In Teng Qingshan's residence in Yi City:
Yangzhou, situated in the south, was a place that was hot like summer even during the afternoons of early autumn. Zhuge Yuanhong stood silently by the pond in the inner court. He had been standing there for several hours.
"I wonder if the heavens will help Gui Yuan Sect escape this calamity," Zhuge Yuanhong prayed in silence.
In the Land of the Nine Prefectures, the rise of an absolutely heroic and courageous figure would bring a rain of blood. This time, the rise of the Heavenly God Palace could be considered as a disaster that shook up the entire Land of the Nine Prefectures. Many ancient sects might be destroyed during this calamity.
"Qingshan…" Zhuge Yuanhong waited silently.
A flowing light, accompanied by a strong gust of wind, landed on the training field in the inner court, blowing up a great amount of dust. Zhuge Yuanhong turned to see that it was Teng Qingshan and Li Jun on the back of the Six Legged Bladelike Chi. Seeing the expression of his proudest disciple, Teng Qingshan, Zhuge Yuanhong's heart started to pound.
"Teacher." Teng Qingshan and Li Jun leaped off the back of the Six Legged Bladelike Chi and walked over.
"Come sit here." Zhuge Yuanhong led Teng Qingshan to a pavilion by the side and sat down next to a table.
"Qingshan, what did the Sovereign of the Heavenly God Palace say?" Zhuge Yuanhong asked as he gazed at Teng Qingshan.
Teng Qingshan felt a sense of helplessness. He knew what his teacher wished to hear, but he had failed to meet his teacher's expectations. Teng Qingshan took a deep breath and replied with a deep tone, "Teacher, the Heavenly God Palace has waited for several hundred years just for this explosive breakout! I tried to persuade Pei San, but he just wouldn't listen."
"I thought he owed you a favor and a promise of a precious reward?" Zhuge Yuanhong had prepared himself for such an answer. Still, he frowned.
"He said that a favor and a promise of a precious reward are equivalent to only a land of one county. He said that the land of one county can only be the northernmost Chu County or the southernmost Nanman County." Anxiousness could be seen through Teng Qingshan's furrowing brows. "This means that... if we agree to that, the Gui Yuan Sect will have to move away from Jiangning County."
Zhuge Yuanhong stood up suddenly. His body trembled uncontrollably.
"Teacher—" Teng Qingshan responded in shock.
He might've loved the Gui Yuan Sect, but that love was not as deep as that of Teacher and the others. Teng Qingshan only valued the Gui Yuan Sect because of his few friends in the sect. For example, Zhuge Yuanhong, who had been kind to him; his brother-in-law, Zhuge Yun; Lady Qing, to whom he felt apologetic towards; and the Black Armored Brothers who had fought by his side.
However, Zhuge Yuanhong was different!
The Zhuge Family was a very ancient family in the Gui Yuan Sect. Having stayed with them for many generations, the members of Zhuge Family had long since been entangled with the Gui Yuan Sect. Moreover, Zhuge Yuanhong had been trained by the Gui Yuan Sect since he was young, and he was now its Sovereign. One could say that he would be willing to die for the Gui Yuan Sect!
"I am alright," Zhuge Yuanhong said softly. However, his face was very pale.
"Qingshan," he started to speak again.
"Teacher." Teng Qingshan listened attentively.
"What Pei San meant was that if the Gui Yuan Sect wishes to stay in Jiangning County and keep the land of Jiangning County, we have no choice but to...fight, right?" Zhuge Yuanhong asked, turning to gaze at Teng Qingshan.
Teng Qingshan hesitated slightly. However, he still nodded heavily and replied, "Yes!"
"If we fight, what's the chance of us winning?" Zhuge Yuanhong asked in a deep tone.
"It is impossible to defeat the Heavenly God Palace," Teng Qingshan said with a frown. "However... I am guessing that the Undying Phoenix, Little Blue, should have learned her mother's most powerful technique by now. She should be here soon! Even if the battle has started and Little Blue has not arrived, I will ride the Six Legged Bladelike Chi to Phoenix Island and ask Little Blue or… even her mother to come here.
"Even with Little Blue, it will be impossible to defeat the Heavenly God Palace. However, there's a 90% chance that we will be able to keep the Gui Yuan Sect safe," Teng Qingshan hypothesized cautiously.
"But if her mother is here, it will be possible to defeat the Heavenly God Palace! It will be possible to keep the Gui Yuan Sect safe," Teng Qingshan said forcefully.
Zhuge Yuanhong's pale face appeared slightly more relaxed.
He patted Teng Qingshan's shoulder and said, "If there's a certainty of 90%, what more can we demand? Alright… Qingshan, let's go meet the enemy!"
"Yes!" A fire was lit up inside Teng Qingshan's heart, a fire that contained the will to fight.
"This time, it's all thanks to you," Zhuge Yuanhong said as he stared at Teng Qingshan.
Many sects in the Land of the Nine Prefectures might be destroyed because of this coming rain of blood. However, this time of such frequent battles was when the true heroes would rise to fame. There would also be chances for many sects to rise.
During such a calamity, some would be destroyed, while others would rise and become more powerful.
It would all depend on the people!
Moreover, during this disaster, the Gui Yuan Sect had Teng Qingshan!
Starting from this day, the entire Gui Yuan Sect started preparing secretly. As a thousand-year-old ancient sect that was located in the center of the flourishing Yangzhou and in possession of mineral resources such as purple gold, the Gui Yuan Sect was still considered very powerful in terms of manpower and resources.
As the Gui Yuan Sect prepared for battle, they implanted spies in every city and every village in the entirety of Yangzhou.
The Gui Yuan Sect was ready!
Throughout the Land of the Nine Prefectures, the sect that feared the Heavenly God Palace the most was Qing Hu Island!
After the destruction of Hong Tian City, everyone with a clear mind understood that if the Heavenly God Palace were to expand, they would only attack Yangzhou in the south. Yangzhou was Qing Hu Island's territory. Although the Gui Yuan Sect was also in Yangzhou, it was situated in a remote area.
Even if the Heavenly God Palace began attacking Yangzhou, they would have to attack for several months before reaching Jiangning County, which was located 2,000 Li away from the border in the north.
On the Sword Edge Mountain in Qing Hu Island:
As it was during such a critical moment, the center of power for the entire Qing Hu Island became the Sword Edge Mountain. Even Tie Fan, the Island Lord of Qing Hu Island, dwelled on the Sword Edge Mountain to manage the various kinds of information being sent to Qing Hu Island. This way, the Blind Swordmaster would receive news about the Heavenly God Palace immediately.
Qing Hu Island's intelligence agency was much more capable than that of the Gui Yuan Sect.
Therefore, the information they gathered was also more detailed.
"Whew." Tie Fan stared at the letter in his hand and heaved a sigh of relief.
"Tie Fan, is the Heavenly God Palace deploying soldiers?" The Blind Swordmaster suddenly asked from where he sat silently nearby, with his legs crossed.
Tie Fan, who was sitting in the pavilion while reading the information reports, turned and said with a smile, " Martial Ancestor, we previously suspected that the Heavenly God Palace was about to deploy soldiers. However, now it seems like it wasn't a deployment. The two troops we suspected were only moving and going through a reorganization. Well, there are no troops gathering at the borders, in any case."
The Blind Swordmaster heaved a breath of relief.
If the Heavenly God Palace were to attack Yangzhou, they would have to gather troops near the border. However, there was currently no sight of the Heavenly God Palace's troops gathering near the border, so there was nothing to be worried about.
"Yes, the Great Prairie Army of the Heavenly God Palace is now slowly retreating to the Great Prairie. It seems like the Heavenly God Palace suffered greatly after wiping out Xiao Yao Palace and Hong Tian City, and they are now preparing to rest and focus on managing Qingzhou and Youzhou," the Blind Swordmaster's hoarse voice rang out. "However, Tie Fan, you must be careful. If the Heavenly God Palace doesn't make a move now, they will be even scarier when they do it. Therefore, you must check every one of their movements thoroughly.
"Qing Hu Island must prepare as well."
The existence of the Heavenly God Palace was like an enormous mountain pressing on Qing Hu Island, forcing them to be cautious at all times.
Even though the two sects in Yangzhou were very nervous, Emperor Yu's Hall—the most ancient sect in the Land of the Nine Prefectures—wasn't nervous at all. The disciples of Emperor Yu's Hall were still living leisurely like before. In their opinion, it didn't matter if the Heavenly God Palace was powerful. After all, the Heavenly God Palace definitely wouldn't dare to attack Emperor Yu's Hall.
All the disciples of Emperor Yu's Hall were extremely confident of this.
Outside Yu City, in the deeper areas of the Blind Bear Mountain Range:
"Roar~~" Countless black bears could be seen. There were enormous, fully-grown black bears with the height of two Zhang, as well as cute little black bears. The black bears either crawled or walked, playing around the several palaces. Occasionally, some good-looking men and women would walk past these black bears.
This was a place where humans and beasts got along really well.
In the temple, the tallest building amidst the several palaces:
Yu Tonghai and Liu Xia were flying toward the seventh floor of the temple like gusts of wind. They whirled up the stairs and speedily arrived on the seventh floor.
"Martial Uncle is really too careful. The information we found said that the Heavenly God Palace has already removed Jing Yi from his position as the Foreign Dignitary. Yet Martial Uncle is still worried…" As Yu Tonghai thought this, feelings of discontent filled his heart. However, when he arrived on the seventh floor, a smile immediately emerged on his face. He had no audacity to reveal a hint of that dissatisfaction.
The seventh floor of this temple was the cultivation area of the most senior member of Emperor Yu's Hall, Huang Tianqin.
"Sit," a yellow-cloaked Emptiness Realm Expert, who had the appearance of a youth yet had white hair on his temples, said nonchalantly as he sat cross-legged on the ground.
Liu Xia and Yu Tonghai exchanged glances and obeyed.
"Have you checked it clearly?" Huang Tianqin asked.
"Yes," Yu Tonghai nodded and answered, "Martial Ancestor, the information we received two days ago wasn't detailed enough. However, we have figured everything out clearly now. Jing Yi might have been too stubborn as he went against the Sovereign of the Heavenly God Palace. He must have done something to enrage Pei San, resulting in him losing his position as the Foreign Dignitary of the Heavenly God Palace. Moreover, even Jing Yi's wife, Li Jun, was removed from her position as the Saintess of the Snowy Lotus Cult."
"Oh?" Huang Tianqin nodded slightly. "I wonder what happened between Jing Yi and Pei San."
"I don't know."
Yu Tonghai shook his head and then immediately smiled as he said, "However, Martial Ancestor, Pei San is the Sovereign of the Heavenly God Palace as well as an Insightful Emptiness Realm Expert. Therefore, he must be very prideful… Jing Yi seized the two sets of Godly Armor, but he left the best for himself and gave the inferior one to the Heavenly God Palace. This must have made Pei San unhappy. With Jing Yi's temperament, it is not weird that they broke off their relationship."
"Martial Ancestor, the two sets of Godly Armor should belong to Emperor Yu's Hall," Liu Xia said with a deep tone. "If it weren't for Jing Yi, the Six-Eared Earth-Drilling Mouse would've brought You Shijin to us and the two sets would've been ours. Even as an Emptiness Realm Expert, Jing Yi still shamelessly said to us that he hadn't obtained the Godly Armor. This was the most hateful thing."
Huang Tianqin sneered and said softly, "We must not forgive him for taking away the treasure that belongs to Emperor Yu's Hall."
Yu Tonghai and Liu Xin both agreed.
"It's fine if we choose not to attack now." Huang Tianqin said coldly. "However, if we do, we must eliminate him in one go. We can't give him the chance to fight back."
"Jing Yi has a demonic beast that is adept at flying and drilling the ground. Do the two of you have any plans to deal with that?" Huang Tianqin asked as he looked at the two people.
Yu Tonghai narrowed his eyes and said confidently, "Martial Uncle, I have full confidence that my plan will be able to kill Jing Yi and seize the Hong Tian Godly Armor."