Sitting cross-legged in the middle of the pool, Wang Baole resembled an overweight war god, fearsome like a beast and emanating blood lust!
On his right armored hand was the skeletal Divine Armament arm, whose power grew as it continued to be nourished by Spirit Qi. It had melded perfectly with Wang Baole's armor. The power that it was exuding had far surpassed that of a Nascent Soul realm cultivator and was now at the Soul Conduit realm.
One might imagine the power that Wang Baole was capable of displaying should he unleash his full power. Should he meet Daoist You Ran again, he would no longer have to rely on tricks to match the latter in battle!
The water level in the pool finally seemed to have dipped slightly. The Flame Snatch Thearch Armor had gradually reached its limits, and absorbing any more spirit energy might just make it explode. That being said, Wang Baole thought he could still attempt to do so. Just as he was about to continue…
The corpse sitting atop the distant lotus leaf, whose eyes had been opened a sliver… opened its eyes fully. They were filled with confusion, haziness, and a white light. The corpse raised its right hand and flicked its finger lightly, and seemingly instinctively.
An indescribable force exploded before Wang Baole. He reeled back, dazed. Before he could react to the unexpected attack, his body was flung backward. He was thrown out of the pool, through the doors of the palace, and straight outside.
"What's going on?" Wang Baole's surprised shout continued to resonate in the halls before slowly fading away. The white light in the corpse's eyes dissipated at the same time, revealing a hint of clarity.
It seemed as if it had only truly awakened then. The corpse surveyed its surroundings, seemingly dazed. It frowned a moment later after sensing the spirit energy around it.
"Li Wuchen's aura… No, there's an outsider as well…" it muttered, then lowered its head and looked into the pool. After a long moment of silence, it shook his head.
"I've always suspected that rascal Li Wuchen was up to no good. I was right. What a greedy fellow!" it muttered. Perhaps due to its recent awakening or serious injuries, which kept it from leaving, it didn't do anything else after that. It only shut its eyes and resumed its deep slumber.
As for Wang Baole, it was as if he had been chased out of the palace with an explosive, forceful attack. He couldn't stop his body from being flung outwards, no matter how hard he tried. In the end, he ended up fifty thousand meters away from the palace, his head spinning and vision a blur.
His body crashed into a mountain with a loud thud. It took him a while before he staggered out of the hole he had created in the side of the mountain. His hair was a mess, and he looked in a sorry state.
He didn't suffer any serious injuries, but everywhere hurt. He grimaced and huffed angrily.
*What a miser. Didn't I ask for permission to take the water from the pool? No one objected then… Besides, I wasn't planning to take everything. I only absorbed a little bit.* Wang Baole recalled what happened in the palace and guessed correctly at what had occurred. Prior to his being driven out, he had seen one of the figures on the lotus leaves raise its hand. Those Dao Palace elders in the palace were likely… still alive.
Wang Baole sighed and struggled to his feet. He stared at the top of his tummy, then turned his neck with some difficulty and looked around him. He was somewhere between the sword tip and the sword body. He stared in the direction of the palace longingly but decided to abandon all ideas after giving it some thought.
"So be it. So what if the palace doesn't want me around? There'll be some other place that welcomes my presence. I'm not hanging around here any longer. Back to the Federation, and my presidency!" Wang Baole muttered. He thought about the contributions he had made to the Federation and how he had destroyed Daoist You Ran, eliminating a threat to the Federation. That was an immense achievement. He had sent back so many cultivation techniques to the Federation as well. Little Duanmu had to make him the next president. It would be completely unreasonable if he didn't.
Wang Baole grew excited at that thought. Becoming the Federation President was something he had dreamed about his entire life. It had seemed a distant dream then, but now, it was something that was within reach. Wang Baole perked up instantly. Even his pain faded away. He forgot the frustration and regret he had felt earlier and took to the air in search of an Immortal Platform.
However, he had grown too fat. Spirit fat was particularly dense, as well, and therefore added greatly to his weight. The spirit fat Wang Baole had on him had never exceeded one-tenth of what he had now. At the moment, his weight had reached startling heights. He looked like a mountain of flesh from afar.
Any ordinary person who came across him would be terrified at first. They would think that they had just encountered some fearsome beast.
Wang Baole had only just ascended to the sky in high spirits when, in the next moment, he almost tumbled to the ground and landed on his head. He felt as if he were carrying a huge mountain on his back. It took him a great deal of effort before he righted himself. By then, he was covered in cold sweat.
*This won't do. I can't go back to the Federation now. I should return to the main Vast Expanse Dao Palace island and try to lose some weight first…* Wang Baole breathed deeply. His weight was both a source of joy and grief. He recalled his family history of overweight ancestors and their premature deaths… He might be a cultivator now, but he was still concerned.
Having made up his mind, Wang Baole unleashed his full cultivation, pulled himself up, and dashed into the distance. He soon found an Immortal Platform. He transformed himself into a huge, bulging traveling mist, and began his journey across the sword body!
Wang Baole was unaware of Daoist You Ran's resurrection at that moment. He was oblivious to the Star-Seeding Dao cultivator's presence inside the Never-Ending Clan battleship. To his knowledge, Daoist You Ran was dead, and the threat of war had been averted.
That was why he had spent so much time in the three palaces, working hard for his breakthroughs in cultivation. That was why he had no idea… that the Federation was currently engaged in a war with Vast Expanse Dao Palace cultivators who were under the Never-Ending Clan's control!
The war had broken out one month ago!
Thankfully, Zhao Yameng had alerted the Federation in time. In addition, Duan Muque and Li Xingwen, as well as the other upper echelons of the Federation, had always treated the Vast Expanse Dao Palace as a potential threat and had planned accordingly. As a result, even though the war was taking a toll on the Federation, the fight that the Federation was putting up genuinely shocked Daoist You Ran and the Vast Expanse Dao Palace.
It shouldn't be surprising, though. The one thing that the Federation was skilled in was strategy and ambush. Their wisdom in war and tactics, the culmination of countless people's ideas and wisdom, was their strength!
The Hundred Seedling Plan was but a part of their setup. If that succeeded, they would see peaceful assimilation and coexistence. If it failed, however… they still had the Greater Mercury Array Formation and Anti-Spirit Bombs ready for deployment at any time.
In fact, the Federation had run through numerous battle simulations. They had modified the simulations based on the information that Wang Baole and the others had transmitted back to the Federation. Preparations for a potential war for their civilization's survival had been set in place many years ago, and three lines of defense had been set up!
The first line of defense was Mercury!
The second line of defense, Venus!
The third, Mars!
Should all three lines of defense fall, Earth would lose all hope of survival.
No matter how flawless the Federation's plans were, there was always the risk of accidents occurring. The plan had numerous Anti-Spirit Bombs buried underground on Mercury, the Federation's first line of defense. Mercury would be blown up as soon as the Federation sensed something was amiss. It would be a serious blow to the Vast Expanse Dao Palace that would also destroy the teleportation array formation.
But Duan Muque had made a mistake. He had planned to wait for the Vast Expanse Dao Palace's military to arrive and to trigger the planet's explosion upon their arrival. He didn't only wish to destroy the teleportation array formation, he also wanted to deal a serious blow to the invading forces.
However, the Vast Expanse Dao Palace's military had arrived too swiftly for him to take action. The power emanating from the Never-Ending Clan battleship had overpowered Mercury's self-destruction. The Federation's plan had failed. They could only abandon their first line of defense and retreat to Venus, their second line of defense.
The Federation had many years of preparation though. Even though the Anti-Spirit Bombs had been overpowered during the attempt to blow up Mercury, the power that had been unleashed during their explosions had still managed to damage the Never-Ending Clan battleship and shock Daoist You Ran and the Vast Expanse Dao Palace. The damage had been exacerbated by its prior damage and the destruction that had been caused by Wang Baole. The Vast Expanse Dao Palace had to spend some time repairing the battleship.
A brief window of uncertainty had thus emerged in the war!