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Chapter 391 - Too Many Loopholes
Yun Yang said indifferently, "I had no intention to mock your approach, whether it is despicable or tasteless by commenting that it’s a good trick just now. By all means, a war between empires for the world and its people should exhaust any and every tactic. How can you all be sure that this… assassin... is related to Supreme Cloud?"
"We actually didn’t, at first. After seizing the assassin the other day, we’ve gone through the usual procedure of interrogating him. We wanted to find out about his background and if there was someone else behind him who directed him to do so. Who would have known that the old fellow would rather die than to disclose anything? No matter how we tormented him and used several rounds of interrogation tactics, everything was futile. Resigned, we had no choice but to execute Soul Thievery. It came by surprise that the assassin was actually one of Nine Supremes, Supreme Blood’s father!" Lan Wuxin said.
"Soul... Thievery…" Yun Yang’s voice was slow and unhurried, his words dragged out.
He felt the pangs of heartache.
Soul Thievery… Old Dugu… what pain and torment he must have gone through then!
"Yes, the Soul Thievery." Lan Wuxin said, "It is only this superior arcane skill that communicates directly to the targeted spiritual sense that can forcefully break through a determined and uncompromising defense of a person’s mental state. In spite of this, we’ve only managed to get the barest of information.
"Only barely gotten some information?"
Yun Yang frowned. "According to this old man’s understanding of Soul Thievery, as long as this art is executed, everything the target knows will be bared to the world. No bit of information should have been left hidden. Why does the word barely exist, coming here? Is the person executing this arcane skill not adept?"
Lan Wuxin sighed and said, "The executer’s skill is remarkable. According to him, the situation should not have happened, but in the process, the assassin’s deific consciousness put up a strong fight in the most extreme way. When both had battled each other to the end, the assassin had brutally erupted his dantian, using the most extreme and most life-baring method, to crush his opponent's divine senses in retaliation."
"The executor was quick to see it coming, and disengaged himself swiftly, but he still lost his stream of divine sense. Despite wiping out the executer’s invading deific consciousness, the assassin’s move had also affected his own deific consciousness. He is in a coma now, like a dead man. The Soul Thievery done afterward no longer had any effect. It’s most probably because Soul Thievery needs another deific consciousness as a connecting medium. Now that the assassin’s divine sense is scattered, no information can be retrieved anymore…"
Yun Yang’s expression changed. "Is there such a thing?"
A sense of terror flashed before his eyes.
No matter how aloof Yun Yang’s nature was, he could not gather hold of himself upon hearing such terrible news. It was already through much control and restraint that Yun Yang did not turn hysterical and ambush Lan Wuxin to take him as a hostage in exchange for Old Dugu.
Just as Lan Wuxin had said, Soul Thievery was a unique art that utilized the connection of deific consciousness to obtain the target’s knowledge. The execution of this art was very tyrannical and would deal a great damage to the target.
To personally disrupt the process like Old Dugu did would be harder than ascending to heaven. One would have to possess a strong, stubborn, will, a formidable cultivation base, a resolute spirit and most importantly, the will to see death as the end!
Anyone missing any one of the four could not have accomplished the feat!
Even if it could be achieved, the litigant would be resigned to misfortune, because he would have experienced eternally unrecoverable damage! Exhaustion of the basic soul, destruction of deific consciousness, incomplete spirit, destroyed cultivation base – how could such injuries be healed?
Lan Wuxin looked at Yun Yang with slight confusion. Yun Yang was not opposed to his admittedly heinous act but had instead consoled him earlier. Why was he lamenting the fall of an assassin like this? This should not be. The man before him was a man dissociated from the world and no longer cared for its affairs. He would never regard the life and death of a foreigner.
He must not be agreeable to the use of Soul Thievery then. Any cultivator or even an ordinary person would have their own secrets and would not want someone else other than themselves finding out about it. Soul Thievery did exactly that though. It seemed that Elder Yun was someone with a great secret as well!
Yun Yang forced himself to suppress the murderous intent within him and said coldly, "Despite it being common for two warring nations to use all available tricks, such a loyal, good, man should not have been tormented like this!"
Lan Wuxin, who had fueled his own imagination, but realized it was the opposite of what the other was thinking, chuckled apologetically and said, "This can’t be helped… If this extreme measure was not taken, how could we have obtained such crucial information?"
A tinge of disdain flashed in Lan Wuxin’s heart as he thought, "He is indeed a man of the martial world. No matter how nice his words are, they are only words. Forget that we’re enemies with opposing stances, to expend one’s all to achieve one’s goal should already be expected. We should appreciate similar talents and cherish another hero as a hero by these practitioners of the martial world. We should not torment a good man? Should I just release him? Give him back his freedom? That would be absurd."
"However, you did say something right. If Supreme Cloud isn’t contained, he will always be Ziyou’s hidden threat. He must be uprooted, but such a tactic is indeed too cruel. What a pity for this to happen to a good, loyal, man."
Yun Yang sighed in lamentation.
"Elder Yun is right. We, too, felt sorry for the assassin, but the other party sees us as an irreconcilable enemy. There truly isn’t any room for change!" Lan Wuxin said.
"So you used the acquired information to set your trap with the intention to bait Supreme Cloud and kill him? The formation of controlling the heaven and earth’s spiritual Qi; the main purpose is to resist the supernatural power of Supreme Cloud?"
Yun Yang said with a frown, "Your idea is good, but doesn't it assume too much? How are you so sure that he’d come?"
Lan Wuxin answered, "When we set it up, we considered all the possibilities. If it were to be announced publicly, Supreme Cloud wouldn't come for sure. However, we’ve used a very discreet method to spread the news."
Lan Wuxin smiled and continued, "The Nine Supremes are very close brothers, the relationship among them is more intimate than biologically related members. Supreme Cloud is a real gentleman who cherishes ties and kinship. Hearing that his late brother’s father was captured and near death, he’d come rescue him, no matter the cost."
Yun Yang asked in puzzlement, "Discreet? How so?"
"Perhaps everything is destined. When the Soul Thievery was first executed on the target, the executor found out that he had an alliance with Jun Moyan and even had Jun Moyan’s last Medallion of Gratitude. This old man then suggested using this information as our chance to release the news. Common people wouldn't know the import, even if they heard the news, but Supreme Cloud would definitely know it. He would definitely come then! What’s better is that even when Supreme Cloud arrived, he would come alone."
"By the time he died in the Empire of Ziyou, no one else would know that this man who has died here is actually the last hope of Yutang, their Lord Supreme Cloud!"
Lan Wuxin said, "This matter has been fermenting for a long while. We’ve even given a reason for Yutang’s people to come forth – we indicated that we wanted to destroy the remnants of the Shangguan Family of Generals’ Shangguan Wudi, burning it to ashes and tossing it to the wilds."
"Now, the Shangguan Family of Generals are on their way. They are less than a thousand miles away from Zilong City."
"They have quite a number of people with them! According to our intel, we can basically affirm that Supreme Cloud must be together with Shangguan’s people if he’d come!"
Lan Wuxin wore a menacing smile as he said, "As long as we wipe out all of Shangguan’s people in the city, we would be rid of further worries... eternally!"
Yun Yang nodded faintly. "I see. Wonderful thoughts indeed! A very interesting plot!"
Lan Wuxin said, "It is because this matter involves too much and bears too many consequences that we turned the entire Zilong City into this. As long as we can take down Supreme Cloud, everything will be worth it!"
"Chancellor Lan’s scheme is extensive and this old man wants to be impressed as well, but this plot assumes too much and has too many loopholes. This old man doesn’t want to comment but you have so many men. Didn’t anyone see the loopholes?" Yun Yang said indifferently.
Lan Wuxin’s expression sobered up as he said respectfully, "Please advise me, Elder Yun!"
"This old man has already seen a few loopholes just by listening to this grand plan. Any one of them comes true and your plot will pop like a bubble – nothing will be achieved! You will definitely face retaliation. Firstly, how do you guarantee that Supreme Cloud comes? Also, how can you know he'd definitely be part of Shangguan Family of Generals’ squad?" Yun Yang said slowly.
"If he didn’t come with the squad, your plan doesn’t work and even when you annihilate all of Shangguan’s, it will create the illusion that Supreme Cloud is dead instead. Is such a result really great? If Supreme Cloud isn’t dead and is still lurking around, only then will the Empire of Ziyou realize its own danger!"
"Next, since this assassin is associated to Jun Moyan and even has the only Medallion of Gratitude in this world, then this person must not die, especially not in the Empire of Ziyou or even in the hands of Ziyou! I’m too familiar with Jun Moyan’s character. How could he allow you all to hurt his friend, his savior?"
"Once Jun Moyan runs amok, Ziyou will suffer. Thirdly, you’ve said yourself that Supreme Cloud is an intelligent one and will only make a move after figuring everything out. Even if he’s distracted by urgency and came alone this time, will he not have seen that Zilong City has become a stale spirituality trap? Will he not be able to tell that the trap is set specifically for him after noticing that? There’s no need to do so if the target was anyone else. Even if he still insists on the rescue, won’t he think of a stealthier way to save his target?"
"The fourth point is the one I’m most worried about. A spiritual sealing formation that engulfs the entire Zilong City is unprecedented in its massiveness. From what I know, the extent of resources expended to set a unique formation of such strength could not have been completed by Ziyou alone. The person, force, organization, whatever, that helped you all wouldn't have been an easy partner. You all must have had to pay them a similar price for helping you all to uproot your biggest scourge, If the existing bane remains, all the effort would only go down the drain. How would it turn out then?"