Su Chen had just landed on Heaven-Upholding Peak when Li Chongshan, Lin Shaoxuan, and the others flew over and said, “Congratulations, Sect Master! You have successfully pried open the universe and created a Paradise!”
Su Chen chuckled, “Alright, there’s no need to flatter me like this. Right, where is Instructor?”
“Playing with Little Jianzhu,” Cheng Tianhai replied.
Little Jianzhu was Shi Kaihuang’s son. Three years after returning from Wanlai Caves, Chu Yingwan had gotten pregnant and bore a son, who was already six years old - a time when his energy and liveliness was at its peak. Shi Kaihuang was delighted to have a son even at his stage in life, and at this point held very little responsibility apart from taking care of his son.
Secretly, everyone knew that Shi Kaihuang was doing this on purpose.
At this point, Su Chen’s status had begun to skyrocket, and he was widely considered the number one figure of the human race. He had developed countless crucial cultivation techniques, earning him the respect and even the worship of the general populace. It was not even a stretch to say that some people treated him like a god. Shi Kaihuang, as Su Chen’s instructor, would naturally be implicated. The old man was extremely clear-headed, and had chosen to live a life of seclusion to avoid bringing Su Chen any trouble. Even though Su Chen had pleaded with him multiple times, Shi Kaihuang was extremely stubborn, and there was nothing Su Chen could do.
When Su Chen heard this, he could only shake his head. “That stubborn old man.”
“Old Shi is getting old, and you’ve already seen his dream through. Now that he has a wife and a son, he has no interest in hearing other people say that he only got this far by hanging onto your coattails. Try and understand his position,” Jun Moxie said.
Su Chen could only nod his head in agreement.
“Right, Sect Master - since you transferred such a large chunk of land into the Paradise, this new land will need to be reorganized,” Lin Shaoxuan said. “What are your thoughts on this?”
Su Chen said, “Right now, Paradise Genesis is mostly being used to cultivate plants and herbs, with medicine refining as auxiliary. As for the mountains we transplanted, they are currently empty, so we can use some for housing the disciples, and some for refining tools, talismans, and formations. Right, speaking of formations, we will probably need to repair the sect’s defensive formation since a large chunk is probably missing right now. Hanfeng will have his work cut out for him......”
Su Chen continued to delegate tasks.
The disturbance created from transplanting these mountains was not small; divisions would need to be redrawn, and manpower redistributed. There was quite a lot of work involved to sort this all out, and even with his consciousness crystal, it took Su Chen quite a bit of time to figure out the optimal way of going about such business.
After a whole morning’s worth of work, Su Chen pantomimed wiping sweat from his brow and said, “How come I feel like managing the sect’s affairs is even more tiring than creating Paradise Genesis? I would rather have spent this time opening another Paradise instead.”
Everyone laughed, but they also knew that he was joking.
Even though the process of opening a Paradise seemed simple, it had taken Su Chen quite a bit of time and energy to get it to a point where it could contain the better part of a mountain. Preparations alone had taken five years, and the amount of resources that had been consumed was even greater. A lot of the Void Starmetal and Void Crystals that the Boundless Sect possessed had been used in the process, and it would take some time before they would reappear.
“Sect Master, this is a list of the disciples who are being admitted to the Inner Court this time around. Please take a look,” a tall, thin man said as he handed over a list of names to Su Chen.
His name was Chang Weishan, and he had joined the Boundless Sect twelve years ago.
He had formerly been a scholar, just like Guo Wenchang, and had served in an official capacity. However, he had eventually resigned due to the rampant corruption plaguing the imperial system.
Later on, he heard about Su Chen, and learned that even commoners could cultivate. That was when he made the decision to come to the Ten Thousand Swords Mountain and join the Boundless Sect.
Once in the Boundless Sect, Chang Weishan made no display of spectacular talent, and his cultivation base was average. His management of internal affairs, however, was spectacular. After Guo Wenchang died, the Boundless Sect had been lacking in a person who could properly take care of the Sect’s complicated, intricate internal affairs. This was why Chang Weishan had been picked out and suddenly promoted. At this point, he had a say in a lot of how the Boundless Sect was managed.
At this point, his cultivation base was still at the Light Shaking Realm, but his status was almost equal to that of the Boundless Sect’s most senior members. And he had only reached the Light Shaking Realm with the aid of the countless medicines that Su Chen and the others had given him. Obviously, his cultivation aptitude was quite mediocre.
His true talents obviously lay in handling internal affairs. The list of names Su Chen was given included the disciples’ names, their place of birth, a short biography, their corresponding test scores, etc., all laid out in a clear, easy-to-understand format.
Su Chen nodded in satisfaction. “Not bad. At this point we should have more than eight thousand disciples in the Inner Court, right?”
Chang Weishan replied, “At this point, we have a total of 84231 Inner Court disciples.”
The Boundless Sect’s strength had truly increased. Light Shaking Realm cultivators were now just about as valuable as cabbages, and there were more than eighty thousand of them now.
This didn’t even include the vastly larger number of common disciples.
The Boundless Sect numbered around four hundred thousand disciples at this point, with one-third of them having mid- to high-tier cultivation bases. There were at least fifteen thousand Spirit Burning Realm cultivators at this point.
However, there were no more than a hundred Thought Manifestation Realm cultivators still.
The Boundless Sect’s relatively short existence was still its upper limit.
But if this were to continue, perhaps in thirty years the sect would have tens of thousands of Ultimate Emperor Realm cultivators.
This number was completely inconceivable.
The total number of Ultimate Emperor Realm cultivators before this was in the double digits. When factoring in the almost immortal Gu Clan cultivators, that number was still no more than thirty.
The Boundless Sect’s latent potential was extremely obvious.
At this point, the Seven Kingdoms had tacitly bowed their heads to the Boundless Sect. Even though they still wielded political power, Ten Thousand Swords Mountain was slowly but surely becoming the new political center of the human race.
Most interestingly, this transition of power was met with relatively little resistance.
Before, the appearance of any new power was a serious challenge to the old.
But after a battle in which tens of thousands of lives had been lost, this exchange between old and new could not possibly continue.
Of course, there were also some other reasons that this was an exception.
For instance, the virtually insurmountable gap in strength!
The old was able to suppress the new because they were simply stronger. They would snuff out any threat that the new posed long before it had matured.
For this reason, the old typically defeated the new throughout history.
The few uprisings that did succeed were often discussed and easily remembered, but the vast number of failures often were quite forgettable.
But when a new power rose far too quickly to be stopped, everything would be different.
That was the case with the Boundless Sect.
When they were still young and tender, the Boundless Sect had chosen to conceal themselves so that they would not attract any unwanted attention.
The few people who recognized just how important Su Chen was could do nothing to him, because his cultivation techniques were being distributed in the Dreamrealm without restriction.
And new cultivation techniques not only allowed those without bloodlines to make new breakthroughs, but as Su Chen continued to improve and revise those techniques, also accelerated the cultivation process. By using his microscopic eye, Su Chen was able to improve the way that humans absorbed Origin Energy, and even developed a method that could directly influence the movement of these motes of Origin Energy. As such, it became possible for all cultivators to cultivate by killing Beasts.
After killing a creature, they would perform movements that looked akin to a religious ritual. This became the Boundless Sect’s foundation as well.
For all these reasons, the Boundless Sect was able to advance at an astounding rate. Before the rest of the human race could even react, they had become an infallible power.
The extermination of the Lin Clan had fully demonstrated this principle.
Around the time that Lin Mengze had been killed was the last chance that the Seven Kingdoms had to fight back against the Boundless Sect.
But in the face of Su Chen’s enticement and sowing of discord, the Seven Kingdoms eventually chose to concede. This concession made it so that they missed the last opportunity available to them. After the Boundless Sect successfully exterminated the Astrals, the Seven Kingdoms also realized that they no longer had any chance of controlling the Boundless Sect.
From that moment on, the old had lost the desire to fight the new, instead choosing to make concession after concession.
As a result, power began to transfer from the old to the new, resulting in a surprising period of peace.
The center of the human race’s power slowly began to move from Empty Mountain’s capital, New Rain City, to the Ten Thousand Swords Mountain. This location, which had been desolate and abandoned for so long, was gradually becoming a hub for the entire human race.
Actually, its location made it quite ideal for this purpose.
And the increase in power began to spill over into the surrounding regions, with profound implications.
Even though the emperors were still rulers of their respective kingdoms, their influence was slowly beginning to decline.
The Boundless Sect’s status in Long Sang was slowly spreading into the other kingdoms as well.
This was exactly what Su Chen wanted.
He wanted to unify the entire human race into one gigantic kingdom, but not by bloodshed. Using their impressive might to cow the other kingdoms into submission was the best choice.
Eighty thousand Light Shaking Realm cultivators and fifteen thousand Spirit Burning Realm cultivators.
Any one of these two groups would be more than capable of steamrolling their way through the Seven Kingdoms.
Even so, Su Chen still felt like these numbers were insufficient.
After a moment’s thought, he said, “Has there been any sign of movement from the Harpies yet?”
Chang Weishan immediately replied, “Eternal Night has returned from his visit to the Oceanids.”
Su Chen squinted his eyes slightly.
A year after Lonely Skyleap tok the Immortal’s Soul back with him, the Harpies had managed to finally give Sky City the freedom of movement it had lacked for tens of thousands of years.
On that day, Sky City immediately traveled to the border of Liaoye Country, then to the Southern Sea region before finally exterminating a horde of Demonic Beasts in that region, including a Demonic Emperor. This was how they were declaring to the entire continent that Sky City had returned.
The Harpies’ morale had also surged as a result, resulting in mounting tensions between Liaoye Country and the Harpies.
Because, according to the Harpies, the moment that Sky City regained its mobility, their territory began to automatically expand. Wherever Sky City went was where the Harpies could exercise their control.
Eternal Night, however, refuted such a philosophy.
After Sky City had regained its mobility, Eternal Night’s status amongst the Harpies had skyrocketed, to the point where they virtually treated him like a god.
Only he was capable of restraining the surging tide of pride that the Harpies were currently feeling.
Because he knew that the Harpies were far from being invincible yet.
If Sky City began to immediately go on the offensive after regaining its movement, neither the humans, the Ravagers, nor the Oceanids would stand by and watch idly. It was very likely that they would ally with each other in response.
After all the Harpies had abandoned the Boundless Sect in the fight against the Astrals, the humans and Ravagers had worked together to take Gloom City (shockingly without quarreling over the division of spoils), and the humans had also helped the Oceanids resolve the issue of the Deep Sea Sorrow. As such, the formation of such an alliance was extremely likely.
Eternal Night had no desire to incur the wrath of these three races at this point in time.
During the past ten years, he had been quite active in trying to establish ties with others even as the Boundless Sect was beginning to realize their full potential.
His efforts had never been particularly successful.
Not long ago, however, Eternal Night had personally paid the Oceanids a visit. Su Chen had no choice but to take the situation seriously.
If he had returned, then the old coot’s strategy of division had likely born fruit.
He just didn’t know how many benefits the Harpies had given to the Oceanids to buy their impartiality.
“Well, it doesn’t matter,” Su Chen said after a moment’s thought. “The seed we planted all those years ago should be close to maturing soon. It is time for some of these debts to be settled.”