Title: Did We Agree To Be Arch-Rivals?
Original Title: 说好成为彼此的宿敌呢[穿书]
Author: 轻风白杨 (Qingfeng Baiyang)
Translated by: ~PurpleLy~
Today was the fifteenth day since Su Yang and Gu Feidi had plunged into the northern Icefield from Devil City in the Wasteland.
Dark clouds had blotted out the moon, and a heavy snow had been quietly falling since the previous night.
It was now time for sunrise, but the entire sky of overcast clouds had blocked out the sun, merely casting a faint grey glow on the surroundings. The snowfall hadn’t ceased, and it was getting heavier and heavier, obscuring the view to be even more, and everything ten feet away was vaguely indistinct.
This day was also the chosen day that had been agreed upon for them to attack Eluo Ghost Tent’s royal court together with the Devil Sect Leader.
In this era’s setting, long-range communication was exceedingly inconvenient. Just like this ‘synchronised’ attack arrangement, if there were changes from either party, it was practically impossible to carry out any ad hoc communication or discussion.
Therefore, the majority of situations still required both sides, or even three sides, to be pragmatic.
Fortunately, the piercingly cold snowstorm prevented Eluo Ghost Tent’s ghost owls from flying, and they were thus deprived of their notification resource. It also made it easier for Su Yang and Gu Feidi to approach the White Witch Tower inconspicuously.
Currently, they were both completely dressed in white, with their heads and faces veiled, and only their eyes uncovered. They hid behind a pile of snow mounds and eyed the not-too-distant silhouette of a lofty white spire—that was the White Witch Tower of Eluo Ghost Tent. It was situated on the fringes of Ghost Tent’s royal court and appeared to be entirely standalone, with only two or three Black Feather Army squads defending in the surrounding areas.
“Their exploration channels aren’t devoid of blind angles. As long as the ghost owls don’t cry out, we may still be able to slip in safely.” Gu Feidi transmitted over to Su Yang softly, “But we don’t know when Elder will be making a move at his end. If the Black Feather Army is thrown into disorder, our chances will be higher.”
When he was searching for the Forbidden Area in the Devil Sect, Su Yang had some experience with patrols and infiltration. At that moment, he could somewhat discern that the White Witch Tower’s defences weren’t rigid.
Once he heard Gu Feidi’s words, he instantly nodded: “Regardless of whether Sect Leader makes a move at his end, let’s wait another quarter of an hour, then their patrol pathways should intersect…… By then, we can draw nearer; perhaps even reach the sentry at the far east.”
Gu Feidi turned and noticed that Su Yang’s fingers were resting on his chest, as if he was stroking something through his clothes. He couldn’t help frowning and asked, “Is there some change in the phoenix agate?”
Su Yang shook his head and said, “It’s nothing. Perhaps because of the snowfall, it’s even hotter than it was two days ago, and it scalds a little when I wear it on my skin.”
Upon hearing this, Gu Feidi’s expression became even graver: “When things reach an extreme, they can only turn to their opposite direction…… It’s burning hot right now. Perhaps, the power within it is about to be exhausted…… No matter if there’s any movement from Ghost Tent or not, we must seize the chance to slip in from the east sentry in a quarter of an hour.”
Su Yang: “Alright.”
Heavy, overcast clouds filled the sky, making the already-gloomy heavens even darker. Large snowflakes became even thicker, obscuring everyone’s vision.
Gu Feidi and Su Yang manoeuvred their internal strength, perceiving the conditions of their surroundings on one hand and, on the other, taking precautions against the sentry by concealing themselves.
After a quarter of an hour, the patrol teams outside the White Witch Tower intersected, inadvertently leaving the east sentry all alone.
Gu Feidi gently squeezed Su Yang’s finger in his palm. Su Yang sensed it, activated his Prized Flower Steps, and arrived before the Black Feather Army sentry in the blink of any eye.
Before the young Black Feather Army sentry could make a sound, Su Yang did a hand chop to the back of his neck, and he fell unconscious. Su Yang quickly caught hold of the scimitar in his hand, hacked the tip into the sentry box’s wooden railing, and propped the hilt against the sentry’s waist to hold the person in place.
This way, if one looked over from a distance through the whirling snowfall, it would appear as if the sentry box was still being manned, and it wouldn’t arouse the attention of the sentry on the other side.
While Su Yang was handling the sentry in the box, Gu Feidi spied the gap between the patrol squads and noiselessly slipped in.
In case they were noticed by the guards and to avoid being surrounded, the two decided to first follow along the perimeter patrol pathway and to dispose of all the sentries in this direction before advancing inside. Moreover, this decision ascertained that they wouldn’t tolerate any survivors.
Su Yang was still rather indisposed to this kind of covert assassination, but he also realised that he was already at the point of no return and now wasn’t the time for him to be mulish.
All he could do was to complete these killings posthaste to achieve his purpose—after that, it didn’t matter how momentously heinous the Jianghu was, he would hide within Lesser Jade House and never again be concerned with the outside world.
The wind abruptly picked up.
The heavy snow that had begun at night suddenly became even denser and gradually turned into a raging blizzard in the wake of the piercingly cold wind.
Taking advantage of the intense snow, Su Yang and Gu Feidi successively finished off all the guards around the White Witch Tower’s perimeter. Fortunately, the patrols in the nearby areas didn’t detect any anomalies.
As both of them gradually drew nearer to the White Witch Tower, there were many subsidiary constructions around it, as well as several sacrificial platforms made from piles of wood with numerous drapes and curtains propped up. The platforms and the curtains flapped about in the snowstorm, creating creaking and rustling noises. After the heavy snow obscured one’s vision, it then proceeded to disrupt their hearing.
These sort of violent snowstorm conditions made it more opportune for Su Yang and Gu Feidi to conceal themselves. Both of them subdued the patrol guards along the way and drew steadily closer to the lofty conical spire in the middle.
Alongside the White Witch Tower, there was an exposed round, open space. This annular area, tens of meters wide, could be overviewed by the sentries standing beneath the White Witch Tower.
At any rate, Su Yang and Gu Feidi could no longer depend on stealth to bypass this hazard.
Both of them hid behind the last external bunker and eyed the open space.
“There’ll definitely be a battle here.” Gu Feidi narrowed his eyes and transmitted his voice over: “The perimeter guards have more-or-less been handled already. Neither the Great Witch nor the witches within the White Witch Tower have martial arts skills. The Gu worms being reared by them shouldn’t be able to exit the tower in this bone-chilling snowstorm…… We ought to be able to manage.”
The continuous slaughtering made Su Yang feel somewhat morose. Upon hearing Gu Feidi speak, he merely nodded quietly, peering through the snowstorm at the obscured outline of the White Witch Tower door in the distance.
Gu Feidi stretched out to hold onto Su Yang’s finger, as if he was using this movement to transfer some strength to him.
Just when the two of them had prepared to combine forces and launch a surprise attack behind the bunker, a few sharp whistles sounded from within the snowstorm in the distance, and the guards beneath the White Witch Tower became agitated.
After that, a person braved the snow and rushed in from far away. He shouted a few words to the guards beneath the tower, and half of them left to follow him away.
Stymied by the snowstorm, Gu Feidi wasn’t able to make out any of the words, even with the use of his internal strength. He could only speculate that there were some unforeseen issues at the royal court and manpower was needed.
“Perhaps Elder has already infiltrated into the royal court,” he said. “Consequently, the resources within Ghost Tent would certainly be lacking, not to mention the Black Feather Army that were incited by Luo Yin and Elder Luo…… We should also seize the opportunity to strike!”
They both exchanged a look and came to an agreement. At the next moment, they combined their moves to leap out from behind the bunker and headed straight for the guards beneath the White Witch Tower.
Upon seeing this, the White Witch Tower guards immediately blew the communications bone whistle and mobilised in an attempt to waylay Su Yang and Gu Feidi.
The guards of the White Witch Tower were all handpicked martial arts masters from the Black Feather Army. Despite their small numbers, they weren’t to be underestimated once they’d banded together.
Su Yang and Gu Feidi were reluctant to drag out the fight for too long, so they made full use of Drunk Slashing Red Plums and Dream Tempts the White Crane in their strikes, determined to resolve it quickly and raid into the White Witch Tower before the Great Witch had a chance to flee.
Therefore, as soon as the both sides began, an intensely ferocious battle erupted.
Matters had already arrived at this point. Su Yang had long since lost the propensity of being merciful, and his moves had become even more vicious, striking the enemy’s fatal points with every charge of his sword.
Perhaps his momentum was too formidable, and the Black Feather Army guards that confronted him seemed to get weaker as they fought. Gu Feidi synchronised with him from the side and didn’t need to help Su Yang to defend at all. He only coordinated with him to persist in attacking and deflecting all the enemies’ moves.
The fight continued until, at last, only both Su Yang and Gu Feidi remained standing in the field.
Su Yang raised his hand and wiped away a splash of enemy blood that had already congealed on his cheek without so much as casting a look at Gu Feidi. No words were uttered as he turned and headed towards the door of the White Witch Tower with his thin sword in his hand.
Seeing Su Yang like this, Gu Feidi became anxious. At once, he overtook him, reached out, and hooked Su Yang’s finger, pulling softly.
Su Yang released a gentle sigh and said, “……I’m alright.”
Finally, he took a slow, deep breath and said, “Once you obtain the White Firework Gu, no matter what happens in the Jianghu…… I still want to return to Lesser Jade House.”
Gu Feidi resolvedly agreed: “Alright.”
At the other side.
Eluo Ghost Tent’s royal court.
Su Huaizhu, who was dressed in a white robe, silently drew nearer to the securely guarded palace through the snowstorm.
He scarcely made any sound throughout the way, nor did he alert any of the guards. It was as if he was an invisible, wandering ghost walking on the snowfield without leaving the slightest trace.
Suddenly, someone from the royal court’s Black Feather Army’s Right Defence crossed through the snowstorm. His steps were hurried, as if he’d encountered something important.
Su Huaizhu quickly sidestepped into the shadow of the palace column next to him and used his internal strength to sound out the activity inside.
“Your Majesty! Two generals and their squads from the Black Feather Army’s Right Defence have mutinied!” The Black Feather officer reported worriedly, “Requesting Your Majesty to reallocate troops to suppress the revolt!”
But no one answered.
In an instant, the officer received a reply out of nowhere, and he responded, “Yes! This subordinate shall transmit the order to dispatch the units at once!” No sooner had he finished speaking, the officer fled out of the palace and forged ahead into the snowstorm.
Su Huaizhu couldn’t help frowning as he gazed at the person’s retreating figure.
He contemplated for a long time, then slowly drew out the thin sword from his waist. He manoeuvred his internal strength and flung all the palace guards backwards before they even had time to react, then moved straight through the palace doors and constrained the man sitting atop the throne in the main hall.
The man was dressed in Eluo Ghost Tent’s royal robes, with a fur hood concealing most of his face in the shadows. Only a mere clump of tangled beard at his lower jaw was revealed.
The man didn’t move in the slightest, even when faced with Su Huaizhu’s lightning-fast sword ambush. He remained rigidly seated on the throne, like an old monk in meditation.
Upon seeing this, Su Huaizhu’s pupils abruptly shrank; he vehemently inverted his internal strength and altered the orientation of his hand strikes.
He flicked open the hood, obscuring the head with his thin sword, to expose a horrifying face covered with coils of blackened blood vessels—this person wasn’t Eluojue, but an Eluo Ghost Tent Gu breeder.
“Tsk!” Su Huaizhu forcibly stifled the surging pain in his body, which couldn’t be cut off by his internal strength’s circulation. He swiftly leapt backwards to extend a sufficiently secure distance away from the Gu breeder before clenching his teeth and heaving a sigh, “Damn it……”
The Gu breeder’s body had been implanted with a Gu, which made it difficult for him to move, and he wouldn’t be able to catch up to Su Huaizhu’s pace. Therefore, as long as Su Huaizhu realised early on that something was untoward, all he needed to do was pierce the body of the Gu person with his sword so that he wouldn’t be endangered by the Gu poison.
Yet the matter that Su Huaizhu was worried about was…… right now, a Gu breeder in royal robes was sitting on the throne. That meant—
—Eluojue was clearly elsewhere!