Chapter 14: Arrival at Thousand Illusions Island
The Limitless Sea.
A massive fleet advanced across the surface of the sea.
This fleet was so large that they covered an area of a hundred square kilometers. Even the peak-tier Sea Beasts could sense the gathering strength from afar and didn’t dare to come close to make any trouble.
For this reason, the fleet was left mostly undisturbed, and no beasts came to make trouble for them.
“1200 kilometers ahead is the Icefire Cliff,” Prince Frostpoint said standing in the palace, which was floating in the middle of the fleet. “Past there is the Thousand Illusions Island, and past that is the Abyss.”
“Thousand Illusions Island......” Su Chen muttered. “How is your relationship with the Black Flame?”
Frostpoint chuckled bitterly, “It’s not about how good our relationship is. We just need each other. The Sea Beasts have intensified their attacks in recent years, making it harder and harder for us to survive. The Intelligent Races living on land have had an easier time because environmental pressures are decreasing, but the situation of the Oceanids is completely opposite.
The environmental changes had an effect underwater as well, but the Deep Sea Sorrow was able to nullify those changes.
Sea Beast Sovereigns should have been incredibly rare existences, just like the Beast Sovereigns on land.
But because of the Deep Sea Sorrow, there were nearly five hundred Sovereigns in the Abyss alone. That was a truly shocking number.
A mere Demonic Emperor, Scarlet Heart, had swept through Ravager territory mostly unchallenged. The might of a Sea Beast Sovereign, therefore, could be easily imagined.
If all of these Sovereigns chose to emerge from the Abyss at the same time, they would probably be able to subjugate the entire continent.
And the fact that the Oceanids were able to survive even in the midst of this kind of an environment for tens of thousands of years was a clear testament to their resilience.
Even though Black Flame was an Arcanist organization, they were forced to ally themselves with the Oceanids in order to survive.
For this reason, Black Flame was able to operate the most openly, closely followed by the Ravagers’ Resurrection Door.
Of course, this didn’t mean that Black Flame had given up on their dreams of reviving the Arcanist regime.
They were still working to accomplish their dreams.
They did this by working more and more closely with the other Arcanist organizations.
The Black Flame had close ties to the Immortal Temple, Resurrection Door, Fate’s Hands, and the Dazzling Society of the Astrals.
As the only organization that could operate openly, the Black Flame became a group that facilitated and sheltered those committing evil deeds. Anytime someone was no longer able to live wherever they were originally located, they would run to the Thousand Illusions island.
This place was exceptionally remote such that even the powerful imperial families wouldn’t be able to extend their reach all the way here.
And even if they could, Black Flame would happily draw them away to designated regions of the sea to play with the Sea Beasts. Not only would they be able to indirectly destroy their opponents, but that also served to somewhat decrease the pressure being put on them.
As a result, the Black Flame became the place where the evillest members of these Arcanist organizations would come to hide.
The other races had previously condemned the Oceanids for this and demanded that they hand over the Arcanists that were being protected.
However, the Oceanids did their best to delay, or find others to help them alleviate some of the burden. The Thousand Illusions Island was located in the heart of the sea, and it was an important stronghold in the defense against the Sea Beasts. The Black Flame harbored criminals partly to build up their strength to resist the attacks of the Sea Beasts. Naturally, since this benefitted the Oceanids as well, they would not complain.
Su Chen said faintly, “Do you think Black Flame would agree if I asked them to hand over an important individual to me?”
Frostpoint said with some surprise, “Who?”
Su Chen replied, “Lin Zuiliu.”
“The King of Chaos?” Frostpoint was taken aback.
Lin Zuiliu was a member of Long Sang’s imperial Lin family. The current emperor, Lin Mengze, would probably need to refer to him as “Uncle”.
This person was quite a legendary figure. He, like the Raven King Feng Anya, had thirsted after power as well.
Unlike Feng Anya, however, he had actually succeeded.
Yes, he had succeeded!
He had managed to kick his oldest brother off the throne, claiming it for himself.
Unfortunately, this only lasted three days before he was chased off himself.
After being chased off, Lin Zuiliu was forced to run. However, he refused to give up and gathered his former subordinates to start an internal rebellion. For a while, he even held the advantage.
He was really quite a talented individual. His martial skill and intelligence were both greater than that of his eldest brother, but his conceited nature led him to do something that offended all of the other imperial families. This allowed his eldest brother to eventually defeat him with the support of the other six countries.
Lin Zuiliu ran a long ways after being defeated. Eventually, he came to the Thousand Illusions Island and joined the Black Flame.
Yes, a member of a human imperial family had actually become a member of an Arcanist organization. This was almost comedic.
Even so, this was the truth. Countless individuals had turned to the Black Flame for survival. Even though they were an Arcanist organization, their essence had, in some sense, changed from scheming to revive the Arcanist regime to harboring criminals.
And this was how Lin Zuiliu became known as the infamous King of Chaos.
Frostpoint was surprised by Su Chen’s sudden mention of the King of Chaos. “What do you want with him?”
Su Chen replied, “I need his help for some of my experiments.”
When he heard this, Frostpoint fell silent.
After a long while, he said, “The King of Chaos’s circumstances are quite unique. I don’t know his exact situation right now, but I do know that he became one of the Black Flame’s former five heads.”
“Yes.” Frostpoint nodded. “He tried to kill the other four so that he could take control by himself.”
The King of Chaos was truly the King of Chaos. No matter where he went, he was always trying to start a rebellion.
Su Chen asked, “So what happened?”
“He was banished.”
“They actually didn’t kill him?”
“If even you have something you need from him, how could Black Flame possibly be willing to kill him? Is he very important to you?”
Su Chen replied, “Well, not exactly. But doing research is like building a house. You need a foundation, structural support, tiling, bricks, and many other things to complete it. If any of these ingredients is missing, the house is likely to collapse...... After all, destruction is always easier than construction.”
Frostpoint understood. “You think he’s an integral component to your research?”
Su Chen shook his head. “I have no idea. The biggest difference between building a house and doing research is that you at least know what condition a house is in before it is completed. You also know what is important and what is not. But as for research...... Before you figure out which path is wrong and which path is tenable, no one knows what the house will look like.”
Gu Qingluo chimed in. “So the best thing to do is to try and fulfill Su Chen’s request as much as you can. The King of Chaos might or might not be useful, but before we find out, we need to treat him as if he is.”
Frostpoint understood. “If that’s the case, then we will request for him. I doubt Black Flame will oppose us.”
Westminster commanded, “All forces, speed up! The target destination is Thousand Illusions Island!”
After another day, the fleet finally arrived at the Thousand Illusions Island.
This single “island” was actually a large group of islands.
There were over a thousand islands here, and almost all of them were under the control of Black Flame.
From the air, it was possible to see that these islands appeared to be strung together like a pearl necklace, forming a massive ring-shaped structure. Upon closer inspection, it was obvious that this ring was mobile, spinning around and making any observer dizzy.
This was not a misperception - this was reality.
The Thousand Illusions Island was actually setup on top of a massive Origin Formation. Black Flame had spent thousands of years to set it up, and it had been passed down and expanded for many generations.
Currently, the Thousand Illusions Island was very well-defended, and it was considered one of the most difficult cities to breach across the entire Primordial Continent, behind only the Harpies’ Sky City and the Oceanids’ Neptune’s Stronghold.
The Thousand Illusions Island was named such because any creature that attempted to enter without permission would be confused by the intricate arrangement of islands. With the islands at the core of this Origin Formation, stronger individuals would have to brute force their way out.
But if a Beast Sovereign was caught in the formation and was willing to sacrifice its life to escape, what could be done?
This was part of the reason why Black Flame also had a hard time surviving in this kind of environment.
By the time the joint human-Oceanid fleet arrived, flags of greeting had already been mounted on the islands.
Obviously, Black Flame was aware of why Su Chen had shown up, and they seemed more than happy to help Su Chen with his request.
As the sound of a conch being blown reverberated through the air, the circling islands came to a stop, and the “pearl necklace” split into two, revealing what was at the center.
A massive natural harbor gradually began to appear.
The boats in the fleet entered the bay one after another, stopping at one of the more central islands.
A few members of Black Flame had already come out to greet them.
There were two Arcanists, two humans, and one Ravager in the greeting party.
Only in Black Flame would these three distinct races be able to get along with each other.
Apparently, the Black Flame even had some Harpy members. In other words, they had managed to reconcile four races in total.
There were no Astrals or Oceanids, however. The former’s unique situation made it virtually impossible for them to rely on outward strength, while the latter was because there were basically no Oceanid traitors in the first place.
These five people were the five heads of the organization.
The leader, however, was not an Arcanist but an elderly human. He smiled at Su Chen and said, “It is an honor to finally meet you, Sir Su. Your presence brings glory to the Thousand Illusions Island. I, Zhong Zhenjun, greet you!”
Su Chen replied with a warm smile of his own, “I have heard of A Howl Shakes An Army for a long time. It is also my honor to have met you today.”
A Howl Shakes An Army, Three Smiles Worries The Demon were both monikers that Zhong Zhenjun had earned for himself.
Even though he appeared quite carefree and easygoing, he was actually the most infamous criminal amongst the human race.
This person was originally from Water Sheen, but instead of remaining in his clan, he insisted on going out to see the world for himself. However, he did it in an improper way, and actually became a bandit. Everywhere he went, he would wantonly rob to his heart’s delight. In particular, he liked to take things from Origin Qi Scholars, including cultivation resources. Not a single thing went untouched by him. Clearly, he was even worse than Su Chen. Su Chen had only done such things to the other races, not his own, but Zhong Zhenjun had no bottom line.
Eventually, his reckless looting infuriated Jiang Jusheng, who sent people to try and kill him. Zhong Zhenjun escaped into the other countries, continuing his destructive behavior wherever he went. Eventually, he had managed offend all seven countries, which was what earned him his infamous reputation.
Even though the Seven Kingdoms had all sent people to try and kill him, he was still alive and well, and his strength was only growing.
His most outstanding accomplishment was achieved when facing off against an army of nearly ten thousand elites. With a single war cry, he managed to wound or kill thousands of them, forcing the rest to beat a hasty retreat.
In addition, while he liked to put on a cheery, cordial appearance, his heart was incredibly ruthless. He was the kind of person who would put you at ease with a disarming smile while putting the knife in your back.
This was why people called him A Howl Shakes An Army, Three Smiles Worries The Demon.
When he was enraged, entire armies were forced to bow the knee. When he smiled, even the experts needed to be careful.
And after escaping to the Black Flame, three of the Black Flame’s former heads died in rapid succession, allowing him to rapidly rise through the ranks.
Actually, the most recent head voluntarily gave up his position before Zhong Zhenjun even smiled at him.
There were many such ruthless individuals amongst the ranks of the Black Flame.
Including the other four people with him.