The Grand Cyclic Stellar Region ’s undercurrents were surging, thriving, permeating throughout the seams of causality and leading to eventuality. The influence of the Heavenly Daos, the heavy decisions of a few, and the actions of a single man, a world-defying pill, and an earth-shattering belief had set the stage of an ensuing flood.
The tangible effects were already erupting into existence.
An azure-scaled, one-horned dragon nestled against a mountain, resting its eyes as a gorgeous woman sat on its snout, meditating in the lotus position. The ambient energies of the world were being pulled into her immediate surroundings from several miles. The flow into her body, absorbed through her meridians, refined by her Spirit of Cultivation, and merged into her own innate energies to strengthen them.
Xue Yifei cultivated peacefully, but the air around here seemed to embody the world as faint wisps of World Pressure were emitted. She, like Na Xinyi, had refined a high-quality Neo-Dawn Eclipse Pill. The resulting Worldly Domain allowed her to use her World Pressure to tame energies, causing her to absorb them with greater ease.
Just this feat alone accelerated her general cultivation efforts, be it with alchemical products or with ambient energies, by four times its normal pace. This was miraculous.
She slowly opened her eyes after absorbing enough energy. Her hazel-colored eyes accentuated by her navy-blue flecks revealed themselves to the world, emitting a vigorous spiritual light infused with a dragonic pressure.
Anu felt the surge of power, opening his eyes lazily as he snouted softly. ”How is it? ” He asked via spiritual transmission, clawing at the air to stretch. The ground trembled and a portion of the mountain was ripped off, collapsed and sent into a tumbling avalanche.
Xue Yifei regulated her breathing before responding. She said only one word: ”Incredible. ” It was filled with earnest admiration and joyous excitement, and a large chunk of pride. This was the product her man had created!
She had difficulty, like most, with cultivating the profundities of the next stage. She struggled with sensing and deducing the secrets of fixed space, spatial energies pertaining to it, and how to incorporate those energies into her Spirit of Cultivation. Even with all of Wei Wuyin ’s alchemical support, this only enhanced her speed, not negated it. All types of enlightenment products that gave one an opportunity or bettered one ’s affinity existed yet they still required the cultivator themselves to finalize the gains.
Even with all the support in the world, if you ’re inept at grasping opportunities, then nothing can help you.
However, her questions and confusions, those intricate details of how, why, and what was slowly pieced together with greater ease than any enlightenment pill she ’d ever consumed. The Domain Seed already contained all the answers to every single question, leading to the eventual forming of a Domain Seed itself. So how could it be difficult?
”Cultivation doesn ’t seem remotely as difficult as before. I feel like Wei Wuyin is guiding me, ” she gently touched the heart area of her chest. She felt the pulsing Domain Seed that orbited her Astral Soul, swimming within her heart.
Anu was intrigued. However, he didn ’t have a follow-up question, so he just laid there quietly. Since being brought here, he hasn ’t been able to do much except absorb the ambient energies of the world and rest. It wasn ’t that bad. It was far better than hiding like a rat fearful of being discovered and then trapped.
Moreover, he was given a ring as well. He was shocked at how effective these alchemical products were. Just in these last few months, he refined certain energies in greater quantities than before. Even his physical body was slowly growing larger, stronger with some of these products. It was nice, actually.
Xue Yifei ’s eyes stared at the sky of the Grand Horse Realm. Just as her thoughts were fixated on a single, indubitably unerasable figure within her heart with a visage of unearthly looks, her cheeks showing signs of blushing, a figure arrived before her.
It was the petite young woman, Ma Ru.
Xue Yifei had long since familiarized herself with Ma Ru, even taking a liking to her. This was especially so after her feelings of dislike towards those who kidnapped her was dispelled by Wei Wuyin. She knew they were here to protect her, not harm her. So her emotions became natural and her thoughts unbiased by circumstances.
She smiled at Ma Ru. Ma Ru was about to speak but was momentarily sent into shock by her appearance. With Xue Yifei ’s bright eyes and faint blushing cheeks, even she was briefly taken aback by her exquisite beauty.
”Miss Yifei, the Patriarch has sent me over to give you an account of your earnings. Including to be of service if you wish to directly purchase anything with it. ” Ma Ru calmly said as she organized her thoughts.
Confused, Xue Yifei asked: ”Earnings? ”
”Yes. As the Neo-Dawn Alchemic Sovereign ’s concubine, in his absence, you ’ll be given a set percentage of his total earnings for all sales, auction purchases, and event buy-ins established in his honor. Unless, of course, he has specifically ordered to revoke such rights. ” Ma Ru was orderly with her words. She spoke of the legal rules of the Aeternal Sky Starfield that had been set by the Imperial Clan.
Just like a mortal society, or any society, the rulers established certain rules to be followed or adopted to remove ambiguity and give rights to the individual or group. This was to better benefit the weak. Typically, this rule was put into effect upon one ’s untimely demise with outstanding items still on sale. The profits shouldn ’t be fully pocketed by any merchant association, giving some of the earnings to the family.
While Wei Wuyin has a fiancé, in an official capacity Na Xinyi wasn ’t truly connected to him, according to the laws established. So only a single person was allowed that right—Xue Yifei, the officially recognized Concubine.
Xue Yifei was startled as Ma Ru proceeded to explain to her the rules, including the auction. She was there for the Grand Demonstration, but not for the auction. She hadn ’t even been told the results of the Golden Auction yet. She guessed this was it now.
Anu was perked by this, smiling with deep interest. ”How much is it? ” When he learned that Wei Wuyin was an Alchemic Sovereign, he couldn ’t fathom how that fragile and weak youth could rise to such levels. He wasn ’t ignorant of Alchemic Sovereigns, after all, he lived throughout the entire King of Everlore era.
Ma Ru looked at Xue Yifei who had the same question in her eyes. Ma Ru brought out a receipt. It was relatively long. There were exact earnings based on each bid, each golden ticket bought for the Grand Demonstration, each minimum buy-in to the Golden Auction, including the more expensive ones sold after the Grand Demonstration by those who hadn ’t bought one prior.
However, she didn ’t read it all out. Instead, she looked at the bottom line. Her breath hastened and her heart raced. She hadn ’t looked at this before…
She gulped heavily, with a slightly hoarse voice: ”The total earnings, your 13.2% percentage of the total as a sole legally recognized family member, after deductions, is…three hundred and twenty-nine mystic stones, six hundred and eighty-three thousand astral stones. You…you can use this to buy whatever you need. ” Just speaking out the total, 329 mystic stones and 683,000 astral stones, was extremely difficult for her.
What type of outrageous wealth was this?!
”… ” Xue Yifei ’s was frozen.
The Elven Sanctuary, on the Woodland Moon, was an emerald-haired, white robed female with an exquisite figure that was currently within a garden suffused with pure wood energies.
Swirling around her were nine swords that emitted nine distinct types of wood energies. They danced through the air, bringing forth a picturesque scene as she moved along them according to a strange, fascinating rhythm.
A light bronze-colored elf with brown hair descended in the garden, gazing at the gorgeous display of flying swords. After a few minutes, she spoke out to grab the other ’s attention: ”Little Sister Qiumu. ”
Qing Qiumu spun, and with a flourish of her long, smooth fingers, the swords ’ flight ceased without any issue. She lowered her hands and the swords stabbed into the ground in front of her, being nourished by the wood energies of the garden.
”Ai Yin, ” Qing Qiumu still hadn ’t adjusted to calling Ai Yin using the big sister title yet. She corrected herself with an apologetic smile, ”Big Sis Yin. ”
Ai Yin was unbothered by such trivialities. She looked at Qing Qiumu with a smile, ”I thought you would be more disappointed that Wei Wuyin hadn ’t left you anything. ”
Qing Qiumu ’s smile froze briefly, but she regained motion quickly enough. She went to touch the hilt of one of her swords, saying calmly: ”I ’m not a part of his faction or his…lover, so why would I be disappointed? I ’m not entitled to anything. ”
Ai Yin looked at Qing Qiumu with a faint smile. While visiting Qing Qiumu to try to get a grasp on Wei Wuyin ’s location and details, Ma Zheng arrived before them and gave her a spatial ring that contained resources for her and the entire lineage of elves that originated from the Four Extreme Continent.
She was given a wave of explosive relief after realizing the Holy Son was alive and thriving, keeping her in his thoughts. After all, she had given her untouched body for nearly a thousand years to him in hopes of obtaining his holy bloodline. While that objective had become irrelevant with these newfound circumstances, when she learned that elves were still a suppressed race, and that it was even worse here, she felt afraid.
It was only natural to seek out your lover after, a pillar for the sky that carried hope, and that was Wei Wuyin.
However, when Qing Qiumu had seen the spatial ring given to her by Ma Zheng, alongside a spiritual message, Ai Yin could see the heavy disappointment within her eyes.
Ai Yin teasingly smiled after thinking up to here, ”Not entitled? Not even to a spiritual message? ”
Qing Qiumu ’s body trembled. She didn ’t respond, but the images of all those receiving messages that made them excited, thoughtful, or outright crying and emotional had left an impact on her heart.
’Is our friendship not worth a single message? ’ She clenched her right fist tightly. Even if Wei Wuyin owed her not a single qi stone, he should ’ve still left her a message to tell her that he was okay, right? The feeling caused her heart to ache.
”Well, it seems he thinks you are entitled to something. ” Ai Yin ’s words snapped Qing Qiumu out of her thoughts. When the latter looked at the former, she saw her holding out a spatial ring with a carefully-made etching that read: ”Kindred Spirit—Freed & Flourishing ”
When Qing Qiumu saw this, she immediately knew who it referred to. While it wasn ’t outright written, she had been saved by Wei Wuyin twice. She realized it was a play on words, a nod to their relationship and her thoughts towards her.
Her heart grew unfathomably warm. Before Qing Qiumu could even take hold of bearings, she found herself directly before Ai Yin. Her feet had brought her here instinctually, acting on her greatest desire.
She couldn ’t help but ask curiously, ”Why now? ”
Ai Yin ’s smile became gentle, ”The message I received from him was about you. To ensure that you remain safe until his name resounds. Only then, was I to give this to you. After the Grand Demonstration held by the Golden Life Pavilion, I think his name has spread far enough. ” She was shocked that Wei Wuyin was an Alchemic Sovereign, but she knew nothing of the King of Everlore ’s legend.
Furthermore, her born and raised bias regarding alchemists due to the Four Extreme Continent couldn ’t be abolished so easily. Still, she understood the significance of such a title. Just off the products he left for the elven race, she knew how valuable they were, and how precious Wei Wuyin was. Even better than a Holy Son!
Qing Qiumu was confused. She reached for the ring, resulting in a spiritual light infusion that she wanted even in her dreams. When she heard that familiar voice, her emerald eyes brightened to the utmost limits.
And then…she understood.
The Traceless Regret Valley was a secret realm with reinforced spatial bindings that heinously vicious criminals, despicable defectors, disgusting traitors, and idiotic rule-breakers were held.
It was a sealed prison with no hope for escape. It lacked any form of solar light emissions. It was a location without the slightest light, darker than night before the absence of the solar star. It was colder than a frozen tundra, but it was freezing, just sufficient enough to have one titter upon the line of being frozen to death and still barely surviving. Unfathomably uncomfortable.
The secret realm had a droning sound that was endless, sporadic, and prone to random bursts of mind-exploding noise that could be felt throughout the entire body, like worms swimming through the ears into the body. This noise was like the sound of a banshee ’s horrific screech. It was difficult to obtain the slightest bit of sleep here.
That was just the ambient environmental conditions. That was merely the beginning.
There were numerous cells within this secret realm of darkness, horrifying chill, and chaotic noise. Within one of these cells was a woman, completely naked, her body revealed to the world if it wasn ’t incredibly dark. She was shackled to a spinning wheel, crucified to it.
As it spun, lines of slim and abrasive rope would intermittently whip towards her once delicate skin. It was thin so only small lines of blood were formed, yet it reached deep and touched even the nerves. These whips were launched twenty times a minute, randomly and without any warning. They could come from the front or behind.
After 24 hours, an infusion of life energies would pour into her body, healing her completely. Then, the process would continue.
Sleep deprived. Constant pain. Unable to tell the time that has passed except when healed. Torture. Absolute torture. This was merely the beginning, because when the cycle reset, so did the punishment change.
Whips, drowning, being burnt to the utmost limits of the body, stabbed by blades, being eaten from the outside by poisonous insects…
Lin Xianxei ’s eyes were dim as she underwent this without stopping. She now realized why most criminals that suffered this and survived came out…different. Most reformed, others suicidal.
If she had to guess what it felt like, this would be it.
Step. Step. Step.
She only heard steps, unable to see. Her cultivation had been sealed, her innate energies drained, and even her foundation was slowly being siphoned away by this abuse. Yet those steps were familiar for the last few days. It was her caretaker, her overseer who fed her and ensured she remained alive.
Furthermore, to remind her why she was here and tell her how long she had left. After all, if they wanted to deal with all problems, places like this wouldn ’t exist in any society. All criminals would ’ve just been killed and forgotten. They wanted her to feel regret, to suffer for her actions, but still be of use.
”Lin Xianxei; you have twelve years and three hundred and fifty-one days left. ” The female caretaker proceeded to move forward as if she could see, and fed Lin Xianxei a pill. With a gluttonous fervor, Lin Xianxei ate the pill.
It was a pill to sustain her cultivator body ’s natural needs. If one refused to take it, they would eventually die from the lack of innate energies to fuel their bodily functions. Unlike mortals, cultivators needed far more energy to survive. Usually this would be dealt with by slight effort to cultivate, but not here.
And she refused to die here.
The caretaker was about to leave, her steps moving away, but Lin Xianxei called out: ”W-wait! ”
The footsteps stopped.
Lin Xianxei felt relieved. She hastily asked: ”Can you tell me…can you tell me how Lin Ming ’s doing? Please. ”
Her plea didn ’t go on deaf ears. The female caretaker felt the raw emotion in her voice and it pricked a string in her own heart, desiring to see her own lover, the one she worshipped, and the one she served. As a newly assigned overseer, she wasn ’t that experienced and bendable to certain rules.
She answered: ”I don ’t know much, but the False Chosen…I mean, ” realizing she might ’ve been insensitive using the derogatory title given to Lin Ming by the majority, she changed her address and continued, ”the Archaic Chosen is doing well. I heard he defeated a few geniuses that challenged him. ”
Lin Xianxei felt a sigh of relief. Lin Ming was still her best opportunity to change her clan ’s situation. He couldn ’t fall.
”…Thank you. ”
”… ” The caretaker was silent for a moment. Then, she asked her own question: ”Do you have any idea where Wei Wuyin might be? ”
”…? ” Lin Xianxei was sent into confusion. Why was the caretaker asking that question? Was she sent to interrogate her? But that didn ’t seem right. The Earthly Saints should ’ve verified that she was telling the truth earlier.
”…Never mind.. ” The caretaker walked away, leaving a series of fleeting steps behind.
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