Paragon of Sin

Chapter 626 - 621: Everlasting Mark

The Aeternal Sky Starfield was divided into four directions: Northern Sky, Southern Sky, Eastern Sky, and Western Sky. The center of this division was the sole Solar Star that existed within the starfield, representing the essence of exceeding Mortal Limits with its exquisitely formed Mystic Radiance Belt.

The Aeternal Sky Starfield was extremely vast, but its territories were defined, absolutely clear, and without the slightest hint of ambiguity. The sixteen Mystic Tier forces divided the vast expanse into sixteen domains, and each domain was under the strict oversight of their respective forces.

All planets and lunar satellites were rigorously claimed, colonized, and used for the betterment of the society of cultivation. Yet the concept of independence still existed, with some forces being a part of a Domain yet apart from the Mystic Tier forces themselves.

These were special existences, however. These specific existences had true Ascended, not wanting to yield, yet not wishing to forgo the benefits of the Mystic Radiance Belt Solar Star. They might not be officially considered as true subordinates, but they were often considered as a portion of the forces overall fighting power.

However, while some forces consider these forces to be additional reserve power, others might consider them parasitic. This was especially so for these forces that existed during the nascent stages of one of the Mystic tier forces ’ reign. These forces had powers that rivaled or couldn ’t be ignored by these forces seeking to rule.

At the time, to affirm their rule without further conflict, they acceded certain territories within their domains to these special existences, such as rich life-bearing naturally-born planets or unique locations within the Dark Void that contained certain objects, such as asteroid belts that contained rare ores and materials.

They represented a portion of their wealth, a portion given away.

But it didn ’t stop at this. To ensure that betrayal was unlikely, these forces wanted assurances, and so the experts had given it. In the cultivation world, there were two well-known oaths. These oaths were the Heavenly Oath, an oath to the Heavenly Daos which, if failed to keep, would instill enormous amounts of misfortune in your life until your eventual death. This could even manifest into strange Heavenly Tribulations.

One moment, a cultivator could swear to not steal, and the next second as he pocketed an apple, he could turn into burnt dust, as if sundered by lightning with no witnesses. Cultivators heavily disliked taking Heavenly Oaths, because keeping it was extremely difficult, and the interpretation of whether a person keeps it isn ’t always consistent with reality.

For example, if a person swears a Heavenly Oath not to steal, they might be able to take all their family ’s property forcefully, even blatantly slaughtering their family to take it. But because it belongs to their family, including themselves, no matter if there was any legality of man involved, the Heavenly Daos will not see this as breaking the contract.

Furthermore, if you forced someone to give you an object, then their willingness to do so, even under the threat of death, wasn ’t considered stealing. Yet if that individual were to enter a forest ruled by a gigantic spider and tried to save its prey, this could be considered as stealing, and they ’ll have broken their oaths.

The ambiguity and nonsense involved frustrated far, far too many, so very few would do so unless the rules were extremely clear-cut. These would be Dao Companion Ceremonies or the like.

The second, which was the most commonly sworn oaths, was a mortal oath that was referred to as Spirit Oaths. These individuals swore oaths on their Spirits of Cultivation, and an unfathomable worldly law would shatter their Spirit of Cultivation if broken, crippling them. But this was also defined by oneself, and if one truly believed they didn ’t break the Spirit Oath, there would be no consequences.

An example was if a Spirit Oath was sworn yet the other was ignorant that a side had been completed. They would remain unaffected, and the arbitrator was solely themselves. Many cultivators with keen intelligence can use clever word-play to navigate around it.

Furthermore, these oaths weren ’t able to affect those genuine Ascended cultivators, and scaled with a cultivator ’s level, so external cultivators can directly intervene and prevent it from happening or directly destroy its mark on the Spirit of Cultivation if they ’re a numerous stages or a realm above the one who swore it.

These oaths had their flaws and their benefits. But there was a third oath, one that couldn ’t be erased, one that didn ’t have a third party act as an ambiguous judge of its own rules, and solely followed the oath ’s conditions and agreements. It was the strictest yet firmest type of oath, and one can swear this type of oath on themselves, their families, even their force, if they own it.

It was called the Mystical Oath. It was termed as such because it was truly mystical, and it affected all beings, including Mystic Ascendants. If broken, a worldly force would descend from the void that ’ll destroy the individual who broke it, regardless of what was sworn on this oath.

If one swore upon their lineage, then their direct lineage and those who considered themselves a part of that lineage would be drawn in, suffering equally until their inevitable demise. But it was also fair, as the majority at that time must agree.

It was more brutal than description, yet there was a certain relief that this oath provided. Yet for some of these Mystic Tier forces, there was no relief, only frustration and restrictions. This was especially so for the True Element Sect.

The history behind the True Element Sect was complicated, a little depressing, yet also one that championed resilience and cohesiveness.

Roughly forty thousand years ago from the present time, the True Element Sect beginnings started; Its name was the Lin Clan. They were a small family force that pursued the doctrine of Elemental Cultivation Methods. They forged their names with Elemental Intents, being known as the greatest Elemental Cultivators of their time.

At this time, the starfield, which wasn ’t even a hundredth of its current size, was named the Imperial Martial Starfield, ruled by the Imperial Clan of that time, and the initiators of the Imperial Clan hierarchy within the starfield that persisted into the present. They ruled with an ironfist and launched fierce territorial wars with other nearby starfields.

The ceaseless fighting and growing expansion gave them a terrifying and domineering reputation, especially with each decisive victory. And fighting beside them were several remarkable clans, such as the Lin Clan. They soon grew in strength, twenty thousand years later, they forged an indisputable territory with over ten Solar Stars.

Each star belonged to a conquered starfield that was absorbed into them, becoming a part of the Imperial Martial Starfield. The top forces gathered their Ascended and devised an ambitious plan that would eventually lead to their inevitable misfortune yet greatest fortune: Creating a Mystic Radiance Belt.

They used their own Solar Star as the foundation, the only naturally-formed Solar Star that had been birthed alongside the Stellar Region. They combined the other Solar Stars, gathered hundreds more from outside, and merged it with their own Solar Star. It was ambitious, too ambitious.

The act itself caused all sorts of issues to arise, and many Ascended died just during the merging process, let alone the number of Realmlords, Timelords, and Starlords. Still, the Imperial Clan at the time refused to settle, and proceeded despite the tearful pleas of others. To them, they were doing it for a better future.

The Ascended of that time worked themselves ragged, and after several centuries, the greatest formation in the Stellar Region was finally completed! The Mystic Radiance Belt ’s construction had even more sacrifices, especially those Ascended of the Imperial Clan, and it had succeeded, yet their tireless efforts brought scorn and hatred instead!

They had worked others like slaves imperiously, forced them to give up their lives for their ambitions despite the pleas, and the other experts soon banded together, using this moment of abject weakness to fight back! The Imperial Clan was hard-pressed, and their allies split, even their greatest ally, the Lin Clan, had fragmented internally.

One half established themselves as the Elemental Jade Sect, and the other half stayed loyal to the Imperial Clan, gambling their continued survival, but it didn ’t pay dividends as they had thought. The Imperial Clan was utterly devastated, massacred alongside their allies, and hunted down like dogs.

In history, it was said they were pushed to extinction due to their warmongering ways, strict and militaristic rule, and the unfair demands for the lives of others. They were branded as vile and evil, yet the Mystic Radiance Belt wasn ’t tainted, becoming the holistic object that defined the heroic intentions of those sacrificed.

The Lin Clan of the Elemental Jade Sect became a leading power, and quickly rose as one of the greatest forces within the starfield! With the Mystic Radiance Belt, the quality of essence and resources rose by several dozen notches, elevating cultivators ’ limits to an incredible peak!

The contention of false and genuine Ascended was born after this explosive boon of the cultivation civilization. Those who ’failed ’ to enter the Mystic Ascendant Realm had very short-life spans and were unable to harness the full might of mysticism. While those who ’succeeded ’ could live for ten thousand years and were unquestionably more powerful. This, of course, was a natural controversy amongst any cultivation civilization that reached that point, especially when no cultivator fully understood the realm itself.

But the Lin Clan ’s growth wasn ’t without issues. The civil conflicts of the starfield rose without a true leader, and war had begun. The entire starfield was ravaged and sent into chaos. Trillions died and an uncountable number suffered the effects of remaining alive.

There were many rulers that ambitiously rose up in these disastrous times, thrived with their might and then fell to their demise, unable to hold onto the reins of the starfield. It was simply too vast, too rich in resources, and it was hard to be the ”strongest ” clan or force. The chaos only grew with each passing year, but the Mystic Radiance Belt provided an environment where the cultivation civilization was unable to decline.

The environment just grew richer and richer despite the deaths of innumerable experts and talents, so more replaced them as they passed.

To survive this, the Lin Clan that led the Elemental Jade Sect, had to establish bound-by-oath alliances that acceded territories and guaranteed certain assurances. They weren ’t the only force to do so. There were thousands. But the vast majority of these forces fell and vanished, unable to remain united in the chaos.

This only ended eight thousand years later, when the Tian Clan gave birth to the first Earthly Saint of the starfield. The power of an Earthly Saint was unheard of, unimaginable, and unable to be resisted. It was a chasm that formed an unfathomable divide.

There was no formation, no multi-planetary array, no gathering of expert cultivators to form united armies that could stand against an Earthly Saint. The Tian Clan swept the entire world with imperious might, and rose as the Imperial Clan of the starfield, changing its name to the Aeternal Sky Starfield.

The current system was slowly formed, territories were distributed, Domains established, and soon with time, more Earthly Saints were born, yet the Tian Clan was unmovable from their throne.

The third Earthly Saint of the starfield, born from the Liu Clan, fought for the right to rule, yet their Earthly Saint suffered utter defeat. The difference in strength was absolutely earth-shattering! The Earthly Saint was thus sealed away, kept imprisoned and tortured as a punishment and a way as repentance to ensure the Tian Clan didn ’t wipe them out. It also served as a constant reminder that led to the Tian Clan ’s uncontested rule for the next few thousands of years.

And then he arrived and everything changed…

The King of Everlore.

In the Elementus Domain, on the deck of a Voidship, Lin Xianxei and Lin Ming faced each other while maintaining the lotus position. Lin Xianxei had just finished explaining the history of the Aeternal Sky Starfield, at least a relatively brief, non-complex version of it.

Lin Ming ’s eyebrows furrowed deeply as he digested all this information. He couldn ’t help but ask after a long time, ”You ’re part of the Lin Clan? The founder of the Jade Elemental Sect? ”

Lin Xianxei inhaled deeply and subsequently nodded, ”I am. ” Her words made Lin Ming ’s mind birth so many more questions. Fortunately, Lin Xianxei hadn ’t finished. She continued, ”My Lin Clan had made many concessions to the special existences that remained independent in our territory. We swore to always give them a set percentage of territory, rich in resources relative to what we possess as long as we are in charge. What we didn ’t realize was the value of territory and resources to grow, and what we would be left with was utterly embarrassing. The degree of issues we have with resources and finances are outrageous in comparison to any other force. ”

Lin Ming ’s frown deepened, ”The True Element Sect? ”

Lin Xianxei sighed with sadness, ”It was our attempt to bypass the oath. Over seven thousand years ago, the King of Everlore arrived alongside his entourage. One of them was a Mystic Ascendant by the name of Han Xei, and he established the Elemental Heaven Pavilion. You should know him well enough. An agreement was forged between the two, and the True Element Sect was born as a merger. We no longer led the sect, and we gave it to Han Xei and his lineage. ”

”What happened? ”

”Those powers didn ’t accept it. They refused to accept anyone but the Lin Clan ruling the Domain. If they allowed it to happen, they ’d be forced to suffer at the hands of the Imperial Clan, either kicked out or worse, losing their territory, resources, and independence. Just like we had agreements with them, the Imperial Clan had an oath with the Lin Bloodline that extended to them as long as we remain leaders of the sect.

…Those powers were willing to wage war against the sect to keep the Lin Clan as the leader and they did just that. ”

”They won? ”

”….They won. ”

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