Long Chen had only been rushing for an incense stick’s worth of time, and Pill Yang City was not yet in view, when he saw a group of people up ahead.
“Long Chen, are you alright?”
The people who had come were actually Fang Mingyuan and Chai Gaoyang. The two of them were leading a dozen Sea Expansion experts.
“Haha, I’m fine. I just suffered some minor injuries. Looking at your state, it seems everything went smoothly?” Long Chen smiled.
Fang Mingyuan said, “It went extremely well. That old fellow Huo Changsheng felt too secure in his position, thinking the Huo family was still the same Huo family of the past.
“Over many years, we’ve established secret alliances with quite a few sects, and we’ve even bought some of the members of the Huo family. With our coordination from inside and outside, the Huo family was completely destroyed. Out of their three thousand members, not one managed to escape.”
Hearing that the Huo family had been completely destroyed, Long Chen frowned slightly. Although the Huo family was trash, he still felt a bit unwell to hear that the women and children had also been killed.
“Did you end up encountering Huo Wufang?” asked Fang Mingyuan.
“He ran. I ended up killing a few of his Celestials, and the others got too scared to fight. I couldn’t catch up to them, and I was worried about what was happening, so I returned,” said Long Chen.
Long Chen didn’t want to expose too much of what had happened with Huo Wufang. Furthermore, he had a bad feeling for some reason. Perhaps it was because he felt uncomfortable with the Huo family being exterminated to the last man.
“It’s fine if he got away. We’ll chase. Without the Huo family’s support, he’s just a random dog.” Chai Gaoyang smiled and walked up to Long Chen. He patted him on the shoulder. “Long Chen, it’s all thanks to you.”
“Senior is too courteous. In truth-”
Long Chen suddenly felt a burst of pain from his chest. He saw a black thorn sticking out from it. Space suddenly trembled and the surroundings changed. Long Chen found himself in a barren land.
Chai Gaoyang, who had previously been talking so amicably to him, now had a slightly cold expression. As for Fang Mingyuan, he retreated a bit, staring closely at Long Chen.
The other Sea Expansion experts also took out their weapons and surrounded Long Chen.
Long Chen looked down at the thorn through his chest. Although he hadn’t seen where it had come from, based on the angle, it seemed like it had been Fang Mingyuan who had shot him.
This arrow was clearly poisoned. It was a kind of mixed poison, one with practically no cure. Furthermore, this poison was extremely fast-acting. Before you could even figure out what poisons were part of this mixture, you would already be dead.
Long Chen slowly raised his head to look at Fang Mingyuan. He sighed, “Can you tell me why you did this?”
A slightly guilty expression appeared on Fang Mingyuan’s face. “Long Chen, don’t blame us for being heartless. We did this for our families.”
“You want my Earth Flame?” Long Chen looked up at the stars. It was difficult to say what expression he had right now.
“Correct. Earth Flames are treasures of heaven and earth. There’s not a single alchemist that wouldn’t long for one. During the finals, despite how critical that moment was, you still chose not to use your Earth Flame. My guess is that your Earth Flame hasn’t matured, and you are unable to connect with it, so you can’t use it for alchemy.
“So, after thinking about it over and over, we decided we had to steal your Earth Flame. If we waited too long, your Earth Flame would mature and become harder to subdue. This is an extremely rare opportunity for us,” said Fang Mingyuan.
Long Chen bitterly smiled, shaking his head. “As expected, old ginger is hotter than young ginger. Looks like I’m still too naive. Then let me ask you, did Fang Chang and Chai Liehuo know about this matter?”
Fang Mingyuan shook his head. “They didn’t know. Otherwise, there would have been no way for us to complete this trap.”
Long Chen nodded. “That really is very comforting to me. If they had also betrayed me, I’d be very hurt. Thank you for telling me.”
“Long Chen, we were also forced. We had no choice,” said Fang Mingyuan with a complicated expression.
“You were forced? Haha, don’t find excuses for yourselves. Not even a child would believe such a lie. You know, normally I rely on my intuition when interacting with others. My intuition has never lied to me. But this time, I didn’t go with my intuition. Instead, I went with my calculations. I thought that people who could raise Fang Chang and Chai Liehuo had to be open and straightforward.
“Turns out, I was wrong, and very wrong. Do you know? I, Long Chen, have gone through countless life and death battles. I’m not afraid of death. What I’m afraid of is betrayal. I can accept anything, but I can’t accept betrayal. Now let me ask you, do you still want to take my Earth Flame?”
Long Chen’s voice was quiet and very calm, but it was trembling slightly, showing how complicated his current emotions were.
“Long Chen, saying this now has no meaning. Today, you’ll definitely die. Due to how much help you gave us, we’ll allow you to kill yourself and keep your corpse intact,” said Chai Gaoyang coldly.
Suddenly, Long Chen grabbed the thorn piercing into his chest and pulled it out. This metallic thorn was covered in barbs that pulled out Long Chen’s flesh. That flesh was already starting to corrode. The poison was terrifyingly toxic.
Long Chen threw the thorn to the ground. “In truth, there are a few things we should discuss while we can. The first matter involves the fact that when the Huo family attacked the Fang family, no experts appeared to defend. That simply didn’t make any sense, and I felt it was extremely strange. But back then, I told myself that the Fang family’s experts had to be gathering in secret or perhaps setting up some formation.
“But as soon as I led those Celestials away, the experts appeared. This is something I was aware of, but I still chose to trust Fang Chang and Chai Liehuo. They are my brothers, and I refused to believe they would betray me.
“If my guess is right, at that time, your people were actually split into two groups. Your main force must have secretly attacked the Huo family at the same time as the Huo family attacked the Fang family. This is why the only people to come after me were Celestials, and not Sea Expansion experts. Because at that time, the Huo family’s experts had to return to defend.”
Fang Mingyuan nodded. “You are right. My calculation was that you would have misgivings about the lives of the innocent, and you would intentionally lead the enemies away. Because you are Long Chen, you are known for not slaughtering the innocent, and you also don’t like implicating others.
“And my guess was right. My Fang family only left behind two Sea Expansion experts to defend. Once you led the experts away, they immediately cleaned up the leftovers.
“As for the two of us, we led our elites, as well as some experts from various sects that joined our side, to attack the Huo family. As a result, the Huo family was practically instantly exterminated. In just two hours, they were all dead.
“According to my original plan, with your strength, even if you couldn’t defeat the ones you drew away, you should still be able to flee. My guess was that you would endure long enough for us to arrive. I just didn’t expect you to be even stronger than what I guessed. You actually managed to drive them away,” said Fang Mingyuan. Long Chen’s combat strength was truly terrifying.
On his own, fighting against ten Celestials, he had still managed to force them to flee miserably. That was truly hard to believe. These Sea Expansion experts were all shocked.
“That was the first matter. The second matter is that I lied before. Those experts didn’t run, because they couldn’t run. They’re all dead,” said Long Chen.
Fang Mingyuan and the others were all startled. Dead? All of them? Impossible! With that many Celestials, even if they couldn’t kill him, they should have been able to run.
“The third matter is that the skeleton Huo Wufang merged with was special, and he is now a rank two Celestial,” continued Long Chen.
“Nonsense! If he was rank two Celestial, how could you still be alive!?” roared Chai Gaoyang.
A rank two Celestial was a terrifying existence. At the Xiantian realm, they could match a late Sea Expansion expert.
“I’m alive, so he’s obviously dead,” said Long Chen.
Long Chen shrugged. “It’s up to you if you want to believe me. Now it’s time for the fourth matter. This is also the last matter.
“I have to say goodbye to you all. In the other world, you can continue to fight Huo Changsheng. I hope you’ll still be the winners at that time.”
Fang Mingyuan and the others were surprised. More and more, they were unable to comprehend what Long Chen was saying. At the same time, a bad feeling rose in their hearts.
“His… his injury!”
Suddenly, someone pointed at Long Chen’s chest. At some unknown point, the wound had completely healed without leaving the slightest scar.
In truth, Long Chen had been taking advantage of this time to circulate the primal chaos bead. Endless life energy had erased the poison.
But this poison had truly been terrifying. Long Chen had almost exhausted all the life energy in the primal chaos space before recovering. But despite that, he had achieved his goal.
“Attack!” ordered Fang Mingyuan. Blazing flames erupted from his body, and a flame blade appeared in his hands. He was the first to attack Long Chen.
As soon as he attacked, he used his full strength. Long Chen gave him a strange feeling of terror. Despite being a late Sea Expansion expert, he didn’t dare to be careless.
A huge divine ring appeared behind Long Chen. A terrifying pressure descended and suddenly a cold light slashed forth.
“Split the Heavens!”
The blade Long Chen was using wasn’t Blooddrinker. It was something he had taken from a Corrupt expert.
As soon as he attacked, there were eight Sea Expansion experts that didn’t even have time to react. They were directly blown apart by Long Chen’s attack.
Fang Mingyuan and the others’ hearts shook. They finally believed Long Chen’s words. But now it was too late. Long Chen had suddenly soared into the air, both hands holding his saber.
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