Translator: Silavin & Tia
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Upon hearing those words, Lei Gu sneered, “Why should this King do something so unnecessary?”
Gao Xue Ting was the best hostage he could get his hands on, so there was no need to exchange her for Wen Zi Shan. Additionally, the risks would be too great. Putting aside the question of whether there would be any accidents in the process of the exchange, even imbuing Wen Zi Shan with Demon Qi was questionable as he was a Minor Realm stronger than Gao Xue Ting.
The fact that there weren’t any other Third-Order Emperor Realm Masters among the cultivators that had been corrupted by the Demon Qi was a testament to this reality. It wasn’t that Lei Gu and Feng Ming didn’t want to corrupt them, it was simply that it was too difficult to actually execute such a plan. That was why they settled for second best and focused on those in the First and Second-Order Emperor Realm first.
“What do you want then!?” Wen Zi Shan no longer had his usual free-spirited demeanour. His expression had never been this solemn before, “All I want is for her to be safe. Just tell me whatever conditions you have!”
Lei Gu snorted, “I told you. Let me go free. I will let her go once I reach a safe place.”
“That’s impossible!” Wen Zi Shan slowly shook his head, “There is no guarantee that you will do what you say. How can I trust you?”
Lei Gu answered in a calm and leisurely manner, “You can only take that gamble if you want her to be safe. At worst, this woman will simply lose her life.” He let the Demon Qi in his hand flow and Gao Xue Ting immediately groaned in pain.
“Stop!” Wen Zi Shan burst out, raising his hand to stop Lei Gu, his expression changing drastically at the same time.
Lei Gu was about to reply when Yang Kai interjected, “I can’t agree to your proposal, and you won’t agree to my proposal either. Fine then, let’s both compromise.”
Lei Gu shifted his gaze to look at Yang Kai, “Let’s hear it.”
Yang Kai put his hands behind his back, “I’ll let you go, but I will be following behind you. When we reach a place you think is safe enough, you will hand Senior Sister Gao back to me. This is my final offer, if you still think that is unacceptable, then there’s nothing else to talk about anymore.”
Lei Gu didn’t answer but his eyes flickered. Meanwhile, Wen Zi Shan felt as though his heart was about to burst from his chest. He secretly circulated his Emperor Qi and prepared to attack immediately if he noticed anything wrong. The situation in the mountain valley seemed to have frozen over. There was no sound and no movement. Time never seemed to have flowed so slowly before.
Yang Kai did not know how long had passed, but taking a deep breath, he said, “I guess that’s a no.”
While speaking, he raised his hand high and shouted, “Monster Kings, heed my command!”
*Hong…* An overpowering Monster Qi erupted into the sky. At the same time, all thirty-two Monster Kings moved to surround both Lei Gu and Gao Xue Ting. All paths of retreat in every direction were blocked off. The eyes of every single Monster King were gleaming with bloodlust and eagerness filled their faces.
“I will count to three. If he still doesn’t answer, then shred him to pieces!” Yang Kai stared at Lei Gu coldly. Raising a finger on the hand he was holding up as he shouted in a firm manner, “One!”
Wen Zi Shan’s body tensed. Both his fists tightened and relaxed repeatedly in a never-ending cycle, feeling indescribably anxious.
“Two…” A second finger was raised.
Murderous intent flowed out from thirty-two Monster Kings and shrouded Lei Gu. The Monster Qi in each and every Monster King’s body was bubbling with ferocity. They didn’t care for Lei Gu or Gao Xue Ting as these two were both strangers to them. At this moment, they were only acting on Yang Kai’s orders, and since he had commanded them to rip Lei Gu to pieces on the count of three, then that was what they were going to do. They couldn’t care less about whether Gao Xue Ting would live or die.
Shrouded by the murderous intent from thirty-two different directions, the Demon Qi covering the surface of Lei Gu’s body became agitated. Despite being in the Third-Order Emperor Realm, he would not survive an assault from thirty-two Monster Kings working together. He would only die a brutal death the moment the fight began.
He stared at Yang Kai deeply, trying to look into the depths of his soul. He was hoping to see even the slightest hint of hesitation or bluff, but he was disappointed to see that Yang Kai’s expression remained undaunted. There was only a firm determination in those eyes, so just as the third finger was raised halfway, he finally succumbed, “Only you are allowed to follow.”
“Agreed!” Yang Kai put down his hand and clasped it behind his back, looking as calm as could be. However, the people standing behind him could clearly see that his hand was slightly shaking. It was obvious that he was not as calm as he seemed on the surface. Thus, they couldn’t help feeling some doubt. [If Lei Gu had not said anything, would Yang Kai really have allowed the thirty-two Monster Kings to charge in?]
“Make way!” Yang Kai waved his hand and the thirty-two Monster Kings surrounding Lei Gu immediately stepped aside to open up a path for him.
Fan Wu, Cang Gou, and Luan Feng couldn’t help sighing when they saw this. [Those are the Monster Kings under our command. Since when has a Human ever been allowed to order them around? The worst part is that these useless guys are just obeying everything he says like it’s natural! They don’t even show the slightest bit of hesitation! How absolutely infuriating!]
“Please,” Yang Kai gestured with his hand.
Lei Gu said unhurriedly, “You better mean what you say. If I discover you leaving any traces behind for them to track us down, or if I notice any of their auras following us… You will bear the consequences of your actions!”
“Don’t worry; just put your heart back into your belly,” Yang Kai laughed mockingly.
Lei Gu coldly snorted in response. Pushing his Demon Qi, he wrapped Gao Xue Ting in it before he rushed out along the gap in the encirclement. Yang Kai followed closely behind him at a leisurely pace.
In the blink of an eye, the two figures disappeared from everybody’s sight.
Looking in the direction those two left, Wen Zi Shan became hesitant. He was worried about Yang Kai chasing after Lei Gu alone and wanted to secretly follow after them. Even so, what Lei Gu said before made him cautious about acting recklessly lest he brought harm to them. If he accidentally exposed his aura and Lei Gu noticed, Gao Xue Ting would surely lose her life. He could also track them from a distance, but he couldn’t grasp their exact direction if they were too far away. Unfortunately, Yang Kai would probably have no chance to leave any clues behind.
Ma Qing sighed, patted Wen Zi Shan on the shoulder, and said, “Brother Wen, I’m sure that boy will do everything he can to definitely bring Elder Gao back since he was the one who came up with this proposal in the first place. You should just wait and see.”
After saying that, Ma Qing saw that Wen Zi Shan was not going to respond and could only walk back to the others. He glanced at his wife and disciples, and asked with concern, “Are you all alright?”
The group of disciples nodded their heads in response, while on the other hand, Madam Qi stared at him coldly. Her chilling stare drilled into him and made a sheen of cold sweat ooze out of his forehead. Parting his lips, he asked, “Darling, what’s wrong?”
In response, Madam Qi flicked her sleeve, turned around, and walked away, speaking in a frosty voice, “When we get back, you will write a letter of divorce for me. Holy Master Ma, you have a great and righteous justice, I’m afraid a lowly woman like me might drag you down in the future. So, let us go our separate ways and never cross paths again, lest I spoil your reputation one day.”
Cold sweat poured down Ma Qing’s forehead as he hurried to catch up with her, “Darling, why do you say something like this?”
He knew that the words he had spoken earlier to try and persuade Wen Zi Shan had greatly hurt his wife. [I was just saying that because of the situation. Why is she taking it so seriously?]
On the other side, Wen Zi Shan, who had been standing in silence for a long time, finally closed his eyes in pain. Despite hesitating for so long, he did not have the courage to chase after Yang Kai and Lei Gu and now, it was too late to do anything. He could only pin all his hopes on Yang Kai and pray that he could bring Gao Xue Ting back safely. It was just that the sliver of hope was too slim. Yang Kai’s strength might be extraordinary, but Lei Gu was not weak. Lei Gu was a Third-Order Emperor and Gao Xue Ting, who had been demonified, was also under his control. He simply couldn’t think of how Yang Kai had any means of getting Gao Xue Ting back safely.
Just as he was mulling over those thoughts, Wen Zi Shan sensed somebody walking over to his side and tugging at his sleeves. He opened his eyes and lowered his head to look, only to see a seven-or-eight-year-old little girl who was so delicate that she looked like she had been carved out of jade looking up at him with pure, clear eyes.
“You are…” He looked at her suspiciously. Even though she looked like a mere child, Wen Zi Shan did not dare to take her lightly. That was because he had seen this little girl in action just now. The aura coming from her was so dense that even he felt inferior to her. He did not understand why so many monsters had gathered around Yang Kai. Putting aside the ability to easily mobilize three Divine Spirits and thirty-two Monster Kings, even a little girl like this was extremely powerful. Not to mention, there was also that black puppy that could swallow Demon Qi. It was simply one weird thing after another.
“Do you want to follow them?” Liu Yan asked.
Wen Zi Shan’s expression brightened, “Can you track their whereabouts?”
Liu Yan shook her head, “I can’t.”
Wen Zi Shan’s eyes immediately dimmed again, but to his surprise, Liu Yan pointed to the side and continued, “But, he can!”
Looking in the direction she was pointing, he saw a Stone Man standing there quietly, grinning at him.
“Him?” He looked confused. This Stone Man seemed a little different from the other Stone Men, more agile and intelligent. When the Stone Man saw Wen Zi Shan looking at him, he beckoned, “Follow me!”
Then, he reached out and pointed at the three Divine Spirits, “The three of you come along too.”
Fan Wu and the two others glanced at each other but did not question any further. They simply nodded in agreement. After that, the Embodiment turned to leave. Liu Yan quickly followed and Wen Zi Shan no longer hesitated, following closely behind her. Behind them came the three Divine Spirits.
They moved as swift as the wind, the mountains and rivers passing by below them. This group of people all belonged to the strongest cultivators in the Star Boundary, so their flying speed was naturally not slow. After flying for a while, Wen Zi Shan spoke up suspiciously, “Is this the direction they went?”
“Shh!” Liu Yan turned her head and shushed him, raising a finger and pressing it against her lips.
Wen Zi Shan felt his face twitching slightly, but did not dare to ask any more questions. He had no choice except to follow them sullenly, hoping that they were going in the right direction.
Throughout their journey, the Embodiment took the lead while the rest of them did their best to conceal their auras while following behind him. He took many twists and turns, as if there was no pattern to his actions. Only Liu Yan and the Embodiment were unwavering in their faith while tracking Yang Kai down. Wen Zi Shan and the three Divine Spirits were completely clueless as to what was going on as they had neither sensed Yang Kai nor Lei Gu’s aura during this pursuit. Hence, they had no way of telling if they were heading in the right direction.
What made Wen Zi Shan even more anxious was that Embodiment would sometimes remain in a certain spot for a time before moving again. During this period, there were no signs that the Embodiment was searching for anything at all. It was almost as though he had gotten tired and simply decided to take a break before flying off in a random direction.
Meanwhile, Yang Kai strolled leisurely through the air with his hands behind his back ten thousand kilometres away. He was following closely behind Lei Gu. In the beginning, Lei Gu had tried to throw Yang Kai off his tracks; however, he realized that this was impossible after a few attempts.