Book 7, Chapter 12: Demonic Scheme
When Ye Fenghan returned, Chang He and the others immediately swarmed him.
“Captain, why did Sect Master come all the way out here?”
“Why was Sect Master looking for you?”
“Did he give you some kind of mission?”
The group of soldiers chattered incessantly, making it hard for him to get a word in edgewise.
Ye Fenghan felt a headache coming on from all the clamor. “Stop yelling. It wasn’t anything serious, just that Master……”
“MASTER!?” Chang He screeched. “Did you just call Sect Master, Master?”
Ye Fenghan shut his mouth and gazed at the people around him.
Everyone else stared right back at him.
Chang He asked in a low voice, “Sect Master accepted you as his disciple?”
Ye Fenghan thought for a moment, then nodded. “Don’t tell anyon else.”
Everyone immediately fell to their knees. “Greetings, Senior Martial Brother!”
Ye Fenghan rolled his eyes. “I knew you were going to do this. Alright, alright, come on, you guys, stand up. If Master doesn’t say anything about this, you aren’t allowed to either.”
“Understood, Senior Martial Brother!” they began to chuckle.
After all, they had been friends for some time. Even though Ye Fenghan’s status had gone up, the situation soon returned to normal after the customary displays of etiquette had been observed.
As for Su Chen’s acceptance of Ye Fenghan as his disciple, none of them were particularly surprised. After all, Su Chen had already passed down his Seven Bloodline Microcosm Aspect. Many people had already begun to consider him as Su Chen’s disciple in all but name.
Now that this matter was over, everyone set out on the road again, continuing their search for resources.
This search lasted for a little less than half a month. The scouting expedition searched everywhere, obtaining quite a haul in the process. They had also fought in a few fierce battles, including against one Demonic King, three Demonic Lords, and a horde of Beasts.
Today, after taking quite a few detours along the way, the scouting expedition arrived at Carefree Mountain.
Carefree Mountain was located in the eastern region of Beast territory, and was tangential to the main offensive thrust. This was unsurprising, given that their mission was primarily to search for treasures.
Carefree Mountain was a place countless people dreamed of visiting because Carefree Grass grew here. Ingesting the herb would give people an intense sensation of euphoria, so nobles would pay an extremely high price to get their hands on it. Apparently, there was quite a craze in the capital of each country for this grass. There had even been an instance of a palace being sold for a kilogram of high-quality Carefree Grass.
Carefree Grass was effective even on cultivators. Many higher-tier Origin Qi Scholars liked to use the grass to relieve themselves of their boredom.
Later on, Su Chen and his Hall of Pills managed to develop a kind of pill that could greatly increase the power of one’s consciousness. Unsurprisingly, the main ingredient was this Carefree Grass.
This Soul-Intoxicating Pill was not as effective as Spirit-Sobering Medicines, but it was far cheaper to make. After all, Corpse Spirit Flowers were legendary medicinal ingredients, while Carefree Grass was merely uncommon. It grew abundantly on the aptly named Carefree Mountain.
Ye Fenghan and the others had come here with Carefree Grass specifically in mind.
With this, the Boundless Sect’s production of Soul-Intoxicating Pills would greatly increase.
“See, that red stuff is Carefree Grass. It really does grow in large swathes,” one of the scouting expedition’s members said with excitement.
“Everyone, be careful. The main army hasn’t gone this way, so there could still potentially be large groups of Demonic Beasts present here,” Ye Fenghan reminded.
“Don’t worry, Senior Martial Brother. As long as they aren’t Demonic Emperors, what do we have to fear?” someone responded.
Ever since they had vanquished a Demonic King, everyone’s confidence had risen significantly.
And Demonic Emperors couldn’t just be found everywhere. It was unlikely that they would be so unlucky.
But just because the likelihood was low didn’t mean that they didn’t need to be cautious. Only after carefully surveying their surroundings did they finally move in.
As soon as they landed, everyone split up, each working to gather large quantities of Carefree Grass.
Even though the value of this plant was somewhat limited, there was so much of it that the disciples were harvesting it by the handfuls. While rare plants like the Tricolored Lotus were far more valuable, they were extremely hard to find and sell in large quantities.
And the harvesting process was a breeze!
It was rare for the process of harvesting resources to proceed so smoothly.
They were free to chat and joke amongst one another as they worked.
Just as they were enjoying their harvest, however, a cloud of dust suddenly appeared off on the horizon.
Ye Fenghan glanced up at the sky before frowning, “Something’s wrong. There’s a large number of Demonic Beasts encroaching on our position. Everyone, hurry and come back!”
All of the other disciples had already sensed that something was wrong without him even saying anything.
Ye Fenghan even pulled out an Origin Formation Disk and buried it in the ground. A concealed space appeared, enveloping all of the disciples within.
This Origin Formation was a high-level concealment formation that had been specifically designed for the scouting expedition to use in times of danger. From the outside, it looked like nothing more than a mere rock. Even if a person were to touch it, it would feel just like a normal rock, and the rock was even able to fool many probing techniques.
The cloud of dust rapidly drew near. At this point, leaving was no longer an option, which was why Ye Fenghan had chosen to activate the formation so decisively.
An instant later, the cloud of dust rolled in their direction. The expedition originally hoped that the Beasts would continue to advance past the Careless Mountain, but they hadn’t expected that the Beasts actually came to a stop when they arrived at the mountain, choosing to set up camp here.
When they saw this, the members of the scouting expedition cursed silently in their hearts.
How could they be this unlucky? Why were the Demonic Beasts resting here?
Out from the cloud of dust walked countless Demonic Beasts of all shapes and sizes, each of them howling and roaring without ceasing. Soon, the entire mountain was packed with these Beasts, and it became their hub of operations.
Most shockingly, the last two Beasts to step out of the cloud were actually two Demonic Emperors and a Demonic King, and it seemed that the Demonic King’s status was in no way lower than that of the two Demonic Emperors.
The members of the scouting expedition felt a chill run down their spines.
These three Demonic Emperors, in addition to those hundreds of thousands of Demonic Beasts, would immediately rip them to shreds if they were discovered.
Even though the formation concealing the scouting party was powerful, it was hard to say whether it could evade the perception of a Demonic Emperor. This depended both on the Demonic Emperor’s detection abilities and also whether or not it was actively searching its surroundings. Unless it possessed a consciousness as powerful as an Astrals’, it would most likely not discover the Origin Formation without taking the initiative to search for it.
Thankfully, the three Demonic Emperors seemed to have no intention of searching their surroundings. They settled down in a leisurely manner, not even sparing Ye Fenghan’s general direction a single glance. Ye Fenghan and the others couldn’t help but sigh with relief.
Very quickly, however, a new problem arose.
Because the three Demonic Emperors were headed in their direction.
This agitated them once again.
But there was nothing they could do apart from hope that these Demonic Emperors would leave soon rather than later.
Unfortunately for them, when it rained, it poured. The three Demonic Emperors continued to walk in their direction, seemingly with no intention of stopping.
It seemed they had set their sights on this illusory rock.
Well, that was actually not so surprising. All of the other rocks nearby were rough and jagged; only this illusory rock appeared to be smooth and round on the surface. The three Demonic Emperors were obviously looking for a place to sit, which was why this rock had immediately caught their eye.
The Demonic King actually sat down on the illusory rock first, followed by the two Demonic Emperors.
All it was possible to see from within the rock was three Beast butts floating above their heads.
Chang He shrugged, seemingly indicating that there was nothing to do but wait.
Ye Fenghan could only shake his head helplessly.
Even though Su Chen had indeed given him a Titan-Class puppet, a single Titan-Class puppet wouldn’t be useful in the slightest under these circumstances. All they could do was wait.
At that moment, a voice spoke. “I say, Crow, how long are we going to wait? The humans’ borders are right before our eyes, but you insist on delaying time and time again. It’s already been half a month!”
When they heard the words “humans’ borders”, everyone’s ears perked up.
The Crow Skyking, however, ignored the Demonic Emperor that was speaking and remained silent.
Hurry up and say something! Everyone thought to themselves.
Is this silence befitting of the seat you are sitting in?
After a moment, a voice spoke. “There’s no need to be in such a hurry, Red-Eye. Didn’t we already tell you? The duel hasn’t begun yet – if we attack now, the human armies can return at any time. We must wait until they go deeper before making our move. After all, we’re here to get rich, not pointlessly give our lives away.”
“Hmph. I just don’t want to wait that long. In my opinion, we should just slaughter our way through now and enjoy whatever we can claim for a little before leaving. Who has this much time to scheme anyways?”
Crow Skyking finally spoke. “This is why I keep saying that you are good for nothing. If you don’t know how to be patient, how can you accomplish great things?”
The Red-Eyed Demonic Emperor was enraged and slammed his palm onto the rock below. “What did you say?”
This strike gave everyone hiding in the rock quite a bad scare, and the formation’s inscriptions on the interior flickered intensely.
Thankfully, the Origin Formation managed to hold on without reacting strangely.
Everyone sighed with relief.
Chang He pointed at the ground, indicating that they should try and burrow away.
Ye Fenghan, however, shook his head.
Tunneling would stir up Origin Energy fluctuations, meaning they would be discovered almost immediately. After all, this concealment formation could only conceal them, not cover up any traces of Origin Energy use.
As such, it was better under these circumstances to remain calm and wait.
Since Ye Fenghan had vetoed his idea, Chang He could do nothing but patiently wait.
At this moment, the Red-Eyed Demonic Emperor had calmed down because of the Purple Heart Demonic Emperor’s coaxing. After a brief pause, he said, “Fine. I’ll wait if I have to. In any case, we’re close to the Purple Bamboo Forest. I just don’t know if the Sovereigns will come and make trouble for us if we ignore their orders and don’t participate in the fight.”
The Crow Skyking replied faintly, “The victor has not yet been determined. If they win, they will be busy dividing up territory, and if they lose, they will have no spare energy to deal with us anyways. Once we make our way through human territory and obtain large quantities of resources, we might even become strong enough to turn the tables on them.”
The Crow Skyking was close to breaking through. As soon as he became a Demonic Emperor, he would immediately be as powerful as a Sovereign, meaning that he would have nothing to fear from the other Sovereigns. This was what he was placing all his hopes on.
Ye Fenghan and the others glanced at each other.
This sounded like the Beasts were going to make their stand at the Purple Bamboo Forest, and that these three Demonic Emperors were planning on invading human territory at the same time.
This was actually quite a brilliant strategy.
Even if the human armies were to get word of the Beast invasion, they would most likely be unable to return for some time due to the battle.
And most frustratingly, these Demonic Beasts were choosing to go by way of Owl Country instead of by way of Cloud Rising.
Su Chen had anticipated that the Beasts might try to cut off their path of retreat and had left behind some countermeasures in Cloud Rising. These Demonic Beasts, however, had taken quite a detour in order to mount an offensive on Owl Country instead.
The Boundless Sect didn’t have much in the way of preparations placed here.
The citizens of Owl Country were likely facing impending doom.
The scouting expedition originally thought that the ambush itself was shocking enough, but they hadn’t expected the Beasts to reveal an even more crucial secret. Was this a blessing or a curse? Ye Fenghan even pulled out his transmission box, determined to immediately inform Sect Master of the Beasts’ plan as soon as they were discovered.
He needed to let Sect Master know no matter what happened.