Book 7, Chapter 4: Advancing In A Straight Line

Scarlet Fowl Mountains.

This was an exceptionally large mountain range near Cloud Rising’s border.

This mountain range had once been known as the Golden Fowl Mountains. However, once it became a bastion of defense for Cloud Rising against the Beasts, much blood had been spilled here, which was why it was now known as the Scarlet Fowl Mountains instead.

Cloud Rising experienced many small and large Beast Waves every year.

Tens of thousands of Beasts would invade by crossing the border and inflicting devastation on the nearby territory.

Cloud Rising expended quite a bit of strength in order to repel the Beast Waves.

They were the only country that really lacked the ability to attack any of the other countries. Ninety percent of their military was necessary to hold the front lines.

As such, Cloud Rising as a nation suffered immensely. Too many heroes and warriors had spilt their blood here. They completely disdained any internal squabbles and only desired to exterminate the Beasts. As such, their hope had always been that the various races would set aside their differences and focus on defeating the Beasts instead, but this hope had only ever been a fantasy.

They were also the country that needed the most help. Most of the Lifesource Candles being produced in Empty Mountain were actually given to Cloud Rising and Greatwind, with Cloud Rising getting the majority of that share.

The other countries would also often send reinforcements to aid Cloud Rising.

This was a clear demonstration of just how difficult it was for Cloud Rising to maintain its borders.

As such, when the Boundless Sect called for the unification of the Seven Kingdoms in order to launch a counterattack, Du Qingxi resisted very little. Even though he didn’t like the fact that the Boundless Sect seemed to be overriding his authority, the opportunity to join hands and deal with these Beasts was not something he could pass up. He had made the correct ethical choice.

An unprecedentedly large army was gathered today at the border of this no-man’s-land.

1,300 armored Dragon Boats floated in the sky, battle drums beat steadily, and banners were waved as the army steadily advanced, their forces stretching as far as the horizon.

At the center of the Dragon Boat flotilla was a giant floating palace being towed by thirty six massive Dragon Boats.

The Boundless Palace.

This Boundless Palace was new and improved.

The new palace was much larger, to the point that it was almost the size of one of the Harpies’ miniature fortresses.

In fact, the palace did have the aura of a fortress. Its defensive and offensive capabilities were already quite impressive; now that Su Chen had made further modifications to it, its functionalities had been enhanced. The Boundless Sect’s power was too great, however, meaning that no one had yet forced out the Boundless Palace’s true power yet.

As such, the palace’s symbolic meaning was more important than its practical use.

In other words, it was most commonly being used to hold meetings.

A groundbreakingly great meeting was taking place in the palace.

The meeting was great not in terms of its attendance but because of the identities of those participating.

Su Chen, Chu Yuan, Li Wuyi, Jiang Jusheng, Feng Zhuying, Du Qingxi, Cheng Qikong, Gu Xinrong, Gu Qingsong, etc. were all present. They were existences that stood at the very peak of the human race, and each one was powerful enough to cause the earth to tremble beneath them.

As the Sect Master, Su Chen unquestionably sat at the very top seat. Even though he was the youngest amongst all of them, his status was undeniable.

Most shockingly, beside Su Chen sat a white-haired old man.

The old man appeared withered, and his eyes seemed lifeless. His facial hair was wispy and unkempt, and he amazingly held a long-stemmed pipe in his hand from which he would take occasional puffs. The smell was extremely choking; obviously, he was not smoking any high-quality substances.

However, not a single person amongst them showed any sign of discontent with this arrangement.

Because his name was Gu Huiming.

He was the oldest living ancestor of the Gu Clan. Actually, it was perhaps accurate to say that he was the ancestor of everyone present.

He was one of the Glorious Emperor’s sons!

After the Illustrious Divine Dynasty had fallen, most of the Gu Clan’s members had been slaughtered. Only a single inheritor of the bloodline was spared: Gu Huiming.

At that time, he was only a three-year-old child.

The fact that he had survived until now meant that he had lived 3,600 years already. This was most likely the limit achievable by any human, and only someone with the power of the Shining Dragon Bloodline could accomplish such a feat.

It was not wrong to say that every member of the Gu Clan had inherited his bloodline and that they were all related to him in one way or another, to the point that even the official records couldn’t keep track of how exactly they were related. As such, everyone just referred to him respectfully as Ancestor. That was the case for Gu Qingluo, and even for Gu Xinrong and the other twelve Gu Clan elders.

In fact, even the rulers of the seven countries needed to refer to him as such.

Naturally, Su Chen himself was no exception.

Su Chen originally had no intention of inviting him along on this expedition to attack the Beasts. This Ancestor was actually quite like a Desolate Beast in the sense that most of the time he was in hibernation, attempting to keep himself as healthy as possible. His only goal was to live as long as he could and surpass the limit of three thousand years that had plagued most of the other members of the Gu Clan.

And he had indeed done so. Before him, the longest-living Gu Clan member had only survived to around 3,200 years old.

But this old ancestor suddenly seemed to change his mind and, instead of focusing on cultivating his lifespan, he had decided to accompany everyone else on this journey.

This had caught Su Chen off-guard.

There was nothing he could do but helplessly accept.

Thankfully, the old fellow made no trouble for Su Chen. He had lived for such a long time that his view was quite generous, and didn’t bother interfering with small matters. Even during these meetings, he would rarely speak. Su Chen didn’t need to do anything but endure the stifling smoke coming out of the old man’s pipe.

“Past the Scarlet Fowl Mountains is the Azure Mountains. That’s when we’ve officially entered Beast territory. Currently, there are three Beast leaders near our borders - the Red-Eyed Demonic Emperor, the Purple Heart Demonic Emperor, and the Crow Skyking,” Du Qingxi said, who was sitting just below Gu Huiming.

He was seated there not because he was the strongest, but because he understood this region the best.

“Crow Skyking?” Upon hearing this name, Su Chen grew interested.

Skyking was a unique title amongst the Beasts used to refer to those Demonic Beasts who hadn’t yet cultivated to the point of becoming a Demonic Emperor but whose strength had already reached that point. Just like how Sovereigns were exceptionally powerful Demonic Emperors, Skykings were exceptionally powerful Demonic Kings.

The fact that this Skyking had split its territory with two other Demonic Emperors was a clear indication of just how powerful it was. It was most likely far superior to others at the same cultivation level, which was what had allowed it to keep this status.

And Su Chen’s interest in such a creature was far greater, because as soon as it reached the level of a Demonic Emperor it would immediately become a Sovereign.

A future Sovereign in the making.

It was always better to kill these kinds of uncommon creatures as early as possible.

“Yes, the Crow Skyking. Its main body is that of a shadowy crow, and it is frighteningly strong. Apparently, it is capable of sending a target into the Shadow Realm,” Du Qingxi said.

“Drag its target into the Shadow Realm......” Su Chen muttered to himself.

If it did truly have that kind of ability, no wonder it was considered a Skyking.

This was similar to how Su Chen could send weaker targets into the void. As soon as they went inside, they would immediately die as long as they lacked any comprehension of spatial Method Power - even if they were a Sovereign. However, Su Chen found such a tactic somewhat lacking. It was quite difficult to move Ultimate Emperor Realm cultivators, and would cost quite a bit of energy to do so. Weaker opponents could simply be dealt with by a single finger strike.

This Crow Skyking, however, was obviously unique. If it could use such techniques on a whim, then its strength in this regard was no weaker than Su Chen’s. Most likely, it had comprehended some degree of shadow-type Method Power.

Yet again, it was unsurprising that such a creature had become a Skyking.

Perhaps this Skyking was even more terrifying than the two Demonic Emperors.

“These three leaders each have their own territory,” Du Qingxi said as he drew in the air with his finger. Very rapidly, a landscape appeared, demonstrating his artistic skill. And even though the drawing was clearly made out of Origin Energy, each color was distinct, causing the landscape to seemingly come alive.

Three red circles were spread out, indicating the locations of these leaders.

“Right now, we have two different paths to take. One is we can go straight through the Clearwood Forest and get right to the heart of the issue, but that path makes it easy for us to be ambushed on all sides. The other possibility is to take a roundabout path by seizing Azure Dragon Peak first and killing the Red-Eyed Demonic Emperor, then going to Watercloud Stream and killing the Purple Heart Demonic Emperor before returning to Clearwood Forest. This will take us longer to do, but it is also the safer choice.

Upon hearing this, Jiang Jusheng said disdainfully, “Brother Du, we have amassed such a large army already. Do we really fear being ambushed by Demonic Emperors? That’s like an elephant being afraid of three ants getting in its way.”

Upon hearing this, everyone chuckled.

Yes, three Demonic Emperors were in fact quite weak compared to the strength and numbers of the human army.

Jiang Jusheng was not actually trying to mock anyone; he was trying to curry favor with someone instead.

After all, he had directly offended Su Chen. Now that the Boundless Sect had more than demonstrated their strength, he was quite uneasy and did his best to improve the relationship.

Actually, Jiang Jusheng had been the most vocal person about agreeing to the alliance, and his agreeableness exceeded even that of Du Qingxi.

Unfortunately, even though he was doing his best to make his presence known, Su Chen continued to treat him with the same lukewarmness that he treated everyone else.

Upon hearing Jiang Jusheng’s mocking, Du Qingxi blushed. “I know that we are not afraid of their ambush. But the Beasts themselves are skilled in guerrilla tactics and will use the forest’s terrain to their advantage. If we are ambushed there, we will have to pay a price even if we win. We still have no idea what kinds of troubles we will run into on this journey, so it’s better for us to minimize casualties at that moment.”

Jiang Jusheng still wanted to say something, but Su Chen intervened. “You are right, Emperor Du, but while limiting casualties is important, time is even more important.”

Time?

Everyone glanced at Su Chen.

Su Chen calmly said, “This battle is not only meant to deal with the Beasts but also to deal with the Harpies. We are going to fight with the Harpies at Skywild Plains. Whoever gets there first will be able to seize the initiative. As such, we not only need to proceed in a stable fashion but also quickly! Only by passing through these areas as soon as possible will we be able to have the advantage at the Skywild Plains.”

Upon hearing this, everyone simultaneously nodded. “Understood!”

Without question, Su Chen had chosen the simplest strategy.

Advance in a straight line!

At the same time, Sky City also began to rumble towards the West.

In comparison to the Boundless Sect’s massive armies, Sky City’s grandeur spoke for itself.

Their method of dealing with their opponents was even simpler - they would just steamroll their way through with the city.

On the third day of the expedition.

The Harpies encountered their first foe.

Sky Castle unleashed a vicious bombardment, instantly killing the Demonic Emperor leading the attack.

The Harpies had managed to claim first blood.

At this point in time, the Boundless Sect had only just reached Clearwood Forest, but they ran into no resistance whatsoever.

The three Emperors had all fled.

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