Chapter 551: Consequences
Profound disappointment filled Xue Moyan’s eyes. Pan Qianqian’s betrayal left her so stunned that she couldn’t react in time.
Out of all of the Illusory Demon Sect martial practitioners, Xue Moyan and Pan Qianqian were the only ones to leave the Graveyard of Gods alive. She treated Pan Qianqian like her flesh and blood sister and had gone to great lengths to protect her.
She didn’t expect that, just when all of them had managed to leave the Graveyard of Gods and escape danger, Pan Qianqian would harbor ill intent in her heart and be up to no good.
Xue Moyan found this difficult to process.
Qin Lie was still sitting in the sand, replenishing his soul energy with the soul crystals. His eyes held no light, but his expression was calm.
He cast a distant glance at Gao Yu.
Before Luo Chen, Du Xiangyang, or anyone else could act, Gao Yu instantly vanished like an otherworldly ghost.
Only after Gao Yu moved into action did the others ready themselves to do something.
“It’s fine,” Qin Lie said loudly. “Let Gao Yu chase Pan Qianqian. He should be able to capture her.”
Du Xiangyang and the others came to an abrupt stop.
Everyone’s gazes suddenly fell upon Xue Moyan.
Pan Qianqian belonged to Illusory Demon Sect… and so did she.
“I didn’t think Qianqian would do this.” Xue Moyan sighed quietly. She bowed her head, clearly downcast with emotion.
“Miss Xue… who is Pan Tong?” Du Xiangyang calmed down. He knew that their situation would probably worsen later on and he wanted to understand why as soon as possible.
“Pan Tong is Qianqian’s uncle. He isn’t a member of Illusory Demon Sect,” Xue Moyan explained, her brow furrowed in thought. “The Pan Family, her family, is a Copper vassal force of Illusory Demon Sect.”
“Her family recommended that she join Illusory Demon Sect to cultivate,” she continued. “The region that they oversee just happens to be near here. Qianqian… she trusts her uncle quite a bit. Her uncle used his connections and bribes in the form of large amounts of spirit stones and spirit materials to help her join Illusory Demon Sect. Qianqian told me that her family spent so many spirit stones and spirit materials to facilitate her joining the sect that it affected the family’s development. She’s blamed herself for this for a long time…”
“So she blames herself for not being able to help her family, huh? She probably thinks she owes them everything,” Qin Lie spoke up with a frown, taking control of the conversation. “Right after escaping the Graveyard of Gods, we just happened to land in a region of the sea near the Pan Family. This presented her with a sudden opportunity to pay her family back, didn’t it?”
“That’s probably the case.” Xue Moyan sighed softly. “Qianqian probably did this because she wants the Pan Family to find a few bodies of ancient elites. That would then repay everything that her family did for her. She… she probably doesn’t even want to hurt us…”
Even now, Xue Moyan believed in Pan Qianqian. She refused to believe that Pan Qianqian was so ruthless.
“Regardless of whether or not she intended to hurt us, the Pan Family will still do what they need to once they arrive,” Qin Lie said in a grave tone, waving his hands. “The Graveyard of Gods has collapsed. To the outside world, we may already be considered long dead. Once the people of the Pan Family come, the only way they can seize the remains of the ancient elites we brought with us and ensure that news of them isn’t leaked is…”
“…if they silence us,” Luo Chen finished.
Everyone’s expressions turned grim.
“Once we’re dead, no one will know that the Pan Family did anything. The moment they obtain these remains, they’ll be able to grow rapidly even after leaving the Land of Chaos in the future.” Qin Lie paused for a moment. “Recover as fast as you can and prepare to welcome the Pan Family.”
“As long as Gao Yu captures Pan Qianqian, we may not necessarily have no chance at negotiating,” Luo Chen said coldly. “If they really end up wanting to kill us for the remains, we’ll threaten to kill her!”
“And if they choose to sacrifice Pan Qianqian?” Qin Lie said, narrowing his eyes.
A look of alarm came over Luo Chen.
Song Tingyu sighed. “The remains of these ancient elites are beyond comparable to Pan Qianqian. Any patriarch with the tiniest bit of intelligence would know what choice to make.”
Everyone suddenly fell silent.
Qin Lie did not say anything else. After taking a deep breath, he forcefully purged all distractions from his mind and focused on absorbing the power within the soul crystals to replenish his soul energy.
The rest of the group wasn’t stupid either. They quickly came to terms with the situation and gripped either soul crystals or spirit stones in their hands. All of them did their best to recover as quickly as possible.
They were in a desolate place. There were no spirits birds to tame and ride, no flying spirit artifacts to use, or even a single boat to set sail with.
They were just in the Netherpassage Realm and they didn’t have the ability to fly. Without boats, spirit birds, or flying spirit artifacts, they were stuck here.
This meant they had no way to avoid the Pan Family and could only wait for them to arrive.
Only by recovering their strength as quickly as possible, getting as close to peak condition as possible, would they have a chance to survive when the Pan Family arrived.
One hour later, Gao Yu returned to the rest of the group, an eerie expression on his face. Dark, evil light burned deep within his icy pupils as he walked on seawater.
Clusters of vile souls and wraiths surrounded Pan Qianqian like grayish-black clouds. They floated in front Gao Yu as he slowly brought her to the others.
This outcome didn’t surprise anyone.
Previously, in the Graveyard of Gods, Pan Qianqian had suffered because of the Viridian Blood Toad’s whistling attack and bled out of the seven orifices of her head. She had yet to recover from her grievous wounds. In comparison, Gao Yu’s true strength was unfathomable. No one had a reason to underestimate him.
It would be far stranger if Pan Qianqian managed to elude Gao Yu’s pursuit in a desolate place like this that didn’t have any cover to hide in or any spirit birds and boats to escape on.
The clusters of vile souls and wraiths flung Pan Qianqian before the others. She hit the sand roughly, the vile souls and wraiths transforming into pitch black ribbons that tightly wrapped around her body.
Pan Qianqian couldn’t move a muscle.
After tossing her to the ground, Gao Yu moved to a spot nearby and sat down. His icy eyes shone with a freezing light.
Everyone was staring at Pan Qianqian silently.
Everyone except Xue Moyan.
“Why?” she asked. The pain in her voice rang clear.
“I… I owe my uncle too much. My family… it almost fell to ruin in one stroke…” Pan Qianqian bowed her head. She didn’t have the courage to face the others. Her voice then became a soft whisper. “I really didn’t mean to hurt everyone, I swear! That’s the last thing I would want! I… I just thought that the Pan Family would be able to survive if they had a few bodies of ancient elites…”
Du Xiangyang shook his head. “She isn’t stupid. She knew exactly what would happen the second she leaked news of our survival and the bodies of the ancient elites.”
He didn’t believe Pan Qianqian for one second.
“Don’t worry!” Pan Qianqian said, suddenly lifting her head to look at them. “I’ll convince uncle to just imprison all of you! I definitely won’t let him hurt you. Once some time has passed, the dust has settled, and the Pan Family has left this region of the sea, I’ll have uncle let you go. Please! Just trust me!”
“We might as well kill her now,” Gao Yu said indifferently. “She’s useless.”
Pan Qianqian screamed in fear. “I… I…”
Xue Moyan’s face twisted in sorrow.
“I agree,” Luo Chen said with a snort.
Song Tingyu and Xie Jingxuan sighed, saying nothing.
“She did betray us.” Du Xiangyang shook his head.
He only stated the fact of the matter, not his opinion on it.
“Qin Lie…” Xue Moyan looked at him.
The others looked at him as well.
“Let’s keep her around for now,” Qin Lie said.
Relief appeared on Xue Moyan’s face. Du Xiangyang and Luo Chen, on the other hand, shook their heads in disappointment.
Qin Lie wore an indifferent expression as he continued, “We’ll wait for the Pan Family to arrive. If we kill her, we should kill her in front of her uncle.”
The moment he said this, everyone but Xue Moyan grew lively.
“Big Brother Qin!” Pan Qianqian screamed. “I-I’m really not trying to hurt any of you! I swear!”
“You should consider the consequences of the actions you take!” Qin Lie said cruelly.
“This is how it should be!” Du Xiangyang exclaimed.
Luo Chen nodded in approval.
“Keep her restrained, Gao Yu. I don’t want to hear another word out of her mouth.” Qin Lie closed his eyes, pretending not to be aware of Xue Moyan’s pleading eyes.
Gao Yu secretly channeled the Nine Hell Wandering Soul Record, and sphere-shaped souls suddenly shot into Pan Qianqian’s mouth.
Pan Qianqian immediately lost her ability to speak.
The crowd fell silent and continued to focus on restoring their spirit and soul energies. They no longer discussed Pan Qianqian.
Xue Moyan let out a soft sigh, helplessly shaking her head at Pan Qianqian to indicate that she had done all she could.
Pan Qianqian’s heart sank to rock bottom. She couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of regret for being so selfish.
Three purple, crystalline war chariots sailed above the clouds, riding the wind like sailboats. A large flag with the word “Pan” embroidered into it was strung to the top of each war chariot, dancing in the wind.
Pan Tong, the Pan Family patriarch, stood in the leading war chariot. He had a long, well-groomed beard and wore a silver robe. His hands were clasped behind his back, his eyes shining with excitement.
Countless Pan Family experts stood by his side, rubbing their hands greedily.
“Countless bodies of ancient elites were scattered in a region of the sea under our jurisdiction! The gods are with us!”
“A golden opportunity has finally presented itself to our family! The gods did not let us down!”
“Hehe, the patriarch truly is a man of formidable foresight. In the past, he stood his ground against the masses and spent a huge amount of resources to send Qianqian to Illusory Demon Sect. Now, that cost has truly resulted in a boon of unimaginable profit!”
The group was in the midst of heated discussion.
Pan Tong smiled slightly and swept a glance across all the family elders, saying, “Back then, I had to go everywhere to give out bribes of tremendous amounts of spirit stones and spirit materials so that Qianqian would have the chance to join Illusory Demon Sect. Heh… all of you originally believed that it wasn’t worth the investment and thought that the spent spirit stones and spirit materials would not yield the expected results. What do you say now?”
Under his gaze, those elders just laughed dryly, embarrassment on their faces.
Pan Tong grew serious, sternly saying, “Even if Qianqian hadn’t sent us this transmission, our investment has long since paid for itself!”
He paused for a moment, then continued, “If Qianqian hadn’t joined Illusory Demon Sect, becoming the sect master’s disciple no less, could our Pan Family have stood firmly in this region? How long have other forces planned to get their hands on us? Why have they never acted in all these years or raised a hand against us?
“They’ve left us alone because Qianqian, a member of our Pan Family, is the disciple of Illusory Demon Sect’s sect master! They’re afraid of Illusory Demon Sect, so they don’t dare to touch us!”
Everyone nodded, inwardly agreeing.
“Heh! I didn’t spend all that effort to send Qianqian to Illusory Demon Sect because of how much I love her. I only did that so that she would help our family!” Pan Tong snorted. “It’s ridiculous that you short-sighted fools thought I did so many things just because I let familial ties go to my head! You are all so ignorant and stupid!”
“It isn’t too late for us to understand patriarch’s brilliance and how terrifying his foresight is,” the Pan Family elders said in praise. “Haha… it definitely isn’t too late.”
Pan Tong smiled, speaking with complete confidence.
“Just you watch! In my hands, our Pan Family will definitely rise to never-before-seen heights! This is the golden opportunity our family has always waited for. We absolutely must not miss it!”