Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
On the other side of the battlefield, the Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators were shocked by the scene in front of them. They didn’t expect the Grand Sky Coalition to launch an attack at all. They thought that this would be the same as Weishui where both sides were stuck in a stalemate until the Divine Ocean Realm cultivators were done with the negotiation. After all, a battle involving thousands of cultivators was no joke. Someone would die, and only a delusional person would dare to claim that they would end up victorious.
That was why the Grand Sky Coalition’s action made no sense whatsoever.
Still, they had to respond to the attack. They had just fallen into formation when a giant shadow suddenly swooped down from above. It flew over the charging Grand Sky Coalition cultivators, spread its wings in mid-air, and launched a hail of wind blades straight at the Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators. A hole immediately appeared in their defense line.
Gray was on the same level as the Great Serpent Lu Ye had manipulated a while ago. It was a Tyrant-level Spirit Beast, and it wasn’t an existence even the cultivators on the Roll of Supremacy could fight against.
Back then, drawn by the blood qi within the dragon scale, the Great Serpent had nearly conquered the Sky Pillar Sect’s Outpost single handedly. The Sky Pillar Sect had lost over a hundred cultivators despite resisting with all their might.
As a Spirit Beast that existed on the same level as the Great Serpent, Gray was just as powerful.
In fact, in a battle against cultivators, Gray’s mobility should make it deadlier than the Great Serpent.
Every time Gray swooped down from the sky, wind blades would rain from the sky and cut the cultivators into pieces. Blood spilled all over the ground, and massive gaps appeared in what should’ve been a fairly tight defensive line. While the cultivators were panicking, the invasion force led by Lu Ye and Ju Jia cut right through them like a hot knife through butter. It took them barely any effort to split the enemy into smaller, easily manageable chunks.
The Thousand Demon Ridge put up a valiant resistance, but there was just no way they could hold the line after losing cohesion. Most of the time, they had just unleashed their Spirit Artifact right before they were hit by several attacks. They were dead before they could scream.
The battle only lasted an incense stick before the Thousand Demon Ridge’s battle line collapsed completely.
It was easy to decide what to do after that. It was decided that the invasion force would be split into two halves. One group would follow Lu Ye and continue to conquer the Outposts—they numbered only a thousand or so, but their numbers would naturally grow with time—and the rest would chase down the routing enemy. They numbered over two thousand.
The Thousand Demon Ridge lost over a thousand people in this battle, but the Grand Sky Coalition lost only two to three hundred.
The entire world was shocked when the news was spread. The Divine Ocean Realm cultivators of both sides warned the Legates at Weishui again and again to stay put unless absolutely necessary.
At least half of the reason the second invasion force was able to score such a massive victory was thanks to Gray. The power and intimidation factor of a Tyrant-level Spirit Beast were just too great.
Without it, the outcome of this battle would’ve been far murkier. It would’ve been a pyrrhic victory at best.
A day later, the split armies met up and swept through all the abandoned Thousand Demon Ridge Outposts around them. Then, they marched on.
On a Spirit Artifact ship, Lu Ye was sitting cross-legged and bare-chested, revealing an innumerable amount of fresh wounds and old scars. Hua Ci was sitting next to him and healing the fresh wounds with her Spiritual Power.
She let out a little sigh on the inside. On the first day they met, the young man was already covered in wounds. Today, his appearance hadn’t improved one bit.
“Why must you risk your life so?” Hua Ci said quietly, “At this rate, I might actually have to burn paper offerings for you one day.”
She even shot Yi Yi a reproachful glance. “Why didn’t you rein him in?”
Yi Yi stuck out her tongue playfully. Like anyone could stop Lu Ye from charging into the fray and going crazy. The best she could do was to stick to his side and block as many hidden knives for him as she could.
“How is the Outpost doing?” He asked.
“Pretty good. Many of them including Chen Yu wanted to come to the Inner Circle to help you after hearing your exploits. I didn’t allow them.”
“Chen Yu’s Eighth-Order already, right?”
“Since two months ago, yes. He hadn’t left because there were many things to do at the Outpost.”
“Are you sure it’s okay for you to come here? Who is leading and managing the Outpost right now?”
“I transferred the prolegate position to Gu Yang before I left. Sister Shui Yuan also approved of this.”
“Gu Yang… that’s not a bad choice. He’s steadier compared to the others, and I trust in Sister Shui Yuan’s insight as well.”
It was around this time he suddenly felt something from his Battlefield Imprint. It was a message from the sect master.
“The pot’s about to burst. Do you have any personal requests? I could try and get them for you.”
It told Lu Ye that the Thousand Demon Ridge was near their breaking point. He thought for a moment before sending a message.
At the same time, on a Spirit Peak at Crouching Dragon Mountain, the tension between the Divine Ocean Realm cultivators of both sides was reaching the boiling point.
The Thousand Old Ridge old man said sternly, “The fish may die, but not without splitting the net. You do not want to go to war with us, do you Pang Zhen? Sure, we Thousand Demon Ridge do not have an effective way of stopping Lu Yi Ye, but if he keeps this up, we will have no choice but to launch an all-out war involving the entire Spirit Creek Battlefield.”
All Grand Sky Coalition Divine Ocean Realm cultivators turned serious when they heard this.
An all-out war involving the entire Spirit Creek Battlefield would naturally involve every sect in Jiu Zhou. No one here thought that the Thousand Demon Ridge lacked the guts and determination to do the unthinkable either. They had already sustained astronomical losses at this point, and they were swiftly approaching their bottom line. If Lu Ye still refused to stop, then they would rather flip the table and launch an all-out war.
[Why should I suffer alone, when I can make everyone else suffer with me?]
That was the sentiment that was slowly but surely growing stronger within the Thousand Demon Ridge.
Literal rivers of blood would be drawn all across the Spirit Creek Battlefield. No sect would be able to live in peace anymore.
“Like I told you, we want half a province of—”
“Silence. You know we would rather go to war than accept such a condition. Everything else is… negotiable.”
By that, he meant that they could demand for more resources or the like.
The old man then looked at the sect master and added, “Does your youngling have any terms he would like to offer? It will be given priority.”
In the end, Lu Ye was the source of everything. Although Pang Zhen was the official representative of the Grand Sky Coalition they were negotiating with, they must take Lu Ye’s feelings into consideration as well.
“Yi Ye does have a couple of requests to make,” the sect master said and drew everyone’s attention.
The old man bowed his head as if reminiscing a terrible past. “Three months ago, Yi Ye was nearly poisoned to death while visiting the Heavenly Derivative Sect’s Outpost…”
‘Is he doing this on purpose?’ The Divine Ocean Realm cultivators of the Thousand Demon Ridge thought furiously when they heard this.
Back then, the members of the Crimson Blood Sect had thrown such a fit that everyone and their mother thought that Lu Ye was dead. They had even celebrated his demise. In reality, the guy wasn’t just perfectly fine, he emerged two months later as an extraordinary ward cultivator and created the first ever invasion force in the Spirit Creek Battlefield. Today, at least a hundred Thousand Demon Ridge sects had suffered greatly at his hands.
The Thousand Demon Ridge had been beyond stunned when they heard that Lu Ye had “returned to life”. In fact, they still had no idea how he had survived to this day. It was because the poison targeted not just the physical body, but also the Divine Soul. It should be impossible for a Spirit Creek Realm cultivator to survive such a poison.
Just when the Divine Ocean Realm cultivators looked like they were about to flip, the sect master abruptly changed his tune, “Thankfully, he was ultimately rescued despite teetering on the brink at least several times.”
No one on the Thousand Demon Ridge’s side knew how Lu Yi Ye had survived because only a handful of people knew about the truth. It no longer mattered though.
“However, he never forgot his dear poisoner for even a second.”
If Shui Yuan hadn’t arrived in time, if Lu Ye didn’t happen to have the priceless treasure that was the Soul Cleansing Water, he would have lived, but Ju Jia and Zhao Li would have died for sure.
Every injustice has its perpetrator, and every debt its debtor. Lu Ye was still too low on the ladder to have the means to find out the truth himself, but he was certain that the Thousand Demon Ridge could give him an answer.
The old man thought for a second before revealing a name.
“Swear a Heavenly Oath to prove that you’re telling the truth!”
The old man frowned. “Brother Tang, we have known each other for years…”
The sect master interrupted him rudely. “It is precisely because I have known you for years that I know just how sly you are. You could be telling me the truth, or you could be throwing out a random Tier-six sect’s name. In any case, we can confirm this if you swear a Heavenly Oath, no?”
For a moment, the old man said nothing at all.
“Oh ho! You just lost another Outpost,” the sect master suddenly announced with obvious schadenfreude.
“It was the Tower of Morning.” The old man gave a different name. “As far as I know, it was the Tower of Morning who perpetrated it.”
The sect master immediately launched into a tirade. “I knew it! I fucking knew it was those underhanded dogs! I should’ve annihilated them way back then!”
He did not ask the old man to swear a Heavenly Oath this time because he could feel that the old man was telling him the truth.
He immediately messaged Lu Ye about it.
Lu Ye was standing in the middle of a rubble when he received the sect master’s message. He grew thoughtful when he saw its contents.
It was a name he had heard before. Back at the Goldentip, Shui Yuan’s alter ego, Sister Wei Yang had mentioned the name of three sects. The first was the Cult Blackfyre, the second was the Tower of Morning, and the third was the Vale of Venom.
Before the Battle of Goldentip, all three sects were either Tier-one or Tier-two sects. Later, the Crimson Blood Sect paid them back by destroying their headquarters and massacring all of their Divine Ocean Realm cultivators. To this day, they still hadn’t recovered from their loss. Now, they were only Tier-four or Tier-five at best.
Lu Ye was very familiar with the Cult Blackfyre. His last opponent in the Battle of Goldentip was a Sacred Child who willingly destroyed her Spiritual Points just to fight him. In the end, she still died at his hands.
Lu Ye had already occupied the Outpost of the Cult Blackfyre. To say that the crazy spell cultivators had left a deep impression on him would be an understatement, which was why he had steered his first invasion force in their direction. It wasn’t exactly intentional, but it was looking like they were going that way anyway, so why not?
Lu Ye had never made contact with the Vale of Venom. The 10-point map revealed them to be a long, long distance away from his current position as well.
On the other hand, the Tower of Morning wasn’t that far away. Considering their normal pace, the invasion force should be able to make it there in less than three days.
He immediately tapped on the Battlefield Imprint at the back of his hand.