Ning Chen’s heart was in a mess right now, more so than before; he didn’t know how to respond that question. If Mu Chengxue had really forgotten about him, what could he do about it? Tie her up and kidnap her?
She was the sixth Xiantian in this world! If she wasn’t willing to go, who in this world could force her to move.
The Deserted City didn’t experience snow all year round. It was said that the sword residing in the city didn’t like snow so the snow avoided the city.
Ever since they stepped into the city, Ning Chen began taking the lead; seeing as he was the one searching for someone, it only made sense that he was the one to lead.
As his wheelchair rolled onto the street’s stone slabs, it sank in by a centimeter. His eyes scanned around the deserted streets and then over every house in sight.
Watching him search the area like a fool, Prince Yan didn’t say a word or move to stop him.
There was over a thousand streets in the Deserted City and more than ten million houses; however, if he wanted to search like this then so be it.
In one’s life, how many times could one actually afford to be foolish?
It was apparent from a glance how important this was to Ning Chen, unimaginably so.
Before this, the Prince’s impression of Ning Chen came from what Zhang Sun told him and what the world circulated about him. It was only after meeting him did he reconcile that impression with reality.
According to Zhang Sun, this little eunuch was a troublemaker and he didn’t follow rules; however, he was also a trustworthy and sentimental person.
The world viewed him as a brave, intelligent, young hero, who was worthy of respect.
However in his eyes, Ning Chen was cold, proud and perhaps even ruthless.
Yet it was this person, who at this very moment, was like a madman searching around ever so weakly and ever so frantically.
As they proceeded onwards, Prince Yan merely watched over the teen with a pair of calm eyes that at the same time revealed an abyss within them.
Truthfully, Ning Chen’s current mental state was extremely dangerous to him. To martial practitioners, the one thing they had to be most wary of was an unstable psyche.
Ning Chen had just risen to the Sixth-grade and if he wasn’t able to hold onto his beliefs, his cultivation might just regress.
Yet it was also clear to Prince Yan that this person Ning Chen was searching for, was even more important to him than his cultivation. Thus, he didn’t stop the boy nor did he say anything.
If his cultivation base degrades, he can simply cultivate it again. Compared to something he treasured to that extent, it was not even worth mentioning.
However, It had to be said that on this point alone, the pair’s opinions were surprisingly in sync.
The city was truly a vast one. Ning Chen dragged the prince along while searched through every nook cranny, bit by bit; his eyes were devoid of any hope, yet they were similarly devoid of any disappointment. All that could be seen, was a scene of him entering and leaving a house, over and over again without any change.
The Deserted City used to be a prosperous city in the past. Back then, its might was even stronger than Peerless, but due to a period of turmoil, it began to decline especially in the last two hundred years. Had it not been for that sword, its declining population would have resulted in its annexation long ago.
Truth be told, Grand Xia didn’t have any intention of expanding its territories for over seven hundred years. During the first three hundred years of its reign, its expansion had been marked by battles so bloody that its citizens and warriors had grown to detest war from the bottom of their hearts.
No one could remember what was Deserted City’s name prior to this nickname. The people now either called it Deserted City or Sword City; no one cared to recall what it was originally called.
The day passed by in the blink of an eye. From the moment they entered the city at dawn until now when the sun was beginning to set, they had searched through countless streets and houses yet the day still seemed so short.
Throughout their search, they naturally came upon sword practitioners, but these people mostly avoided them without saying a word. Within Sword City, there was no trust to be had and thus no one wanted to bring trouble on themselves needlessly.
Ning Chen had stopped one of these swordsman and asked about Mu Chengxue’s whereabouts after giving the man a brief description. However, this swordsman had just arrived not too long ago as well and wasn’t familiar with the happenings in Sword City.
In reality, the majority of the swordsmen who visited the Sword City came in search of the sword marks left by that sword during his training sessions. Using these scars as an inspiration, they hoped to achieve a breakthrough in their cultivation.
At the end of the day, everyone here was searching for something; however, they were searching for a sword while Ning Chen was searching for a person.
A missed encounter was simply one that couldn’t be reconciled. As time passed, the anxiety in Ning Chen’s heart grew stronger, with it, what was once a stable Sixth-grade cultivation base began to show signs of weakening.
Prince Yan narrowed his eyes at those signs but chose not to say anything about it. He didn’t mind this regression and simply let the teen be.
Just as the sun was about to set completely, a group of shadows began streaming in from a distance away, closing the gap between the pair and them in an instant.
Looking at the conspicuous crest on their otherwise pitch black clothes, it was easy to tell who these men were. They were the Shadow guardsmen and Shadow Dragon guardsmen of Grand Xia!
There were a total of 11 of them, one Shadow Dragon and ten Shadow guardsmen. Each brimmed with a formidable aura and clearly possessed an extraordinary might.
The Shadow Dragon leading them immediately recognized the prince and half-kneeled before the man. He rose to his feet shortly after, and in a respectful tone, said, “Prince Yan, His Majesty has decreed that we are to bring Ning Chen back, I hope that Your Highness won’t interfere.”
Prince Yan glanced at the oblivious teen who was still searching for his target as if these men didn’t exist. He turned back to the Shadow Dragon and flatly said, “The Ninth-grade stay behind, the rest can do as they please.”
This command had left the guardsman leader in a difficult position. The Ninth-grade mentioned by the prince was naturally him; however, the Emperor’s orders were clear, capture him alive if possible. If he didn’t participate, the odds of them capturing him alive were significantly less.
Who would’ve expected that the Ning Chen of yester-year who couldn’t even beat an ordinary guard would end up escaping their clutches not only once but twice. The first time was to be expected seeing as the Divine Child threw him off the cliff; him surviving was his own fortune. However, the second time the teen actually managed to make use of Her Majesty’s protection to escape their clutches.
Because of this, the Xia Emperor was livid.
“Capture him, if he resists, kill him!” The Shadow Dragon hesitated for a moment before giving out a firm command.
If capturing him alive wasn’t an option, then they must kill him. No matter what, they mustn’t allow him to escape once more.
The ten guardsmen immediately rushed to the frantic silhouette in front of them.
Ning Chen had just finished searching a house and was about to proceed to the next when he was suddenly set upon by ten figures surrounding him.
In the face of this unwelcome hindrance, his mood immediately soured. “OUT OF THE WAY.” He yelled.
The wheelchair proceeded onwards, heading straight for the gap between two of the guardsmen. The Ning Chen right now wasn’t in any mood to deal with such matters.
“Return with us to the palace.”
The two guardsmen reached out and pressed down on the teen’s shoulders as they said in deep voices.
Finally, the teen’s boiling impatience and anger finally erupted as he yelled, “SCRAM!”
A violent burst of Qi erupted from the teen’s body and crashed into the two nearby men, numbing their arms in an instant. With their mobility compromised, they swiftly retreated three paces.
The sudden show of resistance left the two parties with no more room for negotiation. With the kill command given, the guardsmen rushed forward with swords drawn forming a net of swords that swiftly closed in on him. Of the ten here, the weakest amongst them was at the fifth-grade while the strongest was at the peak of the seventh-grade.
“You all, deserve to die!”
A furious Ning Chen slowly lost himself in his anger, and with a slight raise of his left hand, he sent forth a sudden burst of black golden light that enveloped the ten guardsmen.
In that instant, the ten guardsman slumped over momentarily as they were hit with an immense gravitational force that seemed to pull them towards the ground. Before they could react, a wave of hoarfrost fanned out from the teen, a black silhouette was vaguely visible within as the snowflakes scattered into the air.
A flash of black and a second later, the air was filled with the pungent smell of blood!
It was merely a moment of shock, yet it brought with it massive ramifications. Before the guardsmen could steady themselves, four of them collapsed to the ground with a dull lifeless thud.
The other six were stunned, but even more so, they were furious. As the personal guard of the Xia Emperor, they had never been trampled upon as such.
With that painful lesson learnt, they split up into groups of three that rotated between defense and offense instead of their earlier reckless display.
A cold glint flashed across Ning Chen’s eyes as he gripped down on his Ink Sword. He rushed forward with reckless abandon, discarding any form of defense and instead focusing on his attacks. His objective was clear, murder them, nothing else mattered.
Soon, all seven combatants were riddled with cuts and drenched in blood.
With the dense Earth Qi at his disposal, Ning Chen was able to enfeeble the six guardsmen but even this wasn’t enough to make up for the difference in numbers. As the two sides traded injuries, it had always been the guardsmen who came out on top.
The battle raged on with no end in sight. Ning Chen’s eyebrows knitted together in annoyance as he began to lose patience with the lack of results. Taking advantage of that momentary swap between the guardsmen’s offensive and defensive form, his sword smashed into three of the guardsmen with a loud bang after which he swiftly retreated several meters back.
The other three guardsmen immediately try to close the gap, yet just as they took the first step forward, the Ink Sword flew into the ground with a thud. In Ning Chen’s hands was a green, ancient bow which glowed with a blinding, silvery light. A second light appeared, and a terrifying arrow of light coalesced before shooting forth.
Their eyes narrowed and in that split second, the silvery arrow closed the gap between them and collided with two of the guardsmen sending them flying in a spray of blood.
With their formation broken, there was now nothing to hinder Ning Chen. Giving his wheelchair a resounding slap, six darts flew out with a whoosh towards the remaining guardsmen in a black flash of light.
The sound of metal colliding echoed in the air. Five of the darts had been deflected, yet the sixth one suddenly took a dive at the last second and changed direction.
The dart tore into a guardsman’s body causing his body to tremble and retreat half a step.
With several meters between them and Ning Chen, his dense Earth Qi wasn’t strong enough to influence the guardsmen, but it was definitely strong enough to influence a dart.
Furthermore, all his hidden weapons had always been soaked in poisons.
They weren’t lethal poisons but were instead strong tranquilizing poisons.
At the prince’s side, the Shadow Dragon’s eyes widened in astonishment as he looked at the teen. In just the short span of a few breaths, six of the ten guardsmen were dead and one was injured. When did this little eunuch become this powerful?
At this rate, the ten Shadow guardsmen would all end up dying here.
His heart chilled. Not caring about the prince beside him anymore, his hand immediately darted to his weapon, but just as he was about to attack…
“This prince has already said that the Ninth-grade stays behind.” At the same time as that calm voice rang out in the air, the silhouette of the prince flashed into existence before the Shadow Dragon, cutting off his attack route with no intention of giving way.
“Prince Yan, are you trying to defy His Majesty’s edict?!” Yelled the man sharply.
“Is that a problem?”
It was a simple question that held within it the complete disregard this man had for the Emperor. As Prince Yan stood between the teen and the Shadow Dragon, his stature seemed to grow, towering over the guardsman like a mountain, a mountain that couldn’t be overcome.
“You!” The Shadow Dragon tried to move but he suddenly felt his aura seize up. A wave of astonishment and bone-chilling fear burrowed its way into him in that instant.
Amidst a pained grunt tinged with a hint of unwillingness, the injured guardsmen finally succumbed to the reaper as his sluggish body was cut down by an increasingly impatient Ning Chen. No longer was this eunuch a shy, harmless boy as he hunted down his prey.
With less and less people alive to shoulder the brunt of Ning Chen’s fury, the remaining three guardsmen trembled. The more they fought, the greater their astonishment grew and the colder their surroundings became. Not only did they have to guard against that strange black golden light, they also had to guard against that terrifying arrow.
Amidst the barrage of blows, these guardsmen ended up defending more often than not and seemed on the verge of defeat.
After another ten blows, Ning Chen’s lips cracked into a dangerous grin. Repeating the same rotation of blows, he deflected the guardsmen with a massive swing of his sword before promptly retreating. Stabbing his Ink Sword into the ground once more, his ancient bow revealed itself.
Sensing the impending danger, the three men immediately rush forward to stop him from firing the arrow.
Yet, the predicted arrow attack didn’t appear, instead they were met with a merciless glint of steel followed closely by a cold voice resonated in their ears for a long time.
“Silly, that was just a trick.”
*thud thud thud*
A mixture of disbelief and unwillingness flashed across their eyes before the guardsmen fell to ground, never to stand up again…