Jun Mo Xie took a deep breath, and then increased his speed further. He stayed a bit over a hundred meters behind the three black clothed people, and matched their pace. He suddenly detected a fluctuating aura, and realized that someone else was also shadowing these three. And he could tell from that person's movements that his cultivation was much higher than the three he was chasing…
[Don't tell me; is he from the Imperial palace?] Jun Mo Xie contemplated for a while and came up with a plan…
Mr. Wen also felt someone else's presence. However, he couldn't locate this person when he looked around. However, Mr. Wen had a very powerful awareness, and he could tell that this other person was an inconceivably-formidable expert.
[But why can't I locate him?]
The area opened-up ahead. The three indistinguishable shadows jumped over the city walls, and fled far away in a matter of moments. Mr. Wen chose that moment to investigate, and halted there on purpose for a while. He didn't believe that those 'youngsters' could break away from him. So, he decided to see how that man could hide himself in that wide-open expanse.
[I don't think that the greatest of the senior-most generation could hide themselves from my eyes in this large and open area!]
However, Mr. Wen would be disappointed.
He waited for a moment, but couldn't catch that person. All he could do — was feel a strong and formidable aura arrive, and then go away into the distance. In fact, the aura traversed into the distance through that bare space. Yet, he couldn't even see the man.
[This… how is this possible?]
[A man such as this exists in the mortal world!] Mr. Wen took a deep breath. However, his insides were now brimming with burning aspirations. [What a great life it would be… if I were to fight such an expert hand-to-hand?]
Mr. Wen quickly adjusted his personal state after-almost spitting out air, and then lightly jumped off as well. He floated down the city walls as light as a strand of hair. And then, he too faded away in the distance. The sleep-deprived soldiers guarding the gate didn't notice any of it, and remained ignorant of what happened.
"Big Brother, the condition of Fifth doesn't look very good. I've been pouring Xuan Qi into him, but it's not making any difference. We need to cure his injuries quickly. Otherwise, I'm afraid… " Zhou Jian Ming's voice had a sense of urgency to it.
"Ye Gu Han was truly fierce! The fourth's condition is also bad," Lei Jian Hong gnashed his teeth with hatred. He then rapidly said, "The fifth's condition is quite serious. But he will be back to normal if we heal his injuries successfully. However, fourth has been permanently disabled. His shoulder has been cut off and his face has been disfigured… damn that Ye Gu Han!"
"I didn't expect this Ye Gu Han to be that much of a problem! We're each at Sky Xuan level; we aren't inferior to anyone in this Empire! That man had to face us all at once, and yet things still turned out this way!" The Third-female disciple, Fang Piao Hong sighed. "Fortunately, he was left for dead! Though it is a pity what he did to the Fourth Brother…"
"This is all because of this b*tch Ling Meng!" Lei Jian Hong roared angrily. "I'll make this b*tch regret her life after I find out about that mysterious man with the throwing knifes! I'll take care of her… what a bullsh*t princess she is!"
"We must wait till Master arrives even if we get our desired outcome," Fang Piao Hong sighed again. "The Fourth and the Fifth brothers are dying; the Sixth has no hope for recovery. The Seventh-to-Tenths' bones have already been buried in the Tian Xiang City. Who would've thought that such a thing would happen… that things could turn out like this?!" she continued with another sigh, "Master will fly into a rage when he hears about this! Big Brother, Master will arrive in two days. You must make preparations for his arrival!"
"What preparations can I make?" Lei Jian Hong said somewhat despairingly. "If our father doesn't beat me to death — I fear he will put me in condition where I'll be bedridden for half-a-year! I had led nine disciples here… and now, only the three of us remain. Won't this be a huge blow to our old man? It'll be a miracle if he forgives me easily!"
Zhou Jian Ming also sighed, "I suppose we three can't take it easy now. Master will arrive after two days. At the appointed time… oh dear! I don't have the guts to imagine how the old man will react."
"Master had poured all his heart into us eleven disciples… now… oh dear! I don't know how he'll grieve!" Fang Piao Hong said sadly. She couldn't prevent her eyes from becoming red…
A small grove appeared in front of them as they talked. They first looked behind to see that they weren't being followed. Then, they entered it without hesitation. Hit-man Jun followed them from behind like a 'formless being' without any physical properties. He floated in the air as he followed them in.
Jun Mo Xie had listened to the kidnappers very carefully. Lei Wu Bei's disciples had also taken part in the raid for the Xuan Core on that night with the thunderstorm.
Jun Mo Xie was startled by what he heard; [Lei Bu Wei, the Cold-Blooded Master is arriving in Tian Xiang City in two days?!]
[This is big news!]
The three people were cautious even though they were inside dense woods. They changed directions and turned twice; first left, and then right. Then, they stopped in front of a dry try stump. Then, their senior-most disciple Lei Jian Hong extended his hand, and pressed something at an unknown place. The tree stump suddenly moved away, and revealed a huge stone slab. And that slab then moved away to reveal the round entrance of a cave.
Jun Mo Xie took a single step and disappeared inside the moment it was revealed. The cave was genuinely safe at that moment since there was no one inside. The three people including Lei Jian Hong adjusted their positions, and entered deeper; slowly and cautiously. This cave was very narrow, and two people couldn't go inside at the same time without bumping into each other. Had they known that the Young Master Jun was already there… quietly waiting for them to enter…
The tree stump slowly returned to its original position after they entered. The ground once again looked undisturbed; not a single sound of any activity could be heard…
Mr. Wen had followed those three people till the grove. They hadn't been able to evade him, or go out of the range of his sense of detection. In fact, he had seen them enter the woods. However, he had wasted some time in an attempt to search for that formidable person. Therefore, he had arrived a little too late at the cave's entrance. The stump had returned to its original place by the time he had arrived. There wasn't even a single abrasion left to indicate the entrance. He searched everywhere, but couldn't locate where the people he had followed had gone-off to. Mr. Wen could only feel their auras. He could clearly feel that they were nearby, but he couldn't locate them. He couldn't help but worry. This was truly a case of 'an old cat burning its whiskers'.
Mr. Wen was certain that these people must've gone underground using a mysterious mechanism in order to hide their trail. However, where did they go after digging into the ground? He was sure that he could draw them out if he launched his skill to sweep across the area. But that would arouse their suspicion. It was a pity that he had to beat the grass to scare the snake. He couldn't think of another plan.
[However, Princess Ling Meng would remain in their hands if they didn't show themselves. And what will I do if something bad happens to her…? How will I face the Emperor?] Mr. Wen felt somewhat embarrassed as he frowned. He thought hard and incessantly about countermeasures for that eventuality…
The cave led to a huge space. The soil was patted down firmly. However, the place had a somewhat damp smell to it since it was underground.
"You two, hurry up and heal the Fourth and Fifth. I will question this b*tch!" Lei Jian Hong had a somewhat murderous look about him.
"Big Brother, I know they're your junior-disciple-brothers, and you're angry with Princess Ling Meng. But I must urge that you consider your methods for bit." Fang Piao Hong hesitated, but she continued nevertheless, "I can see that this matter has brought pain to Brother You Ran. I can see… that our identities haven't been exposed. If we ask Bother You Ran to arrive while feigning to be a good person… and he comes as a 'hero saving the Princess from danger'… If You Ran is successful in this way… it would be considered..."
"…That's good. Contact Brother You Ran! I won't harm her," Lei Jian Hong gnashed his teeth.
Fang Piao Hong cleared her throat, but remained silent. She then diverted her full attention and energy to heal her fellow disciple.
Jun Mo Xie's heart started to beat wildly in the darkness, "Brother You Ran?!"
These two characters, "You Ran"… Li You Ran… this meant that the youngster couldn't be taken lightly anymore.
[Don't tell me… Li You Ran is involved with these people in this huge incident?]
Lei Jian Hong picked Princess Ling Meng in his arms, and then set her down against the wall. He then reached above and placed his hand on her head. Pure Xuan Qi entered her body. This made the Princess wake-up.
"You rascal! Let me go!" Princess Ling Meng had barely opened her eyes and was already very angry. She shouted, "I want to go to Uncle Ye! Let me go!"
"Your Majesty, you wish to be free, and you will be… easily. All I need from you is an answer to one question. And then, you'll be allowed to leave." Lei Jian Hong snorted. He said this to her as he sneered, "Your Highness, you embrace several throwing knives and hold those damaged knife very dearly. Isn't that strange, Princess Ling Meng? Honorable Princess, I'll set you free if you tell me who the owner of these knives is... I won't break my promise."
"The owner of the throwing knives?" Princess Ling Meng opened her eyes in astonishment. These people had kidnapped her just to ask about this matter? "I have never seen that highly-skilled person; so, how would I know?"
"Ha Ha! …Princess, when you speak like that… do you take the three of us for children!" Lei Jian Hong smiled ruthlessly. "Many of my junior-brother-disciples were killed by him. In fact, we had never heard of anyone that skilled in the 'secular' world. But the first task he had undertaken was meant to save your life! Don't tell me that the Princess has forgotten?! That man had arrived the last time you had encountered assassins; his first and only action was to save your life! But he truly is a ghost if the Princess insists on not knowing his identity!"
Jun Mo Xie shook on the inside! He had saved the Princess in secrecy the last time she was attacked. [Have I implicated her by saving her?] This resentment was hard to figure…
[How did these people know the connection between these two independent matters?] Jun Mo Xie's train-thought immediately went to Li You Ran.
[So that's how it is! Everything gets resolved if we take the Li Family into consideration!]
"You killed Uncle Ye for this question?" Princess Ling Meng couldn't move. However, her eyes bulged as she looked at her captor with utter hatred. It seemed like she would start to shoot flames at him soon.
"Well! The Princess she can forget about leaving this place since she insists on not telling us about the origin of these knives…!" Lei Jian Hong gave an evil smile as he said this in a low voice. "We have several other methods with which we can make you speak."
Jun Mo Xie was urgently thinking of the actions he could take. He had thought that he would approach Princess Ling Meng, and then disappear with her by using the Hong Jun Pagoda. However, he was unsuccessful despite several tries. [Apparently the Hong Jun Pagoda can't accommodate anyone besides me…? Or perhaps my cultivation isn't enough?]
Jun Mo Xie's wishful thinking was shattered into pieces since that plan didn't work. It would've been very easy for him if the Princess could've been transported into the Hong Jun Pagoda. Jun Mo Xie was confident that he would've been able to take advantage of the chaos that would've unfolded. He would've then whisked her away. In fact, he could've even injured or killed one of the assailants.
Saving the Princess still wasn't that difficult. However, these people were Sky Xuan experts. So he'd end-up in a dire position if they found out about his whereabouts.
Lei Jian Hong pinched the Princess's jaw and forced her to look up. He then asked her maliciously, "I'll ask you for the last time; will you still not speak? I'll have no choice but to punish the Princess if she remains firm on this!"
Suddenly, a lofty, cold, severe and mocking laugh rang out of nowhere; it echoed cruelly inside the cave. "Lei Wu Bei teaches such trash? What a cold blooded senior is he? This is truly laughable!"
The voice hadn't yet faded when a blue light covered the area. Then, a delicate throwing-knife came flying out of nothingness. It then transformed into a dream-like azure color as it reflected everyone's face.
The throwing knife embedded itself into the earthen wall. It unexpectedly issued the same sound as a rotten piece of logs'.
The three people jumped in shock. Lei Jian Hong covered his chest with his hands to protect it. He then shouted loudly, "Since your honored self has arrived… what do you want? Why are you in hiding? I've been waiting for you for a long time!"
Zhou Jian Ming and Fang Piao Hong grabbed the handle of their swords and drew them out. They kept their swords horizontally in front of their chests; they then looked around as if facing a very dangerous enemy.
A faintly discernable voice was heard laughing, "You youngsters of the younger generation truly overestimate your capabilities in challenging me!"
Princes Ling Meng's eyes welled-up with tears since she was emotionally moved. She struggled as she asked, "Senior… is that you? I beg you! I beg you; take me to Uncle Ye! I beg you to kill these people and avenge my uncle!"
This underground movement — especially Lei Jian Hong's loud bellowing was clearly heard by Mr. Wen outside. This helped him in locating their position.
He had been paying attention for the slightest of clues. However, Lei Jian Hong's loud bellowing had provided him with the best possible orientation for locating them. He quickly arrived in front of the entrance of the cave, and held his breath as he attentively listened. He could enter their hide-out as long as he could find its exact location.
However, Lei Jian Hong and his two companions had just discovered a shocking incident. In fact, it was a terrifying, strange and an astonishing occurrence… Princess Ling Meng's delicate body had been propped up against the wall; but it was suddenly raised into the air with a 'whooshing' sound. It then started to float in the air. It was like an arrow had suddenly been released from a bow.
Lei Jian Hong jumped in alarm, and pounced at the Princess. However, he was little late. Jun Mo Xie had already broken through the stone slab at the entrance with a loud "Bang!"; with the Princess in his arms. The bright sunlight seeped into the cave.
Lei Jian Hong and the others shouted as they followed after them.
Mr. Wen was pacing in front of the tree stump. He had been hesitantly thinking about destroying the surface in order to rescue Princess Ling Meng… or something even quicker. Then, he heard the loud rumbling-like landslide. This was then followed by a sudden explosive sound as the entrance to the cave crumbled. Mr. Wen was caught off-guard and fell to the ground. He was about to open his mouth to curse when he saw a body coming towards him; it was almost as if it had been thrown towards him — this delicate body was Princess Ling Meng's…
The three block-clothed and masked people hurried outside and surrounded him. Then, one of them shouted, "You bastard! You stayed hidden the last time. And you hid yourself again now! But you didn't escape, did you?! I'll see how you manage to flee now!"
Mr. Wen had just extended his hands to catch Princess Ling Meng. He then suddenly found himself surrounded, and confronted. He couldn't help but whine about his hardships…
This person had framed him!
Chinese Idiom: Even experts can sometimes make mistakes.
Chinese Idiom: To make a din to draw the enemy.
Secular world means the usual/mundane/ordinary world. It's different from the world of martial arts. This term basically refers to the materialistic world, and is usually looked down upon by the top most figures of the martial world.