"I'm now on the eighth layer, so as long as the two of them come down from the higher layers, I’ll be able to detect them. So, the ninth layer will be safe for sure. Maybe I can even head up to find them! Xian Xian might be able to track down more hell trees for me to crush."
Tianming didn't forget how the other sects had worked together to kill more than forty and cripple a dozen more disciples of his sect during the Skyorigin Battle, and the Hexapath Sword Sect was only one of them.
"They shall pay for their deeds." Without hesitating, he went up to the volcanic layer. Erupting volcanoes were spewing out magma everywhere. There was not a safe space to stand upon, and the skies were completely dyed red.
"They aren’t on this floor either."
Before Tianming went up another layer, Xian Xian said, "Half-daddy, this layer's hell tree is really near to us, only fifteen minutes away. Want to go check it out?"
As the hell tree was doubtlessly the only one on this flaming layer as well, Xian Xian could easily sense it; all kinds of plant life were almost like extensions of its own body, which Tianming found to be really useful. The position of the hell tree was crucial to each sect's success, so Xian Xian's ability was far too helpful to him.
"Since we cleared the eighth layer already, let's see who's on the seventh layer." It would be even better if he could crush those on the seventh layer so that they wouldn't be able to go to the ninth. "After destroying one hell tree, I have at least around fifty points now. I’ll definitely qualify for the final battle. However, there's something even more important to tend to here."
The hell tree was situated atop a volcano that spewed magma all around it. The tree was rooted on the body of the volcano, but the barrier formation managed to keep the magma out, though it seemed red-hot to the touch. There were a dozen disciples hiding beside the tree to guard it, ten of whom were women. They seemed to be from the Triflair Celestial Sect, based on their outfits.
The Triflair Divine Realm was a mystical place. Perhaps because their ascendant was the first goddess on the entire continent, the more powerful among them were women as well. Many other divine realms believed that the Triflair Divine Realm was a place where women flourished while men didn't. However, the fact that the divine realm had persisted until the present day was a clear sign they weren't to be easily trifled with. Coupled with the fact that it was a land of beauties, many people traveled there to form families and serve the Triflair Celestial Sect, making it about as powerful as the Quadform Sea Set and Octagram Heart Sect at the bottom of the ladder.
The Octagram Heart Sect used to be really powerful, and had once dominated the whole continent, but when the Nonahall Specter rose to prominence, they were almost eliminated. It took them a hundred thousand years to claw their way back to the bottom of the ranking.
The hell tree on this layer belonged to the Triflair Celestial Sect that had only sent thirty-two participants into the Nether Battle. Now, fifteen of them were guarding the tree while the others were elsewhere, fighting and gaining points. They weren't the stars of this show, so they maintained a low profile and didn't really aim to join the final phase of the summit. However, that wouldn't spare them from the storm that was to come.
Soon, a group of twenty-five crossed the burning lands and discovered the hell tree.
"It's the Triflair Celestial Sect's hell tree!"
"Quick, surround it! Check how many people are defending it!"
The group spread out into two scouting groups, which drew out the defending Triflair disciples.
"Brother Xiaofan, there’s only fifteen of them. Beigong Mengmeng and Ximen Xuanzi both aren't your match! Coupled with their hell tree, there’s forty-five points waiting to be taken!" someone reported.
"Beigong Mengmeng? She's here too, I see." The one who said that cracked a smile as he stood on a piece of burning rock, clad in azure armor with his long, ocean-blue hair fluttering in the wind. There were also two draconic horns on his forehead. "I've been trying to ask her out lately, but she hasn't been indulging me. How fortunate for me to meet her here."
"Brother Xiaofan, what do you have in mind? How dare that woman insult a member of the Quadform Seadragon Clan like that? Let's teach her a lesson and see if she dares to do something like that ever again."
"'Tis but a matter between man and woman, trivial and inconsequential. It's not like our clan doesn't have any beauties of our own, so we'll only be settling bigger matters today. Let's not be petty," Long Xiaofan, the blue-haired youth, said.
"What important matters are those?"
"My dad said that the Triflair Celestial Sect is on the fence and wishes to remain neutral. We have to force their hand to join our side! Otherwise the Archaion Sect will think they stand a chance, got it?"
"I see! So, we get them involved.... But how?"
"If they don't join us, they’ll be our enemies. It just so happens that half of their disciples are here. So let's kill them and let their sect master understand that they stand to lose even more if they keep dallying."
"But if we do that, we might offend them and they won’t join us all the same."
"Offend them? When our Quadform Seagod ascended, we almost wiped them out once. The grudge is already there. Not to mention, our divine realm is quite far from theirs. They'd have to cross a few others to reach where we are. Back then, my dad attended a meeting with those from Nonahall and the other sects. The other sects hinted that we should deal with them. As we’re the weakest in the alliance, we have no choice but to lead the way."
"Alright. However, do we kill Beigong Mengmeng as well?"
"Of course. Beauties are only beautiful if they're alive. When they're dead and rotting, they're the same as the others. There's no point being sentimental about it." Long Xiaofan smirked. After the twenty-five of them scouted the situation out, they immediately encircled the defenders.
Back at the Dimensional Battlefield, the Quadform and Triflair sects were seated right next to each other. They could clearly see one another and the tension between them was boiling to its peak.
"Sect Master, Dongfang Yu brought half the disciples away and they’re at the fourth level of the Nether Battlefield. The disciples of the Quadform Sea Sect didn't even care about finding their hell tree and went looking for the Archaion Sect, but they ran into our disciples first. They have ten more people attacking than we have defending the tree..."
Only one of the three sect masters of Triflair was here to watch the summit. She was Beigong Linlan, Jian Wuyi's wife—also known as the Coral Fairy. The sect had three who bore the title of fairy, and she was naturally a beauty. Like Beigong Qianyu, she was beautiful and had a mature allure.
Beigong Linlan was furrowing her brows even without needing to hear that report. There were many crooks in the world, and the Quadform Seadragon Clan was among the most famous of them. There was no line they wouldn't cross, and thanks to that, they had earned the sobriquet of the Dogs of the Sea. Using all kinds of underhanded tactics, they were able to face off against many powers and survive to this day.
Beigong Linlan was all too aware of what they would be up to. As for the other two fairies, they didn't dare to come to the Archaion Sect, leaving her to face this huge pressure alone. Now, she was the one the five allied sects had to take down. Once the Triflair Celestial Sect caved to the pressure, the Pentaphase Earth Sect and Octagram Heart Sect would as well.
"This will be troublesome..." Beigong Linlan sighed. Their luck was just bad.
"Coral Fairy, make up your mind soon, or something like this will just keep on happening," someone said from her right. He was the sect master of the Quadform Sea Sect, Long Cangyuan. He was slender, handsome, and charismatic. The Quadform Divine Realm was ruled by an empire, and the sect master was the emperor. Their organization was basically an analogue of the Theocracy of the Ancients. "I already asked Xiaofan to play nice with the disciples of your sect, but young folk are often jumpy and reckless. I hope you’ll forgive their childish mistake. Though, I should warn you that such things will become an inevitability so long as you keep wavering. Naturally, I hope you understand this isn’t personal. This wasn’t our intention, but that of Nonahall, Hexapath, Biritual, and Heptastar. Don't hate the player, hate the game."
The elites of the Quadform Sea Sect laughed after his 'sincere' declaration and Beigong Linlan's expression turned grim. The battle was already beginning and the Quadform disciples weren’t holding back at all. With the strongest Triflair disciples elsewhere, nobody could stop Long Xiaofan, a fourth-level death samsaran.
Their fates were sealed.
Beigong Linlan closed her eyes. Some things she just couldn't bear to witness, and this was definitely one of them. She felt endlessly perturbed. As it began devolving into chaos....
"Sect Master!" someone called out.
"What is it?" she asked.
"Someone's helping! It's Li Tianming from the Archaion Sect!"
Beigong Linlan turned to look and saw a white-haired youth beside the hell tree.Previous Chapter Next Chapter