Translated by BerrryBunz
Familiarity and Unfamiliarity
Ka cha! Ka cha! Kacha…
The sky lit up and the sound of horseshoe rang as they travelled along the small route towards absolute forest.
It was the fifth day.
The two had been riding the horse for five consecutive days!
“Is Shi Hong Dian in Absolute Forest?”
Su Yun scanned the proud sun that was rising in the sky then looked towards Ah San, who was riding the spirit stallion in front of him, and asked.
“Yes! He is in Absolute Forest!”
Ah San nodded and shouted: “After my brother had been captured by Shi Hong Dian, Ah San had been stalking him. Along the road, I have had many thoughts about saving my brother but I was always stopped by Shi Hong Dian’s powerful methods and was forced to give up every single time. I then made a turn into the Jinghu Town, hoping to get help from almighty. From the first advancement of Shi Hong Dian, he is definitely in absolute forest!”
The absolute forest was located over a thousand miles from the northern side of the Jing Hu Town. This was an obsolete piece of forest, the leaves were huge and the forest was dense. The forest was dark. It was rumoured that spirits and souls would come out in the absolute forest, which was why people rarely came close to the absolute forest. No one resided there, and no one dared enter.
Once Su Yun heard that, his eyes moved. He thought for a while and said: “If we go to Absolute Forest, isn’t it faster to go from Kang Ming street? Why did you choose such a dark, misty road like this? This route is curvy and uneven. It is hard to walk on. If we walk from here, we would be delayed by a day!”
“Is that so?”
Ah San was stunned. He scratched his head and laughed shamelessly: “Sorry, master, I’m not too familiar with absolute forest. Is it faster to go through Kang Ming street? Then let’s change to kang ming street!”
Su Yun smiled bitterly: “We’re already here, what’s the point of changing? Once we finish this road, and arrive at absolute forest, then we can start preparing!”
“Ok!” Ah San nodded and he looked solemn.
“Oh, yes. Since you’ve met Shi Hong Dian, then do you know his methods? Tell me about him!”
Su Yun suddenly said.
“Methods?” Ah San thought and held his chin. Then he said: “Shi Hong Dian is very powerful and he changes very quickly. But according to my observations… His weakness is his lower body!”
Su Yun was surprised: “For a martial artist so powerful, how could his lower body not be stable?”
“Master, if you think this way, then you’re wrong. For a normal person it is the case but for shi hong dian, it’s different. Shi hong dian is known as the ‘goblin’. That power he possessed changes frequently. How could it be treated with a normal eye? Right?”
“What you said it logical! I must be a woodblock!”
Su Yun agreed with his saying but he never said a word again.
The spirit stallion quickened its pace and pranced through the absolute forest continuously.
The closer one headed towards the absolute forest, the darker and dimmer the surrounding became, as light seemed to be unable to penetrate through. Only a few big birds flew out of the forest, with layers of decaying smell coming out, while the two person get closer and closer to absolute forest, the smell became heavier and denser, causing them to feel uncomfortable.
Very quickly, a huge forest appeared in front of Su Yun.
The forest looked odd. The leaves were black and deep within the forest, many green coloured beams of light shone. He could not tell what they were. His scalp went numb upon seeing them.
Ah San got down the stallion and placed the spirit stallion aside. He said to Su Yun: “Master, follow me!”
Su Yun nodded and got down the stallion and followed him into the absolute forest.
Gua gua! Gua!
Weird noises emerged.
A few odd-looking birds flew out like eagles and into the sky.
Su Yun looked at the birds and pondered for a while before following Ah San.
Ah San, as if he was familiar with the route, led Su Yun, both of them slowly walking deeper into Absolute Forest, the surrounding light rays getting dimmer and dimmer, and the temperature of the air becoming colder and colder, the atmosphere was very weird.
“Ah San, where are you bringing me to? Isn’t this Absolute Forest? We are not familiar with the place, it would be better to lure Shi Hong Dian from the outside, it would be better, I am not familiar with this place!”
Su Yun shouted.
“Master, follow me, I know where Shi Hong Dian is, that Shi Hong Dian is definitely cultivating right now, if we don’t take this chance and do a sneak attack, rather than fighting straight on, maybe we can handle this problem much easier!!”
Ah San said seriously.
Su Yun’s expression showed a ‘you’re right’ look and nodded his head.
Ah San looked at Su Yun with a simple and honest smile, and continued walking and leading.
Just then, a sword suddenly pierced from behind, running through the chest, drawing flesh blood that dripped down the blade.
Ah San’s body froze, his eyes widening, as he looked at the sword in his chest, startled, his eyes was filled with surprise.
With difficulty he turned his head, only to see the man in the mask coldly staring at him.
“Master… You… What are you doing?”
Ah San said with difficulty. His corners of his mouth stained with blood.
“Why put on the show?”
Su Yun said blandly: “Initially, I thought you were someone who thought about things carefully but I never thought you could be so careless!”
“Previously, you told me you weren’t familiar with absolute forest and had taken a longer route. I believed in you. But once we arrived, you told me you knew Shi Hong Dian’s whereabouts… if you knew this person, how can you be unfamiliar with absolute forest? How can you not know that kang ming street can allow us to reach the absolute forest faster? So, don’t try and lie to me. You’ve brought me via the smaller road just to stall some time! You have informed Shi Hong Dian to ambush and kill me right?”
Su Yun stated and moved his arms. Thousand Deep Sword then spun around Ah San’s body after piercing through him.
Ah San shivered. The honest looking face suddenly changed and rippled. Then, a young face appeared.
This face was about twenty seven or eight years old. But his face was twisted and he was in so much pain.
“I never thought… Never thought that you could see through this… Not simple! Indeed, you’re not a simple man.. Cough cough…!”
Ah San started to look pale as he said weakly.
“Such a simple plan? I can’t believe you tried to put on a facade…”
Seeing Ah San’s face started to change, Su Yun saw the light.
“If I didn’t predict wrongly, Shi Hong Dian has already ambushed at the place in which you knew. And he is waiting for me right? The reason you’re stalling for time, is because you needed to give Shi Hong Dian time to prepare, correct?”
“That’s… That’s right!”
Ah San’s mouth expressed a smile, he lifted up his shivering hands and grabbed onto the sword’s body, weakly laughing: “I… Am actually the disciple of Shi Hong Dian, he taught me the absorbing spirit technique, and the only criteria was that, every month, I would bring someone with considerable strength, a spirit cultivator that he can defeat, and with the two of us joining hands, we would kill the person, and using his absorbing training technique, every time I would disguise myself and lure the spirit cultivators. To prevent the supervisor at the board from noticing, I would always appear at staggering times, the board in the span of twelve hours would have four different supervisors taking turns to keep watch, so I stagger the timings, and have successfully lured so many times before, but I did not expect that you would see through me.” Saying this, Ah San’s eyes flashed a hint of dissatisfaction: “When did you start suspecting me?”
“Letting you buy the Stallion horse, there were misgivings in your eyes.”
Su Yun said indifferently: “When I allowed you to buy the horse, preparing to leave immediately, your eyes was not the kind of person who was impatient to get his revenge, but it was more of worried apprehension, this led me to suspect you, a person who is full of hatred, why would he not want to go and take his revenge sooner? Because of this, you caused me to have suspicions in my heart!”
“Merely based on that one judgement?”
Ah San was shocked. After a while, he let out a miserable laugh, the blood in his mouth was increasing more and more, following that his lips kept moving, but he did not feel any pain, just at that time, his hands grabbed onto Su Yun’s hands, and smile sinisterly: “You are very clever, but, you have still made one wrong move! This was already Shi Hong Dian’s territory since a long time ago! Entering here, you’re considered dead, Ha ha… No way to escape, no way to escape, hahahahaha…”
When he finished laughing, Ah San’s mouth suddenly spat out a blood arrow, shooting it towards the sky, and immediately disappeared.
Su Yun noticed and tried stopped the blood arrow. But it was too late.
His heart sunk. Right away, he pulled out his Thousand Deep sword and chopped towards him.
Ah san’s body was being chopped into halves. All his internal organs fell to the ground. His bones were crushed.
Ah San died right away!
Groaning, Su Yun kept his sword.
As such, Ah San was Shi Hong Dian’s disciples. Ever since Shi Hong Dian had been enlisted in the notice board, it meant that he was in constant danger. Frequently, there would be hunters looking for him. For a safe and peaceful cultivation, he had tried to minimise his tracks. The way he went about doing it was to choose those people greedy for methods to become his disciples. With his disciples as his bait, he could lure some high level spirit cultivators who wanted to kill him and ambush to kill for his cultivation.
Ah San fell into the trap but he was not angry. He patiently stalled the time with Su Yun. A blood arrow shot out from his mouth and into the air. It seemed as though it was reporting to Shi Hong Dian.
Shi Hong Dian probably knew about Ah San being exposed and was rushing over.
Since that was the case, he might as well ambush him first!
Su Yun moved and leaped towards the big tree at his said. He flew through the dense forest and hid behind.
With the Heavenly Scale Divine Eye to cover up his Qi, he just needed to ensure he isn’t found and no one would know where he was! Usually, the high level spirit cultivators would use Qi to identify but it was useless against Su Yun.
The surrounding was dead quiet. The green coloured odd spirit flames floated within the forest and casted an eerie looking atmosphere in this gloomy forest.
He hid behind the big tree for a whole day and he still did not see Shi Hong Dian.
Ah San’s corpse had started decomposing.
He did not received the news that Ah San had died? Or, he had already been exposed?
Su Yun doubted continuously.
He still dared not let his guard down. He hid behind the big tree and observed everything under him.
Could it be Shi Hong Dian was waiting? Waiting for him to continue deep into the forest?
At this time, he needed patience!
Su Yun would not dare to advance forward. Afterall, Shi Hong Dian’s power was much greater than him by several levels. It would not be a big issue if they were confronting one another face to face. If the opponent was attacking him sneakily, or had set up a trap, then it was the end.
Just as Su Yun drifted away in his thoughts, and was thinking of his next step. A weird sound emerged from the quietness.
Su yun moved his ears and quickly looked over to see a shadow coming closer to him.