A portal split in the air directly in front of a cave. Three people stepped through. If anyone else had been present, they would have seen three cloaked figures. Their auras would have been difficult for anyone on this planet to contemplate. A little bit of pressure given off by any of these three would have brought the strongest mortal cultivator to their knees. They gave off a feeling of refinement and purity, like angels that had descended from heaven. Their clothing even looked different, made from an indeterminable substance that radiated profound energy.
If someone looked into their hoods, they’d see two men and one woman, all immaculate beauties. Their skin was fair, and their eyes glowed with a blue light that made them look like celestials. Of course, that was because they were. These people did not belong on this planet, and if their auras didn’t give anything away, their immediate looks of disdain did. They looked around the area with disgust, their noses held high. This was a world that was clearly beneath them.
The portal behind them closed with a snap. If one was of a high enough cultivation, they would see that this portal was vastly inferior to the one that Midnight created only a few years prior. Where hers looked like a clean cut through space, allowing one to see the other side clearly, this one was foggy. Furthermore, the men and woman were visibly disturbed after passing through. They had to stabilize their auras immediately after crossing that space. This was a minor thing for cultivators of their level but if a mortal cultivator had tried to pass that portal, only death would be the result.
“This is it?” One of the men asked, his voice sounding clean like a chime. “This is the cave she told us about, right Di Qi?”
“The Midnight Queen resides inside. I can faintly feel her aura. She hid well. But not well enough.” The woman said sniffing.
Di Qi personally had a great deal of hatred for the woman named Midnight Queen. She was a beauty herself, so naturally, she felt a competition from the woman called the most beautiful in all the realms. That woman had also embarrassed her household and shamed her brother. If Tigra, the Midnight Queen, died a thousand deaths, it wouldn’t be enough to clean the stain she left on the Profound Templar Realm.
This was exactly the reason Di Qi had volunteered for this mission in the first place. The Oracle had seen Tigra weak and vulnerable and gave the location of this planet. Like that, the realm sent these three assassins to end Tigra’s life once and for all. Of all the realms, only the Profound Templars had access to an Oracle powerful enough to find her. However, finding her and defeating her were two different things, and Tigra had always destroyed any previous assassination attempt with the wave of her hand. However, this day was going to be different.
The Oracle’s visions were never clear, but they were never wrong. At the moment, Tigra’s body was disabled. She was currently reduced to the mortal purification realm. To a heavenly cultivator, even babies were born purified, which meant that in her mind, Tigra was weaker than a baby! As to what horrific event weakened her to this state, the Oracle could not see. It was for that reason that only these three came. Whatever harmed her could wipe them out. There was also a chance Tigra had sent the Oracle fake messages to trap them. It shouldn’t be possible, but when dealing with the Midnight Queen, anything was possible.
These were the risks these three brave souls had to undertake. If they succeeded, they’d be heroes of the realm. If they managed to acquire the heavenly items on her person, the gains it gave them and their realm would propel them to the top. They may even become an immortal realm! This temptation was too much for any heavenly cultivator.
“This place smells rancid.” One of the men growled. “How could a beauty degrade herself in such a place?”
“Hmph!” Di Qi shot him a hateful look.
After all, she was a beauty and she was here on this wretched planet, the lowest one imaginable. The man shrugged, giving her an innocent look.
“She’s hiding her essence well, but I am certain she is in this cave.” The third man ignored their bickering while holding a device that amplified his spiritual energy perception.
“Let’s go end this now-“ Di Qi started.
The sound of a nearby branch breaking caused the three to spin. These were all very skilled cultivators though, and although they had prepared numerous horrific spells to annihilate a target at a moment’s notice, they were not in jeopardy of releasing it accidentally. There was a squeak behind a tree, and the three locked onto the life sign hidden there. The person hiding had spiritual energy, but not much. To be found so easily, they had to be an amateur.
“You… behind the tree… reveal yourself!” One of the men announced, his eyes glowing with profound power.
The small form slowly stepped out from behind the tree. It was a little girl, no older than five. She was visibly shaking and holding herself. Her eyes went back and forth between the three cloaked figures. When they landed on Di Qi, the little girl gasped and covered her mouth.
“You’re beautiful misses. Are you an angel?”
A small smile formed of Di Qi’s lips. This was a pleasing answer to her. The three assassins put their guard back down but remained vigilant as Di Qi lowered her hood and stepped towards the little girl. The girl looked afraid, but she was too enamored by Di Qi to look away. The little girl was pretty, but only a bit pretty. The three assassins may be from a heavenly realm, but the Templars had a strict code, and were typically quite charitable, even towards mortals.
Although the small girl was a cultivator herself, she was only in the third tier. In the cloaked stranger’s realm, it’d be normal to be in the second realm by this age, so seeing a third tier cultivator of five didn’t alarm them in the slightest. Furthermore, despite being “filthy”, she was just a child, and thus Di Qi’s heart went out to the little scamp. A baby or small toddler could crap themselves or play in the mud, making themselves filthy. However, despite this, you can still find them cute. It was the same thing to these cultivators. Because she was a child, they could look past the grossness of her low cultivation.
“Hello, young one. My name is Di Qi. What’s your name? Why have you come to this cave?” Di Qi bent low as spoke in a soothing voice, lowering herself and showing a great deal of her charitable nature.
“Mm-my name is Liao An. I s-s-saw you walking near the cave, and I came to warn you!”
“Warn us?” One of the men spoke up, causing the little girl to squeak.
“In that cave, no one who enters has ever come out. Papa says it’s haunted!’
The men relaxed, while the woman smiled and patted the girl’s head. “We’ll be okay. Your big sister here is really strong, I promise!”
“B-big sister?” Liao An’s eyes opened cutely.
Di Qi was finding the little girl even more favorable. She was a very conceded woman and enjoyed the expression of awe on the young child’s face. The child was pretty enough to be cute, but not prettier than Di Qi. That wasn’t saying much as Di Qi was one of the most beautiful women in the realm. This also added to why she wasn’t suspicious in the slightest of Liao An. This ordinary girl wasn’t nearly attractive enough to catch the notice of the Midnight Queen. In her mind, she was a righteous woman, so that the Midnight Queen was even more shallow and conceded that she was!
“Di Qi! Come!” One of the men barked. “We definitely have the right place if the rumors of it being haunted are true. Only she’d set traps for people, that conniving witch!”
“A-a-a witch!” Liao An cried, gasping.
Di Qi shot the man an angry look. “Don’t worry. We’re here to get rid of the witch.” Di Qi soothed the child. “She offended our people, the Profound Templars.”
“Templars?” Liao An cocked her head as if she was thinking. “What did she do to you guys?”
Di Qi thought back to that night. “It was twenty years ago. My brother was set to marry the most beautiful woman in the land. We even invited the greatest woman in all of the realms, the Midnight Queen, to attend. To our surprise, she graced our lowly heavenly realm with her presence. We felt truly blessed.
“Then… she arrived, and to give her a gift befitting her greatness, we ended up having to clear out our treasury and all of the wedding gifts, nearly bankrupting our realm. If that was it, it would have been fine, but she dressed provocatively and made no attempt to hide. As a result, she outshone the bride, and caught the eyes and lust of all the men there… including the groom!”
Liao An gasped. “She slept with the groom?”
The three of them looked at each other. They really shouldn’t discuss these things with a small child. Di Qi patted her head one last time.
“Wait out here. Once I come out, how about you become my disciple?”
The men rolled their eyes. Di Qi was picking up another stray. She never ended up having a child, so she had gained several disciples instead. She especially liked young girls who weren’t as pretty as she was. She got to change their lives forever and take them into a realm they never thought possible, and that satisfied her vanity, even if their were rumors about it.
“Jee, Misses, that would be swell!” The girl said with stars in her eyes.
Di Qi smiled one last time and then turned, following the men into the cave. Liao An’s fake expression disappeared and she rolled her eyes. The Profound Templar Realm, was it? She really didn’t remember it at all. She had been to many weddings. Furthermore, she couldn’t help that she liked to dress sexy. It’d be a greater crime to be so powerful and be forced to cover your face because you’re afraid of the consequences. That’s what the true Midnight Queen told her and that’s how she lived her life. If the men couldn’t keep it in their pants around her, even around their own wives, didn’t that speak more poorly on the men than her?
Well, what was done, was done. She had gotten the signal the second they opened a portal on this planet. She had also raced over here to figure out their intentions. Given the fact that they were sitting in front of this particular cave, there could be little doubt they were hunting Tigra. She chose to reveal herself because she was curious as to why they were hunting her. While she didn’t remember offending them, she did know enough about their realm to know they weren’t the type to slaughter children. Even if they had decided to wipe her out on a whim, she had prepared several artifacts to deal with it.
Liao An may only have a mortal cultivation, but the artifacts that accompanied Tigra’s body could rival any heavenly realm’s treasure room. While she didn’t have much in the ways of healing, she certainly had a million ways to destroy. Unfortunately, the timing was pretty bad. She wasn’t able to meet with Bào bǐ at their usual spot. The sooner she cleaned this up, the sooner she would head over there. He was out of her sense range, but it was unlikely there would be any issues until she resolved this.
“Ahhhhhhhhhiiiiiii!” A man’s scream echoed from inside the cave.
Liao An wasn’t really worried. The chances of these three threatening her body were zilch. An entire realm knew where she was unharmed, and they were still so terrified of her that they could only send three. Once she sent their heads back, the Profound Templars would let her be. She took a breath and then followed them into the cave.
As for the two remaining cultivators, they looked down sadly at the corpse in front of them. They had all been prepared to die, but to actually see one of their numbers cut up by one of her malicious traps, it was truly awful.
“Damn her!” Di Qi punched her hand. “That bitch still taunts me to this day!”
“The best way to honor him is to make sure that Tigra dies today.” The other person present comforted her.
Di Qi nodded, and the two continued on. The trap that took out their friend wasn’t the first trap they had encountered. If it had just been a single trap, it would have been easy to see and stop. No, the problem was that the entire pathway had been littered with traps. Making their way through triggered dozens of traps at once, until they could only depend on their profound energy to block dozens of high tier explosions and blades. Their friend had been caught when he simultaneously triggered three traps at once, causing a spear to rise from the ground the same time a web exploded, slowing his movements, just as three hundred poisonous darts shot from the wall. In the end, a single dart scratched his neck, and he died a writhing mass before Di Qi even could consider pulling out an antipoison.
There were more explosions, spikes, and darts that followed, but heavenly cultivators didn’t reach that stage by being weak. Even though these were lowly heavenly cultivators, they were at a level unobtainable in this world, and moved faster than sight could see, dodging, blocking, and repelling countless attacks. Working together slowly, they made their way along the hallways carefully.
After thirty minutes and needing three heavenly spiritual replenishing potions, they finally stopped at a door. Di Qi looked up at the door and smiled.
“I don’t detect any more traps passed this door. It must be the chamber where Tigra resides. We’ve made it.”
The man nodded. “Good.”
“Alright… Tigra… finally… we meet again!” Di Qi’s face grew into a snarl and she pushed on the door opening it.
“Wait!” The man leaped forward and grabbed Dig Qi, pulling her and throwing her away.
A moment later, something materialized from an alternative space. It was a profound item and a trap! It instantly cracked, and dark miasma exploded from it in a massive dark globe. An impossible pull struck the man just as he tried to leap away. Di Qi barely had time to look back and see her friends’ eyes as he was suddenly pulled inward towards the epicenter. His entire body got squeezed together. Everything within a two-meter radius got pulled in and squished to the size of a pinpoint. It was a black hole bomb, one of the most lethal weapons imaginable! A clapping sound erupted as air filled in the completely empty vacuum where air… and her friend… had once been.
Di Qi collapsed to her knees. Both of these men were her two closest friends. They didn’t even want to come. It was Di Qi herself that had dragged them here to finish this vendetta. Their blood was on her hands. As tears fell down her face, she looked up through the now open doors and saw a coffin sitting at the end of the room. Tigra… The Midnight Queen. She had made it to the end. Given the strength and sneakiness of that bomb, it was probably the last trick Tigra had up her sleeve. Di Qi could finally have her vengeance.
Standing up, she carefully made her way into the final room. It was time to end this. She made it about halfway across the room when she noticed something glowing in her pocket. It was the communication stone she had set up. It had cost her a pretty penny, but she wanted to remain in touch with home. Di Qi let out a breath. She was still being too hasty. She should let her people know that the Midnight Queen was indeed here. Furthermore, she had triggered the majority of the traps. In the event that the Queen had one last trick up her sleeve and Di Qi fell, Di Qi wanted to assure Tigra’s destruction. With a single call, another hundred cultivators would be on their way knowing the coast was clear.
Di Qi pulled out her receiver, and fed just a bit of profound energy into it, opening up the channel.
“This is Di Qi. I’m in the resting chamber of the Midnight Queen. The Oracle was right. She appears to be in a slumber. Send your men so that I can finish her off.”
“She was wrong! No…Ah…. Di Qi!” A frantic voice screamed, which sounded much like her brother’s. “The Midnight Queen is here!”
Di Qi’s eyes widened, “Impossible! Tigra is-“
“Not Tigra… Tigra isn’t the Midnight Queen. Tigra is just the disciple!”
“What you’re saying doesn’t make sense…” Di Qi’s eyes grew disoriented.
“Our realm is gone… you’re the last… please… sister… since that event twenty years ago, there was much animosity between you and me. I just want you to know, my sister, I forgive you for what you did. I love you… I… oh gods, she’s coming… Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-“ The communication cut out.
“Brother! Brother?” Di Qi’s voice broke and for the second time, Di Qi’s resolve began to wither.
She couldn’t understand it. The Midnight Queen attacked their realm? It made sense. With their Oracle, their realm was likely the most dangerous to revealing the Midnight Queen’s movements. But what about this? It couldn’t be a trap. Tigra’s aura was definitely here! But wait… Tigra… was just a disciple?
“If she’s the disciple, then who is the mast- guh!”
As Di Qi pondered these words, a knife slid right into her back. It struck her heart nearly perfectly. There was a flash, and her profound energy was wrapped up and blocked. It was no simple knife, but a god-killing knife. These knives were exceptionally rare. Di Qi herself had borrowed one with the hopes of putting it into Tigra’s heart. Was it the same one pilfered from her bag? Di Qi didn’t know, but she knew its effects were 100% lethal. The only reason she was still conscious was because she had a heavenly body. Death would still take a few moments, even with a hit this certain.
With all of her remaining strength, Di Qi turned around, where she saw the little girl from the front of the cave standing there. Dig Qi stumbled back a few steps and landed on her butt. Looking up at the coffin that contained Tigra, she was so close. However, all of her profound energy was restrained, and her life was draining from her quickly. Her mission had failed, yet she was so close she could almost touch Tigra.
“It was… you?” Di Qi spoke in disbelief.
The little girl gave an expressionless shrug. “In all fairness, you were never going to get my body. You dare attack me, the second most powerful being in the universe. What did you think would happen?”
“S-second…” Di Qi laughed, spitting out some blood. “The Midnight Queen…”
“I never said I was her!” Liao An defended herself. “And it’s common for a disciple to come to an invite in the place of her master. I just got tired correcting people.”
“Is… that how it was…” As life continued to leak out of her, Di Qi could only look upon the person she hated more than anyone in the world. “Then it is you that I hate… I hate you so much…”
Liao An snorted. “If it’s any consolation, I don’t even remember the groom I slept with.”
Di Qi made an extremely bitter face. “It wasn’t… the groom you slept with. It was… the bride.”
Liao An coughed. “Hah… that was… it was a fad! But that’s your brother’s problem. Why do you take it so personally?”
Di Qi remained silent for a few moments, then another tear fell down her cheek. “When I… was slated to marry my brother, it was the happiest moment of my life. Then you came… and you were so larger than life, so incredible… a picture of the strong, beautiful woman I admired… how could a young, innocent girl like me not fall for you…”
Liao An’s face went white. “That’s right… you realm marries in the family…”
“You… defiled me… made my brother not even want to look at me… took my heart… and then ran away… like you always do…” Di Qi’s breathing had become labored.
“That’s simply the way I am…” Liao An shrugged uncomfortably, not liking to be confronted with her past mistakes.
“And the worst part…” Di Qi kept speaking, as if she no longer could hear Liao An, “I… still… love… y-“
Di Qi’s head slumped over, her eyes open, but no life left in them. Liao An sighed and walked up to the girl. She knelt next to her and she closed Di Qi’s eyes with her palm.
“Your father should have told you… never trust a whore.” Liao An frowned.
She held out her hand over the body, flames started to shoot out over Di Qi’s form. Without profound energy in her anymore, even a third tiers flames would catch. Her body quickly burned up, and after a minute, there was nothing left but ash. Liao An quickly picked up the mess and reset her traps. As she left, she picked up the transmission gem. The other side was dead. The Profound Templar realm no longer existed.
“Master is doing a good job cleaning up my messes. I guess I won’t have to worry about any more Templars.” Liao An sighed. “The least I can do is keep watching him.”
She left the cave and then pulled out a special stone which would return her back to her home. With a wave, her body was teleported. It wasn’t like tearing a hole through space. It was a lot gentler, and could only be done across the same planet. However, it allowed her to cross the space between the cave and her home extremely quickly.
Returning to the area outside Demishire, she searched in the direction of the Xaoi destroyed home. She immediately detected three life presences, all people higher tier than Bào bǐ. Worst. Bào bǐ’s signature was completely gone. Within a 10 km range, Bào bǐ life was nowhere in sight. Using a trick, she opened up a sound pathway to the house. Anything they said would be transmitted to her ear.
“That kid was a pain in the ass…” she heard someone muttering.
“Well, it’s a good thing we killed him.” The second added.
Liao An’s face immediately turned white. For the first time since she had come to this world, she felt afraid.