Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
The battle Lu Ye was participating in had ended, and so was the one on the other side of the island. The loot was collected, the casualties were tallied, and the wounded visited Hua Ci to receive medical treatment.
All in all, it was yet another major victory with minimal losses.
Lu Ye messaged Li Baxian and inquired about his situation. The Chess Islands still hadn’t fully merged yet, so it wasn’t possible for them to interfere with the business of another Chess Island. However, the final merging had already begun. The restrictions would be gone once the continent was formed.
The reason Lu Ye sent Li Baxian a message was to know if his senior brother wished to meet up with him. For now, his force wasn’t just doing okay, they were strong enough to overpower most Thousand Demon Ridge groups they had encountered up until this point.
If his senior brother wasn’t doing okay, then of course he should meet up with him as soon as the final merge was complete.
There was just one problem though. His Chess Island was in outermost ring. If Li Baxian were to come here, his cultivation level would definitely be suppressed.
No matter which terrain the Battle Royale of the Legates took place, the Heavens always made sure to keep things as fair as possible. After all, the power gap between some Legates were as big as night and day. Take the difference between Lu Ye and Li Baxian for example. Lu Ye was an Earth Grade Sixth-Order cultivator, and his senior brother a Heaven Grade Eighth-Order cultivator. On the surface, it looked like they were only two Minor Realms apart from one another. In reality, it was five.
This was because the Ninth-Order of an Earth Grade cultivation technique was only equal to the Sixth-Order of a Heaven Grade cultivation Technique. In terms of Spiritual Points, the two cultivation techniques shared exactly one hundred and eighty Spiritual Points in total.
In other words, the power gap was so massive that without the suppression of the Heavens, Li Baxian alone could have murdered every Thousand Demon Ride cultivator in the outer ring.
It took some time before his senior brother finally responded to his message. He told Lu Ye that he still had some things to do, and that he would meet him after they were done. He also told Lu Ye to keep doing what he was doing.
On the Chess Sea, a number of colorful lights could be seen streaking across its surface. The Spiritual Light at the forefront belonged a Spirit Artifact that was shaped like a calabash, and Li Baxian and Feng Yuechan were sitting right on top of it. They were both wounded to a certain extent, but Feng Yuechan looked especially pale. She was also leaning against Li Baxian’s shoulder for support and coughing lightly from time to time.
They were currently being pursued across the Chess Sea. A several lights—or two dozens of pursuers to be exact—were flying behind them.
Li Baxian let out a sigh of relief after responding to Lu Ye’s latest message. His junior brother’s safety had worried him since practically the start of this battle royale, so he was really glad to hear that everything was going fantastically on his side of things.
His own situation was pretty bad, unfortunately. As Lu Ye had deduced earlier, Thousand Demon Ridge hadn’t come up with this plan just to take out some Seventh or Eighth-Order Legates. Their real aim was powerhouses such as Li Baxian and Feng Yuechan. Assuming that they could kill off enough of them, Thousand Demon Ridge would definitely gain the upper hand over Grand Sky Coalition in the next couple decades or so.
Twenty days had passed since they came to the Chess Sea, and Grand Sky Coalition’s inner ring group had sustained huge losses during this time. Even Li Baxian and Feng Yuechan, for all their power, had taken some injuries. Now, they were even forced to escape their own Chess Island because the enemy group outnumbered them too much.
Normally, to fly across the Chess Sea was akin to committing suicide. Not even Li Baxian and Feng Yuechan could be certain that they could reach another Chess Island before they ran out of Spiritual Power, much less everyone else. However, the Chess Islands were currently undergoing the final merging, so they were all moving toward the center of the Chess Sea. Unlike before, what was absolutely suicide was now just a gamble with a small chance of success. If they were lucky, they would be able to find a place to rest their feet. Of course, they also had to be lucky enough not to land on a Chess Island that was also occupied by Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators, or they would still be dead.
“I don’t think I can hold on much longer, senior brother,” Feng Yuechan said in a weak voice, “I’m glad I could meet you in this lifetime.”
A grim-faced Li Baxian let out a sigh. “Stop saying silly things.”
“I can feel it approaching… I want to go back to the sect, senior brother.”
“And I will take you home!” Li Baxian uttered while bowing his head.
“Let’s… [cough]… let’s get married when we get back, okay?”
Without hesitation, Li Baxian smacked Feng Yuechan right across her smooth, wide forehead. The girl clutched her head in disbelief for a second before complaining, “I’m going to die, and this is how you treat me?”
Li Baxian rolled his eyes at her. “Do you think I’m stupid? I know your mother gave you an Armor before we came here.”
Feng Yuechan blushed like an apple. “How did you know that? I wore it under my dress!”
Li Baxian suddenly looked in a certain direction with gleaming eyes. “Wait a second, is that…? It is a Chess Island! We’re saved!”
Without hesitation, he flew his Calabash Spirit Artifact straight toward the Chess Island, their pursuers following closely behind them.
There was a series of loud rumblings when the Chess Islands merged together. The final merging was complete when the last of the tremors subsided completely.
From a bird’s eye point of view, the Chess Sea was no longer a vast ocean that was populated by countless small islands. Instead, it was a giant, province-sized continent that was surrounded by a sea of blue. At the same time, all Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators simultaneously began to travel in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction around the edges of the continent in search of Grand Sky Coalition cultivators to kill. It was what they had planned since the beginning.
Of course, it wasn’t just the cultivators in the outer ring who were doing this. The ones in the inner ring were doing the same thing. It was like the entire continent had turned into a continent-sized millstone in an instant, and the power pushing it was the Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators. Any Grand Sky Coalition cultivator who had the misfortune of running into them would be ground down into tiny, unrecognizable pieces.
Or so they thought. Before the final merging was complete, the three hundred Grand Sky cultivators on Lu Ye’s Chess Island had also come up with a plan of their own. Going forward, they had two ways of handling the situation at hand. One, they could stay exactly where they were and continue developing their base. It had been three weeks since they worked on the island. Disregarding all the other efforts that had been made to make it a more defensible place, Hua Ci’s mushroom traps and Lu Ye’s dozen of massive Gathering Spirits alone made holing up in the island an extremely enticing choice. It was definitely a viable strategy to just stay put and wait for other Grand Sky Coalition cultivators to join them or Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators to throw themselves against their defenses and die.
There was a huge flaw with this strategy, however. They would be putting their fellow cultivators who were scattered across the continent in greater danger. Right now, their group was the biggest Grand Sky Coalition force in the entire continent. If they were to do nothing at all, then it was only a matter of time before their weaker allies were destroyed by the enemy one by one.
This was especially true since Thousand Demon Ridge definitely outnumbered them, even if they had no way of estimating their numbers right now.
The second strategy was the total opposite of the first. They would actively explore the continent to kill as many enemies and absorb as many allies as possible.
The participants of the Battle Royale of the Legates were all Legates or prolegates. Even those who had never participated in this level of large-scale operations possessed a modicum amount of intelligence and foresight.
The decision was made after just a brief discussion, and it was almost unanimously agreed that they would give up their home field advantage and be proactive not just to save the others, but also to save themselves. Thousand Demon Ridge would definitely come after them after they had successfully rooted out all other Grand Sky Coalition forces in the outer ring. When that happened, they would be fighting not a couple hundred enemies, but a couple thousands.
After their strategy was set, they quickly reorganized themselves thirty or so squads made up or ten people or so. This arrangement would allow them to act in tandem while being closely connected to each other.
After that, they chose a direction and set off in earnest.
On a related note, they also informed all other Grand Sky Coalition forces about their movements and told them to meet up with them as soon as the opportunity presented itself via messages.
Lu Ye and Hua Ci were in the same squad as a matter of course. Lan Yudie, Gao Tai, Lu Yushan and his junior sister were present as well. The rest of the squad were made up of Hua Ci’s bodyguards.
Most of them had to run through the land on their own two feet. Only Hua Ci and the two Golem Masters got to ride Wolf Golems.
Lu Ye was starting to regret not bringing Amber with him. He had refrained from doing so because he didn’t want to expose himself to his enemies, but it turned out that it didn’t matter because the battlefield was the Chess Sea. Even if someone had recognized him and told the world about it, they wouldn’t be able to do anything until the Chess Islands had fully merged.
On a funnier note, Hua Ci’s Wolf Golem was carrying over a hundred Storage Bags in total despite politely declining to receive more. If it wasn’t for the fact that she physically could not carry more Storage Bags, she would be drowning in hundreds of Storage Bags right now.
Loot wise, Hua Ci was the indisputable winner of this Battle Royale of the Legates because she had earned not just an unbelievable amount of Storage Bags, but also a lot of favors. Most of the people in their group had received treatment from her at least once, and a good amount of these people belonged to big sects.
When she was just an independent cultivator, she was as famous as a weed in a prairie. Now, countless Legates and prolegates were made aware of her name. Disregarding the benefits of having a large social network, most sects would do their best to protect her on the Spirit Creek Battlefield if only to return the favor they owed.
It was the same for Lu Ye, of course. The Gathering Spirits he constructed had drastically reduced everyone’s recovery time to the benefit of all.
Even better, they had won all this recognition not because they were the disciples of the Crimson Blood Sect, but because they were deserving of it. In fact, they had made their sect as proud as it could be.
Suddenly, an angry roar erupted from the forefront. “I spot allies being pursued by the enemy fifteen kilometers ahead, and they are heading straight toward us! All squads, get ready to fight!”
The continent was formed, and the sun was hanging in the middle of the sky. Now that they had a rough method of confirming one’s location and communicating with others, pinpointing each other’s locations became much easier than before.
“Show them no quarter!” Someone roared in response.
The Grand Sky Coalition cultivators started running down the hill while crying all kinds of battle cries. They sounded less like saviors and more like bandits in that moment.
They did not need to run the full fifteen kilometers because the other party was also running toward them. Not a moment too soon, Lu Ye felt Spiritual Powers clashing against each other at the distance. The squads at the forefront must have engaged the enemy already.
The other Grand Sky Coalition group was escaping from the enemy, so of course their situation wasn’t good. However, the tables turned immediately after Lu Ye’s group met up with them. Caught like a deer in the swordlight, the pursuers were forced to leave behind some bodies before they were finally able to disengage.
The pursuers had become the pursued, and the pursued had become the pursuers. It was a hectic situation to say the least.
Lu Ye himself had joined the pursuit after informing Hua Ci’s of his intentions. Like an arrow, he flew straight over his allies, caught up to the escaping cultivators, and staggered one of them with his Fire Phoenix Technique. Once he had cut down his target, he chased after the next without even bothering to pick up the loot.