Chapter 106: Successive Upheavals
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Novel Saga
The shocking news spread to the major places of the Da Qi Kingdom soon.
The three fortress-prefectures of the Da Qi Kingdom were invaded by the barbarians in quick succession. Most of the cities in these prefectures were attacked and occupied within three days. Moreover, the whereabouts of Yue Tai - The Guardian who Garrisons the Barbarians - were unknown. Yue Tai had dedicated over a hundred years to guard the fortresses. But, he had gone missing. His private troops - the three-hundred Hou Tian warriors - had been completely annihilated.
The entire nation was shocked.
The King of the Da Qi Kingdom considered this matter to be extremely serious. Therefore, he immediately dispatched reinforcements. He ordered them to reach the three fortress-prefectures as soon as possible. Moreover, he sent a messenger to report the Elders of three big Sects regarding the news of the barbarians' invasion.
In the Yan Kingdom... the Black Demon Sect...
The thirteen mountain peaks of the Black Demon Sect stood firm. Each peak was higher and more perilous than the other.
The third mountain peak stood tall and erect; it seemed to be soaring to the sky. One couldn't see the edges or corners of the top-half of the mountain.
However, the thirteenth mountain peak was quite different. It was once known for its hustle and bustle. But now, not a single human's shadow could be seen there. There wasn't even a single building on this mountain peak. A somber black hall stood alone at the peak; it conveyed a gloomy and cold feeling.
There was a dim light inside the hall. There was only a feeling of emptiness and loneliness besides that.
A man sat cross-legged in the center of the hall. He wore a gold-rimmed black robe. He had sharp eyebrows - they were as sharp as swords. His body exuded black rays of light. These black rays were getting condensed at one point - like the essence of the black flame. The black flame was nearly ten feet high; it had enveloped his entire body.
Suddenly, the bracelet on the man's wrist lit-up. It started to exude a ring of faint-black light. A few tiny charm characters started to jiggle within the ring of light - like a feeble fly. They jumped around for a while. Then, they formed a small circular magic spell.
The void flashed-open within the magic circle, and a palm-sized black jade slip appeared out of thin air.
The middle-aged man opened his eyes. He stretched out his hand and grasped the black jade slip. He then placed it against his forehead.
His eyebrows creased upwards as the layer of black light got dissipated. Then, he stood-up and walked out of the hall.
A hall on the adjacent mountain peak opened at the same time. A middle-aged man with a long black beard and stern facial expression walked out of the hall. He held a similar black jade slip in his hand.
The first mountain peak remained snow-capped at all times. It seemed to be lost in the misty clouds. The bone-chilling winds whistled throughout the year...
A majestic black palace was situated in the middle of this vast whiteness; it looked mesmerizing.
The palace was built from a dark-black crystal stone. The stone was as dark as the night sky. The palace was divided into three layers. Each layer became smaller when stretched from the bottom to the top, and ended-up in a pinnacle.
A huge ball continuously rotated on top of the third layer of this palace. It emitted continuous black rays of light. A huge ball of dark-fire seemed to be burning inside it. This added a mysterious aura to the palace.
There was a meeting hall on the first floor of the palace. Twenty chairs were placed on both sides of the hall. These chairs were occupied by people; except for the seat of honor that was placed at the center.
The people who were qualified to occupy these chairs were either the Sect's masters or the lords of the mountain peaks or the great elders.
Shi Mu had met a few people who were a part of this gathering - Tiger Bone, Ning Ping, and Jin Xiao Chai.
Every great personality of the Black Demon Sect was present in the meeting hall. Each one of them wore different expressions on their faces. They continued to look expectantly towards the side door of the hall.
Two middle-aged men sat on either sides of the seat of honor. One of them was Master Xie; Shi Mu had met him in the Hall of Magic when he was registered as a Magician-Practitioner.
The other one was a purple-robed man. His robe was covered with thick charm characters and patterns. They emitted waves of faint magical powers. He wore a big blue jade ring on his right thumb. He also held a purple magic wand. The wand was made of an unknown material.
A purple crystal was embedded on top of the magic wand; it frequently exuded a purple electric-light.
The man had sharp eyebrows and golden pupils. He looked like a thirty-year-old man. His temples were slightly greying. He seemed to be in a transition phase of his life.
The people in the hall seemed to be indistinctly divided into two groups - with two men as their leaders. A hostile aura could be sensed between the two sides.
Suddenly, a person's shadow flashed through the side-door. It was a black-robed elderly man.
The elderly man had a thin and diminutive figure. His facial features looked shriveled. There was no decorative design on his black robe; it looked simple and plain. He had a calm aura around him. He didn't have any outstanding feature that could make him look like an important personality.
However, everyone stood-up in reverence as soon as he entered the hall.
"The Head Saint Guo Zhang..." everyone bowed, and greeted him respectfully.
"The present situation is very critical. So, you people don't have to stick to the usual courtesy. Sit down..." the black-robed old man spoke lightly. He then sat down on the main seat.
Everyone obeyed and sat down.
"The barbarian race has mounted a large-scale invasion on us. They've captured the three fortress-prefectures of the Da Qi Kingdom in a short span of time. Yue Tai's whereabouts are uncertain. The situation is far worse than ever. Everything seems to be pointing towards a disaster," the black-robed old man went straight to the main point. He didn't beat around the bush for even a moment.
Everyone looked at each other, but no one spoke.
"Young Xie, you are in charge of the 'Communicative Magic Spells'... that links our Sect to the outside world. So, have you got any update? What's the current situation in the battle? What actions have the other Sects of the Da Qi Kingdom taken so far?" the old man shifted his gaze towards Xie Xing Nanzi and asked.
"Great Head Saint... multiple spies of our Sect have been placed at different locations in the three fortress-prefectures. Still, I don't have any specific news to pass on for now. But, I've been informed that the three big Sects of the Da Qi Kingdom have sent several disciples to the fortresses. The Da Qi Kingdom has also dispatched three-hundred-thousand soldiers; they've been divided into three groups. These groups have been sent separately to reinforce the three fortress-prefectures," Xie Xing Nanzi straightened his back, and replied with his hands cupped in obeisance.
"I've got in touch with the three Sects of the Da Qi Kingdom. They will send us messages in case they get any relevant information," Xie Xing Nanzi added after a pause.
"Senior Brother Xie, the current situation is extremely outrageous and alarming. How could you discuss such an important matter with other Sects on your own? You should've consulted the Head Saint and the Great Elders. Only then should you have taken the desired step! I think you have overstepped your authority and made a rash decision," the man with sharp eyebrows expressed his disapproval.
"This situation is extremely serious. So, I took this step on my own. I've indeed overstepped my authority. I'm ready to be punished by the Head Saint." Master Xie's complexion didn't change. He bowed to the black-robed elder and spoke.
"No harm was done. The current situation is extremely critical... I don't think Young Xie has done anything inappropriate," the black-robed elder waved his hand and replied.
Master Xie nodded and expressed his gratitude.
A malicious gleam flashed across the eyes of the man with sharp eyebrows. He snorted, but didn't say anything.
"As far as I know... the barbarians have launched this invasion on a huge scale. They've acted quite swiftly. Such an action from their side hasn't been seen in the past hundred years. The prime goal of their invasion is still unclear. You people are the backbone of our Sect. So, I wish to know your opinion regarding this matter..." the black-robed elder looked at the people and asked.
"Great Head Saint, the seven Sects of the three kingdoms have already reached an agreement. According to it... all the seven Sects must unite if the barbarians invade any part of the three kingdoms. In my opinion... we should meet the Head Saints of the other Sects as soon as possible... so that the concentrated strength of all the seven Sects can rush to the Da Qi Kingdom. Then, we might succeed in repelling this invasion," Xie Xing Nanzi spoke in a forceful tone.
Seven or eight people chimed-in, and expressed their agreement. They were either the mountain hosts, or the elders of the Sect.
The Head Saint of the Black Demon Sect slowly nodded; he seemed to have approved Xie Xing Nanzi's viewpoint.
"Head Saint, despite the agreement among the seven big Sects... I think that we shouldn't dispatch the reinforcements to the Da Qi Kingdom," the man with sharp eyebrows spoke.
The people in the hall started to cast sidelong glances at him as soon as they heard these words.
Xie Xing Nanzi's complexion turned gloomy. He was about to say something when the Head Saint raised his hand and stopped him.
"Young Feng, why would you say such thing? You can speak your mind and elaborate..." the black-robed elder said.
"Just as the Great Head Saint has observed... the goal of the barbarian's invasion is still unknown. So, they may be aiming to snatch away more resources and people. I don't mean that we shouldn't give our support. But, we may as well stay calm and watch a little longer. Let the three big Sects of the Da Qi Kingdom deal with the barbarians for the time being. We can try to assess the situation in the meantime..." the man with sharp eyebrows and golden pupil said with a sneer.
"The Great Head Saint must remember the incident that happened five years ago. Barbarians had invaded the Shang Que Prefecture of our Yan Kingdom. They had annihilated several cities within a few days. Then, we - the Black Demon Sect - had allied with the Wind and Fire Sect to wipe them out of our territory. But, the three sects of the Da Qi Kingdom hadn't dispatched many people to support us..." the golden-pupil-man said in a cold voice.
The entire hall became silent as they heard this. Several people nodded in his support.
The Head Saint stroked his fingers on his chair's handle a few times; he was expressionless. He also seemed to be persuaded by the golden-pupil-man's viewpoint.
"Head Saint, that was a small tribal invasion. Besides, we two Sects were capable of crushing them without any difficulty. But, the present invasion is entirely different. It can't be compared with the invasion that happened five years ago. The barbarians have launched their attack very cleverly and powerfully this time. They may have plotted the entire attack beforehand. Otherwise... they wouldn't have succeeded in conquering the Xing He City in one night. If we - the seven Sects continue to scheme against each other at such a breath-taking moment... then we may suffer a serious consequence. We can even be badly defeated by the barbarians. Then, it would be too late for us to repent..." Xie Xing Nanzi's complexion changed. He stood-up and put forward his opinion.
The man with sharp eyebrows also stood-up to express himself as he heard this eloquent speech.
The elites of the Black Demon Sect had split into two groups. One group was headed by Xie Xing Nanzi, and the other by Feng Kong Zi - the man with sharp eyebrows. Bilateral disagreement and hostility started to build-up as the meeting progressed. Their rivalry was well-known in the Sect.
"Well... the two of you don't need to quarrel at this juncture. Let's hear what the other people have to say," the Head Saint waved his hand and said.
Xie Xing Nanzi and Feng Kong Zi glanced at each other and snorted. Then, they returned to their seats.
Suddenly, the sound of hurried footsteps was heard from outside the hall. A middle-aged black-robed man entered the hall with big strides. He looked anxious. He said in a loud voice, "There's a bad news. The great elders of the Black Turtle Sect, the Bright Fire Sect, and Gongsun Yu of the Tian Yin Sect have met with an accident."
"What's the matter... speak slowly." The Head Saint was startled. He stood-up and said.
The other people were also thunderstruck.
"Your Highness, respected elders and peak hosts - I've just received a message. The strongest Warrior of the barbarian race - Mang Shang - killed Elder Huo Yao when he was practicing in a restricted area of his Sect. Elder Gongsun Yu was ambushed on the same day by several formidable barbarian warriors of the Earth Grade when he went on a walk outside his sect. He managed to return to his Sect even though he was severely injured in this attack. His injuries are grave; he may not recover for a long time," the man spoke in a trembling voice.
People were dumbfounded and aghast as they heard this.
The complexion of the Head Saint of the Black Demon Sect changed. He slowly sat down.
"Is this true?" Xie Xing Nanzi asked in a cold voice.
"I received these messages from the spies we have planted in the Black Turtle Sect and the Tian Yin Sect. They sent the messages at the same time. So, there's no mistake," the black-robed man replied after a moment's hesitation.
The Head Saint waved his hand as a hint for the middle-aged man to leave the hall.
Everyone's facial expression had turned unsightly. The people who had supported Feng Kong Zi wore a sullen look on their faces. They couldn't help but reveal an expression of embarrassment.