AGM 294 - To Whom The Deer Falls
The mission hall was part of the Shadow Pavilion and consisted of a total of nine levels. The higher levels would only be accessible for those with a certain level of authority.
This was a safety measure, because aside from the core killers of the Shadow Pavilion, they also retained several contract-for-hire killers. Anyone could become a killer for the Shadow Pavilion-all they needed to do was sign a contract.
This was also the greatest reason why the Shadow Pavilion was so powerful. Because most people desired wealth, they signed up to become killers. This was an extremely lucrative business despite the high level of danger. However, there was a flaw regarding the system-having a large number of killers meant that there would be a higher chance that confidential information pertaining to the mission could leak out. This was something unavoidable. Yet, the Shadow Pavilion didn't seem to care. Since they were already in the killing business, they naturally wouldn't be afraid of people taking revenge.
There was also an iron clad rule. They would never accept missions pertaining to the transcendent powers. Other than that, they would accept all other missions.
For the fifth level of the mission hall, only Five-Star ranked killers would be able to enter as the missions given here were all at the Heavenly Dipper Sovereign level. Those that had a rank of Five-Star, were all extremely terrifying people with fearsome combat prowess.
And today, an extremely conspicuous mission appeared on the fifth level of the mission hall.
"Qin Wentian, a fourth-ranked Grandmaster from Chu at the age of nineteen. Cultivation level estimated at the third or fourth-level of Yuanfu, and he has a second-level female Heavenly Dipper Sovereign by his side acting as his protector. He has two fourth-ranked Puppets whose combat prowess were estimated to be at the initial realm of Heavenly Dipper." Next to the note, there was a picture of Qin Wentian, as well as the reward amount offered.
"Woah, this guy is the youngest fourth-ranked Grandmaster in the Moon Continent. This is the first time I've seen a Yuanfu Cultivator that's worth so much." A masked man lightly laughed. Those that entered here wouldn't interact with others without obscuring their features. The reason for this was simple, if they fumbled up in killing their targets, especially those with major backgrounds, their identity wouldn't be exposed and there would be no need to fear retaliation.
"I wonder what grudge the mission-giver has with this guy? He's actually willing to pay such a high price to kill off such a talented Divine Inscriptionist." Although several of the killers were bewildered, they didn't really care about it. They were here to make money, and so they couldn't care less about the story behind each contract.
"I'll accept this mission." A figure walked up to the mission board and tore down the contract. An avaricious light gleamed in his eyes as he stared at Qin Wentian's photo.
"Heaven's Destruction, can the four of you handle it?" Someone called out the moment that figure tore down the contract.
The killer 'Heaven's Destruction', consisted of four people. It was rumoured that two among them were husband and wife while the other two were their disciples. Their killing methods were extremely vicious and they had plenty of experience as well.
"How difficult would it be to kill a cultivator merely at the fourth-level of Yuanfu? This wealth is definitely mine." Heaven's Destruction laughed disdainfully. His team members stood not far away, and two among them were laughing heartily in agreement. "Master, after this mission is completed, you can buy that set of defensive-type Divine Armor for Madam soon after."
"Yes, the reward paid out would definitely be sufficient for that. What's more, there'll be several Yuan Meteor Stones in excess. I'll get two fourth-ranked Divine Weapons for you guys then, how about it?" The figure grinned, it was as though he could already see the Divine Weapons in front of his eyes.
A mere Yuanfu Cultivator was no biggie, as long as he and his wife blocked the female Heavenly Dipper Sovereign and the two Puppets, his other two disciples could easily kill off Qin Wentian.
This mission might be tough for the other killers to complete, but with the cooperation of these four, it was extremely simple for them. This was just like free money dropping from the skies.
This time around, they would definitely make a killing. He'd have to thank his god of fortune. He wondered briefly who the customer was, why would he be so generous to pay out such a large amount merely for the death of a Divine Inscriptionist, albeit one with exceedingly high potential.
Qin Wentian naturally wouldn't know that his name had already been written onto the mission board in the fifth-level of the Shadow Pavilion, or that somebody else had already accepted the mission.
After returning to the White Deer Institute, Qin Wentian quietly waited for news from the Thousand-Jue Alliance, while cultivating a powerful innate technique recorded within the ancient scroll of the Ascendant.
As his consciousness sank into that ancient scroll, a mind-blowing scene appeared in front of his eyes.
A lonely silhouette stood arrogantly in the air. In front of him, an ancient mountain could be seen a few hundred feet away. That silhouette pierced forwards with a single finger, appearing as though it were made from gold, and as that finger descended, the entire space around him shimmered and turned golden in color, coated by the will of the Mandate of Gold.
Between the Heaven and Earth, the only thing in existence was that golden finger. As he pointed to that ancient mountain, the boundless gold-colored light gathered at the tip of his finger and was concentrated into a golden beam. As his finger's light penetrated past, landing onto that ancient mountain, crumbling sounds echoed as it instantly transformed into countless golden fragments that scattered about, all floating in the air.
"Heaven Breaking Finger. One must cultivate the Gold-Element Cultivation Art for an invulnerable body before cultivating this innate technique to unleash its full potential. At its highest level of mastery, one can even break the dome of Heavens apart with the stab of a single finger."
A voice sounded out in his mind, causing Qin Wentian to start. This voice reminded the user once again to cultivate the Gold-Element Cultivation Art that he had abandoned.
The more the Ascendant reminded him, the more suspicious Qin Wentian was.
"I don't believe I need to cultivate the Gold-Element Cultivation Art to master this Heaven Breaking Finger.." A sharp light flashed in Qin Wentian's eyes. This innate technique was a Heaven-Ranked technique; the stronger one's cultivation was, the deeper their comprehension and thus, the more power they would be able to unleash.
The Gold-Element Ascendant broke apart a gigantic ancient mountain with a stab of his finger. That scene was etched firmly in his mind, and his heart trembled in awe as he sensed the concept of the words 'Heaven Breaking' behind that finger attack.
This technique was definitely the most powerful innate technique he had ever seen from the start of his cultivation till now.
And for this Heaven Breaking Finger technique, it wasn't necessary to have Astral Energy with a gold-element attribute to power it. Other sources of energy could work as a replacement as well. In that case, he could use his demonic Astral Energy as a replacement to see if he would be successful.
Astral Energy with the demonic attribute was exceedingly violent in nature and the might it exuded would definitely be just as terrifying.
Smiling in anticipation, Qin Wentian closed his eyes and started cultivating this tyrannical Heaven Breaking Finger technique.
And after cultivating it for a while, Qin Wentian discovered that every activation of this finger technique would exhaust an extremely astronomical amount of Astral Energy. The rate of energy consumption was too terrifying. If Qin Wentian used Divine Yuan Energy in replacement of Astral Energy to unleash this attack, he didn't even dare imagine the amount of Divine Energy that would be expended.
This made Qin Wentian lament as cultivation indeed required resources before one could succeed. For example, if he didn't have sufficient Yuan Meteor Stones to replenish the Astral Energy in his Yuanfu, there was no way for him to even start cultivating this technique. If he didn't have the Yuan Meteor Stones, he could only choose to slowly absorb the Astral Energy from the Heavenly Layers to replenish the expended energy. This method was way too slow and inefficient.
Without cultivation resources, the path of cultivation was too difficult to advance. Hence, there were many of common birth willing to risk their lives in a bid to earn a large amount of resources.After a few moments more of lamentation, Qin Wentian then slipped into a dreamscape of his own creation. Inside his dreamscape, he could give full play to the power of his imagination.
A day passed...
During the next morning, the people from the Thousand-Jue Alliance arrived and delivered the list of items which he had asked for. Qin Wentian reimbursed them and continued with his cultivation.
Looking at the items on the ground, a smile appeared on his face. He could finally proceed with cultivating the second stage of the Fiend Transformation Art.
The difficulty in cultivating the second stage of the Fiend Transformation Art was still much easier compared to the Heaven Breaking Finger.
In the next few days, great billows of demonic qi permeated the mountain slope at the back of the White Deer Institute, drawing the attention of many, as they wondered what in the world was going on. Why would there be such an intense source of demonic qi coming from the back mountains?
Could it be that Qin Wentian had an immensely powerful demonic-type Astral Soul and was currently cultivating some demonic innate technique?
Although many were puzzled, nobody went to disturb Qin Wentian. Occasionally, there would even be manifestations of demonic beasts soaring skywards before gradually fading into nothingness.
Three days later, torrents of demonic qi enveloped Qin Wentian, his whole person was akin to a fearsome demonic beast. The amount of demonic qi was so abundant that even qi exuded by high-grade demonic beasts paled in comparison to the amount Qin Wentian was emitting now.
A low roar akin to the howling of a beast escaped from his throat as the copious amounts of demonic qi swirled about, gathered together as they transformed into a vortex before gushing into Qin Wentian's body, the fog of black qi completely obscuring his body. Very swiftly, the fog dissipated as the silhouette of Qin Wentian became gradually visible again. Yet he was now totally different from moments before. His life force throbbed with the exuberant vitality belonging to demonkind.
The Fiend Transformation Art combined the two different advantages of humans and demons, into a single body. Using humanity as the base, this Art causes the essence of the human body to demonize, eventually gaining the vitality of demons and a physique as powerful as them. It basically incorporates all the unique advantages of demonkind into a human body.At this moment, if anyone went within Qin Wentian's vicinity, they would be able to clearly sense how powerful he had currently become. Each and every one of his movements was brimming with energy, and the toughness of his body had far surpassed cultivators at the same realm as him.
If he were to compete against someone purely based on bodily strength, without the use of Astral Energy or innate techniques, he would easily be able to tear apart his opponent's body. His physique had already evolved to the level of demons.
"Stage two of the Fiend Transformation Art, completed." Qin Wentian smiled, his speed in cultivating this Art was so quick that it was almost unbelievable, most likely something to do with his bloodline.
After mastering the second stage of the Fiend Transformation Art, Qin Wentian continued to doggedly practice the Heaven Breaking Finger, all the while waiting for the Thousand-Jue Alliance to deliver the information report regarding the whereabouts of Hua Xiaoyun.
In the blink of an eye, seven days had already passed. The Leng Clan had also given their answer-they gave in, and chose to execute the Heavenly Dipper Sovereign Leng Mao as well as the rest of the names on the list. They decided that this group's existence wasn't worth it for them to offend Qin Wentian. Moreover, Qin Wentian had already become a guest elder of the Thousand-Jue Alliance. The Leng Clan had no wish to offend Qin Wentian further and hence, immediately acted on good faith and resolved the matter.
As for Hua Xiaoyun, his patience had already worn thin. He visited the Shadow Pavilion again and received news that his mission had already been accepted and the killers were planning an ambush for Qin Wentian in the Eastern Region. After which, Hua Xiaoyun too decided to pay a visit to the Eastern Region, he wanted to see with his own eyes the manner of Qin Wentian's death.
Hua Xiaoyun didn't know that the moment he stepped into the Eastern Region, his movements had already been noted.
Qin Wentian finally received news of Hua Xiaoyun, who for some reason, had actually come to the Eastern Region of the Moon Continent.
An exceedingly ice-cold light flickered in Qin Wentian's eyes. Speak of the devil, and he will appear-this Hua Xiaoyun had come just in time.Yet, if he wanted to kill him, how could he hide this matter from the informant network of the Hua Clan?
Qin Wentian understood that as a transcendent power, the scope of the Hua Clan's network would definitely be extremely terrifying. If he directly slayed Hua Xiaoyun, he would certainly be discovered. Killing a young master of Hua Clan's direct line of descent? It would be extremely difficult for him to stay in the Moon Continent afterward.
But no matter what, Hua Xiaoyun had to die.
If there were no other solutions and if he really had no choice but to leave the Moon Continent, he would still kill Hua Xiaoyun.
Qin Wentian exited the White Deer Institute silently, he didn't even inform Bailu Yi of his plans. He had no wish to involve anyone else on his quest to kill Hua Xiaoyun. This, was a matter he must undertake himself, this debt of retribution had to be settled by his own hands!