Because the sky was dark, the soldiers of Owl Country’s vision was limited. All they could see was a large group of cultivators flying across the night sky. They had no idea how many cultivators there were, but they could tell that these flying cultivators loomed over them like a massive cloud.
Their suffocating, weighty, and solemn aura bore down on the soldiers below.
One of the cultivators flying overhead glanced down at the ground as he flew by.
This casual glance caused the soldiers to feel as if a ferocious beast had laid its eyes upon them.
“How incredible. A single Origin Qi Scholar can actually possess that much consciousness power.” Even though the soldier was quite weak, he had a decent amount of experience. And because he was used to fighting against the Astrals, he was actually quite familiar with consciousness power.
“Lower your head and shut your mouth!” one of the nearby officers hissed at him.
Even though he had no idea who these flying cultivators were, their sheer number made it abundantly clear that it was not the company’s place to deal with them.
A single one of those flying Origin Qi Scholars was more than capable of slaughtering them all.
And there were somehow a whole group of those monsters flying off into the distance.
How many Light Shaking Realm cultivators were there exactly?
Why was there still no end to them?
The soldiers watched on from below, all dumbfounded.
Was this an illusion technique?
Was it even appropriate to call all these Origin Qi Scholars experts? With so many of them here, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to refer to them as ordinary?
As the procession continued overhead, the soldiers’ amazement reached a point where it could increase no further.
They were not just ordinary — they were basically cabbages!
Finally, all of the “cabbages” finished passing by overhead.
The night returned to its silent, peaceful state, but the soldiers were all in a quiet daze.
After a long time, the company commander finally said, “Something big is about to happen!”
“Then what should we do, Commander?” someone asked excitedly.
The company commander glared. “What should we do? What do you think we can do? Eat, sleep, and repeat!”
“Past Demonic Wind Altar is Old Crow’s Nest. And past that is the Scorched Lightning Region,” Lin Shaoxuan said to Su Chen.
The Scprched Lightning Region was another forbidden no-man’s land. It was constantly bombarded by lightning and fire, turning it into a region of death. Even Ultimate Emperor Realm cultivators would need to be careful when venturing through there.
“That place is too dangerous to travel through, so it leaves us with merely two options. The first is to go around it, which will take us a number of extra days. The second is to go underground, but there are eighteen different entrances and quite a few marshes along the way. It’d still be very dangerous, and there are also Astrals hiding down there that we might not be able to defend ourselves against. Sect Master, what should we……” Lin Shaoxuan turned to glance at Su Chen.
Su Chen calmly waved his hand nonchalantly. “We came here to slaughter the Astrals, so let’s just charge right on through.”
“Hey, we came here to take the Immortal’s Soul,” Lin Shaoxuan reminded.
Su Chen nodded. “Yes. And by exterminating the Astrals, the Immortal’s Soul will naturally fall into our hands.”
Unlike the Oceanids, Su Chen only held a single attitude towards the Astrals: slaughter them all!
His grudge against the Astrals was partly due to their vastly different physiques. The Astrals had given their consciousness physical form with the Consciousness Extraction Instrument, making them a kind of spiritual entity at their core. This was a vast departure from a living creature with a natural body of flesh and blood; in some sense, they were actually even more distinct from humans than the Beasts.
As such, many people refused to recognize them as one of the Intelligent Races.
Actually, this was mostly due to how the Astrals preferred to carry out their objectives. They always hid in the dark, utilizing their ability to manipulate other creatures to accomplish their plans. As such, they were always ruining things from behind the scenes.
Typically, most people viewed the Astrals with a healthy amount of fear.
They were like nightmares or ghosts, always leaving behind a shadow in the hearts of men.
Su Chen had encountered the Astrals a total of three times. The first had been at Clear River, where he had personally met a human who had been enslaved by an Astral. The second was on Forever Clear Island, where an Astral had infiltrated the ranks of the Boundless Sect and was planning on stirring up trouble. The third was when he met Diomedes, and Diomedes had straight up lied to his face multiple times. It could be said that Su Chen held zero positive feelings towards the Astrals.
More importantly, the Boundless Sect was powerful enough that they didn’t need to rely on negotiations to successfully get what they wanted.
They wanted the Immortal’s Soul?
They just needed to kill all of the Astrals and take it.
This was Su Chen’s thought process and his boldness. More importantly, only he was capable of doing something like that.
This wasn’t only because of the Boundless Sect’s strength; it was also due to Su Chen’s powerful research prowess. He held the unique advantage of being able to develop a technique that specifically targeted his opponents’ weaknesses.
Why had the Oceanids placed so much trust in Su Chen? It was because they were confident that Su Chen could develop something that would be especially effective against the Deep Sea Sorrow. And Su Chen had in fact done precisely that — without his special medicine, the Boundless Sect wouldn’t have been able to withstand the attacks of hundreds of Sovereigns.
And now that Su Chen was planning on dealing with the Astrals, it was only natural that he would develop a counter to them.
Actually, Su Chen had managed to develop a prototype all the way back on Forever Clear Island. Any Astrals who approached their base would be immediately discovered. However, because Su Chen’s primary focus at the time had been the Deep Sea Sorrow, he hadn’t treated the Astrals as a real threat.
But after the Abyss was destroyed, it was now time to target the Astrals.
The Astrals’ most frightening ability was consciousness enslavement, which allowed them to silently take control of most any intelligent lifeform and use them as they saw fit.
However, consciousness enslavement’s success was affected by the target’s consciousness. Su Chen’s consciousness was so powerful that he was impossible to enslave. Zhu Xianyao and anybody proficient in similar techniques were also impossible to enslave.
Even so, the Astrals often had a wide range of targets to pick from, and to most people, they were still worthy of being considered nightmares.
As a result, Su Chen had chosen to focus on this area for his research.
The first thing he did was to publicly distribute the True Spirit Scripture for every Boundless Sect disciples to cultivate so that their consciousness power would increase. Of course, because they lacked Su Chen’s microscopic eyes, their cultivation speed was far slower.
Next, Su Chen began to distribute his Heart Wall technique as well, which was extremely effective in resisting consciousness enslavement. Unfortunately, learning this technique required a certain amount of consciousness power. More importantly, it needed to be consciously activated, and it could only be used to defend against an incoming consciousness attack, not nullify a pre-existing one. If the Astrals struck from stealth, then the Heart Walls technique wouldn’t do anything.
As such, one of Su Chen’s first goals was to improve that technique. His mastery of consciousness power had already reached the Tenth Ring, and with the aid of the Dream Beauty Bloodline, his research had quickly begun to bear fruit.
This fruit was the reason why Su Chen dared to attack the Astrals, thereby accomplishing what many others had tried and failed to do in the past.
At this moment, Su Chen was discussing battle strategies with Lin Shaoxuan and the others when a flare suddenly rose in the distance.
Upon seeing the signal, light flickered across Su Chen’s eyes. “Speak of the devil!”
As he spoke, his figure flickered, and he immediately disappeared.
He had distributed his clones amongst the ranks of the soldiers, and a moment later, he reappeared near where the flare had gone off. The nearby cultivators were all grasping their weapons nervously as they glanced around. There was a cultivator lying on the ground next to them, but his eyes were tightly closed, and he was no longer conscious.
Su Chen glanced at the unconscious cultivator. “So he’s entered a stage of semi-consciousness? When did you discover this?”
“Just now. There’s two more over there as well,” one of the Boundless Sect’s disciples replied loudly.
Su Chen saw another two unconscious disciples in the direction that the disciple had pointed in. They were also being guarded by a large group of people.
Su Chen’s lips curved up in a cold smile. “I’m amazed! He actually gave it two more tries.”
This state of semi-consciousness was a consciousness technique that Su Chen had developed for the sake of protecting his disciples against consciousness enslavement.
Unlike Heart Walls, which had high consciousness requirements and needed to be consciously activated, this state of semi-consciousness was the result of an Arcana Technique that passively triggered whenever its user was threatened.
Its function was quite simple. Whenever a foreign will attempted to take over a cultivator’s body, that cultivator’s will would be temporarily sealed, greatly increasing their ability to resist the invasion and rendering the consciousness enslavement ineffective.
As soon as this technique was activated, the increased defensive capabilities would allow the cultivator to better repel the invading will. At the same time, however, the cultivator would lose control of their body. Simply put, they would enter a comatose state.
As such, in a one-on-one fight against an Astral, this technique was equivalent to a death sentence. This technique came with a fatal side effect, which was that the cultivator would lose the ability to prevent the opponent from simply killing them.
In a large-scale battle, however, it was far more valuable.
If one had comrades to protect them, then the situation was completely different.
This group of soldiers had been flying along when they had suddenly noticed that one of their comrades had fallen comatose.
Everyone immediately realized that that comrade had been ambushed by an Astral, who was hiding in the shadows, trying to control them and sow chaos.
Consciousness enslavement was an invisible process. It was possible for a person to fall under another’s control right in front of your very eyes without you noticing. That was why it was so scary.
Now, however, after these three people had fallen unconscious, the hornet’s nest had been stirred. All of the nearby soldiers lit their flares as a warning.
In fact, only a few seconds had passed from when the Astral had attacked to when Su Chen had arrived on the scene.
As such, Su Chen merely needed to glance at his surroundings before confidently saying, “He’s still here.”
After these words, he suddenly harrumphed.
This harrumph sent powerful waves of consciousness power undulating in all directions. The Boundless Sect’s disciples were unaffected, but the Astral hiding in the darkness felt a sudden sense of impending doom wash over him and was forced to jump from his hiding spot.
And as soon as he appeared, Su Chen sensed him.
A faintly illusory figure had been hiding in the nearby bushes. He had probably been in that area the entire time, but no one had detected him until this very moment.
The Astral knew that he was in deep trouble and hurriedly attempted to retreat.
Su Chen harrumphed again. “Where do you think you’re going?”
A consciousness spike flew straight at his target.
This consciousness spike was invisible, but the Astral was able to see it clearly — it glowed like a fireball in a dark tunnel.
When the Astral realized that his opponent was using consciousness techniques to attack, he instinctively let out a sigh of relief.
An Astral’s consciousness was their most powerful weapon. For a human to try to fight him with a consciousness technique was almost laughable.
That Astral didn’t even attempt to defend himself, instead using his ethereal body to forcefully withstand the attack.
But the moment the consciousness spike stabbed into his side, the Astral felt a wave of intense pain radiate throughout his entire body.
It hurt like hell!
After becoming an Astral, he had never felt pain like this before.
So he could still feel pain?
Soon after, he succumbed to the pulsating waves of pain.
The Astral’s last thought before he collapsed was, Who is this guy? Why is his consciousness even stronger than an Astral’s?