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Chapter 473 - Waiting
The warm sunlight was sprinkled over the garden.
The old man lay on the rattan chair, basking in the sun. There was a small tea table at the side and on it was a teapot and a teacup. With his eyes closed, the old man could hear footsteps approaching. "I’ve already said that I don’t know how to make a human puppet. If it’s a sand puppet I can make do. You’re finding the wrong person."
Hong Rongyan stopped in his tracks as a respectful look filled his handsome face. "Master Shao!"
It was as if the old man had not heard him.
Hong Rongyan shook his head. "No, it should be Emperor Shao. How can there be Beast Venom Temple if the God Puppet Palace is still around? The Nangong Wulian would still have to address you as Teacher."
The old man replied dully, "I don’t know what you’re talking about."
"There had been little news about God Puppet Palace. Much time has passed but we still managed to track your identity." Hong Rongyan responded faintly, mild distress evident in his eyes. He added sincerely, "Although we used to be enemies, this is no longer the case now, since you left Blood of God a long time ago. You’ve came to us not just to bask in the sun I suppose."
He stood beside the old man like an enveloping shadow that blocked off the sunlight.
The old man then opened his eyes. "I want you guys to find a person for me."
"Related to Blood of God?"
"No. To you guys."
Hong Rongyan was rather surprised but quickly regained his composure. "We will find the person."
Master Shao was calm too. "Bring that little lady over."
Hong Rongyan knew he was talking about Autumn Water.
Autumn Water was quickly sent over and Jiu Gui looked at the old man strangely. He did not know how Sir Hong Rongyan was able to convince this stubborn old fellow. He was full of curiosity toward the old man. In the Assembly of Patriarchs, less than five members were able to receive such respectful treatment from Sir Hong Rongyan.
The old man looked at the withered girl and shook his head. "She’s strayed from the path."
Hong Rongyan said, "Please elaborate, Master Shao."
Master Shao? It was the first time Jiu Gui had heard of the old man’s surname. He thought it over but no familiar names came to mind. There wasn’t any Shao among the reputable Masters.
Master Shao did not reveal much, but looked at Jiu Gui instead. "Go dig some soil."
Jiu Gui was stunned, but since master Hong was just beside him, he dared not act up. Well-behaved, he asked, "What kind?"
Jiu Gui fell into a daze. Any? He was burning with rage. This old man did not take human lives seriously!
Hong Rongyan’s one word fell onto Jiu Gui’s ears like a bucket of ice cold water onto his head, cooling him down immediately.
With master Hong Rongyan around, it wasn’t his turn to unleash his temper.
Since Master Hong said so, Jiu Gui immediately suppressed all thoughts, went over to a corner outside the garden and started digging a pot of soil guilelessly before returning.
The old man picked up the teapot on the table and poured its contents onto the soil.
Master Shao grabbed a lump of wet soil and pinched it for a little while. A rough, human-shaped mud puppet appeared in his hands.
Jiu Gui was engrossed in it all. He wanted to see how this old man would save Autumn Water. When he saw the human-shaped mud puppet, he still felt somewhat appalled. It was the ugliest and crudest figure he’d ever seen. He could only make out its head, torso and limbs. There was no face, no palms and no other details.
Master Shao drew across Autumn Water’s forehead with his fingernail and dark red, fresh blood oozed out from her already cracked and dried up skin.
He then placed the palm sized, human-shaped mud puppet on her forehead.
The dark red, fresh blood seeped into the mini mud puppet, giving it a thread of vitality and a liveliness.
Removing his palm, Master Shao told them, "She won’t die."
Hong Rongyan had a serious expression on his face. "We will find the person you need."
Master Shao did not look happy at all. Instead, he appeared more lonely and desolate. Only a faint glimmer lit up deep within his eyes like a ray of light emerging from the horizon at dawn.
The boundary line between Yellow Sand Corner and Silver Mist Sea.
The sun hung high above the sand dunes, casting a deep shadow from the back. Ye Baiyi made his way toward the dunes, leaving footprints on the ground.
He was alone as the guards were being left at the bottom of the hill. He wasn’t moving quickly and did not utilize any power. He was just like an ordinary person, effortfully trying to climb his way up. He even used his hands at times.
Seen from afar, he was as tiny as an ant.
The guards at the foot of the mountain were like a bunch of quiet statues. Their expressions were solemn and motionless.
Ye Baiyi stepped on the soft, yellow sand while sighing inwardly. The earth elemental energy in the sand was much weaker than before. There was even a huge production of earth elemental materials over here. These earth elemental materials were sold to Jadeite Forest in exchange for resources God Nation required.
But even the amount of produce was decreasing now.
The only thing that hadn’t changed was the landscape of Yellow Sand Corner. Sandstorms, hiding the sky and covering the earth, blew all year round. This was something Blood of God’s regime did not change.
The number of organisms in Yellow Sand Corner were very small, so there was little chance for the blood poison to unleash its power.
This was also why God Nation was lusting over Silver Mist Sea and Cloud Palette Village.
As compared to the barren lands of Fire Prairie and Yellow Sand Corner, Silver Mist Sea and Cloud Palette Village had much lusher vegetation, extremely suitable for growing blood trees.
Jade fruits had become the most important produce of God Nation, but they were only produced once every four years. God Nation needed much more jade fruits and a vaster, more fertile expanse of soil in order to grow more blood trees.
But Elders Guild had no intention on giving up Silver Mist Sea and Cloud Palette Village this easily.
He finally reached the top of the sand dune. The sunlight falling into his eyes made him lose focus for a bit.
He used all his limbs to stabilize himself at the top.
He stood in his white clothes amid the loud sound of wind. He looked upward, allowing the sunlight to shine down on his whole body. At this moment, he wasn’t the fearsome and awe-inspiring White-robed War God, but a young and inexperienced, youth in white clothes.
The white-clothed youth who’d went on a military campaign in the past was now here, gazing into the distance and looking forward to the future where he’d be fulfilling his noble aspirations.
Looking at the magnificent mountain range of Silver Mist Sea at the edge of the desert, he saw the slipping away of time.
Five God-subduing Peaks were arranged in a series above the mountain range. They formed a majestic, motionless chain.
The sun’s afterglow added a golden halo to the God-subduing Peaks’ defense circle, making it flicker and shine in the sky.
The undulating mountain range beneath the God-subduing Peaks had all kinds of defensive structures, like densely packed dog teeth that followed the topography of the mountains.
Above the God-subduing Peaks was a big sheet of clouds. It was North Sea Division’s most notable defensive structure, "Cloud Castle", and the combat division’s elementalists were stationed within.
God-subduing Peaks made the core. With Cloud Castle in the sky and the concentrated defensive structure on the ground, they formed an impenetrable wall, the Wall of North Sea, that stretched horizontally across 16 kilometers.
Ever since the North Sea Division started entering battles, it became extremely difficult for God Nation to attack. The defensive line that was initially deep within Silver Mist Sea had been forcibly pushed back to the boundary line.
Relying on the mountain’s topography and borrowing the formidable combat force of God-subduing Peaks and the powerful defensive force of Cloud Castle, North Sea Division constructed its famous Wall of North Sea. Ever since it was built, countless blood elementalists had had their heads smashed and broken.
And North Sea Division continued fortifying and strengthening this wall. God Nation even believed that it was indestructible.
Ye Baiyi knew what kind of opponent he was facing.
Shi Beihai used to be preposterous when he was young, but underwent a huge temperament change later on. He was strongly determined to succeed and quickly became the division leader of North Sea Division. As compared to Ye Baiyi’s record of being the youngest division leader, Shi Beihai assumed his post much later in life.
Shi Beihai was the enemy Ye Baiyi least wanted to meet. Shi Beihai was extremely tenacious and tricky to deal with.
The Holy Emperor saw this too and was prepared to get rid of him at all costs.
Wouldn’t there be any reinforcement?
Ye Beiyi found it unlikely. As long as Madam Ye was still rational, she wouldn’t destroy the wall. Plus, Ye Baiyi had already received the news that Sky Edge Division and Infantry Division had assembled and were getting ready to provide Shi Beihai with support.
Sky Edge Division and Infantry Division were under Madam Ye’s personal command so it was evident that she regarded Shi Beihai as very important.
Ye Baiyi figured that there might be news he was unaware of.
But no matter what, he couldn’t go against the Holy Emperor’s orders. Since the Holy Emperor said to do it at all costs, he would do it at all costs.
Opposite him, above the God-subduing Peaks, someone was observing Ye Baiyi from afar as well.
"What a pity."
Shi Beihai shook his head while sighing. His shoulders were broad, his build tall and sturdy. His general facial features were similar to those of Shi Xueman, except that time had given him experience and stability. Shi Xueman, on the other hand, had a more heroic spirit, just as how a newborn calf was unafraid of the tiger.
Vice division leader, Lu Manman, stood beside Shi Beihai. As opposed to his name, he spoke very quickly, like beans crackling and rattling. "It’s not a pity. Ye Baiyi is rich now, unlike us. We’re miserable and wretched. Look, this army is magnificent and we’re hiding far behind in the Wilderness. At this critical time, instead of sending the three central divisions to assist us, they sent us two rookie combat divisions. I would think it’s better for us to go over to Blood of God. It’s better than allowing that sissy Ye Baiyi to treat us this way…"
He was a head taller than Shi Beihai, but his whole body was thin and weak like a bamboo. He had high cheekbones and a pair of deep set eyes. His eyeballs moved constantly as he spoke, making him seem eccentric and quick-witted.
"Enough, Manman. Will you die if you speak less?" Qi Xiuyuan asked in frustration.
Unlike other combat divisions, there were two vice division leader positions within North Sea Division. One seat was taken by Helian Fei’er while the other was taken in turns by Lu Manman and Qi Xiuyuan. This
Qi Xiuyuan looked like a frail scholar without the strength to even truss a chicken, but those who underestimated him often found themselves on the losing end.
"Yes I’ll die!" Lu Manman spoke confidently. "I’ll feel more stupid and cowardly for dying from holding in my words as compared to dying in Ye Baiyi’s hands. We’re all going to die soon anyway. Look at their army. It’s much bigger than ours! Since death is imminent, we must die brave and heroic so future generations can say that Lu Manman and Qi Xiuyuan died from…"
Qi Xiuyuan rolled his eyes. "Die alone if you want to, don’t drag me down."
Shi Beihai turned around to interrupt them. "You guys done with work?"
With an "Oh", Shi Beihai added, "Double the volume."
"No, Boss. We’re dying! Ye Baiyi’s army is pressing in and you want us to double the workload, we will die."
"Get lost, why are you pulling me again? Please don’t be like this, Boss…"
Shi Beihai asked coldly, "Could it be that you guys have other means of survival?"
Both answered in unison, "Yes!"
Shi Beihai was rather astonished. "Oh, what is it?"
Shi Beihai’s cheeks twitched. "You guys can die."
Both had already fled the scene.
Having seen it, Helian Fei’er walked over while laughing involuntarily. Reaching Shi Beihai’s side she said, "Don’t be too impatient, Boss. Reports say that they’re currently building in preparation for the prolonged war."
Shi Beihai’s expression was grave as he shook his head. "No, they’re waiting for the right time to start a war."
"They’re waiting for Grandmaster An Muda to die."
The murderousness blew off along with the wind, as if a bugle horn was heard from far away.