Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Grand Sky Coalition was now ready to launch a counterattack. Ji Yan’s scouts had also discovered Thousand Demon Ridge’s latest encampment. They would officially mobilize half a day later.
Originally, he wasn’t sure if their side would win. Although Lu Ye and Ju Jia’s addition was a great boon, their overall number was still lower than Thousand Demon Ridge’s. Logically speaking, it was a coin flip who would emerge the victor.
He changed his mind after learning that Lu Ye had over thirty apparitions under his command, however. Five of them were special apparitions no less, not to mention that these apparitions could be replenished even if they were destroyed.
This meant that they technically had a near infinite amount of reinforcements as long as Lu Ye was alive. It did not matter if they lost the upcoming assault, they could just launch another assault at a later date and eat away at the enemy’s strength slowly. They would run out of forces eventually.
At the beginning, Ji Yan was prepared to die for his sect and his cultivation faction. No matter how he looked at it, losing Gu Canyang at the very beginning and fighting one versus two against their neighbors was an irreversible disadvantage. He never thought that things would turn out this way, and so, so much better than even his most optimistic estimations.
He could already imagine his upcoming promotion. At the very least, he was going to receive all kinds of rewards.
Everything was looking up except for one thing: his senior brother and Legate, Gu Canyang. He wondered how Brother Gu was faring in the dungeon.
The news that they would be launching a counterattack in half a day had already been spread. The independent cultivators were already messaging the friends who hadn’t shown up yet to join them.
Soon, another thirty or so cultivators joined their ranks. They were sure that there were still more independent cultivators hiding god-knows-where and doing god-knows-what, but there was nothing they could do about that.
The independent cultivators probably thought that Hidden Light Sanctuary was going to lose and chose to preserve themselves, no matter how unwise that decision might be.
Obviously, Thousand Demon Ridge’s independent cultivators must be meeting up with Sunlit Mountain and the House of Wintry Blossoms as well. In fact, they should be able to gather more independent cultivators than Hidden Light Sanctuary. After all, it seemed like Thousand Demon Ridge held the absolute advantage in this Rift of Fortune. Lu Ye was very curious to know what they would think after the next battle.
Lu Ye found a place to sit down to recover his strength and unlock the Restraining Locks of his Storage Bags. Amber needed some time to recover as well. It had used up far too much energy to command the Ghost Spirits, so much so that it was an entire size thinner than it was before. Yi Yi was heartbroken to see it right now.
Ju Jia also sat down beside Lu Ye after receiving treatment from the medicine cultivator. He was still wearing nothing but a pair of pants.
Lu Ye raised his eyebrows when he looked at the body tempering cultivator. Ju Jia had accumulated a ton of injuries after all the battles he had fought until this point, and a not insignificant amount of them went as deep as the bone. However, they were almost invisible now.
There was no way the medicine cultivator’s treatment alone could’ve healed him to this extent. His recovery speed must be ridiculous.
Lu Ye took out a large piece of meat from the Storage Bag and passed it to Ju Jia. The body tempering cultivator did not hesitate to accept it and chowed down earnestly.
It took Lu Ye two hours to unlock all of the Storage Bags. After placing all the items in one pile and sorting them out, he placed a small pile into a Storage Bag and gave it to Ju Jia. “This is for you.”
The simple-minded man hadn’t even owned a Storage Bag prior to Sima Yang’s death. Heavens only know how he managed to survive this far.
When Lu Ye was chatting with the Eighth-Order combat cultivator earlier, he had learned a little bit about Ju Jia.
Apparently, it was common knowledge that Ju Jia was Sima Yang’s cash cow. It was why both independent cultivators and sect disciples despised the spell cultivator. They considered it a sin to bully an honest man the way he did.
It wasn’t like no one had told Ju Jia about Sima Yang’s exploitation and advised him to leave, but the body tempering cultivator never paid the advice any heed. It was as if he didn’t want anything but enough food to see another day.
The independent cultivators pitied him greatly, but there was only so much you could do to help someone who refused to be helped.
It was rumored that Ju Jia was born on the Spirit Creek Battlefield and not Jiu Zhou, and it was all thanks to Sima Yang he was able to cultivate. The spell cultivator was only Second or Third-Order when he encountered Ju Jia in the wilderness, and he decided to teach Ju Jia some cultivation techniques after taking note of his talent. Since then, Ju Jia had been his loyal servant.
Ju Jia clearly wasn’t expecting the offer. He stared at the Storage Bag for a moment before looking at Lu Ye.
Lu Ye gave his own waist a slap, and Ju Jia broke into a simple, toothy grin. He then hung the Storage Bag on his waist like Lu Ye did.
“There’s a defensive Spirit Artifact in the Storage Bag. You may refine it for your own use!” Lu Ye advised.
Ju Jia possessed some of, if not the toughest physique Lu Ye had ever seen in his life. Right now Lu Ye was strong enough to kill an ordinary Ninth-Order body tempering cultivator with ease. Even an elite like Qiao Yun of the House of Wintry Blossoms only cost im a bit more time and effort.
Even Qiao Yun was like a child compared to Ju Jia though. Lu Ye strongly suspected that Ju Jia possessed some sort of unique physique.
That said, there was no such thing as an invincible physique. The numerous wounds Ju Jia had accumulated earlier were proof of that. If he had a defensive Spirit Artifact though, he would be able to handle a massive attack better.
Half a day passed by in the blink of an eye. When Ji Yan gave the order, a hundred or so cultivators split into a dozen or so teams and set out.
People could be seen traversing through streets and rooftops at high speed. They soundlessly made their way toward Thousand Demon Ridge’s encampment.
Two hours later, they arrived at their destination.
The Thousand Demon Ridge watchmen were alerted of their movement immediately. It wasn’t because they weren’t stealthy enough, but because it was simply impossible for a group over a hundred strong to travel completely undetected.
An incense stick later, the battle was fully engaged. Spells and flying weapons clashed fiercely in mid-air.
Ghost cultivators were constantly trying to slip behind enemy lines and assassinate suitable targets. From time to time, a scream would pierce through the air before being silenced abruptly.
While observing the battlefield, Ji Yan could not help but wipe away some cold sweat from his forehead. He had thought that the thirty independent cultivators they recruited would be enough to wipe out the numbers advantage the enemy had, but that was just his imagination. It was clear that Thousand Demon Ridge had had an influx of independent cultivators as well.
This would’ve been a hard battle without Lu Ye’s army of apparitions.
He snuck a glance at Lu Ye’s direction when he finally found the time to do so. He felt his confidence swelling when he saw how well the young man’s apparitions were doing.
He already knew from his Eighth-Order combat cultivator that the one who commanded the apparitions was Lu Ye’s pet.
Since these apparitions were the deciding factor of this and all future battles, Ji Yan gave them the best protection he could afford. An entire group was dedicated to protect Lu Ye and his pet only.
Not counting Ju Jia, three brawny body tempering cultivators were currently standing in front of Lu Ye and Amber. There were also five spell cultivators covering their flanks with their spells. Of course, Lu Ye and Ju Jia weren’t idle either. They were doing their best to block or intercept the incoming attacks as well.
Lu Ye had instructed Ju Jia to refrain from reckless actions long before the battle began. In fact, he told him not to attack even if the enemy managed to close the distance. It was because he didn’t want either of them to fall for Chu Qing’s trap. He still remembered how horribly the House of Wintry Blossoms cultivators who hit him and Ju Jia had died. The reward was simply not worth the risk.
For obvious reasons, Lu Ye’s corner was easily the most eye-catching of the entire battlefield. The Xianyuan City Watch threw Spirit Shackling Ropes, and the five special apparitions did their own thing. Pipa Girl wailed and played her pipa, Liu Sanbao killed his enemies with his dice, the scholar wrote words in the air using a huge brush that was one-third of a meter long that automatically flew into the enemy ranks and dealt damage, and the blind fortune teller kept tossing the ancient coins he used to tell fortunes into the air. It looked like he was fooling around, but every time his coins formed a straight line, someone in Thousand Demon Ridge’s battle lines would let out a bloodcurdling scream.
The butcher was the only one who truly did nothing. More specifically, he was guarding Amber with his cleaver in one hand.
According to Amber, the butcher was probably a combat cultivator. Since the battle hadn’t devolved into a melee yet, he wasn’t able to join the battle.
If they could punch a hole in the enemy’s defense line and force a melee engagement though, Lu Ye was sure that the butcher would be able to show off its true colors.
In fact, a ranged battle like this wasn’t particularly dangerous. Both spells and flying weapons had traceable trajectories after all. Theoretically speaking, those with good eyesight and fast reaction could avoid every hit. It was also why the Grand Sky Coalition hadn’t collapsed under Thousand Demon Ridge’s assault earlier.
Lu Ye’s apparitions made a pivotal difference though. Pipa Girl’s mind-affecting ability was just ridiculous, and the Xianyuan City Watch’s Spirit Shackling ropes weren’t easy to dodge in this chaos.
Just an hour after the battle began, Thousand Demon Ridge had lost over forty cultivators. Their morale was also falling rapidly.
Grand Sky Coalition wasn’t unscathed, but their casualties were less than thirty percent of Thousand Demon Ridge’s. Their numbers were now equal, and Grand Sky Coalition’s morale was rocketing.
Another hour passed, and Thousand Demon Ridge’s defense line collapsed in totality. Everyone was retreating or running away.
Ji Yan did not order a pursuit. Instead, he made camp on the spot and swept the battlefield.
The reason he refrained from pressing his advantage was one, everyone had used up a considerable amount of energy, and two, cornered animals were always dangerous.
Since the advantage was firmly in their hands, there was no need to take any unnecessary risks. They simply needed to snowball their advantage until they were completely unbeatable.
Lu Ye threw a couple of Spirit Pills into his mouth and fed Amber some. He also gave it a wisp of the red essence so it could recover as soon as possible.
Half a day later, most people had recovered their strength.
Lu Ye opened his eyes and saw Ju Jia staring at him.
“?” He cocked his head in confusion.
“Revenge!” Ju Jia said simply.
Lu Ye immediately understood his meaning and fell into thought for a moment. He nodded. “I’ll set things up.”
Ju Jia obviously wanted to claim revenge with his own hands, but that was impossible until the woman in red the dress’ restriction was lifted. That meant they needed to fulfill their promise to the apparition.
A moment later, Hidden Light Sanctuary took the lead and led everyone toward Thousand Demon Ridge.
It was during this time Lu Ye sought out Ji Yan and spoke to him about something. Ji Yan nodded affirmatively.
The Lost City of Xianyuan was huge, but not huge enough to hide a group that was almost a hundred strong. Moreover, Ji Yan had ordered his ghost cultivators to follow Thousand Demon Ridge when they had retreated. He knew exactly where they were hiding right now.