The surroundings were deathly silent, still looking as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
Jean drew his sword and guarded in front of Claire without a word, sensing their surroundings. Claire frowned at the seemingly peaceful surroundings, an ominous feeling arising. It unusually quiet, like the calm before the storm.
"The Dark aura is now thick!" Liu Xueqing's expression changed. She started to lose her composure.
Right then and there, the ground below them started to rumble.
"What is it?" Liu Xueqing frowned, scanning around nervously.
"Avalanche!" Claire's expression changed sharply. She gritted her teeth. To their left and right were steep cliffs, a natural confinement. There was an intentional ambush!
"First fly up," Leng Linyun urged Claire hurriedly. "You take care of the Divine Princess, I'll handle Jean." They were the only two who could fly.
Suddenly, just as he finished speaking, a large, black five star magic formation appeared under their feet. They were right in the center! The stars glowed with a black hue creepily.
The sound grew louder and louder, inching closer and closer. Snow flew through the air, sharp shards of ice mixed in as it tumbled down towards the four.
Claire grabbed Liu Xueqing, prepared to fly up with her, but felt herself sinking. A powerful force was pulling her downwards. Although she tried to fly, she could not. Her energy was disappearing gradually! Liu Xueqing broke free from Claire in order to not sink too, but the force came from below her also. Just like Claire, she started to sink as her strength sapped away at the same time.
"Lingyun, Lingyun - " Liu Xueqing called out in panic, flailing about wildly. But the person she was waiting for did not come.
"Peep Peep!" Black Feather flapped his little wings, his claws tightly clutched on Claire's mantle as he pulled up with all his might, but to no avail. Claire continued to sink lower and lower.
"Miss!" Jean lunged for Claire's hand. However, he too was immediately pulled down by the inexplicable power. Leng Lingyun's eyes widened and he too reached towards Claire, but Claire disappeared before his eyes, swallowed by the five star magic formation. His grip on Claire secure, Jean was also enveloped. Liu Xueqing also sank, her gaze fixed on Leng Lingyun. He was not reaching for her, but Claire! At the same time, Leng Lingyun also felt the powerful suction force pulling him in and sapping his strength, gradually sinking down. His last thoughts were that they had been tricked, it was a trap!
Snow surged, flooding the canyon, almost filling it up entirely. Huge, sharp shards of ice glinted at the surface ominously.
After a while, the surroundings quieted down. Occasionally, small clumps of snow would fall.
The four people and the five star magic formation had disappeared.
"Haha, got rid of more of the Light Temple's dogs," a person draped in black laughed from atop the precipice.
"Not necessarily. Although Lord Reverend's magic formation is very powerful, it can only teleport them to that place," another voice said coldly.
"Tch, you always dampen my spirit. It's not like they can walk out of there alive."
Claire could only see a sea of black. She felt insecure, as if as if she were floating all alone.
Gradually, her surroundings started to brighten. Claire opened her eyes and was shocked.
Black trees, black ground, the place was entirely depressing. Claire looked around, but didn't see Jean or anyone else. Even White Emperor and Black Feather were gone.
Claire clenched her fist testily, finding her strength was back. She frowned. The five star magic formation was a teleporter? And could even make people lose their power? Where was she? And where was Jean? Or Leng Lingyun or the Divine Princess?
She started to walk. The sod below her feet was wet and smelled faintly of rot.
The surroundings were cloaked with an ineffable, depressing aura. Claire frowned. For some reason, she kept on feeling like someone was watching her, but she couldn't tell who or where they were.
"Tch!" Claire clicked her tongue with annoyance, then continued forward. First, she had to find Jean and the others.
In a magnificent room, a large crystal ball sat atop a table in the middle of the room. On the crystal ball were various scenes, including Claire.
"Oh? That girl seemed to notice we were watching her," a young man in black stroked his chin, gazing into the crystal ball with interest.
"It doesn't matter if she can sense us or not. In any case, she won't be able to make it out of the Illusion Forest," another young man dressed in black said, sounding bored. He sat leisurely in a nearby chair, his head resting on his arms as a pillow, his legs crossed as they rested on the tabletop. The two had the same handsome face; they were twins.
"That's true, haha. Those fake as f*ck believers, always posing to be so righteous. They're better off sinking into depravity in the Illusion Forest," the first voice said, cold and full of contempt.
"But I'm a little curious. Will any of those Temple believers make it out?" the lazily sitting man smirked.
"Currently, none have. But what if one does? Are you going to try to rope them in?"
"If someone really does, then we'll finish them off ourselves." The voice was relaxed, but ruthless.
"Ahem..." A voice came from the door. "Xi Shaosi, Xi Shaoqi, didn't I tell you two to pay attention? Is anything out of the ordinary?"
"Oh, Master, we found something interesting. This girl over here seemed to have sensed we were watching her." Xi Shaoqi stood up and pointed at the crystal ball.
Xi Shaosi removed his feet from the table and sat up straight. "Master," he said seriously, "To this date, no one has ever broken out of the Illusion Forest. Master's magic formation is truly amazing."
"It is the god of Darkness who is powerful." The person at the door walked in slowly. It was an elderly man cloaked in black. He looked vibrant, his eyes gleaming.
"Of course, the god of Darkness is so much better than that fake goddess of Light. As long as you give, you receive; it's just that simple," Xi Shaoqi laughed.
"You brat, don't talk so big. Careful you don't anger the god of Darkness." The old man swatted Xi Shaoqi's head.
"Master, the god of Darkness wouldn't be so petty. Afterall, he can't be as petty as that xxxx goddess of Light."
"Enough already," Xi Shaosi said quietly, noticing something in the crystal ball. "Look, that girl has already entered the illusion. Let's see how she'll react."
"What else could happen? All they ever do is kneel down and pray for the Light of the goddess to shine forever," Xi Shaoqi sneered. All plants of the Illusion Forest were Dark attributed and gave off colorless, odorless gas. One someone breathes in this gas, they will see illusions targeting believers of the goddess of Light. The believers often see the goddess herself descending from the heavens, pure and unparalleled, who then gives orders to the believers to do pious acts, such as kneeling and praying and so on.
"That's true. This forest cost our Temple of Darkness so much time and effort, it better be useful," Xi Shaosi said indifferently.
"Humph, it's about time the Temple of Darkness returns to glory," Xi Shaoqi humphed coldly, crossing his arms. He too gazed into the crystal ball.
At this time, Claire had fully entered the illusion.
She stood there frozen, her gaze unfocused.
"My child, may the Light be with you." The incomparably beautiful goddess of Light appeared before her, glowing with holy light, an ornate scepter in her hand, a dazzling golden crown atop her head, her gaze pure and elegant.
Claire watched the goddess of Light silently, indifferent.
"My child, let us pray together, let this world be filled with Light, peace, love..." The goddess of Light brandished the scepter and holy light illuminated Claire.
"Child? Since when did you give birth to me? How can the pure goddess of Light fuck another man and have a child?" Claire sneered. With a wave of her hand, a huge flame sword materialized. Without even blinking, she slashed the goddess of Light.
The expression of the goddess of Light changed to horror as she was immediately split into two, then disappeared.
"What a crude illusion!" Claire curled her lip in disdain. She withdrew the sword of flames, then continued onwards.
The three before the large crystal ball were dumbfounded, disbelief in their eyes.
"Wa-wasn't she from the Temple of Light? How could she attack that illusion instantly? That's the goddess of Light they believe in! Don't they risk their lives for the goddess of Light? How could she be so ruthless?" Xi Shaoqi said hastily. He stared at the crystal ball, excited, yet also confused.