Chapter 79: Kidnapper
The cat slowly prowled up to its unsuspecting prey. It gave the fatter one a tiny prod to check if it was alive. When it realized that there were no movement, the cat purred in satisfaction and prepared to dive in to its nap time meal.
It decided to start with the arm of the body as it believed that having one arm made the body uneven, hence might as well eat the other one, too. It opened its jaw wide as it prepares to bite down upon the arm that offered no resistance; however, before the hunter could reap the bounty, the oriole behind decided it was time for the hunter to take a permanent nap.
Multiple flashes of orange bolts of light targeted the cat’s body. The cat raised its head in a hurry as it tried to escape, but was too late as the attacks landed. A chunk of flesh was carved out of the cat’s body as some of the other parts were burned. The cat only ran a couple of steps before slumping down, never to get up again.
From the direction that the cat stepped out from, a small team of cultivators stepped out from their hiding spots. They looked excited that they were able to finish the hunt.
“Senior Brother, we did it! Your plan actually worked! Waiting until the cat dropped its guard and finishing it off before it can call for help was an ingenious plan!” one of the cultivators said excitedly to the leader of the group.
“Humph, who do you think I am? I am the genius who dominates the outer sect! If I could be chosen to come on this venture into the immortal ruins, of course I can handle a measly cat,” the leader boasted as he walked over with his group.
“Yes, of course, of course. Senior Brother is the most amazing. Soon, you will surpass all those arrogant young masters and become an inner sect disciple! At that time, Senior Brother, don’t forget about us lowly ones suffering down here with you,” another one of the cultivators flattered.
“Of course, do you think I’m the ungrateful type? Hahaha-” the leader said as they neared the corpse of the cat, but was interrupted by one of the lackeys.
“Um, Senior Brother, what is that?” the lackey said as he pointed towards the two bodies on the ground.
The group of four curiously walked over to the two bodies to inspect them.
“Senior Brother, it seems that they are alive, but badly injured hence they are unconscious. I haven’t seen them around before. Are they perhaps not from our sect?” one of the lackeys asked.
“Hmmm … I haven’t seen them in the outer sect before either, but that skinny one’s face looks really familiar. Could he be an inner sect disciple? But I don’t remember anyone as skinny as that in the inner sect…” the leader said as bent down for a closer inspection.
“Senior Brother, let’s not mind them. Based on their ragged clothes, they must be some poor outer sect disciple that someone as esteemed as yourself shouldn’t recognize. Let’s just bring our hunt back to see if we can-” one of the lackeys said as he looked over at the corpse of the cat covetously; however, he was interrupted by the leader’s shocked voice.
“Oh my lord! T-This is … we’ve struck it ri- *cough*, it seems that these fellas are nobodies, but as righteous cultivators, we shouldn’t leave them here to die can we? Help me bring them back to camp,” the leader said with a straight face.
“Ah? Senior Brother, do you recognize them?” one of the lackeys asked with a perplexed look while the one who was looking at the cat covetously glanced over with a shrewd look.
“A-ah? Hahaha, it’s nothing. I-I’ve just met them somewhere before that’s all,” the leader said as his eyes swiveled about.
“Met them somewhere? Where would that be, Senior. Brother.?” the lackey with a shrewd look questioned as he began to work his mind.
“Ah, t-that’s – oh! It was at Spring’s Night! Just some commoner’s looking for fun, and I happened to bump into them! Don’t mind it, just help me bring them back for now! Let’s go!” the leader said as he personally carried off the skinny one.
“Ah? Senior Brother, then what about the corpse of the family bound cat?” one of the lackey asked, but was ignored by the leader who had already scurried off.
The shrewd looking one gave a glance to the corpse but made the decision to follow the leader. The group can only follow along with the other body, leaving the unharvested cat corpse alone.
—Back at Camp—
“Alright, you can leave the other body here. Go and … go and get the cat corpse. I will personally bring these in for my- to get treated,” the leader waved the rest of the group away as he picked up the other body before hurrying off in a direction.
“Ah? Senior Brother, that’s not the way to the-” a lackey wanted to remind that the leader was heading the wrong way, but was stopped with a glare by the shrewd lackey.
“Go get the cat’s body. I’ve got something to do,” the shrewd lackey said before he headed off sneakily.
The other lackeys shrugged at each other before heading off to harvest the corpse.
—Not Long After—
The leader of the group quickly brought the two bodies to a tent. Although the leader wanted to step in quickly, but he was denied entrance as the tent had a magical barrier that kept those who does not have a key medallion out. Hence, the leader could only holler, “Outer Sect Disciple Ke Han requests for an audience with the Medicine Elder.”
Not long after, a middle aged man stepped out as he gave the outer sect disciple a stern glare, trying to scare the man away as an outer sect disciple does not have the status to meet with the master; however, with a glance he was shocked to the core as he recognized one of the body’s face.
He hurriedly dash forward and took the skinny body off of Ke Han’s hand before he could complain. Then, he glared at Ke Han and stated, “So you were the one?”
Ke Han broke out in cold sweat, but he quickly calmed himself as he stated, “N-No Shi Xu, I found him while hunting and decided to bring him back as it was a one of the posted requests with a reward.”
The middle aged man then nodded in understanding before looking over at the other body and questioned, “Then this one is?”
“Um, I found it with him. He is … the kidnapper probably. Hence, I brought him back to turn in for the reward of turning in the kidnapper,” Ke Han responded slyly.
The middle aged man seemed like he had seen through Ke Han’s trick, but still took the two bodies into the tent.
A while after, he came back out and handed a pouch to Ke Han which Ke Han took with excitement. Ke Han bowed before he giddily walked off, chiding himself for being such a genius. The middle aged man saw a shadow stealthily stalking Ke Han, but smirked without bothering before re-entering the tent.
Then, the middle aged man strolled before the door of the room that he deposited the skinny body at. He made a small bow before asking, “Old Master, is the young master alright?”
“Humph! This brat finally lost some fat, I hope he grow some senses after this,” a gruff voice responded from inside the room.
“Old Master, what shall this one do with the other one? Shall I …” the middle aged man asked.
“Keep him alive, but lock him up! I will personally torture and interrogate him when he wakes up. Dare to scheme against me using my grandson. Even if I must exhaust my old bones, I will torture him until he tells us who directed him to do so,” the gruff voice responded angrily.
Although the middle aged man wanted to respond as he did not believe the boy to be a kidnapper, but he did as he was told. After all, why would he offend the one he was loyal to by speaking up for a stranger.