Chapter 37: The Ghost Sect and Blood Sect

500 kilometers south of Mystic Mist Palace...

A poisonous miasma of various colors floated in mid-air like a layer of thick clouds.

Dried bones had been piled up into an eccentric altar. In front of it could be seen a ghastly woman, as ugly and horrifying as a ghost, waving her sharp, black fingernails through the air, and simultaneously mumbling something under her breath.

Five tunic-clad young boys and girls, all of whom had relatively dark skin, were listening silently.

Eyes emanating green light, the woman said coldly, “The Spiritual Treasure sect, Cloudsoaring sect, Grayvale sect, and Mystic Mist sect ruined our major plan several days ago. We have to do something about it. There is only one goal during your journey into the Green Illusion dimension, and that is to kill all the junior disciples from the four sects. They are all in the same stage as you are, so not a single one must be left alive!”

A skinny young man licked his upper lip like a blood-thirsty beast. “Lady Night Ghost,” he said, “please rest assured. By the time we leave the Green Illusion dimension, all those juniors from the four sects will be dead.”

The young man’s name was Mo Xi, a disciple of the Ghost sect, who was in the ninth level of Qi Refining.

On his neck hung a necklace made of human thumb bones, which came from the numerous enemies he had slaughtered.

Whenever a Ghost sect disciple killed an enemy who was at the same level of cultivation, they would chop off the enemy’s thumb, and string them together.

As for the rest of the four Ghost sect disciples, they had only collected enough thumb bones to make bracelets.

Mo Xi had killed so many more opponents that he was the only one who was able to craft a necklace.

Clearly, he was the most powerful and dreadful of the five.

“Yes, with you as the leader, I can rest assured.” The old woman they referred to as Night Ghost laughed in an evil, ghost-like manner before continuing. “The people from the Blood sect have also arrived.”

As of this very moment, a burly man with disheveled red hair arrived at the altar of bones, followed by five teenagers from the Blood sect.

His hair was as red as blood, and the loose strands which dangled down his wide forehead initially seemed like streams of blood.

Every one of the five boys and girls behind him reeked of a strong smell of blood, as if they had just attended a feast of gore in which they drank their fill of fresh blood.

Their leader was a properly dressed girl, who was so beautiful that it seemed as if she had come from a painting. However, she had an extremely cold look on her face, as if she was trying to scare off anyone who dared to get near.

The instant Mo Xi caught sight of her, he exclaimed, “Yu Tong!? You’re going to lead the team from the Blood sect?! Aren’t you supposed to be working on your breakthrough into the Lesser Heaven stage?”

“I will,” Yu Tong said, snorting coldly.  “In the Green Illusion dimension.”

The old woman from the Ghost sect gave a low-pitched, terrifying chuckle. With a nod, she continued, “It seems the four sects really angered your Blood sect. Otherwise, you wouldn’t appoint Yu Tong to enter the Green Illusion dimension. This is wonderful. With only Mo Xi in a leadership position, I wasn’t completely sure, but with Yu Tong there too, there won’t be any problem.”

The burly man from the Blood sect looked at the disciples from his sect and chuckled. “The mission for those trial takers from the four sects is to slaughter the four second grade spirit beasts. Yours is to slaughter all of the trial takers, not the spirit beasts!

“You are the real hunters!

“The four main targets are An Ying from the Spiritual Treasure sect, Jiang Lingzhu from the Cloudsoaring sect, Yuan Feng from the Grayvale sect, and Zheng Bin from the Mystic Mist sect!

“They are viewed as core disciples of the four sects. Kill them and bring me their heads, then you’ll receive a handsome reward!

“A debt of blood must be paid in blood.” The burly man from the Blood sect harrumphed coldly. “The four sects dared to ruin our major event, so they should not blame us for destroying the foundation of their future!”

The old woman from the Ghost sect took out a piece of bone and threw it into the bone altar. “It’s about time.”

A moment later, a portal of dark-green light gradually formed in the center of the bone altar.

As she opened the portal, the old woman warned, “Remember, the Green Illusion dimension is not ours; we’ve gone through a lot to create this access point to the Secret Dimension Gate. Remember, you must finish the job and return in six months. Those who can’t return in time, or who get caught by the four sects, can simply wait for death to meet them in the Green Illusion dimension.”

The responses from the disciples were immediate.

“Got it.”

“We only need three months to finish the job. Those who can’t return in time deserve to die inside!”

“The gate is open!”

The ghastly old woman glanced over all of the eleven trial takers from the Ghost sect and the Blood sect, and then said, “Go!”

In the Green Illusion dimension...

Since Nie Tian wasn’t from the clans that clung to the Spiritual Treasure sect, no one talked to him the entire time.

Actually, he felt comfortable that way, and didn’t try to start conversations with any of the other teenagers. He intentionally trailed behind, following from a distance.

An Ying had apparently received some tips from the elders of the Spiritual Treasure sect, as she would take out a map every now and then, examine it, and then point in a certain direction.

From the look of things, she had already identified the location of the python, which could be used in exchange for the Heaven Comprehending Pill.

Under An Ying’s leadership, the trial takers from the Spiritual Treasure sect continued to march through the cold and silent wastelands.

There were no sun, moon, or stars in the Green Illusion dimension. There were no days or nights. In fact, without a special device that could be used to mark time, it would be hard to determine the exact date and time.

Nie Tian couldn’t possibly have such a device, since he was from the Nie clan. Therefore, he had no clue of how long they had been wandering in the wastelands.

However, based on his judgement, he was fairly certain that they had traveled in the cold and silence for at least two days.

During that time, they didn’t run into any spirit beasts; all they saw were a handful of spirit beast skeletons.

At one point, An Ying suddenly stopped in place and gestured to the vague shadows of some distant glaciers. “We’ve almost reached the border of the wastelands,” she explained. “Those glaciers in front of us are our destination. That frost python could be lurking in them. From now on, everyone must be careful.

“The wastelands were originally the domain of several fierce tribes, but they were wiped out long ago. That’s why we have been safe along the way.

“However, once we leave the wastelands and enter the glaciers, we should prepare ourselves for possible encounters with the Green Illusion dimension’s spirit beasts. Those spirit beasts only exist in the Green Illusion dimension, and they regard all outsiders as enemies. Once they see us, they will immediately attack.

“After all, they are smart enough to know that all of the high grade spirit beasts have been killed by cultivators from our sects.

While talking, An Ying suddenly lay her eyes on Nie Tian.

Nie Tian stared blankly at her, not sure why she suddenly focused her gaze on him at that point.

An Ying smiled. “From now on, we may come across spirit beasts at any moment, and they will most likely attack those who walk in the forefront. The landscape of the glacier area is very complicated, so it will be hard to know where the spirit beasts are hiding, and from which direction they will launch attacks.”

Upon hearing her words, Zheng Rui and Pan Tao’s faces immediately filled with unfriendly intentions.

An Ying squinted and snickered. “Nie Tian, you’re not a member of our sect, yet you’ve taken one of our sect’s command medallions to get here into the Green Illusion trial. Therefore, you owe us something in return. The task of finding the path ahead naturally falls upon you.”

All of a sudden, every trial taker’s gaze converged on Nie Tian.

When those boys and girls from various clans stared at him, their eyes were full of malice.

Obviously, they took it for granted that Nie Tian, as the outsider, should be the one to take the risk and explore the road ahead of them.

Nie Tian smiled wryly. “Can I say no?”

“Sure.” An Ying laughed again, and this time it seemed more sincere than before. “You’re welcome to disobey my orders. As long as you’re ready to part ways with us and travel alone in the Green Illusion dimension.”

Nie Tian rubbed his nose and nodded. “Alright, I’ll do it.”

A wise man knew when to bend himself. Considering his ignorance regarding the Green Illusion dimension, he knew that if he left the Spiritual Treasure sect’s group, he would be no different than a blind man.

Moreover, An Ying had a map that could lead them to the four second grade spirit beasts, that being another important reason for him to stay with the group.

Once he left An Ying, he would be like a headless chicken, unable to find directions in the vast Green Illusion dimension.

He might not even be able to find his way back, and thus end up getting stuck in the Green Illusion dimension.

Therefore, even though he knew perfectly well that An Ying was targeting him, he could only bear with it temporarily, and pay her back in the future.

“Good boy,” said An Ying with a content smile. “Go on ahead and lead us into the glaciers. Show us whether the spirit beasts in the Green Illusion dimension are as ferocious as the sect elders have told us.”

Nie Tian acted obediently. “Sure"

He stepped up his pace, and had soon walked from the very back of the group to the front.

Under An Ying’s urging gaze, he strode out into the vanguard position. An hour later, they were out of the wastelands, and had reached the border of glacier area, which was the turf of the spirit beasts.

ROOOOAR!

The minute they entered the glacier area, angry roars of the spirit beasts started to ring in their ears.

ROAR! HOWL!

All of a sudden, one after another, numerous spirit beasts jumped out from behind jade-like frozen trees. Hatred flashed in their eyes as they abruptly launched attacks and threw themselves towards Nie Tian at the same time.

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