These cultivators were House Yuchi’s elites. Most of them were at sixth or seventh level empyrean. However, they were completely helpless against the Vermilion Bird. Its feathers easily shot through them, leaving only a few lucky survivors.
Long Xiaoxuan and Prime Puresmoke stayed on the fringes of the conflict, cleaning up the stragglers. Jiang Chen was on standby, ready to strike at any moment. They weren’t going to let anyone escape.
They swatted out the family’s elites as easily as they would with flies. Forefather Yuchi only belatedly realized that the house was in trouble. Worse, they were in danger of complete destruction!
This was no time for the forefather to think about his reputation. He tried to escape through the least guarded area, which unfortunately, was still within the coverage of Vermilion Bird’s consciousness. The bird wasn’t going to let the forefather get away.
They were close in distance. With a whip of its giant claws, the bird sent the airboat ramming towards the forefather from the back.
Never had he anticipated the family airboat would be used as a weapon against him. The tremendous weight came at him from behind. He soared several hundred meters higher to dodge it.
He succeeded, but his attempt to escape was also cut short.
The Vermilion Bird brandished its other foot, the sharp claws trapping the forefather like a barbed cage.
The forefather was still a hair too slow.
Torrents of air closed in on him. The claw caught him in a vise-like grip. He struggled against the grip, but no matter how hard he tried, the claw wouldn’t budge.
Fear took hold of his body and paralyzed him. He went out the same way as Forefather Goldenbell.
Jiang Chen and the others had taken out the last of the others and made their way back to the bird. Long Xiaoxuan exclaimed, “Leave one for me, Brother Vermilion!”
Prime Puresmoke looked around and asked with disappointment, “Where is he? Has the old bastard escaped?”
Jiang Chen guffawed. “It’d be weird if he did.”
“Then...” Prime Puresmoke stopped herself when she glanced at the bird. She’d figured out what it’d done.
The bird cocked its head and flapped its wings leisurely.
Jiang Chen smiled. “Brother Vermilion, I believe you’re truly half a step from the divine realm now. Perhaps you’ll break through soon.”
Another ascension? Prime Puresmoke was doubtful. The bird already possessed terrifying might. She heard that even divine cultivators had died at its hands. How ridiculously powerful would it become if it broke through again?
House Yuchi was unfortunate prey. They were swiftly destroyed before they could even attempt to resist.
After sweeping through the battlefield, Jiang Chen smiled. “The plan went more smoothly than I expected. Next, let’s take care of Meng Qianqiu!”
Prime Puresmoke nodded. “Meng Qianqiu is the more respected one among the four demigods. His death will have a significant impact on the rebels. It will be even better if we can get him to change sides!”
Jiang Chen smirked. “Let’s see if he’ll do the smart thing and obey us. If he insists on being stubborn, we’ll have no choice but to kill him to prevent future trouble.”
“Well, with Meng Tianxing in our hands, he most likely won’t dare make a move,” concluded Prime Puresmoke.
The Vermilion Bird approached them and presented a stunning sword to Jiang Chen with a wave of its wing. “I have no use for this, young master Chen. Take it.”
Jiang Chen accepted the sword readily. It was Forefather Yuchi’s signature treasure, just like Forefather Goldenbell’s bell. Since Forefather Yuchi had been devoured by the bird, the sword belonged to no one. He certainly wasn’t going to turn it down.
After cleaning up the mess they left, the four of them went back to the route the Dreamhaze Sect would be certain to pass through.
Once the seal on Meng Tianxing’s consciousness was removed, the boy piped up, “Brother, I can tell you how to use me against my grandfather. If you do as I suggest, I promise that the Dreamhaze Sect will do the right thing.
“We weren’t particularly enthusiastic about the rebellion to begin with. We only joined the rebels out of coercion and the profit they promised us. Why else would we have been dragged in? I’m an innocent victim as well. I’ve never done anything harmful to the Martial Sacred Land.”
He tried to appeal to their empathy by exaggerating his plight.
Jiang Chen snorted. “Meng Tianxing, if you’re able to turn your grandfather to our side, I can spare your life.”
Meng Tianxing’s eyes lit up. “For real?”
“Use your brain and you’ll know,” Jiang Chen responded coolly.
It didn’t take long for Meng Tianxing to figure out what the prime and Jiang Chen were trying to do. They’d destroyed House Yuchi, but not the Dreamhaze Sect. The difference in their approaches told him that they had intended to give the sect a chance to do the right thing from the start.
If he was right, the odds of him surviving wasn’t as slim as he’d thought. He’d assumed there was no way he could survive after being captured, but he was wrong. If his grandfather abandoned the rebel alliance and pledged his loyalty to the sacred land, they’d be pardoned for their wrongdoings!
They had a chance to survive.
His captors wanted to leverage his grandfather’s influence. They weren’t going to kill him as long as his grandfather played along.
He brightened visibly. “I’ll do all I can to convince my grandfather to return to the sacred land’s side, brother. It’s finally dawned on me that the rebels are a disparate bunch who won’t achieve anything substantial despite their numbers. Although the sacred land was in decline, fortune is still on their side. The rebels aren’t meant to take over the nation.”
Jiang Chen had underestimated Meng Tianxing. He was a clever and observant one.
As Jiang Chen predicted, it wasn’t until a couple days later that the state of the Dreamhaze Sect’s vault and Meng Tianxing’s disappearance were discovered. The news then reached Meng Qianqiu.
He had been on edge since House Yuchi’s destruction. The Dreamhaze Sect was a first tier faction as well. He worried that their enemies would go after his sect next.
He’d considered sending a group of elites back first, but bad news arrived before he could make a decision.
Meng Qianqiu was much more decisive than Forefather Yuchi. He’d suggested his peer keep the greater picture in mind when the house was attacked, but when it was his sect that was targeted, he wasn’t that selfless.
He explained himself to the other remaining demigod forefather and left despite the forefather’s attempts to keep him.
Meng Qianqiu asked anxiously about the situation. The Dreamhaze Sect still stood, but Meng Tianxing had disappeared, and his grandson’s two personal guards killed. In addition, their vault had been raided, leaving nothing of value behind.
Hearing that pulled the rug out from under Meng Qianqiu, but at least his sect was at least more fortunate than House Yuchi. He’d made up his mind to depart when new information came.
“What? Forefather Yuchi’s soul lamp went out as well? Are you sure?” Meng Qianqiu was shocked. Forefather Yuchi was about as powerful as he was. They were both demigods, and they each had their strengths.
But Forefather Yuchi had died in the two days since his departure! Had he encountered some powerful foe like Forefather Goldenbell?
Those who knew about the forefather’s death could no longer ignore what was happening. Even Meng Qianqiu was getting paranoid. Two of the four demigod forefathers had been killed over the past few days. Their enemies were terrifyingly efficient.
What had happened to House Yuchi was especially telling. Their home base was first destroyed, resulting in Forefather Yuchi’s return with their elites, which had ended with the forefather’s death.
It was clear from the series of events that everything that had happened was related. Their enemies had planned their moves meticulously. It was laughable that no one on their side had connected the dots.
Now they knew, but Forefather Yuchi was already died. They only had two demigods left. The rebels had been weakened significantly.
“Fellow daoist Qianqiu, please look at the big picture. If you leave as well, we will fall apart.” The other demigod forefather earnestly tried to persuade Meng Qianqiu. “Apart from the hits to our morale, our enemies are clearly picking us off one by one. They divide us because they aren’t confident enough to take us on together. I can guarantee you that as soon as you leave for your sect, you’ll get ambushed. We can’t fall into this obvious trap again.”
Meng Tianxing had to admit the other forefather had a point, but he scoffed in response.
“Even though we know what they’re trying to do, my friend, would you be able to ignore death threats to your family if you were in my place? Will you be able to stay put knowing your descendents might be killed?”
The forefather sighed. “If you go, brother, we’ll surely be taken out and die. If we stick together, we still have a chance of living. They separate us because they fear that we’ll work together! They’ve already succeeded in taking out half of us by splitting us up!”