to have some excuse to his superior when asked why he let that man - Wu Bai - in, but if the man didn’t wish to do even that… then he had no choice but to let him enter anyway. After all, Wu Bai was most likely an expert at the level of a Patriarch; he almost certainly was a Spirit Severing Cultivator! To obstruct the way of somebody like this would be nothing short of pure stupidity.

    “Your honored guest may enter with you, but your subordinates…” the old man brought up carefully, but certainly didn’t expect Wu Bai to immediately shake his head in response.

    “I want all of them to accompany me,” Wu Bai declared simplistically, omitting any kind of reasonable explanation. He wondered how the old man would react, seeing as the younger of the two had chosen to completely back off from the conversation which apparently has grown beyond him.

    The old man grit his teeth, briefly weighing the scales for and against agreeing to Wu Bai’s demand. “Fine, all of you can go in. Take those temporary permits with you,” he said and produced nearly one hundred gilts from his bag of holding.

    Each of the guards had such a stash of special permits to grant to subordinates of visiting Patriarchs and other major powers, but they definitely weren’t meant to be given out lightly and to people who little was known about; people who could possibly cause a lot of trouble in the Core District. Yet, the old man decided it would still be a better idea to give in to Wu Bai’s demand and face the punishment for insubordination than to directly offend the eccentric expert in front of him.

    “Ho?” Wu Bai chuckled, pleasantly surprised by the old man’s choice. He wasn’t clueless enough not to realize the old man would face consequences for letting them in just like that, so for whatever reason it was he was grateful for the preferential treatment he was receiving. Thus, after he took the remaining little stash of twentyish leftover permits from Li Fu and Lo He for himself, he spread his Heavenly Sense a little and said a few words to the old man.

    “There is a faint aura of death around you. You are reaching the end of your longevity, aren’t you?” he began by stating the obvious fact as he glanced into the old man’s eyes.

    The old man, listening to Wu Bai’s voice in his head felt his heart throbbing wildly as it hadn’t in the past one hundred years. He nodded slightly, barely stopping himself from trembling all over.

    “Just like many people, you are but half a step away from Spirit Severing. Alas, this one step is the hardest to take…” Wu Bai mused through his Heavenly Sense, then smiled and suggested. “There are many great, tall and massive mountains in the Black Lands that aren’t occupied by any Tribes or Clans. Perhaps, if one was to carefully search the peak of one of such mountains with his own two eyes, then he would find a place that could aid him in taking that last half a step,” he suggested, giving the old man a chance to make his wishes come true.

    When the old man heard the words transmitted to him by Wu Bai, he finally couldn’t suppress the excitement anymore and began shaking uncontrollably. He carefully engraved every word of the advice into his mind, his eyes shining with the bright light which had been gone from them for many long decades. He clasped his hands and sent through his spiritual sense. “Thank you, senior!” and after he did, he immediately flew at the ground level, striking through the streets at a great speed and heading out of the Wild Flame City. The chance he had pursued his whole life, the chance he had nearly given up on was finally there!

    “Amusing fellow,” Wu Bai said aloud. Before him the young guard seemed not to be capable of understanding what had just happened, Li Fu and Lo He with their followers had a hunch or two as to what could have caused the old man to act in this way.

    “Let’s go, I can’t wait to see my friend,” Wu Bai urged and gestured with his hand for everyone to follow. He passed through the gate to the Core District, leading the powerful group of one hundred Cultivators in white and red robes.

    ---

    “Seems to be here,” Wu Bai said to himself, looking at the spacious residence surrounded by a tall, sturdy wall. Unlike with the Outer and Inner Districts of which he had only a rough grasp after scanning the city with his Heavenly Sense in the very beginning, he remembered pretty well where exactly he had sensed Lei’s aura and where his house was located in the Core District.

    The unexpected thing was however, that in front of the steel gate to the residence a crowd of a few hundred people had gathered and at the moment, was absorbed in some kind of a heated argument.

    “Why don’t we listen for a bit?” Wu Bai said with a smile as he raised his hand to stop everyone. They just so happened to be walking through one of the smaller side alleys, so their presence so far went unnoticed, of which Wu Bai intended to make us. As far as he was concerned, it was an ideal occasion to get involved in another possibly interesting thing.

    “This friend of yours…” Li Gen approached Wu Bai and began saying quietly. “Could it be he is that rank ten Dragoneer who is the honored guest of the Wild Flame Patriarch?” he asked, prone to believe that Wu Bai’s acquaintance would be equally incredible and eccentric as Wu Bai himself. A mysterious Dragoneer who appeared in the Black Lands out of nowhere, refused to join any of the Great Tribes no matter how much was offered to him definitely fit these conditions very well.

    “Yup,” Wu Bai confirmed without beating, seeing no reason to be roundabout it now that he arrived at Lei’s place. “They sure are angry, though. We are standing so close, but they aren’t noticing us at all,” he added, returning his attention to the large group of quarreling people and foremostly, to the two men and one woman who were in the middle of this standoff and appeared to be the very reason for it taking place.

    Before they started listening, Li Fu and Lo He exchanged a glance. With the confirmation of who Wu Bai’s friend was, they also recalled a certain piece of information they were aware of. Meaning, the underground society was preparing to get rid of that very Dragoneer.

    They weren’t a part of this plan as the Wild Flame Patriarch had compensated them well for the neo-demons he took off of them and to begin with, it wasn’t like they had any outstanding Dragoneers amongst their ranks anyway. None of the members of their gangs held too much of a grudge against the Wild Flame Patriarch because of what he did, thus given that they were sharing the place with the Patriarch’s Wang family they simply didn’t see it as beneficial to get involved in a plan targeting the Patriarch’s guest.

    After exchanging a few words through their spiritual senses, the two men silently decided they would soon bring this issue up to Wu Bai, but not right now. They had a feeling Wu Bai wouldn’t want to have his fun interrupted at the moment and since the assassination attempt was still a few days away anyway, they saw it as no problem to delay telling Wu Bai about it by a few dozen minutes.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 11. An Argument About Nothing.


    “I fail to understand why are you two trying to argue with me,” the middle-aged man wearing a red robe with the mark of a red-eyed salamander, the symbol of the ruling Wang family, expressed his concerns in a somewhat dismissive manner.

    He was the top Dragoneer at the services of the Wang family and just like that newly arrived young man he had heard so much about, he was a level ten Dragoneer! The two of them, having a chance to talk, would definitely be able to exchange their knowledge to mutual benefit.

    “You think that just because you are mere two levels above me, you can cut in line, Wang Huan?” the woman wearing a plain white robe said angrily. “You know very well that Master Lei accepts only one guest per month and talks with him only for a few hours at most! It’s your fault that you were in a secluded meditation for so long! I have already booked this spot!” she repeated herself, wondering if the stinky geezer failed to understand her words the first time she said that.

    She went through a lot of effort to put herself into the official schedule and needed to promise many favors to various people to get that spot. She wasn’t about to give it up just because the high and mighty Wang Huan finally bothered to leave his secluded meditation and felt like having a chat with Master Lei!

    “Mere two levels?” Wan Huan smirked self-confidently. “Do I need to remind you how big difference there is between rank eight and rank ten Dragoneer, little Yan Qiao? Did you already forget to whom you were coming for pointers when you were beginning to walk the path of a Dragoneer?” Wang Huan pointed out and shook his head with a resigned smile.

    As far as he was concerned, the matter was settled the moment he came here. Neither this little girl nor that clueless youth were qualified to obstruct him. However, since Yan Qiao appeared not to be convinced, he could perhaps go out of his way to take a step back, or so he thought to himself.

    “Very well. Since you are so stubborn, I will compromise. I will personally answer two questions of yours about raising neo-demons and the methods used to control them. As for talking with brother Lei, you can come again next month,” he offered generously and by all means, considered the matter to be settled… little did he expect to be yelled at the very next second.

    “Come here next month?! Do you even realize that Master Lei is said to have nearly finished the Patriarch’s request and will likely leave soon? He might not even be here the next month!” Yan Qiao clicked her tongue. It wasn’t like her to raise her voice; she would usually be very composed, but this stinky old man really knew how to annoy a world and a half out of her.

    “You can also save your ‘questions’ to yourself. You are a horrible teacher,” she added with a snort, albeit she without shouting anymore. Even now she could remember how happy she had been when Wang Huan had agreed to give her a few pointers… only to prove to be utterly incapable of explaining anything in any sensible manner. She really should have known better considering that he had never taken in any apprentices!

    “And here I thought you would be reasonable,” Wang Huan said resignedly, not even angered by Yan Qiao’s provocative words; quibbling with a woman who couldn’t understand her place was below him. “Let me see if anyone here will oppose, when at the dawn I enter the mansion,” he stated confidently and looked around at the faces of the gathered experts and various Dragoneers.

    “Damned old man…!” Yan Qiao cursed silently, seeing that indeed no one was about to step up for her or oppose Wang Huan in any way. With no support from others, the only remaining option would be for her to use force and fight Wang Huan off… yet, it was pretty much an impossible feat for the current her. Not only was she considerably weaker than Wang Huan, his neo-demon horde was much larger and many times more powerful than hers.

    Rumors said that one of Wang Huan’s most powerful beasts was actually at the level of a Heavenly Demon with power equal to first Spirit Severing! Wang Huan perhaps wasn’t the most pleasant person to be around and surely enough, didn’t know anything about teaching, but regardless of that his abilities as a Dragoneer were definitely sublime.

    “Don’t you think you are forgetting about somebody, Master Huan?” the young man with dim, red hair spoke up, apparently feeling that it was a good moment for him to get involved in the conversation. He was kind of getting the idea that Master Huan and Master Qiao weren’t treating his desire to talk with Master Lei seriously; one might have even thought they were thinking he was only joking around! The prudence!

    “Ever since I saw Master Lei demonstrate the three neo-demons he is nurturing to grandfather, I came to adore the Dragoneers! Just then I had realized what the true purpose of my life is; and that’s to be become a Dragoneer!” the red-haired young man exclaimed, his eyes shining with a dangerously clear hint of growing fanaticism.

    “I, Wang Kong, shall rise to prominence as the strongest Dragoneer this world has ever seen! And my path shall begin grandiosely by having the famous young genius, Master Lei teach me the basics!” the young man shouted up into the air, raising his hands while looking at the starry sky.

    In his own eyes, Wang Kong must have thought he was being ‘grandiose’ and that his words were truly epic, but the few hundred onlookers were at a loss for words. Were it not for the fact that Wang Kong was one of the more pampered grandsons of the Wang family, many of them would have begun laughing, but as the matters stood they all focused not to reveal the expressions of disbelief and ridicule on their faces.

    The ever-lazy Wang Kong who barely reached the Core Formation by the age of thirty even with all the resources provided to him by the Wang family would suddenly change and reveal a great talent as a Dragoneer? It would be hard to make up something sounding as ridiculous as that even if one tried and yet, the young master seemed to be completely serious about it.

    “The young genius, you say?” Wang Huan inquired, temporarily ignoring the part about Wang Kong intending to force his way into the residence. “I’ve heard that brother Lei is young, but exactly how young is he?” Wang Huan specified his question, completely brushing off anything Wang Kong said the moment before.

    Wang Huan himself had been well over one hundred and fifty years old when he had finally reached the threshold of rank ten Dragoneer. He heard that this ‘Lei’ was young, but how young was he exactly?

    “Probably around eighty, ninety years old, even if he Is a great genius,” Wang Huan mused loudly, waiting for Wang Kong or somebody else to confirm his guess.

    “Oh, I don’t know. We never asked,” Wang Kong clarified, obviously very happy to be talking about Master Lei’s greatness. “However, his looks very young, just a bit older than grandfather himself. I saw him with my own two eyes and truly, Master Lei looks like a fourteen year old boy,” he elaborated with a broad smile, as a result sending a wave of amazed murmurs through the crowd.

    Usually, if a Cultivator had a youthful appearance it meant he must have not only progressed at the path of cultivation very quickly, he also must have started cultivating at a very young age! There was a reason most sects recruited people only sixteen or older; it was not only incredibly rare to begin cultivating at an earlier age than that, it was also greatly dangerous! Only those with unworldly aptitude would be able to cultivate safely and efficiently when they were still children.

    “Fourteen?” Wang Huan said with a laugh while shaking his head. “It’s doable for a top-tier Cultivators to maintain their youthful appearance as long as they commit themselves to training slowly and meticulously ever since they’ve learned how to read and speak; just look at our Wild Flame Patriarch himself. He is six hundred years old, but he looks like a twelve years old youth,” he explained very simply, happy to see that the excited faces in the crowd were calming down.

    “Everyone should already understand what I mean, no? Brother Lei is undeniably a very talented Cultivator, but there’s no way one can reach the pinnacle as a Dragoneer as a teenager. Brother Lei simply chose to maintain his youthful appearance, just like our Patriarch did,” he summed up with a chuckle and gave Wang Kong a glance, wondering how could this pampered kid have ever gotten into such a misconception.

    After Wang Huan finished speaking, Wang Kong looked down at the ground, recognizing that Wang Huan had a point. He very much wanted to believe Master Lei was just incredible and the greatest… but thinking he was fourteen just because he looked so was unreasonable.

    However, he couldn’t help but be angered by some of the people in the crowd around them when they started wondering around how could they have so thoughtlessly assumed Master Lei was so young just because ‘Wang Kong said so’. He knew how long it took people to become level ten Dragoneers, even Wang Huan only reached this level at the age of one hundred sixty eight, but was it so wrong of him to believe Master Lei was special and unique?

    “It’s strange,” Wang Kong murmured stubbornly. He could always tell if someone was happy or sad, if he was lying or telling the truth and if the person was experienced, or rather young. In Master Lei’s eyes he saw nothing but a youthful look, the kind Cultivators who lived for decades no longer had. He had also noticed a well-hidden hint of loneliness in Master Lei’s eyes… but it wasn’t what he was thinking about at the moment.

    Either way, if he were to look back, then perhaps it was because of this feeling which he had gotten from Master Lei that he didn’t question his own logic and assumed Master Lei was just as old as he looked to be? “Right, there’s no way I could have been wrong!” Wang Kong said to himself, then raised his head energetically and looked straight at Wang Huan.

    “Master Lei can’t be so young, or so you claim Master Huan. But how can you be sure?” Wang Kong questioned enthusiastically, causing Wang Huan and almost everyone else to stare at him in disbelief. Was he really trying to dispute something so unreasonable?

    “You can have your opinions Master Huan,” Wang Kong spoke with a smile, without being taken aback by the crowd’s reaction at all. “However, I saw it in Master Lei’s eyes! I assure you he is a genius these lands have never seen! I’d dare to say he isn’t even twenty yet!” he stated confidently, apparently seeing no problem in using this line of arguments.

    Wang Huan raised an eyebrow and gave the young master a look of pity. He shook his head resignedly, unwilling to do as much as try to dispute something so unreasonable as Wang Kong’s detached from reality views; it would simply be below him.

    “I think we are missing the point here,” Yan Qiao said loudly, frustrated by the behavior of the two men. One was set on getting inside the residence no matter what while the other was speaking about silly things and couldn’t understand the former was planning to disregard him in the end anyway. Honestly, these two were straining her nerves way past the bottom line.

    “The problem is we still haven’t decided who is going to meet Master Lei,” she stated outright, still hoping to somehow get past Wang Huan and go to the meeting she had worked so meticulously to set up to begin with. As for Wang Kong… well, she wasn’t too worried about an idiot like him. He was annoying, yes, but she was pretty sure she could handle him one way or another.

    “Oh, but that’s pretty simple,” Wang Huan said casually. “Of course I will be the one paying visit to brother Lei, I can’t see the problem you are speaking about, little Qiao,” he concluded arrogantly, speaking as if he was stating an already determined outcome.

    “Huh?” Wang Kong frowned, but his expression lightened up soon afterwards. “Master Huan, you are already an expert Dragoneer. It couldn’t be that you would rob a junior of his great chance to embark onto the part of a Dragoneer?” he questioned with a completely innocent smile, certain that Wang Huan wouldn’t ever act in such an inconsiderate way.

    For the first time since he came here, Wang Huan stopped smiling. He had never expected this spoiler young master to randomly come up with an argument which would really put him in a difficult spot. He could of course respond that Wang Kong likely had no talent as a Dragoneer and him meeting with Master Lei would be a waste of time, but thinking something and saying it aloud was very different indeed. If he were to argue Wang Kong’s incompetence before this crowd, it would be him who would lose the face by looking as if he was picking on the weak!

    “Wait a second,” Yan Qiao stepped in between the two, refusing to be taken out of the picture. “I’m not far away from becoming a rank nine Dragoneer. After that, I would advance to the peak in a decade or two! The Tribe would have another level ten Dragoneer at its disposal. Don’t you think that’s more important than providing pointers for a total beginner or exchanging pleasantries between two Masters?” she pointed out rather brashly and the very next second, began worrying if she hadn’t said too much… but surprisingly, many of those in the crowd seemed to be taking her side.

    After all, most of the people here didn’t have an incredible innate talent like Wang Huan and weren’t young masters like Wang Kong. In their hearts, they could relate to Yan Qiao who obtained everything she had with effort. Moreover, they were beginning to feel that they had more to gain from her than from Wang Huan who would hard to deal with and rarely ever left secluded meditation anyway.

    As Wang Huan, Wang Kong and Yan Qiao started at each other, everyone became silent for the period of few seconds. They were all waiting for one of the three to speak up again, but just then a carefree and amused voice rang out from one of the nearby alleys.

    “It’s nice to see you are all so eager to meet Lei, but I fear I will be the one paying him a visit today,” Wu Bai called out with a smile, walking out of the alley with Li Fu to his right and Lo He to his left. The siblings of the two walked together a few steps behind them, leading the one hundred elite members of the two gangs.

    The three people in the center and the crowd of a few hundred surrounding them quickly turned to look and see who in the world could be speaking so brashly, only to either freeze in place or go into an uproar. Those red robes, those white robes… those powerful  ripples of Nascent Soul cultivation bases! How could anyone of them not recognize the elite troops of the White Ravens and Red Devils?

    Wang Huan had already been about to rebuke the arrogance of the speaker, but his words got stuck in his throat when he saw who this grey-cloaked person was being accompanied by. When in secluded meditation, he had been regularly receiving jade slips with the more important recent information. Thus, he knew how the leaders of White Ravens and Red Devils looked and he realized that exactly those two personas appeared to be escorting this grey-caped man!

    “Those people are…!” Yan Qiao gasped, instantly recognizing the leaders of White Ravens and Red Devils with whom she has had a chance to get acquainted with. “Who’s this man in a grey cape?” she wondered nervously, scared to think what kind of a man this person needed to be to have those two monsters who controlled a greater half of the Wild Flame City to obediently follow half a step behind him.

    “Huh? And why would that be you?” Wang Kong asked, displeased by this sudden statement of the grey-caped man while apparently failing or refusing to read the mood in the slightest.

    Both Wang Huan and Yan Qiao gave the young master a look of pity, for once agreeing on something. Wang Kong might have enjoyed a preferential treatment as one of Patriarch’s pampered grandchildren, but if he managed to offend a person whose strength neither of them could even sense… he would have finally crossed the line.

    Yet, although neither of them would admit, they also were slightly ashamed of themselves for not voicing their disagreement with this grey-cloaked man immediately. The line between bravery and stupidity was a thin one, after all.

    “And why would I need to explain that to you?” Wu Bai asked with a slight smile as he approached the three people in the center, the crowd around them having quickly made a way for him and his companions.

    “Uh, because I asked?” Wang Kong replied after a moment of deep thought. He was pretty confused as no one has ever asked him a question like this, thus he somehow ended up failing to get the idea that Wu Bai had no intention of actually explaining himself, but instead was trying to pressure him.

    Wu Bai shook his head and laughed, not having expected his subtle threat to be misunderstood. “What an interesting fellow,” he thought, deciding to actually go ahead and speak with the young red-haired man for a bit.

    “I want to see Lei now and I don’t really feel like waiting for you bunch to finish your appointments with him. Is that explanation satisfactory?” Wu Bai stated cheekily, the slightly threatening tone of his words and the pressure emanating from the two gangs standing behind him making everyone’s hair to stand on end. Yet, the young master the words were directed to seemed to be unfazed and what’s more, he was cool-headed enough to notice a fact everyone else had omitted.

    “Why are you calling Master Lei without any honorifics? Do you two know each other or are you just so rude?” Wang Kong asked fearlessly, ready to defend Master Lei’s honor in case the man in front of him was being impertinent when referring to his idol.

    “Hm? Are you my friend or something?” Wu Bai replied with a question, entertaining the red-haired man’s game. “What qualifies you to ask about my personal relationships?” he asked teasingly, trying to follow the red-haired man’s line of reasoning merely for the fun of it.

    “Uh,” Wang Kong’s expression sank; he truly had no rebuttal to Wu Bai’s argument. “I’m sorry, it was wrong of me. I just didn’t want to see anyone disrespecting Master Lei,” he apologized without hesitation, startling both Wu Bai and everyone else.

    By Wang Kong’s own reasoning, he would often be approached by people he didn’t like and who didn’t like him, but would for some incomprehensible reason try to befriend him. His logic has always been simple; not to do to others what he wouldn’t like to have done to himself. He understood how it felt to be pestered about personal matters by someone who wasn’t your friends, so just like the grey-caped man pointed out, he had no right to inquire about his relationship with Master Lei.

    “Oh?” Wu Bai raised his eyebrows, then smiled at the red-haired man. “I indeed am Lei’s friend, so I don’t think I am disrespecting him in any way by dropping honorifics,” he said lightheartedly, feeling pretty well disposed towards this overly honest and simple young master. Despite being a bit clueless, the youth appeared to be a good person.

    After he listened to Wu Bai’s response, the look in Wang Kong’s eyes changed. “So you are Master Lei’s friend! Brother, I am sorry for speaking rashly! Please allow me the honor of knowing your name!” he said merrily and clasped his hands with an honest smile on his face.

    “Don’t you think you should introduce yourself first before asking another’s name?” Wu Bai asked with a laugh, amused by the red-haired man’s behavior.

    “Right!” Wang Kong gasped, then hurriedly bowed his head apologetically. “I’m Wang Kong, the seventh son of the fifth generation of the Wang family!” he introduced himself excitedly, thrilled to be talking with Master Lei’s friend.

    “I’m Wu Bai,” Wu Bai said simply and chuckled, wondering who had taught this formal formula to this overly energetic, painfully honest young man. Most likely, he had this phrase beaten into his head when he was young, so it simply stuck with him into his adult days. After all, he didn’t look like someone who would be fond of formalities or would care about the hierarchical order in the family.

    “Brother Wu Bai,” Wang Kong clasped his hands once again, then made a declaration which made Wang Huan and Yan Qiao speechless. “I wouldn’t dream of getting into a way of Master Lei meeting his friend. Please go ahead, brother Wu Bai.”


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 12. Loneliness.


    “Wait, wait, wait!” Yan Qiao nearly shouted, unable to believe how Wang Kong could be so naïve and clueless. “How do you even know that he really is Master Lei’s friend? You believe him just because he said so? And what’s up with this ‘meeting a friend’ anyway? Master Lei has a formal appointment scheduled in the morning! You can’t just barge in and deny us the entry!” she practically yelled into Wu Bai’s face, totally forgetting her worries about Wu Bai’s strength and about the hundred powerful Cultivators he was accompanied by.

    “As far as I don’t agree with this little miss’s brutish way of delivering her complaints,” Wang Huan spoke with a stern expression on his face. “I also disagree with your right to refuse us the appointment. Brother Lei has agreed to a deal with our Patriarch you see. The deal states that he will meet one person per month and talk with him and exchange the pointers. Whether you are affiliated with those two groups you’ve brought along and whether you are brother Lei’s friend or not doesn’t matter. It’s completely irrelevant,” he stated clearly, certain that the pure, logical arguments were on his side and that in the end, this grey-caped expert would need to acknowledge them.

    Wu Bai laughed quietly, somewhat helplessly. He looked at the stubborn woman and the annoying man, wondering how to best convey the message that he couldn’t care less about their opinions or ‘rights’ in the slightest. However, he wasn't quite in the mood to argue with them and he didn’t want to use force either. “Eh, so annoying,” he thought silently, beginning to feel he had had enough fun with various people for today.

    “Brother Wu Bai wasn’t lying about being Master Lei’s friend, I am sure of it,” Wang Kong said seemingly out of the blue, but only after he had made sure Wu Bai wasn’t about to reply to these two; he didn’t wish to interrupt Wu Bai by accident, after all. “I saw it in his eyes when he said he is Master Lei’s friend, he wasn’t lying,” he repeated stubbornly, seeing that Wang Huan and Yan Qiao looked rather doubtful and unconvinced.

    “Young master,” Wang Huan spoke up, taking on a preaching, reprimanding tone. “No one denies your ability to read from people’s eyes, but still it’s unwise to just believe a random expert who came here and makes wild claims. It’s the Wild Flame City, not a random tavern by the roadside,” he argued, implying - and quite rightfully so - that in the Wild Flame City the law needed to be obeyed.

    Wang Kong opened his mouth, but closed it right afterwards. He simply didn’t know how to reply to Wang Huan. His heart was telling him to side with Master Lei’s friend, but his brain was telling him that he need to abide the law. He was in the middle of a deep, internal conflict, when a sound of a window frame being slammed open with a bit too much strength startled him and everyone else.

    “Wu Bai!”

    Everybody simultaneously turned to look in the mansion’s direction as a youthful, happy voice rang out. Many people gasped when they saw a youth with long, black hair who looked to be about fourteen years old. From what Wang Kong said, could this youth possibly be...? And more importantly, didn’t he just call out to that grey-caped man by his name?

    “Lei,” Wu Bai said with a laugh as the fourteen year old flew up to him and hugged him over his neck, which hug he quickly returned.

    The scene of caused an even bigger commotion to explode within the crowd of onlookers. Wang Huan’s face stiffened, Yan Qiao’s began flinching uncontrollably while a happy, ecstatic smile appeared on Wang Kong’s face.

    Wu Bai and Lei however cared little about the reactions all those people were having. It’s been more than a years since the two of them last saw each other due to the most recent, freakishly long training session of Wu Bai’s. Previously he had been coming to hang out with Lei at least once a week, but this time they really ended up not seeing each other for much too long.

    Meanwhile, after the initial shock passed, Wang Huan finally realized that the youth who was hugging this grey-caped man had an astonishing cultivation base but a step away from Spirit Severing. Yet, despite being ‘just a step away’ this long-haired youth was giving off a quiet, menacing pressure which was making him, a level ten Dragoneer shiver in fear. This sensation… it was stronger than that of even some of the Spirit Severing Patriarchs he had met over the years!

    “He is a level ten Dragoneer and is so powerful as a Cultivator? How can it be?!” Wang Huan questioned in his thoughts, refusing to believe there could be someone so superior to him in every aspect. “No… it’s impossible. He must be someone of the older generation who is concealing his identity!” The thought hit him like a ton of bricks. Suddenly, everything started making sense to him. After all, there no other explanation could even make any sense!

    At the same time, Yan Qiao swallowed heavily. Although she couldn’t sense Lei’s cultivation base as clearly as Wang Huan could, she still got a feeling as if she was staring into a bottomless pit which could swallow her whole when looking at Lei. Rather than fear however, the sensation only enhanced her desire to meet and study under this exceptional person.

    On the other hand, Wang Kong appeared to be honestly happy for ‘brother Wu Bai’ and ‘Master Lei’ to have reunited. He looked at the two with a smile, not even considering the option of interrupting the moment with some pointless questions. Friendship, oh what a beautiful thing it was!

    “How have you been?” Wu Bai asked happily after putting Lei down to the ground, having had been hugging him for a good while already.

    “Quite good. I found a really amazing neo-demon at this Tribe, too,” Lei answered with a broad smile. He had only been willing to stay at the Wild Flame Tribe for so long and nourish neo-demons for the Wild Flame Patriarch because he wanted to have this particular one for himself so badly! “Come, I will show him to you,” he said and pulled Wu Bai along, flying over the crowd and heading back to his mansion.

    “W-what about the meeting?” Yan Qiao shouted after Lei, by this point too perturbed to be acting in a calm and collected manner.

    Lei looked over his shoulder, then called out without stopping. “Cancelled,” he stated coldly and flew inside through the same window he had left a moment ago.

    Wu Bai glanced back at the two nuisances, chuckled and disappeared inside the mansion with Lei, leaving Wang Huan, Yan Qiao and the whole crowd of a few hundred people completely speechless. Even Li Fu and Lo He were surprised to find out that Wu Bai’s relationship with that Grand Dragoneer was so close. To them, the two appeared practically like brothers!

    Wang Kong simply nodded to himself contentedly and left the place, heading back to his home without a word of complaint. Both Wang Huan and Yan Qiao started at him as he was walking away, amazed by his incomprehensible behavior. Moreover, the fact that Wang Kong had randomly chosen to act friendly to Wu Bai was making the two of them incredibly mad. Given how Wang Kong behaved and how they behaved, it was most likely for Lei to invite him and not them to his residence in a few days, all because he established a good relation with Lei’s friend by a chance.

    Just how could have this day turned out to be so ridiculous? They wondered, but it wasn’t like either of them could do anything to change it.

    “I guess we are going back,” Li Fu said aloud. Were it not for him understanding Wu Bai’s personality, he would have gotten angry that he and his men were made to tag along just for the fun of it, but since he did he came to not mind. “We should both leave someone here just in case Wu Bai wants to contact us. Given how peculiar he is, he might not feel like using his Divine Sense to look for us,” he added with a laugh and exchanged a glance with Lo He.

    “I agree,” Lo He replied simply, talking sparsely just like he always did. There was also the matter of delivering Wu Bai the news about potential danger in which his friend was, but that could also by relayed by the men they would leave here. Thus, after electing one person each to stay guard at the gate to the mansion and informing the two of what they needed to know, they left the area and returned to the Inner City.

    The whole crowd began dispersing not long afterwards, without doubt impatient to tell what all of them heard and saw to their friends and family. It definitely wouldn’t take long for the news of Lei’s mysterious friend who arrived by his residence with the White Ravens and Red Devils at his side to spread throughout the Core District, then the Inner and Outer Districts alike. By tomorrow evening, the whole Wild Flame City would have already heard about the mysterious, grey-caped expert.

    ---

    “Come here, we go to the underground,” Lei urged, walking down the stone stairs leading deep into ground, many hundreds of meters below the building and below the whole city.

    “I’m coming, I’m coming,” Wu Bai said with a laugh, admiring the simple yet grandeur interior of the mansion as he followed behind Lei. “Oh?” he murmured, seeing the open trap door and the fairly wide tunnel leading to something akin to catacombs. “That must be the layer just above their Dao-reserves, it should be quite big too,” he mused, stepping below the ground. As the tunnel itself wasn’t too interesting, he took one step and flickered, moving to the very bottom in one instant.

    “Hey, wasn’t I supposed to hurry? What are you still doing on those stairs?” he called out to Lei who was still lagging behind by a good kilometer, having descended the stairs only halfway through.

    “So fast,” Lei said in surprise as he flew down, hurrying to join Wu Bai. One year ago he was still capable of seeing the blurry image of Wu Bai when he moved at top-speed, but now… he failed to notice anything but a gush of a wind after he had been passed! “You’ve gotten so fast, have you broken through to the Dao Seeking?” he asked, landing with a light ‘thud’ at Wu Bai’s side.

    “Not yet. I am at the bottleneck just a step away from it.” Wu Bai shook his head. From what his gut feeling was telling him, it would likely be impossible for him to advance any further in body-refining without slaying a Spirit Severing Cultivator. However… it wouldn’t be like him to just search for an unlucky person, stir up some self-justified conflict and kill him. He didn’t really need more power right now; he could take it easy; and moreover, enhancing his body was far from the only way his strength as the Immortal Slayer could increase!

    “That being said,” Wu Bai brought up, giving Lei a curious look. “Your body is already at the Spirit Severing level, isn’t it?” he inquired, guessing from the kind of speed Lei had shown him a dozen seconds ago.

    “It is,” Lei said proudly and smiled at Wu Bai, obviously looking to be praised. Although given his Greater Demon bloodline his talent for both cultivation and body-refining was utterly astonishing, he still needed to put a great amount of effort to get to this level so fast while also tending to and growing his neo-demon horde at the same time.

    “You really trained hard, eh?” Wu Bai said and tousled Lei’s hair, somehow feeling really happy and at peace as he watched the youth’s satisfied and slightly flushed face. “Come on, show me that new neo-demon of yours, I’m curious,” he said merrily, then chuckled a little as he and Lei exchanged a glance.

    “They are a bit further away,” Lei said energetically and after confirming with a glance that Wu Bai would follow him, flew deeper into the huge, underground complex of catacombs. Given their speed, the two of them passed through a good part of the main tunnel, which was about two hundred meters wide and three times as high, in the blink of an eye.

    About Three kilometers from the entrance under Lei’s mansion, they arrived at a seemingly simple, large double door. Lei almost mechanically gathered a bit of spiritual energy over his hand and transformed it into a slim chain of flames and sent it into the lock. The lock clicked loudly and the next second, the door sucked in a considerable portion of spiritual energy from the air. A complicated set of previously imperceptible runes shone with a bright, fiery-red light and temporarily removed themselves from the greater formation defending the outer layer of catacombs.

    “It will close again soon,” Lei explained as he led Wu Bai inside the complicated net of smaller, dark corridors. “The place serves as training ground for the Wang family. There are thousands of Immortal Caves here and even some sturdy rooms where Nascent Soul experts can spar without worrying about damaging their surroundings or revealing their secret arts to enemies,” he briefed Wu Bai into the basic knowledge about this underground construct, knowing that he would be interested to learn more about it.

    “Nascent Soul, perhaps,” Wu Bai mused, giving Lei a meaningful glance. The youth laughed, then reassured. “I wouldn’t enter this place if I wasn’t sure I can break out with force if needed, I’m not stupid,” he said and pretended to pout, recalling all those times Wu Bai told him to be careful in the past ten years. He wouldn’t endanger himself needlessly when they weren’t together. He didn’t want to die a stupid, pointless death.

    “Oh, good,” Wu Bai said with a broad smile. “You won’t need to be worrying about it too often anymore, though,” he added, to which Lei immediately looked at him with an unexpectedly serious expression. “What is it?” Wu Bai asked, confused as to why Lei reacted in this way.

    “No, it’s just…” Lei slowed down briefly, but then shook his head and said. “Let’s enter first, we are already close,” he suggested and sped up a few hundred meters ahead, stopping in front of a simple door. He flicked his finger and opened it the same way as the previous large door, then quickly entered inside the huge chamber.

    The smell of medicinal herbs hit Wu Bai’s nose the moment he entered the spacious hall; he also sensed a sudden increase in the level of spiritual energy in the air. Judging it by the first glance, the chamber was about one kilometer wide, four kilometers long and a few hundred meters high. Anywhere one looked, it was filled with various, powerful neo-demons which undoubtedly belonged to Lei’s household… but Wu Bai ignored the beasts, at the moment more concerned with something else.

    “So, can you tell me what was it about?” Wu Bai asked, then nodded slightly when Lei glanced at the spot in the corner of the chamber where various furs were laid out. The two of them flew over and sat down across each other.

    The awkward silence continued for a while as neither of them knew what to say. Wu Bai didn’t want to keep insisting, while Lei wondered how to begin.

    “You said… that you will be staying with me longer this time, right?” Lei asked, appearing to be quite nervous, what in Wu Bai’s eyes was pretty unlike him.

    “Yeah, I pretty much finished my training… there are still some things I’d like to meditate on, but I don’t think I can understand them at my current level anyway,” Wu Bai replied truthfully, wondering why his simple statement from a moment ago made Lei so emotional. Was the time which he had dedicated to training really been that hard for Lei to bear through? He never showed it or spoke about it to him, though...?

    Once again, Lei was troubled over what he should say next. He really wanted to confront Wu Bai on the matter which had been bugging him, but didn’t know how to do it properly. He also was rather scared of the answer he would receive after making the case. What if Wu Bai ended up leaving him completely alone because of it? He would never want something like this to happen!

    “You know,” Lei said quietly, looking down and fiddling with a piece of fur nervously. “After Nascent Soul, there is Spirit Severing, right?” he asked, as a result confusing Wu Bai by the sudden change of subject, but then grit his teeth and began explaining. “Three months ago, when I was training, I accidentally began my Severing…”

    Wu Bai tensed up at this information, instantly realizing the meaning of Lei’s words. He attempted a Severing… but obviously, he was still at the Nascent Soul stage. It could mean only one thing; that for some reason he had failed! He wanted to ask Lei a thousand questions at once, but seeing as Lei was giving his best to tell him about it at his own pace, he managed to refrain from interrupting him.

    “I didn’t plan to do it… I had only been thinking about what would I want to sever… but there wasn’t really anything I wanted to abandon,” Lei continued, speaking at a painfully slow pace. “Then, I started thinking how I missed you, and how it was… painful to be alone. I don’t even know when, but somehow the Severing began by itself…” he said and trembled slightly at the memory, then raised his head and looked at Wu Bai. “It seems like the focus of my first Severing was ‘loneliness’,” he said and shook his head strongly, hints of tears appearing in his eyes.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 13. Bonds Stronger Than Love.


    “The moment the Severing began, I realized that I just couldn’t go through with it.” Lei practically forced the words out of his mouth. “To get to the second Severing, I would need to be without loneliness… I would need to be with you! But, but, I knew that you didn’t even want to be with Wu Ling if it meant being chained to one place! You always do what do want and at the time you want! How could I ask you to… to stay with me, to not leave me alone anymore? I hesitated and the Severing failed!” in the end, Lei nearly shouted everything out.

    Breathing heavily, Lei looked at Wu Bai with teary eyes and flushed face. He was shaking a little, concerned rather with how Wu Bai was going to respond to what he just said than with the damage his soul and cultivation base had both sustained in consequence of the forcibly halted Severing.

    As he was listening, Wu Bai went through a series of unpleasant emotional states involving guilt, regret, shock, worry, anger and many else. To describe how he felt when Lei finished would be borderline impossible with mere words. Lei was most likely… no, he certainly was the person he was closest to in the whole world. He of course had loved Wu Ling deeply, but… he could tell that deep inside, even if it meant taking on unwanted responsibilities, he wouldn’t choose to leave Lei alone. He cared deeply about this youth whom he had met during the migration and ended up practically raising on his own. If he were to put it into words… then Lei was like a little brother, maybe even like a son to him. There was no way he would ever willingly hurt him or cause him pain!

    Yet, to think that he had never noticed or even considered that Lei could be feeling so lonely every time he would go to train or to wander the Black Lands without him… the awareness was painful, really painful and it was without considering that because of him, Lei’s future path as a Cultivator could have been seriously damaged.

    “What am I even supposed to say to that…?” Wu Bai said helplessly, feeling that no words would be enough to express how sorry he was. Since it was all he could do, he grabbed Lei under his shoulder, pulled him onto his lap and hugged him tightly. “I am such an idiot, I didn’t even know that you were feeling like that because of me,” he apologized, not knowing what else he should or could do. First, he failed to notice that Wu Ling was having a hard time, now it appeared he also hadn’t noticed that Lei was troubled by his behavior. Was this all his fault, in both of these cases…?

    As the time passed, Lei slowly began calming down while sitting on Wu Bai’s lap and being hugged tightly. He didn’t want to think about anything anymore, so he only hid his face in Wu Bai’s shirt and focused on breathing steadily.

    After a few minutes, Lei more or less regained his composure, but also once again began worrying about what Wu Bai would say now that he had learned everything.

    “Is your body all right?” Wu Bai asked, the awareness of Lei’s failed Severing weighing heavily on his mind.

    It took Lei a few seconds, but he replied quietly. “There was some damage, but I’m mostly recovered. There should be no long-lasting negative effects.”

    Hearing Lei say so, Wu Bai sighed in relief. At the very least he wouldn’t need to be miserable about crippling Lei’s potential for the rest of his life.

    “Say,” Lei spoke up a bit, clutching his fists on Wu Bai’s clothes. “If I asked you to stay with me, would you?” he asked nervously, the next few seconds of anxious anticipation seeming like an eternity to him.

    “You idiot, why wouldn’t I?” Wu Bai said helplessly. He smiled and brushed the hair away from Lei’s face with his hand. “I was a complete idiot to assume everything would be fine if I just frolic around and follow all my whims, I should have asked you how you felt about that… but instead, I didn’t and you felt obliged to go along with my whimsical choices,” he said and shook his head, then looked Lei in the eye and explained calmly.

    “I didn’t want to be together with Wu Ling exactly because she was putting the Tribe if not ahead, then at the same level as me. I mentioned it to you a few times, but never explained it properly…” he sighed a little, then concluded simply and with a warm, apologetic smile. “For the last ten years, I wanted to have you experience some of the world on your own… but I did it in a thoughtless manner. I never explained it properly… I never said that even though I view the Tribe as an anchor, I would never see you as anything of this kind,” he laid out, putting his feelings into words to the best of his ability.

    “I want to spend more time with you,” he added, a bit relieved to see Lei smiling through his tears. “I want to play with you, have fun with you just like we always have. If you are fine with a whimsical idiot like me, then I would like to keep being with you for as long as you want… oi!” Wu Bai chuckled silently when Lei suddenly hugged him with all his strength and started weeping quietly into his shirt.

    “Were it someone else, he would have gotten crushed to death,” Wu Bai thought with a smirk and returned the hug, tousling Lei’s hair with one hand by the force of habit. As far as he could remember, that was the first time Lei has ever cried in front of him. In the end, he was glad that these tears turned into ones of happiness and not of sorrow.

    “We really will stay together from now on?” Lei asked after a while, letting Wu Bai go for a bit and clearing his face with a gust of Demonic Qi. After all those battles during the migration, he got used to clearing his body in such a way; he didn’t need to concentrate at all to do it perfectly.

    “How many times are you going to make me say it?” Wu Bai asked with a laugh. “Yes, we will,” he reaffirmed regardless and tilted his head lightly, noticing that Lei apparently had something else to say.

    “Even if I tell you that I found my love and want to stay in this Wild Flame City forever?” Lei asked out of the blue and with a completely serious expression on his face.

    Shocked, Wu Bai started coughing as he choked with his own saliva. He started at Lei, completely flabbergasted… but he frowned a little when he noticed that the corners of Lei’s lips were uncontrollably quirking upwards.

    Taking note of Wu Bai’s suspicion, Lei stopped holding back and burst out with laughter. “I wish you could have seen your face,” he said with a cheeky smile and showed Wu Bai his tongue.

    “I guess I deserved it,” Wu Bai said helplessly and patted Lei’s head, amazed that Lei found such a way to get back at him. Truly, this one statement gave him quite a fright. As it seemed, this brat knew him a bit too well, eh?

    “Mm, you did,” Lei chuckled and took a deep breath, then slowly breathed out. He removed himself from Wu Bai’s lap and sat at his side, then tapped his bag of holding and released a three meters long red-eyed salamander.

    “That’s the little guy I got from Wang Dai, ah, that’s the Wild Flame Patriarch’s name. Amazing, isn’t he? Not even one year old but already a level ten neo-demon! In a year or so, I will make him into a Heavenly Demon with the strength of Spirit Severing!” Lei introduced the dangerous-looking beast which at first appeared to be aggressive towards Wu Bai but quickly enough shrank down as it instinctively sensed his superior power.

    “A good material for a companion. So, what did you promise the Wild Flame Patriarch in exchange? I heard you are raising some neo-demons for him,” Wu Bai inquired, happy that the gloomy atmosphere didn’t remain for long between him and Lei after they resolved their problems.

    “Nothing much, just nurturing three of his level twelve neo-demons to the ‘Heavenly’ class,” Lei said and smirked, exchanging a meaningful glance with Wu Bai. The two of them began laughing as Wu Bai immediately understood where the joke was.

    For Lei, simply uplifting a strong level twelve neo-demon to the early Heavenly class would take at most a few days as long as he was willing to use large amounts of Demonic Qi and tire himself out. Instead, Lei was spending many months at the Wild Flame Tribe and from the looks of it, had a very good environment for his neo-demons provided by the Wild Flame Patriarch. Basically, he was swindling the man out of his Tribe’s resources!

    “You had a knack for bargaining from the beginning, but that’s on an entirely new level,” Wu Bai commented, still laughing a little. From what he could see, the were about four thousand neo-demons in this chamber and none of them was weaker than level ten; meaning none was weaker than an average Nascent Soul Cultivator. “Are those all of your household?” Wu Bai asked curiously. One year ago, Lei had about three thousands neo-demons. After a year, how much have their numbers grown?

    “I have two thousand more in my bag of holding, all at the peak of level twelve,” Lei bragged, making Wu Bai wonder just how many tens of millions spirit stones had the Wild Flame Patriarch ended up spending on resources for Lei’s use. “The white-scaled dragon of mine is now a Heavenly Demon, too. Along with the three old ones, I now have four Spirit Severing Beasts,” he added cheekily, really happy with the quality of his household. Unlike some Dragoneers, he wasn’t fond of using large-numbers tactics. He preferred to nourish and care of a smaller amount of neo-demons and in exchange, have them get much stronger than they would have otherwise. Well, the unintended bonus of requiring less food to feed them was there, too.

    “So, what about you? Anything interesting happened when you were away?” Lei inquired and waved his hand, releasing all the neo-demons from his bag of holding just so that they could have some fun and stretch their legs. The four Heavenly Demons of his looked at Wu Bai, all four of them recognizing him. There was Wu Bai’s old companion, the black wolf neo-demon  ‘the black one’, there was Lei’s gold-furred ape, sword-feathered eagle and of course, the white-scaled dragon. By Lei’s own words, the red-eyed salamander would soon join this elite group.

    “I settled the things with Wu Ling,” Wu Bai said casually, scratching the black one behind his ear since the black wolf approached him and demanded some attention.

    “What?!” Lei shouted so loudly that even the black one’s fur stirred up in surprise. “Wait, she isn’t with you, so did it go badly?” Lei realized all of the sudden, starting to feel bad about being so excited about this news at first.

    “Mm, I guess that you are getting everything you need from this ‘Wang Dai’, but I brought something, too. Let’s eat some, I will tell you how my training went and what happened the past few days,” Wu Bai said with a smile and tapped his bag of holding, causing over a dozen large, bento-like boxes to appear. He opened one of them and licked his lips. The sweets he got from Vera looked to be as good as Tang Shan claimed them to be.

    “Whoa!” Lei rejoiced at the sight of so many snacks. The past weeks he had been in a bad mood so he didn’t go out to eat anything as good. He eagerly grabbed one of the chocolate cookies and stuffed it whole inside his mouth, then smiled blissfully.

    ---

    “What? Lei cancelled his appointment?” the red-robed youth asked with a frown. He wouldn’t make too much trouble for Lei because of how much he was indebted to him, but still, he would prefer if Lei at least informed him if he couldn’t welcome a guest at the given day. “What are the details?” he asked the messenger, knowing that there had been some kind of an argument as to who was going to be the one to meet Lei, but nothing much else.

    “Three people argued over the right of appointment; the Grand Dragoneer, Wang Huan, your grandson, Wang Kong and a fairly talented  level eight Dragoneer at our services, Yan Qiao. However, before those three could come to any agreement, a man called Wu Bai appeared with the leaders and elites of the White Ravens and Red Devils,” the messenger stopped speaking for a second in order to catch a breath, then hurriedly continued reporting.

    “After a brief argument, Master Lei noticed the commotion and went out of the mansion. Then, from what people are saying…” the messenger groaned quietly, aware of how precious that Dragoneer was to the Patriarch. The next piece of information would undoubtedly anger him, but he couldn’t very well keep it to himself just because of that. “Master Lei called out to that man by his name and hugged him, then told everyone that the appointment is cancelled before bringing that man with him to the mansion.”

    The red-robed youth frowned at the news. Lei might have appeared to be quite friendly with him on the surface, but he had never talked with him about himself or his past. Thus, he didn’t know who this ‘Wu Bai’ could be and didn’t know whether his arrival would prevent Lei from finishing the process of raising the Heavenly Demons for him or not.

    “Excuse me, Patriarch, there’s one more thing,” the messenger said hurriedly, seeing that the Patriarch was about to dismiss him and leave.

    “Speak,” the red-robed youth said a bit angrily, causing the messenger to tremble and kneel even harder into the floor as if he wanted to flatten himself down onto it.

    “There were people of the great circle of Nascent Soul who saw that man, including Master Wang Huan. They all claim they were unable to sense that man’s cultivation base at all,” the messenger reported in a shaky voice, hoping that he won’t be punished for being disrespectful. It was his first day on this post; of course he didn’t want to be killed by the Patriarch!

    Little did he know that all the rumors about Wild Flame Patriarch’s bloodthirsty nature were made up. The red-robed youth was a cunning person by nature, but he wouldn’t do something as senseless as killing his servants just because he was in a bad mood.

    “If they couldn’t, then this ‘Wu Bai’ must be a Spirit Severing expert,” the red-robed youth mused, dismissing the messenger with a wave of his hand. “Could he be a rogue Cultivator? I didn’t hear of anyone called ‘Wu Bai’ who possesses this kind of strength,” he stomped at the floor angrily, then disappeared as he employed minor teleportation, heading straight to the outer layer of catacombs.

    ---

    “How much are you planning on eating at once?” Wu Bai asked teasingly, seeing as by the time he finished telling Lei about the recent days, three boxes’ worth of sweets were already gone. With Lei’s physique, it wouldn’t be bad for him even if he ate everything here, but wouldn’t that be a bit too greedy?

    “Uh, but they are so good,” Lei complained, at the same time praising the sweets for like the twentieth time already. He glanced at Wu Bai, then after all took another sour jelly and put it into his mouth.

    Wu Bai laughed, but the next second his expression got serious all of the sudden. “Looks like the Patriarch is coming,” he sent mentally and indeed, not even a full second later the door to the chamber lit up with runic light and opened, allowing a red-robed youth to enter.

    “He really looks as young as they are saying,” Wu Bai mused silently. He would say that this red-haired youth in front of him was twelve years old if he hadn’t known better. “It’s strange that with this degree of talent he is still at the second Spirit Severing,” he thought to himself, guessing that the Patriarch simply wanted to do a thorough preparation before attempting his third Severing and possibly entering the Dao Seeking if fully successful.

    “Even I…” the red-robed youth, Wang Dai, noticed to his surprise and fright. “Even I can’t sense his cultivation base, not at all? That’s not the level of Spirit Severing… could he be a Dao Seeking Ancestor of some powerful Tribe? Or is he an expert who had lived in seclusion until now?” Wang Dai wondered, forced to reconsider the original attitude he had come here with. Were this ‘Wu Bai’ just a Spirit Severing expert, then he would indeed have had qualifications to act proudly before him. However, if he really was a Dao Seeking Ancestor then the matters were entirely different!

    “Why did you come, Wang Dai?” Lei asked, appearing not to be too pleased with the way Wang Dai just barged in without notice. He didn’t even have time to hide his four strongest neo-demons, so if Wang Dai consequently noticed them and scanned their strength, he would need to come up with an excuse as to why he had lied about the number of Spirit Severing beasts in his possession; not to mention this horde of over two thousand level twelve neo-demons, just a step away from the Spirit Severing level.

    “I heard you cancelled the monthly appointment because your friend came to visit,” Wang Dai replied in the most neutral way he possible could muster at the moment. “I was curious as to what kind of a person would make you so eagerly dismiss any other visitors, so I came to see,” he added, refraining from making any elaborate and overly humble claims. From his experience, Lei would effortlessly spot when he was being dishonest with him and by the looks of it, this friend of Lei’s wouldn’t let any blatant lies slide either.

    “Mhm.” Lei sighed a little. How could he not understand that Wang Dai had originally wanted to pressure Wu Bai by his sudden appearance, but decided not to the moment he realized Wu Bai was much stronger than him?

    In the end, Lei glanced at Wu Bai, who in turn shrugged his shoulders. Since the Patriarch already came over, would it hurt to exchange a few words?


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 14. Wang Dai, the Wild Flame Patriarch.


    “If it’s about the meeting, it would be good if it was pushed away by…” Lei began saying, but then became aware of a certain problem. He was about finished with the three neo-demons for Wang Dai and he also had other, more important plans for the next days. Rather than continuing his sentence, he cut it off completely and looked at Wu Bai. “Do you think it would be fine if we got over with the appointment this evening? I agreed to it, after all, but it would problematic if it was pushed to a later date,” he asked, mindful not to force Wu Bai to spend a time longer than he might want in this city.

    “Lei,” Wu Bai laughed, ignoring the slightly sunken face of the Wild Flame Patriarch’s. “You worry too much… or maybe I don’t speak enough? I won’t get tired of one place that fast and when I do, I will be sure to tell you,” he assured with a smile, then answered the original question. “And yeah, it’s not a problem if we have this appointment over with during today evening.”

    “Great,” Lei said happily and gazed back at Wang Dai, waiting for some kind of confirmation that it would be okay from him while also to his own amusement, realizing that he managed to unintentionally play on Wang Dai’s nerves.

    “It will be fine this way,” Wang Dai said resignedly, unable to prevent a hint of bitterness from making an appearance in his voice. It had been quite some time since anybody toyed with him in a conversation and he couldn’t do anything about it. How long…? Two, three hundred years?

    “Who of those three will you meet with?” Wu Bai asked the exact moment Wang Dai wanted to formally introduce himself. Wang Dai was beginning to feel angry, but he was helpless to do anything about it. If the Wild Flame’s Tribe’s Ancestors heard that he requested their help because he couldn’t be respectful to a foreign Dao Seeking expert, they would become furious with him.

    “Uh, dunno? I don’t really care,” Lei replied truthfully. Even though he heard a few things about those three from Wu Bai, he couldn’t care less. “You want me to meet any specific one of them?” he asked casually, further affirming Wang Dai’s suspicion about the degree of influence Wu Bai had on him.

    “Hmm,” Wu Bai scratched his cheek, trying to decide whether he should have some fun with this appointment, make it complicate, or maybe make it simple… or perhaps not get involved at all. “I think it would be a good idea to have all three of them come, but under one condition,” he said with a smile, the kind of which Lei recognized instantly. Wu Bai would always smile like that when he had an idea he considered to be ‘amusing’.

    “Let Wang Kong come by default and make the appointment of the other two dependent on whether he agrees to bring them along. It just needs to be made sure that he knows the time of the appointment won’t be extended no matter whether he comes alone or with others. As for how it plays out after those three are informed of that… let’s look forward to it,” Wu Bai laid out his idea, intent on lending a hand to those who prove to be worthy of it. He would give them a chance and as for what they do it, it would be up to them.

    “Sure,” Lei nodded, agreeing to the idea. Just like before, he gave Wang Dai a look, anticipating a confirmation from him.

    “We can arrange it like that,” Wang Dai said helplessly, not sure whether he should laugh or cry. He was the Wild Flame Patriarch! One of the strongest Cultivators of the Black Lands! Yet, a child and his friend were making a fool out of him and he couldn’t even bring himself to complain. By this point, he wasn’t even angry anymore and rather, was beginning to feel resigned.

    “I’m grateful, Wild Flame Patriarch,” Wu Bai said while looking Wang Dai in the eye, startling him by suddenly becoming considerate of him. “We allowed ourselves to tease you a bit, I apologize. Yet, I am happy to see that you turned out to be a reasonable person,” Wu Bai laughed, exchanging a brief glance with Lei. The two of them had their misunderstandings… but in situations like these, they knew what the other thought without any words.

    “As you probably already learned, I’m called Wu Bai. Do you think I could also call you by your name, Patriarch?” Wu Bai asked with a light smile, making Wang Dai not know what to think of him anymore. Was Wu Bai an arrogant, annoying person or just a carefree expert who apparently gave him a treating a senior would to a junior? The latter option was a bit humiliating, though he could bear with it if required.

    “I don’t mind,” Wang Dai said with a sigh and smiled, admitting his defeat in this little fight with words. Lei’s abilities were very precious to him and so was a long-lasting relationship with him. With how much influence Wu Bai appeared to have on Lei, he needed to make sure his relationship with Wu Bai was at the very least amiable… not mentioning the fact that Wu Bai was probably someone capable of killing him with one well aimed blow.

    “Great,” Wu Bai chuckled, to which Lei raised an eyebrow. Was there another ‘amusing’ idea? “Then since we are already familiar with each other, why don’t you do me a little favor?” Wu Bai suggested casually, not too against making an acquaintance out of the Wild Flame Patriarch.

    “A favor?” Wang Dai repeated, reminding himself that for once he wasn’t in the position of strength in the conversation. It truly wasn’t easy to hold his temper back after living as a Patriarch for the last four hundred years, but he managed to do just that. “As long as it’s nothing excessive,” he agreed reluctantly, not used to being the position of the one who is forced to agree to making a favor for another.

    “The thing is, I have a few men I captured and want to be killed and I need a good spot for that, something like an arena? I’m sure there’s something like this in your city. Also, I need to secure a place for a group of nine young beastmen. Don’t you think you could accept them as apprentices of the Wild Flame Tribe? I would be grateful if they had good, safe life provided. Of course, one without fellow disciples bullying them because of their race,” Wu Bai spoke of his requests, the first one being really minor, the second one being… a bit troublesome, but certainly nothing major.

    “Well then, how will he react?” Wu Bai wondered, considering lending this youthful looking man a hand in exchange for making things convenient for him.

    “The first matter is of no weight, there will be absolutely no problem with giving you access to the arena,” Wang Dai responded, quite apparently building up an excuse for the later part of the favor Wu Bai asked for. “However, creating a healthy environment for nine beastmen children is no simple matter. The prejudices against their race run deep in human’s blood, they would require an oversight of an expert to be completely safe,” he argued, then got straight to the point seeing as Wu Bai didn’t look like he wanted to listen to a lengthy, diplomatic explanation.

    “For me as a Patriarch, it would be perfectly doable, but I would also like to ask a small favor from you in exchange,” he followed up, leaving the matter hanging in the air as he waited for Wu Bai’s reaction or response.

    “Continue,” Wu Bai said lightheartedly, not even bothering to ask what kind of favor Wang Dai wanted from him.

    “In two days, I will be meeting my colleagues, the fellow experts and Patriarchs. I would like it if you went with me; just that and nothing else,” Wang Dai suggested, wording his intentions in a careful manner. Simply having an Ancestor-level expert with him would greatly ease the pressure those fellows wanted to apply to him. He didn’t need Wu Bai to speak for him or to get involved with anyone if he didn’t want to. He just wanted Wu Bai to lend him some face and allow him to save some spirit stones and treasures.

    “I think that’s going to be problematic,” Wu Bai chuckled, giving Wang Dai a cheeky look of disbelief. The Patriarch appeared to be thrown off, so Wu Bai decided to enlighten him. “Quite some information network you have, as you don’t even seem to be aware of the assassination plot against Lei,” he said accusingly, amazed that a Great Family could have made a blunder like that to begin with.

    “Judging by the look on his face, he really didn’t know,” Wu Bai mused and shook his head. Lei wouldn’t have been in much danger anyway and with how much stronger his neo-demon horde has proved to become, he would likely be perfectly capable of slaughtering all those who came after him. However, letting such attempts happen was unacceptable in the first place.

    “Are you being serious?” Wang Dai frowned, thinking that Wu Bai was kidding with him. “Heavens, you are serious…” he murmured after noticing what kind of look Wu Bai had on his face. “How have you learned of that? Is the source reliable?” he asked, the look in his eyes turning dangerous. If what Wu Bai said was to be proved true… then apart from those schemers, quite a few other people would need to be punished and he would see to it personally!

    “It should be, but we could also ask Li Fu and Lo He to confirm. Since your network is useless, hopefully theirs will prove to be worth something,” Wu Bai said with a laugh, then rolled his eyes slightly as Lei gave him a look which said to stop picking on Wang Dai already.

    Wang Dai himself couldn’t have not noticed this little exchange between the two; and what much could be said… it made him feel rather helpless. A kid was telling his friend to stop teasing him; really, he was too old to be dealing with people as childish as this Wu Bai.

    “Anyway,” Wu Bai returned to the subject. “You are familiar with the White Ravens and Red Devils, I presume?” he asked casually, to what Wang Dai nodded.

    “Good, then should we go see them? What do you think, Lei?” Wu Bai looked away from the Patriarch and asked, then exchanged a meaningful glance with Lei. He had said so, hadn’t he? That he would stay with him; and that obviously included properly asking and listening to his opinions.

    Lei chuckled and raised his eyebrows. “You are overdoing it. We will both go mad if you are going to ask me every time we are going to do something. I will make sure to speak up if I feel otherwise, okay?” he suggested with an honest, playful smile. He was happy that Wu Bai was being considerate, but their characters were pretty similar to begin with… maybe with the exception of Wu Bai being a bit more fond of looking for ‘interesting’ and ‘amusing’ situations and often provoking them himself. Yet, he certainly didn’t mind tagging along to watch Wu Bai fool around. After all, it really would often end up being really interesting and amusing.

    “Okay,” Wu Bai replied with a laugh and tousled Lei’s hair, the degree to which the two of them were familiar with each other amazing Wang Dai. He had his suspicions when he heard that Lei hugged Wu Bai, but he thought the two had a teacher-student like relationship. By the looks of it however, they were much closer than he had expected.

    “Forget about amiable, I need to be become friends with him for my own good,” Wang Dai said to himself, comforted by the thought that very soon three powerful Heavenly Beasts would end up in his possession. With them, no expert in the Spirit Severing would be able to stand up to him in a direct fight. Apart from the Dao Seeking Ancestors, he would have nothing to fear!

    “Let me collect my household,” Lei stood up and walked a few meters away, then released some of his Demonic Qi and sucked all of his six thousand neo-demons into his bag of holding. “Looks like he didn’t notice,” he murmured with a light smile.

    After the kind of conversation Wang Dai just had with Wu Bai, he thankfully wasn’t paying attention to things like Lei’s own neo-demons. The three promised to him were being nurtured in a separate chambers, after all. Thus, the little lie of Lei’s went unrevealed.

    “Done,” Lei tapped his bag of holding with satisfaction, then actually collected the remaining eleven boxes with sweets that were laying on the furs.

    “I still have more, you know. It’s the first one of the two identical sets I got,” Wu Bai said with a laugh. Lei always had a sweet tooth for snacks. Ever since they arrived at the Black Lands and the sweets became easily available, Lei would seek out some new sweet delicacies every few months and consume large amounts of them in the span of mere days.

    “Great, so we can have more of them after we return,” Lei replied merrily, then approached the exit and opened the door with a chain-like wasp of flames. “You know where to look for those red-robed and white-robed guys?” he asked, recalling that Wu Bai never mentioned this part when telling him about this bunch.

    “I saw two members of their gangs standing guard in front of the mansion,” Wang Dai spoke up, wondering in what way was Wu Bai connected to those two organizations and their leaders.

    “How thoughtful of them,” Wu Bai chortled, glad to be spared scanning the Inner District part by part with his Heavenly Sense. It was easy to find someone with whose aura he was very familiar with, but to seek out somebody he talked with for an hour or so? Still not hard, but surely rather annoying.

    “Let’s go,” Wu Bai said with a smile and glanced at Lei. He felt like hugging the youth again, but he also didn’t want to overdo it… but to his surprise, Lei chuckled and jumped at him out of his own accord, apparently recognizing his intentions and noticing the moment of needless hesitation.

    Wu Bai laughed, holding Lei tightly in his arms. He stayed like that for a while, then let Lei down back to the ground. The two of them smiled at each other, then head to the exit at a leisure pace.

    Wang Dai sighed, unwillingly being reminded of the time he had spent with his own children hundreds of years ago. In a somewhat nostalgic mood, he followed after the two. He wouldn’t admit it, but despite himself he had taken a liking to Wu Bai’s unruly, rowdy character.

    ---

    “There they are,” Wu Bai stated with a smile as he flew over the steel gate and saw the two men standing at it, one white-robed, one red-robed.

    “Think they have a message for you?” Lei wondered aloud, giving the two men a brief look.

    “I guess we will see,” Wu Bai smiled slightly, then smirked as the two men clasped their hands the moment they noticed him. “I want to see your leaders, can you bring me to them?” he asked, gesturing for the men to ease up.

    The two men exchanged a glance, then the white-robed one responded with a question. “Which one would you like to see first, Senior?”

    “The one whose house is closer,” Wu Bai replied without delay. He couldn’t be bothered about ‘choosing’ to visit one of the two before the other. He wasn’t the person to intermingle with those stiff formalities and annoying dilemmas as to who was going to get offended if you didn’t talk to him before talking with anyone else.

    “Yes, Senior. That would be my leader’s residence,” the white-robed man said respectfully and clasped his hands once more. Then, he noticed the red-robed youth and gasped. “Greetings, Wild Flame Patriarch!” he said and clasped his hands for the third time, in which act the red-robed man quickly joined him.

    “That’s going to be problematic,” Wang Dai smiled resignedly, then changed his red robe for another one of the same color, but without the mark of the salamander. He noticed the playful gaze of Wu Bai’s and snorted just a little bit. “It would be annoying if people kept recognizing me. This way, we will be just three people walking the streets,” he explained, not aware that the reason Wu Bai was amused was exactly because hiding one’s own identity and power and wandering around was exactly what he liked to do. Seeing the somewhat stiff Patriarch do the same made him smile; nothing more, nothing less.

    “Senior,” the white-robed man spoke up, seeking permission to speak.

    “What is it?” Wu Bai asked with a sigh, tired of hearing people repeat ‘senior’ ‘senior’ when referring to him.

    A little nervous due to the tone of Wu Bai’s response, the white-robed man bowed his head and said hurriedly. “Both of our leaders asked us to deliver you a message when as soon as you leave the mansion. They wish to tell you…” the man hesitated, glancing at the Wild Flame Patriarch, but in in the end he continued speaking. “to tell you that your friend, Master Lei will find himself in danger three days from now. They said that if you wish to know the details, then you can call for them to come to you anytime,” the man concluded and clasped his hands, peeking nervously at the Wild Flame Patriarch.

    When he saw that the red-robed youth wasn’t angered by what he just heard, the white-robed man breathed with relief. Only a half-wit would fail to understand what this warning implied in regards to the security provided by the Wild Flame Patriarch. For some reason, however, the Patriarch appeared to be pretty composed… what was suspicious in itself.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 15. Becoming Friends.


    “Looks like they knew and left a message,” Wu Bai said with a smile. “Is there any point in going to see them anymore? We know what we need,” he looked at Wang Dai, waiting for him to decide.

    “It would still be good to get the details confirmed. Rooting out the source of the problem would be for the best,” Wand Dai replied after a very brief second of thought, used to dealing with similar matters in a decisive way. It was best to kill the pests, preferably before they spread around your whole house.

    “Oh, that’s what I plan to do, too,” Wu Bai said with a chuckle. “That’s why I got enlisted as one of the assassins,” he added with a laugh, pleased to see that he managed to heavily surprise the Patriarch.

    “You are full of surprises,” Wang Dai said and sighed a little. Maybe it was the highest time for him to take example of Wu Bai and personally see what was going on in his Tribe instead of letting his subordinates run it. The fiasco with his intelligence unit only proved that he had been neglecting everything related to the Tribe for far too long.

    “Mm, let’s get going. We can chat on the way,” Wu Bai said lightheartedly. “Lead the way, please?” he gave the white-robed man a look and gestured for him to step forward.

    The man was startled both by the suggestion and by the polite way it was asked in, but he collected himself rather quickly. He clasped his hands once more, the degree of respect he had for Wu Bai rising at a quick rate. It was incredibly rare to meet powerful experts who were polite to those weaker and less influential than them, after all.

    “Wait a second,” Wang Dai spoke up, appearing to be perturbed by something. “I can’t be that you intend to walk the whole way there?  It’s going to take hours!” he said with disbelief. He had his worries when Wu Bai and Lei took their time to stroll out of the catacombs, but he would have never imagined they would want to walk on their legs through half of the city!

    “Don’t over exaggerate, it shouldn’t take more than two hours,” Wu Bai said with an amused smile. “Right?” he asked, giving the white-robed man a look.

    “Yes, Senior. Even if we walk at normal pace, it will take at most two hours,” the white-robed man replied courteously.

    “See?” Wu Bai laughed, then gestured the white-robed man to lead the way. “Don’t be such a killjoy, many interesting things can happen if you just walk and pay attention to your surroundings,” he said loudly since he already started heading down the street with Lei, not intent on spending much time on arguing with the Patriarch about the sense of having a walk.

    Wang Dai sighed bitterly and shook his head. He joined Wu Bai and Lei, left with no other option. He honestly doubted that anything would come from wasting their time in this manner, but what else could he do? Wu Bai didn’t appear to be open to arguments as far as this case was concerned.

    ---

    “Talk about a big house,” Wu Bai whistled, impressed by the sheer size of the estate the white-robed man led them to. So far, he didn’t see anything half as big in the Inner City, where the ground certainly didn’t come cheaply.

    “They don’t have access to the underground, so they need to compensate,” Lei said with a laugh, biting into the remaining half of the hot meat bun he bought along the way.

    “Senior Wu Bai has arrived to see the Leader, what Master Li Fu doing right now?” the white-robed man asked one of the two guards at the gate. The news about the recent events had long since spread through the White Raven gang, so as the two guards realized who they were looking at, they clasped their hands without delay even before answering their friend’s question.

    “Leader is having a reconciliation party at the Red Devil’s main mansion. Most of our elites are there, too,” the white-robed guard informed, sneaking peeks at Wu Bai and at the two youths who were accompanying him.

    “Oh, so this time you will lead the way,” Wu Bai said as he gazed at the red-robed man who was accompanying them.

    “Yes, Senior,” the red-robed man bowed slightly, then since he knew what was expected of him and had been spared the surprise, led the way from the front.

    “Are we going to walk there, too?” Wang Dai asked resignedly. He couldn’t understand how Wu Bai and Lei could enjoy something as boring and unproductive as trundling forward  at a snail’s pace and chit-chatting about everything and nothing the whole time. To him, those two hours had been a complete waste of time. If they used minor teleportation or just flew over they could have travelled the same distance in under half a minute.

    At first, Wu Bai wanted to answer ‘yes’ just to spite the Patriarch a little, but after exchanging a glance with Lei, he sighed and gave up on the idea. “Nah, let’s just fly over,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders and urged the red-robed man to go at his full speed.

    Wang Dai breathed out, thankful that he wouldn’t need to waste any more time today. He followed after Wu Bai and Lei and in the span of about twenty seconds, they arrived at their place of destination.

    “This one doesn’t lose in size either,” Lei pointed out as the red-robed man was  exchanging a few words with the guards.

    “They really are the most powerful organizations right after the Wang family,” Wu Bai commented leisurely, then glanced at the Wild Flame Patriarch who appeared to be really surprised by this piece of information.

    “Second only to the Wang family? They’ve grown so powerful?” Wang Dai asked in disbelief. Fifty years ago, those two gangs were already quite strong, but they couldn’t compare to the various branch families under his command. Yet, mere half a century later they’ve already come so far…? No, more importantly, mere gangs were allowed to come so far?!

    “I looks like the not only my intelligence needs to be reminded what their responsibilities are…” Wang Dai murmured, killing intent flashing past his eyes. “The one who was responsible for collecting neo-demons from our allies… was my grandson of the third generation, Wang Chanming!” Wang Dai recalled, the fury slowly flaming up within his heart. No reason Wang Chanming might have had for not informing him about the main family’s decline would be enough to justify it!

    “It looks like your Tribe is in more of a dire straits than it might appear to an outsider, huh?” Wu Bai said with a light smile, feeling somewhat sympathetic towards the Wild Flame Patriarch. “No point getting so worked up over it, just take it easy and fix the problems the best you can. You are a Spirit Severing Patriarch after all, right?” Wu Bai asked with a laugh. The next moment, pure out of habit created by dealing with youths he patted Wang Dai’s head without a second thought. The Patriarch looked like a twelve years old, so how could he be blamed?

    However, Wang Dai himself was flabbergasted by this act of Wu Bai’s; what was he thinking, patting his head like some child’s?! After the initial shock subsided, he shoved Wu Bai’s hand away and gave him a furious look, his face flushed red from shame, anger and embarrassment all at the same time. It certainly didn’t help him to calm down to see that Lei appeared to be suffocating with laughter, while the two guards and the two guides were looking at the scene with disbelief and a quite a big dose of amusement.

    “Even if you are an Ancestor, there should be some limit to how disrespectful you are!” Wang Dai shouted angrily, his patience slowly reaching its limits.

    “Disrespectful?” Wu Bai said while scratching the back of his head. “It’s just that you look like a youth, so I did that without thinking…” he explained resignedly, not knowing why the Patriarch was being so angry about something so minor. He could be displeased, but why yell at him? Well, at the very least the frustrated expression on the Patriarch’s face was pretty interesting to look at, so it wasn’t all bad.

    “You…” Wang Dai groaned, slowly putting his temper back in check. Technically speaking, Wu Bai was most likely many times older than him. Being treated like a child by him shouldn’t have been that much of an issue from this point of view, if he were to forget about his position as a Wild Flame Patriarch, that is. “Eh, just refrain from doing anything similar again, please. I want us to become allies, so I believe we should both treat each other with respect,” he elaborated, stating his intentions pretty clearly. He wanted to be on good terms with Wu Bai, but he certainly expected to be treated with the basic level of courtesy by him.

    “Allies, huh? It just doesn’t sit well with me,” Wu Bai said resignedly, at first startling Wang Dai, but then adding with a smile. “Instead of being something as vague as allies, why don’t we try to become friends?” he asked straightforwardly, looking the red-robed youth in the eye.

    Wang Dai couldn’t reply for a good few seconds, having been caught totally off-guard by this sudden suggestion. Friends…? How long has it been since the last of his friends died, how long since he became a Spirit Severing expert and people stopped befriending him because of what kind of a person he was, but solely for the purpose of establishing good relations with the ‘Wild Flame Patriarch’?

    “Don’t you think our personalities are a bit too different for us to become friends?” Wang Dai asked with a little sigh.

    “You think so?” Wu Bai replied with a laugh. “To me, it seems like you only forgot how to have fun after acting like a venerable Patriarch for hundreds of years,” he commented leisurely, giving Wang Dai a meaningful look.

    “Aren’t you going too far with your assumptions?” Wang Dai laughed helplessly, wondering how had Wu Bai managed to come up with such an impression of him.

    “But am I not right?” Wu Bai asked cheekily. “It’s pretty evident given the happy look you have on your face,” he pointed out with a laugh and chuckled, seeing that Wang Dai’s face once again began turning red. Could it be that even though he had lived for so long, he rarely associated with people and was pretty bad at talking with them on non-serious subjects?

    “Are you making fun of me?” Wang Dai asked suspiciously, still a bit angry at Wu Bai. He couldn’t help but feel so since Wu Bai was smiling and laughing the whole time.

    “I admit it’s pretty funny, but I’m not making fun of you,” Wu Bai said truthfully and ended up making Wang Dai not know what to think anymore.

    “Ah, whatever. I might as well try becoming friends with you. It’s not like it has any disadvantages.” Wang Dai conceded and shook his head. He closed his eyes briefly in order to calm down, but having a bad feeling, he snapped them open and indeed, gave Wu Bai a stare as he was in the middle of reaching out with his hand to his head.

    “What is that look?” Wu Bai asked, pretending to be a little angry. “We are supposed to be friends, right? Then stop resisting!” he said with a laugh and persistently tried to pat Wang Dai’s head. Wang Dai of course resisted and soon, the two of them began wresting away with Wu Bai laughing and Wang Dai appearing to be incredibly ashamed of what was going on. He was also surprised to find out that Wu Bai’s body was much stronger than his; to the point that Wu Bai really could treat him like a child while grappling with him.

    Well, grappling for the two of them, but as they trashed around, the poor courtyard was slowly turning into a wasteland with the flagstones being crushed to little bits and with pieces of them being sent in every direction with each stronger step of either of the two. The good thing was that both Wu Bai and Wang Dai were still holding back, as if they hadn’t… then forget about the courtyard, this entire estate would have likely ended up being blown to pieces along with all of its residents.

    “What the hell are those two doing?” Li Fu asked in disbelief, appearing at the courtyard with Lo He though the means of minor teleportation. “Wait a second, isn’t that the Wild Flame Patriarch…?” he gasped, then actually shook his head and laughed; he couldn’t have expected anything less ridiculous to behold from their benefactor.

    “They are making friends,” Lei said merrily, approaching Li Fu and Lo He. “You must be the leaders of White Ravens and Red Devils. I’ve heard of you from Wu Bai,” he smiled at the two and nodded slightly. “I’m Lei, by the way,” he added, gazing at Wu Bai and Wang Dai from the corner of his eye.

    “The famous Dragoneer,” Li Fu mused quietly, then concentrated a bit and felt out Lei’s strength… only to gasp in shock. The person in front of him looked like a fourteen year old, but was at the great circle of Nascent Soul just like him! What a monstrous talent this Lei had! “It’s pleasure to meet you, Master Lei,” he said hurriedly and clasped his hands.

    “Just Lei is fine,” Lei said casually and waved his hand dismissingly. Wu Bai never liked official titles, so the same tendency naturally rubbed itself off on him.

    “Nice to meet you, Lei,” Lo He said with a smile and exchanged a glance with Li Fu. Just from Lei’s behavior, one would be able to guess that he indeed was Wu Bai’s close friend. Previously, they saw Lei only for a brief moment, but now they hopefully would have a chance to have a proper talk with him, too.

    “Just relax and give up, you are too stiff about everything,” Wu Bai chuckled, choking Wu Dai lightly from behind while patting his head after finally having gotten ahold of him.

    “Just let me go already…!” Wang Dai said in a low voice, struggling with all his strength and blushing wildly from embarrassment. Good Heavens, people were watching! He was a Patriarch, not some kid!

    “You know, you hair looks spiky, but it’s actually quite soft,” Wu Bai commented and fiddled with Wang Dai’s hair a bit more before taking a step back and letting him go.

    Wang Dai turned around and gave Wu Bai a furious look, but seeing the carefree expression on his face… he could only shake his head and sigh. “You really enjoy teasing people, don’t you?” he asked resignedly, at the same time noticing that the people they came to talk to have a talk with have arrived at the courtyard.

    “I just like getting my way,” Wu Bai said cheekily and flew over to Li Fu and Ho He, avoiding the pile of rubble he and Wang Dai have somehow managed to create.

    When Wu Bai and Wang Dai approached them at the same time, the two leaders were put into a predicament as to how they supposed to greet them. Wu Bai was obviously higher in the hierarchy than the Patriarch, not only in their own opinions but also judging from what they just saw playing out before their own eyes. Additionally… Wu Bai had expressed that he didn’t want them to be formal with him, yet they surely should greet the Patriarch in a respectful manner. The problem was that they wanted to greet Wu Bai first and couldn’t quite bring themselves to say ‘hey’ or something so simple like that, while greeting the two simultaneously was out of the question due to conflict of formal and informal greeting.

    “What are you looking so troubled for?” Wu Bai asked lightheartedly, then gave Lei a glance as he came over and leaned against him. He chuckled and tousled Lei’s hair, wondering if the youth was being jealous of Wang Dai.

    Li Fu and Lo He exchanged a brief glance, then clasped their hands towards the Wild Flame Patriarch. “To be honest, we had a problem deciding how to go with the greeting,” Li Fu said without hiding anything, at the moment more worried that the Patriarch was going to feel offended than that Wu Bai was going to care about it.

    “No offense taken,” Wang Dai said with a hopeless chuckle. He might have minded something like this ‘in the past’, but now that he spent a few hours dealing with Wu Bai… he couldn’t bring himself to give a damn about something so minor.


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 16. Figuring Out a Few Things.


    Li Fu nodded gratefully at the Patriarch, then looked at Wu Bai and asked. “So, what is your reason for coming? Do you need us for anything?”

    “Yeah,” Wu Bai smirked, anticipating the events of the next few days. “Tell us everything you know about the people who are planning to kill Lei,” he said leisurely, but with a very dangerous look in his eyes. He would surely take great pleasure in ripping all those bastard into little pieces soon enough.

    “Oh, so you’ve received the message,” Li Fu breathed with relief. After they have left, he began worrying what to do if Wu Bai didn’t come out from the mansion for days and the message couldn’t be delivered, especially since telling Wu Bai though the Wang family was pretty much out of the question… but thankfully, he had worried for nothing.

    “Yeah. I already knew about it beforehand, but I certainly appreciate the thought,” Wu Bai said with a smile. “Why don’t you take us inside? I would love to drink some good wine,” he added, giving Li Fu an expectant look.

    “Red, white?” Li Fu gestured the three to follow him and asked. Were it some other person than Wu Bai, he would have immediately come to suspect that he was making thing up in order not to owe him as much of a favor, but since Wu Bai was who he was, the thought had briefly crossed his mind before he discarded it entirely. Experts could quite often by dishonest, but as far as he was concerned Wu Bai with his personality couldn’t be accused of having this trait.

    “Red and sweet,” Lei replied quickly and exchanged a glance with Wu Bai. Both of them liked the same kind of wine, but would only drink it from time to time. Their bodies might not be affected by alcohol if they so desired, but having something too often killed the pleasure of eating or drinking it. Lei himself applied the same principle to his sweets, taking care not to be snacking all the time.

    Li Fu raised his eyebrows slightly as he looked at Lei, then nodded and accepted the request. At the same time, he smiled when he came to think that the relationship between Wu Bai and Lei resembled that between him and Lo He from their younger days. The last few years their gangs had often had conflicting interests, so they had gotten further apart from each other… but hopefully, after the last night they would be able to go back to being the same lifetime friends they had once been.

    “I would rather have white, if anyone cares,” Wang Dai said with a chuckle and shook his head. Hanging out with Wu Bai was really a new experience for him, one which he had long since forgotten.

    “Uh, of course,” Li Fu laughed helplessly and gave the Patriarch an apologetic look. Luckily, Patriarch didn’t appear to be angry, so he could worrilessly lead everyone into a private meeting room.

    ---

    “Unbelievable,” Wang Dai groaned, repeatedly tapping the table with his finger. “To think that somehow so many Tribes and rogue organizations got involved… do they not fear my Wild Flame Tribe at all? Even that rascalous son of Huyan’s dares to work with them, just because I offended some random friend of his?!” he said through his teeth, filled with complete disbelief. Lei was his honored guest! To plot an assassination against Lei was the same as offending him personally! Yet, so many people were brash enough to do that? This was an utter disgrace!

    “It’s more serious than I thought,” Wu Bai said with a dark expression on his face. He wasn’t worried about being able to mop the floor with anyone who came to attack Lei, but had he come to the Wild Flame City just a week later… then Lei really might have died by the hand of those people. If such a thing happened… he would have probably leveled the entire Black Lands with the sole exception of the Crow Divinity Tribe.

    “Huyan Feng from the Heavenly Pursuit Tribe,” Wang Dai said angrily. “Ma Li from the Holy Soil Tribe, Dong Jinhai from the Nine Transformations Tribe, Cao Biyu from the Divine Wind Tribe. Four Dao-children! That’s utterly ridiculous. Are you certain that this information of yours isn’t false or inaccurate?” he asked sternly, giving Li Fu a very serious look.

    “As I said,” Li Fu repeated with a sigh. “The Association approached us to see if we want to work together with them or not. We declined as we had no reason to make an enemy out of you, then did the usual thing and investigated the matter. Since you are running a Tribe, you should know best that information is more precious than gold, right? Neither my White Ravens nor Lo He’s Red Devils would have grown to what they are today without a very accurate information network,” he noted somewhat arrogantly, giving the Patriarch a meaningful look.

    “You knew, but didn’t inform me,” Wang Dai said with a snort, the last remark of Li Fu’s appearing to have actually hit him right in the sore spot.

    “There is no close relationship between us,” Li Fu stated coldly, feeling that the Patriarch was being unreasonable. “If we told you, we risked getting on the bad side of many powerful people and the Tribes behind them. I’m sorry to be blunt, but I highly doubt any information we gave you would have avoided having its sources leaked,” he stated without coating his words with sugar, perfectly aware of the poor state the Wang family was in. He had some affection for the Wild Flame City itself, but he wouldn’t put all his comrades and his family in danger over the life of one Dragoneer invited by the Wild Flame Patriarch. The benefits and losses simply wouldn’t add up.

    “And you?” Wang Dai snorted, then looked at Wu Bai. “Are you fine with this state of things?” he asked, making Li Fu and Lo He quite nervous.

    “People always act according to their desires,” Wu Bai said with a shrug of his shoulders. “Even when they do something that’s unlike them, they always have another thing in mind further down the line which they see as more important, or perhaps the guilt of the past which they want to get rid of makes them behave different than they would normally have,” he said resignedly and proceeded to finish up the little rant of his. “There’s no point in blaming people for acting as their human nature tells them to. That would be hypocritical. Instead, it’s better to provide them with incentives to act like you want them to.”

    “So to answer your question,” Wu Bai smiled and shook his head. “No, I don’t blame them for not acting to save Lei. They had no incentives to do otherwise, after all,” he summed up and honestly, made Wang Dai, Li Fu and Lo He speechless. In their eyes, Wu Bai was a thoroughly whimsical person… but actually, there was some sense to his actions?

    “So if they had incentives to kill Lei and acted to do it, you wouldn’t be angry either?” Wang Dai asked, not sure if he understood Wu Bai correctly. Were people not to blame for their actions only because they had, or hadn’t had incentives to act otherwise?

    “You must be joking,” Wu Bai chortled, the look in his eyes changing dramatically. “If they actually came to attack Lei, I would have wiped them out to the last person without a moment of hesitation,” he said very seriously, the smile of his causing Wang Dai and the two men to feel shivers running down their spines.

    “Well,” Wu Bai added with a sigh. “There are some other people I know were into the whole assassination plan, but since they were nice enough to tell me and helped set up a few things, I overlooked them. The incentive not to get on my bad side simply proved to be worth more than hiding the truth and going through with their original plan,” he explained, trying to put his sometimes incomprehensible actions into proper words.

    “Mm, there’s that,” Lei spoke up with an ironic smile. “Or the kind of mood you are in at the moment,” he said and chuckled, to what Wu Bai laughed and tousled his hair.

    “Yeah, sometimes it can be a thoroughly emotional decision, too,” Wu Bai admitted, aware that if something made him completely furious, he wouldn’t look for ‘less guilty and more innocent’ people of the bunch. Were one of his dear friends to die an unjust death… he would probably go as far as slaughtering the whole Tribes, not just the mere few dozen of directly responsible people. He wasn’t an overly idealistic ally of justice or any person like that.

    “Back to the subject,” Wu Bai said with a smirk. “Apart from those four Dao-children, are there any notable rogue organization involved?” he asked, looking for the answer from the white-robed Li Fu.

    “There’s a rough gathering of a few dozen gangs and bandit Tribes, but there are no noticeable major forces amongst them. A few people at the great circle of Nascent Soul, yes, but no truly powerful groups. I’d say that most of them are either acting in collaboration with the Dao-children who made the secret request through the Association, or just want to get back at the Wild Flame Patriarch for stealing their or their friends’ neo-demons,” Li Fu elaborated briefly. To the best of his knowledge, in the whole Black Lands there were some groups comparable in size and power to his White Ravens or Lo He’s Red Devils, but they would usually be affiliated with a Great Tribe in one way or another. They would operate in the grey areas, but wouldn’t go as far as getting into any major conflicts with the law. Naturally, none of such groups would want to get into a direct fight with any of the Great Tribes. Just like Wu Bai said a while ago, it simply wasn’t worth the candle.

    “Right, I forgot to ask,” Wu Bai brought up and looked at Lei, then at Wang Dai. “What’s up with this whole neo-demon hunt you did for Lei? How was it worth to piss so many people off?” he asked, wondering what the reasoning behind such a reckless decision was.

    “Uh,” Wang Dai didn’t appear to be too happy to be asked about this and neither did he want to reveal the details while these two men were listening… but since Wu Bai was the one asking, he felt that he had little choice on this matter. “Lei wanted two thousand top-quality neo-demons in exchange for nurturing one more Heavenly Demon for me. I got a bit too greedy as there were only one and a half thousand neo-demons fitting his criteria in my Tribe, so I went around collecting five hundred more in a somewhat…. forceful way…” Wang Dai sighed, then gave Wu Bai a helpless look. “I knew a lot of people would be angry, but I never imagined they would openly act against me! Four Great Tribes, too! Just because I took neo-demons of a friend of their friend?” he shook his head, having no idea what those people were thinking. Had his Wang family really declined so far that the other Great Tribes saw no problem in offending him?

    “I just wanted more good neo-demons,” Lei said in a tone implying ‘it wasn’t my fault’. “I didn’t think he would start robbing people to get them,” he added helplessly, a bit ashamed of the awkward outcome his demand provoked.

    Wu Bai laughed resignedly. Just as expected, the whole cause of this troublesome event was a relatively minor thing. The fate simply loved to play such tricks on people, didn’t it?

    “The Wild Flame Patriarch is right,” Lo He spoke up all of the sudden, getting everyone’s attention. “Collecting some neo-demons from the Black Lands shouldn’t have made four Dao-children act against the Wild Flame Patriarch’s honored guest. Even if the Patriarch managed to offend a friend of a Chosen or of a Dao-child of a Great Tribe, the meeting which seeks compensation from him should have been the most that happened. The bandits might have planned some vengeance on their own, but they shouldn’t have had neither the contacts or power necessary to plan killing a rank ten Dragoneer,” he pointed out, perhaps able to look at the whole matter more objectively as until now he had spoken little and was a bit more like an onlooker than a person directly involved.

    “You’re right, that’s pretty strange,” Li Fu agreed, kicking himself for not thinking of this possibility before Lo He brought it up. “Patriarch, let me ask you. Are there any reasons those Tribes might want to… get rid of you?” he asked carefully, implying the true purpose of the unfolding events.

    “Why would they?” Wang Dai snorted, unable to accept this possibility. “I rarely do anything apart from training, I don’t remember having any old, unsettled grudges either,” he declared strongly, thinking that if those short-sighted buffoons were to really attack him, they would be doing nothing but kicking a steel plate with their bare feet. He had been hiding his true strength exactly for such purposes and was confident that even six or seven first Spirit Severing Patriarchs would be unable to win against him!

    “Then, do you happen to have anything they might desire so badly that they would kill you for it?” Li Fu inquired further, but the Wild Flame Patriarch simply shook his head.

    “I wish I had treasures that would make it worth to take the risk of attacking me, but I don’t,” he said truthfully, making the matter even more problematic.

    “Maybe…” Wu Bai spoke up. “Maybe they know that you aren’t far from attempting your third Severing and want to prevent a Dao Seeking expert from appearing in the Black Lands? After all, apart from those mummified freaks in the Dao Repositories all over the place, there aren’t any active Dao Seeking Ancestors around. An appearance of one would heavily shift the balance of power,” he guessed randomly, making Wang Dai not too happy about his secret being revealed to these two men… but at the same time, making him wonder if that couldn’t be the reason.

    “I think you are over-thinking it,” Lo He declared unexpectedly. “The Tribes don’t necessarily need to see what their Dao-children are doing as an act of war. I think that the Patriarchs want to just get some spirit stones and treasures out of the Wild Flame Patriarch just because a chance to do so has appeared. All those at the Spirit Severing tend to be dejected from the world, just like you, Patriarch… They don’t usually spend their time scheming and planning,” Lo He wanted to say something else, but suddenly fell silent, repeating the last few words he just said in his mind.

    “The Dao-children, however, certainly do...” Lo Ho mused aloud, becoming aware of a certain possibility. “Don’t you think that the information about your guest’s ability to nourish demons into Spirit Severing level would make Dao-children willing to act behind their Patriarchs’ backs and take a risk? And it just so happens that you gave them a perfect opportunity to act,” he said with a slight smile and seeing that others still didn’t get what he meant, explained his reasoning.

    “Patriarch, you made some enemies by collecting neo-demons, then the Dao-children pretended to be offended and asked their Patriarchs to seek compensation from you, knowing that it will make you leave the Tribe for a period of time. After that, they would lure Lei out and make it look as if he was killed and his neo-demons taken by the bandits in revenge for what you did… while in reality, they would imprison him and force him to breed Heavenly Demons for their personal use,” Lo He tried to put the matter as clearly as he could, not used to speaking so much on any subject. He never was too good with putting his thoughts into words, after all.

    “Just like Wu Bai said, it’s necessary to look for incentives,” he added with a smile. It were those words of Wu Bai which made him think in this way and thus, enabled him to come up with such a conclusion.

    “They could have just waited for Lei to leave my Wild Flame City, why take the risk of offending me? It doesn’t make any sense,” Wang Dai argued, not seeing how the ends of this theory could fit together.

    “No, it does,” Li Fu disagreed, the look of understanding appearing on his face. “If you work underground long enough, then you will sooner or late realize. How to make sure that people don’t suspect you? Make sure they don’t know you were involved and make sure no one thinks you would have gotten involved in something like this in the first place! Think about it, everyone. Why, despite Lei’s rising fame as a Dragoneer, has none of the Tribes acted to forcefully make him join them? Because they knew that other Great Tribes wouldn’t stand for it,” Li Fu said energetically, feeling that they’ve managed to dig into the very substance of this affair.

    “They needed to act at the time and in the way that no one would suspect them, as the members of the Great Tribes, of being involved! To begin with, us finding out that those Dao-children had anything to do with this assassination was a mere coincidence. I doubt many people are aware of this fact. Most must think all that is going on is a mere attempt on Lei’s life by a group of bandits and gangs,” Li Fu said with a satisfied smile and exchanged a glance with Lo He. His friend was very perceptive, while he knew how to elaborate. They’ve always made a good team.

    “Just ask yourselves. If after learning that Lei had been lured out of the city by a promise of finding a rare, wild neo-demon, then ‘killed’ and all of his neo-demons robbed off of him, would you have suspected bandits who the While Flame Patriarch managed to offend a few months ago, or the venerable Dao-children of the Great Tribes?” Li Fu made the case and judging from everyone’s expressions, he could tell that they found some sense in what he was saying.

    “But is it really worth it for them? They are Dao-children of Great Tribes, why risk everything for the sake of a Heavenly Demon?” Wang Dai asked, refusing to completely give in to Li Fu’s and Lo He’s theory.

    “Exactly because they are Dao-children is why they are willing to take the risk,” Li Fu said with a laugh and explained hurriedly, seeing the frown on Wang Dai’s face. “Patriarch, in your times you were a domineering figure of your generation. No one could rival you, so you probably never experienced it… but you must remember what rules the Dao-children are bound by?” Li Fu inquired and smiled, noticing the changing expression on Wang Dai’s face.

    “There can be only one Dao-child per a cultivation stage, with the exception of Qi Condensation which doesn’t permit Dao-children,” Wang Dai said bitterly. The life of a Dao-child was by many means great, but this position also required one to engage in often life-or-death battles from which there was no escape! Surely enough, those Dao-children at the Nascent Soul stage would see a mighty neo-demon as much more precious than anyone else would. Possessing one Spirit Severing beast as a trump card would practically secure their position and could easily save their life at more than one occasion!

    In comparison to that, the risk involved in this plan of theirs wasn’t that big. They could always lie their way out if something went wrong, or simply kill Lei and pretend that nothing ever happened and that they know nothing. On the other hand, the people would be talking about how ‘the Wild Flame Patriarch’ allowed his honored guest to be killed by bandits! No public attention would be focused on anyone else! The information about the miserable state of the Wang family would very likely be leaked out, thus escalating the whole event in a direction favorable those Dao-children…!


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 17. A Few Surprises.


    “May it be damned,” Wang Dai cursed silently. The many little things he did or didn’t do somehow ended up accumulating and in result, gave an opportunity to others to make use of him in their plans. The fact that he didn’t properly care for the Wang family and allowed it to deteriorate, the fact that he went to gather neo-demons, the fact that Lei remained at his Tribe for a long period of time… damn it all!

    “If all of that is true,” Wang Dai said angrily, clenching his fists with enough force to make the table crack just from the light contact with them. “Then I’m going to have a lot of people with whom I will need to settle businesses with. Oh, a lot of people…!” he bellowed, releasing a frighteningly powerful killing intent. Those corrupt and incompetent members of his family, the bandits, the Dao-children…! He would murder all of them!

    “No need to be hasty,” Wu Bai said lightheartedly, unfazed by the killing intent of Wang Dai’s. “Why do something you might regret later? For now, I suggest going with the flow of events,” he said with a smile, causing a look of confusion to appear on Wang Dai’s face.

    “Explain?” Wang Dai said, curious what Wu Bai had in mind, aware that at the moment he personally was a bit too aggravated to make a calm and wise decision.

    “As I already mentioned, I enlisted for Lei’s assassination party anyway, so I will go and see if the thing with Dao-children is true,” Wu Bai said casually, looking forward to unveiling the secret behind this whole initiative. “It would be good if I got some precise information on those four, like their appearances and what kind of abilities they use,” he said on the side note, giving Li Fu a brief look. After receiving a nod from him, he looked back at Wang Dai and continued.

    “We will first to finish the matters at hand, then you can head out to the meeting of Patriarchs while I will go to the gathering of bandits,” he said merrily, exchanging an amused glance with Lei. “It’s important to keep everything secret, so it would be good if you didn’t take any actions before setting out,” he added, giving Wang Dai a happy look. Since Lei wasn’t in danger anymore, being involved in an interesting matter like this one was the most Wu Bai could ever ask for!

    “We will need to suppress the information about our today’s meeting, then,” Li Fu mused aloud, ready to take the necessary precaution to go along with Wu Bai’s plan.

    “No need,” Wu Bai said dismissingly, then explained as everyone appeared to be confused. “The more you try to hide something, the more suspicious everyone gets. I don’t think anyone recognized Wang Dai today and the fact that I came here with Lei shouldn’t be too important of a matter. If they really honed a grand scheme, they won’t call it off just because something seems a bit dangerous like Lei wandering around with his friends. Even if the rumors about my strength will spread, they will likely consider them exaggerated and at most, will be a bit more cautious,” he elaborated leisurely, knowing a thing or two about hiding secrets and acting low-key from his younger days.

    “Hm,” Li Fu considered Wu Bai’s suggestion, then nodded in agreement. “As long as we aid spreading the rumors about your strength being fake, it should work out better than just suppressing all the information,” he admitted without missing a beat, admittedly not having considered this option at first.

    “I guess it should work out,” Wang Dai said, then clicked his tongue. “That being said, I can’t wait to deal with those troublemakers. Both inside, and outside of my Tribe,” he added with a sinister smile, but raised his eyebrows when Wu Bai and Lei chuckled at the same time. “Did I say something funny?” he asked helplessly, looking at the two amused friends.

    “I told you we might be pretty similar, after all,” Wu Bai said cheekily, exchanged another glance with Lei and laughed again.

    “Really, people like you are…” Wang Dai groaned, but ended up smiling from his heart. Truth to be told, he didn’t mind being with these two at all. It was… unexpectedly pleasant experience, despite all the teasing he had so far suffered from Wu Bai.

    “Do we need to discuss anything else?” Wu Bai brought the question up and when no one spoke up, he nodded and stood up. “Then, I will rely on you two to keep what we talked about an absolute secret and to do as we agreed,” he said with a smile, looking at Li Fu and Lo He.

    “Yes, of course,” Li Fu replied and along with Lo He, clasped his hands. The two of them were heavily in Wu Bai’s debt, so they naturally wouldn’t dare to be negligent in carrying out any requests coming from him.

    “Mm, let’s get going,” Wu Bai glanced at Lei and at Wang Dai, then reached out to his cup and finished what wine was left in it. “Time to pay Vera and Tang Shan a visit, I bet they are going to be surprised,” he mused aloud, then headed to the ‘Fiery Palace’ with his two companions.

    ---

    “What is this brothel?” Wang Dai commented quite loudly when he entered the lowest floor of the ‘Fiery Palace’. The guard at the stairs and a few dozen of the regular customers who were enjoying themselves at the bar and at the tables immediately turned to look, irritated that someone would refer to this exclusive place with a term as downgrading as ‘brothel’.

    “If you aren’t happy with what you see, you can always leave, brat,” one of the well-drunk men called out in a hoarse voice, shaking his half-full mug of beer towards Wang Dai all the while spilling drops of liquor all over the floor and his own sleeve.

    “Brat?” Wang Dai frowned, feeling more helpless than angry. “Do things like that happen often?’ he glanced at Wu Bai and asked resignedly.

    “They sure do, especially if you provoke them,” Wu Bai replied with a laugh, somewhat surprised that the rowdy-looking guests stopped at sending a few unpleasant looks towards them and apart from one drunkard, none engaged in an argument with Wang Dai.

    “Senior, mistress awaits you on the top floor if you wish to meet her,” the guard stepped away from the stairs and said respectfully, having recognized Wu Bai by the description he had been given. He didn’t know who Wu Bai or his companions were… but since lady Vera gave an order to treat Wu Bai better than even a honored guest, he was sure that Wu Bai wielded both great power and influence.

    The people who heard the guard speak to Wu Bai in such a respectful way suddenly began feeling rather nervous and at the same time, grateful that they hadn’t spoken up to against the red-robed youth at Wu Bai’s side. The Fiery Palace had very strict rules and only a few chosen people would ever have the chance to meet its mistress personally and surely enough, each and every one of such people would be someone they couldn’t afford to offend!

    “We will go see the kids first, tell those two to come down soon,” Wu Bai ordered with a light smile, then headed upstairs after receiving a nod from the guard.

    “’Those two’… you don’t think he could have meant mistress as one of ‘those two’, could he?” a random man asked, his voice resounding surprisingly clearly throughout the floor amidst the perplexed silence.

    “I will give you all a simple piece of advice,” the guard spoke after making sure that Wu Bai and his companions left the range his voice could reach. “That grey-caped man isn’t a person any of you can afford to speak ill about, so think twice before you do something stupid,” he advised with a snort and returned to watching over the stairs. Even though he couldn’t care less if all the people on this floor got massacred by Wu Bai, he needed to make sure that her mistress’s special guest and his companions were comfortable; and that of course included not being stared at in an unpleasant way, no matter what rude comments they made about the Fiery Palace or even about the mistress herself.

    Following the guard’s words, the bar and the tables roused with whispers and conversations made through spiritual senses. Most of those people here were one way or another involved with the underground community… and quite a few of them had less than pleasant expressions on this faces. Some had seen enough people be killed over a grudge more petty than a bad glare at a wrong time and didn’t wish for the same thing to happen to them, others had different worries on their minds.

    ---

    “Still sleeping?” Wu Bai murmured, looking at the nine beastmen youths laying on the various blankets in the back of the room. “How tired can one be?” he wondered, then looked to the side noticing the young, silver-haired man and the long-haired brunette approaching by the corridor.

    “They ate breakfast and went back to sleep soon afterwards,” Tang Shan said quietly, greeting Wu Bai with a simple nod of his head.

    “Mm,” Wu Bai smiled and returned his gaze to the sleeping bunch. As expected, he had already forgotten most of their names. He could only remember the three who left a proper impression on him; the five year old puppy-eared beastman ‘Hyo’ and the two oldest ones, the tiger-eared ‘Lia’ and the gold-eyed wolf beastman ‘Jin’. On the other hand, he chuckled silently the moment he noticed that the two fourteen year olds, Jin and Lia were sleeping right next to each other while holding hands. It always was a heartening sight when two youths grew closed after surviving many hardships and painful moments together.

    “Time to wake up, It’s already morning! We’re going to watch a little spectacle,” Wu Bai said merrily, raising his voice just enough to wake the bunch up but not to startle them awake.

    “They look cute,” Lei said and exchanged glance with Wu Bai. “They kinda make you want to pet them,” he added a bit more quietly, but not quietly enough for the kids not to hear him.

    “We aren’t animals, we don’t need to be petted,” Lia said with a frown, not too pleased with Lei’s comment.

    “Eh? Is that so?” Lei said with a smile, then stepped in front of Wu Bai and leaned against him. “I do like being cuddled, though,” he added with a laugh and chuckled happily when Wu Bai hugged him, all the while giving the tiger-eared girl an amused look.

    Lia’s ears twitched, but it was hard to say whether it was because she ended up agreeing with Lei despite herself or because she was simply angry at him. Regardless, she didn’t appear to be too happy with this situation, but when Jin’s grip on her hand tightened a little, her expression turned more gentle as she turned to look at him.

    “You like getting angry about pointless things, Lia,” Jin said calmly and with a smile. “Didn’t you also let Wu Bai pet you before?” he asked teasingly, then ended up holding back a laugh when Lia looked at him poutingly.

    “It looks like you are all feeling better than before,” Wu Bai commented, seeing that the entire bunch was acting much more naturally than yesterday. Previously, they had all been forcing themselves to be overly serious; and it was no surprise considering what had happened to them… but now, their original characters could be seen much more clearly. For Wu Bai, the unexpected part was to find out that the gold-eyed Jin appeared to be quite a level-headed and at the same time playful youth, and that Lia wasn’t as domineering as she originally seemed to be.

    “Mm, a lot better!” Hyo called out quite loudly. He ran up to Wu Bai eagerly, yet stopped a few steps away, unsure what to do since Wu Bai seemed to already be occupied with his black-haired friend.

    Lei gazed at the puppy-eared five year old, then took a step forward and crouched. “I’m Lei, and you are?” he asked with a friendly smile.

    “Hyo,” the five year old answered a bit hesitatingly, only taking kindly to Lei because he appeared to be Wu Bai’s friend.

    “Would it be okay for me to pet you a little?” Lei asked very straightforwardly, not even planning to hide his intentions. He wasn’t interested in becoming friends with those kids; he was only curious about their appearance and the potential softness and cuteness of their ears and tails.

    “Um…” Hyo appeared to be troubled by this request. He felt reluctant just to let anyone pet him, but also didn’t want to make Wu Bai’s friend sad. “If you are gentle…” he responded quietly, at one hand giving in to the pressure and on the other, recalling how good it felt to be cuddled and petted by Wu Bai.

    “Yay,” Lei smiled happily and slowly reached out to Hyo’s puppy-ears and began by lightly rubbing the tip of one between his fingers. “So soft and fluffy,” he said in amazement, not noticing or not paying attention to the boy’s fidgeting and his somewhat flushed face.

    Lei proceeded to play with Hyo’s ear, getting so much into it that he soon added a second hand to the mix and focused on rubbing the two soft ears at the same time. “They feel better to touch even than real puppy’s,” he commented leisurely, unaware that behind him Wu Bai was muffling a laughter and chuckling silently.

    At the same time, Wang Dai was simply looking at the scene with a smile and a helpless expression on his face.

    Tang Shan smirked, recalling that Wu Bai had acted just like Lei when interacting with this bunch for the first time, while Vera didn’t appear to care too much about what was going on.

    As for Lia… her mouth was slightly open and her cheeks began blushing slightly as she watched. She appeared to be speechless from a mixture of shock, anger and… the inexplicable desire to have the same done to her, which she stubbornly refused to admit existed.

    Jin on the other hand was smiling and going with the flow, feeling rather amused by the whole situation than anything else.

    “Hyaa…” after trying to withstand the assault for around half a minute, Hyo finally couldn’t resist anymore and staggered forward with a cute moan of satisfaction. He leaned against Lei, breathing heavily and wagging his tail slowly from left to right. By the looks of it, Lei has had developed quite a skill for petting beast-like creatures from all the time he had spent with his neo-demons… and judging by the outcome, it was more than enough to dispel any doubts Hyo might have had about being petted by him.

    “Cute fellow,” Lei said heartily, then as he scratched Hyo behind his ear with one hand, he swiped the boy’s fluffy tail with the fingers of his other hand. The five year old perked up for half a second, but relaxed quickly enough and allowed Lei to do whatever he wanted. “I sometimes wish I had a tail, too,” Lei commented lightheartedly, already setting his sights on the remaining eight beastmen, causing the majority of them to begin wagging their tails in anticipation.

    “You said something about a spectacle, right?” Jin brought up, moving a bit forward and partially hiding Lia from Lei’s gaze. Apparently, he wasn’t too happy about the prospect of having her be petted by Lei. Wu Bai was one thing; he felt more like an older brother… but Lei was too similar in age to him and Lia to let it slide.

    “Right,” Wu Bai nodded, then looked at Vera and asked. “You put them away, just like I asked, mm? Let’s get them out and go to the Core District to set up the little spectacle,” he said with a laugh, then gave the bunch of beastmen a meaningful look. He was pretty sure that each and every one of them would enjoy watching what he had in mind for the old scar face and his companions.

    “Core District?” Vera repeated and frowned a little. “I do not mean to offend you, but even if you are that Grand Dragoneer’s friend, you won’t be able to just ride into the Core District with the old scar face and his men tied up,” she explained in as neutral of a tone as she could afford to, careful not to anger Wu Bai.

    Wu Bai raised his eyebrows, then exchanged an amused look with Lei and Wang Dai. Could it be that both Vera and Tang Shan couldn’t have had been bothered to even probe the cultivation levels of these two just because their looked like teenagers? If so, then this talk would become pretty interesting pretty soon.

    “I know that with your strength,” Tang Shan spoke up in Vera’s stead, worried that Wu Bai was planning to force his way into the Core District. “You could easily walk past the guards, but wouldn’t it be a better idea to get an official permission first? Entering alone is one thing, but taking a bunch of subjugated bandits with you is another matter,” he tried to reason, still misinterpreting Wu Bai’s wide smile as a sign of him planning to do something dangerous.

    “Oh, but he already has the permission,” Wang Dai said with a laugh, then shrugged his shoulders as Wu Bai glanced at him with surprise. As he came to think after those few hours, maybe it wasn’t all that bad to stop being so serious all the time and instead fool around a little… and since Wu Bai was doing it anyway, then why not swim with the flow and not resist it needlessly?

    “Whose…?” Tang Shan asked, expecting to hear an answer along the lines ‘his own’, but waiting for the strange red-haired youth to reply anyway.

    “Mine,” Wang Dai stated clearly, in a tone suggesting that his permission was all that Wu Bai needed and that the silver-haired young man in front of him should be satisfied with such an answer. “It really is amusing,” Wang Dai thought to himself, seeing the confused and slightly angered look on the silver-haired man’s face.

    “I don’t know who you are, but aren’t you a bit too young to…” Tang Shan began resignedly, but stopped when Vera grabbed him by the shoulder and clenched her hand strongly. “What?” he asked, getting rather frustrated by how Wu Bai and that red-haired youth were behaving.

    “These boys… their cultivation bases…” Vera said with a smile of disbelief, only having felt the two out a few seconds ago. The slightly older, black-haired one was a step away from Spirit Severing; his cultivation base powerful enough to directly suppress even her own, despite them technically being at the same level. As for the younger, red-haired one… she couldn’t sense his strength at all!

    Tang Shan also focused on the two youths, then swallowed heavily. He was merely at the early Core Formation, but he could tell… that either of these two would be able to kill him with a flick of their little finger!


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  • I Shall Slay Immortals - Book 2. Chapter 18. Oh, Fine!


    “I said that he has my permission,” Wang Dai repeated with a smile. “The permission of the Wild Flame Patriarch. Do you think that’s not enough?” he asked, barely holding in a laugh as both the silver-haired man and the tall brunette became as pale as death itself. Apparently, the made-up rumors about his bloodthirsty, uncompromising character were well and alive in the Outer City; as at the very least in the Inner District, the people of White Ravens and Red Devils appeared to have known about them being fake.

    “Uu, Wang Dai is stealing the show,” Lei pouted jokingly  he stood up after patting Hyo’s head for the last time.

    Both Vera and Tang Shan turned to look at Lei, shocked that he was referring to the Wild Flame Patriarch by his name, without any honorifics. “Lei…” the two of them connected the name they have heard a moment ago, realizing that the black-haired youth before them was none of else than the genius level ten Dragoneer!

    “Okay, so before you faint or start kneeling before Wang Dai or Lei,” Wu Bai brought up lightheartedly. “Why don’t you lead us to our prisoners? I bet they also can’t wait to become a part of the show,” he concluded with a smile, giving Tang Shan and Vera an anticipating look.

    “Follow me,” Vera said after a good few seconds of silence, thinking that were it not for Wu Bai’s words, then she really would have kneeled before these two youths. “They say the Wild Flame Patriarch looks young, but to think he has an appearance of a twelve year old…” Vera grumbled silently, not used to being put in such compromising situations. Usually, she was the one in power; the one holding the reins! Yet, first Wu Bai then the Wild Flame Patriarch compromised this safe-space of hers, all within the span of twenty-four hours! It was truly hard for her to switch to be more polite and restrained while abstaining from her normal mistress-like tendencies.

    “Come on, get moving,” Wu Bai urged, seeing as the kids were lagging behind, some of them not have even stood up yet. His words had the desired outcome as the next moment, the whole group was already following behind Vera, who for some reason was walking upstairs?

    “The closest entrance to the basement is from my floor,” Vera explained without looking back, guessing that Wu Bai would be asking himself this question.

    “So you’ve put them in a basement, huh,” Wu Bai said more to himself than to Vera or anyone else. “The people of this city really seem to be fond of those ‘dungeons’,” he added with a chuckle, not expecting anyone to follow up on this observation of his, but alas…

    “It all started with our ancestor,” Wang Dai said in a calm voice, reminiscing the one time he had went down to the Dao Repository of the sect and saw the Ancestor slumbering within the flames of the Tribe’s most precious treasure, the Infernal Flame Seed. “The deeper into the ground, the hotter it gets. The lowest levels of our catacombs are said to have lava flowing within them; such an environment is extremely beneficial to any fire-element Cultivators, but to survive there… that’s a whole different story,” he said with a light smile, hoping to one day become powerful enough to go down there and train amidst the liquid flames.

    “Quite an interesting place it must be,” Wu Bai said aloud, then added silently. “Makes me want to check it out with my Heavenly Sense… but I will refrain for now.”

    “We will need to fly down,” Vera warned, tapping an indistinctive place on a wall of her chambers and opening a secret tunnel-like passage leading straight downwards.

    “I will lend them a hand,” Lei said quickly, intent on repaying the debt for petting one of the beastmen sooner rather than later. He slid his hand across his bag of holding, releasing nine neo-demons which instantly shrunk themselves as to not destroy the interiors. For a second, he even considered gifting each of the nine with those beasts… but no. After all, he was too attached to his household to just start giving it away like this. “Call it selfish or whatever, but they are mine,” he said to himself, not planning to separate from his precious beasts anytime soon.

    “L-level twelve, all of them…” Vera gasped at the sight. She had thought she was being generous when she offered one level twelve red-eyed salamander to Wu Bai, but this friend of his… actually pulled out nine neo-demons of the same strength as if it was nothing, just to let some kids have an easy ride down? Was this boy purposely showing-off by using his strongest beasts for such a menial task, or frighteningly enough… did average level twelve neo-demons not mean that much to him?!

    A moment later, Tang Shan swallowed heavily when he saw the powerful beasts of Lei’s be hugged and stroked by the beastmen youths. Forget the fact that those beasts were nearly as strong as first Spirit Severing Patriarchs, they were what the name suggested… beasts! Neo-demons! Even if they were tamed by a Dragoneer, powerful neo-demons would be too arrogant and aggressive to obediently play the role of mounts and hugging pets for some children of whom but a few were merely at the Qi Condensation stage! It was dangerous! It should have been dangerous…! But why were those neo-demons acting perfectly calm?!

    “Level ten Grand Dragoneer… no… even more powerful than that?” Tang Shan trembled and laughed weakly, recalling how he hadn’t thought much of Lei when the boy arrived with Wu Bai a few moments ago. A truly mighty Dragoneer with an equally powerful horde at his command… perhaps even a Great Tribe wouldn’t be able to suppress him without using its Dao Reserves. To think that a boy who appeared to be just fourteen or so wielded this kind of power… it was hard to believe.

    Tang Shan had always considered his own talent to be quite good, maybe even approaching the level of Chosen as he had reached early Core Formation at a relatively young age and without using much resources… but after meeting with Lei and the Wild Flame Patriarch, he was forced to reconsider. “I have some talent, but what is it compared to these monsters? I need to work harder if I want to achieve anything great,” he thought with a sigh, his eyes gleaming with stern determination. If he couldn’t measure up in terms of talent, then he would make up for it with his hard work!

    “Mount them, we are going down,” Wu Bai said after letting the kids play with their temporary companions for a minute or two, then nodded at Vera to lead the way. She went down first; then Wu Bai and everyone else followed.

    “It’s deeper than I thought,” Wu Bai said aloud, going by Vera’s example and allowing his body to fall freely. To be honest, it was a new and refreshing experience for him as usually he would control the flight. It felt pretty strange to be falling down just like that; pretty strange, but in a good way.

    “It’s around one kilometer deep,” Vera informed and couldn’t help but smile warmly, hearing the excited ruckus the youths were making above them while going down on top of the neo-demons. She never had any children of her own… but maybe it was the highest time to change that. She wasn’t getting any younger, after all. The only problem would be to find an appropriate father for them as there weren’t really any men she was romantically interested in… but it could be worked out one way or another.

    “About there,” she warned, then smoothly slowed down at the last dozen of meters, landed and immediately began walking forward, her high heels striking against the stone floor with each step she made.

    “Whops,” Wu Bai laughed, breaking a bit too hard and stopping half a meter above the floor level. He had been a bit worried about cracking the ground with his landing, thus ended his free fall in a less graceful way than Vera did.

    About five seconds later, the neo-demons and the beastmen began landing one after another, the youths laughing and crying out from the rather abrupt change in speed. The various beasts were all quickly vacating the landing spot, jumping ahead and gathering a few dozen meters ahead, right next to Wu Bai’s and Vera’s side.

    “Looks fun,” Wu Bai said with a muffled laugh, seeing that some of the kids were still shaking from the mix of fear and excitement, including Lia and Hyo; but not the gold-eyed Jin, who appeared to be excited just like the others, but not frightened at all.

    “It is,” Jin replied with a smile, fiddling with the fur of his black panther neo-demon. “I wish we could fly on them for real, not just down there,” he said with a sigh, but was more or less aware how powerful and precious these neo-demons were. He doubted that Wu Bai’s friend would just offer them as a gift just because he or the others would have liked to keep them.

    “Won’t it be easy then?” Lia spoke up merrily as Lei, Wang Dai and Tang Shan joined the group, having come down as the last three. “I bet these few neo-demons aren’t much to Lei at all, he could just give them to us,” she said with a smile while looking at Wu Bai, thus failing to notice the momentary change in Lei’s expression.

    “That would be quite…” Lei said resignedly, feeling a bit bad about not making the kids’ wish come true. He had four thousand level twelve neo-demons and these nine weren’t even the strongest of them; but not the weakest, either. He shouldn’t find it so hard to part his was with just nine as it would surely make these young beastmen very happy… yet, the whole thing was making him feel really awkward. Truth to be told, he would rather not have found himself in this position to begin with.

    “Lia, you really should think twice before you say something,” Jin said sourly, having taken a clear notice of Lei’s reaction unlike this dense childhood friend of his.

    “Eh?” one of the younger beastmen perked up. “So we won’t be able to keep them?” the seven year old asked with a disappointed expression, looking first at Jin then moving his gaze to Lei. Apart from Jin, who looked like he was really sorry, the remaining eight all turned to look at Lei; some of their gazes hopeful, some disappointed and sad, some reluctantly accepting of the fact.

    “Why don’t you just give them to the kids?” Wang Dai suggested with a slight smirk. “Nine neo-demons shouldn’t be much to you, a Grand Dragoneer,” he added, deep inside painfully aware of the humongous sum of spirit stones, medicinal herbs and pills Lei had received from him. Making Lei part with some of his ‘wealth’ would surely make him feel just a little bit better about squandering a large amount of Tribe’s resources on the three Heavenly Demons for his own personal use.

    “A Grand Dragoneer?” the older of the young beastmen slowly began to understand that this friend of Wu Bai’s… this ‘Lei’ wasn’t a simple youth like them. Even Lia was in the process of coming to a sudden realization as to what kind of outrageous request she has just made without a second thought.

    “Uh,” Lei groaned, scratching his the back of his head. “Ah, fine. Whatever. Just take them,” he said resignedly, knowing that he would feel bad for a long time if he decided not to give these nine neo-demons away.

    It took a while for the nine youths to understand that Lei really agreed and during those few seconds, Wu Bai and Wang Dai smiled, happy for the kids or content for some other reason… but as for Tang Shan and Vera, the two of them couldn’t contain the feeling of jealousy. Those were level twelve neo-demons, for Heaven’s sake! Just one would be invaluable for any southern Cultivator, but they actually got nine in from of a gift! This truly made the two of them not know whether to laugh or cry.

    “Are you sure we can keep them?” Jin spoke up as the first one, all the while giving Lei a very surprised look. “I mean, they seem rather powerful, are they even going to listen to us…?” he asked hurriedly, changing the subject a little. He might have been hesitant to outright ask Lei to let them keep these neo-demons, but after Lei said they could, he really, really wouldn’t want to cause him to change his mind.

    “I will need to ask them to,” Lei began saying while considering the matter. “But then as long as you treat them well, they should get attached to you and in a few years, should become loyal companions,” he concluded, then added with a playful smirk. “If you don’t treat them well, I wouldn’t be surprised if they ate you and left the city to look for me afterwards.”

    Just as Lei said so, Lia swallowed the over-confident remark she was about to make and laughed weakly. She peeked at the lion neo-demon she was sitting on and unwittingly imagined herself begin chomped down by him. “We will treat them well, I promise on my life,” she blurted out without thinking, causing everyone to stare at her with rather amused expressions. This joke she has cracked; the fact that it wasn’t intentional made the fact quite funny, at least for people like Wu Bai and Wang Dai who couldn’t help but chuckle at her words.

    “You’d better do, little miss,” Vera said bitterly, unable to suppress a sigh. “Do you even realize what you just asked for and got so easily?” she inquired, annoyed that she needed to work her whole life to finally arrive at the position she was now in and still, all the assets she owned probably couldn’t measure up to the worth of those nine neo-demons which were gifted to those beastmen kids.

    “You know how neo-demons are ranked, don’t you?” Vera asked, seeing that the little tiger-missy and the others were too taken aback to say anything.

    “We do,” Jin said strongly, looking Vera in the eye. Surprisingly, the black panther of his released a low growl and showed his white, sharp teeth, apparently sensing his new owner’s anger.

    “Then at what level  do you think these neo-demons are?” Vera asked with a snort, shifting her gaze to the gold-eyed Jin.

    “Seventh…?” Jin mused, then shook his head. “Eighth or ninth, right? That’s why you are so angry?” he asked straightforwardly, understanding that this woman was most likely jealous of them. To be honest, he kind of agreed with her on this subject; that they didn’t quite deserve to receive such a generous gift, but as she approached them with a malicious intent, he wouldn’t tell her that.

    “Not even close,” Vera said and laughed coldly. “All nine are damned level twelve neo-demons with the strength of Sacred Ancients! They aren’t that far from possessing the raw prowess of Spirit Severing Cultivators!” she practically shouted through her teeth, momentarily forgetting herself and letting her feelings speak for her.

    Jin, Lia and the other seven were naturally shocked by this revelation. They already thought that these nine neo-demons were strong, but they would have never expected them to be the legendary level twelve neo-demons! They’ve all heard stories of the Grand Dragoneers controlling tens of thousands of neo-demons to do battle, among which the few most powerful would be at the level twelve; but to imagine that the beasts they were mounting and had been hugging, cuddling and petting were actually at the level of Sacred Ancients! The mere prospect filled them with awe and a fair bit of fear.

    “There’s no need to be so harsh on them,” Wu Bai said conciliatory, used to seeing outbursts of anger fueled by jealousy and the subjective sense of injustice. He has had more chances than he ever wanted to see people squabbling over pointless things during the great migration. “It was up to Lei to gift them or not. I can’t see any reason for you out of all people to be butting in,” he added more bluntly as his first words seemed to have had little effect.

    Suddenly reminded of the position she was in, Vera fell silent and gave her best not to show the degree of nervousness rising up within her heart. “It was… improper of me,” she managed to say while giving Wu Bai an apologetic look, then looked back at the nine beastmen and bowed her head towards them. Normally, she would have never behaved in such a docile way… but currently, she wasn’t the biggest fish in the pond. One wrong step and she could easily end up being devoured whole.

    “Eh, so awkward,” Wu Bai said with a sigh, recognizing how the atmosphere turned sour. He looked at Jin and after a second or two, the youth noticed and gazed back at him. “Well, now that you know what you got, why don’t you get rid of those worried expressions and offer a proper ‘thank you’ to Lei?” he suggested with a smile and living exactly up to his expectations, Jin quickly picked up on his intentions.

    The gold-eyed youth slid off from his black panther and acting as an example, stepped forward and smiled at Lei. “Big thanks, big brother,” he said simply, feeling that if he spoke it in an overly exaggerated manner it would come off as weird.

    “Feels strange,” Lei said with a laugh. “To be called ‘big brother’ by someone my own age, that is,” he chuckled, clarifying what he meant. However, one could easily tell that he was pretty happy to be thanked in an honest manner like this, so encouraged by what they saw, the other eight beastmen shook off Vera’s words from their minds and also flocked to Lei’s side to offer their thanks.

    But well… ‘flocked’ might not have been the most fortunate way to refer to Lia, as she approached Lei in a more composed manner, not wanting to look like a child.

    Since the youths ended up talking over each other, Lei barely understood what was being said apart from catching the many ‘thank you’ and ‘big brother’ among what was being said. As he very, very rarely got into talks with more than two, three people at once, he was honestly feeling overwhelmed. However… being thanked like this also proved to feel unexpectedly good; good enough to make him not regret partying with nine of his neo-demons, but surely not ecstatic enough to make him think about doing it more often. After all, if he started giving away all his neo-demons just to see someone’s smile, then he would soon end up completely broke!

    “Okay!” Wu Bai clasped his hands loudly. “Let’s keep this good mood up and keep going! You can have a proper chat with Lei later; for now, there are some people who surely can’t wait so see us,” he said with a laugh, the left side of his lips curving into a dangerous smirk. For him, one of the most enjoyable events were those when bad Karma would finally pay its dividend to the evildoers. You reap what you sow, as people were always saying.


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