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Published at 19th of October 2020 05:22:17 AM

Chapter 949: 949. Exploration
The battle had become one-sided as soon as the invading forces gained the smallest advantage. It was enough for them to have one solid stage cultivator in the fifth rank free to help in other fights for the situation to snowball.

Noah had helped Elder Julia, they had helped all their allies, and all the assets of the Hive had supported the other factions. The outcome was a complete defeat of the higher-ups of the Empire. The Second Life formation had saved most of them, but some died nonetheless.

The weaker assets of the Empire felt forced to retreat at the sight of that event. They knew that stronger cultivators rarely joined battles on a lower level, but the fight was over. Remaining on the battlefield would push the higher-ups of the invaders to intervene to limit the casualties on their side.

It wasn't a matter of honor or fear of future retaliation anymore. The strongest existences of the Empire had lost. The weaker one could only accept that they had no power over that battle anymore.

With the retreat of the weaker assets, the invading forces obtained the overwhelming victory they had desired, and they had to thank the Hive for that.

Of course, most of the credits for that achievement went to Elder Julia. After all, Noah had been able to pull that sneak attack off only thanks to her individuality. Still, Andrew and Regina felt that they would have reached the same point anyway, so they tried to avoid the topic while staring at their armies.

It was all about timing. It was customary for the first significant victory to influence the entirety of the battlefield. The Hive had only happened to succeed before the other factions.

Elder Julia didn't mind that the Council and the Elbas family avoided acknowledging the merits of the Hive. That wasn't the best moment for negotiations anyway, and there were more pressing matters to handle too.

Almost all the cultivators of the invading forces had suffered injuries, but the battle had ended far faster than they expected, which meant that most of them had energy to spare. They could still fight, and the Empire was at its lowest right now.

Everything was for the sake of improving their image on the Empire's mind. An overwhelming victory would lead to favorable terms for its surrender. Reaching as far as the floating structure during their first assault might even force the Empire to give up on some of their heroic assets to avoid extinction.

All the higher-ups appeared to agree that pushing a bit forward was the right choice. There didn't seem to be any threat ahead. The rank 5 cultivators of the Empire would be out of the picture for a while too. The only form of defense in sight was the blue arrows, but they weren't a problem with so many powerful invaders.

The invaders left those that had suffered severe injuries behind and started to advance toward the floating structure. The regions under them appeared uninhabited, with only the human cultivators still busy retreating filling that environment.

There weren't any citizens or commoners. Just empty districts and retreating human assets.

That sight worried the invaders since they had seen how the Empire like to act when it was about to lose territories. They advanced carefully, looking for any trace of formations on the ground to see if their opponent planned to blow everything up.

However, they didn't find anything out of the ordinary, except that those districts appeared older when they analyzed them up close. Each one of them had training areas suitable for cultivators in the fifth and fourth rank, but they didn't feature anything special.

There wasn't any defense in place, and the buildings meant for the human assets lacked the proper density of "Breath" most of the time. There were only a few habitations that could help rank 3 cultivators improve, while most of them were regular training areas that could barely meet the standards of those in the second rank.

The domain of the Empire appeared far worse off than the invaders had predicted.

The environment started to improve as they neared the floating structure. The districts still lacked defenses, but there were good training areas, at least. They weren't on the level of the Capital of the Utra nation, but they were good nonetheless.

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Traces of defensive inscriptions began to appear eventually. They weren't intricate lines, but they had the potential to express a lot of power. They also seemed to connect every district from that point onward.

The heroic cultivators of the invaders could only slow down their exploration at that sight. They didn't want to trigger any unknown formation, especially since they didn't know the nature of such inscriptions.

They didn't appear too dangerous according to the experts of the Elbas family's evaluation, but it was better to be careful in that situation. After all, they were in the open and near the central regions of their opponent. Anything could happen there.

The human troops of the Empire were still retreating behind them. The heroic assets of the invaders had surpassed them as they explored those regions, and their human assets were chasing after them to inflict more damage.

It felt strange that the Empire wasn't showing any resistance when so many enemies walked on its ground and sky. Yet, the invaders soon considered the possibility that their opponent had nothing else to deploy.

Its most potent formations were in the new continent, and both landmasses had the Second Life formation. All its heroic cultivators had escaped, had died, or had been injured by the after-effects of the formation. The blue arrows were threatening only when coupled with warriors on the battlefield.

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The floating structure radiated an eerie aura, but it didn't seem that its features could spread on the regions nearby. That left the invaders with many training areas in a desolate environment with a series of mysterious but straightforward inscriptions.

The Empire revealed the ability of those inscriptions soon though. As the invaders were about to enter the region with the floating structure, the lines in the districts lit up. It was needless to say that the attackers retreated immediately at that sight.

A series of human figures flew down from the floating structure and reached for a series of districts. There were inscribed chains on their necks, and each one of them was a heroic cultivator. There were even a few of them in the fifth rank!

Noah and the others had imagined that the Empire had restrained itself from using all the slaves in the first phases of the war, but they didn't expect it to have such powerful existences.

Nevertheless, the bodies of the slaves melted down when they landed on the central buildings of the districts, and a blue light started to spread from them alongside the lines on the ground.

In a matter of seconds, blue light filled the entirety of the central regions of the Empire.

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