Two Infernalfolk, one large and one small, were walking down a street in the Hell of Sages and Mahātmās.
The scenery in this hell was amazing. Normally speaking, fiend-devils were very primitive, and didn’t go about building cities or mansion grottos. They would normally live in caves, or just wander around like nomadic barbarians.
But the Hell of Sages and Mahātmās was different. There most certainly were cities here, filled with exquisitely constructed buildings that rivaled anything from the immortal worlds. There were also numerous centers of learning, filled with students and scholars.
Vehicles and foot traffic filled the streets, which were lined with everything from shops to schools.
There were places that taught the dao of martial arts, the dao of the sword, the dao of the saber, the dao of energy, and more. There were schools for musical instruments, tactics and strategy, calligraphy, and painting. This place seemed more like a scholarly human kingdom than a place full of fiend-devils.
“This is just one city here in the Hell of Sages and Mahātmās,” Dharma Treasury said. “Long ago, the fiend-devils didn’t have any civilization or culture at all. They were completely ignorant and barbaric, and all they did was fight and kill each other. That sort of thing is built into their genes, making them instinctually desire to slaughter and destroy. But later, the sages and mahātmās came and created this hell to teach hell-born fiend-devils about culture and civilization. Unfortunately, the more intelligent and civilized the fiend-devils get, the craftier they are, so it's hard to say whether it’s a good thing or not. In any case, it's not my place to question the sages of the past. All I can do now is work hard to prevent the alliance of fiend-devils from invading the immortal dao civilization.”
“Your wisdom is boundless, Grandmaster. You have my sincere respect and admiration.”
Even as Yang Qi uttered these words of praise, he was in conversation with Sectlord Will Manifestation in the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart.
“Sectlord, have you ever heard of the monk Dharma Treasury from the Dharma Sect?”
“The Dharma Sect? Dharma Treasury?” When the sectlord heard that Yang Qi was in the Hell of Sages and Mahātmās, he was very surprised, but now he looked even more shocked. “You've run into him? He’s no one to look down on. You see, he's no ordinary monk. He’s more properly known as Archmonk Dharma Treasury. He’s one of the most preeminent cultivators from the buddhist schools, and after mastering his Zen of Grand Desire, he became even more powerful. With a mere thought on his part, he can transform the world around him. He’s merciful by nature, and never harbors evil thoughts. He’s a good person to be friends with.”
“Archmonk?” Yang Qi said. It was quite a shock to learn that Dharma Treasury wasn’t just an ordinary monk. There could be as many monks as the eternal sands of the universe, but few could be a leader among them. And despite having a cultivation base far beyond the Wretch God Apostle, Dharma Treasury believed in valuing life and showing mercy whenever he could. In that way, he was very much like Star Swordlife.
Unfortunately, Yang Qi could tell that he and Archmonk Dharma Treasury were going to have some conflicting interests. Obviously, both of them wanted to get the command medallion of the leader of this fiend-devil alliance. And at the moment, Yang Qi wasn’t sure what to do about the situation.
After all, it seemed fairly likely that this command medallion was made from Mahātmā Jade.
“Grandmaster,” Yang Qi said, “are we just walking around aimlessly right now? Or do we have a destination? Our main goal is to find that command medallion, but I don’t think either of us knows where it is.”
“Actually, I'm fairly certain I do know where it is,” Archmonk Dharma Treasury replied. “It's most likely in the capital city of this hell. To avoid attracting attention, I think we should use teleportation portals to get into the capital city. Once there, I have a special technique I can use to track down the jade. It’s in the actual moment of the theft that I’ll need your help the most, Young Hero.”
“But my energy arts are so shallow. How can I be of help to someone like you, Grandmaster? What happens if I just get in your way?” It was true that, in terms of cultivation base, Yang Qi was a bit below Archmonk Dharma Treasury.
“Don’t think that way, Young Hero,” Archmonk Dharma Treasury replied. “You won’t get in my way. I performed some divinations before coming here, and they indicated that I would meet an important person who would help me on my mission. In fact, without the help of that person, I’ll likely fail my mission. And I'm convinced that, according to the workings of heaven, you are that person. You have a very tough physical body, and you also cultivate a profound technique from the dao of devils. If I'm not mistaken, it's the fabled True-Devil Unspoiled-by-Myriad-Kalpas-and-Tribulations Body. Am I right?”
“Amazing, Grandmaster!” Yang Qi said in shock.
“There’s no need to get flustered,” Archmonk Dharma Treasury said. “Devil arts and zen arts are essentially one and the same; it's the use that's relevant. Use them for righteousness, and they’re righteous. Use them for evil, and they’re evil. In fact, that technique of yours is very much like one of the highest truths of buddhism. You study tribulations and kalpas, and do not train in killing life. Killing life is banal, whereas if you exist within tribulations and kalpas, the great dao of pāramitā will—”
“Grandmaster, please,” Yang Qi interrupted. “Can you please get to the point and tell me how I’m supposed to help you?” Although this Archmonk Dharma Treasury was clearly very strong, he was also particularly long-winded. Just about everything he said seemed to be something related to scriptures or fundamental truths of the universe, and it was already getting a bit frustrating listening to him.
“Well, to sum up, you’ll benefit a lot by sticking with me, Young Hero,” Archmonk Dharma Treasury said. “It's not that I want to hide the truth from you, it's just that the workings of heaven made it clear that if I speak my plans, the fiend-devil experts might catch wind of it.”
“In that case, I won’t ask again,” Yang Qi said. As they walked along, Yang Qi furtively studied the Hell of Sages and Mahātmās. Already, he could tell that magical laws here were very tough, yet Terrifying experts were rather rare. So far, he hadn’t seen a single one. Everyone was lower than the Terrifying level.
Some of the fiend-devils had power indexes of four thousand, but still couldn’t fly. One had to be in the Terrifying level to do that. Apparently, fiend-devils under that level were like commoners here.
In the schools that lined the sides of the roads, numerous members of the fiend-devil royalty could be seen focusing on their studies. The Hell of Sages and Mahātmās really did live up to its reputation of being a center of learning and culture.
Whatever fiend-devils came here to study would definitely stand head and shoulders above their contemporaries.
There were plenty of fiend-devils walking about, and very few of them were fighting. Most would chat like ordinary humans, which was definitely a very strange sight. Normally, one would expect fiend-devils to carry out slaughter wherever they went.
Quite a few of them were discussing the latest developments.
“I'm very curious to see how the big meeting goes. Are they really going to select some sort of league-lord? All of the most powerful fiend-devils are here.”
“Well, people like you and me obviously don’t qualify. Only Terrifying experts can go to that meeting, and it’s not like Terrifying experts are a common sight. Most hells would be lucky to produce even just a Grand Emperor. In fact, all of the Terrifying fiend-devils here are actually from the Ancient Road to the Gods.”
“Terrifying experts.... I wonder when we’ll be able to reach that level. What an incredible glory and honor.”
“Don’t even waste your time thinking about it. You have to be in the right place at the right time, and have the valor to seize your opportunity. Right now, everything in the world is changing. The Great Necropolis has appeared, and it’s ejecting new immortal worlds all the time. Resources are scarce here in hell, and most of our techniques require the flesh and blood of immortals. This really is the best time to create a new fiend-devil world order. Hopefully, they select this new league-lord and lead us directly to war against the immortal worlds. That way we can finally get the resources we need.”
“You’re right. I heard that there are these people called the Executors of the Ancient Road, and their flesh and blood is particularly useful for us fiend-devils. Eat one of them, and you can surpass the mortal and enter the saintly.”
All of a sudden, Archmonk Dharma Treasury grabbed Yang Qi and flew up into the sky, sending out quite a few magical fluctuations.
“Look, do you see that? Someone’s flying! It’s a Terrifying expert!”
The fiend-devils who saw them were shocked, and dropped to their knees to kowtow.
Soon, they reached a teleportation portal that was closely guarded by fiend-devil soldiers. Instead of armor, they wore long cyan robes, had swords strapped to their belts, and were unexpectedly handsome.
They almost looked like evil scholars.
When they saw Yang Qi and Archmonk Dharma Treasury approaching, expressions of shock appeared on their faces, which were quickly replaced with respect. “We offer respectful greetings, exalted devils! We’re tasked with guarding the entrance to the capital city. As Terrifying experts, you definitely qualify to attend the meeting.”
Yang Qi suddenly realized that Archmonk Dharma Treasury was sending devil light into him that made it seem like he was in the Terrifying level.
“That's right,” he said, “we're Terrifying experts!”
“We’re from the Ancient Road to the Gods,” Archmonk Dharma Treasury added. “We heard that there’s a meeting to pick a league-lord, and we want to attend.”
“Please, go right ahead!” one of the cyan-robed fiend-devils activated the teleportation portal. Even as it began powering up, four experts appeared off in the distance, flying toward them. The expert in the lead looked like a streak of blood-colored light, and as he landed, he emanated the stench of gore.
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