Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
The Grand Sky Coalition army split into three groups. The first group would meet the enemy head on, and the other two would attack from the flanks. This way, they would be able to form half an encirclement.
There were several reasons they had left a gap for the enemy. One, it was unrealistic to think they would be able to circle around to the enemy’s rear and form a full encirclement. Two, they did not want to turn the enemy into a cornered animal that would rip and tear regardless of the cost. They weren’t so green that they did not understand something as basic as leaving an outlet free when surrounding the enemy.
Their activity was detected by the Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators immediately, but not a single person had attempted to escape the battlefield. And why would they? This was their chance to repay all the humiliation they had suffered tenfold. They quickly formed battles lines and formations before waiting patiently for the battle to begin.
The three Grand Sky Coalition groups slowly arrived at their designated positions and waited for a moment. A short while later, a dazzling pillar of light pierced through the skies. It was Lu Yushan’s Thunder Dragon Roar and the signal to start the battle. All three groups and over a thousand cultivators immediately charged toward the enemy.
Spells and flying weapons clashed against one another in mid-air. It wasn’t long before Grand Sky Coalition gained a small advantage because they outnumbered the enemy slightly. It wasn’t obvious, but Thousand Demon Ridge was definitely being pushed back to a certain extent.
The encirclement grew tighter and tighter over time, though it was partly because Thousand Demon Ridge was intentionally giving up ground as well. Cultivators clashed against cultivators, and teams tried to keep each other busy so they would not be able to interfere with another fight. For a time, it looked like both sides were evenly-matched.
Lu Ye and Hua Ci were currently standing at the rear and staying out of the battle. It was because they were waiting for a signal.
If Thousand Demon Ridge really had laid a trap for them, then they should receive a message very soon.
The battle was in full swing when Lu Ye suddenly felt something from his Battlefield Imprint. After looking down and inspecting it for a moment, he gave Hua Ci a nod and said, “It’s our turn now!”
Li Baxian had sent him a message to inform him that the three hundred Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators lying in wait ten kilometers away from their current location had made their move. They were clearly planning to hit the Grand Sky Coalition’s army while they were at their busiest. Theoretically speaking, they could rip a hole in the battle lines and catch them in a pincer attack.
If they could overtake one battlefront, then they could continuously snowball their advantage and deal a massive blow to the enemy.
This was why the eight hundred strong Thousand Demon Ridge’s army was feigning weakness. For one, they weren’t completely acting since the enemy did outnumber them, and two, they didn’t want to resist so hard that Grand Sky Coalition would have second thoughts about their assault. It would be highly disappointing if the enemy withdrew and accidentally foiled their trap because they were putting up too much resistance.
Of course, since Grand Sky Coalition had found out about their plan, the question became: could the three hundred Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators get to the battlefield in time to save their main army?
There was a burst of red and aquamarine light, and a pair of wings appeared behind both Lu Ye and Hua Ci’s backs. They took to the skies, flew all the way to the frontline, and waited patiently at the center of the battlefield.
Countless Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators looked up at them in that moment. No one here was capable of flight, so of course they caught the enemy’s attention instantly.
It did not take a genius to know that they were scheming something, and some Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators tried to respond by shooting their flying weapons at them. Unfortunately, the weapons lost strength long before they even got close to Lu Ye or Hua Ci.
The duo were just too high up in the sky.
Lu Ye was currently gripping his saber and hovering protectively over Hua Ci. His task this time was very simple: protect Hua Ci so she could unleash all of her power.
After expanding her perception outward and confirming that the enemies were already infected by the spores, she gave Lu Ye a nod and declared, “I’ll start now!”
She sucked in a deep breath—so deep that her wholesome chest visibly shuddered from the movement—before unleashing an aquamarine halo that swept over half of the battlefield instantly.
Cries of shock immediately erupted from the ground. Countless Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators suddenly discovered that their Spiritual Power was flowing slowly and disjointedly almost as if they were suffering from Pill Poison. Their fighting strength plummeted sharply in just a short amount of time.
This wouldn’t be too alarming if they were out of combat, but they were currently engaging the enemy in a deadly battle. What was an evenly-matched battle quickly turned into a one-sided massacre in favor of Grand Sky Coalition. In just a few breaths, bloodcurdling screams, blood and severed limbs pierced through the air. God knows how many Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators had been wounded or killed because of this.
“It’s that woman! Kill her!” A grievously wounded Thousand Demon Ridge cultivator shouted on top of his lungs before his head was cut off by his opponent.
As if on cue, a beam of light shot straight toward Hua Ci, but unlike the flying weapons it showed no signs of stopping. It was because it wasn’t a flying weapon. Someone wielding a Bow Spirit Artifact had shot an arrow at Hua Ci. Unfortunately for them, Lu Ye easily deflected the shot with a swing of his saber.
[Twang twang twang…]
The bow wielder possessed outstanding archery skills. His arrows flew toward Hua Ci like tiny stars, and each time Lu Ye deflected one his saber hand grew just a little number.
Thankfully, the attack didn’t last more than a couple of breaths. A few Grand Sky Coalition cultivators pounced on the bow wielder and cut him into many tiny pieces.
Aquamarine haloes erupted from Hua Ci’s body again and again. This was hardly the first time she activated her ability, but it was certainly the first time she performed it in rapid succession.
The amount of combatants far exceeded any battle she had participated until now after all. She knew that the only way to end it as soon as possible was to go all out.
It took only a tea’s time for Hua Ci’s face to turn pale. Some time later, she called out in a weak voice, “Lu Ye!”
Lu Ye hurriedly turned around and wrapped his arms around Hua Ci’s delicate waist. His red wings flapped, and he carried her away from the battlefield in an instant.
Hua Ci was unhurt, of course. She was just exhausted because she had used up nearly all of her Spiritual Power. Thankfully, that Thousand Demon Ridge was already routing when she finally had to leave.
There had been over eight hundred Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators at the start of the battle, but now the number disparity between their army and Grand Sky Coalition’s had grown from two hundred to five hundred. That was how many people Thousand Demon Ridge had lost in the short time Hua Ci had repeatedly activated her ability.
Realizing that the battle was lost, nearly every survivor started running toward the gap Grand Sky Coalition had intentionally left open for them. This was the moment where one’s running speed mattered the most. One didn’t have to outrun the bear, they just had to outrun the people around them. After all, there was no way Grand Sky Coalition could kill every one of them. Someone had to slip through the net eventually.
An incense stick later, the battlefield was covered in mutilated corpses, and the stench of blood was so thick it was almost tangible. Grand Sky Coalition had lost less than a hundred people, so this battle absolutely counted as a great victory. It wasn’t over yet, however. Instead of chasing after the fleeing cultivators, they regrouped and charged toward the center of the continent. It was because that was the direction the three hundred Thousand Demon Ridge ambushers were expected to appear.
Meanwhile, the group of three hundred were running toward the battlefield believing that Grand Sky Coalition had taken the bait and were currently tied up by their main army. Ten kilometers was but a short distance for them, so they reached the edge of the battlefield just a short time later. Then, they saw what seemed to be a sea of highly motivated, extremely bloodthirsty Grand Sky Coalition cultivators running straight toward them.
To say that they were stunned would be an understatement. [What’s going on? Where’s our army of eight hundred?]
It was only then they received the warning messages of their fleeing brethren. They were informed that their army of eight hundred was now just a husk of two hundred, and that they should abort the operation and flee immediately.
The three hundred cultivators were so pissed they could spit blood. This battle was supposed to be a slaughter where Grand Sky Coalition put their foot in the trap, got caught, and got stabbed in the kidney while they were trying to pull free. They never thought their main army would be so useless as to be routed before they could even arrive at the battlefield. To call them weaklings would be an insult to weaklings!
Although they wanted nothing more but to strangle those useless bastards with their own hands, they knew that they had a bigger problem to deal with. They might be all inner circle cultivators, but here in the outer ring most of their powers were sealed. Here, quantity mattered much more than quality, and it did not take a brain to know that there was no chance they were defeating an enemy force that outnumbered them three to one.
So, all three hundred inner ring cultivators turned around and made their escape. They didn’t need to go too far either. All they needed to do was to run ten or twenty kilometers toward the center of the continent, and the Grand Sky Coalition army would abandon the pursuit. After all, the deeper they traveled, the more their power would be unsealed. If the Grand Sky Coalition army was stupid enough to chase them to the inner ring when most of their members were low level cultivators, they would learn the meaning of fear in no time at all.
Unfortunately, they didn’t make it far before a massive array appeared out of seemingly nowhere and trapped all of them. The array itself wasn’t particularly deadly, but that was because its main effect was to increase their weight and slow down their movement.
The group of Thousand Demon Ridge looked left and right in shock as they attempted to find the person who was responsible for their predicament. They quickly found a petite female cultivator standing beneath a tree and beaming at them. She was also holding a shining array disc.
“Feng Yuechan!” someone exclaimed in shock as they blanched.
Feng Yuechan alone would not have alarmed them so, but everyone here knew that the female cultivator was always accompanied by Li Baxian. In this case, they were also accompanied by a bunch of Grand Sky Coalition champions.
As expected, they heard Li Baxian declaring from somewhere, “Sword Array, rise!”
Sword lights started shooting from multiple directions inside the massive array. Blood sprayed out of flesh whenever they hit a target.
Feng Yuechan and Li Baxian had worked together to create this composite array. Although it wasn’t particularly powerful due to how little time they had to set everything up, Li Baxian had made up for that flaw somewhat by incorporating all of his flying swords into the array. As a result, it was several times stronger than it should be.
A group of thirty or so Grand Sky Coalition cultivators had also appeared out of seemingly nowhere to harass the enemy. They did everything in their power to delay Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators as much as possible.
They succeeded. As if on cue, the army of nine hundred strong whom they barely outpaced appeared at the distance. Despair colored the features of all Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators who were trapped inside the massive array.
Spells and flying weapons rained mercilessly on the trapped cultivators. A while later, someone suddenly broke out into a full-throated guffaw, “Holy shit! I killed a Heaven Grade Ninth-Order cultivator! Hahaha! The Heavens are finally smiling on me!”
The guy was just an ordinary Seventh-Order cultivator. There was a two hundred Spiritual Points gap between him and his slain foe. In any other circumstance, he would never have been able to kill the other person even if he just stood there and withstood all of his attacks. But thanks to the special environment around them, he was able to do the impossible.
A Heaven Grade Ninth-Order cultivator could only be the Legate of a major sect in the Core Circle. He likely never anticipated that he would die to weakling one day, but at least he would not be bearing the shame alone. A good number of these three hundred cultivators were champions who had replaced their old cultivation technique with a Heaven Grade one, but now they were dying one after another like flies. Many low level cultivators suddenly found themselves gaining tens of Contribution Points while attacking the enemy.
Seeing that the tides had swung completely in their favor, Li Baxian waved his arm and cried, “The time for revenge is now, my brothers and sisters! Charge!”
He became the first to charge toward the nearest enemy. The thirty or so cultivators who had joined his little band also followed suit with bloody murder in their eyes. The past three weeks or so had been hellish for them, but now they were finally able to unleash the fury in their hearts.