Chapter 286: The Overture of War (3)
Cold morning frost on the nine-story palace, the bright moon illuminates a high balcony!
As a gilded nine-story pagoda appeared below the heart of the clouds, any cultivator could see a young man in a suit on the tower. His eyes held the faint traces of great vicissitudes, the transformation of azure seas to mulberry fields. He faced the Three Tigers of Linghu and the Five Honored Stars of the Lou Clan and deeply clasped his hands.
“The falling leaves know of autumn’s affairs, the flourishing curtain drop delayed. Fellow Daoists, I trust you have been well since we last met?”
Just as his voice fell, a spiritual pressure that infinitely approached Core Formation suddenly burst free! All the surroundings clouds scattered away like willow catkins! A fierce storm seemed to cut through the sky!
However, his spiritual pressure did not abate. Closely afterwards… eight half-step Core Formation spiritual pressures began to flare at the same time! It centralized where the Three Tigers and the Five Honored Stars were located to form a ten-plus-meter-wide light pillar that rushed towards the heavens!
“Do away with your show of strength, Zhao Zhiqiu… Even if you were closer to Core Formation, you are still half-step.” The leading old man of the Lou Clan opened his seemingly soon-to-be-dead eyes. He licked his lips, thirsting for blood. “If you have some scheme, we of Nanzhou shall catch it in the act.”
None knew of what was happening in the sky, but on the ground, an untold number of ordinary citizens felt something inexplicable in Chengdu. The sun was obviously in the sky, so why was there a shadow cast on the earth?
On a landmark building in the vicinity of a public plaza, a gold scorpion perched down, displaying its stinger. It was quite distinct, but even if it was even fiercer, it was nothing but ground dust in front of these three behemoths.
In the river, a hundred-meter-sized tortoise quietly submerged underwater. Its four limbs withdrew into its shell, and it no longer appeared.
And yet for all of Chengdu’s cultivators, they looked up at the sky in shock. What was this… Was this a noble clan? It was practically akin to the descent of the high heaven’s throne hall…
“Thanks.” Xu Yangyi turned and poured a cup of tea, sending it flying over without further trouble. “I didn’t think that you’d come.”
The man scoffed and took the teacup. “What you promised was a Foundation Establishment pill. Why wouldn’t I come?”
“The price might be your lives. In addition, I’ll be giving it to you five years from now.” Xu Yangyi looked at the man deeply. “Chu Zhaonan, you weren’t needed. And all I’m doing is some testing.”
“You’re asking for a spanking with words like that.” Dressed in crisp military boots, Chu Zhaonan was sitting down frankly on a chair at the side. He lit a cigarette, took a drag, and held the smoke in before puffing it out. “You called me to come, so I came. Anyways, don’t fucking say I shouldn’t have. I’m not looking for your gratitude.”
“Don’t think that you owe me or anything. I did it while I was it at it back then. Besides…” Xu Yangyi lightly sipped his tea. “so many years have passed already.”
“Tch.” Chu Zhaonan sneered, “Where are you coming from with so much nonsense!”
“It’s not nonsense.” Xu Yangyi took the teacup, placed it on the table, and said calmly, “I don’t want you to keep on thinking that you owe me something. As friends and brothers, equality is fundamental.”
The sharpshooter gnashed his teeth as he laughed, “I sure ain’t used to your damn fake-immortal style.”
Xu Yangyi didn’t speak, raising a brow at him. The two of them cryptically glared and narrowed their eyes at each other for quite a while. Chu Zhaonan then lazily leaned back into his chair. “A young master like me approves of you, that good?”
Xu Yangyi didn’t tease. After a long time passed, he surprisingly nodded. “That’s not a bad reason.”
“It just so happens that I think you’re easy on the eyes, too.”
The young branch master swept an eye over Chu Zhaonan. In these past few months, he had restored his left arm, and the Xingtian Legion hadn’t been idle as well.
Mao Ba’er and Peony had been in charge of contacting two people. Chu Zhaonan was one of them. Xu Yangyi originally didn’t hold that great of a hope. While the Hidden Dragon Legion was indeed an rank Legion, it was unquestionably a little fish—not even capable of being punier—when placed on the battlefield. Of course, Chu Zhaonan wouldn’t die, considering who his grandfather was. He would definitely be released on a line of escape, but the gunmaster had actually come. Moreover, he hadn’t come alone. All of the Hidden Dragon Legion had arrived!
Altogether, there were thirty-eight people. The number wasn’t much, but it truly did help Xu Yangyi recognize who his friends were in these difficult times.
But now wasn’t the time to lament or talk about the old days.
“I want to do something.” Xu Yangyi cut to the chase and asked lowly, looking straight into Chu Zhaonan’s eyes. He was silent for a long time and said clearly and loudly, enunciating each of his words. “I, want to down an aerial fortress.”
“WHAT?!” Chu Zhaonan jumped up on his feet, looking at Xu Yangyi as if he didn’t recognize the man. With his own status, he had a much greater understanding of the noble lineages than Xu Yangyi! What sort of thing was an aerial fortress! The base of a clan! A stronghold! Even during a face-to-face war of cultivators, wanting to down an aerial fortress was easier said than done!
Right now? Just relying on the dozens of people at his command? The Xingtian Legion’s ten legionnaires? Or maybe with the addition of those “possibly” not leaving from the Featherwood Guard?
“Are you daydreaming?!” He said without the slightest leniency. “This isn’t something we can play around with!”
“Maybe you would have a good chance at building an aerial fortress if you were Foundation Establishment! If you were Core Formation, you could build your own palace! But we’re just Qi Condensation cultivators right now!” Although he had never delighted in glossing over the truth, he felt that his words were heavy. He sat down and gritted his teeth, “Leaving this place is what you should do.”
His voice yet to fall, the inside of the room had already become an azure expanse. At the same time, a demonic qi that nearly brought him to worship on his hands and knees began to ascend!
A golden core?!
His gaze suddenly twinkled, and his breathing became somewhat rushed as he looked at Xu Yangyi. His counterpart’s face was deep like water yet revealed unquestionable determination. The bright blue object in his hand was radiating endless spiritual force!
At this moment, in the lairs of the noble lineages, all Foundation Establishment cultivators suddenly looked down.
“This is… Core Formation?” An old man furrowed his brows. “No… It’s too weak… and moreover lifeless. Although it is truly Core Formation, it is without Core Formation might?”
“Core Formation?” In the White Tiger Palace, a middle-aged man opened his eyes without warning. “No… It’s like a Core Formation-type treasure… but… why is the power so strong? It’s not even male or female?”
Over a hundred Foundation Establishment spiritual pressures immediately locked down on a hotel. They discovered to their surprise, however, that they were unable to focus onto a single person!
Less than a second later, Xu Yangyi collected the origin crystal and leveled his eyes at Chu Zhaonan. “Is this enough?”
Chu Zhaonan’s mouth was slightly ajar. Not a single word left his mouth.
He’d never once expected that Xu Yangyi would actually have such an item in his hands!
Such an awesome killing machine… If Xu Yangyi was truly willing to part with this core and detonate it, there really would be a chance of sinking an aerial fortress!
“This price is too big…” He looked at Xu Yangyi’s hand with a searing gaze. Such an item… not to speak of him, perhaps it didn’t even exist in the hands of any of ten great Dao Masters presently! If demon cultivators were to know of this, Chu Zhaonan was afraid that they would immediately come hunting at Xu Yangyi’s doorstep!
His heart warmed. He knew that was a kind of trust. A kind of confidence needless of words.
He didn’t answer straightaway, rubbing his pale chin, silent for a very long time. The gunslinger had come to help Xu Yangyi due to favor and brotherhood. He had thought that he might’ve been finally taking the other away, but in no way had he imagined that before he even started his persuasion, his fellow rival would make him promptly change ideas with a single object!
Silence. In silence, Chu Zhaonan’s gaze gradually turned from hesitation to unswerving determination. Ultimately, his eyes were dyed an excited red.
Congenial, words were unnecessary. In this world, there was never a shortage of adventurers and madmen. And in this place, there sat two.
Not one word broke the silence. After ages, Chu Zhaonan clenched his teeth and laughed, “You got a death wish.”
“If I’m scared of dying, then I shouldn’t cultivate.” Xu Yangyi calmly looked at his tea. An ice-cold smile hung at the crook of his mouth. “Don’t you think dancing with the reaper is exciting?”
His cigarette glowing brightly and dimly, Chu Zhaonan took a deep breath and looked straight at Xu Yangyi. “Are you sure that they don’t know you’re here in Chengdu?”
“Of course.” Xu Yangyi’s eyes betrayed a wisp of ruthlessness. “I either go big or go home!”
Chu Zhaonan breathed in heavily a few good times. This was different from the objective he had come with, but this plan… sent his blood boiling! If they succeeded… as long as they succeeded, not to mention their names going down in history, just the tsunami of satisfaction and acknowledgement would cause his chest to fully swell!
“Good…” Eventually, he ran his tongue over his teeth and gums. “I’ll lend a hand with your fun this time… don’t disappoint me no matter what.”
2021, December 28th. Barely three days were left until Nanzhou opened.
On the night of the 30th, the immense sign of a Transference Formation converged in Chengdu’s sky again. After an hour’s accumulation, a towering hundred-story pagoda emerged in the whirlpool of clouds.
Rumble… Following a thunder crack, the terrible pagoda entered the eyes of all cultivators.
Its entire body was formed out of bones. In the deathly pale lightning, the structure seemed to rise from hell. It was a mystery as to what demonbeast bones it was made of, but each piece was no less than ten meters in size. Yet in these bones, countless spider-demon cultivators crawled in and out. Tongues of netherfire flared out from the deep eye sockets of skeletons. Furthermore, hordes of demon cultivators hung upside down by their feet, using silk to hang onto extended bones.
The tower was also circled by several palaces. All of them were vassals to the Nalan Clan’s cultivators!
But on the contrary, such an immense and terrible pagoda of bone had a saccharinely sweet name.
“That’s the Nalan Clan’s Bluedawn Winding Corridor…” In a tall building, an old man stood up with the support of his grandson. His beard trembled. “The Linghu Clan’s White Tiger Palace, the Nalan Clan’s Bluedawn Winding Corridor, the Lou Clan’s Sky Universe Palace, and the Zhao Clan’s Kindling Mulberry Wall… What in the world… is going to happen here?
1. This line is from a Song poet named Lu You (1125-1210 CE).