Swish… The sun shined with brilliant rays once more. The surrounding clouds had been dyed snow-white. There was no predicted solar eclipse for today, igniting a majority of people’s curiosity.
“This is pretty weird…” In Mingshui Province, the owner of a small shop near the Featherwood Guard branch and a customer who was rocking their fan back and forth both sighed wistfully. “I’ve been alive for over sixty years, and I still haven’t really seen a solar eclipse… Ah, 33 bucks, thanks for your patronage.”
His finger customarily pressed the cash register, yet he discovered that the drawer simply wouldn’t open.
“Power’s out?” He surveyed the lightless shop in astonishment. “What’s going on…?”
In a school, the ending bell stopped. Numerous teachers and students looked at the bell in surprise. Afterwards, they all happened to sigh.
A power outage… They were too accustomed to such an occurrence.
Now, countless angry shouts came from net cafes throughout the entire city. In spite of this, as they asked other places, they shockingly discovered that all of of Mingshui Province… was without power!
Concealed in the city, nobody would’ve expected that this provincial-wide power outage was nothing more than a cover-up to cut off one computer among them all.
After no less than three hours passed in the branch, the office door slowly opened.
“Are you alright?” Mao Ba’er took the initiative to rush in and check the office. Mhm… good, not a single thing broke. This kid’s skill in qi cultivation is his specialty…
Xu Yangyi actually laughed, “Fine.”
“I think you should go to the spa now and loosen up. How about I go have your mortal apprentice… Lin something come? Take you to a bathhouse?”
“Branch Master.” Peony glared fiercely at Mao Ba’er and asked with deep concern, “Did you… find it?”
Xu Yangyi shook his head, his face without a ripple like a dried well.
“It’s nothing…” Peony pursed her lips. “Just a power outage… It’ll be a day at most. Mingshui is the provincial capital. The chief of the Electricity Bureau will patch things up.”
“I hope so.” Xu Yangyi walked to his cultivation room. “Call me when the power’s back.”
Thirty minutes later, the branch’s lights came back on. He immediately started his computer yet discovered…
‘The database that you want to search does not exist.’
Crack… The teacup in his hand unwittingly made a soft noise. Several fine cracks spread forth. His gaze was calmly trained on the computer, faintly wavering.
Jingle… At this time, a telephone rang out in the room. Xu Yangyi slowly picked it up. “Hello?”
“Greetings, Branch Master.” A man’s voice echoed from the telephone and said with a little caution, “We’re the Featherwood Guard headquarter’s database. We are hereby informing you that the Featherwood Guard has turned off search for demons above A-rank. Please…”
“Why?” Xu Yangyi asked dimly, yet his voice was ice-cold like a knife. “Give me a reason.”
The employee at the other end of the telephone paused. “Branchmaster Xu… there’s nothing that can be done… The Capital is extremely close to Mingshui Province, and headquarters’s position is at the Capital’s edge… The sudden power outage just now… Our databases at A-rank and above… were all destroyed…”
Silence. Ten-odd seconds passed; the man evidently dared not hang up. He tried and called out, “Branchmaster Xu?”
“I’m here.” Xu Yangyi’s voice was somewhat rough, and he softly coughed and answered.
“Branchmaster Xu, please understand. We recently found out as well. Deputy Guildmaster Jadesun had us immediately notify you.”
Xu Yangyi nodded and said indifferently, “Thanks. How long will it approximately take to restore?”
“I can’t say for sure…” The man answered, “These resources don’t all exist in the Featherwood Guard. At least half of them are with other powers. And we’ll have to get in touch again. I’m afraid things won't even be fixed after a couple months. After all, the user rate for the A+ demon databases ordinarily isn’t much.”
A couple months… Xu Yangyi took the crack-covered teacup and tossed it in the trash. “Once it’s fixed, notify me at once. No matter if it’s the middle of the night, or if I’m in death seclusion.”
Xu Yangyi hung up the phone and gazed deeply outside the room.
A coincidence… It really was a coincidence… that there would be an unpredicted solar eclipse, and after this eclipse, all of Mingshui Province experienced a power outage. It had even spread to a Featherwood Guard branch at the Capital’s edge. The resources all ruined. This…
Was this truly a coincidence? Or… was this event indeed a matter of happenstance?
He didn’t want to investigate this matter. If it wasn’t a coincidence, then it only represented one thing! The Godseal Spark… This thing perhaps involved a few other reasons that someone didn’t want him to search for.
“Someone able to completely cut off power to Mingshui Province and even destroy the Featherwood Guard’s database isn’t someone I can afford to offend.” He puffed out a long trail of smoke. “But this is only the worst speculation… If the opposing party doesn’t want me to investigate, they could’ve totally annihilated the current me with their strength.”
He took a deep drag. His great victory over Danxia Temple didn’t drive him rampant with arrogance. This was because he clearly understood that his present battle stood in the Qi Condensation realm. Were it not for the united efforts of all geniuses in the great war against the Foundation Establishment corpse Wei Zhongxian, he simply wouldn’t have survived to this moment.
If any Foundation Establishment cultivator became dead-set in heart and wished to exterminate him, he wouldn’t even have room to struggle. He was still only one person among a million cultivators, not one among 20,000.
“But they didn’t have to do things like this.” He flicked cigarette ash, and his eyes narrowed. “From this angle, is it that I still haven’t touched their bottom line as of now? Do they think they don’t have to do anything to me?”
“But if this really was a coincidence, I’ll just have to keep on waiting. In other words, no matter what, I can’t look at the Godseal Spark’s data in the next couple months…” He lifted his head and looked at the ceiling. “And after these months, I must head to Longsu Province.”
In his heart, an omen suddenly arose!
It would be for the best that it wasn’t human calamity; a natural disaster was better…
If it was human calamity, this was the worst theory. In that case… his actions could be said to be playing out in the palm of this person’s hand! Yet were it not for this occasion being too coincidental, he simply wouldn’t have the theory that a pair of eyes in the darkness were watching him!
Taking a few deep breaths, he forced down the thirst and longing in his heart, commanding himself not to keep thinking. He stubbornly placed his trip to the treasuries and the Longsu Province war ahead.
His finger played with a lighter. The compact Zippo lighter was like a silver knife turning and flying at his fingertips. After ages, he set it on the table.
“First, my left arm must be restored,” he mumbled to himself certainly. “In the Capital, the opponent risked assassinating me. But in the Capital… the Cultivation Court’s upper and lower presidents, and Ancestor Hiddenscent is keeping watching, but they haven’t spoken out. They attacked at Grand Artificer Gao Muya’s door, but Senior Gao just acted as if he didn’t see. The opponent’s strength… is honestly very shocking.”
“Demons. First-rate clans. Spider forms. If I wanted to find them, it wouldn’t be hard to. They’re also openly telling me without fear that they’re not scared at all about us finding out. This time, it was a lone assassin. Next time, how many will it be?”
Xu Yangyi inhaled deeply and looked at the spacious office. The shadows seemed to be hiding malicious reflections. He laughed grimly and tightly clenched his fists. “Recovering strength is my first choice.”
Time passed quickly. In the blink of an eye, two days went by. On the third day, Xu Yangyi put on a tailored suit and bid farewell to everyone. He stepped onto an airplane flying straight to the Capital.
As he appeared in front of Gao Muya again, Gao Muya carried a faint smile in his old somewhat muddy eyes. “I knew that you wouldn’t die so easily.”
“Thanks for the lucky words, Senior.” Xu Yangyi laughed as he cupped his hands. He was without a modicum of resentment that Gao Muya was unconcerned as the opponent had sprung into action while he’d been at his doorstep.
Why would Gao Muya care about him? Just because of his first-time Danxia Temple journey?
Support and investment were fine but personally taking action was the same as tearing up the honor and respect of the clan who tried to assassinate him. Presently, he was one out of a million cultivators. He didn’t even hold such great esteem.
If he didn’t enter Foundation Establishment, he would end up as a yellow soil.
“Come.” Gao Muya’s eyes already carried a wisp of excitement. “Let’s create the strongest magik prosthesis together… I… am already itching to do so!”
“Yes.” Xu Yangyi smiled and bowed. “But before this, Junior still has a few words that I want to say.”
Gao Muya raised his chint, hinting for him to continue.
“In the Qi Condensation realm, which cultivation weapon is the best?”
“The Spirit Accumulation Cannon,” Gao Muya said without even thinking. “Solely discussing might, the Spirit Accumulation Cannon is first, but this cannon is used for attacking sects. Its power is absolutely great, but the charge time needs over a dozen minutes. It basically can’t be used for handling cultivators, but used for attacking sects and grand mountain-protector arrays, it’s number one in valor.”
Xu Yangyi nodded. “Dare I ask Senior what the second is?”
“The Spirit Chart Armor,” Gao Muya said certainly. “The function of all cultivation weapons isn’t strong at first. Instead, it’s amplification, the amplification of a cultivator’s ability in one field. The Spirit Chart Armor is the finest among them. A 5% increase still can’t be seen in one person, but all weapons are used in war. A cultivator war… has thousands of cultivators participating. This time, you’ll be able to see the advantage of cultivation weaponry.”
“So that’s how it is.” Xu Yangyi laughed as he nodded. “When Senior and I start forging the Ketu-Rahu Sword, we’re definitely going to spend a couple months in the artificing room. Before this, I’d like to place an order of fifty Spirit Accumulation Cannons, fifty Spirit Chart Armors, and a Flamedragon Master-Cannon.”
The light of Gao Muya’s eyes suddenly flashed, and he said meaningfully, “Young fellow… you’re the accepted pushover this time. What in the world do you still want with the Flamedragon Master-Cannon, in the most disadvantaged position? Who’s going to defend it during its half-hour-long charging time?”
Xu Yangyi smiled yet didn’t speak.
Gao Muya raised a brow and studied him heavily. A couple seconds later, he inhaled deeply. “You still want to assault those major lineages?”
He looked at Xu Yangyi for ages like he didn’t recognize the latter and laughed darkly, “Kid… do you understand how to frickin’ write the two characters for ‘lineage’?”
“I don’t.” Xu Yangyi cupped his fist respectfully. “So, I want to learn.”
“Courting death,” Gao Muya chuckled grimly, “Just by relying on two or three of your cats and kittens? Doesn’t the Xingtian Legion just have ten people? Are you preparing funeral clothes by choosing to order so many magik artifacts?”
Gao Muya shot his mouth off, but Xu Yangyi wasn’t angry at all and laughed. He said nothing more.
You’ve got a good strategy, and I’ve got a ladder to get over the wall. Do you really think my Xingtian Legion is so easily trumped? Do you really think that the Xingtian Legion is going into battle all alone?
Before the reveal of my final two cards, it’s still a mystery as to whom the deer falls!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Hey everyone, if you're reading this, I'd like to thank you for sticking with Archfiend for so long and also give you an explanation for why there's been such a long and inconsistent updating schedule with this novel and also give you some insight on myself as well.
Originally, I stated last chapter to look out for an announcement possibly coming last week or this week. This isn't the announcement I wanted to make. For the most part, I've actually been doing a very, VERY massive edit of the early/middle/later current chapters of Archfiend. Mostly things like making sure the text flows hell of a lot better and fixing/properly adjusting all the footnotes that I do. When I first started translating this book, I knew I was out of my element, but I just loved the premise and thought it was something very different from what people were reading. There are just certain things that can be difficult as a noob translator, but looking at the current level of work I can do, I feel that I just keep improving, and I'm happy about that.
If you've followed me up from the forum, you know that this isn't my first edit or even second edit. I started doing a more meticulous and immediate edit a while back, and I believe those edits have been made up to about chapter 70~. The reason why I do these continual edits is because I am keenly aware of "how" this book feels and reads sometimes. It is dense.
It's one thing for people to think a book sucks because they think its boring, but its another when it crosses over to the translations itself, something I directly control. Something which I very much want people to enjoy because I really do like this book.
But that's not the purpose of this message (despite the amount of words I used to type this all out!). Today, something pretty bad happened in my family and I am not sure how it is going to affect the future going forwards. My plan was to load up all my edits and then formally re-launch and get the ball rolling with weekly updates more similar to my first/second months here, but that doesn't seem the case now.
I am unsure what is going to happen. If you've read all of this, thank you. Hopefully, everything turns out fine. But to all of the people who hunger for updates every day and take five or ten minutes of their day to read Archfiend, I want to say thank you again. I love reading your comments AND criticisms. Reason why I don't make an actual announcement post on WW front page is because not many people actually read this book.
In any case, I'll hopefully be back and running with some luck.
Your friendly neighborhood bro,