Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Inside the tent, Lu Ye said clearly, “Considering the invasion force’s current size, my presence no longer matters.”
In fact, Lu Ye’s usefulness had become very limited after the invasion force exceeded three thousand people. That was enough firepower to breach any grand ward via brute force.
In fact, Lu Ye’s greatest effect in the invasion force wasn’t his ward breaching skills, but his ability to bring people together. He was the reason the invasion force had come to be in the first place. He was also the reason why the Grand Sky Coalition sects had contributed their forces wherever they went. Lu Ye might not have the strongest cultivation in the army, but he was the one that everyone was willing to listen to and obey.
Not even a champion of the Core Circle would have had an easier time at transforming the allied forces into a cohesive whole.
Now though, their army numbered almost twenty thousand people. They literally did not need him anymore.
The peace talks between the Divine Ocean Realm cultivators of their cultivation factions were on the way, so it was only a matter of time before the invasion force was disbanded. However, Lu Ye wasn’t planning to stop here.
He did not know exactly how many Contribution Points he had plundered on the way, but he was pretty sure that he was still a ways away from his goal. That was why he needed to occupy more Thousand Demon Ridge Outposts no matter what.
The Thousand Demon Ridge had named him the Vanquisher of Sects for his deeds, but in reality a spark would’ve described him better. He could start an inferno anywhere as long as he was still in the Spirit Creek Battlefield.
“What should we do after you’re gone?” A Legate asked.
“Just stay here and apply pressure on the Thousand Demon Ridge, and our seniors will be able to demand more compensation that benefits us all.”
The crowd mulled over his answer thoughtfully. A while later, the Heaven-Grade Eighth-Order cultivator nodded in agreement. “I must admit that your plan is pretty good, Brother Yi Ye. Do you want us to get you some help? We can send a squad to protect you just in case the Thousand Demon Ridge decides to send more Core Circle cultivators to attack you.”
“It’s okay. You’ve worked hard to earn your Contribution Points; you should keep them. Ju Jia will be enough to protect me.”
Lu Ye was planning to conquer more Outposts, and to do that he must teleport to a different corner of the Spirit Creek Battlefield using the Divine Opportunity Column. Naturally, a long-distance teleportation like this was going to cost a ton of Contribution Points. It was fine if it was just him and Ju Jia, but the cost would outweigh the reward if too many people teleported with them.
The invasion force had come together because of Lu Ye, so of course they had no qualms with him taking his leave after a job well done. Although it meant that they would not be able to join Lu Ye on the second phase of his operation, every single one of them had earned more profits than they could’ve earned in months. This was especially true for the sects who followed Lu Ye from the very beginning. Not including Lu Ye, their share of the profits was easily the greatest out of all of them.
Finally, there was no chance the two armies would be able to go to war with each other. Rather than languishing here until the Divine Ocean Realm cultivators were done with their peace talks, they might as well do as Lu Ye suggested and find ways to insert panic and pressure within the Thousand Demon Ridge.
An incense stick later, a ship Spirit Artifact took to the sky and sailed to the nearest Grand Sky Coalition Outpost.
At the same time, tens of thousands of kilometers away from Wei Shui, Luo Fu of the Silverlight Island sought out Qi Shi and reported in excitement, “Brother Yi Ye is coming!”
Qi Shi immediately perked up. “Really?”
“But of course! I just received a message from him.”
Needless to say, Lu Ye and the invasion force were on everyone’s lips right now. There wasn’t a single person in the entire Spirit Creek Battlefield who wasn’t keeping an eye on them, not to mention Luo Fu and Qi Shi.
Back then, when Lu Ye had first entered the Inner Circle, the young man had had to manipulate the Great Serpent to crack the Sky Pillar Sect open like an egg. At the time, he did not yet have the ability to breach a grand ward, so he had left as soon as the deed was done.
It hadn’t even been half a year since the day he left, and today he had become a living legend who singlehandedly mustered a cultivator army of twenty thousand and dominated a good section of the Inner Circle. Wherever the invasion force went, the Thousand Demon Ridge wailed in misery and defeat.
To say that Luo Fu and Qi Shi were envious would be an understatement. If Lu Ye already possessed such skill when he first arrived at the Silverlight Island, they would’ve been the ones to reap the benefits of Lu Ye’s conquest, not that so-called Heavenly Derivative Sect or the Deep Sea Mountain.
In fact, they were the first sects to make contact with Lu Ye and form an alliance pact in the Inner Circle. However, they couldn’t even meet up with the invasion force because they were simply too far apart.
The more Luo Fu thought about this, the more sad he felt. Every time his mood reached a certain low, he would gather his men and bully the Cloud Smoke Sect to fix it.
The Sky Pillar Sect had transformed into a tortoise since they lost their Outpost. They were unable to rebuild their Outpost in peace even to this day due to the Silverlight Island’s constant harassment.
They weren’t the ones who shouldered the brunt of the Silverlight Island’s harassment though. No, that unfortunate honor went to their close ally, the Cloud Smoke Sect. That said, Luo Fu had had to call up their ally, the Spell Essence Sect each time he set out to harass the Cloud Smoke Sect because they shared almost the same strength.
As of late, Luo Fu had been looking forward to Lu Ye and the invasion army moving close enough to his Outpost so he could partake on the fun, but when he learned that the Thousand Demon Ridge had gathered an army of almost twenty thousand on one side of the Weishui and blocked the invasion force’s path, he knew that his dream might never come true.
To say he was in a depressive mood as of late would be an understatement.
Then, against all odds and expectations, Lu Ye personally messaged him to tell him that he was going to teleport over to his Outpost very soon. There was only one reason Lu Ye would abandon his army and teleport tens of thousands of kilometers away to their Outpost, and neither Luo Fu nor Qi Shi were ignorant to it.
“The time has come for the Silverlight Island to rise, junior brother!” Luo Fu declared in excitement.
As usual, Qi Shi was the calmer between the two of them. He walked in circles for a bit before saying, “We should contact the Spell Essence Sect!”
Luo Fu slapped his own head in realization. “Yes, you’re right! I’ll do that immediately!”
He was in the middle of a conversation with the Legate of the Spell Essence Sect when a disciple came over to inform him, “Senior brothers, Brother Lu has arrived at our Outpost.”
“… Which Brother Lu are you referring to, exactly?” Luo Fu asked with a frown.
“It is Lu Yi Ye of the Crimson Blood Sect.”
Luo Fu and Qi Shi exchanged a surprised glance with each other. Lu Ye had told them that he would arrive soon, but neither of them had expected to show up this quickly. They quickly made their way to the Sanctum of Providence. As the disciple had reported, Lu Ye was already waiting for them. He was also accompanied by a massive body tempering cultivator.
It had been a while since they met, so of course they spent some time just catching up to one another. This was especially true since they had already figured out why Lu Ye had come here. However, news of his arrival was quickly restricted under Lu Ye’s request, and the few cultivators who knew about this were given a gag order and led to a private room by Luo Fu.
Four hours later, the Legate of the Spell Essence Sect arrived at the Outpost. He had been flying at full speed since he received the message, not daring to take even a second’s rest on the way. It was why he was looking a little pale when he finally arrived.
When he finally met Lu Ye though, his face immediately regained its color and then some. He realized that the chance for Spell Essence Sect to rise had finally arrived just like Luo Fu!
Meanwhile, the sect master of the Crimson Blood Sect, Tang Yifeng had just departed the headquarters.
A Spirit Creek Realm cultivator could never hope to match a Divine Ocean Realm cultivator’s flight speed. The sect master had managed to traverse two whole provinces and reach Wuzhou in just one night after learning that Lu Ye was poisoned by a Thousand Demon Ridge spy in the Heavenly Derivative Sect. In fact, he could’ve arrived sooner if he wasn’t carrying Shui Yuan.
A while later, a beam of light flew near him while shouting, “Elder Tang!”
The sect master stopped in his tracks when he turned and saw who it was. It was none other than Pang Zhen of the Righteous Sect.
The sect master complained, “I don’t understand why you want me to come on this trip. You alone are enough to represent Bingzhou, no?”
Pang Zhen chuckled. “Well, the incident was caused by a disciple of the Crimson Blood Sect. What is there to be discussed if you, the sect master himself, refuses to show up?”
“You’re saying that the Thousand Demon Ridge specifically requested me to be there?”
“In that case, I’m going to give them a good talking to when I get there. It’s not like they’re young anymore. Why don’t they understand something as simple as catering to the elderly?”
“Do whatever you want, Elder Tang. You have the full support of both the Bingzhou and the Grand Sky Coalition.”
The sect master’s eyes glinted with understanding. He nodded. “Let us speak as we fly.”
“You first, Elder Tang.” Pang Zhen gestured.
As the two men took off toward the horizon once more, Pang Zhen suddenly said in a wistful voice, “Youngsters these days are incredible, aren’t they? They’re so much bolder and better than me back in my day. The Crimson Blood Sect’s future is bright, Elder Tang.”
The sect master’s grin was brighter than the sun, but he said, “You mean brash and have no sense of the gravity of things. This old man promises to give him a stern scolding when I see him again.”
“Please do not criticize him too harshly. Younglings should be bold, fearless, and forward-looking, not to mention one who brought honor to the entire Grand Sky Coalition. It’s been a while since we have such a talented youngling. Did you know that Elder Xu of the Green Jade Sect complained to me that he had missed such a good seed just a few days ago?”
“He’s just a petty bastard who can’t stand others getting the better of him. I don’t understand though. What does my disciple have to do with him or his sect?”
“Oh, you didn’t know? Way back at the Evil Moon Valley, the Green Jade Sect actually had a chance to recruit Lu Ye. However, the disciple supervising the recruitment drive had rejected him after discovering that his talent was one leaf.”
“Really? Hahahaha!” The sect master laughed boisterously when he heard this. “He can only blame his disciple for judging a book by his cover!”
“Indeed. Who would’ve thought that Lu Ye could achieve what he did with just one leaf? By the way, did you ever check his talent again afterward? Logically speaking, it should be impossible for Lu Ye to cultivate as swiftly as he has. The Green Jade Sect could’ve missed something since they hadn’t exactly measured the refugees with the best standards or equipment.”
The sect master waved him off. “Since when was talent the defining factor of anything? My talent wasn’t particularly good either—I was only thirty four leaves when they checked me—but where am I now? There are also countless people who are much more talented than you and I back then, and where are they now? Talent has never been the only deciding factor of one’s achievements, and it never will be. Only those who fight tooth and nail to grow in every way will make it, while the rest are left in the dust. Sometimes literally.”
“You are completely right, Elder Tang.”
“By the way, did you know that Lu Ye is extremely concerned with his nickname even to this day? If I remember correctly, it was your Le Shan who started it in the first place. You should tell him to ascend to the Real Lake Realm as soon as possible, or Lu Ye will give him a run for his money when he ascends to the Cloud River Battlefield.”
“Hahaha, I do know about that, yes. If the day comes, Le Shan only has himself to blame.”