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In the ancient kingdom, the great roc soared in the skies. A few days passed. It was unknown how much distance has been travelled. Comment by Kunal Basu-Dutta: should we use the present perfect instead of the past perfect? based on the rejection, that's what i am leaning towards for the future, but want to confirm.
The primordial great roc flying in the skies, the true sovereign of the skies. How scary was his speed? Even the Winged-Dragon of the Nine Heavens had no way to compare in speed to the sky sovereign roc. After the meeting with the White Deer Institute, Di Tian went to the place where the Zong Clan was located and brought along Zong Yi and two of their strongest members along with him.
Naturally, Di Tian was Qin Wentian. It was only because the great roc and Qin Wentian himself couldn’t appear in the same location at the same time. Hence he made use of the art of disguise he found in Di Feng’s interspatial ring to disguise himself completely, and adopted the name of Di Tian. Firstly, this was to symbolise the Azure Emperor whose surname was Di, and secondly, Tian was from Qin Wentian’s original name. When put together, it meant the Emperor of Heavens. It was also an omen of what was going to come in the future.
As for Di Tian, he was exactly the same as the past Qin Wentian. This was a true-self, that shares the memories, perspectives and soul of the original Qin Wentian.
This was by virtue of the Great Nirvana Immortal Art. Regardless of Astral Souls, bloodlines and even character, he was completely the same as the original body, with no differences.
The true-body Di Tian was replicated from Qin Wentian’s essence before he transformed into a great roc. Hence, the cultivation level of Di Tian, when he was formed, was only at the first level of Heavenly Dipper. But after that long period of seclusion, his cultivation base had already climbed to the second level of Heavenly Dipper.
After cultivating the Great Nirvana Art, only then did Qin Wentian truly appreciate how terrifying this art was. Heaven-defying was the only way to describe this art; no wonder Qing`er warned him never to expose this.
Right now he was thinking, what exactly had Qing`er paid to acquire such a heaven-defying immortal art?
Sadly, the nirvana rebirth process of the Great Nirvana Art could only be used once. If one wanted a third true-body after that, he would have to undergo the process of a true nirvana rebirth.
Standing atop of his great roc body, Qin Wentian stared downwards, his gaze encompassing a few ancient mountain peak so high that they touched the clouds. He then turned his gaze onto the map engraved on the command token, and with an intention of his will, the great roc descended downwards. The great roc and Di Tian were essentially one and the same; they could share thoughts and intentions. They were a single entity, not two.
The raging wind whistled as the great roc landed on one of the mountains. Qin Wentian stared at the path ahead as he commanded, “The rest of you just wait here. The great roc will go up with me.”
After the others descended, Qin Wentian and the great roc walked up the mountains. They didn’t fly, but chose to walk up step-by-step instead.
The mountain paths were treacherous, but to a Stellar Martial Cultivator, the rocky terrain didn’t pose any difficulty. Although Qin Wentian was walking upwards, his speed remained the same. A single human and a single demon soon arrived at the peak. Over here, there was a simple and dilapidated house. Outside the house, there was a old man in tattered clothing sitting cross-legged on the ground, silently in meditation.
Qin Wentian and the great roc stood before the old man without speaking. The old man also sat quietly there, with his eyes closed, as though nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Several moments passed before the lips of the old man moved, “Since you are here, why don’t you say something?”
“My name is Di Tian.” Qin Wentian retrieved the Azure Emperor Token as he spoke. The eyes of the old man abruptly snapped over as he stared at Qin Wentian as well as the great roc standing beside him, before fixing his gaze onto the Azure Emperor Token. It was only after a long moment before that old man stood up, before he entered the house and didn’t come out for a long time. When he finally exited, that old man had a baggage with him on his back.
“I heard that the Punishment Branch had undergone huge changes through these thousands of years, and currently, only one person remained. Yet, he still waited here, waiting for the day the successor appears, living in seclusion from the rest of the world.” Qin Wentian took a step forward, with respect in his tone.
“Although I am but one man, I can also represent my entire branch. For generations past, and generations that will come, the staff of punishment is for the descendants of my clan to wield. Now, i’m willing to follow the young master of Di Clan, to claim back what was once lost.” That old man bowed towards Qin Wentian. Qin Wentian nodded lightly as he climbed onto the back of the great roc. “Let’s go.”
The great roc zoomed downwards after the old man climbed onto its back, returning to the original location where it stopped.
Those from the White Deer Institute and Zong Clan stared at the old man, both of their factions had no idea of this old man’s existence, and at this moment, they couldn’t help but seriously contemplate him. They saw a baggage in the shape of a long staff behind his back, and upon hearing that the old man was the descendant of the Punishment Branch during the Azure Emperor’s era, their countenances all couldn’t help but changed.
“Let’s go.” Qin Wentian’s voice was extremely calm. All of them climbed onto the great roc as it soar through the skies again. Those on the back of the great roc still had yet to recover from their shock. Di Tian seemed to be moving too fast. After Qin Wentian handed over authority to him, he acted with the fastest of speeds, wanting to gather and unite the remnants of the ‘hidden’ Azure Faction together.
Earlier, Qin Wentian had beseeched Fairy Qingmei to do some investigation on each of the hidden factions. If not, he too wouldn’t have known that the Punishment Branch underwent such huge changes.
The current him, with the Azure Emperor Token in his hands, decided to step up and take command.
In the Spirit Continent, located in a remote corner of Grand Xia, the land was of extremely poor quality here, unsuitable for life. Numerous danger zones surrounded the Spirit Continent, yet those from the Spirit Continent reveled in it. They were all intrepid heroes at heart and found it easier to grow in the midst of such dangerous environments.
In the northern region of the Spirit Continent was a land filled with snow and ice. This region was extremely vast and was known as the Arctic Ice Region. Over here, cultivators, who had an affinity to ice and snow, could be found everywhere. This place was like a cultivation heaven to them; it was far easier to gain insights and master ice-attributed arts in here.
The Ice Spirit Sect already had a thousand year history in the Arctic Ice Region. The history of the sect began with a few maidens, before finally evolving up to now where they had over tens of thousands of disciples. However, regardless of the occasion, the Ice Spirit Sect had always maintained a low profile and wouldn’t antagonise others, preferring to live by themselves, disregarding the outside world only focusing on nurturing their strength. Hence, although many other sects feared the Ice Spirit Sect, because of the sect’s philosophy, none of the other major powers made a move against it.
And in this region of ice and snow, in a location where many ancient structures could be seen, there were currently several maidens walking about there. Despite their light clothing, it was as though they couldn’t feel the cold at all.
“Senior sister, look over there!”
At this moment, one of the maidens stared up at the skies as an expression of shock appeared on her face. In the air, there were a total of eight silhouettes descending.
The young man in the lead projected an extraordinary demeanor while the seven behind him all exuded a powerful aura, giving off a feeling that it was unwise to make them into enemies.
“Report this to the sect leader quickly.” The silhouettes of some of the maiden flickered as they vanished. The disciples of the Ice Spirit Sect were all maidens, the art they cultivated were only suitable for female.
“Who are the lot of you?” At this moment, a middle-aged woman appeared, inquiring as she stared at Qin Wentian and the rest.
“Where is the sect leader of the Ice Spirit Sect?” Zong Yi spoke. His voice was calm, yet radiating a sharpness within as a surge of sword might emanated forth from him, permeating the entire region.
“Sir, do you have any business with me?” At this moment, a voice drifted over. Qin Wentian and the rest turned their gazes onto the horizon as a woman walked over. The appearance of this woman was young, around thirty years of age. Her skin was like snow, as an aura of coldness emanated forth from her.
“The Azure Emperor.”
Qin Wentian’s lips murmured, transmitting a voice message to the woman. Instantly, Bing Yuchan’s countenance changed abruptly, as she spoke, “Come with me.”
After speaking, she turned and walk away. Qin Wentian and the rest followed after her, arriving in front of a majestic ice statue. The features of this ice statue were incredibly vivid and life-like. It was as though a beauty had been frozen solid in the ice.
“Is this the ice soul of the Ice Spirit Sect’s Ancestor?” Qin Wentian glanced at the ice statue as he asked.
“Mhm, the ancestor didn’t recover from her stupor after she learnt of the Azure Emperor’s death. She instructed the others to seal her soul into ice, as a symbol of remembrance of this grudge. One day, if the successor of the Azure Emperor were to come here, he must personally destroy this ice statue. The disciples of the Ice Spirit Hall doesn’t follow her, but the successor instead.” Bing Yuchan explained. Qin Wentian took out the Azure Emperor Token. Bing Yuchan involuntarily trembled upon seeing it but soon dipped into a bow as she greeted, “Bing Yuchan greets the young master.”
“The heavens can witness how deep the Ice Spirit Sect’s Ancestor’s feelings were for the Azure Emperor,” Qin Wentian faintly remarked. “Relay my orders, this ice statue shall remain here for all eternity, no one can destroy it. Choose three strongest disciples of the Ice Spirit Sect and follow me. Thereafter, commence with the dissolution of the Ice Spirit Sect, and head over to the Celestial Lake Palace in the Demon Mountain City of the Demon Continent. Fairy Qingmei will receive the rest of your sect members there.”
Upon hearing the name of Fairy Qingmei, Bing Yuchan’s countenance changed slightly. But she soon nodded her head, “Allow me to make the arrangements.”
After some moments, Bing Yuchan and two other maidens from the Ice Spirit Sect appeared before Qin Wentian. The eyes of those from the Ice Spirit Sect couldn’t help but narrow when they took note of the great roc, yet they didn’t question too much before climbing onto it.
Qin Wentian spoke, “My name is Di Tian, you guys should have already heard of the rumors floating around Grand Xia. There’s no mistake, this great roc is Qin Wentian. He is then the true successor of the Azure Emperor. However, as he is in the form a great roc, everything will be handled by me. He and I hold the same level of authority. However, do not spread this matter, only members of the ‘hidden’ Azure Factions have the qualifications to know.”
“I hear and obey,” Bing Yuchan nodded. Qin Wentian didn’t continue speaking. This trip to the Ice Spirit Sect was extremely successful; despite the passing of years, they were still loyal to the Azure Emperor. But of course, the fact that there were so many powerful cultivators around Qin Wentian also somewhat influenced their decision. If it was that young man who came to the sect alone, just like how he entered the White Deer Institute when he was in Moon Continent, it was impossible that things would go so smoothly.
Within Grand Xia, there was a country named the Skythunder Country. This country did not fall under the administration of any of the transcendent powers, and their level of strength was extremely high in comparison.
In the past, this country was not named the Skythunder Country. But about eight hundred years ago, the Skythunder Clan suppressed the then Royal Clan, and it took over the Emperor’s Authority. In a violent war, they plundered the rights of rulership, and changed the name of the country to the Skythunder Country. Throughout these eight hundred years, the Skythunder Country had constantly expanded and annexed three other smaller countries, causing their strength to rise as a whole.
The royal clan of the Skythunder Country was also extremely intelligent, proffering immense benefits to attract powerful cultivators from all around. Even if it was experts at the Heavenly Dipper level, the Skythunder Country possessed many of them.
Today, Qin Wentian and the rest arrived in the borders of Skythunder Country. After they stepped down, they didn’t immediately make their way to the Royal Palace, but rather, they went to the ruins left behind by the Skythunder Aristocrat Clan in the great war eight hundred years ago. This place used to be the residence of the Skythunder Clan then, but not a person remained here now. Glancing at the scars on the land, a terrifying cold intent erupted in Qin Wentian’s eyes.
Regarding the ‘hidden’ branches of the Azure Faction, it was understandable that throughout the years, some of them have already been swallowed by the river of time. Right now, other than the remnants he had already gathered, the Skythunder Aristocrat Clan was the last remaining remnant.
Yet, it seems that the descendents of the Skythunder Clan had long forgotten the ancestral edicts, instead of keeping a low profile and waiting for the successor, they took high profile actions, conspiring to increase their power, turning the Skythunder Aristocrat Clan into the Skythunder Country of today.
Seeing the ruins where the Skythunder Aristocrat Clan used to be at, a fearsome pressure gushed forth from Qin Wentian. It seems that the Skythunder Aristocrat Clan had long forsaken their roots and wanted to fly up high in their own independence.
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