Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Never in history had a Spirit Creek Realm cultivator so praised. No one had ever been able to do what Lu Ye did at the Eighth-Order of the Spirit Creek Realm either. One might say that Lu Ye had become the new idol of all sects after the occupation of the House of Wintry Blossoms and Sunlit Mountain.
Was there anyone who didn’t dream of breaching their hostile neighbor’s Grand Ward and wipe the floor with them? The answer was no. However, no one had found a method that was even remotely viable, until now.
It was no wonder that the sects of Grand Sky Coalition had scrambled after the young man like worshippers after their idol.
Gu Canyang did another palm down gesture and said, “Please calm down and listen to me, everyone.”
After drawing everyone’s attention, the Legate began, “It would be remiss of me not to give you all a proper explanation after you have traveled all the way to my Outpost, so I will. I wasn’t lying when I said that the element of luck has played a huge factor in the occupation of the House of Wintry Blossoms and Sunlit Mountain’s Outpost. Let’s start with the House of Wintry Blossoms first. You may not be aware of this, but the main reason we were able to occupy their Outpost is because Yue Mei did not know it was possible for someone to slip past a Grand Ward completely undetected…”
The Legates and prolegates slowly calmed down as Gu Canyang launched into his explanation. Wei Li seized the opportunity to order the servants to serve them some tea.
After Gu Canyang was done explaining how they occupied Sunlit Mountain as well, he said, “It should be clear now that Brother Yi Ye infiltrates each Outpost using different methods. In fact, both methods will not work a second time. I am sure you all understand what I’m saying.”
The Legates and prolegates had all fallen into thoughtful silence. Assuming that Gu Canyang was telling them the truth, then the methods were impossible to reuse.
The House of Wintry Blossoms had lost their Outpost because Yue Mei was too careless—was what they wanted to say, but that would be too unfair. No one could’ve done better in her place because no one had ever managed to slip past a Grand Ward undetected, much less snatch the Control Gem from a Legate like Yue Mei.
Not only that, Lu Ye had cut off Yue Mei’s arm and seized the Control Gem in just two strikes. That was how Hidden Light Sanctuary and Lofty Plume Court were able to break through the Grand Ward and invade the Outpost.
The occupation of Sunlit Mountain’s Outpost was even more clear cut. After Yue Mei had sent out the message, the Thousand Demon Ridge sect had immediately fortified their defenses to the point where even Lu Ye could no longer slip through the Grand Ward. He had changed his breaching method not because he wanted to, but because he had no other choice.
In fact, the main reason he succeeded was because Sunlit Mountain did not have many cultivators in their Outpost. Their total force numbered only a little over a hundred cultivators, which was why Lu Ye and ten body tempering cultivators alone were able to disorient them.
If Sunlit Mountain had fifty or even thirty more cultivators in their Outpost, then the situation would’ve been completely different. Lu Ye and his group would’ve just died to a rain of attacks.
For a long time, there was only silence in the main hall. Finally, the Legate with the surname Niu said, “So, you’re saying that we’ve wasted our time coming here.”
Gu Canyang shrugged. “Brother Yi Ye said that he might be able to make further attempts if his cultivation level and attainment in the Way of Wards was better, but yes, he can do no more at the moment.”
The crowd was disappointed, but they had to admit that Gu Canyang was right.
Lu Ye’s tactics were impressive, but they were also pretty easy to defend against after they had been discovered. In fact, one might say that no amount of ward bypassing techniques were enough if people were guarding the Outpost.
“Actually, this might not necessarily be a bad thing,” a thin cultivator spoke up suddenly.
“What do you mean, Brother Zhao?”
The cultivator with the surname Zhao explained, “If Brother Yi Ye could breach any Grand Ward with impunity, then Thousand Demon Ridge would surely be wary of him. As long as he remained in the Spirit Creek Battlefield, he would be beset by enemies and obstacles no matter where he went. In reality, the methods he used were fairly easy to defend against. He is a threat, but not a threat that they must eliminate at all costs. Therefore, Brother Yi Ye should not be in danger for the moment.”
They agreed with him. If Lu Ye’s methods were indefensible, then Thousand Demon Ridge would’ve been agitated beyond imagination. The previous fiasco might repeat itself, meaning that they might try every trick in the book to eliminate Lu Ye. There was no chance the young man could survive if he was visited by the champions of the Core Circle, specifically those who were named on the Roll of Supremacy.
As of now, Thousand Demon Ridge was wary of Lu Ye, but they certainly hadn’t been pushed to the point of complete unscrupulousness.
“It can’t be helped. But dammit, Hidden Light Sanctuary and Lofty Plume Court are so lucky!” Someone lamented. Why hadn’t Lu Yi Ye visited their Outpost? If he had, it would’ve been them occupying their neighbors’ Outpost!
“Indeed, it can’t be helped! Hahahaha!” Gu Canyang guffawed. Now that he thought about it, Hidden Light Sanctuary really was incredibly lucky. If it wasn’t for Lu Ye, he and Ji Yan would’ve died in the Lost City of Xianyuan already. Their sect would’ve been too crippled to attempt anything even if Lu Ye still possessed the skill to breach their enemy’s Grand Ward. It would’ve been hell.
Since Lu Ye could not repeat his feat, there was no point in staying any longer. The Legates and prolegates bade Gu Canyang and Wei Li goodbye, and the latter saw them off warmly.
Gu Canyang let out a small sigh of relief when the guests were finally gone. Then, he returned to the hall, sat down on the opposite side of Wei Li, and discussed the follow-up matters with him.
Around three hundred House of Wintry Blossoms cultivators and two hundred Sunlit Mountain cultivators had survived the occupation of their Outpost. They were going to rebuild their Outposts as a matter of course, but Hidden Light Sanctuary and Lofty Plume Court weren’t going to make it easy for them. It was impossible to wipe out their enemies completely, but they certainly could oppress the shit out of them and lengthen their period of recovery. With luck, it would be years before either Thousand Demon Ridge factions recovered their strength.
Moreover, both Hidden Light Sanctuary and Lofty Plume Court enjoyed a lot more freedom of choice than before. They could even lend some reinforcements to nearby allies and assist them in attacking more Thousand Demon Ridge forces.
Of course, they would have to spend a good amount of time planning and discussing their future direction. Such things could not be rushed.
The duo were still in the middle of discussions when suddenly, Gu Canyang felt something and checked his Battlefield Imprint. He then sent out a message.
“Zhao Li has returned,” Gu Canyang said while looking at Wei Li, “has he not given up yet?”
Zhao Li was one of the Legates who departed the Outpost a while ago. For whatever reason, the guy had chosen to return.
Wei Li pondered this for a second before answering, “Brother Zhao is a thoughtful man, and we have said everything we should’ve said. I do not think he will come back just to pressure us on the same futile issue.”
“If that’s true, then why did he come back?”
“Have you forgotten about the roots of the Heavenly Derivative Sect, senior brother?”
Gu Canyang mulled over this for a moment before exclaiming in realization, “I see what you mean. What a cunning fellow he is, this Zhao Li. He waited until everyone was gone before sneaking his way back. He must be plotting to monopolize all the benefits.”
We Li chuckled. “That isn’t necessarily true, but yes, I agree that Brother Yi Ye may not turn him down.”
He stopped talking after that. It was because he could sense Zhao Li’s presence.
“Brother Gu, Brother Wei,” Zhao Li greeted while stepping into the hall.
Gu Canyang feigned ignorance and asked, “Did you leave behind an item or something, Brother Zhao?”
Zhao Li smiled. “No, no. I just recalled something I forgot to tell you while I was here.”
He then turned serious and said, “Earlier, I said that Brother Yi Ye should be relatively safe after the Thousand Demon Ridge figured out the whole truth, but now that I think about it, that isn’t necessarily the case.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m saying that Thousand Demon Ridge may yet abandon all dignity and attack Brother Yi Ye with everything they got,” Zhao Li said seriously, “Brother Yi Ye is just an Eighth-Order cultivator, but he has already pulled off the impossible multiple times. For now, his methods are easy to defend against once you’ve figured out the trick behind them, but who is to say he wouldn’t come up with new, harder-to-defend tricks after his cultivation and attainment in the Way of Wards improves? Just as we hope he would be able to repeat the feat in the future, there is a good chance Thousand Demon Ridge might want to nip him in the bud. Assuming the worst, even your Outpost would not be safe, Brother Gu.”
Gu Canyang was surprised to say the least. How did his Outpost get dragged into this?
“It is no secret that Brother Yi Ye is staying in your Outpost right now. If Thousand Demon Ridge wishes to nip Brother Yi Ye in the bud even at the cost of their face, then they would already be plotting with all nearby Thousand Demon Ridge Outposts and mobilizing their forces to attack you. Worst case scenario, your Outpost would be under siege in a matter of days!”
Gu Canyang’s expression gradually turned solemn. “Do you really think your prediction will come true, Brother Zhao?”
Zhao Li slowly shook his head. “I’m not sure. As I said, it is just a possibility. This is why I’ve chosen to come back. If you don’t mind, I would like to stay at your Outpost for the moment and observe the situation. Assuming that Thousand Demon Ridge is plotting something big, then the Heavenly Derivative Sect would be able to respond in time. Of course, it would be best if my fears are just fears, and nothing happens.”
“Thank you, Brother Zhao. You are more than welcome in our Outpost.”
“But of course. That said, I think you should inform Lofty Plume Court and all allied sects to be ready to reinforce the Outpost as soon as possible. They are closer after all.”
“That makes sense.” Gu Canyang nodded seriously.
“If there is nothing else, then I would like to go to my temporary accommodation now. My apologies for the trouble,” Zhao Li said while clasping his hands together.
“It is no trouble at all. Brother Wei, please take him to his room,” Gu Canyang said while looking at Wei Li.
Wei Li nodded and took Zhao Li to the guest area. After he returned, he saw Gu Canyang still sitting on his chair and thinking about something. Wei Li returned to his own seat and poured himself a cup of tea before asking, “What are you thinking, senior brother?”
“Oh, I’m just thinking how Zhao Li almost fooled me with his circuitous talk.”
“Huh?” Wei Li looked at him in puzzlement.
Gu Canyang smiled. “Before that, Brother Zhao asked to be assigned next to Brother Yi Ye’s accommodation, didn’t he?”
The guest area was fairly huge and filled with detached pavilions. Right now, only Lu Ye and Ju Jia were using the facilities. While Wei Li could assign Zhao Li to any pavilion he wanted, he certainly wasn’t going to refuse his guest’s request if possible.
“Yes,” Wei Li responded, “Brother Zhao asked where Brother Yi Ye lived before choosing the neighboring pavilion to stay in.”
Gu Canyang grimaced. “I knew it.”
“I don’t understand, senior brother.”
“I’m saying that he’s here for Lu Ye.”
Wei Li wasn’t stupid. He was just feeling a little slow after all the work he had done today. He immediately realized Gu Canyang’s meaning and asked, “Are you saying that Brother Zhao was just distracting us with some alarmist talk?”