Time slowly passed by.
Suddenly noticing something, a fatigued Qianye retreated from his desolate mental realm.
This was a sign of the Glory Chapter reaching its limits. Although the chapter didn’t consume origin power, a good deal of mental concentration was required to drive the vortex and condense origin power. Qianye had never encountered such a bottleneck before. It only appeared in the Great Vortex because the Song Clan Ancient Scroll was running at many times its usual speed.
Qianye looked into his own body and found a layer of scarlet gold Venus Dawn energy had filled the bottom of the new vortex, sparkling from the small crystalline granules within. At this rate, it would take less than a month to fill the entire vortex and lay down the foundation for his seventh.
It was time for him to take a break, lest he goes over the limit.
There was a fair bit of time left before dawn, and the two girls were cultivating in earnest. Qianye sat quietly as he digested his experiences and gains since coming into the Great Maelstrom.
The Profound Combatant Formula was extremely effective here, and he was able to harvest origin power just by breathing. Increasing the intensity of his cultivation could no longer supplement him with more origin power, but it could be used to train certain control arts.
These arts were actually just a collection of tricks and techniques. No matter how complicated they were, their level could only reach so high as a secret art. With Qianye’s current achievements on the martial path, he would be able to produce a fairly good technique on his own.
Following Ji Tianqing’s explanation, Qianye had realized that the Profound Combatant Formula’s activated state was something only divine champions would possess. Cultivating this formula was using a divine champion power with a champion’s body—how could ordinary cultivators endure this strain? Only Qianye, with his ancient vampire constitution, could take on the pressure produced by the hundred-meter origin vortex. Any other person would’ve turned into meat-paste.
On the other hand, cultivating blood energy was so much simpler. Plundering essence blood was the easiest and most direct path. Qianye had received certain inheritances and vampire cultivation arts after communicating with the River of Blood. After a detailed comparison, however, Qianye found that these arts were not that much more profound compared to the modern ones. Besides, none of them were comparable to plundering essence blood.
That was reasonable because draining essence blood was simply the strong devouring the weak. It was just that the food being devoured was essence blood, which contained greater vitality. That served to save the process of refinement and thereby increasing efficiency.
Hence, the vampires had only improved upon the upper limits of their bloodline talents and secret arts that would bring out these powers. They hadn’t put a lot of focus in the technique department.
Going along this train of thought, he discovered the profundity of the Song Clan Ancient Scroll’s Mystery Chapter. It was actually able to refine his sentient golden blood energy into a dark golden one—an unimaginable feat in and of itself.
The dark golden blood energy had never appeared in the inheritances he currently possessed. According to ancient records, a vampire’s blood energy would turn into a golden color after reaching the duke rank and, thereafter, grow increasingly pure as his rank increased.
That was the extent of his inheritance. Perhaps he would obtain new information when he became a duke and was allowed to communicate with the River of Blood a second time. There was no telling if he would find more records about the dark golden blood energy at that point. It might be related to the rank of prince or even higher.
From what he currently knew, the Song Clan Ancient Scroll could be considered a supreme secret art for the vampire race. Its ability to refine and change the nature of blood energy was like breaking through the upper limits of one’s bloodline talents. Just that dark golden blood energy could be ranked among the top few in the entire vampire realm.
But how could such a secret volume be so obscure? So much so that Song Zining was able to take it out so easily. How did it appear in the Song clan’s depository in the first place?
Qianye felt that most knowledgeable experts would be able to see how extraordinary the Song Clan Ancient Scroll was.
The human race had risen to power for over one thousand and two hundred years. Add to that the unrecorded age of darkness before that, who knew how many hidden secrets there were—this might just be one of them.
Qianye exhaled gently. Knowing that he wouldn’t find any of those answers right now, he simply pushed the questions deep down inside his heart and proceeded to comprehend Excavator in silence.
It was an extremely quiet time of the day. The cold of the frigid night was still in the air, and it actually served to clear his mental state. Qianye first memorized the entirety of the text, and then began studying it word by word.
Excavator wasn’t just an exertion technique but also a peerless way of channeling origin power. Starting from a single point of focus, and then layer by layer, snowballing into a tremendous force. In the end, the enemy could neither block nor evade.
That wasn’t the extent of it. Excavator’s origin power would ignite one after the other in quick succession. Another wave of power would be ready after the first had been blasted out, and hence, there was no need to wait for the layers of origin power to accumulate.
Controlling and combining multiple streams of origin power would increase the difficulty exponentially—working with three of them wasn’t as simple as a threefold jump.
The greater the number of activation points, the lesser the gaps and the denser the volley. Naturally, controlling them would be much harder. At the apex of its cultivation, one could control nine activation points in total. This would allow for an endless torrent of power capable of demolishing mountains, a peerless secret art for charging at enemy formations.
Qianye recalled Ji Tianqing’s attack intervals in battle and noticed that she had cultivated three activation points. That was enough to give her a distinct advantage over her peers. Li Kuanglan could only rival her with Cold Moon’s Embrace in hand. She was no longer a match immediately after losing the famed sword.
Ji Tianqing’s limit wasn’t her lack of comprehension but rather because her constitution wasn’t strong enough. Every activation point would bring great stress upon the body, somewhat similar to the vortex power of the Profound Combatant Formula. Three activation points was very likely her limit.
After comprehending the theory, Qianye started channeling Excavator according to the prescribed method. Venus Dawn was the peak of daybreak—ease of channeling was merely its basic attribute, allowing one to exert force at a single thought. A single cycle of the art produced a vibrating point of origin power in Qianye’s abdomen, sending shockwaves all over his body and down to his fingertips. At his command, these vibrations would erupt with great power with which to assail the enemy.
Qianye kept going and soon condensed a second activation point. At this point, he could feel a numb sensation all over his body, a clear indication that the body was reacting to the vibrations. This tingling, however, didn’t affect him in the slightest. It was merely a sensation, not unlike a feather brushing against his body.
In the blink of an eye, three activation points had formed, and the three layers of vibrations had stacked up. The tingly sensation had also become much more evident. This was Ji Tianqing’s current level, but for Qianye, this amount of vibration was still within an acceptable range. It couldn’t even be considered stressful.
Hence, he had no intention of stopping. He continued channeling the art forming the fourth, fifth, and sixth activations point. Only at this point did he feel his body becoming sluggish, almost as though he were clad in a leaden shirt. After a brief moment of thought, he decided to go ahead and form the seventh one.
The simultaneous existence of seven activation points resulted in a dense array of shockwaves. With Qianye’s current cultivation, he would produce almost no gap if he were to attack in this state. One would have to manufacture an opening in order to defeat him.
However, this was his current limit. One day, when he had crossed the divine champion threshold or even higher, his attack speed would climb sharply. At that point, the current seven activation points would be insufficient. He would then need to cultivate further to match his combat arts.
With seven simultaneous activation points, Qianye was starting to feel a mild stabbing pain throughout his body. He knew this was his body reaching its limits; an additional point would likely injure him. Even at seven points, his movements were somewhat restricted—it was best not to go so far unless absolutely necessary.
Qianye gradually dispersed his origin power. He couldn’t help but sigh emotionally at how full of hidden talents the Empire was. What kind of mighty expert would it take to produce nine activation points at the same time? The senior who invented this art was even more of a genius, someone who could utilize origin power to the point of perfection.
The Great Maelstrom was a cultivation heaven for Qianye. One day here was equal to several in the outside world. However, the best place for training was actually the region with ten times the gravity or even deeper. It was just that the other two couldn’t remain for long due to their cultivation levels, and Qianye needed to send them back to the starting area.
By the time they were done collecting resources, it would be time to leave the Great Maelstrom. Qianye had a sudden urge to go back to the high-gravity areas or perhaps explore even deeper. Cultivating for one month here would equal a year outside, and it wouldn’t be easy to come back in after leaving.
Qianye had learned from the two ladies that it would take hundreds of years for the neutral-lands passage to open. The tunnel would vanish once the origin tides had passed their trough. At that time, the two factions would have to fight over the quotas once more.
At this point, the first rays of dawn had appeared over the horizon, and Qianye glanced about at the lightening world, enjoying this rare moment of calm. So many things had happened during his short time in the Great Maelstrom—he felt mentally worn out. But at this moment, all restlessness, confusion, and agitation seemed to have calmed down as the golden rays of the sun flowed over his field of vision.
It was at this moment that Qianye decided he would leave the Great Maelstrom with Ji Tianqing and Li Kuanglan after arriving at the starting region.
That dream from the night before reminded Qianye that he was missing Nighteye. The first thing he would do upon going back was to visit the warship and see her. Even if he couldn’t meet her, it would be nice to hear her voice at least.
Even someone as determined as he was couldn’t help but reminisce and feel expectant.
Qianye was suddenly overcome by a familiar sense of indisposition. When Nighteye was struggling to escape him in his dreams, her body and appearance were changing constantly. Only her pair of calm, cold eyes told Qianye that she was Nighteye.
But now that he thought back to the clear scene of chaos, her silhouette and build were different from what Qianye remembered. Instead, it was similar to Ji Tianqing’s figure in the lake.
That was a dream, however, and such visions were seldom true to reality. Besides, it wasn’t strange that the projections would be warped since he was barely conscious. Qianye had also experienced a desire for Ji Tianqing when his desires were amplified in the core-region of the Great Maelstrom. But that was just an urge, something that would never turn into action.
Qianye thus consoled himself and ignored the minuscule sense of uneasiness.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie