On that day, a seemingly innocuous change took place amongst the human race that would have profound, far-reaching implications in the future.
Long Sang’s Emperor was deposed!
The deposer was someone who was also of the Lin Clan and had the Lin Clan bloodline.
To those who didn’t know what had happened, it seemed as if nothing had changed. The Bloodline Nobility Clans still reigned supreme, and the Seven Kingdoms were still governed by the seven Desolate Beast Bloodlines.
However, there was a new institute on the scene.
The Boundless Sect.
Even though most people didn’t know exactly what had taken place between Long Sang and Boundless Sect, that didn’t stop them from recognizing the Boundless Sect’s sudden surge to prominence.
From that day onwards, the Boundless Sect fully came into the view of the public.
More and more people wanted to begin enrolling.
The Boundless Sect did their best to increase the stringency of their requirements, but that didn’t stop waves of potential disciples from looking to join.
To resolve this issue, the Boundless Sect’s higher-ups were forced to make a rule. Three exams were put in place - examinees would need to climb a mountain, pass through a forest, and cross a river. Each stage of the exam was quite dangerous and would test their resolve, their innate talent, and their bravery. Only those who passed all three stages would be qualified to become an Outer Court disciple.
The Boundless Sect also reorganized slightly.
Outer Court disciples would need to cultivate for at least three years before entering the Inner Court and receiving the Light Shaking Realm cultivating technique.
Apart from their own effort, Inner Court disciples would need many contribution points in order to become personal disciples.
The method of inheritance had also been modified. A special technique was used to transmit information into a disciple’s Sea of Knowledge, preventing them from spreading those techniques elsewhere.
Of course, because the Light Shaking Realm cultivation techniques had been intentionally leaked in the past, it had slowly begun to spread. However, the Spirit Burning Realm technique was firmly in the grasp of the higher-status disciples.
Access to the Thought Manifestation Realm was even more restricted.
Su Chen had actually never completed the Thought Manifestation Realm cultivation technique; he had merely managed to use the Deep Sea Sorrow’s water to refine pills.
Apart from water converted by the Deep Sea Sorrow, these pills also required three kinds of rare ingredients that could only be obtained by Su Chen’s Single-Realm Teleportation Boots. As such, the quantity of production was limited, and even if one were to obtain the cultivation technique, it would still be useless.
As the organization expanded and its influence began to spread, the Boundless Sect prospered more and more with each passing day.
In the blink of an eye, most humans only recognized the authority of the sect and not the authority of the empire.
The other Six Kingdoms were apprehensive about this development, and a few of the older generation even claimed that if the Boundless Sect wasn’t exterminated, the whole human race would be disrupted.
Unfortunately, no matter how much attention these kinds of comments garnered, it was of no use.
The Boundless Sect’s rise to prominence was not because of the Six Kingdoms’ softness but because of its tenacity and strength.
With the aid of the cultivation techniques, a constant stream of ascending disciples truly gave the Boundless Sect a boundless future to look forward to.
Even though the Boundless Sect was still not an opponent for the other Six Kingdoms, as long as they weren’t dealt with a fatal blow, they would be able to recover and regenerate until they were strong enough to take over.
If the Six Kingdoms didn’t have any external enemies, they might have been able to destroy the Boundless Sect.
But they did, and their enemies were very powerful, so they could only sit and watch as the Boundless Sect’s influence continued to spread.
Time flew by.
Spring flowers were soon in bloom. In the blink of an eye, a year had passed.
During this year, the Boundless Sect had expanded like crazy. The total number of disciples had shot past the hundred thousand mark and reached 120,000 total disciples.
However, this number would lead to a slightly inflated impression of the Boundless Sect’s disciples. Most of them were individuals without bloodlines. They were the Boundless Sect’s future, but in that moment they did little to contribute to the Boundless Sect’s overall strength. In fact, in some sense, they were responsible for siphoning more and more of the Boundless Sect’s resources, and it took more manpower to oversee them as well.
Thankfully, the Boundless Sect’s core of elites was seemingly limitless.
At this point, the Boundless Sect had 24,000 Light shaking Realm cultivators, and every day they took a step closer to the 25,000 mark.
In addition, the Boundless Sect had also officially broken two thousand Spirit Burning Realm cultivators.
There were even four more Thought Manifestation Realm cultivators.
These were Chu Yingwan, Jun Moxie, Lin Shaoxuan, and Gu Qingluo.
Apart from developing within the country, the Boundless Sect’s influence also began to spread to the other six Kingdoms.
The benefits of being Long Sang’s official institute began to manifest themselves at this moment. As a nonpolitical entity, the Boundless Sect could exert its influence on any of the other countries without repercussions.
Very quickly, the Boundless Sect began to make a name for itself in the other countries as well.
This resulted in an inevitable backlash from the Six Kingdoms.
A few of the older Bloodline Nobility Clans began to draw up plans to try and deal with the Boundless Sect and interfere in its operations.
The Boundless Sect’s relationship with the Six Kingdoms also began to grow strained as a result.
This was also inevitable due to their differing standpoints. The gap between the Bloodline Nobility Clans and the bloodline-less commoners manifested itself in this fashion.
Even so, Su Chen didn’t want to fight with the Six Kingdoms.
If possible, he preferred to resolve the matter peacefully.
“Peacefully? There won’t be any peace to speak of. Those ancient fogeys haven’t seen eye-to-eye with us for a long time. The best way to get our enemies to go back into their shell is to make them afraid of us! If we teach them a sound lesson, peace will naturally follow.”
Cheng Tianhai proclaimed confidently within a palace located in the Ten Thousand Swords Mountain area.
“If that’s the case, a lot of people will die?” Chu Yingwan said softly as she glanced at Su Chen.
She understood Su Chen’s heart.
“If we die, then so be it. What battle is deathless?” Cheng Tianhai said callously.
“That depends on whether those deaths were profitable or not. A slaughter amongst humans is not what we are after,” Su Chen said.
As soon as Su Chen spoke, the others wisely chose to shut their mouths.
He sat on the chair reserved for the Sect Master and gazed off into the distance. “With the persistent threat of the foreign races, the civilians must have a hard time surviving already. If we start a civil war now, they will only laugh at us. The Seven Kingdoms have been around for three thousand years and have endured so many storms precisely because of their assuming a united front against external enemies. If the Boundless Sect attempts to start civil conflicts immediately after rising to power, what will the others think about us?”
Cheng Tianhai was rendered speechless.
Yes, the Bloodline Nobility Clans had never devolved to fighting with each other. They had always faced off against outsiders as allies. Would the Boundless Sect really ignore these ever-present external threats?
If that was the case, the Boundless Sect would definitely seem short-sighted and incapable of restraining their selfishness for the sake of the bigger picture. Even the Boundless Sect’s own disciples would probably feel that way.
“But those Bloodline Nobility Clans are increasingly becoming a thorn in our side. If this continues, we will have a hard time expanding in the future,” Jun Moxie said.
“If it’s hard to expand, then so be it,” Su Chen calmly replied. “Perhaps because things have gone too smoothly for us up until now, we seem to have lost the ability to handle small problems. If we immediately jump to slaughtering our opponents just because we are having a hard time expanding, we are ignoring a lot of other possibilities. Of course, there are some enemies that are an exception.”
His subordinates could be as impulsive as they wanted, but as the Sect Master, it was Su Chen’s responsibility to remain even-keeled.
He knew that some small difficulties in expanding wouldn’t have a major effect on the overall situation.
His ultimate goal still lay with the foreign races.
In the end, it was still Shi Kaihuang who understood what his disciple was thinking. “You mean...... the Astrals?”
Su Chen nodded slightly. “It’s about time for us to make our move against them.”
“Attacking the Astrals now? Then what about those nobles who keep making trouble for us?” Lin Shaoxuan asked.
“Let them make as much trouble as they like. We should give up on expanding for now and immediately retract our forces,” Su Chen replied.
Retracting their forces would be the best way to prepare for mounting a full-power assault.
Before every important offensive expedition, it was important to prepare adequately and decrease control over surrounding areas in order to gather strength.
They had done this when assaulting the Abyss, and now was no exception.
Su Chen continued, “If those nobles want to make trouble, let them. The more, the better. The Boundless Sect’s focus should not be placed on the gain or loss of these individual cities. We must look at the future. Half of the Primordial Continent is still in the hands of the Beasts, and of the half controlled by the Intelligent Races, we have less than a third of that territory. There is so much land to be claimed and so many enemies to kill. These cities pale in comparison. When we return victorious, then you can look and see who else dares to stir up trouble. If there are still people bouncing around then, we can swiftly exact our retribution then!”
This short and simple speech managed to stir up a sense of heroism in the hearts of all who heard.
This was what it meant to have a broad view.
In Su Chen’s eyes, the Bloodline Nobility Clans were no more than clowns and weren’t worth his attention or consideration. Once the powerful enemies were dealt with, then he would have the bandwidth to unsparingly weed out those who still dared to make trouble.
The meeting quickly came to an end after that.
On that day, the Boundless Sect began to retract their influence and prepared to assault the Astrals.
The sect’s disciples, who had been scattered all across human territory, returned.
Some of the groups that had been harassing the Boundless Sect thought that they had been victorious and celebrated, but there were others who felt that the Boundless Sect’s actions were abnormal and recognized that something significant was about to take place.
However, no one had any clue what kind of storm Su Chen was preparing to stir up.
The Demonic Wind Altar was a small town at the border of Owl Country and Astral territory.
Because this place was remote and desolate, not many people lived here. One of the benefits of living in this place was that land was plentiful, but one of the downsides was that it was often besieged.
Sometimes, the Astrals would be attacking, while other times the humans would be pushing back.
Typically, it was the humans who were launching offensives.
The Astrals weren’t exactly skilled when it came to frontal confrontations.
As such, humans typically held the advantage in a frontal showdown.
Owl Country was the only country that held the advantage against an external invading force.
Of course, they didn’t consider themselves lucky because of this.
Even though the Astrals weren’t very good at fighting head-on, they were still not easy to deal with.
Their sneaky tactics and their ability to control other humans were tricky to deal with, and there were quite a few people who preferred to die on the battlefield than try and fight the Astrals.
For this reason, Owl Country’s soldiers never went out in small hunting parties against the Astrals. Instead, they would move out company by company. Even in the most remote of locations, they would either choose to station an entire company or no one at all.
In addition, they abided by a number of strict rules.
You weren’t even allowed to use the bathroom on your own.
Demonic Wind Altar was no exception. Even though there were only a few dozen civilians here, there were a thousand soldiers stationed here.
As per usual, the soldiers trained during the day and stood guard at night.
The guards stood in pairs, gazing up at the night sky and chatting with one another.
“Hey, stay alert. Don’t let us be ambushed by our enemies without even realizing it,” the captain called out from not too far away.
“What ambush?” one of the soldiers said lazily. “The Astrals won’t slaughter their way over. Instead, they’ll sneak up and just control us. It’ll be over before we even realize it.”
“Absolutely. I’ve been a soldier for so long, but I’ve never seen a large group of soldiers before.”
Someone interjected, “We’re a large group of soldiers, aren’t we?”
The group of soldiers all laughed.
As they were laughing, however, a soldier suddenly felt that something was off.
He glanced up in the sky before all the color drained from his face. “Cap- Captain!”
“What is it?” the captain asked impatiently.
The soldier stammered, “There’s a la- large group of so- soldiers.”
“What?” The captain was stunned and immediately whirled around. “What are you trying to pull? Where did the Astrals get a large group of soldiers from?”
The soldier pointed above. “Up...... up there.”
The rest of the soldiers looked up at the sky and were immediately flabbergasted.
They watched as countless cultivators flew past overhead, shooting into the darkness ahead.