Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
As the jet of obsidian rays exacted chaos and pandemonium amongst the ranks of the Thousand Demon Ridge invaders besieging the Turbulent Watch outpost, the legate-in-charge of the outpost saw their chance for a counterattack. Loudly, he rallied his men, “DEACTIVATE THE FORCE FIELD! ATTACK!”
Attacking was the best form of defense, it was always said and the perfect moment for a comeback had arrived.
A hole in the force field yawned open and Turbulent Watchmen, all of them irate and hungry for some revenge, charged out of the hole. At the same time, droves of Grand Sky Coalition who were being kept at bay from aiding the outpost too realized the opportunity to reverse the odds. Caught between the anvil and the hammer themselves this time forced the invaders to retreat.
The Grand Sky Coalition reinforcements quickly rendezvoused with the Turbulent Watch defenders before the entire contingent of Cultivators withdrew inside the outpost. The magical force field was re-erected with its defensive strength doubled or even quadrupled this time.
With help from the rest of the Grand Sky Coalition, Turbulent Watch would be able to make any Thousand Demon Ridge invaders regret coming here.
In the meantime, the jet-black streak of light which was an unknown stranger who came from the real world of Jiu Zhou was gone, enveloped by the amaranthine lightning bolts that danced all over the stranger’s figure menacingly.
Even now, no one from the Turbulent Watch outpost knew who the stranger was.
It did not take long for the answer to be made known to them.
“What?! Her?!” the legate-in-charge was stunned when he realized who it was. “Wait, isn’t she a Medical Cultivator!?” He could still remember himself being injured a few years ago and the Grand Master of the Watch had to bring him to the Crimson Blood Sect quickly just to see this lady. Her healing skills were so ungodly that he fully recovered in just three days. It was said that she was one of the best healers in Bin Zhou with skills that could even defy Death.
But what he just saw her do had left him stupefied with shock.
Meanwhile, Wei Yang sped as quickly as she could, swathed not only in the black lightless luminescence from her own aura, but also amaranthine electrical bolts snaking all around her like countless whips lashing furiously at her very person.
She had been careful enough not to cause too many fatalities, the Judgment of Heaven wasn’t something she was foolhardy enough to take lightly. Beautiful but yet terribly deadly, the lightning bolts now sizzling angrily around her could have caused any other Cultivator in the same shoes agonizing pain, although Wei Yang seemed to be feeling zero pain at all.
With her gaze transfixed at the front, she pressed on with all the speed she could muster. [Faster! I need to be faster!]
Somewhere way ahead, Lu Ye and Amber were desperately fleeing with enemies hot on their heels. The dark silhouette of an enemy took into the skies. Still hovering in mid-air, the enemy aimed a finger at Lu Ye’s back.
Casual and confident like he was about to crush an ant to death.
The colossal phantom of a finger materialized above Lu Ye. Without mercy, it crashed down rapidly, only too eager to really have Lu Ye squashed like an ant!
Amber shifted left and right. But nothing the tiger did could help them evade the incoming attack. As the gigantic phantom monolith bore down on Lu Ye, he roared furiously in defiance, activating Spiritual Pattern “Protection”. The sigil-inscribed energy shield appeared right over his head.
He channeled every bit of Spiritual Power he could find into maintaining the integrity of the shield, but it was not enough. The gigantic finger rammed into the shield with a huge bang and the shield shattered with a sickening crack.
Almost immediately, Lu Ye felt an invisible force crushing down on his shoulders with the weight of a mountain and Amber crumbled to the ground with a painful grunt.
Struggling for air and with his chest about to explode, Lu Ye was wondering if his moment had finally arrived when the unmistakable ring of steel pierced through the air sonorously like the toll of a bell, followed by an angry snarled, “Who is that?! Wait, is that you, one of the sword-freaks of the Northern Profound Sword Clan!?”
The invisible force immediately dispelled, and Lu Ye looked around. Right beside him was a stranger. Clad in a shamrock tunic, he was but a few feet away with his back to Lu Ye. But Lu Ye did not fail to notice the sword he was toting.
“So, is the Sword Clan inclined to intervene as well?!” growled the enemy Cultivator, although he sounded clearly apprehensive.
“Go!” said the green-robe stranger to Lu Ye softly, clearly a man of few words.
“Thank you so much, sir!” Lu Ye uttered a word of thanks before he escaped the area.
The Northern Profound Sword Clan; one of Bing Zhou’s ten strongest Tier-One militant orders, according to what Yu Xiaodie once told him.
He was just barely out of earshot when he heard the clamor of battle coming from his behind and the screams of steel incessantly ringing in his ears.
Lu Ye quickly referred to his map. He was getting closer to the Turbulent Watch outpost, but the nearer he got, the more dangerous it became. He did not know if he would ever make it to the outpost safely, but he did not have another choice. Whatever perils awaited him, Lu Ye understood that he needed to face them all head-on.
Fortunately for him, whenever an enemy far more powerful than him appeared to thwart his progress, a Grand Sky Coalition equivalent would appear to deliver him from harm.
After a half day’s worth of riding, Lu Ye found himself stranded at the crest of a hill. The odd shape of the landscape appeared like it was formerly a mountain that had a huge portion of its top part skimmed off. The entire crest of the hill was a flat and barren plateau with little to no vegetation. Whatever flora that grew was only limited to the edge of the plateau as if there was an unseen boundary that forbade any growth on the top of the hill.
There was a name for this place on the map. Goldentip.
It would have looked to Lu Ye like one of the many unnamed mountains that he had passed by before. Most of the mountains on the map were only marked as being a part of the long stretch of a mountain range that carried a name, just like the ranges of Green Cloud Mountain and One Hundred Peaks, both of which he had visited before.
That such a hill was given a name made this place a special landmark.
Old wives’ tales from these parts spoke of how a legendary figure with god-like powers created the hill with his prowess with the saber, but Lu Ye doubted the veracity of the myth. The Battlefield allowed only the entry of Cultivators equipped with techniques or disciplines limited to the Spirit Creek Realm. Even so, causing such a phenomenal change to the terrain would require more than just anyone like them, even if they could amplify their powers tenfold.
That made the formation of Goldentip an enigma that could never really be solved.
At the moment, more than a dozen Grand Sky Coalition Cultivators were using their own bodies to enclose Lu Ye in a ring of steel while they were protecting him from a hoard of Thousand Demon Ridge enemies who had surrounded them.
They could not run and there was no way to.
The allied Cultivators were all stout and powerful men, but the enemies were just too many. Having surrounded Lu Ye and his allies, the enemy Cultivators did not attack. Instead, they began calling in for more help.
News about the acolyte of the Crimson Blood Sect, Lu Ye, being stranded on the top of Goldentip blazed through the Battlefield like an epidemic, causing every Cultivator involved to stop what they were doing and rush this way at once. However, many would stop to engage each other in battles halfway through their journey.
“We cannot afford to waste time here any longer, everyone! The longer we wait here, the more certain that every one of us here will die,” said a tall and bulky Body-tempering Cultivator.
“Then let’s fight our way out of this mess then!” concurred another voice.
“That’s all and well, but we’re talking about trying to keep our little Crimson Blood Sect friend here alive.”
“Then what? Wait until we grow old and shriveled?”
“Well, if dying is what is going to come, then I’ll be sure to take a few more down with me
“Boy, are you afraid?” one of the men asked Lu Ye gruffly.
That appeared to be the last thing he expected Lu Ye to say, for the man did not know what to respond with.
“But I don’t want to die here,” said Lu Ye as he drew his weapon with grave slowness. “I am grateful for your help, all of you. These Thousand Demon Ridge scums are here for me, so just do whatever you can to get yourselves to safety. I’ll be sure to keep up as best as I can. If I fail to make it out of here, then leave me. Don’t come back for me.”
A smack landed right at the back of Lu Ye’s head. “Tough talk for a puny Fifth-Order like you! At any rate, you’re not dying before we do, all right?” That was the beefy Body-tempering Cultivator.
He inhaled a mouthful of air and the already-muscular physique of the brawny giant of a man expanded even further. The well-chiseled thickness and powerful size of his muscles looked even more stunning as jets of air escaped his nostrils with every breath. “Keep up then! We’re getting out of here!”
“Make sure you stay alive. All is lost if you die; the Thousand Demon Ridge scum will triumph, and all our deaths will be for naught,” said one of the men to Lu Ye.
Up until now, few among the Grand Sky Coalition cared about the debt owed by their forebears. Most just wouldn’t care about what would befall the Crimson Blood Sect. But they could never tolerate Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivators taking the win and gloating at them. To that end, they were willing to do whatever was needed to thwart them—even if it meant their own deaths. After all, lives were lost in the Battlefield on a daily basis by the hundreds or even thousands. Even without Lu Ye, Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivators and their Grand Sky Coalition counterparts would still find new beef to fight over.
“CHARGE!” the tiny cadre of Grand Sky Coalition Cultivators blitzed towards an upward slope with the Body-tempering Cultivator spearheading the front. The enemies all ducked, giving way for Lu Ye and his allies to run straight into a hail of spells fired at them.
The Body-tempering Cultivator barreled forward like a bull, enduring the barrage of spells raining down on him. Peeling closely behind were the rest of the Grand sky Coalition Cultivators, doing whatever they could to fend up the merciless gauntlet of attacks meant to wear them down.
Despite their valiant efforts, they could not break through the enemy lines. The onslaught they faced not only came from the front; it was coming from all directions.
The group quickly found themselves surrounded and trapped—once again. Only this time, almost every one of them had collected several injuries of their own, save for Lu Ye, whom they had been shielding with their own bodies.
“AGAIN!” the Body-tempering Cultivator roared, deciding on another bearing. A separate group of Grand Sky Coalition Cultivators was coming that way, making the direction the most feasible way of egress.
But their hopes were dashed when more Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivators arrived, and the new group of friendly Cultivators too found themselves stranded and they needed to fight for their own lives as well!
Things were turning dire for Lu Ye’s group. Pinned and beleaguered by enemies, what was more than a dozen men at first had been reduced to just barely less than ten.
Flames erupted like a storm, but it was no cause for joy. Several Spell Cultivators took to the air as they prepared their magic. Despite their different garbs, a tiny flame blazed on every one of their foreheads, marking them as members of the same militant order. The tongues of flames they conjured took on the shapes of serpents and bore down on the Body-tempering Cultivator, engulfing him in an inferno that threatened to roast him alive. The poor brawny man tried his utmost to weather the storm, but that did not prevent his flesh from being burned raw.
Despair and despondency filled the eyes of the men. With the Body-tempering Cultivator now incapacitated, so ebbed were their hopes of getting out of the quandary alive.
More flaming serpents rose into the air, waving their claws menacingly at the Body-tempering Cultivator. Their plan was clear enough: once the Body-tempering Cultivator was slain, Lu Ye and the others would be nothing but sheep ready to be slaughtered.
“And what do you think you’re doing to my junior Lu Ye?!”
A voice of suppressed rage echoed from far away, swamping even the din of the battle so that every single person could hear it clearly.
When everyone heard just the first two words, the voice sounded far and distant. But by the time the final syllable was heard, everyone could see that the stranger had arrived with unbelievable speed.
The streaking light of black, shrouded with purplish lightning crackling with protest, arrived right before one of the enemy Spell Cultivators in just a flash.
Horrified, the Spell Cultivator frantically wheeled around to fire a spell into the face of the newcomer.