Tome of Troubled Times - C.65: Beware the Deceived

Tome of Troubled Times

C.65: Beware the Deceived

Cui Yuanyang was filled with pleasant surprise as she unblocked his acupoints, “A—are you okay now?”

Zhao Changhe relaxed his body and smiled as bright as the sun.

Thank god that you learnt how to unblock acupoints, not just block them.

Even though Zhao Changhe had not returned to his normal state, that feeling of having all sorts of debuffs suddenly stacked on him had indeed faded away. This was especially so for his wound after it was taken care of properly—between the pill and his cultivation art, the poison had been expelled, and with the medicine and bandage, he felt considerably better. Cui Yuanyang’s medicine, which replenished his qi and blood along with his tonifying yang, just so happened to be appropriate for his current situation: the pain from the vicious blood qi running amuck in his body slowly dissipated, and his exhaustion had also went away a fair bit.

Even though he was still not feeling amazing, it was not a big problem for him as long as the opponents were not far above him in strength; he would be able to display much more of his strength. This was exactly the outcome he had hoped for when they had darted for the forest earlier.

“Yangyang, you’re certainly not deadweight. You’re a comrade in battle.” Zhao Changhe could not help but ruffle her hair and smile. “Let me handle it now.”

Seeing his smile, Cui Yuanyang suddenly felt like the anxiousness she had felt earlier entirely disappeared. Now, even if she were to trip on something, she would not fall down.

I forgot I could use movement arts...

The footsteps got closer to them, and they could see the faint lights of torches. Someone could find their position at any time.

Cui Yuanyang felt like her heart was stuck in her throat. Zhao Changhe, on the other hand, was not in a hurry to leave. After scanning the area, he took a stone, jumped up a tree branch, and placed it at a small incline on a fork in the branch. The stone looked like it was on the verge of falling.

Then, he climbed down the tree, pulled Cui Yuanyang along and stealthily headed in the direction of Qinghe.

About fifteen minutes after their escape, the stone finally fell to the ground with a thump.

“They’re there!” numerous people clamored in the chaos.

From faraway, Zhao Changhe led Cui Yuanyang and hid behind some shrubbery. They watched the troops that were pursuing them make a ruckus as they rushed to where the two of them had been.

“Let’s go.” Zhao Changhe pulled Cui Yuanyang along and hastily escaped. No one paid attention to the rustling of their footsteps as they ran away; with all the people running around, two more people made no difference.

Cui Yuanyang really felt in her heart that she was incomparably safe. As long as he was here, there would be no issue.

“Don’t get careless.” Zhao Changhe said softly. “Now, most of them have been attracted there but there are still some people scattered around the pla—oh, there they are.”

He immediately pulled Cui Yuanyang back and quickly fled away to hide in the shrubbery.

Three people holding torches had come over.

Zhao Changhe brought himself close to Cui Yuanyang’s ear. “On a count of three, we move out together. I’ll cut down the two taller ones. You kill the shortest one. Pinch my hand if you understand.”

Cui Yuanyang’s ear felt ticklish. Her face had long since flushed red, but it did not mean anything. She pinched his palm to indicate she understood his plan, then immediately let go.

The both of them held their breath in hiding, silently waiting for the three people to approach.

“Three... Two... One!”

The glare of a saber rose violently and the blur of a sword suddenly appeared beneath.

The three men fell silently, not even with a single groan.

Zhao Changhe swiftly ran to where their torches had dropped and picked one up, then continued to strut forward with Cui Yuanyang.

Not long after, they bumped into another group of torches, but rather than stopping, Zhao Changhe simply swaggered forward and suddenly shouted, “Have you guys discovered anything?”

“No, just now they went in that direction. Now there’s not a sound. It must have been a wild beast. I don’t know...this guy Zhao Changhe really knows how to hide, doesn’t he? Hey, wait, you—”


The saber rose once more and the sword revealed itself again.

It was the same arrangement. Three more people died here.

“Let’s go.” They were about to leave the forest and Zhao Changhe immediately abandoned the torch. He spared no effort concealing their tracks as he brought Cui Yuanyang along and, using all of his strength, flew away with his movement art.

There were few stars amidst the moonlight. A cold breeze gently blew over.

Only now that they were speeding away could Cui Yuanyang truly taste the thrill of adventure.

However, at this moment, the young lady did not feel any of the exhilaration she had felt when she had just left her home. This was because this adventure was thrilling in both the good sense and the bad; it was exciting, but it was also accompanied by cruelty, both directed to others and to herself.

There’s no telling if I’ll be the one dead the next moment.

As she thought this, a voice traveled over unhurriedly from the side. “Zhao Changhe, you are indeed worthy of being ranked in the top one hundred on the Tome of Hidden Dragons. Even with a deadweight brat with you, you managed to cut your way out of an encirclement and get past who knows how many criminals on the river. It’s a real pity that all this ends here.”

Zhao Changhe stopped and, with his face as tranquil as still water, looked at the demonic figure that had drifted over from the side.

Cui Yuanyang also stopped and sighed in her heart.

A master had finally arrived.

In reality, it wasn’t that no masters had appeared before. Both the helmsman and boatwoman were at the third layer of the Profound Gate, but they waited for the ships at the back to arrive before making a move. It was clear that there were strong cultivators at the fourth or fifth layer or even higher on other ships or on the roads by the shore. It was just that Zhao Changhe’s plan had worked. After attacking, they immediately ran. Even his arrows’ only purpose was to slow down the ships. Thus, they hadn’t met with any masters.

However, at the end of the day, masters were not random vegetables, and Zhao Changhe and Cui Yuanyang were bound to meet one at some point.

This was their final test.

The demonic figure drifted over. He was a skinny man with a pale face. His sinister gaze passed by Zhao Changhe before landing on Cui Yuanyang’s face; an instant later, his bloodthirsty expression turned into one of lust. “Young lady of the Cui Clan, why do you torment and dirty yourself like this? It’s unnecessary. Unnecessary. If you return with me, get yourself washed nice and clean, and serve me well, I might not go after that bounty on your head.”

Cui Yuanyang realized she was not angry in the slightest. Her heart was filled to the brim with contempt. “Who are you?”

The skinny man replied unhurriedly, “The Unnecessary, Qi Bubi. Have you heard of me, little girl?”

Cui Yuanyang had no idea who he was. Where did this low-level bandit appear from?

On the other hand, Zhao Changhe had heard about him from his brothers in the stronghold. When bandits gathered together, it was easy for the topic of murderers and rapists to come up. Qi Bubi was one of the more famous ones. Once one of his victims started to struggle, he would laughingly say “no need,” “don’t bother,” or “this will feel good”. This was how he got his nickname. He even changed his name to suit it[1].

This was Zhao Changhe’s first encounter with someone who had a formal title. It could be said that Qi Bubi was a titled master.

To receive a title, his cultivation was, of course, not low. Otherwise, he would have been killed by someone before his name spread.

Qi Bubi had long since reached the fourth layer of the Profound Gate. Zhao Changhe did not know if the man had broken through to the fifth layer, but even if he had not, he would still be an obstacle.

Actually, Fang Buping was also at about the same level. If Qi Bubi was not at the fifth layer of the Profound Gate, then his strength in battle was probably not even at Fang Buping’s level. After all, Fang Buping was the branch master of a sect, and his position was far higher than Qi Bubi’s. However, back then, Zhao Changhe had ample time to prepare before enacting his plan to take down Fang Buping. Moreover, what kind of state was Zhao Changhe in right now?

He was covered in wounds; his strength was spent, and he had to resort to ambushes to take care of small fry. He did not even have any limestone powder with him anymore.

In Qi Bubi’s eyes, Zhao Changhe was now like a plate of fresh fish waiting to be devoured. As for Cui Yuanyang, who was also at the third layer, she did not even count as a person to him.

Qi Bubi tapped his fan against his palm as he strolled toward the both of them. His gaze constantly shifted around Cui Yuanyang’s face. Zhao Changhe had no idea how he could find her appealing in her filthy state.

Cui Yuanyang gripped her sword tightly. She was not very confident and snuck a glance at Zhao Changhe who had not made a sound so far.

She almost dropped her blade from fear.

Zhao Changhe, who had a beaming smile all the way since they had started fleeing once more, now had a gloomy and fierce expression plastered on his face. His eyes were already blood red. This was not metaphorical, nor was it like how his irises reddened from using the Vicious Blood Art. The whites of his eyes had literally turned red, and he looked terrifying.

Cui Yuanyang immediately knew what he was doing.

Zhao Changhe had purposefully stopped suppressing his vicious blood qi and let it rush to his head. He intentionally let himself enter a crazed, berserk state!

This was the first time since Zhao Changhe had begun cultivating the Vicious Blood Art that he had lost control.

And he let himself do it.

In this berserk state, he could ignore all injuries and every bit of pain he felt. In addition, he could drive the vicious blood qi in his whole body to its limit and flatten away all the wear and tear he had accumulated on his body prior to this. Strictly speaking, this berserk state was the complete form of the Vicious Blood Art.

The only problem was that the user would lose their capacity to think clearly and strategize. He was not sure how much more or less effective he would be in a fight. However, this was the only way he could deal with their current predicament.

Cui Yuanyang was incomparably worried, but she knew what to do. When Big Brother Zhao had been about to lose control, he had repeatedly ordered her to stay far away from him.

She suddenly sheathed her sword and ran off to the side.

Qi Bubi thought that she wanted to run away and sneered. “Don’t be so in a hurry, little girl. After I cut off your boyfriend’s head, the two of us will enjoy some nice, slow time toge—.”

His sentence was cut off by a very, very bad feeling.

It was like he was being stared down by a pack of wolves in a forest, as if there were countless oily, jade-green eyes fixed on him. He felt his entire body go numb.

From the side of his ear suddenly came a raspy voice. “I, Zhao Changhe, may be a good person. But that doesn’t mean you can take whatever you want from me...”

Qi Bubi stiffened up as he turned his head. He saw a pair of scarlet eyes. That bright, unblemished saber had taken on a blood-red color. It was like a demonic blade had emerged into the world from the depths of hell.

The hooked, waning moon hung slanted in the sky. Under its light, Zhao Changhe looked like a blood god that had descended to the mortal realm.

He had not yet swung his saber, but he already looked like he was possessed.

Zhao Changhe roared. He could no longer tell who the person in front of him was. At this moment, any and every living thing in his path amounted to nothing more than an obstacle.

Following that bestial roar, a wild saber whistled through the air. The winds and clouds roiled; heaven and earth wailed!

With a swing of his saber, the gods and buddhas scattered!

1. Qi Bubi’s name is 奇不必 and his title is 大可不必. Bubi 不必 means unnecessary or not needed. ☜

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