Tian-Kang’s sudden appearance left Yuan-Guang and the other Xuan Ling Sect elders dumbfounded. At the same time, the Zhen Ling Sect elders no longer wished to continue the fight. Hence, the elders of both sects backed off from one another and slowly descended from the sky.

While fighting Tian-Xue and Tian-Fan, Dao-Sheng was very relaxed. However, his calm expression disappeared with Tian-Kang’s appearance, replaced with a twisted picture of anger and hatred.

There were four mid-Law Avatar Realm cultivators in the Zhen Ling Sect!

Ever since the annihilation of the Fei Ling Sect, the North Ocean had experienced a period of meteoric growth that lasted a century. Unfortunately, this growth quickly came to a halt when not even a single sect had managed to produce four mid-Law Avatar Realm cultivators at the same time.

Tian-Fan and Tian-Xue’s expressions were no better than Dao-Sheng’s. Tian-Kang greeted them politely, while Tian-Fan and Tian-Xue smiled bitterly. “We were planning to keep this a secret for longer, but it seems we were unable to do so.”

A murderous killing intent descended on all the Xuan Ling Sect cultivators present.

window.pubfuturetag = window.pubfuturetag || [];window.pubfuturetag.push({unit: "64ce79d606107d003c23ea27", id: "pf-5140-1"})Feng Xu-Dao's face was still flushed. He was still indulging himself in his exhilarating battle with Tian-Jiang. Although the battle had ended in a draw, Feng Xu-Dao’s confidence was finally restored because he was considerably younger than Tian-Jiang.

Dao Yan’s Laozu expression was the worst. Instead of gaining the upper hand, Dao-Yan found himself slowly being pushed back and suppressed by Jiang Tian-Lin and Liu Tian-Ling. However, what shocked and angered him the most was the appearance of Tian-Kang. The previously puny cultivator who had to sacrifice his lifespan in exchange for a slim chance of survival had now become a cultivator that was on par with him.

“How could this be! How dare he!”

Dao-Yan was very aware of the injuries Tian-Kang had sustained back then. He knew that a full recovery was impossible, so he was very puzzled. “What did the Zhen Ling Sect do? What price did they pay to help Tian-Kang recover and push him into the mid-Law Avatar Realm!”

Similar questions were running rampant in the minds of the many elders of the other sects that were keeping an eye on the battle. They quickly connected the dots with the many Longevity Pill recipes that the Zhen Ling Sect had been frantically collecting over the years

Of all the elders present, Dao-Li looked the most miserable, with several burned holes in his robe.

window.pubfuturetag = window.pubfuturetag || [];window.pubfuturetag.push({unit: "64cc9e79c7059f003e4ad4b0", id: "pf-5109-1"})His reaction to Tian-Kang’s appearance was the least intense because his attention was drawn to the massive cauldron in Tian-Hu’s hands. It appeared that the Xuan Ling Sect was no longer the only sect in the North Ocean to possess a Mystic Tool-level cauldron. Furthermore, the one belonging to the Zhen Ling Sect seemed better.

The Xuan Ling Sect had maximized their profit by exploiting the advantage brought by their Mystic Tool-level cauldron. When trying to concoct pellets, elders from other sects sought help from the Xuan Ling Sect because they needed a Mystic Tool-level cauldron to increase the success rate of the concoction due to the rarity and value of the materials. The Xuan Ling Sect was more than happy to accommodate their requests while extorting precious treasures from the old ancestors of the various sects.

Now that the Zhen Ling Sect also possessed a cauldron of the same tier, the Xuan Ling Sect’s advantage would no doubt be diminished once again!

While the Zhen Ling Sect and Xuan Ling Sect cultivators were still facing-off, Yuan-Guang hesitated before walking away and standing to the side. He felt that it was inappropriate to openly side with the Xuan Ling sect and still wanted to maintain a just and fair image. However, this was a naive thought because he had personally torn his image apart when he attacked the Zhen Ling Sect’s protective formation.

“Congratulations on successfully passing the Heavenly Tribulation and advancing into the mid-Law Avatar Realm. This marks an increase in the overall strength of us humans in the North Ocean,” Dao-Sheng said, being the first to break the silence.

“You’re flattering me. I had luck on my side or I would’ve been dead otherwise,” Tian-Kang replied and bowed politely.

window.pubfuturetag = window.pubfuturetag || [];window.pubfuturetag.push({unit: "663633fa8ebf7442f0652b33", id: "pf-8817-1"})Silence descended once more. Eventually, Tian-Fan said, “I understand that it was our disciple that assassinated Dao-Shi first, but he’s already dead. If I may, Xuan-Yin is dead, so whatever mistakes he committed he settled it with his own life. As for Huang Li Island, it would be prudent for it to be placed under our watch. What do you think about this suggestion, Senior Brother Dao-Sheng?”

What Tian-Fan was trying to convey was evident. Firstly, Tian-Kang advancing into the mid-Law Avatar Realm, caused the Zhen Ling Sect’s overall strength to surpass the Xuan Ling Sect. Secondly, with their new strength, it would be best for the island to be entrusted to the Zhen Ling Sect.

Tian-Fan’s suggestion was reasonable and sensible, but Dao-Xuan couldn’t bring himself to give in. Agreeing with Tian-Fan’s suggestion would signify that the Xuan Ling Sect was handing over the entire region around the island. With the Zhen Ling Sect growing stronger and stronger, the Xuan Ling Sect could no longer maintain its advantage over them. Dao-Sheng needed to create an excuse to justify a future attack on the island, or he would be blamed by everyone in the sect for losing the island.

Yuan-Guang smiled and interrupted, “Xuan-Yin is no longer relevant after his death, but there is still his son. This young man is a vile spawn with a human and Monster bloodline. As we all know, humans and Monsters have a long history filled with hatred and vengeance. I’m sure you understand that this abomination must be exterminated. His existence will also taint your sect’s reputation. You don’t want to be seen as colluding with the Monsters, right?”

Yuan-Guang’s words were like sparks of fire lighting up explosive barrels. Tian-Xue snapped after enduring Yuan-Guang’s provocations, and sternly replied, “Do not overstep the boundaries, sir. Xuan-Yin’s son was born and raised within the sect. He has absolutely no ties with the Monsters. It is unwise for you to push the limits.”

Her words were sharp but Yuan-Guang remained unfazed. In a serious manner, he said, “Our history with the Monsters can be traced back for a very long time and is filled with blood. For tens of thousands of years, how many humans have lost their lives at the hands of Monsters? Those who have lost their children and loved ones all wish nothing more than for the Monsters to die. Have you ever thought about the consequences if these people were to learn that your sect is harboring a bastard born from the blood of a human and a Monster? How do you think your sect would be perceived? At the very least, the Crystal Palace will not turn a blind eye!”

Yuan-Guang's speech was logical but his final sentence was a blatant threat. Everyone present knew just how powerful the Crystal Palace was. Although the Zhen Ling Sect now had four mid-Law Avatar Realm cultivators, they were nothing but ants compared to the mighty Crystal Palace. They couldn’t even fathom just how powerful the Crystal Palace was, an organization capable of sitting on the East Ocean’s throne for so many years.

Tian-Xue was so infuriated that she couldn’t even utter a word. As much as she resented Yuan-Guang for abusing his power to oppress others and venting his anger on a young disciple, she understood the gravity of the situation. With how tense the relationship was between humans and Monsters, the Zhen Ling Sect risked shouldering the blame for colluding with the Monsters at such a crucial moment if they continued to disobey Yuan-Guang.

Yuan-Guang smiled smugly, "I trust that your sect will make the right choice!"

After that, he chuckled and vanished into thin air while Dao-Sheng said expressionlessly, “In that case, let’s call it a day.”

When the Xuan Ling Sect retreated, the elders of the Zhen Ling Sect showed no signs of making a move against them.

With the invaders having retreated, peace returned to Heaven Forge Mountain. Those who had witnessed the battle were filled with excitement. Everyone knew that the Zhen Ling Sect had now overthrown the Xuan Ling Sect as the strongest sect in the North Ocean. The entire mountain exuded a sense of joy, vitality, and vigor, which quickly spread across the various islands under the Zhen Ling Sect’s jurisdiction.

In contrast to the positive atmosphere within the Zhen Ling Sect, the atmosphere in the palace at the peak of Heaven Forge Mountain was somewhat tense. Jiang Tian-Ling and Liu Tian-Ling stood on both sides of the palace gate as they waited for someone’s arrival.

Suddenly, the space in front of them twisted, as an elder made his appearance right before their eyes. Seeing the old man, the pair hurriedly greeted, “Welcome. Junior Uncle Tian-Fan and the others have been waiting for some time. Please come in and have some tea, Senior Uncle Chang-Qiong.”

“Hahaha! Splendid! Thank you for having me here today. I’m glad that Tian-Kang managed to overcome his dire situation and turn it into a blessing.”

Chang-Qiong strolled into the palace while the pair remained standing at the door, assuming the roles of ushers. Shortly after, another mid-Law Avatar Realm cultivator from a different sect arrived and was quickly led into the palace by the pair.

More and more mid-Law Avatar Realm cultivators continued to arrive. These cultivators were from the Water Mist Sect and the many other sects in the North Ocean. Just as the pair thought that no one else would be arriving, the space flickered for a split second before another figure emerged. The appearance of this person caught the pair off-guard, but they didn’t say much. Instead, they raised their hands and greeted this individual, before walking into the palace together.

Meanwhile, on Huang Li Island, shortly after Lu Ping’s return, the island started trembling violently. The fierce quake was followed by thunderous sounds that were strong enough to knock someone out. Following this, a series of battle cries, various roars, the sound of spells, and the clashing of weapons, echoed across the ocean.

Hu-Lili exclaimed, "Oh no! The protection formation on Huang-Li Island has been breached by the Monsters!"

“Not good! Monsters are on the island! They’ve breached the protective formation!”