The elderly man began to explain in detail, causing Wei Wuyin ’s heart to grow a little cold. The Seekers that scour the treasures of the four extreme lands on the Four Extremes Continent were almost all from the Central Region—The Holy Land of Elements.
Outside of these human forces in the central region, there were cities and forces that lived above or within the dangerous lands housed by humans and prevented the elven race from laying an independent claim to them. Those Seekers often visit these cities to restock their supplies or rest, so they are often filled with experts.
It was these forces that traded with the elves for captured Seekers, and while everyone was aware of this, there wasn ’t much that could be done. The cities were a necessity for Seekers, and humans thrived in them. The environment was horrible for cultivation and development, so using Energy Converters and Alchemic Proxies was an absolute need to promote their strength.
Furthermore, as long as they were Energy Converters, they had a chance at life after their cultivation base was exhausted, their bodies reached a breakpoint, and they would be free to live in these cities. It was far better than dying a horrific death without a future.
In the end, this was the brutality of the world. Wei Wuyin didn ’t bother with the question as to why the forces don ’t enslave elves for their purposes. He already knew the answer; avoidable conflict. The Holy Land of Elements, the Central Region of the Continent, was blessed and filled with resources outside of the Season of Regression while the outside environment was extremely harsh, far more disastrous than it was now.
Fighting a war against the elves for this was impractical and unsustainable. Likely an agreement had long since hashed out between them, allowing stable trades to be initiated and mutual benefits to be had. And during the Season of Regression, everyone was focused on claiming usually unattainable resources. So the distraction was unwanted.
Wei Wuyin wasn ’t unfamiliar with this principle, nor was he a saint that sought to free others and establish a fair and safe environment. The world of cultivation was inherently unfair. This was further supported by the existence of Blessed and the Heavenly Daos intentional influence to those who sinned, going against its arbitrary rules.
Slaves exist because of the weak.
The weak exist because others are strong.
These captives were weaker than their captors, they were weaker than their sellers, so they were forced to live the way others felt they should. This was why many refused to delve into the path of the Alchemic Soul, it took away the ability to fight for one ’s fate oneself, needing to rely on others.
”Do you have a way out? To escape? ” The bald man asked after all the explanations. The hope in his eyes were vividly animated as he stared fervently at Wei Wuyin. The other captives also started to move about, ruffling in their corners and seeking out the focus of the bald man ’s gaze.
The elderly man admonished, ”If he had a way to escape, he would ’ve long since done it! Clearly, if there ’s any way to escape, it ’ll be from outside help. ” He fended off the approaching captives who were starting to become quite riled with emotions, revealing his abundant level of physical strength.
But this killed a portion of their hope. What level of power must one be to invade an underground city? A supreme expert of the highest order must act, and if that happens, they ’ll likely only act swiftly to save a single person before leaving. After all, these underground cities weren ’t for show.
Their hopes started to dissipate like smoke on a windy day.
Wei Wuyin wryly smiled at this, ignoring these individuals, turning away and looking at the building Ai Juling entered. He furrowed his brows slightly as he observed the nearby guards who, despite their covering, he could see their expressions of ridicule and disdain. Clearly, they had heard all of this and were entirely unbothered by their movements or hope. In fact, he could hear faint laughter from inside the building as Ai Juling entertained a few military guests.
They were talking about him, and how hilarious they found it that his attitude was so arrogant and foolish. It seems he wasn ’t the first to act this way, and they even recalled various matters that happened before. There was even a time that an expert had tried to save a captive, only to be captured instead.
Wei Wuyin was just quietly watching, listening, and waiting as he observed the ceiling of the underground city. At the center of the dome, at its apex, there existed a sphere of light that replicated the characteristics of a solar star. It even released a unique light that dissipated the power of desolate in the breathable air.
This sphere of light soon dimmed, signifying the passing of time. The other captives had started to wait, their hope remaining strong that they might be able to escape and return to their wives and families. Wei Wuyin noted that there were only males here, realizing the females were held elsewhere. Considering the cruelty of the world, these female captives might have a harsher fate awaiting them.
’If I just brazenly escape, killing would be unavoidable. That was my original intention, but if I started to randomly slaughter my way out, then Ai Juling would definitely see me as a mortal enemy. If I stealthily leave, then that leaves an opportunity, but… ’ He thought, wanting to avoid the paths that would ruin his chances of courting Ai Juling.
From the beginning, these shackles were child ’s play. He had four Astral Souls, just their refinement of his fleshy body made him possess mountain-toppling strength. This didn ’t even factor his Draconic Void Soul or countless refinement of concocted products, causing his physical energies to reach unprecedented levels. He could crush these steel shackles like brittle glass.
He hadn ’t tested the absolute limits of his physical strength, but crushing an ordinary Soul Idol cultivator would be extremely easy, barely a breath of effort. This wasn ’t even considering the empowering physical-based astral force—Draconic Force—or his Martial Arts.
’Maybe I could fully reveal my existence as an Alchemist, be of service to the Grey Sands Elves or the Ai Clan directly, but that might not be very impressive in this culture or help breach the limit of racial difference and perception. ’ Something that might work with ease in his starfield might produce a different effect. From what he gathered, alchemists had a negative connotation within the minds of everyone.
They were mostly slaves or producers of products for the strong and connected, weak and fragile. With the Alchemic Proxy method of theirs, they could replicate similar successes to the Princess of Everlore, which explains why the society of cultivation had remained so abnormally strong despite the absence of the King of Everlore.
He didn ’t know if this was by design of the Divine King Han Xei or an inevitable outcome as long as an era-defining respectable figure like the King of Everlore or force like the Alchemist Association doesn ’t exist.
After all, the King of Everlore gave birth to Mystic Ascendants and held deep relationships with them. Who would dare belittle alchemists of the Alchemic Dao? Even in later generations, there was still respect that lingered from his presence.
It gave alchemists such a high-level status they had, the freedom to grow and remain unabused.
Wei Wuyin was flooded with too many considerations due to his desire to court Ai Juling. It was restricting himself, causing him to sigh. Even revealing his outstanding strength or talent would only make him be seen as a threat. Who knew how the seniors in charge of the city would react. A single itchy nerve and these elders might launch a full-blown assault to kill him.
But there was another issue: if he left the city after being sold off, returning in a stealthy fashion might have various meanings to Ai Juling.
He ruffled his head slightly, filled with frustration. But then he heard something.
”Just take her away, away, away! ” Those words originated from the normally childish Ori. It directly suggested he kidnap her, causing him to wryly smile at its aggressive thoughts.
Kratos added, ”Strength is the foundation of all relationships! If you have enough power, what obstacles are there?! What walls could hold you?! THE VOID IS OURS! ” It, without fail, started to spout some unnecessary nonsense at the end, but its intent was there.
Eden chimed in, ”Be it lack thereof or abundance, strength is core. ”
King, ”Tch! ” From his tone, it seemed he was trying to say: ”Too much thinking. ”
They all said their piece, causing Wei Wuyin to feel stunned by their words. His disbelieving expression slowly became neutral, then pondering. His rumination lasted for several minutes until his silver eyes flashed with a radiant glow.
They were right; he was thinking about this all wrong. He should be direct, his intentions clear, especially with the cultural differences. He didn ’t have the time, luxury, or setting to patiently wait or get to know Ai Juling in a deep and thorough manner with gentle tactics. She regarded him as a to-be-sold slave, as a naive human, and his reputation can ’t serve as an icebreaker.
He wasn ’t in the same situation as Da Shan, Nyla Shur, nor the other women he ’d courted in the past. An unfamiliar world, unfamiliar customs, and limited time.
He had to adapt.
”Alright! ” Wei Wuyin said, rising from his seated position. His actions alerted the captives as they were startled, their hope igniting like a forest blaze, threatening to burn all their blood.
”Yes! Yes! Yes! Hehe, ELFNAP! ” Ori excitedly shouted. Wei Wuyin could hear its cheerful laughter.
”Tch. ” King ’s words were short, but his intent was there. It said: ”I would ’ve done this in the first second. Why wait in a cage? ”
While Kratos and Eden remained silent, their spirits were thoroughly roused. They started to circulate their unique energies, easily bypassing the shackles restrictions. Their energies seeped into and deactivated them, causing them to slowly fall from Wei Wuyin ’s limbs as they unlocked. Their actions were enough to reveal their desire.
With the shackles gone, Wei Wuyin lifted his eyes to the spherical light above. ”There ’s a powerful expert watching. This should be… ”
”Fun! Fun! Fun! GOOOO! ” Ori excitement was palpable to a zenith degree!
Wei Wuyin chuckled, his aura slowly causing the air surrounding him to freeze as he started to prime his body.
The elderly man was startled by events, confusingly saying: ”What are yo- ”
The cage that encased him shattered into innumerable fragments, turning to dust!
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