Chapter 29: Luo Zhen Rides a Horse
Yuan Zhengkun gazed about the crowd, boosting their morale in a loud voice, “Manor Head is furious and has already assembled the entire South Edict’s forces of nine mountains. Yang Qing’s doom is sealed, within the next few days we will tear him apart. Earlier, I found out that Qin Weiwei, the Cave Master of Hundred Blossoms Cave is now serving Yang Qing, and has split her forces into two flanks to surround and raid our Transient Light Cave. I desire the head of that b*tch, Qin Weiwei! Who is courageous enough to follow me in facing the enemies of Transient Light Cave!”
Everyone looked at each other in dismay. Before they could grasp the situation, Li Xin and Sun Jiaojiao had already stepped forward on their dragon steeds, one after the other, both of them shouting loudly in unison, “We’re willing to follow Cave Master to face the enemy upfront and take Qin Weiwei’s head!”
Startled, Cao Dingfeng rapidly went forward with his dragon steed and cupped his fists. “I am willing to go, too!”
Since Li Xin and Sun Jiaojiao had already responded, then as one of Yuan Zhengkun’s zealous subordinates, how could he not firmly state his position?
Whether or not the others were equally as willing, everyone stepped forward and assented. Even Yan Xiu and Miao Yi went along with the crowd and loudly voiced their support.
“Good!” In an instant, Yuan Zhengkun waved his long halberd at the crowd, and began to appoint tasks to all. “Li Xin, Sun Jiaojiao, both of you will accompany me to drive back Qin Weiwei. Cao Dingfeng, you lead the others behind the western mountain range to stop the attacks. You must stall Qin Weiwei’s followers. Once I claim Qin Weiwei’s head, I will immediately return to meet up with everyone!”
Li Xin, Sun Jiaojiao and Cao Dingfeng accepted the order together.
“Everyone in Transient Light Cave must make a combined effort to deal heavy blows to the enemy invading our territory. Those who have served their duty well will be handsomely rewarded! Forward!”
Yuan Zhengkun did not waste any time. Riding his dragon steed, he leapt down the stairs as he brandished his long halberd and shouted.
Li Xin and Sun Jiaojiao immediately followed suit on their dragon steeds, charging out of the gates and riding away swiftly.
“Follow my lead! We will head to the back of the western mountain range to obstruct the enemy!”
With his treasured sword on his back and a spear in his hand, Cao Dingfeng turned around and shouted instructions at the crowd following him.
Under his lead, eight cultivators with their dragon steeds rode as fast as lightning, crossing mountains after mountains as though treading on plains.
Miao Yi, who trailed behind in last place, hated that he couldn’t just stab Charcoal to death with his spear. At least if he were to run on his own two legs, then he might be better off.
Charcoal really gave him too much honor, making it seem like he was of a more craven and cowardly mould than Yan Xiu. How would everyone in Transient Light Cave see him now?
Yan Xiu had said that if you can’t win a fight then just surrender, but right now, what does it imply if the war hasn’t even begun and you’re already running away? Taking a look at Yan Xiu, although in his heart he has already made full preparations to surrender, at least to anyone watching, he was now riding quickly to battle, so no one could make a comment.
He was downright embarrassed to be in this place, but little did he know he had already become Yuan Zhengkun’s scapegoat.
Li Xin’s stratagem was very simple; basically it was to make Yuan Zhengkun instigate the others to meet the enemy head-on, while the three of them made their escape.
Afterwards, when the higher echelons investigated the matter, Yuan Zhengkun would have an excuse ready at hand that would extricate himself from the responsibility of escaping without fighting. He could then say that only three of them were lucky enough to survive the attack, and even Cao Dingfeng, his trusted aide, had fallen in battle. It wasn’t due to a lack of effort on his part to fight as if his life depended on it. On the contrary, Yang Qing personally led his forces into the fray, and tried his best to fight. In the end he couldn’t hold back the opposing forces at all. This was something everyone could understand.
Not only would he escape the responsibility of fleeing without going into battle, he would use Cao Dingfeng to lead his men to cover his own retreat, and also help stall for enough time for him to make his own escape.
The most important thing was, after knowing Yang Qing would personally lead his forces forward, Yuan Zhengkun still dared to command his forces to meet the enemy in battle. There was a strong possibility that his display of loyalty and bravery might be able to gain the higher echelons’ praise and possibly turn a loss into a gain.
Since there were so many benefits to it, Yuan Zhengkun did not hesitate and went along with Li Xin’s scheme.
Seven dragon steeds crossed over to the top of the western mountain range. Cao Dingfeng saw that the base of the mountain revealed a wide open area alternating with the mountains opposite of them. It was an appropriate location to face and deal heavy blows to the enemy. He instantly waved the spear in his hand, pressing the troops to move forward. Eventually he ordered everyone to hide amidst the dense forest halfway up the mountain.
Everyone had been lying in wait for quite a period of time before Miao Yi finally arrived on Charcoal, last to the scene and with a long look on his face.
Cao Dingfeng turned his head behind to cast a look at Charcoal underneath Miao Yi, however he made no remarks.
Exactly at that moment, from within the mountain forest a dragon steed appeared, swooping down from the mountain at great speed. A two-petaled white lotus appeared and glowed faintly between the brows of the cultivator on top of the dragon steed. He glanced left and right with his spear raised, keeping a close watch as he moved ahead throughout the whole ride down.
The moment Cao Dingfeng saw him, he knew instantly that the man had come to open up a path. It looked like the other party was being incredibly careful, therefore it didn’t matter if they planned an ambush, it was already futile.
Upon reaching this conclusion, he looked around and asked left and right, “Kill one and there will be one less. Who will go first to render a first-class merit?”
“I’ll go!” Luo Zhen answered without any form of hesitation. Wielding a long blade in her hand, she rode the dragon steed and charged towards the bottom of the mountain.
“You….” Yan Xiu’s entire body froze, as he extended his hand to stop her, but to no avail.
Everyone was astounded, because they never expected that Madame Shi Xiang would be the first one to set out.
Miao Yi was also surprised. He had listened to the things that Yan Xiu had incessantly taught him, but apparently his wife had chosen to shut her ears instead.
Little did he know that Luo Zhen was sick and tired of people humiliating her by addressing her as Madame Shi Xiang. All this time she had been suppressing her pent-up anger.
Ever since the beginning, when Yuan Zhengkun had instigated everyone, Luo Zhen had already hardened her heart. She really did feel weary of people humiliating her...
The dragon steed who was swooping down at a great speed gave an invigorating leap with Luo Zhen in tow, both emerging from the mountain forest. It leapt up to a height of a hundred metres in the air, with Luo Zhen screaming as she slanted towards the rushing dragon steed still in the middle of opening a path.
The man was taken completely by surprise. Unable to turn back in time, he rapidly soared upwards, twenty metres high from the dragon steed.
Usually cultivators would use two types of long and short weapons. The short weapon was normally used for self-protection while the longer weapon would be used to face the enemy when riding on a dragon steed.
He was also using a long blade. He soared into the air, delivering a strike with his blade to the dragon steed descending from the sky. But after leaping into the air and witnessing clearly the three-petaled White Lotus between Luo Zhen’s brows, he instantly became frantic.
The screaming and approaching Luo Zhen had already lunged over with her blade to deliver a strike in one rapid movement, parrying the blade which was coming straight at her. Simultaneously, she locked the man in his spot with her transcendence energy.
His reaction speed slowed down significantly after being entangled by a higher level of transcendence energy, his face already displaying a look of panic and horror.
Bang! The hard bones of Luo Zhen’s dragon steed collided head-on onto the man’s chest.
Puke! Fresh blood violently spurted from the man’s mouth, his chest already collapsed inwards from the impact of the collision.
Why do cultivators love to mount dragon steeds? It was because this spiritual beast was of extraordinary strength, could carry immense loads and had a terrifying impact force, so huge, that even cultivators at the stage of Blue Lotus were afraid of getting rammed hard by a matured dragon steed.
Particularly the dragon steed’s speed, when it galloped about wildly without any restraint, even a cultivator at the stage of Blue Lotus would have difficulty in catching up to one. Even if they did, they would only be able to do it within short distances. If the chase were to last a longer time, they would definitely not be able to catch up to the dragon steed’s speed and endurance.
Imagine under this degree of speed and strength, in addition to the cultivator’s transcendence energy, the cultivator’s attack force would achieve almost double the effect. With all these factors, the dragon steed naturally became the majority of cultivators’ favorite mount.
While the man spurted blood and collapsed, Luo Zhen violently shouted once more, brandishing her blade high up to the sky, and slashed down through the rain of blood.
Luo Zhen leaped from her dragon steed and descended onto the ground. With the blade in hand, she looked back at the mountainside where Cao Dingfeng and the others were at. In one encounter, she had beheaded a White Lotus Second Grade cultivator.
Gusts of wind rose up suddenly through the mountain, the dark green grass undulating in waves, all the more demonstrating Luo Zhen’s grandeur.
The dead cultivator’s dragon steed let out a mournful whine, galloping to its own master’s corpse’s, unwilling to leave his side.