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On the Back Mountain of the Immortal Palace, Lyu Liang’s mind began to wander as he saw senior Feng Li drinking alone at a small table with three cups on it.
Lyu Liang would never forget the happy days when he had begun cultivating, which they had spent together as the Back Mountain Trio. However, they could not get together now.
All of Lyu Liang’s friends knew more or less about his relationship with Feng Li, so they chose to follow the founding father of Sword Character to their cave residence separately after arriving at the Sword Character Immortal Palace, leaving Lyu Liang to go to the Back Mountain alone.
Without hesitation, Lyu Liang sat down and picked up a glass of wine after he stepped into the old herb man’s small garden. “Old gentleman,” Lyu Liang said in a soft voice while proposing a toast, “I assure you that the two of us will rejoin him and the Back Mountain Trio will come back one day.”
Feng Li emptied his cup and laughed. “I’ve heard something about that guy, and he is not beyond redemption. However, you have to make sure you’re safe in the Nether Big World first. I’m here not only to guide you there, but also to defuse your fourth and last Dead Test in the Mortal World.”
Lyu Liang paused before having another cup of wine. He was not that surprised by Feng Li’s words. “What do you mean by that?” Lyu Liang asked respectfully, “I might die in the Nether Big World?”
Lyu Liang had experienced the so-called “Dead Test” three times.
First, when Zihuo and his fellows had been scheming against Lyu Liang, who had still been called Dumb then, outside the Zi Tong Sect, a Karma Streamer had appeared out of nowhere and helped Lyu Liang get control of his body temporarily to avoid being killed.
Second, when Lyu Liang had tried breaking into the Kunlun Sect to rescue Shangguan Ying, Tai Su Ancestor Lord’s Life-Returning Talisman had saved his life.
Third, when he had been trapped in the Five Ghosts Moving Array Formation, Lyu Liang had risked his life by activating the Holy Soul Order and narrowly escaped.
“Yes, you are doomed to have four Dead Tests in the Mortal World before entering the Heaven Realm, and you have pulled through three of them by yourself or with other people’s help. However, this time, you can rely on nothing but your good luck,” Feng Li said unhurriedly while taking a bite of the dish.
Lyu Liang was no longer calm. Though the old gentleman would definitely help him, he could not help worrying about it before a solution was proposed.
Upon noticing Lyu Liang’s gaze, Feng Li put down his cup and said seriously, “I’m going to give you an opportunity without which you would be doomed to die. However, your chances of survival will still be dim after you get this opportunity.”
Lyu Liang’s eyes were alight with hope as he replied in a soft voice, “Senior, please give me some guidance.”
Feng Li nodded and said, “Call all your friends. I’ll take you to the Ghost Realm. This is where your opportunity is. I can’t tell you more about it, but you shall experience it alone when the time comes. When a comforting warmth envelops you, you’ll get this opportunity.”
In the next half hour, the old and the young pushed aside these serious topics and drank to their heart’s content. Then, they went to the main hall of the Sword Character Immortal Palace.
Since the others had already gathered in the main hall and were waiting for them, Feng Li wasted no time in chanting a complex pithy formula. When he finished and pointed forward with one finger, a dazzling black light burst out and turned into two black doors taller than a man.
“The Ghost Gate is created by the Directive Incantation. Go through it and you’ll reach the Nether World Kingdom in the Ghost Realm, the Feng family’s territory. The Ghost Realm is just a little larger than the Wufang Territory. Then, I’ll take you to the Sunset Kingdom,” Feng Li said while waving his hand to open the black doors again. “One person at a time. Come on.”
While Lyu Liang led the procession and Nie Qingyun brought up the rear, the 11 explorers entered the Ghost Gate one by one.
When the Ghost Gate disappeared along with Lyu Lillian and his friends, leaving Feng Li and the founding father of Sword Character in the hall, Feng Li lifted his eyes and sighed. A pained expression replaced the forced calmness on the face of the founding father of Sword Character.
“Shall we… prepare for that? Is this the final decision of Tai Chu? Have we been dreaming all these years?” The founding father of Sword Character murmured, his face lowered.
Knowing what this strange talk meant, Feng Li replied in a soft voice, “What goes around comes around. Our Divine Soul is no longer sealed, because the other half of him appeared. It is the point of our existence to wait for that day. Think about the disaster that occurred 400,000 years ago if you feel fainthearted and hesitant in action!”
The founding father of Sword Character raised his head and stared at the ceiling with empty eyes. “You are aware of the relationship between us…”
“That’s why Tai Chu placed you here at the beginning! I can perfectly comprehend your feelings, but there is nothing more important than universal peace. We can only wait and see, for the ancient oath of alliance has concealed that period of history and restricted the freedom of taking action. However, once the oath loses its effect, we will have no choice,” Feng Li said in a flat tone, even though there was also a pained look on his face.
“I… I see… I won’t let history repeat itself, but I hope that they won’t take the last step…” The founding father of Sword Character shook his head and his empty eyes looked sharp again…
Behind the black doors was a short passageway leading to a brilliant hall.
There were several people in dark yellow clothes waiting in the hall. Upon seeing someone come out of the passageway, a tall man with whiskers stepped forward to greet them and said, “I’m Feng Tao, the current patriarch of the Feng family. Welcome to the Ghost Realm.”
While saluting back at the core members of the Feng family, Yang Ying was the first to realize that Lyu Liang was not among them.
With a puzzled look, everyone turned their gaze to the dark passageway and saw Feng Li. At his arrival, the passageway disappeared immediately.
“I’m sorry, but don’t worry about Lyu Liang. He has arrived in the Ghost Realm safely but is now experiencing his own opportunity, which is not life-threatening. Tao, take them to their cave residence.” Feng Li’s words reassured Lyu Liang’s friends but also aroused their curiosity.
“Another no-fly zone… It’s understandable that both the divine beast and the Spirit Swallowing Bug disappeared, but where is my Kunwu Sword?” Lyu Liang was now experiencing a familiar feeling of deprivation, which did not trouble him much. “Not bad, my cultivation is not restricted here.”
He had refined himself for more than 100 years, so he was confident that his Divine Body and the Five Acts of Heaven Soul would be enough for him to deal with emergencies without relying on anything or anyone else.
Under the silent night sky, Lyu Liang was now at the foot of a high mountain. Moonlight was streaming over him. Upon looking up, he saw a tiny green light flickering on the hilltop.
Lyu Liang tried to scan the light with his Divine Sense but still could not see it clearly, as there was a restriction formation on the hilltop that prevented it from being scanned. Lyu Liang knew he would never manage to do this without Little Tian’s help.
Obviously, Lyu Liang had to climb the mountain.
However, as he was about to step onto the mountain road, a dark figure popped up and tried to push him away with both arms.
Sensing that the black figure wanted to give him a hard push and not to kill him, Lyu Liang stopped walking to block the attack with his arm.
“You don’t want me to go up the mountain?” Lyu Liang frowned and continued to walk, pulling the figure forward.
After a few steps, the first black figure vanished and a second one appeared, acting the same way.
Although the second figure was stronger, Lyu Liang resisted it easily with the help of his Divine Body and never stopped walking.
This way, a stronger figure would replace the former one every two steps Lyu Liang took. However, when Lyu Liang was halfway up, three black figures appeared in front of him. They were much more powerful then a singe figure.
“What?” Lyu Liang was surprised. He was now exerting 70% of his Divine Body’s strength but still could not defeat the three figures. On the contrary, he took half a step back while he was being attacked.
“Humph!” Lyu Liang exerted the full strength of his Divine Body, directly breaking the three figures before they could resist.
Lyu Liang began to run. Now, he could see clearly that there was a temple with a yard on the hillside. The green light was shimmering inside it.
Five black figures emerged at once as Lyu Liang began to speed up. Instead of just stopping Lyu Liang with brute strength, they rushed over to him with swords in their hands this time.
Lyu Liang, who noticed the difference, didn’t slow down.
When the inexhaustible sword light was about to land on Lyu Liang along with the five figures, a gray Field Domain fell quietly and five Ghost Soldiers with chilling yin qi flashed out.
Although they were still skeleton-shaped, the five Ghost Soldiers had reached the third level of the Ghost Soldier Transforming Realm judguing by their accessories and the weapons in their hands, which were giving out dim divine light.
As Lyu Liang kept approaching the hilltop, more and more black figures emerged in groups of three and five. Once they were broken into a black mist by Lyu Liang or his Ghost Soldiers, they would be agglomerated and continue to attack Lyu Liang.
Lyu Liang could at most summon eight third-level Ghost Soldiers whose cultivation was one level below his. Therefore, though there were over 100 black figures blocking Lyu Liang’s way now, he still had the upper hand.
However, even though they were not life-threatening, the infinitely increasing black figures in Lyu Liang’s way did give him a headache.
Lyu Liang could do nothing but break up the black figures with his bare fists, for their weapons were not a threat at all. However, the black mist was agglomerating into figures so fast that Lyu Liang had to slow down his pace.
When Lyu Liang was about 33 meters away from the hilltop, he was almost drowning amid the black figures. Those of them who were following him kept trying to pull him back.
Lyu Liang had to spare seven Ghost Soldiers to block the black figures following him while fighting his way up the mountain with both his fists and legs.
It had taken Lyu Liang less than one hour to cover the previous mountain road, but 4 hours had passed and the hilltop was still 6 meters away.
However, the black figures were still flocking in from all directions, trying to keep Lyu Liang away from his destination.
Except for the Divine Mark, Lyu Liang had exerted all his strength and could not take a single step. The battle on the mountain road was now at a stalemate
“Stop hesitating,” Lyu Liang told himself, “Go through to see what’s on the hillside!” After making up his mind, Lyu Liang activated the Divine Mark. Suddenly, a golden palm appeared in the sky as the manifestation of the Star-Picking Palm, the third action of the Five Acts of Heaven Soul that could be only activated under the divine-mark state.
Unlike the Soul Breaking Palm, the Star-Picking Palm destroyed all the black figures covering Lyu Liang at once. Amid the unformed black mist, Lyu Liang began striding forward.
Each time, the golden palm would land on the unformed black figures and break them into mist. This way, Lyu Liang managed to reach the yard of the ancient temple.
The moment Lyu Liang was outside the yard, all the black figures vanished, leaving him alone in this stillness. As Lyu Liang felt hesitant about entering the yard, he heard a familiar voice that he had been missing. “My husband, Ying’er has been waiting for you for such a long time.” The voice came from the yard.
The yard door opened automatically and Lyu Liang saw Shangguan Ying standing in the yard. She was wearing a green court dress as she smiled and waved her hand at Lyu Liang, and an ancient green light was in her other hand.
Lyu Liang went blank the moment he saw Shangguan Ying. His head immediately started pounding. “Ying’er!” He roared as he rushed over to the girl.
As Lyu Liang ran into the yard, several black figures emerged on the mountain road behind him and gradually turned into Shangguan Ying in a yellow dress. The girl was crying quietly and stretching out her arms again as if she could stop Lyu Liang, who didn’t even notice her.
Gradually, all of Shangguan Ying’s figures vanished, leaving only the mountain breeze behind, which sounded as though it was sobbing…
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