Shen Yin Wang Zuo, Chapter 311: Illusory Shrine (I)
Over the past month, the Southern Mountain’s City had regained part of its vigor, but the casualties were still in everyone’s mind. Not long before, this had after all been the location of a devastating battle.
Currently, the defenses of Southern Mountain’s City were obviously astonishing, after all, many elites were residing inside the city. In total, there were the Saint Knight Regiment from the Knight Temple, three Emperor grade Demon Hunt Squads, and four King grade Demon Hunt Squads, as well as hundreds of powerhouses of the Six Great Temples, all guarding the borders of the Southern Mountain’s City.
Over the past month, the second batch of reinforcements had already arrived in the Southern Mountain’s City. Even if the demons attacked once more, they were prepared to respond in kind. Half of the destroyed Magic Cannons had already been repaired whereas the heavily damaged ones would be directly replaced with new ones. But of course, this required time.
The auxiliary master of the Priest Temple, Ling Xiao, and the auxiliary master of the Knight Temple, Han Qian, were standing in the middle of the ranks, scrutinizing the horizon. At their backs were ten youths clad in martial attire, and among them, Long Haochen and Cai’er.
The competition had already ended, and Long Haochen and Cai’er both obtained the right to enter the Illusory Paradise with the performances they showed. Now that the awaited day had arrived, they were about to explore that mysterious place.
“They are here,” Han Qian said in low voice.
From afar, a formless oppressive feeling slowly emerged. Upon closing the distance, everyone saw a heap of black clouds rapidly heading in their direction.
Gazing into the distance, Long Haochen couldn’t help but shiver. This wasn’t any kind of black clouds! Those were Black Dragons, personal guard of the Demon God Emperor!? And they weren’t low in quantity!
The black dragons approached gradually, descending slowly before reaching the ground, at a distance of a thousand meters from the forces of the Temple Alliance.
Long Haochen counted them, learning to his surprise that there were three Black Dragons, among which the tallest reached a size of forty meters. On their backs they carried dozens of other demons. To be qualified to ride on the Black Dragons, they could obviously not be ordinary demons.
After the three Black Dragons landed on the ground, a strong aura of darkness assaulted everyone’s senses. The black haze hiding them from view rapidly shrank as they shrank to the shape of robust humans, heading in the direction of the Temple Alliance’s forces.
Approaching the vanguard was a tall, charming and imposing middle-aged man. Before transforming, he had also been the the most imposing Black Dragon of the three.
The most extraordinary thing was that the two by his side weren’t part of the Black Dragon’s imperial guard, but two purple-haired and purple-eyed extremely handsome middle-aged men.
Against all expectations, Long Haochen had already seen these two before. It shocked him even more to find out that they were two of the four most imposing demons he saw back then in the Moon Palace. They were the right-arms of the Moon Demon God, that could be said to be like one among ten thousand in the Moon Demon Clan.
Behind these three came the other two members of the imperial Black Dragon guard, and Moon Demon Clan powerhouses, as well as a dozen orange-haired and orange-eyed people, who looked like humans on the outside, but radiated an ephemeral feeling.
These were people from the Star Demon Clan, and looking at them, Long Haochen could guess what their identities were. The Star Demon God was the great prophet of the Demons, and his clansmen were also the best mages among demons. They were among the rarely-seen kind of dual-types; being both, magician and warrior, but because of this, their magic was even more powerful.
No one had expected that for the exploration of the Illusory Paradise, the top three demon races would all dispatch powerhouses. And seeing such an army, it could easily be said that they would certainly have a good chance to besiege the Southern Mountain’s Gate.
Among these demon powerhouses were ten youthful demons, that belonged to diverse races. Because they were still far away, and blocked from view by the demons in front of them, they were still unidentifiable.
Very quickly, these demon powerhouses arrived in front of the Temple Alliance’s troops. The sturdy man that looked to be the leader of the Black Dragon forces declared, “I am the leader of the imperial Black Dragon guard controlled by the Demon God Emperor, Huang Shuo. Leader of your group, come out to talk.”
With a snort, Ling Xiao was the one to reply, “Auxiliary Hall Master of the Priest Temple Ling Xiao. Wow, none of your Demon Gods came today, but only their lackeys?” Despite the formidable power of the enemy force, how could he put himself in a disadvantageous position in his function as a representative of the Six Great Temples.
That’s right, this time, not a single Demon God came, however, these demon powerhouses’ strength was mostly comparable with that of Demon Gods in the second half of the rankings. In fact, more than a tenth of the Demon God Emperor’s imperial Black Dragon guard had come today! That was the absolute power of the Demon God Emperor.
The leader of the imperial Black Dragon guard calmly replied, “There’s no meaning in trying to overwhelm your side with an overkill of strength only to show off. According to the agreement, let’s do things properly. His Majesty, being so magnanimous, has agreed to your offer. Now it should be your turn to comply.”
Ling Xiao didn’t stop being on alert just because of his counterparts frankness. On the opposite, he felt shivers run down his spine. With the leader of the imperial Black Dragon forces being so calm and steady, he will definitely not be easy to handle.
“Come with us.” Right after saying that, Ling Xiao waved his hand.
Immediately, a few enormous green creatures approached unhurriedly from the side, stamping the ground with their massive weight.
These were Green Pengs, magical beasts of the seventh rank. Although their defensive and offensive abilities were not that strong, they had a formidable build, even exceeding those Black Dragons of the imperial army in size. They were experts in long-distance flight and carrying weight, and only the Priest Temple raised them, since after all, priests were rather weak physically, and unable to travel on mounts for long distances.
A total of ten Green Pengs approached, crawling on the ground. Led by Ling Xiao, the human powerhouses mounted the Green Pengs, and headed north.
The imperial Black Dragon guards changed back to their dragon form. After their powerhouses mounted them, they followed closely behind, maintaining a distance of approximately one kilometer from the Green Pengs.
Among the ten people dispatched by the Alliance there was, aside from Cai’er, yet another acquaintance of Long Haochen. The captain of the 8th general grade Demon Hunt Squad, Zhang Fangfang, had also managed to win an entry permission to the Illusionary Paradise. He was surprisingly at the peak of the sixth step and had managed to come out victorious after his past hardships.
At that moment, Long Haochen wasn’t calm at all. While Ling Xiao and Huang Shuo were conversing, he had spotted two familiar faces, and was sure that the other party had also seen him. Those were Yue Ye and Leng Xiao.
The two of them actually participated in this time’s operation, and from what Long Haochen knew about them, he was absolutely sure that they were going to enter the Illusory Palace with him.
Long Haochen knew about Yue Ye’s identity, and also had some guesses about Leng Xiao. He was just surprised because he didn’t expect that Leng Xiao too would have such a high position among the demons.
Leng Xiao was without a doubt an enemy, so her life or death wouldn’t matter in any way, but Yue Ye was their collaborator. It could be said that if not for Yue Ye’s help, they would have suffered great hardships back in the Desolate Hissing Cavern, and very possibly, most of their squad would have been wiped out. Especially during their return trip, it was because of Yue Ye’s help that everything had gone smoothly and that they had returned alive. Having such a collaborator among the demons was undoubtedly a good thing for the 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad, and they would have many more opportunities to benefit from it in the future.
The insides of the Illusory Paradise weren’t as wonderful as its name inferred.
The day before, Ling Xiao had extremely seriously shared very detailed information regarding the Illusory Paradise to all the participants of the operation. This key information had been gained by the loss of countless human lives.
Cai’er said in a low voice, “Haochen, don’t worry. We will give her some help when the time comes and she will be fine.”
“Hmh?” Long Haochen gave Cai’er a surprised look.
Cai’er calmly continued, “She carries the seal from the Dagger of Samsara unleashed by my Spiritual Stove of Samsara inside of her body, so her life or death is within my grasp. There’s no need to fear any of her tricks. To our future course of actions, this woman will be important, so we cannot let her die here.”
Cai’er’s words helped Long Haochen to strengthen his resolve. In response, he nodded to her.
The Illusory Shrine was located sixty kilometers to the north of the Southern Mountain’s City, inside of a forest. Be it the Green Pengs or the Black Dragons, this was a distance that only took a few blinks of an eye to cover.
From a distance, a large area of dense forest could entirely be seen in their line of sight. Looking down at the vegetation of the forest from the sky, they could all sense the large scale that this forest had reached. This could have only been accomplished through several thousand years of growth.
Under Ling Xiao’s indications, the Green Pengs slowly landed outside of the forest. As everyone successively dismounted the Green Pengs, the demons did the same.
Accompanied by the two Devil Kings from the Moon Demon Clan, Huang Shuo asked in a low voice, “Why are we not directly entering by flight?”
Leng Xiao replied with a snort, “You can try if you want. This land belongs to the scope of the Illusory Shrine, which is the shrine the goddess of nature left. And this forest is sheltered by this same goddess of nature. You want to directly enter by flight? It’s too early for you, but your Demon God Emperor should be able to.”
Huang Shuo calmly replied, “Let’s just go then.”
The two of them led their respective groups, advancing inside the forest.
When they entered the forest, the atmosphere instantly changed, but it was not the impression of feeling fresh and clean air. A sweet insipid scent penetrated into their hearts, as if cleaning their spirit, and this hard to describe feeling of serenity caused everyone to feel exceptionally cozy.
The sounds of the birds and insects was extremely distinct, and the water, earth and light elemental fluctuations were extremely strong.
Long Haochen had the strongest impression from that. When he took his first step into the forest, he immediately had a feeling of warmth, as if heading back home. It was as if everything there was beautiful, and had a feeling of intimacy for him. Every blade of grass and every tree was smiling to him, and the light element surrounded him softly. Water and earth elemental particles were also spiralling around him, moistening his body.
With such a splendid feeling, Long Haochen felt that his spirit was cleansed over and over again, as all his negative feelings and worries faded away peacefully. Indistinctly, a layer of mildly transparent light covered his skin. It was as if the call of nature made him feel as light as feather.