After some time, Senior Brother Mu’s Shadow Over the Sky spell started losing its effect. The pitch-black cloud over the area faded and the gentle moonlight began to illuminate the place.
“That person seems to have left,” murmured Senior Brother Mu quietly to himself as he listened out for any suspicious noises. Stalling for time earlier had given him time to expel the poison and his body was in its best condition again, so he was no longer panicky.
“Come out, everyone. That person couldn’t do anything about us and has already left,” Senior Brother Mu shouted loudly.
As his shout echoed through the forest, the disciples cautiously walked out from their hiding places. They looked around anxiously and were ready to run back and hide again if necessary.
Senior Brother Mu stared at their rattled states disappointedly. He seriously doubted that this batch of new disciples could become a future pillar of strength for the Alliance at this rate.
“Zhou Tuo, what the heck happened to you?” One of them patted Gu Suihan on the shoulder as he looked at Gu Suihan’s messy hair and torn clothing.
Gu Suihan glared back at him and scoffed. “You’re no better.”
That disciple looked at himself and laughed awkwardly.
Senior Brother Mu’s Shadow Over the Sky had made their surroundings so dark while they were trying to find a place to hide, so anybody who didn’t ram straight into a tree was already considered lucky. But most of their clothing had been torn by tree branches and other plants in the forest, so all of them looked a mess.
“Tidy up the place, bury their bodies and take a rest. We’ll leave when day breaks.” After Senior Brother Mu gave those instructions with a stern expression on his face, he leaped onto a large tree and began to meditate.
None of them realized that the one who had ambushed them was now secretly walking among them.
After killing Zhou Tuo, Gu Suihan had used a Soul Searching spell on Zhou Tuo to retrieve all his memories from the time he joined the Seven Kill Sect till now, memorized everything, then changed himself to look like Zhou Tuo.
As he quietly changed out of his bloodstained clothes, he secretly glanced at Nan Xingyuan, who was meditating below the tree that Senior Brother Mu was in, and smiled faintly.
The next afternoon.
Senior Brother Mu led the disciples with him to where the secret realm was.
The place looked like an ordinary mountain valley. It resembled a desert and didn’t have any ferocious beasts protecting it, contrary to what the disciples had expected to see.
After losing two disciples without even knowing how Senior Brother Mu was in a foul mood. He wasn’t as gentle and elegant as he usually was and wasn’t even interested in flirting with Nan Xingyuan.
“Hoho! Brother Mu, you’re so early,” a burst of bright and relaxed laughter resounded from afar as a man came flying over on a freshly plucked tree leaf.
“Oh look! It’s the incredibly famous Hang Chulong from the Four Directions Court,” said Senior Brother Mu as he stared at the other man and tried his best to sound a little friendlier even though his expression was still gloomy.
Hang Chulong didn’t take his attitude to heart. He got his disciples to stand to one side and wait, then turned to look at Senior Brother Mu and the Way Seekers Alliance disciples behind him. He smiled faintly and said, “Hmm? Mu Tian, why are you missing two disciples? Were they too afraid to fight and backed out at the last minute?”
“Humph!” Mu Tian’s expression looked even nastier now. “We happened to run into an evildoer and were caught unprepared, that’s all. What’s it to you?”
“Ohhhhhh…” Hang Chulong purposely dragged his words out and looked like he was enlightened. “I was still wondering why on earth your camp suddenly packed up and ran like a dog whose owner just died. This evildoer was really something, eh?” He was obviously mocking Mu Tian now.
The rest of the disciples from the Four Directions Court caught on as well and burst out laughing.
“What’s everyone laughing about? Care to share the joke?” A gigantic flying sword landed on the ground and the sound from the impact boomed in everyone’s ears.
“Oh, so it’s Yan Wuheng from the Nobles Clan. I was wondering who on earth was speaking.” Mu Tian looked at Yan Wuheng from the corner of his eye with a disdainful look on his face, but there was also a serious look in his eye.
He went on without waiting for Yan Wuheng to respond, “Since we’re all here, let’s get going.”
An old-fashioned, purple wooden figurine of sorts appeared in his hand, but he only had the top half of this figurine.
Hang Chulong had the bottom half and threw it over to Mu Tian.
Yan Wuheng was a man with an honest-looking face. He threw the lotus seat wooden carving in his hand at Mu Tian as well, as if to say that Mu Tian could do this by himself since he was the oldest.
Both men ignored Mu Tian’s extremely irritated expression.
“So, the two of you prefer a fight?” Mu Tian narrowed his eyes and glared at the other two like a venomous snake as he took a little bell out.
“Oh no, no, that’s not what I meant. I thought you’ve already reached Intermediate Foundation Establishment and wouldn’t need my help in this matter. Looks like I was mistaken!” Hang Chulong quickly broke into a smile when he saw that Yin Yang Mutual Joy Bell. But there was still some apprehension in his eyes.
Mu Tian scoffed, threw the items back to the other two, then marched to the middle of the valley.
Yan Wuheng just laughed it off, then stomped his foot so hard that he made a huge indention in the ground as he flew into the air and landed heavily next to Mu Tian.
Hang Chulong took a step at a time toward the middle of the valley, but each step was completed so quickly, that he looked like a blur as he arrived at his destination in a matter of seconds.
They exchanged glances and their expressions became more serious. Yan Wuheng gently placed the lotus seat on the ground, then Hang Chulong and Mu Tian pieced their figurine together on top of the lotus seat to become one whole figurine.
All three of them gave a loud shout, unleashing a blast of Qi and causing all the sand to blow in all directions, which subsequently uncovered a gigantic formation diagram that was more than a hundred meters in diameter and spanned almost the entire valley.
Gu Suihan watched the three seniors carefully from among the crowd, then looked at the huge ancient formation diagram on the ground. This all seemed very familiar to him.
After a few seconds, his expression shifted slightly as he thought to himself, “This isn’t just some SMALL secret realm and there’s no way someone stumbled upon it by coincidence! Who the hell uses an Akasha Myriad Star Galaxy Formation as an entrance?! What in the world is inside this secret realm? What would make the Seven Kill Sect pay such a high price?”
But when he looked a little more carefully, he calmed down. “Oh, it’s just an inner formation and not an outer formation, and it’s covered in damage, so I doubt the Seven Kill Sect was the one who put this up.” After all, the undamaged version would have been capable of killing even a Nascent Change cultivator. That’s why he had been so shocked at first.
The full Akasha Myriad Star Galaxy Formation was split into two different formations. One was the inner formation, or the Akasha Formation, which was meant to trap an enemy and mark his location. The outer formation was named Myriad Star Galaxy Formation. This could be used for attack or defense and its corresponding formation flags and formation compasses were magic treasures that could draw on the immeasurable power of the hundreds of stars in the sky as well as their starlight.
Never mind a Nascent Change cultivator – even one at Origin God stage could get trapped in this thing for nearly a century if he was just slightly distracted.
“But that doesn’t mean it’s useless,” thought Gu Suihan to himself as he started making plans. The outer formation was missing, so it was unable to draw on the power of the stars. This inner formation was likely to have been set up a very long ago in order to mark out the location of this secret realm.
As for those keys to opening the formation, that was probably the Formation Eye. If this Eye were to be damaged, the formation would not hold up either.
In fact, the Seven Kill Sect was lucky that this Illusion Formation was so badly damaged. Otherwise, it would take several Origin Core cultivators to open up this secret realm.
This secret realm might have had a number of treasures inside in the past, but after a long time, many others had entered it and damaged it, so there was probably nothing really that valuable left inside. That’s why the leaders of the three factions had been able to reserve it for their own disciples. If it still contained many treasures, nobody would have allowed that to happen.
“The three factions have really spent a lot on this,” murmured Gu Suihan as he watched the three seniors place Spiritual Stones carefully around the formation diagram. He thought it was such a pity – those were all mid-grade Spiritual Stones.
He received a lot of Spiritual Stones every month, but that was only for as long as he survived any attempts on his life. Also, Chuan Xin must have had a pretty powerful backer as well. Otherwise, how could a mere internal disciple possibly have so many mid-grade Spiritual Stones on himself?1
- ED: He’s talking about the lighting internal disciple who got murked in the forest↩
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