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Xianxia Online

Chapter 14 Divine Asura Eye
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Stepping out onto the streets, Xuan proceeded with the next step of his plan here in Cloud Catcher City: finding an inn—the very best one in the city. After the artifact he just obtained, he needed an isolated room with special sound and Qi barriers surrounding it, which only extremely high-class inns had.

The price for one night was naturally very high, at about 800 Spirit Crystals, but it was a necessary expense for what Xuan was going to do. After receiving his room card and heading up the stairs to his room, he locked himself in, and sensed the energy in the air using his special connection with World Qi as a result of the Heaven Devouring Body.

If the World Qi was stable and unmoving inside this room, it there were no hidden surveillance arrays or techniques of any sort here. However, if it moved even slightly, it would mean there was something peculiar at work.

The borders surrounding the room had moving World Qi, of course, but that was from the barriers protecting it. Even after observing for a good while, however, Xuan felt no traces of movement in the air, so he sat down on the bed and opened up his System's Inventory tab.

"Alright, Divine Asura Eye… I wasn't able to obtain you in my previous life, but you're all mine now."

Xuan didn't know how the other man got his hands on a treasure like this, but as curious as he was, he wasn't complaining. When he inherited the Divine Asura True God's legacy in his past life, there had been several treasures missing from his trove, and this had been one of them. After that, he'd spent hundreds of years trying to track this item down due to how helpful and compatible it was to his Blood Asura Sword and cultivation style, but never was able to find it.

And as it turned out… as soon as he tapped on the artifact to bring up its description, he discovered why.

<Divine Asura Eye>

<Type: Artifact>

<Grade: Earth>

A lost artifact descended from the Divine Asura True God. Can be used to discern players and NPCs.

<Equip (Refinement Available!)>

"Earth… Grade?"

After all this time, the artifact he'd been searching for was EARTH Grade? The lost artifact descended from one of the legendary Ten True Gods was EARTH Grade?

Simply incredible.

This goes beyond hiding in plain sight—this was downright deception. Xuan was utterly shocked—no wonder he had never been able to find it before. He had been trying to look for it using the powerful aura high-grade artifacts gave off, but since this was an Earth-Grade artifact, of course it didn't emit jack shit.

It all made sense now. That guy earlier probably just found this eye in some random pawn shop in this city and thought this looked cool, then picked it up as a result. That was probably why he actually agreed to give it up without too much convincing, and also why Xuan hadn't sensed any artifact aura coming from it.

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After all, unless a player specifically knew about this artifact by name, they would just think this was just an especially-cool-sounding Earth-Grade artifact. And if an NPC was the one who originally sold it to the pawn shop, well—they didn't even have the description to convince them this was something more than a useless piece of Earth-Grade trash.

But what they didn't know… was that in this world, certain high-ranking artifacts had the ability to evolve. They were very rare, but they did exist, and were known as Evolution-Grade Artifacts amongst the top players who knew of their existence. Not officially classified by the System, but that was the nickname given.

Xuan's old Blood Asura Sword, also inherited from the same True God, was an example of this. They grew as certain requirements were met—in this case, the blood essence of enemies, which basically meant Xuan had to kill people. Luckily for him, he could do that very well. With enough murder, this Divine Asura Eye could very well also become an unstoppable force to reckon with.

"Heh… I really made a profit this time around," Xuan muttered, a smirk on his face. "Now then… it's time I refine this."

The 'Refinement Available' tag beside the Equip button was proof this artifact was compatible with Xuan. He wasn't sure why since he hadn't killed a single soul since restarting this new profile, but perhaps it had something to do with his Legacy as Zero's Heir, or the fact that his alignment was Chaotic Neutral. It did make him wonder, though… if his past temperament had been carried over to this life, what else had?

Retrieving the Divine Asura Eye from his inventory, Xuan adopted a lotus sitting position and closed his eyes. Then, he began channeling his Qi into the ominous-looking eyeball, steadily and evenly.

Normally, Body Tempering stage cultivators would be unable to refine artifacts like so. However, since the Chaos Scripture allowed Xuan to feel, absorb, and use Qi, this was easy for him. Not only that, but since he was directly using natural World Qi and not his own personal Qi, the refinement process was a lot faster and smoother.

After just several minutes, he was finished. The Divine Asura Eye had been turned into raw energy that flowed into Xuan's body, and when he opened his eyes again, one of them had been replaced with the artifact. Since his other eye was also red, one wouldn't be able to tell the difference unless they looked closely, but the Divine Asura Eye had several small runic markings around its pupil, and also glowed when actively used.

<Divine Asura Eye - Refinement Complete!>

<Type: Artifact>

<Grade: Transient (0/100 BE)>

A lost artifact descended from the Divine Asura True God. Fueling on the Blood Essence (BE) of its wielder's enemies, this omnipotent eye holds limitless potential and power. Can be used to see the stats of players, NPCs, and Beasts, as well as the grade of artifacts, pills, and weapons.

<Equipped>

'Oh…? This will be useful.'

Essentially, Xuan would now be able to appraise pretty much anything that fell into one of these categories just by looking at them. He didn't know how detailed the appraisal would be, but this was a good skill for spotting treasure and getting info on enemies for sure.

Just by refining it, the Divine Asura Eye had already progressed to the next Grade, and had its description change to match its newfound powers. As for what Blood Essence was… Xuan was very familiar with it. The stronger a person or Beast was, the more Blood Essence they would have, with the minimum being 10. In other words, in order to further level up this artifact and gain its hidden powers that even Xuan didn't know about, he would have to do one thing:

Kill.

Luckily for him, he was certain he was going to make more than a few enemies in the future—both from his past life and this one.

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"Whew…" Xuan let out a deep breath, dissipating the dense Qi in his room. That was enough for today. After a quick shower, he headed for bed, and waited for the sun to rise once more.

*****

- Several Hours Later -

<Congratulations! Player Nine Heavens has become the first cultivator to reach the Core Formation Realm!>

<Current Bounty: 10,000 Credits>

<The Leaderboards System has now been unlocked.>

"Hm…?"

At about 9 in the morning, Xuan was woken up from his sleep by this message, broadcast to every corner of the world just like the one that had announced Xuan's absorption of the Divine-Grade Spirit Ruo Xi. Slowly, he opened his eyes and sat up on the bed, furrowing his brows a bit.

'Nine Heavens… you're not slacking off either, it seems.'

Heavenly Transcendent Nine Heavens—he had been number two on the leaderboards before the reset, high above everyone else but just below Zero. The other top players didn't even come close to these two, and as such, Nine Heavens came to see Xuan as his mortal nemesis, and even had a few clashes with him to fight for the number one spot.

But each and every time, he would lose, and Xuan would emerge victorious.

Was it simply a matter of power? No. The two of them were both peak Heavenly Transcendents in terms of raw strength. Xuan was ahead by a little bit, but it wasn't anything worthy of note. The real reason why Nine Heavens always lost was because of his hastiness. He didn't think or plan in battle, just went along with his instincts. That usually worked out for him, against most opponents—but not against the experienced and calculating Zero.

The unlocking of Leaderboards was a surprise, however. Xuan hadn't even noticed one couldn't access them in the past. Now that they were unlocked and visible to everyone, though, he needed to check on something again to make sure his settings did not change.

Opening his System, he navigated to the Leaderboards tab, and found a brand new screen staring back at him. In the past, there had been only one general leaderboard, ranked by cultivation stage. However, now, there were six, with a mini navigation bar at the top that allowed for switching between them.

<Cultivation Leaderboard | Soul Leaderboard | Beauty Leaderboard | Alchemy Leaderboard | Arraymaking Leaderboard | Beasttaming Leaderboard>

'… This is new,' he thought to himself. 'And not only that, but… it seems like NPCs are listed on the leaderboards as well now? Interesting.'

First thing first, he went to the little cogwheel at the top of the menu to enter the leaderboards settings. There, he made sure the 'Hide Profile' option was on, so anyone who looked at him on the leaderboards couldn't access his stats and the like through there.

Just then, however, yet another global announcement appeared in the sky—not one, but two in a row.

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<Congratulations! Player Zero has become the first player to reach one million Soul Strength on the Soul Leaderboards!>

<Current Bounty: 150,000 Credits>

<Current ranking: 1>

———

<Congratulations! Player Zero has become the first player to reach one billion Soul Strength on the Soul Leaderboards!>

<Current Bounty: 250,000 Credits>

<Current ranking: 1>

"… Wait, what?"

Below, in his own System screen, two more messages appeared:

<Soul Millionaire — One million Soul Strength/Defense reached!>

<Obtained 10,000 Credits for being the first player to accomplish this Achievement.>

———

<Soul Billionaire — One billion Soul Strength/Defense reached!>

<Obtained 50,000 Credits for being the first player to accomplish this Achievement.>

"…"

Immediately, Xuan opened his Profile. There, in the stats section of it, the '???' marks beside the Soul Strength and Defense stats had been replaced with two unfathomably large numbers:

Strength: 2,700

Defense: 2,700

Soul Strength: 16,476,366,178

Soul Defense: 16,472,865,289

These numbers weren't random—there was only one explanation for this phenomenon, and Xuan's eyes widened slightly.

'Impossible. This is actually… my old Soul Strength?'