Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
The Hundred Wards Tower wasn’t just incomplete, it had been split into three separate portions. The first one was at the Heavenly Derivative Sect, and the second one was at the Cloud River Battlefield. As the name suggested, only Cloud River Realm cultivators could enter that place. The Cloud River Battlefield was very different from the Spirit Creek Battlefield though. For example, there were no Outposts in the Cloud River Battlefield.
Unfortunately, the third portion of the Hundred Wards Tower remained missing to this day. It was a sore point for all ward cultivators of Jiu Zhou because the rewards it gave out to those who cleared its floors could only be described as incalculable. There wasn’t a single top-tier ward cultivator in Jiu Zhou who hadn’t received the boon of the tower.
No one knew why or how the Hundred Wards Tower was split into three portions. Some people speculated that it had been sliced into three portions by a champion that only existed in myths and imagination because not even the strongest Divine Ocean Realm cultivator in Jiu Zhou could boast the strength to so much as scratch the Hundred Wards Tower, much less cut through it. One could even view it as a treasure belonging to an entire tier of its own; one that was definitely beyond a Spirit Treasure.
“If you wish to cultivate the Way of Wards, I would suggest that you head to our headquarters and give the Hundred Wards Tower a try, Brother Yi Ye. I am sure it will benefit you greatly.”
As Gu Canyang thought, Zhao Li had snuck back to the Outpost to tempt Lu Ye to his sect. He was certain that the young man would not be able to resist the Heavenly Derivative Sect’s wealth and knowledge in regards to the Way of Wards.
After engaging Lu Ye in an intellectual discourse, he truly believed that the young man deserved to further his skill and knowledge through the Hundred Wards Tower. The tower was a strange place where the more talented the ward cultivator was, the better the rewards they would receive for clearing a floor. And if Lu Ye went to the tower, then he would have achieved his primary objective.
In fact, Lu Ye found the offer to be irresistible. While the others were impressed by his ability to subvert the Grand Wards of the House of Wintry Blossoms and Sunlit Mountain, the experience only made him realize his shortcomings.
He would not belittle his own attainments in the Way of Wards, but he could not deny that he was still lacking somewhat. For starters, the methods he used to breach or sneak past the enemy’s Grand Ward could never be repeated. His enemies were sure to learn from their fallen comrades’ mistakes and plug all the holes in their defenses.
Moreover, putting a hole in the enemy’s Grand Ward was a flawed tactic to begin with. Even if he was skilled enough to repeat the feat, it wouldn’t take long for the other side to repair the hole in the Grand Ward at all. That was why he had to take ten body tempering cultivators with him that time. It should not need to be said why attempting the same tactic against a prepared enemy would be a terrible idea.
Realistically speaking, there were only two ways to improve on his ward breaching skill. The first one was to increase his cultivation level. Glyph: Insight was an advantage any ward cultivator would be hard pressed to beat. The Glyph allowed him to discover the flaws of any ward with ease. Therefore, he could theoretically destroy any ward as long as his cultivation was sufficient, skill be damned.
This was why there was a saying, “One absolute power is superior to ten good skills.” There was nothing in this world that could not be defeated with absolute power. And if one hit wasn’t enough, then two hits would do it!
That said, he was ten years too early to consider this method right now. He had already tried to breach a Grand Ward via brute force and failed because he lacked power. That was why he had no choice but to rely on the other method, a.k.a further his attainment in the Way of Wards.
There was a problem though. He knew he was improving at a considerable rate for a self-studier, but he was still nowhere close to the bar he had set for himself. Even if he returned to the Crimson Blood Sect and resumed his studies with Lady Yun right now, he still wasn’t sure he could achieve his goal. His teacher was an outstanding Glyphweaver, but she might not necessarily be an outstanding or even average ward cultivator. A person could only split their focus so much after all.
Now a solution had been presented to him. If the Hundred Wards Tower truly was as incredible as Zhao Li claimed, then he was definitely going to give it a try.
Lu Ye took out his 10-point map and checked the location of the Heavenly Derivative Sect’s Outpost. He soon discovered that it was a fair distance away from here. Even if he flew on his Spirit Artifact the entire way, it was going to take him a few days to arrive.
“I am most grateful for your invitation, Brother Zhao, but I am busy with some matters right now. Why don’t you head back to your Outpost first? I promise I will visit the Heavenly Derivative Sect when I am ready.”
Zhao Li was overjoyed to hear this. He immediately rose to his feet and said, “That is not a problem at all. In that case, I shall head back now and wait for your good news, Brother Yi Ye.”
Lu Ye personally saw him off. A moment later, Zhao Li met up with Wei Li—the latter was keeping watch right now—and bade everyone goodbye.
Since he had achieved his objective, there was no need to remain in Hidden Light Sanctuary any longer.
After Zhao Li was gone, Yi Yi appeared from the pavilion and asked in puzzlement, “What is this matter we’re busy with, Lu Ye? Why haven’t I heard about it?”
She certainly hadn’t seen him do anything out of the ordinary for the past couple days.
“That was just an excuse,” Lu Ye said while shaking his head.
“Oh, I get it now. You were just putting him down gently.”
“No, no. I do want to visit the Heavenly Derivative Sect.” Lu Ye smiled. “It’s just that we stirred up the hornet’s nest. I’m worried that we might encounter some trouble when we take our leave. If my fears come true, we would be putting Brother Zhao in danger by traveling with him. That is why I decided to send him away first.”
“I see. You’re quite thoughtful, Lu Ye.” Yi Yi nodded in realization. “Do you really think we’re going to run into trouble?”
Nothing was certain until it actually happened. The best he could do was to prepare for the possibility.
A couple more days passed in the blink of an eye. Deciding that it was time, Lu Ye sought out Gu Canyang and bade him goodbye.
Gu Canyang tacitly asked if Lu Ye was interested in staying, but it was clear that that wasn’t the case. So, he didn’t push further. While it was a shame, he knew from the start that Lu Ye was just passing through the area. He was always going to leave eventually.
In fact, he found himself envying Lu Ye a little. The man bore his burdens but did not allow them to dictate his fate, venturing the world wherever and whenever he wished. Although it was a more dangerous life, it also improved his knowledge and experience.
Of course, Gu Canyang was only envious. He had no desire to lead such a life himself. The Legate returned to his Outpost after seeing Lu Ye and Ju Jia off.
Lu Ye was flying, but he wasn’t using the boat he obtained from Yuan Guang this time. It was because he discovered that it was just a little too much for him to pilot as an Eighth-Order cultivator. His main issue with it stemmed from the fact that it cost more Spiritual Power than he liked. That was also why Lu Ye almost always rode Amber barring certain circumstances. It was the most energy efficient method, and he could focus on cultivating.
The flying Spirit Artifact they were currently riding belonged to Ju Jia. Earlier, Lu Ye had given him a lot of Spirit Artifacts to exchange for Contribution Points, and a good number of them were flying Spirit Artifacts. Ju Jia found one that he liked and decided to keep it.
His decision to travel with Ju Jia was already starting to pay off. It would’ve taken him more than half a month to reach the Heavenly Derivative Sect if he had ridden Amber there. Now, it would only take them three or four days to arrive.
Ju Jia possessed something similar to a Mutant Core in his body that contained a tremendous reserve of Spiritual Power. If necessary, Ju Jia could pilot the flying Spirit Artifact continuously for several days straight.
Of course, doing this would put a tremendous burden on Ju Jia since Spiritual Power did not equal stamina. That was why most people chose to take a break after flying for a quarter of a day or so.
Meanwhile, at a concealed location over 2.5 km away from Hidden Light Sanctuary’s Outpost, a pair of eyes were narrowing intently at the departing Lu Ye and Ju Jia. The one whom the eyes belonged to immediately sent out a message after confirming that they weren’t seeing things.
The receiver of the message immediately forwarded the message to others upon reception. It wasn’t long before countless people were made aware of the fact that Lu Yi Ye of the Crimson Blood Sect had departed Hidden Light Sanctuary’s Outpost, his destination was unknown.
Zhao Li’s worries turned out to be true after all. Thousand Demon Ridge could no longer stand to do nothing after Lu Ye had played a pivotal role in the occupation of the House of Wintry Blossoms and Sunlit Mountain.
Yes, there was an element of luck in his successes. Yes, none of his methods were repeatable. However, Lu Ye had also been an insignificant Fifth-Order cultivator just eight to nine months ago. Today, he was an Eighth-Order cultivator who, by luck or no, was instrumental in the occupation of multiple Outposts.
He was growing at a tremendous rate, and he would only grow harder and harder to handle as time passed. However, even their worry regarding his combat strength was secondary to their worry regarding his attainment in the Way of Wards. If the young man could already come up with these unexpected, never-before-seen methods at his current skill level, what would happen when he became a true expert? At this rate, not even an Outpost would be a safe place for them anymore.
That was why many Thousand Demon Ridge sects had arrived at the consensus to dispose of Lu Yi Ye of the Crimson Blood Sect as soon as possible. It was better to be safe than sorry. To this end, they even distributed Lu Ye’s picture to all relevant personnel and instructed them to memorize his features.
The entire cultivation faction came alive after Lu Ye came out, but they made sure to keep their movement as stealthy as possible.
The Battle of Goldentip was a lesson they weren’t going to forget any time soon. They would try to keep a low profile, or as low as they could with an operation at this scale anyway.
This was why they hadn’t made a move when Lu Ye was staying in Hidden Light Sanctuary. It would’ve been meaningless. Even if they managed to occupy the Outpost, Lu Yi Ye could just teleport back to Jiu Zhou through the Divine Opportunity Column. They would’ve failed their primary objective, and the cost would far outweigh their gains. No, their only chance to kill Lu Ye was to do it in the outskirts!
The scouts they posted all over the place immediately began to take action. Every once in a while, a Thousand Demon Ridge cultivator or two would report Lu Ye’s movements to their allies. So many people were involved in this operation that it was impossible for Lu Ye to escape their surveillance no matter where he went. Once in a while they would lose sight of him, but it did not matter. It never took long before someone picked him out from the sky again.
There was one thing that amused Thousand Demon Ridge though, and that was Lu Ye’s movement was erratic and unpredictable. Sometimes, he would travel to the east in a straight line. Sometimes, he would reverse course and travel west instead. Sometimes, he even flew circles around a particular area.
It was clear he was doing this to confuse his pursuers. It was pointless though. Nearly every Thousand Demon Ridge sect in the Inner Circle had come together for this operation. Unless he hid himself completely, there was no way he could escape their tracking no matter where he went.
On Ju Jia’s flying Spirit Artifact, Lu Ye narrowed his eyes a little. He had no idea about Thousand Demon Ridge’s plans for him, but he did know that he felt like he was being watched since the moment he left Hidden Light Sanctuary’s Outpost. It was why he asked Ju Jia to change directions again and again. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like his countermeasure was very useful, if at all.
In the past, he wouldn’t even realize if he was being watched. That was the good thing about having a powerful Divine Soul. His sixth sense would tell him if something was off.
The fact that he was unable to shake off his spies could only mean two things. One, someone had been following him in secret this whole time. Two, this whole place was being watched, so he was easily spotted no matter where he went.
[Looks like things are even more complicated than I initially thought.]
He took a moment to inspect his Spiritual Points. He was now at one hundred and sixty five Spiritual Points and fifteen away from becoming a Ninth-Order cultivator.
Given a good enough cultivation environment, Lu Ye could unlock fifteen Spiritual Points in less than a month. When that happened, he would be able to purchase the Great Sun Veluriyam Technique with five thousand or so Contribution Points and unlock more Spiritual Points. He was looking forward to the Heaven Grade cultivation technique.