An urgent meeting was being held in the Light Blue Sacred Hall of Southsky Sect, and all of the elites were in attendance. There was someone sitting beside Weisheng Tianlan. While that person resembled him somewhat, he seemed much older than he was—around a hundred years old. He was none other than Weisheng Tianlan's father, Weisheng Cangyuan.
He was the former sect master, having retired at the age of ninety-five to let his fifth, and most talented, son take his place. When the sect war began, he stopped his carefree life of traveling far and wide and had finally come back, though he didn't speak much and let his son manage most of the proceedings. Even so, he was no doubt the most powerful person in the sect in combat. He would easily rank among the top three in the whole Grand-Orient Realm.
Currently, Gu Qiuyu represented some ten other elders and was agitatedly mouthing off. "Sect Master! Former Sect Master! Elders! Don't you all understand? There's no way we can resist Heaven's Elysium, especially when old fools like Huangfu Fengyun can't even protect the Grand-Orient Sword!"
News had just come about the sword being forcefully taken by Yuwen Taiji, which was what had prompted the emergency meeting in the first place.
"The one who wields the sword now is Yuwen Taiji, who is much stronger. That doesn't detract much from our original arrangement," Weisheng Tianlan said with a furrowed brow.
"Why wouldn't it? For someone as arrogant as him, he’ll definitely adopt risky strategies instead of proper defense! With him at the helm of the Grand-Orient Sect, there's no way they'll be able to hold off a combined attack from the two other sects. I believe they've already been eradicated by now," he said, his face pale.
"Sect Master, Yuwen Taiji doesn't have any ties with us. Ye Shaoqing has probably escaped the sect by now. Given that’s the case, isn't it time we switched allegiances away from the Grand-Orient Sect? The leaders of that sect are not the Lis, but the Yuwens, so they no longer have anything to do with us," said Third Elder Chen Qingyun. His worries were echoed by many other elders; almost half of them, in fact. Some even hinted for Weisheng Tianlan to adopt the Onyx Sect's strategy and submit to Heaven's Elysium for the sake of survival.
"Whether we side with the Grand-Orient Sect or not, Heaven's Elysium will still come for us once they fall."
"While they're afraid of suffering huge losses now, they're fully capable of wiping us out with two hundred and fifty thousand Elysian purifiers. How can we possibly resist?"
It all collapsed into chaos. Weisheng Ruosu and Weisheng Qingluan were both standing at a corner of the great hall, watching the spineless elders in anger.
"Sis, I wonder how Brother Tianming's doing now. He killed Yuwen Shendu, and Yuwen Taiji now controls the sect. If he doesn't manage to escape, he'll die for sure."
It all seemed bleaker than ever. The folk of the Southsky Sect were panicking themselves, so how could they even reinforce the Grand-Orient Sect?
"He'll definitely escape. As long as the sect is still there, he'll be able to return one day. Not to mention, he has many people protecting him," she said as she worriedly watched those in the hall. Her own father, despite being a sect master, was being pressured by a bunch of cowards to the point he couldn't say anything in retort.
"Sect Master! Please consider the future of the Southsky Sect! Leave us a path of survival!" Gu Qiuyu pleaded as he knelt and cried. This act was so moving that more than half of the elders teared up and decided to join his cause.
"Gu Qiuyu, the fight hasn't even begun yet. What's the rush? How can someone who pisses his pants before the fight be fit for the position of first elder?" Weisheng Cangyuan said with a smirk, silencing everyone else. He stood up and continued, "I was only away for a few short years only to come back and see you lot terrified like puppies by Heaven's Elysium. It's so funny that I can't even find it in me to be angry at you.
"How can you even talk about the sect's future? Do you think you know better than us? The Weisheng Clan that has supported the sect for tens of thousands of years! If you want to submit before the fight even begins, you're not doing the sect a favor, you're just a useless coward. Listen up: the Southsky Sect shall only surrender if I fall. At the very least, I’ll use the Southsky Barrier to massacre fifty thousand Elysium purifiers. This is final. So, Gu Qiuyu, you better start praying that I die soon," he said with a smile.
"Former Sect Master, I wouldn't dare! I'm just doing what I think is best for the sect!" he replied.
"Get out of my sight!" the old sect master yelled, once more silencing the whole hall.
Despite how awkward it was, at least half of them seemed rather pensive and some even helped Gu Qiuyu up. These were the people who would immediately turn traitor the moment the sect was breached. Weisheng Cangyuan knew there would be some of them in the sect, though he hadn’t imagined there would be so many, and now, they looked at him with subdued rage and a hint of mockery.
"Dad, we have to rid the sect of this festering disease if we get the chance!" Weisheng Tianlan snapped.
"Come, let's go." Gu Qiuyu, Chen Qingyun, Nangong He, and some others excused themselves from the meeting, despite Weisheng Tianlan not having begun to explain how they would prepare for the upcoming fight. It was the utmost disrespect that caused Weisheng Ruosu and Weisheng Qingluan and the rest to shiver with seething anger.
"Sect Master, Former Sect Master, breaking news from the Grand-Orient Sect!" announced a blue-armored Southsky sentinel as he barged into the sacred hall. He knelt so hard that he slid forward five meters. The hall's floor was perhaps a little too polished, though it made for comic effect. While there were many problematic elders, most of the Southsky sentinels were fervent supporters of Weisheng Tianlan.
"Has the Grand-Orient Sect been eliminated?" Gu Qiuyu said, his eyes brightening up. He was waiting for exactly that.
"Apologies, Elder Gu, for disappointing you," said the sentinel with a smirk.
"What in the world are you insinuating?" snapped Nangong He.
"Enough! Weisheng Xiong, continue the report!" Weisheng Tianlan eagerly said.
"The Cloudmist Sword Sect and Onyx Sect mounted a joint attack on the Grand-Orient Sect. Yuwen Taiji, armed with the Grand-Orient Sword, managed to capture the Onyx Empress and force the Onyx Legion to leave. He then crushed Sikong Jiansheng and managed to kill ten thousand Cloudmist keepers!" he said excitedly.
"How could Yuwen Taiji be so strong?!" Gu Qiuyu and the rest's expressions immediately changed. "But no matter how strong he is, he's just one man! He can't take on forces numbering in the thousands alone!"
"Elder Gu, shut up, will you? I'm not done yet," Weisheng Xiong said, rolling his eyes. He had quite an attitude, as expected of a member of the Weisheng Clan. His words caused Gu Qiuyu's ire to flare up.
Just as he was about to act, Weisheng Xiong turned to the sect master and continued, "Something else happened at the Grand-Orient Sect, something huge."
"I bet nobody here expected that the crippled Sect Master Li Wudi would overcome his poison after fourteen years of isolated cultivation. He awakened and became a hexabane, and his lifebound beast evolved into a sixth-order saint beast. He's now a sky saint! With but a single move, he killed Yuwen Taiji and retrieved the Grand-Orient Sword! Since their clan shares the same origin as ours, we should support their sect. Our informants report that Li Wudi is terrifyingly powerful!"
His words once more silenced the hall. Some thought his report was faked, but there were many sources from which they could get a clearer picture. Right after he finished his report, another sentinel barged in.
"Sect Master, the Grand-Orient Sect managed to win the first clash! The ex-cripple Li Wudi, now a hexabane, just killed Yuwen Taiji!" This report was followed by many other similar ones. Gu Qiuyu and his cohort turned pale.
"Impossible! The Li Saint Clan has never had a hexabane!"
"That's right! Where’d you get these reports from?"
"Elders, I saw it with my own eyes. I even entered the sect and talked with our fellow allies for an entire hour about it."
That only turned the rebellious elders even grimmer. In contrast, however, many others stood up with looks of ecstasy, Weisheng Tianlan included.
"Brilliant!" Having held back for so long, it was all too blissful to see the looks on Gu Qiuyu and the others' faces. Initially, many were still hesitant about it, but with the Grand-Orient Sect's victory and the birth of a new sky saint, Li Wudi, they all turned to Weisheng Tianlan's side.
"Congratulations to the Grand-Orient Sect, Li Wudi, and the Li Saint Clan!" Weisheng Cangyuan said with a hearty laugh.
"Gu Qiuyu, Chen Qingyun, Nangong He!" Weisheng Tianlan called out so loudly that he almost made everyone there deaf.
"Sect Master!" The three of them were angry, though their voices were weak and their expressions were horribly contorted.
"Everyone, listen up. These three elders are under suspicion for fanning the flames of dissent among our disciples. I suspect they've already secretly betrayed us and submitted to Heaven's Elysium. As such, I've decided to imprison them in the undersea dungeon and remove them from their positions as elders! We’ll hold a trial for them once the war ends. Gu Qiuyu is charged with heading the effort to disrupt sect unity, and that fact is beyond argument. As such, I've decided to cripple his cultivation!"
His words sent shockwaves throughout the hall.
"Sect Master!" Gu Qiuyu immediately cried and knelt, making a last-ditch effort to beg for mercy. But when he looked up, he saw a sea of cold eyes glaring back at him. With Li Wudi's meteoric rise, the tides had turned.
Gu Qiuyu spat out a mouthful of blood. He had in fact submitted to Heaven's Elysium long ago; he just hadn't caused trouble for the Southsky Sect yet. He immediately turned to Weisheng Ruosu and Weisheng Qingluan, his only hope for survival, and charged toward them.
"You want to make a move on my grandchildren right before my eyes?" Weisheng Cangyuan snapped. He had long been prepared for that. After a huge battle, Gu Qiuyu was soundly defeated by the father and son, then crippled for good.
"The first elder has in fact betrayed us!"
Initially, Weisheng Tianlan was only planning on temporarily suspending his cultivation for a time, as he didn't yet have evidence of the betrayal. However, Gu Qiuyu had panicked and targeted the siblings, inadvertently revealing his true colors for all to see. With him crippled and the other two jailed, the Southsky Sect was unified once more.
Weisheng Tianlan announced, "From now on, we're entering a fight for survival. The beastmasters of the Southsky Sect fear no enemy! We do not submit! We will fight Heaven's Elysium to the death if they dare come! They’ll definitely die in the Southsky Barrier and be buried at sea!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter