Yuan's Ascension - C.291: Lowly Eldritch

Yuan's Ascension

C.291: Lowly Eldritch

Ten months ago, Wu Yuan had harnessed his Soul Force and essentia to control nine lifebound flying swords, killing Jin Quan in a single strike, and thus proving the power of the Dark Earth Sword Array.

Since that day, Wu Yuan had progressed from the second-stage Qi Sea phase to the third, fortifying his soul, and thereby enhancing the power of the sword array.

One could say that even a fifth-stage Golden Core cultivator who grasped a Domain would struggle to withstand the full force of Wu Yuan's strike.

The strike from the divine sword sent the approaching black figure hurtling backwards like a meteor cast into the outer reaches of space.

Yet, to Wu Yuan's astonishment, no discernible cracks marred the black figure.

At the same time, two muffled thuds echoed through the chamber as the divine sword grazed past the two remaining puppets, sending them crashing into the walls violently.

Harrowing shockwaves collided within the narrow chamber.

However, upon colliding with the wall, the figures rebounded in a flash, raising their arms to attack Wu Yuan.

Swish! Swish! A flurry of blade rays materialized.

What grade of battle puppet is this? Wu Yuan gasped inwardly.

The puppets attacked with such agility that Wu Yuan found himself scarcely able to react.

Swish~ Swish~ The blades danced, their metallic clash echoing in the air.

Wu Yuan's illusory divine sword rippled, but managed to withstand the onslaught of the two black puppets.

Though Sword Array Assembly was just the first step of the Dark Earth Sword Array, it wasn’t so easily shattered.

What a fierce assault. Wu Yuan could feel the impact of the force striking the array.

Such forceful impacts would be fatal to a ninth-stage Qi Sea cultivator. Even a Golden Core cultivator would suffer grave wounds. But Wu Yuan was a body refiner, and he shrugged off the impact as though it were a mere nuisance.

"Attack! Kill him!" The red-haired child continued to incite the puppets.

The three black puppets lunged at Wu Yuan once more, their razor-sharp arms slashing at him.

The illusory divine sword enveloped in earthy yellow light met their attacks head on.

Boom! Boom! Boom! Dozens of blows were exchanged in the span of a single moment, causing the entire chamber to tremble faintly. Yet, neither side could gain the upper hand.

Amazingly, the walls bore no scars from the ferocious battle taking place.

The attack power of these puppets isn’t too high, but their resilience is unmatched. Each collision leaves no visible marks on their sturdy exteriors. Wu Yuan observed with growing worry as the fight continued.

Escape was not an option.

Though the three puppets were repeatedly sent flying during each clash, they guarded the entrance firmly, leaving Wu Yuan with no avenue for retreat.

"You can’t escape, you’re doomed!" the red-haired child taunted.

Wu Yuan didn’t bother replying.

Sword array, assemble! Nine green flying swords, each exuding a powerful aura, materialized around Wu Yuan, then arranged themselves in an array formation.

The array was one of the four sword arrays he acquired from Jin Quan, along with the nine sixth-grade wind-type flying swords.

Though they were not a perfect match for Wu Yuan’s attribute and far less powerful than lifebound flying swords, Wu Yuan was still able to unleash incredible power when he channeled all his strength into the array.

Go! The nine flying swords seamlessly melded into a single entity, morphing into a divine blade woven with green and earthy yellow qi streams, striking one of the puppets.

Despite the puppet's persistent attacks, it found itself outmatched by the new sword array conjured by Wu Yuan.

Instantly, the pressure on his lifebound flying sword array lessened significantly.

Do these puppets have no weaknesses? Wu Yuan's gaze turned frigid.

Though he appeared uninjured, controlling two sword arrays simultaneously took a huge toll on his soul and mana.

Jin Quan had so many flying sword artifacts, yet why did he refrain from deploying them back then? The answer lay in the strength of his soul, or lack thereof.

Similar to how a massive army wouldn’t be able to exhibit its full might without ample provisions and equipment, 30% of Wu Yuan’s essentia was already drained after just one breath of fighting with three black puppets.

Despite his third-degree immortal root, he was only a third-stage Qi Sea cultivator. The simultaneous manipulation of numerous flying swords demanded an astonishing amount of energy.

Hm? Surprise flicked in Wu Yuan's eyes.

The three puppets came to a sudden halt, landing on the ground. Their crimson eyes closed shut. They remained motionless, as though slipping into a deep slumber.

What’s going on? Wu Yuan immediately went on high alert, casting a wary glance toward the red-haired, horned child nearby.

At that moment, the child’s complexion was ashen.

"Haha! Haha!" The child erupted into bitter laughter. “If not for the fact that all reserves of ethercrystal have been depleted to sustain the operation of the Yanqing Hall over the years, rendering these fourth-grade puppets unable to unleash their full abilities, how could you have lasted this long?"

"Lowly eldritch, you’ve won.” The red-haired child locked eyes with Wu Yuan, a sense of defiance and despair etched on his features.

Wu Yuan listened silently, though he was inwardly perplexed.

Lowly eldritch? The spirit was at odds with him not because he slayed Jin Quan, but because he was an eldritch cultivator?

Simultaneously, the artifact spirit seemed to have broken down mentally.

"Haha, I have failed my master's expectations. His successor lies dead, and eventually, even the Yanqing Hall will fall into a disgusting eldritch’s hands.”

Though it was a mere apparition, the red-haired, horned child appeared lifelike, portraying vivid emotions. Even illusory tears trickled from his eyes.

"Eldritch brat. You may be strong, but you can forget about gaining anything from this place. And I will never recognize you as my owner!" The child screamed.

Silently, the illusory figure of the child detonated, disintegrating into a myriad of light particles that dispersed into the air.

Wu Yuan stood frozen as the small chamber regained its stillness once more.

A beat passed before Little Black's voice reverberated in his mind. "Master, it appears that this artifact spirit has chosen to self-destruct," the words echoed solemnly.

"Self-destruct? Suicide?" Wu Yuan sighed inwardly. He knew that not all artifact spirits possessed the same level of intelligence. Some simply followed orders without question, lacking the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

But there were others who were intelligent and could exhibit a range of emotions. They could experience joy, anger, sorrow, and happiness.

For example, the realm master could adapt according to different situations as long as he didn’t violate the operating principles. Meanwhile, this red-haired, horned child, despite his youthful appearance, had existed for countless millenia. It was clear that it was deeply loyal to its owner.

Artifact spirits obey the orders of their owners. It seems that this Reverand Qing Yan is an enemy of the eldritch lineage, and it’s not a small grudge either.

Even when encountering an eldritch he had never met before, he wanted to kill me immediately.

Meanwhile, Jin Quan should be the true successor of Reverend Qing Yan.

With the red-haired child gone and Jin Quan dead, these secrets would be buried in the annals of time, lost forever.

The legacy left by Reverand Qing Yan has also been severed.

Wu Yuan realized that this was the norm. Revivals were rare. Destruction and complete severance were the way things usually went.

As for Wu Yuan? He wasn't Reverand Qing Yan’s successor. In fact, one might even call him the destroyer of the Amethyst Cradle Reverand’s legacy.

In the future, I must be more careful when exploring.

He wouldn't naively believe that all relic creators had neutral or good intentions. Some powerful cultivators delighted in destroying new geniuses. Some cultivators, full of resentment towards the world before their death, would deliberately set up a killing array in their grotto specifically to kill those who entered. Some harbored extreme hatred for cultivators of a certain sect.

If a weaker eldritch cultivator had entered the Yanqing Hall, they might have died. Wu Yuan was only able to survive due to his strength.

The artifact spirit can choose to self-detonate, but obliterating the entire Yanqing Hall is outside his capabilities. Wu Yuan maintained his composure, allowing his Soul Force to spread out as he continued to decipher the cryptic patterns on the walls.

There was a nagging concern in his mind that the red-haired child had feigned its suicide, and had prepared other traps for him. However, in Wu Yuan and Little Black's understanding, once someone took over the control center of an artifact and claimed ownership, the artifact would be completely under their control.

Seconds and minutes ticked by. A quarter of an hour later, a low hum resonated through the vast hall and it began to tremble, as if expressing elation.

"Master, you’ve managed to claim ownership?" Little Black exclaimed. "This hall is a type of high-grade spirit equipment, getting it to recognize you as its owner is not easy at all."

"Mm. I’m its owner now," Wu Yuan confirmed with a faint smile. The speed of this process was owed to his formidable soul.

Perceive! Wu Yuan's consciousness delved into the hall’s core, swiftly mapping out every nook and cranny. The grand structure unveiled itself, revealing its core and various halls - from the main hall, puppet hall, meditation chamber...It consisted of dozens of halls.

The entire hall is, in fact, a grotto flying boat crafted with great effort by Reverend Qing Yan?

Flying boat artifacts came in diverse forms, each with its unique purpose. Some were tailored for swift journeys, etched with intricate arrays to enhance speed. Others were designed for cargo, featuring expansive compartments and even collapsible spaces for storage. Civilization flying boats could house entire populations of mortals, sheltering a civilization within their walls.

Then there were the military flying boats, armed to the teeth with powerful weaponry. Wu Yuan had gleaned from ancient texts that certain legendary iterations could decimate a world with a single strike.

The grotto flying boats, however, boasted versatility. They provided defense, mobility, and an array of specialized chambers for extended cultivation sessions.

A second-grade grotto flying boat is worth about as much as Luminous Immortal Soil. Wu Yuan was inwardly astonished.

This flying boat was the most valuable treasure left behind by Reverend Qing Yan. Compared to a second-grade flying sword, the Yanqing Hall held far more value; they were simply not in the same league.

Ethercrystal reserves depleted? Wu Yuan finally realized why the red-haired child had been so reluctant to self-destruct. The puppet hall at the lower level of the flying boat housed eight guardian puppets, all fourth-grade Blackrock Puppets. These puppets boasted a strength comparable to a ninth-grade Spiritual Body cultivator (ninth-degree immortal root). Their combat power was exceptional.

However, being non-living puppets, they could not independently absorb spiritual qi. Once they engaged in battle, their energy consumption was staggering, beyond what etherstone could sustain. Only the purest ethercrystal could activate them.

Unfortunately, the passage of time had depleted the once abundant ethercrystal reserves within the Yanqing Hall. The remainder was only enough for three Blackrock Puppets to operate briefly.

This explained why the red-haired child had initially tried to deceive Wu Yuan into leaving. It was hoping to preserve the precious ethercrystal.

This is? Suddenly, Wu Yuan detected a mysterious space directly beneath the flying boat.

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