The flying ship was much faster than the ships! Within a few days, the two flying ships had already arrived at Nine-Five Island.
“Go to the Clear River Sect!” ordered Long Wanqing.
“Yes!” the subordinate at the back controlled the White Cloud to fly towards the Clear River Sect.
The nearby Fire Throne Master said, furrowing her brow, “Your Grace, I know you favor Gu Hai, I also know that the right to decide who should be Throne Master is yours. However, my Ascendant Hall has its own rules, these rules were set by previous Hall Lord, according to which we are not allowed to kill each other. Is Your Grace really not going to do anything whatsoever? No matter what, Gu Hai has broken the rules, he has killed my Ascendant Hall members!?”
“Meng Tai has only himself to blame!” stated Long Wanqing in a heavy tone.
The old matron Ding Rui shook her head as she said, “No matter how you say it, Meng Tai was also the Earth Throne Master, Gu Hai didn’t have the qualifications to decide the life and death of the Earth Throne Master. He has acted beyond his authority. No matter how wrong Meng Tai was, we cannot let it pass, no matter who it is! If someday Hall Lord did wrong, can Gu Hai kill Hall Lord?”
“Throne Master Ding, we will discuss it later!” said Long Wanqing, frowning.
“I guess, we will have to discuss it later, as Gu Hai has still not been found. Your subordinate only wanted to remind Hall Master that Gu Hai has broken my Ascendant Hall rules by killing Meng Tai, he must be punished. Furthermore, Gu Hai’s name has still not entered the books, he has to be punished for this crime!” stated Ding Rui solemnly.
“As I have said, we will discuss it later, okay!? Currently, finding my mother’s killer is at the top of my list!” said Long Wanqing coldly.
“Yes, Your Grace!” Ding Rui remained unconvinced, but in the end, she could only nod agreement.
The two flying ships quickly arrived at the Clear River Sect.
The Clear River Sect was surrounded by mountains and forests. Many halls and residences coupled with countless cloud arrays could be found everywhere among these mountains, it was a dream-like paradise.
The arrival of two flying ships sent the Clear River Sect into an uproar immediately. Some of the disciples were just about to curse in anger.
However, Clear River Sect chief took a closer look and recognized the White Cloud, as well as the Divine Battalion’s flying ship, at one glance.
“Everyone, come and respectfully welcome the Ascendant Hall Lord and Divine Battalion Commander!” the Clear River Sect chief shouted at the top of his lungs, his voice reverberating throughout the sect.
The disciples all around were in a complete pandemonium. Apparently, the Ascendant Hall and the Divine Battalion’s fame had spread far and wide on Nine-Five Island.
As the flying ships arrived, they were not blocked by any array at all. Gracefully, they landed in an open square.
“Clear River Sect chief, I have come to trespass on your hospitality again!” said Long Wanqing as she burst into laughter.
“Not at all, my Clear River Sect is graced by your esteemed presence; it’s my Clear River Sect’s blessing. This old crock is pleased to meet Ascendant Hall Lord, Divine Battalion Commander, Throne Master Ding, Grandmaster Liunian!” greeted the Clear River Sect chief, his smile beaming.
“Clear River Sect Chief, my Divine Battalion will temporarily rest in your Clear River Sect, can you please give us a place where my Divine Battalion can make camp?” asked Li Haoran in a heavy tone.
“Naturally, naturally, fellow daoists, please come in inside!” replied the Clear River Sect chief in an extremely polite manner.
The news of the arrival of the Divine Battalion and Ascendant Hall’s flying ships at the Clear River Sect soon spread to the various sects of Nine-Five Island.
Immediately after, cultivators of those sects began paying visits to Clear River Sect.
Inside a palace of Clear River Sect, after a few days…
Fire Throne Master Ding Ruis met the Song Jia Sect chief.
“Throne Master Ding, is what you said true?” The Song Jia Sect Chief’s face twisted as he asked the question.
Leaning on her walking stick, Ding Rui replied as her gaze turned cold as ice, “Yes! So, from now on, you will spread all the information that I gave you, not just to Nine-Five Island, but to all the islands around it. Since Gu Hai has a Hundred Years Longevity Peach, we can let everyone else look for him!”
“Yes, we should not spread the news only here. If my guess is right, many cultivators should be chasing after him from Tianyuan Island. We should spread the information to every nook and corner of the Thousand Islands Seas, what do you think?” Song Jia Sect Chief nodded in agreement.
“Don’t be careless. From what I have come to know of Gu Hai, this Gu Hai is an expert in seizing opportunities, he is also one big variable. We can’t allow him to spoil our plans! So, Gu Hai needs to die! Do you understand?” Ding Rui narrowed her eyes as she glared at the Song Jia Sect Chief.
Nodding in acknowledgment, the Song Jia Sect Chief said, “Understood, I will send all of Song Jia Sect’s disciples!”
“It is still not enough. When you spread his information, add one more thing as well!” added Ding Rui in a firm tone.
“The potency of Hundred Years Longevity Peaches that Gu Hai ate is in his body. If someone eats Gu Hai or uses him for refining pills, it will similarly increase their lifespan!” added Ding Rui calmly.
“Ah? That’s impossible, right?”
“I know it’s impossible, you know it’s impossible, but, as long as this rumor is spread, it will still become true, even if it’s a hoax!” Ding Rui said coldly.
On the Thousand Islands Seas…
Gu Hai’s party sailed quickly across the sea aboard the huge ship. A ship business was quite a profitable. To embark on the ship, one had to pay spirit stones; to eat something during the journey, which could possibly last for months, one had to pay even more spirit stones. A shipowner could earn a ton of spirit stones by sailing just once across the Thousand Islands Seas.
During the journey, Gu Hai mostly stayed in the private room, cultivating, but occasionally, he would come out to breathe fresh air.
Today, the trio came to the deck and gazed off the far side of the bow.
“Throne Master, we have been at sea for over two months already, we should be arriving at Nine-Five Island soon!” Chen Tianshan said enthusiastically, pointing off the far side.
“I am not sure what this trip has in store for us. You should no longer address me as Throne Master, or it might reveal our identities. In the future, you should address me as ‘My Lord’!” said Gu Hai in a dire tone.
“Yes, My Lord!” the two complied immediately.
While the trio were gazing into the distance, wooooosh, a gust blew into their faces suddenly.
The weather changed quickly, followed by a tempest. The bright and clear sky rapidly turned dark as black clouds shrouded the sky, indicating a storm was coming.
Everything came too fast, there was no warning at all.
The winds raised up massive waves, which rocked the entire ship fiercely.
“Ah, I’m being rocked to death, what’s going on?”
“How did the weather change so rapidly?”
“A storm is coming!?”…
Countless cultivators stood on the deck with a vacant look on their faces. Why did it become dark in just a moment?
The grand array on the ship was activated, forming a blue light shield around the ship, like a protective sphere covering the entire ship.
Sure enough, in mere moments, the waves became bigger and bigger, even the array protecting the ship started to shake.
The waves soared into the sky. Some waves were a couple dozen meters high. Countless fish were even tossed into the air by the billowing sea waves.
“Something is wrong, this storm isn’t that simple!” the boatman screamed in shock as his expression changed.
Amid the dark clouds, the thunder clapped and lightning flashed, and a rainstorm came crashing from the sky, showering the sea. Soon after, the massive and billowing waves swept across the light shield of the ship, bursting forth with a deafening impact. Listening to it, a horrified look blanketed the faces of everyone on the deck.
Even Chen Tianshan gulped down a mouthful of saliva.
This was the majestic might of nature; seeing this, even Chen Tianshan, who was already a Golden Core Stage cultivator, started to worry.
“Something isn’t right, these dark clouds are really strange! It doesn’t seem like a storm!”
“It was too sudden. Maybe someone or something summoned it?”
“Summoned? Sea beasts? We are not going to encounter any sea beasts, right?”…
Worried looks appeared on the faces of many of the cultivators.
“Sea beast? What sea beast?” Gu Hai looked at Chen Tianshan as his expression changed.
Suddenly, a thunderous roar came from underneath the sea, as an oppressive force soared up from the bottom of the ship.
A massive wave promptly flung the ship over a hundred zhang into the air.
Many cultivators burst out screaming.
Gu Hai’s party immediately grabbed onto the railings before they flew into the air from the ship.
Monstrous sea waves erupted all around. Gu Hai noticed a colossus silhouette while he was tumbling through the air. A colossal black hornless dragon’s-head had emerged from the sea. It was glowering and roaring, a hideous dragon’s-head, with a huge scar over its left eye, making it look even more aggressive.
A sky-shaking dragon’s roar thundered across the sky, blasting the sea all about them. The dark clouds in the sky churned and gathered around, with occasional lightning and a heavy downpour. Seeing all this, a terrified look appeared on everyone’s faces.
According to Gu Hai’s estimation, this monster was at least three hundred zhang long. At least three hundred zhang, because most of its body was hidden under the waves.
“Flood dragon, Thousand Islands Sea beast, flood dragon!? Why is it here, why the hell is it here?”
“We are finished, we are completely finished, it’s a flood dragon!”…
Screams filled with panic rang out all around.
Gu Hai and the others’ eyes widened in shock.
Flood dragon? This was not a cloud beast! Although the size was just about the same, its imposing manner was completely different.
The cloud beasts were just humongous monsters, but the flood dragon before them could summon the winds and call the rain, and command the sea with its roar! Its strength was on a whole new level.
ROAR! The flood dragon’s roar shot through the sky.
The huge ship suddenly appeared insignificant before the flood dragon.
The ship crashed back into the sea as the blue light shield around it flickered fiercely, as if it would collapse at any moment.
Most of the cultivators turned pale with fright.
“We are finished, we are finished!” everyone screamed in horror.
Suddenly, another roar resounded from under the sea.
Just as the ship came falling down, it was once again tossed into the air by the stormy sea.
The dark clouds blotting the sky gathered once again, lightning flashing and thunder clapping, along with a heavy downpour.
“There is another sea beast? Another sea beast that can affect nature? How is this possible?”
All around, screams and rumbles rang out to no end.
When the ship was falling down again, Gu Hai finally got to see the other sea beast.
It was a huge turtle, at least two hundred zhang long. However, this giant turtle was significantly different; there was a dragon horn on the colossal turtle’s head, which looked particularly vicious.
The giant turtle let out a roar, setting off a storm all around them immediately. A gigantic whirlpool, spinning at a terrifying speed, had suddenly formed in the sea.
“Bixi!? It’s a Bixi! How is this possible? Why did a Bixi appear here as well?” A desperate look showed up on many cultivators’ faces.
Judging by the past, they would be done for just encountering one of them. And today, they had encountered two ferocious sea beasts.
Everyone was so downcast that they were about to break into tears. Had they known about this, they would not have come chasing after Gu Hai.
Their ship crashed into the sea again, right between the two colossal sea beasts.
The two sea beasts didn’t seem to care much about the ship. The Flood Dragon and Bixi glowered and roared at each other, giving the impression they would not rest until one of them was dead.
“We are finished, we are doomed! What should we do?” screamed Chen Tianshan as a horrified look appeared on his face.
“Put on the life jackets, quickly!” Gu Hai shouted at the top of his lungs.
While speaking, he quickly took out three life jackets. It was something that Gu Hai had made way back; although he didn’t know whether they would be useful in their current predicament, he still put one on.
Chen Tianshan and Gao Xianzhi hurriedly put on the life jackets.
While the others were still frozen with terror, Gu Hai and the two tied ropes around each other. At the same time, Gu Hai instructed Gao Xianzhi to quickly stuff the Throne Master token inside his soles and tie his shoes properly.
Sure enough, the flood dragon let out a roar as it fiercely whipped its tail!
The dragon flung its tail with a tremendous force. Under its terrifying strength, the huge ship tore into pieces with a loud crash.
Crying and shouting came from everywhere, but in the blink of an eye, everyone was caught up in a huge wave.
ROAR! The Bixi roared in anger, totally ignoring the wave that crashed over it.
The two colossal sea beasts started to fight with each other.
Meanwhile, the dark clouds churned as lightning came crashing down from the sky, one bolt after another. The terrifying aftershocks of the fight churned the sea. The cultivators were simply too late to notice anything and were dragged under the sea by the whirlpool in the blink of an eye.
Gu Hai could feel the impacts everywhere. It was quite terrible. The two sea beast actually fought by employing the force of the sea.
An ordinary cultivator like him was simply unable to counter it with his prowess.
At present, Gu Hai and Gao Xianzhi were in the Xiantian Stage, while Chen Tianshan was in the Golden Core Stage. However, even Golden Core Stage seemed so insignificant and small before the two sea beasts.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
One after another, powerful shockwaves from the battle struck Gu Hai.
Even with his external strength cultivation, Gu Hai was still unable to persevere for too long. Slowly, Gu Hai lost his consciousness and fainted.
Similarly, Chen Tianshan and Gao Xianzhi also blacked out.
The madly thrashing sea waves knocked them out cold.
After the heavens knew how many days and nights, the flood dragon and Bixi left, the billowing dark clouds scattered, and the sea slowly recovered its calm.
Looking at the mirror-like sea, no one would guess how terrifying were the sea waves that had thrashed this place.
The ship was torn into pieces under the terrifying might of two titanic sea beasts. All the passengers aboard it had completely disappeared, swept away by the vast sea.
Everything was calm until another ship passed by. Atop the mast of this ship fluttered a giant banner, with “Golden” written in large characters on it.
[TLN: Actually, the character here used was Feng “丰” from 大丰帮, which is the name of the gang they belongs. Feng means abundant; plentiful; rich; full, but as using any of those or their synonyms for the name sounded awkward, we have decided to use Golden Tong, and hence “Golden” on the banner.]
At the bow, stood several men dressed in black robes with a frown as they looked into the distance.
“Flood dragon and Bixi? These two sea beasts have always minded their own business, why in the hell did they fight here? For many days and nights, the seas were raging like mad, all we could do was dock at a nearby island and wait!” said one of the men, frowning.
“Yes! We have been delayed for a few days. If Boss blames us…?” said another man, worried.
“Furthermore, a few people were able to escape because of the big waves. How should we explain it to Boss?”
Everyone sunk into silence.
“Look, someone’s there!” one of the men warned as a gleam appeared in his eyes.
As everyone turned their gazes, they noticed three people wearing odd vests far away in the sea. It was Gu Hai’s party, the trio were floating in the sea, unconscious.
“Pull them up!” ordered one of the men, shouting.
Soon, the three were pulled up. The makeup on their faces has already disappeared, but after having been floating in the sea for a couple of days, their faces were somewhat bloated, no one could tell who they were.
Wearing the life jackets, the three had tied themselves together with the rope, and therefore remained together.
A black-robed man sent his True Qi into the trio’s body.
“Elder, they are still alive. Two are in Xiantian Stage and the other in Golden Core Stage. Although they are alive, their injuries aren’t light!” informed the black-robed man.
“Two in Xiantian Stage and one in Golden Core Stage!? Good, good, good!” the Elder suddenly broke into laughter.
“Elder, what’s so good about it?” Everyone was confused.
“Didn’t five people escape a few days ago? We can use these three to fill the numbers. At least, we have reduced our losses by half. Boss isn’t going to blame us much!” the Elder said happily.
“Right, that’s right, Elder is wise!” Everyone’s mood immediately went over the moon.
“No one can ever speak about this; otherwise, don’t blame me for being impolite!” stated the Elder coldly.
“Full speed ahead to Nine-Five Island, we are returning to our headquarters!” ordered the Elder, delighted.
After the heavens knew how long, Gu Hai woke up from his stupor.
“Ke ke ke!” After a series of coughs, Gu Hai vomited up some sea water as he drowsily woke up.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
Chains clattered before Gu Hai discovered in surprise that he was simply unable to move his hands.
Turning his head and looking around, he noticed his hands bound with chains and he could not move them.
No, not just his hands, even his legs were bound with chains.
Furthermore, Gu Hai’s face seemed to have been covered with a bronze mask above his nose.
“What’s going on?” Gu Hai’s expression changed.