Following the collision between Su Chen and the sealing Origin Energy Formation, a massive explosion of energy filled the sky.
Many of the soldiers present shut their eyes and sighed in their hearts. It’s over. We killed the Sect Master.
They had waited so long to save him, but now, he had died at their own hands. How ironic.
Thankfully, this feeling of dread was only temporary.
Because a moment later, Su Chen’s figure reappeared in the sky.
The sealing character was covering his body like an extra layer of skin as it glowed with a golden light. While it was incapable of restricting his movements, Su Chen had also chosen to not destroy it, leaving it hanging over him like an ornamental cape.
As Su Chen resisted the influence of the seal, a shocked expression appeared on his face. “What kind of seal is this? Why is it so powerful?”
Somehow, he was capable of talking and flying even with the seal suppressing him.
Jiang Hanfeng was also stunned with Su Chen’s seemingly unaffected movements. “How is this possible? This sealing formation was designed to restrict a Sovereign, and any cultivator weaker than an Ultimate Emperor Realm cultivator should have immediately died. How are you still fine? And how can you fly around like that?”
“Are you unhappy that I managed to survive?” Su Chen chuckled.
“No…… Not at all……” Jiang Hanfeng seemed stupefied, and he couldn’t even formulate any proper sentences for some time.
They had spent so much time and energy thinking of a way to save Su Chen, but their plan had gone so awry that they had ended up attacking their own Sect Mater. If word was to spread, then it would be somewhat embarrassing for the Boundless Sect.
Su Chen raised his hand and placed it on the seal. “I refuse to believe that I can’t defeat you!”
Iridescent light scattered in all directions following the explosion.
“Is that really Su Chen?” Gu Qingluo felt a rush of excitement well up within her. “Hanfeng, hurry up and deactivate the formation.”
“There’s no need. I need to test my strength against it anyways!” Su Chen yelled as he continued to unleash more palm strikes.
The Boundless Sect’s disciples watched as Su Chen mercilessly pounded away at the seal.
As sparks of multicolored light flashed by haphazardly, the frighteningly powerful shockwaves of energy rippled past the entire fleet. It was almost as if the seal was sealing an actual Sovereign, not a Spirit Burning Realm cultivator.
No, not quite.
Li Chongshan could see what had happened to Su Chen, and his expression was one of pleasant surprise. “Thought Manifestation…… Su Chen has reached the Thought Manifestation Realm!”
Shi Kaihuang, Chu Yingwan, and the others were all equally as excited.
So the Flying Immortal Cultivation Techniques had advanced yet again? Not only had Su Chen somehow managed to survive in the void space, but he had even gotten stronger!
Jun Moxie exclaimed in admiration, “The Sect Master must be protected by the Heavens!”
Everyone else nodded in agreement, firmly believing this.
Su Chen’s battle with the seal was reaching its end.
The powerful Flaming Phoenix legendary Arcana Technique made yet another appearance. However, this time, Su Chen did not send it soaring through the air; instead, he had it wrap itself around his fist, giving his fist the sharpness of the Phoenix’s razor beak. When this shockingly powerful attack slammed into the “seal” character, the seal cracked audibly before finally shattering.
Jiang Hanfeng spat out a mouthful of blood. As the primary controller of the sealing Origin Formation, his consciousness was linked with it. Thus, any backlash would also be solely his to withstand.
Even so, his confidence seemed to have been dealt an even more serious blow. “My seal was destroyed? It was actually destroyed through brute force?”
His goal in creating this formation had been to trap a Sovereign, but upon seeing Su Chen break free of its influence with ease, it was only natural that his self-confidence would be shaken.
Thankfully, Su Chen’s next action was to throw his arm around Jiang Hanfeng and compliment, “What a powerful seal! That was designed to be used against a Sovereign, right? If that whale Sovereign had been hit by your seal, then I wouldn’t have had to struggle so much to kill it.”
Jiang Fenghan was stunned. “You killed the Sovereign? How did you do that?”
Unfortunately, his question was drowned out in a loud cacophony of voices.
“The Sect Master is unharmed!”
“The Sect Master has returned!”
After the shock and amazement passed, endless cries of jubilation filled the sky. Boundless Sect disciples everywhere were cheering and celebrating.
Gu Qingluo transformed into a streak of light and leapt into Su Chen’s embrace.
That day was a day of great happiness for the Boundless Sect.
Back on Forever Clear Island.
This island had once been the fleet’s base, and hundreds of thousands of soldiers used to live here. In fact, a special trade line had even been set up to facilitate the flow of resources between the island and the mainland.
However, after the Abyss had collapsed, most of the Ocenaids and Black Flame members had retreated. Now, only the Boundless Sect’s disciples and the Subdued Sea Branch, led by Jiang Xishui, remained on the island.
“So after that all happened, the Oceanids and Black Flame just retreated?” Su Chen asked Gu Qingluo as they lay in each others’ arms.
Now that he had returned, it was time for him to figure out just what had exactly happened while he had been gone.
Gu Qingluo warmly replied, “During the Abyss’s collapse, there were quite a few Sovereigns who followed us out. The Oceanids had originally planned on staying here and helping us come up with ways to save you. However, the escaped Sovereigns began slowly congregating near Oceanid territory soon after.”
Su Chen immediately understood. “It’s probably because the Deep Sea Sorrow’s commands have long been ingrained into their consciousness. Even though they managed to free themselves from the Abyss, their instinctual hatred of the Oceanids is still present.”
Gu Qingluo said, “That’s why the Oceanids had no choice but to return and protect themselves.”
Su Chen nodded. Since this was the case, it wasn’t the Oceanids’ fault for not sticking around. After all, they had to take care of themselves first.
“Then what about Neptune’s Eye?” Su Chen asked.
“When the Sovereigns attacked, Princess Westminster asked me if they could temporarily hold onto it to keep themselves safe. Considering their circumstances, I agreed. Not long ago, the Oceanids managed to finally defeat all of the Sovereigns. Once the pressure on them lessened, they naturally sent Neptune’s Eye over to us.”
“So they acted in good faith.” Su Chen nodded.
This was quite normal. After all, it was hard to know whether Su Chen had survived or not. The Sovereigns, on the other hand, were very much real threats, and Neptune’s Eye was also an important political tool. As such, the Oceanids’ best move, theoretically, would have been to simply renege on their promise.
However, the Oceanids had not chosen to do so. Instead, they had followed through on their promise, giving Gu Qingluo Neptune’s Eye with great gratitude. In that sense, the Oceanids had been quite loyal.
In comparison, their other ally was much more lacking.
After Su Chen disappeared, Zhong Zhenjun had turned around and immediately left for Thousand Illusions Island, completely ignoring the relationship that they had built up over the many years.
Bandits would always be bandits. Their short-sightedness and narrow-mindedness were to be expected.
Even though he was unhappy with how Zhong Zhenjun had conducted himself, Su Chen didn’t say anything else.
“It would have been fine if they merely lacked any feeling of brotherhood. After all, we didn’t really have that high of an expectation for them in the first place,” Gu Qingluo said. “However, attempting to sabotage us behind the scenes is stooping to a new low.”
“Oh? How so?” Su Chen’s gaze grew chilly.
Gu Qingluo harrumphed. “After you were stranded in the void, Zhong Zhenjun seemingly took all the Black Flame members with him and left. Secretly, however, he tried to poach some disciples of the Boundless Sect. He purposefully spread rumors that you had died and that the Boundless Sect’s higher-ups were in disarray. Li Chongshan and I were supposedly trying to fight for power. Then, he claimed that Black Flame was generously accepting members of the Boundless Sect for enrollment as core members.”
“Hmph. That old guy is pretty good at spreading rumors,” Su Chen chuckled darkly.
Obviously, Zhong Zhenjun wanted to do something to stymie the might of the Boundless Sect.
However, the Boundless Sect’s tens of thousands of Light Shaking Realm and Spirit Burning Realm cultivators were too intimidating for him to do anything overt.
As such, he would not publicly oppose the Boundless Sect. However, he was more than willing to covertly mess around behind the scenes.
In fact, this kind of tactic was not to be underestimated. It was actually quite effective.
A few of the Boundless Sect’s disciples, who were unclear about the situation, had actually been cheated away by these words.
Even though Gu Qingluo and Li Chongshan had quickly discovered the ruse early on and snuffed it out, it was true that Su Chen was still missing, which understandably made the Boundless Sect’s disciples uneasy. That, combined with Zhong Zhenjun’s attempts to undermine the Boundless Sect meant that it was only natural for some of the younger saplings to be completely uprooted.
Su Chen had been stuck in the void for an entire year, and during that year, Zhong Zhenjun had worked tirelessly.
At this point, Zhong Zhenjun had managed to siphon away almost a thousand people from the Boundless Sect.
A thousand people!
Even though this was just a small fraction of their forces, the number was not very small.
In Zhong Zhenjun’s mind, the Boundless Sect would basically become an incubator for Black Flame. In the future, when Black Flame officially became stronger than the Boundless Sect, that was when Black Flame would fully annex the Boundless Sect!
Even though Su Chen hadn’t met up with Zhong Zhenjun yet, he could easily guess what this guy was up to.
“But now that you’ve returned, the hearts of the disciples should have calmed down. That old man Zhong Zhenjun shouldn’t even think of poaching any of our disciples now,” Gu Qingluo said happily.
Su Chen playfully poked Gu Qingluo’s nose. “Is that all the appetite you have?”
Gu Qingluo was taken aback. “What do you want to do?”
Su Chen chuckled. “Of course, we’re going to make a move on Thousand Illusions Island and teach that old man how to be a decent human being!”
Su Chen didn’t blame Zhong Zhenjun for not waiting around to save him. However, if Zhong Zhenjun wanted to try to undermine Su Chen’s subordinates, then he couldn’t blame Su Chen for reciprocating.
As the sound of a conch shell reverberated across the surface of the sea, Forever Clear Island burst into a hubbub of commotion.
A battle was drawing near, and obviously, with Su Chen’s return, the situation was going to be different this time.
This was the belief in the truly strong.
After slaughtering that Sovereign, Su Chen had ascertained his status as the most powerful human on this continent.
At this point, no one had any right to be arrogant before him, and he no longer had a need to keep a low profile anymore.
On Thousand Illusions Island.
“What did you say?” Within Black Flame’s main hall, Zhong Zhenjun immediately bolted upright.
The subordinate reporting the news knelt down, trembling with fear as he repeated, “Reporting to leader, Su Chen has returned!”
It was only natural that Zhong Zhenjun would have placed some spies amongst the ranks of the Boundless Sect in order to better rope in the Boundless Sect’s members. As such, he was quite clear about what this piece of news signified.
Upon hearing this piece of information, Zhong Zhenjun’s expression drastically shifted. “He’s not dead…… He actually managed to return, alive.”
The subordinate steeled his heart and continued with his report. “That’s not all. Not long after he returned to Forever Clear Island, he rounded up his troops, and they are currently headed for…… for Thousand Illusions Island.”
Zhong Zhenjun sucked in a mouthful of cold air.
Su Chen was obviously not coming to spread glad tidings!
Beside him, Camilla the Scalper leaned in and whispered, “Leader, those things we did to them before……”
Zhong Zhenjun’s face contorted uncontrollably as his emotions weren’t given any time to settle.
After a long time, he suddenly laughed. “It’s a good thing that Su Chen has returned. We fought side by side for five years, so it’s only natural that some camaraderie would have built up between us. We should warmly welcome him upon his return. So Su Chen is coming with his troops, right? Open up the defensive formations! We’re going out to greet him!”
The ever cautious Cavill immediately asked, “Is that appropriate? I think that it would be better for us to stay inside and defend ourselves.”
Zhong Zhenjun harrumphed impatiently. “Did you really think that Thousand Illusions Island’s defensive formations could ever stop the Boundless Sect? Don’t forget, those formations were only ever useful against Sea Beasts, who lacked intelligence, not against humans. The Boundless Sect is far more powerful!”
Cavill sighed when he heard this.
Oh, so now you’re clear about their power! Why didn’t you say this earlier when we were undermining them?
Greed had truly blinded their hearts!
Thousand Illusions Island’s formations were deactivated, and Black Flame’s armies marched out under their banner.
Off in the distance, the Boundless Sect’s banners could be seen flying high.
As the two armies drew closer and closer, Su Chen’s face soon came into view.
Zhong Zhenjun sucked in another mouthful of cold air. So it was him.
He had truly returned!
But it was okay. Zhong Zhenjun was confident that he could still salvage the situation.
He attempted to pump himself.
After preparing an eloquent greeting, he flew into the sky. “When I found out that Sect Master Su had returned, I was delighted……”
Su Chen impatiently scratched his ear, and languidly yelled, “Attack!”