Paragon of Sin-Chapter 1326 1320: CKC, Competitive Hearts
65 Days : 8 Hours : 42 Minutes : 03 Seconds.
"Your Royal Highness! Your Royal Highness!" Calls echoed outside a small grassy enclosure surrounded by a thin, translucent barrier for two hundred feet. The shouts originated from outside a gathered group of dozens of individuals, all Chosen, all outstanding in aura or looks, yet they were hurdled up before the enclosure like a low-born mob rallying for attention while protecting a treasure.
A few of those present among the group were highly recognizable amongst the Grand Cyclic Stellar Region's younger generation. They were ranked on the Immortal Monarch Ranking, the ranking list that had replaced the Immortal Saintess Ranking and Immortal Hero Ranking, similarly launched and upheld by the Golden Gate Pavilion, often referred to as Chosen Prince and Chosen Princess by their peers.
Those on this ranking was not segregated by gender nor determined by backing, looks, or other superficial levels of relevance; the Immortal Monarch Ranking listed only those most likely to become the future pillars of the Grand Cyclic Stellar Region's next generation, those with the highest chance of reaching the Earthly Saint Phase in their lifetime!
Inside the enclosure, guarded by a thin barrier that any of these Chosen could shatter with ease, concealed by a hazy mist that barely prevented the inspection of Ocular Spells, only renowned, greatly feared and respected Dragonborn Saintess sat lazily, leaning against a lone rock as she playfully caressed an azure-scaled, one-horned dragon that snuggled comfortably in her lap, it's size roughly about that of a typically domesticated house-cat. It cutely roared from time to time.
Her stunning countenance that had once ensnared the Ascendant Emperor's heart with a single glance looked utterly bored. Her hazel eyes occasionally swept across the excited and determined faces of these talented and exceptional youths of the younger generation. Unlike most Chosen, her experience in the Chosen King Competition was fundamentally different from the rest. When she arrived on Everworld, she didn't bother to conceal her identity and was therefore recognized by anyone with up-to-date knowledge of the happenings of the world.
She was Wei Wuyin's sole and only officially-recognized Concubine! While he had known lovers, none of them had any official position nor tangible power within the Neo-Dawn Starfield. She was special. And her treatment in the Neo-Dawn Starfield over the last few years only amplified this. After Wei Wuyin had effectively gone 'missing' for two years, she had taken the leadership position of the Neo-Dawn Starfield, commanding Earthly Saints, regulating order, officiating legislation of the citizens and immigrants, and doling out judgments for major events.
Her status was 'technically' higher than Empress Xiaocheng during that period, solely due to her unquestionable authority, elevating her presence and identity in the eighteen regions to incredible heights. This was why most referred to her respectfully as 'Your Royal Highness' or 'Your Majesty'. She could remember blushing when she first heard such an appellation, initially seeing it as a sign of utmost flattery of her future of becoming an official wife and place in Wei Wuyin's heart.
The moment she set foot on the Everworld, she genuinely expected and anticipated there would be covert plots or insidious schemes to bring her harm by Wei Wuyin's enemies, and was excited to fight her way through them all. She wasn't exactly clear on Wei Wuyin's agenda, but during the times they talked over the last three decades, Wei Wuyin had this lingering aura as if a great enemy was hunting him down constantly, an inescapable fate that trudged behind him tethered to a burning chain, forcing him to almost always be active and away.
Whenever they were together, she always tried her hardest to be his peace and stability. A stone that he could hold that would permeate a cool comfort into his tense spirit, a home of blood and flesh. It was because of this that, recently, Wei Wuyin would often find her at odd times, simply to talk, gazing at the starry skies, and sharing intimate thoughts and feelings. They grew closer with each meeting.
Her becoming the 'temporary' Empress of the Neo-Dawn Starfield, however, was far from her expectations. Moreover, the 'enemies' she thought existed might not exist, at least in the current climate. Her presence in the Everworld only brought forth the Grand Cyclic Stellar Region and Neo-Dawn Starfield's Chosen that were seeking her audience and attention.
Anyone who dared to even look at her wrong was brutally assaulted. When golden tornados sprung, she didn't even have to investigate or travel, a host of Chosen would leave and retrieve whatever was present, bringing it to her. It was because of their agenda that dozens of Chosen were at her door, all learning of Xue Yifei's presence and their purpose of offering fortune to her.
While they were aware that her husband, the Ascendant Emperor of Neo-Dawn, a genuine Worldly Saint Alchemist, did not need middling treasures, they still offered it as a clear-cut gesture of their desire to gain favor. When she had said she wanted to cultivate, these Chosen, even those on the Immortal Monarch Ranking, took it upon themselves to act as protectors.
While some were too prideful, going their own way, most Chosen was relatively insightful, intelligent, and self-aware. Gaining the favor of Xue Yifei was a million times greater than seizing any random fortune in Everworld. Just a single word of hers and their lives would change entirely, and any good impression would define their future.
"Your Royal Highness!" A figure arrived in haste, barreling through the crowd urgently. "Let me through! Let me through!" The group of Chosen were instantly infuriated by the figure's audacity, but their expressions of rage and harmed pride were instantly tamed after recalling where they were. They instead firmly blocked the figure from moving forward.
A few days ago, a figure had tried to approach like this one, standing out with his Starlord cultivation base, but the other Chosen acted as 'protectors' and had beaten them black and blue, silly and delirious, and tethering on the verge of crippling. Xue Yifei had to speak some words before he was spared. Now, he was respectfully 'guarding' this area.
Xue Yifei told them not to resort to violence unless necessary or ordered.
"Your Royal Highness!!" The figure cried out as he was held down. No one dared to use their cultivation base, so it was a contest of pure physical strength. His expression seemed to be particularly urgent with bedraggled clothes and hair.
"Let him through," a voice resounded that was imposing yet gentle. Those Chosen shot glares at the figure, quietly moving aside as killing intent flashed across their eyes.
The figure stumbled forward, arriving at the barrier, and their eyes brightly lit with a resplendent light of excitement. He was a slender young man with a faint Evil Aura about him. He was clearly an Evil Cultivator. Additionally, he was a Dark Chosen as no one present recognized him. Despite that, while his aura was waning from exhaustion, his cultivation base was solidly in the Temporal Eye Phase.
While most cultivators were at the Realmlord level due to the three Domain-creation products released in the last three decades, reaching the Temporal Eye Phase was still a sign of talent considering his life aura was between 120 and 140 years old. Due to his cultivation with low-quality Nascent Energy, it was difficult to grasp his exact age from aura alone.
"Your Royal Highness! I believe that I've found the location of a grade four zone!"
"...!" The Chosen was all taken aback by that openly given announcement. In Everworld, Fortune Zones had five levels, each increasingly greater than the next. A grade four zone was zones that those of the past generation had used to greatly assist them in their path to Earthly Saints. They weren't astral-graded but mystic-graded. Moreover, they were often incredibly useful to Starlords in condensing their Mystic Rune Seeds while simultaneously gaining insights into the Ways of Mysticism.
"Oh?" An interested voice resounded from the hazy mist. Xue Yifei didn't rush out at the sign of a grade four zone. While the other Chosen were already itching at the bones to interrogate this fellow, none of them made a move.
"Go on," Xue Yifei said as her lazy posture straightened out. While she was Wei Wuyin's concubine, not needing wealth, her interest couldn't help but rise. Grade four zones had lethal dangers, so she could still challenge herself despite her mob of Chosen. The thin barrier faded slightly, allowing spiritual transmissions.
The Evil Cultivator Dark Chosen's eyes brightened again, and he hurriedly began to send information over.
From afar, the elegant figure of Na Xinyi watched the scene quietly, her robes and hair dancing in the slight wind. Her grey eyes reflected the mob of prominent Chosen, all seeking Xue Yifei's slightest favor.
A woman flashed beside her. "So this is where you were," the woman held a halberd in her hand, her aura a little restless and rowdy. Wu Baozhai gave the scene of Xue Yifei being protected by Chosen a look and faintly smiled amusingly. "You can have that, you know."
Na Xinyi's brows furrowed slightly, but then they instantly relaxed. Out of all the Valkyries, out of all of Wei Wuyin's lovers, she was the only one with the rightful claim as Wei Wuyin's official wife, while Xue Yifei was a close second given her position as his first officially-recognized Concubine. If she exposed this to the world, her position would have heaven-shaking changes, exceeding Xue Yifei in the eyes of everyone instantly.
"I will have that," Na Xinyi confidently said. The sight of prominent members of a generation all worshiping her will come, but off her own merits. This was what her heart felt.
"Good," Wu Baozhai said as she glanced behind her as if expecting something or someone to arrive.
"Did you find your Evil Sentinel?" Na Xinyi asked curiously. The objective of the Everworld Venture had greatly changed from every other iteration, from survival to outright hunting. Evil Sentinels hunted Chosen, Chosen hunted Fortune Sentinels, Chosen hunted Chosen, and Chosen hunted Evil Sentinels.
The fact the Evil Sentinels carried badges of fortune only alluded to the fact that this type of hectic, multi-layered, multi-threat environment and competition was likely the King of Everlore's original vision for Chosen. Unfortunately, no one could properly survive his initial belief of a standard of Chosen, and when those standards lowered after his disappearance, the original intent vanished with it entirely.
Wu Baozhai smirked, waving her hand to bring forth an Evil Sentinel badge. She didn't parade it, as it wasn't too difficult to obtain, especially for those like her and Na Xinyi. But afterward, she frowned, saying: "The Evil Sentinel I faced was a level higher than the one we originally met."
Na Xinyi didn't think Wu Baozhai was saying this to show off her victory, and a brow of hers lifted out of curiosity. "How much stronger?"
"Without the suppression, their Domain was fifty-two thousand kilometers-about twenty-six meters with." Wu Baozhai said as she turned away from looking behind her, focusing on the movement of Xue Yifei and her group of Chosen. They were on the move, and the Chosen were taking the lead to pave the way forward.
"...Do they get progressively stronger?" Na Xinyi muttered thoughtfully. If this was true, the Evil Sentinels are going to be a menace very soon. The difference between this generation was at a fundamental level.
Suddenly, she felt a gaze upon her and she lifted her eyes. She saw Xue Yifei standing there, gazing in her direction with those hazel-eyed with blue flecks, capable of stirring up souls with a single glance. In that gaze of hers were two figures.
"..." Xue Yifei.
"..." Na Xinyi.
"..." Wu Baozhai.
The trio stared at each other, unsaid feelings transmitted across from them. The air of competitiveness wafted through the air. Eventually, Xue Yifei was called out to by a worried female Chosen, and smiled, turning away from the duo and following the lead of the bedraggled Evil Chosen that had trudged his way here.
"You know, you can have that," Na Xinyi cheekily remarked to Wu Baozhai as she smiled. The sentence shattered the developing tension, and Wu Baozhai rolled her eyes.
"Of course I can." Wu Baozhai confidently replied in a similar tone as Na Xinyi had, turning away before rushing off in a different direction from Xue Yifei. She still had to hunt for fortune, honing her cultivation and her skills. As for matters of the heart, that could be placed aside for now.
Na Xinyi's smile widened, color-stealing and world-shaking. But after a few seconds, the wind felt colder, and her smile began to fade. Whether it was Xue Yifei and Wu Baozhai, they were both aiming for the same objective, even if the latter never once stated so.
The competition between them was only just beginning.
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