When Xiao Chen clearly saw the appearance of that group of people, his expression changed slightly. The leader was someone he met once, Ba Tu.
The ones miserably fleeing were the descendants of the Black Sea’s great bandits. The ones chasing them were two or three Small Perfection quasi-Emperor loose cultivators.
After thinking for a moment, Xiao Chen decided to help out.
“Little Yellow Feather, I’ll leave this to you!”
Little Yellow Feather stretched its wings in front of the Immortal Spirit Ring. After getting a good look at the group of people Xiao Chen pointed to, it flew out at lightning speed and immediately executed Ten Sun Splendor.
Ten clumps of flames as bright as the sun appeared in the sky, producing a surging heat wave.
The seawater instantly evaporated, and boundless steam billowed up, obscuring the vision.
Before the few Small Perfection quasi-Emperors in pursuit could react, the ten suns descended, encasing the area and preventing everyone from escaping.
This was the Ten Sun Splendor that could melt even Xiao Chen’s Azure Dragon Battle Armor. What could this group of Small Perfection quasi-Emperors do against it? Before they could even let out a miserable shriek, they burned to ashes.
This scene flabbergasted Ba Tu and his group. As they looked at Little Yellow Feather in the sky, they were horrified.
“Big Brother, this divine bird seems to have a master.”
“Could it be that its master has his eyes on our treasure?”
Ba Tu, who was carrying an ancient corpse, showed an uncertain expression. He said, “Just his pet is already so powerful. We will definitely be unable to run away. We should just go over and take a look.”
Feeling very nervous, the group followed Little Yellow Feather, traveling over the surface of the sea.
After executing Ten Sun Splendor, Little Yellow Feather appeared significantly weakened. When it flew down to Xiao Chen, he took out Astral Cores and fed them to the little fellow.
Ba Tu and his group moved cautiously. When they saw this scene, it shocked them senseless.
The master of this divine bird was actually the famous Azure Dragon King, Xiao Chen.
Ba Tu laughed loudly and hurried forward. Then he performed a cupped-fist salute and said, “Brother Xiao Chen, many thanks for helping out. It looks like Brother still remembers our first meeting.”
Giving the corpse slung over Ba Tu’s shoulder a curious look, Xiao Chen said softly, “It’s just a trivial matter. Brother Ba Tu is too polite.”
“Your trivial matter managed to save the lives of us brothers. How can I not be polite?”
Xiao Chen smiled. “The few of you came out from the road that buries Emperors?”
Ba Tu nodded and said with a regretful expression, “Yes. We managed to find a corpse in the fourth ring but did not dare to continue further in, so we came out. Who knew, a few loose cultivators targeted us, reducing us to such a sorry state. This is truly a case of a tiger being insulted by dogs when it comes down to the plains. If we were in the Black Sea, they would not even dare to make a move against us.”
[TL Note: A tiger being insulted by dogs when it comes down to the plains: This means that one gets bullied when not holding the home-ground advantage.]
After saying that, Ba Tu introduced his group of brothers behind him to Xiao Chen.
Xiao Chen greeted all of them, not appearing proud or arrogant at all. This improved the impression that Ba Tu’s brothers had of him.
“What is the situation at the heart of the ocean? Based on Brother Ba Tu’s words, it seems like the group of outstanding talents were not satisfied even in the fourth ring and still wanted to go further in.”
A look of horror flashed in Ba Tu’s eyes. “Right now, the rumors are that of the four major characters who entered, only Zong Boxiong made it to the heart of the ocean. The three great Fiends of the Fiend Race all died on the road that buries Emperors.
“Those outstanding talents are still going forward and have gained a shocking harvest. As long as they can come back alive, I estimate that there will be many young quasi-Emperors at the Four Seas Hero Gathering one year hence.”
One of the brothers interrupted, saying, “The one with the greatest harvest is definitely Zong Boxiong. As long as he can come out, he will undoubtedly be conferred a King. The situation within the Black Sea is bound to change. We need to return quickly and inform the elders of this news.”
[TL Note: Just a reminder, there are two ways to be conferred King. The first is through a ceremony like Xiao Chen’s. The other is to advance to Sovereign Martial Emperor. Xiao Chen referred to the second method as being truly conferred King.
Ba Tu nodded his head and said, “Zong Boxiong is extremely ambitious. We have to rush back. I can’t continue chatting with you, Brother Xiao Chen, but in the future, when you go to the Black Sea, we will definitely play the good host.”
Pausing for a while, he took off a jade strip pendant from the neck of the corpse. Then he said, “I really don’t have anything good to repay you with. Take this jade strip as a small present. This corpse belonged to a Sovereign Martial Emperor of the Ancient Era. Unfortunately, after he was conferred King, he did not manage to make it back alive, falling along the way. This jade strip should be something good.”
Xiao Chen accepted the jade strip and performed a cupped-fist salute.
“Let’s go. Brother Xiao Chen, do remember to visit the Black Sea!”
This group of lawless great bandits’ descendants was very carefree, not pretentious at all, leaving when they wanted.
Xiao Chen chewed on Ba Tu’s words. The three great Fiends had died on the road, and only Zong Boxiong reached the heart of the ocean.
The road that buried Emperors lived up to its name indeed.
Zong Boxiong must be the major character that warned Xiao Chen previously. Could the deaths of the other three have something to do with him?
At this moment, Xiao Chen could not have guessed that Zong Boxiong only wanted to leave an opponent for his godson, to prevent that opponent from dying at another person’s hand.
Cause-and-effect was extremely mysterious. When Xiao Chen met Zong Boxiong’s godson in the Black Sea more than a year later, his expression would turn extremely complicated.
Xiao Chen, where should we go now? Are we still going to the Northern Sea Alliance? Ao Jiao asked.
Naturally, it’s important to go. However…
Xiao Chen’s original plan of looking for a backer could wait for a while. Previously, his fame had spread far and wide, filled with unlimited potential.
Now, however, he needed to become a Martial Emperor in five years. His life or death was unpredictable. The words of those old men from the Divine Dragon Palaces might not have been pleasant to hear, but that was what most people thought.
Since there was no value in such an alliance, why would the other party make such a large group of strong enemies for the sake of Xiao Chen?
Perhaps Ye Chen might not think that way. However, Xiao Chen had seen too much of the world; he had long understood this thinking.
In such a large faction like the Northern Sea Alliance, Ye Chen still could not call the shots.
Now, when going to the Northern Sea Alliance, Xiao Chen just wanted to see this friend of his, to thank Ye Chen for the congratulatory gifts he received at the King conferral ceremony.
Where to, after that? Ao Jiao asked.
This question stunned Xiao Chen. Indeed, where should he go after that? Where could he go to find a way for him to become a Martial Emperor in five years?
Should he go to look for the Supreme Sky Emperor? Or perhaps the Prime Thunder Sovereign?
However, he was simply too ashamed to meet these two Primes. They held so many expectations for him, gave him plenty of help, yet he ended up in such a situation. How could he not be embarrassed to seek them out again?
The vast sea looked boundless. The sky was high; the sea was broad. However, Xiao Chen felt like he had nowhere to go despite the world being so large.
When Ao Jiao saw this, she suddenly felt a pang in her heart. Azure Dragon King, three glorious and dazzling words. However, this title brought with it great pressure and fetters.
Those who could see only the dazzling side of the Azure Dragon King would never understand.
If not for the status of being the Azure Emperor’s descendant, Xiao Chen would definitely be able to live a much more relaxed life than now. He would not have to work so hard and bear everything on his own.
Xiao Chen collected his thoughts, shifting them to the jade strip that Ba Tu handed him. He wondered what kind of treasure this was.
This came from an ancient cultivator who had reached the heart of the ocean. It was surely not something simple.
Ba Tu had not even bothered looking at it before making it a gift. He had not feared suffering a disadvantage, showing extremely great sincerity.
After toying with the jade strip, Xiao Chen sent in his Spiritual Sense. After a while, he revealed an astounded expression.
How is it? Ao Jiao asked in curiosity when she saw Xiao Chen’s face.
Take a look for yourself.
Ao Jiao flew out and took the jade strip. After looking for a while, she smiled in pleasant surprise. “Dragon Seeking Art, this is an ancient secret technique that has only a single line of inheritance. Unexpectedly, you managed to find it.”
The Dragon Seeking Art was naturally not for hunting real dragons. It was a secret technique for finding Spirit Veins based on geography, astrological signs, and geomancy.
In ancient times, Spirit Veins were also known as ground dragons. The Spirit Veins often took the shape of a dragon, so there was nothing wrong with the name Dragon Seeking Art.
During the Ancient Era, there had been people who specialized in seeking Spirit Veins. Known as Geomasters, they had held high status, much higher than that of refiners or Alchemists.
“The dragons hide in the depths; the sea hides the dragons. There should be many more Spirit Veins in the vast oceans compared to the Kunlun Continent. This Dragon Seeking Art is sure to be much more effective in the Heavenly Starry Ocean. Right now, what you lack is Spirit Veins. It’s like this jade strip was made for you.” Ao Jiao appeared extremely excited.
Xiao Chen smiled faintly and tightly grasped the jade strip without saying anything.
If everything followed the norms, it would take him at least four years to cultivate to Small Perfection quasi-Emperor, then at least another four years to reach Great Perfection quasi-Emperor.
Given Xiao Chen’s comprehension ability, condensing a soul for the Heavenly Seal would take relatively little time.
The biggest barriers for Xiao Chen’s advance to Martial Emperor were the bottlenecks to Small Perfection quasi-Emperor and Great Perfection quasi-Emperor. If he really had to spend eight years on them, he would be dead for sure.
However, now that he had the Dragon Seeking Art, as long as he acquired sufficient resources, those bottlenecks would no longer be a problem.
The only thing that he needed to worry about was the Great Tribulation of wind and fire after reaching peak Consummation.
Xiao Chen’s face suddenly froze and revealed a grave expression. Then, with the wave of his hand, he sent out a silver warship. That was a Secret Treasure that he had obtained in the Sky Dome Realm.
Now that Xiao Chen reached this level, such a Secret Treasure would no longer catch his interest.
However, humans tended to be nostalgic. After coming to the Kunlun Realm, Xiao Chen had set aside some time to fix this warship.
Now, this Secret Treasure came in handy for the sake of avoiding attention.
“Ao Jiao, you control the warship. Bring us to the Northern Sea. I will enter closed-door cultivation and focus all my efforts on this Dragon Seeking Art.”
Ao Jiao rejoiced in her heart; she finally saw a trace of hope. She smiled and said, “Roger that! You can enter closed-door cultivation with assurance. Just leave the other matters to Little Yellow Feather and me.”
Xiao Chen nodded and did not say anything more. He entered the recuperation room to study the Dragon Seeking Art.
The Dragon Seeking Art was actually just the generic term for such secret techniques, rather like Alchemy or refining. It encompassed many techniques.
Refining, for example, had the Book of Heavenly Works in Mo Chen’s hands. It was a divine canon of refining, a supreme existence.
The Dragon Seeking Art hidden in his jade strip was called Paradise Secret Canon. “Paradise” referred to a thorough understanding of the heavenly mysteries.
Just based on this name, one could guess that the Paradise Secret Canon had to be of a very high level among Dragon Seeking Arts.
The Paradise Secret Canon was divided into three parts. The first part was the most complicated. It functioned somewhat like a summary and introduced the situation of the clan of the jade strip’s original owner, speaking of their glory during the Ancient Era.
This part recorded in detail the origins of the Dragon Seeking Art as well as the various sects and branches of Geomasters.
Xiao Chen read until he developed a headache. This could not be considered cultivation, so he only looked at the front part and skimmed through the latter parts, just getting a rough understanding.
The owner of this jade strip was called Yuwen Chen, the sole inheritor of the Yuwen Clan. With his death, the line of succession ended.
This clan was very illustrious during the Ancient Era, holding a high status among Geomasters. The inheritors of this clan were all known as Great Heavenly Masters.
However, this clan did not care for fame or fortune, not accepting the invitations of the various clans, and functioned independently. This low profile consigned the clan to obscurity later on.
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