Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
By the time the battle was over, less than fifty of the three hundred Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators who came to assist their allies were able to escape with their lives. A good number of them were Legates belonging to major sects from the Core Circle, and even the number two cultivator on the Spirit Creek Battlefield’s Roll of Supremacy, Yan Xing was forced to run away with serious injuries.
Yan Xing was a pretty unlucky man. Since the last time he clashed against Li Baxian, he already knew that he would never be able to take his revenge without external help. Believing that this year’s Battle Royale of the Legates to abe the perfect opportunity to do so, he had kept a close eye on the sword cultivator’s location and activities, gathered his companions, and tracked him down as soon as the continent was formed. It wasn’t a bad plan, but they just had to stumble onto this exact battle where a bunch of low level cultivators he normally deigned too humble to even look at got the perfect circumstances to beat the crap out of them.
Overall, this battle was a landslide victory for Grand Sky Coalition and a most joyous moment for the low level cultivators. It perfectly embodied the phrase “strength in numbers”!
After the decisive battle, Grand Sky Coalition took a moment to regroup before splitting into two groups that were led by the champions from the Core Circle. They began invading the inner ring and systematically hunt down all enemy cultivators in the area. As news of their success spread far and wide, more and more cultivators from the Core Circle decided to meet up with the two groups to join in the hunt as well.
At the beginning, Thousand Demon Ridge had trounced them so hard that they nearly sank into total despair. They never thought that their low level cultivators would surpass everyone’s expectations and singlehandedly turn around what should’ve been an unwinnable war.
Before the continent was fully formed, Thousand Demon Ridge definitely had more high level cultivators and low level cultivators than Grand Sky Coalition. Although Lu Ye and Hua Ci were able to rally a sizable force in the outer ring, it did not change the fact that Thousand Demon Ridge’s scheme to rally their forces and cull their enemies using the bone fragments was mostly successful. Had they maintained the same level of dedication and unity they had at the beginning, Grand Sky Coalition would’ve continuously lost ground no matter how well they fought. They might not be able to eliminate every Grand Sky Coalition Legate and prolegate on the continent by the end of the battle royale, but eighty to ninety percent? That result was considerably more likely.
They would’ve accomplished their initial objective of culling most of Grand Sky Coalition’s future pillars and ensuring that they would not be able to compete against Thousand Demon Ridge for the next couple decades.
Unfortunately, Thousand Demon Ridge did not maintain their initial level of motivation. They thought they were dominating both the outer circle and inner circle and so grew lax at the most critical juncture of the battle royale. That said, no one could have predicted that two lowly cultivators would be able to dominate every Thousand Demon Ridge group and eventually rally themselves into a force to be reckoned with, much less sweep the outer ring of the continent in unstoppable fashion in just a couple of days. During the latest battle, they even managed to vanquish an incredible amount of high level cultivators.
As a result, they were able to rewrite the conclusion of this battle royale completely.
Currently, Grand Sky Coalition’s low level cultivators vastly outnumbered their counterpart in Thousand Demon Ridge’s, but their number of high level cultivators were more or less the same as their enemies even after the latest battle. It was because the high level cultivators did not have a Lu Ye or Hua Ci equivalent to turn things around and so sustained a ridiculous amount of losses in the past twenty days.
Even so, Grand Sky Coalition had achieved a complete revival in this Battle Royale of the Legates. It was now their turn to beat the crap out of Thousand Demon Ridge’s cultivators.
“The two of you have brought so much honor to the sect that I bet the old man would wake up laughing in his dreams,” Li Baxian said.
After the decisive battle was over, Li Baxian and Feng Yuechan had opted to seek out Lu Ye and Hua Ci instead of joining in the hunt. He looked happier than if he was the one who pulled off the feat.
“Hua Ci’s the one who deserves most of the credit,” replied Lu Ye while enjoy a piece of jerky. It was the truth. Besides constructing the Gathering Spirit glyphs that helped his allies to recover their Spiritual Power in the shortest amount of time possible, his contributions in this battle royale were more or less the same as his peers. On the other hand, Hua Ci wasn’t just the only healer in the entire Chess Sea, her ability to weaken enemies was the reason Grand Sky Coalition was ultimately able to turn this around.
Li Baxian shot a look at Hua Ci—she was speaking with Feng Yuechan in a small voice right now—and nodded. “That may be true, but your contributions are not to be underestimated either.” He then winked at the young man and added, “Feel free to pick up more junior sisters like her in the future. I promise the sect will take as many as we can get.”
Lu Ye puffed up his cheeks in response before shoving more jerkies into his mouth.
Li Baxian patted Lu Ye on the shoulder. “I feel so much better knowing that the sect is succeeded by promising younglings like the two of you. Anyway, are you done eating? If you are, then I’d like to take us on a treasure hunt.”
That caught Lu Ye’s interest immediately. After swallowing the mouthful of jerkies in his mouth in a hurry—you could see them slowly slide down his throat—he asked, “What is this treasure we’re looking for?”
“I don’t know either. With luck, we’ll find something good,” Li said with a chuckle before tossing his calabash into Lu Ye’s hands. The young man looked left and right to ensure that no one was looking in his direction before uncorking the container and gulping down a mouthful of liquor. He immediately felt like his stomach was on fire as a wave of dizziness shot up his head and caused him to stumble.
Panicking, he hurriedly switched out his current cultivation technique and activated Gluttonous Feast. His stomach growled audibly for a moment, and the drunkenness afflicting him finally began to fade away.
Even so, it wasn’t until a while later that he finally able to stand on his feet without swaying. He commented, “That is one hell of a liquor you have there!”
He even tossed the calabash back into Li Baxian’s hands not because he didn’t want to drink more, but because he knew he literally couldn’t handle more than a single mouthful. Li Baxian could not help but guffaw at his reaction.
They set out on the treasure hunt afterward, but unfortunately they weren’t able to find anything worthwhile. It wasn’t like they didn’t exist, but most of the good stuff had already been claimed by the other cultivators.
Of the four of them, Hua Ci was the only one who found plenty of useful herbs using her medical knowledge. She was accompanied by a Wolf Golem that Lu Yushan’s junior sister had gifted to her.
Two hours later, Li Baxian suddenly stopped in his tracks and looked in a particular direction. He asked smilingly, “Say, do you think you can kill an Eighth-Order cultivator, junior brother?”
It was a weird question to ask out of nowhere, but Lu Ye replied honestly after a moment of consideration, “I think so.”
“Really?” Li Baxian was a little surprised to hear this. Back when Lu Ye was still a Fifth-Order cultivator at Goldentip, he had told him that he could kill a Seventh-Order cultivator if he went all out. In fact, he proved that winning forty three duels in a row and killing the Sacred Child of Cult Blackfyre who willingly crippled her own Spiritual Points to enter a duel against him, which was a feat greater than slaying just one Seventh-Order cultivator.
Lu Ye was a Sixth-Order cultivator now. Li Baxian had asked the question only because he happened to recall what Lu Ye had said that day. He did not think that the young man would give him more or less the same response.
“You are aware that the gap between each Minor Realm after the Seventh-Order is slightly greater than before, right?”
Li Baxian watched him seriously for a moment before nodding. “Very well. Allow me to broaden your horizons then.”
Lu Ye had no idea what Li Baxian was talking about until the sword cultivator looked in a certain direction and said, “Do you want to come out yourself, or do you want me to blast you out of your hidey-hole?”
Feng Yuechan suddenly flew forward and landed at a certain spot. Then, she stared at the same spot Li Baxian was looking at.
Lu Ye followed their gaze but could not find anything out of the ordinary. All he saw was a giant rock.
He was quickly proven wrong, however. There was a distortion in the air next to the rock, and a thin man appeared as if stepping out of water. He was a shady-looking youngster with an aquiline nose and an expression dark enough to dye a white paper black.
Lu Ye had no idea what cultivation technique he was using, but somehow he was able to hide himself from his senses perfectly. If Li Baxian hadn’t exposed the guy, he could’ve stepped right over the rock and not notice a thing.
“Oho!” Li Baxian’s expression turned amused. “It’s you!”
What a coincidence. It looked like they knew one another.
“Flowing Cloud Sect shares no grudges with the Devoted Ones or Crimson Blood Sect, nor were we present during the Battle of Goldentip. What do you want, Li Baxian? All I ask is you allow me to live,” said the grim-faced youngster.
Li Baxian chuckled as he scratched his chin. “The only reason Flowing Cloud Sect wasn’t present during the Battle of Goldentip is because you were in the middle of a war. Also, you belong to Thousand Demon Ridge, and I to Grand Sky Coalition. Did your elders not tell you that the mere fact that we are born to different factions is enough of a reason to kill each other?”
The youngster’s tone grew darker. “Must we do this?”
He intentionally looked at Lu Ye and Hua Ci when he said this, making it clear that he was implying a threat against the duo. He wasn’t weak, but neither were Li Baxian nor Feng Yuechan ordinary cultivators, not to mention that they were practically glued to each other. To offend either one of them to offend both.
Since Grand Sky Coalition was currently moving deeper into the continent in search of Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators, he knew it would be folly to remain within the inner ring. His plan was to escape to the outer ring and hole up there until the end of the battle royale. He knew it wouldn’t be a smooth journey, but he never thought he would run into Li Baxian and Feng Yuechan of all people.
It was such terrible luck that it was comparable to choking on water.
“Well, I suppose I can give you a chance,” Li Baxian replied smilingly.
“What is it?”
The sword cultivator put a hand on Lu Ye’s shoulder before saying, “You’ll fight against my junior brother. If you win, then I’ll let you go!”
Shock spread across Lu Ye and the youngster’s face. It was only now Lu Ye understood what his senior brother had meant by “broadening his horizons” earlier.
The youngster was fuming with anger despite being given an “out”, however. “Is this a joke? I know you will kill me anyway if I wound or kill this guy!”
He knew exactly how protective Crimson Blood Sect was of their own people. During the Battle of Goldentip, a Real Lake Realm champion of the Crimson Blood Sect had invaded the Spirit Creek Battlefield and killed a ton of low level cultivators despite knowing they would be blasted by the Soul Destroying Divine Lightning. As far as he was aware, there wasn’t any other Real Lake Realm cultivator in the entire Jiu Zhou who would lower themselves to this extent just to protect their own.
That was why he wasn’t happy at all to hear Li Baxian’s offer. He thought that the bastard was just making fun of him.
“You don’t seem to understand your situation. Have you never heard of the saying ‘when in foreign lands, do as the foreigners do’?” Li Baxian’s voice grew just a tad threatening. Feng Yuechan was also juggling what seemed to be a ball of compressed fire soundlessly.
A vein popped on the youngster’s forehead. He knew he had no chance of surviving against a sword cultivator and spell cultivator duo, not to mention that they were the first and tenth strongest cultivators on the Roll of Supremacy. Realistically speaking, there was only one choice he could make if he wanted to live, even if that choice was almost as suicidal.
“You really will let me live if I beat this little guy?”
“Yep! I swear on my junior brother’s honor!” Li Baxian declared while patting Lu Ye’s shoulder again.
The young man couldn’t help but frown at the statement though. [Why is he swearing on my honor? Does that mean that Brother Li has no honor to speak of in the eyes of most cultivators? That is a little worrying.]
“Can we not play this childish game of words? Maybe you will keep your word, but what about Feng Yuechan?”
“She? She will swear on my junior sister’s honor!” Li Baxian pointed at Hua Ci and elicited an innocent smile from her.
The youngster finally nodded. “Very well. Please make a Heavenly Oath then.”
However, Li Baxian suddenly erupted. “Who do you think you are to bargain with me? Either you duel my junior brother now, or I’ll carve you up with my flying sword! Make your choice, now!”
The youngster immediately turned as red as a gammon.
Li Baxian wasn’t done yet, however. He let out a cold humph as he exposed the youngster’s true thoughts, “Who do you think you’re trying to fool? I know you want to duel against my junior brother. I know you’re hoping to get lucky and drag him down to the grave with you!”