“Miss Lyu, you…”
Lyu Yaoqin’s scowl turned to a spiritless expression. She tried to push the hairpin deeper in to no avail because Dugu caught up to Emperor Yuansheng and caught the hairpin in his hand before it could stab any deeper than the latter’s skin.
Since his hand was on Lyu Yaoqin’s back, Emperor Yuansheng discharged true qi onto her back, snapping her out of it.
“Wh-what am I, ah, what have I done?!” cried Lyu Yaoqin, frantically removing her hands.
Emperor Yuansheng didn’t blame her and defended her. It had been a long time since he glared at anyone as aggressively as he stared at River Monster: “That was Mourning Soul Unorthodox Skill. I can’t believe you’d learn that malevolent technique, you fiend.”
“Hihihi, what do fiends learn if not malevolent techniques, Orthodox Realm styles? I lack the patience.”
Mourning Soul Unorthodox Skill, a skill that spread from Beijiang to Nanjiang, manipulated one’s five senses and leveraged the target’s mental state to incite hallucinations. It was on par with Ming Feizhen’s Dream Invasion technique in terms of effectiveness, but it was significantly superior to his technique because there weren’t nearly as many conditions to meet for casting.
Mourning Soul Unorthodox Skill was a high risk technique as the backlash could hit the user any moment. For that reason, the user targeted those beneath them in wits and combat prowess. At the same time, it was difficult for the target to completely return to their old self once their mental walls were torn down.
Aptitude and work ethic didn’t promise mastery of Mourning Soul Unorthodox Skill. The only way to master it was practical application, in other words, casting it on people. Orthodox sects despised Morning Soul Unorthodox Skill, citing its inhumane nature. As living sacrifices were required, one needed to gradually practice it on more and more advanced adepts. By that point, it was inevitable lots of lives had been sacrificed.
“Seeing as it only took a split moment for you to cast, I dare say you sacrificed countless heroes for the sake of your lunacy!”
“Did you state the obvious to prove your idiocy? I’m with Evil Spirits. What did you expect? Do you count how many meals you’ve had in your life?”
“You’re right. I should eliminate you for the martial world’s sect even if not for my own purposes.”
“Ooh, I’m so scared. Are you playing heroes of justice? Night Fortress isn’t an orthodox sect in Jiangnan. You think I was born yesterday?”
“What Night Fortress? You mistook me for being part of Night Fortress?”
“Are you making a fool out of me? Mountain Monster is head and shoulders above me in terms of combat prowess and is quick witted. She’s a nut case, but she’s not easy to catch. You think you lot could catch her? Had Night Fortress’ master not caught her, you’d all be corpses already.”
Seeing the surprised reactions, River Monster asked, “They say Night Fortress’ master is on his way to Huzhou, and his representative was with you… What’s with those looks? Do you seriously not know?”
The escort knew about Night Fortress’ master; however, they never heard anything about a representative. Emperor Yuansheng was sure Ming Feizhen had to do with it.
Dugu whispered, “We will find out once we capture her.”
Emperor Yuansheng bobbed his head.
River Monster mused over their responses then inquired, “If you’re not with Night Fortress, why did you capture Mountain Monster? How do you know who I am? We didn’t publicise our presence in the Central Plain. How did you learn we were here?”
Dugu grinned: “This is all a misunderstanding, then. Miss, we are not with Night Fortress, and we don’t care what grudge your master has with them. We captured Mountain Monster and will capture you solely for the enmity between us.”
“Enmity between us? Why would there be any enmity between us when we’ve only just met?”
“Why? If there’s no enmity between us, why did you attack Liu Shan Men’s Vice-Captain Shen?!”
“You’re with the imperial court?!”
“Aren’t you tired of talking so much?” Tang Ye blurted.
River Monster didn’t have any tricks in her bag to fight Tang Ye’s blazing and brute-strength style, forcing her to evade the blazing dragon swinging toward her. Tang Ye uncoiled his next spear swing to intercept the slash from the imperial court warrior standing by.
“She cast Mourning Soul Unorthodox Skill on him!” Dugu explained.
When River Monster evaded Tang Ye’s strike, she darted over to the warrior and clawed a chunk of his face off with her bare hands, causing him to scream. The moment he was emotionally stirred, she flashed a golden light from her eyes into his, turning him into one of her puppets.
Emperor Yuansheng’s internal energy could help calm one down, so he struck his subordinate to restore the latter’s state of mind the same way he did for Lyu Yaoqin. Unfortunately, Mourning Soul Unorthodox Sect rendered the subordinate incapacitated as a combatant temporarily.
“After her!” Emperor Yuansheng thundered whilst thinking, “Ming Feizhen is also in the mountains. We’ll find out whether he’s with Night Fortress once we enter the mountain.”
As River Monster ran, she analysed the information on hand: “They’re with the imperial court and here to avenge Shen Yiren. What happened to Night Fortress’ master coming for us? They couldn’t possibly have allied. They don’t appear to know about Night Fortress’ representative. What’s going on here…? Why did Master choose now of all times to…”
Hearing the imperial court catching up, River Monster picked up her pace. Irate her rescue mission failed, she cursed, “My puppets and the black bears I raised have been tasked with eliminating the hunters in the mountains. You’re all finished now!”