By her side, Xin’er was also at a loss.
She did not expect this young poet to be so courageous and upright. Nevertheless, courage alone could not cope with any problem. Now that Li Mu had slapped Lin Qiushui, he was in big trouble.
Only Madam Bai Xuan, the owner of the Holy House, showed a flash of suspicion in her eyes.
She had seen with her own eyes that Li Mu had come here with Zheng Cunjian as his company. Since she could not be clearer about what kind of man Zheng Cunjian was, she knew this young man in ordinary clothes must have some background to have Zheng Cunjian follow him like a servant. But it was hard to learn if his background was powerful enough to take on a bigshot like the Hanshan Academy.
Thus, she decided to not take side and stay quiet for now.
In no time, those in the hall all came to their senses.
Nearly exploding with anger, Zhen Yuandao pointed a finger at Li Mu and goggled at him with blazing eyes as he hollered, “This is outrageous, outrageous… You dared hurt people in broad daylight! Everybody, take this rogue down…”
But before his voice faded, a shocking scene occurred.
Li Mu’s hand swiftly reached out, which generated a whirlwind that carried Zhen Yuandao up and directly sent him to Li Mu’s palm.
Li Mu gripped Zhen Yuandao’s neck singlehandedly and said, “I, hurt people? Humph.”
Li Mu flicked his wrist and wrung the neck of the Hanshan Academy’s guider.
“Aaaah…” Zhen Yuandao let loose of rasping screeches like a wild beast about to die. His body started twitching as if he was a dog that got its spine snapped, and the last bit of light in his eyes was filled with horror.
He had never imagined, even in his wildest dream, that Li Mu was not a little scholar who was too weak to truss up a chicken. Instead, he turned out to be an expert of martial arts. And he could really go for killing in such a public space.
Death was flooding towards him.
At the moment, he was very much chagrined, and repentant.
However, he could not go back in time to right his wrong.
His momentary greed had spurred him to snatch up the authorship of another’s poem by dint of his high status, whereas, that greed put an end to his life. Then, carrying his endless remorse and fear, Zhen Yuandao breathed his last breath.
Li Mu ditched Zhen Yuandao’s body unceremoniously onto the floor.
Strike, and then, kill!
The whole process went smooth and unhurried, but it nonetheless left much time for the crowd to react to it.
Now, the entire hall was completely mute, as if no one alive was there.
If the crowd was surprised and irritated when Li Mu slapped Lin Qiushui a moment ago, then, his murdering Zhen Yuandao simply put everyone in extreme fear.
The disciples of the Hanshan Academy who had been agitating Li Mu to fan up the flames of trouble were now trembling among the others. Terrorstricken, each of them clapped a hand over their mouth, in case they made any noise that drew the young man’s attention.
Only since that moment did the crowd realize that the young man was no weak lamb waiting to be slaughtered but a wild tiger with sharp fangs that was ready to prey on its target.
Considering that the guider and the students of the academies in this world also practiced martial arts, technically, they were not feeble scholars at all. For example, Lin Qiushui had a cultivation at the Joint-thoughts level, while Zhen Yuandao was at the peak of the Joint-thoughts level, only half a step away from the Master Realm. However, what just happened to them?
The former had been thrown to the air by a slap as if he were a mosquito.
The latter had had his neck snapped as if he were just a chicken.
“You were wrong. I can not only hurt people. I’m able to kill, too.”
Li Mu’s tone was quite calm, as though he had just done something that he did every day.
Then, his eyes swiveled and settled upon another brazen man, Jia Zuoren, the guider of the Fengming Academy.
“You…” Jia Zuoren was scared out of his wits, even his legs were shaking like mad. He spun around and wanted to flee.
Li Mu stuck out a hand again. Immediately, the spell, Dragon Whirlwind, was activated. Another gust of wind whirled Jia Zuoren up, who was only half a step away from the Master Realm as well, and brought him right to Li Mu’s outstretched hand.
“You said the poem is your work?” Li Mu questioned him.
“No, no, no, it’s not mine!” Shaking from head to foot, Jia Zuoren thrashed around helplessly like a duck in a storm and pleaded, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have tried to steal your poem with my status. Please pardon me, don’t kill me. Liu Muyang, it’s that wicked Liu Muyang who deluded me. He said you were just a nonlocal, powerless scholar that couldn’t be much of a concern…”
This guider of the Fengming Academy behaved even less like a man. He came clean the moment he was put under threat.
He was also regretting what he had done.
After infringing on other poets’ authorship for a long time, this time he finally got what was coming to him.
He never thought he would meet his doom when doing his most skilled move—taking other’s work as his own.
“Everyone has to bear the consequences of his acts,” said Li Mu, totally unsoftened by his imploring.
If an apology was enough, why would people need police?
If any evildoer could be forgiven after admitting his sin and expressing his penitence, wouldn’t the fiery of Hade be totally empty?
“No, no, no! Spare me! Somebody help me… Help…” Jia Zuoren looked desperately at Hua Xiangrong. “Miss Hua, I’m sorry, really! Please ask him to be mercy, please! I’ll never do it again. I…”
Hua Xiangrong cast her eyes upon Li Mu.
At the moment, she was overwhelmed by mingled feelings.
All of a sudden, she found Li Mu quite strange and unfathomable.
“Is he a rarely gifted and graceful young man?”
“Or a cruel outlaw that can kill people without blinking?”
When Li Mu entered her room at an earlier time, she was even a little nervous. At the sight of him, she would blush and be coy.
However, now, he confronted the accusation from the masses without fear and easily killed a prestigious guider of the Hanshan Academy before clenching another celebrity from the Fengming Academy that was equally powerful in the literature circle in Chang’an.
She was confused—which one was the true color of Li Mu?
However, no matter what his nature was, Hua Xiangrong still wanted to talk him out of the murder.
After all, he had already made an enemy out of the Hanshan Academy. If he provoked the Fengming Academy as well, the trouble he would be facing was beyond measure.
But surprisingly, Li Mu did not give her a chance to speak. “Rong, if today I were just an ordinary scholar with no strength to fight back, what I would have endured goes without saying, right? Those guys are evil, wrenched, and shameless. They tried to steal my work while making me the fraud. They also wanted me dead. Note this, never be lenient with those who are steeped in evil and refuse to repent.”
After he finished the last word, another snap was heard.
With no compassion, Li Mu cracked Jia Zuoren’s neck too before casting his body aside Zhen Yuandao’s as if tossing away a dead pig.
The sight was rather ironic. These two men who had racked their brains to gain more fame finally died together.
At the time, everyone in the hall was shivering in fear.
Nobody had foreseen that this seemingly inconspicuous young man was a mad killer. He killed people as easily as killing dogs.
Even Bai Xuan, who had noticed Li Mu’s unusual traits before, was too astounded to say anything.
In truth, Madam Bai was an experienced and knowledgeable woman. But she was still appalled by Li Mu’s way of making a counter-attack, which was too fierce, too savage. Anyway, it was too late to stop him.
Now that two people had been killed in her Holy House and the victims were all celebrated men, it was impossible to cover it up. She must report the case to the government.
Bai Xuan looked over her shoulder and whispered something to a trusted madame.
Li Mu, whose senses were highly sharp, saw her movement and heard everything she muttered, but he did not stop her.
Because he knew he was not a mad killer, and he understood that Bai Xuan just did what any normal person would do under this circumstance.
“You…” Liu Muyang from the Fengming Academy felt his blood curding. Terrified to the utmost, he made to turn tail.
But Li Mu flipped his palm and captured Liu Muyang as if he were a chicken. Clutching his neck, Li Mu said, “You’re no good man. As a scholar, you only used your brains in evil things. You are no more than a scourge. We’d be better off with you dead…”
Curiously, since he achieved the initial success in the first stage of the Xiantian Skill, he suddenly began to see everything clearer. His view of the world was utterly different from before, and his killing was terser and more resolute, not hesitant or overcautious as before.
“Don’t! Please! I admit my crime. Pardon me…” Liu Muyang howled with all his might, his soul nearly flying out of his body in fright.
At this point, Bai Xuan would not have it more and stepped out to speak. “Young Master, show some mercy… lenient wherever it is possible. I don’t see the necessity of killing them all.” She just had to stop this. With once more murder in her Holy House, as in what might happen if she had let the incident flowed, today would probably be the last day of her being the owner of this place.
“Young Master, please show some mercy,” echoed Hua Xiangrong.
She said it not out of sympathy for Liu Muyang but for the sake of Li Mu himself. She did not want to see the talented young man to commit crime repeatedly. If he murdered one more man, the case would really be outrageous. The government would definitely put him on the wanted list. Then, where could he hide?
Li Mu glanced at Bai Xuan and then gave her a vague smile as he satirized. “When they were giving me a hard time earlier, I didn’t see Madam Bai beg them to be lenient for me.” But before Bai Xuan could give an explanation for that, he looked at Hua Xiangrong and said, “Fine. Since Rong asked me to be merciful, tonight, I won’t kill one more guy.”
Hearing those words, Hua Xiangrong felt a shot of sweet gratification without any cause.
“He still listens to my words.”
Bai Xuan was eager to explain her non-action before. But she could not find any convincing reason, because what Li Mu just condemned was true.
“Having said that, you still need to pay for your sin,” clarified Li Mu. Instantly, the power of lightning shot out from his palm and flowed over into Liu Muyang’s body, directly shattered his internal qi that was at the Joint-thoughts level, which meant all his cultivation was gone. After that, Li Mu slapped Liu Muyang, sending him flying as well.
Like a dead pig, Liu Muyang slumped unconscious onto the floor.
“And you, fishing for fame and credit. You act like an unbridled scholar, but in fact, you’re just a despicable villain. You don’t have any demeanor of a real arrogant and ambitious scholar. Instead, you are petty, jealous, and narrow-minded. You need a good beat!” Li Mu’s palm struck out.
The arrogant Song Qinfei’s face started swelling after taking the force of that slap. He was sent flying backward and knocked off several tables before falling to the ground in a coma.
“And now is you, the mean, gossipy, detestable kiss-ass. How can you claim to be a scholar? You really wasted all the great books you read.” As he said, Li Mu threw a slap at him.
The overwhelming energy smacked the face of that short and stout scholar from the Hanshan Academy. All his teeth were knocked off as his cheek rapidly swollen up. He also flew a dozen meters backward and passed out on the ground.
Now, the rest of the people in the hall all started to worry about themselves.
Clearly, the young man was getting back at those who offended him afterward.