Over the past month, the Southern Mountain’s City had regained part of its vigor, but the casualties were still in everyone’s mind. Not long before, this had after all been the location of a devastating battle.
Currently, the defenses of Southern Mountain’s City were obviously astonishing, after all, many elites were residing inside the city. In total, there were the Saint Knight Regiment from the Knight Temple, three Emperor grade Demon Hunt Squads, and four King grade Demon Hunt Squads, as well as hundreds of powerhouses of the Six Great Temples, all guarding the borders of the Southern Mountain’s City.
Over the past month, the second batch of reinforcements had already arrived in the Southern Mountain’s City. Even if the demons attacked once more, they were prepared to respond in kind. Half of the destroyed Magic Cannons had already been repaired whereas the heavily damaged ones would be directly replaced with new ones. But of course, this required time.
The auxiliary master of the Priest Temple, Ling Xiao, and the auxiliary master of the Knight Temple, Han Qian, were standing in the middle of the ranks, scrutinizing the horizon. At their backs were ten youths clad in martial attire, and among them, Long Haochen and Cai’er.
The competition had already ended, and Long Haochen and Cai’er both obtained the right to enter the Illusory Paradise with the performances they showed. Now that the awaited day had arrived, they were about to explore that mysterious place.
“They are here,” Han Qian said in low voice.
From afar, a formless oppressive feeling slowly emerged. Upon closing the distance, everyone saw a heap of black clouds rapidly heading in their direction.
Gazing into the distance, Long Haochen couldn’t help but shiver. This wasn’t any kind of black clouds! Those were Black Dragons, personal guard of the Demon God Emperor!? And they weren’t low in quantity!
The black dragons approached gradually, descending slowly before reaching the ground, at a distance of a thousand meters from the forces of the Temple Alliance.
Long Haochen counted them, learning to his surprise that there were three Black Dragons, among which the tallest reached a size of forty meters. On their backs they carried dozens of other demons. To be qualified to ride on the Black Dragons, they could obviously not be ordinary demons.
After the three Black Dragons landed on the ground, a strong aura of darkness assaulted everyone’s senses. The black haze hiding them from view rapidly shrank as they shrank to the shape of robust humans, heading in the direction of the Temple Alliance’s forces.
Approaching the vanguard was a tall, charming and imposing middle- aged man. Before transforming, he had also been the the most imposing Black Dragon of the three.
The most extraordinary thing was that the two by his side weren’t part of the Black Dragon’s imperial guard, but two purple-haired and purple-eyed extremely handsome middle-aged men.
Against all expectations, Long Haochen had already seen these two before. It shocked him even more to find out that they were two of the four most imposing demons he saw back then in the Moon Palace. They were the right-arms of the Moon Demon God, that could be said to be like one among ten thousand in the Moon Demon Clan.
Behind these three came the other two members of the imperial Black Dragon guard, and Moon Demon Clan powerhouses, as well as a dozen
orange-haired and orange-eyed people, who looked like humans on the outside, but radiated an ephemeral feeling.
These were people from the Star Demon Clan, and looking at them, Long Haochen could guess what their identities were. The Star Demon God was the great prophet of the Demons, and his clansmen were also the best mages among demons. They were among the rarely-seen kind of dual-types; being both, magician and warrior, but because of this, their magic was even more powerful.
No one had expected that for the exploration of the Illusory Paradise, the top three demon races would all dispatch powerhouses. And seeing such an army, it could easily be said that they would certainly have a good chance to besiege the Southern Mountain’s Gate.
Among these demon powerhouses were ten youthful demons, that belonged to diverse races. Because they were still far away, and blocked from view by the demons in front of them, they were still unidentifiable.
Very quickly, these demon powerhouses arrived in front of the Temple Alliance’s troops. The sturdy man that looked to be the leader of the Black Dragon forces declared, “I am the leader of the imperial Black Dragon guard controlled by the Demon God Emperor, Huang Shuo. Leader of your group, come out to talk.”
With a snort, Ling Xiao was the one to reply, “Auxiliary Hall Master of the Priest Temple Ling Xiao. Wow, none of your Demon Gods came today, but only their lackeys?” Despite the formidable power of the enemy force, how could he put himself in a disadvantageous position in his function as a representative of the Six Great Temples.
That’s right, this time, not a single Demon God came, however, these demon powerhouses’ strength was mostly comparable with that of Demon Gods in the second half of the rankings. In fact, more than a tenth of the Demon God Emperor’s imperial Black Dragon guard had come today! That was the absolute power of the Demon God Emperor.
The leader of the imperial Black Dragon guard calmly replied, “There’s no meaning in trying to overwhelm your side with an overkill of strength only to show off. According to the agreement, let’s do things properly. His Majesty, being so magnanimous, has agreed to your offer. Now it should be your turn to comply.”
Ling Xiao didn’t stop being on alert just because of his counterparts frankness. On the opposite, he felt shivers run down his spine. With the leader of the imperial Black Dragon forces being so calm and steady, he will definitely not be easy to handle.
“Come with us.” Right after saying that, Ling Xiao waved his hand.
Immediately, a few enormous green creatures approached unhurriedly from the side, stamping the ground with their massive weight.
These were Green Pengs, magical beasts of the seventh rank. Although their defensive and offensive abilities were not that strong, they had a formidable build, even exceeding those Black Dragons of the imperial army in size. They were experts in long-distance flight and carrying weight, and only the Priest Temple raised them, since after all, priests were rather weak physically, and unable to travel on mounts for long distances.
A total of ten Green Pengs approached, crawling on the ground. Led by Ling Xiao, the human powerhouses mounted the Green Pengs, and headed north.
The imperial Black Dragon guards changed back to their dragon form. After their powerhouses mounted them, they followed closely behind, maintaining a distance of approximately one kilometer from the Green Pengs.
Among the ten people dispatched by the Alliance there was, aside from Cai’er, yet another acquaintance of Long Haochen. The captain of the 8th general grade Demon Hunt Squad, Zhang Fangfang, had also managed to win an entry permission to the Illusionary Paradise. He was surprisingly at the peak of the sixth step and had managed to come out victorious after his past hardships.
At that moment, Long Haochen wasn’t calm at all. While Ling Xiao and Huang Shuo were conversing, he had spotted two familiar faces, and was sure that the other party had also seen him. Those were Yue Ye and Leng Xiao.
The two of them actually participated in this time’s operation, and from what Long Haochen knew about them, he was absolutely sure that they were going to enter the Illusory Palace with him.
Long Haochen knew about Yue Ye’s identity, and also had some guesses about Leng Xiao. He was just surprised because he didn’t expect that Leng Xiao too would have such a high position among the demons.
Leng Xiao was without a doubt an enemy, so her life or death wouldn’t matter in any way, but Yue Ye was their collaborator. It could be said that if not for Yue Ye’s help, they would have suffered great hardships back in the Desolate Hissing Cavern, and very possibly, most of their squad would have been wiped out. Especially during their return trip, it was because of Yue Ye’s help that everything had gone smoothly and that they had returned alive. Having such a collaborator among the demons was undoubtedly a good thing for the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad, and they would have many more opportunities to benefit from it in the future.
The insides of the Illusory Paradise weren’t as wonderful as its name inferred.
The day before, Ling Xiao had extremely seriously shared very detailed information regarding the Illusory Paradise to all the participants of the operation. This key information had been gained by the loss of countless human lives.
Cai’er said in a low voice, “Haochen, don’t worry. We will give her some help when the time comes and she will be fine.”
“Hmh?” Long Haochen gave Cai’er a surprised look.
Cai’er calmly continued, “She carries the seal from the Dagger of Samsara unleashed by my Spiritual Stove of Samsara inside of her body,
so her life or death is within my grasp. There’s no need to fear any of her tricks. To our future course of actions, this woman will be important, so we cannot let her die here.”
Cai’er’s words helped Long Haochen to strengthen his resolve. In response, he nodded to her.
The Illusory Shrine was located sixty kilometers to the north of the Southern Mountain’s City, inside of a forest. Be it the Green Pengs or the Black Dragons, this was a distance that only took a few blinks of an eye to cover.
From a distance, a large area of dense forest could entirely be seen in their line of sight. Looking down at the vegetation of the forest from the sky, they could all sense the large scale that this forest had reached. This could have only been accomplished through several thousand years of growth.
Under Ling Xiao’s indications, the Green Pengs slowly landed outside of the forest. As everyone successively dismounted the Green Pengs, the demons did the same. Accompanied by the two Devil Kings from the Moon Demon Clan, Huang Shuo asked in a low voice, “Why are we not directly entering by flight?”
Leng Xiao replied with a snort, “You can try if you want. This land belongs to the scope of the Illusory Shrine, which is the shrine the goddess of nature left. And this forest is sheltered by this same goddess of nature. You want to directly enter by flight? It’s too early for you, but your Demon God Emperor should be able to.”
Huang Shuo calmly replied, “Let’s just go then.”
The two of them led their respective groups, advancing inside the forest.
When they entered the forest, the atmosphere instantly changed, but it was not the impression of feeling fresh and clean air. A sweet insipid scent penetrated into their hearts, as if cleaning their spirit, and this hard to describe feeling of serenity caused everyone to feel exceptionally cozy.
The sounds of the birds and insects was extremely distinct, and the water, earth and light elemental fluctuations were extremely strong.
Long Haochen had the strongest impression from that. When he took his first step into the forest, he immediately had a feeling of warmth, as if heading back home. It was as if everything there was beautiful, and had a feeling of intimacy for him. Every blade of grass and every tree was smiling to him, and the light element surrounded him softly. Water and earth elemental particles were also spiralling around him, moistening his body.
With such a splendid feeling, Long Haochen felt that his spirit was cleansed over and over again, as all his negative feelings and worries faded away peacefully. Indistinctly, a layer of mildly transparent light covered his skin. It was as if the call of nature made him feel as light as feather.
Being near him, Cai’er immediately felt the changes on Long Haochen’s body. She also had a similar reaction, but it was nowhere as intense as Long Haochen’s.
After all, he was the Scion of Light, and since the growth of vegetation was intricately linked to light, the call of nature didn’t manifest only through sensation for him, but through real magic effects. It was one of the gentlest forms of existing magic, and able to provide an enormous amplification to his elemental affinity, while also weakening him to some extent.
The current Long Haochen was just like Cai’er at the time she had first entered the Tower of Eternity. Right at this moment, his soul was not only filled with insights of understanding, but just flooded with warmth. This was a total submersion. It was as if his body and even his spiritual energy were purified by the call of nature. And all the impurities were cleansed from within, completely disappearing.
In comparison, the demons’ condition wasn’t good. All of their brows were furrowed, and their bodies were emitting a black gas from while they were trying to resist the natural energy from their surroundings. If not for Huang Shuo’s instructions, they would already have lashed out, trying to destroy the surrounding vegetation.
The nature was full of the world’s vitality, whereas darkness was full of shadows and coldness, so an incompatibility between these two entities was unavoidable.
Huang Shuo said to Ling Xiao, “Walk a bit faster if you can. My clansmen and me don’t like this place. If it takes too long, I won’t be able to guarantee that I can control them long enough.”
Ling Xiao gave the calm reply, “Just give it a try then. Although our cooperation is only temporary, we won’t resort to any tricks since you fulfilled your promise. I will just repeat once again that this is the residence of the goddess of nature. It won’t be a breach of our agreement if you damage the environment here, and the Illusory Shrine forbids you entry.”
Huang Shuo wrinkled his brows, but quickly returned to normal.
Nodding calmly, he didn’t say anything more.
In the forest, the road was rugged and hard to pass, but this didn’t affect the progress of these powerhouses. Before departing, Ling Xiao had repeatedly warned the forces of the Alliance that they mustn’t damage the plants here no matter what, or it would be regarded as hostility against the Illusory Forest.
As they advanced towards the heart of the forest, the aura of nature grew stronger. If these were ordinary demons, they would perhaps not have been able to resist acting against the vegetation, but since there were powerhouses of the ninth step among them, they naturally had their own ways to deal with the situation. At least for the time being, no problem had emerged on this aspect.
Ling Xiao didn’t plan on doing anything inside the Illusory Forest, honoring the deal between the two parties. Although demons and humans were sworn enemies, during their long history, there had been some particular circumstances when they came to make deals or transactions, and at least until now, there hadn’t been yet a day when either of the sides did not abide by their commitments, or else these kinds of deals would probably stop being accepted. Thus, both the human and the demon side had a minimum set of rules they had to adhere to.
More importantly, the situation in the Illusory Paradise wasn’t so peaceful either, and Ling Xiao didn’t believe that they could handle the
demons assigned to this operation. Therefore, there was no problem about letting them enter?
More than one hour after they entered the forest, the landscape suddenly became open and clear, and the dense part of woods turned into a large area of shrubs. The instant their line of sight became so wide, even the demons couldn’t help but let out repeated gasps.
That’s right, this place was just too beautiful.
This was an ocean of vegetations, which may even be called an ocean of flowers. As far as the eye could see, only shrubs, roughly one meter high, seem to occupy the area in a radius of a hundred square kilometers. On top of these shrubs grew various kind of flowers, each one more beautiful than the one next to it, while each of them was exceptionally enchanting.
At every step they took, a different kind of smell could be perceived. In addition, some mist had formed in the air, making the sunshine of this day look a lot less dazzling. Hazy and soft lusters undulated in this world of flowers. It was truly worthy of being described as Illusory.
Inside of this ocean of flowers extended a small lake. It wasn’t large in size, however over the approximative two hundred meters diameter it extended, the water essence was even richer and the aura of life gently spread outwards, from it.
Ling Xiao stopped walking, looking at the nearby lake, “We have arrived, this is precisely the place.”
Huang Shuo looked at him with some hesitation, “Where is the Illusory Shrine?”
Ling Xiao replied, “It’s right inside the lake.”
“What?” Huang Shuo replied, “Don’t tell me that we’ll have to dive underwater?” Contrarily to what one may expect, their Black Dragon race didn’t have any reluctance toward water, and could even drago-form inside of water.
Ling Xiao replied with some disdain, “Diving underwater is indeed a way to access the Illusory Shrine. You can try it if you want, but do you think it would be so simple to access a place that only opens once every hundred years? If this was only about diving underwater, why would we even have to wait hundred years?”
Huang Shuo asked with some doubt, “What’s there in this water? Is it a seal?”
Ling Xiao responded, “Why should I tell you without compensation?”
As he said this, he extended his right hand towards Huang Shuo.
Some changes appeared on Huang Shuo’s unresigned face, but still, he took something out of a storage and placed it in Ling Xiao’s hand.
Looking at the object, Ling Xiao’s ordinarily strict face immediately revealed a rare smile, followed with the calm words, “All good, let me tell you. In the water of this lake exists an almighty antique entity. From the records we have, this was the guardian of the goddess of nature back in the past. It lived here for at least several thousands of years. If you are not afraid of death, you can dive underwater and look for yourself at the strength of this almighty entity over here.”
Huang Shuo revealed surprise, “A magical beast from the antique times? Do you know to what race it belongs to?”
Ling Xiao extended his hand yet another time, and although the nearby Han Qian raised his head, the former didn’t manage to conceal the smile on his face.
Huang Shuo declared in anger, “Don’t be excessive.”
Ling Xiao revealed an unexpectedly innocent look, “You can also stop asking, you know?”
Resisting the urge to show his fury, Huang Shuo took out another piece of the same thing as before, placing it nn Ling Xiao’s hand, “Speak.”
Ling Xiao’s facial expression changed slowly, muttering silently but resolutely, “Telling you isn’t much; in this lake resides a Fairy Dragon.”
Huang Shuo let out a ragged breath, his originally furious face returning to normal. With a nod he said, “Thank you.”
Right at that moment Ling Xiao felt something abnormal, How could this fellow so easily hand over two pieces of Dragon Ointment, just to exchange it for these two pieces of information? From his appearance, it seems as if he didn’t suffer any loss. Could there be a problem about the fact that I gave him that information? He couldn’t help but feel some regret deep inside, but since everything was already said and done, it is already too late for regret.
Huang Shuo said, “Since a Fairy Dragon resides in the lake, how should we enter?”
Ling Xiao replied, “In at most one day, the Illusory Shrine will open anew. At that time, a passage to the shore will be formed. We will just have to pass through it to enter the Illusory Paradise.”
With a thoughtful look, Huang Shuo responded, “Let’s just wait and see.” Saying that, he led the group of demon powerhouses to sit nearby. When they arrived together at this lakeside housing the Illusory Shrine, the aura of nature had started to corrode them gradually. Hundreds of buildings started to surround the place, giving rise to a very peaceful scene.
The Temple Alliance’s forces did the same: everyone sat in succession, waiting for the opening of the Illusory Shrine.
Long Haochen inadvertently looked in the direction of the demons, happening to meet with the charismatic Yue Ye’s eyes. He also met Leng Xiao’s gaze. However, the two of these girls gave him completely different looks.
Yue Ye was beaming with a smile, filled with gentleness and warmth, just as if she was looking at her lover. But Leng Xiao had a very fierce look, as if her eyes were going to pierce Long Haochen.
Yue Ye’s expression suddenly changed. She turned her head instantly, because she felt Cai’er’s gaze on her. Leng Xiao however was looking at Long Haochen and Cai’er without any fear, even showing her own clenched fist.
Seated in front of Yue Ye and Ling Xiao was a youth, who looked to be the leader of the demon group heading into the Illusory Paradise. With a tall build, he looked about twenty in appearance, and the most peculiar thing about him was that he not only had black hair but also black eyes. He calmly sat there, cross-legged and very serene, as if the aura surrounding his body was nonexistent.
Long Haochen’s look was very naturally attracted by this black-haired black-eyed youth, feeling an intense threat from the counterpart’s tranquil state.
That youth seemed to have felt Long Haochen’s attentive watch, because he slowly turned his head. At the split second their gazes met, all Long Haochen saw was nothingness, while the black-haired youth saw only purity. However, at the first time they looked at each other, they unexpectedly didn’t have any hostility towards each other, as if they weren’t natural enemies.
This black-haired black-eyed youth looked extremely handsome, and seeing him, Long Haochen seemed to have a familiar feeling of déjà vu, just as if he had seen him before in some place.
The look of that youth suddenly became cold, and he emitted a sharp murderous intent. However, Long Haochen could feel that this killing intent was forcefully set free, and didn’t contain any actual desire to kill.
What’s the matter with him? Could it be that I have seen him before? However, Long Haochen felt very confident toward his own memory, and didn’t remember having seen this youth ever before.
Turning his head away, and not looking at his counterpart anymore, Long Haochen slowly closed his eyes, and let himself be immersed in this place filled with nature. While the others felt the aura of nature weaken here, it
was exactly the opposite for Long Haochen. He discovered that although the aura of nature seemed weaker close to the lake, it was extremely pure. Thus it gave one the feeling of being weakened by it. This was because the pure aura of nature rejected humans in general. As if fearing to be soiled by their impurity, it was unwilling to approach them.
The purest aura of nature flowed through Long Haochen’s body, purifying it while providing moisture. A fantastic feeling of understanding started to emerge from this, and indistinctly, Long Haochen felt himself grabbing on to something. Gradually, his heart became more and more tranquil.
Waiting without doing anything was unlike Long Haochen. In his state of realization, his body seemed to have become one with nature, just like one of the plants here, and like a piece of dirt or an expanse of clear water. Seated near him, Cai’er felt that if she didn’t have eyes to look at him, it would feel just as if he was disappearing.
Time passed minute after minute and hour after hour, the two parties consisting of powerhouses didn’t fear the wait. The sky was gradually becoming dimmer, until nightfall came. With night’s descent, the air cooled down while the natural humidity went up.
A day and a night passed like that.
When the sky started to go white, Huang Shuo started to stand up, looking at Ling Xiao. It had already been a day and a night, but the Illusory Shrine didn’t show any signs of appearing.
Right at that moment, a marvellous sensation passed over everyone’s head. Originally immersed in cultivating, everyone simultaneously reacted in the same way. They all looked in the direction from where the change occurred.
The surrounding space distorted slightly, and the smell of nature suddenly became thicker. Everyone felt a great amount of vitality being absorbed through their mouths. Even the demons finally started to have a cozy feeling from this.
Above the lake, tiny ripples started to appear, growing larger and larger, and in the middle of the lake, a gush of water started to sprout. At this time, the omnipresent essence of life began to converge from all directions.
With the arrival of dawn, the Illusory Shrine slowly rose above the lake.
Gradually, a dark green palace emerged from the lake, and the clear water from the lake ran off in rivulets. Its transparence reflected the green color of the palace. Under the brilliance of dawn, it seemed to radiate all around, and as it gradually rose, the vital essence in the surrounding reached its peak. All the surrounding plants reacted to it, growing at a monstrous speed. Gradually, the shrubs that didn’t even exceed a meter in height, grew up until exceeding the humans and demons in size, and the fragrance of flowers also became heavier.
Finally, this dark green colored palace sat on top of the water’s surface, the instant the sun finally rose into view. The orange glow of the sun illuminated the Illusory Palace and gilded this shrine of nature.
A faint steam revolved around the shrine, slowly dissolving under the radiance of the sun. After being reflected by the emerald shrine, the haze amplified the dreamy character of this fantastic scene.
Light and water themselves were the symbols of life.
This was a scene that stunned everyone, and that no one dared to budge, because it was truly too beautiful. When seeing such a beautiful scenery, everyone seemed to have forgotten the danger they were going to face.
The Illusory Shrine had an extraordinary appearance, differing from every existing building on the continent. It didn’t have walls in the common sense of the word. The outside was covered by layers of green crystals, that became bigger and bigger towards the bottom. All around the base, they stretched out in all directions, just like the eaves of a cathedral.
Supported by a bunch of thick and solid pillars, the immense roof sat at more than thirty meters height. Each of the pillars would at least need three people to encompass them, and it seemed that the whole palace was
surrounded by a vague and soft green radiance. This hazy brilliance released from it made it impossible to see the interior of the Illusory Shrine.
From what could be seen, this shrine didn’t have any door. A total number of thirty-two pillars enclosed it, and concealed the inside of the shrine. It radiated an immense concentration of vitality, providing the surrounding with an extremely tranquil feeling.
Long Haochen felt a slight heat from his chest, and the Light Elemental Fairy Yating came out of her volition. Looking at this huge shrine, she slowly sank to her knees on a huge shrub, and bowed from afar. Her beautiful eyes were filled with tears, and she muttered words in an unintelligible fairy language. Her body seemed to glow transparently in the presence of the shrine.
Although Light Elemental Fairies focused their worship on the God of Light, the elements of light, water and earth were all extremely close to the Goddess of nature. Therefore, the Goddess of nature could be said to be a partial master to them. Returning to this place filled with natural energy and feeling the embrace of nature, how could Yating remain calm? She could clearly feel her own vital energy rising, while the golden radiance in her body circulated like tidal waves. Although it became calmer with time, her originally partially transparent body was becoming opaque, looking very close to a human’s.
Compared to the time Long Haochen had just made a contract with her, the vital energy flowing through Yating was tremendous. She had even evolved twice by relying on Long Haochen’s physique as the Scion of Light.
However, the origin for her weak state was the mortal wound she had suffered back then. All this time, she had had to rely on the Saint Spiritual Stove to appease it. But at this very moment, in front of the Illusory Shrine of the Goddess of nature, her body gained an extreme nourishment, and the internal injuries in her body were healed in no time through the intense vital energy. It also laid a firm foundation for her next evolution.
A gentle green radiance spread in the air, giving rise to this fantastic scene. Perhaps because of the influence of the massive energy of life spread by the Illusory Shrine, the vegetation on the shore grew suddenly at a great speed, especially the shrubs located nearest to the lake. In the midst of their frantic growth, the Illusory Shrine rose from the lake. The lake was now completely surrounded by thick and solid shrubs, that looked extremely tough and durable.
It was indeed strange, but these shrubs kept growing until they reached the height of the Illusory Shrine. Stopping at this point, it was as if they didn’t dare keep growing further.
Ling Xiao gave a glance to the leader of the imperial Black Dragon guard Huang Shuo, instructing in a low voice, “It is now possible to enter. Numerous chances are awaiting inside.”
Huang Shuo nodded, turning back before directing a look at the black- clad youth who had shared eye contact with Long Haochen just before. The latter then walked up in front of him, before giving a calm nod.
“Ahbao, be careful. ”
“Yeah.” The black-clad youth gave a simple reply. A light tap on ground with his toes sent him flying high in the air. Yue Ye, Leng Xiao, as well as the other participating demons followed him one after another.
On the other side, the humans followed in their tracks. Long Haochen, and Cai’er were comparatively at the end of their own group, while the two groups of ten entered the Illusory Shrine.
The shrubs growing around the lake were extremely tough, giving their feet a firm and steady foothold as they walked on top of them. Both parties crossed the shore like that.
Ahbao? So this guy is called Ahbao. Long Haochen had heard Huang Shuo’s voice very clearly. He hadn’t seen this black-clad youth clearly, but as the leader of the demon group, his actual strength and ability couldn’t be low.
The ten of the side of the Temple Alliance didn’t have a specific leader. After entering the Illusory Shrine, everyone would do things their own way. The two groups which were designed entirely differently, now moved at a distance of about ten meters, walking over towards the small gap between the massive pillars.
When they arrived in front of the shrine, the previous dense life energy became weaker. This shrine in front of their eyes gave them a surreal feeling, as their senses were assaulted by the surrounding aura. It didn’t contain the slightest impurity, but didn’t have the same vegetative sweetness from before either. This vaguely gave off a presentiment of the particularity of this place.
Pulling Cai’er’s hand, Long Haochen followed the others towards the shrine from behind, telling her in a low voice, “Cai’er, our main task will be to reunite after entering. If you face any danger, don’t try to be brave no matter what. Just activate the Illusory Gem and leave the Illusory Paradise.”
Seeing his deep concern, her lips formed into a beautiful arc, followed by her low voice, “Don’t worry. Because I have you, I won’t act rashly.”
Long Haochen held her by the waist, as the two of them entered the Illusory Shrine in the proper sense. They were also the last ones to enter.
Right after they entered the Illusory Shrine, their view was filled with a boundless green color.
An illusory coloration of green was reflected in their eyes. It was totally devoid of anything else than green. The soft green radiance appeared the same as the most primitive form of life, undulations rising up and down in the rhythm of their breath.
Just as Ling Xiao had told them, only after walking through this green brilliance they would truly be entering the Illusory Paradise.
With a step forward into the glint of light, Long Haochen and Cai’er both disappeared into this green brilliance.
Having just gone into that radiance, Long Haochen immediately felt a soft current of spiritual energy wrapping him in its embrace, and Cai’er whose hand was originally held by him disappeared.
The surrounding green grew even more intense, but everything seemed to be happening far behind him.
It was exactly the same as when travelling by flight on the back of a magical beast.
Long Haochen shut his eyes, surrounded by a bunch of changes. He noticed that his mental energy was unable to force the soft energy protecting him apart.
A short time later, everything suddenly became clear again. After taking a sudden step forward, he was already in another world.
The chirps of the birds and insects refreshed his mind with a tranquil feeling.
Meanwhile, outside of the Illusory Shrine…
Remaining in the midst of the Temple Knights’ formation, Han Qian walked at the side of a tall Temple Knight, saying in low voice, “Haochen is now inside. Given his intelligence plus the protection from the Illusory Gem, he shouldn’t be in any danger. Are you here to wait for him to return, or is it about some other matter?” If Ying Suifeng and Leng Xiao had heard his current respectful way of speaking, they would absolutely be greatly surprised.
Because the Temple Knights were all clad in Mythril Foundation Armor, their appearance couldn’t be easily seen. In a deliberate low voice, the other knight replied, “It doesn’t matter, I will be waiting here for him to return. This time, the powerhouses from the demon side are not low in number, but with me here, I believe that they won’t dare to act rashly without thinking. Huang Shuo has already noticed my presence. Given his extremely high position in the Black Dragons’ imperial guard, and furthermore his status as the trusted confident of the Demon God
Emperor, his strength is comparable to the top ten of the demon gods. Aside from the Demon God Emperor himself, and the Star and the Moon Demon God, no one would dare to be confident in being able to win against him. Without me here, this guy would surely do something fishy.”
If not for the fact that twenty rays of light instantly scattered in all the directions, Long Haochen would have believed himself to be still in the Illusory Forest.
The surrounding green light slowly disappeared, transforming into a mild green colored ball of light floating over his shoulder. Ling Xiao had told him before that if he wanted to return from the Illusory Shrine, he would need to pour at least 5,000 units of spiritual energy into this ball of light. Only after this would he be able to go through the last trial of the Illusory Paradise, and after passing, he would be able to return smoothly. But if instead, he used the Illusory Gem, he would however be able to return immediately.
High in the sky, the twenty scattering lights immediately attracted Long Haochen’s attention. Of course, he knew what these were. Ling Xiao had warned them carefully that these colored lights were the spiritual stoves that had appeared in the sky as soon as they entered the Illusory Paradise, before scattering all over the Illusory Paradise.
However, Long Haochen didn’t immediately get into motion, but only watched attentively. After memorizing the rough location of these lights, he stirred the internal spiritual energy in his chest.
Honestly speaking, Long Haochen was enormously nervous at that time. He was uncertain on whether he would be able to connect with the Tower of Eternity. After all, this was a place controlled by the goddess of nature, and the Tower of Eternity was made by a necromancer. Even if it went as he expected, the Tower of Eternity in itself was a weapon, and as such it was
certainly incompatible with the power of the goddess of nature. Under these circumstances, it was hard to predict whether they would be able to connect with the Tower of Eternity. In case he failed, all their previous plans would have been for naught.
This was also the reason why Long Haochen and Cai’er entered together, and the important reason why Long Haochen didn’t tell Cai’er to concede in the competition. Cai’er entered the Illusory Paradise together with him, so even if he didn’t manage to connect with the Tower of Eternity, there would at least be two people from their team able to fight for a few spiritual stoves. If conversely, it was only him, he would certainly not be able to grab more than one. After all, Ling Xiao had informed them already about the severity of the last trial.
With a faint twinkle of brilliant light, Long Haochen’s eyes wore an ice- cold expression, and a golden brilliance started to be released from the area around his chest, precisely from the Eternal Melody.
This Illusory Paradise was rich of the four main elements, light, water, earth, and the rare and unseen wood element, exclusive to the nature! This made a great variety of elements.
The wood element was especially powerful in places with a great amount of vegetation, but would become greatly weakened in places without it. Because of its tight connection with nature, it also got called the energy of life.
The spiritual stoves that had just spread into the air were for the greater part related to these four elements.
As he was currently immersed in connecting with the Eternal Melody, a dense light essence surged out from Long Haochen’s chest, causing the burning feeling coming from within to become increasingly intense, and all the surroundings to blur.
Long Haochen sensed every little change on his body despite, or perhaps rather because, he was inside of the Illusory Paradise. This time, against all expectations, he felt against the destructive process of the spatial laws of the
universe. From the Eternal Melody a dense light essence was released from which a gate emerged without a sound. In the process of the gate’s opening, everything was completely under the control of the fluctuating light essence inside the Illusory Paradise, giving the impression that this gate was part of the Illusory Paradise itself.
The spatial gate opened slowly, but Long Haochen’s spiritual energy was also consumed at a monstrous speed. In fact, he didn’t need to consume any spiritual energy to open the Tower of Eternity in the past, but this time, in just an instant, half of his spiritual energy was exhausted, and the consumption still continued.
Under a sensation of having lost all control, Long Haochen’s forehead was already starting to drip with sweat. The situation he was the most unwilling to see was in fact, to have the entirety of his spiritual energy depleted without even managing to connect with the Tower of Eternity.
But by chance, he had considerable luck this time. Right when he had only about a thousand units of spiritual energy left, his figure suddenly started to distort, and disappeared with a flash of golden light.
Following next, a familiar death energy filled the air, crowding around his body, and the Eternal Melody started to absorb the light element exclusive to the Tower of Eternity to help him regain his spiritual energy.
Greatly overjoyed, Long Haochen rushed in the Tower of Eternity. His comrades had entered the tower at their top condition, but after waiting for him for a long time in this place filled with death energy, each of them was itching to go out. Seeing Long Haochen appear there, they were immediately excited.
“Boss, did it work?” Sima Xian asked in a hurry.
Long Haochen nodded in response, “There shouldn’t be any problems. It’s just that in the process of transporting myself here, I spent quite an amount of spiritual energy. Bringing you back there with me will very
possibly even increase this consumption, so I will first cultivate to recover, and then, we’ll immediately leave.”
Time wouldn’t stop for them, thus in all likelihood, those in the Illusory Palace surely had already started to move. If they didn’t hurry back, the benefits would likely fall into others’ hands. After all, there were only that many spiritual stoves, and no one would be satisfied with just one.
Sitting cross-legged, Long Haochen let his mental force loose, rapidly recovering his spiritual energy. However, even given his cultivation rate, he would need no less than half an hour to regain his previously consumed spiritual energy without Yating’s help.
“Lin Xin, give me some Great Recovery Pills. I still don’t know how much spiritual energy will be necessary to transport you back.”
After receiving the Great Recovery Pills from Lin Xin, Long Haochen led his comrades outside of the Tower of Eternity, immediately launching the teleportation.
As he justly expected, transporting them back was very challenging and came with an immense consumption. Only after taking six Great Recovery Pills consecutively and with almost nothing left of the spiritual energy in his body, they were finally transported surrounded by a golden glow.
With a radiant flash, a rich and fresh air immediately assaulted their faces, giving everyone a great shock.
“Is this the Illusory Paradise? It’s really beautiful!” Chen Ying’er said in high praise.
Long Haochen replied, “Follow me closely. We have to immediately look for the spiritual stoves. We are already quite late, so let’s hope that we’ll have good look. Let’s go!” Saying that, he didn’t even take the time to recover his spiritual energy, immediately leading his comrades by giving them directives about the directions. Meanwhile, he also called out the Light Element Fairy Yating to help him recover his spiritual energy.
In an environment such as the Illusory Paradise, his recovery of spiritual energy was a lot faster than in the Tower of Eternity. With the overactivity of both the Eternal Melody and Yating, and the further addition of his spiritual cavities, he didn’t have to rest. After all, he only had consumed spiritual energy, and was mentally completely unfaced.
The direction Long Haochen decided on was meticulously chosen, because he hadn’t been able to instantly memorize the attributes of so many spiritual stoves in such a short time. However, he remembered the general directions in which the spiritual stoves had been flying, and thus chose the direction with the highest density of spiritual stoves. In addition, it wasn’t so far from their location either, which gave them the most optimal setup to find the most spiritual stoves possible.
Long Haochen discovered that after his comrades followed him there, every one of them had a green ball of light hovering beside them. Very clearly, it would be impossible to use the Tower of Eternity to leave after getting spiritual stoves here.
Ling Xiao had told him that he could, in times of danger, rely on the Illusory Gem, but after getting any spiritual stoves here, the gem would lose all effectiveness. This was because getting a spiritual stove would be equivalent to achieving a connection with the Illusory Shrine, which would make the trial of the Illusory Shrine necessary to leave this place.
This was a matter Long Haochen had thought deeply about before: if in the end, everyone obtained a spiritual stove and passed through the trial, he would then transport them back to the Tower of Eternity right before leaving the Illusory Shrine. Given that the demons would be under the watch of the powerhouses from the Alliance, they wouldn’t dare to approach the Illusory Shrine rashly either. According to everything Ling Xiao had said, this Illusory Shrine was very strict regarding the limitation of spiritual energy being fixed at ten thousand units. Long ago, a powerhouse of the ninth step had almost died here, but luckily had retreated in time.
Although Cai’er wasn’t present, the six of them still maintained their habitual battle formation. In the front was Long Haochen, Sima Xian and
Wang Yuanyuan covered the two flanks and Lin Xian as well as Chen Ying’er were in the middle, with Han Yu protecting the back.
The Illusory Paradise could be really called a heavenly paradise. Everywhere they passed, various rare and precious plants could be seen, and Lin Xin frequently told everyone to stop to pick up some of the precious plants he recognized. Seeing his eyes beam with smiles, anyone could tell out that they had a considerable value.
Long Haochen didn’t press him. Regarding his comrades, the most important thing during this trip for him would be their safe return. Under these circumstances, the major premise was to find a way to accomplish that while getting some benefits. These herbal treasures could directly be harvested, and would thus be naturally given priority. As for the spiritual stoves, it would require them to test their luck.
Everyone walked and stopped successively like that. Since they were following a precise direction anyway, they just kept advancing forward.
It was indeed impossible to fly in the Illusory Paradise. Even Yating who fit into this environment perfectly, could at most fly around five meters high before being drawn to the ground.
However, having her around was a great help to Long Haochen. After their arrival here, Yating’s ability seemed to have strengthened to a great extent Her Condensing Spiritual Halo was nearly twice as effective as in the past. In no more than a quarter of an hour, Long Haochen’s consumption of spiritual energy was completely replenished.
And through Yating, Long Haochen’s senses seemed to have grown sharper. He could now perceive the undulation of spiritual energy within the scope of a thousand meters.
Around them were many fantastic precious plants, and a very clear stream flowed through the forest, from which occasionally a faint fog arose, that would give a feeling of hazy beauty to everyone. But that fog wasn’t a mixture of dirt and condensed water, but formed from pure liquid elements. The faintly golden colored light element, the faintly green colored wood
element, the faintly blue colored water element, and the faintly yellow colored earth element. Occasionally, the colors corresponding to the other elements could also be seen. This scene was exceptionally beautiful, just like in a dream.
Walking through the fog of one’s own element, one would immediately gain a sensation of awareness, accompanied by an increase of the fluctuations of the spiritual energy in his body. It also produced faint boosting effects, and caused everyone to feel an urge to sit down and cultivate.
But unfortunately, this bright fog was floating, thus absorbing it in a seated position would be quite hard.
Long Haochen was the only exception to that, because he didn’t need to absorb it by himself. Yating could directly absorb the light essence contained in the faintly golden fog. In a short amount of time, she had absorbed three shrouds of golden fog, which provided the skin of her already real-looking body with an attractive golden shimmer. The pure light element then passed through her connection with Long Haochen, and was transmitted into Long Haochen’s body. In this situation, his spiritual energy was incessantly increasing. Although it couldn’t be called a phenomenal speed, it was still a lot faster than normal cultivation speed.
Unfortunately, the Illusory Paradise opened only once every hundred years, and would only stay open for three days every time. Otherwise, if they could cultivate in such an environment, they wouldn’t even need one year to hit the bottleneck of the seventh step.
Continuing forward, everyone gradually calmed down. This place was really beautiful, to the extent that even the tomboyish Wang Yuanyuan couldn’t help but sigh in high praise: if I could stay in such an environment everyday, I wouldn’t even need to rest.
Colored in all kinds of beautifully lights, the rare plants growing everywhere attracted everyone’s attention. The cozy and relaxed feeling gave everyone a desire to stay there forever.
But Long Haochen clearly didn’t have this intention. Not because he didn’t appreciate this environment, but because of his current worries about Cai’er. Now that Cai’er wasn’t by his side, he felt somewhat empty and restless.
Suddenly, Long Haochen stopped in his tracks, making a gesture in the direction of his teammates. Closing his eyes, he concentrated his attention on sensing something.
“There are intense fluctuations of spiritual energy to the left. It seems that some people are fighting there, let’s take a look. Take care to conceal your presence everyone, and listen to my orders.” Arriving at this point, Long Haochen couldn’t help but flash with killing intent in his eyes.
The demons had no idea at all that his comrades came through the Tower of Eternity, and this was something he couldn’t let them know, no matter what. Otherwise, it would perhaps lead to another conflict between the Alliance and the demons.
Thus, before leaving, he had a talk with his comrades: in case they would be discovered by some demon, they would have to kill him immediately, and this came even before collecting any spiritual stove.
Wang Yuanyuan silently sent a surge of spatial spiritual energy forward, softening the turbulences caused from their breath in the air, and Han Yu also silently summoned his Demonic Eye.
Long Haochen could perceive weak surges of spiritual energy within a thousand meters, but as for those violent fluctuations coming from a battle, he could perceive them over a range of at least two thousand meters.
As they advanced forward, the shrubs and the forest became denser, and little by little, the sounds of battle reached the group’s ears.
At this time, Long Hoachen however chose to stop in his tracks, giving his comrades the order to hide and wait for his orders, before taking out Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light, as well as Bright Discipline, wielding the two swords in his hands and secretly diving in the direction of the sounds. Although he wasn’t an assassin, he had precise control over his spiritual energy, and could conceal his own presence.
As he closed the distance, the scene became clearer to Long Haochen. It now unfolded right in front of him.
With a flash, Long Haochen rapidly climbed over a large tree, but in the midst of his climbing, he discovered that even if he only climbed over the trees, when going above five meters height, a pressure would manifest in the air, causing a condensation of spiritual energy constricting him, and consuming his spiritual energy.
However, this wasn’t an amount he felt a need to take in consideration. From the small chinks between the trees, he finally discerned who the two parties were.
On one side was a young fierce-looking demon who could be called the ugliest of the ten demons that entered this time, but also the tallest one.
His height exceeded three meters, his face looked totally ferocious, and he had a pair of gigantic black wings on his back. In his hand was a heavy sword glinting in a blue fire. Needless to ask, this had to be a major figure among the Fiends, which implied they were also involved in this time’s ordeal.
And his opponent was clearly not a human powerhouse of the Alliance, but a bizarre magical beast.
This magical beast was similarly huge and sturdy. It was surprisingly a gorilla, with a sleek black skin. Surprisingly, his build was even more imposing that that Fiend’s, and intense yellow energy spread from his entire body, launching severe attacks. The fluctuations of spiritual energy Long Haochen felt before mostly belonged to the earth element, and were clearly directed in killing that young Fiend.
It looked as if the two parties were rather slow, but the battle was exceptionally fierce, the two opponents going completely all out against each other. That gorilla used its two arms as a weapon, and fight recklessly against that young Fiend. Every time they collided, metallic chirping sounds were produced.
However, that was after all its body and not a real weapon. Relying on his Sword of Blue Flames, the young fiend had the upper-hand to a certain degree. Each attack of his left a mark on the hand of the gorilla.
Looking once again at their surroundings, Long Haochen immediately understood the reason for their battle. At their side, nearby, was a mild white radiance floating in the air. That radiance was approximately the size of a human head, just as if it had been hung here. Around it, four little legs could be seen, and a dense white light was emitted from inside.
That was a spiritual spiritual stove, and it was a very rare non-elemental spiritual stove.
What is an non-elemental spiritual stove? There is a simple example for that: Long Haochen’s Saint Spiritual Stove. This type of non-elemental spiritual stoves are among all spiritual stoves the most versatile ones. In other words, it can be absorbed by powerhouses of any element. Obviously, that demon was attracted by the sight of this spiritual stove. And the gorilla protecting it was a Spiritual Stove Guardian like those Ling Xiao mentioned. Every spiritual stove would have a guardian, and killing the guardian or obtaining his approval were the only ways to get it. Obviously, this young Fiend was pretty lucky, for encountering a spiritual stove that he could absorb so quickly. But of course, it could also be said that his luck was very bad, because he encountered Long Haochen here.
Not intervening immediately, Long Haochen instead quietly went back, returning to the location where he had left his comrades before. After a few words of explanation, he returned once again to the top of this large tree.
Without need to say anything, he transmitted his intention to Yating, who lightly chanted continuously, spreading soft golden ripples over Long Haochen’s body.
This was a skill that Long Haochen wasn’t capable of using: the Great Recovery technique, a pure healing spell. And being able to use it wasn’t required since as long as Yating had this capability, he would also gain it.
Giving her a thumbs up, Long Haochen’s body flashed as he finally jumped from the tree.
With the sudden appearance of another party, that sturdy gorilla and the young Fiend both stopped their attacks.
And right at that time, a glint of gold arrived on the body of the gorilla.
That was precisely the Great Recovery which was cast with Yating’s help.
Often, actions would be a lot more important than words. Long Haochen didn’t know whether that gorilla understood his language, but he could use actions to easily let it know his status as ally or enemy.
A Great Recovery was launched on the Gorilla, immediately healing the cuts on its arms at fast speed. The warm and pure light element immediately eased up the aggressive look the gorilla had towards Long Haochen by a great extent, which immediately appeared a lot gentler.
Meanwhile, Long Haochen launched a rapid charge toward that young Fiend, leaving his back open to the gorilla.
Through body language, his confidence towards that gorilla was expressed. He believed that a magical beast acting as a Spiritual Stove Guardian of the Eternal Paradise will be blessed with some intelligence. At least, it would understand that he was giving it his assistance.
With a low roar, the young fiend unleashed the Sword of Blue Flames in his hand, aiming to sweep at Long Haochen.
Corrugation was produced in the glowing airstream, but Long Haochen didn’t retreat in the slightest, crossing his swords and using Divine Obstruction.
Dang— With a crunchy sound and a glint of gold, Long Haochen against the expectations was pushed back, but from this, he got to sense the opponent’s strength: peak of the sixth step. This attack was already close to the power of 10,000 units of spiritual energy.
However, this didn’t mean much to Long Haochen. The gap of spiritual energy could be made up with his dexterity as well as his other strengths.
Bright Vengeance was unleashed with a bright glow, and Long Haochen rapidly tread on the ground with his left foot. Suddenly sending out force from his leg, he was propelled towards the direction of that young Fiend like an arrow. In his right hand Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light took the shape of a myriad of bright lights aiming at the opponent. It was Demon Wiping Flash.
However, the young Fiend didn’t retreat in the slightest, sweeping the Sword of Blue Flames vertically. A wide expanse of blue rays immediately clashed against Demon Wiping Flash, unexpectedly nimbly blocking all the attacks arriving at him.
That’s… Glorious equipment!? That Sword of Blue Flames was at least a piece of equipment at the Glorious Tier.
The young Fiend’s battle experience was clearly plentiful: at the same time he blocked Long Haochen’s attack, the wings on his back spread out and a thick spiritual energy instantly burst out from his back. Immediately, an identical copy of his own body came out as a brilliance, directly rushing at Long Haochen.
This brilliance flashed with strong blue flames, and in the instant of its launch, the temperature in the surroundings increased abruptly, and the nearby plants all burnt.
With a cold snort, Long Haochen kept going forward, but recovered Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light, his two arms drawing a vertical arc while grasping Bright Discipline.
A gaudy bright light was accumulating around Bright Discipline, covering it completely with a flash of gold. It met that blue-green luster and it took only an instant to divide it in two, streaming past the two sides of his body. Immediately, Long Haochen erupted with golden radiance, and the golden wings on either side of his body abruptly flapped, propelling him forward. Due to the explosive speed, he seemed to appear illusory in the air.
The instant Long Haochen broke through his doppelganger-attack, the young Fiend finally looked somewhat frenetic. However, he wouldn’t be so easy to deal with. With a furious roar, the Sword of Blue Flames was also raised, aiming to welcome Long Haochen’s Bright Discipline.
However, this thrusting motion didn’t aim to block the attack of Bright Discipline, but rather aimed directly at killing the opponent.
The Sword of Blue Flames was close to two meters long, whereas Long Haochen’s Bright Discipline didn’t even reach a meter and a third. Executing the same thrusting motion, it was obvious that Long Haochen would lose. This young Fiend understood this perfectly, and choose wisely even in a situation where he was under a lot of pressure.
Actually, he had no choice but to do so, because he clearly felt the great danger in the sharp Asura Strike Long Haochen released just now. And on top of that, Long Haochen’s combination of speed, Asura Strike and Asura Thrust was so fast that he couldn’t act otherwise.
If Long Haochen evaded, his attack would weaken, but if he didn’t do so, the Sword of Blue Flames would be bound to pierce his body. Considering
this young Fiend’s cultivation and his weapon from the Glorious Tier, this wasn’t anything his Glorious Holy Armor could block.
However, the resolution to kill the enemy in Long Haochen’s eyes didn’t weaken at all. As he was rushing forward, the toes of his left foot suddenly treaded on the ground, and his whole body suddenly changed direction, just as if it lost control over its center of gravity. It turned his original front charge into an attack from the side.
This simple change enabled him to pass the thrust of the Sword of Blue Flames. What looked like a simple motion was done at the most crucial timing. Thanks to it, the Sword of Blue Flames only brushed against the Glorious Holy Armor, causing frictions on it while producing a series of ear-piercing sounds.
Puff. Because of the deviation of his trajectory, the target of the attack, which was originally aimed at the enemy’s chest, changed. The left shoulder of the young Fiend was pierced, and the intense light essence turned into an extremely sharp energy, instantly drilling into the opponent’s body.
Hou. The young Fiend let out a violent cry, and immediately afterwards, a series of loud explosions erupted in his left shoulder, creating a bloody hole the size of a human head. The fiend took his chance to stumble back, flapping the wings on his back to escape while sticking close to the ground.
The explosions in his shoulder weren’t triggered by Long Haochen himself, but a reaction of the fire and darkness elemental spiritual energy in his body.
The reason for this was simple. When Long Haochen’s Asura Thrust pierced his body, it produced an intense burst of spiritual energy that his energy channels were unable to resist. Although it was just aiming at the middle of his shoulder, if kept unchecked to devastate him, he wouldn’t even be able to escape.
Thus, this young Fiend took swift action, causing the explosion of his own spiritual energy at the crucial time, triggered by the sharp spiritual
energy released from Asura Thrust. This produced an enormous wound which bled profusely, but for the time being, he still had the ability to respond, or at least escape. Even if spiritual stoves were precious, they were useless to a dead person.
Long Haochen didn’t pursue him, not because he didn’t want to, but because he wasn’t able to.
His Asura strike and thrust, looked at first glance like a combination of the simplest kind, but it produced the most powerful attack he was currently capable of. Asura Strike and Asura Thrust were enough to consume half of his spiritual energy! Regardless of how good his talent was, he would need some time to recover after the use. At least to stabilize the remaining spiritual energy in his body. By relying on Brilliant World Yating transmitted some of her pure light elemental spiritual energy into his body. It could be seen that this pretty little fairy was floating behind him, spreading her arms forward, and producing a lustrous radiance shining upon Long Haochen’s back.
The reason why Long Haochen decided to meet him head on was that after looking meticulously at the prior exchange, he came to determine that this young Fiend possessed a considerable strength, reaching the top of the sixth step. If this had been a normal battle, Long Haochen wouldn’t be able to win so easily, because the opponent wasn’t simply at the peak of the sixth step. To be the representative of the Fiend Clan in the Illusory Paradise, his position within the Fiend Clan was clearly high. He could definitely not be regarded as an ordinary Fiend. In case he confronted the opponent face to face, Long Haochen didn’t have the assurance to win.
However, it was completely different with the consecutive use of Asura Strike and Asura Thrust. With the abrupt appearance of Long Haochen, in combination with the contiguous use of his most powerful attacks without any time of pause, the opponent was sure to be taken by surprise. And sure enough, the fight was resolved in a single blow that immediately wounded the opponent seriously.
At this moment, that young Fiend felt quite depressed. He didn’t even understand how Long Haochen had achieved that. His Shadow Strike could
be considered a powerful ability, combining offense and defense at once, but it was immediately broken by Asura Strike. And right afterwards, Asura Thrust had almost prevented even his escape. With the addition of Long Haochen’s fast reaction speed, it took just a bit to wound him to such an extent.
He was already at his limits mentally, but still stayed cool-headed. After such a serious wound, the priority was to escape. As long as he stayed alive, he would have a chance to pay him back.
The young Fiend was about to conceal himself in the forest, when he suddenly felt intense killing focusing on him, just before an immense ball of brilliant light crashed into him.
This attack came very suddenly, and was extremely powerful.
Since this was a matter of life and death, the young Fiend erupted with all his potential, and the pair of wings on his back stretched to their limits. Relying on the aerial propelling force to rush forward, his right feet tapped onto that ball of light, borrowing its force to leap to the side.
With a loud bang, the ball of light fell to the ground, but that young Fiend’s body that was flying obliquely shivered violently, and instantly lost all sensation in his right leg. Was the Crush of the Energetic Ball of Light combined with Ripples of Light so easy to resist? And more importantly, by a demon already being seriously wounded?
An intense silver light came crashing into him with a loud bang, and this time, he didn’t have any chance to escape. Clenching his teeth tightly, he brazenly waved the Sword of Blue Flames, while spouting a mouthful of black blood onto the sword. Tblue flames surrounding the sword immediately burnt lustrously, and forcibly broke through that silvery radiance, but his body was already compelled to fall to the ground.
I cannot stop now, or else I’m sure to die. The young Fiend at this time only had this one thought completely filling his mind. He struggled to straighten up again, hitting the ground at full force with his left foot and pushing his own body in another direction. His figure nearly drew a curve,
while the wings on his back flapped at full power. The spiritual energy in his body gathered frantically at the tip of his wings. Because of the excessive force he used, blood gushed madly from the massive wound on his shoulder.
However, at this time, he wasn’t able to deal with this much pressure.
Flying up in the air, the young Fiend spouted another mouthful of black blood, and a change happened on his body. His muscles swelled instantly, and the wound on his shoulder unexpectedly healed at an astonishing speed. His active and aggressive self came back rejuvenated even further, and his speed suddenly shot up.
This was the Great Demon God Reconstitution Spell, a blood-bound demon spell.
An immense flame skull brazenly shot up at this time. This strike had been stored for a long time accumulating nearly four thousand units of spiritual energy. And its target was the young Fiend.
An ear-piercing boom shook the whole Illusory Paradise, and even all the members of the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad were shocked to a great extent by the following scene. That young Fiend unexpectedly forcibly broke through Lin Xin’s Fire Curse using Storing Power, without losing any speed, and flew in a specific direction.
The Great Demon God Reconstitution Spell could instantly mobilize all the hidden capability of the user, but one had to pay a with life vitality and soul force as a price to temporarily possess a formidable power.
In this seriously wounded state and while facing so many strong enemies, the young Fiend couldn’t show any more reservation. To survive, he would prefer to suffer the terrible aftereffects of the Great Demon God Reconstitution Spell. In fact, every time this ability was used, at least three years would be needed for the user to recover his vitality. And this Great Demon God Reconstitution Spell could only be used by the seventy-two
demon gods and their direct lineage. This was a clear revelation of this young Fiend’s status.
A glint was produced by a golden figure standing in his only escaping path, full of honor, launching Holy Filter Shield and Divine Obstruction.
In the meanwhile, two resonant dragon cries resounded at the back of the young Fiend. His Sword of Blue Flames was raised upwards, but an extraordinary force seemed to force him to turn around. His massive body crashed against Han Yu’s Shield, Bright Reflection.
Although he used Divine Obstruction, Han Yu was still sent flying by the collision. Meanwhile, two mini dragons of blue and gold formed of energy violently hit the young Fiend.
Accompanied by a wretched sipping sound, the young Fiend’s eyes were filled with despair, and right at this time, his spiritual energy burst out at an astonishing speed. Unexpectedly it broke through the threshold of 10,000 units right at this crucial time. Visibly, his original cultivation wasn’t so simple as having merely reached the peak of the sixth step. In truth, he had meticulously suppressed his own spiritual energy to come here.
However, right at the time when he wanted to break free of the dual dragons’ binding, and his spiritual energy rose past the 10,000, an extremely imposing force was suddenly set free in the Illusory Paradise. Immediately afterwards, a massive figure abruptly appeared from the sky, smashing violently against his body.
The body of the young Fiend was smashed to the ground, and a frantic series of attacks hit his body. The smashing sounds of his bones were accompanied by the gush of his blood splashing everywhere.
That figure that appeared abruptly was exactly the gorilla that had fought with the young Fiend before, only that an astonishing change had appeared
with him. It could be clearly seen that among those luminous clouds floating in the air, a great quantity of yellow colored clouds were being sucked into his body. His originally extremely robust self grew at an astonishing rate, in the blink of an eye reaching a height of ten meters. Soon, all sounds that could be heard from the young Fiend underneath disappeared gradually.
Long Haochen and his comrades found themselves in a situation that didn’t need their intervention anymore. Before, the young Fiend had been caught by the Pull ability of Long Haochen’s Saint Spiritual Stove, and as he couldn’t directly attack Han Yu, he fell victim of Dual Dragon of Light and Rain.
And as that young Fiend looked unable to struggle free, the seal that was placed on his body was broken, and the sudden increase of his spiritual energy had caused the sudden rage of that gorilla.
Among the others surrounding Long Haochen, Lin Xin gave Long Haochen a meaningful glance, looking at the white spiritual stove floating nearby.
Long Haochen lightly shook his head, hinting to the others not to act blindly without thinking. Killing that young Fiend was one thing but obtaining the spiritual stove was another. With the gorilla having just grown to such a level, they couldn’t possibly resist him, so going for the spiritual stove was clearly not a good idea.
Han Yu said lowly, “It looks as if this demon has suppressed his own cultivation before coming here. It was because he challenged the rules of the Illusory Paradise that this change was produced. The gorilla has at least broken through to the eighth step. ”
Long Haochen replied, “It was the Great Demon God Reconstitution Spell! I’m afraid that this Fiend was actually one of the successors of the
fourth demon god, the Fiend Monarch Saminaga. I didn’t expect us to end up disposing of such a big shot so easily.”
Lin Xin revealed a regretful expression, “It’s a pity that we weren’t the ones to execute the last blow. If I’m not mistaken, killing a successor of a demon god should grant a reward of at least 100,000 contribution points!”
Wang Yuanyuan reacted fast, “Be contend with the situation. If we can obtain even one spiritual stove, 100,000 contribution points won’t even be able to compare. Captain, that gorilla will not be easy to handle. Should we withdraw?”
Long Haochen shook his head, “There’s no need. Let’s wait and see. As long as we don’t act recklessly, it should at least not harm us.” His perception being so acute, and considering the addition of Yating’s and his own boost, obtained by being in the Illusory Paradise, he had actually all along sensed a change on the gorilla since back when he was attacking the Young Fiend. After being healed by his Great Recovery Technique, the gorilla’s attitude towards him became a lot gentler, and didn’t contain any signs of hostility.
The gorilla kept beating the demon over several seconds, before finally stopping. At the time he moved forth, the body of that young Fiend was entirely unrecognizable.
The gorilla’s thick hands had pounded the mass of mincemeat, and only after seemingly finding something in the remains, he turned back towards Long Haochen’s group.
Obviously, in his current state, he was really enormous, and Long Haochen’s group seemed very tiny in front of him.
That was at least a powerhouse of the eighth step! And very possibly, he had already reached the peak of the eighth step. It was only the fact the young Fiend broke the rules that made this large gorilla become so powerful.
Confronting such a magical beast, it was impossible to claim that they were calm. However, Long Haochen walked towards the gorilla without drawing back in the slightest, the Light Elemental Fairy Yating spreading her wings on his back, landing as lightly as a feather on Long Haochen’s shoulder. Inside the Illusory Paradise, she was visibly like a fish in the water; as a matter of fact, Long Haochen’s previously consumed spiritual energy was already totally recovered after such a short timespan. What kind of astonishing recovery speed was that?
The gorilla bent his arms, his two thick and powerful forearms touching the ground as the fierce look in his eyes gradually eased up. At this very moment, Yating suddenly flew out from Long Haochen’s shoulder, soared up to the gorilla’s nose and landed on it. This was a pretty funny scene, because as soon as the gorilla saw her, his two enormous eyes immediately converged in her direction, giving him a comical look.
Yating let out a series of melodious sounds, corresponding to the fairy language.
The gorilla clearly looked somewhat indisposed because of her. He lightly flung his head back, and sent Yating flying. Right at that time, the gorilla’s immense build started to shrink down to its original size, and the pressure he caused to Long Haochen’s group reduced accordingly.
Slowly coming in front of Long Haochen, its arm shot up, throwing a black thing towards Long Haochen.
Long Haochen unconsciously raised his hand and caught the object, before noticing to his surprise that this was an almost fist-sized magical crystal.
This magical crystal had a very specific appearance, or more precisely, it was crown-shaped. Entirely black in size, it emitted blue flames. Clearly, it was what the gorilla had been taking from the corpse of the young Fiend.
“This is…” Long Haochen gave the magical crystal in his hand an astonished look.
Lin Xin quickly ran to his side. He was a lot more knowledgeable than Long Haochen regarding this sort of fantastic items.
“A Crown of Heritage! There’s no doubt that this guy had been the successor of the Fiend Monarch Saminaga, and he was very likely ranked among the strongest. Only upon the death of a demon god would this specific crown-shaped magical crystal appear, and it can also appear for some successors of demon gods. It’s a real treasure that we have gotten. This thing alone is worth more than 100,000 contribution points! And reportedly, demons using a Crown of Heritage by setting it on a weapon, have been able to use its power to raise their strength by a whole level. However, you are unfortunately unable to use it, boss. The demons’ Crowns of Heritage can only be used by talented people of elements other than light. Else, the combination of light and darkness would produce terrible aftereffects.”
After pondering for a little, Long Haochen declared, “Let’s use this thing on your Fire Cloud Staff. After heading back, we’ll look for someone to set it on.”
“What?” Lin Xin looked startled, “But, this is no good, we’d better exchange it for some contribution points!”
Long Haochen was unable to help laughing at that, “How can’t you compare the benefits? What do you think the contribution points are used for, as our team’s god of wealth? What else is more important than increasing our strength? Since this thing is actually such a rare treasure, do you believe we should immediately use it to increase our power, or exchange it for some contribution points? We will give the good treasures to those in the team who are suited to use it. This is just common sense.”
Finishing his sentence, he bowed to the gorilla, “Thank you, friend of the forest.”
The gorilla let out a low roar, suddenly pointing a finger towards Long Haochen.
Staring a bit blankly, Long Haochen didn’t know what to do, but Yating came flying and pulled Long Haochen’s hand with both of her hands, placing it on the finger of that gorilla
Immediately then, bizarre fluctuations of spiritual energy were spread from the finger of this robust gorilla to Long Haochen’s body.
Long Haochen’s body in response glowed in a drizzling luster, and around the gorilla’s body appeared an undulating yellow radiance.
A moment later, a look of surprise gradually appeared in the gorilla’s eyes. Slowly lifting up his hand, he took two steps back before suddenly standing straight, his fists thumping on his chest, before letting out a strong howl. Giving a reluctant look to the nearby milky white spiritual stove hanging on the tree, he opened up his mouth, spouting a yellow brilliance illuminating the spiritual stove.
The spiritual stove floated in the air, flying in Long Haochen’s direction, but stopped right in front of him.
The gorilla suddenly turned around, and ran away. His consecutive low roars seemed to be filled with a reluctance to part as he kept howling over and over.
“He gave us this spiritual stove?” Sima Xian looked astonished.
Long Haochen nodded silently, “It should be so. Grandpa Ling said that one would need to pass through two trials to obtain the spiritual stoves contained in the Illusory Paradise. One way to obtain them is what we just did. By influencing the magical beast guardian to willingly hand over the spiritual stove. But when using the other method, killing the guardian beast to get the spiritual stove, the trials get a lot harder. And this applies for the final trial as well.”
Sima Xian nodded in response, “Boss, hurry up to fuse with it. We’ll see afterwards if there are others for ourselves.”
The others thought of this as a matter of course. Long Haochen was the core and leader of the team, and with this spiritual stove in addition being a non-elemental one, it was the natural choice to them to have him immediately use it to increase his strength.
Long Haochen shook his head, “I said just before that the decent treasures would go to the fitting person. Sure, I can use this spiritual stove, but I’m not it’s most fitting user. Come on, Ying’er, and assimilate it.”
“Me?” Chen Ying’er pointed to her own nose, giving Long Haochen a puzzled look saying that she didn’t understand why she unexpectedly should be the one to get the first spiritual stove.
Chen Ying’er was not only didn’t rejoice at his decision, but instead looked unconvinced, “Captain, aren’t you thinking that I am the most useless in the team, thus wanting to increase my strength as a priority? ”
Long Haochen laughed in spite of himself, “What nonsense are you blabbering? Hurry up and absorb it, it’s an order. How could you still call yourself weak? Just wait for McDull to evolve! Afterwards, this guy will evolve from a magical beast at sixth rank to a magical beast at the seventh rank. At that time, as long as we have the suitable magical crystals, he should be able to display a strength of magical beasts at the eighth rank. And this is still weak? This spiritual stove is the most fitting to you so hurry up and absorb it right now. As you absorb it, I’ll explain to everyone why you are the most suitable choice. ”
Only then did Chen Ying’er look happy over his decision, running to Long Haochen’s side in high spirits, before taking out her spherical Crystal Ball.
Specks of white light floated out from both of her hands. The instant she poured them into the Crystall Ball, it released a radiance and Chen Ying’er’s whole body was surrounded by soft undulations of spiritual energy.
The Crystal Ball flashed, emitting white light which enveloped the spiritual stove, pulling it before Chen Ying’er.
Chen Ying’er’s pretty face immediately sobered up. Biting the forefinger of her right hand, she let a drop of her blood fall onto the spiritual stove.
Immediately, a rich white radiance burst out, completely enveloping Chen Ying’er.
This white radiance was not intense but extremely dense and viscous, just like a huge glowing halo that enveloped Chen Ying’er.
Sima Xian asked, puzzled, “Boss, what does the spiritual stove do! Tell me.”
Everyone had general knowledge about spiritual stoves, but this didn’t mean that everyone knew everything concerning spiritual stoves. Generally, one would only know about the types of spiritual stoves his own vocation was able to assimilate.
However, Long Haochen was not anyone. Having followed his father to train since a young age, Long Haochen had learned a lot about spiritual stoves from him. It could be said that Long Haochen had knowledge about every known spiritual stove, and Long Xingyu had even drawn for him a detailed diagram for him to recognize all those known to him.
The reason why he had taught Long Haochen so much about spiritual stoves was part of Long Xingyu’s long-term planning.
From his point of view, even to his son, it would definitely not be easy to obtain several spiritual stoves, but he would sooner or later have to fuse with some. Really powerful spiritual stoves weren’t only individual ones, but could be those created through fusing several spiritual stoves together. However, completing such fusions would prove to be very challenging, but in case of success, it would become an exclusive new spiritual stove, whose potential would be boundless and unpredictable.
As a simple example, among the known spiritual stoves, the most powerful was naturally Cai’er’s Spiritual Stove of Samsara. However, this was just a single spiritual stove. If someone would succeed in fusing two or more spiritual stoves, the result could possibly even exceed the Spiritual Stove of Samsara in power.
Of course, this was a mere hypothesis. Even among fused spiritual stoves, up to this day, none had ever managed to surpass the attack power of the Spiritual Stove of Samsara. Otherwise, the legend of the former Scion of Samsara wouldn’t still be that prominent.
However from this, it could be seen how superior fused spiritual stoves were compared to ordinary spiritual stoves.
When fusing with a spiritual stove, the matter wasn’t only about choosing the spiritual stoves associated to one’s vocation: over the incessant tests over some dozens of thousands years of human history, some testimonies of experiences of fusion of spiritual stoves were available. Their key point was about their compatibility and their formidable strength, but a part of luck was also involved in the process.
No one would dare be certain to succeed in fusing spiritual stoves, but no matter to whom, as long as he possessed at least two spiritual stoves, he would have odds of achieving a fusion.
It was to let Long Haochen be prepared better for the future, when he would be more powerful and have the opportunity to fuse spiritual stoves, that Long Xingyu taught his own son about spiritual stoves in such depth.
Long Haochen declared, “This spiritual stove is called Scapegoat Spiritual Stove, and is ranked a bit higher than my Saint Spiritual Stove, but not by much. Any vocation can assimilate it, and after releasing its power, the user can upon being attacked resist the attack completely. The upper limit to achieve that is that the spiritual energy of the attack has to be below three times the user’s, and the Scapegoat Spiritual Stove can evolve at most twice. After evolving, it becomes a limit of four, then five times. Since Chen Ying’er is a summoner, her defensive power is the weakest among all of us, and she doesn’t even have any defensive magic
spell. In addition, she can temporarily not use any powerful summoning spell for the moment, and this is why I believe this spiritual stove will fit her the best, enabling to increase her survivability in the battlefield.”
“In addition, the Scapegoat Spiritual Stove is of rather gentle nature, so when we will leave from here, its trial will not be too hard. More importantly, the Scapegoat Spiritual Stove has another use, it can duplicate an ability the user has just used, but after doing that, the Scapegoat Spiritual Stove will lose efficiency for a whole day. Chen Ying’er’s Creature Summoning Gate is random, but after obtaining the Scapegoat Spiritual Stove, she will be able to make it a double summoning spell. This will greatly increase the odds of a powerful magical beast appearing, and in the future when she will be able to control the Creature Summoning Gate, we will then be able to use two Creature Summoning Gates at once in times of battle.”
Han Yu reacted, “But if this spiritual stove is given to you, its efficiency would be just as great! No matter whether it is about its Scapegoat or its Duplication ability, both would strengthen your fighting ability greatly. And these abilities can both play a decisive role in times of battle.”
With a laugh, Long Haochen replied, “That’s right, it can also be of use to me. However, I’m not done speaking. This Scapegoat Spiritual Stove is of good utility, but why do you think it’s rather ranked low? The reason is simple; the time required to activate this spiritual stove is rather long. Launching the Scapegoat ability requires at least ten seconds, and using the Duplication ability takes up 15% more time than the original ability. If I am the one to use it, my opponent would never give me this time. But Ying’er is placed in the middle of our team, so we don’t need to worry about the time needed for activating the spiritual stove, which is why I made the choice of letting her assimilate it. ”
Hearing Long Haochen’s explanation, everyone felt satisfied. That was right, this spiritual stove was indeed most suitable for Chen Ying’er.
Sima Xian said with a laugh, “Boss, when we encounter a spiritual stove focused on raw power, you definitely have to leave it to me. I like raw power the most.”
Long Haochen said with a laugh, “This will depend on our luck. I believe that the majority of the spiritual stoves have already been found by those who came here, but the fact we found one already made the trip worthwhile. Getting some more could be regarded as a bonus.”
Long Haochen had a very good attitude; he already possessed two spiritual stoves, so this time, it was mostly to raise the strength of his companions that he led them in the Illusory Paradise in this trip. Even if the activation time of the Scapegoat Spiritual Stove wasn’t so long, he would still prioritize giving it to his comrades. But this was just something he didn’t say out loud.
The white light enveloping Chen Ying’er’s body gradually vanished, and when she appeared again in everyone’s lines of sight, her face carried a startled look.
“Did the fusion succeed?” Wang Yuanyuan asked out of deep concern.
Chen Ying’er shook her head, before nodding, “I seem to have succeeded in assimilating it, but how is it that I cannot sense the power of that spiritual stove!?”
Long Haochen smiled to her, “Don’t worry, this is just the initial stage of the assimilation. How could that be so fast?! You still have to pass through the second and the third trial before you can consider this spiritual stove as having truly become a part of your own. At least for the time we are in the Illusory Paradise, you will be unable to use it.”
Chen Ying’er stuck out her tongue, “It’s rather annoying.”
Lin Xin unhappily replied to her, “Then how about exchanging your situation with mine? I won’t find that annoying!”
Chen Ying’er replied with a smile, “Okay! Then let’s make this a deal. If you can, just make my spiritual stoves walk up to you and absorb it.
I heard everything you just said before, this Scapegoat Spiritual Stove is really great! Thank’ya Captain.”
With a laugh, Long Haochen said, “Don’t thank me. This is something we obtained together. Let’s go, we have to keep searching. Lin Xin, how much of your spiritual energy has been replenished?”
The full power of Fire Curse had nearly exhausted Lin Xin’s spiritual energy.
Lin Xin declared, “I’ll just need to recover a bit. I am just not specialized in offense. Let’s just wait a bit before moving out Captain.”
Saying that, he took out a leather bag from some unknown place, animatedly running up to the mincemeat left of that young Fiend, picking up selected parts. And it went so far that he didn’t appear the slightest bit disgusted from such an ugly show.
Chen Ying’er immediately pouted out, “Has-drug-bro, how is it that you are so disgusting?”
Lin Xin replied without even turning back his head, “How is that disgusting? The medicine we use is mainly coming from the bodies of magical beasts and demons, and have you never taken any? From my estimate, this one is at the very least at the seventh step in strength, or has perhaps even reached the eighth step. Even after he suppressed his own strength, it still took so much effort from us to kill him. Although the corpse is broken into pieces, it’s still full of good things. And furthermore, there’s his weapon too. We have to take it back. It is made of pure fire element. Boss, let me take out my own money to buy it, I’ll offer it to Xin’er afterwards. Hehe, blue flames and Glorious Tier. What a good thing!”
Chen Ying’er twitched her mouth, “It looks that I’ll have to call you the rotten-collector has-drug bro in the future. ”
With Lin Xin picking up materials, the group wasted some more time before setting out. According to Long Haochen’s memory, some more spiritual stoves were pretty close from there.
Having experienced the previous battle, Long Haochen became visibly even more cautious. The young Fiend they had just killed greatly surpassed their expectations in terms of strength, and more importantly, among the demon powerhouses that entered in the Illusory Palace this time, this one was the last in row.
The demon hierarchy was very clear, one’s status would define his position. The black haired youth that gave him a gloomy feeling of nothingness was the most in the front, so that meant he was probably the highest ranked among all them. Even Yue Ye and Leng Xiao were only placed at the third and fourth position and not even the second.
Yue Ye was however the most doted daughter of the Moon Demon God, and as for Leng Xiao, Long Haochen didn’t guess wrong: she would have some relationship of kin with the Demon God Emperor, or at least belong to the Devil Dragon Clan. The only aspect unclear to Long Haochen was Leng Xiao’s strength. Being a member of the Devil Dragon Clan how could she not even have reached the sixth step of cultivation back then? However, it would be more accurate to say that she had clearly already broken through the sixth step now.
Although it could be said that the ten of the Temple Alliance that came here were members of Demon Hunt Squad, all not lacking in strength, the demons were even more meticulously chosen, and all those who came were the finest of their heroes. If they really met them in individual battle, those Demon Hunters from the Alliance would most likely meet with a terrible end. This caused Long Haochen to feel even more worried about Cai’er.
This scene very easily relaxed everyone, but Long Haochen maintained a state of great vigilance from beginning to end. Yating was seated right on his shoulder and his own perception was linked to hers. This way, Long Haochen’s originally extraordinary mental capacity was in addition spread onto the surroundings with an efficiency that only became all the better.
In fact, inside the Illusory Paradise, except from Eyes of Truth, any scouting ability was ineffective. Everything had to be investigated personally.
After roughly half an hour, they discovered a badly mutilated corpse of magical beast, its crystal having been already digged out, without any trace of nearby spiritual stove. With the basis of their previous encounter, this visibly meant that a spiritual stove had been snatched away, and by the means of sheer violence.
Long Haochen stopped his steps, and after pondering for a bit, instructed in a low voice, “Sima, dig a hole on the ground. We will bury this magical beast here, letting it return to the embrace of nature.”
“Yes!” At this time, everyone’s absolute trust was visible; no one questioned Long Haochen’s decision, and the Energetic Ball of Light smashed onto the ground immediately next, digging a deep hole. Without any fear of getting dirty, Long Haochen carried the magical beast over and buried it with the help of his comrades.
In this whole process, Yating didn’t make any sound, only silently watching Long Haochen’s act, until the end of the burial. One could see in her eyes her emotional state: she was moved to tears while filled with praise.
“Let’s go.” After burying the corpse, Long Haochen led the others and kept advancing. It was not only out of goodwill that he buried the magical beast, but also because of his comprehension of the Illusory Paradise.
This world was the residence of the goddess of nature, thus everything was expected to go in accordance with her amiable way of thinking. Slaughtering one’s way to get a spiritual stove was a choice, but who knew about the difficulty of the following trials? Even if some using the latter method managed to pass through, the cost they would have to pay for that would likely not be low.
Since there was a way to reduce this degree of troubles, why not do so?
Right before that gorilla handed him the spiritual stove, Long Haochen came to the decision that he would act as the protector of the Illusory Paradise.
This would not only give him a deep self-satisfaction, and conform with his character, but also very possibly grant him more benefit.
Long Haochen’s train of thinking was rapidly verified. Not far from where they buried the magical beast’s corpse, he suddenly discovered with surprise that his ability of perception and awareness seemed to have become even stronger. His perception of the surroundings was increased by more than a third, and in the Illusory Paradise, this was a considerable boost.
Since things were like this, Long Haochen immediately came to an understanding, whispering some instructions to his comrades. Everyone followed in succession, hinting that they were giving him their entire and absolute support.
To the current Long Haochen, there were two very important matters. The first was to find Cai’er and the second was to keep acting with accordance to this way of thinking until the end of this trip.
Though he was very strong as an individual, how could he compare to the great nature? This was an unchanging truth, at least as long as he wouldn’t be an entity as strong as the Demon God Emperor.
The increase of his perception was a great help, and as Long Haochen kept going forward, he very quickly had another reaction, this time sensing intense influx of spiritual energies colliding against each other, appearing even more limpid and fierce than during the previous time they encountered the young Fiend.
After pondering slightly, Long Haochen stopped in his tracks, telling his comrades, “There seems to be a violent group battle not far ahead. Don’t follow me; just stay concealed while waiting for my orders.”
After saying this, he drew out both of his swords once again, swiftly dashing ahead. Since this was a group battle, both his allies and his enemies were bound to be present. Under such circumstances, he naturally couldn’t rashly expose the fact that he brought everyone along to the Illusory Paradise. This was something he not only had to keep concealed from the
enemies, but even from the Demon Hunters of the Alliance, or else there would be some complications.
The further he advanced ahead, the clearer he perceived his aim. The group battle up there was extremely violent; such violent fluctuations of spiritual energy were after all hard to keep hidden. Rapidly, Long Haochen approached the battlefield, and when he came to see the battle, he couldn’t help but feel his breath ease up, because among the two sides of this group battle, he saw Cai’er in a single glance.
The two parties consisted of a total of seven people, and four of them were powerhouses from the Temple Alliance that he recognized. Cai’er aside, Long Haochen also recognized Zhang Fangfang, a mage as well as a warrior. And on the other side, the three enemies were Yue Ye, Leng Xiao and a haughty-looking young man whose entire body gave off a yellow glistening luster.
This was a four against three battle, and the two sides were in a state of fierce battle, about equally matched in strength.
These seven aside, there were three corpses on the ground, all belonging to magical beasts. And nearby, three different colored spiritual stoves floated in the air, emitting faint radiances.
Since these were actually three spiritual stoves, it was no wonder that it caused such a frantic group battle. While Long Haochen was secretly startled, he couldn’t help but feel somewhat excited. He didn’t need to call his mates here, since with his addition, their side was definitely able to suppress the opponents, and moreover, they would receive Yue Ye’s help at the critical moment. As long as these three spiritual stoves ended up in the hands of the Temple Alliance, even if Cai’er and Long Haochen only ended up getting one, it would still be a good thing.
Arriving there, Long Haochen transferred his own spiritual energy, planning to force his way inside. However, right at this time, he suddenly sensed a hard to describe fierce danger appear from behind. With a screech from Yating’s mouth, a golden light was released from her body, enveloping Long Haochen.
The danger came really too fast, to the extent that Long Haochen only felt the hairs on his own body setting upright, but it was often in such situations that he was able to display the best of his fighting capability.
Already unable to dodge in time, Long Haochen abruptly let loose his whole weight right at the time the opponent’s attack reached him, instantly transferring the spiritual energy in his body to his back. In the meantime, his whole body shot upwards, filled with vibrations.
Ripples of Light was used, and this time, not only light was rippling, but the same happened to his whole body. In the midst of his indiscernible vibrations, Long Haochen reached his peak condition.
With a bang, the mantle of light was smashed to pieces, immediately followed by the Glorious Holy Armor getting smashed to pieces, before a punch hit Long Haochen’s back, producing an effect similar to hitting an immovable mountain.
Long Haochen’s entire body was close to totally empty, just like a kite that was sent flying, and immediately, his body released a burst of golden light.
However, right after the opponent punch smashed him, he managed to turn around in midair, and learn the identity of the one who hit his back with such violence.
A handsome face appeared in his line of sight, and an aura of gloom and nothingness, spread upwards just like a net, meeting him head-on.
Even in a place so full of vitality, because of the diffusion of this gloom and nothingness, Long Haochen clearly felt the energy surrounding his own body fade away.
No mistake, the one who attacked him from behind was the leader of the ten demons.
At the same time Long Haochen was exposed, a miserable scream could be heard from the other side of the battlefield.
Long Haochen’s perception still encompassed all the surroundings, so he immediately sensed an extremely powerful presence that appeared on the other side of the battlefield. Along with its appearance, that mage from the Temple Alliance died, after being ambushed.
The fist of the black haired youth had shooed Long Haochen away, but he found out to his astonishment that Long Haochen seemed to have not suffered any injury, as his face showed a totally puzzled look. How could he know that Long Haochen wasn’t just strong in defense, but also that by relying on Ripples of Light, he managed to dispel the great majority of the impact? Resisting the darkness elemental attack, he managed at the same time to make the wounds he received pretty light, although existing, with the great item called Soul Linking Chains.
“So demons are only good at attacking by surprise?” Long Haochen landed on the ground, as the spiritual wings on his black blossomed triumphantly, giving off a glaring radiance. Without need for him to do anything, the energy contained in the golden fog of the forest seemed to be amassing inside his body.
This was the benefit of this field. Relying on his constitution as the Scion of Light as well as the amiable relationship he built before with the Illusory Paradise, Long Haochen gained the maximal backing of the environment. More importantly, he had Yating’s support, and conversely, although this black clad youth called Ah’Bao by Huang Shuo was strong, he clearly didn’t get any support from the Illusory Paradise. He was instead rejected by the surrounding environment.
“In this world, only results count. The methods used are unimportant.” Ah’bao said indifferently, not letting any of Long Haochen’s words sway him
At that time, although Long Haochen was extremely worried about Cai’er’s condition, he couldn’t dare to be distracted in the slightest. The pressure the black haired youth called Ah’Bao caused him to feel was enormous, far incomparable with the young Fiend from before. It seemed to him that if he showed the slightest hint of getting distracted, the formidable demon before his eyes would undoubtedly launch a destructive attack.
“This is the difference between demons and humans. You don’t have any notion of virtue or ethics, nor any sense of honor. You are mere beasts living only based on your instincts. In my eyes, you are no different from magical beasts, the only difference being that you’re merely stronger than ordinary magical beasts.” Long Haochen declared coldly.
Finally some reaction was seen in the eyes of that black-clad youth, but it quickly returned to normal, his face portraying some traces of a faint smile, “Trying to infuriate me? You are still too soft. Although I don’t look quite older than you, I am already thirty. How could my determination be weak enough to let myself be swayed by your words? Pay allegiance to me or die, pick either of these options. You are one of the rare humans that I have taken enough interest in to offer submission. I will give you this chance.”
Long Haochen smiled back, “Are you waiting for your comrades to surround me after killing my people? However, that won’t be so easy.”
The enemies’ ambush was indeed sudden, but Long Haochen was actually not in that much of a disadvantage from the situation happening right now. First of all, the sudden activation of the Soul Linking Chains was bound to have attracted his teammates’ attention, and considering their intelligence, they wouldn’t have any difficulties to tell that he ran into trouble. They would be sure to come here with haste, taking action right after seeing the situation.
On the other hand, Cai’er’s group was sure to be at a disadvantage, but never forget that Yue Ye was still a collaborateur in their group. With Cai’er’s control over Yue Ye’s body, she would naturally act at the crucial time, thus Long Haochen didn’t feel worried for the moment.
Ah’Bao reacted with a laugh, “Young man, aren’t you viewing yourself too highly? According to you, I would need help from others to deal with you?”
Long Haochen replied, “Thinking highly of myself? That may not necessarily be the case. I have obtained a Crown of Heritage magical crystal from killing one of yours right before.”
Hearing the words Crown of Heritage, some change finally appeared on the face of the black-clad youth, showing a gloomy reaction, “Who was the one you killed?”
Seeing his changed expression, Long Haochen revealed a stoic smile, “It’s the tallest among yours. If I am not mistaken, he should be one of the successors of the Fiend Monarch Saminaga, right? How about you? To have become the leader of this expedition, you are surely above that guy in status right? Saminaga is already the fourth demon god, so then, your identity is pretty obvious. You’re a successor of the Demon God Emperor, shouldn’t I give you this appellation? However, your name is quite young and tender sounding, Ah’Bao.”
“You are very intelligent. However, intelligent people tend to die young.” As he took a step forward, the ripples surrounding Ah’Bao’s body created a layer of nothingness. Although his movements looked incomparably slow, Long Haochen only saw a twist in the air before Ah’Bao appeared in front of him. He still hadn’t drawn any weapon but merely attacked directly with his fist, only striking him with the simplest of punches.
This time, Long Haochen had made ample preparations. Facing Ah’Bao’s attack, his expression abruptly became sharper, and while slightly drawing back, his body did a crouching motion. In the meantime, his left hand picked Bright Discipline from which a Shining Sunlight Strike broke out almost instantly, the skill being completely condensed on the sword.
At the same time, from his right hand, a Demon Wiping Flash burst out from Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light with a dazzling light.
Facing Long Haochen’s counterattack, Ah’Bao seemed to show no reaction, not even showing any intent of blocking it. His fist only slightly changed direction but still aimed at Long Haochen.
“Dang.” This first sound was emitted from the encounter of Bright Discipline with the black-clad youth’s arm, but to Long Haochen’s shock, Bright Discipline was easily repelled. Immediately afterwards, the Demon Wiping Flash from Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light shot out towards Ah’Bao’s body with a series of cracks. However, that was also nowhere enough to stop the opponent before him.
Being directly hit by the Demon Wiping Flash, Ah’Bao only furrowed his brows but didn’t suffer any damage.
Seeing his fist ram forward, Long Haochen’s right foot softly tapped onto the ground, and his whole upper body borrowed force from that movement to forcefully get out of the way of his opponent’s attack. Meanwhile, his Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light flourished with white light from the activation of Holy Sword.
From the beginning of the battle, Yating kept chanting from behind Long Haochen, and right now, Long Haochen stabbed out using the might of this Holy Sword.
However, Ah’Bao still didn’t even avoid the attack, letting Long Haochen’s Holy Sword hit his own leg with a piercing blow. But this time, the backlash was even more terrible. At that time, Long Haochen clearly saw his Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light bend because of the formidable pressure, before violently bouncing back with his own right arm.
Stamping on Ah’Bao’s waist with his left foot, Long Haochen seized the opportunity to bounce back, landing ten meters away, his face still filled with shock.
Looking at that Ah’Bao, it seemed that he didn’t carry a single piece of defensive equipment. All he was wearing was a simple black gown. However, his own attacks boosted with Ripples of Light didn’t have any effect when launched against him. It was the first time Long Haochen encountered such an opponent.
Regardless of your strength or your dexterity, if your attacks cannot deal any damage to the opponent, then everything becomes futile.
Ah’Bao indifferently declared, “So you are saying you were able to kill Shen Pian 申篇 with only this bit of strength? Even if his spiritual energy was suppressed, you are still far from being his opponent. Your strength is just a little above all the trashy knights that go all out at the price of their
lives against our kind all the time, and no more. However, that’s still not
Long Haochen took a deep breath. He knew that this Ah’Bao before his eyes turned out to be a lot more powerful than he expected. Only, even if this demon possessed over ten thousand units of spiritual energy, he shouldn’t be able to take on the attack of Holy Sword combined with Ripples of Light with his bare body! How could he block his attacks so easily with his physical body?
External spiritual energy!
These three words seemed to resound instantly in Long Haochen’s mind, and he immediately understood how Ah’Bao’s defensive power could be so terrifying.
That was right, the upper limit of spiritual energy was set at ten thousand units, but that was only valid regarding internal spiritual energy. Although external spiritual energy was also a kind of spiritual energy, it would only display the strength of one’s body. As long as Ah’Bao didn’t use any of his external spiritual energy to launch attacks, and only defended with it, even considering his powerful external spiritual energy, he wouldn’t be removed by the rules of the Eternal Paradise.
However, which level did his external spiritual energy reach? It had to be over ten thousand units strong. Otherwise, how could he block a piece of equipment of the Glorious Tier launching an ability of the fifth step?
Looking at Long Haochen’s bewildered gaze, Ah’Bao revealed a cold smile, “No need to try to guess, my external spiritual energy is over twenty thousand units strong, so even without using my internal spiritual energy, I’m still equivalent to a powerhouse of the eighth step. How could little shrimps like you stand a chance against me? This is mere pipe dream. If not for this loathing place restricting my attacks, my first attack would have been just enough to send you to heaven.”
Twenty thousand units of external spiritual energy? To Long Haochen, that was simply incomparable. How terrible could a level of external spiritual energy reaching 20,000 units be? He couldn’t even imagine that, since the combination of both his internal and his external spiritual energy did not even reach 7,000 units yet.
However, at this moment, he couldn’t possibly shrink back. In case he retreated, Cai’er and his comrades would be the ones forced to face this powerful existence before his eyes.
Taking a deep breath, Long Haochen calmly declared, “Since you are so strong, why aren’t you coming to kill me directly? If this was the external world, perhaps you would have the ability to do that, but at the time you entered the Illusory Paradise, your internal spiritual energy was bound by the limit of 10,000 units. As for your external spiritual energy, do you dare use it to attack me? Even if I cannot defeat you, it won’t be easy for you to defeat me either.”
Saying that, contrary to everyone’s’ expectations, Long Haochen retrieved Bright Discipline. He undoubtedly felt very hesitant, since this thirty years-old Ah’Bao had at least reached the eighth step of cultivation, and was even possibly at the ninth step. But so what? This was the Illusory Paradise.
Long Haochen made his move in the next instant, rushing forward to attack. In a split second, his speed reached its peak and the spiritual wings
on his back vanished as his eyes locked on the opponent with an ardent look.
Snorting with disdain, Ah’Bao didn’t seemed moved in the slightest by Long Haochen’s words, but this time, his response wasn’t a simple punch. His figure flickered forward, attacking Long Haochen sideways. A large net, consisting of intense darkness energy instantly formed in the air, shrouding Long Haochen in its range.
Long Haochen’s eyes shined with a glint, and an instant later, Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light was lifted up high over his own head. A majestic glance shoot forth from his eyes. The strong golden light instantly transformed into a sharp slashing attack as Asura Strike erupted.
Accompanied by ear-piercing hissing sounds, Long Haochen didn’t only use a mere Asura Strike. After having gone through constant training, he relied on Holy Sword combined with Ripples of Light to reinforce Asura Strike. However, the circumstances didn’t give him the time to use Storing Power. Even so, the power of this Asura Strike could already be described as frightening.
Asura Strike’s greatest feature didn’t lie in its destructive power, but in its sharpness. With its offensive power concentrating on the sharp edge of a blade, it bound all the surrounding energy at the same time. A loud sound disrupted the air, and although Long Haochen was put against a great resistance, the offensive power of Asura Strike still produced sufficient results. The darkness spiritual energy entangled into the shape of a large net, was instantaneously split in half, and in the meantime, Long Haochen’s golden wings instantly flapped on his back, propelling him forward at maximum speed. Following, his Asura Strike was then instantly linked with an Asura Thrust.
This combo sounds simple, but it was the refined result of having practiced for an uncountable number of times. Especially since he had reached the sixth step of cultivation, he had managed to strengthen this blow to its natural limits by relying on the acceleration provided by his spiritual wings.
Even if one possessed an external spiritual energy of 20,000, would he be able to resist the bursting Asura Thrust containing all of Long Haochen’s concentrated offensive power?
“Hmh?” Seeing the intensive eruption of power from Asura Strike, Ah’Bao was slightly startled. His originally apathetic assessment of a merely somewhat clever opponent was suddenly roused.
However, this was far from being enough to worry him. Facing Long Haochen’s Asura Thrust, his eyes shone with a drizzling purple brilliance, and his two black eyes suddenly turned purple. He used a way to greet the Asura Thrust that Long Haochen didn’t expect at all.
As he merely raised his right hand and pointed upwards with his forefinger, his forefinger already completely took on a sparkling and translucent purple color. It could be clearly seen that around his forefinger, purple lines of light were drawing circles in the air. The power originating from his finger actually filled the air with purple ripples, showing a series of fine cracks.
Asura Strike struck against Ah’Bao’s forefinger, and the collision of light against darkness, two entirely opposite entities, produced an abrupt explosion.
Long Haochen only felt his own Asura Thrust being completely stopped by a protective layer, and the immense reverse power against all expectations swallowed all the offensive power of his attack. Even after that, that terrifying energy of darkness kept wrecking havoc, engulfing his body.
However, on the other end, Ah’Bao didn’t stay unfaced. Obviously, he had a certain understanding of Long Haochen’s attack. Asura Thrust could be called Long Haochen’s current most powerful mono-target technique, even exceeding the Dual Dragons of Light and Rain in strength. How could such an attack be resisted so easily?
More importantly, Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light was in itself a weapon filled with many mysteries, that could unceasingly evolve until reaching the Legendary Tier. Its sharp power in combination with Asura Thrust caused the eruption of a top grade offensive power.
An ear-piercing exploding sound filled the air, and with a snap, his right hand bent in response. The sharp spiritual energy contained in Asura Thrust caused even a change to his expression. His whole body erupted with a deep purple light, that forced the sharp spiritual energy out of his body.