Chapter 674: Zhen Gui Pass! Old Acquaintance!
Xiao Yan's group was coming increasingly closer to their destination after two long months of flying. According to what the map indicated, they would soon be able to reach the border of the Jia Ma Empire...
Time flowed by amid this dull flying. When the endless, long journey once again passed through a majestic mountain range, the large outline of a fortress faintly appeared at the edge of their sight.
The fortress was built against the mountains, appearing much like a ferocious tiger that guarded the key route that led from the empire to its exterior. Anyone who wanted to leave the Jia Ma Empire must pass through this enormous fortress. This heavily guarded fortress had swallowed an unknown number of ghosts. They were the ghosts of people who died on the battlefield during these years. This had also caused many empires around to fear it like one feared a tiger.
Hence this fortress had a rather fierce name.
Zhen Gui Pass! (Ghost Crushing Pass)
A smile slowly solidified on Xiao Yan's face as his gaze swept toward the outline of the enormous fortress in the distant horizon. He stood up on the enormous head of the Tiger Eagle Beast and looked down on the city fortress that still emitted a ghastly aura despite being a great distance away. A moment later, a smile surfaced on the corner of his mouth and swiftly widened. Finally, a roaring laughter that had been suppressed for three years sounded like thunder in the sky!
"Jia Ma Empire, I, Xiao Yan... has returned!"
The loud laughter rolled like a thunder in the sky. However, there was usually hardly anyone in this location. Otherwise, he would definitely have attracted the gazes of a countless number of people.
The people on the ten plus flying beasts watched Xiao Yan who seldom forget himself as they threw their surprised gazes over. This was the first time they had seen Xiao Yan, this person who had always maintained a warm smile and never appeared to be flustered, forgetting himself.
"Is this place the Jia Ma Empire?" Lin Yan and the others stood at the front somewhat curiously. Their gaze looked toward the extremely distant fortress and inquired.
"Yes. This is a border fortress of the Jia Ma Empire. We can be considered to have entered the Jia Ma Empire once we pass through this place." Xiao Li nodded and said.
"Back then, I fled from this place when I was chased by the Misty Cloud Sect. It is really unexpected that I would return to this spot three years later." The wild smile on Xiao Yan's face was slowly withdrawn. He turned his head toward Lin Yan and others to speak with a grin. That smile had a nostalgic feeling to it.
"Ke ke, if that is the case, what are we waiting for?" Xiao Li smiled. He patted Xiao Yan's shoulders. Back then, Xiao Yan had escaped alive while being chased by the Misty Cloud Sect, who wanted to kill him. This matter had turned the Jia Ma Empire into an uproar back then. The various thrills involved were far more exciting and dangerous compared to what was transmitted out.
Xiao Yan also laughed softly. His long hand was extended from his sleeves and a glow flashed from the 'Serene Sea Storage Ring'. An enormous dark-black heavy ruler appeared with a flash.
"I wonder if there is anyone within the Jia Ma Empire who is still currently able to recall this image?" The Heavy Xuan Ruler was placed on Xiao Yan's back as he patted it and laughed. Its large size was nearly as tall as Xiao Yan's height.
Lin Yan and the others watched that black-robed, young man who was carrying a black ruler with his hands behind his back as he stood on the head of the Tiger Eagle Beast. They suddenly vaguely sensed a sharp killing intent gradually being emitted from the body of this usually gentle fellow. The few of them exchanged glances. In their hearts, all of them quietly mentioned that the Jia Ma Empire would become a little chaotic because of this fellow return...
"Everyone, increase our speed!" Xiao Yan gently waved his hand as his voice clearly resounded by everyone's ears. That tone which had always been as gentle as a breeze gained an additional anxiety at this moment.
An acknowledgement sounded in the sky upon hearing Xiao Yan's orders. Immediately the ten plus flying beasts flapped their flesh wings amid some roars, carrying along a wild wind as they rushed toward the distant fortress.
Although the distance appeared to to extremely far, Xiao Yan and the others were already in close proximity of the fortress after less than ten minutes of straight flying by the flying beast!
Xiao Yan waved his hand as they gradually approached this fortress. The flying units in the sky immediately paused. All the gazes swept toward the figure of the young man who was carrying a heavy ruler in front of them.
They were at least a thousand meters from the ground and the people below would likely only vaguely see some small black spots if they looked up to such a height from below. However, with Xiao Yan's eyesight, he could clearly absorb all the activity on the ground into his eyes.
Xiao Yan's gaze swept over the huge bright red characters on the gate of the fortress. The familiar name caused Xiao Yan's entire body to appear as though it was filled with electricity. A numb feeling writhed within his blood.
"Zhen Gui Pass... it has been three years since they parted. There might be little change to the city but the people have already changed drastically." Xiao Yan sighed softly as he whispered.
"Third brother, it seems that something is wrong... this 'Zhen Gui Pass' seems to be a little too quiet today. According to what I know, this is the largest fortress within fifty kilometers of this place. There would be some hustle and bustle even at night. Now, however..." Xiao Li suddenly frowned and spoke somewhat doubtfully while Xiao Yan was sighing emotionally in his heart.
Xiao Yan was also startled when he heard this. His gaze swept over the silent fortress and surprise also flashed in his eyes, "Indeed... when I was leaving from this place back then there was extremely great human traffic here. What happened today?"
"Don't tell me that someone already learned about the news of your return?" Lin Xiu Ya also extended his head over and asked.
"How can this be possible? The 'Black-Corner Region' and the Jia Ma Empire are so far apart. No one in the Jia Ma Empire should be aware about any news regarding me." Xiao Yan shook his head and said.
"The city seems to have traces of a fight. Moreover, there are quite a number of strong people gathered in a single location." Medusa, who had been silent, suddenly spoke in a faint voice.
Xiao Yan was startled when he heard Medusa's words. He immediately shut his eyes slowly and his powerful Spiritual Strength spread out like a torrent from between his eyebrows. Finally, it swiftly swept over the entire fortress below.
Xiao Li and the others ceased speaking when they saw Xiao Yan shut his eyes. They quietly waited for him to investigate.
Xiao Yan opened his eyes once again some time later. His gaze turned to the middle of the fortress. An unexpected smile surfaced on the corner of his mouth as he softly spoke, "This fortress is indeed not quite peaceful. Moreover, it is really unexpected that I am able to meet some familiar people just upon my return to the Jia Ma Empire."
"Familiar people?" Xiao Li was stunned.
"Let's go down and take a look..." Xiao Yan smiled but did not say anything else. He waved his hand and immediately commanded the Tiger Eagle Beasts as they flapped their flesh wings and descended. The ten plus flying beast also followed closely behind.
At this moment, the atmosphere within a spacious front yard in the middle of the city governor's mansion in the Zhen Gui Pass was extremely anxious with the possibility of a conflict breaking out at any time. Two groups of people were facing each other with hostility. Shining weapons carried a denseness under the sunlight. Clearly, this was not some acting. Instead, they were really going to fight each other with sharp blades.
"Meng Li, you actually dare to privately attack your commander. You will have difficulty keeping your head if this matter were to reach the capital!" A strong looking middle-aged man from one of the clusters of people, who looked like a metal pagoda, cried out while furiously looking at the man on the other side who had a cold smile.
"Hee hee, Mu Tie, don't use this method on me. Although I have made preparations for this for a long time, I would naturally not dare to do such an outrageous thing without the support of someone." The man wearing a yellow robe laughed in a dark voice.
"Support? You mean... the Misty Cloud Sect?" The man who was addressed as Mu Tie eyes shrank when he heard this. He cried out in a shocked voice, "What does the Misty Cloud Sect want to do? If the imperial family knows this, it will definitely maneuver their troops to destroy them!"
"Hee hee, the imperial family? So what? Would the Misty Cloud Sect be afraid of them with its strength?" Meng Li laughed. His gaze immediately turned cold as he spoke in a sinister manner, "As long as I kill you, I will naturally have my own method to control this 'Zhen Gui Pass'. With the reputation that I have established over these years, it might be a little troublesome to incorporate all the soldiers here under me but it is not impossible!"
"You actually want to incorporate the empire's army under you?" Mu Tie gently inhaled a breath of cool air. A storm rose in his heart. He knew that if the matter here were to spread to the capital, it was likely that the entire Jia Ma Empire would show feel an earth-shaking shock. It was unexpected that the Misty Cloud Sect was already this crazy.
"Although this city governor's mansion will be the place you die, it is best that you remain unaware of some things." Meng Li laughed.
"You want to kill me with your peak Dou Ling's strength?" Mu Tie furiously laughed.
"Commander Mu Tie, I know that you have broken through to the Dou Wang class recently. However, a person who has yet to even stabilize his strength in the Dou Wang class dares to be this arrogant?" Meng Li curled his lips in disdain. He immediately cried out loud, "Elder Yun Fan, please intervene and get rid of this person!"
Meng Li's voice had just sounded when a rushing wind sound suddenly appeared. Immediately over ten white-robed human figures flashed and appeared on the surrounding tall walls of the front yard. The person at the front was an old man with a calm water-like face. A pressuring atmosphere covered the entire city governor's mansion upon his appearance.
"Yun Fan? An Elder of the Misty Cloud Sect?" Mu Tie's expression was ugly as he looked at the old man who had appeared. A gloominess involuntarily surged in his heart. He had been lingering around the peak of the Dou Ling class for so many years and had only luckily broke through to the Dou Wang class not long ago. If one was to discuss his strength, he could not even be truly considered a one star Dou Wang. How would he be able to contend with a Misty Cloud Sect's Elder whose strength had reached that of a three star Dou Wang?
"Commander Mu Tie, it would be best that you hand the military symbol over. Your Mu clan is also one of the three large clans of the empire. If your clan joins with our Misty Cloud Sect, the things that the Mu Clan will gain in the future will definitely be even more than now. If you continue to be unrepentant, it is likely that destruction will not be far away." Yun Fan glanced indifferently at the ugly expression of Mu Tie and slowly spoke
TL: military symbol - in ancient china, this item is used to enable quick maneuver of the military. Whoever holds it has the right to command the military.
"The Misty Cloud Sect is committing treason and is certainly a disgrace. I, Mu Tie, am a general of the empire. There is no need for others to tell me off if I were to surrender to you. Even I, myself, would look down on me!" Mu Tie angrily retorted.
Yun Fan shook his head. His expression also gradually turned colder. He clenched his fist and a dark-blue longsword appeared in his hand. The sword tip was raised level as it locked onto Mu Tie before he spoke in an indifferent manner, "The only fate of anyone who hinders our Misty Cloud Sect is death. Since you remain unrepentant, don't blame the old me for being merciless."
"Ha ha, it's just as well. I have yet to exchange blows with anyone since I have broken through to the Dou Wang class. Today, I will not lose out even if I end up dying in your hands. However, the wild ambition of the Misty Cloud Sect will definitely die in its embryonic stage!" Mu Tie also raised all the fighting intent in his heart when he heard the killing intent that was contained in Yun Fan's voice. Although he knew it was definitely impossible for him to defeat the other party, it was better to fight to death than to surrender in this kind of situation.
Yun Fan narrowed his old eyes. His expression grew increasingly colder. An incomparably powerful Dou Qi slowly surged out from his body and the pressuring strength that was created from the Dou Qi caused quite a number of people in the yard to hurriedly step back.
Mu Tie's expression also gradually became solemn in the face of Yun Fan's powerful Dou Qi aura. He withdrew a huge axe from his storage ring. The Dou Qi in his body was circulated to its limit...
However, just as the anxious swords drawn atmosphere was about to be broken by an intense battle between strong Dou Wangs was about to erupt, a clear laugh slowly transmitted from the sky. The laughter lingered within the yard and did not disappear for a long time.
"Ke ke, it has been three years since I left. I didn't expect that the Misty Cloud Sect to become this arrogant. It really greatly exceeded my expectations. Looks like old dog Yun Shan has quite the wild ambition..."