Children would never battle to the death with adults with their lives on the line. It was simply asking for death and defying common sense. Ferocious Beasts were the same. The dividing line between peak King Ranked Ferocious Beast and Desolate Beasts was a hairs away yet also an insurmountable mountain at the same time. It was the difference between a child and an adult.
The Desolate Forest was a playground compared to The Desolate Wilderness, which was a chaotic battlefield. Desolate Beasts were able to control Energy, like their Xiantian Profound Realm Cultivators counterparts. Of course, since the Xiantian Profound Realm was the beginning stages of controlling Energy, and Desolate Beasts had similar control over their Energy, they didn't use their Energy as magical attacks but rather incorporated their Energy into their bodies, making their bodies tougher than steel while their bodies would also gain defense from Energy attacks from human Cultivators.
The journey from the village to the Capital would normally take 2 two months, since General Calix had to side on caution while traveling. They simply could not cope against peak King Ranked Ferocious Beasts. Since they were also using normal Ferocious Beasts as transportation, the journey would also be slow and often times, the Ferocious Beasts would end up getting killed so they would be forced to travel on foot.
Fatigue, carelessness, and simply being weak caused the deaths of the younger generation.
Their major loses came from not inside The Desolate Forest, but The Boundary Of Death.
It was a 1000 kilometer wide expanse. Every 100 kilometers, the quality of Heavenly Energy would increase. At the end up of the 1000 kilometers, at the edge of The Boundary of Death, the Heavenly Energy was 10 times as thick and bountiful as the Heavenly Energy in the village.
This meant that of The Boundary of Death was a Desolate Beast paradise.
Yet it was not only the Desolate Beasts that plagued the Cultivators minds that came to the Capital. Since the Boundary of Death was close the Capital, it meant Cultivators from the Capital were regularly hunting within The Boundary Of Death. It was also where King Ranked Ferocious Beasts were regularly found. This made a great training grounds for the young Cultivators from the Capital. With some luck, Cultivators visiting the Capital would come across Cultivators from the Capital training in the Boundary of Death, who would become their safety nets toward their journey to the Capital .
It was the environment that remote Cultivators dreaded. 10 times the extra Energy caused chaotic and devastating weather conditions in The Boundary of Death.
The Floating Cloud Village was would be comfortably sunny in the spring and summer with the occasional rainfall. The winters were cold and filled with snow but the weather was predictable.
In The Boundary Of Death, the Yang energy would create an abnormal heat in the area. The sudden winds and gusts were filled with Yin energy, chilling the bones and freezing the blood. One minute, the skies would be clear and blue, and without warning, the next minute could bring a raging storm. The rain would become needles, piercing the skin and body, able to instantly kill Houtian Profound Realm Cultivators. The winds filled with Yin energy would turn the rain into physical ice, which would bombard the lands relentlessly. The Lightning created by the storm would even put fear into powerful Cultivators of the Elementary Profound Realm, who would dare not fly through the skies fearing the wrath of the heavens. Yet the Thunder, the booming sound that Lightning created as it crashed into the ground was enough to obliterate the ear drums of Houtian Profound and low Xiantian Profound Realm Cultivators.
Yet there was one phenomenon that was feared the most. The abnormal Yang heat and Yin cold would sometimes clash, meet and greet, try to come together. It was as the timeless and ancient Yin and Yang were trying to communicate. Yet, as if the heavens were punishing their attempt, a catastrophic Tornado would be created. The monstrous Tornado would combine the extremes that Cultivators and Desolate Beasts feared, the needle rain, ice cold Yin winds, blistering hot Yang heat, ground shattering Lighting and add another level of intensity into the mix. The Tornado would recreate the environment, destroying mountains, creating canyons, emptying rivers while creating lakes.
It was nature reminding the human Cultivators and the prideful Desolate Beasts that the Heavens would always be eternally above them.
Even the normal water of the rivers and the earth under the feet were effected by the abundant energy. The Yin energy would make the water viscous as lead, while the earth would be hard as iron. Even the atmosphere exerted greater pressure upon the surroundings.
Yet, at the same time, the Heavens would smile down upon its children. The nitrogen in DNA, the calcium in teeth, the iron in blood, and carbon in teeth were all part of the Heavens. The Heavens would not forsake various versions of itself, even in the different forms of life.
The Lands of Death was the generosity of the Heavens, whom were preparing the Houtian and Xiantian Profound Realm Cultivators; King Ranked Ferocious Beasts and the Desolate Beasts for The Desolate Wilderness. The Lands Of Death was a gradual increase in difficulty and intensity. It would let the lifeforms adapt and evolve. From a certain perspective, this was the hands of the Heavens showing mercy and love.
It had taken the Cultivators from The Floating Cloud village two and a half days to reach The Boundary Of Death. Not one person had died so far into the journey, an unprecedented event that had never happened before. Desmond and especially General Calix, who had made the journey multiple times previously, were pleasantly surprised. The King Ranked Ferocious Beasts were just too fast to be attacked randomly. Attacks from Ferocious Beasts had happened in times of rest, but they were easily taken care of. Lily and Cesar were the only ones on Mother Wolf, having their own privacy and space, while the other Cultivators sat on the other two King Ranked Ferocious Beasts while the party traveled
Cesar had spent those two and a half days studying Mental Barriers and Soul Seals. Both the Mental Barriers and Soul Seals were made from Qi. Qi was a type of Heavenly Energy that contained no attributes. In the Cultivation world, being able to Cultivate Qi was both a blessing and a curse. The number of people who could Cultivate Qi were few and far between. The path of Cultivating Qi was not a Martial Path. Qi was attribute-less. There was no attacking power in Qi and it would not respond or interact with the other elements. Yet, the Energy was not without uses. The non reactive Energy was perfect for Seals and Barriers! Not to mention, Qi was as common in The World as Yin and Yang energy!
Those that Cultivated Qi were called Runic Array Masters. Their position was equal to Alchemists!
But Qi could not be Cultivated at the Houtian Profound Realm. Not only that, but one did not choose to Cultivate Qi. It was a matter of chance.
But this was not the case for Cesar. All along, he was able to see the Qi energy around him. There were even Dan that only consisted of Qi. But Cesar could not interact with Qi. It was a matter of Cultivation Realms. He was in the Houtian Profound Realm. He was certain that he would be able to Cultivate Qi like he could Cultivate Yin and Yang energy when he would eventually reach the Xiantian Profound Realm.
Yet, that did not stop Cesar from studying the Seals and Barriers. He could still see the Energy, and could see that the Barriers and Seals were nothing more than Qi shaped in different symbols and formations!
Each symbol represented something. Cesar knew, even without understanding the symbols and formations, that it was a language. This, in his mind, was good news. No matter how complicated the language, with his perfect memory and Energy vision, he would be able to learn it!
And Cesar knew, this language was important. It affected the physical world along with the ethereal realm of the soul. He knew, that if it could affect two fabrics of reality, it could apply to more.
Yet, when Lily allowed him to examine her Soul Seal and Mental Barrier, his hope came crashing down. Compared to Lily's Cultivation technique, Cesar thought that her Mental Barrier was many times more impressive.
It was as if he had just been introduced to programming language and his was forced to hack the firewall of the Pentagon.
Physically, without his Energy vision, the seal looked like a solid white membrane which covered her mind. Cesar could not see her Soul nor the Seal around it.
With his Energy vision however, he saw a dance of millions of different symbols and formations. They completely covered her mind, not allowing Cesar to see her brain. And that was only the first layer of her Barrier. Further inside, he saw different coloured symbols.
Cesar knew how neurons and electrical synaptic signals in the brain worked. If he was able to see and read them, than he would be able to read her mind with a little help from Jasmine. This would also allow the Mental Barrier to continue protecting her, while the communication issue would be resolved.
"I've never seen anything like it Lily. Millions of symbols and formations." Cesar said to Lily who could not respond.
That idea was no longer applicable... But Cesar was not dejected. Cesar just wanted Lily to have complete freedom. Her families techniques didn't matter all that much to him. But now, in front of him, an unbreakable defense was present. To learn, adapt, and conquer became Cesar's secondary goals. The other Mental Barriers and Soul Seals seemed like paper and dirt compared to what Lily had. This was a chance to study what Cesar considered the greatest achievement of the Cultivators in this world he had seen to date. In the future that may change, but for now, Cesar was content with learning how the Barrier functioned, and adapt it for himself. He still had no Mental Barrier protecting his own mind, and that worried him.
"I want you to have your freedom of speech Lily. That's my goal. I don't want to break or crack the barrier unless I can create something better. I also don't have my own Mental Barrier. If I can learn from yours... Then I can have my own protection."
Naturally, Cesar imparted his message to Lily. Learning the importance he placed on her freedom awakened the feelings of love inside her and long sessions of bonding ensued. Even though she could not tell him how much she loved him in words, her actions spoke louder. What Lily could not tell Cesar was that her Mental Barrier and Soul seal were connected. A two-in-one treasure. It was an ancient treasure, not something that the Storm family had created, but found in an ancient tomb. If he could create something better... Than he'll do something no other Cultivator in current times would be able to do.
The atmosphere of normalcy was eradicated when the party arrived at The Border of Death. The feeling of danger was Cesar's and Lily's only chance of warning. Cesar felt levels of danger he had never before.
Cesar became attentive with every fiber of his being while Lily stayed in her relaxed manner. They had been informed by both Desmond and General Calix about the Boundary of Death.
"Don't be so tense. It'll be alright" Lily said while hugging Cesar's tense back.
But Cesar knew that his sense of danger was levels beyond Lily's. It accurately calculated potential danger, and cause and effect. From the amount of danger he felt, he knew his life was about to be in serious danger. He also didn't know how long the danger would last.
"Lily. My danger sense calculates danger approximate to my Cultivation and power. Right now... I have enough feelings of danger going through me that every part of me is telling me that I should turn back..." Cesar said while relaxing a little. His danger sense was approximate to his Cultivation and total power. That meant Lily would be able to handle it if he couldn't. Not to mention, he also had trump cards in times of danger.
Mother Wolf and the two other King Ranked Ferocious Beasts slowed down their pace, sensing the danger.
"Alright you small chicks. Get your weapons ready. No more easy dinners or safe sleeping. Fight with your life on the line or die." General Calix said to the younger generation.
With caution, the party entered The Boundary of Death. The first 100 kilometers contained the Energy levels they were used to. But the amount of Ferocious Beasts increased. Cesar couldn't see a single normal Ferocious Beast anymore. Most were Elite Ferocious Beasts while King Ranked Ferocious Beasts increased in abundance.
"Waaaa.... Scary... So Scary. Why'd you bring us here Desmond. We're only Houtian Profound Realm Cultivators..." One of the younger generation Cultivator started complaining.
"We can barely fight against Elite ranked Ferocious Beasts...." Another mumbled.
Cesar saw himself being placed in the Ferocious Beast hierarchy. This had happened in The Pit. He saw himself being placed near the top. But the more concerning information was that he was able to locate the other Ferocious Beasts in the hierarchy within the first 100 kilometers.
It seemed there was a different hierarchy every 100 kilometers and not for the entire 1000 kilometer. Not only that, but the amount of Ferocious Beasts Cesar sensed through the hierarchy was overwhelming. In one direction, the Boundary of Death was 1000 kilometers wide, but in the other, the strip of land carried on endlessly... This also meant that the Capital couldn't covet the bountiful lands for themselves.
Seeing the increase of powerful Ferocious Beasts, the younger generation from the village started shivering in fear. Normally, by this point, they would have been combat veterans. But since this journey had been relatively safe, they were still unprepared for the battles ahead.
The Elite and King Ranked Ferocious Beasts, seeing humans, became angry and wanted to claw them into pieces. But the three King Ranked Ferocious Beasts were protecting the Cultivators, and they kept the other Ferocious Beasts at bay.
But that didn't last long. The Ferocious Beasts slowly surrounded the trio, until there was no room to maneuver for the three King Ranked Ferocious Beasts.
"Screwed. We're so screwed." Said one of the younger generation. The less powerful Cultivators looked towards Cesar and Lily, begging for help with their eyes.
"They won't forsake us will they?" Said another. General Calix just slapped him across the head.
Lily had hid her Aura and Cultivation, so from the outside, she looked like an extremely beautiful mortal. That made it seem like Desmond was the strongest Cultivator in the group. This gave courage to the King Ranked Ferocious Beasts that wanted to attack them.
Yet the King Ranked Ferocious Beasts were cautious. They would send the Elite Ferocious Beasts to their deaths, trying to whittle own the trios stamina. It was in those moments that something particular happened.
There were several Wolf type Ferocious Beasts present. They sensed Cesar, and when they saw the golden eyes, beast like fangs and claws, their hairs started standing on end. They each gave howls and ran away with their pact. Cesar, having clear vision of the battlefield, noticed the strange behavior but didn't have an answer for it.
"Interesting...." Cesar mumbled.
Since the party was surrounded in a circle, Cesar and Mother Wolf defended one side while General Calix, Desmond, the other two King Ranked Ferocious Beasts and the younger generation defended the other side. Actually, Cesar just sat on the ground and killed Ferocious Beasts with his Aura while the other side had to fight with lives on the line. Lily, even though she looked like she was Cultivating on Mother Wolf, payed attention to the entire battle, ready to jump in to help in crucial moments.
Seeing their brethren constantly dying for naught, the Ferocious Beasts just gave the Cultivators looks of hatred while they retreated. Their gazes towards Cesar were looks of confusion, but after he casually killed Ferocious Beasts, their looks turned to fear. They naturally saw an apex predator toying with them. It was because of Cesar that they all retreated, giving them an unobstructed path towards the next level of The Boundary of Death.
"Ahahaha. Look at that. They ran away. My might was just too much for them." One of the young Cultivators bragged. General Calix just hit him across the head once again. Thankfully, only small injures had occurred, which were completely healed by Elixirs.
The Ferocious Beast corpses were left to either decompose or be eaten by other predators since the killed Ferocious Beasts were only Elite ranked. The blood was collected by Lily and everyone aside from Cesar and General Calix gasped with surprise and awe. Since the Cultivators faced the other side, they didn't see Cesar casually killing the Ferocious Beasts with his Aura.
"What kind of Technique is that?!" One Cultivator said. "Look! All that Blood just vanished! She somehow collected it all!" Another exclaimed! "Rich! That's a Technique that can make you rich!" A male said with tears and envy in his eyes and he dropped on his knees. General Calix just slapped him across the head for the third time. "Idiots." General Calix spat out his teeth.
Crossing the 100 kilometers, Cesar had collected the Dan within his vision. To his surprise, there were even a few Xiantian Realm Dan hidden within the vicinity. Most were deep underground. Cesar just absorbed the Energy from those Dan. They were like rechargeable batteries, and started absorbing Energy again.
Crossing into the 200 kilometer mark, the trio huddled close together. The Energy doubled and Cesar saw nothing but King Ranked Ferocious Beasts thriving in the lands. But Cesar also saw Cultivators. Young Cultivators were fighting against King Ranked Ferocious Beasts while Elders watched them from the air.
It was like they were frozen in air. Their robes would flutter in the air effortlessly and their long while beards would simply wave and swirl in the air. Some of the Elders would talk to each other, but their attentions were focused on the young Cultivators below.
They were Elementary Profound Realm Cultivators! Past the Xiantian Profound Realm, Cultivators were able to fly!
But Cesar noticed. The Elders wouldn't kill the King Ranked Ferocious Beasts just because they were able to. They would sometimes kill the King Ranked Ferocious Beasts to rescue the young Cultivators. But it made sense. If the Elders killed off all the Ferocious Beasts, how would the younger generation temper themselves?
The young Cultivators were all Xantian Profound Realm Cultivators. They were the young masters of various clans in the Capital. Since The Exhibit was close, they were all honing their fighting instincts. Most of them wouldn't join the military, since that was just an option for the top 32. They would enter The Exhibit to represent their clans and families. Not only would they gain fame and prestige, but also political power.
In the Capital, there was fierce competition between the families and clans. The younger generation of a family was their future. With better positions in The Exhibit, it showcased their power and potential. That meant powerful families would arrange marriages between each other, deepening their bond and future heritage.
As Cesar gazed onto the Elders, the Elders stared back. Seeing Cesar and Lily in all their beauty, it momentarily blinded them. No matter the Kingdom, Cesar and Lily were heavenly beings. Cesar was male perfection. It was as if each part of his body was carefully crafted by the Gods. Lily was his female equivalent. Feminine perfection. A beauty that could shake Kingdoms to their cores. Yet the Elders gazes didn't linger. Beauty wasn't valued as much as strength. They noticed the abnormal situations with the King Ranked Ferocious Beasts but they didn't let their minds wonder. The heavens were vast. There were new Cultivation techniques constantly being created.
Cesar had learned to hide his Cultivation. It was quite simple. He simply had to use his Aura and Spiritual Connection to cover his body and Dantian. Careful control was needed but it wasn't a problem for Cesar.
As the King Ranked Ferocious Beasts started attacking the party, Cesar, Desmond and General Calix were forced to do the heavy lifting. Cesar had to be careful in front of other Cultivators, and was forced to kill the King Ranked Ferocious Beasts with his sword and Yang energy.
"Wait?! You all are fighting?! Ask those flying grandpas for help! They look strong! They're even flying! Wait! Let me warm up! My sword needs cleaning! Stop! Pleaseee..." Cried a young Cultivator as General Calix flung him into the battlefield.
Cesar bolted into the air from Mother Wolf's back, flying abnormally higher than should be possible for a Houtian Profound Realm Cultivator. His cloths fluttered as he brought his sword up. His piercing gaze focused onto the King Ranked Ferocious Beast approaching him with killing intent. He forced his Yang energy onto his blade, covering it completely. Calculating the trajectory of the King Ranked Ferocious Beast, Cesar slashed his sword horizontally towards what seemed like empty ground.
The Yang energy looked like a horizontal beam of light as it intercepted the King Ranked Ferocious Beast, cutting the beast in half. Yet the sword strike continued into the soil and rock below, going deep into the ground.
From the high vantage point, Cesar calculated his battle plan. There were 5 King Ranked Ferocious Beasts that wanted to rip him to shreds.
The nearest King Ranked Ferocious Beast seemed to decide Cesar's battle plan as it leapt into air with blinding speed, claws stretched towards him, trying to decide his fate with a swipe of the claw.
Muscles bulged, the intensity rose, a deep growl rose from the King Ranked Ferocious Beast as it neared him.
Cesar didn't cower. His Heavenly Phoenix Flames exploded around him. He used his flames as acceleration as he blasted towards the beast.
The King Ranked Ferocious Beast gave a deep roar as it swiped its razor sharp claws into Cesar. But Cesar was too fast. He dodged the claws, making his way into the creatures face.
Cesar looked into the Ferocious Beasts eyes. The beast looked back at into his death.
Cesar slashed his Yang energy covered sword into the King Ranked Ferocious Beasts face.
The Ferocious Beast saw the immaculate sword energy coming towards him. Closer and closer it came. Until finally, the Ferocious Beast saw the Yang energy through him. At first, it was confused because nothing happened. Then, his vision seemed to be cut in two. The top and bottom were the world around him; the clear blue sky, the clouds and the human Cultivator. The middle seemed to be the abyss. Deep black space that seemed swallow the world around him.
As the Ferocious Beast looked into the abyss, the abyss looked back. The last vision the Ferocious Beast saw was the abyss swallowing The World and him completely.
The Yang energy had went straight through the King Ranked Ferocious Beasts eyes, cutting its head in two.
The Ferocious Beast tumbled like a puppet without its strings as Cesar used the beast as a spring board, jumping into the air once again. With the X-ray vision in one eye, there was no blind spot and he had seen another King Ranked Ferocious Beast coming at him, using the Ferocious Beast he had just killed as a blind spot.
This time, it was a King Ranked Ferocious Beast that had the head of an alligator. The creature had opened its mouth and jaws wide, revealing fang-like outer teeth and thousands of inner teeth... It looked menacingly at Cesar, wanting to swallow him whole.
Time slowed down. The beast was too close. Cesar contemplated his choices as he looked at the 5 meter wide bite coming towards him. He didn't have room to maneuver without using his Wind element.
Thousands of calculations happened in an instant. Cesar once again exploded the flames behind him, speeding towards the welcoming jaws of the Ferocious Beast, seemingly into his death.
In the last possible moment, Cesar used his Aura to stop the beast from closing its jaws, which would end up turning him into meat paste. His momentum didn't stop, and he blasted into the creatures body. With the Heavenly Phoenix Flames around him burning the innards of the beast, a ghastly sound thundered out of the Ferocious Beast. It was being roasted alive!
Cesar sliced the beast in horizontally, ending its misery. He became covered in the creatures blood and innards, but a covert and secret shower of water and flames took care of the filth.
He came out of the creature, landing on the ground. While he was no longer covered in blood and filth, his robes had absorbed some of the blood, dying his clothes red. The moment his feet touched the ground, Cesar tensed his legs and shot towards another King Ranked Ferocious Beast like a bullet.
Cesar tightened the grip on his sword as the Yang energy roared inside him. While he wasn't using his Wind element actively, he was using it covertly. There was no wind resistance effecting him, making him look like a blurring specter as he closed in on the King Ranked Ferocious Beast.
He looked into the vertical slits of the beast he was about to kill. Cesar held the sword with both hands. Cesar coated the entire sword with Yang energy and tensed his entire arm, preparing for what he was about to do. He turned on the wind resistance while he used his entire strength to swing the sword.
The pressure and wind resistance against the sword caused sparks to fly in the air from the intense friction. The weight against the sword started compressing the Yang energy against the tip of the sword. His body was used as the gunpowder. The sword was the barrel which the bullet traveled in. His swing was him pulling the trigger. The compressed Yang energy was like a bullet in the form of a raindrop that blasted through the air, right into the brain of the Ferocious Beast. There was no time to react. The bullet entered through one end, and not even the thick skull bone could stop the materialized Yang energy as it exited through the other end, instantly killing the Ferocious Beast.
Regret could be seen in the creatures eyes as it dropped to the floor dead. The last King Ranked Ferocious Beast had long since ran away. Cesar breathed deeply as his heart pumped blood through his body. The time of doing battles inside his soul was not wasted. He had created many techniques for his Yang energy.
Lily watched Cesar with appreciation on her face. His form and technique were a sight to behold. It wasn't a matter of Cultivation. It even went beyond technique. Each movement was flawless, without the slightest wasted movements. His breathing perfectly complimented his movements, creating an effortlessness that defied logic. Even her, who had seen heaven defying techniques, had to appreciation Cesar's tenacity and battle sense.
In an instant, the Yang bullet had already traveled an impossible distance. The bullet contained a tiny amount of Cesar's will. Slowly, it started absorbing Yang energy. Cesar could not have known the butterfly effect the seemingly small bullet could have created, but the cause had already happened. The effect was destined to come, as it always followed the cause.
Why did I take so long to write this chapter? I had to rewrite it and improve it. Thanks to Kari for the review and kicking my ass back into shape.
Guys, I depend on you all to be my arbiters. If I'm writing like shit compared to my previous chapters, then tell me by adding me as a friend and telling my directly. Bad reviews effect the entire novel and not just when I'm in minor slumps.
Not enough dialogue and talking? Tell me. My chapter titles suck? Tell me. Not enough details in the story? Let me know. Want 1st person chapters like before? Let me know!
I can even go back to 'bad' chapters and improve them.
Heck. If you regularly read my novel and just want to talk? Add me and send me a message.
I will write a few more chapters before I take a small break and make a website.
Mastering the Dao of Writing is difficult beyond compare. Your enlightenment is more than welcomed!
For the record. My naming sense is terrible. I should just use a random name generator! But naming the Flame family Patriarch Lexis was on purpose. Lexis means “Protector of Mankind”. As an Alchemist, I thought it would be a pretty good name.
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- Author Of Stories
I'm a university student in Toronto. I've been seriously reading Xainxia since Ren started translating Coiling Dragon and now I'm a hopeless addict. I've loved the genre but always thought that an English, Philosophical, and Scientific element added onto Xianxia would make it amazing. So that's what I did. An A.I Is Such A Cheat In The Martial World is my take on the genre. A Dangerous New World is my other serious novel which takes a look at an Apocalypse world mixed with Gaming elements.
Thanks for reading my novels. Cheers.