Although experts from every sect had surrounded the area in a radius of a hundred miles, all of them were lying low and had concealed their presence, waiting for Lin Chenghe to trigger the heavenly tribulation.
But while all of them were hoping, this was just their wishful thinking. Yang Chen knew that, not only would Lin Chenghe survive the tribulation and enter the Da Cheng stage, he would also take away the cultivation of those Da Cheng stage experts and would only then die from the backlash from absorbing too much spirit power.
So after all was said and done, Lin Chenghe finally died thanks to his own actions, which were not influenced by the dao sects very much. If one absolutely wanted to prove that a trace of a connection existed, then it would only be that the pressure which the dao sects had put on him had made him absorb this large amount of spirit power in such a short time, nothing more. If he hadn’t become underconfident at that time, then he would definitely not have faced this kind of problem.
Before the Palace Master had dispatched anyone on the mission, he had consulted Yang Chen about how should they approach this.
In fact, the Palace Master consulting a disciple who had just recently become a Foundation stage disciple was really quite outrageous. But the Palace Master couldn’t help being careful regarding this great calamity of the devil cultivation. Yang Chen had shown great excellence, if it were not for Yang Chen, the Pure Yang Palace would not have gotten off so easily.
Although Yang Chen had said that this information was offered by Elder Wu, in his heart, the Palace Master knew clearly that Elder Wu still hadn’t ascended but, he hadn’t said anything regarding any such matter. It was not that Elder Wu didn’t have any friends among such experts, but he had never interfered with any matter before.
Naturally, all of this was within Palace Master’s head, and he had never mentioned it to anyone. By now, he had stopped treating Yang Chen as a mere disciple and had instead started treating him as an elder. Yang Chen’s advice could easily influence the Palace Master’s attitude at all times.
“Lin Chenghe is not a simple devil, we shouldn’t simply follow the general conviction about him.”
Yang Chen didn’t hide much from his Palace Master:
“In any case, when we said our warnings, nobody had listened to us, but if we don’t fight with them, everyone will resent us. So when the time comes, we must send some forces, but they should not force themselves to fight and try to avoid casualties.”
“So you mean that Lin Chenghe will not be killed this time?”
Yang Chen’s words made the Palace Master suck in a deep breath. From the time Yang Chen had strongly advocated that no disciple of Pure Yang Palace should be allowed to come in contact with the Long Tai Spirit Supporting Secrets, even though it had shown huge benefits, until now, Yang Chen’s ability of making judgements had received a large amount of respect in the Palace Master’s eyes, so hearing Yang Chen’s words this time, he immediately asked with alarm.
“Have you already forgotten the tribulation of the old tree demon?”
Yang Chen asked rhetorically:
“At that time, apart from genuine Da Cheng stage experts, who would be able to approach it? And if no one can approach it, then what else is there to do?”
“But Hall Master Cassia Demon is a Da Cheng stage expert. If he doesn’t contribute at that time, wouldn’t it look bad?”
The Palace Master asked with some anxiousness. The Pure Yang Palace had established a good reputation with great difficulty, so he didn’t want it to get destroyed so easily.
“The Greatest Heaven Sect and the Clear Sky Sect have many Da Cheng experts, my Pure Yang Palace has only one.”
Yang Chen shook his head. Although the Palace Master could also think of this, he didn’t know if he should do anything about it or not. Yang Chen also only declared his point of view. After that, it was up to the Palace Master to judge this himself.
After conversing with Yang Chen, the Palace Master formed a tacit understanding with the old tree demon that, he would not instruct Gui Shanyou, the old tree demon, to fight until death. In any case, the Pure Yang Palace had acquired a Da Cheng stage expert after such a long time, so there was no need to fight with other sects over reputation.
Gui Shanyou had lived for countless years and had thought about this matter very thoroughly. The Palace Master’s instructions were exactly what he wanted, so after hearing those instructions, he left, understanding the exact situation.
As Lin Chenghe’s tribulation was slowly approaching, day by day, the number of cultivators in the region also kept increasing, but nobody dared to enter within a hundred miles of that region. Nobody wanted to fail at the last step because of impatience.
People like Yang Chen and Gao Yue were at the most outer perimeter of the encirclement, while Wang Yong was at the very center. The cultivation of people of his kind were simply not of any use. In fact, from the beginning, after they had found the position of the devil Lin Chenghe, the cultivators of the JieDan stage or lower had already been of no use in the matter. Yang Chen had only come here to participate and take a look at everything and hadn’t intended on participating.
But not everyone followed Yang Chen’s way of thinking: especially a few JieDan experts of the Greatest Heaven Sect, whose losses had been the most disastrous. Seeing Yang Chen acting so leisurely, they started to spread baseless rumors.
“Ohh, isn’t this Pure Yang Palace’s fellow daoist Yang? Does fellow daoist Yang intend to show his brilliance in such a situation again?”
From within a group of cultivators, a tone filled with incomparable contempt was heard, but the person who had spoken was someone whom Yang Chen knew, someone who had already been humiliated by him at the Heavenly Stairs: Cheng Wencai.
By now, several years had passed from the time of the previous incident, but Cheng Wencai was still brooding. At that time, due to his mistake, he had not only caused harm to JieDan experts of his sect, but also those of other sects, including himself, who had fallen to the Foundation stage from the JieDan stage and had moreover suffered from a decrease in his life expectancy by many decades.
In these several years, with the help of medicines and his own hard work, he had once again attained the JieDan stage, but he still resented Yang Chen, the perpetrator of his misfortune from the bottom of his heart.
He was also the uncle master of Li QingChen, who had been killed by Yang Chen a few years ago. Although it was a life and death duel and no side could ask for compensation from the victor, Cheng Wencai remembered Yang Chen’s name clearly.
Moreover, in this great calamity of devil cultivation, the Pure Yang Palace had been the main leader, making all of the big sects, including the Greatest Heaven Sect embarrassed. A second rate sect could see clearly and be on guard, but these top notch sects had made such a simple mistake… They really couldn’t say anything.
Cheng Wencai could feel that this was his sect’s mistake, but he wanted to put some blame on the Pure Yang Palace, yet he had realized that it was obviously not possible, but what was the problem with spreading rumors? The humiliation of the sect added with his encounter with Yang Chen in those days, combined both the new and old hatred upon seeing Yang Chen again, so naturally a lot of thoughts rushed to his head, making it impossible for him not to speak out.
“How can this kind of situation be something where juniors like me can interfere? This junior only followed after master to broaden his horizons.”
Yang Chen wasn’t fazed in the least by Cheng Wencai’s taunt, but since the enemy had ridiculed him, he would definitely not let him slip by and so, with a courteous smile, he asked back:
“But senior Cheng on the contrary, whom junior admires greatly, is the best candidate for eliminating the devil to defend the dao.”
Even if Cheng Wencai had again reached the JieDan stage, the price of decreased life he had to pay in return and his dantian had also been damaged. Now there was a limit to his cultivation. Besides, even if there wasn’t any wear and tear, he was a trifling JieDan stage expert. For such an occasion, just being able to remain at the boundary of a hundred miles was the limit. As for defeating the devil to protect the dao, he was still too far.
Yang Chen’s sarcastic retort, made Cheng Wencai even angrier. If not for the wear and tear of that time, Cheng Wencai would have cultivated the Long Tai Spirit Supporting Secrets. But that time he was recuperating his dantian, so he could only see the opportunity go by. When the entire truth was revealed however, he was delighted over missing such an opportunity.
But when someone had some prejudice, he could not see clearly anymore. In Cheng Wencai’s eyes, not only wasn’t he grateful to the Pure Yang Palace for warning them promptly, it had also not warned them properly in his opinion, which had led to everyone being trapped.
When his personal malice with Yang Chen was added in, Cheng Wencai flew into a rage, which was something even a JieDan expert like him couldn’t handle, so he directly ridiculed Yang Chen:
“Do you even know what you are talking about? Your trifling Pure Yang Palace dares to talk wildly about defeating the devil and defending the dao? You are all just humiliating yourselves here!”
But he had also insulted the Pure Yang Palace while trying to humiliate Yang Chen. Hearing these words, not only was Yang Chen infuriated, but so was Gao Yue. From the start, Gao Yue was a person with a fiery temper, so she could not let Cheng Wencai’s comments, insulting the Pure Yang Palace and her master Wang Yong, slip by easily, not to mention the insults to Yang Chen, her only disciple, with whom she went through pair cultivation for spiritual awareness.
“Fellow Daoist Cheng, if you do not immediately take back your words, then, even though this Gao Yue is a woman, I will not tolerate your disgusting remarks about my Pure Yang Palace!”
Gao Yue’s expressions became stiff and she immediately blurted out these words.
“Why, has this Cheng spoken something wrong?”
Cheng Wencai sneered again:
“Aren’t you both master and disciple still outside of the hundred miles perimeter? Or is there someone from your Pure Yang Palace that is in the frontlines? In the end, let alone eliminating the devil and protecting the dao, you cannot even touch the hair of the devil.”
Without waiting for Gao Yue to retort, Cheng Wencai continued:
“In this Great Calamity of the Devil Cultivation, almost all of the sects had disastrous losses and only your Pure Yang Palace hasn’t suffered any losses. If you hadn’t been in cahoots with that devil Lin Chenghe, you wouldn’t have the courage to ignore that devil cultivation method. And if you really didn’t have the courage, then how are you going to cultivate to immortality? I advise you all to go back and hole up in your MeiQing Mountain, so as to not give up your lives.”
“Senior Cheng, since you have said that my Pure Yang Palace have been cahoots with Lin Chenghe, then do you have some evidence to prove your claim?”
Not waiting for Gao Yue to open her mouth, Yang Chen loudly asked:
“Furthermore, is this only your opinion or of the entire Greatest Heaven Sect?”
“It doesn’t matter whose opinion it was, you all don’t have any use. It would be better if you all behaved properly and returned and cultivated on your gutless path to immortality!”
Since the sect had also been involved, Cheng Wencai did not dare to open his mouth and only gave a vague reply, but the contempt in his words wasn’t disguised even a bit:
“So that you don’t interfere with everyone else’s work here!”
“By these words, does senior Cheng mean that we, both master and disciple, would be a hinderance here?”
Yang Chen’s tone had become even milder, he was still calling him as ‘senior’, but those familiar with Yang Chen could sense that he was already furious.
“You all are just a burden!”
Cheng Wencai continued with his rude words. He had several JieDan stage fellow apprentices on his side, and he furthermore also had one YuanYing stage uncle master with him, so in case of a dispute, he was not worried about Gao Yue becoming hostile. With this opinion firm in his mind, Cheng Wencai became more and more rampant:
“Incompetent people can’t even harm a hair of the devil and still talk of defeating the devil to protect the dao?”
“Then senior, if this junior can touch that Lin Chenghe’s hairs, what will senior Cheng do in return?”
Immediately following after Cheng Wencai’s words, Yang Chen asked full of smiles.
“How can that be possible?”
Cheng Wencai didn’t agree to anything and only continued to sneer:
“You little Foundation stage cultivator still dare to say such big words?”
“This youngster just wants to bet with senior Cheng.”
Yang Chen still continued full of smiles:
“This junior will get Lin Chenghe’s hair. Does senior Cheng dare to take the bet?”
Cheng Wencai’s eyes shone, seemingly realizing that this Yang Chen had provided him with an opportunity to humiliate himself, so he hastily asked.
“If this junior loses, then this junior will kowtow in front of senior and admit that this junior is a burden!”
Yang Chen directly put his stake forward, as if wanted to put himself in danger:
“What do you say?”
“Good! I will agree to that!”
Expressions of Cheng Wencai and his fellow disciples of the Greatest Heaven Sect became more and more cheerful hearing the terms. If they could humiliate the Pure Yang Palace, which had caused their sect to lose so much face in the recent years using Yang Chen, that would be a great thing.
“But, if this junior wins then what does senior Cheng intends to bet?”
Yang Chen didn’t give any opportunity to get a loophole to Cheng Wencai and directly asked:
“What do you say about betting kowtow against kowtow?”
“You are just a Foundation stage disciple! A kowtow is too much!”
Cheng Wencai was not fooled and directly shook his head.
“What if I am also added?”
However Gao Yue, who had extreme trust in Yang Chen also pitched in:
“If Yang Chen loses, we both master and disciple will kowtow to you.”
“Good, since it is like this, then this Cheng will also get two people to admit their fault!”
Since Gao Yue was also a JieDan expert like him, Cheng Wencai did not have any more rights to deny them. But he didn’t believe that he had any chance of losing this bet and laughed very arrogantly:
“When the time comes, this Cheng will invite all of his friends to make them see both of you kowtowing to me!”
Since there were so many people on the scene, they also didn’t need to take any oath. All of them were JieDan stage experts so they would not say anything carelessly. Very quickly, this news began to spread among all of the cultivators.
A Foundation stage youngster thought that he could touch Lin Chenghe’s hair. He was either extremely reckless or extremely arrogant. Anyone who heard this news thought the same thing.
“Yang Chen, if you dare to lose, then I myself will drive you out of the sect and will not acknowledge you as my disciple anymore!”
Gao Yue was extremely angry and ordered Yang Chen to win. Although she herself did not know what methods Yang Chen had, she could not believe that Yang Chen would lose. This was a trust which was created from the successive miracles Yang Chen had produced.
“Then if disciple wins, what will I get?”
However, Yang Chen was enjoying seeing Gao Yue like this.
“What do you want?”
Gao Yue blankly gazed at Yang Chen and slowly asked.
“This disciple only wants master to promise me one thing!”
Suddenly Yang Chen thought of something and thought that his good fortune had finally helped him while raising this request.
Gao Yue agreed readily without asking for any details.