"Somebody must return to deal with Wu Yu before we continue the assault on the 10,000 Swords Formation." Jiang Xie came to this conclusion after a period of deep consideration. He already had something planned.
The attack on the Heavenly Sword Sect could wait a few more days, but rescuing the Zhongyuan Dao Sect could not. Jiang Xie could not fathom allowing the deaths of thousands of his sect’s disciples.
The Ninth Spirit laughed, saying, "Brother Jiang, that is but a simple task. I will send Thunder Seabird while we continue the offensive here."
In truth, Jiang Xie had thought about leaving the job to the Thunder Seabird.
But the Thunder Seabird was a demon!
Through Jiang Xie's numerous dealings with demons in the past, he knew that their kind were the most deceitful.
And of all the demons to be wary of, the greatest was the fox demon.
If things were not settled before the critical battle at the Bipo Mountain Range and the Thunder Seabird were allowed to reach the Zhongyuan Immortal Mountain, the Ninth Spirit may be able to use the thousands of helpless disciples as leverage to bargain for more spoils after the war was over. She might even ask for the entire Bipo Mountain Range!
Demons needed spiritual qi as well.
Jiang Xie was extremely suspicious of the Ninth Spirit. What he was most afraid of was that the Ninth Spirit's true motive was to take control of the Bipo Mountain Range.
Once the Thunder Seabird had the inhabitants of the Zhongyuan Immortal Mountain under his thumb, they would be the handle that the Ninth Spirit would have on Jiang Xie. At that time, he would be subject to the demon's whims.
Since this was the case, Jiang Xie had investigated all the strongest warriors among the demons before the alliance was formed. This was to prevent any of them from successfully launching a secret attack on the Zhongyuan Immortal Mountain, and Jiang Ji was stationed there as an additional safeguard.
Who would've thought that Wu Yu would be the one playing this card.
More importantly, Jiang Xie also knew that the Ninth Spirit's foremost priority was Wu Yu. If he let the Thunder Seabird go in his place, it would be impossible for him to avenge the deaths of Jiang Junlin and the rest of the fallen disciples on the Zhongyuan Immortal Mountain.
Jiang Xie and the Ninth Spirit's joint desire for Wu Yu was a hidden point of contention between the two that would inevitably erupt!
As such, he shook his head in response to the Ninth Spirit's suggestion, saying, "Since this is a matter of my own Zhongyuan Dao Sect, I must resolve it personally."
Predicting his reply, the Ninth Spirit added, "Brother Jiang knows how much Wu Yu means to me, if Brother Jiang insists on ending him, I might just pull out of this war immediately."
This was a thinly veiled threat.
Jiang Xie knew she would say something to that extent and let out a cold chuckle, replying, "Relax, I still need to use him to exchange for my younger brother and first disciple."
Ninth Spirit coyly smiled. "Then I leave Wu Yu in your care this time. Once the Heavenly Sword Sect is no more, I will take him away."
Since Wu Yu had been the cause of the huge tumult on the Zhongyuan Immortal Mountain, she knew that she could not make unfair demands to keep him, especially since their working relationship was currently more fragile than a sheet of parchment.
Jiang Xie secretly updated the present elders of the situation and warned them to be wary of the demons. The team from the Zhongyuan Dao Sect that remained was still rather powerful with a few of their members at the 10th tier of Qi Condensation. They were not afraid that the demons would run amok, since Jiang Xie had built strong relations with the Scarlet Sea's Seven Ghosts. For the time being, the Scarlet Sea's Seven Ghosts were more trustworthy since their territory was located at the East Sea and they would not be vying for territory in this location.
"Brother Tianyi, I leave this place in your care. Wait two days for me."
"Sect Leader Jiang, please be at ease. I will not let these demons do as they please. Our relationship is definitely solid," said Tian Yijun as he nodded earnestly.
"Feng Xueya is an audacious old man, watch out for his tricks while I am away." Jiang Xie finally addressed the congregation. He had made up his mind to quickly return to the Zhongyuan Immortal Mountain and capture Wu Yu to use as a bargaining chip to secure the release of the hostages.
"Brother Jiang, no need to worry. Unless they give up on the 10,000 Swords Formation, how many people can they send out?" announced the Ninth Spirit.
Tian Yijun added, "Go in peace, Sect Leader Jiang. Having exchanged blows with Feng Xueya before in the East Sea, we can safely say that he cannot deal us any real damage. Even with you not present, it would not benefit him to release the 10,000 Swords Formation only to engage in a battle to the death with me."
While Lan Huayi and Feng Xueya were an even match for the Ninth Spirit and the Scarlet Sea's Seven Ghosts, the combined firepower of the other demons and ninth tier Qi Condensation cultivators from the Zhongyuan Dao Sect doubled that of the remaining enemy forces. It would be a definite victory!
"The 10,000 Swords Formation can hold for one more day at most, it is extremely unlikely that they will yield before that. If they do give up, it will only be because we have broken through and commenced the destruction of the Heavenly Sword Sect, haha..."
In truth, while Jiang Xie knew that leaving at this junction carried certain risks, but he had no choice but to take a gamble since the lives of tens of thousands on the Zhongyuan Immortal Mountain was at stake.
He could only rely on the rapport he had built with the Scarlet Sea's Seven Ghosts now. Time was running short.
"Time to go!"
Jiang Xie left in a flash, but waited for two hours not far from the encampment. Upon seeing that nothing was happening even though he was gone, he mounted a crimson calabash and sped towards the direction of the Zhongyuan Immortal Mountain!
That junior was driving Jiang Xie bonkers.
The group of people gathered at the Stone Gate of a Thousand Swords were all focused on the frontline situation. When the assault on the 10,000 Swords Formation suddenly ceased, Feng Xueya knew that Wu Yu had been successful!
They could not hold in their whoops of excitement, but Feng Xueya quickly silenced them.
"Jiang Xie has left," said Lan Huayi concernedly after a few moments.
Elder Shentu said, "He must have returned to the Zhongyuan Immortal Mountain. Should we grasp this opportunity to release the 10,000 Swords Formation and face them head-on?"
Feng Xueya shook his head in slow deliberation, saying, "Jiang Xie is a careful man, he will definitely hang around somewhere close by for a while. Let us wait four hours."
Time flowed by.
Elder Shentu asked, "Sect Leader, do you mean we should prepare to release the 10,000 Swords Formation and gear up for the final battle?"
Feng Xueya looked back, his gaze sweeping across the thousands of young faces full of hot blood and vigor. He shook his head again and said, "The 10,000 Swords Formation is not easy to assemble. Once we release it, we can expect an all out war, and our losses will be immeasurable. Moreover, even with Jiang Xie gone, we do not have a guaranteed chance at victory. If we do achieve victory, it will be at too heavy a cost..."
"What should we do then?"
Feng Xueya's piercing eyes rested upon a single person far off in the distance. That person was the Dark Entropic Lord! The Dark Entropic Lord had quietly kidnapped a female Zhongyuan Dao Sect disciple when nobody was looking and whisked her away to a dark, desolate corner.
"The 10,000 Swords Formation has already been broken down to 20% of its original effectiveness and is almost completely vanquished, but a starving camel is still larger than a horse. The 10,000 Swords Formation is still useful and can keep going for upwards of a month as long as the Dark Entropic Lord is dead!"
What he could not bear to see were the bodies of all these young disciples strewn dead across the ground.
"You want to go in alone, am I right?" Lan Huayi glanced over, wearing a somewhat helpless expression on her face. But she knew that Feng Xueya would not budge, given his temper.
Feng Xueya's lips suddenly curled into a grin as he said, "I have to thank the heavens for bestowing me a disciple such as Wu Yu. This will give me the chance to try out a new technique of mine!"
Sparks of joy bloomed across Lan Huayi's face as she gasped. "You've managed to learn that technique!"
Feng Xueya nodded. "I have not had a breakthrough in ten years, and the recent crisis has thrown my heart into considerable doubt and turmoil. However, the sufferings have finally bore fruit and the heavens have smiled upon me. If not for Wu Yu, I would not have this opportunity today..."
It seemed that only the two of them knew what they were discussing.
Besides them, no one else understood what was going on.
"This is the perfect chance! Night Wishes for Snow." Lan Huayi turned her head and spoke to the disciple. "In a moment, your master will be leaving this place, and you are to take your master's place in the formation. Do you remember everything I have taught you over the past few days?"
Ever since they had started defending the 10,000 Swords Formation, they already had contingencies in place in case something happened. They had passed on the technique for keeping the 10,000 Swords Formation running to a few other elders and Night Wishes for Snow. Although Night Wishes for Snow's level was far from the leaders of the sect, and even further from Feng Xueya, holding the line for around an hour would be no problem since the formation was not under attack and he only had to maintain its current operational level.
"Yes!" Night Wishes for Snow was overjoyed at the knowledge that his respected master would be leaving for the battlefield!
Although, he still did not understand what was going on.
Four hours had passed!
Feng Xueya was almost certain that Jiang Xie was no longer around. With Jiang Xie out of the picture, it would be rather difficult for the coalition to continue their advance into the 10,000 Swords Formation. With the enemies missing a large source of strength, it was his best chance to attack. He knew that he had none other than Wu Yu to thank for this incredible situation.
He would never have thought that the technique that he had prepared to use against both Jiang Xie and the Ninth Spirit in a last ditch deathmatch could be utilized more effectively now.
At this moment, Feng Xueya hopped off the formation and Night Wishes for Snow took his place. As he activated his spiritual power to assume operation of the 10,000 Swords Formation, the formation quavered for a few seconds before settling. While this was rather taxing on Night Wishes for Snow, he definitely did not disappoint!
Feng Xueya hesitated no longer and leapt upon his great golden sword, shooting straight through the 10,000 Swords Formation, which opened up to let him through. In mere moments, Feng Xueya had exited the formation and was already descending upon his enemies' heads!
In truth, the enemy had already sensed it and prepared themselves for an impending skirmish when the 10,000 Swords Formation quavered. However, when all they saw was a lone Feng Xueya, their aggression turned to uncertainty.
In a flash, the Ninth Spirit, the Scarlet Sea's Seven Ghosts, the Dark Entropic Lord, and a few greater demons as strong as the Thunder Seabird rushed to bar Feng Xueya's advance. Tian Yijun in particular had an inkling of what Feng Xueya planned to do. He signaled to the Scarlet Sea's Seven Ghosts to surround the Dark Entropic Lord. He announced to the Ninth Spirit, "Ninth Spirit, he is aiming for Dark Entropic Lord. We will cover Dark Entropic Lord while you deal with him!"
The Ninth Spirit laughed bewitchingly, replying, "It's just a man, there will be no problem if you leave it to me."
Feng Xueya's gaze remained cold and unwavering in the face of such great opposition.
A brisk wind swelled through his long hair, causing it to dance in the wind, a striking image of the arrival of a sword saint. His stoic gaze accentuated the vague beams of golden light radiating from behind him.
The Ninth Spirit sauntered forth, saying, "You must be my Wu Yu's master, aren't you?"
Feng Xueya took a single glance at her, totally unaffected by her charms. Just then, the longsword in his hand began rising slowly, sword qi gradually accumulating and rising around it.
It seemed that he was here for war as a one man army!
The Ninth Spirit was still suspicious of him. She did not believe that Feng Xueya would be so brazen!
At this second, Feng Xueya lifted his sword, pointed it in the direction of the Dark Entropic Lord, and made a light sweeping motion. A moment passed and it seemed like nothing had happened.
"Ah, ha ha..."
Dark Entropic Lord burst into uncontrollable laughter, convinced that Feng Xueya was playing a fool.
The laughter stopped abruptly as his brain splattered onto the ground.
Though the blood had drained from Feng Xueya's face as this single skill had spent almost all his energy, he felt a huge weight lift from his shoulders. Before anyone else could react, he disappeared back into the 10,000 Swords Formation and was gone as quickly as he had arrived.
"Dark Entropic Lord!"
The gathered crowd saw that the Dark Entropic Lord had been reduced into an unrecognizable mess, long gone from this world!
The Ninth Spirit understood that Feng Xueya had exerted almost all his strength and was in a weakened state, thus she dashed after him into the 10,000 Swords Formation. She almost managed to grasp onto Feng Xueya, but upon seeing thousands of swords flying towards her, she had to begrudgingly retreat out of the formation.
"He spent all his power, I was about to kill him! What sort of technique could be so impressive?" the Ninth Spirit marveled silently.
Only Lan Huayi broke into a smile. She knew that this technique originated from that place!
That place was the birthplace of the sword dao!Previous Chapter Next Chapter