Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
The gates of Turbulent Watch’s stronghold creaked open to reveal the Head Watchman Meng Dancheng and the various lieutenants, sergeants, and the rest of the Watch who waited amid nine tolls of the stronghold’s main bell.
When Tang Yifeng and his other female student Wei Yang appeared out of thin air, the Watchmen all bowed.
Head Watchmen Meng Danchen scurried Tang Yifeng, “Everything is ready, Grand Master Tang. Come with me please!”
That did not seem comforting at all to the Grand Master of the Crimson Blood Sect, who merely nodded and responded, “I apologize for the imposition.”
“Say no more, Grand Master Tang,” Meng Dancheng beamed at him, shaking his head. “Turbulent Watch had been waiting just for this day to arrive.”
An hour later, the two swore upon Heaven and made their pact. Turbulent Watch had been careful to not let any word of this escape, but they were being watched and news of the freshly-minted alliance quickly broke out.
In the meantime, somewhere in the Battlefield, Lu Ye was resting while he swallowed some Spirit Pills to recuperate. Amber was beside him, wolfing down on a slab of meat despite still panting for breath. He knew he needed sustenance, or he wouldn’t be able to run.
Not wanting to delay, they did not stay long before continuing their journey.
In mere moments, a streaking light which had been circling around in the skies nearby flew down and glided beside Lu Ye. The man on top showed Lu Ye his Battlefield Imprint. It was an ally, a Cultivator of the Grand Sky Coalition.
“Come on, get up!” the man stopped his magical conveyance although Lu Ye looked hesitant and doubtful.
Since parting with Lan Yudie, Lu Ye had encountered several Grand Sky Coalition allies who gave him lifts to expedite his progress. Without them, Lu Ye would not have made it this far.
But none of them could stick with him for long. Whenever they stumbled into Thousand Demon Ridge kill squads, they would have to break off with Lu Ye so that he could press on while they held back the enemies.
Some time before this, a Ninth-Order Cultivator ferried Lu Ye using his magical conveyance but they were discovered by the enemies who quickly tried to shoot them down.
The ally Cultivator might survive the fall if they were really shot down, but not Lu Ye and Amber. Not at such a height, at any rate.
This explained Lu Ye’s hesitation when this newest ally Cultivator urged him to get onto the magical conveyance. This mode of travel was unequivocally fast, but it also made them more conspicuous.
But right now, Lu Ye, with no other choice in mind, could only bite the bullet and step onto the magic conveyance with Amber in tow.
The ally Cultivator performed a hand seal and commanded, “Up!”
The canoe-like magical conveyance lifted up into the sky. But unlike before, this ally Cultivator had the sense to remain at lower altitudes so even if they were shot down, they would survive the fall easily enough.
But that did not give him any reason to not maintain constant vigilance. As they pressed on quickly, he told Lu Ye, “The Crimson Blood Sect has reached a pact with an order called Turbulent Watch, that means you don’t have to go all the way to the Crimson Blood Sect outpost. Just go to the Watch’s outpost here and you’ll be able to get back!”
“Yes, Turbulent Watch.”
Lu Ye immediately rummaged for his map. He did not understand the significance of that pact, but it seemed as if this was a plan for him to get to safety.
He quickly located where the Turbulent Watch outpost was. A Tier-Seven militant order, it was situated just somewhere between the outer and inner ring areas of the Battlefield. It was too far, but it would still take him quite some time to reach there.
At the very least, it was way nearer to him than the Crimson Blood Sect outpost.
He knew what was going on: his mentor Tang Yifeng must be doing something to save him. There really was no incentive for the Sect to be making a pact with the Watch especially at this juncture.
“Be warned! The Thousand Demon Ridge orders in the vicinity of the Watch’s outposts have declared war on the Watch. So the nearer we get, the more careful we must be!”
“Understood!” Lu Ye nodded. His head swiveled to look back. Scores of enemy Cultivators had discovered the magical conveyance and were rushing to catch up, but there were also Grand Sky Coalition Cultivators who were popping out of the woodwork to intercept.
“I guess this is it then,” said the ally Cultivator all of a sudden, “Don’t stop moving towards the Watch’s outpost. There will be others up ahead, waiting for you!” He waited for Lu Ye and Amber to hop off before he wheeled around and zipped straight towards an enemy Cultivator who managed to follow them here. The two streaking lights smashed into each other like a pair of comets colliding, eliciting sweeping waves of deafening rings.
Lu Ye did not look back. There was no need to. A fight of such magnitude was far beyond his ability to intervene. All he could do—all he should do—was to get back on Amber’s back and continue riding for Turbulent Watch.
Meanwhile, chaos swept all over the Battlefield like a tempestuous storm.
News of the pact made between Turbulent Watch and the Crimson Blood Sect had practically become public knowledge and anyone could easily figure out the why and the how. That culminated in the Watch’s outpost now becoming the focal point where virtually all Cultivators—both the Thousand Demon Ridge’s and the Grand Sky Coalition’s—congregated and that was enough to make all lands within a thousand-mile radius of the Watch’s outpost the most dangerous place to be in at the moment.
The Watch immediately recalled all its members at once, but the collective might of the enemy sects and orders were steadily whittling down its defenses.
Without being able to fight back, the Watchmen all stayed within the fastness of their stronghold and its defensive force field. But that did not prevent the enemy Cultivators from relentlessly attacking, hurling spells and whatever they could find at the magical barrier with hopes that they could defeat it and capture the outpost before Lu Ye arrived.
But not all was lost. Help was on the way and Cultivators of the Grand Sky Coalition were bent on seeing the Turbulent Watch standard flying at the top of the outpost. The fall of the outpost would mean the endgame of this entire contest and Lu Ye’s death.
In barely a day’s time, the lands around the Turbulent Watch outpost became a meat grinder. Numerous Cultivators met their ends there.
As if there wasn’t enough bad news, word arrived to further erode the morale of Grand Sky Coalition’s side. Blackfyre Cultists had arrived, and a huge force was marshaling—one so big that they created a large perimeter around the areas that Lu Ye would need to pass to get to the Watch’s outpost.
Cult Blackfyre was once a Tier-One dark order decades ago and it was because of the Crimson Blood Sect that its strength had dwindled to its present Tier-Four rank today. But they were hardly the only ones. The might of the Crimson Blood Sect in those days was what saw the decline of more than a handful of Thousand Demon Ridge sects and orders.
So was the Vale of Venom, whose outpost was now besieged by Feng Yuechan, just to name a few.
The hatred and grudge they held exceeded what animosity all other Thousand Demon Ridge factions had for the Crimson Blood Sect.
It was in the golden age of the Crimson Blood Sect when, at the zenith of its power, Thousand Demon Ridge sects and others cowered in fear at the mere mention of its name. But now with the Sect in what could very well be its final days, all they needed to do was to make sure that its newest acolyte Lu Ye died. If they did that the Crimson Blood Sect would be history come the next assessment.
All those who had suffered the Crimson Blood Sect’s wrath before were all waiting for this day to come.
They would do whatever it took to prevent Lu Ye’s entry into the Turbulent Watch outpost.
It was for this very reason that Tang Yifeng was against the idea of forging a pact with Turbulent Watch at first. He knew that doing so was tantamount to putting the Watch in the line of fire. The Watch might have now risen to be a Tier-Seven order with considerable strength but being caught between anvil and hammer at the same time, the Watch would most likely endure terrible losses.
Outside, at the main audience hall of the Turbulent Watch stronghold in the real world of Jiu Zhou, Wei Yang placed her hand on the Divine Opportunity Column.
Meng Dancheng was wearing a solemn look as he warned, “Careful, Sister Wei Yang.”
“It’s fine,” Wei Yang smiled at him. “We can’t let you do all the heavy-lifting by yourselves.”
“Just do what you can,” Tang Yifeng cautioned gravely.
“Understood,” Wei Yang responded politely while her hand wandered to tap on her Battlefield Imprint.
Her very person shimmered and vanished. She was gone.
Hails of spells peppered at the magical force field that held up the defenses of the Spirit Creek Battlefield Turbulent Watch outpost. Scores of Watchmen scurried about anxiously and hurriedly about, struggling to lug magical supplies to keep the force field standing. But the downpour of spells battering the force field intensified with ripples upon ripples fanning out on the force field’s dome-like surface. The enemies were just too many, and more from the inner ring and the central regions of the Battlefield were coming.
The Watch’s legate-in-charge had long activated the force field to its fullest, yet, it still wasn’t going to hold for much longer.
“How long do we still have?!” the legate cried over the din of the incessant explosions occurring over their heads.
“No more than four hours at this rate!” cried his deputy, “The force field’s not going to hold for long!”
“Sir!” the deputy yelled again, “Should we not prepare for an evacuation back to Jiu Zhou? The longer we hold on here, the more losses we’ll incur.” The numbers of the dead and the wounded were slowly rising and if they were not careful, this could become an all-out bloodbath.
“We hold!” insisted the legate. “This is the order that the Grand Master himself has given us. I don’t know what happened between our forebears and the Crimson Blood Sect’s, but a Watchman always obeys! I’m assigning you to guard the Divine Opportunity Column! Your orders are to execute any deserter!”
The deputy legate gulped hard and responded, “Yes, sir!”
But before he could spin on his heels and move inside, the magical force field shuddered, and the tremor shook the whole outpost.
“Who the hell just undid the force field?!” the legate yelped with horror.
He was certain that the tremor just now was because of a momentary deactivation of the outpost’s magical force field.
They marched towards the main audience hall where they could get a better vantage point and what they saw left them flabbergasted with shock.
A streaking jet of light as dark as the blackest night shot around here and there. Where it passed through, Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivators crashed to the ground in droves. As if Death himself had manifested, shrieks and cries of terror resounded from within the ranks of the enemies as the black jet of light engulfed them in a tempest of despair and destruction.
Not even those who came from the core and inner ring regions of the Battlefield could resist being slaughtered by the streaking light.
“Who in Heaven’s name is that?!” gasped the Watch’s legate with perplexed bewilderment. He could have sworn that no one within Turbulent Watch had such power.
The deputy legate too was equally stunned. A hunch told him that this could be Feng Yuechan, the current reigning Number One of the Battlefield’s Roll of Supremacy. But he knew better. Feng Yuechan was known to be a Spell Cultivator, but the stranger clearly wasn’t one.
In mere moments, more than a dozen Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivators perished, most of them champions who had traveled far from the central regions of the Battlefield.
All of a sudden, the magical force field of the Turbulent Watch outpost showed signs of weakening.
Lighting crackled in the distant skies. Its mauvish shade as the lightning bolt flashed in the overhead plumes told the legate what he needed to know. “Someone senior or beyond Spirit Creek Realm has come! But who!?”
Only Cultivators within the Spirit Creek Realm could enter the Spirit Creek Battlefield. Those with powers beyond could still come in, but at a terrible price and his or her powers would be limited to the Spirit Creek Realm and the powers and damage he or she could use would also be bound to the Spirit Creek Realm.
That was not all. Heaven would inflict its judgment whenever such individuals killed somebody.
Which was what that purplish lightning was all about—the Judgment of Heaven. More killings would invite upon oneself heavier punishment and it was only a matter of time before this powerful stranger had to endure a fatal strike from the Judgment of Heaven!