Paragon of Sin

Chapter 774 - Vermillion Bird & Fire Phoenix

”What is it doing? ” A group of cultivators was huddled together upon a large-sized Skyship, acting as the vehicle for tens of thousands of crew, all being operated at peak efficiency. At the bow of the ship and head of this particular group was the Skytaint Mystichall ’s Exalted Skytaint, including eight others. They all had auras that indicated that they were beyond Mortal Limits. 

The individual who asked that question was a decently handsome cultivator that had an outward appearance of an early twenties mortal. His glistening skin and vibrant eyes indicated a sigh of youth and life, yet his status as a Mystic Star Phase cultivator indicated his lack of it. 

Exalted Skytaint furrowed his thick eyebrows until they were nearly vertical, unable to hide his increasingly tense heart. It had been almost two hours since he sent the message to the Spiritwalker Spirithall, yet he received no response. While he was notified by those in that Utmost Spirit Realm that Venerable Spiritwalker was in seclusion, this was still a troubling matter. 

A beast, of unknown origins, had descended upon Blueglow. It had a strength that far exceeded his own. Even the ships, cannons, and planetary formation weren ’t capable of dealing any damage. It could obliterate the planet if they weren ’t careful. 

”Maybe it ’s trying to rest? Should we try to tame it? ” A Mystic Hallmaster guessed, trying to break this uncomfortable stalemate. 

”You go and do that. We ’ll watch, ” the young Mystic Hallmaster mockingly suggested. This caused the one who spoke to send a glare, clearly frustrated by this little brat ’s attempt to joke around at such a critical moment. 

”The beast isn ’t something cultivators at our level can hope to tame. A single mistake and our lives would be over; no one will approach it. Maintain the engulfing net, ensure it doesn ’t escape or do anything abnormal, ” Exalted Skytaint had to take charge. While his personal strength and legitimately bestowed authority wasn ’t much higher than those present, the Spirit Hallmaster had given him this leadership position to oversee the planet. 

The other Mystic Hallmasters looked at Exalted Skytaint with complex emotions. This was a delicate situation with far too many unknowns. To think such a powerful beast had gone under the radar, even entered their territory without scrutiny. If its wild, truly wild, this could easily turn into a massacre. 

They prayed that this creature didn ’t decide to unleash a little rampage out of boredom. A few looked at the white and gold feathered bird that was exceptionally beautiful and gulped. A wisp of fear settled in their hearts, becoming full-blown seeds being germinated by their negative thoughts. 

”Go! ” Exalted Skytaint urged.

After a few starts, they rushed off to fly towards their respective Skyships. They would surround the beast in the hopes of containing it. In the worst-case scenario, they ’ll be forced to escape the planet. They had already placed their loved ones on the Skyships in these two hours. None of them knew what would happen, so they hurriedly took every precaution.

Exalted Skytaint stood alone at the bow of his Skyship, his expression gloomy, and his eyes carried a dark, fearful light. 

”I have a bad feeling about this… ” 

—–

The Tang Clan ’s Voidships numbered fifteen, and they were fully outfitted with Combat-type modifications and formations. They were weapons of war. There was a supply of mystic stones being brought in small, specialized silver boxes that allowed transport through Void Gates. The intense spatial fluctuations emitted from these boxes produced ripples in fixed space endlessly. 

They were all stationed outside the Ninestar Starfield ’s territory, at the very edge of its borders. They hadn ’t breached yet, seemingly awaiting for something specific. After all, such a fleet of ships was close to initiating all-out war.

At the head of this fleet of Voidships was a slightly larger Voidship painted entirely scarlet-red. There was a hundred-meter-sized spiritually projected character that seemed to be set ablaze, burning wildly above the Voidship, yet the character remained perfectly clear. It formed the character: ”Tang. ” 

”Why? ” A voice, majestic, imposing, powerful, and world-shaking, echoed throughout the Dark Void. The Voidships even trembled slightly. This voice was masculine in nature, deep and unfathomable. While it was merely one single question, the threatening intent within it was extremely clear. 

”… ” The Tang Clan ’s Voidships remained silent for several minutes. If one were to observe this from afar, one might feel as if the Tang Clan was purposefully ignoring this voice. 

”Why? ” The voice asked again. Yet this no longer felt like a question but a demand. The power contained within it was at another level, and the Dark Void started to twist and distort; a ferocious power was warping the area. Even the Voidships were creaking and bending oddly. 

”Enough! ” A voice filled with an empirical air resounded, feminine and sharp. Suddenly, a figure shimmered into existence beside the flaming character. Clearly, they had just arrived via a Void Gate, and their aura was vibrant. 

It belonged to a woman dressed in an imperial hanfu in red and black, and adorned on its long outer skirt was the image of Zhuque of legends—a Vermillion Bird. Six mesmerizing tails accompanied its red feathers with traces of gold.

The woman was extremely gorgeous, carrying a unique charm and air that alluded to an elite bearing. Her long skirt fluttered in the Dark Void, a location without wind, as she stared violently at the empty space ahead, slightly inside the borders of the Ninestar Starfield. 

She didn ’t speak again as she brandished her right sleeve with a cold harrumph. An object shot forth and became a comet of light that pierced the Ninestar Starfield ’s territorial border with ease. 

When it reached no more than a few inches in, it came to an abrupt halt. The object was engulfed by a sphere of light that reflected the starry skies. It carried a boundless prestigious aura. After a while, the object vanished without warning.

”…Two weeks. ” 

The voice said, its tone carried less weight and strength to it.

The beautiful woman snorted coldly, brandishing her sleeves again as she shot towards the Voidship at the head of the fleet. When she softly landed, those onboard all simultaneously kneeled, greeting with immense respect and veneration in their voices: ”Matriarch! ” 

The woman stood at the ship ’s bow, ignoring those who kneeled. She looked towards the Ninestar Starfield; her eyes flickered with immense greed and desire. ’A real fire phoenix! ’

”Onwards! Chart a course to Soul-Rising Domain ’s Planet Blueglow! ” Her orders were clear and reached the ears of every last crewmate. They immediately went into overdrive as they proceeded to act. It didn ’t take long, merely three minutes or so, before all the Voidships were moving and breached the Ninestar Starfield without any hesitation. 

—–

In the Endless Prosperity Domain, the Grand Horse Realm, there was an idyllic paradise that resembled an immortal ’s garden. There was a glistening and sparkling waterfall that seemed to generate rainbows, the lush greenery couldn ’t be any healthier, and strong, stable mountains surrounded a lake. 

In this location, two figures were seated on impromptu seats forged from boulders. An aged old man sat at one end; his greying hair and age spots were as noticeable as possible. Across from him, a beautiful young woman with hazel eyes and navy flecks. Her enchanting brows were furrowed as she looked at the board game between them. 

The two seemed to be in the process of a long, extended, and difficult match between them. These two were none other than Ma Zheng and Xue Yifei. When Xue Yifei moved, picking up a piece, and placing it down, the air within the world swirled a little.

Ma Zheng ’s lackadaisical eyes revealed a wisp of surprise, clearly beset by shock at this move of hers. However, just as he was about to immediately take advantage of this move, touching the piece and lifting it, his eyes widened slightly. He looked to Xue Yifei and his heart quivered. He was caught in a trap! With a heavy sigh, he placed his piece down.

Just as Xue Yifei moved her hand with a faint, knowing smile, Ma Zheng pressed against his king piece and tilted it downwards; he surrendered outright. 

”Haaa…this is the seventeenth consecutive time I ’ve lost to a junior. What would the world say if this were to get out? That maybe I ’m too old? ” Ma Zheng jokingly said, carrying a wry smile. 

Xue Yifei didn ’t answer, merely giving a soft smile in response. This elicited another sigh from Ma Zheng, but this time there was appreciation and admiration within it. ”Where did you learn to play so well? ” This Xue Yifei might be beautiful, but her style filled with traps and trickery was quite vicious. 

Xue Yifei ’s eyes glazed over for a moment, remembering that handsome visage that rivaled immortals of legend. ”From him, ” she answered truthfully. She always knew how to play, but it was when she played against him that her playstyle evolved, and she became even more skilled. 

”Oh? ” Ma Zheng was taken aback, but when he thought about it, he laughed. ”I didn ’t know he played, but I guess it makes sense. ”

Xue Yifei recalled her memories on the Myriad Monarch Main Planet, where she and Wei Wuyin spent the most time together. Before he left for the Gateway Door to explore its secrets, she ’d only seen him once in the Four Extreme Continent that had miraculously appeared in the Everlore Starfield, but it ’s been nearly seven years since. 

Twiing!

Ma Zheng received a spiritual transmission, his spatial ring glowing slightly. When he received it, his expression changed. ”The Fire Phoenix appeared? ” 

”A phoenix? ” Xue Yifei ’s eyes brightened when that word was said. According to what Wei Wuyin said once, he had a beloved crane that went through a tribulation to bring out the full potential of a fruit called the Golden Phoenix Fruit. Hearing about a phoenix shortly after thinking about him, how could she not be excited? 

Ma Zheng frowned slightly, looking at Xue Yifei. ”It ’s nothing; Venerable Ma Sujiang just learned that there was a unique beast in the Ninestar Starfield. ” 

”Ma Sujiang? ” Xue Yifei ’s expression slightly changed, but it soon eased. After being attacked by Ma Sujiang, she always felt a feeling of caution towards that woman. 

Ma Zheng knew about their history, even having to interfere to halt it from escalating. Considering that Ma Sujiang was his last daughter, he tried to ease the tension between them. He explained: ”Venerable Ma Sujiang went along with Highlord Silverstrike to help with a Mystic-Integration Bodily Formation, but she caught wind of this piece of news there. She asked if we should mobilize our forces. ”

Xue Yifei ’s expression changed.

Ma Sujiang added, ”But since it ’s a Fire Phoenix, there ’s no way the Tang Clan would hold back. Highlord Vermillion, the Matriarch of the Tang Clan, will certainly not let this go under any circumstance. She ’ll pay any price for it, so it ’ll be pointless unless we want to go to war against the Tang Clan.

”Considering the news of a Fire Phoenix has circulated for so long, they ’d likely made all sorts of preparations to capture it. 

Xue Yifei ’s expression changed once again, this time darker.

Ma Zheng noticed this reaction, frowning as he inquired: ”Are you okay? ” 

Xue Yifei had to steady her breathing, her thoughts became a little wild. She reminded herself that this Fire Phoenix wasn ’t likely to be Wei Wuyin ’s, but her feelings remained unsettled. 

Unable to contain herself, she immediately explained: ”I can ’t say for certain, but my fiancé has a phoenix-like beast. Could it be him? ” There was no news of Wei Wuyin, besides the arrival of an unknown Soul of Mysticism expert that mercilessly crushed his opponent in the Golden Life Pavilion ’s challenge that represented him. 

When Ma Zheng heard this, he didn ’t dismiss it, but took it seriously. ”This Fire Phoenix is said to possess the strength of a Demi-Mortal Lord, and it emerged without warning. It ’s highly possible to be a Void Beast that traversed the Dark Void from beyond the Stellar Region. What do you think are the chances of this beast being his? ” His tone deepened and his eyes focused on Xue Yifei ’s expression. 

Xue Yifei struggled inwardly, but she relented and told her honest estimate, ”Before, I was less than ten percent certain, but if its a Demi-Mortal Lord with unclear origins, then I ’m at least seventy percent sure! ” 

”… ” Ma Zheng ’s breathing halted. He looked Xue Yifei in the eyes for a long, very long moment, trying to assess her confidence. The implications of this were massive. When he resumed breathing, he made a decision. 

He sent a spiritual message to Ma Sujiang. 

Yet a few minutes later, he received a three-word reply: ”It ’s too late. ” 

—–

Planet Blueglow was evacuated by Highlord Scarletflame, her means were swift, precise and stealthy, avoiding disturbing Bai Lin ’s rest. In a few minutes, billions of cultivators of all ages and cultivation bases were taken away and sent elsewhere. 

In the shortest possible time, only Skyships of the Mystic Hallmasters and Bai Lin remained. The latter lightly slept, awaiting for Wei Wuyin ’s return. 

The Tang Clan ’s fleet arrived.

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