In the room, Zhao Zhu had no choice but to force the words back down his throat at the sight of Yaoyao raising her hand and Tuntun raising its paw, his expression an ugly mix of green and white.
Although Yaoyao and Tuntun were strictly speaking not Chosen, even Zhao Zhu did not dare to say it out loud. Ever since they had entered the Mythic Utopia, the strength the two had displayed had tremendously aided the Cangxuan Sect in establishing its place in the Great Mythic Mountain Range.
Though they were not Chosen, they possessed the same influence as the other Chosen.
“Since Yaoyao and Tuntun have shown their support, we’ll let Zhou Yuan be the backup guardian,” Li Qingchan interjected to mediate.
Zhao Zhu coldly snorted. Although he did not object, his expression clearly indicated that he looked down on Zhou Yuan. In Zhao Zhu’s view, Zhou Yuan was merely greedy for some free contribution points, and being a backup guardian was precisely what he needed to gain far more contribution than the other chief disciples.
However, the act of shamelessly insisting on taking on an important position without sufficient strength was just ugly in Zhao Zhu’s eyes.
The other Chosen did not speak up. However, there was some hesitation in their gazes when they looked at Zhou Yuan. Although Zhao Zhu had been overly blunt, from a certain point of view, a chief disciple like Zhou Yuan forcing his way into matters between Chosen was indeed akin to humiliating oneself.
Kong Sheng indifferently said, “Since you insist on being backup, I hope that you’ll be of some use when the time comes.”
Zhou Yuan chuckled, not bothering to defend himself. He nodded and said, “If things go sour for Chosen Zhao Zhu, I will do my best to salvage the situation.”
Zhao Zhu let out a mocking laugh, taking Zhou Yuan's words as mere talk. After all, if he did fail in his task, the outcome would not be something a chief disciple like Zhou Yuan would be able to turn around.
“Since we’re done with the discussions, everyone shall proceed to make their preparations. We will be heading to the seven-color treasure location shortly.
“It will create quite a commotion once it appears, and the Sacred Palace will most certainly find out and interfere in an attempt to snatch away the spoils.
“The other sects will also become aware, and though they may not openly contest for it, they will surely observe in secret. If any opportunities present themselves, it will not be strange for them to act.
“As such, we will need everyone to work together in order to secure this seven-color treasure location.” With a serious expression, Li Qingchan looked at the group with her bright eyes.
The others solemnly nodded, not only because a seven-color treasure location was rare but more importantly, because the dignity of the Cangxuan Sect was at stake. If they could not even defend a seven-color treasure location they had found, how would the other sects view them?
Hence, this time they were not merely guarding a seven-color treasure location but also the reputation of their Cangxuan Sect.
The crowd scattered, and Yaoyao left with Zhou Yuan.
“It seems that you’ve grown rather bold and have even begun to stick your hand into the fights between Chosen.” Yaoyao carried Tuntun as she glanced to the side at Zhou Yuan, a tiny hint of teasing in the smile hanging at the corners of her red lips.
In the past, Yaoyao was usually the one to answer the call if there was a Chosen-level battle, while Zhou Yuan did all he could to avoid it. This was because Zhou Yuan had not been strong enough to achieve anything in a battle of that level.
Zhou Yuan smiled and said, “Tuntun and you have already made a reputation for yourselves. It will be rather shameful for me to continue playing around with the chief disciples.”
This was merely a joke of course. He would not have forced himself onto their stage for such a pathetic reason. Besides needing contribution, the main reason why he had recommended himself was because he wanted to begin exposing himself to the battles on the next level.
Given his current strength, he did not feel that any of the other chief disciples would pose much of a threat to him.
He needed stronger opponents to push himself even further.
Yaoyao looked in the direction where the other Chosen had scattered as she said, “But it appears no one believes in you.”
How could she not tell that the other Chosen had only agreed on account of her and Tuntun? All of them were clearly convinced that Zhou Yuan was merely trying to get some free contribution.
Zhou Yuan stretched his back, not minding at all as he said, “It doesn’t matter if they don’t believe in me. Talk is cheap, and everything will depend on the final outcome.”
He peered into the distance, eyes filled with burning battle intent.
The battles between Chosen should be much more exciting...
The Cangxuan Sect soon began to move, the entire force leaving the mountain under the lead of Chu Qing, Li Qingchan and the rest of the Chosen.
The other disciples were pretty excited when they heard that their target was a seven-color treasure location. For people like them, a seven-color treasure location was something they could only dream about, and even getting a tiny share of the spoils would be tremendously beneficial.
The group rushed towards their destination at full speed. After an incense stick of time, Chu Qing, Li Qingchan and the other Chosen gradually began to slow down.
Zhou Yuan cast his gaze towards the front and was greeted by the sight of an enormous mountain valley covered in lush, dense forest. Several mountains were encircling it, and highly concentrated Genesis Qi was spouting out from the valley's depths, accompanied by gorgeous colors.
“Such concentrated Mythic Genesis essence.” Astonishment flitted across Zhou Yuan’s eyes. Even from so far away, he could already feel the Mythic Genesis essence pervading the air in the valley, the quality of which far surpassing the six-color lake from before.
As the group approached, several dozen figures flew out from the valley. These were the disciples that had been left behind to guard the place.
The disciples reported, “Chosen, after our preliminary scouting, we’ve discovered that the seven-color treasure location is under the valley. There are also many Armored Lizards inside. In the deepest parts there might even be a Genesis Qi guardian beast that is as powerful as a Chosen.”
Chu Qing and Li Qingchan were not surprised by their findings. Such treasure locations always had their guardian beasts, which were extremely powerful creatures possessing strength comparable to the Chosen.
“It seems that we’ll have to split off a portion of our forces.” Li Qingchan wore a grave expression. Due to this, the group tasked with engaging the Sacred Palace would be under more pressure.
Li Qingchan looked towards Tuntun, who was lying in Yaoyao’s arms, as she said, “I’m afraid that we’ll need Tuntun’s cooperation again this time.”
During the time they had spent together, Li Qingchan and the others had discovered that Tuntun seemed to have some sort of special restraining effect on other Genesis Beasts. As such, Tuntun was the most suitable member to deal with these guardian beasts.
Yaoyao gave a faint nod as she gently patted Tuntun, causing it to rise into the air on its Genesis Qi.
Li Qingchan instructed, “Tang Muxin, Su Yao and the other four chief disciples will lead the rest of the disciples and follow Tuntun into the six-color treasure location. Clear out the Armored Lizards and the guardian beast before searching for the Divine Establishing Treasures and mythic tokens within.”
Tang Muxin and the others immediately acknowledged her instructions before leading the giant group of disciples into the giant valley like a swarm of locusts.
“The remaining Chosen, get into your defensive positions.” Li Qingchan turned towards the rest of the Chosen.
Chu Qing, Kong Sheng, Shang Chunqiu and the others nodded before scattering. They positioned themselves on the mountains around the valley, forming a defensive line with the valley at its center.
Li Qingchan stared straight at Zhao Zhu as she solemnly said, “Zhao Zhu, you will be stationed at the valley's entrance. There are many individuals from the Sacred Palace, and there may inevitably be some amongst them who will be able to slip past our defensive line through some special means. When that happens, you’ll have to stop them and prevent anyone from entering the seven-color treasure location.”
Zhao Zhu solemnly nodded.
Finally, Li Qingchan turned towards the seemingly idle Zhou Yuan as she gently bit her lip. His insistence on becoming the backup guardian was honestly quite unnecessary...
“Zhou Yuan, find somewhere to hide yourself nearby. Be prepared to act if anything unexpected happens.”
Zhou Yuan nodded with a smile. He knew that Li Qingchan felt him to be a little unnecessary, but he was not offended or unhappy. It would after all be best if Zhao Zhu was able to handle anyone who managed to breach the defensive line because it would mean that the situation would be within their control.
After giving her instructions, Li Qingchan moved and landed on one of the peaks.
Zhao Zhu turned his head and cast a mocking glance at Zhou Yuan. He did not exchange any words with him and sat himself on a boulder near the valley's entrance.
Zhou Yuan likewise paid no heed to Zhao Zhu. His figure landed in the shadow cast by one of the cliff walls, and he seated himself to wait.
When everyone was done, the entire place seemed to fall silent.
This silence, however, did not last for long. Sensing something, Zhou Yuan soon lifted his head and looked towards the west. Streaks of light were shooting over through the air, ultimately coming to a stop in the sky outside the mountain valley.
“Hehe, friends of the Cangxuan Sect…”
At the head of these numerous glowing figures was the Sacred Palace’s Jiang Taishen. He wore a faint smile as he gazed at the Cangxuan Sect Chosen. He said in a gentle voice, “You guys have overstepped your boundaries...this place is part of the Sacred Palace’s search area. I hope that everyone will abide by the rules the sects have agreed upon. Quickly withdraw from here and hand over the treasure location.”
His voice sounded exceedingly friendly, but when it rang out, the surrounding atmosphere slowly became hostile.
Zhou Yuan’s eyes narrowed as he looked at the grand line-up from the Sacred Palace before peering into the distance. With his Spirit sense, he could sense the other sects stealthily arriving and casting their gazes over.
Although there had been some conflicts between the Sacred Palace and the Cangxuan Sect after entering the Great Mythic Mountain Range, both sides had always held back somewhat and had not yet engaged in a real fight. However, under the temptation of the seven-color treasure location, their previous restraint had turned extremely weak.
All the sects understood that neither the Sacred Palace nor the Cangxuan Sect would be able to hold back this time...
Whoever emerged superior in a real clash was something that the other sects were rather looking forward to seeing.