25 Hopeless Degenerate

The trademark of the demons and main reason while all other races despised them, the Swallowing Skill enabled the user to strip and refine what they craved. World Oddities such as the Ice-Glazed Lichen aside, there was virtually nothing that innate skill couldn't refine—granted that the target couldn't resist the caster.

The Swallowing Skill evolved alongside the demon's rank, enabling the lords of the Infernal Paradise to consume entire worlds if they so wished. Xinzi started with the lowest tier of that technique, but by pairing it with his Void Spiritual root, his cultivation speed and battle power growth pace would experience a meteoric rise. Lifeforms, treasures, oddities; as long as he could incapacitate them through tricks or overwhelm them with his cultivation base, what could he not absorb?

Endless possibilities opened, kindling Xinzi's ambitions and greed. Why cultivate for 10,000 years if you could achieve invincibility in 300? Would his chains break if he refined major cities? What about sects? How far was he willing to go? Where did the demarcation line stand? A stampede of questions charged through Xinzi's mind, forcing the monk to close his eyes in meditation.

Until now, Xinzi had yet to revert to his human shape. The fanged mouth on his stomach still cackled. Red mist oozed from his six eyes, and veins pulsed all across his bald scalp and ripping musculature. Add to that his mutated right arm, and the monk seemed 1,000 km deep into the infernal realms already. Xinzi's muscles contracted, and the monk returned to his initial human form.

'Give me a throne in Hell, and I can still pull down the Heavens.' The Infernal Paradise respected nerves and ambitions more than raw talent. The reason was simple—demons had too many tools available to crack the status quo and rise above their class. Thus, in Tusha's ears, Xinzi's words echoed like a thunderclap. These were the words of a man born for the Infernal Dao. A man worthy of the Devil throne. Alas, from time immemorial, only Ancient Spirits could inherit the four seals and reincarnate as the Demon Monarch—overlord of all infernal denizens.

With Qiu Meng, the last Ancient Spirit's death, this world would never see the return of another Demon Monarch. Complex feelings intertwined in Tusha's mind, pitting her duties towards the Infernal Paradise against her mortal loyalties. Then again, she no longer qualified as a true demoness.

"Anything else I need to know about this worm?"

"Because it inflates everything from your Blood Vessels to your meridians, your cultivation speed will drop, and Pulse Condensation specifically, will become more tedious. However, with the Swallowing Skill and a Void Spiritual root, that drawback becomes irrelevant." The nun's words omitted a slight nuance. Xinzi's cultivation speed didn't drop. Rather, his meridians, Blood Vessels and dantian required more energy to reach saturation. Xinzi noted that difference, which would enable him to build a stronger foundation.

"Also, I hope you're fond of children. Your current body is akin to a horde-breeding Beast King—minus the strength. This means that your offspring will pop out as eggs of mighty rank three Mysterious Beasts. After undergoing a transformation and unlocking your flesh wings, the eggs will produce Sentient Beasts or Beast Kings. Alone you can produce an army, together we shall take the world. The only problem is that, due to a minor mistake, the beasts come out genderless and asexual. My congratulations in advance!" Tusha said, cupped her hands, and bowed at Xinzi. Cold sweat broke out on the nun's forehead.

"You said what?" Blinking at the nun's words, Xinzi leaned forward and spread his ears open, motioning for the nun to speak louder. The reproduction of Night Spirits followed a strict ritual. Without that ritual, their children inherited their mortal shell's lineage. Before, this would have meant human for Xinzi. Superhumans due to the blessings they'd receive from his Divine Spark, but humans all the same. Xinzi wanted nothing to do with children, and as most dual cultivators, used spells to cancel his reproductive abilities.

Tusha's worm gambit threw all that to the wind. Worse, she directly turned Xinzi into one of those horde-breeding Beast Kings that abused the frightening potency of their seed to produce legions of troops loyal to and controlled by them only.

"The host of the Immemorial Blood Gu was meant to be trained as the strongest and most loyal general at my master's command. It's not my fault that you tricked me into liking and choosing you. But hum...don't worry. We can use pills to control that. Yeah..." Tusha wanted to cry but couldn't find the tears. The crazed nun didn't find anything wrong with her gu-worm. But as most debauched monks, Xinzi likely didn't want to deal with the consequences of creaming holes—or so she expected.

"Perfect! Perfect! Good woman, may the Golden Lotus bless you for 10,000 years! To Xia Hu and all the men unfortunate enough to stand in my way, I will lay waste to your souls!" While Tusha expected Xinzi to fly into a rage, the monk burst into laughter. Ever the pragmatic one, Xinzi noticed the perks of this new attribute. Once his male competitors witnessed their brides give birth to his bestial abominations, would the horror not make their souls fly out?

As for where to hide them, did he not just gain a cave, valley and mountain in need of more residents? But as Xinzi pictured his glorious future, and Tusha wondered if she'd not misjudged his mental health, the nun's teleportation circles flashed, and a colossal figure appeared in the room.

"Master, master! Terrible news! The Blood Yang Gorilla General has rebelled!" The Armored Lion King made his entrance. And as his booming voice rocked the hall, his eyes scanned the scene—a disturbing scene that made him turn tail and rush back into the teleportation formation.

"On your paws!" Commanding the Enslavement Gu she'd infected the Armored Lion King with, Tusha forced the Beast King to drop by her side and bow like a tamed pet.

"Shit, shit, shit! Hateful baldies, odious nun! Not only did you get screwed over by the lesser baldy, but you also screwed This King! Damn it, This King has served you loyally for over 1,000 years! But you didn't even hesitate to drag This King into this mess! Where is your heart!?"

Sharper than most gave him credit for, the Armored Lion King only needed one glance to realize that Tusha no longer ruled the Dream Mountain, and reasoned that this was likely his best opportunity to break free from the nun. The so-called treaty was nothing less than slavery. After other candidates failed her, the nun used 1,000 years to train the Armored Lion into a Beast King, then had him train and breed the beasts of the Ice-Fire cave for another 1,000 years.

All in all, the master-servant pair had been together for 2,000 years, so while the Armored Lion didn't hesitate to flee, he resented Tusha for not considering his years of merit rendered. In other circumstances, Tusha would have let the lion bolt. But right after she highlighted the worth of beast troops, the lion appeared to report a rank four Sentient Beast's betrayal? Where did that put her face?

"Hush! Explain yourself. What do you mean by betrayal?" As she invested most of her resources in Blood Spirits and the Immemorial Blood Gu, Tusha couldn't produce enough gu-worms to enslave all beasts of the Ice-Fire cave. A rank five Beast King, the Armored Lion King should have been more than enough to keep them all in check. How could the Blood Yang Gorillas' tribal head flee under his nose?

"It's all because of his new bride! That bean curd of an ape was swindled by a horrifying aphrodisiac and mistook a peerless pretty boy for a peerless beauty! I expected the boy to collapse after a single spear thrust, but who could imagine that he mastered a mysterious technique that enabled him to stretch to fit each strike. Worse, with each injection of Yang Qi, that yang-plucking devil became more feminine, his cultivation base and blood energy increased as well. By the time we realized that the Blood Yang Gorilla's mind had been enslaved by his he-bride, it was too late," the Armored Lion King said and waved his paws at Xinzi to remind Tusha that all this was the monk's fault.

"And you were watching?" Tusha couldn't believe her ears. Mysterious beasts might follow a strict hierarchy, but they also emphasized bloodlines more than any other race. If the Gorilla returned to lead them into rebellion, only the Armored Lion King could stop him.

More importantly, the Blood Yang Gorillas might only make up a small number of the Ice-Fire cave's troops, but their battle potential exceeded that of all others—including the Armored Lions. If the Gorilla General ever broke through to the fifth rank and became a Beast King, the Armored Lion King wouldn't be his match! How could any king worth the title let such a vassal run wild?

"Well...there isn't much to do in the Ice-Fire cave. This was a once-in-a-lifetime show. How could I miss it?" Ashamed, the Armored Lion King lowered his head to the ground—not daring to look up.

"Hopeless degenerate!" Tusha sprang to her feet and kicked the Armored Lion King—sending him flying past the unconscious Dong Ling and Chun Xu with high-pitched squeals.

"This is what you called elite troops?" Xinzi said. His calm tone and blank look prevented Tusha from seeing through his thoughts—she kneeled instantly. "I will dispatch Blood Spirits to hunt him down!"

"No need. Don't forget that while the White Immortal sect's strongest elders have been stranded at the peak of Nascent Soul, the sect still has a significant background in the Yangzhou Hegemon's court. Once the White Immortal sect leaders doubt the structure of this place, they might contact some of the old fossils in Yangzhou and bring us trouble. We need to defuse the situation, not let it blow out of proportion," Xinzi said. He'd not expected Xia Hu to pull off another mind-boggling feat, but had to admit that he preferred this scenario. How else could he collect on the debts Xia Hu still owed him?

"I can tell that you've arranged the blood banners and skulls for a Great Blood Formation. Gather the Blood Yang Gorillas and activate it. I will refine them into a Blood Origin pellet to break through the first-order of Blood Energy."

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