Chapter 199: My Benefactor


 Chapter 199: My Benefactor

Translator: Transn Editor: Transn

Zhang Ruochen approached Nie Zhenghan, arms folded behind his back. "Who I am doesn't matter," he said. "All that matters is this; will you show me the way to Earth Blaze City or not?"

"Go to hell!"

As he shouted, Nie Zhenghan unleashed his inner Blood Meridian power, enveloping his entire body in blood fog. A Blood Wave roughly three meters in diameter coalesced under his feet. Behind him rose the shadow of a huge, bloody tiger and a phantasmal soldier.

Gripping his silver war axe in both hands, Nie Zhenghan dashed forwards and swung to split Zhang Ruochen in half.

Zhang Ruochen shook his head slightly, shifted his body and quickly disappeared. In the next moment, he reappeared in front of Nie Zhenghan and struck Nie Zhenghan's glabella with a single finger.

A dull thud echoed through Nie Zhenghan's head. The barriers around his Qi Sea broke. Genuine Qi exploded out from his Qi lake, shattering his Meridians and Blood Meridian as it flowed forth.

"SHUNK!"

Nie Zhenghan's eyes grew dull. Blood poured from his mouth as he fell lifelessly to the ground.

Zhang Ruochen hated killing people, but even he refused to show mercy towards Evil Warriors from the Black Tiger Hall.

Nobody knew how many common folk had died at the hands of the Black Tiger Hall. Killing an evil warrior from the Black Tiger Hall would save many people's lives in the future.

"This sixth-level Genuine Martial Armament axe should be worth more than 400,000 silver coins," Zhang Ruochen thought as he picked up the discarded giant silver axe and charged towards the other Evil Warriors.

"BOOM!"

Silver light burst forth as he swung the axe.

A line of blood spread across the body of an Evil Warrior. That Evil Warrior fell to the ground.

Unlike other warriors who cut people in half with an axe, Zhang Ruochen could wield the axe as deftly as a sword. When he attacked the Evil Warriors, he left only bloodstains on their necks.

Thanks to successfully practicing the Shadow of the Royal Wind Dragon, Zhang Ruochen dashed forward with unexpected speed. The Evil Warriors, whether Yellow Realm or Black Realm, simply could not escape Zhang Ruochen's pursuit or evade his attacks.

Despite that, Zhang Ruochen didn't wipe them all out. Instead, he only killed Nie Zhenghan and the nine Evil Warriors of the Black Realm. When the Evil Warriors of the Yellow Realm turned to flee, Zhang Ruochen let them go without pursuit.

Zhang Ruochen spared their lives because when the School of the Martial Market posted bounty missions, they assigned merit and rewards based on the threat level of the mission targets. Warriors ranked below the Completion of the Yellow Realm weren't as valuable targets; therefore, it wasn't worth Zhang Ruochen's time to stop these lower Realm warriors from fleeing.

Zhang Ruochen only needed to kill the Black Market warriors who had reached the Completion of the Yellow Realm. The government forces of Yunwu Commandery would exterminate all the lower Realm Evil Warriors themselves.

After all, the government forces were working hand-in-hand with the School of the Martial Market.

Zhang Ruochen crouched down and looted many refined resources from the corpses of Nie Zhenghan and the other nine Evil Warriors. There were Pills, Genuine Martial Armaments, Spiritual Crystals, silver coins and even jade array stones.

Zhang Ruochen laid the 10 jade array stone pieces out in a row and nodded to himself. "I may have let the other Yellow Realm warriors run away with their jade array stone," he thought, "but these 10 pieces of jade array stone should still be worth 800,000 silver coins in total."

Nie Zhenghan and the nine Black Realm warriors possessed top-notch jade array stones that could be used to form a Combined Attack.

In contrast, the other warriors from the Yellow Realm possessed far inferior jade array stones. Even combined, they could not equal these 10 pieces of jade array stone.

All the refined resources Zhang Ruochen had looted added up to 1,500,000 silver coins in value. The giant silver axe and the 10 pieces of jade array stone were the most valuable pieces of plunder.

"As expected, the accumulated wealth of these Black Tiger Hall Black Realm warriors can't even compare to the riches the students of the Martial Market School possess. " Zhang Ruochen lost interest in the plunder and simply tossed it all into his space bracelet.

Even a freshman from the external campus of the Martial Market School had at least ten thousand or more silver coins on hand, let alone the senior students, who had fortunes of more than 100,000 silver coins.

With the exception of their jade array stones, even the Warriors of the Black Tiger Hall that had cultivated to the Black Realm only had 10,000 silver coins on their person. They couldn't even be compared to students of the Martial Market School.

Even as a powerful Earth Realm warrior, Nie Zhenghan's most valuable possession was that giant silver axe, a sixth-level Genuine Martial Armament that cost him decades of savings.

In comparison, an internal student in the School of the Martial Market would be embarrassed to go out if they didn't have millions of silver coins on their person.

Students from the Martial Market School were 10 times richer than other warriors of the same Realm.

"Those Nine Evil Black Realm Warriors plus the Evil Warrior of the Earth Realm should be worth 800 merit points!" Zhang Ruochen thought, smiling slightly.

Rather than leave, Zhang Ruochen chose to wait in that same spot.

He'd let those Evil Warriors at the Yellow Realm go on purpose, using them as part of his plan to lure in the powerful warriors of Black Tiger Hall.

Zhang Ruochen didn't want to outright break into Earth Blaze City if it wasn't necessary.

He knew things about Earth Blaze City that even the other students in the School of the Martial Market weren't aware of.

Earth Blaze City was a huge black market that controlled all the other black markets in the southeast region of Yunwu Commandery. As the third major branch of the Black Market, many of their masters called this city home.

Because of this, they definitively would have installed a Defender Array somewhere in Earth Blaze City.

With Zhang Ruochen's current cultivation, he probably wouldn't survive an attack from a Defender Array unscathed.

Of course, if he had to charge headfirst into Earth Blaze City, there were a few strategies he could employ. For instance, he could destroy the Defender Array first. Without a Defender Array, Zhang Ruochen could waltz into Earth Blaze City at his leisure. Save for those warriors who had reached the Completion of the Earth Realm, no one could stop him with his current cultivation.

"BANG!"

Lin Ningshan broke the seals on her internal Meridians, channeled Genuine Qi to shatter the chains shackling her body, and leapt off the giant, golden spotted tiger.

She didn't leave immediately. Still in a state of shock, Lin Ningshan stared from a distance at the intriguing young man wearing a metal mask.

"Who would have thought he could defeat 10 Evil Warriors in a row? Even their Combined Attack couldn't hurt him. At the very least, he should be my senior."

Though they were both in their teenage years, he had reached the Earth Realm and could sweep away a whole crowd of evil masters. Meanwhile, she did not even have the ability to retaliate against these evil masters.

How could the gap between us be so big?

The young man's powerful cultivation and heroic bearing shocked Lin Ningshan. Drawn in by curiosity, she walked carefully towards him and bowed elegantly, "I am Lin Ningshan," she said, "an external student of the Yuntai Suzerain. We came here to fight alongside the School of the Martial Market against the Evil Warriors of the Black Market and Moon Worship Demonic Sect. You have me at a loss, sir; how should I address my savior?"

Zhang Ruochen was not fond of Lin Ningshan and had not planned on rescuing her. Keeping his back turned to her, he couldn't stifle his own feeling of curiosity. "Is the School of the Martial Market really collaborating with the Yuntai Suzerain?" he asked doubtfully.

The Yuntai Suzerain was seen as one of the top powers in the 36 commanderies of Omen Ridge, the local bully that could stand up to the School of the Martial Market, the Black Market and the Moon Worship Demonic Sect as an equal.

The Yuntai Suzerain enjoyed the highest status among all the commanderies; even the other Commandery Princes only held their positions due to the influence of Yuntai.

For instance, the Royal Family of the Yunwu Commandery had close ties to the Yuntai Suzerain; nearly every Commandery Prince was a Yuntai Suzerain disciple, in fact.

Lin Ningshan considered Zhang Ruochen's question before replying: "The Yuntai Suzerain is certainly a force for justice among the 36 commanderies of Omen Ridge. We have established cooperative relationships with both the government forces and the School of the Martial Market.

The Yuntai Suzerain also has many businesses in the 36 commanderies that were attacked by the Black Market and the Moon Worship Demonic Sect on a regular basis. Since the School of the Martial Market wishes to deal with the black market and the Moon Worship Demonic Sect, we in the Yuntai Suzerain will definitely lend them their strength."

Zhang Ruochen kept his mouth shut and tried to look indifferent and aloof. He really didn't want to continue this conversation with Lin Ningshan.

However, Lin Ningshan didn't notice his indifference and continued to size him up. The more she looked at him, the more she felt a sense of familiarity. Still, she had no inkling he was Zhang Ruochen.

"Benefactor, could you please tell me your name?" she asked again.

"I'm not your benefactor," Zhang Ruochen replied, "so you don't need to know my name. I advise you to leave as soon as you can; if you don't leave soon, I fear you'll lose your chance to walk away!"

Lin Ningshan was a very clever person, and quickly grasped the meaning behind Zhang Ruochen's words. "Did you let the Yellow Realm warriors go on purpose to lure the Black Tiger Hall masters to Lingyue Town?" she asked, a gleam in her eyes.

In the past, Lin Ningshan looked down on Zhang Ruochen and always acted cold and arrogant around him; they barely ever exchanged words.

Today, no matter how much indifference Zhang Ruochen displayed, she still enthusiastically stayed by his side, eyes glimmering with adoration.

Zhang Ruochen took a deep breath. "You know full well that the masters are on their way, so why are you so keen to stay here?" he asked.

Lin Ningshan seemed to hesitate. Just when Zhang Ruochen thought she would leave, she instead let out a bright laugh. "Even Iron Hunchback, the Hall Owner of the Black Tiger Hall, is no match for your mighty power," she said.

"You'd best be careful, though: the Iron Hunchback's cultivation has reached the Final State of the Earth Realm, which makes him 10 times stronger than Nie Zhenghan. He's one of the most famous villains in the Yunwu Commandery."

"Iron Hunchback, the Hall Owner of the Black Tiger Hall, will arrive here soon from Earth Blaze City," Zhang Ruochen said with some impatience.

"My cultivation may be low, but I'm still willing to give you a hand," Lin Ningshan said with a chuckle. "There's always strength in numbers."

Zhang Ruochen had entered this conversation with the intention of warning her off. He never thought Lin Ningshan would make an offer like this, so he didn't know how to refuse her.

Women were truly strange; they never cared about men who treated them well, but were drawn towards aloof men like moths to a flame.

Zhang Ruochen decided to simply keep ignoring her. He drew his Abyss Ancient Sword, caressing the hilt of the blade with both hands. "Abyss sword," he mused out loud, "today will be our first battle together in over 800 years."

The Abyss Ancient Sword hummed in his grip and gave off a high-pitched whistle, almost as if was responding intelligently.

"Is a rusty, broken sword really more beautiful than me?" Lin Ningshan thought from a distance, pursing her lips as she stared unhappily at the young man in the metal mask.

She felt like she was talking to a boring block of wood, and yet his mysterious nature stirred feelings of adoration in her heart. She desperately wanted to learn how powerful he was.

If only he would look into my eyes! Maybe then he would realize the girl standing next to him is much prettier than his sword.

Lin Ningshan kept staring at the young man's back, ardently hoping he would turn around and meet her eyes, if only for just a moment.