A little over a year had passed since that fateful day, a day that had been marked into Wen Mingna ’s heart like an engraving in astral stone. The day that she had met Wei Wuyin once again, not as the Myriad Yore Continent ’s youthful neophyte of the Tri-Vision Starfield, but the well-established, feared, worshipped, and revered Prince of Everlore.
Before that year, she had quietly and diligently struggled to make a path for herself, one where she wouldn ’t be considered as a measly woman of fleeting beauty, but a cultivator with the potential to one day stand at the pinnacle. Her upbringing from royalty had not spoiled her eyes to the difficulties of the world. No, in fact, it had broadened her perspective as she maintained a clear and open mind.
It was so clear that when she arrived all those years ago, her first action was to disfigure herself. She had lost her prided beauty and was considered a pitiful female by many, and with her low profile, humble demeanor, and self-created rumors, she maintained a streak of quiet and peace.
Everyday she diligently worked in ways that a Princess like her never had to, but she didn ’t disregard or look down on any of it. That was because it was her efforts, and every ounce of sweat she poured into her work was always her greatest pride. Regardless if it was cleaning septic tanks of beasts or fetching extravagant food orders for entitled elites.
Her hustle never stopped.
Despite that, she understood that the reward for her efforts weren ’t the greatest nor easiest, and didn ’t lead to the path of the peak, but she was patient, diligent, and hardworking. While it might not be very rewarding now, it would serve as a foundation as she continued cultivation until she could erect a pillar that belonged solely to her in the cultivation world. This pillar would have her name etched on top and have the potential to reach that elusive peak.
Others would soon have to look up to it.
Her hopeful and optimistic attitude alongside her willingness to do degrading things to acquire peace, such as horrifically disfiguring herself, suppressing her innate female charms, and keeping her opinions to herself, had allowed her to see this future path.
But it was all overthrown due to a single meeting. All the years she worked hadn ’t amounted to a single breath of this man, and he swooped in, without any ill-intentions she would normally expect, and gave her an entirely new path.
Now, he was no longer simply that Prince of Everlore, and the Myriad Monarch Sect was no longer the weakest hegemonic force within the starfield. The Ascendant Emperor of Neo-Dawn they called him. This name widely circulated like an infectious virus, carving out an innate legacy that belonged solely to him.
What did it mean to be a Prince? It meant living in someone ’s shadow until he could rise to their new position, their already treaded path. She knew this far better than most. His comparison to the King of Everlore was clear, but he could no longer be regarded the same in her eyes or the eyes of the masses.
When she watched him avidly on the Grand Spirit Trials observer screens, she realized he could no longer simply be compared with that of a Prince of something or someone. He was not like the King of Everlore. In the eyes of the masses, he lacked an Alchemic Soul, he lacked neutrality, and he lacked a non-combat identity. In fact, when he toppled three Star Beasts that could be considered pinnacle-level Soul Idols in a short time in a domineeringly dominating fashion, they all knew.
His one centimeter Astral Soul, his terrifying physical body that exceeded many gifted beastmen geniuses, and his otherworldly demeanor spoke volumes about the differences between the two. He wasn ’t fragile, he wasn ’t mysteriously fleeting or isolated, and he wasn ’t simply a nurturer that could define an era.
HE WAS AN ERA!
For some reason, an odd sense of pride and relief emerged in her heart as Wei Wuyin won unchallenged.
As for her? Her own year wasn ’t as flamboyant or era-defying, but she had forged her path. After meeting Wei Wuyin that day, he had offered to bring her into the folds of his budding faction, the Ascendants. At the time, she was skeptical. Unlike the others within the sect, he was one of the few who knew her true appearance, of her real beauty. She had assumed that his invitation was made with ill-intent and nefarious desires.
It was only after he unhesitantly swore a Spirit Oath that he wouldn ’t force her to do anything, be it sexual or anything else, unless she asked specifically him to. This brought her a wave of excited relief and a sliver of disappointment. She knew at the time that the Sky Palace of his was located beyond the clouds, where astral essence was present and abundant.
She didn ’t know why he wanted her specifically, but she was happy to accept such generous conditions without risk. Regardless if it was simply because he felt a sense of similar origins, it brought her an opportunity no man or woman could possibly reject.
When she made her way through the Sky Layer, her heart suffered waves of shock, surprise, and surrealism. Witnessing a large, grandiose palace floating on a bed of clouds was an extremely mystical sight. Her horizons on what was possible in the cultivation world had broadened considerably at that moment.
While there were some events that happened later, such as the freaky incident of Wei Wuyin ’s voice echoing throughout the entire world or the destruction of his Sky Palace, she was still okay. The former merely shook her slightly while when the latter happened, she wasn ’t even present. She was even relocated prior to the emergence of that beautiful manifestation in the sky, shocking the entire planet.
It was said to be the byproduct of an eighth-grade pill concocted by the planet ’s vital energies, but she didn ’t believe that for some reason. Still, Wei Wuyin was incredibly timely with relocating or isolating her if mysterious or dangerous events were about to occur.
So, during this year, she had merely cultivated diligently while basking in all the miraculous and incredible events that surrounded Wei Wuyin. She hadn ’t interacted with him much after her settling in, but she wasn ’t the needy sort that sought attention. She was given alchemic resources, an extremely well-designed environment, and status. That was more than enough.
As a member of Wei Wuyin ’s faction, even leaving to see more of the sect or planet wouldn ’t bring any issues. In fact, numerous individuals, those she had once looked up to and regarded as beyond her limits for at least a few decades to centuries had become extremely well-mannered and kind to her. They would offer support in any activity she did, trying their damndest to establish friendly connections.
Just the emblem of the fledgling organization had enough presence that the Knights of Enforcement would actively avoid her with gentle smiles. She wielded an ungodly amount of power without effort, merely because she was a part of Wei Wuyin ’s organization. She faintly felt that the Myriad Monarch Sect was his. It was terrifying when she thought about it.
It had been merely a few years since he had arrived. Not only was he a household name, not only had he demonstrated extreme talent, but he had also snatched incredible influence and power into his grasp. The level of intelligence and means needed for such a feat were…indescribable.
When the event of Qing Qiumu ’s scheduled execution was settled, the Ji Clan, a clan that had existed for centuries, had simply vanished from this world after a single sentence of his. It was unheard of for anyone to wield such power. It was…extremely alluring and attractive.
But even after all this time, Wei Wuyin had merely accepted her into his faction, busying himself with other matters. While a year was an extremely short period of time for cultivators, it still made her feel strange. While her cultivation jumped by leaps and bounds, her status had undergone a change, she no longer allowed her face to remain disfigured, hiding behind a mask.
She had regained her original beauty befitting a Princess. Her full, soft like water, oval-shaped pink lips had regained their supple form, capable of alluring the eyes of many men. Her brown-hair no longer was fashioned in a blonde-layered crop with highlights, but had become slightly exceeding shoulder-length, wavy like a waterfall, and well-cut bangs. Her skin was no longer artificially dampened, recovering its impeccable clarity and smooth jade-like complexion.
While her innate noble air had been chiseled away, she still had a heavenly-feeling about her that added to her already beautiful facial features.
One day, for an inexplicable reason, she decided to visit Wei Wuyin. He had a newly rebuilt Sky Palace, and it was said he was making preparations for the clash of an era-defining generation with the Princess of Everlore. It was already being marketed as the Ascendant Emperor of Neo-Dawn Vs the Successor of the King of Everlore, the Princess of Everlore.
Few were talking about if this would decide who was truly the successor any longer, because it was impossible for Wei Wuyin, who many believed lacked an Alchemic Soul, to ever truly obtain that title. But Qingye Ying, the Princess of Everlore, had taken an Everlore Ascension Pill and ascended to the Astral Core Realm with an Alchemic Astral Soul. It was the exact path of the King of Everlore, and even the pill made it seem as if she was the rightful successor. The only possible successor.
It was now a clash between the most talented alchemists in this generation, in this entire world ’s history if the King of Everlore was excluded. But even at their age, the King of Everlore did not have such status, such influence, or such power.
When she arrived at the Sky Palace via Bo Kay, an Earthly General-class Elder, who had been relegated to a shuttle service in some ways, she tried to announce herself. But Su Mei wasn ’t present and Wei Wuyin was seemingly preoccupied. She didn ’t know what to do after showing up unannounced, but when she tried to enter the palace as a last-ditch effort, she was allowed entry.
She realized that the emblem she carried allowed her to freely enter despite the protective formations and arrays present. She quickly felt strange. There was no way any member could simply waltz in like this. Was she special?
This thought spiraled her fantasies. While Wei Wuyin had sworn to not forcefully take advantage of her, she couldn ’t help but have her thoughts wander. How would it feel to become the wife of the Ascendant Emperor of Neo-Dawn? Even if she was a concubine, wouldn ’t this still be exceptional?
Furthermore, he had no clear flaws. His looks were so extraordinary that even she still felt uncertain if he was real. He lacked that feminine charm that some beautiful men had, and was purely handsome. It felt surreal, like how you would expect the perfectly sculpted man by the gods to be. Whether it was talent, wealth, strength, demeanor, or influence, he lacked none of it.
What made it even sweeter was his identity as an Alchemist. Unlike the normal standard of riding on the dragon ’s lap to rise, this particular dragon could transform you into one and both of you could soar amongst the clouds freely and together for thousands of years. The more she thought about it, the redder her cheeks became.
She soon found herself unknowingly before a room that was emitting a dense alchemical smell and effused light from its normally-insulated corners. She was startled that a light could be so strong that it was actually breaching such powerful restrictions.
’What is that? ’ She slowly reached out, about to touch the door, when…
The door opened!
A pleasant voice filled with excited surprise resounded from within accompanied by an exquisite smell and radiant light. ”Wen Mingna! You ’re finally here. Come in. ”
She hadn ’t known it at the time, but when she unconsciously entered that room with a smell and light so attractive that every cell in her body screamed at her to step inside, her life was on a path that would change it forever.
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