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Published at 19th of October 2020 05:22:02 AM

Chapter 962: 962. Flame
The assets of the various factions started to leave the battlefield. The powerhouses moved with them, and the three organizations regrouped in different areas under God's Left Hand's stern gaze.

Noah glanced at the battlefield as Chasing Demon flew toward him. The terrain had become black due to Ravaging Demon's flames, and cracks filled every region around the blue dome.

Devastation spread in every corner of what had once been the home of the most powerful organization. The area appeared even more wrecked than the central regions of the new continent after they saw the battle against the quasi-rank 7 winged beast.

It couldn't be helped. The old continent was frailer than the new one. The amount of damage that the powerhouses could do there was immense, and even a few spells could turn entire regions into wastelands.

Noah's gaze went on the various cracks only to notice that not even a drop of blood had remained on the ground. Those regions had seen the death of countless cultivators. Yet, the battle of the powerhouses had erased every trace of their existence.

Elder Austin, Danielle, and Amos had disappeared during Ravaging Demon's sudden attack, and no one had seen them after that.

Of course, everyone in the Hive knew that they had died. Daniel's divine item had managed to save only the Elders near him, and Noah had survived the first flames because Ravaging Demon wanted him alive.

The fact that he had suffered fewer injuries than expected was just a case. After all, no one could even begin to predict that he had a Blood Companion made only of higher energy.

Noah had never been the sentimental type. Even Lily and William's deaths couldn't make him mourn. He had become more open to his human side across the years, but that aspect of him had never changed.

Death happened more often than anyone liked it, especially when it came to the cultivation world. Natural catastrophes or the whims of powerful existences could take the lives of beings that had trained for centuries in less than an instant.

Some called that fate, but Noah knew that it was a matter of luck. Cultivators could train as hard as possible and prepare for every eventuality, but there was always something that could take their lives if they didn't stand at the top.

The recent battle was the proof of that thought. Chasing Demon and Great Elder Diana had done their best to kill Ravaging Demon, but King Elbas' interference had ruined their plans.

One being at the top of the world had been able to turn the tables of an otherwise helpless battle. That was how influential the strongest cultivator in those Mortal Lands could be.

'Still,' Noah thought as he moved his gaze away to join his allies in their retreat, 'Even he couldn't do anything against the leader of the winged beasts. The peak doesn't exist here. We are just ants trying to raise our heads for the first time.'

The death of those rank 5 assets put him in a sour mood. In the travel back to the territories of the Hive, Noah's mind wandered among his plans to become stronger, even if a few memories appeared from time to time.

Those memories mostly belonged to his interactions with Elder Austin. Noah remembered their battles in the new continent when the Hive had yet to claim some territories under its banner. He recalled the lessons concerning the individuality and the times when he had needed to hurt his hybrid body.

There were memories about Danielle too. Noah didn't forget how she had forsaken her pride and her faith toward her ancestors to grant a better future to the natives of the other Mortal Lands.

They were both dead now, but they had managed to affect Noah's cultivation journey, even if only in a small part. Mourning for them was almost a waste of time in his view, but forgetting them would deny the benefits that Noah had gained thanks to them.

Silence reigned among the assets of the Hive as they reached the Coral Archipelago to return to the southwestern coast of the new continent. Chasing Demon disappeared while the survivor used the teleportation matrices on the islands, and he didn't leave any order behind.

Everyone understood that the time for words would come after they had recovered from their injuries. Their focus had to be on sorting their gains and return to their peak.

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The rank 5 cultivators dispersed when they reappeared in their respective domes and regions. Noah and the two Demons reappeared together in the central territories of the continent, but they only exchanged a nod before separating.

Noah turned in the direction of Divine Market city after the Demons left. He didn't know how the recent events would affect the political situation there, but it wasn't his problem anymore. There was only one thought in his mind now. He wanted to become able to survive the attack of a powerhouse.

Ravaging Demon had left with King Elbas, but he was too eccentric to remain behind the protection of the Royal family. He was bound to expose himself at some point, and the Hive had to be ready for that chance.

After all, King Elbas' inscribed item had stabilized his condition, but he had remained injured. Noah didn't know how long it would take to the Demon to heal, but his wounds would delay his hunt for the Divine Deduction technique.

Noah had a rank 6 cultivator targeting him now. His mental state was in complete battle mode, even in the safety of the Hive's domain.

The other higher-ups would handle the meetings with the Council, and the two organizations would create strategies and plans to deal with the new powerhouse. Yet, Noah had to make himself able to stand against him or at least survive one of his attacks.

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"Starve them," Noah said in a mental message directed toward Thirty-seven. It was time for the hybrids to join the political struggle and help the Hive in its wars. The fastest method to achieve that was to stop the growth of their bodies and focus only on enhancing their minds.

His second rune would help in the process, but many of them would go crazy. Still, he didn't care since he could turn every failure into materials for the living weapons.

Noah returned in the separate dimension after settling the matters with the hybrids. His consciousness went on the large wounds on his body, but his intentions had nothing to do with the healing process.

Noah remembered the flames burning his flesh. He used his connection with Snore to revive the sensations that had filled his Blood Companion's body during Ravaging Demon's attack.

He felt the intrinsic destruction of the flames. They had carried a suicidal feeling, a desire to burn everything that existed, even themselves.

'A destruction so pure that it doesn't fit the cultivation journey, nor any living being,' Noah thought as he meditated in his mansion inside the separate dimension.

His remaining hand opened at that point, and a black flame appeared in his palm.

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