Chapter 62: Retreat
Back outside the massive statue, the Su Chen clone standing next to Gu Qingluo suddenly flickered. It took on a slightly ethereal quality, as if it had suddenly turned illusory.
That was how Gu Qingluo knew that Su Chen’s main body had returned.
“Is it done?” she asked.
“It’s done,” Su Chen replied succinctly.
“Then we should leave as soon as we can.”
“We’re not in a hurry. In any case, we still need to provide the Oceanids with an explanation,” Su Chen replied.
As he spoke, he activated a recording Origin Formation and pointed it at the statue.
The statue then exploded; waves of flames engulfed it, shattering it and sending chunks of marbled rock shooting in all directions.
Su Chen had prepared a couple different items beforehand, all to deal with the Deep Sea Sorrow.
One of those preparations was explosive medicines.
The statue’s explosion was recorded by a number of different recording Origin Formations. They would serve as Su Chen’s explanation to the Oceanids — after all, they didn’t need to know exactly what kind of object the Deep Sea Sorrow was for him to complete his end of the deal.
The massive explosion had alerted the Sea Beasts below. The Sovereigns surfaced, howling with rage and terror.
The ceasing of the Spring of Immortality’s flow had already tipped them off that something was wrong, but because it had happened so quickly, they had not been able to figure out what was wrong. But now, they could clearly see that their precious water source had been destroyed.
The Sovereigns standing guard simultaneously unleashed their terrifying auras to the limit, charging at the island from every direction.
Regardless of whether someone was actually there or not, they would worry about it afterwards.
When faced with the impending barrage of attack, Gu Qingluo’s eyes flew wide open as the Shining Dragon aura began to surge within her body.
The thick, imposing aura of an Origin Beast blanketed the entire area, directly suppressing the might of the Sovereigns.
Su Chen retrieved the recording Origin Formations and dragged Gu Qingluo away. Even though her Shining Dragon Bloodline was powerful, it couldn’t be activated for too long.
As the two of them flew away, Gu Qingluo restrained her aura.
As soon as the Shining Dragon’s might disappeared, the Sovereigns resumed their frenzied pursuit.
These Sovereigns lacked intelligence, so their actions were extremely simple.
If their opponent was stronger, they would quaver with fear. If their opponent was weaker, they would give chase.
True Origin Beasts were always powerful beyond measure, so the Sovereigns would never chase an actual Origin Beast.
Gu Qingluo, however, was not a genuine Origin Beast.
Thus, as soon as the Shining Dragon Bloodline’s power disappeared, the Sovereigns resumed their pursuit after Su Chen and Gu Qingluo.
Whenever Gu Qingluo reactivated her aura, the Sovereigns would obediently retreat.
But once Gu Qingluo restrained her aura, they would continue their chase with renewed vigor.
As such, a strange game of cat and mouse unfolded as Su Chen and Gu Qingluo flew across the surface of the sea. Behind them, a large group of Sovereigns alternated between ferociously giving chase and fearfully shrinking back, as if they were a pack of hyenas searching for the right opportunity to attack. Their innate greed and fear conflicted with one another, emulating the ebb and flow of an actual hunt.
However, Gu Qingluo’s Shining Dragon Bloodline had a limited amount of power, so she could not sustain the release of her aura for too long.
“Hold on! Just a bit longer and we’ll be out of here,” Su Chen said.
Su Chen’s clone was at the entrance. Once they got close enough, he would be able to directly teleport Gu Qingluo there along with him.
Even so, at that moment, Su Chen’s expression suddenly shifted. “Not good!”
Gu Qingluo was startled. “What is it?”
“My clone was destroyed,” Su Chen replied grimly.
Gu Qingluo’s expression also shifted, but not out of concern for herself. “Is the fleet in danger?”
Su Chen’s clone had been waiting within the floating palace for safety. If the clone within the palace had been destroyed, then didn’t that mean that the fleet was about to crumble?
Su Chen, however, shook his head. “No, the Sovereigns didn’t kill it.”
“It was killed by one of the sect’s disciples!” Su Chen replied.
Su Chen’s clone was linked to his main body through his consciousness, and Su Chen had been able to clearly see one of the Boundless Sect’s disciples sneak in and assassinate his clone.
The Boundless Sect’s disciples were all staunchly loyal, and the ones who had been selected to be his personal guards had been selected from the best of the best.
Even so, someone had still managed to sneak in and unleash a sneak attack against him.
Or was it a spy that the Bloodline Nobility Clans had planted?
Su Chen didn’t know.
But he did know that their opponent had chosen the best opportunity to strike at his most vulnerable moment.
Right now, the Sovereigns were still chasing after them, but Gu Qingluo’s Shining Dragon Bloodline power was starting to run dry. At this pace, there was no way for them to last long enough to make it back to the fleet.
When he realized this, Su Chen said, “The only thing that we can do now is to have me draw the Sovereigns away.”
“No……” Gu Qingluo wanted to say something, but Su Chen firmly interrupted her.
“Don’t be silly. Take my clone and leave. This way, I can escape once I draw them off. We don’t have any other alternative!”
Gu Qingluo felt her heart tremble, and she realized that Su Chen was telling the truth.
Gu Qingluo’s Shining Dragon Bloodline could prevent the Sovereigns from chasing her, which would mean they would instead chase after Su Chen. Thus, if she took Su Chen’s clone and fled as quickly as possible, it would also give him an opportunity to escape.
She gazed deeply into Su Chen’s eyes. “You be careful, you hear me? Don’t let anything happen to you.”
Su Chen smiled slightly. “Don’t worry. We’ve already crossed the biggest river. What is this small stream in comparison?”
Yes, they had managed to resolve the issue that was the Deep Sea Sorrow. How could their escape from the Abyss be more difficult?
Gu Qingluo continued to gaze at Su Chen passionately before leaning in to gently kiss him.
Su Chen handed some of his blood over to Gu Qingluo, who then unleashed her Shining Dragon Bloodline and flew off. Su Chen himself flew off in a different direction.
He was going to draw the Sovereigns off as far away as possible.
As expected, the Sovereigns, who didn’t dare chase after Gu Qingluo with her aura active, switched targets to Su Chen.
Su Chen didn’t possess Gu Qingluo’s suppressive capabilities, but he was faster, and his spatial control was even greater. Every time the Sovereigns got even remotely close to him, Su Chen would leap ten thousand feet away with Whitetower teleportation and then continue to run until he pulled away again.
Even so, this distance was merely two or three steps for the Sovereigns, and they were able to very quickly catch up every time.
This was where Light Shaking Phantom came in handy.
Su Chen calmly dispersed a few drops of blood around him, creating clones that ran out in all directions. Even though this meant that he was basically running in circles, Su Chen didn’t care, because he had placed all of his hopes on escaping with Gu Qingluo.
However, this method of his quickly lost its effectiveness.
Even though the Sovereigns had no intelligence, they still possessed basic combat instincts.
It was only natural for the Sovereigns to slap at a swarm of mosquitoes that was annoying them.
Especially when one of the mosquitoes was using the other mosquitoes to jump around everywhere.
Every time Su Chen created more clones, one of the Sovereigns would unleash a wide-area attack that encompassed all of Su Chen’s clones.
Su Chen’s clones didn’t even had time to reach a safe area before they were destroyed, which meant that it was no longer possible to use these Light Shaking Phantoms to dodge the Sovereigns’ pursuit.
Su Chen couldn’t do anything but run now. However, the Sovereigns were obviously beginning to adapt, and they spread out, attempting to surround him and cut off all paths of retreat. They were like a pack of wolves encircling a poor little lamb.
At the same time, Su Chen was also beginning to lose strength.
Even though he had merely teleported a short distance each time, and even though the burden on him wasn’t too great, doing it repeatedly meant that the strain was building up. Su Chen could sense the exhaustion accumulating within his body, and each successive use of Whitetower Teleportation would cause a bout of intensifying dizziness to wash over him.
Suddenly, he realized something: Whitetower Teleportation was impossible to use anymore.
At that moment, he also sensed that his connection with his clone had suddenly been severed.
Gu Qingluo was flying along rapidly, activating her speed to its extreme limit.
When Gu Qingluo saw that she was far enough away, she said to the clone, “Su Chen, we’re far enough away. You can come back now.”
Unexpectedly, Su Chen’s clone appeared to ignore her.
Gu Qingluo was stunned. “Su Chen, what’s wrong?”
After a moment, the clone opened its eyes. “I can’t sense the main body any longer.”
“What? How can that be?” Gu QIngluo was stunned.
“This space…… There’s something wrong with this space,” the clone replied.
The clone of Su Chen raised his head and glanced at the sky.
Gu Qingluo followed his gaze and saw that spiderweb cracks had appeared in the sky, and they were multiplying in number with each passing moment.
“The space…… Could it be the Deep Sea Sorrow?” Gu Qingluo immediately understood.
The clone nodded. “Yes. More specifically, it’s probably that statue’s destruction. That statue is the core of this spatial realm, and once it’s destroyed, the entire spatial realm will lose its stability and begin to fall apart. If that happens, then my connection with my clones will be severed.”
“So what can we do? Without you, the main body won’t be able to return!” Gu Qingluo said with great agitation.
The clone, however, unemotionally replied, “This is not the most important task at hand right now. You have to hurry back and notify the fleet to retreat. If they don’t retreat before the spatial realm’s collapse, then they’ll be in grave danger.”
“But what about you? What will you do?” Gu Qingluo felt like she was about to go crazy.
Without the fleet locking down the exit, how would Su Chen return? And how would Su Chen even get through the exit?
The clone, however, smiled calmly. “Don’t worry. I’ve been through worse situations and survived before.”
Gu Qingluo still wanted to say something to counter him, but the clone interrupted her. “Don’t let everyone else down. After all, not only are you my wife, but you are also the wife of the Boundless Sect’s Sect Master, and the most important wife in all of the Boundless Sect.”
“All I want to be is your woman,” Gu Qingluo whispered as she started weeping.
“You are, and you have always been.” The clone gently wiped away Gu Qingluo’s tears as its figure began to ripple.
Without a connection to the main body, the clone’s existence would become unstable. Eventually, the clone began to disappear.
Gu Qingluo continued to fly towards the exit, but the Su Chen she cradled in her bosom grew fainter and fainter.
At long last, she returned to the entrance, where the fierce battle was continuing.
At the same time, the clone was unable to endure any longer and dissipated into a puff of air in Gu Qingluo’s arms.
Gu Qingluo felt as if she had just watched Su Chen himself disappear, and her heart was filled with a desolate sorrow.
A moment later, however, the Boundless Sect’s disciples began to cry out, “Sect Master’s wife has returned! She’s returned! The Deep Sea Sorrow has definitely been destroyed!”
A cheer began to resound among the troops.
This cheer was full of excitement and joy, which stemmed from the satisfaction of victory after a hard-fought battle.
Upon hearing these cheers, Gu Qingluo suddenly understood.
She wiped the tears from her eyes and flew towards the fleet as her firm voice echoed through the air. “I am Gu Qingluo. The Deep Sea Sorrow has been destroyed, and our expedition has been successful! Right now, I order…… for all hands to retreat!”