Chapter 482: The Deal

“Surrender?” Zu An snorted. “That word doesn’t exist in my dictionary.”

Qiu Honglei wasn’t upset by this, but continued, “Don’t be in such a hurry to refuse. Take a look at the situation for yourself. Even if we keep fighting, there’s no way you can defeat us. Then again, say you reveal all your trump cards and somehow manage to escape on your own, there’s no way the rest of them will be able to do the same.”

Zu An clearly saw the danger that the rest of his group was in. The members of the Solitary Eight were all at the peak of the sixth rank, and some of them had even reached the seventh rank.

Pei Mianman was only at the sixth rank, while Zheng Dan was at the peak of fifth rank. They had been wounded in the previous battles as well, which made it difficult for them to continue fighting these higher-ranked experts.

If not for Pei Mianman’s extraordinary flames, the two of them would have been captured a long time ago.

Even so, they were in a very tight spot.

As for the Sang family, they were in an even worse state. They were just barely holding on, thanks to the seriously-wounded Sang Hong. When it came to Sang Qian and Sang Qien, their actual fighting strengths were considerably weaker than both Pei Mianman’s and Zheng Dan’s.

When it came to him, he knew that he was barely holding on against the metal, wind, and ice cultivators, let alone finding a chance to retaliate.

Sigh, if I had known that this was going to happen, I would have asked Yun Yuqing to stay a little longer. The situation would be much easier to deal with if she were still here.

However, he quickly dispelled this thought. After all, there were just too many people pursuing him. Yun Yuqing had already saved him once.—was he supposed to rely on her to save him for the rest of his life?

Noticing his silence, Qiu Honglei continued, “You don’t need to be too worried about surrendering either. We won’t harm you. You should be able to tell from what had gone on earlier that all of them were holding back.”

Zu An snorted. “Isn’t it just because they want me to hand over the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra to your sect master?”

Qiu Honglei smiled. “I won’t refute that. Then again, everyone in the world is looking for you right now, not just our sect master. However, our holy sect is different from the other powers. The other powers will surely torture you for the technique, then kill you to silence you. However, our sect master has always treasured those with talents. He wants to gather all like-minded people to his side. If you prove yourself capable, you’ll definitely have a promising future in our holy sect.”

Zu An frowned. “But I still need to offer up the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra to your sect master first.”

Qiu Honglei looked at him calmly, then said, “Ah Zu, you must understand that holding onto a treasured item will only get you into trouble, unless you possess enough strength to deal with all other powers. However, you clearly do not possess the necessary level of strength right now. Our sect master can shelter you and ensure your survival. That is the best I can offer you.”

Zu An understood what she was trying to say. His current situation seemed like one of absolute despair, and that made her conditions extremely favorable. After all, his life was surely forfeit if he were captured by any other power.

If it wasn’t for his good relationship with Qiu Honglei, he would probably wind up dead even if he fell into the hands of the Devil Sect.

It didn’t seem appropriate for him to refuse such conditions.

“Thank you, Lady Qiu. Even though you did not mention it explicitly, I know just how much you’ve done for me.” Zu An clasped his fist. Unfortunately, he had his own plans, and he harbored no illusions that the sect master of the Devil Sect would actually allow him to leave.

Qiu Honglei snorted lightly. “As long as you know.” The other three girls were completely stunned by the playful tone in her voice. She seemed to realize that her behavior was a little strange as well. With a light cough, she let her smile fade. “Does that mean you agree?”

Zu An shook his head. “I’ve already become accustomed to living a free life. I really do not wish to serve under another.”

Qiu Honglei’s expression turned chilly. She turned around and gave the order to the Solitary Eight. “Kill them all!”

Her sudden icy display made everyone realize that she wasn’t that endlessly-charming Immortal Abode courtesan queen, but rather the Lady Saint of the Devil Sect who murdered others without batting an eyelid.

“Understood!” The metal and ice cultivators were already gritting their teeth in anger. Now that they had been given the order they craved, they rushed forward with malicious smiles.

Zu An was just too hateful, but they couldn’t do anything to him because of the sect master’s orders and the lady saint’s protection. However, they could vent their anger by killing his friends.

Sang Qian immediately panicked when he saw these three coming towards them. They were already in a terrible situation, and they were now being driven further along the path towards certain death.

He never expected that the goddess he used to be so fond of would be so quick to kill! It was as if he was nothing more than another commoner in her eyes. He felt hurt, disappointed, and scared. He also felt extreme anger towards Zu An.

“Zu An, this is all your fault!”

You have successfully trolled Sang Qian for 1024 Rage points!

Zu An couldn’t be bothered to spare him another glance. He was most worried for the safety of both Pei Mianman and Zheng Dan. He instinctively tried to rush over to aid them, but he was stopped by Qiu Honglei.

“You’ll have to get past me first if you want to go there.” Qiu Honglei stood in his way and calmly raised her lantern.

Zu An’s head began to ache. Qiu Honglei was an extremely mysterious person, and her cultivation was around the fifth rank, perhaps almost reaching the sixth rank. There was her mysterious lantern as well. Getting past her would be no easy task.

He knew that Pei Mianman and Zheng Dan were both injured. He didn’t dare hesitate any longer. He immediately said, “Fine, I agree. I’ll go with you, but let them go.”

“That’s more like it.” A smile cut through Qiu Honglei’s frosty expression. It seemed to melt through all the iciness in an instant.

Whatever small amount of anger Zu An had felt also vanished in smoke when he saw the beautiful, smiling woman in front of him. Sigh, I guess I’m still a sucker for appearances.

Qiu Honglei turned around and gave the order for the Solitary Eight to let Pei Mianman and the others go. However, the lightning cultivator frowned and said, “Lady Saint, these people will reveal information on Zu An and the whereabouts of our sect if we let them go. This will cause more trouble for us.”

The ice cultivator was quick to agree. “Indeed! If we don’t silence them, there will soon be countless cultivators coming after our holy sect!”

The other members of the Solitary Eight nodded their heads one after another. None of them agreed with letting these people go. After all, they were the ones with the advantage right now. There was no reason to let them go.

Qiu Honglei was troubled as well. She knew that eliminating these witnesses was the sensible choice. However, from an emotional standpoint, she had just promised Zu An not to do so, and those two girls looked important to him as well. If she really killed them, it might cause irreparable damage to her relationship with Zu An.

Zu An immediately placed a blade against his own neck when he saw her hesitation. “If you all dare touch them, I will kill myself immediately. Let’s see how you explain things to your sect master then!”

“Ah Zu!” Both Pei Mianman and Zheng Dan panicked when they saw this. Unfortunately, the lightning cultivator stopped them from rushing over to him.

Qiu Honglei wanted to stop him, but Zu An quickly backed away. “Don’t try to take my sword. Even if I can’t defeat you, I still have the ability to choose death on my own.”

“I refuse to believe that the brat will end his own life,” the ice cultivator said.

“Shut up!” Qiu Honglei glared at him. Even though she knew Zu An well and didn’t think that he would kill himself, she couldn’t take such a risk. Besides, she had a good enough reason to counter any objections, so there was no need to go to such extremes.

She said in a firm voice, “Our mission is to bring Zu An back with us. Nothing else is more important. Release them!”

The Solitary Eight looked at each other in dismay. Even though they were all stronger than Qiu Honglei, she enjoyed a special status, and she was also the sect master’s disciple. They couldn’t afford to offend her.

They also had no desire to face the sect master’s wrath if something really did happen to Zu An.

As such, even the lightning and ice cultivators, who had voiced the strongest objections, did not press the issue. They both gestured for Pei Mianman and the others to leave.

Sang Qian felt as if he had been granted a great amnesty. He took off immediately, carrying his father on his back. Sang Qien was slightly more hesitant. She turned back to look several times, but she said nothing in the end.

“Ah Zu!” Pei Mianman and Zheng Dan clearly weren’t willing to see Zu An taken away by the Devil Sect. They both cried out and tried to rush over to him.

Zu An stopped them. “Stay away. You guys can’t save me, even if you stay behind and give up your own lives. Don’t let my sacrifice be meaningless.”

Seeing that they were about to say something further, he sent them a voice transmission via ki. “You silly lasses, can’t you run off first, find some help, and then rescue me later?”

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