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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
As Duan Ling Tian looked over to the where Guo Xiong was staring at, he saw a vast and boundless valley.
Numerous islands were suspended in the sky above this valley. It housed buildings that were shrouded in clouds and mist and could not be seen clearly.
When Duan Ling Tian looked down, he could see groups of people coming in and out of the valley. When these people came out, they were all headed to the same place.
“The zone before us is the Punishment Zone in the First Mine. These people are all Four Symbols Sanctums’ disciples who have been sentenced to serve here,” Guo Xiong said, “In the Punishment Zone, each of the Four Symbols Sanctum’s disciple has a specific task to accomplish. Only after they’ve finished their tasks, they’re allowed to return to their residence and rest.”
“Why are they entering and leaving so frequently? Are those people who left people who have finished their tasks?” Duan Ling Tian asked curiously.
“How’s that possible?!” Guo Xiong shook his head. “Those people who are coming out are handing over Saint Stones they mined. Since they don’t have Spatial Rings, they have to frequently send Saint Stones they have mined to the appointed location. Only when they have mined the set number of Saints Stone they’re allowed to rest. Look at the wicker baskets on their backs. All the Saint Stones they mined will be placed in the basket. This is also the rule in the Punishment Zone.”
Upon hearing that, Duan Ling Tian began to watch these people intently. True enough, he discovered the people coming in and out of the caves carried a huge basket on their backs. Upon closer inspection, he saw that those who came out had their baskets filled with Saint Stones, and those who were going back in had empty baskets.
As for why these Four Symbols Sanctums’ disciples who were serving in the penalty zone did not have any Spatial Ring, Duan Ling Tian could roughly guess the reason as well. Their Spatial Rings must have been taken away when they came to the Punishment Zone.
If they had their Spatial Rings, would it not be easy for them to steal the Saint Stones?
Although they could be asked to remove their ownerships of the Spatial Ring to check if they had stolen Saint Stones, it was not a practical move. Taking away their Spatial Rings and substituting them with a wicker basket was the best solution.
As Duan Ling Tian and Guo Xiong continued to move forward, a figure flew close to them. It was a middle-aged man who was wearing the exclusive uniform of a Fire Worship Sect’s Bronze Flame Elder.
Based on the pattern on his long robe, one could see that he was a Black Turtle Sanctum’s Bronze Flame Elder.
Duan Ling Tian was not surprised by this.
On their way here, Guo Xiong had also mentioned the constitution of each mine in the Four Symbols Sanctums.
Apart from the Golden Flame Elders and Silver Flame Elders from the Saint Land, the Bronze Flame Elders were from the Four Symbols Sanctums.
“Elder Guo Xiong!” This Bronze Flame Elder just so happened to be in charge of patrolling the southern zone of the First Mine’s Punishment Zone. As a Black Turtle Sanctum’s elder, it was only natural he knew Guo Xiong.
This Black Turtle Sanctum’s Bronze Flame Elder was very respectful to Guo Xiong. He had to be respectful to all Silver Flame Elders in the Black Turtle Sanctum, let alone the Black Turtle Sanctum’s Enforcement Elder!
“I remember you. Your name’s Peng Hua, right?” Guo Xiong asked with uncertainty as he nodded at the Black Turtle Sanctum’s Bronze Flame Elder.
“Yes, I’m Peng Hua. I can’t believe you remember me, Elder Guo Xiong.” Upon hearing Guo Xiong’s words, Peng Hua was slightly overwhelmed by the honor.
As the Enforcement Elder, Guo Xiong could enter the numerous mines in the Four Symbols Sanctums. For this reason, when Peng Hua saw Guo Xiong, he did not block Guo Xiong and Duan Ling Tian’s way.
“That young man… Could he be that rebel, Duan Ling Tian, who recently rose in our Black Turtle Sanctum?” Peng Hua’s eyes widened in shock as he stared at the two disappearing figures.
It was only natural that he was shocked. Although he was usually stationed in the Punishment Zone of the Four Symbols Sanctums’ First Mine, he was very informed about what was going on outside due to disciples being frequently sent here.
Naturally, he had heard about Duan Ling Tian as well. Three months ago, Duan Ling Tian’s deeds had spread to every nook and cranny in the Four Symbols Sanctums.
He was a new Black Turtle Sanctum’s disciple who was bold enough to oppose the Black Turtle Sanctum’s First Silver Flame Elder Li An after all. For this reason, it was impossible for people from the Four Symbols Sanctums to not pay attention to him.
The incident that cemented his fame was the incident that happened three months ago whereby Duan Ling Tian had killed two Vermilion Bird Sanctum’s disciples. However, he was not sentenced to death but was sentenced to serve in the Four Symbols Sanctum’s First Mine for ten years instead.
This incident had taken the entire Four Symbols Sanctums by storm.
“Based on the date, today is indeed the day for Duan Ling Tian to start his sentence in the First Mine. That young man next to Elder Guo Xiong has to be Duan Ling Tian!” Peng Hua was certain of this.
“However, he’s merely an ordinary disciple with a yellow Innate Spiritual Root. So why are Elder Guo Xiong and the Saint Land Enforcement Hall protecting him?” Peng Hua was puzzled.
The news of the Saint Land Bronze Flame Elder Wei He going to the Saint Land Enforcement Hall to file a complaint against the Black Turtle Sanctum’s Enforcement Elder Guo Xiong for malpractice had also spread to the First Mine. Moreover, the First Mine had also received news about the result of the Saint Land Enforcement Hall’s investigation and that Wei He had been sentenced to death three days ago.
For this reason, many people discovered it was not only Guo Xiong who was protecting Duan Ling Tian, but even the Saint Land Enforcement Hall was protecting him as well!
Very few people knew about the truth of the incident that had taken place at the Vermilion Bird Sanctum three months ago.
All they knew was Duan Ling Tian would have died if they followed proper procedure. However, Duan Ling Tian did not die and was protected by the Saint Land Enforcement Hall instead!
This caused many people to come up with their own speculations. However, not one of them thought he received protection because of his Innate Spiritual Root. This was because news of him possessing a yellow Innate Spiritual Root had long spread out. It was not difficult to figure out the reason he was being protected if they did not believe the news about his Innate Spiritual Root and remove their bias.
Meanwhile, Guo Xiong led Duan Ling Tian to the place where newcomers had to register themselves in the First Mine’s Punishment Zone. After that, Guo Xiong bade farewell to Duan Ling Tian before he left. He had accomplished his task of sending Duan Ling Tian here.
The person in charge of newcomers’ registration was a Vermilion Bird Sanctum’s Bronze Flame Elder. When he learned this newcomer was Duan Ling Tian, a hint of dread appeared in his eyes. When he spoke, he was particularly polite. It seemed like he did not hate Duan Ling Tian for killing two disciples from the Vermilion Bird Sanctum three months ago.
In his eyes, Duan Ling Tian was very mysterious and seemed to have a strong background. Otherwise, the Saint Land Enforcement Hall would not have protected him because he possessed a yellow Innate Spiritual Root.
“Duan Ling Tian, in accordance to the rules of the Punishment Zone, you must hand over your Spatial Ring. However, there’s no need for you to remove your ownership over the ring! When your sentence is over, we’ll return you your Spatial Ring,” the Vermilion Bird Sanctum’s Bronze Flame Elder said to Duan Ling Tian in a friendly manner.
At the same time, he took out a huge wicker basket and a few uniforms before he handed them to Duan Ling Tian.
“This wicker basket is used to store the Saint Stones you mine. According to the rules in the Punishment Zone, all the Saint Stones you mine have to be placed in the wicker basket. Saint Stones that are not placed in the basket won’t be counted in the daily number of Saint Stones you have to mine,” the Vermilion Bird Sanctum’s Bronze Flame Elder patiently explained this to Duan Ling Tian.
Duan Ling Tian nodded. He did not find this surprising since he had already heard about this from Guo Xiong.
‘This wicker basket seems a lot bigger than everyone else’s baskets. When I was making my way here, I don’t think I saw any Four Symbols Sanctums’ disciples with such a large wicker basket!’ Duan Ling Tian thought to himself when he saw the basket.
Duan Ling Tian was unaware that in the Punishment Zone, there were two kinds of wicker baskets. One was the ordinary wicker baskets that he saw most Four Symbols Sanctums’ disciples carried earlier. The other was an extra-large wicker basket like the one in his hands. There were not more than 100 people in the Punishment Zone that was given this big wicker basket. The size was almost two times bigger than the ordinary wicker basket.
In other words, Four Symbols Sanctums’ disciples who were given such a large wicker basket could save half of their time when they handed the Saint Stones over.
The number of Saint Stones one could carry in a round trip in the extra-large wicker basket was equivalent to two trips if one were to use the normal wicker basket.
For this reason, the large wicker basket was very sought after in Punishment Zone of the Four Symbols Sanctums’ First Mine. If one was not strong enough, one would not be able to hold on to the large wicker basket for long.
This was also part of the training the Fire Worship Sect’s Four Symbols Sanctums had created for the disciples in the Punishment Zone. Only those who were strong were qualified to own a large wicker basket.
When an ordinary Four Symbols Sanctums’ disciple came to register, it would depend on luck if they could obtain the extra-large wicker basket.
There were only about 80 to 90 extra-large wicker baskets in the First Mine of the Four Symbols Sanctums. However, there were thousands of Four Symbols Sanctums’ disciples in the Punishment Zone. Based on this, one could see how valuable the extra-large wicker baskets were.
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