Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Zou Qi’s plan was very simple. The Sky Pillar Sect was standing on the line between life and death right now. Since he wasn’t willing to slink back to Jiuzhou with his tail between his legs, his only remaining option was to bait the Great Serpent into attacking Silverlight Island.
There was a prerequisite to this plan, however. The Great Serpent must not be under the Silverlight Island’s control, or executing the plan would only be an exercise in futility. After baiting Luo Fu into revealing that that wasn’t the case, he immediately ordered Yu Hongbao to seal off the Divine Opportunity Column, dropped the Grand Defensive Ward of their own accord, and led the charge against Silverlight Island.
When they were about a hundred and thirty meters away from the enemy’s battle line, he ordered them to split up into two smaller groups before resuming their charge. As a result, a good amount of Silverlight Island’s spells and flying weapons had struck the Great Serpent dead on.
The creature immediately hissed and stared at the panicking Silverlight Island cultivators with its massive green pupils. As if on cue, the energy surrounding its body grew terribly violent.
Luo Fu was standing at the forefront of his troops, and right now he felt as if his blood was made of ice. Just a minute ago, he was at the top of his life. Now, he was plummeting toward rock bottom. It was such a thrilling experience he could have a heart attack right now.
The Great Serpent opened its mouth and spat out a puff of green fog, causing a ton of flying weapons to fall from the sky immediately.
‘It’s over!’ Luo Fu groaned on the inside.
Meanwhile, Zou Qi looked behind him just in time to see the Great Serpent spitting out its fog. Joy filled his heart because he knew that his plan had succeeded. All he needed to do now was to lead his people to the back of Silverlight Island’s formation, cut off their path of retreat, and force them to deal with the Great Serpent!
The Outpost had been on the brink of occupation, but not only did he turn the tides with a clever ploy, he even managed to catch the enemy’s forces off guard. He could already imagine what would happen when news of his success was reported back to the sect. The elders would shower him with praise and elevate his status. The sect would reward him with all kinds of cultivation resources, and if he played the political game well enough, he might even have a shot at marrying the sect master’s only daughter. He would reach the peak of his cultivation life!
Alas, his dream was just that, a dream. It was because the Great Serpent had not attacked the Silverlight Island cultivators despite being less than sixty meters away from them. Instead, it changed directions and continued chasing after the Sky Pillar Sect cultivators.
Zou Qi’s face turned green in an instant. ‘Why? Why?? Why is it hounding us even though we’ve never provoked it?’
Luo Fu had been half a second away from screaming, “Stop it now!” when he realized that the Great Serpent had changed directions. As if on cue, he received a message from his Battlefield Imprint and realized it came from Hao Ren.
He finally realized the truth after he checked the message. The reason the Great Serpent had attacked the Outpost, the reason it had ignored their accidental provocation, and the reason it was chasing after the Sky Pillar Sect right now… it was all because of Lu Ye.
The Legate pulled out a wine gourd from his Storage Bag and gulped down a few mouthfuls of wine. These ups and downs were a little too much for his poor heart to endure…
After the wine had warmed his belly somewhat, Luo Fu shouted, “Focus on defense! Do not attack unless you absolutely have to!”
The hundreds of Silverlight Island cultivators immediately withdrew their formation into a tight circle. The body tempering cultivators stood on the outermost ring, followed by the combat cultivators, the ghost cultivators and finally the spell cultivators.
At first, they were all terrified for their lives. It was hard not to when there was a giant Serpent wreaking havoc right next to you after all. A few minutes later though, they discovered that the situation was not what it seemed.
Some distance away from them, the scattered groups of Sky Pillar Sect cultivators had met up once more. Led by Zou Qi and Yu Hongbao, they were currently running for their lives while being chased by the Great Serpent. What was funny was that the Sky Pillar Sect was running circles around Silverlight Island in an attempt to bait the Great Serpent into attacking them, but the creature just kept chasing them like they had murdered its whole family. From time to time, it would spit out a green fog or strike them with a lightning bolt, dishing out much death and destruction.
‘What is happening?’
They were stupefied as a matter of course. Under any other circumstances, they would’ve been annoyed to be treated like air. They were a force of several hundred cultivators after all. This situation though? Attention was the last thing they wanted.
The Sky Pillar Sect would’ve given them some love if they could, but the Great Serpent was hounding them too closely for that to be possible, and the Great Serpent was too busy smiting the bothersome pests standing between it and its freedom. A moment of observation later, everyone let out a sigh of relief. They weren’t safe yet, not even close, but at least they could afford to enjoy the unprecedented spectacle.
“I can’t believe you called me a treacherous dog, Luo Fu! If you’re not the one controlling the Great Serpent, then who is!?” Zou Qi yelled angrily.
By now, The Legate realized that he had been duped. The Great Serpent absolutely was controlled by their neighbor, or there was no way the Great Serpent would attack them and them only. Even his attempt to cause some collateral damage by running circles around Silverlight Island had ended in failure.
“Fuck you!” Luo Fu yelled back just as fiercely. His heart was still thumping from the fright the Great Serpent had given him earlier.
“You are fucking dead, Silverlight Island!”
“Try repeating that after you have survived today, dog!”
Both sides traded vitriol with one another for a time.
Finally, Zou Qi yelled angrily, “Return to Jiuzhou!”
His final plan had ended in failure. If they dilly-dallied any longer, they were going to lose not just their Outpost, but most of their cultivators as well.
Zou Qi and Yu Hongbao abruptly changed directions and made a beeline toward the Sanctum of Providence.
Luo Fu was tempted to intercept them, but in the end he decided against the impulse. There was a good chance they might accidentally injure the Great Serpent and draw its attention. The reward was great, but ultimately not greater than the risk.
He watched the Sky Pillar Sect and the Great Serpent for a while. Their neighbor was currently running toward the Sanctum of Providence as fast they could while the Great Serpent slithered madly behind them. If he didn’t know any better, he would’ve thought that the Sky Pillar Sect had slaughtered the Serpents’ nine generations or something.
The Sky Pillar Sect hadn’t completely lost their heads despite their hopeless situation. After arriving at the Sanctum of Providence, they quickly moved into formation so they could buy time for their backline—the spell cultivators and medicine cultivators—to escape. They would be teleporting away in an orderly fashion.
And so the Sky Pillar Sect clashed against the Great Serpent once more. The sounds of impact seemed like it would never end.
However, the Sky Pillar Sect had lost a considerable amount of people even before they enacted their final plan. They also incurred a fair amount of casualties during the chase, not to mention that their forces were actively teleporting back to Jiu Zhou. The strength of their defense was decreasing rapidly.
In the end, it happened. The Great Serpent broke through the body-tempering cultivators’ defense line and crashed head first into the Sanctum of Providence. Bloodcurdling screams immediately erupted from the building as the cultivators who failed to teleport back to Jiu Zhou were killed.
A series of terrible booms and bangs followed after that. It sounded like the Great Serpent was thrashing about.
The survivors filed out of the Sanctum of Providence like ants. It was their only way out, but to stay inside the building was to commit suicide.
A bloodied and battered Zou Qi was currently lying spread eagled amidst the rubble. He looked at the one hundred or so Sky Pillar Sect cultivators around him in despair.
It was because he knew that this was the end of the Sky Pillar Sect.
2.5 kilometers away, Lu Ye climbed onto Amber’s back and said to Hao Ren, “You can tell your sect mates to launch their assault now. Don’t enter the Sanctum of Providence though!”
Amber then took off toward the Outpost.
The Hao brother and sister followed closely behind him while messaging Luo Fu.
When the Legate received Hao Ren’s message, he immediately ordered his forces to invade the Sky Pillar Sect’s Outpost.
If the Outpost was a defenseless woman, then the Great Serpent, Lu Ye, the Hao brother and sister, and the Silverlight Island cultivators were a couple hundred bandits hellbent on plundering everything she had. That should be all the imagery needed to imagine its fate.
By the time Lu Ye and Amber had arrived on the scene, the Great Serpent was still rampaging inside the Sanctum of Providence. The entire building was shaking like it might crumble at any moment.
The public square in front of the sanctum was covered in bodies and blood. The Sky Pillar Sect had suffered innumerable casualties.
Of course, someone had to have succeeded in escaping this place of death, but they could only be the minority even including those who had teleported back to Jiu Zhou. It would be apt to say that their forces—the ones at the Spirit Creek Realm at least—had been utterly destroyed.
The Silverlight Island cultivators were sweeping the battlefield. Luo Fu was waiting for someone on the public square.
“Brother Luo!” The Hao brother and sister arrived with Lu Ye.
Luo Fu nodded before giving Lu Ye a huge grin. “You’re Brother Yi Ye, right? I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“Well met, Brother Luo!” Lu Ye returned.
“As expected of the genius of a prodigious sect, you are as impressive as the rumors claim. You have my wholehearted praise, Brother Yi Ye!”
Lu Ye had not shown his face from start to finish, but Luo Fu knew that he was the sole reason they were able to occupy Sky Pillar Sect’s Outpost.
At the very least, the Sky Pillar Sect would have suffered much less casualties if he wasn’t able to control the Great Serpent.
He still didn’t know how a Seventh-Order Spirit Creek Realm Master like Lu Ye was capable of controlling a monster like the Great Serpent, but he wasn’t stupid enough to ask the young man about it. It would be a bad idea to spread the news and earn the hostility of their enemies.
Now they had occupied the Outpost, it was time to plunder the goods.
Luo Fu looked at the still trembling Sanctum of Providence and said seriously, “Brother Yi Ye, we can give up eighty percent of everything we got out of this expedition to you. What do you think?”
As the Legate of an Outpost, Luo Fu had a duty to his sect. Although he was very interested in befriending Lu Ye, he could not possibly surrender everything in the Outpost to him. He had pulled several hundred of his brethren into this battle after all. It would be remiss of him not to reward their hard work.
Yes, Lu Ye’s had done most of the hard work in this occupation, but it wasn’t like Silverlight Island’s presence was completely useless. If it wasn’t for them, Sky Pillar Sect probably could’ve repelled the Great Serpent.
To Lu Ye, his original goal was just to deal a bit of damage to the Sky Pillar Sect. Silverlight Island’s opportune arrival had been most welcomed.
One could even say that they were the straw that broke the Sky Pillar Sect’s back. To be perfectly honest, they deserved at least thirty to forty percent of the loot.
The reason Luo Fu offered to claim just twenty percent of the loot was because he wanted to befriend Lu Ye.
Lu Ye shook his head immediately. “I’m fine with half-half.”
Luo Fu immediately turned embarrassed. “Half-half? That’s… too much. Too much.”
“It’s okay, Brother Luo. I’m the one who has a favor to ask of you after all. You’d actually be putting me in a bad spot if you reject this.”
Lu Ye was planning to form an alliance with Silverlight Island because they were the closest Inner Circle sect to the Crimson Blood Sect’s Outpost. If everything worked out, then his sect members would be able to cultivate here in the future.
By offering Silverlight Island a generous reward, he was really securing their favor and protection for his sect mates. As someone who only managed to come this far thanks to them, he knew just how important and valuable they were.