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Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Then again, he wasn’t so different from Amber. He ate a ton of Spirit Pills to cultivate as well…
As Yi Yi said, the World Spiritual Qi of the Inner Circle was pretty rich. It was especially obvious when they were flying on Gray’s back. The deeper they ventured into the Spirit Creek Battlefield, the richer it became.
This was just the periphery of the Inner Circle, and the World Spiritual Qi was almost twice as thick as the wilderness surrounding the Outpost. No wonder the major sects tried so hard to increase their Tiers. The higher the Tier, the better their location in the Spirit Creek Battlefield, and the greater their disciples’ cultivation efficiency.
Not only that, the resources of Spirit Creek Battlefield more or less followed the same rule as well. The deeper one traveled, the better in the resources were both in terms of quantity and quality.
Gray had dropped Lu Ye within the territory of Sky Pillar Sect’s Outpost. Compared to the Outposts in the Outer Circle, the ones in the Inner Circle possessed much bigger territories. Take the Sky Pillar Sect for example. Using the Outpost as the center, their territory encompassed everything within a 150 km to 200 km radius.
On the other hand, the Crimson Blood Sect’s territory only spanned around fifty kilometers of land from the Outpost. Even after Lu Ye had crippled the Redoubt of Wrath and Clan Feng, they were still just the lord and master of a tiny corner of the world.
This was due to the number of sects and the strength of one’s cultivators. The sects in the Outer Circle were the lowest Tier and most numerous, so the area was densely populated even though the Outer Circle was technically more vast than the Inner Circle or the Core Circle. The cultivators were also Seventh-Order or lower, so their range of activity was quite limited.
Things were different in the Inner Circle. It was populated with Eighth-Order and Ninth-Order cultivators; cultivators who were capable of flight via flying artifacts to be exact. Their range of activity was much wider than the cultivators of the Outer Circle, which was why they needed more space to be able to unleash their strength in full. As a result, there were a lot less sects in the Inner Circle than the Outer Circle, which equated to more land per sect.
Regardless of population density, conflict was inevitable so long as one’s neighbor belonged to an opposing faction.
After taking a moment to confirm his direction, Lu Ye grabbed Amber from his shoulder and dropped it on the ground. It landed lithely before shooting Lu Ye a dumb, confused look. The silence lasted a couple of seconds when it finally realized what Lu Ye wanted it to do. Golden light abruptly burst out of its body, and mutant qi washed over the area for a moment. It swiftly transformed from a foot long cat to a massive tiger.
Lu Ye climbed onto Amber’s back and took off toward the Sky Pillar Sect’s Outpost. He was here to take revenge, so of course he wasn’t going to hold back.
That said, he wasn’t planning to stir up trouble in the enemy Outpost either. In the Spirit Creek Battlefield, there was no place with greater cultivator density than an Outpost. He would not be doing himself any favors if he tried to battle them alone. No, his plan was to hunt down any lone cultivator or party he might encounter along the way. This was the Sky Pillar Sect’s territory after all. There had to be some Sky Pillar Sect cultivators operating in the territory. At his current strength, he could kill practically anyone who hadn’t changed their cultivation technique to Heaven Grade. On the off chance he ran into one, Wings would guarantee his escape.
Of course, he would rather not use Wings unless absolutely necessary. It wasn’t a permanent Glyph, meaning that the Tattoo faded a little more with every usage. Eventually, it would disappear completely.
His thoughts were very simple. He was going to explore the area and kill every Sky Pillar Sect cultivator he encountered along the way. One of the reasons he came here was to hone himself anyway. It would be a slow and tedious effort, but given enough time he could eventually kill enough cultivators to hurt the Sky Pillar Sect.
They were the ones who tried to kill him back at the Goldentip. They had no one but themselves to blame.
On a related note, Yi Yi was as elusive as ever. Sometimes she would vanish without a trace, and sometimes she would pop up from the most unexpected places.
Although her dreams of becoming a medicine cultivator had gone up in flames, she still enjoyed gathering herbs a lot. She carried a Storage Bag on her waist so she could extract and deposit anything that looked like a herb in it. It didn’t matter if they were valuable or not.
In the past, she was unable to pass through objects while carrying an object with her. She might be able to pass through anything because she was a Ghost Spirit with no physical body, but her items couldn’t. After she became the Sect Master’s student though, she learned how to wrap an object with her energy, effectively imbuing it with intangibility and enabling it to pass through objects just like her. According to the Sect Master, it was a kind of Escape Technique. Its one flaw was that the technique could not be applied to living objects, but it was damn impressive regardless.
Lu Ye thought it would be a piece of cake finding a Sky Pillar Sect disciple or two to murder in their own territory, but in reality he didn’t spot even a single soul after riding Amber for a long time. He even thought he had misread his directions and rechecked his 10-point map to confirm that it wasn’t the case.
On second thought, he might have oversimplified things. His experience in the Outer Circle had led him to think that running into an enemy cultivator in their territory was a simple thing, but in the Inner Circle, the territory was several times bigger than normal. Moreover, most cultivators would be cultivating in the safety of their Outpost unless they had a specific task to carry out instead of wandering their territory like bums. The only exception was when they were clashing against their neighbors.
So, wandering the territory at random was a terrible idea. Some quick thinking later, he decided to seek out a production site such as an ore vein or a leyline. Places like that would definitely be overflowing with cultivators, and he would be able to kill and rob his enemies at the same time, killing two birds with one stone. [Yes, that would be perfect.]
There was another problem though. He had no idea where the Sky Pillar Sect’s production site was located. Obviously, it wasn’t recorded in the 10-point map. He was just thinking of a solution when Yi Yi popped out and said, “Lu Ye, Lu Ye, look! There are a few cultivators over there.”
This was one of the advantages of having a scout who could go anywhere without being detected. Be it good news or bad news, the news Yi Yi brought were always good surprises.
“Lead the way.”
And so Yi Yi leaped onto Amber’s back and guided it toward their destination.
The group of cultivators she discovered was pretty small. It was a group of four made up of an Eighth-Order, two Seventh-Order and a Sixth-Order cultivator.
There was no rule saying that a Sixth-Order cultivator could not travel to the Inner Circle. There could even be a Fifth-Order cultivator out there. However, their numbers were few and far between because everyone else was stronger than they were. A Fifth-Order cultivator especially could never leave their Outpost unless they had a death wish.
On average, the cultivators roaming the Inner Circle were between Seventh-Order to Ninth-Order. A small number might even have upgraded their cultivation technique to Heaven Grade.
He was deep within the territory of the Sky Pillar Sect’s Outpost right now, so the group of four were most likely Sky Pillar Sect cultivators.
According to Yi Yi, the group seemed to be guarding an unbloomed Spirit Flower. Yi Yi might not have the talent to become a medicine cultivator, but that didn’t mean she learned nothing at all from Hua Ci and Shui Yuan. In her opinion, the Spirit Flower wasn’t just valuable, it must also be harvested at a specific time such as when the flower was in full bloom. Otherwise, there was a high chance the efficacy of the herb would be largely diminished.
This was why the four cultivators were guarding the Spirit Flower. Perhaps they had learned of its existence a long time ago, or perhaps they just happened to run into it while strolling in their territory. In any case, they weren’t leaving until the flower was harvested.
When Lu Ye deemed that the time was right, he told Amber to transform back into a cat and draped it across his shoulder. He also instructed Yi Yi to slip underground and stand by for orders.
A while later, Lu Ye felt a faint fragrance tickling at his nostrils. He followed the scent for about a couple hundred meters before “noticing” that three of the four cultivators were watching him with wariness.
Behind them was the source of the fragrance; a Spirit Flower that was close to reaching full bloom. Its purple-colored pod was as big as a fist, and it was enveloped in a misty light.
Judging from their Spiritual Light, they were a trio of one Sixth-Order cultivator and two Seventh-Order cultivators just as Yi Yi said. However, the Eighth-Order cultivator was nowhere to be seen. He remained invisible to Lu Ye’s senses even after he had swept the area with his perception.
All three cultivators were male. The one who seemed like a body-tempered cultivator because he possessed incredible vitality stepped out and asked, “Where do you come from, fellow cultivator?”
What he really meant was, “Which faction do you belong to?”
Lu Ye immediately raised his hand. Blue light shone from the back of his hand.
The body tempering cultivator looked surprised. The duo behind him were frowning as well. This was the first time they encountered a cultivator who revealed their faction before they even said a word, not to mention that he seemed to be alone…
In Spirit Creek Battlefield, it was ill-advised to reveal your faction if you ran into a stranger. It was because you were basically forcing the other person to reveal their faction as well. If they turned out to be allies, then all was well. If not, then a battle to the death was inevitable.
There were only two types of people who would reveal their Battlefield Imprint to a stranger. Either they were arrogant and stupid, or they were confident and strong.
Lu Ye was just a Seventh-Order cultivator. It did not look like he fell under the second category.
The body tempering cultivator smiled. “Ah, a friend from Grand Sky Coalition!” He then raised his hand as if he was going to show off his Battlefield Imprint.
Lu Ye abruptly unsheathed his saber and slashed behind him. There was a shower of sparks where the two blades met, and a fourth cultivator who somehow snuck behind Lu Ye without him noticing staggered backward with a shocked expression on his face. He was wielding a dagger.
It was none other than the Eighth-Order cultivator Yi Yi had spoken of. He was a ghost cultivator!
When a ghost cultivator had reached the Seventh or Eighth-Order, they could commune with the Nether, borrow its power and further their art of concealment and assassination. Back at the Chess Sea, Lu Ye had witnessed some techniques that gave him chills to this day.
From the moment he saw that the Eighth-Order cultivator was missing, he already suspected that he might be a ghost cultivator. Otherwise, he should’ve been able to pick him up with his senses. He must have hidden himself the moment the group sensed his arrival.
It was clear now that the Seventh-Order body tempering cultivator was just trying to distract him when he raised his hand as if he was about to proclaim his faction. If Lu Ye had been unprepared, he might’ve missed the killing intent behind him and died. But since Lu Ye thought that the Eighth-Order cultivator might be a ghost cultivator, of course he was going to be wary of his surroundings.
The Eighth-Order cultivator was surprised that Lu Ye was able to block his killing blow. He was even more surprised when he raised his saber and brought it down on his face.
The attack was so overwhelming that he actually felt as if he couldn’t breathe. Not only that, there was so much strength behind it that his hand was numb after blocking just three attacks.
How the hell is he so strong?
Stunned he might be, but he wasn’t panicked in the slightest. It was because he saw out of the corner of his eye that his two Seventh-Order cultivators were making their move. They were just channeling their Spirit Artifacts when…
A surge of Spiritual Power ripped across the air. There was the flash of a spell, and one of the Seventh-Order cultivators let out a bloodcurdling scream. He had been struck by a spell powerful enough to turn his back into a scorched mess and drop him to the ground.