Booms sounded everywhere as Luo Yunhai commanded his three teams left and right. The 36 pylons of light were reduced to 26 in a matter of seconds.
The others were stunned, cheering for the Luo clan. Their young master had grown up at last. [He will make a fine Clan Head!]
When half of the pylons crumbled, the array formation was constantly shuddering from the strain. 18 pylons were hardly enough to sustain such a large array.
Luo Yunhai shouted, “Fall back!”
They all rushed away, but some were too slow in their retreat and the exploding array engulfed them.
The force of the blast smashed into the surroundings, while the unfortunate few who got caught in it were sent everywhere in pieces. Robbed of life before they could utter even a whimper.
The lucky survivors saw before them a foul thick mist. They drew a breath, rejoiced having come out unscathed, only to be swallowed whole by the towering miasma. They wailed and cried even as their flesh dissolved into blood and pus, soaking the mud.
Chu Qingcheng cried, “Watch out! It’s Pill King Hall’s Rainbow Cloud Palm!”
A layer of ice appeared on her body as she spoke. She gathered her palms and erected a cold barrier.
The miasma touched the barrier and let out hissing sounds, eating through it in moments.
Chu Qingcheng was shocked. Not even Vicious Pill King’s poison was that toxic.
The saying that no one could defend against Yan Bangui’s Rainbow Cloud Palm, who had a poison body, wasn’t unfounded!
Gnashing her teeth, Chu Qingcheng’s only option was to retreat. Made painfully aware by the increasing number of victims the miasma swallowed and dissolved.
“Ha-ha-ha, Edifice Lord Chu, you’re just in time. I’ll never forget this life debt!” Following the unbridled laughter, people trapped inside noticed Chu Qingcheng.
Long Xingyun and Xie Tianshang’s teams were free now. Just that they were reduced to less than ten people. The core of the two houses was safe, while the vassals had gone to the underworld.
Technically there was one vassal who had pulled through, the Xue clan’s siblings.
Thanks in no small part to Xie Tianyang and Zhuo Fan’s fame, or who knew when in this ordeal they’d be used as ‘honorable’ sacrifices.
Luck was with them at least, with the array giving way just as the miasma was about to devour them. They flew away the instant they could, joining up with Chu Qingcheng.
Long Yifey and Xie Xiaofeng saw their sons safe and sound and eased a breath they didn’t know they held. But looking at the sky covered in poison, then at the bloody mud below their feet, the gruesome hellscape left them soaked.
The Esoteric Debate of this century was far more malicious. Perhaps the fact that the seven houses were officially at war had something to do with it.
For appearances’ sake, the seven houses abstained from a full out war, letting their vassals be their proxy. But now, the vassals weren’t the only ones turned into rivers of blood, the seven houses were tearing into each other just as savagely.
It was easy to imagine what would’ve happened if Chu Qingcheng was even a moment slower in her rescue. The Sword Marquise Abode and Veiled Dragon Pavilion’s bloodlines would’ve been cut short at the hands of Yan Bangui.
The house lords of the two victimized houses sobbed inside. They prayed that the two could come out alive from the most cruel and savage battle that had ever happened over the past millennium.
Hall Lord Yan Bogong’s face bloomed with the most genial smile conceivable. He even made obvious signs to his allies, as if to say, [See that! That’s the true power of our top art, Rainbow Cloud Palm!]
[With one hand, the world’s my oyster. No one would dare come closer!]
Everyone gave him a cursed look. Their disdain for this petty man’s flair for the dramatic was evident. One had to admit though, Rainbow Cloud Palm turned Yan Bangui into a killing machine.
In case of any one else using it, willpower was capable of pushing the enemy through adversity and come out alive. But replace the user with Yan Bangui and they would dissolve into a bloody stain on the ground before they could even reach him.
This was the horror, Yan Bangui of Six Dragons and One Phoenix – the Plague Dragon – brought to life!
Only Regent Estate was shaking their heads, clearly unimpressed by the Rainbow Cloud Palm…
On the other side, Chu Qingcheng’s team was pushed back further and further away from the spreading miasma. It ate through trees and even the toughest rocks, with the first turned to dust, and the second into an acrid liquid.
The few cultivators too slow to keep up were swallowed by the toxic fumes, with only screams as an indication of what awaited on the other side.
Chu Qingcheng’s brow was set in a heavy scowl, “We have to stop him or all our men will die.”
Long Xingyun nodded, “True. Every great clan and house in Tianyu is watching us from beyond the water exit. It would be a stain on our honor to allow Yan Bangui, a single man, push us three back. I have a way, but we need to combine our power. The risk may be high, but are you willing?”
Chu Qingcheng and Xie Tianshang traded looks then nodded, “Speak.”
The two’s eyes lit up and nodded while a grinning Long Xingyun whispered in their ears.
The three stopped shirking away from the pestilence and charged instead, giving others quite the shock.
[Are they suicidal? Not even Six Dragons and One Phoenix are exempt from dying from that poison!]
But what happened next was the true shocker.
Xie Tianshang took the lead, then slashed. A bright golden and unbridled energy cut into the miasma. The poison was forced to scatter, revealing a clear path ahead.
The three followed the path, just as the miasma was coming back with a vengeance and trapping the trio.
Chu Qingcheng’s prompt response was in the form of a flash of cold. Her hands moved, raising an ice wall around them and keeping them safe from the miasma.
But the constant hissing bore testament to the poisons’ power, and the short life of the ice wall.
Then again, it was enough to buy them an instant and that was all they needed. Long Xingyun finally released the attack he had built up all this time in his palm. A dragon image pierced forth, forming a new path the three followed.
The ice wall gave away under the acidic poison behind them. But the sealed exit didn’t seem to bother them. They had come here with no intent of retreating!
In such a manner, Xie Tianshang and Long Xingyun showed the way, while Chu Qingcheng kept the miasma at bay. They soon found themselves at the heart of it, the source of the poison.
Xie Tianshang’s last attack parted the thick poison, revealing Yan Bangui constantly spewing blood.
Yan Bangui jerked in shock.
Sustaining the Rainbow Cloud Palm for so long has seeped the poison into his organs, and it was in his worst hour that the trio revealed themselves before him.
He was too weak to even hold back one, least of all a team of three.
Panicking, Yan Bangui was ready to bolt, but Long Xingyun had a different plan in mind, appearing next to him.
[He-he-he, this is a once in a blue moon chance. I am an avid believer of ‘one man’s pain is another man’s gain.]
Snickering, Long Xingyun struck.
The palm attack sent the defenseless Yan Bangui tumbling through the air. He was heavily wounded.
The moment he flew was also the moment the miasma vanished.
The three surrounded the wheezing Yan Bangui, noticing the glee in each other’s eyes.
Hall Lord Yan Bogong raved, “Despicable and shameless bunch!”
All he got from the crowd was contempt. [This is a house war! You call three on one unfair? What about Yan Bangui’s army outnumbering others five to one just moments ago?]
Yan Bogong noticed his slip of the tongue and went red.
Grandmother and Long Yifey were ecstatic. But a peek at Regent Estate’s unphased reactions sank their moods.
[Just what are they up to?]
Then, Chu Qingcheng’s raging caught their attention.
“Yan Bangui, you have no respect for human life, not an ounce of mercy to be using such foul art. You deserve death!” The earth soaked in blood was testament to the thousands of lives his pestilence had reaped. Chu Qingcheng couldn’t stop herself from cursing the weakened Yan Bangui.
Long Xingyun waved her off, “Ha-ha-ha, Edifice Lord Chu, don’t be upset. Capturing Pill King Hall’s Yan Bangui makes all those thousands of sacrifices worth it. Not to mention that most of the deaths were from his side. This is clearly a worthy victory, ha-ha-ha… “
Chu Qingcheng and the other women snorted at his laughter.
[You’re saying that in war, it will all be fine as long as their side has the higher casualties? Do their lives mean nothing? Are all men that cold-blooded?]
They only dared complain in their hearts, having understood now the cruelty of war…
“Ha-ha-ha, you’re not the only winners!” With a bang, Xie Tianyang was sent flying.
His spot was instantly replaced by Hell Valley’s You Yushan.
“By eldest young master’s orders, the more gruesome this lass’ death is, the better! I was vexed on how to go about achieving this, but now I have figured it out.”
With a dark smile, You Yushan turned to the panicking Xue Ningxiang. Her eyes reflected the claw clutching at her neck. The man exclaimed jubilantly, “Miss, you should be honored. We sacrificed so many people just so we could let him see your twisted and mangled face, ha-ha-ha…”