The gates opened, and the world darkened. A sinister aura crashed over them, giving them goosebumps.
Behind the gates was an endless desolate land. Countless withered dead trees could be seen, isolated and alone. The thick air of death here was completely different from the vibrant and thriving Skywood Divine Palace.
“What is this? Why do I have such a hair-raising feeling?” asked a disciple. Whatever was behind these gates made them feel very afraid.
“This is the black channel that my Skywood Divine Palace protects. The Jade Lake Sacred Land rests at the end of it.” Just at this moment, a pleasant voice rang out. Everyone hastily looked back.
A beautiful woman was walking over with over ten Life Star experts following behind her. When that woman appeared, all the Skywood Divine Palace’s disciples bowed.
“Greetings, palace master.”
This person was Chu Yao’s master, the palace master of the Skywood Divine Palace. She was called the Woodplant Sea Fairy. As for her real name, no one knew.
The palace master nodded, and her gaze swept over everyone. When her gaze met Long Chen’s, her heart began to pound wildly. She sensed a strong feeling of danger from him. It was a danger that had nothing to do with cultivation base or combat power.
It was a kind of elemental restriction. She had heard from Chu Yao that Long Chen controlled powerful thunderforce and flame energy. However, she hadn’t expected to feel such a dangerous feeling from him.
Both thunderforce and flame energy were the banes of the wood element. They were both destructive energies, the opposite of wood cultivators’ life energy. However, Long Chen was only at the Soul Transformation realm. For him to give her such an intense feeling of danger was practically impossible.
The palace master didn’t express her shock. She walked over to everyone and said, “There are some of you here that know at least a bit of the secret of the ancients. There are also some who might not have touched upon such things due to your sects. If you wish, I can give you a simple explanation about a portion of the Martial Heaven Continent’s history.”
“Please, palace master, we are eager to know the truth,” said Di Xin first.
“Alright, then I’ll say a few words.”
The palace master nodded. Her voice was gentle and calm, without any of the arrogance of a master of such a powerful sect. She treated them like friends she liked to chat with.
“Perhaps you’ve heard some ancient stories, but the timeline of those stories is all muddled. The ancient era, ancient times, antiquity, it’s all garbled. To put it generally, basing the terms around the battle of the immortal era, the time before that battle can be classified as the immortal era. Then there was the dark era, and then the ancient era. Before the immortal era was the era of legend. Due to the flow of time, it’s impossible to trace back any history to that point. That’s why everything about it is simply imagined by people, so it is naturally an era of legend. The meaning is that you can just listen to those legends, but don’t treat them seriously. As for the immortal era, it truly existed. Although there are very few records of it, they definitely exist.”
Other than a very small portion of people who had inherited special things, the others had no idea about these ancient secrets. The Martial Heaven Continent had gone through countless wars. Much of its culture and inheritance had been lost. Although there were still some secret realms, that era was so far gone, it was impossible to trace things back. That was why many things that people knew about the immortal era and the dark era were filled with questions and suspicions.
“Palace master, if the immortal era really existed, then can people really ascend to become a god or immortal, to have a lifespan as long as the heavens?” asked someone reverently.
“It was possible in that era. Our era is a declined era, and no one is capable of ascending. However, there are no absolutes. The Heavenly Daos exist in a cycle. When things reach a peak, the only option is to go in the other direction. The era we are in right now can be called the worst era. When things get so bad that they can’t get any worse, they can only get better. The qi flow of the world is changing. You are lucky to have been born during this part of the cycle,” said the palace master.
However, there was one thing that she didn’t say. That was that they might also be the most pitiful people. If this cycle didn’t complete, the world might end during this era.
“We’ve gotten sidetracked. This place that you see is the black channel that leads to a battlefield. It is the connection point between the worlds of the Martial Heaven Continent and the Black Continent. Every so often, the wall between them will weaken. A huge mass of that world’s creatures will try to charge through the portal into the Martial Heaven Continent, wanting to slaughter our lifeforms. The Martial Heaven Continent has similar channels all over. You should be familiar with those because many of your sects are also protecting their own regions.”
Long Chen nodded. The Xuantian Dao Sect also had its own stronghold it was protecting. Back in the Infernal Devil Abyss, he had used his tribulation to annihilate the creatures that had suddenly surged in number.
The main thing was that those spatial channels limited people’s cultivation bases. Higher level experts weren’t able to enter.
However, that effect was double-edged. This side’s experts couldn’t enter, but neither could the powerful enemies on the other side. So both sides could only wear each other down slowly.
“In the last month, the black channel has had a large number of black tree demons appear. So the second trial is to fight against those black tree demons,” said the palace master.
“Palace master, are you making us clear away the hindrances to the Skywood Divine Palace?” asked Shen Bijun suddenly.
The Skywood Divine Palace’s disciples were all infuriated at that question. However, the palace master smiled lightly. “If you want to take it that way, it’s not a problem. If you feel like you’re being used as a free fighter for my Skywood Divine Palace, losing your life for nothing would naturally not be worth it. However, if you want to attend the Jade Lake Pageant, you’ll have to be a free fighter because… the Jade Lake is beyond the black channel. You have no choice if you want to attend. The Jade Lake is a priceless treasure left behind by the Jade Lake Venerate before she fought to her death during the dark era. She left all her comprehension there for any human with destiny. Furthermore, when the Jade Lake will appear within the black channel is not set in stone. No one can predict when it will appear. As the protector of the Jade Lake, we simply have to follow the rules laid down by the Martial Heaven Continent and the Southern Xuan Region. The fact that the Black World’s creatures would suddenly invade at the same time as the opening of the Jade Lake is something no one can predict. You should know that we have our own pride and would disdain using the Jade Lake as bait to trick people into being our free fighters.”
The palace master’s words were very calm, but anyone with a brain could tell that Shen Bijun’s words had irritated her greatly.
The palace master was very magnanimous. Anyone else would have told her to scram.
“I trust that the Skywood Divine Palace would disdain doing such a thing. Only certain petty little people would think that others would act in the same way as they would,” said Tang Wan-er.
Shen Bijun’s expression sank. Tang Wan-er was clearly cursing her. However, she had no way to retort.
Originally, she had been hoping to plant the seed of enmity by provoking dissatisfaction out of everyone. That way, a few people might cast their fury on Chu Yao, the heir to the Skywood Divine Palace. After all, the competition within the Jade Lake was very intense, and killing people for treasures was unavoidable.
Regretfully, Shen Bijun had underestimated the palace master. With just a few words, she had left Shen Bijun without a way to retort. Not only had she not achieved her aim, but she had also caused quite a few people to look down on her for going too far.
Shen Bijun hastily apologized, saying that she had had no evil intentions. The palace master merely smiled and didn’t say anything further about it.
One of the Life Star Elders walked out. “The black channel is a wrestling arena between two worlds. Because the energy of the two worlds is clashing, the space there is unstable. Hence, spatial cracks and unstable dimensions will appear. Anyone who is sucked into those places will definitely die. Other than being careful of that, the most terrifying things inside are the dark tree demons and Magical Beasts. Most of those are of eleventh rank, equivalent to our Life Star experts. Don’t look down on them. Although you are geniuses, those enemies are also very powerful. The stronger ones can compare to Empyreans, so don’t be careless. Other than that, remember that the greatest enemy of humanity is not tree demons or Magical Beasts, but ourselves. You should understand that in front of priceless treasures, there is nothing that can’t be tossed aside. Once you enter the Jade Lake, no rules will be able to hold others back. This is no game, and there are no rules. In front of the enticement of priceless treasures, rules are as weak as a cotton cloth that can be torn to shreds at any moment. Even if you don’t feel that way, others won’t feel the same as you. By that time, you’ll be dead. Don’t attack others, but don’t expect others to do the same. We’ll give you two hours to prepare. Remember, this is no game, but a life and death fight.”
That Elder's words caused everyone’s hearts to shake. They had been treating the Jade Lake Pageant as a game. Now this warning and terrifying black channel made them nervous.
After two hours, a rumbling sound rang out from the gate. Its runes activated, and a huge vortex appeared before them. It was like a gaping maw waiting for them.
Long Chen, Meng Qi, Chu Yao, Tang Wan-er, Liu Ruyan, and Cloud walked in together. Before they had even gotten that close, they were instantly sucked in, vanishing from other people’s sight.Previous Chapter Next Chapter