Chapter 700 - Oh No

"Right now, every sect is looking for their own hell tree, but there are also sects that head directly to the other layers, looking for others’ hell trees. Once they find one, they’ll destroy it and immediately obtain thirty points. That forces their opponents into a dead end with nowhere to hide. The sects with more participants, such as the Nonahall Ghost Sect, will certainly spread out at once. This is a race against time.” 

All Tianming had to do was look up to see the dark clouds rolling in the sky. There were many passages in the clouds, from which other disciples could descend and attack the swamp layer. Tianming released Meow Meow and Ying Huo out of his lifebound space. Ying Huo was small and less conspicuous than a beastmaster. On the other hand, Meow Meow was instructed to transform into its Regal Chaosfiend because what Tianming currently required was its speed.

"I’ll lead the way.” 

"Pay attention to your safety and send a signal if you find it.” 

With that, Tianming quickly left. While remaining in position with his teammates, he surveyed his surroundings with his third eye. The signal utilized light from a heavenly pattern tome, but only the commander and deputy commander actually knew what its specific meaning was. All the others had to do was follow along.

The swamp layer wasn’t small at all, and the search took six hours. Finding the hell tree was the focus of the Nether Battle. The more time it took, the more danger the entire team would be exposed to. It was very likely that others had entered the swamp layer and were also looking for it.

"Those who are watching the battle with the Skyeye Formation probably know where the hell tree is, as well as where the other sect disciples are. Watching the battle from their perspective is even more exciting. So, where’s the hell tree?” 

Tianming’s conjectures were right. Whether it was the Dimensional Battlefield of the Heaven Branch where the strong gathered, or the entire Flameyellow continent, everyone was watching in anticipation.

Some sect disciples had even begun fighting. After all, aside from the Archaion Sect, the Kilostar Domain’s ultimate tribulation manna was also a target of the eight divine realms. By the six hour mark, many teams had found their hell trees and begun deploying their defenses.

Meanwhile, Tianming and Meow Meow dashed across the muddy swamp. In truth, the swamp layer was so flat, one could see very far into the distance. There wasn’t a mountain in sight. If it weren't for how far away they were in the beginning, they would have already discovered the hell tree.

"The tree!” 

Finally, Tianming made his first contribution by finding the hell tree in the swamp layer. It was a black tree with no leaves, only dry branches and a swaying trunk that was protected by a transparent light barrier. The transparent barrier was a heavenly pattern formation. Apparently, a beastmaster at the fourth-level life phase could break the barrier after thirty seconds of attacking, then destroy the hell tree at will.

"Sister Qianyu, over here!” Tianming shouted.

"The hell tree?” Beigong Qianyu quickly walked over, her eyes lighting up as she ignited a heavenly pattern tome to send a signal.

This method could easily reveal their location, so their signal directly ascended to the sky. One couldn’t determine from which location it was sent, but the color itself represented the sign they had previously agreed upon. The signal itself would inform them of their position.

The three teams had undertaken the task simultaneously, so it was possible to calculate their position. Before the others arrived, Tianming and sixteen other people were defending the hell tree. Soon, Xuanyuan Yucheng, Fang Chenjing, and Fang Yuewei arrived, one after the other.

"Good job.” Xuanyuan Yucheng then turned to everyone else and said, "Let’s act according to the plan. The first team will follow me to set up a long range defense. The second team will circle around, while the third team is to be stationed next to the hell tree. Fang Chenjing, Fang Yuewei, I’ll leave this area to you.” 

"No problem,” Fang Yuewei replied.

"Alright, enough nonsense. If the hell tree is destroyed, we’ll all die. There’s no way we’ll be careless,” said Fang Chenjing.

"Alright, let’s get to it then.” Xuanyuan Yucheng led his team in investigating and exploring the surrounding terrain as well as setting up their first line of defense in the distance.

However, their numbers weren’t high, after all. With such a defense, outsiders could still infiltrate the area. Thus, Tianming and Beigong Qianyu's second line of defense was very important. Refraining from venturing into other layers to attack and score points was considered very pragmatic.

"Let’s go, Li Tianming.” The disciples of the Sterling House of Fang settled down, hiding in the marsh, while Tianming and the others set off.

 Since they were situated somewhere nearby, they could see signals from both sides. All sixteen of them spread out to ensure that everyone could see the person closest to them.

"Li Tianming, you’re on your own. Stay close and make sure to hide. Watch for any movement near the hell tree. The swamp layer is too flat, and I'm afraid people might still sneak in even with our current arrangement,” said Beigong Qianyu.

"Alright.” 

Tianming adhered to her plans. Seeing that Tianming’s lifebound beast was fast, Beigong Qianyu gave him the task of working alone. Of course, Tianming’s most important mission was to act as the link between Beigong Qianyu and the Sterling House of Fang’s disciples to ensure the safety of the hell tree.

Climbing on top of Meow Meow’s back, Tianming roamed through the swamp, paying attention to any movement in his surroundings. He was extremely tense.

...

The hell tree couldn’t be hidden, but the Sterling House of Fang disciples could conceal themselves in the marsh, some near, some further away, all of them vigilant. 

"Are you willing?” asked Fang Chenjing.

"What?” Fang Yuewei seemed confused.

"Since they’re in the front, they’ll get all the points when a battle breaks out. Meanwhile, we wait here, unable to score any points. We won’t be able to enter the final battle,” said Fang Chenjing.

"You’re still thinking about entering the final battle?” Fang Yuewei was stunned.

"I’m just voicing my opinion. God knows if Xuanyuan Yucheng is deliberately aiming at us,” Fang Chenjing retorted.

"It’s very dangerous outside, there’s a risk of death. I think his arrangement is reasonable, so stop blabbering. You sound so small-minded,” Fang Yuewei replied.

"I’m small-minded? I'm doing this for our own good, so they know that the Sterling House of Fang aren’t mindless fools to be taken advantage of,” said Fang Chenjing.

"Oh.” Fang Yuewei couldn’t be bothered to argue.

Time quickly flew by. The first day passed quietly. They didn't know what was happening in the other layers, but it was peaceful in the swamp. Although it was rather boring, their ultimate goal was to survive the ten days. Boredom was a kind of good fortune.

"I wonder if Xuanyuan Yucheng has met any disciples from the other sects,” said Fang Yuewei.

"It’s been really quiet. I’m guessing they’ve been idle,” said Fang Chenjing.

They were more relaxed and no longer hid in the swamp, gathering in groups of two and three to pass the time. The Nether Battlefield didn’t seem as violent and bloody as they had expected. Each person could only participate in the Number One Summit once in their lives. They had previously been spectators.

In the midst of all the boredom, a group of people suddenly appeared in the west.

"The hell tree!” 

Among the crowd, a woman with a delicate voice exclaimed. At the sound of her voice, the Sterling House of Fang disciples broke out in cold sweat.

"Send out the signal!” Fang Chenjing quickly shouted at Fang Yuewei.

Fang Chenjing was nervous. At a glance, they could see that there were at least thirty people in the group. The disciples of certain sects didn’t even add up to thirty.

"What the hell are Xuanyuan Yucheng and Beigong Qianyu doing outside! There’s such a huge group here, but I don’t see them doing anything!” Fang Chenjing was angry enough to vomit blood.

Right then, Fang Yuewei sent out the distress signal. Both teams recognized their opponents.

“The Monorigin Divine Sect!” 

"The Hexapath Sword Sect!” 

Both teams exclaimed at the same time. The enemies with enmity seeped in blood had encountered each other beside the Archaion Sect’s hell tree. Fang Chenjing and Fang Yuewei's expressions turned ugly.

Tension filled the air. Their opponents’ eyes lit up, like hungry wolves. A battle of life and death was inevitable. The Hexapath Sword Sect disciples were ecstatic, their eyes red with killing intent.

"It's the disciples of the Sterling House of Fang. Kill them all!” 

"Kill!” There was no room for talk. Battle broke out on the spot.

The sisters, Feng Linyin and Feng Shuoyu, were the commanders of the Hexapath Sword Sect team.

Their base camp was located in the frost layer. Since there was only one level below them, their first task after locating their own hell tree was to determine which sect had been sent to the swamp layer.

Feng Shuoyu and Feng Linyin’s most important task was to send out a large force to sweep through the swamp layer. After completing their task, they would return to guard their hell tree while Jiang Wuxin ventured into the upper level to collect points.

There were seven levels above them. For the purpose of protection, Jiang Wuxin, whose strength was irrefutable, temporarily guarded their tree. They could never have imagined that their primary goal, the Monorigin Divine Sect, would be located in the ninth layer right below them.

"Big Sister, there’s only a dozen of them. The others have obviously left. We should take the opportunity to destroy their hell tree. That way, they’re all finished! Let’s join hands with the other sects in torturing them one by one!” Feng Linyin's eyes lit up.

"Get the others to hold them down. We’ll destroy the hell tree together!” Feng Shuoyu said decisively.

The hell tree was their prime focus.

"Let’s go!” 

A large number of lifebound beasts from both teams appeared at once and the Hexapath Sword Sect began their attack. The presence of the hell tree meant an almost inevitable end for the Archaion Sect disciples. The Hexapath Sword Sect disciples were immediately filled with vigor.

...

Tianming was wandering around when he noticed the signal from the hell tree. 

"Oh no!” 

Beigong Qianyu had noticed the signal as well. While sending out another one, Tianming ordered Meow Meow to head to the hell tree at maximum speed.

After transforming into a tribulation beast, Meow Meow’s speed had soared once more. Ranked first in the entire Nether Battlefield, its speed was unsurpassed. In the midst of all this, Tianming drew out the Grand-Orient Sword and held Archfiend in his left hand.

In the blink of an eye, he had rushed over. There was a fight next to the hell tree. 

"Thirty Hexapath Sword Sect disciples!” 

His expression altered drastically. Regardless of the opponent's strength, their advantage in numbers allowed them to free up several people to attack the hell tree.

Tianming watched two attractive women attack the hell tree barrier. Their moves were aggressive, bursting with life tribulation energy. At the very least, they were at the life phase.

The Archaion Sect would be finished the moment the hell tree was destroyed. Tianming's eyes turned red.

"Trying to kill us? I’ll send you to your deaths first!”  

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