The Strongest Gene Chapter 281-290

Chapter 281: To Reduce or Not to Reduce

Chen  Feng  sunk  into  a  solemn  mood.”What  happened?” Could it be that the Star City Battle had been brought forward?

Wu  Hui  was  anxious.  “They…   they  are  cancelling  your qualifications to compete in the excellence award.”
“Producer excellence award?”  Chen Feng regained his calm and proceeded to pour a cup of tea for Wu Hui. “Don’t be in a rush. Calm down and talk slowly. You can be considered as someone who has been in a major situation before. Why the heck are you being all anxious over this small incident?”
Wu Hui felt ashamed. “All right.” After regaining his calm, he continued talking. “Senior Hou Liang told me to inform you that headquarters has received a huge amount of complaints.”
“What’s the point of those?” Chen Feng was curious. What a joke. If complaining was truly effective, that company called Tencent in his previous life on earth would have been shut down long ago. Chen Feng was a member of the Genetic Union and also a genius that had made outstanding contributions to them. Who dared to seek trouble with him? A normal producer wouldn’t be able to touch him! Someone capable of making Hou Liang say these words…
“Did something else happen?” Chen Feng asked knowingly.

“Mhm.” Wu Hui whispered, “Based on the latest news, there was one particular producer who committed suicide after failing to obtain what he wanted from the loot box.”
????

Chen Feng was stupefied.

Suicide? Was this a joke? Even in his previous life, such thing had never happened! These people were all genetic warriors cum producers; why were them so emotionally weak?

“Furthermore,” Wu Hui continued with a blank expression, “a lot of producers started using some special methods to obtain contribution points. When they were caught, they said the reason they had done so was in order to obtain contribution points to buy those loot boxes. On top of that, there’s a particular 16-year-old female producer that went through a transaction to perform a deed that should not be
mentioned just to get contribution points to purchase a loot box with.” Wu Hui finished with a flushed face.

???

Chen Feng blanked.

What was going on? In this era, as a genetic warrior, shouldn’t these people be quite formidable when it came to mental strength? Even in his previous life, things hadn’t been so severe when loot boxes had been introduced. How had this happened in this world…
Wu Hui finished saying what Hou Liang told him to say seriously, “Senior Hou Liang said that the repercussions are extremely severe. Hence… things might change.” “Change…”  Suddenly, Chen Feng came to a realization. He was sure that there had to be someone pulling the strings here. Was it Lan Jingling, the second place holder? Or…
Chen Feng checked the rankings and found with astonishment that, after a while of not paying attention to it, the second place holder had already changed. The producer called You Fang that had initially been at third place had overtaken her and grabbed the second place in a short few days.

Moreover, his points were also quite far above Lan Jingling’s points.

Indeed…  tsk. Can’t these guys stop looking for trouble for once?

Chen Feng narrowed his eyes. “This guy…”  After thinking about it, Chen Feng turned on his communication tool.

A big and simple-minded-looking head appeared on his screen. “Yo, Chen Feng.” “It has been a while Lan Xing,” Chen Feng said with a smile. “How have you been recently?”
“Not  bad,  not  bad,”  Lan  Xing  said  while  smiling.  “Sister already gave up on fighting for first place. I can see that your popularity is truly high above hers. Haha. But then again, you need to be careful for now. I heard that they are planning to do something again.”
“Oh?” Chen Feng was amazed. “You know of it?”
“Naturally.” Lan Xing curled his lips. “That crafty old man called You Fang has been coming over to my sister’s place so frequently. If it wasn’t out of respect for his old age, I would have beaten him to death long ago.”
Chen Feng: ….

“All right, got it.” By the time he ended the call, Chen Feng already had a guess as to what had happened.

Frequently…

It seemed like their agreement from before was going to be implemented now. In the beginning, Lan Jingling had obtained some research paper from You Fang in order to surpass Chen Feng. She had to have paid a huge price for that.

Now, when Lan Jingling had finally given up on the first place, You Fang was taking the opportunity to make his move.

Research paper! You Fang had also obtained some imperfect research paper of Lan Jingling’s before combining the paper with his own paper to put out a brand new research paper for sale. Finally, he’d surpassed Lan Jingling’s points.

As far as Lan Jingling was concerned, there wasn’t really much difference between second or third place. 
When it came to contribution points, it was simply impossible for them to surpass Chen Feng. Chen Feng’s current contribution points were more than tenfold higher than the contribution points of both of them combined. Hence, there was simply no suspense in the race.

This was the reason You Fang had decided to use such a sinister way to get Chen Feng out of the way, by creating trouble using various methods.

The RNG nature of the loot boxes was already something widely criticized. With the inclusion of You Fang causing trouble everywhere, countless people started to go with the flow. That’s right, a vast majority of the protestors were merely going along with the flow in an attempt to secure some benefits for themselves. They believed that it might be probable for Chen Feng to reduce the price to please them after the ruckus. This was what a lot of people believed.

Subsequently… the whole incident had gone out of control. Finally, it had led to Hou Liang calling Wu Hui over in a rush to 
Chen Feng sneered. “They are thinking of making me submit to them?”
He was aware that there were quite a number of people waiting to see him make a spectacle out of himself.

Price reduction? Sure. At this point, reducing the price wouldn’t have any effect on him anyway. His current contribution points were already unsurpassable. He only needed to cancel the loot box method of selling his research paper, changing it to a regular sales method.

Mhm… he shall be selling it at the original price of 588 contribution points. Everyone should be satisfied with that, then. Hence, as long as Chen Feng reduced the price, the whole incident would be solved perfectly.

However, was it truly so simple? price.”
Wu Hui was at loss. “Why?”
“Because that is what You Fang was aiming for,” Chen Feng said calmly.

What a sinister trap. If he refused to reduce the price, he might be disqualified from participating in the excellence award evaluation due to all sorts of complaints and the negative effects brought forth by his loot boxes. However, if he reduced the price, he would be done for as well! Was price reduction something so simple to implement?

Chen Feng was sure that, the moment he reduced the price, a huge amount of people would start a ruckus as well. For example, those who had previously invested a huge amount of resources to buy his loot boxes. These people had wasted several tens of thousands of contribution points previously, and now, the others only needed several hundred points to buy the research paper? Who wouldn’t be furious at this? How many days had it been? Just looking at how far Chen Feng had surpassed Lan Jingling and You Fang by was sufficient to demonstrate the amount of contribution points the others had spent on his loot boxes. Wanting him to reduce the price now? Who were they trying to trick?

If Chen Feng truly reduced the price, that would be the end of him.

“What  should  we  do  then?”  Wu  Hui  was  horrified.  This world of adults felt incomparably terrifying for him.

“That’s simple.”  An ice-cold smile appeared on Chen Feng’s face. “He wants to force my hand, right? Well, I will grant his wish, then…”
Currently, somewhere in Star City.

“I have now repaid what I owe you.” Lan Jingling had handed over the incomplete research papers that she owed You Fang from when he’d given her his research paper back then. You Fang merely needed to slightly alter these research papers and they would all be ready for sale.

You Fang’s face appeared to be glowing. “All right.”
After Lan Jingling and Chen Feng had fought with each other, he merely needed to step in at the last minute to reap the rewards. How was it possible for him to not be overjoyed? With his new research papers, he would absolutely be victorious.

Lan Jingling shook her head as she advised, “Chen Feng… is not as simple as you think. I advise you to stick with competing fairly using regular methods.”
You Fang merely laughed as a response. “Hehe.”
He was already at this age. If he still refused to fight for it, he would probably be too old to fight over any rewards after a few years. Hence, this year’s excellence award was something he had to obtain. Besides that, there was also that trap he had prepared for Chen Feng… You Fang sneered. “Only after he has reduced the price will he be in the true trap prepared for him.”
It was at this instant that Lan Xing charged into the room in a rush. “Sister, something happened!”
Lan Jingling frowned. “What happened?”
Lan Xing finished his words instantly, “Chen Feng…  Chen Feng declared that his loot box will stop selling.”
What?

The expressions of You Fang and Lan Jingling changed instantly.

Chapter 282: Newly Appointed Excellent Producer!

Stopped selling!

Chen Feng’s research paper had stopped its sale!

Bang!

The whole world was shaken by this news.

Regardless of the amount of criticisms and complaints this research paper had received, all these only served to prove how popular this research paper of Chen Feng’s was. This was a truly phenomenal research paper, something nothing could compare to.

However… stopped selling??? It had been directly stopped? This news was dropped like a bombshell on those who had yet to get what they wanted from the loot box. Shua!

Countless people turned their screens on. At the page where Chen Feng’s loot box had been sold previously, only these words were left: “Due to the series of negative incidents that happened recently, this research paper has received countless complaints by producers. After taking into consideration the negative effect this research paper has had on society, it is hereby announced that this research paper will stop selling.”
???

Everyone was dumbstruck.

As for those who had joined in on the complaints previously, they were all bewildered.

God knew this would happen! Truly, they had only wanted Chen Feng to reduce the price. Even You Fang was stunned. Based on his plan, if Chen Feng had reduced his price, those who had bought a lot of his loot boxes would definitely start creating a ruckus. He had never expected that Chen Feng would directly stop selling.

This, this, this…
“Which idiot complained about this?”
“Yeah!”
“Come out here!”
“I only joined everyone yesterday, and up till now, I only had the chance to buy 10 loot boxes so far!”
“Same here, I have only gotten a single SSR-tier drop!”
Everyone started discussing without stop. This was especially true for those who had spent a lot buying the loot boxes and were expecting their investment to be returned soon after obtaining what they wanted from the loot boxes. They were all incomparably furious. The spear that had initially been aimed at Chen Feng was now pointed toward those complainers.

Once again, Chen Feng became a trending topic, trending thorough the world.

Countless complaints were launched toward the headquarters of the Gene Production Association.

This time, it was a truly huge amount of complaints, much higher than the previous wave of complaints. As for the contents of these new complaints, they were all complaining about those who had complained against Chen Feng the previous time. Even the Gene Production Association could not escape the fate of being complained about.

Everyone was stunned. Those who had prepared to teach Chen Feng a lesson were collapsing emotionally. He still had this trick up his sleeve?

At every single branch of the Gene Production Association were a huge amount of complainers. The public image of Chen Feng that had initially reached rock bottom had, at this moment, started making a comeback. Countless people were hoping for Chen Feng to start selling again.

“Please start selling again!”
“I won’t mind even if the price is increased.”
“Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah, the only thing I want is a single SR- tier drop.”
Countless producers started flaming online.

Not everyone would be aiming for SSR-tier drop or a complete collection of all drops. An absolute majority of them only required some SR-tier drops, which in all honesty weren’t particularly hard to obtain.

Countless requests for the sale to be reinstated were sent to the headquarters.

Toward all this, the Association felt helpless as well. Just earlier, they had all been discussing ways to deal with Chen Feng and ways to withdraw his qualification to compete for the excellence award. Now, in the blink of eye, they had to instead beg Chen Feng to continue selling instead?

This…
At a certain location.

“Isn’t this a good thing for you?” a person said to You Fang.

Chen Feng had stopped selling. Regardless of how huge an uproar it caused, this would settle down with time. This also signified that he would no longer be able to increase his contribution points.

This would be You Fang’s opportunity. If he started selling his research papers crazily, he might be able to overtake Chen Feng.

Perhaps…

You Fang was tempted. However, just as he raised his head to look at the rankings, his heart chilled. Chen Feng’s current contribution points were tenfold his own. Even if Chen Feng stopped gaining contribution points, it would still be impossible for You Fang to overtake him.

You Fang felt bitter. “How did this happen…”  Hence, the only way for him to defeat Chen Feng was still to disqualify him?

But how was he supposed to accomplish that now? Chen Feng’s identity was too unique. Previously, he had been planning to use public opinion to force Chen Feng a step back, but now, Chen Feng had unexpectedly stopped selling, and public opinion was now skewed in Chen Feng’s favor.

Even if he wanted to disqualify Chen Feng, it was no longer possible.

You Fang’s heart chilled. “It’s over.”
After scheming for so long, a simple stop of sale by Chen Feng had spoiled all his schemes. Chen Feng had not only gained the public praise, toward the end, he would ultimately still obtain the excellence award.

Someone beside him suddenly said, “There might still be some methods.”
You Fang’s eyes shone. “Oh?”
That   person   whispered,   “There’s   an   extremely   simple method. It will depend on whether you, old man, are daring enough to do it.”
“What method is it?”
“Conversion!”
“Conversion?” You Fang’s heart thumped.

“That’s right.” That person beamed. “Contribution points are indeed something that can’t be sold. However, the conversion between contribution points and cash is something that has always been happening at the black market… Mhm, if purchasing research papers were used as the cover, it would be even easier to do.”
“Black  market…”  You  Fang’s  heart  trembled.  That  was  a domain the Association was extremely prejudiced against. He was extremely aware of how scary this thing he was planning to do was. However, this was also the only method in which he could surpass Chen Feng’s contribution points. Moreover, he was aware that a huge price would have to be paid to surpass Chen Feng. Perhaps his savings over several decades would all be exhausted for this.

If he was able to obtain the excellence award…
If he was able to become part of the management of the association…
If his words started carrying a certain weight to them…
At that time, if he were to start erasing any trace of what he had done secretly, no problem should arise. You Fang contemplated before finally deciding to do it.

“I don’t know anyone from the black market,” You Fang said.

“I know some, hehe… As long as I’m promised a commission of 10%, I will deal with everything for you.” That person laughed happily. Next, the transaction started progressing secretly. The next day, on the rankings, You Fang’s contribution points started increasing rapidly.

His score that had initially been far below Chen Feng started pressing in. Moreover, under their intentional control, You Fang’s score was pressing forth at a steady pace with no sudden burst in the speed it was increasing at. Evidently, these people were all professionals at this.

Currently, countless people were still creating a ruckus over Chen Feng’s stop of sale. None of them had noticed You Fang’s score that had increased.

One day…
Two days…
Just as they reached the last day of the excellence award evaluation period, the initially first place Chen Feng was overtaken. Once again, an uproar was created at Star City. Chen Feng was in second place? You Fang was in first place?
Everyone was shaken.

Only now did they realize that You Fang had quietly charged forth to grab first place without anyone noticing.

But his score…
“Aren’t his contribution points somewhat high?”
“He has recently released several tens of research papers. Perhaps those were related to his gain in contribution points?”
Everyone started guessing.

You Fang obtaining first place was a major event. At the very least, it was major for the residents of Star City. It was said that, on that day itself, a countless amount of people went forth and started gifting You Fang with presents, wishing that he would take great care of them in the future, etc. As for You Fang, he had an extremely rosy expression on his face. This was worth it! After today, he would be the recipient of the excellence award! All those people such as Lan Jingling… Chen Feng…
After competing against each other for so long, hadn’t You Fang still become the one who reaped the profit in the end? As such, when doing something, it was important to use one’s brain.

You Fang was feeling joyful and content.

However, at ten sharp that night, two hours before the end of the evaluation period, Chen Feng released a new announcement: Recently, a huge amount of complaints requesting for the sale to be reinstated have been received. Due to this, this research paper will temporarily start selling again. To thank everyone for their support all these while, a 24-hour limited promotion will begin.

Bang! Right after this announcement, it caused a huge uproar.

It was reinstated! Everyone was going crazy. When You Fang received this news, his eyes darkened, and he almost fainted then and there.

It’s over…

This was the only thought in his mind.

He had initially believed that Chen Feng had decided to stop his sale after the severe pressure he was receiving, but now that he looked at it, Chen Feng wasn’t even the least bothered with the pressure previously exerted on him, still selling whenever he wished!

As for the contribution points… You Fang watched on with desperation as the contribution points he’d obtained using ten whole days were overtaken by Chen Feng in a mere ten minutes. They were simply players of two different leagues! The supporters of Chen Feng’s loot box that had been holding it in for so long were all going crazy. As they were afraid that Chen Feng would suddenly stop selling again, coupled with the fact that there was now a limited promotion going on, they started purchasing crazily. Everyone was going
crazy.

At 12 sharp, the evaluation period ended. Everything on the rankings vanished, leaving a single name behind: Chen Feng!

The newly anointed excellent producer!

Chapter 283: Celestial Defense System

Excellent producer! This was an extremely unique identity. From now onward, Chen Feng would be shedding his identity as a commoner and would become part of the association’s management.

Mhm… At the very least, he would have a vote and right to make his suggestions regarding various strategic decisions of the organization. This was the most important benefit of having this excellence award. Due to his young age, Chen Feng had also become the youngest excellent producer in history.

“Success.”
Chen Feng inhaled deeply. Now he would at least have some sort of influence when it came to pushing the Association’s agenda toward certain events, such as the upcoming Star City Battle!

That apocalypse-like scene had been replaying in Chen Feng’s brain without stop. The scene where the whole Star City was destroyed had caused his heart to thump furiously countless times.

Chen Feng muttered, “Even if Senior Hou Liang has said that the association has already made some preparations, still…”
Those who had never witnessed what he had seen would never be able to imagine how severe the situation was. The only thing the association could do was increase their vigilance and prepare some defensive measures. A method truly capable of resisting against that calamity did not yet exist.

An example would be the defensive system of Star City. Chen Feng had found a defensive system that was a huge energy barrier imitating the appearance of a celestial body that would envelope the whole of Star City. A defensive barrier possessing the ability to defend against and counterattack against all sorts of abilities, an existence said to possess the top-most defense.

Chen Feng contemplated as he studied the details regarding Star City’s defense. The next day, as the Star City Conference was starting, the whole of Star City started bustling with noise. Only when something involved a strategic decision of great importance would the upper levels of Star City hold a conference to discuss it. This time around, the topic of their discussion was the loot box.

Since Chen Feng was now already the recipient of the producer excellence award, they were hoping that he would be able to somewhat reduce the price. Countless people were looking forward to this.

The conference started at ten sharp. Chen Feng had arrived early in the morning as well. The so-called Star City Conference was in actuality a gathering of everyone qualified to vote for strategic decisions before they started voting for or against the discussed strategic decisions.

Finally, the decision would be made after the voting.

All the members of the management and excellent producers would be eligible to participate in this. However, none of the excellent producers awarded during the previous years were here. For these people, unless there was something that interested them in the conference, they would simply not attend. Hence, although there was a huge number of people eligible for voting, the final number of voters would be around 20 or 30 people.

Naturally, for this affair concerning Chen Feng’s loot box, none of them were eligible to vote for it. This was something that could only be decided by Chen Feng himself. As such, they could only discuss it, rather than calling for a vote on it.

Before long, the vice president and the rest entered the conference hall.

Next, the conference officially began. Everyone first proceeded to welcome Chen Feng’s inclusion into the ranks of excellent producers before moving on with the hot “loot box incident.”
Shua! “All  right,  just  reduce  the  price  then,”   Chen  Feng  said indifferently.

He wasn’t particularly interested in the contribution points anyway. It was only something he had accumulated to obtain the excellence award. However, even if the price was reduced, he had to ascertain that it was done in a way that the old customers of his were not disheartened by the price reduction.

“I will do it step by step,” Chen Feng muttered. “Right now, it’s still the 20% promotion period… After several days, I will permanently maintain the price at 20% promotion. After a while, the price reduction will be 50%.. .followed by 70%… then 90%… to achieve the price reduction goal.”
With this, the benefits of both his old and new customers would be protected.

“Good.” “Many thanks.”
Now they found Chen Feng much more pleasing to their eyes.

Chen Feng smiled bashfully.

Soon they started discussing other strategic decisions. Everyone started voting. As for Chen Feng, he abstained from voting most of the time. The conference reached the end quickly.

However, just as the conference was about to end, Chen Feng stood up suddenly.

Chen Feng slowly said, “I have a proposal.” Everyone widened their eyes.

Proposal? What was he thinking of doing?

“Chen   Feng…”    Hou   Liang   pulled   Chen   Feng   down immediately. Had this child gone crazy?

That’s right. Although every participant of this conference had a right to propose something for everyone else to vote on, under normal circumstances, only the upper management, such as the vice president, would be the ones doing the proposing. It was quite rare for someone else to propose something.

After all, the others did not possess the authority the higher management possessed. Hence, even after the proposal, it couldn’t be said for sure that anyone else would agree with what was proposed.

In the beginning, everyone would be making their respective proposals in excitement. However, after finding out that their proposals would always be rejected, as they were unable to obtain majority support, they would only give up on proposing.

Unexpectedly… on his first day as an excellent producer, Chen Feng had decided to use this right of proposal.

This guy was truly brave!

“Oh?” The vice president looked at Chen Feng unhurriedly with an indescribable expression on his face. “Well, let’s hear it, then.”
As everyone heard his words, they wiped their sweat. The president was in seclusion all year round. As such, the authority of Star City was normally in the hands of the vice president. After all these years, a vast majority of the management were comprised of his supporters. Without obtaining his approval, no proposals would be approved.

This was, after all, a sort of provocation toward the authority of the vice president. After all, back when the conference had first started, its purpose had been to keep the power of the president in check. This was the true purpose of the existence of this conference.

However, as time had passed, it had become how it was currently. Although there were a huge amount of excellent producers, they were generally apathetic people who were not bothered with affairs that did not affect them. As such, the conference had completely failed to keep the balance of power in check. At the very most, these excellent producers would only vote occasionally to affect some minor decisions.

Chen Feng proposed his idea. “I hope that Star City will be able to deploy the Celestial Defense System as soon as possible.” Light swirled.

He started explaining. Using various information he had— some of which was bogus, some genuine—he started talking about various terrifying scenarios that might happen during the upcoming attack against Star City by the Mysterious Organization.

“In conclusion, I hope that we can deploy the Celestial Defense System as soon as possible,” Chen Feng said calmly.

Celestial Defense System?

That thing… if what Chen Feng said was true and the Mysterious Organization indeed possessed some methods of attack specifically designed for Star City, it was quite a reliable idea to have the Celestial Defense System installed.

Moreover, even without any crisis, there wouldn’t be any disadvantages to upgrading their defense system anyway. “I find this to be acceptable.”
“Feasible.”
“Surprisingly, his idea is quite acceptable.”
Everyone started discussing.

Right at this instant, the vice president started talking slowly. “I have two questions.”
Chen  Feng  looked  at  him.  “Please  say  what  you  have  in mind.”
“First,  how  is  this  Mysterious  Organization  capable  of possessing the power to destroy Star City? An organization that has been suppressed by us to the point where they can only hide everywhere like a rat, what is there to be afraid of? “Second, activation of the Celestial Defense System requires the cooperation of the Genetic Union as well. A huge amount of manpower and resources, and funds in the billions, are required. Where should this money come from, then? The reserve fund of Star City? If we were to use up the reserve
fund, the progress of development in gene production at Star City will have at least a 200% reduction in speed.”  The vice president finished his words indifferently. Everyone else sunk into silence. Only two points of his had negated almost everything Chen Feng had suggested.

The basis of Chen Feng’s argument was the threat posed by the Mysterious Organization. However, at his very first sentence, the vice president had this threat negated. As for all the things he’d said subsequently, such as funds and the like, none of those were important.

In short, the vice president was totally against this idea. The others exchanged glances and made their decision shortly after. “I reject this proposal.”
“I reject this proposal as well.”
However, as this was something Chen Feng had proposed toward the end of the conference, a long time was required for everyone to discuss this. As such, the final voting was delayed.

The vice president announced the end of today’s conference. “Since  the  discussion  has  yet  to  end,  we  will  continue tomorrow.”
Soon, everyone left. What had happened during the conference was spread to the public, causing a huge sensation.

Had Chen Feng gone crazy? This was the first thought everyone had. “No worries.”
Chen Feng merely smiled at this bureaucracy. The only reason he had made his proposal at the end of the conference was so that the final vote could be delayed.

As for tomorrow?

Hehehehe…
Chen Feng smiled profoundly. “Don’t worry, there will be people agreeing with my proposal.”
Hou Liang smiled bitterly. “How is that possible?”
He had been here for several decades. As such, he had a deeper understanding of how things were done around here compared to Chen Feng. Out of all the people from the management eligible for voting, 80% of them were from the vice president’s faction. As for the rest, they might not necessarily support Chen Feng either. Hence, Chen Feng simply had zero hope of succeeding in his proposal.

Picture this situation: If Chen Feng’s proposal was approved, what would happen if the others decided to start making their own proposals as well?

Or perhaps… one day, someone might decide to do away with the vice president’s post?

This was the main reason the vice president would not relinquish his grasp of power on the conference. He would not hand over the power capable of deciding his fate to some excellent producer!

The only right those excellent producers needed to have was the right to vote. That would be sufficient. This was the vice president’s bottom line. The night passed quietly.

Chen Feng’s proposal had also caused quite an incident. Everyone was thinking that Chen Feng was akin to a newborn calf that was unaware of the tiger’s horror. Or perhaps he was simply unaware of the unwritten rules around here.

“He is, after all, too young…”
“True.”
“Well, he will wake up from his illusion tomorrow.”
“As a genius, he indeed needs more life experience.”
Everyone discussed calmly.

The next day, the conference reopened to continue the discussion. However, shocking everyone present, just as the conference started, they discovered that there were around 40 to 50 excellent producers present in this conference.

Their amount was so huge the conference hall couldn’t fit them all.

“What happened?”
The vice president had an ominous feeling.

Chapter 284: Everything Is Changing

At the Star City Conference, the discussion of a certain proposal was progressing. The conference hall that had always been rather empty was currently filled with numerous people. There were even some who were standing due to a shortage of seats. Everyone else, the vice president included, was bewildered. They had never imagined a day would come where this room would be filled to the point that people needed to stand because of a shortage of seats!

“Should we change into a bigger hall?”  proposed the vice president.

“Nope.”
“I’m fine standing.”
An old producer smiled as he said, “Let’s get this started.
After it’s over, I will be going back.” Vice president: “…” Why the heck are all these old men here sticking their nose into this conference?

Why had these people appeared here? No one knew the answer. The vice president had a faint feeling that this was related to Chen Feng. Unfortunately, though, he did not have the guts to chase these people away. Apart from that weirdo Chen Feng, anyone else capable of receiving the excellence award would be a person of a terrifying identity. Regardless of their production level or background, all were top notch. None of this was something a vice president like him could shake.

“Then…   let’s  begin  the  conference.”   The  vice  president inhaled   deeply   before   continuing,   “Pertaining   to   the deployment of the Celestial Defense System at Star City, I believe everyone has already made up their mind on this. Now, let us start voting. Those agreeing with the deployment of the Celestial Defense System—”
Just as the vice president started talking.

“I agree!” “I agree!”
Shua!

Shua!

Shua!

A huge bunch of hands were raised as a sign of agreement.

Ten…
Twenty…
Thirty…
As for the producers standing around due to seat shortage, almost every single one of them had their hands raised as well. As for the other excellent producers that were only here was spectators, they raised their hand to join in the crowd without hesitation as well when they witnessed this scene.

Finally, a total of 40 votes were accumulated in favor of deployment. The vice president’s eyes darkened.

It passed! The proposal was passed just like that!

He looked at himself and the 20-odd people in his faction, and his heart chilled. He had actually been defeated by an excellent producer like Chen Feng.

Nobody was aware of the reason these excellent producers had agreed with Chen Feng’s proposal. One had to know that, in every year’s excellence award, every single recipient of the award was the one with the highest contribution points. These were the people who had depended on their accumulation and background to fight over the top position. As such, these excellent producers here were all unrelated to each other. Some were even those of opposing factions. If so, how had they reached this agreement? It was totally unknown.

An old producer impatiently asked the vice president, “Is it done?”
“Yes,  it’s  done.”  The  vice  president  smiled  bitterly  as  he announced, “The proposal for the deployment of the Celestial Defense System has been approved. It will be carried out starting from today.”
Perhaps… Chen Feng made up some crisis to persuade these excellent producers? the vice president guessed.
These old producers were all people who had reached great heights, had large families, and led businesses. As such, all of them were extremely afraid of the prospect of death. If Chen Feng was able to describe the crisis in an extremely horrifying way, it was quite probable they would be persuaded. Hence, these old men had all decided to come here for a vote.

Mhm… this is most probably what happened, the vice president thought to himself. However, right at this instant, after he agreed with the implementation of Chen Feng’s proposal, all the excellent producers started leaving.

Instantly, the conference hall appeared empty once again.

The vice president’s expression darkened.

Evidently, all of them had only been here to vote for Chen Feng’s proposal, only here to support Chen Feng. They had not even bothered to give the vice president face and pretend to stay an extra minute here after the vote was done.

The vice president was ashen faced. “This is too excessive…”
The vice president looked toward Chen Feng. As for the history’s youngest excellent producer, Chen Feng, he merely smiled faintly, as if everything was under his control.

The vice president narrowed his eyes. This guy… Soon, the conference ended.

The news of the Celestial Defense System passing the vote had all of Star City shocked.

“It passed?”
“How is that possible…”
“How is that not possible? I heard that almost half the current existing excellent producers left their seclusion to give Chen Feng a vote of support.”
“God, Chen Feng commands such a level of support?”
“How powerful!”
“Is this a form of protest by those old producers? Hmph. If the vice president persists in his ways, perhaps in the next conference, he might even get the vice president post removed altogether…”
“That’s very probable.”
Everyone started discussing without stop.

They felt that everything had suddenly changed. The vice president’s sole monopoly on power had been defeated by Chen Feng just like that. This was truly too terrifying.

“A mere excellent producer actually possessed such a capability…”
Countless people shivered at this thought. The capability demonstrated by Chen Feng was simply too dreadful. Among them, what shocked everyone the most and piqued their curiosity the most was the method Chen Feng had employed to have all these excellent producers vote in his favor. One had to know that these were a group of people from different factions, some of them from factions opposing each other. This was what everyone knew. On that very day, countless people started visiting those old producers in hopes of getting a clue.

None of them managed to obtain any information. It wasn’t long before there was no longer any need for them to try to find that out, though. On the next day, as rumors were still flying everywhere as everyone tried guessing the reason, a single announcement shocked everyone.

The latest gene reagent created by Chen Feng had been certified and was about to be released for sale soon. The name of the gene reagent: heaven-dazzling gene reagent!

“Gene reagent?”
“It’s not a research paper?”
“He can even sell this thing? “Oh, I heard that Chen Feng actually has his own shop.”
“Is that so?”
Everyone was confused.

Only a gene reagent?

One had to know that if it was a research paper he had released, it would have been something everyone could study. As for an item like a gene reagent, it was something a majority of the people might not even require, especially for the members of the Gene Production Association. What a joke. Were there any gene reagents the Gene Production Association was incapable of producing? Was there a need for them to purchase any gene reagents?

Moreover, gene producers rarely get involved in combat situations. As such, what was the use of those gene reagents for them? Besides, the Gene Production Association was essentially an association that focused on the sale of gene reagents instead of the purchase of gene reagents. As such, they have no need for any gene reagents. What was so special about the gene reagent Chen Feng was selling?

However, these thoughts only remained in their heads for one single hour. When they obtained the details regarding Chen Feng’s gene reagent from the certification center, the whole world stirred.

—-

Name: Heaven-Dazzling Gene Reagent

Difficulty: 5 stars

Class: D

Function: Forcefully increases spiritual energy by 1 point. Also applicable when breaking through one’s limit (the effect will be weakened when used by those above C class). —-

“This…”
“God!”
“How could such a thing exist?”
Countless people were shocked.

Limit breakthrough! For C class! Such a thing actually existed in this world!?

For producers, what was the hardest feat for them? Breaking through! Not only did they need to spend a huge amount of time studying gene production, they also needed to spare some time to increase their strength as well. However, as gene producers were generally without combat power, strength increase was an extremely difficult feat for them. Even more so for limit breakthrough. Such a gene reagent was something whose existence was almost impossible.

There were a huge amount of producers that were stuck as advanced-level producers for their whole lives because they were limited by their class, yet now Chen Feng had casually tossed out a gene reagent… a gene reagent that, interestingly, happened to be a gene reagent capable of breaking one through into C class, the minimum class an advanced producer required to become a master producer.

What did this signify? This signified that those who had been stuck as advanced-level producers for many years could now take this leap forward to become a true master producer! From then on, their identity would be different! From then on, their strength would increase!

An upgrade from advanced producer to master producer was a transformation in the truest sense.

“Such an item…” Everyone’s heart trembled.

The significance of this thing here was far higher to the Gene Production Association compared to those warriors at the Genetic Union. It was very probable that this single gene reagent of Chen Feng’s would bring about a huge upgrade to the strength of the Gene Production Association as a whole.

“Everything is going to change.”
This was what everyone thought.

Chapter 285: The Fourth Gene

The next day, at The Strongest Gene shop in the virtual community, this small shop that had been gradually forgotten by the masses officially began selling the heaven-dazzling gene reagent. The sale was limited to three per day. This was the result of Chen Feng’s consideration after passing the certification for this gene reagent.

Three gene reagents per day might be able to somewhat satisfy the market demand, but surprising everyone, all three sets of this gene reagent were sold at an extremely expensive price. The price sensationalized the whole world.

“This is crazy.”
“This price…”
“It went over ten million just like that?”
Everyone was bewildered. They had never imagined that a gene reagent could reach such a price. However, even at this price, the demand still wildly exceeded the supply for this gene reagent. It was said that all three gene reagents released on that day were purchased by some resellers.

Chen Feng and the heaven-dazzling gene reagent became the two terms that were trending worldwide. The wave that was Chen Feng’s name, which had calmed since the competition back then, was once again raging, his name becoming known worldwide.

However, at this moment where his name seemed to be all the rage, Chen Feng was hiding in seclusion. He had no other choice. The amount of gene reagents he owed others were truly too high in amount. For example, those old brothers that had voted for his proposal at the conference.

Although these people had no use for this gene reagent, it was different for their descendants. That was also the reason they all had come out and voted for Chen Feng’s proposal. After seven whole days in seclusion, Chen Feng finally managed to produce enough of this gene reagent to pay his debts. As of now, the legend of the heaven-dazzling gene reagent started spreading. Along with that, Wu Yaotian became a figure of legends among the masses. Wu Hui was extremely grateful for this. He was aware that this was a gift to him by Chen Feng.

Wu Hui clenched his fists. “Master…”
Surprising everyone, at this moment, an odd piece of news started spreading. It was actually the objection of the Wu family that believed that Chen Feng had stolen Wu Yaotian’s formula.

Ah???

Wu Hui was at a loss.

Wu family? What Wu family? When further investigation was done on this, they found with astonishment that these were the relatives of Wu Hui, the bunch of people that had previously bullied Wu Hui terribly. This bunch of people had appeared.

“These guys…”  Wu Hui’s killing intent surged. These were the same bunch of people that had been causing a disturbance at their family the first instant his father had perished.

“You feel like killing someone?” Chen Feng asked toyingly.

Wu Hui’s gaze was sharp. “Yes!”
Chen Feng smiled calmly. “Go, then. However, before that, there is something that you need to do.”
Wu Hui raised his head blankly. “Ah?”
A sinister smile appeared on Chen Feng’s face. “Something that should have been done long ago…” He was simply filled with anticipation for that thing.

The next day, just as the Wu family’s relatives were raising their objections, outside of everyone’s expectations, a video was released. It was released at the combat forum and had an astonishing title.

“Wu Hui, Son of Wu Yaotian: The Genius Youngster, a True Demonic Murderer!”
What?

Everyone opened the video with curiosity.

What they saw was a seemingly ordinary recording of a battle. However, the instant the video started playing, the intense killing intent from the recorded scene felt like it was leaking out of the video itself. That intense killing intent seemingly condensed in the sky, akin to the arrival of an apocalypse. An  ice-cold  voice  echoed,  “Cosmic  Manifestation,  first form…”
The air trembled. From the horizon, a pitch-black aura gleamed without stop before a terrifying black sword appeared, seemingly piercing through the horizon to descend upon this world from the heavens.

Bang!

The viewers were almost shaken out of the video they were watching.

“I am Wu Hui…”
“I once killed an A class…”
“This is the first form…” “Cosmic   Manifestation,   second   form:   Demonic   Asura Hatchet!”
“I have a hatchet originating from the Asura Domain. Accompanying this hatchet is the power to corrode the universe and the might to crush mountains. Every single slash with this hatchet disintegrates space itself. The instant this Demonic Asura Hatchet is unleashed, it will not return without first tasting blood.”

The indifferent voice echoed.

Every single time Wu Hui moved, heaven and earth trembled.

Second form…
Third form… Every single time he attacked, rivers of blood were created.

Those formidable B-class genetic warriors were killed by him!

Shua!

Light swirled around as the video finally ended.

The bone-piercing chill startled all the viewers awake.

It was also at this instant that they discovered that their backs were already drenched with sweat as of an unknown point in time. Only now did the masses realize that the strongest person in the Wu family was not Wu Yaotian; rather, it was Wu Hui.

The most eye-catching genius of the Wu family was actually this youth. “He’s only 14 years old?”
“Killing an A class at 14 years old?”
Everyone exclaimed in admiration.

That scene with rivers of blood was etched into their brains. Along with the sale of the heaven-dazzling gene reagent, as the popularity of Wu Yaotian peaked, Wu Hui’s appearance created an even bigger uproar.

Henceforth, Wu Hui the Demonic King was known worldwide.

Under Chen Feng’s intentional dissemination, the video of Wu Hui’s battle spread far and wide. Almost everyone formed their impression of him: “Wu Hui is very powerful. Extremely powerful, at least an A-class combatant!”
Wu Hui was extremely nervous. “Master…” “Go.” Chen Feng patted his shoulder. “Now everyone has a preformed impression of you. You can go back without worry now. Wu family, hehe…”
Wu Hui was grateful. “Yes.”
Chen Feng reminded him, “Remember! Don’t tell anyone the truth of your ability. As long as no one knows about it, you are undefeatable! Oh right, remember to record more of your battles. The recordings of those scenes with a terrifying atmosphere can be used to create a virtual video to remind everyone of your strength. Only with this can you become even stronger.”
“All right.”
Wu Hui left.

With the return of this youngster enveloped in the demonic aura of a genius, those clowns at the Wu family would most probably be huddled together while they trembled in fear. Chen Feng stretched lazily. “Finally, I’m done with the busy tasks.”
The Celestial Defense System was already deployed and would be ready in a month. At that time, Star City would finally possess a certain degree of defensive power. Chen Feng did not need to worry about any sudden attacks that would directly destroy Star City anymore. Wu Hui’s affair was settled as well. Next… he could finally proceed with his personal affairs.

Gene fusion!

Chen Feng concentrated his gaze on the C-class gene reagents list.

With his current status, 80% of the database of Star City was available to him. He could easily obtain all the information pertaining to C-class fusion gene reagents.

Wind Blade, Myriad Illusions, Energy Equipment… What should the fourth ability be?

Chen Feng sunk into contemplation.

Due to the existence of his unlimited Wind Blades, his Energy Equipment was extremely formidable. He was currently well equipped for both defense and offense. Apart from that, he also possessed a capability to skip classes and battle those of higher classes to a certain degree.

Based on the difference of their attributes, for him to battle someone of a higher class, the minimum requirement was that the opponent’s power not exceed his power by tenfold.
The tenfold here did not refer to merely ten times his attributes. Rather, it was tenfold his power. For example, if his opponent were using an ability that multiplied his combat power by two, Chen Feng would require a combat power equivalent to a C-class’s power multiplied by 20 in order to contend against this opponent. Chen  Feng  analyzed.  “The  amplification  effect  of  Energy Equipment is 500%… If I use unlimited Wind Blades as the energy supply, I might be able to amplify my power by tenfold. If Myriad Illusionary Wind Blade are used to obtain a property that my opponent is weak against, I might be able to double the effect of my power.”
Based on this calculation, he might have a chance of victory against someone who had newly advanced into B class. Naturally, this would be limited to a B class without any genetic abilities with a power amplification of more than 200%.

As for a veteran B class, he could casually used some genetic abilities with an amplification of 300% or 500% or some random secret art and Chen Feng would be directly defeated.

Skipping classes was simply a feat that would be harder the higher a person’s class was.

Chen Feng rubbed his head. “I am still too weak…” His plan to charge into A class before the Star City battle was somewhat unreliable. Moreover, it was quite probable that the A class that he reached in a rush might not be too formidable combat power-wise due to the haste in his advancement. If that were the case, things would be worse for him. Hence, after thinking about it, Chen Feng decided to put his focus on increasing his actual combat power to A class rather than actually reaching A class. This seemed to be a more rational path for him to take.

However, a casual attack by an A class would be a hundredfold stronger than a regular C class. A regular genetic ability wouldn’t help if he wanted to reach such a level.

He did not possess a unique bloodline like what Wu Hui possessed.

How should he increase his combat power, then? What was the genetic ability capable of this?

Chen Feng started speed-reading the data of countless gene reagents. Wind?

Fire?

Water?

Lighting?

All these properties were capable of bringing a formidable combat power to his Energy Equipment. However, after contemplation, Chen Feng rejected all these, as these were properties that Myriad Illusions would be able to provide him anyway. When Myriad Illusionary Wind Blade was used to assemble Energy Equipment, the Energy Equipment would be of the most optimal property to face the opponent he was facing. That was also the strongest aspect of his Energy Equipment and the basis of Chen Feng’s combat power.

“Filter all property-based amplification genetic abilities.” Shua!

Eighty percent of the list Chen Feng was reading disappeared.

Chen Feng raised his head and focused on the remaining abilities on the list.

Gravity…
Space…
What remained were some formidable and rare abilities.

Naturally, due to the unique usage of these abilities, the combat power of these abilities was somewhat weak compared to a regular property-based ability. There was a gap of at least threefold in combat power. For example, the gravity-controlling ability. When this ability was used by itself, it would only be able to weakly affect gravity. Only when this ability was used as the core with other complementing genetic abilities to form a secret art would it unleash its true power. For a person like Chen Feng who would not be able to use any proper secret arts due to his existing genetic abilities, such genetic abilities weren’t particularly
useful.

Increasing combat power…
Challenging those of higher classes…
Chen Feng skimmed through the list speedily. However, he could not find any genetic abilities he was satisfied with. A vast majority of these abilities required some complementing genetic abilities to unleash their true power.

Suddenly, he blanked.

Wait. To defeat the enemy, increasing his combat power was not the only way to go about it. If he was able to weaken his enemy…

Chapter 286: Nethergaze

Shua!

Once again, Chen Feng concentrated on the data of the C- class fusion gene reagents. Soon, he locked onto a particular gene reagent.

—-

Death Lion Gene Reagent

Class: C

Difficulty: 4 stars

Type: Fusion gene reagent

Effect: Obtain the Nethergaze genetic ability Function: Activates the eye of the netherworld to analyze the rules of the opponent’s energy and seek the opponent’s fatal weak point. If the opponent’s weak point is successfully hit, the user’s power will be amplified tenfold. Depending on the gap between the strength of the user and the opponent, the time taken for the analysis will differ.

Secret art combination: Not yet discovered.

—-

Nethergaze! An extremely powerful genetic ability. This was a different type of ability than Wind Blade, Myriad Illusions, and Energy Equipment, which were all energy-based attacking abilities. Nethergaze was a pure support genetic ability that was able to help one unleash an extremely formidable combat power.

An amplifier of tenfold signified that this ability alone would enable one to challenge an opponent one class higher than the user. This was an extremely powerful support ability. However, the amount of users of this ability was quite low in amount. The reason for this was quite simple: this was an ability without any secret art combinations.

The death lion gene reagent did not work well with other gene reagents.

In other words…
The moment one fused with this genetic ability, they would obtain a lone independent genetic ability that would not work together with one’s other genetic abilities.

One would lose the chance to obtain countless secret arts of one’s class. This would result in the user of this genetic ability having a secret art that would forever be one star lower than the secret arts of others.

For example, at a class where everyone else would possess a 4-star secret art, a user of Nethergaze would only have a 3-star secret art. When others were using 5-star secret arts, the user would only possess a 4-star secret art. This would create a disparity between them. The difference between secret arts with a one-star difference was as wide as the ocean.

Hence, despite how powerful this ability was, the number of users of this ability was extremely low in amount. A vast majority of people were not willing to waste one of their genetic ability slots to obtain a pure support genetic ability that would only work by itself.

However, for Chen Feng, this was the best ability for him, as he was a person who did not require any sort of secret art or gene armament.

“Fatal weak point…”
Chen Feng focused on this ability’s description. Before fusing with this ability, he wanted to see the ability’s actual effect and find out more about the difference in analysis time depending on the gap in strength between the two parties…
Shua! Chen Feng started studying the internal database of Star City.

Shua!

Shua!

Countless data appeared on his screen without stop. This was a special benefit for the excellence award holders. One after another, reports pertaining to this ability appeared.

Shua!

Chen Feng opened these reports.

Hum—
Light swirled around him as Chen Feng entered the virtual video. This was the basic requirement for one who was testing a genetic ability. During the initial test, it would be automatically recorded to help with data gathering and future tests.

In the video, a C-class middle-aged man appeared. In front of him was a C-class android.

Bang!

The battle started.

It could be clearly seen that the middle-aged man was at a disadvantage in this battle. Facing an android with off-the- charts combat power, he was simply powerless.

Right at that instant.

Hum— The middle-aged man’s eyes started glowing a bizarre tint of green.

Nethergaze, activated!

Shua!

The whole world seemingly turned ash-green in color.

Before his eyes was the android whose body was enveloped by a dazzling radiance, which represented the android’s energy. Apart from that, numerous odd lines that were seemingly related to the android could be seen on its body as well.

Hum—
Hum— Amidst the dazzling radiance, the middle-aged man continued the battle. His eyes glowed with a bizarre ash-green glow and locked onto the android.

From the middle-aged man’s point of view, a bizarre ash- green crosshair was locked onto the android. The crosshair was formed of three different halos and could be seen rotating without stop while the android was locked onto.

Finally, the android’s fatal weak point was locked onto.

Shua!

The radiance of the ash-green crosshair intensified.

Now!

Bang! The middle-aged man that had been at a disadvantage all along suddenly erupted and aimed straight at the android’s chest. Toward the initially incomparably solid chest of the android, he unleashed his strongest attack.

Bang!

The terrifying attack erupted in power, and the android started defending itself in a well-practiced manner. Based on the data it had gathered regarding this opponent during the battle, such an attack would not be able to penetrate its defenses.

However…
Bang!

That terrifying attack actually ignored everything and, with tenfold power and eruption, bombarded straight toward the android. The middle-aged man that had initially been somewhat weaker than the android had erupted with an extremely powerful attack, unleashing a power that could even challenge those of a higher class and insta-killed the android.

Shua!

The battle ended.

The scene before Chen Feng returned to reality.

Chen  Feng  was  shaken.  “This  is  the  so-called  fatal  weak point?”
He was sure that, when the android had been locked onto by the ability, all the defensive abilities of the android had still been working normally. However, that attack had still worked against the android. This signified that this ability was not a pure physical attack. Rather, it was an ability that existed outside of the rules, an ability capable of ignoring the rules of nature and ignoring defenses—an extremely terrifying ability!

Naturally, the time required for lockdown and analysis was somewhat long…
Chen Feng played a different video. “How about the others…”
This time, it was the same C-class middle-aged man against a B-class opponent. The time taken for the analysis to complete increased greatly. Three whole minutes were required for the analysis to be completed. After the analysis was done, the middle-aged man erupted with a single powerful attack and injured the B-class enemy.

That’s right, he only successfully injured the enemy. Next, he was defeated by the enemy.

Chen Feng: “…” Due to the fact that this middle-aged man had fused with this genetic ability, his combat power was already comparatively weaker than other C-class warriors, and he still needed to struggle for three whole minutes against a B class before his analysis was completed? If this wasn’t a test, he would have
probably been killed by his enemy.

Apart from that, even if the analysis was completed and tenfold power was unleashed… Mhm…so what?

Therefore, the test concluded that it was a nearly impossible feat for one to use this ability to challenge a person of a higher class.

“The test result is still trustable,” Chen Feng muttered. After he finished studying the data, he was even more resolute in his decision to choose Nethergaze as his ability. The only reason for this was because this ability was simply too compatible with him.

Issues such as weak combat power among those in the same class were nonexistent factors for him. He was sure that he had zero fear against any enemy that was in the same class as him. The only foes he had a problem dealing with presently were those enemies that were way more powerful than him. For this specific issue, Nethergaze would be able to help him accomplish what he wanted.

He was sure that, with his strength, he would not even require a full three minutes to complete the lockdown. Furthermore, this set of data he’d read was only applicable for a regular version of this ability. If the gene reagent was mutated…
Chen Feng’s eyes started shining. He had been saving his luck value for quite a while. This was what he had been waiting for.

Shua!

He took out all the data pertaining to the death lion gene reagent: “Death lion gene reagent is a gene reagent produced from the genes of a terrifying C-class mutated beast called a death lion. This is beast that resides at a unique location known as the Nether Capital, which also happens to be a forbidden area.” “Forbidden area?”
Chen Feng’s heart leaped as he continued reading.

“Nether Capital used to be an extremely popular city. One day, an unforeseen event happened and every single life form there was killed in a single night, turning the city into a ghost town.”
Recommended explorer’s class: ???

Rate of exploration: 5%

Description: An A-class genetic warrior and a huge amount of B-class genetic warriors were deployed here by the Genetic Union in the past. However, due to the permanent corrosive damage dealt to their body when they stepped into this area, only 5% of the area was explored before those genetic warriors left hastily. From then onward, this became a forbidden area none dared to enter. With the passing of time, some unique mutated beasts possessing bizarre genetic abilities were birthed here. Occasionally, some of these beasts would wander out of this area, giving people the chance to capture them. One such mutated beast is the death lion.

“In conclusion… there’s no need to enter. I only need to wander outside this area and there will be a chance of me capturing a death lion?”
Chen Feng was tempted.

Chapter 287: Have You Seen Those…

Nether Capital. This was quite a peculiar place. When Chen Feng reached the area near this place on an Ironcloud, what entered his sight was a city enveloped by dark clouds. With the dark smog obscuring the city, nothing could be seen clearly. This was the so-called Nether Capital.

Chen Feng narrowed his eyes. “This feeling…”
The nearer he got to Nether Capital, the more intense that bizarre chill he was feeling became. That sinister feeling where his back chilled caused him to shudder uncontrollably. Pervading this place was a certain mysterious power. Such a power capable of causing A-class warriors to retreat was definitely not simple.

Shua!

His Luck Aura surveillance system was fully activated. Based on the information he had read, there would be one or two death lions wandering out here every time a certain interval of time had passed. They would wander around outside of the Nether Capital for a short period of time before returning back to where they came from. This window of time where death lions would wander out was what Chen Feng was waiting for.

Surprisingly, though, even after two full days of waiting here, Chen Feng had yet to see any life forms appearing.

“Something is not right…”
Chen Feng started flipping through the data he had.

In the past, the frequency of the death lion’s appearance was eight hours per appearance at maximum.

Chen   Feng’s   heart   throbbed.   “Something   must   have happened!”
If a death lion never appear, he would most probably be forced to enter the Nether Capital for real. However, this city in front of him was different from the ice river or the frozen sea he had been to previously. At those places, the option to try evading any danger he encountered was available. But here, it was too dangerous. The only reason the frozen sea had remained an untamed region in the past was due to the unique seawater there. As long as he avoided the seawater, that place in itself wasn’t a particularly dangerous place. But here… this
was truly a dangerous place. A ghost town enveloped by a
sinister aura? Nobody would be able to predict what was going to happen in there.

Chen Feng started approaching the Nether Capital cautiously. “Let’s just go take a look first.”
Just as he was around 5 km away from the Nether Capital, the temperature around him dropped to the freezing point. The visibility dropped without stop as well, and a sense of chill enveloped him.

Hum—
Chen Feng started releasing some energy to defend himself against this. “A huge amount of bizarre energy is contained within the air around here. The energy in the air here is also somewhat corrosive in nature. As for other characteristics of the energy, they are currently unknown…”
Chen Feng started analyzing the energy contained in the air around him based on the damage the energy was doing to the defensive layer of energy he had released. The nearer he got to the Nether Capital, the faster his energy was exhausted. Fortunately, Chen Feng was already a C-class warrior now. As such, such a level of exhaustion was still acceptable for him.

Chen  Feng  pondered.  “Before  truly  entering  the  Nether Capital, I should be able to maintain a balance between energy exhaustion and regeneration.”
However, when he was 1 km away from the Nether Capital, his Luck Aura – Alarm triggered.

Danger!

Chen Feng retreated without hesitation. Shua!

He retreated rapidly. In the darkness, two pitch-black silhouettes flashed past. At this instant, intense killing intent could be felt. B class! Both of the silhouettes were B class! This confirmed that mutated beasts indeed existed here. Chen Feng retreated without stop for a distance of 1 km. He only stopped when his Luck Aura – Alarm stopped blazing.

Chen Feng frowned. They actually chased after me for such a long distance…

With his current strength, the most he could accomplish was maintain a balance between energy exhaustion and energy recovery to defend against the corrosive energy lingering in the air around him. In other words, he would not be able to regenerate any other excess energy usage. The moment he started battling a mutated beast here, things would look grim for him.

Chen  Feng  planned.  “Seems  like  I  have  to  prepare  some recovery gene reagents.” After this single trip, he gained a rough understanding of this place. Even if he was only here to capture a single death lion, he would still have to prepare a huge amount of recovery gene reagents. Even with that, he would most probably fail to achieve his objective alone.

Granted, the death lion was merely a C-class mutated beast. However, there was a possibility that a B-class mutated beast might be wandering around this place at any given moment. For example: the two black silhouettes that had been chasing after him earlier.

Chen Feng rubbed his somewhat aching head. “It is still too difficult for me to deal with B class presently…”
His initial plan had been to sneak in quietly and focus on killing a single death lion noiselessly before leaving after extracting the blood essence of the death lion, but now it seemed that this plan would not work. It was too dangerous to hire outsiders for this. This was especially true for the present him with his unique identity. The people who were waiting for an opportunity to kidnap him would probably be quite high in amount. Since that was the case, he could only look for some trustworthy people for help, then. Besides that, the bizarre environment of this place was also something a vast majority of people couldn’t deal with
anyway.

Shua!

Chen Feng released a mission that was only limited to those in his contacts list.

—-

Target: Nether Capital Reward: Heaven-dazzling gene reagent

Description: The environment here is somewhat unique, as the air contains a corrosive energy. Please consider this carefully before accepting…
—-

Ding!

Ding!

Shortly after, Chen Feng started receiving feedback for his issued mission.

Chen Feng was astonished to find that the person who had accepted his mission was Xu Fei.

Chen Feng was confused. This guy… 
A screen popped out.

“Do you not know how valuable a single heaven-dazzling gene reagent is nowadays? Hehe… a mere death lion, isn’t it something I can capture with a wave of my hand? After obtaining the heaven-dazzling gene reagent, even if I’m not using it myself, I can still sell it off.” Xu Fei proudly continued, “With my current body that can resist even the seawater of the frozen sea, mere corrosive energy in the air is nothing to me.”
Chen Feng was startled as he realized that. True. He had almost forgotten that this guy’s body had been reconstructed previously. An environment that was hard to deal with for others would pose no difficulty to Xu Fei. This was a guy with a built-in “aura of immunity.” Perhaps he could truly help in this mission.

“All right.”
Chen Feng approved Xu Fei’s application. 
“Wang Chun?!”
Chen Feng was dumbstruck. This guy wanted to join as well? The hell! He was looking for helpers! Not looking for some “bosses” to join his mission!

Granted, Wang Chun’s character was something Chen Feng approved of. His strength wasn’t too shabby either. However, with this guy around, Chen Feng would always have the feeling that the roles were swapped, with him becoming the bodyguard instead! This guy’s combat power wasn’t particularly dependable, as far as Chen Feng was concerned!

Wang Chun’s wan-looking face appeared on his screen. “It has been a while.” The current Wang Chun was giving off the feeling of a person who’d had all his energy sucked out of him.

Chen Feng looked at him with a knowing look. “Have you been…”  Had  this  guy  activated  the  harem  function  of  his Crystal Palace ability? How many days had it been since Chen such an extent.

Seemed like the Shen Wei siblings possessed quite a formidable “combat power”…
“Cough cough.” Wang Chun coughed before replying with a pale complexion, “The main reason for this is the appearance of a third person.”
Oh?

Chen Feng’s heart thumped.

Third person! Apart from the Shen Wei siblings, a third person had appeared?

“At a place with an environment like the Nether Capital, she would be like a fish back in water. Her combat power will reach peak B class there.” Wang Chun sighed with a bitter smile on his face. “If you are truly only hunting for a death lion and you are agreeable with us joining, can you give me the reward in advance?”
“All right,” Chen Feng agreed.

Wang Chun’s third summon?

He was somewhat looking forward to meeting her. If she was truly as powerful as Wang Chun’s description, this trip of his might be easier. As they needed time to prepare for the trip to the Nether Capital, Chen Feng set the mission date to three days later. During the three days, Chen Feng produced numerous recovery gene reagents as preparation for the trip. As for the heaven dazzling gene reagents, he had already sent them over to Xu Fei and Wang Chun so they could increase their combat power before setting off on the mission.

As long as they prepared sufficiently, this mission should be quite simple. After three days, they gathered near the Nether Capital. After a period of time of not seeing Xu Fei, it seemed like some short hairs were sprouting out of Xu Fei’s bald head once again. From its appearance, he would most probably regain his hair after a period of time.

Chen Feng smiled.”Your hair is growing quite fast, eh?”
Xu Fei laughed proudly. “Hehe.”
Soon, Wang Chun, with the appearance of a person completely exhausted of energy, appeared with the Shen Wei siblings. Next, Xu Fei and Wang Chun’s group were formally introduced to each other.

Comics… are truly powerful! Xu Fei lamented. No wonder he found the girls familiar when he saw them. Xu Fei exclaimed in admiration, “If you girls are from The Crystal Palace… I think it is a comic I have seen before as well. You girls are super popular!”

Shen Yi smiled happily. “Thanks.” Xu Fei was curious. “You girls have actually read your own comic as well?”
“Naturally.” Shen Yi smiled embarrassingly before continuing, “That was quite a peculiar experience.”
“Oh  oh  oh  oh.  Actually,  I  have  a  question.”   With  an inquisitive expression on his face, Xu Fei asked, “Have you girls seen any of your adult fan fictions?”
Shua!

Instantly, everyone sunk into silence.

Chapter 288: Demonic Girl

Bang!

A violent clump of flame was ignited. Accompanied by a miserable shout, that little amount of newly grown hair on Xu Fei’s head was burnt clean and once again. His head became the shiny bald head it had been in the past.

Shen Wei snorted before stopped her flame. “Hmph.”
Chen Feng: “…”
Wang Chun: “…”
They stared at Xu Fei, sympathy in their eyes. Fan fiction was usually something resulting from some comic, and a huge amount of the content was XXX rated… Wasn’t Xu Fei courting death by asking this question? “Clean those up for me when we return.” Shen Wei stared at Wang Chun coldly and continued, “Anyone who still dares to wantonly draw such fan fiction, kill without mercy!”
Wang Chun wiped his cold sweat. “Yes, yes.”
“My hair…” Xu Fei did not even have the tears to cry. He had truly only been curious, that was why he had asked that question!

Just as he was feeling all gloomy, an intoxicating and alluring voice drifted into his ears. “Ah, young brother, have you seen my fan fiction? I’m referring to those embarrassing fan fictions, yo…” The soft voice echoed by his ears.

Xu Fei raised his head abruptly.

Before him, an astonishingly beautiful young lady appeared. Her beauty was absolutely not below the Shen Wei siblings. What caused one’s blood to pump was the pitifully little amount of clothing she wore. On her body, there were only several pieces of clothes, which were only sufficient to cover the important parts of her body… That alluring odor she had… and that intoxicating expression on her face…
Her body started pressing near to Xu Fei, to the point that her body was almost pasted to Xu Fei’s body. However, for an unknown reason, Xu Fei’s body chilled.

This feeling… this tone of voice…

Xu Fei was startled. “It’s you!”
The demonic girl: Ming Yue!

A supervillain in The Crystal Palace!

Shua!

All the pores on Xu Fei’s body shuddered as he retreated rapidly and alarmingly stared at her. “Keh, how boring.” Ming Yue curled her lips before settling her body down.

Only now did Xu Fei notice that, since an unknown point of time, the Shen Wei siblings had been fully armed and was staring at her on full alert. That was quite reasonable, since in the comic, they were archenemies!

Shen Wei sneered. “Why have you come out again?”
“Teehee, why can’t I come out?”  Ming Yue beamed as she rested her right hand on Wang Chun’s body. “Am I right, my little master?”
Wang Chun started perspiring.

Ming Yue…

Chen Feng contemplated. Was this the third character summoned by Wang Chun? Wait. From what Chen Feng remembered, shouldn’t the character summoned be a person he was thinking of summoning in his heart? He had originally believed that Wang Chun would continue summoning the girls of the Shen family.
Surprisingly, this brother here had quite a huge capacity for love and had directly summoned the supervillain of the comic. Moreover, out of all the villains, this demonic girl was the person he had summoned. Chen Feng remembered that, in the comic, this chick here was an omnipotent existence, capable of destroying everything…
Chen Feng gave Wang Chun a thumbs up. “You are a true man.”
“It was an accident, an accident.”  Wang Chun had a bitter expression on his face. When he had been performing his summoning, he had been planning to summon the other member of the Shen Wei siblings. For an unknown reason, he had ended up summoning Ming Yue instead!

Moreover, he had never expected the summon to be successful! She was a supervillain! Her combat power surpassed everything in the comic! A character at such a level wasn’t something he should have been able to summon with his present strength! Surprisingly, the thought of summoning her had only drifted past his brain briefly, and behold, the summon had succeeded!

Even if her actual power here in the real world was limited due to Wang Chun’s strength, she was still extremely powerful. Because of this, he had gotten the silent treatment from the Shen Wei siblings for several days. He no longer had the courage to keep them inside the comic either. Every single day, they were released outside and were served like queens with good food and drinks. Who knew that…
“That was because our hearts are truly interlinked together, yo.” Ming Yue embraced Wang Chun and continued happily, “Although theoretically, he isn’t supposed to be able to summon me, if I am agreeable to being summoned out here, a small ounce of effort on his part is sufficient for me to be summoned. Am I right, my beloved little master?”
Ming Yue stared at Wang Chun while beaming.

Wang Chun was ashen faced. 
They were mortal enemies in the comic. For them to not erupt in a battle right here, they were already giving Wang Chun sufficient face.

Wang Chun smiled bitterly. “You… what is it that you want, exactly…”
“What I want is very simple.”  In a cheerful manner, Ming Yue continued, “Find the author of this comic and get him to draw more underlings for me in the comic. On top of that, I want the women of the Shen family to all be locked in a cage and drowned, to be gang-raped to the point even their souls will eternally be unable to reincarnate.”
Wang Chun: “…” 
Damn, this chick is quite vicious.

Chen Feng and Xu Fei exchanged glances before looking at Wang Chun with sympathy. There were indeed times where a harem was not such a fun thing to have. Xu Fei rubbed his bald head and suddenly felt that his fate of being bald once again wasn’t that pitiful after all.
Wang Chun smiled bitterly. “Big sister, this is not possible. The moment I decided to use this comic as my core genetic ability, this version of the comic I used became independent from the rest of the comics in circulation. In other words, from that moment onward, the world in my copy of the comic has developed independently and is no longer be related to the author. This is my very own world, and it is also your very own world. The moment my ability activated, everything online, everything written or drawn by the author, everything else no longer affected all of you,” Wang Chun stated honestly. “Oh… yeah… I have a question. How did you come out here?” Wang Chun asked cautiously.

As their master, the only authority he had was to decide if he wanted to have a character summoned out into this world. This was also the only advantage he held over them. Surprisingly, Ming Yue was able to appear here directly without being summoned. He swore that he truly hadn’t thought of anything improper earlier when she’d gotten out here. That was genuinely the truth!

“It’s very simple.”  Ming Yue looked in the Nether Capital’s direction. “There…  I felt a familiar power. There, something seems to be calling for me,” Ming Yue muttered.

Hiss—
Everyone else’s heart throbbed violently. Ming Yue was the tyrant of the Nether World of the world in the comic. What on earth had happened here at this Nether Capital such that even Ming Yue could feel that source of power? As they thought of the disappearing death lions and the irregular smog that had appeared here recently, something seemed to be happening at this Nether Capital, hidden in the darkness.

Xu Fei looked at Chen Feng. “Should we… cancel this mission?”
He was immune to any corrosive energy, and Wang Chun had the protection of Ming Yue and was even more powerful here. When they thought about it, among the three of them, in this place, Chen Feng would be the weakest! Such a circumstance that had appeared due to the unique environment here was something they couldn’t do anything about.

Chen Feng’s gaze was resolute. “We will still be going.”
The death lion gene reagent was something he had to obtain. All this while, he had faced way too many dangers. How could a mere Nether Capital force him to stop? Shen Wei stepped forth. “Let me protect him.”
Shua!

Her flame started surging.

A trace of a unique power was contained in the faint glimmer of the flame summoned by Shen Wei. This was the power of justice unique to Shen Wei, a mysterious power originating from a different world.

Hum—
The flame intensified and dispersed all the corrosive energy around them.

“If we are only going to step into the 5% explored by the seniors before us, there shouldn’t be any problems, since we have the map provided by the Genetic Union. We should be able  to  find  those  death  lions  there  as  well,” Chen  Feng analyzed.

Wang Chun urged him on. “If there’s no problems, let’s depart quickly, then.”  He couldn’t continue this way. He was truly going crazy.

“All right.”
Chen Feng glanced at Ming Yue before they set off with Nether Capital as their destination.

Shua!

Their figures stepped into the sinister smog noiselessly. Chen Feng and the rest had solemn expressions on their faces. The only exception was Ming Yue as she spread her arms, an obviously comfortable expression on her face as she stepped into the smog. This feeling… how familiar…

Chapter 289: The Forbidden Skill of Immortality

Nether Capital. This was a mysterious place. With Shen Wei’s protection, they were able to easily enter the Nether Capital. The air filled with corrosive energy was kept away from them by Shen Wei’s aura.

The smog seemed to cover everything. Chen Feng cautiously traveled forth in accordance to his map. This was the map sketched by the Genetic Union when they had first come here. Only 5% of this area was shown on the map. They pressed forth cautiously as their progress increased.

One percent…
Two percent…
Finally, they stopped when they had explored 4.8% of the area. Chen Feng’s heart leaped furiously. “Something doesn’t seem right.”
That was because, up till now, they had yet to see a single mutated beast. This was the most terrifying aspect of their current exploration. Where were the mutated beasts he had encountered when he’d first come here several days before? Where were the two B-class mutated beasts from before? Where were the promised death lions?

No mutated beasts could be found even when they were reaching the limit of the 5% explored area.

Shua!

They continued traveling until, finally, all the 5% area had been explored by them. Here, they finally found out the reason the Genetic Union had stopped their exploration at this point in the past.

That was because the dividing line for the region outside the explored 5% was a city. Before their eyes, amidst the boundless smog, was a genuine city.

Nether Capital…

Chen Feng sunk into a solemn mood.

Indeed…

Although where they were currently at was also called the Nether Capital, they were actually at the outer layer of the actual city called the Nether Capital. Only now had they reached the actual city.

Nether Capital, the ghost town in the legends.

Hum—
A sinister aura started spreading. This city in front of them started giving them a terrifying feeling that caused their backs to chill.

Chen Feng decided without hesitation. “Retreat!”
He was extremely clear on his target and risk appetite. He had initially believed that hunting for death lions would be a low-risk endeavor. That was the only reason he had decided to come with some of his friends. But now that the degree of danger here had far surpassed his imagination, there was no need for him to take extra risks. The most proper way for him to go about accomplishing his goal was to return and hire some formidable A-class experts. As far as he was concerned, the danger of being betrayed by any unknown A-class experts he hired was already surpassed by the danger this Nether Capital could potentially pose them.

Shua!

They retreated rapidly. However, right at this moment, a terrifying explosion resounded. Bang!

Distantly, a loud explosion could be heard. Due to the thick smog, they could not see what was happening. However, a certain dim radiance that they could see amidst the thick smog had seemingly been stepped on and killed. Everyone could clearly see a huge footprint with a size of 100 square meters left on the ground. A certain terrifying and gigantic life form seemed to have stepped there.

Bang!

Bang!

Accompanied by thundering sounds, footprints started appearing on the ground, seemingly traveling in their direction.

They could not see anything. However, the huge footprints left on the ground with a dim glow could still be seen… Enemy attack! Toward their direction!

They gulped. “Damn it.”
They had obviously explored all of the 5% area indicated in their map and no mutated beasts had been found. What was this thing that had suddenly appeared here?

Wang Chun looked at the beautiful young lady beside him. “Shen Yi.”
Hum—
Shen Yi’s eyes started glowing.

Shua!

The smog covering everything seemed to vanish at this instant. At this moment, everyone could clearly see that the life form leaving the gigantic footprints on the ground was a huge skeleton with a height of several tens of meters.

Everyone inhaled a mouthful of cold air. “Hiss—”
It was actually a gigantic skeleton beast.

Wang Chun saw a familiar-looking thing. “Look at his body!”
Death lion!

Chen Feng’s heart leaped.

That huge skeleton seemed to be something formed of countless sets of bones. On its body were countless corpses with no flesh remaining.

No wonder they hadn’t seen any mutated beasts… All of them had been killed by this damnable skeleton here! Shua!

Shen Yi’s body swayed, and the smog surged forth, covering everything once again.

Shen Yi felt somewhat regretful. “That’s the most we can see.”
Bang!

Bang!

The loud sound of footsteps could still be heard. Amidst the smog that covered everything, those footprints with a faint glow could be clearly seen. The footprints were nearing them. Despite the huge distance between them and the gigantic skeleton, they were still able to guess the strength of that beast.

A class! To be accurate, its strength was at least A class! A huge skeleton beast formed through countless corpses of B- class mutated beasts was not something they could contend against.

Bang!

The huge footprints continued nearing them.

They exchanged glances and decided that the only thing they could do was turn around and travel in a different direction, stepping into the city enveloped by smog. However, they did not travel too far into the city. Rather, they lingered around the entrance.

Bang!

Bang!

They watched on as that huge mutated beast neared them. However, right as the beast neared the city, it started hesitating. After a while, shocking all of them, it turned around and left.

“It left,” Wang Chun muttered. No trace of joy could be heard from his voice, though.

Capable of scaring away such a beast, this place…
Chen Feng intended to leave here as fast as he could. “Let’s go.”
However.

Clang!

Accompanied by a loud sound, the entrance closed, sealing the Nether Capital.

Wang Chun’s eyes gleamed coldly. “We can’t leave anymore.” Seems like somebody wants us to be in here… Chen Feng thought knowingly.

The death of the death lions, the appearance of the gigantic skeleton beast, the closure of the city’s entrance… all of this seemed to signify that there were indeed some life forms in this city. Somewhere here was definitely an intelligent life form. However, they had no idea what the intention of this life form was.

“Be extra careful,” Chen Feng said.

Wang Chun and Xu Fei nodded. “Understood.”
The Shen Wei siblings were highly vigilant as well. Only Lady Ming Yue was behaving differently, as if she was taking a casual stroll here.

Chen Feng scanned past the structures inside the city. “These constructions…” An ancient gate built with a simple architecture. The streets, the tavern, everything in this city seemed ancient.

The destruction of this city should have taken place several hundred years ago. Only that could explain the architecture here in this city that still preserved the style of ancient times, free of any traces of the genetic era.
At the entrance were numerous carts lacking the horses that were supposed to be pulling them. Chen Feng stepped forth and rubbed one of them. His expected scene of these carts crumbling apart into ashes did not appear. This did not seem in line with what should have happened with the passage of time. Not only that, these carts were all still in good condition, retaining the simplicity of the ancient era’s design. This did not only apply to these carts. Everything in this city that Chen Feng could see was still in good condition.

This was simply unlike a city that had been abandoned for several centuries. Everything in this city seemed to have been fixed in time since the incident where everyone here died.

“There’s some death aura,” Shen Yi said suddenly. Chen Feng looked at her. “What?”
“Death aura, a unique aura that also exists in my world. I don’t know what it is called here in this world. It’s also something that is quite difficult to describe… It’s a power capable of reviving the dead,” Shen Yi said.

Could it be…
Chen Feng and Xu Fei exchanged glances. The necromancy mentioned in the legends? As the genetic era had descended, as the people’s strength had increased, a lot of researches of eternal life had started cropping up. All sorts of gene fusions and peculiar genetic abilities had appeared due to that…
Among these abilities, necromancy was one of them, also the one rumored to be most likely to help one achieve immortality.

This was an ability formed from the combination of several powerful genetic abilities that had zero combat power. The people that chose this path were destined to have no combat power. Only when they reached the peak of their chosen path would they be able to fuse all their chosen genetic abilities to create a superpowerful secret art known as necromancy!

This was an ability capable of preserving everything in its original appearance, such as a human’s appearance, their bodily functions, and even the appearance of matter itself.

For unknown reasons, the research on necromancy had suddenly been announced as a failure one day. Everyone in the research laboratory had been killed and their research materials had vanished. From then on, necromancy had become something that only existed in legends.

Here, as Chen Feng looked at everything in this city that still had its original appearance, shock flickered in his eyes. Could it be that the legendary power of necromancy had actually been successfully researched?

Shua!

They exchanged glances, disbelief apparent in their eyes. If that was the case… something major was probably going to happen!

Just as they were in the midst of bewilderment, abruptly, faint footsteps could be heard. Their expressions changed greatly and they were immediately on full alert as their killing intent surged.

Creak—
The door of a building beside them opened suddenly.

A young man with the appearance of a 20-year-old walked out of the building and looked at Chen Feng’s group with amazement. “Yo, dear customers, you are all quite early, ay? From how you all are dressed, you are all probably from the Western Regions?”
What? Chen Feng blanked.

At this moment, accompanied by numerous footsteps, countless people appeared and flooded this city. They started going about their daily life.

Market… butcher… tavern… the whole city had seemingly come alive at this instant.

What they witnessed was a bustling city. The ghost town they had seen earlier felt like a dream. Here, as they stared at this city that had come alive, their bodies chilled. What on earth was happening in this city, this so-called Nether Capital?

Chapter 290: Safe Haven

The tavern waiter appeared excited. “Haha, dear customers, you are all too early. From how you are all dressed, you all aren’t locals, right?”
“Yeah.” Chen Feng nodded as he feigned a casual expression on his face before asking, “It seems like I wasn’t able to see anyone in this city earlier?”
“Sigh,  it’s  the  night  curfew.”  The  waiter  curled  his  lips. “Apparently there were some escaped convicts. The authorities are still on the hunt for them.”
“Oh.” Chen Feng put on the expression of someone who had learned something new, pretending to accept this explanation.

“Please be seated.”
The waiter arranged a table for Chen Feng’s group. After taking their orders and some idle chat, the waiter left, leaving Chen Feng’s group that was exchanging glances with each other behind.

Regardless of this tavern or this whole city, everything here was too bizarre!

Chen Feng looked at Shen Yi. “Is this an illusion?”
“Nope.”  Shen Yi’s eyes were glowing. She could easily see through all illusions. Everything here seemed incomparably real and did not appear like an illusion at all. Everything they were witnessing was real! The whole city and the residents here were real!

“Perhaps this is an independent place that exists beyond the influence of the outside world?” Wang Chun said with astonishment. In this world, such a place truly existed?

Perhaps due to the chaos and disorder back then, these people had escaped and come here. Subsequently, they had gotten some super expert to set up some array to cut off all contact with the outside world and create such a safe haven here? This was possible, right?

But then… several centuries had passed. This place shouldn’t have maintained its original appearance from back then, right? There was also the death aura that Shen Yi had mentioned previously…
This whole city seemed to be enveloped in mystery.

“Let’s take a stroll around,” Chen Feng proposed.

“All right,” everyone agreed.

They left the tavern and walked toward the street. The streets that had appeared lifeless now had a flourishing appearance. At this instant, they almost felt like they had returned to ancient times. Everywhere, there were people buying and selling, some of them haggling over the price, while some started fighting due to disagreement…
The whole city appeared alive.

“All this is real.” Shen Yi was certain.

Everyone else nodded. None of this was fake.

“Let’s try interacting more with the people here,” Chen Feng suggested.

“All right.”
They tried interacting with the people here.

If everything here was truly fake or a setup, it would be impossible for the interactions between these residents and Chen Feng’s group to hide it flawlessly. However, when they tried interacting with the people here, no problems could be found.

This was not some setup by an artificial intelligence. All of this was real. It reached a point where, after they asked a bunch of nonsensical questions, they were reported to the authorities. Next, the authorities dispatched someone over to arrest them. They were only able to go free thanks to Xu Fei.

“Nice to meet you, Great Master.”
These people here appeared rather respectful of the bald Xu Fei and the faint traces of scars on his head that resembled a monk. That was not all; there were some who took the initiative to look for Xu Fei, hoping that he would help them with their eye-opening ceremony.

“Everything here is real.”
Even Shen Wei ultimately believed that everything here was real. This was because she had earlier gotten into a fight and the injury that she had received was real.

If all this had been fake, the only method of implementing it to such perfection was to use illusions. However, the existence of an illusion capable of fooling all of them, including the Shen Yi from a different world, was impossible. Chen Feng had even used his Luck Aura to confirm that this was not an illusion.

This was the Nether Capital, the actual Nether Capital concealed within the thick smog surrounding it.

No one had ever expected that hidden within this thick smog was an independent city that still retained its looks from ancient times.

“These people have been staying here for several centuries?” Chen Feng contemplated.

Suddenly, he looked toward the end of the street. Some merchants on their carts were trying to leave the city. However, they were stopped by the soldiers stationed there. “Nobody is allowed to leave?”  Chen Feng asked a passerby near him.

The person shook his head as he explained, “Not for a few days. These few days, there were some escaped convicts. The authority is hunting for them. As such, only entry into the city is permitted. Moreover, a night curfew has also been implemented.”
Chen Feng contemplated, “If so, all these people will be allowed to leave on normal days?”
“Naturally,” the person answered with an odd expression.

“Many thanks.”
They bid the people there farewell before leaving, their brains working overtime. So the people here were allowed to leave the city normally? But out there was a huge skeleton beast! Besides that…what was the point of leaving and going out there where everything was dead? “That huge skeleton beast seems to be something that only appeared recently…”  Wang Chun said suddenly. “The death lions only started disappearing recently as well. That is the only reason we actually got into this city. Under normal circumstances, there simply would have been no need for us to venture into the smog to reach this city. As for the merchants that are allowed to leave this city on other days… is it possible that more than one city exists here?” Wang Chun finished with a solemn expression.

“You mean…”
Everyone’s heart throbbed furiously. More than one city? In other words, a second or even a third city might exist here! As for those merchants, they were in charge of the commercial trade between these cities to ensure the smooth operation of these cities. Apart from that, those merchants might be the true guardians of this place.

“If this is something put in place by some super expert back then… it is possible that they left behind descendants that will also be in charge of maintaining the hermit nature of the cities around here,” Wang Chun stated calmly. Everyone sank into contemplation.

If this was the truth, then everything would be explainable.

A few hundred years ago, a calamity had befallen the Nether Capital. Next, an expert had appeared and established this independently existing series of cities as safe havens. An array had been set up to stop outsiders from coming here and the power of necromancy had been used to preserve everything here in good condition. On top of that, the truth had been concealed from the residents here to allow them to maintain their simple lifestyles.

The descendants of that expert had continued guarding this place in the dark. Only until recently, though, due to the appearance of that huge skeleton beast. “Hunting escaped convicts”  was being used as an excuse to place a temporary lockdown on the Nether Capital.

“If that is the case… we only need to wait for the huge skeleton beast to disappear, and all will be fine.” Xu Fei’s eyes shone. Their mission was only to capture a single death lion. As long as the giant skeleton beast disappeared and everything went back to how it had been, there would no longer be any problems.

Their mission did not seem to conflict with the intention of this city’s establishment. As for what had happened here in the past? They had no interest in finding out.

Anything pertaining to the setup of an eternally existing array would touch on a subject of research that was forbidden. With their present strength, if they were to get involved in such things, it was very probable they would die horribly.

Since the Nether Capital was on lockdown and they had no way of leaving, they could only settle down and wait quietly.

However, due to Xu Fei’s identity as a “senior monk” in the eyes of the residents here, they enjoyed free food and drinks from the residents. The only thing the residents here would ask in return was that Xu Fei assist with some eye-opening ceremonies. Soon, night arrived. The whole city recovered its dead atmosphere. It was scarily silent.

Chen Feng’s group was feeling extremely stifled in their windowless room in the tavern. As such, they decided to take a stroll through the streets. There was nobody out at night anyway. As for the so-called escaped convicts… none of them could be seen.

“The  night  curfew  was  probably  implemented  due  to  the smog here being too thick at night. It might end up hurting the residents here. As such, the guardians of this place created some random excuse to implement the curfew. However, the smog here has no effect on us,” Shen Wei said.

“Mhm.”
Everyone nodded. Since that was the case, they might as well start training out here. Their plan was quite simple. When everything returned to how it had been, they would proceed to hunt a death lion before leaving in secret. This would not affect the stability of this place. The night passed quietly.

The sky brightened gradually, and the city started coming alive again. Chen Feng’s group proceeded to return to the tavern. At the entrance, the waiter that was coming out of the tavern looked at them in astonishment and said, “Yo, dear customers, you are all quite early, ay? From how you all are dressed, you are all probably from the Western Regions?”
???

As Chen Feng’s group looked at the waiter’s expression, which did not seem to recognize them, their bodies chilled.

This place…

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