The garden was filled with immense trees, each of which rose hundreds of meters into the air, with leafy canopies that spread out to cover several kilometers, making something like worlds of their own.
It was hard to imagine what went into keeping such trees alive.
Strangely, there was only one fruit on each tree. They were roughly fist-sized, and looked like glittering diamonds. They also had numerous tiny holes on their surface that emanated a colorful mist. And they shone with bright light that illuminated all potentially dark parts of the trees.
There were people underneath the trees who lived in the various holes and knots that existed on their trunks.
As it turned out, the Spritefolk consisted of numerous clans, each of which would occupy a single one of these god trees. The sprawling trees created something like a palace or mansion grotto for the Spritefolk who lived beneath them, and in turn, they took care of the tree. As for the fruit atop them, they were like suns, providing warmth and spirit energy to those who lived beneath it.
Thump, thump, thump.
The Spritefolk beneath some of the trees were pounding on drums as they enacted some kind of rite or ceremony.
They didn't look like savages or barbarians by any stretch of the imagination. Yang Qi saw both men and women, old and young. They wore brightly colored clothes, and had faces flushed with excitement as they partook in the ceremony.
In Yang Qi’s estimation, there were hundreds of thousands of the trees, which meant that there were hundreds of thousands of clans. And some trees were bigger than others, with the larger ones climbing thousands of meters into the sky. Obviously, trees like that were home to extremely powerful experts.
There was one tree, several hundred meters tall, beneath which stood a group of haughty Spritefolk. “Bring out those despicable humans!”
Some of the captive humans were Quasi-Gods, others were Lesser or even Common Gods.
Also visible beneath the tree was a huge altar that the humans were being led toward.
One of the Spritefolk priests raised his voice and said, “These people dared to steal our god fruit, bringing dishonor to the Spritefolk. Therefore, they will be sacrificed to the god trees to produce more fruit.”
“Kill them!” the other Spritefolk shouted. One by one, the humans were hauled onto the altar and beheaded. Yang Qi watched as the blood poured into the tree, allowing it to absorb their souls and destiny.
“I didn’t steal any fruit!” one of the Common Gods cried. “We're all innocent. You destroyed our sects! Why are you doing this?”
A young Spritefolk expert stepped forward, clad in a white garment, with a colorful crown on his head. Snorting coldly, he said, “If we say that you stole them, you stole them. Denying it won’t do any good. And even if you didn’t, you despicable humans are going to be sacrificed as food for our god tree. Your souls, flesh, blood, and destiny are the perfect nutrients. You should feel honored that the trees will absorb you and cleanse you of your sins.”
Apparently, this young Spritefolk was someone important. He was a Greater God, and held a shining sword in his hand that he used to execute the Common God that had just spoken up.
And with that, the sacrifice was over.
Voice cold, the young Spritefolk said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we need to make sure our god tree gets stronger and stronger. That’s the key to our successful cultivation. War is coming. The Spritefolk is a race favored by heaven above! It is only by waging war that we can prosper and flourish, and it is only in battle that we can slaughter the human gods and sacrifice them!”
“Kill them! Kill them all!” the Spritefolk shouted.
Yang Qi shook his head. ‘So the Spritefolk want to wage war, take captives, and sacrifice them to their god trees. The more people they kill, the stronger their trees get. And the fruit grows because of that spirit energy. No wonder the spritefruits are so powerful. And no wonder they have such amazing benefits to medicinal pills.’
Looking at the Spritefolk and their warrior spirit, he couldn’t help but chuckle coldly.
Being as stealthy as possible, he stole into one of the trees, which was when he realized that it was protected by a spell formation. However, his cultivation base was so impressive that the spell formation couldn’t do anything to him. This was an Expert mission that was generally supposed to be impossible to finish; after all, anyone who tried it would most likely run into the Spritefolk and end up dead.
But considering the level of his cultivation base, it took almost no effort at all for him to get to the spritefruit.
Among the Spritefolk residences beneath the tree, there were Quasi-Gods and gods alike. Some were in the middle of practicing cultivation or martial arts. Some sat in meditation, some interacted with their fellows. They all seemed very fierce, as if they were just itching to go out on a raid. Even the women were no exception.
The Spritefolk women were all seductive and good-looking, as beautiful as flowers. Unfortunately, they also thrummed with a baleful energy that made them seem extremely murderous, like colorful but extremely venomous spiders.
Yang Qi ignored them all. The Spritefolk had a lot of top experts, but none who could cause any problems for him.
He headed toward the nearest tree, appearing right in front of the spritefruit that grew on it, which emanated a soft and warm feeling. But instead of grabbing it, he absorbed the vital energy that flowed from it, and used some of his daoist techniques to analyze its structure.
‘Boundless Simulation: Nascent Divinity Creation!’
A spritefruit appeared on his palm; it was illusory, and would only last for about an hour before fading out of existence.
Reaching out, he quickly replaced the real spritefruit with the fake, then flitted over to another tree to repeat the process. In quick succession, he took several hundred pieces.
The mission only called for eighty-one, but considering how marvelous the fruits were, he wanted some for his friends and family.
Soon, the one-hour time period was nearly over, and the time had come to leave. He wasn’t interested in tangling with the Spritefolk. Besides, they surely had some consummate experts in hiding somewhere, so therefore, the best thing would be to leave before anyone noticed him.
Even as he left, the first of the fake spritefruits started disappearing, leading to a huge commotion among the Spritefolk.
People were running around left and right, with top experts flying around trying to identify the culprit. Of course, none of them were even aware of Yang Qi’s presence.
As he watched the buzz of activity, he thought, ‘They have no idea it was me. And it doesn’t matter that the trees keep a record of the auras of whoever steals from them. That’s simply a record of destiny and fate, so how will it help them find me? After all, I'm a Fateless One....’
With that, he flew back to the hidden teleportation portal and left the continent.
Before long, he was back in the House of God Ordainment’s god kingdom, and the Law-Enforcement God-Palace.
The White-Haired Boxer King and Exalted Celestial Silver-Dagger were there, along with Crimson-Maiden Inferno. As for the latter, her expression flickered when she laid eyes on him. Thanks to the auditing of her thoughts, she hadn’t been able to cause any problems whatsoever. She had struggled at first, but soon came to realize that her fate was now completely tied up with the God Legion Seal, and she belonged to Yang Qi.
It left her with very mixed feelings.
When Yang Qi handed over the eighty-one spritefruits, the White-Haired Boxer King said, “What? You got the spritefruits already? Shocked, he exchanged a glance with Exalted Celestial Silver-Dagger, then both of them looked at Crimson-Maiden Inferno.
Voice icy, she said, “So you acquired the spritefruits. That means you’ve passed the exams and are now a law enforcement disciple. We won't cause any further trouble for you.”
‘What!?’ Exalted Celestial Silver-Dagger and the White-Haired Boxer King were both stunned. They had assumed that Crimson-Maiden Inferno would come up with more hoops for Yang Qi to jump through, only to find out to their surprise that she was just letting him pass. The White-Haired Boxer King had been dead set on making sure Yang Qi never succeeded, but as of now, there really wasn’t anything he could do. The sect rules were rigid, and he had no way to cause any more problems.
‘He’s just a low-level law enforcement disciple now,’ the White-Haired Boxer King thought. ‘That means he has to follow my orders; therefore, I can control him. I can send him on dangerous missions and keep the rewards for myself. He's strong, but he's part of the machine now, and will have to stow his personal ambitions.’
Exalted Celestial Silver-Dagger was thinking the same thing. After exchanging a meaningful glance with the White-Haired Boxer King, he said, “Since you got the spritefruit, Yang Qi, there’s nothing further we can say. You pass. I hope that in the future, you’ll work hard to enforce the law.”
He and the White-Haired Boxer King went through some more formalities, giving Yang Qi a uniform and identity medallion.
Starting now, Yang Qi no longer worked for the Scripture Pavilion. He was a disciple of the Law-Enforcement God-Palace, with the authority to arrest other disciples and punish them for breaking the rules. Other disciples had no such rights. At most, they could report crimes to the Law-Enforcement God-Palace, then wait for them to handle things.
It was a huge amount of power, which was why so many people tried to become law enforcement disciples, many of whom even lost their lives in the process. The Law-Enforcement God-Palace was so powerful that even disciples from other divisions who were stronger than the law enforcement disciples would never dare to provoke them.
“Great, I’m a law enforcement disciple now,” Yang Qi said. Donning his new garment, he looked at the White-Haired Boxer King and Exalted Celestial Silver-Dagger and said, “If the two of you have no other plans tonight, why don’t we sit down and have a good chat. I have some gifts I’d like to give you.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter