Chapter 103 - Letter of Challenge
Chapter 103 - Letter of Challenge
In a hall of Gu Mansion...
After holding the memorial for his wife, Gu Hai returned as he was before. He had thrown his innermost feelings to the back of his mind, and was surrounded by a majestic air once more. Donning luxurious robes, he sat down on the main seat inside the hall.
Sitting to the sides of him were Gu Qin, Gu Han, Gao Xianzhi, Scar, Shangguan Hen, and Chen Tianshan.
A frown appeared on Gu Hai's brow while drinking tea as he listened to Chen Tianshan's report.
"When your Company arrived at the Clear River Sect, you were lead by Clear River Sect disciples to a valley, where you were besieged by Clear River Sect and Song Jia Sect disciples together. And while you were fleeing, you saw the Song Jia Sect Chief. Fifteen men of the Earth Company have died in that ambush, is that right?" Gu Hai said in a deep voice between sips of his tea.
"Yes, my Lord! More than three hundred of us were injured. We were chased all along the way. However, all men of my Earth Company are elites. Unless Song Shengping took action personally, no one could stop us. While we were escaping, we also grabbed a Clear River Sect disciple. After interrogating him, we came to know that after Song Shengping returned from the Golden Tong the last time, he had set up the plan to destroy Clear River Sect! Chief's whereabouts are unknown, and Ascendant Hall Lord is captured as well!" reported Chen Tianshan, clearly pained.
"What about the guy you had captured?" Gu Hai asked solemnly.
"I didn't kill him, we brought him with us. My Lord, wait a moment!" After saying this, Chen Tianshan bolted out of the hall right away.
Very soon, a man dressed in azure robes was brought into the hall by a few guards.
"Let me go, Martial Uncle, I was also forced!" That azure-robed man begged for mercy, looking at Chen Tianshan.
Gu Hai narrowed his eyes before turning his head, looking at Shangguan Hen.
Shangguan Hen nodded in response as he stepped out, making his way up to that azure-robed man. Suddenly, Shangguan Hen, narrowing his eyes, reached out a bit, placing his hand on that azure-robed man's head.
Right then, strands of scarlet qi emerged from that man's body with a loud boom! Suddenly, the azure-robed man's eyes became very red.
His hair also metamorphosed into small snakes one after another.
"Ah!" At the sight of this, the men who were escorting the prisoner had a change in their countenances immediately. They almost let the prisoner free.
Shangguan Hen touched the glabella of the prisoner at once. The azure-robed man's entire body was struck with a jolt, and the little snakes on his head dropped down. The prisoner himself went completely limp.
"What's going on? His head...!" Chen Tianshan cried out in fright.
"Realizing he couldn't escape even if he transformed, this man has been hiding it all the while! Ha!" A sneer showed up on Shangguan Hen's lips.
"It seems that not just Elder Bai, but many people in Song Jia Sect have been demonized. Even the people who submitted to them have also been demonized!" Scar said, a frigid look on his face.
"How did you get demonized? And who else?" Gao Xianzhi, on the other hand, asked the prisoner directly.
"I, I, I...!" That man looked about at everyone, terrified.
"Speak… or die!" Gao Xianzhi stated in a cold voice.
"I will say, but, I also don't know! When master surrendered to Song Jia Sect, we were brought to the Song Jia Sect together. At that time, I had no idea what was going on. Shortly after, I fell unconscious. When I woke up, I discovered that I had been converted, I can transform, and I can't go back ever!" that man blurted out in terror.
"You were transformed in the Song Jia Sect? So to say, that demon is in the Song Jia Sect!" Shangguan Hen said as a frown crept up on his brow.
"Even if the Clear River Sect was attacked from within and without, it's impossible to destroy the Clear River Sect in a short while with the lot of you. Did Chief not resist?" Chen Tianshan asked, glaring at the man.
"I have no idea! That day, master brought Song Shengping along with a black-robed man through the Clear River Sect's guarding array. Then, Chief and all martial uncles, as well as all of the Ascendant Hall members were poisoned. They didn't feel anything until that black-robed man waved his sleeve before a swirling cloud of red mist covered the entire Clear River Sect. Everyone was poisoned, no one was spared!" that man said in a low voice.
"Clear River Sect Chief and the Ascendant Hall Lord have been captured and are imprisoned in Clear River Sect? What about Grandmaster Liunian?" Gu Hai asked in a serious voice.
Others might not have sensed anything, but Grandmaster Liunian wasn't someone ordinary, he could not be hoodwinked so easily. From the impression Gu Hai got from Grandmaster Liunian, it was impossible for Grandmaster Liunian to commit this kind of mistake.
"I don't know, Grandmaster Liunian wasn't there. I don't know where he went. Currently, Song Shengping is still questioning the captured Clear River Sect disciples!" that prisoner answered in a low voice.
"Grandmaster Liunian left!" Gu Hai's voice became heavier.
"You mean to say the Clear River Sect disciples are still alive?" Chen Tianshan's eyes lit up immediately.
The prisoner lowered his head at once, he didn't dare look at Chen Tianshan.
"Tell me!" Chen Tianshan roared, his eyes wide.
"Basically, they are all dead. Song Shengping said that since they don't know the whereabouts of Grandmaster Liunian, they don't need to live, so...!" said that prisoner in an ever-weakening voice.
"All of them were killed?" Chen Tianshan stood up at once.
"Almost!" said the prisoner in a low voice.
Shangguan Hen, on the other hand, narrowed his eyes and said, "Killed… or eaten?"
"What?" The nearby Chen Tianshan's eyes went wide in horror at once. What did that mean?
That man lowered his head, he didn't dare to utter another word.
"Captain Shangguan, what do you mean by eaten?" Chen Tianshan asked, staring.
"I will explain it to you later!" Shangguan Hen, once again, turned his gaze at that prisoner. "What about Ascendant Hall Lord? What did you do with Ascendant Hall Lord after you captured her?"
"I don't know! However, the Ascendant Hall Lord was taken by that black-robed man back to Song Jia Sect! Only Song Shengping remained at the Clear River Sect and continued to interrogate the Clear River Sect chief!" that man answered in a low voice.
"Black-robed man? He must be that powerful demon, right!" Gu Hai kept tapping on the armrest of his chair thoughtfully.
"Godfather, previously, Song Shengping sent a few people to capture us in order to threaten father, right? This time, Captain Chen and the others have escaped from his grasp. Perhaps, very soon, Song Shengping will be coming for father himself! By capturing Godfather, not only will he take revenge on behalf of Golden Tong, he will want to do so in order to silence the witnesses!" stated Gu Han as a tightly knit frown crept up on his brow.
"He doesn't need to come, we are going to him!" Gu Hai replied in a heavy voice.
"Throne Master Gu, I have said everything I know. As you know, I was forced as well! I will be a good man in the future! I beg Throne Master Gu to let me loose!" the prisoner knelt down and asked, terrified.
The nearby Shangguan Hen took out his sword and stepped forward at once, before piercing it right in between the prisoner’s eyebrows.
"You!" That man could only blurt this before he stopped breathing.
"Take him away and incinerate him!" Shangguan Hen ordered in a deep voice.
"Yes, sir!" The men who were escorting the monster-in-human-skin dragged the prisoner's corpse out right away.
"Shangguan Hen, perhaps...!" Chen Tianshan was still a bit unwilling.
"Captain Chen, don't be hoodwinked by his words. After he has been demonized, he can't go back ever. He will start eating humans, it's just a matter of when!" Shangguan Hen told him in a serious voice.
"Eat humans? What do you mean?" Chen Tianshan asked, staring at Shangguan Hen.
"After someone is demonized, they will end up following their instincts, one of which is to eat humans! I have seen people who were demonized by a bat demon. They had an extreme desire to drink human blood. They could not hold themselves back, no matter what they did! They are called vampires, part human and part demon. They have been abandoned by the heavens. They take great pleasure in drinking human blood, and it makes them stronger as well. Their existence itself is akin to the devil. The man before you has been demonized by a snake demon, he has a strong need to eat human hearts and livers. Don't believe his words. Whenever they see human hearts and livers, they will immediately jump at it. Are you telling me to let loose these devils?" explained Shangguan Hen.
"Eating human hearts and livers? Then, my Clear River Sect’s disciples...?" Chen Tianshan's eyes widened in new horror.
"You guessed it correctly. A cultivator's heart and liver are naturally even more beneficial to them!" Shangguan Hen explained.
Hearing this, goosebumps exploded all over Chen Tianshan's body. Now, glancing in the direction the monster was dragged away just now, there wasn't a trace of any unwillingness in his eyes.
"Demon eating humans, that's evil! But a human eating human, that's just a devil! These kinds of devils must be killed!" Shangguan Hen said with certainty.
"My Lord, Song Shengping would not come so soon, right? After all, my Lord's grand array has a notorious reputation. Even a Nascent Soul Stage isn't able to deal with it!" Gao Xianzhi asked, looking at Gu Hai.
A sliver of worry immediately showed up on Gu Qin's face, for only he knew that the grand array outside the Gu Mansion was just a bluff.
"Gu Qin!" Gu Hai said in a deep voice.
"Here!" Gu Qin replied right away.
"Get me a formal invitation card!" Gu Hai ordered in a heavy voice.
"Yes!" Gu Hai left quickly and soon brought back an exquisite invitation card.
Gu Han immediately prepared the brush and ink.
Then, right before everyone, Gu Hai picked up the brush, and wrote Letter of Challenge on the front of the card before opening it and continuing to write:
You have committed a grave offense against my Ascendant Hall and its disciples. You have been judged!
Song Shengping, in the next few days, I will bring three thousand Ascendant Hall disciples to the Clear River Sect and have a life and death battle with you!
The Water Thorne Master of Ascendant Hall,
Blowing lightly on the ink until it had dried, Gu Hai closed the letter of challenge.
Everyone was watching all the while, but nobody uttered a word.
"Gu Han!" Gu Hai called in a deep voice.
"Do you know who the Song Jia Sect disciple among the crowd outside is?" Gu Hai asked, looking to Gu Han.
"Godfather, don't worry! Within the Tiger Cage Pass, everyone is one of our men! Those cultivators are living in the hotels nearby, and all of them had to give a detailed description when checking in. A total of three Song Jia Sect disciples were sent here to monitor my Gu Mansion!" Gu Han nodded.
"Send this letter of challenge to one of the Song Jia Sect disciples and ask him to give it to Song Shengping!" Gu Hai said calmly.
"Yes!" Taking the letter carefully, Gu Han bolted out of the hall immediately to arrange the rest.
"My Lord, are we really going to the Clear River Sect? When are we leaving?" Chen Tianshan asked anxiously.
The Clear River Sect may have been destroyed, but the Clear River Sect chief was still being held. Chen Tianshan's heart was filled with endless hatred for this enemy.
"We aren't going to the Clear River Sect!" said Gu Hai calmly.
"We are going to the Song Jia Sect!" Gu Hai stated in a calm and poised manner.
"Song Jia Sect!"
"Right, I send this letter of challenge to Song Shengping to hold him up, that's all! It will make sure that he won't act rashly for now! It will give us a little more time. We will first save Long Wanqing!" explained Gu Hai calmly.
"Yes, my Lord!" Chen Tianshan could only answer this way.
"In the Battle of Song and Chen, I helped Chen Lianyi in capturing a great part of the land. He should still listen to you, right?" Gu Hai looked at Chen Tianshan.
"Of course! The Chen Kingdom is still mine, he is just sitting on the throne. How could that brat not listen to me!" Chen Tianshan answered, a bit startled.
"Then, immediately send a letter to him, asking him to prepare a hundred blank decrees, all of which must have the royal seal on them, as soon as possible!" Gu Hai instructed him sternly.
"A hundred blank decrees with the royal seal!?" Chen Tianshan was utterly confused.
"I want to temporarily take over the Chen Kingdom, and order the world with these decrees. As for the content of the decrees, I will fill it up myself! Now, hurry up!" Gu Hai ordered him.
"Ah? Yes, my Lord!" Chen Tianshan obliged immediately.