“I’m sorry, Mr. Crowley. Your beautiful dreams are about to be ruined…” A witch in crimson red robes strolled over, an ancient tome clutched in her hands.
“Witch Maya!” Crowley bowed reverently. This charming lady was an existence who was even older than him, the head of the Coven of Witches. In truth, without her support and her assistance, their breach of Demonic Islands would not have gone so smoothly.
“This truly is a demon island. Our opponent is an existence who is infinitely more evil…” Witch Maya muttered under her breath.
“What does Your Excellency mean?” Crowley scratched his head in thought.
“Project X involves controlling the body. Have you ever heard of the ‘Tree of Life’ project?”
“Tree of Life? What’s that?” The knight and the old fellow felt that they would have a mental breakdown.
“This is the empire’s most top secret plan, on the same level as the X research…” The witch’s first sentence made the others breathe in sharply. Project X was already this terrifying, how much more evil would this Tree of Life project be?
“This project is a medium to connect the Shadow Weave to regular human beings directly…” Witch Maya looked at everyone present. “The final goal of the Empire is to implant the Shadow Weave directly into all humans, making their consciousness one with the Weave and eliminating the unnecessary steps. This will form an extraordinary human…”
“Control everyone’s mind through the Weave…” Crowley was stumped for a moment, because he knew that the Rapid Shadow of today was such a universal object. Cold sweat formed again on his body.
“Yes. Project X is to remodel the human body, and the Tree of Life Project is to remodel the mind. Once their plan succeeds, the entire Empire will become one being! Furthermore… As long as they wish, any civilian would immediately become a powerful assassin! The citizens will turn into the most elite, indomitable army!”
Maya’s voice was still as calm as ever. No one knew how much she had sacrificed to obtain this piece of information.
“This… How much… What have…” Crowley and the others present all possessed extraordinary ability. Nothing was more unbearable to them than having their bodies and minds taken away.
“Insanity! Madness! This world is going berserk!” The old man from the Martial Arts Association mumbled. Crowley was genuinely concerned that he would face a mental breakdown soon as well.
“We have to defeat them and overthrow the Empire’s rule!” The knight swung his sword downwards, forming a huge trench on the alloy floor.
“We need more members, and to form a larger alliance. I believe that many will wish to join us once these projects are leaked!” Crowley hurriedly suggested.
Suddenly, Maya spoke. “I see the omen of death on your faces!”
“Would you please clear up our doubts, Your Excellency?” Crowley asked in earnest.
Maya’s eyes turned white as she screamed in an ear-piercing tone, “Everything that you are doing will surmount to nothing! You will never be able to overthrow the Empire, much less the existence that stands behind unless you can find the Book of Salvation left behind by Ari!”
“It’s a prophecy!” Crowley’s eyes lighted. “We still have a chance!”
“No!” Suddenly, Maya let out a cry of anguish, and collapsed to the ground.
“Your Excellency! Your Excellency!” Crowley hurriedly went forward, but he discovered that her life force was declining rapidly.
“The Book of Salvation is already gone… I see blood and flames of destruction in the future…” Maya grasped onto Crowley’s robes as white bubbles frothed from her mouth, before she started to spurt blood.
“Wait… Let me heal you…” Crowley fumbled.
“No! It’s too late, listen carefully…” Crowley could only stop his movements due to the powerful strength from the witch’s clutch.
“I see it… That shadow, and the return of the primordial ruler… Great Serpent…” Suddenly, Maya’s body jerked, and there was no life left in her.
“Witch Maya! Maya…” Crowley was flabbergasted. He would not believe that the leader of the witches, the pillar of the rebellion who had lived much longer than him, had just perished like this.
However, although he was in denial, the cold, lifeless body that suddenly seemed extremely old confirmed the fact.
“Rumour has it that a prophecy exceeding one’s strength will sap away a witch’s life force… Maya’s drunk from the River of Life before, and her bloodline would give her at least a thousand more years of life…” The old man from the Martial Arts Association mumbled.
“How powerful is that existence that someone as long-lived as Maya would die just like that?” The knight shivered in his armour. He stood in front of the corpse, giving the witch a knight’s salute. “Witch Maya… Although you have come to pass, the flames of resistance will never be quelled… Let us inherit your dying wishes, and stop this evil empire!”
Crowley clenched his fast, “Right! Project X and the Tree of Life Project! The Empire must never succeed. If they manage to rule this world completely, we’ll all be eradicated immediately!”
“There’s no need to wait until then…” an icy voice sounded out. A sharp blade appeared from the shadows and pierced the Martial Arts Association head immediately in the chest. Blood splattered as the voice’s owner revealed himself, a man dressed in military uniform.
“The chief of Special Forces, the largest lackey of the Empire— Javis!” Crowley gritted his teeth and looked at this person who came. He wanted so much to tear Javis’ body to shreds with just his gaze.
“Officer! Enemy ambush! The navy and the Special Forces… They’re extremely powerful… Beep! Beep!” A flustered voice sounded on the transmitter on Crowley’s collar, but it disconnected very soon. The sender had most likely been killed.
“You’re extremely lucky, we are killing you under the orders of the princess of the Empire. So much glory, isn't it?” A sick, maniacal laughter came from Javis.
“Hmm?” Suddenly, Javis darted backwards and avoided a powerful fist.
“Tian Can, you damned geezer of the Martial Arts Association! Not bad, you were able to dodge my Shadow Pierce…” Javis snorted, looking at the old man with a blade in his chest seeming fine.
“I’ve mastered the source of qi, my body holds no weaknesses…” Tian Can patted his chest, a small glow appearing from within to mend the hole.
“I knew you wouldn't die this easily, old man!” The knight called out excitedly.
“Yea! Steel Man of the Knights of the Round Table, Tian Can of the Martial Artists Association, and also Crowley of the Bloodline Alliance… You guys are all criminals with a large bounty on your heads…”
Explosions rang out continuously, and it seemed like the Empire’s forces were slowly approaching the area. What was more terrifying was that at least a dozen members of the Special Forces had already entered this area stealthily. Intense fights broke out everywhere.
“Javis… Don't be delusional. Do you know of the Empire’s projects? X and the Tree of Life? Even you yourself will be sacrificed in the future…” Crowley tried to persuade him again.
“These matters… I knew of them long ago…” Suddenly, Javis’ eyes turned bloodshot, “Massacre Domain!”
A blood red forcefield with a suppressive aura was emanated, engulfing Crowley and the other two leaders.
“I am different from you guys! I will be able to obtain eternal life once my consciousness is merged into the clone… Right now, it’s time to rid of useless trash…”
Javis wrapped himself inside a black shadow. A mountainous beast charged out towards them from behind him, breaking the limits of speed and strength.
‘Crazy! This person has gone crazy!’ These were the thoughts Steel Man conveyed to Crowley when their gazes met.
“Leave him to this old man… The two of you should hurry to support out elites on the outside…”
*Bang! Boom!* Tian Can walked forward with both arms behind him. He blocked the path of the beast quickly but calmly.
“I have never fully unleashed source of qi, I can finally do it today…” Tian Can muttered, as a violent gale of an aura burst forth from within his body. It was almost as powerful as Javis’ skill earlier.
*Kacha! Kacha!* The clothes on his body were ripped into shreds as his muscles bulged. The veins on his body seemed like fat, squirming earthworms.
In just the blink of an eye, this old man had turned from a skinny figure into a three-metre-tall giant with murky green skin.
*Roar!* The giant stretched both of his hands, deflecting the claws of the black beast. The two entered a deadlock, causing the area to tremble violently.
“Hurry and leave, young men. I’ll leave saving the world to you…” Crowley and Steel Man were enveloped in a warm gust of qi, sent outside the massacre domain. The words of the old man still rang in their ears.
“Don’t…” Crowley had detected an ominous feeling from the words of the old man.
Those of Tian Can’s sect could release their qi in a burst and gain tremendous powers, but the price they had to pay was extremely high as well. This was especially so when it was performed by someone so old.
Crowley immediately thought of Maya. Didn’t she too expend all of her lifeforce before she died?
“What’s more… I may look young on the outside but I’ve lived for over 300 years already! I should be the one to sacrifice myself… Damn it!” Crowley clenched his fist as blood dripped down from his palms.
“Hey… Don’t let Tian Can’s sacrifice go to vain. The situation outside is even worse!” Steel Man pointed ahead.
Those outside were still stuck fighting. Crowley could see many of the Empire’s elite troops covering the surroundings, carrying the imperial banner.
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