It was easier to mobilize his sect members than Meng Qianqiu had expected. Clearly, the elites were more inclined to be the sacred land’s friends than enemies. That felt like the natural order of the world.
He had very mixed feelings about this. It’d finally dawned on him that the sacred land still had the upper hand, both in terms of morale and the people’s support.
It was ingrained in every cultivator’s mind that the sacred land was the rightful ruler of the nation. Going against it in a fight to the death was an unfortunate turn of events they had to face previously, but deep down, they were still fearful and uncertain.
Especially after hearing about the deaths of Forefathers Goldenbell and Yuchi, the elites of the Dreamhaze Sect had come to realize that it’d be unwise to stay on the sinking boat that was the rebellion.
Jiang Chen sighed. “The ten sacred lands have not yet reached their end, while the rebellion hasn’t accumulated enough power. No wonder most divine nations have resolved the uprising in their countries, and only Martial Divine Nation and two other nations are still at war. I believe the two will restore their nations to peace soon after Martial does so. The rebellions were never meant to succeed.”
A determined look filled Prime Puresmoke’s eyes. “We will vanquish the rebellion. The sacred land wasn’t built overnight.”
Meng Qianqiu was overwhelmed by a myriad of emotions. He dared not ever think of disobeying the sacred land again.
He led the Dreamhaze Sect back to the rebel army.
There was a growing tension within the rebellion. Although the remaining demigod forefather had done his best to assure and control the troops, distrust continued to build among them.
After Forefather Goldenbell’s death, the other three demigod forefathers were the leading figures of the alliance. It was only natural for people to waver when two out of the three had died or left.
Even the densest ones could tell something was wrong.
The remaining forefather was at his limit. He summoned the head of each faction to warn, to reassure, and to promise rewards, but it was next to impossible to build up morale after it had plummeted.
Just as the forefather was feeling lost, one of his men rushed with a message.
“Forefather Tongxuan, the Dreamhaze Sect has returned.”
“What?” the forefather blurted out in surprise. “They came back?”
“That’s right. This subordinate believes they must be up to no good by leaving and returning so suddenly. Forefather, should we send out our people to ambush and delay them?”
Forefather Tongxuan smiled wryly. “Ambush them? Who do you think will be willing to do that? That’s Forefather Meng Qianqiu. No faction will risk their lives to attack him.”
Given Meng Qianqiu’s power and status, very few would dare antagonize him. Besides, they didn’t know the forefather’s intentions.
What if enlightenment had suddenly struck Meng Qianqiu and he’d returned for the alliance’s sake? Wouldn’t they be destroying their own future in attacking him? What was more, Forefather Tongxuan was the only one in the rebellion who could go head to head with Meng Qianqiu.
“Find out what’s happening with the Dreamhaze Sect. If they’re willing to cooperate wholeheartedly, we’ll consider the score settled.”
His man soon returned with an answer. According to Meng Qianqiu, he’d realized halfway to his sect that sticking together was the most critical at the moment. They shouldn’t let their enemies pick them off.
Forefather Tongxuan was unconvinced.
Meng Qianqiu had been so determined when he left with his group. Why would he have such a sudden change of heart? Had he really changed his mind?
On the other hand, it hadn’t been long since their departure. It was also unlikely for them to suddenly plot against the rebellion.
No matter what the truth was, he and Meng Qianqiu were the only two remaining demigod forefathers. He had his part to play.
“Come on, let’s see for ourselves what Forefather Qianqiu wants.” Forefather Tongxuan was still wary, so he took a group of elites with him. They soon met up at the fringes of the battlefield.
Meng Qianqiu looked at Forefather Tongxuan apologetically. “I’ve returned shamefaced, little brother Tongxuan. I know you haven’t forgiven me.”
It perturbed Forefather Tongxuan to be called “little brother”. They were about the same age and there wasn’t a difference in their status. It made more sense for them to call each other just ‘brother’. It seemed that Meng Qianqiu was as arrogant as ever.
He made a noncommittal sound and responded coolly, “Forgive me for being blunt, Daoist Qianqiu. You were quite determined to leave. Why did you suddenly return? What are you thinking of? Is your sect still part of the rebellion?”
After all, the sect head had threatened them when he left.
Meng Qianqiu shrugged. “The reason is simple. Do you want to know?”
Forefather Tongxuan’s eyes darkened as they settled on the sect head. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“Isn’t it obvious? That’s...”
“What?” Forefather Tongxuan’s pupils contracted. Something seemed to be off.
A sliver of strangeness filtered into Meng Qianqiu’s expression. “I received a message on my way back, Daoist Tongxuan. Your sect has been attacked by unknown forces and was annihilated like House Yuchi!”
“Impossible! My sect is located in the most remote region of the nation!” Forefather Tongxuan’s face contorted in shock. “If something happened to my sect, you wouldn’t have received the information before me!”
His consciousness was alerted as he agonized over the sect head’s words. Suddenly, a wave of red clouds roiled through the vast sky and crashed into him from above. Numerous arrows of fiery red feathers shot down from the looming clouds like a meteor shower.
Without hesitation, Forefather Tongxuan threw a vicious punch at Meng Qianqiu’s chest, bringing forth a strong torrent of air.
As if he’d seen it coming, Meng Qianqiu cackled and pulled his hands outwards in front of his chest, creating a translucent, rippling screen to block the punch.
Forefather Tongxuan hadn’t expected the punch to land. His form flickered as he seized the opportunity to retreat.
To his surprise, a deep, powerful bell ring came from behind him. Before he could turn around, an enormous bell fell on his head from above.