Paragon of Sin

Chapter 304: G.S.T Nine Meadows Astral Swords

”… ”

The terrifying shriek was accompanied by cold silence as the eyes of nearly everyone present widened slightly in shock. At the edge of the platform, clinging to a crystal wall, Jiang Yuwei ’s figure was barely upright. He had one hand clenched around his chest, specifically his heart area, and one hand gripping the wall. There were lines of blood on the wall that originated from his fingers. It was an unsettling sight.

Haggard breathing filled with traces of pain filled the air soon after, with grunts of disbelief and confusion mixed within. Jiang Yuwei ’s large brown eyes were nearly bulging out of his eye socket as he looked at Qing Qiumu with a fierce glare. From the outside, besides his breathing being heavy and his fingers scratching the wall with blood, he seemed perfectly fine.

In fact, he seemed as if he wasn ’t injured in the slightest. Surrounding his body was a thick and substantial astral ward that seemed to possess the intensity and vastness of earth, seemingly impregnable. The crowd ’s confusion hadn ’t lessened. 

What happened?

Wei Wuyin ’s silver eyes were shining with a resplendent and exceptional light. 

”She ’s ruthless enough, decisive enough. ” Su Mei commented with a faint and rare smile. Even Zuhei had a wide grin on his face, looking at Qing Qiumu with incredible interest and a hint of respect.

In the cultivation world, battles between experts were rarely long and drawn out. Oftentimes they ended after one gained an advantage, pressed it, and claimed victory. This had to do with a variety of factors, but mostly was peak battle state and energy reserves. The usage of arts and spells were extremely consuming. The energies required for anything outside of essential cultivation phase advantages were heavily taxing on one ’s reserves. 

In fact, many cultivators could only unleash two or three arts with their full strength. Afterwards, their four essential energies would have to be consumed to recover their reserves and cultivation strength. These four energies were physical, mental, spiritual, and essence. But essence energies normally could only be absorbed efficiently through cultivation, requiring serenity and time. These were things the battlefield and its warriors were deprived of the most.

As for spiritual energies, they were the combination of physical, mental, and essence to begin with. This process layered an extra complicated step in the recovery process. To restore Metaphysical Qi or Astral Force one must use their innate physical and mental energies while simultaneously intermixing and absorbing essence from the world to create spiritual energies. Then, use another portion of mental, physical, and essence energies with a balance of spiritual energies to create Qi or Astral Force.

Even if they urged their energies to replenish their strength, they would suffer extreme physical exhaustion, mental exhaustion, and their Natal or Astral Souls would be heavily drained as a result. It could even lead to damage in one ’s innate foundation.

Therefore, most battles were completed in an extremely limited time window. No one wished to die because they either didn ’t use their full strength or they ran out of power.

Of course not every individual was subjected to this limitation, and there were methods to work around this. The most notable, yet extremely rare solution was permanence. By allowing your Astral Force to exist permanently in the world, self-sustaining itself off the world ’s power, they could attack and defend without worry about exhaustion via recycling. Unless every fraction of their astral force were obliterated by their opponent, they would find it extremely easy to win through attrition, always in their peak state.

Another solution was similarly rare: possess a stronger innate foundation and reserves of energies. This was where Qing Qiumu and Jiang Yuwei ’s innate talents became extremely important, and why their talents were well-regarded. The Innate Meridians of Grand Earth can contain Grand Earth Essence, which can be used to rapidly replenish their essence energies. As for his Grand Earth Physique, this was merely a way of saying he could replenish his physical energies through essence energies, specifically Grand Earth Essence.

With that, he merely had to exhaust his mental energies to replenish his strength, severely reducing his fatigue and recovery time. There was another solution, and that was expanding the size of one ’s Astral Core. This was the method that happened either with alchemical products or cultivation base reinforcement.

Qing Qiumu understood these principles. Her advantage of usually outlasting her opponent might not be effective against Jiang Yuwei, who had similar talents, nor would she be stupid enough to try it in this type of battle format. Therefore, she resorted to a surprise attack to ensure a swift and decisive victory. Even in the face of injuries.

She used her sleeve to wipe the blood from nose, smearing it a little. It gave her an astonishing image of a valiant and war-like fairy standing gorgeously on the battlefield.

”Y-YOU!! ” Jiang Yuwei wanted to move, but he couldn ’t. His breathing became heavier and his chest tightened. 

Qing Qiumu didn ’t attack again. She merely stared at Jiang Yuwei, keeping her Astral Force consumption at the lowest. Instead, she used her index finger to point at Jiang Yuwei. At the tip of her gorgeous hand was a well-trimmed pair of nails that sparked with emerald wisps of light. 

”Argh! ” Jiang Yuwei howled in agony. He was nearly brought to his knees. He tried to circulate his astral force within his body to rid himself of the pain, but he found it extremely useless. He didn ’t know what art she applied to his body, but it was extremely pervasive and unyielding. 

”Wh-what did you do to me?! ” He wanted to erupt with his immense power, crushing Qing Qiumu beneath his fists, but he found himself incapable of even moving effectively at the moment. He felt crippled. 

”… ” Qing Qiumu didn ’t answer. It was an idiot ’s move to brag about their art or its functions. Luckily, for those who were more aware of the situation, they didn ’t need her to answer.

For example, Wei Wuyin.

”Seed of Serenity. How vicious, haha. ” Wei Wuyin clicked his tongue. As someone who cultivated in the nine elements, with the Life Meadow Wood Essence as the source of his wood-attributed strength, how could he not know of this art? The Seed of Serenity was a Meadow-type Wood Art that was like an infectious parasite. It takes the body ’s lifeforce as fuel, and when planted, it can seep into one ’s heart and endlessly grow.

It ’ll continue to grow until it converts all the lifeforce within the body into wood force. In the end, the body ’s flesh and blood would become fertilizer and water for the seed, and the entire body would slowly and surely be turned into a forest. It was very vicious, almost evil.

Furthermore, when it grew to full maturity, the user of this art could absorb the generated wood essence to replenish their strength. It was extremely, extremely vicious. 

If you had no prior knowledge of the art or understanding of lifeforce extraction methods, you would be helpless against it. No matter how talented you are, if you didn ’t know what you were up against and how to fight it, you were simply a helpless chicken with its neck stretched out at the ready for the blade.

Jiang Yuwei was the perfect example of this.

While the cultivators here were talented, they weren ’t all-knowing or all-capable. They were still young. 

Of course, every art had its flaws. The Seed of Serenity was too slow. While it might be extremely painful, might weaken your opponent, it simply took too long to achieve its goal. Furthermore, you had to come into direct contact with the enemy ’s body to implant the seed. This made it exceptionally disadvantageous to all users.

Su Mei couldn ’t help but say a few words of praise, ”To implant the seed into him, she had to strike before his astral ward was fully conjured. Otherwise, breaking through his Grand Earth Astral Ward and other defenses would be impossible for a Wood Cultivator like her unless she possessed absolute strength. If she hesitated for even a split second, or was unable to understand her own weakness, she would ’ve surely been at a disadvantage.

”Moreover, she capitalized on a brief moment of carelessness from Jiang Yuwei perfectly, throwing him off-guard before striking at the earliest moment. She has potential. ”

Wei Wuyin nodded in agreement. Wood cultivators didn ’t have the strongest offensive or defensive abilities amongst the nine elements, but Earth cultivators were renowned for their defensive strength. Amongst the nine elements, it was in the top three. Its malleable nature also strengthened its versatile defensive powers. 

If Qing Qiumu hadn ’t struck when she did, a fierce battle would ’ve likely started and that was a toss-up on a myriad of other factors. After all, they had the same cultivation level. A decisive heart was hard to forge, but once forged, an indomitable warrior could be born. Qing Qiumu clearly revealed her decisive heart today.

Now that Jiang Yuwei was in a passive position, defending against all tactics with his ward conjured, Qing Qiumu wouldn ’t be able to deal damage to him with an explosive attack. Hence why she waited. An Astral Ward, unless possessing permanence, consumed one ’s astral force. Since Jiang Yuwei was circulating his ward with his full strength to defend against any further attack, he was wasting even more of his astral force than usual.

Before long, five minutes passed. Jiang Yuwei ’s complexion became much worse, heavy sweat dripping from his forehead, armpit, and back. He tried to use every means to cease the pain emanating from his body to no avail. He didn ’t know where the issue was nor did he know how to solve it. Unfortunately, he was unable to listen to Su Mei ’s words while isolated within the battle platform.

Jiang Yuwei eyed Qing Qiumu who seemed to be patiently waiting, knowing that she intended to exhaust him. He felt great humiliation from this, and more than once did he want to ferociously pounce. But whenever he tried to divert astral force for an assault, Qing Qiumu ’s emerald wisps circulating around her finger sped up and the pain worsened to nearly unbearable levels. She was clearly controlling whatever was in his body.

His rage boiled his blood in an unfathomably blazing heat. 

”I… ” His words were spat with an extreme hate and fierce grievance, ”I surrender! ” When those humiliating words were uttered, the platform ’s walls dissipated and a faint white light gently brought him away. When the light entered his body, as if it knew his particular aliment, it seeped into his heart and dispersed the Seed of Serenity.

The Myriad Monarch Sect would obviously be dutiful in ensuring the safety of the participants, including their own disciples, with the utmost fairness before the world if one surrendered. The white light had healing properties and was managed by an expert at the Prime Imperial Sage-level, possessing the strength of a Fifth Stage Astral Core Realm cultivation.

To rid Jiang Yuwei ’s body of a Sky Ruler ’s Seed of Serenity was child ’s play.

Qing Qiumu breathed out a sigh of relief, revealing a dazzling smile of victory. Lowering her finger, she looked at the sky and noticed that Jiang Yuwei ’s information had been removed and only hers remained.

Qing Qiumu.

Myriad Monarch Participant.

Sky Ruler Cultivation.

Spirit Points: 307.

# of Continuous Victories: 1.

She had gained 100 points and a victory. But the trial or battles wasn ’t over yet. Her eyes hadn ’t lost their original shine as she waited for her next challenge with a steady heart. 

She knew the next fight wouldn ’t be as easy, so she was ready to unleash her everything.

A figure flickered from the outside onto the arena. When the person was revealed and in complete focus, it was revealed to be a young woman—a human. She was dressed in similar attire to Jiang Yuwei. Her information was revealed:

Li Xiao.

Elemental Heaven Participant.

Sky Ruler Cultivation.

Spirit Points: 83.

# of Continuous Victories: 0.

Another Elemental Heaven Pavilion disciple! Interestingly enough, her aura was very similar to Qing Qiumu!

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