Wei Wuyin swiftly left the Capital City and made haste towards the eastern border on foot. His sprint was accompanied by the crackling of lightning and whistling of wind.
「Elemental Qi Art: Wind-Lightning Soaring Steps」
After some consideration, he decided to leave Su Mei and Bai Lin in the Royal Capital to investigate. If this abrupt disappearing event of random cultivators and Wu Country civilians had anything to do with the Black Skeleton, it was best if they remained safe.
After all, his end goal was to demand answers; to seek a path of survival for himself—no matter the cost. He had to. This lit a tiny flame of hope within his heart. This tiny flame flickered brilliantly and contained his hopes and dreams of the future.
”According to Han Bo ’s agents, the disappearing event was being suppressed by the Imperial Guard as they investigated this quietly so as to not spark mass panic. If that ’s true, they ’ll likely have a clearer idea of what was happening. ” Wei Wuyin ’s thought process was simple: If the Imperial Guard was unable to find a single clue, then it was likely the Black Skeleton.
However, if evidence alluded to another culprit, then it was not her, it, or whatever the Black Skeleton was. Furthermore, perhaps his Inheritor of Sin tattoo on his right arm would react due to close proximity. He wasn ’t sure of the specifics, but since the Black Skeleton said it had activated his Bloodline of Sin before his time, it should have some profound connection to the First Sinner.
It might actually be the First Sinner. While it sounded ridiculous to think, he had no idea what to believe or accept regarding this mysterious force that fell into his fate.
Like a bolt of lightning, Wei Wuyin traversed a considerable distance. He stayed away from populated areas in his route to avoid causing a disturbance. After all, he was like a loose bullet as he blazed the world. His trail contained traces of lightning and wind scars.
With each step, a crater would form and propel him further. He had never gone this fast or far on foot before, and it was invigorating as he used his Divine Spirit of Elemental Qi and Draconic Spirit of Blood to its maximum. The sheer amount of physical strength he was outputting could cause the collapse of small hills and distort environments.
”Woohoo! ” He couldn ’t help but exclaim with wild abandon! The wind brushed against his face, his body piercing the void with exceptional speed. It felt liberating and empowering. In a fight, a single saber could bring an abrupt end, but the feeling of exerting his cultivation base continuously brought him back to his early days.
Those days he struggled and fought using every ounce of his being. Since his Inheritor of Sin title was bestowed to him, the Heavenly Daos lucky chance had supported his rise to an existence that could one-shot a Godking in such a short period of time. To be fair, a large reason for his immense success was capitalizing on his chances to the maximum, such as using tens of thousands of years of pure, raw lifeforce to refine his True Dragon Bloodline, or birthing high-level Elemental Qi.
Despite that, he had no longer found a match during his journey. There was a time where his blood, sweat, and tears were drawn out while his life was on the line, and he had to fight to win. If he lost, his life would end there. Such days were a harsh struggle, but also an incredible delight.
When he was at the Fifth Stage of Qi Condensation with merely two Hearts of Qi, he had instantly claimed the life of a renowned Mortal God. Then, he reached the Godlord level and could dominate Godkings. And that was before his breakthroughs of Four Spirits of Qi/Blood with high-level elemental energies bolstering each, and they were all individually fantastic and exceptional.
This was his first time exerting his all. Each step took him across two miles in an instant. This speed was unfathomable. When he was running away from the Wall of Heaven, he barely reached one hundred meters with each step. Now, with each movement, he blazed through the world effortlessly.
On foot, he was far faster than Bai Lin. The only consequence was his usage of Spiritual Qi. But, with his four Spirits, he could recover his lost Spiritual Qi easily. He could keep this up for weeks without exhausting himself.
”Oh! ” Sweeping his spiritual sense around, he discovered that he had already passed the area of the disappearances. With a pivot of his foot, he returned from the way he came. In a few seconds, he halted and observed the surroundings.
”This is the border of the Wu Central Lands… ” the entire area of the Wu Central Lands were hundreds of thousands of kilometers, exceeding even the vast Sky Sword Domain. Its territory was also much richer in resources and lush in environment. The ambient essence, even in the borders, were about thirty percent denser and purer than in the other domains.
The border of which was often regulated by a patrol unit called the Entry Guardians. They ’re average strength was in the Fourth Stage of the Qi Condensation Realm. While Wei Wuyin ’s current cultivation was advancing by leaps and bounds, that didn ’t mean the universal law didn ’t apply to others: Cultivation is difficult.
Those at the Fourth Stage of the Qi Condensation Realm could become rulers of hundreds of miles of area, becoming Sect Leaders of third-tier forces, and receiving critical acclaim and respect from the majority of cultivators.
Even in the Five Great Sects, they were Core Elders. They were the pillars of the sect and handled the majority of the affairs. And the Entry Guardians were sent to ensure that large groups weren ’t entering the village or to investigate odd events, such as the disappearances.
When Wei Wuyin swept his spiritual sense earlier, he noticed nearly a dozen of them within this area, exhibiting vigilant and battle-ready states. Their seriousness and subconscious leakage of qi shadowed the area with a tense, heavy aura.
He also spotted several villages nearby. These were small locations that clans would often house themselves in, to cultivate themselves and produce a profit by agriculture of heaven and earth materials. They were the main force in producing products for cultivators or even food for consumption.
They were usually called Common Growth Villages. The Imperial Clan freely allowed them to use the fertile lands while taxing them. Furthermore, these Common Growth Villages rarely owned the land they were on officially, and they had to apply for permits for usage. The taxes were a little harsh, but if you ’re a growing cultivation clan without any foundation, this was the ideal start. Not only could you produce cultivation resources for your descendants and clan, you had a safe location to practice cultivation.
Those Entry Guardians were not just for looks.
Unfortunately, Wei Wuyin could sense the deathly quiet and shut-in villagers hiding within their huts and houses. Even the assurance of the Entry Guardians existence seemed unreliable in ensuring their peace of mind.
”They ’re terrified yet unable to leave. If they did, they ’d be unable to generate enough resources to pay taxes and would be forced out of the land. ” Wei Wuyin calmly inspected these villages and a frown formed on his face. This frown was not because the villagers, their choices were their own, but towards his inspection.
He couldn ’t find any evidence of demonic aura lingering in the air. If a demon was responsible, he didn ’t believe he wouldn ’t find some indicative factors.
Demons were humanoid, yet somewhat animalistic, creatures that were born in the Myriad Yore Continent. They were similar to the Elven Race, but unlike the Elven Race, demons had their own unique cultivation energy. This was Demonic Energy. It would give birth to Demonic Qi.
Unlike humans that can choose as they wish, a demon ’s cultivation path was determined by their bloodline. This also served as a limitation to their potential, but their unreasonably strong bodies and Qi that can influence the mental and physical state of others made them quite difficult to handle.
It was their varied appearances that seemed like creatures from hell, the way they made others queasy with their presence, and legends of their terror that instilled a prejudice of demons in the hearts of humans, unlike the Elven Race which were beautiful and secluded creatures.
”Demons have Demonic Hearts of Qi…so their every action and aura would exude demonic energies. This is like how an Alchemic Heart alchemist would exude pure alchemical energies with their every breath. ” Wei Wuyin pondered this. If these disappearances did occur, they were not the acts of demons.
Eliminating this possibility caused a flow of relief to surge into Wei Wuyin ’s heart. As for considering if demons concealed their auras and energies, acting under complete stealth, he didn ’t believe his spiritual sense that now could cover over a hundred kilometers would miss a demon, hidden or not, especially with his sense that can sharply penetrate concealments thinks to his Saber Intent. Even those hidden in the elements couldn ’t escape his senses.
That being said, he didn ’t stop frowning. ”I don ’t sense an abnormal gathering of unconscious or entrapped individuals in this range…was this truly the work of the Black Skeleton? ” If these people were trapped or dead, there would be a hint of evidence in that too.
There was no death energy formed from the continuous and rapid extermination of lifeforce or buried corpses in his sensory range. His thoughts started to circulate as he tried to think of alternatives.
If all else failed to make sense, then it could only be the Black Skeleton!
For an hour, he ruminated on various possibilities and eliminated each with various spells. ”There are only four possibilities: One, the Black Skeleton took these people and was currently taking their Karmic Luck to bestow to another abrupt Inheritor of Sin. Two, they entered a separate spatial dimension like the Myriad War Dao Palace. Third, a fourth cultivator whisked them away without a trace. Fourth, an Evil Cultivator… ”
His eyes narrowed at the last possibilities. Evil Cultivators could conceal themselves rather well, and his unfamiliarity with Cultivation Methods of Evil Cultivators could be why he couldn ’t discern their existence. They were capable of all sorts of eccentric and abnormal means.
The third choice was also a possibility he couldn ’t ignore. If he wanted, he could snatch a few people abruptly and without leaving any evidence. This would require him to essentially seal their aura to prevent a trail from forming.
While Wei Wuyin was busy trying to figure out ways to further eliminate these possibilities, a group of individuals from the Imperial Clan, the Imperial Guard, had entered the area in great numbers. They exceeded a hundred cultivators, all of which were at or beyond the Fifth Stage of Qi Condensation.
They were the most elite unit of cultivators that the Imperial Clan had nurtured and rarely were they sent out. Since they were, the Imperial Clan was obviously taking this matter very seriously as it was happening within their borders, albeit at the edge.
They arrived with an imposing air, causing quite a few Entry Guardians to arrive to greet them. They were all outfitted in white armor with the Wu Clan ’s symbol etched on their chest plates, protecting their hearts.
At the lead was a young man whose green eyes flared with battle-tested light. His sharp chin and tiger-like eyes gave him a ferociously terrifying aura that could cause grown-men ’s knees to grow weak with a glare.
His cultivation was the highest amongst the group. His aura felt sublime with spiritual qualities, a byproduct of the Eighth Phase of Qi Condensation—A Mortal Godlord!
When they arrived, they similarly scanned the surroundings and immediately noticed a lone man standing there quietly. His aura was reserved and he seemed lost in his own world.
”I said no one was allowed entry! ” An armored woman shouted from the right of the man. But the Entry Guardians were puzzled. When their spiritual sense descended on Wei Wuyin, their expressions became ugly and fearful. Someone had actually bypassed their blockade? This was a severe degree of negligence on their part.
The armored woman grunted, stepping forward and arriving a few hundred meters away from Wei Wuyin in a flash.
”You there! Identify yourself! ” A booming wave of air erupted, blasting towards Wei Wuyin who held two fingers on his lips in thought.
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