“Either we build it right, or not at all. If we build it, we need to make sure that it is up to par; that will save us from having to rebuild it when the time comes.”
Lan Shaobai nodded. Naturally, he understood this principle. With some regret, he said, “If the surrounding islands around Heavenly Star Island were not occupied by other factions, I would know of a suitable place that definitely has a peak Earth Flame.”
The land that the Martial God Palace conferred on Xiao Chen did not just consist of Heavenly Star Island. The islands within five hundred kilometers should all belong to Heavenly Star Island.
However, the reality was rather problematic. Before the Three Holy Lands left, they secretly spread the word that they were giving up on these satellite islands. Anyone with the strength to could occupy these islands; the Martial God Palace would not go to the trouble of interfering.
This was all so they could cause more trouble for Xiao Chen at Heavenly Star Island, making his stay here very uncomfortable.
Hence, as of now, the surrounding satellite islands were occupied by other factions that had taken the initiative to do so. This was especially so for the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises. They held the frontmost satellite islands and firmly locked down Heavenly Star Island.
When Mo Chen heard this, she felt some interest. “Take out the sea chart and let me see.”
Lan Shaobai took out a sea chart and pointed to an island at the very edge of Heavenly Star Island’s territory. He said, “It is here. This island is Black Flame Island, which is long famous for producing Black Flame Rock. It has a rather large region with Black Flame in the ground. After the lava that is spewed out cools down, it becomes Black Flame Rock.”
Mo Chen nodded in deep thought. “I know about Black Flame Rock. It is a supplementary material in refining Secret Treasures. A high-grade Black Flame Rock is equal to a divine material. The Black Flame is also a famous Earth Flame that ranks in the top ten.”
Lan Shaobai put away the sea chart and said, “However, we should not think about it for now. Not to mention the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises blocking us in, even if we manage to break out, we may not be able to do anything to the faction occupying that island.”
This island was the satellite island with the greatest value among those in Heavenly Star Island’s periphery. Without sufficient strength, no faction would try to monopolize this island despite the many factions around. This was what Lan Shaobai meant.
Mo Chen shook her head and said, “Unless we chase the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises away, Heavenly Star Island will never be able to truly develop.”
“That is difficult!” Lan Shaobai said helplessly. “The seven colored Marquises are part of the Sea Monarch’s old guards. Each of these Marquises is a Martial Emperor. These seven factions are all considered major factions and cannot be underestimated. Furthermore, there is a peak faction like the Western Sea Divine Dragon Palace behind them.”
The Western Sea was still a rather chaotic sea domain with many major factions but not a single Immortal Holy Land. There was also no organization like the Northern Sea Alliance.
This anarchy resulted in many conflicts and battles happening all year round. The Western Sea Divine Dragon Palace was just one of the overlords of this place.
Mo Chen smiled and set this matter aside for now. She said, “Do you want to take a look at the herb field that I set up? Come.”
When Lan Shaobai heard this, he exclaimed happily, “You finished setting up the herb field so fast?!”
Mo Chen said humbly, “I was the one who planned the Mo Clan’s herb fields in the past. Naturally, doing this a second time is just repeating something familiar. After the Spirit Vein sinks in completely half a month from now, we can start planting the various Spirit Herb seeds that Dabao brought us. However, it is rather unfortunate that we do not have a single Sage Grade Spirit Tree or Spirit Herbs.”
Lan Shaobai smiled and said, “Take it slow. Everything will be fine. Come. Bring me there to take a look. I am getting somewhat impatient already.”
Just at this moment, an ear-splitting sound suddenly rang out. The two’s expressions changed at the same time.
Lan Shaobai shifted his gaze towards Heavenly Star City. He frowned and said, “I wonder which of the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises is here this time. It looks like I cannot go to the herb field now. I have to go over quickly and take a look.”
Occasionally, one of the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises would come and cause trouble. Sometimes, there was one, and sometimes, there were two. Every time they came, they wreaked havoc in the city before leaving.
Mo Chen said, “I’ll go with you.”
Lan Shaobai did not reject her offer. With Mo Chen’s quasi-Emperor strength, she could protect herself.
However, this time, something felt off.
The two flew quickly and soon met with people who came when they heard the news.
Lan Shaobai gave out instructions, ordering Jin Lin, Liu Ke, and Xiao Xian to take some disciples to disperse the people and lead them into the tunnels that Lord Jiu dug, to prevent them from getting caught up in the aftershocks of the battle.
The tunnels that Lord Jiu dug were extremely safe. This was not the first time that these three did this. Without needing further instructions, they left to carry out their orders.
Yue Chenxi frowned and said, “This time feels different. The aura coming from outside the city gates and the pressure that it brings are especially strong.”
Clouds churned outside the city gates, filling the sky for five kilometers around. The sky turned dark, looking like it would fall at any moment. The tumult of intense battle rang out continuously.
Mo Chen said, “We will know when we go and take a look.”
The three moved quickly. Soon, they had crossed most of Heavenly Star City and descended at the city gates.
After seeing the situation, all three frowned heavily. The Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises were unexpectedly all present. A quasi-Emperor stood beside each of them, and there was a large number of troops behind them, all Martial Sages.
The person that Elder Qin fought in the air was surprisingly a Great Perfection quasi-Emperor. The three all felt their hearts sink.
For the longest time, the people by the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises had all been Small Perfection quasi-Emperors. When they came, there usually would be only two or three at most. Before Elder Qin’s strength, they were always repulsed.
However, for some reason, all seven Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises arrived today, and they even brought over a Great Perfection quasi-Emperor from somewhere.
The Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises did not have many Great Perfection quasi-Emperors in their own factions. They would definitely not send a Great Perfection quasi-Emperor over for just a small issue like besieging Heavenly Star Island when there were more important matters to handle.
For each faction to send a Small Perfection quasi-Emperor to surround Heavenly Star Island was already the most they could do.
“Elder Brother Shaobai, you finally arrived.” After the three landed, Xiao Yu rushed over. A trace of joy flashed on her worried face.
Lan Shaobai asked sullenly, “What’s going on?”
Xiao Yu pointed at the leader of the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises, Huan Qiuyu, and scolded, “It’s the same as always. They are just looking for an excuse to try and make us hand over the Sea Monarch Crown.”
Lan Shaobai clenched his right fist tightly, and his expression appeared unusually sullen. For this past year, these people had been using this excuse to harass Heavenly Star Island. Every time this happened, several people died.
This was especially so for the innocent ordinary people. When the aftershocks of the battle swept out, many people died.
If not for the tunnels that Lord Jiu dug, who knew how many more people would have died?
Today, these people came again. They were indeed arrogant and despotic, completely ignoring all Lan Shaobai’s explanations.
“Lan Shaobai, we have no time to waste on you. If you don’t hand over the Sea Monarch Crown today, none of you will be leaving. You will come with us to give an account.”
Of the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises, a purple-clad youth stood on empty ground and called out arrogantly. This was the descendant of the Purple-Clad Marquis and the person who loved to harass Heavenly Star Island the most.
Mo Chen’s expression changed. She said, “This time, they are probably throwing caution to the wind. They want to capture all of us before Xiao Chen comes back. Then, they will go look for Xiao Chen to exchange for the Sea Monarch Crown.”
Lan Shaobai said coldly, “Their timing is really good. Given Xiao Chen’s character, he will definitely hand over the Sea Monarch Crown. Who knows, maybe they will demand other things from him as well as ransom.”
Xiao Yu asked anxiously, “What should we do? They have many people on their side now. Furthermore, they are keeping Elder Qin occupied.”
Mo Chen said calmly, “Don’t panic. I can block them first. If I really cannot do that, we can retreat to the mountain pass. The Ninth Heaven’s Thunder Formation that Xiao Chen left us is there. That would be enough to buy us time. As for the rest, we can wait for Xiao Chen to return first.”
“We have given you a chance already. Don’t blame us for bullying you with numbers,” Huan Qiuyu said calmly. Then, he waved his hand, and the quasi-Emperors by the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises all laughed in understanding. Finally, seven figures charged at Lan Shaobai, Yue Chenxi, and the others at the same time.
Clearly, despite holding a huge advantage, this leader of the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises was still very cautious. He was not careless at all and wanted to finish this battle in one blow, getting the seven Small Perfection quasi-Emperors to attack at the same time.
With Elder Qin occupied, Lan Shaobai and the others did not have much means to resist.
“Go first. I’ll cover you.”
Mo Chen did not say anything more. She quickly formed hand seals and gave off a fiery light. When she finished the hand seals, a large screen of flames appeared in front of her, protecting everyone behind her.
The attacks of the seven Small Perfection quasi-Emperors all struck the flame screen simultaneously—yet it did not shatter immediately. It persisted for a while before turning into scattered flames and disappearing.
This sight stunned Huan Qiuyu. Finding it strange, he said, “Since when has there been another quasi-Emperor on Heavenly Star Island?”
“Haha! What can one quasi-Emperor change? As long as that old fellow is being held up, we can settle this motley crowd in minutes.”
However, Huan Qiuyu did not dare to be careless. He said sullenly, “It is better to finish this quickly. This time, we have completely shed all forms of cordiality with Xiao Chen. Given Xiao Chen’s character, he will definitely not take this lying down. If we still do not succeed and obtain the Sea Monarch Crown as well as the Sea Monarch Headscarf, we will be in trouble.”
“Why are you afraid of him? He won’t dare to come to our main base and cause trouble. My father will slap him to death with one slap,” the purple-clad youth said unyieldingly.
Huan Qiuyu remained silent. Indeed, Xiao Chen would not dare to go to their main base. However, he could find opportunities when they were alone.
This time, if not for Leng Shaofan’s message and aid in inviting over a Great Perfection quasi-Emperor from the Western Sea Divine Dragon Palace, Huan Qiuyu would not have done this.
“Don’t let them retreat. Two of you, hold back this girl. The rest should focus on capturing Lan Shaobai and the others.”
The cautious Huan Qiuyu did not choose to waste time with Mo Chen.
The seven Small Perfection quasi-Emperors immediately split into two teams. Only two remained behind to deal with Mo Chen; the other five left to capture Lan Shaobai and the rest.
Despite facing two Small Perfection quasi-Emperors, Mo Chen did not appear to be at a disadvantage. She even suppressed them a little, her body blazing like a flame.
However, she was helpless to stop the five quasi-Emperors from leaving to capture the rest. She was completely tied up with these two quasi-Emperors and could not go to help.
Murderous intent flashed in Mo Chen’s eyes. She extended her hand and waved. The Book of Heavenly Works flew out from her spatial ring. Then, she landed a palm strike on it. Instantly, Divine Might surged out from the Book of Heavenly Works, catching the two Small Perfection quasi-Emperors off guard and knocking them back a distance.
However, it was somewhat too late to rescue Xiao Yu and Yue Chenxi at this point. Their cultivations were too weak, and they were captured instantly. With their cultivations suppressed, they had already been tossed to the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises’ side.
Someone behind immediately took out chains and bound Xiao Yu and Yue Chenxi, preventing them from moving at all.
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