Tens of thousands of cloud beasts flew around outside the clouds, investigating the ritual array. Encouraged by some people, the tens of thousands of cultivators no longer feared Gu Hai’s vast army. Now, they all felt anticipation.
The allure of the Century Lifespan Immortality Peach Tree was simply too great. Everyone wished that they could carry the Century Lifespan Immortality Peach Tree away. Only a wastrel like Gu Hai would think of destroying this tree.
Tens of thousands of cultivators stared from the outside, their eyes slowly turning bloodshot. Perhaps…perhaps if we charge together, we might have a chance to obtain the Century Lifespan Immortality Peach Tree?
Within the cloudy ritual array:
Chen Tianshan, Gao Xianzhi, and Xiaorou watched Gu Hai as he gently picked the remaining seven immortality peaches. Then, he placed six of the immortality peaches in jade boxes before carefully storing them in the compressed space of his authority token.
Gu Hai left one golden immortality peach out. After examining it, he opened his mouth and consumed it.
Indeed, as the golden immortality peach entered his mouth, it melted. A relaxing sensation rushed through him.
After a moment, his entire body trembled, releasing a rainbow light around him.
Suddenly, a vast amount of Spiritual Energy in the surrounding space rushed towards Gu Hai.
Chen Tianshan goggled at Gu Hai, his eyes showing a flash of fervor. That was the Century Lifespan Immortality Peach Tree! What effect would it have when the division master ate it?
Gu Hai’s body suddenly gave off a loud sound.
Then, the nine Veritable Essence pearls in Gu Hai’s dantian merged.
“Fourth Layer Innate Realm?” Gu Hai’s eyes lit up.
One golden immortality peach allowed him to break through to the fourth layer? Of course, there was also another energy in his body, giving him the feeling of vigorous lifeforce. However, that was not important. Reaching the Innate Realm’s fourth layer already greatly satisfied Gu Hai.
Gu Hai showed a smile, but Chen Tianshan exclaimed, “What? You only broke through to the Innate Realm’s fourth layer?”
“Huh?” Gu Hai looked at Chen Tianshan with some confusion.
Chen Tianshan looked back at Gu Hai, feeling conflicted. “How can it be like this? That is a Century Lifespan Immortality Peach, the most precious lifespan plant in the world. Just one of them can be exchanged for a mountain of spirit stones. Yet, Division Master’s cultivation improved by only a little bit?”
“This is a lifespan plant, not a spirit herb. Didn’t you say that a lifespan plant might not necessarily help someone advance their cultivation?” Gao Xianzhi reminded while shaking his head.
Chen Tianshan now appeared even more conflicted as he looked at Gu Hai. “Division Master, that is the Century Lifespan Immortality Peach. Using it just to raise that little bit of cultivation is too wasteful, too extravagant, right?”
Previously, Gu Hai made Xiaorou eat three peaches, and they appeared to have saved her life. However, he used one, and it raised his Innate Realm cultivation by only a little. Can this be any more wasteful? I’ll give you however many spirit stones you want; can you give me one?
“Extravagant? That word does not exist in my dictionary. As long as it can help me raise my cultivation, no matter how precious the treasure is, it is nothing,” Gu Hai retorted while shaking his head.
“Alright! You have many immortality peaches, so you can be willful with them!” Chen Tianshan said resentfully.
“Division Master, there are more and more cultivators outside. What if these tens of thousands of cultivators attack the ritual array? We might not be able to defend it, right?” Gao Xianzhi asked worriedly.
“My ritual array is no ordinary ritual array. That’s why I called you in to help me maintain it. Blocking them is not difficult,” Gu Hai said while shaking his head.
“There are only four of us, and we have to deal with tens of thousands of them?” Chen Tianshan said with an unsightly expression. Clearly, he appeared somewhat unwilling.
To Chen Tianshan, this was clearly asking for trouble. There was the vast army. However, the other party still outnumbered them. Was this not just plainly seeking death?
“Don’t worry. No matter the result, as long as you do your best, I will give each of you one Century Lifespan Immortality Peach after this is over,” Gu Hai promised solemnly.
“Yes!” Gao Xianzhi’s eyes lit up.
“Benefactor, there’s no need to give me one. I already ate three.” Xiaorou immediately shook her head.
“Really?” Chen Tianshan’s eyes lit up.
No matter the result, they could obtain a Century Lifespan Immortality Peach each if they did their best?
The appearance of being put into a spot immediately vanished. Then, Chen Tianshan said excitedly, “Division Master, rest assured. I will definitely do my best!”
Gu Hai nodded.
“Division Master, if the Unborn Man still does not show up after the ten days are up, are you really going to destroy this Century Lifespan Immortality Peach Tree?” Gao Xianzhi asked with a frown. As he looked at the tree, he reached out to touch it.
Gao Xianzhi’s figure trembled, and his consciousness appeared dazzled.
Gu Hai immediately smacked Gao Xianzhi’s hand away from the tree.
“What happened to me earlier?” Gao Xianzhi’s expression changed.
Chen Tianshan also looked at the Century Lifespan Immortality Peach Tree in shock.
“Do you still remember the circular jade Go board in the cave at Carefree Valley?” Gu Hai asked.
“Oh? The circular jade Go board that we obtained the golden Go stones from? The one that Bodhisattva Lian Sheng said was a ritual array diagram? Back then, we entered a dream realm when we touched it. Division Master entered last, but that circular Go board suddenly shattered?” Gao Xianzhi asked.
Gu Hai nodded. “This Century Lifespan Immortality Peach Tree is the same. Had I not interrupted you, you would have entered a similar dream realm!”
“A dream realm? What’s going on…?” Chen Tianshan said in shock.
“I think this Century Lifespan Immortality Peach Tree is similar to the circular Go board; Old Mister Guan Qi tampered with it. Entering the dream realm is not a good thing,” Gu Hai said.”
“Oh?” Both Gao Xianzhi’s and Chen Tianshan’s expressions changed.
“I don’t know what Old Mister Guan Qi is trying to do. However, it should not be beneficial to us. Although he already died, he left behind many secret and mysterious things. There must be some plot behind this. This Century Lifespan Immortality Peach Tree is extremely important and definitely has an even larger plot behind it. I sensed it earlier but managed to retreat safely, not sinking deep into it. It is not that I don’t want the Century Lifespan Immortality Peach Tree. However, my current strength, status, and forces are too weak. I am not qualified to get involved, so it is better not to get deeply involved,” Gu Hai said while shaking his head.
“But…!” Gao Xianzhi frowned.
“There are no buts. Gao Xianzhi, remember my warning. It is essential to have a good measure of yourself and what you can do. Otherwise, when you surpass what you can do, your life and death no longer lie within your control,” Gu Hai advised seriously.
Gao Xianzhi’s expression turned solemn as he realized something. He immediately nodded and said, “Yes. Many thanks for Division Master’s pointers!”
Chen Tianshan somewhat could not understand, so he looked at the two in confusion.
“Division Master, in the end, it is too much of a pity to destroy this Century Lifespan Immortality Peach Tree!” Chen Tianshan said, finding this unfortunate.
“Too much of a pity? Ha! If I give the Century Lifespan Immortality Peach Tree to you, can you bring it away?” Gu Hai smiled.
“Huh? Give it to me?” Chen Tianshan’s eyes lit up.
“Are you sure you can leave Tengen Island alive?” Gu Hai smiled.
Suddenly, Chen Tianshan understood the situation, his expression immediately changing. Then, he revealed a bitter smile and said, “Division Master’s lesson is that I let my greed affect me, let this precious treasure overcome my rationality!”
“Hence, it is as I said earlier. It is essential to have a good measure of yourself and your capabilities. Although the treasure is valuable, it also depends on its master’s fortune. If you cannot protect it, then it is not a treasure. Instead, it would bring disaster, a disaster that can kill you!” Gu Hai explained.
“Yes!” Everyone nodded.
Gu Hai stretched out his hand and waved.
Three mounted soldiers immediately rode out from the vast army. As the three mounted soldiers came over, their figures changed. Then, armor suddenly appeared on the soldier cloud beasts, turning them stronger. The weapons in their hands changed as well.
“Changshan County’s Zhao Zilong greets the hegemon-king!” one of the three cloud beasts bellowed.
[TL Note: Changshan County is a county in China.]
[TL Note: Zhao Zilong is another name for Zhao Yu, a famous general of the Shu Nation during the Three Kingdoms period (from 220 to 280 AD).]
“Gao Xianzhi, enter this cloud beast. I used the ritual array to form a ferocious general I know, Zhao Zilong. He is good with the spear, and he sweeps through everything he points at with his spear!” Gu Hai said.
“Yes!” Gao Xianzhi answered.
Gao Xianzhi put away his golden Go stone and stepped onto Zhao Zilong’s head. Then, his body slowly sank into the head of the Zhao Zilong cloud beast.
Boom! A strong wind erupted from the Zhao Zilong cloud beast, carrying a ferocious air.
“Hailiang County’s Guan Yunchang greets the hegemon-king!” another cloud beast suddenly bellowed.
[TL Note: Hailiang County was a country of ancient China. It is now called Hai County. There are some disputes on how to pronounce the name of this place. The dictionary lists the pronunciation of the character Hai as Jie. However, it is historically read as Hai when referring to this place. The current locals also use Hai.]
[TL Note: Guan Yunchang is another name for Guan Yu, a famous general of the Shu Nation during the Three Kingdoms period. He was a ferocious warrior famous for virtue and loyalty and was deified as Guan Gong or the War Saint. He is depicted with a red face and ferocious expressions. He is worshiped with several titles, such as god of literature, god of war, martial god of wealth, righteous god of wealth, and the business wealth god.]
“Chen Tianshan, enter this cloud beast. I used the ritual array to form a ferocious general I know, Guan Yunchang. He wields the Azure Dragon Crescent Blade, and he sweeps through anything his blade points at!” Gu Hai said.
[TL Note: The Azure Dragon Crescent Blade is the weapon historically used by Guan Yu. It is a tall and heavy weapon similar to the European glaive or the Japanese naginata, basically a single-edged blade at the end of a pole. It was later on also known as the Guan Blade, named after Guan Yu. It is said to weigh close to twenty kilograms, a ridiculously heavy weapon. However, there is a weapon in the Purple Cloud Temple in modern-day China that is purported to be the Azure Dragon Crescent Blade, and that one weighs almost fifty kilograms.]
“Yes!” Chen Tianshan answered.
He leaped onto the head of the Guan Yunchang cloud beast, then sank in.
A ruthless air erupted as the Guan Yunchang cloud beast swung its weapon, appearing ferocious.
“Division Master, your general cloud beast is so ferocious, even stronger than my previous huge bull!” Chen Tianshan called out in pleasant surprise.
Gu Hai ignored Chen Tianshan. Instead, he looked at the last cloud beast that changed form.
“Yan Nation citizen, Zhang Yide greets the hegemon-king!” the last cloud beast bellowed.
[TL Note: Zhang Yide is another name for Zhang Fei, a general of the Shu Nation during the Three Kingdoms period. Zhang Fei often introduced himself as “Yan Nation citizen, Zhang Yide” because his birthplace had been the Yan Nation at that time. The king of the Shu Nation, Liu Bei, was also a Yan Nation citizen in that sense. Liu Bei, Zhang Fei, and Guan Yu were sworn brothers.]
“Xiaorou, enter this cloud beast. I used the ritual array to form a ferocious general I know, Zhang Yide. He uses the snake spear, and he sweeps through everything he points at with his snake spear!” Gu Hai said.
[TL Note: The snake spear is a spear, but the spearhead is wavy with a Y-shaped tip, looking like a snake.]
“Yes!” Xiaorou said excitedly.
She finally could help her benefactor, so she leaped delightedly onto the Zhang Yide cloud beast’s head, then sank in.
Xiaorou could immediately control the snake spear as she pleased. When she expertly swung the snake spear, it looked like a huge snake dancing in Zhang Yide’s hand, displaying a murderous intent.
“This is the Twenty-Eight Line-Pair World Ritual Array. I have split the area into four parts. The four of us will each protect one part. Prepare to lead the army there to clash with the surrounding cultivators. Remember, don’t take personal action until the end. Fight using the army,” Gu Hai ordered gravely.
“Yes!” the three answered solemnly.
“Don’t worry. Unless something extraordinary happens, your ferocious general cloud beasts should not have to take personal action. With me around, they cannot push their way in!” Gu Hai said.
“Yes!” The three nodded.
After this, Gu Hai taught the three how to wield the three ferocious generals and large numbers of soldiers using formations. The three excitedly controlled the vast army, feeling very content.
Loud noises came from the cloudy ritual array. At this moment, the red-eyed cultivators outside seemed to reach their limits.
In a mountain forest below, Ninth Young Master looked at the sky coldly. A group of black-clad men followed behind him.
“Ninth Young Master, it is about there. We followed your plan and incited everyone’s desires. With just a command from you, the people we planted among the outsiders will immediately ignite everyone’s battle hunger and get them to charge at the ritual array in the sky!” a black-clad man reported respectfully.
Ninth Young Master narrowed his eyes slightly as he stared at the sky. “Gu Hai, no matter how many cloud beasts you have, the outsiders outnumber you severalfold. Let’s see how you are going to defeat them!”
“Start the all-out attack!” Ninth Young Master shouted coldly.
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