Chapter 102 – Remnants of the Phoenix (2)
In an instant, Lan Xueruo’s composure underwent an enormous change. The smiles on the faces of the broadaxe man and the sharp-mouthed man vanished instantaneously when they suddenly felt a suffocating pressure from the unrivaled beauty in front of them.
“Boss, what… what’s going on?” The sharp-mouthed man felt something wrong about the atmosphere. The words had barely left his lips when a blade of white-gold light flashed from the side of his eye. Lan Xueruo’s sword lifted up once more and thrust straight for his chest.
A strike without any fanciful movements, yet its aura was clearly stronger than the previous one by several folds! The sharp-mouthed man was paralyzed momentarily due to the stifling strength of her aura but after that, he swung his iron club and hurriedly parried her attack. With a resounding clash, the sharp-mouthed man’s iron club was sent flying as the jade sword that was encased in golden light ruthlessly stabbed into his body. Due to the intense power of her strike, the white jade longsword bent for a split second to then immediately straighten once more. Subsequently, an explosion erupted; its monstrous power had caused the sharp-mouthed man to fly into the air and roll a few dozen meters away…. Had she used the sword’s edge instead of the sword’s body, the sharp-mouthed man would have undoubtedly been sliced through his middle.
This scene caused the complexions on the broadaxe man and the horse-faced man to suddenly change color. Before they could utter a single sound, Lan Xueruo’s beautiful silhouette was already rushing towards the broadaxe man; her sword slanted to thrust straight towards his shoulder.
The powerful blade’s approach instantly paled the broadaxe man's complexion. With nowhere to escape to, he mustered all of his body's profound energy at once. As he tightly clutched the broad axe with both hands, he gave out a low roar and clashed against Lan Xueruo’s longsword with a smash.
Carrying an ear-piercing sound of colliding metal, the broad axe met the jade sword and caused the broadaxe man to sink to the ground. Under the suppression of such an enormous pressure, both his feet immediately sank into the mire beneath. Lan Xueruo's sword momentarily paused but afterwards, her sword exploded once more to then ruthlessly swept onto the broadaxe man’s chest.
With a crash, the broadaxe man’s body rolled a few dozen meters away like a rolling gourd, and the axe in his hand had also been flung away. After spinning many rounds in the air, it came to land at the feet of the horse-faced man, causing him to tremble in fright as he backed away in panic.
The broadaxe man who had been tossed a few dozens of meters away stood up again in a very awkward manner. His chest was in unbearable pain and he vaguely figured that a few of his bones were broken. Yet he knew that if the lady had not been merciful and “chopped” instead of “swept”, both he and the sharp-mouthed man would have already been split in two. This also brought about the realization that the young lady was extremely soft-hearted and would definitely not be willing to kill anyone.
An idea flashed through his mind. Promptly, he decided to kneel on the floor and loudly begged for forgiveness: “Miss, please spare our lives! The three of us had looked without seeing, we… We merely thought that you bore semblance to a goddess who had descended to earth, s-so we had intended to approach and admire you. We definitely did not have any other intentions, so please overlook this and let us go.”
Lan Xueruo withdrew her jade sword with a face full of disgust. Unwilling to look at them any longer, she shouted angrily: “Leave at once! The farther you go, the better.”
“Yes, of course, we'll leave immediately, right away.” The broadaxe man scrambled to his feet and glared at the two others who were still stupefied. The two followed his lead and also prepared to leave immediately.
“Release the children!” She abruptly knitted her brow and shouted when the horse-faced guy was just about to drag the two children away.
At that, the horse-faced man's complexion suddenly fluctuated, but upon remembering that she had reduced the sharp-mouthed man and the broadaxe man to such sorry states within three moves, he had no choice but to grit his teeth and release the two children before slinking away afterwards.
Had Yun Che still been awake, he definitely would have told Lan Xueruo to kill all three of them. Deep within him, he knew that mercy did not often earn gratitude from the other party. Rather, it would only bring endless amount of unforeseen troubles. The trio had almost violated her previously, and were obviously tainted with a large amount of sin. To kill them was also helping the heavens mete out justice.
But in the end, Lan Xueruo was not Yun Che. She was innately kind and soft; had never killed anyone in her entire life and never had any thoughts of killing either. She didn't even harbor any thoughts of crippling their limbs as punishment either.
In one breath, the three ran quite a distance. The horse-faced man grinded his teeth: “What horrible luck! The beauty was unsampled and we even had to release those two brats.”
“Nevermind that, we should already be thanking the heavens that we still escaped with our lives intact. That woman’s profound strength was at the True Profound Realm!” As he wiped the cold sweat from his forehead, the broadaxe man shuddered from the lingering fear. He just couldn’t understand it. Initially, he had obviously felt that the opponent was only in the eighth level of the Nascent Profound Realm, but the moment he had attacked, he suddenly felt an exponential increase in her profound strength. That level of profound strength, definitely did not pale in comparison to the True Profound Realm the three vice-captains had attained.
“Whaa? True… True Profound Realm?” Both the horse-faced man and the sharp-mouthed man simultaneously stupefied: “A little beauty of only a dozen or more years, how could she possibly have stepped into the True Profound Realm! Our captain is nearing fifty this year, and is only at the third level of the True Profound Realm!”
“Need you ask! That woman must have been a genius disciple of some super family! Those large families all have innumerable resources and sect profound skills; those below twenty that have been able to break into the True Profound Realm are too numerous to be counted! That was far too dangerous, we’re lucky the woman we’d met was mild-tempered. Had she been a bit feistier, the three of us would have been finished right here!”
“Captain should be returning today. We originally wanted to take credit for kidnapping two hostages, but who would've thought we’d almost lose our lives today. It looks like we can only let Captain personally take charge, let’s return quickly!”
After chasing the three vile people away, Lan Xueruo heaved a small sigh of relief and reclasped the necklace around her neck. The profound energy that was released from our body immediately weakened. After two breaths, it had weakened back to the eighth level of the Nascent Profound Realm. In front of her, the two children who had just regained their freedom stared at her with wide eyes; their eyes glistened with unshed tears.
Lan Xueruo walked over and bent down: “Little boy, little girl, don’t be afraid, it’s alright now. Are you two from the mountains? Why were you captured by those three men?”
She had barely finished asking when the boy suddenly knelt before her and mournfully cried in his immature voice: “Big sister, I beg of you… Won’t you save my family? Those bad people have always been harming us. Big sister, you’re so powerful so you should definitely be able to send those bad people off with a beating.”
Seeing the little boy kneel, the little girl also followed suit and knelt down. Holding the boy’s arm, she added in a teary voice: “Big sister, please save us…. Uuu Uuu, please save us….”
Lan Xueruo was slightly shocked still for a moment before parting her hands to hold each of theirs with the intention of pulling them up from the ground: “Stand up, quickly... “
Even though he was only a little boy of seven to eight years, he possessed a stubborness that belied his age. He stared tearfully at Lan Xueruo as he refused to stand: “Big sister, I beg you, please, you must save us. If you don’t save us, our entire clan will definitely be killed by those bad people. Only you can save us. In future… in future, we will definitely repay your favor.”
This little boy had previously shouted out to her twice in spite of the danger which proved that he had a kind soul. Now, he was kneeling in front of her with misty eyes filled with plea and slivers of hope… As if he had finally grabbed at the stalk of life-saving rice straw in the midst of his drowning.
Her heart immediately softened. Seeing that Yun Che was still lying quietly behind, she slightly hesitated before lightly smiling: “Little boy, little girl. Stand first, then take me to meet your clan, alright?”
The little boy's eyes flashed with pleasant surprise. After wiping tears away from his face, he nodded vigorously.
Lan Xueruo carefully picked up Yun Che and followed the two children towards the direction of their home. On the way, she found out that the little boy was named Feng Zu’er and the little girl was Feng Xian’er; they were twins of different genders. The surname “Feng” surprised Lan Xueruo some, as she knew it was the surname of the Divine Phoenix Empire’s imperial family. But the two children told her that their entire clan’s surname was “Feng” and that they’d been living in this mountain of wilderness since they were born, without ever leaving or ever interacting with outsiders. There were many violent profound beasts in the area, but for some reason, these profound beasts never approached the place where they resided. However, because of those concentrated number of scary profound beasts, they had never been able to leave. That was also the same reason why outsiders had never entered.
That held true only until a few days ago when the Black Demon Mercenary Grouphad found where they lived after barging in through some unknown method. The group had also realized that theirs was actually a very small clan of guardians and thus, forced them to hand over their treasures they guarded. This was the reason why Feng Zu’er and Feng Xian’er were captured; in order for them to demand those treasures as ransom within a day or risk having the children killed.
As they turned around a short hill, a small village appeared before their eyes. A few middle-aged adults dressed in rough clothing stood in the front of the village, wearing expressions of frustration and helplessness. A weeping married woman stood between them as she covered up her face…. and atop all their foreheads, was a flame-shaped imprint.
In the midst of their cries, Feng Zu’er and Feng Xian’er threw themselves in the direction of the weeping woman. The woman suddenly lifted her head when she heard the voices of her children; she almost believed that she was dreaming as she stared in a daze and watched her children dash over. It was only until they had landed in her bosom, that she tightly embraced them while bawling in happy surprise.
“Zu’er, Xian’er, how did you….” The middle-aged man on the side was visibly shocked and then was at a loss of what to say in his delight.
“It’s that pretty big sister who fought off those bad people and saved us.” Feng Zu’er turned back and pointed at Lan Xueruo, “Not only is big sister pretty, she’s also really strong. She only needed a short while to fight off all three of the bad people.”
“Mn. Mn.” Feng Xian’er nodded in agreement with a face full of adoration: “Also, big sister promised us that she’ll help us fight off those bad people.”
All eyes turned to Lan Xueruo. The middle-aged man took a step forward, bowed deeply towards Lan Xueruo, and sincerely stated: “Miss, thank you for saving my two children. I truly do not know how I ought to repay you… My name is Feng Baichuan and I am the current clan leader. This is my wife Feng Caiyun.”
“It’s no problem at all. I just happened to pass by and it required little effort.” Lan Xueruo said politely. The man in front of her was thirty four years old; his appearance and the clothes he wore were humble and the space between his brows revealed a faint touch of elegance and calm. The flame imprint upon his forehead appeared to be especially clear.
But as the leader of the clan, his profound strength was only at the tenth level of the Elementary Profound Realm. With respect to his age, this degree of profound strength was indeed too low. However, Lan Xueruo immediately noticed that everyone in front of her was at the tenth level of the Elementary Profound Realm as well; it was incomparably uniform in this aspect.
“Thank you, truly, we are too grateful.” Feng Caiyun bowed gracefully towards Lan Xueruo, too thankful for words.
“It is simply too wonderful that Zu’er and Xian’er managed to come back safely. However, those vicious thieves…. Sigh.” The bearded old man to the side heaved a sigh of relief to then take a lengthy sigh.
“Big sister is very strong, she can definitely drive all the vicious thieves away.” Feng Zu’er, who had personally seen Lan Xueruo’s “invincible prowess”, clenched his fist and spoke with complete confidence.
However, their worry could not be abated by his words alone. While they believed that her profound strength was truly amazing to have saved the two children from those three vicious thieves, she seemed like a young lady of just seventeen to eighteen years. Even if her profound strength was high, how high could it possibly be? The opponent was a notorious mercenary group that numbered around a hundred. Its captain and its three vice-captains were all in the True Profound Realm; it was hardly something that a young lady was capable of resisting.