Yao Qing was still trying to sort through her emotions and thoughts. Jin Shu was wondering if there was any connection with Ning Bi’s Breach skill and the breaches she heard about. Ning Bi was calmly looking at her master
‘I was planning to use these random bloodline tokens as a trump card, but there is no point in hoarding them anymore. Random body constitution tokens are too risky without the removal tokens so there is no point in using them, even if Ning Bi’s luck is at max.’
‘Points wise, the best bang for the buck by far is grand-mastering their scriptures. Writing them down will become complicated but I can directly guide them for now instead.’
‘The next priority would be spells and other generic methods to cover their bases. Then I should upgrade my Heaven Defying Tyrannical Scripture to Grand Master. It has the potential to increase my speed even further. Maybe.’
Han De didn’t realize it, but he was deeply concerned about the wellbeing of his disciples. Ever since coming to this world he tried to distance himself from others to prevent the exposure of his transmigrator nature. Treating people as tools and putting on an act was the easiest and the safest way in this Xianxia world. But now, between fear of death, fear of not leaving anything behind, and the fear of losing his disciples, those once crisp lines became blurry.
“Ning Bi. You will report any changes immediately. Try not to use your Breach skill for perceiving your surroundings. Check-in on the flickering lights every few hours, but do not focus on them for long periods of time."
Han De sighed and nodded to himself.
"If I am not available, inform your elder sisters. You two try to help her as much as you can. Learn to rely on each other."
The disciples nodded with varying expressions. Han De ignored them. He was too busy thinking about how to scam these girls into accepting his Random Bloodline Tokens without damaging his Profound Expert image.
"The voyage that we are about to embark on may have unforeseen difficulties. I didn't want to mention this before you were ready, but fate does not wait for anyone."
"Human body holds many mysteries. When used, it grows stronger. When left alone, it wastes away. When wounded, it can repair itself. Simple healing pills and spells cannot heal your body by themselves. They can only help it, nurture it."
Han De had no idea how spells or pills actually worked. He had only learned one low-level healing touch spell, and that wasn't even at Grand Master level.
"A single drop of your blood holds enough information to reconstruct your entire body. A basic, yet practical function. But that is just the beginning. All life is connected, whether it be humans, animals, or even plants. We share more than you realize, we are more similar than you know."
"Some call it 'impurities', others call it an opportunity."
This was a big gamble on Han De's part. He was banking on his hazy knowledge of the science headlines he read back on Earth. He knew that humans had large amounts of leftover genes. He even remembered a few headlines that said humans shared some percentage of their DNA with bananas. Perhaps these things were the impurities cleansed by cultivators, perhaps not. It was best to keep things vague to not alert Yao Qing.
"I have been able to recover some of my power and can stimulate some of your dormant potentials and awaken you to a bloodline. The results will depend on your fate, will, and luck. If anything goes wrong, I will remove the bloodline and ensure it will not cause any damage to you."
"Nevertheless, this isn't something that I can force on anyone. You need to decide for yourselves."
Yao Qing's previously dull eyes started shining. A chance to unlock a bloodline from a primordial master? She would be an idiot to refuse an offer like this. There was no need for hesitation.
Jin Shu already fully trusted her master's abilities when it came to bloodlines. Her 6th stage parasitic bloodline was removed by him. She had no doubts in her mind.
Ning Bi didn't need to think about it. She trusted her master completely.
Seeing the eager and determined expressions of his disciples, Han De was gratified and concerned at the same time. This was a Xianxia world. There was no such thing as free lunch here. He made a mental note to educate them on not trusting people so easily.
'They all have high INT, but their WIS is too low!'
Han De nodded with a stoic expression. He needed to exert maximum effort to make this work.
"Very well. I have enough power to make 4 attempts and 4 removals. Ning Bi, you will be first."
Ning Bi was already very close. Han De dramatically closed his eyes and tried to appear as if he was concentrating. Consciously using a specific aura would cheapen the overall effect. These were his disciples, not some strangers unfamiliar with his arts, and Yao Qing was a regressor that could identify cheap tricks from miles away.
Instead, he slowly stopped restraining his powers. As if what he was doing was so complex, he couldn’t even spare one moment on something so trivial. The auras of different martial arts started mixing with each other. His Luminescent Body started glowing. He patiently waited. A good performance couldn't be rushed. Finally, once his auras reached their passive peaks, he used the token.
[Activating Random Bloodline Token on disciple Ning Bi]
[Your disciple Ning Bi received Divine Phoenix bloodline!]
[Divine Phoenix (Unawakened)]
[Power: Extremely High]
[Ruler of Flames]
[Cannot be hurt by flames of any kind.]
[Devourer of Flames]
[Can absorb elemental beings that cultivate Fire Qi.]
[Further effects are locked.]
[Additional awakening requirements: Flames of the previous cycle]
'System, not that I'm complaining, but are you sure this token is actually random? Isn't this the exact same bloodline that you keep recommending on her status screen?'
Naturally, there was no response. Han De was used to being ignored.
He opened his eyes and gave a satisfied nod at Ning Bi. The latter didn't understand anything, she didn't feel any different.
"Jin Shu, come here, we need to seize the moment."
Han De dramatically closed his eyes once again and relaxed his body. This caused some of his aura to retract, but since he wasn't restraining himself, it continued leaking.
[Activating Random Bloodline Token on disciple Jin Shu]
[Your disciple Jin Shu received Lifebringer bloodline!]
[Power: Extremely High]
[Touch of Life]
[Can cause random mutations on spiritual plants through touch.]
[Further effects are locked.]
[Additional awakening requirements: A seed of the previous cycle]
'That's... third in a row? Well her luck is at 8...'
Although this bloodline didn't offer direct benefits and had the same ambiguous awakening requirements, Han De didn't want to remove it. An extremely powerful bloodline was something difficult to come across... Probably? This was the 3rd time, but these could be just biased samples due to their luck.
'Let's not get complacent. Besides, it can be removed later if I get more bloodline tokens... No wait, I forgot about the tribulation triggering chance...'
Han De released his breath slowly. He faintly smiled and faintly nodded at Jin Shu. Like before, Jin Shu herself didn't feel any different, but she expected that.
With great difficulty, Han De looked at Yao Qing. This pampered princess had a worried expression, but Han De was determined. Yao Qing reluctantly came closer. The act started anew once again.
[Activating Random Bloodline Token on disciple Yao Qing]
[Your disciple Yao Qing received Indomitable Tyrant bloodline!]
[Indomitable Tyrant (Unawakened)]
[Power: Extremely High]
[All lightning will bend to the Tyrant’s will.]
[Further effects are locked.]
[Additional awakening requirements: Absorption of a very powerful Heavenly Tribulation lightning strike.]
'...System... This isn-'
'An MC's luck isn't something to be trifled with. All three hit the bullseye on the first try...'
Han De took a deep breath. For a while, he just continued his deep breaths. Once he opened his eyes after 2 minutes, they had their usual energy once more.
The disciples that saw his condition also breathed sighs of relief. Their master did say he had enough energy for 4, but they knew he would always push himself more than he should. All three came to an unspoken agreement that they shouldn't let him exhaust himself like this. They decided to contact Long Xiu at the first opportunity.
The entire ordeal had lasted only 20 minutes. Han De knew it was a lackluster performance. But he couldn't do anything about it. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
* * *
At dawn, the senior elders of the Starfall Mountain sect were still working at fortifying the formations of the sect's spiritual flagship. Tens of thousands of disciples stayed up all night under Elder De's orders.
The flagship would usually stay at a distance from the sect and wouldn't enter inside the Grand Array. But Elder De's order was forcing them to move it directly above the sect due to time constraints. Any disciples that looked up would see a giant spiritual boat in the skies.
The order itself was controversial. Han De was only a low ranking elder. Even if he was destined to rule the sect, he was still a lowly Core Formation expert at that moment. Some higher-ranked elders protested the order, refused to comply, and even tried to stop everything altogether.
When Long Xiu learned of this, she visited the Starfall Mountain Palace. An hour later when she left, the interior of the palace was painted in red with the flesh and blood of the uncooperative and the undecided. Everything proceeded smoothly afterward. The missing elders were scrubbed from the records.
The disciples themselves didn't notice anything was amiss, they just kept watching the operation. The number of people that could work on formations of this level was limited. Lower ranked elders and the disciples were only used for menial tasks. Still, the number of people that cultivated that night was staggeringly low. Seeing the lofty elders working like bees was an eye-opening experience.
"I didn't know Elder De could order even the ancient monsters... I feel lucky to be alive...'
If Han De was here, he would recognize this disciple as the one that escorted him to the Disciple Acceptance Ceremony on his first day.
"Elder De is the heir of the sect, you idiot!"
"What did you expect?"
"You are but a frog in a well!"
"Elder De dominance is famous in the Brass Stallion city too!"
"Yes, he is as dominant as he is insatiable!"
The Tan family had started working for the Starfall Mountain some time ago. The quintuplets of the family enjoyed a status boost inside the sect thanks to that. Their mouths grew in proportion as well.
Geng Shi who was silently watching the enormous spiritual boat flinched after hearing the last part. He hadn't seen Yao Qing ever since they arrived at this sect. While he was getting a nearly endless amount of resources, he couldn't help but wonder about his childhood friend. A frown appeared on his face as he kept thinking.
* * *
Xin Qiang and the white-haired Wu Fu kept traveling at great speed. They were finally nearing the Ming Empire border. It was exactly as Wu Fu thought, they were going to the Starfall Mountain.
During their travel, Xin Qiang and Wu Fu didn't talk at all. Both of them were trying to calculate all the variables. Even though his entire life's work was destroyed, Wu Fu couldn't stop his mind from going through the motions.
Xin Qiang heard a faint scream from far away. She was about to ignore it, but she detected a heavy stench of death. They stopped in mid-air. Xin Qiang gazed at the landscape below them. Her spiritual sense could detect dozens of Immortal Realm experts and one Nascent Soul that they surrounded.
Her intuition was telling her there was something wrong here. She moved closer without hesitation. These people were 2 whole realms lower, they couldn't even scratch her. Xin Qiang and Wu Fu saw the Nascent Soul cultivator that was absorbing the blood essence of a yellow-robed woman.
Wu Fu immediately identified the two. Ming Ping, the prince of the Ming Empire that was found and delivered to the Ming Emperor by Han De. The unfortunate woman looked like the one that slapped the boy during the conference. After Ming Ping left with the Emperor, she had broken through on the spot and was recruited to the sect as an elder by the orders of Han Wei, the sect master.
Xin Qiang had no idea about the contents of the deal and who they were supposed to be. Wu Fu didn't say anything either. He didn't have anything left to live for. He wanted to see if his initial suspicion was correct.
"Lan... You... You shouldn't have left me, you b*tch! So what if I absorbed Guoliang? In this world, only the strong can survive!"
Ming Ping was crying and growling incoherently. He absorbed, mourned, cursed, and laughed.
"Han De... This is all your fault!! You will pay!! I WILL MAKE YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO XIAO LAN!!"
Xin Qiang was desperately trying to curry favor with the Starfall Mountain and Han De. She looked at the pitiful woman and the yellow robes she wore. They were the robes of the Starfall Mountain elders.
<Miss, this is a Ming Empire affair. If you know what is good for you, leave. Otherwise, don't blame us for being merciless.>
One of the lurking Immortal Realm experts finally contacted Xin Qiang. Naturally, they would rather ignore an Ancient Realm expert that wasn't even trying to hide their aura, but their mission was too important.
"Curse you!! You will suffer the same thing a thousand fold!! Everyone you love will suffer as Xiao Lan suffered!! Your family!! Your disciple!!! If not, then my name is not Xiao Ping!!"
Xin Qiang released her aura fully. She landed near the raving young man. The Immortal Realm experts were suppressed, they sent an emergency message but that was all they could do. Surprisingly, Xiao Ping wasn't affected by her aura.
The shriveled corpse of the yellow-robed woman was a difficult sight to look at. The pain she suffered could be clearly seen in her dried face even after death. Xin Qiang wrapped her body with some cloth and stored it inside her storage ring.
Ming Ping stared at Xin Qiang during the entire process. For a moment, sanity returned to his eyes. He could fully understand what he had done, what he was forced to do, but it was only a fleeting moment.
Xin Qiang knew she could not touch this person, but she could still bring this elder back to the sect with the news of the Ming Empire's involvement. The Starfall Mountain was a quality over quantity sect. They would never leave the death of an elder alone.
Once they hurriedly left the scene, Wu Fu smirked. He didn't hide his enjoyment of the events. He was right. She, or perhaps the entire Xin family had a falling out with the Starfall Mountain. They were trying to ingratiate themselves.
They reached the Starfall Mountain borders quickly and saw the massive spiritual boat flying towards the north.