A short while later, Lu Ye peeked out from behind a rooftop. He saw what looked like a public square and a couple of bodies on the ground. At least thirty cultivators had gathered around the place.
The three sects who entered this place were the only ones capable of massing such a force, and since he already learned from his allies that Grand Sky Coalition wasn’t assembling here, they most likely belonged to Thousand Demon Ridge.
His suspicion was confirmed when he saw the petite woman named Ruo Yan among the cultivators. Chu Qing was nowhere to be seen though.
As it turned out, he knew the person they were attacking. It was none other than the body tempering cultivator he bade goodbye a while ago, Ju Jia.
Ju Jia was currently standing with his back bent and his face facing toward the ground. Countless spells and flying weapons were smashing into his body and disrupting his aura. His hemp shirt was tattered to begin with, but now his upper body was completely bare, exposing tough muscles and bloody wounds.
Lu Ye was shocked that Ju Jia was still standing. During their brief exchange earlier, Ju Jia had withstood a Sharp Edge-empowered slash and walked away with only a white mark on his chest. At the time, he was already awed by his toughness and wondering how it was even possible for a mere Ninth-Order cultivator to cultivate such a tough body.
The scene he was witnessing right now was even more impressive. Ju Jia was currently enduring a barrage of attacks no other Ninth-Order body tempering cultivator could possibly survive. At least seven or eight of the thirty Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators who were gathered here were throwing their spells or flying weapons at him, but he looked like he could withstand the barrage a while yet. It wasn’t like he was dodging the attacks either. From the looks of it, he wasn’t moving because he was protecting something underneath him.
Lu Ye focused his sight and realized that the thing underneath Ju Jia was his companion, the short cultivator with a mustache. Ju Jia was making sure that not a single attack would land on him.
Judging from the growing pool of blood beneath Ju Jia, though, there was a high chance the spell cultivator was already dead. In other words, Ju Jia was protecting a corpse right now.
How did they get themselves surrounded by Thousand Demon Ridge? The situation must’ve been really bad if that cunning bastard couldn’t survive even with Ju Jia’s protection.
Suddenly, Ruo Yan spoke up, “Join the House of Wintry Blossoms, and you will live to see another day, Ju Jia!”
In fact, Ruo Yan and her group had come specifically for Ju Jia. Even before they entered the Rift of Fortune, Chu Qing had already assigned her sect mates two missions: one was to kill Lu Ye, and the other Ju Jia.
She wanted Lu Ye dead because she wanted to take revenge for Chu Xue. As for Ju Jia, the man was famous for his inhuman physique. If they didn’t kill him now, he might join the Hidden Light Sanctuary in the future. They would rather nip the danger in the bud.
They weren’t the only ones who were hunting Ju Jia either. Sunlit Mountain was looking for him as well. They were going to fight a decisive battle against the Hidden Light Sanctuary later, so of course they were going to take out some potential threats before then. Ju Jia was easily at the top of their kill list.
Ruo Yan had given chase after discovering Ju Jia and the short cultivator. The short cultivator collapsed first, but Ju Jia was still alive.
Ruo Yan had heard of Ju Jia’s reputation a long time ago, but it wasn’t until today that she realized just how incredible he really was. Previously, she had thought Qiao Yun was the best of the best among her peers, but clearly that wasn’t the case.
This was why Ruo Yan was trying to persuade Ju Jia to join their side. The House of Wintry Blossoms could always use more body tempering cultivators, and their best, Qiao Yun had died not long ago. If she could recruit Ju Jia, then this venture wouldn’t be a complete tragedy.
She had already messaged Chu Qing about this and obtained her approval. In fact, the woman and her group were on their way over. They would be arriving very soon.
The House of Wintry Blossoms knew exactly what they wanted to do with Ju Jia. If they could recruit him, then all was well. If they couldn’t, then they would end his life.
Long story short, if they couldn’t have him, then no one would.
“Don’t be stubborn, Ju Jia! You know better than anyone how Sima Yang treats you! If you join us, we promise that no one will mistreat you ever again!”
Sima Yang was the name of his dead companion.
It wasn’t like no one ever tried to recruit an extraordinarily talented body tempering cultivator like Ju Jia? Of course they had. In fact, the recruitment efforts hadn’t stopped since the day he displayed his talent. A body tempering cultivator like him was worth ten ordinary body tempering cultivators. Who wouldn’t want to have him?
But of course, Sima Yang rejected them all on behalf of Ju Jia. They had never joined a sect since they started cultivating because they would have to bow their head to a higher power if they did, and that was something Sima Yang could never accept.
Speaking of which, the rumor that Ju Jia had never taken a life was real, as unbelievable as it sounded. It was because Sima Yang always took the last hit. Ju Jia would fight at the forefront, and Sima Yang from behind. Once the enemy was crippled, Sima Yang would kill them and claim everything for himself: Contribution Points, Storage Bags, everything.
Sima Yang had long ago realized that Ju Jia’s cultivation speed was far superior to his. If he did not do this, it was only a matter of time before Ju Jia left him behind. When that happened, he would not be able to travel with Ju Jia.
So, he forbade Ju Jia from killing. If Ju Jia didn’t kill, then he couldn’t earn Contribution Points. And if he couldn’t earn Contribution Points, then he couldn’t obtain a Heaven Grade cultivation technique. He would be stuck at the Ninth-Order until Sima Yang said otherwise.
With this arrangement, Sima Yang could eventually catch up to his companion and accumulate enough Contribution Points to purchase himself a good Heaven Grade cultivation technique. In fact, Sima Yang was planning to do that right after they left this Rift of Fortune. Only then would he find a way to get Ju Jia a Heaven Grade cultivation technique. This way, they could continue sticking together in their cultivation journey!
Sima Yang’s plan was not a secret among his fellow cultivators. In fact, more than one person had secretly told Ju Jia about this a long time ago. He just didn’t care since he had traveled with Sima Yang since he was still a weakling.
This was why no one was willing to help Sima Yang or join his team. Who in their right mind would cooperate with a known backstabber?
In the end, Sima Yang’s selfishness and greed turned out to be his undoing. He never thought the Rift of Fortune would be connected to the infamous Lost City of Xianyuan, and that the House of Wintry Blossoms and Sunlit Mountain were planning to take Ju Jia—and by extension, him—out before their clash against Hidden Light Sanctuary. In his head, he thought the two sects would target Hidden Light Sanctuary first because they were the sworn enemy. He was even planning to play the fisherman while the two sides battled against each other.
Unfortunately, the House of Wintry Blossoms found them first. His fate was sealed after that. Even Lu Ye would’ve died if he didn’t have the Ghost Spirits back then, much less the likes of him.
The House of Wintry Blossoms had attacked Sima Yang and Ju Jia with a party of thirty plus cultivators. However, they had lost a couple of people not because Sima Yang was all that impressive, but because Ju Jia was abnormal.
When Lu Ye first laid eyes on Ju Jia, he already noticed that his aura was almost as pure as his, if not purer. It was because Ju Jia had been stuck on the Ninth-Order for two or three years, and he hadn’t consumed a single Spirit Pill during this time. Naturally, his Spiritual Power was as pure as it could be.
Meanwhile, Ju Jia’s continued silence had finally caused Ruo Yan to lose her patience. She raised her hand and opened her mouth to give the kill order. There was no point keeping an enemy they couldn’t recruit to their side alive.
Suddenly, her arm paused in mid-motion. She spun in the direction of where a familiar figure was standing on the rooftop and looking down on her.
Her pupils contracted with shock for an instant before turning hateful. “I knew you’re still alive!”
Initially, she and Chu Qing believed that Lu Ye had died with Qiao Yun. However, they didn’t discover his corpse when they went to retrieve their fallen comrade’s corpse. Since then, Chu Qing suspected that their nemesis was still alive.
That was why the duo had split up into two groups. Ruo Yan’s group would look for Ju Jia, while Chu Qing’s for Lu Ye. They weren’t going to stop until they killed him or found proof that he was dead.
She hadn’t expected Lu Yi Ye to show himself right before she was about to order Ju Jia’s death. As if that wasn’t arrogant enough, he was just as alone as the first time she met him.
Ruo Yan was so angry that her lips morphed into a toothy, savage grin. Last time, their ambush had failed because the Xianyuan City Watch had appeared at the worst possible time. However, that was just bad luck. There was no way the same thing could happen a second time, right?
Just as she thought this, a sobbing noise came from nearby. At the same time, spectral sentries emerged from every direction and threw a ton of Spirit Shackling Ropes at them.
Pipa Girl’s cries were no ordinary cries. It was a special sonic attack that even Lu Ye and his Ghost Spirits couldn’t do anything against if they didn’t have Amber back then.
The attack was much weaker after her cultivation level had fallen to the Ninth-Order, and she was converted into a Ghost Spirit. Even still, it was enough to buzz their ears and make them dizzy.
At the same time, Pipa Girl started playing her pipa. It was like a scene straight out of a horror show. Many Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators swayed on their feet as if they were drunk.
Thanks to her power, many Spirit Shackling Ropes successfully landed on their target. A single Spirit Shackling Rope was hardly inescapable, but it was a different story if they were hit by more than one.
Beside Pipa Girl, Liu Sanbao threw his three dice and killed everyone the sentries immobilized.
That wasn’t all. Lu Ye had also launched his flying weapons and made them spin like a top. Everywhere they went, blood and gore were sure to follow.
Yi Yi was casting her spells as well.
Everything had happened in the blink of an eye. Eight people were dead, and at least a dozen were bound by the Spirit Shackling Ropes in but an instant.
“Protect your minds!” Ruo Yan screamed with bloodshot eyes. After releasing her Spiritual Power and breaking out of the Spirit Shackling Ropes binding her, she shot a flying weapon straight at the nearest sentry leader.
The rest of her companions finally reacted and did everything they could to save themselves.
Blood curdling screams erupted all over the place. A couple more people were killed in just a matter of seconds.
They were so busy fighting that they did not notice that Amber had leaped off of Lu Ye’s shoulder. It ran toward the crouching Ju Jia and stopped in front of him.