“His… His Highness…”
Every word burnt away at his life force, yet Yi Wangyou wouldn’t let up. Whatever he was trying to communicate at that point had to be important, but I had no time to listen to him. Instead, I transferred internal energy from my hand to him, confirming that he only had a few words left in him.
“How is he?” Shen Yiren asked.
“The swordsman precisely stopped half an inch away from his heart but deep enough to ensure he’d only be able to move for a while longer until succumbing to the injury. This is the work of a master swordsman.” I sealed all of Yi Wangyou’s major meridians and used my internal energy to staunch his bleeding. “He’s only going to survive a little longer at this rate. I need to operate on him now.”
“River Monster and Mountain Monster wouldn’t have the swordcraft to pull that off. It must be someone else.”
“I know what you’re implying. I can’t guarantee they’re safe. Let’s go see.”
“… Hey, isn’t he Kunlun’s patriarch, Yi Wangyou?!” Hong Jiu finally pointed out. “Why is he lying dead in the middle of the road?!”
“You keep commentating. We have to get going.”
“Eh? Wait up! Wait! I’ll clear the path!”
I threw Song Ou to Hong Jiu and put Yi Wangyou on my back. The two of us sped to a big tree, and then I knocked on it in my special code. Mountain Monster poked her head out behind the leaning tree trunk opposite the tree I was at. “Bloody hell, what took you so long?! Eh, isn’t that Kunlun’s patriarch? Eh, Shen Yiren is also here? Hey, isn’t that the big idiot we locked up?!”
Hong Jiu had no idea who he was looking at.
I grouched, “We don’t need any more of your astonishment commentary. Get down here and open the door. There’s a life waiting to be saved.”
“Fine. What you acting tough for?” Mountain Monster grumbled as she climbed down the tree.
I had them hide under the big rock that the tree leaned back on, then covered up the tracks of my manipulation to protect them.
Yi Wangyou couldn’t wait any longer, so I hollered, “Move, we’re out of time!” and kicked the tree door in half instead of opening it… Luckily, River Monster, who was inside the cavern beneath, opened up. “Hurry in. People came to this island.”
I rushed inside, heated up a small knife, then used my internal energy to commence surgery on Yi Wangyou. Boss went to fetch hot water and other tools for me.
“Ming Feizhen, you twat! How dare you leave me stuck under the three?!” Mountain Monster thundered from outside.
… Oh, stuff happens.
I couldn’t leave Yi Wangyou as I needed to concentrate for his surgery, though. He was mauled, but it was the injury near his heart that was hard to deal with even if the doctor was better than me and their internal energy was advanced. Stitching him up would only, at most, preserve his life for a few more years, and his skills would nose dive. It all boiled down to one reason: his heart was awfully weak.
I managed to save Yi Wangyou’s heart using my celestial spider silk and snow spirit spider silk before his heart stopped beating, then unclogged his meridians via internal energy transfer to safeguard his martial arts. Having said that, he would need up to five years before he could throw any hard punches – provided he was taking supplements daily and living stress-free.
I wiped my sweat off my forehead and announced, “Saved at long last.”
River Monster inquired, “What happened? I can’t keep up. You said you were going out to scout, only to leave for days. Do you have anything on Abels?”
I summarised the recent events I was part of, eventually steering the discussion back to Yi Wangyou.
“My plan was just to meet up with you two and then make haste for Dragonroot Island since the first round should be over around now. Bumping into this guy was pure coincidence. As for why somebody almost impaled his heart eludes me.”
Shen Yiren verbalised, “I think I know why.”
“She probably also knows.” Shen Yiren tilted her head toward River Monster. “When you were operating on him, I recalled you and Poison King mentioning a sword that would require four Sword Spirit Realm swordsmen’s blood to finish off the sword. We now have proof that Luo Ming and Poison King are in cahoots, with the latter being the designer from beginning to end. In other words, Luo Ming is the one who wants blood. That being the case, the culprit must’ve been him or one of his trusted aides.”
River Monster gestured agreement. “… I was also astonished when Abels showed so much knowledge of smithing. I would still be in the dark if I wasn’t informed Luo Ming had switched places with him. He ordered us to search for four swordsmen as you described as well as demanded we couldn’t take them in by force. He wanted the four to fight in his tournament to collect enough fighting spirit, which was the optimal time to extract their blood. We barely managed to make up the numbers, and the candidates we found were Wudang’s Elder Shou, wanderer Young Master Kuang, Wutong Jin Yuxuan’s Yu Feiyuan and Shen Yiren.”
“Yi Wangyou isn’t on your list and didn’t partake in Refining Divine Convention, so why would he suddenly come here, and why would he suddenly come under attack?” Shen Yiren questioned.
I opined, “His participation doesn’t make a significant difference. He was on the island and engaged in a tough fight, so his blood should suffice, thus reaching the same ends via a different means. I was wondering why they didn’t just behead him, but I suppose you’ve answered that for me.”
“That still doesn’t add up. Why not just kill him after extracting his blood?” Mountain Monster inquired.
“Probably… because of Green Prince? Yi Wangyou and Green Prince are inseperable; I’m sure Green Prince was present at the scene. Yi Wangyou wasn’t in this state right after he had his blood extracted. The culprit had to take Green Prince hostage, so fighting Yi Wangyou was unfeasible. I just don’t understand why Luo Ming has to adduct Green Prince when the latter is supposed to be his adopted son, and they’re on good terms.”
“That’s because…” began Yi Wangyou, looking out of his slits. “His Highness owes him a debt… a blood debt.”