Chapter 33: Answer
In terms of one-on-one strength, the Rong Clan, who were more proficient in combat, were stronger than the Zhu Clan.
Luckily, the Zhu Clan never relied on their combat prowess to win fights.
They relied on numbers!
Their powerful ability to control slaves was an unimaginable trump card. The four Spirit Burning Realm puppets alone made up for the discrepancy in numbers, not to mention that they were roughly equivalent in strength to three of their opponents.
Even the four Light Shaking Realm cultivators weren’t just cannon fodder. Each one of them had a specific use.
One of these was Rong Xiangqian. He could not only be used to infuriate the Rong Clan but also as a shield. Given his status, Zhu Yunyan could use him to block any powerful attacks coming from her opponents. Rong Xiangsheng and the others didn’t want to spill their brother’s blood, so they could only stop their attacks mid-motion, cursing vehemently all the while.
The other three Light Shaking Realm cultivators also served unique purposes. One possessed the Refraction Beast Bloodline, which was a Demonic Beast that could emit an intense, brilliant light that burned away most shadows. This made it a perfect counter to most of the Rong Clan’s darkness-type Origin SKills. One possessed an Azure Waterbeetle Bloodline, which gave it regenerative abilities and allowed it to survive even if it was badly injured. The final one possessed the Rainbow Demon bloodline. The Rainbow Demon was a Demonic King that served the Slyheart Demonic Emperor in the past. As a result, the innate Origin Skills the bloodline conferred all primarily raised the effectiveness of bewitching techniques.
Before Su Chen had discovered the formula to increase the strength of their bloodline, the Zhu Clan had relied on the Rainbow Demon to strengthen their charming abilities.
Unfortunately, the Rainbow Demon was hard to find. Up until now, Zhu Yunyan had only managed to find one person.
The battle was fully underway at this point. Of the four Light Shaking Realm cultivators, Rong Xiangqian was the only one to advance, while the other three remained behind. Nine Spirit Burning Realm cultivators plus one Light Shaking Realm cultivator clashed with the Rong Clan’s six elders, resulting in quite a bloody fight. Even though the Rong Clan only possessed six people, they weren’t weak in the slightest. Black fog began to roil out from under their feet.
Black and red mixed chaotically, going at each others’ throats and filling the sky with flashes of red and black light.
Even people dozens of kilometers away could see the vast amounts of turbulent energy this conflict was whipping up.
Ten Spirit Burning Realm cultivators fighting was already a truly earth-shaking number. Violent waves of energy crashed against each other like a stormy sea. Even the mountains nearby trembled as large chunks of rock were cleaved off of the peak. This was even given that they were fighting in the air out of consideration for this very fact, and protective Origin Formations had been activated on the ground below. Otherwise, the shockwaves from the battle might have flattened Flat Sky City.
The most powerful individual present was Rong Xiangsheng, without question. The Rong Clan’s patriarch was already at the peak of the Spirit Burning Realm and had formed a full eight Divine Palaces.
He wielded an incredibly unique Origin Tool known as Umbral Sands. Umbral Sands had been refined from pure darkness energy melded with a special kind of metal, allowing it to assume many different forms - dagger, sword, spear, whip, or even shield or armor were all possible. Under Rong Xiangsheng’s control, it was able to rapidly morphed between forms. At this moment, it had morphed into a series of chains that shot forwards like snakes, each link honed to razor-like sharpness.
Even so, the Zhu Clan still possessed the advantage.
By relying on numbers, the Zhu Clan already possessed an advantage in a head-on fight. If the Rong Clan were of the assassin class, then the Zhu Clan were of the summoner class. The Zhu Clan naturally countered the Rong Clan.
In addition, after Su Chen had improved the Zhu Clan’s bloodline, their combat prowess had only increased. They had purposely kept it a secret for the past two years, and only now did they fully put it on display.
The Rong Clan was obviously being suppressed by the Zhu Clan’s display of power.
Zhu Yunyan unleashed an overbearing wave of energy as she barked, “Rong Xiangsheng, you are dead for sure!”
The violent aura threatened to swallow up everything.
Rong Xiangsheng, however, continued to laugh.
The Umbral Sands formed a shield that defended them from the Rong Clan’s attack as Rong Xiangsheng said, “I know you are very powerful, but did you really think that I would ambush you just to fight a losing battle? Attack!”
Three streaks of white light flew over from the horizon, slamming into Zhu Yunyan, Zhu Yunfan, and Zhu Yunyu.
The white light was as fast as lightning, and white fog began to emerge, mixing with the black light. The black and white light formed a stark contrast, and there was something about that mixture that seemed to exude a sharp killing threat.
“Qian Shuzhong, Qian Shuyong, Qian Shuwen!” Zhu Yunfeng yelled in shock.
The White Deer Qian Clan’s men had appeared.
But weren’t the Qian Clan supposed to be a few days away?
The white-clothed scholar standing at the front was the Qian Clan’s Qian Shuzhong. He chuckled softly, “Fairy Zhu, long time no see. I hope you have been well since we last met.”
Zhu Yunyan said, “Qian Shuzhong, are you the only three from the Qian Clan here?”
Qian Shuzhong said, “The fact that you aren’t surprised to see us here indicates that news has already indeed spread. The Rong Clan Patriarch’s decision to quickly set up a counterattack was indeed correct. A pity, a pity.”
Even as he claimed that it was a pity with his mouth, he began to weave a large cloud of white light with his hands.
The Cloud-Galloping White Deer was best at controlling fog and clouds and fighting in midair. The innate Origin Skills conferred by the bloodline allowed the Qian Clan to soar through the air without expending much excess energy, being born about by the wind. This made them incredibly agile and hard to predict.
As Qian Shuzhong prepared his attack, the howls of countless fierce animals could be heard coming from the cloud of light. Even though they were formed from clouds, each one of them was actually able to manifest a genuine aspect, making them all incredibly powerful.
Zhu Yunyan could only helplessly pull out a golden arrow and fire it off into the air. The boundless cloud of light was actually split open by that arrow, and the animals forming within the clouds disappeared into nothingness.
An instant later, however, the clouds reassembled into the shapes of large eagles and continued to attack.
The Qian Clan’s Thousand Illusions Fog was as powerful as the actual strength of the target it assumed. The more powerful the lifeform was, the stronger the fog would be.
After the Gold-Winged Eagles came Greyflame Tigers, Armor-Piercing Beasts, and all kinds of other vicious Demonic Beasts. They started as low-tier Demonic Beasts, then mid-tier, then high-tier, and eventually even Demonic Lord beasts began to appear, and the golden arrows Zhu Yunyan was firing off became less and less effective.
Once the three experts from the White Deer Qian Clan had appeared, the situation immediately changed. The one-sided battle from earlier once again began to stabilize, and the Rong Clan even gradually began to eke out an advantage.
Zhu Yunyan finally understood what had happened.
Most of the Qian Clan’s forces had yet to arrive, but this didn’t necessarily mean that no one from the Qian Clan was here yet.
The Qian Clan’s three brothers had obviously arrived early, but because they didn’t have the confidence that they could deal with the Zhu Clan even if they combined forces with the Rong Clan, the original plan was to wait for the rest of the Qian Clan’s forces to arrive.
However, Su Chen’s appearance had moved everything ahead of schedule. Rong Xiangsheng was a sly old fox. Since his accounting records had been compromised, he immediately knew that news of this might have leaked. Because Qin Wu was connected to Zhu Xianling’s consciousness, he had sent Qin Wu away as soon as he was able to confirm that news had indeed been leaked. This was to draw his opponents into attacking, as well as to set up a trap that could turn their disadvantage into an advantage, allowing them to strike at their opponents before they had a chance to respond.
Unfortunately, they hadn’t had enough time to prepare, so this trap was somewhat lackluster. The only person who had been harmed was Zhu Yunfan.
However, the most important goal was to draw the Zhu Clan’s elders away from the Zhu residence itself, making it impossible for them to use the Zhu Clan’s trump cards. Even if they weren’t able to wipe out the Zhu Clan, they would still deal a heavy blow to them under such circumstances.
This was a tactic they had come up with precisely because there was nothing else they could do.
Even as the two sides fought bitterly, the situation reached a stalemate. Zhu Yunyan was incredibly anxious.
Even though the Zhu Clan did possess trump cards, they were all located around the Zhu residence and were primarily defensive in nature. Given that they had chased all the way out here, it was impossible for them to activate these trump cards, and the Zhu Clan was slowly being worn down by the two clans simultaneously.
Even though the Zhu Clan’s Ancestor hadn’t made a move yet, the Rong Clan still had some tactics up their sleeves as well. The current situation was in a complete deadlock. Wanting to break the balance was going to be quite difficult.
The Rong Clan didn’t like doing this much either. If possible, they would rather have waited for the Qian Clan to fully arrive before attacking. However, since the information had been leaked, they needed to grasp the opportunity. If they allowed the Zhu Clan to prepare appropriately, it would likely have been too late.
Such was the case with most wars. Things would escalate until both parties had no alternative but to fight, losing control of their composure.
The fight between the two sides grew fiercer and fiercer.
Zhu Xianyao and Su Chen hurried onto the scene at this moment.
Zhu Xianyao’s expression was quite ugly when she witnessed all these Spirit Burning Realm cultivators locked in a vicious struggle.
There was no way she could participate in a fight at this level. She could only watch from afar; even attempting to get closer was incredibly difficult.
However, Su Chen was still watching the battle with great interest. His eyes darted back and forth as he closely observed the Origin Energy changes taking place at the interface between the air and the fighters’ palms.
Opportunities to watch powerful experts fight were few and far between, especially battles where more than ten Spirit Burning Realm cultivators were entangled with one another.
Su Chen’s microscopic eye had also grown stronger due to his repeated use of it throughout the years, and observing Origin Energy movements and state changes was a simple feat. The whole world was laid bare before his eyes, and he was delighted to have the opportunity to witness such a spectacle.
Zhu Xianyao pulled at him when she saw him watching so intently and said, “Su Chen, can you go and help my mother?”
Su Chen shook his head. “In a fight of this level, I could probably only take the pressure off of her for a moment.”
If the opponent were a normal Spirit Burning Realm cultivator, Su Chen would probably have been able to at least defend himself.
However, the group of cultivators before him were all Demonic Emperor Bloodline-possessing Spirit Burning Realm cultivators, making them far stronger than your average Spirit Burning Realm cultivator.
Back in the day, Uncle Eleven had managed to sweep the Six Great Clans single-handedly. That alone was proof of the might of a Demonic Emperor Bloodline cultivator.
Even Su Chen had no way of jumping realms like that.
Zhu Xianyao was greatly disappointed when she heard that.
“However, I might not need to make a move myself in order to end this battle...... If possible, I would like to win without fighting at all,” Su Chen said as he rubbed his chin.
Zhu Xianyao was stunned. “What do you mean?”
Light flickered across his eyes as Su Chen continued to observe the ongoing battle. “Based on their use of Origin Energy, it seems that the Rong Clan could not possibly have broken the Zhu Clan’s control over Qin Wu. The three Qian Clan newcomers also don’t appear to have a bloodline that gives them a powerful consciousness. So who was the one to nullify Zhu Xianling’s control over Qin Wu? And how were they able to do it without the master, Zhu Xianling, noticing? There’s no way the technique involved was simple. Also, if there is another expert helping the Rong Clan, why has he not shown his face yet? Is he not present? Or is it not appropriate for him to show his face...... not appropriate to show his face...... an answer that not even a Demonic Lord-level sacrifice could procure...... could it be......?”
As Su Chen pondered the situation, his eyes began to glow.
Zhu Xianyao knew that he had probably discovered something. “What have you come up with?”
Su Chen, however, replied, “I cannot say for sure yet, but I want to try and make another sacrifice.”
As Su Chen spoke, he pulled out the Origin Bone Scepter yet again.
He put on the exact same sacrifice as before, only this time one big variable had been taken out of the equation. As such, the pool of possible outcomes had shrunk considerably.
An image appeared above the altar.
Su Chen visibly tensed when he saw what was in the image. He began to howl loudly, “How audacious, Rong Clan! You dare collude with a foreign race and betray humanity!?”