“Tsk!” The towering figure of an olive skinned, blond haired woman, shielded by a piece of glowing armor and skinny white pants with silver strings, stood midair and clucked her tongue irritably. To her back she wore a short, white mantle that reflected light.
“A bunch of reckless idiots!” She cursed as her gaze mused on a distant location. “The Mercenary Association’s and army’s careful planing has gone down the drain all because of the greed and ignorance of loose cultivators”. White aura emitted from her body. “Is there a point for you to keep lurking?” She composed her tone, but not the aggression in her aura.
A mountain wall collapsed and a blue silhouette flashed from within the crushing boulders, moving to an exposed mountain side.
“So troops dispatched you”. The towering woman restricted her aura once she got a clear view at her stalker.
“Helev Hetra”, the blue figure, Pink Eyes Agama muttered in response and then shifted his attention to the same direction the towering woman, Helev Hetra, was looking. “Someone impatient triggered the self detonation of a slumbering wraith. The aftermath will soon stir the entire ridge has wraiths already began to awake. I assume your Blessed Army’s and Mercenary Association’s conspiracy is now terminated”. He returned his gaze to Helev Hetra and sneered in contempt.
“Boolian”, Helev Hetra said tolerantly to the Pink Eyes Agama as she approached him. “The Blessed Army and Violet Scaled Troops are the sovereigns of the Western Continent. Considering current development, it is no longer a contest between us and the other three powers over who collects more dark attribute’s essences, but who won’t return empty handed”.
“Are you suggesting collaboration?” Boolian spat strips of fire in indignation.
“Yes, together with the Mercenary Association”. Helev Hetra said, settling an arm length from Boolian. “It is not a secret that the Golden Desert Forte and Blue Sea have the best relations. If they will disregard the repercussions and decide to cooperate with the Luminous Church for the period time of the Event, than without a doubt, our native forces would end up being the losing side”.
Boolian’s pink reptilian eyes depicted Helev Hetra. “Groups of wraiths across the ridge already started to massacre each other. It will be far more dangerous and complicated for even third level Martial Mortals to snatch a dark attribute’s essence”.
Helev Hetra nodded. “It is now depends on luck and decisiveness. Worst case scenario, the five powers and other prominent, notorious parties will have a confrontation”.
Boolian snorted. “Other parties aren’t worth mentioning. Except from the Mercenary Association and one or two other parties, none would have the strength nor be gutsy enough to fight with us over a dark attribute’s essence!”
Helev Hetra smiled awkwardly, half for interpreting from the conversation’s flow that Boolian consented to collaborate and half for seeing that he has the same misjudging mindset that allowed loose cultivators to ruin the esteem Blessed Army’s and Mercenary Association’s plans.
Outside a star shaped bus size aircraft, roughly five hundred meter above Demirva Ridge, three pious figures floated with mix expressions.
“Are you certain, Sister Beatriz?” His Young Eminence asked while glowering.
“Yes, Your Young Eminence. The wraiths’ slumber was interrupted in the most disruptive manner. If we were a few hundred meters closer to the ridge, you would have also felt the fluctuations”.
“Sister Beatriz, is it really that bad? Can’t you just forcefully capture couple of wraith for His Young Eminence?” Sister Iaura tried to mediate in hope of soothing His Young Eminence’s anger.
Shaking her, Sister Beatriz was about to explain when His Young Eminence replied first.
“My darling, Sister Iaura”, he said, maintaining his sublime composure before the young lass. “God Demirva is not benevolent like The Almighty. There is a special method to awake the slumbering wraith and extract their dark attribute’s essences. That, however, is now useless since the self detonation of one wraith is enough to promote a chain effect that would eventually cause all the wraiths to awake, render the chances of successfully extracting the dark attribute’s essence nearly null”.
“In that case, why would someone make a wraith self detonate?” Sister Iaura naively continued to ask.
Upon hearing the question, His Young Eminence’s vision turned to an ominous glare that skimmed the ridge below him.
Knowing His Young Eminence’s current mood and how much efforts he put in order to stay calm to not frighten Sister Iaura, Sister Beatriz grabbed and pulled to her embrace the young lass.
“No one in their right mind will deliberately and improperly extract a dark attribute’s essence. The issue is, not many know about the special method or the consequence of inadequate extraction. There is also the possibility that someone did manage to obtain a dark attribute’s essence and simply wanted to sabotage the chances of those who did not”. Sister Beatriz narrated in a soft and quiet voice.
“Oh…” Sister Iaura uttered in an understanding tone, which quickly followed by a confident demeanor. “I’m still not worrying! With Sister Beatriz and Your Young Eminence we will definitely obtain a dark attribute’s essence! Nobody down there can compete with our Luminous Church!”
“Um”, upon hearing this resolute declaration, His Young Eminence could not help to smirk and then laugh out loud. “Hahahaha! Precisely! Oh, Sister Iaura, how right you are and how pleasurable are your words to my ears, hahaha!” A complacent countenance adorned his face. “Have fate in The Almighty’s guidance, for in times of troubles and sorrows, that is when we are truly tested, evaluated and bestowed accordingly!”
“Your Young Eminence is wise”. Sister Beatriz acclaimed.
“Yes, His Young Eminence is very wise!” Sister Iaura admired.
“Come, Sister Beatriz, Sister Iaura!” His Young Eminence suddenly announced. “Let us meet The Almighty’s heathen pawns, and see which of them there to rob me!”
“Yes, Your Young Eminence!” Sister Iaura hurried to comply.
Sister Beatriz merely nodded and followed. She did not need to support them in their endeavor. Although the two were Core Masters, they could fly perfectly well on their own.
“Colonel Rijok!” Two voices respectfully called toward the descending military, desert colors uniformed, feeble looking man.
On his right shoulder the man had a “Golden Desert Fort” cinderblock badge, while on the left a badge of three iron cinderblocks inline.
“At ease”. Colonel Rijok said.
Cattelin, and even Blue Sea’s Martial Mortal, Darvajka, relaxed their pose.
“Colonel Rijok, sir, a Rear Admiral from-” Darvajka asked hesitantly.
“Will not arrive”. Colonel Rijok bluntly rejected. “Since you broke through, the higher ups decided not to upset the five powers’ equilibrium, which is why I alone was sent”.
Being a Blue Sea’s person, Darvajka was a little bit dejected with having to obey Colonel Rijok, even if the relationship of their two powers is the best among the five powers. That unhappiness, though, he hastily shoved to the back of his mind.
The Golden Desert Fort sent Colonel Rijok, the strongest second level Martial Mortal recognized in all of Ercas Mir. A lineup of any two common second level Martial Mortals and a freshly broken through first level Martial Mortal would not hold a candle against Colonel Rijok.
“Cattelin”, Colonel Rijok said in a harsh tone, which alarmed the already aggrieved woman. “Your performance in the given joint operation was noted and registered as failure”.
“Yes, Colonel Rijok!” Cattelin forced out a disciplinary response.
Despite not being at fault for the information about the Event being leaked and for whatever the hell transpired that interrupted the wraiths’ slumber, she was to blame for losing her spatial ring, which content can give her identity away.
“When we’ll return to base your sentence will be carried out. Till then, you and Darvajka are to follow my orders”.
“Yes, Colonel Rijok!” Both replied simultaneously.
Colonel Rijok nodded in satisfaction. “I surveyed the ridge in the past twenty four hours before meeting you. With the wraiths awakening, there is no point in proceeding in the task as originally intended”.
“’Colonel’ is just fine”. Colonel Rijok interrupted.
Darvajka opened again, “Colonel, the wraiths awakening… those who know the meaning of the occurrence will band together to get rid of the competition before trying to obtain what little dark attribute’s essences available. There is a high probability for the Blessed Army, Violet Scaled Troops and Western Continent’s Mercenary Association to work together. Should we contact Luminous Church’s members as see if they are willing to cooperate with us?”
“No”. Colonel Rijok denied without a moment of consideration. “The General ordered to avoid at all cause interaction with the Luminous Church’s group”.
“Avoid the Luminous Church?” Astonishment filled both Cattelin and Darvajka. They were about to ask why, when Colonel Rijok continued.
“Don’t think about it. What’s important is that all powers involved agreed to send experte under the third Martial Mortal’s level. It does not matter how many the Blessed Army, Violet Scaled Troops and Mercenary Association have assembled”. A murderous, purple glint shone in Colonel Rijok’s pupils. “My Golden Desert Forte and Blue Sea friend will not shy from a fight!”
The white dwarf was so close yet impossible to reach for.
The escaping wraith’s hand passed through Zax’s chest, striking with a fatal soul attack before resuming its retreat.
After withstanding the sixth soul attack, the tube like barrier shattered. The soul attack lost eighty percent of its momentum and strength, but was still quite dangerous.
Zax commanded his body to move back, in case the wraith will follow up with a second attack. His soul energy began to tackle the offensive foreign force as he consumed another of the high quality Linder Seeds he received from Xinia.
‘Dimmit!’ Zax cursed indignantly.
In each of the few times his hand pierced the creature’s head, he could feel the awe inspiring fluctuating of the dark attribute’s essence and became more infuriated by it. Although he did not know to what kind of heights it will advance his cultivation, he somehow foreknew that it would be much more significant than anything he achieved until today. His biggest regret was the inability to consume more than one Linder Seed, since a second barrier’s layer would disrupt the connection of the soul with body. If he otherwise could, than snatching the dark attribute’s essence would have been much simpler.
“It ran away”. Fengar said solemnly after catching up.
He was truly astonished with Zax physique. He did not get to witness his battle with Cattelin, just his weakened state afterwards. Now, despite missing an arm, after several easy days, the lad was virtually in top shape and revealed a lot more vigor than a Core Master in his level possessed.
Saying nothing, Zax renewed the pursuit the instant a new barrier was erected around his soul.
“Hey! At least say something!” Fengar berated while he, too, continued to chase.
He was not aware.
Yes, drawn by the allure and promising future of the dark attribute’s essence, Fengar craved for it just as many of the cultivators who strode into the ridge.
But it was still only a prospect in his mind, where Zax had underwent repeatedly the pleasure of basking in its exquisite fluctuations.
Soon, they departed from the sanctuary of the excavated mountains and arrived underneath the blue sky.
“Careful, there is another one awake!” A roaring voice warned.
The wraith Zax and Fengar chased encounter a group of five cultivators, who were in the midst of withdrawing from a brawl with two awakened wraiths.
Zax saw his wraith fly straight toward the other two, screaming in its shrilling voice.
The two wraiths ignored the five experts who tried to rob their white dwarfs once they stopped posing a threat and started clashing with a variety of soul attacks, compelling one another to risk getting injured and losing the ability to protect the dark attribute’s essence, as was infused in their being, or annihilate the opponent along with its dark attribute’s essence.
“It’s happening again, Luze, they are fighting and the new one is joining the fray!” A rather ecstatic young looking man said in relief.
“Stay on your guard, Oleg!” A woman with long, combed blond hair and seemingly delicate structure, Luze, ordered. Her attention a while ago shifted from the two wraiths to the direction the new one arrived.
Oleg abided by the party’s leader’s order and turned his head.
The remaining three women in the party were a step ahead than Oleg and looked at the same direction as Luze. One was bulky, another old and last shaved her head, but overall was a beauty.
Zax stood on three to four meters tall mound, observing the four women and man. Fengar be his side.
“You are free to live”. He raised his sole arm and pointed. “That’s mine”.
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