Desolate Era - Volume 26 - Chapter 36
Book 26, World Level, Chapter 36 - The Watcher in the Dark Abyss
The six strata of astral islands continuously circled around each other in a very orderly manner.
At the very top stratum, the sixth stratum, there was just a single astral island. The fifth stratum had a total of twelve astral islands that slowly circled each other.
One of the hundred-plus islands belonging to the fourth stratum began to slowly fly upwards.
’’Someone made it to the fifth stratum.’’
The many cultivators on the lower strata of the Astral Islands all raised their heads to stare at the higher-level islands. Hundreds of thousands of them were watching as this particular island ascended from the fourth stratum to the fifth stratum.
Many cultivators felt complicated feelings in their heart. They dreamed of being able to make it to the fifth stratum. That way, they would similarly be able to receive the protection of the Astral Islands! Alas, this was far, far too difficult a task.
’’A change in destiny...’’
This was what countless cultivators were murmuring silently to themselves.
’’He was quite fast. He was brought here alongside the rest of us in this batch, but he actually made it to the fifth stratum before I did.’’ A jade-haired woman dressed in silvery, semi-translucent gauze was murmuring to herself softly from within her island on the fourth stratum. ’’And a cultivator at that. I've never ever met any World-level cultivators who are a match for me, but almost as soon as I arrived in the Brightshore Kingdom I encountered one. How intriguing. What's more, the Brightshore Kingdom treats cultivators and special lifeforms equally, giving no special preferences or advantages to either.’’
’’I like this place.’’ A smile appeared on the jade-haired woman's face as natural mist began to swirl around her.
’’I never would've thought that those puny cultivators would give rise to someone who might be a match for me. He actually made it to the fifth stratum before I did.’’ A devilishly handsome silver-haired youth was murmuring softly to himself.
He was a member of the Aeonians who had long ago found the path he needed to take to become a Samsara Daolord. However, he wanted to become more powerful before doing so. That way, he would benefit even further from his Awakening of his Aeonian bloodlines.
Still, he had to admit that the Brightshore Kingdom truly had gathered many freakishly talented figures. The fourth stratum alone was filled with many figures who had been quite difficult for him to overcome. This made him quite cautious.
Anyone capable of surging into the fifth stratum so quickly was definitely a powerful figure.
’’Although cultivators are individually weak, there's simply too many of them. There are far more of them around than we Aeonians. In the end, the law of large numbers means they will give birth to many freakishly strong figures.’’ The silver-haired youth mused to himself, ’’Once I enter the fifth stratum, I'll definitely have to test him out myself.’’
Ning's ascension to the fifth stratum did indeed arouse the interest of quite a few of the other freakishly talented World-level cultivators. The ability to make it into the fifth stratum was a testament to his strength!’’
’’Another person has joined us in the fifth stratum?’’
’’Interesting. A few days from now, I'll have to give him a challenge and see how he does.’’
’’I wager that Kilostar will be the first challenger yet again. Ahh, forget it. Just let it be him.’’
The fourth stratum and the fifth stratum were completely different.
The cultivators on the fourth stratum weren't under any protection. As a result, they would rarely accept or issue challenges. They were all quite cautious. However, these twelve peerless geniuses on the fifth stratum were all incredibly strong and talented figures. This was why they were able to keep their positions within the fifth stratum stable. Even if they occasionally fell down to the next level, they would quickly rise up once more. All of them delighted in battle.
In fact, the entire reason why they were still here was because they wanted to keep fighting!
As for the legacies? There was no point in being greedy. They merely needed to local the ones they actually needed. The best part of being here was the ability to battle against all these World-level cultivators. The experience they gained through combat was quite useful to them.
An astral island within the fifth stratum.
A skinny, swarthy child dressed in a silver cape was flipping through his golden book, roaring with laughter. ’’Ahahah! He didn't disappoint me. He actually beat that special lifeform named Sabafalle. Although Sabafalle is a bit of an idiot, beating him is no easy task. Interesting, interesting.’’
’’Still, simply defeating Sabafalle doesn't mean much. Sabafalle is completely incapable of standing stably amongst the ranks of the other fifth stratum individuals. Kid, I'm going to teach you the true meaning of the phrase, 'there is always someone stronger than the strong'.’’ The skinny, swarthy child laughed.
He issued a direct challenge to Ning through the golden book.
’’Heh heh heh... the other eleven fellows on the fifth stratum will all give me some face. Same as always! I'll be the first to challenge the newcomer.’’ A look of excitement was in the swarthy-skinned child's eyes.
All of them had lived together for quite some time. They had formed certain habits long ago.
Each time a newcomer made it to the fifth stratum for the first time, it would be Kilostar who would challenge that person first. Kilostar wasn't necessarily the most powerful of the twelve, but he had the fewest weaknesses. He was capable of dealing with any foes that appeared. Even if he had to fight against that terrifying fellow from the sixth stratum, he'd still be able to at least keep himself safe! In other words... he was capable of dealing with any World-level cultivator, no matter how freakishly talented that person was.
The dark abyss directly below the hundreds of thousands of astral islands.
At the very bottom of the abyss.
Hiss. Crackle. Nine strange flames were flickering here.
Above the flames was a horizontally placed longspear that was over a thousand meters long. An enormous haunch of meat that was at least three hundred meters long was currently spitted on the spear.
The beast's flesh was being slowly roasted by the nine flames, and its surface was just slowly turning red. To fully cook it would probably take quite some time.
’’Delicious. Absolutely delicious.’’ A burly, nearly-naked man with tousled black hair was seated, dressed in simple battle garbs. In front of him was a large basin that was over thirty meters long, filled with roasted meat. He was chomping through the meat with relish.
Sitting opposite of him was a muscular golden-haired man dressed in golden armor. This man also had an enormous basin front of him, also filled with roasted meat.
’’King Wu, your hunting skills really aren't bad. This Bloodflame Dragon had to be comparable to a Verge-level Daolord. Its flesh is simply savory.’’ The golden-armored warrior was crunching his way through the meat as he spoke. Not just anyone was powerful enough to chew through this! ’’Hunting these things really isn't easy. I think you Imperials must have damn near wiped them out of the Endless Territories by now.’’
’’We pretty much wiped them out ages ago.’’ The black-haired, nearly-naked man shook his head. ’’The Hegemon, that old bastard, captured more than anyone else. He's able to instantly teleport to any territory he pleases, whereas I actually had to physically run across countless territories before I was able to find a single Bloodflame Dragon. I then had to pretend to be a cultivator, for fear that once it realized who I was it would self-destruct rather than let me capture it. It took forever for me to capture it! Ehehe... but now that I have one, I can slowly savor it for an extremely long period of time.’’
Bloodflame Dragons were incredibly, terrifyingly powerful beasts. They were unlike cultivators or Aeonians;they neither used divine power nor had any Immortal energy. They were actually similar to bugbeasts, but they were far more powerful than bugbeasts.
However, it was incredibly rare for one of them to be found in the Endless Territories. They had been driven to the point of extinction long ago, precisely because the Brightshore Imperials' favorite food was Bloodflame Dragons.
A Bloodflame Dragon which had reached the Verge of the Daomerge had a body that was comparable in size to an entire chaos star. If you ate just a thousand meters of it with each meal, you would be able to able to feast for an extremely long period of time.
Alas, ancient creatures such as the members of the Brightshore Imperials would live for even longer.
’’King Wu.’’ The golden-armored warrior glanced off into the distance towards a strange beast that was wreathed in flames. This creature possessed tremendous vitality and power, but it was currently suffering all sorts of unspeakable torments. ’’I heard that you Imperials just gained a new clansmen. Shouldn't you take his training a bit more seriously?’’
’’For me to even keep an eye out for him me being much more serious than usual. Yeah, this abyss is filled with plenty of danger, but so long as I keep an eye out I'll be able to guarantee that he stays alive,’’ the black-haired man said between mouthfuls of meat.
’’Eh?’’ The black-haired man suddenly raised his head to stare upwards.
His gaze pierced through the darkness of the abyss as well as the protection of the Astral Islands, allowing him to see Ji Ning. Ji Ning was currently flipping through his golden book within his room in his astral island.
Right at this moment, Ning suddenly found himself seized by an invisible, inexplicable terror. It was as though some terrifying creature had just taken notice of him.
’’It seems a new kid is about to join your Twelve Palaces as well.’’ The black-haired man looked towards the golden-armored warrior. ’’He made it to the fifth stratum quite quickly, and he's a cultivator just like you are.’’
’’He's not bad, I suppose.’’ The golden-armored man laughed. ’’We cultivators are fairly weak in general. It is quite rare for an extremely powerful cultivator to emerge. We simply can't compare to the members of your race. All of you are born with utterly enormous power.’’
’’Is that comparable? Is that even comparable?!’’ The black-haired man glared at him. ’’How many of you are there? How few of us are there? The Hegemon, that old bastard... how much time does he need to spend wandering the Endless Territories before he is able to find another member of our race? For each new member of our race that is born, another ten Daolords emerge amongst you cultivators. You cultivators give birth to monsters by the bundle. Just look at the Twelve Palaces. How many Daolords do you have? And how few members do we have in our imperial clan?’’