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If Xia Fei's promotion to an Annihilator was the first surprise, learning that Furball had reached the peak of a Holy Beast's cultivation would be the second.

However, even if the exciting news of these two was added together, it would be nothing compared with the shocking scene everyone was now bearing witness to: Furball did not leave Xia Fei after absorbing the Dragon Qi! He had still chosen to follow Xia Fei!

Chu Jingfeng was utterly speechless. He was a miscellaneous expert, having authored the Serpent-swallowing Whale, compiled the Thousand Soul Rankings, and it was as though nothing in the known universe could escape his eyes!

This time, however, Chu Jingfeng had been proven so ridiculously wrong. Furball unexpectedly choosing to stay completely went against the understanding Chu Jingfeng had toward beasts!

"It's impossible! Absolutely impossible! How could a Holy Beast, which had absorbed Dragon Qi, remain by a human's side? There must be a problem somewhere!" Chu Jingfeng muttered under his breath.

Yangguang and his family were also very shocked, but they very quickly accepted Furball's choice and even felt happy that Xia Fei still had such a powerful assistant.

Furball looked very pleased with himself, seemingly communicating with Little Goldie by his side. Since the Holy Beast had reached his peak form and had even ingested the ever-varying Dragon Qi, Little Goldie was all the more determined to worship the former.

Squatting, Chu Jingfeng curiously examined Furball but did not expect that just getting near the beast would cause Furball to let out a tremendous roar, which had Chu Jingfeng taking several steps back.

"He has Draconic Prestige!" Chu Jingfeng gasped.

Draconic Prestige was the awesome might that only Draconids possessed. A single roar from Yggdragon King Yangguang could make the beasts in all known stars and universes to get down on their knees, and it was all because he possessed the Draconids' Draconic Prestige! No beast could resist it.

Right now, Furball's voice also contained this Draconic Prestige, which the Yggdragons had, and this overwhelmed Chu Jingfeng greatly; even more so, he was unable to comprehend just how a Holy Beast with Draconic Prestige could still be following Xia Fei.

Yangguang burst into raucous laughter and thought nothing of this. "Furball does indeed have a bit of Draconic Prestige, but it isn't very strong."

With this said, Yangguang extended a hand to hug Furball. He wanted to see the changes that the creature had attained after his transformation to the peak form.

*Roar*

Furball let out another roar at Yangguang, displaying his extreme ferocity.

Yangguang was stunned and subsequently got angry, matching Furball's roar with one of his own!

The Yggdragons' White Palace was instantly whipped into a storm, with a Holy Beast that had ingested Dragon Qi on one side and Yggdragon Yangguang on the other side, both engaged in an intense battle! Neither was backing down from each other!

Xia Fei's eyes widened!

Chu Jingfeng's eyes shone!

They had a hard time believing that Furball could actually challenge the Yggdragon king directly in this manner. Not only was the former not in the least bit afraid; he was also not any bit weaker, momentum wise!

Yangguang's eyes went completely red! Though he had verbally stated that they had no relations to the Megadragons, everyone knew that the Yggdragons were still Draconids! They were existences that stood at the apex of the food chain as well!

Now that Lord Yangugang was being shown up by a little ball, he could not help but be extremely furious!

"Awoooo!"

Furball and Yangguang's contest intensified; suddenly, the latter spread his arms, seemingly about to reveal his true form! Well done, Furball, having actually driven the distinguished Yggdragon king into revealing his true form for the confrontation!

This was when Lady Hanxiao stepped forward to grab Yangguang and laughed lightly. "You must be getting confused with your age, to actually get angry with this little creature here."

Yangguang shook his head grumpily, looking at Furball and saying, "Fine. I accept that you're fierce enough, little guy."

*Silence*

Chu Jingfeng and Xia Fei were dumbfounded after witnessing this exchange, neither sure of what they should say.

Xia Fei's eyebrows were knitted together as he tentatively reached a hand out. After seeing Furball compete against Yggdragon Yangguang, Xia Fei was uncertain to what degree Furball would listen to his commands. After all, this creature was no longer what he used to be and was now a Peak Holy Beast mixed with Dragon Qi.

*Swoosh*

Furball leaped up to Xia Fei's shoulder without a second thought and appeared to be no different from before.

Only then did Xia Fei feel relieved; he did not care how terrible Furball's attitude was toward others, as long as he remained friendly toward him.

"You must tell me: Just how did you do this?!" Chu Jingfeng asked Xia Fei all serious-like. Being unable to make sense of why Furball still chose to follow Xia Fei was an unpleasant feeling for Chu Jingfeng.

"Really? Is that all? Because you let him go, the esteemed Holy Beast Shatterstar chose not to leave and, instead, decided to follow you even more loyally?" Chu Jingfeng found it inconceivable even after hearing Xia Fei's account.

Xia Fei nodded. "Yes, just that. I thought that Furball would leave for sure at that time. After all, his transformation was scary following the absorption of the Dragon Qi. In all these years, I've never seen him like that."

Lady Hanxiao let out a sigh and said softly, "It seems simple, but it's anything but. This is most likely what it means to conquer the heart. You used your sincerity to subdue the heart of Shatterstar, and that's far more effective than any contract out there."

With that said, Hanxiao gazed at her husband meaningfully. Yangguang instantly understood her intention and nodded. "Indeed, while we Draconids are born prideful, that doesn't mean that we are indifferent to others. As long as someone can move us with their sincerity, we can reciprocate in kind. Unfortunately, few can do so, for humans are far too devious, and that clashes with our temperament."

Chu Jingfeng ignored the discussion between Xia Fei and Yangguang, pulling out a notebook instead, and quickly jotting down some stuff on it.

After a short chat, Yangguang mentioned in passing. "It'll be my birthday in a few days' time, and it's sure to be very lively then. You've just crossed a critical threshold, so it's best if you spend the next few days cultivating without any intrusive thoughts. That way, you can make sense of your current state. Xiaofeng is fortunately here; while he dabbles in an assortment arts, he's still a fairly decent practitioner and can help you understand any problems you encounter as a newly promoted Annihilator.

"Be at ease and stay here. Though the Eighth Universe isn't large, it has plenty of good scenery… A warrior mustn't only spend time cultivating; they must open their horizons, too. I'll have Yangji bring you on a tour around my territory tomorrow so that you can have a look yourself."

Xia Fei was, of course, not about to reject this cordial invitation Yggdragon King Yangguang had extended to him. Besides, he indeed needed some guidance and to spend some time consolidating his foundation. After Fuchen's departure, Xia Fei had been blindly probing his advancement. He was definitely not about to miss a chance to get in touch with this miscellaneous expert, Chu Jingfeng.

By nighttime, Xia Fei, along with Furball and Little Goldie, had already settled inside the palace. The place had this indescribably sense of sacredness, and perhaps because Xia Fei had been utterly exhausted after the day he had had, he actually had a very sound sleep that night.

Yangguang and Lady Hanxiao's bedroom was in the deepest part of the palace, hidden underground.

The room was naturally very spacious because they had the habit of being in their true forms while asleep. With Yangguang's wingspan being over eight hundred miles wide and Lady Hanxiao's being six hundred miles, an average room would certainly not be enough to contain them both.

Yangguang and Hanxiao got settled while facing a sculpture; the two had formed a habit of speaking to this sculpture before they went to sleep.

It was just that this was a very strange sculpture of three humans.

One was a man in his twenties, holding a boy and girl; each child had two small horns on their heads, while that young man had a completely human appearance.

Yangguang gazed at the sculpture as a rare moment of sadness crept into his face.

Lady Hanxiao chuckled. "Are you missing father?"

Yangugang nodded his head slightly but did not say anything else.

"I miss him, too. I wonder where he's gone off to," Hanxiao murmured softly, her head resting on Yangguang's chest.

...

The Annihilation Universe, some secret location in parts unknown.

There was a simple pavilion made from bamboo in the middle of a forest. An elderly gentleman was seated under the shade reading an old-fashioned scroll book.

The atmosphere was simple yet refined, looking like the elderly gentleman had quite the unusual taste.

A light breeze kicked up sand, causing the elderly gentleman to lift his head and look in the direction of the cobblestone road. He saw a middle-aged man walking over; it was none other than Xiu Zetian. The man in command of the most secretive black-ops organization in the Annihilation Universe, Dark Souls.

"Lord Autumn Erudite." Xiu Zetian did a fisted salute.

The elderly Autumn Erudite smiled. "Come in and take a seat."

Xiu Zetian entered the pavilion and sat with the elderly gentleman, who continued to calmly read his book.

"It's finally settled. In order to hide Xia Fei and the entire Skywing Clan's identity, I've was forced to killed the perpetrator," Xiu Zetian said.

Autumn Erudite did not raise his head and merely said softly, "No need to report to me your deeds; all that matters is that it's been done."

Xiu Zetian was slightly taken aback but followed up immediately with a nod. "Understood. Truly, I shouldn't have bothered your eminence with such distasteful matters. It's just that Dark Souls offended plenty of people this time, so I'm afraid that we'll be even more isolated in the future."

Autumn Erudite said, "The Annihilation Universe has never been a place that has lacked for distastefulness. Just do whatever needs to be done. With me around, no one will dare have any designs on you. Speaking of which, have you found out which branch the Skywings are an offshoot of from the Fiends?"

"With how devastating the eradication was, for there to still be a line of Fiend bloodline that could be concealed from the Annihilators' eyes and be preserved… They have done quite a marvelous trick of stealing the sky and putting up a sham sun."

Xiu Zetian shook his head. "At present, all I know is that the Skywings are the final inheritors of the Fiends' bloodline; as for which branch they're from, I'm absolutely clueless on that front. Perhaps I'll be able to pick up some clues from the historical records after I take over the three libraries of the Fiends."

Autumn Erudite let out a long sigh. "Well, then. No need to think about it for now. Taking over the three libraries of the Fiends will be too conspicuous; we have to delay that move. We've already somewhat shown our hands with our recent actions, and that's not a good thing at all."

After a pause, Autumn Erudite continued. "The Blueblood Zadins have taken a huge loss and are now left out in the cold, so we can try and recruit them. Also, we need to find an opportunity to test Chu Jingfeng's attitude toward us. The great change on his Thousand Soul Rankings came from out of nowhere, which helped draw quite a lot of attention away from us, or else there'd have been no way to resolve the matter so easily."

Xiu Zetian was startled, frowning. "There are rumors saying that Chu Jingfeng also has connections to the Fiends. It's said that his ancestors were gardeners."

"Gardeners?" Autumn Erudite laughed. He proceeded to put the book down and smiled. "You ended up getting encircled because you're investigating the ruins of the Fiend species all those years back. I know you're furious, but you must remember that we're ultimately not the Fiends, and all we want is to find out the truth behind their betrayal back then."

"An investigation is just that, and our stance needs to remain neutral."

Xiu Zetian was surprised and quickly nodded his head vigorously.

How was Xia Fei to know that, before he could even reach the Annihilation Universe, there was already one round after round of waves being made there, and the reason for all that was him?!

Several people, with Xiu Zetian taking the lead, wanted to investigate the reason behind the Fiends' betrayal back then, while some were doing everything they could to prevent this!

During the Hero Alliance's war against the Ancient Megadragon, the Fiends had suddenly turned traitors for no reason whatsoever, or at least, that was what was recorded in the history books. However, not everyone trusted these records!

The two conversed a bit more; eventually, Xiu Zetian got up and said his farewell.

Watching Xiu Zetian's back as he departed, Autumn Erudite chuckled and said to himself, "While it's true that the Chu Clan's ancestors were gardeners, they're the gardeners of God's Eden."