Shen Yin Wang Zuo, Chapter 312: Illusory Shrine (II)
Being near him, Cai’er immediately felt the changes on Long Haochen’s body. She also had a similar reaction, but it was nowhere as intense as Long Haochen’s.
After all, he was the Scion of Light, and since the growth of vegetation was intricately linked to light, the call of nature didn’t manifest only through sensation for him, but through real magic effects. It was one of the gentlest forms of existing magic, and able to provide an enormous amplification to his elemental affinity, while also weakening him to some extent.
The current Long Haochen was just like Cai’er at the time she had first entered the Tower of Eternity. Right at this moment, his soul was not only filled with insights of understanding, but just flooded with warmth. This was a total submersion. It was as if his body and even his spiritual energy were purified by the call of nature. And all the impurities were cleansed from within, completely disappearing.
In comparison, the demons’ condition wasn’t good. All of their brows were furrowed, and their bodies were emitting a black gas from while they were trying to resist the natural energy from their surroundings. If not for Huang Shuo’s instructions, they would already have lashed out, trying to destroy the surrounding vegetation.
The nature was full of the world’s vitality, whereas darkness was full of shadows and coldness, so an incompatibility between these two entities was unavoidable.
Huang Shuo said to Ling Xiao, “Walk a bit faster if you can. My clansmen and me don’t like this place. If it takes too long, I won’t be able to guarantee that I can control them long enough.”
Ling Xiao gave the calm reply, “Just give it a try then. Although our cooperation is only temporary, we won’t resort to any tricks since you fulfilled your promise. I will just repeat once again that this is the residence of the goddess of nature. It won’t be a breach of our agreement if you damage the environment here, and the Illusory Shrine forbids you entry.”
Huang Shuo wrinkled his brows, but quickly returned to normal. Nodding calmly, he didn’t say anything more.
In the forest, the road was rugged and hard to pass, but this didn’t affect the progress of these powerhouses. Before departing, Ling Xiao had repeatedly warned the forces of the Alliance that they mustn’t damage the plants here no matter what, or it would be regarded as hostility against the Illusory Forest.
As they advanced towards the heart of the forest, the aura of nature grew stronger. If these were ordinary demons, they would perhaps not have been able to resist acting against the vegetation, but since there were powerhouses of the ninth step among them, they naturally had their own ways to deal with the situation. At least for the time being, no problem had emerged on this aspect.
Ling Xiao didn’t plan on doing anything inside the Illusory Forest, honoring the deal between the two parties. Although demons and humans were sworn enemies, during their long history, there had been some particular circumstances when they came to make deals or transactions, and at least until now, there hadn’t been yet a day when either of the sides did not abide by their commitments, or else these kinds of deals would probably stop being accepted. Thus, both the human and the demon side had a minimum set of rules they had to adhere to.
More importantly, the situation in the Illusory Paradise wasn’t so peaceful either, and Ling Xiao didn’t believe that they could handle the demons assigned to this operation. Therefore, there was no problem about letting them enter?
More than one hour after they entered the forest, the landscape suddenly became open and clear, and the dense part of woods turned into a large area of shrubs. The instant their line of sight became so wide, even the demons couldn’t help but let out repeated gasps.
That’s right, this place was just too beautiful.
This was an ocean of vegetations, which may even be called an ocean of flowers. As far as the eye could see, only shrubs, roughly one meter high, seem to occupy the area in a radius of a hundred square kilometers. On top of these shrubs grew various kind of flowers, each one more beautiful than the one next to it, while each of them was exceptionally enchanting.
At every step they took, a different kind of smell could be perceived. In addition, some mist had formed in the air, making the sunshine of this day look a lot less dazzling. Hazy and soft lusters undulated in this world of flowers. It was truly worthy of being described as Illusory[ref]in the good meaning, as this character also means dream in chinese[/ref].
Inside of this ocean of flowers extended a small lake. It wasn’t large in size, however over the approximative two hundred meters diameter it extended, the water essence was even richer and the aura of life gently spread outwards, from it.
Ling Xiao stopped walking, looking at the nearby lake, “We have arrived, this is precisely the place.”
Huang Shuo looked at him with some hesitation, “Where is the Illusory Shrine?”
Ling Xiao replied, “It’s right inside the lake.”
“What?” Huang Shuo replied, “Don’t tell me that we’ll have to dive underwater?” Contrarily to what one may expect, their Black Dragon race didn’t have any reluctance toward water, and could even drago-form inside of water.
Ling Xiao replied with some disdain, “Diving underwater is indeed a way to access the Illusory Shrine. You can try it if you want, but do you think it would be so simple to access a place that only opens once every hundred years? If this was only about diving underwater, why would we even have to wait hundred years?”
Huang Shuo asked with some doubt, “What’s there in this water? Is it a seal?”
Ling Xiao responded, “Why should I tell you without compensation?” As he said this, he extended his right hand towards Huang Shuo.
Some changes appeared on Huang Shuo’s unresigned face, but still, he took something out of a storage and placed it in Ling Xiao’s hand.
Looking at the object, Ling Xiao’s ordinarily strict face immediately revealed a rare smile, followed with the calm words, “All good, let me tell you. In the water of this lake exists an almighty antique entity. From the records we have, this was the guardian of the goddess of nature back in the past. It lived here for at least several thousands of years. If you are not afraid of death, you can dive underwater and look for yourself at the strength of this almighty entity over here.”
Huang Shuo revealed surprise, “A magical beast from the antique times? Do you know to what race it belongs to?”
Ling Xiao extended his hand yet another time, and although the nearby Han Qian raised his head, the former didn’t manage to conceal the smile on his face.
Huang Shuo declared in anger, “Don’t be excessive.”
Ling Xiao revealed an unexpectedly innocent look, “You can also stop asking, you know?”
Resisting the urge to show his fury, Huang Shuo took out another piece of the same thing as before, placing it nn Ling Xiao’s hand, “Speak.”
Ling Xiao’s facial expression changed slowly, muttering silently but resolutely, “Telling you isn’t much; in this lake resides a Fairy Dragon.”
Huang Shuo let out a ragged breath, his originally furious face returning to normal. With a nod he said, “Thank you.”
Right at that moment Ling Xiao felt something abnormal, How could this fellow so easily hand over two pieces of Dragon Ointment, just to exchange it for these two pieces of information? From his appearance, it seems as if he didn’t suffer any loss. Could there be a problem about the fact that I gave him that information? He couldn’t help but feel some regret deep inside, but since everything was already said and done, it is already too late for regret.
Huang Shuo said, “Since a Fairy Dragon resides in the lake, how should we enter?”
Ling Xiao replied, “In at most one day, the Illusory Shrine will open anew. At that time, a passage to the shore will be formed. We will just have to pass through it to enter the Illusory Paradise.”
With a thoughtful look, Huang Shuo responded, “Let’s just wait and see.” Saying that, he led the group of demon powerhouses to sit nearby. When they arrived together at this lakeside housing the Illusory Shrine, the aura of nature had started to corrode them gradually. Hundreds of buildings started to surround the place, giving rise to a very peaceful scene.
The Temple Alliance’s forces did the same: everyone sat in succession, waiting for the opening of the Illusory Shrine.
Long Haochen inadvertently looked in the direction of the demons, happening to meet with the charismatic Yue Ye’s eyes. He also met Leng Xiao’s gaze. However, the two of these girls gave him completely different looks.
Yue Ye was beaming with a smile, filled with gentleness and warmth, just as if she was looking at her lover. But Leng Xiao had a very fierce look, as if her eyes were going to pierce Long Haochen.
Yue Ye’s expression suddenly changed. She turned her head instantly, because she felt Cai’er’s gaze on her. Leng Xiao however was looking at Long Haochen and Cai’er without any fear, even showing her own clenched fist.
Seated in front of Yue Ye and Ling Xiao was a youth, who looked to be the leader of the demon group heading into the Illusory Paradise. With a tall build, he looked about twenty in appearance, and the most peculiar thing about him was that he not only had black hair but also black eyes. He calmly sat there, cross-legged and very serene, as if the aura surrounding his body was nonexistent.
Long Haochen’s look was very naturally attracted by this black-haired black-eyed youth, feeling an intense threat from the counterpart’s tranquil state.
That youth seemed to have felt Long Haochen’s attentive watch, because he slowly turned his head. At the split second their gazes met, all Long Haochen saw was nothingness, while the black-haired youth saw only purity. However, at the first time they looked at each other, they unexpectedly didn’t have any hostility towards each other, as if they weren’t natural enemies.
This black-haired black-eyed youth looked extremely handsome, and seeing him, Long Haochen seemed to have a familiar feeling of déjà vu, just as if he had seen him before in some place.
The look of that youth suddenly became cold, and he emitted a sharp murderous intent. However, Long Haochen could feel that this killing intent was forcefully set free, and didn’t contain any actual desire to kill.
What’s the matter with him? Could it be that I have seen him before? However, Long Haochen felt very confident toward his own memory, and didn’t remember having seen this youth ever before.
Turning his head away, and not looking at his counterpart anymore, Long Haochen slowly closed his eyes, and let himself be immersed in this place filled with nature. While the others felt the aura of nature weaken here, it was exactly the opposite for Long Haochen. He discovered that although the aura of nature seemed weaker close to the lake, it was extremely pure. Thus it gave one the feeling of being weakened by it. This was because the pure aura of nature rejected humans in general. As if fearing to be soiled by their impurity, it was unwilling to approach them.
The purest aura of nature flowed through Long Haochen’s body, purifying it while providing moisture. A fantastic feeling of understanding started to emerge from this, and indistinctly, Long Haochen felt himself grabbing on to something. Gradually, his heart became more and more tranquil.