Chapter 79: Progress
Holly Keen sent out wave after wave of puppets, and Li Daohong did everything in his power to force them back. Given his status and intelligence, he had managed to learn quite a few Origin Skills. In addition, the Dream Beauty Bloodline was the most malleable out of the seven imperial family bloodlines. Even though its combat power was not particularly high, its compatibility was very high. Otherwise, Li Daohong wouldn’t have been able to awaken two bloodlines that easily.
As a result, he had a surprising number of skills up his sleeve.
In one moment, he was unleashing streaks filled with consciousness power - his Desolate Beast Bloodline ability - then filling the skies with grey clouds a moment later, a manifestation of the Night God Bloodline. Then, thousands of streaks of sword Qi surged valiantly through the sky, followed by him transforming into a statue made of metal to withstand the attacks of the giant puppets. These two were skills that he had picked up along the way.
This guy actually controlled around eighteen powerful Origin Skills, each one considered top-tier. Normally, he kept them well-hidden, but now Holly Keen’s puppets had forced his hand. Su Chen clucked his tongue in amazement. “He really is an imperial disciple and was given the Attendant’s Brain. I have nothing I can say about his studies.”
Zhu Xianyao said disdainfully, “This guy should have been very smart. How come you were able to plot against him so easily? And he is just showing off his trump cards like it’s nobody’s business right now.”
Su Chen countered, “He might be smart, but he lacks wisdom.”
“Oh? What difference is there between the two?”
Su Chen replied, “Smart people can think quickly, but that doesn’t mean they are wise. Wisdom is a combination of intelligence, experience, knowledge, and personality. If intelligence is like a flower, then being smart is like that flower’s stem.
“Intelligence is the root. That is why we say that smart people have clear eyesight. If a person is smart enough, they will be able to learn quickly, and their stem will be thick. This allows them to absorb much more nutrients, but the root is still a root, not a flower.”
“Experience is like the leaves of a flower. A person will learn many lessons throughout life, and these experiences teach a person how to protect themselves and improve themselves. The thorns on the flower’s stems and leaves serve a similar protective purpose.”
“Knowledge is like the soil. The roots absorb nutrients from it in order to grow healthily. The human race starts from knowledge when it comes to seeing the world in order to improve ourselves by the same principle. Without enough knowledge, even the smartest brain will have a hard time reaching its full potential. This is like people who just loiter around all day and spend all their time trying to figure out how to make a small profit. Knowledge determines the layout. If the layout is small, it doesn’t make a difference how smart you are.”
“Personality is the seed. There are many kinds of different flowers. Some appear quite common early on but become breathtakingly beautiful when they grow. Some appear to be growing quite well but turn out crooked in the end. In the same way, the growth of intelligence is guided by personality. Those with wicked personalities will never become anything more than a poisonous flower no matter what kind of heaven-defying intellect they have. On the other hand, those with pure personalities will be able to become herbs that can heal others no matter how idiotic they are.”
“Those Attendants are a perfect example. What could they do with their momentary brilliance? Eventually, they were all wiped out. Then, you look at the Ravagers, who are living quite well nowadays despite the fact that most of them are idiots. The former is like a flower that shows off its beauty for some time but is eventually uprooted by the wind. On the other hand, the latter is like a weed. Even though its status is lowly and its appearance unrefined, it can survive in harsh environments without dying out, forcefully claiming territory for itself.”
Zhu Xianyao was taken aback. Even her mother, Zhu Yunyan, and Patelocke, who were listening, were also surprised.
Zhu Yunyan said, “Did you think of this yourself?”
Su Chen nodded. “I’ve thought about this a lot in my spare time and have reached some conclusions. I feel a bit embarrassed to talk about them now, though.”
“But you’re exactly right!” Patelocke sighed. “Truly intelligent people need to consider all of these aspects together. Personality is probably the most important, and of the remaining four factors, supposed ‘intelligence’ is probably the least. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t important, but intelligence alone is not worth applauding. I don’t think that Li Daohong is so dumb that he can’t figure out what might have happened between the two of them, but just because he has figured it out doesn’t mean that he is willing to do so.”
Su Chen chuckled. “Li Daohong has an innately arrogant personality, which makes him very stubborn. Holly Keen’s attack was not something he could accept, so he insisted on confronting Holly Keen despite knowing what had actually taken place.”
Zhu Xianyao clapped her hands. “I originally thought that Li Daohong would be a big obstacle in our path, but he seems distinctly average now. I feel a lot more at ease.”
Su Chen, however, shook his head. “Generally speaking, even though Li Daohong has his fair share of problems, this poisonous flower was born into an imperial family and has studied under great teachers. In addition, he has experienced rises and falls, which means that he can still control his emotion. Of the five characteristics of a wise person, he has intelligence, knowledge, and experience in spades. It’s just his personality that leaves much to be desired. However, poisonous flowers can be extremely tricky to deal with. He might not grow to become an important person, but he is still a powerful opponent that we cannot afford to underestimate!”
He wasn’t so naive as to believe that he had defeated Li Daohong just because he had managed to trick Li Daohong once. After all, he was acting from the shadows, while his opponent had been thrust into the limelight. Once his opponent had an opportunity to recollect himself, the situation would be very different.
Poisonous flowers were hard to deal with because no tactic was off-limits for them.
“Hopefully he gets quashed to death by Holly Keen’s puppets,” Zhu Xianyao muttered.
“I think that will be hard,” Patelocke sighed. “Given how long the battle has been going on for, it’s likely that it will end soon.”
Yes, the conclusion was indeed near.
It finally appeared that the battle was reaching its conclusion.
Even though Holly Keen had many puppets, Li Daohong had mastered many techniques. If they were to continue fighting, all that would happen was that more of their subordinates would die. If they had only suffered a few casualties, they might not have cared much, but they would definitely feel the effects of losing a large number of subordinates.
In particular, even though Li Daohong’s Dream Beauty Bloodline was proficient in controlling others, he still felt a pang of sorrow when he realized how many sacrificial warriors he had lost during the course of this battle.
Those sacrificial warriors could be considered part of his wealth.
Li Daohong was also feeling pangs of sorrow over the destruction of his puppets. Li Daohong could recover Origin Energy just by resting for a little bit, but all of his losses needed to be paid for with real money. How could he not feel sad when watching them get destroyed like that?
Finally, both parties settled the matter by leaving it unsettled.
A grudge had formed now between Li Daohong and Holly Keen.
Secretly, however, Li Daohong was quite aware of the possibility that Zhu Xianyao had set him up. He still didn’t know that Su Chen had arrived yet, only believing that Zhu Xianyao was scheming against him. Holly Keen once again thought of the kid that had “sent” him the puppet. No wonder he hadn’t asked for money - he had been planning on taking it back in the first place. This matter wasn’t over yet - after all, there were only a few human groups in the Origin Light Castle, making them easy to find.
Su Chen calmly put away the ‘screen’. “Alright, the show’s over. Everyone should get some rest; we have a long journey ahead of us tomorrow anyways.”
“So that’s the end of things?” Zhu Xianyao asked.
“Of course not,” Su Chen coldly chuckled. “The days are still long. No need to be in such a hurry.”
The next morning, the trade group set out for Sky City.
Not long after they left, Li Daohong left for Sky City as well.
Shortly after that, Holly Keen left as well.
He had managed to discover that the brat who had given him the puppet was part of the Zhu Clan’s trade group.
Most frustratingly, that transmission puppet had reappeared amongst the Zhu Clan’s ranks. No one had even made an effort to try and hide it - brat, you really are quite arrogant!
Holly Keen wouldn’t have been Holly Keen if he didn’t follow along. After all, he was planning on finishing off both Li Daohong and the Zhu Clan’s servant anyways.
The Cloud-Piercing Shuttles flew for another three days.
After three days, they touched down in the Farsighted Plains.
The Farsighted Plains used to be incredibly hilly. One of the peaks was especially famous for being over a million feet tall. In ancient times, one could see very far from the top of this mountain, which was where the name “Farsighted” came from. However, drastic changes in terrain over time were not uncommon. At some point in time, a few powerful experts had fought fiercely here, turning it into a patch of flatlands.
However, the sight that people admired the most here were the Immortal-Tread Clouds.
The Immortal-Tread Clouds were very unique clouds. They were not formed from condensed water vapor but from a special substance floating through the air. The material was extremely gentle but didn’t tear easily. Apparently, it was possible to walk on top of them.
These clouds were produced in Harpy territory. The Harpies grew their unique Windbells, Snow Pears, Shadowless Flowers, and other plants on these clouds.
The Harpies were mostly vegetarian, and their aesthetic preferences made it so that these dainty flowers and plants were their main source of sustenance.
Iron Cliff said that it would have been strange if they were able to become physically powerful by eating this kind of food all day. The Harpies weren’t physically weak for no reason.
Su Chen could understand somewhat. The early Intelligent Races didn’t have cultivation techniques, so how would the Harpies fly if they ate too much? Being lightweight was foundational for being able to fly, so it was natural that the Harpies had sacrificed physical prowess for this ability.
This was also why the Harpies had gradually become more and more disadvantaged in battle - at a certain cultivation point, everyone learned to fly, and the Harpies’ flight advantage greatly decreased. In the end, they were forced to rely on the floating castles.
But that was a digression.
Immortal-Tread Clouds were how the Harpies sustained themselves. The Origin Light Castle was considered to be at the front lines, so nothing was grown there. Here, however, large swathes of these Immortal-Tread Clouds could be seen everywhere, and normal Harpies were harvesting, watering, nourishing, and planting all kinds of vegetation on these clouds.
In some sense, they were like humans. They relied on hard manual labor to eke out a living. The only difference was that their food source was different. Even so, these two struggling races just couldn’t seem to get along. This was probably because of xenophobia.
They flew past this agricultural region and continued to advance. After the majority of the day had passed, they suddenly heard a mysterious vibrating noise.
It was as if the earth itself was trembling.
Was it an earthquake?
They were all initially worried before they saw that the Harpies seemed totally nonchalant, so they could only suppress the anxiety in their hearts.
As they continued to advance, the vibrations grew louder and louder, as if there was a sheet of metal ringing right next to their ears.
Those Harpies all began to pull out earplugs. It seemed that they had been prepared a long time ago.
One item that the Harpies had sold ubiquitously were earplugs. Su Chen hadn’t understood at the time why the Harpies needed these items in such great supply. Now, he finally understood.
As the vibrations grew closer and closer, the people on the Cloud-Piercing Shuttles finally figured out what the source of the rumblings came from.
The people on the shuttles had some guesses about what the source of the rumblings were, but they couldn’t help but sigh and exclaim in amazement when they saw.