Lu Li had Ming Yu look check if any enemies were lying in wait nearby. “How is it going in the Serenity Plains? Do the four families still have military presence there?” Lu Li asked Lu Ling’s slaves.
“They have retreated!”
A slave of Lu Ling’s answered, “They went back to the Central Plains over a month ago. Don’t you know, State Councilor?”
Lu Li was puzzled. The four families had taken actions. How come they retreated before conquering the Deserted World or killing him? Did Xing Mu stepped in out of anger?
Startled, Lu Li posed the question, “Why did the four families pull back? Do you know what the situation is like at the Central Plains?”
The slave shook his head as he replied, “I suppose only high-rank officials know and I am not at such a position. The only information I have is that Saintess has gone to the Central Plains. The empire is currently under the rein of Lord Tu Gu.”
“What about the casualties in the Clouds Plains and the Serenity Plains?” Lu Li knew that it must have been a tragedy. Nonewithstading, he couldn’t help but want to know the answer.
“The fight took a heavy toll!”
The slave sighed, “Many families of the Serenity Plains and the Clouds Plains have been destroyed. At least 70% of Eternal Realm and Noble Lord Realm warriors of the empire were killed or injured. Five generals that were at the Human Sovereign Realm, including Lord God of Meng, were killed. Altogether, more than fifty million warriors had passed away. Our most conservative projection is that the number of civilians implicated has reached fifty to sixty million.”
“Then the total number of casualties can be more than one hundred million!”
“Those bastards. I can understand them massacring warriors. Why did they take out on so many civilians? You of the four families, you have gone too far this time,” said Lu Li, clenching his fists and biting his teeth.
Lu Li asked again after some contemplation, “Can we teleport to the Central Plains from the Serenity Plains?”
A slave shook his head, “The Teleportation Formation over there has been ruined. We can teleport to the Island of Serenity from the Yun Xiang City and then go to the City of Waters. That is the route that the Saintess has taken.”
“Okay, I understand. Don’t tell anyone that I was here.”
Lu Li nodded. Ming Yu came back in from outside like a ghost. “Everything is fine here in the city. I didn’t find scouts of the four families,” reported Ming Yu.
Using Shrink Skill, Lu Li changed to another person. He put Ming Yu back into the Wicked Bead and went back to the passageway connecting to the Deserted World. There, he teleported to the Clouds Plains and headed toward the Yun Xiang City.
As he was told, armies of the four families had retreated. On his way, Lu Li met no warrior from the four families. Since he had the token of Empire of Clouds Prowess with him, it had been a smooth journey for him to teleport.
Everywhere he went, he could see marks of battles left in cities. The smell of blood was still haunting the cities. Newly built tombs were found on the hills outside the cities. The tombs were so densely crowded that it constituted an appalling scene.
Lu Li had been in a gloomy mood. At the Yun Xiang City, he noticed the entire city had fallen into rubbles. The Teleportation Formation was recently repaired. There was barely anyone in the city, with only thousands of warriors leaving behind to station nearby.
Lu Li hadn’t revealed his identity yet. He merely presented his token so the warriors could activate the Teleportation Formation for him. He went straight ahead toward the Island of Serenity.
The Island of Serenity was indeed serene. Wei Family, a seventh rank family under the rein of the Great Buddhist Temple, was in charge of the city. A while back, Lu Li was ambushed at the Island of Serenity.
Lu Li checked with psychic power and found some familiar faces. He had met the new Island Owner last time he was here. “Please go and send a message. I am a general from the Empire of Clouds Prowess and I ask for a meeting with your Island Owner,” said Lu Li to a Wei Family team leader.
Lu Li handed over his token to the team leader who went to deliver the massage right away. Soon, he came back and showed Lu Li into the castle. In there, Lu Li saw a middle-aged man with a goatee. Lu Li merely nodded as a salute because those present in here did not deserve his bowing salution yet unless the Wei Family Patriarch was here.
The Island Owner found Lu Li unfamiliar and sensed that he was at the peak of the Noble Lord Realm. To his man called himself a general of the Empire of Clouds Prowess, the Island Owner cupped his fists and said, “I am Wei Tian and you are?”
Lu Li made up a random name and said, “I am Lu Li’s brother. Island Owner Wei, I wonder if you know the whereabouts of Lu Ling, Saintess of the Empire of Clouds Prowess.”
Lu Li had decided to make a stop here for he wanted inquire about Lu Ling’s location. Only with this information could he go and rescue her.
“Lu Xue? Lu Li’s brother?” Wei Tian frowned. As for as he could tell, Lu Li had no brother by the name of Lu Xue.
Wei Tian thought about it before he answered. “Young Lady Lu was teleported here with her warriors a month ago. Then, she went to the Clouds Plains. I don’t know yet where she has gone exactly. I have merely limited access to information since my status in the Wei Family is not high.”
Lu Li could not tell whether Wei Tian was telling the truth or not but he didn’t want to reveal his identity. He asked another question, “Then here is something I want to know. Why have the four families retreated from the Clouds Plains, Serenity Plains and the Northern Desert? Is the Demon-slaying Hall getting involved?”
“You don’t know this?”
Wei Tian’s suspicion of Lu Li grew. “The four families have retreated because the Great Buddhist Temple, Pavilion of Delicacy, Tumulus of Universe, Palace of Immortals Inquiries and the Red Lunar have issued an announcement together. That is the reason.”
“Pavilion of Delicacy?”
Lu Li was astonished to hear the name. Pavilion of Delicacy was joining the other forces? Didn’t Jiang Tianshun and Jiang Wuwo wish Lu Li would die sooner? Why would they help him?
Wei Tian continued after a pause, “The 12 Royal Families of the Central Plains have agreed that they would not invade the other plains. This time, not only have the four families invaded the Northern Desert, the Clouds Plains and the Serenity Plains, they have implicated too many civilians. The other eight forces should have allied together and send a punitive expedition against the four forces. However, some of the eight are close with the four forces. These families didn’t issue any announcement or made any joined efforts. Therefore, we have issue the message, forcing the four families to retreat.”
“Okay. I own much to the Great Buddhist Temple.”
Lu Li had found answers to some of his questions. It seemed that the four families had anticipated that some other Royal Families would interfere so they had taken Lu Feixue, Bai Xiashuang, Madam Yan, Ye Cha and others hostage. They were trying to coerce Lu Li to rescue them so that he would deliver himself to death.
He then asked about the thing confused him the most, “Island Owner Wei, Grand Master of the Demon-slaying Hall once stated that he would cover Lu Li for 10 years. The deadline has not come yet but the four families has sent troops. Grand Master Xing didn’t get mad?”
“I don’t know about this!”
Wei Tian shook his head, “What happens in the Demon-Slaying Hall is top level secret. If you want answers, go and ask my Family Patriarch.”
“Okay. Thank you very much, Island Owner Wei!”
Lu Li believed he could not get more answers. He cupped his fists to bid farewell and let. It did not carry much meaning to try to seek for more answers from this man. He must go and find Lu Ling first.
Lu Li threw the warriors a bag of Purple Xuan Crystals for them to activate the Teleportation Formation. In a glare, he disappeared into the Teleportation Formation.
After a long time, Lu Li finally felt he could feel the ground. He had arrived in the City of Waters. Instead of continuing to teleport, he went to the official mansion of the city.
City of Waters was one of the four cities under the control of the Wei Family. The city master here must be one of the high rank officials of the Wei Family. He might not be clear about Lu Ling’s location but he would at least be familiar with recent major events. Lu Li could infer Lu Ling and Bai Qiuxue and the other’s location from the most updated military information.
Lu Li presented his token and warriors went to report which was a complicated process. After the time for three incense sticks to burn, Lu Li was finally shown into castle.
Lu Li was surprised after he went in. The current city master was Wei Zi’ang, a patriarch of the Wei Family Lu Li once met at the Island of Serenity.
The fact that Lu Li could say his name surprised Wei Zi’ang. The later checked with psychic power and asked with uncertainty, “You are… Young Master Lu?”
Lu Li’s muscles and bones moved. He changed back to his appearance and cupped his fists. “Lord Wei, long time no see.”