Translator: Silavin & PewPewLaserGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
While Yang Kai, Shan Qing Luo and the Heng Luo Chamber of Commerce masters engaged in an extremely fierce battle, episodes of bloodshed and murder also continued throughout the Emperor Garden.
Even Third-Order Origin Returning Realm masters were unable to guarantee their safety.
Although everyone knew that there were many crises spread throughout the Emperor Garden, compared to such dangers, the hidden opportunities here still motivated them to explore. Countless cultivators from numerous Cultivation Stars entered the Emperor Garden, and when they encountered strangers from foreign lands, fights were inevitable, often leading to situations where one group triumphed while the other was exterminated.
Elsewhere, great, inextinguishable flames roared, flames so hot that even Third-Order Origin Returning Realm masters could not easily resist them; however, none of these flames were real, instead just part of a profound Illusion Array.
Regardless, the cultivators trapped inside this Illusion Array felt that these flames were all real. At this moment, three Origin Realm masters were sitting cross-legged in this place, releasing their Saint Qi in unison to form a protective shield to resist the terrifying flames.
They had been trapped here for four or five days but were still unable to escape from this Illusion Array. They had consumed countless Saint Crystals and pills during this time but were unable to keep up with the consumption. Meanwhile, the flames around them continued to gather like vicious snakes, and as time passed, their situation became more and more critical.
Finally, one of the three completely ran out of Saint Qi and the section of the protective shield he had been supporting for the past few days burst like a bubble.
This man’s complexion changed drastically while the other two let out panicked shouts while desperately urging their own strength to try to repair the gap in the barrier. Unfortunately, their efforts were in vain. The three of them working together had barely been able to protect themselves, but now that one of them had been thoroughly exhausted, the surrounding flames instantly drowned them like a raging tide.
Screams rang out but soon subsided. After the flames dissipated, only three skeletons remained. There were no obvious wounds on these skeletons, but there was also not a trace of their vitality either, this was the danger of an Illusion Array.
Back in the labyrinth that Yang Kai had passed through before, a group of cultivators from a certain Sect huddled together as they fought a fierce battle.
They weren’t fighting living creatures, however, but were instead facing a group of ancient puppets unique to the Emperor Garden. The energy fluctuations emitted by each of these puppets was equivalent to a master in the Origin Returning Realm, with some even matching masters of the Third-Order.
Even if these puppets weren’t sentient, and the way they fought was quite clumsy, their numbers were shocking.
In all fairness, this Sect’s force also had a large number of cultivators, five in total, each with considerable strength, but in this strange maze-like terrain, surrounded by countless puppets, there was simply no way for them to survive.
Their battle lasted for half a day, with the ground being littered with fragments of various defeated puppets and numerous bloodstains.
One after another these cultivators were killed off by the puppets, and after half a day, the labyrinth fell silent. This unknown Sect’s cultivators had been wiped out. After not detecting the aura of any living people, the puppets silently dispersed, as if they had never appeared in the first place.
Many cultivators died to the various Spirit Arrays and ancient puppets in the Emperor Garden.
However, the number of people who died due to fighting other cultivators was even higher.
Often, the appearance of a certain treasure could trigger a bloody storm. In the Emperor Garden, there were no rules or morals at all, only the strong had the right to speak. Whoever’s fist was biggest was safest as cruel and bloody battles happen almost constantly.
If a powerful master could fly over the Emperor Garden and look down though, they would notice that it was a huge octagonal-shaped palace with the buildings inside it all being placed following some mysterious law, as if they were small parts of a greater whole.
At this time, in the very centre of the Emperor Garden, two women stood quietly. One was wearing a black robe and seemed quite mysterious while the other radiated a noble and dignified air. This noblewoman also pulsed with an astonishing aura that identified her as a peak Third-Order Origin Returning Realm master, but she stood three hundred metres behind the black-robed woman with a look of utmost respect on her face.
Yang Yan and Ye Xi Yun!
No one knew when they came to this central palace, let alone what they wanted to do here, but judging from their neat clothes and calm expressions, it was apparent they hadn’t encountered any danger on their journey here, much less engaged in any fighting.
The Emperor Garden seemed to not guard itself against them, allowing them to come and go as they pleased.
The palace they stood inside was extremely spacious, with a radius of more than a thousand metres.
There was only one thing in this palace, a small White Jade Crystal Coffin without any kind of power or aura, but this White Jade Crystal Coffin was floating mid-air, a very strange phenomenon.
Yang Yan stood in front of the White Jade Crystal Coffin, staring into it silently with a complicated expression.
A person was lying inside this crystal coffin, and from its figure, it was clearly a woman, one whose face was identical to Yang Yan’s. If Yang Kai had been here, he would instantly be able to recognize the identity of the woman lying in this crystal coffin.
The Starry Sky Great Emperor!
The powerful existence that ten thousand years ago unified the entire Star Field and whose legend still resounded today. The Star Emperor Tokens she refined were treasures that every great force coveted and any force which obtained one would regard it as a part of their foundation, not daring to use it easily. Only if their force was met with a life or death crisis would they bring out their Star Emperor Token and release the Divine Ability sealed inside of it by the Great Emperor.
She was supreme, able to cover the Heavens with a single hand, the strongest in all the Star Field!
However, no one knew that the famous Starry Sky Great Emperor was a woman. Perhaps her gender had been lost to the long river of history, or perhaps no one had ever seen her true face, but that did not impede the spread of her legend.
Looking at the woman in the crystal coffin, Yang Yan felt as if she was looking into a mirror. Their bodies and appearances were identical, with only their temperament being different.
Even in deep sleep, the face of the Great Emperor revealed a kind of inviolable and overwhelming majesty that made one feel it was a sin to even gaze upon her.
“So this is what I looked like,” Yang Yan whispered softly.
“Madam!” Ye Xi Yun called out, thinking Yang Yan had something she needed to tell her.
“It’s nothing!” Yang Yan replied lightly, “I was just talking to myself.”
Ye Xi Yun didn’t dare to say anymore, lowering her head and standing in place.
Yang Yan inhaled gently before sweeping her eyes around and sighing lightly, “This Transcendent Soul Summoning Grand Array should almost be ready to activate.”
At this moment, inside this huge palace, on its floor and walls, complex and esoteric runes continued to flash. As these runes lit up, the entire palace gradually flooded with a mysterious power. Where Ye Xi Yun stood, she could faintly hear a beautiful rhythm brush past her ears, seemingly calling out to her; in fact, she even felt the urge to have her Soul Avatar leave her body to chase after this entrancing music.
Having this thought, Ye Xi Yun couldn’t help breaking out into a cold sweat.
One’s Soul Avatar was extremely fragile and was generally hidden inside their Knowledge Sea. A cultivator would generally not have their Soul Avatar leave their body unless they encountered an extremely dangerous situation, because once they did so, if they could not find a suitable carrier, their Soul Avatar would dissipate and disappear from the world within half a day.
This Transcendent Soul Summoning Grand Array was something Ye Xi Yun had never heard of before, and she didn’t know what kind of magical use it had, but she was able to infer from her current situation that it was somewhat related to awakening the Great Emperor.
When a cultivator fell inside the Emperor Garden, the number of illuminated runes in the palace where Yang Yan was located also increased, as if the Transcendent Soul Summoning Grand Array here was somehow fueled by the deaths of the cultivators outside.
Yang Yan couldn’t have done such a thing, but the Great Emperor could have.
The Emperor Garden had been opened to the entire Star Field, but any cultivator who entered this place did so with the foreknowledge that they may fall. They had come here seeking great treasures, so they naturally understood there would be risks proportional to such rewards.
No one forced them to enter the Emperor Garden, everything was voluntary, so if they fell here and became the source of power for the Transcendent Soul Summoning Grand Array, they had nothing to complain about.
What did it matter if some people died so she could recover? In the eyes of the Great Emperor, these Origin Returning Realm masters may not even be any different from ants.
Seeing that there were a dozen runes left inside the palace that were not lit, Yang Yan couldn’t help turning her head and glancing at the entrance once more.
Unfortunately, it remained empty, with no sign of anyone coming.
Even seeing him one last time had become impossible…
Yang Yan had never felt that time was passing so quickly, like it was just the blink of an eye before all the runes in the palace lit up and the Transcendent Soul Summoning Grand Array arranged here burst into motion.
One rune after another leapt out from where it was engraved and in a brilliant and dazzling display rushed towards Yang Yan’s tender body.
When this happened, Yang Yan couldn’t help showing a pained look.
Ye Xi Yun obviously saw this, but she knew there was nothing she could do to help as even moving her fingers under the immense pressure was incredibly difficult. She had become nothing but an observer who could only bear witness to this thrilling, historic moment.
“Elder Ye…” Yang Yan’s shout suddenly echoed.
Ye Xi Yun responded quickly, “Yes!”
“No matter what I become in the future, make sure you assist Yang Kai well!”
Ye Xi Yun was startled, but immediately grit her teeth and replied, “This subordinate will obey Madam’s command!”
Yang Yan’s order was equivalent to that of the Great Emperor, so Ye Xi Yun would unquestioningly execute it.
Vaguely, in the dazzling white light, Ye Xi Yun seemed to see a joyful smile before the brilliant radiance completely engulfed Yang Yan’s form in a ball of light that in the next instant, shot directly into the White Jade Crystal Coffin, leaving no sign of Yang Yan behind.
The next moment, the entire palace returned to its original state, as if nothing had happened before.
All the lit runes dimmed, and the Transcendent Soul Summoning Grand Array also stopped. Only Ye Xi Yun remained inside the palace with the crystal coffin suspended mid-air.