Lu Zhou remained steady and calm. He had already killed quite a few blackguards and whiteguards; the merit points he earned were enough to buy an item card. There should not be a problem unless a group of judges showed up. However, according to Si Wuya, due to the intensity of the internal strife in the Black Tower Council, it was unlikely the judges would make such a big movement.
When Lian Xing saw the shadows in the distance, she shook her head and said helplessly, "It's the Black Guards."
Indeed, it was the Black Guards.
Lu Zhou looked at the two cultivators in black armor who were rushing over with long halberds in their hands. The two cultivators were carrying a man each on their backs. Those two who were being carried, one dressed in black and one dressed in black, looked like corpses.
When the two blackguards finally arrived in front of Lu Zhou, they kneeled in the air and cupped their fists together..
One of the blackguards said, "Shen Xi greets senior! I beg senior to take me in!"
Lian Xing. "???"
Zhao Yue. "???"
Lu Zhou was slightly surprised as well. "Shen Xi?"
Shen Xi was a member of the Black Guard whom Lu Zhou had met previously in the red lotus domain.
Shen Xi took off his armor and helmet, revealing a slightly exhausted square face and bloodshot eyes. He said bluntly, "Senior, I have nowhere else to turn to."
Lu Zhou found the situation rather comical. Moreover, it was not too long ago he fought with him. "You're a blackguard. You serve the Black Tower Council, but you want me to take you in?"
Shen Xi said, "Six of us were sent to the red lotus domain to carry out a mission, but only four of us survived. We thought we could blame the lost lives on the fierce beasts, but one of the captains was forced to tell the truth. With that, the Black Tower sentenced us to death to punish us for our incompetence. My brothers and I risked our lives to escape through the runic passage. During our escape, the Black Tower Council ruthlessly killed one of my brothers… Senior, you're the only one who can save us now!"
Lu Zhou, naturally, did not believe Shen Xi immediately. "How do I know you're telling the truth?"
Shen Xi said before he pointed at the two corpses, "Every word I say is true. This is the proof."
The two corpses belonged to the blackguard and whiteguard with one Birth Chart each who had escaped earlier.
Lian Xing exclaimed in shock, "You killed the people from my White Tower Council?"
Shen Xi's eyes widened, and he retreated a few meters as he grabbed his long halberd. His eyes were filled with despair as he asked, "Are you a member of the White Tower Council?"
Shen Xi's question was directed to both Lian Xing and Lu Zhou.
Lu Zhou shook his head and said, "A mere White Tower Council naturally has nothing to do with me…"
Shen Xi heaved a huge sigh of relief when he heard Lu Zhou's words. He had been terrified when he thought Lu Zhou was from the White Tower Council.
Lu Zhou took another look at the two corpses and shook his head. "What a pity..."
"Pity?" Shen Xi was puzzled.
Lu Zhou did not explain and only said, "Continue…"
Shen Xi nodded before he said, "Now that we've escaped, the Black Tower Council will surely issue a warrant to have us arrested. My brother and I only want to find a place to settle down. I beg senior to take us in…"
Lu Zhou felt things had taken an interesting turn. He stroked his beard and asked, "With your cultivation base, you can flee to the end of the world. The world is vast; how can there not be a place for both of you to settle down?"
Shen Xi sighed and tore off his clothes. A black lotus had been branded on his chest. Moreover, it seemed like it was freshly branded.
"Every time the blackguards are sent on a mission, we are given a strict time limit. Those who don't return within the time limit will be hunted down by the council. This time, the council was very ruthless and branded the black lotus on us. With the black lotus, we can either dig out our hearts or return to the council. If I can escape, why would I kill these two people and come here?"
Lian Xing smiled with a hint of hopelessness as she looked at Shen Xi. "The black lotus brand… You can't escape now…"
Lu Zhou raised his hand.
A strong gust of wind swept across Lian Xing's face before...
Lian Xing's pretty face swelled up immediately.
"When I speak, is it your turn to interrupt?"
Lian Xing was stunned by this slap. "..."
Lu Zhou returned his attention to Shen Xi and said, "You've been branded with a black lotus. The Black Tower Council will surely track you and hunt you down. You're trying to borrow another person's hand to help you kill… Not bad…"
Upon hearing the words 'Borrowing another person's hand to kill', Shen Xi was shocked. He hurriedly said, "I have no such intentions, senior. Senior, your cultivation base is profound. Since even Wu Guangping wasn't a match for you, the Black Tower Council won't dare to act recklessly if you take me in. Moreover, if we help you to annihilate the council, both of us will be free as well. I'm telling the truth. If there's even tiniest falsehood, I'll die a horrible death!"
Lu Zhou stared at Shen Xi and said, "You're more afraid of death than the average person."
Shen Xi raised his head to look at Lu Zhou. He did not know why Lu Zhou said these words.
Lu Zhou stared at Shen Xi and said without mincing his words, "Your brothers are also afraid of death. When I fought the six of you, four of you survived. How can people like you and your brothers who are afraid of death be worthy of my attention?"
Shen Xi's face flushed red in embarrassment. He could not refute Lu Zhou's words.
Meanwhile, Shen Xi's comrade who could not endure the embarrassment pulled Shen Xi and said, "Brother Shen, let's go. The world is vast; we'll definitely be able to find a place to settle down. Let's go…"
Upon hearing this, Lu Zhou smiled mockingly. "Oh, it seems you suddenly grew a backbone now…"
Shen Xi sighed heavily before he rose to his feet. He cupped his fists at Lu Zhou with a helpless expression on his face as he said, "Perhaps, this is our fate…"
"Hold on," Lu Zhou said.
Lu Zhou asked, "Do you really want to live?"
Shen Xi nodded. If he did not want to live, he would not have come here.
Lu Zhou's expression turned solemn as he said in a low voice, "You can live… However, you have to agree to my conditions."
Shen Xi was delighted. He said eagerly, "Senior Lu, please speak!"
Lu Zhou said, "Zhao Yue, tell them."
Zhao Yue said, "If you want to join the Evil Sky Pavilion, you have to follow the following rules. First, fellow members of the Evil Sky Pavilion aren't allowed to kill each other. Second, if you join the Evil Sky Pavilion, you'll have to cut off your past. Third, you're not allowed to betray your master, disobey your superior, and disrespect your elders. Fourth..."
Lu Zhou felt slightly complicated when he heard Zhao Yue's words so he raised his hand to stop her. Then, he summed everything up in a short sentence, "In short, in the Evil Sky Pavilion, I have the final say in everything, including your lives."
Shen Xi said, "Understood."
Lu Zhou added, "Once you enter the Evil Sky Pavilion, you will only encounter many more enemies in the future. Moreover, they're going to be 100 times stronger than the Black and White Tower Councils. Perhaps, your lives might even be lost tonight. Therefore, joining the Evil Sky Pavilion might not entirely be a good thing. Think carefully, and don't rush to make a decision. I'll give you ten breaths to decide."
"..." Shen Xi had already made up his mind to join the Evil Sky Pavilion, but he was still shocked when he heard these words. Was the Evil Sky Pavilion really so strong?
In the cultivation world, the strong preyed on the weak. It was the survival of the fittest. In a world such as this, the slightest mistake could cause one's death. Whether it was in the Black Tower Council, the White Tower Council, or the other forces, was there no place in this world that was peaceful?
When ten breaths were almost up, Lu Zhou shook his head and said, "It seems like you're not suited for the Evil Sky Pavilion… I suppose you can only die…"
Upon hearing these words, Shen Xi and his comrade kneeled in the air again and said in unison, "I'm willing to join the Evil Sky Pavilion!"
"Have you thought it through?"
"Yes," Shen Xi answered resolutely.
Lu Zhou stroked his beard and nodded. "Since you've thought it through, I will grant you both the positions of a guardian. From now on, whether you're dead or alive, you'll always be a member of the Evil Sky Pavilion. Understand?"
The two blackguards replied without any hesitation.
"Shen Xi pays respect to the Pavilion Master!"
"Li Xiao Mo pays respect to the Pavilion Master!"
"Ding! Recruited two subordinates. Reward: 2,000 merit points."