It wasn't just Nonahall; even Triflair, Pentaphase, and Octagram had suffered an unimaginable blow, and they were supposed to be their allies! What in the world could have happened inside the sect to result in such a thing? How could something like this happen in the Tribulation Tower when all the core members of the sect were there?
Everyone turned to Fang Taiqing, expecting him to give them a reasonable explanation. Yet not even he knew what was going on. Just moments ago, he had been on a killing spree and saw hope of actually wiping out Nonahall's troops, yet this turn of events had suddenly extinguished his fervor.
"There's a turncoat in Tribulation Tower!" His words caused everyone to turn silent. They didn't even have time to react, for Nonahall's troops were already rushing into the sixth formation layer and it wasn't reacting to them!
"Does that mean the ones in the tower are fighting and no longer able to operate the formation?"
In other words, Archaion and its allies would be going up against their enemies without any support whatsoever. There were far too many of them; the sight of the sheer number of enemies made them gasp in shock.
Fang Taiqing's expression darkened. Now, his Sterling House of Fang was at the crossroads of survival. A few among the enemy were now targeting him—namely Po Suo, Di Zang, and Zi Xiao. There was also a young man beside them that terrified even Fang Taiqing. When his gaze met Fang Taiqing's, he saw that the youth had two irises in each eyeball.
"Jiang Wuxin.... Wasn't he the disciple of Feng Qingyu?" Right now, his world was collapsing. This was the second young man apart from Tianming that had ever made him feel utter awe. In fact, Jiang Wuxin seemed even more terrifying in comparison. Fang Taiqing was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Back in the Tribulation Tower, a chaotic fight was taking place. The angered elders of the sect, led by Xuanyuan Yu and Xuanyuan Xiao, were fighting off Jian Wuyi and the other five Jian house elders.
"Jian Wuyi, have you gone mad? How do you benefit from this?!" Xuanyuan Xiao spat with rage.
Jian Wuyi had even broken through to reach the death phase just before the battle. That meant he had been preparing for this day for a long time. There were some people who would intentionally remain at the edge of the life phase to get a sudden boost in strength when they broke through to the death phase. However, this was incredibly hard to do at the tenth level and above, where insights on how to progress came few and far between. Jian Wuyi had endured being 'weak' for a horribly long time just so he could go crazy today.
"Benefits?" Jian Wuyi seemed incredibly relaxed, even as he faced off against a few people at a time. "Well, there really isn't any for me, personally. All I want is to take advantage of this chaos to elevate my House of Jian to the next level."
He wasn't just referring to the Draconis House of Jian. Based on that omission, Xuanyuan Xiao and the rest immediately understood his goals.
"So you're defecting to Fang Qingyu's side? How could you ever serve someone as dastardly as him? Were you tricked?" Xuanyuan Yu said with disbelief.
"Don't forget, Jian Wuyi, the Draconis House of Jian is the main house! The Fengs are traitors to your house! How could you serve traitorous dogs like them?! Your ancestors must be rolling in their graves!" Xuanyuan Xiao was shouting so loud his throat was about to burst. He felt incredibly hurt, having placed his confidence in Jian Wuyi and letting him take on such a huge role in the Tribulation Tower, and even allowing Fang Taiqing to exclude himself from it.
In the past two hundred millennia, the Draconis House of Jian had never once betrayed the sect. Their forebears had stood by the Xuanyuans' side over the course of all their hardships and they were as close as brothers. Even though in recent years, the Sterling House of Fang had started playing a prominent role in the sect, the Xuanyuan house was still incredibly close to the Jian house. Nothing had changed over the course of such a long time.
Even though the founding ancestor of the Draconis House of Jian hadn’t ascended to godhood, he had been the right-hand man of Great Emperor Xuanyuan. His descendants had also never been mistreated in the long history of the sect, enjoying the same access to resources as the Xuanyuans. The fact that this betrayal was neither warranted nor expected made it even worse.
Jian Wuyi seemed completely indifferent to Xuanyuan Yu's questioning. "You don't really have to be that surprised, you know. The Jian house produced the Hexapath Sword God. If it weren’t for the stubbornness of our seniors, the fractured House of Jian would've reunited long ago and become an even stronger unit. Our ties with the Xuanyuan house have held us back for two hundred millennia. It's about time we parted ways, right? No hard feelings."
"No hard feelings? Hahaha, you expect that from us after trying to bring about our extermination?"
"We just walk different paths. It's only natural to plot against each other. There's no point in talking about this anymore, so I'll wish you good luck." Jian Wuyi ordered the rest and their beasts to retreat. "I left four layers of the formation intact on account of our past relations. All we wanted was to tip the scales of the battle a little, or the House of Jian wouldn't have any chances at all. You’d better hurry and secure what remains of your formation! Farewell!"
He rushed out of the Tribulation Tower with the others, while Xuanyuan Xiao and the rest couldn’t even give chase. They still had to sustain what remained of the formation. Currently, the enemy had charged into the sixth layer unaffected. They immediately had to get the remaining layers to work!
"Everyone, we haven't lost yet!" They looked each other in the eye, still spirited and resolute despite their earlier wrath.
"Go!" Hurriedly, they assumed their positions near the formation cores. This was going to be an uphill battle, and a hopeless one without the formation.
"If these four layers are broken, all the civilians in Taiji Peak Lake, our young disciples, and everything in the sect will be exposed to danger!"
The Tribulation Tower was now dead silent, apart from the loud heartbeats of those that remained.
On the battlefield in the east of Taiji Peak Lake, Feng Qingyu waved for the hundred thousand tribulation elders of Hexapath to stop.
"Sect Master, five layers of the formation are gone. Why aren't we pressing on?"
Many others echoed this sentiment.
"Just stop. We're waiting for someone," Feng Qingyu said. The rest were shocked to see the sword maniac smile for the first time in what must have been his entire life as he looked toward Taiji Peak Lake. It was as if he had heard an answer he wanted to hear. It came from the depths of his heart.
"Who are we waiting for?"
"Someone really important. Our real brothers in arms. Our family from the Jian house. The same blood flows in their veins as well as ours. The same spirit dwells in their sea of consciousness as well as ours! All we have to do now is to welcome them with open arms!"
Could it really be who they thought it was? The others found it rather hard to believe that the main Jian house, who couldn't even accept someone like the Hexapath Sword God, would actually join them.
"So Jian Wuyi was the one who caused the five layers to fall!"
They all began discussing the revelation, still flabbergasted that it had actually happened. They looked up and saw their sect master stand at a high point with his arms behind his back and his green robes fluttering, the smile still lingering on his face. He looked as if he had returned to his youth, that fateful day when two youths from the two Houses of Jian met.
"Are you a Feng? The Fengs of the Tai'e House of Jian?" asked the youth in blue.
"Are you from the accursed Draconis House of Jian?" asked the other.
They crossed swords time and time again, neither relenting the slightest bit from their ingrained stubbornness and refusal to give ground to the other house, until one day, they felt the loneliness suddenly set in and realized how much they missed crossing swords with each other. It was like they had lived their whole lives during that decade of crossing swords. It was a pinnacle of their lives they could probably never return to.Previous Chapter Next Chapter