A few words weren’t going to convince Panyuan and Yuxian.
The former smiled coolly. “We can’t accept your claims as evidence alone. If you’d like to win us over, shouldn’t you give us a token of your sincerity?”
“Hmph!” Divine Kasyapa harrumphed. “Don’t try to put on airs before me, Panyuan. We both know how strong each other is. My friend and I have been a bit down on our luck as of late, but not so much that we need to beg. We shook off the sacred lands’ main force this far, haven’t we? There’s no question that we can survive until we meet Master Lightford again. You, on the other hand, heh… the sacred lands’ main force is about to arrive on Radiance’s doorstep. I wish you the best of luck!”
This was part of Jiang Chen’s strategy. They couldn’t stoop too low, because to do so would reveal flaws.
According to Yu Gong, the gods sent to Sandplain were slightly stronger than the gods sent to the sacred lands. Because that was the case, there was no reason for them to bow and scrape before their peers.
Yu Gong pretended to be offended. “Let’s go. Why waste our words here? We can go just about anywhere. Deal with the sacred lands’ attack yourself. They’ll be here soon.”
Kasyapa and Yu Gong put on a quite convincing show.
Panyuan laughed. “There’s no reason to be angry, my fellow daoists! We all work in service to Master Lightford. That we’re cautious in this sensitive time should come as no surprise. Forgive our bluntness.”
“Hmph! Are you mocking our failure?” Divine Kasyapa flared up, his tone instantly becoming hostile.
“Hehe, not at all, not at all. Don’t be so paranoid! I hear that the sacred lands had some extraordinary help. It’s not your fault.”
“Enough talk. Are you going to let us in or not? If not, we can leave right now. Master Lightford has exited from closed door cultivation, hasn’t he? He’s marshaling his forces right now. We’ll just go join him instead.”
Yuxian, who’d been silent until now, spoke up. “Friends, as long as you swear that you haven’t joined the ten sacred lands, we’ll let you in. It’ll be good to have your help in the war effort against them.”
“Swear?” Divine Kasyapa roared with laughter. “What right do you have to ask us that? Make no mistake, we’re not beggars asking for a home.”
“Please don’t misunderstand. We only seek to avoid any unfortunate mishaps. It’s not at all our intention to mean that you’re asking for a place to stay. Master Lightford is the only one who can accept any of us,” Panyuan hurriedly explained.
Kasyapa harrumphed, then pretended to think for a moment.
“For the sake of Master Lightford, I’ll swear it. If I, Han, have joined the ten sacred lands, let heaven smite me with thunderbolts!” The cultivator Kasyapa was disguised and had the surname Han.
In truth, even An Kasyapa himself hadn’t joined the sacred lands. He was merely Jiang Chen’s grandfather-in-law and customary ally. Moreover, he was using an identity not his own to swear. An oath like this wouldn’t have any effect.
Yuxian and Panyuan were reasonably assured by the severity of the oath. Cultivators, and gods especially, forbore breaking oaths to heavenly forces.
If such an oath was broken, heaven itself would rain judgment down upon the fool in question.
There was no reason for them to suspect that anything was awry. Their eyes moved toward Yu Gong.
Yu Gong glared angrily back. “What? Isn’t one oath enough? You want the both of us to swear, when we’ve come together all this way? The sacred lands’ main force is right behind, yet you’re wasting time here. Do you think we’re easy to bully?”
Panyuan and Yuxian traded a look.
Yes, the disguised Yu Gong had a point. They saw affirmation in each other’s eyes and nodded in consensus.
“Come on in, fellow daoists.” The formation opened, allowing Panyuan and Yuxian to emerge to greet their comrades. However, they expressed wariness by keeping a certain distance.
Divine Kasyapa snorted. “If we’re not welcome here or you’re afraid we’ll supplant you, just say so. There’s no need to be like this.”
“Ah, no, that’s not what we mean. We simply don’t want to let Master Lightford down, especially after his message for us to secure the premises here,” Panyuan explained.
“Please, after you!” Yuxian signaled for them to head in first.
The gesture implied the two gods’ unwillingness to turn their backs on these two supposed reinforcements.
However, Kasyapa and Yu Gong were actually quite happy about this outcome. When they approached the edge of the formation, the two suddenly stopped.
“Hmm? Why aren’t you going in?” Panyuan’s voice was humorless.
Divine Kasyapa turned around with a sinister snicker. “You know, now that I think about it… you two were repeatedly questioning our loyalty earlier, and now you want to stay at our backs. How are we supposed to know that you haven’t joined the ten sacred lands? Maybe you’re looking to ambush us, eh?”
The guilty was accusing the innocent.
Yuxian laughed angrily. “You two are a bit confused after being chased for so long, hmm? We came to conquer Radiance on the master’s orders. After taking a few days to do so, we’ve stayed here ever since. The ten sacred lands’ people have never come here. You think the ants left to guard this place have anything to offer that could win us over?”
“Not necessarily,” Kasyapa chuckled. “Who knows how loyal you are to Master Lightford?”
“Do you intend to be so contentious, fellow daoist?” Panyuan grew cold.
“Absurd! You were the ones who wanted us to swear an oath, so you should do that yourself too.” Divine Kasyapa intentionally pursued that point.
He was delaying for Jiang Chen and the others to arrive, that they might perform a two-pronged attack.
He and Yu Gong were blocking the two gods’ way back into the defensive formation. If Jiang Chen and his two divine sacred beasts attacked from the other side, these two were dead for sure!
Panyuan frowned, opening his mouth to refute this when his eyes suddenly focused. “Not good, Daoist Yuxian!” he blurted out. “Something’s up with these two!”
“Why do you say that?” Yuxian’s heart sank. He knew his companion’s penchant for being cautious. There had to be a reason behind the statement.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
My other novel, Return of the Swallow, hits 400 chapters! Endless scheming, politicking, and face-slapping with no filler, check it out for a giveaway!