Zu An was surprised to learn that nearly every single one of these black-clad men were at the fourth rank.
As cultivators at the fourth rank, all of them were strong enough to be considered for positions of authority in a small county!
In other words, the strength of these black-clad men were about the same as his own, perhaps even higher.
After all, he had just broken through to the fourth rank.
Sang Qian had brought his trusted aides with him this time, and not those River Patrol Army idiots.
If theyd been here, they would probably have been wiped out in that first exchange.
Even so, Sang Qians group seemed no match for these black-clad men.
Their levels of cultivation were high, and their attacks were vicious.
Sang Qian roared in anger as his subordinates fell one after another.
“Go to hell, you thieves!”
He swung the long blade of his sword at them.
Flames raged across the blades surface, extending forward to form a forty-meter long saber.
It swept ferociously through the black-clad attackers.
The attackers scattered, frantically trying to evade this deadly blow.
A few of them were unable to dodge in time, and were cleaved in two by the blade.
Those men who were still conscious after suffering such deep wounds screamed miserably as the merciless flames continued to burn their flesh.
Zu An was stupefied.
He couldnt wrap his head around just how long this blade was. If Sang Qian knew what Ive been doing to Zheng Dan, I might be the one attacked by this forty-meter blade.
Would I even be able to dodge something like this
Those two are really incompatible, though.
Zheng Dan wields the water element, while he wields the fire element.
“Even though these black-clad attackers have a decent level of cultivation, Sang Qian is clearly much stronger,” Qin Wanru observed.
“The gap in strength between fourth and fifth rank isnt something that can be bridged through sheer numbers.
Not to mention, Sang Qian is considered a powerhouse even among fifth ranked cultivators.”
Im sure theres more to these attackers than just these men.” Zu An knew how mysterious Qiu Hongleis background was, and he was confident in this statement.
As soon as he said this, a lantern was lit nearby.
It was a small lantern, and emitted a weak yellow light.
However, as soon as it appeared, a strange and suffocating pressure suddenly seemed to weigh down on Sang Qian.
Sang Qian instantly felt as if he had been mired in a swamp.
Even the air around him seemed to have become sticky.
The easiest of movements now seemed to require several times the strength just to execute.
His ferocious blade of flame slowed as well, as if it was moving in slow motion.
As expected of a duchess, Qin Wanru was quick to realize what sort of artifact the lantern was.
“That lantern should be a magic weapon with movement-restricting effects.
I wonder who this amazing weapon belongs to!”
Zu An was alarmed.
“Movement restriction Isnt that overpowered You could use it to freeze your enemy and kill him!”
Qin Wanru shook her head.
“Its not that easy.
The strength of its effects depends on the difference in cultivation between the two parties.
If it was used on a weaker cultivator like you, its possible you might not be able to move even a single finger.”
Zu An sulked. Thank you so much for explaining this to me.
But did you have to roast me as well
“As for those with higher cultivations, it will only cause their movements to slow down,” Qin Wanru added.
“Of course, if we consider those with even higher levels of cultivation, this lantern might not do much to them at all.”
“What if it were used on you” Zu An asked curiously.
Qin Wanrus face went red.
She stared at him for a moment, open-mouthed.
Why cant you hold a conversation like a regular person
“Itll probably have some effect on me,” Qin Wanru finally said with a huff.
You have successfully trolled Qin Wanru for 233 Rage points!
Zu An sneered. Women are all so petty.
He quickly shifted his gaze back to that lantern.
Why did it look so familiar
Another man wearing black jumped out, and threw a fist towards the blade of flame, which had slowed significantly.
The limestone that paved the street ruptured.
Endless amounts of earth surged forward, forming a massive earthen fist that smashed through the blade of flame.
Sparks flew in all directions.
The blade of flame had been blasted apart!
Qin Wanru was startled.
“Its an earth element cultivator, fifth rank!”
“Is this person stronger than Sang Qian” Zu An asked.
Qin Wanru shook her head.
“Thats hard to say.
However, Sang Qians movements have been slowed by that lantern.
Most of his efforts are focused on counteracting its effects.”
Zu Ans attention was drawn by the appearance of another figure.
This beautiful silhouette walked slowly out from the shadows lining the street.
Even though she was completely clothed in black, her outfit couldnt hide her beautiful physique.
“Those boobs look familiar…” Zu An mumbled to himself.
He wasnt sure, though.
He could recognize Pei Mianmans boobs from a mile away, but it was harder to pinpoint who exactly this set belonged to.
Sang Qian knew that both of these individuals were trouble, especially the female lantern user.
His face paled.
“Hurry, take the salt permits away!” he ordered his subordinates.
Zu An had to give this Sang Qian some credit.
“I guess Sang Qian isnt a complete coward.
He didnt leave his subordinates behind and run away.”
Qin Wanru snorted.
“How could any cultivator who has managed to reach= his level at such a young age be that incompetent”
His subordinates fled, taking the cart with them.
“Do you think itll be that easy!” the earth-element cultivator roared.
He pressed his hand against the ground, and the ground surged towards their group like an ocean wave.
Sang Qian leapt in front of this wave, stabbing his sword into the ground.
There was a loud boom, and dirt flew everywhere.
The ground stopped its rippling, and became calm again.
Without pausing, he charged at the earth-element cultivator.
The two of them began to fight.
Another group of black-clad men chased after the salt permits.
Occupied as he was, there was no way Sang Qian could deal with them.
He could only wish his subordinates the best.
All of his attention was focused on the earth-element cultivator.
There was another mysterious expert around as well, so he had to dispatch this earth-element cultivator quickly if he wanted a chance to deal with her too.
His cultivation was clearly higher than his opponents.
The earth-element cultivator soon found himself in a difficult situation.
“Junior sister, what are you waiting for!” That earth element cultivator cried out in a mixture of fear and anger.
The lantern-wielding woman smiled.
“Senior brother, please hold on for a while longer.
I have two little rats to deal with first.”
She tapped her toes gently against the ground, and flew towards where Zu An and Qin Wanru were hiding.
Qin Wanru was alarmed.
“Go after the salt permits!” she said.
She pushed Zu Ans shoulder, propelling him in the direction the cart had taken with a gentle wave of force.
“Take care of yourself!” Zu An warned, his eyes on the figure holding the lantern.
Even though that woman had altered her voice, he had already deduced her identity.
Who else could it be but the Immortal Abodes Qiu Honglei
The woman had always been shrouded in mystery, and he didnt know that her cultivation was so high.
In a flash, Qin Wanru engaged the woman in combat.
“Huh” Qiu Honglei clearly hadnt expected a sixth-ranked expert to be hiding there.
She almost paid a big price for that.
Fortunately, her lantern was a magic weapon with extraordinary power.
It was able to restrict Qin Wanrus movements enough to help her avert disaster.
Zu An exhaled in relief when he saw that Qin Wanru still held the advantage.
She was at the sixth rank after all—why was he getting all worried
He ran off in the direction of the stolen salt permits.
From a distance away came the vague sound of fighting.
In a few moments, he stumbled upon Sang Qians subordinates, who were engaged in a pitched battle against their black-clad pursuers.
The cart, with its chests full of salt permits, had been pushed to the side.
It was obvious that whichever side won this battle would obtain the salt permits, so it was a complete waste to guard the cart.
Now that battle had been fully joined, neither side wanted to waste any strength unnecessarily.
Zu An gasped.
The fighting was intense! Blood splattered, and bits of flesh were flying everywhere.
Whose arm was that that was just sent flying
He used Grandgale right away, appearing next to the cart almost instantly.
However, he was in no rush to leave.
Instead, he coughed lightly and called out, “Thank you all for your efforts!”
The fighting stopped momentarily.
Combatants on both sides looked towards the person that had appeared beside the cart.
They had no idea where he had come from.
“Yall seem to be awfully busy, fighting over whatever is in this cart.
Ive always been a softhearted man who hates violence, so Ill do a good deed today and take this with me.
That way, you guys dont have to kill each other anymore!” Zu An smiled.
He leapt onto the cart.
With a flick of the reins, he urged the horses leading the cart into motion and drove the cart away.
The officers from the River Patrol Army and their mysterious black-clad opponents stared after him, stupefied.
You have successfully trolled the River Patrol Army for 66… 66… 66…
You have successfully trolled the mysterious black-clad men for 99… 99… 99...