Chapter 331 - City Expansion Order
Peace City was devastated. The bustling construction site had become deathly quiet.
People sat listlessly among the materials that were scattered all over the unfinished construction site. Cloud Ridge City had been destroyed overnight, and the plan to build the Lesser Avalon of Five Elements had gone with it. All hopes had been dashed.
Everyone was stuck in a daze.
The spirits of those in the Swordsman Training Hall had plunged greatly.
Witnessing an entire city collapse with their own eyes would certainly make anyone feel absolutely wretched. Moreover, this destruction was caused by their sworn enemy.
Shi Xueman walked up to Ai Hui and informed, "The results of the investigation are out. The blood sacrificial warriors were specially created by the Beast Venom Temple."
"Beast Venom Temple? What do they do? The name sounds positively ghastly," commented Fatty, who could not help shiver as he thought about it.
Without lifting his head, Ai Hui said, "It is where the Blood of God nurtures and creates blood fiends and other strange things. It has existed for a long time, and consists of the core members of the Blood of God. The earliest blood poisons were created by them. The Beast Venom Temple prides itself on the creation of ever stranger things, and its members are high up on the hierarchy."
Shi Xueman could not help but look at Ai Hui. She was quite surprised that Ai Hui was this familiar with the Blood of God. She, herself, had not even known that the blood poisons were created by the Beast Venom Temple. Thinking further, she deduced that Ai Hui had probably delved deeply into the Blood of God’s working as part of his plans for exacting revenge.
Fatty looked unwell as he spoke, "But isn’t it terribly ruthless to sacrifice people like that?"
"Would the blood disaster in the Induction Ground have happened if they weren’t ruthless?" asked Sang Zhijun.
Considering that the Blood of God had never respected the sanctity of life, there was nothing to be surprised about.
Fatty was horrified. "What can we do then? All they have to do is send a couple of these blood sacrificial warriors and it’s over?"
Ai Hui shook his head, "It isn’t that easy to create blood sacrificial warriors since the process requires people who have an extremely high endurance. The subjects are usually less talented blood elementalists. They would be infused with fresh blood that came from all sorts of blood fiends. This seemingly inhumane process is one of the Beast Venom Temple’s favorite methods. Ancient methods of creating the strongest poisons involved pitting venomous insects against one another in a small box. The one that survived the massacre would naturally be the most vicious."
Everyone’s faces lost some color. Listening to Ai Hui’s brief explanation gave them the creeps.
Ai Hui continued, "The chosen blood elementalists’ bodies work the same way as the box while the different types of blood are like the venomous insects. Using this method, the Beast Venom Temple has been able to create various types of blood sacrificial warriors. However, the success rate is very low since most blood elementalists cannot endure the toxicity of the blood fiends’ blood."
Fatty felt his mouth go dry. "What will happen to those who cannot endure it?"
"What do you think?" retorted Ai Hui.
Sang Zhijun’s face was drained of color. "That’s terrible! Have they lost every last shred of their humanity? How can they simply disregard human life like that!"
"No wonder the name ‘Beast Venom Temple’ gave me goosebumps," uttered Fatty, his voice quivering a little.
"It is pretty ghastly, but not exactly what you guys are thinking," said Ai Hui while he shook his head. "The creation of blood sacrificial warriors is merely a tiny part of the work they do, and the scope of their research is extremely extensive. They are the reason why the Blood of God was able to establish themselves so rapidly. Domesticating blood fiends as a source of blood crystals was one of their brilliant ideas. The Beast Venom Temple is highly regarded among the Blood of God."
Shi Xueman could not help but ask, "Why?"
"They do not directly intervene in the God Nation’s affairs, but constantly provide new types of blood fiends such as the ardent flower night wolf. The god priests of the Beast Venom Temple also make their rounds throughout the God Nation to guide its people on how to harvest jade fruits, a type of blood crystal that is grown on trees."
"Grown on trees?"
Everyone’s eyes were wide open with shock.
The Blood of God’s workings were extremely mysterious and bizarre to most people.
"Since this harvest only occurs once every four years, nobody can say for sure how big an impact it’ll make. As long as it goes well, the Blood of God’s power will further consolidate. Meanwhile, look at our Elders Guild, heh."
Ai Hui scoffed with disdain. He did not disguise his scorn for the Elders Guild.
Everybody felt a slight panic upon being reminded of the Elders Guild. The Blood of God was actually surging forward while the members of the Elders Guild were busy infighting.
"It’s actually not a bad thing." Duanmu Huanghun coughed, waiting for everyone’s attention before continuing, "I’m talking about about the lesser Avalon of Five Elements’ failure. The lesser Avalon of Five Elements plan isn’t something new and is actually just a rehash of an old plan that was stored away for many years. This plan was drawn up shortly after the founding of the Avalon of Five Elements as a fallback if their fight against the Wilderness failed. After the Avalon of Five Elements became more and more stable, the plan was shelved in the Induction Ground and quickly became forgotten. Considering that the entire Induction Ground was destroyed by the blood disaster, the Elders Guild must have spent a lot of effort to dig up this plan from elsewhere. Little did they expect the Blood of God to act so swiftly and ruthlessly."
Duanmu Huanghun continued, "The requirements for building the lesser Avalon of Five Elements are very stringent. The biggest challenge for the Elders Guild now is to find a suitable location as soon as possible. I’m guessing that they’ll encourage more people to go into the Wilderness to search for such a place. This is the only choice they have at the moment. Failing at this will cause the fire, wood, and earth elementalists to rebel."
Just as he finished his last syllable, Jiang Wei hurriedly walked in and announced, "The Elders Guild has just issued the latest Bigtree Decree."
Everyone turned their attention toward him.
Every Elder had the power to send out a decree, but the Bigtree Decree was an order that could only be passed if all the Elders agreed to it at a Bigtree Meeting. In the Avalon of Five Elements, it was a mandate of the highest degree.
"The Elders Guild has issued a city expansion order: any family, group, or individual who registers with the Elders Guild will be permitted to build a city in the Wilderness. Since cities in the Wilderness do not have the typical elemental energy system in Avalon of Five Elements, the Elders Guild has decided to sell the blueprints for building all five types of elemental energy pool. As long as they can build their own elemental energy pool, each city will be able to operate independently. The cities constructed will belong to the settlers, themselves."
"In addition, the mayor of the first city to build and operate elemental energy pools of all five elements will become the next Great Elder of Elders Guild."
Jiang Wei finished the announcement in one breath.
Everyone instantly turned to look at Duanmu Huanghun.
His mouth was wide open in surprise.
"Wow, who would have thought that you’d have such foresight!" Shi Xueman exclaimed excitedly. "Looks like you’ve been actively engaging in petty political discourses during these past three years!"
Duanmu Huanghun’s eyes almost rolled out of their sockets. Was this how you praise people?
Upon seeing Ai Hui’s awestruck face, however, Duanmu Huanghun felt much better. After suffering all that humiliation due to him, Duanmu Huanghun finally managed to amaze Ai Hui.
Ai Hui rubbed his chin pensively and muttered out loud, "Looks like the Elders Guild is risking everything on this!"
Everyone nodded their heads spontaneously. Although the aristocratic families were powerful, they were still under the control of the Elders Guild. Now that the Elders Guild was allowing them to build their own cities, it meant that they would be able to set up their own independent regimes.
Furthermore, even the position of the next Great Elder was up for grabs. The Elders Guild actually had the drive to take such bold actions.
Duanmu Huanghun sneered. "Drinking poison to quench the thirst. They won’t be able to take their power back once it’s been given away. If everyone has their own city, who is going to give a hoot about the Elders Guild? The Elders Guild has to consider the welfare of all elementalists, but the aristocratic families are more likely to only be concerned with themselves. Take the Shi family for example. All they need is a water elemental energy pool. By giving up their absolute control over elemental energy, the Elders Guild is giving up their power as well. Nonetheless, the Elders Guild doesn’t have any other choice. What they are trying to do is to subtly tell everyone that they no longer have the power to control everything and that everyone needs to find their own way forward."
Wry smiles could be seen throughout the group. Duanmu Huanghun’s words were harsh, but they were the truth.
"The elemental energy in the Silver Mist Sea and Palette Cloud Village have dwindled significantly. If the lesser Avalon of Five Elements isn’t ready in a few more years, these two places will wither away. The Elders Guild is probably trying to divide these issues and take alternative steps to address each one."
As he continued his speech, Duanmu Huanghun’s voice changed from one of contempt to one of helplessness. Compared to the prospering Blood of God, the Avalon of Five Elements was like the setting sun, destined to fade away.
Ai Hui shook his head defiantly. "There can be no construction without destruction. We’ll just have to make a new path if the current one cannot be trod upon."
Shi Xueman asked, "What about us?"
All of the others, including Duanmu Huanghun, were looking expectantly at Ai Hui for an answer.
Ai Hui thought for a moment before replying, "Everyone needs to find out more information first. The Bigtree Decree has just been announced, so things will take a while to happen. Developing a city in the Wilderness isn’t a simple task, so we’ll need to make preparations."
All of them nodded their heads in response to Ai Hui’s reply and immediately got to work. They tapped into their different networks to get as much information as they could.
Ai Hui fell into deep thought.
Come to think of it, things were really as Huanghun said. The Elders Guild had run out of options. The destruction of the lesser Avalon of Five Elements left the Elders Guild in a bad state.
The Avalon of Five Elements was hanging by a thread.
The five elemental cyclical system was truly ingenious, but a single missing link would affect the entire cycle. In the short term, the wood, fire, and earth elementalists would be the ones giving the Elders Guild the greatest amount of pressure. However, if the cycle continued to be broken, then in the long run, even the strength of the metal and water elementalists would be lost.
The Silver Mist Sea had already begun to dry up.
The present Avalon of Five Elements was like a wounded person, weakening as the blood continued to pour out of his wounds. Was he going to wait for death or fight for life before his blood ran out?
The Elders Guild chose to fight, but could this plan really save the Avalon of Five Elements?
Something this big was not going to be so easily addressed by an individual. It was better to just focus on something more realistic.
Upon hearing about the decree, the aristocratic families and new citizens would both rush to develop the Wilderness. The benefits promised by the Elders Guild were sufficient to motivate everyone. Just the reward for being the first mayor to establish a five elemental city was already enough to spur the aristocratic families into overdrive.
It looked like there were wise men in the Elders Guild!
Wasn’t building a city that had all five elements operating pretty much the same as building the lesser Avalon of Five Elements?
Ai Hui now understood that the Elders Guild had turned the internal conflict into a public competition. Furthermore, the end goal was still the creation of the lesser Avalon of Five Elements.
Location was the key factor in building a five elemental city. The location had to contain extremely pure forms of all five elements that were in the right amounts and in the right places before they could be incorporated into a cycle.
Ai Hui was struck by a sudden flash of inspiration. Perhaps there was someone who knew about this.
The old prisoner!