Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Just as they anticipated, Tang Yifeng had attacked Lei Zhou. What they didn’t anticipate was him not retreating after they repelled him the first time. Right now, the man was roaming the borders between Lei Zhou and Wu Zhou and waiting for an opportunity to present itself.
This was a massive headache for Thousand Demon Ridge, of course. To give an example, it was way harder to be the guard than the thief because the guard had to be on the lookout all the time, while the thief only needed to succeed once. This was doubly true for a champion like Tang Yifeng, who had shed all pretense no less.
The one true way to deal with him was to trap and kill him once and for all, but this was Tang Yifeng they were talking about. To call him a wily old fox would be to shame him, and to dream of catching him in a death trap was just that, a dream. The fact that he was singlehandedly turning Lei Zhou upside down was a testament to that.
Not even the Core Circle of the Spirit Creek Battlefield was spared from the Crimson Blood Sect’s wrath. Specifically, Li Baxian had left his sect to cause trouble.
The most authoritative list of the most powerful cultivators in the Spirit Creek Battlefield was the Roll of Supremacy. It was because it was governed by the Heavens themselves, meaning that it was one hundred percent fair. The list was automatically updated by the Heavens based on the strength a cultivator displayed in combat.
The names on the list were prone to frequent changes because a cultivator who reached the peak of Spirit Creek Realm rarely lingered at that cultivation level. At most, they would spend some time accumulating their strength before ascending to Cloud River Realm.
In the past, Li Baxian was tenth on the list and the only Eighth-Order Heaven Grade cultivator on the Roll of Supremacy. Everyone else was a Ninth-Order cultivator.
Today, he was third, not only because the previous holders had ascended to Cloud River Realm, but also because he was that powerful. He was able to hide his strength for a time until he battled the first runner-up on the Roll of Supremacy, Yan Xing. Since then, his true strength was revealed to all.
Speaking of which, every genius in the Spirit Creek Battlefield from both Grand Sky Coalition and Thousand Demon Ridge had some nasty words to offer the top three cultivators on the Roll of Supremacy. Why? It was because the three bastards had remained at Spirit Creek Realm for over a decade. How could any up-and-coming youngster possibly hope to replace them?
It was said that the top three cultivators on the Roll of Supremacy would earn the boon of the Heavens, though the specifics were unclear because no one got the exact same boon. The only thing they knew for certain was that the higher your placement, the better the boon you got.
That was until these three bastards claimed the top spots three years ago. Since no one could replace them, no one else had received the boon of the Heavens for the past three years.
Even the Heavens seemed to loathe their refusal to ascend and free up the Roll of Supremacy. It was because the Heavens stopped bestowing them its boons after the first couple times.
Of course, the Roll of Supremacy wasn’t the only list that existed within the Spirit Creek Battlefield. There were many more lists created by the cultivators themselves such as the Hidden Dragon List, Beauties of Spirit Creek and so on.
One of them was called the Lazy Crane List. It was aimed at powerful cultivators, and they were evaluated based on their threat level, battle frequency and kill count. To put it simply, the higher the cultivator’s threat level, the lower their kill count, and the longer it had been since they fought a battle, the higher they ranked on the list.
Before the Battle of Goldentip, Li Baxian was the indisputable king of the Lazy Crane List. In fact, it had been years since anyone even came close to dethroning him. It was because he was that “lazy”. He spent most of his days holed up in the Devoted Ones’ Outpost like a shy woman who was afraid to show her face to the public. He never exited the gates, and he barely even stepped out of his own room. He was nominally the Devoted Ones’ prolegate, but in reality even the disciples rarely got to see him.
However, the king was dethroned and knocked all the way to the bottom of the list after the Battle of Goldentip. Today, his name was completely removed from the list.
The reason was very simple. He was like a young, healthy man who was locked in a monastery and forced to practice asceticism for decades until one day, he was suddenly let loose into the red light district. Day and night, the sword cultivator had roamed the Core Circle in search of Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators to kill. Since he was the second runner-up of the Roll of Supremacy, who in the entire Spirit Creek Battlefield was a match for him? Already, his wanton action had resulted in several massive battles.
Naturally, his newfound blood thirst had disqualified him from the Lazy Crane List.
To be fair, Li Baxian and Feng Yuechan had not caused any trouble during their time in the Devoted Ones’ Outpost. Their presence also made their Outpost the safest place in the entire Spirit Creek Battlefield. No one even dared to shoot them a word of challenge, much less attack them.
So, why had Li Baxian suddenly done a one-eighty? It was because Lu Yi Ye was poisoned to death by Thousand Demon Ridge, of course.
At the Crimson Blood Sect’s Outpost, Hua Ci stepped out of her training chamber and stretched like a cat. The sunlight felt most welcoming after several days of secluded cultivation. That was when she noticed that Ruan Lingyu was waiting outside her door.
She asked curiously, “What’s the matter? Did something happen?”
Lingyu walked up to her and grabbed her hand. She then said in a serious tone, “I need to tell you something, but first, you must promise me to stay calm, okay?”
Hua Ci tilted her head in confusion. What was she talking about?
Ruan Lingyu looked left and right before moving closer to Hua Ci’s ear. She then said in a low tone, “Lu Ye has been poisoned to death.”
Hua Ci abruptly froze like a statue, and Lingyu could feel her body temperature departing her fingers in just a matter of seconds. Realizing that this was going to turn into a disaster if she didn’t reveal the truth as soon as possible, she added hurriedly, “It’s fake! He’s faking his death! Lu Ye is really fine. When I asked Sister Shui Yuan about this, she said that a lot of Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators mean to do Lu Ye harm, so Lu Ye decided to turn this against them and fool them into thinking he’s dead. She also said we should act like he’s dead because our Outpost is a lot busier than before.”
The reason Lingyu had waited at Hua Ci’s doorstep was to be the first to inform her of the news. If the medicine cultivator had heard it from someone else, there was a chance she might accidentally reveal that Lu Ye was alive in her denial.
Hua Ci felt like her heart was bouncing all over her chest as she listened to Lingyu’s words. She immediately checked her Battlefield Imprint and to her relief, found that his imprint was still present. Not entirely convinced, she sent him a message and did not relax until she finally received a reply from him.
Hua Ci did not reveal her true emotions on her face or her body, however. She even collapsed to her knees and started sobbing in silence, tears streaming down her cheeks like unending waterfalls.
“Sister Hua Ci!” Ruan Lingyu was stunned to say the least. She already told her that Lu Ye was faking his death, so why was she acting like this?
If Lu Ye was here, he would’ve praised her acting skills for sure.
Half a day later, Hua Ci and the core members of the Crimson Blood Sect were gathered at a quiet place in the Outpost. Why? Well, they were here to burn some ritual money for the “deceased” Lu Ye…
Towering flames licked the air as Hua Ci dumped bundle after bundle of ritual money into the fire, tears still streaming silently down her cheeks.
Chen Yu, Kong Niu, Gu Yang, He Xiyin, Zhu Wenbo, Yi Haoran and Luo Qisheng were all present. They were also wearing extremely odd expressions on their faces.
Everyone here had been notified beforehand that Lu Ye was alive, and yet Hua Ci had cried—was still crying—so hard that her eyes were completely swollen. It was such a convincing act that they were starting to wonder if Lu Ye really was dead.
It was at this moment Hua Ci uttered in a soft but threatening voice, “Cry, or else.”
The gang exchanged glances with each other. Finally, Chen Yu wailed, “What a horrible way to die, Brother Lu!”
The rest of them started fake crying as well. Gu Yang even went so far as to chant a soul returning mantra, “Come back to us, senior brother. Come back to us, senior brother…” as he wept and burned the ritual money.
He Xiyin wanted to laugh, but one glare from Hua Ci caused her to change her mind. She went, “Uwaaaaaaaaaaaaah…” while rubbing her eyes and tearing up like a waterfall.
Some distance away from the group, Feng Yue was watching this happening while barely hiding her glee. She was this close to cheering out loud and thanking the Heavens for giving the evil Lu Ye what he deserved!
Ever since she was kidnapped and swindled by Lu Ye, Feng Yue had been forced to stay in the Crimson Blood Sect. She could not return home because she had lost the Outpost, and as the Legate there was no way she could escape punishment. Even if she somehow managed to avoid execution, she would’ve been sold to another cultivation family in a political marriage. She would have no future to speak of.
Feng Yue would rather die than accept such a fate. She had been a Legate after all. There was no way she would resign herself to such a fate.
While she was basically a nobody in the Crimson Blood Sect, she was actually treated fairly well because she was a medicine cultivator. The sect had never shortchanged her when it was time to receive cultivation resources either, so she had actually grown stronger over time.
The only thing that still troubled her was her Contribution Points. She was an Eighth-Order cultivator who was soon to ascend to the Ninth-Order. When the time came, she would need to purchase a Heaven Grade cultivation technique with Contribution Points. However, she had “donated” the four thousand Contribution Points she had saved specifically for this purpose, so she basically had to restart from zero. To say she was extremely aggrieved would be an understatement.
Thankfully, that vile Lu Yi Ye was finally dead. In the future, Hua Ci would most likely be the new lord and master of the Outpost. Her mood was already so much better.
Back at the headquarters of the Heavenly Derivative Sect, everyone was downcast like a thundercloud was hanging above their heads.
Losing the Outpost had been a huge blow to them. Although the Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators holding the ruins hostage had retreated after Shui Yuan’s rampage, rebuilding the Outpost was hardly an easy matter. At the very least, they had to accumulate enough Contribution Points to rebuild their Grand Ward.
Besides that, the Heavenly Derivative Sect had to temporarily ban their disciples from entering Spirit Creek Battlefield just in case Thousand Demon Ridge had other traps or ambushes in place. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they had activated the Grand Ward surrounding their headquarters and cut themselves away from the outside world as well. One could even say that the Heavenly Derivative Sect was completely isolated. Those outside the Grand Ward could not enter the headquarters, and those inside could not leave the place. Not even messages could even get in or out of the headquarters.
Obviously, this had everything to do with the rampage of a certain Keeper of Seal. Nearly everyone in the Heavenly Derivative Sect held a grudge against the Crimson Blood Sect right now.
No one in the sect wished for Lu Yi Ye to die. The Keeper of Seal’s tantrum was unreasonable at best and loathsome at worst.
It was even rumored that their great elder, Bai Qian was injured in that battle. He was recuperating right now.
Lu Ye, Ju Jia and Zhao Li were all at Bai Qian’s residence. Ju Jia and Zhao Li had awoken in succession thanks to Shui Yuan’s treatment, although the latter was far more weakened than the former. Still, that he was able to awaken at all meant that all was well. When the Real Lake Realm medicine cultivator had come to inspect him, she confirmed that the poison was fully purged from both his body and his soul. In fact, the reason he was weakened was just the side effect of Shui Yuan’s treatment. He was expected to make a full recovery after a period of rest.
Yu Xiao and everyone else in the know were most glad to hear this.
At the library, Lu Ye’s mind was a jumbled mess after he finished speaking with Shui Yuan via the Battlefield Imprint.
The events had not gone the way he had envisioned at all. When he had asked his senior sister and his sect master to put on an act, he had expected them to fake a mourning at best. He had no idea that his senior sister would go so far to attack Yu Xiao, not to mention everything else. Yu Xiao’s reaction made it clear that he wasn’t expecting this either.