Zhao Lingtu and his group were not the only ones fantasizing about becoming Manor Heads. Ba Wenjing, who was adrift on the vast ocean, was also one of them.
On a wooden raft, Ba Wenjing was seated atop his dragon steed, as the blue waves pushed the raft forward. Garbed in gray Daoist robes, he had a face as white as jade and a beautiful complexion. He carried an air of elegance about him, and even though he looked very young, his cultivation was already at the Blue Lotus Ninth Grade. It was a given that he would be a little arrogant because of this.
His fellow disciples steered the raft while he leisurely admired the vast blue ocean. Even though he wore Daoist robes, his face and bearing was elegant and attractive, similar to the pampered young masters of those wealthy families. He was surely popular with women.
He was the most talented cultivator among his peers in the Boundless Nation's Azure Sea Sect. To possess such a level of cultivation at his age, it wouldn't be wrong to say he was gifted in both appearance and strength. He also had a caring master helping him to foster his talent. And in his many years cultivating, he had yet to taste defeat from any of the opponents he faced. He was truly a person of outstanding talent!
Many of his Senior and Junior Sisters secretly harbored feelings of affection for him and desired to be his dual-cultivation partner. Even that high and mighty daughter of the Sect Master would shower him with attention. Her intentions were nothing if not obvious.
However, Ba Wenjing had high expectations for himself. There were only ten thousand disciples in the entire Azure Sea Sect, and all his Senior and Junior Sisters were simply too average-looking. Even the Sect Master's daughter herself was the same case. So what if he could become the Sect Master? He would still need to lower his head towards the officials. Furthermore, the number of people he could command would be at most, a mere ten thousand. Not to mention, the position itself came with plenty of other restrictions as well.
A man must have ambition and accomplish great deeds in his life. When sober, he would lord over the realm, and when he was drunk, he would sleep upon the thighs of beautiful women. If Ba Wenjing decided to marry the Sect Master's daughter, wouldn't he be forced to live out his entire life in the tiny Azure Sea Sect? Not to mention, how could the Sect Master's daughter possibly allow him to sleep with multiple women? Ba Wenjing's ambition was to one day wield command over hundreds of millions of followers, with all the realm's riches at the tips of his fingers, beautiful women at his beck and call, and mighty heroes bowing before him!
If he could become a Palace Lord, then even the entire Azure Sea Sect would have to submit to him, and so would countless other schools like it. He could cause these schools to tremble in fear with but a single word.
What if he could become an Overlord, or even replace the Six Sages one day? Ba Wenjing believed that this wasn't impossible for him.
Thus, he came to the Sea of Constellations. Truth be told, with Ba Wenjing's talent for cultivation, he could have been a prime candidate for the sect to foster with great care. And with his master's status within the sect, he could have completely avoided going on this risky venture to the Sea of Constellations. But still, he had come. What's more, he'd chosen this path for himself. He bore within him a grand ambition and sought to compare himself against the champions of the realm. Whether he would live or die did not matter!
Before his departure, the Azure Sea Sect bestowed upon him the transcendent artifact: 'Spirit Illusion Greatsword'. During his time in the Sea of Constellations, as soon as he met up with the fifty fellow disciples behind him, they had yet to suffer a single casualty under his protection. With the Spirit Illusion Greatsword by his side, he had vanquished no less than five hundred opponents within the last few years. Most of the enemies encountered by the Azure Sea Sect had essentially died by his hand alone.
With a single greatsword in hand, hardly anyone could contend against him in the Western Star Sea! Ba Wenjing often sighed in disappointment because of this. At the same time, his ambition would grow stronger every time. He believed that becoming a Manor Head and commanding ten million followers would be nothing but a starting point for him upon his return to the Boundless Nation. He would still have higher ranks to climb up to beyond that!
"Senior Brother. The location highlighted on the map is right before us." Pointing ahead, a fellow disciple approached Ba Wenjing, who was getting lost in his thoughts.
Ba Wenjing gazed into the distance and could begin to see a vague strip of land. With his long robes billowing in the wind, he sighed. "Let's hope its inhabitants are still around, and this isn't another wild goose chase. I came to the Sea of Constellations in hopes of facing against the realm's mightiest champions. Even if I were to spill blood and lose my life in the process, at least I will have an answer to my ambition. Little did I expect that we'd find nothing but cowards who only knew how to hide and make us run ceaselessly. How disappointing!"
Behind him, a few of his followers looked on with contempt when they heard him. Many hated how he was always so full of himself. That said, they couldn't help feeling excited as well. They had indeed defeated every single enemy they'd faced on their journey, and they had yet to fail even once. Now all of them were equipped with a complete set of Second Grade Transcendent Artifacts.
Currently, only three years had passed. If they could endure the full ten years, then it was likely Senior Ba wouldn't be the only one to place within the top one hundred.
Everyone felt a feverish excitement just thinking about it. How could the strict, unbending rules and minimal cultivation resources of a sect compare to a Manor Head of the system, who commanded over ten million followers...
The Azure Sea Sect disciples immediately invoked their arts to speed up the raft, and they soon reached the shore. Astride their mounts, they hurriedly galloped up the beach and cautiously scanned their surroundings.
The sound of beating hooves suddenly came from the forest ahead. Everyone immediately readied their spears and stared at the forest before them. Ba Wenjing remained calm and graceful as he sat on his dragon steed, his expression blank.
Suddenly, ten riders appeared on the hill before them. As they stood atop the hill, the riders stared at the Azure Sea Sect disciples.
The person leading them was none other than the Red Scarves Alliance's Sixth Division Captain—Yu Baixing. He pointed at the group before him and shouted from a distance, "Who goes there?"
Ba Wenjing smiled, "I am Ba Wenjing of the Boundless Nation's Azure Sea Sect. To whom am I speaking to? Do you dare to fight me!?"
"We don't mean to become enemies with anyone and have been hiding peacefully in this place. Why do you choose to force our hand?" Yu Baixing asked angrily.
Ba Wenjing laughed as he responded, "Don't you think your question is a little too laughable in this Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade?"
Seeing that the other party outnumbered their forces and were unwilling to let them go, Yu Baixing no longer hesitated. He simply said, "The enemy outnumbers us. We will not be able to win. Retreat!" before turning around to run like the wind.
Ten riders immediately followed after him.
"A bunch of cowards indeed! After me!" Ba Wenjing raised his spear and shouted.
Everyone immediately followed after him. However, one of his fellow disciples beside him warned, "Senior Brother Ba. The other party ran away as soon as they saw us. This feels suspicious, and I fear an ambush awaits us. I suggest we be extra careful about this!"
"If we don't catch up to them soon, they might escape us and cross the seas. So what if there's an ambush? I'm not afraid of such tricks. I'm only worried they won't fight me. The enemy will only step up to fight us if we make light of their forces. Junior Brother, we only need to show that we are careless when in truth we are vigilant. Even if there's a scheme at hand, we have the 'Spirit Illusion Greatsword' to overcome it. There's no need to fear!" Ba Wenjin was full of confidence and continued to lead everyone on the chase.
At the heart of the island where the mountaintop lake was situated, a thousand-strong-army lay hidden within the forest.
From a high vantage point, Miao Yi gazed into the distance and saw troops approaching from afar. In a somber tone, he said, "Since they are bold enough to pursue us so recklessly, they surely possess something that gives them that much confidence. Prepare to open the canals and trigger the flow of water!"
"Understood!" Zhao Fei acknowledged the order and was about to depart.
"Hold on!" Suddenly, a voice called for Zhao Fei to stop. He halted in his tracks, and everyone turned to the source of the voice.
Zhao Lingtu came over on his dragon steed and cupped his fists towards Miao Yi. "Alliance Master. There are only fifty riders. We don't need to use such strong measures against them. My fellow disciples and I have yet to accomplish anything ever since we joined the Red Scarves Alliance, and it has plagued our thoughts all this while. Please allow us to vanquish the enemy and earn our place!"
These past few days, they had obediently abided by Miao Yi's commands. Additionally, they were also very respectful towards him. Miao Yi had tried probing them a few times, but they followed his every command without complaint. Since they were behaving so well, he didn't want anything to happen to them. Miao Yi's brows creased as he said, "It is highly likely our visitors are hostile. It is best to remain cautious. There is no need for you to take such a risk when we can easily triumph."
Zhao Lingtu cupped his fists and replied, "Don't worry Alliance Master. We are no pushovers."
In an instant, Lu Siping also stepped forth with cupped fists. "Alliance Master. The sect has bequeathed a way for Senior Brother Zhao to protect himself. Indeed, just a few dozen steeds will not be a problem for Senior Brother Zhao."
Miao Yi replied with a simple 'Oh.' He also believed that Zhao Lingtu and his fellow disciples had their own methods for staying alive since they dared to venture around the Western Star Sea. Miao Yi wanted to see what sort of means they possessed so that he would know what to expect. And since they were so confident in themselves, he quickly nodded. "Then go ahead and try. If it becomes too difficult, retreat immediately and lure the enemy into the canals."
"Understood!" Zhao Lingtu acknowledged the order. He then quickly gathered his fellow disciples together to charge down the mountain.
When Yu Baixing reached the foot of the mountain and saw Zhao Lingtu and his party charging over, he couldn't help feeling taken aback. "This isn't right! This isn't how the plan is supposed to go. I've already lured the enemy here. Why are you acting on your own?" He transmitted his voice over and asked.
Zhao Lingtu briefly explained what happened. He then smiled and said, "Don't worry, Brother Yu. Just stand back and watch. I know how to deal with them!"
Both sides passed each other by. Zhao Lingtu and his fellow disciples positioned themselves in a straight line and blocked the path at the foot of the mountain.
Now that he was at the foot of the mountain, Yu Baixing was no longer afraid since there was still a large army hiding behind him, ready to give support. He led his troops to the back and stopped. He then turned around to see what was going on.
Zhao Lingtu rested his spear on the back of his dragon steed. Then, with a wave of his arm, a giant black metal hammer appeared in his hand. He pointed the hammer towards the troops approaching them and shouted, "Who goes there? Why are you trespassing on our territory? Quickly dismount from your steeds and surrender. Only then will we spare your lives!"
When he saw that there were only an additional five people on the enemy's side, Ba Wenjing raised his hand, and all fifty riders came to a sudden stop. He shouted, "Impudent! Observe my 'Spirit Illusion Greatsword'!"
The mark of a Blue Lotus Ninth Grade cultivator shone on his forehead as he waved his hand and a black greatsword hovered before him. The greatsword emitted a blue radiance and instantly multiplied into ten, then to a hundred, then a thousand. In the blink of an eye, over ten thousand black greatswords hovered in mid-air, each of them shining with a blue radiance.
This was an incredibly terrifying sight. Hiding at the mountaintop, Miao Yi and the rest sucked in a breath of cold air. 'What sort of transcendent artifact is this? How can a Blue Lotus cultivator use so many Second Grade Transcendent Artifacts simultaneously?'
Assisting his Senior Brother in battle, Lu Siping also widened his eyes at the sight and jumped up in terror.
Even Zhao Lingtu, who had been so confident in himself, was utterly dismayed, let alone Lu Siping. How could his Mountain Suppressing Hammer possibly block so many transcendent artifacts at the same time? He would surely be diced up into minced meat. He instantly regretted not heeding Miao Yi's advice.
But it was already too late even if he wanted to run. As Ba Wenjing pointed with his finger, ten thousand black greatswords, all shining with a blue radiance, immediately billowed over like a hurricane.
Yu Baixing and his team looked deathly pale. They regretted staying to watch the battle. Now they would be dragged into this mess.
Hiding at the mountaintop, Miao Yi and the rest could feel their hearts getting caught in their throats.
Having lost the chance to run, Zhao Lingtu had no choice but to fight with everything he had. The giant black metal hammer shone with a blue radiance and instantly expanded in size. In the blink of an eye, it became a twenty-meter-tall hammer, its head with a circumference of at least ten meters. The sight of a tiny Zhao Lingtu holding onto such a massive hammer painted a funny picture, as though he was lifting a mountain.
Miao Yi and the rest were staring wide-eyed in disbelief.
The black greatsword was upon him like a typhoon. Zhao Lingtu hastily hurled out his hammer in response.
Even though the giant hammer was incredibly large, it flew out at a speed unbefitting of its size, creating a thunderous boom as it shot towards the encroaching typhoon. Its might was astonishing.
The giant hammer crashed into the black greatsword typhoon enveloping all in its path.
Boom! A loud noise erupted across the sky as though a sudden bolt of lightning had crashed down.
Then something happened that almost caused everyone's eyes to pop out of their sockets—the storm of black greatswords suddenly disappeared. They saw as the giant hammer knocked away a black greatsword, its blue radiance quickly fading.
Everyone finally understood. In truth, there was only one black greatsword. The rest were illusions, albeit rather frightening ones. They couldn't discern its nature even with their transcendence vision as the artifact had the ability to conceal itself from that.
Earlier on, everyone was taken aback by how a Blue Lotus cultivator could wield so many Second Grade Transcendent Artifacts simultaneously, but now they finally knew the reason. Its appearance was the only thing that was impressive. However, this was a terrifying transcendent artifact indeed. It was indiscernible by transcendence vision. Once it struck, no one would be able to tell the difference between the real greatsword and the illusions, and would surely fall prey to the actual attack hiding at its core. It was truly a great artifact for murdering and pillaging others.