At East Arrival Cave, after the human monsters had wallowed in wantonness with the captured handmaidens, they felt refreshed, energized and in extremely high spirits. Now, they were simply wreaking havoc on East Arrival Cave.
Yuan Zhengkun brandished his long halberd as he charged past the mountain gates. Twice, he charged back and forth. Following a rumbling reverberation, the lofty mountain gate—the memorial archway of East Arrival Cave—nobly collapsed.
Elsewhere, the other subordinates were being even more aggressive. One by one, each of the residences collapsed with a loud rumble.
A few dragon steeds were violently charging through the East Arrival Grand Hall. After enduring a few rounds, the East Arrival Grand Hall also collapsed with a rumble, as smoke and dust rose from the ruins.
Charging back, Yuan Zhengkun swung his long halberd across to smash into a carved railing by the pond, blasting it into pieces that flew about chaotically. He turned around to once again face everyone before loudly yelling, "Ravage them! Completely destroy them! Anything that can be destroyed, must all be laid to waste!"
The buildings, the winding corridors, and the pavilions; each of these fine constructs were turned into nothing but dust and ruins in a mere instant.
On the plaza, more than ten handmaidens in various states of undress—so much that they were practically naked—had either collapsed, or were sitting on the floor. Some wore wooden expressions, while others wept with their faces in their hands. The lower bodies of some, still bore bloodstains from being ravaged.
A place that used to be a paradise of Immortals in the eyes of the secular mortals, was now left in complete ruins.
At this precise moment, Chen Fei was hastily returning with his three-man cavalry. He was stunned by the scene whilst rushing to Yuang Zhengkun's side.
"Cave Master Yuan, what is the reason for this?" Chen Fei said, frowning.
He was formerly a man of East Arrival Cave, so he still held some sentiment towards East Arrival Cave. After seeing it laid to waste by Yuan Zhengkun, he was genuinely upset.
Yuan Zhengkun was unconcerned. "Brother Chen, if you wish to lure the enemies deeper, it is necessary to enrage them."
Chen Fei sucked in a deep breath of air. With the urgency of the current situation, he could not afford to pursue this matter further. He cupped his hands, saying, "Qin Weiwei's forces are almost here. Cave Master Yuan, please get ready."
"So fast?" Yuan Zhengkun was shocked. According to the plan, Qin Weiwei shouldn't have arrived so soon.
He was unaware that Qin Weiwei had already been warned of the possibility of East Arrival Cave being raided early on.
"Regroup!" Yuan Zhengkun bellowed in a hurry.
The troops that were going around wreaking havoc, swiftly moved to regroup. Unexpectedly, Yuan Zhengkun's gaze became focused onto the group of handmaidens.
Chen Fei inwardly sighed. He knew that for the sake of enraging Qin Weiwei, he feared that this bastard was now determined to deliver a vicious blow. If Brother Miao were to find out, he would be in a towering rage.
"These wretched servants have already heard what we've said! Don't let the new of this leak out."
Following Yuan Zhengkun's order, the group of handmaidens were dragged away screaming. One by one, they were killed after being hung from their sashes on the ruined beams of East Arrival Grand Hall.
Those that did not immediately die either had their necks broken, or were quickly stabbed to death.
Regardless of whether they were partially or completely nude, the handmaidens were all hung in a line. Every one of them left with their eyes wide open, and their tongues jutting out; some still with blood dripping from their lower bodies. Truly, it was a tragic sight to behold.
The sound of galloping hooves came rumbling from the distance. Yuan Zhengkun immediately brandished his halberd and cried out with hatred, "Get in formation and face the enemy!"
With Yuan Zhengkun in the lead, twelve cavalry units immediately set up a defensive line with their weapons in hand.
Up ahead, Qin Weiwei was hurriedly leading seventy troops forward when they caught sight of the perpetrators who had turned East Arrival Cave into a pile of ruins.
In apparent response to seeing Qin Weiwei's forces greatly outmatched them, Yuang Zhengkun again swiftly yelled out, "The enemy outnumber us. Retreat!"
The twelve cavalry units immediately turned tail and hurriedly ran off.
The troops that were charging into East Arrival Cave came to a sudden halt. Each of them trailed their gaze over the pile of debris that was once East Arrival Cave; it had been reduced to such a ghastly sight.
It was a rare sight to see something of this ilk amongst the forces competing for domains, because if they were to do something like this, even if they did manage to capture it, the reconstruction would only cause more trouble for themselves afterwards.
The ghastly sight of a dozen dead handmaidens hanging from the ruined beams of the grand hall, caused Qin Weiwei's beautiful face to take on an extremely chilling cast. Her tone was ice cold as she brandished her Serpent Lance in the direction of the escaping enemy as she said, "Yan Xiu will stay here to guide the reinforcements coming later. The others—follow me to kill! Don't allow any of those bastards to get away! I want to tear them limb from limb!"
Everyone immediately moved to give chase behind Qin Weiwei, eager to slaughter the escaping enemies!
Only Yan Xiu remained at the site. Sitting atop his dragon steed, tears coursing down his aged cheeks as he looked upon his home, one that was destroyed beyond recognition.
He had cultivated for so many years, and had always lived humbly. Only after joining East Arrival Cave, had he finally found a sense of dignity. He had become the grand caretaker of East Arrival Cave and already treated East Arrival Cave as his own home. Now that his home had been ruined to this extent, how could he not be buried in grief?
The beating of a chill wind had a sobering effect on Yan Xiu. He seemed to recall something, and swiftly dismounted from his dragon steed. He quickly stepped under the beams where a dozen of the dead handmaidens hung. He carefully identified them one by one, yet from among the dead handmaidens, he hadn't seen a trace of those two half-disciples of his.
Once again, he did a recount and noticed that there two were less; Qian'Er and Xue'Er were indeed not among them.
Yan Xiu invoked his arts and cried out to his surroundings. He shouted for a long time but nobody answered, so he went into the ruins to search all around once more.
After searching for a long time, and turning over every nook and cranny of the collapsed ruins, he still couldn't find them, and instead found his entire body covered in dust.
Precisely at this moment, another force was thundering in his direction with great urgency. The person in the lead was none other than Gongsun Yu, the top talent of Mount Calming Sea. Formerly, he was a personal disciple at Yang Qing's side, and was considered Yang Qing's trusted aide. He had a cultivation at White Lotus Eighth Grade.
It was rumoured that this person had been courting Mountain Chieftain Qin Weiwei from the beginning. The entire South Edict Manor knew of this news. With regards to this matter, Manor Head Yang Qing had asked Qin Weiwei for her opinion in private. If Qin Weiwei acknowledged him, he would step in to play matchmaker. In the end, he was instead mocked by Qin Weiwei for being bored. Thus, Yang Qing hadn't obtained a definite answer.
If even Yang Qing couldn't make heads or tails on where Gongsun Yu and Qin Weiwei's relationship had progressed to, outsiders naturally wouldn't know either.
But the moment Gongsun Yu received Qin Weiwei's message by the spiritual eagle, he did not hesitate for a second. Immediately, he commanded his troops to make haste.
Out of fear that misfortune might befall Qin Weiwei, he had rushed at full tilt for the entire journey without resting for even a moment, hurriedly charging as fast as lightning. But because of the distance involved, no matter how fast he rushed, he still couldn't catch up to Qin Weiwei.
The dreadful state of East Arrival Cave before his eyes, made Gongsun Yu shocked beyond measure. His gaze dropped onto the dust-covered Yan Xiu in the ruins. He immediately commanded his dragon steed to charge forth and angrily berated, "What the hell is East Arrival Cave doing, and where is your Cave Master Miao Yi? Why has it been battered by others to this state?!"
To the majority, the news about Miao Yi leaving the cave was still being kept a secret so he still was not aware that Miao Yi wasn't here.
Yan Xiu sobbed sporadically as he blamed himself, "I'm useless!"
"Piece of trash!" Gongsun Yu swung his spear onto Yan Xiu's shoulder. 'Thump!' Yan Xiu was forced to a semi-kneeling position in the debris on the spot. He again pointed his spear at Yan Xiu's chest, yelling, "I came here on receiving Mountain Chieftain's orders—have you seen any sign of the Mountain Chieftain?"
Yan Xiu choked back a sob and pointed in the direction that Qin Weiwei had gone to attack. "Mountain Chieftain led her unit to pursue the enemy."
"Useless piece of trash!" Gongsun Yu coldly scoffed, as though it was beneath his dignity to dawdle with this rubbish any further. He turned with his spear raised as he sternly commanded, "Let's go!"
The group did not take a roundabout route. Under Gongsun Yu's lead, they immediately crossed over the ruins of East Arrival Cave, giving chase in the direction that Qin Weiwei had gone.
In contrast, Yan Xiu once again mounted his own dragon steed and began to gallop around the surrounding mountain forest. Grasping onto a last strand of hope, he searched every nook and cranny, his voice could be heard continuously in the mountain forest as he cried out, "Qian'Er… Xue'Er…"
Meanwhile, Yang Qing was also in the middle of rushing with great haste to East Arrival Cave. Similarly, he was rushing at full speed to reach there, and did not make any stops.
But the tract of land for the entire South Edict Manot was immensely larger than the area of Mount Calming Sea. The speed in assembling the troops of South Edict was definitely not as fast as in Mount Calming Sea. Throughout the journey, Yang Qing could only gather the force of two mountains.
In the middle of Yang Qing's journey, a spiritual eagle flew through the air towards him before descending on Qing Mei's arm. Qing Mei swiftly retrieved the jade archive from the tube at the spiritual eagle's foot, before passing it to Yang Qing.
After Yang Qing read through the news in the jade archive, his expression fell. Immediately a cackling sound could be heard as he crushed the jade archive into pieces. As he expected, the other party had indeed made a premeditated strike. Zhang Decheng of Ever Peace Manor had already set a massive plan in motion.
By the time the news reached Yang Qing, it was already too late. Having done his preparations in advance, Zhang Decheng had already almost reached the agreed location with half of his troops, whilst the other half would soon reach the site as well. The scene of waiting to ambush a rabbit from behind a tree was gradually taking shape;. they only had to wait for the opponent to walk right into the trap...
Having been the first to withdraw, Meng Yide, the Cave Master of Emerald Forest Cave had already set his own subordinates at intervals to act as hidden sentries. News of Qin Weiwei pursuing tightly behind Yuang Zhengkun gradually reached him.
Meng Yide himself was now beside the Mountain Chieftain Duan Jirui. He continued to update Duan Jirui with the latest news of Qin Weiwei gradually being lured into the trap at every step.
Right at this moment, Duan Jirui and the rest abruptly turned their head to witness a large squad of troops galloping posthaste across the mountain ranges.
Duan Jirui immediately nudged his steed forth to welcome them. Leading a group of men, he dismounted from his dragon steed, and cupped his hands in greeting, "Greetings, Manor Head."
It was none other than Zhang Decheng—the Manor Head of Ever Peace Manor who had come with his troops. Duan Jirui was a little surprised, the Manor Head seemed to have arrived here quite ahead of time. They hadn't officially engaged with Qin Weiwei yet, so why was he here so soon?
He was unaware that Yang Qing had already marched out ahead of expectations—forcing the Manor Head to push ahead with his plans and causing a slight upset in the timing.
"What's the situation?" Zhang Decheng immediately asked.
"As Manor Head expected, Qin Weiwei will soon walk into our trap." Duan Jirui replied.
"It looks like Yang Qing is also almost here. I expect that Yang Qing can only assemble two mountains-worth of men on reaching here, so there is absolutely nothing to worry about." Zhang Decheng coldly laughed, before resolutely calling out, "Mei Yu, Sheng Huaigang, Lun Xutian, Xu Zida!"
"Here!" Four of the Mountain Chieftains under him stepped forth to receive their orders.
"The four of you shall lead your troops twenty li forward and lie in wait on either side of the mountain. If Yang Qing hasn't arrived, do not reveal yourselves. After Yang Qing barges in, the four of you should immediately block off his path. I won't ask you to kill Yang Qing, just cripple his flank. In the end, if Yang Qing is alone and besieged, the only path left for him is death."
"Understood!" The four accepted the order.
"Remember. Yang Qing is a sly fox. He always has a plan. I worry that he will send a man out to scout ahead. Thus, the jaw of the trap must be far apart. Do not let him discover you."
"Understood." The four men agreed.
"Duan Jirui! Luo Wuqing!"
"Here!" The two Mountain Chieftains stepped forward to receive the order.
"I'll leave besieging Qin Weiwei to the both of you. With the current circumstances—we have more men than the enemy, if the both of you combined still manage to let Qin Weiwei escape, only punishment awaits you!"