Slowly, the two inched closer and closer to the bustling sound. They were on high alert, their heads turning left and right to ensure that no one was creeping up on them.
But no matter how much they looked, nothing happened. There were no traps, and the voices became louder and louder until it was as though they were right next to them. However, the voices abruptly went silent all of a sudden.
The sudden silence was incredibly eerie. Xue Wei could feel how his heart started to beat rapidly. He was worried, the only reason it would become quiet was because whatever was speaking had noticed that something was off.
Although it had suddenly turned silent, the voices had been all around them, so Xue Wei steeled himself and continued moving forward with Hei Gou attached to him through the rope.
Hei Gou was quiet, but Xue Wei felt relieved knowing that his good friend was right behind him. Together, they continued to walk towards the unknown.
This fog that had shrouded them like a blanket suddenly lifted, and Xue Wei and Hei Gou suddenly found themselves in the middle of a village.
This village seemed faintly familiar; it reminded them of the ghost village from outside the dimensional gate, yet some things were different.
This village was not as worn down. The palisades were not rotten but instead made from young, sturdy tree trunks. The road was not cracked but finely laid with small stones that almost shone with a polish from the wear of frequent traffic.
Although it was a busy village, it was now currently so silent that one could hear a pin drop. When Xue Wei and Hei Gou looked around, they were rather stunned.
They were on the main road of the village. This road was bustling with life; many experts were standing and looking at them, all with various expressions on their faces.
Some looked horrified and scared, others looked hostile and angry, and yet some seemed intrigued and curious.
All of them were staring at Xue Wei and Hei Gou, who both felt stumped for words.
"Uh I think we took the wrong turn in the fog," Hei Gou said as he yanked the rope that kept him and Xue Wei together.
"We might want to turn around and return to the fog," Xue Wei agreed, sweating profusely.
When the two turned around, there was no fog. Instead, the road continued behind them – and there was no shortage of people looking at them from that direction.
"I think we might have made a mistake," Xue Wei lifted his hands and looked around. Although there were many people, only a couple of them were ninth layered Sky Warriors. The rest were below that, with the majority being Earth Warriors.
Xue Wei did not find this strange. It was a small village, and most small villages only had access to the most basic of cultivation methods, so there was a limit to how strong these people could become. In fact, it was already somewhat surprising that some of them had reached the Sky Warrior rank.
Back in Lingyun Town when Xue Wei had been a kid, he and the other children had looked up to the three overseers in charge of training the youngsters, and those three were only Earth Warriors.
So when comparing this village to Lingyun Town, it was no doubt better off, but the power it boasted was not enough to deter Xue Wei and Hei Gou too much.
"Who are you?" one of the men around them on the street suddenly asked. His voice was condescending, and his demeanor arrogant.
This man was a Sky Warrior of the third layer, one of the stronger experts present.
"Did we travel back in time?" Xue Wei asked Hei Gou, completely ignoring the third layer Sky Warrior that had asked him who they were. Hei Gou, following Xue Wei's lead, just shrugged his shoulders.
"It could be that we are in some sort of illusion, completely cut off from reality and viewing a vision of the village from when it was in its prime?"
"Either way, we seem to be in a rather tough position right now." Xue Wei sighed and looked at the different people who were looking at them with mixed emotions. Some of them looked at them with hostility, others with curiosity. But all of them had caution in their eyes, and a wariness in their demeanor.
"Are you deaf? You were asked a question!" a young man chimed in. His voice was slightly high-pitched and was annoying to listen to, mainly because he had yelled out at the top of his lungs.
Xue Wei took off the rope that connected him to Hei Gou and put it away into his bag.
Afterwards, he turned and looked at the young man who had yelled. Despite the annoyance he felt towards this loud-mouthed and arrogant fellow, Xue Wei could only sigh in his heart. They had just fled the Flowing Blood Prairie because of their overbearing attitude, so it was not a good idea to start off on the wrong foot with the people inside this alternate dimension.
"I am sorry, but could you tell us where we are?" Xue Wei asked politely. He was not being humble or hostile, just polite, but his question seemed to tick off the guy who had yelled earlier.
"I did not tell you to ask questions!" he yelled. "I told you to identify yourselves!"
Xue Wei sighed. His head was throbbing. This person made his mood turn sour, but he knew better than to act against him while being in unknown territory.
Instead, he turned to the first man who had spoken, the third layer Sky Warrior.
"Could you perhaps give us an explanation?" Xue Wei asked gently. "We were lost in a fog must have ended up in your village my mistake. We saw a run down village which we entered, but somehow we ended up here."
The man frowned. His eyes were haughty, and it was clear that he was a renowned expert within the village. His bearing said that he was an important man.
"You are in the Thousand Mists Village," he said. His tone was not polite at all, but he was not being unreasonable either.
"The Thousand Mist Village is filled with fog all year round, and only by walking through the fog can you enter our village."
"Entering the village is simple," he continued, "but leaving is not."
"Is this a threat?" Xue Wei's body turned taut and his eyes sharp. He was unsure of whether or not it was the people making it hard to leave or if it was some natural phenomenon like the fog.
"You can take it as a threat," the man said, slightly annoyed. "You can choose to turn around and leave right now, then no one will say a word about it, or you can choose to live out your lives in this small village together with us."
"In that case, we will be leaving now," Xue Wei said casually and turned around to walk towards the village gates that could be seen in the distance.
These gates were not like the others they had seen before entering the fog. The old gates were hanging on their hinges and were rotten to the point of falling apart, while the gates here were of high quality.
The man was stumped by Xue Wei’s decisiveness in wanting to leave right away
"Are you not curious about what this village might be hiding?" the man asked, slightly confused, but Xue Wei just glanced at him.
"This village, from when we entered until now, has not had even one Heavenly Warrior. How could such a place happen to have any great treasure? We came here by mistake, and staying here a lifetime is out of the question, so we might as well leave right away."
The man was stunned when he heard this. Then he started laughing. "Don't always judge a book by its cover," he chuckled. "Well, I will not stop you. Feel free to leave if you can."
Hearing this, Xue Wei felt uncomfortable. Both he and Hei Gou turned right away and started moving towards the gates at a rapid speed.
However, something strange happened. Although they were moving towards the gates, it seemed as if the gates were moving further and further away from them. They seemed to be moving the wrong way.
Xue Wei frowned. The two of them stopped. The black dog was completely confused, and looked at Xue Wei with almost pleading eyes as if he wished for this friend of his to tell him what was going on.
Xue Wei's face was dark. He turned to look at the man with whom he had spoken to before and found that he was standing right by their side with a smile on his face.
"It has taken a liking to you," he said with a snicker that contained a hint of evilness. "Since it likes you, you will never be able to leave."
"It?" Xue Wei asked with annoyance in his voice. Was this village trying to be mysterious or was there something hidden inside it that could cause this uncomfortable feeling he was having in his stomach?
"You will know soon enough," the man grinned widely. "Why don't you follow me? We will go visit ‘it’. If you are lucky, it will just want to suck some of your blood, but if you are unlucky, your entire life will be forfeited."
It was clear that this man took pleasure in the misfortune of others, and he seemed to want to rub salt into the wounds.
"Come, come, I will take you there," he continued. However, Xue Wei hesitated. It was clear that there was some sort of power in this village that prevented them from leaving.
This power already held the upper hand. Meeting it prematurely might end up with them being severely injured and killed, but if they did not meet this strange power, then it would be impossible for them to leave.
"We are stuck between a rock and a hard place," Hei Gou said with a sigh. "But why don't we try to take a look at this power? Perhaps it is something simple," he said.
"I guess we don't have much of a choice," Xue Wei replied, sighing. "This strange power is what keeps us locked here, so we kinda have to see what sort of power it is."
Hei Gou and Xue Wei had been speaking through compressed voices, but when they nodded their heads, the grin on the man’s face turned even more sinister.
Xue Wei was aware that it was likely a trap, but really, what choice did he have at the current point in time?
They might have stepped foot into an illusion. They might even have been dragged back in time. This could be their chance to understand what exactly had happened to them, and to understand what kind of village this was.
While walking behind the man, they continued to look around and observed their surroundings. Many of the inhabitants in the village looked excited, but a few seemed worried. Their worried expressions made Xue Wei frown.
The two of them were new in the village. None of these villagers knew either of them, so their worried expressions were not for their sake. This showed him that what they were going for was likely to be a problem for the villagers as well.
The villagers seemed to have various expressions, some pleased and others unhappy. This difference in the mood of the villagers puzzled Xue Wei.
Were there different factions in this village? One that saw pleasure in their problematic situation, and another who saw it troublesome?
Xue Wei was starting to become genuinely interested in what was happening in this village. Albeit feeling heavily uncomfortable in their new environment, he could also feel a pressure that was bearing down upon them, one that came from a foreign power, and felt as if it even affected the energy of the heavens and the earth as well.
They were getting closer and closer to this foreign power, and Xue Wei's expression became uglier and uglier.Previous Chapter Next Chapter