Long Yangjun was wrong about one thing.
The battle was not going to break out; the battle had already broken out in the fiercest way.
Right when Li Yao and Long Yangjun snuck into the bridge, the Three Saints—including Qi Zhongdao, Master Bitter Cicada, and the elders and leaders of the six major sects—as well as the experts from the Ghost Qin, the Heaven Battering Army, and the White Lotus Cult commanded by the three rapscallions, altogether about a hundred people, had already broken away from the trap of the ‘dark forest’ and entered the warehouse of the Colossi through two different pathways!
Hardly had they recovered from the shock of discovering dozens of Cloud Qin Gold Statues when they noticed each other.
The fiercest battle immediately broke out!
Broken limbs and pieces of magical equipment covered the ground. The traces after serious explosions were clear, too. They were all indicative enough of the intensity of the battle!
Even the super experts on the two sides, such as Qi Zhongdao and Han Baling, were not unharmed following the previous confrontation.
Qi Zhongdao’s left shoulder had caved in. Weird black gas was slowly spreading out from his broken bones where his blood was also leaking out. The black gas condensed into a hideous images of snakes, bugs, rats, and other pests in midair. He had obviously been invaded by some sort of extremely eccentric fire that was corrupting his body.
Of his eighteen pearls the size of fists, Master Bitter Cicada had only thirteen left. The other five had turned gray and looked like rocks that were riddled with holes. There was not the slightest sign of spiritual waves anymore.
Ba Xiaoyu the Beggar’s face had become so green that fluids threatened to drip off at any moment. It was cramping beyond his control every now and then. The greenness was also marching toward the depths of his eyes. It appeared to be an extremely weird, lethal poison!
The Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators of the six major sects were all wounded, too. Some suffered colorful poisons, some were struggling with fiendish fires or mists, and some were riddled with holes that were deep to the bones. They could not have looked more devastated.
As for the three rapscallions, they were no better.
Han Baling’s chest had deeply collapsed, as if he had been hit hard by a meteor that was rushing close. All his ribs had broken.
There was also a long, narrow wound caused by a sword on his waist. Although the bleeding had stopped, half of his bear-hide robe was already soaked in blood. It was not hard to imagine how heavily he had been wounded back then.
Wan Mingzhu was even more heavily wounded. ‘Shattered’ was not nearly sufficient to describe her appearance. Her head had completely fallen down, her skull blown to smithereens. Her right arm was missing. There was also a deep hole the size of a bowl on her abdomen through which one could see what was on her back from her front.
She was a spectral Cultivator, and the body was nothing but a shell for her. So, the seemingly heavy wounds were not critical.
However, the gloomy brilliance shooting out of her dry eyes was much more lackluster than before. It was shaking like a candle in a storm, as if she could not support the broken body any longer.
Qi Changsheng boasted an indestructible body blessed by the fire fiend. Theoretically speaking, he should not have been scared of any physical attacks.
However, he was coughing hard nonstop, and he seemed to be vomiting his internal organs out as pus after every cough. White steam was spreading out from his every pore, and his entire body seemed to be melting!
The three rapscallions were already as miserable as that. Naturally, their trusted subordinates were even more severely maimed.
Many of them had broken their limbs, and their blood had almost run dry. They were merely standing on their feet because of their worship toward their leader and their greed for the Cloud Qin Gold Statues.
Li Yao and Long Yangjun looked at each other. They each immediately understood what the other was thinking.
If the two of them did not reach a deal but had started a fight, what had happened to the people in the light beam would have happened to them, too!
The warriors on Qi Zhongdao’s side and on Han Baling’s side, having just endured a gruesome battle, were all hiding behind the maintenance platforms and the Cloud Qin Gold Statues for a brief rest.
They had all paid a great price in order to break free from the battle. Looking at their own wretched appearances in silence, none of them wanted to fight again.
“Master Righteous One!”
Squatting behind the round shield on the arm of a Cloud Qin Gold Statue, Han Baling shouted when he only showed the bloodstained bear head on his head. “Are you really obstinate enough to go against the Cloud Qin and seek your own death? What benefits can you get if we die with each other? In the end, it will be those from the six major sects behind you who take all the advantage!
“Hehe. I discovered just now that the few Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators from the Grand Mystery Sect, the Purple Pole Sword Sect, and Thunderstorm Valley were certainly not doing their best. They are definitely not as heavily wounded as they appear to be. It’s just some bruises. They may look unsteady and lethargic right now, but I assure you that they will jump to their feet gleefully the moment that you die!”
Qi Zhongdao’s face was gloomy. He did not respond, nor did he look at the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators of the major sects who looked rather ill at ease behind him.
“Master Righteous One, Fellow Cultivator Qi!”
Han Baling waved his blade and continued shouting. “The Cultivation sects are the cancer of the world. Nobody will benefit from those Cultivation sects if they continue their existence. You must understand it better than anybody else as the leader of the Great Qian Cultivators, right? Have you not suffered enough from the ungrateful, treacherous, and downright despicable Cultivators? Why are you still standing on their side and fighting against us?
“You have done everything you can for them, but have they ever respected you as the real leader of the Great Qian Cultivators? I heard a thing or two about what happened in Roaring Tiger City. They truly do not deserve you as the leader of all Cultivators!
“We are the same. We both want to establish a set of rules for the world. Fair, just, and efficient rules! The Great Qian Dynasty has rotted to the bones from the court to the Cultivators. It is destined that you cannot save it purely on your own! Cloud Qin is the only place that can help you fulfil your wish and realize your ‘rules’!”
Han Baling’s magical equipment was quite strange. It was an enormous hammer with a long handle. However, the front end of the hammer had been forged into a fat bear’s paw. When it was waved in midair, a ferocious beast seemed to be roaring.
“Hehehehe. Han Baling, you are truly a great speaker!”
Before Qi Zhongdao could reply, Ba Xiaoyu, who was hiding behind the heel of a Cloud Qin Gold Statue, shrieked in a joyful tone. “Stop stirring trouble. Right. We are not united on our side, but are there no gaps on your side? Qi Changsheng, Wan Mingzhu, and you, Han Baling—are any of you not acting weak and pitiful and exaggerating your wounds, trying to preserve your strength so that you can take advantage later?
“This beggar suggests that you pay more attention to the two of them behind you. You are more or less a man on the Dark Cloud Prairies, Han Baling, but Qi Changsheng and Wan Mingzhu are two rabid dogs. You must be careful in case they bite your butt later!”
“Ba Xiaoyu!” Qi Changsheng gnashed his teeth. “The Heaven Battering Army has no grudge with you whatsoever. We are homeless peasants, and you are a beggar. As underprivileged people, we should look after each other and fight against the common foe. Why are you and Master Bitter Cicada involved in this mess? What benefits have Emperor Phoenix and the six major sects promised you? If you are here for the Cloud Qin Gold Statues, we can give one to each of you after we take over the Divine Palace!”
“Haha. Hahahaha!” Holding his belly, Ba Xiaoyu burst into laughter. He laughed so hard that he was kicking, and tears were flowing from his eyes. “Qi Changsheng, you surrendered to the court and the main sects seven times, only to rebel again seven times later. You are a temperamental, utterly untrustworthy dog. I might as well believe that a pig can ride a flying sword before I believe your promise!”
Master Bitter Cicada was holding the pearls that had partly turned into stones. Despite the heavy wounds, he still spoke unhurriedly. “Fellow Cultivator Han, Fellow Cultivator Qi, Fellow Cultivator Wan, it’s true that Fellow Cultivator Ba and I are here for the Cloud Qin Gold Statues.
“However, it is definitely not because we want the Cloud Qin Gold Statues for ourselves but because we do not want the destructive, dominating magical equipment to reappear in the human world. If they fall into the hands of ambitious, disobedient fellows, a storm of blood will certainly be raised, and the ordinary folks will suffer!”
“The ordinary folks will suffer?” High-pitched laughter burst out from Wan Mingzhu’s broken skull. “You are either a stupid monk or a bad monk! The ordinary folks will suffer if the Cloud Qin Gold Statues fall into the hands of the ‘ambitious and disobedient fellows’ such as us? Is the world not mired in a storm of blood where the ordinary folk suffer when there aren’t any Cloud Qin Gold Statues?
“The millions of civilians in the southeast watch the most fertile lands get planted with the Jade Crystal Pellets helplessly, and we have to starve to death while we are smelling the fragrance of the Jade Crystal Pellets. Do the common folk not suffer?
“When the febrile typhoon and the flood rampage, all the Cultivators hide in their bases and fortresses and lock their gates with defense rune arrays, ignoring us while we are burnt, drowned, famished, corroded in the fire and blood! Do the common folk not suffer?
“The northwest has suffered from droughts for several years. Many lands have absolutely no yield at all. But none of the Cultivation sects are willing to open their barns and distribute the food to the people. They would rather feed the food to the animals and mounts that they have domesticated than offer a grain of their food to the disaster-stricken victims. When the disaster victims are forced to rise up as an army of homeless peasants, you then vilify the peasants as inhuman and even cannibal. Do the common folk not suffer?
“Hehe. Even if there truly is cannibalism, it is because the Cultivators are forcing them. You are forcing them!
“You are a stupid and bad monk. So many people are suffering right before your eyes. I don’t believe that you see and hear none of it, but what have you done except for your pretentious rituals to appease the deceased? Even if you appease a hundred ghosts a day, ten thousand ghosts will have popped up elsewhere in the meantime! Meanwhile, those high and mighty Cultivators are still enjoying their life in their strongholds! What can you do? You are just fooling yourself!
“Now, we people who have nothing are going to resist with the Cloud Qin Gold Statues and smash the injustice in the world. Yet, you are jumping out and fear that people will suffer? Haha. Hahaha. Good monk. You are truly a knowledgeable and respectful monk!”