Zhao Weihuang, at this moment, noticed that he had lost his composure. He duly returned to his seat but couldn’t wipe the grin off his face.
The dukes You and Yan also nodded repeatedly. With their status and authority in the Zhao clan, it was only natural that they would hear things ordinary people wouldn’t. For instance, how this Venus Dawn was the reason Zhao Junhong had once lost in Qianye’s hands.
Venus Dawn was considered an origin power closest to the ultimate source of daybreak. It was powerful because of its purity. Although it possessed no special offensive abilities on its own, it wasn’t restricted by any attribute, either. Judging from Qianye’s visual phenomena, it was already sufficient to pour the Zhao clan’s resources into raising him.
It was just that the two dukes felt some regret after recalling the matters of the past. Qianye’s potential would be even greater if he wasn’t captured—but the past was gone, and there was no way to change it. Moreover, the choice between the master of the Red Spider Lily and a future divine champion wasn’t just about talent and strength. There was also the general situation and bigger picture to consider.
The atmosphere within the Immortal Manor grew more relaxed after the visual phenomena appeared. The three dukes began to chat and laugh. The things they talked about were the major events of the world and the instability of the imperial court which seemed unrelated to the issue at present. However, they had already reached a tacit agreement on the many things hidden within their seemingly light-hearted conversation.
At this moment, the specks of golden light hadn’t receded—on the contrary, they were growing higher and higher. First, they reached one’s waist and gradually rose to the treetops. Suddenly, a type of profound accumulation spread throughout the entire Fortune Courtyard as though a mountain rain was about to fall.
The night sky, at first, was clear as far as the eye could see, but no one knew when dark clouds had suddenly appeared. They gathered from every direction and covered up the entire firmament in the blink of an eye—it was as though the canopy of the sky was about to drop down. Starlight fell like rain as the sky almost toppled over. The hue of the scarlet flow also turned deeper as waves started to form upon it. Each wave grew higher than the next, akin to the deep sea before a tempest.
The great waves raged like the tides as a vortex appeared in the blink of an eye. A sudden clap of thunder rang out! An inexplicable pressure tore the void apart and formed patches of darkness in the sky. Thereafter, boundless void energy poured down like a waterfall and into the deep sea below!
An immeasurable amount of void origin power poured into the great sea every second—it was enough to cause an ordinary champion to explode.
The old steward and the attendant were both petrified on the spot as they stared up at the giant interweaving lacerations in the void. Everyone was so busy gazing at this apocalypse-like scene that not one person noticed how the origin distillate within the Marrow Cleansing pond was decreasing rapidly—all its reserves had already been exhausted.
At the bottom of the Marrow Cleansing Pond, Qianye sat with his eyes tightly closed and his chest heaving up and down. He could hear a faint pulsation akin to the beating of a primordial drum as the origin power poured down from the void and entered the origin vortex in his chest.
At the core of this origin vortex was the deepest of darkness capable of devouring everything. Even influx of such a vast amount of void origin power and Marrow-Cleansing origin distillate was only able to produce a slow expansion.
Within the Fortune Courtyard, a speck of radiance suddenly emerged at the center of the great sea vortex—a resplendent piece of golden-colored crystal floating on the water surface. After the first, there was a second, then a third, and this went on endlessly.
In an instant, the countless crystals shot out from the vortex core and flew around each other. It was as though a great path had been paved from a river of stars, connecting the heaven and earth!
The brilliant might caused the entire world to grow dim in comparison, and all life lost their voices.
The three Zhao clan dukes atop the Immortal Manor gazed at the visual phenomena with bated breaths.
The vision came swiftly and left just as fast. It blossomed like a night-blooming-cactus and vanished immediately afterward. The several attendants in Fortune Courtyard were rubbing their eyes, unsure whether they had just seen a heavenly vision or if it was just an illusion.
The Immortal Manor was completely silent. Moments later, Zhao Weihuang asked with a frown, “What was that vision just now? Is it good or bad?”
At this moment, Zhao Weihuang was also at a loss because such a phenomenon had never been described in the Zhao clan records.
Duke Yan said, “The Pivotal Perception ability of the great array under the Marrow Cleansing Pond is born of the same source as Lin Xitang’s Art of Heaven’s Mystery. Its ability to induce visual phenomena and judge one’s potential is naturally not inferior to his own. I heard Qianye has never cultivated our Zhao clan secret arts, then it’s not surprising for him to produce an unprecedented phenomenon.”
At this moment, Duke You let out a long sigh and said slowly, “Such a grand vision, such a heavenly path! This child’s future is boundless! Boundless!”
Zhao Weihuang felt worry instead of joy after hearing Duke You’s assessment. He said with a frown, “This matter might not be a good thing for Qianye.”
Duke You Zhao Xuanji’s voice turned void as he said word by word, “Issue a silencing order. Today’s matter must not be spoken of. Otherwise, even lineal children and grandchildren shall not be spared from execution! As for the stewards and attendants of Fortune Courtyard, we shall send them all away.”
Zhao Yuying and Zhao Ruoxi felt a chill in their hearts. They knew the actual meaning behind Duke You’s seemingly played-down word “send away”. That even lineal descendants shall be executed wasn’t a joke, either. Zhao Xuanji possessed extreme killing intent during his youth, and his methods were always ruthless. However, he rarely used such harsh words as he grew older throughout the years—but once spoken, they would be carried out without fail.
Zhao Weihuang’s frown remained knitted as he laughed wryly. “This is treating the symptoms and not the cause.” Dealing with those attendants and stewards would make it even more conspicuous.
Duke Yan laughed calmly and said, “It’s nothing so serious. If something really does happen, we’ll adopt the appropriate measures for the situation. Our Swallow Cloud Zhao Clan and the empire are of the same age. Even if all life and death obstacles come at us, there’s no telling who will be the one destroyed. Well then, since this matter has ended, us two old fellows will leave first. You go and welcome Qianye.”
The two dukes’ figures flickered as they vanished from the Immortal Manor. Zhao Yuying and Zhao Ruoxi glanced at one another before following Zhao Weihuang down the building and toward the Marrow Cleansing Pond to wait for Qianye’s emergence. As for Zhao Fenglei and Zhao Xiuzhu, Duke Yan would naturally be in charge of restraining them.
Qianye slowly opened his eyes within the Marrow Cleansing pond and discovered himself lying naked at the bottom of the pond. Surprisingly, the entire pool had been drained—the occasional drop of origin distillate would fall from the circulation pipe and down onto the bottom of the empty pond.
Qianye couldn’t help but become startled. He only noticed moments later that he had absorbed all of the origin distillate within the Marrow Cleansing Pond. But Zhao Yuying had told him before that Zhao Jundu used only a third during his advancement. How come he still felt a bit unsatiated even after draining it all? Just now during the advancement, he had indeed felt that the origin distillate wasn’t quite enough.
Immediately afterward, he looked into his body and found that an origin vortex had replaced his nine origin nodes and was rotating slowly but continuously. His origin vortex was formed from intense origin distillate—the completely liquefied form of origin power.
Qianye flipped over, sat up, and duly exited the Marrow Cleansing Pond. Naturally, there were attendants waiting to return him his clothes and personal belongings as well as to help him get properly dressed.
After passing through two doors, Qianye saw Zhao Weihuang standing before him.
Zhao Weihuang’s eyes narrowed upon seeing Qianye. There was actually a slight feeling of pressure. Qianye had only just advanced to the champion rank but could already make him feel some pressure. Even this negligible degree could be considered quite inconceivable.
Zhao Weihuang’s eyes were like lightning as he scanned Qianye from head to toe. He was astonished as he quickly realized that the latter had formed only one vortex. At the same time, he was also somewhat disappointed because Zhao Jundu crossed three levels upon his advancement. After inciting such a terrifying phenomenon, Qianye normally should’ve reached rank two at the very least. Yet in the end, he had only produced a single vortex—a mere rank ten.
But when his perception landed on Qianye’s origin vortex, Zhao Weihuang immediately sensed that the latter’s origin power was completely liquefied. Moreover, there were crystalline granules oscillating within it. Even Zhao Weihaung, someone who had been in a high position for such a long time and seen many capable and distinguished experts, was shaken.
These shocking crystals were formed from liquefied origin power which had been condensed to the next level. Even after personally witnessing the visual phenomenon just now, Zhao Weihuang had never imagined that Qianye would’ve touched the threshold of origin crystallization.
Origin crystallization was the prerequisite for a divine champion.
Even Qianye himself hadn’t imagined such an accomplishment. The origin power in his entire body had reached the extremes of purity after being thoroughly refined twice by the Glory Chapter. Add to that the aid of the Marrow Cleansing Pond, he was finally able to take the vital step forward.
Zhao Weihuang was more worried than delighted as he watched Qianye. He let out a light sigh and asked, “Do you feel any discomfort?”
“That’s good then. Rest well for a couple of days, and don’t over-cultivate.” With that, Zhao Weihuang prepared to leave but turned back after recalling something. “East Peak has reached the Crafts Manor. You can go and observe the forging process if you have nothing to do. It might be beneficial to your future.”
Upon seeing Qianye nod in response, Zhao Weihuang turned to leave without saying anything else. After he had walked a fair distance, Zhao Ruoxi emerged from the vegetation beside the road and followed him from behind. She had shrunk back at the very last moment and didn’t let Qianye see her.
Zhao Weihuang kept walking on for a while before glancing at Zhao Ruoxi. “You’re willing to follow me now?”
Zhao Ruoxi ignored the overtone in his words and asked directly, “Do you have any secret arts that can conceal one’s cultivation?”
“What for?” Zhao Weihuang frowned.
“To give Qianye. Didn’t you all just say Qianye’s talents will bring him danger if exposed?”
Zhao Weihuang looked pensive, but he still shook his head in the end. “This matter can’t be hidden from people with intentions. Moreover, I see that his martial dao is a path of breaking through everything with strength, seeking the profound in simplicity and walking straight ahead. He’s not suited to hiding about. Besides, which expert of the present generation didn’t kill countless powerful enemies and walk out from amidst blood and flames? Even I, your father, had to go through several near-death experiences in order to get to where I am today.”
Zhao Ruoxi remained silent, and no one knew what she was thinking. It was just that the grasp on her Red Spider Lily tightened.
News spread fast via bribery. Before long, the entire Zhao residence knew that Qianye had encountered a setback during his advancement. Even the attendants of the Fortune Courtyard were dismissed and were, after a couple of days, dispatched to remote family branches. Additionally, Qianye was actually found to possess the top-ranking talent, Venus Dawn, and managed to advance to the champion rank despite the twists and turns. However, he was only rank-ten.
This news explained why Zhao Jundu cared so much about this Qianye. But the Zhao clan bloodline was excellent, and there was no shortage of rank-skippers among the descendants qualified to enter the Marrow Cleansing Pond. Apart from Duke Chengen’s fourth young master, almost all of them would reach rank-eleven at least. This was also true for half of Duke Yan and You’s scions. Although the Venus Dawn talent was rare, the inability to convert it into true combat strength was rather unconvincing to the masses.
Ignoring all the matters that would follow, Qianye was now only rank-ten and this caused many a young disciple to extinguish thoughts of seeking him out for a fight. Some of the more radical ones expressed disdain, claiming that a commoner was still a commoner—possessing talent but completely useless. They were resentful that he had taken up a quota for nothing.
But although Zhao Jundu was leading troops outside at the moment, Qianye had that fiend Zhao Yuying near him. Hence, no one was willing to provoke him despite their dissatisfaction.
What surprised everyone was that Zhao Fenglei, who had been very interested in Qianye all this time, was suddenly lacking in enthusiasm. He would find a reason to leave whenever a similar topic popped up, and no one dared inquire further after seeing his gloomy expression.
The happenings within the Fortune Courtyard were limited to a small circle of people—at least for the time being. As such, Qianye’s days in the Mountain Splitter Courtyard were unexpectedly peaceful and leisurely.
On Evernight Continent, however, a tempest was brewing.
Things seemed unchanged, but in truth, the gradually expanding or shrinking borders of the Iron Curtain had finally settled down. The observers from the imperial military confirmed this several times before announcing this shocking information. Everyone knew that this signified the arrival of a great change.
The little town acting as the empire’s frontline command center became fairly busy. From noon onward, legions of soldiers and all types of heavy weaponry rolled out continuously. Very soon, the greater half of the town became quite empty. The high-ranking officer residences located around the small barracks to the north of the city became mostly deserted.
Lin Xitang walked out from the central tent in a hurry with several generals and a dozen or so personal guards behind him. His rushed footsteps came to a sudden halt as he glanced over at the heroic man in martial attire standing in the middle of the main road leading out of the camp.
Lin Xitang maintained his composure, but his expression sank ever so slightly. Zhang Boqian had already spoken without waiting for the former to say anything, “You’re entering the Iron Curtain.”
The five short words didn’t constitute a question but rather, a fact.
Zhang Boqian’s pair of phoenix eyes were deep and profound. His entire body exuded a suppressive might like the dark clouds pressing down upon the city, so much so that even the weather changed slightly in one part of the sky. Leaden clouds appeared out of thin air and blotted out the rarely seen clear-skies. It seemed as though they were pressing continuously down upon the great earth, making it difficult for people to breathe.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Be Awed! Be Amazed! Take that! :D
TL: Legion ED: Moxie
Teaser Source: http://www.baka-raptor.com/AccordingToAnime/index.php