Chapter 846: Hauling in the Net
The eastern gate of Ziluo City had fallen!
The boundless army of evil spirits was flooding into the city.
A foot-tall crow shot through the distant darkness, its feathers flowing with dark luster.
It appeared atop that blood mountain in a flash, standing on the shoulders of the Dark Vassal.
“Strange. Why did the Cui Family give up its resistance? Old Block, do you think there’s an ambush waiting for us in Ziluo City?” The crow’s blood-red eyes flashed.
“Who would make unnecessary sacrifices even knowing they’re sure to lose?” said the Dark Vassal, his voice calm, without even the slightest ripple of emotion.
His entire body was covered in a black cloak. Only his dust-colored eyes were visible, and he emanated a chaotic, calamitous aura.
As he spoke, he swung his sleeves.
The massive blood-colored mountain covered in countless strange Dao Markings suddenly shrank many times over, transforming into a blood-red seal and falling into the Dark Vassal’s outstretched palm.
“Forget it. Even if they did set up an ambush, with the methods the Cui Family displayed today, there’s no way they’re any match for me. I’ll just go have a look. It would be wonderful if I could re-acquire that treasure hidden in the ruins of the Bureau of Adjudication—” The Nine Serenities Netherworld Crow started saying something, but then it realized it was getting ahead of itself and abruptly shut its beak.
In contrast, however, its blood-red eyes shone with a rare trace of longing and excitement.
“Let’s go.” The Dark Vassal strode through the air and into the city.
The Sinful Ghost Monk and Child of Sin followed, and a seemingly endless horde of evil spirits surged out of the darkness.
Their goal was the ruins of the Bureau of Adjudication!
“Ziluo City has fallen!” someone shouted excitedly amidst the darkness to the north of Ziluo City.
Throughout its long history, Ziluo City had overcome countless Lantern Festivals under the protection of the Cui Family.
But now, the army of evil spirits had?broken into the city!
“Tonight’s horde of evil spirits is unquestionably terrifying. One utterly terrifying evil spirit has arrived after another. Their power far surpasses anything seen in years prior.
“I even suspect that it wouldn’t matter if Cui Longxiang were still alive; not even he could block such an onslaught,” someone whispered coldly.
“When Cui Longxiang fell and the Nine Serenities Netherworld Crow re-entered the world, Ziluo City’s fate was sealed!” said another, their tone sinister.
“Everyone, it’s time to settle the score with the Cui Family.”
One figure after another shot through the darkness.
There was an elder in Confucian robes and a broad belt, with the air of an immortal.
There was a man with a willowy beard and a sword case on his back.
There was a mature beauty with her hair tied up, carrying a basket of flowers.
And several others.
Their appearances varied, but all of them emanated the distinctive auras of the Imperial Realm.
They came from the ancient Qu, Hong, and Tantai Families, as well as the Denglong Clan. They’d gone into hiding far from the city walls long before nightfall, watching and waiting in silence.
Naturally, they’d watched the massive horde of evil spirits break past Ziluo City’s eastern gate.
When Ziluo City fell, the Emperors of the allied factions took action without hesitation.
The way they saw it, this was the perfect opportunity to overturn the ancient Cui Family!
Within Ziluo City.
The dense swarm of evil spirits was like a flood, enveloping the streets and alleyways. Nothing stood in their way.
However, Ziluo City had already been abandoned. The horde of spirits flowed through the streets, but no battles broke out.
The Cui Family estate.
Halls and palaces were as numerous as trees in a forest, but all of them were within the bounds of the family’s defensive formation. An ancient, holy aura permeated the darkness.
“The gates fell!?”
“Dammit! How is this possible!”
“The family head told us to seek refuge within the family estate. We thought he had this in the bag. Who’d have thought things would end like this?”
…a clamor of voices arose within the formation.
When the eastern gates fell, the higher-ups of the Cui Family could no longer remain calm. All of them were both alarmed and furious.
Xue Huaning, who was currently controlling their defensive formation, furrowed her brow and chastised them. “What are you panicking about? The situation isn’t as grave as you imagine!”
She was a former Emissary of the River of Meng Po Palace, and this utterly dignified, imposing declaration directly suppressed the clamor of voices.
The crowd shut their mouths, their expressions shifting and uncertain.
Through the formation, they could see the situation outside clearly. Masses of evil spirits were charging toward the Cui Family estate from all sides.
Boundless, bloody, baleful energy filled the air.
The sight alone was enough to make one give in to despair.
As the defensive formation circulated, dazzling silver light spread out. The charging swarm of evil spirits toppled, then disintegrated into ash.
But immediately afterward, more of them charged over.
Some of the stronger ones relentlessly attempted to break the formation.
The Cui Family higher-ups’ expressions were increasingly unsightly, and they were increasingly frantic.
However, Xue Huaning didn’t seem the least bit concerned. “Aside from we old-timers, the entire clan has taken refuge within Jinluo Grotto. Even if the worst comes to pass, we can use the power of the Tree of Ten Thousand Daos to leave Ziluo City.”
Someone said glumly, “Leave the city? If Ziluo City falls, where will the Cui Family go? And what will become of the foundations generations of our ancestors built up over countless years? Will all of that end here?”
The others had complicated looks on their faces too.
All of them realized that tonight’s onslaught of strange and sinister power was truly terrifying. In past lanterns, no such calamities had befallen them.
If not for Family Head Cui Chang’an’s insistence that they stay and fight, they would likely have long since gathered their families and left Ziluo City. 𝘣𝘦𝑑𝘯𝘰𝘷𝑒𝘭．𝑛𝘦𝘵
Now, it seemed the worst-case scenario was about to become a reality!
Xue Huaning could tell that their hearts were heavy. “Everyone, please rest assured. Earlier, I was merely describing the worst-case scenario, but unless I’m mistaken, these malevolent forces will soon face complete annihilation.”
After a stunned pause, the crowd shook their heads. They obviously didn’t believe a word of it.
Someone couldn’t help but say, “Don’t forget that tonight’s disaster isn’t as simple as the invading evil spirits. There are also several ancient factions lying in wait, and they’ve yet to make an appearance!”
This declaration left the others’ hearts even heavier.
A strange look shone in Xue Huaning’s eyes. In the end, she couldn’t help but mutter, “I’d actually love it if they rushed over…”
“????” The crowd was flabbergasted. What’s that supposed to mean?
Before anyone could ask, Xue Huaning explained, “Everyone, I, Xua Huaning, guarantee that tonight won’t go anywhere near as terribly as you imagine. On the contrary…”
Here, she paused and looked outside of the clan-protecting formation. “Both the evil spirits and the factions hoping to take advantage of our moment of vulnerability are doomed to suffer enormous casualties!”
She spoke calmly, but her tone left no room for doubt.
The crowd was stunned; they couldn’t imagine the source of her confidence
“Does the family head have a backup plan?” someone couldn’t help but ask.
Everyone else looked at Xue Huaning.
They had no idea how the eastern gate had fallen, nor did they know whether or not Cui Chang’an was alive or dead. All of them were overcome with worry.
But Xue Huaning seemed far too calm.
However, before they could ask any further questions, the situation changed outside the formation.
A terrifying aura swept forth, and a group of Emperors descended, standing in the skies outside the Cui Family estate like deities.
There were about ten of them, and all of them looked different.
One walked on a divine rainbow. One gripped a Dao Sword. One had the countenance of a Buddhist statue. One manipulated thunder and lightning.
Each was more terrifying than the one before.
Just standing there, their terrifying auras suppressed the endless swarm of evil spirits, dispersing them with a bang.
Especially the four leaders. All of them were in the Profound Serenity Realm!
Within the defensive formation, the higher-ups of the Cui Family were all visibly shaken.
Even the utterly confident Xue Huaning was inwardly alarmed when she saw this lineup. A grave look appeared on her face.
“Cui Chang’an has already lost. I urge you to give up. Otherwise, don’t blame us for our power manners,” said a white-bearded man in purple. His voice boomed throughout the night sky.
He stood atop an enormous yellow-skinned gourd, hands behind his back, as imposing as a god.
He was a high elder of the Qu Family with early-stage Profound Serenity cultivation. He was practically a relic; countless years had passed since he last entered the world.
However, even now, everyone knew?his title: the Spirit Gourd Spirit Emperor!
“The Cui Family’s annihilation is at hand. Remaining stubborn even now would be foolish,” sighed a short elder. He looked decrepit, and his eyes were turbid. He gripped a cattail fan, and his appearance was unassuming.
But when he spoke, every word boomed, reverberating throughout heaven and earth and shaking the Cui Family’s defensive formation.
He was an old monster of the Hong Family, a Profound Serenity Emperor.
“It seems to me that it’d be best to fight directly,” said the swordsman with the willowy bird. His voice was warm and amiable. “I’ve long since wanted to see the Cui Family’s Law of Adjudication for myself.”
“We cannot afford delays,” said the beautiful woman carrying a flower basket. Her eyes shone with murderous intent. “We’d best end this as quickly as possible.”
A Profound Serenity Denglong!
Their words were forceful and domineering. All of them spoke with undisguised killing intent.
The Cui clansmen taking refuge within their formation felt chills course through them.
Four Profound Serenity Emperors had arrived leading a group of Emperors. Whose heart wouldn’t have quavered at the sight of such power?
Worse, the city was currently under attack by too many evil spirits to count!
And the Nine Serenities Netherworld Crow had yet to show itself!
However, when she saw this, Xue Huaning whispered, “Everyone, it’s almost time to determine a victor.”
Meanwhile, on the roof of a distant restaurant, Su Yi raised his wine jug to his lips and took a sip. “Fei Kongdong, I’m sure you see them too. Members of your Denglong clan have come. I’ll give you a chance: make them leave right away, and I won’t pursue this any further. Otherwise, I’ll have you kill them yourself.”
Fei Kongdong’s expression changed dramatically. “Yes, sir!”
Then, the old monster suppressed beneath Heavenly Tripod Mountain for tens of thousands of years could hold back no longer. He leaped into the air and rushed off.