Chapter 28: People Flee at the Sight of Trouble!
Come nighttime, Xiang Shaoyun chose not to practice the Star Destroying Finger any further. Instead, he ground some of the medicines he had exchanged for earlier into a paste and wrapped them around his battered finger.
The Star Destroying Finger was not a simple tier-1 battle technique. Although it was incomplete, despite it being a tier-3 battle technique, the difficulty of practicing it was 10 times more difficult than practicing another tier-3 skill. Xiang Shaoyun was but a seventh-stage Basic Realm cultivator. To have that much level of comprehension within a single day was amazing in itself.
"My current self should have already reached the later phase of seventh-stage Basic Realm. If I factor in the speed in which the Heaven Conquering Overlord Manual is aiding my cultivation, I need at least 10 days to reach peak phase, even when factoring in the Hall of Limits. However, this little bit of strength is negligible when it comes to the Hundred Beast Mountain Range. If I want to protect myself there, I'll have to think of another plan," Xiang Shaoyun muttered to himself as he munched on some food before planning his next step.
In order to regain everything he had lost, Xiang Shaoyun had to carefully take into account every step he took. He did not wish for his heroic years to be cut short, nor did he wish to fail to live up to certain people's expectations.
"I know! I'll cultivate the Overlord's Nine Nether Steps! It'll help me raise both my speed and my combat ability!" Xiang Shaoyun exclaimed, his eyes sparkling.
The Overlord's Nine Nether Steps was a movement technique. Just like Heaven Conquering Overlord Manual, Xiang Shaoyun found it in a secret realm when he was younger. That being said, unlike the latter, the former was a complete technique.
When the Overlord's Nine Nether Steps was practiced to perfection, with one step upward, one could reach purgatory, and with one step downward, one could reach the nine hells. This was an ultimate movement technique. Normally, the higher the tier of a battle technique, the stronger one needed to be in order to practice it.
However, movement techniques were different. Although they do not provide a significant increase in strength from the start, they could be cultivated nonetheless, just that the results wouldn't be as obvious.
Although this was the case, if one was able to comprehend just a sliver of a top-tier movement technique, it would be enough to last most low-ranking martial artists for a while. Upon deciding his next course of action, Xiang Shaoyun began to meditate on the Overlord's Nine Nether Steps.
Two hours later, Xiang Shaoyun smiled bitterly as he lamented, "Worthy of being a peak-rank movement technique. Even with my ability, I'm only able to understand a tenth of its key points. If I want to fully comprehend it, I'll need to at least reach the Transformation Realm!"
Getting up on his feet, Xiang Shaoyun revolved the Heaven Conquering Overlord Manual as his mind started visualizing the intricate technique. Simultaneously, his body also started flickering all over the place.
One step, two steps, three steps…
In his compound, Xiang Shaoyun endlessly practiced his movement technique, seemingly emitting a profound aura. This was due to the compatibility between the Heaven Conquering Overlord Manual and the Overlord's Nine Nether Steps. Otherwise, it would not have been so easy for Xiang Shaoyun to reap such great benefits within a short period of time.
Two days passed quickly, and the time to enter the Hundred Beast Mountain Range arrived. Xiang Shaoyun, Mo Buhui, Mei Lianhua, and Lu Xiaoqing were all gathered together.
"All of us are here. Let's quickly set off! It’ll take at least two days to reach the Hundred Beast Mountain Range!" Mo Buhui said.
"If only we had a mount to take us there. It would've taken us less than a day to reach it." Mei Lianhua lightly sighed.
"The Hundred Beast Mountain Range contains innumerable demonic beasts. It's not impossible to tame a beast to be our mount, but we also require the strength to do so," Mo Buhui unhurriedly replied.
"As soon as I break through to the Astral Realm, I will definitely be able to tame a mount!" Mei Lianhua declared with confidence. Following that, she softened her eyes as she drew closer to Xiang Shaoyun and coyly said, "Shaoyun, the Hundred Beast Mountain Range is full of dangers. You must protect us all, OK?"
"Senior Mei is treating me as an outsider. The four of us are going there together; of course we should take care of one another!" Xiang Shaoyun replied.
"Okay, let's get going," Mo Buhui grumbled.
As such, the four of them left Martial Hall Palace together.
"It's been half a month since I first entered Martial Hall Palace. Finally, a chance for me to have a breath of fresh air!" Xiang Shaoyun was secretly delighted.
Martial Hall Palace was situated right in the middle of Wu Town. The moment they walked out of Martial Hall Palace, they were on Wu Town’s main road. They needed to exit Wu Town before journeying another two days south before being able to reach Hundred Beast Mountain Range.
The four of them were equally anxious, and they very quickly exited Wu Town’s central hub. At this point, Mo Buhui retrieved a separate map and let Xiang Shaoyun and Lu Xiaoqing briefly view it. This was essentially proving to the both of them that he and Mei Lianhua were being completely sincere and weren’t holding anything back.
Xiang Shaoyun swiftly recorded the map deep within his mind. At that moment, Xiang Shaoyun suddenly felt as though he was being watched.
"Shit. We were overly excited just now and forgot to take note of our surroundings. Could it be those two bastards have found my tracks? Impossible. This area is far away from their sphere of influence; they should not be able to find me within a year! Could it be someone else?" Xiang Shaoyun pondered to himself. The moment he noticed he was being watched, several shadows started popping up from everywhere.
These people were all carrying their own weapons, and their faces were covered, making it difficult to determine their identities. Xiang Shaoyun's group of four was instantly alerted.
Mo Buhui sternly asked, "Who are you?! We are disciples of Martial Hall Palace!"
Within Wu Town, Martial Hall Palace was considered a rather powerful entity. Few groups of people would dare provoke Martial Hall Palace, save a few such as the Wu Family. However, they had actually been surrounded by this group of masked people.
"This brat stays. The rest of you, get lost!" the leader of the masked men bellowed, pointing at Xiang Shaoyun.
Needless to say, this group of people had come here specifically for Xiang Shaoyun.
"What the hell do you want to do to him?! He's also a disciple of Martial Hall Palace!" Mei Lianhua shrieked.
"If you don't get lost, I'll kill the rest of you as well. Your Martial Hall Palace won’t be able to easily figure out who we are anyway," the masked man said, his voice not masking his killing intent one bit.
At that moment, the aura of the Astral Realm started bearing down on them. Mei Lianhua, expression ugly, was forced into a retreat by this aura.
"You guys leave first. I’m their target; they won't hurt you," Xiang Shaoyun calmly said.
He thought to himself, They're only at the Astral Realm! So they weren't sent by those two after all.
Hearing Xiang Shaoyun's words, Mo Buhui and Mei Lianhua both showed signs of backing out. Although they were not weak, in front of an Astral Realm expert, they had no ability to resist whatsoever.
"No! We just agreed that we must help one another! If they're targeting you, they're targeting all of us!" Lu Xiaoqing's delicate face flashed an expression of pure resolution.
"Heh heh, this little girl doesn't know how to appreciate good things! We can always take you back and have fun together," the leader lasciviously said as he licked his lips.
Upon hearing his words, the other men sneered as they drew closer.
"Xiang Shaoyun, I can't help you anymore. This is your personal matter," Mo Buhui quickly said before turning around to leave.
Pursing her jade-like lips, Mei Lianhua looked at Xiang Shaoyun with a difficult expression and sighed. "Take care of yourself, Shaoyun."
After she finished, she also left Xiang Shaoyun. Only Lu Xiaoqing drew closer to Xiang Shaoyun. He watched on as they left, his expression unchanging. He had experienced something similar, after all. People fled at the sight of trouble; only then would one realize who one's true friends were.
"You can leave, but you cannot go back to Martial Hall Palace. Otherwise, we'll kill you on the spot!" the masked man harshly warned the Mei Lianhua and Mo Buhui.