Translator: Silavin & PewPewLaserGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain
Yang Kai was now thinking about whether Chang Qi and Hao An could follow the Shadow Moon Hall disciples and act together with them; after all, if they all moved together, their safety factor would improve significantly.
Making two old fogeys follow a crowd of young men and women might seem a little awkward, but age was also synonymous with wisdom and experience. Chang Qi and Hao An weren’t weak and it wasn’t impossible for them to provide assistance to Shadow Moon Hall’s disciples.
However, when he mentioned this idea, both Chang Qi and Hao An shook their heads and refused.
This wasn’t because they were concerned about their ages being too far apart from those of Shadow Moon Hall’s disciples, but rather because their whole purpose in entering the Flowing Flame Sand Field was to seek out their own opportunities. Acting together with others wouldn’t be ideal as if they did, any benefits they obtained would have to be shared with the others in their group. The two of them didn’t even plan on travelling together, having already decided to split up after entering the Flowing Flame Sand Field.
Yang Kai thought about it and figured their plans had merit, so he didn’t insist.
Two days later, Qian Tong gathered everyone around and distributed entry passes and the small Yuan Magnetic Compass artefacts.
The Flowing Flame Sand Field was too large, and the sun, moon, and stars weren’t visible from the inside. Once someone entered, it was almost impossible to maintain one’s sense of direction. This Yuan Magnetic Compass was used to solve this problem.
Wei Gu Chang had mentioned this to Yang Kai before, and after receiving it and fiddling around with it for a bit, he immediately understood how it worked.
This compass was exquisitely refined so that no matter which way it or its owner turned, it would always point towards a specific location. With the help of such a guide, there was no need to worry about getting lost in the Flowing Flame Sand Field.
Yang Kai carefully stored the Yuan Magnetic Compass in his Space ring before sitting down cross-legged with Chang Qi and Hao An to meditate.
Over time, the dark red energy curtain covering the Flowing Flame Sand Field became less opaque while a number of unstable energy fluctuations burst out from inside its boundaries.
Sensing this, everyone stood up as they understood that this Forbidden Zone was about to open. Full of enthusiasm and eagerness, many people turned to stare at the Flowing Flame Sand Field with anticipation, wondering to themselves just what benefits hid inside.
Only the Origin Returning Realm masters who had led their disciples here showed worried looks.
Because they knew the dangers of the Flowing Flame Sand Field better than anyone! Most of these Origin Realm masters had entered this place four hundred years ago, and only after overcoming many dangers, did they manage to return alive. Those Origin Realm masters who had not entered this place though had at least seen records about it in the records of their respective Sects.
Although they were worried, none of these Origin Realm masters revealed much more than a slight frown.
They knew that if one wanted to obtain benefits, they had to pay a certain price, so even if it cost thousands of human lives, as long as the Core Disciples from their forces survived, they wouldn’t care.
Origin Returning Realm masters constantly flew over the heads of the crowd, shouting loudly to the Saint Kings who were about to enter the Flowing Flame Sand Field. Aside from encouragement, these masters were also warning them to remain cautious and to avoid conflict with others once inside.
How many people would actually listen to these warnings was unknown as, where there were benefits, there would be conflicts. Each time the Flowing Flame Sand Field opened, twenty to thirty percent of those who entered died as a direct result of competing for treasures with others.
Half a day later, the unstable energy fluctuations from the Flowing Flame Sand Field suddenly subsided and the energy curtain went from dark to pale red, also becoming somewhat stable.
There was also a section of the energy curtain that took the shape of a gate that was clearly lighter in colour than the rest.
The Flowing Flame Sand Field had officially opened!
The Elders from the various Sects swiftly brought their disciples towards the entrance and within moments, nearly three thousand people had crammed together, pushing shoulders as they tried to be first the enter.
More than a dozen Third Order Origin Returning Realm masters who were standing at the entrance saw these Saint Kings rush up and immediately released their Shi.
The whole world seemed to freeze over, with all the jostling Saint Kings going stiff, some of those with weaker strength even going pale as their clothes filled with sweat.
The sensation of being suppressed by the layers of Shi was quite uncomfortable, it was akin to feeling like one was no longer in control of their own life or death.
“What are you all so anxious about?” A ruddy-faced old man flew up into the sky and swept his eyes over the crowd in a majestic manner, shouting loudly in the next instant, “Line up for this old master! You’ll all enter one by one, anyone who dares try to rush ahead will immediately have the entry rights taken away!”
After listening to these words, all the Saint Kings started to line up honestly. Fortunately, the entrance was not small and could accommodate five lines with ease. Following the instructions of the old master, everyone who entered the Flowing Flame Sand Field displayed their entry pass so the many Origin Realm masters could inspect them. Anyone who did not have a pass was denied entry.
“Brother Yang, Brother Yang!”
As soon as Yang Kai brought Chang Qi and Hao An to the end of a line, he heard Wei Gu Chang call out to him.
Looking over, Yang Kai saw Wei Gu Chang and Dong Xuan’er standing in a separate line nearby, all the disciples of Shadow Moon Hall lined up behind them.
“Brother Wei,” Yang Kai smiled at him.
“Brother Yang, I’ll be sending out a general message through the communication artefact once everyone has entered. If you receive my message, it would be best if we could gather together. I also have a few Junior Brothers and Junior Sisters who will be accompanying me on this exploration. If we work together we should be able to break through the Flame Area in short order,” Wei Gu Chang said while pointing to a few people around him.
The young men and women he pointed to were clearly also Core Disciples of Shadow Moon Hall, and even if they weren’t as good as Wei Gu Chang and Dong Xuan’er, they shouldn’t have lagged too far behind. After hearing Wei Gu Chang’s words though, many of these people wore puzzled and uncertain looks.
Obviously they thought that if Yang Kai, a mere First-Order Saint King, was really to act together with them, he would be nothing but a burden. They were all the elites of Shadow Moon Hall, naturally, they didn’t want to bring a stranger like Yang Kai along for free.
Yang Kai simply nodded and replied, “Sure!”
Wei Gu Chang could tell he was just being perfunctory, but he didn’t raise any fuss. He had noticed when chatting with Yang Kai the other day that the latter seemed intent on acting alone.
The speed at which people entered was quite fast; after all, there were more than a dozen Third Order Origin Returning Realm masters standing around checking entry passes. After a Divine Sense swept their credentials, a cultivator could proceed to the entrance, and so the three thousand Saint Kings were reducing at a rapid rate.
Soon, it was Yang Kai’s turn.
Holding his entry pass, Yang Kai allowed the surrounding Origin Returning Realm master to inspect it with their Divine Senses, after which he heard Qian Tong’s voice, “Nephew Yang, please be careful inside, no matter what, you must return safely!”
Yang Kai nodded slightly towards Qian Tong before walking straight through the entrance.
A slight sense of dizziness then came over him and by the time Yang Kai recovered, he found himself submerged in a stiflingly hot environment.
All around him, waves of heat washed back and forth. The ground beneath his feet was also a kind of reddish-brown dirt that as a result of being baked at high temperatures for years on end had developed in a cracked crust. Spider-web like cracks spread out in all dictions; some were as small as shallow gullies while others were as large as canyons. As far as the eye could see, there were no signs of vegetation, only chaotic stone hills and piles of earth hindered one’s line of sight.
[Is this the Flame Area?]
Not using his Saint Qi to shield his body, Yang Kai felt a slight tingling sensation on his skin.
Even with his incredibly tough physique, he could still feel some pain just from standing here, so other Saint Kings who entered this place would likely have to use their Saint Qi to protect themselves from the omnipresent heat.
The World Energy here contained a strange type of fire attribute energy that was akin to poison if one tried to absorb it. As such, cultivators could only use Saint Crystals or pills to restore themselves. If one couldn’t at least restore themselves as fast as they expended energy here, they would soon become exhausted and fall into danger.
However, this slight tingling sensation didn’t hinder Yang Kai at all. He could weather Void Storms with his bare skin so this little bit of heat was not an issue.
This was only the outer periphery though, so Yang Kai believed if he travelled deeper into the Flowing Flame Sand field it would become progressively hotter.
There was no way to find one’s bearings in this place, and none of the cultivators who had walked through the entrance before him were anywhere to be seen. Obviously they had been sent to different locations than Yang Kai.
While others may not have been able to tell, Yang Kai noticed that the space in his surrounding was a bit unstable. It was likely because of this instability that cultivators who passed through the same entrance appeared in different locations inside the Flowing Flame Sand Field.
In front of him, a pale red flame-like aura was drifting about slowly. Yang Kai glanced around and found that there were actually many of these auras floating nearby, almost like tiny spirits flying through the air, providing a somewhat interesting scenery.
While observing his surroundings, Yang Kai felt a slight spatial fluctuation nearby and two figures soon appeared.
Clearly, they were cultivators who had passed through the entrance after him.
Both of these two were men and before they had time to take in the sights around them, their faces changed dramatically as they felt the blistering heat.
One of these two immediately pushed his Saint Qi to protect his body while the other, whose strength seemed higher, had not done so right away. However, the latter man quickly began sweating as a result.
Yang Kai’s brow furrowed slightly when he noticed that the cultivator who was using Saint Qi to shield himself was actually wearing a Shadow Moon Hall disciple uniform.
After these two managed to stabilize themselves, they began looking around. Discovering that there were actually two others here, the look on the face of the disciple from Shadow Moon Hall changed slightly, especially when he saw Yang Kai, a strange light flashing across his eyes.
This man didn’t even try to greet Yang Kai though and simply identified a direction and ran off.
On the other hand, the other man looked at Yang Kai thoughtfully, grinned, and called out sincerely, “Friend, are you interested moving together with me?”
“No. I’m not interested!” Yang Kai said indifferently.
He didn’t even want to move together with Wei Gu Chang, much less this man of unknown origin.
The man didn’t seem to think that Yang Kai would refuse him so flatly, rubbed his nose awkwardly but didn’t push the issue, cupping his fists before also walking off.