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Chapter 1452 1446: CKC, Beginning of an Irreversible End
As the Evercrown Ceremony was completed, the Evercrown itself worn by Su Mei, emotions ran remarkably high across the board. There were certain iterations of the Chosen King Compet.i.tion that left the Azure-Prime Galactic Zone without a Chosen King. Sometimes, this led to quite a storm of discussion regarding the potential decline of Chosen or the approach towards nurturing them. However, throughout any iteration of the compet.i.tion, never had a mortal won.
Seeing Su Mei wearing the crown, the emotions they felt were deeply justified. Whether it would be envy, confusion, awe, or wariness, all of it was completely warranted. Additionally, this sight, for those who've partic.i.p.ated in the Chosen King Compet.i.tion before, understood that this marked the end of the compet.i.tion. Within a few minutes after basking in Su Mei's excellence and undeniable brilliance, they would return home, having survived this series of chaotic and unpredictable events.
They were fortunate, and only a few remained ignorant of this, having qualms about all the strange, miraculous things that were happening.
"It's finally over," Yi Xuehan sighed in relief. The sigh originated from her exhausted mind and worn-down body, carrying the stress and tension she felt from everything that had unfolded. The arrival of unfathomable mortals, the subtle agreement of Earthly Saints from the three races, the descent of Evil Sentinels, the appearance of a mysterious character such as Wei Wuyin, and the anointing of a mortal Chosen King. There were more, but these things stood out the most.
"Over?" Yi Yun questioned. Was the Chosen King Compet.i.tion just...over? Like that? The very thought left him extremely conflicted.
Yi Xuehan tiredly nodded, "Yeah. After the Chosen King has been properly crowned and a short while has pa.s.sed, the formations within the Myriad Everland will send us out. We'll be received by those of the Endless Voyage Realm, and be sent out through their Void Gates back to our homes." Her explanation was rife with reluctance at the end, giving Yi Yun a strange look.
Meanwhile, Yi Yun hadn't noticed her gaze, only realizing that the vast lands of the Evercrown Ceremony with countless environmental regions were named Everland and that there was mention of the Endless Voyage Realm. Was that the secret realm for the Void Voyage Sect? Due to his status as an Ascendant, he had greater levels of detailed information than others, but he wasn't too well-versed in the World Sects of the Grand Cyclic Stellar Region. This was solely due to his own lack of actively entering the library to study.
Qiao Shulin liked to study...
The look of confusion and emotional distress on his face was immediately noticed, and Yi Xuehan misconstrued it as something else. She hastily explained, "It's all for the sake of allowing us to return home with our gains without further conflict. While those from all over the Azure-Prime come to partic.i.p.ate and are brought to the edge of the Ancient Sealed Regions by our seniors, returning is facilitated through the third-party Void Gates to ensure our returns.
After a while, she added: "It's entirely safe."
Immediately, Yi Yun realized that several things made Yi Xuehan feel more foreign. The new names and terms, especially referring to their regions as the Ancient Sealed Regions or her world as 'Azure-Prime', were obvious signs of it.
Xiao Yanyue slowly stood. San Yongli offered a.s.sistance immediately despite her own ashen complexion and weakened state. With a grateful look, Xiao Yanyue nodded as she turned to observe Su Mei from her throne. She seemed like a young divinity born of twilight, endlessly majestic, incredibly enchanting, and utterly terrifying.
She couldn't help but sigh in the very depths of her heart. She had hopes of becoming Chosen King this generation. Unfortunately...
She clenched her fist, "Next time." An utterance of a personally sworn oath was made.
San Yongli frowned. Seeing the hope and resolve suffusing Xiao Yanyue's body, she decided to say: "There won't be a next time. This will be the last Chosen King Compet.i.tion." These words were flat and felt as if they were true without a shred of doubt. This came from her foreknowledge of the future. With her Book of Heaven's Path, she knew that the event from before was still going to unfold, and it was going to be monumental.
"What?!" Xiao Yanyue and Yi Xuehan turned to look at San Yongli. The Chosen King Compet.i.tion was an event that was heavily celebrated and infected a lot of the culture of the Azure-Prime Galactic Zone. Without it, countless talents would have been ignored and unrealized with no opportunities solely based on nepotistic practices and rigid, unforgiving greed.
It had heavily enlightened the Azure-Prime's forces to invest in more talents, opening up potentially restricted paths. This effect wasn't only shown by the Azure-Prime, but the Sealed Regions also demonstrated diverse nurturing tactics and cultural changes. The King of Everlore defined its society of nurturing young, unrelated talents with the Chosen system, further incentivized by the Chosen King Compet.i.tion's gains and the potential to obtain the elusive Evercrown, a heaven-defying opportunity that every force desired!
If the Chosen King Compet.i.tion ended entirely, the implications were likely going to be far-reaching. Xiao Yanyue was fully aware of this, so her shock was greater when she heard that statement.
Yi Yun gritted his teeth, "Big Sis Yongli, you're sure?"
"..." San Yongli only nodded in response, her eyes staring at the sky in a sort of daze.
"You're delusional; the Chosen King Compet.i.tion can't end since the King of Everlore is still alive. Moreover, why would it end?" Suddenly, Yi Xuehan was taken aback visibly as she asked: "Is the King of Everlore dead?!"
Her question left the air feeling incredibly tense and uncomfortable. However, San Yongli remained silent. She didn't know. She only knew that according to the Book of Heaven's Path, the Chosen King Compet.i.tion for many of those written within was described as the 'last Chosen King Compet.i.tion'. Since the book foretold it, it had to be true. And it matched perfectly with her memories of the past, so how could it be false?
The group was left shaken.
Could it be true?
Xue Yifei's eyes reflected Su Mei's figure exuding unlimited splendor as if she had transcended somehow. The leaf crown on her head elevated her appearance by several levels. The Evercrown was an exceptional item.
"What's next?" She asked her fiancé/husband. It was a little complicated because she didn't know if Wei Wuyin wanted to have a grand wedding to officiate her status or if she was simply his wife now. She'll have to verify which later. Personally, she would prefer the second. What woman didn't want to have a grand, unforgettable wedding?
She was not an exception to that.
Wei Wuyin's eyes followed Tian Yinwu's hurried, panicked figure as he blitzed through the regions, exhausting greater degrees of astral force to expedite the setting of his crystalline flags. It was quite amusing to observe. If only he knew that Wei Wuyin was waiting.
"We'll wait for a while," Wei Wuyin answered with an amused grin.
Xue Yifei a.s.serted that she understood with a slight nod. But internally, she wanted to be more involved and in the know now.
Wei Wuyin instantly felt her disappointment. He often never fully explored his thought process with others, but since Xue Yifei was no longer a simple individual in his life, he decided to expand on his words. "The seventh Imperial Prince, Tian Yinwu, is currently going around establis.h.i.+ng a high-level Mystic-World Array. I'm waiting for him to complete it, so I'm delaying the end of the Evercrown Ceremony. Normally at the end, the Chosen from both worlds would be sent back to their respective homes, but that'll ruin all his hard work."
He paused for a moment, prompting Xue Yifei's eyes to glitter as a warmth suffused her heart. She could feel the consideration for her in that explanation, and a smile of elation appeared. She asked, "They're going to the World Beyond, right? The Azure-Prime Galactic Zone, you said?"
Wei Wuyin nodded. While they were 'technically' also a part of the Azure-Prime Galactic Zone, the Sealed Regions are described as such due to it being sealed off from the rest of the galactic zone over eighty thousand years ago.
"Is it possible to..." Xue Yifei trailed off briefly, her heart pounding with the desire for exploration and adventure into the unknown. While she similarly, if not even more so, desired to occupy a seat within Wei Wuyin's nascent empire and implement a lot of her ideas into the society and culture.
Wei Wuyin knew she wanted to ask about going to the world beyond the Sealed Regions. "It is. Do you want to go?" He didn't lie in the slightest. If he wanted, Wei Wuyin had dozens of ways to leave the Sealed Region, especially after he obtained that imprint.
Xue Yifei thought seriously about this, but when she thought about the fledgling Neo-Dawn Starfield and its growth potential, including her cultivation base, she shook her head decisively without any further word. If she was someone with Na Xinyi's degree of ambition, she might agree. However, she was thankful for the choice, and her eyes softened as she looked toward Wei Wuyin.
"What about the array? What is the seventh Imperial Prince doing?"
Smiling, Wei Wuyin moved back to the original topic. "The Chosen King Compet.i.tion is held in a unique realm that interconnects with many other Realms, including the Endless Voyage Realm, the Sealed Region, the Stellar Nest, a few other realms, and the World Beyond's Realm used for entry by the Chosen."
Xue Yifei's eyes brightened. She knew of the Stellar Next and how Wei Wuyin essentially laid claim to it. She had personally organized a few cultivators and dragons to extract light from it. And so had many others. It was a little strange though...
When she visited it, it felt as if something was watching her. It creeped her out.
"The realm itself has a central source of power that enables all of this. Upholds the formations, restrains the Evil Sentinels, and much, much more. It contains pure energies like a Realm Core. Among those various essences is an incredibly refined Solar Energy known as Astralis Essence." Wei Wuyin said as he looked at the vast sky.
Xue Yifei looked too. There was light coming from every direction but no Solar Star. Suddenly, her heart pounded at the thought.
"How much?" She asked with a slight quiver of excitement.
"A G.o.dly amount," Wei Wuyin answered.
Xue Yifei gulped slightly with antic.i.p.ation. She wasn't ignorant of formations and arrays, and fully understood the concept of extraction-type formations and arrays used by various forces to get the most out of blessed environments. "How incredible!"
She paused for a moment and then eyed Wei Wuyin. "Can you extract it?" She wanted to know if Wei Wuyin needed Tian Yinwu.
"I could. However, the effect wouldn't be as p.r.o.nounced and effective as what he's planning. Even I'm a little taken aback by the profoundness of the array he's establis.h.i.+ng. That said, I intend to help him carry that burden." In the end, his smile turned into a sly grin. "Actually, all the Ascendants are going to be giving him a.s.sistance."
When he said this, he lightly pressed his palm toward the ground and subtle ripples occurred across the landscape.
Silently, a bald demon with tribal tattoos looked to the sky in a forest region, peering through the trees with a solemn glare.
A human wearing countless spatial rings sat upon a man-made cave, not by him, but by another partic.i.p.ant.
An elven young woman with gla.s.ses was etching something into the ground, unleas.h.i.+ng bursts of spiritual force as she did.
From all over, the Ascendants that had lost their lives earlier began to emerge without most noticing as if they were, from the very beginning, always waiting.
Wei Wuyin exposed these individuals to Xue Yifei, fully committed to not hiding anything from her.
A sigh of relief surged through Xue Yifei's lips as she noticed those who had fought and died in the compet.i.tion were still alive. She wondered after nothing was happening if they were simply lessons to the survivors. She felt she had a good gauge of Wei Wuyin's personality, and he would be a little unbending here.
And she was right! In a way.
"I originally planned to have those who died return without their cultivation bases, only their refined bodies. Give them all fresh starts, a consequence of death, and a blessing of a new life. After all, many of them were nurtured by me at earlier stages of my alchemic journey, so I was lacking in what I could do and provide. I won't lie about that. It's hard to keep up with a leveled rate of nurturing with my rapid advancements and busy schedule.
"But after I noticed Tian Yinwu's plan, I knew there was no longer a need to worry about those deficiencies in their cultivation bases!" There was an excited gleam in his silver eyes as he gazed at the sky.
Xue Yifei was shaken by Wei Wuyin's response. He was going to let them die! A total wipe of their cultivation base?! These fallen individuals would be so incredibly behind the others that they would forever be related to an inferior position. That consequence was brutal in the Ascendant's compet.i.tive atmosphere.
"How long?" She asked, no longer thinking about discussing the potential outcome of those fallen Ascendants. She knew they'd likely be punished in other ways for dying now. Would she be able to choose their punishments? She had to set aside that thought. The prospect of this opportunity trumped that!
"At the rate he's going, about four hours left. Then, it'll begin."