As the veil of darkness lifted, a poignant air swept through the lands. A grand, infamously notorious character, an Evil Godking, had fallen to his ambitions on this day. Seemingly centuries of preparation was reduced to a splash of bodily fluids and fragmented bones.
Wei Wuyin ’s heart felt heavy and mournful. He was neither happy nor sad about this failure, but the unrelenting will to push forward had affected him nevertheless. If there was a Human Dao, then Phantom Rogue ’s Dao had withered today into ash, scattered and soon forgotten.
He sighed a sigh that seemed to weigh ten tons.
While he felt the aftereffects of the Phantom Rogue ’s death, others felt ecstatic and jubilant at the ending darkness. The sun ’s rays had never felt so good before ro them as they joyously celebrated with hugs and tears.
Many of them weren ’t even aware of his death, simply the ongoing event of a cataclysmic battle that shook their world with every clash. Not only had those explosions ceased, but so did the ever-descending night that grew darker and darker. With its abrupt end, and the calmness of the battle, they were assuming off their hope that all had ended. They had survived!
Sheng Xinmei felt a wave of exhausted relief enter her heart. If a legitimate Evil Cultivator had ascended beyond the Qi Condensation Realm, there was no telling of the horrors that would descend in their wake as they tried to pursue greater heights. If they required ten thousand lives to reach the Astral Core Realm, perhaps each step further might take a hundred thousand or millions of lives! It was inconceivable how terrifying the numbers tally to in the end.
In the end, if they become strong to the point of attaining invincibility within the continent, then all lives would become mere nutrients for their cultivation with no one capable of stopping them. This was the issue with cultivating unorthodox Evil Methods or allowing Evil Cultivators to develop, their perpetual need for living resources was endless and always growing.
When they started this road, this path of cultivation, leaving for other pastures was nearly, if not totally, impossible. Their Spirit, Body, Mind, and Essence would require living sources.
This was why only Evil Arts that were usually one-time or fragmented portions of Evil Methods such as siphoning yin from women, yang from men, was the only commonly circulated art or spell. It prevented these aspects of cultivation from adapting, becoming reliant on those types of resources.
Wei Wuyin returned to the central area of the tribulation. He stood within the deep hundred meter crater and looked upwards. The bright sunlight bathed the entire area, removing all the remnant darkness. An indiscernible aura circulated within the air. It smelled like death and despair, but not quite.
”Cultivation is about moving forward, ” he quietly spoke. Whether it was to himself or for himself, not even he knew.
As a cultivator, he much rather be met with an untimely end valiantly fighting the Astral Tribulation. In his deepest depths of his heart, he respected Phantom Rogue.
Pa! Pa! Pa!
Sheng Xinmei arrived with heavy steps. Her eyes focused on Wei Wuyin ’s figure as he stood there, his head staring at the skies, back straight, and aura serene. The descending light cast a brilliant shadow. Within the depths of her heart, she trembled slightly.
”Did…did you know? ” Sheng Xinmei asked.
Wei Wuyin closed to his eyes as he basked in the glow of the sunlight. ”Know what? ” His voice was tinged with a melancholic reverberation. There were few who knew how it felt to have an early death looming over their heads; furthermore, this guillotine was not a matter of choice.
”Did you know he ’d fail? ” Sheng Xinmei had realized that the Phantom Rogue had lured them here, entrapped them in a formation, all to snatch Sheng Jiu ’s Spirit of Qi as a means for a last preparation. After all, most Godlords were insidiously difficult to leave their protective formations of their sects. Even if they left, they ’d act totally discrete to prevent an ambush.
Furthermore, they all had trump cards and life-saving means such as igniting their Spirit of Qi. To ensure he ’d obtained another Spirit of Qi, he had to draw a Godlord out from hiding. It seemed Sheng Jiu was merely unlucky. Even the Phantom Rogue was happy it was him, evident by his initial words.
As for invading a Godlord ’s headquarters or place of residence? Even Wei Wuyinddaredidn ’tenter the Jade Lotus Sect ’s protective formation, and he had lucked out from the Scarlet Solaris Sect ’s weakened state; otherwise, it was entirely possible his life would ’ve been left behind that day.
Even a Godking wouldn ’t risk entering a grand Qi Array and Spiritual Formation in the control of a Godlord carelessly.
Wei Wuyin lightly replied, ”If the Astral Core Realm was so easily reached, would there be less than ten in the entire continent? ” Amongst the innumerable people, billions of cultivators on the continent, less than ten Astral Core Realm expert ’s exist. This only alluded to the exceptional difficulty in overcoming the Astral Core Realm.
Due to the Ninth Stage of the Qi Condensation Realm ’s, Qi Essence Phase, requirements to be reached, most cultivators spent the majority of their cultivation path in the Eighth Stage, trying to gather as much Qi Essence they possibly can before ascending.
In truth, becoming a Godking and assailing the Astral Core Realm was unfathomably easy, merely a choice to integrate one ’s Qi Essence with their Spirit of Qi, then to call forth the tribulation as long as they have the qualifications to do so. This meant gathering a sufficient amount of Qi Essence.
Unfortunately, each mote of Qi Essence requires an unfathomable amount of resources. Even Wei Wuyin only developed a few dozen despite refining seventh-grade pills. These pills were designed for Astral Core Realm cultivators! Yet, it was still difficult to form.
For a continent without a steady supply of seventh-grade products, reaching that level was difficult beyond belief.
Sheng Xinmei ’s eyes quivered. Indeed, how could it be so easy? There had never been a single Evil Cultivator known that had ascended, and for those who have ascended, they ’ve all had world-shaking backgrounds and talent.
Evil Cultivators were generally lacking in talent, seeking to make up for this deficiency by taking others ’ hard work and cultivation.
”Hahaha, ” she chuckled a little. Her mind went silly. Then, she abruptly stilled. Those eyes of hers swept the crater, the sky, and the devastated scenery that extended for miles. Right. While Phantom Rogue had failed, her comrades were all dead. Sheng Xinmei, her clan ’s Godlord, had been ruthlessly killed.
A painful sorrow emerged in her mind as she experienced flashes of memories of everyone of her fellow comrades. Their smiles, jokes, the stories they told, dreams and aspirations they had. It ’s likely their Hearts of Qi was taken and refined by Phantom Rogue, used to resist the Astral Tribulation.
As for them? Even if they were alive with half a breath, with their Heart of Qi destroyed, they no longer had a future in the cultivation world. Their mind and body would never be complete. Some might even experience total mental and bodily failure in the next few days. It would be horrific to watch.
”They ’re all dead. ” Wei Wuyin lowered his head and started to walk away. Those Imperial Guards were targeted by Phantom Rogue, and none of them was as lucky as her.
Sheng Xinmei ’s mouth opened slightly. Her eyes were shining with realization that, out of everyone who came today, she was the only one alive. A sense of guilt, unfathomably deep and vicious, welled in her heart.
Wei Wuyin knew that this day wouldn ’t be just a tribulation for the Phantom Rogue, but this woman too. Perhaps, she wouldn ’t exit this crater today.
”It seems Dai Lin and the other nearby Common Growth Villagers are alive. It seems he only targeted those of a certain cultivation base, not caring about those fragile and too weak to offer any true benefit. Furthermore, most of them hadn ’t even formed their Heart of Qi yet… ” Wei Wuyin thought as he observed Dai Lin holding another woman tightly. She was smiling happily as they exited their shelter to observe the clear skies. To them, the apocalypse had just ended.
”Wait…wait! ” Heavy steps echoed behind Wei Wuyin. Sheng Xinmei caught up to him, her eyes seemed dim but not entirely empty. It wasn ’t hatred, anger, or sorrow that filled those eyes of hers. It was something else.
”Hm? ” Wei Wuyin was somewhat shocked by her.
Sheng Xinmei lowered her head and said softly, ”Can you…help me find their remains? Whatever remains they have… ”
She no longer had the visage of a dauntless woman with sharpness and force, but delicate and lost. He knew she didn ’t need him for this. After all, her spiritual sense was still present. But her call, her words, weren ’t for help to find her comrades, but to starve off this darkness birthing in her mind.
She didn ’t want to be alone.
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