Chapter 435 – Night Raiding with Phantom Roaming
None of the matriarchs dared to object anymore. “Since sir Northmoon has already decided on this, we’ll do as sir Northmoon wishes.”
Li Qingshan smiled. “Very good. I’ll give you two hours to gather your subordinates. Of course, I just need those who have undergone a heavenly tribulation… Quickly. The sun’s about to set.”
The sky gradually darkened, but Clear River city was still bright lit. Above the Hawkwolf Guard, Wang Pushi stood with his arms behind his back, overlooking the shining city. As the prefectural city under the tight protection of cultivators, Clear River city was the only city that had not been attacked by daemons.
A streak of green light shot over, making a turn and descending from above. Fu Qingjin landed on the roof gently with a person in his hand.
“The person who caused our dispute three years ago. I’m handing him to commander Wang now for punishment. This is a demonstration of my sincerity.” Fu Qingjin tossed the person before Fu Qingjin. The disciple of the Vermillion Clothes sect who had undertaken a massacre in the past cried out in fear. “Senior Fu, sir Fu, I’m a disciple of the Daemon Suppression alliance! I’m a disciple of the Daemon Suppression alliance! You can’t do this!”
Wang Pushi stepped on his throat and asked, “What do you want?”
“Cooperation,” Fu Qingjin said. “In the past three years, daemons have been running amok, throwing countless people in danger. The death count is unfathomable. Yet, due to our dispute, we are unable to stand united, impeding each other instead. I think now’s the time for us to settle this dispute, band together, and end this matter with the daemons for good.”
“End this matter? How are you going to end it?” Wang Pushi frowned. What a boast.
“We’ll gather all the cultivators and launch a counterattack underground to slay daemons.” Fu Qingjin waved his hand in high spirits. He was filled with convincing confidence. Regardless of how dispirited and laid back he usually seemed, as long as he wanted to, he seemed to be born with the charm of a ruler.
Wang Pushi sank into his thoughts. “This isn’t something I can decide alone. I need to discuss with the other school leaders.”
“I’m just letting you know for now. Please pass on my message, commander Wang. In five days’ time, I will be inviting all Foundation Establishment cultivators to join the Daemon Suppression alliance in the parlour. I will explain my thoughts to them.”
Fu Qingjin clasped his hands and leapt off the roof, taking his leave.
The first reason for this was for gathering all the suspects who could potentially possess the sumeru ring. Under the pressure of the situation and with the judgement of the xiezhi’s horn, he could make them give themselves away. After the meeting, the first battle would be an attack on Northmoon’s territory to force the truth out of him. That was the second reason.
A net that Fu Qingjin had personally weaved, planned, and prepared wrapped around Li Qingshan, but Li Qingshan was still unaware. Even if he knew, it would be useless. This was not some scheme, but a legitimate strategy.
Not only was Fu Qingjin doing this for the Soaring Dragon Elder, but he also wanted to gather strength and defeat the daemons in one fell swoop. This was the third reason.
The moon rose up from between the branches, illuminating the tranquil, secluded valley. There was a winding string of structures in the valley, standing like a forest. The eaves and arches were primarily vermillion. They were so grand and extravagant that they could not be the handiwork of regular people.
An invisible formation enveloped everything, blocking the entry of all intruders. Among the many buildings, the special structures were still the erect turrets. This was a crystallisation of the school of Mohism’s engineering. Li Qingshan had experienced their power first hand in the past. If someone tried to attack the formation, they would have to endure their blasts first.
It was easy to defend and difficult to attack. It had a very tight security. This was the Vermillion Clothes sect.
Only when Li Qingshan saw it in person did he understand what Ye Mingzhu meant by a tough bone to chew. Although the formation before him was not on par with the Duality Formation of Disintegration, it still would not be that easy to breach if he did not possess a Soaring Dragon ship.
Flickering figures stood silently within the forest on the slopes of the valley.
Their leader was obviously Li Qingshan, who stroked his chin in thought.
Behind him, there were many other powerful night roamers apart from his ten personal guards and the six matriarchs. In order to prevent any problems from arising when they were gone, the matriarchs had truly made abundant arrangements. The group they brought was so powerful that even Li Qingshan was stunned. Afterwards, he laughed to himself in thought, Conscripting them by force really was a good idea.
“Do you have any plans on breaching the Vermillion Clothes sect?” Li Qingshan asked through daemon qi. He could not come up with any other idea apart from launching a direct attack, as the formation was present. Unfortunately, the last thing night roamers were adept at were direct attacks. Encircling them and defeating the reinforcements they called would be a good idea, but it would depend on whether the others bit the bait or not.
Ye Liusu instead said, “I have a plan that can allow us to breach the Vermillion Clothes sect without sustaining any losses.”
“Oh? Let’s hear it.”
“In my opinion, the formation isn’t exactly flawless. As long as we can unleash an ability as night roamers and use Phantom Roaming, we can pass through the formation and assassinate the master of the Vermillion Clothes sect. By then, these mechanical turrets and even the formation will be ours.”
Li Qingshan’s eyes lit up. If that really were possible, it would save a great deal of trouble. All he had to do was kill his way through the sects one by one. His losses would be minimised, while his gains would be maximised.
A matriarch expressed her doubts, “But only those who have undergone two heavenly tribulations can use Phantom Roaming.”
Once night roamers underwent two heavenly tribulations, they could basically become phantoms. Not only could their bodies pass through all visible and invisible barriers, but their weapons could pierce the protective techniques or arcane artifacts of opponents. They could reach anywhere and breach anything. They would become the most terrifying assassins.
Ye Mingzhu smiled. “That is indeed impossible if we’re alone, but with so many people here, we just need to work together and open up a phantom path. We’ll still be able to send in a person or two.”
Work together? The matriarchs all looked at one another. This was not a concept that existed in their heads. Apart from the Spider Queen, no one could order them to work together, but now, there was Li Qingshan. He smiled. “That’s a good idea. Let’s begin!”
But who was going in?
Alone and without any support, they would be lambs for the slaughter if the assassination attempt failed. They would be thrown into the most dire of circumstances. Just looking at the erect turrets gave them chills.
Ye Liusu stood forward silently, while Ye Liubo followed behind her with a smile. “Me too.”
Under the lead of the six matriarchs, all the powerful night roamers poured their strength together, forming a clump of darkness that was hazy like smoke. Even at a time like this, their power was withdrawn, without the slightest sliver leaking out.
Ye Liusu and Ye Liubo were waiting for that moment of opportunity. The six matriarchs suddenly moved together, tossing the clump of darkness towards the Vermillion Clothes sect below. Sure enough, it passed through the formation silently, like it was paving a path of darkness.
Ye Liusu and Ye Liubo used Night Roaming at the same time, leaping into the path of darkness.
The master of the Vermillion Clothes sect paced around in his room alone, carefully considering everything that had happened recently.
He recalled the resentful gaze of his disciple who had been taken away and used as a bargaining chip by Fu Qingjin. He could not help but sigh slightly. However, he did not feel like he did anything wrong. Preying on the weak had always been the law of this world. It would be your fortune that your sect was willing to protect you. Now that the sect refused to protect you, that would be your fate. There was nothing to resent.
Compared to that, he found more pity in being unable to engage in the trade underground anymore. He began to ponder. From Fu Qingjin’s recent movements, he could clearly tell he was making a move. Compared to engaging in trade with those strange otherfolk, cutting them down with his blade and plundering their belongings befitted the philosophy of the Vermillion Clothes sect more.
The moonlight cast a shadow against the wall. The master of the Vermillion Clothes sect suddenly looked back, only to see Ye Liusu gripping a curved dagger and standing silently in the moonlight. “W- why have you come here?”
What answered him was a streak of resplendent, silver light.
The master of the Vermillion Clothes sect bellowed out. The blood-red blade on his waist moved like a dragon, dyeing the entire room blood-red in an unstoppable manner. Suddenly, a yellow satin wrapped around his head, and his vision darkened. He heard a strange screech, and his back began to ache. A dark dagger had stabbed into his back. The blood-red blade lashed out backwards, but Ye Liubo retreated gracefully.
The dagger in Ye Liusu’s hand followed a mysterious trajectory, sweeping towards his throat in an untraceable manner.
The master of the Vermillion Clothes sect was overcome by both surprise and anger. He shone with red light as he deflected the two daggers. He stood like a deity in vermillion clothes, grasping a long blade as he stared at Ye Liusu murderously.
“How did you enter here?”
The formation was still operating, and there were no signs that it had been tampered with. Otherwise, he definitely would have sensed it. Everything that occurred tonight was strange. He had to seek help from the Daemon Suppression alliance immediately. Suddenly, he felt a wave of numbness spread out from his back—the dagger was poisoned, laced with terrifyingly potent poison.
Over the past few millennia, the night roamers had directed all of their efforts into alchemy and apothecary, which still bore some results. Even Foundation Establishment cultivators could not ignore their poison. In the blink of an eye, the master of the Vermillion Clothes sect turned green.
Ye Liusu and Ye Liubo revolved around the master of the Vermillion Clothes sect; it was as if they were performing a graceful dance. They turned into two black fairies, merging into the night silently. All that remained was a bright yellow satin drifting about, running through the moonlight.
The master of the Vermillion Clothes sect’s eyes narrowed. All he felt was death approaching him. The disciples of the Vermillion Clothes sect who heard the disturbance gathered over from all directions, but it brought him no comfort at all. It only made him feel even colder.
Attack with the turrets? Send a distress signal to the Daemon Suppression alliance? His mind moved rapidly. The bright yellow satin suddenly expanded to ten times its size and loomed over him.
“Shatter!” The blood-red blade in the master of the Vermillion Clothes sect’s hand expanded. With a single move, he unleashed bloody attacks in all directions, such that his blade aura swept about like a storm. The moment the disciples arrived outside, they saw the streaks of blood-red light tear the room and courtyard to pieces. A faster disciple had even been sucked into the blade aura, cut to pieces immediately. He was reduced to a pile of flesh, which alarmed the other disciples into backing away hurriedly.
The bright red satin pulsed, pliable, tough, and undamaged. However, it was unable to fall down, hovering in the air like a yellow cloud and shrouding the moon.
The daggers flashed, like the crescent moon, like a falling star. The light they gave off criss-crossed before vanishing in the blink of an eye.
Time dripped away. All there was was a rumble of collapsing structures, and an uproar erupted in the valley.
“Prepare to go on the offence to assist them,” Li Qingshan ordered sternly. Although his chances of victory were extremely large, he still had to consider the worst outcome. They were his most important and most trusted subordinates among the night roamers. He could not allow anything to happen to them.
Ye Mingzhu said, “It’s just the master of the Vermillion Clothes sect, a Foundation Establishment cultivator. They definitely won’t disappoint you, sir Northmoon.”
As she said that, the formation vanished.