Chapter 228: Tian Kuan's Operation
Translator: JL Editor: X
In the darkness, Tian Kuan moved like a ghost in the shadows of the ruins.
After being defeated by Ai Hui, he realized that he had underestimated his enemy. That juvenile, oh, he's called Ai Hui, was stronger than he'd imagined. It would be hard to defeat such an opponent using simple and violent moves.
Tian Kuan never avoided confronting his own mistakes. He believed that having a resolution to his mistakes was nothing shameful, rather, was worth celebrating. The dead did not have the chance to do so.
He had survived such bitter battles and combat encounters. How could he be considered brainless?
Fighting in close quarters required courage, capability, and knowledge. As one survived more battles, these traits became more apparent.
Tian Kuan had been constantly reflecting and pondering upon his mistakes for the past two days.
Through Yan Hai, he knew what was happening in Central Pine City like the back of his hand. He also held Ai Hui in higher regard.
Even talents like Shi Xueman and Duanmu Huanghun were under Ai Hui's shadow, so much that they willingly complied to Ai Hui orders. Tian Kuan had been surprised when he'd heard that. Even more so when he learned Ai Hui's background, being that he had been a hard laborer and was also still a first-year student at the Induction Ground.
Being a nemesis of the Avalon of Five Elements, the Blood of God had researched the Avalon of Five Elements intensively.
The conflicting views between the new citizens and the members of the aristocratic families had long seeped into the Avalon of Five Elements; the Thirteen Divisions was no exception. Some of the troops complied with tradition by only appointing disciples from aristocratic families as leaders, while on the other hand, the leaders of some other troops were all new citizens.
For a new citizen without any background to be able to command influential figures like Shi Xueman and Duanmu Huanghun was to go against all the norms. The arrogance of the aristocratic families allowed them to treat capable new citizens as their right-hand men, but they would never accept them as their superiors.
Tian Kuan held Ai Hui in higher regards. This incident emphasized Ai Hui's capability and that he was indeed a genius youth.
After Tian Kuan calmed down, he quickly found a solution. There was no need for him to engage in direct combat with Ai Hui, this would only put himself in danger. It was hard to predict the moves of genius opponents. They would always perform outstandingly in perceived dire situations and reverse the outcome.
To have a direct battle with a genius like Ai Hui was the ultimate last resort.
Tian Kuan had sufficient manpower to help him.
In his eyes, there were many loopholes in Central Pine City's defense system. Unlike Yan Hai and the others who were peripheral members, he had been painstakingly groomed by many of the elders from within Blood of God. These elders had summarised many aspects of the Avalon of Five Elements. Compared to the number of Elders who researched the new citizens and the conflicts between the aristocratic families, there were more Elders researching the training system in the Five Residences and Eight Palaces as well as the defense mechanisms in the cities. After all, these findings would be used directly in battle.
The fruits of those Elders' labor had all been imparted to them.
The Avalon of Five Elements' traditions were regulated by the Elders. As nature would have it, they were also used against the Avalon of Five Elements as a kind of weapon by the Blood of God.
Tian Kuan was proficient in the city's defense system. The city gate which Wang Zhen viewed as indestructible was as weak as tofu in Tian Kuan's eyes. It would be very easy for him to break through their defense system; however, the cautious Tian Kuan did not do so. There was a high possibility that his previous break-in through the city gates had raised suspicions. If traces of man-made destruction were found within the city again, Wang Zhen would definitely know that there was an enemy hiding within the city.
Tian Kuan knew that the veterans of the Battle of the Dawn were not to be taken lightly.
Compared to before, the strength within the city had also improved. After killing off the blood fiends that had entered into the city, a large amount of blood crystals had been obtained by the elementalists. As a result, the elite elementalists in Central Pine City's strengths improved tremendously.
It had never occurred to Tian Kuan that the blood crystals could actually be used to increase the elementalists' capabilities and that the effect would be so obvious. It was said that the efficiency of the blood crystals was one of the A-1 unit's contributions. He wondered what role Ai Hui had played being the leader of the A-1 unit.
After continuous investigations, Tian Kuan realized that it was due to the influence of Ai Hui that Central Pine City was still in a rather good condition. Ai Hui had played both direct and indirect parts.
Tian Kuan became extra cautious.
It was fortunate that there were many loopholes in Central Pine City. Tian Kuan soon found a new target underground. Central Pine City's underground had long been destroyed. The first wave of attacks was by the blood ants, followed by the blood-traced worms. The rocks underground had been utterly destroyed and there were many holes left behind by the attacks.
Tian Kuan's target was these holes that were connected to outside the city.
He arrived at a ruin without a soul in sight. A huge tunnel could be clearly seen. This was the huge hole that had been left behind after Ai Hui and his team had defeated the nine-trace blood worm.
Immediately, Tian Kuan noticed the recumbent parasol bell next to the tunnel's entrance.
The recumbent parasol bell was a type of plant used for security purposes. It was short in height and was shaped like an open parasol, prostrate on the floor. The tip of the parasol had an unassuming warning bell flower. The ash-grey color of the recumbent parasol bell was similar to that of the stones. It does not stand out amongst the ruins, but Tian Kuan recognised it with a single glance.
The recumbent parasol bell could release an invisible ultrasonic wave similar to a bat's ultrasonic sound. It was very weak and other living things would find it hard to detect. When a living being enters the waves' boundary, it would alert the alarm. The warning bell flower on the tip of the parasol would then produce an urgent ring.
Tian Kuan restrained his vital energy and his face became ghastly white, with the exception of his pupils which were like drops of blood. His body became ice-cold and his heartbeat came close to halting. Any signs of life coming from his body vanished without a trace.
He landed next to the recumbent parasol bell and the bell did not ring. This was the recumbent parasol bell's weakness. The invisible ultrasonic waves were only effective on living organisms and could not be used to defend against beings that did not produce signs of life.
He looked around cautiously and did not see anyone around.
Nowadays, no one in the city guarded the tunnels. There were simply too many tunnels. Most of them made use of plants similar to the recumbent parasol bell or sand puppets that had modified strength to guard around the clock. Sand puppets did not know what it was like to be tired and were more than suitable to conduct such a mission.
While the continuation of the battles led to an increase in the injured and casualties, the lucky surviving elementalists were improving constantly.
The continuous loss of lives had a tremendous impact on them.
The sounds of battle could be heard from far away. The blood fiends in the city had not been purged completely and the battles were still taking place.
Tian Kuan took out a bag of bait that he had prepared beforehand. It had been created with the utmost care. He took out a blood crystal. Pain flashed through his eyes, but he put the blood crystal into the bag of bait and threw it into the deep tunnel.
He looked at the sunflower on his wrist. There were twelve petals. Two were yellow and the remaining were green.
It was two in the morning.
Tian Kuan was not repulsed by using items from the Avalon of Five Elements. Traces of the Avalon of Five Elements could be seen in many aspects of their lives. Also, there were many useful items which had been created by them. Items that could be used to tell time like the jade green sunflower were cheap, light, and easy to use. The minute sand from the Yellow Sand Corner gave precise timing as well. Also, the volcano at the Sparking Plains would erupt with a variety of beautiful illusions at every hour. The concealed cloud paper from Palette Cloud Village could not only be absorbed by any parts of the body, it could also display time and be used to record knowledge among other things.
Including the elders from the organization, they were used to using various items from the Avalon of Five Elements.
Tian Kuan felt that the actions of the Avalon of Five Elements were rather contradictory. As much as the items were elaborate, they were meant for daily use. As long as you had enough power, you could easily snatch them over.
When the sun was up, people in Central Pine City would enjoy a hearty meal.
Tian Kuan did not halt his steps and disappeared into the darkness.
Vanguard Training Hall.
A full twelve hours had passed and Ai Hui had yet to show any signs of stopping. He was like a sand puppet that did not know the meaning of 'tired'.
The students who were done with their break looked at Ai Hui as he trained from afar. Their gazes were filled with curiosity and admiration. After twelve consecutive hours, Ai Hui did not pause for a break.
'The Lighting Blade' and 'Ai Baiyi' were the current hot topics within the team. All of them resonated deeply with them and were honored.
After more experiences with combat in battles and the increase in their strength, the previously delicate students were more mature now. They observed Ai Hui while continuing their discussion in low tones, exchanging their insights from the battle.
"He is improving, and at a very fast rate."
A voice came from behind Shi Xueman. It was Duanmu Huanghun.
Shi Xueman did not bother to turn her head and replied, "You are also not too bad."
She no longer treated Duanmu Huanghun as someone she had to take care of. He had surpassed everyone's expectation after achieving the Initial Completion. Besides Ai Hui, Duanmu Huanghun had also improved drastically. Even Shi Xueman was pressured by the vast improvement from Duanmu Huanghun.
Duanmu Huanghun was now ranked number three in the troops, after Ai Hui and Shi Xueman.
There was a reason why the Eight Palaces Completion was a watershed point to being an elementalist. Once the Eight Palaces Initial Completion was formed, the barrier between the elementalist and the sky and earth elemental energy would be broken. Huge amounts of sky and earth elemental energy would enter the body and refine it. As a result, the body of the elementalist would improve by a large margin.
However, the largest change did not occur in their physical bodies; rather, it was the effectiveness of the elemental energy training. The efficiency was tremendously improved.
The elementalist and the elemental energy from heaven and earth would be more closely connected. The efficiency of elemental energy absorption would also increase tremendously.
As such, elementalists achieving the elemental internalization, commonly referred to as Supporting the Eight Palaces. In this phase, the main task of the elementalist was to constantly expand the eight palaces using the large amount of elemental energy. This in turn would also allow them to store more elemental energy.
Following the expansion of the eight palaces, they would gradually merge into one and the elementalist's body would mostly run on elemental energy. This was also the time to refine their palaces and transform their residences in order to enter the next phase: elemental externalization.
Duanmu Huanghun's eight palaces were expanding at an astonishing speed. He was also more sensitive towards elemental energy. It was extremely useful to Duanmu Huanghun's [Viridescent Flower]. He was practically improving everyday.
Compared to Duanmu Huanghun, Shi Xueman's improvement was slower; however, she was not worried as she knew the reason why.
She was the first to recover among the group. From the start, she had closely followed Ai Hui's situation. Ai Hui's standing in their team was important enough for her to pay such close attention.
Shi Xueman suddenly became fixated. Duanmu Huanghun, who was standing next to her, also stood up straight unconsciously. The rest of the students also soon realized the situation.
After brandishing his sword for more than twelve consecutive hours, there were finally some changes to Ai Hui's sword moves.