Paragon of Sin

Chapter 779 - Calculated Blow

Ignited! 

For a very long period of time, the Ninestar Starfield had obtained its tenth Solar Star as the planet Blueglow caught fire, becoming a flaming dark-red ball of earth. It illuminated the Soul-Rising Domain of the Dark Void and was a sight that could be caught from millions of miles away. It was extremely fortunate that the myriad living beings on the planet were evacuated prior. 

It was extremely unfortunate for the beings caught within it, all of which belonged to the Tang Clan. 

The Tang Matriarch had returned to her Voidship with Highlord Scarletflame in tow, her breathing hectic and heavy. She hurriedly turned around and her eyes contracted as the heat became enough to distort her spiritual sense! 

”She ignited her blood essence and used Nirvanic Outburst! ” Highlord Scarletflame finally reacted, shouting as she cried out in horror as the flames illuminated her expression. She hurriedly ordered in a panic: ”Activate the Blood Heart Suppression Array! ” Just as she said this, her eyes became needlepoints as she realized the array to encapsulate the planet had yet to even be activated, but even more importantly: it was too late. 

A swell of intense rage entered her heart, and she roared with reluctance: ”This shouldn ’t have happened! It shouldn ’t! ” Her thoughts were a mess as her cultivation base was at an all-time low, her body beset by a cascading wave of weakness. Furthermore, helplessness enveloped her heart. 

The Tang Matriarch was silent. Her solemn eyes reflected the image of the blazing red planet that resembled a supermassive fireball. The entire planet was scorched—ruined for good. However, that was of little consequence. The issue was that the planet might be burnt to ash. If that happened, there would be no fixed points to establish the arrays. 

Despite this unexpected wrench into their plans, she took this time to calmly assess the situation and inspect the state of her Voidships. A few were quite up in the dark red flames, but they had their own defensive protections that made it extremely difficult to be destroyed. They were Voidships designed for war, outfitted with means to protect against a Fire Phoenix. Besides exhausting copious amounts of water and ice-attributed essence materials and astral stones, they were relatively unharmed and retreated to a safe distance to observe the burning Blueglow. 

After several minutes had passed, Highlord Scarletflame finally calmed down. ”Thank you, Big Sis. ” She had dropped the formal title as she earnestly gave her sincerest thanks. The Tang Matriarch had acted swiftly, bringing her away in the shortest amount of time at the cost of self-harming her cultivation base. Even now, the Tang Matriarch ’s internal spatial energies were fluctuating wildly, yet she kept her calm visage. 

The Tang Matriarch glanced at her, then sighed: ”We lost two. ” After saying that, she began to relay further orders through spiritual transmissions.

”… ” Highlord Scarletflame had a downcast expression. The two that were lost were obviously Highlord Autumnflame and Highlord Blackflame. While their positions were the most dangerous, they were the three with the strongest Spiritual Strength amongst the nine, excluding the Tang Matriarch. They had to take the risk to halt the Fire Phoenix ’s escape, and they all knew of the dangers in doing so.

It was a tragedy. 

”…Why did the Fire Phoenix ignite her blood essence? I thought doing so was almost suicidal, and most Fire Phoenix ’s would resort to Nirvanic Segregation or Rebirth of the Phoenix before doing something so reckless…it doesn ’t make any sense. It was clearly about to execute Nirvanic Segregation! ” Highlord Scarletflame ground her teeth with these questions. 

”… ” The Tang Matriarch kept silent, but her eyes also contained the light of numerous questions. A Fire Phoenix was a being notorious for their abilities of defying death. They had numerous tools to evade predators. For example, the Nirvanic Segregation was an ability of a Fire Phoenix, allowing them to splits its flaming body into hundreds of miniaturized versions of itself and attempts to escape. 

As long as one escaped, the rest would evaporate and integrate with the void in a strange, unfathomable manner. They would then reconsolidate on the safe version and restore itself with some time. It was a miraculous ability afforded to fire phoenixes who were said to have no substantial form during their transformation, consisting purely of flames. 

They had a counter to this. In fact, it was the very spirit chains that they deployed. The Aqua Spirit Chain was a variation of the Core Spirit Chain. These chains had a unique ability to affect the spirit and all connecting components of said spirit within a certain distance. As long as they had attached one of the smaller versions with the Aqua Spirit Chains, they could suppress the Fire Phoenix entirely.

This might not be able to seal the Fire Phoenix permanently as it still had the Rebirth of the Phoenix ability, but it ’ll restrain it enough to allow them to establish the various arrays they prepared beforehand, such as the Blood Heart Suppression Array that ’ll further weaken bloodline energies and restrict the act of burning its blood essence. A scenario that they didn ’t wish to see. 

As for the Rebirth of the Phoenix, it was the most frustrating ability of the Fire Phoenix, and the entire Phoenix race in general, and it was their ability to destroy their bodies and vanish from the world. It was a reset of sorts, a reverse of the Nirvanic Transformations they underwent to advance their own Genesis State. 

They would enter the strange, unfathomable void once again and be reborn at their previous site of their first advancement. For Bai Lin, this would be the Everlore Starfield, yet the Tang Clan was unaware of where this site was, so if successfully used, they would lose it entirely.

While this was a heavy cost as their Genesis State would drop a single level, and regaining that level was several times more difficult, it was a life-saving, last-ditch effort. Typically, in records, the phoenixes would undergo their transformation in their race ’s core area, so their rebirth would be in complete safety.

Unless, of course, the entire area was conquered. At that point…

They had means to restrict the Fire Phoenix from escaping, all in the form of a specialized array designed to restrain its innate abilities, and this was why they couldn ’t allow it to enter the Dark Void. It was impossible to establish a domain-wide or starfield-wide array in such a short period of time, so they needed the planet and its axis to act as a boundary. If the Fire Phoenix performed Rebirth of a Phoenix in the Dark Void, they ’d be at a loss and could only go home defeated. 

In their original assessment, the ignition of blood essence might occur regardless of their arrays ’ successful suppression, so they had other countermeasures to execute, but this was supposed to happen only after foiling all other attempts made by the Fire Phoenix, not before they even established any arrays! How could they expect that?!

The ignition of one ’s blood essence was extremely harmful and almost downright suicidal for a Fire Phoenix. Not only would they be unable to execute other bloodline abilities for an extended period, but their accumulated life energies would also be severely depleted. It was typically the last resort used in the direst of circumstances! 

After sending out orders and receiving status reports, the Tang Matriarch ’s expression darkened considerably. ”We ’ve suffered no losses of Voidships, but those caught in the flames have depleted their stores of resources, including the fuel used for the arrays. We ’re unable to continue. ” After saying this, she continued: ”But it ’s inconsequential; the Fire Phoenix is certainly long gone by now. If it didn ’t execute the Rebirth of the Phoenix after such a hasty ignition of its blood essence, then it ’s dead… ” 

Highlord Scarletflame clenched her fists, teeth, and eyes. Her expression was filled with incredible pain, and even signs of tears were present at the corner of her eyes. She, no, they had lost their chance to obtain the Fire Phoenix. Even if the Fire Phoenix was alive, they couldn ’t divine its location through any means or methods, and there were no reports of its Fire Phoenix nirvanic transformations occurring in the Grand Cyclic Stellar Region.

This suggested that the Fire Phoenix had ascended to become a Genesis Beast outside the Stellar Region. With their attempt on its freedom and its subsequent weakened state, there was no way it ’d reveal itself any time soon. 

How frustrating! 

HOW FUCKING FRUSTRATING! 

The Tang Matriarch merely watched, but she was undoubtedly the most devastated out of them all. Still, she had to remain calm and be the leader and guide they needed. Amid their failure, they still had to move forward. However, a tinge of long-suppressed regret resurfaced within her mind. She should ’ve never cultivated the Blazing Unity of Twin Flames! With her talents, she had a good chance to become an Earthly Saint without it. 

The Tang Clan ’s members were all demoralized as they watched the planet burning and even shrinking ever-so-slightly as it was burning away. They had received orders to depart, return home in a defeated manner, and likely be subjected to intense ridicule by their peers. They had their grandest of futures in their grasp, yet it slipped away! 

The Tang Matriarch gave one last glance to the planet. A forlorn glint flickered within her eyes as she looked away. She patted her little sister ’s shivering shoulder in consolation, ”If the heavens allow, we ’ll have another opportunity. ” 

Highlord Scatletflame was an illustrious Demi-Mortal Lord, and she had just escaped death, yet the tears she wanted to shed were filled with sadness. Was this it? 

”Don ’t leave. ”

Abruptly, a voice echoed throughout the Tang Matriarch ’s Voidship, prompting her to turn towards the origin of the voice, finding a figure cloaked in a black robe floating within the Dark Void. Their figure was indistinguishable. Besides being humanoid, nothing else could be determined. 

”Who are you? ” Tang Matriarch stood firmly where she was, her aura seething, and her eyes honed onto the figure. Despite their indistinguishable physical characteristics, she was a mighty character that was quite familiar with mystic fluctuations. This was an Earthly Saint. 

”Your target hasn ’t left; It ’s not dead, either. ” The figure spoke with a chilly tone; its voice was androgynous. 

The Tang Matriarch was internally startled, but outwardly, she heavily frowned with suspicion.

But Highlord Scarletflame reacted differently; her teary eyes opened as she sought after her hope. She found the figure floating like a ghost with a long black robe that concealed every bit of their existence. Her thoughts were still vigilant, yet she asked: ”What do you mean? ” 

The Tang Clan Matriarch interjected before the voice could elaborate: ”We ’re leaving. ” This brought a terrifying shock to Highlord Scarletflame. Leaving? She hastily wanted to question this decision but was given a glacial gaze from the Tang Matriarch that silenced her words at the throat. 

”Are you sure? ” The figure asked. 

The Tang Matriarch didn ’t answer, merely relayed confirmation orders to depart. The Voidships were already in motion to do so despite their reluctance. 

”… ” The figure swayed slightly, clearly a little shocked by the Tang Matriarch ’s decisiveness. However, it wasn ’t foolish enough to believe the Tang Clan nor its Vermillion was willing to escape, so it didn ’t hold back any information or delay its intentions. With a wave of its hand, a black light shot out of its hand and touched the barrier of the Voidship.

The Tang Clan matriarch ’s eyes flickered. She waved her hand, and the light was allowed entrance. When it arrived before her, it revealed itself to be a spatial ring. After briefly sweeping her spiritual sense through it, her eyes narrowed. She lifted her head to observe the figure.

”The Fire Phoenix isn ’t ordinary. Furthermore, you must be curious why it stayed on the planet after being surrounded? Or better yet, why it ’s even here? ” The figure said.

”… ” The Tang Clan matriarch didn ’t respond. Even Highlord Scarletflame was silent, realizing this situation was strange, and there was undoubtedly more to it. After a while, the Tang Matriarch enveloped the ring in bright light and flicked her finger, having it fly back to the figure.

”I see, ” the figure realized the Tang Clan wasn ’t willing to act as a pawn for another in ignorance. So it couldn ’t help but realize that if this figure wanted this, it ’d be forced to reveal all of its information. ”The shadow always gets vengeance, Vermillion. ” 

After this was sent through a spiritual transmission, the bright light carrying the ring halted. Then, it returned to the Tang Matriarch. She gave the figure a heavy look, ”We ’re taking its blood essence. ”

The figure merely responded with, ”A fate worse than death. Befitting. ” Without warning, the figure vanished as a few auras descended in the area that were equally as unfathomable. Clearly, the figure had raised some warning bells from the nearby spectators of the highest level. 

After an entire minute, the Tang Matriarch slowly breathed out, and a wisp of excitement emerged within her eyes. ”Establish the arrays around the planet! ” 

Highlord Scarletflame was similarly excited to hear this, but she momentarily paused and said: ”But you said we don ’t have enough materials left to do so. How… ”

”We do, ” the Tang Matriarch looked at the ring.

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