Jiang Chen wasn't even trying to scare them. He truly hadn't found anyone alive when he was making his way out of Myriad Corpse Valley. They'd either been turned into corpse puppets or bone apparitions. He sighed as he watched a continuous stream of people flooding in his direction. "If you would use your brains for even a second, you would realize why you were all gathered at this place. It's because someone has purposely laid down a trap to lure all of you in. I'm sure you all think that there are countless precious treasures lying on the ground just waiting for you to pick them up inside, but the reality is a stark and brutal contrast."
He didn't expect them to change their minds. He had already fulfilled his original goals. There was no reason for Jiang Chen to stop them by force if these people insisted on committing suicide. Right now, he only hoped that these people would calm down a little.
"Bullshit! That kid must have gotten quite the haul inside the valley, but is afraid that we'd go in and grab the rest for ourselves. That's why he's spouting such idiotic nonsense."
"Let's kill him first and see if there's anything good on him!" Because Jiang Chen wasn't an emperor realm expert, these people thought that they might have a chance to take him down together. Moreover, the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain was hiding inside the group. If they could spur these blind wandering cultivators into clashing against Jiang Chen, then they would have a good opportunity to benefit from the conflict.
"You want to kill me?" The mint ginseng acted as Jiang Chen sneered. It let out many puffs of green smoke, causing its innumerable wart-riddled tentacles to burst out from underground, enveloping the cultivators. The mint ginseng might have been weak in comparison to Jiang Chen, but it was still quite strong against these wandering cultivators.
The second they were caught, the hundred wandering cultivators couldn't move a single muscle no matter how hard they struggled. They felt as if they were wrapped by steel. Fortunately for them, Jiang Chen had no intentions of taking their lives. A flash of cold indifference flew through his eyes as he stared at the captured cultivators. "I wouldn't have given a damn about you lot if the demon race wasn't lying in wait to profit freely from your corpses."
As he said this, the mint ginseng swung its limbs repeatedly and tossed the cultivators at least several hundred meters away. Thump thump thump. The wandering cultivators cut a sorry figure as they crashed into the ground like sandbags. Although the collision was hardly fatal, it still hurt them a little. However, not everyone was as lucky as them. More specifically, six particular people didn't fare so well.
"Hello, Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain. If you don't mind, can you tell me what you're plotting by hiding within this group?" Jiang Chen sneered and stared at them, the ghost of a smile passing through his lips. "Don't tell me you're trying to take down strong opponents later by pretending to be weak now?"
The Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain wore fearful looks on their faces. They hadn't immediately turned against Jiang Chen earlier, outside the valley entrance, out of consideration of the bigger picture. Otherwise, how would a group as infamous as the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain let go of the matter as simply as they did otherwise? Moreover, they had never regarded Jiang Chen highly from the beginning to the end. They had always thought that Jiang Chen's arrogance was a product of ignorance. But now, these thoughts had completely vanished from their minds. Pride was now a forgotten priority as the white-haired old leader of the group hastily said, "It's all just a mistake, my friend. We surrender."
The Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountains were flexible people who could bow their heads if need be. Otherwise, their tyranny would've already earned them a swift death in the world of wandering cultivators.
"Surrender?" Jiang Chen's eyes turned cold, "Do you think that this is just a matter of winning or losing?"
The white-haired leader hastily continued, "Friend, we gave you face earlier outside the valley, didn't we? If you can let us go this one time, our lives will belong to you."
It was only natural that they would struggle in the face of death. They were strong enough, but because the mint ginseng had ambushed everyone by spewing the green gas, their movements had been greatly slowed. Moreover, Jiang Chen had locked onto the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountains before he'd attacked them. He had subtly pointed the Featherflight Mirror at them a few times during the ambush. Therefore, despite their strength, they weren't able to avoid capture. As long as their movements were restricted, they could possess a million trump cards, but not be able to use any of them.
The wandering cultivators who were tossed to the distance looked shocked to hear that these six people were really the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountains. They glared at the group with disbelief in their eyes.
"The Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountains?"
"Holy shit, is it really those six bastards? Hadn't they already made their way into the valley from the start? Why are they here with us?"
"Also, weren't they fanning the flames and attempting to push everyone into the valley?"
"Can it be… can it really be true that these six bastards have submitted to the demon race and were baiting us into our deaths?" Not all wandering cultivators were foolish, so quite a few of them came to the realization that this whole scenario was a trap after taking the time to consider the entire situation. Everyone turned pale when they heard of the demon race.
The Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountains were shocked when they heard the cultivators' conversations. "You must not misunderstand us. We are simply trying to take care of you, fellow wandering cultivators, as there's strength in numbers. We absolutely haven't surrendered to the demon race."
"Daoist Huang, how can you wrong us? The demon race is an ancient threat, how can we possibly submit to the demon race? Plus, we've only arrived here a few days ago, and the desolate wildlands was still sealed at the time. How can we have defected to them?"
If this conversation had happened in the past, then maybe Jiang Chen might have believed their words. But with the earlier case of Lu Shinan, although he still had no idea how these people had managed to defect to the demon race, facts spoke louder than words.
"In that case, do you mind swearing a heavenly oath to prove your innocence?" Jiang Chen's tone was indifferent, "You know, just in case I did accuse you wrongly. If you, the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain dare swear a heavenly oath to prove your innocence, then I can let you live this one time."
A heavenly oath? A trace of panic appeared in the group's eyes. If they swore a heavenly oath, then there was no escaping death no matter what. But if they didn't swear it now, they might not even be able to live past this moment. All six of them were men of steel. After they exchanged meaningful glances with each other, they decided to take a risk and survive today's predicament first. Whether or not the heavenly oath would strike them down after this was a matter for the future.
Fortunately, Jiang Chen hadn't missed the cunning gleam in their eyes. So he said coldly, "Remember, your heavenly oath must include the people who are closest to you. I know you're trying to make it past this moment and hope to get lucky later on. You can stop thinking such thoughts now."
Jiang Chen's words were like a bucket of cold water poured over the six men's heads.
"Daoist Huang, you go too far. This is intolerable!"
"Why should this involve the people closest to us? Also, I thought the heavenly oath only harms the person who swears the oath and not their family?" His words were in fact true. Most of the time, the heavenly oath only bound the person who swore the oath. However, if an entire group was involved in the oath, it wasn't unthinkable that the group would be dragged into it as well. At the same time, the oath might not necessarily trigger punishment on every person. For example, the Tristar Sect broke their heavenly oath and was punished for it, but not all Tristar Sect disciples were killed by the oath.
"It's true that the punishment of the heavenly oath may not befall on your families, but if you're lying, then I will act on behalf of the heavens instead." Jiang Chen's tone was cold.
The Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain shuddered and glared hatefully at Jiang Chen. He didn't fear them in the slightest. He smiled faintly, "First Lu Shinan, now the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain. It's exactly because of trash like you all who have surrendered to the demon race that's prompted their revival and seemingly infinite numbers."
The Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain turned deathly pale when they heard Jiang Chen bringing up Lu Shinan. They knew that they likely weren't going to escape death today. The white-haired old man abruptly chuckled evilly. "Do you think you can escape after you kill us, Huang?"
"That's right. When the demon king descends upon the desolate wildlands, all cultivators who intrude here can do nothing but die!" Realizing that they weren't escaping today, the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountains decided to discard all pretenses and cackle like madmen. Their faces were ugly and terrifying.
The wandering cultivators who had been previously fooled looked dumbfounded by this. They hadn't really believed Jiang Chen earlier, but now that they heard the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain's crazed words, their jaws fell open in shock. Had the group really surrendered to the demon race? Did they just say that a demon king was about to appear in this world? Did these signs really indicate the start of the demon race's revival?
Jiang Chen's eyes turned frosty. "The descent of the demon king, you say? That may be true, but you lot still aren't escaping death today no matter what."
He hated traitors like these to the bone in both of his lifetimes. After the order was given, the mint ginseng crushed the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain to bits with its tentacles. Unlike the Bewitching Lotus, the mint ginseng didn't have suckers on its tentacles and thus wasn't able to absorb their essences into its body. Jiang Chen sympathized with the lotus for missing out on the essences of six cultivators, but he couldn't summon it in the public like this. He didn't stay behind after killing the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain. He slipped past the wandering cultivators, as light as a sparrow. "Make your choice. I care nothing for it."
He had performed his obligation to the utmost anyway. If these people insisted on committing suicide, he had no reason to stop them. One had to say that the lure of the riches and powers within the desolate wildlands was too great. Although these wandering cultivators didn't dare provoke Jiang Chen any longer, they were reluctant to give up just like this.
"Don't you think the kid is being a little melodramatic?"
"Yeah, if the demon king really has descended upon this earth, then why is he still able to enter and leave the valley freely? Maybe he just didn't want us to plunder the riches in there and is trying to scare us away from it?"
"But the Six Wolves of Sparrow Mountain confessed their sins." The hundreds of wandering cultivators conversed with each other, but didn't take a step away. It was obvious that they were all reluctant to leave after finally being given the chance to enter the desolate wildlands. However, none of them realized that a great danger was currently sneaking towards them while they were wasting time there.
Jiang Chen was dumbfounded by these foolish cultivators. He had already said everything there was to say, so there was no way he was turning back to convince them further. A person's life was destined at birth. If it was their fate to die here, then he wasn't going to become the anchor that kept them from it. He turned his head immediately and swiftly moved outside.
After passing through the river and walking for a few hours straight, he finally arrived at the crossroads where he had agreed to meet Lin Yanyu. Only five to six days had passed since, and there was still a day or two left before their agreement of seven days was up. Jiang Chen was a man of his words, so he didn't leave the area.