Chapter 50: Another Layer of Shadow

Now that it was clear what had happened, the outraged Tong Hao sped off in the direction in which the Ghost sect disciple had fled.

“Dammit! There’s only one of him, yet he dared to act so brazenly! Let’s chase him down and kill him to avenge Huang Ye!”

It seemed the two trial takers standing next to him had been close with Huang Ye. Filled with grief, they followed along after Tong Hao.

“Don’t chase him!” An Ying cried. “Get back here, all of you!”

Tong Hao turned around, and for the first time, talked back to An Ying. “Why? Huang Ye was just cut down right in front of us. Are we really going to sit back and do nothing?!”

“You won’t be able to catch up,” Pan Tao interjected. “The Ghost sect disciples are experts in escaping and hiding. They can travel like ghosts. Even if An Ying and I were to chase after him, we wouldn’t be able catch him, let alone you guys.”

Frustrated, An Ying said “First things first. Let’s give Huang Ye a proper burial.”

Only by disguising himself with the robes of the Grayvale sect did the Ghost sect disciple successfully deceive them all.

If it weren’t for Nie Tian, who had memorized the faces of everyone from the Grayvale sect, and thus immediately attacked the murderous imposter, two people would have been killed instead of just one.

As the leader, An Ying’s failure to notice something peculiar about the situation directly led to Huang Ye’s death, hence she blamed herself.

“Listen to her,” Pan Tao urged Tong Hao and the other two. “Focus on burying Huang Ye, not on rushing off carelessly. You don’t know the Ghost sect well enough. If you were to chase after him and get separated from us, I fear that...”

Apparently, he didn’t want Tong Hao and the other two to follow Huang Ye into death.

Nie Tian, face grim but calm, looked off in the direction the Ghost sect disciple had appeared from. “The people from the Grayvale sect were probably killed over there,” he said, “where that young man came from.”

“I suppose so,” replied Pan Tao. “He was wearing the Grayvale sect’s robes.”

“How about we go take a look?” Nie Tian proposed.

Pan Tao’s expression flickered, and then he nodded. Looking at An Ying, he said, “Nie Tian and I will go take a look. Whatever we find, we’ll head back soon. There probably aren’t any more disciples from the Ghost sect in the vicinity. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have attacked us alone.”

An Ying pondered the situation for a moment before saying, “Alright. But be careful!”

“Okay, we won’t go too far,” Pan Tao promised.

After that, both of them left the group and headed in the direction that the Ghost sect disciple had come from.

Immediately after they left, Jiang Miao said, “Nie Tian... is actually quite nice. At first we all thought he didn’t care about anything but eating, but he managed to detect the smallest anomalies when the crucial moment arrived. Without him, we probably would have been killed back when we encountered the Lurker Lizard.”

Then she looked over at Guo Qi. “And he just saved Guo Qi’s life.”

Guo Qi bowed his head in embarrassment and said, “It was my bad. I wronged him.”

“Nie Tian...” An Ying muttered and nodded. “His perception is indeed better than all of ours. This is undeniable. If it weren’t for his warning, that Ghost sect disciple could have killed one or two more of us.”

“It seems it was the right decision to not give him to the Grayvale sect,” said Jiang Miao. “He has truly helped us.”

The rest of them all had a shameful look on their faces. It appeared only then did they have a fair opinion of Nie Tian.

Even as they discussed Nie Tian, he was carefully searching the area where the Ghost sect disciple had come from.

Because the Ghost sect disciple deliberately created the false impression that he had been blood-soaked from a fierce battle, his wild charge toward An Ying’s group left a lot of fresh blood on the ground.

By tracking that blood, Nie Tian and Pan Tao effortlessly found the place where the battle had taken place.

The battlefield was in a snowy valley, about five hundred meters away from the location of the rest of the group. Within that valley lay two trial takers from the Grayvale sect, who had clearly died tragic deaths.

One of them was a young woman around fourteen or fifteen years old, who was completely naked.

As soon as Pan Tao laid eyes on the scene, his face turned very grim and cold. “She must have been raped by that Ghost sect disciple before she was killed.”

A dour gleam could be seen in Nie Tian’s eyes as he averted his gaze. “These guys from the Ghost sect all deserve to die!”

“Their thumbs have also been chopped off. It’s clearly the Ghost sect people’s doing.” Pan Tao sighed and went forward, digging out a pit in the ice and burying the two corpses.

After finishing the job silently, Pan Tao frowned and said, “There were a total of ten people from the Grayvale sect who entered the Green Illusion dimension, but according to what we’ve seen, four of them have already died. There may even be more casualties, people we haven’t come across yet. The Grayvale sect has suffered some serious losses. I wonder if Yuan Feng is dead or not.”

After a momentary hesitation, Nie Tian said, “One Ghost sect disciple showed up in the glacier area, and that means the rest of them are also here. In my opinion, we need to join forces with people from the Mystic Mist sect and the Cloudsoaring sect, and deal with the Ghost sect disciples together. We have no idea how many of them are wandering in the glacier area.”

Pan Tao also agreed to his suggestion. “You’re right. Now that the Ghost sect has appeared, the mission of killing the second grade spirit beasts is no longer a priority. Let’s go back, tell An Ying what we’ve found, and get out of the glacier area as soon as possible. Along the way, we can think of a way to join forces with people from the Mystic Mist sect and the Cloudsoaring sect.”

“That would be the best choice.”

Having reached an agreement, the two of them went back the way they had come, and soon got back to where An Ying and the rest were.

“Any findings?” Zheng Rui asked urgently.

“We’ve found two more dead bodies in a snowy valley. ” Pan Tao said to An Ying with a grim face, “Those two suffered even more miserable deaths, and I’ll spare you the details. Nie Tian and I have talked. We agree that it isn’t safe to remain in the glacier area, considering we don’t know how many of them are here.”

An Ying nodded her head. “You want to join forces with people from the Mystic Mist sect and the Cloudsoaring sect, right? We had a discussion while you two were gone, and we’ve made the same decision.”

“Everybody, prepare yourselves. We’re going to pass through the glacier area and proceed to the desert, where the Lurker Lizard should be.”

“The Mystic Mist sect and Cloudsoaring sect disciples probably have no idea that the Lurker Lizard showed up in the glacier region, and would have gone to the desert to kill it. That’s where we’ll find them.”

Everyone instantly chimed in with her. “Alright!”

The deaths of Huang Ye and the other four trial takers from the Grayvale sect had made them harbor great fear towards the Ghost sect disciples.

None of them knew how many of them were in the area, but they knew that if they were unlucky enough to run into a large group of them, they could all be slaughtered.

The wisest decision of all was definitely to join forces with the other three sects, and fight the Ghost sect together.

“Let’s move.” An Ying ordered, her disposition somewhat downcast.

From that point on, the group didn’t dare to split up. Sticking closely together, they walked in the direction that An Ying had pointed out, which headed directly towards the desert.

Walking in the lead position of the group, Zheng Rui was the first to locate the corpse of a young woman, who had been impaled to an ice tree with a long spear. “There’s another dead body over there! It’s another Grayvale sect disciple!”

She was also stripped of all clothes, and the fact that she was frozen and covered in a thin layer of ice indicated that she must have died some time ago.

Shockingly, dried up blood could be seen around her pubic region.

Her eyes were wide open, her face full of fear and desperation; anyone would be able to tell at a glance what had happened to her before she died.

“Goddamn Ghost sect!” Jiang Miao cursed with a trembling voice. “They should all die! Die a thousand times!”

The other girls in the group also looked at the ice-cold body, shivering from either anger or fear.

“Bury her properly,” An Ying said with a grim face and gritted teeth, “then we march on. We can’t stay here for long, but I assure you, we’ll be back! When we do, we’ll avenge her and slaughter all the Ghost sect disciples!”

Pan Tao remained silent while he buried the girl.

After that, they continued marching towards the desert, with no one in the mood to talk anymore.

Nie Tian could feel their deep-rooted hatred towards the Ghost sect, and knew that they would sooner or later vent it all out by offering the blood of those Ghost sect disciples to memorialize those who had died tragically .

After an unknown period of time, they finally passed through the glacier area and entered the scorching hot desert.

The two areas were both part of the Green Illusion dimension, and not far from each other. However, they were as different as heaven and earth.

The moment the trial takers arrived in the desert, they started to trickle with sweat. It felt like the sandy ground under their feet was baking them.

They only traveled for a short while before Pan Tao yelled, “There’s a dead body over there!”

Nie Tian ran forward and saw a young man in the robes of the Cloudsoaring sect lying on a sand dune, completely dried up.

There didn’t seem to be even a single drop of blood left inside his body. He was completely drained, like a desiccated corpse.

“This... this is...!” After bending over to examine the body, Pan Tao turned back violently, looking An Ying in the eye. “The Blood sect! This is the work of the Blood sect!”

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