Chapter 1205 – Sixteen Years Later, the Assassin From the South
The west wind blew fiercely at Peach Blossom crossing.
The peach blossoms had fallen away a long time ago. Only bare branches remained.
An abjected, middle-aged man stood in the wind and gazed towards the north. Bone-deep hatred flashed through his eyes.
In truth, he was still very young, except the wrinkles of sadness on his face and the greying hairs near his temples made him seem extremely bleak.
He would never be able to forget about fifteen years ago. That was the happiest moment of his life, as well as the saddest.
On the day of his wedding, his beloved was taken from him.
He could not help but utter that name. Hatred made his entire body tremble. Perhaps there was a deep fear as well, but this was not cowardice. That demon, daemon star, could make even the toughest people in the world experience fear and stop the cries of babies.
Thinking up to there, he touched a broken bone in his clothes. Originally, it was one of his ribs, but it was covered in inscriptions now. As his finger ran along the bone, he could clearly recall every single inscription he had left behind, as he had sacrificed seven whole ribs before he managed to refine it successfully. In the end, he could only use it once.
The Bone of Killing was a secret within his clan. It required the refiner to personally open up their body and engrave their bones with inscriptions before nurturing it in their bodies for seven years. After it was removed, it required another seven years of sacrifice before it was successfully refined.
He had condensed a sense of hatred within it, such that he could kill others without them even realising. He only had to point it at the enemy from afar to curse the enemy to death. Even if the enemy possessed unmatched martial arts, they could not avoid death.
However, very few people ever refined a Bone of Killing. Unless they held a great hatred, who would have the determination to wait fourteen years? If they focused on martial arts, perhaps a decade was enough for revenge.
However, his enemy right now, that great demon, could not be defeated through any martial arts. Only with this Bone of Killing did he have a sliver of hope.
The beautiful face appeared in his mind again. His hatred overwhelmed his fear.
He thought to himself, Fifteen years. It’s been fifteen entire years. I, Wu Huan, will definitely get my revenge for my wife being taken away from me!
“Hey, you over there! Are you leaving or not?”
A ferryman with a straw cape stood at the end of the boat and called out to Wu Huan.
“I am, I am!”
Wu Huan leapt in fright. The bellow was imbued with true qi, so it was resonant like a clap of thunder. He was actually an innate master. Had he perhaps encountered a great master that had retired from the jianghu? He dismissed all of his hatred and fear and went up with clasped hands.
“You’ve reached the innate realm?” The ferryman stroked his full beard and studied Wu Huan.
“What’re you doing travelling up north?”
“I want to join the World’s society. How much does it cost to cross the river?”
“Haha, get on. It’s free.”
Wu Huan boarded the ferry and asked, “Brother, are you also from the World’s society?”
“Do you even need to ask?” the ferryman responded proudly.
He pushed off the shore with a pole, and the ferry moved towards the centre of the river. An autumn storm had just passed by, so the flow was quite rapid. A bamboo pole plunged into the water and seemed to become a tower of strength. He demonstrated his exceptional martial arts.
“Brother, with your martial arts, why are you serving as a ferryman here?”
“To make money and support my family, obviously.”
“To make money and support your family?” Wu Huan was deeply puzzled. How could an innate master lack money?
“The king and the society leader have said that profiting off the work of others is most despicable. They said that you shouldn’t think you’re a big deal just because you know some martial arts, that you can get others to serve you. Our World’s society is from the masses to the masses. We use our martial arts to serve the people!”
A few cheers of agreement immediately rang out in the cabin. Now that truly was something the World’s society would support, something that the hero king would say!
“Haha, you’re all flattering me. My father was a ferryman before, but he could only go a dozen or so rounds a day. Even when I’m not serious, I can do a hundred times back and forth. You can basically call that practising martial arts!”
Wu Huan looked down. The demon sure knows how to win people over. You basically deserve to work such a lowly job with how foolish of a bumpkin you are!
Then the ferryman looked at Wu Huan. “Of course, if there are any people up to no good that are trying to infiltrate the north, they better get through me first! Brother, you seem like you’re from the southern region. I heard the reactionary forces are particularly stubborn there.”
Wu Huan’s heart leapt in fright. “I’m definitely not part of some reactionary force. I admire the king’s reputation of justice, which is why I came to join him!”
“That’s good then, but even if you are, I’m not afraid.The king has said that all reactionary forces are merely paper tigers. If it were not for the society leader’s mercy where she refuses to carry out a massacre, those shitting clans and sects would have been flattened a long time ago!”
“Yes, yes, yes.”
Wu Huan nodded in a hurry. As soon as he arrived on the other shore, he leapt off the boat and hurried off north, no longer listening to how those lowly people on the boat sucked up to the demon.
The ferryman stood on the boat and gazed at his figure coldly.
A travelling merchant said softly, “Boss Zhao, there’s something a little off about him! When we mentioned the king, his expression became quite unnatural.”
“He’s probably a spy from the south. I’ve seen plenty of people like that. I’ll report this later. Hmph, let’s see just how much trouble he can stir up!”
Wu Huan travelled quickly. Upon remembering how he was in enemy territory, he slightly regretted losing his composure earlier. However, he calmed down very soon. He never planned on returning alive anyway.
As a result, he raised his vigilance to a hundred and twenty percent. He only needed to see the demon. Just once was enough!
This was the first time he had come to the northern region, but he was not worried about becoming lost. A road led to Beiping city, which was also known as Pegasus city in the past.
The weather had already begun to grow cold, such that the first snow of winter was about to arrive. However, the road bustled with people, still as lively as ever. From time to time, a few villages or even small cities would appear on the sides of the road. The place was actually even more prosperous than the central region that he had visited before.
The number of masters here had surpassed any other place he had seen, except none of these masters were dressed fancily. Some of them held sickles as they carried out a harvest. With a flash of cold light, the wheat would fall in entire groups. Others wielded metal hammers, smashing through boulders with a single boom before using the rocks to pave the road.
Not only were the sickles and hammers forged from top quality steel, but they even possessed a spiritual nature. Even the legendary renowned swords and blades paled in comparison.
A group of people rushed over and tied up the wheat. The young man placed down his sickle and said to the old man crouching on the side of the fields, “I’m done, uncle. It’s all been cut!”
“If you’re done, then go back to the village and have some alcohol.”
“The alcohol is the alcohol, but my pay better not be missing.”
“You’ll get what you’re owed. It sure is nice to practise martial arts. You alone cut through everything faster than the entire village combined!”
“Hmph, that goes without saying. In the martial arts community, I’m known as the Reaper of Wheat. The Wind Sickle in my possession was even personally bestowed to me by society leader Gu when I served as a model worker. All the wheat within a hundred kilometres of here is cut by me.”
“Sigh, you sure are outstanding. Your father really hasn’t sent you to the Youth hall to learn martial arts for nothing.”
“It’s got nothing to do with that old drunkard. I was clearly personally chosen by hall leader Lei. Hall leader Lei used the blade in the past too.”
“Then it’s the graces of the hero king.”
“Yeah, now that’s more like it.”
“Damned brat, if I don’t fill you up until you collapse, I’m not your uncle!”
A burly man placed the hammer on his shoulder and wiped away his sweat. He waved his hands. “Alright, we’re done for today! Let’s continue tomorrow!” Looking at the day’s progress, he felt very happy inside. Once this road was complete, carriages would be able to move through the town.
He had not begun practising martial arts after the World’s society had arrived. There was a hammer style passed down through his family, which possessed some renown in the northern region. However, since it had renown, it was unavoidable for people to come and challenge them in order to make a name for themselves. As a result, he practised martial arts daily to protect the reputation of his family.
However, in the recent years, the World’s society issued a decree. Not only did they forbid private conflict, but challenges and matches were a grave offence too. The hero king said, “When a person dies, their death can bear the weight of mountains, or it can be as light as a feather. If they die fighting evil forces to bring benefit to the greater population, then their deaths bear the weight of mountains. Dying in a struggle for fame and gain, just to show who is tougher, is as light as a feather. It’s not even as great as a pig’s death. When a pig is butchered, at least it can still feed mouths. When a person dies, it’ll even cost a coffin to bury them.”
As a result, he was finally freed from the martial arts training grounds. He did not have to watch over his home and wait for people to challenge him. Compared to using his hammer to smash in the heads of people, he preferred smashing up rocks and paving roads.
Suddenly, Wu Huan heard gusts of wind behind him. He looked back and was shocked!
A few young men chased right after him, dressed in the same black robes. They wore shoes with embroidered clouds as they moved like they were riding the wind. It was the supreme movement technique of the Divine Wind sect.
Oh no, I must have given myself away at the river crossing! The World’s society has sent people to kill me!
Wu Huan personally believed his martial arts was above the young men’s, but he could not help but fear their movement techniques. Once they caught him, it would definitely draw over even more masters. As a result, he activated his true qi and accelerated.
“Looks like the old guy up ahead wants to compete with us.”
“Then let’s compete! Who’s afraid of who?”
The young men exchanged glances and also accelerated, going straight after him.
Wu Huan had never been particularly skilled at movement techniques. He ran for over fifty kilometres and felt his strength running out, yet he was unable to shake off the young men. He thought, If I keep going like this, I’ll definitely run out of true qi!
He arrived in a remote area and made up his mind. He dove into the trees on the side of the road, standing still and catching his breath. He was ready for a battle, to completely kill these people tailing behind him!
Come, hunting dogs of Li Qingshan!
However, the young men stopped on the road, leaning against their knees as they gasped for air.
“That old guy sure runs quickly!”
“Brothers, do we go after him or not?”
“Go after him my ass! If we don’t deliver the goods by tonight, do you want our pay to be deducted?”
“You’re delivery men?”
Wu Huan made his way out from the trees. His eyes were completely widened. Only now did he understand why the travelling merchants on the road were completely unsurprised by them.
“Heh, your movement technique is pretty good! There aren’t a lot of people that can beat us on this road, but I can tell with a single glance that you’re not from here. We’re not delivery men, but couriers! We’re the Tailwind couriers!”
Wu Huan was speechless. He had learnt far too many new words today. In the past, most of the people that possessed such movement techniques were either thieves or perverted rapists. He had never heard of anyone who specialised in delivering goods.
He only watched speechlessly as the young men vanished off into the setting sun. It was not that his movement techniques were not good enough. He had just been mentally overwhelmed.
Hmph, even if it’s a thief or pervert, they can still wander the jianghu freely and easily. At least that’s better than being an errand boy for others!”
Wu Huan made his way along the road slowly. As the sun set, he passed by a small village. He felt a little parched in the throat, so he sped up.
He was about to find a place to get something to eat and drink when a battle cry rang out from the earthen wall ahead. His relaxed nerves immediately became tense again.
It’s an ambush!