Published at 19th of October 2020 05:23:19 AM

Chapter 901: 901. Battle Spiri
The horned head resembled the tattoo that appeared on the cultivators of the Chasing Demon sect when they joined it. Yet, Noah knew that the assailant couldn't possibly be a traitor since his status as Demon Prince would prevent any member of the Hive from attacking him.

It was hard to create oaths able to restrict rank 5 cultivators, but they would be almost impossible to break once sworn them. Only a stronger existence or an inscribed item meant solely for that purpose could help in that matter.

Nevertheless, the oath of the assailant was still active and didn't react to Noah's presence, meaning that the cultivator couldn't belong to the Hive.

'The traces of the Morphing Demon sect led to the Utra nation,' Noah thought as he reviewed what he had discovered during his mission for the Patriarch. 'The Bleeding Demon sect should be one of the tribes recruited by the Shandal Empire, and the same should have happened to the Thieving Demon sect, even if it ended in the Papral nation instead. Still, they shouldn't have the power to ambush us.'

The clues found in his mission hinted that all the surviving Demon sects had lost most of their assets during the escape. Even those recruited by the other nations were bound to be in a poor state back then.

The image of a tall red-haired man appeared in his mind as he pondered about the issue. The truth was that Noah had thought about the Ravaging Demon sect as soon as he saw the horned face.

After all, Ravaging Demon had his reasons to target the Hive, and he still had access to the full power of his sect.

Noah didn't know how strong his organization was, but it must have thrived in the thousand years after his betrayal. Ravaging Demon had played a vital role in the battle between unorthodox and orthodox sects, so his position in the Council had to be important.

However, Noah knew that the Demon was at the peak of the fifth rank, which meant that there was a limit to how many rank 5 cultivators were willing to follow him.

Of course, those were just hypotheses based on pieces of information that he had gathered through the years. Still, he had a way to confirm his ideas.

The horned head vanished after a few seconds, and the hand became nothing more than a useless body part that carried no clues.

Noah's attack didn't break the oath of the assailant. What he had seen on his hand was just the physical representation of that pact, not the actual vow. The symbol would reform on the main body now that the hand wasn't a part of it anymore.

Oaths would be useless if they were so easy to break. They were more thorough in their fusion with the cultivators' centers of power, and they became part of them once sworn.

Noah waited for his companions to catch up with him right next to the broken teleportation matrix. As he finally sensed their presence coming from behind him though, the remaining lines of the formation began to crumble until they turned into dust that fused with the seabed.

Only the severed hand and a few traces of blood remained on the terrain when the rest of Noah's group reached him.

"Did you get them?" June asked when she saw the hand, but Noah shook his head before turning toward Faith. A series of saber-shaped runes came out of his palm at that point, and Noah assembled them to create a bigger version of the horned head.

"Do you recognize this symbol?" Noah asked when his drawing entered Faith's vision.

Her eyes widened at that sight, and she shot a confused glance toward Noah before replying. "How do you know about it? That's almost a taboo among the sects under the Council."

"The Chasing Demon sect uses the same symbol, and I found it on this hand before it vanished," Noah said as a lifted his hand to show that a similar tattoo had appeared on his back. "Why is it a taboo? I thought that the Ravaging Demon sect was your ally."

Noah went straight to the point. After all, Ravaging Demon's betrayal wasn't a secret, so he couldn't understand how that symbol was a taboo for the Council.

Faith fell deep in thought for a while. Her heart wasn't on the Council's side anymore, but she had never revealed secret information of her country. Yet, she had to say something if she wanted to help her friends.

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"The stories that we spread inside the country about the defeat of the Demon sects are mostly inaccurate," Faith said. "The orthodox sects don't want the new cultivators to think that they had won that battle with the help of an enemy. I had to become a heroic cultivator before I learnt the truth too."

Noah couldn't help but feel surprised at those words. He didn't know anything about the Papral nation except for its political system. However, he had never thought that it would censor its history to appear more righteous in the eyes of its youngest members.

"The Ravaging Demon sect doesn't exist anymore," Faith continued. "Its name is Battle Spirit sect right now, and it acts as a member of the orthodox faction on the surface. Yet, the Council knows that it has many underground activities right in the middle of the country."

"No wonder," Noah said. "Ravaging Demon is still alive in the end."

Noah could understand how part of what Faith was revealing was confidential. She probably had gained access to such records only because she was one of the Council's rarest talents.

"Yes, his behavior wasn't a surprise," Faith replied. "The surprising part is seeing the Council making use of those underground activities instead of condemning them. When I first learnt about it, I felt that we had defeated the Demon sects just to become like them."

"It's part of the cultivation journey," June commented as she patted Faith's shoulder to console her. "Everything gets tainted in the path to power."

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"Indeed," Faith said after heaving a sigh. "Still, it's not the entirety of the Council. Our political system gives a seat to the leaders of every major sect, so there are small factions. One of them is led by Ravaging Demon, who is said to have many small sects under his rule."

Noah didn't need any other information to confirm that some of the assailants had come from the Council. Even if they belonged only to one of the factions, he would still hold the entire organization responsible.

However, there was something else that he needed to ask Faith before he requested her for a complete description of what she knew about Ravaging Demon and his organizations.

"Is the Council able to deploy that formation in less than a day?" Noah asked.

Faith didn't even need to think at that question. She promptly shook her head as soon as Noah finished speaking.

After her answer, Noah felt sure that the Royals had played a part in the ambush too.

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