A bloody battle was breaking out at sea.
The Thunderclap Flying Swords were unsheathed, and were as spectacular as ever!
For the sake of glory. For the sake of fulfilling their responsibility to the Overlord, and to safeguard their position within the Fifth Earthly Branch, the Sword Deviate Sect had handpicked Gu Sanzheng to represent them. Like a reaper, he single-handedly wiped out almost every single one of the enemies in his path. No one could stop him!
And this was just the beginning. Along the way, Gu Sanzheng and the others constantly met with Yao cultivators. After they eliminated one group, another batch of Yao cultivators would show up. The Yao cultivators were constantly appearing like crazy and attacking them endlessly.
It was one bloody battle after another on the ocean. The forces of the Red Scarves Alliance were about to go insane with how often their enemies were showing up. As the Yao cultivators of the water tribes held the territorial advantage when it came to aquatic battles, the Red Scarves Alliance suffered greatly and their numbers quickly dwindled.
The water tribes abruptly began stirring up mighty waves at sea, triggering a colossal hundred-meter tall tsunami to bear down on them. Underneath the cerulean and jade-like beauty of the wave, the demons brandished their fangs and claws, intent on inflicting destruction upon everything.
Ye Xin's barbed whip stretched out to a thousand meters in length as she lashed it across the colossal wave, creating a ferocious white streak.
Sixteen flying spiked shields shot in and out of the wave in rapid succession, and flowers of blood blossomed within the cerulean wall.
Surrendering was not an option in the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade as everybody knew that it signified death. The members of the Red Scarves Alliance also realized that even if they were to retreat, the chances of them escaping the grasp of these Yao cultivators on their own were slim in this vast ocean. All they could do was fight to their deaths. Only by killing their enemies would they be able to claw their way to survival.
"ATTACK!" Yu Baixing and Fei De-an raised their spears and bellowed.
After a series of bloody battles, there were about two hundred troops left in the Red Scarves Alliance. Raising their weapons, they followed after Yu Baixing and Fei De-an, roaring, "ATTACKKKKK!" With incredible speed, they leapt across the sea and charged straight towards the mighty wave, intending on fighting the demons hiding behind it to the death.
All two hundred of them joined forces to form a wall of transcendence energy to resist the tidal wave—they had never before been so united!
'BOOOOOMM!' The tsunami collapsed; a mighty downpour fell in the wake of its destruction.
These two hundred people actually managed to stop such a massive tsunami head-on and destroy it. As he controlled his Thunderclap Flying Swords to kill the Yao cultivators underneath the ocean surface, Gu Sanzheng abruptly turned his head as he caught sight of something that left him completely dumbstruck. Even as the seawater rained down over him, he did not so much as bat an eyelid.
He watched as Yu Baixing took a direct hit to his face from the foot of a giant sea tortoise, knocking his helmet off. Yu Baixing's face was crushed beyond recognition—a crumpled mess of flesh and blood as his lifeless body was sent flying backwards.
With the force of a small mountain, the foot of the giant sea tortoise swept towards the Red Scarves Alliance once again. Fei De-an and several others were sent flying with blood spewing from their lips. It made no difference that they had Second Grade Transcendent Artifacts protecting them. The opponent's attack was too fierce!
Their weapons did manage to penetrate through the enemy's thick outer shell. Like tiny needles, they were jabbed into the foot of the giant sea tortoise. However, they couldn't inflict any significant damage to the monster at all.
"AGHH!" Gu Sanzheng roared to the heavens and ran like the wind across the waves. Commanding a hundred-and-one Thunderclap Flying Swords with his hands, he sent them shooting straight into the monster's mouth and bursting out from the hard shell on its back.
"GUUUGUuu…" The giant monster wailed in agony as the Thunderclap Flying Swords flew in and out of its body. However, it was unable to do anything about them with its massive size and sluggish body, and simply became a live target for Gu Sanzheng's fury. Soon, the shell on its head broke, blood and flesh splattered about in the path of the Thunderclap Flying Swords as they viciously pierced through its body.
The colossus finally fell upon the ocean, and slowly began sinking as its blood dyed the sea red.
"Ye Xin. Send me up there!" Gu Sanzheng suddenly yelled.
Ripping a Yao cultivator's head off with her whip, Ye Xin turned to look and saw that Gu Sanzheng was already leaping towards her. Flicking her whip, she twirled it around the sole of his foot.
The whip stretched, sending Gu Sanzheng straight to the sky. With one foot on the whip, he spread his arms out as the Thunderclap Flying Swords immediately soared to the sky alongside him.
As the whip snapped straight, it sent Gu Sanzheng up another hundred meters into the sky from its original thousand-meter length. As the Thunderclap Flying Swords hovered about him, he opened his transcendence vision and gazed down at the ocean.
Whilst he was upon the blue ocean himself, he could not get a clear view of the battlefield. Now that he was high up in the sky, none of the Yao cultivators, whether battling underneath or above the ocean surface, were able to escape his sight.
He pointed out with his finger, and over a hundred Thunderclap Flying Swords viciously rained down on the ocean.
The swords shot out of the ocean as he pulled back his arm, then rained back down again as he once more gestured with his hand.
While he was still in mid-air, Gu Sanzheng invoked his arts to reduce the speed of his descent. His hands constantly rose and fell, causing the Yao cultivators below to scream in terror from the onslaught of his swords—it was a massacre! Those fortunate enough to survive knew that they were no match for his strikes and frantically fled.
As he descended onto the ocean dyed red with blood, the Thunderclap Flying Swords returned into the sword-case on his back.
Gu Sanzheng scanned his troops. Seeing that there were less than two hundred of them left, he grimly said, "From now on, don't get caught up in battle. If anyone gets in your way, just charge past them as quickly as you can and don't stop for anything. Let's go!"
They had no time to gather their spoils as they couldn't afford to waste even a single second. All they could do was let the water tribes take them.
There was less than two hundred of them now, and they all immediately dashed away across the mighty ocean. However, those despicable water tribes continued to flank them. Although the sight of fishes leaping out of the ocean surface was usually a beautiful sight, it was one that caused them great unease now. Yet, they there was nothing they could do about these creatures. There were simply too many of them in this mighty ocean. They couldn't kill them all!
Why were they only being hunted down by Yao cultivators? Everyone could only remember what Hei Langjun had said several nights ago—'You've already committed a grave sin. All the Yao cultivators participating in the Crusade will surely come after you. You can forget about leaving the Western Star Sea alive!'
Now, things had turned out just as Hei Langjun prophesied. So long as one wasn't a fool, one would be able to tell that almost all the participating Yao cultivators in the Western Star Sea were on the move. Furthermore, the fish-like creatures from the water tribes seem to serve as the eyes of those Yao cultivators, keeping a constant watch on Gu Sanzheng and the Red Scarves Alliance as they travelled across the ocean.
The result of this was obvious. No matter where they ran off to, the Red Scarves Alliance would never be able to escape the eyes of these water tribes. It was pointless even if they escaped onto land.
The moment the Red Scarves Alliance stuck to dry land and chose to barricade themselves in, they would suffer an even worse fate. The Yao cultivators would swarm in droves and surround them completely. Then, they would have to face an even greater number of foes in one go.
On the other hand, if they were to keep away from dry land, they would fall back under the watchful eyes of the water tribes.
Gu Sanzheng was seething with rage. Just because he killed several Yao cultivators with some background, he ended up being targeted by so many Yao cultivators. Where was the fairness in this Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade?
The situation in this Subjugation Crusade was beginning to become more and more peculiar as a vast horde of Yao cultivators were rushing to one spot. Given the scale of such a movement, it was inevitable that others would catch wind of the development. All those from the six nations who were intrigued by the situation came to join in on the fun as soon as they heard the news, since it was precisely a good opportunity to hunt.
Upon the blue seas, a snow-white beast stood atop a layer of ice. Its body was covered in white scales cold as jade, and resembled a Qilin. Its four legs were equipped with sharp claws, whilst its head was like that of a lion's, crowned with a snow-white mane. Besides its pair of golden eyes, its body was otherwise a pure white.
This creature partly resembled a Qilin and partly a lion at the same time. It was called the Jade Lion. On its back was a jaw-droppingly handsome young man. His complexion was fair like flawless jade, and his facial features elaborately delicate, accompanied by a pair of big, beautiful eyes. His neck was fair and slender, with his lush, dark hair tied high in a ponytail. Garbed in long, white robes, and together with the way he was seated upon the Jade Lion spiritual beast, it was truly a breathtaking sight. Even women would feel ashamed when comparing themselves to the beauty this young man possessed.
However in truth, this young man was a woman. She was none other than the youngest disciple of Celestial Sage Fu Manjun, Fairy Yue Yao.
Her mortal name had long been forgotten by the public. Those that knew her all called her Yue Yao.
The reason she had to cross-dress was because being too beautiful carried its own share of burdens as well. As such, she figured she should just dress up like a man to hide it. But alas, even dressed as a man, it was hard to conceal a beauty capable of toppling nations. Anyone who saw her would be wide-eyed in astonishment.
As a nation's representative, she also had five aides by her side. The movements of the Yao cultivators had caught her eye as well, and she just apprehended a Yao cultivator for interrogation.
After spilling everything, the Yao cultivator didn't even have time to beg for mercy before his head was lopped off by one of Yue Yao's aides.
Yue Yao furrowed her brows and said, "I'd heard about the incident that year involving that Niu Youde as well. I never expected him to be a member of my Celestial Nation. This Gu Sanzheng is quite bold indeed. However, I can't stand idly by now that this matter has been brought to my attention!"
The handmaiden beside her cupped her fists and said, "Lord Sixth. This incident involves Lord Fu Qing as well. Even the Venerable Sage would have to give him some face regarding this matter. I'm afraid it would be unwise for us to interfere!"
Naturally, the reason Yue Yao was called Lord Sixth was because she needed to hide her true name, and also because she was Celestial Sage's Mu Fanjun sixth disciple. The honorific was simply made up following her position.
"Normally, I wouldn't concern myself either. But a large horde of demons are currently on the move. If I stand idly by and allow them to bully the cultivators of our Celestial Nation, others might think that our Realm Beyond Heaven is afraid of Fu Qing. Even if I get first place then, so what? Anyone else can ignore this matter, but I alone cannot! Not to mention, with so many Yao cultivators gathering together, this is a good chance to increase my ranking. If we don't go, won't it just benefit others instead?" Yue Yao said as she shook her head gently, then she nudged her mount.
The Jade Lion immediately carried her away as it darted upon the waves. It truly seemed as though it were stepping on dry land.
All her aides could do was simply rush after her...
Western Constellations Palace.
Yun Guang and the others couldn't watch the astrolabe all the time. Each of them were accompanied by two subordinates, who took turns keeping watch. However, the peculiar developments on the astrolabe now made the ones keeping watch call for Yun Guang and the others.
The supervisors from each of the six nations all came to look and saw a great number of white dots rushing towards a certain location on the astrolabe. Even the six red dots around the various points of the astrolabe were exhibiting the same behaviour.
"Eh?! What's going on here?" Yun Guang asked, gasping in astonishment. "What the hell happened exactly? Why are all our little youngsters headed this way too?"
Zuo Nanchun stepped forward and invoked his arts, enlarging a certain location upon the entire astrolabe. He pointed at a cluster of about two hundred white spots and explained, "It is impossible for us to know what exactly happened from where we are at right now, but these are the troops belonging to the thousand-strong army which hid themselves for several years. The ones we were previously observing…"
Completely surprised, Hei Yun interjected, "There's less than two hundred of them left. How did they get cut down so much?"
Zuo Nanchun shot him a glance. He ignored Hei Yun and continued explaining to Yun Guang, "The forces you see gathering across the map are all targeting them. Their five-hundred-strong army suffered severe losses, and now there are less than two hundred of them. That being said, they are quite impressive indeed. I estimate that there were over two thousand casualties along their path. None could hold them back."
Shocked, Hei Yun asked, "Over two thousand casualties? Why are there still people rushing to their deaths if they are so strong?"
Tang Jun mused, "I've never heard of such a situation in the past Subjugation Crusades. What is happening here?"
Fairy Hong Chen was silent despite having noticed the situation long ago. A trace of worry would occasionally flit past her eyes. The red dot representing her Junior Sister was also on its way to them. Would she end up meeting that person?!
Ji Meimei frowned and said, "The Western Star Sea is Lord Fu Qing's territory. I'm afraid he's the only one who best knows what is happening!"
Tilting his head askance, Hua Yu said, "This place can be considered the Yao Nation's domain as well. Ji Meimei. Why don't you go and ask Lord Fu Qing about it?"
Ji Meimei's expression became discomforted as she stubbornly declined, "Why bother Lord Fu Qing for such trivial matters?"
In truth, when she just arrived in the Western Constellations Palace, Ji Meimei went to pay her respects to Fu Qing, believing that he would meet her as she was Ji Huan's daughter. However, Fu Qing hadn't given her any face at all and didn't even grant her an audience. As such, why would she ever do something so fruitless again?