The surface of the lake was calm like a mirror, so much so it could reflect a person’s image .
The misty Spirit Qi formed a dense fog that floated above the lake .
Lu Fan sat on the Thousand Blades Chair, just floating above the surface of the lake . He stared deep into the lake, looking at the small beam of light that was just about the size of a fingernail .
It was just like a seed, a seed of hope .
It was a seed that could bring about growth and metamorphosis to this world .
Lu Fan wanted to build the Ultimate Fantasy World, and this seed was not something he could do without . This Earth’s Origin—and this Origin alone—was the only thing that could break the shackles of this earth .
The limit of the Wuhuang Continent’s strength was currently at the Internal Organs Realm . To be more specific, they had refined the five organs and were unable to disperse or understand the elemental Spirit Qi . Lu Fan’s ability was not restricted at all, but the natives of the Wuhuang Continent were unable to overcome this barrier .
They were still in the Low Level Martial World .
And if they wanted to move on to the Mid Level Martial World, they would have to condense the Earth’s Origin .
With Lu Fan’s current power and realm, perhaps he would be able to nurture an Earth’s Origin in thousands of years .
Going about it that way would be too slow .
Lu Fan looked at the Origin at the bottom of the lake as he leaned back in the wheelchair . He could feel the terrifying power contained in the Origin .
Besides, this bout of power was still becoming stronger without stopping, connected to the Origin of another world .
Lu Fan lifted his head and looked up at the night sky that was enveloped in Spirit Qi . He could vaguely look past the clouds to see thousands of stars flowing in the sky .
Within those billion stars existed worlds of all shapes and sizes .
Lu Fan did not know if he would collide with other worlds in the future, but his goal, for now, was to let the Wuhuang Continent grow stronger, crossing over from the Low Level Martial World to the Mid Level Martial World and then into the High Level Martial World .
This was his goal for now .
The wheelchair glided over the surface of the lake . Lu Fan returned to the island soon after .
On the island…
Nie Changqing rested one hand on his butcher knife . He stood tall, waiting quietly for Lu Fan’s return .
“Young Master…” Nie Changqing said .
Lu Fan glanced at Nie Changqing and then raised an eyebrow . “You’ve finished refining an organ?”
Nie Changqing nodded slightly . Beiluo Lake Island was a holy ground for training, so it was not strange that he had done so .
Besides, he had gained quite a few Spirit Stones from the Secret Realm . With the help of the Spirit Stones, his training went by even quicker .
“Is there something you want to say to me?” Lu Fan asked, leaning back into his wheelchair to enjoy the casual breeze . He smiled .
Nie Changqing hesitated for a beat and then nodded .
“Young Master, the Alien Evil Spirits that had been released from the Secret Realm that day had corrupted some spirits, and you said those Evil Spirits would affect Non-Spirituals and turn them into demons…”
“The birth of those demons may or may not bring about a calamity, so…” Nie Changqing took in a deep breath and opened his mouth to say .
“So you want to leave this island and exterminate the demons?” Lu Fan asked .
Nie Changqing nodded .
“Other than exterminating demons, I also want to head out and roam the world . I’ve hit a bottleneck with my cultivation, so I want to see if I can find any inspiration out there,” Nie Changqing said seriously .
He had indeed hit a bottleneck . The closer he got to the end, the more difficult the training had become .
Lu Fan did not think this strange at all . It was definitely difficult—after all, the Earth’s Origin of the Wuhuang Continent was but a prototype, and the limit of its power was barely beyond the Internal Organ Realm after refining five organs .
“White Jade City is a free place . I won’t limit your freedom,” Lu Fan said .
“What you need to do is to work hard on raising your power . ”
Nie Changqing froze in shock .
After that, he had his hands in a fist and palm salute as he solemnly promised, “I will not let you down, Young Master . ”
“Go back and keep your wife company . You’ll be exploring the world in a few days, and you won’t be able to spend as much time with your wife anymore,” Lu Fan said .
“Understood . ”
Nie Changqing had his hands in a fist and palm salute, while his butcher knife was strapped to his waist . He saluted Lu Fan and then retreated into the moonlight .
Lu Fan continued looking out onto the surface of the lake, falling deep in thought .
Rain pattered down incessantly .
Tang Xiansheng mumbled under his breath; his entire body was drenched . Although he was trained in the martial arts, the fact remained that he had already been getting on in age . He was chilled to the bone .
Tang Yimo was ghastly pale . He had forced his way to the second meridian, and his current condition was extremely terrible .
Coupled with the pouring rain, he was running a fever now . His entire body was absolutely burning, hot as fire, and he was coughing out blood from time to time .
After they left the capital city highway…
Initially, Tang Yimo had been the one dragging Tang Xiansheng .
Ultimately, near the end, Tang Xiansheng had been the one supporting Tang Yimo as they struggled to walk in the rain .
Tang Xiansheng watched as the rain continued pouring down mercilessly, his heart clenching . He had an arm slung over Tang Yimo’s shoulder as he talked incessantly in a bid to keep Tang Yimo conscious .
For the first time, Tang Xiansheng doubted the decision he made .
He turned and glanced back . He could barely make out the outline of the capital city now, as rainwater continued sliding down his face .
In order for them to escape from the capital city, the South Manor Army that had been placed in the capital city had all died .
Tang Yimo had been the only one who staked his life to bring him out of the capital city .
Tang Xiangsheng’s eyes were gleaming with something brilliant .
He took a look at Tang Yimo, who was standing beside him, blood dripping from his nose and mouth, his entire body burning up .
Tang Xiansheng clenched his jaw .
Next time… He would enter the capital city with his head held high . Never again would he be escaping desperately like this!
Behind him, the sound of horses’ hooves cut through the air .
It was troops from the capital city chasing after them .
Tang Xiangsheng’s face paled . He held onto Tang Yimo and continued moving forward .
Luckily, the person he had arranged to meet outside the city braved the pouring rain and rushed over to them . He helped Tang Xiansheng and Tang Yimo get on the horse carriage and steered out of the city .
It was silent inside the carriage . Tang Xiansheng used a clean cloth to wipe down Tang Yimo’s face .
He wiped away all of the dirt and the icy-cold rain from his body .
Tang Xiansheng looked at Tang Yimo silently .
He fell into a trance . All of a sudden, it was as if he saw his past self in Tang Yimo .
But Tang Xiansheng did not like his past very much .
All the time that had passed, all the pain he had gone through, and all the humiliation he had suffered—although all of those were a part of him, he was not willing to neither mention it nor relive it .
However, he saw in Tang Yimo his past and that bout of familiar stubbornness and unwillingness to yield to fate .
This familiar feeling made him fall into a trance unknowingly, his face reflecting the touch of emotion he felt .
After quite some time…
Someone heaved a sigh inside the horse carriage .
Outside the valley…
Tang Baiyun was dressed in silver armor . Excitement was written all over his face because Jiang Li had responded to his invitation to war from within the valley!
The 5,000 or so remaining soldiers Jiang Li had with him had actually lifted their weapons against his massive army of more than 100,000 soldiers .
However, Tang Baiyun could not help but silently curse, even though he was excited .
He had intentionally ordered the barbarians from Chili to enter the valley while wearing black hoods in order to conceal their identity .
In the end, their identities were uncovered anyway .
This was also why he had been afraid of a bloody battle with Jiang Li .
However, he had been able to force Jiang Li into attacking, and that was more than enough .
Tang Baiyun’s eyes gleamed . He retrieved a small flag and gently waved it .
Well-equipped South County armored horseman charged toward the valley .
In the valley, the shouting and killing had started echoing a long time ago .
Jiang Li stood on the bluestone that had been dyed red by blood . He drew his bow time after time, so much so that the string broke; he was hell-bent on wiping out the barbarians . However, when the South County troops joined in on the melee, he had only managed to take down two barbarians .
Jiang Li’s gaze was cold and stern .
He brandished his dagger—the dagger that symbolized his beliefs .
He led the charge, Qi and blood alike spiking . He leaped down from the bluestone and charged straight for the South County cavalry .
He sliced legs off of a horse, forcing the horseman to fall . Jiang Li’s blood and Qi roared, and there was the strange sound of a body exploding . In a single swing of his blade, he decapitated the enemy, and blood spurted out .
He roared as he took down enemy after enemy, the silver armor on his body stained red by blood .
The elite Great Zhou soldiers standing behind him seemed infected by him .
Even the commander was this fearless, so just what did they have to be afraid of?
Was the commander’s life not more worthy than theirs?
Great Zhou’s God of War was out here killing, so how could they afford to be afraid?
Because of this, an unprecedentedly terrifying sense of determination overwhelmed the Great Zhou soldiers .
The Black Dragon Guard was even more furious .
As Black Dragon Guard cultivators, they had never once died in the hands of another cultivator’s attacks, and yet here they were, poisoned by something as sinister as the barbarian’s witchcraft .
This stoked the fire that had been burning within them .
They rushed down from both ends of the valley, Li Knives in hand, slicing the South Army cavalry—man and horse—in half with one swing of the blade .
Their Spirit Qi had been exhausted, but they could still rely on the strength of their bodies and their Li Knives to kill the enemies .
Bodies piled up in the valley, and blood flowed like a river . The thick, pungent stench of blood that flooded the air was repulsive and terrifying .
Chi Lian followed behind Jiang Li . She had long been drenched in blood, but she was still full of determination .
If Jiang Li were to die in battle, she would kill enough enemies to have them buried with him!
In the valley…
The elite Great Zhou soldiers were covered entirely in blood . They stood surrounded by a pile of corpses, barely able to stand on their two feet without swaying .
Jiang Li’s silver armor had been stained crimson . He pointed right ahead with his sword, pressing forward firmly .
There was no going back, so fight!
Tang Baiyun’s face twitched .
The Black Dragon Guard’s line of defense had been broken . He did not expect that despite this, it was still impossible to capture Jiang Li easily…
Did he really have no choice but to mobilize the South Manor Army?
Tang Baiyun squinted .
His heart clenched .
And he felt the ground shake . It shook violently, and there was a hint of glee on Tang Baiyun’s face .
The North County Army… Were they here?!
“That old thing Tantai Xuan, he must have sensed something was amiss . He’s here to attack the moment Jiang Li’s unable to hold his own…”
Tang Baiyun tugged at the reins, unable to help himself from cursing as he laughed .
He looked toward the valley, from which blood flowed on the ground, and there was a brilliant gleam in his eyes .
“The Great Zhou will have lost their claws and teeth the moment Jiang Li dies . If they’re surrounded by the North County, West County, and North County armies, the capital city will eventually fall .
“Continue attacking! The one who takes Jiang Li’s head will be rewarded with 30,000 silver tael!” Tang Baiyun roared .
The South County troops broke out into a cacophony .
Just as Tang Baiyun was complacent…
A scout rushed over to him .
“First Young Master! This is bad!”
Fear was written all over the scout’s face .
“The… the North County Army, they’re charging toward us!” the scout reported .
Tang Baiyun was taken aback . After a while, his eyes widened in shock . He flipped off his horse, grabbing the scout by his collar .
“What did you say? Say it again?!”
The scout’s face was drained of blood .
“Tantai Xuan leads a large army, and he’s charging over from the North . They’re currently engaged in battle with our army!”
Tang Baiyun’s body shook, and he staggered back .
“What’s that old thing Tantai Xuan thinking?” Tang Baiyun clenched his fists and roared in a fury .
“First Young Master, the North County Army keeps chanting, ‘The outsiders will never truly be on our side,’ as they’re charging over,” the scout said .
The outsiders will never truly be on our side?
Tang Baiyun laughed .
From what he understood, the North County scouts had probably realized he had conspired with the barbarians to break the Black Dragon Guard’s line of defense .
“That stubborn old thing! We’ll be able to break the status quo once we oust Jiang Li . What is he so hung up over the barbarians for?”
Tang Baiyun was so angry he started laughing .
It was fine that the North County Army had arrived late—he had let that slide .
But the moment they did, they had the audacity to call over the South County Army?
He was throwing a wrench in South County’s plans .
Tang Baiyun hoisted himself up onto his horse, galloping toward the frontline .
He saw the dense gathering of North County troops . Dust and earth were stirred up and almost obscured the moon .
So many of the South County soldiers had been wiped out that the rest were turning to flee .
After all, Tang Baiyun was not the least bit prepared to ward off an attack from the North County Army .
Tantai Xuan stood on the chariot . He was clad in icy silver armor, his red robe billowing behind him .
Very quickly, his eyes landed on Tang Baiyun riding on his white horse .
The first words out of Tantai Xuan’s mouth were curses .
Tang Baiyun’s face had hardened over .
“Mayor Tantai, we agreed to an alliance and to kill Jiang Li, and it worked pretty well before, no?” Tang Baiyun said . He pulled on the reins for the horse to stay where it was .
“To hell with that alliance . The Xirong encampment is right outside the North County Tianhan Gate . I’ve lost count of how many brothers I’ve lost to them every year, and Xirong is no different from Nanman . They’re all a bunch of barbarians who will invade the Great Zhou Dynasty and bring immense pain to us! You scum, how dare you collude with the barbarians? You’re the one I’m coming after!” Tantai Xuan shouted .
The North County troops brandished their weapons and let out a war cry .
In the night, a general let out a furious roar that sounded no different from a beast .
Tang Baiyun paled . He had only been using the barbarians to level the playing field . What was Tantai Xuan so up in arms for?
Tantai Xuan had no desire at all to negotiate with Tang Baiyun .
He gave a command, and the North County Army charged forth viciously .
Tang Baiyun had no choice but to respond in kind .
He was so furious that he ended up mobilizing the South Manor Army as well .
The barbarians who had been hiding among the ranks of the soldiers could not stay hidden any longer, and they joined the fray as well .
As soon as Tantai Xuan caught sight of the barbarians joining the fray, he slammed a palm down onto the chariot violently .
“Hmph, d*mned scums!”
In the valley…
The South County troops suddenly stopped . Jiang Li and his remaining soldiers could finally heave a sigh of relief .
Jiang Li thought something was strange, so he sent someone out of the valley to find out what was going on .
“The North County Army is attacking South County because South County had joined hands with the barbarians…”
When the scout relayed the news to Jiang Li, he was taken aback . After a while, he laughed uproariously . “Good man, that Tantai Xuan . ”
“As expected of Tantai Xuan, the one who guards Tianhan Gate unflinchingly! Tang Xiansheng thought about everything, and yet he miscalculated this one thing . ”
“Or perhaps this was intentional on his part, and he had wanted to use the barbarians to blindside the West and North County, but he did not expect for that fool Tang Baiyun to expose this prematurely . All he did was trigger animosity and anger from North County . ”
“‘The outsiders will never truly be on our side’—well said!”
Jiang Li wiped off the blood from his dagger .
A brilliant gleam was alit in his eyes . He focused on scanning the black-armored soldiers in the area who were all covered in blood .
“Will the Black Dragon Guard continue to fight?!” Jiang Li roared
The Black Dragon Guard, covered from head to toe in blood, stood up and howled .
“Follow me and kill the enemies . We might be few in number, but we’ll be able to hold our own against the South Manor Army from South County!” Jiang Li bellowed again .
A fire danced in Chi Lian’s eyes as she looked toward Jiang Li in his silver armor . He too shouted .
Though this was a crazy decision, it was best for them to stay in the valley and recover for now .
However, Jiang Li decided to charge out of the valley instead, forging out his own bloody path to assist the North County . It was a maniacal decision, but if he succeeded, it would deal an unimaginable pain to South County .
There was not a shred of opposition from the elite soldiers in the valley .
If the South County were to kill and force the North County troops to retreat, they would end up being surrounded, trapped alive like a caged beast .
The shouts shook the skies .
Jiang Li took the lead and rushed out, charging aggressively out of the valley .
He rushed out to engage the South County troops in battle .
It was a bloody battle, and the Black Dragon Guard was valiant .
Jiang Li decapitated the general of the South County Garrison in a single move, and he slashed the South County flag . After that, he brandished his blade and continued forth .
The battle between the South and North County armies was a violent one .
On the battlefield, one army was like a sharp steel knife that tore through the North County Army .
This was the South Manor Army .
It was an army that was composed of cultivators . They were like a meat cutter; everywhere they went, the North County soldiers found it difficult to hold them back .
Even the pride of the North County, their best horseman, was quashed under the South Manor Army’s blade .
Tantai Xuan grit his teeth . He could do nothing but wave his flag and use his numbers to suppress the South Manor Army .
He finally saw for himself how terrifying an army of cultivators could be .
And he understood all the more how important it was to assemble an army of cultivators .
The South Manor Army, along with the army of Nanman barbarians…
The South County Army was actually suppressing the North County Army .
There was a grave expression on Tantai Xuan’s face .
But at this moment .
Loud shouts cut through the air .
A group of elite soldiers charged out from the direction of the valley and joined the fray . They forced the South Manor Army back—this group of soldiers was actually suppressing the army of cultivators .
Tantai Xuan’s eyes gleamed .
“It’s the Black Dragon Guard led by Jiang Li!” Mo Ju said, waving his feather fan gently .
“Haha, as expected, Jiang Li’s a real man!” Tantai Xuan laughed uproariously . He dared to make the decision of charging out of the valley . This Jiang Li… He’s bold!
The South Manor Army was suppressed .
North County’s counterattack commenced immediately .
The South County Army descended into panic and, not long after, were utterly defeated .
Tang Baiyun’s silver armor was stained red with blood, and his face was deathly pale . He had never expected—not even in his wildest dreams—that the tides would change so drastically within a single night .
When a hint of white appeared in the skies…
Tang Baiyun finally gave the order to retreat .
After suffering a tragic defeat, the South County Army retreated, moving southwest .
Jiang Li joined forces with Tantai Xuan, who he persuaded not to go after the enemy . However, Tantai Xuan broke out in laughter . He pointed in the southwest direction, glee dancing in his eyes .
Jiang Li was taken aback . After a while, there was a weird look on his face .
Tantai Xuan was not sending a message to the person in the west, was he?
The South County Army led by Tang Baiyun had retreated after suffering a tragic defeat .
His face paled .
He had been on the run for half a day…
Only for him to come face to face with, at the end of the horizon, the sound of a large troop marching .
Tang Baiyun turned pale .
He tugged at the reins, forcing the horse to rear .
After a while, he stared in the southwest direction .
Gradually, a terrifying warrior charged aggressively toward them from the horizon . The warrior was clad in armor and brandishing a long sword .
Western Liang soldiers were striking the drums, and a low bugling got one’s blood pumping .
The Overlord Xiang Shaoyun had a giant axe and shield strapped to his back as he rode his black horse . His hair billowed in the wind, and there was a murderous glint to his eyes . Behind him, 50,000 Western Liang soldiers marched forward uniformly .
They made for an imposing presence as they blocked the South County Army’s escape path .
The Western Liang armored horsemen roared, shocking Tang Baiyun so much that all the blood drained from his face in an instant .