Book 2 - Fame Spreads
Chapter 58 - Destroyed County Town21 May 2017
The stars had hidden somewhere. Night’s curtain looked like a devil with a sinister face. The whole county town was quiet, as if it had sank into a deathly stillness.
Suddenly, a loud sound of horse’s hooves came from afar. This was a fast horse, seeming as if the indistinct sound had become clear instantaneously.
Although it was night, the rider of the horse was looking at the destroyed main gate. What was a huge iron gate for an ordinary man, at this moment, seemed as if been smashed by something heavy.
The opening of the gate had been completely destroyed, and left behind was a deep and dark way that lead directly inside.
He Yiming had already been extremely anxious. However, as he saw the dangling main gate, his heart suddenly seemed to have frozen over. He clenched his teeth and lightly stamped his feet. Red Silk, as if connected with his will, quickened even more.
Entering the county town without any hindrance, as Red Silk’s hooves touched the stone road of the county town, the resounding sound seemed like a drum being pounded, completely destroying the silence of night.
Inside the county town, the signs of destruction were littered everywhere. One could see large patches of black, frozen bloodstains everywhere. Within the scope of his vision, he could even see more than ten corpses lying on the ground in any direction he looked.
From their clothes, they were certainly ordinary residents of county town. They probably didn’t have enough time to flee when the town was breached, and thus, were killed by suddenly appearing horse bandits.
His ear faintly twitched. Sitting on the horse, He Yiming could even hear indistinct clamor from several locations.
He didn’t know whether these noises were made by left behind horse bandits, or citizens that had luckily survived, and he didn’t have any interest in finding out either.
Red Silk was extremely quick, even quicker than the people’s reaction speed. By the time, some people rushed there with weapons in hands and clothes draped over their body, He Yiming and Red Silk had already disappeared without a trace.
En-route, his vision lingered on a big house that he was passing by.
This place was not strange to him. He’d entered here many times before.
Discovering an insider in Xu family during Lord Master Cheng’s birthday feast, acquiring Blaze technique. In the bride-escorting arena, the huge battle with Lin Taoli, stealthily learning two strange imprint techniques….these events flickered in his mind.
However, once majestic and reputed Cheng Residence had been completely burned down; not even a tile was left standing. It could only seek its former glory from the remnant memories of those who had seen it.
His nose faintly twitched. The air still seemed to contain a burnt odor. Evidently, the mansion had not been burnt too long ago.
He Yiming unceasingly traversed this avenue, heading towards He family’s residence in county town.
In the county town, the once prestigious Cheng family could be overlooked, the nameless citizens could also be overlooked, in his mind, what he was concerned about the most, was only his father and mother.
For the sake of family, his father and mother had been managing several shops in the county town for decades. Although these shops were merely to pull wool over prying eyes and the family’s principal source of revenue was in fact the profit earned from the smuggling, the latter part was also managed by his father.
When the county town was breached, did his mother and father have the foresight to escape one step ahead of the horse bandits- this was his primary concern.
His biggest fear at the moment was to see the corpses of his mother and father upon arriving home.
If this truly happened to be true, even if he killed every single existing horse bandit, it would still not be enough to compensate for his regret.
He residence came into his vision. It was pitch black from inside.
He Yiming’s body moved. Without waiting for Red Silk to stop in place, his body rushed forward and instantly crossed over the wall before firmly landing in the yard.
Before coming here, he was even worried that this place would also be like Cheng Residence, completely burnt down. However, at this moment, although the residence still stood strong, he didn’t feel any relief at all.
Because as he’d entered inside, he was even more afraid that he would see the corpses of his father and mother.
Through the way, although one couldn’t say that the county town was littered with corpses, he’d seen several tens of corpses, and even that was merely on the road he’d travelled.
Taking into account those who had died inside their houses unseen, it would be hard to estimate how many more had died in this calamity.
At this point, He Yiming had acknowledged the viciousness of these horse bandits.
His figure moved like lightning as he inspected every room. Finally, he let out a sigh of relief. In He family’s several yards and buildings there wasn’t actually a single corpse. Moreover, the arrangements inside also didn’t seem to be made in a hurry. It seemed probable that when the horse bandits first arrived, his parents received the information, and thus, were able to retreat so unhurriedly.
As he was about to leave, his thoughts slightly stirred. He tilted his head and quietly listened for a few moments.
His face slightly changed before he took a large step out, and merely with this step, arrived before a piece of rockery in the courtyard.
He reached out with one of his hand and evenly placed it on the rock. The True Qi circulated, and a gigantic power gushed out.
The rock swayed before suddenly leaving the ground. It had actually been uprooted by his palm.
Dust scattered in all directions. Under the rock, a large cave emerged, inside which, was an underground room with an area more than ten square meter.
At this moment, in that room, a person was tongue-tied gazing up. His vision on He Yiming was full of fear, as if he’d seen some frightening monster. Even his body was trembling.
He Yiming’s eyes, however, brightened as he shouted in a stern voice, “He Chen, what are you doing here?”
He Chen was servant of He family, moreover a servant that had his parent’s trust. He was an orphan, raised in the manor. His actions were witty and speech eloquent, and thus, was able to catch his parents eyes. They brought him to the county town where he helped his parents in managing shops as one of several managers in He family.
Currently, all the members of He family in the county town had disappeared somewhere, and he was hiding at this place alone. Thus, it made He Yiming quite astonished and angry.
If he’d not entered the Xiantian realm and gained an inconceivable powerful pair of ears, he might not have been able to discover the secret this rock had been hiding.
He Cheng first started, but after hearing He Yiming’s voice, his eyes immediately shined. Even his body stopped trembling.
“Sixth young master, you are sixth young master?”
“You are really sixth young master.” He Chen immediately ran out of the cave. The dust that fell down on him just now did nothing to diminish the delighted expression on his face.
After witnessing his expression, He Yiming’s face somewhat relaxed as he asked, “Why were you here? Where are my mother and father?”
“Sixth young master, it was lord and lady that asked me to stay behind here.” He Cheng bitterly smiled and said, “This underground room was secretly built by Lord after he assumed control of this residence. Some of our expensive things and gold is stored here. Lord and lady left and instructed me to guard here.”
As He Cheng looked at the distantly lying rockery that had been uprooted a few moments ago, his face turned bitter, “I’m afraid now this secret no longer exists.”
He Yiming gaped. Of all the possibilities he’d thought, he could never have imagined this was the cause.
However, at this point, even if this room contained more wealth, it was nowhere as important as his parents.
“He Chen, what has actually happened in the county town?”
“Sixth young master, that day we were just earning our living, when people from Cheng family suddenly came to notify us; they said that Atai county’s horse bandits are coming to kill. He quickly made arrangements and left county town,” He thought for a bit, then continued, “The Lord commanded to close all the shops and move all valuables inside the underground room, and ordered me to enter the room with food supplies. He told me not to come out regardless of anything unless the food supplies are exhausted or some He family member comes.”
He Yiming started to feel anxious. This He Chen also didn’t seem to know much. He casually asked, “Do you know where my father and mother have gone?”
He Chenn faintly bowed and said, “Sixth young master, before entering the underground room, I heard Lord mentioning about going to Cheng family.”
As He Yiming recalled Cheng family’s devastation, his mind buzzed, and he only felt all the blood inside his body frantically swarming to his brain, almost seeming to explode out.
He Chen astonishedly reached out with his hand, “Sixth young master, what hap…..Ah!”
As soon as his hand made contact with He Yiming’s body, he immediately flew backwards. Fortunately, even under his present condition, He Yiming could differentiate between a friend and foe, and had not used True Qi. Otherwise, the result wouldn’t have been this simple.
As his vision fell on He Chen who was lying on the ground and groaning in pain, He Yiming finally sobered up. He took a big stride forward and arrived beside He Chen. He stretched his hand and pulled him up. A strand of wood type True Qi entered his body and immediately smoothened the minor injuries on his body.
“He Chen, you continue with what lord told you.”
He Chen sounded his agreement. However, as he turned his head, he was stupefied.
Now that the rock had already been uprooted, leaving behind a dark green cave entrance, whoever saw this entrance would definitely think of going down and investigating it. If he were to guard this cave….
He Yiming ran towards the gate at a lightning fast speed. He’d already heard neighs from outside and also delighted cursing voices….
“Fine horse, what a fine horse, quickly catch it….”
“Ah, it ran there, quickly catch it….”
“It ran me over…..”
To have the mind of catching a horse at this moment- apart from horse bandits, there would be nobody else.
He Yiming silently crossed over the fence and stood still at a corner. Red Silk immediately discovered him and instantly ran over to him.
Behind its body were more than sinister-looking men. However, these men were without a doubt fond of this horse. Even after being ran over, they were not willing to use weapons.
However, when Red Silk stopped and they saw He Yiming, they felt something amiss.
One among them wordlessly lifted the big blade in his hands and chopped down. From the vicious glint in his eyes, one could easily tell that he’d developed an addiction while killing during these few days and could no longer stop himself.
He Yiming’s eyes opened, and his body remained motionless. Suddenly, one of his leg flew up.
This leg was quick as lightning and as heavy as a huge hammer. Even compared to that man’s blade, it was a lot quicker.
That man blankly stared at He Yiming’s leg and was unable to react. By the time he thought of retreating or evading, the leg had already kicked at his chest.
Although it was merely a brush with the tip of the foot, that man flew out as if he’d been struck with a thousand jin(500 kg).
While in mid air, the big blade dropped from that man’s hand. Following a clanking sound, the horse bandit flew for more than ten meters before heavily crashing down.
The other horse bandits were appalled. The leader flicked his sleeve upwards. A sound arrow flew straight into the skies, resounding throughout the county town.
He Yiming sneered unceasingly. He’d worried all along that he wouldn’t be able to gather horse bandits together. Now somebody had actually done it for him.
The leader had no clue about what He Yiming was thinking. He only wished to stall for time. Cupping his hands, he said, “I am Zong Kui from Red Cloth Bandits. Who are your, sir? Why do you wish to kill us brothers?”
He Yiming understood well that this man was merely stalling for time, waiting for his companions to arrive. However, they both had the same thought. He Yiming coldly laughed and said, “You don’t need to know who I am. I only wish to know Red Cloth Bandits have always stayed in the Atai county, why have you attacked Tai Cang county?”
Zong Kui’s brows twitched, “Our third leader Guan Wei and fourth leader boss Liao were killed by Tai Cang county’s Cheng and He families. Therefore, our leader led everybody to take revenge for our brothers.”
He Yiming face turned even more cold, “Taking revenge for brothers, hehe. You can kill people, when others kill you, you will settle it by taking revenge. Truly worthy of being horse bandits.”
Zong Kui coldly said, “That’s right, we can kill, but others can’t offend us.”
He Yiming lowered his head, before suddenly asking, “I know about Guan Wei, but boss Liao? How are you so sure that it was done by Tai Cang’s He family?”
Zong Kui threw a quick glance in a distant direction. He could indistinctly saw flickering torches hurriedly approaching them. He felt delighted inwardly, and his mouth issued unceasing torrents of words, “Those fools from He family still think that nobody will recognize them outside Tai Cang county. However, they don’t know that the horse they were riding all had imprints of Tai Cang’s He family. A few of our escaped brothers merely needed to stealthily observe a little. Hehe, at first our leader was also indecisive whether we should really carry out a purge hundreds of li away. However, when we received the information of boss Liao’s death, he immediately made his decision and rode his beloved horse to Lan Hai gang’s two leaders. Thus, all gathered together for this majestic undertaking.”
Zong Kui’s words became slower and slower, and delight in his eyes became richer and richer. At this moment, rumbling sounds resounded, and from several directions, several tens of people rushed towards them, adding up to a total of more than hundred.
One individual loudly said, “Zong Kui, what happened? Why you shot sound arrow?”
Zong Kui respectfully said, “Leader Li, there’s a bit of trouble, but it’s a really fine horse.”
Leader Li’s eyes immediately shined as he stared at Red Silk without blinking. As a member of horse bandits, he could of course discern a horse’s quality at a glance.
He turned his head. Beside the horse stood a strange youngster who had an extremely long cloth on his back. However, this moment, his eyes were only for the horse. How could he care for this guy with unknown origins?
“Yeah, a good horse indeed. I want this horse. Children, kill this guy for me.”
Horse bandits sounded their agreements. A few impatient ones further unsheathed their blades and were about to charge.
However, at this moment, the expressionless youngster suddenly raised his head.
His eyes shone like stars.
The horse bandits started. For some reason, looking at these eyes were making them feel an indescribable chill in their hearts.
He Yiming’s corner of mouth revealed a faint smile. This smile seemed to contain inexplicable regret and indignation.
He slowly opened his mouth and softly said, “Uncle, I was wrong. Eliminating the roots was the correct option to begin with.”
His words were although not loud, more than hundred horse bandits heard his words clearly. They looked at each other. This person didn’t look scary, then why were they feeling such deep chill.
Suddenly their vision blurred, and the youngster disappeared from their line of sight.
A blood-curling scream pierced the sky. Their vision blurred, and they seemed to have a seen a person being thrown up in the air, drowning in the darkness of night without a trace. In a blink of an eye, that scream, like an infection, spread around- one rising after another.
Numerous furious shouts of horse bandits sounded in succession, wishing to surround and kill that person. However, they soon discovered, they were simply unable to follow the latter’s rhythm. In a few moments, half of the more than hundred bandits had fallen. Only a few ten with discerning eye, seeing that the situation didn’t look good, turned around and escaped.
Boss Li was extremely astonished, and was thinking about escaping. However, he felt his body sinking, and his knees gave away.
He Yiming’s one hand lay on his shoulder and spoke in a chilling voice, “After you destroyed the city, where did Cheng members go?”
Scared out of his wits, leader Li involuntarily said, “Senior, spare my life. By the time we destroyed the city, Cheng family and He family escaped to Xu castle?”
“Xu castle? Everybody from He family is also there?”
“Precisely. Following the message of leader’s arrival there, all the core members of the three influential families gathered together, defending Xu castle with their life.”
Xu castle’s high wall emerged in He Yiming’s mind, and he felt somewhat calm.”
“How many people do you four have in total?”
Leader Li hesitated and immediately felt a powerful strength pouring into his shoulders, instantly penetrating to the bone marrow. The powerful, almost substantive aura of the counterpart immediately destroyed his will to resist in entirety.
Before a Xiantian cultivator, even a person with powerful spirit would be unable to endure such a pressure.
“In total, over five thousand.”
“What about their strength?”
“Five experts of tenth layer, eighth ninth layer experts, several tens of….”
He Yiming’s insides turned increasingly cold. The combined power of horse bandits was actually so high, even above that of a millennium clan.
“What is Xu castle’s condition?”
“Leader’s letter tonight says that they have already surrounded Xu castle for five days and have struck a few holes. Tomorrow will be an all out attack, and they can certainly conquer…..”
“Hehe, certainly conquer?” He Yiming suddenly burst out laughing; his voice brimming with killing intent.
Leader Li knew the situation was dire and immediately hung onto the last thread of hope, “Senior, spare my life. I’ll no longer dare act as a horse bandit.”
He Yiming’s gaze was sharp as he said, “I’ve already been mistaken once, I won’t be mistaken twice.”
His figure leapt high up in the air. Unexpectedly Red Silk also did the same without a rider, and they sped like wind towards Xu castle.
Behind his body, leader Li’s body swayed a bit, softly falling down in the end. Like the countless people he’d killed, he didn’t stand up again.