Chapter 694: A Bold Plan
“No!” Warning bells went off in senior brother Hua’s head as he reached for a warning talisman. He crushed it, but somehow, the warning didn’t transmit! “It's a formation. We’ve been trapped by a formation!”
“Senior brother Hua, save me!” The skinny man had already been caught by the countless vines. The world within the formation was completely isolated from the world outside. Despite trying the warning talisman several times, senior brother Hua couldn’t penetrate the formation’s barrier. He truly wanted to save his junior brothers, but he could scarcely help even himself amidst the chaos. While quite powerful in his own right, he couldn’t withstand the sudden and unending onslaught of countless vines forever. The three were soon trussed up like chickens.
Jiang Chen had utilized the Ancient Slaughter Formation of Seven to conjure a woodland realm and trap the group before restraining them with the Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice. The Lotus receded into the earth as soon as the formation disk was retrieved. Jiang Chen tossed the nicely wrapped up trio into a dark corner of the cave he’d dug and quickly and easily set up a formation to isolate them all from the outside world. He intended to take every precaution despite being hundreds of meters below the earth.
“Who are you? What nerve!” Senior brother Hua raised his eyebrows and spoke arrogantly. But while he was sizing up Jiang Chen, his pupils suddenly contracted. There was no light underground. But almost everyone had the ability to see in the dark after reaching a certain level of cultivation. He quickly realized that the person standing before them was, in fact the Jiang Chen they had just been discussing.
“Have you recognized me yet?” Jiang Chen smiled indifferently, “So tell me—should I flay you alive or burn you into ashes?”
The skinny man’s teeth chattered uncontrollably. “Jiang… Jiang Chen, we… we were just following orders. Don’t… don’t kill me…. I surrender!”
“If I didn’t hear wrong, it seemed as if you were saying you’d capture Ling Bi’er to threaten me with?” Jiang Chen’s voice and gaze were frigid.
The skinny man explained in haste while trembling frantically. “No… I wouldn’t dare. I… I just said that for fun! How would I be able to capture a sage realm genius with my meager talent?! You can’t take that seriously, not seriously at all.”
Senior brother Hua swore loudly, “Shut up, Zhang Ole Third!” He raised his head and glared at Jiang Chen. “Jiang Chen, you’re powerful alright. But no matter how powerful you are, can you fight against the entire Great Scarlet Mid Region? Can you overpower the Eternal Celestial Capital all by yourself?”
Jiang Chen had no desire to debate anything with them and only smiled apathetically in response. Great Scarlet Mid Region? Eternal Celestial Capital? These two powers had long since entered his blacklist. He would definitely settle each and every one of those debts one day.
Jiang Chen turned towards Huang’er and suggested. “Miss Huang’er, would you perhaps want to step to the side for a while?”
Huang’er knew that Jiang Chen was about to kill. but only shook her head with a faint smile. She’d been walking the path of martial dao since her childhood. She was no stranger to murder and arson. “Brother Long, please show yourself. I leave this man in your capable hands.”
No sooner had Jiang Chen spoken than Long Xiaoxuan appear in a gust of wind. Massive jaws clamped down on senior brother Hua with gusto, spraying blood and gore everywhere. Streams of still steaming blood shot out the corners of Long Xiaoxuan’s mouth and splashed on the faces of the other two, causing the skinny man to wail loudly with terror. The ghastly shrieks might’ve penetrated through the earth to reach the surface if they hadn’t been isolated by a formation. Long Xiaoxuan belched with satisfaction after he finished gulping down senior brother Hua. He then turned his sights to the two remaining origin realm cultivators.
The skinny man’s face was the picture of terror. “Don’t eat me, please don’t eat me! I surrender! Is surrender not enough?!”
The other man was as pale as a ghost. It seemed as if he wanted to say something but ultimately held back, swallowing hard instead.
“Do you want to live? Give me one reason to not kill you.” Jiang Chen’s tone was unsympathetic.
The skinny man hurriedly replied, “I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you! I have intelligence!” He didn’t even pause before continuing; as if he was afraid Jiang Chen would go back on his words, “Nearly 20 fourth rank sects were mobilized this time by order of the Great Scarlet Emperor himself.”
“Then what’s with the Eternal Celestial Capital?” Jiang Chen asked coldly.
“The Eternal Celestial Capital… we didn’t know about it in the beginning. Only later did we find out that the one pulling the strings behind our Great Scarlet Mid Region was the Eternal Celestial Capital.”
The Eternal Celestial Capital was a first rank sect from the Upper Eight Regions. It wasn't difficult for Jiang Chen to deduce that they were indirectly controlling the Great Scarlet Mid Region behind the scenes. Jiang Chen shook his head, “I already know all this. If you can’t offer anything of better value…”
“I can, I can! I know that… the Regal Pill Palace escaped from the Myriad Grand Ceremony, but they didn’t return to the Regal Pill Palace.”
This information is rather useful. Jiang Chen laughed coldly, “Why should I believe you?”
“It’s… it's true! I’m absolutely certain of it because part of the reason we were told to establish a base here was to intercept the Regal Pill Palace Head. My superiors claim that he’s in possession of several earth ranked spirit herbs and perhaps even sky ranked ones. Master Gong Wuji himself had ordered his capture.
“Oh right, there’s more—a group led by an elder called Yun Nie was captured by the Great Roc Sect and should already be on their way to the capital of the Great Scarlet Empire.”
“Elder Yun Nie? Who else?” Jiang Chen asked with a furrowed brow.
“There’s also… well, all the survivors have been shipped to the Great Scarlet Empire.”
The skinny man recalled something else with much effort. “Oh right, there was a powerful formation set up around your residence that was extremely difficult to break. It took the combined efforts of Master Gong Wuji himself and the heads of our Thunder Note Hall and the Great Roc Sect to finally break through. Master Gong Wuji was so full of admiration for the one who’d set up the formation that he decided to stay back and wait for their, or rather, your return.”
The skinny man was scrambling to try and flatter Jiang Chen, “Master Gong Wuji said we had to capture the one who set up this formation, or else he would become a mortal disaster for everyone in the future. Sir Jiang… as expected of a genius feared even by Master Gong Wuji, even with such strict precautions and defense...”
Jiang Chen motioned with his hand, he was no longer willing to listen to this meaningless bootlicking. “How about the people in my residence? And the wood spirit spring? Who took them?”
“Those people were captured and transported to the capital just like Elder Yun Nie. The wood spirit spring? Did you mean the water spring? I heard that Master Gong Wuji took it away.”
Gong Wuji! Jiang Chen ground his teeth. He carved that name deeply into his heart.
“How long were you supposed to be stationed here?”
The skinny man promptly replied, “I’m not sure. We have to stay here for as long as our superiors command. Sir Jiang, I’ve… I’ve told you everything. Can you be magnanimous and… let me live?”
“Are there any others from the Eternal Celestial Capital here apart from Gong Wuji?”
“Yes!” The skinny man replied swiftly, “There’s a young genius who appears to be Gong Wuji’s grandson. He’s already reached the fifth level sage realm despite only being 13 years old. He’s comparable to the most prominent geniuses of our Thunder Note Hall.”
“A young grandson? What’s his name?”
“His name? Hmm… I hear everyone calling him young master Qi. His name should be Gong Qi.”
“Gong Qi, Gong Qi.” An extremely audacious idea suddenly materialized within Jiang Chen’s mind. “Tell me more about this Gong Qi.”
The skinny man had no idea what Jiang Chen was thinking—his only wish was to survive. Despite not knowing much about Gong Qi, he recounted everything he’d ever seen or heard without holding anything back. “Gong Qi loves a challenge. The top geniuses of our Thunder Note Hall and the Great Roc Sect always get a headache whenever he appears. Exchanging pointers aren’t a big deal, but the boy has absolutely no sense of control. The geniuses from our sect don’t dare to fight seriously for fear of wounding him and rousing the ire of Master Gong Wuji. So everyone avoids him out of fear…”
“Are you certain that the information you gave me is all true?” Jiang Chen’s gaze focused upon the skinny man.
“Absolutely! Not one bit false. It’s practically common knowledge at this point. Senior brother Ding Rong for instance, volunteered to guard this remote passage to avoid drawing Gong Qi’s attention. Senior brother Ding Rong is fifth level sage realm and is considered to be in the top three in our sect. Gong Qi had been repeatedly asking for him back at the Regal Pill Palace headquarters, but senior brother had always found an excuse to refuse…”
Ding Rong was the Thunder Note Hall genius assigned to oversee this area, along with an elder at eighth level sage realm. Jiang Chen had originally thought that they had other plans for this area. But it turns out they were here merely to avoid Gong Qi. “Where does Gong Qi usually spar with others? Does Gong Wuji always spectate?”
After some thought, the skinny man spoke carefully, “I remember that although Master Gong Wuji doesn’t always come to watch, there are always quite a few experts in attendance. Everyone’s afraid… afraid that they would accidentally wound Gong Qi. No one can bear the consequences.”
Jiang Chen pondered in silence. The skinny man was trembling in fear. He wasn’t certain if he could still live despite having divulged so much. Jiang Chen formed a bold plan after a momentary contemplation. A frosty glow from his eyes converged upon the skinny man. “You have been rather compliant. But the Thunder Note Hall invaded my Regal Pill Palace and you, being an accomplice, can’t escape death…”
The skinny man’s face turned green. “Don't… don’t kill me!”
“Don’t kill you, you say?” Jiang Chen smiled spuriously, “I can give you a chance, seeing as how you provided me with information.”
“Tell me, tell me what you want me to do!” His eyes displayed his desperate honesty.
Jiang Chen shot a pill into the skinny man’s mouth, “Eat it.”
The skinny man grimaced. He didn’t dare decline despite knowing it was something bad. He could only brace himself and swallow it.
“This pill was refined from Divine Befuddlement Miasma. Without my specific antidote, you’ll die within three days. Even a ninth level pill king won’t be able to save you without knowing the components of this Miasma.”
“Yes… yes…” The skinny man’s countenance was wry, knowing that he had no other choice. “Young master Jiang, I’ll do whatever you ask of me.”
“Very good. First, kill him!” Jiang Chen performed a few handseals, and the Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice loosened its grip.
The remaining person screamed, “Zhang Ole Third, have you gone crazy? Do you think he’ll let you go? What kind of dream are you still in!?”
Zhang Ole Third’s expression was miserable. “Senior brother Feng, please don’t blame me…”
And with that, Zhang Ole Third thrust a sword into the man’s throat and yanked upwards. To prove his sincerity, he also destroyed the man’s dantian and consciousness.
“Good.” Jiang Chen’s tone was indifferent, “Next, I want you to lure Ding Rong here.”
Luring Ding Rong over was a crucial first step.
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