Everyone’s eyes glowed with a bright light as the door to the ancient city opened. Without further ado, they entered as a group.
Over here, many ancient-looking buildings were situated within a vast landscape. Even the atmosphere was tinged with an archaic air. But one thing was certain, the interior of the ancient city belonged to a different space compared the one outside.
In addition, the crowd could clearly feel terrifying surges of energy pressing down on them, the power of a manifested constellation. (TL note: Celestial Phenomenon Ascendants can manifest constellations.)
Over here, there were skies, and there were also constellations.
Despite it being in the middle of the day, the outlines of countless stars were visible. And in the middle of that inexhaustible starlight, the crowd could also see the faint shadow of an imposing and gigantic statue standing in mid-air, overlooking the ancient city as though it wanted to place the entire land and its inhabitants underneath its feet. “That’s a manifested constellation, it seems like the rumors were real.” Many people in the crowd mused. The transcendent powers had already heard of this, but the other parties definitely hadn’t known of it.
They could see the manifested constellation, and clearly feel its strength. The statue overlooking the ancient city inundated the entire area with a terrifying pressure; it must be a manifestation of a powerful gravity-type constellation.
There were some that tried to resist the pressure by soaring into the air, however they only discovered that it was impossible to fly in this space. At most, they could only levitate a few inches, but if they tried to force their way further up, the pressure here would act upon them, forcing them back down to the ground.
“Manifested constellation,” Bailu Jing murmured before he commented, “Seems like the people who entered here previously triggered something, which caused the birth of the current manifested constellation. Before this, although the transcendent powers knew that this place was extraordinary, they didn’t know the reason behind it. But now, with the existence of that manifested constellation, it appears that this place was truly the Dao Cultivation Ground of a Celestial Phenomenon Ascendant back in the past.”
Bailu Yi and Qin Wentian both nodded, no one knew what exactly had happened in this secret realm the last time the transcendent powers entered it. They only knew that even Hua Taixu had been injured.
“Divine Inscriptionists, please lead the way,” commanded a thick-browed elder in that moment. He stood beside Yang Fan, emanating an aura of extreme danger. His eyes were black, like tunnels with endless depths, as though they were capable of drawing people within. The combat prowess of this person was most definitely extraordinary.
“That old man is named Zhu Sha, also a ranker of the Heavenly Fate Ranking,” Bailu Jing reminded Qin Wentian, patting his shoulders. “Remember to act with caution, and do your best to protect Little Yi.”
“Right,” Qin Wentian replied, locking eyes with Bailu Yi. After which, they walked to the front, along with the Li Clan’s three brothers and the youth from the Demon Cult.
“Little Brother Qin, let’s walk together.” Old First nodded to him, the Star-Seizing Manor camp following behind Qin Wentian and the rest of the Divine Inscriptionists.There were too many traps powered by Divine Inscriptions layered all around the place, and it was traditional for Divine Inscriptionists to clear the path.
Not only that, the experience gained by those who had visited in the past was useless to them now. All the traps and formations that were originally easy enough to break had already been broken by past Divine Inscriptionists, leaving only the traps that were beyond their abilities to handle. These traps and formations had claimed their lives instead, causing any potential knowledge of further traps to be lost with their death..The various camps all proceeded into the depths of the ancient city. So far, they met with no danger, but several places obviously had traces of damaged runic outlines. Evidently, this was caused by the work of earlier Divine Inscriptionists who had entered previously.
“That platform seems to be where the light from the manifested constellation is pointing towards.” Everyone fixed their attention in that direction. There was a huge platform supported by stone pillars that resembled a training ground and its surroundings were layered with various stone ruins. Additionally, the faint shadow of a statue of an Ascendant seemed to be directly above it.
“There’s fluctuations of Astral Energy over there.” As though they sensed something, everyone began to sprint over to the platform.
“Hey you guys, go up and take a look.” Zhu Sha pointed to the elevated platform, as he imperiously commanded the Divine Inscriptionists.
Qin Wentian furrowed his brows, the tone of Zhu Sha, had no hint of politeness in it at all, it was as though he was ordering a bunch of slaves forward.
The people from the transcendent powers were basically treating them as tools to be used for the trial grounds.
“Let’s go.” The three brothers led the way. Qin Wentian’s personality was more cautious by nature, he couldn’t help but frown when he sensed the fluctuations from the runic outlines on the platform.
“Uncle Li, wait. There’s something strange up there,” Qin Wentian called out. His perception told him that there was a peculiar source of energy enveloping the platform, but as to where it came from exactly, Qin Wentian couldn’t decipher it.
The three brothers turned and glanced at Qin Wentian as they halted their movements. “What’s wrong? Did you sense something?”
Qin Wentian lightly shook his head, “I have no idea, but I can tell that there’s an extremely terrifying surge of energy flowing about. It’s good to be more cautious.”
“You have no idea?” Zhu Sha unhappily interjected. “Since you can’t sense it, you might as well go and test it out. Won’t we know what we’re facing after that?”
“Senior, this place is filled with many unseen dangers. We should be more careful lest a single mistake leads us to our doom, with no hope of recovery. We can choose to bypass this platform and explore the other areas.” Although Qin Wentian himself felt unhappiness in his heart, he didn’t outwardly show his displeasure.
“If we do things according to what you say, won’t that mean we would have to bypass every hint of danger we meet? If that’s the case, what the hell are you even here for?” Zhu Sha replied in a cold voice, his brows twitching when he saw Qin Wentian challenging his decision.
“If that’s the case, please feel free to go up and explore for yourself.” Qin Wentian made a gesture of invitation, just as impolite as Zhu Sha. They had not begged the Star-Seizing Manor to be here. On the contrary, it was the Star-Seizing Manor who required their services. This attitude of Zhu Sha was too rude and caused much dissatisfaction.“What did you say?” An ice-cold intent burst forth from Zhu Sha, however a round-faced elder immediately intervened, “Forget it, the words of that little brother does have its merits, so let’s all take a step back. It would only do us good to be cautious here.”
Zhu Sha’s personality was too direct, the round-faced elder was much more diplomatic. He understood that they would still have need for the Divine Inscriptionists. Even if Zhu Sha wanted to make a move against them, he should wait until after they exited the trial grounds.
“Hmph, no matter what, we still need one person to go up.” Zhu Sha coldly snorted.
“Forget it. Old Third, go up and take a look.” Old First decided to mitigate the feelings of unhappiness by giving in to Zhu Sha.
“No,” Qin Wentian decisively rejected. After he obtained heart sense (kinesthesia), his perception was many times more powerful than before. He felt a strong sense of unease from the towering platform. Glancing at the stone benches and the surrounding ruins, he felt as though the platform was a place that was used to offer sacrifices in the past. He had a faint feeling that this place was the backbone for the entirety of Divine Inscriptions in this secret realm, and it was highly probable that there existed many killing formations or traps that protected it. If someone accidentally triggered those traps, the consequences would be dire.
“Uncle Li, don’t go,” Qin Wentian warned him again. They were here at the behest of the Star-Seizing Manor, but they weren’t tools to be used. This was a matter of principle. If they followed what Zhu Sha said, not one of them would make it out alive.
The Li Clan’s three brothers smiled, they understood Qin Wentian’s kind intentions but were unwilling to make an enemy out of the Star-Seizing Manor. Suddenly, a member of the Skyember Sect impatiently rushed up to the platform, moving towards the centre.
“There’s no issue!” That person remained safe and sound, and almost immediately, Zhu Sha’s countenance turned colder.
All of a sudden, an overwhelming pressure pressed down from the skies, resembling a gigantic foot stomping down on the ground. In front of everyone’s eyes, that foolish cultivator from the Skyember Sect turned into a mangled pool of flesh and blood. Not only that, the platform began to shimmer with a weird glow, absorbing the blood from the dead cultivator. When they saw what had happened, the hearts of those hesitating on whether or not they should rush up the platform, began to palpitate rapidly. What a close shave, if it weren’t for the young Divine Inscriptionist from the Star-Seizing Manor, their endings would have been the same as that cultivator.
The heartbeats of the Li Clan’s three elders quickened as they drew in a deep breath, flashing looks of gratitude to Qin Wentian.
Zhu Sha’s countenance sank, but he had nothing to say.
Qin Wentian couldn’t be bothered about him. He was frowning, and for some reason, his heart was still pounding rapidly. “Be careful, there’s something strange going on,” Qin Wentian warned in a low voice. Just as the sound of his voice faded, the ground they were standing on started to tremble.
“Indeed, the platform was a sacrificial altar.” Qin Wentian stared at the platform as his heart sank. There was a high possibility that the expedition into the secret realm this time around was different from what Hua Taixu and the rest experienced in the past.
“Wentian, Little Yi, come back here,” Bailu Jing called out, he could sense that something was wrong as people from the different camps started to assemble.
“BOOM!” Qin Wentian sank his palms towards the ground as he started to frenziedly inscribe Divine Inscriptions.
As the tremors grew increasingly intense, Qin Wentian’s speed became faster and faster. He could sense the energy fluctuations in the runic outlines of a Divine Inscription embedded underneath the ground.
“Brother Jing, help me to slash apart the surrounding grounds,” Qin Wentian called out. Bailu Jing immediately acted without delay, slicing with his palms, causing the ground about Qin Wentian to break apart. However, as a rumbling sound echoed, the surrounding earth started to move together, trying to recover.
“Continue breaking them apart, don’t let the ground converge together. I need some time!” Qin Wentian shouted. In the next moment, a raging wind gusted, as a terrifying current of airflow permeated the surroundings. No one had expected such a scenario to occur.
Those from the White Deer Institute stood in a circle surrounding Qin Wentian and Bailu Yi, and began slashing and destroying the surrounding ground. Qin Wentian rapidly slammed his palms downwards and momentarily, the outline of a gigantic Eight Trigram appeared.
“Sealing Formation.” Bailu Yi saw Qin Wentian inscribing sealing-type inscriptions and immediately understood what he wanted to do. Qin Wentian wanted to set up a sealing formation. Rumbling sounds rang out incessantly, the pressure emanating from the Ascendant statue grew increasingly stronger. The raging wind gusted with an unprecedented ferocity, as the magnitude of the tremors began to ignite explosions all about.
“ARGH…” A miserable shriek rang out, already there were people who had fallen. Qin Wentian’s hand speed increased to its maximum, yet he still tried his best to raise his pace. His attainment wasn’t high enough yet, and he still needed a long period of time before he could completely inscribe a powerful Inscription. “BREAK THE GROUND FASTER!” Bailu Jing roared. His finger glowed with Astral Light as he disappeared into the wind, rapidly moving about while slicing and slashing at the surrounding ground.
“RUMBLE!” Far away, towering mountains appeared from nowhere, rising tall from the ground.
Destruction reigned supreme as the ancient city crumbled apart, replaced by an entirely new landscape. The only thing that remained unchanged was the Ascendant statue high up in the skies.
“Altering the Heavens and transforming the Earth!” The hearts of the survivors all trembled. They knew that this time around, the secret realm’s trial would be a far different experience than what any of their predecessors had previously encountered!
Picture of an Eight Trigram: link