First, Silence fell and snuffed words out of the ladies' throats. But even Silence failed to suppress Verena's rage outburst which erupted a second afterward.
"Lunatic! Crazed, demented, unredeemable lunatic!"
Verena snarled once the realization of Yvonne's fanatical move settled in, and on the scene, only Nessriane could understand the accuracy of those words. To dare conceive the thought of merging with the World Tree took her more than 120,000 years of cultivation, Life Wielding, True God level, and countless preparations.
But even then, it wasn't a surefire move. Perdition lied at every turn. If not from the failure and the subsequent Withering, it would be from losing herself in the Tree. Indeed, even in success, those that ventured into that territory incurred the risk of losing their persona and forever remain trapped within the tree as one existence!
Nessriane wished to merge with the essence and obtain the abilities and Law skills. She naturally had no desire in remaining trapped in one place, without consciousness, for the remainder of her existence! But even in those extreme circumstances, Yvonne went in without a shred of hesitation!
Or perhaps, the extreme circumstances left her no other choice. On the scene, only she with her Essence Ruler Physique could placate the World Tree and enter symbiosis with it. Others simply didn't have the opportunity. But now, the return of peace and quiet failed to trigger any wave of relief within Else, Verena and Gulistan's hearts.
Lost, Yvonne was lost! Her very existence had merged with the Tree, and there was nothing they could do to change it! And though unlike Verena and Else, Gulistan had no profound affection for Yvonne, the fact of the matter remained…that she was the empress!
How would Konrad react when presented with the realization that his most favored had turned into a tree? And as the three floundered, Nessriane wasted no time to fall at Ilkaalt's side and suppress the overflowing Life Essence unleashed by her seal. At first, when Nessriane bestowed this seal upon her daughter, she knew Ilkaalt wouldn't be able to withstand its power until she achieved Life Wielding.
Therefore, she kept it locked. But unique circumstances forced her to release before the right time. Now, she could only help her keep it under control, and later apply further methods. And daggered by the sight of Ilkaalt spasming within her arms, Nessriane gritted her teeth! Again, this was those mongrels' fault!
Were it not for their interference, she would have successfully obtained the essence of the World Tree, used it as foundation to achieve Life Embodiment and rise above all!
But since the Jade Dynasty appeared, nothing went according to plan. All kept going wrong, and now, even her daughter's life was at stake! Alas, this wasn't time for revenge. There was guarantee Yvonne could fully suppress the World Tree. No guarantee that if, or once, it erased the last bit of her persona, it wouldn't return to the previous rampage.
They had to leave!
Without hesitation, Nessriane pulled out the roots still lodged within Ilkaalt's body, wrapped one hand around her shoulders, the other across her waist, and readied to take her to safety! But how could Gulistan allow them to depart with such ease?
"With things having reached this point, you really expect us to let you off? Naïve."
Gulistan scoffed, and the formidable pressure of her fleshly body and bloodline erupted to lock on Nessriane. Without delay, Nessriane met Gulistan's pressure with hers and lowered Ilkaalt to slam into her foe!
"Fine! Then I will first dispose of you, then leave this accursed place!"
Nessriane snapped with her demonic flail swaying at Gulistan's temple. The Serkar bent left on ninety degrees, letting the blow fly over her head while she smashed her icy broadsword into Nessriane's side!
*Clang* *Clang* *Clang*
Again, the two exchanged dozens of moves. But this time, Nessriane fought with reckless abandon, and a feral rage that matched Gulistan's superior bloodline! Falling into a diagonal curve, Nessriane's flail tore space gashes through the sky as it dropped on Gulistan's right shoulder.
But before it could hit home, Gulistan's lips curved into a smile.
Icy-blue light brightened Gulistan's hues, and her soul flew out of her body to infiltrate Nessriane's!
Alarmed, Nessriane recoiled. But the soul moved too fast and dived into her before she could escape. Starting with her chest, Black veins stretched across her body while she thrashed against the soul possession.
"Everburning Life Flame!"
Nessriane roared, causing colossal emerald flames to burst from her form and repel the possession in a brutal internal clash!
Expelled, Gulistan's soul flew back into her body, and as she suppressed a blood spurt, the red liquid trickled down her cheeks. Nessriane wasn't better off. But as they readied to dive into another dance, within the Barbarian Continent, shocking events unfurled.
In the recent months, the battle between Celestial Hosts, the Demonic Legions and The Valkyrie had risen to an alarming level, with the first two sides abandoning prejudice to combine the might of their formations and artifacts and fully suppress the Valkyrie!
The move proved a success! Faced with God-level Suppression Formations with seven God Artifacts serving as the eye, even the Valkyrie's Might Reversal ability lost function, and the battle quickly took a turn for the worse!
Again and again, the Valkyrie was forced back, the barrier she wrought to lessen the burden on the Barbarian Continent collapsed, and a flurry of calamitous strikes forced her into retreat! But while she could escape, the barbarians couldn't!
The nightmare resumed with greater might than ever before, and in a flash, billions perished!
Still, the Profane Prince made no move.
"It's over. The Barbarian has reached the end of its destiny. No one will save us."
Many lost hope and the same thought circulated within the surrendering minds. Others, however, chose an extreme road. A road none within the Holy Continent could expect!
"Profane Prince, though we wish for more opportunities to show our devotion, time is in short supply, and death awaits no aspiration. With our blood as sacrificial offering, we elders hope you will take mercy on the young, and save our land!"
Tribal elders across the Barbarian Continent's border tribes proclaimed as if guided by one thought, and one after the other, gutted themselves on altars dedicated to the Profane Prince!
At first, many, especially the young, saw the move as stark-raving-mad! But when the truth of their circumstances dawned on them, other tribal and even clan elders followed suit and gutted themselves on the altar, offering their blood and souls to the Profane Prince for the sake of their kin's salvation!
Soon, across the entire Barbarian Continent, altars filled with the corpses of gutted elders piled en masse!
"Profane Prince, with our blood as sacrificial offering, we elders hope you will take mercy on the young, and save our land!"
The words billowed to the heavens, but still the Profane Prince remained silent, still demons and devas ran amok! Some despaired, but more stepped forward!
"If the elders are not enough, what about the warriors?"
Barbarian men and women alike proclaimed and stepped onto the sacrificial altars to gut and offer themselves to the Profane Prince, and thereby beseech salvation!
"Moronic creatures. I will soon execute you all."
Anharya scoffed before waving Sanguine Dance, his lineage weapon, at The Valkyrie! But at that time, as if suppressed by a transcendent force, his sword stopped mid-air, wholly unable to carry on or drop on its target!
Worse, he couldn't move an inch! And not just him. The entirety of the Demonic Legions and Celestial Hosts fell into the same state!
"I have heard your prayers and welcome you all in the cradle of the true faith. Henceforth, you are my devotes, my children.
None can harm you."
A hoarse, authoritative voice thundered within the Ancient Crystal World, and alarmed all its denizens!
"The faithful dead return to life! The wicked suffer destruction! Such is my judgment!"
The Profane Prince proclaimed, and instantaneously, immeasurable chthonian energies filled the world and brought all faithful dead, billions of souls, back to life!
In the span of a breath, the world was in awe! But before any could find the time to relish or gawk, a massive foot stretching across tens of thousands of miles and covering the entirety of the Barbarian Sky, made a slow, dreadful fall onto the Demonic and Celestial Forces!