Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
In the Spirit Creek Battlefield, the Scroll of Supremacy was a ranking list generated by the Heavens themselves. Only the top one hundred Spirit Creek Realm cultivators could enter this list, so of course they were all among the best of the best. In fact, they were guaranteed to ascend to Divine Ocean Realm if they did not perish before then.
Unfortunately, these two Scroll of Supremacy ghost cultivators would not live to see that day.
Li Baxian had told him that the Spirit Creek Battlefield was governed by a strict set of rules, but the Thousand Demon Ridge had also made an exception for him when he was just a Fifth-Order Spirit Creek Realm cultivator. Naturally, he was ready for them to do so a second time.
From the moment the invasion force had grown to a certain scale, he had been watching out for an assassination attempt. The only way they could do so amidst a camp of thousands was to employ ghost cultivators, but unfortunately for them, ghost cultivators had not been a big threat to him for a while. Not only was his Divine Soul powerful, his perception was far greater than the usual Spirit Creek Realm cultivator. Even if that wasn’t the case, his wards could still make up for that flaw.
The reason his tent was unguarded was because there was simply no need. He had already set up the necessary wards beforehand, and any assassin who dared to enter it would find themselves trapped as a butterfly in a net. Why else would he message Ju Jia to let the assassins enter? He was that confident in his preparations.
At his current strength, he was no match for even one Heaven-Grade Ninth-Order cultivator, much less five. However, he was able to extinguish the five assassins like a candle flame thanks to the wards and preparations. That two of them were listed on the Scroll of Supremacy was just the icing on the cake.
Thousand Demon Ridge was clearly getting desperate. The invasion force he commanded was just that threatening. Still, everyone in the camp was furious to learn that Thousand Demon Ridge was shameless enough to send five Heaven-Grade Ninth-Order ghost cultivators to assassinate Lu Ye.
Never one to let an opportunity slip through his fingers, Lu Ye immediately ordered his riled up comrades to get ready to depart. A while later, a fleet made up of dozens of ship Spirit Artifacts took off toward the horizon.
At the same time, the Divine Ocean Realm cultivators of Thousand Demon Ridge received confirmation that the five ghost cultivators had failed their mission. Their hearts felt as heavy as stones.
There had never been a Spirit Creek Realm cultivator in the Cultivation World of Jiu Zhou who left such a deep impression in the minds of so many Divine Ocean Realm cultivators. It was such an impression that they couldn’t wait to tear him to pieces with their own hands.
The attempt to remove the head of the snake had failed. Although they did not know how the five ghost cultivators had failed, Lu Yi Ye would be prepared for future assassination attempts now. It would be pointless to make another attempt.
In that case, they could only fight the enemy head on.
This was the Divine Ocean Realm cultivators’ backup plan; their last resort. The reason they didn’t want to enact it was because they would have to surrender a ton of Outposts to execute it. That said, they no longer had a choice. The last resort was their only way left to stop the Grand Sky Coalition invasion force in its tracks. Their losses would only be worse if they did not execute it.
The orders were sent out, and the entire Thousand Demon Ridge began to move. All sects on the invasion force’s attack path began evacuating their Outposts ij the opposite direction of the invasion force.
Thousands of kilometers away from the invasion force, more sects were abandoning their Outposts. However, they were moving toward the invasion instead of away to meet up with their retreating comrades.
There was no hiding such a large-scale operation from Grand Sky Coalition’s scouts. It wasn’t long before they figured out Thousand Demon Ridge’s plan. And it was a good one. It was the only way they could halt the invasion force in its tracks.
It was around this time the news that Thousand Demon Ridge had dispatched five Heaven-Grade Ninth-Order ghost cultivators to assassinate Lu Ye had spread. Naturally, Grand Sky Coalition was furious to hear this.
This was like having several adults join a fight between two kids because the loser was being soundly trounced. How could the Grand Sky Coalition tolerate such blatant disregard of the rules?
The last time Thousand Demon Ridge had done such a thing, Grand Sky Coalition had responded promptly. It was the same this time. By now, the war had spread to the Core Circle as well, so cultivators of the Core Circle started hopping over to the Inner Circle and joining the invasion force.
Of course, Thousand Demon Ridge wasn’t going to be outdone by their counterpart. Their Core Circle cultivators began mobilizing en masse as well.
As a result, both armies started growing at an explosive rate.
Ten days later, the two armies came face to face on the opposite sides of Weishui. Weishui was a massive three hundred-meter wide river that stretched across the entire Spirit Creek Battlefield. Its waters were murky, yellowish and extremely rapid. It was also a natural stronghold.
Normally, a cultivator could easily fly over it via telekinesis. But today, no one dared to cross the river. The reason was simple. There were just too many people on either side of the river.
On the Grand Sky Coalition’s side, there were over eighteen thousand cultivators in the invasion force. Most of them had joined the army recently, and a good percentage of them were Heaven-Grade Eighth and Ninth-Order cultivators from the Core Circle as well.
Thousand Demon Ridge’s army was even bigger. They numbered over twenty thousand.
A clash on such a scale had never happened on the Spirit Creek Battlefield. It was because it involved too many sects.
Grand Sky Coalition’s army was made up of over a hundred sects, but Thousand Demon Ridge’s was only forty. The latter had come out in full force. All forty sects had abandoned their Outposts beforehand to gather all their forces in one place.
This was the backup plan the Divine Ocean Realm cultivators of Thousand Demon Ridge had prepared. There was no Outpost that could defend themselves against Grand Sky Coalition’s invasion force anyway, so they might as well give it up beforehand and concentrate all their strength in one place.
It was a costly response, but it was also a very effective one. At the very least, the invasion force was finally halted at Weishui.
Everyone was keeping an eye on the stand-off right now. Countless messages were being traded between the Spirit Creek Battlefield and Jiu Zhou by the second. As if this wasn’t crazy enough, cultivators from every corner of the Spirit Creek Battlefield were rushing over to Weishui to bolster their cultivation faction.
Lu Ye had not imagined that the situation would escalate to this extent. His original intent was to gather enough manpower to conquer every Thousand Demon Ridge Outpost in their path and earn those sweet, sweet Contribution Points, but at some point, the operation had slid out of his control.
A battle of this scale was bad news for everyone because both sides were destined to suffer a tremendous amount of losses no matter who came out victorious in the end. Plus, who in the world dared to claim that they would win a battle involving tens of thousands of cultivators for sure?
Moreover, the Weishui made it so that whoever attacked first was going to be at a tremendous disadvantage. It was the main reason why no one had tried to make a move yet. After all, the only way to cross the river was to fly telekinetically. If their flying Spirit Artifacts were shot out of the air, then they would sustain serious injuries or perish for sure.
As a result, the two armies became stuck in this stand-off.
On the Thousand Demon Ridge’s side, everyone let out a huge sigh of relief. It took a considerable amount of effort, but they had finally halted the enemy in their tracks. Since the Grand Sky Coalition invasion force had departed from Deep Sea Mountain’s Outpost, they had gobbled up every Outpost in their path like a greedy silkworm. At least one to two hundred Outposts had fallen to them. The losses were astronomical to say the least.
The cultivators couldn’t attack each other without putting themselves at a tremendous disadvantage, but they certainly could curse at the other party. And they did. Everyone here had excellent hearing after all. They could hear every word despite the distance and the churning river.
However, the standoff was like a dry thunderstorm. Everyone was hoping to provoke the other party to attack first, but no one was stupid enough to actually do that. As a result, what was the biggest standoff in the history of the Spirit Creek Battlefield felt exceptionally trivial and pointless.
On a related note, Lu Ye was the main focus of Thousand Demon Ridge’s verbal curses. He was, without exaggeration, the root of all evil in this incident after all.
Before the Vanquisher of Sects had come to be, the Spirit Creek Battlefield had been a stable and orderly place. However, it all went to hell after he made an appearance. Right now, Core Circle cultivators were already hopping to the Inner Circle en masse. What if they ran to the Outer Circle in the future?
From Thousand Demon Ridge’s point of view, the Vanquisher of Sects was the biggest walking disaster the world had ever seen.
On the third day of the standoff, Lu Ye and dozens of people were gathered inside a big tent. He swept his gaze across everyone’s faces before saying slowly, “I believe that everyone here has received a message from their elders, no? The Divine Ocean Realm cultivators of Grand Sky Coalition have agreed to meet up with their Thousand Demon Ridge counterparts and negotiate an… end to all this.”
In fact, he had received news about this just an incense stick ago.
Under any other circumstances, the Divine Ocean Realm cultivators of either side would never sit down for a peace talk. They had hated each other’s guts for countless years after all. Why talk when they could just bash the other person’s face in?
Plus, no one at their cultivation level was particularly tolerant so to speak. It was all too easy for even the smallest chit chat to devolve into a bloody fight.
Finally, they generally kept their nose out of the Spirit Creek Battlefield because it was, from their point of view, a children’s playground. There were few things in that place that was worth even a smidgen of their attention.
Not this time though. This was so big that it had completely gotten out of hand for their “children”. Not only did they have to get involved, they were forced to sit down and have the peace talk they so loathed.
If the two armies on the opposite sides of Weishui were to go to war, then it was going to be a real war. No matter who emerged victorious in the end, the losses they would sustain would be unacceptable for either side.
Everyone in the tent nodded. As Lu Ye guessed, they had all received a message from their elders as well.
“What are your plans, Brother Yi Ye?” A Heaven-Grade Eighth-Order champion from the Core Circle inquired.
There must be a reason Lu Ye had gathered them here at such a sensitive time.
Lu Ye said calmly, “From the looks of things, I am almost certain that peace talks will be the final outcome. Perhaps our seniors could make Thousand Demon Ridge bleed a bit for this peace, but this is as far as our invasion force goes.”
Everyone was silent. They were reluctant to end things here, but they could not deny the logic behind Lu Ye’s words.
Thousand Demon Ridge could not bear the fruit of a true war, and neither could the Grand Sky Coalition. Not even the champions of the Core Circle could gain too big an advantage in a clash of this scale.
Therefore, the only possible outcome was both sides agreeing to stop here and withdraw their forces.
That said, Thousand Demon Ridge was the defending side, so their Divine Ocean Realm cultivators had the right to make some slightly excessive demands that were still within Thousand Demon Ridge’s ability to accept, stuff like resource compensation and so on. It was going to take a while to finalize the details though.
“That is why I would like to start over!”
For a moment, everyone could only stare at Lu Ye in confusion. What exactly did he mean by “start over”? Then, the quick-witted ones figured out his meaning, and Zhao Li blurted, “Are you saying… that you want to redo all this at a different location?”