Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Yi Yi had been growing by leaps and bounds as of late, and Amber was right there with her. After all, her strength was directly tied to Amber’s.
When Lu Ye was fighting Yuan Guang, Amber had stayed its hand—or rather, paw—because Lu Ye wanted to confirm his own progress. That was why the tiger had waited until now to unleash one of its abilities.
Lu Ye had noticed that Amber possessed some unique abilities a long time ago. When he asked Yi Yi if the abilities were spells, Yi Yi had shot down the theory immediately.
As Amber continued to grow stronger, its unique abilities began to surface more and more. Yi Yi was right to say they weren’t spells. In Lu Ye’s opinion, they looked more like some sort of racial abilities that awakened with its bloodline.
Amber’s roar could not physically harm the enemy, but it could impact the mind greatly. Having been caught completely off guard, the Ninth-Order ghost cultivator was stunned long enough for Lu Ye to stab the Inviolable into his chest even though he recovered quickly due to the power gap.
Unfortunately, Lu Ye wasn’t able to pierce the ghost cultivator completely before pulling away from him. Otherwise, this battle would have been over already.
Lu Ye did not let up on the assault. He immediately rushed forward and rained attacks on the ghost cultivator like an unstoppable storm.
Metal clanged against metal as the ghost cultivator’s expression slowly turned shocked and horrified. It was bad enough that the terrible force being transmitted through his hand was beyond his ability to handle, but the enemy’s attack speed was unbelievable for a combat cultivator as well. In just a few exchanges, his grip was slippery with his own blood already.
Suddenly, a pair of killing intents erupted from his left and right. It was the Hao brother and sister finally making their move. They had not communicated a word with each other before launching the surprise attack, but they had also been together since their first day cultivating. Naturally, their teamwork was on a completely different level.
The Sky Pillar Sect ghost cultivator blanched immediately. Lu Ye had attracted so much of his attention that it never crossed his mind that he might have an ally or two. Worse, they were ghost cultivators just like him.
As a ghost cultivator, he knew better than anyone how deadly the surprise attack of a ghost cultivator was. Without hesitation, he sank to the floor and channeled a great deal of Spiritual Power.
Pssh pssh! A pair of bone deep wounds appeared on the ghost cultivator’s body at the same time the Hao Ren and Hao Qing revealed themselves.
The ghost cultivator stumbled to the back, but Lu Ye wasn’t going to give him the chance to recover his footing. His arms were too numb to block another blow either.
The Inviolable flashed, and the ghost cultivator’s head flew through the air. Blood sprayed out of his headless neck like a fountain. That was the end of the battle. It had taken the trio less than ten breaths to slay a Ninth-Order ghost cultivator!
Lu Ye looted his body before rushing toward the light source in front of him. The Hao brother and sister were right behind him.
“What’s going on? Where did that animal roar come from?” A man suddenly walked out from one of the tunnels. They had probably come out to investigate Amber’s earlier roar. Unfortunately, he ran straight into the trio.
“You are—” The man didn’t even have a chance to voice his puzzlement before the two ghost cultivators stabbed him in the torso, killing him instantly. Hao Qing grabbed the Storage Bag and continued running after Lu Ye, never stopping for even an instant.
The mining tunnels were well lit with torches even though it was nighttime. Every Sky Pillar Sect cultivator they ran into was killed in short order.
Dozens of cultivators between Sixth to Eighth-Order worked these mines throughout the year, but the large majority of them were composed of low level cultivators as a matter of course. As for Ninth-Order cultivators, they were too powerful and important to be used as miners, not to mention that there were only so many Ninth-Order cultivators even in the Inner Circle.
Since the three Ninth-Order cultivators supervising the ore vein were already dead, the chance they would encounter a threat they could not handle was extremely low. Practically no one could stop them until the reinforcements showed up.
Not only that, the three Ninth-Order cultivators had died so quickly they weren’t even able to inform their comrades about the threat. As a result, the cultivators working within the mines had no idea that death was upon them.
The trio had even split up at a crossroad to improve their killing efficiency.
Since they weren’t trying to hide themselves anymore, it was only a matter of time before the enemy discovered their handiwork. An incense stick later, a bloodcurdling scream pierced through the tunnels and alarmed all nearby cultivators. Various messages were sent, and soon they received a most horrifying news.
Many of their comrades’ Battlefield Imprints had disappeared, meaning that these people were dead. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Battlefield Imprints of the three Ninth-Order cultivators guarding this place had vanished as well.
Panic began spreading through the ranks. All survivors began escaping toward the entrances while informing the Outpost about the attack.
At the Outpost, the Legate and the prolegate of the Sky Pilar Sect, Zou Qi and Yu Hongbao stepped out of their training chambers with alarmed looks on their faces. When they met up and discussed the incident, they realized that the situation was even worse than they had imagined.
They hadn’t just lost the three Ninth-Order cultivators guarding the ore vein. Yuan Guang had died without a peep as well…
While the Battlefield Imprint allowed fellow cultivators to check each other’s status, it wasn’t like they were going through their list of contacts all the time. Usually, discovery was made when someone attempted to contact the person to no avail. That was why Yuan Guang’s death was discovered so late.
“This has to be the handiwork of Silverlight Island!” Yu Hongbao said through gritted teeth.
It was a logical assumption. Who else had the motivation and the strength to kill so many cultivators including three Ninth-Order cultivators in such a short time?
There was one thing he couldn’t figure out though: why had none of the Ninth-Order cultivators—even Yuan Guang—sent a message before they died?
Silverlight Island must have dispatched a considerably large force to attack them. At least one of the two bastards—Luo Fu or Qi Shi—must be present as well.
“Should we send reinforcements to the ore vein now, Brother Zou?”
“No. We do not know what is going on yet.”
Zou Qi wanted to rescue his comrades just as much as him, but all they knew about the situation was that someone was attacking the mines. Assuming that Silverlight Island was invading their territory with an army, setting out carelessly would allow the enemy to catch them off guard.
Zou Qi looked to the black forest just outside the Outpost. It felt as if it was hiding an unimaginable amount of danger…
Both the Sky Pillar Sect and Silverlight Island had attacked a key location with the goal of killing the enemy’s reinforcements before. They were neighbors for many years, and they knew each other like the back of their hands.
“Send word to all disciples at the mines to escape as best they can. It is up to the Heavens whether they’ll survive the night!”
Zou Qi arrived at a decision quickly.
Yu Hongbao loathed the decision but understood that it was their only option. While sending the messages, they gathered every cultivator in the Outpost in one place and waited for the sun to rise.
The only way they could be sure there wasn’t an ambush lying in wait for them was to wait until daytime.
At the same time, at the Silverlight Island Outpost several hundred kilometers away from the Sky Pillar Sect, Luo Fu and Qi Shi were playing Go with each other. They had no idea that they were being blamed for a terrible crime they did not commit.
The Hao brother and sister had messaged Luo Fu about their decision after agreeing to accompany Lu Ye on his mission, and the man was beyond shocked when he learned that the Seventh-Order cultivator had single handedly killed Yuan Guang.
He was a Ninth-Order cultivator himself, but he dared not say that he could defeat the man for sure, much less kill him in single combat. He might have fallen from grace since the Chess Sea fiasco, but he was a former prolegate.
With that in mind, how on earth had a Seventh-Order cultivator accomplished what he couldn’t accomplish? Even if he assumed that Lu Ye’s victory was largely thanks to the Ward Scroll, it was still a ridiculous feat.
To be honest, Luo Fu did not approve of Hao Ren’s decision to join Lu Ye on his bravado. Causing havoc in enemy territory was risky business after all. In the end though, he did not stop them because both Hao Ren and Hao Qing were ghost cultivators; experts in the art of concealment and escape.
Plus, he was well aware of their strength. If they worked together, they could definitely take on an ordinary Ninth-Order cultivator.
At first, he thought that Lu Yi Ye’s mission to attack the Sky Pillar Sect’s ore vein was destined to end in failure. Depending on how poorly it went, they might even have to shake off a tail or two. He had already messaged Hao Ren to extend Lu Yi Ye an invitation to their Outpost.
It was partially to give face to Lu Yi Ye, and to sate his curiosity regarding some very strange rumors he had heard through the grapevine.
The latest messages from Hao Ren though… he felt as if someone had taken a hammer to his head.
‘Am I dreaming, or did the common sense of the Cultivation World change overnight?’
“How did it go?” Qi Shi asked while setting a stone on the board.
“I’m not sure you’ll believe me even if I told you…”
Seriously, it was so ridiculous that it was more believable that Hao Ren had been captured by the enemy and was forced to divulge false intel. However, he knew the man well enough to know that he would never do such a thing.
Qi Shi frowned. “Are they in danger?”
Luo Fu shook his head and uttered three names.
Qi Shi asked, “Those are the names of the three Ninth-Order cultivators of the Sky Pillar Sect, right?”
“Are they pursuing Hao Ren and Lu Yi Ye?”
“No, they’re dead! Not only that, Hao Ren, Hao Qing and Lu Yi Ye are currently inside the Sky Pillar Sect’s mines and going on a killing spree right now! Hao Ren even said they’ve killed enough enemies to make a river of blood!”
“Bullshit!” Qi Shi could not stop himself.
“I thought he was bullshitting me too, so I messaged Hao Qing to confirm this. She told me the same thing.” Luo Fu smiled wryly.
Qi Shi’s eyes widened like saucers. “You’re telling me that they… conquered the Sky Pillar Sect’s ore vein?”
“It certainly sounds like it.”
“That’s just impossible!” Qi Shi exclaimed while sending Hao Qing a message.
A while later, he received more or less the same response Luo Fu had received a while ago. Suddenly, he understood why his fellow cultivator had looked like he was doubting the reality he was living in a while ago. A few seconds later, he asked uncertainly, “Do you think they were captured, or…?”
He had clearly arrived at the same assumption as Luo Fu. Just as quickly, he shook his head and added, “No, they’re more likely to kill themselves than betray the sect.”
That was what he said, but he still couldn’t quite believe that four cultivators had conquered an entire ore vein.
“You know, Sky Pillar Sect must be thinking that it’s our handiwork.” Qi Shi suddenly realized. “They’re definitely going to dispatch a squad to hunt down the Haos and Lu Yi Ye as well.”
Luo Fu nodded. “We can use this!”
Qi Shi understood what his colleague meant without needing to hear the words. He immediately dropped the stone in his hand and declared, “I’ll assemble the men right away!”
A moment later, several hundred cultivators had gathered in front of the Silverlight Island’s Sanctum of Providence. Their cultivation level was between Sixth to Ninth-Order, and the large majority of them were sect disciples. There were also associates and cultivators who hailed from allied sects. Regardless, they all had to obey the orders of Silverlight Island until the day they left the sect.
No one knew why the Legate and the prolegate had summoned them in the middle of the night, but they had a feeling that it was something big. Instead of fear, excitement flooded their veins and made them restless. Large-scale operations like this were very dangerous, but it was also a great opportunity to earn Contribution Points.
It was an ironclad law that the higher the cultivation level, the greater the need for Contribution Points.
A while later, Luo Fu had tossed out a ship big enough to carry several hundred people at a time. They all boarded the ship and together, lifted it into the air and flew it toward the Sky Pillar Sect’s Outpost.