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The Blood-Colored Ancient Castle was the largest comparatively preserved trial region in the Immemorial Path’s eastern region. It was different from the Ten Thousand Beast Forest. The Ten Thousand Beast Forest had just been a primordial forest.
The Blood-Colored Ancient Castle was millions of miles long. It was a shocking, practically endless construction. The entire castle was the exact same color as fresh blood.
Originally, this castle had been built so grandly that it soared into the clouds. But that majestic and towering scene was gone. It was now a pile of ruins filled with an air of decay and dejection.
There were two Righteous experts carefully advancing at the edge of the castle, searching the ruins.
Although countless years had passed, although countless people had explored it, the number of people that had been able to reach its core region was pitifully low. Furthermore, the castle was so large that no one would dare to say that they had finished exploring the outer region.
Suddenly, a cracking sound rang out that caused the two of them to shoot back. But then they saw that a blood-colored rock had simply shattered. They sighed with relief.
This ancient castle was filled with a strange aura, one that made people’s hair stand on end. Whoever entered it would feel on edge.
“Senior apprentice-brother, maybe we should leave. This place is too bizarre. I always feel like there’s a chilling breeze behind me and like my heart is about to leap out of my chest,” said the younger expert. He didn’t want to go any deeper.
“Fuck, it really is bizarre. When we entered, it was still so sunny outside. But now it’s so gloomy and sinister. Tch, you’re right, this place is too evil and unnatural. Let’s go somewhere else to test our luck…” The slightly older one had just finished speaking when he looked back at his fellow disciple. When he saw him, his face instantly turned pale with terror.
“What is it, senior-?”
A black figure suddenly pierced through his back. The disciple was horrified and was just about to struggle when his whole body withered, becoming a desiccated corpse. He didn’t even have a chance to resist.
A black figure merged back with the earth, as if it had never existed at all. The only sign of its existence was that withered corpse.
The slightly older disciple was terrified. Without even thinking about it, he slashed his sword behind him and then turned to flee.
His sword didn’t strike anything. Or perhaps it could be said that it struck something, but that something was nothing more than a shadow.
His sword went through the shadow without affecting it at all. The shadow grew out of the ground like a tree root, and it suddenly released a thorn that shot toward him.
He tried to dodge, but he suddenly found that his legs were both bound by the shadow.
His miserable scream was cut short as all his Blood Qi flowed into the shadow and was absorbed.
In just a single breath, he was turned into a withered corpse. He collapsed on the ground, looking like a block of dried up wood.
Once that shadow had absorbed his Blood Qi, it returned to the ground. But suddenly, a ray of light shot over and directly cut it in two.
Blood surprisingly splashed out of it. The shadow was cut in two and disappeared as if it had returned to the ground.
Two new figures appeared in the ruins. One looked like he was heroic and bold, while one was a veiled woman. They were Long Chen and Yue Xiaoqian.
“Xiaoqian, what do you think?” Long Chen looked at the blood and corpses on the ground. He frowned as he had never seen such a thing before today. On the way, they had also seen quite a few withered corpses.
“They should be shadow ghouls,” said Yue Xiaoqian. Seeing his blank stare, she explained, “Shadow ghouls are a member of the ghost race. They form when a person dies, but their soul doesn’t completely dissipate. It forms a special kind of lifeform.”
“There really are ghosts in this world?” Long Chen was startled. He had always thought they were just stories to frighten people.
“The ghosts you’re talking about are just some things that people made up. The ghosts that I’m talking about are a kind of life energy. In truth, there are many lifeforms in this world that we can’t come into contact with. To put it another way, they should be in a parallel space next to ours, making it so we can never come into contact with them.
“But there are always people who like to break conventions and do a few heretical things. When dimensional walls are broken, a few things from other worlds will flow into ours. Originally, such things shouldn’t be able to exist within our world. Special conditions need to be met in order for them to survive. For example, these shadow ghosts shouldn’t exist in our world. But they are here. That means someone intentionally drew them here and intentionally set up the environment so they could survive. Drawing over existences from other worlds is no different than playing with fire. If it has no natural predators in its new environment, it would have the potential to destroy the entire world.
“As soon as I entered this castle, I sensed an unusual aura. This aura isn’t something suitable to human cultivators. If my guess isn’t wrong, the Blood-Colored Ancient Castle must have caught ghosts from other worlds as trials for their disciples,” said Yue Xiaoqian.
Long Chen nodded. This guess of hers was extremely likely. Even if it wasn’t correct, it shouldn’t be that far from the truth.
Because the castle had crumbled, these ghosts had become free of all laws. They actually took the initiative to kill people.
“Do they get anything from killing people?” asked Long Chen.
“A human’s essence blood is a delicacy to them. Although absorbing essence blood doesn’t let them grow, they still find it delightful,” said Yue Xiaoqian.
“Isn’t it said that ghosts fear sunlight? How could they kill people in broad daylight?” asked Long Chen.
“Ghosts do fear the Yang. Sunlight is something they dislike, but the formations here weaken the sunlight. Furthermore, they weren’t completely exposed to the sunlight, so they were naturally unafraid of it. In truth, these shadow ghouls aren’t powerful. Anyone with powerful Spiritual Strength would be able to easily sense them. That’s why they target those with weak souls, and attacks against them must contain soul energy in order to harm their incorporeal bodies. That’s because soul energy is also a kind of incorporeal energy,” said Yue Xiaoqian.
Long Chen gave her a thumbs-up. As expected, she was truly knowledgeable about all things. Having Yue Xiaoqian by his side felt amazing.
“Hehe, thank you for your praise,” said Yue Xiaoqian happily.
When it came to theoretical knowledge, she was extremely amazing. But she didn’t have the slightest bit of experience. Long Chen was the opposite. As long as he learned the theory, he could use it in practice.
Yue Xiaoqian held Long Chen’s arm as they slowly went deeper into the castle. It didn’t seem at all like they were trying to pass trials. It was more like two sweethearts were strolling down the streets.
It was just as Yue Xiaoqian said. Long Chen could sense that he was being stared at occasionally, but those things all left in the end.
Yue Xiaoqian told him that shadow ghouls were very crafty and sensitive to danger. Once they sensed that their prey’s Spiritual Strength was too strong, they wouldn’t dare to come over.
A shadow ghoul’s attack could be classified as a spiritual attack. If someone possessed a protective soul item, they also wouldn’t attack.
“This place is so terrifying. Just what kind of attack could turn it into this state?” wondered Yue Xiaoqian as she looked at a construction in front of them.
That was a huge tower. It had already been broken in several places and fallen on the ground. But even those broken segments were taller than mountains. In its broken state, this tower looked like a huge mountain range.
Half the tower was buried, and there were some scars on the land that seemed like they had been caused when it had collapsed.
“Let’s go in and take a look.” Long Chen and Yue Xiaoqian entered. They found that it was filled with spider webs and flying bats. It was extremely dark, but they were able to see everything clearly with their excellent vision.
“There’s nothing valuable inside. The secret rooms inside here should have all been destroyed. The runes outside have also lost their effect. Whatever caused the tower to collapse could not have been ordinary. It was definitely caused by some power beyond our current imagination that erased all that runic energy.” Yue Xiaoqian brushed her hand against the wall. The runes on the wall fell and scattered like sand.
Long Chen nodded. It should have been some kind of mysterious energy specialized in targeting runes that caused them to lose their effect. Other than the rune that he had encountered at the entrance of the Immemorial Path, he hadn’t seen any complete runes exposed like that.
“Runes… That’s right, senior, do you recognize this rune?” Long Chen suddenly asked the Eastern Wasteland Bell, using his Spiritual Strength to form the image of the rune he had obtained with the primal chaos space’s help.
“I recognize it, but this rune isn’t something you can come into contact with right now. You definitely shouldn’t study it any further.”
What disappointed him was that the Eastern Wasteland Bell only said this before going silent. It refused to say how to use the rune, let alone its origin.
They explored the tower for a while but didn’t find anything useful. They left, continuing onwards.
As they continued, Long Chen kept his divine sense spread out. He had already found quite a few hidden places. There were other people moving around in stealth as well, and when they saw Long Chen and Yue Xiaoqian holding hands as they leisurely advanced, their expressions became odd.
Long Chen laughed inside. The more carefully you advanced, the more people would think you lacked confidence, and the more they would think you were weak. Then you would become their targets.
The two of them weren’t traveling quickly. After two hours, they had only traveled thirty miles. Long Chen had Yue Xiaoqian lead the way, while he simply followed. He felt that if she led the way, their luck would be a hundred times better than when he led the way.
Reality proved he was right. When Long Chen entered similar places on his own, if he didn’t run into the attacks of wild beasts, he would be provoked by other experts. But with Yue Xiaoqian, everything went smoothly for these two hours.
Just as Long Chen thought that this method could keep them safe and sound, a huge figure appeared behind them and charged at them.
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