The battlefield in front of them turned chaotic in a matter of seconds. With the crack widening to the width of an arm’s length at once before turning into a downright gulf in the ground the next moment, even more people were affected than imagined.
Blue butterfly had already stopped influencing the scene but the damage was done and it couldn’t be stopped easily. The crack widened further and further, going straight through the rest of the battlefield in the northern direction and then elongating even further. They couldn’t do anything but watch helplessly.
Meanwhile, the crack also widened, swallowing up some of the righteous cultivators that had tried to flee. Their screams echoed through the air, making the ones behind the four guardians close their eyes and curse.
When the message of what they wanted to do spread, everyone had known it was a desperate measure. They had believed it to be worth it though as long as it allowed them to decimate the numbers of the demonic practitioners wildly. Even if some of their people were among the victims, they had thought it might be a worthwhile sacrifice.
Now though, the number of the ones who became collateral damage turned out to be much higher. Those were still somebody’s family members and friends. Of course, they would be distraught over seeing and hearing them die such a violent death. And yet, there was nothing they could do but watch on.
Back at the spot where the four guardians stood, Yan Jian Hong was leaning against Tong Chen, his eyes half-closed. He had prepared for the battle in advance, giving the sects vials full of his blood. Since it was tied to his own vitality, he hadn’t been in a good state even before he came here. Now that he had fought on the battlefield and once again given some of his blood to blue butterfly, he was doing even worse.
He sighed faintly and forced himself to open his eyes and watch as well. This matter was on all of their shoulders. He couldn’t allow blue butterfly to go through this alone. Thinking of that, he reached out and grabbed her shoulder to console her.
Blue butterfly looked at him and sighed as well. She hated that she had had to do this but at the very least, her friends were with her. Feeling somewhat reassured after thinking of that, she turned back to the front. When she did, her brows furrowed though.
“Shang Qiang, are you alright?” She couldn’t see well thanks to standing behind him but he looked like he had trouble holding on.
Yan Jian Hong also looked to the front and realized that Shang Qiang was indeed not doing well. “Shang Qiang!” He reached out and put his finger against his neck, checking his pulse before he silently cursed. “It’s not looking good.”
Tong Chen furrowed his brows and then turned around to the cultivators behind them. He raised his hand while pulling out another signal flare and shooting it up into the sky. “Everyone retreat further! Put down arrays to protect yourself and those around you!”
The faces of the righteous cultivators changed but after seeing what was happening in front of them, nobody hesitated to do as he said. Even the demonic practitioners that were still mixed in on this side were ignored. They didn’t try to pick fights either, knowing that right now, everyone’s lives were at stake. Of course, they didn’t want to lose their own.
Everyone retreated as far as they could in a short time, some using talismans or directly flying away on their swords. It was utter chaos all around before they slowly settled down again, huddled together, and started to put down arrays and take out whatever defensive tools they had.
They couldn’t just flee. Behind them, there were still settlements of the common people. If they fled and didn’t stop this disaster, then what about those people? As cultivators, they felt that it was also their responsibility to prevent a greater tragedy from happening.
While everyone got busy, Yan Jian Hong cut his own arm again, helping Shang Qiang restore some of his strength. Then, he couldn’t help but look at Tong Chen and blue butterfly. “What now?”
Blue butterfly could only shake her head. “I can start it but not contain it. If either of you has any ideas, I’m all ears.”
Tong Chen tightly furrowed his brows. He couldn’t see the scene in front of them but from what he heard and perceived through his spiritual sense, he had a good idea of what was going on. He knew that, right now, there was only one way to solve this situation. “We have to support Shang Qiang as well as we can. There is nothing else left to do. This relies on us.”
Yes, the arrays and defensive tools in the back were nice but he didn’t believe that they could do much. If they fell, then things would turn worse and more people would lose their lives. Nobody wanted to see that.
The other two nodded. Blue butterfly glanced at Yan Jian Hong and then patted his shoulder. “You sit down first. Try and restore some strength. We’ll keep Shang Qiang upright.” At the same time, she started to look for any pills or potions she might have left over to heal either of them.
Tong Chen did the same, knowing full well that right now, they were playing for time. They just had to hold on for a while longer, until the strength of this disaster that they had started lessened naturally in this direction.
While they had no experience, he didn’t think it would take long. Anyway, with natural disasters, they usually chose the easiest way. Since something was obstructing the force to go this way, it would ultimately go another way. They just had to hold out until then.