While the events took a while to describe, the event itself occurred in a blink of a mortal ’s eye, unleashing in such a coordinated effort that it was utterly flawless.
The four were all pale, experiencing an exhaustion of their respective energies and forces. But they had eliminated a higher stage cultivator with no losses due to their concerted actions, their planning, and flawless execution. In normal circumstances, a Light Reflection Phase expert was capable of killing dozens of Spatial Resonance Phase cultivators with ease, their cultivation level advantages were far, far too oppressive.
In a frontal fight, perhaps they could claim victory, but not without losses. That was unacceptable.
These cultivation advantages became more and more oppressive as phases rose, with the Worldly Domain almost determining invincibility beneath their phase no matter the numbers. It was fortunate that the Season of Regression was present, lowering the cultivation advantages of everyone, and the higher their cultivation level, the greater the restriction.
Even Wei Wuyin at the Spatial Resonance Phase was fearful of a restricted Worldly Domain, unwilling to enter it for a mere moment. If it wasn ’t restricted, capable of fully converting ambient mana, energies, and essences into its own power, the terror would shake the most talented, fearless experts.
But without the Primary Light energies capable of merging with the ambient mana, connecting with the ambient light energies in the surroundings, the Light Reflection Phase lost roughly 70% of its strength.
Still, they claimed victory.
Zu Zun walked towards the corpse, his eyes filled with contempt. ”He talked a lot of shit. Look where that got ’em, ” he shook his head at the corpse that was almost headless.
Usually, Bei Yunhan would speak words of disagreements, but he didn ’t. Instead, he arrived beside Zu Zun, asked with concern: ”Are you okay? ” The concern originated from his heart, his tone soft as he hurriedly withdrew a handkerchief.
Zu Zun was shocked for a moment. He touched his nose, realizing he was bleeding. He had overexerted the extraction, taking 80% of his demonic shadow force in one go, causing his body to suffer internal injuries. His eyes turned to Bei Yunhan as he saw the worry, a touch of warmth entered his heart.
”I ’m fine… ” He answered in a soft voice. Taking the handkerchief, cleaning his nose before Bei Yunhan could do so.
”You didn ’t need to use so much astral force, ” Bei Yunhan gently scolded. His face was also pale because he hadn ’t expected to handle such a massive arrow of power. His hands had trembled when he nocked it.
Zu Zun scoffed dismissively, not arguing. He wasn ’t in the mood.
Li Yungu was more focused, already looting the corpses. Her eyes flashed with greed and she was extremely practiced in her actions, an experienced looter. At times, she would laugh a little too evilly as she inspected the ring ’s contents. Then, she would hurriedly move to the next.
Hong Chunhua didn ’t mind them or their antics. ”Kill the rest. I ’ll handle the captives, ” she ordered before soaring towards the stairs leading downwards.
Li Yungu withdrew a blue dagger. When she looted an unconscious crew member, she ’d plunge her dagger into their temple, twist, and pull. Her actions, once again, were extremely practiced. She began to hum.
The other two showed their understanding with simultaneous nods. Zu Zun used his foot, stomping on the soft heads of those members until they burst. Bei Yunhan gave these members a more complete death, sending a surge of astral force into their brains through their nose to swiftly end their lives.
Hong Chunhua walked downwards with the compass in her hand, following it until it flickered erratically with a faint droning sound, indicating that she was directly before the Ascendant. Her eyes flashed as she saw the metal door that blocked her way. With a fierce kick, she blew the door off its hinges, sending it flying into the wall.
When she arrived, she noticed there were a dozen or so humans connected to an Energy Conversion Array, with strings of light connecting to their meridians, pulsating with energies.
The array would send unrefined, impure energies into the meridians, and forcefully caused the body to refine it, but before it could be used for cultivation, as it reached the dantian, the array extracted all the energies. There was a large tube that covered the entire abdomen, clearing sucking out all the energies within the dantian.
The array would then compress the energies into stones that could be used for cultivation, creating high-grade energy stones suitable for armament creation, cultivation, or other objectives. For example, yang and wood energies could be extracted to nourish certain herbs.
It was because of these means that the continent had remained as strong as it currently was. It was extremely vicious, but it bypassed the main issue of refining energies and injecting one ’s body with impurities. If another handles this task, these risks, then all you had to do was cultivate with the purest energies. It wouldn ’t just accelerate one ’s cultivation, but the impurities won ’t affect a cultivator ’s innate talent or meridians.
There ’s no need to waste time refining out impurities or purchasing purification products.
She found little wrong with the act itself. The only reason their starfield hadn ’t popularized such a thing was because the hegemonic forces never allowed it. But Evil Cultivators often used similar methods, oftentimes being executed for it. It made it forbidden and scared numerous individuals, morality of it aside.
The Alchemic Proxies was another reason for their high cultivation bases. With Alchemic Astral Energies of a similar quality as Alchemic Astral Soul could produce, using them for alchemical concoction elevated success rates, overall quality, and reduced refining time. A cultivator could practice alchemical methods without an Alchemic Soul or having to use their own energies, alleviating the strain and reducing the stress one suffered.
While this made it impossible to give birth to an Mortal Sovereign Alchemist, it helped birth three Starlords!
When Hong Chunhua learned of this, she felt this world was blessed, horrific, and unfortunate. While cultivators could grow stronger at others expense, it limited their world ’s potential, because they kept using talented individuals for Alchemic Proxies and Energy Converters, with nepotistic practices of the strong being extremely prevalent.
And they had a huge aversion to the concept of cultivating an Alchemic Astral Soul, likening it to choosing to be a slave. A Mortal Sovereign Alchemist would never be born with such a horrendous outlook on alchemy.
Looking at the compass, she found the individual that it pointed to. Her eyes narrowed, a glint in her eyes.
It was Long Chen…
After the assault on the ship, the captives were interrogated. For those originating from other looted and defeated pirate ships, they were killed without mercy. The Navy River Elves were spared, not because they were innocent, but because of a favor they owed another Navy River Elf they met on their journey that had helped them, only asking they spared those Navy River Elves that were unfortunate.
Since Wei Wuyin had taken down the two Holy Clans, the world ’s climate had changed. The clans and forces of the Central Regions were forcefully expelled after a few months of war, the entirety of the three regions, Noxious Seas, Scorched Skies, and Zephyr Plains, barreled forward.
Without their Starlords, with their numbers outrageously overwhelmed, the forces who inhabited it in utmost safety had no choice but to surrender and be expelled from the territory. They would soon experience the harshness of the Season of Devils.
The vast majority of elves with important bloodlines moved, performing another great excursion for non-religious purposes. Purely for the sake of taking the territory and finding a new home, unwilling to stay in the vicious and dangerous living environment of the three regions.
The exiled clans and forces were forced to take action, trying to establish themselves in the three regions. So there were skirmishes and forces being produced every day, with many lives lost and other forces falling as a result. The overabundance of piratry in the Noxious Seas was a byproduct of this event.
The Navy River Elves captured were those unable to venture into the Desolate Lands or Central Regions, or those who refused to leave their homes and prayed to their god for a Holy Child to be born in this changing world. They would then be saved, keeping their homes!
But the fights and conflict was continuous, reducing the population and number of experts considerably.
Hong Chunhua knew this was Wei Wuyin ’s intention, because she would ’ve done something similar. The Four Extreme Continent was a terrifying world with powerful experts, while their starfield had a single Realmlord! If these cultivators somehow escaped into their starfield, they would be utterly helpless.
It wasn ’t possible for these elite experts to fight without cause or benefits, so this was the best possible scenario to whittle away at their strength. Unfortunately, it wasn ’t sustainable.
Is what she originally thought.
But from what she learned from the interrogated pirates, the Central Region had devolved into a series of territorial wars between multiple factions, humans and elves clashing fiercely with lethal intent. A storm of blood and greed was currently unfolding to determine ownership of various cultivation grounds and resource rich areas.
As for the Desolate Lands? Not a single faction fought there, utterly peaceful due to their Holy Son ’s presence. The unity was unprecedented, but it still restricted those from the Central Regions from entering, forcing them to enter the three other regions.
The total land area for the three regions were 474,000 miles, while the Central Regions was merely a third of that, yet more than sixty percent of the population from each region had entered, including the elven and human race this time. The overpopulation was an issue. To add, a third of that territory was already reserved for Wei Wuyin, and no one could fight for that lest they be expelled.
Hong Chunhua found this dynamic interesting, feeling that Wei Wuyin was extremely terrifying. Fortunately, he was their leader, not their enemy.
Zu Zun asked as he casually carried Long Chen ’s exhausted onto their ship, ”His Majesty…what do you think he ’s planning? ”
Bei Yunhan frowned, ”I don ’t know. Whatever it is, if it needs us to act, he ’ll call for us. ”
Li Yungu added, smiling as she held a spatial ring that contained all their precious loot, ”His Majesty could take over all the regions at any point, if he wanted. We shouldn ’t speculate about his plans, only think about ourselves for now. ” Her smile was extremely pleasant to look at.
”… ” Hong Chunhua was silent. She realized they hadn ’t caught on to the systematic whittling of this continent ’s forces. The call of war, the expert dangling of bait, and the absolute silence at the abundance of violence surging about. In her mind, she knew the likely possibility: ’This continent ’s inhabitants are going to be freed… ’
The thought caused her heart to shiver. But why? She didn ’t know, but if Wei Wuyin was acting in such a way, then his intent was clear. He was either preparing for the worse or he knew it was going to happen.
When they returned to their own sea vessel, Zu Zun was rushed by Lian Yu, who was looking at Long Chen in fear. Only when she felt his life aura did a heavy weight lift from her shoulders, her hand lightly caressing his face.
”Enough, enough! If you ’re going to get lovey-dovey, you take him. ” Zu Zun tossed Long Chen to Lian Yu, causing her to shriek in panic. She urged her astral force to hold him, preventing his fall.
She glared at Zu Zun after Long Chen was safe, ”He ’s your Grand Prince! You dare treat him like this? ”
Zu Zun shrugged. ”He got himself captured, forced to be a tool for others. He isn ’t worthy. He should ’ve died in battle, not allow himself to get turned into a slave. ”
Bei Yunhan added in Zu Zun ’s defense, ”When the sect learns of this, he ’ll be stripped of his title. It ’s against the rules for such a humiliating thing to occur. ”
Lian Yu paled, ”No! No they won ’t! ”
Li Yungu turned her gaze to Lian Yu, lifting her glasses further along the bridge of her nose. ”They ’re right. The future Grand Monarch must have an undefeated record, exemplifying a Monarch ’s Excellence. When he ascends, he has to receive the unanimous acceptance of the sect. He had been captured, turned into a slave, and defeated. In fact, it ’ll be embarrassing if he thought he should retain the title, ” her words were soft yet brutally honest.
”Argh… ” Long Chen ’s awakening voice resounded.
”Finally, let ’s get some answers. ” Hong Chunhua said.
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