Chapter 109: Obstructed
“No! You bastard!” Li Daohong howled madly.
How could he not have realized what had happened to him at this point?
He had been played!
Now, he was in a miserable state, and had lost nearly two hundred units of consciousness power as a consequence.
Two hundred units!
He only had 1200 in the first place, meaning that he had lost one-sixth of his total consciousness power in one disaster.
Actually, it was more like three disasters.
Su Chen was still muttering something to himself over in his mind’s imperial palace.
He could absolutely understand Li Daohong’s anger at the moment.
Even so, his opponent’s suffering was his happiness. Su Chen was quite satisfied with the outcome.
Unfortunately, a fourth infiltration never came, which made Su Chen slightly regretful. After all, not too many opportunities to boost his consciousness energy would come about.
Su Chen’s strength had increased significantly after gaining two hundred consciousness units, but more importantly, he had learned a lot from Li Daohong’s dream techniques.
Even though his mastery of them was still quite shallow, as long as Su Chen put in the time, he would be able to improve them significantly over time.
In that sense, Li Daohong had managed to plant a seed.
However, this seed was a sacrificial seed that showed Su Chen the path of dream techniques.
Su Chen was in a great mood. He had managed to obtain these dream techniques for free, and even as he did so, his treasure search had continued. It was a broad stroke — he had sent out countless clones to continue searching in all directions.
The more clones he used, the more ground he could cover. One of the clones very quickly reported back some interesting information.
It had discovered something in one of the nearby destroyed palaces.
Su Chen extravagantly activated Light Shaking Phantom, directly swapping places with that clone.
He appeared in front of a row of books.
After briefly flipping through these books, he was able to confirm that they were Jade Clearmist’s collections. This rare collection contained the findings and experiences of a number of legendary Arcana Masters.
Indeed, he truly understood himself the best.
This was truly an incredibly valuable discovery for Su Chen.
He chuckled and stored all of the books away.
With these books in hand, Su Chen’s trip had already proven to be well worth the effort, even if he didn’t manage to find anything else.
Of course, if there were other benefits to be found, Su Chen wasn’t planning on letting them slip by either.
Unfortunately, after the entire secret realm was discarded, it seemed that this palace had been plundered by the void creatures. As such, apart from the inedible books, nothing else of great value was to be found.
Despite that, he was able to find some common resources in a relatively secluded corner of the destroyed palace.
Su Chen thought that these resources were better than nothing and ended up taking them too.
There wasn’t much else to do here, so Su Chen could only switch hunting grounds. In any case, this realm was huge, so there was definitely more to search than just this single location. Perhaps he would find other benefits elsewhere.
If that didn’t work, then he could go hunt some more of those metallic creatures.
This thought had only popped into Su Chen’s head because he had just happened to spot a group of the creatures that had fled from him earlier. It seemed like this batch had around thirty or forty of them.
Since there was nothing else for him to do here, then he might as well harvest these guys too. He stopped for a moment to think about the best way to prevent them from running away again. After all, chasing after them was incredibly annoying…...
“This place is too large. It will most likely take some time to find Sir Azure Mark,” Youthful Abundance said agitatedly as she surveyed her surroundings. They were currently on the opposite side of the realm as Su Chen.
And standing beside her was a large group of Wind-Gathering Clan members.
“Silly girl, what good would it do for us to find him?” One of the Wind-Gathering Clan’s members harrumphed. “The situation now is perfect. He can do as he pleases, while we can also do as we please. Isn’t that just fine?”
“How can that be fine?” Youthful Abundance rebuked. “Sir Azure Mark is our leader. We can’t decide to move on our own!”
Another one of the Wind-Gathering Clan’s members angrily replied, “Have you become addled from acting as that guy’s servant for too long? Jade Clearmist’s secret realm belongs to the Wind-Gathering Clan in the first place. Why should we hand it over to him? He took command almost immediately and spouted nonsense like leaving us three items. What kind of principle is that? And yet you want us to continue acting as his slaves rather than try to escape from his control? Are you an idiot?”
“Second Word, that’s enough.” One of the Wind-Gathering Clan’s elders hurriedly stopped that young Harpy’s torrential abuse.
Youthful Abundance was stunned.
She wasn’t an idiot. When she heard Second Word’s words and looked at him, then at the other members of her clan, she seemed to suddenly realize something and began to shout, “So you…… You guys were the ones who split us up!”
All of the Wind-Gathering Clan’s members’ expressions immediately shifted.
The young, hot-blooded Second Word was the first to speak up. “Yes, it was us! So what if you know? It wasn’t some kind of void creature that separated us. We brought the Chaotic Space Origin Formation in with us, and took advantage of the black fog to set it up and activate it. That’s how we ended up separating from him.”
“Why would you do this!?” Youthful Abundance yelled hysterically.
Second Word laughed. “Didn’t I already answer you? If we search the secret realm together, any benefits we find will belong to Azure Mark. On the other hand, if we split up, we can keep anything that we find. The clan leader already told us to split up and search the surrounding areas to avoid any benefits being taken away by Azure Mark. We should use anything we can use immediately, or if we cannot, try to hide it. Anything you find belongs to you. It’s all better than having a treasure fall into the hands of Azure Mark! And anything that we can’t eat, hide, or smuggle out, we will give to him.”
Youthful Abundance was taken aback.
She never would have expected Wind-Gathering Ascension, who always maintained such a respectful exterior, to have actually prepared such a devious strategy behind the scenes.
Even so, this was the exact attitude that an Intelligent Race Clan should have had.
No one would ever be willing to hand over their hard-earned treasures so easily. The reality was that they would do everything in their power to try and keep the benefits for themselves.
Wind-Gathering Ascension couldn’t beat Azure Mark in a frontal confrontation, and had thus been forced to rely on Azure Mark’s strength to some degree. Thus, he could only bow his head. But just because he had bowed his head didn’t mean that he would stop brewing other plans behind the scenes.
His plan was to split everyone up so that they could use their numbers to try and compete for benefits.
That was not a surprise in the slightest.
Of course, Wind-Gathering Ascension was making a gamble.
He was betting that Su Chen wouldn’t kill them all, even if he were to find out.
This had to do with the unique perceptiveness of an old Harpy.
Even though Su Chen had put on a cold and calculating demeanor, this old Harpy could tell that he wasn’t a person who disregarded all life. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have spared all of the Harpies that used to live on Dragon Mountain City.
That was the basis upon which Wind-Gathering Ascension had made a bold gamble.
The Wind-Gathering Clan had thus enacted their plan to split into a number of small teams that immediately scattered. This way, they would be able to cast a wide net while still maintaining a baseline combat strength.
Youthful Abundance never expected the situation to develop like this. She stared at her fellow clan members and despondently asked, “Why? Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”
“Tell you?” Second Word coldly harrumphed. “Look at how loyal you are to Sir Azure Mark. If we told you, then could we have trusted your promise to not tell him? And what would we do if you did tell him?”
Was that so?
So her clan had already deemed her untrustworthy?
Youthful Abundance felt a bit dizzy.
One of the elders eventually couldn’t watch this any longer and said, “Shut your mouth and keep quiet. Youthful Abundance, the clan head told us not to tell you for your own benefit. You are always by his side, and you aren’t very good at lying either. Given how careful that Azure Mark is, it’s incredibly likely that he would detect our plans if you knew about them. We really didn’t intend on this plan at the very beginning either. The clan head kept it hidden in his heart, afraid that Azure Mark would find out. He only told us the night before we entered the realm in order to prevent any accidents from happening. Don’t think about it too much.”
Youthful Abundance was silent.
“I think she’s become addicted to being a slave. There’s no point in wasting your breath on her,” Second Word said disdainfully.
“Alright, let’s not talk about this any longer. We’re better off trying to figure out if there’s anything valuable close by. Don’t let the clan head’s efforts go to waste,” the elder said.
Everyone began to split up to search the area.
“Look, there’s a field of Glazed Jade Tobacco over there.” Some Harpies very quickly made a discovery and called the rest of the Harpies over to take a look.
Indeed, there was a field of Glazed Jade Tobacco in the distance. This kind of tobacco was a unique fragrant herb used by the Harpies to increase the power of their consciousnesses. Harpies would often light one when cultivating their consciousness power. Even though it wasn’t as effective as directly drinking a consciousness-improving medicine, it would still increase the efficiency of their cultivation significantly.
This field was actually worth quite a bit.
The elder was delighted. Just as he was about to order everyone to come over and harvest the field, he discovered that there seemed to be some strange lifeforms lingering near the field.
These creatures seemed quite small and were running through the fields, keeping their heads low as if they were running from something. Even though their joints were made of metal, a quick inspection of their Origin Energy levels revealed that they were quite weak. It was obvious that they wouldn’t pose much of a threat to them, so the elder gave the command. “Let’s go!”
The large group of Wind-Gathering Harpies advanced.
Those creatures were just wandering aimlessly through the fields when they suddenly saw a large group of Harpies rushing in their direction. They immediately revealed fearful expressions as they turned around to flee.
It would have been fine if the Harpies just chased them off, but there were some people who just wanted to start trouble. When those troublemakers saw that the creatures were behaving that cowardly, some of them launched fireballs at them.
Unexpectedly, all that happened was that the fireballs burst on the creatures’ skins upon impact, leaving no marks. The creatures weren’t even wounded.
“They’re that tough?” The Wind-Gathering Clan’s members were stunned.
The group of creatures, which was just about to turn tail and run, suddenly froze.
They glanced at each other, then at their opponents, before suddenly turning around again and baring their fangs.
An instant later, a wave of energy pressed down on the Harpies. Some of the weaker ones were immediately forced prostrate on the ground.
Next, a few of the creatures leapt into the air, used their unique method of aerial transportation to soar through the air, and unleashed punches at one of the fallen Harpies.
Blood and flesh flew through the air as that Harpy was immediately pulverized.
“Not good! These creatures have very powerful physical bodies!” the Harpy elder yelled.
Of course, it was already far too late to regret their decision.
The large group of metal creatures howled as they charged forwards, their feet slamming against the ground. Even though their combat style wasn’t particularly sophisticated, each blow of theirs was incredibly powerful, and sharp metal bones protruded all over their bodies. This made each and every one of them into a sharp ball that slashed through the air, sending violent fluctuations of energy cascading down onto the fleeing Harpies. Their frustration had been suppressed until now, where they had suddenly found an opportunity to vent their frustration. In but an instant, almost half of the Wind-Gathering Clan’s members had been slaughtered.
“Run!” the Harpy elder howled loudly as he did his best to rally the clan members and resist the powerful attacks crashing down on them.
All of the Harpies simultaneously flew backwards.
But even though those creatures were quite short, their temperament was incredibly fiery. As soon as they realized that these Harpies were no match for them, they began to pursue their targets relentlessly.
The Harpies could only do their best to fly away. When the Wind-Gathering Clan members noticed a few Harpies standing in the distance, they flew in their direction, regardless of whether those Harpies were their enemies or not. They yelled, “Help us!”
These wandering Harpies were drifters who had come after seeing the commotion. They didn’t really know what was going on. All they saw was a few short creatures chasing a large group of Harpies. These creatures seemed to have relatively weak Origin Energy signatures. As such, these drifter Harpies naturally thought that the creatures were incredibly weak. Unexpectedly, one of the creatures broke off from the main group and started charging towards one of the drifters, raising its bladed claw.
This single strike cleaved the Harpy in two, completely ignoring his defensive barrier.
The remaining Harpies were stunned. How could they possibly dare still think of fighting? They all immediately turned tail and ran, cursing the Wind-Gathering Clan all the while for dragging them into the mess. All they could do now was run along with a large group. Even if they weren’t able to find reinforcements, perhaps more people would be able to escape with a larger group.
As they furiously attempted to escape, they soon found another large group of Harpies flying in their direction.
This time, however, the situation was obviously different. The Harpy in the very lead was completely bald. It was obvious that he wasn’t a friendly one.
“It’s the Hunting Wind Bandits!” one of the more perceptive Harpies yelled loudly.
All of the Harpies present began to panic.
Now, there was a blockade in front of them and a group of pursuers behind them.