The Bloodforge Continent was a developed cultivation civilization that contained numerous complex and varied forces. This causes it to stay true to its name as blood was spilled daily, and the will of cultivators were forged endlessly. While this wasn ’t the reason for its name, it was nevertheless quite suitable.
But the most centralized and stable area of the Bloodforge Continent was the Hegemon-Approved Monarchy, the Xue Country. They controlled nearly twenty percent of its territory and were given immense authority and freedom. It was a location renowned for its less chaotic conflicts.
However, this did not exclude it from conflict. As is the nature of intelligent society, disparity and difference often created a hierarchy that allowed abuse, conflict, segregation of status, and struggles inherent within cultivation civilizations.
In this country, there were numerous cities, towns, and villages, with the three main cities being the Blood Titan City, Blood Rose City, and Blood Wave City. While the three cities had names that were rather simple, they held these names despite the numerous changes in monarchy. They were stable points with the most focused clans, powers, and experts. With their strength and foundation, they consistently rode through all changes of leadership.
In the Blood Titan City, a flourishing city with a population of over two hundred million and spanned an area of two thousand kilometers. The hustle and bustle were heavy, as cultivators cultivated, alchemists concocted, designers studied, and architects designed. The chefs were working beside their stoves, moms carried their infants to the market while gossiping, and managers oversaw stores.
Within this city, there was a clan that had existed for nearly two thousand years, having established themselves on grand merits and great leaders with excellent foresight. They were the An Clan. However, within the An Clan ’s Main Headquarters, there was a gathering of their elites, experts, and leaders and the atmosphere was tense and heavy.
In a grand hall, An Biru and An Feijin were standing to the left of a seated man with exceptional regal looks. This handsome-looking man had grey-hairs at his sides, yet his skin lacked a single wrinkle and his eyes were brightly lit like the starry night. His aura was concealed, but every breath he took allowed all those to feel an unfathomable level of pressure from him.
He was An Ge, the seating Patriarch of the An Clan and Astral Core Realm cultivator. While his cultivation base was only at the First Stage, he was still amongst the five million experts amidst tens of trillions of cultivators. All those at his level were renowned experts with the ability to dominate a portion of a continent, and that ’s what he did.
With his An Clan behind him, he dominated a portion of the Blood Titan City, owning a quarter of it with three other clans. These clans were the Chen, Lu, and Zhao Clan. They, alongside the An Clan, were known as the Four Titan Clans.
At the moment, his expression was serene, but within his eyes were a hint of frustration. An Biru—the older sister of the two—had a hint of anxiety as she prespired slightly, fragrant sweat dotting her forehead. Her soft hands were clenched as her eyes were lowered. An Feijing was more curious, as she regarded the room with curiosity.
All these dirty uncles and naggy aunts were gathered and avidly exchanging all sorts of words. Some were frantic, seemingly ready to go the blows. The chatter was overwhelming, and the topic was simple: the All-Alchemic Clash.
The story of how this came about had to do with a simple challenge with one of the Chen Clan. A simple drinking party blew into a full-blown dick-measuring wager with fifty-percent of their territory on the line, and this was all a certain someone ’s fault. Yet, they argued with each other and not the person responsible.
A few weeks ago, the four clans had a gathering of experts, to show-off their talented youths and their potential. Normally, this would simply be a normal exchange and small-sized wagers would be levied between, but the Chen Clan ’s current Matriarch had taunted An Ge. In moments, for some inexplicable reason, it devolved into a massive exchange with their talents battle potential tested.
The An Clan horrifically lost. With that, lost the rights to three minor mines. This wasn ’t much, likely about five percent of their total yearly gains; it was a sustainable loss. However, the cunning Chen Clan used all sorts of verbal tricks and lured the An Clan into further wagers. With each loss, An Ge lost his cool more and more.
Now, they were now engaging in an All-Alchemic Clash with half of their total foundation on the line. While many wanted to curse An Ge out, his strength made it quite difficult to do. However, if it was Alchemist, they were confident in winning, so many didn ’t have any issue. Amongst the four clans, they had the best alchemists available.
However, without exception, their skilled alchemists disappeared like ghosts. One moment, they were there, the next, they were elsewhere. That elsewhere? The Chen Clan. They lured every skilled alchemist away in almost freakish fashion, as if this was planned for years.
They immediately realized they fell into an inescapable trap. Furthermore, An Ge swore a Spirit Oath, so he couldn ’t retreat from this challenge. So, they did the most sensible thing: they outsourced.
Unfortunately, every alchemist they attempted to hire had met one of two fates: They died violent deaths or outright refused. In fact, An Biru and An Feijing were recently assigned a stealthy recruitment mission. In exchange for their participation, win or lose, the alchemist would have two new wives in the form of An Biru and An Feijing, An Ge ’s great granddaughters. Of course, there was other compensation, especially for winning the clash, but the alchemist was very lecherous so this was the only way.
They were desperate.
But, while they planned, fate laughed. Or did it? Regardless of whether it was coincidental or instigated by a traitor in their midst, the An Sisters were ambushed and the alchemist was killed. If it wasn ’t for a visiting expert, the sisters would ’ve been put to death.
If he had known this would happen, An Ge would ’ve sent elite experts to escort them, but he wanted to be sneaky. His intelligence led to the inevitable downfall of his plans.
Now, the main hall was filled with all sorts of arguments as to how to handle the eventual fallout of losing fifty-percent of their territory. This would set their clan back considerably, and available cultivation resources would be halved and their wealth harmed considerably. In truth, the real issue was that An Ge ’s original bets had already lost them twenty-percent of their territory.
This could make anyone ’s eyelids twitch! Seventy-percent lost! Just like that. How did they get the one incompetent patriarch since their clan ’s inception? While they would never say this aloud, the eyes of everyone in the hall couldn ’t help but reflect this—even his great granddaughters.
”Silence! ” An Ge bellowed in force, silencing the hall. He rose from his seat, emitting an oppressive aura that pressed upon everyone ’s hearts. While he might be an idiot to them, his strength wasn ’t lacking one bit.
”You all can keep bickering amongst each other, but I have no intention of losing this wager. ” His words caused eyes to subconsciously roll in disbelief. No intention? Your disease of an unreliable gambler had caused this situation. While your opponent checkmated you since the first move, you expect to fight against it?
An Ge ’s left eyebrow and eyelids twitched. With his powerful senses, how could he not notice their expressions of disbelief and frustration? He had a mind to deliver a slap or two, but he restrained himself. Only a brutish leader resorted to violence; he was an intelligent leader.
That ’s right, intelligent!
He coughed lightly and turned to An Biru. ”We ’ve enlisted an exceptional Alchemist! We ’ll win without a doubt. ” The confidence in his voice was incredible, nearly influencing everyone in the room that victory was assured. However, when they recalled all these events, their expressions turned dark.
At this moment, the door to the hall was pushed open by the wind. This wind carried with it a strand of spiritual force that transmitted messages to all those within the room. All of their expressions became gloomy and dusky, as if night had drowned their faces. An Ge in particular clenched his teeth.
”Blood Titan Square, two hours! Little Ge, thank you for the gift in advance. ”
This was obviously sent by the Chen Clan ’s Matriarch!
It was starting!
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