Three months had passed.
They were now deep into the Western Desert South region. Originally, the members of the Crow Divinity Tribe had assumed that they would experience an unprecedented campaign of constant battles. During the three months though, they only saw a few dozen Tribes. Two of them were great Tribes with no Spirit Severing Patriarch.
However… not a single battle resulted.
The reason for this was that the sight of Meng Hao and the Crow Divinity Tribe was simply too fierce. Their savagery had reached the point that when people saw them, they gasped. It didn’t matter that the Crow Divinity Tribe had a Demon Spirit, no one dared to recklessly attack them.
The tribe numbered over ten thousand, with killing intent that reached to the Heavens. They had experienced a baptism in the fires of war; each and every member seemed equivalent to the elite experts of great Tribes. It was enough to intimidate anyone who looked at them. That was not even to mention… the 150,000 neo-demons. The sight of them was enough… to cause anyone to go numb, to send their mind spinning and their hearts to fill with astonishment.
Such an enormous neo-demon horde was large enough to trample any Tribe in the area. It was huge enough to determine whether or not a Tribe lived or died. Such power was something that no other Tribe would dare attack.
Because of all the battles, the name of the Crow Divinity Tribe had long since spread throughout the land. As of now, they were completely famous in all the Western Desert.
Virtually all Tribes knew of this group that had started out only one thousand strong. It had emerged from the Western Desert North region and traveled a path of war, slaughtering countless other Tribes. They fought for years, winning again and again, growing stronger and stronger. Now, they had reached a terrifying level of power.
Such fame and influence made it so that after the Crow Divinity Tribe reached the Western Desert South region, no one dared to even get in their way during the entire three months!
In fact, many Western Desert Cultivators now viewed the most powerful Tribes without Spirit Severing Cultivators to be the Crow Divinity Tribe, the Black Dragon Tribe and the Heavenly Wind Tribe.
Coincidentally, it was well known that all three of these Tribes possessed Demon Spirits.
One was from the East, one was from the West, and one was from the North. These three shocking Tribes had slaughtered their way out from three different directions.
The Crow Divinity’s fame was astonishing, and their rise to prominence was already a legend!
As for the Black Dragon Tribe, years ago, they actually did have a Spirit Severing Patriarch. Unfortunately, his longevity had reached its end, and he was barely able to force himself to remain among the living. When the violet rain came with its power to exterminate life force and cut of spiritual energy, this previously all-powerful figure, a Spirit Severing expert, passed away and returned to the dust.
His death caused the Black Dragon Tribe to lose their qualification to enter the Black Lands. Despite that, they were still able to snatch a Demon Spirit. Now, they once again were the focus of attention.
When it came to the Heavenly Wind Tribe, they were a mysterious lot. They came from the east, and little information was known about their campaign of battles. It wasn’t until they managed to snatch a Demon Spirit up that they suddenly rose to prominence.
Currently, these three great Tribes were generally acknowledged to be the most powerful.
During the three months of travel, nothing shocking happened, and they didn’t stop to rest. Right now, they stood atop their airship, finally having arrived at a shocking stretch of mountains which rose up in front of them.
This mountain range stretched out as far as the eye could see in both directions. Lightning fell from up above down onto the mountain in constant waves, sending crashing booms out in all directions. It made the entire thing seem like the wall of a prison, completely sealed tight.
This was the location of South Cleaving Pass!
These mountains split the entire Western Desert South region into two parts. One part was considered completely part of the Western Desert. The other part was adjacent to the Black Lands. As such, you could not get to the Black Lands without going through this pass.
The fact that this mountain range swept across the land in both directions this way was because it was not a naturally occurring mountain range. Tens of thousands of years ago, when Southern Domain Cultivators made counter incursions into the Western Desert, they slaughtered their way to this point. It was then that all the Tribes of the Western Desert, and all of their powerful experts, spent several hundred years to raise up this mountain range.
It contained ancient spell formations that caused the lightning to exist permanently. In fact, what appeared to be lightning, was really a collection of countless sealing spells created by divine abilities and magical techniques. This place completely sealed off the rest of the continent; it was a door that, once shut, was impossible to break through.
Because of that, the great army of the Southern Domain was stopped outside, and eventually choose to leave.
This pass which led to the Black Lands became famous, and was kept in place after its initial creation. There was only one way in and out, and in that key spot, an enormous city was built.
That city was named South Cleaving City.
Any Tribe or group who wished to step foot into the Black Lands would have to pass through this city. Therefore, it became a very strategic point, and was naturally under heavy guard.
Currently, it was guarded by a great Tribe of the Western Desert, the Sea Demon Tribe. 1
This great Tribe had no Spirit Severing Patriarch, but in terms of overall power, they were intrepid and valiant. Because they were in the South all along, they had experienced few losses. Furthermore, they occupied the city, which enabled them to grow only more and more powerful.
During the years in which it occupied the city, the great Sea Demon Tribe had eventually made a rule. That rule was that any Tribe who wished to travel through the pass had to pay them one half of all their resources, including Spirit Stones and neo-demons.
Only in this way would they be permitted to travel through.
Any Tribes who were inferior to the Sea Demon Tribe and chose not to travel through the pass, would camp in the area in the hope that the higher elevation in the area would prevent the seawater from spreading to them.
Any Tribes who chose to travel through the pass could only patiently bear the exploitation of the Sea Demon Tribe.
As for Tribes who were powerful enough to threaten the great Sea Demon Tribe, the only thing they could do was begrudgingly pay the price. They knew that in front of them was the Sea Demon Tribe, and behind them were powerful bandit Tribes who were encamped in the area.
Only someone incredibly stupid or egotistical would dare not to pay the price.
According to the rumors, behind the great Sea Demon Tribe lurked the shadow of one of the three leaders of the Heavenly Court Alliance, the great Heavenly Pursuit Tribe.
On this particular day, the Crow Divinity’s battleship shot through the air, parting the clouds as it entered South Cleaving Pass. They were accompanied by 150,000 neo-demons. Below, many of the scattered Tribes camped at the bottom of the pass looked up with shock as the Crow Divinity Tribe approached.
Tens of thousands of Cultivators were camped out down below, all of them from various different Tribes. As they looked up, discussions instantly broke out.
“That’s the Crow Divinity Tribe….”
“That guy in the front must be Eccentric Bloodface. According to the legends, he’s vicious and merciless. He’s not even a Cultivator! He was incarnated from a neo-demon, the totemic Sacred Ancient of the Crow Divinity Tribe!”
“Three months ago, when the Heavenly Wind Tribe faced up against the Sea Demon Tribe, they had no choice but to give up half of their valuables in order to be able to travel through. I wonder what the Crow Divinity Tribe will chose to do?”
Meanwhile, within South Cleaving City, the members of the great Sea Demon Tribe were looking out with expressions of scorn and disdain as they pointed toward the Crow Divinity Tribe. The Elders of the Tribe looked out coldly from their position on the city wall, contempt clearly written on their faces.
As for the Greatfather and the High Priest, they didn’t even appear. To them, the Crow Divinity wasn’t worthy of their presence.
“Halt!” As the Crow Divinity Tribe neared, one Sea Demon Tribe Elders appeared, an early Nascent Soul stage Cultivator. His expression was one of haughtiness, as if everything he saw was beneath him. The sight of 150,000 neo-demons shocked him, but he didn’t lose any of his lofty pride.
As his voice echoed out, the Crow Divinity Tribe’s airship came to a stop. Meng Hao stood on the prow, looking at South Cleaving Pass with a frown.
“If you wish to travel through the pass,” said the Elder coolly, “produce all of your valuables. After a thorough check, we will take half as payment. Then you may travel through the pass. The same goes for your neo-demon horde.” As his voice rang out, the Cultivators from all the other Tribes grew silent. Their eyes glowed brightly as they looked at the Crow Divinity Tribes.
Of course, they didn’t dare to tangle with the Crow Divinity Tribe. However, if the neo-demon horde of the Crow Divinity Tribe were reduced by half, effectively diminishing their power by a huge amount, then… they might have the guts to attack.
It was not a minority who thought in this way. A black cloud formed on the other side of the pass as three Tribes appeared, each one numbering over 10,000, with tens of thousands of neo-demons. Their desire to slaughter was quite evident as the hovered about in the air near South Cleaving City. They looked like rapacious plunderers, just waiting for a Tribe to emerge from the pass. Their gazes locked onto the Crow Divinity Tribe, the greed in their eyes growing more and more intense.
Meng Hao saw them, and his frown deepened. The coldness in his eyes grew sharper. As for the members of the Crow Divinity Tribe, they stood there silently, their killing intent spreading out.
On the other side of the pass, the Greatfathers of the three bandit Tribes exchanged glances and then looked at Meng Hao with cold, mocking smiles.
“After all these months, we finally hooked a big fish….”
“That’s right. Three months ago, some of the other Tribes tried to rob the Heavenly Wind Tribe. Although they let them go in the end, they still managed to snatch up some good loot.”
“The richer they are, the more powerful they are. Even if they don’t have Demon Spirits, that doesn’t mean they can’t get a chance to enter the Black Lands…. Although, in this case, the Crow Divinity Tribe actually does have a Demon Spirit.” The Priests and Elders of these tribes were now panting, and their eyes shone with a bloodthirsty glow.
They were confident that the Crow Divinity Tribe would not dare to defy the rules of South Cleaving Pass. After all, according to the stories, the Heavenly Court Alliance itself supported the arrangement.
“The Crow Divinity Tribe has a Demon Spirit. They’ll definitely travel through the pass… and sooner rather than later. After all, even more bandit Tribes are gathering behind them.”
“When they emerge from the pass, they will have lost half of their resources and neo-demons. Faced up against three bandit Tribes, the fighting will be fierce. However, they are flanked by even more bandit Tribes, so the result would be the same. I wonder what they’ll choose?”
The Tribes within the pass who had no option of traveling through to the other side, or perhaps were hesitating about whether to do so, could see the black cloud on the other side, and the three Tribes radiating killing intent. This caused their faces to flicker, and their minds to fill with a droning sound.
The entire Crow Divinity Tribe was silent, including Meng Hao. Up above on the walls of South Cleaving City, the members of the Sea Demon Tribe were all chatting and laughing as they looked contemptuously out at the scene playing out within the pass.
The solitary Sea Demon Tribe Elder was beginning to look impatient. His voice cold, he said, “You’re the Crow Divinity Tribe, right? If you’re not going to go through the pass, then screw off this instant!”
Meng Hao slowly lifted his head. When he spoke, it was calm, although the sound of his voice was like thunder. It echoed about, creating massive sound waves. “Would you pipe down?”
1.Sea Demon could also be translated “siren” ↩