Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
“Ram them!” Lu Ye growled while applying a Windwalk to the flying Spirit Artifact underneath his feet.
There was a flash of light, and the stabilized equipment immediately shot toward the enemy like an arrow.
At the same time, Lu Ye fired all four of his flying weapons to intercept the enemy’s attacks. Yi Yi was doing the same thing with her spells.
The Thousand Demon Ridge cultivator directly on a collision course with Lu Ye’s group turned frightful. It was because he realized that they weren’t planning to change directions at all. He could not help but cry out in terror, “Don’t come closer!”
Of course, Ju Jia ignored him completely. The man could be an impenetrable wall of steel, and he still would obey Lu Ye’s order without question.
There was a loud boom as the two flying Spirit Artifacts collided with one another. The Thousand Demon Ridge cultivator’s flying Spirit Artifact immediately shattered into a million pieces, and the man himself was screaming, spitting blood and falling toward the ground with a caved chest. On the other hand, Ju Jia’s flying Spirit Artifact was completely unharmed.
It was because Lu Ye had applied a Protection to the flying Spirit Artifact right before they collided with each other. As for the depression in the cultivator’s chest, that was caused by a punch from Ju Jia.
More bloodcurdling screams pierced through the air. They came from people who had been wounded by Lu Ye’s flying weapons and Yi Yi’s spells.
The group blocking their way was no more, and Windwalk allowed Ju Jia to outstrip their pursuers with ease. The Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators tried to give chase, but it wasn’t long before they were forced to give up.
Ju Jia was just too fast. Even the Ninth-Order cultivators’ top speed was about one-third slower than the body tempering cultivator’s. Of course they wouldn’t be able to catch up to him.
“How weak are you people? How are they able to plow through you like nothing?” yelled a Thousand Demon Ridge cultivator who arrived just a tad too late.
To be fair, they had planned out this ambush extensively, and Lu Ye had fallen for it hook, line and sinker. But just when they thought they would finally be able to remove the thorn in their sides, the man had escaped and left them feeling like they had completely wasted their time and energy.
“You try to stop him then!” A youngster shot the guy a hostile look even though there were still traces of lingering fear on his face. “That Ju Jia is as tough as a goddamn Divine Opportunity Column! No one could’ve stopped him from breaking through.”
“That’s not an excuse for your failure! You outnumbered the guy at least ten to one!”
“Cut the crap. The same shit would’ve happened if Ju Jia had chosen to break through your group!”
“Like hell it would!”
“Calm down, you two.” Someone finally acted as the mediator. “We are all here for Lu Yi Ye. Just because the operation failed doesn’t mean we should tear into each other. It would only give the Grand Sky Coalition the excuse to look down on us.”
The two cultivators shot each other a hateful glare before looking away. The less they saw each other’s faces, the better.
The other Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators were wearing grim expressions. Despite the first cultivator’s complaints, Ju Jia’s resilience had exceeded everyone’s imagination. Generally speaking, most people would not choose to collide into another flying Spirit Artifact unless they were aiming for a double suicide. It was rumored that Lu Yi Ye fought using Glyphs, and that he had the potential to become a Glyph Warlock. Now, it appeared that he could use his Glyphs on both his equipment and himself. That was how he was able to improve his flying Spirit Artifact’s defense and shield it from damage. It was a pain in the ass to say the least.
Not only that, Ju Jia’s flying Spirit Artifact was a little too fast and nimble. There were many among them who were experts in telekinetic flight, but they were practically novices compared to Ju Jia.
Suddenly, they realized that Lu Yi Ye’s growth had gotten a little out of hand. They had mobilized a ton of people to kill him, and they had succeeded in ambushing him. However, the young man was still able to break out of their encirclement. They highly doubted that they would get another chance like this in the future.
Even if they managed to force him to land, they still might not be able to gang up on him. Forget the fact that they had already failed to do so when all the odds were stacked against him, Lu Ye still had the Tattooed Glyph, Wings. Worst case scenario, he could activate it and fly away once more.
Also, where was the guy heading anyway? He had been moving non-stop since he left Hidden Light Sanctuary’s Outpost. For now, there was no way to tell what his destination was.
Lu Ye had become a big headache for Thousand Demon Ridge. He was no longer the Fifth-Order cultivator whom they could trap and force to play their game like the Battle of Goldentip. The man had become far stronger and trickier than he was before, and as much as they loathed to admit it, no one in the Inner Circle could force him into a bad spot anymore.
Technically speaking, they could summon reinforcements from the Core Circle to deal with Lu Ye. However, doing so would undoubtedly have some serious consequences. The last time Thousand Demon Ridge had broken the rules, a True Lake Realm champion of the Crimson Blood Sect had stepped into the Spirit Creek Battlefield and committed a massacre while enduring the Judgement of the Heavens.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, after the Battle of Goldentip was over, the sect master of the Crimson Blood Sect had personally invaded Yun Zhou and wiped out three Thousand Demon Ridge factions in a row. Although he was ultimately pushed back by their Divine Ocean Realm champions, no one dared to do unto the sect master what he did to them for fear of escalating the conflict completely out of everyone’s control. In the end, they could only leave it at that.
It was also said that the three destroyed factions hit rock bottom during the next Tier evaluation, which was a terrible fate to say the least.
Since then, everyone learned that the Crimson Blood Sect was extremely protective of their young. If they broke the rules, Heavens only knew how far they would go to take revenge against their wrongdoers. But if they operated within the rules, it was already proven their best efforts were not enough to get rid of Lu Yi Ye once and for all. It was a saddening situation to say the least.
Two days later, they received word that Lu Ye had arrived at the Heavenly Derivative Sect’s Outpost. Every Thousand Demon Ridge cultivator felt a burst of panic when they finally realized what the young man was plotting.
Why had they gone to the lengths they had to kill Lu Ye? It was because he had displayed an astounding amount of talent in breaching wards.
Although the methods he employed against the House of Wintry Blossoms and Sunlit Mountain were unrepeatable, and Thousand Demon Ridge wasn’t going to give him the chance anyway, everyone could see that he was a threat they had to nip in the bud as soon as possible. Before Lu Ye, they didn’t even think it was possible to breach a Grand Ward without overwhelming force. At this rate, no one’s Outpost was safe from the young man.
As it turned out, their window of opportunity was even shorter than they could imagine. What was the Heavenly Derivative Sect? It was the sect that owned the first portion of the Hundred Wards Tower. Many of their cultivators cultivated the Way of Wards, and although their Great Elder was only a Ninth-Order True Lake Realm Master, his attainment was among the best of the best in the entire Jiu Zhou.
It did not take a genius to figure out Lu Yi Ye’s motive for traveling to the Heavenly Derivative Sect. The sonuvabitch was planning to further his skill because he was addicted to breaching wards, and he knew that his existing methods were unrepeatable!
What would happen if Lu Yi Ye succeeded in his goal? Well, for starters, peace and quiet would become a distant dream. Heavens knew when their Grand Ward would suddenly fail, and an army of Grand Sky Coalition cultivators would invade their home…
The sense of impending doom hung over every Thousand Demon Ridge sect like a million dark clouds. Even the Divine Ocean Realm cultivators were beginning to realize the severity of the situation. That was why they began trading messages immediately after they confirmed that Lu Ye had entered the Heavenly Derivative Sect’s Outpost. Not long after that, an emergency meeting was held to discuss the situation.
This was the first time an insignificant Eight-Order Spirit Creek Realm cultivator had spurred the entire Jiu Zhou into action. Even better, he wasn’t even doing it on purpose.
Funnily enough, the one who started it all, Lu Ye, had no clue about the brewing storm he just caused. Their journey was smooth after they had broken through the encirclement of almost a hundred cultivators, and they were able to arrive at the Heavenly Derivative Sect without further incidents. After they arrived, the prolegate warmly welcomed them into the Outpost and led them to the guest area.
Zhao Li wasn’t present right now. According to the prolegate, he was currently busy with something at their headquarters in Jiu Zhou. That was why he had assigned his prolegate to do the welcoming instead.
Lu Ye had no qualms with this. While he would like to enter the Hundred Wards Tower as soon as possible, a small delay would hardly kill him. He could wait until Zhao Li had wrapped up whatever it was that was keeping him.
At the same time, at the Heavenly Derivative Sect’s headquarters, the Sect Master Yu Xiao and the Great Elder Bai Qian were seated on the left and right side of a great hall. The former was a stern-looking middle-aged man who looked to be in his forties, and the latter was an old man with white hair but a healthy complexion.
Of course, one could not decide a cultivator’s age based on appearance alone. There were people who looked like youngsters, but were really a couple hundred years old.
Zhao Li, the Legate of the Heavenly Derivative Sect was standing before the two men with a pale complexion. For some reason, his expression resembled a child who was ready to receive his punishment from his elders. He said dejectedly, “I hadn’t thought that deep, sect master, great elder. I invited Brother Yi Ye to the Heavenly Derivative Sect simply because his talent in the Way of Wards was incredible. I also thought that our sect might gain some fame and glory if he was able to achieve a breakthrough thanks to us.”
He was telling the truth. He thought he had considered every possibility until the sect master and great elder told him exactly how wrong he was.
Under any circumstances, Zhao Li’s decision to befriend Lu Ye and invite him to the Heavenly Derivative Sect would be a sound one. After all, it was perfectly normal for sect members between sects from the same faction to visit and exchange discourse with each other, not to mention that the Heavenly Derivative Sect and the Crimson Blood Sect shared some ties with each other.
The problem was that Lu Ye had stirred up quite a lot of trouble just a while ago and attracted the attention of countless Thousand Demon Ridge factions. To invite Lu Ye to the Heavenly Derivative Sect now was the same as pouring fuel on the fire. They were already afraid of Lu Ye’s talent in the Way of Wards. If the young man actually achieved a breakthrough in the Heavenly Derivative Sect, then no Outpost would be safe from the young man anymore.
In other words, Zhao Li had unintentionally forced Thousand Demon Ridge’s hands. They had to respond to the growing threat that was Lu Ye before it was too late. According to the sect master’s wisdom, they would most likely assemble a massive force and attack the Outpost with everything they had. Their only option now was to force Lu Ye to leave.
Again, to invite Lu Ye to the Heavenly Derivative Sect’s Outpost now was to invite destruction to their doorstep. A single misstep might result in the annihilation of their Outpost.
One might think that the sect master and the great elder were exaggerating things, but the fact was that the Grand Sky Coalition would probably have made the same decision if the situation was reversed. It would be folly to underestimate Thousand Demon Ridge’s determination and daring.
This was also why the sect master and the great elder himself were questioning Zhao Li regarding his decision. Normally, True Lake Realm cultivators like them would never interfere with the business of Spirit Creek Realm cultivators.
Zhao Li also realized his lack of forethought after listening to the great elder’s explanation.