Royal Blue
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Matheus followed behind Ryu with a calm expression, but there were raging tides in his heart. He could tell that Ryu wasn’t going all out with his speed, yet it was difficult for even Matheus who was a Half-Step Connecting Heaven Realm expert to keep up.

In truth, Matheus was a Necromancer, so his body was his weakest aspect. However, knowing this, he had invested quite a lot into comprehending movement techniques to act as life saving measures. In addition, his Loom Clan’s lineage was quite fond of lightness type techniques, as Tae could attest to. Yet, he could hardly keep Ryu in his field of vision despite using seventy percent of his full potential.

Matheus was so shocked by this that he hardly had the time to realize he hadn’t thought about where Ryu was leading him. But, by the time he thought that he should be more questioning of this, his senses already picked up the fluctuations of a Small Realm’s entrance!

Ryu’s figure disappeared into on of the many caves of Mortal Qi Mountain, slicing through the foliage with ease to expose an inner working of tunnels. Almost as soon as Matheus followed him in, the brimming vitality of the mountain caused the foliage to recover in an instant, covering the opening once more.

After weaving through the passages, Ryu and Matheus were soon faced with a gentle bobbing bubble about twice as tall as a normal human in height and width. Within, one could see the reflection of a beautiful, lush world.

“How… How did you find it so easily?” Matheus asked in astonishment.

Everyone knew that the Small Realm’s entrance constantly moved. In fact, this was the case for all Small Realms. It was just that when large Sects or Clans found Small Realms they took a liking to, they would use special means to seal said Small Realm’s movement and keep it for themselves.

However, the Mortal Qi Small Realm was quite a special case. If it wasn’t, the Core Region would have long since snatched it for itself. Why would they let the small Inner Ring benefit from such a great cultivation resource? Unfortunately, they could only reap the rewards of this Small Realm through tributes the Clans of the Inner Ring paid forward.

This Small Realm was well known as an unrestrainable. Small Realms like this were rare, but did exist. Usually, Small Realms like this fell into two categories. Either their very existence was already tied to something and thus couldn’t be moved without losing its value, or the Realm itself was too powerful. Usually, Small Realms in the latter category were very close to being True Realms like this Shrine Realm.

Of course, the Mortal Qi Small Realm fell into the former category. Its existence was tied to Mortal Qi Mountain. If it was moved, the symbiotic relationship between mountain and Small Realm would be shattered, thus drastically lowering the Small Realm’s value. Though many believed that the true source of the mountain range’s strange abilities was actually the Small Realm itself, for some odd reason, the Small Realm never left the range of the mountain, so no one dared to test that hypothesis lest they lose this valuable resource.

“I have some insights into Feng Shui.” Ryu said nonchalantly before pressing onward as though it was a meaningless ability. “We’ll probably be separated once we enter, but to tell you the truth, I prefer to be on my own anyway. I’m sure you also don’t need my help. Good luck.”

Without another word, Ryu leaped into the bubble, vanishing into the Small Realm.

Matheus sighed and shook his head before laughing. “What an unsociable guy.”

Though Matheus seemed calm and quiet, he had been forced to be this way in order to hide his strengths from the Zu Clan. However, he wasn’t normally so reserved. He quite liked Ryu’s tenacity and wanted to be friends, he could also tell that Ryu didn’t mind being around him either. Yet this guy just didn’t know how to talk to people.

“There’s definitely a reason he insists on being a Necromancer. I should have Master bring him along next time…” Matheus said as he leapt into the Small Realm before it could shift positions again.

**

‘It seems we’ve underestimated this place. I very much doubt that even the Blossom Plane has a better region for Mortal Realm cultivators.’ Ailsa looked around with a surprised expression.

She actually didn’t know much about the Shrine Realm or its current events as Ryu had long since learned. So, her surprise was genuine.

Ryu nodded. “This place has Mortal Qi almost as dense as some places I recall from the Shrine Plane.”

This might seem meaningless, but it was actually a massive deal! Having such a dense region of Mortal Qi meant that all Mortal Realm existences gained a massive boon toward their progression and strength. Simply put, all Mortal Realm Spiritual Herbs, resources, and beasts, were in great abundance here!

Common Grade, Black Grade and Earth Grade resources here were practically overflowing. Coupled with the odd vitality of this region and every one of Ryu’s footsteps would likely have at least a ten percent likelihood of crushing something decently valuable.

However, this actually wasn’t what Ryu was most excited about.

With such a dense amount of Mortal Qi, beasts would flourish in this place. The population of Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Order Beasts would be higher than any other region Ryu had ever encountered. This place… it was the perfect place to complete the Pulse Tempering Realm!

Currently, Ryu’s Ice Phoenix Bloodline provided him with 1 600 jin of strength. His Fire Phoenix Bloodline had completed the Pulse Tempering Realm thanks to his entering the Impose Realm with his Rage Flames and subsequently awakening his Rebirth Flame, and provided him with 80 000 jin of strength. His Fire Dragon Bloodline was also complete at this Realm and provided him with 170 000 jin of strength, and finally, his Lightning Qilin Bloodline was partially completed at this Realm and provided 53 400 jin of strength.

In total, Ryu now had just over 300 000 jin of strength. Essentially, Ryu had the strength of someone around the Middle Divine Vessel Realm as a Half-Step Connecting Heaven Realm expert who had one Ancestral Bloodline would have about one million jin of strength. However, a Half-Step Connecting Heaven Realm expert with just a Common Grade Bloodline would have half a million jin of strength.

Of course, a Half-Step Immortal Ring expert would have ten million jin of strength, while a Half-Step Path Extinction Realm expert would have one hundred million jin of strength.

These realms, from the Half-Step Connecting Heaven Realm to the Half-Step Path Extinction Realm were the equivalent of the Vessel Tempering Realm of the Body Realm.

Once all six Body Vessels were opened, one would be the equivalent of a Half-Step Connecting Heaven Realm expert. Upon tempering one’s blood within the Vessel Tempering Realm, one could reach the subsequent Realms before finally attacking the Blood Tempering Realm.

This was a lofty goal for others, but for Ryu, it was only the beginning!

**

Ryu’s figure flashed, a look of incomparable ease on his face as he circled a large silver wolf whose eyes crackled with blue lightning.

Much like almost every other area of this Small Realm, copious amounts of vegetation surrounded their feet, but while the wolf’s steps burnt and charred this greenery, Ryu’s steps were so light that even blades of grass didn’t bend beneath his weight.

With a thought, his glaive cut forward, cleanly beheading the Silver Thunder Wolf.

‘That makes almost three dozen Fifth Order Lightning Spiritual Roots. I think that should be enough to satiate my Qilin bloodline.’

In truth, it had only been two days since Ryu entered, yet, not only had he collected enough Lightning Spiritual Roots, but he had also collected over twenty Ice Spiritual Roots as well.

The best part was that these kills counted toward his points. Sometimes, his chosen beasts would be protecting Spiritual Herbs also on the list of missions, so he could kill two birds with one stone. Though it might shock others, Ryu wasn’t surprised at all that he ranked first in points over the course of these two days. In fact, not only did he rank first, the distance between him and second place was large.

Soon, Ryu had found a quiet place to cultivate. Entering the tub of Seeking Wood he built for himself in the Outer Region, he began to diligently cultivate.

Because he used the [Phoenix Heavenly Body] technique, he knew that absorbing the Ice Spiritual Roots would be much faster, so he didn’t hesitate.

A frigid cold whipped through the hidden underground space. One would think blood should be warm, but the blood of these beasts ran colder than a mountain peak. Yet, Ryu felt incomparably comfortable.

Ailsa watched silently as the days ticked by, ensuring that nothing untoward occurred while Ryu was in seclusion. In truth, she was still very worried about how Ryu would enter the Spiritual Severing Realm and had been thinking of the problem every day. With Ryu’s cultivation speed, he should have already been knocking on the Divine Vessel Realm’s door, yet he had actually met such a tall mountain…

‘If only I hadn’t left that place in such a rage… Then I could just look up the records we have on the Chaotic Silk Meridians… It can’t be that an Ancestral Grade Meridian would stall its owner at such a low cultivation realm, right? There must be a solution…’  

Ailsa grit her teeth, coming to a decision. She wouldn’t allow her own pride to waste Ryu’s potential. Even if she had to apologize to that annoying old man, she would do so if it helped her Little Ryu.

Just as she had sunken deep into her own thoughts, Ryu’s body was suddenly set ablaze. But this time, the flames were a gorgeous royal blue.

Suddenly Ailsa froze.

She had never felt this before, it felt as though something was screaming at her, something deep within her body. Her instincts were practically crying out.

She hesitated. Should she listen to this instinct? Why hadn’t she felt this feeling the last time Ryu evoked Essence? She couldn’t understand it, but she did know she was running out of time.

Gritting her teeth, Ailsa made a decision. A strong bout of pride welled up in her chest. She was a Cultus Faerie, a Princess of the Cultus Clan. If her Ancestors could lead their Life Partners without the help of piles of resources and reference materials, so could she!

‘Ryu, quickly! Use Essence to form your Qi Blade and enter the Spiritual Severing Realm!’

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