Conquering the Xue Country was his overall objective, but it was by no means an easy feat. The preexisting rules made it nearly impossible for a member of the Myriad Monarch Sect, regardless of rank, to establish themselves as the ruler of this country. It was highly protected, giving respect to its natives and lineage. However, ’nearly ’ impossible was merely that—nearly impossible.
Wei Wuyin ’s thoughts were lively as he once more recalled and pondered on the various steps of his plans. While he couldn ’t become a sitting ruler, or send a member of his sect as a sitting ruler, he could rule via proxy. While the Xue Country only possessed twenty-percent of the continent ’s territory, it contained seventy-percent of the continent ’s central wealth and resources.
Essentially, it was a goldmine that surpassed all the other contested areas of the continent. It was this very reason the sect regulated its influence and gave the natives this piece of land, allowing it to remain uncontested. Even though he was a Heavenly King, he couldn ’t have any piece of this pie without openly breaking established rules.
Soon, a gigantic luxurious mansion with ten acres of flat land surrounding it appeared in the distance. This was the Scarlet Ash Manor, home to Duke Zhao, a top-tier powerhouse and loyal supporter of the current Bloodforge King.
Those who followed the amassing crowd out of curiosity were sent into a quaking shock. Why were they traveling towards the Scarlet Ash Manor? The Duke was by no means a small character, and his cultivation base was at the apex of the continent. He was renowned for his fierce attitude and domineering bearing.
Xue Yu frowned. ”I didn ’t think so many people would be following us. If we ’re just here visiting Duke Zhao, wouldn ’t it seem as if we were about to siege him? ” He felt somewhat awkward, as the level of misunderstanding these hundreds of thousands of mounts that blotted out the horizon could produce. Furthermore, he was one of the few at the forefront.
While he was a prince, his status and influence was far below Duke Zhao, not to mention his personal power. If he ended up poking the tiger, his livelihood as a prince would be threatened. A wisp of desire to retreat soon grew in his heart. He had an uneasy feeling as the manor became larger and larger.
Before he could even make a decision, Chen Xiaowei halted her Shadow-Blight Hawk. When it did, the numerous aerial mounts screeched to an abrupt halt, and there were even a few slapped out of the skies. The chaos was abrupt and unexpected, and as those in the forefront of the pack tried to stop, those behind smashed into them.
There was one unlucky fellow that got clipped by a beast wing and directly exploded into bloody mist. The mount he was on went out of control and plummeted, smashing into those who flew at a lower altitude. It cascaded into chaos and danger as several mounts and cultivators met their deaths.
They clearly didn ’t think this through.
They weren ’t a trained unit of the military which practiced how to signal those behind or avoid crashing into each other, so it made unfortunate yet perfect sense for this to occur.
Xue Yu ’s entourage had to conjure a collectively infused qi ward to defend against the feathers, blood, and fragmented bones of those blown forward violently. Several mounts smashed into the ward, bones, and bodies were broken on impact. A few cultivators smashed their qi into those approaching, trying to avoid a direct collision.
The chaos was lively! Some even devolved into straight life and death aerial battles! Raging Qi and maddened cries echoed. A few shrieks of those sent to death resounded as well, unwillingness and shock suffused their voices.
Wei Wuyin didn ’t bother about this. However, he couldn ’t help but remember an event similar to this one. In Jade Circle City, he and Su Mei were being chased and threatened, and after a little display of power, they tumbled backwards and chaotically ran every which way.
The difference here was that these individuals wanted to stay, brewing enmity and misfortune with every misstep.
He turned to Chen Xiaowei, who looked at him and nodded. They didn ’t fly to the manor, staying several kilometers away and several hundred meters above.
Scarlet Ash Prefecture, Scarlet Ash Manor.
The commotion outside was noticed without a doubt. In fact, every living soul had received transmission messages from those outside who witnessed the horrifying array of aerial beasts. The warriors of the manor were already geared and ready, quite a few displayed a fierce willingness to fight to the death. They mounted their beasts and traveled via the ground and sky, creating an exceptional array of war.
They stared at the incoming titanic shadow with sweaty palms and solemn gazes. The owner of this manor and land itself, Duke Zhao, had also noticed this abnormal display. However, his information network was more detailed as he knew that the alchemist was merely answering his summons.
This mass of followers was merely curious or opportunistic idiots that were trying to gain favor with the prince, princess, or alchemist. He felt a headache, but just to be sure, he allowed his men to form a defensive array. It was best to be safe than unprepared.
Duke Zhao was a middle-aged man with faint signs of aging, a set of droopy eyes, dull black hair, and grey temples. While his cultivation base was said to be exceptional amongst the continent, his age was already high, being over a thousand years old. He seemed like a harmless uncle, and if it wasn ’t for his stately attire that lends his title some credence, its unlikely anyone would believe his status and ranking in the country.
He walked outside, his droopy eyes meeting the chaos outside. His eyelids twitched a little as he saw lives ended. This was a mess.
Then, he saw the masked alchemist and Chen Xiaowei. His eyes narrowed as he focused on them. ’Such a thick alchemical aura. Is this a peak Alchemic Lord or an Alchemic King? If so, which one? ’
He had sent a summons to the masked alchemist after hearing the news of his exceptional ability. While there were rumors the masked alchemist was an Alchemic King, he wasn ’t so sure. There were so few in this starfield. Unlike Xue Yu and Xue Yifei, he hadn ’t discovered an inkling as to who the masked alchemist was. If he knew it was Wei Wuyin, perhaps his attitude would be vastly different than indifferently sending a summons.
After all, comparing status, influence, and authority, he paled nearly a dozen levels below a Heavenly King and Alchemic King. Unfortunately for him, this ignorance played into what will be his last moments in this life.
Wei Wuyin ’s eyes beneath the mask met Duke Zhao, they were the picture of indifference.
Chen Xiaowei spoke from up high, her gaze looked down at Duke Zhao, revealing open scorn and disdain that he and his subordinates could see. ”Duke Zhao of the Scarlet Ash Manor, come and greet Lord Alchemist. ” Her words were direct, more arrogant than the messenger before.
Duke Zhao ’s nose twitched, a flash of anger at these words and her tone. Did she not know her place? However, her words revealed a clue to his identity. Lord Alchemist? So he was a Lord Alchemist? This idea, belief, started to cement in his mind. However, it also made his eyes flash with a light of disbelief.
A measly Lord Alchemist dares to be so arrogant?
Just as he was about to respond, his words were caught in his throat.
Then, Wei Wuyin verbally said with words amplified by astral force: ”Did you not hear her? ” However, simultaneously, his spiritual force was sneakily slithering into Duke Zhao ’s ears. His eyes were filled with shock, then anger, and then rage.
”Fine. Duke Zhao, I ’ve been wanting to meet you a long time ago. ” Again, while he spoke loudly enough to be heard, a series of transmitted messages kept bombarding Duke Zhao. Each passing second caused the rage and fury within his eyes to grow.
Many were shocked at Wei Wuyin ’s arrogance, but seeing him take a step back after witnessing Duke Zhao ’s expression revealing anger was slightly on par. Even Xue Yu felt that Wei Wuyin realized his arrogance wouldn ’t serve him much here, so it would be best to take a soft approach.
However, Xue Yifei and the old man saw differently. Xue Yifei ’s hazel eyes revealed a strange ripple as she observed Wei Wuyin, floating alongside the old man. ”He ’s sending him transmitted messages… ” Xue Yifei slowly said as her beautiful brows furrowed inwards. It seemed that these series of transmitted messages were ceaselessly infuriating and provoking Duke Zhao somehow.
The old man could barely feel the spiritual force, but he couldn ’t tell if it came from Wei Wuyin or not. It was elusive and concealed. In fact, if it wasn ’t for Xue Yifei ’s comment, he might ’ve assumed it was just faint elemental fluctuations. This type of disguising means was intricate.
Wei Wuyin was still speaking, saying some amicable and well-meaning words of greeting, typical perfunctory exchanges, but each word within the eyes of the crowd seemed to enrage Duke Zhao. This confused them, but they attributed it to this mysterious alchemist ’s previous arrogant words and speaking from high above.
”Shall we have a drink and sit down? ” Wei Wuyin ’s voice echoed, but Duke Zhao ’s temple had the thickest vein and his teeth were clenched fiercely. When he looked at Wei Wuyin, his eyes revealed murderous killing intent.
”I don ’t care who you are! I will not stand for such disgrace! Men, get ready to kill! ” Duke Zhao sharply raised his hand, and the trained response of his subordinates were their flaring auras as they took to the skies and primed their qi weapons. Before long, tens of thousands of mounts rose to the skies!
Wei Wuyin softly smiled beneath his mask, but he asked with a tinge of disbelief in his voice: ”What do you think you ’re doing Duke Zhao? This is madness! ” His tone held some timidness and weakness within, and this could easily be deduced as fear and uncertainty to the audience behind him.
His acting skills were on point as many believed his words. The Shadow-Blight Hawk even backed a little, ready to depart. However, before that could happen, Duke Zhao roared and clenched his fist. He used the unique ability of Sky Pressure that Sky Rulers could utilize and caused the world ’s mana to weaponize into layers and layers of solidified blockades. They enclosed the Shadow-Blight Hawk and enclosed, seeking to crush them.
Chen Xiaowei moved her smooth, delicate fingers, and waves of astral force battered the enclosing pressure, preventing them from being crushed into a bloody and crushed mess. Her eyes were solemn as she screeched angrily at Duke Zhao, ”You ’re trying to kill us?! What have we done to you? ”
However, while the crowd sought an answer, Duke Zhao directly ignored Chen Xiaowei ’s words and ordered his men with a glacial tone, ”KILL! ”
”And there you go, ” Wei Wuyin nodded in his heart. Without hesitation, he waved his hand quietly and the sky pressure was dissipated in moments. Chen Xiaowei took this opportunity to fly away, her reaction surprisingly quick as if she expected the pressure to be removed. The Shadow-Blight Hawk was swift, seemingly faster than it had ever been before, blazing a path away.
The audience could only watch in confusion, shock, interest, and horror as tens of thousands of mounts shot after Chen Xiaowei with weapons of war and murderous intent. While none of these cultivators were at the Astral Core Realm, they were in unique thousand-men Spiritual Qi Formations and Mobile Astral Arrays. With these in hand, they chased without fear.
Furthermore, Duke Zhao hadn ’t let them chase alone. He shot a bursting light in the sky, and a star-grade eagle wreathed in fierce violet-colored winds arrived. With a flash, he sat atop it, and his eyes were fierce. With a powerful flap, it shot out like a hurricane of violet wind. In moments, it led the chase.
They traveled for two hundred kilometers before the Shadow-Blight Hawk seemed to have exhausted all its strength
Wei Wuyin turned to face the pursuing forces, ”I think that ’s enough. ”
Chen Xiaowei ’s panicked expression became abnormally calm. She looked behind her and a wisp of pity in her eyes. She didn ’t know what Wei Wuyin had done, but Duke Zhao had flown into a blind rage and sought to end their lives. Regardless, this would not end well for him. Considering her belief in Wei Wuyin ’s objective, Duke Zhao was likely going to be a stepping stone.
The chase was quite intriguing as numerous individuals decided to follow behind them, wanting to see the final outcome. They remained as the ’audience ’ and Princess Xue Yifei and Xue Yu remained a member of this group. They were following closely, but they didn ’t interfere.
Xue Yifei asked, ”Do you think he ’s doing this on purpose? Is it a play for us? Is Duke Zhao in on this? If so, why? ” She had numerous questions, but she felt unsure of anything at the moment. Nothing made any sense. She regarded herself as intelligent, but she couldn ’t see the path ahead.
The old man stared at Wei Wuyin through the various aerial mounts. ”I…donot know. ” His words were spoken with a trace of confusion as well. What was Wei Wuyin trying to accomplish by antagonizing Duke Zhao? Did he want to find an appropriate reason to kill Duke Zhao? But that didn ’t seem needed. With his reputation, status, or wealth, he could hire assassins or directly influence the Bloodforge King to remove him from his position.
As for Duke Zhao being in on this act, it was possible, but if so, why?
Wei Wuyin shouted with an explosive vigor, ”Duke Zhao! I ’ve done nothing to you, why are you trying to kill me?! ” His words contained grievance and it resonated in the hearts of countless. While he was a little arrogant, it didn ’t warrant being hunted down in the crowd ’s opinion.
Duke Zhao seemed insane, his droopy eyes pulsated with blazing rage as if he was a bear poked in his sensitive area. ”My Xue Country will ensure your death! YOU WILL NOT ESCAPE!! ”
Wei Wuyin swiftly replied with shock, his figure visibly taken aback, ”Your Xue Country wants my demise?! You ’re under orders from the Bloodforge King to kill me?! ” When those words were spoken, they seemed to not have been registered by Duke Zhao, but his silence gave everyone a feeling as if this was him agreeing with his statement.
The Bloodforge King ordered Wei Wuyin ’s demise?!
Duke Zhao no longer held back, seemingly losing all his patience in a moment. He shot off his eagle and blazed a path towards Wei Wuyin. He flew at outstanding speeds, arriving directly before Wei Wuyin in a blink.
Chen Xiaowei was appalled! The speed of a Second Stage Astral Core Realm cultivator was nearly five times hers! She was terrified as Duke Zhao blinked in front of her, his fist clenched and vigorous astral force was exerted.
He punched forth!
「Astral Art: Grand Fist」
A fist image composed of astral force was conjured, and it had the size of a small mountain as it crashed heavily upon Chen Xiaowei, Wei Wuyin, and the Shadow-Blight Hawk! The amount of power in this fist image could shatter an entire mountain chain!
A few members of the audience gasped in horror! Duke Zhao truly intended to eradicate this mysterious alchemist! The doubt in everyone ’s eyes was certain of this!
Chen Xiaowei felt her body engulfed by overwhelming sky pressure, and she could only defend against the incoming attack, but her astral force was slow from the sky pressure! She was thoroughly suppressed and an astral ward would not be enough! Her heart sank instinctively, forgetting about Wei Wuyin ’s existence as she faced what was likely her death.
The absolute difference between phases. She experienced it today.
A silver light flashed in front of the fist.
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