Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Reverend Red Robe looked down from the sky with a grim look on his face.
Cloudscrape City was in ruins after the battle, with crumbled walls, collapsed buildings, and corpses all around.
This wasn't actually all Tang Jie's work. Tang Jie had primarily blown up the teleportation formation and stolen away the storehouse. Besides that, Black Sin had altered the map of the city by creating a fissure running right down the center of it.
But when those cultivators had been giving chase, they had started to cause chaos. With this rare legalized opportunity to attack, their murderous natures erupted, and it was very hard to stop. Most important of all was that they had enjoyed it.
Whether it was intentional or not, these cultivators had thrown out their attacks haphazardly. As Black Sin's vines rampaged around the city, the spell arts of the cultivators blew the city up.
In the end, to deal with the mouse that was Tang Jie, the guests ended up basically wrecking the owner's house.
But this ruined city couldn't compare to the damage done by Tang Jie escaping with the storehouse.
This novel is available on bit.ly/3Tfs4P4.
When Reverend Red Robe thought about how he had been lured away by Tang Jie's duplicate, causing Cloudscrape City to suffer devastating losses, he felt dizzy.
It was true that he was a Soul Transformation True Person.
But Godhead Palace would not treat him leniently for making this mistake.
Reverend Red Robe could already see his grim future.
All of his bold ambitions turned to dust, and he sighed, "Ah, forget it. In the end, greed made me a fool and allowed me to be used by another. After this huge mistake, I will take all the responsibility when the palace sends its representative."
He turned and left, his once-energetic figure now seeming old and lonely.
One day later, seven young men and four young women appeared in the sky above Cloudscrape City, all of them wearing white robes with a golden hawk embroidered on the sleeve. These eleven youths had handsome appearances, and it was clear that all of them came from impressive backgrounds.
A cultivator in the city saw this and whispered, "Look at them, all dressed up like that. It's probably to show off."
He didn't speak very loudly, and nobody should have been able to hear him.
But one of the eleven youths suddenly glanced at him.
The cultivator shivered, and he was so alarmed that he didn't dare to speak anymore.
That night, as this man lay on his bed, he would start wailing, and after three whole days, he would finally die.
"Little Seventh, focus," the leader, a somewhat older youth, said in a mature and composed tone.
The youth looked away from that cultivator in the city. "Yes, Big Brother."
The leader said, "Good. Let's split up and get to work."
Ten people flew off in streaks of light, leaving only the eldest to sit atop a cloud, apparently thinking about something.
A few moments later, one of the youths returned and stood behind the eldest, after which the others started to return.
Only when all ten had returned did the eldest say, "Begin."
One of the youths reported, "Tang Jie entered through the front gate. He used an illusory disguise, but the Panther Monkey saw through it. From this, we can see that his disguise ability does not exceed the Illusion Devil level. All-Seeing Law Eyes, Wisdom Eye Pearls, and Celestial Form Eyedrops can all see through it."
The others followed in giving their reports.
"There were three perpetrators: Tang Jie, a sprite, and an unknown man. I've questioned people in Cloudscrape City who saw these three and confirmed that this unknown man should be the True Person Gui who appeared in Horizon Ocean Pavilion eleven years ago. But this True Person Gui has no background or sect, and his movements are unpredictable. After appearing eleven years ago, he disappeared. For him to appear again makes no sense. According to the Beast Refining Gate, it was only Tang Jie and the sprite who pursued Xu Hanling into the hall and were teleported with him. There was no sign of True Person Gui. From this, we can conclude that this person's true identity isn't that of an actual human, but some being like the sprite that Tang Jie has secretly raised. Worth noting is that if this is really the case, why did Tang Jie keep it so well hidden? We can conclude that there is probably some other secret behind this."
"Tang Jie started killing the moment he entered the city. Before killing someone, he would ask them where the teleportation point and storehouse were, and then he went straight to those two locations, making no detours. From this, we can conclude that he came prepared. Many cultivators come in and out of Cloudscrape City every day, so it is impossible to ascertain the level of strength in the city. Even if Tang Jie's duplicate managed to fool Red Robe, the remaining strength still wasn't something Tang Jie could easily deal with. In truth, he was lucky yesterday to run into only one Celestial Heart cultivator. If there had been a few more, things might not have gone so smoothly. But even so, he still charged in, and with a clear goal in mind. Given this person's personality and methods, for him to dare to do such a thing, I suspect that Tang Jie still has more tricks up his sleeve. But because the strength in Cloudscrape City was lacking, he didn't need to use them."
"I've been over to look at the storehouse. Judging by the records of the goods in the storehouse, even one hundred Mustard Seed Bags couldn't have held them all, let alone the entire storehouse. But he managed to take away such a large place nevertheless. He must have used some extraordinary spatial method. We have never heard of Tang Jie having this sort of method before. If he was that strong, he would have used it much earlier. Considering how he got here, this is probably related to the Space Crystal. The problem is that he doesn't have the White Tiger's blood, so how was he able to use the Space Crystal to this extent? This is also suspicious. If only we knew what exactly happened back in the Beast Garden."
"Tang Jie was ruthless in this battle, killing basically everyone he could and taking basically everything he could. This is completely different from how he acted in the past. Considering that he's brazenly looting everything he can, we can conclude that he is already prepared to engage in slaughter within my Nadir Hill for a long time."
"There is one strange thing to note. Although Tang Jie killed many people, we can't find many of their corpses. Some of them were devoured by Black Sin, but most of them just disappeared. Unfortunately, the other cultivators were all scared by his ruthlessness, so they did not know where the bodies went. But we can hypothesize that these corpses did not simply disappear. Tang Jie must have taken them for some reason."
"I've refined the soul memories of three cultivators who saw Tang Jie fighting, so I can basically confirm that the talk of Tang Jie being in the Three Witherings is essentially nonsense. This person is definitely at peak Mortal Shedding, only a step away from Celestial Heart."
"One hundred days in the Water Moon Paradise is that incredible?"
"It was four hundred. We just received word from the Basking Moon Sect that that old bastard, Luo Hanzhen, managed to get Tang Jie three hundred more days. Tang Jie managed to hide this fact, and our spy only recently managed to find out… The Basking Moon Sect has already discovered him."
"Then we can understand why he wants so much plunder… He needs to cultivate and get stronger, which requires a lot of resources… Ha, this guy is very bold. He wants to advance to Celestial Heart in my Nadir Hill?"
"Being stronger means that he's more confident about fighting back."
"Even if he were at Violet Palace, he shouldn't even think about fighting back against my Godhead Palace."
"But it is enough to kill to his heart's content in my Nadir Hill."
"In truth, the Celestial Heart Realm– no, even his current realm is enough for him to kill to his heart's content."
"He's already doing that."
Everyone fell silent.
Finally, the eldest said, "Are the resources in the storehouse enough for him to reach Celestial Heart?"
A pretty woman replied, "I've already checked the storehouse records. While there were many resources in the storehouse, not everything was suitable for cultivation. Most of them were materials used in pills, talismans, formations, and tools. While their value is extremely high, it's not what he needs. In terms of value, Tang Jie certainly has enough to reach Celestial Heart, but he first has to trade those items for the medicines he needs."
Another person added, "He won't trade for it, but steal it. In Nadir Hill, he doesn't need money."
The eldest said, "In other words, though he's stolen a lot, he's still far from making the charge at Celestial Heart?"
Everyone's eyes lit up.
They understood the meaning behind this question.
The pretty woman answered, "Yes, definitely not enough, so he will definitely try and steal more.
"Today's incident is only the start."
A youth suddenly said, "The palace has sent word that the Upper Path Fort has been plundered by Tang Jie."
The eldest immediately stood up and swept his right hand out in front of him. In a dazzling flash of light, a map of Nadir Hill appeared.
It wasn't strange for this sort of projection spell to be able to create a map. What was unusual was that maps created through this spell couldn't be transferred. One had to go to all these places by oneself in order to recreate the map. At this time, the map in front of the eldest grew larger and larger, going past the boundary of Nadir Hill. It was clear that he had been to many places.
He had seemingly walked the majority of the Rosecloud Domain and recorded all those locations, thus allowing for such a huge and detailed map.
The eldest opened his hands, and the map began to change its dimensions, ultimately reaching a suitable scale such that the map had Cloudscrape City on one end and Upper Path Fort on the other.
The eldest lightly waved his hands and instantly calculated the distance. He then calculated how long it would take to cover this distance by flying, upon which he blurted out, "Shit, he went straight from Cloudscrape City to here, and then he robbed the place as soon as he arrived… What a bandit!"
The others all looked at each other, marveling at Tang Jie's devotion to his job, seemingly committing crimes without rest.
But they also knew that this was only just the beginning. At this time, they lacked deep understanding of Tang Jie's abilities, style, behavior, and objective, which was the perfect time for Tang Jie to act brazenly.
As time passed and they developed a deeper understanding of Tang Jie, they would start to converge upon him, at which point Tang Jie would find it hard to commit any more crimes. He would have no choice but to take a break and start focusing on survival.
It was precisely because he would have to be on the run later that Tang Jie acted even crazier now.
Though they understood this, these youths still felt like they were getting a whole new understanding of this guy's greed, madness, and savagery.
Unlike the others, when they received their orders, they understood what sort of opponent they were dealing with. They had been cautious from the very start, even though seven of them were at Spirit Ring, four at the peak of Mortal Shedding, and one was at Nine Revolutions.
The eldest wasn't in a rush after learning that Tang Jie had run off to Upper Path Fort. He continued to move around the map, adding in the town where Tang Jie had massacred the sect and Forecreek Town, where Tang Jie had stayed for a time, marking each of the four locations.
Looking at all these places, the eldest muttered, "Other than Forecreek Town, where he lingered for some time, he was basically always on the run. He made his plan at Forecreek Town, and since then, he's been constantly running, barely even resting."
"Why is that?" a person asked.
"Because he knows he can't stop. My Godhead Palace has a secret art, so if he tries to hide in one place, we'll eventually catch him. Constantly running is his best countermeasure. No matter how powerful our secret art is, we'll always be chasing after his trail, so we can never be faster than him."
"But how can he know?" a woman with an alluring appearance said in surprise. "The tracking art is a secret of our Hawk Hall. No one knows it except Second Brother, not even you, Big Brother. It should have been impossible for it to get out."
"Because he was captured by Godhead Palace once!" the eldest said, punching his palm in anger. "That idiot, Gu Changqing, once fled with Tang Jie. According to Zhao Xinguo, Gu Changqing seemed to admire Tang Jie a lot and tried to tempt him into joining Godhead Palace, so he divulged many things about the Hawk Hall to him. That bastard Gu Changqing was rewarded with the position of Deputy Eagle Master by my Godhead Palace, so he knows about the 12 Hawks."
Everyone was stunned.
So Tang Jie already knew so much about Godhead Palace?
It was no wonder this guy was constantly running around, giving the 12 Hawks no opportunity to use their secret tracking art.
The 12 Hawks of the Hawk Hall were a group Godhead Palace had established to deal with powerful and cunning opponents. The 12 Hawks did not actually consist of only 12 people. Rather, each of the twelve was in charge of a specialty.
For example, the eldest was in charge of maps, and he knew the Rosecloud Domain like the back of his hand. It was precisely because of his far-sighted nature that he could command the 12 Hawks. His position as the "eldest" would not be taken by the second oldest, but be selected from a pool of candidates. This candidate, just like the eldest, would have traveled the world and developed a keen understanding of all the land.
The eldest was responsible for situational awareness and analysis, and the second oldest was responsible for tracking, having studied Godhead Palace's secret tracking art. The third sister was responsible for gathering information, the fourth brother was an expert at recreating the battlefield, the fifth brother kept contact with the palace, and the sixth sister was an interrogation expert. These six were the Principal Hawks, the most important. The other six Hawks were the Support Hawks, and their skills leaned toward actual combat. The seventh brother was a poisoner, the eighth sister was skilled in illusion and deception, the ninth brother was skilled in breaking formations, the tenth sister specialized in reinforcement and protection, the eleventh brother faked tracks to fool the enemy, and the twelfth brother was an ambush specialist.
Tang Jie had long known about the specialties of the 12 Hawks.
The 12 Hawks were incensed when they thought about how their target knew more about them than they understood about their target.
There was a spell of speechless silence, and then someone asked, "So what do we do?"
The eldest considered the options. "Third Sister, what do you think?"
The pretty woman from before said after some thought, "Tang Jie knows of our abilities, so he will not stay in one place for too long. If we want to chase, we can't just keep following behind him. We have to find out where he's going so that we can take precautions."
"But how can we find out where he's going?"
If they didn't know where he was going, strengthening the defenses was nothing but an empty dream. Enforcing the defenses everywhere was essentially the same as not enforcing them at all.
"We look at what he wants," the woman replied. She suddenly said, "Fifth Brother, ask the palace what was taken from Upper Path Fort. That's a small place, so I don't think Tang Jie would have gone to rob the place for no reason."
The young man who was the fifth brother nodded and closed his eyes for a few moments. Suddenly, he swept his hand in front of him, and a list appeared out of nowhere and flew into the woman's hand.
The pretty woman took the list and read it over. "There was an auction going on when Tang Jie went there. Up for auction was… Illusion Heart Dew!"
"'Illusion Heart Dew'?" Everyone was startled.
"That's a necessary medicine for the charge at Celestial Heart," someone said.𝘪𝙣𝓃𝒓𝗲𝒶𝗱. 𝐜o𝗺
"As expected, Tang Jie is preparing for the charge at Celestial Heart!"
"As we predicted, rather than buying what he needs, he's trying to steal it."
The pretty woman smiled. "This is why he went over to Upper Path Fort. In truth, Tang Jie didn't know if that place would have what he needed, but the news of the auction lured in the wolf that is Tang Jie."
"In other words, we only need to check which auctions have what Tang Jie needs and then work to intercept him?" someone excitedly asked.
"Correct. But before that, we need to determine what he got and what he's still missing."
The eldest suddenly spoke again. "I recall that Cloudscrape City sells Five Energies Sovereign Essence Pills. Did Tang Jie get any?"
The pretty woman froze, and then she understood what the eldest was getting at and produced another list, this one from Cloudscrape City. She looked it over and shouted, "None! Ha, this is truly a coincidence. Normally, Cloudscrape City's storehouse always has Five Energies Sovereign Essence Pills, but they were cleaned out just a few days ago, and their stock hadn't been replenished yet."
Everyone became excited.
One person shouted, "The Five Energies Sovereign Essence Pill is the ideal medicine for the Basking Moon lineage when it comes to charging at Celestial Heart. Without it, even if he gets everything else, his chances of success won't be good. Tang Jie must have attacked Cloudscrape City for it, but he's going to be disappointed."
"He's definitely going to keep looking for the Five Energies Sovereign Essence Pill. If we send out some news of one, we might be able to lure him over."
"There's no rush. Let's wait first. If we put out news of the Five Energies Sovereign Essence Pill, he'll easily suspect that something is up. We need a more natural reason."
"But the more we delay, the more people will die."
"Isn't that even better? Other than the things he's looking for, most of what Tang Jie steals will be useless to him. If we find him and kill him, everything he has… will be ours," a voice whispered, though the speaker did not make themselves obvious.
Everyone was startled. Although they didn't see the speaker, they knew who had spoken.
The eldest's face turned grim. "Little Twelve, do you know what you're saying?"
"Of course. I'm thinking about everyone's future. Do you know why Tang Jie managed to achieve so much? Don't forget that he only has a five-cycle Jade Gate. With this aptitude, he was able to achieve so much because he knew what was the wisest course of action. My brothers and sisters, sometimes, capturing the enemy is no big deal. It is far better to capture the enemy while also profiting from it."
Everyone was rendered speechless.
After a while, the eldest finally said, "I do not approve of your opinion."
Everyone sighed in relief, but at the same time, they were slightly disappointed.
Deep down, they felt like Little Twelve's proposal wasn't bad.
The eldest then said, "But Tang Jie is abnormally cunning. Capturing him in the short term won't be easy. The more he moves around, the more weaknesses he will expose. Everyone, let us be patient and clarify his movements before deciding on what to do."
Everyone smiled and replied in unison, "Yes, Big Brother!"
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