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Needless of the Realm Spirit’s words, everyone could see that this place was definitely the heart of the Clearcloud Realm’s changes.
Endless black fog covered the sky and blotted out the sun. The Gold-Banded Staff was at the center, seemingly stirring coffee. The vast fog lingered upon the staff, thin and wispy. Slowly circling around, the fog was like a giant black funnel. It leaked onto the heavens and extended into the earth.
Below, Xu Yangyi keenly felt something was off. The central stone platform was the same as before, but… the black fog surrounding it appeared to already be at a boil! In addition, Bladevessel’s figure hadn’t once appeared.
Swoosh… The skylark steadily landed on the stone platform. As everyone else walked out of the artifact, they were almost all astonished, dumb as wooden chickens.
“What is this place?” Mu Yang looked around in shock. Likewise, he didn’t feel qi here, but the ominous atmosphere was like a giant, invisible hand tightly gripping onto his heart, causing his breathing to be somewhat difficult!
Cui Xusheng’s and Shao Yufeng’s spiritual force clambered up to the peak. The blackness in their vicinity was darkness that not even sunlight could penetrate, the purest black and the most suffocating black. Were it not for the staff sending out a golden glow everywhere, this place… would be enough to drive a nyctophobic person insane!
“Huff… Snore…” The monotonous, heavy sound of breathing passed through infinite black fog. It came from underground, and the fog gently swelled and swept away as this noise followed. It was like all around them in the darkness, from an angle they couldn’t see, people were staring at them with icy gazes.
If the four state-magi felt this way, then the ten-odd high spirit-masters didn’t need to be spoken for. Their faces were fairly pale, but they still forced down the shock in their hearts and stood in place.
“This is the Final 10,000 Miles, a place where all of you have never been,” Xu Yangyi murmured as he studied the already-transformed platform. The Taiji door was now fully opened! Down below, the depth was unfathomable, like a rift of hell.
“This is the Final 10,000 Miles?!” Mu Yang stared blankly and then gasped. “I can’t believe it… The Clearcloud Realm’s explored this place for so long, but we’re actually here!”
Xu Yangyi didn’t answer, but rather looked around. Bladevessel wasn’t in sight. Regardless of the watcher’s body or spiritual sense, Xu Yangyi couldn’t sense either.
Bladevessel might’ve gone in first, but based on their agreement, Bladevessel surely would’ve left him information. Could Bladevessel really be such major support that watcher himself thought that he could wrangle with an entity that Great Sage Sun had left behind?
But all of a sudden, Xu Yangyi’s gaze brightened.
A jade slip was neatly placed at the side of the several-meter-wide Taiji crack. He casually waved, and the slip floated over. He softly placed it on his forehead, and several hundred characters promptly flew out from the slip and pervaded the air.
“Fellow Daoist, This Throne has stepped in first. This demon has already begun to wake up in advance. The moment demands immediate action.”
“This land… served as the the Great Sage’s ruins. Even if the honored sire cast his staff forth, barely a shred of an incarnation was sent. However, to us Foundation Establishment cultivators, it is still exceptionally dangerous. If the entity below opens its eyes by even a seam, there only exists a path to death for us! With haste! Haste! Fellow Daoist, I am waiting for you below!”
“Underneath the Taiji gate, there are a total of two split levels. The first is Yang, and the second is Yin. I’ve already carved out my path within. Remember to follow it at all cost.”
“This Throne?” Moonless narrowed his eyes and looked at Xu Yangyi. “I want an explanation.”
“There’s no explanation,” Xu Yangyi said calmly, “I never said the two of us were the only Foundation Establishment in this realm.”
Everyone else exhaled sharply. Afterwards, their gazes flashed with roiling heat!
In other words… there were at least two other people who were as strong as Master Xu!
Xu Yangyi mumbled to himself as he read the message. He then glanced at Moonless, just happening to catch the other’s gaze. Both of them made out the intent in each other’s eyes.
“Fellow Daoist Wolfbane,” Moonless took the lead to say thoughtfully, “May I inquire this Fellow Daoist’s name? Can he be trusted?”
“Bladevessel,” Xu Yangyi tranquilly answered, “I don’t trust him.” His gaze swept over the drifting message, and he muttered, “Especially these words after he left.”
Everyone else looked at each other in dismay. The person leading the way was no good? However, Xu Yangyi and Moonless knew that the matter wasn’t so simple!
The others didn’t have experience with journeying through secret realms, so they were simply ignorant… that these words of “leading the way” might possibly lead to a path of survival or even a path of death!
Particularly in a situation where the other was of an unknown foundation!
“‘I’ve already carved out my path within’? Heh… Is this his plan to get us in accordingly? Make things easy on himself to catch us all in one go? Or maybe… he’s sincere?” Moonless laughed coldly, “He’s gone and left his impression on us at the start. This man harbors unfathomable motives. Even if the path he’s leading is right, his goal certainly isn’t so simple.”
Realization suddenly dawned on Xu Yangyi!
He recalled Bladevessel’s statement—not even he knew what was down below!
And since Bladevessel didn’t know, why was he leading the way? Could it be that as the entity below was on the verge of awakening, he was still so free of mind to walk back and mark his path for them?
Putting himself into the mysterious Foundation Establishment cultivator’s position, Xu Yangyi felt he wouldn’t have done the same. He definitely would’ve charged to the destination at lightning speed.
“Careful…” He faced everyone with seemingly deep meaning and laughed. “I’m afraid the area below is more complicated than we can imagine.”
He then fished out twenty-plus bottles. He waved and they flew into everyone’s hands. “Survival items. Don’t use them unless its a life-or-death situation. After you take them, you’ll be powerless to fight for a long time. You’ll only get taken advantage of.”
Moonless’s eyes brightened. “I didn’t expect this. Fellow Daoist still had pill-elixir on him? It’s been years since I’ve had any…”
His words died in his mouth. At the same time he opened the lid, he was completely stunned.
It wasn’t pill-elixir!
On the contrary… pellet after pellet... they were pitch-black medicinal pills!!!
“Medicinal pills?! PILL DAO?!” In a flash, his gaze turned scarlet-red, and he looked at Xu Yangyi as if he’d seen a ghost. “Where did you get these?! The Dao of Pills has been lost for over a century! Where did you get it?!”
Xu Yangyi snorted, “I refined them myself.”
A single sentence suffocated all of Moonless’s words in his chest.
Personally refined them?!
The Pill Dao’s successor had at long last left the mountain and into the open world?!
“I understand…” After ages, the light of Moonless’s eyes shimmered. “I can roughly guess why you would escape to a Lesser Thousand Realm…”
His face, however, absolutely wasn’t so tranquil in his heart. To say that a heaven-flooding tsunami had surged up was no understatement!
This person… could concoct pills?
In that case, even if he made it out alive, and even if he had an absolute advantage, he couldn’t move against Xu Yangyi no matter what! Especially if he wanted to strike up good relations with the apparent pill-master!
As a cultivator of Earth, he understood the position of those master pill-elixirists all too well. To say that they went beyond the normal was no exaggeration! Behind a master pill-elixirist might’ve been one or several Core Formation Dao Masters! Even a nation’s government!
Presently, Wolfbane obviously hadn’t entered the Dao of Pills for long. Regardless of the amount of quality, his medicinal pills couldn’t shock the pill-elixir market that had entrenched itself in China for centuries. And yet… what of the future?
He didn’t have the faintest inkling of a doubt that a Pill Dao successor had the qualifications to assail Core Formation!
The thoughts in his heart rapidly changed. He no longer said a word, using wordless action to hand over his command rights. Silently, he took a step back.
Xu Yangyi’s gaze never left Moonless. Although he had no choice but to reveal his identity, doing so killed two birds with one stone.
Now wasn’t the time to be apprehensive about these things. A fraction more to their odds at getting out alive necessitated trying.
He and Moonless couldn’t deal with each other as opponents. Therefore, he would put fear into Moonless with the prospect of a ruined crop, and let his ally-adversary clearly know that he couldn’t be moved against!
With different agendas on their minds, the duo pondered for a long time. Moonless then said with apparent steadiness, “Shall we go?”
A tone of inquiry.
Xu Yangyi’s eyes skimmed through everyone. Each person’s face was incredibly solemn.
“We’ll survive,” he said nonchalantly, “As much as we possibly can.”
Finished speaking, he beckoned in passing. Apart from him and Moonless, everyone felt something stir inside them. Without missing a beat, a flame-like beam of azure qi jumped out from their bodies and formed a row in front of them.
“The lamp goes out when you die.” Xu Yangyi took a deep breath. “Who wants to go first?”
All the spirit-masters glanced at each other. Their eyes held hesitation, apprehension, and boiling-hot blood. Ultimately, all of this transformed into unspeakable determination.
“I’ll go first.” Shao Yufeng gritted his teeth and stepped out. Like a nail, he stood on the several-meter-sized Taiji door. The demonic wind made his hair and clothes whistle in the breeze.
Xu Yangyi shot him a somewhat surprised look. “If you die, no one will retrieve your corpse.”
“I know that.” Shao Yufeng glanced all around ruefully. “But… this is the Clearcloud Realm… this is our home!”
“Master Xu, Master Moonless, this might be our only opportunity to stop all of this… Since we’re already here, what other reason is there?”
Finished speaking, he stared at the pitch-black storm eye and fiercely clenched his teeth. “I’m going.”
Swoosh! He grabbed onto the Gold-Banded Staff and slid down without a moment’s pause.
Ten minutes, twenty minutes… after no less than forty minutes, Xu Yangyi’s and Moonless’s gazes brightened.
Shao Yufeng’s qi was motionless, but he was still alive. Moreover, the state-magus was heading downwards. And instead of moving at a constant pace…
He’d already reached the bottom.
Everyone fixed their eyes on Shao Yufeng’s qi. Another half an hour passed, and the other’s qi kept burning as before. Xu Yangyi inhaled deeply, and qi poured into every inch of his body. He became a stream of light and shot right into the fully opened Taiji door.
Swoosh! The whistling sound of wind rang out at both sides. The underground was a dark expanse. In an instant, a gloomy, cold sensation, akin to a heel maggot, wound onto his body.
He didn’t delay whatsoever. His protective qi cover suddenly extended out, and he became a white spirit-arrow in the bottomless abyss, rushing straight to the bottom.
An unknown passage of time went by. He sensed twenty minutes had already passed, but… the area below was still pitch-black!
“Something’s wrong!” The Realm Spirit’s voice suddenly rang out at his ear. “Did we… go on a fork in the road?”
“This tunnel goes perfectly straight down, how could there be a fork? I haven’t ran into the slightest obstruction on the path,” Xu Yangyi affirmed.
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