Chapter 181: Seedling
“So Su Chen has returned?”
Within the Heavenly Might Battalion’s tent, Shi Kaihuang frowned as he gazed at the report in his hands. “Researching a way to help the Ravagers control Origin Energy? What is he thinking?”
“In his words, probably ‘just a simple exchange,’” Li Chongshan chuckled. “This disciple of yours can really come up with crazy ideas.”
“What a nonsensical idea!” Shi Kaihuang cursed. “Giving the Ravagers the ability to control Origin Energy and increasing the strength of our enemies? What kind of idea is that?”
“Don’t tell me that you can’t see through his intentions,” Li Chongshan said. “From a broader perspective, the five races are facing off against the Beasts together. In that sense, increasing the strength of the Ravagers is indeed beneficial for us. From a smaller perspective, he is fighting to obtain even more opportunities for the Heavenly Might Battalion.”
“Then what about from the middle perspective?”
“It’s a detriment to Long Sang Country!” Li Chongshan immediately replied.
Regardless of if you considered it from the standpoint of the mutual conflict against the Beasts or from the Heavenly Might Battalion’s current viewpoint, making such an exchange with the Ravagers was appropriate as it could bring about great benefits.
But since the threat from the beasts had yet to manifest apocalyptically and the five races were still fighting each other, the pressure on Long Sang Country would increase, as they needed to fend off the Ravagers on their own.
In other words, the entire human race and the Heavenly Might Battalion might benefit, but Long Sang Country would bear all the drawbacks.
Shi Kaihuang said, “What do you think His Majesty would think if he found this out?”
“What he’ll think about it, I don’t know. I just know that without Su Chen, the Heavenly Might Battalion would already have fallen. Also...... Su Chen might have already taken all this into account,” Li Chongshan stated calmly.
With the advent of the bloodline-less Blood Boiling and Yang Opening Realm techniques, as well as the Hemolytic Totem, the strength of the human race was rapidly increasing. However, because it was still early on, this advantage was not yet obvious. But as time naturally went on, humanity’s rise was inevitable.
Under these kinds of circumstances, the people who would reap the most benefits from the human race’s rise to power was obviously the people standing at the very peak.
When there was no external threat, internal struggles often would begin.
But what if the Ravagers’ strength increased during this period of time?
If the pressure on Long Sang Country didn’t decrease, then what would the situation look like?
On the other hand, if the Ravagers grew stronger but Su Chen also managed to complete the Light Shaking Realm technique, what would that mean......?
Even though Li Chongshan hadn’t known Su Chen for more than a few months, he understood Su Chen’s character. For every step that Su Chen took, he would think three additional steps ahead, so it was undeniable that Su Chen would have some kind of backup plan in place.
If Li Chongshan understood Su Chen, then how could Shi Kaihuang not?
When he heard Li Chongshan’s words, Shi Kaihuang froze momentarily, then sighed. “This is the only shortcoming of this disciple of mine. His thoughts are too deep, and he relies too much on trickery and scheming.”
“In this chaotic world, having too many thoughts is not necessarily a bad thing. If you aren’t intelligent, then how can you break through the restrictions that have suppressed tens of millions of people?” Li Chongshan said faintly.
“At least you’re able to be this casual about it,” Shi Kaihuang laughed bitterly. “If he keeps doing things like this, we might be in even bigger trouble by the time we return to Long Sang Country.”
Li Chongshan replied, “Do you think that we won’t have any trouble even if we return now?”
Shi Kaihuang was stunned. He fell into a moment of contemplative silence.
After a long time, he sighed and said, “I was the one who harmed the Heavenly Might Battalion.”
Why was the Heavenly Might Battalion in such a situation?
On the surface, the Crown Prince had been too greedy and had taken a huge risk, but Shi Kaihuang was very clear that, unless someone had prodded him in that direction, the Crown Prince would not have made such a huge mistake.
The reason someone had given him that prod was obvious once you thought about it.
His actions had affected the benefits certain individuals were receiving.
Shi Kaihuang had understood this principle while he was still at the Hidden Dragon Institute, but at that time all he thought was that he had to face this on his own.
However, for as farsighted and wise as he was, there were still some things that he had overlooked.
There were some burdens that he alone could not bear.
His friends, his comrades, and his disciple were now all wrapped up in it because of him.
However, none of them had said anything, and they had all accepted this without any complaints.
Li Chongshan said faintly, “There’s no point in talking about these things. You didn’t do anything wrong; there’s just a few people who aren’t willing to be washed away by the tides of change, is all.”
“The tides of change?” Shi Kaihuang’s eyes lit up.
“The seed has already been planted. A revolution is near,” Li Chongshan explained calmly.
Regardless of whether their opponents accepted it or tried to stop it, it was impossible to prevent the tide of a new age from crashing in.
Within Hurricane Canyon.
“Breathe...... use your cultivation technique to sense the outside environment. Calm yourself and focus your attention on the Phoenix Pool. Gather the Qi and concentrate your Origin Energy at the Wind Plain node in your body. Bring it into your Dantian, then your Origin Sea...... Don’t be in a hurry, make sure to do it slowly and precisely......”
Iron Cliff’s voice was gentle and calm, making people unconsciously want to listen and obey it.
The Heavens knew that he had never been this gentle before.
But when he was faced with a group of children — a group of Cliff Race children — being as gentle as possible was the best thing to do.
“Uncle Iron Cliff, Father tells me that I need to attack all-out in order to expand my sea of Origin Energy,” one of the twelve-year-old Cliff Race boys said.
His name was Miye, and he was the son of Hurricane Canyon’s Chieftain Hadley.
“What your father taught you was wrong. Trust your Uncle and do as I have taught you. I promise that you’ll be able to cultivate faster,” Iron Cliff replied with a slight smile.
“Okay, I’ll give it a shot,” Miye said as he tilted his head.
Miye’s small face turned as taut as a piece of mountain rock as he began to manipulate his Origin Energy with all his might.
Sweat began to bead and drip down from his forehead.
Miye began to sway. “I feel a bit dizzy.”
“Hold on just a bit longer, Miye. This is the most crucial step. Once you’re able to charge past it, everything will be fine,” Iron Cliff continued to soothe. “The same goes for everyone else.”
The group of children ground their teeth and continued pressing onwards. Sweat trailed down their foreheads, but the children continued to diligently study.
It was obvious that for them, just holding on was torturous and exhausting just based on the way that their bodies were swaying. However, their powerful wills allowed them to continue enduring.
Iron Cliff saw in them a ray of hope.
“Stop! What are you doing!”
An enraged howl sounded out from outside.
Hadley strode in, staring at Iron Cliff angrily.
“I’m teaching them how to control Origin Energy. What’s wrong?” Iron Cliff asked as he stood up.
“The method you’re teaching them is wrong!” Hadley yelled. “Are you trying to take them down the wrong path?”
“You’ve misunderstood, Chief Hadley,” Iron Cliff answered. “This is a technique that my master came up after improving upon current ones. You know that the Cliff Race’s perception of Origin Energy is weak; this kind of technique can increase our ability to sense Origin Energy.”
“Can it help us break into the Light Shaking Realm?”
“No, but it can raise the rate at which we cultivate and solidify our foundation. When better cultivation methods for us arise in the future, they will be easier to adopt as well.”
Hadley barked, “Then don’t start spouting nonsense now. Improving the rate at which we can cultivate? There’s no point in aiming for something like that, and I don’t believe in it in the slightest. Iron Cliff, I reminded you before to not stir up trouble here, but it seems that you didn’t take my advice to heart.”
Iron Cliff asked with confusion, “What did I do wrong? All I did was give the children some good food to eat, then taught them a better cultivation method. Can you tell me which one of these was wrong?”
“They’re all wrong!” Hadley said angrily. “You’re interfering with my tribe and our way of life. I was wrong to have let you enter this canyon in the first place. You didn’t come here with good intentions at all! You’ve completely allied yourself with the human race, and you’ve brought their schemes and ploys here with you! If you want to poison our children to get at us, don’t even think about it. You all, stop cultivating right now and stand up!”
Hadley forcibly interrupted the children from cultivating further.
Thankfully, Iron Cliff’s method was quite gentle; otherwise, his mere interruption could have harmed them.
Iron Cliff suddenly remembered something when he saw how angry Hadley appeared.
“There are lots of times when people can’t clearly see what’s good or bad. They might not be prepared to make a decision and can’t see the truth. If you depend on them to find the right direction themselves, the possible outcomes are far too uncertain. Sometimes, we need to be a bit more forceful.”
“Like how an adult treats a child?”
“Like how an adult treats a child.”
What his master had said was absolutely correct. Sometimes, people just didn’t know what was good and what was bad.
Hadley, who was extremely prejudiced against humans, instinctively degraded anything that was related to them regardless of whether they were good or bad.
Under these circumstances, using gentle tactics to rope in the Hurricane Cliff Race would not be enough.
Perhaps he did have to use more forceful methods.
Iron Cliff stared at Hadley. He said, “Your words are not wrong. I am a slave to the human race. I have no freedom, and I must follow their orders. The reason I came here was entirely because my master gave me a mission, and everything that I have done is not without an ulterior motive.”
When he heard this, a giddy smile appeared on Hadley’s face. “See, you’ve finally admitted it. I knew that a despicable guy like you had ill intentions.”
Iron Cliff shook his head. “But there’s one thing that you’ve got completely wrong. These aren’t the only tactics I have at my disposal.”
“What did you say?” Hadley was stunned, and an apprehensive expression appeared on his face.
Iron Cliff stared at him empathetically. “The Cliff Race is weak. In the past thousand years, we have relied on the human race to protect us in order to survive. You know this as well as I do. I don’t deny that the human race has suppressed the Cliff Race, but neither can you deny that the human race has protected the Cliff Race. Most importantly, you cannot deny that the Cliff Race does not even have the ability to resist the human race. You thought that you could resist humanity’s rule if you saw through my intentions and refused my kindness, but you have ignored a truth that you already know; if humanity wants to enslave us, that is not something that needs our permission.”
Hadley’s expression changed.
Iron Cliff continued, “My master wants to use the Heavenly River Ancient Road, but that doesn’t have to necessarily include the Cliff Race. I want to use the Cliff Race, but I do not necessarily have to appease you. Even so, both my master and I hoped to resolve this issue in the best way possible. You can call me hypocritical if you like, but I am going to tell you straight up that the moment you refuse our kindness is the moment you put yourself in a desperate situation. Do you really think that...... you can evade the human race’s notice just by hiding here?”
Hadley’s expression sank like a rock in a pool of water. “So you’re planning on using humans to forcefully deal with your own fellow members?”
Iron Cliff shook his head. “I will not do that, and I don’t need to do that. Chief Hadley, I respect your position and authority, which is why I tried to be as gentle as possible. However, that does not mean that you are my opponent.”
“What did you say?” Hadley’s anger flared again. The aura of a peak-level Cliff Race warrior began to emanate from his body.
Iron Cliff seemed not to notice. He faintly said, “You heard exactly what I said. Since you insist on acting like this, then I can only follow our traditions. Chief Hadley, I challenge you!”
“Challenge me?” Hadley howled.
“Yes, challenge you for your spot as the chief. This is the simplest and safest way. Hadley, you are a powerful individual who has cultivated for a hundred and eighty years, while I have only been alive for forty. I am your junior, but now I am challenging you so that you and our whole race may determine for themselves whether or not my methods are correct!”
Hadley grabbed Iron Cliff by his garments. “You’re courting death!”
Iron Cliff didn’t move at all. “Even if I die, I will have died in a glorious death on the battlefield.”
Hadley stared at him fiercely.
After a long time, he released his grip. “Fine, I will give you the chance to fight. If you win, you will become the chieftain here, and the Hurricane Cliff Race’s fate will be up to you to decide. If you lose, then you will die!”
Iron Cliff thumped his chest fiercely. “I will abide by these rules. Either I win, or I die!”
Hadley turned around and strode away. Immediately afterwards, a signal summoning all of the Cliff Race members sounded out.
Iron Cliff walked out of the cave, the signal causing his blood to boil with excitement.
Just as he was about to leave the cave, he suddenly stopped and turned around to say to Miye, “Continue your cultivation. I will check on you when I return.”
“Oh,” Little Miye obediently replied.
He sat there, silently following the cultivation method Iron Cliff had taught him.
It was painful and difficult, but he continued.
Grunts and yells began to float in from outside the cave. The other Cliff Race members were cheering and calling out as the two people exchanged blows, every impact exploding with power.
Miye, however, remained grounded and focused all of his attention on directing the flow of Origin Energy in his body.
Finally, he felt what Iron Cliff had been talking about. The formerly unfamiliar, isolated Origin Energy suddenly became as clear as day in that moment. Miye felt as if there was a small star dancing around right next to him.
Is this Origin Energy?
He carefully sensed the happenings in his body, using his own skin to receive and catch — no, welcome it. He began to relax his mind, allowing the energy to flow in on its own. Iron Cliff’s words resonated in Miye’s heart.
He could sense the stars settling down on his arm and entering his body. Upon entering his body, it was immediately assimilated, as if it were a drop of water falling into the ocean.
Then, his sea of Origin Energy suddenly roared to life and began to glow brilliantly. Miye felt like his entire body was being illuminated.
“I succeeded!” Miye yelled loudly.
Uncle Iron Cliff was right!
He was right!
He wanted to cry out loudly.
However, he discovered that the outside was now absolutely silent.
What had happened?
Miye turned around to take a look.
He saw Iron Cliff standing at the entrance to the cave.
Iron Cliff was smiling at Miye. He said, “Congratulations, little Miye. You are a seedling of the Cliff Race’s future.”