1

Thearch Dragon Island Lord navigated his way through the layers of the Abyss. The Abyss, with its vastness and unfathomable depths, permeated all realms and dominions throughout space and time. As such, it offered an unusually convenient mode of travel.

Usually, it would take the mighty Heart Realm beings a decade or two to voyage from one dominion to another. However, the Abyss presented an expedited alternative, reducing the journey to mere layers of Abyssal space, which could potentially be traversed within a day.

The inherent peril of such a journey was the presence of the Abyss Overlords. These entities, residing within every stratum of Abyssal space, possessed peculiar temperaments, with some verging on insanity. Thus, the path was inevitably fraught with danger.

Only beings of the half-step third-realm caliber could dare to navigate the Abyss frequently.

Whoosh.

Thearch Dragon Island Lord utilized a prized artifact to mask his aura, traveling incognito. A few measured steps saw him cross an Abyssal layer.

Despite his standing, he remained a potential target for an Abyss Overlord if he chose to travel conspicuously. Hence, discretion and speed were paramount in these expeditions within the Abyss!

I've finally made it to the sixth branch of the Abyss. Thearch Dragon Island Lord had been traveling tirelessly, with the intensity of the journey beginning to weigh on him. A mere century more until I reach Master.

The surrounding dominions of Feather Fire City were intertwined with the seventh branch of the Abyss. For the average Heart Realm Eternals, no matter how far or long they journeyed, their destinations remained confined to the reach of the seventh branch of the Abyss. Without the strength equivalent to the half-step third realm, the other Abyss branches remained elusive.

I'm drawing closer to my homeland. Thearch Dragon Island Lord's anticipation heightened with this realization. However, his excitement was soon marred by a slight frown. What? Wu Ming has mastered three Heart Realm schools?

Word of Xu Jingming's conflict with Overlord Yandi and his advancement within the Red Lotus Fire lineage had started circulating.

With a clone of Thearch Dragon Island Lord situated in both the South Pavilion 3609 Dominion and Feather Fire City, the news reached him without delay.

Thearch Dragon Island Lord found himself baffled. The Heart Realm lineage is notoriously challenging. Numerous lower-dimensional beings struggle to ascend to a higher-dimensional existence, especially within a mere 34,000 years. Yet, Wu Ming… He hasn't only attained the half-step third realm of the Heart Realm lineage in this short span, but he's also mastered three separate schools.

It seems as though cultivating the Heart Realm lineage is as simple as quenching thirst for him.

Could such a prodigy even exist?

Despite being mentally braced for such news, Thearch Dragon Island Lord was still somewhat disturbed by Xu Jingming's rapid development.

Among his master's kin, comrades, and disciples, Thearch Dragon Island Lord shone bright as a lower-dimensional being. With his master's aid, he reached the half-step third realm.

Master advised maintaining a certain degree of distance from him, avoiding entanglement, and now it makes sense, Thearch Dragon Island Lord mused. He could faintly perceive the vortex of disruption that Wu Ming was stirring up, an unsettling force that made his heart quake.

Thearch Dragon Island Lord journeyed forth.

I'm finally here. A surge of mixed emotions welled up in him as he stood at the threshold of his homeworld's dominion. Before him, the scene morphed into a vast expanse of land, at the heart of which sat a solitary, towering figure.

This was the entity he held in the highest esteem.

From his humble beginnings as a low-dimensional being, his master was a beacon of inspiration and awe. Yet, ever since the minds and consciousness of his master's kin deteriorated, a change had come over his master, who had chosen a life of solitude.

"Master," Thearch Dragon Island Lord greeted, bowing in reverence.

The towering figure turned his gaze towards him.

Low-dimensional beings were, by nature, of modest talent. Even with his master's exhaustive aid, it was a rare feat for them to ascend to high-dimensional existence. The confines of their minds and consciousness eventually withered and warped under the immense stretch of time.

"If only they could self-reliantly ascend to the half-step third realm, as you did," the towering figure murmured.

Pain seared Thearch Dragon Island Lord's heart at the sight of his master's plight. "Master, you are a third realm entity. I believe you can certainly discover a way to restore them."

"Beings of the third realm are not omnipotent," the towering figure retorted, shaking his head. "I can bestow upon them mighty bodies, but mental strength is something they must cultivate on their own."

Having traversed his own tumultuous journey to the half-step third realm, Thearch Dragon Island Lord was acutely aware of the trials involved in honing one's mind and willpower.

"The decay of their minds is irreversible, and the essence of their consciousness has been altered. Hope has fled," declared the towering figure. "You may, however, dwell in our homeworld indefinitely."

"Indefinite dwelling?" The words left Thearch Dragon Island Lord nonplussed.

"I've already made them fall asleep."

With a wave of the towering figure's hand, sleeping figures materialized in the distance. "Time has been suspended for them, preventing any further disturbance to our homeland."

"Master, what…" Thearch Dragon Island Lord was incredulous.

"Living ensures the decay to persist. Halting time curtails their degeneration," the towering figure explained. "The future is uncertain. The longer we wait, the more potentialities may emerge."

"Potentialities?" Thearch Dragon Island Lord's thoughts began to swirl.

"Wu Ming, for instance, is an uncertainty I can't decipher," the towering figure mused, a smile playing on his lips. "Since you've chosen to stake your faith in Wu Ming, I too must gamble on these future uncertainties."

Thearch Dragon Island Lord was taken aback. His master, in his despair, was wagering on Wu Ming?

The towering figure had already steeled his resolve.

"Wu Ming's ascendancy is enigmatic, and numerous future paths remain shrouded to me. If they remain beyond even my perception, then… they may involve the four Ultimate existences," the figure conjectured.

Only these four Ultimate beings could instill fear in a third-realm powerhouse.

"Wu Ming is entwined in their affairs, possibly even at their behest." Normally, the towering figure would avoid any association with the affairs of the Ultimate existences. However, he had no alternative.

In order to cure the corruption of his kin, he required an Ultimate being's aid. As a third-realm entity, he didn't even have the privilege of audience with one. His only chance lay in entangling himself in Wu Ming's affairs.

"You've come to assist Wu Ming in procuring a psychic spear, have you not?" the towering figure asked, deftly flipping his hand. In response, a phantom-like silver spear materialized in thin air. "I've already taken the liberty of obtaining it for you. Set the price at precisely 200 drops of Abyssal Mother Blood."

"Thank you, Master." Thearch Dragon Island Lord's face lit up with delight as he extended his hand to receive the spear.

"Ensure you sell it to him for exactly 200 drops of Abyssal Mother Blood. No more, no less," the towering figure cautioned, "Wu Ming will surely purchase it."

"Yes, Master." Thearch Dragon Island Lord affirmed, putting his trust in his master's words.

Far removed from this location, a petite woman bearing transparent wings observed Thearch Dragon Island Lord through a spacetime rift.

It seems yet another third-realm entity is entangled, she mused to herself. Those in the third realm can already perceive some traces, but as long as they don't disrupt the grand scheme of things, there's no need to be overly concerned about them.

If, however, they threaten to upset the balance of the larger scheme, they must be eradicated without delay. This petite observer's gaze roved over the expanse of infinite spacetime, watching keenly for any disturbances.

I'm back?

Thearch Dragon Island Lord had left a clone of himself in his homeworld, whilst his master had casually dispatched another clone to the South Pavilion 3609 Dominion with a mere wave of his hand.

Without having to endure the usual 500-year journey, Thearch Dragon Island Lord was understandably in high spirits. He promptly made his way to Myriad Star Island.

"Thearch Dragon Island Lord." Xu Jingming sensed his arrival and naturally emerged from the island to greet him.

"Brother Wu Ming, are you prepared to acquire the psychic spear for 200 drops of Abyssal Mother Blood?" Thearch Dragon Island Lord inquired as soon as they met.

"Certainly," Xu Jingming concurred.

This price was not steep at all. Considering that the raw materials alone were worth more than 100 drops of Abyssal Mother Blood, coupled with the fact that third-realm entities had reforged and nurtured it, a price of 200 drops seemed rather reasonable.

Indeed, even if the price had been steeper, Xu Jingming would have had no choice but to bite the bullet and purchase it. After all, a psychic spear of the third realm was an extreme rarity!

"Hahaha." Thearch Dragon Island Lord chuckled. "Let's continue our discussion indoors."

Once they reached Xu Jingming's quarters, both of them took their seats.

"Behold." Thearch Dragon Island Lord outstretched his hand, summoning an ethereal silver spear. "This is it."

Xu Jingming was instantly captivated. Although the spear bore an intangible quality, it emanated a dominant aura. The distinctive energy of a third-realm weapon was unmistakable, and he recognized it immediately.

"You've already procured it?" Xu Jingming was ecstatic. "And it's only been 500 years."

"I journeyed through the Abyss and spent 500 years to reach my homeworld. The trip back, however, was considerably more straightforward as my master facilitated my return," Thearch Dragon Island Lord remarked, flashing a smile. "Give it a whirl."

Xu Jingming took the silver spear into his hands.

The instant he made contact with it, he was taken aback by its weight. This spear felt as though it weighed as much as an entire universe.

Remarkable.

As Xu Jingming held the spear and allowed his mind to connect with it, he envisioned a raging orb of energy— one capable of obliterating everything, as if it could extinguish countless dominions.

"An exceptional weapon," he remarked, taken aback.

Had he been equipped with this weapon during his face-off with Overlord Yandi, the battle would not have been so arduous.

A formidable weapon held immense allure for cultivators of the psychic weapon lineage.

"Please inspect these items. They should be equivalent to 200 drops of Abyssal Mother Blood." Without delay, Xu Jingming presented a multitude of treasures.

Thearch Dragon Island Lord glanced at the array of floating treasures and chuckled. "I've heard tales of your profitable ventures in the Abyss, Brother Wu Ming. You even managed to auction off the pair of Demonic Sound Forks in Feather Fire City for a whopping 170 drops of Abyssal Mother Blood. Moreover, your Abyss Red Lotus has drawn a slew of offers from half-step third-realm entities."

"As it has no use to me, it's only sensible to sell it," Xu Jingming replied, grinning.

After the Abyss Red Lotus was harvested, it had a limited lifespan and had to be sold off as promptly as possible.

The Demonic Sound Forks were indeed the most valuable weapons in his collection. Given that Overlord Yandi had declined the offer to buy them back, Xu Jingming decided to put them up for public auction.

It would be remiss to think Overlord Yandi was the only half-step third-realm behemoth in the Demonic Sound lineage! As expected, the forks commanded an impressive sum.

"Now that our transaction has reached its conclusion, I should take my leave," announced Thearch Dragon Island Lord, rising from his seat.

"I'm truly grateful for your assistance, Thearch Dragon Island Lord," Xu Jingming voiced his appreciation. He had undertaken an arduous journey and asked nothing in return; this was a kindness Xu Jingming would not forget.

Thearch Dragon Island Lord responded with a grin. This was precisely the kind of favor he sought.

"I eagerly anticipate the splendor this spear will radiate under your adept handling in times to come, Brother Wu Ming," Thearch Dragon Island Lord said, flashing another smile before departing.