Translator: Silavin & Tia
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Abandoned Lair was one of the two most notorious and savage forces in Heng Luo Star Field. It was a dangerous organization filled with wicked evildoers. The only other place as infamous as this was Galaxy Ridge. Almost 90% of the Star Pirates and exiled cultivators in the entire Star Field belonged to these two forces. For that reason, everyone who lived in their headquarters was a criminal with an evil, malicious, brutal, and violent temperament.
The three great forces of the Star Field had been in constant friction with these two forces for thousands of years and had even once joined forces to destroy them outright. However, both Abandoned Lair and Galaxy Ridge had their headquarters located in regions of the Star Field that were easy to defend and difficult to attack. Moreover, they were protected by powerful Natural Spirit Arrays so it was no simple task to eradicate them. The three great forces of the Star Field had suffered enormous losses as a result. Thus, the matter had been left unsettled until now.
Abandoned Lair was not really a lair. Rather, it was an extremely chaotic region of the Star Field surrounded by raging Starry Sky Storms and turbulent Asteroid Seas. If one was not familiar with the method of entry and exit, even a Third-Order Origin King would be at mortal risk if they lost their way in these lands.
In the centre of this chaotic region were many huge asteroids. Each of these asteroids was so large that their sizes were difficult to estimate. Originally, some Star Pirates had settled in this region of the Starry Sky, building their homes on these asteroids. As the generations passed, more and more Star Pirates settled here, eventually leading to the foundation of Abandoned Lair.
Abandoned Lair was not a single unified force but rather a gathering of many different factions of Star Pirates. Among these factions, the Blood Star Pirates were considered the strongest because their Boss, Jiang Xue Song, was a Third-Order Origin King. With his strength, he was considered to be one of the strongest Masters in the Star Field and there were few that could oppose him.
Jiang Xue Song had been cultivating for 1,500 years now and it was rumoured that his origins could be traced back to Sword Union, one of the three great forces in the Star Field. Jiang Xue Song had been a talented genius in Sword Union when he was younger, and Sword Union’s higher-ups supposedly had great expectations of him at the time, so he was carefully nurtured. However, something happened for some reason, and in the end, he murdered his Master, massacred his fellow cultivators, turned traitor against the Sword Union, and escaped to Abandoned Lair. Several hundred years later, the Blood Star Pirates grew to fame.
Jiang Xue Song’s hair was greying, and he looked like he was in his twilight years. His appearance was very unusual for a Third-Order Origin King. Despite his age though, his back remained as straight as a sword. It seemed as though his time in Sword Union when he was younger still influenced his demeanour to a certain extent. As he sat there, his entire being was akin to a sword concealed within its sheath. He was a blade that was as sharp as could be.
On the opposite side of the table Jiang Xue Song sat at was an elderly man sipping on his tea. This old man’s body exuded an extremely uncomfortable Blood Qi. Although these two were similar in age, a closer look would reveal that this old man’s body was surging with a bloody aura and his vitality was far stronger than an ordinary young man’s would be. Moreover, the Blood Qi pulsing from this old man was extremely sinister and strange.
“So, did you manage to learn anything?” The old man put his teacup down and asked softly.
Jiang Xue Song was the Master of Abandoned Lair, so nobody had ever spoken to him on equal terms before, let alone question him in this manner. Although the old man had phrased his words as a question, his tone was that of a superior speaking to his subordinate.
The old man was also a Third-Order Origin King though, so his cultivation was no weaker than Jiang Xue Song’s. Furthermore, the clothes he was wearing indicated his origins. He was from the Netherworld Sect of the Grand Desolation Star Field! This old man was one of the Vice Sect Masters of the Netherworld Sect. Jiang Xue Song was unaware of the old man’s true name and only knew that he called himself ‘Old Hawk’.
The way of a Sword Master requires one to have a resolute Sword Heart. They would rather break than bend, especially when it came to a peerless swordsman like Jiang Xue Song. If anybody else dared to show him such disrespect, he would have slashed out with his sword to let the other party know the cost of offending him. Unfortunately, Jiang Xue Song was not confident he could defeat Old Hawk. Besides, even if he was upset over Old Hawk’s condescending attitude, he did not want to make an enemy out of the Netherworld Sect. Over the past ten years, Jiang Xue Song had witnessed the strength of the Netherworld Sect and if it really came down to a fight, Abandoned Lair would not be able to survive.
Upon hearing the question, Jiang Xue Song quickly replied, “I have not heard anything useful. The people of your Star Field perished so quickly that nothing useful could be gathered at all.”
Old Hawk said, “There must be some sort of clue. It’s practically impossible for there to be no leads whatsoever, right?”
In recent months, those from Grand Desolation Star Field had suffered heavy casualties. More than half of their conquest from their invasion over the past decade or so had been lost. One after another, they had lost contact with the Stars they had sent forces to occupy, including Monster Emperor Star, Shadowed Star, Water Moon Star, Green Mountains Star…
Old Hawk didn’t care about the deaths of cultivators belonging to other great forces from Grand Desolation Star Field, but he had no choice but to care about those from the Netherworld Sect.
What frightened Old Hawk the most though was that he had also lost contact with Tong Xuan Realm. That was where one of his fellow Vice Sect Masters was stationed. That person’s cultivation was comparable to his own and he had been leading four other Third-Order Origin Kings. With such a lineup, who in the Heng Luo Star Field could have fought back against them, much less exterminate them?
[Maybe some sort of accident occurred on their side and caused communications to be cut off.]
Even Old Hawk himself could not convince his brain to believe in this conjecture as he instinctively felt that something was wrong but couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Therefore, he asked Jiang Xue Song to send someone out to inquire about the situation. In the end though, this was the only answer he received. It was extremely displeasing.
“There really are no leads whatsoever. If you don’t believe me, you can send your own men out to investigate, Old Hawk,” Jiang Xue Song replied in a manner that was neither humble nor arrogant.
Unlike Galaxy Ridge, which had chosen to surrender to Grand Desolation Star Field entirely, the path Jiang Xue Song chose was cooperation! He formed an alliance with Grand Desolation Star Field to destroy Sword Union and avenge the deep grudge he held towards them from back then. Simply judging from the results, the cooperation was going pretty well.
Sword Union had been annihilated and some of the Cultivation Stars under its control had fallen into the hands of the cultivators from Grand Desolation Star Field. As a result, Sword Union had collapsed. Of its leaders, only Sword Union’s Young Union Master had managed to escape and seek refuge on Tong Xuan Realm. Even so, Tong Xuan Realm was similarly caught in a precarious situation at the moment. Sword Union’s Young Union Master would have nowhere else to hide once Netherworld Sect’s plans succeeded. At that time, he would surely be killed.
Unfortunately, Jiang Xue Song was not happy despite completing the revenge he had been seeking for hundreds of years. He had mistakenly underestimated the strength of the Netherworld Sect, and although he was the biggest Boss in Abandoned Lair, Abandoned Lair had practically fallen into Netherworld Sect’s control. Jiang Xue Song had long become a Boss in name only.
[If Netherworld Sect really wanted to get rid of me, I wouldn’t be able to escape from their clutches either. That’s what I get for trying to do something impossible.]
It was just that there was no benefit to dealing with a Sword Master that would rather break than bend; therefore, the Netherworld Sect had been tolerant towards him for so long because removing him would have led to internal friction within Abandoned Lair’s ranks. Nevertheless, cooperation was no longer on the table. Jiang Xue Song had long served his purpose and it was time to cast him away. He would never be a follower; hence, he was obviously the first thing Netherworld Sect had to deal with after the complete fall of Heng Luo Star Field.
Old Hawk smiled lightly, but coupled with the gloomy aura around him, that smile gave off a chilling feeling, “I believe you, Boss Jiang, but the events over the past few months have been too ridiculous. You are a native, so you should know if there is anybody with the means to do something so extraordinary.”
Jiang Xue Song raised his sharp eyebrows and said in surprise, “Old Hawk, are you saying that all those who lost contact with you were struck by a disaster?”
Old Hawk sighed, “I don’t want to think so, but I don’t think I am wrong.”
It would have been different if they only lost contact with one or two places. That could have been explained away as an accident or mishap; however, they had lost contact with too many places recently that something more had to be happening.
Even if Old Hawk did not want to admit it, he was certain that some reclusive Master from Heng Luo Star Field must have come out of seclusion. Moreover, that person was hunting down the cultivators from Grand Desolation Star Field and Netherworld Sect.
Jiang Xue Song was slightly taken aback by those words. [If even Old Hawk has said so, then it must be true.]
He pondered for a moment before saying, “Back then, there was an old fart in the Star Field who was universally recognized as the strongest, and his strength truly was unfathomable.”
Who in Heng Luo Star Field did not know of the name ‘Wu Dao’? Wu Dao had already reached the Third-Order Origin King Realm before Jiang Xue Song was born, and his cultivation had only grown stronger over the years. It would make sense if he was the one behind the attacks.
“But, it can’t be him.” Jiang Xue Song slowly shook his head.
“Why do you say that?” Old Hawk asked.
“Because he left this Star Field several dozen years ago to go to some more mysterious world.”
“The Star Boundary!” Old Hawk’s eyes flashed, revealing a look of yearning that was soon extinguished.
“Star Boundary?” Jiang Xue Song Stared at Old Hawk in amazement. It was the first time he had heard this name and it naturally piqued his curiosity.
“Go on,” Unfortunately, Old Hawk couldn’t be bothered to explain anything to him. Heng Luo Star Field was clueless about the existence of the Star Boundary, but those from Grand Desolation Star Field were not. That was because the Ancestral Founders of Netherworld Sect had travelled to the Star Boundary thousands of years ago and founded a Sect there. Those ancestors had in turn once used a great Divine Ability to send some knowledge and treasures back to the Netherworld Sect.
As a Vice Sect Master of Netherworld Sect, Old Hawk was no stranger to the Star Boundary; after all, the previous Sect Master, Yin Le Sheng, had also gone to the Star Boundary.
The Star Boundary was the world all cultivators yearned for. It was a place with greater World Principles and a higher Martial Dao. If not for the fact that he was getting on in years, Old Hawk would have loved to travel to the Star Boundary as well.
Jiang Xue Song knit his brow and continued, “Since it’s impossible for it to be Wu Dao, then I can’t think of anybody else.” While speaking, he frowned and hesitated for a moment, “It’s impossible that it’s him too.”
“A Junior named Yang Kai.”
“Why did you mention him if he is a Junior?” Old Hawk was irritated.
Jiang Xue Song replied, “I’ve never met Yang Kai personally; however, he is no ordinary Junior. The reason Wu Dao was able to travel to your so-called Star Boundary was all thanks to him. Back then, it was Yang Kai who brought Wu Dao and a few other Masters with him when he left the Star Field. There was a rumour going around the Star Field at the time claiming that he could become the strongest person in the Star Field and replace Wu Dao from the top position in less than a hundred years.”
Jiang Xue Song sighed, “I regret not getting a chance to fight against him.”
“If that’s your wish, I can satisfy it,” a person’s voice suddenly called out from afar. When they heard the first word this voice spoke, it seemed to be several dozen kilometres away, but by the time the sentence was finished, a brave and heroic figure had already appeared in front of them inside the hall they were sitting in.
The dim light in Abandoned Lair shone against his back, creating a long shadow as if to cover the entire hall in his shadow. His face was obscured by the lighting, making it impossible to see clearly. Only a pair of eyes stood out, shining brightly in the dim darkness.
Both Jiang Xue Song and Old Hawk felt their hearts clench in their chests. The person who had come did not release any aura, but he made all the hairs on their body stand on end. His mere presence was that terrifying.