Chapter 1332 1326: CKC, Fast
A tense, stifling silence enveloped the atmosphere across the area as the golden pillar began to dissipate from top to bottom. All eyes focused on the west, east, and northwestern areas where the fruits resided!
Tang Xingyun's skin developed goosebumps as the subtle circulation of hundreds of thousands of Chosen-level cultivation bases distorted the air, pricking the spirit, and squeezing the heart.
"Sister Xinyi..." Tang Xingyun called out softly with her tone bereft of courage, rife with concern, and quivering fearfully. While she was strong for a Chosen, even possessing an Origin State, the sheer intensity in the air was causing her to have no confidence.
"Step back." Na Xinyi cautioned as she took a step forward. She instantly noticed thousands of gazes turn toward her direction once she did. The vigilant gazes were unable to affect her dauntless spirit, allowing her astonishing valiant beauty to shine through.
The cause of the stifling air was the Ascendants. Na Xinyi was fully aware of this, as each Ascendant had a minimum requirement that was utterly heavenshaking, requiring them to birth an Intent of at least high-level. As Intents were divided into low-level, mid-level, high-level, and apex-level, this was a world-crushing obstacle to most. However, EACH Ascendant had at least one!
Their developed wills were permeating throughout the air, causing this stifled, oppressive atmosphere.
Tang Xinyun bit her lip slightly as she retreated a few steps, immediately feeling better. Her action was tantamount to bowing out of the competition, so those wills swept across her harmlessly. Regaining the ability to breathe normally, Tang Xingyun took a deep, relieving inhale and exhale.
Na Xinyi's eyes were utterly indifferent, but her thoughts were lively. "The Ascendants are all competing?" She was taken aback by how each was readying themselves to move, but she was unafraid.
In another location, bin Ming was alongside Bai Yuxi, Yi Yun, Qiao Shulin, the returned Chen Yangzi, and two others-two females, both beauties with unique flairs. They all seemed rather close, especially the two young women who flanked Yi Yun from the right and left.
"This is tense," Chen Yangzi commented fearfully. While he was a Chosen, just the tense air was enough to allow him to understand that contesting for the fruits was beyond his means.
"We'll go for leaves," Qiao Shulin intelligently measured her limits and set an obtainable goal. The others agreed. But Lin Ming and Yi Yun's eyes were focused heavily on the westernmost fruit. They both had desire in their eyes. The Astralis Sacred Fruit was equivalent to a peak-quality Echoing Vastness of the Stars Pill! The value was unimaginable! As for the leaves, they were priceless treasures as well.
"I'll take two leaves," Bai Yuxi looked at Lin Ming as she softly, warmly, and determinedly said. Lin Ming was taken aback, but his heart immediately felt her warmth as he understood her intentions. She was going to get two so that he could focus wholeheartedly on obtaining an Astralis Sacred Fruit! He didn't give her any lovely words, only a thankful expression, and a smile.
For Bai Yuxi, that was enough. She grew even more determined.
Back on the stone bench, the two Imperial Princes of their generation observed the situation.
"Speed will be crucial," Tian Jianghan analyzed and stated. The first to obtain the fruits will be able to focus wholeheartedly on fleeing or relying on their trump cards to keep the fruit. Moreover, it'll serve as protection as no one would launch attacks that might destroy the fruit.
"Mn," Tian Yinwu acknowledged as his hazel-gold eyes focused on the collapsing golden pillar. It was almost like a timer.
"Will you not compete?" Tian Jianghan curiously asked.
"..." Tian Yinwu didn't answer, but the light in his eyes was easily readable for Tian Jianghan. The Fifth Prince didn't say anything else, merely smiled knowingly. How will this mystifying half-brother of his take action? He was quite excited to find out!
Na Xinyi's eyes looked at the three fruits, and her grey eyes seethed with a hazy yin light. "Heh," she quietly scoffed, a faint smile tugged at her lips. Her slight shift in expression caused those observing her vigilantly to grow absentminded. She was too gorgeous! Drop-dead!
The golden pillar's descent finally reached the first leaf, and then...
The entire golden pillar dissipated with an audible sound!!
It was abrupt, unexpected, and unpredictable!
From every direction of the tree, Chosen shot toward the tree at mind-boggling speeds. They stirred up storms, sending dirt, dust, gravel, and air into a frenzy! Some used raw power to gain a few milliseconds before circulating their cultivation bases; some immediately executed their Spatial Arts to flit through fixed space; some drove their cultivations to their limits, drawing upon it all as they blasted themselves into the sky.
While flying was prohibited and Spatial Arts were reduced in effectiveness, these Chosen that were the first to act seemed to ignore all these restrictions as they moved! Fast!
"What?!" Chen Yangzi's eyes bulged as figures flickered across his vision as his robes buffeted by the rampant winds and his footing grew unstable from the spatial tremors produced by various Spatial Arts. The intensity of the first second was enough to suffocate him!
Lin Ming had been forewarned by the voice in his head of the barrier's peculiarity, so he was already moving just before the barrier dissipated abruptly, granting him an unrivaled advantage over the others. With gritted teeth and a determined expression, his heart roared as his Elemental Origin Astral Soul circulated his cultivation base at 110% faster than normal!
"I have to be first!" The thought pounded his head ceaselessly. As long as he could obtain an Astralis Sacred Fruit, he had the utmost confidence in ensuring that it would be his! This was backed by decades of continuous successes, bestowing him with a level of supreme confidence.
However, as he moved, he felt shadows flashed by his side.
"Behind you!" The voice in his head warned as he hurriedly circulated his cultivation base a full cycle, propelling him further as his body was wreathed in resplendent nine-colored light. This light spiraled until a perfect mixture transformed it perfectly white, the sign of Elemental Origin Force! His speed doubled -no, TRIPLED!
The surrounding air and space shattered as he sped forth, targeting an Astralis Sacred Fruit nearest to his location-the Western Fruit! The strain on his cultivation base and circulation of energies caused the veins on his face, neck, arms, and legs to bulge fiercely through his skin. He could hear his heart beat like a war drum!
His actions of disturbing space sent those who had just started to execute their Spatial Arts to feel an added hindrance. His actions were deliberately performed, intelligently, and well-timed as well! This was gained from years of experience facing and competing against Spatial Arts!
Several Chosen that were about to Spatially Shift were met with a throttling sensation as they fumbled to the ground or air, smashing heavily against the world in failure!
"Watch out!" The voice in Lin Ming's head warned as several auras blasted his senses with the strength of raging gods, piercing through his shattered space and pulsating power with utter ease. They moved as if they were fish in the water, ignoring him entirely. While he had moved first, he could only watch with a bulging, despairing gaze as shadows flickered ahead of him!
These shadows didn't even pay him any attention, soaring across the air, passing him with totally focused looks. The urge to send out attacks swelled in his heart, but his cultivation was fully focused on propulsion. Gritting his teeth to the point of near shattering, he roared like a beast from Hell!
The spiraling white light explosively increased by double as his body felt terrifyingly flesh-ripping, bone-crushing pain!
He redoubled his efforts and sped even faster! In that brief moment, he surpassed those shadows as he neared the Astralis Sacred Fruit! It was only a few tens of miles away! Only a few miles!! The hope in his eyes was intense, and the excitement gave way to greater degrees of inner strength.
"What?!" The despair that had been pushed away by his second acceleration immediately returned.
In a deeply shaken tone, the voice in his head exclaimed: "FAST!"
Before he could process that single word, dozens, no, hundreds of shadows of men and women, all outstanding, even a few with cultivation bases at the Temporal Eye Phase, surpassed him!
"NO!" Lin Ming was unwilling! But just as they entered the range of the crown of the tree where the gargantuan leaves were, these figures all split as if agreed upon beforehand, their spiritual senses locking on certain leaves, and landed on them with gentle ease. The leaves barely trembled, and these cultivators all were hyper-vigilant!
Lin Ming was deeply confused by this. So were those who were observing and saw the desperate rush of several others. Tens of thousands of cultivators landed on leaves, and they erected either Astral Wards, established a Spiritual Barrier, or stood quietly with their Worldly Domain unfurled!
But not one...
NOT ONE! Went for the Astralis Sacred Fruit!
Na Xinyi was an existence that had the gazes of countless observers that decided not to participate, and they couldn't help but wonder if the Extreme Yin Saintess would be able to claim a fruit! After all, she was often spoken of in the same breath as Wei Wuyin and Tian Yinwu!
Na Xinyi's movements were the definition of nonchalant. She didn't resort to raw strength, a raging push of her Astral Force, or execution of exceptional Spatial Arts; the Extreme Yin Saintess moved with nine steps, leaving behind alluringly beautiful hazy images of herself like afterimages. Each image showcased her taking a single step, traveling miles with each, and by the time she finished her ninth step, she was directly on the branch with the Eastern Astralis Sacred Fruit!
She cut an impressive figure, illicit gulps from those heated and awed gazes of all genders! Those indifferent eyes as she turned to view those hectically rushing toward her were utterly soul-stirring!
The last fruit, the Northeastern Astralis Sacred Fruit, also saw two figures standing upon the branch.
They both cut equally as lovely and enchanting figures!
Wu Baozhai and Xue Yifei stared at each other calmly, standing directly between the fruit that hung on the branch. The tension was greater than a hundred times before!
The Dragonborn Saintess!
The Eternal Monarch Saintess!
Lin Ming was unaware of the other fruit's situations, but he was focused heavily on the last fruit! He was now a mile from it! He was the closest! Strangely enough, those faster than him were focused on occupying leaves like treasured scats, and while this was incredibly odd, he didn't have enough time to think about all this as he aimed for the fruit!
He reached out, executing his Origin State's Mana Dominance as he urged the surrounding mana to solidify! With a single thought, he actively hindered all those nearby! This was the advantage of the Origin State!
"They're really fast," Tian Jianghan watched all this with a lazily intrigued expression. I le found it equally as confusing as those tens of thousands of cultivators that shot toward leaves.
"Hm," Tian Yinwu acknowledged as he touched the air with his right hand. He made three taps as sputtering of alluring silvery light splashed outward, and then swiped his hand across the sky as if ravaging a canvas with his ferocity. Tian Jianghan's eyes brightened! The Seventh Prince was making his move!
Lin Ming's hand was four feet away from the fruit, his grey eyes sparkled with elation and ferocity. There was no other faster than him!
"Shit!" The voice in his mask exclaimed as the fruit began to glimmer with silvery light, forming a spherical outline around it. Then, the silvery light exploded like a supernova!
Lin Ming's eyes widened as he was blinded for a millisecond!
Na Xinyi calmly watched as the silvery light of her fruit manifested. "This is mine," she calmly said as she used two fingers as a sword, slicing softly toward the fruit. It was as if space, time, gravity, mana, and light became concepts without form or power.
The silvery light exploded!
Wu Baozhai and Xue Yifei were staring at each other, exchanging spiritual transmissions.
"Rock-Paper-Scissors?" Xue Yifei suggested indifferently.
"Do you even need this?" Wu Baozhai retorted, but her Mental Energy was already gathering into a readied shape! They were going to play a game of mental rock-paper-scissors to decide ownership!
"Do you?" Xue Yifei smiled with a lifted brow. Her mental energy began to formulate as well!
Suddenly, the fruit began to envelop with silvery light! The two merely glanced at the fruit, and their eyes shone with silvery light. The light surrounding the fruit fizzled out, and they turned to each other without even giving that a second thought!
"Go!" They both began!
Tian Yinwu calmly sat as three silvery stars manifested before him. Two of them formed properly while one collapsed, causing his expression to slightly shift. "Interesting," he remarked as he retrieved the two stars. But his eyes revealed a hint of confusion as only one Astralis Sacred Fruit was present! The other was empty!
Lin Ming's hand touched air and only air. His eyes were utterly shaken as he was unable to comprehend what just happened....com
Above Na Xinyi's flawless skin of her palm was an Astralis Sacred Fruit. Her eyes gazed in Tian Yinwu's direction.
The two Saintesses were already on their 73rd game with no winner.
By now, the ordinary and outstanding Chosen of the eighteen regions had just begun to reach the outer leaves!