Chapter 40: Looting the Spoils of War
The silver Demon Wolf King stared reverently at Qin Shan’s sculpture and licked it both gently and cautiously.
Qin Lie’s eyes widened as he stared at the crouching Demon Wolf King, then at the sculpture in his hand. He finally realized that the one who recognized the sculpture wasn’t just any ordinary Silver Winged Demon Wolf, but the king itself!
It was only now that his strained nerves had finally relaxed, and there was also that feeling that he had just narrowly escaped death.
Everyone else was completely pale. They stared stupidly at that terrifying demon wolf just a few feet away from them and felt that their brains had short-circuited. The scene that was unfolding before their very eyes only multiplied that shock tenfold.
The silver wolf king softly howled a few times in a low tone, and after giving the sculpture a slightly reluctant stare, it began to slowly retreat.
There was yet another loud and passionate howl in the distance. Finally, it turned its head completely and like a bolt of silver lightning, charged towards the direction of Shattered Ice Manor’s forces.
“Zing zing zing!”
Its silver wings spread wide, blades of dazzling white knives shot out rapidly from within and rained down upon Shattered Ice Manor’s defensive ring.
“Bang bang bang!”
A series of exploding sounds echoed out in rapid succession. The white knives were energy made tangible, and it smashed Shattered Ice Manor’s defensive line to near collapse.
Many Shattered Ice Manor martial practitioners were struck down by the white blades, their flesh rent and blood spilt as if they had been cut to ribbons!
Even Yan Dewu had fear showing in his eyes and chills flooding out of his heart, as he watched the beast joining into the fray, he said with urgency, “We can’t stop them! Spread out and break through on your own accord! Make every life count!”
Every Shattered Ice Manor martial practitioner became shaken upon hearing those words, and they immediately dissolved their formation and ran away blindly like a bunch of homeless cur.
Before the Demon Wolf King’s arrival, their defensive line was tight and orderly enough to defend against the demon wolves’ rush. There were no major casualties that would be any cause for concern.
But when this rank three Demon Wolf King officially joined into the battle, the entire situation changed. Its fighting power alone was enough to tear down the entire Shattered Ice Manor defensive line!
Even Yan Dewu, a middle stage Natal Opening Realm martial practitioner knew that there was no chance he could match up against the Demon Wolf King, and to blindly defend in this kind of situation would only lead towards a dead end. To split up and flee was the only way to have even a sliver of hope at surviving.
——His order was not wrong.
At this moment, the Shattered Ice Manor martial practitioners were fleeing their separate ways as they were being hunted down by the Silver Winged Demon Wolves. A few of them were quickly bitten to death and shredded into pieces, and when their clothes were torn, a large number of Fire Crystals slipped out into the open.
The moment they saw those Fire Crystals, the Silver Winged Demon Wolves immediately become even more ferocious and hunted after the martial practitioners with greater madness and brutality than before.
“...The Fire Crystals. So that’s why the Silver Winged Demon Wolves attacked them so furiously.” There was a flash across Qin Lie’s mind, and he hastily lowered his voice and told Liu Yan, “If you have any Fire Crystals or Fiery Solar Jade on you, then make absolutely sure that they’re hidden from view, especially from the Silver Winged Demon Wolves!”
“Huh? Why?” Liu Yan broke out of his reverie and questioned with a dazed look on his face. After a short pause, he said again, “The Fire Crystals on those Shattered Ice Manor martial practitioners were the product of our excavation. After we got out of Celestial Wolf Mountain, I distributed them to the Gao Family martial practitioners, and when they were killed, Shattered Ice Manor took everything…”
“That very Celestial Wolf Mountain is the Silver Winged Demon Wolf den.” Qin Lie answered him.
Instantly, Liu Yan understood what he meant and looked towards Gao Yu hastily, signaling him to be very careful.
Gao Yu replied impatiently with a frown, “I’m not an idiot!”
“Qin Lie, why... why did the Demon Wolf King act that way towards grandfather Qin Shan’s sculpture?” Ling Ying asked excitedly with her little face blushing red, “Your sculpture, what kind of mystery does it hold?"
Qin Lie’s mouth twitched as he said indifferently, “I’m not too sure myself.”
“Hmph! You’re so petty, refusing to say anything and holding us out like this!” Ling Ying curled her lips into a frown and exclaimed with a huff.
“Regardless, it is all thanks to Qin Lie that we managed to survive until now.” Liu Yan held up a bright smile and slapped Qin Lie on the shoulders. He said kindly, “Don’t you worry, I have seen all your efforts with these two eyes, and when we get back to the pavilion, I will report the matter without missing even a single word! Hehe, just Shattered Ice Manor’s casualties alone would net you a great service!”
The moment they heard his words, Ling Yushi and the rest of the Ling Family were all smiles and brimmed with excitement.
Gao Yu snorted once, appearing somewhat dissatisfied, but he too did not say anything.
“As of now the men from Shattered Ice Manor are fleeing in every direction. Judging from the current situation, there shouldn’t be… too many people who would survive this incident.” Qin Lie kept a close watch on the happenings of Shattered Ice Manor.
Currently, heeding their leader’s call, the Shattered Ice Manor martial practitioners everywhere were being hunted down by Silver Winged Demon Wolves.
The silver white wolf king itself was keeping a close eye on Yan Dewu, and it had already chased him deep into the forestry, looking like it wouldn’t stop until Yan Dewu was utterly destroyed.
Countless Shattered Ice Manor martial practitioners were being bitten or shredded to death one after another after their team had scattered; it was a gruesome scene.
Not a single Silver Winged Demon Wolf had touched Qin Lie’s group because of the wolf king’s orders earlier. They would even avoid them on purpose, and since Qin Lie wasn’t sure how good the wolves were at differentiating between humans, he strongly cautioned the others not to spread out to hunt the remains of Shattered Ice Manor’s group. This was to avoid the Silver Winged Demon Wolves mixing them up and accidentally treating them as prey.
So, they simply watched from the sidelines, with cold eyes, as the martial practitioners from Shattered Ice Manor cried out horrifically before being bitten to death in a splatter of flesh and blood.
After being hunted and forced into a humiliating escape for such a long time, everyone was looking at these bastards dying tragically with faces full of satisfaction.
An hour later, there were no longer any Silver Winged Demon Wolves that could be seen around them. All that was left were twenty or so bloody corpses and Qin Lie’s group.
“These Shattered Ice Manor martial practitioners should have decent items on them.” Liu Yan suddenly said with a light smile, “It would also appear that the Silver Winged Demon Wolves won’t be returning for a while. So, you may all start searching, and if you come across anything good, there’s no need to surrender it to us. Just keep it to yourselves. I’ll pretend that I didn’t see anything.”
The moment he finished, the crowd cheered. They screamed and charged towards the bodies that they had chosen a long while ago, ignored even the gory scenery, and excitedly looted all they could.
The Silver Winged Demon Wolves were only interested in fresh meat and blood, so they were completely uninterested in the weapons, spirit pills, spirit materials, spirit stones, and such on the dead bodies. And since the Shattered Ice Manor martial practitioners were all Yan Dewu’s subordinates, every one of them had at least some kind of cultivation material on their person. For nameless and small powers like the Ling and Gao Families, all this were incredibly attractive.
In the past, small forces like the Ling and Gao Families would at times be arranged by Nebula Pavilion to engage with the enemy.
However, they were not allowed to keep the spoils of war for themselves and had to submit them to Nebula Pavilion for review before they were distributed as rewards in accordance to credits, casualties, contributions, and so on.
A case like this one, where Nebula Pavilion kept to themselves completely and allowed the looters to keep all the spoils, was incredibly rare.
Therefore, not only had the males rushed out with wild joy, even Ling Yushi and Ling Ying had excitedly joined in looting without a care for the gory scene or the fact that they would get blood on themselves.
Out of the entire crowd, Gao Yu and Qin Lie were the only ones who did not move, simply continuing to stand beside Liu Yan.
“Qin Lie, why didn’t you join them?” Liu Yan could not help but ask in surprise.
Gao Yu was the young master of the Gao Family, and compared to the Ling Family, they were also much wealthier. Moreover, Gao Yu and his two sisters were also working at Nebula Pavilion, and they had accumulated quite the number of cultivation materials for him throughout the years. So it did not come as a surprise to Liu Yan that Gao Yu would not be interested in those items. But it didn’t make sense that Qin Lie would choose not to act as well.
Out of all of Nebula Pavilion’s subordinate forces, the Ling Family would be among the poorest and most miserly...
“Since everyone in the Ling Family had gone over, they should do just fine without me. After all, there is only one Gao family member who’s in the fray as well, so in the end, the majority of the benefits will still fall to the Ling Family,” Qin Lie said coolly while returning a smile. Then he requested solemnly, “Big Brother Liu, the Silver Winged Demon Wolf den is at Celestial Wolf Mountain, and every May or June they would enter the deeper parts of the Arctic Mountain Range to pay their respects to the Icestone Snow Wolf King before returning in July. If Nebula Pavilion absolutely must obtain the Fiery Solar Jade, then I must request that they postpone it until next year, until after the wolves have left before excavating…”
The Silver Winged Demon Wolves did save their lives this time, and the way the Demon Wolf King stared at his grandfather’s sculpture convinced Qin Lie that it loved and respected his grandfather very much. Therefore, he did not wish to see these Silver Winged Demon Wolves killed one by one when Nebula Pavilion excavates the Fiery Solar Jade.
“They went to pay their respects to the Icestone Snow Wolf King?” Liu Yan’s face turned serious and he exclaimed in a low tone, “You are sure of this?”
Qin Lie nodded his head.
Liu Yan inhaled and with a deep frown and said, “I will report this to the higher ups. If it is really as you say, then… I think that Nebula Pavilion will have to give up on the excavation of the Fiery Solar Jade. Even if the wolves are gone during May and June, we will not go to Celestial Wolf Mountain any longer.”
“Why?” Gao Yu, who had been silent and cold-faced this whole time, could not help but ask.
“This pack of Silver Winged Demon Wolves alone would be a headache for Nebula Pavilion to deal with, and we will have to report this to Dark Asura Hall and borrow their power before we can continue the excavation safely. Of course, if we simply excavate after they have left next year, then we won’t need to go through Dark Asura Hall.”
Liu Yan stopped at this point and turned quiet for a moment. Then, he finally shook his head and smiled bitterly, saying “But if these wolves are descendants of the Icestone Snow Wolf King, then… we may as well forget about it. Nebula Pavilion aside, I don’t think even Dark Asura Hall can afford to offend it.”
“The Icestone Snow Wolf King commands this much respect?” Gao Yu exclaimed.
Liu Yan nodded and replied helplessly, “I’m not sure about the exact situation either. At any rate, the higher ups had laid down orders that if we’re going through the Arctic Mountain Range, we must circle around the ice mountains and glaciers in the deeper region. We are not to disturb those powerful spirit beasts from cultivating, and the Icestone Snow Wolf King is one of the most powerful of the lot!”
Liu Yan added after a moment’s ponder, “As far as I know, the order was handed to us by Dark Asura Hall, but… not even they are the last line of command.”
“Then who gave the orders?” This time even Qin Lie was surprised.
“Dark Asura Hall is just a Black Iron ranked power, and although it commands Nebula Pavilion, Shattered Ice Manor, and other powers, even they… need to depend on someone else, just like how we, the Nebula Pavilion, have to depend on them to cultivate and survive.” Liu Yan’s smile was bitter as he continued, “The forces that can command Dark Asura Hall, our levels are just too far apart. Those kind of forces are just... completely out of our reach. So we don’t need to think too much about it. We simply have to follow the higher up’s orders because only then will we be able to survive. Otherwise, a single mistake might cause us to be wiped out completely.
Qin Lie and Gao Yu listened quietly and felt a kind of shock and awe blooming inside their hearts, as their understanding of the world’s hierarchy and its cruel laws had grown just a bit deeper.
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