The rain infused with starlight poured down. Against a star-filled night sky, it formed a magnificent, dreamy scene.
Xiao Chen let the rain fall on him as he calmly evaluated the might of the Cycle Banner.
Ao Jiao once explained to him, Primes aside, there were three stages of Martial Emperor: Minor Heavenly, Greater Heavenly, and Sovereign.
Every stage was again divided into three levels known as Heavens. Altogether, they were the Nine Heavens of Martial Emperor.
First Heaven Martial Emperors, Second Heaven Martial Emperors, and Third Heaven Martial Emperors were Minor Heavenly Martial Emperors. Every time they broke through one Heaven, they would face a strong lightning tribulation.
If one could not clear the lightning tribulation, naturally one would die from it. Hence, regular Martial Emperors who were not fully confident would rarely choose to make a breakthrough.
At that level, very few people would maintain the drive from before they advanced to Martial Emperor.
Martial Emperors lived for a long time and were greatly respected. Everyone respected them. With such circumstances, most of them cherished their lives.
Of course, there were some crazy or aberrant people who underwent two or three lightning tribulations at the same time, defying the heavens.
Such people in history were either crazy or powerful outstanding talents capable of ushering in a new age.
Nine Heavens. After every three, there would be a major breakthrough, entering a brand-new world. If one managed to clear nine tribulations, one would be known as a Prime Martial Emperor.
However, was there a peak after Prime? No one could confirm it.
Although Xiao Chen was not a Martial Emperor now, he had already condensed the Heart of an Emperor, which allowed him to use Primordial Energy. His physical body had also reached half-step Golden Body.
He was only half a step away from Martial Emperor, a small difference.
Xiao Chen estimated that with the current Cycle Banner, he could injure a First Heaven Minor Heavenly Martial Emperor. However, he would not be able to intimidate the other party. The Cycle Banner could not serve as his true trump card.
“A pseudo-Emperor Grade Secret Treasure is just a pseudo-Emperor Grade Secret Treasure after all. Although I can control it freely, it is still weaker than an Emperor Grade Secret Treasure,” Xiao Chen said frustratedly in the air.
Suddenly, his grip on the banner pole tightened. As he looked at the five circling beams of starlight, an idea popped into his mind.
If I completely merge the Astral Energy of Massacre, Ruin, Death, Grief, and Despair, would it result in the strongest strike of the Cycle Banner?
Xiao Chen put his thoughts into action immediately. Holding the banner pole, he swung it and used his Primordial Energy to activate this Cycle Banner, starting to absorb the Astral Energy in the sky to its greatest limit.
The scarlet banner unfurled and waved, rumbling endlessly.
The scattered starlight merged with the wild absorption of Xiao Chen below, the starlight condensing into five pillars of light piercing through the sky.
The five different-colored pillars of light arranged themselves into a line, descending behind Xiao Chen. An endless screen of water immediately shot up from the sea, reflecting the starlight.
This light painted the tall water screen in various colors. It looked very magnificent, intoxicating. It made one feel like one was in a dream or in heaven.
The five merged states made the magnificent Cycle Banner looked very plain and simple in contrast.
However, Xiao Chen, who held the banner pole, felt like he grasped a mountain—one that was extremely heavy and bursting with explosive energy.
Five different kinds of energy maintained a balance with much difficulty in the seemingly ordinary banner. It was like a dormant volcano. When it erupted, it would definitely be earth-shattering.
Sweat dripped off Xiao Chen’s forehead. He strained somewhat, finding this balance challenging to maintain.
He forced himself to calm down. With a shout, he raised the banner and used it as a spear, stabbing the air in front of him.
The water screen behind Xiao Chen turned into multicolored rain falling to the sea.
A perfect and flawless black hole silently appeared where the tip of the banner had stabbed. There were no cracks or jagged edges around the hole.
Punching a hole in space!
These words came to the panting Xiao Chen’s mind as he looked at that black hole.
The black hole in front of him was vastly different from the spatial tears he saw in the past.
No matter how strong the Martial Techniques of the past were, they could only destabilize space somewhat and create some tears or cracks, which would automatically heal shortly after.
However, this black hole before Xiao Chen was created by completely piercing through space. It would not heal back quickly.
Space was like a complicated building. The space of the Kunlun Realm was not only sturdy but also extremely resilient.
For one to be able to pierce through space, one would need to be at least a Third Heaven Martial Emperor or use the peak strike of an Emperor Grade Secret Treasure.
For the Cycle Banner to be able to do this, it was already worthy of removing the “pseudo” word in front of it. It could be considered a proper Emperor Grade Secret Treasure.
Furthermore, Xiao Chen would use it as he pleased, controlling it freely.
When thinking of all this, Xiao Chen could not help feeling pleased and guffawing. Now, it could already rival an Emperor Grade Secret Treasure. If someday he could gather the Pain Throne and Destruction Throne, properly upgrading the Cycle Banner to an Emperor Grade Secret Treasure, it might be able to rival the Primordial Emperor Treasures of the five major races.
After laughing to his heart’s content, he calmed down and said, “Those things are still far away; it is too early to think of them. The more important thing is what’s before me. I finally have a trump card that can be used to deal with Minor Heavenly Martial Emperors!”
Xiao Chen put away the Cycle Banner, and all the mysterious phenomena immediately disappeared. Night disappeared and the morning sun reappeared. The warm light swept over without any fear.
The entire sea turned golden and glittery. As he looked at the boundless sea, he was in a good mood.
“It is time to go to the Distant Sea Dragon Grave!”
Xiao Chen settled his emotions and took out the sea chart. After he located the Distant Sea Dragon Grave, he shifted his finger and stopped on a particular island.
This island was the largest island of the Dragon Grave Sea—Treasure Dragon Island. All the cultivators going to explore the dragon graves would make a final pit stop there.
They would go there to either recruit some companions or purchase Medicinal Pills. Everything that an adventurer needed could be found there.
No matter what Star Grade of dragon grave they were going to explore, they would make a final pit stop there. Even the Distant Sea Dragon Grave was no exception.
Xiao Chen pushed off the ground and unfurled the Freedom Wings. He executed Thunder Dragon Steps and rushed towards Treasure Dragon Island so fast that he looked like a bolt of purple lightning.
He appeared like an indistinct roaming dragon, leaving no trace of his movements behind.
Using his fastest speed, Xiao Chen spent no more than seven or eight minutes to reach Treasure Dragon City.
He went to the restaurant where the entrance to the black market was, then spent a large amount of money to obtain the news that he wanted from a Consummation quasi-Emperor.
“Hehe! There is indeed a group of Martial Emperors preparing to explore the Distant Sea Dragon Grave. All the half-step Martial Emperors in the entire Dragon Grave Sea have already heard of it and rushed over.”
Xiao Chen looked at the middle-aged man, who seemed somewhat constipated, and asked, “Why are half-step Martial Emperors going there?”
After collecting one hundred thousand Black Astral Coins from Xiao Chen, the middle-aged man chuckled and replied, “Naturally, to become cannon fodder.”
“That works as well? There are even people rushing to become cannon fodder?” Xiao Chen felt confused.
The middle-aged man smiled. Seeing that Xiao Chen looked very young, he said, “That depends on what place it is. This is the great forbidden land, the Distant Sea Dragon Grave. Not to mention, even you want to do it, it still depends on whether those Martial Emperors are willing to use you or not.
“If I were a half-step Martial Emperor, I would go as well. It is a great forbidden land, extremely tempting. Cultivators are like this. As long as there are opportunities, even though it is dangerous, they will not be able to resist the temptation in their hearts.”
Xiao Chen nodded, understanding the logic behind this. This was something where both parties were willing.
For the sake of caution or due to a lack of people, these Martial Emperors also needed some cannon fodder to scout ahead. These half-step Martial Emperors were not capable of entering the Distant Sea Dragon Grave themselves. Even though they knew that they would be cannon fodder, they still wanted to borrow the strength of the Martial Emperors to explore the depths of the Distant Sea Dragon Grave.
“Tell me where it is, and I’ll rush over,” Xiao Chen said after some thought—words the other party did not dare to believe.
Smiling, the middle-aged man sized up Xiao Chen. After that, he held his hand up and said, “Brother, I admit that I’m somewhat taking advantage of you by accepting so many Black Astral Coins. However, I sincerely advise you not to go.
“Of course, I’m not worried that you won’t be able to return from the Distant Sea Dragon Grave, unless those Martial Emperors are blind. With your strength, you will definitely not be able to go. I’m worried that those half-step Martial Emperors will seek trouble for you, humiliating you.”
When Xiao Chen heard that, he was somewhat amused. He said, “What’s your name? You are rather honest.”
“Just a humble name with no repute to it. My family name is Feng, and my given name is Buyu. The cool breeze moves wordlessly, drifting about leisurely.” The middle-aged man calmly accepted Xiao Chen’s praise and very poetically introduced his name.
[TL Note: Feng is wind in Chinese. Buyu means not speaking. Together, Feng Buyu’s name means that the winds do not speak. Incidentally, this is a different person from the Feng Buyu that appeared in chapter 500. However, that Feng Buyu uses the same characters, hence, the same meaning.]
Xiao Chen nodded and silently repeated the name in his heart. Then, he nodded and said, “I’ll remember it. The cool breeze moves wordlessly. Can you tell me where the group of Martial Emperors is gathering now?”
Feng Buyu exclaimed in shock, “You are really going?”
Xiao Chen replied calmly, “Naturally, I am. Otherwise, why do you think I gave you one hundred thousand Black Astral Coins? I’m not a foolish person or an idiot. I’m just in a rush for time.”
Feng Buyu put down the wine cup and gave Xiao Chen a thumbs-up. He said, “You are unyielding. I’ll tell you, then. There is a mountain manor built by the lake to the south of the city. That is the Dragon Slayer’s mountain manor. The person leading the group of Martial Emperors is him.”
“Dragon Slayer?” When Xiao Chen heard this name, he felt somewhat uncomfortable.
Xiao Chen was the Azure Emperor’s descendant. He was also conferred the Azure Dragon King. Yet, this person was known as the Dragon Slayer. He could not help a sense of dissonance.
“Right, it is him. Rumor says that he comes from the Heavenly Starry Ocean. He does not remain in the Dragon Grave Sea for very long each year. However, he is a legend in the Dragon Grave Sea,” Feng Buyu said.
From the Heavenly Starry Ocean?
Xiao Chen felt somewhat interested. He looked at Feng Buyu and asked, “How is he so?”
Feng Buyu smiled faintly. After hesitating for a moment, he said, “As an information broker, I never give away free information. However, these two pieces of information are not really much. I’ll tell you a little more.
“The Dragon Slayer’s cultivation may not look high, but he gives off a feeling of unfathomability. I do not dare to go to some of the dragon graves that he explored. The same goes even for some half-step Martial Emperors.”
Feng Buyu poured himself another cup of wine and continued, “He has explored thousands of Dragon Graves. Every time he makes a move, there will definitely be a harvest. This is how his nickname of Dragon Slayer came about. The more mystifying story was that he once entered the Distant Sea Dragon Grave alone and managed to come out alive.”
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