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Chapter 632: A First Look!
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The entire Dao Palace descended into an uproar. Fear and uneasiness weighed down on everyone’s hearts as the three Soul Conduit realm elders left.
Li Wuchen and Zhou Mei’s wedding ceremony ended abruptly. While the rest of the Dao Palace was swimming in anxiety and fear, w.a.n.g Baole summoned Zhao Yameng, Sect Lord Xu, and the giant tree to discuss what had just happened.
They concluded that Sect Lord Xu and the giant tree were to prepare for the worst. They were to evacuate everyone using the teleportation array formation that Sect Lord Xu had secretly set up should the situation call for it.
They had to carry out the preparations in secret while being prepared to evacuate at any moment. Sect Lord Xu, as well as the giant tree and Zhao Yameng, who had just found out about the second teleportation array formation, all treated the matter with extreme care.
The three left with their hearts heavy and their minds plagued with worry after the meeting. w.a.n.g Baole stood alone in the highest tower of his palace, gazing into the distant sky and Sea of Fire. His heart was heavy too.
It might have been just a singular cry for help, but it had been clear—perhaps even to Feng Qiuran—that something hadn’t been right. However, sometimes, emotions triumphed over reason. That had been why Feng Qiuran had chosen to journey out and investigate the matter.
w.a.n.g Baole understood why she had done that, which was precisely why he had a bad feeling about this. The premonition grew stronger, and a strong wind began to rise, whipping at w.a.n.g Baole’s clothes as he shut his eyes.
“There’s a storm coming…” he murmured to himself. He looked down at the bottom of the mountain, at the cultivators bustling around in the Dao Palace and at the world around him. After a long while, w.a.n.g Baole sat down and began his cultivation.
The high officials’ autobiographies had mentioned before that no matter what the future held, one could only try to seize the present moment.
Time pa.s.sed steadily as w.a.n.g Baole continued his cultivation, and the sect continued its discussion. In that manner, five days went by.
On the fifth day, as the sun began to set, the thing that worried w.a.n.g Baole the most didn’t happen. Feng Qiuran and the other two elders returned, their spirits low and a myriad of emotions on their faces.
w.a.n.g Baole received an invitation as soon as the elders returned to the sect, so he went to Feng Qiuran’s palace. The three Soul Conduit realm cultivators were already inside, silently waiting.
Daoist You Ran nodded and smiled at w.a.n.g Baole. Mie Liezi, who usually greeted him with an icy look or avoided him altogether, had a look of bewilderment in his eyes. He wasn’t his usual fierce self.
Feng Qiuran had a lost look on her face, and no one knew what she was thinking.
w.a.n.g Baole observed the expressions on their faces as the gears in his head spun furiously. He didn’t speak and simply sat on the fourth chair in the grand hall, turning his eyes towards Feng Qiuran.
After a long while, Feng Qiuran shut her eyes, and the hall descended into silence. A long bout of silence pa.s.sed… Feng Qiuran suddenly opened her eyes. They were bright with determination. It was then that Mie Liezi suddenly spoke.
“We must save him!
“It doesn’t matter if this is a trap. As long as there’s a chance that Uncle Master is still alive, we can’t ignore this. We must do something!”
w.a.n.g Baole kept quiet as he listened to Mie Liezi. Feng Qiuran trembled, then started to speak. Bitterness colored her words.
“We’ve identified the source. It’s an Never-Ending Clan battles.h.i.+p. We kept our distance and didn’t perform a close inspection, but we know that there were fewer than ten s.h.i.+ps of such scale and size during the last galactic battle. We don’t know what lies inside the battles.h.i.+p or why it has reappeared. We don’t even know what the remnants of the Never-Ending Clan are planning… To enter the battles.h.i.+p would be to risk the fate of the Vast Expanse Dao Palace!” Feng Qiuran shook her head as she spoke. Her heart ached, and she wanted to save her father as well, but she couldn’t put the Dao Palace at risk. That was why she planned to enter the battles.h.i.+p alone.
“The Vast Expanse Dao Palace has fallen to a state where there’s nothing left for us to lose. But if we can’t even save our own elders, what point is there for our continued existence? Mere hope?”
“If that’s the case, I, Mie Liezi, would rather go down in a fight!” Mie Liezi argued. There was determination in his eyes. He saw Feng Qiuran prepared to retort and immediately turned towards Daoist You Ran and w.a.n.g Baole.
“What do you think?”
Daoist You Ran contemplated for a moment, then nodded.
“I agree with Mie Liezi’s suggestion. The battles.h.i.+p’s appearance is suspicious. However, even if there are surviving Never-Ending Clan members after the war, their level of cultivation shouldn’t be very high. Otherwise, they wouldn’t choose to reappear now. I believe we should strike!”
Upon hearing Daoist You Ran’s words, Mie Liezi turned and stared at w.a.n.g Baole. Feng Qiuran did the same. They waited for w.a.n.g Baole’s reply.
w.a.n.g Baole thought silently. Both Mie Liezi and Daoist You Ran had reached an agreement on this matter. Feng Qiuran might say otherwise, but this matter concerned her father. Her views on the matter required no vocalization on her part.
They might have given him a choice, but w.a.n.g Baole knew that he had only one option he could choose.
w.a.n.g Baole maintained his silence, and a decision was made. All Nascent Soul realm cultivators and a great majority of Core Formation realm cultivators from the Vast Expanse Dao Palace would partic.i.p.ate in the mission. They would be split into three teams, led by the three Soul Conduit realm cultivators, in a mission to infiltrate and investigate the battles.h.i.+p!
The size of the battles.h.i.+p demanded such a big group of people to search the s.h.i.+p. That would enable them to conduct a swift rescue. The three Soul Conduit realm cultivators also informed the entire Dao Palace about the cries of help, as well as the appearance of the battles.h.i.+p at the border between the sword body and the sword handle. The news sent the entire sect into an uproar.
The Dao Palace prepared sufficiently for the mission. They activated the array formation that kept its treasures under lock and key and retrieved a few Explosive Teleportation Talismans. Everyone was also given a Teleportation Talisman, which could be used anytime to teleport away.
The prices of several Dharmic treasures and pills were also lowered so that everyone could stock up on both quickly.
Finally, Mie Liezi announced that they would leave in seven days. Everyone partic.i.p.ating in the mission went into short-term seclusion in order to maintain their condition at peak performance.
Seven days pa.s.sed. The Dao Palace bustled with commotion as an array formation was activated. Hundreds of cultivators flew into the sky, transforming into rainbows that charged furiously towards the battles.h.i.+p!
Amongst them were the personal disciples of Feng Qiuran and Daoist You Ran. However, there were also familiar faces absent in the crowd, such as Dugu Lin, Zhuo Yifan, the giant tree, and Sect Lord Xu. The Sect Lord was the only Nascent Soul realm cultivator who wasn’t partic.i.p.ating in the mission. w.a.n.g Baole had fought hard for him to stay out of the mission. The only other Federation cultivators joining w.a.n.g Baole on the mission were Zhao Yameng and Kong Dao.
They had to take part because they had acquired official Dao Palace disciples.h.i.+ps. Their names had been recorded in the Dao Plate, and they were able to establish resonance with the ancient greenish-bronze sword’s array formation. They were the contact points between the cultivators inside and outside the battles.h.i.+p once the mission party boarded the s.h.i.+p.
If w.a.n.g Baole and the others had been traveling on their own for this mission, they would have required multiple teleportations in order to cover the distance. The time required would be immense. However, with the entire Dao Palace activated and with array formations supporting the mission, everyone’s speed was augmented to an incredible degree. It took them a mere two days before they saw… the enormous battles.h.i.+p straddling the border!
w.a.n.g Baole was shaken to the core at the sight of the battles.h.i.+p, left gasping. It was enormous. The three disks that formed the body of the battles.h.i.+p were like planets, and they each seemed to harbor a world.
Power emanated from the battles.h.i.+p. The Core Formation realm cultivators shook, fear instinctively rising inside them.
Zhao Yameng and Kong Dao were similarly affected. However, they had the protection of their Dao Palace disciples.h.i.+p status. They were better able to acclimate themselves to being inside the ancient greenish-bronze sword’s array formation as compared to the others. Even so, their faces still looked slightly pale.
The Nascent Soul realm cultivators weren’t faring much better. Only the three Soul Conduit realm cultivators and w.a.n.g Baole seemed unaffected. The Soul Conduit realm cultivators were powerful enough and already on the verge of a breakthrough to the next level of cultivation. w.a.n.g Baole, on the other hand, was an adopted disciple. He was able to fight against the suppressive force after his cultivation was augmented by the array formation.
“As planned, we will split three-ways here and attempt to infiltrate the battles.h.i.+p. Our priority is rescue, but should things go south, activate your Teleportation Talisman immediately and evacuate!” Feng Qiuran took a deep breath and gazed at everyone. She outlined the details of the mission solemnly. w.a.n.g Baole nodded, and the group began to divide into their smaller teams.
They were split into their respective factions, with the three cultivators from the Federation joining Feng Qiuran’s team. After the teams had been split, they were ready to move. Before the teams dashed off in their separate directions, Daoist You Ran reminded everyone solemnly.
“Everyone should be mentally prepared. Technically speaking, the talismans should work inside the battles.h.i.+p, but we can’t guarantee that they will. Based on what I’ve found out in the past few days, it is challenging to enter an Never-Ending Clan battles.h.i.+p. There were accounts of intruders who successfully entered but then were teleported out again.
“This is the Never-Ending Clan battles.h.i.+p’s defense mechanism. That’s why should you fail and be teleported out, gather here first. We will regroup and discuss how to proceed next.”