Chapter 596 A treasure’s allure (part 4)
Chapter 596 A treasure’s allure (part 4)
Aster finished slashing down the cursed treasures that kept trying to stab or cut him, and then he let go of the incomplete black sword soul weapon, he was surprised to see that the little thing was “asking” him to let it go wild by itself.
Of course, it’s not as if the incomplete sword was talking to him, but somehow, he could tell what the little thing wanted.
The Soul Crushing Parade is an extraordinary technique for soul cultivators, according to Rya, it’s a spirit technique that technically doesn’t have a rank, just the first volume which Rya gave Aster, can be considered an Immortal grade technique based on its theory.
However, unlike the vast majority of spirit techniques, the Soul Crushing Parade doesn’t have a realm requirement, the only condition to start training on it is to be a soul cultivator.
The interesting thing is that the difficulty will be the same for everyone, because the soul weapons condensed through it, won’t become useless as the cultivator advances, but will instead grow along with them, as they are linked to their soul avatar.
In other words, condensing a soul weapon with the Crushing Parade is equally harder for everyone, hence why according to Rya, the one who holds the highest number of soul weapons created through this ability only managed to make six throughout its life, also according to Rya the technique is not exactly rare to find, but it’s extremely rare to find someone that trains on it.
Of course, she didn’t disclose any more details… like what was the realm said person achieved, but Aster experienced the harsh conditions needed to success in the Soul Crushing Parade, he kept pouring soul energy into the sword, night and day, inside the mind space, and he hasn’t reached even half of the length of the blade.
Sure, according to the dimensions of the hilt, the black sword soul weapon he is creating, is going to go pass the two-meter mark, making it even larger than the swords he often uses, but still, with the change in the flow of time, he’s been using the totality of his monstrously high reserves of soul energy for around thirty months, to be only a third part of the way through it.
And that is with Aster having it around ten times easier than others according to Rya, since he can use soul energy in large quantities without any backslash, now add to that the extended time he gets from the mind space, and there you have why Rya said it is almost impossible to find someone that trains in the Soul Crushing Parade, even if cultivators have long lifespans and meditate for hundreds or even thousands of years at some point.
Not seeing a visible progress would most likely make them develop an inner demon, which would cause deviation and in a lot of cases a blockade that will prevent them from advancing, or even death.
In case you wonder why despite Aster’s not exactly patient nature, due to his dragon lineage, he didn’t feel like dedicating so much effort to the Crushing Parade, is a hassle, that is because his soul weapon is not like others.
As outstanding as the Soul Crushing Parase might be, the soul weapons condensed through it, aren’t supposed to move by themselves or be independent like Aster’s, they are also meant to be of the same color as the soul energy of their creator, which in Aster’s case that would be a bright golden tone.
And yet, his soul weapon not only has proven to be able of independency to a certain extent, but it is also of a deep black color, not to mention it has shown a certain curiosity to Lilia.
Which combined with the newest discovery that destroying weapon spirits somewhat accelerates the condensation of the soul weapon, made Aster confirm that what he is creating is not a soul weapon but probably a weapon spirit of some sort.
The thing isn’t even draining his soul energy as of current, but with each weapon spirit that is being destroyed, Aster’s dragon eyes can see what otherwise would be an invisible blueprint of what is next to be condensed, the exchange rate is not the best though, around thirty weapon spirits for a millimeter of “liberated” length for the sword.
Luckily there were a ton of those cursed weapons which one of his godmothers created, so he gladly accepted this “gift”.
‘Aldebaran’s evolutionary trait perhaps?’, wondered Aster as he saw the black sword flying around massacring the weapon spirits of the cursed weapons, that were ahead of them in the corridor where they appeared.
‘There is no way to tell, since a dragonkin with a pure lineage can’t cultivate in the soul path, so you are creating history here’, she said.
‘Of course, you are talking about my darling after all~’, added Lilia, of course those two were enjoying the view from within the mind space, as Lilia’s giggles from earlier suggested.
Aster chuckled and then he turned to see Camila, who was just finishing destroying all the cursed weapons that were attracted by her treasure aura.
The copper-colored mist that was previously cladding her fists was dissolved and Camila let out a sigh of relief, to then happily walk towards Aster, who offered her, his arm so she could hold onto it.
“You could have helped me destroy those things, I ended up calling more of them when I accidently increased the output of my treasure aura”, she said with a little pout.
Aster playfully laughed before saying.
“I didn’t want to spoil your fun, besides if I did that, I would be stealing your points”.
Camila softly laughed and then accepted his offer by cutely holding onto Aster’s arm, as they deepened into the corridor where they appeared.
Outside of the secret realm used for the event, a large crow had gathered around a black stone stele, where the “scores” were being recorded in real time, the parameters were the following.
Four columns titled, restrained, tamed and destroyed, at the left side of the stele, there were the names of the ones who were participating, and at the rightest part of it there was a last column for the score in points.
The exchange was, three hundred cursed weapons destroyed for a single point, three restrained weapons for a point and lastly one tamed weapon for thirty points, as one would expect no had tamed a cursed weapon yet, but the other two columns were showing some advance.
And among the participants, for destroyed weapons, naturally Aster and Camila were dominating, then there were some that were also aiming to destroy the weapons on purpose but were behind of them, namely the group from the Red Sword and Purple Lotus factions, for the restrained count, a couple of the disciples from the Brown Anvil faction had one meaning they were a third of the way in to obtain a point, the same applied to a few other disciples from the other groups.
But there was also one name that outstood from the restrained column, which was the senior disciple leading the Brown Anvil faction’s group, as she was the only one who had two restrained weapons as of current.
While the deacons and disciples that decided to stay out of the second event, observed the scores changing and the names moving up or down, above the sky of the temporary city, there was a floating platform with a large rectangular table and exactly 24 seats.
The previous set up was facing towards a more detailed stele, that not only showed the same information than the one the disciples could see, but also a clear image of the secret realm used for the event, in other words those that were meant to occupy the seats, could watch what was happening first hand.
As for the ones occupying the seats, the only one physically present was actually Mikaela as well as her assistant Lisa, who was sitting at her right, apparently the seats were prepared for the twelve Core Elders that were in charge of all the factions in the sect, as well of a plus one of their choice.
Of course, as the busy people they were, the Core Elders couldn’t physically assist all the events that happened in the different planets of the sect, however, since sponsoring promising rising stars was important for the Myriad Occupation sect, each Core Elder received an invitation to watch the events, from the one in charge respectively, which for the sake of neutrality is in most cases Mikaela.
So, projections of the Core Elders, or at least their designated plus ones, were now sitting on those seats, not all of them though, but among the ones watching the treasure hunt, there were some familiar faces, like Agnes for example, Valentina who is actually a responsible person, normally takes a look at these events, but she isn’t in the sect as of current.
As for Agnes, though she is the designated plus one for Valentina, the Black Sword faction rarely actively looks for recruits outside of the day of admission, normally the other party is the one to approach them and they test them.
So, Agnes doesn’t like to watch these events, as she prefers to instead use her time to train her body or her swordsmanship, though lately she has added another thing to her list of hobbies, which is either sparring with Eris and Mylene who are at a similar level in terms of battle prowess as well as talking with them about Aster, or listening to Lilia and the other soulmates, telling their stories with Aster.
Anyway, she decided to appear after getting wind of someone carelessly flirting and taking one of the events with the highest number of wounded participants, as a walk in the park, Aster came immediately to her mind, so she used the authority given to her and as she expected, that “someone” was none other than Aster.
It’s worth mentioning that though Lilia practically watches all the dates with the others that Aster has, she doesn’t tell the other girls about them until after they had finished, when they become the hot subject for those curious girls, but this time Agnes caught Aster “red handed”.
Besides Agnes, there were some Core Elders that decided to watch this particular event, like Riley who was clearly in the middle of forging something as the burning red background that could be seen behind of her projection suggested, there one from the Purple Lotus and the one from the Brown Anvil.
As for the Red Sword faction, an inner elder was watching over, since their Core Elder had left the sect after Iris left that little message behind back when they targeted Aster during his date with Vivian and not only haven’t returned but probably… won’t, all the others were also the second or third in command.
“What do you think of the rising star from my Brown Anvil faction, she comes from a renowned blacksmith family and is the most talented member of their young generation, she is gaining experience to then learn from her seniors at the top twenty, in order to gain a well-deserved spot in the top ten”.
“Unlike a certain someone who is just playing around and breaking things, she is solving the situation using the approach a real Spirit Blacksmith should take”, said the elder from the Brown Anvil as she stole a gaze at Agnes, who softly snorted in response. 𝑜𝗏𝗅xt.𝕔𝗈𝚖
“If by “spirit blacksmith’s approach” you mean being a poor leader who is using her teammates as bait for cursed swords, she is excelling at it and yet she still doesn’t have a point, while Aster is about to get his second one, or are we seeing different events, Tina?”.
The Core Elder from the Brown Anvil faction gritted her teeth, but the elder Darla from the Purple Lotus came to her rescue, by resorting to poisonous comments as expected.
“You sure are quite protective towards someone that has changed you for another girl so easily, despite the lengths to which your Black Sword faction went to protect him after the crazy things he did”.
Agnes’s eyes glowed with a sharp light as she answered in kind.
“That is a weird comment coming from the one who easily pushed her own niece into the arms of a loser, just to score some points with the Supreme Elder of the Blacksmith Peak, only for her to die worthlessly not too long after her brother, I wonder to what lengths did your brother go to protect your neck”.
“You!”, Darla’s eyes got bloodshot, Agnes’s words were as sharp as her sword, Victor and Julia were the most talented members from her family branch, one being in the top ten of the Heavenly Ranks and the other supposedly being an equal despite his rank not being official.
And the Core Elder Darla failed to protect them inside of the sect, so normally she would have been punished harshly, only she knows what price did her side of the family paid for her to not be demoted and punished.
“However, I suggest you to not speak out of turn, whatever that price might have been, I assure you it won’t be even close to what you’ll have to do, to prevent my sword from cutting that disgusting face of yours with my sword, the next time you speak of my companion like that”, casually added Agnes, while her heart fluttered as she kept what she meant by “companion” to herself.
Tina saw her ally in trouble and she tried to lend her a hand.
“Not only you aren’t a Spirit Blacksmith, you aren’t even a Core Elder so…”, unfortunately for Tina, Riley’s thunderous voice interrupted her.
“What are you going to say speak about that “spirit blacksmith approach” bullshit, a real blacksmith should always aim to solve the problem permanently, so destroy or tame should be the choices a “pure” blacksmith would take, however those who remain sheltered in old customs are bound to be purged by the newer generations, after all metal who lacks flexibility will ultimately shatter”, she said as she observed the score board changing.
Back at the secret realm, Aster who had reached the end of the corridor with Camila cutely holding onto his arm, while she casually punched holes through the cursed weapons that tried to interrupt her fun, extended his hand and caught a morning star mace that was aiming at his face.
While the incomplete black sword soul weapon slashed down an arrow as well as a bolt, that were coming for Aster’s chest and stomach.
“Boom!”, Camila on the other hand made a shield explode into oblivion with her fist which was covered in a copper metallic mist.
A cold snort could be heard coming from the other side of the area where Aster and Camila just appeared, which was a large open circular area, the right side which is from which Aster just came out, had multiple doors as the different paths converged here, but at the left side there was only one door.
And the origin of that snort as well as the cursed weapons that tried to attack Aster and Camila a moment ago, was a large group of around 45 people that was blocking the whole left side, including the only door that led to what was probably the exit of the secret realm.
“And here I thought I had made it clear that I didn’t like to be interrupted when I’m enjoying my time with my family”, said Aster, his sharp gaze made more than a few of the members of both the Purple Lotus and Red Sword faction shiver and take a step back.
“Don’t be cowards, we can’t “fight” here, however these spirit treasures have a preference to attack those coming from that side, we are only stopping the restriction we placed on them, if other treasures follow their lead, it isn’t our fault”.
“Or perhaps, the Lord of the Twin Sword Valley, is going to challenge us to a life and death duel, over the normal competition expected a sect?”, said the older girl from the Brown Anvil faction, which Aster found strangely familiar after a close gaze.
“Heh, it seems that making poor choices runs in the family, I seem to remember someone quite similar to you hanging with that idiot of Edward for a few minutes, before realizing the truth, what a shame the people from the Purple Lotus aren’t as smart”, casually said Aster.
“Well said senior brother!”.
“Mm, I was there and that crazy woman tried to poison us on a whim!”.
Some shouts could be heard coming from the other gates that led to this open area, they belonged to the girls from the Black Sword and Green Lotus factions, that were arriving just now, besides them, there was the group from the Yellow Anvil, but they limited to curiously gaze at Aster from the sides, though they were eyeing the group from the Brown Anvil with clear anger.
But then the situation took a 180° turn, when the gates behind all the groups, closed all of a sudden, the roof shone with a formation as a portal from which countless cursed weapons descended.
Aster’s eyes glowed, he gazed at Camila who had a slight tinge of nervousness on her pretty face and he inwardly smirked.
‘I wonder, what a Wolfstein whose lineage has awakened looks like’, he thought.