The mysterious ent.i.ty in the ocean was so astonished that it couldn’t react for a while. After a period of silence, eight wisps of void origin power appeared around Qianye, and they were much st.u.r.dier than the ones in the past. The energy managed to resist the power of the Oceanic Vortex and even tug on East Peak.
This attack appeared so abruptly that it caused the blade to jolt away from its intended track. However, dark golden blood energy flickered around Qianye’s body and suppressed the movement with extreme force, effectively resisting the round of attacks.
The mysterious ent.i.ty naturally wouldn’t give up. Almost ten such strands of origin power appeared again in quick succession and charged straight for Qianye. Yet, the might of the Oceanic Vortex suddenly vanished at this point—affected by the sudden loss of a target, the surging power of the incoming attack flew off in all directions.
Qianye had won this round!
The two parties thus competed repeatedly. Qianye used his domain with great mastery, causing it to appear and vanish at will. During critical moments, he would activate his blood energy for a burst of power, forcibly suppressing the draw of the void origin power. For a moment, the mysterious existence could do nothing against Qianye.
Moments later, Qianye’s final slash fell and the carving was completed!
This was the first time Qianye had won in the last two nights. Looking at the exquisite sculpture of little Zhuji in his hands, he sighed in relief. He was drenched in sweat—completing this little sculpture was no easier than fighting a powerful enemy in a b.l.o.o.d.y battle, and it could be said that he had used up all of his trump cards except for the Shot of Inception.
Even so, it was only a close victory with Qianye’s hands almost slipping on several occasions. There was no way he would’ve won if it wasn’t for the support of the dark golden blood energy that allowed him to suppress the pull of the void origin power.
Qianye carefully placed the sculpture to the side, taking advantage of this time to take a break and recall the process of this contest.
The mysterious ent.i.ty had indeed used several wisps of void origin power, but it had controlled its power to just above Qianye’s combat strength. It could be said that the creature didn’t use overwhelming force to suppress him but fought him fairly instead. Qianye had won this round with great difficulty and there was also a measure of luck involved. The next round would very likely be a loss for him.
Purely in terms of combat strength, that mysterious ent.i.ty had reached a level where every random move was one with nature, and its standards were even higher than Zhao Jundu’s. Qianye had never seen such a high level in all of his life. After some thought, he felt that only people like Zhang Boqian and Lin Xitang might reach such a stage.
After winning this round, the parts of the Black Grove that had stretched out receded entirely, even clearing out some s.p.a.ce in the original forest area. However, an urging intent soon arose from the deep darkness to challenge him.
Qianye slowly picked up a new piece of wood and began a new round.
As expected, this round was his loss, and so were the two that followed. After three bouts, an abnormal redness appeared on Qianye’s face and his blood core began pulsing intensively. His chest tightened, and he almost couldn’t lift East Peak up.
Exhausted of both origin power and blood energy, Qianye was no longer capable of doing battle after the three rounds. The previous night, he hadn’t used his origin power and merely competed in technique. He was naturally fine, no matter how long the contest went on. Tonight, however, was a truly grueling battle, and Qianye was already like an arrow at the end of its flight by the time it was midnight.
He looked back and saw that the forest had pushed forward and covered up half the land. Clenching his teeth, he increased the pulsation of his blood core with all his might and picked up another piece of wood.
However, the mysterious existence had already noticed Qianye’s weak state. It transmitted the intention to stop before returning to the sea.
Qianye heaved a long sigh and was already on the brink of collapse. He could see that the Black Grove had occupied a large patch of the empty land, but there were only new sprouts there. Moreover, they stopped growing after reaching a meter in height.
Qianye understood that this was the mysterious ent.i.ty showing mercy. If he were to lose the coming night, then these sprouts would grow into giant trees and his new home would soon be devoured by the Black Grove.
What was the mysterious existence’s motive? Qianye pondered back and forth but simply couldn’t find an answer.
At dawn the next day, both Nighteye and the old man were shocked to find that the forest had expanded rapidly. After learning of the reason, however, Nighteye didn’t seem so worried. “We can just move to town if needed.”
Cui Yuanhai shook his head. “It might not be that simple. According to Qianye’s description, that thing can find us all the same even if we move.”
“Won’t it be fine if we just defeat it?” Zhuji offered a solution.
Qianye rubbed her head and said with a smile, “You’re right, we just need to beat it.”
The summons was heard once more as night finally arrived. Qianye thus arrived at the sh.o.r.e and began a new round.
In the blink of an eye, the moon was high in the sky and the clock had struck past midnight. Drenched in sweat and panting, Qianye propped himself up on his sword. The fatigue was even worse than the previous night, but there were now two complete sculptures standing on the shoal rocks.
Qianye had fought a total of five rounds in half a night and won two of them—there was probably no need to explain the difficulty involved.
The rewards granted for winning were much greater than what he would lose when defeated. Hence, the Black Grove duly spat out a portion of the land it had invaded.
Qianye noticed something after the mysterious ent.i.ty’s departure—a fifty-kilometer area around the latter was devoid of any beasts, likely due to its intimidating aura. Moreover, the mysterious ent.i.ty wouldn’t allow any other person to affect Qianye before the next round. This was the safest moment for him and a good opportunity to cultivate.
Qianye hadn’t cultivated his daybreak origin power for a long time. Now that he had finally found a suitable environment, he sat down on the rocks by the ocean and slowly circulated his Profound Combatant Formula.
The moment the formula was activated, an origin vortex formed around Qianye that was much bigger than the one back on Evernight Continent. Despite barely having taken shape, it was already over a hundred meters and growing fast.
The larger the vortex, the stronger and faster the void origin power would be drawn in. Qianye was fairly apprehensive because he had never controlled such a big origin vortex before. As such, he quickly restrained his origin power and prevented the vortex from expanding further.
It was at this time that sudden crisp sounds rang out around Qianye, almost like the shattering of teacups. Several void lacerations had appeared around him, with violent void origin power gus.h.i.+ng out through them.
Qianye discovered that the spatial construct of the neutral lands was fairly unstable. The pressure from his origin vortex could easily tear the fabric apart and draw out void origin power through the gaps. With several lacerations spitting out origin power at the same time, a small origin storm soon formed around Qianye. The pressure therein made Qianye feel as though he were shouldering a mountain—even his spine was beginning to creak and groan.
If it wasn’t for the st.u.r.diness of his body being comparable to the ancient vampires, there was no way he would’ve been able to withstand it. Any random human below the divine champion rank would be crushed into a meat-pie.
Qianye understood at this point that physical strength was the true bottleneck of the Profound Combatant Formula.
This more than a hundred meter vortex was faster than anything Qianye had experienced before in terms of absorption rate. In just one hour, Qianye was already filled to the brim and almost overflowing with void origin power. Back on Evernight Continent, he would need several days of ordinary cultivation in order to absorb his full capacity.
Void origin power was extremely violent. Even Qianye, with his powerful const.i.tution, didn’t dare to absorb too much. He gradually withdrew the Profound Combatant Formula and followed up with the Song Clan Ancient Scroll’s Glory Chapter, refining the newly harvested void origin power into daybreak.
Refining the void origin power was a tedious task that couldn’t be rushed even if he wanted to. Time pa.s.sed by unknowingly during cultivation, and soon, the sky had turned a milky white and the clouds of dawn had decorated the Eastern Sea with a layer of gold. The rippling waves were like specks of gold rus.h.i.+ng to get to the sh.o.r.e.
At this moment, the two origin vortices in Qianye’s body were filled with golden origin power, and the crystalline granules within resembled pieces of fragmented gold orbiting the center. This scene resembled the ocean in the outside world. After the two vortices were filled by the constantly refined origin power from the Glory Chapter, a third began to take shape and absorb the external energy.
The formation of a third vortex was imminent and natural. The process would be officially complete in a few days when he had finished refining all of the void origin power in his body.
Qianye retracted the Glory Chapter and slowly opened his eyes. He was facing the ocean, at this moment, with the break of dawn looming overhead. A sudden feeling of vastness overwhelmed his heart—the pressure he had been feeling for many days was swept away as he spat out a mouthful of impurities amidst the faint sounds of rumbling thunder.
Qianye stood up and went back to the courtyard. A new day had begun.
A shadow flickered briefly through the Black Grove and hid away immediately upon seeing Qianye. The latter was somewhat surprised because it was rare to see the natives moving about in the daytime, not to mention so close to the courtyard too. However, Nighteye had largely recovered and there was also Zhuji around. The natives would probably suffer quite badly if they wanted to a.s.sault their walls.
Qianye turned his gaze away and suddenly realized that the other side of the river had cleared up a fair bit. The lingering mist had somewhat receded, revealing a large patch of land.
Could it be that winning against the mysterious ent.i.ty would also cause the mist to shrink? If that were the case, it could only be good news.
Qianye began cleaning ingredients for breakfast after returning to the courtyard.
At this moment, the little town was almost new—the streets were squeaky clean, and the piles of rubbish that used to be everywhere had vanished without a trace. Iron Bear was waiting at the gates with all of his subordinates.
The roar of an engine filled the air as an airs.h.i.+p arrived and landed outside the town. The vessel, embedded with a large number of beast tusks, looked fairly sinister, and the deep azure-colored insignia on it depicted a wolf’s head with b.l.o.o.d.y fangs.
Even Iron Bear couldn’t help but feel apprehensive upon seeing the wolf head insignia because it was a representation of the Wolf King. Those who could put such a crest on their s.h.i.+p naturally shared an extraordinary relations.h.i.+p with the ruler.
The airs.h.i.+p doors were kicked open and out walked a lanky young man with a charming face. He had golden rings on his nose and the jewels embedded in them were sparkling brightly under the sun. He looked around at the surroundings and said, “What kind of run-down place is this!?” He then glanced at Iron Bear and added, “And there’s a group of c.r.a.ppy people too.”