“And we're still inside the Great Wall....” Bai Xiaochun thought. Everything he had seen so far was giving him a much clearer understanding of this area.
“If things are like this inside the Great Wall, then... what is it like on the outside?” The truth was that he didn’t even want to know the answer to that question. The group flew along for quite a while, passing through three teleportation stations. Eventually, they were getting close to the halfway point across the area that was inside of the Great Wall.
That was the location of World City.
They had faced dangerous situations along the way, but nothing they couldn’t handle. After all, the lands between East Sea City and World City were relatively safe.
Occasionally, they saw other cultivators, most of whom traveled in groups of between three to five. Very rarely did they ever encounter someone alone, and when they did, they were people with cold faces and vigilant expressions, who gave Bai Xiaochun’s group a wide berth.
There was also an exhaustion visible in their eyes that caused Bai Xiaochun’s heart to grow even colder than before.
“This place is even more crazily dangerous than I thought it would be....” he thought, heart pounding. The closer they got to World City, the more such feelings within him intensified.
Time passed. As they got closer to World City, Bai Xiaochun realized that the soil around them was growing blacker, and the vegetation was becoming even more bizarre. Even the birds and the beasts were growing stranger, and more and more black in color.
Besides all of that, the most telling change that Bai Xiaochun could sense was the spiritual energy, which was getting weaker and weaker. Zhao Tianjiao and the others in the group had a hard time adjusting to it, but it wasn’t as bad for Bai Xiaochun. At the moment, the spiritual energy levels were about the same as they were back in the Lower Reaches.
To people who were only used to the spiritual energy in the Starry Sky Dao Polarity Sect, it was a huge difference, but Bai Xiaochun didn’t find it very shocking.
A few more days went by and, at long last, they reached the second of the three cities, World City!
It was different than East Sea City, enormous, like a gigantic cube made from black bricks. Black light shone out from it in all directions, and just barely visible on the walls were patrolling cultivators....
Enormous magical cannons that were clearly defensive weapons could be seen on the walls, and as for the enormous stone slabs that made the bricks, they were all inscribed with sealing marks, indicating that the entire city was itself a spell formation.
Although that spell formation was only partially active, it still kept the city perpetually sealed. This was the second major line of defense inside the Great Wall!
If Great Wall City ever fell, then this place... would serve as its replacement. There were many cultivators in the city, and the resources available were plentiful beyond belief. The truth was that, in addition to acting as a backup defense location, this place existed as a supply depot for Great Wall City!
In the dim light of evening, World City looked like a hulking beast, sinister and predatory. It was the type of place that would leave someone shaken even looking at it from a distance, as if it had its own murderous aura!
“That’s World City up ahead,” Zhao Tianjiao said. “We’ll rest up a bit here and then begin the second leg of the journey. We will definitely be facing some dangerous situations on the second part of the journey, so all of you need to prepare mentally.” The faces of the others in the group were extremely somber, and as for Bai Xiaochun, he was wailing inwardly.
There were bones scattered about outside of the city, some of which were bleached by the sun and had clearly been laying there for a very long time. The entire area seemed very wild and desolate.
Bai Xiaochun could tell that many of the bones were clearly not those of cultivators, and yet, were not beast bones either. They seemed humanoid, but much thicker and longer, as if they belonged to giants of some sort.
Such bones were very resilient, and even among those which were scattered about, almost none were broken.
Bai Xiaochun’s heart started pounding at the implication.
“Don’t tell me that those are the bones of Wildlands savages from beyond the wall?” he thought.
When Zhao Tianjiao noticed Bai Xiaochun looking at the bones, he said, “When the Great Wall was breached, World City... was besieged. Although it happened a long time ago, these bones were intentionally left out in the open so everyone would understand the brutality of war!
“We cultivators pursue our Dao, but at the same time, we have to defend our sect, and the world around us! We can't let the Wildlanders through to the Heavenspan Sea!” With that, he and Chen Yueshan flew along toward World City.
Zhao Tianjiao’s followers and Chen Yueshan’s friends went too, leaving Bai Xiaochun to be the last to catch up.
“What’s with all the fighting and killing...?” he thought. “Ah, whatever. Now that I’ve seen for myself how dangerous this place is, I have to agree with Du Lingfei. I need to find a place to hole up for ten years, then I can trade one of my deva souls for some deva beast souls.”
Having made his decision, Bai Xiaochun took a deep breath and hurried forward, keeping a somber look on his face. Although he was inwardly terrified, he obviously wouldn’t let such feelings show.
Quickly catching up to Zhao Tianjiao, he declared, “You’re absolutely right, Elder Brother Zhao! We cultivators have to put our lives on the line to fight the Wildlanders!”
Zhao Tianjiao laughed heartily in response. Soon, they arrived outside the city gates, where their identity medallions were examined before they were allowed inside.
World City seemed large on the outside, but after entering, it seemed even larger. The streets were packed with cultivators going this way and that, and yet, there was no din of conversation, almost as if no one wanted to speak out loud.
Bai Xiaochun could tell that resources were definitely abundant in World City. Whether it was medicinal pills, magical items, or paper talismans, goods were available everywhere. Furthermore, the prices weren’t too outrageous. In fact, many of the medicinal pills were cheaper here than they would be in other places.
Another thing that stood out to Bai Xiaochun was the garrison in the city!!
It was packed with cultivators, all of whom radiated murderous auras, and also wore unique clothing that was decorated with a blood-colored hand!
That hand pulsed with the power of a spell formation that made each and every one of those cultivators seem like the type of person who had climbed mountains of corpses and swam through seas of blood. Whenever cultivators from the garrison went out into the city, everyone else treated them with the utmost respect.
“Those cultivators are members of the Hall of Steel Veins,” Zhao Tianjiao explained, “but they’re different from their compatriots in Great Wall City. These people only go beyond the walls to fight occasionally. Most of the time, they’re on guard here in World City.” When Zhao Tianjiao looked at the cultivators from the Hall of Steel Veins, his eyes shone with respect and anticipation.
“They go beyond the walls occasionally?” When Bai Xiaochun thought about the fact that these people only occasionally went beyond the wall, and yet seemed completely shocking, he couldn’t help but wonder... what the cultivators stationed in the third city were like.
As he wallowed in his anxiety, the group found an inn to stay at for the night. As for Zhao Tianjiao and Chen Yueshan, they went to visit the elders in the garrison; considering their status, that was a right that only they possessed among the group.
Zhao Tianjiao invited Bai Xiaochun to come along, but after some thought, Bai Xiaochun decided that he would explore the city instead.
Evening fell, and the sky turned dark. Despite that, World City was just as busy as it was during the day, and all the shops remained open. Bai Xiaochun walked along looking at the crowds and window shopping. The crowds were very quiet; even when people spoke, it was in a near-whisper.
It was a very strange environment, to say the least.Previous Chapter Next Chapter