Chapter 338: Iron Cloak Technique!
With a flurry of footsteps, another four men abruptly joined the group. The radiant Halo of Thorns beneath them clearly revealed their True Martial realm cultivation.
With this, the True Martial realm experts partic.i.p.ating in this battle added up to twelve people.
"Wield your sabers!" someone in the group shouted. In the next instant, a long saber appeared in the hands of the twelve True Martial realm experts. As highwaymen, they specialized not in physical combat, but the clash of weaponry.
The cold light from twelve sabers gleamed in the air, and an air of chill and danger filled the surroundings.
With several flashes of light, the twelve sabers came cutting down on that brawny figure standing in the center.
At that instant, twelve chains suddenly burst forth from the brawny man's black chainmail, like a peac.o.c.k parading its feathers.
Klang klang klang klang, brilliant sparks flashed in the night sky as the chainmail links and the sabers collided. Before the twelve sabers could strike that man's body, they were already deflected by the extension of the chainmail.
Just as the twelve True Martial realm experts were about to attack again, a deafening laughter suddenly boomed out. Before their eyes, that ma.s.sive black chainmail suddenly began spinning, and just like incomparably sharp blades, the twelve chains lashed out in the surroundings, generating a huge storm.
Klang klang klang! The sabers in the highwaymen's hands snapped before the immense force of the chains. Alarmed, they swiftly backed away.
But the brawny man was a step ahead of them. In that split-second when chaos broke out in the formation of the highwaymen, he made use of the momentary confusion to send a punch in, and hong long, one of the highwaymen was immediately sent flying a far distance away.
And before the others could react, a second and the third victim were hurled away as well.
Four highwaymen of the group immediately tried to band together to retaliate, but before they could strike, chi chi chi, the chains sliced through their Stellar Energy and bodies, creating a rain of blood and flesh.
Terrified by the scene before them, the remaining men retreated away in a panic.
Peng peng peng!
But the brawny man had no intention of allowing them to flee. Like a tiger leaping into a flock of sheep, his punches and kicks flew around the place, and one after another, the highwaymen fell.
Through the entire course of this slaughter, the remaining highwaymen had no chance to regroup at all. Even if they tried to gather together to retaliate, that brawny man would somehow appear in advance and forcefully crush whatever coordination they intended to achieve.
Peng peng peng, more and more men were sent flying in various directions. That man's battle senses and reflexes seemed to have reached an incredible level of mastery. Even though he was facing multiple people at once, he managed to force events into multiple one-on-one fights instead, thus dissipating the numerical advantage his opponents held.
Such keen battle instinct was truly frightening!
The remaining four were no match for him either. In that desperate moment, someone shouted. "Shoot his mount! Shoot chief's mount!"
Those words turned everyone's attention to the tall and majestic stallion standing around a dozen zhang behind that brawny man.
The air abruptly changed. The furious man who was still slaughtering his opponents without any fear a moment ago subconsciously turned his eyes behind him.
Without a doubt, his steed meant a lot to him.
In that spark of a moment, it was impossible to tell who was the one who did it, but an arrow emerged from the crowd, racing swiftly for that majestic stallion several dozen zhang behind.
"AHHH…!” the group in the area exclaimed in shock. No one could have thought that someone would be so brazen as to attempt to kill the chief's mount. The piercing shrill that sounded along the trajectory of the arrow left everyone with gooseb.u.mps.
And just as it seemed like the stallion would surely die beneath that sharp arrow, an abrupt change occurred...
The air trembled, and clouds swiftly flew by above. A shadow suddenly emerged, and in a dark streak of lightning, flitted all the way down to the stallion.
Shockingly, its speed was even faster than that arrow!
The chainmail extended to cover the stallion, and peng! The arrow struck heavily on the shadowy chainmail, creating a resounding metallic reverberation before it was deflected and snapped in two by the rebound force.
At the instant where the chainmail deflected the arrow, a cold and fearsome killing intent flashed across the eyes of the brawny man. Sou! In the blink of an eye, he suddenly appeared before a certain True Martial realm highwayman. His ma.s.sive hand reached out to grab the head of the highwayman and pin him forcefully to the ground.
"Chief, I didn't shoot that arrow!" The highwayman's body trembled fearfully beneath the forceful hand of the brawny man. Immense fear surfaced in his eyes. Only those who had experienced it could imagine how much strength those five fingers possessed. If the chief wished it, he could easily smash the man’s head just by closing his fist.
Furthermore, recalling how he was pinned down even before he could even react, he knew that escape was impossible.
"I know that you’re not the one who shot the arrow. In fact, I even know that you’re not the one who shouted those words, too!" the big man mocked him with a wry smile, revealing two rows of gleaming white teeth. His fingers felt like the scythe of the grim reaper, with the difference between life and death hanging on his whim.
"... Do you think that the reason why I want to kill you is due to your attempt to kill my steed? Hmph, did you think that I was unaware that you tried to rally a bunch of our brothers to flee with you? Let me tell you, I despise those who chose to join me and yet think of me as a fool, making use of me to deal with the officials before rallying my men to flee with you.
"Tell me, do you think that you deserve death?"
The mountain post was suddenly plunged into frigidity. Looking at this sight, the other onlookers felt terror piercing through their hearts. Not a single person dared to voice a single word for fear of bringing this death G.o.d upon them. At this moment, everyone suddenly realized why the chief had abruptly gathered all of them here to practice his Iron Cloak Technique.
It turned out that he was just preparing an execution platform for the traitors.
And at this instant, the one who was scared out of his wits was the highwayman pinned beneath the monster's hand. Last night, when everyone was deep in sleep, he privately gathered a couple of his closest friends to discuss their escape. He was extremely careful, checking and checking yet again that there were no one around, and he was confident that not another soul would know of his plans.
Thus, he couldn't comprehend how, despite the high level of secrecy he had ensured, the chief learned of this matter!
"Chief, please spare me! I-"
"I don't wish to listen to your explanation!" a chilling voice interrupted. Kacha! Those five fingers closed together, and the head in its grasp was crushed like a shattered watermelon. A combination of red and white fluid flowed out from the crushed head, creating a blood-curdling sight.
However, the eyes on the deformed head were still wide open, reflecting the immense fear of the highwayman at his moment of death.
A cold mountain gale blew across the silent mountain post.
"I hate being betrayed by others. If anyone dares to scheme behind my back, don't expect me to show mercy!" The brawny man placed his hands behind his back as his sharp eyes fell on each and every one of the onlookers.
Perhaps out of fear of being deemed as unloyal, everyone immediately fell to their knees. Especially those who had been harboring similar thoughts in mind recently, they found themselves unable to calm their leaping hearts.
"Alright, you're dismissed." The big man waved his hands, and the crowd hurriedly left.
At this moment, if one were to take a closer look, one would realize that the group was filled with people from all around the world; Hu, Tibetans, Arabs, Persians, Goguryeons, Han... You name it, they were there.
The group wasn't entirely filled with highwaymen, either. There were quite a few bandits among the group, as well.
Such a diverse group was rare even along the Silk Road.
With his brutal means, that big man had managed to instill fear into each and every one of their hearts. Waving his hands, he dissipated his black chainmail back into Stellar Energy and absorbed it back into his body.
Just as the chief highwayman retracted his black armor, a scholarly middle-aged man walked over leisurely while stroking his beard. There was a book in his hand. "Congratulations to the chief for reaching a new milestone in the Iron Cloak Technique, achieving the ability to extend it beyond your body! Very soon, even the top-notch swords from the capital won't be able to bypa.s.s your defense. By then, we would be able to further expand and take in all of the bandits and highwaymen in the area, thus becoming the strongest power on the Silk Road!"
"Hahaha, Zhou An, I'll be taking your auspicious words, then! However, warding off those top-notch swords from the capital means nothing at all. I heard that a new weapon known as Wootz steel has surfaced in the capital. Rumor has it that it possesses unparalleled sharpness that could even slice through a strand of hair in midair. Even the Arabs and Persians are dying to lay their hands on it, but it seems to be particularly hard to obtain.
"That sword is proclaimed as the best sword in the world, and even the top swordsmith clans in the capital have acknowledged that t.i.tle. The day that I can deflect such a blade would be the day that my Iron Cloak Technique reaches perfection!" The big man turned his gaze to the starry sky as endless expectations twinkled in his eyes.
"Chief, there's no need for you to put yourself down. Regardless of whether you are able to stand against the Wootz steel sword or not, you will always be the strongest expert that our brothers look up to!" the middle-aged scholar replied with a polite smile.
"Hahaha, Zhou An, you sure have a way with words. Even though I know that you are flattering me, I still can't help but fall for it."
"Hehe, that's because there is no falsehood to my words."
"Right, what is the situation before us?" the brawny man asked.
"Reporting to chief, the soldiers dispatched here this time seem to be different from before." As the conversation turned to work, Zhou An's expression swiftly turned serious.
"Even though the soldiers dispatched previously would clear our camps too, they weren't skilled enough to eradicate all of our men, so casualties were still limited. However, the soldiers this time around were able to wipe out entire camps, such that there were no survivors at all."