In a mountain, Hua Ci was kneeling next to Lu Ye and massaging his elbow while he lay flat on top of a big rock. Every once in a while, she would inject refined streams of Wood Spiritual Power deep into his muscles and repair injuries that were invisible to the naked eye.
Li Baxian was sitting next to Lu Ye with an awkward expression on his face, while Feng Yuechan was standing guard nearby. She had laid down multiple arrays in the area, so no one should be able to sneak up on them.
They had set out at the beginning to look for treasures, but that plan was obviously a no-go now. Lu Ye hadn’t just sustained massive injuries during that fight, he was completely exhausted. He was so sore that he did not even have the strength to lift a finger right now.
When Lu Ye obtained Bloodrage, he learnt that he had gained a new trump card. However, he hadn’t had the chance to test it out until today.
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The Glyph was as impressive as he thought it was. It increased his strength via consuming his blood, and the more blood it consumed, the greater the increase.
The fact that he had won that battle was a testament to its power. At the beginning, he had been completely outclassed by the ghost cultivator. Not only were his speed and strength considerably greater than Lu Ye’s, he could telekinetically control his scimitar as well.
However, the gap was gradually closed as Bloodrage worked its magic. He even surpassed his opponent near the end of the battle.
Lu Ye had the feeling that that wasn’t Bloodrage’s limit either. He was sure the boost would be greater if the battle had dragged on a little longer, and Bloodrage had consumed more blood.
In the future, as long as the enemy did not possess the strength or skill to kill him in an instant, he should always have the chance to turn the tides eventually.
Of course, it wasn’t all positives. The price of unleashing power greater than his body could endure was threefold, muscle tears that spanned his whole body, excessive blood loss, and an incredible drain on his Spiritual Power. Unlike Sharpening or Protection, Bloodrage was a Glyph that required a continuous upkeep of Spiritual Power. If he hadn’t opened over eighty Spiritual Points, and if he hadn’t saved up plenty of Spiritual Power before the battle, he would not have been able to use the Glyph in battle.
It was basically a one-shot deal and a trump card. The moment he used it, the battle could only end in his or his enemy’s death.
This was after he used the dragon scale to temper his body too. Every time he cultivated in the training chambers, he would insert the dragon scale in the Circle of Boon to activate its Blood Qi. He would then devour and refine the Blood Qi to temper his body. Otherwise, he would’ve been even more hurt and exhausted than he already was.
The good news was he had Hua Ci with him. While enjoying her treatment, he produced his jerkies and gobbled them down like a starving man. In fact, he felt hungry enough to devour a cow after that battle. It wasn’t until he had stuffed himself to the brim that his complexion finally looked a bit rosier.
Half a day flew by like that before Lu Ye gingerly rose to his feet. Weakness still gripped his body, but it was no longer incapacitating. Now that he was aware of the repercussions of Bloodrage, he resolved to use it only if it was his last resort.
Li Baxian asked concerned, “How are you feeling?”
“I feel great. Thank you, senior brother!” Lu Ye replied sincerely. If it wasn’t for Li Baxian, he would not have had the opportunity to fight against such a formidable foe. That battle was so enriching that he was even tempted to prod his senior brother to seek out a couple more Thousand Demon Ridge cultivators that fit the bill.
He wasn’t insane though. He knew he wasn’t fully recovered even after Hua Ci’s treatment, so he pushed away the impulse.
“If you’re feeling fine now, would you like to follow me and see something good?”
The quartet set off immediately after that.
The suppression on Li Baxian and Feng Yuechan’s cultivation lifted little by little as they traveled toward the inner circle. A dozen or so kilometers later, Li Baxian still hadn’t returned to peak strength, but he was now capable of flight via telekinetically-controlled artifacts. He tossed out his calabash and channeled his Spiritual Power. After the Spirit Artifact had grown to the size of a truck, he and Feng Yuechan leaped onto it one after another. Hua Ci went third on her Wolf Golem, and Lu Ye went last. She pulled him up when he nearly failed the jump because of his weakened state.
“Rise!” Li Baxian commanded after they were all ready. The calabash took to the sky and flew toward the horizon at high speed.
Their travel speed improved drastically after that. In fact, they were moving faster by the second because the suppression on Li Baxian’s cultivation continuously weakened as they flew deeper into the inner circle. An incense stick later, they arrived at a crowded spot. Looking from above, it looked as if every Grand Sky Coalition cultivator had gathered at this place. The debris and damage also made it clear that a terrible battle had been fought at this location.
Li Baxian’s Calabash Spirit Artifact was iconic. It drew the eyes of many the second it appeared on the horizon.
Someone pointed at it and said smilingly, “Brother Li and Sister Feng are finally here! Thousand Demon Ridge should finally give up.”
After the calabash landed, a lot of people snapped out of their meditation to greet them. Li Baxian jumped off his Spirit Artifact, looked at the massive tree the Grand Sky Coalition cultivators seemed to be guarding and asked, “What is the situation?”
A burly body tempering cultivator replied, “Thousand Demon Ridge wasn’t quite willing to give up on this location and launched a couple of frontal attacks. However, they wised up after we repelled them a couple of times. Now that you are here, I doubt they’ll even show their faces anymore.”
Li Baxian nodded and greeted the rest of them.
On the other side, a lot of low level cultivators were also making small talk with Hua Ci and Lu Ye. During the time they had fought alongside each other, Hua Ci had saved many lives and healed even more. There was practically no one who didn’t like the prolegate, not to mention that she was a beautiful and elegant woman in her own right.
Not only that, during the final large-scale battle against Thousand Demon Ridge, it was Lu Ye and Hua Ci who risked their lives flying into the enemy’s formation and activating the traps they had left behind. It allowed Grand Sky Coalition to turn what should’ve been a costly victory at best into a crushing one.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the two of them were the reason Grand Sky Coalition was able to overcome the enemy’s ploy and rewrite their fate in this Battle Royale of the Legates.
“These two must be Brother Yi Ye and Sister Hua Ci.” The body tempering cultivator speaking to Li Baxian suddenly looked at them.
Smiling, Li Baxian patted Lu Ye on the shoulder and introduced the body tempering cultivator, “This is Brother Meng Si. He is the Legate of the Righteous Sect and a Heaven Grade Ninth-Order cultivator. He is ranked eighteenth on the Roll of Supremacy.”
Lu Ye and Hua Ci hurriedly saluted Meng Si. Lu Ye had heard of the Righteous Sect a long time ago. It was a First-Tier Sect in Bing Zhou, and their Deputy Sect Master was none other than the Deputy Coalition Leader of Grand Sky Coalition, Pang Zhen. The Deputy Coalition Leader was responsible for everything big or small within the Cultivation World of Bing Zhou.
Meng Si nodded in acknowledgement. “As expected of the prodigies of distinguished pedigree, your contributions in this Battle Royale of the Legates are second to none. On behalf of the Cultivation World of Bing Zhou, I would like to thank you for everything that you’ve done for us!”
Then, he surprised them both by giving them a solemn bow. Behind them, all Heaven Grade Eighth and Ninth-Order cultivators from Bing Zhou followed his example as well.
While Lu Ye and Hua Ci were panicking and wondering how they should handle a situation like this, another cultivator walked up to them and said, “On behalf of the Cultivation World of Ding Zhou, I would like to thank Brother Yi Ye and Sister Hua Ci of the Crimson Blood Sect for your service as well.”
Someone else said, “The Cultivation World of Yun Zhou thanks Brother Yi Ye and Sister Hua Ci of the Crimson Blood Sect for your service.”
“The Cultivation World of Lei Zhou thanks Brother Yi Ye and Sister Hua Ci of the Crimson Blood Sect for your service.”
“The Cultivation World of Wu Zhou…”
Group after group, cultivators bent and raised their backs like swaying grass.
Lu Ye and Hua Ci exchanged a glance with each other before returning the salutations with a solemn face as well.
As Li Baxian watched on from the side, he knew that his junior brother and junior sister would be known throughout the Cultivation Worlds after this.
This was different from the Battle of the Goldentip. Back then, the sects of Grand Sky Coalition had come together to protect Lu Ye in remembrance of the Crimson Blood Sect’s past achievements. It was the good karma of the Crimson Blood Sect paying dividends so to speak.
This time though, their merits were wholly their own. Lu Ye and Hua Ci had brought honor and glory to the sect via their own strength.
Li Baxian could not help but recall a blurry yet imposing figure from a long, long time ago. Are you seeing this, Brother Feng? The Crimson Blood Sect might have waned, but it looks like it isn’t going to disappear into the annals of history after all. Decades after your passing, a new hope has picked up our banner and waved it in the skies of Grand Sky Coalition once more.
“Do pay our Outpost a visit when you enter the Core Circle to train in the future, okay? We would very much like to have you as a guest,” Meng Si said after the salutations were finally over.
“The Auspicious Cloud Palace welcomes you as well!”
Everyone else extended their invitations to Lu Ye and Hua Ci as well. Lu Ye had zero reason to turn this down, of course. He was a Sixth-Order, so he could still linger in the Outer Circle for some time. When he reached the Seventh-Order though, he would have to consider entering the Inner Circle. The day he reached the Ninth-Order and replaced his cultivation discipline with a Heaven Grade one would be the day he entered the Core Circle.
Thanks to the favors he had earned in this Battle Royale of the Legates, he now had a lot more options than before.
A long while later, the crowd finally dispersed and went back to their own businesses. Freed from their attention, Lu Ye looked to Li Baxian and voiced a question he had been harboring for some time, “What is this tree, senior brother? Its fruits smell incredible.”
He had noticed the unusual tree practically the moment the calabash had landed. The fruit tree had nine fruits in total, and each fruit was so fragrant that they could be smelled from as far as five kilometers away.
Lu Ye was well aware that the Chess Sea harbored plenty of natural treasures. Some were even unique to the battlefield and could not be found in Jiu Zhou or the Spirit Creek Battlefield. Unfortunately, he hadn’t encountered anything special since he came here most likely because the good stuff had already been claimed by the other cultivators.
That was until he encountered this fruit tree. Whatever it was, it was clearly some sort of treasure.
“The fruit of this tree is called a Mystic Fruit,” Li Baxian explained. “It’s an incredible treasure.”
Feng Yuechan added, “Mystic Fruits are incredibly rare not only because they can only be found in the Chess Sea, but also because they don’t appear every time the Chess Sea is open to Jiu Zhou. For example, there were no Mystic Fruit Trees during the last battle royale where the Chess Sea was chosen as the battlefield.
“The Mystic Fruit is special for a number of reasons. For one, it possesses incredible recovery abilities. Take your senior brother for example. If he ran out of Spiritual Power, and he took a single bite from the Mystic Fruit, he could probably replenish all of his energy in one go.”
“That’s amazing,” Lu Ye exclaimed. Li Baxian might be a Heaven Grade Eighth-Order cultivator only, but that was because one part of his Spiritual Points was destroyed. He had unlocked the rest of his Spiritual Points a long time ago, so in terms of energy storage he was no different from a Heaven Grade Ninth-Order cultivator.
If even a champion like Li Baxian could regain his Spiritual Power completely in one bite, a Sixth-Order cultivator like him could probably achieve the same outcome just by nibbling at its skin.
The recovery rate of one’s Spiritual Power was key when battling against a powerful opponent. If both sides had run out of energy, and one of them suddenly took a bite from the Mystic Fruit, their opponent would probably drop dead from sheer despair. The Mystic Fruit was without a doubt an absolute life-saver.
Li Baxian added, “That said, the true value of the fruit lies not with its flesh, but its seed.”