1

"Junior Brother Jiang Li, don't be angry. This is all a misunderstanding. We are all from the same sect. How can we clash with weapons? Everyone, it's best to quickly put away your artifacts."

At this moment, Guo An, who had identified himself as the "outer sect's Eldest Senior Brother", walked over from afar. There were several other late-stage Qi Refinement realm disciples beside him.

Although he spoke empty words, it eased the conflict between them.

Of course, the truth was that although both sides looked fierce on the outside, in their hearts, they both thought that they definitely could not win and did not want to really fight.

Since Guo An had given everyone an excuse, they naturally resolved the issue and put away their weapons.

"Senior and junior brothers, please move so as not to scare my guests. There are quite a number of them, and the efficiency of finding people is comparable to 50 senior and junior brothers."

Since Jiang Li said this, they could not say anything.

Because the goal of this "Outer Sect Grand Competition" was different. Apart from competition, the most important thing was to find the defected cultivators.

If they were to sabotage each other and engage in vicious competition, they might be beaten to death.

Jiang Li let them sit in the inn and comforted the small demons present. He compensated them with some gold and silver and made the spirits enthusiastic again.

"Senior brothers, tell me about it. What's going on?"

They sat together and brewed a pot of tea. The few of them matched the information they had.

They discovered that eleven people had disappeared the previous night. Moreover, most of them had witnesses who said that they had been called away in public.

The most horrifying thing was that the people who called them away were all among these eleven people. It felt like a chain, one by one, they tricked the others out of their sight and disappeared.

"Did they all betray us?" One person guessed.

"How is that possible? Right now, the entire Cloud Stream City is surrounded by the sect elders. Isn't betraying them courting death?"

Actually, not to mention now, with Elder Duan Shuang leading the group, the actions of the twelve people who had defected previously were no different from courting death.

With such an inescapable net, how long could they escape?

"It's also possible that they've been controlled."

There were many methods in the cultivation world. It was not strange to control a few Qi Refinement realm disciples. This theory was quickly accepted by everyone.

However, this fact also made the outer sect disciples panic even more.

It was not only them who were hunting the defected disciples. The defected disciples were also organizing and planning to hunt them!

This was very terrifying. Other than Yu Banxia, everyone else in the group of defected disciples had overwhelming combat power.

They would have no chance of winning if they clashed. They could only pray that reinforcements would arrive in time to save them.

However, if they were to include the prerequisite of being ambushed, the difficulty would rise by a few levels.

"Then what should we do? Should we just wait here and die?"

"If they have methods to control cultivators, wouldn't we be unable to trust the fellow disciples next to us?"

"Why don't we report this to the sect and get them to let us out? We won't be able to find them at all."

"Hmph, did the sect leave us any communication spirit stones? Moreover, they sent us here to die in the first place. How can the mission be stopped just because of a little loss?"

As they spoke, the outer sect disciples' conversations were filled with negativity.

Jiang Li sat at the side and did not speak for a long time.

This was because from the time they sat at the table until now, no one had mentioned that a large number of people in the city had died.

From morning, Jiang Li and the others had exchanged for a large amount of silver taels. According to this exchange, the number of souls he had received in these few hours had at least exceeded 100,000!

That meant the death of a hundred thousand people in a short period of time!

The death toll of this number directly took up a quarter of the city's population.

It did not matter if the entire city was under martial law now, or if every family was confined and did not move around.

The five hundred over Qi Refinement realm cultivators were not fools. Their search could not be limited to walking on the streets. It was the most basic thing to search from house to house.

A hundred thousand corpses… Even if they were all buried in the ground, the large number of empty buildings would still be rather suspicious. It was definitely impossible to hide from the cultivators' eyes.

However, now, no one mentioned such an important thing openly. It was strange.

Then there was only one explanation… All the outer sect disciples present were fools!

Jiang Li immediately beat about the bush and asked them a few questions, but he quickly overturned this conclusion that he had obtained with great difficulty.

There did not seem to be any large-scale empty buildings in this city. Almost all of them had living people.

He looked at the banquet outside and was in disbelief.

Everyone in the city was still alive. Where did these souls come from? Did they fall from the sky?

"Senior brothers and sisters, look at these three people. They're different from the other eight. They all went out alone and disappeared. Perhaps we should start from them."

Jiang Li rubbed his head and pushed aside his thoughts as he pointed out three people on the missing list.

"Oh? What do you mean?"

The others were originally giving up on themselves, so when they heard Jiang Li's opinion, they looked over successively.

"Look at the order in which they disappeared. It was the former who came forward and tricked the latter away. But these three people are different. They started the chain of disappearances and no one saw who called them away."

"According to Senior Brother Guo An, these three people disappeared while patrolling. Then, is it possible that the place where the three of them patrolled is where the defector disciple and the others are hiding?"

"Perhaps they were captured because they ran into the defected disciples."

Jiang Li gave this guess.

"That's worth a try."

Everyone's expressions were a little excited and solemn.

After all, even if they found the target, it was hard to say whether it was a good thing or a bad thing.

The locations of the three missing targets were different, so they began to discuss the distribution.

However, Jiang Li did not plan to investigate with them. He still had his own plans.

"Junior Brother Jiang Li, are you really not going with us?"

Before he left, Guo An continued to invite Jiang Li, expressing his regret for not being able to come with him.

Jiang Li cupped his hands and sent them off.

After obtaining their information, Jiang Li felt that he had to go out and personally investigate.

Before he left, he explained the situation at the banquet again. Because the mortals of the gold and silver exchange office were unable to fulfill their duties and because one of their subordinates had disappeared, they were currently short of manpower.

Jiang Li spent a huge sum of money to invite the talking red-coated rat to help "collect" the cash.

After confirming that the operation here was good and that nothing would happen for the time being, Jiang Li left and entered a residential courtyard.

Jiang Li pushed open the door. The wooden door bolt was as if it was made of paper and easily broke, not putting up any resistance.

"Spare me, Master Immortal! Spare me, Master Immortal!"

"This old man doesn't know anything!"

Then, Jiang Li saw the two people inside hurriedly standing up from the bed in the room, hugging each other while repeatedly shouting for mercy.

Were the Immortal Masters that terrifying? It seemed that his fellow disciples had often tyrannized the city.

While Jiang Li was thinking of this, he seemed to have forgotten what he had done. It was not any better.

[Name: Wang Darong, Gender: Male, Age 61, Class: None, Level: None, Danger Level: None]

[Name: Zhang Xiaomei, Gender: Female, Age: 16, Class: None, Level: None, Danger Level: None]

Jiang Li casually threw two appraisals over and was speechless.

These two people were clearly sleeping together just now. 61 and 16, this was really a crime punishable by death.

"Hey, get up. Answer a few questions." Jiang Li asked.

"I don't know anything! I don't know anything! Lord Immortal Master, please spare me! Lord Immortal Master, please spare me!"

However, there were still two sentences in response. It seemed that he could not ask anything from them.

Jiang Li had no choice but to leave. He directly leaped onto the roof and flew several blocks before landing in another house.

This time, he was afraid of scaring others, so he did not directly break in. Instead, he politely knocked on the door.

A moment later, someone came to open the door. However, just as the door opened, that person saw Jiang Li and immediately ran to the corner of the wall. He squatted down and hugged his head while repeating that sentence repeatedly.

"Spare me, Master Immortal! Spare me, Master Immortal!"

Perhaps some people were just more timid, Jiang Li thought.

He found another family nearby and finally met someone who dared to speak to him.

The moment he opened the door…

When an old lady saw Jiang Li's attire, she roared angrily. She picked up a broom by the side and threw it at Jiang Li.

"You damned monster, I'll fight it out with you!"

Who was Jiang Li? How could he be hit by a broom?

He went past the old lady and went into the room, seeing a young girl holding her torn clothes while kneeling on the ground and sobbing.

Without needing them to say anything, Jiang Li already understood what had happened.

Without saying anything, he left a silver ingot on the table and left the courtyard.

Jiang Li ran around the city, randomly choosing a house to go in and check.

However, it was indeed as the other outer sect disciples had said. There were no large-scale deaths and empty buildings in this city.

The development of the situation made Jiang Li's head hurt even more.

Until…

"Master Immortal! Spare me! Master Immortal! Spare me!"

"Father! Mother! It's Lian'er! Don't you recognize me?"

"We don't know anything! We don't know anything!"

Jiang Li's figure landed on a wall. Before he even appeared, this voice already sounded in his ears.

He raised his eyebrows and chose to continue watching quietly.

In the courtyard below, a middle-aged couple and a servant were kneeling on the ground while holding their heads and begging for mercy.

Before them was not an outer sect disciple of the Scripture Storage Valley, but a young woman in a red dress and a servant beside her.