“Of course that wasn’t! If you were up against the real him, you’d be utterly powerless! Even that kid Amorphous could only win in a tie with one of Sanchez’s split selves!” said Finnley with a laugh.
“Kid? Amorphous?” muttered Gerald could see that Finnley didn’t think highly of that senior at all.
“Either way, you said that you were chasing after Sanchez and something happened.. Care to explain that in further detail?” asked Gerald who was eager to have all his questions answered.
“Well… After Sanchez attempted to enter the general’s tomb, a certain force that I’ve been tracking for years suddenly appeared again.. From what I managed to gather at the time, the Sun League’s influence had spread across the secular world. I also knew at that point that they were still occasionally kidnapping people” explained Finnley.
“So that’s why you said I wasn’t ready to learn more about the Sun League yet back then.. You were waiting for my cultivation level to get higher first!” replied Gerald who could finally see things from Finnley’s point of view.
Taking a sip of tea, Finnley then said, “Indeed, and it’s high time I told you more about that group. For starters, the group’s real name is supposedly the Solana Deus Sect. You only know of it as the Sun League since the descendants of the secular world call it that. Regardless, it was thousands of years ago when the Deitus Realm experienced a great catastrophe. At the time, many Deus Sects and Angelords fell, and even some great demons ended up injured or straight out disappearing. Nobody truly knows what happened that year, but that’s beside the point. The important thing is, the Soluna Deus Sect was somehow able to survive. Honestly, it isn’t even a stretch to claim that it’s the sole remaining Deus Sect”
Upon hearing all that, Gerald quickly replied, “You know, a friend of mine, Saint Darkwind, once fought and captured a member of the Sun League, Solana Deus Sect. From what he was told, any random person in the sect could kill him in seconds! It was then when I learned that the Deus Sect truly existed!”
“I see… Regardless, you know that your uncle Peter and fiancée were captured by them, right? Yet Peter managed to escape? It’s because the people in the Soluna Deus Sect were unable to develop his angelic root. Due to that, he was exiled and obtained the chance to break free!” explained Finnley.
“Speaking of which, though he looks stupid, your disciple, Leo, could’ve developed an angelic root too. It’s a shame that nobody helped him cultivate, leading to his foundation getting slowly corrupted.. I have a feeling that the deus sect must have put in quite a bit of effort to develop him, but ultimately, he was far too long gone, leading to him getting exiled as well!” added the old man.
After hearing all that, Gerald found that many things were starting to make a lot more sense. As it turned out, those from the Deus Sects had been capturing others for special training rather than just wanting to create experts with access to secret inner strength.
As for Leo and his uncle, they simply ended up getting eliminated. It was at that moment when Gerald suddenly widened his eyes as he asked, “Wait, are you implying that Mila has an angelic root as well?”
Nodding in response, Finnley then said, “Indeed. The truth is, I had initially gone to Mayberry because of her. However, after doing a bit of investigation on your uncle, I soon realized that you not only possessed the Herculean Primordial Spirit, but you were also the God of Battle’s incarnation!”
“I see.. Regardless, you’re a hundred percent certain that the Soluna Deus Sect is responsible for kidnapping Mila?” asked Gerald.
After all, though he had several clues that pointed at the Sun League being responsible, he never actually had solid proof. Now, however…
“A hundred percent sure. Your investigation was spot on. Regardless, from the moment I found out that she had an angelic root, I knew it was only a matter of time before she was kidnapped. With that in mind, I had to focus on both of you. Speaking of which, I had also hidden on their ship the night she left for Northbay from Hong Kong!” replied Finnley, prompting Gerald’s eyes to widen as Finnley continued telling him the rest of what happened.
Essentially, Finnley had disguised himself as a canteen worker that night to monitor Mila and the other girls on the ship. When he sensed the immense power of an angelic artifact early the next morning, Finnley knew that the day had arrived.
Since the ship immediately began shaking due to the fierce waves, several of the girls on board were terrified. Though Mila herself remained calm and had done her best to keep everything under control, in the end, she was just a commoner.
It was way beyond her power to resist the power of the super angelic artifact, the Soluna Deus Sect’s Celestial Avian!
Shortly after, a massive whirlpool formed, and just like a massive mouth in the ocean, it quickly swallowed the ship and everyone onboard…
“Despite having tracked them for so long, that was honestly my first time being so close to the Soluna Deus Sect as they made a move! Regardless, it was sometime then when l sensed an immense force locking onto me. This prompted me to leave in a beam of light as the ship was swallowed up… Sadly, by the time I returned, the Celestial Avian was nowhere to be seen… ” muttered Finnley as he recalled what had happened that night.
“I wonder if the Solana Deus Sect has any malicious intent..” wondered Gerald.
“No idea. Nobody really knows what they’re up to. Regardless, though they’ve been capturing countless people with angelic roots for ages, I’m sure they couldn’t have developed all of them. With that said, I’m sure they’ve exiled quite a few people, just like your second uncle and disciple! Though I say that, only a handful have managed to properly escape!” explained Finnley as he shook his head.
Furrowing his brows, Gerald then said, “Indeed.. Still, though they disregard the regular development of the secular world and kidnap people, it’s hard to tell whether their group is actually good or bad! That aside, the Celestial Avian you mentioned… Is it a bronze angelic artifact that resembles a warship?”
“Bingo. I have to say, you’re really good at connecting the dots. Regardless, it’s not exactly a warship, but rather, a dimensional angelic artifact! Bet you didn’t see that one coming!”
“I see.. Um.. There’s one more thing l’d like to ask.” muttered Gerald who kept thinking about the several wall paintings that he had come across where he had seen imprints of an old beggar that bore a striking resemblance to Finnley.
That was a person from a few thousand years ago, and looking at Finnley’s current cultivation level and how the old man had called Saint Amorphous ‘kid, Gerald could only imagine how terrifying Finnley’s true identity was..
“I already know your question, silly boy! Even so, you know how I operate. I’ll only tell you the information when the time is right. The fact that I’m only telling you about the Soluna Deus Sect now is proof of that!” replied Finnley with a smile.
“Good. Regardless, back before I met you, I already knew that I wasn’t going to be able to take on the Soluna Deus Sect alone. With that in mind, I was simultaneously looking for a helper back when I was keeping an eye on Mila. Thankfully, I soon bumped into you.. And shortly after, I realized that you possessed the Herculean Primordial Spirit! Aside from that, I found out that there was someone eyeing you as well” explained Finnley.
“Daryl, right?” replied Gerald who knew this much. Gerald knew no other person as sophisticated as that old man..
Whatever the case was, Finnley then replied, “Indeed. He had hidden himself so well that almost didn’t notice him! Thankfully, at the time, I had already encountered your grandfather once before a few decades ago..”
“You’ve.. Known him for that long?” asked the surprised Gerald.
“I have, and from the second I met him, I knew he wasn’t worthy of becoming my acquaintance. For context, when I first met Daryl, I was still investigating the Soluna Deus Sect. At the time, I figured that there’d be a higher probability for people in cryptic families to have angelic roots, so I traveled across the globe to meet them. It was during my travels when I first met your grandfather. Even at the time, his cultivation techniques were exceedingly odd.”
“For one, despite there being demonic essential qi in his body, one of his cultivation techniques was black magic. Aside from that, he also seemed to have entered the devilish cultivation realm! He possessed devilish essential qi as well. Since the latter was clearly stronger, it indirectly told me that though he had initially wanted to enter the highest realm using his demonic cultivation, he ultimately switched to devilish cultivation”
“Regardless, at the time, he was apparently pestering the Gunters. Unfortunately, I had more important matters to attend to at the time, and thinking that he was just a minor character, I didn’t take him too seriously. Alas, when I completed my job and attempted to look for Daryl again to ask him where he had learned the secret techniques of demonic and devilish cultivation, I realized that he had gone missing.”
“Following that, a few years passed and I eventually forgot about him… It was only when I found Mila and you when I realized that someone was always pulling the strings when it came to you. This was when I found out that Daryl was the one behind all this! Daryl had been trying to obtain your Herculean Primordial Spirit since then, and you had been manipulated like a mere pawn!” explained Finnley.
“It’s all coming together now. Speaking of which, I remember wanting to head to where my previous incarnation was buried, but my grandfather clearly didn’t want me to know too much about my previous incarnation. It was around then when I received a package from a mysterious old man who told me to check that place out again. Due to that incentive, I ultimately headed there… And shortly after, found out that Daryl had killed the anaconda Guardian Beast! It was then when I began suspecting Daryl, but that aside, that mysterious old man was you all along, right?” asked Gerald.
“Bingo!I had been trying to identify his motives at the time, but boy was that kid cunning. He kept hiding behind the scenes and i’d always lose track of him! Had I managed to get my hands on him, you wouldn’t have been in such a passive position!” replied Finnley.
“But… shouldn’t his cultivation and yours have been worlds apart at the time…? With your ability, finding him should’ve been easy, no..?” asked Gerald.
Laughing slightly bitterly, Finnley then shook his head as he said, “True enough, he wasn’t nearly as capable as me back then, but he was still extremely cunning.. You can’t underestimate him, Gerald, and I say this since I discovered a major secret about him while investigating that old man!”
“What did you find out?” asked Gerald as he filled Finnley’s teacup.
“It’s about his cultivation… After thorough investigation, I found out why he possessed both demonic and devilish essential qi. Apparently, the secret technique that he was practicing was a devilish technique known as the Hellish Skynet! This technique was sealed in a forbidden book that was apparently written during the Deitus Realm’s heyday… With that in mind, even I don’t know how long that book’s remained lost. After all, there was hardly any news about it…!”
“I, for one, hadn’t expected it to fall into the hands of a commoner who would then start causing trouble with that devilish technique! Either way, I’m assuming that the forbidden book was guarded by your previous incarnation. If my guess is correct, he learned of the Herculean Primordial Spirit’s secrets while obtaining the book from your previous incarnation. Following that, he eventually managed to track you down”
“If we’re going by this theory, then I can assure you that even though he was the one who raised your father to adulthood and founded the Crawford family, he isn’t your biological grandfather. It’s the only way for all of this to make sense!” explained Finnley.
“Sister Indigo and Second Uncle suggested this as well!” replied Gerald with a nod.
Chuckling in response, Finnley then said, “Regardless, I bet you must be interested in the Hellish Skynet technique now, right? If you are, don’t worry, many individuals from the Deitus Realm find that devilish technique irresistible. With that in mind, you can imagine how tempting it was for a commoner like Daryl to learn it!”
“I am. What kind of secret technique is it, exactly…?” asked Gerald in a curious tone.
“Well, when the world was formed, aside from righteous aura, masculine aura, and the holy spirit, another aura actually came to be. However, since it was unrelated to cultivation, people rarely mention it. I wonder if you know what that aura is called…” replied Finnley.
“Is it… The feculent aura?” asked Gerald after pondering for a bit.
“Bingo. Now, this devilish technique uses the three auras as its foundation. The three qi are the masculine auras that everyone possesses, and by stealing righteous aura, the devilish aura can be nurtured. However, in order to properly utilize the stolen righteous aura and transform it into devilish aura, feculent aura has to first be injected into the masculine aura. This technique generally requires a lot of feculent aura, and there’s really no escaping it”
“Regardless, as you may already have guessed, demons tend to possess the most feculent aura. With that in mind, it’s only natural for a person who wishes to practice this devilish technique to first turn into a demon. After absorbing enough feculent aura, they will be able to steal righteous aura using their demonic cultivation, thus allowing them to finally enter devilish cultivation. Following that, it’s only a matter of time before they become a devil!”
“In the past, the Deitus Reahn was the master of all three worlds, which is why we have the saying, ‘the devil is a foot tall, and the deity ten feet Either way, Now that the Deitus Realm has been overturned, the devil is quickly becoming the more dominant force!” explained Finnley with a sigh.
Following that, Finnley added, “With all that said, Daryl wants to use your Herculean Primordial Spirit to maximize his masculine aura. Following that, he’ll be able to turn into a demon and since he’ll be at his peak performance by then, he’ll soon be able to turn into the most terrifying devil alive!”
“I see… Then, are the Sanchez family and the others trying to become devilish cultivators as well?” asked Gerald.
“Indeed. Honestly, the accumulation of the three auras to transform from a human to demon and subsequently a devil isn’t all that hard to achieve. While it may be easy for a human to become a devil, for demons, they have to accumulate a lot of masculine qi. It’s odd, but essentially, they'”ll first have to cultivate until they become humans who possess masculine qi, and that’s honestly the most tedious part for them!”
“That aside, from what I’ve gathered, Daryl has already accumulated the three auras and become a devil. With that said, don’t ever underestimate his cultivation level! Remember, he’s the one who stole the aura of heaven and earth for his personal gain!” added Finnley.
“Seriously…? With how high his cultivation level is, why did he kidnap my family and continuously threaten me instead of just capturing me straight off the bat?” asked Gerald.
Had Daryl wanted to, that literal devil of a man could’ve easily captured the boy.
“I’ve been wondering about that myself. Regardless, I came over since I was worried that you wouldn’t be able to handle things if he suddenly made a move. From what I can tell, however, he’s still living in seclusion and has no plans of showing up. I’m assuming he either has some requirements that he hasn’t fulfilled, or he’s simply being wary of the fact that I’m backing you up!” replied Finnley.
“Either way, regardless of his next move, the fact that he hasn’t picked a fight with us means he doesn’t dare face us yet. With that in mind, we need to hunt down his nest as sOon as possible!”
“That’s honestly the main reason why I finally decided to show up again. You aren’t a match for Daryl, so charging straight into his lair is pretty much just suicide. While it’s true that could save you if things go awry at the last moment, I’m a bit worried about having to0 show up before and potentially fight Daryl and Sanchez!” added Finnley.
“Is this a worry regarding the Soluna Deus Sect…?” asked Gerald who more or les saw where Finnley was coming from.
“Indeed. Though the Soluna Deus Sect has already learned about me, they still haven’t pinpointed where I am. With that in mind, until you get stronger, my best bet would be to remain hidden as long as possible!” replied Finnley with a nod.
“Stronger… Are you suggesting that I can enter the Deitus Realm and potentially become an Angelord? But I don’t think I have an angelic root… ” muttered Gerald.
“You don’t. However, not only do you possess the Herculean Primordial Spirit, but you were born with it! In other words, you bear an incomparable advantage against other cultivators, and it’s also the reason why you’re progressing so rapidly! With that said, if you work hard enough, you’ll surely be able to enter the Deitus Reahn without an angelic root within five hundred years,” explained Finnley
“Five… Hundred…?! That’s way too long!” exclaimed Gerald.
While he had initially thought that getting to the Deitus Realm was unachievable for him, the fact that it’d take him five hundred years to achieve that now possible goal was still shocking!
“l agree, and l’m worried that both of us would’ve been exterminated by the Soluna Deus Sect by that point. With that in mind, in order to further hasten that process, I’m thinking of planting an angelic root inside you! Mind you, however, that the odds of successfully doing that is abysmal…” replied Finnley.
“Planting.. An angelic root?” asked Gerald who hadn’t heard of such a method before. “Yep. Though you’re knowledgeable regarding the cultivation realm, you still know little about the Deitus Realm. I guess now’s as good a time as any for you to tell you a bit more about this realm. Basically, in order to enter the Deitus Realm and become an Angelord, you need to fulfill three basic requirements.”
“Firstly, you need to be part of a group that possesses innate angelic roots. For the second requirement, once your angelic root is further developed, you’ll have to withstand the calcination of spiritual fire to transform your holy body into an Immortal Body! If you can’t attain an Immortal Body, you won’t be able to withstand the angelic power in your body. With that in mind, if someone who doesn’t have an Immortal Body attempts to forcefully enter the Deitus Realm, they”ll straight up explode! Speaking of which, your second uncle and disciple failed at the second requirement,” explained Finnley.
This left Gerald slightly dumbfounded by how difficult it was to enter the Deitus Realm.
No wonder so many people hadn’t heard of it before… After all, very rarely did cultivators like him and Darkwind possess angelic roots, and regular people who possessed it never had the chance to cultivate!
Whatever the case was, Gerald then quickly asked, “What’s the third requirement?”
“Well, you’ll need to receive the inheritance from a Zearl as the final requirement. Only after you find a compatible Zearl’s spirit called a deus spirit and you form a mutual connection with that spirit, will you be granted the inheritance to become a true Angelord. Following that, when you’ll be able to become a Zearl yourself will depend on fate…”
“Either way, you should know that not only are Zearls few and far between, but they almost never perish. With that in mind, it’s exceedingly difficult to locate a deus spirit. However, not all is lost. I’m sure you’ve heard about the disaster of the Dietus Realm. The thing is, many Zearls fell during that time, so our odds of finding one have actually increased! But yes, that’s the journey of becoming an Angelord.. Just so you know, many Angelords aren’t even aware that there’s a fourth step to all this..” explained Finnley.
“I see.. Either way, we need to plant the angelic root within me first, right?” asked Gerald.
“Right, you are. In order to successfully get past the first step, we need to look no further than the general’s tomb!” replied Finnley. “There’s an angelic root in there?” asked Gerald.
“Negative. Angelic roots can’t exist on their own. They either have to be innate or planted using a special ingredient, and it’s just our luck that such an ingredient exists in the general’s tomb. The ingredient is the dragon spirit pearl, more commonly known as the dragon internal pellet! After consuming it, your body will change, and your Herculean Primordial Spirit planted within it. If things go well, you’ll have succeeded in your first step in entering the Deitus Realm!” replied Finnley.
“1 wonder if Sanchez and his disciples are trying to obtain the dragon spirit pearl…” muttered Gerald.
“They are. After all, the object was formed in the body of a spiritual dragon who cultivated into the Deitus Realm after its death. The spiritual dragon itself is extremely powerful, and it’s even capable of remolding a person’s body! By consuming that pellet, not only will you gain access to an angelic root, but you’ll also be able to strengthen your holy body and power in general. It truly is a great treasure!”
“With all that said, it only makes sense why Sanchez wants the dragon spirit pearl so much. If you remember, I’ve told you that the Sanchez you met was only a split-self with greatly reduced cultivation. The reason is because his true body has been destroyed ages ago, and he needs the dragon spirit pearl to rebuild his real body!” explained Finnley.
“No wonder the disciples let their guards down the second I told them I was only after the Yinblood pellets! They had a much bigger goal…! I have one final question, though… Since you’re not letting me spy on the Dark Moon Biological Group, I’m assuming they’re just that strong?” asked Gerald.
“That, and their background is extremely mysterious. I’ve been keeping watch over this group for the longest time, and similar to Daryl’s case, they’re invisible most of the time. That aside, I’ve gathered hints that there may you refrain from offending them for now!” replied Finnley.
“To think such extraordinary people exist within the Dark Moon Biological Group..!” muttered Gerald with a nod.
“Well, they did inherit the Deitus Realm’s ability to use alchemy to create pellets and spirit tinctures. With so little holy spirits remaining in the secular world, you can only imagine just how tempting it is for cultivators and Angelords to serve them. After all, the lack of holy spirits is what prevents so many cultivators from entering the Deitus Realm! With all that said, I’m sure you’ll get killed by their experts before you can even properly begin investigating them!”
Laughing bitterly, Finnley then sighed before adding, “Honestly, I had only planned to meet up with you when you entered the general’s tomb.. Try to snatch the dragon spirit pearl for you at the last minute, you know? Unfortunately, your presumptuous behavior tonight has forced me to have a change of plans!”
“True enough, had you not showed up, I would’ve surely attempted to spy 011 that eldest young mistress!” muttered Gerald as he shivered slightly.
“Regardless, what should we do next, Finnley? Since Sanchez’s disciples have invited so many experts over and I now need to acquire the dragon spirit pearl, should we still join forces with them?” asked Gerald.
“Of course! The journey into the general’s tomb is exceedingly dangerous, especially with that headless general roaming about. It has cultivated for over a thousand years, and possesses an emperor’s destiny until it becomes a devil!'”
“A devil..? And yet it possesses an emperor’s destiny?” replied Gerald in surprise. “Indeed. Don’t you know who the headless general is..?”