Chapter 159, The Sacred Pact
Li Baxian suddenly realized that Lu Ye might just be a Fifth-Order who had survived this war because of everyone trying to protect him, but he did not let all that dull his instincts at all.
He exhaled heavily.
With a weary look at Wei Yang, he asked, “Can you change to her”
That would have sounded like an odd question to everyone else, but Wei Yang, who obviously knew what he was talking about, answered pensively with her head shaking, “She’s dormant at the moment.”
“That means we’re on our own, I guess,” Li Baxian muttered glumly.
Now that a deal had been made, it was time to hammer out the details.
He wiped a hand across his face and pretended to grimace and muttered, “Brother Lu Ye here has decided to not allow anyone to die senselessly in his stead.
If you Thousand Demon Ridge folks agree with his terms, kindly come with me to discuss further details.”
There was much to discuss if Lu Ye’s proposal was to go on and it definitely wasn’t as simple as just a “come fight me” especially if everyone wished to prevent any disputes.
Naturally, it would involve decisions that would have to be agreed upon by both sides.
Despite being the lynchpin of the whole debacle, Lu Ye still lacked the seniority, knowledge and wisdom, as well as the power and authority to join in on the debate.
Fortunately, there was Li Baxian to negotiate on his behalf.
With full confidence, Lu Ye could trust Li Baxian to make sure that his best interests were maintained as best as able.
He had seen firsthand how protective both his seniors Wei Yang and Li Baxian were, especially the former, who had entered the Battlefield against the odds just so that she could personally stay at his side and keep him safe.
Li Baxian spun around and waved to another swordsman Cultivator, who vanished from where he was and reappeared right before Li Baxian with a respectful bow.
“Sir,” he greeted.
Despite looking like they were of the same age, it would appear that Li Baxian enjoyed a more senior station over him.
In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Li Baxian was more senior than most Cultivators in the Spirit Creek Battlefield.
Not that he preferred this outcome.
With his Spiritual Points damaged, he could not ascend and there was nowhere else he could go.
Lu Ye did not have to be a genius to guess that this swordsman was a powerful champion of the Northern Profound Sword Sect with a place within the Roll of Supremacy.
“Please, keep Brother Lu Ye safe,” implored Li Baxian.
The swordsman immediately responded without any hesitation, “Leave it to me, sir.”
Wei Yang might be around to watch over Lu Ye, but with the Judgment of Heaven still upon her, there was little she could do.
All it would take was just a couple or more of those madmen from Cult Blackfyre—whose minds were clearly addled by whatever it was they worshiped—to throw themselves at her and the effects of the Judgment would grow strong enough to kill her.
Enlisting the help of this swordsman was just for insurance.
The debate did not take long to mutate into a rowdy quarrel with the champions trading barbed words amongst themselves.
Curses were exchanged and Li Baxian had to forcibly adjudicate peace by summoning his Spiritual Powers, tacitly indicating that he would cut down anyone that threatened to foil what should be a smooth negotiation.
Apprehensively, Lu Ye muttered, “They are not going to fight, are they” Another spark right now could potentially mean the end of any discussion.
Wei Yang peered at the group of champions huddled together not far away with a disinterested glance and remarked, “Nah, it’s just brutes flexing their muscles.”
Lu Ye continued watching the debate, only to realize that the heated debate was showing signs of aggravating.
To his surprise and relief, the situation did not escalate and that was when he begin to understand that Sister Wei Yang was right…
He lifted his arm and patted the shoulders of the swordsman standing guard in front of him.
“I have not thanked you for saving me not long ago, sir.”
This was the same Northern Profound Sword Sect swordsman who saved him from a very deadly enemy just not so long ago.
“Any concern of Brother Li is a business of the Sword Sect.
There’s no need to stand on ceremony, sir,” replied the swordsman placidly, no more a conversationalist than he was the last time.
[Sir! Did he just call me sir!] Then Lu Ye remembered that if he was Brother Lu Ye to Li Baxian, that would put them both on a similar level of seniority.
[But what about my age] he grimaced.
[Heavens, what a peculiar thing this seniority thing is!]
Wei Yang bent down to stroke Amber’s head.
The tiger lifted himself to allow her to continue, keeping his eyes closed with ecstasy as Wei Yang moved her hand to scratch his chin.
Strangely, the lightning bolts that were still crackling around Wei Yang looked dangerous enough, yet they seemed to not affect anyone who got in close contact with her.
From the conversation with others, Lu Ye learned that the lightning bolts were called the Judgment of Heaven and Wei Yang incurred its wrath because of her entry into the Spirit Creek Battlefield, and the more enemies she slew, the greater the damage it would deal to her.
But seeing her all normal as if nothing was going on, Lu Ye did not know if it was prudent to allow the lightning bolts to continue bouncing all around her.
All of a sudden, Li Baxian roared, “All persons-in-charge of all Thousand Demon Ridge sects and orders! Get here at once!”
The enemy mob stirred uneasily before one figure after another disengaged from the crowd to head over to Li Baxian’s side.
Lu Ye did a headcount and realized that there were at least forty people.
In other words, that was the amount of Thousand Demon Sects that had come to Goldentip.
Next came a litany of muffled voices that Lu Ye recognized as Li Baxian’s.
He could not make out anything from that gibberish.
But almost immediately after Li Baxian stopped, a golden vortex swirled in the skies overhead before a column of light shafted straight down from the sky and landed on Li Baxian.
Before the column of light hit the ground, Li Baxian flung out an arm and he caught something that Lu Ye first thought was a flag: an animal skin parchment.
The column of light quickly ebbed into nothingness and the golden vortex disappeared as quickly as it came.
“What is that” asked Lu Ye curiously, it was the first time he saw something like that.
“The Sacred Pact!” Wei Yang explained.
“For so many people to make sacred oaths in the name of Heaven would be messy and time-consuming, that’s why one can just opt to use the Sacred Pact, although it would cost a few Contribution Points.”
That was a real surprise to Lu Ye.
So Heaven was a real and yet mysterious entity that not only watched but governed the Battlefield, and with the use of Contribution Points, one could trade and engage with Heaven too.
Li Baxian held up the Sacred Pact and examined its contents carefully before he bit the tip of his finger and stamped a mark using his blood.
The others followed suit and did what he just did.
Minutes passed and by the end of it, the Pact contained several dozens of marks all left with blood.
Quietly, Li Baxian came back to rejoin Lu Ye with the Sacred Pact in his hands.
As if on cue, both sides withdrew.
As per the agreement, the crest of Goldentip would be where the duels began.
Cultivators from both sides began clearing up the area, removing every dead body in the vicinity.
At last, the Cultivators all stood around a makeshift ring almost seventy meters in diameter.
This would be where Lu Ye’s reckoning would occur!
In the meantime, Lu Ye and Wei Yang were still going through the clauses in the Pact.
Agreements made on the Pact were as good as oaths made in Heaven’s name and anyone who refused to abide by the Pact would suffer heavy consequences.
More than thirty clauses were set out in clear language to prevent any possibility of any loopholes.
Among the terms included the explicit statement that the highest possible rank for challengers could only be Sixth-Order Cultivators trained in Earth-grade cultivation disciplines.
Cultivators skilled in Heaven-grade disciplines and Earth-grade disciplines were a far cry from each other; using Heaven-grade disciplines meant that one must have more than a hundred and eighty Spiritual Points unlocked whereas the latter required only eighty-one Spiritual Points.
That alone reflected how huge the difference in power.
Lu Ye did not think of this before but fortunately, Li Baxian was around to keep an eye on things for him.
Next were the restrictions that prohibited the use of any external aid, except weapons or personal tools which had already been fully assimilated with one’s Spiritual Powers.
Even Talismans were not to be used in the duels.
All the stringent rules left the Thousand Demon Ridge challengers no other choice but to fight Lu Ye in a fair and open manner if they wished to win the glory of defeating and slaying him.
A few of the clauses weren’t too favorable for Lu Ye, but in contrast, a sizable amount of them still afforded him certain advantages.
For instance, one of the clauses dictated that Lu Ye had the right to a quarter of an hour break after every duel.
It was all thanks to Li Baxian who managed to think of this, although he would have preferred a longer duration if not for the persistent objections proffered by his Thousand Demon Ridge counterpart.
The time was nowhere near enough for any proper rest but there was little Li Baxian could do otherwise.
Although that did not prevent him from securing another advantage for Lu Ye.
This string of duels must end in three days.
If Lu Ye could survive past the third day, then the Thousand Demon Ridge coalition must withdraw.
Another way for Lu Ye to win was to just defeat each and every single challenger who dared to stand before him.
Lu Ye read through the Pact and committed whatever he could into memory.
Wei Yang looked hardly pleased.
“You don’t have to do this, Lu Ye.
As your seniors, both Baxian and I will do anything if you wish to just walk away from this! I’m sure we’ll have a chance of getting out of here if we try our utmost!”
Despite Li Baxian’s best efforts to secure as much advantage as he could, one could barely expect a Fifth-Order Cultivator to survive three-days worth of fighting.
The onslaught itself could easily swamp Lu Ye and tire him out while all the enemies needed to do was throw enough men at him.
But Lu Ye shook his head.
“You’ve all done enough for me.
So many have died on my account and I cannot just sit in the back and watch you all do all the fighting for me.
I know you wish to do more for me, but as the newest fellow student, I’m afraid I cannot accept your good gesture.
This war started because of me, so it must end by my hand as well!”
Wei Yang did not know what to say.
She had waited for so long, and they finally got a new and young brother-in-arms in Lu Ye.
For once in decades, there was hope that the Crimson Blood Sect would endure.
But Fate once again proved itself to be a paragon of vengefulness and irony; Lu Ye found himself becoming the center of a huge war.
What a shame that her hands were now tied and there was little she could do for Lu Ye.
[What cruelty is this, Heaven!] Wei Yang grimaced bitterly.
If only she had more power!
“Sister!” Li Baxian warned her with a sharp growl.
Wei Yang immediately recollected herself to prevent her churning emotions from getting the better of herself.
Her dilated pupils slowly contracted back to their usual size.
“I will survive!” Lu Ye said to them sternly, “I still have to see with my own eyes the stronghold of the Crimson Blood Sect.
I have no home and no family, but Teacher took me in nonetheless.
So that would be my home and you are all my family.
So I will survive.
I must survive!”
He stepped forward and paced towards the center of the ring.
Champions standing around the ring watched his every movement.
Finally, he paused at the dead center of the circle and called out, “Come challenge me!”
But all he got were derisive stares from the enemy mob—sardonic gazes as if they were staring at a dead man and victory was assured.
Every one of them was under the impression that Lu Ye had been driven mad by the stress of the war into making such an irrational and brash decision.
That a Fifth-Order Cultivator has the courage and valor to challenge the whole Thousand Demon Ridge coalition was nothing but foolish recklessness to them.
But the Sacred Pact was what assured them.
In their eyes, the Grand Sky Coalition had practically tied their hands by agreeing to the solemn contract.
Anyone who tried to interfere with the outcome of these duels was to be executed by everyone.
For this reason, even Yan Xing had to delay exacting his vengeance.
All he could do at the moment was to stand at the other side of Goldentip and hurl hateful glares at Li Baxian.