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Chapter 274: Large Army Pressures the Border

    Chapter 274: Large Army Pressures the Border

    Translator: Novel Saga  Editor: Novel Saga

    "Your Excellency is Brother Mu Shi, right? It's nice to meet you," A young man walked over and greeted Shi Mu. He had a green tattoo on his face.

    "You are...?" Shi Mu glanced at this person, and asked.

    "He he, my surname is Yu. I had seen Brother Mu Shi at the Preliminary Selection Competition. You had demonstrated invincible might. And, it seemed as if you have made a remarkable attainment in the fire-attribute magic technique as well. Your remarkable performance has inspired a lot of people to expand their horizons," the tattooed young man said with a smile.

    "Brother Yu is over-praising me," Shi Mu replied. However, his voice sounded a bit cold and indifferent.

    The tattooed young man apparently sensed Shi Mu's reluctance to hold a conversation with him right now. But, he didn't reveal the slightest trace of an annoyed or displeased look. On the contrary, he burst into laughter as if he wanted to say something again.

    But then, Hou Sai Lei walked over from somewhere in the disguise of the grey-robed special envoy. A few local sub-altars' Deacons also accompanied him. There was a crowd of over five-hundred people on the scene. They greeted him as they saw him coming. Then, they encircled the three of them, and their conversation also stopped completely.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, the Preliminary Selection Competition has marked its end. And, you all have been able to break through it. So, you deserve to be called elite disciples of our Cult. I would like to congratulate you all!" Hou Sai Lei stood in front of the crowd. He cleared his throat, and opened his mouth to make an announcement.

    "We are indebted to Special Envoy Li for his support!"

    "Thank you Special Envoy Li!"

    The surrounding people cupped their hands, and expressed their gratitude to him after they had heard his words.

    "However, you must guard against arrogance and impetuosity. The big competition will be held in Quyang City, and it is a matter of utmost importance. I hope everyone continues to forge ahead and passes through all kinds of hardships in a courageous manner. In addition, you must stay loyal to the Dark Lord, and you must continue to serve our cult! Now, I declare that you can set out on this journey. Our goal is Quyang City!" Hou Sai Lei saw this, and his eyes revealed a trace of contentment. He then beckoned with his hand in all directions, and stopped everyone's discussion. Then, he announced the departure in a crisp voice.

    Hou Sai Lei had become much more comfortable with his current identity over the past few days. In fact, each of his gestures and actions had been smeared with an air of arrogance.

    "Yes!" the crowd of over five-hundred people answered in unison. This speech had significantly pumped-up their morale.

    Hou Sai Lei nodded with satisfaction. Then, one of the Deacons who stood beside him stepped forward and whispered, "Mr. Special Envoy, do you want the sub-altar to send a couple of people along with you? They can coordinate with you and your people as your proceed to the Quyang City."

    "There is no need. I alone am enough." Hou Sai Lei shook his head, and refused.

    The man had wanted to flatter the envoy by his honeyed words. However, he was rejected in a blunt manner. This flared a resentful look on his face, and he drew back.

    "We wish Mr. Special Envoy to have a safe and smooth journey," The short and stout Deacon took a step forward. He cupped his hands in obeisance, and said.

    "Let's go," Hou Sai Lei nodded to a few people below, and waved his hand. Then, he mounted a tall horse, and galloped toward the gate of the city to lead the people.

    The crowd of five-hundred people also got on their horses and followed him.

    Normally, it would take at least two or three months to go to Quyang City from Pi City on foot. But, this group would be able to reach there in only one month if they rode their horses at a somewhat faster pace.

    These five-hundred riders that had gathered together whistled out the city gate like a mighty current.

    The crowd in the vicinity looked at these people in an envious manner, and started to talk about them spiritedly. The thread of their conversation was generally spinning around the matter of the expedition to the Western continent.

    Two ordinary grey-robed men exchanged looks with each other amid the crowd. Then, they walked toward the rear of the crowd, and disappeared.

    ... ...

    The Dark Moon Cult's Main altar... in the main hall...

    The seat-of-honor and the seat on its left-hand side were still vacant as before. But, the seats for the ten other Palace Lords had nearly been occupied. However, one of those other Palace Lords hadn't arrived yet. So, his seat was also vacant.

    "I have gathered everyone here due to the changes in the border's situation. The prevailing situation is very critical. I don't have anything else to talk about other than this. Palace Lord Kong, you have just returned from the border. So, you are best suited to bring the situation to light," The white-haired old man was seated on the right-hand side of the seat of honor. He looked at a middle-aged scholar on his right side, and said.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, according to the latest information that we have obtained - Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult has deployed a large number of troops close to two of our provinces - Eastern Woods and Lin Hai. In addition, many disciples of the Heavenly Demon Sect have also been also spotted close to the Black River Province in the north. It has also been reported that a lot of abnormal behavior has been noticed in some of the small and middle-level sects of these areas," the middle-aged scholar stood up, and said with his eyebrows tightly locked.

    These words stole away the color from everyone's face. Only the white-haired old man wasn't affected since he was already aware of this situation.

    "It seems that the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult and Heavenly Demon Sect seem to have reached some sort of consensus since they have deployed mass troops in our border regions. They've even agreed to form an alliance once again. I'm afraid that the two would soon dispatch those troops," a middle-aged man who had a wide mouth said; he sat opposite to the middle-aged scholar.

    "We won't be able to defend if we are attacked from both front and rear. It will perhaps take two months or so for the eruption of war. Then, their soldiers would be close to our Main Altar." There was a beautiful and young woman among them. She was also a Palace Lord. Her elegant eyebrows creased as she said.

    "It's impossible to defend to the last. Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult and Heavenly Demon Sect have assigned massive military force to keep our border under control. Therefore, there must be very few people their cities. We might as well send some elite disciples to sneak into the big cities of the Lu Shan Kingdom and the Great Qin Kingdom. We will execute this plan like how Palace Lord Liu had done before. We will once again bring a catastrophic situation in their territory! And, the rest of the Cult's people will stay behind to guard the Main Altar. They will activate the Great Formula for the protection of the Cult to their death. Let's see who goes down first!" the red-browed man snorted coldly on the other side.

    "Di Feng, your words seem delirious! A large number of our elite disciples won't be available. So, how long can you sustain yourself with the Great Formula for the Cult's Protection if the Transcending Heaven Immortal Cult and the Heavenly Demon Sect have truly joined hands to mount an attack on our Main Altar? And, do you think that this point hasn't occurred in anyone's mind in the opposite party? Don't you realize how long it has been since that incident in the Heavenly Yu City...? They would have certainly tightened the security in their territory. So, we would end up empty-handed on both sides if we were to follow your plan," the curly-haired man replied with a sneer.

    "Huo Qing, then you tell us what our next step should be! Should we negotiate for peace? Or, should we negotiate for surrender?" Di Feng shot a glance at him, and responded in a sarcastic manner.

    "Of course, we should activate the Great Formula for the Cult's Protection. After that, we should centralize our full strength to protect our Main Altar. Simultaneously, we should fight with this group of people! The Left Wing Minister has been training for so many years. So, he might have advanced to the Heaven-rank by now. We will let them deal with him only to end up worse off at the designated time!" Huo Qing, the curly-haired man said.

    "Should we wait for our death in case Left Wing Minister fails to advance to the Heaven-rank?" Di Feng retorted.

    "Waiting for death is far better than your plan of bringing death to us," Huo Qing sneered as he said.

    "Cough!"

    Liu An coughed in a soft manner, and stood up as Di Feng and Huo Qing struggled to win in this intense argument. This attracted the attention of the surrounding people toward him.

    "Palace Lord Liu, do you have a good plan to put forth?" the white-haired old man asked.

    "The Right Wing Minister and the Palace Lords, the spirit mines within the territories of the Lu Shan Kingdom and Great Qin kingdom are already on the verge of exhaustion. So, both of the Sects have longed for our Xixia country's spirit mines for many years. They had joined hands to violate our Dark Moon Cult in those days on the pretext of eradicating the existence of heresy. They had gone to such an extent that our leader had to sacrifice his life in order to protect our Cult. This had filled the hearts of our disciples with a sense of righteous indignation. Both Palace Lord Huo and Palace Lord Di are proposing various plans only for the sake of our Cult. However, we shouldn't fall into a confused state at such a critical time. After all, we are about to confront a very formidable enemy. And, this will certainly give an advantage to them," Liu An looked at Di Feng and Huo Qing and said.

    These words sparked off the fire of hatred and vengeance in the eyes of all the Palace Lords including Di Feng and Huo Qing. However, they chose to remain silent. In fact, the hall had turned surprisingly quiet.

    "Those two sects have been concealing their true strength, and have been waiting quietly for a good opportunity for almost a hundred years. And now, they are trying to join forces to mount an attack on us once again. Perhaps, the future isn't favorable. After all, we will be heavily outnumbered by the enemy. And, it would be a matter of life and death if the enemy suddenly stormed into our territory. They might even succeed in bringing calamity to our Eastern Dark Moon Cult... so much so that our Cult might fall apart in the end. And, this would be a shame and disgrace to our leader, Dong Fang. In fact, it would even bring disgrace to our Dark Lord." Liu Yan paused for a moment. Then, he continued.

    "Then, what should be the appropriate step in this scenario according to Palace Lord Liu? Please enlighten us on this matter as well!" Huo Qing asked.

    "I believe that all fellow Palace Lords should issue an order to notify their sub-altars' disciples to pay close attention to these two Sects' movements. These disciples have to cause a commotion to delay the enemy. In addition, we should keep some of the disciples for the protection of the Main Altar. They will activate the Great Formula for the Cult's protection. And, the remaining people - including the elite disciples of our Cult - should evacuate this place. They should then rush to the Western continent through the sea," Liu An's eyes swept over everyone present on the scene as he spoke-up in a calm manner.

    "Doesn't it mean that we'll have to sacrifice a large number of disciples?" the young woman asked.

    "Perhaps. It's not possible to evacuate everyone out of here. So, we'll probably have to abandon or sacrifice some people. It's inevitable. But, this sacrifice will be worthwhile if it can be traded for a glimmer of hope for a better future," Liu An replied.

    "I agree with Palace Lord Liu. Those two Sects won't be able to do anything to us if we are separated from them by the Yellow Sea. On the other hand, they'll certainly take hold of us in a short time if we stay here. I agree that the Western Continent is very dangerous. However, it's also loaded with an abundance of resources. Therefore, we might get the opportunity to regroup, and land a counter-attack on the Eastern mainland if we manage to get there," A black-faced man nodded in agreement.

    "Palace Lord Liu, your plan seems feasible. However, our Cult has only five large ships that are ready for sea travel. And, my calculation suggests that one ship can accommodate only two-hundred people. So, our ships can carry one-thousand people at most. And, they might encounter dangers, and suffer losses en route. However, let's assume that our one-thousand people sail smoothly across the sea, and reach the Western Continent... But, what will they do afterwards?" Huo Qing said.

    Everyone directed their gazes at Liu An. The number of ships was indeed a big concern for them.

    The Yellow Sea stretched over thousands of miles. Therefore, the storms that they would encounter on the way couldn't be predicted. Moreover, they could get attacked by the sea beasts. So, it was impossible for an ordinary ship to sail across the Yellow Sea in a smooth and peaceful manner. These big ships might be able to reach the Western Continent. However, there were only five of these Spirit-tool-ranked boats in the Cult.

    "Palace Lord Huo, you don't have to worry about this matter. I have some means that will ensure the accommodation of at least five-thousand people," Liu An flashed a faint smile as he said.

    "This is a matter of life and death for our cult. I cannot believe your statement unless you issue a written pledge to fulfill a military order," Huo Qing said.

    Di Feng was enraged as he saw this situation. He was about to speak something when Liu An's voice resounded in the hall.

    "Ok, it's settled then! Right Wing Minister and all dignified Palace Lords present here... I - Liu An - hereby declare that I must be punished with apostasy if I don't collect the ferry boats in two month. Moreover, there should be no objection to this."

    The surrounding people were struck dumb as soon as this statement was made. They gazed into Liu An's eyes, and noticed some difference in his vision.

    "Let's assume that the ships' problem has been resolved. However, we have very limited time on our hands, and the elite disciples of our Cult are scattered everywhere. How will you select and gather them in such a short span of time?" the young woman asked.

    "I have already pondered over this matter. The preliminary selection matches for the sea-trip are being carried out at various sub-altars these days, right? We can execute this plan in this way..." Liu An revealed a faint smile, and explained the plan he had sketched out beforehand.

    The people in the hall nodded in agreement after they heard his plan. Nobody raised any kind of objection this time... not even Huo Qing.

    "Palace Lord Liu, you have full authority to carry out this plan as you see fit since this plan has been proposed by you. You can freely mobilize the resources that are available with the Cult. However, there are many sea beasts in the depths of the Yellow Sea that could attack us. And, the Sea Race is also hostile towards us. So, you must consider these points in a proper manner before you take any action," The white-haired old man noticed that everyone had finally reached a consensus. So, he opened his mouth to say.

    "Liu An understands," Liu Yan bowed to the white-haired old man, and replied in a courteous manner.
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