Translator: Silavin & PewPewLaserGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Taking advantage of this opportunity, Yang Kai looked at the cultivators who had accompanied Fei Zhi Tu here. There were three Origin Returning Realm masters, one of whom was a middle-aged man who appeared to be about the same age as Fei Zhi Tu and had reached the Second-Order. The other two were an old man and an old woman who were both First-Order Origin Returning Realm cultivators.
However, although these two were just First-Order Origin Realm masters, their auras were deep and steady, very different from those who had only recently broken through to the Origin Realm. These two should have been immersed in the Origin Realm for many years and possess great strength.
The appearance of these Origin Returning Realm masters made Yang Kai feel a little relieved. It seemed that Fei Zhi Tu was not unprepared. Moreover, with the current unstable situation, secretly gathering these Origin Realm helpers must have been quite difficult.
After all, this operation was to rescue Qian Tong, so it would definitely have been inconvenient to requisition helpers from Shadow Moon Hall. At the same time, it was also necessary to ensure no one realized this rescue mission was taking place. It actually came as a surprise to Yang Kai that so many Origin Returning Realm masters had been recruited. With this many masters and a Third-Order Origin Returning Realm powerhouse leading this operation, security shouldn’t be a problem. The only concern now was whether there were any hidden dangers inside the Ancient Ruin.
Fei Zhi Tu exchanged a few words with the Origin Realm masters he brought with him before addressing Yang Kai and the other youths, “It looks like you kids have already gotten acquainted. En, very good, during this trip there will be a place for each of you to contribute, so forming a mutual understanding will be of great benefit. As long as this trip is successful, this City Lord will certainly write down this favour. After we return, you may tell your respective Patriarchs that if they have need of my help in the future, they need only ask.”
Cai He, Du Si Si, and Lian Guang all heard this and showed joyful looks as they quickly thanked Fei Zhi Tu.
“Good! Now that everyone is here, let’s set out!” Fei Zhi Tu waved his hand, summoned an Origin Grade Low-Rank Star Shuttle, boarded it, and led the way.
Yang Kai thought he would introduce the three other Origin Returning Realm masters to him and the other youths, but apparently Fei Zhi Tu had no such intentions, so after snapping out of his daze, Yang Kai quickly summoned his own Star Shuttle and followed.
From the chat he had with Cai He just now, Yang Kai had learned from him that the only objective of this trip was the rescue Qian Tong from the Ancient Ruins, but where these Ancient Ruins were, Fei Zhi Tu had not disclosed.
Even now that everyone had gathered together and were currently on their way, Fei Zhi Tu apparently still had no intention to explain. This caused Yang Kai to feel a bit annoyed, but he didn’t try to ask anything and simply followed along for now.
The three Origin Returning Realm masters who came with Fei Zhi Tu seemed to be very interested in Yang Kai and would use their Divine Sense or eyes to examine him from time to time, especially the old man. When Yang Kai looked back once, the other party actually nodded to him with a smile, showing a kind and amiable look, causing Yang Kai a great deal of confusion, he really wanted to know what kind of snake oil this old man was trying to pedal.
Although the Second-Order Origin Returning Realm cultivator and the old woman didn’t show such obvious favour, they were clearly displaying goodwill towards Yang Kai as well.
Yang Kai understood that these three people shouldn’t have any ill intentions towards him, but receiving such obvious favour for no apparent reason caused him to become tense and he immediately decided to keep his mouth shut and focus entirely on hurrying along. To Yang Kai, the fewer incidents he got caught up in the better because he had so many things to do. If not for the need to rescue Qian Tong this time, Yang Kai had planned to hole up in Dragon Cave Mountain for a long retreat to study various Secret Techniques.
Also, since the Firebird Artifact Spirit woke up, the efficiency of refining the Dragon Bone and Dragon Bead had greatly increased, decreasing the amount of time it would take to finish this process from several years to just a few months. Yang Kai wanted to immediately enter retreat and use the power of the Artifact Refining Furnace and the Artifact Spirit to fully refine these two treasures.
The people in this group of eight all seemed quite reticent. At the beginning, Cai He laughed and tried to interact with Du Si Si, but after being rebuffed several times, he gave up trying to court favour with this arrogant young lady.
After flying for four days straight, Fei Zhi Tu arrived at a large rolling mountain range and came to a stop, landing a moment later.
The remaining seven naturally followed behind him.
A moment later, the crowd stood outside this mountain range and Fei Zhi Tu took out a yellowed map from his Space Ring before studying it carefully.
“Isn’t this Fallen Emperor Mountain?” Cai He wondered, asking in surprise, “Is the Ancient Ruin we’re entering inside Fallen Emperor Mountain?”
“That can’t be, can it? How many people come to Fallen Emperor Mountain every year? Even you and I have come here a few times, but I’ve never heard anything about an Ancient Ruin. If there really is an Ancient Ruin here, why hasn’t word of it leaked out?” Du Si Si shook her head slowly.
While these two were talking amongst themselves, Yang Kai was busy observing this so-called Fallen Emperor Mountain. It was his first time hearing about this mountain range and naturally the first time he had come here so, of course, he knew nothing about it. Looking around, all Yang Kai could tell was that this mountain range was expansive, stretching out beyond the horizon. It was hard to tell just how vast this lush and verdant mountain range was, but the weirdest part about it was that it was completely quiet, without even the song of birds or insects in the air.
Yang Kai also couldn’t see any traces of beasts wandering about, confusing him greatly.
“Hoho, is this little friend’s first time coming to Fallen Emperor Mountain?” Just when Yang Kai was feeling puzzled, the old man came up to him suddenly, stroking his white beard and asking with a smile.
“Yes, this is indeed Junior’s first time here,” Yang Kai’s brow furrowed, not understanding why this old man had suddenly taken the initiative to talk to him.
“No wonder. En, this old man is Ning Xiang Chen!” The old man actually turned his head and introduced himself with a smile. Although this only caused Yang Kai to feel even more suspicious, he still returned the greeting politely; after all, this old man was clearly his senior.
But this wasn’t the end to this strange situation. The old man named Ning Xiang Chen next pointed to the old lady and the middle-aged Second-Order Origin Returning Realm man and introduced them to Yang Kai, both of them showing him a smile and offering some casual praise to him.
Several Origin Returning Realm masters suddenly taking the initiative to show goodwill towards Yang Kai naturally shocked Cai He and the other youths. None of them could understand what it was about Yang Kai that warranted such favourable treatment. Du Si Si was particularly incensed, seemingly feeling that Yang Kai had robbed her of the limelight.
“Several Seniors, may I ask what is so special about this Fallen Emperor Mountain?” Yang Kai took advantage of a pause in their words to quickly change the subject. By now, Yang Kai could tell that these three Origin Realm masters probably had something they wanted to ask of him, otherwise, they would never have bothered showing him goodwill.
But no matter what kind of help they sought from him, it would certainly be troublesome, so Yang Kai had to make sure the conversation wasn’t dominated by them.
Hearing this question from him, Ning Xiang Chen’s expression suddenly became solemn and started by asking a question of his own, “Do you know why this place is called Fallen Emperor Mountain?”
Yang Kai frowned and pondered for a while before hesitantly asking, “Does it have something to do with the legendary Starry Sky Great Emperor?”
Ning Xiang Chen nodded in approval, but before he could speak, the old lady next to him said with a smile, “Yes, this place is indeed related to the Starry Sky Great Emperor, because there are rumours that this is the place where he fell!”
Yang Kai’s face changed as he asked in shock, “Is that true?”
Ning Xiang Chen chuckled, “Whether this is true or not, no one can confirm, but the fact that there is a trace of Emperor Pressure permeating this Fallen Emperor Mountain is well known across Shadowed Star.”
“Emperor Pressure?” Yang Kai frowned.
“You should have noticed by now that this Fallen Emperor Mountain is devoid of all birds and beasts. The reason for this is not because this place is unsuitable for them to live; in fact, with this place’s rich aura and beautiful scenery, it is superior to the headquarters of many Sects. However, there is no Sect in this place, and not even any Monster Beasts because of the omnipresent Emperor Pressure! This invisible Emperor Pressure envelopes all Fallen Emperor Mountain and the closer one gets to its centre, the more powerful it becomes. No birds or beasts can survive for long under this Emperor Pressure which is why you can’t see any here.”
“En, a long time ago, Fallen Emperor Mountain was also favoured by a powerful Sect who wanted to set up their headquarters here, but even their Third-Order Origin Returning Realm masters couldn’t stay inside Fallen Emperor Mountain for long. No matter how high one’s strength is, prolonged exposure to the Emperor Pressure in this place will only lead to one being driven insane!” The old lady followed up and explained.
“Is that Emperor Pressure so powerful?” Yang Kai was amazed.
“Don’t underestimate this Emperor Pressure. I also came here to cultivate many years ago, but if I hadn’t withdrawn quickly at that time, I would have certainly been driven mad,” The Second-Order Origin Returning Realm master sternly warned.
“It’s possible to cultivate inside this place?” Yang Kai’s eyes lit up.
“Hoho, this was actually what this old man wanted to tell little friend. The Emperor Pressure in Fallen Emperor Mountain makes it impossible for any living creature to remain here for long, and the closer one gets to the centre of this mountain range, the more intense the Emperor Pressure will become. However, this Emperor Pressure is actually quite suitable for tempering one’s Soul and Spiritual Energy, so every year, there are many cultivators who come to Fallen Emperor Mountain to take advantage of the Emperor Pressure to cultivate their Souls. Not only that, but this Emperor Pressure also has the effect of enhancing one’s ability to comprehend Shi. This old man can see that little friend’s aptitude is extraordinary and one day you will certainly break through to the Origin Realm. When that time comes, little friend might as well come to Fallen Emperor Mountain to try to enhance your understanding of Shi. You should find that cultivating in this place will allow you to achieve twice the results with half the effort.”
“Exactly. Out of all of Shadowed Star’s Origin Returning Realm masters, probably sixty percent or so come to Fallen Emperor Mountain to comprehend and condense their own Shi. Although no one has verified it, it appears the Shi condensed here in Fallen Emperor Mountain is better than Shi condensed in the outside world, and one’s comprehension of Shi will also be higher if they comprehend it here. Little friend must not miss this once in a lifetime opportunity in the future!”
“There’s actually such a good opportunity here!” Yang Kai was amazed and quickly cupped his fists, “Many thanks to three Seniors for enlightening me. If the day comes when this Junior breaks through to the Origin Realm, he will definitely come to this Fallen Emperor Mountain to condense his Shi.”
Although there was no need for these three to tell him about this, as Yang Kai would definitely have heard about it from other sources, in the end, they were still showing him goodwill, so Yang Kai needed to express his thanks.
“A minor matter,” Ning Xiang Chen smiled, “If at the time little friend needs someone to escort him here, just let this old man know and he will certainly do his best to help.”
Not only did Ning Xiang Chen say so, the old lady and the middle-aged Second-Order Origin Realm masters also made similar pledges, causing Yang Kai heart to clench even tighter. He felt that these three clearly wanted something from him, so he quickly waved his hands and declared he wouldn’t dare inconvenience them so.