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Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
“What do you mean?” Lu Ye humbly asked.
“The effects of a Mystic Fruit’s seed aren’t fixed. For example, there was a sect in Tian Zhou who used a seed and was connected to a small, unknown realm that contained a top quality Spirit Vein covered in High-Grade and Top-Grade Spirit Stones. I don’t need to tell you how valuable that was.”
“There was also a seed that put the user under a strange cultivation state that allowed them to learn anything at twice the normal rate.”
“Some seeds were so valuable that they could be sold to the Vault of Providence for a hundred thousand Contribution Points at least!”
Lu Ye was stunned to hear this as a matter of course. How much Flame of Earthen Spirits could he purchase if he had a hundred thousand Contribution Points? This was the lowest number too. Assuming that the seed was that valuable, it should always sell for higher than a hundred thousand Contribution Points.
“There were also seeds that could be used as the core of certain arrays and multiply their strength by several fold. There’s a Second-Tier sect at the Core Circle that was lucky enough to obtain this seed and propel their array to the strongest in the entire Spirit Creek Battlefield. Not even the arrays of First-Tier sects were a match for them.”
Li Baxian and Feng Yuechan took turns to tell Lu Ye all about the incredibly varied and mysterious effects of the seed of the Mystic Fruit. He thought that a treasure that could only be found on the Chess Sea would be pretty special, but it was still quite the eye-opening lesson.
Previously, Thousand Demon Ridge had occupied this place. If Lu Ye and Hua Ci hadn’t participated in this battle royale, it was likely that Grand Sky Coalition would not be able to claim even a single Mystic Fruit for themselves.
However, not only did the low level cultivators foil Thousand Demon Ridge’s ploy in spectacular fashion, the champions of the Core Circle had mustered their forces and swept through the entire continent in dominant fashion, killing countless and chasing out the enemy forces entrenched around the Mystic Fruit Tree completely.
Thousand Demon Ridge was extremely unhappy with the fact that their treasure was stolen right before their plan could come to fruition as a matter of course. They tried attacking this position a couple of times, but Grand Sky Coalition drastically outnumbered Thousand Demon Ridge in both high level cultivators and low level cultivators right now. There was just no way they could succeed. All they managed to do was lessen their own numbers.
Now that Li Baxian and Feng Yuechan were here as well, the chances they would launch anymore attacks were next to nothing.
That meant that their last few days on the Chess Sea should be quite peaceful. Grand Sky Coalition was going to stay here until the Mystic Fruits were fully ripe, and Thousand Demon Ridge could only seethe with hatred and envy from the sidelines.
On a side note, the Mystic Fruits were definitely going to ripen before the battle royale was over, so no one was worried that their passive waiting during their last few days on the Chess Sea was for nothing.
“I count only nine Mystic Fruits though. How on earth are we going to share it?” Lu Ye voiced his doubts. The Mystic Fruits were valuable enough that anyone would like to get their hands on them. While low level cultivators weren’t a factor in this—they did not have the power, wealth or influence to compete for the fruits—the high level cultivators were a different story. They couldn’t settle this with a might-makes-right approach. Any in-fighting, even a friendly one would only give Thousand Demon Ridge the chance to steal the Mystic Fruits from under their nose.
“Situations like this are usually resolved via bidding,” Li Baxian answered without hesitation. He had clearly experienced such a scenario many times in the past. “The Legates would bid on behalf of their sects, and the treasure would go to the highest bidder. The proceeds would be split equally among the sects present at the scene.”
“That’s pretty fair,” Lu Ye said with a nod. The method ensured that even the sects who lacked the wealth to bid for the treasure would be able to get something out of this.
Time passed quickly. There were many Grand Sky Coalition cultivators who were focused on healing and recovering from their ordeal, but even more were gathering in groups to talk about various matters.
Generally speaking, Legates and prolegates from different sects rarely had the opportunity to socialize with one another. The Battle Royale of the Legates was one such opportunity because it was participated by nearly every sect with an Outpost on the Spirit Creek Battlefield. This was their chance to meet up with the other sects and to negotiate deals and even form alliances.
Of course, alliances created in this manner were limited to the Spirit Creek Battlefield only. If two sects wished to form a true alliance, the responsibility would fall on the Sect Masters as a matter of course.
Lu Ye and Hua Ci were tending to a huge group right now. A lot of familiar faces had paid them a visit for various reasons.
Right now, Lu Ye was toying with a small Golem—a ball that was embedded with a pair of small wings for flight, and a pair of polished gems for sight—while Lu Yushan explained the principles behind it.
Strictly speaking, the Golem wasn’t very useful. It could be used to scout out certain dangerous locations, but that was it.
“You are more than welcome to visit Thousand Gear Pavilion if you are interested to learn more, Brother Yi Ye,” Lu Yushan said warmly. They were close enough to be friends at this point, and Thousand Gear Pavilion had never cared to keep their knowledge to themselves especially because Golem Making wasn’t very popular at all. They were such a small faction that every Sect Master to date had made it their lifelong mission to expand their sect.
This was why Thousand Gear Pavilion opened their doors to any Grand Sky Coalition cultivator who were interested in learning their ways, and why they possessed some of the biggest social networks in the entire Jiu Zhou despite being an Eighth-Tier sect only. There were countless sects who shared some sort of covenant agreement with them.
Unfortunately, Golem Making was an art that required an incredible amount of talent. Despite generations of hard work, there were still very few Golem Masters in Jiu Zhou especially among high level cultivators. The biggest reason for this was that Golem Masters relied too much on external force to win their battles.
Below a certain level, a Golem Master could unleash power far beyond their cultivation level by creating and using all kinds of miraculous tools. However, it also meant that time that could be spent on cultivating their strength were wasted on creating these tools instead.
Thousand Gear Pavilion was well aware of their major flaw, but it was one that was fundamentally impossible to fix. A Golem Master was destined to spend most of their time creating mechanical tools that fit their purposes, which meant that their cultivation rate could never catch up to that of a “pure” cultivator.
On a related note, the Beast Taming cultivation faction was in the same boat as the Golem Masters. They too were unable to popularize their ways for similar reasons. As a clique that mainly focused on Beast Taming, a Chosen Beast was paired together with their cultivators from a young age. Their cultivators would live, eat and sleep with their Chosen Beast like they were their lifelong partner.
Of course, neither the Golem Masters nor the Beast Tamers were easy foes just because they were a small clique. They were quite capable of defeating stronger foes because their strength came not just from themselves, but also their Golems and Chosen Beasts. To measure their strength by their cultivation level alone would be incredibly foolish.
“Brother Lu.” Lu Ye suddenly remembered something. “Does the Thousand Gear Pavilion have super large Golems that a cultivator can control to combat bigger enemies? And I don’t mean a Beast Golem, I mean a humanoid one. In fact, a humanoid one would be best.”
“You mean an Armor Golem?”
Lu Ye’s interest was piqued immediately. “So, it’s actually a thing?”
“Yep. it is beyond my current abilities though. I’d have to cultivate more before I can build one.” Lu Yushan smiled. “I can make one for you when I reach that level.”
“Oh! Thank you in advance then, Brother Lu.” Lu Ye could not help but look forward to it.
An Armor Golem… I don’t know if it’s the same as what I imagined, but it can only be a good thing.
This Battle Royale of the Legates had been an eye-opener in every way. The more he learned, the more he discovered that the Cultivation World was unfathomable.
It was a lively gathering, but they didn’t let down their guard. There were plenty of ghost cultivators standing guard about five kilometers away from the Mystic Fruit Tree in case Thousand Demon Ridge decided to launch a sneak attack. Although it was an unlikely possibility, that was no reason to let their guard down.
At some point, the scent of the Mystic Fruits vanished without warning. All the cultivators who noticed this immediately looked at the Mystic Fruit Tree. As expected, the nine blue fruits had ripened completely. At the same time, the barrier surrounding it had vanished as well.
Speaking of which, the main reason Thousand Demon Ridge hadn’t destroyed the Mystic Fruit Tree when they were pushed out from this location was because it was protected by an invisible barrier, one that would not disappear until the tree had fully ripened. Thanks to it, no one could even get close to the tree, much less destroy the Mystic Fruit Tree. Otherwise, Thousand Demon Ridge would a thousand percent have destroyed the Mystic Fruit Tree already. After all, why leave something beneficial to the enemy if you had the option to destroy it?
It wasn’t long before everyone was staring at the Mystic Fruits with greed. Although it was impossible to predict the effects of a seed, few had ever caused disappointment. Worst case scenario, they could sell it to the Vault of Providence and earn a hundred thousand Contribution Points.
In that sense, every Mystic Fruit was beyond invaluable.
Everyone was staring at the Mystic Fruits, but no one made a move to grab them as a matter of course. Anyone who tried would be a smear of blood in less than a second.
“Fellow Cultivator Li, if you may?” Someone spoke up suddenly, and everyone’s eyes were drawn to Li Baxian for a moment.
The sword cultivator smiled politely before clasping his hands together and bowing respectfully in every direction. “Thank you for your trust in me, everyone. Then, without further ado…”
He leaped into the air and stayed there for a bit. He looked like he was trying to choose the best fruit, though it was impossible to tell if there was even a difference at all. A short while later, he plucked a Mystic Fruit from its branch, produced a wooden box, and stored it safely. He then flew up to Lu Ye and passed him the box. “This is for you. Both of you.”
Lu Ye looked like he couldn’t believe that Li Baxian was giving him such a valuable gift, so the sword cultivator explained, “As the others had mentioned earlier, Sister Hua Ci’s and your contributions in this battle royale are unparalleled. Rather than just thanking you verbally, we unanimously agreed gifting you a Mystic Fruit would be a much better compensation.”
Meng Si also nodded and said, “It is what the Crimson Blood Sect deserves. Please, accept it.”
Lu Ye looked around him and found only smiles and approving gazes.
It was a sudden boon that Lu Ye hadn’t expected at all. Of course he would like to have a Mystic Fruit, but as his senior brother had mentioned earlier, the ownership of the fruits were going to be determined via bidding. They were supposed to go to the highest bidder.
The Crimson Blood Sect was, to put it mildly, in a bad state right now. Besides a couple of fish, shrimps and Spirit Peaks, they had absolutely nothing at all. He had believed that they were out of this auction before it even began.
He was just wondering how much they were going to get in proceeds when the auction was over when Li Baxian suddenly announced the pleasant surprise.
That said, it was a deserving reward for the two people who were the turning point of their victory. Without the core of cultivators they had formed during the first half of the battle royale, they would not have what they had today. When then Chess Islands had completed the final merging, their high level cultivators had been busy running away from Thousand Demon Ridge, and even Li Baxian and his group of dozens had to escape to Lu Ye’s group to survive, much less everyone else. It was the low level cultivators’ battles in the outer ring that extinguished the rising morale of Thousand Demon Ridge and turned the tides completely.
A verbal thanks wasn’t nearly enough to make up for what they had done for all of them. The only proper compensation there was a Mystic Fruit.
As Meng Si said, it was what they deserved.