Humanity's Great Sage

Humanity’s Great Sage – Chapter 123, Raiding

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Translator: TheBrokenPen

Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys


Battles in the Dragon Spring Conference were often waged between squads belonging to the three contesting factions. 


Large-scale assaults regularly occurred as well, but only when a faction was trying to capture a specific site. Then, all nearby Cultivators on its side would be roped in to assist in the fierce skirmishes. 


After huge losses in two such occurrences, no one had the stomach for such internecine conflicts ever again. The gains did not quite justify the losses from such  Pyrrhic victories.


Minor skirmishes were a wholly different equation because losses and injuries could be controlled or even be kept to a minimum. The squads of Cultivators on defense could also withdraw during an attack if they felt that the situation was unsalvageable and live to fight another day.


Squads were divided into three different roles: defense squads where their members would stand guard on hills or any captured territory and defend it against other enemies; vanguard squads that spearheaded assaults to capture more territory; and lastly, raiding squads that roamed the battlegrounds to launch guerilla attacks against enemies, in addition to providing flanking support for vanguard squads during an assault.


As it happened, Lu Ye’s squad was a raiding squad. 


It was comprised of five good men, all of them being Fourth-Order Cultivators with the exception of Xie Jin, the lone Fifth-Order Cultivator in the squad. 


Due to the dangerous nature of raiding and roaming the battlegrounds without immediate support from others, the selection of members for raiding squads was more demanding than most other roles.


Besides that, raiding squads were often mounted groups, allowing them to have the mobility that would be crucial to their purpose.


Lu Ye met up with Xie Jin and the rest of the squad  – four males and one female –  before daybreak and got acquainted with them. To his dismay, the female Cultivator was none other than the one who had tried to seduce him just two days ago. Even now, she could barely stop fluttering her eyelashes at him.


Her name was Qiao Qiao Er, an independent Cultivator recruited by Green Feather Mountain clothed in a suit of flamboyantly revealing outfit that was a testament to how free-spirited she was. 


The rest of the squad was made up of another independent Cultivator named Song Xie and a Green Feather Mountain acolyte called Tao Tian Gang.


Lu Ye was recruited to replace another Green Feather Mountain acolyte who lost his life in battle not long ago, also a Fourth-Order Cultivator.


Each of them had their own mount. One rode a wolf, another rode a leopard, while another rode a huge boar. Only Song Xie’s mount appeared the most intimidating – a ferocious-looking scorpion the size of a dining table. The oversized insect’s jagged outer shell shone with a dark-golden luster and the tip of its arched tail gleamed with cold fury. No one knew how Song Xie managed to tame such a frightful creature, but at least it could give any enemy the jitters. 


Song Xie himself was every bit the semblance of a man suffering from a weak and frail constitution, his frame gaunt and his skin mottled with a pale-greenish shade. Lu Ye just couldn’t help wondering if Death was looming over him, ready to claim him any time. 


The company of five stayed huddled together in the cover of the thick wilderness around them, each of them silently meditating with their mounts obediently taciturn while they waited for their instructions. 


A dozen minutes barely passed when Xie Jin called suddenly, “Let’s go!”


The rest of the squad opened their eyes and hopped onto the backs of their mounts. With Xie Jin at the lead, they kept a close pace behind, maintaining the same bearing.


Not far ahead, a squad of Green Feather Mountain Cultivators was doing their best to ward off a Qin assault. Scorched patches scattered everywhere on the elevated terrain as the battle waged. The Qins would have wanted to take a more passive role in the Conference, but Han Zhe Yue’s tantrums were compelling enough for Qin Wan Li to order more attacks on Green Feather Mountain territories to keep the pressure piling. 


Xie Jin’s instructions were to lead his squad to flank the invaders. Such a maneuver that required high mobility was just a raiding squad’s bread and butter. 


The enemies were still a vast distance ahead when Xie Jin suddenly yelled, “Brace yourselves!”


It was an enemy raiding squad and it was heading their way. In mere seconds both squads would clash. 


It did not take long for Lu Ye to spy movements up ahead – enemies mounted on their Spirits Beast prancing nimbly with dazzling agility amongst the trees of the woods just beside them as both squads closed in on each other.


Lu Ye’s squad employed an arrowhead formation with Xie Jin leading, Lu Ye and Qiao Qiao Er flanking him, and Song Xie with Tao Tian Gang in staggered positions bringing up the rear. 


With barely a hundred meters between both squads, spiritual energies flared as Cultivators from both sides readied themselves. As if they had been reading each other’s minds, Xie Jin and the leader of the enemy squad each hurled at each other a Golden Wheel Talisman Paper. The strips of talisman papers erupted simultaneously, sending golden arcs of deadly energies zipping towards both squads. 


Golden blade-like scythes, forged purely of destructive energies, felled trees and split timbers, viciously carving trenches on the ground as Cultivators of both sides scrambled in frantic chaos to escape annihilation.


With the prelude of a miniature auric cyclone owing to the two talisman papers finally subsiding, both squads charged at each other.  A pair of whips – one from each squad – came swinging into the air. One could almost make out the diaphanous membrane of energies imbuing the two whips, indicating that they were both Spirit Artifacts.  


The ends of both whips coiled into each other and the two wielders tugged with all their might, pulling each other forward, forcibly dismounting them both. From one end, Qiao Qiao Er scowled at her counterpart, another Fourth-Order Cultivator with undisguised disdain, “A man using the whip as a weapon?! Are you a sissy or what?!”


Her enemy did not respond. Instead, he flailed his weapon, ripping it away from the disentanglement before swinging it back around, aiming at Qiao Qiao Er’s face. But the female Cultivator was nowhere near a pushover herself. She threw herself forward and engaged her enemy with her mount following suit, mauling and tearing at the enemy’s mount as well.


The rest of their squads were not idle. Their clash marked the beginning of the skirmish and as soon as bodies hurtled into each other, at least six Cultivators fell off their mounts in just seconds.


Few Cultivators were accustomed to horseback warfare. Mounts were used chiefly for mobility reasons and support and riding on a saddle only made it more difficult for a Cultivator to fight to his fullest. 


So was the case for Lu Ye, only he vaulted off Amber on his own accord. In the first clash, he managed to unseat a Fourth-Order enemy with a blow that almost connected. The latter had to leap off his mount in the most undignified manner to save his own skin. 


That gave Lu Ye the chance to dismount quickly. The enemy barely collected himself only to find Lu Ye swinging his saber at his throat.


With lightning-quick reflexes, the enemy raised his weapon to parry the blow. But Lu Ye’s saber did not arrive; it stopped just before it collided with the enemy’s Spirit Artifact. 


The enemy immediately sensed Lu Ye’s spiritual energies churning. He looked up at once and there was Lu Ye’s hand, radiating a pale-reddish glow in the center of his palm.


The sound of flapping wings filled his ears and a large bird-like creature materialized from Lu Ye’s hand and shot straight at him, pummeling into his chest like a cannonball.


With a loud bang, the bird-like projectile burst, and a huge eruption of searing heat swept forth, knocking the Cultivator off his feet and throwing him backward with his chest a sickening red pulp of scorched flesh and blood.


The cold glint of steel flashed before he even realized what was going on. The enemy hectically summoned his powers, but to no avail. It was too late. What came first was the prickly sensation coming from his throat, then everything went black. He was gone. 


Lu Ye sheathed his saber. Being able to fire spells changed things and made fighting so much easier. He would have needed more time and effort to defeat a Fourth-Order enemy like the one he just killed. He was not facing unarmed wooden dummies in real combat, but real enemies who could see his attacks and defend themselves. 


But the ability to fire spells provided an element of surprise that, unless the enemy had any defensive talisman papers, few could adequately defend against, giving him an edge to quickly seal the outcome or turn the tables to his favor. 


When everyone else was still in the heat of fighting after what were the initial exchanges of the skirmish, Lu Ye’s fight had ended with him drawing first blood.


He kicked and launched himself towards the nearest fight – Xie Jin against a Fifth-Order enemy. 


Being Combat Cultivators, Xie Jin and his enemy dismounted the moment they engaged and began trading blows in close combat that appeared to be a stalemate because of their similar levels of strength and power. 


In the midst of the fighting, the enemy felt a chill running up the back of his spine. Something was coming from behind, his senses warned. He ducked and something passed over the top of his head quickly, grazing his hair and skimming the top of his scalp.


When he looked up and saw who it was, he jerked his head around and saw one of his men lying in a pool of his own blood. 


[What on earth?! Dead, so fast?!]


Then he remembered what happened recently. He stared at Lu Ye with shock and awe etched on his face, “T-That was you!?”


He remembered the story of a stranger who managed to fight straight through Tai Luo Clan’s territories despite whatever adversity that stood in his way and still lived to tell the tale. One of the most conspicuous details about him was the snowy-white tiger that he rode as a mount. 


It was said that the Clan lost more than a dozen men on his account, including a Fifth-Order Cultivator. 


No one from the enemy squad recognized Lu Ye because they were Cultivators fighting under the Qin banner and none of them had seen Lu Ye before. 


Xie Jin himself was already formidable enough and the enemy leader immediately realized how the odds were stacked against him with the presence of such a dangerous opponent like Lu Ye. The first impulse that flashed through his mind was to sound a retreat. 


But that was easier said than done. Xie Jin was not eager to let his first prey flee. With Lu Ye’s addition, they both ramped up the pressure on the enemy leader, forcing him backward while overrunning him with a cascade of attacks until they managed to force an opening in barely ten seconds.


Seeing his chance, Lu Ye whipped his saber forward with all the speed he could muster with his Spiritual Patterns activated and the weapon’s blade imbued with his spiritual energies to make it sharper and stronger. The blade’s sharper-than-sharp edge sliced into the enemy leader’s abdomen, eliciting a howl of pain as he crashed to the ground.


Xie Jin’s sword trembled with brimming fervor in his grasp like it was struggling to break free before his hand shot up and the sword speared through the enemy’s wrist, severing his tendons.


The enemy leader’s weapon fell to the ground with a clatter while Lu Ye’s saber arced back around for its second stroke, cleaving straight through his torso and into his heart. 


Lu Ye withdrew his saber. A geyser of blood shot out of the hideous fissure on the enemy’s chest. But Lu Ye and Xie Jin did not wait to enjoy the spectacle. They split up, darting left and right respectively to assist their other squadmates. They too were still locked in fierce battles. 


Lu Ye found Qiao Qiao Er, who was still caught up in a blurry whirl of whips curving back and forth dangerously with her opponent, the male Cultivator from earlier. The thongs of the whips shimmered with spiritual energies at every swing but Lu Ye could see the swollen bruise on her face and a painful-looking mark burning on the misshapen face. But it would appear that she managed to return the favor, for her opponent was scurrying around with his legs pressed firmly into each other as if she had hit him at a certain spot below his pelvic area where it would definitely hurt the most. 


Qiao Qiao Er knew what had happened. Her opponent saw how his squad was down by two members, one of them being their best, a Fifth-Order Cultivator, and that told him that he should withdraw. He knowingly took a blow from Qiao Qiao Er, enduring the whip’s vicious lash on him while he used the chance to rummage his bag for a Spirit Talisman Paper that he used to fire a spell at the female Cultivator.


The talisman paper imploded, becoming three square-shaped energy bolts that streaked towards Qiao Qiao Er.


But it was just too fast for Qiao Qiao Er. She hastily dug inside her Storage Bag and found a golden Spirit Talisman Paper of her own. Yet before she could use it, a shadow clouded her view of the front. A figure stood in front of her, shielding her from the blast. 


Clang! Clang! Clang! With three strokes from his weapon, the person easily nullified the attack with barely any effort. 


Qiao Qiao Er looked up to gaze at her benefactor and smiled sweetly, although her swollen, misshapen face only made her smile look somewhat unsightly.


A huge rumble distracted everyone and a huge boar charged into the fray. That gave Qiao Qiao Er the chance she wanted to dispense some vengeance. Her whip only just connected with the man, knocking him senseless before the hog rammed into him before he could do anything, breaking a few bones and leaving some bruises. 


The boar charged again and crashed into the enemy Cultivator again, tossing him up into the air while its tusks tore through his skin, the pain itself knocking him out. 

Angrily, Qiao Qiao Er flailed her whip and whacked it at the person’s head so strong enough for blood to pour out like a smashed watermelon.


In the meantime, Song Xie let loose a little cough. His giant scorpion mount was scuttling just beside him with the body of a man impaled from the tip of its tail. The poor and weak old man was still barely alive with the contents of his insides slowly pouring out in a morbid avalanche of entrails and internal organs.



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