Chapter 299 - God-subduing Peak
The golden wind whistled above the sea of clouds, and under the jade blue dome of heaven. The sunlight here was much more glaring and blazing as compared to when it reached the ground.
A rarely seen mountain peak was flying speedily. Elementalists that flew past it looked at it with curiosity in their wide open eyes.
The topography of the mountain peak was precipitous. From its waist down, the mountain was enveloped by clouds so it looked as if a big sheet of cloud was propping a mountain peak.
There was a metal-made silver pond on the summit and the pond water was so clear that the bottom of the pond could be seen. The walls surrounding the pond were engraved with complicated, silvery patterns. Light circulated within these patterns along the walls, one round after another relentlessly.
The pond spurted a steady flow of water. The fine vapor which was floating around the summit converged with the sunlight to form a rainbow.
The overflowing pond water meandered down and along the windings of the mountain to form a waterfall. From afar, it looked like a snow-white stretch of shining silk. Pouring into the clouds, the waterfall formed mist ceaselessly.
The mountain peak was lined with shade-providing trees and the tough and solid old vines hung down, reaching within the clouds and mist like an anchor and chains hung off a ship. Threads and wisps of wood elemental energy flew into caverns of the mountain. Deep within the caverns there was raging lava and its entrance flickered with a blazing red glow, resembling the breathing and heartbeat of a mythical animal.
Nine lava caves could be found throughout the mountain and they were connected by a silver line, as if they were stars of a constellation in the sky.
There were a few terraces of different heights laid out disorderly on the mountain peak. There were buildings everywhere: A pavilion, a pagoda, an arrow tower and an ice castle hidden at the foot of the mountain amid the clouds and mist. The most eye-catching was a palace located beside the silver pond on the summit.
Each building emitted different, faint light rays. They were the metal, wood, water, fire and earth elemental energies.
The emitted lights blended in with one another to form a huge dome of light that enveloped and wrapped over the whole peak. This layer of faint light cover was close to being transparent, but occasionally a magnificent light ray would flash across the top of the cover, reminding people of the dome’s existence.
The mountain moved steadily, the biting cold metal wind unable to defeat it.
There were four vermilion words, ‘Guardian of Five Elements’ engraved on one of the cliff walls. The calligraphy was strong and powerful.
Next to the words was the emblem of Elders Guild, a mark that showed that this mountain belonged to them.
"It’s all thanks to you, or else we would have to travel by the bamboo cart and not feel as comfortable."
The man who spoke up stood on the peak admiring the scenery. He couldn’t feel the gale and shake at all. He could only feel the sea of cloud beneath his feet moving backwards as fast as lightning.
He was tall and had long arms. He looked older than he was, which contributed to the majestic aura that surrounded him even as he stood casually.
Shi Xueman looked at Jiang Wei from behind. They hadn’t met for three years and Jiang Wei had become even more mature and stolid. She had more inside news and knew that many of the higher ups thought highly of this man, the young leader of a small team in Sky Edge Division, and his future.
Sang Zhijun was very happy to see Jiang Wei as well since they’d been partners for two years and got along well.
Three years ago, after Ai Hui’s departure, Jiang Wei rejected Shi Xueman’s invitation and joined Sky Edge Division alone. He worked his way from the bottom as a soldier, up to the small team leader that he was currently.
Sang Zhijun took up the role of Shi Xueman’s assistant and helped her to organize and manage the troops.
Sang Zhijun introduced, "This is a newly manufactured God-subduing Peak. It is faster than Fiery Floating Cloud and has greater defense and combat power. This is, in these past few years, Elders Guild’s greatest achievement. The release of Guardian of Five Elements sent Fiery Floating Cloud and bamboo carts to the bin. Elders Guild used this on a diplomatic mission in order to display its power. You can tell who it’s going to be used against just by its name "God-subduing Peak".
Jiang Wei’s eyes lit up. "Who knew Elders Guild kept something this good hidden!"
Blood of God called itself God Nation and practitioners were called god elementalists, so it went without saying that "God-subduing Peak" aimed to deal with them.
Shi Xueman agreed. "Although they based it on Master Wang’s theory, Elders Guild must have its own talent for them to be able to fashion something so great."
Jiang Wei was stunned. "Which Master Wang?"
Knowing she had been unclear, Shi Xueman explained, "Ai Hui’s teacher, Wang Shouchuan. Elders Guild has already decided to confer the title of "Master" on Wang Shouchuan, except that they have yet to announce it. The plan of [Treating The City As A Piece Of Cloth] had been sent to Elders Guild as top secret. I’ve heard that over these three years, Elders Guild has been concentrating their research on it, and indeed, results have been produced."
Ai Hui, Wang Shouchuan…
The stifling image of the final war of Central Pine automatically surfaced in Jiang Wei’s mind, causing him to feel all sorts of emotions rising in his heart. Wang Shouchuan wasn’t a well-known individual with memorable accomplishments. What was Ai Hui’s reaction upon hearing this news?
Thinking about that unique fellow, Jiang Wei couldn’t help but inquire, "Where’s Ai Hui? Haven’t heard about him as if he’s evaporated from this world."
Shi Xueman replied, "That fellow will live very well, wherever he is."
Jiang Wei felt at ease. "Haha, that’s true."
The name "Wang Shouchuan" carried a certain graveness and braveness and wasn’t suitable for casual chit-chat, so Jiang Wei initiated a change in topic. "God-subduing Peak requires how many elementalists? Are there any minimum requirements in terms of the elementalists’ realms? When will the frontline be equipped with it?"
Sang Zhijun answered in all familiarity, "Elementalists have to attain elemental externalization and any element type will do. A minimum of five is required to control it, but approximately fifty will be needed to unleash its full potential. Of course, this is in the case where there’s no expert. If there are experts, less manpower is required. A Master can control the whole God-subduing Peak alone. As to when the frontline will be equipped, I’m not too sure."
Shi Xueman added, "The second God-subduing Peak is about to be completed and will be given to Sky Edge Division. The name your division suggested to Elders Guild has already been approved. Sacred Blood. I heard that the name originated from the remains of a book, which talked about the bizarre land, where Sacred Blood was the first demonic sword. There was a row of small words, ‘consume the Sacred Blood to know its taste’, on it. Your division leader really liked this sentence. Elders Guild felt that this name symbolized the determination involved in this death match between the Avalon of Five Elements and god elementalists."
Jiang Wei muttered, "Sounds too aggressive."
"God-subduing Peak is a good thing but whether or not it is able to change the outcome of the war, we can only find out after combat. The problem now is that God-subduing Peak consume ingredients too fast. Even the usually ample supply of cloud material is starting to become a problem. The cloud-based material produced by Palette Cloud Village has been stuffed into all of it, causing the market price to rise exponentially. If this supply problem isn’t solved soon, God-subduing Peak will not be able to be engaged extensively at the frontline, and a third will not be produced in the near future.
Shi Xueman pointed out this bottleneck calmly.
"It’s always a good thing." Jiang Wei was a practical guy. He had always been on the frontline and understood it better. "The people needed something to boost their morale. At least they know that Elders Guild is actually doing something instead of plotting against one another."
Shi Xueman couldn’t help but feel concerned. "The soldiers at the frontline had such low morales?"
"Very low." Jiang Wei added helplessly, "We haven’t clenched any decent victories, and lost Yellow Sand Corner and Fire Prairie instead. Many enemies used to be friends and no one wanted to fight. Not just us, but the other side as well. Jadeite Forest is independent as well so people are more separated now. Sigh, the conflict between new citizens and influential families is more intense than ever."
Shi Xueman stayed quiet for a while before asking him to continue.
"Blood of God is putting in a lot of effort to rope in new citizens. Furthermore, the process of elementalists converting into blood elementalists is much more safer and easier now. Blood of God promises that these elementalists could bring their families along and even raise their family names. The new citizens from Old Territory mostly had families, so being able to take them along to live better lives wavered their decisions naturally. You definitely know more about the aristocratic families than I do."
Shi Xueman did indeed.
Ever since Jadeite Forest became independent, it had undoubtedly set an example for the aristocratic families. Although, having learnt their lesson from previous mistakes, Elders Guild held even stricter control over Silver Mist Sea and Palette Cloud Village. But the vast Wilderness carried unlimited opportunities.
Shi Xueman knew much more. She hesitated before speaking softly, "Elders Guild is considering whether or not to grant people the liberty of building cities in Wilderness."
Sang Zhijun gave an alarmed cry as Jiang Wei stood dumbstruck.
It pained Shi Xueman to say this but she did anyway, quietly, "To the higher ups, it’s enough for the frontline to persevere. What’s the point of snatching Yellow Sand Corner and Fire Prairie back? Elementalists can become god elementalists but not the other way round. The land there’s already been corroded by blood poison. It cannot be restored even if we get it back."
Seeing Jiang Wei’s soulless expression made Shi Xueman crestfallen as well.
Getting Yellow Sand Corner and Fire Prairie back had been their war slogan and Jiang Wei had witnessed countless people sacrificing their lives for this. The fact that this was merely a scam was hard for Jiang Wei to digest.
Jiang Wei asked suddenly, "If that’s the case, why fight against Blood of God? Why not negotiate instead?"
"Blood of God is not down for negotiation." Shi Xueman shook her head. "Don’t you think it’s strange? The speed at which the blood poison is corroding Yellow Sand Corner and Fire Prairie is so fast, but have you heard of the Wilderness being corroded?"
Jiang Wei was stunned.
Giving him a look, Shi Xueman continued, "While the reason is still unknown, Elders Guild is certain that the blood poison is unable to invade the Wilderness."
Jiang Wei understood it quickly. "So the Blood of God can only expand in our direction?"
"Yes. Blood of God has three directions to expand itself: Silver Mist Sea, Old Territory and Jadeite Forest, but ultimately it will be us," Shi Xueman added, "On the contrary, if we are unable to rebuild the Avalon of Five Elements and the elemental energy is unable to circulate, it will only wither, causing us to weaken. So, we can only advance in the direction of the Wilderness and obtain resources from there. Breaking sufficient grounds would allow us to rebuild the Avalon of Five Elements."
Thinking about his own mission, something dawned upon Jiang Wei. "Lesser Avalon of Five Elements was a trial?"
"Yes." Shi Xueman continued, "The frontline is a protective screen to obstruct Blood of God’s expansion. It’s purpose is to win more time for the reconstruction of the Avalon of Five Elements. Elders Guild created God-subduing Peak in the hope that it can stand guard and advance forward steadily, so as to reduce the number elite troops needed on the frontline. The Elders Guild also hopes to find a method to destroy the blood poison in the Wilderness."
All at once, the three fell into silence.
Only silence was appropriately describing their complicated emotions. There was disappointment, hopefulness, uneasiness, indecisiveness, and more so, they were at a loss.
The future was clear to none, like a faraway place that was enveloped by a thick fog.