While Zheng’s mind was entangled with the mixed emotions he had toward clone Zheng, the team headed down to the basement of Heng’s room after their dinner. They were going to test the Yellow Turban’s strength.
“The accumulated energy we currently have can power the Yellow Turban on two levels. First is the Nemesis level. It will possess strength on par with Kampa when transformed into werewolf and in the second unlocked stage. Level two is four times the strength of the Nemesis level. However, the first level allows the Yellow Turban to revive three times, doubling in strength with every resurrection. The total sustained timeframe is sixty hours. The second level cannot revive but will last for seventy-two hours.” Xuan explained.
The yellow cloth slowly transformed into a mini Yellow Turban before their eyes. This one was different than the ones the team encountered in The Mummy. It had no visible traits of an attribute. This Yellow Turban’s strength, resurrection count, style and size were all inferior to the five elemental Yellow Turbans in The Mummy.
“It is indeed inferior.” Xuan confirmed their thoughts with a nod. “Going by combat power, this Yellow Turban is basically useless. We have the means to mass produce Nemesis as long as there is sufficient time and humans. A Yellow Turban that’s only a few times stronger than a Nemesis is practically worthless combat wise. However, the important aspects of this Cultivation product are their unique abilities, namely resurrection and teleportation.”
Xuan did not reveal all his thoughts to the team. This Yellow Turban was only the first version. As he continued to translate the glowing stones, he would unlock more Cultivation technologies. Team China’s strength would then no longer be limited to combat but would take a leap to another level altogether. They obtained many complete technologies, not just a few Cultivation manuals they would have exchanged from God. The technologies inside the stones could propel them to surpass all other teams, and could even free them from God’s control.
“Cultivation needs a huge time investment. The translations can only happen inside this dimension as the machines and computers only exist here. We do not have the means to produce these machines. Pairing with TengYi’s linguistic talent, we have hopes to finish translating the first stone in three months. The speed will increase slightly afterward. Though don’t dream of using the two Cultivation items, at least not in the next ten years.”
Zheng interrupted Xuan and said. “What are you trying to say? Stop beating around the bush and tell us. Are you trying to stress the importance of Cultivation?”
“No.” Xuan said. “There’s no need to reiterate its importance. What I am going for is, time. We need time. Even though we only obtained a fraction of the inheritance from the Cultivators, we will keep growing stronger with enough time. If possible, we need to delay the final battle.”
“Delay the final battle?” The rest of the team repeated.
The final battle was only Xuan’s conjecture at this point. No one could be certain of its existence. With the teams becoming stronger and moving toward perfection, God would gather all the teams inside a world for a final battle. Only the victors were allowed to return to the real world. Well, there was at least a good chance of returning. The experience, rewards, and crippling the other teams would make the victors the definite strongest team in this realm.
ChengXiao asked. “How do you delay the final battle? Did you find some Cultivation virus that could gain control of God?”
Xuan rolled his eyes. “Not possible. I meant to delay the final battle through other means. Going by deduction, there are two criteria needed to activate the final battle. One, the gathering of all the teams. God wouldn’t start the final battle with just two or three teams. Two, every team has to meet a certain minimum power level, which is a leader and people who unlocked the genetic constraint. If we were to push back the final battle by brute force, we have to wipe out every team we meet from now on. However, such acts will drive up our rating and in turn put us in more difficult movies. Eventually, we will end up meeting team Devil before the final battle commences. So, this is a double-edged sword. The inheritance of the Cultivators has provided us with the capacity to keep growing with time. However, to obtain peaceful time for our growth, we have to delve into more and more danger. Yet, the end goal of becoming strong is to rid ourselves of danger. It’s a conflicting decision… You will decide on the future that our team should head.”
(Choosing the future… To trudge through a rocky road in order to gain great power that would seize us the final victory, or to peacefully walk to the end and possibly fall before the grail.)
Zheng said in a fierce tone. “We will of course choose the first road. Team battles are dangerous to begin with. We have become strong but anything can happen in a movie world. If we get trapped in a difficult situation or the opposing team has exotic abilities, we could still lose. How could we afford to show mercy? Plus, I lust for the day… our rating grows high enough to meet team Devil!”
The rest of the team nodded in agreement. Zheng wasn’t the designated leader of the team anymore but his prestige among the members was no different from a leader. It was a different kind of prestige than what Xuan held in the team. Zheng was a representation of bonds and Xuan was of authority and fear.
The team understood the second layer of intention behind this decision. Only few in team China achieved a high level of power. Most were far, far behind from the core combatants. The gap between them and the members of team Devil and team Celestial was night and day. Without miraculous encounters in the rest of their journey, these people would fall in the final battle, as no one could guarantee where an attack beyond their scope would land. Team China would have been wiped over and over again if it wasn’t for Zheng and Xuan, the sword and brain of the team. In fact, they had been wiped once back in Resident Evil.
The victory over team Celestial in the Lord of the Rings was the most that team China could achieve at this point. The final battle would only be more difficult with over ten teams in the same world. They should count it fortunate if even three to five people in the team survived. This state of the team often troubled Zheng. He valued his comrades who fought alongside him more than anything and would never trade their lives for a victory!
The time was getting late. The team finished up their discussion and everyone went back to their rooms. With the next movie coming near, they stopped training. Even YinKong stopped her physical training and only trained against ZhuiKong in the virtual reality.
Zheng returned to his room. Aside from the sexy time and chat with Lori, his mind was occupied by two things, give all they had and wipe all the other teams in the following movies, and the battles against his clone in the virtual reality. He questioned if he lost the battles in because he held back.
(Wiping all the teams we meet from now on? Did I hold back? What if we encounter Neos’s team? Do I have the iron will to wipe them? If I meet my clone again… should I hate him?)
Zheng was confused. He had overcome his heart’s devil but that did not strip him of feelings. He had always been this way, kindhearted, or in a not so good word, indecisive. Yet, this was also the trait that held team China together firmly. If Xuan was the leader of a team, there would only be one scenario. That team would crush over their enemies and then collapse from within. A leader like Zheng was both unfortunate and fortunate for team China.
The time to enter the next movie arrived once again. Several members were still in a sleep so the rest of the team readied themselves on the platform early. They placed the sleeping members under the spots where the beams would come down and waited.
“Enter the beams within thirty seconds. Target locked. Starting teleportation: Independence Day.”