If she didn’t have such feelings of attachment, she wouldn’t possibly be feeling such pain. No matter how unsatisfied she was about the fact that Long Haochen threw her like that, at the time he held her in his arms, all of her grudges and all of her hatred turned into endless love. As her feelings gained the upper hand, she couldn’t hold back her tears anymore. They streamed down her cheeks in a steady flow, as she was already completely unable to struggle free of his embrace. Like this, the two of them remained in each other’s arms, staying silent for a long time.
Long Haochen could feel Cai’er’s current mood, and kept forming the shape of the word ‘sorry’ on her back. Still Cai’er didn’t gave him the slightest reaction, only continuously crying on his chest. After some time he gently carried her to the bed. But just as he started to lower his head to warm free her of her trembling state with a kiss, there was a sudden hard knock on the door.
“Captain, are you awake?” From outside, Sima Xian’s voice drifted into the room, and Long Haochen immediately lifted his head in a hurry, writing a few more words on Cai’er’s back.
Although unwilling, Cai’er finally let him go, but contrary to her expectations, he kept holding her in his arms, carrying her along to the entrance. Cai’er’s sad feelings finally weakened after taking it all out. Still slightly trembling, her face was buried at Long Haochen’s chest; she was unwilling to let anyone else see her crying face.
Long Haochen opened the door, immediately seeing that clean bald head.
Seeing Long Haochen, Sima Xian immediately rejoiced greatly. His arms were preparing to hug him, but as soon as he saw Cai’er in his arms, this thought immediately disappeared from his head. In embarrassment, he withdrew his arms.
“Boss, how are you? Are you alright? Did the pills of that has-drug-bro have any side-effects?” They weren’t idiots, and when Long Haochen had ordered the 22nd general grade Demon Hunt Squad not to take the Conjoined Spiritual Boosting Pills, they immediately guessed that some problem arose when the pills were taken. This had been what worried them the most. Long Haochen shook his head to this, giving the reply, “I am alright. It’s just that my body will still need a few more days to recuperate. My energy channels have bursted from the excessive amount of spiritual energy, but the damage is already being mended. It will get better after a few more days.”
Long Haochen smiled bitterly, “But there is a little problem with the pills. Although it isn’t too big a problem, those pills still are not something anyone at the fifth step can use. Tell this to Captain Luc Xi later. If he wants to use the Conjoined Spiritual Boosting Pills, he should wait at least until he reaches the sixth step, and then take it along with a Great Energetic Pill.” Thinking for a bit, he then continued, muttering irresolutely, “The best would be to use it after reaching the seventh step. The Conjoined Spiritual Boosting Pills are extremely tyrannical, and this makes it very hard to control the spiritual energy provided by others.” Sima Xian replied unhappily, “I knew something would go wrong with has-drug-bro one day. Heh, let’s settle the bill with him later…”
Long Haochen shook his head with a smile on his face, “You shouldn’t say that. This time, if not for the help of the Conjoined Spiritual Boosting Pills, I’m afraid that we wouldn’t have made it back alive. The Moon Demon had such formidable strength that we couldn’t possibly resist him with our current strength.” At this point, he couldn’t help but remember Yue Ye and his experience in the Moon Palace. This time, they had merely encountered a young Moon Demon, but in the Moon Palace, there had been a lot more powerful powerhouses, including the Moon Demon God.
For an ordinary Moon Demon to be so powerful, what level would the second Demon God out of the seventy-two, the Moon Demon God Agares, reach? Thinking of this , Long Haochen’s expression became a lot more focused. In spite of his current age, reaching such a cultivation level could only be done through hard work. But he wasn’t satisfied from this. This was what made him different from others, as he was a person that moved forward no matter what.
“Sima, did you have some reason to look for me?” Long Haochen was comforting Cai’er right now, and thus didn’t really want to keep chatting with Sima Xian. Furthermore, now that the battle was over, he also wanted to have some rest.
Sima Xian replied in a flash, “Yes, yes. The Saint Knight Chief wanted me to inform you that he wants you to attend a meeting in case you are awake.”
“A meeting? What sort of meeting?” Long Haochen gave Sima Xian a puzzled look. Sima Xian shrugged his shoulders in response, “I don’t know about that either. He wanted you to head to the General Assembly of the Priest Temple. You can directly go there. Oh, right, you have to bring the vice-captain along.” Long Haochen nodded his head, replying, “Understood. I’m going in a bit.” Since he was previously cultivating, he was only clad in underwear. How could he have looked for some clothes in such a short time?
Sima Xian gave Long Haochen a look, before glancing at Cai’er, revealing a malicious smile, “Oh, I understand, I understand! Boss, then I’ll be heading back first.” After saying this, he ran off in a hurry. Long Haochen, who felt quite helpless, closed the door behind him. He wasn’t really afraid of other people’s misinterpretations anyway. After informing Cai’er of Han Qian’s call for them to attend a meeting, he put some clothes on, and Cai’er used this time to sort out her feelings. After she cried for so long, her nose was still red, but her facial expression wasn’t affected by this in the slightest. Instead, she looked even more lovely than usual.
Cai’er put on her veil, and Long Haochen carried her, leaving the room. The Priest Temple’s headquarters was huge, but nonetheless, finding the
General Assembly wasn’t hard. They only had to ask people around to find the way. At this time, the atmosphere in the Priest Temples’ headquarters was very heavy, and people went in and out in endless streams. From their attire, it looked like people from all the six Temples were present. This place was already not only the headquarters of the Priest Temple anymore, but also became a temporary Office Palace, where every official affair was handled. It would be a wonder if people weren’t busy and rushed their work under such circumstances. Quickly, Long Haochen found the location of the General Assembly, where two guards stood at its entrance. Seeing Long Haochen approach with Cai’er in his arms, they immediately barred their way.
“Who are you? This is the General Assembly. You are not allowed to get any closer while the leaders are attending a meeting inside.” Long Haochen replied very politely, “My name is Long Haochen. The Saint Knight Chief Han Qian called me to attend this meeting.”
“Long Haochen?” Hearing this name, the two guards were simultaneously shaken. Exchanging a quick glance with each other, they clearly displayed expressions of disbelief. The guard on the right cried out, “You… Are you really Long Haochen? The hero who saved thousands of our fellow soldiers?” Long Haochen replied with a smile, “I don’t deserve being called a hero, but I am Long Haochen.” The guard on the right immediately appeared unconvinced, “That can’t be, this is definitely false. How old is this person? Can he really be the hero who stopped an enemy at the eighth step? Stop pretending!” As he said this, the guard stepped forward, immediately grabbing Long Haochen’s shoulder. The reason why he determined that Long Haochen was lying was simple: Who was this Long Haochen in their heart? He was the leader of the Demon Hunt Squad that led their troops during the attack, and the hero who stopped the attacks of the Moon Demon at the eighth step! To be able to resist against such a powerhouse of the eighth step, even with his team’s assistance, he had at the very least to be at the sixth step of cultivation. But this youngster before their eyes, didn’t even look twenty. Because of the hurry, Long Haochen wore simple clothes, and resembled a local inhabitant. How could that be the demeanor of a hero?
Seeing the aggressive intent of the other party towards him, Long Haochen was unsatisfied. Unconsciously taking a step back, he lifted his left hand to stop the guard’s right hand. At the same time, he turned his body around and moved Cai’er to the side, so as to avoid letting her be affected by the opponent’s attacks.
After those two hands came into contact, that guard reacted quickly, attempting to grab Long Haochen’s wrist. But at this time, a bright light suddenly illuminated Long Haochen’s left hand. In this flash of bright light, Long Haochen’s wrist trembled bizarrely, and that guard immediately felt a great shock as if he was electrocuted. Stunned, he retreated in response.
During those times of war, even the two temporarily assigned guards were warriors of the fifth step. But Long Haochen handled this guard with a single hand, causing the expressions on their faces to change immediately.
To be able to handle a warrior of the fifth step conveniently, could he be the real deal?
Without attacking again, the guard that previously inquired Long Haochen cried out, “Are you really Long Haochen? If you tell the truth, then you should be the captain of the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad. Can you let us inspect your insignia?”
Long Haochen responded grudgingly, “Wouldn’t it have been for the best if you asked this earlier?” and handed over his insignia.
This time, the expressions on those two guards changed for real and especially the one who reacted first looked embarassed. Stepping forward, he respectfully, handed the insignia back to Long Haochen, his cheeks appearing very red.
“Please enter, Captain Long!” The two guards stepped aside, inviting Long Haochen and Cai’er to enter the General Assembly.
Long Haochen would naturally not bother about others doing their job with fidelity. In the midst of his stroll into the General Assembly, he unconsciously came to a stop.
After passing the entrance of the General Assembly, he immediately saw through a huge screen depicting the sculpture of several hundreds of people. It was a representation of the goddess of light.
After passing this screen, what came into view was the conference room of the Priest Temple, which was really large in size. It was simply an enormous hall.
From where he stood, the conference room looked like a rectangle, its domed roof over twenty meters in height, and crystallized. Inside was a group of comfortable-looking sofas, and the furthest ahead appeared a one meter and a half high platform. There, a group of people were talking while sitting around a long table. Clearly, a meeting was in session there.
These people numbered at least thirty, and Long Haochen immediately recognized Han Qian, discovering with astonishment that even with his status, Han Qian was only sitting on the side; neither on the main seat, nor on the second one in ranking.
On the main seat was a white haired old man, clad in a white gown. His vocation couldn’t be told just from this, but only by calmly sitting there, he naturally appeared like the center of the whole assembly. Even if he didn’t speak, no one would dare ignore his presence; occasionally, everyone gave respectful looks in his direction.
Could this person be one of the senior Saints of the Priest Temple? Long Haochen secretly came to this believe. Cai’er and he were still far from the platform. While he was still in deep thought, a sound came from the direction of the platform.
“Haven’t you been informed that disrupting this meeting is not allowed?” The one to spoke was a priest clad in a golden gown. He appeared quite young, at most forty, based on his appearance. Based on his expression, he was absolutely furious.
Long Haochen made haste to come out with Cai’er from behind the screen, and although they were still distant, he still made his salutations from afar, “Long Haochen, captain of the 21st general grade Demon
Hunt Squad reports. The Senior Saint Knight Chief called me to attend this conference.”
Hearing this name, everyone on stage looked in his direction, including even that white-haired elder.
Without a doubt, those people were the higher-ups of the Southern Mountain’s City. Each one of them gave a different look towards Long Haochen, some containing amazement, other admiration, and for most, appreciation. They had all heard of Long Haochen’s deeds, and now that they were finally seeing him personally, what astonished them the most was his age.
The white haired elder nodded to Long Haochen with a smile, his gentle look giving off a refreshing feeling. It was filled with pure warmth and gentleness, that even caused the pain in Long Haochen’s body to suddenly ease up.
Han Qian smiled before waving Long Haochen and Cai’er over, telling them, “Join us now!”
“Yes.” Long Haochen gave a response before hurrying to their side, leading Cai’er along with him. As he crossed the room, his face wore a curious expression. To participate in such an important meeting… Why would grandteacher call us to attend? How could Cai’er and I be qualified to attend a meeting of such high rank?! Without any need to ask, he was certain that this was a discussion related to the handling of the demons in the Southern Mountain’s City.
Han Qian straightened his posture when Long Haochen and Cai’er arrived on the platform. He left his place along with another of Long Haochen’s and Cai’er’s acquaintances, the Auxiliary Hall Master of the Assassin Temple, Ying Suifeng. The reinforcement army this time had been led by the two of them.
Han Qian bowed towards the white clad old man, before declaring with a smile on his face, “Elder Ling, everyone. Let us do the introduction. This
person is Long Haochen, the little hero of this time’s battle. Haochen, how are your wounds?”
Long Haochen hurried to perform a standard knight salute to everyone, but still held Cai’er’s hand, which made the movement look somewhat strange. Respectfully, he replied, “Senior Saint Knight Chief, my wounds are already all right.”
Han Qian let out a sigh, “This boy! Tell me what’s good with you!? As a knight, you did well, but considering your role for the whole Alliance, you really acted excessively rudely. Everyone, although Long Haochen is young, he plays an essential role for our Knight Temple. My intend by calling him to this meeting was, to give this junior some experience. Please let me convey to everyone my apologies for the interruption.”
The middle-aged priest that previously shouted in anger gave a serious reply, “Old Han, this seems a bit unconformed to the rules. I know about this younger brother’s accomplishments, but this meeting is of utter importance.”
Han Qian looked straight at him, explaining with resolution, “Brother Ling, Haochen is not only the captain of a general grade Demon Hunt Squad, but he’s the only future candidate for the role of our Knight Temple’s leader. As long as he stays alive, he will surely become the next leader of the Knight Temple. There’s no candidate other than him.”
These words Han Qian uttered caused everyone without exception to let out a gasp. What kind of concept was that? The sole successor? But how young was this kid?
In all the Six Great Temples, candidates to the role of leader were nurtured by the Temple in case of necessity. This rare honor would be given to powerhouses with great talent, but in the whole History of the Temple Alliance, someone under the seventh step of cultivation had never been designated for the role of successor before. And there would never be a ‘single successor’. First of all, the factor of survival of the successor in battle aside, his attitude had to be tested for a long time. Since this was related to the future of the Temple Alliance, none of the Temples could make this kind of choice hastily.
Learning about such a young candidate was something no one present had ever heard of before. And the same went for this designation of ‘sole candidate’. For a moment, some of the people present felt unable to accept this.
And at this time, Ying Suifeng also spoke, “The girl at Long Haochen’s side is called Cai’er and is the sole successor for the position of our Assassin Temple’s leader. Because she used a rather taboo ability during their last mission, she temporarily lost the senses of sight, hearing, basic taste and smell. This is why she couldn’t make her salutations to all of you. Please forgive her for this.”
Han Qian’s and Ying Suifeng’s words undoubtedly shook everyone present, and even caused Long Haochen to feel dumbstruck. Altogether, there were no more but six Temples, and yet, two of these great Temples expressed that they had only one successor at this very moment. And from the look of it, these two were still no more than kids! None of people the other Temples could understand the Knight Temple’s and the Assassin
Temple’s thinking. Before even speaking of these kids’ nature, could those two great Temples really make sure that they would survive long enough to be considered being given the opportunity to succeed their present leaders? They looked like they were below twenty, and were also Demon Hunt Squad members. Although Demon Hunt Squads were formed of elites, the danger they faced during missions was also massive.
The priest that Han Qian called brother Lin replied, “Since it is like this, let these two young friends join us. Though, old Han, these news you gave us were really a huge shock! Sole successors, just what are the two of you up to?”
Han Qian revealed a smile, puffing out his chest, “I want all of you to maintain secrecy about it. There’s nothing up if people of our side learn of this matter, but if demons get to know it, the situation will be extremely complicated.”
The white haired elder standing above all the others spoke next, “Like Han Qian says, none of you is allowed to talk blindly about this after getting out from there.
These two young friends are really promising. Han Qian, Ying Suifeng, your two great Temples really picked up treasures!”
Facing the white-haired elder, Han Qian bowed with the etiquette of a junior to his senior, giving him a respectful reply, “Many thanks to Senior Saint Jizan.”
The white haired elder nodded with a smile on his face, sweeping another glance past Long Haochen and saying with a sigh, “What a shame it is.”
Han Qian smiled in response. Of course, he knew what the white haired elder’s words implied. He clearly found it a shame that Long Haochen didn’t come from his Priest Temple. Visibly, considering Long Haochen’s talent, if he had emerged from the Priest Temple, he would be bound to turn out as one of the greatest geniuses of their younger generation, and wouldn’t be able to escape this position of sole successor either. However,
this was simply impossible, just because of the identity of Long Haochen’s father.
The priest Ling Xiao spoke, “Let’s keep our meeting going then.”
Han Qian nodded, telling Long Haochen in a low voice, “Haochen, this person is grandfather Ling Xiao. After this meeting ends, you’d better thank this grandfather Ling properly. He’s the one who treated a great part of your wounds.”
After saying this, Han Qian sat back to his former position, concentrating on the meeting.
Long Haochen wouldn’t have thought that this serious-looking priest would actually be the one who treated him. Although he had lost consciousness for two whole days, all this time, he had been feeling a warm spiritual energy flow into his body, restoring the channels in his body from the damage they sustained. So it actually turned out to be this priest.
This golden gowned elder seemed to be also a Saint. But in this case, what level could this white haired elder have reached? It seemed that compared to him, everyone here was a junior.
Ling Xiao declared, “Then we should continue discussing the various reports of the situation. We have already entirely swept through the battlefield, but this time, the damage inflicted to the Southern Mountain’s City was disastrous. As the consulate of the city, I am assuming the entire responsibility for that. My command was improper, and my actions will have to be reviewed by the Alliance.”
Han Qian sighed and gave a response to this, “Brother Ling, you cannot say that. How could we blame this on you? The enemy just came too suddenly. Twelve demon gods, with half of them in the top thirty-six of the rankings, were a battle formation that any of our frontiers wouldn’t have been able to resist. This time, we don’t know what drove the demons mad like that, but if not for Elder Ling’s command, we wouldn’t even have made it there in time.”
Ling Xiao’s look still appeared gloomy, and with a sigh, he continued, “Although we don’t know for which reasons the demons came, our damage was just too disastrous this time. Out of the two hundred thousand troops our defense originally had, there are only fifty thousand left, with half of them being wounded. The Magic Cannons of the Southern Mountain’s City have all been destroyed, and more than a third of our headquarters’ Priest Regiment died in combat. Finally, six of our Cardinals of the eighth step died.”
Saying this, he couldn’t bear it anymore. Slapping the table hard, his eyes were filled with pain.
The white haired elder wrinkled his brows, “Ling Xiao, calm down. As the executive responsible of the Priest Temple, stop getting so irascible.”
Ling Xiao bowed his head before the white haired elder, “Yes, grandfather.”
Hearing the word ‘grandfather’, Long Haochen was immediately in great shock. That person was a Saint! As for a Saint’s grandfather, he should at least be two hundred years old. Even compared to every member of the legendary Demon Hunt Squad of that time, this was the oldest person Long Haochen had met so far. Furthermore, this elder emitted an aura that wasn’t the slightest bit inferior compared to the six of that time.
Proceeding to control his emotion, Ling Xiao continued, “During this battle, the Southern Mountain’s side sustained damages in all respects, that can be said to have gotten out of our grasp. If not for Brother Han and Brother Ying’s prompt arrival, the only final result that could have emerged was a complete destruction. However, we also caused the enemy troops to suffer massive losses.”
“The demon offense was extremely sudden and happened without any prior warning. Our intelligence in the demon territory unexpectedly didn’t get any news at all. And this time, demons didn’t only dispatch twelve demon gods, but also an army with close to a million troops, while attacking violently day and night, without pause. Our casualties are uncountable, but although none of those twelve demon gods died, at least
eight ended up heavily wounded, and won’t be able to go to battle for a certain time. And their casualties in terms of powerhouses of the seventh step and above is three times ours.”
Ling Xiao’s voice finally contained some excitement. Indeed, relatively speaking, the Southern Mountain’s City couldn’t be said to have lost this battle, and although it was almost completely destroyed, they still caused an enormous destruction to the demonkind’s side.
Although the demons were extremely numerous, and their territory was three times larger than that of the Temple Alliance, contrarily to their low ranked demons serving as cannon fodder, they still only had a limited number of powerhouses. As for those formidable innately powerful demons at the top of their ranking, their reproducing ability was also a great problem. Otherwise, how could humankind have lasted so far?
Just like for the Southern Mountain’s City, this battle caused a great loss to the demon side, though the only pity was that they didn’t manage to kill a few Demon Gods.
Han Qian declared, “Rest at ease, Brother Ling. We are only the first batch of reinforcements that rushed over. After your request for rescue, the Alliance has immediately responded, gathering a large army to assist us. Within ten days, another army of at least five hundred thousand troops will be here, listening and obeying to the Southern Mountain’s City’s assignments.”
It was not by a lucky chance that the Temple Alliance could gather so many troops. After all, the Alliance’s organization was designed with the goal of coping with demons.
In terms of topography, the common borders between the Alliance and the demon territory resembled that of the Southern Mountain’s City. Although it didn’t form a natural stronghold like the Exorcist Mountain Pass, the Southern Mountain’s City had a large and unwelcoming lake on its left side. This was their natural fortress, making it so that the demons could only attack the city from the front or the right.
Each of the strategic towns located in the Temple Alliance possessed a massive military force, and the Six Great Temples’ cities were the most important of these strongholds. In addition to this, the Alliance also had their main force gathered in the vicinity of the Holy City. In case a problem arose somewhere, a rescue force would immediately be dispatched. This was also the reason why the Holy City was located in the center of the Temple Alliance.
The Temple Alliance’s territory was far from being as vast as the demon territory, but for this same reason, only ten days were needed to rush out from the Holy City to either of the six strategic towns, and the time could be decreased even further. Thus, the reinforcements could arrive at a fast speed. This time, the Southern Mountain’s City only narrowly avoided destruction, therefore, they naturally immediately provided them some backing.
Ling Xiao nodded, “That would be for the best. I have already given the order to dispatch the craftsmen from the periphery of the town. Thus, blacksmiths will soon arrive in the Southern Mountain’s City, restoring the city’s defenses as fast as they can, to avoid giving any more opportunity to the enemy.”
Han Qian asked, “Brother Ling, do you know why the demons would suddenly launch such a fierce attack? Over the past years, this sort of situation had never occurred. This was completely different from their usual behavior.”
Ling Xiao replied with a bitter smile, “We started to understand these reasons after the start of this demon attack. It was once again for the Illusory Paradise.”
Hearing the words Illusory Paradise, Han Qian’s face was immediately filled with a look of surprise, “So you are saying that the Illusory Paradise is about to reopen?”
Ling Xiao nodded, “Even grandfather only started to sense the elemental fluctuations that came through the Illusory Paradise a few days ago. Before a month passes, the Illusory Paradise will reopen.”
Han Qian then asked with a suspicious look, “How could those demons learn about this matter? The Illusory Paradise is located within our borders, so they shouldn’t be able to investigate near it. And even Elder Ling only discovered its opening recently.”
The white haired elder let out a sigh, “It should be the Star Demon God’s act. As the Great Prophet of the demons, his divining ability is unique and unmatched. He surely sensed the changes that started to happen here.”
Han Qian replied in a flash, “That would not be surprising. For such a military offense to have escaped our scouts, it is surely an order that came from the Demon God Emperor. Since things are like this, I will have to immediately return to the Alliance and increase the number of reinforcements.”
The white haired elder nodded, “The Illusory Heaven is extremely important. It will open irregularly once every century. We cannot let demons get away with it. It’s a good thing that we still have those old Demon God Slayers to threaten the Demon God Emperor. If not for this, the Demon God Emperor would very possibly have come personally for the Illusory Paradise.”
Han Qian wrinkled his brows, “The Star Demon God’s clairvoyance really gives them an advantage and puts them one step ahead of us. Elder Ling, do you have a suggestion?”
After pondering deeply, the white haired elder replied, “Although the Illusory Paradise provides us with a great chance, it is also an extremely dangerous place. Demons only want to enter it, and our casualties were already really too serious. If they keep forcing their way, I’m afraid that the Southern Mountain’s City is going to be completely destroyed. Of course, it will be unthinkable for the demons not to leave a few Demon Gods here at such a time.”
At this point, the white haired elder’s gentle bearing suddenly became a lot more imposing, it was as if he was suppressing all the sounds in the whole assembly.
“Aren’t demons just trying to take a look at the Illusory Paradise? They have always been thinking that we can resist them only because of its existence. Since things are like that, let’s just let them have a good look at it. The Illusory Paradise is certainly good, but how could it be the main reason we are relying on to increase our strength?”
Hearing the white-haired elder’s words, Han Qian and Ying Suifeng were immediately greatly alarmed, crying out simultaneously, “We can’t!”
The white haired elder revealed a smile, “Listen to this old man until the end.”
“The Demons also know that if they go all out against us, we can at worse forcefully close the entrance of the Illusory Paradise. At that time, they won’t be able to gain anything. And the Southern Mountain’s City is very hard to attack from outside, though it wouldn’t be at all hard to besiege it from our side. Even if they manage to somehow occupy it, they would be driven out as soon as the Alliance gathers a huge army. Thus, if we suggest giving the demons a few places for entering the Illusory Paradise, the odds that they would accept a deal are high.”
Han Qian hurriedly cut in, “But, elder Ling, the Illusory Paradise is extremely important to us. How could we let demons….”
The white haired elder placatingly raised his arms, giving a response,
“No one understands the Illusory Paradise better than us; it is a place
I’ve already entered twice. Inside, danger and extraordinary chances coexist. But if something, the treasures that can be found in the Illusory Paradise are more inclined to be of the light element, and there will never be more than twenty present every century. That said, the Illusory Paradise is of utter importance to us. But even if the representatives they’d send would be even more powerful than we could imagine, I believe that they would not be able to get more than a quarter of all the treasures. If this can avoid hundred of thousands of casualties, this man believes that it’s worth it. Furthermore, wouldn’t it also be possible that we’d let them enter the Illusory Paradise for nothing? Their main purpose is just to enter and research it, but in the same fashion, demons have secrets we would also want to learn. With an exchange of equal worth, no one would be at a disadvantage.”
The old man’s eyes flickered, giving off a wise and farsighted impression. Everyone present pondered deeply over his words, but no one saw that they concealed an ounce of feeling ashamed.
His suggestion was of course feasible, but it was also based on some selfish motives. If the demons really decided to go all out and disregard everything in a fierce attack against the Southern Mountain’s Gate, it would not only cause the destruction of this influential mountain pass, but also the destruction of the Priest Temple.
Situated inside the Southern Mountain’s City was the Priest Temple! It could be said that eight tenths of the whole Priest Temple’s strength was concentrated there. If the Southern Mountain’s City was really destroyed, the Priest Temple would be unable to recover from this. As the chief of the Priest Temple and an auxiliary chief of the Alliance, the elder Ling was naturally unwilling to see this happen. Of course, this wasn’t only for the Priest Temple, but also on account of the whole Alliance.
With a light sigh, the elder Ling continued, “How about letting this old man handle this matter? I will personally explain my acts to the Alliance. Also, none of the benefits gained from the exchange with the demons will be kept by our Priest Temple: it will all be given to the Alliance.”
Even given how efficient and unscrupulous Han Qian could be, after hearing this suggestion from elder Ling, he understood that the matter was already decided, and that he was unable to object anymore. To block the demon’s path, the Southern Mountain’s City and the Priest Temple had paid a far too excessive cost. If the Southern Mountain’s City was really destroyed, the Alliance would inevitably be in a huge commotion.
After muttering to himself irresolutely for a bit, Han Qian nodded with some difficulty, “Okay. Since elder Ling is determined, I will support you unconditionally. But please excuse me, I will have to report this to the higher-ups of the Alliance.”
Elder Ling smiled, “This is a matter of fact. Ling Xiao, send emissaries to get in touch with the demons, to request negotiations from them.”
Long Haochen kept a detached point of view from beginning to end. With his status, being able to attend such a meeting was already an enormous honor.
This was the first time he heard of the Illusory Paradise, but seeing the importance everyone here attached to it, it seemed that it contained some extremely great treasures. At the same time, he took note of elder Ling’s sincere intent of taking responsibility for his acts. Although his face was at first glance beaming with benevolence, this old Saint had really an absolute authority here. Any of his decisions couldn’t possibly be contested by Han Qian and Ying Suifeng who stood for the Alliance. And since he addressed the Demon God Slayers as old guys, it could only mean that he was from the same generation as those legendary powerhouses.
The meeting continued to advance and the rest of their serious discussions pertained the restoration of the Southern Mountain’s City in the shortest amount of time possible. As it was unclear whether the negotiations would turn out successful or not, they had to be prepared for both cases.
An hour later, Ling Xiao proclaimed the meeting to be over.
Elder Ling was the first to stand up, and Long Haochen and Cai’er, who were seated in the back, were the first people he looked at. With a warm smile he said, “The Illusory Paradise is a great chance that happens only once every century. Since these two youngsters are the future successors of the Knight Temple and the Assassin Temple, this old man will present you with these gifts, hoping that you can get some rewards in the Illusory Paradise.”
As he said this, without any visible movement from him, two white rays of light flew before Long Haochen and Cai’er.
Long Haochen unconsciously raised his hands, only to see two white beads appear on them. But what caused him to be amazed was that those two beads emitted traces of the spatial attribute and seemed to be filled with a sort of undulating milk, though each of these was only thumb-sized. It was a very odd sight.
“Many thanks, senior.” Long Haochen rapidly stood along with Cai’er, respectfully bowing before elder Ling.
Han Qian and Ying Suifeng immediately looked pleasantly surprised.
Elder Ling waved his hands, and turned around, whereas in the meanwhile, all the higher-ups from the Southern Mountain’s City and the reinforcement army had faces full of envy.
While the others left in succession from the General Assembly, Han Qian waved to Long Haochen, hinting him and Cai’er to stay.
Long Haochen held Cai’er around the waist, heading towards Han Qian. Han Qian, Ying Suifeng and the auxiliary master of the Priest Temple Ling Xiao stood together, looking at him.
Remembering about Han Qian’s previous words, Long Haochen bowed before Ling Xiao first of all, telling him, “Many thanks for your kind treatment, grandfather Ling.”
Hearing the appellation grandfather Ling, Ling Xiao’s severe expression immediately turned into a smile, and with a nod, he replied, “What are you thanking me for? Rather than you thanking me for treating your wounds, I should rather be the one to thank you for saving the lives of thousands of my soldiers. But in fact, aren’t we all just giving our best to fulfill our duties.”
From the side, Han Qian unhappily said, “Old Ling, it seems that the defects of your smelly mouth will never change in all your life. It looks that the softer your heart is, the more terrible your speech becomes.”
Ling Xiao snorted coldly, giving the reply, “In any case, I broke through to the ninth step, unlike an impatient someone that is still at the eighth step of cultivation.”
Without giving Han Qian the time to reply, the nearby Ying Suifeng immediately reacted, “Hey, old Ling, stop rubbing salt in one’s wounds, you’re really giving us no face at all.”
Ling Xiao finally smiled at him, “Heh, I forgot that the underhanded guy you are has also yet to break through.”
Han Qian remarked to his longtime companion Ying Suifeng, “He’s doing it on purpose.”
Ying Suifeng didn’t fall to this provocation and shrugged his shoulders in reaction, “We can do nothing about it, he’s at the ninth step and I am no match for him. Let’s bear with it.”
Ling Xiao cursed with a smile, “Enough, you unrestrained old guys. Do you want these kids to make fun of you or what? So what if I broke through to the ninth step? My situation is a lot worse off than that of you two.”
At this point, his slightly smiling face immediately turned into a gloomy face.
Han Qian patted his shoulder, “After so many years, you’re still unable to let this matter go! Just tell me what is good in you. Are you just planning on letting the Ling lineage go extinct?”
Ling Xiao revealed a grieved smile, “Then, what can I do about it? In my heart, do you think I could accept someone else than her? Let alone me, even the two of you are unable to forget her.”
Han Qian immediately became angered, “Since you are unable to let the matter go, why haven’t you been looking for her? Is it her or this position of chief of the Priest Temple to whom you are unwilling to let go?”
Ling Xiao shook his head, “I don’t have the face to look for her! In this world, the first person I hate the most is Ye Weiyang 夜未央, and the second one is myself. I’m not even trying to obtain her forgiveness. In my life, my last dream would be to take that bastard of Ye Weiyang down with
Long Haochen stood there, baffled at the unfolding scene. He clearly felt that this touched upon the grieved past of this senior. As for that name of Ye Weiyang that came out from Ling Xiao’s mouth, it was the first time he had heard it.
Han Qian and Ying Suifeng wrinkled their brows, but actually didn’t keep pursuing the matter any further.
Ling Xiao declared, “All right, let’s get this over with and get into serious things. Old Han, what do you think of what my old father gave these two? This is an opportunity that could only appear once a century!”
Han Qian hesitantly replied, “It’s certainly a great chance, but this kid really leaves me restless. Since he dared to go against a Moon Demon at the eighth step, and considering some demons are coming along this time, I’m a bit worried. ”
Ling Xiao responded with some surprise, “It looks like what you said is true, then these two kids are really the future successors of your two Temples! But that’s no wonder, seeing that this kid Haochen broke through to the sixth step before even being twenty years old. And he has the spirit of a knight, truly a rare genius!”
Han Qian asked with a concerned look, “Old Ling, you guys from the Priest Temple have the best understanding of the Illusory Paradise. Just tell me one thing in detail. How dangerous is it in the end?”
Ling Xiao smiled in response, “Then, tell me the truth as well: why would those two children be the sole successors of your Temples? Talent is one thing, but designating sole successors is too dangerous from your two Temples. There has to be some other reason. If they are to mature successfully, even at the fastest possible rate, it will still take at least a dozen years. And Demon Hunt Squads’ missions are in no way devoid of dangers.”
Han Qian and Ying Suifeng looked at each other face to face, and Ying Suifeng finally spoke, “Okay then. Since we are all old brothers that risked our lives side by side, and you are in addition the auxiliary chief of the Priest Temple, there should be no harm in telling you the truth.”
Han Qian waved his hand, wrapping the five of them in a Holy Mantle before telling Long Haochen, “Tell him how old you are this year.”
Long Haochen replied, “This junior is fifteen since this year. Cai’er is going to be fifteen soon as well.”
Even though Ling Xiao was one of the few Saints of his generation, he still couldn’t help but open his mouth wide, “Fifteen years old? You broke through to the sixth step merely at the age of fifteen? Heavens! If you didn’t make use of any secret methods, how high is your innate level of internal spiritual energy?” The Six Great Temples had some secret methods for those excessively eager to advance, but those would make their later cultivation a lot harder.
Han Qian replied, “So you asked the essential question. Haochen’s innate level of internal spiritual energy is 97, and Cai’er’s is 100. Scion of Light and Saint Daughter of Samsara, ever heard of those terms before?”
Bang. Ling Xiao hit his fist against his forehead, immediately waving his hand at Han Qian and Ying Suifeng, “Let me think for a bit, I feel a bit confused. So this Scion of Light’s innate level of internal spiritual energy is 97? And could it be that this Saint Daughter of Samsara successfully inherited the previous Scion of Samsara’s legacy?”
Han Qian and Ying Suifeng nodded simultaneously.
Ling Xiao rapidly came back to his senses, staring at Long Haochen before giving a look to Cai’er. His eyes resembled those of the big bad wolf watching some lambs. Especially when he looked at Long Haochen, his eyes seemed to be filled with envy.
Ling Xiao’s sentence was immediately interrupted by Han Qian, “Don’t say it, so as to avoid damaging our relationship. You know it cannot be done.”
Ling Xiao furiously replied, “I haven’t said anything yet! So how could you know?”
Han Qian let out a snort, “Let alone you, even if Elder Ling were to ask that, I couldn’t possibly accept. No one from the Knight Temple could possibly accept it. I told you everything you wanted to know, so let’s quickly get to the subject of the Illusory Paradise. You should know about the importance of the Scion of Light and the Saint Daughter of Samsara to the Alliance. When they grow up, they will one day be the ones who will permit us to start a real counterattack against demonkind.”
Ling Xiao touched his own chest with a hand, taking another deep breath before gradually dissipating the envy in his look directed at Long Haochen. All the severity that was on his face the first time he dealt with Long Haochen immediately disappeared completely. After composing himself, he declared with a smile, “Haochen! I heard that you are a Guardian Knight. Do you have some interest in the vocation of healer?”
Han Qian was really angry, “Ling Xiao, if you old guy keep going on like this, I’ll complain to Elder Ling about…”
Ling Xiao swept a glance in his direction, “Go then! Let’s see whether my old father will pay attention to you. I’ll just say this: Haochen, whenever you wish to renounce the path of a knight, come to our Priest Temple. I’m now leading it, and can ensure you that the position of auxiliary chief of the Priest Temple will be yours. I can even guarantee you that within ten years after you’ll break through to the ninth step, I will immediately make you the chief of the Temple. Crowd effect healing of Saints at the ninth step can save hundreds and thousands of people, you know! What’s good about being a knight?”
Han Qian’s words were completely inefficient in making him renounce. This was the Scion of Light! It was a kind of supreme talent that had never appeared before in the whole Alliance.
Han Qian suddenly fell silent, watching the show from the side.
Long Haochen replied apologetically, “I’m sorry, elder Ling, I cannot agree to that. I can only be a knight…”
Veins appeared on Ling Xiao’s forehead, and he shouted in a loud voice, “Fifteen years! I can enable you to break through to the ninth step within a period of fifteen years! I’ll tell my old father to use the great technique of Ethereal Irrigation on you, helping you to speed up your spiritual energy’s cultivation. And I’ll provide at least three types of top-notch spiritual stoves for priests. Fifteen years later, you will just be thirty. And the Priest Temple will help you with all its strength to fight for the position of chief of the Temple Alliance, how about it?”
Ying Suifeng unhappily cut in, “Enough, old Ling! There’s no use. Just ask him who his father is before asking further. In fact, we shouldn’t be the ones to tell you.”
Ling Xiao was startled, eagerly asking Long Haochen, “Your father is?”
Long Haochen replied, “My father’s name is Long Xingyu.”
Ling Xiao was totally shaken, his face becoming clearly pale, slapping his own forehead with force this time, “It looks as if I should know when to let go of something. If ‘she’ was by my side, maybe our kid would also have this kind of formidable talent.”
Han Qian snorted coldly, “If you look for her with this sort of attitude, I can guarantee that you will die in a very ugly way.”
Ling Xiao gave a restrained look, returning once again to his serious attitude, “Treat it as though I hadn’t said anything. All right, let’s get back to proper business.”
“I suggest to let these two kids enter the Illusory Paradise. For demons to come and attack us with an army of a million, not sparing anything to break our defenses, its importance is evident.”
“The Illusory Paradise is a miraculous place, located in a forest sixty kilometers to the north of the Southern Mountain’s City, in a place we
call Illusory Shrine. Reportedly, the Illusory Shrine is the palace of a goddess in the human world, which has absorbed the essence of Heaven and Earth. The Illusory Shrine will open once every hundred years, and those who can enter it will have great opportunities, but also run into dangers coexisting with them.”
Arriving at this point, Ling Xiao came to a stop, looking at Long Haochen and Cai’er, “This chance is especially important to young people like you, because the Illusory Paradise produces the most valuable treasures on earth, which are the spiritual stoves.”
Long Haochen had been holding Cai’er’s hand all along, writing words on Cai’er’s palm. As soon as the subject of spiritual stoves was discussed, Long Haochen and Cai’er were immediately shocked.
It can be said that to raise one’s strength beyond the ordinary limits, Spiritual Stoves were of utter importance. A place that could produce spiritual stoves could simply be called the holy land.
Long Haochen couldn’t help but ask at the time Ling Xiao paused in his speech, “Grandfather Ling, then how many spiritual stoves will be produced in the Illusory Paradise every time?”
Ling Xiao replied, “It differs every time, but their total number never exceeds twenty. Every type will appear only once, and the stronger a spiritual stove is, the harder the corresponding test will be. The major point when you enter is that you cannot be greedy. Otherwise, even if you pass the tests, you will suffer an unavoidable death.”
Han Qian appeared to be puzzled, “What are you speaking about? Why would one die after passing the test?”
A humble smile appeared on Ling Xiao’s face, “The reason why my old father consented to let demons enter, was that he had an assurance. We have enough experience to ensure that the demons will fail to achieve their ambitions there. Old Han, let me ask you, if you were to see a dozen spiritual stoves before your eyes, what would you do?”
Han Qian replied without hesitation, “Naturally, I would collect all those that can be collected.”
Ling Xiao replied, “Right. Actually, the spiritual stoves in the Illusory Palace can be collected conveniently as one wishes. You can take as many as you want. The tests will happen only afterwards. And that’s to say, if you have collected a huge amount of spiritual stoves, you will be tested accordingly. The difficulty of the tests will be based on the number of spiritual stoves you will have picked, and it increases several folds every time. This doesn’t make it only a simple test, but something even more terrible. Avaricious people are bound to suffer a tragic end.” Looking at them, he continued.
“The two items my old father gave you are Illusory Gems, which have been produced in the Illusory Paradise. With those things, in case you run into a danger you are totally unable to contend against, you can chose to immediately come back. The shrine will be bound to protect our people, thus, I suggest you to have a try inside. Although you probably already possess some spiritual stoves, the ones produced in the Illusory Paradise are of the best quality. And furthermore, some spiritual stoves that are completely unknown to us will also appear. But the most important point lies in what I said before: in the same way that their tests are terrible, these Spiritual Stoves are the great opportunity that lies in the Illusory Paradise.”
At this point, he revealed a cold look, “As for the people from the demon side, out of ten that enter, having one or two survivors would already be a good luck for them.”
The negotiations between the Southern Mountain’s City and the demon side progressed fast, and after a few series of talks, both sides reached an agreement. As for the gains the humans obtained from the demons during those negotiations, they were only known to the higher-ups, but it could definitely not be something negligible. After the last victory of the city’s defense, the damage was extremely severe for both sides.
As for Long Haochen, he didn’t feel concerned about the sort of talks the Temple Alliance and the demon side had. He also didn’t need to know
about the number of places allocated to enter the Illusory Shrine. All he knew was that Cai’er and he had a place to enter, and that was enough for him.
During the next three days, Long Haochen was busy visiting his comrades and their acquainted Demon Hunt Squads. Overwhelmed by the visits of military representatives, he visibly obtained a total acknowledgement from the army. His 50,000 contribution points reward naturally followed.
But in Long Haochen’s heart, something was even more important than this. After learning about the concrete details pertaining to the Illusory Paradise, he immediately made a bold decision. The treasures inside the Illusory Paradise were after all Spiritual Stoves! Who wouldn’t wish to possess some? Accordingly to his original plan, Long Haochen expressed to Han Qian his desire to train in seclusion along with his comrades, until the time the Illusory Shrine would open.
This time, the count of casualties in the Southern Mountain’s City was over ten thousand, but their manpower was in the end still ample. With the assistance from civilians, the city gradually recovered its splendour.
Of the forty Demon Hunt Squads that came, only a small number resided in the Priest Temple’s headquarters, whereas the others were accommodated in other residences. Of course, Long Haochen’s group resided in the Priest Temple.
On the first underground floor of the Priest Temple, Long Haochen gathered his comrades in his room.
The Priest Temple really treated them well, not only offering them rooms for resting, but also a small area for cultivating.
“Boss, why do we have to stay here cultivating?! We came here for the sake of a mission, didn’t we?” Sima Xian asked doubtfully. On the battlefield, he was the most straightforward to kill his way through the enemy lines. The first appearance of the Energetic Ball of Light had a stronger utility than he had even expected himself.
Originally, Sima Xian was left behind by the rest of the team in terms of strength. To say nothing of Long Haochen and Cai’er, he was still inferior compared to Wang Yuanyuan and Han Yu. But after changing his equipment, in this battle, Han Yu and Wang Yuanyuan combined didn’t kill as many demons as him. Everywhere the Energetic Ball of Light had passed, everything had been blown away. Now, he naturally wished to to keep displaying his talent on the battlefield.
Long Haochen replied, “We have a temporary truce with the demons. Additionally, with the end of the battle, our emergency War Mission naturally concluded. However, there’s something even more important that we’ll have to handle now.”
Immediately, he gave everyone the details regarding the Illusory Paradise as well as the negotiations between the Alliance and the demons.
“Spiritual stoves! So there’s actually such a great place, able to produce a great amount of spiritual stoves?!” While Sima Xian asked with a pleasantly surprised face, the others weren’t unperturbed from the news either.
This was about spiritual stoves!
For which reason could Long Haochen become the real core of his team, and defeat more powerful opponents? Other than his own strength, he had the help of two great spiritual stoves. And in fact, without Long Haochen’s and Cai’er’s four spiritual stoves, the strength of the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad as a whole would decrease by half. For whichever vocation, it would rather be strange to stay calm after hearing about spiritual stoves.
Lin Xin flung his long hair over his shoulder, happily claiming, “Boss, vice-captain and you should work hard! The best would be to come back with a few spiritual stoves. I won’t be picky; as long as one is compatible with fire element, I am satisfied.”
Chen Ying’er disdainfully snorted, “So shameless. Do you have no limits? Has-drug-bro, your drugs almost caused Captain’s death, but you still have the nerve to say that?”
Lin Xin responded with a snort, “I will accept whatever punishment the team decides on for the problems that accrue from my pills. But if you give me a fire elemental spiritual stove, my spiritual energy will be bound to grow in purity. When I then make pills, the effects will naturally be even greater. I was saying this out of consideration for the team.”
Sima Xian replied with a smile, “Save your bullshit, who wouldn’t be able to contribute even better to the team with a spiritual stove? Nonetheless, are these things so easy to acquire? You’re just dreaming. We should rather hope for Boss and Vice-captain to get one more spiritual stove for themselves.”
Seeing his comrades’ unconcealed thirst, Long Haochen exclaimed, “It’s not like you have no chance to obtain spiritual stoves yourselves.”
“What?” The eyes of the five of them opened wide, clearly revealing weird expressions.
Long Haochen continued, “For this visit of the Illusory Paradise, Cai’er and I have both obtained a secure place. When Grandfather Ling talked to us about the Illusory Paradise, he said that to enter it, one’s spiritual energy couldn’t exceed ten thousand. Otherwise, one will get rejected by the Illusory Shrine. This means that the other people who will enter the Illusory Shrine should all be at the sixth step of cultivation, and as close as possible to 10,000 units of spiritual energy. Personally, I believe that they will be picked from different Demon Hunt Squads. Since our team already got two places, the odds of getting more are low.”
“However, this is a chance that happens only once every century, so I hope that everyone will benefit from it. This is also the reason why I brought you here after requesting from grandteacher that we can stay behind closed-doors to raise everyone’s strength over this month. During this time, I want to try out whether my plan would possibly work. If it works, it may be possible for you to follow Cai’er and me inside the Illusory Paradise.”
Before saying this, Long Haochen had released a Holy Mantle, covering all his teammates inside while isolating the sound inside, “I have a simple plan, for this we will use the Tower of Eternity.”
Because everyone took a Holy Spirit Pill back in Holy City, their cultivation level had been rising at a fast pace since then. But before they got to enter the Tower of Eternity, they were forcibly enlisted for this War Mission. And now that they heard Long Haochen mention the Tower of
Eternity once again, everyone immediately had flabbergasted expressions on their faces. All of their faces were filled with eagerness.
Wang Yuanyuan was the first to speak, “Captain, do you mean that at the time vice-captain and you will enter the Illusory Shrine, we should stay inside the Tower of Eternity, and that after entering the Illusory Paradise, we would come out?”
Long Haochen nodded, and said, “Exactly. This is why we should try out whether this is feasible. Grandfather Ling said that there was no limit to the number of people entering the Illusory Paradise, but only roughly twenty spiritual stoves would be produced, with only one per type. Letting too many people enter would cause a loss of balance, and would only boost the danger without increasing the odds of getting rewarded. And with the agreement done this time with the demons, both sides will send ten people to the shrine. That’s to say, if I bring you in, we will strive to take away the demons’ share, while trying our best not to get found out. The main problem that remains now is whether the Illusory Paradise and the Tower of Eternity are compatible.
First of all, you will remain inside the Tower of Eternity, and try out whether returning from the Tower will affect you. , we’ll have to know whether the Tower of Eternity can be used to transport you inside of the Illusory Paradise.
The third point will be whether the Illusory Paradise will reject the Tower of Eternity. We will solve the first problem through practical tests, but even if we settle this issue, we’ll still have no way to predict the next two issues. Thus, I cannot guarantee that you will be able to enter the Illusory Paradise.”
Sima Xian laughed out loud, “Boss, having a chance already makes us very satisfied. Even if at that time it doesn’t work, we’ll still be okay with it. Anyway, vice-captain’s and your strength rising means that we will become stronger as a whole.”
His speech was not just for flattery; in fact, without Long Haochen’s and Cai’er’s lead, how could their recently formed team possibly get so many
contribution points, used for strengthening every single of their members? It appeared like Long Haochen gained a lot since the founding of their team, but how much did the others gain? Sima Xian and Chen Ying’er successfully broke through to the fifth step, and everyone was already at least at the fifth rank of the fifth step of cultivation. This pace of progress was enough to absolutely scare some people.
Also, there was still the Demon Hunt Mission Tower. Who said that with enough contribution points, there wouldn’t be something even better to buy than the Holy Spirit Pills? The more Long Haochen and Cai’er would grow in power, the more difficult would the missions they could take become, and this would consequently increase the amount of contribution points they would receive. Thus, Sima Xian’s words got the approval of everyone present.
Long Haochen said, “Then, let’s hurry to conduct our tests. Even if you cannot accompany Cai’er and me to enter the Illusory Paradise this time, the Tower of Eternity will still enable everyone to raise their strength, and maybe even to reach the sixth step earlier. This way, we’ll advance to the commander grade even faster. Make your preparations everyone, we will immediately enter the Tower of Eternity.”
“Wait.” Han Yu, who had been silent for some time, suddenly interrupted, “Boss, this is the headquarters of the Priest Temple. Won’t the deathly aura coming from it make us easily detectable?” Han Yu may originally have been very haughty, but he still possessed a very good common sense. His strength aside, he was also a very meticulous person. Still, his fortune had been to run into Long Haochen back then. His brilliance had always been kept hidden, until he became Long Haochen’s retainer knight, and started to always act out of consideration for him. This change had helped him correct himself.
Long Haochen shook his head, “At the time we were in Holy City, I already tested this. Because Elux is a Holy Necromancer, his main attribute is light, therefore, entering the Tower of Eternity will only produce faint light essence. I believe this was done on purpose when the tower was built. Now everyone, gather in a circle around me. After I
summon the Tower of Eternity, no one is allowed to act blindly without thinking. You must listen to all my orders.”
Actually, Long Haochen was really nervous. After all, this was related to his comrades’ safety, thus at the time he said those last words, Long Haochen’s expression was particularly serious.
Han Yu and the other four nodded in succession, changing into their equipment before forming a circle around Long Haochen.
Long Haochen also put on his own armor, and readied the Holy Radiant Shield in his left hand, while his right hand was slung around Cai’er’s waist. Slowly, he closed his eyes.
A mild golden radiance emanated from his chest. It was the brilliance associated with Eternal Melody.
Over the last few days, regardless of whether it was during the time Long Haochen was unconscious or after he woke up, the Eternal Melody had always radiated a high temperature. By chance, Long Haochen was already used to it.
Regarding this necklace’s powers, he felt increasingly more convinced as time passed. That day, after he had seriously wounded the Moon Demon of the eighth step, he had heard the latter shout the words ‘divine artifact’. And in the instant before losing consciousness, he had also felt as if he was covered in a particular kind of spiritual energy, which was precisely what protected him.
Clearly, it came from the Tower of Eternity, or perhaps the Eternal Melody.
Was one of those really a divine artifact? But, the question remained, was it the Eternal Melody or the Tower of Eternity that turned out to be a divine artifact? Long Haochen felt that it should be the latter, because based on everything he saw in the Tower of Eternity, Long Haochen had no qualms calling it a divine artifact. Inside, far too many miraculous things were waiting to be discovered.
This life-saving act had appeased the apprehension he had towards the Tower of Eternity. It could be said that, if not for the Tower of Eternity, even if he hadn’t died, he wouldn’t have escaped the battlefield in one piece.
Nonetheless, as the key to the Tower of Eternity, the Eternal Melody was also a miraculous item. There could only be a single reason for its very high temperature, lying in the fact that t this battle caused far too many deaths. The Eternal Melody was thus constantly absorbing souls.
Long Haochen was even more astonished that even though it always kept absorbing souls, and burned at a high temperature at Long Haochen’s chest, even a powerhouse of the ninth step like Ling Xiao didn’t find out about it during the time he healed Long Haochen. This fact was certainly very strange.
The radiance spreading from Eternal Rest increased in brightness, and under Long Haochen’s control, a golden halo appeared under him.
This golden halo rapidly splitted, spreading under Cai’er, Han Yu, Wang Yuanyuan, Sima Xian, Lin Xin, and Chen Ying’er.
With the seven golden halos glittering in a dazzling color, eerie golden inscriptions rapidly appeared on each of them.
A gaudy white light started to spread from Long Haochen’s chest right in that instant, causing all of them to shut their eyes because of the dazzle. Nevertheless, none of them missed to see the snowflake-shaped magical
array floating above their heads. Right afterwards, all light suddenly vanished from the middle of the formation, causing the seven of them to disappear without leaving a single trace behind.
No one in the Priest Temple noticed that the entire 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad disappeared from the Southern Mountains City just like that.
Including Long Haochen, every one of them felt a strange sensation, as if something was strongly compressing their bodies, causing them to be unable to move.
All of the surrounding was covered in a twisted white color, causing them to be unable to open the eyes.
Among the seven of them, the one having the most profound experience wasn’t Long Haochen, but Wang Yuanyuan.
Wang Yuanyuan was originally a rarely seen space attribute user, to whom this experience of traveling through space helped her gain a deeper comprehension about her attribute.
In fact, this kind of transportation wasn’t something that could be experienced by anyone. Generally, space attribute mages would need to reach at least the eighth step and also use extremely complicated incantations to achieve this. And even then, this method of transportation had only a limited range.
Since Wang Yuanyuan was not the instigator of this magic but relied on the connection between the Eternal Melody and the Tower of Eternity, she could wholeheartedly admire this spatial shuttling as a mere spectator. If someone had paid attention, they would have noticed a faint silver radiance being released from her, slightly twisting the space.
The whole process of transportation didn’t last long, and the radiance around them vanished in a mere dozen minutes. Everyone suddenly felt somewhat heavy, feeling the ground under their feet right after the gaudy
white light disappeared. Unconsciously opening their eyes, everyone aside from Long Haochen instantly felt an indescribable terror fill them.
The terrifying aura of death was present all around, producing an inexhaustible fear coming from the bottom of everyone’s hearts. This deathly aura inspiring despair caused their whole bodies to be drenched in sweat. As a reaction, they drew their weapons as their bodies tightened up.
Right at this time, a mild bright light spread from Long Haochen’s body.This was a simple technique: Holy Mantle.
Carrying Ripples of Light, the Holy Mantle enveloped the seven of them without difficulty, isolating them from the outside deathly aura.
When the deathly aura attacked the Holy Mantle, the Eternal Melody on Long Haochen’s chest was immediately stirred. It emanated an imposing aura that immediately caused the deathly aura to weaken. At least, it didn’t dare launch another attack against Long Haochen’s Holy Mantle.
In the memories the Slumbering Calamity Elux left for Long Haochen, the particular method for him to bring comrades here was described. He simply had to use an area ability to envelop his comrades in it, and any ability of this type was okay. This was because as such long as an ability opposed the deathly energy’s attack, it would naturally activate the Eternal Melody.
They had arrived inside of a cave, similar to the depths of the Desolate Hissing Cavern. But everyone understood well that this could not be that same Desolate Hissing Cavern, and that this place was probably not even on the same continent.
In the air, countless specters slowly hovered. After sensing their presence, these specters had immediately thrown themselves at them, full of thirst, but because of the imposing reaction of the Eternal Melody, the specters immediately spread in all directions, filled with abject fear. Scattering afar, they temporarily didn’t even dare get close to the Tower of Eternity.
The others, who were all seeing the Tower of Eternity for the very first time, had a common reaction: they were all gasping in astonishment. This was especially the case after they had seen the specters. This encounter had immediately deepened the fear in their heart.
However, they were all geniuses from the youngest elite generation of the Temple Alliance, and had in particular Long Haochen’s protection. Thus, they quickly steadied themselves from these feelings.
In truth, they weren’t the only ones to be astonished. Long Haochen was also extremely shocked, because there was an unexpected change on the Tower of Eternity that appeared before him. It now looked completely different from before.
The last time he had seen it, it had radiated a grey brilliance, and the specters had also been grey in color. But this time, Long Haochen, to his astonishment, stood in front of a Tower of Eternity which had become totally white. That’s right, no matter whether it was the tower itself or its hovering specters, it had all turned completely white. But this white color wasn’t affiliated to the light element. It was rather based on pure energy of death. Even the specters had become white, and the number of the surrounding specters had also increased by at least twofold.
Could it be that the Tower of Eternity has evolved? Long Haochen silently raised this question in his head. Concerning this situation, he could only search for the answer to this question deep inside his memories.
Because of the apprehension he felt deep inside, he chose to ignore the past memories about what happened in the Tower of Eternity since his encounter with Elux. He would also avoid to recall those memories sealed deep into his brain.
Given his intelligence, it was easy for him to find an answer. Just as he had expected, the changes on the Tower of Eternity were actually provoked by the battle that happened in the Southern Mountain’s City.
The existence and the operating process of the Tower of Eternity needed a massive quantity of souls. In the past, with some mysterious method, the
Slumbering Calamity Elux had managed to solidify a massive quantity of soul energy. This method was very possibly related to his very own soul. And the Tower of Eternity’s storage of energy was also massive in itself. However, after several thousand years had passed, although the Tower of Eternity could absorb the external soul energy to a limited extent, it was greatly reduced. In particular, after being unsealed by Long Haochen, it certainly lost a certain amount of its soul energy storages.
However, after Long Haochen arrived at the Southern Mountain’s City, the souls of countless dead humans and demons were absorbed by the Eternal Melody. While thoroughly awaking the tower, it had been able to replenish itself sufficiently with energy.
In his memories, there were many profound things that Long Haochen was unable to comprehend, and even some memories that were still sealed deep inside, as if telling him that his strength was yet insufficient to examine them. However, he was still in total shock from experiencing this. Although he had very strong reservations against necromancers, he could still not help but admit that the holy necromancer, the Slumbering Calamity Elux, had been an absolute genius.
His memories told him that there were some things Elux had been especially proud of during his life. One was his control over soul energy. He gave his controlling method the name of soul circulation, and it enabled him to produce new soul energy naturally, just like the process of a male and a female giving birth to new life.
It was based on his experience from thousands of years, as well as one of the reasons why the Tower of Eternity would be able to produce such massive power. At this time, after absorbing a massive amount of soul energy, the Tower of Eternity could finally be said to have thoroughly awakened, bringing forth its true might.
“What are your first impressions guys?” Sima Xian asked the others in a low voice.
Wang Yuanyuan was still thoroughly focused on the comprehension of the previous phenomenon of spatial transportation, seriously concentrating,
but Han Yu blurted out almost instantly, “Insignificant. In front of this Tower of Eternity, I really feel insignificant.”
His words gained the others’ approval, and Lin Xin remarked without reserve, “I also feel the same. I just feel as insignificant as one of the specters here, or I should say I don’t even feel as powerful as one of them. It’s really too terrifying. From this, we can imagine how powerful that Holy Necromancer had been in his era.”
Long Haochen turned around and looked at the others, “Follow me closely everyone, and never leave the range of the Holy Mantle. We are about to enter the tower.”
Everyone nodded in succession. In fact, after entering this unfamiliar world, Long Haochen was the only trustable element. Long Haochen carried Cai’er in his arms and noticed with astonishment that her body was slowly warming up. Noticing this change, he hurried to write a few words of inquiry on her hand.
To Long Haochen’s surprise, the reply Cai’er gave him was, “I really like this place. My Spiritual Stove of Samsara and the Dagger of Samsara also seem to like being here. My cultivation speed should increase tremendously here.”
This reply surprised Long Haochen, but given his intelligence, he rapidly thought of a possible explanation for it. What kind of attribute did Cai’er possess? This had always been a mystery to every member of the team, and something Long Haochen never asked her about either. It was a secret she never had told him about.
If she felt good in this place, then this meant without a doubt that Cai’er’s personal attribute was related to the deathly energy surrounding the tower. Therefore, it was very likely that her attribute was also related to death and slaughter. This would also explain why she had never told him about it before.
After a short time of surprise, Long Haochen led everyone to slowly enter the Tower of Eternity.
Seeing the surrounding specters escape with haste, the fear in the members of the team started to gradually disappear. It was replaced by feelings of excitement and curiosity towards new things.
The gate of the Tower of Eternity had opened wide, and of course, it was for Long Haochen to enter.
There was no need to worry that anyone would enter the tower unallowed. The specters outside formed a top notch guard, and even if they would be attacked inside, they could have Haoyue’s help when it came to the worst.
When they approached the entrance of the Tower of Eternity, the surrounding aura of death perceptibly increased in density, but as soon as they entered, Long Haochen deactivated the use of the Holy Mantle.
After entering the Tower of Eternity, the threat upon them disappeared immediately. Since they came here to get some experience, the others had to adapt to the Tower of Eternity first, otherwise how would they become embattled?
Inevitably, everyone trembled unconditionally, and even Cai’er was no exception to that. However, Long Haochen who was holding Cai’er’s hand, sensed that her body actually trembled out of excitement.
It went so far that Cai’er rapidly took hold of Long Haochen’s hand, writing on his palm the words, “I’m going to train for a bit, I have started to grasp the understanding of something.”
After writing this, she sat down in a cross-legged position, putting both hands on her knees. With her palms turned up, she started to cultivate right where she sat.
“Cai’er is all right, she just needs to cultivate for a bit. Everyone shouldn’t move from here, and try to adapt to this deathly aura. But please just keep this firmly in mind. No matter what, you cannot take a single step forward. If you advance, our training program will immediately start, and it will be extremely hard to resist.”
The energy of death contained inside the Tower of Eternity was actually not that much stronger than outside, but it was extremely pure. It was an energy of death that was devoid of any impurities. More importantly, in there, aside from Long Haochen, everyone else couldn’t feel the existence of any spiritual energy related to their own element. This caused them to be unable to recover their spiritual energy. Of course, this didn’t include Cai’er, who was already cultivating on the ground. From her gentle eyes and relaxed expression, it could be seen that she was very suited to the current environment.
Long Haochen told his comrades, “This place is extremely special. In a bit, I will show you a demonstration of the training that we will be undergoing. However, you will be unable to recover your spiritual energy in here. Therefore, we will train here for a bit, before returning to our own world, so that you can recover your spiritual energy before returning again. Now, pay attention!”
Saying this, he lifted his right hand, and with a glint of bright light, Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light appeared in his hand.
With the Holy Radiant Shield in his left hand, Long Haichen took three firm steps forwardbe the exact. He now stood at the exact same location as during his first test.
Immediately, two white glows drilled out from the ground, as if reacting to a specific mechanism. Just like before, two enormous skeletons appeared, carrying a shield in the left and a blade in the right hand. They launched the
three halo-type ability of courage, faith and power before directly rushing towards Long Haochen.
This time, Long Haochen didn’t have Haoyue’s assistance, but he also wasn’t the same Long Haochen he had been when he came here for the first time.
Sensing the imposing aura radiating from these two skeletons, Han Yu’s and Sima Xian’s expressions immediately changed. Those enemies were clearly at the sixth step! Since the tests of the tower involved opponents of the sixth step, it was no wonder that Long Haochen warned them not to take any reckless actions. But it was the holy light element released from the bodies of the skeletons that astonished them the most.
Long Haochen was already prepared. A dense holy light in liquid form emanated from him, forming a pair of dazzling wings. They grew on his back, shining brightly. This was the condensation of wings, symbol of the sixth step.
However, in this place, those wings could only serve as symbols, because Long Haochen discovered that he was unable to fly.
But the wings were not simple flying tools; they also had the function of condensing light element. Relying on the Eternal Melody and his spiritual cavities, the current recovery speed of his spiritual energy could only be termed as monstrous.
However, the Light Elemental Fairy Yating was also unable to appear inside the Tower of Eternity. It seemed as if the tower suppressed her.
Without Haoyue’s intervention, the two skeletons charged at Long Haochen together, cooperating flawlessly with each other. One of them released golden flames from his eyes while its boned arm showed signs of transformation, whereas the other skeleton directly aimed its attack at Long Haochen, slashing at him with its bone blade.
They are actually cooperating with each other? The skeleton whose bone blade was covered in golden color was clearly using Asura Strike.
Under such circumstances, how could Long Haochen let him do as he wanted? With a glint of the golden and blue colors in his right hand, two dragon cries resounded at the same time. The first was high-pitched while the second was low-pitched, and both produced a bizarre shock. Two little golden and blue dragons shot forth, striking the skeleton that was aiming its Asura Strike at Long Haochen.
With a loud crash, the shield of this skeleton, who tried to resist the attack, broke to pieces along with the blade in its other hand, that successfully blocked in front of it. But to its misfortune, the evolved Bright Rain, Thrusting Hibiscus wasn’t something it could possibly resist. Restricted by the entangling dragons of light and water, its body was immediately crushed to small pieces. Right afterwards, a white glow of light made its way into Long Haochen’s chest. After launching this Bright Rain, Thrusting Hibiscus, Long Haochen noticed that after its evolution, this ability’s greatest forte wasn’t its boost of power anymore. In fact, its power only increased a little, making it impossible for it to beat this kind of skeleton at its peaked state with sheer strength. Its most important feature was now its restrictive ability, which was Long Haochen’s greatest speciality. Thus, it was undoubtedly a great asset to him. However, even Long Haochen himself didn’t expect that, their restrictive ability aside, the dragons of light and water would also have such destructive power. After all, it was only the first time he used Bright Rain, Thrusting Hibiscus after its evolution.
At the time the Bright Rain, Thrusting Hibiscus was launched, the other skeleton’s attack also reached its target.
The Holy Radiant Shield carrying the Holy Shield ability was boosted with Divine Obstruction.
With a loud dang sound, Long Haochen stood absolutely still, and conversely, the skeleton’s bone sword was repelled strongly. Having reached the sixth step, and moreover using a piece of equipment at the Glorious Tier such as the Holy Radiant Shield, the current Long Haochen was already not as easy to handle anymore.
The sword launched with Bright Rain, Thrusting Hibiscus returned promptly, and Long Haochen next showed his formidable performance.
Demon Wiping Flash burst forth, and countless specks of light appeared out of nowhere. The skeleton was also equipped with a shield, but its greatest defect was the mediocrity of its equipment, in addition to its lacking defensive power. Assaulted by the Demon Wiping Flash, it was impossible for it to launch a powerful counterattack on the scale of Asura Strike.
After the Demon Wiping Flash ended, Long Haochen linked it up with the Holy Sword ability, which he had stored using the technique Growing Flowers Into Trees. He additionally added a dragon cry when Holy Sword was followed by an Ascending Dragon Strike.
The second skeleton’s body was instantly shattered into pieces.
This time, the training method for Asura Strike didn’t appear again in the shape of a golden ball, but it was another white glow that was instantly assimilated into Long Haochen’s body. Without a doubt, it contained twenty units of spiritual energy. The only difference was that Long Haochen naturally didn’t absorb it immediately to avoid letting its effect go to waste.
It only took a few breaths’ of time for him to get rid of two skeletons. After advancing to the sixth step of cultivation, Long Haochen’s strength clearly had gained a massive boost. Furthermore, his had been an individual battle for him, during which he smoothly got rid of two skeletons without even needing Haoyue’s assistance.
But for this same reason, he didn’t hold anything back at all. Because he didn’t have any extra worries impeding him, he put everything in his attacks, and even used both of his trump cards Bright Rain, Thrusting Hibiscus and Growing Flowers Into Trees. This way he didn’t give the two skeleton the chance to unleash their true fighting strength. But even so, the other members of the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad still saw the skeleton’s imposing strength.
Long Haochen’s current problems lay in his lack of abilities at the sixth step. Although he possessed the Inheritance Ring from his father, because he had just broken through to the sixth step a little while ago, he didn’t have the time to comprehend many abilities of the sixth step yet, let alone those belonging to Guardian Knights. To learn those, he would have to first return to the Knight Temple, but he could obviously not wait that long. Instead, he had sought Han Qian, his grandteacher, to learn them from him. Secret techniques couldn’t be lightly passed down from one to another, but ordinary ones could.
“Did everyone see this clearly?” Long Haochen turned towards his comrades, explaining the utility of the white balls of light.
One ball could increase the spiritual energy by ten! To Long Haochen’s, this was already equivalent to a long time of cultivating, and this was to say nothing of the others who didn’t have the privilege of having a physique such as the Scion of Light.
Adapting to the death energy wasn’t that hard, after all it didn’t have any offensive properties. The only hard thing to get used to was that their spiritual energy couldn’t be recovered inside the tower.
Seeing his companions give positive replies one after another, Long Haochen nodded, “If we continue going forward, the test will have us confront many opponents whose power I can’t even assess, but I will do my best to protect everyone. When we are unable to resist, we will have to escape as fast as possible. After leaving a certain range, the skeletons won’t keep attacking, and every time we leave and come back, the tests will restart with these two skeletons you just saw.”
Sima Xian made a motion with his Energetic Ball of Light, declaring,
“Boss, let’s start! We are unable to wait any longer.”
Long Haochen nodded in response, “Go!” Having said this, he went to the front while the other five took their respective positions according to the battle formation they were the most used to.
Long Haochen’s advanced very slowly, taking his time, to take one step after another. He wanted to avoid a situation where many enemies appeared at once.
Proceeding forward, Long Haochen advanced vigilantly, taking roughly five steps forward before unconsciously raising his shield. With a mere light sound, a sharp-shaped spiritual energy narrowly pierced his Holy Radiant Shield. By chance, Long Haochen had just unleashed the Holy Shield ability carried by the shield, enabling him to stop this attack.
An illusory-looking figure flashed, alarming Long Haochen greatly. With a shout, he released the Wiping Demon Flash ability with Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light in his hand.
Right at the same time, a muffled sound came from behind Long Haochen. Wang Yuanyuan’s body tumbled back, a deep trace visible on her armor.
An assassin, that was an assassin! And he was not alone.
The large area attack Demon Wiping Flash failed to reach the opponent because he simply moved too fast.
In fact, what Long Haochen’s team currently feared the most were assassins, because they had no priest that could use the ability Eyes of Truth. With their presence hidden there was no other way to learn about the existence of assassins. Without Haoyue, they were thus completely unable to detect concealed assassins.
Long Haochen released a Holy Mantle in great rush, enveloping all his comrades in its range.
After coming here for the first time, he seemed to have faintly understood that his own life wouldn’t be threatened during these tests, but that might not be the case for the comrades he brought here. Long Haochen expected the following tests to involve a higher number of skeletons, but who could have expected that the opponents would be assassins?
“Protect Lin Xin and Ying’er!” Long Haochen shouted loudly, and at the same moment, the Holy Mantle he released disappeared as easily as a balloon pierced by a needle.
Long Haochen’s team had many strong points, but they had also flaws. They had no real priest among their ranks, nor someone able to use powerful wide scale attacks. Lin Xin was afterall a mage that was only capable of casting defensive spells.
A red glow of light formed ripples on Lin Xin hands, and he managed to continuously launch four Fire Elemental Shields, protecting Chen Ying’er and himself. Two successive muffled sounds rang afterwards. They stemmed from Sima Xian and Han Yu being attacked one after another.
Sima Xian was still better off because his newly changed armor was very solid, but Han Yu wasn’t as fortunate. He hadn’t changed his armor even though it could barely be considered to be at the Spiritual Tier, and after receiving the sudden attack from the unseen assassin, blood gushed out from his chest. This was a very sharp attack which caused Han Yu’s body to sway and almost fall to the ground, with a stuffy snort. By chance, the Soul Linking Chains’ power was released, and everyone shared the damage of this blow.
The group would obviously not await death passively. They stood back to back and prepared their abilities, planning a counterattack.
But those two indistinct assassins disappeared once again.
“What a powerful spiritual energy! Let’s gather for now.” Han Yu’s voice sounded a bit hoarse, and a sharp spiritual energy was bursting forth from his body. Even with the help of the Soul Linking Chains, he had to bear an immense pain. His face was pale and his forehead covered in cold sweat.
What’s to be done? These words appeared in everyone’s mind. They never expected that they would have to so suddenly contend against two assassins of such caliber. Attacking without any warning, disappearing without any trace, and possessing terrible evading skills. Even Long Haochen’s fast moving Demon Wiping Flash didn’t reach them in time. The only possible explanation for this was that those skeletons were also at least at the sixth step of cultivation.
When Long Haochen planned on drawing back, a black silhouette suddenly appeared from their rear.
With a stinging sound that rang lightly, the black silhouette appeared at Long Haochen’s side. Immediately afterwards, this figure let out a white mist, causing a new silhouette to appear. This silhouette seemed to have no physical body, looking just like a specter, but still had the shape of a human.
How could Long Haochen ignore such a good occasion? With a white flash of light, the Saint Spiritual Stove managed to link him to the
opponent, and its Pull ability was immediately launched, directly pulling the opponent towards him.
The other black silhouette suddenly appeared once again before Han Yu with another stinging sound, releasing a white mist, but it was blocked by the sudden appearance of a second assassin’s figure.
It was Cai’er that appeared at the last moment.
Suddenly sensing the danger in her state of cultivation, she immediately intervened, just in time.
Although she had lost four of her senses, Cai’er cultivation was based on losing her senses one after another, thus, her perception and her sense of touch were exceedingly sharp. Losing four of her senses had reinforced her leftover ones, enabling her to block the attack of the assassins on the brink of a crisis.
Although the leader of the team had been Long Haochen so far, drawing all the glory to him, how could the Saint Daughter of Samsara with an innate talent of the same level as him be any lacking in intelligence? The fact that she willingly renounced the glory, placing herself at the back of Long Haochen didn’t mean that Cai’er was incompetent.
Sensing the encounter her comrades had, she immediately guessed the type of enemies they were confronting. This white mist was more than enough to show their true nature as assassins. More specifically, it was a type of white dust, used by assassins to make themselves invisible. It enfolded its best effect under these kind of circumstances.
While Long Haochen attracted one of them towards him, the second assassin also became visible, and the group’s attacks naturally also followed.
Because of the attack he had just been inflicted, Han Yu’s body was hurt, and he had to retreat backwards to recover. Wang Yuanyuan’s Gigantic Divine Soul Shield attacked brazenly, carrying an ear-piercing hissing sound, and Sima Xian’s Energetical Ball of Light followed accordingly.
This time the assassin’s actions were finally distinct. Confronting the pincer attack of two of his enemies, that assassin unexpectedly managed to draw back in a flash, using extremely swift movements, just as if he was weightless. Right before Wang Yuanyuan and Sima Xian’s attacks reached, he swept away from their range. With a very natural turn, his body threw itself at Cai’er.
Seemingly, their attacks couldn’t follow his evading speed? What a terrible situation!
These Specter Assassins that appeared inside of the Tower of Eternity were obviously not easy to handle, but unfortunately for them, though some of their attacks couldn’t reach, one mustn’t by any means forget that the squad still had Long Haochen.
Specters indeed didn’t have weight and possessed a formidable immunity to physical attacks, but by the Pull ability of the Saint Spiritual Stove, they were restricted to a great extent. Their lack of physical substance also became their greatest weakness.
The specter that fell victim to Long Haochen’s Pull ability was forcibly drawn in his direction. Left without another choice, it could only seize the opportunity to launch an attack at Long Haochen. It used both of its hands like two sharp stings, bursting forth with dozens of dots of light. They enveloped Long Haochen completely, however, Long Haochen’s powerful attack was ready to welcome it.
Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light burst forth with a powerful Asura Strike.
In the midst of ear-piercing hissing sounds, the Asura Strike took the shape of a gigantic blade made of intense light. This was not a mere physical attack, but a magical one using the combination of Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light, and the light essence put into the attack.
Without any suspense, in the next instant, the Specter Assassin was cut in two by the tyrannical liquid spiritual energy contained in this attack.
After his first success, Long Haochen instantly activated the Pull ability of his Saint Spiritual Stove again, just when the second Specter Assassin was about to reach Cai’er with its attack.
Forcibly pulled away, this Specter Assassin immediately faced a Shining Sunlight Strike from Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light.
As a matter of fact, the Asura Strike had been overkill, and even against the mere combination of Shining Sunlight Strike and Demon Wiping Flash, this Specter Assassin was left without any way to resist. It directly crumbled to nothingness before Long Haochen’s attack.
As expected, the death of those two assassins also gave rise to two new lumps of white light. Only, this time, they looked a little different than the former balls of light.
Although they had just handled the two Specter Assassins, everyone was still drenched in cold sweat. This was especially the case for Han Yu. The sharp spiritual energy that had invaded his body was finally dispersed with difficulty. And during this process, the Soul Linking Chains that linked the seven of them had never disappeared.
This meant that everyone had been helping him bear the pain coming from this sharp energy attack.
Han Yu, still filled with trepidation after this experience, declared, “If not for the Soul Linking Chains, I’m afraid that this last blow would have caused me to lose all fighting capability. And if another attack came, death would have undoubtedly followed. What a strong offensive power!”
Long Haochen nodded in response, “This sort of Specter Assassin is the same as the previous skeleton, good in attack, but weak in defense. The greatest trait of those Specter Assassins should be their speed. If not for the Pull ability of the Saint Spiritual Stove, I’m afraid that dealing with those enemies would have been quite challenging.”
Sima Xian scratched his own head, “Then, should I try harder to learn the use of the Eyes of Truth?”
Everyone immediately gave him bewildered looks, and Lin Xin patted his back, “Hey, if you could really learn it, why would you have been waiting until now for that? How could someone of your temper not know about the utility of the Eyes of Truth?”
Sima Xian gave him a bitter smile, “Being unable to learn it isn’t my shortcoming. Innate dispositions, it’s all about innate dispositions!”
Looking at his comrades, Long Haochen asked, “Do you want to keep going forward, or would you rather retreat?”
Everyone’s expressions changed. Clearly, their group of five would have died if they didn’t have Long Haochen and Cai’er with them. This unquestionable outcome would have happened although this was only the second test, and they were still far from being able to tell what lied at the end of this first floor. Everyone started to feel discouraged from this.
“Did everyone lose all self-confidence from this alone? Then you’d better not come to the Illusory Shrine.” Long Haochen coldly said, “Here, we can at least confront the tests one after another, and step back anytime. But in the Illusory Shrine, we will have to face many unknown dangers. We can’t possibly keep facing weaker enemies forever. Only by confronting greater danger can we become true powerhouses.”
“Let’s keep advancing. Boss, if it comes to the worse, we’ll just draw back. With the Soul Linking Chains, what is there to fear?” Sima Xian declared imposingly, full of vigor as he carried his immense Energetical Ball of Light.
The others started to also show resolute expressions. And as for Cai’er, she had returned to Long Haochen’s side once again. Though she didn’t hear what her comrades said, her actions already told a lot about her thinking. As she held onto Long Haochen’s neck while curling her legs around his waist, they once again became in the real meaning a knight and an assassin forming a single entity.
Long Haochen took a deep breath, replying, “Since only enemies of the sixth steps are on the first floor, we will very possibly be facing changes in
the number of enemies or their types. There won’t be any change in their overall strength. Don’t feel pressured by the danger, everyone. Sima spoke true, since we have the Soul Linking Chains, what is there to fear? Let’s just keep going forward.”
Saying this, he led his comrades while taking three more steps forward.
After seeing no reaction, he then took three more steps forward.
This time, there was a reaction. Two figures silently appeared nearby. Like before, they encountered skeletons, but this time they were different from the ones they met in the very beginning. All because those new skeletons had mounts.
The two skeletons mounted Skull Horses, and they weren’t equipped with the same sword and shield pair, but only a single lance.
The heavy sounds of hooves sounded violently on the ground, and the two Skeleton Knights advanced towards Long Haochen’s group like bolts of lightning.
Although the skeletons knights looked imposing, everyone loosened their breath in relief, because these opponents were still easier to deal with than the specters from before. At least, they were facing the enemy head on.
Long Haochen didn’t dare to attack them head on out of fear that charging would cause him to activate the following test.
Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light, was waved forward, launching a Light Thorn.
The Light Thorn carrying Ripples of Light grew to a whole new level in terms of offensive power. The blade of golden light separated into two parts in the air and slashed at the two Skeleton Knights.
With Long Haochen’s current cultivation, the use of Light Thorn didn’t require any incantation from him, and the same went even for those carrying Ripples of Light.
The eyes of the two skeleton knights were lit in golden flames, their lances simultaneously thrusting forward. , the two Skeleton Knights
released one meter long golden radiances from their hands, striking right in the middle of the Light Thorns.
In the midst of hissing sounds, Long Haochen’s two Light Thorns were crushed to pieces easily, and those two knights were drawing closer to Long Haochen. However, they didn’t arrive before him with the same timing; in a situation that looked like the knights were about to simultaneously arrive before Long Haochen, the speed of one of the two suddenly decreased, while the other one kept charging forward. He strode his own skull horse, unexpectedly placing himself behind the other knight, entering a cavalry formation of two, charging one before another.
At Long Haochen’s back were his comrades, so there was naturally no need for him to hesitate. The Holy Radiant Shield launched the Holy Shield technique, and in addition, Holy Filter Shield and Divine Obstruction were added up to it. Lin Xin’s two elemental shields also contributed to this defense.
Ssh The result wasn’t a violent clashing sound, but an ear-piercing friction resonating all around.
After getting close enough to Long Haochen, the Skeleton Knight forcefully bent his body over, the lance in his hand striking Long Haochen’s Holy Radiant Shield instantly. And at this very time, the second skeleton knight concealed in the rear launched his lance forward.
Differently to the first knight, the lance of the second Skeleton Knight was lit by a glistening golden color, giving off three golden rays to strengthen this one attack. Feeling the rapid compressions in the air, Long Haochen felt his own body being restricted by an incomparable force. This was a blow that he would have to tough out.
Long Haochen’s perception was far exceeding that of ordinary people, and the same went for his mental capacity. He immediately sensed that his Holy Radiant Shield carrying Divine Obstruction wouldn’t be enough to resist the attack.
The action of that Skeleton Knight shocked him without limits. The Skeleton Horse he was riding, as well as his lance, seemed to be a complete part of his body. And all the power of his body seemed to be concentrated on the tip of his lance, which wasn’t something that could be lightly faced.
Under these circumstances, Long Haochen’s adaptability gave him an advantage. The defenses erected by Lin Xin were still present on him, but he discarded his own Holy Radiant Shield. More accurately, Long Haochen immediately let go of it and dropped it to the ground, while grasping Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light, with both of his two hands. He used an Asura Strike to counter.
Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light emitted a bizarre buzzing sound, letting out a surge of intense golden light. A terrifying fighting strength was being released at that time.
The blade and the lance clashed with each other in a resplendent flash.
The explosion from a sort of spatial rupture rang out, causing them all to cover up their ears with their hands.
Long Haochen felt just as if he had smashed into a mountain.His body was sent flying backwards and he vomited a gush of blood. An intense golden light blossomed from the seven youths, and everyone stepped back with a groan.
Wang Yuanyuan’s reaction had been very fast. She had placed herself behind Long Haochen in the instant right before he was pushed back. Like this, the Gigantic Divine Soul Shield was directly pushed against Cai’er at Long Haochen’s back, but the force of impact knocked the three of them back in the range of Lin Xin’s new Fire Elemental Shields.
At that moment, Long Haochen had a very numbing sensation in his hands. He seemed to be unable to feel his hands, and even the radiance from Blue Rain, Hibiscus of Light dimmed. His Holy Radiant Armor carrying the Holy Spirit Protection had been pierced through by the previous blow.
Still, although Long Haochen felt grieved, his opponent wasn’t better off. The bone lance in the hand of that Skeleton Knight had directly been sent flying and had been shattered into countless pieces in the air. The head of his Skull Horse had been smashed by Long Haochen’s Asura Strike. The Skull Knight directly fell to the ground before getting up with difficulty.
Nonetheless, he didn’t have the time to launch another attack before a sort of gigantic golden meteor hit him, inflicting serious damage with its terrifying bursting power.
Carrying Crush in combination with Ripples of Light, the Energetic Ball of Light smashed into the Skeleton Knight that had just fallen from his horse.
All the skeletal summons in the tests of the Tower of Eternity had a common weak point, which was their defensive ability. Even if Long Haochen was greatly shaken by the offensive power of the opponent, in the same way, this Skeleton Knight had numerous cracks on his body in addition to having lost his weapon. Under such circumstances, how could he resist the terrifying attack from the Energetic Ball of Light? In the instant he was hit, his body shattered into pieces, and the bright ball of light Long Haochen expected finally appeared. The white light flew to Sima Xian, entering his body.
However, their crisis wasn’t yet resolved. The first knight that charged at Long Haochen’s flank suddenly turned around to, before again clashing with Long Haochen. On the tip of his lance, a condensed gaudy golden light blossomed threatingly.
Right at that instant, everyone felt their breathing stop suddenly. Long Haochen had endured an attack of the first Skeleton Knight, without sparing any effort. At this instant, who else in the team could possibly resist that attack? Long Haochen had to do so even if he was not even able to raise his hand right then.
At this crucial instant, a figure stepped forward without hesitation, standing in front of his comrades, an intense golden radiance bursting forth from him. His firm and vigorous arms held a shield in front of him.
This person that faced the danger head on was none other than Long Haochen’s retainer knight, the second Guardian Knight of the team, Han Yu.
Although his defensive power was far inferior to Long Haochen, he was undoubtedly the second ranked of the team in regard of defense. At this time, he was the only one suited for this task.
The whole team’s collaboration came to fruition at this moment of crisis. Facing this very possibly irresistible attack, no one acted rashly, and all of their eyes glinted with an intense resolution.
Wang Yuanyuan’s figure flashed at Han Yu’s flank. In her hand she was holding the three gems that she took out priorly, inserting them in the Gigantic Divine Soul Shield which abruptly burst forth with the Space Splitting Sauté.
Before the knight’s body arrived, this glowing attacked reached.
Naturally, she wasn’t the only one to act: Lin Xin held his Fire Crystal Staff high, and an immense flame light shot out from it, before striking the Skeleton Knight violently. The flame transformed into the shape of an immense skull of flames, filled with great power, to the extent it even appeared to exceed Wang Yuanyuan’s Space Splitting Sauté in terms of power.
After the release of this ability, Lin Xin’s face immediately became paler, due to the great consumption of his spiritual energy.
It was Curse of Fire, the supplementary ability of his Fire Cloud Staff.
He couldn’t use offensive magic, but this didn’t prevent him from using the supplementary ability of his staff. This Fire Magic Control was truly peculiar, and because the Fire Cloud Crystal in itself was made of a high quality material, it carried another ability of the same type as Long Haochen’s Storing Power.
Curse of Fire was in itself an offensive ability of the fifth step, but when executed with the Storing Ability, it could reach a whole new level. Of course, the premise was to pour enough spiritual energy into the attack.
Seeing the danger before their eyes, Lin Xin didn’t dare show any reservation. His spiritual energy was entirely poured into the Fire Cloud Crystal Staff, which immediately manifested its undoubtable utility. It did increase the degree of power of his attack drastically, but at the same time absorbed more than 3,000 units of internal spiritual energy from his body. This Curse of Fire burst out with the strength of a spell of the sixth step.
Long Haochen didn’t stay idle and although he was temporarily unable to launch attacks or defend, he still had his supportive abilities. In the midst of his frantic chants, golden halos spread from under him, providing his comrades’ with boosts.
Sima Xian appeared on Han Yu’s other flank with a serene expression, and the Energetic Ball of Light in his hand. It was covered with an intense and rapidly condensing golden light which clearly not only stemmed from Ripples of Light.
Their Demon Hunt Squad was a whole; and although Long Haochen’s strength was great, the team’s development couldn’t rely only on him alone. In this crucial time, the other members all fulfilled their respective roles.
Two violent explosions emerged from that Skeleton Knight at the same time.
Wang Yuanyuan’s Space Splitting Sauté was using the spatial attribute, thus when it clashed against the Skeleton Knight, a fantastic scene emerged. An intense silvery light suddenly charged in the shape of a brilliant cover, or more accurately speaking, a conical cover that was rooted in the path of the Skeleton Knight’s violent charge.
What a powerful charging ability! From this scene, one couldn’t help but feel horrified.
However, this time, Lin Xin’s strength was the key factor. The instant his Curse of Fire came in contact with the Skeleton Knight, it also transformed into the shape of a brilliant cover to block its path. But on top of that, Lin Xin immediately waved the Fire Cloud Crystal in his hand energetically, causing a boom to ring out in the process. He had detonated his Fire Curse technique, producing an effect just like the explosion of a bomb.
The Skeleton Knight’s weak defensive power again became their downfall. Facing the destructive power of the Fire Curse technique, the knight was completely helpless as his Skeletal horse and he himself were completely obliterated.
However, this didn’t mean that his attack would stop just like that. In the instant his body exploded, the bone lance in his hand was thrown, aiming directly at the members of the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad.
Han Yu shouted loudly, his right foot firmly planted on the ground. He shifted his body in the path of the bone lance and the moment the light was suddenly reflected on his shield, Divine Obstruction was launched.
At this very moment, Sima Xian also made a move from his flank. With the Energetical Ball of Light he brazenly attacked and produced a white lightning strike.
This light elemental lightning included in this attack could only be one thing: Adjudication, an attack exclusive to priests.
Even though Sima Xian was only capable of using the most low level type of Adjudication, it was still an ability of the fifth step.
Suffering from the effects of Adjudication, that rapidly-flying bone lance slowed down as it collided against the Energetic Ball of Light, before violently striking Han Yu’s shield.
A glaring golden light simultaneously radiated from the group of seven, and Han Yu’s buffeted body was caught in midair by Long Haochen.
With the destruction of the Skeleton Knight’s main body, the lance’s blow had already weakened a lot. Therefore, with Sima Xian’s support, Han Yu had to only bear roughly a third of the strength of the attack Long Haochen had faced. But even so, he felt as if his arms would snap. That was how terrifying the power of that lance was.
A Halo of Recovery spread out from Han Yu’s body, enveloping all his comrades. Because everyone had suffered the pain from the two attacks, they were far from feeling good. Nonetheless, Lin Xin was brimming with a happy smile.
“Wahaha, I received it! I received it!”
At the same time Han Yu bore this attack, a white and a golden glow rushed forth to Lin Xin’s body. These were his rewards for killing the Skeleton Knight, but how could this let him go wild with joy in such a moment?
As Long Haochen’s arms were gradually recovering from the numbness, he told Sima Xian, “Sima, take a look at the ability contained in that golden radiance. You can actually learn it.”
“Okay.” Sima Xian shut his eyes, giving it a try.
The ability was Asura Thrust, which had an utility similar to Asura Strike, but was impossible to avoid at a certain range while attacking in a straight line. In comparison, Asura Thrust condensed a little more spiritual energy, and increased the power even further, but it also consumed a monstrous amount of spiritual energy. In numbers, over 2,000 units. It could also be used in combination with strengthening abilities like Storing Power.
What surprised Long Haochen was that after he announced this ability’s uses, Sima Xian’s chest glinted golden before the golden light absorbed in his body surprisingly emerged again.
And it wasn’t only him: the same happened for Lin Xin. A similar golden ball of light was floating in front of him.
“How could this happen?” Long Haochen asked in surprise.
Sima Xian and Lin Xin stared blankly and shook their heads. Sima Xian replied, “I don’t know how this could have happened. While I was examining it, I sensed a sudden feeling of rejection, before it came out again.”
Right at that time, that golden ball of light seemingly already started to disappear.
Long Haochen was startled. Hurrying to Sima Xian’s side he grabbed that golden light, immediately absorbing it inside his body.
“Han Yu, fuse with that one in front of Lin Xin, it seems to be an ability that can only be learned by people suited to it.”
The Tower of Eternity seemed all the more mysterious to everyone, and this applied even to Long Haochen himself, who had to learn about it little by little.
Finally, Long Haochen and Han Yu fused with their respective golden balls of lights. After they sensed the power of the abilities, the comprehension of them appeared in their minds.
These types of abilities were very similar to those that could be learnt in the Alliance’s Treasure Storing Pavilion. Asura Thrust was an ability that admittedly required a massive consumption of spiritual energy, but its terrifying offensive power was something everyone learned soon. After Long Haochen tried it, it gave them a tremendous shock.
The offensive power of Asura Thrust was about three times the power produced by a peak attack of the same scale. That was to say, with Long Haochen’s internal spiritual energy reaching 4,100 units, Asura Thrust would consume 2,000 units of spiritual energy to produce the power of 6,000 units of spiritual energy. And if he poured his whole internal spiritual
energy in the attack, its power would then burst out to a whole new level, reaching a power of more than 12,000 units of spiritual energy.
What kind of concept was that? Used correctly, even a powerhouse of the seventh step would have to be cautious against this attack.
Sima Xian reacted in frustration, “Why couldn’t I learn it?! This is an extremely powerful ability!”
After giving some thought, Long Haochen replied to him, “Perhaps it is because of your vocation, since all the abilities you should be able to learn would normally have to be of the priest-type, although it’s only offensive abilities. You’re after all a priest. It’s sure that knights would be able to learn to use Asura Thrust, after all, it is from a Skeleton Knight that we got to learn it. From my guess, Cai’er and Yuanyuan would also be able to learn it. But our tests have just gotten started, and I’m sure we’ll get more and more nice surprises from the next trials. Everyone will be sure to gain some profits.
I have to emphasize it, but you have to wait for your spiritual energy to recover entirely before absorbing the white type of ball, otherwise it will go to waste. All right, we should get back for now.”
Heading back was a wise choice. Although they had only completed three tests for now, surviving these three could be said to have been a great challenge, between the thrilling invisible enemy they faced for the second battle and the Skeleton Knights whose formidable power was an extreme threat, that narrowly defeated their group.
Heading back to recover from their wounds as well as to recover some physical power, spiritual energy and summarize their experience was what they had to do for now.
Getting back to their own world was very simple: after leaving the Tower of Eternity, Long Haochen activated the Eternal Melody to transfer them back.
With a glint of golden light, Long Haochen and his comrades returned to their room in the headquarters of the Priest Temple, in the Southern Mountain’s City.
Everyone immediately felt their breath loosen.
“Being constricted by that death energy really felt painful.” Chen Ying’er blurted out, unable to help letting out the hesitations in her heart, “Captain, you are all about to get those ball of spiritual energy by killing the targets from the test, but how about me? What’s to be done for me? I can only rely on McDull to attack for me.”
Long Haochen laughed in response, “That’s not right. Ying’er, have you forgotten about your own speciality? You still have the Creature Summoning Gate! Every time we enter in the future, you can just directly put your Creature Summoning Gate to use to summon a magical beast. If it turns out to be one without attacking power, you won’t get any reward during the process of the tests, but if a rather powerful beast appears, we will pay attention to let your magical beast get the last attack, so that you can get some rewards of spiritual energy.”
“Eh… After having not used the Creature Summoning Gate for so long, I had already forgotten about it…” Chen Ying’er’s face became red, as she kept herself concealed behind Wang Yuanyuan’s back.
Long Haochen declared, “Let’s recover for now everyone. After recovering our spiritual energy and physical capabilities, we will enter one more time.”
“Yes!” Everyone replied in unison.
Over the test they just had, because of unfamiliarity with the Tower of Eternity, it could be said that apart from Long Haochen, others’ performances were just passable. Of the six undeads, four of the spiritual energy balls were obtained by Long Haochen. But even so, they fully understood the benefits the Tower of Eternity could bring them.
The other benefits aside, the mere progressing speed of their spiritual energy would inevitably grow tremendously. This increase of spiritual energy wasn’t even affected by one’s innate talent. In addition, never forget, but in this place, they had only been battling strong enemies in actual combat situation. Be it in terms of individual strength or coordination as a team, this would be an excellent help for them to improve, enabling them to progress very fast in addition to learning abilities.
The smile Han Yu had on his face ever since learning Asura Thrust had yet to disappear. This ability was truly very satisfying, and although he could use it only once, it was beyond compare with the feeble attacking power that he had always been having, giving it a tremendous boost.
In preparation for the next time they would enter the Tower of Eternity, everyone focused on cultivation to gather the lost spiritual energy. Although Han Yu’s healing ability couldn’t compare to Luc Xi in terms of scale, having finally learned some specialized abilities on this discipline, injuries weren’t a problem anymore with him. In addition, he could have Long Haochen’s help for healing, and could benefit from his Spiritual Gathering Halo; to him, activating it wouldn’t be a big issue since with the assistance of the Eternal Melody, he would be able to recover even in the Tower of Eternity.
An hour later, everyone was back to their peak-condition, but a new problem arose. Long Haochen found himself to be unexpectedly unable to teleport them inside of the Tower of Eternity, the Eternal Melody being seemingly unable to create a link. Even after attempting for a few times, he wasn’t successful.
“How could that happen?” Long Haochen asked with a totally puzzled face. As he was about to attempt a few more times, Wang Yuanyuan was the one to stop him.
“Captain, don’t keep trying for now. I think that I can tell out the reason for that.” Wang Yuanyuan said in a serious tone. As the only spatial attribute user of the team, she had naturally the best understanding regarding spatial energy out of the whole team.
“We are in total seven, and that Tower of Eternity is in an unknown location. Going through this kind of grouped teleportation is thus bound to consume an important amount of energy from the Tower of Eternity. And I think that the checkpoint where we are teleported also needs to use up some more energy to be charged up. Under this kind of circumstances, if the Tower of Eternity didn’t restrict us in the number of teleportations, it would very possibly cause its consumption of energy to rise excessively. Let’s try again in a bit. I think you should try once an hour, it should be enough. This way, we will be able to know the time needed for every new teleportation. ”
Hearing her interpretation, Long Haochen nodded in response, “Since things are this way, let’s cultivate together for today, until we manage to get transported to those tests. Since this is closely related to our future plans, we’ll need to have the accurate information of the time necessary between two trips to the Tower of Eternity.”