These words reverberated in Ye Qingyu's mind, his entire being caught in a state of unprecedented anxiety and impatience, mixed with some vacuity. He had considered many possibilities while Shuang Wuyan was checking the messages earlier, and theorized that the people who surprise attacked the envoy mission were the Four Stars holy girl's gang once more.
Since it was only a doppelganger of the Four Stars holy girl that died in the mountain manor, everything made sense. She certainly had enough remaining energy to plot against the Heaven Wasteland envoy mission, and, given her vicious thoughts, it was something she was likely to do. She could have done so out of pure revenge for herself, or, like her doppelganger said, to capture a few key persons so as to force him to hand over his gains from the 18th district and the [Cloud Top Cauldron], which she evidently valued a lot.
This holy girl is really too crazy.
She clearly knew of her favorable fate with the [Quasi-emperor Xiaofei], yet still dared to do something like this. Moreover, the Heaven Wasteland envoy mission came to participate in the rating conducted by the Alliance of Domains, which surely would offer protection to all of its participants. Was she really so crazy that she was not afraid of being retaliated against in offending two large forces at the same time?
Ye Qingyu increasingly felt the horror of the Four Stars holy girl.
While in the mountain manor, her doppelganger had repeatedly mentioned a particular word - "camp". Ye Qingyu had carefully heard her using this word in lieu of "sect". At that time, the doppelganger thought that everything was under control and inevitably grew a little careless, divulging this word which meant that her forces were massive and not just limited to the Four Stars Sect. If he guessed correctly, it would mean that there was a colossal power hiding in the dark among the Vast Thousand Domains. It was likely to be a gathering of several sects or forces, and what could be told for now was that it definitely included the Divine Sky Sect, the Four Stars Sect, and the Blood Taster Sect.
Ye Qingyu felt dizzy.
He had a feeling that he was seeing the tip of an iceberg.
But these were not what he was most concerned about.
His most pressing questions were, what exactly did the Heaven Wasteland envoy mission run into, and whether Xing'er and the rest were dead or alive.
His thoughts became confused as he wondered, and his entire being became anxious and impetuous.
The only clue at the moment was that an incident occurred in the twelfth chaotic city. Based on all of the news so far, this was practically verified.
No matter what, I must go immediately to investigate.
Even if there are only the faintest of trails, I'll dig them all out!
Ye Qingyu had never been so impatient and angry before. He was adamant that whoever attacked the envoy mission would have to pay the price in blood, and even if there were huge forces behind the Four Stars holy girl, he would eradicate the lot of them.
His killing intent had never been this strong.
"Elder Shuang, let's go!" Frowning his brows tightly, flames surged throughout his body.
Shortly after, the two figures rapidly bolted toward the exit of the Sky Mirror Sea.
First thing to do was to head to the site of the incident and see what it looked like.
A day later.
After activating their yuan qi non-stop to fly across at full speed, the duo finally arrived in the twelfth chaotic city - Inferno City.
The temperature was very high in this giant city, in the Void of which surging heat waves were stuck like gelatinous substances. From afar, the entire city, made of diamond and halite, seemed to be shrouded by giant flames and air billows.
At the outskirts of Inferno City.
The site of the surprise attack on the Heaven Wasteland envoy mission.
The hillsides, which were originally covered in fire tree woods and flaming flowers, seemed like a terrifying power had swept through momentarily, causing the land to be scorched, the vegetation to be carbonized, and the blood to form lakes. The battle aura pervading the air continued to let out an extremely rich aura, while indeterminate shrilling voices rang out from the cracks in the torn Void.
The scene ahead was just like an extremely tragic and bloody battlefield.
The splendor flickered in the Void.
Ye Qingyu and Shuang Wuyan appeared.
As soon as they emerged, they hurriedly descended toward the place below the hillside where the smell of blood was the strongest.
Several guards dressed in the clothing of the Alliance of Domains were tightly patrolling the vicinity of the hillside, watching over the entire battlefield. Many tawny formations slowly undulated in the Void while golden formations continuously let out indistinct rays of light, resembling a giant inverted dome which shrouded above the hillside.
"The confining formation of the Alliance of Domains..."
With one look, Ye Qingyu recognized the tawny formations ahead.
His heart sank.
Since the Alliance had taken action, that could only mean that the news was real - Ye Qingyu had truly hoped not to see the presence of Alliance officials here, and would rather have seen the Four Stars holy girl's gang lying in ambush here, for that at least would indicate that the envoy mission had not been crushed by a surprise attack.
"Looks like the Alliance is one step ahead and has preserved the scene to the maximum possible extent... Let's go over and take a look." Shuang Wuyan sighed.
He walked forward and passed the ice totem token to two guard generals standing beside the formations. After verification, he immediately obtained permission to enter the formation together with Ye Qingyu.
On the battlefield.
"That's Xing'er's aura..."
Ye Qingyu's eyes were startled as soon as he entered the formation.
All kinds of intricate yuan qi waves remained in the Void. Near-instantly, he made out the yuan qi and aura of Yu Xiaoxing, whose strength and cultivation were all too familiar to him.
His heart began to sink.
While he stood on the spot, his divine sense suffused in all directions.
Wen Wan, Ximen Yeshui, Yan Buhui, Jin Tuodao...
The yuan qi and auras of these people, which Ye Qingyu could not be more familiar with, lingered distinctly in the air. They must have erupted with a highly forceful and terrifying power for such vivid marks to remain.
By this time, the final strand of hope in Ye Qingyu's heart had been dashed.
"How could this be..."
Observing the scene all around, he simply could not believe his own eyes.
Broken limbs were everywhere, together with the residual bodies which had been violently burst apart and severed. Upon closer inspection, the clothing on the vast majority of broken limbs and bodies were that of the Heaven Wasteland envoy mission members.
"There has indeed been a surprise attack."
To one side, Shuang Wuyan looked on in dismay, his tone solemn like never before.
By carefully studying the distribution of the corpses, the duo could fundamentally determine that the battle conformed with the news that was found out earlier. A surprise attack had indeed taken place, and the envoy mission suffered such heavy casualties because it was caught completely unprepared and off guard.
At present, Ye Qingyu's expression gradually became extremely complicated, combining doses of astonishment, grief, and pain, and a lot more irrepressible anger.
This was because he had seen a few extremely familiar faces among the corpses scattered everywhere.
"This is... Liu Dong..." Ye Qingyu carefully identified the body ahead which had been split into eight pieces. It was none other than the logistics head of the envoy mission, Liu Dong, who was a military general in the Heaven Wasteland Dynasty, and had gone on several expeditions in which he managed all logistics, thereby providing significant contributions to the military.
As the saying went, ‘while soldiers travel far and wide, their wives and children long for their return’.
Unfortunately for these heroes, they perished here and would never return.
Ye Qingyu revealed a mournful look in his eyes.
Shortly after, he and Shuang Wuyan proceeded several hundred meters into the recesses of the battlefield.
In front of a burnt-down tent.
Several dozen broken corpses and limbs were piled together like freely-discarded rubbish, virtually forming a small hill of corpses that was the height of two to three people.
Gazing at these body fragments, a near-substantial raging fire flickered in his eyes.
"They... are all logistics personnel of the envoy mission..."
Among the Heaven Wasteland envoy mission, there was a batch of logistics personnel selected from the palace and the barracks. They were responsible for the living arrangements and movement of the entire contingent. Relatively speaking, they were not that strong, and even the logistics head, Liu Dong, had only attained the pinnacle of the Heaven Ascension realm.
Upon running into the surprise attack of experts, these relatively weaker personnel were like lambs to a slaughter.
With heavy footsteps and clenched fists, Ye Qingyu seemed as though he expended a great deal of effort to get close to the pile of corpses.
Suddenly, out of the corners of his eyes, he saw that behind the hillock of corpses were several female bodies from the envoy mission.
Their clothes had been ripped such that each body was in no more than rags. Bruises and weapon scars could be seen all over their bodies, while their faces looked in hideous pain. Their death states could not be more wretched.
Even these feeble women weren't spared!
The fury in Ye Qingyu's chest was like a soon-to-erupt volcano, while his entire being was on the verge of being ignited by the flames of anger.
"Let's go somewhere else to take a look," Shuang Wuyan, who had been following behind Ye Qingyu all this time, suddenly spoke.
It was as if he had sensed the anger surging within the latter, and thus wanted to divert his attention.
After all, while surveying the battlefield, the last thing one should do was to be blinded by emotions. Only dispassionate analysis and the search for minute clues would give them a chance to avenge the dead.
Ye Qingyu immediately came to his senses and followed quietly behind Shuang Wuyan. The duo proceeded to another side of the battlefield.
A moment later, they reached beside a stretch of scorched low ground, which was the most severely-damaged area throughout the entire battlefield.
Ye Qingyu was shocked.
In the distance.
Among the scorched muddy land was a broken arm which seemed like it was casually discarded and was smeared in bloodstains and mud.
He hurried over and crouched down to perform a detailed examination.
"It's the Left Minister..."
There was a very weak residue of aura and yuan qi in the broken arm, but Ye Qingyu nevertheless immediately recognized it as the arm of the Left Minister Qu Hanshan.
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