In the Moon Tower of Crouching Dragon Mountain, Gu Dongliu came beside Ye Futian and said, "Little Brother, I'll go to Taihang Mountain in your place."
All that started with him. With Zhan Xiao heading to Taihang Mountain, he deemed it compulsory for him to be the one to end it. As he knew Zhisheng Cliffs and Zhan Xiao would not simply let things go, there was then a need for him to end things.
During the prior battle, he had readied himself to end things once and for all. However, things did not turn out as he wanted it to be.
"I'm concerned for Jieyu and the rest over there. I need to go there myself," Ye Futian said. With Jieyu, Yu Sheng, Loulan, Qingxuan, and the others at Taihang Mountain, he would not be able to forgive himself should anything happen to any of them.
"Futian." A figure was seen approaching him. It was Zhuge Qingfeng.
Ye Futian looked at him as Zhuge Qingfeg said, "Word from the Holy Zhi Palace said that it was Bai Ze who urged Zhan Xiao to head for Taihang Mountain. Bai Ze was killed in the Holy Zhi Palace, and the one who killed him was most probably Ye Wuchen, Zui Qianchou, and Xu Que. All three of them have fled the Holy Zhi Palace."
"Bai Ze." Ye Futian's expression was cold as ice when he uttered the name. However, his eyes were filled with intense worry when Wuchen and the rest came to mind. It was one trouble following another indeed, and Ye Wuchen was embroiled in this incident because of him. It had never been Ye Futian's intention for things to turn out this way as he had only wanted for Wuchen to practice his art in peace in the Holy Zhi Palace. However, it seemed that there was no way for anyone close to him to stay out of this.
"Bring Yuan Hong with you," Zhuge Qingfeng said.
"Can't do." Ye Futian refused without hesitation. "I got you into this, Uncle. You have put your life on the line for me and Third Brother, and you even got the entire family in danger. If I were to have Yuan Hong go to Taihang Mountain with me, Crouching Dragon Mountain would be finished. Furthermore, even if Crouching Dragon Mountain got destroyed, the ones from Zhisheng Cliffs wouldn't let me walk free still. This is just suicide."
Zhuge Qingfeng looked at Ye Futian. Things were in a dire state now and there was no time to wait around.
"Uncle, just blaze your way out of the mountain with Grandpa Yuan right now. There's no need to wait for them to come up the mountain and bring the war to your doorstep. Only then would I be able to leave, as they are watching every move on Crouching Mountain Dragon," Ye Futian said.
Zhuge Qingfeng's eyes sparkled. Is he trying to start the war prematurely?
"I'll get you there." A voice was heard from somewhere. Zhuge Qingfeng, Ye Futian and the rest present were stunned for a bit, before turning their attention to the figure approaching them.
The House Master of Tingxue House, Xu Shang, who ranked ninth on Barren Sky Ranking.
Ye Futian looked up at Xu Shang and said, "Well then, thank you in advance." Ye Futian was, of course, feeling anxious and he had also hoped to be able to bring Yuan Hong with him. However, it was not something feasible at all, as it would have brought about the doom of both Crouching Dragon Mountain and Taihang Mountain. Since Xu Shang offered his help, Ye Futian felt it unnecessary to beat around the bush. He had only needed to remember that he owed Xu Shang a favor.
"I'm not alone in Barren State, and I can't just go about fighting Zhisheng Cliffs head on," Xu Shang said.
"There is no need for more words. I understand." Ye Futian nodded. Zhisheng Cliffs had saints and Xu Shang had no reason to get himself embroiled in this and make himself an enemy of Zhisheng Cliffs. It was not a good thing for Tingxue House to be involved in, and he, of course, had his reservations.
"Better get moving then," Xu Shang said.
"Indeed," Ye Futian said.
"Yuan Hong, let's get going then," Zhuge Qingfeng looked at Yuan Hong and said.
"Right." Yuan Hong nodded. He felt concerned about Taihang Mountain as well.
"Let's go." Zhuge Qingfeng and Yuan Hong moved at the same time, going down Crouching Dragon Mountain.
Mighty ones gathered in Xuanwu City in hordes not far away from Crouching Dragon Mountain. Many figures from top forces were there and they felt a frightening pressure raining down on them. Zhuge Qingfeng, Yuan Hong, and many mighty ones from both Taihang Mountain and the Zhuge family appeared. Even the sages of the Zhuge family were getting involved in the war now. They knew what things were like right there and then. If Zhuge Qingfeng lost and got killed, that would be the end of the Zhuge family. While they might have been very irked about what the Zhuge family did, they knew they had to come out and fight.
"You all have death wishes, I see," Kong Yao said as he saw them appear. His terrifying aura increased and he took to the air with a leap. The last battle had him feeling very angry, and this time he came determined to do one thing—to kill.
Mighty ones from The Sacred Fire Sect, Sword Saint Villa, and the Nantian House took to the air at the same time, prepared to get the slaughter started. They had no way out of this. It was either killing off the Zhuge family or having their respective clans and forces get into further trouble.
Di Kai was there too but he hesitated. You Chi had warned him not to get involved with the war or there would be consequences to pay. You Chi had never been so stern and forceful with anything. He had no idea what would have happened to him if You Chi were to find him being a part of the war.
The sky was literally filled with people and terrifying aura permeated the air. Countless people in Xuanwu City turned their eyes at the battlefield and felt their hearts jumping out of their chests. The frightening storm had finally made it to their doorstep. That was very probably the final showdown and it would be a very bloody one.
The storm in the Barren State was in full force as if to serve as a prelude to bigger troubles to come.
Countless eyes stared at Xuanwu City and hardly anyone was paying any attention to Taihang Mountain. However, at the very same time, there were figures heading to Taihang Mountain in another corner of Barren State. The one taking the lead was imposing and he was practically clad in murderous intent.
It was none other than Bai Gu, the City Lord of White Cloud City. He was the first to know that Bai Ze died, as he was Bai Ze's birth father and Bai Ze had a Spirit Jade Scroll in his ancestral home. He found it totally unbelievable when he first found his son dead.
How could my son die training in the Holy Zhi Palace? How is that possible? Who killed him?
While his second son was nowhere near as exceptional as his brother, Bai Luli, and himself had little hope for Bai Ze to achieve much. But Bai Ze was still the son of the City Lord of White Cloud City. His son had been killed by someone.
He went to the Holy Zhi Palace as soon as he found out that his son died and found the one who killed him was probably Ye Wuchen. There was no telling if Xu Que and Zui Qianchou were a part of this. All of them fled from the Holy Zhi Palace and were fugitives now.
The City Lord did not go after Ye Wuchen and the rest of the gang when he heard further news about the incident. He did not even go to Xuanwu City. His goal was Taihang Mountain. Knowing that his son died because of the incident with Taihang Mountain, there was only one thing left to be done—end Taihang Mountain with his very own hands. If Yuan Hong had not interfered with things back then, things would have turned out differently. Zhisheng Cliffs would have taken Gu Dongliu away and Bai Ze would not have died. He needed to have Taihang Mountain pay for this.
Taihang Mountain needed to bear the brunt of his wrath. Yuan Hong, Ye Futian, and all the others needed to pay for what they had done.
Bai Ze's death had led Bai Gu throwing the composure and bearing of the one who ranked fourth on Barren Sky Ranking out of the window. There was only one thing in his mind right there and then—kill.
He would have first ended Taihang Mountain before going to bury Crouching Dragon Mountain.
Everyone needed to die to pay for his son's death.
Time passed and it was evening. The blood-red evening sun at the sky of Taihang Mountain seemed to be some sort of omen, and a lonely one at that.
Hua Jieyu made it a habit to stand at the edge of the cliff, looking far away at the highest peak of Taihang Mountain every day. She did not go to Crouching Dragon Mountain as she knew Ye Futian was concerned about getting her involved, and as such, he left her out of it. However, she deemed it impossible for her to live on if anything were to happen to Crouching Dragon Mountain.
Despite having such sentiments, she stayed behind in Taihang Mountain per Ye Futian's wishes instead of going to Crouching Mountain Dragon. She did not mind standing at the cliff looking far away, waiting for his safe return at all, but she nonetheless had to keep suppressing her urge to go to him, just so that she would not be causing him further worry.
Under the light of the evening sun, a group of people was seen walking up Taihang Mountain. A sparkle of concern was seen in Hua Jieyu's eyes before many golden great apes took to the air and began fighting in the sky.
It was apparent that Ye Futian was not among the ones who came.
The airborne clash above Taihang Mountain alerted the demonic beasts standing guard. The mountains shook as one golden silhouette after another leaped into the air to join the fray.
Yu Sheng and Yi Qingxuan came to Hua Jieyu's side. Yu Sheng's cold eyes were looking far off.
Zhan Xiao was leading a group of mighty ones coming up the mountain. While the group was not the best Zhisheng Cliffs had to offer, there were still two sages in their ranks. They were originally tasked to protect Zhan Xiao and Qin Zhong, but they were relegated to the expedition to Taihang Mountain at the moment.
There were many demonic beasts guarding Taihang Mountain, but the top-notch ones had all gone to fight the battle in Crouching Dragon Mountain.
"They are nothing but a bunch of animals. Kill them all," Zhan Xiao said coldly as he walked forward. There were two killer god-like beings before him, with one of them holding a sword and emanating incredibly terrifying rules of the sword. It seemed to be infused with rules of lightning as well. One went to slash a golden great ape coming at it, which surprisingly resulted in its huge body being bisected in one go. Terrifying screams were heard in the air. The other one was just as terrifying. They killed their way up and many golden great apes fell, their blood staining Taihang Mountain.
The blood red son seemed to be mirroring the bloody scene below, which felt rather unsettling and sad. There were simply no apes capable of stopping the advance of Zhan Xiao and his group as they killed their way up the mountain.
The group continued killing their way up to the main mountain of Taihang Mountain. Zhan Xiao was able to see Hua Jieyu, Yu Sheng, and the rest of the group. A terrifying smirk was seen in his eyes. Ye Futian had foiled his schemes more times than he could count, and he was determined to have him pay the dearest price there was to pay. He was about to make Ye Futian suffer.
"You all, retreat." Several golden great apes appeared beside Hua Jieyu, Yu Sheng, and the rest of them. Two incredibly huge golden great apes rushed in Zhan Xiao's direction to kill him, leaving several others to ensure Yu Sheng and the rest of his group's escape.
"Sister-in-law, let's go," Yu Sheng said to Hua Jieyu. She felt incredibly awful seeing one ape after another fall, but she still turned around adamantly and had the apes cover her escape.
"You want to run?" Zhan Xiao's expression was ice-cold. "Intercept them." They increased their speed going up the mountain until the two incredibly huge golden great apes descended, wielding their staffs and lashing out with incredible overwhelming attacks.
A straight flash of the sword streaked through the air, cutting up the shadows of the staffs. A thunderous rumble was soon heard. That Zhisheng Cliffs' mighty one had finally met their match.
"We will hold them off. Please continue your pursuit." The mighty one from Zhisheng Cliffs told Zhan Xiao, who responded with a nod. "Good work." He did not get himself entangled with the battle right there and kept advancing instead. The two golden great apes intended to stop him, but they, in turn, were stopped by others.
"You are not getting away," Zhan Xiao said coldly as he looked at them escape.
The group caught up to Hua Jieyu and the rest of them soon, as the golden great apes were not known for their speed.
"Get them," Zhan Xiao ordered. The mighty ones attacked and the golden great apes who were escorting Hua Jieyu and the rest fought. But, Zhan Xiao took two others beside him and kept going forward, as if he was enjoying toying with Yu Sheng, Hua Jieyu, and the rest of them.
Terrifying lights shot to the skies in two different directions not far away from Taihang Mountain, moving at a great speed.
"Senior, can you go any faster?" Ye Futian asked while standing on Xu Shang's sword.
Ye Futian was very worried, but Taihang Mountain was within sight.
Jieyu, Yu Sheng, stay safe.
"Who is it?" Xu Shang's eyes turned in another direction far away. A powerful aura was sensed encroaching the space they were in. Xu Shang unleashed terrifying sword will and cut up the encroaching aura. His expression was cold as he stared far away, and he soon caught sight of the City Lord of White Cloud City.
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