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Wang Fan’s eyes narrowed as he looked at the woman. Another one of the masters of the Nine Mountains and Eight Seas had just appeared. Were Xia Shang, Hui Wen, and others truly dead?
Murderous rage filled Xia Shenji's eyes. If not for this woman, he would have killed Lu Xiaoxuan. What sort of attitude would she reveal after being freed? If she still insisted on protecting Lu Xiaoxuan, a large battle would be inevitable.
Xia Shenji was already thinking about how to exile the woman as they had done to the Lu family.
Each of the four men had their own thoughts and plans, but they had never considered the possibility that Progenitor Smoke’s first reaction upon being freed would be to instantly attack Bai Wangyuan.
Bai Wangyuan reflexively blocked the attack, and he shouted, "Xi Wei, have you gone mad? Why are you attacking me?"
The other three Progenitors were also feeling quite confused. Even if Progenitor Smoke wanted to attack them, she should have attacked Xia Shenji first. Why had she gone after Bai Wangyuan?
Progenitor Smoke glared at Bai Wangyuan while clearly working to suppress her anger. "What's going on with the stellular liquid? Explain it all to me."
Bai Wangyuan frowned. "Did you attack me just because of stellular liquid? That has nothing to do with you. Even in our era, whoever used stellular liquid was dealt with by Lu Tianyi."
Progenitor Smoke shouted, "Who cares? What do you mean ‘it has nothing to do with me?’ All I know is that stellular liquid comes from the Mother Tree, and if too much stellular liquid is taken away, the Mother Tree will become unstable. At that time, who will take responsibility? I may have spent a bit of time with Lu Yin, true, but I’ve come to learn that not only did you selfishly exile the Lu family, but you also started harvesting stellular liquid! Without the Lu family, all you can do is rely on Hui Wen's sourcebox array and the Mother Tree to block Aeternus. If the Mother Tree is destabilized, how are you going to stop the Aeternals? Are you actually trying to destroy mankind?!"
"Xi Wei, be serious," Wang Fan said.
Progenitor Smoke snorted contemptuously as she turned her stare onto Wang Fan. "Your four ruling powers all have a part in harvesting stellular liquid. If you don't give me an explanation for this, don't you dare think that things will end well!"
"We freed you, and yet you want to repay our kindness with revenge as soon as you come out? We should have left you in there." Xia Shenji was extremely upset.
Bai Wangyuan said, "Regardless, it's always a good thing to have one more Progenitor-level powerhouse. Xi Wei, since you want to think of the bigger picture for all of humanity, don’t try to fight us. That won’t help mankind."
"Senior?" Progenitor Long called out.
Progenitor Smoke turned her head to glance at Progenitor Long. "If I had known that telling you how to become a Progenitor would lead to the Lu family’s exile, I would have never said a thing to you, you ingrate!"
Progenitor Long sighed. "Senior, there are certain things that I had to do."
Progenitor Long was actually from the same generation as Progenitor Smoke, Bai Wangyuan, and the other masters of the Nine Mountains and Eight Seas, but due to his limited talent, he had been unable to become a Progenitor. While he acted as though he had an equal status to the other Progenitors, Progenitor Long would always be respectful towards Progenitor Smoke and refer to her as “senior.” This was not because of anything like age, but simply based on who had reached the Progenitor level first.
"So, why did you four let me out? If I had been saved by the Lu family, I would be willing to accept that they had done so purely out of the best interests of humanity. But you four? Hmph!" Progenitor Smoke gave the four men absolutely no respect at all.
Wang Fan grew solemn. "Xi Wei, I don't care what you might think of us now, or what you thought about us in the past, but things have changed. Before, the Lu family held our defenses, and we were all able to focus on our own things, but we must stand up on our own now. Unless we want to destroy humanity, we need to work together to deal with Aeternus. We freed you with no ulterior motive or thoughts other than to gain one more comrade to fight against Aeternus."
Progenitor Smoke blinked. "That’s true enough, so I can accept that."
She suddenly froze and then started laughing in an incredibly mocking manner.
Xia Shenji's expression grew ugly. "What are you laughing at?"
Progenitor Smoke was laughing so hard she could barely breathe. "You can’t tell me that you don’t find this all too ridiculous! You worked so hard to find a way to get rid of the Lu family, succeeded, and have become some ‘four ruling powers’ that control this Perennial World. But for what? You guys can't even leave this Dominion World! Little Lu Yin, who’s just a three-tribulation Envoy, was actually able to openly escape Shenwu's Sky! If the Lu family were still around, would Shenwu’s Sky have ever tolerated such humiliation? It would have been impossible, wouldn’t it? Hahahaha."
Her words caused both Xia Shenji and Wang Fan to reveal hideous expressions. While Progenitor Smoke’s words were beyond humiliating, they were absolutely true.
With the Lu family exiled, they had been forced into the Dominion Realm. The rest of the Perennial World experienced the ruler changing from the Lu family to the four ruling powers, but success had not been kind to the four Progenitors, as they were now unable to leave the Dominion Realm. Essentially, the Dominion Realm had become their prison.
"How could any of you have ever been willing to free me in the past? I would have been lucky if you didn't just hide my mirror away! But now, hahahaha, you’ve actually been forced to free me, someone who might actually be your enemy! It's just too absurd, hahahaha!" Progenitor Smoke continued to laugh.
"Alright, Xi Wei. You weren’t freed to enjoy a laugh. To be blunt, you will be fighting against Aeternus in the Dominion Realm from now on," Bai Wangyuan stated coldly.
"Senior, many things have already happened, so we can only look forward. No matter what, it is an honor for me, Long Er, to be able to fight with you, Senior," Progenitor Long stated.
Progenitor Smoke released a long breath. "Fine. No matter what else, you did free me, and I owe you all a favor for that. I’ll stay in the Dominion Realm, but you still need to give me an explanation concerning the stellular liquid."
"We won’t extract any more stellular liquid," Wang Fan replied.
Progenitor Smoke stared at the man and then looked pointedly at Xia Shenji, Bai Wangyuan, and finally Progenitor Long. "Hmph! I certainly hope so."At this moment, Wang Fan received a report from the Wang family. "The New Corridor needs no more than a month to be repaired. We’ll need to send someone to protect it, as otherwise, it will immediately be destroyed from the other end, and we won’t be able to maintain the connection."
"I'll go." Xia Shenji's expression was dark as he volunteered.
Bai Wangyuan's eyes grew cold. "Lu Xiaoxuan came here from the Forsaken Land and created a great deal of trouble in the Higher Realm, and he was even able to receive help from others. Things may not have gone well for our army that was sent to the Forsaken Land, so keep your eyes open."
Xia Shenji replied, "One of my clones is already in the Forsaken Land, but I lost my connection to it. But don’t worry. As soon as the New Corridor is repaired, I will certainly be able to reconnect to my clone, and I will instantly learn everything about the Forsaken Land."
"You still want to deal with Lu Yin?" Progenitor Smoke asked.
Xia Shenji turned to stare at the woman. "Do you still want to help him? You’ve already repaid your debt to the Lu family. Anything that we do to him now is none of your concern! Just stay here in the Dominion Realm."
"Xi Wei, we haven’t asked you for any information concerning the Forsaken Land precisely because we were afraid of putting you in a difficult position. But at the least, I hope that you won't try to stop us from dealing with the last remnant of the Lu family. Leaving anyone from the Lu family alive would be irresponsible towards the entire human race. I’ll have you know that, when that child was first discovered on Dragon Mountain, it was Aeternus’s Seven Skygods who helped him escape. Again, when he was discovered this time, the Seven Skygods attacked again to keep us confined to the Dominion Realm. Without their help, that child would have never been able to escape," Bai Wangyuan stated.
"That kid’s either a Redback or a pawn that Aeternus is trying to use to destroy humanity’s strength."
Conflicted emotions appeared in Progenitor Smoke's eyes. "He isn’t a Redback. I’m certain of that."
"Then he’s a pawn of Aeternus. As long as he lives, the surviving supporters and vassals of the Lu family will continue to sow chaos in the Perennial World," Wang Fan replied.
Progenitor Smoke sighed. She wanted to retort, but she ultimately said nothing at all.
Would it be nearly as easy to kill Lu Yin as these four believed? As long as he was in the Fifth Mainland, he could access Xia Shang's power, which meant that, even if a Progenitor went to the Fifth Mainland, they might not be able to do anything to Lu Yin. On top of that, the young man possessed countless strange power vessels, to the point where not even Progenitor Smoke had any idea how many Lu Yin might have. She also knew that he was able to use star essence to improve the strength of power vessels, which was an unbelievable ability.
However, Progenitor Smoke said nothing concerning Lu Yin’s abilities.
Bai Wangyuan and the others had not asked about Lu Yin or the Fifth Mainland because they were familiar with Progenitor Smoke and knew that she would not say anything, and that was precisely the case. She would not say anything, and would let the four men run straight into a steel wall.
Given her understanding of Lu Yin, the fact that he had dared to stir up such a mess in the Perennial World meant that he had already made preparations to face the four ruling powers. He was backed by the entire Fifth Mainland, and he also had support from various people in the Perennial World. What could the four ruling powers do to Lu Yin?
"I will say one thing here and now." Progenitor Smoke locked eyes with each of the men, one at a time. "Humanity cannot afford a war between humans, and I will fight whoever starts such a war."
As soon as she had finished speaking, she turned and left.
Her last statement caused Bai Wangyuan's face to fall. He was not upset by Progenitor Smoke’s attitude, but by the fact that she had mentioned a war between humans. Her meaning could not be any clearer: Lu Xiaoxuan possessed the power to fight against the four ruling powers. She had essentially just given confirmation that the army that the Perennial World had sent to the Forsaken Land had failed, as well as verified Lu Xiaoxuan's status within the Forsaken Land.
"Brother Xia, as soon as the New Corridor is repaired, immediately go to the Forsaken Land and kill Lu Xiaoxuan. Even if nothing happens, act immediately. We can’t give him any time to react or prepare," Bai Wangyuan stated softly.
Xia Shenji agreed, "I understand, but that might not even be necessary already. My clone took the jiao into the Forsaken Land. Do you really believe that Lu Xiaoxuan is able to escape from such a team?"
Xia Shenji was completely confident in his clone’s success. Even though the clone was among the weakest of all Progenitors, it still possessed the power of time. If Xia Shenji’s clone wanted someone dead, then not even another Progenitor was guaranteed to be able to protect the person, as long as they did not also possess the incredible power of time.
The power of time was not some common cabbage. It was impossible for every Progenitor to possess it.
"Regardless, get there as soon as possible. Even if Lu Xiaoxuan is already dead, we need to find his body." Wang Fan's expression turned cold.
In the Fifth Mainland, Lu Yin had also received a report. The Technocracy informed him that the New Corridor would soon be repaired, and they also gave him an estimate of one month for the completion date.
He emerged from the Celestial Beast Empire’s imperial palace and looked over at the jiao, who was currently intimidating the nearby astral beasts by showing its fangs and claws.
"Yao Di, Skymender," Lu Yin called out.
The two stepped forward. "Dao Chosen."
"Within half a month, the Astral Beast Army needs to be formed and ready at the Heavens Sect. They cannot be even a single day late. Make sure that a large number of Void Wanderers are included to cooperate with the human armies," Lu Yin announced in a deep voice.
Yao Di then left to personally oversee the formation of the Astral Beast Army. Lu Yin also sent messages to Lu Buzheng and the others, ordering the entire Heavens Sect to prepare its entire strength for the upcoming battle. The full might of the Fifth Mainland was to be gathered to face the four ruling powers.
In the Innerverse, Wen Zizai received the Heavens Sect's orders, and he immediately reached out to Sword Mountain’s Liu Qianjue, Ling Taizu, and the other Innerverse powers. "The Heavens Sect is starting to prepare for war, but with whom? Hasn't the Astral Beast Domain already been completely conquered by the Dao Chosen?"
"None of us know who our enemy will be, but these orders come directly from the Dao Chosen himself. All sects and families are ordered to spare no efforts when preparing for this upcoming war. Judging by the preparations, this enemy is no weaker than when we were invaded by the entire Sixth Mainland."
"Another war is coming, but we shouldn’t be facing Aeternus this time. If we were, there would be additional news from the Heavens Sect."
"Prepare for war."
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