Long Chen and the core disciples were gathered atop one huge flying Magical Beast.
Long Chen took out an animal hide page and pointed to a spot. "This time the Corrupt path has invaded us from here.
"Their invasion occured eighteen hours ago, and with our current flying speed, it should take us around six hours to get there.
"The Corrupt path's disciples are incredibly blood-thirsty, and will slaughter the innocent commoners as a kind of trial.
"In a bit, once we arrive, we don't have any time to adjust ourselves. Each moment we wait, countless commoners are dying."
They nodded. This time it had happened too suddenly, and they hadn't had the slightest time to prepare. Originally they should have been the ones to initiate it, but the result was that their enemy had already taken the initiative.
"These idiots from the Corrupt path, just what are they thinking? Why are they so evil? Do they not care about the lives of others?" Li Qi couldn't help hatefully demanding.
The others also didn't understand. Even the experts from the Corrupt path still had to have a mother and a father who raised them. How could they be so devoid of any humanity?
Long Chen replied, "You just don't understand what they're thinking. The people from the Corrupt path have their own belief and conviction. Their belief is very simple: natural selection.
"They think that a person must be strong, and the weak are just stepping stones for the strong. The weak are just accessories, ornaments to let the strong stand out.
"And so, the thing they believe in the most is strength. Strength is everything to them. As long as they have strength, they can unless all their desire without limit, regardless of any morality."
"How could there be such wicked people?" exclaimed Tang Wan-er. They were all humans, but how were their ideologies so different?
Long Chen lightly said, "That's just because you don't understand how formidable having a belief is. A conviction in a belief means that your whole mind and spirit is devoted.
"The people from the Corrupt path firmly believe that their actions are the most correct. They believe the rules of the Heavenly Daos make this world a survival of the fittest. And so their actions are in accordance to the Heavenly Daos.
"As for our Righteous path's actions of guarding and helping each other, that is in contrary to the Heavenly Dao's natural elimination rules, and so they believe we are disrespecting the heavens.
"And so they treat killing disciples of the Righteous path as taking the place of the heavens to punish us. Furthermore, they won't feel the slightest bit of guilt. Killing people is sacred to them, and they are willing to commit all kinds of things we would consider crimes.
"Even once they die, they believe that since they fought for the Heavenly Daos, the Heavenly Daos will bless them and care for them. And so true Corrupt path disciples do not fear death much at all."
Long Chen's words caused a chill to run through them. They had all heard the Corrupt path's disciples were savage and cruel; so this was the reason.
"They really are a group of madmen." One of the core disciples shook his head.
"And this is also the reason why you absolutely cannot show any mercy against them once the fighting starts. Don't try to act with some kind of noble character, humanity, forgiveness, or hope of reforming them.
"That's just foolishness, a foolishness that will cost dearly. Not only will you end up killing yourself, you'll end up implicating those behind you, causing them to die with you. That is what it really means to die with your eyes wide open in grievance," solemnly warned Long Chen.
In particular, he was looking at Tang Wan-er and Ye Zhiqiu. He knew those two women were more softhearted, especially Tang Wan-er.
If they ended up feeling pity for their opponents and ended up restraining themselves, then they really would be done for. And once core disciples died, those disciples behind them would have their morale plummet to rock bottom.
"Don't worry, I definitely won't show any mercy." Tang Wan-er took a deep breath.
Long Chen smiled slightly and nodded. Tang Wan-er's soft heart also had its good points. She cherished her subordinates, and for them, she would definitely not show any mercy.
Sweeping his gaze over everyone, Long Chen solemnly said, "We still have quite a few members here who haven't awakened their ancestral marks. Do you want to awaken them?"
The hearts of those core disciples began to pound. Previously they had heard that Long Chen had used some kind of secret technique to help Song Mingyuan, Li Qi, and Luo Cang awaken their ancestral marks, causing them to be filled with envy.
But Long Chen had kept that technique secret, and he hadn't shared it with everyone. Now their hearts were pounding with excitement.
"If senior brother Long Chen can help awaken our ancestral marks, we'd be willing to even do a dog's work for you," excitedly said one of the core disciples. His family had already begun to decline. By his generation, his ancestral blood had already become extremely faint. If he couldn't awaken his ancestral mark, their bloodline inheritance would end with him.
The others were also fervently looking at Long Chen. Awakening the ancestral mark was just too important to them, even maybe more important than their own lives. It was a mission their family had given them, and also a kind of glory.
"I can't help you awaken your ancestral marks. Everything will have to rely on you. Li Qi, you tell everyone about how you guys awakened your ancestral marks."
Li Qi nodded and told them about what had happened that day. He didn't omit everything, even telling them how he had felt absolute despair when facing death.
Those people listening were dumbstruck. They were just like how Song Mingyuan and them had been at the beginning. None of them had thought that this was the correct way to awaken their ancestral marks.
"Now that Long Chen mentions it, I remember back when I awakened my ancestral mark, it was because of my little sister. I had secretly brought her out deep in the mountains to do some hunting.
"But we ended up running into a powerful Magical Beast. I was unable to defeat it, and I saw that my little sister was about to be killed.
"At that moment, I felt as if I had gone insane, and some unfathomable power burst out of me, and I somehow managed to kill that Magical Beast. Only later did I realize I had somehow awakened my ancestral mark." Gu Yang suddenly realized why he had managed to awaken his ancestral mark.
"When you feel your life is in danger, you'll be able to explode with ten times the strength. But when you feel someone precious to you is about to die, you'll be able to explode with a power that surpasses your imagination.
"To protect is also a kind of belief. It can let you advance without fear of death.
"So if you want to awaken your ancestral marks, that'll require you to erupt with a power that surpasses your body's limits. Only then will your mind draw out that bloodline power deep within you.
"But if you have nothing to protect, it'll be impossible for you to erupt with that much power. If it's just protecting your own life, the probability is very low.
"If you want awaken your ancestral marks, it'll rely on yourselves. It depends on whether or not you really cherish your companions, whether or not you cherish their lives," explained Long Chen.
He had explained it to them as best as he could. As for whether they could succeed, it would all rely on them.
Long Chen continued, "This time it's a true, bloody battle. The goal of each one of your attacks is to kill your opponent. It is vastly different from when you normally fight. If you can't change your habits, the one to die will be you.
"And in order to allow as many disciples as possible to survive, it'll require your encouragement to increase their confidence.
"Each time when the battle just starts, bring out your best display. Use your full force to kill your opponents in as perfect a way as possible, understood?"
"We understand. We'll do it at all costs," they hastily replied. Long Chen had unstintingly told all of them his secret technique. Those people who still had been a bit against him immediately felt any of their displeasure fade away to be replaced with gratitude and respect.
Long Chen nodded. He turned to a certain woman, "Senior apprentice-sister Qi Yue, it'll be up to you guys to provide support. I'll keep a group of people to protect you guys."
That woman was the Healing Hall's Qi Yue who had come to the Heaven Earth Faction at the very beginning to heal their wounds.
But at that time, a little mishap had occurred because Lu Chuan had wanted to show off his skills in front of Tang Wan-er, and ended up being slapped in the face by Long Chen.
"Don't worry. We'll go all-out," nodded Qi Yue.
She had brought all the disciples of the Healing Hall. This was in hopes that any disciples who ended up injured could be healed promptly.
One reason was to maintain everyone's peak combat strength, while the other reason was in hopes of reducing how many disciples would end up dying this time.
If a disciple ended up taking a heavy, life-threatening injury, medicinal pills wouldn't be enough. But if a disciple from the Healing Hall immediately went to help, there was a high chance that person could be saved.
However, the members of the Healing Hall didn't possess high combat ability, and so there needed to be some people to protect them from danger.
"That Lu Chuan has also come. Make sure to tell him that if he dares play any shady games, I'll immediately chop off his head to use as a kick ball," said Long Chen.
Qi Yue laughed, "You don't need to be worried about that. After you killed Wu Qi, he's become completely well-behaved. He definitely won't do anything."
Long Chen nodded. He wasn't that worried about him pulling any tricks, but he had been a bit worried about him not bringing out his full abilities to heal everyone. But with Qi Yue to keep an eye on him, he wasn't so worried.
"On the battlefield, every disciple must carry at least three signal flares. Furthermore, they cannot keep them in their spatial rings, or they won't have time to take them out at a critical moment.
"And when using the signal flare, remember to shoot them at a slanted angle. If you see any signals going straight up, assume disciples of the Corrupt path have stolen the signal flares and have set up a trap…"
Long Chen continued to explain a large heap of strategies and tactics used on the battlefield. The Corrupt path's disciples were all cultivators and not a regular army, and so it wasn't likely for them to know that many tricks, but it was best to be prepared just in case. Perhaps something he was telling them would be enough to save a disciple's life; then his long-winded speech would all be worth it.
As Long Chen explained their deployment, the flying Magical Beasts didn't pause for the slightest rest. Third rank flying Magical Beasts were extremely fast and didn't need much rest.
A range of mountains was slowly replaced with large plains. There were a couple small villages there.
As they flew over a certain a certain village, they all sucked in a cold gasp. Seeing corpse after corpse, they blood in their ears began to bound and killing intent surged out of them.
"These goddamn bastards!"
Some people cursed through gritted teeth. A village of hundreds of people was now only filled with corpses. There were old seniors who were already white-haired, and there were also babies who were only a couple months old. Not one of them was still alive.
Long Chen suddenly stood up and roared "Brothers, the Corrupt path's disciples are just up ahead slaughtering innocent commoners!
"Today's battle is not a trial, but a true life and death battle!
"This battle is not for points or glory. This battle is just to bear witness to our hot blood! Use the weapons in your hands to cut off their heads! Slaughter them all!"
"Kill! Kill! Kill!"
The scene below them immediately provoked all their hearts. All their eyes were completely red.
They were originally nervous about fighting, but after hearing Long Chen's battle cry, they all began to crazily shout, a murderous aura surging through the sky.
Suddenly a small town appeared before them. There were dozens of red-robed Corrupt path disciples cutting down the innocent commoners with their sabers. The entire town was dyed red. Howls of grief filled the air.
Long Chen was the first to jump off the Magical Beasts, directly charging over to the Corrupt path's disciples.