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EIF - Book 02 Chapter 061: Dereliction of Duty

“Providence?!” Gu Hai’s eyes narrowed.

Gu Hai looked at the huge grave for a while longer before turning away. Although he did not understand much, he could already feel how wonderful providence was.

A thought of gratitude from a person becomes one portion of beneficence. One hundred twenty-nine thousand six hundred portions of beneficence make one eon of providence. If I were the emperor and had one hundred million citizens, would the gratitude the citizens had for me result in an endless production of providence?

Venerable Liu Nian said that providence could be used for establishing sects, nations, and longevity. As long as I don’t run out of providence, I can be immortal?

I have to clarify this after leaving this place.

Gu Hai ambled towards a cave where Gao Xianzhi said he had found Long Wanqing’s servants.

Boom!

Gu Hai cut the entrance to the cave open with a saber strike. Then, he headed further in slowly. The Night Pearls in the cave illuminated the place. Soon, he reached the end, where there was a large space.

A ritual array locked up Long Wanqing’s three servants.

“Gu…Gu Hai?” The three servants showed complicated expressions.

The three had clearly heard the miserable cries from outside and been startled as well.

As the three followed Long Wanqing, they naturally understood Gu Hai’s situation. They had even seen Gu Hai break through to the Innate Realm not long ago. However, now… 

Boom! Boom!

Gu Hai struck the ritual array with the Life Ender Saber in his hand. The saber was incredibly sharp, breaking the ritual array in the blink of an eye.

Whoosh!

Some energy suddenly came out of the three as the ritual array’s energy supply shattered.

“Ah!”

The three suddenly fell to the ground.

“Are you alright?!” Gu Hai asked.

“We are fine, just exhausted. We will get better in a while!” The three servants smiled bitterly.

“That’s good. Take your time getting up. I’ll search for the hall master!” Gu Hai said.

The three servants nodded.

They showed somewhat complicated expressions as they watched Gu Hai walk away.

As Gu Hai searched outside, he suddenly narrowed his eyes and looked at the Gold Armor Water Crystal Ritual Array’s exit.

“Huh?” Gu Hai walked over to that place.

The three servants had started to feel better by now. They supported each other as they walked out of the cave.

Soon, they arrived at the cave entrance. As they supported each other, they goggled and inhaled sharply.

“This…this is?” one of the servants stammered in horror. 

Countless dry bones covering the surrounding peaks and filling the place greeted them. The sea of bones looked very terrifying, like a scene right out of hell.

Gasp!

After inhaling sharply, they required quite a while to recover their wits.

------

Outside the Gold Armor Water Crystal Ritual Array:

The twenty thousand ordinary people and the dozens of cultivators stared at the ritual array. However, no sound came from it.

Boom!

Suddenly, a loud report rang out.

“An explosion? Earlier, a similar explosion blocked up the entrance. What is going on in there?” Many of the cultivators outside showed puzzled expressions.

Floodwaters surged into the air in the surroundings. Dark clouds covered the sky, with lightning flashing and thunder rolling in them. Venerable Liu Nian and the flood dragon’s fight had not ended yet.

“Roar!” Old baldy, you are very difficult to deal with!” the flood dragon roared furiously.

Venerable Liu Nian held his palms together as he said coldly, “Fu Xue, I’ll ask again. What did you do to the hall master? Is she in the First Song Sect?”

As Venerable Liu Nian spoke, he glanced at the nearby ritual array, as he had seen Gu Hai enter previously. However, he did not know what the situation was now. Then, he turned his head back to look at the flood dragon.

------

While Venerable Liu Nian and the flood dragon remained in a stalemate, a beam of golden light shot over from the distant south. Song Pingsheng finally returned with Li Qinghe.

The two rode on a golden hoop. At this moment, Li Qinghe was sitting cross-legged with his eyes closed, meditating while the snakes on his head basked in the sun. After all, only one day or so had passed; Li Qinghe had not recovered from his injuries yet.

As Song Pingsheng stood on the golden hoop, he suddenly raised his eyebrows.

“Something happened at the First Song Sect?” Song Pingsheng’s expression changed.

Li Qinghe immediately opened his eyes.

“Cough! Cough! Cough!”

While coughing, Li Qinghe looked into the distance. “Venerable Liu Nian? How did he get here so quickly?”

“Venerable Liu Nian has a flying ship, so he is faster than us!” Song Pingsheng explained sullenly.

“Venerable Liu Nian and Fu Xue?” Li Qinghe frowned.

“Gu Hai does not seem to be here? However, that does not matter. He no longer has his three thousand evil men subordinates or his Twenty-Eight Line-Pair World Ritual Array. He is just an ordinary Innate Realm cultivator now!” Song Pingsheng said coldly.

“There is only Fu Xue and Venerable Liu Nian?” Li Qinghe’s eyes lit up.

“We need to make sure Venerable Liu Nian remains here forever. Since Fu Xue can fight him to a draw, if we make a move…” A ferocious glint flashed in Song Pingsheng’s eyes. 

“Where are the others? Where are your First Song Sect disciples?” Li Qinghe asked, feeling some misgivings.

When he looked around, he did not see any First Song Sect disciples coming to help. Where were all the people?

Twenty thousand-odd ordinary people stared at the Gold Armor Water Crystal Ritual Array. The entrance had been blocked up, and the place was utterly silent.

“There are so many ordinary people?” Li Qinghe said, feeling puzzled.

Whoosh!

Song Pingsheng quickly carried Li Qinghe over on the golden hoop and arrived above the ritual array’s entrance in the blink of an eye. A strong wind blew, knocking over the twenty thousand ordinary people.

“Song Pingsheng? The First Song Sect Master!” Someone immediately recognized the First Song Sect Master.

“Li Qinghe? Li Qinghe also became a snake demon? Ah!” the cultivators immediately exclaimed.

These cultivators already could not handle it when ordinary Innate Realm cultivators and Golden Core Realm cultivators transformed into snake demons, what more Li Qinghe, who was a Nascent Soul Realm cultivator?

Splash!

Many of the cultivators jumped into the nearby water in horror, wanting to flee.

However, Song Pingsheng had an anxious expression, not caring about the cultivators’ escape, as the Gold Armor Water Crystal Ritual Array seemed too strange.

“Bastards! Did everyone die?!” Song Pingsheng cursed.

As Song Pingsheng shouted, he ferociously extended his hand, and a strong suction pulled at the ritual array’s entrance.

Rumble…!

The shattered rocks flew out quickly, creating a lot of noise and dust clouds.

------

On the other side, Venerable Liu Nian and the flood dragon noticed Song Pingsheng’s actions.

“Hahahahaha! Old baldy Liu Nian, Song Pingsheng is back. Li Qinghe is back as well. Let’s see if you can continue subduing monsters!” the flood dragon roared.

Venerable Li Nian’s eyes turned cold as he thumbed the Buddhist prayer beads in his hand and pointed it at the sky.

Suddenly, a Buddhist prayer bead flew off the string of Buddhist prayer beads and soared into the sky. Then, it became as large as a star and continued enlarging as it smashed towards the dark clouds.

Boom!

The Buddhist prayer bead crashed into the dark clouds with a loud sound, and lightning filled the sky as the dark clouds scattered.

“Huh?” The flood dragon’s expression changed. “You did not use your full power earlier?”

With a trace of a sneer, Venerable Liu Nian said, “Fu Xue, I have already given you a chance. You can tell me now. What did you do to the hall master?”

------

Rumble…!

Far in the distance, Song Pingsheng pulled out the shattered rocks, causing dust clouds to spread out. Soon, he had cleared out the entrance.

“Where is everyone? Did they all die?” Song Pingsheng shouted angrily, scowling.

Rustle! Rustle! Rustle! Rustle!

The sound of footsteps and grass rustling came from the dust cloud. Gu Hai walked out.

When Gu Hai appeared, everyone stared at him. Even Venerable Liu Nian, who was fighting far away, glanced over curiously.

At this time, Gu Hai’s clothes were all tattered. Hundreds of wounds riddled his body, looking very terrifying. As he clutched a slender bone saber, he stared coldly into the sky.

“Gu Hai?” Li Qinghe’s expression changed.

“Where are my First Song Sect disciples?” Song Pingsheng glared.

How can it be Gu Hai? Why is he the one who walked out?

“They are all dead!” Gu Hai revealed a cold smile.

“What?” Song Pingsheng goggled.

Then, Gu Hai turned towards Venerable Liu Nian as he shouted, “Venerable Liu Nian, are you trying to test me, or do you have some other plan? Right now, no one knows if the hall master is still alive or not. Instead of focusing on finding her, you waste your effort on a newly appointed division master. Before the hall master’s mother died, she asked you to protect the hall master. Is this how you protect her? The hall master ended up in trouble because of your dereliction of duty! To think that you can waste time with this flood dragon now?!”

“Huh?” Nearly everyone’s expression changed.

Gu Hai and Venerable Liu Nian have an internal conflict?

Song Pingsheng and Li Qinghe looked at Gu Hai, feeling puzzled.

The flood dragon’s expression sank.

Venerable Liu Nian also raised his eyebrows.

Gu Hai looked at Venerable Liu Nian coldly and chided, “Venerable Liu Nian, there’s no need to look at me like that. Am I wrong? Did you not neglect your duties? You keep mentioning the hall master’s maternal grandfather to me. While I do not know who the hall master’s maternal grandfather is, I believe he only let the hall master come out because you would be by the hall master’s side. You may guess that they will not dare to do anything to the hall master, but what if something does happen to her? How would you give an account to the hall master’s maternal grandfather?”

Venerable Liu Nian’s expression kept changing.

“There’s no need to keep testing me. I already killed the five thousand-odd spirit-assimilated cultivators. It is all up to you now!” Gu Hai said coldly.

“What?” Li Qinghe exclaimed in shock.

“That’s impossible!” Song Pingsheng exclaimed as well.

How could Gu Hai alone possibly kill all of them? He no longer had his three thousand subordinates.

“With every moment that passes, the hall master is in greater danger. Every extra breath increases the possibility of the hall master dying, Venerable Liu Nian!” Gu Hai said coldly.

Venerable Liu Nian showed an unsightly expression.

Whoosh!

The remaining seventeen Buddhist prayer beads suddenly exploded outwards.

Boom!

The seventeen Buddhist prayer beads shot out in a few directions—towards the flood dragon, Song Pingsheng, and Li Qinghe.

“Oh no!”

Song Pingsheng’s expression changed as ten Buddhist prayer beads shot towards him.

When the Buddhist prayer beads shot over, they suddenly enlarged, looking like ten meteors streaking towards him.

Song Pingsheng extended his hand as he commanded the golden hoop under him, “Subdue dragons!” 

Buzz!

The golden hoop released a dazzling golden light as it immediately crashed over.

Boom!

A loud sound rang out as strong winds appeared, causing the surrounding water to surge into the sky in towering waves.

Blargh!

Blood spurted out of Song Pingsheng’s mouth as he moved back abruptly. The golden hoop also bounced back.

A Buddhist prayer bead also flew at Li Qinghe like a meteor.

“Break!”

Li Qinghe extended both hands out to launch palm strikes.

Boom!

Li Qinghe’s hands burst, but the Buddhist prayer bead continued towards Li Qinghe without slowing down.

“No!” Li Qinghe shouted in alarm.

Boom!

Li Qinghe’s body exploded.

At the side, Gu Hai’s face twitched. Although he had guessed that Venerable Liu Nian’s Buddhist prayer beads were powerful, he had not thought they were this ridiculously powerful.

Although Li Qinghe was severely injured, he was still a Nascent Soul Realm cultivator. When the Buddhist prayer bead crashed into him, it was actually no weaker than the halberd from Gu Hai’s ritual array. 

One Buddhist prayer bead dealt with one Nascent Soul Realm cultivator?

Was Li Qinghe dead?

No. Gu Hai could see a beam of golden light shining from Li Qinghe’s exploded body. His head still looked fine.

While Li Qinghe’s body exploded, his head remained intact. With an expression of horror, the head fell to the ground. Then, staying close to the ground, it quickly fled.

Pretending to be dead to flee?

The other Buddhist prayer beads flew towards Song Pingsheng and the flood dragon, appearing not to notice Li Qinghe’s head escaping.

“Where do you think you are going?”

Gu Hai’s eyes turned cold as he immediately gave chase.

Li Qinghe did not dare to fly into the sky lest Venerable Liu Nian discover him, so he could only stay close to the ground.

Splash!

The snake-covered head entered the water.

Splash!

Gu Hai jumped into the water to give chase.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for July: 34 / 50

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Written by Guan Qi — Watching Chess. Translated by DragonInWhite. Edited by VampireCat.