Pursuit of the Truth Chapter 99
Chapter 99 – Pursuit!!
The youthful impulse in him had been dulled. In making this trip, besides thinking that his Blood Moon Fire-Mán-Technique might be able of aid to Grandpa in battle, Su Ming had also took in account other considerations.
From his judgement, even though the HeiShan Patriarch was severely injured and too afraid to fight, his was still no ordinary cultivator. Having attained the position of Patriarch, besides his cultivation base and Bi Tu’s favour, he must also be a scheming individual.
Nan Song was able to shock him temporarily, yet he was able to react quickly. When the HeiShan Patriarch comes to his sense, he will either wait for reinforcements and stage a counterattack, or do so on his own once he adjusted himself.
“From his reaction after Bi Su’s death, he will likely choose the second strategy!” Su Ming’s eyes flashed with understanding. As he advanced, Su Ming kept a lookout for all traces of disturbances such as incongruent footprints and broken twigs. Others might be oblivious to these signs, but Su Ming knew well that these points to where the HeiShan Patriarch and his underlings are heading.
While the footprints on the snow were messy, most were headed in Su Ming’s direction. Only a few pointed to the forest ahead. Su Ming could deduce much from the varying depths of the prints.
“And Shan Heng too… He was the one who leaked the tribe’s movement which enabled HeiShan to lay a trap for us. But he was also engaged in killings along the way, his injuries did not look fake… For the sake of realism, the wounds from his battle with the HeiShan Patriarch were real too.”
“Only this way was he able to convince Grandpa Nan Song, but in the end he suffered Grandpa Nan Song’s wrath. He should be at his limits by now…”
“Why, Shan Heng… Why did you betray WuShan…”
Su Ming have always remembered the contributions Shan Heng had made for his tribesmen. He shared with own food with the elderly in the tribe. For the sake of a young Ra Su, he collected many beast tooth from the forest. Amidst the cheering of the children, even though his face seemed expressionless, it could not hide the kindness in his eyes.
Su Ming could not think of a reason why such a person would betray WuShan and his tribesmen.
“Perhaps he was struggling within his heart too. He had killed numerous HeiShan tribesmen, and earlier did not allow Bei Ling and the Marksman to stay behind. What exactly was he thinking…” Su Ming’s fists were clenched tightly.
“But all these cannot redeem the fact of his betrayal. He… must pay the price for being a traitor!” A cold glint flashed in Su Ming’s eyes. His hatred for HeiShan was strong, but at this moment, his hatred for the traitor HeiShan was even stronger!
Following the traces left behind in the forest, Su Ming moved like a fleeting shadow, getting ever faster. Observing his surrounding, he could be sure that he was getting closer to the HeiShan Patriarch and his tribesmen.
Along the way, the footprints sunk deeper into ground. This means that the four could no longer suppress their injuries.
“They will have to find a safe spot to adjust themselves….” Su Ming halted in his steps and bent his body down to look at the footprint. A drop of blood had melted the snow around it. Giving it a touch, Su Ming’s mouth broke into a cold smile.
“The blood has yet to freeze… They are just ahead!” Su Ming rose immediately and was about to give chase, but then his body halted suddenly, and his expression became mournful.
Not far ahead, he saw a fellow tribesmen who had chosen to stay behind earlier so as not to delay the tribe that was on the move. That tribesmen had already died, his fallen body on the snow and nothing more than a stiff corpse now.
Treading forward lightly, Su Ming watched that familiar face whose eyes were still opened in death, as though to look at the path where his tribesmen had went, praying to the heavens to protect his tribesmen so that they can arrive at FengZhen safely.
This was the first fallen tribesmen Su Ming saw upon returning into the forest, and he knew that it would not be the last. Along this path, during that one day of journey, many tribesmen had chosen to stay behind so as not to hinder the tribe’s progression with their crippled body.
“The tribe will be safe…” Su Ming softly spoke. Looking at the tribesman’s opened eyes, he raised his right hand to gently close them. Concealing the grief deep inside him, Su Ming stood up. A murderous intent surfaced in him as he began his pursuit.
His speed was such that an untrained eye could barely follow, only a blood-coloured streak could be seen that drew an arc trailing forward.
The blood-coloured streak was the light of the blood moon in Su Ming’s eyes, enhanced by the full moon that hung in the night sky now! As he advanced, wisps of moonlight descended and swirled around his body, forming fine rings of moonlight. His furious speed stretched the wisps of moonlight behind him, seemingly forming a cloak of moonlight on Su Ming’s body.
Half an incense stick of time had passed before Su Ming came within three hundred metres of the HeiShan Patriarch, who was mediating, surrounded by his three followers. They were resting on a piece of land filled with fallen woody debris, their eyes close as they treated themselves.
They had only just stopped after the HeiShan Patriarch gave the command in uncertainty. He stared resentfully at the direction of FengZhen, his expression fuming.
He had only just realized that Nan Song was merely putting on a pretense, his final retaliation before death. In truth, they only had to fend him off for a moment and need not had fled in such a wretched state. They could even turn the tide and capture WuShan Tribe in one swoop.
In his frustration, he resented himself for being overwhelmed by fear. But as a meticulous individual, he chose to heal himself in meditation despite realizing his was tricked. He had considered the fact that the earliest WuShan Tribe can arrive at FengZhen will be in morning. If the four of them go at full speed, they can catch up with WuShan in two hours.
He was very assured that the four of them will not meet with any danger in here, after all, a prey will only know to flee for its life. This was his experience throughout his life.
He never considered that under such a situation, someone will stage a counterattack, since what matters most to WuShan now was to move!
Barely half an incense stick of time into their rest, a sudden gust of cold wind swept the fallen snow on the ground, which landed on their bodies. At the same time, not far in the forest, a red glow could be seen that was heading towards them at unimaginable speeds. It was so quick that the few of them could not awake in time from their meditation, only the HeiShan Patriarch opened his eyes.
All he saw was a streak of red light flashing by, accompanied by a tragic scream that sounded in his hear. The body of a tribesman beside him remained seated, but a spray of blood shot high into the air from where its missing head would be.
The HeiShan Patriarch felt his scalp go numb as the hair all over his body stood on their ends. His face fell as he quickly got on his feet, revealing a look of shock and incredulity. The other two also got up in fear, scanning their surrounding at once.
“Who is it!!”
“Who is it, I know you are there, show yourself!”
Both of them roared in hysteria, their bodies trembling. It all happened too fast, they heard the scream even before they opened their eyes, and when they did, all they saw was blood spurting forth from the headless neck of their tribesman.
Waves of impalpable fear seized their bodies. Not only were they terror-stricken by the death of their tribesman, an innate, primal fear stirred inside them.
The surrounding was dead-quiet. They could not see a trace of their enemy.
Blood drained from the face of the HeiShan Patriarch, who frantically looked all around the dark forest. With each passing moment, the fear inside him grew, as if somewhere inside the dark forest, a terrifying beast was lying in wait, staring deathly at them.
“Retreat!” The HeiShan Patriarch made up his mind. He did not dare advance in the unknown. The streak of red light from before did not seem human, but rather like some sort of red-coloured snake.
With his command, the other two tribesmen hurriedly rushed towards him. After making a few slow steps backwards, they immediately turned on their feet and ran without hesitation.
What they couldn’t see was Su Ming, crouched somewhere in the dark forest. The blood moon in his eyes gleamed. On his hand was an eyes-shut, bloodied head.
“Death itself is not scary. The worst thing is the fear and anguish that comes before death. My tribesmen experienced this first hand during their journey. Now, I will return the favour.” Su Ming’s expression was calm. Besides this thought, he had another plan to secure the safety of his tribesmen. As those three retreated, with a turn of his body, Su Ming vanished from sight.
The HeiShan Patriarch’s heart throbbed rapidly inside him. He was severely injured, and can only utilize half the power of his eighth layer of blood condensation. The two tribesmen following him are only of the sixth layer of blood condensation and won’t be able to protect him.
Especially the instant when he saw the red streak, a sense of dread overcame him that was truly terrifying. He no longer harbored the thought of pursuing the WuShan Tribe, but retreated in desperation to rendezvous with the HeiShan reinforcements.
The two tribesmen following him were truly frightened by the mysterious enemy. The fear of the unknown made them lost their will to fight. Fleeing for the lives, their faces revealed their terror.
It was at this moment when a piercing, sharp shriek sounded somewhere behind them. The shrillness of the shriek caused the minds of those who hear it to blank out.
At the instant the sound reverberated in the surrounding, a blood-coloured streak suddenly approached at alarming speeds such that all the three could see was a flash of red and the wisps of moonlight trailing behind it. The next moment, a tragic yell came from one of them, whose head became separated from his body as blood sprayed forth, collapsing on the ground.