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AIP - Chapter 120: Attack

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

The Basking Moon Sect had come!

It had come with the force of thunder and lightning!

As that plaintive cry of warning rang out, several dozen people in white appeared outside the bamboo grove.

The moment they appeared, they rushed into the bamboo grove, leaving a silver radiance in their wake. There were only a few dozen people, but they had the momentum of an army of thousands.

A Hawk Hall subordinate who had been standing guard only had time to swing his saber when a white figure brushed past him. He swayed a little and then exploded in a shower of blood, his body flying apart.

The bamboo forest trembled as a rain of azure light descended to meet these unwelcome guests. In fact, if one looked carefully, one would find that this rain of light was made up of the bamboo leaves of the forest.

"Dance!"

With a soft shout, all of the several dozen people in white unleashed chilling saber waves. The gale of blades protected them, obliterating the azure rain as it approached.

But a moment later, several dozen long pieces of bamboo shot out of the forest like spears.

"Slash!"

Whoosh!

The circular saber winds suddenly straightened out, turning into saber beams that sliced through the air, slamming into those bamboo spears in brilliant explosions that gorgeously illuminated the skies over the bamboo grove.

After cutting through the bamboo, the white-clothed people continued forward. Countless stones rose up out of the ground and began to sweep toward them like a sandstorm.

"Shake!"

All of the white-clothed people clapped their hands in unison, creating a series of shockwaves that resounded through the area and forced back the approaching cloud of gravel.

But after this, a wave of poisonous insects assailed the group… Within the bamboo forest, a Hawk Hall disciple swiftly ran into the hut. Upon seeing Gu Changqing, he immediately prostrated. "Eagle Master, the Basking Moon Sect has attacked. The Hawk Hall disciples are doing all they can to hold them off, but they won't last for much longer!"

"Who is overseeing the operation?"

"Not clear, but from the level of organization and teamwork, they seem to be men from the Combat Department!"

"The Combat Department?" Gu Changqing gasped.

Xie Fengtang had mobilized the disciples of the Combat Department to save one person?

The Combat Department's disciples trained solely for battle, and their greatest skills were in group combat. They excelled in joint attacks and combat formations, and they were brave and powerful. They were also one of the few existences that could use numbers to compensate for quality and kill those of higher cultivation level.

"Activate the formation! We're withdrawing!" Gu Changqing ordered.

Astral Winds stirred within the bamboo forest, forming an azure vortex.

"It's the Azure Astral Killing Formation! Don't go in!" someone called out.

"Stop!" a voice shouted.

At this time, those people in white who had seemed utterly unstoppable finally stopped. There were thirty-six of them, all of them wearing snow-white scarves that covered their faces and gripping steel sabers. Their eyes coldly flashed in silence, and only the blood dripping from their sabers served as evidence that their weapons had already drunk the blood of the sentries in the forest as they were charging through.

"Seal!"

All of the white-clothed people pointed at the sky, and a large number of silver threads shot from their fingertips, covering the sky like a spiderweb, intersecting into a silver net that engulfed the entirety of the bamboo forest.

Since they couldn't break through the enemy formation, they might as well create their own formation to prevent the enemy from escaping. The commander of this group was a swift and decisive person.

Besides these thirty-six people, there was a tall and handsome young man who didn't have his face covered. At this moment, he suddenly turned around and bowed. "Squad 12 Captain Lu Yu of the Vanguard Hall of the Combat Department pays respects to Headmaster Xie!"

Several people casually stood in the rear. Their leader was none other than Xie Fengtang.

He had come personally.

He was the one who ordered the offensive to stop.

Several people stood at his side, Si Yue'er, Xin Yue, and Daoist Ku among them.

There was also a man who was covered in armor, respectfully following behind Xie Fengtang.

"Rise," Xie Fengtang indifferently said. "You did rather well."

"But they were still able to send out a warning and activate the formation! This disciple failed his mission!" Lu Yu said in remorse.

This should have been a perfect sneak attack, but in the end, the target had been alerted, foiling the attack. He blamed himself so much that he found even Xie Fengtang's praise to be nothing but cold mockery.

Xie Fengtang didn't mind. "This cannot be blamed on you. The operation was too hasty, and we weren't able to find out where all their hidden sentries were stationed, so missing one or two is normal. Gu Changqing is truly a talented individual. You can tell from how decisive and fearless his subordinates are. Haaa, what a pity."

After comforting Lu Yu, Xie Fengtang said, "Xiliang, go and break this Azure Astral Formation."

"Yes," a middle-aged man with his beard parted into three strands respectfully said.

This was none other than Zhao Xiliang, the man in charge of Basking Moon Academy's Heaven Circuit Platform. He had also been the one to lay down the protective formation around the Carefree House.

"It's only a secret base, but it has an Azure Astral Formation. This Gu Changqing is truly very cautious," Xin Yue remarked.

Si Yue'er grunted in dissatisfaction. "We should just go in there and handle it personally. Letting the combat disciples go in simply threw away our chance."

Lu Yu heard this and turned red in the face.

Xie Fengtang chuckled. "If we do everything personally, what do we have disciples around for? And besides, you and I wouldn't be guaranteed to do a better job. Those hidden sentries were hidden all over the place and were all linked to each other, so removing one would set off the rest. Unless we could traverse three thousand kilometers in an instant, we wouldn't be able to match their performance. However, to lay down an Azure Astral Formation in this little bamboo grove without anyone noticing, haha… It seems like Lin Yuanming has a death wish!"

His voice suddenly turned grim, his face nastily scowling.

The general next to him immediately broke out in a sweat. "Headmaster, although this land is Minister Lin's property, Minister Lin retired long ago, and this land is being managed by a cousin. Perhaps this matter has nothing to do with Minister Lin. We should investigate some more…"

"There's no need," Xie Fengtang coolly interrupted. "Twelve years ago, three of the secret bases my Basking Moon Sect established in Nadir Hill were uprooted by Godhead Palace in a single night, resulting in a loss of sixteen elite spies. If my memory is correct, Lin Yuanming was one of the people responsible for supplying and supporting those three bases. My Basking Moon Sect investigated this incident for many years to no avail, but Lin Yuanming was on the list of suspects. It now appears that there were no coincidences. When you get back, have the king seize his household… Our Basking Moon Sect can negotiate when it comes to everything else, but it will not tolerate consorting with foreign foes and selling out the country!"

The general took in a deep breath before respectfully saying, "As the esteemed master commands!"

The completed silver net now spanned the stars and enclosed the world.

Zhao Xinguo rushed over and shouted, "They've sealed the area!"

Gu Changqing glanced up at the sky. "A thirty-six-man Astral Formation. They came in too much of a hurry and couldn't bring many Combat Department disciples, so they weren't able to make a formation that could completely lock down this area… Use the Five Elements Earth Escape Art!"

Qi Ming urgently said, "But, Eagle Master, the Five Elements Earth Escape Art won't let us bring too many people with us. It would be better to have them use their own escape techniques to try and run!"

"No! Ordinary escape techniques won't let them take anyone along, and the distance is too short, making it easy for them to be caught. We have to use the Five Elements Earth Escape Art in order to flee Wanquan City with Tang Jie." Gu Changqing took in a deep breath. "As for those we can't bring with us… All disciples below Spirit Sea must guard this place to the death!"

Everyone was shaken by this order. Only Zhao Xinguo said, "That's the only option!"

He hurried back into the forest, loudly shouting, "All disciples below Spirit Sea, protect the bamboo grove to the death! Die for the glory of my Godhead Palace!"

"For the glory of Godhead Palace!" the disciples in the forest roared in unison.

At the same time, all the Hawk Hall subordinates of Spirit Sea and above retreated from the forest and began to work together to lay down the Five Elements Earth Escape Art.

As they began to work together to cast the spell, there was a massive boom, and the entire bamboo grove swayed.

An azure hurricane stirred up, kicking up vicious winds.

"They're breaking the formation! The Azure Astrals have been mobilized!" a disciple shouted.

"It must be Zhao Xiliang!" Qi Ming said, turning ghastly pale.

The Five Elements Earth Escape Art was a long-distance teleportation spell art that required many people to work together and a set amount of time to cast. But Zhao Xiliang was breaking the formation with thunderous momentum. He had only just started, but the Azure Astrals were already alarmed, and the spiritual energy of the formation was in disarray and finding it difficult to gather. He clearly knew that the Godhead Palace disciples were trying to use a large-scale spell art to escape, so he was disrupting the flow of spiritual energy while breaking the formation so that they would find it difficult to cast the spell.

If this went on, the Basking Moon Sect would be able to charge in before they finished casting the Five Elements Earth Escape Art.

But more importantly, if Zhao Xiliang was here, it meant that so was Xie Fengtang!

"Eagle Master, what do we do?" a Hawk Hall subordinate shouted.

Before Gu Changqing could answer, a voice spoke. "Have one of the remaining disciples charge out and disrupt the breaking of the formation."

Everyone turned their heads in shock, for the speaker was Tang Jie.

He was sitting on the ground, leaning against the door lintel and looking at them.

He had recovered some of his energy after a little rest.

"Tang Jie!" Qi Ming was instantly enraged by the sight of him.

He was the one who had caused the Hawk Hall to lose so many good experts. Not only did they have to abandon this base they had operated for many years, they also had to abandon many disciples in order to escape.

And he still had the guts to talk at a time like this.

If not for the Martial Mirror, he would have killed this bastard right here!

Even so, he still shouted, "If you dare to speak nonsense again, I'll cut off your tongue!"

Tang Jie chuckled. "The thirty-six-man squad from the Combat Department is already putting their focus into locking down the skies and won't have the ability to do anything else. Zhao Xiliang is also mostly focused on breaking the formation. They won't expect it if you come out and make a surprise attack at this time to disrupt him. Just like laying down a formation, there are critical junctures in breaking a formation. If a person's tempo is suddenly disrupted by an attack, all their previous work might go to waste. Anyway, these are all people who are going to die here, so why not try? Consider it one last show of loyalty."

"Bullshit! All nonsense! You're making us send our men to their deaths!" Qi Ming angrily said.

Gu Changqing suddenly commented, "No, he's right. A counterattack will buy us more time."

Qi Ming was startled. "Eagle Master."

Gu Changqing was staring at Tang Jie. "But you have to counterattack at the right time. The wrong moment will lead to much less of an effect. We don't understand formations, so we would find it difficult to seize the right moment. But it seems like you understand a little… Damn it; I should have realized this! It seems like Xu Muyang really treated you well!"

Tang Jie looked out at the azure storm in the bamboo forest, muttering, "The Azure Astrals are in a frenzy, and signs of chaos are evident. This is the result of the Stop Gate coming under attack. Zhao Xiliang started from here to break control, remove variation, disrupt spiritual energy, and interrupt casting. The Basking Moon Sect has always emphasized stability in its actions, and Zhao Xiliang is no exception, though he's a little too by-the-books. If you attack him at the moment the Rest Gate acts on the Stop Gate, you will definitely be able to catch him off guard."

Gu Changqing and Qi Ming were dumbfounded.

At this moment, they found Tang Jie completely unfathomable.

"You… Why do you want to help us?" Qi Ming muttered.

Tang Jie ignored him, going on, "But besides being a formation master, Zhao Xiliang is also a Mortal Shedding expert at the Nine Revolutions Period. A few suicide soldiers of the Hawk Hall won't affect him that much. At least one Mortal Shedding Realm expert will be needed to successfully disrupt him. Of course, this person will more than likely die afterward."

He looked at Qi Ming and grinned. "You go and stop him. I'll tell you when the moment is right."

"Me?" Qi Ming was utterly dumbfounded.

"Yes, you. You can choose to die like a hero in battle, protecting your Eagle Master as he runs away with me, or can choose to die with everyone here."

Tang Jie's grin grew even bigger. "I already said that you didn't have much time left, but you didn't believe me!"

hypersheep325's Notes:

Tang Jie doesn't want to be saved? Is this his inner masochist coming out? Or is it part of the plan?

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Written by Yuanfen 0 缘分0. Translated by hypersheep325. Edited by Michyrr.