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At this moment, no one cowered back! Xu Yangyi faintly smiled and looked at everyone. “And how about all of you?”
“Of course we’ll follow you to the end, Commander.” Quan Ningyue’s hair was tied into two pigtails. “Cultivators cultivate to contest fate against the heavens. What’s there to be scared of?”
Zhan Twelve answered even more succinctly, “I am accustomed to danger.”
Xu Yangyi’s gaze finally fell on Fang Cheng who was yawning.
“What the heck are you lookin’ at me for?” Fang Cheng rubbed his eyes. “I’ll naturally go wherever you go. Master-Ancestor threw me over to you. You want to toss me away, too?”
“Very good.” Xu Yangyi stowed his gaze and snapped his finger. A one-square-meter-sized light screen appeared above his head. His gaze burned brightly as it briefly swept over a flashing red dot. “This time, our objective is here.”
The light screen was a scarlet-colored surface. On it, there were countless white, blue, and black lines strangely intersecting to form a splendid picture, a naturally supreme craft of the gods.
However, as this picture appeared, no one even laughed! Even Fang Cheng’s hazy eyes suddenly twinkled. He gravely studied the surface. There was no one that didn’t recognize this image...
In China’s cultivation world, its name was too resounding… One of the Eight Great Deadlands, Longsu’s Danxia Temple Colonnades. Danxia really wasn’t a name… but rather a kind of geography naturally formed over millions and millions of years!
It was diverse in form and color, fantastically wondrous in a thousand descriptions, but in the region of Longsu Province’s Red Willow Gully, it only had one other name.
Seventy-eight years ago, Daochild Chang Shengzi had perished inside along with the supreme mountain-protector array of one of Daoism’s Three Great Ancestral Halls, Greenwall Mountain. Eighty-three years ago, the abbot of Baoguo Temple had fallen here… Countless cultivators lives were used to fuel the bloody tears of this lesson—this place was the reaper’s residence. The mouth of hell!
“Could it be…” Yao Xintan’s gaze carried a wisp of shock. At the same time, he buried his deep excitement and took a quick look at Xu Yangyi. “This time… we’re going…”
“Don’t tell me it’s Danxia Temple’s surroundings?” Qin Xueluan felt her heart throbbing wildly. However, she now seemed to sense something. All of her “little friends” had become silent.
Swoosh! The image changed again. It was a scenery of a great earthen-yellow mountain and countless hills below. As for the center of this mountain, it surprisingly bulged with pillaresque cylinders! Regardless of whether seen near or far, the landmark resembled a vast palace embedded in the great mountain! All that remained was a ring of pillars from the outside!
In its surroundings, not even an inch of grass sprouted, nor was there a single animal. It was like the wind could be heard blowing through the gaps of those pillars. The wind’s wail that came from in between the columns was akin to the weeping of hell’s phantoms. One seemed to be able to see hidden cracks, so endlessly deep, between these pillars. It resembled the massive entrance of the Nine Nethers!
Song Zifu, Gao Wuguo, Yang Xueqing, Mo Yeyu, Jun Man, Quan Ningyue, Qin Xueluan, Yao Xintan, Zhan Twelve, and Fang Cheng. The ten of them stared fixedly at the strange and imposing natural landscape formed over the course of millions and millions of years. Everyone clearly understood that this was the grand and terribly awesome Danxia Temple Colonnades.
Its entrance wasn’t between the pillars, but rather… in the hundreds of caves which surrounded this mountain!
“Danxia Temple’s Colonnades…” Jun Man gasped coldly. At this moment, the scorpion on his head screeched and its dark-blue tail quivered ceaselessly in distress. Suddenly, he slammed the table. “Commander’s got guts! But I like these kind of guts!”
“Danxia Temple…” Quan Ningyue took a good few deep breaths. Even she hadn’t expected that the first mission would actually be selected here! A place chosen so that the Xingtian Legion could use it to become famous and stand out from the masses!
“Right now, all of you still have one last chance.” Xu Yangyi propped both his hands on the table and looked at everyone, gazing intently like a tiger. “I’ll give everyone another chance to back out.” No one replied. “If you don’t withdraw now, you won’t have another chance to later.” Still, no one spoke.
At the beginning, they were shocked. Dozens of seconds later, each person thought it over. In the end...
A brightly colored centipede crawled out from Qin Xueluan’s clothes and followed down the path of her tender white fingers, finally climbing between them. Not only did it not have a strange odor, it instead carried a wisp of a sweet fragrance. She said insipidly, “This creature is named the Jade-Eyes Heavenpede.”
A couple people’s gazes were cast over. Qin Xueluan looked at the centipede with somewhat of an obsession. “I started rearing it when I was five years old… I used the my heartblood and qi to feed it. At the beginning, I didn’t know what was its use. It wasn’t until a few years ago did its eyes turn from red to gold, gold to white, and then white to jade. Master then told me that this insect can save three lives and kill three Great Circle Qi Condensation.” She gazed at Xu Yangyi. She was originally a delicate woman, yet she was incomparably resolute. “Commander, are you saying… whether or not I can go?”
Laying down the cards! This was Qin Xueluan’s killing ace! The hidden trump at the bottom of her reserves! Each person’s gaze slightly flickered.
In a legion, they needed trust in each other, but in a martial gathering everyone kept their own strongest killing ace. If she charged through another region, perhaps she still wouldn’t need to use this move. Nonetheless… the place they wanted to go was Danxia Temple! In that case, each person needed to clearly understand everyone’s trump card!
Qin Xueluan was the first to put down her ace without the slightest hesitation! Capable of killing three and saving three, a single body of medicine and poison.
Silence. After an unknown passage of time, Mo Yeyu said quietly, “I have a prime puppet called Azure Sparrow.”
“Its firepower isn’t high, but its defense is very exceptional. It can store twenty people inside it all at once. Its speed can compare to a supreme-grade magik artifact. But the divine ability it’s equipped with…” Mo Yeyu clenched his teeth. “Self-detonation.”
“Its explosive power… is equal to a half-step Foundation Establishment self-detonation. But once this move is used, I’ll pass out as well.”
The second person to lay down their cards!
These techniques were their true killing aces! These geniuses’ ultimate contingencies! A trump among trumps! Ordinarily, unless it was absolutely critical, in no way would any one of them suddenly reveal it! When brought to light, it was in a true moment divided between life and death! Here and now, no one dared to hide their aces with Danxia Temple before them.
“I have a divine ability… I can lend my constitution to one person…” Jun Man looked at his fellow legionnaires. “Any person.”
“It can protect their life for half an hour. Regardless of any kind of injury! The price is that I will bear this wound.”
Trust. Beginning with Qin Xueluan, this faint yet extremely difficult to accomplish word quietly pervaded the entire room. It was silent. Wanting a cultivator to shine a light on their last trump was very, very hard. These moves weren’t only their last methods for protecting their lives and killing their foes, but also… quite likely true supreme arts that they had studied in their sects!
After a few minutes, another person spoke.
“I have a blade. Its name is Heavensplitter.” Yao Xintan said deeply, “I can use my body as a blade, but the price is that my cultivation falls by half, and I fall into a coma for three years. It can slay… any cultivator below half-step Foundation Establishment! So long as this person’s cultivation is within the Qi Condensation realm. It can even suppress the cultivation of a Foundation Establishment Senior.”
Silent again, yet this time, the period was short. Thirty seconds.
Quan Ningyue calmly took her snow-white left hand and put it on the table. All of a sudden, her left hand completely split open. Surprisingly, the inside radiated the vibrant light and color of supreme-grade magik artifacts!
“I can’t be considered completely human.” She said indifferently, “I have a natural Nine Yin Extremes bloodline. I would’ve lived for no more than twenty years. In order to save me, my teacher, Grandmaster Gao Muya, crafted each part of my body from supreme-grade magik artifacts, besides my heart and brain.” She laughed mockingly as she looked at the giant two-meter-tall hammer placed behind her. “That’s nothing more than a diversion of mine.”
She finished speaking and gazed at everyone. “Until now, those who knew of this secret were only the dead. Although I’m untalented, the face of this desolate hammer has drank its fill of blood.”
Her meaning was self-evident. She’d even spoke of her greatest secret. She actually wasn’t completely human and could even be considered a cyborg! As for everyone else… was there still any one who was unwilling to speak of their hidden ace? Did anyone even have a supreme technique that was more unendurable in comparison?
Three seconds. The time was getting shorter and shorter. Zhan Twelve opened his mouth, his voice raspy, “The Reddust Executioner’s secret art—Life-Death Severing. In an instant, it severs the spiritual sense and qi sea of any cultivator within the Qi Condensation realm. This severing cannot be healed within five minutes. At the same time… I enter a state of total transparency.”
“The prime technique of the Nine Firmaments Godly Thunder Art is called Heaven’s Far Horizon. Its power is over two times greater than when me and Commander engaged in arcane combat yesterday. However, once this skill is used I also won’t be able to move,” said Yang Xueqing seriously.
Xu Yangyi solemnly looked at each cultivator. He simply hadn’t heard of many of their revealed supreme techniques. On one hand, he sighed wistfully towards the vastness of the cultivation world. On the other, he was incredibly elated! Any person in this group could put forth a strength that could sweep through a majority of cultivators in the same stage! By staking their lives, they were even able to jump ranks to kill an opponent!
Now, without the slightest reservation, they spoke of their ultimate safeguard! This reveal allowed everyone to realize that they could put their faith in any person in any circumstance, and anyone could be placed in any setting. No one had mentioned the name of Danxia Temple, but with the most resolute of attitudes, they had illustrated that they were determined to go to this deadland!
In a newly established legion, trust was a major issue. Yet now in this place and time, a feeling that could be called trust noiselessly climbed up each person’s heart.
For the first time, Yao Xintian shot a brief serious look at Qin Xueluan but was traded with a sultry look from her. It seemed she wasn’t the proper and stern woman of moments ago.
In the blink of an eye, everyone had finished explaining their aces. The five people on the logistics teams did their utmost to record it. Xu Yangyi deeply nodded. “Good.”
His finger gently flicked. A drizzly, white qi immediately twisted around the light screen, and the location of Danxia Temple formed a flashing red dot. He looked at the crowd, solemn-faced. “We’re exploring the surroundings of Danxia Temple. However, based on the Xingtian Legion’s intelligence, my allies have found a place suspected to be Danxia Temple’s entrance.”
Everyone’s gazes swiftly glimmered.
“This time, we’ll be walking this path. All compatible equipment is a sum total of 130,000 medium-grade spirit stones. The Xingtian Legion has already readied preparations.” He raised three fingers. “Three months. We still have three-months time to prepare. After three months, the entire Xingtian Legion will head to Longsu’s Nanzhou Capital!”
A month’s time passed quickly. The entire cultivation world was dead-calm as before, tides still and winds quiet. No one knew that at this moment, in the vicinity of Red Willow Gully in Longsu Province, tensions had already risen and were well underway!
In the sky, a violet formation was filling the sky with prismatic qi as before. There wasn’t one less cultivator on the ground, yet they no longer had their appearances of a month prior. Yet on the ground… an expanse of strange red mist crept forth like a snake!
It was all contained inside the violet formation, but similar to a living creature, once it slammed into the violet formation, it immediately issued a hair-raising scream and nimbly retreated back.
In the air, there were two lofty imperial palaces which resembled two moons at night. One of them was Daomaster Ancientpine’s giant tortoise palace. The other was magnificent and glorious like the reappearance of Qin Shi Huang’s Efang Palace! Amidst a breadth of white spirit clouds, the refracted moonlight of the night occupied a several-kilometer expanse!
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