During the two’s journey, they soon heard many sword clashes resounding near the foot of the mountain. He immediately dragged Miao Yi to a nearby rock and they both squatted behind it. Behind the rock, the two observed dozens of people fighting intensely and the endless screams of terror could be heard.
At the steep side of the mountain, a bloomed flower was exuding a soft radiance – an immortal grass. It wasn’t surprising that a fight broke out over that immortal grass.
Miao Yi’s eyes sparkled when he saw the immortal grass on the steep side of the mountain. He pointed at the immortal grass and was about inform Yan Bei Hong but his mouth was swiftly sealed by Yan Bei Hong’s hand. He then warned Miao Yi not to make any sound.
After stealing a glance at the immortal grass, his sight soon rested on a man who was killing in the mist of the crowd.
Yan Bei Hong held the handle of his sword and waited.
Among the crowd, that man was an expert and has skills unmatched by his opponents. He jumped and dodged attacks, and successively killed a number of people among the dozens of them. In the end, nobody took the initiative to attack the expert. After the expert had observed his surroundings and determined that there are no longer any opponents willing to challenge him, he headed towards the immortal grass.
At that moment when the expert let down his guard, Yan Bei Hong fiercely drew out his sword and dashed towards him. He jumped and swiftly struck with his sword.
However, the man’s reaction was fast. ‘Clang’, the man blocked Yan Bei Hong’s sword using his own and immediately turned around to fight.
In the next few moments, the two swords clash against each other so quickly that onlookers could not identify which sword was whose. For the man to block the attacks without breaking a sweat, it shows that the man had skills much better than Yan Bei Hong. Even after the previous battle with dozens of people, the man still had the strength to block Yan Bei Hong’s attacks!
Gradually, the man increased the speed of his attacks and weakened Yan Bei Hong, gaining an upper hand. Eventually, Yan Bei Hong’s body was covered in blood and his sword was knocked out of his hand from a kick of his opponent.
A sword strike went towards Yan Bei Hong, aimed at his neck. In desperation, he grabbed the man’s wrist with both his hands, and used one of his legs to stop an incoming kick. This caused the two people to come into close contact.
As both sides were in a life-or-death situation, the man gave Yan Bei Hong a kick after he felt Yan Bei Hong’s grip weakened.
Bang! Miao Yi tackled and the man was pushed to aside.
The man’s waist was stabbed by a sword and fresh blood was flowing out.
Unconsciously, the man touched the wound at his waist. With great difficulty, he turned and saw Miao Yi who was struggling to get up. He was enraged. His current appearance looked very much like an enraged beast that eats people.
Maybe it was because of the injury that he just suffered which made him inattentive to his surroundings. Yan Bei Hong did not let this opportunity slide. He roared, grabbed the expert’s sword which was lying on the floor, and stabbed it into the expert’s chest. This caused the expert to stagger back.
With both his hands still holding the sword, Yan Bei Hong pulled it out and struck it down heavily on the expert.
Poof! The expert was sliced apart.
Fresh blood spurted, signaling the end of the fight. Yan Bei Hong propped his sword straight and breathed heavily. With blood still dripping from a corner of his mouth which stained his chest, Miao Yi let out a bitter laugh.
Miao Yi laughed contentedly after, once again, experiencing the feeling of escaping death.
After tearing his clothes and using it to bandage his wounds, Yan Bei Hong went to pick up his sword and the expert’s leftover rations. He then trudged towards Miao Yi and bent down to grab Miao Yi’s wrist before pulling him up.
After he checked Miao Yi’s pulse, he delivered a blow to Miao Yi’s abdomen.
“Wa…” Miao Yi instantly spat out a mouthful of blood, eliminating the breathing difficulty he received from tackling the expert.
“We don’t even know each other well, so why did you put your life in danger just to save me?” Yan Bei Hong asked Miao Yi smilingly while looking at his pale face.
Miao Yi wiped the blood near his mouth and stared at Yan Bei Hong for a while. He had never seen such an ungrateful guy before, thus Miao Yi snapped, “Your skills are good, so I need you as my bodyguard.”
Yan Bei Hong pointed his sword at the man who had just fallen and asked, “His skills are much better, won’t you be more secured if you help him and make him your bodyguard?”
Miao Yi replied with his face void of emotions. “It is because his skills are better that he does not need my help. What’s more, I’ve saved your life.”
“I say, kid, you’re really sensible, ha ha!” Yan Bei Hong looked to the sky and burst into laughter while patting Miao Yi’s back. “Don’t act like you’re a pitiful little lady. It’s only some internal injuries and you won’t die from those!”
His eyes which always held some vigilance against Miao Yi had finally disappeared. He went to climb the steep mountain to harvest the immortal grass for both of them to admire together.
The immortal grass was not even half a chopstick long. It had nine twig, nine leaves, with an appearance like a smooth shining jade. The leaves of the immortal grass were radiating a drizzly halo and around its surface were tiny glowing particles floating around, just like a group of dancing fireflies or like the stars shinning in the starry night, thus the name of the plant “starlight”.
It was the first time the two saw such a precious thing. When the immortal grass was brought near the nose, one could smell a slight refreshing fragrance, unlike the wild flowers which has smells that would easily attract bees and butterflies.
“Good stuff! Worthy to be an immortal grass.” Yan Bei Hong tut twice. He then let Miao Yi smell it for a while to enjoy its fragrance before taking it back.
Miao Yi’s eyes widened when he saw Yan Bei Hong, without the consent of his partner, bagged the immortal grass with a layer of cloth and kept it.
Seeing Miao Yi looking at him with a strange expression, Yan Bei Hong embarrassedly coughed a few times and said, “About that, let this be mine, and the next one we pick shall be yours.”
Miao Yi looked at the road they came from and asked, “since you’ve gotten an immortal grass, aren’t you going back?”
“Do you think I am someone without a sense of responsibility?” Yan Bei Hong hardened his face and dragged Miao Yi forward. “I will continue to be your bodyguard, and when you’ve gotten you own, we’ll go back together. However, don’t think of betraying me for when that happens, don’t blame me for what I would do.”
Miao Yi had nothing to say. With no skills, there was no chance of winning against Yan Bei Hong. If their abilities were exchanged, would he still dare to keep the plant without his consent?
Yan Bei Hong really did not go back on his words. As days passed, whenever he met others, he would fight with the intention of helping Miao Yi find an immortal grass.
In other words, he wanted to become an immortal together with Miao Yi.
However, up until now, no one else had managed to find an immortal grass. Thus there was no point in stealing from them.
Only at the beginning did he not go back on his words, but in the end he still did.
Both of them had already wandered to the furthest edge of the safe zone where the border was located. Any further and only ghost will know the situation ahead.
They stopped at the border of the safe zone and stood at the peak of a hill as they allow the mist to gently linger around them.
The place ahead was shrouded in mist which made it look mysterious. Yan Bei Hong seemingly said to himself, “Little brother, it’s not that I want to go back on my words, but this weird place is only open for a month and it has already been half a month. Let’s go back. The time required to return is not short and we can’t do so at night. When we return, I will continue using my strength to help you and who knows, we might even be able to steal an immortal grass.”
Miao Yi understood Yan Bei Hong’s reasoning. For him to follow till here was already considered great, but…
“Did you hear that?” Miao Yi suddenly said as he pointed towards the unfathomable danger zone, “the sound seems to be coming from there.”
“Sound? What sound?” Yan Bei Hong was stunned and looked around constantly. He raised his eyebrow slowly and answered, “I did not hear anything!”
“Did you really not hear it?” Miao Yi found it quite puzzling and again tilted his head to listen.
A series of sounds, ‘ding ding dong dong’ could be heard which sounded like a stream flowing down a mountain. The cadence was between the high-pitched passions mixed with the tenderness of the rhythm—the sound of a zither, and someone was playing it.