1400 Chapter 1394: CKC, Four Fragments
"Oh my heavens..." The scene of unfettered carnage was scalp-numbing as the Alchemists freed by the Chosen gawked at the unfolding situation. The Bloodforge Canines ravaged the entire world, crushing air and ground alike beneath their paws, crushing heads, necks, removing limbs, and severing lives with their incisive teeth and frightful maws.
"Don-don't! Don't attack...me? Eh?" A few Alchemists reeled in fear as the Bloodforge Canine approached with soul-shivering howls, their mouths dripping bloody saliva radiating killing intent and untamed hunger. They seemed ready to consume the world and then some.
However, as they unleashed horrified shrieks and entered a state of frenzied panic, the Alchemists all found themselves miraculously untouched and unharmed. The Bloodforge Canines' movements were rapid yet evasive, purposeful yet careful, seemingly avoiding them by narrow margins as if they were invisible and untouchable. Moreover, any shockwaves that unfurled by their destruction were met by quivering waves of bloody light around them, protecting them as they dispersed the devastating power.
"..." Seeing the situation unfold, entire groups collapsed as Chosen fled with urgency unlike anything ever before. Some fought together, blasting the Bloodforge Canines apart, but others segregated and went off on their own. Those who had left alone were often unable to escape, encircled and shredded by incisive fangs. Clearly, these loners were treated as easy targets.
Qingye Ying was stunned to the core as Tian Xiaolu manifested a seven-colored Astral Ward that shielded the duo, the latter's eyes roamed vigilantly as suppressed fear emanated from her eyes. While this defensive ward lacked genuine power, the raw cultivated powers of a Starlord were still present, capable of at least defending against below-average Timelords, albeit temporarily.
Those in Tambu Ma's group had the urge to flee for their lives as a bloody scene that could fuel their nightmares for the next century unfolded, but Tambu Ma hastily brought them back and moved close to Qingye Ying. As an Earthly Saint, he observed the situation at a much greater rate than the others, deducting that Alchemists weren't targeted.
Considering that the strange bestial mutant of a cultivator had tasked Qingye Ying with merging the fragments, he didn't think he'd try to harm them as one as they were in the same group. Additionally, splitting apart in a panic was what predators loved most.
The others were stunned as they huddled together with Qingye Ying, Tian Xiaolu, and the other Alchemists at the edges of their formation. While it might seem merciless at first sight, it worked effectively as Tambu Ma settled on dispersing any shockwaves coming their way from afar, keeping the Alchemists safe.
"Why are these Chosen falling so fast?" Qingye Ying held the four fragments, unaware as to when the fourth had entered her hands, clutching them to her pounding chest, but her heart carried endless curiosity as she watched a terrifying slaughter of Chosen from the World Beyond.
Tian Xiaolu was by her side, and her thick yet beautifully styled eyebrows furrowed as she saw the dismembered corpses pile up across the barren terrain, including the numerous reverberations of death throes and unwilling screams of pain and suffering.
She was taken aback by the sheer number of Mystic Ascendant Realm cultivators present. She had known that the World Beyond had greater legacies and a more developed society of cultivation, but these Chosen numbered in the tens of thousands. The numbers were utterly insane given each of their foundations wasn't far off from the most elite figures of the Sealed Regions. Wasn't the disparity a little too...much?
That aside, she was unable to give Qingye Ying an answer. The Bloodforge Canines that rushed about were terrifying, no doubt, and when they were destroyed, they transformed into bloody light that merged with the sanguine radiance seamlessly, vanishing into the sky, and then after a brief period, new Bloodforge Canines would form. These Bloodforge Canines seemed slightly stronger!
But the Bloodforge Canines themselves didn't seem too strong. She felt confident that if she used her Material Dao Form, she could fend off a Bloodforge Canine or two. By her estimation, they were roughly as strong as Pinnacle Starlords. While this was already an incredible development, it shouldn't be beyond the Chosen from the World Beyond's means.
Tambu Ma glanced at the two ladies from up high, towering over their smaller frames easily. When he noticed that Qingye Ying suddenly had four fragments in her hands, his eyes widened as the implications were unimaginable! Realizing this, he decided to develop a closer relationship with the elf, trying consciously to put aside his inner bias and reluctance.
"These canines formed from these blood runes are considerably stronger than at first glance. Mortals might have difficulty sensing it, but the Mystic Energies, Essence, and Forces of this world are being used by them. Additionally, the sanguine sky is suppressing Spiritual Senses and degrading the Sea of Consciousness, acting as a camouflage for the blood beasts. It makes it extremely difficult to focus on them or notice their attacks and presence. Their group tactics often lead to them attacking from one angle and ambushing from another.
"Like there: that pathetic human has a cultivation base at the Soul of Mysticism Phase, his foundation isn't too lacking, and he destroyed a blood beast in a single move," Tambu Ma directed their attention to a human cultivator that destroyed a Bloodforge Canine with a swing of his spiked mace, blasting the runes into bits. Just then, three Bloodforge Canines attacked him from behind, snarling and howling. He retaliated by spinning around and smashing, but just as he did, seven Bloodforge Canines that he hadn't noticed leaped at his back the moment he turned.
Within a few moments, the human Chosen was killed.
"..." Those within Tambu Ma's group reeled. They had witnessed this happen a few times, but realizing why was even more horrifying. The human Chosen had strength, but was he unable to properly sense his enemy's attacks and presence?
"Why not run away?" A Titan Chosen couldn't help but ask with a quivering voice. That could've been him.
Just as he said those words, Tambu Ma gestured towards the southeast. A male and female Celestial fought ferociously together, but they were littered with injuries of bite and claw marks. They seemed at the end of their rope. Immediately, the two Chosen brought out evasive talismans and sought to escape in two different directions.
"Some are," Tambu Ma said. "But," he continued with narrowed eyes, "they're being hunted." The Bloodforge Canines vanished, merging with the world, becoming almost invisible like wolves stalking the night.
It was a common tactic to split apart after facing adversity in a group, increasing the chances of both sides surviving by dividing the enemies' strength. The issue here was that the Bloodforge Canines hunted them, but they weren't in a particular rush.
Tens of thousands of miles away.
A Titan Chosen's carcass was being chomped on, their thick legs and arms were ripped from their torso by vicious yanks of the jaw. This Chosen had escaped, using a similar tactic as the Celestial's earlier, but the Bloodforge Canines focused solely on him. After his death, when his blood, soul, essence, and energy were claimed by the aura of carnage covering the world, the Bloodforge Canines grew slightly larger, their eyes slightly more intense, and their auras grew increasingly thicker.
Qingye Ying, for a moment, was incredibly thankful that Zuhei belonged to Wei Wuyin. She realized that he had frighteningly powerful individuals serving him so loyally, yet she instinctively felt that none of them would dare touch a single hair on her head out of harm. Considering his subordinates had saved her once before, and Zuhei had all but confirmed that Wei Wuyin had a very high opinion of her, despite the deathly wails and horrid scent of blood in the air, she felt her face redden at the thought.
This only grew even redder when she recalled his unmatched, unearthly visage alongside his recent feat of conquering the Everclash in a single move. Her heart throbbed, but not from fear. She clutched at the fragments harder, pressing her hands against her chest.
Tian Xiaolu suddenly felt her beating heart pound, her cheeks suddenly begin to grow hot, and her body experienced some physiological signs of being excited as well. She was stunned. Her Primal Yin was interconnected with Qingye Ying, and so what she experienced, including her mental fluctuations stimulating her yin energies, was also felt by her.
What was this girl thinking about at this moment?!
Qingye Ying was a mere mortal, and these Ascended beings had their spiritual sense spread out of fearful vigilance. Would the blood beasts turn against them? Would they survive? So all of them caught her body's reactions due to this, being rather taken aback by her blushing countenance that was extremely alluring to behold.
A few of them were extremely experienced and knew what this meant, but they didn't comment. Some people felt things seeing blood and savage violence. They didn't intend to out her...strange tastes.
Zuhei's hunt didn't stop; the Silver Wolf of the Ascendants, the Claws and Fangs of the Ascendant Emperor, slayed individuals left and right, mostly aiming for Demi-Mortal Lords. He claimed their entirety through his laws embodying carnage and predation, his physical body growing increasingly stronger as his Law Aura grew along with it.
Eventually, the area around Qingye Ying and Tian Xiaolu's group was as barren as the region itself. The fights tapered off as Chosen fled every which way, some together, others along, all without holding anything back, leaving only the unmoving and bewildered Alchemists in the area. A strange peace descended on the barren region as the group observed the lifeless landscape of rivers of multicolored blood and dismembered, ravaged bodies.
"It's...finally over...?" The heart-rending screams that could leave behind echoing nightmares for the next century finally ended as a Titan Chosen finally relaxed, slumping downwards as their muscles loosened abruptly.
"He's cleared out the area. The bestial mutant is deliberately creating an area of undisturbed peace." Tambu Ma stated plainly. Only then did the others relax their hearts and tensed bodies, a few of them losing a few inches as their necks fell and their chest heaved out sighs of relief.
"Why?" A mentally exhausted Titan asked. The scene had dulled his intelligence; it seemed as if the question was automatically answered as gazes shifted to Qingye Ying, who held four fragments of the Evercrown tightly to her chest. While they seemed lifeless, there was a presence within them that felt precious to an extreme.
Tian Xiaolu's eyes lit up as she turned her attention to Qingye Ying. She set aside what Qingye Ying felt earlier and focused on the fragments. According to her Master, these fragments were heavenly opportunities for any Alchemist. This was especially so for those blessed with the opportunity to merge fragments.
Qingye Ying's thoughts finally returned to the fragments as well. It was hard to resist the bubbling of excitement from her soul as she recalled what Tian Xiaolu had told her about the fragments. She was just about to pour a little bit of Alchemic Force into them-
"Wait!" A voice resounded in the distance. From afar, an eight-foot tall violent-skinned Da Shan with a little girl hugging her head while sitting on her shoulders was walking towards them. She was bringing along nearly three dozen Alchemists adorned in multicolored robes, all originating from the Hepta-Dawn Alchemic Corps!
The group turned to see Da Shan approach while waving her hands. The Alchemists in the area noticed this. Just as they were inspecting Da Shan up and down, most incredibly stunned at her astonishing looks, especially those of the Titan Race, another group came in from the opposite direction.
Despite the scent of blood running rampant in the air, the scent of floral fragrance suddenly began to overwhelm it, oddly granting the area a pleasant scent. An auburn-haired woman of valiant beauty, commanding presence, and a faint windy breeze seemingly blowing her robes and hair aloft appeared. Behind her were roughly eighteen Alchemists, all of a similar robe design as those behind Da Shan.
One of the Hepta-Dawn Alchemists, a part of Tambu Ma's group, couldn't help but brightly and happily shout: "First Commander Hong!"
Somehow, these two's appearances seemed to trigger a series of arrivals as the Second Commander-Bo Kay, and the Fourth Commander-Bei Weiwei, also arrived with a group of Alchemists bearing the Hepta-Dawn Alchemic Corps insignia.
"Big Sister!" Bei Yinyin called out with a bright smile as she saw the faint visage of her older sister in the distance, waving energetically. However, just as the words left her lips, her expression froze as the little girl remembered something...
"What are you doing here?!" Bei Weiwei's words were like thunder as unimaginable shock laced her voice. They were literally walking in a region of dismembered corpses!! Why was a child here?!?! Why was her SISTER here?!
Bei Yinyin hurriedly hid behind Da Shan's head, trying to make her body as small as possible to avoid being scolded, as if trying to hide. If she couldn't see her, she couldn't give her a tongue-lashing, right?
Fortunately, Da Shan wasn't negligent as she used a little spell to alter the girl's senses. She didn't see blood and corpses, but dirty water and lush greenery. It was a minor trick. As long as she didn't touch any of the corpses, all should be fine. Da Shan ensured that Bei Yinyin was properly on her shoulders.
There were over a hundred Alchemists here, all bearing the Hepta-Dawn Alchemic Corps insignia!
Tian Xiaolu noticed this and her expression drastically changed. Was this his plan all along?!
Meanwhile, Wei Wuyin's left arm was drenched in grey-silverish blood as he held it toward the sky, palm-facing upward, as if holding the very heavens themselves.