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Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
One incense stick later, Lu Ye had lost thirty rounds in a row. It would be a shocker if he won, really. Liu Sanbao’s dice cup was a Spirit Artifact. He could make the dice stand on their pointed ends if he wanted to, much less manipulate their numbers.
By now, the commotion outside the shop had subsided somewhat. Believing that the initial chaos had passed, Lu Ye rose to his feet and said, “Your skills are impressive. I concede defeat.”
He then walked straight toward the exit.
Liu Sanbao simply smiled and did not try to stop him. Lu Ye quickly found out why. When he arrived at the door, he peered through the gap to see if there was anyone on the streets. After confirming that it was as empty as it seemed, he grabbed the door handle and tried to pull. It wouldn’t budge, however. It was as if some sort of invisible energy was holding it shut.
Spiritual Power surged into his pupils as Insight took form. He immediately noticed that the entire building was surrounded by an air-tight ward. The only way to break out of this place was to breach it.
He knew it wouldn’t be this simple.
He examined his surroundings to check if he could breach the ward. After studying the Way of Glyphs under Lady Yun for so long, he wasn’t completely clueless about breaching wards.
The good news was that the ward was pretty simple. He should be able to break out given enough time.
The bad news was that he couldn’t be disturbed during the process, and Liu Sanbao was hardly going to stand there and do nothing while he unraveled the ward.
He slowly walked back into the room and stood in front of the gambling table. While thumbing the hilt of his saber, he stared at the smiling apparition and said slowly,
“Open the ward. I am leaving!”
Liu Sanbao shook his head. “I cannot do that, my friend. Our game isn’t over yet.”
“When will it be over?”
“That depends on how many stakes you have. The game will end naturally when you’ve lost everything you have.” He started chuckling sinisterly. “After all, there is nothing a true gambler wouldn’t stake to get his thrill… not even his life!”
“I understand.” Lu Ye nodded. “Let’s skip the trivialities and bet our lives then. Who do you think will live, you or me?”
The second Lu Ye finished his sentence, he leaped over the table and unsheathed his saber. He empowered it with Sharp Edge and swung it straight at Liu Sanbao’s face.
Liu Sanbao’s smile remained unchanging. It was as if he knew Lu Ye would do this from the start. Not even bothering to dodge out of the way, he gave his dice cup a light slap and fired a dice straight toward Lu Ye’s face.
There was a loud clang as Inviolable clashed against the dice. It looked like the dice wouldn’t even slow the saber, but in reality the impact was so great that Lu Ye had to bend backward a little and lose a bit of momentum. That wasn’t all. Two more dice were flying toward his left and right side at high speed.
“Roar!” A tiger’s roar resounded within the building.
At the same time, Yi Yi flashed out of Amber’s body and fired a spell straight at Liu Sanbao’s face.
Liu Sanbao’s smile suddenly froze on his face. In fact, his entire outline wobbled a little when Amber’s roar hit him.
The two dice flying toward Lu Ye suddenly lost a lot of power as well. Lu Ye was able to send them flying with ease.
The next second, Yi Yi’s spell sent Liu Sanbao flying through the air and crashing against the floor.
It was only now Liu Sanbao’s eyes regained their clarity. When he looked up, he met Amber’s eyes and felt as if they could pull his soul into it, literally. For the first time in god knows how many years, he was paralyzed with fear and worry.
“What on earth are—”
Amber did not wait for him to recover. Having returned to its original form, the tiger opened its mouth and inhaled in Liu Sanbao’s direction like it normally did with the blood qi in the dragon scale. Something incredible happened. Liu Sanbao’s entire body began distorting as if his form could collapse at any moment. At the same time, a bulge appeared on the apparition’s chest as if it was trying to break free.
Lu Ye wasn’t expecting this to happen at all. His plan was very simple, and that was to kill Liu Sanbao and escape this shop. He had no idea that Amber was capable of suppressing the apparition.
He did not think that the suppression only worked on Liu Sanbao either. It should work on all apparitions!
Amber once transformed Yi Yi into a Ghost Spirit, so it made sense that it was uniquely talented in this regard. He had no idea it could suppress apparitions though, and he wouldn’t have found out if he hadn’t entered the Lost City of Xianyuan.
“No!” Liu Sanbao screamed in panic as he attempted to pull away from Amber’s mouth with all his might. Although the gap between their cultivation realms were massive, the apparition felt like he had encountered his natural enemy. Not only was he incapable of unleashing his normal strength at all, he was trembling with fear from the bottom of his soul.
Lu Ye did not hesitate to score a hit on Liu Sanbao, causing his resistance to weaken considerably. Another hit later, and his entire body folded like paper as he was pulled bit by bit toward Amber’s bloody maw.
“I was wrong! Save me! Please!” Liu Sanbao begged while holding out a hand toward Lu Ye. It was far too late though. There was a gust of air, and the apparition vanished in the blink of an eye. Amber let out a loud burp, and its aura flashed brightly for a moment.
After the battle was over, Lu Ye and Yi Yi exchanged a surprised look with each other. Obviously, none of them had expected this outcome. This should’ve been a hard fight, but Amber’s suppression against apparitions was so ridiculous that even a Heaven Grade Seventh-Order cultivator was unable to defy it.
“How does Amber feel? Did it change in any way?” Lu Ye asked.
It was a fair question. This was the first time Amber had displayed this ability since they had never encountered another ghost until now.
Yi Yi fell quiet for a couple of seconds before shaking her head. “No, I don’t—wait!”
Lu Ye’s heart skipped a beat as Yi Yi abruptly lunged into Amber’s body. When she came out, she surprised him by dragging a familiar-looking apparition with her. It was none other than Liu Sanbao.
‘I guess Amber didn’t eat him after all.’
Anyone would’ve thought that Amber had eaten the apparition after that earlier scene. It looked like that wasn’t the case though. If he wasn’t mistaken, Liu Sanbao had been converted into its Ghost Spirit. He was nothing like Yi Yi though. His face was blank, and his earlier cunning was nowhere to be seen. He clearly did not have a mind of his own.
Moreover, Liu Sanbao’s strength had dropped from Heaven Grade Seventh-Order to Ninth-Order. There was no telling if this drop in power was natural or not. It could be because Lu Ye had slashed him multiple times while he was vulnerable, or it could be something else.
“Can he be controlled?” Lu Ye asked again.
Amber cocked its head thoughtfully. Then, an aura flashed out of its body. Liu Sanbao began stuttering unnaturally like a puppet on strings, but it wasn’t long before he seemingly returned to his usual self once more. He picked up the dice cup he had dropped on the ground, ran to the gambling table and yelled, “Place your bet on the left if you think the dice total is big, or right if you think it’s small!”
Yi Yi slapped Amber’s head immediately. “That’s not something you should learn!”
Amber immediately whined in protest. It was because it hadn’t made Liu Sanbao act like this. All it did was give Liu Sanbao a simple order, and the apparition just acted of his own accord. The gambler was truly a hopeless gambler. He was unable to rid himself of his ingrained behavior even after he had been transformed into a Ghost Spirit.
“How many Ghost Spirits can you control at a time?” Lu Ye asked.
Amber responded with a cry, and Yi Yi translated, “Not sure. It would have to consume more apparitions to know for sure.”
A bold plan began taking form in Lu Ye’s head.
“Come. Let’s seek out the Xianyuan City Watch.”
Amber made Liu Sanbao open the ward trapping them within the building. Then, they took off toward the distance.
Meanwhile, the chaos in the city had subsided considerably. It had been total chaos when hundreds of cultivators had descended from the sky. At least dozens of people were unlucky enough to be caught by the sentries and imprisoned in the dungeon right from the get go. In fact, the sentries were still scouring the streets for them. Combat was inevitable if they were discovered.
Everyone started contacting their friends and allies and traveled in groups. It was their only shot at survival if they stumbled upon the Xianyuan City Watch. In this Heavens forsaken place, exploring alone was the worst possible thing you could do. The sentries weren’t just powerful, they were also capable of annoying spells such as the Spirit Shackling Rope. If someone was snared by a Spirit Shackling Rope, three or more were sure to follow. When that happened, not even the strongest Spirit Creek Realm cultivator could break out of their binds.
In fact, the Xianyuan City Watch was so oppressive that the cultivators actually stopped their infighting for the moment. If they ran into a cultivator from the opposing faction, they would simply bow their heads and go their respective ways. It was because there was simply no benefit to fighting each other right now. Worst case scenario, they might all be captured by the Xianyuan City Watch. The fighting could happen after they had met up with their friends and allies.
Speaking of which, the Lost City of Xianyuan did not have any valuable herbs or plants that could be harvested. What it did have was buildings that potentially contained valuable treasures. Of course, they could only get them if they could avoid the Xianyuan City Watch.
Right now, a battle was happening at a corner of the city. A group of cultivators had accidentally stumbled upon a squad of sentries and were now fighting for their lives. Unfortunately for them, they were losing horribly. Two of their group of four had already been captured, and the remaining two did not look like they would last much longer.
It was at this moment the squad leader suddenly looked in a certain direction. He saw a young man standing in the open and looking at him brazenly.
“You dare!” The squad leader erupted and rushed straight toward the intruder.
The young man immediately turned tail and ran. It wasn’t long before both the pursuer and the pursued were out of sight.
A few seconds later, a tiger’s roar erupted from the corner both men had disappeared to. And then… that was it.
In an alley, Lu Ye watched the blank-faced squad leader with a satisfied look on his face. The apparition was almost as strong as Liu Sanbao, and he was devoured by Amber not long after Lu Ye had baited him to this location and hit him a couple of times with his saber. He was now a Ninth-Order Ghost Spirit under Amber’s control just like Liu Sanbao.
A while later, Lu Ye and the squad leader returned to the battlefield. Since Lu Ye was walking in front of the apparition, it looked like he had been captured as well.
The rest of the sentries were standing by for orders. The four cultivators they were battling had already been bound like worms.
At first, one of the captives shot Lu Ye a look and felt pity for his fellow cultivator. However, he quickly realized that Lu Ye wasn’t bound in any way. His eyes immediately widened in shock and confusion.
Lu Ye had been watching the sentries closely as he approached them. When he noticed that they were frozen in their spots like statues, he immediately realized that they were just mindless apparitions. The squad leader was smart enough to judge a situation and take independent actions, but the ordinary sentries clearly did not possess such intelligence.
The fact that they hadn’t even glanced at Lu Ye pretty much proved his assessment.