Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Of course, Yu Xiao wasn’t a dim man. Shui Yuan had not told him what she was doing, but he still figured out her intentions immediately after she cried, “Give me back my junior brother!” That was why he cooperated with her and put on a convincing act even though he could barely keep his expression straight. As for the four True Lake Realm cultivators who appeared afterward, they truly did not know what was going on at all. As a result, the fight was most realistic.
That was just the beginning. Despite the persuasions of the “virtuous and respectable” Tang Yifeng, Shui Yuan still had a load of grievances to vent. So, she teleported into the Spirit Creek Battlefield and went on a rampage.
If even the Keeper of Seal was throwing caution to the wind, then the Sect Master could not possibly be left behind. He flew straight to Lei Zhou, a province of Thousand Demon Ridge and attacked the sects there…
As if on cue, his fourth senior brother, Li Baxian also began hunting Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators in the Spirit Creek Battlefield as well.
Shui Yuan had already returned to the headquarters, and the Sect Master was on his way back as well. He would’ve liked to cause some real damage, but unfortunately the province was guarded too tightly even for him to slip through. Add to the fact that the Coalition Leader himself had messaged him to calm down and not risk his own life, he too evacuated from Lei Zou.
As for Li Baxian… the poor guy had received quite the scolding by the Devoted Ones. He was then grounded and forbidden from leaving the Outpost without an order.
It wasn’t until a few days later that the commotion caused by the death of Lu Yi Ye of the Crimson Blood Sect finally subsided. In the grand scheme of things, Lu Ye was just a Spirit Creek Realm cultivator, and the reason Thousand Demon Ridge went to such lengths to kill him was due his ward breaching skills. Since he was dead, there was no need to cause further problems.
In fact, Lu Ye was the one who was still busy responding to his fellow Legates and prolegates’ inquiries. Most people thought he was dead, but those he had added as friends simply needed to check their Battlefield Imprint to know he was still alive.
There was no hiding his fake death from them, and everyone he added were future pillars of their respective sects anyway. Their background was as clean as it gets, and he trusted them not to reveal the truth. Of course, he didn’t go into the details. He simply said that circumstances had forced his hand. No one here was an idiot, so they all caught his meaning.
On a related note, the incident triggered most sects in Jiu Zhou to begin ferreting out the spies in their midst. No one wanted to go through what the Heavenly Derivative Sect had gone through again. As a result, both Grand Sky Coalition and Thousand Demon Ridge lost a massive number of spies. It was one of the fallouts of the incidents.
Lu Ye was in the middle of something when he received a message from Hua Ci. It stated, “Today’s the seventh day after your death. What do you want? I’ll burn it for you.”
He expressionlessly averted his gaze from his Battlefield Imprint, rose to his feet and made his way to Bai Qian’s bedroom.
The entire reason Lu Ye had accepted Zhao Li’s invitation to the Heavenly Derivative Sect’s Outpost was to deepen his education in the Way of Wards. Moreover, most of their disciples cultivated the Way of Wards because they owned the Hundred Wards Tower. But of course, their level of attainment varied wildly depending on their talent and investment.
Since Lu Ye had gone so far as to produce the Soul Cleansing Water to treat Zhao Li, Bai Qian had not hesitated to teach Lu Ye everything he knew. Thanks to this, Lu Ye’s attainment in the Way of Wards continuously grew by leaps and bounds.
Lu Ye’s original goal was to challenge the Hundred Wards Tower, so why was he studying under Bai Qian now? It was so he would have an easier time conquering the challenges, of course.
Bai Qian quickly discovered that Lu Ye was extraordinarily talented in the Way of Wards when he started teaching the boy, though it wasn’t strange considering that he had received the inheritance of a Glyphweaver.
Ward cultivators were considered to be a branch of Glyphwewavers, and since Lu Ye had built a great foundation under Lady Yun’s tutelage, it was only natural that the Way of Wards came to him easily.
What really concerned Bai Qian was Lu Ye’s unimaginable insight when it came to breaching wards. For some reason, the boy could always find the flaws in a ward no matter how complex it was.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that every ward cultivator wished that they had his ability because the very first step to breaching a ward was to identify its flaws and nodes. It was impossible to breach a ward unless this first step was achieved.
At first, Bai Qian thought that it was the result of pure talent. However, he realized that wasn’t quite the case after a few days of observation. When he voiced his doubts, Lu Ye asked,
“Are you aware of Glyph: Insight, Elder Bai?”
“But of course.” Bai Qian was a grandmaster in the Way of Wards, so of course he was versed in some Glyphs. That said, he did not learn any Glyph that wasn’t related to Wards.
He was aware of Glyph: Insight, but he wasn’t familiar with its construction. He would be lucky to construct it successfully once every ten times. It was the core Glyph in Spirit Artifacts that were built for scouting and other similar functions.
“I build them in my eyes before inspecting a Ward. That is how I am able to identify the truths and falsehoods of a Ward every time.”
Bai Qian stared wordlessly at Lu Ye. At first, he thought that the young man was joking. Then, he recalled Lu Ye’s performance when he was breaching a ward and realized it wasn’t. The young man really had constructed an Insight in his eyes.
“I see.” Bai Qian nodded and sighed. “The courage of youth is truly commendable.”
What else could he say? It was the boldest feat he had heard in a long while.
“I know you’re a Glyphweaver, but you mustn’t do this too frequently. The consequences are unimaginable if you make even the slightest mistake,” the old man warned gravely. While Lu Ye wasn’t a disciple of the Heavenly Derivative Sect, he had displayed an extraordinary amount of talent in the Way of Wards. As an appreciator of talent, the last thing he wanted to see was Lu Ye ruining himself.
It was ludicrously dangerous to build the Glyph: Insight in one’s pupils. To give an example, it was as dangerous as building the Glyph: Gathering Spirits in one’s Spiritual Point.
Glyph Weaving was an ancient, well-researched study that had been passed down across many generations. Lu Ye was hardly the only one who had considered constructing the Glyph: Gathering Spirits in their Spiritual Points to improve their cultivation efficiency or the Glyph: Insight in their eyes to see the invisible.
The reason no one had ever dared to do such a thing was because not even the greatest Glyphweaver dared to say that they had a one hundred percent success rate when constructing any Glyph. Moreover, the smaller the Glyph, the harder it was to construct it. If the construction were to fail, then a catastrophic discharge of Spiritual Power was sure to occur. For this to happen in one’s Spiritual Points or eyes was to ruin them.
That was why such ideas mostly existed in theory only. Not even a master Glyphweaver like Lady Yun would attempt this simply because there was a chance the construction could fail no matter how unlikely it might be.
But Lu Ye was different from all of them. He had never experienced a construction failure when activating a Glyph on the Tree of Glyphs. That was why he could abuse it to his heart’s content.
Had he learned Insight from the books, he wouldn’t dare to build it in his eyes either.
He could feel Bai Qian’s concern for him, but this wasn’t something he could explain to the old man. Plus, it wasn’t like he was skimping on practice. As of late, he always tried to identify the flaws of a ward with his own ability before verifying the results with the Glyph: Insight. Sometimes he got it right, and sometimes he got it wrong. In either case, he learned from the experience and was able to improve his ward breaching skills further.
Bai Qian had already given his advice, and it was up to Lu Ye whether he accepted it or not. So, he stopped talking on the subject and summoned a small flag into his hand. “Today, we’re going to take a look into Ward Flags and Ward Keystones…”
Lu Ye hurriedly sat up straight.
The days passed quickly. During the day, he would study the Way of Wards at Elder Bai’s place, and when nighttime came he would cultivate and study the books he brought out of Lady Yun’s study to validate the teachings of the day.
Elder Bai’s residence was extremely quiet and peaceful because he was an extremely important person in the Heavenly Derivative Sect. He might not be the sect master, but even Yu Xiao had to perform a disciple’s salute when meeting him. That was why no one discovered that Lu Ye and Ju Jia were hiding in his residence.
Plus, it was said that Bai Qian was hurt by the combat shockwaves caused by the Crimson Blood Sect’s Keeper of Seal, and that a medicine cultivator visited him everyday to treat his wounds. Who in their right mind would disturb him at such a time?
Ju Jia spent all day and night cultivating as usual. Although the cultivation environment wasn’t as good as the Spirit Creek Battlefield, he wasn’t the type to waste even a second if he could help it.
Zhao Li was getting better day by day and, as he improved, the benefits of the Soul Cleansing Water were beginning to show themselves. The Legate belatedly realized that his control over his Spiritual Power had improved, and his perception was noticeably better than what it used to be. As no one had told him about the Soul Cleansing Water, he had no idea why his power had grown. All he knew was that he had, against all odds, benefited from this near death experience.
His heart ached every time he recalled his Outpost though. Although Thousand Demon Ridge was the one who should truly be blamed for the loss, it did not change the fact that the Outpost was lost while he was still in charge.
One night, Lu Ye was studying and cultivating as usual when suddenly, Yi Yi flew through the window and called his name in panic, “Lu Ye, Lu Ye.”
Lu Ye looked up inquiringly, and she said, “Ju Jia and Amber are doing something weird. You should go see them as soon as you can!”
A moment later, Lu Ye followed Yi Yi to a giant rock right next to a pitch black cliff. The moon was hanging in the middle of the night sky and showering everything in its cold light.
On the rock, Ju Jia and Amber were crouching on all fours and lifting or bowing their heads from time to time. This was strange enough, but what was really strange was that he could see the essence of the moon gathering above their heads and being inhaled and exhaled through their mouths. Their bodies were covered in a faint sheen of light as well.
The moon essence looked like a translucent white ribbon dancing lightly to the wind. From the distance, it looked like a bridge made of moonlight was hanging in the sky.
Lu Ye raised his eyebrows at this extraordinary sight.
Yi Yi asked, “Are they okay?”
“When did this start?”
“A few days ago.”
Lu Ye had been cultivating and studying his books every night, so he had no idea what was going on outside as a matter of course. However, there existed an unseverable connection between Amber and Yi Yi, so she always knew about its condition and movements.
A few days ago, Ju Jia had suddenly run to this place with Amber right behind him. At the beginning, there was no bridge of moonlight or weird postures from the duo. It looked to Yi Yi that Ju Jia just wanted a change of environment as he cultivated.
That was until three days ago. Usually, Ju Jia could stay in the meditative position for a whole day without moving a muscle. However, the body tempering cultivator suddenly started tossing and turning as if his usual posture was uncomfortable. He kept changing his posture until finally, he arrived at this weird, almost animal-like posture.
Amber also copied his posture. Since then, the man and beast pair started lifting their heads when they were inhaling, and bowing their heads when exhaling. Their movements were unusually synchronized as well. The luminescence around their body also fluctuated accordingly.