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Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“Come out, the Arcane. I know you are watching.”
Cloud Yi and Tiger Zhi waited. Then, a voice sounded in the darkness. “I’m trapped in the small world within the World Tree. I can’t go out. Why do you keep looking for me? Do you not know the old King’s punishment for me? I have to redeem myself here.”
Cloud Yi asked softly, “Are you involved in the matters outside?”
The Arcane chortled. “Are you trying to test me or hide something? Now, the only Puppet Masters who are free to move in the outside world are the two of you. So, who else knows the secrets of the world? Don’t tell me that you suspected that I broke free of the old King’s seal! What a joke! No one is powerful enough to do that, and neither can I.”
Cloud Yi frowned. “If it’s not you, why is their target so clear? The war is not supposed to target the Heavenly Network itself.”
The Arcane chuckled. “Let me ask you a question. On that rainy night 18 years ago, you charged thousands of miles along the valleys of the Changbai Mountains. I can’t resonate with your plight because I wasn’t the one being chased. But, I’ve always been confused about one thing… Are you sure that all the other Puppet Masters are dead? No offense intended, but are you really innocent?”
Are you sure all the other Puppet Masters are dead?
Cloud Yi did not reply. Years ago, seven Puppet Masters left the place with heavy responsibilities on their shoulders. In the end, two died there, and the remaining five arrived at the Earth. It was commonly believed that only four Puppet Masters had come to the Earth because the Arcane had never shown himself. But in fact, it was five.
Cloud Yi, Tiger Zhi, the Tear Tricker, the Dream Chooser and the Arcane.
These were the names conferred by the old King of Gods. Thus, their original names had long since been forgotten. Every Puppet Master had a personal history that they did not want to revisit, and they felt reborn with the new names.
The Arcane said, “Tear Tricker left after he placed the new King at a family’s doorstep. But I don’t think it’s him. Else, the new King would have been dead then. But how about the Dream Chooser? Did he die in front of you?”
Cloud Yi recalled pieces of memories from the past. The Dream Chooser stayed to block the Golden Foundation so that the two of them could have time to flee.
Indeed, they had no evidence whether the Dream Chooser had been killed in the battle. They had been searching for clues for the past 18 years, but with no luck. Even the Golden Foundation had no concrete answers for them.
“Like what I mentioned, how did the Golden Foundation know our exact location? Have you ever considered the possibility that someone had returned to this land of forefathers ahead of us?!” The Arcane’s voice was frosty as ice. “Recently, I’ve been recalling repeatedly over every single detail of that year. Then, I realized that the Dream Chooser had been behaving abnormally before we breached the fortress. During that period of time, he had lowered his power class, though he had concealed it well.”
Sadness crossed Tiger Zhi’s face. “We had our golden days. Yet, we are questioning one another now.”
But Cloud Yi was more determined than the two men. Before she walked out, she said, “Whoever it is, he has to pay the price. The return of the new King is not complete without fresh blood.”
It was 1 August. The Changbai Mountains were covered in lush vegetation. The temperature was rising as heat radiated from the bare ground under the sun, but it was still freezing at night.
The newly-constructed fortress stood magnificently on the slope of Tiger Back. From afar, it looked like a masterpiece of art. Its sharp edges bespoke power and strength.
Meanwhile, members of the Darkness Kingdom had left the temporary military base and were heading elsewhere, as if they had other tasks ahead.
The group trekked across the undulating terrains slowly and intentionally kept their distance from the Tiger Back fortress. They marched towards the central areas of the Changbai Mountains.
“We could have taken a shorter path,” a member of the team complained.
“Be patient,” replied another man, “Although Shen Cang Jing will not make any reckless moves as he has to consider the order of the world, energy waves within a radius of hundreds of miles from him can never evade his attention. This is one of the mysteries about Shen Cang Jing. Thus, let’s take it slow. I have waited for ten years and I don’t mind waiting for another few days.”
That silenced everyone in the team. Suddenly the leader stopped and gazed at the mountains in the distance. “Everything is about to end”
The Tiger Back fortress had an extraordinary appearance. It stood tall in the mountain range and had seemingly assimilated with parts of the slope.
The fortress was surrounded by extremely tall walls. Scientific calculations had been used by the engineers for the walls to ensure their height could bar peak-Class C’s from entry.
However, the construction of the defense system had become more challenging with the increase in the average powers of their enemies. Nevertheless, the Heavenly Network had taken that into consideration as well. They had extracted all the stones and chopped down all the trees in the neighboring areas.
Speaking from an environmentally friendly aspect, this would endanger the local ecosystem. However, survival for humans always came first before environmental friendliness.
Sitting in the commander module, Li Yixiao said, “From what I can see, those secret practitioners are not really willing to risk their lives in fighting against us. Why don’t we persuade them to work for us?”
“Unrealistic,” Nalan Que rebutted, “What do you have to offer? How can you attract them to the Heavenly Network?”
“Are they not already starving! Let them in and we’ll cater food for them!” said Li Yixiao.
“Are you an idiot? How can you squeeze 100,000 people in our fortress? Besides, you may not even notice if a few thousands of Metahumans from the large organizations have blended in as well. By then, we do not even have to defend against enemies from outside the walls, but inside too. I personally would rather watch as they die outside our fortress,” said Nalan Que with a look of contempt, “Please save your brains for more innovative ideas of how to hide your secret purse.”
Chen Zuan said, “I wonder where Brother Shu is. In fact, we don’t have to worry about military strategies as people like You Mingyu and Hao Zhichao will settle them well. We are laymen in strategic decisions but the think tank are the experts. I’m more interested in how Brother Shu is doing.”
At this moment, Lu Xiaoyu, Lu Shu and Cao Qingci were not in the module. No one knew their whereabouts. As a result, Chen Zuan and Cheng Qiuqiao became the only two Species Research students in the room. Now that Chen Zuan had lost all his game coins, things had started to get boring…
“Save the concern for yourself,” said Cheng Qiuqiao, “This time, Brother Shu has escaped unharmed after killing seven Class B’s in a row at Port Artyom. He doesn’t need your concern.”
By then, Lu Shu’s splendid war record had been reported to the Heavenly Network. It was a piece of morale-boosting news indeed.
It had elicited a deep sense of admiration from within the Heavenly Network. As the ninth Heavenly King who had once killed a pseudo-Class A, Lu Shu had lived up to his magnificent reputation.
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