The fourth layer of the Nether Battlefield was a windy hell. Sharp winds blew so hard that they had shaved down the mountains of the layer, making it mostly a flat plain with no elevated terrain to be seen. On this layer, the wind made it hard to even walk.
Chu Xiaoqi and the other Biritual disciples had come here from the third darkness layer above. Their bodies glowed brilliantly, making them easy to see from afar. Since that was the case, there was no need to keep their lifebound beasts away for stealth purposes. Instead, they let them roam freely.
Chu Xiaoqi was surrounded by a whole host of people. She wasn’t even twenty-four, and was easily the youngest in the group, yet she was so talented that she ranked among the top five disciples among the entire continent, eclipsing even Qin Chaotian, the prodigal son of the Biritual Divine Realm.
Even so, she seemed really weak based on her appearance alone. There was a hint of meekness behind her veil of purity, causing nobody to take her seriously at all. That didn’t stop anyone from fancying her and acceding to her every demand, however.
She wasn't actually of any noble birth. After all, the Lunar Master of the sect didn't have any children of her own. However, she was her disciple nonetheless, which made her even more favored by others due to the meritocratic nature of her position. It was said that both she and her master had come from an ancient clan of the Flameyellow Continent, one that wasn't that big or significant and hadn't produced any prominent members. Yet the fact that they had survived so long was already amazing enough.
Incidentally, others preferred to refer to her given name rather than 'Junior Sister Chu'.
"Xiaoqi, look over there!"
Right as the group descended, they scanned the surroundings and saw a bunch of lights in the distance. There were around a dozen of them, and judging by the size of the balls of light, they were beastmasters.
"They're from our sect."
"Thirteen of them, eh? We're all here then."
"Guess only Qin Chaotian's not accounted for."
"Either he's sitting and crying next to the destroyed tree, or he was already killed."
For the number two disciple of the sect and the son of the Solar Master to be maligned by his own comrades to this degree was a testament to Chu Xiaoqi's amazing ability to forge connections and networks. Almost all of the disciples in the sect were on her side.
"He probably thought of coming to join us the moment the hell tree was compromised," she said.
"Yeah, he should have no qualms of joining up with us now, since the tree is already gone."
"If only we’d known that Jiang Wuxin's group would find the Monorigin Sect's hell tree so soon, we wouldn't have split up with them from the get go."
They were still casually chatting with each other despite their tree being destroyed. It wasn't like not having a tree would affect their plans to deal with the Archaion Sect at all. The worst thing to come of it was the thirty points awarded to the one who destroyed it.
"In past summits, our sect has never been at the top. Before, we’d be in deep trouble if our hell tree was destroyed, but it shouldn't matter much now since we have lots of allies."
Thus, the group of brightly glowing people continued traveling across the windy plain without a care in the world, and the smaller group ahead of them did the same. Closer and closer, they approached each other. By now, they could see glowing silhouettes a kilometer away.
"Gu Liuyu, bring the rest over here," Chu Xiaoqi ordered. Even though her voice was gentle, it was oddly compelling. However, the group ahead of them didn't move and remained where they were. They didn't even respond to her, as if they wanted her to personally go to them!
"Are they daft? Those idiots...." The other male disciples around her were displeased by the lack of respect.
"Go beat them up! How dare they not listen to Junior Sister Xiaoqi!"
It barely took an instant to cover the distance.
When the group approached them, they saw that the smaller group were all bound by a black and red chain.
"They've been hijacked!"
The chain completely bound all of them. At the other end of it was the tail of a gigantic black feline beast that had tiger-like stripes and panther-like proportions and speed. That beast had been dragging the other disciples behind it and was waiting for the group to approach. Even more infuriating was how all the disciples had sword-shaped patterns all across their bodies and mouths. Like needles, they stitched up their mouths and stopped them from saying anything. Their faces were pale and their eyes were red as they despaired from the agonizing pain. No matter how much they had struggled, they weren't able to escape the fate of being dragged across the ground by that beast as it traveled.
"It's Li Tianming's lifebound beast!" someone said. Tianming was famous for being the goddess' disciple, and they no doubt had lots of information about him. Jiang Wuxin had updated them on his actual strength, but that was only comparable to his fourth-level death samsaran level, which didn't seem that amazing to the Biritual disciples.
"Not bad. You recognized it at a glance," said the white-haired youth from atop the beast's head, smiling as he looked at the Biritual disciples. The moment he finished speaking, the sword patterns disappeared from the mouths of the hostages.
"Junior Sister XIaoqi, he killed all our lifebound beasts!"
"He crippled us!"
"Our hell barrier formations were broken and he also used some method to seal our strength!"
"Junior Sister Xiaoqi, kill him and avenge us! He's just one person! He also killed Qin Chaotian!"
Their rage was boiling over after being held hostage for so long.
"Hey hey hey, no need to get so mad. I didn't take you hostage to cause conflict. I'm here to negotiate," Tianming said, not caring in the slightest about how much they wanted him dead. He spotted a beauty in pink in the middle of the group and asked, "Are you Little Xiaoqi? Big Brother is here to negotiate with you."
"Little? I heard you're only around twenty. You should call me Big Sister instead," she said with a cool face, despite usually being full of smiles. As the leader of their sect's disciples, she couldn't bring herself to smile at all after seeing how badly her comrades had been treated.
"Big Sister? That's even better. I love older girls with experience. I'm sure you have lots to teach me." Tianming winked as he looked her up and down. "Big Sister sure is a looker. I heard you don't have a boyfriend yet. Does Little Brother here have a chance?"
His words sent the other disciples into a fit of rage. They couldn't endure it even though they knew that it was a clear provocation. Some words simply couldn't be said.
"Stop messing around. Didn't you say you want to negotiate? Let's hear it," she said. She had to be considerate of the hostages as well.
"Simple. I let them go and spare them and the Biritual Demon Sect stops causing trouble for the Archaion Sect. How does that sound? As long as you pledge to leave the alliance, I promise they'll live to see the end of the Number One Summit."
His words sent a bout of laughter throughout their ranks.
"Is he daft?"
"Junior Sister Chu, stop wasting time with him. Since he dared to come here, let's fulfill his death wish!"
"Come on, I came here with the utmost sincerity. There are so many sects against ours. All I want is for you to sit back while Nonahall and Heptastar make their move. Don't mess with us, and I'll make sure your buddies here survive. Let the other sects deal with us and stay out of trouble. Sounds like a good deal, no? Big Sister Xiaoqi?"
"You mean to say that you’re confident you can escape even if we refuse?" she asked.
"Of course. I happen to be really good at that."
"Are you sure you know what kind of status you hold?"
"What status? If I had to guess, maybe the most handsome guy in the world?"
"Nonsense! You're the goddess's disciple! Your life is worth much more than theirs! Do you think I won't swallow you up now that you've shown yourself to us?" Her voice grew colder and colder.
"Wait, I think I'm mishearing things, but you kind of sounded like you'd like to swallow this Little Brother's... little brother?"
"To hell with you!"
Those words set off the fuse of the rest of them. Chu Xiaoqi's intentions were obvious. As far as they were concerned, the lives of the hostages couldn't even compare to Tianming's, so sacrificing them was only natural. Was Tianming really confident in his speed, or did he just not understand that basic fact?
The thirty-odd disciples and their lifebound beasts came flying toward Tianming with Chu Xiaoqi leading the way.
"This lass here is a fifth-level life samsaran despite her young age.... She's definitely a whole level above Jiang Wuxin. I wouldn't expect anything less from the personal disciple of the Lunar Master. Meow Meow, go!"
Meow Meow immediately turned and bolted away, accelerating like a lightning bolt.Previous Chapter Next Chapter