Paragon of Sin

Chapter 443: Status of Alchemists

Wei Wuyin slowly walked towards True Desolate, taking in the grand and much welcomed sight of active civilization, the grand temple, and the surrounding golden sand. Every breath he took was different than outside the golden sand, less stuffy and harsh, filled with a pleasant smell and feeling as astral essence entered his body. 

”A peaceful cultivation land in a world filled with death and desolation, to be considered a Holy City is quite apt. ” This was the first time Wei Wuyin truly realized why this location was so highly regarded by humans and elves alike. Even the underground cities were devoid of such rich astral essence, still having a faint lingering scent of desolation within it.

At his right and left were travelers of all types, from experts to low-level cultivators trekking the perilous lands searching for salvation and opportunity. True Desolate had to have at least a few million within the numerous buildings around the base of the mountain, living there and awaiting the day of the trial, with more walking about actively searching for one thing or another.

Awed by this discovery, he soon reached a hub of activity and was washed by the surge of foot traffic. It didn ’t take long for him to mingle with the locals and visitors, his handsome appearance and abnormal black outfit standing out. Most wore grey, white, or gold, lighter colors than black. 

Despite standing out, no one admonished him for it or showed him any contempt. He was welcomed with a smile wherever he went and learned quite a lot. While the visitors were less talkative, especially the experts, the locals that resided in the city were brimming with energy and excitement. It was quite infectious.

”The Holy Ceremony of Divine Bestowal happens in a few hours! The entire city is teeming with the divine blessing! I feel like today is the day we have a new Holy Son! Or Daughter! ” 

”So many experts are here! I heard from a friend that not only are the leaders of the humans and Grey Sands Elven tribe here, but all the nine candidates are here as well! This will certainly be the grandest Holy Ceremony in the history of the Desolate Lands! ”

”Grand Kings? Elven Leaders? I saw them all enter the True Desolate Temple a while back, but they didn ’t seem THAT impressive, y ’know? I bet I can take ’em. ”

The world was aflutter with gossip and hope, feeling as if today was the day a Holy Son or Daughter will grace the Desolate Lands. Wei Wuyin was similarly intrigued by this.

He soon learned about the Holy Ceremony of Divine Bestowal. According to the well-informed old hands in the city, the Holy Ceremony was a competition, and it was an extremely simple competition yet notoriously difficult to enter.

The first requirement eliminated billions of experts and geniuses, requiring Elemental Origin Intent to be comprehended. The second requirement was even worse, as one could not be older than three hundred years of age. 

A typical Astral Core Realm expert at the lowest level and foundation had a lifespan of a little over a thousand years. The three hundred year restriction eliminated many individuals that dedicated their life to comprehending Elemental Origin Intent and only completing it after that limit was reached.

The third requirement for the Holy Ceremony was to be a Son or Daughter of Desolation, meaning they must comprehend Desolate Earth Intent. This was even harder, as comprehending nine standard-level intents, merging them together, and then comprehending a high-level Earth Intent all within three hundred years were not easy feats to accomplish. Even for a demonic genius.

The past ceremonies held all had three or less candidates, sometimes none, which was perfectly understandable. But this year there are a total of nine! 

After one reached all three requirements, they participated in three different competitions. As long as they beat all three competitions, they would be awarded the Badge of Divinity and the title of Holy Child.

When Wei Wuyin first heard about these trials, he originally believed one needed a Badge of Divinity to participate and claim another, but he was wrong. Anyone could participate, a Badge of Divinity was not required. Furthermore, his original intentions were scrapped.

He intended to wait for the competition to be completed, hijack the True Desolate arrays, and claim the Badge of Divinity by force and a hint of trickery. If it was obtained by a Holy Son or whatever, he would just plunder it from them. 

Unfortunately, he first discovered there were no offensive or defensive formations within the array of True Desolate, purely quality-of-life formations. Additionally, there were too many variables in these so-called Grand Kings and Leaders of the Grey Sands Elven Tribe, the Nine Great Elven Clan Masters. 

He suspected their strength reached the Eighth Stage of the Astral Core Realm, the Temporal Eye Phase, and he didn ’t have absolute confidence in escaping the pursuit of one, let alone a dozen and a half. Without a powerful array to lock them down, he would be in a precarious position.

As for plundering from the winner of the competition, that was his only option left considering the circumstances. It was reliable, and it ’ll be much easier to steal away the badge from a newly accomplished Holy Son or Daughter. If he wanted to keep a low-profile, this was the best approach. 

But…

Besides those discoveries, the details of the Holy Ceremony of Divine Bestowal was an open secret. Everyone knew what they tested, just not how great one needed to be to obtain recognition in each competition. The competitions themselves were extremely simple.

The first was a test of talent. It compared age to cultivation base. Each Astral Tribulation required comprehension and a strong foundation to assail, so your cultivation base in relation to your age was a good indication of relative talent.

The second was a test of cultivation foundation. It tested spiritual strength. The Astral Soul, or the Spirit of Cultivation, was the most defining aspect of one ’s foundation, and spiritual strength was defined by the combination of physical strength, mental strength, and purity of essence intermixed to form the Astral Soul. In much the same way spiritual energies were defined by physical, mental, and essence energies.

The third was a test of combat strength. While talent and cultivation foundation was important, a Holy Son or Daughter couldn ’t be lacking in martial might. If one ’s arts, spells, and control of astral force was lacking, then it ’ll be like a baby wielding a warhammer. You have the tools, just not the ability to effectively use them.

These tests might be difficult for others, some even lacking confidence in these areas, but he had complete confidence. Be it talent, foundation, or combat strength, he felt that he lacked none.

Wei Wuyin intended to shake things up, act against his innately low-profile nature, so he wasn ’t going to hide himself away! Let the entire world be aware of him, know that he was here! He was going to participate to become a Holy Son! 

—–

As Wei Wuyin was mingling about, making a world-shaking decision. Two individuals, a young woman and an old man, were playing a board game at a playground. A short distance away, the joyful exclamation of human and elven children resounded as they played freely and without worries. It was pure music to the ears.

The old man made a humming sound before he picked up a piece, causing the young woman ’s brows to twitch. When the piece was placed down, the young woman felt her body go soft as she reeled in her defeat. 

”Again! ” With battle spirit in her eyes, she didn ’t even bother waiting, resetting the board. 

The old man chuckled, slapping his knee. Then, his eyes glowed faintly as he turned his head. ”It seems that that youngster is back. ”

The young woman ’s movement abruptly halted, her eyes glowing too with the same brilliance. A twist of her lips showed her dissatisfaction.

The old man laughed with a hearty smile, ”It seems your plan isn ’t going to work. You have to discard that piece of yours and enter yourself or he ’ll obtain that badge. And if he obtains it, I ’m not making a move, hehe. ” 

The young woman ’s twist of the lips transformed into a pout. ”We just need one item, it ’s nothing much. We can trade for it. ” She briskly remarked, ignoring the old man, continuing to place piece after piece. 

”He ’s in the Spatial Resonance Phase, just like you. There ’s no way he ’s going to give it up willingly. In fact, that might be his objective. Are you sure you won ’t participate? ” The old man grinned, clearly up to something mischievous. 

”Already? ” She softly exclaimed, turning her glowing gaze upwards for a moment. Her cultivation prevented her from seeing the depths of Wei Wuyin ’s cultivation. After a long moment, she sighed. With a tone of annoyance, she said: ”Fine. ” 

The old man laughed, ”The Pawn is removed, and the Queen enters the field. ” 

However, he tried to peer into Wei Wuyin ’s depths earlier and discovered that he could no longer see exact details, only his cultivation level.

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