His movements were so leisurely and composed that it felt almost as if he was oblivious to the fact that he was completely surrounded by bandits.
Streak of Grey hadn't expected the twenty-year-old low-tier God to be able to remain so calm in his presence. He assessed the young man before him with narrowed eyes and said, "Brat, you sure have guts!"
Is that fellow a fool?
I have already defeated the most powerful expert amongst them in two blows, but not only is that young man unafraid, he even walked over to pick up a sword... Does he think that the sword is more important than his life?
Mo Yuan was taken aback by Zhang Xuan's action as well.
It was true that his sword was no ordinary weapon, being a middle-tier God artifact, but it was something that he had already tamed and assimilated. The young man wouldn't be able to use it even if he were to pick it up, so why was he doing something so futile?
"Shh, don't speak."
After picking up the sword, Zhang Xuan brought his finger to his lips before looking around calmly, "Listen closely with your heart."
"Listen closely with our hearts?"
Everyone was flabbergasted. What was this young man trying to do over here?
"Don't waste our time with such crap!"
One of the bandits eventually lost his patience after listening to the gibberish Zhang Xuan was uttering. He raised his brawny arms to slap the living daylights out of the young man.
But before his slap could land, a joyful reverberation suddenly echoed from the sword in the young man's hands. Tamed!
In less than two breaths after picking it up, the young man had already managed to assimilate the middle-tier God sword, claiming it for his own!
A cold glint flashed from the tip of the middle-tier God sword, and in the next moment, the bandit felt a sharp pain in his wrist.
Before he even realized it, his hand had already fallen to the ground.
"Ahhh!" the bandit cried in agony, nearly fainting from the excruciating pain.
He had intended to slap that fool of a young man awake, but never in his wildest dream would he have expected the young man to tame the sword so quickly. Not to mention, the young man aimed his sword at his blind spot, leaving him with no time to react at all.
As a result, he lost his hand in an instant.
Streak of Grey also hadn't expected such a situation either. His astonishment swiftly turned into wariness and fury, and without any warning, he charged forth and swung his crescent saber down upon the young man.
His saber tore down through the air with tremendous force, crushing down everything that stood in its path.
He thought that the young man would raise his sword to fend against his attack, just like what Mo Yuan did earlier, but things didn't go in the way he planned. The young man chose to dash forward instead, rushing up to his steed in an instant.
After that, the young man tossed his sword over to his left hand and used his freed right hand to stroke the forehead of the horse.
As Zhang Xuan was too close to the horse, Streak of Grey wasn't able to follow through with his attack for fear of harming his steed, leaving him with no choice but to forcefully retract his saber.
Zhang Xuan called out as he touched the cheeks of the horse.
Wang Ying immediately caught Zhang Xuan's drift. She sprinted over to the steeds of the other bandits and touched them one after another too.
Seeing how his hostages were trying to flirt with their horses instead of attempting to retaliate or escape, Streak of Grey was on the verge of going insane.
The other bandits were dumbstruck as well.
Bro, do you even realize what is happening? We have you surrounded, and your life is in our clutches! Can you have some realization as a hostage? Why the heck are you trying to play with our horses instead of fighting back? Are you all idiots?
"It's a waste of time to talk with you. Die!"
With a cold sneer, Streak of Grey raised his crescent saber to strike down on Zhang Xuan once more.
No matter what the young man was up to, it would all be meaningless once he was dead.
But before the saber could strike, the steed beneath Streak of Grey's crotch neighed loudly before leaping up into the air.
The sudden movement of the steed disrupted Streak of Grey's attack, causing his slash to miss the mark. Making use of this opening, Zhang Xuan's left hand reached out and touched the saber from the side.
The saber released a soft humming reverberation...
"You..." Streak of Grey widened his eyes incredulously as he swiftly realized what had just happened.
He had fought alongside the crescent saber for at least twenty years now, such that there was no weapon that felt right in his hand other than it anymore. But in the blink of an eye, his saber actually submitted to another man?
The breakup was so decisive that he actually felt cuckolded!
Furthermore, why would his steed suddenly leap up at that instant? It was almost as if it was trying to interfere with his movements!
Streak of Grey was a little spooked by all of the unexplainable happenings around him, but he knew better than to be distracted in the midst of a battle. Regardless of who the crescent saber had submitted to, everything should come to an end once he had dealt with the young man.
So, he tried to lift the crescent saber to cut down the young man before him, only to find that the crescent saber had become too heavy for him to lift anymore.
Shocked, he lowered his gaze, only to see the young man looking at him calmly.
You are holding onto my possession. Let go."
Right after saying those words, the young man swung the sword in his left hand in a trajectory parallel to the crescent saber, aiming straight toward Streak of Grey's wrist.
Streak of Grey immediately tried to move to dodge the attack, only to find that he was unable to move due to the weight of the crescent saber. Flustered, he was left with no choice but to release his grip.
The young man before him immediately made use of that opportunity to grab hold of the crescent saber before launching a follow-up slash with it.
Streak of Grey instinctively leaned backward to move out of range from the attack, only to have his steed take a step forward at that moment.
Streak of Grey.
This is too much! To think that I have doted on you for so many years!
Due to the steed's forward movement, his evasion maneuver was rendered ineffective, resulting in his head being moved right in the trajectory path of the crescent saber.
In that instant, Streak of Grey realized that the young man had tamed his steed too through some sort of sorcery, and it was likely that he would be in greater danger if he were to remain on horseback. Thus, he quickly rolled to the side and tumbled down from the horse.
With this, Streak of Grey was able to dodge the crescent saber in the nick of time. While gasping heavily for air, he immediately pushed his hands against the ground to prop himself back to his feet. As long as he could regain his momentum, he was confident that he would be able to defeat the young man before him with his superior strength.
But just as he was in the midst of getting back to his feet, he suddenly felt a shadow falling down on his face, mercilessly pushing him back to the ground.
A horse hoof had been imprinted at the center of his face.
On a positive note, that solved one of the doubts in his mind. He was now certain that his steed had indeed betrayed him, just like the crescent saber.
You bastard! Slaughter them all!"
Streak of Grey was on the brink of losing his mind. He would have never dreamed that he would be defeated in such an unbelievable manner.
The young man was surely weaker than him, he had no doubt about that. However, by swiftly taming his crescent saber and his steed through some sort of miracle, the young man was actually managed to push him, a middle-tier God, to a corner. It was one thing if he was overpowered by an even more powerful opponent, but he couldn't accept losing in such a ridiculous manner!
It was only after hearing Streak of Grey's shout did the rest of the bandits return to their senses. Recalling the situation they were in, they struck the sides of their steeds, prompting them to charge toward Zhao Ya and the others
But as fate would have it, the story unfolded in a completely different direction than they had expected.
All of the horses which the young lady had touched previously turned toward one another and unhesitatingly raised their hooves to kick the riders down.
None of the bandits were prepared for such a situation, resulting in them being struck squarely in their core. They fell to the ground while spurting large mouthfuls of blood.
"What the hell is going on over here?" Streak of Grey felt like his thread of sanity was about to snap at any moment.
The reason why they rode on horses was so as to ensure that they could strike their enemies unaware and escape before reinforcements arrived. It should have been a key advantage they had over their targets, but all of a sudden, it had turned into a liability to them instead!
Just as Streak of Grey was at a complete loss to what he should do, a burst of sword qi suddenly surged in his direction. The sword qi swiftly unfurled itself to form a resilient net that bound him in place in the blink of an eye.
And before he could even attempt to struggle out of the net, a sword had already been placed next to his neck.
Feeling the chilling sharpness of the sword pressed against his neck, Streak of Grey hurriedly issued the order for his subordinates to stop their attack.
If one thing was certain, the bandits were indeed veteran fighters. Despite the initial chaos injuring over half of them, they were able to swiftly regain their footing and continue the attack. With just a few blows, they were able to knock Shen Cheng and the others to the ground.
So, when they heard the order to stop, they couldn't help but turn to look at Streak of Grey indignantly.
It was humiliating for them.
As the most notorious group of bandits in the area, they should have been able to deal with a group of students even with their eyes closed. Yet, their boss ended up being done in at this critical moment...
"That's more like it," Zhang Xuan nodded with a satisfied smile.
With his current strength, if he were to bring forth the full prowess of his A Heart of Intertwined Threads, he would have been able to defeat Streak of Grey with ease.
However, he didn't choose to do so out of considerations of how thin the spiritual energy in the surroundings was. He wouldn't be able to recover his energy quickly, and that could pose a disastrous situation if they were to come under the attack of another group of bandits.
He knew that he would have to win the fight strategically so as to not risk losing the war.
So, he tamed Mo Yuan's sword and Streak of Grey's steed in order to throw the latter off... And finally, once the latter let his guard down, he launched the decisive blow.
He could tell that the bandits were loyal to Streak of Grey, so as long as he could take down the latter, everything else would fall in place.
"Have them hand over all of their weapons," Zhang Xuan commanded as he pressed his sword tightly against Streak of Grey's neck.
Streak of Grey felt incredibly humiliated, but with his life in the young man's hands, he had no other choice.
"What are you waiting for? Hurry up and do as he says!"
The bandits swiftly placed the weapons in their hands onto the ground.
"Zhao Ya, Zheng Yang, and the rest of you, I want you to take a weapon each and tame it as quickly as possible," Zhang Xuan instructed.
"Yes!" Zhao Ya and the others nodded before heading over to grab the bandits' weapons.
After arriving at the Firmament, they swiftly realized that the Semi-Divinity artifacts that they were carrying were already not of much use to them anymore. If they could tame those low-tier God weapons those bandits were wielding and assimilate them, their fighting prowess should rise significantly.
Pressing his sword even more tightly against Streak of Grey's neck, to the point that a trail of blood was flowing down his body, Zhang Xuan said coldly, "Tell your men to hand over their treasures, Divine Coins, and everything that is of value!"
Streak of Grey felt frenzied to see how the tables had turned, but valuing his life, he turned to his men w teeth and shouted, "Didn't you hear him?"
The heck, I am the one who is the bandit!
I should be the one that is threatening you lot to hand over your money!
The bandits glanced at one another in uncertainty, but eventually, they emptied out all of their pockets and handed over their wealth.
Through his conversations with Mo Yuan, Zhang Xuan found out that the Nine Skies of the Firmament used a common currency known as Divine Coins. It was similar to the gold coins of the Master Teacher Continent, but these coins harnessed the essence of the Firmament, rendering fraud impossible.
Watching as the bandits whipped out over 200 Divine Coins, Zhang Xuan nodded his head in satisfaction. He then turned his gaze toward Streak of Grey and assessed him from head to toe before swiping away his storage ring.
It was difficult to create spaces that were strong enough to withstand the spatial pressure of the Firmament, making storage rings an incredibly valuable and rare commodity. Not even Mo Yuan had a storage ring.
Most likely, Streak of Grey must have spent a huge portion of his ill-gained fortune in order to acquire it. In any case, the storage ring was his now.
Zhang Xuan quickly assimilated the storage ring before keeping all of the Divine Coins and items on the ground into it. Then, he instructed Zhao Ya and the others to swiftly tie up all of the bandits.
After that was done, he had Zhao Ya, Shen Cheng, and everyone else get onto the bandits' steeds in pair before swiftly galloping off toward Twilight City.
Those bandits have done much evil over the past few years... If we capture them, we can trade their heads for a bounty..." Mo Yuan said weakly.
The City Lord Manor had placed Streak of Grey and his band of bandits on the bounty list for quite some time now, so if they could apprehend them and bring them to the City Lord Manor, it was likely that they would be rewarded handsomely for their service.
"There's no need for that. Someone will clean up after us," Zhang Xuan said with a mysterious smile as his horse galloped swiftly ahead.
Considering that the daughter of the city lord was here with them, it was hard to believe that there was no one around to protect her other than her middle-tier God realm teacher.
And just like what Zhang Xuan had thought, shortly after they left, two silhouettes suddenly emerged from the shadows to stand before Streak of Grey and his band of bandits.
Upon catching a closer look at the appearances of the two silhouettes, Streak of Grey's face paled in despair before he released a desolate cry.
"Damn it! We should have been the ones who are the bandits, yet we ended up being the ones who were robbed instead... Damn it!"