Editor: Dhael Ligerkeys
Chu Qing looked over to the other side of the valley where Hidden Light Sanctuary was. Their Legate, Gu Canyang was watching her with a cold look, and vice versa.
Hidden Light Sanctuary and the House of Wintry Blossoms were neighbors, so of course they hated each other’s guts. Moreover, they were competing for the fortunes within the Rift of Fortune this time. They were absolutely going to destroy one another when they went inside and the opportunity presented itself.
The reason no one was making a move was because the Rift of Fortune still wasn’t open. There was no need to start a quarrel just yet.
Chu Qing glanced left and right in search of any cultivator that might deserve her attention. It wasn’t long before she saw a large man wearing a tattered hemp shirt that bared half of his chest. Her pupils contracted. If she wasn’t mistaken, the independent cultivator was none other than the famous Ju Jia.
Ju Jia was quite famous among the independent cultivators, so much so that all nearby sects were made aware of his name. In fact, Hidden Light Sanctuary and Lofty Plume Court had tried to recruit him before.
Normally, the sects would not recruit a Ninth-Order independent cultivator due to various concerns. However, they were all willing to make an exception for Ju Jia not just because he was simple-minded, but because he was unlike any other body-tempering cultivator they had ever known.
For starters, it was said that Ju Jia had never taken a life since he began cultivating. It was unthinkable that there existed a cultivator on the Spirit Creek Battlefield who had never taken a life, but Ju Jia was apparently the exception to the rule.
There were several reasons why Ju Jia had survived until now despite killing no one. The first reason was his spell cultivator companion. Assuming that the rumors were true, the duo had teamed up since they were Second or Third-Order, and the spell cultivator was the one who did all of the killing.
The second reason was that Ju Jia was extraordinarily tough. Practically no one at his cultivation level could break through his defense, and even those who were one or even two minor realms above him had a hard time injuring him. Somehow, the duo were able to make it from the Second or Third-Order all the way to the Ninth-Order.
The reason Hidden Light Sanctuary and Lofty Plume Court failed to recruit Ju Jia was because of the spell cultivator. The guy seemed to think of Ju Jia as his money tree and refused to give him up to anyone else.
The fact that Ju Jia was here meant that he would be entering the Rift of Fortune, and Chu Qing did not want to know what would happen if they were to clash against one another. The good news was that Ju Jia wasn’t standing with the cultivators of Hidden Light Sanctuary, which meant that he was probably still working with his spell cultivator companion. They should be fine as long as they did not provoke him on purpose.
Chu Qing began looking for the spell cultivator to confirm her suspicions. The spell cultivator was extremely recognizable because of his short stature and short mustaches. [That man’s a bad egg no matter how you look at it.]
Her eyes were just skipping past Lu Ye when she abruptly retrained her gaze on him. She then poured Spiritual Power into her eyes and examined him closely. She slowly narrowed her eyes when she confirmed she wasn’t seeing things.
[Why is that man here? This aura… he’s Eighth-Order already?’
She was shocked because he was a Fifth-Order cultivator just a few months ago. This meant that he had climbed three minor realms in just the span of a few months.
She carefully withdrew her gaze and stared at her feet. She slowly clenched her fists as murderous intent began to flow out of her body.
On the other side, Lu Ye felt like someone was watching him and shot the House of Wintry Blossoms a glance. Unfortunately, he couldn’t be sure because there were too many people. It could just be his imagination.
It was around this time Amber finished eating the meat it was given and leaped back to Lu Ye’s shoulder.
Seemingly reluctant to let Amber go, the body-tempering cultivator asked in a low, muffled voice, “What is its name?”
The body-tempering cultivator nodded. “Ju Jia.”
It was probably his name.
It was at this moment a massive ship appeared from the horizon and flew toward the valley at high speed. The cultivators of the House of Wintry Blossoms perked up when they saw it because it belonged to none other than their allied sect, Sunlit Mountain.
A while later, the massive flying Spirit Artifact landed on a flat ground on the other side of the valley. Then, a group of one hundred cultivators led by a handsome young man stepped off the ship and met up with the House of Wintry Blossoms right away. For a time, the atmosphere grew warm and cheery as both sides engaged each other in a pleasant conversation. It was obvious that the two sects shared a close relationship.
On the other hand, the cultivators of Hidden Light Sanctuary wore grim expressions on their faces. Ji Yuan—the same guy who had attempted recruit Lu Ye earlier—walked up to a man with bronze skin and asked in a low voice, “How much longer until Lofty Plume Court arrives, senior brother?”
The man with bronze skin was the leader of this Hidden Light Sanctuary group. He was also the Legate of their Outpost, Gu Canyang.
“I don’t think they’ll arrive in time,” Gu Canyang replied. “Last I checked, they’re still four to six hours away from our location, and it looks like the Rift of Fortune could open at any moment.”
Ji Yan looked deeply worried. “What do we do then? We’ll be fighting one against two if we head in right now. Should we withdraw?”
Gu Canyang shook his head. “What do you think will happen if we retreat without even putting up a fight? Our sect will become a laughingstock for months to come. Don’t worry, the situation might not necessarily be disadvantageous to us. With luck, the Rift of Fortune this time could be one where superior numbers do not provide an advantage.”
It was at this moment the fog in the valley began moving rapidly.
“It’s about to open!” Someone shouted.
The entire valley fell silent as if a silencing spell had been cast over everyone’s mouth. They were all staring at the fog in front of them.
The fog continued to churn and converge in multiple locations. Soon, many vortices of varying sizes appeared across the valley.
It didn’t take long before the churning fog abruptly turned still once more. However, the vortices were still present and leaking some sort of unspeakable aura.
“Senior brother,” Ji Yan called out.
Gu Canyang raised his hand and sliced the air in front of him. “Forward!”
Since he had decided to enter the Rift of Fortune, he wasn’t going to quit at the last possible moment. As if to prove his resolve to his sect mates, he walked toward the closest vortex and jumped straight into it, vanishing immediately. Behind him, the cultivators of Hidden Light Sanctuary followed closely.
On the other side of the valley, the House of Wintry Blossoms and Sunlit Mountain were doing the same thing. They were all entering the mysterious vortices that led them to god-knows-where. Same thing with the independent cultivators.
The spell cultivator had returned to Ju Jia’s side. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to recruit a single person. In his head, he grumbled how the times had changed, and people were far more heartless than they used to be, so much so that he couldn’t even recruit a single helper. When he saw that Ju Jia was still eating his food like nothing was going on, he became so frustrated that he kicked the body-tempering cultivator once before barking, “Get up! It’s time to go!”
Ju Jia shoved all the meat in his hands into his mouth, filling up his cheeks like a balloon. Then, he followed the short cultivator into a vortex.
Lu Ye had leaped into the vortex next to theirs. He was hoping that he could peer through the vortex somehow, but unfortunately there was no such luck.
As he passed through the vortex and entered a foggy world, he suddenly felt an invisible energy wrapping around his entire body and holding him in the air.
There were noises all around him. When he looked around, he saw that all the cultivators who entered the vortices ahead of him were frozen in mid-air as well.
He looked behind himself. There were many holes in the grayish sky, and cultivators kept pouring in through them. He tried to channel his Spiritual Power but found that he was unable to muster even the slightest bit of energy.
“Fuck! It’s the motherfucking Lost City of Xianyuan!” Someone shouted.
The shout was like a bomb in a pond. Countless people began shouting obscenities on top of their lungs.
Lu Ye looked beneath his feet. He saw a massive city with incredibly impressive structures sprawling across a vast land. However, it was also in tatters as if it had just been ravaged by war. Even its humongous walls—some as tall as several hundred meters—were collapsed in several sections
Not only that, he spotted massive claw marks on some parts of the walls. There were also massive patches of dark blood that gave off a pitch black smoke and a terrible sense of misfortune. It was almost as if the walls had been scaled by some sort of massive creatures.
Lu Ye narrowed his eyes with a serious expression on his face. According to the information he bought from the Divine Trade Association, the Rift of Fortune was connected to many different pocket dimensions. Each one contained the ruins of an ancient faction, and no one knew when they were founded or how they were destroyed.
In fact, a good number of these pocket dimensions were safe and filled with all kinds of treasures. They were probably the valuables left behind by the vanquished factions, and a good number of them had entered the pockets of the cultivators throughout the years.
Some people had discovered an ancient herb garden in the Rift of Fortune, and every herb it contained was valuable beyond imagination.
Some people had found a Spirit Treasure and become powerful overnight.
And some people had even received the inheritance of a peak champion…
This was why the Rift of Fortune was so attractive to the cultivators. Every time it appeared, they would swarm to it like bees to honeys.
However, some ruins were more dangerous than the others, and the Lost City of Xianyuan was among the most dangerous a cultivator could enter. It was because some of the dangers in this city were practically irresistible as a mere Spirit Creek Realm cultivator. Death was almost a certainty if one came across these dangers.
Not only that, the Lost City of Xianyuan was overflowing with apparitions. These apparitions seemed to be Xianyuan City cultivators who died in the past and, for whatever reason, were turned into apparitions and trapped here. Most of these apparitions were mindless creatures who could only act as their instincts dictated, although there were some unique apparitions who still had their minds.
Therefore, enemy cultivators weren’t the only dangers in this place. The city itself was one giant death trap.
Lu Ye recalled everything he knew about the Lost City of Xianyuan while looking at a massive palace at the center of the city. He vowed to himself to never set foot in that place because it was the residence of the city lord. In other words, the apparition of the city lord himself was inside that building!
Meanwhile, the shouts and curses of his fellow cultivators had gotten louder. They would never have entered this Rift of Fortune if they knew it was connected to the Lost City of Xianyuan. Everyone loved valuables, but what was the point if they wouldn’t live to use them?
Lu Ye didn’t lower himself to their level, but he was a bit disappointed with this outcome. There was a pocket dimension containing a vast number of valuable ancient scriptures called the Great Brahman Library. Although the scriptures themselves could not be carried out of the rift for whatever reason, it was overflowing with all kinds of inheritances including that of Glyphweavers.
Of all the pocket dimensions, the Great Brahman Library was the most desired because of its low risk, high reward nature.