Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Lu Ye and Ju Jia froze when the woman in the red dress called out to them from behind.
“Is there anything else?” Lu Ye asked while turning around, fingers brushing against the hilt of his blade.
“You returned Tang Yuan to me, but I don’t have much to give you. Take this.”
An item suddenly flew toward Lu Ye after the woman was done speaking.
He caught the item and found that it was a palm-sized medallion; an authority pass. The item looked fairly worn and traditional-looking, but that was normal considering the Lost City of Xianyuan was an ancient city from god-knows-when.
Lu Ye did not know what the medallion was made of. The word “Immortal” was engraved on one side of the medallion, and “Order” on the other side. The picture of some sort of fierce creature was engraved on both sides of the medallion as well.
“What is this—”
Lu Ye was going to ask the woman in the red dress what the authority pass was for, but he suddenly found the compound shrinking—or more accurately, going away—rapidly in his vision. The next thing he knew, he was standing outside the entrance and staring at a closed door once more.
This scared him because the woman had somehow moved him without any warning whatsoever. He could not begin to imagine what her true cultivation level was.
He knew better than to reenter the compound and ask the woman about the authority pass. She would’ve told him herself if she wanted to, not to mention that she had expelled them from her home.
That said, an authority pass was an authority pass. He could guess what it was used for, though he would have to test out his assumptions as a matter of course.
Lu Ye tapped on his Battlefield Imprint and sent out a message. “I’m done, Brother Ji.”
Ji Yan replied quickly, “I’ll send someone to bring you to your destination. Do you need our help?”
“It’s fine. This is personal.”
They waited until the ghost cultivator who led them to the white cat a while ago reappeared in the distance. After they met up, the ghost cultivator once again took the lead.
It wasn’t long before they encountered a squad of spectral sentries. Their guide immediately concealed himself, and Ju Jia got ready to charge.
Amber was at max capacity, so they could not convert this squad of Xianyuan City Watch for their own use. They could only take them out.
He put a hand on Ju Jia’s shoulder to keep him calm. Then, he grabbed the authority pass from his Storage Bag and waved it at the incoming squad.
The hostile sentries abruptly stopped in their tracks. The sentry leader even saluted Lu Ye and said, “My lord!”
Lu Ye raised his eyebrows. This was more or less what he had expected to happen.
He had already guessed that the authority pass might be able to affect the apparitions in the city to an extent. The woman in the red dress wouldn’t have gifted it to him otherwise.
His suspicions were now confirmed, and the implications were even bigger than he expected. He still did not know what the authority pass represented, but somehow it got the sentry leader to call him “my lord”.
‘Since he’s treating me as his superior, does that mean I can command or mobilize all Xianyuan City Watch now?’ Lu Ye dared to think.
“I have a mission for you all. Come with me!”
“Do you have a commander’s warrant, my lord? We are tasked with patrolling right now. We are unable to leave our post without a commander’s warrant.”
[Warrant? I don’t even know who the commander is.]
Unfortunately, it would seem that the authority pass was less useful than he imagined. At best, it removed the hostility of the Xianyuan City Watch.
The holder of this authority pass should be able to travel almost anywhere they wanted to in the Lost City of Xianyuan. That might be a great boon for the others, but not so much for Lu Ye.
“I see. You may continue your patrol then.” Lu Ye waved the sentry leader off a bit languidly.
“Yes!” The sentry leader responded before taking his leave.
The ghost cultivator broke out of his concealment and stared at Lu Ye with a look of surprise on his face. It was incredible enough that his pet could control apparitions, but an authority pass that gave him some power over the Xianyuan City Watch and made them address him as their lord? He had never seen something so unusual with his life. He was damn sure that the intel he received from the Divine Trade Association did not mention such a thing either.
This was incredibly valuable intel because the Lost City of Xianyuan wasn’t a singular occurrence. Eventually, some cultivators would enter this place once more. Whoever managed to obtain an authority pass would never have to worry about the Xianyuan City Watch anymore.
He reckoned that this single bit of intel was worth hundreds or maybe even a thousand Spirit Stones.
It was at this moment the ghost cultivator recalled something. He hurriedly messaged Ji Yan about the matter.
Ji Yan was greatly moved when he learned of the medallion’s existence. He told the ghost cultivator to assist Lu Ye in wrapping up his business before discussing the other matter, to which the former agreed.
The ghost cultivator led Lu Ye and Ju Jia down a certain direction. Every time they encountered a squad of sentries, Lu Ye would use the authority pass to shoo them away.
Four whole hours later, they finally arrived at a clearing. Twenty or so cultivators were gathered at the location. They were all injured. They were probably the last Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators in the entire city, and Chu Qing and Ruo Yan were among them.
Lu Ye was surprised that they were sitting out here in the open. The ghost cultivator warned, “They were in hiding before. I’m not sure what prompted them to come out. Beware of the possibility of traps, Brother Yi Ye.”
Normally speaking, these defeated dogs would do their best to conceal themselves from their hunters. However, the Lost City of Xianyuan was huge, but it wasn’t that huge. They could hide, but it was only a matter of time before they were discovered. They certainly would not be able to remain hidden if Grand Sky Coalition made a concentrated effort to root them out. That was probably the true reason they had relocated to this clearing. They couldn’t ambush anyone here, but the opposite was just as true.
“Let’s go. I think they’re waiting for us.”
Lu Ye waved for Ju Jia to follow him before stepping toward the Thousand Demon Ridge group with one hand on the Inviolable. The body tempering cultivator followed right beside him as countless apparitions exited Amber’s body. Ju Jia’s eyes grew redder and redder as he glared daggers at the woman named Ruo Yan.
The ghost cultivator would have joined them, but he recalled Ji Yan’s message and stayed where he was.
The cultivators of Thousand Demon Ridge grew more and more restless as the two cultivators and the Ghost Spirits came closer. Amidst the crowd, Chu Qing opened her eyes and slowly rose to her feet. She stared calmly at the incoming group.
Lu Ye stopped when he was about a hundred meters away from the Thousand Demon Ridge group. He and Chu Qing stared at each other until the latter broke the silence,
“I knew that the two of you would come!”
Lu Ye did not say anything.
“Did you find Tang Yuan?” Chu Qing asked again.
When Lu Ye had returned the white cat to the woman in the red dress, the restriction placed on him and Ju Jia had been lifted. The same had happened to Chu Qing and the others.
That was the moment Chu Qing had noticed that something was amiss. It was because things were a little too coincidental. Of the twenty Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators who survived the battles, seventy percent of them belonged to the House of Wintry Blossoms. In fact, the rest of them were independent cultivators.
Chu Qing hadn’t thought too much about this when she successfully broke out of the encirclement and led her people to safety. She thought her sect was just lucky. This was especially true for her and Ruo Yan because they hadn’t received many attacks throughout the battles.
But what if it wasn’t luck?
What if someone wanted to keep them alive so they could personally take revenge at a later date?
She put two and two together and realized the truth after that.
Out of everyone in the Grand Sky Coalition, there was only one person who had the ability and the motive to do such a thing. He was Lu Ye.
The woman in the red dress’ restriction had been lifted. No one could stop them from killing each other anymore.
That was why she had made the snap decision to relocate to this clearing. It was to goad Lu Ye and Ju Jia into appearing personally. Had they chosen to stay in their hidey-hole, Lu Ye might have judged that it was too dangerous to go after them and just watch from the sidelines while his allies slowly and painfully ground them down to the last. At least this way, they might have a sliver of a chance of taking Lu Ye and Ju Jia to the grave with them.
Chu Qing looked like she wanted to say more, but Lu Ye could not be arsed to drag this out any longer.
The Ghost Spirits immediately attacked in unison. Pipa Girl’s wails and pipa twangs were the first to reach the enemy. It was followed by the Spirit Shackling Ropes and the other special apparitions’ unique attacks. The butcher apparition who was unable to do anything in the previous battles finally got to show off his skills as well. He rushed toward the remnants of Thousand Demon Ridge together with Ju Jia.
Of course, their enemies weren’t just going to lie down and submit to their fate. They immediately launched their own counterattacks.
It was a one-sided massacre. Lu Ye’s Ghost Spirits alone could’ve overwhelmed the group, but they were assisted by Ju Jia as well. The reason body tempering cultivators were valued no matter where they went was because no one was better than them at soaking up damage. This was doubly true since Ju Jia had refined the defensive Spirit Artifact Lu Ye gave him earlier.
Holding a shield in front of him, he acted as the point of their formation and charged toward the enemy. No one was capable of stopping him. Cries of shock and blood curdling screams filled the air as he sent them flying. At the same time, the butcher raised his cleaver and cut down all who happened along his path. Their defeat was carved in stone after that.
Suddenly, a disproportionally large blade sailed straight toward Ju Jia’s head from the side. Ju Jia bent lower to dodge the attack at the same time he twisted toward the threat and punched. The violent attack crushed the cultivator blocking the way to bits, but Ju Jia wasn’t even looking at him. From the moment he saw the owner of the large blade, his mind became consumed by the overpowering desire for revenge. He lunged forward.
It was chaos, but for some reason, Chu Qing was completely untouched by the battle around her. She wasn’t moving either. It was because Lu Ye was staring at her this whole time.
Lu Ye slowly unsheathed the Inviolable and pointed its tip at the ground. He then declared, “Block three of my attacks, and you may live to see another day!”
The second he said the word “day”, he transformed into a blur and caused Chu Qing’s instincts to scream at her. She instinctively crossed her two swords protectively in front of herself.
Not a moment too soon, a saber flowing with fiery red Spiritual Power struck the weapons. There was a metallic clang as sparks flew everywhere. An indescribable amount of force traveled through the metal and down her arms. Despite injecting every bit of power into the block, the overwhelmingly swift and powerful attack had still nearly broken through her defense. Her body kept sinking as the blade of Lu Ye’s saber twisted downward and pierced through the fabric on her shoulder, revealing the armor beneath.
She gritted her teeth and mustered more force and Spiritual Power into her arms. Right before she was about to push Lu Ye’s saber away with everything she got, a Glyph flashed from the blade of the Inviolable. It was Gravity Well.
There was a buzz, and the air itself became distorted. Now it truly felt like a mountain was pressing down on her. She was already crouching to begin with, but now her knees struck the ground like a meteor. Pain forced itself onto Chu Qing’s features as she vaguely felt her leg bones breaking.