AGM 260 - Gathering at the Trial Grounds
In the blink of an eye, three days had already passed.
Within the training grounds of the Star-Seizing Manor, the three major powers that won the exchange had arrived.
The White Deer Institute sent Qin Wentian, Bailu Yi and ten other cultivators. A total of twelve people.
The Watermoon Mountain Villa sent the Li Clan's three brothers and eight other cultivators, making a total of eleven people.
While the Demon Cult sent the young man, minus his two assistants who had perished, as well as six other cultivators, making a total of seven people.
All in all, the total number of people sent by the three major powers could be classified into thirty cultivators and six Divine Inscriptionists. And for the cultivators they sent, all of them were at the peak of the Yuanfu Realm and were extremely adept at combat. After existing for so many years, there was no problem for the White Deer Institute to muster up ten peak-level Yuanfu experts.
Especially Bailu Jing, a ranker from the Heavenly Fate Ranking. He was the one nominated to lead the White Deer Institute team for the expedition this time around.
"Little Brother Qin, if we meet any dangers inside the secret realm, let's pool our efforts to neutralise it together," the Li Clan's three brothers politely suggested, after greeting Qin Wentian.
"I shall listen to the arrangement made by Uncle Li then. After all, I'm still young and inexperienced, so it would be best if all of us could pool our efforts and work together." Qin Wentian nodded in agreement. The purpose of Divine Inscriptionists in the secret realm was extremely simple. The Inscriptionists were to take the lead, breaking formations and sniffing out traps. With them leading the way, the path inside the secret realm would be many times smoother.
"Good, everyone's here." At that moment, a voice drifted over.. The crowd turned and looked in the direction of the voice, only to see Yang Fan in the lead, followed by nineteen other cultivators. The auras they exuded all felt extremely imposing, it was obvious that they were all elites trained by the Star-Seizing Manor.
The stronger they were, the better it would be.
That middle-aged elder from before was also present, and after noting everyone's arrival, he waved his hands and spoke, "Since everyone is ready, let's move out."
"Right." Everyone rose in the air as they followed after those from the Star-Seizing Manor.The Secret Realm of Divine Inscriptions was one of the eighteen testing grounds of the Grand Xia Empire. Qin Wentian had already entered two of the eighteen testing grounds - the Spirit Beast Testing Grounds, as well as the Celestial Lake Refinement Grounds.
The entrance to the Spirit Beast Testing Grounds was shared by many transcendent powers, while the Celestial Lake Refinement Grounds was controlled by Fairy Qing Mei.
Because the Secret Realm of Divine Inscriptions was located in the Moon Continent, it was only natural for it to fall under the control of the four transcendent powers living there. They were the ones who decided who was qualified to enter.
The four transcendent powers of the Moon Continent were the Star-Seizing Manor from the eastern region, the Skyember Sect from the southern region, Pill Emperor Hall from the central region and Hua Clan from the northern region. Only the western region had no transcendent powers.
The entrance to the Secret Realm of Divine Inscriptions was located in the western region, which was a scorchingly hot and lifeless desert.
The sands of the western desert blazed with a golden hue. It was so vast it was impossible to see the end of it with just the naked eye.The wind gusted as the golden sands shifted. No human figures could be seen for a thousand miles, only an aura of desolation.
Several moments passed when suddenly, a wavering black sphere that emanated a sense of destruction appeared from a certain direction. In the blink of an eye, the black dot transformed into a black-colored sandstorm, somehow even causing the skies to turn dark as it absorbed all light, giving people the sense that the apocalypse had arrived.
The golden sand was pulled into the terrifying sandstorm, drifting about with the force of the wind. Everyone knew that this was the abominable black sandstorm of the western desert. The locals would tell you that it would appear intermittently, wrecking havoc for a period of time before subsiding, until the whole cycle restarted once more. And at that very moment, far away from the sandstorm, another group of silhouettes was making their way towards it, heading into the depths of the desert.
"How unlucky, why are we encountering this dratted sandstorm at this moment," someone cursed, feeling extremely depressed.
The one in the lead was a young man with a herculean physique. This person unconsciously exuded arrogance, and his whole body gave people the sensation that it was bursting with power. This person, was none other than Zhao Lie, ranked #28 in the Heavenly Fate Ranking, hailing from the Skyember Sect and one of the four Heaven's Chosen. Also, just like his name, his temper was as fiery as an inferno.Among the four Heaven's Chosen, Zhao Lie was ranked last. However, he was never willing to accept this ranking. At this moment, his eyes burned with an intense fire; he heard that for the expedition this time around, Yang Fan and Zhan Chen were also participating. He truly wanted to see these two other Heaven's Chosen who shared the same status as himself, and how powerful they had become. Had they already stepped into the Heavenly Dipper Realm?
"Sadly, Hua Taixu didn't come today. But, I guess I won't be too lonely with Zhan Chen, Yang Fan, Bai Fei and the rest." Zhao Lie grinned, he was filled with excitement for this expedition. Perhaps he'd get a chance to test his strength against them?In the vast Moon Continent, other than the four Heaven's Chosen, there were also other rankers in the Heavenly Fate Ranking. Bailu Jing from the White Deer Institute, was precisely one of them. Among the 360 names, there were the young and old, and for the expedition this time around, there would surely be many rankers participating as well. How could Zhao Lie not be filled with anticipation.After passing the sandstorm, Zhao Lie increased his speed and finally arrived at an extremely sprawling ancient city, built in the desert.
Many supreme experts guarded the main entrance that led to the ancient city. Evidently, these people all belonged to the four transcendent powers of the Moon Continent. Their mission was simple, to keep out intruders from entering the Secret Realm of the Divine Inscriptions.
And right in front of the ancient city's main entrance, several silhouettes could be seen making their way over. These people belonged to three different camps. With a single glance, Zhao Lie had already identified who they each belonged to.
"Haha, Zhan Chen, Yang Fan, how have you guys been." Zhao Lie laughed, as soon as they came within hearing range.
Zhan Chen smiled, "Brother Zhao, how about you?"
As for Yang Fan, he remained silent. This was his personality, as he was a man of few words, yet the tinge of arrogance he exuded was similar to that of Zhao Lie."Knowing that the both of you are here, how could I not be as well?" Zhao Lie's voice was extremely loud. And as his gaze shifted to the third camp, it landed on the person in the lead. "Hua Taixu is not coming, but they sent you instead? Is your Hua Clan trying to nurture another Hua Taixu?"
The young man from the Hua Clan inclined his head. His sharp gaze was akin to a sword, boring into Zhao Lie.The name of this person was Hua Feng, with a cultivation base at the peak-level of Yuanfu and he was ranked #60 in the Heavenly Fate Ranking. With his talent, he could also be considered as someone distinguished in the Moon Continent.
However, he didn't shine as much because the radiance of a blazing sun like Hua Taixu was so bright that it overshadowed everything.
With the existence of Hua Taixu, no matter how talented someone in the Hua Clan was, they would all be shunted to the side, only serving as a backdrop to further enhance Hua Taixu's light."You still talk as much crap as before," Hua Feng faintly replied, causing a fiery light to blaze in Zhao Lie's eyes. "Oh? Well, I'm good at talking crap, but I'm even better in combat. Do you want me to guide you?"
"Anytime," Hua Feng replied, before shifting his gaze away, no longer interested in Zhao Lie."Zhao Lie from the Skyember Sect, ranked #28 in the Heavenly Fate Ranking; Hua Feng from the Hua Clan, the second most talented of the Hua Clan's younger generation after Hua Taixu. He's ranked #60 in the Heavenly Fate Ranking." Over at the Star-Seizing Manor Camp, Bailu Yi whispered to Qin Wentian. She knew that Qin Wentian wasn't from the Moon Continent, hence she took it upon herself to introduce some of the more crucial characters here to him.
These people, were all characters that could summon the wind and rain over here in the Moon Continent.Qin Wentian nodded, he kept his head low as he glanced at these powerful individuals, paying special attention to those from the Pill Emperor Hall and the Hua Clan.
Zhan Chen from the Pill Emperor Hall was ranked #11 in the Heavenly Fate Ranking. This man had a scholarly appearance, seemingly casual and extremely amicable. Beside him was his companion, an extremely attractive-looking woman.
Yang Fan from the Star-Seizing Manor was more taciturn, a man of few words. The faint pride that seemed carved into his features was like a wall that allowed no one near him.
Zhao Lie's temper was brash and insolent, resembling a fiery inferno.For Hua Feng, there wasn't enough information about him yet. But undoubtedly, these rankers of the Heavenly Fate Ranking all unconsciously emitted a faint aura of pride. Even the even-tempered Bailu Jing did as much. Qin Wentian was like this as well, and this pride - which some may call arrogance - was something that innately belonged to these characters.
Pride and arrogance were born from self-confidence, and not one of these characters were lacking in that aspect.
"Hua Taixu and Hua Xiaoyun didn't show up, and Bai Fei from the Pill Emperor Palace is present. But, where is Qingcheng?" Qin Wentian felt somewhat disappointed. During the journey, he still had some hopes of running into Mo Qingcheng in this expedition. But sadly, she wasn't here, only Bai Fei had come instead.
He recognised Bai Fei, but she took no notice of such an insignificant character like him. Once, Bai Fei had told him that he and Mo Qingcheng belonged to different words, and asked him to wake up to reality.
Now that he had arrived in the Moon Continent, he wondered what Bai Fei would think if she saw him now.
"If everyone is here, let's not delay any longer. We will enter the secret realm's trial grounds straight away," spoke the sharp-looking, middle-aged elder beside Yang Fan. The powerful experts from the other three transcendent powers all nodded in agreement.Momentarily, four representatives from the four transcendent power stood in front of the main entrance. In their hands was a strange-looking symbol, each different from the rest. Channeling their Astral Energy within, a resplendent light shot forth from the four symbols into a seal inscribed on the main entrance. In the next instant, thunderous rumbling sounds could be heard as the door to the main entrance opened.
Passing through this door would lead them all to the interior of the ancient city. The destination they sought lay just ahead - the Secret Realm of Divine Inscriptions!