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Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
The bloody Battle of Goldentip finally came to its curtain call. With thousands of Cultivators from both opposing factions acting as witnesses, Lu Ye of the Crimson Blood Sect, a Cultivator of the Fifth-Order of the Spirit Creek Realm had defeated all forty-three opponents who challenged him, including the incumbent Sacred Child of Cult Blackfyre who had deliberately mutilated her own Spiritual Point to fulfill the requirements to step into the ring to fight him. Formerly a Seventh-Order Cultivator, the Sacred Child intentionally demoted herself so that she could kill Lu Ye, only to be slain by him instead.
Word of the outcome of the battle swept across the Battlefield and reached even the ears of those in the real world of Jiu Zhou through various channels.
Word that rocked both dimensions simultaneously.
No one would have batted an eyelid at a lowly Fifth-Order defeating a single opponent above his rank, but to pull off something like Lu Ye’s exploits at the Battle of Goldentip would definitely make some heads turn.
Even so, to the entire faction of the Thousand Demon Ridge, Lu Ye did not escape certain death unscathed. It was said that he was grievously wounded, and some were keeping their fingers crossed, banking on the fact that he might not survive.
At the Turbulent Watch stronghold in Jiu Zhou, Tang Yifeng could barely believe his ears when he heard about what happened. How the young lad looked when he accepted him as his student six months before had faded from his memory. The boy had only just unlocked his first Spiritual Point back then, if memory served. Therefore, that Lu Ye was capable of the exploits that Tang Yifeng had only just heard about left him wondering if the Turbulent Watchmen who brought him the news did not mistake Lu Ye for someone else.
One could expect that Lu Ye must have had some sort of fortuitous encounter during his travels in the Battlefield. That would explain how he managed to reach the Fifth-Order in the unbelievable span of just six months.
Chances and opportunities teemed the Battlefield like weed after all.
But for a Fifth-Order to single handedly slay more than three dozen of Sixth-Orders, that was teetering on being ludicrous.
He did not notice such potential in Lu Ye back when he accepted the lad as a student.
The Crimson Blood Sect’s former prestige, respect, and fear had been lost for decades until now. The Battle of Goldentip had once again propelled it back to prominence just when the whole world thought that it would be just a distant memory or just a simple name in the pages of history.
Those who had discounted the Sect now realized their error.
Hence, barely two hours after word of the outcome of the Battle of Goldentip got out, various Thousand Demon Ridge sects and orders relayed explicit orders to their acolytes still inside the Battlefield. If Lu Ye were to succumb to his injuries, then all would be well; the Crimson Blood Sect would face imminent dissolution and triumph would once again be theirs. But if the Fates had deemed that his end should not be thus, then so long as the Natural Laws of the Battlefield permitted, all Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivators must do whatever it took to ensure that this victory and his life were short-lived.
Such a figure needed to be eliminated quickly before he reached full bloom.
The Thousand Demon Ridge faction would never forget the mistake that they had made several decades ago, and they were not going to allow history to repeat itself.
At the Devoted Ones’ main stronghold in Bing Zhou province.
A Tier-Two sect of the Grand Sky Coalition, the Devoted Ones held great power and authority, such that the Devoted Ones nearly made Tier-One if not for a huge mishap that occurred several decades ago. It was during that mishap that the Devoted Ones lost a good many good men and they waned in strength and influence until they managed to clamber back to their feet in recent years.
On this day, members of the higher echelon of the Devoted Ones’ leadership had congregated at the stronghold’s main audience hall. Most kept their eyes shut in silence as they listened to Yu Guanjia, a high-ranking senior even in the top echelon and a Divine Ocean Realm Cultivator. With a calm voice, he articulated his experience of what he heard about the Battle of Goldentip and enunciated the consequences that could follow.
Each of the members of the High Council present was an influential member of the Grand Sky Coalition and each had his or her own methods that apprised them of any news from inside the Battlefield despite not being able to enter the pocket dimension themselves. An incident as famous as the Battle of Goldentip had long reached their ears.
Yu Guanjia added, “Two of our acolytes too were present during the Battle of Goldentip. One was Li Baxian and the other was Feng Yuechan. As it happened, they were both the legate- and vice legate-in-charge of the security of our outpost there. Hence the charges that now stand against them: a blatant dereliction of their duties to guard and maintain the safety of our outpost and acting against orders of the High Council. With the Grand Master himself now in solitary meditation, I move that we decide the punishments upon their transgressions right here and right now amongst ourselves.”
“How could they?!” an Elder of the Devoted Ones grumbled, his wrinkles creasing with displeasure. “That the legate and vice legate could just saunter off together?! What if an attack were to befall the outpost? We’re talking about risking centuries’ worth of legacy! If any other acolytes were to take a leaf out of their book, the Devoted Ones’ future would be numbered indeed! I suggest that we pronounce a sentence so heavy and harsh that everyone gets the message!”
More members of the High Council joined the chorus as well.
“If Li Baxian can lose his cool every time the name ‘Crimson Blood Sect’ pops up,” quipped another, “Then I daresay that we need to be wary of his divided loyalties. As for Feng Yuechan—” He paused and stole a glance at a respectable-looking woman, “—well, Yuechan’s one of ours. We’ve known her since she was a little girl. I’m sure this is only an innocent mistake, one that only happened because of spending too much time with Li Baxian!”
“Indeed. Yuechan’s been a good and obedient lass. She’s the prime reason our outpost has been peaceful for the past decade. I too agree that this is a small error that we can all overlook.”
“Nevertheless, she has broken the rules. I suggest that we sentence her to mandatory solitary meditation. The sooner she could ascend, the better it is for all of us. After all, she’s languishing in the Spirit Creek Realm for far too long.”
“That’s a great solution!”
“As for Li Baxian… We can command him to return to his post immediately. His sentence can come later, after we’ve evaluated the whole situation and his behavior.”
The men talked about how they would lay down the punishments upon the acolytes Li Baxian and Feng Yuechan, but anyone with any shred of intelligence and wit could see the stark difference between how they were both treated. Feng Yuechan was like a doted daughter who would escape with not so much as a slap on the wrist while Li Baxian would have to bear the brunt of his misdemeanor with the full contempt and prejudice of the entire High Council like an unwanted bastard child.
Yu Guanjia finally turned his focus to the woman just now, “What do you think, Sister Qiu?”
The woman rose up from her chair stiffly. With no sense of her decorum lost, she quietly retreated out of the audience hall with not a word, much to the bewilderment of every other member of the High Council.
“Please carry on without us,” Yu Guanjia spoke to his colleagues hastily before he chased after her.
Yu Guanjia caught up to his junior Sister Qiu in midair. Flying in the air abreast with her, he implored solemnly, looking rather anxious, “Please, Sister Qiu. You need to understand the burden and responsibility that now rests on my shoulders in the Grand Master’s absence. As the Keeper of Seals, it’s my job to handle things that take place inside the Battlefield. Li Baxian and little Yuechan have unmistakably broken the rules and for that, they need to atone for their wrongdoings. I know that one is your own daughter and the other is as good as a son to you, but you know as well as I do that he is actually as much a senior as you and I. Nothing good will come out of little Yuechan’s little infatuation with him. This is a good chance to drive a wedge between them both. Speak to her as a mother, please. Have her ascend as soon as possible. I know that you won’t want her to jeopardize her future any longer and it would be such a shame if we lose a talent with such gifted potential.”
Qiu halted and turned around to glare at Yu Guanjia. “Senior?” she retorted with frost, “Last I checked, you took a new concubine, didn’t you, Brother Yu? If it’s seniority that we’re talking about, that young girl could easily call you ‘Grandfather’, no?”
Yu Guanjia could feel his cheeks burning. “My private life is not the subject here.”
“Whatever,” Qiu muttered, her face stony and cold, “You are the one in charge in the Grand Master’s absence. So just do what you want. But if you dare lay a hand on Li Baxian, you’ll have my sword to contend with!”
She flung her sleeves as she spun around and sped away.
Yu Guanjia watched as she vanished into the distance with a pensive look on his face. But deep within the folds of his robes, his fists clenched firmly with anger.
The Devoted Ones issued a directive an hour later, urging its outpost legate-in-charge Li Baxian to report back for duty at once!
But word came back soon after. Apparently, Li Baxian was locked in fierce combat against the Number Two of the Battlefield’s Roll of Supremacy Yan Xing and there was no way he could leave on short notice.
In the meantime, at the main stronghold of the Righteous Sect, a group of Cloud River Realm Cultivators was huddled together gambling.
The plump and stocky Pang Dahai was serving as dealer with a bunch of his brothers-in-arms placing their antes, enthusiastically piling heaps of Spirit Stones on the tabletop.
Pang Dahai was especially ecstatic to see the mound of Spirit Stones right in front of him. Being bigger than the rest must have meant that he must have just had an immensely bountiful moment.
He tossed his glance to another fellow Cultivator with a goatee. “Hey, have you heard of what happened in the Spirit Creek Battlefield, Le Shan?”
The only thing Le Shan was more interested in other than his goatee was his hand. Without much interest in any conversation, he answered nonchalantly, “As if there could be anything major happening in the Spirit Creek Battlefield.”
Pang Dahai quickly gave them a recap of the Battle of Goldentip and his story left every gambler—each of them had been here for days—hanging their jaws in speechless awe.
He chuckled at the end of his tale. “You know what, you, Le Shan, of all people, should know that Fifth-Order kid.”
“I know him? What’s his name?”
“Evil Moon Valley, just about a half-year ago. The kid who was taken in by Grand Master Tang of the Crimson Blood Sect.”
Le Shan paused and raked his mind for any recollections pertaining to those details. Then with a looking of dawning comprehension, he gasped, “That Lu Yi Ye!?”
“That’s impossible!” Le Shan’s face creased with disbelief, “Are you sure they’re not mistaken?”
Le Shan knew the name. A boy who had been accepted by Grand Master Tang Yifeng of the Crimson Blood Sect and the very same to whom he had given the nickname “Yi Ye”, which referred to the one-leaf potential back when they first met six months ago. Apparently, the nickname had stuck. But that was not the point. How could it be possible that with such meager potential, Lu Yi Ye had grown to the Fifth Order of the Spirit Creek Realm in just five months? To say nothing of the legendary feat of defeating and slaying a string of forty-three Thousand Demon Ridge challengers?
“He’s been taken back to the Crimson Blood Sect stronghold, so no one knows for sure if he’s still alive. But you can bet that so long as he still draws breath, with Sister Shui Yuan’s healing wizardry, there’s no way he won’t survive.”
“And you know one more thing?” Pang Dahai gazed upon Le Shan with a wry look. “I hear that the kid’s very miffed at the “Yi Ye” nickname you gave him. It was said that a Thousand Demon Ridge Cultivator called him by that name and was cut down into halves instead. With his potential, it would only be just a matter of time before he reaches the Cloud River Realm. At that time, Brother Le Shan, I’d pray for forgiveness if I were you… Heh heh heh heh…”
That was enough to make Le Shan shift in his chair apprehensively before he chuckled, “Funny. Why should I be afraid? We’ll see if he survives first. All right, let’s see your hands, gentlemen…”
Pang Dahai was about to reveal his hand for the showdown when he sensed the presence of Spiritual Powers surging from outside. Next thing he knew, the entire ceiling was ripped off the eaves of the room.
The Cloud River Realm gamblers all looked up to find more than a dozen figures hovering in mid-air, led by a Real Lake Realm senior of their sect who was glaring down at them crossly. They were surrounded.
“Disciplinary!?” gasped one of the gamblers and they bolted, scattering into different directions like a bunch of mice.
The Real Lake Realm senior growled through gritted teeth, “Gambling! To think that this is the example you’re setting for your juniors! Seize them all!”
A magical net fell down from the sky, preventing the gamblers from escaping. Every single one of them was captured and was promptly placed in detention.
They were brought to the halls of the Disciplinary Division an hour later. Peals of anguished cries ensued from within the halls there as the punishments were carried out and any Righteous Sect member who passed by could only shudder with fear.
A group of fresh recruits was walking past and a few of the seniors warned them, “If you see any of these people ever again, especially that plump one; remember his face, stay away from him. They are the ones that give the Sect a bad name. Don’t get yourselves influenced by them.”
The fresh recruits all bobbed their heads profusely in full obedience.
3 thoughts on “Humanity’s Great Sage – Chapter 169, The Devoted Ones”
I’m all smiles. 🙂
Office hamsters and armchair generals. Bloody functionaries chomping at the bit to enforce their effete power while grandpa is asleep.