The cultivators sealed in the airboats were let out. When they noticed they were out of Sandplain, their expressions were incredulous.
They had been just as anxious and desperate as the sacred land members on the outside.
Many thought they were truly done for, but the doors of the airboats slid open to reveal perfect safety. They felt lucky to be alive.
“Fellow daoists,” the Eternal forefather said, “we had very valid reasons for asking you to enter these airboats earlier. Reality has shown our decision to be correct.”
“Yes, yes, we were the blind ones. Please forgive us our indiscretion, oh great leader!”
“The ten sacred lands lead the way for us short-sighted ones. We shouldn’t have suspected you of stooping to our level.”
These people began to criticize themselves, but the Eternal forefather would have none of it.
“Enough. I don’t want to hear your hot air. I hope you’ve seen for yourselves Myriad Abyss’ current condition. What we need is unity and trust, and today was a learning experience for that. We not only need everyone to contribute, but for us all to contribute towards the same goal.”
“Yes, sir. We won’t say anything more. From this day onward, the Eternal Sacred Land will always have our support and loyalty!”
Before the sycophants could finish fawning over him, the Eternal forefather sobered his tone. “Unfortunately, some harmed rather than helped us back on Sandplain. To this end, they were willing to work with outside enemies. What do you all think should be the fate of these traitors?”
Now that they were no longer stuck on Sandplain, it was time to bring past wrongs to account.
The forefather quickly responded to the worry that some began to show.
“There’s no need for concern. We aren’t going to be indiscriminate in our punishment. We won’t shed innocent blood without proof. However, any traitors found will have to either cooperate or be severely punished.”
In Myriad Abyss, traitors typically met a fate worse than death. The particularly suspicious people were picked out from the crowds.
They didn’t know what was about to happen to them and accordingly tried to protest their innocence.
The Eternal forefather leered fiercely. “You say you’re innocent? Prove it. We will search your consciousnesses, which will serve as conclusive evidence that you are either legitimate or a scoundrel.”
Some of the people felt their hearts sink immediately. There was no solution to having one’s consciousness searched.
No torture was involved; the search began immediately.
The secret method was difficult to control and could result in utterly destroying the target’s consciousness on the spot. Of course, there was nothing lost in the deaths of these traitors.
“Is this how you persecute your opposition?” Several of the prisoners shouted, paling. “Are the ten sacred lands too petty to allow differing voices?”
“Too petty?” The Eternal forefather chuckled. “If that was the case, the rest of you wouldn’t be here right now. But our magnanimity isn’t reserved for traitors. If you really are innocent, we will give you a commensurate apology. Before that, let us see the truth in your minds!
“We might not be able to root out every single one of you, but you can’t hide your true colors forever.”
Jiang Chen had picked out every single one of the cultivators who’d been arrested. These people had engaged in criminal activities without fail and were sure to reveal quite a bit upon closer examination.
All of the forefathers were capable of searching consciousnesses.
The arrested cultivators whose minds contained incriminating information were paralyzed with shock and fury, then fear and despair. They had ways of preventing their consciousnesses from being searched, but to do so would involve committing suicide in the process.
Otherwise, it was impossible for them to resist the searching of divine forefathers.
The results were shocking.
The Eternal forefather’s face frosted over. He glared at the discovered traitors, sneering. “Weren’t you defending yourselves just now? You’re supposed to be innocent, are you? What else do you have to say for yourselves?”
The traitorous cultivators were ashen. None of them could deny their involvement any longer. Their guilt was plain as day.
“Kill them, kill them!” clamored the crowds.
The Eternal forefather pushed down with both hands to gesture for silence.
“Friends, it’s as easy to kill them as to slaughter a few animals. How are we supposed to find new leads after that though? Who knows where the rest of the enemy’s spies among us are?”
After he said this, the forefather glanced coldly at the known traitors. “I’m giving you a chance to partially redeem yourselves. If you inform us who the mastermind is, perhaps you will be allowed to live. Otherwise… I advise you prepare to die.”
Some faced death bravely, while others immediately became fearful. Not everyone was willing to sacrifice his life for the sake of this unknown master.
A few knelt and bawled, begging for forgiveness.
Others were totally emotionless, having already accepted whatever fate had in store for them.
Even more became strangely joyous. It was as if they’d done something sacred by betraying the ten sacred lands. The last kind of people had obviously been completely brainwashed.
“All of you have just one chance. If you can point out a hidden perpetrator, you will be permitted to live.”
This was both reasonable and cruelly effective.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Actually, here is where I wish the author could've thrown out some numbers. I'm curious just how shocking the results were.