The Yunmeng Kingdom was part of the sixteen kingdom alliance, and also the Skylaurel Kingdom’s neighbor. However, compared to the latter, the Yunmeng Kingdom was far worse off.
It was roughly on par with the Eastern Kingdom within the alliance — a second or third rate kingdom with no right to compete with the four great kingdoms at all.
As one of the four great kingdoms, the Skylaurel Kingdom was naturally a power of mammoth proportions.
In comparison, the Yunmeng Kingdom needed another to protect it, and that happened to be the Shangyang Kingdom.
The Shangyang Kingdom was on par with the Skylaurel Kingdom, and was one of the four great kingdoms within the alliance.
The relationship between the Purple Sun Sect and the Shangyang Kingdom was akin to that of the Precious Tree Sect and the Skylaurel Kingdom’s. They provided the foundations for a sect headquarters!
Since the Yunmeng Kingdom had the protection of the Shangyang Kingdom, it indirectly meant that they were protected by the Purple Sun Sect as well. With this in mind, even the Skylaurel Kingdom wouldn’t easily light the fires of war and bully the Yunmeng Kingdom.
Overall, even though the Yunmeng Kingdom was both weak and small, the Skylaurel Kingdom hadn’t done much to it over the past couple of decades.
But of course, that was only because the Yunmeng Kingdom had docilely stayed within its borders, and had never provoked the Skylaurel Kingdom.
At this moment, in a mountain valley around three to five hundred li away from the Skylaurel Kingdom border.
Tian Shao and Gouyu had injuries all over their bodies, and the guards that Tian Shao had brought with him had all died in battle.
It was down to the two of them, two spirit realm practitioners, and a large flock of Goldwing Swordbirds, to hold the line. They were at the end of their tether, having retreated into this mountain valley.
“Tian Shao, you can leave as soon as you hand over that woman. I promise not to kill you.”
A voice filled with the self-assurance of superiority traveled into the valley from the outskirts.
Tian Shao snorted coldly as a sliver of disdain appeared on his fierce expression. They wanted him to betray his friends? Dream on, you piece of shit!
Gouyu was rather calm as she turned to Tian Shao, “General Tian, you can go ahead and agree to their demands. I’m already quite grateful for the fact that you’ve fought with me to this point. Leave, and tell young master Chen that the Purple Sun Sect is behind all of this, he’ll take revenge for me.”
Tian Shao smiled in a grimace, “Miss Gouyu, your suggestion sounds great, but alas I have a heart of steel, and will never betray my friends just to flee to safety! Forget trying to make me leave!”
Gouyu had also predicted that Tian Shao would say such a thing and nodded, saying nothing more. Her charming eyes looked into empty space as she became lost in thought.
She was thinking, “Jiang Chen… if I fall in battle today, would that possibly keep my memory alive in your heart longer? If I had the chance to, I’d still tell you that I’d choose to follow you without regrets. Even if I died a hundred times and entered hell a hundred out a hundred times, I’d still have no regrets!”
That piercing sound traveled in from outside again, “Tian Shao, I’m giving you your final chance! Don’t blame me for being unkind if you don’t treasure it!”
Tian Shao laughed heartily, “Are all the disciples of the Purple Sun Sect wusses like you? Come on in and fight if you dare! I’m afraid of nothing beneath the heavens and on the earth — how could I be afraid of some rats from the Purple Sun Sect? Come on, let’s fight! I’ll bring some of you down with me, even if I’m to die!”
“Too obstinate to awaken to reason!”
The voice snorted coldly, “Since this is the case, I’ll send you on your way to hell!”
A tall and stockily built young practitioner wearing an almond tinted yellow robe raised his hand outside of the valley, and pointed his broadsword up towards the heavens.
Golden sunlight flashed from it as the broadsword suddenly emitted a heat wave akin to a furnace, and the trees and grass around them began to wither at a noticeable pace.
“Senior brother Luo, are we really going to destroy them?” Another disciple asked in a low voice behind the young practitioner.
“Since they’ve refused to recognize the error of their ways, why shouldn’t we destroy them? Is there any point in having this matter drug out like this?” The youth surnamed Luo frowned.
“Heh heh, senior brother Luo, that woman is the hated enemy of junior sister Long Juxue. It’d be best if she could be taken alive. I’m sure that my junior sister would be grateful towards senior brother Luo.” This person was actually the disciple who’d appeared at the Second Crossing, Yu Jie!
Luo Huang was one of the genius disciples of the sect.
However, he belonged to the Zhenyang faction, different from Yu Jie of the Shuiyue faction.
“Long Juxue?” Luo Huang smiled faintly. “That genius with the azure phoenix constitution? Your Shuiyue faction has indeed picked up a treasure. Alright, since you’ve spoken, I’ll give junior sister Long Juxue some face. However, I may not be able to stay my hand against the Swordbirds once we start fighting, even if I don’t kill the woman.”
Yu Jie sighed, “If we could use this Swordbird Army for our own purposes, that’d be for the best. Both the Myriad Spirit Sect and even the Precious Tree Sect outdo us in the manner of flying creatures. It’d be a pity to kill these Swordbirds.”
However, Yu Jie was also well aware that, once the aura of an earth spirit realm practitioner was activated, if these Swordbirds rushed forward without fear of death, they’d be dead without a doubt!
It was patently unrealistic to both keep these Swordbirds and kill Tian Shao.
In addition, these Swordbirds were obviously hard to tame. They’d tried all sorts of methods over the past couple of days, but had been unable to find a way to bring these Swordbirds under their control.
Although the Purple Sun Sect also had spirit creature tamers, Luo Huang didn’t want to wait any longer.
“Senior brother Luo, why don’t we wait a bit longer? Let’s wait until the spirit creature tamers from the sect arrive, and find a way to tame these Swordbirds. It’d be a great accomplishment for us!”
Yu Jie was different from Luo Huang.
Luo Huang boasted of uncommon potential, and was a first rate genius amongst the Purple Sun Sect. He was an elite amongst the personal disciples, and was someone sure to become a pillar of the sect in the future.
Yu Jie was different. His potential wasn’t on Luo Huang’s level, and thus he naturally didn’t want to pass up any chances to accomplish any achievements. After all, if he couldn’t climb up on the basis of his martial dao, then moving upwards through his accomplishments was the only other way.
“Wait?” Luo Huang creased his brow. “Those from the Precious Tree Sect are likely to arrive if we wait any longer.”
“The Precious Tree Sect?” Yu Jie started.
“Do you think we’re hunting Tian Shao and the others without anyone else being the wiser? Someone else has been observing us from the sidelines for a long while now, I just didn’t want to alert our enemies. It’s about time for those from the Precious Tree Sect to arrive!”
“This…” Yu Jie hadn’t thought that something like this could’ve happened. “But, this is the Yunmeng Kingdom, and even more is part of our sect’s jurisdiction.”
“Technically speaking, yes, but Tian Shao is someone from the Skylaurel Kingdom after all. The Precious Tree Sect has ample excuse to come knocking. I’m not afraid of them, but the great selection of the four sects is about to begin, and there’s no point in engaging in conflict with them at this point.”
Luo Huang was a genius, but he didn’t have the sort of personality that made him think he was number one under the heavens.
On the contrary, he’d always been quite practical in his doings, and was quite adept at measuring the gains and losses in both power and profit.
“Just one more day. I estimate that the spirit creature tamers from our sect will surely arrive in just one more day!”
Luo Huang frowned. “According to my calculations, the Precious Tree Sect will absolutely find their way here within a day. Are you absolutely sure you want to keep waiting?”
Although Luo Huang didn’t think much of Yu Jie, he still felt that he had to ask him, since they were both from the same sect.
“Senior brother Luo, if we can bring all of these Swordbirds back with us, you can take 40% of the credit, I’ll take 20%, and the others can have the rest of the credit, what do you think?”
The other Purple Sun Sect disciples were much weaker than Luo Huang, with only one or two being stronger than Yu Jie.
However, Yu Jie’s advantage lay in the fact that he’d tracked the Goldwing Swordbirds, knew of their relationship with Jiang Chen, and knew of Gouyu and Jiang Chen’s relationship.
This was something that none of the others could take away from him.
And right now, he only wanted twenty percent of the credit, leaving a large majority to Luo Huang.
Luo Huang considered things for a moment, and said, “I want 50%, you take 20%, and the others get 30%. This is how we’ll settle things, or I’ll take action immediately.”
Yu Jie and the others looked at each other. None of them had any objections.
The strong were revered in this world. They wouldn’t have been able to complete this task without this earth spirit realm practitioner.
When he saw that no one had any objections, Luo Huang put away his broadsword, and sat cross-legged on a nearby boulder. “Keep a close eye on them, and don’t let them slip away. Notify me immediately if you find that they’ve relaxed their guard.”
He was the alpha here, and absolutely had the right to speak as thus.
Yu Jie nodded, “Don’t worry senior brother Luo, we’ll keep a close eye on them.”
He only hoped that his peers who’d taken the message back would hurry back with the spirit creature tamers. Once the Swordbirds were brought back to the sect, it’d be a huge achievement under his name!
If he happened to capture Gouyu as well, and was to hand her over to his junior sister Long Juxue, he’d be able to curry favor with her as well, killing many birds with one stone.
“It’s a good thing that it was senior brother Luo Huang who came this time, and not any of the other senior brothers. Their tempers might not be as good as his, and they wouldn’t have listened to me at all. Senior brother Luo is both strong, and follows good advice readily. He’s sure to become a great character in the Purple Sun Sect in the future. It’d be quite a good thing if I could make use of this opportunity to curry favor with him.”
Yu Jie became more and more excited the more he thought about it.
Luo Huang’s ears suddenly twitched as he sat cross legged on the boulder. His eyes flashed open like lightning, and shot out a beam of dazzling, rainbow-coloured splendor.
“Who is it?”
Luo Huang’s entire body sprang into the air before he’d finished speaking, and the broadsword on his back was also unsheathed, hovering sideways in midair as if a glaring sun in the sky.
Luo Huang’s two eyes suddenly flared like two burning suns. His eyes widened as he shot out a stunning radiance towards the west.
The changes in his eyes caused Yu Jie and the others to become greatly agitated.
“It’s the Scorching Green Ray! Senior brother Luo has successfully trained in it, that’s amazing!”
“The Scorching Green Ray can cut through the void, and make it so that enemies hiding in the shadows and darkness have nowhere to hide!”
Luo Huang was as if a deity hovering in the air, his aura immensely awe inspiring as spirit qi was emanated in all directions around him, “Friend, what’s the point in hiding since you’ve come?”
That burning radiant gaze shot into the empty air to the west, when a hearty laugh suddenly sounded from the thick growth of shrubbery, “It’s friend Luo Huang with the Scorching Green Ray, no wonder your vision is so powerful.”
The laughter seemed to spread like a storm as it rippled through the grass and trees, churning into waves of qi as it roiled towards Luo Huang, directly confronting him!