Translator: Silavin & PewPewLaserGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
In the endless Star Field, the pitch-black Starship sped along. Its speed was seemingly slow, but it was actually as quick as lightning, travelling several hundred kilometres in a flash.
Looking through the transparent window, everyone gazed at the huge star behind the Starship in amazement.
Many people had never observed Shadowed Star from this perspective, so it was not until this moment that they realized the star they had been born on was so grand and magnificent. Facing such a star, everyone felt a profound sense of respect.
The speed of the Starship was extremely fast, but it was also very stable. Inside the hull, no one could feel the slightest bump or vibration.
There were several meteorites drifting about, with some small Dead Stars without vitality floating like icy giants asleep in the Star Field.
There was a region of the Star Field several million kilometres outside of Shadowed Star that was considered a safe zone.
The great forces with Starships on Shadowed Star would often send them out to find ore deposits in this area. Although the harvest was small, that did not dampen the enthusiasm of these forces as they could occasionally obtain some rare treasures from the meteorites and Dead Stars nearby.
These were products not found on Shadowed Star.
However, beyond ten million kilometres was where a dangerous region began.
There was an Astral Wind of the Star Field beyond this point that constantly swirled about and could easily destroy a low-grade Starship. Big and small Starry Sky storms formed here and shredded almost everything they touched, breaking meteorites caught in them into dust.
It was known as the Dead Zone!
This was the first barrier that isolated Shadowed Star from the outside world, and the strongest one at that!
It was like a protective film, surrounding the Shadowed Star for millions of kilometres and prevented anyone from leaving or entering.
Over the past ten thousand years, it was not that no one wanted to leave Shadowed Star and explore the wider world outside, but no one had been able to succeed as all of them had been stopped by this Dead Zone.
When the Starship sailed into this region, everyone felt their clenched palms sweat.
Yang Kai immediately ordered the disciples to strengthen the Starship’s protective barrier to its maximum, not minding the consumption of Saint Crystal Sources.
The fierce Astral Wind swept over, like an invisible beast, slashing its claws at the Starship, trying to rip it open and drag the people hiding inside of it out.
A sharp grating resounded outside the Starship as the hull creaked, causing everyone’s face to pale slightly.
A huge meteorite which had yet to be broken up by the Astral Wind was flung towards the Starship, causing a loud thud and a violent shaking.
Like a small boat caught in a stormy sea, the Starship flew left and right in the Dead Zone, the disciples unable to control its direction, only able to follow along with the natural flow.
Exclamations of alarm from the disciples were constantly heard.
Yang Kai quickly shouted and, while using his Divine Sense to inspect the outside world, directed the disciples’ actions.
Yang Xiu Zhu and the other peak Third-Order Origin Returning Realm masters also rushed to the power room under Yang Kai’s instructions and sat down to channel their Saint Qi into a special array, using their own strength to help power the Starship.
Everyone was fighting against death.
No errors would be tolerated, as any negligence in this place may lead to the ship’s destruction and everyone’s doom.
In this terrifying place, the power of a single person was far too small. The Dead Zone outside of Shadowed Star was so violent that even Origin Kings would not be able to withstand it, let alone the people inside the Starship.
Only by working together could they overcome this crisis.
It took a while, but the chaotic situation eventually stabilized. After realizing that the Starship was being tossed about but was still undamaged, the panic of everyone gradually calmed and they began performing their duties in an orderly fashion.
While frightening, there was no danger. The Origin King Grade Starship refined by Yang Yan provided a safe refuge for everyone onboard.
A full month later, High Heaven Sect’s Starship broke free of the Dead Zone and rushed out into the vast Star Field.
The grating noises no longer came from outside and the Starship no longer swayed randomly. After the disciples were certain they had successfully left Shadowed Star’s vicinity, a huge cheer broke out inside the Starship, one filled with joy and excitement.
Yang Xiu Zhu and the others soon appeared in front of Yang Kai with pale faces, each one of them clearly exhausted, their auras fluctuating unstably.
“You’ve all worked hard,” Yang Kai nodded at them.
“Yang Kai, did you feel it?” Qian Tong asked him with a solemn expression.
Yang Kai gently nodded.
He noticed it the moment the Starship rushed into the Dead Zone, but over the past month, all his focus had been on surviving, so he had not had time to think about it carefully.
Now that they had left the Dead Zone behind, Yang Kai had a moment to contemplate just what he had been sensing.
“So you noticed it too, I thought I was mistaken,” Qian Tong said solemnly.
“Emperor Pressure!” Mo Yu commented, “The Dead Zone was filled with Emperor Pressure, and more than one.”
“En, two distinct Emperor Pressures were flooding that place!” Qian Tong gently nodded, “One is similar to the aura which came from the Emperor Garden, but the other is completely different. What exactly was that?”
“I have a guess, but I can’t be certain…” Mo Yu showed a thoughtful expression.
Everyone turned to look at him.
Mo Yu’s face twitched as his eyes shifted, saying in a dry tone, “If I were to say it, you’d all think I was crazy.”
“Nonsense,” Qian Tong shook his head, “Old Mo, you can relax and tell us anything.”
Yang Kai also nodded, “Yes, let’s hear it, everyone has their own analysis.”
Mo Yu smiled bitterly, “This old master considers himself quite experienced, and knowledgeable, but after passing through the Dead Zone, he realized that he was just a frog sitting in a well, staring up at the sky thinking how wide it is. Alright, this is what I think; however, all of this is just this old master’s speculation, and he has real evidence to back it…”
“Stop stalling and just say it!” Yang Xiu Zhu interrupted him impatiently.
“The Dead Zone is flooded with two different Emperor Pressures, and those two Emperor Pressures seem to be entangled and fighting with each other in an endless struggle. I think the aura we are familiar with belongs to the master of the Emperor Garden, in other words, the Starry Sky Great Emperor! As for the other Emperor Pressure, it should belong to a figure on the same level as the Great Emperor!” Mo Yu declared solemnly, “Perhaps… perhaps the formation of the Dead Zone was a result of a great battle between these two characters.”
After giving his thoughts, Mo Yu turned silent.
Qian Tong’s jaw dropped wide as he stared at Mo Yu with a strange expression on his face.
Yang Kai, Yang Xiu Zhu, and the other Elders from High Heaven Sect, however, exchanged a quiet yet calm glance.
“Haha, that’s impossible, isn’t it? This old master also thinks he is just imagining things,” Mo Yu gave a dry laugh.
The Great Emperor was a legendary figure, one whose existence had not even been confirmed, but now Mo Yu was speculating that another character on the same level had appeared and engaged in a colossal fight with the Great Emperor, a speculating even he found difficult to believe.
“Senior Mo’s theory should be correct,” Yang Kai gently nodded, affirming his guess.
“Huh?” Mo Yu looked at Yang Kai suspiciously, his eyes suddenly lighting him as he asked anxiously, “Yang Kai, do you know something?”
Qian Tong also turned a curious and eager look towards Yang Kai.
Yang Kai chuckled, “I don’t know much, but I do know that the Great Emperor had an opponent that was not weaker than her, and that the two of them indeed fought one another.”
Yang Xiu Zhu and the other Elders also knew about this detail, but it was the first time Qian Tong and Mo Yu had heard of it.
Both of them were dumbstruck and stared at Yang Kai with dull eyes, unable to close their hanging jaws.
“It turns out the main culprit behind Shadowed Star’s isolation is her!” Yang Kai murmured.
The situation in the Dead Zone was the best proof, where the two different Emperor Pressures were still fighting against one another, unable to determine an outcome even after ten thousand years.
Perhaps Yang Yan and her unknown enemy had once fought out amongst the Star Field, which led to the formation of a dangerous and desolate region around Shadowed Star.
The Supreme Profound Sect of ancient times should also have been one of their battlefields, but Yang Kai could not determine whether it was the first, or whether the Dead Zone held that position.
Qian Tong and Mo Yu seemed to want to ask something, but Yang Kai didn’t give them a chance, “The past month has been extremely tiring for everyone, let us rest and recuperate for the time being. After passing through the Dead Zone, the rest of the journey will be quite safe, perhaps it will be a few years before we even encounter anything worthy of note, so now is the perfect time to enter retreat and cultivate.”
Hearing Yang Kai say this, Qian Tong and the others could not ask more questions and simply nodded before withdrawing to their own rooms.
Yang Kai stood in place, casting his eyes out towards the Starry Sky. A moment later, he walked over to the main control panel of the Starship and stretched out his hand before immersing his consciousness into his Knowledge Sea.
Above his Knowledge Sea, a vast Starry Sky which had been shrunk down countless times, like a massive model, was quietly suspended.
This was Yang Kai’s Star Chart!
If a cultivator from Shadowed Star wanted to leave and enter the Star Field, the first difficulty they had to pass was the Dead Zone. So far, no one had managed to overcome this barrier.
As for the second hurdle, it was finding a direction to go after escaping the Dead Zone.
There were many dangers in the Star Field, and when any Starship set sail, they would need a master with rich experience to chart its course. This responsibility generally fell on those who held the title of Chart Master.
Chart Masters could draw Star Charts, allowing cultivators or Starships to advance safely and efficiently through the Star Field while avoiding dangerous regions.
Without a Star Chart drawn by a Chart Master, Starships were highly likely to get lost in the Star Field and never arrive at their destinations.
Shadowed Star was too isolated though, so there were no Chart Masters on it, and thus no one who could draw up an effective Star Chart. However, on other Cultivation Stars in the Star Field, Chart Masters were extremely well respected, their status not inferior to that of high-grade Alchemists and Artifact Refiners.
The Star Chart in Yang Kai’s Knowledge Sea was a type of treasure he had obtained through a series of coincidences from a Chart Master called Wu Suo when he first entered the Star Field.
With this Star Chart, Yang Kai did not need to undergo any kind of training, he was the best natural-born Chart Master! The entire Star Field’s situation could be seen in his mind whenever he wanted, including where Tong Xuan Realm was located.
He had once taken Qian Yue to see it and would often gaze upon it himself when he had idle time.
For so many years, he had not had the opportunity to use this Star Chart to chart his direction.
But now, it finally came in handy.
Yang Kai’s Divine Sense flickered back and forth around the massive Star Chart, consuming vast amounts of Spiritual Energy in the process, before quickly locating a specific spot.
This spot was where Qian Yue had been separated from Su Yan and the others.
It was Yang Kai’s first destination.