Yuan's Ascension - C.248: Vanguard (2)

Yuan's Ascension

C.248: Vanguard (2)

The Heavenly Rankers turned their attention to the second light screen.

This? Wu Yuan's eyes constricted.

The scene of the second projection was straightforward. It showed a 40-meter-long, black-scaled creature wreaking havoc on a small tribal village. The creature showed no mercy as it hunted down the hapless humans, swallowing them whole amidst their screams of terror and wails of agony. Limbs were torn asunder, and blood stained the earth.

This gruesome display stirred fury within the Heavenly Rankers, and their eyes burned with anger. Even many Archdemons couldn’t help but frown.

Yet, it was the conclusion of the projection that truly horrified them all.

After devouring hundreds of humans, the black-scaled creature began to writhe and howl violently. The buildings within the village crumbled and collapsed as the ground shook.

Then, a pair of wings burst forth from its back, and the creature expanded in size. In just two breaths, it grew from 40 meters to 80 meters, its wings spanning an astonishing 200 meters when fully extended. With a final, thunderous roar, the transformed creature took flight, disappearing into the sky.

The second light screen projection came to an end, leaving the Heavenly Rankers with ugly expressions.

"A breakthrough?"

"It matured so quickly?”

"Fellow Daoists," Emperor Dong Pan's voice cut through the murmurs of unease. "Senior Wan Liu's intelligence failed to mention this. After consuming flesh and blood, these worm devil soldiers will grow rapidly, quickly reaching the Communion phase."

"The only good news is that the devil soldiers who have reached the Communion phase seem unable to continue developing by solely consuming flesh and blood," Emperor Dong Pan said.

“There must be countless juvenile devil soldiers within the devil’s lair. If we allow these juvenile soldiers to persist in their massacre, can you imagine the number of devil soldiers that would arise?"

The Heavenly Rankers buzzed with discussion, their gazes brimming with frustration and fury. Wu Yuan mirrored their somber expressions.

The intel provided by the realm master had neglected to mention this crucial detail. After all, hell devils were a rare sight in the vast macrocosm, let alone worm devils.

It could be said that the immortal slips from the realm master were somewhat outdated and lacked complete information.

However, this detail immediately upended all their previous plans! The Communion devil soldiers appeared to number just over a dozen during the first wave. But how many juvenile devil soldiers were there? A hundred? A thousand? Ten thousand?

If all these juvenile devil soldiers transform into Communion devil soldiers? Wu Yuan shuddered at the thought of Communion devil soldiers blanketing the skies and the land.

Even if they all remained at the first stage of the Communion phase, it would be a nightmare once they grew to a certain size. What’s more, these countless Communion devil soldiers could cannibalize each other and transform rapidly into Spiritual Body phase devil soldiers.

Forget everything else, as long as the number of Spiritual Body devil soldiers reached the double digits, the immortal cultivators of the Middle Land could forget about putting up a resistance, it would be a futile battle!

No wonder the immortal slips stated that once a worm devil is born, it will become the bane of countless worlds. Wu Yuan's eyes narrowed slightly. With this new information, he understood that the Middle Land was frightfully short on time.


"Fellow Daoists," Emperor Dong Pan addressed the assembly. "I trust that everyone here understands what the juvenile devil soldiers' ability to grow and transform rapidly means for us. Although the Huang Continent's population is small, it still comprises tens of millions of humans, not to mention countless beasts and marine life in the surrounding seas."

"The transformation of these juvenile devil soldiers is not an instantaneous process. They must first reach a length of 40 meters and consume a massive quantity of flesh and blood before they can undergo this metamorphosis."

"However, if we allow these devil soldiers to feast unhindered, it is likely that we will face hundreds, even thousands of Communion devil soldiers by the end of the month."

"We cannot afford any further delays, we must not grant the worm devil any additional time to grow."

"Therefore, after extensive deliberations with Daoist Fang Xia, Daoist Wan Xing and other cultivators," Emperor Dong Pan's gaze swept over the gathering of Heavenly Rankers, "Twelve cultivators, namely Daoist Niu Hao, Daoist Wan Xing... Daoist Wu Han Nong, and I will immediately begin familiarizing ourselves with the array controls. Once we have mastered the array controls, we shall rally all the Heavenly Rankers, storm the worm devil’s lair, and commence the decisive battle!"

"During this familiarization period,” Emperor Dong Pan continued, "Daoist Qiong Sea and Daoist Mountain Devil will lead 58 Heavenly Rankers into the Huang Continent. Their objective will be to eliminate the juvenile devil soldiers and any scattered devil soldiers, thereby impeding the worm devil’s growth."

“Are there any objections?" Emperor Dong Pan's voice reverberated through the Conference Hall.

Not a single objection was raised. The determination in the eyes of all the Heavenly Rankers was clear.

"Then, for the Middle Land, let us depart," Emperor Dong Pan declared slowly.


Wu Yuan, Fang Xia, Huan Jian, and Bu Yu simultaneously opened their eyes, rising from their respective jade platforms in the jade chamber under Cloudhill.

"The three of you will be venturing forth to the Huang Continent to join the first wave of counterattacks," Fang Xia said in a deep voice.

"Ancestor, I haven't had a chance to fight since becoming a Heavenly Ranker," Huan Jian laughed, "A fight with the devil soldiers will certainly be thrilling."

"We'll be going ahead," Bu Yu also smiled, "But we will be depending on you for the final battle, Ancestor."

Fang Xia nodded approvingly.

The other four cultivators who would control the array with him were slated to rendezvous at Cloudhill. Thus, Fang Xia would wait here for their arrival.

"Here are some pieces of spirit equipment I have refined for you, though they are still prototypes. I was intending to refine them further once the earthfire had stabilized. Unfortunately, it appears we have run out of time," Fang Xia lamented, a wistful sigh escaping his lips as he flicked his wrist.

Three radiant streaks shot toward Wu Yuan, Bu Yu, and Huan Jian respectively. The three deftly caught the objects.

"Alright, time is of the essence. If there’s anyone you wish to meet or any matters you wish to wrap up before you go, make it quick," Fang Xia instructed. "Once you have concluded your affairs, make your way to the Huang Continent as soon as possible. The sooner you join the battle and the earlier we begin killing the devil soldiers, the greater our odds of victory.”

“Remember, should you find yourselves facing an enemy you cannot withstand, retreat and seek assistance via the Middle Land Immortal Hall."

"You may proceed," Fang Xia commanded.

"Understood!" The three of them nodded in unison, and swiftly left the jade chamber.


In the blink of an eye, Wu Yuan found himself in the air above Cloudhill City. From his vantage point, the city pulsed with life.

Street vendors peddled their wares, innkeepers extended warm greetings to travelers from all directions, children laughed and played, and youths practiced their martial exercises on the training grounds.

It was a symphony of beauty.

This...is the mortal world I hold dear. Wu Yuan's lips curled into a faint smile as he descended swiftly, landing silently in a sprawling courtyard of an opulent estate.

The Wu Mansion. Wu Yuan scanned the compound. More resplendent than ever before, the pavilions and courtyards of the Wu Mansion were a breathtaking sight to behold.

Hum! Light twisted and Wu Yuan arrived hundreds of meters away, landing in another courtyard. In the distance, a group of giggling girls played in a pavilion while a noblewoman in exquisite garments sat on a stone bench.

Mother. Wu Yuan revealed a smile.

Ever since his sister had devoted herself to martial arts, their mother, Wanqin, had taken in orphaned girls, raising them as her own.

Forgive me, Mother, I cannot be filial this time. Facing Wanqin, Wu Yuan knelt on both knees and respectfully kowtowed three times. No one noticed his presence. He didn't wish to disturb his mother. There was no need for it.

Once Fang Xia and the others have mastered the array controls, the battle will commence. It could last anywhere from three to seven days. If we emerge victorious, then there is no reason to give mother cause for concern. However, if we lose the battle, it will take several months before the worm devil rampages across the Middle Land. There is no need for Mother to bear the burden of such knowledge. It is better to let her live in peace for a while longer.

As for his sister? With a quick sweep of his Soul Force, he confirmed her safety. After a moment's consideration, he decided not to disturb her either.

It’s time. Wu Yuan shot into the sky, swiftly heading towards the Huang Continent, which was situated tens of thousands of li southwest of the Jiang Continent.


On the Wu Continent.

"Today, the Heavenly Rankers from all corners of the world will assemble at the Huang Continent." Sang Gu's gaze swept over the two Heavenly Rankers standing before him.

"This calamity was brought about by our Huang Temple. Now, we are the only Heavenly Rankers that remain from the temple. Whether it be for retribution or redemption, we shall stand at the frontlines of his battle. Retreat is out of the question."

"Let us proceed!"


The northernmost frontier of the Bei Continent was a world of ice and snow.

"You three mid-stage Qi Sea cultivators are to patrol the area individually and eradicate the devil soldiers," the Arctic King addressed the five silhouettes standing before him. "You two are still weak. Work together to eliminate the enemy."

"This battle is fought for ourselves, for the Arctic Alliance, and above all, for the Middle Land.”

“After this battle concludes, I hope you see all of you back here at the Alliance Sacred Mountain, alive and well," the Arctic King said in a deep voice.

"Go forth!"

"Understood!" The five Heavenly Rankers transformed into streaks of light, vanishing into the sky.

"Bei Li, it’s time that we leave for Cloudhill," the Arctic King turned to a man with flowing black hair by his side, a smile gracing his lips. "The two of us brothers managed to unify the North. With the world's heroes congregating, we mustn’t fall behind."

"Mm." Bei Li inclined his head ever so slightly.

The outcome of this battle had yet to be decided, yet Bei Li had never harbored a shred of doubt towards his elder brother. They were brothers in life and death.

The two late-stage Qi Sea cultivators of the Arctic Alliance swiftly journeyed southward.


On the Dong Continent.

Haha. Even though I’ve lived for more than 400 years, I still failed to take the final step. What a waste of my years. Daoist Wan Xing gazed down at the bustling city beneath him, the place he had safeguarded for over four centuries.

"Let’s move out!"

Together with Liu Junxing, the two made their way towards the Holy Continent, while the other Heavenly Rankers of the Starcom Consortium made their way towards the Huang Continent.


In the vast South Ocean.

"My three brothers," the colossal Qiong Sea King looked like a small mountain as he peered down at the three massive Archdemons before him.

"Haha! I don't have much to say. We’ve basked in centuries of glory and prosperity alongside each other. Now, we shall endure hardships together."

"Humanity is always vying for supremacy." Qiong Sea King's voice resounded through the heavens and earth, "We cannot afford to lag behind. Make sure to slay more devil soldiers so us Archdemons don’t lose face."

"Haha, Big Brother, they’re merely devils, while we are demons." Mountain Devil King who resembled a colossal turtle chuckled, "Demons and devils have been rivals since ancient times. While humans fear devils, we do not."



The four Archdemons swiftly made their way from the South Ocean to the Huang Continent.


Year 3231 of the Eastern Martial calendar, 9th of May.

On this day, 58 Heavenly Rankers hailing from the Bei Continent, the Yan Continent, the Dong Continent, the Qiong Continent, and many more left their homes behind. They emerged from their factions, from the depths of ancient forests, from the unfathomably deep ocean, leaving behind their descendants and embarking on their journeys almost simultaneously!

Their starting points were diverse, yet, they were headed for one singular destination—the Huang Continent!

Their temperaments, life journeys, ages, and races varied. And yet, today, they found themselves united under a singular banner—vanguard!

For the Middle Land’s survival, they would stand at the frontlines of this battle.

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