Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
“If the symptoms weren’t obvious, then how did he know that it was incredibly toxic?”
“Zhao Li said that Lu Yi Ye is the one who determined this.”
“Tell them to come to the headquarters as soon as possible!”
“I already sent them the message.”
Back at the Heavenly Derivative Sect’s Outpost, Lu Ye was staring at the blood streaming out of Zhao Li’s nostrils. Suddenly, he turned around and punched Ju Jia in the nose. It was such a powerful punch that even the body-tempering cultivator saw stars for a bit before he shot Lu Ye a look of confusion. At the same time, blood started dripping out of his nostrils as well.
“It’s your turn now. Punch me in the face,” Lu Ye said.
Ju Jia scratched his head before replying in a muffled voice, “I refuse.”
Lu Ye rolled his eyes, but there was no forcing Ju Jia to do something he did not want to. Left with no choice, he sucked in a deep breath and slammed his own face against the table. Stars went round and round his head as he got up and sniffed a little. Now he too had a nosebleed.
By now, Zhao Li was growing a little dizzy. He asked weakly, “What are you doing, Brother Yi Ye?”
“We’re going to your headquarters!” Lu Ye said while waving for Ju Jia to follow him.
Ju Jia nonchalantly rose to his feet. He carried Zhao Li because the Legate could not even balance on his two feet anymore.
When Lu Ye saw this, he hurriedly added, “Carry me as well.”
Ju Jia did as he said and placed Lu Ye on his shoulder. Then, he started walking toward the Sanctum of Providence. On the way, they passed by many confused Heavenly Derivative Sect disciples, but it wasn’t long before they heard that their Crimson Blood Sect guests and even their own Legate, Zhao Li had been poisoned.
Shock rippled across the Outpost like a Spirit Bomb. Now they understood why a lockdown had suddenly been imposed on the Outpost, and why the authorities were checking who were currently absent.
Lu Ye had been poisoned not long after he reached the Heavenly Derivative Sect’s Outpost, so it could only have been done by a disciple. Not only that, they were important enough that they could make contact with the food preparers.
Due to the circumstances surrounding the poisoning, it was quite easy to identify who the poisoner was. Therefore, the only way the poisoner might live was to leave the Outpost as soon as possible.
In other words, the disciple who could make contact with the food preparers and had left the Outpost within the past two hours must be the poisoner.
If Lu Ye was anyone else, the assassination would’ve been a total success. However, his Tree of Glyphs was capable of burning any harmful substance such as poison, so he was able to notice and take the appropriate measures at first notice. The poisoner could not have known that they would be exposed so quickly either. If the Heavenly Derivative Sect acted fast enough, there was still a chance they might be able to capture the poisoner before they escaped.
Lu Ye was really glad that Amber only ate raw meat. Otherwise, it would’ve been poisoned as well.
Judging from Zhao Li and Ju Jia’s reactions, the symptoms were more obvious the weaker the person’s constitution was. That was why Ju Jia still looked as healthy as an ox on the surface. There was no telling if he would survive if he erupted in full force though. Lu Ye did not think he would. It was highly unlikely Thousand Demon Ridge would commit such a rookie mistake after sacrificing so much to kill them.
Lu Ye and Zhao Li had made an alliance pact with each other a while ago, and the former had recruited Ju Jia as an initiate of the Crimson Blood Sect earlier. That was why they were able to teleport to the headquarters through the Divine Opportunity Column even though they weren’t Heavenly Derivative Sect disciples.
The high level members in the Heavenly Derivative Sect were already waiting for them when they teleported to the sect. Yu Xiao and everyone else looked so grim one would think that the apocalypse was upon them.
While no one could’ve prevented the poisoning from happening, it did not change the fact that the disciples of Crimson Blood Sect had been harmed on their territory. Therefore, the responsibility was theirs to bear. Heavens only knew how they were going to make it up with the Crimson Blood Sect if Lu Ye really did perish from this.
The medicine cultivators were already waiting for their patients. The moment the trio showed up, they were immediately brought to a room and tended to by a medicine cultivator each.
By now, Zhao Li was doing very poorly. He looked horribly weakened, and he kept throwing up liquid with blood mixed in it. The medicine cultivator tending to him had a hell of a hard time trying to keep the Legate alive.
Ju Jia was starting to display some symptoms as well, although he was still considerably healthier than Zhao Li.
As for Lu Ye, he had blacked out the moment he arrived at the headquarters.
The medicine cultivator tending to him raised her eyebrows after inspecting his condition carefully. It was because she discovered that things were not what they seemed to be.
After inspecting Lu Ye a second time to confirm that she wasn’t mistaken, she went to Yu Xiao and said something softly.
Surprise flashed across Yu Xiao’s features as he asked in an equally low tone, “Are you sure?”
The female medicine cultivator—a Third-Order Real Lake Realm Master—nodded. “I am.”
Yu Xiao’s trust was somewhat tested after this ludicrous incident, but he was quite confident in the medicine cultivator’s skills. In fact, she was the best medicine cultivator in the Heavenly Derivative Sect.
That they sent their best medicine cultivator to tend to Lu Ye and not their Legate showed how sincere they were at making amends.
“Very well then. Please tend to Zhao Li now,” Yu Xiao instructed before sighing deeply. His relief lasted only an instant before he worried for Zhao Li’s life though.
Yu Xiao was the sect master of the Heavenly Derivative Sect. After he figured out what Lu Ye was planning, he wisely kept silent and did not expose the fact that the young man was, in fact, perfectly fine.
Time passed quickly, and Zhao Li gradually stabilized thanks to the medicine cultivators’ ministration. As for Ju Jia, his symptoms subsided even quicker than Zhao Li’s because he wasn’t too affected to begin with. When dawn came, Zhao Li’s aura had fully stabilized, a sign that his life was no longer in danger.
There was a problem though. The Legate hadn’t awakened after he fell unconscious last night. Not only that, Ju Jia had fallen into an unwakeable slumber as well.
The female medicine cultivator who “treated” Lu Ye before went to Yu Xiao and reported, “Sect master, we have successfully purged all the poison in the patients’ physical body.”
“So, they’re fine now?” Yu Xiao let out a sigh of relief. Zhao Li was chosen to be the Legate of the Heavenly Derivative Sect because he was both talented and intelligent. It would be a huge loss to the sect to lose him.
The medicine cultivator replied, “Normally I would say yes, but judging from their latest symptom, I suspect that…”
“I suspect that the poison doesn’t just affect the physical body, but also the Divine Soul. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the one affecting the physical body is just a misdirection.” She did not think they would be able to purge the physical poison so easily otherwise.
Yu Xiao’s expression immediately turned serious. “Are you sure about this?”
The medicine cultivator shot Zhao Li and Ju Jia a glance before nodding. “I’m at least seventy percent sure!”
“You worked hard.”
A poison that affects the Divine Soul was incredibly difficult to cure. The situation wouldn’t be so dire if the afflicted was a Divine Ocean Realm cultivator because they were powerful enough to express the power of their Divine Soul directly, which made it much easier to cure such a poison. Furthermore, a Divine Ocean Realm cultivator would not be so easily poisoned in the first place.
Zhao Li and Ju Jia were only Spirit Creek Realm cultivators. They both possessed a Divine Soul of their own, but it was just their innate, untrained power. Because their cultivation level was insufficient, they were unable to manipulate their Divine Soul and cooperate with the medicine cultivators to purge the poison, not to mention that they were both unconscious right now.
Clearly, Thousand Demon Ridge hadn’t held back anything when they decided to assassinate Lu Ye. Not only had they activated one of their spies, the poison they used was one that no one in the Heavenly Derivative Sect was capable of curing.
“We need to find a solution quickly, Sect Master. At this rate, both of them are going to die in their sleep. That Ju Jia might live for another ten to fifteen days, but Zhao Li would probably die in two days at most.”
The medicine cultivator could not have put it clearer. She was saying that they were incapable of curing Zhao Li and Ju Jia.
“Why is it that Ju Jia can live for another half a month, but Zhao Li only has two days? They’re both Ninth-Order cultivators, aren’t they?” Yu Xiao asked with a frown. It was impossible not to notice the gap between the duo.
The medicine cultivator shook her head. “I’m not sure. However, I can tell you that Ju Jia’s symptoms are a lot milder compared to Zhao Li’s. He is a special one. Perhaps he is born with a greater Divine Soul than most.”
She could not help but shoot Lu Ye a glance when she said this though. She could explain Ju Jia’s condition as a result of good birth, but what about Lu Ye? When they were treating Zhao Li, the Legate had told them that the young man had drunk the poisoned wine and ate the poisoned dishes. He should’ve been poisoned just like the rest of them, and yet…
“Elder Bai,” Yu Xiao looked at his great elder, “please set up a Soul Nurturing Ward and move them inside as quickly as you can.”
If a powerful Divine Soul could slow the poison’s effects, then the best thing they could do right now was to strengthen it. Although it cost a lot of resources to create a Soul Nurturing Ward, and the ward couldn’t do much in just two days’ time, it was still better than nothing.
“As you command.” Bai Qian left immediately.
“Do you know anyone in Wu Zhou who is capable of treating this poison?” Yu Xiao asked his medicine cultivator.
She thought for a moment before shaking her head dejectedly. “I know a couple of people whose skills are greater than mine, but none of them are good enough to cure such a poison. Perhaps…”
“Have you forgotten, sect master? The Crimson Blood Sect has a first-rate medicine cultivator.”
Yu Xiao blanked out for a second before exclaiming in realization, “You’re right! I shall contact Elder Tang immediately.”
He was so flustered by the incident that he had forgotten the obvious answer. In fact, he should’ve contacted Elder Tang the moment he found out that a member of the Crimson Blood Sect was poisoned.
To his surprise, he received a reply almost immediately after he sent out a message. As it turned out, Elder Tang was already on his way, and he was accompanied by none other than the first-rate medicine cultivator his medicine cultivator had spoken of, Shui Yuan.
Yu Xiao shot Lu Ye another glance. It must be the young man’s handiwork because there was no way those two would be on their way already otherwise.
Suddenly, the sect master motioned for everyone to leave the room. Soon, he was the only one left. He then called out quietly, “Are you awake, my young friend?”
The young man who had been “unconscious” since the moment he came to the headquarters of the Heavenly Derivative Sect opened his eyes and rose to his feet. He gave the sect master a bow and said, “Sect Master Yu.”
His act might be good enough to deceive most people, but there was no way he could deceive the female medicine cultivator who inspected his body. He was also aware that the medicine cultivator would inform Yu Xiao about his condition. Anyway, Yu Xiao clearly wanted to discuss something with him since he had purposely cleared out the room beforehand.
“Elder Tang and Sister Shui Yuan are already on the way. They should arrive in less than half a day.”
Although Bing Zhou and Wu Zhou were very far apart, a Divine Ocean Realm cultivator could still cross the distance relatively quickly. Since the duo had taken off almost as soon as Lu Ye had messaged them, they were making good time to put it mildly.
“You should have heard everything that was said, right?” Yu Xiao turned to look at Zhao Li. “I would not deny that Zhao Li invited you with ulterior motives in mind, but he never intended you any harm. We certainly hadn’t expected Thousand Demon Ridge to go so far as to activate a spy in our midst to kill you. Regardless, we are deeply sorry that you and your friend, Ju Jia are caught up in this, and we—”
Lu Ye raised his hand and stopped him. “You don’t need to say anything, Sect Master Yu. I am aware of the circumstances, and I know that the knife in the back is the hardest to anticipate. None of us wanted this to happen.”
Yu Xiao nodded. “Thank you for understanding, young friend. If you don’t mind, can I ask you a favor?”
“Don’t worry. I promise that Sister Shui Yuan will not blame the Heavenly Derivative Sect for this. Also, my impression of Brother Zhao is pretty good, so of course I will ask Sister Shui Yuan to treat him.”