Also, the Title, or Name of the Novel will be changed. The Name of the novel was influenced by Japanese novels, but in hindsight, it wasn't a good choice.
That said, I'll be enjoying the last month of summer. I've gotten back into Dota 2 and with The International, I've been spending more time than I should in the game.
Enjoy the chapter.
On Earth, major negotiations were done with lawyers and consultants on a round table in office buildings. Each side would articulate their arguments to each other along with numbers and facts to back their arguments. After back and forth talk, both sides would come to an agreement. Then they would shake each others hands, stroke each others egos and write up a contract for both parties to sign.
Normal negotiations were different. Two parties would talk, agree to the price and exchange the item.
For Cesar, this was a normal negotiation. He originally wanted to exchange the Space Meteorite for resources and a reserved spot for him and Lily in the Worlds Military. But he didn't need the Capitals resources anymore. His own wealth would soon reach that of a Kingdoms. He was still interested in the information that the Capital could provide him, especially on Inscriptions, Alchemy and Techniques, but the Worlds Military would provided even better information, completely eclipsing the Capital in such regards.
But the negotiations had been arranged.
For the Elders and the Capital in general, this was a major trade.
The time of the appointment was held at night. Countless stars could be seen, light pollution not hiding the beauty of the infinite stars of the night sky. 20 Elders of the Elementary Profound Realm and the Demented King were present in the air. Their robes immaculate, their combined Aura powerful. They held their chins high, pride was etched into their bones. They all wore Elementary-grade armour and weapons. Since this was the 10th level of The Boundary Of Death, they were all prepared for war.
“F**k his ancestors. Why is the old coot coming with us? He might see the High-grade Space Meteorite and say 'Oh look, a shiny rock. Have the entire Kingdom, I want the shiny rock'. I can already see the future. This negotiation will be a disaster” One of the Elders cursed, transferring his voice to everyone except the Demented King. Forget about talking behind someone's back, he was cursing the Demented King in front of his face without even the Demented King realizing!
At first, the Elders silently complained that the Demented King was joining them for the negotiations. They all thought that the King would ruin the negotiations or promise an astronomical amount for the High-grade Space Meteorite.
But this was The Boundary Of Death. Along with the Anger of the Heavens, the levels of danger was unprecedented. To preserve their lives, the Elders reluctantly agreed that they needed the Cultivation of the Demented King. They were all in the Elementary Profound Realm while the Cultivation of the Demented King wasn't known, but it was certainly higher than the Elementary Profound Realm.
When the Elders needed the Demented King's protection, why were they reluctant in allowing him to join the negotiations? Was it because they were afraid that he would ruin the negotiations? Not entirely. The Demented King was a ticking time-bomb, not a bomb that already gone off. Most of the time, the Demented King was quite articulate and sane. Only rarely would the Demented King lose his sanity. A High-grade Space Meteorite was treasure. Since the other negotiating party had no Elders protecting them, and were a bunch of kids, why not take the treasure for themselves?! That's right. It was for self profit.
Cultivation was very cut-throat. Personal power reigned over all. With human nature of personal self worth, importance and pride, Cultivation was the most important path in a persons life. Why help other people when one could help themselves? That meant that theft and murder was not above these people. But most of these types of people weren't power hungry animals that would do all in their power to screw everyone else over for their own benefit. These people just placed survival above all else. Most people valued a greater lifespan over power. It was more in their intentions to escape death then to rule over all life with an iron fist.
The other side of the coin was those who have seen true power. They had seen monsters that haunted them in their nightmares. They didn't believe that human Cultivators would gain enough power to make a difference. But there was always power and security in numbers. Humans have been weak since their creation, but they have found solitude in each other. Helping each other, living and surviving. For these people, geniuses weren't enemies to squash or control, geniuses were the catalyst of hope in their fatalistic lives. These people had wisdom and experience on their side. These people were not above giving their lives for the greater good.
This was represented in the Elders of the Capital. Half had come from the Demented King's old family, and they represented those that had seen Desolate Beasts that could lay waste to an entire nation. The other half was Elders that have joined the Kingdom for one reason or another. Some lost their family to Desolate Beasts, others kicked out of their homes due to various schemes while a select few were betrayed by their own kind.
“Junior Desmond said that we should land on the ground and they will find us.”
“Yes. If the trade is successful, we should reward Junior Desmond. We might have been too harsh with him. He still cares for the family after all this time. That dedication should be rewarded.”
“Suspicious. There are no Desolate Beasts here. This is too suspicious. Is this a trap? Is Junior Desmond conspiring with the enemy?”
“Do not be too cynical fellow Elder. We have the King with us. That being said, does the Exalted King sense any traps that have been prepared for us?”
The Demented King, with an ease of mind and a calm expression, said “No, I do not sense any traps. I'm assuming they have a detection technique that requires us to land on the ground. The Desolate Beasts have run away because they know powerful Desolate Beasts would come and investigate the source of the Heavens Anger. Their sense of self protection would not allow the Desolate Beasts to stay because of the danger on the coming horizons. Come, we don't have time to waste. Powerful Desolate Beasts may still come to investigate. We don't want to cross paths with them.”
Listening to the Demented King, the Elders landed. Like the Demented Kind has said, no traps had gone off. The ground was hard and familiar, just filled hundreds of thousands of foot marks all stampeding towards a single direction. It was as if the Desolate Beasts were desperate to go towards a single direction. The Elders looked around and waited.
That's when the Demented King turned his head towards the horizon. His face became serious, and his eyes sharpened. His hand reached towards his sword, but he didn't finish the movement. A slight smile crept up on his face, 'Tch. What a surprise. You brats are full of mysteries. That little wolf looked quite normal... But now, it's gone through quite transformation. Compared to the High-grade Space Meteorite, that Desolate Beast is priceless. There's no way you kids don't have a background... Looks like I need more information straight from Desmond.'
The Elders, seeing the serious expression on the Demented King, readied their swords and heightened their senses. They believed an enemy was approaching.
“It seems their detection technique is through scent. It must be you guys. Take baths more often.” The King jabbed, breaking the seriousness apart.
As the Elders looked towards the direction The Demented King faced, their eyes became wide saucers when they glanced at the Desolate Beast coming towards them.
The Desolate Beast was 15 meters tall. Her fur was a luminous blue with a tinge of silver. Sparks of lightning roamed around the body of the Desolate Beast like children on a playground. The crushing Aura of an Elite Desolate Beast could easily be distinguished from the Desolate Beasts body. The most particular and unique feature was the cloud under the Desolate Beasts feet. The cloud seemed like a solid object as it bore the weight of the Desolate Beast on top of it. It carried the Desolate Beast above the ground, seemingly capable of taking flight. Lightning constantly flashed inside the cloud.
This Desolate Beast was naturally Mother Wolf. She still looked like a wolf, but her features had evolved. She had gone from a common Silver Fur Ferocious Beast to the legendary Queen Lightning-Wind Wolf. Lily's Blood Heritage Bestowal had worked wonders on Mother Wolf. After the period of hibernation, Mother Wolf was now capable of controlling both Wind and Lightning. A Desolate Beast capable of controlling both Wind and Lightning was almost unheard of in the Desolate world. Due to her superior Heritage, Mother Wolf skipped the 'Normal' stage and was now an Elite Desolate Beast, capable of fighting against Cultivators of the Elementary Profound Realm. Without a doubt, Mother Wolf was now destined to stand at the top of the Desolate Beast hierarchy.
While Cesar was forced to hide his power and Elements, Mother Wolf could unravel her wings like a peacock, displaying her superiority to the world marvel at.
In the early stages of a Desolate Beasts like, the Elements they harbored weren't too important. What was important in those stages was the Desolate Beasts body. The primary method of fighting for Desolate Beasts were their bodies. It was evolution versus invention. Against Cultivators with Energy attacks, powerful swords and techniques that could pierce steel, the bodies of Desolate Beasts needed to be strong enough to be able to counter them, to be able to hold up against the burden placed on their bodies. Then there were the armor of the Cultivators. If the claws and teeth of Desolate Beasts weren't sharp enough, then they would be useless against Cultivators. This would mean death for Desolate Beasts. This was why Desolate Beasts valued their bodies.
This is where the Blood Heritage Bestowal was truly frightening. The current defensive power of Mother Wolf could rival titanium alloy. Her claws, teeth and spikes on her tail and body were sharp enough to tear Energy filled steel to smithereens. And Mother Wolf was only the beginning stages of her Cultivation. Her allegiance was not with humans, but with Cesar and Lily. She had surrendered to Cesar, dropped her head and knelt at his feet in submission. Lily had changed her destiny and treated her with love and respect. They both had. Mere submission and obedience were nothing in front of full throttled loyalty. Her own life would be used to protect and serve both Lily and Cesar. She would actively try with all her power to protect them.
But in the back of her mind, were her children that she had abandoned. They were still Ferocious Beasts, small cubs wondering the dangerous world barely surviving while she was a powerful Desolate Beast that would thrive in the world from now on. Mother Wolf had realized that fighting for the freedom of her children was a mistake. What was freedom if one was powerless to partake in it? That was the situation of her children. But the decision had been made, the past couldn't be changed. If her children died, their blood would be on her hands. She knew in the near future, she would ask Lily and Cesar time to search for her cubs. She was still a mother after all, and she knew both Lily and Cesar were good to people they deemed worthy. In their eyes, she was worthy. They might even help her search for them. But she was under no delusion that she could walk freely anymore. Human Cultivators would arrive in the thousands to subdue her. Fellow Desolate Beasts would try to devour her. She would have power over her fellow Desolate Beasts through her Bloodline, but against humans, death would be the likely outcome. She still needed Cesar's and Lily's protection for now.
The total upgrade Mother Wolf had received also included greater intelligence. When she meant 'asking' Lily and Cesar, she was being literal. Learning a new language was no longer a challenge for her, it would only take time.
If one would question where her allegiance lied, what answer would she give? Was it stronger for Lily or Cesar? Mother Wolf would answer that it was not equal for both Lily and Cesar. She had a stronger connection with one of them. Was it Lily because she had uplifted her destiny with her Blood Heritage Bestowal? Was it Lily because she had treated Mother Wolf with love and respect? No. It was Cesar. The reason behind this answer would unveil itself in the future.
The Elders were stuck in place as if they had been frozen in ice.
The only reason they didn't immediately draw their weapons and readied their Energy attacks against Mother Wolf was because they had seen the people riding on top of her.
One of them was a man...or rather a God in the skin of a man. The Elders couldn't pick out a single flaw in him. What was particular was the claws and teeth on the man. They didn't seem human. They each guessed that the man practiced a Body Modification technique. From their perspective, the technique altercation of the human body was minor, and they could see the advantage of sharp teeth and claws. How sharp were the claws? The Elders didn't want to find out.
Beside him, was what would call a heavenly beauty, but they couldn't be sure since she had a veil covering her face. But just her flawless skin and curves were enough for them to make such a conclusion.
Both the male and female were holding hands, leaning against each other and seemed perfectly attuned to each other. The Elders could see the synergy between the couple, but most could also feel the Aura fluctuations around the couple. The Elders gulped. When the male and female sensed the gazes of the Elders on them, they opened their eyes and looked back. When the gaze of the male and the Elders met, the Elders couldn't help but shiver. They had lived long, and a single gaze was enough to know that they would be no match against the male, let along the female, who seemed stronger.
The Demented King had made other observations. The couple couldn't be older than 15, since they were here to join the Exhibit. But even with his Cultivation and observational skills, The Demented King couldn't tell the age of the male. From his perspective, the Body Modification technique altered more than just teeth and claws. Did it also alter the muscles and bones? He would find out with future observations. He could tell that the female was almost 10, but due to expensive Elixirs, the likes of which even he wouldn't be able to afford, were used on the female to make her look older, to speed up the growth of the human body. That spoke further of their background, and he knew that giving them an expensive price for the Space Meteorite wasn't going to be the way to garner their favour. What use was throwing money at people who didn't care about money? Being fair and principled, even showing intelligence and his observational skills would be the correct move. Leaving the correct impression on these two was paramount, even above the other powers that would eventually arrive at the Capital. His intuition and experience was his most powerful weapon, and he was going to rely on it again. It had saved his life thousands of times, it had helped him create a thriving community in just 50 years, which was almost unheard of, and it told him that the young couple would be important in the future and to garner their favor by any means possible.
The Elders that had greedy thoughts slowly realized that the young couple had a powerful background. Those two, even in just a few moments of viewing them, were too abnormal. It was most likely a hidden protector of humanity, a reclusive sect or family. There were hidden families and sects that protected humanity without asking anything in return, only anonymity and the respect of the people they protected. The Elders felt so shameful after such a revelation that they wanted to commit suicide. The protectors of humanity were Gods in the hearts of everyone, and even thinking about offending them would cause the anger of the entire Cultivation world. They could only laugh at themselves for such thoughts. They weren't even ants in front of such a power. They didn't even have the right to offend such a power, much less have thoughts about offending them.
The Elders and The Demented King also saw Desmond. He looked older, but his eyes were still clear and his happiness radiated off his body in powerful waves. Pride and respect could be felt when when his gaze met the Elders and The Demented King. The Elders could only release a sigh... Desmond was such a good seedling. The previous greedy Elders no longer thought about the wealth they could gain directly from the trade, but it didn't mean that they wouldn't gain nothing at all. The Demented King would buy the High-grade Space Meteorite and would decide who would receive the High-grade Spacial Rings. At the very least, The Demented King would turn the Space Meteorite into High-grade Spacial Rings and then sell them. In the long run, the Elders knew that they were lucky to already be Elders even though they were in the early stages of the Elementary Profound Realm. With the advancing Kingdom, to become an Elder would be much harder and would require a greater Cultivation.
They already had been blessed with better Cultivation techniques and Marital Techniques, along with better weapons and protection.
The conversation had been different on top of Mother Wolf.
“You can see the gold coins in their eyes.” Lily said with a giggle.
“But the King doesn't have such greed. He's actually observing us, trying to gleam all the information he can.” Cesar replied.
“You're right. He would be quite a dangerous enemy, and I can imagine seeing Mother Wolf would be quite a surprise for anyone. I remember being surprised myself.” Lily said with another chuckle. While Lily had said that The Demented King was a dangerous enemy with a soft tone, she was deadly serious, and Cesar had noticed. The Demented King's Cultivation was higher than Lily's. With his perfect X-ray vision, he was able to see inside the bodies of Cultivators. So what if they use their Aura to block others Auras and senses. Never would the Cultivators of this world think there was such an overpowered vision technique.
With his X-ray vision, Cesar could see the damage inside The Demented King's Meridians. The damage wasn't minor, but it wasn't too great either. It wouldn't effect The Demented King's Cultivation, but there would be several techniques that The Demented King wouldn't be able to use.
And unlike his own body, the Elders and even The Demented King's bodies were filled with impurities.
This is where a greater Heritage matters. Lily didn't have an A.I monitoring her body but she had the Techniques of her Storm family. She was like Cesar, with a body without a single impurity.
To the Cultivators of this world, the Meridians were this magical part of the body that couldn't be healed when damaged. It was the same with the Dantian. Even Lily was the same. She had actually requested that the breastplate that Cesar had made for her from the special metal alloy only protect her heart, while she asked Cesar to create a covering for her Dantian with the rest of the metal allow.
“Haha, I love seeing the constant change in the Elders eyes. Now they look dejected. What's next? I think they went through the entire emotional spectrum. Hilarious.”
Cesar and Lily neared the Elders and the Demented King. The tension rose for the Elders. They became more tense, and it showed on their faces. The human psyche allowed people to feel comfortable as long as the situation was under their control. For the Elders, the situation was now beyond their control, regardless of their positions or factions. The Elders had felt that their Cultivation of the Elementary Profound Realm should have been enough against two of the younger generation. They now saw that it wasn't. Not having the situation under control was equivalent of that situation turning into a disaster. If The Demented King was the only hope in the Elders mind. They refused to believe that two people of the younger generation would have a higher Cultivation than The Demented King. They were right. But more importantly, Lily and Cesar were just too distracting, too beautiful. For them to have a serious conversation and to keep a clear mind, the Elders wouldn't be able to look directly at the two. In their minds, that was already a loss for them. They were hundreds of years old, yet their minds and bodies wouldn't listen to them, which was very shameful. It even damaged their pride.
Since they were useless in the negotiations, the Elders were now treating this as a learning experience. They would stand aside and protect two the parties since they were still in The Boundary Of Death. Just because there were no Desolate Beasts visible, they would not lower their guard.
Before that, the Elders invited Desmond, Lisa, General Calix and Blake to them. Since they had spent the most time with Cesar and Lily, they would naturally have the most information about them.
“Junior Desmond, it has been a long time. Before we speak, please introduce us to your traveling companions.”
“They are Lisa and Blake. They are both of the younger generation that wanted to travel to Capital to gain experience. General Calix is the man that has traveled to the Capital in the past.”
While rubbing his beard, one of the Elders said “Gaining experience in fine. Both are in Xiantian Profound Realm, making them fine talents. But I would advise you both not to join the Exhibit this time around. Powerful families and Kingdoms are expected to arrive at the Capital to investigate the Anger of the Heavens. They will be bringing their younger generation to join the Exhibit. That will make the average Cultivation of the Exhibit higher than any we've ever seen in the Exhibit at the Floating Cloud Capital. But since we are hosting the event, we'll have good seats to enjoy the event. Since we're family, I expect you all to join us. As the younger generation, you'll learn quite a lot from more watching. You might even gain enlightenment.”
The other Elders smiled and agreed. They all knew that Desmond had become someone important to the family. The silver tongue of the Elder had already created a good mood between them. They owed Desmond quite a lot after they had punished him. Desmond was someone who was guaranteed to Cultivate to the Elementary Profound Realm, becoming an Elder. They had taken that away from him. But he wasn't too old, and it was obvious that he was still diligently Cultivating. With sufficient aid, Desmond could still enter the Elementary Profound Realm. The Demented King might even gift Desmond a better Cultivation technique, that's how great his contribution was to the Kingdom. Currently, they were a low level Kingdom. With the High-grade Space Meteorite, they were well on their way to becoming medium level Kingdom. With a Kingdom, wealth only accumulated more wealth. Since they were a young Kingdom, there was plenty of room for improvement.
Desmond smiled and agreed with them. He understood that the Anger of the Heavens was either directed at Lily or Cesar, maybe both. He also understood that their rapid increase in Cultivation was unprecedented. He still shivered a little every time he thought about Lily. 9 year old Nascent Profound Realm. And Cesar, just in the beginning of the Xiantian Profound Realm and he was capable contending against those of the Elementary Profound Realm. He was easily capable of killing Elementary Profound Realm Cultivators while at the Xiantian Profound Realm. That was a much more terrifying thought.
Desmond also understood the Elders notions, but there really wasn't much bad blood between them. He had gotten punished because he had made a grave mistake. But he wouldn't let them know that. For the future of the village, their help was paramount. It would escalate his plans, and make them easier to execute. They were Elders of a Kingdom, and their positions came with power. The Elders and even The King might ask him to stay at the Capital from now on. He would refuse them and continue advancing the village. They would support him in doing so.
The same Elder continued “So junior Desmond, what can you tell us about Cesar and Lily that you couldn't over the Voice Talismans?”
They knew that Cesar and Lily would have placed seals on Desmond for safety and security reasons. But there was always information that seemed unimportant that was important.
Desmond knew this too. He knew what they wanted to know, but he couldn't tell them all of it. But vague descriptive words would allow him to bypass the seal. “Cesar is 4 years old. He in the Xiantian Profound Realm. Lily is 9 years old... Her Cultivation is much stronger. Just Lily by herself would be able to hold her own against The King. Those of the Elementary Profound Realm are not her match.”
His words made the Elders take in a deep breath. What kind of concept was that! They just looked at Desmond as if he was kidding.
Desmond repeated his words, “9 years old... Those of the Elementary Profound Realm, no matter how many, would not be her match. Against those of the Nascent Profound Realm, she would be able to hold her own!”
The Elders gulped and looked at Lily as if she was a monster. 9 Years old... Nascent Profound Realm Cultivator... Their minds blanked for a moment. Now they understood just how important Lily was. Her mere existence was against the Heavens! Getting her to The Worlds Military was now on the top of their list. Someone like her... Could give humanity hope! Immense hope! Tears started filling the eyes of the Elders. Humanity had been oppressed by the Desolate Beast for far too long. 15 thousand years... But there was hope. They knew the talent and potential hidden within Lily was enough to give them hope.
Desmond nodded. He had a similar reaction. “Cesar can also do the same... But not against those in the Nascent Profound Realm... But against Elementary Profound Realm Cultivators and Elite-ranked Desolate Beasts, he can defeat them with ease. His Yang flames are also the legendary Heavenly Phoenix Flames.”
Cesar had allowed Desmond to give this small amount of information. All of what Desmond had said would be revealed soon.
The Elders and The Demented King would learn this because Cesar and Lily would have to spend 1 year in the Floating Cloud Military before they would test for The Worlds Military.
The Elders were shedding tears at this point to the point of crying. They looked at Cesar and Lily newfound reverence at this point. The tears in their eyes weren't those of sadness, but happiness and hope. The amount of surprise Cesar had given them was equal to that of Lily. Xiantian against Elementary Profound Realm... And winning. That was unheard of. Completely unheard. And the Heavenly Phoenix Flames... That only added onto their surprise. Most of the Elders thought they were dreaming. Some felt like their old hearts would explode.
Being oppressed was one of the worst feelings in the world. Not being in control of ones destiny felt awful. These Elders had experienced it and knew they didn't have the power to fight against their oppression.
But one Elder was solemn. “They will join our military for 1 year to train. It's required. But we will be wasting their time... and potential. We can't support Lily. Her needs are too great and we don't have the resources. And Cesar... The King is a Grand master Alchemist but he doesn't have the legendary Heavenly Phoenix Flames...”
His words died off but his message had been received by the other Elders. It would be a sin of Heavenly proportions to waste a whole year of Lily and Cesar. Their potential was ripe for Cultivating and advancing, but they simply didn't have the resources to Cultivate them.
“We will need to contact The Worlds Military.”
The Elders knew that if they wasted an entire year for Cesar and Lily, they might as well kill themselves or The Worlds Military would kill them. This matter was for the freedom of the entire human race. They knew for certain, there would not 5 other people in the entire world with the same potential and talent as the two in front of their eyes.
“This is what you can tell us... But in your opinion, which of the two has greater potential and talent? Who's more monstrous?”
The intent behind the words of the Elder was clear. We know you have a seal placed on you. We know you can't tell us any specifics.
“Cesar... and Cesar. Also, while contacting The Worlds Military is needed, we don't have to worry about their resources for Cultivation.” Desmond replied. Given Cesar's control over Earth, Desmond knew that Cesar would soon have more wealth than an entire Kingdom. He also knew there were more secrets that they didn't tell him. He wasn't vexed about that, but grateful instead. If he knew too much, then he would be in grave danger.
The hearts of the Elders couldn't stop pounding. They knew the power that Cultivators showed to other people and the power they hid for emergencies was substantial. Then they remembered the fluctuations of Energy they felt from Cesar and Lily. They weren't fluctuations that someone from the Xiantian Profound Realm could make...
Suddenly, almost desperately, one of the Elders asked “Are we offending them by asking you for information Junior Desmond?”
Small amounts of panic rose from the other Elders. They simply couldn't offend these two geniuses...
“No. What I'm telling you has been allowed by Cesar. They are not petty, but they are careful. They take the matters of their security seriously.”
The relief could be seen on the faces of the Elders.
“What about their personalities?”
“They are overly kind and protective to their friends, but ruthless against their enemies. They are insightful and intelligent beyond their years.”
The Demented King also learned that Cesar and Lily were wise beyond their years. Each word that the Elders or Desmond had exchanged had been heard by him, along with Desmond and Lily.
When Desmond had said that Lily was 9 years old and in the Nascent Profound Realm... His mind stopped working and he stared blankly at Lily. Maybe the Anger of the Heavens wasn't aimed at Cesar, who could Cultivate both Yin and Yang, but Lily instead. He had watched them during Cesar's advance to the Xiantian Profound Realm, but there was so much he didn't know...
Both Lily and Cesar could have killed him in this moment of carelessness and The Demented King realized it, but he didn't care. Then his mind blanked once again when he heard that Cesar's flames were the Heavenly Phoenix Flames... The Elders wouldn't know, but he did. Cesar Cultivated both Yin and Yang! Both had to be equal in their standing or Cesar would have Qi Deviation! Since the Yang part was the legendary Heavenly Phoenix Flames, what could the Yin be?! Was it the legendary Heavenly Moon Water, or the mythical Goddess Purity Water. Or could it be the Goddess's Yin Water... The Demented King didn't finish his thought because his body shivered. There were only a few possible outcomes, and each made him more restless.
He had been more careless in these few moments than he had been since his childhood. But The King didn't care. Compared to the Space Meteorite, which had a price, these two gems in front of him were priceless.
The Demented King's face slowly made a strange expression as he heard more about the couple from Desmond. It didn't make any sense anymore... Why were these two here? This question rattled his brain, and he was unable to come up with an answer. Sure, entering The Worlds Military was possible by entering The Exhibit... But The Worlds Military would have begged these two to join them. Sure, Cesar was in the Xiantian Profound Realm while Lily was in the Nascent Profound Realm. But Cesar had the Heavenly Phoenix Flames! He could be a legendary Alchemist! Suddenly, it made sense to him.
Cesar would be an Alchemist while Lily would fight against Desolate Beasts. These two were in love with each other, and wanted to be together. Even he could see that. Desmond had said that Cesar could contend against those in the Elementary Profound Realm. In his Kingdom, that was enough to gain a top 8 spot, but in other Kingdoms, it wouldn't necessarily be a guarantee. Most likely, Lily had already waited a few years until Cesar had sufficient strength and then came to his Kingdom to join The Worlds Military together...
The Demented King hoped the Anger of the Heavens hadn't disrupted their plans. But he quickly calmed down. Cesar and Lily were still making a contribution to his Kingdom despite knowing that the Anger of the Heavens would cause multiple powers to come investigate. That would also mean greater competition in The Exhibit. Naturally, if both Cesar and Lily weren't worried about Cesar's entrance to the top 8, then neither should he.
Cesar words made him come back to reality when he said, “I'm sure you are expecting other families and sects to arrive in your Kingdom. We should finish the trade and other matters can be discussed at a later date.”
The Demented King looked at Cesar and nodded. “You're right. Still, you two are a surprise. So young and so talented. Well, there's nothing I can do about you two entering the top 8. You'll have to do that with your own powers, but I'm sure you'll manage. If you manage to enter the top 8, I'll happily vouch for you two. But I would have done that regardless. Even if I didn't, The Worlds Military would have taken you two in. They would have actually begged you to join.” He finished his words with a chuckle, “But don't ask me to support your Cultivation during the 1 year of training. My Kingdom would go bankrupt.”
Cesar and Lily smiled at his words. With The Heavenly Mirror and the universe inside it, Cesar no longer wanted much for the High-grade Space Meteorite. With what Jasmine and Cesar had planned, High-grade Space Meteorite's and High-grade Spacial Rings would become plentiful.
“We won't.” Lily said with amusement. She also knew about the universe inside The Heavenly Mirror. She couldn't wait until it was habitable so she could visit and create a home inside it.
Cesar took out the High-grade Space Meteorite from The Heavenly Mirror, but it looked like it had come from the ring on his finger.
He had discovered that he could take out items at any place within the Spiritual Connection that The Heavenly Mirror gave him. That was a powerful ability, and had quite a few uses. Imagine flinging an item at the speed of light anywhere within 10 kilometers of oneself. The enemy would die before they would even notice. He could also shield himself the same way. There were quite a few possibilities, and he planned to make use of them.
The High-grade Space Meteorite had returned to its round shape. It had been cut in half, and he had taken half of it for himself, but he wouldn't let him know about that.
The Demented King didn't seem surprised at the Space Meteorite and had only taken a momentary glance. Even the Elders were more subdued in their reactions. Cesar chuckled inwardly. Having a strong first impression was the correct choice.
“Name your conditions.” The Demented King simply said. He knew most of the conditions that Cesar and Lily would demand, and for the sake of the contract, he needed them to outline all their demands at one time.
“Vouch for us for The Worlds Military. We want to be autonomous at all times, even in the 1 year of training. We'll join the training, but our needs and routines are different from what you can offer us. A rigorous 24 hour schedule isn't acceptable for us.” Cesar saw the Demented King nod at his words. “Get rid of the rumors of us in the Capital. We don't want unnecessary bloodshed. If you can help it, don't spread around the information you heard of us today. While it isn't a secret, it could effect us getting into the top 8.” The Demented King nodded again at Cesar's words. To be sure, he would restrict the Elders from speaking and spreading information about Cesar and Lily to the degree that Cesar wanted. The Elders served him, and the were bindings and seals in place to stop them from spreading information that he didn't want spread.
“That's acceptable. To confirm what Desmond has said, Lily please release your Nascent Aura, and Cesar, please do the same and release your Xiantian Aura along with your Heavenly Phoenix Flames.” The Demented King requested and both Cesar and Lily complied.
Lily's Cultivation Aura was heavy and regal, and The Demented King could tell that she was in the 1st stage of the Nascent Profound Realm. He sighed... What had taken him hundreds of years to achieve had been done by Lily... Who was only at the tender age of 9 years old.
What Desmond had said was not wrong. While Cultivation was important, he knew the techniques that one Cultivated were even more important. Lily, by herself, could fight evenly against him, if only barely. After another year, The Demented King recognized that she would be stronger than him.
Cesar's Cultivation Aura wasn't impressive in the least, but that was expected. What amazed him was the level of control both exhibited over their Aura's. Aside from him, no one else could even sense their Aura's.
The Elders were waiting in anticipation for both Lily and Cesar. Their anticipation turned into confusion when the air around Lily distorted but they couldn't sense or feel anything. That confusion turned into reverence and surprise when they realized that both Lily and Cesar were toying with them by evading their senses and prodding. 'What an insane level of control', the Elders thought.
When they saw the Heavenly Phoenix Flames, their attention was captured. The Heavenly Phoenix Flame was truly a sight to behold. Their eyes were glued to the purest flame in existence. These flames were legendary, and The Demented King felt a little shameful of asking Cesar to reveal them for just their viewing. It was disrespecting the flames but it was necessary to confirm.
The Demented King along with the Elders knew Cesar's true Aura was much stronger, and Lily was the same. The Cultivation Aura just allowed other people to see the true realm of ones Cultivation.
“Thank you. That was needed for confirmation.” The Demented King said but the Elders were disappointed when Cesar extinguished the legendary flames. The Elders knew it was by chance that they were able to view them. Each of them would be able to say with pride for the rest of their lives that they had seen the legendary flames. Even their great, great, great grandchildren could say with pride that their great, great, great grandfather had seen the legendary flames.
“You are welcome to my personal Alchemy room to practice Alchemy while you are staying at the Capital. In the Floating Cloud Military Headquarters, I have my own Alchemy room there was well, and it will be yours to use if you wish. Regardless of if you wish to sell any Elixir or Pill, I will only charge you only for the ingredients you need. Even if you have your own Cauldron, you can still purchase the ingredients you need from us. If you decide to sell the Elixirs and Pills you make from the ingredients, then we'll just take the price of the ingredients from the selling price of the Elixirs and Pills. I'm sure you don't lack Gold Essence.”
For a single moment, and it was completely unconscious on their parts, the Elders sent gazes of hate and surprise at The Demented King. While it may sound like using the Alchemy room of the Demented King was a privilege for Cesar, it wasn't, and the Elder understood that, even the Demented King understood that. It was a huge, an almost astronomical privilege and favor to The Demented King if Cesar used his Alchemy Room. Why? It was because Cesar was the carrier of the legendary Heavenly Phoenix Flames! Charging Cesar for the ingredients sounded ludicrous to the Elders, and they feared that The Demented King had lost his lucidity for the moment.
Hell, the Elders felt like it should be The Demented King that should pay Cesar to use his Cauldron! Why? Because the Cauldron would bathe in the Heavenly Phoenix Flames! Most flames would erode and deteriorate the material of the Cauldron, but not the Heavenly Phoenix Flames! They would purify the material, upgrading it!
The Demented King also could have curried favour with Cesar! What was the price of ingredients in front of currying favour with Cesar! Hell, even Desmond had said that Cesar was extremely kind to friends! He might even decide to sell or give Pills and Elixirs he would make! In the Elders mind, any Pill or Elixir Cesar would make would be extraordinary! Their effects would be the greatest possible and their purity would be unparalleled!
The Elders almost started crying figuratively at The Demented King. The could see the mythical 100% pure Elixirs and Pills flying away in the horizon, waving them goodbye. Such a good opportunity, wasted!
Not to mention, if Cesar had a personal Cauldron, and he most undoubtedly would because he was a carrier of the Heavenly Phoenix Flames, it would be untold amounts greater than the Cauldron The Demented King possessed. The family behind Cesar would have built or bought an ancient Cauldron for Cesar to use! All carriers of the Heavenly Phoenix Flames had legendary Cauldrons! All of them! Priceless wouldn't even begin to describe their Cauldrons.
The Elders looked at Cesar's face for any anger or any negative emotion. They wouldn't hesitate in kowtowing to Cesar and Lily and start begging for them not to be offended. Desmond had a slight smile on his face, as if he knew nothing woeful would happen. 'Looks like The Kings observational skills haven't diminished.'
True to his prediction, Cesar just nodded, agreeing with The Demented King. From his perspective, the cost the Kingdom would have to bear for him to practice Alchemy would be tremendous. Not to mention, he didn't need the Kingdom for Alchemy ingredients. He had the hidden universe in The Heavenly Mirror, along with Jasmine tinkering with DNA and optimal farming practices. After gaining the Blood Pill, he would have countless Desolate Beasts to use as ingredients. What use was DNA unless you were willing to create life from it? Cesar could already imagine him and Jasmine tinkering with the ingredients trying to find the greatest and most potent Alchemy combinations. 'Creating heaven defying Elixirs and Pills with Jasmine should be fun. I also need to help Lily with her Cultivation.' Cesar thought.
“That's reasonable.” Cesar replied, releasing an inwardly sigh. The critical points of the negotiations had been met. Further more, what he had gleamed from the Elders and The Demented King was that there were no nefarious intentions from their sides anymore. There were no lies or even half truths, which was completely unexpected by Cesar. Negotiations were always battle of wits. Cesar expected The Demented King to try his hardest to lower the price he needed to pay for the Space Meteorite. Due to Cesar's perfect memory and acute vision, he was able to recognize micro expressions on The Demented Kings face and body. Most people would focus on the face, but Cesar was able to also focus on The Demented Kings entire body because his vision had no focal point. But The Demented King was more honest in his words than Cesar expected, and a small amount of good will arose in Cesar's heart.
But there were more than one way of knowing if someone was telling them truth. Looking the the electrical impulses in the brain, looking the body for increased adrenaline or even increased heartbeat. But one method was foolproof, and it could only be done with the correct knowledge and acute senses and intuition. Looking at ones eyes.
Each human had unique eyes. In Essence, their eyes represented them. With Jasmines knowledge, learning to read eyes only took a matter of moments. Cesar had been surprised at the depth at which he could see into peoples conscious and subconscious emotions. He couldn't read people minds, but he could now see into the intents behind their actions.
The Demented King had calculated his every word and even the tonal frequencies, thus being deliberately honest, but he meant every word he said. He was trying to come across as fair and principled, showing Cesar that his background and power didn't matter to him. It was also showed trust and respect to Cesar by not saturating his words with too much praises and getting straight to the point. He knew that Cesar and Lily had come from the highest of families and the grandest of backgrounds. If he could recognize their talent, then so could their families. He didn't need to fawn over their every strength and word, nor did he have to praise them to the heavens. Only petty and shallow people needed gratification at every moment. The Demented King didn't see Cesar and Lily as those types of people.
In this world, reputable families didn't spoil their younger generation, especially the powerful hidden families. They valued intelligence and wisdom. The powerful families were the leaders of the world. They were the generals, the kings and the dragons among men and women, the one in a billion. Their younger generation were given the highest levels of education possible. A high intelligence was required to gleam into the Laws for Cultivation. A high intelligence was needed to survive in a cruel and an unforgiving world. With intelligence and ingenuity, a human could kill a god. In the war against Desolate Beasts, such ingenuity and miracles was needed.
This was all understood by Cesar. He had carefully crafted this image, and the Elders and The Demented King had swallowed it. The first impression and image was already set inside their minds.
Naturally, Jasmine knew each word and image inside Cesar's mind. With the DNA Pill, because Jasmine thought that calling Lily's Blood Pill a DNA Pill was more accurate, would make Cesar's faux image a reality.
But the negotiations had just started. Cesar was not willing to give up the High-grade Space Meteorite for the current demands. Their minimum standard had been met, but there was still plenty of room to demand more.
“While we are staying at the Capital, I would like us to have the 'Important Guest' status. Also, I understand that you will be turning the High-grade Space Meteorite into High-grade Spacial Rings. I would like to learn the creation process. I am capable of learning Runic Inscriptions. One of the High-grade Spacial Rings should be ours to keep. Since the High-grade Space Meteorite is our contribution to the Kingdom, the Desolate Beasts we kill during our training shall be bought at market price by the Kingdom.”
“The 'Important Guest' status would have been given to two even without mentioning it.” The Demented King as two medals made of gold appeared in his hand, which he showed to both Cesar and Lily. They floated from his hands, and with a deliberately slow pace, they made their way to Cesar and Lily. “You can wear them on your arms or attach them to your hips.” He continued without missing a beat, “I also agree with the other demands.” The Demented King said without hesitation. He knew that Cesar didn't care about the price. This was more a test of his own resolve. Cesar was testing his fairness and principles.
With a perfectly neutral face, Cesar projected his voice with his Wind element, so only Lily would hear his next words. “Maybe I should wrap this around your neck like a collar and put a leash on the end. That way everyone in the Capital can see your mine.”
Under the camouflage of the veil, no one else could see Lily's face turning deep crimson. Cesar celebrated the small victory with an internal laugh. Lily had been caught off guard, and it showed on her face. To her credit, she recovered quickly and even smirked. Cesar had gotten one over her, but she would even the score.
Jasmine could also be heard laughing inside Cesar's soul.
The Elders were flabbergasted at this point. Slowly, they understood why neither Cesar or Lily were offended, even in a small fashion. The Elders had gotten used to the young masters of the Floating Cloud Kingdom. Those young masters behaved as if the world was beneath their feet. Yet these two did not. From the Elders perspective, Lily and Cesar were from a grand background, with a reputation to uphold. They wouldn't be offended by what was small in the grand scheme of things. There was envy in their hearts. If the youth of the Floating Cloud Kingdom had such pedigree, their future could have a glimmer of hope.
“This High-grade Space Meteorite is counting towards the contribution to the Kingdom. There are rewards that come with high contributions and they will be offered to you. Anything else?” The Demented King asked.
Lily, for the first time since the negotiations, opened her mouth to speak. “We would like a private residence, in both the Capital and the Military, with no other buildings or junctions beside it. It doesn't need to be grand, just private. We're willing to purchase the property if need be.”
A twitch ran through the face of The Demented King. It wasn't because her words were surprising nor did she ask too much. Lily's voice was just too enchanting. He nearly lost himself in her voice. He looked over to the Elders, and their faces were frozen on Lily. They had lost themselves in her. If it wasn't because of his strong willpower, he wouldn't have heard her words.
The Demented King hadn't felt a tickle of fear since he had seen them from high above the ground. But a wave of fear passed his body, it was quick, warning him to be on guard. Was it an Energy technique? Or was it her natural voice. To say that an entire nation could be bewitched in her voice was not an understatement. The voice that controlled the world. The Demented King could see such visions in his mind.
“Then that will be all.” Cesar said, releasing a deep breath through his nose.
The Demented King jolted out of his musings and a Blood Contract was made and signed by The Demented King and Cesar, and Cesar handed over the High-grade Space Meteorite, completing his part of the contract. The Demented King didn't look at it twice and stored it in his Spacial Ring. After the surprises today, the High-grade Space Meteorite seemed trivial.
The negotiations had ended. There was no bloodshed, and new relationships had been built. The Exhibit was nearing, and the question of everyone's mind was, 'How long will the Anger of the Heavens last?'. So far, the powerful Desolate Beasts had not made a move against the Capital nor the humans. But will that last?
If there are mistakes in the chapter, let me know.
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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.