When the third day arrived, a blanket of restlessness seemed fall over the entire Black Flame City. Many factions from the Black Flame Province were currently gathered in this place, all of them clearly here for the Essence Flame Vein.
Although the Cangxuan Sect had evaluated it to be a grade 6 vein, one must remember that the Cangxuan Sect was one of the strongest factions in the entire Cangxuan Heaven. For a top tier faction of the Black Flame Province like the Flame Cauldron Sect, this single vein was more than enough to sate them several times over.
Normally speaking, once a hegemon level sect decided to get involved, ordinary local factions like the Flame Cauldron Sect would no longer have any say. However, the current situation was quite different from the norm. This essence flame vein was not under the jurisdiction of any of the hegemon level sects, thus making it an ownerless resource. Moreover, the four hegemon level sects were keeping each other in check, with no one wanting to let anyone else take advantage. As a result, the ordinary local factions were the ones who ended up benefiting. If not, they would not even have any soup left to drink after the four hegemon level sects were done.
Even so, the richest part of the vein was already reserved by the four hegemon level sects.
But this was fine, because the local factions were willing to settle for second best. Occupying any of the outer areas of the essence flame vein was already a huge haul for them.
Hence, during these short three days, nearly ninety percent of the factions in the Black Flame Province had dispatched their elites to Black Flame City to wait for the day of the allocation battle…
In a certain room.
Zhou Yuan was seated on his bed, his body completely still. Dark mottled wooden beads rotated between his palms as strands of pure Yimu Qi were continuously extracted before being sent into Zhou Yuan’s body.
Dark green light continuously flashed on the surface of Zhou Yuan’s body. If one were to take a closer look, one would discover that these flashes of light originated from deep within his flesh, a rather magical sight indeed.
Wisps of aura rose from his body, filled with abundant life energy.
A faint crack was suddenly heard. Cracks had appeared on the wooden beads between Zhou Yuan’s hands as they rapidly began to dim before turning into dust...
All of the Yimu Qi within had been depleted.
When these beads turned to dust, Zhou Yuan’s tightly shut eyes slowly cracked open.
As he watched the dust flutter down, a look of regret flitting across his eyes. After absorbing all the Yimu Qi contained inside, the Genesis artifact was now ruined.
On the bright side, it had not been destroyed for nothing...
Zhou Yuan lowered his head to look at his body where shimmering specks of green light could be seen on half of it. These light spots seemed to call out to each other, as threads of light spread between them, linking them up.
If one took a step back, one would see what appeared to be an extremely ancient and cryptic pattern.
However, it appeared to be incomplete.
“The Taiyi mark is half done…”
Zhou Yuan felt both joy and regret. Regret that he had not managed to complete the Taiyi mark even after absorbing all of the Yimu Qi from the thousand year wood bracelet, but also happy that some of the Tiayi Green Wood Mark’s powers were beginning to manifest.
Zhou Yuan could clearly feel the surging life aura inside his body. Under its glow, every part of his body felt as if it was overflowing with vitality.
In fact, even the Genesis Qi in his body felt as if it would last longer than before.
Zhou Yuan slowly clenched his left hand, that was part of the half covered by the Taiyi mark. His gaze flickered faintly as he retrieved a sharp knife, cold light slowly swimming along its blade.
A flash of icy light swept past, leaving a trail of blood.
A sinister looking wound had appeared on Zhou Yuan’s arm, so deep that bone could be seen while blood flowed out.
However, dark green specks of light began to flash in Zhou Yuan’s flesh moments after the wound appeared. Rich life energy surged towards the wound, instantly stopping the flowing blood.
The deep wound slowly wiggled as new flesh grew. In a few minutes, the wound had fully recovered...
Zhou Yuan could not conceal the joy in his eyes when he saw this.
Though the Taiyi mark was not fully complete, its power was already beginning to reveal itself. At the very least, Zhou Yuan’s recovery ability was already comparable to the external cultivators who focused on using Genesis Qi to nourish their physical bodies.
When the Taiyi mark was perfected, his recovery ability would surely soar again.
The most terrifying thing about this was that it was only the beginning… once the Taiyi mark was formed, Zhou Yuan would be able to transform the absorbed Yimu Qi into the Taiyi Green Wood Mark.
When this technique reached the advanced level in the future, Zhou Yuan would possess... an undying body.
When that happened, as long as he did not receive an attack that instantly vaporized him, he would be able to recover from even the most serious of injuries...
Such recovery ability would undoubtedly give him a huge advantage in a true life or death battle.
Zhou Yuan nodded in satisfaction. His three days of secluded cultivation were indeed quite fruitful.
A knocking sound was heard at this moment, and Zhou Yuan hurriedly got off the bed to open the door.
Li Qingchan stood at the entrance, her gorgeous face covered in a layer of frost as usual. She glanced at Zhou Yuan and said, “If you still didn’t come out, we would have went ahead without you.”
Although her tone was indifferent, it was not hard to hear the faint trace of disapproval within it.
After all, besides that one time flame rocking gambling, Zhou Yuan had basically locked himself in his room for the entire time. Such an attitude was definitely not going to earn him any brownie points.
Zhou Yuan’s spot on the team had basically been protected by her this whole time, but now, even elder Wu seemed as if he had something to say about it. If not because he respected her as a Chosen, he would have likely even chided her about this decision.
Zhou Yuan also felt somewhat awkward upon hearing this, and hastily apologized.
He too understood that though he had told them he was going into secluded cultivation, others would only view it as an excuse. After all, how much could one possibly achieve in a short three days? It was obviously some kind of last-ditch effort.
However, he could not possibly reveal any the Taiyi Green Wood Mark. Thus, he could only apologize without explanation.
Li Qingchan merely let out an almost inaudible snort at Zhou Yuan’s apology as she shook her head and said, “Let’s go. The essence flame vein fight is about to begin, and we need to get ready.”
“Besides this, though you’ve been allocated an area outside the core region this time, don’t even think about complaining. The district you’ve been tasked with is still considered a contribution.” Warned Li Qingchan.
The core region she mentioned was naturally the area with the richest essence flame vein, and where the fighting would also be the most intense. It was basically the battleground of the four hegemon level sects.
However, Zhou Yuan was not going to be sent in, and was instead tasked with some other location outside the core region by elder Wu where the factions from Black Flame Province would be duking it out, and fighting would naturally be less intense.
Of course, his contribution would also naturally be less than the others.
Zhou Yuan gave a faint nod, his expression remaining rather calm.
Li Qingchan did not say anything else and turned to leave.
Zhou Yuan hurriedly followed behind her.
When Zhou Yuan and Li Qingchan arrived at the top floor, elder Wu, Zhao Zhu, Bai Li and the rest were already waiting.
Qin Hai looked towards Zhou Yuan with a wide grin and teasingly said, “Hehe, junior brother Zhou Yuan’s three days of secluded cultivation must have been very beneficial, right?”
Zhou Yuan merely glanced at him without replying.
Elder Wu could not help but sigh as his gaze paused on Zhou Yuan for a moment, likely also feeling his presence to be quite troublesome.
Placing Zhou Yuan outside the core region was was basically giving up land in the core region.
But he had no choice. Zhou Yuan’s strength was nowhere near enough for him to vie with the others.
With a wave of elder Wu’s sleeve, ten dots of light shot out towards Zhou Yuan and the rest.
Zhou Yuan and the rest caught the object, only to find that it was a small thumb-sized piece of jade. The jade flickered with a peculiar gleam, and a Genesis Rune had been carved into it.
“This is a communication jade which will allow one to briefly communicate within a thousand mile radius. I’ve given one to each of you to be used inside the essence flame vein to share information.” Elder Wu explained.
Li Qingchan, Zhao Zhu and the rest nodded before placing the jade into their ears.
Upon seeing this, elder Wu waved his sleeve as Genesis Qi spread from under his feet. It took on the shape of a cloud that encompassed Li Qingchan, Zhao Zhu, Zhou Yuan and the rest of the team.
As his voice faded, the Genesis Qi cloud had already brought the group into the sky.
Meanwhile, countless glowing figures rose into the sky from the giant Black Flame City. Like a swarm of locusts, they flew towards the far away Black Flame Mountain Range.
The battle to decide the allocation the essence flame vein in the Black Flame Province was finally about to begin.