The Aeternal Sky Starfield was indisputably massive in terms of overall size, covering tens of trillions of miles in distance from the central Solar Star to the edge of its existence. Within this vast space were tens of thousands of planets with various sizes littered about, mostly small-sized that had a surface diameter of three million miles. Of course, this type of planet by the Everlore Starfield ’s standards was outrageously large.
But here, it was merely small-sized. Some of the planets were colossal astronomical bodies, rivaling smaller-sized Solar Stars, having a surface diameter of tens of millions, some even exceeding a hundred million miles all around. Furthermore, these planets had lunar satellites, with some being even larger than actual planets.
However, these lunar satellites lacked planetary cores of a suitable size enough to sustain life. Their crusted layers were so thick that heat and other qualities that these cores within them would generate was unable to reach the surface. Instead, they gravitated to the strong gravitational forces emitted by planets, circling them naturally.
Sailing through the Dark Void were two Voidships. They had been traveling for weeks, navigating through the vast distance while traveling to a certain location. They had long since left the Everlore Domain, approaching a neighboring territory called the Nine Worlds Domain.
On the smaller of the two Voidships was Lin Ming, Lin Xianxei, and the recently awakened Bai Yuxi. Bai Yuxi had just woken up from her previously chaotic state that nearly led to cultivation deviation. While her soul was still damaged, she had somewhat stabilized with the support of various alchemical products. Still, her expression was abnormally pale, as if bloodless.
She no longer concealed her true appearance after learning it was removed, freely exposing her immaculate beauty to the world. From time to time, she gave the sitting Lin Ming brief glances. The young man was currently cultivating while seated nearby, his False Worldly Domain manifested ten meters around himself as he held both hands near each other, palm facing the other, and between that space was a floating glob of spatial force.
Lin Ming had sweat dripping from his forehead as the glob of spatial force started to tremble. His hands started to tremble alongside the glob of spatial force, and after a brief moment, a strange pop sound resounded and the glob of spatial force burst into nothing like a bubble.
”Haaaaa! ” Lin Ming heavily exhaled as he leaned forward. The exhaustion between his brow was quite evident, but those grey eyes of his revealed another level of frustration and vexation. While he wanted to complain out loud to the world, he only settled for keeping it in his mind.
Lin Xianxei walked over at this time giving Bai Yuxi an inspecting look before turning to Lin Ming. ”Spatial force isn ’t an easy power to grasp. You ’re still at the Spatial Resonance Phase, so it ’s fine that you haven ’t been able to do so. ”
Her words were meant to console, but they only elicited a heavy sigh from Lin Ming. ”I ’ve formed a Domain Seed, and can manifest a Worldly Domain, why can ’t I control spatial force? Even False Realmlords can… ” He tried to hold in his complaints, but he couldn ’t help but ask begrudgingly. What was the problem exactly?
Lin Xianxei lightly frowned, ”It ’s the method you used to gain it. While exquisite and phenomenal in essence, it introduced external forces into your cultivation that isn ’t yours. You have to refine those forces, either push them out or make them yours, before gaining control; otherwise, you ’ll always have this flaw. ”
”… ” Lin Ming didn ’t quite understand what that meant, but he nodded regardless. He could only lower his head in thought to ruminate over what other course of actions he could take to solve this issue. If he could control spatial force prior to reaching the Realm World Phase, he would be utterly invincible to all those beneath that phase, and even those at the Realmlord level wouldn ’t be much of a threat.
Lin Xianxei ’s expression lightened up, ”Still, the benefits of a Domain Seed and your False Worldly Domain is unimaginable. Even in the Aeternal Sky Starfield, Realmlords are considered genuine experts. Your current state can push you to the borders of a legitimate Chosen. ”
”… ” Lin Ming lifted his eyes and nodded, the light in his eyes uplifted a little. To be officially classified as a Chosen of one of the sixteen forces, a cultivator below the Seventh Stage of the Astral Core Realm, the Realm World Phase, must be able to fight three stages above their cultivation or a Realmlord, if at the Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Stage.
As for those at the Realmlord level, they have to be able to fight Starlords without being defeated. There was a huge difference between fighting and claiming victory, and most cultivators would be utterly devastated by the differences in stages.
The Chosen Trials had been deliberately scheduled during the Season of Regression for a reason, and cultivators would still have to fight their final competitors that were likely to be their equal or greater. While outdated, the testing ground was solid as to measurement for Chosen.
One of the issues that Lin Xianxei had brought up with legitimizing his status as Chosen, getting those elders to recognize his right, was to display the means to truly be considered a Chosen. This was why his False Worldly Domain was a heaven-blessed gift, and even with an outdated trial, there would be very few that could contest his right.
But a monkey wrench was thrown in the moving gears of this fantastical dream and it had a name: Wei Wuyin. Not only had he comprehended Element Heart Intent, qualifying as a Chosen, he obtained the Elementus Cache, and likely received the same right to fight for the Chosen title as him.
While Lin Xianxei had said that the sect can have multiple Chosen, it was only limited to one per faction. Currently, their faction was absent of an officially recognized Chosen, but had two candidates lined up. The competition was set, and he should be on his way to challenge them, earn his rightful place, yet…
Since the other two factions had Chosen, this left him with the inevitability of facing Wei Wuyin. While he didn ’t fear him, he feared that self-damaging method that amplified his strength. This thought caused his brows to furrow deeper.
As if reading his mind, Lin Xianxei comforted: ”After we find Wei Wuyin, we ’ll bring him back to the sect. If he does challenge you, he won ’t be able to use any external methods or alchemical stimulants. It ’ll be a fair fight. ” She had utter confidence in Lin Ming, especially now that he forged a Domain Seed. Just the False Worldly Domain he possessed would be sufficient to sweep across all challengers.
Those words served to reignite Lin Ming ’s confidence. If it wasn ’t for those external methods, he felt that fighting an alchemist was a simple issue. After all, he didn ’t just cultivate strength but technique.
Bai Yuxi coughed lightly, ”Where are we going to find him? ” She had just awoken, and clearly her Senior Sister was a little mad at her for her actions of keeping secrets, but she could only shamelessly ignore that.
Lin Xianxei gave Bai Yuxi a sidelong glance, and her gaze inevitably softened as she looked at the pale complexion of this junior of hers. Those clear eyes of hers that were clearly in the spring of love, even willing to damage her soul, was quite pitiable. She softly sighed in her heart, unable to remain mad, ”The one place with information about anything: the Golden Gate Pavilion. ”
”What?! ” Bai Yuxi was jolted upright by those last three words. The Golden Gate Pavilion?
Just as she was surprised by Lin Xianxei ’s words, the Voidship came to an abrupt and forceful stop. The three of them shook, with Bai Yuxi lunging forward and nearly falling by the sudden cease of forward momentum. In her damaged state, she couldn ’t react fast enough. Fortunately for her, Lin Xianxei had kept focus on her, her body swift as she grabbed her and twisted her body slightly to offset the force.
The Voidship ’s integrity seemed to be compromised by an external force; there were continuous creaks emitting from it.
”What ’s happening?! ” Lin Ming exclaimed, hastily rising and withdrawing his Origin Spear. With weapon at the ready, his grey eyes fixated ahead, seeing nothing yet sensing a strange fluctuation rippling outwards. It was this fluctuation that forced their movement to stop.
Lin Xianxei ’s eyes carried a solemn glint as she regarded the empty space. She calmly shouted out in a spiritual outburst: ”I am Lin Xianxei, Saintess of the True Element Sect. ” As she did, she slowly let Bai Yuxi stand on her own and clasped her hands, performing a slight bow.
An ancient voice quaked throughout the Voidship, ”I know. ” It was almost indistinguishable in terms of gender, carrying endless wisdom and age within it. Lin Ming felt his skin develop goosebumps just from hearing it.
Lin Xianxei was unsurprised and unaffected on the surface, the absolute picture of calm, yet her heart was slightly racing. ”I ’ve come to seek out information; I ’m willing to purchase this information. ”
”I know, ” the voice spoke again.
At this moment, Venerable Spiritwalker ’s representative Voidship arrived, laying anchor within the Dark Void more than a thousand miles away. On its bow, Exalted Yu ’s incantation formed. He slowly rubbed his chin and gave a faint smile.
”…Am I unwelcomed? ” Lin Xianxei furrowed her brows slightly. She knew they had just touched the Nine Worlds Domain ’s border, and the force that stopped her was an exquisite mystic formation that protected it. However, she hadn ’t expected to be stopped or for it to be used. The Nine Worlds Domain was almost freely open, with people entering and exiting as they wished. It wasn ’t a closed off Domain, so being stopped had caught her off-guard.
”… ” There was no response from the voice.
”I ask for an audience with the Fated Prince of the Fourth Gate! ” She could only say this, strongly amplifying her spiritual strength as she did.
”Hm?! ” What she received in reply was a slightly angered, slightly ill-mannered response from the ancient voice that rippled out, and her flowing blood churned violently on the spot. Her breathing grew haste and her vision became blurry.
Lin Ming ’s eyes whitened, seemingly losing himself for a moment before the mark on his glabella activated, dispelling the effects of the voice. As she regained his pupils and irises, his hand, back, and forehead were drenched in cold sweat. For a moment, he felt as if his life was taken away!
Bai Yuxi, however, remained strangely untouched.
”… ” Lin Xianxei was slightly angry in her heart, but she kept her emotions concealed as she indifferently stared directly into the Dark Void.
The ancient voice resounded once again, ”You seek out his Fateful Highness, yet when he sought you out, what was your reply? ” This time, the voice was calm but the question was clearly rhetorical.
”… ” Lin Xianxei remained silent, and Lin Ming couldn ’t help but be curious about why such a strong existence seemed resentful. But when he heard that voice, he had a feeling that the Fated Prince of the Fourth Gate is an admirer of Lin Xianxei, possibly even rejected before. This voice could belong to his senior.
There was a long silence, nearly ten minutes, yet Lin Xianxei remained unflinchingly indifferent the entire time. She waited, seemingly expecting a result.
”…Foolish girl, ” The voice remarked. There was an inkling of helplessness, respect, and pity within its voice. ”By the grace of the Fated Prince of the Fourth Gate, I shall answer what you seek, yet the price will not be small. Do you accept it? ”
Lin Xianxei thought for a moment. She glanced at Lin Ming, Bai Yuxi, and the distant Voidship in that order, and returned her gaze back to the Dark Void. ”What is the price? ” She had to find Wei Wuyin, and along with it, the Elementus Cache. It contained the solution to all her current problems, such as Lin Ming ’s debt, Bai Yuxi ’s damaged soul, and the resources that should be used to help legitimize Lin Ming ’s status as Chosen and fight for his future.
”… ” The voice didn ’t resound again, yet Lin Xianxei ’s expression changed minutely. The light within her eyes dimmed for a brief moment, only regaining its radiance after she calmly took a quick breath. After a short moment, she replied: ”I accept. ”
This caused both Lin Ming and Bai Yuxi to grow confused. Accept what?
”The Golden Life Pavilion. ”
The force that halted the Voidship no longer influenced them, freeing it.
As if realizing something, her eyes brightened. With a faint smile, she gave another respectful bow and took control of the Voidship. With a swift movement, she made a U-turn.
However, as she did, the voice echoed out again, this time with a hint of amused mocking. ”You will not find the man you ’re looking for; he is not present in the Grand Cyclic Stellar Region. And that old man of wealth and business, he is as clueless as you. ”
Lin Xianxei breath halted, and for a moment, it seemed as if time had stopped. Her expression violently paled, and her burning rage flared. She spun around on the spot, her eyebrows knitted together tightly, and her expression reflecting her incredible anger.
”YOU BASTARD! ” With a low growl, she pointed at the Dark Void. Yet the voice merely replied with a snort, causing her body to tremble.
”Have some respect, child! You may be a Saintess, but you are not MY Saintess. Your status is nothing here, your power: minuscule! Your influence? Do you even have any, Girl That Rejects All? Is this not why you place such importance on this sniveling child that relies on the sacrifices of others? ” The mocking was so blatant that it could be touched upon.
Lin Ming heard every word, and even his anger flared. While he didn ’t understand what those words carried in terms of significance, the ashened expression of his Senior Sister, and her trembling body was enough to ignite his own rage. With his Origin Spear, he moved in front of Lin Xianxei and pointed its tip at the Dark Void, seemingly ready to face the vast and endless expanse of darkness and anything that came from it.
”Don ’t you dare speak to her like that! ” Despite knowing his might was incomparable to this figure, knowing even that his Senior Sister Lin was stronger than himself, he was a man in his heart; so, he had to stand before her.
”The False Chosen speaks for the foolish woman, yet fails to see the truth of his purpose. Your courage and pride is as admirable as an ant ’s struggle in the sea, irrelevant. Your existence? Even more so.
”Or maybe you believe your valiant display, your vividly righteous emotions, your heartfelt actions will lead to her bearing herself before you, riding on your pathetic manhood to your satisfaction? Your ego then sated, conquering the unreachable and mysterious Senior Sister in your heart. You care not to be a tool as long as that goal is reached, no? ”
Bai Yuxi, Lin Ming, and Lin Xianxei all had drastic changes in expressions for very different reasons.
Bai Yuxi clenched her fist, wanting to speak.
But the ancient voice intervened the moment a single syllable left her lips, ”The girl who sacrificed an innocent life, her bright future, and a portion of her very soul for the admiration of a man who knew nothing of it. The silent love; Idyllically simple in her thoughts, hopeful for a change in her unstoppable fate. You will still pay that price child, don ’t have fanciful ideas. You have no right to speak here, so stay silent. ”
”… ” All those words she wished to say were choked into her throat, unable to come forth no matter how hard she tried. Lin Xianxei clenched her teeth, yet she couldn ’t say anything. She didn ’t dare to erupt with her true emotions at this moment.
The voice seemed to have had enough, a faint sigh echoing out. The resentment and pent-up emotions that the voice seemed to have was dispelled at this moment, replaced by a gentle and concerned tone: ”You should not want to find this man. Heed my words. He is everything you seek, foolish girl. All your dreams turned into reality, aspirations fulfilled, and even your future will be abundantly rich in happiness as long as you ’re with him; there is nothing you can ’t achieve. But… ”
Those words and the sudden, unexpected shift in tone shook Lin Xianxei, but those words quaked her core. Even Lin Ming was startled. Was this voice talking about Wei Wuyin?
The ancient voice continued, ”But the man before you will suffer from his astonishing brilliance. And if you side with the False Chosen, your dreams will be like ash in your mouth, your aspirations will shatter in the most destructive way, and your future will be led down a bleak and uncertain path. ”
Lin Ming clenched his hands around his spear, causing his knuckles to turn white. ”You speak utter bullshit! I don ’t care who you are or how powerful you might be, but no one can determine my future or the future of those I care about! Dreams like ash? Aspirations shatter? False Chosen?! I ’ll prove you wrong, and have you eat your fucking words!!! ”
Lin Xianxei and Bai Yuxi were taken aback, moved by Lin Ming ’s unwavering confidence and belief in himself. While the words of the voice caused them to waver, feel all sorts of emotions, Lin Ming remained defiant.
”…I hope so. ” After a very long silence, the voice only said those three words.
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