Chapter 223: Internal Strife
Inside Fire District, Lang Xie sat cross-legged without a hint of blood on his face on a tower that almost reached a hundred meters in height.
The two outer sect elders, Tong Jihua and Cheng Ping, and a few other elite Blood Spear martial practitioners were all standing quietly beside Lang Xie. They were looking down at the city entrance at Jiang Heng, Fu Zhuohui and Yu Dai.
“Other than the missing Di Shijiu, it appears that all of the leaders are here. It looks like they are determined to eliminate Armament Sect.” Cheng Ping just swallowed a medicinal pill earlier and regained some of his color, but his expression was still very heavy while his brows were tightly locked.
“From the moment we harmed Shi Jingyun, Wu Tuo, and Si Ziying, Armament Sect and the five forces have become eternal enemies. The fact that Yu Dai and the others would personally come is within our expectations,” Tong Jihua said softly.
Lang Xie frowned and said solemnly, “From the moment the five forces attacked Armament Sect, they are the ones who became our eternal enemies! The only ones who haven’t made up their minds are the sect master and three great reverends. They are the ones who still hold hope and think that both sides can still make peace with each other.”
“But we, Blood Spear, have never thought of making peace from start to finish. Either Blood Spear is slaughtered to the last man or someday, we will use the spears in our hands and stab them into the foreheads of everyone involved with the five forces if they give us even a moment of reprieve!”
The Blood Spear martial practitioners standing behind him felt their blood boil, and their eyes shined with fearless brutality when they heard his words.
“As long as Blood Spear stands, they will never have peace!” a man exclaimed and grinned, baring all his teeth. His dark red pupils were filled with the scarlet light of violence.
“Unless Blood Spear disappears, we will definitely inflict the invaders with sleepless nights!” someone exclaimed again.
“Either Blood Spear dies or every invader shall die in the end!”
These Blood Spear martial practitioners were all tough experts personally handpicked and trained by Lang Xie. They all saw Lang Xie as their mentor and their god in their hearts!
Once god had given his word, then they must cleanse this world with blood and stain all martial practitioners from the five forces with fresh blood.
“Lord Lang Xie, shouldn’t you return to the blood pools and recuperate? The spirit blood in the blood pools should be able to help you recover swiftly, right?” Cheng Ping asked.
“If I leave and allow outsiders to slip into the city to rescue Shi Jingyun and the others, then wouldn’t Armament City be breached immediately after?” Lang Xie turned around and looked at him. “With the cultivation level you and Tong Jihua possess, you still can’t see detect them, so I can’t leave it to you.”
When he said this, Tong Jihua and Cheng Ping both smiled bitterly and nodded in helplessness.
They truly did not have this capability.
“I am here so I can buy time for Feng Rong and Xue Li. If they can recover swiftly, then they will be able to greatly impact the situation,” Lang Xie said indifferently.
“Sect Master Qin…” Cheng Ping said softly.
“His abilities are minimal in this level of battle. He is just a Natal Opening Realm martial practitioner after all.” Lang Xie shook his head and frowned. “As long as he maintains a cool head, controls Xue Li, and does not issue commands recklessly, it will be sufficient. For the rest… we cannot expect too much.”
Cheng Ping, Tong Jihua, and many other Blood Spear martial practitioners all sighed on the inside. They knew what Lang Xie said was true.
Any one of them could easily kill a Natal Opening Realm Qin Lie. How useful could he be in such a hopeless situation?
They did not think that Qin Lie could turn the tide once more.
“I just received news from Cheng Ping that Yu Dai, Jiang Heng, and Fu Zhuohui have all arrived. They are now gathering in front of Fire District.”
At the procedural hall of Flame Volcano, Meng Chen walked in with a face full of worry while informing the three great reverends about the latest news.
Meng Chen was the fourth inner sect elder. He was careful and timid and never dared to put himself in a dangerous situation. For so many years, Meng Chen had almost never gone out to search for spirit materials—he was worried that he would run into an accident.
They were actually a few more artificers who were just as cowardly as Meng Chen. They did not want to die, nor did they want to walk a dead end with Armament Sect.
“Yu Dai and the others have come to an agreement. They plan to murder everyone in Armament Sect, including artificers like us.” Meng Chen’s eyes shone with panic as he said worriedly, “Th-they’re not planning to capture us. They’re really planning to kill us straight away!”
“We are artificers! We are the most respectable people in this world! How do those damnable martial practitioners dare to treat us like this?” Fifth Elder Qi Zheng lost control and shouted.
Before they heard the news from Cheng Ping, every artificer in this place did not seriously believe that the five great forces would truly kill them.
There were countless forces in the vast Spirit Realm and even more martial practitioners than the stars themselves. Every martial practitioner needed a spirit artifact, and they required an artificer to forge them, repair broken ones, and temper spirit armor…
In nearly every territory and continent, artificers were the most respected. They enjoyed the respect of many forces and were desired by many martial practitioners.
It was exactly because artificers were too rare and important that most forces would choose to pacify them, treat them with respect, and serve them as guests when they had destroyed an enemy force and captured the enemy’s artificers.
There were very few people who would do something as wasteful as killing an artificer.
Therefore, in Meng Chen and Qi Zheng’s eyes, even if Shi Jingyun, Wu Tuo, and Su Ziying had each lost a finger, the five great forces would only vent their anger on someone else. When they had truly broken through the city, they would then vent their anger on Qin Lie.
They did not believe that they would die or think that the five great forces would kill them, because they were artificers, the rarest people in this world.
They believed it in their very bones that their lives were more important than Shi Jingyun, Wu Tuo, and Su Ziying. Because of this, they thought their enemies wouldn’t kill them considering how incomparably valuable their lives were.
When all these beautiful delusions had suddenly shattered in this very moment and they realized that the five great forces were ready to kill them all, these men of luxurious and privileged lives had become terrified for the first time—truly and completely terrified.
“We will die. We will actually die. Those lowly martial practitioners actually dare treat us like this!” Qin Zheng yelled out somewhat hysterically.
“It’s all because of Qin Lie. If Qin Lie hadn’t sliced off their fingers, why would the five forces have lost their cool?” Meng Chen also screamed, “I don’t want to die! I can’t die! I haven’t become an Earth rank artificer yet, how can I possibly die at such a moment?”
“No one wants to die!” Luo Zhichang yelled sternly.
“This can’t be right. I need to go, I want to leave Armament Sect! I don’t want to die along with the sect. As long as I’m alive, I will be able to pass down my artifact forging skills. These are all Armament Sect’s core principles of artifact forging. I can help Armament Sect pass down their future!” Qi Zheng’s eyes showed great terror as he slowly lost control of the fear in his heart.
He was the first to fall apart.
“The sect definitely can’t be saved. How about we…” Meng Chen sighed and meekly suggested, “How about we just go our own separate ways? As long as we leave the Scarlet Tide Continent, with our status and skills as artificers, where can’t we gain a footing?”
“That’s right! As long as we leave Scarlet Tide Continent, we can find a random city and be respected by countless people and own everything we have now!” Qi Zheng nodded rapidly, “Let us go. I know that the poisonous bog at the back of the mountain is deserted. As long as we can pass through there, we will be able to escape this crisis and might be able to leave Scarlet Tide Continent. What do you say?”
The three great reverends, Luo Zhichang, Fang Qi and Jiang Hao, suddenly felt a surge of powerlessness. They hadn’t expected Meng Chen and Qin Zheng to lose control of themselves this much after confirming that the five great forces would kill them all.
“The reason the area covered in poisonous fog is deserted is because those who aren’t familiar with the making of poison or who don’t have a deep understanding of poisonous things cannot survive in it at all.” Jiang Hao was unusually calm as he said indifferently, “There are only three people who can walk through the poisonous bog and survive. Xingran can, Elder Mo Hai can, and Lian Rou can barely do it as well.”
He turned towards Meng Chen, Qi Zheng, and the others who wore looks of uncertainty and said, “No other Armament Sect elders and disciples except the three of them would be able to survive the poisonous bog. Not even Blood Spear’s Lang Xie and Feng Rong may have the ability to do that. Do you really want to try it?”
“Armament City is so difficult to breach, yet the five forces did not dare to send a team to attack us from behind due to the poisonous bog. Is that not proof enough that the place is dangerous?” Fang Qi said coldly.
Meng Chen and Qi Zheng looked ashen as their thoughts to escape slowly died off. After a while, the duo yelled out of nowhere, “It’s all because of Qin Lie. What is a young brat doing commanding the sect carelessly about? If it weren’t for his reckless actions, we would not have truly angered the five forces and have been confronted with such a fate!”
“Silence!” Luo Zhichang yelled angrily with a hot face. He said sternly, “How many years has Armament Sect raised you for? You only think to preserve your lives when the sect is met with danger. Have you really thought for the sect before?”
“You are truly incomparable to Qin Lie!” Fang Qi snorted with a cold face and said, “He had countless chances to escape while carrying the three spatial rings with him, yet he did not and instead insisted on staying. Based on this fact alone, he is more qualified than all of you combined. Qin Lie has not even been a part of the sect for more than a year, but how many years have you stayed in Armament Sect? How much blood have you sucked from Armament Sect? Do you truly not have the slightest determination to defend the sect to the end?”
“We…” Meng Chen and Qi Zheng could not say anything.
A bloody cloud covered the forest.
Qin Lie suddenly opened his eyes. Lightning appeared frequently from the depths of his pupils, and there were rumbles of thunder resonating inside his body.
Feng Rong was woken up as she asked with concern, “How are you doing?”
“The eighth Natal Palace has been formed,” Qin Lie smiled slightly.
Feng Rong was overjoyed as she excitedly said, “This is great! As long as you can open the ninth Natal Palace, you can be considered to be at the peak of the Natal Opening Realm. You will be infinitely closer to Manifestation Realm!”
“Kid, you now have three thunder Natal Palaces, three earth Natal Palaces, and two ice Natal Palaces.” Xue Li’s voice came from an exploding bloody bubble inside the blood pool, “The balance between three powers will help you break through to Manifestation Realm. Therefore, it would be best if you form this final Natal Palace with the power of frost. Trust me, this distribution is the best choice for the martial path you’re cultivating.”
“Thank you for your guidance, senior.” Qin Lie stood up and headed towards the poisonous bog at the back of the forest.
“Where are you going?” Feng Rong cried out.
“I’m opening my ninth Natal Palace!”