Chapter 268: Selecting the Best for the Trip to the Sea

    Chapter 268: Selecting the Best for the Trip to the Sea

    Translator: Novel Saga  Editor: Novel Saga

    "Ladies and gentlemen, you must've heard that Palace Lord Liu and his companions had executed something big in the Heavenly Yu City," the white-haired old man said as he swept his vision over the surrounding people.

    "Of course! We've been aware of this matter for a long time. And, I believe that the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult won't let this matter slip by this time!" the curly-haired man spoke-up.

    "The information we've received over the last few months suggests that the spies of the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult have been frequently seen in places near the border. So, it seems that they are plotting something big," a wide-mouthed middle-aged man said; he was seated next to the curly-haired man.

    The surrounding people's complexion darkened as they heard this news.

    "If this information is true... In which places are those spies mainly seen?" a young woman asked; she was one of the Palace Lords. She seemed to be in the prime of her youth.

    "They are mainly seen in two southeastern provinces - Eastern Woods and Lin Hai. However, it seems that an increasing number of suspicious people are springing up everywhere in the northeastern Black River Province also," the wide-mouthed middle-aged man replied.

    The surrounding people's complexion darkened even more. The provinces of Eastern Woods and Lin Hai were close to the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult. So, it wasn't strange to spot their spies in these regions. However, the Black River Province was located far from the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult. Instead, it was on the shared borders of the Xixia country and the Great Qin Kingdom.

    "Don't tell me that the Heavenly Demon Sect has also..." a dark-skinned man spoke-up; he was seated opposite to the man with the red eyebrows. But, he didn't finish his words and stopped halfway...

    "The Heavenly Demon Sect and the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult are the same. They had declared that they would eradicate all heresies. But, the fact was that they were secretly aiming for the spirit stone mine of our Xixia country. They haven't paid much attention to us over the past few years. But, the Heavenly Demon Sect won't sit back and watch if they've found out that the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult was attacked..." the curly-haired man spoke-up in a cold manner, while his eyes constantly stared at Liu An.

    "Cough! Ladies and gentlemen, the animosity between the Dark Moon Cult and the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult is as deep as the sea. The Immortal Cult has never stopped probing into our territory. And, they will mount a combined attack on us sooner or later... even if we don't take any action," the red-browed man coughed, and interrupted the curly-haired man's speech. This turned the surrounding people's attention toward him.

    He paused for a moment. Then, he continued, "And, I believe that Brother Liu's action should be regarded as a great achievement for us. He has significantly impaired the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult's young generations, and has offered huge potential sacrifices in the process. It can be said that he has killed two birds with one stone. Isn't it interesting?!

    "That's absurd! Everyone knows that this unauthorized action of Liu An's had sparked a widespread destruction in the Heavenly Yu City. Don't tell me that Palace Lord Di thinks that he had deliberately done this to trigger the anger of the Immortal Cult?" the curly-haired man said with a cold snort.

    "This was done to avenge our Head, Dong Fang. Moreover, it's the same thing that all of us had agreed in those days. So, I don't think that I need to say anything else," the red-browed man replied in refutation.

    "This point is also correct. But, hadn't we discussed and agreed on something in those years? We had agreed that we should first restore the inner strength of our cult. How can we resist them if they join hands with the Heavenly Demon Sect to contend against us?" the curly-haired man's voice resounded once again.

    The man with the red eyebrows had tightly knitted his brows, and was about to speak something in rebuttal...

    "All right, don't pick a quarrel here," the white-haired old man spoke-up. The surrounding people heard his words, and turned silent.

    "Liu An's major step in the Heavenly Yu City was indeed a meritorious act. But, we will reconsider this matter after this meeting. I have summoned everyone here because we need to plan our countermeasures so that we can cope up with the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult. Elder Taoist Wu Chen had concealed his strength and abilities over these years. In addition, he had never given-up the thought of encroaching into our territory. So, a war seems inevitable based on current indications," the white-haired old man said.

    The people exchanged glances with each other, but no one opened their mouth for a while.

    The Dark Moon Cult's strength had gradually declined since the demise of the previous leader. There had been a time when this cult was in full bloom. But, it had been in a very miserable condition ever since it had suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult.

    "The Immortal Cult has become more formidable. It's impossible for us to confront it with our present strength. In fact, even resisting them would be very dangerous at present. The Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult hasn't planned to launch an attack on us at this time. So, we should take advantage of this situation, and move our foundation to the Western Continent," Liu An opened his mouth and said.

    These words had barely faded when they sparked a tumultuous situation in the hall.

    "Liu An, what are you talking about? You know how dangerous it is to cross the sea to go to the Western Continent. The Yellow Sea is considered to be the dwelling place of countless sea-beasts. In addition, there has always been a hostile relationship between the Sea Race and our Cult. You do know about it, right? And, then there are the demon beasts of the Western Continent! They have wreaked havoc everywhere. In addition, the territory of the Western Dark Moon Cult is also there. You want us to implore them to give us shelter...? You're a senior disciple of this cult. So, you must be aware of the matter that had happened between our old leader and Western Continent's Dark Moon Cult in those days, right?" the curly-haired man said.

    "This isn't the right time to emphasize our self-respect. Rather, we should try our best to preserve the strength of our cult. I believe that my master would've taken the same decision if he were alive," Liu An replied.

    Everyone present at the scene remained silent for a little while. The fact was that the majority of people had thought about it, but no one had come forward with this proposal so far.

    "This Liu is ready to lead a group of disciples to the Western Continent to explore the way if anyone still has any doubts," Liu An cupped his hands in obeisance while facing the white-haired old man and spoke-up with deep veneration.

    "Brother Liu, you are the person whom our former leader had chosen to be his successor. What would we do if you met with an accident? I'll take-up your task, and lead the disciples in your place!" the man with the red eyebrows said in a hurried manner.

    "Brother Di, you are unsuitable to deal with the sea-beasts on the way since you practice only martial arts. Therefore, it would be good if I personally lead the disciples," Liu An shook his head as he replied.

    The man red-browed man still wanted to say something. But, he couldn't bring himself to speak anything when he noticed a firm look on Liu An's face.

    The other people also didn't speak anything. In fact, they remained silent for a while.

    There was no doubt that heading to the Western Continent was the best option the Dark Moon Cult had in the present situation. However, nobody wanted to be the leader of this group.

    It was because of two reasons. Firstly, it was difficult to predict the prevalent situation in the Western Continent. So, laying the foundation of their base in a new continent was easier said than done. Secondly, it was inevitable to have some sort of negotiation with the Western Dark Moon Cult. And, this negotiation would be tantamount to door-to-door begging.

    Furthermore, these people were the great personalities of this cult. And, they were used to being placed on high levels. So, they neither wanted to endure hardships... nor were they ready to put aside their honor to seek help from others.

    "We have no other choice but to go with the first option. Liu An will lead the disciples to the Western Continent. But, Palace Lord Liu, who will be in your group?" The white-haired old man pondered over this matter for a moment. Then, he looked at Liu An and asked.

    "My plan is to hold a selection process in the cult to pick strong disciples who are willing to go on this trip. I don't need a large number of people. Two hundred people will suffice," Liu An replied.

    The facial expression of the other Palace Lords loosened a bit when they heard 'two hundred people'.

    "Well, the sole authority to make arrangements and carry out this mission in a proper manner is given to Palace Lord Liu," the white-haired old man said.

    Half a day later... an order was dispatched from the Dark Moon Cult's Main Altar, and it soon spread throughout the ancient Xixia country.


    One month later... Shi Mu and Hou Sai Lei had arrived in front of an ancient road while riding their horses. There was a gloomy grey-colored city before their eyes.

    The city was apparently very old and outmoded. In addition, the area wasn't large, and even the city walls were only a few dozen feet tall.

    "Senior Mu, the city in front of you is called Pi City," Hou Sai Lei pointed forwards and said.

    Shi Mu nodded.

    Suddenly, a burst of horse's hooves reverberated from behind them. Then, a few black-dressed silhouettes rushed over from behind them while riding on their fast horses. However, they whistled past Shi Mu and Hou Sai Lei.

    Shi Mu's gaze moved. He had noticed that they had started to encounter an increasing number of people as they had reached closer to the Pi City. Moreover, those people weren't the ordinary people of Xixia Country... instead, they were practitioners!

    "Pi City is bustling, isn't it? We have come across many people on the way, and they all seem to be headed towards this city," Shi Mu asked.

    "Pi City is a small city in the Xixia Country. Even I feel somewhat strange since I've never seen such a thing before," Hou Sai Lei was also scratching his head in bewilderment.

    "Let it be. We'll understand this situation after we enter the city," Shi Mu urged his horse, and moved forward.

    It didn't take long before the two arrived at Pi City's gate.

    The city gate looked very dilapidated. But, a long queue could be seen outside the gate. It seemed that these people were outsiders who had converged here from various places.

    Shi Mu and Hou Sai Lei glanced at each other. It was obvious that something had happened in the city.

    They dismounted, and stood at the end of the queue.

    A few black-dressed disciples of the Dark Moon Cult stood at the city gate. They were inspecting the people who wanted to enter the city. The supervision process seemed very strict... so much so that they even pulled a long session of interrogation from some of the outsiders.

    "Senior Mu, it's hard to tell what has happened here. But, it would be better if you pretended to be a disciple of the Dark Moon Cult for some time. This will help us in avoiding unnecessary troubles," Hou Sai Lei suggested in a soft voice.

    Shi Mu nodded in agreement. Then, he took out the Dark Moon Order token, and hung it on his body.

    Shi Mu had seen that a Dark Moon Cult disciple was allowed to enter the city without going through the interrogation process after he had flashed the Dark Moon Order.

    Shi Mu and Hou Sai Lei's turn had finally come after a quarter-of-an-hour.

    Shi Mu raised his Dark Moon Order, and the three red-star pattern on the token flickered.

    The complexion of the Dark Moon Cult's disciples changed as they saw the pattern. But then, a respectful expression bloomed on their faces, and they greeted Shi Mu in a courteous manner.

    Shi Mu then received the Dark Moon Order, and walked into the city.

    Hou Sai Lei also showed his Dark Moon Order, and followed Shi Mu into the city along with the horse.

    Shi Mu swept his vision around the city, and his brows slightly creased.

    The city seemed to be in a very chaotic state. In fact, it was even worse than the places that Shi Mu had encountered elsewhere.

    The city had only one main road; and, even that was barely paved. Moreover, that road didn't seem flattened.

    In addition, some buildings could be seen on either side of the main road. But, they weren't tall. They were two or three-storey buildings at the most. Also, they looked very old and shabby.

    There were many large and vacant lands in the city apart from these buildings. Some of them were muddy wetlands, and some were swamps. The breeze was blowing against their faces, but it also seemed to have a slight rotten odor.

    Shi Mu's eyebrows wrinkled. He felt that the environment here was far from good. It could be said that this city couldn't be compared with some of the cities of the Great Qin Kingdom. However, its comparison with the cities of the Lu Shan Kingdom... it was impossible to draw a parallel there!

    However, a lot of people could still be seen in this shabby city. So, it wasn't strange to hear a hubbub of voices. Many of them were the Dark Moon Cult's disciples. Also, many people's faces were smeared with a trace of excitement.

    "Senior Mu, what should we do next?" Hou Sai Lei asked while looking at Shi Mu.

    "It doesn't matter what has happened here since this thing has nothing to do with us. Didn't you say that some of your friends are here? We should go and pay a visit to them. Then, we can make some discreet inquires about going to the sea," Shi Mu considered for a moment. Then, he said.

    Hou Sai Lei complied. Then, he started to walk forward along with Shi Mu.

    The two took a few turns. Then, they reached a small and somewhat messy public square. There was a row of black buildings in the vicinity of the square. These building looked much tidier than the surrounding buildings. The Dark Moon Cult's disciples could be seen passing across these buildings from time to time.

    "What place is this?" Shi Mu asked.

    "Well, this place is the Dark Moon Cult's sub-altar for the Pi City. This trivial man has a friendly relationship with some of the seniors here. You can consult them freely," Hou Sai Lei replied.

    Shi Mu nodded.

    The two of them arrived in front of a black building. After that, Hou Sai Lei went into the building alone. Shi Mu didn't tag along with him.

    Shi Mu still held the Dark Moon Order, but that thing could only deceive the security guards at the city gate. He couldn't dare to pretend being a Dark Moon Cult disciple at one of the branches of the Dark Moon Cult.
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