Chapter 1059: Cheating At a Cost

The flying leaf arrived at lightning speed and slashed the demonic energy into two!

The fore-part of the demonic energy kept moving forward, but it gradually lost momentum. It did touch the edges of the large star and cause a ripple, but that was the extent of it. As the demonic energy dispersed, the fluctuating star power also calmed down eventually.

Anwen gazed at everything in a daze, his face flushed red as he almost coughed up blood.

Only now did he realize that Song Zining wasn’t just fooling around in the well. He had actually laid down a sinister trap at the expense of failing his own condensation and focused on locking out the large stars Anwen might draw upon. In short, he gave up on an origin crystal in order to prevent Anwen from obtaining origin blood.

This kind of harmful method almost made Anwen cough up blood. Destruction was always easier than construction, and the same applied to laying down a trap versus communicating with the star. Even though Song Zining’s cultivation was far inferior compared to Anwen, it was more than enough to stir up trouble for the demonkin.

Having failed at the last checkpoint, Anwen glanced furiously at Song Zining and then looked back at that large star, his face full of reluctance. He then shot out another stream of demonic energy that snaked toward the second large star.

There was still some star power fluctuation around the previous large star, which proved that Song Zining had left more than just a single leaf there. Anwen wasn’t about to fall for the same trick twice.

Watching the demonic energy stretch forward, Anwen muttered in his mind, “You can’t seal off all the stars, can you?”

Song Zining naturally couldn’t seal off all the big stars, and Anwen also suspected as much. Had the seventh young noble gotten lucky with that first one or had he calculated which stars were beneficial for the demonkin?

Comparatively, Anwen would rather believe the former because calculating star power was an extremely complicated business. It was vastly different from ordinary divination, and someone as young as Song Zining probably never had time to study all of that.

But Anwen finally understood, when his demonic energy was cut off by another leaf, that he had encountered an extremely bad situation. Song Zining probably knew which stars were useful to the demonkin.

Watching his demonic energy gradually disappear, even someone as good-tempered as Anwen couldn’t help but curse out loud. Anger surging in his heart, he shot out yet another stream of demonic energy with a flick of his fingers.

This time, he went for the most difficult large star.

The stars beneficial to the demonkin race possessed differing levels of star power. The more powerful they were, the greater the spatial distortions, and the more difficult it was to reach them. That was why Anwen had picked the two easiest stars in the beginning. Who would’ve thought Song Zining would set up an ambush around them, harming him twice in succession?

Anwen’s current expression was as calm as still water after suppressing the flames of anger. It wasn’t too difficult to crack Song Zining’s trap—all one needed to do was wait patiently, and his energy would gradually disperse. It was just that Anwen was already inside the well, so there was no other way out.

Even if Song Zining knew which stars the demonkin were after, there was no way he could’ve sealed every one of them. He wouldn’t have been captured by the Demoness if he were that capable.

Having watched things develop to this point, Qianye asked, “Don’t tell me you sealed all the stars on the Evernight side?”

“Of course not, I can’t and there’s no need to. Just watch. Even without sealing off all the large stars, I can still give them a hard time.”

Qianye was in no rush. He simply watched as Anwen’s demonic energy weaved about and gradually approached a rather dim-looking star.

This star wasn’t bright, but it was extraordinarily big, almost one size larger than the previous two stars. It went without saying that its star power was also quite majestic. It only looked dim and dark because of its darkness attribute.

Song Zining also observed in silence. “There should be no problem now. Qianye, you’re up next.”

“Got it.” Qianye didn’t ask a lot of questions. Song Zining had to have his reasons for such an arrangement.

The demonic energy had only traveled halfway at this point, but the difficulty appeared to be much higher than the previous times. Song Zining opened his fan and stretched it in front of Qianye. “Memorize this incantation for now. You can try it if you have the energy to spare later on.”

This incantation looked rather familiar. Qianye had seen something similar in the Song Clan Ancient Scroll with only minute variations. He had completely memorized the chant after a brief read and soon came to understand its usage as well.

This incantation was actually derived from the Three Thousand Flying Leaves Art and mainly used to generate hidden leaves under the guise of star power. Frankly speaking, it was used to set up traps similar to Song Zining’s. Qianye cultivated the Song Clan Ancient Scroll, possessed the peak Venus Dawn origin power, and even dabbled briefly in divination. Hence, channeling this art was no problem at all.

After memorizing everything, he nodded at Song Zining.

“It’s about time, let’s watch the fun.” Song Zining pointed at the Constellation Well with a smile.

Inside the well, Anwen’s demonic energy had traversed the various obstructions to reach the edges of that large star. At this point, even Anwen was pale and sweating, and his aura was fluctuating. Any longer and he wouldn’t even have the power to leave the well.

Yet, he was just one step away from being able to absorb the star power from the large star. At this point, he wouldn’t be able to absorb a lot of star power even if he were to go all out, and the origin blood produced would be hard-pressed to reach the glorious marquis grade. Even so, it was a victory for him if he could just touch the great star.

Anwen calmed down as he controlled the demonic energy forward. Just as he was about to reach the big star, however, the star power nearby fluctuated in bursts and rippled out in all directions. Shaken, Anwen cried out internally but it was too late. The ripples had already passed over and completely ruptured his weakening demonic energy.

The first two stars had shown star power ripples as well, but the intensity was nowhere near the most difficult star.

Anwen’s mind immediately went blank, and only a single thought echoed inside his mind. “Turns out he was waiting for me to come here…”

Song Zining naturally couldn’t seal all the large stars, and perhaps setting up the two easiest stars was his limit. There was no trap near the most difficult large star, but the celestial body was surging with star power and the tidal wave of energy coming from it was too much for the drained Anwen. Song Zining didn’t even need to do anything before the demonkin buckled on his own.

Anwen might have succeeded in his endeavor had he not failed twice before, but now that his defeat was set in stone, he could only return angrily.

He glared at Song Zining while taking a deep breath, and then flew out of the Constellation Well.

The seventh young noble led the Imperial group forward with a faint smile. He patted Qianye’s shoulder, saying, “Your turn.”

Anwen hadn’t left when they arrived at the edge of the well. “The Strategist God of the Empire is indeed ruthless. I admit defeat this time, but it won’t be so easy next time.”

Song Zining smiled. “Your praise fills my heart with fear. I’ll be sure to plan things well so as not to disappoint you.”

“I look forward to it.”

Anwen left without a second glance. He was already exhausted after attempting to communicate with three large stars, so much so that he couldn’t even retaliate in kind. It seemed Qianye would have it easy this time.

Qianye jumped into the well without so much as a word, riding the gravitational force into its depths.

Having experienced the process once and observed both factions many times, he was fairly clear about what he should be doing. Qianye wasn’t as adept in calculations, so he couldn’t quite make use of the various transformations in the well. However, he possessed an advantage neither Song Zining nor Anwen did. Basically, the quantity and quality of absorbed star power depended on the quality of one’s power.

This time, Qianye reached a point ten meters deeper than the last before coming to a standstill. There, he fished out the Storm Pearl and glanced about with the Eye of Truth.

After several adjustments, he gradually managed to filter out the chaotic imagery and leave behind only flickering stars.

There were large stars beneficial to vampires, arachne, and demonkin. Naturally, there were stars beneficial to humans as well, and they were even more abundant. In truth, origin crystals formed from absorbing vampire and demonkin stars were also usable. They might even produce some rare abilities.

After coming to a stop, Qianye didn’t start working immediately. Instead, he meditated for a while until the large stars were clearer in his perception. Only then did a flame of scarlet gold light up on his fingertip and drill into the Storm Pearl.

His first move had produced the purest of Venus Dawn power.

As an origin power at the apex of daybreak, Venus Dawn brought about an incomparable attractive force for star power of a similar attribute. It had just appeared when one of the large stars on the daybreak side lit up and its star power streamed over torrentially.

Such success was partially because Qianye had gone all out and also by virtue of the Imperial experts who had cleared away the smaller stars. This was especially true of Song Zining who had activated over three hundred smaller stars at the expense of his own failure, and secretly laid down a trap under their cover. That was akin to giving the star skies a round of bleeding.

In Qianye’s perception, the bottom of the well had become much cleaner.

He accelerated the injection of Venus Dawn without holding back. The power from that large star grew brighter and more voluminous, almost like a rolling stream of fire as it merged with the Venus Dawn. It was as though a small sun had lit up inside the Storm Pearl.

The binding of origin and star power roused more large stars. Before long, a second celestial body began spitting out star power. This doubled the rate of condensation inside the Storm Pearl, and the other large stars began stirring with even greater intensity.

Qianye injected more origin power without any hesitation. With the two large stars acting as a foundation and no small to medium-sized stars to interfere, the quality of the forming crystal was clearly superior to the last. It was an outstanding product even among the high-grade crystals, but Qianye didn’t stop there. He poured in even more Venus Dawn power in an attempt to draw upon more star power.

Song Zining had just tricked Anwen ruthlessly. Considering the latter’s character, he probably wouldn’t just take it lying down. It wasn’t too hard to guess that this was the last time Qianye would be able to condense an origin crystal in peace. The Constellation Well would surely be full of dangerous traps the next time.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts

TL: Legion   ED: Moxie


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