A figure as thin as an old corpse suddenly appeared out of nowhere on the plaza. This was Xue Li’s true body.
Messy grayish-white hair that reached his waist, a body so skinny it was practically skin and bones, pale white skin, and eyes as scarlet as blood. The moment this old demon appeared, a bloody aura almost instantly covered all of Armament City.
At this instant, every Armament Sect martial practitioner shuddered on the inside. They all detected a powerful evil aura circulating above Armament City, causing them to feel terror in their very souls.
The twelve bloody chains abruptly erupted in a frenzy and twisted rapidly on the plaza when his true body had escaped.
The roots of every single chain were connected to Xue Li’s skinny body. In addition, to being extremely thick and long, they were all also as thick as his waist, but the part that connected them to his body appeared thin and narrow, almost like a snake’s tail entangled around his bones.
As he laughed in an evil fashion, all the chains other than the one shackling Shi Jingyun, Wu Tuo, and Su Zhiyin actually disappeared into Xue Li’s body.
In the blink of an eye, the chains disappeared. However, Xue Li’s shriveled body still did not grow any bigger.
He looked the body of Blood Shadow which he had dominated and the blood man formed from Liang Yangzu’s lifeblood essence. Suddenly, he made a grabbing motion towards the distance.
Blood Shadow and the blood man instantly fell beneath his feet like two bolts of bloody light. They knelt before him in unison.
“Heheh,” Xue Li laughed strangely before pressing one hand each on Blood Shadow’s corpse and the blood man’s head.
A terrific wave of energy that caused everyone to feel irritated, as if their blood was boiling, had spread out from Xue Li’s palms.
Under the crowd’s gaze, Blood Shadow’s corpse and that blood man began shriveling up at a visible rate. The wisps of crimson blood energy swiftly seeped into Xue Li’s palms.
Before long, the blood man was the first to evaporate into blood vapor. The filth mingled within the blood vapor, and the little lifeblood essence remaining was all refined by Xue Li.
As if it had decomposed over thousands of years, Blood Shadow’s corpse turned into a grayish-brown skeleton and dissolved into bone dust the moment the mountain winds blew through the area.
On the other hand, after absorbing Blood Shadow’s corpse and the lifeblood essence of the blood man, Xue Li’s waist-long, grayish-white hair gradually turned grayish-brown and gained a hint of luster.
A hint of redness was also added to his pale white skin while the bloody light in his eyes grew more frightening by the second.
It was very obvious that, with the destruction of Blood Shadow and the blood man, he had gained quite a bit and replenished his own flesh, blood, and energy.
All of this was seen by everyone, and from it, deep fear spawned within them…
The faces’ of Ying Xingran, the three great reverends, and the outer sect elders turned incredibly unnatural, subconsciously pulling away from Xue Li in response.
Even the three Netherpassage experts shackled by the spirit pattern pillars who had experienced many large scale events, Shi Jingyun, Wu Tuo, and Su Zhiyin, also turned slightly pale as their eyes shone with deep seated fear.
At the same time, Xue Li turned around and looked at the trio. He licked the corner of his mouth like a feral beast that had just finished its meal. Suddenly, he said longingly, “The taste of your lifeblood essence should be pretty good as well…”
“Old demon! Just kill us if you want to! If you dare suck our lifeblood essence, then even as ghosts we would hound you!” Su Zhiyin lost her usual elegance and nearly screamed at the top of her lungs. Fear and disgust was written all over her face.
Even the cool Lu Li had turned quiet at this moment. She felt nervous from the bottom of her heart.
There wasn’t anyone who wasn’t afraid of a demonic level character like Xue Li. No one wanted to have their lifeblood essence sucked dry by Xue Li; no one wanted to experience the same downfall that had befallen Blood Shadow and Liang Yangzu.
The only one who wasn’t afraid was Qin Lie.
Qin Lie opened his eyes and said with slight tiredness, “Senior Xue Li, maybe you should stay at the back of the mountain?”
Xue Li chuckled and looked in the direction of Blood Spear’s area at the back of the mountain. He nodded and said, “Hmm, I’ve always enjoyed places with blood pools. Heh, I did not expect that the incomplete blood spirit art I threw out carelessly would actually create a Blood Fiend Sect in this place!”
Once finished, Xue Li turned into a wisp of bloody light and instantly vanished from the plaza.
The moment he left, everyone let out a sigh of relief. All the numerous, pale faces, slowly regained their color.
“Qin Bing, no wait, Qin Lie…” Luo Zhichang recovered and asked with a serious expression, “Where… did this man come from? What is your relationship with him?”
The sect master Ying Xingran and the remaining two reverends looked over as well.
“He was sealed inside the twelfth spirit pattern pillar…” Under Ying Xingran’s signal, Qin Lie retreated to a place at the back, where the outsiders would not be able to hear them, before explaining everything.
“The time this, this old demon spent inside the spirit pattern pillar is probably even longer than the existence of Armament Sect.” Once he finished explaining, Chief Reverend Luo Zhichang’s expression turned incredibly heavy, “He is most definitely not someone from our Scarlet Tide Continent.”
Luo Zhichang’s expression was bitter.
“An old, blood-sucking demon is now going to stay in our Armament Sect just like that. Aren’t we just giving Eight Extreme Temple and Profound Heaven Alliance more weaknesses to take advantage of?” Jiang Hao asked with great worry.
“Even without him, would Eight Extreme Temple and Profound Heaven Alliance have given us mercy?” Qin Lie frowned. “Without him, Armament Sect would have fallen by now. All of you would’ve been eliminated by Blood Shadow.”
The crowd was silent.
Qin Lie knew that Ying Xingran and the three great reverends would find it very difficult to accept such an old, bloody demon like Xue Li. They couldn’t even accept You Hongzhi.
“We’ll discuss whatever’s in the future later. But right now, we need to depend on his power. Otherwise, we wouldn’t even be able to deal with the five great forces, much less Profound Heaven Alliance and Eight Extreme Temple. Am I wrong?” Qin Lie said seriously.
Ying Xingran and the three great reverends weren’t stupid. They knew that even if they could not accept Xue Li from a moral standpoint, intellectually, they knew they must not act simply in accordance to their own preferences. Therefore, they all nodded and acknowledged—for now at least—Xue Li’s existence.
“Sigh. Let’s take one step at a time,” Luo Zhichang sighed.
Outside Armament City, at Tiger Jump Hill, there were many camps scattered with unicorns and Profound Nether Beasts beside them.
This group was Dark Asura Hall’s reserve force.
On two of the Profound Nether Beasts, Xie Jingxuan dressed in white clothes while Liang Zhong sat quietly and looked at Armament City from afar.
“I wonder what’s going on in the city,” Xie Jingxuan spoke to herself.
“I sent the Ghost Birds to scout ahead. There should be news before long.” Liang Zhong frowned and said, “If there are no surprises, then Armament Sect should have fallen by now. Sect Master Ying Xingran, the three great reverends, and the seven great inner sect elders should all be imprisoned at this moment…”
Xie Jingxuan nodded lightly.
A brawny man who was luxuriously dressed walked over from the side. Tu Mo, Tu Ze, Zhuo Qian, and the others followed behind him.
This was the second hall master of Dark Asura Hall, Cao Xuanrui. His relationship with Yuan Tianya had always been hostile in Dark Asura Hall, and he was also a strong contender for the position of Grand Hall Master.
Yuan Tianya was in the limelight previously in the battle against the spirit beasts at the Arctic Mountain Range. He had gathered an extremely powerful force and taken Icestone City for himself. This caused Profound Heaven Alliance to be rather satisfied.
This was also why Yuan Tianya was allowed to take charge in this operation against Armament Sect.
The ones who broke into Armament Sect first would be able to acquire all sorts of precious spirit materials and high rank spirit artifacts from Armament Sect. Who wouldn’t covet this opportunity?
“Miss Xie, I heard that the higher ups had also arranged for some men to come over. I heard that those men are from the Xie Family…” Cao Xuanrui walked forward, looked at Xie Jingxuan, and asked somewhat cautiously, “May I know where that lord is right now?”
“I am not too sure myself.” Xie Jingxuan’s tone was a little indifferent.
Eight Extreme Temple had sent Tu Xi, and Profound Heaven Alliance had sent a Fulfillment Realm martial practitioner as well. According to the information Cao Xuanrui had acquired, it seemed that this person came from the Xie Family.
Profound Heaven Alliance was composed by three great families. All three great families had Fulfillment Realm experts, and they took turns, competing to be the Alliance Chief.
The Xie Family was one such family in Profound Heaven Alliance.
This was also why either Yuan Tianya or the current Cao Xuanrui would act so cautiously in front of Xie Jingxuan.
Because Xie Jingxuan had been assigned to Dark Asura Hall to sharpen herself by the Xie Family. They wished that Xie Jingxuan would slowly rise through the ranks and accumulate power and the experience in managing subordinates in combat.
“Lady Xie, has… has any news about Qin Lie come in?” Zhuo Qian, who had followed along with Cao Xuanrui hesitated for a moment before asking in a sudden and forced manner.
A commander beside Cao Xuanrui couldn’t help but shoot a glare at Zhuo Qian. He looked somewhat similar to Zhuo Qian, and he seemed to be reprimanding her for such a pointless interruption.
He was Zhuo Qian’s father, Zhuo Duo, and just like Tu Shixiong, he was a subordinate commander under Cao Xuanrui.
“No.” Xie Jingxuan looked at Zhuo Qian and paused for a moment before starting off again, “Ever since he walked out of Icestone City, he dropped off the face of Spirit Realm. Not even Yuan Tianya could find him despite spending a great deal of time searching for him. I have also been searching around for his whereabouts, but I failed to even find a lead.”
Both Tu Ze and Zhuo Qian’s eyes dimmed when they heard Xie Jingxuan’s words.
“The Ghost Birds are back.” Liang Zhong suddenly looked up into the sky.
A multitude of tiny, black dots gradually appeared and become clearer, showing the appearance of a man-faced bird.
The Ghost Bird fell on Liang Zhong’s shoulders and cried an unpleasant sound, seemingly telling Liang Zhong something.
Liang Zhong’s originally calm expression abruptly turned serious, and it was turning uglier with every passing moment.
Noticing the great change in his expression, the crowd looked deeply at him and waited for him to speak.
“A massive change has happened in Armament City. Right now, Blood Spear’s martial practitioners are hunting down all the martial practitioners of the five forces inside the city!” Liang Zhong exclaimed in a low tone.
The crowd was shocked.
“How is this possible?” Zhuo Qian cried out.
“Just this morning, it was the martial practitioners of the five great forces combining their strength to clean up Armament City, and now, the sky isn’t even dark yet. What happened for it to turn out this way?” Second Hall Master Cao Xuanrui’s expression also changed greatly.
Liang Zhong ignored Zhuo Qian and Cao Xuanrui and continued to listen.
Before long, Liang Zhong’s expression grew uglier and uglier. He suddenly sucked in a deep breath and said with shivering lips, “Shi Jingyun, Wu Tuo, and Su Zhiyin have been shackled to the spirit pattern pillar at Armament Sect’s plaza. Liang Yangzu and Yuan Tianya are not among them. Corpses littered the stone ground of the plaza, and they are all men from our five forces!”
The moment the words came out, everyone’s faces turned ashen.