Chapter 170: You Wouldn't Mind
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Though unshaven and rat-faced, Huo Gang was still a master of the Earth Realm. In the blink of an eye, he had darted right up to Zi Qian.
His claw-like hand rent the air as he swiped at Zi Qian's chest.
Zi Qian's expression changed as she immediately started to perform an uncanny sword technique. Eight sword shadows suddenly appeared before her and thrust towards Huo Gang from different directions.
Thanks to Zi Qian's triumphs in Chikong Secret Mansion, her cultivation had broken through into the Completion of the Black Realm. However, her unhealed wound lowered her usual speed and introduced flaws into her technique.
"Your sword technique is full of hollow moves. It's useless against true power!"
Huo Gang guffawed. Genuine Qi covered his fingers, giving his knuckles an illusory metallic luster.
He smashed all the sword shadows to pieces with just a single swipe from his hand.
The metallic hand seized Zi Qian's waist. With a ripping sound, he tore off a large piece of her robe.
Her skin stretching from beneath her left breast to her waist was exposed. The three heretics from the rock cave who had just escaped the rock cave stared at her shapely, creamy skin with smoldering eyes.
Zi Qian covered her exposed skin with her hand.
Huo Gang held the piece of the severed white robe to his nostrils and sniffed. "How fragrant!" he said.
"Go to hell!"
"God Slayer -- The First Style!"
Zi Qian's sword stabbed towards Huo Gang's heart like a lightning bolt as she executed a sword technique from the lower class Spiritual level.
Huo Gang's mouth twisted into a cruel grin. He quickly dodged Zi Qian's attack then jabbed at her slender neck to seal the Meridians on her lips.
After that, he went on to strike seven other Meridians, sealing off Zi Qian's Genuine Qi flow.
Zi Qian was paralyzed, her sword frozen in place, unable to move even an inch.
"Pretty girl, I know you could end your life by simply biting down on the poison in your mouth. But how can you bite down with all your Meridians sealed? Ha-ha!" Huo Gang shook with excitement as his feverish eyes ran over her slender figure.
Zi Qian had run out of options. She should have given up her false hope and committed suicide from the very beginning.
There was nothing she could do but await the living hell she would endure once those three heretics laid hands on her.
As a former member of the Black Market, she was all too familiar with the ways of their heretics.
For some reason, the image of Zhang Ruochen came to her mind. "Why think about him now?" she thought, scolding herself. "Even if he was here, he couldn't beat these three heretics."
As this thought went through her head, she heard a shrill scream.
Huo Gang flew backward. His body slammed into the rock wall, slumped and went still. His eyes were frozen wide in death.
A thumb-sized stone had slammed into Huo Gang's chest, the sheer impact leaving a hole the size of a serving bowl in his chest.
Zi Qian, who lost all hope, suddenly turned her eyes towards the mouth of the rock cave.
They heard the sound of footsteps slowly drawing closer.
It was none other than Zhang Ruochen, dressed in a white robe. He was a tall, handsome youth whose upright bearing embodied all the grace of the Royal Family.
He walked into the rock cave and moved directly towards Zi Qian upon noticing that her Meridians were sealed.
"You there, boy! Are you a student from the School of the Martial Market?" Chen Lidao asked coldly.
When Zhang Ruochen ignored him, Chen Lidao grew so angry that he attacked the boy with a palm strike.
Chen Lidao didn't dare take this enemy lightly. This boy had killed Huo Gang with a measly stone, which testified to his power. He channeled all his Genuine Qi into an overwhelming attack; with a loud thunderclap, he launched a lightning bolt from the center of his palm.
Zhang Ruochen halted mid-step. He backhanded Chen Lidao like someone swatting a mosquito, hurling him more than 10 meters away.
Chen Lidao hit the stone wall and spat out a mouthful of blood. His body fell to the ground, limp as a piece of paper.
There was a human-sized crater left in the stone wall.
Chen Lidao lay limp on the ground, unable to muster the strength to rise. All his bones had been crushed by that slap. He would have already died were it not for his strong vitality as a warrior of the Earth Realm.
Tu Yun stared at the boy in white with great shock and started backing away. Throughout his years in the Martial World, he had encountered many strong warriors and built a reputation as a ruthless man. However, he had never met someone so young with such a terrifying martial cultivation.
Zi Qian was just as shocked as Tu Yun.
She never thought Zhang Ruochen would be powerful enough to send a master of the Earth Realm flying back with just a casual wave of his hand.
Tu Yun, though shocked, had already seen many strong warriors in his life, so Zhang Ruochen didn't terrify him that much.
He plucked the Fish Intestine Sword from Zi Qian's hand and held it to her throat. "You'd better leave the rock cave if you want her to live," he said, staring coldly at Zhang Ruochen.
"You're in no position to offer terms," Zhang Ruochen replied, staying right where he was. "Release her now and I'll spare your life. You still must return to the Purgatory of the Red River and atone for your crimes there as a prisoner, though."
"Ha-ha! You must be kidding! How could I go back there after working so hard to escape?" Tu Yun said with a sneer.
Zhang Ruochen shook his head slightly. "Are you really going to turn down this chance to survive?" he asked.
Tu Yun moved the Fish Intestine Sword closer to Zi Qian's throat. "You think I won't kill her now if you don't let me leave?" he hissed between clenched teeth.
"I will not let you leave, and I doubt you'll be able to kill her either," Zhang Ruochen replied, casually strolling towards Tu Yun.
The distance between them grew shorter and shorter.
Tu Yun started losing his nerve as Zhang Ruochen approached. He moved to slit Zi Qian's throat and lash out at Zhang Ruochen.
Zhang Ruochen was just a teenager, after all; how powerful could he be?
He, on the other hand, was a warrior from the Mid Stage of the Earth Realm. Even if he could not beat Zhang Ruochen, he should at least be able to escape.
Just as Tu Yun made the decision to kill Zi Qian, he realized he couldn't move a single part of his body; it was as if he had been icing cold.
"How... How could... this... be...?" Tu Yun could only make gargling noises as he struggled to open his mouth.
Zhang Ruochen had employed a Space Domain technique called Spatial Freezing.
Zhang Ruochen could solidify the air within his domain like water to freeze a Cultivator dead in their tracks.
If the enemy had a strong enough cultivation, they naturally could cut through the Space Domain and escape from the Spatial Freezing effect.
Since Tu Yun lacked that kind of power, he was completely defenseless against Zhang Ruochen's Space Domain.
Zhang Ruochen walked right up to Tu Yun. "You had your chance," he said, taking note of the terror on Tu Yun's face, "and you blew it."
He placed his hand over Tu Yun's heart and channeled frost Genuine Qi into his chest cavity.
The frost Genuine Qi froze Tu Yun's heart, turning it into a mass of blood-red Ice Crystals.
His body convulsed as his muscles contracted. Eventually, he stopped breathing, his body going as rigid as an ice sculpture.
It was quite a graceful way to kill someone that did not even shed a single drop of blood.
Zhang Ruochen took the Fish Intestine Sword from Tu Yun's hand and tapped the bridge between Zi Qian's eyes. Powerful Genuine Qi poured into her Qi Lake.
This Genuine Qi circulated through the Meridians of her body.
All her sealed Meridians were unlocked.
Zi Qian's limp body fell into Zhang Ruochen's arms. "Thank you," she whispered feebly.
Soon after saying these words, Zi Qian passed out.
When she woke up, she was lying on a stone bed within the rock cave, her injuries already mostly healed.
The six dead bodies had been removed, leaving only the badly injured Chen Lidao; he was dazed and on the brink of death.
Zhang Ruochen sat cross-legged on the ground, seemingly in the middle of cultivation practice.
The moment Zi Qian woke up, Zhang Ruochen opened his eyes and looked at her. "Are your wounds healed?" he asked.
Zi Qian looked down at her brand new robe, a blush creeping across her motionless but beautiful face. "Did you change my clothes?" she asked, keeping her head lowered.
Zhang Ruochen, ever the unflappable one, gave her a simple nod. "That's my robe," he said. "It's a little big for you, but it will suffice."
Zi Qian quickly stood and fastened the belt on her robe. "How shameless! Don't you have any sense of propriety towards a woman?" she shouted, biting her red lips as she glared at Zhang Ruochen.
"What does that have to do with anything?"
After a brief pause, Zhang Ruochen continued talking. "I've seen you naked before, so I thought you wouldn't mind this minor lapse in propriety. Your injuries were clearly severe and needed immediate healing. After tending to your wounds, I saw that your clothes were tattered, so I put a new robe on you. Now that you've recovered, my work here is done."
After saying his peace, Zhang Ruochen turned and left the rock cave, leaving Zi Qian standing there in a daze.
"I... wouldn't mind?" Zi Qian repeated, acting as if she just heard the most intolerable remark of all time. She grabbed her Fish Intestine Sword from the side of the stone bed and chased after Zhang Ruochen.
When she walked past Chen Lidao, her eyes grew cold. Her Fish Intestine Sword flew out from her sleeve.
The sword flashed with light.
Chen Lidao died instantly as his head was severed from his neck.
Zi Qian left the rock cave, chased Zhang Ruochen down and stood in his path. "Zhang Ruochen!" she shouted, pointing her sword directly at him. "What did you mean when you said 'You wouldn't mind?' "
A puzzled look appeared in Zhang Ruochen's eyes. He thought a while before replying. "How unreasonable can you get?" he said. "Why would I want to ogle your body when your life needed saving? I saved you because you're my friend, Zi Qian; I swear to god, I'm not interested in you that way."
If any other man had made that statement, Zi Qian would have already stabbed 100 bloody holes into his flesh.
But when she looked into Zhang Ruochen's clear, stark eyes, she knew he was telling her the truth. He had no other intentions beyond a desire to save her.
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