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Above the Eastern Continent’s eastern coastline with Down Ocean.
“Elder sister Beking”, Admiral Hamumni called for the figure reaching from the horizon.
“Hamumni”, General Beking greeted, but her attention was entirely focused on the silvery foam atop the turbid ocean. “I can sense them, too, even outside the ocean… the undulation in the water carry the fluctuations of their energy. This potency I’ve only witnessed Immortals exhibit”. She talked to herself, frowning, before turning to Admiral Hamumni. “You were supposed to be checking the Heavy Water Pools, so I’m not sure if you felt it, but a little while ago the second apparition of the Godly Law Template emerged in Rising City”.
“What?!” Admiral Hamumni gasped in shock, showing off her rows tiny, sharp teeth. “Should we not head there immediately? What about the others?”
“Do you want to wrangle with that man?” General Beking.
“Zax Zel…” Admiral Hamumni sure knew to whom she was referring. “It all of us combined, display our rightful prestige, he won’t be stupid. We shall coerce him into a verbal agreement”.
“Well, that’s an option, not a good one, but the possibilities are already exhausted. We’ll cross that bridge due time. Now help me observe what’s happening in the ocean. If the Spirits are coming out, our only priority would the summon help”.
Nodding gravely, Admiral Hamumni shifted her eyeless face backwards and extended her pearly four long tentacles. “How long should we keep watch?” She asked, but General Beking had no concrete answer, hence she maintained her silence.
“Again, those two don’t show up?!” Horn Kikon – in his three meters tall, four armed golden, man – grunted upon meeting General Logan.
“Perhaps the second apparition caused a reaction in the Down Ocean. We will go there later. This apparition had yet to dissipate. Let’s take the opportunity, before Northstar and Silternjan’s arrival, to attempt tracing from it the actual location of the Godly Law Template”.
The pair hovered in the air domain of Rising City. Without being noticed, their auras spread out along their Sublime Soul Senses. Gradually they were drawn to the pathway to New Earth.
“As I suspected”. General Logan grimaced.
“What are you afraid of?” Horn Kikon said as if he read his mind. “This reaction of yours… Are you implying that my presence is insufficient to take a stand in his territory?!”
Ever since the incident in the Grand Abode, it was evident to all leaders of the five powers that none among them is a match to Zax. However, only one of them took the realization as a self inflicted insult.
Eventually, Horn Kikon’s Youyue ego refused to resign to the fact, and worst, was itching for a reason to scrap his deeply buried doubts and prove otherwise.
General Logan glared at Horn Kikon, but refrained from commenting to either of his questions. “If we traced it to somewhere in the vicinity of Rising City, then just the two of use would’ve been the preferable way. Instead, things got complicated... Let’s wait for Northstar and Silternjan”.
“Coward”. Horn Kikon spat. “I’ll show you… how low is your judgment. And you call yourself a ‘Soul cultivator’”.
“Kikon, Logan”, by the mere sight of the two aimlessly hovering above Rising City, rather than madly looking for clues about the Godly Law Template, Archbishop Silternjan and Cardinal Northstar assessed that an issue requiring their cooperation has risen.
“Oh, New Earth!” Cardinal Northstar was the first to track the second apparition.
“So that’s why you were waiting for us”. Archbishop Silternjan amiably smiled. “Sadly, I have to disappoint you. Our visit is merely a retrieval of a young and very adventurous postulant”.
Cardinal Northstar nodded, as he joined in on the excuse and for once, for the first time in months, was glad Sister Iaura was taken by Zax. Naturally, the prerequisite to muster this sort of happiness was the information, acquired by Archbishop Silternjan, which claimed the multi personalities lass is being treated cordiality.
“The little girl, Iaura, was abducted right in front of you. According to my intel, you and Stelero Mars received a beating before Zax Zel departed. Now you want to pretend that there is no hostility between you and him?” General Logan snorted.
“There is no profound friendship, but a while ago we reconciled”. Archbishop Silternjan gave an aged smug of “no worries”.
The four descended for the pathway in Rising City leading to New Earth.
“The formation guarding the entrance can only be opened by its operators, those two first level Martial Mortals”. Archbishop Silternjan pointed at the fenced area with small border control buildings. “Logan, are you and Kikon intending to barge in?” He and Cardinal Northstar had a pretext for going through the standard procedure; however due to the border crossing’s schedule it would be too slow. Therefore, Archbishop Silternjan enticed whichever of the two who listened to shorten the process by committing an invasion.
“We are here for the Godly Law Template, you are for the postulant. Always so cunning, fanatics of the Holy Palace, you select disunity when a mutual foe is ahead of us...” General Logan sudden chuckle made Archbishop Silternjan and Cardinal Northstar uncomfortable. “Kikon, time is of the essence; let’s not waste more of it”.
Two shiny runes shot from General Logan’s pupils for the two formation’s operators, who before even noticing, were struck with ashen countenances.
“Open the formation”. General Logan ordered and the two, as if in a state of dream, followed the course determined by the surrounding.
Instantly, General Logan and Horn Kikon rushed past the formation into the pathway.
“Imbeciles”. Horn Kikon sneered.
“What!” Archbishop Silternjan lividly swallowed the remark and watched as the formation closed with him and Cardinal Northstar still outside.
“Silternjan, what he did…!” Cardinal Northstar was no less surprise and aggrieved.
A fifth level Martial Mortal could easily burrow the mind and hypnotize a first level Martial Mortal, but without being proficient in the field of the soul, but depending on the object’s cultivation level, certain demands are impossible to impose.
General Logan’s feats, on the other hand, did not compel the two operators by manipulating the difference in their and his strength, but by using the attainment in the soul he gained from understanding his attribute.
“The apparitions of the Godly Law Template progressively making us reveal our trump cards”. Archbishop Silternjan regained his composure. “Kikon, Hamumni, now Logan…”
Using a simple palm strike, he punched a hole in the formation and brought an end to the charade.
“Northstar, Sister Iaura is your responsibility”. Archbishop Silternjan said and crossed the threshold to New Earth.
Quiet but closing in from behind, Cardinal Northstar was ready to respond in accordance to the order of priorities.
A crack yet still blackness, white light yet still not colors. By the time Zax got back to himself minutes have gone by, hours and days for someone of his caliber.
He and Bin Bin had not left the chamber, but the Godly Law Template’s aura was near depletion and the illusionary plate completely vanished.
‘Is he out cold, busy meditating or something else?’ Seeing Bin Bin dully sitting on the ground, Zax pondered. ‘There is no sign of harm’. Reaching the conclusion that he can manage on his own, Zax decided to leave the chamber.
The second Savage Cave’s gravitational and savage forces had yet to return and possibly were vanquished indefinitely. Uncertain, Zax carried Bin Bin to the entrance of the cave and proceeded onwards alone.
‘These auras!’ Upon exiting the first Savage Cave’s, Zax’s face contracted.
His flight reached a screeching halt that caused the wind the howl and the same happened in front of him, by the four figures coming at his direction.
“How valiant…” Infuriated, Zax uttered slowly in a menacing tone.
Killing intent gushed all around as the surrounding worldly attribute energies were in disarray.
Archbishop Silternjan, Cardinal Northstar, General Logan and Horn Kikon swiftly encircled Zax, but while the latter two entered a combat stance, the former ones dispersed their auras.
“Zax, Cardinal Northstar and I are here to retrieve Sister Iaura!” Archbishop Silternjan abruptly shouted. “Logan and Kikon forcefully breached the pathway’s formation”. He pushed the blame.
Neither General Logan nor Horn Kikon argued. At this stage it was pointless.
‘Kikon, wait’. General Logan pleaded. “Zax, we did not mean to make a disturbance. I and Kikon were simply overwhelmed and attracted by the phenomenon stemming from your New Earth. Northstar and Silternjan”, he glanced at the two. “Where in this cave is your postulant situated?”
“So what?!” Zax bellowed. General Logan did not explicitly say it, but he knew the lot’s real goal, hence, whatever manner they tried to justify their presence in New Earth was useless. “Anything that occurs in New Earth, for good or worse, is under my jurisdiction. Your assistance is unnecessary or wanted. Now get lost!”
“Zax-” Archbishop Silternjan opened.
“Iaura is free to leave. She doesn’t need your escort”. Zax shut him up.
“Logan…” The muscles on Horn Kikon’s four arms bulged as he pulled them aside. Zax’s killing intent goaded his already belligerent temper to break the last sliver of restraint.
“ROAR!” In a flash, the golden man disappeared, replaced by a nightmarish monstrosity towering over three hundred meters.
A huge dragon claw plunged for Zax.
Archbishop Silternjan and Cardinal Northstar used the opportunity to bypass Zax for the Savage Caves, where the Godly Law Template’s aura still lingered.
Moment later General Logan joined them. Even if he wanted or could enter the fray, he was oath bound to Zax. If Zax will ask as aid against Horn Kikon, his Voltic Star’s compatriot, rarest of all beasts, might actually meet his demise.
With the back of his hand, Zax deflected the giant claw and gave a scornful side look to the fleeing three. Other than its scattering aura, there was nothing of the Godly Law Template in the second Savage Cave. Their idiotic endeavor is bound to be for naught.
“In this form you are unable to fight me”. He resumed his confrontation with Horn Kikon, but mainly continued to block.
“Kikon, this is not an appropriate battleground for us”. It was a reminder as well as a warning.
Horn Kikon roared, executing strike after strike, venting more than wildly assaulting. His pride was trampled by Zax’s existence, but not his sanity.
For him this was a statement, one a repeated more than once, “I am a Youyue!”
“Tsk!” Zax clucked his tongue. Horn Kikon was the only opponent on this planet against whom threats would do the opposite effect. ‘I have to bear it’. He could not risk New Earth. He can repay this insult when the four will realize there is nothing for them in New Earth and leave.
The exchange scared off roaming beast and human experts. Small beasts’ tribes who sensed the terrifying fluctuations several caves away escaped, not knowing where would be far enough and whether their kind could survive there.
Soon, the last ripple of the Godly Law Template’s aura disappeared and as predicted, the trio returned with disgruntled mugs.
Zax and Horn Kikon separated.
“Please accept Luminous Church’s apology for our rudeness, Zax”. Archbishop Silternjan awkwardly smiled midflight. “For taking good care of our young postulant you have our most profound appreciation”. He then hurried to depart with the also awkwardly nodding Cardinal Northstar.
“You call this ‘no disturbance’?” Zax mockingly asked General Logan.
‘I owe you compensation’. General Logan transmitted and sent to Horn Kikon. ‘Come on. Since Beking and Hamumni did not show up by now, something most likely transpired in the Down Ocean and is yet to over‘.
Watching the four withdrawing, a glint of aspiration morphed into a brilliant thought in Zax’s mind. ‘This can be my chance…’
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