By the time Long Chen and the others returned to Compass Mountain, the ground was already littered with corpses, and blood still slowly trickled.
Guo Ran, Gu Yang, and Xu Yang were busy cleaning up a battlefield. They were gathering the spatial rings as well as picking out the needles that were stuck in the corpses.
Those were all Guo Ran's precious treasures that he had to gather back. He had been smart and had long since put his personal spiritual imprint on each of those needles. He could easily sense their locations within a range of three hundred meters.
Those things took a great deal of bitter work for him to create. Losing just one of them filled him with pain. Ever since the previous Righteous and Corrupt battle when he had run out of ammo, he always focused on keeping sufficient weapons around.
So usually, he wasn't even willing to lose a single needle. Currently, the needles that had just been littering the ground had already been gathered. The only ones left were still stuck in people's bodies.
Under normal circumstances, with the power of the needle mechanism he used, those needles would easily pierce through a person's flesh. These needles that were stuck in bodies had usually already mostly pierced through a body, or even two bodies before getting stuck.
"Guo Ran, let's just leave them. It's too hard to get these things out," complained Gu Yang.
Extracting these needles from corpses was truly unpleasant. It wasn't that he found touching corpses to be so taboo, but they were all sticky and unpleasant to extract.
"You and Xu Yang can rest. I'll just slowly handle it by myself. Hehe, these things are all like my children, and I can't just throw them away," said Guo Ran.
"To shoot out this many of yours kids in one time, you really are an interesting father." Gu Yang shook his head.
The speaker said that unintentionally, but the listener heard that other meaning. Guo Ran was between laughter and tears, saying, "Gu Yang, you really are getting vulgar."
"Hm?" Gu Yang rubbed his head, not understanding. He was about to say something when a bird cry rang out, and a huge figure descended from the sky.
"Boss has returned! Hehe, sister Ye, brother Mingyuan, brother Luo Cang, brother Zifeng, long time no see!" Seeing that they had returned, Guo Ran hastily called out a greeting.
After seeing everyone together, the previous heavy atmosphere lightened a great deal. Hearing that Guan Wennan and the others had all died, Guo Ran and Gu Yang were all filled with sadness. So many of them had entered, but now only these few people were still alive.
Mentioning Yin Wushuang, not one of them didn't grit their teeth in anger. That slut was too hateful, and they wished to tear her apart.
"Alright, that's enough. The path of cultivation is just like that. No one knows just who will fall at one time. The important thing is that we cherish these feelings while we're alive. From today onwards, our goal is revenge. Us brothers can't be afraid of death, and a blood debt must be repaid with blood," said Long Chen.
"Boss, we'll listen to you. But just who is our exact enemy?" asked Guo Ran.
He couldn't completely comprehend just what Long Chen meant by revenge. Just what hatred had caused Yin Wushuang to target Long Chen like this?
Long Chen's conduct had always been open and candid, and he had never offended her. So why would she constantly be forcing Long Chen to this point?
"The true people behind the scenes are the higher-ups of the first monastery. As for Yin Wushuang, she is just the person executing their scheme.
"But according to my guess, the first monastery was probably only planning on targeting me. The original plan was probably to kill me as soon as I entered the secret realm.
"As for Yin Wushuang, she was even more vicious, wanting me to become a stepping stone for Han Tianyu. She constantly smeared my name, turning me into a heinous villain. Then, Han Tianyu, under the banner of justice, would kill me, bringing him another glorious achievement.
"Later, the situation gradually exceeded her control, and she realized that I was a serious problem. Since she couldn't find me, she started to search for all of you. She wanted to kill you to force me out.
"I was in seclusion back then, and so I didn't know what was going on outside. As soon as I exited seclusion, there was that fight on Compass Mountain." Long Chen gave a simple explanation of what had happened.
According to his analysis, if it was just the higher-ups of the first monastery, they definitely wouldn't have made it so fancy. Keeping it simple and direct was more in line with a cultivator's temperament.
If it had been someone else handling this matter, and they were only to target Long Chen, Long Chen wouldn't fear anything. But this matter had landed in Yin Wushuang's hands, and to target Long Chen, she had targeted the people by his side. That was something Long Chen could not tolerate.
"No matter what, Yin Wushuang must die," said Long Chen hatefully.
"Of course that slut has to die, or our brothers will not be able to rest in peace." Gu Yang's killing intent also surged.
"However, this slut is hiding somewhere right now, and doesn't dare face us head-on. We won't be able to find her. If we really did just try to randomly look around for her, we would fall for her trap, and probably even be ridiculed by her in secret. So right now, the most important thing for us is to increase our strength. Before Han Tianyu comes out of seclusion, we'll raise our strength to the highest level possible. Then when the time comes, we'll have a fierce battle," warned Long Chen.
"Don't worry boss, during this battle, none of us brothers will get scared. We'll all kill as many as possible," said Guo Ran confidently.
Long Chen nodded. Looking at this battlefield, he said, "Are these your masterpieces?"
"Correct. These were all done by Guo Ran. Brother Xu and I didn't even have a chance to attack," praised Gu Yang.
Gu Yang was still slowly recovering from his shock from that previous battle. The armored Guo Ran was just like a slaughter machine.
With a raise of his hand, countless concealed weapons shot out from unexpected places, making it so people couldn't defend. Guo Ran had hunted them down to the last.
Even the final Chosen had been smashed to death with a single one of his metal fists.
Furthermore, that Chosen had definitely been very powerful. But no matter what he tried, he was unable to damage Guo Ran's armor.
Not only was its defense incredibly high, Guo Ran had made it very exquisitely, and he was able to move very nimbly with it on.
So all Guo Ran had to do was attack. He could basically ignore other people's attacks. That Chosen's powerful attacks had been completely stifled by Guo Ran.
Xu Yang sighed, "To tell the truth, I've experienced countless battles in my life, but this is the first time I've seen such a terrifying fight."
"Hehe, that's because you haven't seen our boss fight. I guarantee that would make your blood boil," laughed Guo Ran. After being praised this much, he actually ended up knowing how to be modest and change the subject.
That was definitely something rare for Guo Ran. It seemed that little fellow was finally beginning to change. Long Chen said, "What were you doing just now? Was killing them not satisfying enough? You're playing with their corpses?"
"Cough, no, no, I'm just gathering back my treasures. I can't just so easily throw away the things I worked so hard to make. Eh? Boss, why are you looking at me like that?" asked Guo Ran. He noticed that Long Chen's gaze had become very disdainful.
"Are you a pig? Why don't you just gather all those corpses together and burn them? Do you think your needles would burn too?" Long Chen was a bit speechless.
Guo Ran clapped his leg. "Aiya, what a simple method! How could I not even have thought of that?"
He had been depressed this whole time about having to take out these needles from flesh. When these needles were stuck deep in a person's body, the only option was to hack apart the flesh around it. Let alone Gu Yang and Xu Yang, even he found it a bit unbearable. After all, that was human flesh, not pig flesh.
Xu Yang was an outsider, and so he didn't feel right with complaining. He just lowered his head and worked. But Gu Yang hadn't been able to hold back a few grumbles.
Long Chen sighed, "I find you really did use up all your smarts on forging. Just go gather the corpses and Little Violet can help you incinerate them."
The Little Violet Long Chen was referring to was Chu Yao's Violet Phoenix Sparrow. Currently, the Violet Phoenix Sparrows had all advanced to the fourth rank, and the flame they could spit out was something even Chosen were unable to endure. Burning a few corpses was just playing around.
Guo Ran immediately began to gather the corpses that still had his needles in them.
Everyone else began helping, but Xu Yang was held back by Long Chen. "Xu Yang, what do you want to do next? Do you want to stay with us?"
Long Chen was truly grateful to Xu Yang, as he was a person who understood that favors had to be repaid. Ignoring the risk to his own life, he had come here to report news to him. That was enough to prove he was a loyal and virtuous person.
He wanted to pull Xu Yang over, but for Xu Yang to stay be his side was also too dangerous. Although he had the ability to offer many cultivation resources, compared to that danger, those resources were not so precious. So Long Chen wanted to hear Xu Yang's thoughts.
As for Xu Yang, being invited over by Long Chen, his eyes reddened. Just who was Long Chen? He was the greatest dark horse within the secret realm, was able to stand shoulder to shoulder with peak experts, and was unrivaled within his realm. The fact that Long Chen was inviting him to become a member meant Long Chen treated him as one of them. Just what kind of glory was that?
But after a brief excitement, he sighed, "Thank you brother Long for your respect. But I come from a humble origin, and I still haven't paid back my debt to my sect. I can't leave them, so please forgive me for declining."
Long Chen nodded, understanding Xu Yang's meaning. He was someone that had come from a small sect, and considering how much kindness his sect had given him, he couldn't betray his sect by leaving to follow him.
According to what he knew about Xu Yang, it was very likely his sect had spent a huge amount of resources to get him a quota for the Jiuli secret realm. For his sect to send him in was a true gamble. So Long Chen truly could understand his difficulties.
"That's fine. No matter what, we're all brothers. I don't have anything good to give you, but here are twenty Bone Tempering Pills and ten wind spirit stones. As brothers, don't decline." Long Chen pushed a jade bottle as well as ten wind spirit stones to Xu Yang.
"Brother Long, I can't accept this…" Xu Yang humped. He had only ever heard of Bone Tempering Pills. But what he had heard was that they were unimaginably expensive.
Furthermore, these ten wind spirit stones were at least ten times better than the one he had obtained at the beginning. The wind energy inside it was incredibly pure.
"As brothers, don't say anything useless. Since I'm giving them to you, just take it. You risked your life to give me information, which saved my friends from calamity. If you don't take it, it means you're looking down on me." Long Chen intentionally turned hostile.
"Alright, then I'll accept it. I, Xu Yang, will never forget brother Long's great favor." Xu Yang respectfully bowed to Long Chen before leaving.
After Long Chen sent off Xu Yang, Li Qi, who had been unconscious this entire time, finally awoke, delighting everyone.
Once that brief celebration was over, Long Chen continued refining pills, while everyone else alternated between guarding and tempering their bones, all in preparation for the upcoming clash.
 Gu Yang says that Guo Ran has guts to throw out so many of his children at once. But the word for guts also means seed.