Chapter 69 Setting Off
By the time they were done with their preparations, they saw roughly eight thousand people gathered at the entrance of the city who were grouped together with Monk Jueyuan and other Shaolin disciples.
There were several thousand people following the disciples of Emei Sect, slightly lesser than the Shaolin group.
Wudang Sect and Qingcheng Sect each had a few thousand followers as well.
Lastly, there were several thousand people who did not follow any major sect and acted by themselves. However, these people were very smart and kept a distance from the large groups.
When Lin Yi and company arrived, everyone was stunned by the heavy armor that they were wearing. Monk Jueyuan even mocked: "Some people are so afraid of dying that they would resort to wearing heavy armor. However, considering that they merely have five people, it's understandable that they would feel insecure."
"Hahaha!" The people behind Monk Jueyuan burst out laughing and mockingly gazed at them.
Even the female Emei Sect disciples shook their heads at the sight of them in heavy armor.
The little nun and the other three disciples were infuriated. "Hmph, damn baldie, you dare to mock us now. When you get overrun by the demonic cult disciples later, it'll be too late to cry!" Yiqian ground her teeth in anger while holding her sword tightly.
"These people are truly too much. Not only do they choose to give up on using something as good as heavy armor, but they also mock those who choose to wear heavy armor. I wonder what their brains are good for!" Lu Buping shook his head and sighed repeatedly, seemingly sighing at these people's stupidity.
"Why do you care what they think, they go their own way and we go on ours. We just need to survive and exterminate evil." Yun Taizi laughed coldly, paying no heed to the people mocking him.
"Looking at their foolish behavior, I realize how wise Senior Brother Lin Yi is." Mo Yu also sighed.
When he heard their words, Lin Yi laughed. He was completely unconcerned by the ridicule he received.
Was that edible?
Besides, he never felt that wearing heavy armor was an act of cowardice.
Perhaps the people from the righteous faction were too used to a position of advantage over those in the demonic faction and as such, they had long since lowered their guard towards the demonic cults. In their minds, demonic cults were nothing much.
But Lin Yi was well aware that the demonic cults were not weak at all. In fact, they were extremely powerful. On the battlefield, the demonic cults performed much better compared to the righteous sects.
This was because demonic cult disciples were savage and bloodthirsty like wild wolves. No matter how harsh the environment was, they were able to survive using any method they could think of. On the contrary, people from the righteous faction were unable to survive under harsh conditions.
Usually, whenever the demonic faction suffered a defeat, they would always make a quick recovery. On the other hand, the righteous faction would take a long time to recover from a defeat.
This was why when the era of chaos arrived, at the beginning of the great war, many righteous sects and schools offered nearly no resistance and crumbled easily. Only after multiple bloody battles and defeats did the righteous faction begin to show signs of life and strike back. They had finally learned to survive battles of life and death and to fight to their last breath.
During the middle and late period of the great war, the righteous faction finally began to show their true strength and slowly regained the upper hand. Before that, chaos reigned and the righteous faction was constantly suffering defeats.
Thinking of this, Lin Yi smiled. "Don't mind them, they have their ways of doing things. We just need to focus on ourselves and improve our skills. Our only aim is to slay the demonic cult disciples and practice our sword art in the process. As for whether we can drive them back this time, it does not concern us."
Hearing his honest words, the four of them looked at each other and smiled. After the battle with the Blood Saber Sect disciples, they were beginning to be influenced by Lin Yi. If they heard Lin Yi say these words before, the little nun would surely insist on expounding the principles of righteousness and driving away the demonic faction. But now, they clearly understood that the demonic faction was not going to be uprooted simply through their own efforts.
The upcoming battle was just a battle between third-rate experts from both factions. It was not going to have any profound effects on the balance between the factions no matter which side won. If that was the case, what was the point of trying so hard to drive them back?
To hone one's skills through fighting the demonic cult disciples was the only meaningful thing to do here. The four of them were no longer as naive as they were before they met Lin Yi, and Lin Yi was glad to see such changes in them.
He was a realist, only doing something if it benefited himself. If something did not benefit himself, then he would consider the ease of accomplishing the matter. If it were something which could be done easily with little effort, he wouldn't mind doing it. Once it exceeded his ability, he would not be interested in doing it.
Right now, the only thing he had in mind was to make use of the opportunity to earn as much battle experience as he could and upgrade his skills. After all, such opportunities did not come by easily before the era of chaos.
He could not possibly go hunting down bandits or even go around killing people from the righteous faction. Simply killing one or two would still be fine. Any more than that, and he would find himself in trouble, potentially earning himself the title of mass murderer.
He could only kill as he pleased on the battlefields where both factions fought, and the demonic cult members were nothing more than experience to him. With so much experience to earn, how could he not get excited?
At this moment, Monk Jueyuan waved his hand in an imposing manner: "Everyone, follow me to exterminate those followers of evil!" He imagined himself leading his followers defeating all the demonic cult disciples wherever they went, achieving victory after victory. He could even see himself becoming the most famous and prominent genius in the entire Jianghu with his accomplishments.
With such thoughts in his mind, he excitedly set off. Following behind him was a long line of people who were just as excited as him and engaged in cheerful banter as they proceeded to the hunting ground.
At the same time, Emei, Qingcheng and Wudang also set off with their followers in tow.
The four groups of people headed towards the direction of the Western Region. As they proceeded, the distance between the members of the group gradually increased.
Lin Yi shook his head at the sight. These groups of people were no different from a pile of loose sand.
If the righteous faction continued to act in this manner during the era of chaos, the demonic faction would probably dance in joy.
However, he understood that it was due to the fact that these people hailed from numerous different sects and powers. For them to be united as one and become a disciplined unit was nearly impossible.
Only the main battle squads established by major sects was capable of doing that.
It was still a period of time where personal glory and achievements mattered the most.
What an outdated period it was currently!
Lin Yi sighed, but he also smiled.
It was thanks to this outdated period that he had the chance to achieve prominence and fame easily.
"Let's go as well!" Seeing that the entrance was now nearly empty, Lin Yi said to the other four.
Soon after, many of the people of Jianghu saw the five of them wearing heavy armor and riding their horses which were carrying a bunch of things, slowly trotting in the direction of the Western Region.
The sight amazed them and they wondered whether the disciples from the Five Mountain Sword Sects were going to exterminate evil or going on an excursion. Proceeding at such a pace, won't all the demonic cult members be dead by the time they reached their destination?
Lin Yi was not bothered by the strange looks he received and the other people of Jianghu overtaking them and simply continued to proceed at a slow pace.
After two hours, signs of fighting gradually appeared on the road. There were also some corpses lying around and they all belonged to the demonic faction. But the numbers were few, with only one or two corpses appearing every ten li.
Lin Yi smiled and continued on his way.
After four hours, they were roughly a hundred li away from Lanzhou City. As they did not travel in a straight line but simply followed the majority of the forces in front, they did not discover many demonic cult disciples.
Two more hours later, the number of corpses that could be seen increased, and there was starting to be some people from the righteous faction among them.
The further they went, the higher the number of corpses belonging to the righteous faction, eventually achieving a somewhat equal ratio.
"They are luring the enemy deep into their territory!" Lin Yi spoke the words out of nowhere.
The four of them were surprised and the little nun asked: "Senior Brother Lin Yi, does that mean that those people ahead of us are in danger?"
As he saw the darkened skies, Lin Yi replied: "Whether they are in danger or not, I do not know. What I do know, however, is that once it gets dark, we might be in danger."
He pointed to the surroundings and indicated the lack of anyone from the righteous faction.
"It can't be, maybe our righteous faction has achieved victory and defeated those demonic cult disciples already?" Although Yiqian was gradually becoming a realist like Lin Yi, at this moment, she was still very much rooting for the triumph of righteousness.
Instead of arguing with her, Lin Yi simply said calmly: "Let's find a hilltop to set up camp for the night."
The little nun pouted but nodded her head obediently. There were no objections from the rest either.
Before night descended, they managed to locate a small hill and settled down.
Being people of Jianghu, there were no tents or beds to speak of. They simply tied a rope to two trees and slept on the rope. Being third-rate experts, sleeping on ropes weren't that difficult. Below them, their horses rested.
As they ate their rations, Lin Yi said: "For the earlier half of the night, one of you will stay up to keep watch. I will take over for the next half."
The four of them nodded without any objections since Lin Yi was much more experienced than them.
Lu Buping was chosen to keep watch and the others went to rest.
The moon was covered by the dark clouds, and the entire area was enshrouded in pitch-black darkness.
The hill fell into silence, and occasionally the sound of the wind blowing and the rustling of the leaves could be heard.
It seemed calm and no activity could be detected.