Chapter 26 - First Kill
Lin Mu quickly turned around to face the people that called him from behind. He saw two men standing before him, one of them was muscular and the other was thin but tall. The muscular one was holding a club in his hand and was wearing some light leather armour, while the tall one was holding an axe in his hand and was wearing rough hunting clothes.
The one who had called Lin Mu was the muscular man. He was looking at Lin Mu with eyes that were dripping with greed. As soon as Lin Mu saw the man's look he understood that they were here to rob him.
Lin Mu sighed inwardly with relief as he had already stored everything valuable on him, into the ring. So even if the men searched him, they will not find anything. Though Lin Mu did not know whether these men were some common thieves that targeted him randomly or if they knew he had a lot of money with him.
"What do you want?" Lin Mu asked with a neutral tone, not wanting to outright offend them.
"Give us all your money and belongings brat." Said the muscular man with a rough accent.
Lin Mu's eyes narrowed upon hearing the man's accent. He could not place where he had heard it before, but it definitely was not from this region. That means the men probably came here with the merchants. It also did not seem like they belonged to a mercenary group, they were far too ill-equipped.
Not wanting to argue with the men, Lin Mu took the coin pouch that only had a silver and few copper coins in it, and threw it to the men.
"There take it, that's all I have." Said Lin Mu.
The tall man picked it up and emptied it out. Both the men saw that the coin pouch had a meagre amount of money in it and knew that Lin Mu must have stored it all in a spatial treasure. The only thing they did not know was where Lin Mu had hidden the spatial treasure. They could not see him wearing any spatial treasure like a ring or bracelet.
"Don't try to fool us you worthless brat, give us everything you have." Said the muscular man with a threatening tone.
"We know you have a spatial treasure. So spill everything out, don't try to act smart." Added the tall man.
As soon as Lin Mu heard the tall man's sentence, a mix of emotions could be seen colliding in his eyes. It would have been fine if they pestered him for his sword or money, he could have just run away like before, but now that they knew his secrets, there was no way Lin Mu could let this go.
Lin Mu unsheathed his short sword and looked at the men with a fierce expression. The two men were a little taken aback by his sudden change from meek to fierce.
"Oh, so you're gonna resist. Let's see if you can take this blow from daddy!" said the muscular man as he stepped forward to swing the club at Lin Mu.
Lin Mu sidestepped to dodge the blow and swung the short sword at the muscular man's waist. The man saw the slash and dodged it easily.
The tall man also joined the fight and swung the axe at Lin Mu's arm. Lin Mu was able to parry it with the short sword, but felt a strong shock that made his arm hurt. The tall man was stronger than Lin Mu and the muscular man. He was in the 7th stage of the body tempering realm.
"Watch out second brother, this brat is in the 6th stage of the body tempering realm." Said the tall man to the muscular man.
The muscular man was surprised on hearing that this boy, who was still wet behind the ears, was as strong as him, an adult who had been training for years.
"So, you have confidence in your strength brat, that's why you're so arrogant. It's a shame that I will break it today." Taunted the muscular man.
Both the men attacked together in an effort to swiftly finish Lin Mu, but he rolled away and all their weapons could hit was the earth.
"Dammit, you slippery loach." Cursed the tall man.
This time the two men approached Lin Mu from opposite sides, leaving him with a tiny area for movement. The tall man slashed his axe first, which Lin Mu blocked with his short sword, but felt the impact of the blow in his wrist.
The muscular man, seeing that Lin Mu was stuck defending against the tall man, attacked his head with the club. Lin Mu sensed the movement of the muscular man and quickly withdrew the skinning knife he had bought and threw it at the face of the tall man.
The tall man had to move aside to dodge the skinning knife that was flying at him. He was surprised as he could not see where Lin Mu had pulled the knife from, thus could not completely dodge the knife, and his ear was cut at the lobe.
"You dare hurt first brother, brat." Shouted the muscular man while swinging the club.
Lin Mu grasped the moment when the muscular man paused for a moment to look at the tall man and swiftly cut the club in the man's hand. The club's head was made of metal, but the handle was still made of wood.
The muscular man was now unarmed, and only a piece of wood was left in his hand.
'I can't keep on blocking the axe with my sword, his swinging force is much stronger than mine.' Thought Lin Mu.
Seeing that his club got cut, the muscular man was enraged even more. He dropped the piece of handle left in his hand and swung his fist at Lin Mu.
This time Lin Mu could not completely dodge the attack. He was hit by the muscular man's punch in the back and dropped his sword, which was blocking the tall man's axe.
Lin Mu forcefully pushed back and did a side roll, so that the axe would not hit his head. But the muscular man was already ready to deliver the next blow and with the axe approaching him, Lin mu could not do much.
"Hahaha, now he's done for." Said the muscular man.
"DIE!!" shouted the tall man.
Lin Mu thought that this was the end for him when suddenly his body turned blurry. The two men thought that they imagined this, but when the blade of the axe was about to hit Lin Mu, it just passed through Lin Mu as if he was made of air.
Similarly, the muscular man's punch too passed through his body unobstructed. Lin Mu could not think of anything at that moment and spun around to escape from between the men. In the same spinning motion, he seamlessly withdrew the wood chopping axe from his ring and buried it in the base of the muscular man's skull.
Lin Mu left the axe stuck in the muscular man's skull and instead entered the stance of the boulder collapsing fist. His breath melded with his movement and agitated the vital energy within his body.
At that moment he reached a level of harmony and a small string of energy spun inside his right hand and formed a small spiral, which looked unstable and felt like it would dissipate any moment.
The tall man was frozen at the sight of the bloodied axe, which was stuck in the head of his second brother. Lin Mu saw this and grasped this golden opportunity. He gathered every ounce of his strength and stuck the tall man at the very centre of his chest.
The tall man felt his ribs crack and his breath was knocked out of his lungs. Lin Mu broke the stance and suppressed the pulsating pain in his right hand. He picked up the short sword that was lying on the ground, with his left arm and swiftly slashed the neck of the tall man, decapitating him.
Lin Mu was now laying down on the ground, exhausted. He did not know why, but after the attacks of the two men passed through him; he felt as if half of his energy reserves were drained and using the axe, and boulder collapsing fist depleted the rest, leaving him with a bare smidgen of energy, which he used to decapitate the tall man.
He was out of breath and his hand was throbbing with pain, leaving him unable to move. He was completely unguarded, and anyone could kill him right now with no effort. Lin Mu must've lied on the ground for more than an hour, as the sun in the sky had moved a significant distance.
After he felt a slight reduction in his fatigue and some energy being recovered, Lin Mu stood up and finally saw the entirety of his handiwork. He saw the muscular man who had the wood chopping axe stuck in his head, lying dead behind him and the now-headless, tall man beside him.
Lin Mu swallowed the sickening feeling that was rising from his throat and collected his wits. He first stored the short sword in the ring, not bothering to put it in the sheath. Then he pulled out the axe from the muscular man's head and left a pool of blood behind.
An idea then came to his mind, and he stored the corpses of the men in his ring as well. He could not just leave them lying in the middle of the path and have someone discover them. He would be incriminated if someone was able to link these two men to him.
He also searched for the skinning knife and found it lying a little farther than the decapitated head of the tall man. He picked up the head and stored it in the ring as well, along with the knife.
Now the only evidence that was left behind was the pools of blood on the ground. He spent some time covering it with mud and soil. Once the blood was hidden beneath the dirt, he looked around for anyone spying on him.
He confirmed that no one had witnessed him by checking any footprints around the area. He did not find any fresh footprints in an area of 100 meters. Knowing that he could only leave the rest to luck, Lin Mu broke into a sprint and ran all the way to the small stream beside the apple tree.
Once he reached the stream, he washed up and changed out of the soiled clothes, which had traces of blood on them. He rested for a while, soaking his sore feet in the cold water and massaging his right hand, which was now aching less than before.
He was incredibly hungry and felt like he could eat until his stomach would burst. Lin Mu stood up and walked to the hunting shack. Once at the hunting shack, Lin Mu took out the remaining meat of the Red-snouted boar and skewered it with a stick and hung it on the large stove outside the shack.
While the meat roasted, he put some rice in the pot to cook. He sprinkled the spices on the roasting meat and watched it cook. Soon enough an intense aroma rose from the meat, which made it irresistible to Lin Mu.
Ignoring the scalding heat, Lin Mu tore off an entire leg and devoured it like a barbarian.