Blue Star Cultivator 140 Back To Aldora
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Their elongated shadows travelled in front of their advancing figures like dark scouts gliding over the gra.s.sy terrain.
The murmuring wind swept over the vast expanse of knee-high flora, making the sea of green stalks and leaves facing them lean forward in synchronisation.
The couple had just arrived at the outer edges of the Falcon mountain range, they immediately started to make tracks through the field of swaying bushes, curving around the lake to their left and moving towards the spectacularly high mountain ahead.
It was a beautiful scenery with a strange atmosphere.
There wasn't another human, beast or bird to be seen or heard anywhere in the vicinity. The only other living being visible were a few swarms of bees leisurely flying around and extracting nectar from their favourite flowers.
It was like everyone knew this place was off limits, except for these two people disturbing the tranquility.
"You ready?" Hartley put his arm around Zhi Ruo's waist and pulled her into his embrace.
"Yes, " Zhi Ruo replied with a slight blush as she faced the giant mountain that seemed to be formed from a combination of red and brown rocks.
The rocky surfaces of the mountain stretched to the summit above the clouds, dotted with sharp jagged rocks jutting from the contours of the mountain's spine.
This place was about 10,000 miles away from the Cambridge camp.
Traveling these sort of distances had become trivial to Hartley, it only took minutes to get here. Patriarch Wushang had pointed him in the right direction and he did the rest.
Hartley finally understood the arrogance of a saint, his current capabilities were way beyond what he had imagined of a saint, no wonder they all seem to look down at the world with detached distaste.
The couple moved shoulder to shoulder, carefully inspecting the area as they got closer to the mountain.
Even this beautiful landscape wasn't spared from the blemishes of the wars that raged here decades ago.
Evidence of past battles were on full display. Scattered craters and gouges were dotted around, the biggest being a ma.s.sive crater drilled into the side of the mountain itself.
They soon reached the foot of the mountain without any issues. It was such a peaceful journey that it felt surreal.
Looking up, the steep incline of the rocky mountain was almost 90 degrees vertical.
The sheer scale of the mountain was astounding, its upper half was shrouded in clouds and seemed to puncture the sky.
It was almost impossible for normal people to begin scaling this mountain, much less reaching its highest point.
Even Zhi Ruo who was now at the eighth layer of the xiantian realm wouldn't be able to reach the highest point on her own.
Hartley looked in her eyes and said, "Its been too hard on you these last years Ruo but this is the final hurdle."
Zhi Ruo smiled before answering, "I'm the one that chose to come, how can being by your side be too hard?"
To which Hartley replied, "I love you."
Hartley's movement was crisp and sudden, almost invisible to the naked eye, he scooped up Zhi Ruo and leapt into air, disappearing in a spiralling flash of blue.
Black energy in his spatial crack crackled and sizzled audibly, contrasted by the blue elemental power pin-wheeling around and protecting Zhi Ruo from any discomfort.
Hartley's newfound affinity to black energy ensured a trouble free trip to the top, within seconds of entering the spatial crack they had reached the top and were spat out onto a ma.s.sive rocky plateau. Fully alert, sending out there awareness to scan ahead.
There were swirling translucent ripples in the air like the aurora lights at the north pole. Numerous tendrils of pale mist wafted across the scene accompanied by the howling wind that rippled their robes, obscuring visibility making the surroundings somewhat blurry and indistinct.
After a few minutes Hartley immediately had a weird feeling.
This place was a zone his awareness could barely perceive.
They waded forward through the wisps of gleaming fog.
"Did you see someone?" Hartley stopped and asked seriously after a hostile presence flashed in his periphery.
Zhi Ruo was moving just behind Hartley with her precious blades exposed to the warm air. She stopped and checked thoroughly.
"No. Did you? I haven't seen or sensed anything up here." Zhi Ruo replied while she scrunched her brows and tried to concentrate harder.
Something was wrong, Hartley could feel his scalp tingling.
His eyes and senses registered no danger at all, just like Zhi Ruo, all he saw were the fluffy clouds ahead, but his raw instincts were screaming at him in a panic.
"Be careful Ruo." He shouted as he stopped them in place.
Hartley's mind churned with thoughts of danger and when the fog quivered and parted slightly on its own accord, he followed his instinct.
Immediately he tried to engage monochrome, his time domain.
Hartley's instincts had gotten him to the saint realm and he trusted it far more than his eyes or his awareness.
Instantly a headache started to wreak havoc through his brain, a stream of blood slowly trickled down his left nostril and loud vulgar curses flowed from his mouth.
The constant droplets of blood expended from his nose, dripped towards the ground and splashed against the stone.
It was only because he had become a saint that he could bare the pain through gritted teeth.
Ever since his first few days in the pocket dimension when he had experimented with his time related powers -– and subsequently felt the head splitting effects -- he hadn't even attempted to use his time related powers again since then.
Hartley's instincts told him that this was a now or never situation.
The colour and sound slowly drained away from the plateau as the mists began churning frantically.
The process was the slowest he'd ever experienced when implementing his time domain, the more colour removed from the world, the worse his headache got.
Leading to more grunts and screams of pain.
In the dim foggy atmosphere atop the Falcon mountain, Hartley gradually saw glimpses of a lone white silhouette struggling to move forward.
As the colour and sound bled away further, the black and white image of the plateau became clearer.
A young man barely visible and surrounded by the mist, was no more than 5 meters away holding a silver sword above his head poised to strike.
It became evident that the stranger was seconds away from striking down his unwitting victims.
The surprising thing was that Hartley and the stranger were now both having the same painful experience.
Hartley's screams of pain were matched by the man opposite him. They both stared at each other in this battle of will.
The blonde had sweat pouring down his face and blood streaming from both nostrils. His whole body was trembling so much that he began losing grip of his sword.
Streams of blood ran down to his upper lip and onto his clothes, creating a mess of his pristine white robe.
The young man's eyes were bulged in incredulity and his mouth was gaping open, either in disbelief, shock or pain.
Which one exactly, Hartley couldn't tell.
Hartley too was filled with shock. They were both controlling time.
Was this a time keeper?
Hartley remembered Patriarch Lou from the Lou clan briefly telling him about his mother's relation to the Time Keepers sect on the higher plane of Diyu.
Was this young man the one controlling time in the pocket dimension?
When Hartley was below the saint realm, any attempt to use his time related powers would result in a horrible headache that warped and distorted the pocket dimension around him to the point of him blacking out. It was as if the pocket dimension targeted him for even attempting to manipulate time.
Since becoming a saint he seemed to be holding up better, at least better than the blonde across from him.
Was he directly competing for the control of time with this guy?
The blonde youth was cultivating atop the mountain when two ants distracted him.
It had been many years since anyone has been so brazen in disturbing his peace, no one who had the gall to come up here has ever returned down the mountain.
It was why this place was so peaceful, even the beasts and birds got the message.
One has to understand that with his young man's control over time, killing anyone in the pocket dimension was like cutting vegetables.
He was practically invincible.
Imagine his surprise when he was about to nonchalantly lop the heads of these people.
His domain was broken unexpectedly and now he was vying for control of time with the opponent.
Hartley had the upper hand in the stand off but he was beginning to have a dizzy spell, it felt like his head was about to explode into a million pieces.
From his own experience with his gravity field, he knew it always counteracted his time domain, both powers couldn't overlap, when one was active the other would deactivate and he was counting on this theory to be consistent.
Hartley decided to quickly switch to his gravity domain.
The blonde guy gasped out in relief as he regained control over time for a split second before puking up a mouthful of blood when his control was forcibly removed again.
Hartley released a gravity pulse that covered the ma.s.sive mountain, jerking the colossal mound of rock and sending huge rocks tumbling down the side.
Zhi Ruo screamed as she stumbled to the side, everything happened so quickly, she saw a blonde man partially hidden in mist suddenly appear in front of them, then she was shaken off her feet before she could react.
Sound and colour returned to the world and Hartley could hear the blonde guy screams mix with Zhi Ruo's surprise yells.
Hartley had granular control of the gravity around the whole mountain now.
Meaning he could crush the whole mountain or he could make a single pebble float without affecting anything else. Nothing could enter or leave his gravity field if he didn't permit it.
Just as he thought, his gravity domain really negated the blonde guy time domain.
500 gs of gravitational force slapped onto the blonde's head.
He felt the force down to his toes.
It was like an electric shock to the system, he resembled a drunk as he staggered around drooling blood from the corner of his lip.
"Who the h.e.l.l are you?" He managed to ask, voice slurring and a tremble to its tone. He was struggling to keep his mind clear, with his head rocking back and forth like a new-born.
Under the immense pressure, his feet dug deep into the rock, shattering the ground beneath him, sending rocks and dust flying up around him.
The only thing he could do, was to defend blindly by dangling the silver sword in front of himself.
That was when a fist outlined with dull crackling black light rammed into his chest.
There was a flash of jet black and a deafening boom at the point of contact, spreading streaks of black sparks across his chest like ink smudges, this sequence was followed by a screech of pain.
The pitiful man was flung to the side with a crunch, the whirling mist surrounding him instantly disappearing as he landed and gouges out another crater.
Beams of volumetric sun light flooded down onto the plateau, scattering the fog and exposing the full length of the mountain's summit.
The man laid on his back wailing with a ghastly wound spurting blood over the ground.
Hartley's control of black energy through spell-weaving was crude but it still got the job done.
"You will pay for this." The man squeezed out with menace before fis.h.i.+ng out a scroll from his robe and ripping it in two.
Instantly red light swallowed him and he disappeared from the mountain's summit without a trace.
Hartley was shocked and disappointed, he didn't confirm the man's ident.i.ty.
The good thing was now he could feel his affinity to time much stronger than it used to.
Zhi Ruo rank back to Hartley's side.
"Was he a saint?" she asked as she checked his body and began to wipe away the blood from his nosebleed.
"Yes." Hartley answerd, "I think he was from a higher plane, I was too careless and let him escape."
"I the think we should leave as well." Zhi Ruo said nervously as she wrapped her arm around him.
Approaching the aurorlike ripples dancing in the bright sunlight. The looked at each other then walked into the turbulent s.p.a.ce.
The world spun around them until they were nauseous and on the verge of pa.s.sing out.
The couple was greeted by the sweltering heat of the summer sun and hard cracked ground of the barren land, they were back on the Aldoran continent.
Blue Star Cultivator 140 Back To Aldora
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Blue Star Cultivator 140 Back To Aldora summary
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