Chapter 2264: Battered On All Sides

Ziju Min immediately fell silent. Large quantities of antidote... that was much easier said than done. They did have some thanks to the young lord via An Kasyapa, but the supply was limited.

Jiang Chen had also taught them the way to manufacture it, but refining large batches was beyond their capability and wasn’t a realistic option.

They could provide a part of their current stock, but would it be enough? The answer was a resounding no, especially when the parasite tide had erupted in so many places.

They could bridge a gap or two, but couldn’t fill up every crack.

“Daoist Kasyapa, did you bring enough antidote for all of us to use?” Ziju Min looked at the latter with a rueful smile.

An Kasyapa remained coolly composed. “Of course not. We can only forfeit the surrounding areas, especially those that aren’t of critical importance. The demons hold the upper hand at the moment, while we’re caught on the backfoot. We aren’t in a position to defend all of our territories, so we need to strategically give up some.”

Such a decision wasn’t difficult for an outsider like him.

But Ziju Min was a local. He’d always been a benevolent elder. To give up even a fraction of the divine nation was the same as gouging out his heart. However, he knew full well that the divine nation’s core was the sacred land. As such, its survival was of utmost importance.

“Old brother Ziju, the sacred land’s center is our safest stronghold. The elites from Abyssal and Martial are all gathered here. Your numbers are greater than the enemy. No matter how relentless their assault, it’ll be difficult for them to breach our fortifications as long as we defend them to the death,” suggested An Kasyapa.

He also thought the wood demons a harrowing enemy, yet he remained unflustered. He had little attachment to Eternal, so its fate ultimately mattered little to him. If not for Jiang Chen’s wishes, he might not even have stayed behind to help.

Furthermore, thanks to the Great Veluriyam Talisman from the young lord, he had a way to leave even if the defenses were shattered, perhaps even bringing Ziju Min with him by the same token.

He understood the young lord well enough to know that the human domain outweighed the oath of alliance he’d sworn to Eternal.

In fact, few in the sacred land were truly important to Jiang Chen. Ziju Min was the most significant of the lot, so An Kasyapa could confidently report his mission completed as long as he delivered the latter safe and sound.

Of course, he had a clearer view of the situation as an outsider, adding wisdom to his advice.

Ziju Min clenched his teeth. “That’s our only choice. Daoist Kasyapa, I’ll be relying on your help and guidance in the battle to come.”

An Kasyapa smiled calmly. “I’ll give it my all. However, I’ll leave if things turn out for the worse. Old Brother Ziju, forgive me for being blunt, but what path will you choose then? Will you stay foolishly loyal and perish with the sacred land, or will you opt to live and fight another day instead?”

Ziju Min mulled over the difficult question for a moment before sighing. “The answer would be obvious if the venerated forefather was here. But all of the responsibilities now squarely fall on my shoulders alone. Will I be able to live with myself if I don’t fight to the last?”

“Heh, it’d be a waste of the young lord’s regard if you think this way. Of course, this much pessimism isn’t warranted yet so early on. My intuition tells me the demon assault will fail.”

“Ah? Are you so confident in Eternal?”

“Hehe, it’s the young lord I’m confident in. I feel he’s playing a game of chess, one with a multitude of ramifications. Haven’t there been many rumors in Myriad Abyss these past few days? Many demon tribes in the other sacred lands have been attacked, one after another.”

“I’ve also heard such rumors. It’s hard to distinguish the truth from lies, but these tales are wonderful for morale at least!” As the one in command of Eternal, Ziju Min had naturally heard the some of the gossip.

Reports continued to pour in during their conversation, none of them favorable for their side.

Increasingly anxious, Ziju Min gathered all of the decision-makers from the three sacred lands to discuss their next steps.

Combined, they made for a tremendous lineup.

Other than one divine forefather in Ziju Min, there were seven demigods, advanced, mid, and initial empyrean realm elders, as well as talents from the younger generations.

All in all, it was a force powerful enough to face the wood demons in frontal combat.

“Forefather Ziju, the enemy is progressing very fast. Their demonic plants are already within a thousand miles of our borders. I’m afraid they’ll surround us by nightfall. We must find a way to slow down this dreadful vegetation, or it’ll become a mortal threat to our defenses.”

Although alarmist-sounding, it was an accurate assessment of the situation.

“We’ll surely crumble swiftly if the demonic plants encroach upon our lands. The parasites will certainly use this opportunity to raid us as well. The consequences would be too dire to contemplate.”

Naturally, Ziju Min knew this better than anybody.

“Gentlemen, any good advice? A way to neutralize the plants, perhaps?”

But were the wood demons so easily dealt with?

In a sea of silence, somebody suddenly offered, “Forefather, didn’t young lord Jiang Chen once mention that the Fire of Firstdawn can hamper the parasites?”

“It can, but with the amount in our possession, it’d be like pouring a cup of water on a burning wagon. Not to mention, simply hampering them isn’t nearly enough at this stage.

“We need to curb the plants’ growth first. These are too horrifying and spread too fast. We need a treasure that can destroy the foundations of their survival and obliterate them wholesale.” 

“Where can we find such a treasure?”

An Kasyapa chuckled. “Since times immemorial, metal is said to constrain wood. Treasures with metal properties should be very suitable in our case. Does Eternal have such items?”

The crowd looked at each other, seemingly stuck for ideas.

When had the sacred land ever possessed such a formidable treasure? Even if they did, it would be in the venerated forefather’s hands, beyond the knowledge of mere subordinates.

“Fellow daoists from Abyssal and Martial, do you own that type of item?”

The leaders of the aforementioned sacred lands didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The ten sacred lands were wealthy, but something with such overwhelming power was beyond them.

The crowd had no good solution to provide.

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etvolare's Thoughts

Man.... not rich enough it seems.