The four cloaked men shot at Yin Long as one, three of them quickly altering their position so that they could surround him. Turning your back to an enemy was a foolish thing so they knew that trying to chase after Bai Mu with Yin Long sticking around might truly mean their death. The one who charged at Yin Long from the front was the strongest of their group, the man at the 6th Immortal Door.
The second strongest in the group was only at the 4th Immortal Door, and looking at Yin Long's performance in the last two fights the leader felt that there was a good chance that his right-hand man might just get killed far too quickly if he had to bear the brunt of Yin Long's attacks. With him taking the lead in smashing his axe down, two spears and one sword quickly followed up as they aimed for Yin Long's vitals.
Yin Long tracked all the attacks through his senses, his smoky black sword shooting up in an arc and colliding with the side of the descending axe. He pushed it to the side while taking half a step to the right, the axe sliding down just past his left shoulder and colliding with the head of the first spear. The axe and spear crashed into the ground, Yin Long twisting his body to the side while slashing his sword down in a diagonal manner.
His blade stopped the sword that was slashing sideways at him, pushing it back until it collided with the remaining spear and altered its path enough to make it slid past his back and stab at the axe-wielding man in front of him. The axe-wielding man quickly stepped back while dragging his weapon along the ground, the sword-wielding man and the spear-wielding man whose weapon had crashed into the ground quickly moving to aid him in case Yin Long tried to launch a counter-attack.
But Yin Long didn't move as they repositioned their weapons, his faintly curved up lips and slightly excited eyes causing their hearts to thump forebodingly. He didn't stop them from hastily launching new attacks to seal his movements, the spear sweeping at his feet while the sword was pulled back just enough to no longer touch Yin Long's sword before it was stabbed forward again.
A tinge of disappointment flashed through Yin Long's eyes, his wrist flicking upwards so that his blade collided with the forward stabbing sword. He impacted the very tip of the sword so that it was destabilized and pushed upwards so fiercely that it almost stood vertically, neutering the attack almost the second it was launched.
He stepped forward at the same time and turned his body to the side again, sliding his foot to the side until his knee was beneath the sweeping spear. He then jerked his leg upwards and smashed his thigh into the handle of the spear, pushing it upwards in much the same manner as the sword. The other spear-man and the axe-wielder just barely managed to finish their own business at this moment, the spear-wieldier forcibly halting his weapon's forward momentum while the axe-wielder managed to step forward and raise his axe again.
The spear swept diagonally upwards at Yin Long's waist while the axe was brought down in a diagonal manner towards his neck, the axe distorting the wind around it so that nothing could get close while the spear was wreathed in crimson flames. One attack came from behind while the other came quite low from the side, but Yin Long didn't really have any blind spots thanks to the fact that his senses were connected to the surrounding space.
And since he could track both of the attacks at once, he knew that he just had to lower his leg again and rapidly step back. He bent forward at the same time, the spear and axe both missing him and colliding with each other bit above his body, the distorting wind fanning the flames. The flames blazed up violently, but Yin Long had already stepped so far back that he was practically in the bosom of the axe-wielding man.
He straightened his body, popping up between the arms of the axe-wielding man. The fire had scorched some of the robes on his back and a bit of the hair on his face, but it was far from producing any proper wounds. Yin Long brought his free hand up and slammed his fist into the chin of the axe-wielding man, who grit his teeth and unleashed a violent gust of wind from his body.
The wind pushed Yin Long forwards but also launched forward the blazing flames so that they washed towards the three other people. Yin Long leaned into the violent gust of wind to lean forward again, ducking beneath the axe and spear that were still pressed against each other since they had just collided.
He lowered his body until he had practically thrown himself against the ground, rolling to the side to dodge the brunt of the violent flames before he jumped up into a standing position. He turned his body to the side to dodge the sword that was slashed down at him, the attacker gritting his teeth to bear the violent flames. The sword was augmented by a transparent light that made it far sharper than normal, but since it failed to hit its target it could only cut into the earth.
Yin Long ducked his head forward at the same time, a sweeping spear going over his head, a few sharp blades of wind leaving some minor cuts on his head as the weapon passed him by. He let out a sigh as the spear missed him, raising his foot and stepping forward.
He brought his foot down on the base of the blade that was cutting into the earth, the man holding it losing his grip on it thanks to the force of the stomp. Yin Long's free hand then shot forward, his palm landing on the cloaked man's chest as his disinterested voice spelt his end.
"I had some hopes, but your attacks are so straightforward that there really isn't much to learn. At least you'll help me with another experiment."
Yin Long tapped into a slight amount of his Netherworld energy as his palm touched the man's chest, the mark in the shape of black scaled-leaves appearing in his right eye. With the mark appearing, the world in front of him experienced a small change as he became able to see a small transparent and slightly yellow-tinted flame flickering within the chest of the man in front of him.
Yin Long sent out his own soul and latched it onto that flickering flame, the man's body trembling fiercely for a split second as he struggled. But his struggle quickly ended, Yin Long pulling his hand back from the man's chest. And as he drew his arm back, a transparent sword was held in his grasp, faint yellow light flickering within the blade.
The man's gaze turned lifeless and blank as his body lost all power, allowing Yin Long to confirm his guess that this faint flame was indeed the man's soul. Yin Long's soul was the basis of all his swords, and all of them had the ability to attack the soul, but this was the first time he made a sword that was composed entirely of a soul and nothing else.
He stabbed the new sword forward, but it only passed through the fresh corpse without even leaving a cut. But Yin Long wasn't bothered by this, his movement still served its purpose as it pushed the corpse backward with enough force that it was sent into the spear-wielding man whose attack Yin Long had just dodged.
He caught the body on instinct, but Yin Long had already turned away from him by the time he noticed that the man he just caught was dead. And the moment he raised his gaze, he realized why Yin Long had stopped bothering with him. The corpse suddenly bulged and writhed, all the blood within it violently exploding outwards like several hundred tiny sharp spikes.
He was holding onto the body at the time and simply didn't have the time to put up a defence, the bloody spikes stabbing into him and leaving him looking like a crimson hedgehog. Yin Long waved his new transparent sword just as the spike-filled man fell forward, the flickering flame in his chest getting sucked into his sword and intensifying the yellow light in it.
The axe-wielder and the other spear-wielder, the two remaining and the two strongest, had already pulled back their weapons and were looking at Yin Long with grim expressions. Even with their higher cultivation level, they simply hadn't had the time to stop Yin Long from killing the two others. And from his words, it was clear that he hadn't even fought them seriously and just wanted to get some training, which they realized had been obvious from the start as he hadn't launched any proper attacks even when he was right in the bosom of the leading man. They both looked at him with sharp gazes, the leading man glancing at Yin Long's left hand with furrowed brows.
"What did you just pull out of his chest, what did you just wave around?"
Yin Long felt like sighing when the man asked his questions, the fact that he was talking at this point made it clear what he was planning to do. But his words did make one point clear to Yin Long, who raised his left arm and waved his new transparent and faintly yellow-tinted sword through the air.
"This, you're curious about this? It's just a normal spear."
The corners of his lips were pulled up slightly as he waved the transparent sword around a bit more before lowering it again. But the two men opposing him were still looking at his left hand with narrowed eyes, softly muttering about the spear as if they wanted to engrave its existence into their minds. And from this, Yin Long could guess that they simply weren't able to see the sword, either due to not being able to see souls or because they didn't have a high enough cultivation.
But why they couldn't see it wasn't terribly important, the fact that they couldn't see it meant that he had acquired a hidden weapon that was perfect for sneak attacks. Of course, as it was a weapon that seemed to solely target the soul, it was definitely most suited for battles where he was fully intent on eradicating his enemy. Yin Long held his smoky black sword and the transparent sword with a casual grip, glancing to the side as he could already hear the sounds of people approaching.
"Well, are you gonna leave or not?"
The expressions of the two cloaked men sank coldly when they heard Yin Long's casual remark, but they didn't reject it or try to attack him again. They clearly wanted to remain hidden, and the fact that they hadn't been able to kill Yin Long within a short period of time meant that their commotion had become large enough to wake up and attract people. Lingering around would guarantee that they would get surrounded and have their identities dug out. As such, they could only cast a final glare at Yin Long, leaving him with a final threat.
"You may have succeeded this time, but you will learn that there is a price to be paid for sheltering an enemy of our clan. Next time we meet, it won't be for a quick scuffle like this, at that time I'll make sure that you won't get to act as cocky as you did today."
The two men quickly dashed away after the leader finished talking, heading in the opposite direction that Bai Mu had fled. Yin Long had bought him enough time so he had probably already reached a spatial array and left the city, maybe even the province or the planet. Yin Long followed the backs of the two men for a moment before putting away his two new swords.
"Shame, there should have been a thing or two I could have learned from them if we got to fight a bit more. Oh well, I'll probably meet them on the stage sooner or later."
He sighed slightly as he sauntered away, moving through the streets as he moved towards the inn where Lan Yun and Jin Wang were surely waiting for him. Those four people had been too weak to be overseers that the Bai clan had sent along so they were probably contestants who had been sent to deal with Bai Mu. Thinking along these lines, a soft hum of a song his parents taught him as a child escaped Yin Long's lips, already looking forward to the future fights in the contest.