Helpless, A Hero Sheds Tears of Shame (Part 2).
Luo Yan summoned up every ounce of energy he had, boosting his internal energy further with Scorching Sun Spirit. Abels already proved the superior man in a clash of technique; however, Luo Yan believed he could hurt Abels if he committed one hundred percent to a single strike.
What Luo Yan first perceived to be teleportation was actually just a blazing-fast advance. Abels red fist was akin to the gust of wind that extinguished the fire; shaving off Luo Yan’s output gradually prior to even acquiring its target. Abels extended a finger from his fist once he felt Luo Yan’s palm strike was no longer threatening and gently jabbed the latter on the forehead to announce his convincing victory that only took two strikes.
Luo Ming had mentioned Enlightenment to Luo Yan in the past, and the latter learnt he had a chance against those who had conceived it, yet he was akin to a blade of grass trying to poke a hole in a brick when Abels showed his version of Enlightenment – his red fist.
Abels is even stronger than the last time I fought him. If he continues developing at this ridiculous rate, who can match him?
Had Luo Yan not had to carry the honour of Luo Clan on his shoulders, he might’ve just let himself hit the ground in despair.
“You… win. You can do as you please with me.”
“You’re insufferably stubborn, aren’t you? Well, it won’t hurt to spare you a fifth time when I’ve already spared you four times.” Abels pulled his arm back and headed back to his stone seat with his back faced towards Luo Yan, using his confidence to add insult to injury.
Abels expression of confidence screamed, “I can beat you the same way again even if I give you back.” Luo Yan would never hit a defenceless man, yet he actually contemplated clobbering Abels from behind, a sentiment that left a bitter taste in Luo Yan’s mouth and a sweet taste in Abels’ mouth.
Abels meant it when he stated Luo Yan was still useful to him, hence the mercy. Abels had to constantly beat Luo Yan mentally and physically, though, for it was the only way to convince Luo Yan to do his bidding. It was a slow process, but Abels started to have control over Luo Yan’s temper; Luo Yan suppressed his frustration and kept on robbing weapons with less and less vociferating each time, totally unaware of how much Abels was in his head.
“Poison King, how do you score the way I moulded energy?” Abels questioned from his stone throne.
Myriad Gu Poison King – Nanjiang’s legendary poison user, the elder working at the cauldron – tidied his belongings as he answered, “Smooth.”
“River Monster, you can come in now.”
River Monster, who had been waiting on the other side of the door, sauntered in and performed her salute: “Master.”
River Monster’s voice was all business; she still expressed the same respect, albeit without the intimacy once present in her tone, and she made no attempt to disguise it.
Abels smiled: “These are the new weapons. Take them.”
“As you command.”
Luo Yan asked, “How much longer do I have to keep doing this?”
“Why are you acting as though your pants are on fire?” Abels questioned.
“Everyone in Canhu Town is investigating the attacks. I wouldn’t put it past them to start suspecting Luo Sword Manor. How are you going to prove your innocence?”
“That won’t be a concern. We have scapegoats.”
“You told me one of Midnight Ghost Cry is dead, and the other is injured. The injured one has recovered, and the supposed dead one didn’t die. A skilled physician resuscitated him on the spot. Why do you need to feign ignorance? You held back when you could’ve killed Bai Zixuan. As far as I know, you have friends among unorthodox and orthodox sects. Coincidentally, you’re on decent terms with the brothers. You spared Bai Zixuan to give him a chance at survival, correct?”
Luo Yan didn’t answer. Rather, he didn’t have an argument prepared.
Abels tugged up the corner of his lips: “Because you had to try and be a smart aleck, they will be no more after tonight.”
“He didn’t see my face! Why does their group have to be exterminated?!”
“I’m not taking on a potential hazard that I don’t have to. I’m eliminating any potential problems.” Abels relished Luo Yan’s aghast countenance as he carried on, “I know about everything that takes place in Canhu Town. Quit wasting time on fruitless labour. I’ve met the one who calls himself Zhong Ming. He’s with the imperial court. His medical skills are exceptional, indeed.”
River Monster clicked her tongue under her breath, still bitter that she lost, at least, thirty percent of her original full potential despite having her severed arm reattached. Every few days, the pain would leave her writhing in pain that only copious amounts of anaesthetics could quell. According to Myriad Gu Poison King, River Monster’s agony was all in her head, products of post-traumatic disorder. He told her it was condition that no existing concoction could heal. The news that she couldn’t be cured only served to fuel her rage.
“They showed up out of nowhere and refuse to identify themselves. I’m just giving the nudge to move the boat along the current,” Abels stated. “I know they came here for Shen Yiren. For all we know, Shen Yiren might also be in town. She’s still useful to me. If you can find her for me, I’ll spare everyone but Bai Zixuan, deal?”
“Liu Shan Men’s vice-captain? Why would she be here?”
“That’s for me to know and not for you to know. Does that mean we don’t have a deal?”
“… We have a deal.”
“In addition, I heard the group has opened a restaurant in Canhu Town that they’ve decided to call Dragon Phoenix Inn. All the thugs in the town went there to stir the pot, only to all be poisoned, rather, incapacitated.”
Abels cast his gaze across to Myriad Gu Poison King: “What compelled you to be so proactive? Did they accost you?”
“Those shamelessly seeking personal gain are not worth my time.”
Abels took no offence to Myriad Gu Poison; the two had a tacit sense of chemistry between them. Abels commented, “I can’t think of anyone else who could achieve that if it wasn’t you.”
Seeing as neither River Monster nor Luo Yan had any insight to offer, Abels continued, “Let’s put that aside for the meantime. We still don’t know where Mountain Monster is, so many operations will be more challenging than if she was here. Although Poison King’s disguise skills are impeccable, they take time unlike her Blood Fiend Silkworm Transformation Art. I sent a group of people to rescue her from the group after she was caught; however, they never returned.”
“Maybe her disappearance has something to do with Night Fortress’ master,” River Monster snidely remarked.
“What?” Poison King queried, breaking the sudden and uncomfortable silence upon reading the ambience. “You were defeated?”
Abels turned his finger into steely clamps: “I will settle the score with Mount Daluo.”
“So he’s not invincible yet,” inwardly commented Luo Yan.
Abels switched the topic, inquiring, “Mountain Monster’s lover wouldn’t just wait to collect her corpse. Where’s Ox Demon?”
River Monster robotically reported, “He left with some men a couple of days ago, saying he had something important to do. If it is urgent, I can call him back with our secret signal.”
“Leave him. Knowing how primitive he is, he must’ve gone off to fight. It’s a good opportunity to send Jiangnan’s pugilists our greeting and find out what they’re made of. Send him the signal to search for Mountain Monster, though.”
“As you command.”
Abels pointed out a few things they should pay attention then called in more men to pass on orders. The tasks he entrusted them with should’ve already be completed had Abels not been occupied with training because he wasn’t the type to dally.
Luo Yan deliberated, “Abels isn’t the type to assiduously train, yet he’s put in all the stops to progress in as short time as possible. Does it have something to do with Night Fortress’ master? Although Night Fortress’ master didn’t win against Mount Lu Sword Sanctuary back then, he did get out of a fight with Ling Clan unscathed. Is there more to him than what I know?”
“Second Master Luo,” growled Abels, unhappy with what Luo Yan’s visage read.
“What? Aren’t I supposed to find Shen Yiren for you?”
“Naturally. The thing is, you haven’t completed your mission. I hear Mad Desert Sect’s signature broadsword possesses a three-legged crow component. Fetch it for me.”
“I told you: I’m going to draw suspicion if I keep going after weapons. My nephew isn’t asinine. He will suspect me sooner or later even if you have scapegoats. If you don’t know yet, then I’ll tell you now: he’s not going to shelter family if it is morally wrong to do so. If I’m exposed, whatever crooked plan you’re cooking is also going to rot.”
“Stop with the jaundice. We’re allies. All I’m doing is cleaning up for money.”
“First time I’m hearing of blackmailing and threatening being part of cooperating as allies.”
Abels’ right cheek had a spasm: “Even among allies, there is a hierarchy. Your brother is my equal, and that’s it. Nobody else has the right to bargain with me. There’s one thing I’ll agree on, nonetheless. Your nephew is unlike your son; he will trace it back to you.”
Luo Yan’s heart skipped a beat, afraid he’d realise what he didn’t want to realise.
“What are you afraid of? Worried I’ll harm your nephew?”
“You wouldn’t harm my brother’s son.”
Abels condescendingly replied, “You couldn’t be more right. We’re allies.”
The same second Luo Yan found relief, Abels jabbed him on the shoulder with a finger: “Which is why I need you to.”
Luo Yan smacked away Abels’ hand: “Dream on!”
“Relax. I wouldn’t hurt your brother’s son. In saying that, he’s a potential hazard. I’m not asking you to kill him. It’s not that hard to have your elites place him under house arrest, is it?”
Luo Yan’s nightmare came true. The type of order he couldn’t protest was the worse; imagine a knife just sitting there in your body.
“Should you refuse, I’ll do it as your imposter. For your information, my men don’t know what mercy is. I’m actually feeling inquisitive enough that I might just start seeing what the best method to subdue him is.”
Luo Yan was detached from Luo Siming, true. Having said that, Luo Yan wasn’t indifferent to his brother. He was aware how aggrieved his brother would be if he lost his son. Worse, he knew Evil Spirits had what it took to make it a reality.
“… As you command.”