Plague viruses swirled about all over the sky, forming into a dark blue cloud that obscured the void and swallowed even the starlight and the pale gleam of the moon. All the Elders from the Yu Clan in Zhong Province, including Yu Miao, stood absentmindedly in midair, glancing blankly at the large force approaching from around them.
Yu Mu had brought with him Yu Huai and Yu He, his only son and grandson, but his spouse was not in sight. Apart from them, the surroundings were filled with thousands of elite soldiers who donned black leather armors, the private army the Yu Clan in Liangzhu had dispatched to support Yu Mu. In addition, there were over a dozen gray-haired old Oracles hovering in the sky with more than a thousand Oracles, all looking down at Yu Miao and his party, who were now trapped in the siege.
The gray-haired Oracles were the Elders from Yu Clan in Liangzhu. Among them, the three with the strongest cultivation bases had had one of their feet stepped into the realm of Supreme Oracles. Had it not been because their lives were approaching their end, and there were no longer any medicinal pills that could effectively prolong their lives, they had every assurance of becoming Supreme Oracles. With three of such fearsome experts joining forces, Yu Miao and his party did not stand a chance of turning the tables, even when they had the Secluded Elder with them.
With her hands tucked under her sleeves, Princess Zhang Le floated in front of Yu Miao and his party while staring coldly at them in silence. They would die here, she knew, so she did not waste her time in talking with them. If Yu Miao had not harbored ill intentions against Wu Qi's property, she would not have wasted her time on them. She was busy settling the people of the six dynasties, and she just did not have the leisure to deal with this bunch of old fogies.
Looking at the host of elites Yu Mu had brought from the Yu Clan in Liangzhu, the princess pursed her lips and backed off a few steps on a cloud. She rested her gaze on Yu Mu, wanting to witness what method he would use to kill Yu Miao and the rest.
Yu Miao gave a bitter laugh. While shivering, he pulled out a pill bottle and crushed it, then took out two pills and brought them up to his mouth. But, his instinct made him give the golden body of the God of Scourge hovering atop Princess Zhang Le a glance, and he then quickly put the pills back into his sleeve. He had witnessed how his son was choked to death by two pills, and he did not wish to die an ugly death like that.
He sighed while looking at Yu Mu, and said in a deep voice, "Are you really going to borrow the force of the principal clan to kill me? This is a violation of the laws and decrees of Great Yu. If this were to become a precedent, everyone would use the power of their principal clans to suppress the lesser branches, and it would create a messy situation across all the clans in Great Yu!"
With his hands clasped behind his back, Yu Mu looked at Yu Miao as he shook his head and said, "We have fought against each other for many years, and I've not been able to truly defeat you," he heaved a faint sigh. "But, you have made a mistake this time. You have laid your hand on Marquis of Dong Hai Province's property, which has infuriated the Master of Yan Tian Palace. He has complained to His Majesty, and it is His Majesty who has issued a decree, commanding the principal clan of Yu Clan to remove you, the black sheep of the Yu Clan!"
He gave a cruel laugh, then went on, "If others were allowed to seize any Marquis of Province's territory when it was uncertain whether he was still alive or not, won't that just make the countless of Marquis in Great Yu shiver in fear? Grand Elder, your behavior has, in fact, damaged the very foundation of Great Yu!"
Yu Miao's brows knitted into a tight frown. Grinding his teeth, he said, "How could Tan Lang possibly come back alive?"
Upon hearing that, a bright gleam flashed in Yu Mu's eyes as he stared at Yu Miao and said with a cold grin, "How can you be so sure that he is dead?"
Yu Miao's face flickered, and he avoided making eye contact with Yu Mu.
"I see! So, you colluded with those who assaulted Marquis of Dong Hai Province?" Yu Mu said while nodding slowly. "Yu Miao, the evidence is certain now, and you cannot cover it up in front of so many people!"
Princess Zhang Le nodded slowly, laughing coldly under her breath at the same time. She understood now why Yu Miao had begun jumping up and down as soon as Wu Qi went missing, gathering others to scheme against Dong Hai Province. He must have received some concrete news that made him believe Wu Qi was dead. So, could it be that he also knew who set Wu Qi up in the dark?
She gave a cold snort as she held her head up proudly and said in a cold, indifferent voice, "Yu Miao, you better be frank with me. Who is the one you are colluding with? If you can tell me the truth, I will..." she paused and pondered for a while, then shook her head and said, "No, I have to dig up the grass, roots and all. Sad to say that I can't spare you a few of your sons and grandsons. Your entire family must be killed. But... I can give you a clean death, sparing you a whole dead body. This is the greatest kindness I can bestow you!"
The corner of Yu Mu's mouth twitched a little. Even he found it hard to swallow Princess Zhang Le's words. He gave a quick glance at the princess, wondering why a little girl as delicate as her could come out with words that were so bloody and brutal? And why did she sound so accustomed when mentioning about killing Yu Miao's whole family?
After a long moment of silence, Yu Miao suddenly burst into wild laughter. Shaking his head, he said, "Well, well... I can't blame anyone for my own mistake... It was my fault to underestimate that little twerp Tan Lang. If I had known that things would turn out this way, I would have killed him by all means, which would have certainly saved me from all the troubles today!"
He darted a fierce glare at Yu Mu and said grimly, "You said that it is the Master of Yan Tian Palace himself who complained to the Human Emperor, so the Human Emperor decreed the principal clan to intervene in the affairs of Zhong Province? It seems that old fogy Yu Chen does know how to seize the chance. Well, congrats to you, the Yu Clan in Zhong Province has no other choice but to merge with the principal clan now. Congrats on making the principal clan stronger than ever!"
He chuckled in a strange way as he pointed a finger at Yu Mu and said, "I'll kill you, Yu Mu, and I'll kill your son, your grandson, and your father and mother! I'll even kill all those who are directly related to you through bloodline! And one day, I'll kill that old fogy Yu Chen too, with my own hands. If I'm so unlucky that he dies before I can kill him, I'll dig him out of his grave and crush and burn all his bones!"
Yu Miao laughed so madly that his spittle was flying all over the place. He looked as if he had gone crazy.
Yu Mu stared at Yu Miao, puzzled. He could not understand why this old rival of his could still come up with such strong words. Could it be that he did not realize that just the three strongest Elders from the principal clan were able to kill them without too much of an effort? Even though they had the Secluded Elder, he alone would never be the match of the three Elders, who had one of their feet stepped into the realm of Supreme Oracles.
Vaguely, Princess Zhang Le sensed something was wrong. Under the cover of her sleeves, she had her hands locked into an incantation gesture. Meanwhile, the shadow of a silver lotus flower quietly emerged on her forehead, and the five-colored divine light behind her back gradually formed into a misty cloud that was shaped like a lotus flower, spinning restlessly and sending sharp air in all directions, which cut through the surrounding void and left behind numerous fine black streaks.
She had silently activated the innate gold-element silver lotus flower, and together with the Five thunder Immortal Zither, Princess Zhang Le was all prepared for any sudden change.
Yu Miao's madness seemed to grow with his laughter. Flailing his arms, he cried out at the top of his lungs, "Fine, fine! I admit defeat today, but we have years ahead of us, and we shall see who will be the one laughing to the end! Haha, Yu Miao, do you really think you have won? Do you? I should have made up my mind... I... bah! Since Great Yu is unjust to me, it's only natural that I'll pay back in kind!"
Yu Mu and the Elders from the principal clan had their faces fallen when they heard Yu Miao's words. Everyone from Yu Clan, including the Secluded Elder, stared at him in utter shock, and one of them snapped, "What are you talking about, Yu Miao?"
Even the maddest subject of Great Yu, even Feng Lingling, who was ordered to be killed by the Human Emperor's decree, dared not to come up with such a bold statement. And yet, Yu Miao had said it openly; by doing that, not only had he turned himself against the principal clan in Liangzhu, but also brought himself to the opposite side of the entire Great Yu!
Yu Miao let out a cold snort as he held his head up arrogantly and waved his right hand to produce an immortal talisman shrouded in wisps of purple mist. Then, he spat a mouthful of blood on the talisman, causing it to burst into a ball of flame. Finally, he threw his head back and cried out at the top of his lungs, "Patriarch! Patriarch!"
A plume of purple smoke rose from the burning talisman, gradually condensing into a huge rounded archway in the sky above Yu Miao.
A huge gourd, wreathed in scorching flame, suddenly flew whistling out of the archway. Measuring over a hundred feet tall, the massive gourd slowly turned around as soon as it appeared, and in the next instant, a stream of crimson flame poured out of its mouth. Amidst it, hundreds of thousands of flying swords, each the size of a finger, swarm out in a torrent, raining down like a storm of light.
The rain of fire and swords poured down along with a deafening roar of wind, engulfing everyone save for Yu Miao and the dozen of Elders from the Yu clan of Zhong Province. Everyone, including Yu Mu, was crying in shock. They were unprepared for the attack, allowing the crimson flame to catch and burn them. Soon, the armors the soldiers wore turned red-hot, and some had even begun to melt.
The swords came with a terrible penetration, such that even the three strongest Elders from the principal clan were pierced with dozens of holes across their bodies. In just the blink of an eye, everyone present was wounded, except Princess Zhang Le.
However, although she had secretly unleashed the silver lotus flower to have her protected in advance, the impact from the tens of thousands of swords still made the divine light around her tremble violently. Each of the tiny swords came with a force that was as heavy as Mount Tai, and the continual impact had pushed her staggering back, making her unable to come up with an effective counterattack.
Suddenly a deep, cold laugh came. Following the huge gourd, an immortal in Daoist robe strode out of the archway. Judging by his appearance, he was none other than Immortal Gourd, the Master of the Gourd Immortal Market!
As soon as he made his appearance, Immortal Gourd thrust an arm out, conjuring an enormous golden palm, and used it to scoop up the Elders from the Yu clan of Zhong Province, including Yu Miao. Then, he gave Yu Mu a cold gaze and said in a deep voice, "You do have some abilities, Yu Mu! After so many years, you have finally taken over all the property that belongs to the Yu Clan of Zhong Province! But don't worry, I'll let Yu Miao settle today's score with you in the future. I'll not fight a junior like you, lest others mock me for bullying the weakling!"
All the people from the Yu Clan of Liangzhu stared at Immortal Gourd as if they had seen a ghost, including Yu Mu.
Pointing at him, Yu Mu cried out in shock, "Y-you... you are..."
With a grim smile on his face, Immortal Gourd darted a fierce glare at Yu Mu, then suddenly roared with laughter and said, "Who am I? I am Immortal Gourd! Haha, don't tell me that you know who I am!"
Laughing wildly, Immortal Gourd sat onto the huge gourd and ripped the void open with his bare hands, getting ready to leave.