The eerie, ghastly laughter was like a peal of thunder, it robbed one of one ’s breath and stilled the heart. This combined with the skies darkening in an instant was a horrific and terrifying experience. This was especially so for the frail and weak civilians within the Common Growth Villages.
The children were bawling their eyes out, while grown men soiled their pants, and women clutched their knees, children, husband, or source of solace within their lives.
Wei Wuyin ’s eyes lifted as he observed the skies that had darkened a considerable degree. What was originally daytime had nearly been reduced to night. The sunlight seemed to be trying to enter the world but was blocked with merely a little making it way through. From what he could see, it extended for at least a dozen kilometers.
”A Spiritual Qi Array? ” Wei Wuyin frowned as he regarded the skies. He had seen an Astral Array within the Yuhei Clan ’s shelter. It was their last resort and had an unfathomable level of power. This array was etched in the skies and was nearly impossible to sense unless one ’s cultivation exceeded the Qi Condensation Realm.
A Spiritual Qi Array was similar, in that it was insidiously hidden within the skies, but its power was at the very peak of the Qi Condensation Realm, not the Astral Core Realm. It was something only a Godking could hope to construct.
He felt the darkness energies start to gather towards the skies, causing the amount of light that could penetrate to gradually decrease. If this continued, the area which this array covered would descend into a state of utter darkness. Furthermore, this would also mean that Darkness Energy within the array would be at its all-time high.
”What ’s happening?! ” The armored woman exclaimed in shock. Her eyes were filled with uncertainty as her heart turned cold. ”A Spiritual Qi Array? ” Those words left her lip like a quivering child, uncertain and afraid. Her fear couldn ’t gather for too long as activity pulled her focus.
A chaotic sound erupted from not-too-far away. An aura spiked to an incredible degree. The armored woman called out, ”Captain Sheng?! ” This aura was familiar to her as it belonged to her Captain, Sheng Jiu. He was the young-looking, green-eyed Godlord who confronted Wei Wuyin earlier.
She didn ’t hesitate as a sense of duty swell within her heart. With a violent and forceful kick, she darted towards the action without fear. Her qi was flaring, erupting in gentle blue light that was brightening her surroundings.
Wei Wuyin lifted his palm towards his face and felt that the energies emitted by the array was suppressing his spiritual sense. While it did little to him now, with each passing second, not only did the darkness continue to set in, but the suppression of his spiritual sense strengthened.
”Darkness Qi… ” he quietly said as he thought about the events. It seemed this was a ploy by an Evil Cultivator. With a click of his tongue, he felt a little irritated to have been caught up in this issue. As he turned his gaze towards the village and felt the shivering aura of Dai Lin, his irritation only grew to become bitterness.
With a soft sigh, he started to contemplate his next decision. Right now, his goal was to enjoy life, not be embroiled in these schemes and plots. Earlier, he had been unintentionally drawn into the assassination attempt of a prince. He foiled this plan, killing the Godking behind it.
This wasn ’t his intention, but life pushes it onto him. Now, he was drawn into a plot to slaughter the Imperial Guard. How ridiculous. He will leave and simply let their fate be theirs. As for Dai Lin, this woman who had taken his young heart and his first time, he had long since severed relations with her.
Her fate was her own.
Just as he was about to find a path out of this array, a shadowy three-dimensional hand formulated above him. It was clenched into a fist and had the size of a house. He lifted his head to see this fist smashed towards him with immense force.
”This has to be a joke? ” He laughed bitterly to himself as his body emanated crackling lightning and whistling wind.
The fist smashed into the ground. Spider web like cracks appeared for tens of meters with a massive indentation where the fist impacted. After this strike, the fist dissipated like dust into the wind, as if its mission was accomplished.
”Evernight Qi? ” A few dozen meters away, Wei Wuyin witnessed the energy composition of the shadow fist. Evernight Essence was a Darkness Essence. It wasn ’t particularly high-level, but it had a suppressive effect on spiritual energies and was imperceptible in utter darkness.
If this array prevented sunlight from penetrating through, and spiritual sense was suppressed, every strike of Evernight Qi would be invisible, soundless, intentless, and swift. It would be impossible to defend against and the cultivator would have the absolute advantage as they could hide and be anywhere.
”Arrrrgggghhhh! ” A scream of death resounded. It was pitiful and pathetic. Wei Wuyin turned with squinted eyes. It seemed he wasn ’t the only one hit with an attack. A mere hundred or so meters away was an Entry Guardian. At least, he thinks it was. At the moment, all had saw was shattered pieces of armor, gushing and splattered blood, bones, and organs.
The person had been smashed into bits by a shadow fist. It seemed he tried to resist, but failed to last long as merely a scream was all he could muster in the last moments of his life.
In the distance, Sheng Jiu was like a bright light-bulb in the darkness as green light flowed ceaselessly around his body. This was the basic color indicator of wind-type energies. It was acting as a pseudo-light source for the moment. Before him was a figure wrapped in a jet-black robe and hood. From the hands that were shriveled and the figure ’s body type, it could be deduced to be an elderly man.
His aura was difficult to discern, but considering that he didn ’t lose out to Sheng Jiu, he was definitely a Mortal Godlord or greater.
Sheng Jiu seemed to know who this man was as he faced off against him. ”Phantom Rogue! You filthy rat, to think you ’re behind this. You sure have quite the gull to act within our borders! ” Sheng Jiu spat out through clenched teeth. His eyes were blazing with rage and killing intent.
”Kekeke, ” the one called Phantom Rogue laughed in response. ”Little Jiu, it ’s been a while. It ’s good that it was you who followed my trail. ” Beneath the hood, a row of pearly white teeth revealed itself in a sinister grin. From his words, a history seemed to exist between the two.
「Galewind Qi Art: Storm ’s Descent」
Sheng Jiu coldly snorted. His aura continued to ascend as he gathered his Spiritual Wind Qi. He clenched his armored fist and threw it forth with tremendous force. A violent gale storm several hundred meters was conjured and pressed forward.
Phantom Rogue lifted his head a little, a series of eerie chuckles resounding. ”Why spend your cultivation to look young? You ’re only wasting your power. Tch, tch. ” As he lectured this, the black robe started to wildly flap about. From the sleeves and openings of the robe, rivers of darkness were summoned that circulated until it matched the incoming storm in size.
「Evernight Qi Art: Rivers of Darkness」
The two forces clashed violently, darkness and wind qi surging and devastating the surroundings.
”If it was a hundred years ago, perhaps you would be my match, but today…today, you ’re my prey! ” Phantom Rogue ’s voice echoed throughout the world as his aura started to rise. His spiritual qi seemed to embody the world, exuding a dominating world force within.
Wei Wuyin ’s eyes brightened as he observed this clash, ”Qi Essence? ” This was the aura of a Godking!
Sheng Jiu ’s eyes narrowed in shock as the clash that seemed to be even took a sharp turn. Before he could react, the darkness overwhelmed his attack and smashed against his body. He was sent flying like a rocket as the darkness trailed and attacked him without end.
”Well, he ’s dead. ” Wei Wuyin commented. However, Sheng Jiu seemed to wish to defy fate. He withdrew a small pellet the size of a marble. There was no aura or light emitted by the pellet, but all those here could feel its presence.
「Evernight Qi Art: Sphere of Night」
Phantom Rogue clenched his fists and pulled them to his body. The darkness attacking Sheng Jiu retreated and encompassed his body protectively. In the blink of an eye, he was shielded by his Evernight Qi empowered by his Spiritual Qi Array, the Evernight ’s Fall Array!
Sheng Jiu sneered, ”Die! ” He crushed the pellet within his palm. Then, the world seemed to quake. It was a quake that affected everything within a hundred miles. But what came next was truly earth-shaking! Within his palm, a dark-brown light surfaced that contained an immeasurable amount of earthen energies refined and focused. It was without an owner for a moment before Sheng Jiu ’s aura integrated into this energy and his aura seemed to spike to unfathomable heights.
This aura wasn ’t his, but from the combination of earthen energies and spiritual strength.
He chucked the light within his palm towards Phantom Rogue. A sound resembling a raging and endless stampede resounded. The earthen energies and spiritual strength shot outwards and transformed into a thousand dark-brown oxen that stomped viciously forward.
Each ox was at least ten meters in height and with a thousand of them in a uniformed group stomping forward was a majestic and frightening sight.
The oxen crashed into Phantom Rogue ’s darkness barrier and crushed it in the matter of moments. Before long, only specks of evernight qi remained, the remnants of Phantom Rogue ’s protection.
Wei Wuyin felt his heart tremble slightly. Pellets were one of the four products of the Dao of Alchemy. Unlike Elixirs, Pills, or Paste which was suited for internal usage, pellets were expendable concoctions of alchemists. The basis of the Dao of Alchemy was the refinement of essence, energy, and material into a unique product with effects beyond its individual component.
Pellets focused on energy. Alchemists refined energy into a pure state, sealing it within a pellet. While this energy can sometimes be given shape or form, other times it can just be chaotic and unfocused like an explosion. Pellets can be defensive, offensive, or even movement-oriented, and they were the only combat tools for the Dao of Alchemy.
The cultivator would crush the pellet and integrate their spiritual energies, strength, and aura into the energies and utilize it as they saw fit.
”The Thousand Oxen Earth-Crushing Pellet! A sixth-grade, peak-tier pellet that can even rival a full-powered strike of a Godking! ” He was truly shocked by Sheng Jiu ’s means. In fact, sensing the energy, he had already retreated some distance away.
”Unfortunately… ” a tinge of pity was in his voice. As if solidifying the truth of his pity, ”Kekekeke! You shouldn ’t just blow your load like that. ” The voice of Phantom Rogue resounded and from the dark sky, he descended unharmed.
Sheng Jiu ’s eyes shrunk to needlepoints. Without any hesitation, he shot off and attempted to flee. He had already been injured by Phantom Rogue ’s earlier attack, and against a Godking, he had zero confidence.
In truth, if this wasn ’t within Phantom Rogue ’s Evernight ’s Fall Array, perhaps he would ’ve been able to cause severe injury or even death to Phantom Rogue. Unfortunately, he could hide within the darkness and give him an empty target thanks to the dense ambient darkness energy.
”Sorry Little Jiu, but I need you. ” With a maniacal laugh, he exploded with a raging storm of darkness qi as he seemed to become darkness itself. He shot forward in pursuit.
Wei Wuyin softly sighed in his heart.
”Hey! You! ” A voice called out to him, drawing his attention. It was the female guard who was assigned to follow him. At the moment, she had removed her helmet to reveal her features. Beneath her armor, she was quite pretty.
Her short-brown hair and light-brown eyes were very harmonious with her jade complexion. This coupled with her sharp features, such as those eyes and chin revealed a valiant and courageous bearing, the makings of a heroine.
Wei Wuyin couldn ’t help but give her a second look. To his eyes, this was an attractive woman worthy of his notice. However, he didn ’t seek to ingratiate himself into her good graces or tried to establish a notable impression. Instead, he waited for her to speak.
The woman, Sheng Xinmei, walked towards him with her spiritual sense scanning the area wildly. It seemed she had been assaulted by that shadowy fist as her armor had cracks, and it seemed her helmet was shattered. A line of blood flowed down from her forehead to her left eye, which only heightened her valiant appearance.
She wiped off the blood and said, ”You ’re an expert, right? ” While her voice seemed fearless, Wei Wuyin could sense the taint of fear within.
”I can be considered as one, ” as he spoke, a loud explosion from a clash of powers erupted from the distance. A tornado formed and ravaged the world, but it was being assaulted by rivers of darkness that blended further in with the world that was being filled with darkness energies. A little bit longer and the Evernight Qi will be practically invisible.
Sheng Xinmei felt her heart throb with hope when Wei Wuyin casually emitted this. She asked with a tickle of ferocity within, ”Help us delay until the Royal Commander arrives! If you do- ”
A raging storm swept the world. They were bombarded by the shockwaves and Sheng Xinmei lost her footing, her legs weakly collapsed and she nearly kneeled. It seemed her injuries were intensive, and her current display lacked substance.
Wei Wuyin acted swift, grabbing her armored waist.
Sheng Xinmei was startled. But she couldn ’t speak as the shockwaves continued to occur, the sign of Sheng Jiu ’s all out effort to repel and survive. The smell of desperation lingered in the air. As for the Imperial Guards, that shadow fist was more than enough to crush any early-Mortal God and lower, so he had no support.
”I think you ’re a little too late. This cultivator needed something, and he obtained it. ” Wei Wuyin ’s expression changed as he saw with his extraordinary senses the Phantom Rogue drawing out a translucent figure from Sheng Jiu ’s stomach—his Spirit of Qi!
”What?! ” Sheng Xinmei felt panic set in.
Before her fear could cement itself, the dark sky went quiet. They and all living creatures in the area looked up at this exact moment in a synchronized fashion.
”How fearless! ” Wei Wuyin exclaimed.
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