Chapter 975 – Pursuit
A great Daemon King like this who wreaked havoc in the Green province and ate countless people was actually connected to Li Qingshan!
Liu Hong and Huang Binghu exchanged glances, both in a state of disbelief.
“We all go back several decades with Qingshan. Just spare us as a way to thank him!” Ye Dachuan called out.
“Of course. The friends of a friend are my friends. If you had told me earlier, why would I have tried to eat you?” The nymph daemon flapped its wings and glided down from the withered tree branch, vanishing into the barren plains.
“That’s fantastic!” Ye Duchuan collapsed on his bottom, and the others all eased up. They were all filled with the delight of surviving.
“Old brother Huang, what do you think?” Liu Hong furrowed his brows. He felt like the nymph had left far too easily.
“That’s difficult to say. Once we’re done resting, let’s get back to travelling!” Huang Binghu was reluctant to wager the lives of his entire village on a daemon’s loyalty to friends.
“I think so too.” Liu Hong nodded before immediately ordering to set off.
“School master Liu, the daemon has already retreated, so why must we be in such a hurry?” “If we keep going like this, even the horses won’t be able to stand it.”
Some of them refused to keep going. After hurrying around for an entire afternoon, even the horses that they rode were utterly exhausted. Now that they relaxed, they found the earth of the summer night as comfortable as a soft bed.
“You can stay if you want to!” Liu Hong tossed that behind coldly and mounted his horse. He had been using true qi to regulate his horse the entire time, so his horse preserved much of its strength. Now, it had taken off once again, travelling off into the dust.
Everyone could only prop themselves up and follow along. Having lost the threat of death, some of them refused to move or could not move any longer, so they stayed behind. They considered whether to return to Qingyang city or not. On the other hand, because the hunters of Drawn Reins village regularly moved through the mountains and were under the care of Huang Binghu, a seventh layer Qi Practitioner, they still held on.
“Old village chief, I really can’t keep walking anymore. Don’t wait for me!” said a boy around twelve or thirteen years old to Huang Binghu. He had only started practising martial arts recently, so his inner force was still extremely weak. He had developed quite a sturdy body, but even he could not withstand a rapid march like this.
“Get moving!” Huang Binghu patted the boy on the back and injected him with true qi. The boy immediately roused with energy again. “Thank you, village chief!”
The curtain of night draped down, and stars filled the sky above the barren plains. The group advanced with difficulty, and people would fall behind every now and then. They rested a few more times during the process. The nymph daemon did not come for them again as if it had really spared them.
“Old brother Huang, should we slow down a little?” Liu Hong asked. Even many disciples of the Iron Fist school were struggling to keep up. He did not have that much true qi to take care of them.
“Keep going. Something feels off.” Huang Binghu looked back into the deep darkness. The ominous feeling grew heavier and heavier.
Over five kilometers away, a carriage collapsed on the side of the road in shambles with a horse foaming at the mouth, taking its last gasps. Two people argued.
The woman scolded the man loudly, “I said we shouldn’t have left Qingyang city. Now we’ve ended up like this. What are we supposed to do now?”
“What to do! What to do! All you know is to ask what to do!” The man was in a very bad mood too. The food in their possession was nowhere near enough for a return trip to Qingyang city. Even if they butchered the horse, the meat would spoil very quickly in summer. If they continued towards Downstream town, Liu Hong and the others probably would have ridden away on the boat a long time ago by the time they made it. Why would they wait for them?
“I was blind to have married a piece of trash like you!”
“Even a piece of trash has its uses.” A sharp voice complained for the man. The man felt like the voice had rang out right by his ears.
Through the gentle moonlight, the woman saw a tiny nymph sitting on the man’s shoulder, opening its mouth and letting out a sharp cry.
The nymph flapped its wings, and a wisp of air rushed out. The woman’s screams came to a halt, and a bloody gash appeared on her neck. Her head fell to the ground.
“S- spare me! I’m also Li Qingshan’s friend! Don’t kill me!” the man said with a trembling voice. He felt hot and clammy all over.
“Save it. I know you’re not, so I’ll give you a quick one.”
The nymph daemon rapidly swelled up, turning into the size of a horse carriage. Its compound eyes shone with a verdant light as its vicious mandibles opened up, swallowing half of the man in a single gulp. He began chewing away. “Delicious! Delicious! No matter what I eat, it’s more delicious than those demonfolk!” As he swallowed the man bit by bit, the nymph gradually turned into a locust.
In Qingyang city, the buzzing of the huge locust rang through the entire place. A terrifying shadow patrolled every single street and alleyway, constantly hunting prey. Its daemon qi grew.
Late at night, the huge locust abandoned all of these “prey” reluctantly and sealed off the two city gates before flying towards Downstream town.
After hearing Li Qingshan’s name, it had made up its mind. All of these people had to die!
Around dawn, the group arrived at Downstream town. The town that had once prospered in the past because of its port had been completely abandoned. Ruined structures were everywhere.
“We’re finally here.”
Wang Lei let out a sigh of relief and looked around. Only around ten or twenty percent of the people they had left Qingyang city with remained. They were all rather heavy-hearted.
“Don’t stop. The port is up ahead. We’ll be safe once we board the boat!” Liu Hong called out loudly to raise morale.
A strange buzzing rang out in the distance. A yellow speck rapidly expanded and grew larger. A huge locust that surged with daemon qi flew over.
“Dammit! Go!” Huang Binghu cursed and leapt onto the roof of a restaurant on the side of the road, shooting an arrow.
The locust shifted itself with ease and dodged the arrow. It said with a hoarse voice, “My good friends, don’t run! Let me taste your flesh.”
Swish! Swish! Swish! Swish! The bowstring vibrated again and again as Huang Binghu shot arrow after arrow, using his special technique, the rapid fire arrows.
“Too slow! Too slow!” The colossal locust flew in arcs, dodging every single arrow gracefully. It did not slow down at all. Even if it was unable to dodge, it easily swept aside the arrows with its front legs.
Huang Binghu’s face sank slightly. After an entire night of travelling and constantly injecting his fellow villagers with true qi, his condition was very bad. He did not stand a chance against the locust daemon that was at peak condition. He had to take a risk if he wanted to win.
The fierce wind rushed into his face, and the sharp mandibles opened up, biting towards his head.
A gleam of light flashed through Huang Binghu’s eyes. He had been waiting for this opportunity. He immediately brought the bow to a full draw, and the arrow became coiled with rings of true qi. He was about to shoot.
“Be careful of behind you! There’s another one!” Liu Hong’s voice rang out, warning him loudly.
All of Huang Binghu’s hairs stood on end as a cluster of daemon qi emerged from behind him. It was already too late for him to dodge. He felt a piercing pain in his back, and a thumb-sized locust emerged from his chest, even leaving some smears of verdant-green on him. It was the locust daemon that had gone after them.
There’s actually two! I’m done for!
However, the huge locust at the front did not bite down. Instead, it swerved away and brushed past him. Blood splattered, and an arm was thrown high into the air. “Don’t be in such a hurry. Good friends have to take their time and savour the taste!”
With a thud, Huang Binghu fell down from the rooftop, only to see the huge locust lunge towards the crowd again. Its buzzing wings were like blades. Over a dozen people fled on the streets, but they were suddenly sliced to pieces, which included both hunters from Drawn Reins village and disciples of the Iron Fist school.
It’s over! Huang Binghu shut his eyes in despair. Against enemies like that, just one of them made victory extremely difficult, let alone two.
The locust lunged over, and Liu Hong knew that he could not escape. He pushed aside Wang Lei and assumed a horse stance, gaining his footing. He stuck a Strength Talisman of the Guardian Kings on himself, and golden light poured out of his body, assuming the form of a guardian king. With a violet bellow, he struck out with both fists, unleashing a “Split Mane of the Iron Horse” at the locust.
With a thunk, the miniature locust that had metamorphosed from the nymph daemon and resembled a hidden weapon slammed into Liu Hong’s chest heavily. The figure of the guardian king immediately caved in, and the golden light flickered and dim. Liu Hong was thrown off his feet, launched backwards.
Meanwhile, the huge locust used its front legs to pierce Liu Hong’s shoulders with ease, completely incapacitating him.
The combination between the two locusts was absolutely flawless. It could not be described as mutual understanding anymore. Under the control of a great Daemon King, even those stronger than them might not necessarily be able to emerge victoriously.
Just like what they did with Huang Binghu, the locusts did not kill Liu Hong immediately. The miniature locust continued to slaughter the fleeing mortals as the giant locust arrived high in the air, looking around with its compound eyes. “Where’s the other good friend?”
Ye Dachuan sped off towards Downstream port on the horse carriage. He would look back from time to time, but when he saw Huang Binghu and Liu Hong’s fate, he was frightened out of his wits. He swung the horsewhip desperately. “Giddy up! Giddy up!”
“I found it!”
With a flap of its wings, the locust produced a great gust of wind and suddenly appeared beside Ye Dachuan, travelling alongside the carriage. He stared at him with his compound eyes. “My good friend, I haven’t even thanked you properly yet!”
“T- that won’t be necessary!” Ye Dachuan stuttered.
“That’s not for you to decide!”
The locust smiled viciously. It was about to capture Ye Dachuan and bring him to Huang Binghu and Liu Hong so that it could properly torture them. Suddenly, a streak of sword qi whistled over. The locust dodged in a hurry, but one of its feelers was still cut off, slamming into a house on the side of the road. The house collapsed, filling the air with dust.
All Ye Dachuan saw was a man in scarlet with a huge sword in hand gently kick off the shaft of the carriage and shoot past his eyes with a flash, swinging his sword at the collapsed house.
With a swish, the miniature locust shot towards the man’s head. The man’s sword sank and sliced towards the side, forcing back the miniature locust.
With a boom, the rubble exploded, and the giant locust suddenly rushed out, biting towards the man in scarlet with its sharp mandibles. The man launched a palm strike. He wore a fiery-red glove on his non-sword-wielding hand. With a flash of scarlet glyphs, a burning hand of fire immediately appeared, sending the locust flying.
A Scarlet Wolf guard! A tenth layer Qi Practitioner!
Huang Binghu beamed with joy inside. He leapt up from the ground and picked up his severed arm, holding it in his mouth. He clutched an arrow shining with spiritual qi and rushed over.
The Scarlet Wolf commander had already reached the peak of Qi Practitioners, having opened all of his meridians. With his palm strike and sword, he overwhelmed the two locusts. He had Huang Binghu’s assistance too, so the locusts were forced to retreat, fleeing off in two different directions in the end.
“Hehe, another good friend. Come and kill me!”
The Scarlet Wolf commander wanted to go after them, but when he saw the ground covered with corpses, he stopped himself. No matter which locust he went after, he might end up succeeding, but everyone here would have to die in the process.
“Thank you for saving us, fellow!” Huang Binghu said. Wang Lei supported Liu Hong and gathered over, thanking him too.
“I’m Yu Shukuang. I’ve come to support old school master Liu under school leader Li’s request. I didn’t expect there to be clones of the locust king in such a barren place!”