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Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
A few months ago, when Lu Ye’s identity was exposed, and Thousand Demon Ridge had tried to hunt him down, it was the cultivators of Grand Sky Coalition who had escorted and protected him. Without the aid of these cultivators—some whose name and origin still eluded him to this day—he would’ve died on the road a long time ago.
That was why he was willing to offer Silverlight Island more than that was fair even though they weren’t affiliated with one another until recently. It was simply because they both belonged to Grand Sky Coalition.
Grand Sky Coalition and Thousand Demon Ridge had been locked in conflict since forever. They would’ve been consumed by the other faction long ago if they were any less united than they were.
Luo Fu did not know what Lu Ye would like to ask from him, but he could make a guess or two. He wasn’t the type of person to dwell on a decision for too long, so it only took him a moment of thought before breaking out into a refreshing laugh. “Very well, Brother Yi Ye. I would like nothing more than to be your friend.”
He then exchanged imprints with Lu Ye on the spot.
Lu Ye sent out another message. Soon, the Great Serpent slithered out of the Sanctum of Providence and toward the distant horizon under everyone’s watchful gaze.
It was because Yi Yi had lured it away with the dragon scale.
The reason it had hounded the Sky Pillar Sect cultivators and even invaded their Sanctum of Providence wasn’t because it had a blood feud with them, but because it was chasing around the dragon scale like a dog after a bone. The Great Serpent cared little for cultivators, and it wasn’t interested in bullying the weak either. If it was, it wouldn’t have stayed in its lake for years and showed its face only once in a blue moon.
If the dragon scale wasn’t as attractive as it was, it would never have caused such a huge commotion.
“You first, Brother Yi Ye,” Luo Fu gestured respectfully.
Lu Ye did not decline the offer this time. After stepping into the Sanctum of Providence, he took a moment to admire the devastated building. It was a surprise that the building hadn’t toppled outright as the Great Serpent had left a good number of giant pits on the floor. He could even see some broken scales here and there.
He walked up to the Divine Opportunity Column and put his hand on it. Then, he used his authority as the Legate of the Crimson Blood Sect to plunder its Blessings.
He could clearly sense a great number of something flowing into his Battlefield Imprint. While the process was going on, the Divine Opportunity Column made screechy, grinding noises that suggested that it might break down at any moment.
Lu Ye knew it was just his imagination though. The Divine Opportunity Column was a product of the Heavens, so it could never be broken or destroyed. This was just the natural reaction of the column’s Blessings being taken away from it. No one knew about the internal workings of the Divine Opportunity Column, but it was directly tied to the richness of the World Spiritual Qi in the surrounding area. Every time a Blessing was added or removed from the Divine Opportunity Column, its internal structure would change accordingly.
Right now, the Sky Pillar Sect Outpost’s World Spiritual Qi was thinning at a visible rate.
A short while later, Lu Ye exited the Sanctum of Providence and gave Luo Fu a nod. The Legate immediately went in to plunder the rest of the Blessings. By the time he came out, the World Spiritual Qi of the Outpost had become almost the same as the wilderness.
Lu Ye would have liked to know exactly how much reward he had gotten out of this excursion, but that would have to wait until he had returned to the Crimson Blood Sect. It was because plundered Blessings could not be converted directly into Contribution Points. He would have to store them in the Crimson Blood Sect’s Divine Opportunity Column first before he could convert them.
It was a shame that much of the Blessings were lost during the plundering process, or their booty would only be greater.
Silverlight Island’s cultivators still weren’t done looting the Outpost. For example, the Outpost possessed a good number of Spirit Farms, and some of the herbs and plants they grew were quite valuable.
Moreover, the Sky Pillar Sect’s Outpost was way bigger than the Crimson Blood Sect’s, though it wasn’t one of the natural benefits of being an Inner Circle Sect. The Sky Pillar Sect had to buy the expansion via Contribution Points.
The range of a Divine Opportunity Column was equal to the size of an Outpost. At the beginning, every sect started out with the same amount of space and infrastructure. Over time, they could spend Contribution Points to increase the range of the Divine Opportunity Column and the size of the Outpost at the same time.
It should not need to be said that more space was always better.
Theoretically, it was possible to expand an Outpost infinitely if they had an infinite amount of Contribution Points. They could literally border their neighbors if they wanted to. Of course, not even the richest sects had that many Contribution Points to spend. The size of most Outposts was usually determined by the sect’s needs.
Two hours later, the cultivators of Silverlight Island had assembled together once more. They then boarded the ship Spirit Artifact under Luo Fu’s order.
Luo Fu invited Lu Ye to be a guest in their Outpost, which was exactly what Lu Ye wanted. So, he joined Luo Fu on the ship and took off toward Silverlight Island’s Outpost.
It did not take a genius to know that this massive ship-like flying Spirit Artifact was extremely valuable. Silverlight Island had probably spent a considerable amount of Contribution Points to purchase it from the Vault of Providence.
Still, it was no match to the Flying Dragon Boat he had ridden in the past. The Flying Dragon Boat was an actual weapon capable of uprooting fortresses and sieging cities. This ship was at best a flying Spirit Artifact with some defensive qualities.
After assigning a cabin to Lu Ye, Luo Fu went away and busied himself with work.
Silverlight Island hadn’t walked away from this excursion completely unscathed, though their losses were minimal as a matter of course. He was busy because he had to tally all the booty they had seized from the Outpost. Half of it belonged to Lu Ye after all.
While Silverlight Island’s cultivators were flying home in high spirits, various messages had been transmitted to all major factions through all sorts of channels.
It was the work of the deceased Zou Qi, of course. He had passed the message that Silverlight Island could control the Great Serpent before his demise.
His objective was very simple. If he could not save his Outpost, he would at least prevent his allies from suffering the same fate.
Plus, the message could prompt all Thousand Demon Ridge factions that were close to Silverlight Island to join hands and take them out.
The ability to control the Great Serpent or worse, any Serpent was just too scary. A Core Circle Sect might not be too worried by the threat—they had plenty of champions who were cultivating Heaven Grade cultivation techniques after all—but an Inner Circle Sect? A Serpent was basically an unbeatable threat.
Who could sleep tight knowing that a goddamn Serpent might knock on their Great Defensive Ward one day?
Of course, the news could have the opposite effect. All Thousand Demon Ridge factions close to Silverlight Island might swear off hostilities against the sect once and for all.
There was no way Zou Qi could anticipate how things would go, but a man on his deathbed had little to lose. All he knew was that he would definitely regret it if he took the intel to his grave.
As a result, countless factions had sent their cultivators to investigate Sky Pillar Sect’s Outpost. Most hailed from Thousand Demon Ridge, and some from Grand Sky Coalition. Heavens only knew how a message that should’ve remained in Thousand Demon Ridge managed to leak to Grand Sky Coalition so quickly.
When the Ninth-Order cultivators arrived at the Sky Pillar Sect’s Outpost, everyone was chilled by what they saw.
There wasn’t a part of the Outpost that was left intact. Countless buildings had been knocked to the ground, and there were even traces of fires here and there. Silverlight Island had set the Outpost on fire right before they evacuated. They had shown no pity toward their sworn enemy whatsoever.
Every plant in the Spirit Farms was uprooted regardless of their maturity. The public square in front of the Sanctum of Providence was covered in blood and bodies. Some of the pools of blood were so big they hadn’t even dried yet.
To say that the Sky Pillar Sect Outpost was a mess would be an understatement. When some Sky Pillar Sect cultivators had learned of their enemy’s departure and came back to check the scene, their reaction was tragic to say the least. Some people had dropped to their knees and screamed themselves hoarse. Some could not stop weeping until many hours later. It was that bad.
A fight between the Ninth-Order cultivators of Grand Sky Coalition and Thousand Demon Ridge had even broken out afterward. It was inevitable considering that more and more people were gathering within the Outpost. It was unknown who had won in the end.
Half a day later, Lu Ye and Yi Yi disembarked the ship and stood on the soil of the Silverlight Island’s Outpost. Amber was lying lazily on his shoulder.
Luo Fu had personally led Lu Ye to the two-story building that he would be spending the night at and told him that a welcoming feast would be held that night. He would’ve liked to accompany the young man some more, but he needed to report the occupation of the Sky Pillar Sect Outpost and Lu Ye’s role in it as soon as possible.
He told Lu Ye to speak with the Hao brother and sister if he needed anything.
After Luo Fu had left, Lu Ye sent the two ghost cultivators away to catch some well-deserved rest and promised he would message them if he needed anything. Then, he and Yi Yi went up to the second floor.
On the way back, Yi Yi told Lu Ye that she had put the dragon scale in the Storage Bag after luring it about five kilometers away from the Sanctum of Providence. The Great Serpent had looked so stupefied that she was going to remember its expression for years to come…
It had rampaged on the spot where the dragon scale had disappeared for a while before finally taking its leave. She could’ve been seeing things, but she thought that its eyes looked a little lonely when it left.
Judging from the direction of its departure, it was probably going back to its old haunt, the lake. Yi Yi couldn’t be sure because Lu Ye had messaged her to return to him by then.
In the room, Yi Yi meditated to recover her strength while Amber chowed down some Spirit Pills.
Yi Yi had been carrying the dragon scale underground for hours, so of course she needed to meditate to regain her strength.
Lu Ye was inspecting his Spiritual Points and deciding if he should ascend to the Eighth-Order.
Previously, he was hesitating because the Contribution Points he got for killing a Ninth-Order cultivator were much higher as a Seventh-Order cultivator than otherwise. However, while he absolutely possessed the power to kill enemies who were two minor levels above him, he discovered that the effort wasn’t quite worth the reward. In the end, he decided that he was better off ascending to the Eighth-Order.
Also, the Contribution Points he got for occupying an Outpost were way higher than what he got for killing an enemy cultivator. In fact, most of his Contribution Points had been obtained that way. Only a small fraction had come from killing an enemy cultivator.
Ascending to the Eighth-Order was the best choice here. If nothing else, greater cultivation level equaled greater safety.
“Brother Yi Ye.” A cry came from outside.
Lu Ye looked out of the window and saw a young man in blue clothes looking up at him from the ground. As if sensing his gaze, the young man looked up and smiled at him. “I hope I’m not bothering you. May we speak?”
“Give me a moment.”
Lu Ye moved back into his room and went downstairs. After he opened the door, he saw that the young man was accompanied by the Hao brother and sister. They were both carrying a large amount of Storage Bags.
Lu Ye figured out what was going on immediately. Silverlight Island had come to give him his share of the booty. He liked how efficient they were.
“I am the prolegate of Silverlight Island, Qi Shi. I am very happy to make your acquaintance, Brother Yi Ye.”
“You are too kind, Brother Qi. Please, come in.”
The building he was assigned was probably built for guest reception. The second floor was the resting place, and the first floor the lounge area.
After Qi Shi and the Hao brother and sister had entered the building, the prolegate said, “As per your agreement with Brother Luo, this is half of everything we got from Sky Pillar Sect. Where should we place them?”
At first glance, they were carrying at least one or two hundred Storage Bags in their arms.
“Please take them upstairs.”
The Hao brother and sister followed Yi Yi upstairs and set down the Storage Bags at the place she pointed. Then, they bade their goodbye and left Qi Shi to speak with Lu Ye. Qi Shi would have left too, but Lu Ye wanted to learn more about Outpost management. Since Qi Shi was a prolegate, he was sure he could learn from his knowledge and experience.
Beside him, Yi Yi brewed tea while listening to their conversation. Sometimes, Lu Ye would shoot her a look of astonishment. He didn’t know that Yi Yi was versed in the art of tea brewing until now.