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~
The next day, Tengyun Pavilion led the Central Plains martial arts allied forces to break camp. Gu Feidi and Su Yang found the signal left by Luo Yu for them nearby. Luo Yu informed Gu Feidi in code that the annihilation was planned by Su Huaizhu and Gu Ruohai. If it was inconvenient to follow behind the Tengyun Pavilion troops, they could also go directly to the Devil City to look for Su Huaizhu.
Gu Feidi was concerned that Tengyun Pavilion would run into Eluo Ghost Tent’s ambush en route and after discussing with Su Yang, they still decided to trail Tengyun Pavilion’s pace for the time being.
After another two days, the troops of martial artists amassed by Tengyun Pavilion and Central Plains martial world circles finally arrived outside Devil City.
Because they were deep in the Wasteland and close to Devil City, the surrounding terrain was no longer a wide expanse of flat land. Scattered boulders began to appear, creating random shelters in the plains.
Gu Feidi and Su Yang made use of these huge boulders to conceal themselves and gradually shortened the distance between them and the Tengyun Pavilion troops. Nevertheless, they didn’t dare venture too close, in order to avoid being detected by the allied scouts and create unnecessary problems.
Within these two days, Gu Feidi and Su Yang encountered two more fights.
The first was during the day, when they bypassed a boulder that they’d intended to hide themselves with. Alas, they ran into two Devil Sect scouts who’d been lying low there earlier to observe Tengyun Pavilion’s movements.
Who would’ve thought that when the two scouts saw Su Yang, they didn’t recognise him at all. They struck first and their moves were immensely ruthless. Most of their attacks were aimed at the fatal points.
In order to defend themselves, Su Yang and Gu Feidi had to kill both the scouts.
The second time was a night raid. There were five men all dressed in black, some carrying crossbows, others wielding scimitars. They unified their attacks from a distance and up close as if they were determined to kill both of them no matter what.
It was a difficult fight for both Gu Feidi and Su Yang, and in the end Su Yang was forced to use his Drunk Slashing Red Plums. Gu Feidi joined forces using his new sword technique that he hadn’t yet structured and only then did they manage to kill all five of them; leaving no survivors.
For the sake of protecting Su Yang who was performing his last-ditch swordsmanship, Gu Feidi was stabbed in the shoulder during the battle. This made Su Yang distressed and he blamed himself while hatefully cursing at the assassins.
“We already knew that the journey to the Wasteland would be dangerous. Even if you scold them, they’ll continue to come.” Gu Feidi couldn’t help laughing, “Besides, how can you not get hurt in the Jianghu? It’s just a minor wound, no need to bandage it. Why do you keep dwelling on it?”
Su Yang flattened his mouth: “My heart aches for you. Do you not allow it?”
Gu Feidi smiled, “How could I not allow it…… I’m happy that your heart aches for me.”
Su Yang thrust his palm at Gu Feidi’s face, feigned contempt and pushed him away.
As they followed in the wake of the troops and closed in on Devil City, boulders became more and more visible. The year-round winds that swept through the Wasteland became disorderly when coming into contact with these formation-like boulder forests; sometimes rushing, sometimes relaxing and then changing direction. Upon racing through the rock openings and crevices, they would produce continuous, howling sounds.
It seemed as if ghost owls that fluttered and glided about in the sky were agitated by the wind sounds and didn’t dare trail along. They flitted up and down on distant rock, perched there awhile before flying off. After some time, not even one could be sighted.
The elite troops of Tengyun Pavilion and everyone else from the Central Plains martial arts circles who’d always been extremely alert against ghost owls were all terribly relieved when they saw this.
Not too far away, Gu Feidi and Su Yang were crouched in the shadows behind a boulder. They’d veiled their faces and were also observing the gradually vanishing ghost owls in the sky.
“It’s not surprising that Devil City isn’t afraid of the ghost owls. Turns out that the wind and whistling sounds are used here to frighten them away.” Gu Feidi gasped in admiration, “There were no ghost owls following us the previous time I came to the Devil Sect. I didn’t realise that these boulders had such an advantage.”
Su Yang no longer marvelled at the fantastical settings of this world. When he heard that, he merely smiled and his gaze continued to follow the allied forces in the distance.
“Why haven’t they entered yet?” Su Yang frowned. “They’ve already reached Devil City’s gates, why have they started squabbling again?”
Gu Feidi surveyed for a moment and chuckled: “The more people there are, the harder it is to reach a mutual agreement. Devil City’s evil reputation is well-known. Perhaps there are those from other factions who aren’t willing to endanger themselves.”
There were countless wind-beaten stone pillars everywhere within Devil City and they all appeared the same, therefore it was fairly easy to lose one’s way.
What’s more, the extreme temperature variances between day and night in the Wasteland coupled with the dryness and absence of water, was terribly hard to survive in——and that’s how ‘Devil City’ got its name.
Therefore, there would be people who weren’t inclined to put themselves at risk as Gu Feidi had predicted.
He manoeuvred his internal strength in his ears and attempted to identify the topic of the allied forces’s dispute.
——”How is Leader Gu certain that there’s a way out once we enter Devil City?” It turned out to be Fan Xi based on the sound of his voice. But his tone revealed his obvious disregard for Tengyun Pavilion and was completely unlike him previously.
Gu Ruohai’s personal guard Feng Lin said: “We clearly stated during the Great Oath Assembly that we’d follow Alliance Leader to enter Devil City and Devil Sect headquarters. Having reached the point of no return, you’re inciting everyone here to withdraw. Who knows what your motive is?”
Fan Xi smirked: “Those from the Devil Sect are cunning and deceitful. They’d surely lay an ambush in Devil City. We’re unfamiliar with the terrain, so once we set foot into Devil City, we’ll be like fish in a barrel…… I think it’ll be better to send someone in to deliver a letter of challenge to the Devil Sect Leader so that he’ll lead his troops to battle in the Wasteland!”
Feng Lin who was beside Gu Ruohai did not say anything. From within the Tengyun Pavilion troops, Pu Lingyun was the first to let out a cold, scornful huff.
“What kind of person do you think the Devil Sect Leader is? Do you think he’d come out of Devil City to fight with you just because you invited him to?” she said, “Who the heck do you think you are?”
Fan Xi was furious, “Pu Lingyun! Before this, I’d been infatuated with you to no avail, but unexpectedly you didn’t cherish our friendship from Lesser Jade House. At the risk of offending the Devil Sect, I’ve brought everyone from Qinglian Sect to help you this time, yet you actually speak to me this way!”
Pu Lingyun didn’t hold back: “Since you’re infatuated with me, why don’t you trust Alliance Leader Gu?”
Fan Xi muttered to himself for a moment: “How can I trust Alliance Leader Gu? If Leader Gu doesn’t know the symbols the Devil Sect has set up in Devil City, what’s the difference between entering Devil City and courting death? If Alliance Leader knows the symbols of the Devil Sect…… I can’t help being concerned if Alliance Leader is still having dealings with the Devil Sect Leader? Is my sect supposed to sacrifice our elite troops to the Devil Sect in this annihilation as proof of our allegiance?”
After saying that, he turned around to incite the other factions behind him: “Think about it, everyone. Isn’t this justified? Gu Feidi was also abducted by the Devil Sect’s Young Saint. Perhaps Tengyun Pavilion has already been conspiring with the Devil Sect for a long time——”
A buzz of whispers abruptly resonated from the allied troops of all those minor schools and sects.
Xu Yunzhan, Qianfeng Villa’s troop leader said: “Alliance Leader Gu had severed all dealings with the Devil Sect’s Leader long ago and has banished Gu Feidi from Tengyun Pavilion. Apart from seeking the whereabouts of the Sword Sage’s Legacy, the purpose of this annihilation is also to capture Young Hero Gu back…… We trust that Alliance Leader Gu will not act impulsively.”
After speaking, he looked to the side at Tongyun Temple’s and Xuanji Temple’s troop leaders.
Both troop leaders couldn’t continue to stay silent and ultimately spoke out: “There’s no need for everyone to be impatient. We, Tongyun Temple and Xuanji Temple, have been assisting Tengyun Pavilion to oversee the Central Plains martial arts circles and we also keep an eye on the Alliance Leader. You all don’t need to quarrel or be concerned with this matter……”
But Fan Xi didn’t seem interested in continuing listening to this drivel. He sneered and said, “We, Qinglian Sect, aren’t willing to brave this risk and advance into Devil City. How about this, we shall garrison outside Devil City to help you keep a lookout against the surroundings. If any of the Devil Sect people manage to flee, we can also help eradicate them, what do you think? We’re a minor sect and cannot deal with loss of manpower. Dividing the labour this way is appropriate, right?”
“So be it—let’s proceed as such.” Gu Ruohai finally instructed, “If anyone isn’t willing to enter the Devil Sect headquarters, they shall garrison here. For those who want to follow my Tengyun Pavilion into Devil City and attack the Devil Sect headquarters, once you enter Devil City, you must adhere to Tengyun Pavilion’s commands throughout. Otherwise, you’ll have to be responsible for your own actions.”
Feng Lin added: “Right now, those who are willing to follow Tengyun Pavilion into Devil City, get ready to move out.”
Wujiangmen group hadn’t uttered a word for a long time, but suddenly someone from there cut in: “Hold on a moment! We’re here to annihilate the Devil Sect for the sake of the Sword Sage’s Legacy…… If we work separately like this, how would we know whether or not your Tengyun Pavilion would take advantage and take possession of the Legacy?”
Fan Xi raised his eyebrows. He eyed Gu Ruohai and exchanged a look with him.
Gu Ruohai narrowed his eyes and gestured to Feng Lin. Feng Lin said: “As the leader of the Central Plains martial arts circles, we conduct ourselves ethically. If we obtain the Sword Sage’s Legacy, we would absolutely not keep it for ourselves. If none of you are reassured, Tengyun Pavilion can lay down our pledge in writing.”
Fan Xi immediately clapped his hands and laughed: “That’ll be great!”
The Wujiangmen person wanted to interrupt: ” But—— “
“We’ll just do it this way!” Fan Xi quickly instructed someone to furnish a brush and paper. He approached and handed it to Gu Ruohai saying, “Requesting for Alliance Leader to write down your pledge stating that Tengyun Pavilion would never keep the Sword Sage’s Legacy to yourselves and to include your official seal!”
Gu Ruohai gave a light laugh and wrote down the pledge. Fan Xi flipped his hands over and pulled the pledge paper towards himself, laughing: “Alliance Leader is forthright!”
After speaking, he turned around and waved his hand to the group of minor schools and sects: “Those who aren’t willing to enter this man-eating Devil City can follow our Qinglian Sect and garrison together outside! We don’t have to worry about them keeping the legacy for themselves with Alliance Leader’s pledge written in his own hand!”
Many of the sects huddled together to deliberate for a long while and in the end, a majority of them went along with Qinglian Sect to remain on the outside.
Those who insisted on following Tengyun Pavilion into Devil City to participate in the annihilation were mainly the elite troops from Tengyun Pavilion and Qianfeng Villa, as well as the larger sects like Tongyun Temple, Xuanji Temple and Wujiangmen who weren’t willing to lose face.
After perceiving that the allied troops had divided into two groups to operate independently, Gu Feidi retracted his internal strength and said to Su Yang: “Xu Yunzhan, Fan Xi and Lingyun are all in Tengyun Pavilion’s troops.”
After speaking he smiled slightly: “Fan Xi’s performance was truly convincing. He actually managed to incite the minor schools and sects to remain outside Devil City.”
Su Yang was confused: “But if this happens, won’t the strength of their forces be reduced? What’s going to happen if they can’t defeat the Devil Sect.”
“No need to worry about that.” Gu Feidi said, “Many power influences are skeptical about this annihilation and haven’t sent their elite troops. Those minor schools and sects have only assigned some low-level disciples. Tengyun Pavilion and Qianfeng Villa have gathered many elites within their ranks. Even without the support of the minor sects, they can handle themselves during the battle……”
He pondered for a while and added: “Moreover, based on the information left by Elder Luo, I doubt that the Devil Sect would expend their full force.”
Su Yang was still uncertain about the information: “But why did the Devil Sect Leader join forces with the Tengyun Pavilion to attack his own Sect?”
Even if there were many evil, cold-blooded killers among the Devil Sect, there were also commoners within. He definitely didn’t comprehend the Devil Sect Leader’s machinations.
“You’ve forgotten about Lan Wu?” Gu Feidi said, “There are elders within the Devil Sect attempting to seize power. The Devil Sect Leader may also want to use this as a pretext to clean-house within the Devil Sect.”
After saying that, he murmured under his breath for a while: “Furthermore, I still feel that there’s another objective behind this borrowing-a-knife-to-kill-someone act*…… Let’s observe quietly for the changes in the meantime.”
(*TN : getting someone else to do one’s dirty work/ attack using another’s strength)