Chapter 173: The Prisoners of Heresy
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Zhang Ruochen and Huang Yanchen rushed towards Zi Qian at their fastest speed.
They still arrived too late. Zi Qian was nowhere to be found: All they could see was a dark mist with a radius of around 300 meters.
"Who the hell are you people?"
Zhang Ruochen drew his Snow Dragon Sword and glared at the mist cloud.
Thanks to his strong Spiritual Power, he could sense the position of their enemies.
In the distance, he heard the sound of footsteps echoing from the dark, misty miasma.
Many warriors in shabby clothes emerged from the mist. Some were old warriors in their seventies, some were bearded, middle-aged male warriors, and some were female warriors.
More than 70 of them emerged from the mist. Though their clothes were shabby and they looked particularly down on their luck, their gazes were sharp and utterly murderous. Each one of them was a first class warrior.
An old man with grey hair stood beside Zi Qian, tightly clutching her shoulder.
His five fingers dug into Zi Qian like iron nails, leaving five bleeding cuts in her shoulder.
Zi Qian locked eyes with Zhang Ruochen. She bit down on her lip and shook her head, signaling for Zhang Ruochen to flee.
Zhang Ruochen noticed Zi Qian's unspoken plea, but didn't run away.
If he fled, what would become of Zi Qian?
A young, white-clad man with two swords sheathed behind his back walked out of the crowd. He bowed towards Huang Yanchen with clasped hands. "Greetings, senior sister apprentice Huang and senior brother apprentice Zhang," he said.
Huang Yanchen stared coldly at the young man. "Mo Qinglong," she said, "who would have thought you were the spy from the black market? You hid well."
This young man was none other than Mo Qinglong, the seventh-ranked student on Western Campus.
Zhang Ruochen had observed Mo Qinglong's battles during the quarterly assessment of Western Campus.
At the time, Zhang Ruochen had perceived Mo Qinglong's hidden strength and concluded he was a simply a young superior who preferred not to reveal his true power.
He would never have guessed that Mo Qinglong was a spy.
Mo Qinglong shook his head. "No," he said to Huang Yanchen, "We're not from the black market."
"We are from the Moon Worship Demonic Sect."
Excepting the black market heretics, many prisoners in the Chikong Secret Mansion were disciples from the Moon Worship Demonic Sect. The remaining prisoners were mostly harmless stragglers.
Huang Yanchen's gaze hardened. She stared at the countless prisoners lined up behind Mo Qinglong, seeing them in a new light: It seemed they were all masters of the Moon Worship Demonic Sect.
The Moon Worship Demonic Sect was far worse than the Black Market.
"We have nothing against the Moon Worship Demonic Sect," Zhang Ruochen said, "if you want to leave, we won't stop you. What's the point of capturing junior sister apprentice Zi?"
Mo Qinglong gave Zhang a hard look. "These prisoners have been held here for many years." He replied. "They have neither weapons or armor, and captivity has caused their physical quality to weaken. Even if they rushed out of Chikong Secret Mansion en-masse, they would still be re-captured by the masters from the School of the Martial Market. In short, there's only one way left for us."
Mo Qinglong fixed his gaze on Huang Yanchen. "We need your help if we're going to escape this place safely," he said.
"I'm afraid there's nothing I can do for you." Huang Yanchen replied.
Mo Qinglong shook his head. "You are the princess of Qianshui Prefecture," he said. "If we hold you hostage, the masters of the Martial Market School will have to yield to our demands." He smirked. "Senior sister apprentice Huang, would you like to save junior sister apprentice Zi? If you agree to be our hostage and help us flee, we will release her right away."
Huang Yanchen briefly glanced at Zi Qian. "We aren't friends." She replied. "I don't care if you kill her."
Mo Qinglong considered for a while before shifted his gaze to Zhang Ruochen. "Senior brother apprentice Zhang; are you just going to stand by and watch as we kill your friend?" he asked.
Zhang Ruochen squinted. "What makes you think we're friends?" he asked.
Zhang Ruochen and Zi Qian were actually very close, but few people knew this.
"How did Mo Qinglong learn about them?"
"This Zhang Ruochen is quite something." Mo Qinglong thought. "He can perceive the slightest flaws in an enemy's words or actions. No wonder Lady Saint asked me to pay special attention to him."
This was why Lady Saint's plan involved Huang Yanchen's capture by the Moon Worship Demonic Cult.
Before entering the Chikong Secret Mansion, Mo Qinglong received a secret letter from Lady Saint.
Lady Saint's letter mentioned that by capturing Huang Yanchen and holding her hostage, they could rescue the prisoners from Chikong Secret Mansion without being hunted down by the warriors of the Martial Market School.
Mo Qinglong didn't know Lady's Saint true identity, but he was sure she was secretly part of the Martial Market School.
Mo Qinglong calmed himself, trying not to let Zhang Ruochen unsettle him. "Senior brother apprentice Zhang," he continued, "if you can persuade senior sister apprentice Huang to be our hostage, we will release junior sister apprentice Zi. Furthermore, once we leave Omen Ridge, we will immediately let senior sister apprentice Huang go free. You have my word."
Zhang Ruochen shook his head. "I don't think I can persuade her," he said.
Mo Qinglong sighed. "We aren't like the black market," He replied. "Once we make a promise, believe me, we'll definitely keep it. Besides, there are many masters among us. If we fight seriously, you may not be able to escape."
"Why are you wasting time talking to them? Let's kill this chick right now so we can capture Princess Yanchen."
The grey-haired old man clutching Zi Qian's shoulder raised his arm to smack the top of her head, a cruel luster in his eyes.
He put all his strength into the blow, seemingly intending to smash Zi Qian's head open.
Zhang Ruochen's expression changed. He instantly released his Space Domain, extending it out to cover 90 meters.
Pure Jade Genuine Qi poured from Zhang Ruochen's palms and merged with the Space Domain, manifesting the power of Space Freezing. The grey-haired old man's arm stopped in mid-air.
The old man had only cultivated to the Completion of the Black Realm, hence he simply couldn't break the suppressing effect of the Space Domain.
Zhang Ruochen channeled Genuine Qi through the meridians of his legs. He took a single step forward and transformed into a shadow. He dashed towards Zi Qian with the speed of the wind, intending to carry her away.
"Heh Heh! You're too young to steal from us, boy!"
A big, bald, two-meter tall fellow sprang forward and landed on Zhang Ruochen's right side. He channeled the last dregs of his Genuine Qi through his fists and punched at the small of Zhang Ruochen's back.
The big bald fellow was a chief of the Moon Worship Demonic Sect. He'd cultivated to the Mid Stage of the Earth Realm by practicing a strong exercise called "the Great King Kong Martial Classic".
Whenever he channeled Genuine Qi, his skin would glow with a golden hue, as if his body had been cast in copper gold.
Zhang Ruochen used one hand to pull Zi Qian free and the other to swing his sword towards the big bald fellow.
A 10-meter arc of icy-cold Sword Breath flew from his sword, a white line that cut the big bald fellow's torso.
The razor-sharp Sword Breath slashed open the big bald fellow's chest, leaving a bloody, foot-long gash and even severing some ribs.
The big bald fellow flew back and hit the ground, blood pouring from his chest wound.
"They can't beat us all! Let's take them down together!"
Han Sanfu stood among the heretical masters with a tranquil face, a gaze cold as ice and a body like a mountain. He practically gave off strong Martial Arts aura.
He was a chief of the Moon Worship Demonic Sect, greatly esteemed among his diciples, who had cultivated to the Completion of the Earth Realm.
Every word from Han Sanfu's lips burst forth like thunder and resonated in Zhang Ruochen's ears. His words made Zhang Ruochen recoil and strained his meridians, particularly the Blood Meridian, to the breaking point.
Upon hearing Han Snafu's orders, 12 masters from the Moon Worship Demonic Sect all attacked Zhang Ruochen at once.
Zhang Ruochen pulled out the War Map Luo Shuihan had given him. He unfurled the Map and poured a continuous stream of Genuine Qi into it.
The surface of the War Map started to glow blood red light.
Over 10 giant Leopard-headed Blood Bats flew out of the War Map. They swooped towards the 12 Moon Worship Demonic Sect masters on flapping wings, baring their sharp, bloody teeth.
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