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The Dragon

The Dragon By Dec 04, 2023 6 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 94

Chapter 95

Lu City had defense and surveillance in place, but years of comfort had led to complacency. By the time the city’s guards noticed a large group of cultivators entering their territory and reported to the city lord, it was already late. When the city lord arrived, he saw a dark mass pressing down from the sky, accompanied by a chilling wind.

“Activate the defensive formation! Send a signal, notify the Thirty-Three Skies, call for reinforcements from other cities, quickly! Quickly!” he ordered.

“Summon the cultivators!” his command echoed far and wide.

In response, the guardian cultivator at the eastern tower immediately rang the golden bell. Three bell tolls sounded, signaling a city-wide alert.

Defensive formations at the city gates were activated, illuminating the entire city with a protective dome of spiritual energy. The City Lord hurried down the city wall, barely stepping off the last stair.

Suddenly, there was a loud explosion. The City Lord’s heart skipped a beat as a series of thunderous sounds, accompanied by the bell and cries of alarm, came from the east.

A flying sword had penetrated the city’s defenses, which inexplicably failed, not holding up even for a moment, and vanished without a trace. The sword cut the chains of the bell in the watchtower, causing it to fall and roll into the street. The citizens, confused by the sight of numerous armed cultivators gathering and the sound of the bell, naturally panicked. Chaos erupted on the streets as the bell crashed down.

The dark clouds advanced menacingly, and the spirit crossbows mounted on the city towers for long-range attacks were operated in haste. In the ensuing confusion, only a few arrows were loosed, their force greatly reduced, making them easy to evade.

The City Lord looked up at the sky and inadvertently locked eyes with Gu Fuyou.

He had once attended a grand feast in the Thirty-Three Skies and had seen the Azure Phoenix before.

In shock, he called out to the sky, “Elder, what is the meaning of this…?”

The once-honored guest to now leading an opposing army.

Seeing the Azure Phoenix’s mocking smile and barely deciphering her lips saying “Attack,” the cultivators in the sky swooped down like hawks eyeing their prey. Paralyzed, the City Lord could only think one thing.

It’s over, it’s over.

The Azure Phoenix was a Soul Splitting cultivator, and no one in the city could match her. The city was undermanned, and reinforcements were uncertain.

The city was shrouded in a grey light, a shadow of doom. He never imagined being so powerless on his own turf.

“This is my Zuo family’s territory…”

“City Lord, City Lord, we must escape! Our lives are at stake!”

His escorts hastily led him away to secretly flee the city, which was already engulfed in black smoke and had fallen to the enemy in less than half a day.

“Don’t look back, City Lord,” his escorts urged, pulling him along. “Report to the Sect Leader in the Thirty-Three Skies. Once he sends reinforcements, we can retake Lu City.”

“City Lord, our priority is to escape. We will deal with the Azure Phoenix later, but not now.”

Before they could finish their conversation, a group of people blocked their path. Upon closer inspection, it was the heads of the Zhou and Fu families from two smaller cities within Lu City’s domain.

Before they could speak, Xiao Zhongting and Seven, leading the pursuers, blocked their retreat.

The City Lord, filled with frustration, exclaimed, “No wonder there was no response to the signal. You’ve colluded with Qingluan, betraying the Zuo family who protected you for centuries. You ingrates, treacherous and heartless!”

He turned abruptly, glaring at Xiao Zhongting, “This is Nanzhou! Do you really think you can overthrow the Zuo family?”

Xiao Zhongting looked at him mockingly, “Nanzhou? The Zuo family no longer rules these lands.”

Within a month, city after city in the north fell one after another. The primary reason was that the teleportation formation in Wantong City had been destroyed, leading to slow communication and a lack of preparedness. Each city fought alone, unable to match the power of the slaves under Gu Fuyou’s control. Furthermore, with families opposed to the Zuo family collaborating with Gu Fuyou from within, the Zuo cities were defeated one by one.

Gu Fuyou would capture a city only to abandon it, never using it as a stronghold. By the time the Zuo family arrived in response, all they found were half-destroyed, empty cities.

By the time the news of Qingluan leading cultivators to attack Nanzhou reached everyone, the north of Nanzhou had already fallen, with Bailu City and Wantong City, two major cities, reduced to ruins. Panic spread, as people feared waking up to find Qingluan at their city gates.

Cities throughout Nanzhou sent envoys to the Thirty-Three Skies to meet with Zuo Yuezhi, requesting powerful cultivators from within the sect to guard their cities. In the Thirty-Three Skies, atop the Zhuling Platform, Zuo Yuezhi sat on the Sect Leader’s throne, hand supporting his forehead, his expression troubled.

“Any news of Qingluan?”

“Sect Leader, we have found nothing.”

The Elder spoke urgently, “How can such a large group go undetected?”

A person kneeling below trembled, The Dragon King is with her; anyone who gets too close is immediately noticed…”

“Again, the Dragon King! She’s everywhere!” Anger echoed in the Thirty-Three Skies.

Zuo Yuezhi leaned on his hand, closed his eyes, and sighed deeply, “Du Pan.”

Du Pan stepped forward and bowed, “Sect Leader, without knowing Qingluan’s next move, it’s difficult for us to send support. We’re always one step behind her unpredictable actions, capturing cities without holding them and always moving to the next. Even when we think we’re catching up, she hits us with a surprise attack. If we send our sect’s cultivators to guard every city, the Thirty-Three Skies will be left vulnerable. If Qingluan then strikes there, we risk losing the Thirty-Three Skies.”

The Elders were infuriated, “Qingluan deceived Zuo Yuanrong, killed Zuo Shaode, took two major cities but abandoned them to wage war elsewhere, looting only magical artifacts and spirit stones. Despite being a Soul Splitting stage cultivator, she seems unconcerned about divine retribution. What does she want?”

Zuo Yuezhi had sent people to Wantong City and Bailu City. They captured Zuo Shaode’s sons and brought them to the Thirty-Three Skies for interrogation, learning about the events in Tu Mountain and Zuo Shaode’s death. The cultivators who went to Bailu City found it empty, with no Zuo family cultivators left, neither Zuo Yuanrong nor Zuo Qingfeng…

“This Qingluan, is she taking pleasure in war?”

“I don’t think so. Maybe she’s a spy sent by the Azure Phoenix Clan to disrupt Nanzhou. Otherwise, why would the Dragon King join her? To reclaim the Five Continents, starting with Nanzhou.”

“If that’s the case, there should be some movement in Zhongzhou by now. Why hasn’t a single Azure Phoenix Clan member set foot in Nanzhou? Her actions don’t seem to be directed by Zhongzhou.”

Zuo Yuezhi spoke gravely, “I failed to see her true nature, inviting the wolf into our home.”

Du Pan reassured, “Qingluan is a masterful actor, deceiving even our protectors. Sect Leader, don’t be too hard on yourself. Right now, we need to strategize.”

“What do you suggest, Du Pan?”

“I believe the Sect Leader already has a decision in mind.”

Zuo Yuezhi stood up, pacing back and forth on the Zhuling Platform in silence, waiting for the right moment to speak. He held the back of the throne and sighed, “Ask the Biluo Sect for help.”

“Understood.”

In Nanzhou, the harvest season was in full swing.

Gu Fuyou’s forces had almost covered all of Nanzhou, except for the Thirty-Three Skies. They had captured city after city, leaving none behind, except for the city ahead – Xiaoyao City.

There was a large rice field on the outskirts of Xiaoyao City, tended by ordinary people. The autumn breeze brought waves of golden ripples to the fields, inspiring a lullaby.

Gu Fuyou walked alone through the rice fields.

Since awakening from the Xian Luo, she had not returned to Xiaoyao City, perhaps hesitant as she neared her hometown.

She had heard from Si Miao that seven hundred years ago, Xiaoyao City was almost burnt down by Zuo Tianlang.

The Zuo family wanted several spirit mines within Xiaoyao City’s territory, which led to its reconstruction. Over seven hundred years, the people had changed several times.

This place was both her homeland and no longer her homeland.

Gu Fuyou approached the city wall and saw Zuo Tianlang hanging there. She chuckled, “He really does look best when he’s hung up here.”

In every city she conquered, she made it a point to hang Zuo Tianlang from the city walls. Watching him being hung had become a sort of fixation for her. Nobody dared to question her orders; they simply complied.

Tilting her head, Gu Fuyou noticed Zuo Tianlang’s vacant expression and the bruises on his face. Xiao Zhongting was standing nearby on the city wall. Gu Fuyou remarked, “What have you done to him? He doesn’t even look like Zuo Tianlang anymore.” His once-arrogant demeanor had been replaced by a look of defeated resignation.

Xiao Zhongting replied, “Better not to ask, my lady. The details might offend your ears.”

Gu Fuyou responded indifferently, “Just don’t kill him,” and proceeded towards the city.

Xiaoyao City had suffered the least damage of all the cities she had attacked, maintaining much of its original appearance.

The route to the City Lord’s mansion had changed. She stood outside the mansion for a while before entering. Passing by the study, she noticed someone inside.

Quietly entering, she saw Scholar Zhai, who had set aside her folding fan and was busy writing something.

Standing behind Scholar Zhai, Gu Fuyou watched her write:

“In the final years of the old era, a powerful figure rose unexpectedly. Assisted by the Dragon Kings of the Four Seas, she swept through the south, unstoppable. Her beauty captured Bailu City; her cunning took Wantong City. Wherever she went, the Zuo family’s cultivators fled in terror.”

“What are you writing?” Gu Fuyou asked.

Startled by her sudden voice, Scholar Zhai dropped her pen and clutched her chest, “Don’t sneak up on me like that, you nearly scared me to death.”

“Did you die?”

“…”

Scholar Zhai picked up the paper and blew on it before saying, “I’m writing your biography. In the future, when people speak of Gu Fuyou, they will remember you as a legendary figure who conquered Nanzhou.”

Gu Fuyou laughed, “Fame and a heroics? What’s the difference between those and a bear?”

Scholar Zhai raised an eyebrow, surprised, “Fame? Miss Zhong said you liked these things.”

Gu Fuyou’s eyes flickered, and she looked down, “That was before, when I had nothing better to do and sought only empty fame.”

Scholar Zhai smiled, “What’s wrong with fame?”

Liu Niang and Twenty-Three entered the study and, seeing Gu Fuyou, hurriedly bowed, “My Lord.”

They had come for their lessons.

Many of the slaves, like Twenty-Three and Liu Niang, grew up in Bailu City and were illiterate, a deliberate ploy by the Zuo family. Illiteracy meant no ideas, making them easier to control.

Scholar Zhai, upon learning this, began teaching them to read and write whenever she could. It was a slow process, but she enjoyed teaching. Liu Niang and Twenty-Three were particularly quick learners.

Scholar Zhai said, “My life is limited, and I will one day return to the heavens. If they excel in their studies, they can succeed me and become your top strategists.”

Despite saying it in a joking tone, she meant it.

Gu Fuyou asked Twenty-Three, “Where’s your master?”

Twenty-Three, still somewhat fearful in Gu Fuyou’s presence, managed to reply, “In the eastern garden pavilion, talking with Lady Si Miao.”

Gu Fuyou left the room and headed towards the eastern garden. As she entered through the moon gate, she saw Zhong Michu and Si Miao standing side by side by the railing, looking out over the pond.

Zhong Michu said, “I haven’t had a chance to talk to you quietly. I want to thank you for your help back on Tu Mountain.”

Si Miao, expressionless, with her three-legged crow’s shrill voice, replied, “I’ve been laying low in Wanyao Pavilion for years, dealing with Du Pan and those pills for the Xu Ling Sect, and it wasn’t just for you. It was pure chance that Zuo Shaode took the pill I’d tampered with. Call it luck, call it fate, but your time wasn’t up yet. So, no need to thank me.”

Gu Fuyou approached, smiling, “This is what they call ‘Human determination can overcome fate’. Si Miao, if you hadn’t messed with those pills from the Zuo family, she wouldn’t be where she is now. You are the cause; she is the effect. It’s rare for the Dragon King to owe a favor. You really shouldn’t turn her down.”

Zhong Michu, with a light voice, greeted, “Ah Man.”

The three-legged crow added, “When senior sister saved me from Lu Yandong, it was a life for a life. Let’s call it even.”

Mentioning Lu Yandong, Gu Fuyou’s face slightly darkened.

She changed the subject with a smile, “It’s rare to see you two talking together. What were you discussing before?”

Si Miao’s gaze softened, filled with a rare warmth as she deeply gazed at Gu Fuyou.

Influenced by her, the three-legged crow’s tone also became gentler, “Ah Man, I’ll be accompanying senior sister from now on.”

The Merchants’ Association received news that Xu Ling Sect sought help from the Sanxian Sect.

The Cangwu Sect, driven by profit, would not act easily until the situation became clear.

The Qianyun Sect had always been the least involved in worldly affairs and its stance was unclear.

However, the Biluo Sect’s involvement was certain, having formed a marriage alliance with Xu Ling Sect a hundred years ago.

Biluo Sect would definitely send reinforcements to Nanzhou.

For Gu Fuyou, facing two sects alone was going to be tough.

Zhong Michu planned to return to the Eastern Sea to restrain Biluo Sect. Gu Fuyou already knew and had tacitly agreed. But she did not know that Si Miao would also be going.

Thinking about it, she could have guessed.

So she wasn’t surprised, only holding Si Miao’s hand, bowing her head in silence.

After a long while, she said softly, “Alright.”

Si Miao was a resolute and clear-minded person, always knowing what she wanted and never swayed by others, ever since she was young.

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Previous: Chapter 94

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Shakthivel
Shakthivel
7 months ago

Thanks for the chapter..

dadin
dadin
7 months ago

Scholar Zhai be writing fuyou’s biography like a fanfiction.
lol

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago
Reply to  dadin

Aren’t they all like fanfic tho? 🙂

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

Fuyou and Michu depart for separate destinies, what awaits our main characters now? Read the next chapter to find out!

Doom
Doom
5 months ago

I love si miao but when I truly think about her hauling the lover’s corpse around is extremely disturbing. Girl.let.him.go. let.him.rest. either.let.him.go.or.join.him. poor si miao is broken beyond repaired 😔

Hatimo
Hatimo
26 days ago

I don’t understand why xi mao wanna follow michu?