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Chapter 0957: Forced Retreat
On his way over, Zhao Yan had spotted Zhao Fengxu and the encirclement of Guardian Spirits. Similarly, he instantly understood why they had sent out the call for help.
The Guardian Spirits that were attacking them did pose a significant threat, and there were also the people from the Dragon's Fang Lineage closely watching them like tigers eyeing their prey, waiting for the right opportunity.
However, the people from the Dragon's Fang Lineage did not dare to enter the valley. Doing so would make the Guardian Spirits target them, and the pressure on the group from the Bloodline of Heavenly Emperor Zhao would be reduced as a result.
Still... Zhao Fengxu and the rest were supposed to combine their efforts with the Guardian Spirits to pressure the Dragon's Fang Lineage. How was it that they were the ones trapped instead? Could it be that the people from the Dragon's Fang Lineage had not gathered any Spirit Resonance Golden Dew to begin with? That they had been waiting there in ambush all along?
"Elder Brother Yan, are we going to rescue them?" someone beside Zhao Yan asked.
Zhao Yan sighed deeply and then sternly shook his head. "Let's wait for a while longer. I feel like things are a little strange. The situation should not have resulted in the Guardian Spirits encircling Zhao Fengxu's group."
After which, he coldly glared at Li Luo's group, who were standing atop one side of the valley. "I'll giveyou one chance. Leave the valley and surrender all your Spirit Resonance Golden Dew. Then I'll let you go." The ones around him were shocked that Zhao Yan had chosen to take a step back in this situation.
Li Luo was similarly surprised. With the way Zhao Yan had barged onto the scene with that murderous aura and statement, why had he suddenly changed tack and only requested for the Spirit Resonance Golden Dew to be surrendered? Had he discovered something?
"Well, if you let the other four lineages off, we will go." Li Luo smiled after thinking about things.
Zhao Yan emotionlessly stared at him. "I chose to give you face, but it seems you want it. Do you really think I won't deal with you?"
"Why don't you give it a try, then?" Just as Li Luo's voice sounded out, he could feel a sense of impending danger that made his skin begin to p.r.i.c.kle. With a thought, the resonant power within him burst out and the Dragon Sigil on his forehead burst out with blinding light.
At that very moment, a dark-green shuttle appeared before Li Luo, and it seemed to be fused with the wind. On its tip was a sharp light.
Killing intent exploded from it.
The shuttle flashed by with almost imperceptible speed, directly swiping at Li Luo's throat.
However, a sword appeared from behind Li Luo's back at this moment, surged with monstrous amounts of resonant power that tore through the air and moved with great agility before colliding directly with the shuttle.
Large amounts of resonant power radiated in every direction. It was as though a bomb had gone off, forcing everyone else to retreat.
Li Luo took two steps back, but his gaze was tightly fixated upon the point of collision. The green shuttle had been blocked by the sword, then it gradually vanished into thin air.
After which, it reappeared by Zhao Yan's side. It started whizzing around his body, causing ear-piercing sounds of wind to break out as it whistled past.
Zhao Yan’s a.s.sa.s.sination attempt had been foiled, and a look of shock surfaced in his eyes. He then looked behind Li Luo and saw a gorgeous young lady beside him. Her hand was grasping a longsword, and her jade-like face had a slight smile on it. Her clear eyes seemed to contain a hint of demureness, whilst the slightly raised corners of her eyes gave her a mysterious but alluring aura.
"What a despicable person. Striking covertly in the middle of a conversation." She grinned as she locked eyes with Zhao Yan.
"Who are you? I've never heard of someone like you in the Five Guardian Armies." Zhao Yan had an overcast expression on his face as he spoke. The young lady before him seemed to be no weaker than Li Wuyuan. However, Li Wuyuan was the previous generation's Dragon's Head, so how could it be that this unknown lady was comparable to him?
As a close nemesis of the Bloodline of Heavenly Emperor Li, he naturally possessed a lot of understanding of the inner workings of the Heavenly Dragon's Five Guardian Armies, yet he knew nothing about this lady.
When Li Lingjing heard those words, she sullenly replied, "I'm just an incapable and weak young lady who was unable to enter the Five Guardian Armies."
Zhao Yan snorted. Someone who could defend against his move was a weak young lady?
Li Luo similarly smiled. "Thank you, Cousin Lingjing."
Zhao Yan's sudden aggression was beyond his expectations. Even though he had noticed traces of the wind shuttle, he might be in a terrible state right now without Li Lingjing's timely intervention.
"You are very courteous, Cousin." Li Lingjing laughed before she turned her gaze back towards Zhao Yan. "This man is crafty and devious, you best be careful."
Li Luo nodded as he glanced at Zhao Yan. "It looks like you're not in a rush to save your companions."
Zhao Yan indifferently replied, "They can still hold on for a bit more. Dealing with you before rescuing them will lead to the same outcome. We are in an advantageous position, so all we have to do is hold on. Once the other lineages are unable to fend us off, they will retreat and our advantage will further s...o...b..ll till you give up. Conversely, if you were smarter, you would know that retreating now is the best course of action."
Li Luo shook his head. "I have a feeling they can't hold on any longer." When he finished that sentence, he stretched out his hand and lightly beckoned in the air, causing the remaining flame catalysts to detonate.
He had originally wanted to do this after Zhao Yan entered the valley, but it seemed like the latter was still remaining on high alert, unwilling to descend. Since that was the case, he might as well give Zhao Shenjiang the ma.s.sive banquet he so desired.
Everyone was taken aback by the sudden swelling of worldly natural energy within the valley. Accompanying the condensation of countless drops of Spirit Resonance Golden Dew, numerous Guardian Spirits sp.a.w.n out of thin air, directly rushing towards Zhao Shenjiang, Zhao Fengxu, and their companions.
Their group was barely holding on, so their faces turned green the moment they noticed what was happening.
"Li Luo, you b.a.s.t.a.r.d!" Zhao Jingyu screamed. He had already acc.u.mulated numerous injuries, and due to the significant numbers of Guardian Spirits, Zhao Shenjiang was unable to watch his back.
Li Luo beamed at him as he couldn't be bothered to reply. Instead, he turned his attention back towards the extremely despondent Zhao Yan. "How long do you think they can last?"
Zhao Yan coldly glared at Li Luo. "So it turns out you're the one who lured them into a trap through some unknown means and activated all of the hidden worldly natural energy in the area. This is why they were stuck and had to call for help."
"Well, if you don't rescue them, they are going to be grievously injured," Li Luo calmly explained. "If you take action, we will too. Thanks to the help of these Guardian Spirits, you'll also be stuck in a pincer attack."
Zhao Yan's gaze was now completely flooded with killing intent. If looks could kill, Li Luo would have been shredded to pieces.
This sight caused Li Luo to give a wry smile, and the Dragon Sigil on his forehead glowed. He had directly activated his Sanctified Dragon's Body and bolstered his body’s defense.
"Don't even think of trying to sneak attack me again. My cousin isn't any weaker than you, and your lackeys might not be any stronger than my team." Li Luo pointed at Li Lingjing after setting up some defensive measures.
"Thus, the one who has to make a decision is you. Of course, you can also take a gamble and see if the other four lineages collapse first. However, will Zhao Shenjiang and the rest be able to hold on for that long?"
Li Luo's piercing words caused Zhao Yan's expression to turn malevolent. He realized that his side's situation had truly become a little precarious at this very moment.
Zhao Shenjiang and Zhao Fengxu were in imminent peril, and if he did not take action, the people in their group would either die or be seriously injured.
It was as Zhao Yan had just said to Li Wuyuan. The Spiritual Resonance Cave had just opened, and if they were to acc.u.mulate injuries so early on, their chances at later opportunities would dwindle.
Additionally, Zhao Shenjiang was someone who was being nurtured and seen as important to the bloodline. If he were to fall under his watch, Zhao Yan would receive unimaginable punishment.
However, taking action to save them would lead to the Dragon's Fang Lineage taking action, and their situation might not improve either.
If he had not discovered Li Lingjing's true power, Zhao Yan might very well have chosen to attack Li Luo directly to kill him. But that short exchange had demonstrated that Li Lingjing was at the eight-pearl tier, and he had no faith that he would be able to swiftly get rid of Li Luo in such a situation.
He was stuck at an impa.s.se. They could not advance, nor retreat, nor fight...
Could it be that the only solution was to wait for one of the other lineages to crumble?
Looking at the desperate situation Zhao Fengxu and his group were in, Zhao Yan knew that they could not hold on for that long.
Zhao Yan felt so furious that his temples were throbbing. He simply could not understand how their advantageous position had ended up in such a disastrous state.
Was Li Luo the harbinger of disaster?
Zhao Yan took a deep breath and recomposed himself whilst icily staring at Li Luo. "What do you want?"
Li Luo coolly replied, "Give the command to retreat. Once the signal has been sent, the Dragon's Fang Lineage will take a step back and you can rescue your men. After that, you can do whatever you wish."
So long as the leader issued the signal to retreat, the other teams that were attacking the other lineages would obey obediently, even if they did not understand the reason for it. This would resolve the dangerous situation the five lineages were in and allow them to quickly deal with the Guardian Spirits. Without the two-p.r.o.nged attack, they would not be afraid of a head-on clash with the Bloodline of Heavenly Emperor Zhao, and blood would run across the fields. It would be anyone's guess who would end up in a worse situation.
"The other four lineages on your side are already at a disadvantage. Just what gives you the right to ask us to relinquish our advantage and retreat?" Zhao Yan furiously smiled.
"Then we'll just see who dies first. Either way, the Dragon's Fang Lineage is fine and I've done everything I could. No one would blame me if the worst case scenario came to be," Li Luo casually remarked.
The veins on Zhao Yan's temples were throbbing in fury. He was originally going to watch two tigers go at each other and then take advantage of their weakness to benefit from both parties. However, Li Luo had dumped a bucket of cold water over all his plans. Even if they could succeed in the end, they would have to pay a considerable price.
If this had happened near the conclusion of the Spiritual Resonance Cave and they had already obtained all the opportunities possible, Zhao Yan would very well have chosen to engage in a grand struggle against them. Alas, they hadn't even seen the shadow of these prized opportunities.
On the Dragon's Fang Lineage’s side, Li Fuling, Li Fengyi, and the rest were closely observing the conflicted Zhao Yan. They couldn't help but glance at Li Luo momentarily as well. They had never expected such a turning of the tides to be orchestrated by Li Luo, and if they were able to a.s.sist the other lineages in escaping this problematic situation, Li Luo's influence would surely grow to be as strong as Li Wuyuan’s.
Zhao Yan's internal struggles continued for only a short while before the sound of a pitiful cry punctuated the air. One of the members from the Bloodline of Heavenly Emperor Zhao had his arm severed, causing his fresh blood to spray in an eye-catching sight.
This cry finally broke the stalemate within Zhao Yan's heart. He sucked in a deep breath and, without any further hesitation, directly sent out a signal with his blood essence. A gigantic, blood-red painting that contained hundreds of beasts shot into the air and scattered in every direction.