“Hey kid, give us the things you found at Gongjia Mountain!” roared one of the people behind him.
“If you give them to us, we will let you live.” The other guy punched something and Shao Xuan could hear loud, explosive thuds. It was a show of strength.
Shao Xuan ignored them, sprinting ahead.
“You won’t be able to run from us!” yelled one of them. Although he sounded worried, from his expression, one could tell that he was in a hurry at all. Instead, he had a cunning smirk as he watched Shao Xuan’s back.
The fat duck on the branch moved its claws. It liked being on a branch when it was startled. It flew up again, perched on a higher branch to get away from the battle below. However, its beady eyes were still glued to the scene, craning its neck as if it did not want to miss the show.
In the direction where Shao Xuan was running, behind a thick tree trunk was a person waiting quietly behind. Although he had climbed up to five meters above the ground, as if he was an insect, he made no sound.
At this moment, this person listened as movement approached him. Cruel mischief flashed across his eyes. Between his fingers was an array of bronze blades as long as his palm but extremely thin. Cold light glinted off their tips.
Soon. The target was close by.
The person behind the tree trunk licked his lips as if he could already smell fresh blood. He just had to wait for the target to trigger a trap he had already set. Then sharp bones he had ground himself would shoot out. Then the target would be nailed to death. There was only one blind spot for this trap, which was where he was hiding. Everywhere else was covered with bone spikes!
He listened to the movement. The target was approaching, still running, jumping… Eh? He jumped?
The person leaning against the tree trunk sensed danger. His pupils constricted and he shuddered. A chill spread from his spine to his brain, he almost lost his balance on the trunk, almost falling off the tree. His heart raced. He wanted to peek around the tree but the target was moving too quickly and too suddenly. He had no time to react when he heard a rain of sounds.
The tree trunk shook vigorously. The vibrations travelled to every twig, every leaf.
The tree’s leaves flew off the tree like a blizzard, covering the entire ground.
No one expected the target of their robbery, a prey that was supposed to pass this area and trigger the trap, to jump! He didn’t just jump, he even kicked the tree trunk so hard!
The thick trunk cracked. The sudden, explosive vibrations were passed to the person leaning against the trunk. He spat a mouthful of blood.
The tree trunk could not bear the force of the kick. Splinters and wood flew in the air, wooden chips crumbling into powder.
The large tree, with its dense leaves, collapsed unto the ground. The ground shook. Within the forest, even birds and animals far away were startled enough to escape far away.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
The collapsed tree and the scattered branches and leaves triggered the hidden traps. The sharp bone spikes hidden among the trees shot out from all directions. Some shot at the tree trunk, others landed in the bushes.
The person who was shaken off the tree quickly dodged the spikes mid-air. Although he could block off many using a branch, he did not dodge them all. He was shot several times, landing hard on the ground.
Blood splattered on the grass. Some plants that looked like bean sprouts lifted their ‘heads’ and opened their ‘mouths’, drinking the blood greedily.
The fat duck perched high up in the tree was extremely startled, fluttering over to rest in another tree. It wanted to leave but it hesitated. Then, it decided to stay and watch.
The person chasing after Shao Xuan’s smirk hardened. It was as if his face had been smashed with a hammer, all signs of glee were shattered. He did not have time to think or check on his friend behind the tree trunk. He did n’t check if the other guy was injured. They just looked at the young man whom they thought would be an easy target. How could he kick a tree so hard like that? It was as if he saw through all their traps.
They had robbed many people here too. Every time they saw someone intimidating, they would stay far away. When they met someone easy, they would rob the victims. They lacked the capability to arrive at Gongjia Mountain so all they could do was take advantage of those who had already made it to the place.
When they heard that there were two people heading towards the mountain, and one of them was a Xia, they planned a robbery once again. They heard Xia people had a higher chance of making it into the mountain.
However, after waiting for so long, they finally saw one person. And this person wasn’t even the Xia guy, it was the young man who travelled with the Xia guy.
If they had met the Xia person, they would have been more cautious because the Xia’s had secret weapons they did not know how. However, since this was just a regular young man, they did not hesitate to release their bait, luring the young man here. This person had come out from Gongjia Mountain, he must have some treasure on him!
However, they didn’t expect the situation to escalate like this.
After a life of robbing and surviving in the forest, they had many close brushes with death. They had met all kinds of people, some of them difficult to defeat. However, this situation was the most unexpected.
This kid saw through their entire plan!
The more terrifying part was his physical strength. He snapped such a thick tree trunk in half with just one kick! While there were many people who could break a tree, not many could do it so effortlessly in one kick. They were not as strong as this guy too.
When they looked at the collapsed tree, they found the tree bare. All the leaves had fallen off with the vibration!
They had no time for surprise because they realised their target had turned around immediately after the kick, charging at them at lightning speed.
Both people charged at Shao Xuan too, the distance between them all shortened in the blink of an eye. Two forces of power were hurtling themselves at each other.
Shao Xuan raised his sword, parrying his opponent’s blade.
The impact of the two swords was so strong that the person felt his arm go number. The skin between his thumb and his index finger broke, two feet planted firmly in the ground were suddenly not. He was almost thrown upwards!
They were both of similar height, this kid did not look more muscular than them. Perhaps not as strong as the other person waving his fists. However, this kid whom they had planned to rob almost killed him in a second! What the fuck?!
When the two swords were forced apart, Shao Xuan felt a gush of air from a fist next to him. He did not dodge, facing the fist with his own.
The totemic power within him surged like ten thousand horses. After attempting to activate the bone ornaments twice, his power of inheritance had been restored as strong as ever. He was even more adept in shifting his totemic power. The totemic pattern on his body was ablaze, as if they could set the whole place on fire. The totemic patterns on his shoulder extended down to his fist.
The other person was very confident too. This kid could kick a tree? Well, he could too! That kick was nothing to him! However, when both fists touched each other, he realised he underestimated his opponent. Was this man or beast?!
Crack crack crack!
The other person’s arm sounded like the branches snapping on the tree that collapsed. Bones shattered in his arm.
That was not the end!
Shao Xuan retracted his fist and hurled himself at his opponent. The other person wanted to retreat but could not move in time. There was a dull thud as he flew backwards. Many parts of his body split open and blood sprayed out.
This was not over, there was another guy!
The person wielding the sword witnessed two of his partners incapacitated. He knew this was going to be a tough one so there was no time to breathe. When Shao Xuan punched the other guy, his sharp sword was already flying at Shao Xuan, bringing with it a blade of wind.
The sword in Shao Xuan’s hand twisted like a dragon, raising to his left in one moment.
The sharp reverberations of metal on metal echoed. The other person used the momentum from the collision to retreat quickly. That blow had failed and he knew he would never get another opportunity to hit Shao Xuan again. He had to leave!
Shao Xuan’s legs moved and he was now just a shadow moving at incredible speed. The sword in his hand waved in the air, extended towards the person who was running away.
The sword glinted in an arc mid-air.
The other person’s footsteps stopped abruptly, disbelief in his eyes and his eyes lost focus. A gush of red liquid sprayed out of the back of his neck. The sword in his hand fell to the ground, grass flew.
Shao Xuan lifted a solid piece of soil from the ground and threw it in a direction.
There was a shriek and a bright green silhouette fell from mid-air.
Shao Xuan walked over and trapped the struggling duck’s wings. He tied it up using some straw rope then tossed it aside.
Then, he walked towards the tree he had kicked down.
There was one person under a branch, bleeding. When he walked over, the totemic patterns on this person’s body that looked like snakes slowly disappeared. He twitched and then died.
Shao Xuan thought it was weird. This person wasn’t crushed by a trunk, and the thorns had not hit any vital parts. Why did he die?
When he kicked the tree away, Shao Xuan flipped the guy over with his sword and noticed that the wounds were green-purple. Where the thorns coated with poison? No. Shao Xuan looked at the little plants on the ground that looked like bean sprouts. Those were the poisonous culprits.
The three people had been dealt with, there was no one else around. Shao Xuan approached the duck and lifted it by its neck.
“Should I roast or boil you?”