Chapter 1017: Proud World

Lord Blood River was unimaginably powerful, and right now he was dead-set on killing Dugu Space-Maimer and absorbing his quintessence-blood and vital energy.

In fact, even as the words left his mouth, he sent a stream of blood-colored light toward God-General Crystallaine, and simultaneously reached out to grab Dugu Space-Maimer.

“Hmph! Feeling suicidal, are we?” A host of crystals exploded from God-General Crystallaine, sweeping out and blocking the blood-colored light. However, the light subsequently turned violet, becoming like a river that wrapped around the crystals. Face falling, God-General Crystallaine said, “You actually succeeded in cultivating your Violet-River Blood-Shadow Grand Magic?”

“That’s right. Why else would I come to vie with the Shepherd for the position of league-lord?” Lord Blood River sent out another stream of blood that wrapped up God-General Crystallaine so tightly he couldn’t move. At the same time, he launched a vicious attack at Dugu Space-Maimer.

Howling, Dugu Space-Maimer sent a bevy of sword energy back at Lord Blood River.

Meanwhile, the mahātmā fiend-devil burst into motion, sending a palm directly toward Dugu Space-Maimer’s back. Dugu Space-Maimer flipped his sword and sent it stabbing back toward the palm, except as he did, the scholarly fiend-devil and Dream Mintdance attacked from the left and right.

Dugu Space-Maimer flipped about like a loach to avoid the various attacks, but he was unfortunately unable to dodge the blood-colored light from Lord Blood River, and it slammed into him.

Blood Detonation!

Heart-Devil!

Lord Blood River had been waiting for this moment, and quickly unleashed a secret magic, causing rumbling explosions to be heard from within Dugu Space-Maimer. As it turned out, Lord Blood River had used a blood-type energy art on Dugu Space-Maimer long ago, and now he was activating it, completely devastating him.

“You... you really were plotting against me from the beginning!” Dugu Space-Maimer shrieked. “I was so careful, but I still fell into your trap!”

“Yes! I fooled you! You used to be so vigilant, but after I was captured and imprisoned, you thought you were free to let your guard down and started cultivating with the energy I gave you. Little did you know that the Blood River True Sutra was created by a powerful blood god, and although you were able to use it to achieve quick breakthroughs, I can still ‘use blood to control blood’. And now, I'm going to use it to kill you!”

BOOOOOOM!

Dugu Space-Maimer screamed as he literally exploded into a cloud of blood and gore that Lord Blood River quickly absorbed. Then, Lord Blood River cackled as countless clouds of blood appeared above his head and his energy fluctuations reached a supreme level.

Obviously, he had just succeeded in mastering a powerful energy art.

Swish!

He flicked his finger and the blood clouds were sucked back into his body. Looking over at God-General Crystallaine, he said, “Screw off. The position of league-lord hasn’t been assigned yet, so the Shepherd can just keep waiting if he wants it.”

“Fine, Lord Blood River,” God-General Crystallaine said, anger visible on his face. “Be obstinate if you want. But your refusal to give a bit of face today has just ensured that, when the general assembly comes, the Shepherd will make sure you’re the first to die!”

“He can go ahead and try if he wants,” Lord Blood River replied. “But I'm fully recovered, and ready to dominate everything under heaven. And I'm curious to see what the Shepherd is actually capable of nowadays.”

“So be it. Just remember that after the assembly starts, you won’t be able to run and hide.” With that, God-General Crystallaine turned and left.

Meanwhile, the mahātmā fiend-devil looked on with a vicious glint in his eyes. Years ago, his clan had been purged and he had been forced to flee the Hell of Sages and Mahātmās. His plan had been to make a comeback using the sheepskin scroll, only to end up having to join Lord Blood River. Now that he had seen Lord Blood River’s energy arts in action, he was even more worried than before. It seemed obvious to him that it was only a matter of time before Lord Blood River would try assimilating him.

“That was odd,” the mahātmā fiend-devil said. “Lord Blood River, did you notice that when you fought God-General Crystallaine, the Shepherd didn’t show up to intervene, even though you clearly defied him? It stands to reason that he should’ve done something. It seems to me this indicates there's something else going on behind the scenes.”

“There’s only one possibility,” Lord Blood River said, “which is that the Shepherd hasn’t recovered yet. If he had, he should be able to dominate everything in existence. Besides, if he was hurt by the emperor of the executors, and also Proud Heaven, then how could he recover in such a short time? The fact that he didn’t show his face only shows how weak he is right now! Besides, if he actually tried to enforce those rules of his, the city would revolt. He’s not the league-lord, so he has no right to act like one.”

“True, true,” said a new voice.

A host of fiend-devils appeared, led by a bronzeblaze fiend-devil in bronze armor. Normally speaking, bronzeblaze fiend-devils were considered low-level devils that others looked down on. But this one was different. He was surrounded by flickering halos that indicated he was the kind of bronzeblaze fiend-devil that came along only once every several millions years.

“Well, if it isn’t Lord Blaze,” Lord Blood River said, smiling. “Sorry you had to witness that.”

“I came to suggest an alliance between the two of us, to counter the Shepherd. Presumably, he’s recovering from his injuries in hiding somewhere, and will only make his move during the assembly. He’ll obviously try to crush any resistance and force everyone to submit to him, and we can’t give him that chance. How are your energy arts, Lord Blood River? Do you think you could beat me in a fight?”

Lord Blood River’s eyes widened. “I’d say the two of us are on almost exactly the same level, Lord Blaze. I definitely couldn’t easily beat you. In fact, it seems to me that you recently mastered some sort of invincible grand magic, leading me to wonder if you might actually come out the winner in a fight.”

“Does that mean you aren’t confident in being able to seize the position of league-lord?” Lord Blaze asked.

Lord Blood River looked at Lord Blaze and the other fiend-devils flanking him, all of them famous experts from the Ancient Road to the Gods. Sounding much less arrogant than before, he said, “There are many experts among us fiend-devils, and although I've made some progress with my energy arts, I can’t say that I'm confident in becoming the league-lord.”

Smiling, Lord Blaze said, “I feel equally unconfident. That's why we need to throw our backing behind someone who can win. If we help that person become the league-lord, we’ll all have very high positions in the future Fiend-Devil League along with a measure of protection against the scheming and plotting of our enemies. For instance, if the Shepherd takes the position, then one of the first people he’ll kill is this mahātmā from the old Sikong Clan.”

“You’re right,” said the mahātmā fiend-devil, “the Shepherd will definitely kill me.”

“So you’ve already decided to back someone? Who?” Lord Blood River knew that although Lord Blaze was a relatively despised type of fiend-devil, he was still an extremely powerful entity who was virtually invincible in battle.

“Come with me and you’ll find out,” Lord Blaze Said. “Don’t worry, it’s not a trap. In fact, he sent a gift with us to show his goodwill.” He waved his hand, and another of the fiend-devils stepped forward with a box. Opening it, he revealed a blood ginseng root that was shaped like a person, and even pulsed as though it had a heartbeat.

“What? That’s a blood infant from the god world, one of the best types of blood ginseng in existence. Supposedly, they were originally grown using the blood of a Paramount God. I searched the Ancient Road to the Gods high and low for such ginseng roots, all to no avail. And this backer of yours is just giving one to me?”

“That’s right. Take it. Now you know how this person operates. Go ahead and inspect the blood infant and you’ll see it doesn't contain any impurities or warding magics. It’s completely safe. Although I could benefit from using it, you could obviously benefit much more. It can turn your blood into the blood of a Paramount God, making you far more deadly than before. After the scuffle earlier, you’re definitely going to be a top target for the Shepherd’s subordinates. But going forward, plotting against you will be like trying to clap with one hand. Join us, and my backer will make sure that you reach the mid Terrifying level.”

“What? The mid Terrifying level?!”

In that moment, Lord Blood River realized that there is always a heaven beyond heaven, and there are always people more important than you.

Curious, he followed Lord Blaze to another room in the same building. Upon entering, he saw a tall, well-built man with his back to him.

The man turned, and Lord Blood River shivered. “Proud Heaven!?”

“Wrong, I'm Proud World,” the man said coolly. “Please, have a seat, Lord Blood River.”

The man’s energy was so intense that Lord Blood River could hardly move.

“I'm sure you’ve heard of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, and how the bearer of the God Legion Seal can crush hells. In hell, the godmammoths’ orders must be followed, with death as the penalty for disobedience.”

**

All of a sudden, Yang Qi opened his eyes, having been struck with a very strange feeling.

He had been in a zen samādhi trance just now, focusing his psychic power and using the Civilization Founding Grand Magic to stand on the River of Civilization and examine the epic sagas of past cultures. With the help of Archmonk Dharma Treasury, he was gaining more enlightenment, and his psychic power was improving. Sooner or later, he would reach the Terrifying level.

A moment after Yang Qi opened his eyes, Archmonk Dharma Treasury did the same. “Is something troubling you, young friend? Were you just struck with a strange feeling? Did you experience a premonition? When Fateless Ones are struck with strange feelings, it usually means something big is about to happen. Considering you’re a Fateless One, we should be able to steal that jade medallion before the Shepherd even senses anything happening.”

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