“Tch. I would’ve won even without your help,” Chang He huffed in annoyance, back in the small courtyard.
“Of course, of course. Our Chang He is one of the three Demon Hunter leaders. You would have defeated him in a single move. Old Ye, you interfered too early,” a brawny man wielding a giant hammer playfully jeered as he strode over. It was Wang Xinchao.
The Boundless Sect had created the Demon Hunters in order to deal with the gods’ attempts to gain more worshippers. The ones in charge of this new division were Ye Fenghan, Wang Xinchao, and Chang He.
Ye Fenghan and Chang He needed no introduction, as they were familiar characters. Even though Chang He was a bit impulsive and lacked Ye Fenghan’s stability, he more than made up for those deficiencies with the broad range of techniques that he had mastered and the varied tactics that he could employ. In a one-on-one battle, his strength was the weakest, but his ability to adapt on the fly was the greatest out of all of them. Wang Xinchao was also one of the Boundless Sect’s newer members. His calm, unhurried, and classic strategies had earned him a spot as another one of the Demon Hunters’ leaders.
Chang He was surprised to see Wang Xinchao appear as well. “How come both of you are here?”
“The God of Six Desires is already able to manifest an image. How could I not show up in that case?” Ye Fenghan replied.
He glanced at Zhang Tianshi’s body apprehensively.
The cracks in the Barrier were multiplying, and the influence that the gods could exert was increasing with each passing day. This meant that the pressure on the Demon Hunters was also steadily mounting.
This was obvious from just how much more difficult suppressing these worship rituals had become.
But throughout this process, the Boundless Sect had also accumulated quite a bit of valuable experience.
The most important discovery was that immortal energy was the best counter against divine power.
Ye Fenghan’s sword strike had been able to cleanly slice through the God of Six Desires’ image precisely because of this reason.
Still, expending about five percent of the immortal energy in his body to kill a mere image was a bit too excessive, Ye Fenghan thought to himself.
He was still at the Golden Pill realm, but with Su Chen’s guidance, he had begun to fill in some of the gaps in his foundation. This step would make his foundation much more stable, and when completed, his Golden Pill would be fully solidified.
Even so, it had taken five percent of the immortal energy that a Golden Pill cultivator possessed to destroy a mere projection of a god. It was obvious that, despite immortal energy’s inherent advantage against divine power, the cultivator’s personal strength still mattered quite a bit.
They really did need to find a higher realm!
Ye Fenghan couldn’t help but wonder how his Master’s research was faring.
Over the past few years, Su Chen had sunk almost all of his time into researching higher cultivation realms. Most of his efforts were centered around combining this new system of immortal energy with the Ultimate Emperor Realm to advance again.
But doing so seemed to be extremely challenging.
Even Ye Fenghan had no idea whether Su Chen would succeed or not.
And even if he did succeed...... would it be enough?
If their raw strength was still somewhat lacking even after another advancement was made, then they could only make up for the remaining deficit with numbers.
Ye Fenghan glanced at Chang He and then coldly replied, “Haven’t you already reached Foundation Establishment? You should have been able to kill him with a single strike.”
Chang He scratched his head in an embarrassed manner as he replied, “I forgot about that.”
“Hmph!” Ye Fenghan snorted before reprimanding, “No one will be around to save you if this happens again.”
“Tch. I’ll be fine even without your help. Right, Xinchao?”
“Call me Second Brother.”
“Bastard, I’ll defeat you sooner or later and claim that title for myself!”
Wang Xinchao paid Chang He’s squabbling no mind. Instead, he strode over to Zhang Tianshi and flipped his palm over. Suddenly, Wang Xinchao’s eyes rolled into the back of his head.
After a moment, he said, “It’s him.”
Both Ye Fenghan and Chang He perked up when they heard Wang Xinchao say this. “You’re sure?”
Wang Xinchao nodded decisively. “Yes, I just confirmed it. He’s a member of the Secret Alliance, and an elder at that.”
The two of them were delighted when they heard this news.
The Secret Alliance was a secret society that consisted of deity worshippers that had appeared roughly half a year or so ago. All of their members were religious fanatics, as well as members of various prominent organizations.
In order to fight back against the Boundless Sect’s culling, they had gathered together to coordinate themselves so that they could continue worshipping their gods. They were willing to use any tactic at their disposal to do so.
And the Demon Hunters were working quite hard to fight back against their combined force.
This was also why the three leaders had appeared in the same place — they had caught wind of the fact that Zhang Tianshi of the Secret Alliance would be coming here to perform demonic sacrifices earlier.
Wang Xinchao had obtained an Astral’s discarded body during the campaign against them, giving him the ability to interrogate an individual’s soul.
If a person hadn’t been dead for more than an hour, then their will would not be fully dissipated, and Wang Xinchao would then be able to interrogate them. Even Su Chen didn’t possess a technique like this, which made Wang Xinchao as rare as a Qilin’s horn or a phoenix feather even amongst the entire human race.
This ability of his was also an important reason behind why he had been chosen as one of the Demon Hunter leaders. The Demon-Imprisoning Hammer that he wielded was only secondary.
“Who else is a member of the Secret Alliance?” Ye Fenghan immediately asked.
Wang Xinchao shook his head. “The members of the Secret Alliance hide their identities from each other. Only the alliance’s leader knows the true identities of all the members. But I have a few guesses based on who Zhang Tianshi interacted with on a daily basis. He Tu should be responsible for leading the Moon Goddess worshippers, a Harpy named Flowing Fragrance for the Mother Goddess, Shadow Demon for the Mad God, and Li Yuan for the River God. Also, Flying Forehead and Ming Kong are responsible for the Dream God’s worshippers.”
“This is all old information,” Ye Fenghan muttered.
Having crossed paths with these worshippers a number of times in the past, Ye Fenghan knew every one of the names that Wang Xinchao had just mentioned.
Wang Xinchao continued talking. “Zhang Tianshi came all this way to meet with Flying Forehead to discuss the details of some important plan.”
“Reviving the Dreamrealm.”
Upon discovering that the Lord of the Dreamrealm was a god, Su Chen had immediately banned the Dreamrealm from being used by any human.
This was also the rule imposed by the Boundless Sect that had garnered the most backlash. After all, the Dreamrealm’s usefulness to everyone was just too great.
At the same time, however, the Dreamrealm was the very source that sustained the Dream God. Given how much consciousness energy flowed through the Dreamrealm, the Dream God was most likely the most comfortable out of all the gods.
Even though he knew that the backlash would be great, Su Chen still issued the decree and gave the command to enforce this rule.
The right to dream was not as valuable as the right to live. Under the tremendous pressure of the Boundless Sect, the other humans had no choice but to remove their seals and slaughter all of the Dream Spirits living inside.
During that period of time, a few of the humans who left the Dreamrealm relatively later were even able to watch that beautiful illusion collapse. The cute, lovable Dream Spirits had morphed into terrifyingly fierce, nightmarish creatures before their very eyes.
That terrifying scene left a deep impression on them, helping them realize just how fake the Dreamrealm’s beauty had been.
Even so, there were always people who would continue pursuing something beautiful even if they knew that it was fake.
They longed for the days of old, and blamed the Boundless Sect for the countless “injustices” that they were currently suffering.
Organizations with the goal of reviving the Dreamrealm had existed ever since it was banned, and even the Dreamrealm itself had not been completely destroyed. A few small groups of individuals were still holding on in there, clinging to what remnants they could.
Ye Fenghan and Chang He were not surprised by this revelation.
But Wang Xinchao wasn’t done yet.
He continued, saying, “They seem to have some confidence in succeeding. Flying Forehead said that he had obtained a Divine Crystal from the Lord of the Dreamrealm, which will allow them to create a more complete and stable Dreamrealm.”
“A Divine Crystal?” Ye Fenghan and Chang He glanced at each other in confusion.
“What is that?” Chang He asked.
“I don’t know its exact properties, but if Origin Crystals are condensed, refined Origin Energy, then it makes sense that Divine Crystals would be the same for divine power,” Wang Xinchao calmly replied.
Even though they had never seen a Divine Crystal before, they were able to infer its function just based on its name.
Chang He squinted, still unsure, as he replied, “We’ll need to look into this more thoroughly. Do you know where they are planning to do this?”
“In Wolfheart Valley, which isn’t far from here. They were planning on meeting three days from now.”
“Great. Let’s go and screw up their plans!” Chang He whooped in celebration.
Wang Xinchao shook his head. “Don’t be hasty. Zhang Tianshi’s memories tell me that quite a few worshippers will show up this time. I don’t know if just the three of us will be sufficient.”
“Hmph, they’re just a bunch of lowly worshippers,” Chang He replied dismissively, his voice laced with contempt.
Ye Fenghan, however, nodded in agreement with Wang Xinchao. “Our numbers are indeed a little low.”
Chang He glared at him. “Where did your balls go? Have we ever lost to these clowns after the Demon Hunters were formed?”
Ye Fenghan replied straightforwardly, “The situation has changed. The worshippers were not particularly strong in the past, and we were usually just subjugating some misguided farmers and commoners. Back then, our biggest issue was finding the worshippers, not exterminating them. Our primary mission is to investigate in the first place. But now that the gods’ influence grows stronger with each day, those worshippers are similarly becoming more and more powerful. Their ability to fight back against the Demon Hunters is increasing, which can be clearly seen from the number of casualties that we’ve suffered recently. I might not be afraid of a single Zhang Tianshi, but if ten or even hundreds of them are gathered in one place, then they will be quite a headache to deal with.”
“So your intention is to request help from the higher-ups, then?” Chang He was a little unhappy with such a decision.
“I’ve already informed the Sect Master. He will decide how this matter will be handled.” Ye Fenghan would never make such a risky decision on his own, which was part of the reason why he had been given such great responsibility.
The reply came very quickly through the transmission box.
That afternoon, Ye Fenghan was notified of the Sect Master’s decision.
But when he heard what that decision was, even he was stunned.
Ye Fenghan put down the box and said, “The higher-ups have replied.”
“What’s their decision?”
“Master will be personally coming this time.”
“What?” Chang He and Wang Xinchao were both stunned.
Su Chen was going to make an appearance?
“Yes!” Ye Fenghan nodded sincerely and repeated his words. “Master will be personally coming this time.”