Chapter 935 – An Old Acquaintance Dies in Flowing Light City (1)
Ye Qingyu turned his sights toward the hulls and decks of several warships and examined them carefully.
He could vaguely see that on the deck of every warship were nearly one hundred disciples wearing the sect’s uniform and armored warriors, with the weakest among them at the preliminary Heaven Ascension realm. This more so made him feel puzzled as to how the strength of the Greater One Sect’s disciples had improved so rapidly within only two to three years of time. Moreover, those foreboding armored warriors appeared highly mysterious and were full of evil spirit. He firmly believed that it was impossible for the Greater One Sect to train a brigade like this in such a short time.
Could some mysterious force be secretly assisting the Greater One Sect?
He harbored suspicions without end.
After dozens of warships swept by, thousands of mutated spiritual birds which gave off specks of strange aura scurried out of the clouds. They had the body shapes of giant eagles, and every one of them was at least a hundred meters in length. Blood-colored rays of light flickered indistinctly in their dark-green eyes, as if they were under the control of some power. Possessing a terrifying aura, they flapped their wings as they slowly proceeded in the same direction as the warships, letting out shrilling and terrifying cries every now and then. Their close following of the warships suggested that they were the latter’s winged guards.
By Ye Qingyu’s estimation, the total combat strength of these mutated spiritual birds was even more frightening than that of the dozens of warships.
The problem was, Ye Qingyu did not remember the Greater One Sect ever having a method of manipulating spiritual birds.
Everything was all too strange.
Seems like I must first find out what happened in the Clear River Domain during this period of time.
Ye Qingyu did not pursue the warship contingent, for he could discern that this was just a small section rather than the main force of the Greater One Sect’s army. As such, he would not only be unable to find out anything from them but would also end up alerting the enemy. After thinking it over, he decided to proceed to Flowing Light City first and find Heng Yuge, Ling Xiaoran, and Chen Zhengliang at the South Facing Inn. He hoped to find out the truth of the matter from them before rushing to the Wei River Mountain Range, where he would be able to see if the horrific scene in that wisp of consciousness had actually taken place.
With a thought, he instantly disappeared on the spot.
An hour later.
In front of the gate tower of Flowing Light City.
Ye Qingyu’s figure emerged.
The lofty, giant gate and walls of Flowing Light City had already been repaired. The giant stone bulwarks looked grand and imposing, such that there was no sign of them ever being damaged by the flames of war. However, what surprised Ye Qingyu was that the flags which fluttered above the buildings had all been changed to the lotus totem flags of the Greater One Sect, while the armored guards patrolling the city were all wearing armlets with the symbol of said sect.
It appeared that Flowing Light City had been recaptured by the Greater One Sect.
This made Ye Qingyu feel uneasy.
Now that the Greater One Sect has regained control of this place, I wonder how Chen Zhengliang and the others are doing?
He followed the crowd and slowly headed toward the city gate.
Below the city gate.
“Everyone who wants to enter or leave has to be checked. Anyone who dares to resist and any wanted criminal discovered will be killed on the spot. Those who dare to cover up a wanted criminal are equally guilty!” A cold and merciless voice repeatedly sounded from a formation screen, which could cover half a wall, at the bottom section of the city wall. Like rolling thunder, it resounded across more than a hundred meters.
Wearing red-colored battle armor, a hundred Greater One Sect aces who sternly wielded knives and spears had set up a roadblock and were brutally yet carefully examining each and every person entering and exiting the city.
The passers-by all seemed to be in a hurry.
Because of the unrest caused by war, many refugees had come from a thousand kilometers away to Flowing Light City. Although this place had been seized by the Greater One Sect, it was nevertheless a guarded city and was thus free from bandits and vicious beasts. As such, it could be considered a relatively safe place where one would not meet a sudden end.
While standing among the refugees, Ye Qingyu discovered on close inspection that thousands of wanted criminals were listed on the giant formation screen. About seventy to eighty percent of them were experts of former large sects which had been destroyed by the Greater One Sect. Their family members had been killed while they had become exiles who wandered from place to place, hoping to strike back at the Greater One Sect. In addition, there were also some people akin to bandits and robbers listed. Their bounties varied according to their identities and strengths.
Moreover, this was not a fixed list, but rather one which was constantly updated.
Because of the thoroughness of the checks, entering the city took a long time. Ye Qingyu proceeded along with the queue and finally arrived below the city gate after nearly an hour. He officially stepped into the city after being subjected to checks by several guards.
He sensed an extremely strong smell of blood as soon as he entered the city.
He looked toward the left, where the smell of blood was coming from.
There was a forest of flag poles in the distance.
Hundreds of wooden flag poles of varying sizes stood erect over there.
These were the public execution stakes of Flowing Light City.
When the Demon Spider Race had occupied Flowing Light City at first, Ye Qingyu and Hu Bugui had seen that these poles were hung with the corpses of the heroes who fought to defend the city. After recapturing the city, these corpses were given a proper burial by Chen Zhengliang and his men. When deputizing as the city lord, Chen Zhengliang had mentioned that these stakes were already ordered to be demolished.
Yet, these poles had reappeared at present.
They were hung with bloodstained heads.
Below them were piled thousands of corpses lying on a blood pool of more than ten meters. Because all of these people were martial experts, their bodies did not rot post-mortem and their blood did not congeal for the time being. Filled with rich yuan qi and aura, the blood pool rifled and rippled with a deadly and terrifying strangeness which caused one’s heart to tingle.
Ye Qingyu could tell that these envoys were mostly Human Race martial experts.
If he did not guess wrongly, these people were definitely important figures of various large sects who were killed by the Greater One Sect. Their corpses were displayed here after the fact as a warning to those who had rebellious intentions.
To think that, in order to build its authority, the Greater One Sect would act as evilly and cruelly as the Demon Spider Race.
Besides, as a foreign race, it’s within reason for the Demon Spider Race to do this kind of thing, as infuriating as it is. On the other hand, it would make more sense for the Greater One Sect, as a Human Race sect, to target foreign races for killing and suppressing. Instead, the beings which have died here are mostly humans. This shameless sect has perpetually placed priority on attacking its own kind. This is truly abominable.
A piercing chill flashed across his eyes.
Restraining the rage surging within his heart, he proceeded toward the South Facing Inn according to his memory.
The streets were bustling, with the shops on both sides still opened. There were also a few stalls of varying sizes, from which the peddlers’ hawking voices rose and fell in succession. Although it was not as lively as a few years ago when war had yet to break out, it was apparent that this giant city had gradually regained yuan qi and new life. Refugees crammed around the wall corners, every one of them looking miserable, hungry, and thirsty.
There was some vitality in Flowing Light City, so to speak.
However, this “vitality” was apparently being monitored and controlled by the Greater One Sect.
Aside from the three tight layers of checkpoints at the city gate, Ye Qingyu also saw along the way that there were two patrol teams in fire-red armor conducting inspections on every street. Everyone, be it the peddlers or the passers-by, revealed a tinge of fear and caution at the sight of them.
“I wonder how Chen Zhengliang is doing. When the Greater One Sect ruled Flowing Light City in the past, he was among the nobility of the city and could be considered a part of the Greater One Sect. Surely nothing bad could have happened to him.”
After pondering inwardly, Ye Qingyu turned and proceeded toward South Facing Inn.
After ten minutes.
In front of South Facing Inn.
Ye Qingyu stood quietly.
The red-painted door frame still gave off a faint smell of fresh paint, suggesting that it had recently been repainted. The exterior decoration, including a few symbolic designs, of the South Facing Inn had changed completely. Most importantly, the words on the ebony door plaque had changed. The words “ South Facing Inn” had disappeared, to be replaced by “Lotus View Pavilion”.
A bad feeling emerged in Ye Qingyu’s heart.
He slowly walked into the lobby.
“Yo, you’re here, my dear guest. Please come on in. Are you here for a refreshment or a room?” An assistant, wearing a dark-gray blouse, warmly ran out upon noticing Ye Qingyu, before greeting in a highly professional manner.
“I’m here for some food and won’t be staying,” Ye Qingyu replied.
This assistant looks unfamiliar, and is probably not a disciple of Ling Xiaoran and Heng Yuge.
“Alright, please follow me.” The assistant led the way in front.
As Ye Qingyu followed the assistant into the main hall, he swept a glance all around and saw that the arrangement had completely changed. The elements of the former South Facing Inn had completely disappeared. Even the calligraphic works which were personally done by Ling Xiaoran and were hung on the walls had been replaced by mountain landscape paintings.
Moreover, the shopkeeper standing at the counter and handling the accounts was no longer the young and beautiful Heng Yuge. Instead, it was a middle-aged man of forty to fifty years old. Although his inner yuan qi was not weak, his aura was apparently cultivated using the Greater One Sect’s technique. He wore a red jade cap and a black-colored silk shirt.
The singing father and daughter duo was also nowhere to be seen.
Their position on the stage had been taken by someone else – it was a storyteller who was wearing a grayish girdling scholar attire. He had scimitar-shaped brows, a wide forehead, a high nose, and bright eyes. His appearance was handsome and dignified, while his vigor was uncommon. His short black hair was bundled up using a green cloth, giving him a clean-cut and refined look.
He gave a short warm-up speech with great eloquence while adeptly playing bamboo clappers. His voice was sonorous while his yuan qi was plentiful. Upon speaking a handful of lines, he immediately received cheers from the entire restaurant.