In the following days, Ye Futian would visit one place every day, flanked by various powerful figures. He managed to continuously figure out a string of relic locations, helping other people along with their own cultivations. As a result, many people who were previously unsure whether to do so began to offer up their own holy badges, prepared to take the gamble.
Wherever Ye Futian went, the group of top-notch powerful figures would appear as well. They knew that Ye Futian was close to collecting ten thousand holy badges. They also knew especially well that once he had done so, he would be able to activate the large relic. Those who managed to collect thousands of holy badges on the Divine Road were terrifying. These people were some of the most powerful figures there.
But it was not possible for those from the Nantian House and the Sword Saint Villa to simply just snatch the holy badges from someone else. They were powerful enough to hunt down others on the Divine Road for their holy badges.
But they usually would not take that risk, because they were wary of offending the masses whose backgrounds were almost impossible to know for sure. Even a top disciple with powerful abilities would not be willing to take holy badges by force. Instead, they operated through occupying cities.
It was just as well that Ye Futian had appeared now, collecting holy badges at a speed faster than them. They naturally wanted to achieve their aims through Ye Futian. First, they would let him open up a large relic site here, then once they had returned to their own occupied city, they would even have the opportunity to open up two more of such sites.
For the past few days, someone would be killed or go missing around the palace. The necromancer was still on a murderous streak, and with Ye Futian collecting more and more holy badges, everyone had an odd feeling of being in the calm before the storm.
It seemed like something big would go down the day Ye Futian took action.
Now, security had increased around the heart of Ye Futian's living quarters. Powerful figures milled about outside, guarding every corner. They were all prepared to tackle any sudden turn of events.
Zhuo Jun hurriedly approached Ye Futian in the courtyard, whispering to him, "Ye Futian, something has happened to Miss Qingyi."
"What's going on?" Ye Futian's gaze froze upon him.
"She discovered a spy among us. Follow me." Zhuo Jun checked their surroundings carefully, before turning and leaving.
Ye Futian's eyebrows creased, and he followed after him.
A short distance away, Yi Xiaoshi saw what was happening, and in a flash, he was keeping up with Ye Futian's strides as well. The two followed Zhuo Jun to where Li Xun and the rest were training in another part of the courtyard.
There were many people gathered there. Li Xun was squatting by Li Qingyi, holding her body close to him. It was a heart-wrenching sight for Ye Futian, and he moved forward towards her.
"Qingyi," Ye Futian called out, putting his hand on hers before asking, "what happened?"
However, a realization made him raise his eyebrows. Li Qingyi did not seem to be injured in any way at all. Li Qingyi's eyelids twitched before fluttering open slowly. Upon seeing Ye Futian before her, her expression changed instantaneously, and she shouted, "Run!"
Li Qingyi had barely spoken before a sneer was heard, and cold energy was suddenly felt. A sharp silver blade had appeared in Li Xun's hand.
"Be careful!" Li Qingyi screamed, and she pushed Li Xun away with all her might. However, Li Xun managed to fling the blade at Ye Futian still, and it whistled towards him like a streak of lightning. The blade was incredibly fast, and at such a short distance, it seemed inevitable that it would hit its deadly mark.
However, the trajectory of the blade had changed slightly when Li Qingyi pushed Li Xun. Ye Futian's reflexes were lightning fast as well. He ducked down, lightning flashing about his feet. With a hard step onto the ground, the Thundering Illusion Step was activated in an explosive, heart-stopping moment, and Ye Futian moved out of the blade's way quick as lightning. The blade whistled past his face. It was a close call.
Ye Futian regained his footing, and Yi Xiaoshi was by his side in an instant.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
Ye Futian nodded slightly, but his expression was icy cold. If it had not been for Li Qingyi's push, he really might have been killed by an attack at such a close range. He looked at Li Xun. The other man still had on the same gentle smile from before. It was as if he had not just attacked Ye Futian.
"Good dodge, Brother Ye," Li Xun praised, smiling still. Ye Futian was then surrounded by many people from the crowd. These were people who had previously come to offer Ye Futian their holy badges. They weren't Li Xun's underlings, but they obviously could not bear to give up their holy badges and had joined forces with Li Xun to set up this trap.
"You may have been lucky, but you won't escape death." Zhuo Jun's expression was dark. He could not believe that Ye Futian had survived even this set-up.
"I never trusted you. But you're a Young City Lord of the White Sovereign City, with such a good reputation. I didn't think you'd even use your own younger sister to trap me," Ye Futian's voice was icy cold.
"I had intended for her to cooperate with me. But the girl was loyal to you, so I had to knock her unconscious instead. You've gotten pretty friendly with Qingyi these days, I imagined you'd ignore all suspicions and let your guard down in the panic of finding out that something had happened to her. It's a pity it didn't work out." Li Xun shook his head, smiling. "But that doesn't change anything."
Ye Futian felt a coolness on his back. So, even a person as seemingly virtuous as Li Xun was had such a dark and devious side to him. His methods were incredibly ruthless and cruel.
"Why are you doing this?" Ye Futian asked. He didn't quite understand Li Xun's motivations. Just what good would it do Li Xun to kill him?
Li Xun looked back, and a figure cloaked in black walked out. The figure pulled down his hood to reveal a resolute, cold face. Upon seeing the person, inklings of understanding began to dawn upon Ye Futian.
He had seen Mo Jun days ago at the stone ruins. Mu Zhiqiu had called him an insanely powerful, top-tier individual. Mo Jun was Ning Huang's top warrior. Many people claimed that if the two worked together, they could be the strongest team in all of the Divine Road.
Mo Jun's presence was a clear indication that Li Xun was working for Ning Huang. It was no wonder he was so confident. He had been sneaking Mo Jun into this plan of his.
"Given Ning Huang's stature, I don't think he would have looked for you first. Did you all approach him then?" Ye Futian asked Li Xun.
"Yes." Li Xun nodded.
"What do you have to gain from this?" Ye Futian asked again
"If I become one of Young Master Ning's followers, I'll get a share once we open up the relic," Li Xun replied honestly.
"A follower?" Ye Futian laughed disdainfully. It was laughable how Li Xun would rather be a dog of Ning Huang's than be a friend.
"I promised you before that once I open up the relic, you'd get a share too." Ye Futian sighed.
"Do you really think you stand a chance at opening up the relic?" Li Xun's face was shadowed with doubt, "Do you not understand that any one of these top powers could attack at any moment should they wish to? Numbers are meaningless in the face of absolute power. They're just waiting for you to collect the holy badges, and taking care to not step on each other's toes as well. No one ever took you seriously, so where is all this confidence coming from?"
Li Xun continued his tirade, "As for those who offered you their holy badges, how can they be so stupid?" Li Xun didn't understand at all. If Ning Huang had wanted to get to the holy badges earlier, there honestly had been no need for him to work with Li Xun. He could have just launched an attack on his own.
"How could you do this?" Li Qingyi looked especially pained. Her eyes were red as she stared at her older brother Li Xun.
"Shut up." Li Xun shot a cold glare at Li Qingyi. The girl had changed so completely. Li Qingyi no longer listened to his orders, but helped outsiders instead, causing unnecessary complications to this whole affair. She was too much.
"Miss Qingyi, I've said this before," Zhuo Jun spoke, "he followed us onto the Divine Road and we offered him our protection, but he treated us as though we were just mere strangers. It was a complete joke. You should be happy for the Young City Lord that he has the opportunity to follow Young Master Ning now."
Zhuo Jun then turned his gaze to Ye Futian, his expression cold. "He's only someone of the Arcana plane, what authority does he have to give us any orders like he's our superior?"
"Followed you all onto the Divine Road?" Ye Futian scoffed in disdain. "Li Xun was the one who invited me to join all of you at the foot of Mount Jiuxian. I never once said I'd follow you. We were only supposed to take care of each other. I was grateful for all that you all had done for me, that's why I came back to find you and let you train with me. I was never asking for your protection. Furthermore, you would all get a share whenever I opened up a relic. And now…" Laughing a little, he said no more. Once again, he was resigned to the truths of human nature.
If he had been Ning Huang, these people would have willingly followed after him by the thousands. But just because Ye Futian was of the Arcana plane, he was seen to be unfit for many of his pursuits. And now that he had become the center of attention and could command the masses, he had attracted the jealousy of others as well.
"Let's not waste any more time," Mo Jun boomed, his powerful voice cold. "Let's go," he ordered, stepping forward.
At his words, attacks came from people on both sides. In an instant, the space was covered in spells that shot straight for Ye Futian and Yi Xiaoshi. At the same time, several people leaped through the air, descending with the spells. Noble aura engulfed the space and a frighteningly immense energy could be felt.
A blinding light emanated from Yi Xiaoshi. With a rustling sound, a gigantic and brilliant tree appeared. The gold and green hues of the tree gave it a dazzling radiance, and the ancient tree stood proudly in the sky like a Divine Imperial Tree.
The leaves and vines of the tree seemed incredibly sharp. A frightening murderous glint reflected off them, and the tree spread out its branches all across the space. None of the spells that descended upon the space could break a single twig or leaf of the tree. Someone swung a palm towards the tree, but an incredibly sharp vine pierced through his hand before heading upwards and stabbing the person through the throat. The person was killed in mid-air instantly.
A few other people met similar fates. When Yi Xiaoshi activated the Emperor's Vine Life Spirit, they had either been pierced through or had their throats stabbed by the vines without exception, dying horrifically in mid-air.
Yi Xiaoshi was now a grade eight Noble, and his Life Spirit was especially powerful. Furthermore, he had even integrated into his Life Spirit a magic weapon that his second Senior Sister had gifted to him, making him invincible. A normal Noble would not compare to him.
A nervous flash shot through Li Xun and everyone else's eyes. They had not known that this unassuming fatty could have possessed such frightening power. Mo Jun's eyebrows creased. He sensed that Yi Xiaoshi had incredibly powerful abilities.
With a step upwards, he leaped into the sky. Unbelievably overwhelming energy emanated from his being, making him seem like a god of war. Upon sensing Mo Jun's energy, Yi Xiaoshi knew that he had met a tough match. With a leap, he charged towards the other person.
Ye Futian raised his head to look at the sky, before turning back to stare coldly at everyone around him. Seeing Ye Futian standing there alone, a cold glint shot through Zhuo Jun's eyes. He then dashed towards Ye Futian, his movements quick as lightning.
His palm shot out ruthlessly in Ye Futian's direction, sharp and deadly as a blade. But Ye Futian only turned to look at him quietly, not moving a muscle. Unbelievably, Ye Futian had no intention to defend himself.
"You're looking for death." Zhuo Jun's expression was cold. The shadow of dragon claws as he struck mercilessly where Ye Futian's heart was. Zhuo Jun wanted his attack to pierce through Ye Futian's chest.
The strike landed with a thud, but Zhuo Jun did not feel like he had hit flesh. Instead, his attack had made contact with an invincible divine body. His expression turned to horrified shock, but Ye Futian only stared coldly at him.
"Are you jealous of me because you thought you were stronger than me? Was that why you thought I wasn't fit to do everything I did?" Ye Futian asked him coldly.
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