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Han De was standing in front of the spiritual iron sheet that he had lodged into the ground. A week had already passed since his first lecture. These experts had worked tirelessly. It was obvious from the report that their work wasn’t fruitless.

‘59 subjects. At least 13 showed consistent Anomalous behavior. 3 already disappeared and cannot be found. 5 died, but the bodies of 2 disappeared. I did not expect there to be this many…’

He knew that a big chunk of this was probably false positives, and some of it might end up being minor-MCs like that Geng Shi. However, if there were 2 or 3 Yao Qing level MCs out there, that would be a tremendous success for his reeducation program. A deeply, deeply concerning success.

“Keep observing all of them. For the ones that disappeared, assign higher realm experts. They most likely had an Entity that detected the observers, or an item that did the equivalent. Wait for a few weeks then acquire the dead bodies. If those 2 reappear continue observing.”

“Pay special attention to those that are blessed with luck and keep your distance. Their luck might drag you in and make them aware of your existence.”

“Remember, only interfere if they take action against the Han family or the Starfall Mountain Sect. If you do interfere, make sure the force is at least 5 major realms higher.”

After dealing with the report Han De started his lecture. This time the focus was on reducing the damage that the family members may cause through their interactions with the Anomalies. Treebeard was in the audience and he had already informed others of the potential MC in that lower world. Although Han De did not notice it, the tension was high among the lackeys.

The lecture was nearly over. The main theme of the crisis protocols revolved around the things Yao Qing had said before he made contact. Lackeys themselves didn’t know about the source. After some nightmare scenarios, Han De gave some general orders.

“As you can see, we need a pattern that would allow us to passively observe without attracting attention. No one is to get near the Red Stone Basin. To anyone else, Red Stone Basin is an empty scar, and there is no such sect called Silent Silhouette.”

“Movements of the sect master and the family head must be observed at all times. If they leave the sect or the family estate I want to know. Also do keep a note of the highest cultivation base after they leave. Make a file on the high profile ones.”

After the Q&A session, the lecture was over. Before Han De left, as per his orders Peng informed him that his parents had left the sect grounds 6 days ago, their destination unknown.

Han De walked back to his abode with a frown. Under normal circumstances, his parents wouldn’t leave at the same time for 6 days straight. They were the backbone of their respective organizations after all.

* * *

Long Xiu was high up in the sky, looking down at the bloodshed below. This was the 37th sect she had visited in the last 5 days.

A Transcendent expert with bushy eyebrows tentatively approached her. Even for a moment he wouldn’t raise his head and look directly at the family head.

“We haven’t been able to find another kindling. This was the 6th and the last sect of this one.”

Under the triple suns, Long Xiu looked far away into the horizon. Without diverting her gaze she asked. “What of the candidates?”

“They are ready.”

“Good.” Finally, Long Xiu broke her gaze and intently looked at the lines and lines of women down below. After an hour of scrutiny, just as she was about to frown in dissatisfaction like the 36 times before, she spotted something. White hair with pink eyes. She was thin, but her face was pleasant to look at. Long Xiu paid extra attention to her skin. She relaxed after seeing it wasn’t flat colored.

“Her.”

The girl in question didn't resist. Her gaze was exceptionally calm. Long Xiu's subordinates immediately sealed and moved her away.

At long last, there was a slight smile on Long Xiu’s face. This trip wasn’t for naught after all. She killed the rest with the back of her hand. Since there was no kindling, there was no need to be kind.

The sect that housed many millions was now nothing but ash and dust. A black dot inside an endless desert.

Long Xiu concentrated on the far-away dot she was looking at before. She raised her right hand and with a vertical motion created a rip in space. After a few seconds, demons started gushing out from the wound. Transcendent experts in a spearhead formation started advancing without delay.

They reached the 38th sect after half a day.

* * *

Han De could sense the third Qi Condensation signature before entering his abode. The other two were without a doubt his disciples. A smile crept up in Han De’s face. His effort wasn’t in vain after all.

He stayed in his Hidden Expert mode and entered the courtyard. Although he had expected her to cave and agree, he didn’t expect the ceremony to be ready. Apparently Ning Bi and Yao Qing worked really fast.

With his 2 other disciples on the side, and Jin Shu kowtowing, Han De finished his tea.

"With this, you are now my third disciple."

"Disciple Jin Shu greets master."


[Quest: Bloodletting]
[Difficulty Level: F]
[Status: Issued]

[Summary: Your new and very talented disciple is suffering from a mutated parasitic bloodline. As her master, you must remove this ailment, then carefully guide and nurture her. Help Jin Shu claim her birthright!]

[Requirements: Remove the mutated parasitic bloodline.]
[Time Remaining: 2 hours]
[Success: 25 Profound Points]
[Failure: Jin Shu’s disciple status will be revoked.]


‘2 hours? I guess there is no need to delay then.’

Han De dramatically closed his eyes. He didn’t know how the token worked, but at least needed to make an effort. After a minute of concentrated silence, Han De gave the order.

‘Use Bloodline Removal Token on Jin Shu.’


[Activating Bloodline Removal Token on disciple Jin Shu]
[Target Confirmed]
[Calibrating...]
[...]
[Calibration Complete]
[Tribulation Triggering Chance: 0.00000041%]
[Commencing Removal]

‘Wait, there was a chance?!’

Inside the courtyard, Han De, Ning Bi, Yao Qing, and Jin Shu did not feel the intense but infinitesimally small beams of energy coming from Han De. These beams of energy multiplied by millions and entered Jin Shu. They attacked her bloodline with impossible precision.

[Removal Success]
[Time Taken: 0.0000000013 seconds]

[Quest Complete!]
[Congratulations!]
[Quest Reward: 25 Profound Points]
[Notes: You have completed your quest in the allocated time. Your very talented disciple is now free of the mutated parasitic bloodline.]

[Profound Points: 820]


Han De opened his eyes. Jin Shu was still in seiza, looking at him with expectation. Both Ning Bi and Yao Qing also had the same look. Han De gave a profound look at the three of them. It had only been 10 or so seconds. He didn’t know that it would be this easy, but the show had to go on. Thankfully he was very well prepared for situations like this.

“Your bloodline has been removed. In 5 days at the earliest, we will go to the archives and look for a suitable cultivation method. Your comprehension of Blossoming Dream isn’t bad, but your future lies elsewhere.”

Three disciples watched as their master stood up and left.

Jin Shu looked at her hands. She closed her eyes and cultivated for one cycle. She reviewed her cultivation method.

Ning Bi and Yao Qing carefully observed Jin Shu. This woman had made her decision even before their master left the Golden Pavilion. Once they learned of this, they wandered around the sect and kept chatting with each other. They were quick to get along despite their differences.

Jin Shu had lived her whole life in a lower realm, and Ning Bi had started cultivating only 2 months ago. Yao Qing had lived most of her life in the Iron Blood sect. The common ground they all had was how new they were at the Starfall Mountain. Even their youngest Ning Bi, who was their most senior when it came to the sect, had only started going to the lectures for less than a month.

Yao Qing didn’t know Jin Shu from her past. Considering the girl’s condition, it would’ve been shocking if she did. The lower realm that Jin Shu was from was familiar to her. It was a location that Silent Silhouette paid attention to. However, she didn’t know the reason for that. From her perspective, it was tens of thousands of years ago. Still, she decided to keep an eye on it and try to mention it to Han De in an appropriate moment.

She had no doubt that Han De would get the hint. In the past few days, she was beyond impressed by his capabilities. Perhaps it was better to come clean now, she had already acknowledged him as her master, and a part of her knew that it would be impossible to keep her nature hidden forever. This wasn’t an easy decision to make.

Ning Bi was very happy. She loved and admired Yao Qing greatly. It was as if this elder sister of hers filled a hole that she didn’t know existed. She immediately warmed up to Jin Shu too. This wasn’t surprising at all, Ning Bi was always friendly towards new people. Her bottom line was her master. If they ever hurt him she would naturally make them pay for it.

Jin Shu herself was barely keeping it together as they toured the sect. This Han De, perhaps her future master if he really did accept her as his disciple, laid out her innermost fears out in the open. She knew it was impossible to remove the bloodline that was with her since her birth. Yet she somehow found herself daring to hope. It was an unpleasant feeling that she had never known before.

Their master had left the courtyard, yet all three were silent. When he first said that the bloodline was removed, Jin Shu didn’t feel any different. Yet after a single cycle of cultivation and only a cursory review of her method, she was shocked. Her speed was increased twentyfold, and her mind was crystal clear. It was the difference between Heaven and Earth. She removed her veil and revealed her delicate face.

Three disciples recalled how tired their master sounded. Although he desperately tried to mask it, they could tell. They remembered how he mentioned complex calculations. Judging how fast the process went, perhaps he had started those calculations before he even left the Golden Pavilion.

They weren’t the only ones that got stunned into silence.

* * *

{...}

{...}

{...}

{...}

{You did it so easily, yet you dare to put up an act?!}

{How is it possible? How can you have this precise control? Impossible! IMPOSSIBLE!!}

{!!!}

Black void pulsated. Its anger filled the void. It started leaking to other places. To hidden places. To places where the veil is weak.

{...}

{Maybe I should… No, no, no. NOOOO!!!}

{!!!}

{...}
{...}

{Duplicitous brat...}

Black void had looked at the boy’s soul over and over again. It could tell that his soul had left his body briefly and resynced once again. Other than something tedious like that, it couldn’t find anything extraordinary.

Black void looked at the girl that had the stench of time in her soul. It looked at the girl that had her parasitic bloodline removed. It remembered the silly ‘Anomaly’ theory. It remembered the useless ‘industrialization’ plans. It remembered the strange symbols he wrote.

{His thinking isn’t ordinary. Perhaps there is merit in them after all. Then who is he acting for-}
{...}
{Ah… I see. So that was your aim all along. HAHAHAHAHA...}

{...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...}

{...}
{...}
{...}

{...HAHAHAHAHA... Haaaa...}

{Astonishing. Provocative. Dangerous.}

{...}

{Very well. But I won’t be easy to convince...}

* * *

Inside the Red Desert, near the Red Stone Basin, there was the Red Mountain. This mountain was cut in half by a deep chasm. Inside the chasm was the Silent Silhouette’s sect. In the deepest part of the chasm was a meditation chamber.

The sect master of the Silent Silhouette was in secluded meditation in these chambers. He had made his choice, prepared all his cards. All he had to now was to wait for the result. He cultivated away as he always did for countless millennia.

The Red Stone Basin was the location of the most recent and the most bloody Breach. The event itself had lasted a long time before powerhouses of the continent gathered together and sealed the opening. However, the seal was just an external measure. Although this wound would heal itself in time, this process was extremely slow due to the extent of the damage. Therefore, the Red Stone Basin itself was a giant weak point in space, where otherworldly maddening echoes could be heard from time to time.

{..!}

*cough*

The sect master collapsed to the floor while violently coughing up blood. His entire body was convulsing. His extremely high cultivation made him more susceptible to influences beyond the void, unfortunately, he did not know that. This world was far too remote and uninteresting for higher beings. Until now, he hadn’t encountered any problems while meditating in locations near weak points.

{.!.}

*cough* *crack* *cough*

The sect master could feel his bones breaking.

*crack*

He couldn’t even remember the last time a bone of his broke. Was it in the Transcendent realm? It was so long ago, he had *crack* no idea.

*crack*

He thought he *crack* had heard a sound, so he started listening. *crack*

*crack* *crack*

He realized it was his own screams. *crack* He was screaming without even realizing it. He couldn’t even remember the last time he screamed. Was it in the *crack* Dao Sovereign realm? It was so long ago, *crack* he had no idea. *crack*

*crack*

* * *

Han Wei was investigating the last weak point that they found. Although it was on the Northern Continent and halfway across the world from the Starfall Mountain, this was the best they got.

At the conference, he couldn’t push for a consensus. Everyone was wary of opening another Breach. Yet they also agreed that something had to be done. The writing was on the wall for who knows how long but everyone was somehow satisfied with the status quo.

“Grand Elder, we have completed the survey. This one is extremely promising!”

Han Wei smiled at the old man, he was about to say something, he had even opened his mouth.

{ ! . } .

Han Wei’s vision darkened. He felt an intense echo resonating from the weak point. He didn’t wait, he didn’t mind his dignity. He screamed while using all of his power to get away from the pulsating space.

“RUNN!!”

Nearby experts had also felt something. The effect wasn’t as exaggerated as their Grand Elder, but it was enough to fill them with dread. The Grand Elder’s scream pulled them to reality.

} . !   { .

Han Wei collapsed even after he flew away with full force. Using his power of space would only mean his death, so he could only fly.

* * *

Xin Qiang who was working with the Sun Empire in charting their weak points felt a faint echo come through the gap they opened. She used all her Ancient Realm senses but couldn’t detect anything. Just as she gave up, another echo game. Yet it was still so indistinct. She shook her head and continued her work.

* * *

Han De finally reached his chambers and breathed out a sigh of relief.

‘Finally, I can play with my tokens and my points…’

Last week was way too hectic for his tastes. But now he had successfully bought at least 5 days of relaxation. He immediately took out a scroll and started organizing his thoughts by writing.

‘I can immediately purify my Light element roots with the Spiritual Roots Cleansing Token, but that won’t be enough. Even if I use the Derive Cultivation Method Token for a new light element method it still won’t be enough. My element is just too rare and the methods to derive from are just too low quality.’

‘I can still use my points to derive one anyway, but the resulting method will be partial and will need who knows how many fragments to complete. Then I’ll need to increase my comprehension of it from scratch.’

‘Or, I can use a Spiritual Roots Seed Token to create a new fire root, improve it as much as I can with root upgrade tokens and move towards the Blazing Sun Scripture. That is the highest quality scripture available to me right now.’

Crimson Terror, the flower that he got from the cockroach, the one that the dragon and the fox almost fed him to, had enormous amounts of Perfect Fire Qi stored in it. Han De couldn’t think of a more perfect catalyst for the Spiritual Roots Seed Token.

One limiting factor was the quality of the new roots. If it started at a too low value, then the point cost of it would be too high. It would take 2500 Profound Points to perfect it if it started below 20%. He only had 820 points right now. He needed at least 75% pure roots to practice the Blazing Sun Scripture. It was a shame that the cleansing token only worked on single element roots.

Han De wrote down the potential costs of all the approaches he could take. Pros and cons of all of them were laid out on the scrolls in front of him. After carefully considering his options, he decided to forgo the short term benefit. If he wanted to survive long term, he needed long term solutions.

‘Activate Spiritual Roots Cleansing Token’

[Spiritual Roots Cleansing Process Invoked]
[Gathering statistics]
[Previous usage of an upgrade token detected]
[Calculating cleansing time]
[Cleansing will take 9 hours and 43 minutes]
[Initiating final preparations]

'I thought it would take at least two weeks. Not bad!'

[Preparations are complete]
[To prevent permanent soul damage, the host will be put in sleep mode]
[Upgrade Started]
[Time Remaining: 9:41:59]
[...]

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