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Yue Xiaoqian didn’t even look. Her sword slashed out behind, cutting the figure in two. It rapidly merged with the ground.
“The shadow ghouls are getting stronger and stronger, as well as more berserk. Injuring them isn’t difficult, but killing them would exhaust quite a bit of soul energy. It’s not really worth it,” said Yue Xiaoqian.
“Then it’s fine. You save your energy. If any shadow ghouls appear, just leave them to me.” Long Chen smiled.
As expected, they had only gone a few more miles when another figure shot at them from a crack in the ground.
A bolt of lightning flew by and struck it, turning it into smoke. That shadow ghoul was killed in one attack.
“What terrifying thunderforce. It even contains an aura of annihilation. That’s something only heavenly tribulation lightning could possess. Is your lightning…” Yue Xiaoqian was shocked.
“Nothing can be hidden from you. Yes, my thunderforce was gathered from tribulation lightning.” Long Chen found that Yue Xiaoqian was too learned. There was nothing she didn’t know.
“How is that possible? How could a human control heavenly tribulation lightning?” Yue Xiaoqian still found this hard to believe.
Long Chen explained how he had encountered tribulation in his first advancement and onwards. He also told her how he had raised Lei Long.
After her initial disbelief, she gradually came to accept this power that was beyond her understanding. This was her first time hearing that someone could control heavenly tribulation lightning.
The two of them continued. More and more shadow ghouls appeared, and each time, they would be killed in one shot by the pointing of Long Chen’s finger.
They saw quite a few more corpses on the way. They had all been killed by shadow ghouls. These shadow ghouls were also getting stronger.
But no matter how strong the shadow ghouls became, they were still weeds in front of Long Chen. His thunderforce was their bane.
“There’s an opening below. Let’s go take a look.” Yue Xiaoqian pointed downwards. Long Chen looked and saw that the huge wall was concealing the fact that there was an opening here.
Yue Xiaoqian was just about to slash the wall apart when Long Chen stopped her. He simply grabbed and lifted it. The huge wall that was millions of pounds was easily lifted.
“We should do our best not to leave any marks, or others will find us.”
This entrance was an underground entrance to some construction. Long Chen replaced the wall so that everything looked normal. That way it wouldn’t be likely for others to follow them.
“Do you want to go in front, or should I?” asked Yue Xiaoqian.
“You should stay in front. This place is too dark, so I’ll activate my thunderforce.” Long Chen became covered in violet lightning. Those were his lightning runes. It was like he was wearing clothes made of lightning, making the underground room as bright as if it were daytime.
As they continued onwards, they saw that this passage continued at a slight tilt downwards. They hadn’t gotten far before a huge mouse suddenly attacked Long Chen.
The mouse’s fur ended in black, sharp points that made it look like a porcupine. Its eyes were scarlet, and its long tail was sharp like a blade.
“Careful. This is a Rockthorn Mouse and its quills are poisonous,” warned Yue Xiaoqian.
Bang! Long Chen’s broadsword slammed into the mouse. But it actually blocked it with its teeth. Sparks flew when they collided. The three-meter-long mouse slammed into a wall.
It let out a strange cry. Suddenly, it raised its tail and swung it at them. The end of its tail opened, and countless needle-like quills flew toward Long Chen.
Long Chen’s broadsword blocked all of them easily. They were clearly grown out of flesh, but they were harder than metal.
Long Chen unsheathed Flying Rainbow. Cold light flashed as that mouse’s head was severed.
Flying Rainbow was exceptionally sharp, so it was much easier to kill this kind of Magical Beast with it.
Long Chen picked up one of its quills. The quill was five inches long and around two hundred grams. There were little holes in its tip that were almost impossible to see with the naked eye.
“Those holes hide its poison. The Rockthorn Mouse is extremely special. It doesn’t have a poison sac. Instead, its quills are what store its poison. Although it’s just a sixth rank Magical Beast, its poison quills are very sharp and can easily pierce a seventh rank Magical Beast’s hide. Even if it can’t poison a seventh rank Magical Beast to death, it can poison it half to death,” said Yue Xiaoqian.
Long Chen’s eyes brightened. If it was this strong, then it was something good.
“Long Chen, what are you doing?”
“I’m gathering all these quills as they are natural weapons for Guo Ran. I’m sure he’ll faint from joy when he sees them,” laughed Long Chen as he gathered them. These were the things that Guo Ran liked the most.
As for the Rockthorn Mouse’s corpse, he tossed it into the primal chaos space. But he didn’t put it in the black soil yet. He needed to keep a few corpses in reserve for when he was running out of life energy. Then he could use the corpses.
Once Yue Xiaoqian learned that he had a use for these quills, she helped him. The two of them began a slaughter of the Rockthorn Mice that lived here. This seemed to be their nest. Long Chen actually killed over a thousand of them, and he had a mountain of their corpses.
Each one of them had over a hundred quills on their tails. So now he had over a hundred thousand of them.
“Wait a moment. Long Chen, we’ve entered a different channel now. There are murals here!” said Yue Xiaoqian.
Long Chen looked toward the wall. As expected, there were stone carvings. Long Chen couldn’t help being shocked. The carvings from such ancient times were extremely valuable. They might even be able to peer into some secrets of that era.
“Xiaoqian, what does this say?” Long Chen saw that whatever was carved was unclear. But there was a large mass of words. Long Chen could occasionally recognize a few characters, but he couldn’t comprehend it.
“This is the introduction of the trial. It clearly indicates Qi Wu. In today’s language, it means that a steel body must also be flexible. A strong body has a strong soul, a strong soul has a weak-” explained Yue Xiaoqian.
“Cough, Xiaoqian, could you explain it in simpler terms?” coughed Long Chen.
Yue Xiaoqian smiled. “To put it simpler, this should be a trial for the soul and will. It has high requirements for Spiritual Strength, so this should be a trial suited to soul cultivators. Only those with strong enough Spiritual Strength can handle the shadow ghouls here. However, everything has changed now that it’s broken down. If this was a trial only for people with powerful souls, those Rockthorn Mice shouldn’t have appeared.”
Her guess was truly reasonable. If this was a trial of Spiritual Strength, in other words, a trial for soul cultivators, having soul cultivators face physical attacks was simply murder.
“Oh, why are the people in this mural so strange? They have a pair of bat-like wings?” As the two of them advanced, Long Chen saw a mural that was filled with those strange people.
“Those aren’t people. Those are winged devils, the same as the skeletons we saw in the Jiuli secret realm. Do you see that protuberance on their foreheads? That’s where their devil core is. They’re a mixed existence formed between depraved humans and the devil race. They’ve inherited the devil race’s fierceness and evil desires, while maintaining a portion of the human race’s intelligence,” sighed Yue Xiaoqian.
Long Chen was startled. These were members of the devil race? If she hadn’t said it, he would have thought they were members of the ancient races.
“The human race is that strong? They can not only integrate with Xuan Beasts but also with the devil race?” Long Chen didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Yue Xiaoqian looked at him helplessly. “Humans are the most complicated existence in this world. Their entire existence is a contradiction. They are sometimes kind, sometimes evil; sometimes noble, sometimes depraved; sometimes like a heavenly immortal, sometimes like a demonic devil. Humans are the ones least able to resist temptation, or perhaps it’s that their desires have no end. They like to take risks, have no respect for anything, and as a result… the human race has ended up in their current plight.”
“Was the human race very powerful before?” asked Long Chen.
“Powerful? They couldn’t even be described as just powerful. Humans are the spirit of all things. Each human is a spiritual being, their own existence. They possess the pinnacle of the cosmos’s truth, the rulers of the world. Regretfully, the current human race’s bloodline is no longer pure, and they have fallen to the point of extinction. And yet, they still don’t seem aware of it and only know how to fight amongst themselves.” Yue Xiaoqian shook her head with pity for the changing of the times.
Long Chen wanted to say that this was a good thing. If the human race fought to the point of extinction, there would be no one to make things hard for her original devil race. But then thinking of his own status, he swallowed his words back down.
Continuing to examine the murals, he saw that it was a story. Each mural was linked to the next.
At the next mural, a large group of humans had appeared and an immense battle was fought between them and the winged devils. It was a miserable battle, with corpses littering the bloodstained ground.
The human race was losing miserably, with heavy casualties. Those winged devils had powerful runes on their wings. Although these were just static images, Long Chen could feel just how fast they had to be.
Furthermore, their bodies were muscular like bulls. Their flesh bulged with explosive power. They were clearly both powerful and fast. The humans weren’t their match.
Thinking of Yue Xiaoqian’s words, Long Chen couldn’t help feeling it was satirical. The human race was the ancestor of the winged devils, but now the winged devils were mercilessly slaughtering them.
There were several consecutive murals of the winged devils slaughtering the humans. Towards the end, a group of people appeared. They formed hand seals, and illusory figures appeared behind their bodies.
Those figures held blades, swords, towers, bells. From their hand seals, they should be using a kind of soul art.
Once that soul art was activated, the bloodthirsty winged devils became immobile, unable to move an inch.
“The winged devils are afraid of soul arts?” asked Long Chen.
“Living ones are afraid of soul arts, but dead ones that have revived aren’t. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have had it so hard back then.” Thinking of their previous cooperation against the winged devil skeletons, Yue Xiaoqian smiled in reminiscence. She held Long Chen’s arm.
“What… what is going on here?!” Long Chen didn’t notice Yue Xiaoqian’s gentle movements. Looking at the next mural, he was filled with disbelief.
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