The arrival of the Flawed humans put the forces of Noah's world in a complicated situation.
It wasn't a matter of sheer power. Noah's side counted four rank 5 cultivators and a hybrid with a rank 5 sea of consciousness. Instead, the Elite human's team had only three rank 5 cultivators.
There was a significant difference in the number of a.s.sets in the fourth rank. Still, that didn't matter too much when there were beings on a higher level involved.
Yet, that difference in the number of a.s.sets was what was preventing the leaders from unleas.h.i.+ng their full might.
Power couldn't be the answer in their situation. An offensive fueled by the whole might of their cultivation level would inevitably result in countless casualties, especially in that closed area.
It would be different if the portal could already withstand existences in the sixth rank, but, unfortunately for them, it was hard to improve such a miraculous inscribed item.
It soon became clear that the a.s.sets from Noah's world had only two options in front of them: Fight and endanger their relations.h.i.+p with the natives or surrender and rely on the wits of the six bloodlines.
Noah observed the changes in his leaders' aura as his cold, reptilian eyes swept the corridor to a.n.a.lyze the situation. He saw how the cultivators meant to guide the weaker a.s.sets began to retract their consciousness and disperse their focus.
Helplessness started to mount inside him, but that feeling soon vanished when he sensed that the representatives of the bloodlines shot another series of glances in his direction.
His hybrid status was the most appealing resource in the Elite human's eyes. He knew that the negotiations for his eventual release would succeed only when the bloodlines had obtained everything they wanted from his body.
"We wish for peaceful cooperation." Cecil was the first to give voice to that apparent trend.
The leaders were taking a step back, and Noah began to muster his focus as one of his biggest fears took form.
"We will seize the rank 4 cultivators for the moment," Florent said. "We will treat them fairly as we set the foundation for a new deal."
Hesitation and struggle appeared on the leaders' expressions, but they kept their gazes fixed on the Elite humans even when their underlings shot questioning gazes at them.
A tinge of shame appeared inside the rank 5 cultivators when they silently accepted that they couldn't preserve peace without momentarily giving up their pride. They were sacrificing their envoys to make up for their weakness.
In their minds, allowing the bloodlines to keep some of their rank 4 cultivators for a few months was a reasonable price to pay to avoid a war. After all, they would be forced to join mating sessions in the worst-case scenario, which wasn't even close to being a form of torture.
Also, the situation would change once the portal became able to endure the might of rank 6 beings.
The table would turn once again at that point, and they would force the Elite humans to see them as their equals, or even more. Yet, such plans didn't always work in the way they wanted, especially when they were unaware of certain secret transactions.
Noah didn't care about cooperating with that world.
He was interested in many of its features, but he wasn't willing to put his existence at risk because of his greed. He had already obtained the key to command the primary energy without the need for laws, so he considered his mission completed.
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His priority now was to avoid ending in the bloodlines' grasp, and he didn't mind jeopardizing the peaceful intentions of his leaders to reach that result.
Of course, the weaker a.s.sets had retreated as soon as they noticed the power of the creature. They were still forced to focus on their seas of consciousness to endure the battle on the higher ranks, but the fight didn't endanger their lives.
Yet, the beast disappeared before all the attacks managed to land on its body, and revealed another astonis.h.i.+ng detail: Its sudden appearance didn't kill any of the Flawed humans nearby!
The creature had simply pushed them back in a way that could even be described as gentle. Also, they had strong bodies, so they only suffered some minor injuries.
Nevertheless, the disappearance of the ma.s.sive creature revealed something that everyone on the scene had been to busy to notice: Noah had disappeared, and there was no trace of him anywhere.
The Elite humans began to panic and shouted orders to their underlings. Still, Elder Austin arrived in front of them and deployed his consciousness, suppressing all the Flawed humans floating in the crumbled corridor.
"What is the meaning of your actions?" Danielle asked as her eyes darted between the many cracks in the walls next to them.
She was searching for Noah with both her sight and mental energy, but Elder Austin was obstructing her.
"The Prince didn't want to be in chains." Elder Austin answered, and the Elite humans couldn't believe that he was risking their cooperation for that simple reason.
Noah was a prodigy, but he was only a rank 4 cultivator. The representatives of the bloodlines couldn't understand why Elder Austin was willing to go so far just to prevent his arrest.
Nevertheless, Florent shouted something that forced Elder Austin to contain a laugh. "The two women have disappeared too!"
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