"I’m the Evil Sect’s Young Master."

Under the moonlit sky, accompanied by a vast array of bright stars, this dusky period didn’t appear like the night.

In addition, with the hurricane lamps lit up one after another along the suspension bridge, the lights reflected on the lake along with the glow from the sky, making it as if the Milky Way fell to the earth, giving the Sanctuary full rays of light that could rival the starry night.

However, at this moment, this rare and extremely beautiful scenery was with no aesthete—the alliance forces had just arrived, and the war was imminent.

When Gu Feidi and Su Yang arrived at the cliff of the Sanctuary, the righteous forces had started the battle with the Evil Sect’s forces, but from a distance, it was not as big as Su Yang had imagined. It seemed that there weren’t many petal retainers from the Plum Blossom Hall. As a result, ones from the Lotus Hall and the Orchid Hall that were stationed at the Sanctuary must come out to confront the invading army.

Gu Feidi, having studied the patrol map before, probably knew how many elite fighters from the Plum Blossom Hall should have been guarding here, but based on the current fighting situation, more than half of the petal retainers from the Plum Blossom Hall were missing.

Although the petal retainers from the Lotus Hall and Orchid Hall studied the way of martial arts, they were not as well-versed as the Plum Blossom Hall. Under the Central Plains Wulin’s siege, they would inevitably gradually lose their support and suffer heavy casualties. Such a defensive tactic was like someone was deliberately using these poor servants as cannon fodder, pushing them to the front line to be slaughtered.

Faced with the current battle, although Su Yang knew it was unavoidable, it was hard to not be distraught with anxiety.

Gu Feidi saw Su Yang’s state of mind, stretched out his hand, clenched the other’s hand in his palm and whispered words of comfort, “This was arranged by your Sect Leader, so there must be a reason for this bloodshed. With the process that the Tengyun Pavilion is going at, they must want to break through the interception as soon as possible and go straight to the two islands in the centre of the lake without dragging out the battle, they must be trying to reduce the overall casualties...This must be the consensus they reached in their private meeting.”

As he said that, under Gu Ruohai’s command, the Tengyun Pavilion didn’t scatter their forces to the place where the surrounding residents were hiding, but took precautions toward the Evil Sect’s enemies on all sides. The elite fighters were fully concentrated on the main suspension bridge and working on breaking through the petal retainers. The only path to Iris Island and Bamboo Garden Island was in the centre of the lake.

Su Yang closed his eyes and nodded reluctantly. “I understand...I’m fine.”

Gu Feidi soothed, “Just tell me if you don’t want to participate in the fight. We will head right back out and wait for the battle to end.”

“No, that’s not needed. Let’s go to Bamboo Garden Island.” Su Yang suggested. “If we can meet the Sect Leader, I want to ask him what’s going on.”

Because the three members arrived at the Sanctuary from a different direction than the righteous forces, there was some distance between them and the actual fight. Pu Lingyun, who followed them, was in distress. She wanted to gather with her own party, but her path was bound to be blocked by the petal retainers, which was difficult to break through alone.

When the petal retainers saw the three, they had already sent several fighters to deal with it. This was not a good time to separate from the other two.

“Just stay with us.” Gu Feidi drew out his long sword to block an incoming attack. “We are going straight toward the Bamboo Garden Island.”

Pu Lingyun knew if she acted wilfully now, it might create complications. So she nodded and fought alongside the duo.

Just after two or three rounds of fighting, Gu Feidi and Su Yang also gradually noticed the strangeness that was mentioned by Xu Yunzhan. 

—In fact, there were always two or three petal retainers who seemed to be working together. When their companion’s blade was about to hit any of their three members, the sabotaging petal retainers would somehow also attack without explanation and block the non-friendly attack. Although these people could get away with it once or twice, more than that, changing the battle rhythm for Su Yang and Gu Feidi made it easy to spot the oddities. 

However, these troublemakers didn’t make the fight any easier for Su Yang and Gu Feidi. They still firmly blocked the three people from advancing and refused to let them reach their destination.

Su Yang couldn’t bear to hurt people openly, which was picked up by Gu Feidi and Pu Lingyun. Having to hold back, their fight was stuck in a stalemate. 

“What should we do?” Su Yang asked Gu Feidi.

Gu Feidi was silent for a moment and proposed, “If we don’t want to hurt anyone, I’m afraid we can’t easily break through with our strength. Maybe you can enter the island alone using the speed advantage of Cherished Flower Steps. But Shizun told us not to be separated, so…”

Hearing this suggestion, Su Yang closed his eyes and sighed.

He flipped the thin sword in his hand and charged into the petal retainers using the Vermilion Spring Peach and connected with the Sweet Summer Lotus, injuring the two servants from the Lotus Hall. He immediately tore out an opening on the petal retainers’ defensive line. 

“Let’s go.”

The three quickly adjusted their strategies and no longer engaged in fights. Instead, they pierced the defence line like a sharp knife. The three of them joined hands into an unstoppable force for the petal retainers. They had to chase after the three all the way up to the Bamboo Garden Island along the suspension bridge.

However, just as they set foot on the island, Mei Shisan led another team of petal retainers to block Su Yang’s party.

Confronted with Mei Shisan, who should have been ‘captured’ by the Tengyun Pavilion, Su Yang was shocked and blurted out his question, “How did you escape?”

There was not the slightest change to Mei Shisan’s face, as he waved his sword and ordered several elite petal retainers to surround Su Yang and others.

Su Yang was fuming. “Don’t tell me you are also—” Before he could finish, Gu Feidi grabbed his wrist and motioned to stop talking with his eyes.

Mei Shisan turned to other petal retainers from the Lotus and the Orchid Hall and ordered, “Go back and help defend against the Central Plains forces. Leave these three to us, as the guards of the Bamboo Garden Island.”

Directly in front was the leader of the group, staring at Mei Shisan with an unconvinced face. He narrowed his eyes, ground his teeth...But he didn’t refuse the order and led his team away with an angry hmph.

Once they were at a distance, Su Yang turned to Mei Shisan, waiting for an explanation.

Mei Shisan informed, “Once we heard the news of the Young Master’s return, the Leader ordered me to escort you to him. Everyone, follow me.”

Immediately afterwards, he turned and walked away. Su Yang and Gu Feidi glanced at each other and had no choice but to follow in silence with Pu Lingyun.

The party walked along the road around the Bamboo Garden Island and slowly went down to the shoal near the lake.

On the way, Su Yang noticed that throughout the corners of the island, there were piles of wine jars. The further down, the more crowded the jars were. As if a grand party was about to be held here.

Gu Feidi also noticed these wine jars by the look of his frowning.

Seeing his dignified expression, Su Yang caught up with Mei Shisan and asked, “What are you going to do with all of these wine jars?”

Mei Shisan slowed his pace slightly and replied, “The Sect Leader has a purpose for this preparation.”

With that, he stopped responding to every question Su Yang tossed his way.

The party followed Mei Shisan to the cave, which was also the entrance to the Evil Sect’s Forbidden Ground. The first thing they saw was the familiar white figure standing in the centre of the cave—it was the Leader of the Evil Sect, Su Huaizhu.

Gu Feidi’s hand, which had been secretly holding the hilt of his sword, tightened slightly. While Su Yang subconsciously walked more upright with nervous tension. Being her first time seeing the Sect Leader, Pu Lingyun’s whole being stiffened up, she didn’t even dare to breathe too deeply for the fear of disturbing something. 

However, Su Huaizhu was not as cruel as the Jianghu rumours made him out to be.

He gazed at the three with his calm face. There was no emotion stirring in his eyes—it was as if he was indifferent to the world. However, the tone he used was very gentle, “What are you doing here instead of nursing your health up in the Elegant Jade Peak? I never wanted you to be involved in this dispute.”

Su Yang opened his mouth, but he didn’t know how to reply.

Gu Feidi took over and replied, “Senior, we originally descended the mountain to stay at the House of Jade. However, outside the mountain gate, we received Shizun’s letter. She told us to journey to the Phantom City and the ice field, so here we are.”

Su Huaishu heard this reason, and the tip of his eyebrows moved as he turned suspiciously toward Su Yang.

Gu Feidi exchanged a look with Su Yang before Su Yang took Shizun’s letter out from his robe and handed it to Su Huaizhu.

Su Huaizhu read through the letter and remained silent for a long time. It seemed that he was feeling slightly disappointed. After a while, he suddenly smiled and said, “...Since Shizun ordered you two to not separate...That’s fine too…”

Sharing half and hiding the other half, he handed the letter back to Su Yang. “Remember to keep the Phoenix Jade pendant that Shizun gave you at your side at all times.”

Su Yang nodded as he raised his right hand and pressed against the pendant that was emitting heat slowly at his chest.

“Since Shizun had a hand in this, no matter how extraordinary the item is, the effect has to be temporary.” Su Huaizhu suddenly said. “I’m afraid the Phoenix Jade won’t last for half a month, and it is bound to turn into a pile of dust…”

Hearing this explanation, Su Yang suddenly realised—no wonder Shizun asked them to head to the ice field to obtain another strange thing. It turned out the uncanny pendant was a timed item.

He glanced at Gu Feidi in surprise. Su Yang felt a strange sense of absurdity inside, and he found that Shizun was less and less of a character with a simple role.

Unfortunately, the owner of the House of Jade didn’t have many parts in the script, someone not important enough to have her character mentioned. Like the people here, Su Yang could only guess the origin of the amazing Shizun, having nothing to confirm with.

Referring to the ice field trip, Gu Feidi pondered for a moment and asked, “Senior, did my father really discuss the annihilation of the Evil Sect with you?”

Su Huaizhu studied the younger man, and a smile suddenly appeared on his face. “I only invited him to destroy my Sect. Other arrangements...were not included in the discussion.”

Gu Feidi didn’t understand what this meant.

Hearing Su Huaizhu’s admission, Su Yang frowned and asked, “So this extermination was really premeditated by you? You wanted to destroy the Evil...Yantan Divine Sect?”

Even addressing a senior, Su Yang’s tone was impolite and contained no honourifics, which didn't seem to bother Su Huaizhu at all. Instead, he smiled and replied, “What if the destruction was inevitable?”

Feeling tongue-tied, Su Yang didn’t know how to follow up.

“The Orchid and Chrysanthemum Hall’s elders have conspired together to seize power. They have already made the Lotus Hall’s Elder a mere figurehead. Which, I had long suspected.”

Su Huaizhu calmly explained, “The E’Luo Gui Faction’s new king has made some small moves recently, which I wanted to coincide with, using this opportunity to clean up the traitors in my Divine Sect, which conveniently deceived the mastermind. Let him think that our Sect has collapsed from the internal struggle, let them drop their guard...As I infiltrate the ice field to assassinate the faction’s new monarch.”

Su Yang was stunned. “Assassinate the new king? Why?”

Su Huaizhu answered, “This is not for you to know.”

Su Yang: “...”

Gu Feidi thought over what the senior shared and proposed, “Maybe there’s something we can help with. Senior...please give us instructions.”

Su Huaizhu shook his head. “Neither of you two have to take part in this. As long as there are no mishaps, everything will end smoothly.”

As he spoke, he leaned slightly and directed, “There’s a secret passage behind the stone tablet in the third archway. You can leave using that passage, go along the underground river, and it will take you straight to the outside of the Phantom City.”

Gu Feidi and Su Yang exchanged a look.

Su Yang was still feeling a bit uneasy and wanted to add something. But was stopped by someone who rushed in and reported, “Sect Leader, the Alliance Leader Gu is leading his pavilion and the Village of Mount Qianfeng toward this island. While the Tongyun Monastery and the Xuanji Temple are charging toward Iris Island. There have been reports of members from the Wujiang Sect among the Alliance Leader’s group.”

Su Huaizhu snorted coldly, “The Wujiang Sect…”

Then he looked back at the three young fighters and commanded, “You three, go now. This is not the place for young talents to intervene, do not act recklessly.”

Su Yang faced Su Huaizhu with a courage that came from out of nowhere, saying, “We’ll wait here. If there is any mishap that you mentioned, we can help.”

Su Huaizhu frowned. “You…”

“I’m the Evil Sect’s Young Master.” Su Yang firmly interrupted Su Huaizhu.

This time, Su Huaizhu didn’t discourage anything.

He took a serious glance at Su Yang and finally turned away without showing any expression.


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