Looks like they recognize me. Chen Feng smiled wryly to himself.
“You are Chen Feng from the Northern Plains?” one of them asked gingerly.
“Yes.” Chen Feng nodded, a wry smile appearing on his face. He had never imagined that he would become so famous. Back in the Northern Plains, he would be recognized the moment he showed his face. That was due to the monumental efforts by Nine Firmaments Palace to pursue him. However, to think that even cultivators from the Central Plains could recognize him. It felt quite amusing.
“So, it’s the renowned Chen Feng. Well met!” The cultivators there grew enthusiastic and even Tie Jian regarded Chen Feng from head to toe. Then, he said smilingly, “Elder Chen is truly extraordinary. It is said that you have killed a good number of disciples from Nine Firmaments Palace.”
“Ha ha, those are just rumours. By the way, our current situation does not look optimistic.” Chen Feng laughed it off and changed the subject.
“Azuresieve City is under siege. This is already the fifth day. Heartless Heaven Sect came well prepared. They cut off our ability to contact outside forces while the number of troops on their side keeps increasing. Meanwhile, the number of losses on our side keeps rising. Not to mention, the offensive power of Heartless Heaven Sect has been rising through the past five days. Still, judging by their past offensives, it is about time they withdraw their troops,” Tie Jian said.
“They’re withdrawing! The enemy is withdrawing their troops!” As expected, the soldiers began shouting.
“Relay my orders. The seriously wounded are to go heal up. The rest, immediately repair the broken walls and the magic arrays.” Tie Jian swiftly gave the orders. Although the enemy had withdrawn their troops, the expressions on Tie Jian and the others became more serious.
“Senior Brother Tie Jian, please charge out. We brothers will hold on for a few more days as we wait for you to get reinforcements,” one of the cultivators, tall and beefy in stature, said.
“Heh! First disregard whether or not I possess the ability to charge out. Even if I can, I won’t do so. I don’t even know if we can stop their attack tomorrow,” Tie Jian said solemnly.
Hearing that, they all went silent. It was the truth. The present situation was very clear to them all. The words earlier were only wishful thinking.
“No matter what happens, we must hold on to the very end. If it comes down to it, we’ll just enter the underground palace. It will not be easy for them to break their way through to the underground palace,” Tie Jian said.
“Should the city fall, how many people would die? How long has it been since our Heavenly Sword Faction has had to suffer from such a loss?”
“Humph! If it weren’t for the fact that Heartless Heaven Sect had joined forces with Warlord Pavilion to initiated a sneak attack against our sect, would Heartless Heaven Sect have the ability to act so imperiously?”
“Once we get out of here, we must settle this score with Warlord Pavilion.”
“Enough, let’s not talk about that anymore. Hurry up and recover as much energy as you can. Who knows if we’ll be able to stop them tomorrow?”
Deep at night, Chen Feng sat down cross-legged in a small courtyard. He brought out the Blood Mustering Bead. There were blood and killing energies hovering amidst the air of the city. All of the energy streams and even the strands of souls of the fallen that had yet to dissipate away were transformed into minute and imperceptible strands of light, which then flowed into the Blood Mustering Bead.
The blood-red talisman within the Blood Mustering Bead hovered about without respite and the bloody pool there kept churning. Bloody bubbles kept rising up to the surface of the lake and even the Bloody Nethertree’s roots began quivering.
As Chen Feng continued to spur the Blood Mustering Bead on, the range of absorption increased and minute rays of red light began appearing across the air. Soon enough, a vortex had appeared around the Blood Mustering Bead above Chen Feng’s head. It became like a black hole, devouring the myriad streams of energy.
It did not take long before the entire Azuresieve City was enveloped by the Blood Mustering Bead’s aura. The blood and killing energies, formed from the recent battles, were all stirred and absorbed by the Blood Mustering Bead.
“Eh, what is going on?”
“It feels like there is a magic treasure devouring the blood and killing energies in the air.”
“It’s coming from Elder Chen’s place. Is Elder Chen practicing demonic arts?”
“This aura feels even more profound compared to Sacred artefacts. There is a distant and ethereal feeling to it. Could it be a Dao artefact?” At that moment, Tie Jian, who was in the midst of recuperating, was alarmed as well. However, after noting that it had come from Chen Feng’s place, he ignored it and continued with his recuperation process.
Although Azuresieve City was in no way small, the amount of blood and killing energies drifting within the air there was not too high. Add the fact that the Blood Mustering Bead was a Dao artefact, it took only several breaths’ worth of time to completely absorb all the blood and killing energies within the city. Instantly, the cultivators within the city felt refreshed. The atmosphere of oppression plaguing them in recent days had disappeared.
As Chen Feng was utilizing the Blood Mustering Bead to absorb the blood energy around him, he was also observing the state of the Blood Mustering Bead. As the amount of blood and killing energies the Blood Mustering Bead absorbed rose, it slowly changed. The bloody pool boiled with an even greater ferocity and the Bloody Nethertree shook more fiercely. It was as though it had been watered by waters from a spiritual fountain. Additionally, there were also changes to the space within the Blood Mustering Bead. However, the changes were too small and even Chen Feng was nearly incapable of noticing the changes. In addition, the blood and killing energies moved to nurture the damaged parts of the Blood Mustering Bead and they began closing up. Clearly, the Blood Mustering Bead was in the process of recovering.
As expected, the Blood Mustering Bead is slowly recovering. It is the same as when it had previously devoured Human Immortals in the past. A pity, the blood and killing energies here are too little. It would be great if it can devour the blood essence of a few Human Immortals, Chen Feng thought.
With a hushed shout from Chen Feng, the Blood Mustering Bead spun slowly and the vortex it created abruptly grew larger before shrinking. However, the suction force that it was exerting doubled in strength.
The aura of the Blood Mustering Bead began spreading beyond the city. Under Chen Feng’s control, it began to furiously devour the blood and killing energies outside the city. The number of killings and deaths occurring outside the city through the past few days far outnumbered the number of killings and deaths within the city. Chen Feng observed as countless strands of blood flew over from beyond the city walls to enter the Blood Mustering Bead.
The Bloody Nethertree’s roots, tens of thousands of them, swung about ceaselessly. The roots became like agile snakes, twisting about as they absorbed the blood and killing energies entering the Blood Mustering Bead. They did not stop there. They were simultaneously extending through space into the outside world, where they began absorbing the worldly essences of the world and even the spiritual energies of the sun and the moon. Flower buds began appearing upon the branches of the Bloody Nethertree. However, they did not bloom.
Those must be Bloody Netherflowers. After blooming, they will bear fruits. However, they are not even blooming, let alone bear fruits. Looks like more blood energy is needed, Chen Feng thought.
Although it was a damaged Dao artefact, its grade was far superior compared to a Sacred artefact. In terms of power, it was not something that Sacred artefacts could compare against. After just a short time, the blood and killing energies outside the city were also completely devoured. However, none of the Bloody Netherflowers bloomed.
With a thought from Chen Feng, over 10,000 spirit stones appeared within the Blood Mustering Bead before exploding, transforming into surging streams of spiritual energy to nourish the damaged portions of the Blood Mustering Bead. After receiving the stimulations from the spiritual energy, the Blood Mustering Bead seemingly came to life. It became like a living human, breathing in the spiritual energy. After just a few breaths, it had absorbed all of the spiritual energy there. True to Chen Feng’s expectations, the Bloody Nethertree grew several notches bigger as well. Bright-red Bloody Netherflower buds appeared.
This is like a bottomless hole. Even if I bring out all of the spirit stones on me, they would not be enough to fill this hole. Although there was a high number of spirit stones piled up inside the Longevity Tower, this rate of consumption was not something that Chen Feng could handle. Not to mention, Chen Feng would still need spirit stones in the future.
Chen Feng’s action of utilizing the Blood Mustering Bead to devour the blood and killing energies there alarmed not only the cultivators from Azuresieve City, but also those from Heartless Heaven Sect who were surrounding Azuresieve City.
Who is it? This person is actually absorbing blood and killing energies. Could this person be a demonic cultivator? It is probably not someone from Heavenly Sword Faction. This person is probably a passer-by. The thought came to the minds of all the cultivators from Heartless Heaven Sect.
Back when Chen Feng was still part of Black Origin City, he had participated in the city’s war against Steel Stone City. During the battle, some passing-by cultivators had utilized a magic treasure to collect the blood, killing and various other energies coming out from the battlefield. However, compared to the present situation, the battle between Black Origin City and Steel Stone City was practically kid’s play.
“Send some men to investigate who this cultivator is. The other party is collecting blood and killing energies right above our heads. Clearly, they are not respecting our Heartless Heaven Sect.” The patrolling captain received the secret vocal transmission sent over by Liu Yuan. Immediately, he sent forth his subordinates, sending them flying up into the sky to search around.
Due to the Blood Mustering Bead’s power, Chen Feng’s divine sense was already spreading far out from Azuresieve City. He saw a barracks housing the Concealed stage soldiers surrounding the city.
Concealed stage cultivators. This is a good chance to test its power. This can also be considered as a form of training, Chen Feng thought. He activated the magic arrays within the Blood Mustering Bead and a strand of aura silently wrapped around two soldiers who were on guard duty.
The two soldiers were only at level 5 of the Concealed stage. They had yet to even condense out their Soulflames, cannon fodders for Heartless Heaven Sect in this battle. After the strand of aura enveloped them, blood instantly sprayed out from every pore on their bodies. In less than half a breath’s time, the two were utterly withered. Only two human skins were left, drifting onto the ground. Their blood essence had flowed through space to enter the bloody pool within the Blood Mustering Bead.
“Sii!” Seeing that, Chen Feng sucked in a breath of air. Chen Feng was only thinking of testing the Blood Mustering Bead’s power. He had not expected this result.
What an overbearing magic treasure! What a savage demonic artefact! Chen Feng was secretly astounded.
A team of patrolling soldiers, lined up in an orderly row, came over. When they saw the human skins on the ground, their faces sank sharply. The team leader wanted to cry out. However, with just a thought from Chen Feng, another stream of blood energy converged to envelop the team of soldiers.
There was a total of 20 soldiers. Just like before, in less than half a breath’s time, all the blood essences inside their bodies sprayed out and they were all reduced to human skins. The armour and weapons they carried came crashing down onto the ground.
That immediately alarmed the others in the barracks. The soldiers from Heartless Heaven Sect gathered. When they saw what was on the ground, they all paled. They were all soldiers who had killed who knows how many people, veterans of a hundred battles. They had experienced much in their careers. Not even a bloody battlefield could shake their resolute wills. However, this scene laid out before them, bereft of a single drop of blood, sent shivers down their spines.