The essence flame vein fight that affected the entire Black Flame Province ended with the Cangxuan Sect as the biggest winner.
News of the crazy battle between Yang Xuan and Zhou Yuan also swiftly spread, making the numerous factions in the Black Flame Province remember this Cangxuan Sect disciple called Zhou Yuan.
At the very beginning, not a single person had expected what appeared to be certain victory for the Sacred Palace to ultimately be single handedly snatched away by an existence everyone had basically overlooked...
In fact, Zhou Yuan’s performance in his battle with Yang Xuan had made countless people gasp in admiration.
Besides this, the other factions also gained an even deeper respect for the titan known as the Cangxuan Sect. After all, not just anyone could nurture a disciple that was not only low-key but also possessed such immeasurable strength. From this, one could see the strong foundations of the sect that was once number one in Cangxuan Heaven.
Although the Sacred Palace was at the peak of their power and still growing increasingly powerful, the Cangxuan sect was not to be underestimated.
This realization made several of the Black Flame Province factions, who were originally planning on throwing their lot in with the Sacred Palace, waver somewhat. For a time, they no longer dared to choose a side so easily even with the Sacred Palace reaching out to them.
Although Zhou Yuan’s victory over Yang Xuan allowed the Cangxuan Sect to occupy eight hundred miles of the richest veins, this was only part of the harvest. The bigger part was how they had disrupted the Sacred Palace’s attempt to stick their hand into the Black Flame Province.
Due to this setback, it would take the Sacred Palace a lot more effort and energy to take over the Black Flame Province.
Thus, Zhou Yuan’s victory had created far greater ripples than what could be seen on the surface.
After the curtain fell on the essence flame vein fight, the various factions that had swarmed towards this place gradually left one after another. This caused the previously bustling Black Flame City appear rather desolate in comparison to before.
Zhou Yuan and his team did not leave immediately. They had to rest for several days after such an intense battle.
Black Flame City, outside a certain lodging.
Zhou Yuan looked to his front where the enchanting Zuoqiu Qingyu stood. Feng Ying and the other female disciples from the Hundred Flowers Fairy Palace were waiting nearby, their gazes glancing over from time to time.
Zuoqiu Qingyu and the rest were returning to the Hundred Flowers Fairy Palace today, and Zhou Yuan had specially come to send her off.
“I originally believed that I had managed to shorten the gap between us. Who could have expected that you will still be as abnormal as before, and are already able to fight against an eighth layer expert.” Zuoqiu Qingyu sighed.
“He wasn’t a real eighth layer Alpha-Origin.” Corrected Zhou Yuan with a smile.
Zuoqiu Qingyu rolled her eyes at him as she softly snorted and said, “But don’t be too happy. Luluo and I are very valued in the Hundred Flowers Fairy Palace, we’ll definitely have a chance to catch up to you in the future.”
Zhou Yuan nodded with a smile. Zuoqiu Qingyu was actually amazingly talented, which could be seen from how she was permitted to tag along for such a high level mission though it had not been long since she joined the Hundred Flowers Fairy Palace.
One could easily imagine how the future Zuoqiu Qingyu would surely shine brightly in the Hundred Flowers Fairy Palace.
After a little more chit chat, Zuoqiu Qingyu said in a low voice, “I sent a message back to the Zuoqiu clan to tell my father to show a little more concern for the Great Zhou Empire, and lend them some aid if possible.”
She knew that Zhou Yuan had joined the Cangxuan Sect to become even stronger such that he would be able to face the looming threat of the Great Wu Empire. After all, since Wu Huang had joined the Sacred Palace, the Cangxuan Sect would not risk breaking the rules to help Zhou Yuan directly.
The struggle between the two would likely still depend on who would be able to grow faster.
The current Great Zhou Empire was still much weaker than the Great Wu Empire. Though the Zuoqiu clan was not afraid of the Great Wu Empire, it would not be appropriate for them to clash against the latter so openly. Thus, they could only help the Great Zhou Empire in secret, and try to delay or restrict the Great Wu Empire.
Zuoqiu Qingyu clearly understood that Zhou Yuan still needed more time.
Zhou Yuan was quite touched by her actions. He ultimately did not try to reject out of pride, and instead solemnly nodded as he said, "Thank you, I will remember this debt."
What he needed now was indeed more time.
King Wu was a Divine Dwelling stage expert, an existence that the current him still could not contend against.
More importantly, Wu Huang's entry into the Sacred Palace had greatly restricted the help Zhou Yuan could enlist from the Cangxuan Sect.
There were after all certain rules between hegemon level sects. One of which was that a sect would not directly intervene in a grudge between their disciples.
The sect could only provide cultivation resources and opportunities, and at the end of the day, the disciples had to resolve their disputes through their own power. In a certain sense, this was also a kind of training for the disciples.
Zuoqiu Qingyu did not say anything in response, merely offhandedly waving her hand, before turning around to leave, her graceful and slender figure filled with youthful energy.
"Let's part ways here. Say hi to Yaoyao for me when you return."
The young lady walked towards the setting sun, joining the other Hundred Flowers Fairy Palace disciples, before rising into the sky on Genesis Qi under the many reluctant gazes in the vicinity.
Zhou Yuan also watched her leave, his unmoving figure silently standing there for a long time.
This lasted till a fragrant breeze arrived at his side as a cool voice sounded, "You're quite the player aren't you? How does Yaoyao tolerate you when you have so many lovers everywhere?"
Zhou Yuan turned his head and saw Li Qingchan standing beside him. He was immediately struck by a wave of embarrassment as he helplessly explained, "We're just friends."
Li Qingchan did not comment, her lips merely pulling outwards as she said, "Let's go. Elder Wu has called for us, likely to discuss the individual credit for this mission."
She turned around and left after finishing.
Zhou Yuan felt a surge of energy when he heard this. Wasn’t this what they had spent the last two days waiting for? As the elder overseeing the mission, elder Wu was naturally the one who decided the worth of everyone's contribution.
Only by obtaining a contribution token from elder Wu would they be able to return to the sect and hand in the mission.
Zhou Yuan turned around and quickly caught up to Li Qingchan as they hurried to elder Wu’s room.
By this time, Zhao Zhu, Bai Li and the rest were already gathered here. As such, every gaze turned towards Zhou Yuan when he walked in. After Zhou Yuan defeated Yang Xuan against all odds, there was no longer a single person present who dared to view him as transparent.
This was the case even for Zhao Zhu. Though there was still some scrutiny in his eyes, the previous disdain and disregard had dwindled substantially.
Elder Wu was seated at the head of the group. At the sight of Zhou Yuan, the former chuckled as he beckoned them to have a seat.
“This mission has been perfectly completed thanks to everyone here.” Elder Wu did not beat about the bush, going straight for the main topic.
“Since the mission is complete, it is time to discuss your individual contributions and credit.”
Zhao Zhu and the rest looked over with shining eyes.
Zhou Yuan was naturally no exception. Though one only needed to complete a Heaven level mission to receive a Heaven Credit, it must be mentioned that Heaven Credit rewarded was also split into four different ranks.
Chief credit, upper credit, lower credit and the worst of the bunch, no credit.
Chief credit was the most difficult to achieve, but once awarded one would be able to receive twice the rewards from the sect, which was two Heaven Credits.
An upper credit appraisal was worth one Heaven Credit, while the lower credit rating could only be exchanged for half a Heaven Credit.
As for the last rank… it was exactly as its name implied; no credit. In other words, the entire mission would have been a waste of time. If Zhou Yuan had not stepped forward towards the end, and instead hid away in the outer region, this would have likely been his final evaluation.
Elder Wu smiled a little as he looked at their luminous gazes, before he said, “This mission was perfectly completed, therefore, no one received a no credit evaluation.”
These words immediately caused everyone to breathe a sigh of relief.
“As for lower credit…” Bai Li, Qin Hai and the rest fidgeted restlessly.
“There’s also none…” Elder Wu chuckled.
Bai Li, Qin Hai and the other disciples could not help but burst into cheers. Normally speaking, they should receive lower credit ratings, but due to how perfectly the mission had been completed this time, their appraisals had been raised to the next rank.
This single rank was the difference between half a Heaven Credit and a full Heaven Credit.
“As for upper credit… there’s Bai Li, Qin Hai…” Name after name slowly emerged from elder Wu’s mouth. This continued for seven names, before he paused and looked towards Li Qingchan and Zhao Zhu.
“Both of you will also receive an upper credit rating.”
Li Qingchan’s gorgeous face was calm as she gave a faint nod of acknowledgement. She was not as overjoyed as Bai Li and the rest, because as team leader, an upper credit was basically hers as long as the mission was complete.
Zhao Zhu on the other hand did not look too good. The two team leaders would usually get a chief credit appraisal, but elder Wu had clearly not given him one.
Although he did not feel comfortable about this inside, his rationality told him not to voice any objections because it would only be fruitless.
Li Qingchan and him had only managed to stop the other party’s Chosens, which was what they were supposed to do anyways. They essentially had no part in everything else that had happened, so it was quite within reason for elder Wu to give them an upper credit rating.
Elder Wu’s gaze finally turned towards Zhou Yuan, as a kind smile involuntarily appeared on his usually stern face.
“Zhou Yuan, you get the chief credit this time.”
His gaze shifted towards the others. “Do you guys have any objections?”
Li Qingchan shook her head.
Bai Li and the other non Sword Cometh Peak disciples immediately shook their heads, their gazes filled with gratitude when they looked towards Zhou Yuan. If not for him, the mission would not have been rated as a perfect completion, and they would never be given an upper credit appraisal.
In other words, they were basking in the light of Zhou Yuan’s success, and would naturally not have any objections towards elder Wu’s decision.
Zhao Zhu’ expression fluctuated indeterminately. He was about to speak up when he saw the flickering gazes of the Sword Cometh Peak disciples, which told him that it would be too much of him to ask them to object too.
Qin Hai and the rest were likewise indebted to Zhou Yuan.
Hence, Zhao ZHu ultimately chose to remain silent. Zhou Yuan had been too perfect this mission, making it impossible for anyone to find even the smallest fault with him.
Elder Wu nodded in satisfaction when he saw that no one had spoken. With a wave of his sleeve, ten flashes of light shot out and landed towards the group.
In each bundle of light was a token.
These tokens were of different colors. Li Qingchan and the rest had silver tokens, while the one in Zhou Yuan’s hands was gold, representing the chief credit.
As he grasped the golden token, Zhou Yuan let out a long sigh of relief inside as if a heavy burden had been lifted from his shoulders. He had finally got his Heaven Credit, and it was even a chief credit! Since this was the case, he would have an extra Heaven Credit after giving old Xuan one.
Now, he could finally return to the sect perfectly contented.