Chapter 2327: Black Char Peaks

All of a sudden, a streak of white light shot forth out of the giant ark, stopping directly above a white-haired elderly man.

The streak of light contained a young woman who appeared to be no more than 15 or 16 years of age, and she asked in a warm voice, "May I ask if this the Chi Rong Mountain Range, Fellow Daoist?"

The elderly man was only at the early-Foundation Establishment Stage, but he was already one of the most powerful foreign beings present.

The elderly man was completely unable to detect the young woman's cultivation base, and he replied in a fearful manner, "This is indeed the Chi Rong Mountain Range, Senior."

The young woman was ecstatic to hear this, and she hurriedly asked, "Looks like we've come to the right place. Would you happen to know where the Black Char Peaks are, Fellow Daoist?"

The elderly man's heart jolted slightly upon hearing this, and he replied, "You want to go to the Black Char Peaks? That one of the central regions of the Chi Rong Mountain Range, and it's been made into a restricted area due to how perilous it is."

"That sounds about right. You don't need to worry about my safety, Fellow Daoist; just tell me how to get there," the young woman said with a smile.

"Yes, Senior. If you're going to the Black Char Peaks, then just travel west from here, and you'll see three black mountains in a triangular formation close to the center of the mountain range; those are the Black Char Peaks," the elderly man hurriedly replied.

"Thank you, here are a few spirit stones as a reward." The young woman nodded before tossing a few high-grade spirit stones toward the elderly man, then returned to the giant ark as a ball of white light.

Moments later, the black ark continued onward deeper into the mountain range, while the elderly man was appraising the high-grade spirit stones in his hand with an ecstatic expression.

High-grade spirit stones weren't all that valuable for high-grade cultivators, but for a Foundation Establishment cultivator like him, this was an unimaginable wealth.

However, his heart then jolted upon sensing the envious looks being directed toward him, and he hurriedly stowed the spirit stones away before quickly departing.

Not long after his departure, several other foreign beings of around the same cultivation base as him also silently left the area.

All of the Qi Condensation Stage foreign beings had naturally noticed this, but none of them said anything as they continued to search for fire-attribute materials.

......

Han Li was currently standing at the front of the Inkspirit Holy Ark, peering into the center of the mountain range in the distance with the blood soul and the others standing next to him.

"It's quite unexpected that the auction of the He Lian Trade Guild would be held somewhere so conspicuous. Having said that, it seems that those low-grade beings had no idea about it," Han Li mused.

 "One would have to at least be at the Spatial Tempering Stage to participate in this auction, so it's no surprise that those foreign beings were unaware that it was taking place. The commencement of the auction should be coming up in the next one or two months, so I'm sure many powerful beings from many races would've already arrived; perhaps you'll be able to reap some unexpected rewards during this auction, Senior Han," the blood soul replied.

"I certainly hope so. At my cultivation base, there are very few things that can appeal to me, but if there are other Grand Ascension Stage beings willing to bring out some good auction items, then that would be a different story altogether," Han Li replied with a casual nod.

"Rest assured, Senior; judging from my past experience, there will definitely be no lack of Grand Ascension Stage beings attending this auction. Also, aside from participating in the auction, those seniors will most likely also hold a private exchange convention. Even if you don't find anything you want during the auction, I'm sure you'll find something in the private convention," the blood soul said with a smile.

Han Li's expression changed slightly upon hearing this. "A private exchange convention, eh? That sounds like something to look forward to."

Around an hour later, the three mountains described by the elderly man finally appeared up ahead.

The mountains were arranged in a triangular formation and situated amid a pile of reddish-black rocks, and there was a sharp sulfuric scent being spread through the air by gusts of scorching winds.

As soon as their black ark reached within 100 kilometers of the three mountains, it was immediately stopped in its tracks by a group of foreign guards on giant falcon steeds.

All of these guards wore suits of black armor and were armed to the teeth.

Their faces were obscured by black visors, and all of them were remarkably tall, far more so than the average adult human.

Their giant falcon steeds were also completely black and massive in stature, presenting a very intimidating and majestic sight to behold.

It was very clear that the owner of this giant ark and the puppet army patrolling the ark was no ordinary person, and the leader of the guards extended a respectful bow as he said, "You're about to enter a restricted area of our trade guild; I'm afraid we can't grant you passage unless you have a token you can present."

"Will this suffice?" the blood soul asked as she drifted down from the ark and swept a sleeve through the air, releasing a ball of white light.

The leader of the guards drew the ball of light into his grasp before carefully inspecting it to find that it was a white badge with beautiful spirit patterns engraved upon it, as well as a silver "guild" character emblazoned on its surface.

After a brief examination, the guard returned the badge with both hands, and said, "Forgive me for failing to recognize you, esteemed guest elder; I'll get someone to guide you right away."

He displayed no intention to verify the identities of Han Li and the others on the ark.

The blood soul nodded as she withdrew the badge, then flew back onto the ark.

The group of guards then divided themselves into two groups, with one group acting as guides for the ark, while the rest continued to patrol the area.

Thus, the ark was led toward the three black mountains.

Along the way, they encountered several other groups of patrolling guards, but none of them stopped the ark seeing as it was already being led by a group of their colleagues.

The distance of no more than 100 kilometers was covered by the Inkspirit Holy Ark in just a short while, and just as the ark was about to fly over one of the three black mountains, a burst of spatial fluctuations suddenly erupted up ahead.

Immediately thereafter, a giant white door of light that was close to 10,000 feet tall emerged.

There were hundreds of strange buildings of different sizes near the door of light, some of which were round while others were rectangular, and there were many guards on giant falcon steeds entering and exiting these buildings on a regular basis.

As soon as the black ark approached the area, it naturally attracted a lot of attention.

Right at this moment, the giant ark stopped on its own several kilometers away from the door of light.

Han Li's brows furrowed slightly as he swept his spiritual sense through the surrounding area, upon which he immediately sensed a burst of restriction fluctuations, and he quickly understood what was happening.

At this moment, the guards that were guiding the ark turned around and stopped beside the ark, then explained, "You'll be able to enter the restricted area through this Profound Heavenly Gate. However, the usage of all flying treasures is prohibited in the restricted area, so I'm afraid you'll have to withdraw this ark before you continue. This is also as far as we'll be able to take you; we can't advance beyond this point without official permission."

"Alright, you can go now," the blood soul instructed.

The giant black ark then disintegrated into countless runes that vanished on the spot amid a resounding boom.

Thus, Han Li and the others were revealed standing in mid-air.

The guards hurriedly extended respectful salutes toward Han Li and the others, then departed from the area atop their giant falcon steeds, while Han Li led his entourage toward the giant door of light.

The guards near the door of light were all appraising Han Li's group with curious expressions, but the group was granted free passage into the door without any intervention.

......

"What? Another Grand Ascension Stage fellow daoist has entered the Profound Heavenly Gate? Alright, I'll send someone to welcome them; you keep doing what you're doing," a red-haired elderly man said to the image of a black-armored guard being depicted on the wall before him.

The man was situated in a completely sealed-off hall that was completely empty aside from a few futons.

There were gems of all types of different colors embedded onto the walls of the hall, and there was a layer of faint azure mist wafting through the air, giving everything in the hall a mysterious appearance.

After a brief pause, the elderly man swept a sleeve through the air to release a burst of red light, and the image of the guard on the wall immediately vanished, only to be replaced by the image of a giant black ark, atop which stood a few blurry figures.

The elderly man appraised the giant ark through narrowed eyes for a moment before suddenly raising a hand with furrowed brows, sending an incantation seal vanishing into the stone wall in a flash.

The image of the figures on the giant ark rapidly expanded to over 10 times its original size, presenting a much clearer image on the stone wall.

Thus, Han Li and the others became visible to the elderly man.

The elderly man's gaze quickly swept over the blood soul and the others, then settled on Han Li.

"Oh? This man is rather familiar; I seem to have seen him somewhere before," the elderly man murmured to himself.

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