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Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jun 11, 2024 1 Comment
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Chapter 34: Living Gu

Danger at The Tomb of the King (Part Four)

Yu’er felt a tightness in her heart and was about to go down when Qing Jiu and Yan Li had already taken a step ahead. With a light tap of their foot, they landed on either side of Mo Wen. The Blood Gu was not afraid of fire at all, so the two could only strike with long swords, scattering the Blood Gu away.

The moment Mo Wen extended her sword, the blood Gu crowning her head hastily dispersed. Despite her pale complexion, there were no significant wounds on her head, and she didn’t resemble those who had been swarmed by the Blood Gu and turned into dry corpses.

The Blood Gu crawled down from her body like flowing water. Her clothes were torn from their bites, dotted with specks of blood, the wounds on her arms dried up, yet aside from her pale lips, Mo Wen seemed unharmed.

Her eyes, initially vacant, suddenly sharpened with a cold intensity. She raised her right hand, pointing at a member of the Paisha Gang who had previously killed to clear his path, her lips moved slightly, and she made a very slight strange sound.

Obeying her silent command, the Blood Gu assembled into a formidable mass, a dark tidal wave hurling towards the Paisha gang member. The Blood Gu’s swift attack left him no chance to evade, quickly wrapping around him and turning him into a desiccated corpse in moments.

After the man died, the Blood Gu dispersed, burrowing back into the soil, ceasing their assault on the group. Only then did Mo Wen’s arm relax, her energy fading as she slumped, Qing Jiu catching her swiftly, preventing her fall.

Those watching from a distance were struck with awe at the unfolding scene. The ferocious Blood Gu, which bit anyone on sight and drained them into mummies, had somehow become docile around Mo Wen, as if obeying her commands, a truly strange occurrence.

Qing Jiu’s expression was cold as she carried Mo Wen onto the stone statue. Yu’er hurried over to check Mo Wen’s pulse, pausing in surprise before carefully examining her again, finally stating, “She’s just fainted from excessive blood loss…” This statement was somewhat unbelievable even to Yu’er herself, but after repeated confirmations, it was indeed just severe blood loss.

Qing Jiu and Yan Li breathed a sigh of relief, casting an involuntary glance at Mo Wen.

Yu’er’s curiosity deepened as her gaze inadvertently fell on Mo Wen’s forehead, noticing a floral pattern resembling a blossoming flower, vivid and enchanting in its spread. The pattern was a bright red, whether a birthmark or something else, it was particularly conspicuous.

Yu’er wondered, “Has Mo Wen always worn something to cover the mark on her forehead?” She then fed Mo Wen a blood-replenishing and Qi-Nourishing pill.

Just as the Blood Gu dispersed and the group had barely relaxed, a series of clicking sounds echoed, as if something sharp was scraping against the stone walls..

The leader of the Paisha Gang cursed under his breath, “Damn it, what now?”

The noise seemed to originate from the direction of the main gate. Yu’er strained her eyes to see, but from this distance, it was hard to make out anything clearly, only a white figure could be seen clinging to the top of the gate.

Qing Jiu whispered, “Let’s go!”

Qi Tianzhu swiftly scooped up Mo Wen, slinging her over his shoulder as they made their escape, with Yu’er and Yan Li closely following. The two members of the Paisha Gang had already run off ahead.

Yu’er looked back and saw Qing Jiu staying behind, knowing she was guarding against the thing behind them and staying back to cover their retreat. Yu’er looked towards the gate and saw that the thing on the stone wall where they were previously had already leaped down and was chasing after them. It was a white figure moving rapidly, resembling a beast, dragging a long white tail behind it.

The group dashed to the other end of the cave, where Tang Linzhi and Hua Lian waited anxiously. They had been unable to return due to the sudden appearance of the Blood Gu and could only worry from afar. Now seeing Qing Jiu and the others safe but followed closely by a bizarre creature, their anxiety spiked anew.

“This way!” Hua Lian directed.

At the other end of the cave were three exits. After scouting, Hua Lian, Yu Hei, and Yu Bai decided the middle passage was the safest option, so the group sprinted down the central corridor.

The monstrous beast followed closely behind, its sharp claws scraping on the ground with a grating, piercing sound.

“What in the world is this thing?” Hua Lian exclaimed as he led the way.

“Just run, what are you yelling for!” Tang Linzhi retorted.

The corridor ended, and they emerged onto a spacious area with stone bridges crisscrossing over flowing water. Six bridges led to a stone tower, extending into the distance and interconnected like a honeycomb, making it difficult to discern an exit at a glance.

With the monstrous beast close behind, they had no choice but to hurry across the narrow stone bridges, which could only accommodate one person at a time. Hua Lian led the way, with the others following closely behind.

As Qing Jiu stepped onto the bridge, a strong gust of wind attacked from behind.

Qing Jiu swiftly dodged to the side, flicking her wrist to draw out her long sword and slashing forward in one smooth motion. She had hoped to at least cut through the beast’s flesh, if not sever a limb, but the creature’s hide proved exceptionally tough, barely losing a few hairs.

The beast, pained and enraged, let out a piercing scream that pained their ears.

On closer inspection, they observed its horned head and snow-white fur, dotted with several black bulges resembling eyes. It appeared as though it had eyes all over its body.

Tang Linzhi and Hua Lian used their lightness skills and leaped over the heads of the others to face the beast. “How did this thing get so ugly?” Hua Lian remarked.

Tang Linzhi suggested that Qi Tianzhu and the others continue on while the three of them engaged the beast on the narrow bridge, as having more people would only hinder their efforts.

Tang Linzhi swiftly flicked her left hand, launching silver needles from her sleeve straight at the beast’s eyes. The creature tilted its head, dodging the assault. As Tang Linzhi intensified her assault with more silver needles, the beast retaliated with a swift sweep of its long tail, compelling the three to leap aside swiftly to evade being struck.

Observing the creature’s form, Qing Jiu thought, “This thing somewhat resembles a Baize.”

Tang Linzhi seized the opportunity to leap onto the back of the beast. Hearing Qing Jiu’s remark, she scoffed, “This is a mythical beast?!”

It was disappointingly underwhelming in appearance.

While Hua Lian and Qing Jiu launched feints from below, Tang Linzhi unleashed a flurry of sleeve arrows, one striking the beast directly in an eye it failed to protect. Now blinded and writhing in pain.

Qing Jiu exclaimed, “Let’s go!” Hua Lian had already retreated. Using the momentum from the beast, Tang Linzhi leaped behind Qing Jiu.

Qing Jiu concentrated her internal energy into her sword and unleashed a powerful strike onto the stone bridge. The force of her blow caused the bridge to crumble, and the beast, already weakened from its injuries, lost its footing. It plunged into the water below, accompanied by the falling debris.

Water splashed below the bridge, and the group breathed a sigh of relief as they saw the beast fall into the water.

Qing Jiu and her companions made their way to the stone tower at the bridge’s end, where the others were waiting for them.

“Everything alright?” Yan Li inquired.

Hua Lian, catching his breath, managed a smile and quipped, “Just a small matter.”

The stone tower was not large, and the few people inside felt quite crowded. Qing Jiu looked around and frowned, “Where are those two?”

“Which two?” Tang Linzhi asked.

“The two from the Paisha Gang, did they see Mo Wen?” Qing Jiu’s tone carried a weight of implication, as if seeing Mo Wen was more than just laying eyes on her.

Tang Linzhi, Hua Lian, Yu Hei, and Yu Bai hadn’t seen what happened near the stone statue earlier. They were not clear about what had happened specifically, but they saw that in the end, the Blood Gu had returned to the ground. Now, hearing Qing Jiu’s words, Tang Linzhi and Hua Lian already understood.

Stepping out of the tower, Qing Jiu stood on another bridge, surveying the area. She spotted the two from the Paisha Gang making their escape towards a bridge on the west, already far off.

Tang Linzhi and Hua Lian, positioned behind her, heard Tang Linzhi’s resolve, “I’ll handle this. We can’t let those two go.”

With a nod from Qing Jiu, Tang Linzhi and Hua Lian silently pursued, quickly vanishing around a stone tower.

Their lightness skills were superior, and the Paisha Gang members, not too far ahead, were caught up within moments.

The Paisha Gang members had entered another stone tower. After several escapes, the one with lesser skill was panting, questioning, “Boss, why are we running? This tomb is full of traps. Following that group ahead would at least allow us to avoid most of them.”

The leader, leaning against the wall and peering back the way they came, retorted, “You know nothing!”

When the leader turned back, furrowing his thick brows, he said mysteriously, “Do you know what that girl in the Miao attire is?”

The subordinate, puzzled, responded, “A woman?”

With a spit, the leader hissed, “A Living Gu! Damn it, she’s a Living Gu!”

The subordinate, still confused, asked, “Living Gu? What’s that?”

Despite the term suggesting a Gu, to them, the girl was clearly human!

The leader glanced outside once more, rubbing his forehead in exasperation, and sighed, “A Living Gu, a Living Gu! It means two things: one is the Gu that turns living people into walking corpses, and the other is cultivated using a living person as the host. Nowadays, when people talk about Living Gu in jianghu, damn it, it’s this thing with both meanings. That woman, she is such a Living Gu! At first, when I saw the red mark on her forehead, I wasn’t sure, but damn, did you see her controlling those Gu insects? It’s definitely that thing, no doubt about it!”

His subordinate, not yet grasping the gravity of their situation, brightened up at the leader’s explanation and exclaimed, “Boss, this is even more useful than Aihong! Why are we running? Let’s just capture her and take her back! She’s a treasure!”

The leader slapped the subordinate on the head and scolded, “What’s the use of a treasure if you’re dead? Can’t you see how powerful she is in controlling the Gu insects? The people with her seem to know about her identity already. Do you think anyone willing to associate with a Living Gu is ordinary? Those women, with their lightness skills and swordsmanship, none of them are weak. Who would want to mess with them? We need to make our escape now…”

Before he could finish, an interjecting voice cut in, “Wow, you understand so much! You’re not stupid after all.”

The leader, hearing the voice, sensed immediate danger and saw Hua Lian blocking their path on a stone bridge outside the stone tower. It turned out Hua Lian hadn’t followed them directly but had taken a longer route from the other side.

Hua Lian, with his fan in hand, sneered “It’s a pity that being too understanding isn’t a good thing. Knowing too much can shorten your lifespan.”

The two men stared at Hua Lian intently, silently retreating. Hua Lian advanced quickly, attacking with swift movements. The two hurriedly defended themselves, feeling a chill on their backs. By the time they realized what was happening, their heads had already fallen.

It turned out that Tang Linzhi had leaped onto the stone tower, climbing the stone wall as nimbly as a gecko, quietly making her way behind the two men. She jumped in through a stone window, distracting them with Hua Lian’s attack. In that split second, Tang Linzhi seized the opportunity to deliver a fatal blow, so by the time they reacted, it was already too late.

With a flick of her dagger, Tang Linzhi shook off the blood and remarked, “Yan Li warned you not to enter the tomb, but you just wouldn’t listen.” After dealing with the bodies, the two made their way back, just as Qing Jiu and her group approached.

In less than the time it took to eat a meal, they had passed only the first challenge, reducing their number from over thirty to just nine, making everyone more vigilant.

Tang Linzhi and Hua Lian stood on the stone tower, with Qing Jiu and the others already on the connecting stone bridge. As they were about to cross over, they suddenly felt the ground shake beneath them.

Yu’er, struggling to maintain her balance and unsure of the cause, looked down through the chaos and gasped, “Qing Jiu, it’s that Baize!”

It turned out the monstrous beast, blinded in one eye by Tang Linzhi and having fallen into the water under the stone bridge, had not died. Its fangs were exceptionally sharp, and it was violently attacking the base of the stone tower where everyone stood.

It was too late for everyone to escape. A thin crack spread along the tower’s body, splitting and crumbling the stone tower in half, with the connected stone bridge also quickly breaking. With nowhere to hide, everyone fell from the crumbling bridge into the river below the stone bridge maze.

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Khriss
Khriss
21 days ago

More secrets delicious
Thanks for the chappie