Chapter 1057: Silent Contest

With that, Ji Tianqing entered the Constellation Well and began condensing an origin crystal. Having done it once already, the lady was much faster than last time and had soon drawn upon the power of a dozen small stars. Two medium stars flickered momentarily before spitting out star power as well, and the energy eventually converged into the Storm Pearl.

One would know at a single glance that Ji Tianqing had activated more stars than Basil had, and the quality of her product would be higher. It was just that human origin power capacity was a tad inferior to the dark races at the same level of cultivation, and the arachne were famous for their strength and deep origin power pools. Hence, there was no telling if Ji Tianqing’s origin crystal would be of a higher quality than Basil’s.

After Ji Tianqing had gone down into the well, Li Kuanglan said, “Our Jingtang Li Clan has our own set of comprehension regarding the well. Although the art itself is less profound than Tianqing’s, the condensed origin crystal won’t be inferior. Those who find her technique unsuitable can use mine.”

With that, Li Kuanglan recited a summary of incantations.

Both Ji Tianqing and Li Kuanglan were addressing people like Zhao Yuying and Wei Potian who hadn’t been to the Constellation Well before. The other Imperial experts had benefited from the sidelines, but having any amount of extra support against the dark races was a good thing.

In less than an hour, Ji Tianqing drifted up from the well with an origin crystal. This one was of much greater quality than her first one, almost catching up to Qianye’s high-quality crystal.

The sky was already turning dark when Ji Tianqing returned, and both camps returned to rest.

Edward and Anwen walked side by side, the latter explaining the main points of origin blood extraction without holding back. Edward listened intently and would bring up his own ideas from time to time. After returning to camp, Anwen asked, “How do you feel about it?”

Edward said slowly, “I’ll probably be able to produce a marquis-level origin blood.”

Anwen nodded. “It might not stop there if you can activate some of the key stars.”

Edward shook his head. “I’m not strong enough.” Edward had always been a proud genius, but he wasn’t blindly arrogant in the face of a true power gap. Anwen processed this Holy Son’s character and made note in his mind. It wouldn’t be a bad thing for the demonkin if all the top characters of the vampire race’s younger generation were this intelligent.

The experts in the Imperial camp were mostly engaged in cultivation. Song Zining, though, was frowning in front of the bonfire. He suddenly stood up and patted Qianye on the shoulder. “Follow me to the well.”

Qianye saw the Storm Pearl Song Zining was fiddling with. “Don’t tell me you’re going to condense an origin crystal now? The night here can’t be considered frigid, but it does weaken our vitality and origin power.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t go into the well. I’m only going to take a look.”

Since he had said so, Qianye felt that it was fine to accompany him to the well. The Imperial camp was a fair distance from their destination, and Qianye was afraid the Demoness would attack again if he were to let the seventh young master go alone.

The two soon arrived at the well. Song Zining jumped up and stood in the air, deep in thought as he gazed at the sparkling stars below.

Moments later, he returned to Qianye’s side and said, “Did you notice?”

Qianye was also looking down this whole time and felt that something wasn’t quite right. Yet, he couldn’t really pinpoint what was wrong. He thought that it was his own misconception at first, but now that Song Zining was asking him, something had to be out of place.

Song Zining didn’t keep up the suspense. He pointed to a certain direction, saying, “See those stars? Those are the ones Tianqing drew star power from. That, that, and that too.”

After Song Zining pointed them out, Qianye understood what was wrong. “Those stars haven’t recovered their star power!”

“Indeed. Some time has passed already, but there’s no change in them at all. If that’s the case, it seems they might not recover any time soon.”

There were tens of thousands of stars in the well, and most of them were small flickering stars, the easiest type to sense and absorb from. Each condensation process would only activate a small number of stars. Even Qianye’s attempt, during which he had drawn from a great number of them, was negligible compared to the whole. One would hardly notice this without careful observation.

The fact that the absorbed stars didn’t recover implied a lot of things. This was different from the Empire’s past understanding of the Constellation Well. The two factions reaching a temporary compromise was also based on the belief that the star power was boundless and that it would make no difference no matter who went in.

Just as Qianye was thinking hard, Song Zining thought of something. “It’s not a true starry sky at the bottom of the well!”

“Then what is it?”

Song Zining shook his head. “I don’t know, either.”

He gave it some thought before saying, “If that’s the case, we have to change our strategy a bit. The rest of us will go down for the condensation and you last, that way, your chances of sensing the bigger stars will increase.”

Qianye thought back to the process in detail and realized that it made sense. It was indeed quite difficult to find the special stars amidst the sea of smaller ones.

At this moment, Anwen and Eden were seated face to face, the former explaining to him about the latest extraction process he had thought of.

Eden waited until the explanation was done before asking, “Why did you help Edward and the others perfect their methods? Wouldn’t that increase the vampire race’s strength?”

Anwen smiled faintly. “It will, but ours will increase even more. The gap between our races will only grow bigger and bigger.”

Eden remained half-skeptical.

Anwen said with a smile, “Don’t think too much. You go down after Edward tomorrow, let me see if the new method is effective.”

The next day, the Evernight experts stood guard while Edward entered the Constellation Well. At the same time, they were also observing and learning the process. The Imperial crowd stood halfway up the mountain looking down at the well.

Edward was, after all, a Holy Son who had survived blood torture and possessed a wisp of a Great Monarch’s aura. His condensation process was extremely smooth, forming a marquis-level origin blood in a much shorter time compared to Basil.

This outcome stirred up the Evernight experts and filled Anwen with anticipation.

When it was the Empire’s turn, the one to appear was surprisingly not Li Kuanglan or Zhao Yuying, but Wei Potian instead.

The man’s characteristics were clear—he was outstanding in defense, but one grade inferior in other aspects, including cultivation talents. According to Anwen’s calculations, he would barely be able to form a crystal. Why would they let him take the field?

Once inside the well, projections of mountain ranges appeared around Wei Potian to resist the gravitational power. His defensive specialization lessened his burden here, and the drain on his origin power was no faster than Ji Tianqing.

No one knew whether it was sheer luck or a characteristic of the Thousand Mountains, but Wei Potian activated numerous stars in succession after entering the well. Although they were only minuscule stars, he managed to surprise everyone by drawing over a dozen of them.

In the end, he managed to gain victory in numbers and form an origin crystal. Although the quality was rather mediocre, it was still a profit nonetheless.

Anwen observed the process from afar, seemingly lost in thought. Eden had descended into the Constellation Well by this point, so Anwen pushed away all distractions and focused on Eden’s first try.

Before long, dozens of stars were activated and their energy entered the blood rod in front of Eden. There were a total of seven medium-sized stars among them, to which Anwen nodded approvingly. He observed and calculated carefully in hopes of perfecting the origin blood formation process.

One could see Eden fumbling about as the blood was almost formed. It was obvious that he was trying to sense some of the bigger stars, or even the dark star. However, he never succeeded up until his demonic energy was depleted, ultimately ending up with a count grade origin blood.

Before this, Edward had managed to establish communication with a big star related to the vampire race. That was why he had managed to form a marquis-grade origin blood. Although he had only reached the weakest big star and the time was quite limited, it granted the end-product a qualitative upgrade.

Eden wasn’t too far off. The drop of origin blood he had collected was far superior to ordinary count-grade ones. With some luck, it could increase a demonkin’s talent to the virtuous count rank.

After Eden exited the Constellation Well, Li Kuanglan entered the well from the Empire’s side. Her second performance was even more outstanding than Ji Tianqing’s. In the blink of an eye, she had activated dozens of small stars and the number was quickly increasing, eventually closing in on a hundred. Although she had only drawn upon two medium-sized stars, the number of smaller ones was much greater than Eden’s. It was truly difficult to say whose performance was better.

Soon, Li Kuanglan successfully condensed a medium-grade origin crystal filled with icy aura. The quality was much higher than her first one and just shy of entering the high-quality range.

The sky was almost dark at this point, and the gravitational power in the well had become chaotic. As such, the people from either side went back to rest and wait for the second day.

Anwen was silently calculating in his tent when he thought of something. He suddenly rushed to the side of the well and looked down, his expression gradually changing.

“What’s the matter?” The Demoness’ voice echoed in the air.

Anwen’s expression was unsightly. “I think we’ve been tricked,” he couldn’t help but sigh. The vampires and arachne had somehow managed to obtain the condensation method from the humans, but they never understood the secrets of the Constellation Well.

If he weren’t here, or in constant calculation to surpass the other two races in method, perhaps no one would’ve noticed this small discrepancy. Despite his meticulous calculations, he still didn’t know that this was the first time the well had displayed an unusual situation after being drained so quickly.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts

TL: Legion   ED: Moxie


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