Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Heaven-grade cultivation disciplines were numerous, but the only way for a Cultivator to have access to that many cultivation disciplines of such excellence would be through the Vault of Providence. For this reason, Contribution Points have always been the single-most important commodity for any Cultivator in the Spirit Creek Battlefield.
Cultivation disciplines each had different directions and with a total of three hundred and sixty Spiritual Points, Cultivators had an infinite selection of paths to choose from, just so long as the cultivation discipline was suitable. Pick a good and proper one and the Cultivator could be faster and stronger in battle; pick the wrong one and the results could backfire badly.
The link between Spiritual Points in cultivation disciplines was never coincidental or arbitrary; Spiritual Points could be next to each other, but they might not be linked. Bonds flippantly established could incur disastrous results.
The many cultivation disciplines that could be found all around Jiu Zhou were disciplines tried and tested through the generations. For all their strengths and weaknesses, they were all cultivation disciplines that all latter-day Cultivators could rely upon at least to not fail.
Cultivators could disregard the instructions in the cultivation discipline they selected and link Spiritual Points however they wanted to, but they would be lucky to find no permanent damage to their bodies and health. The rest might find themselves permanently impaired with Spiritual Points getting damaged or the flow of their Spiritual Power in complete disarray. No Cultivator would ever wish for this to happen.
That said, in spite of the importance of cultivation disciplines, they were not the biggest factor behind a Cultivator’s true strength and power. A gifted Cultivator could adopt a lesser cultivation discipline and he or she would still be able to be dangerous and deadly.
Lu Ye found almost a hundred different sorts of cultivation disciplines suitable for him inside the Vault of Providence, but the difference in price between the disciplines was absurd.
The most ordinary one could cost a thousand and three hundred Contribution Points while the best one was priced at a mind-boggling five thousand plus Contribution Points—a stupefying four-time difference.
But by Lu Ye’s own reckoning, the difference in training efficiency between both disciplines would only be one- or two-tenths at most. The same could be said for the difference in yield output.
An additional one- to two-tenths of increase in power might be what many Cultivators were willing to pay for, but the five-thousand-Contribution Point price tag was what made it somewhat unrealistic.
A Cultivator who picked the most expensive cultivation discipline would progress faster and become stronger than most, but how long would it take for him to hoard enough Contribution Points before he finally had enough to purchase the cultivation discipline and begin his training? Even acolytes of the strongest and richest sects and orders barely come close to that amount come the day they reached the Ninth-Order.
The late Sima Yang, for instance, was only aiming to gather one thousand five hundred Contribution Points, although it was a pity that he did not live long enough to see the day he achieved his purpose or he would have already been using a Heaven-grade cultivation discipline.
Feng Yue, too, in her capacity as legate of the Clan Feng outpost, had been skimming Contribution Points, although all she had managed to collect was four thousand plus Contribution Points and all of them had been surrendered to the Crimson Blood Sect.
Lu Ye examined his Battlefield Imprint.
Identity: Acolyte of the Crimson Blood Sect
Spiritual Points: one hundred and fifty-five unlocked
Position: Spirit Creek Battlefield
Contribution Points: five thousand one hundred and thirty-two
Lu Ye needed an additional two hundred Contribution Points if he wanted to purchase the most expensive cultivation discipline.
The successful invasions of both the Clan Feng and the Redoubt of Wrath outposts had raked in such huge rewards for the Crimson Blood Sect that after Hua Ci had purchased all the different levels of Blessings she could for their outpost’s Divine Opportunity Column, she had still been able to give Lu Ye a stipend that brought his total tally up to five thousand.
Lu Ye had spent two thousand on ten Flame of Earthen Spirits, where he gained the new Glyphs, Burster, Conceal Spirit, and Insight, among others.
That made his Contribution Points total no more than three thousand when he set off from the Crimson Blood Sect outpost.
Part of the amount that had brought his total up to five thousand came from the sale of the spoils he got from Silverlight Island. The Storage Bags he looted from the Sky Pillar Sect acolytes contained a huge abundance of Spirit Artifacts. All that, plus Storage Bags that were empty, were all sold to the Vault of Providence. Aside from the usual toll for entries into the Rifts of Illusions, Lu Ye specifically refrained from using his Contribution Points.
Nevertheless, he understood full well the importance of having a good Heaven-grade cultivation discipline, which would dictate his future progress when he ascended to the Cloud River Realm.
Lu Ye extracted more Spirit Artifacts from inside his Storage Bags and sold them to the Vault of Providence. With the prerequisite amount of Contribution Points needed, he purchased the cultivation discipline he needed.
Unlike his purchase of Inviolable, nothing appeared. At least nothing corporeal. A tiny glowing spark appeared and flew into his forehead where it vanished.
A warm sensation swept all over him from head to toe, followed swiftly by a torrent of information flowing into his mind, allowing Lu Ye to learn everything he needed to know about this cultivation discipline.
The Great Sun Veluriyam Technique—that was the name of this cultivation discipline; one that, unlike the Red Lotus Sky Mnemonic, did not carry any affixed spells or techniques of its own. But that did not make the Great Sun Veluriyam any less complex. Nevertheless, its quaint and bizarre nature was what Lu Ye wanted.
From the Golden Liberation Technique he retrieved from Manager Yang to the Red Lotus Sky Mnemonic he traded from the Mystic Sect and finally the Great Sun Veluriyam Technique he obtained today, each and every step had been an immersive learning experience for Lu Ye.
It might still be some time before the Great Sun Veluriyam Technique meant anything to him, but that would come in due time.
Lu Ye checked his Contribution Points tally. Barely thirty-plus Points. There was not even enough for a round inside the Rift of Illusions.
Lu Ye peered at Ju Jia. The hulking giant of a man was evidently still in a deep dive down the countless illusory aisles of the Vault of Providence. Was he lost somewhere inside, Lu Ye wondered.
He gave Ju Jia a gentle shove and the lumbering big man awoke from his “tour”.
Lu Ye handed him a Storage Bag filled with goodies he specially prepared beforehand, saying, “Keep what you want and sell the rest.”
Ju Jia took the Storage Bag and went back inside the Vault of Providence again.
Lu Ye did not know exactly how many Contributions Points the contents of the Storage Bag would fetch, but he was certain that it could rake in at least two thousand Points. The loot from most of the enemies that Ju Jia and he had killed as a duo were all with Lu Ye. Almost every single one of the enemies were Seventh-Order armed with Spirit Artifacts of their own, hence one could safely guess that the gear that they used would most definitely be of quality.
Each of the Spirit Artifacts—every one of the dozens or hundreds of them—was worth at least twenty to thirty Contribution points, so Ju Jia would have quite a substantial amount if he sold them all.
More so, since there were also flying conveyance-type Spirit Artifacts included inside the Storage Bags, which were more valuable than the rest.
A quarter of an hour passed before Ju Jia finally woke up from his trance-like state and bobbed his head to Lu Ye, indicating that he was done.
Lu Ye led him out of the Sanctum of Providence. They were just outside when a popping sound made them stop.
Lu Ye could hardly resist the curiosity and amusement to swivel his head back to look at his burly companion, who returned a blank look.
They resumed walking and another pop came. Lu Ye looked left and right; there was no one else.
They quickened their pace and with every step, more popping noises came.
To the uninitiated and the uninformed, it might seem like Ju Jia was expelling flatulence.
But Lu Ye knew better; he understood exactly what those noises were: the sound of the membranes of the Spiritual Points bursting open.
Lu Ye’s memories harkened back to the mysterious item reminiscent of a Mutant Core that Ju Jia showed him. His cultivation rank might have been stuck in the Ninth-Order for quite some time, but that did not mean that he had been idle at all. He had been amassing all the Spiritual Qi he accumulated in the tiny item. All he needed was a suitable cultivation discipline and he would be able to unlock more Spiritual Points in one go.
But Lu Ye was rather surprised to find Ju Jia’s Spiritual Points unlocking in such quick succession.
Most other Cultivators needed time for the progression to be gradual, including Lu Ye himself, who needed to channel his own Spiritual Power to force open the membranes to unlock new Spiritual Points.
This was difficult and time-consuming enough, especially for low-tier Cultivators. But as he rose up the ranks of cultivation, unlocking Spiritual Points had become markedly easier, although not yet like Ju Jia, who made unlocking Spiritual Points as easy as a walk in the park.
Nevertheless, Lu Ye knew part of the reason was because of how much Spiritual Power Ju Jia had been saving up. The membranes might have not been able to withstand the sheer pressure of Spiritual Power surging with the force of a breaking dam.
All the way from the Sanctum of Providence, Lu Ye counted at least fifty-nine pops.
That would mean that Ju Jia had unlocked a total of fifty-nine Spiritual Points in quick succession.
With one hundred and eighty Spiritual Points at the start, Ju Jia had increased the full total to two hundred and thirty-nine. Just one more Spiritual Point and he would be able to reach the next Order in his cultivation.
Clearly, this was intentional on Ju Jia’s part.
As soon as they got back to their lodging, Ju Jia immediately began to meditate. Lu Ye could only surmise that he wanted to replenish the exhaustion of Spiritual Power from his “Mutant Core”.
Since their time together in the Lost City of Xianyuan, Lu Ye had observed Ju Jia to be a diligent and extremely gifted person who never wasted a moment meditating to save up as much Spiritual Power as possible.
With Ju Jia’s studious vigor rubbing off on him, Lu Ye extracted a book and began reading.
The enclosure of their lodgings—accommodations the Hidden Light Sanctuary maintained specifically for guests—was tranquil and peaceful enough.
While they recuperated from their adventures in the Lost City, the House of Wintry Blossoms and Sunlit Mountain never stopped their tireless pursuit of information as to the fate of their acolytes. By the time they discovered the truth that the deaths of their exploration contingents were orchestrated by none other than the notorious Lu Yi Ye of the Crimson Blood Sect, many within the two Thousand Demon Ridge orders swore vengeance.
Out of the two, the House of Wintry Blossoms reserved the greatest loathing and contempt for Lu Ye. The Battle of Goldentip saw the House lose just one member, yet now the hatred had intensified a hundred times.
But with no other way to exact their revenge, the House of Wintry Blossoms joined up with Sunlit Mountain in venting their anger on acolytes of the Hidden Light Sanctuary, and the hostilities had ramped up in recent days to include acolytes of Lofty Plume Court as well. The whole area turned into a massive and chaotic battleground for a two-way skirmish and casualties were piling.
Gu Canyang was listening to a report by Ji Yan a few days later about another encounter between their acolytes and some assailants from the House of Wintry Blossoms and Sunlit Mountain. At length, he nodded and said, “Have everyone maintain constant vigilance and be wary of any ambushes or traps.”
“Yes, sir,” answered Ji Yan.
Another youthful-looking man beside him in robes of white broke his silence, “What of Ju Jia, brother? Do we really have no other way at all?”
The man in white was the prolegate of the Hidden Light Sanctuary outpost. As Gu Canyang was accustomed to leading sorties himself, it was usually his duty to keep the outpost safe.
A formidable Body-tempering Cultivator like Ju Jia had always been a much-coveted addition to any sect and order. It was only his attachment to Sima Yang that had prevented anyone from trying to recruit him. But now that Sima Yang was no more and his future was still uncertain, the prolegate clearly believed that having Ju Jia would be a tremendous boon to the Hidden Light Sanctuary. At the very least, his presence on the battlefield would help to greatly reduce casualties.
Gu Canyang shook his head and said firmly, “No. We forget about Ju Jia. Brother Yi Ye has not only saved me, but he has saved us all. If Ju Jia wishes to stick with him, then he’s one of the Crimson Blood Sect. To try to recruit him now would not only risk angering Brother Yi Ye; it’s dishonorable.”
“But I heard that Ju Jia is not yet an actual member of—”
Gu Canyang shot his deputy a scathing look to cut him off. The prolegate swallowed hard and responded, “I understand, Brother Canyang. I shall perish all thoughts of recruiting Ju Jia.”