“It was I who told that evil man your location.” Dessa Chimes had tears in her eyes as she finally told Jodye what had been bothering her.
“You… you sold me out? How?” Jodye Trill was dumbstruck. He honestly hadn’t expected this woman would betray him so quickly. Disappointment rushed over him in a wave, but soon reason caught up with him. How could Dessa have not been killed by the tribulation lightning of the heavens if she ratted him out? She took a heavenly blood oath.
“I’m so sorry! I didn’t want to do it I swear, I just couldn’t stop it… I mean,” Dessa Chimes panicked and spoke too much, so she tried to hurry and cover her mouth.
“Couldn’t stop what? Ah!” Jodye Trill’s eyes suddenly brightened, as he instantly pieced the puzzle together, “That’s right, Autumn Saver should have a rather powerful soul right? Taking over your body for a moment to save your life by snitching shouldn’t be too hard. I suppose it’s also this cowardly sword who promised to reward Sirius Regal.”
The sword image on Dessa’s hand lit up in response to Jodye’s insult as if daring him to challenge it.
“Autumn Saver, do you believe that I will stay this weak for a long time? I’m sure you know the truth of my potential. Do you believe that I won’t refine your soul once my realm improves? Do you feel infallible? Are you even a real person? You are nothing but a tool to me,” Jodye Trill quipped ruthlessly, without emotion in his voice. The light on Dessa’s hand brightened, and her face turned a bit red, but then the light disappeared altogether.
“She… she said women aren’t respected in this land, and you could never understand them or the pain in my heart and hers when she discovered it,” said Dessa Chimes gently, “Those men didn’t touch me, Autumn Saver would have never allowed it. She just wants me to be safe while I grow stronger. Please don’t erase her, young master.”
“Autumn Saver is a… female?” asked Jodye Trill in puzzlement.
“She said that she would be whatever I influenced her to be… so… yes.” Dessa nodded in affirmation. “If she hadn’t protected me all the time in Dark Cave, those fiends would have surely violated me to death.”
“…She had a point. What the damn sword did was not wrong, it was the best thing for you based on the circumstances. After all, I wasn’t there. Merely, the fact that it sacrificed your lord’s well being for your own means that your heavenly oath doesn’t apply to decisions made by your sword,” Jodye had his eyes closed as he spoke to Dessa, but suddenly heard nine booming thunderclaps and Dessa’s voice.
“I, Dessa Chimes, swear that… Autumn… Saver… will never harm my master in any way, or let me be struck by divine tribulation thunder!” Dessa Chimes gritted her teeth and spoke word for word. Apparently, she was resisting some significant obstruction.
“Dess… well, whatever. Do not fear, I still trust you,” sighed Jodye Trill. He didn’t know whether this girl was decisive or impulsive. “That reminds me… why is it that women are mistreated in this world? Is there truly no justice in this land, men simply can do as they please without rhyme or reason, action or consequence?”
“Well, the old maid Ma Dear who brought me up taught me many things about this land,” Dessa raised a brow until she remembered that Mr. Jupiter had literally crashed out of the sky like a falling star when she first saw him. Plus he claimed to be six years of age. He wouldn’t know much about the world. Thus, she explained, “It’s not just the women, young master. Even little Aiken… well, it’s… voodoo you know? You know about the barrier energy? The Great Motherland is really two continents, and Pangaea is the larger of the two. The barrier energy splits Pangaea into five wards, which we call the east, south, west, north, and central wards. The West and South Wards are known as the Voodoo States because all the overlords practice dark arts. Whereas the Northern and Eastern wards are the Magic States. I hear the culture in the Magic States is closer to how things are in Rodinia.”
“Is Rodinia very different?” This was Jodye’s first time hearing about these things.
His mother had never explained to him how wicked this world could be towards women, he had to learn that the hard way. Back at the Chimes estate, he saw plenty of examples of how low these peoples opinions of women were, it was too tasteless. At least back home he would still see influential female experts occasionally. He had yet to encounter a woman with a decent cultivation base in the south, all he had seen were mortal or captive women being violated. The strongest he had met was Monica in Little Oasis, and she was a master! Jodye’s impression of masters was that they were born to be stronger than their peers, they had powerful souls.
This couldn’t be the way of the world, right?
Of course, this was a place where might equals right! If the powers at the top of the food chain hand out the order for slaughter, it will, of course, be fulfilled.
“Ma Dear said that the Voodoo practitioners of Rodinia are different in that they are orthodox. The study of death and dark forces are allowed, but they don’t harm mortals or innocents, or there are severe consequences. At least, for the most part, right?” Dessa Chimes was actually thrilled that Mr. Jupiter was taking such deep interest in her situation and her thoughts. Her smile was brilliant and threatened to make Jodye’s heart race if he didn’t steel himself.
“So basically, women are objectified this way because the men are just evil? That’s a bit of a stretch…” Jodye Trill was unconvinced. Something was missing, right?
“No, it is mainly for our primordial yin, or any serenity qi that they can extract from us,” responded Dessa Chimes patiently. “Many Voodoo Priests use dark arts to curse women so that their yin qi transforms into death qi.”
Primordial Yin is the purest form of yin essence in a woman’s body. Anyone practicing with death laws, which followed the yin principle, would naturally be attracted to the benefits of refining primordial yin. Jodye finally got it. These women were being used mainly as cultivation cauldrons. Voodoo Priests used them to accelerate the growth of their evil powers.
The fact that so few women around here were cultivators was probably manipulated somehow as well. After all, how could they be oppressed if they had the strength to resist?
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Jodye Trill felt he could understand a lot better now. These voodoo practitioners favored forces that fit within the yin principle. Robbing women of their essence made their cultivation go smoother. In the end, it was all for strength.
“Voodoo States huh…” Jodye Trill thought about his mother and older sister, bound and in the hands of the enemy whom they referred to as White Demon. Then Jodye felt the pain and rage of his father dying in his place before his very eyes. Was this what a Voodoo State was? Rage swiftly built, but his astral points were drier than dry. Surprisingly, his anger was filling his astral passages with a different type of strength. It was a mysterious feeling that he didn’t truly understand at first.
However, after jogging through the memories left behind by T’Zhane, he realized that this energy resembled slaughter state! Just slightly, but this was definitely slaughter qi that was being produced from his anger, swimming through his astral channels! Could his rage be giving birth to slaughter force already?
Is it because he was able to open more astral points than usual? Would this side effect be good or bad? Knowing that these questions couldn’t be answered yet, Jodye forced himself to calm down. However, he inwardly vowed that he would abolish every Voodoo State in this Great Motherland one day.
He would eradicate forces like the White Serpent Cove on his warpath back to the White Demon Castle in the sky! Jodye Trill wanted to help this broken society, this was how he would leave his mark on this world. More than that he wanted revenge, he wanted to kill!
His enemy maimed his father. His enemy kidnapped his mother and his big sister! That bald son of a b***h almost killed Jodye Trill, and he was likely still aiming to do so! White Demon tried to force him into a dead end but failed to do so. Jodye feared the worse for his parents and siblings, but he was totally powerless to even know more about the situation, let alone do anything to help. “I had considered heading to that pyramid next. However, it’s clear I’ve underestimated the voodoo creatures and experts of this region. Let’s head south, we’ll find a way to travel to Rodinia.”
“Ah!” Dessa Chimes heard they were changing direction and had an idea, “Maybe we can just take little Aiken back home after all!”
“Dessa, we don’t have the time too… wait. The Moon clan is in Rodinia?” asked Jodye Trill. Dessa Chimes nodded. Jodye slapped his forehead in frustration, “Why didn’t he just say that in the first place?!”
If Jodye had known that the home Aiken mentioned was in Rodinia this whole time, he would have likely head straight there to start with. Of course, what he didn’t realize was that Aiken had already tried to tell him this several times.
“Mr. Jupiter, little Aiken is he… is he going to be okay?” Dessa Chimes was worried because the current Aiken Moon was bloody and swollen, bound to his mount by rope. He looked like a war criminal.
“He’ll be fine. Once we put some distance between them and us, I’ll make him some magic life pills,” Jodye Trill was totally unconcerned with that boy. Aiken already dared to attack him once! Jodye may have been acting the role of the bad guy, but this kid was a bit too gullible, no? That’s the real reason he was a bit heavy-handed in this matter, he wanted Aiken to know the consequences of betraying your savior!
The next time would only lead to death.
After three days, the team stopped by a small stream, and Jodye pulled out a C-Grade alchemy pot from his space ring. He had initially thought this was just an ordinary cooking pot! However, during the ride, he noticed the various runic markings on this pot while he was going through his inventory. Merely, there was residue poison in the bowl that he had to resolve first. Jodye found himself suddenly missing his sky wolves and their many useful abilities and quirks.
“Xavier could absorb the residue of this poison and make us stronger with it, or Sylvester could simply devour it and refine it into only Gaea knows what,” thought Jodye to himself. “Well, less of this. Time to refine some magic life pills!”
Jodye Trill did not possess a fire capable of making him an alchemist, nor was his origin energy powerful enough to produce true flames. However, the alchemy pot made all that irrelevant! As long as one knew how to program the refining sequence into an alchemy pot and adjust the required temperature, then anything within rank could be refined into a pill! Merely, the purity levels would typically be basic. It was different from using an actual alchemical furnace.
Jodye took several ingredients out of his space ring and threw them into the alchemy pot. He mixed and ground the ingredients until there was a thick mucus-like liquid in the bowl, and then he put the lid on. Jodye chant in an ancient and mysterious language and the runes on the alchemy pot lit up and start to move around. Fifteen minutes later, Jodye removed the lid of the pot to reveal three crystal white longan sized pills.
“C-grade Magic Life Pills with 30% purity! How awesome is that? This is a pill strong enough to heal an expert on Oulan Mercy’s level by fifty percent,” Jodye Trill scrutinized the pills before handing one to Dessa as he said, “Here, give one to the brat so we can get out of here.”
The Level 3 Vicious Flaming Stampedes traveled on for two weeks towards the south, stopping a few times along the way for water, rest, and food. After ingesting the C-grade magic life pill, Aiken Moon recovered in less than two hours! Jodye Trill ate a pill for himself, and his arm was fully restored as well! Aiken and Jodye hadn’t spoken to each other since the former woke up. Luckily, Jodye had already taught Dessa how to ride a horse, so Aiken merely rode behind Dessa on the mount they shared. He occasionally cast a dark glare at Jodye Trill.
Noticing this for the hundredth time, Jodye was annoyed and decided to stop at the vast city he could see in the distance. The surroundings were slightly different now, so Jodye knew he had reached a new region. Previously, there was far more sand than vegetation. It was far more green here and reminded him a bit of the middle areas of the Eastern Badlands in the West Ward, where the trees grew taller. Jodye had been initially avoiding towns and cities. After varied experiences, he was nervous about social interactions as he had been living in the wild for the last few weeks.
However, it was a fact that they needed to settle down for a while. Jodye needed to collect materials and ingredients so that he could refine a few potions and elixirs. Like the Elixir of Titanic Might! This was the most fundamental elixir to utilize when in the early stages of the Titanic Rage Law. This potion contained such pure heaven and earth energy that had a mild slaughter force attribute. This was perfect for clearing out impurities from his spirit points!
Obtaining the ingredients for this was mandatory. Jodye had a feeling it would take quite a long time to achieve the next two levels. In the meantime, he also needed to remove the cursed fate seals of these two former slaves. This would officially grant them their freedom and allowing Dessa and Aiken to awaken their sage bloodline and host souls.
Upon reaching the city gates, the guards stopped Jodye and company from proceeding. One of the guards, a burly middle-aged man with tattoos, spoke to Jodye directly as if the other two were not there. This was because Jodye was dressed in beautiful blue brocade raiment and riding alone, while the other two were dressed in leather dress and jacket, “Blackheart City is currently under martial law. Voodoo experts have been terrorizing this area a lot lately, and the mighty lord Pharaoh has ordered additional protection for every hold at the border. Release your aura and state your identity!”
Jodye Trill was caught off guard, but he actually felt this to be healthier than his previous experiences. How could the large cities allow voodoo practitioners to run wild, pillaging, raping, and murdering their men and women? At least there was finally some effort being shown. These people wanted to make sure he wasn’t a vagrant voodoo expert. Thinking up to here Jodye released his magic force concept, a white magic atmosphere hanging around him, while the origin qi phenomenon above him formed 25 marble sized light spheres in the shape of a dragon’s head.
Perfected Nascent level magic concept, 25 BP!
Jodye Trill was inwardly surprised by this when his divine sense picked up the phenomenon. He thought to himself, ‘So the light sphere’s take on the shape of our concepts maybe? It’s like a mini-constellation, I wonder if it had any other purpose… it’d be great if it could resonate with astral forces.’
“I am Jupiter Trill. These are my two attendants. Please, permit us entry,” Jodye Trill replied calmly to the guard.
“Wait. What is your purpose in coming into our Blackheart City?” A light twinkled in the eyes of the other guard in attendance when he noticed the appearance of this brat. This guard was younger and skinny, and he was smiling as he stopped the first guard before he could grant Jodye and company access. “We can’t just let any old riff-raff into the city, can we? You should show your sincerity.”
Seeing the way the younger guard was behaving the middle-aged guard frowned. However, he chose not to speak out in the end. The younger guard’s background was a bit intimidating, even if the man himself didn’t have a high status. Jodye Trill took all this in with knowing eyes. He had experienced plenty of shakedowns in his last life and even performed many himself. This attempt was brazen and shameless. Did they think he was some fat sheep? It seemed this guard directly wasn’t placing Jodye in his eyes at all.
Jodye swept his divine sense past the two guards body and was able to notice their cultivation with a glance. The younger guard had an early-Earth Science realm sage path cultivation, and the middle-aged guard had an early-True Saint realm saint path cultivation. Their strengths were comparable to each other, but inferior to Jodye.
However, Jodye Trill honestly didn’t want to cause a commotion at the gate. Thus, Jodye released both his origin and thunderbolt forces which stacked on top of his magic concept to form 71 BP, before he activated his Vajra Dragon combat seed making his BP rise to 86. Jodye glanced at this sage indifferently, and his mount kept walking, “I’m just passing through. Please excuse me.”
The younger guard paled as soon as he sensed the rising aura of Jodye and paled even further when he saw the silhouettes in the sky. Was this really the aura of a sophomore rank sage? If he were a half-step into the Earth Science realm, this would be slightly more acceptable. He had seen geniuses of this caliber pass through these gates before. The brat didn’t even seem tense, he was likely also holding back. However, this kid was clearly only at the peak of the Scholar Realm, the Perfected Sophomore rank. At most he should have less than 50 BP, but how many lights were up there? A super genius! He was probably some sect’s chosen! The younger guard realized that his dharma must be wrong, this was just too unlucky. He would have to live more responsibly shortly. Thus, he decided he shouldn’t recklessly make strong enemies and moved to the side obediently.
Jodye was secretly impressed by the guard’s immediate change of attitude. This was a smart man that could adapt! Why would someone like this be a mere guard? Jodye was puzzled but had no intent to understand this. How could he imagine that this guard had misunderstood his background due to his display of talent? Jodye had never really met, nor put any other experts of his level in his eyes. After all, he was able to crush them as a baby. What did they amount too now that he was six-years-old? He only feared those experts approaching the mage level, as they could quickly kill him!
“Unless you have the citizens crystal, your mounts wait out here,” commanded the middle-aged man once the previous commotion settled. Jodye frowned upon hearing that he had to reclaim his mounts only after he left the city. He would undoubtedly be robed! From Jodye’s experience, this place was nearly lawless.
Martial Law? How controlling.
“Come on, guys,” Jodye Trill didn’t argue a bit as he steered his mount to the stables. After the youths dismounted, he led the way back to the gates and into the city. Behind Jodye, Aiken Moon was talking do Dessa in a hushed tone.
“You can’t trust him Dessa, he’s a vicious madman! You have to believe me,” Aiken Moon was pleading in Dessa’s ear for only the third time today. Her face, however, remained stoic. In Dessa’s opinion, there were things this Aiken just wouldn’t be able to understand right now. Aiken was determined, so he pressed on, “He’s with that creepy guy who attacked you! A junior of his sect they said! He’s only nice to you so he can deliver you to the sect master on a silver platter!”
“You’re flattering me a bit too much, right? The sect master would want me? Why?” Dessa Chimes responded in a tone that feigned bemusement.
“The sword! It’s your…”
“Enough!” Jodye Trill’s frosty voice sent a chill down Aiken’s spine that made him still immediately. This was a trick of serenity force Jodye had picked up from watching his mother. The most significant difference between the scholar realm and the earth science realm is the ability condense energy from laws in the atmosphere, and not just in the body. Jodye hadn’t reached this level of ‘force leaving the body’ yet, but it was different if it was in a sound wave.
Jodye turned around walked up Aiken, lowering his voice to a near whisper, “You are reckless, foolhardy, and cowardly. You do not have good judgment ability or discernment skills. It is no wonder that you, the blessed child of a noble household, wound up destitute and stranded god knows how many miles from home…
“What’s worse is that you seem nearly oblivious to your faults! Look at you, you even sincerely believe that I’m from that whatever little snake cove. Are you daft? Honestly, I do not dislike you, Aiken Moon,” Jodye Trill paused and glanced at Dessa before continuing, “But your obsession with my hand is annoying. You are becoming a liability, compromising our safety and unity. Is that what you want? To harm me? To place us all in danger?”
“I…” Aiken Moon was briefly at a loss for words. After a breath or so had passed he spoke with a dazed but aggrieved look in his eyes, “Sigh…maybe… I wasn’t thinking it all the way through. But it doesn’t change what you did to me!”
“Oh please,” Jodye Trill simply didn’t care that he beat Aiken up, “Do you think I’m only a little stronger than you? Listen, friend, you can choose to align with my interests or go another way. I will still remove your cursed fate seal, and your fate from there will be your own. However, if you ever threaten me again, then I am going to kill you.”
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Jodye said the end of his sentence word by word and each syllable felt like an ice blade to little Aiken who subconsciously shrunk back a little, but he didn’t look away, “You um… you saved my life, Mr. Jupiter. Then you somehow saved us all again. If you can help me get home, then I’ll do whatever you ask, I swear! I have to get home mister, I gotta!”
Jodye Trill sighed. He had nearly forgotten how pathetic this kid was. Life had been tough for an innocent youth like Aiken Moon, trapped in a world so different from his own. Jodye let go of his ego and relented, “Fine. I will see that you get home. However, your allegiance starts now! We can only travel to your home later. First, we must improve our strengths.”
Aiken Moon nodded in full agreement. He knew that Mr. Jupiter was right about this. They were currently just too weak! If Mr. Jupiter hadn’t been so witty that it even tricked Aiken himself, then they would’ve never escaped the Crimson Riders. If his parents were here, they could slaughter 1,000, no, 10,000 Chimes Estates and Crimson Rider teams.
To be subjected to such treatment by opponents so low in level was an insult to Aiken’s heritage! A stain on his pride! Aiken knew he had to become powerful enough to remove this stain. Even though he previously hated Jodye for abusing him, he was secretly grateful. After the beating Aiken hated! He wanted nothing more than to be stronger. It was at that moment he realized he needed one thing more than anything else in the world.
Nothing was more important anymore.
Jodye Trill looked at the light in Aiken’s eyes and secretly nodded his head in approval. That proud glare, that hunger for more! That’s what a genuinely ambitious warrior should look like. Cultivation was an arduous and unforgiving journey. To walk the path of the strong, what you needed was conviction!
Jodye could do nothing with this boy if he lacked it. Now, he was no longer so worried. Blackheart City was the largest city in this region of South Ward, and it covered a radius of more than two dozen kilometers. It was also the checkpoint letting people know that they had crossed over from the Fallen Star Region into the Star Reaching Region. The buildings in this city were made of stone and brick-like materials that gave Jodye a rustic feeling. It wasn’t nearly as fancy as Saint Anubis City. Those buildings were more similar to the actual cities from Jodye’s memories, just made from totally different materials.
After they walked past the guards from earlier, the three youths walked through the city streets of Blackheart City for the first time. Jodye’s divine energy swept out and checked the cultivation levels of everyone within 200 meters. This was the strength of Jodye’s divine sense after breaking through to the second stage of the Cosmic Vision Scriptures!
Jodye cultivated his divine source while they traveled and finally advanced a few nights prior. Now, as soon as he entered the intermediate step by fusing the divine spirit source in his left eye with calamity force, his divine sense would level up again! It would become divine awareness, and that was without Pharaoh’s Law equipped! Once he summoned Pharaoh’s Law, he would possess divine consciousness! How insane was that? With divine consciousness, Jodye’s soul source would be powerful enough to confront mages! Of course, he wouldn’t even have the chance to do so if a mage really wanted to kill him.
More importantly, he could easily remove those cursed fate seals once he possessed divine consciousness. In fact, even with divine awareness, it shouldn’t be too difficult. This was why entering the intermediate level of the Cosmic Vision Scripture’s second stage was only a matter of time. What Jodye lacked was a source of pure yang energy. This was the first thing he needed to buy!
After checking the surroundings, Jodye knew the most active warriors within 200 meters were merely high-level True Saints and Earth Scientists. He couldn’t sense anyone with a stronger aura, but he suddenly found something strange. Thirty meters away from Jodye in a small pub there a handsome middle-aged man with a beard and wearing pale blue brocade robes.
This man felt like an enigma, and Jodye couldn’t feel anything from him at all. That told Jodye one thing, this man was a real powerhouse! The tingling feeling that hung around the man told Jodye another thing: this guy’s spiritual sense could extend outwards like his own!
“A master…” Jodye Trill mumbled as he did a half bow in that direction. He could sense the man raise his brow, but he didn’t turn his head. Then the tingling feeling withdrew, and telepathic link formed between him and the man. Jodye’s divine soul was actually more powerful than the man’s, but he allowed the link to build without resisting.
“Who are you boy? Why are you spying on me?” came a raspy voice via telepathy.
“Master please, I’m Jupiter, and I wasn’t spying on you intentionally, sir. I didn’t mean to be rude. You’re just the strongest expert in this part of the city, so I was curious,” Jodye Trill replied. He was respectful as he was speaking to a man with the same title as his mother.
“You know that I am a master, yet you dare to recklessly probe me! What makes you think I won’t kill you, kid?” came a raspy voice filled with malice and anger. Jodye felt a headache coming on.
“Well… I have a few questions I was hoping that you could help me with. Everyone else is far too weak to be of any help,” said Jodye indifferently.
“Haha, interesting kid, you got my attention. Leave your posse and come sit at the bar with me!”
“Okay!” Jodye Trill turned to face Dessa and spoke to her, “Dessa, I’ll be over in that pub for a while. Do not go more than one hundred meters away from me in any direction.”
Jodye pulled out a magic pouch from his space ring and instructed Dessa to make a blood ownership claim. Inside the bag, there were a few thousand gold and silver notes, more money than Dessa had ever seen. There was also some other miscellaneous items that Jodye thought Dessa may need one day, as well as a list of things he needed her to be on the lookout for. Once Jodye separated from Dessa and Aiken, he walked around for a while before entering the pub.
When he sat next to the man in pale blue brocade robes, the latter finally spoke, “Go on boy. Tell this old Sigma what you need?”