Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
It would be nice if swearing loudly could improve their situation somehow, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. It was impossible to leave after entering a Rift of Fortune. They could only wait until the time limit was up, and they were thrown out by the Lost City of Xianyuan itself.
It was at this moment Lu Ye felt a powerful attraction force from the front. The next moment, he began falling toward the city at high speed. People were crying out in surprise all around him.
About six or seven hundred cultivators had entered the Rift of Fortune this time. The sight of all of them falling toward the ground was impressive to say the least.
At this height, not even a body tempering cultivator like Ju Jia could possibly survive the impact. It wasn’t a matter of tenacity, but of physics. A fall like this just wasn’t survivable.
Everyone was trying to channel their Spiritual Power to save themselves to no avail. Cultivators who knew nothing about the Rift of Fortune started cursing even louder. Some were even screaming and crying that they didn’t want to die yet.
Lu Ye didn’t panic because the information he bought from the Divine Trade Association had mentioned this exact situation. He simply focused on channeling his Spiritual Power again and again.
As they were falling, some people started straying away from the main group as if they had been caught in a different air current. They felt horrible as the change of direction had nothing to do with their intentions whatsoever.
The short cultivator and Ju Jia had appeared not far away from Lu Ye, but they eventually moved out of sight as they were falling toward the city. It was impossible to say where they were right now.
The screams grew increasingly frantic as the ground grew closer and closer. It wasn’t until they were around thirty meters from the ground when their descent abruptly slowed. When the distance had shortened to ten meters, the shackles around their Spiritual Power finally vanished like they were never there.
All cultivators who knew what was going to happen immediately channeled their Spiritual Power and saved themselves from crashing. Those who didn’t landed unceremoniously to put it mildly. They were close enough to the ground that the impact wasn’t enough to kill even the weakest of them, but it certainly wasn’t a good look to land on your face, ass, or any other embarrassing position.
Lu Ye performed a front roll immediately after his feet made contact with the ground. It was an evasive maneuver just in case someone had landed close by and decided to take a cheap shot at him. Once he had risen to his feet, he immediately grabbed the hilt of the Inviolable and checked his surroundings. Luckily for him, the street—a market street judging from the dilapidated shops lining on both sides of the street—he landed on looked to be devoid of people.
Everyone’s formation had been completely disorganized. Originally, the three sects held a major advantage over their competitors since they were in a large group. Now, it was going to take them a while to reunite with their fellow cultivators. This was good news for the independent cultivators because it meant that they wouldn’t have to worry about being attacked by massive groups of enemy cultivators for the time being.
Suddenly, Lu Ye heard a shout, “Who dares to enter Xianyuan without permission? Take them down!” Immediately after that, he heard the sounds of fighting and felt shockwaves of Spiritual Power.
He was still trying to determine what to do when he saw two cultivators rushing out of a corner and running straight toward him. They looked like they were being chased by some sort of harbingers of doom.
“Unlucky bastards!” Lu Ye swore under his breath while checking his left and right. As soon as he found a building with a lantern at the entrance, he immediately applied Windwalk to his legs and rushed toward it like lightning. He pushed open the door, dashed inside, and slammed it behind him in one smooth motion.
After breathing a sigh of relief, he peered through the gap between the door to look outside. The two cultivators had barely run a couple of steps when a shining rope lashed toward them from behind. Judging from its appearance, it was less of a Spirit Artifact and more like a shackling spell. In fact, it looked pretty similar to the rumored Spirit Shackling Rope.
The Spirit Shackling Rope was targeted at the combat cultivator of the duo, but the man wasn’t going to go down easily. He lashed out with his blade and was able to destroy the spell in mid-run. He hmphed disdainfully and said, “Piece of cake!”
Not a moment too soon, five more Spirit Shackling Ropes appeared from the back and wrapped around him like they had a mind of their own. The poor guy was immobilized instantly.
The combat cultivator yelped in surprise as he dropped to the ground. He struggled hard to break out of his binds, but the Spirit Shackling Ropes simply grew tighter and tighter until finally, he could barely breathe.
“It’s not fair! Fight me one on one if you dare!” The cultivator yelled.
His captors merely ran past him without a sound and continued chasing after the other cultivator. Just ten breaths later, Lu Ye heard a cry of surprise from the distance. Then, the captors returned with the cultivator in tow. They dropped the bound man next to his companion. For a time, the two cultivators simply stared at each other with tears in their eyes.
The captors were all wearing the same type of armor. The leader’s helmet had a long feather at the top. Their name was the Xianyuan City Watch, and they were the protectors of the city. Although the city was destroyed, and they were all transformed into apparitions a long time ago, not a day had passed where these spectral sentries weren’t carrying out their duties faithfully.
The Xianyuan City Watch was the biggest threat in the city bar none because every member was at least Eighth-Order or higher. Some squad leaders were Heaven Grade Seventh-Order cultivators as well. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the sentries were the lowest rung on the ladder. The officers, commanders and higher were even more powerful.
As for the city lord, no one knew how powerful he was. No one had ever set foot in his residence and lived to tell the tale.
The Xianyuan City Watch was a major threat to all cultivators. They always operated in squads of five or six, and each squad was led by a squad leader. They were a formidable force that most cultivators would avoid like the plague.
Lu Ye only needed to look at the two captured cultivators before him to know the information was true. They were a pair of Eighth-Order and Ninth-Order cultivators, and they weren’t weaklings whose skill did not fit their cultivation realm either. However, the sentry squad had still captured them with ease.
“Take them to the dungeon!” The sentry leader with a feather at the top of his head declared.
Lu Ye silently offered his condolences to the two cultivators. They were all here to search for their fortune, but it took a kind of bad luck to be caught by the Xianyuan City Watch at the very beginning, much less imprisoned behind bars. Although it didn’t look like their lives were in danger—the sentry leader would’ve just executed them if that was the plan—Heavens only know what kind of fate awaited them in the dungeon.
It was said that those who were thrown into the dungeon were tortured horribly. The tough ones might be able to survive until they were ejected from the city, but otherwise death was the most likely outcome.
The sentry leader wasn’t done though. He strode to the shop where Lu Ye was hiding next and pressed an eye against the gap between the door, staring him directly in the eye. He then declared in a malicious tone, “This is what happens to all those who dare to break the law in Xianyuan! Do not forget this!”
It was only then he finally left with his squad and his prisoners.
Lu Ye kept watching until the spectral sentries were completely out of sight. Even then, he never let go of the Inviolable. At the same time, he thanked his past self for spending nine hundred Spirit Stones to purchase the best information available in the Divine Trade Association because he would’ve had no idea how to deal with this situation otherwise. He would have clashed against the squad already if he was stingy, and Heavens only know what might have happened then.
According to the info in the jade slip, all buildings with a lantern at the entrance seemed to be protected by some kind of strange power. Barring exceptional circumstances, the Xianyuan City Watch would not enter these buildings.
That was why Lu Ye had made a beeline for this shop.
A ton of cultivators should be roaming the streets of Xianyuan and engaging the Xianyuan City Watch in a deadly cat-and-mouse chase right now. After some thought, he decided that it would be safer to hide in this shop and wait until the situation stabilized than to explore blindly.
‘I wonder how many people were caught by the sentries already…’
Lu Ye turned around and stared wordlessly at a corner of the room. Three meters away, a fat middle-aged man wearing a landlord’s outfit was rubbing his palms and smiling kindly at Lu Ye.
‘What terrible luck…’
Most of the buildings with a lantern at the entrance did not have an owner, but sometimes they housed an apparition or two. Moreover, these long-dead apparitions would often make all kinds of strange requests to the cultivators who paid them a visit. If they were able to fulfill the apparition’s request, then they would be able to leave the place unscathed. Otherwise, they would have to pay a terrible price—their lives included.
Long story short, the Lost City of Xianyuan was a bizarre place.
“It seems that fate has brought us together, my young friend. Would you like to gamble with me?”
This guy had to be a gambler when he was still alive.
Lu Ye’s gaze lingered at the apparition’s neck for a second. He was wondering if he could kill the guy in one hit.
Unfortunately, his aura was that of a Heaven Grade Seventh-Order cultivator, so chances were he was going to fail horribly. So, he suppressed his killing intent and went with the apparition’s wishes for now. It wasn’t the time to cause a huge commotion anyway.
The apparition’s expression grew even friendlier as he beckoned Lu Ye to follow him. “Follow me!”
Lu Ye kept a hand on his saber as he followed the apparition into another room. When he saw the gambling table at the center, he immediately figured that his theory was right. The apparition was a gambler in the past.
The apparition sat down at the head of the table and gestured. “Sit.”
Lu Ye did as he said and sat down on the opposite chair.
“My name is Liu Sanbao. What is yours, my young friend?”
“Lu Yi Ye!”
Liu Sanbao chuckled when he heard this. “Fate truly has brought us together. Even our names match one another’s (T/N: Yi (One), San (Three)). That said, you do not look like a skilled gambler, so let’s play a simpler game, shall we? How about dice?”
“Your house, your rules,” Lu Ye replied unconcerned.
“We are in agreement then.” The apparition rolled up his sleeves as if he was going to give it his best shot. He flipped his palm and pulled out a dice cup seemingly out of thin air. A melodious sound rang when he threw three dice into the cup. Lu Ye shot the cup a glance but said nothing.
Liu Sanbao covered up the cup and shook it a little. Then, he slammed it on the table and declared, “Place your bet on the left if you think the dice total is big, or right if you think it’s small. You may begin now.”
He looked very excited. It was clear it had been a long, long time since he got to gamble with anyone.
“What can I bet?”
“Anything. Literally, anything. Even a strand of hair is acceptable.”
So, Lu Ye grabbed a Spirit Stone from his bag and tossed it to the right side of the table.
“The bet is decided, and the outcome is—!” Liu Sanbao yelled in excitement before removing the cup. He guffawed as he continued, “Four, five and six; a big total. You’ve lost, my young friend.”
Liu Sanbao immediately grabbed the Spirit Stone and tossed it into his sleeves. He then scooped up the dice with the cup, covered it up and shook it once more. He said again, “Bet left if you think it’s big, and right if it’s small.”
Lu Ye wordlessly tossed another Spirit Stone to the right.