The power of Annihilation was incredibly strong, and Ji Juechen's sword light, which currently possessed the power of light, instantly became a lot dimmer than before. However, the strength of Nan Qiuqiu's Annihilation Body was ultimately limited, and she didn't dare to use every ounce of energy in that body, as she could risk damaging her origin if she did so. The pink light transformed into a beam of flowing light and flowed back into her body, while Ye Guyi returned to her side at this moment.
Their faces were a little black. They had used their full strength, but they were still unable to obtain any sort of advantage.
"You guys are no match for me. Go back and work harder." Ji Juechen didn't continue attacking. He withdrew his Judgement Sword as he turned and walked away.
Nan Qiuqiu's pretty face grew even darker than before. "Why is he being so condescending? The winner of this fight is still undecided. How does he know we are no match for him?"
Ye Guyi forced out a bitter smile as she said, "Forget it. If we are no match for him, then so be it. We are no match for him now, but that doesn't mean we won't be his match in the future. He has shown me mercy before this, and when he converted darkness to light, he borrowed my strength! If he had used his full strength in that attack, I wouldn't have been able to emerge unscathed, and your Annihilation Body might have been damaged as well. Furthermore, he didn't use his martial soul true body. I didn't expect the gap between us to be so huge..."
Nan Qiuqiu hugged Ye Guyi across her shoulder and said, "Don't be so dejected, sister Guyi. He's older than us, and we will surpass him one day!"
Ji Juechen was still nearby, and suddenly stumbled when he heard her words. Jing Ziyan was following behind him, and couldn't help but laugh at Nan Qiuqiu's remark.
Ji Juechen was only a little over twenty. Could he be really be considered old? However, he was actually the oldest one amongst these people from the Tang Sect…
"You're back, eldest senior brother." Nan Qiuqiu suddenly exclaimed and jumped for joy. She completely disregarded a certain someone's despondence.
Bei Bei walked in from outside, but his expression seemed a little grave. He waved to everyone and said, "Come, let's talk inside."
Bei Bei took everyone into the Tang Sect's Conference Hall. Everyone sat down, and besides their subordinates, everyone here formed the Tang Sect's core.
Nan Qiuqiu couldn't hold herself back anymore, and blurted, "How is it, eldest senior brother? Is there news about my mother and the others?"
Bei Bei nodded and said, "We have intel. The good news is that they're all fine and still alive. The bad news is, they are indeed in the Sun Moon Empire's hands."
Nan Qiuqiu leapt to her feet, turned, and was just about to walk out. Fortunately, Ye Guyi moved quickly and grabbed her in time.
Bei Bei frowned slightly and said, "Don't be rash, Qiuqiu. Let me finish. We have to save your mother, but do you think you can do that and bring everyone back by yourself?"
Bei Bei's voice became a lot stricter and severe towards the end.
Nan Qiuqiu pouted, and tears welled up in her eyes. Nan Qiuqiu and her mother had depended on each other since she was young, and her mother had doted on her back in the Earthdragon Sect. She wouldn't have developed such a prideful and arrogant personality otherwise. Joining the Tang Sect and leaving her mother's supervision was a happy event for her, but that didn't mean she wasn't still close to her mother. Quite the opposite; Nan Qiuqiu had a very close relationship with her mother, and her mother's danger and peril made her as anxious and frustrated as could be.
Everybody within the Tang Sect's inner circle quickly arrived at the Conference Hall. Ye Guyi pulled Nan Qiuqiu to one side and sat down, while everyone else sat down in their respective seats. He Caitou, Xu Sanshi, Jiang Nannan, and Xiao Xiao were all present. Over at the Soul Tool Hall, Xuan Ziwen and Gao Dalou didn't participate in the Tang Sect's policy decisions; they were only immersed in their soul tool research, and didn't typically participate in such conferences. Mo Xuan was at Shrek Academy's inner courtyard to further his training, as the inner courtyard placed a lot of emphasis and effort on his nurturing and education.
"Everyone is here. Let's begin the meeting." Bei Bei was sitting in the main seat as he spoke with a grave look on his face. "According to the academy's intel, the Sun Moon Empire have unambiguously and outrageously announced that the sects and academies that participated in the tournament are in their hands. They are still alive for now."
Xu Sanshi cut in and said, "What are they trying to do? Are they taking the initiative to declare war on the Douluo Continent's three native empires?"
Bei Bei shook his head. "They haven't officially declared war, but this means they are even more treacherous and vicious. The first consequence from their announcement is that the Sun Moon Empire is officially antagonizing the sects and academies who have people in the empire's hands. But at the same time, they have also told us unambiguously that those people are in their hands, and this will lead to the second consequence, that we will be afraid to fight against their evil for fear of harming innocents."
Bei Bei surveyed everyone around him, and his eyes paused for a moment longer when they came to Nan Qiuqiu. "Think about it, guys. Everyone who was able to represent those reputable sects and academies in the tournament were elites of the younger generation. Almost every single one of them will become future cornerstones and mainstays. In addition to them are the teachers of the teams, who had brought them to Radiant City, or even sect leaders who personally came forward, like the Earthdragon Sect. Everyone is now in the hands of the Sun Moon Empire… what does this mean?"
He Caitou, or Xu He, was a lot more handsome than before. He lowered his voice and said, "This means that the various sects and academies won't dare to use violence against the Sun Moon Empire lightly. At least, they won't do so before they rescue their compatriots."
Bei Bei nodded and continued, "That's the first possibility. The second possibility is that those academies and sects will venture into the Sun Moon Empire to save their compatriots, and they will mire themselves in their enemies' traps if that happens. The Sun Moon Empire will break them down, one by one. At the same time, with this restraint in place, every country will have to consider the opinions of those sects and academies who are powerful enough to affect a nation's high-level fighting strength if they wish to make a move against the Sun Moon Empire. The Sun Moon Empire can take this opportunity to regain their strength and replenish what they've lost. Their strategy has killed four birds with one stone, and it is very treacherous and cunning, indeed."
"Then what should we do? Are we not going to save them?" Nan Qiuqiu couldn't help but feel a little worried and anxious.
Bei Bei said, "Calm down, don't be hasty. Of course we have to save them, but we have to plan and scheme before we make a move. Our actions will be counterproductive otherwise, and we will achieve the opposite of our desired result if we try to save them rashly and without prior planning. Don't worry, your mother will not be in danger for the time being. At least, she will be fine until the Sun Moon Empire decides to officially launch an invasion. The Sun Moon Empire's hostages will be valuable to them until they are actually prepared to start a war. This will take at least one or two years."
Nan Qiuqiu settled down a little as she listened to Bei Bei's calm analysis, and nodded pitifully.
Bei Bei continued, "Everyone must have noticed that certain entities are not included among the people that I mentioned who are afraid to take action against the Sun Moon Empire for fear of harming innocents… Shrek Academy and the Body Sect! The Body Sect is considered the Heavenly Soul Empire's National Defense Sect, and they will do something to save the Heavenly Soul Empire soul masters who have been captured. Shrek Academy is incumbent and bound to our duty. At the same time, the Tang Sect doesn't share the same fears."
He Caitou glanced at Nan Qiuqiu and said, "Eldest senior brother, do you think that the Tang Sect participating in high-level conflicts between empires will…" A worried look appeared in his eyes as he spoke.
Nan Qiuqiu slammed the table in front of her and leapt to her feet. She glared at He Caitou and said, "Such a waste that you've grown up to be so tall and big. Are you afraid?"
He Caitou frowned, and Xiao Xiao cut in before He Caitou could say anything. She leapt to her feet as well and said, "What did you say? Afraid? Do you think we're afraid?"
He Caitou hugged Xiao Xiao at her waist with one arm. He was tall, so he could still do that easily even though he was sitting down. He pulled Xiao Xiao back into her seat as he turned towards Nan Qiuqiu with a calm look in his eyes. "I hail from the Sun Moon Empire. More accurately put, I come from the Sun Moon Empire's royal family. More than ten years ago, my father and several hundred of my family members were murdered by the previous Sun Moon Empire's emperor, who has just passed away not too long ago."
He Caitou recounted his story calmly as if he were talking about something that was completely unrelated to him, and not a single ripple of emotion appeared on his face. In the beginning, Nan Qiuqiu was a little surprised, but her reaction gradually became one of intense shock. Her pretty face flushed red, and she desperately wanted to hide herself in some hole in the ground.
"I'm… I'm sorry…" Nan Qiuqiu was a little arrogant and pampered, but she wasn't an unreasonable girl, and she hurriedly lowered her head and sat back down.
He Caitou smiled and continued, "It's alright. You're losing your cool because you're too concerned. We will brainstorm and discuss this carefully because we have to find the best solution and strategy to save your mother. Saving the Earthdragon Sect's members will be our topmost priority. I am just worried that the Academy will not let us participate in this operation, so we need to have a detailed plan before we think about taking any action."
Bei Bei nodded and said, "That's correct. We need to have a detailed plan before we take any action. The Tang Sect is just starting to take shape, and our foundations are still unstable. At this time, we can only assist everyone else in this operation. The Academy will be the main strength which will venture forward to rescue the hostages. Even if the Academy's operation fails, the Sun Moon Empire cannot vent their anger on anyone. However, the Sun Moon Empire must have already made sufficient preparations, and they're just waiting for us to walk into their trap by ourselves. Therefore, this rescue operation will be extremely difficult, and we must ensure that we are absolutely prepared for anything and everything before we take any action. So Qiuqiu, I need to remind you that you must trust everyone, and you cannot do anything rash by yourself. Rashness and impulsiveness will not resolve any of our problems, and your only choice right now is to trust us. Do you understand?"
Nan Qiuqiu nodded lightly.
Bei Bei continued, "The Sea God's Pavilion's various elders have already discussed this. In terms of strength, rescuing those hostages under the watchful eyes of the Sun Moon Empire's throngs of soul engineers and the Holy Ghost Church's evil soul masters will be exceptionally challenging. We have sent out scouts to figure out what's happening in the Sun Moon Empire and figure out their situation. At the same time, this isn't the right time for us to launch a rescue operation; the Sun Moon Empire must have already made sufficient preparations if they dared to handle this issue this way, which is just a little short of declaring war. Therefore, we have to wait, and we have to wait until they are a little less vigilant for us to have any chance or opportunity at all."
Nan Qiuqiu didn't say anything anymore. She seemed to have learned her lesson from before, and she was a lot calmer and more composed.
Ye Guyi glanced at Nan Qiuqiu and asked, "How long do we have to wait?"
Bei Bei shook his head and said, "I'm not sure. We have to wait for the most opportune moment, and everything depends on the intel from our scouts... and also on the Academy's plans and arrangements. We can no longer make any decisions about a conflict at this level."