Chapter 501: I’ll Escort You 500 Kilometers, Sir
Zhou Dekun looked up and then frowned. “It’s getting dark, Meng Hao…. Enough chit-chat. You’ve gotten yourself into some big trouble here. The great Cloud Sky Tribe dispatched their Battle Tribe to wipe you out because of the incident with the Five Poisons Tribe that year, and also your Demon Spirit.”
When he heard the words “great Cloud Sky Tribe,” it caused a cold glow to suddenly appear in Meng Hao’s eyes. He said nothing.
“Thankfully, I happen to be the leader of this group, so you don’t have to worry. I won’t let anything happen to my Junior Brother.” He slapped his chest vigorously. Zhou Dekun was not young, but because of the twists and turns of life, he had lived quite comfortably, and actually looked much younger than he was.
“How many concubines do you have now?” laughed Meng Hao.
“Not many, not many. Last month I accepted an eighth.” Zhou Dekun’s face glowed a healthy red color and he coughed dryly. “There’s no need to talk about that, though. Look, Junior Brother. The two of us are going to put on a little act….” He lowered his head and began to explain things to Meng Hao. Meng Hao’s eyes went wide, and he put on a forced smile.
“Is that… really a good idea?” he said, hesitating.
“Don’t worry about it! You listen to your Elder Brother!” Zhou Dekun looked very serious, so Meng Hao could do nothing but mutter and nod his head.
A few moments later….
“So, it turns out that you are the Crow Divinity Tribe, who crushed over a thousand Tribes to rise to prominence! You are the most powerful force in the Western Desert North, a force that strikes fear into the hearts of even great Tribes!
“My heart holds nothing but admiration for you! If we battle each other, there will surely be deaths and injuries. I, Zhou Dekun do not like to see blood. Also, the De 德 character in my name means ‘virtue.’ Therefore, I will use virtue to make you surrender!
“I will give you ten years, during which time I, Zhou Dekun, will use virtue to make you surrender!” Zhou Dekun’s shouting echoed out in all directions to be heard by both Tribes. The Crow Divinity Tribe reacted better than the Battle Tribe, who all stared in shock.
Although they didn’t know Zhou Dekun very well, they were members of a great Tribe, and had heard many stories. No matter which way you looked at him, he did not seem to be the type of person who won others over with virtue.
The Battle Tribe’s Greatfather and High Priest had eyes wider than anyone. They were completely stupefied, and had no clue what Zhou Dekun was trying to accomplish.
After flying down from their position up above, Zhou Dekun and Meng Hao separated. Meng Hao suppressed the awkwardness he felt inside to clasp hands and bow to Zhou Dekun.
“So, it turns out that you are from the great Cloud Sky Tribe, the illustrious Grandmaster Zhou Dekun, invincible in the Dao of alchemy and possessor of eight concubines. I truly admire you, sir. Very well, I accept your wager. I will give you ten years to try to use virtue to make me surrender.” The more he spoke, the more awkward Meng Hao felt. Coughing dryly, he headed back to his airship.
The words he had just spoken caused the eyes of the Crow Divinity Tribe members to widen. It felt very strange to hear such words coming out of the mouth of their totemic Sacred Ancient. To them, their Sacred Ancient was someone who could kill without batting an eyelid. How could he possibly say something like he just had?
“Excellent!” cried Zhou Dekun vigorously as he stepped back onto the black sword. He flicked his sleeve and continued in a determined voice: “Unfortunately, there must be a clear winner and loser between the two of us. If it weren’t for that, we could drink and chat merrily, and would surely become friends for life….” His emotional expression made it seem that he truly felt it to be a pity.
“I truly admire you,” he continued loftily. “It turns out you want to see exactly how I plan to win you over with virtue. Very well, please proceed on your way. Three days from now, I’ll catch up with you. This is my promise, and my first step in the process of using virtue to make you surrender.” Next to him, the faces of the Greatfather and High Priest instantly flickered.
“Grandmaster Zhou, we can’t do that. If we let them go, who knows where we will have to go to find them!?”
“Are you trying to prevent me from using virtue to make them surrender!?” said Zhou Dekun, glaring.
Meng Hao cleared his throat and looked at Zhou Dekun with a strange expression. He recalled the lines Zhou Dekun had give him to speak, but after thinking about them, he just couldn’t make himself say them. He cleared his throat again and then said nothing more. The Crow Divinity’s airship immediately shot off into the distance.
“Grandmaster Zhou!!” cried the Battle Tribe Greatfather anxiously. As the Crow Divinity Tribe flew off, Zhou Dekun’s expression was one of loftiness. The Greatfather had no choice but to stand there and refuse to allow the Battle Tribe to pursue.
“You need to have faith in the great Cloud Sky Tribe. We WILL use virtue to make them surrender!” Zhou Dekun was sighing inwardly. He had prepared even more words for himself to say in response to Meng Hao just now.
“But the mission we accepted was to destroy the Tribe….” said the High Priest furiously.
“Could it be that you have no faith in the great Cloud Sky Tribe?” replied Zhou Dekun solemnly. “Or is it me you have no faith in? Hmm?” Regardless be it in terms of status or position, he was much higher than anyone present, and also the general of this force. Were the Greatfather to take unilateral action, Zhou Dekun could report him, and then the entire Tribe would be in trouble.
Zhou Dekun’s simple response caused the Battle Tribe Greatfather and High Priest to say nothing further. That was how three days of time was bought.
Three days later, the black swords once again whistled through the air.
A few days later, the three black swords were shooting at top speed toward Meng Hao. Zhou Dekun roared out: “So, we meet again! Crow Divinity Tribe, do you surrender or not?”
Killing intent instantly boiled out from the Crow Divinity Tribe. Clearly they felt the battle would begin at any moment.
The Battle Tribe was the same. They suppressed their irritation at the situation, and allowed their killing intent to roar up to the sky.
Meng Hao smiled wryly. He took a deep breath and then responded the way Zhou Dekun had indicted he should.
“We don’t surrender….”
“Hahaha! I guessed you wouldn’t. If you had, I would have assumed something fishy was going on. Very well. This time I’ll give you seven days before I start chasing you again. This is how you use virtue to get someone to surrender!” In response to Zhou Dekun’s lofty words, Meng Hao turned around with a wry smile. The airship once again shot off into the distance.
The Greatfather and the High Priest were enraged. There were even some Battle Tribe members who howled and charged forward to block the way of the Crow Divinity Tribe.
“Hold your hands!” roared Zhou Dekun. “Are you really planning to rebel against the Tribe!?”
Zhou Dekun’s shocking roar caused the Battle Tribe members to instantly stop in place. The eyes of the Greatfather and the High Priest were bloodshot as they turned back to glare at Zhou Dekun.
Zhou Dekun gave a cold snort and then set his chin. His expression said, “What do you think you can do to me?” He slowly pulled open his robe to reveal the command medallion of a Tribe Elder. After seeing it, the Greatfather and the High Priest could do nothing more than suppress their rage and lower their heads.
It was in this manner that three months slowly passed by.
“Do you surrender?!”
“You’re still not ready to surrender?”
“There’s no need to say it. I know that you won’t surrender. It doesn’t matter….”
During the three months, every time the Battle Tribe caught up, Zhou Dekun would come up with a vast array of excuses and reasons to let the Crow Divinity Tribe leave. Soon, the three black swords, despite being dispatched from a great Tribe, were beginning to run out of resources. Their speed was slowly being reduced to the point where soon, they wouldn’t be able to catch up with the Crow Divinity Tribe.
As the months went by, the Crow Divinity Tribe became used to the situation. Every time the Battle Tribe caught up, they would watch on curiously. By now, they could see that this old man named Zhou was actually a good person….
In fact, on one occasion, the Crow Divinity Tribe ended up being surrounded by another mid-sized Tribe. At the critical moment, the Battle Tribe appeared. Zhou Dekun roared and, using the pretext of using virtue to get the Crow Divinity Tribe to surrender, forced the Battle Tribe to attack. Finally, they were able to vent their recent frustrations on that mid-sized Tribe.
In the end, Zhou Dekun allowed the Crow Divinity Tribe to end the battle. Citing the desire to use virtue to make them surrender, he let the Crow Divinity Tribe take all the spoils of war. Their eyes gleaming with a strange light, they then made their ways off into the distance.
Another month passed. The Battle Tribe Greatfather and the High priest were no longer so upset. It wasn’t that Zhou Dekun wouldn’t let them fight. What he wouldn’t allow was a full-scale battle. Duels were permitted….
Therefore, during the following months, the two Tribes traveled almost one on top of the other. Occasionally, solitary Cultivators would fly out to engage to duels.
Each duel consisted of two fighters, no more….
Furthermore, as soon as the battle reached a critical, dangerous moment, Zhou Dekun would immediately end the fight….
As time passed, the Battle Tribe grew numb to the situation. They had long since figured out that Zhou Dekun and Meng Hao knew each other, and clearly, had a deep relationship. Even the Greatfather and the High Priest eventually gave tacit approval to the situation.
They knew that in terms of position and status, they were inferior to Zhou Dekun. Furthermore, he was the general. Therefore, all of the responsibility for the mission would naturally fall onto his shoulders.
Therefore, they gave up on their desire to exterminate the Crow Divinity Tribe. Whatever orders Zhou Dekun gave, they followed.
Eventually, it got to the point that Zhou Dekun and Meng Hao felt no need for any pretense. They would often set up a table in mid-air to chat and drink together. Slowly but surely, the members of the two Tribes came to acknowledge each other.
Soon, they even came to exist in harmony with each other….
What caused the Greatfather and the High Priest to be even more speechless was the fact that over the months of interaction, there were even members of both Tribes who ended up becoming friends. There would often be visitors from either Tribe who dropped by the other to exchange views regarding cultivation. The Greatfather and High Priest could only smile wryly.
After all, both of these Tribes possessed strong killing intent. They had experienced countless battles, and therefore took each other very seriously. They were worthy adversaries, and on top of that, in addition to being veterans of many battles, they were all Cultivators. To be able to experience half a year of peace and calm like this was very rare.
Everything was harmonious….
Whenever they met enemies, there was no need for Zhou Dekun to say anything. Instantly, the Battle Tribe and the Crow Divinity Tribe would join forces to go into battle. The Greatfather and High Priest knew that their mission was a failure, so they did their best to ingratiate themselves with Zhou Dekun. That way, they might be able to build up more good will with the Main Tribe.
It was in this way that time went by. The Battle Tribe and the Crow Divinity Tribe put on a strange show with their close interaction and occasional pretense of fighting. By now, the Crow Divinity Tribe had passed through most of the Western Desert Central region, and were approaching the border of the South region….
One day, a succession of three jade slips arrived to the Battle Tribe. They contained wrathful messages from the Cloud Sky Main Tribe demanding an explanation and ordering the Battle Tribe and Zhou Dekun to return immediately.
The mission to destroy the Crow Divinity Tribe was now given to another auxiliary Tribe. Zhou Dekun sighed. He knew that he would not be able to escort Meng Hao any further than this.
This chapter was sponsored by James Timmermans