Plundering The Heavens - Chapter 18
Chapter 18: Bandit-like
Translator: Actias-Myriea Editor: Nou
Using the act of picking up the Spirit Stone as a cover, Fang Xing drew out his dagger for a surprise thrust before landing a punch on Shixiong Liu in order to stop a counterattack or the reforming of his spirit shield. This man was already within the second tier, after all, and though Fang Xing may have only been a step away from second tier himself, the difference between first and second was still quite noticeable;if the man was ever given a chance to attack, it would not be good news for Fang Xing.
Fang Xing's upbringing had raised him into a slumbering dragon: either he did something to the absolute or he did nothing at all.
With the stab and the following punch all focused on the same location, even though Liu was in tier two he could still feel a rush of warmth filling up his lower abdomen along with a sense of weakness soon after.
’’Shixiong Liu, how is this for a contribution?’’ Fang Xing grinned, moving behind the man to follow up his taunt with a dropkick.
Shixiong Liu's balance was lost and he dropped face-first. The movement stretched his injury even further and his body was made to jerk forward outside of his control. He rolled on the ground like a freshly cooked shrimp, holding his stomach tight in the hopes of easing the pain.
Fresh blood seeped through his fingers.
’’You... dare to... sneak attack... me?’’ Rather than pleading for mercy, Shixiong Liu gritted his teeth in anger.
’’How can you be a good bandit with this level of alertness?’’ Fang Xing teased Shixiong Liu while frisking him to see if he had anything of value.
While he was being searched, Shixiong Liu silently moved one of his arms into one of his inner pockets and pretended to admit his defeat. ’’You little bastard, you may have gotten me today... but don't you ’’
’’Shidi Fang Xing, be careful!’’ Yu interrupted in alarm;with where he was standing, he was in a good position to see all of Shixiong Liu's actions.
’’Heh,’’ Fang Xing allowed a laugh to leak out before leaping towards Liu again, his dagger still in hand.
Next came a cry of despair and the clanging sound of metal. A small sword fell out of Liu's grasp as Fang Xing nailed his arm to the floor with a well-performed stab.
The small sword wasn't an ordinary sword, either: it was only a few inches long and covered in exquisite symbols and delicate spells.
With Liu no longer able to move, Fang Xing proceeded to repeatedly kick him in the stomach. ’’You're not going to shed a tear until you see your own coffin, huh? You dare try to ambush me with your sword?’’
Shixiong Liu was a tough man, but there was still a limit no matter how robust somebody was;with the child repeatedly striking the same location, even a tough man like Liu couldn't help but to cry out in pain.
Fang Xing picked up the small sword on the ground and placed it within his pocket, treating it as though it had belonged to him from the very beginning. He had already appraised the weapon earlier and found a total of seven perfectly intact spells, definitely making it a decent sword. While the [Nine Snakes' Sword] might be higher in category and quality, its Qi usage was well above what Fang Xing could handle right now, and it wasn't exactly a good idea to be showing it around in broad daylight.
This small sword, on the other hand, was just perfect for Fang Xing right now.
Seeing what Fang Xing was doing, Yu gave a hasty reminder, ’’Shidi Fang, you have to give him back this sword. It's what he chose from The Pavilion of Spiritual Tools;if you take it from him, the elders will come and punish you for this....’’
’’You... you really are something, aren't you, Fatty? You planned this out with this little bastard from the beginning, didn't you? Once I heal... I'm going to make sure you both pay for this with your pitiful little lives....’’ Shixiong Liu gritted his teeth even more. Yu's expressions changed from bad to worse as he imagined all of the crazy things Shixiong Liu would do to him and Fang Xing.
’’How funny. Do you really think I'll give you a chance to avenge yourself?’’ Fang Xing danced the dagger up and down Liu's neck, and his smile was so skewed it looked almost psychotic in nature.
’’You're... going to kill me?’’ Shixiong Liu asked with some hesitation, still adhering to his image as a tough guy.
Yu subconsciously grabbed Fang Xing's sleeves in the hopes that the boy wouldn't do anything stupid. From what he knew of Fang Xing, it was not impossible that he would want to kill Liu and they were still under the watchful eyes of the sect elders. Though the other disciple that killed somebody received only a one-year punishment, he had had extraordinary zi'zhi with a wealthy clan in his background;Fang Xing couldn't even be compared to him.
For someone in the D-Rank like them, their expulsions wouldn't even cause others to blink. Even worse, it was possible they would have to compensate for their wrongdoings with their very lives.
Some ten miles away on a mountain peak, an aged pine tree stood with two men playing a game of Weiqi together below it. One of the men had black hair but was visibly aged, while the other man had a full crown of snowy white hair in stark contrast to his otherwise youthful appearance.
This particular game of Weiqi had been going on for a month. More specifically, it had been thirty-three days since the game began, yet it was still only at its halfway point.
The pair was silent. After a good while, the white-haired young man finally broke the silence, muttering with his game piece still in his fingers, ’’How many of the new recruits have you taken notice of?’’
’’A few, actually, and more than what I expected. We've recruited ten A-Ranked disciples this time!’’ The black-haired elder beamed.
With his gaze still focused on the game board, the white-haired young man smiled at the answer.
Realizing that he hadn't fully answered the white-haired man's question, the black-haired elder began to add more. ’’Within those ten disciples, three come from wealthy families, two from well-known clans, and there's a boy named Hou Qing who was already at tier two when he joined. If all goes as expected, he should be the first person to become an inner court disciple within this group.’’
In short, among the thousands of new recruits, a total of six had caught his attention.
The white-haired man continued to hold his Weiqi stone, still smiling without a single word.
’’How many have you taken notice of, Shishu?’’ the black-haired elder politely asked, a bitter smile on his face after receiving no response.
’’One, and only just now,’’ the white-haired man replied.
With a sudden change of expression, the black-haired elder sent his Spirit Sense off towards the direction the white-haired man was facing, understanding immediately whom he was referring to. ’’Such a young age yet so callous. Would you like me to discipline him on Shishu's behalf?’’
Another piece was added to the game board in reply. ’’We continue the game!’’
As the small stone touched the board, the young man's gaze shifted up ever so slightly towards the sky.
Upon the curve of the heavens, nine coffins hung high and mighty, intertwined amidst the planets of the galaxy. They overlooked the world like watchful guardians, poised to protect all below them... or, perhaps, like poison-soaked blades, ready to drip chaos upon the land.
’’No, I won't kill you,’’ Fang Xing released a laugh when it became clear Shixiong Liu showed no signs of pleading, ’’but I'll make sure you can't easily avenge yourself in the future!’’
Fang Xing continued to laugh while picking up the sword from the ground. Within seconds, blood burst out from Shixiong Liu's knees, waist, and shoulders as the sword whooshed beside them.
Shixiong Liu let out a howl of despair.
Fang Xing dusted himself and looked at the sword in his hands. ’’It's unfortunate that I can't take such a nice sword for myself,’’ he sighed.
As Fang Xing kneeled down, he placed his foot against Liu's neck to keep him from moving while scrambling around his body for the Spirit Stones Liu had taken. Once that was done, Fang Xing pulled the dagger free from Liu's arm, wiped off the bloodstains on the man's robe, and spoke to Liu with a soft voice, ’’You're free to go now!’’
Plump Taoist Yu followed closely behind Fang Xing, his face as unsightly as though Death itself had rested against his back. He wanted to leave this scene as soon as possible. Yu also had to consider the fact that Fang Xing appeared so swift and certain in his string of actions;this must not have been his first time doing something like this.
’’Shidi Fang, have you... you know, crippled him for good?’’
’’It's not that easy to permanently cripple a cultivator, you know. I've just made it so he needs more time to heal;he'll be in bed for, let's say... a good four or five months?’’
’’And what happens five months from now? He'll come back....’’ Yu hurriedly asked with a blank gaze.
’’Hah, but in five months' time, he'll be no match for me!’’
Fang Xing was so confident in his words that it nearly came across as arrogance, but Yu only felt a sense of despair upon hearing this response;Shixiong Liu was in the second tier, and as far as Yu was concerned there was no way Fang Xing would be able to match his strength in a few months' time.
It was at this moment that the trio that had looked on from afar attempted to leave, only to have Fang Xing stop them. ’’Isn't that the sissy? What a coincidence to find you here, too!’’
The feeble disciple's legs trembled in horror at the voice, making it impossible for him to walk. The beefy man tried to force himself to stay calm, but when he answered it was done with a clear tremor at certain points, ’’We're waiting for someone here. Wh-... what do you want?’’
’’Shut up and hand it over!’’ Fang Xing snatched his sleeves away from Yu's grip, holding up his dagger as he advanced towards the trio with large steps.
The feeble disciple hid behind the beefy man just as Fang Xing closed in. The beefy man had actually wanted to hide, too, but the dagger was already right in front of him;pale-faced, he could only reluctantly reply, ’’H- hand... what over...?’’
’’Hand what over? Keep on pretending and I'll poke some holes in you until you know what I'm talking about,’’ Fang Xing scoured him up and down, as if looking for the best location to start 'poking' about with his dagger.
While the beefy man was not fully convinced, the feeble one took out his Spirit Stone while remaining in cover. ’’Hurry and take this. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have looked at you before;I promise I won't do it again....’’
Fang Xing took hold of the Spirit Stone and turned his tiny head to the beefy man, demanding shortly after, ’’And yours?’’
’’You want...mine, too?’’ Panic hit him soon after Fang Xing began to impatiently wave his dagger, ’’H-... here...’’ and he finally handed it over as well.
After placing the second Stone safely into his pocket, Fang Xing looked towards the third man who had been asked to come along to help the other two. Without a hint of delay, the man also passed his Spirit Stone to Fang Xing.
Finally contented, Fang Xing gave one last glare to the trio before letting them off.
’’See, this is how I earn my Spirit Stones.’’
 Weiqi: Or the game of Go. It is an abstract strategy board game for two players, usually played with two colored stones (black and white), in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent.
 Shishu: 师叔;lit. martial uncle (gender neutral). Similar to the terms 'shixiong' and 'shidi' etc., 'shishu' is however a level higher in seniority. One will call one's own martial master's martial brothers and sisters as shishu.