Chapter 503: Choices
The faces of the seven thousand members of the Flying Locust Tribe were pale white, and they were shaking in fear. They almost couldn’t believe their eyes as they stared at the neo-demons blotting out the sky.
150,000 neo-demons. A force this powerful could sweep over any mid-sized Tribe. Even some great Tribes that lacked Spirit Severing Patriarchs would be routed by such a force.
No Tribe would willingly go into battle against such a fierce neo-demon horde. It didn’t matter that they were one of the thirteen auxiliary Tribes of the great Cloud Sky Tribe, nor that they had more than seven thousand Cultivators and tens of thousands of locusts.
There was no deadly Karma that existed between them and the Crow Divinity Tribe. They said that they were here because of the Five Poisons Clan. But the Five Poisons Clan had been exterminated long ago. Even the Flying Locust Clan didn’t quite approve of such logic.
Clearly, the great Cloud Sky Tribe had simply made up a reason to attack, all for the purpose of saving face. And obviously, it made sense to take the Demon Spirit while they were at it.
If the matter were truly important to them, they could dispatch a Spirit Severing Patriarch to finish the matter quickly.
“One, two, three!” said Meng Hao, his voice cool as he stared icily at the members of the Flying Locust Tribe. When he finished speaking, he lifted his hand and pointed at them. The 150,000 roaring neo-demons were just about to charge the petrified Flying Locust Tribe when one of the twelve Nascent Soul Cultivators suddenly cried out.
“Fellow Daoist from the Crow Divinity Tribe, please wait a moment!!” This was the Flying Locust Tribe Greatfather, the one in the lead position.
Meng Hao’s hand stopped moving, and his eyes flashed with coldness.
“This is all just a misunderstanding,” said the Greatfather with a bitter smile. “Fellow Daoist from the Crow Divinity Tribe, please give just a moment. I’ll contact the Main Tribe and ask them to offer you an explanation. As for this battle… there’s no need to actually fight. What do you say, Fellow Daoist…?” He sighed inwardly. If he had known that this opponent possessed such a fearsome neo-demon horde, then no amount of persuasion would have convinced him to accept the mission.
“Don’t forget,” he continued, “you could attack and wipe out the Flying Locust Tribe. However, if one of the great Cloud Sky Tribe’s thirteen auxiliary tribes is destroyed, the enmity created… would never be wiped clean.” The Greatfather produced a jade slip and then rotated his Cultivation based, sending power into it.
Meng Hao didn’t interfere. In truth, Meng Hao was well aware that the best way to resolve the situation was to intimidate them, not engage in battle.
The Cloud Sky Tribe was a great Tribe after all, and had a Spirit Severing Patriarch. Meng Hao knew that, considering the level of his Cultivation base and the state of the Crow Divinity Tribe, even 150,000 neo-demons did not make him a match for the almighty Spirit Severing stage.
Not unless… the mastiff woke up!
Although signs had appeared recently that the mastiff would awaken, it was not fully awake.
Therefore, showing off some power to intimidate this opponent was the best choice. All actions taken by the Tribe would be decided based on the resulting cost or benefit. Meng Hao knew from Zhou Dekun that the great Cloud Sky Tribe wasn’t extremely interested in Demon Spirits. They could do with one or without.
As such, if they could acquire a Demon Spirit without paying too much of a price, they would. But after considering, if they found that acquiring one would come at a heavy price, according to Meng Hao’s analysis, they would most likely give up on the Demon Spirit.
After all, there was no true enmity between the two Tribes. Furthermore, the Apocalypse was reaching a critical juncture. Even great Tribes were in danger of being consumed by it; obviously they would not want to suffer damage for no good reason.
All of this was what gave Meng Hao his current confidence.
The jade slip that the Greatfather held suddenly began to glow with a green light. The light expanded out, quickly becoming blinding. Gradually, it began to form into the shape of an illusory figure.
The Greatfather and High Priest of the Flying Locust Tribe, along with all the other Tribe members, immediately dropped to their knees in worship.
“We offer respectful greetings, exalted Emissary!”
As their voices echoed out, the green light congealed together. Suddenly, a man appeared. He appeared to be a bit over thirty, with handsome features and long, thin eyes that glowed with coldness. Although his body was illusory, his Cultivation base still rippled out with fearsome power that enveloped everything in the area.
His body glittered with a green light as he looked over Meng Hao and the 150,000 neo-demons. His pupils constricted, after which he then looked at the Crow Divinity Tribe members. He could sense their killing intent, and was clearly surprised.
A neo-demon horde like this left him shocked, and a Tribe like the Crow Divinity Tribe truly left him with the feeling that he was looking at a Battle Tribe.
Finally, his gaze came to rest on Meng Hao, and his eyes narrowed.
“Eccentric Bloodface!” he said slowly, using the title that people in the Realm of the Bridge Ruins had given him.
Actually, the rise of the Crow Divinity Tribe had not gone unnoticed in recent years. Of course, during that process, with more and more people paying attention, how could Meng Hao’s identity not have been revealed? After all, a blood-colored mask was something quite unique.
Of course, the origin of Meng Hao’s Demon Spirit had also been uncovered.
“It’s too bad that during the last appearance of the Realm of the Bridge Ruins, I, Zhao, was in secluded meditation. Therefore, I didn’t go. However, I heard of the matter afterward from Xu Bai of the great Black Dragon Tribe and Chen Mo of the great Demon Talisman Tribe. They were never able to forget the fact that you were able to snatch that Demon Spirit away, leaving them capable of only gnashing their teeth.” 1
Meng Hao’s expression was cold as he looked at the illusory image of the green-robed man. He said nothing. However, the coldness in his eyes seemed to grow deeper.
“You may choose to exterminate this Flying Lotus Tribe that you see in front of you,” continued the man slowly. “However, the price you will pay is that the Cloud Sky Tribe will employ all of its forces to completely wipe you clean off the map.
“On the other hand, you could chose to come over and pledge allegiance to us, thus becoming an auxiliary branch of the great Cloud Sky Tribe. You have two paths to chose from. I await your response.” The man looked over, smiling.
The killing intent of the Crow Divinity Tribes grew even more apparent. They stood there silently, as did Meng Hao. When it came to the two options presented to them by the great Cloud Sky Tribe, the only one which allowed them to continued to exist involved surrendering.
As one could imagine, if they surrendered and pledged allegiance, then it would secure them a spot in the Black Lands, as well as safe passage there. However, what they would lose, would be freedom. For generations to come, there would be no freedom.
Meng Hao did not have the right to make such a decision. He looked over his shoulder to look at the ten thousand members of the Crow Divinity Tribe. There were less than a thousand who were original Cultivators of the five Crow Divinity Tribes. Wu Chen was there, as well as Wu Ling. They had experienced the fires of war, and had long since grown up.
As for all the other new members of the Tribe, on this long road of war, they had come to rely on the Crow Divinity Tribe. At first, it seemed as if they had lost their freedom; in truth, they had long since become an integral part of the Tribe.
Meng Hao’s gaze swept over them. What he saw was reticence. It was a reticence filled with pride. It said, “I would rather die than live without my freedom.”
That was their decision.
The 150,000 neo-beasts let out agitated howls as they hovered there, filling the sky. Their eyes glowed with the thirst for blood.
Meng Hao looked back at the green-robed man. When he spoke, his voice echoed out in all directions.
“The Crow Divinity Tribe will not choose to become an auxiliary Tribe…. If the Cloud Sky Tribe wishes to fight, then the Crow Divinity Tribe will fight!” As he spoke, the killing intent of the Crow Divinity Tribe exploded up.
All the members of the Flying Locust Tribe began to pant nervously, their faces pale. In terms of strength, they really did not measure up, which meant that they were in a hopeless situation. The green-robed man’s eyes narrowed. He looked at Meng Hao for a long moment before suddenly laughing.
“My intentions were good in making my offer,” he said. “However, if you and the Crow Divinity Tribe do not wish to become an auxiliary Tribe, Fellow Daoist, then let’s just drop the matter. It seems there really have been too many misunderstandings here. Fellow Daoist, I wish you and the Crow Divinity Tribe good fortune. Please be on your way to the Black Lands.” The green-robed man smiled once again, and then slowly vanished. After seeing the Crow Divinity Tribe and the 150,000 neo-demons, he knew that a war with them… was not something that the great Cloud Sky Tribe would pursue.
The power of the Crow Divinity Tribe had grown to the point where it now truly was qualified to possess a Demon Spirit. The great Cloud Sky Tribe was not willing to pay such a heavy price only for a Demon Spirit. The end result would be that the great Cloud Sky Tribe would lose multiple auxiliary Tribes. Even many members of the Main Tribe would also surely perish.
Recently, there had been many strange developments in the Black Lands. Everything seemed peaceful, but in fact, there were a lot of secret struggles going on. The great Cloud Sky Tribe couldn’t afford too many losses at this point. In fact, the Spirit Severing Patriarchs currently in the Black Lands couldn’t afford to step foot back out into the Western Desert. If they did, with the spiritual energy cut off, there was a high likelihood they could encounter other hostile Spirit Severing experts from great Tribes, which would result in deadly slaughter.
In such a time of momentous change, caution and prudence were the foundation of a great Tribe’s ability to survive and thrive.
The Flying Locust Tribe Greatfather was finally able to let out a sigh of relief. He suddenly had a much better understanding of why the Battle Tribe hadn’t been willing to go fight earlier. In his opinion, opting not to fight was definitely the sensible choice. Anyone who ran into a Tribe as fearsome as the Crow Divinity Tribe would surely feel their scalp go numb immediately.
He looked at Meng Hao, clasped hands and bowed. Then, he retreated at top speed, taking his seven thousand Tribe Members and tens of thousands of locusts with him. They transformed into a yellow cloud that shot off into the distance. In a short moment, there was no trace of them at all.
Meng Hao waved his hand, not to collect the neo-demons, but rather, causing them to fly in formation around the airship. The airship then began to speed through the air, accompanied by 150,000 neo-demons as it headed forward. Finally, it shot out from the Western Desert Central region into…
The Western Desert South region!
From this point, it was only half a year to the Black Lands.
As the Black Lands grew nearer and nearer, Meng Hao’s eyes began to grow brighter and brighter. The members of the Crow Divinity Tribe were filled with excitement and anticipation, and their killing intent even more intimidating.
Each and every member knew that the difficulty of this last leg of the journey would vastly exceed anything from before.
Right now, the Crow Divinity Tribe was completely different than it had been before; it had completely risen to prominence. This Tribe could cow great Tribes with Spirit Severing Patriarchs. It could sweep over mid-sized Tribes. As for great Tribes that had no Spirit Severing Patriarch, if they dared to block their path, then the Crow Divinity Tribe would fight!
They would not shrink back. They continued ever forward, their killing intent shocking. They were like a sharp, unsheathed sword. 150,000 neo-demons roared and howled, shaking everything around them, like a Heavenly sea of beasts. Standing atop their battleship, the members of the Crow Divinity Tribe proceeded onward, ready to brave any wind or waves that battered against them.
This chapter was sponsored by Allan Tam