Chapter 517: To Follow the Path to One's Own Doom
Translator: Subudai11 Editor: Chrissy
Wang Lu could actually understand Ouyang Shang's decision. In essence, they were, after all, the same type of people.
Whether as a lead disciple or Big Brother, these titles were bound to bear enormous pressure simultaneously as they were lofty and brilliant. After all, the rights and obligations must be equal. When any Junior Brother or Sister fell into a dangerous predicament, they must bravely step forward as the Big Brother, even if it was not the best choice.
For the impeccable tacit understanding and trust between the golden generation, for the illusory will of the people... or perhaps for the insistence of the heart. In short, it was not just Ouyang Shang, common people would often handle things like this; the optimal solution has been put in front of their eyes while they have to choose others. This was the reason why people in Jianghu 1 couldn't make the decisions on their own.
Of course, Ouyang Shang wasn't simply following the path to his own doom. Wang Lu could also understand one or two of his assurance.
First of all, the opponent used the using-the-hostage-to-threaten-their-own-side tactic, which was a plot rather than an overt one. Using a plot meant that the other party did not have an overwhelming advantage in terms of strength. Otherwise, the opponent could just crush them directly here, so why bother doing such a troublesome thing? After all, the golden generation has just begun to grow, and for those old experts in immortal cultivation world, they were nothing but a high-level ant.
If it was a real Unity Stage cultivator here, perhaps he could kill the entire golden generation in an instant, so there was no need to go through the complication of taking the broken arm and using it as a deterrent.
The other party's strength was not enough, so it was necessary to supplement it with the plot. Taking this into consideration, if they made the sudden advance with their strongest force, it was possible to decide the outcome before the other party had enough time to fully launch the plot to fruition.
This was Ouyang Shang's idea. While he seemed to be impulsively shouldering the burden of a Big Brother, he had actually made quite rational thinking and judgment.
Nevertheless, in the final analysis, this was still a risk. Moreover, In Wang Lu's view, the potential benefit could not offset the risk. Therefore, he would rather make the opposite decision, unfortunately...
"Very well, I'll go with you on this."
Ouyang Shang gawked a bit. Having Wang Lu as a hand to help was naturally the best because he deeply understood the strength of this time traveler Junior Brother. But... Why?
It was just because of their great tacit understanding, they could understand each other's insistence in their own opinion, and therefore Ouyang Shang was very clear that when Wang Lu's opinion was very different than his own's one, there was basically no possibility to turn back to a consensus. Going on their separate ways was the best result, so how could he change his mind so quickly?
Was it because of Wang Wu? Ouyang Shang slightly shifted his gaze but quickly gave up thinking about it-now was not the time to think about this issue.
Wang Lu also said, "I suggest we send two Junior Brothers to report back to the sect, to tell the Elders about the demon race incident. This is a major event in Nine Regions, so it should not be delayed. What do you think, Senior Brother?"
Ouyang Shang's eyes turned serious. "Sending two Junior Brothers back to the sect? You..."
"Initially, I intended to go there by myself, but considering that speed is not my forte, I'd rather use my strength where I would be needed the most, which is in Ghost Weeping Forest." Wang Lu's explanation was reasonable, but Ouyang Shang was very clear that this was not Wang Lu's innermost thought.
The opponent threatened in a bloody way. In addition to asking them to the Ghost Weeping Forest, they were also warned not to spill out the matter regarding the demon race. And Wang Lu's suggestion was undoubtedly a provocation against the opponent.
This would put both groups of people at risk. When those two people returned to the mountain, they might encounter some unknown ambush, and the hostage at Ghost Weeping Forest might be killed.
Of course, looking from another point of view, this was also a risk that they must take. The delivery of the letter was indeed very important... The more the other party worked hard to deter them, the more the validity of this point was proven. And this also showed that the other party had not yet sealed all the means of sending the letter. Of course, there was a great risk in sending the letter, but if they were being too overcautious, then they would not be able to do anything. But...
"Very well. Junior Brother Lu Li..."
Ouyang Shang called out a person's name, but Wang Lu quickly intervened, "Junior Brother Lu Li is versatile, so it would be too wasteful if he's just used to simply send a letter. It's more suitable for him to act here. I suggest he become a part of the rescue teams."
Ouyang Shang hesitated for a moment, and then acquiesced to this suggestion and replaced the two Junior Brothers. The two young cultivators were delighted for being picked by Ouyang Shang, feeling that they were deeply trusted.
However, Ouyang Shang beckoned at them to depart as soon as possible, no need for talking too much about it.
Because he really couldn't look straight at the enthusiastic face of the two Junior Bothers.
After the two Junior Brothers had left, Ouyang Shang was silent for a while, and then said to Wang Lu through primordial spirit, "Junior Brother Wang Lu, are you that pessimistic about sending the letter?"
Wang Lu said, "I just don't want useful people to take on too much risk. In my timeline, Lu Li will become a great cultivator... Those who survived the catastrophe should not die so early."
"Ha, this excuse of yours is just so-so. In your timeline, I'm also a dead person, so why do you waste your time on me?"
"Very well then, I'll tell you the truth. I have a good relationship with Lu Li. As for the other two, I wouldn't become so distressed if they died."
"... Well said." Ouyang Shang sighed. He wanted to speak his mind but didn't know how to say it.
Wang Lu coldly said, "The taste of sacrifice is not pleasant, but sometimes, a sacrifice is inevitable. What we can do is to minimize the scope of the sacrifice as far as possible and not penetrate into a bull's horn 2 which would lead to an even bigger sacrifice... I know that as the Big Brother, on some things, you can't help but have to do it, but I actually have a way to get you out of this current predicament."
"Please elaborate to me."
"It's very simple, tell Liu Xian and his team about our current bitter experience and risk. Let them decide whether to continue to ask for help or sacrifice themselves."
Wang Lu said, "If they are really members of the golden generation of Spirit Sword Sect, they should make a rational choice. They would probably even threaten us with their lives to prevent us from going there. At that time, you will have no burden at all. Of course, I know that this kind of thing is a completely subjective guide as well as a self-deception. You are the kind of person that really can't do those type of things, so I will do it for you. The result will be the same."
"Don't be so angry, my sacrifice is the same here. In that group... Liu Xian and I actually have a good relationship."
"Still can't agree?" Wang Lu chuckled and said, "Sure enough, as a Big Brother, you're good at anything, except for being soft-hearted. And this is your fatal flaw."
"Then, what are you going to do?" Ouyang Shang lightly asked.
Wang Lu sighed. "What else can I do? Didn't I already say it? Regarding the rescue, count me in."
Ouyang Shang finally couldn't help but smile. "Looks like we're actually the same. You are indeed the future lead disciple of Spirit Sword Sect, the common failing of the sect is also inherited by you."
Wang Lu looked up and sighed.
To say that he was soft-hearted... it was actually not true. It was just that, as of this moment, he suddenly thought of something.
In his timeline, Ouyang Shang still had an irreplaceable position in the minds of the Elders of Spirit Sword Sect even one hundred and fifty years after his death.
Because... this was the foundation of Spirit Sword Sect.
If he could casually sacrifice any person for reason and benefit, then...
How would he be any different than Qiong Hua who he detested?
At the same time, in the vicinity of the distant Ghost Weeping Forest, Spirit Sword Sect's team led by Liu Xian was carefully marching forward in the wooded mountain, searching for the trail of the missing Wang Donghua.
"Senior Brother, please do it again, I've lost it."
"You've lost it again? Shen Yiwen, what's wrong with you?" At the rear, Liu Xian, who was holding two copper coins, somewhat annoyedly asked the Junior Disciple at the front who was in charge of the tracking.
Shen Yiwen felt aggrieved. "I don't know, the spiritual energy in this Ghost Weeping Forest is already scattered, so it's very difficult to track. Moreover, that person seems to be blocking my tracking at any time. Every once in a while, Junior Brother Donghua's trail is completely messed up that it's impossible to distinguish."
Liu Xian hesitated for a moment and then clenched his teeth. "... Alright, I'll do another divination. But this time, you must tightly follow it. The greater the number of divination in a short period of time, the less effective it will be. Besides, I'm still a beginner in divination... Junior Brother Ming Xian, I want your help too. If you notice that someone is deliberately disturbing the track, you reverse track that someone."
The two Junior Brothers responded in unison. Then, Liu Xian took a deep breath as his Jade Mansion and Void Core released brilliant rays. Taking advantage of this light, he threw the copper coins in the air. After they rotated several times, they fell into his palm.
"To the east," Liu Xian quietly said, his voice hoarse and harsh.
Shen Yiwen nodded then bit his fingertip. After letting several beads of blood drop, he summoned his own spirit beast: A translucent bloody fog.
The fog monster was a very rare monster. Its strengths and weaknesses were very prominent. Its frontal attack capability was extremely poor, but its bloodthirsty instinct, in regard to its sensitivity of blood, was far beyond the other creatures. Under a chance coincidence, Shen Yiwen managed to capture a fog monster hatchling and, with the help of the Sect Elders, took it as his spirit beast. At this time, it was used to track Wang Donghua.
Shen Yiwen collected the blood from the wound of the broken arm left behind by the culprit behind all this into a porcelain bottle. After the fog monster appeared, he dripped a drop of black blood from the porcelain bottle down toward the body of the fog monster. That bloody fog suddenly swelled and twisted, as if it was dancing at a party.
The fog monster was a kind of creature with a special eating habit. Compared with the fresh blood that was brimming with vitality, it preferred the cold blood of the deceased. Compared to the blood used by Shen Yiwen to summon it, the blood from the broken arm was more suitable to its appetite. Unfortunately, there was only one bite of this delicious food. After swallowing the drop of blood, Shen Yiwen no longer fed it with the blood. Unable to tolerate the hunger and thirst, the fog monster, driven by instinct, began to look for a similar smell.
Previously, for several times, the fog monster found clues in the forest. Shen Yiwen and the others followed along the road and did find some clues-such as the bloodstain of Wang Donghua, as well as the remnant aura of his magical treasure. However, every time they tracked half of the way, they would receive an inexplicable force barrier, and would thus find it difficult to continue.
For this new tracking, Shen Yiwen didn't have much hope. The fog monster's tracking efficiency was gradually decreasing. At this time, he had used the fog monster to track for many times, so the hunger and thirst reaction of the fog monster had obviously declined by a lot. Moreover, its sensory ability had become duller and duller. Without the help of the divination of Senior Brother Liu Xian, it would only go round and around.
Of course, this was because the opponent was cunning, leaving the traces of Wang Donghua in all directions in Ghost Weeping Forest. The reaction instinct of the fog monster alone was not enough to eliminate the interference.
However, this time, it went beyond his expectation. Wang Donghua's black blood had just been dropped and the fog monster already made a sharp whistling sound. And then it rushed toward a certain direction in the east without any prompt from Shen Yiwen, which caused him to be caught off guard. One moment of inattentiveness and it already ran away.
"Damn it!" Shen Yiwen was surprised. He didn't have the time to call his Senior Brothers as he stepped on his flying sword and flew to the east to follow the fog monster. The fog monster was his lifeblood, so there must not be a mistake even for a little bit.
After an unknown amount of time spent following the fog monster to the east, Shen Yiwen suddenly found that the branches and leaves of the surrounding forest seemed to be extraordinarily dense, so much that even the light could not penetrate. Everywhere around him was thick with yin atmosphere, which caused his whole body to tremble with cold. As an elite disciple, Shen Yiwen immediately raised his vigilance and began to rotate his Void Core. At the same time, he turned around to look back.
He saw that Senior Brother Liu Xian and the others were not far behind him-the speed of their flying sword was not as fast as that of him, so they could barely keep up. However, seeing that he had their backing, Shen Yiwen finally relaxed a bit. Then...
Just as he thought about this, a strong warning came from his heart.
Not far ahead of him, a one-handed figure stood there quietly. The face of that figure was pale and the whole body was covered with bloodstains. However, its appearance was faintly discernible.
"Junior Brother Donghua, is that you?"
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