Translator: Silavin & Ashish
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
The Masters from the Cave Heavens and Paradises kept unleashing their Secret Techniques and Divine Abilities. This was the first time in countless years that the Masters of the Cave Heavens and Paradises had come together in the 3,000 Worlds to battle an enemy, and besides Yang Kai, everyone participating in the battle was a High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Master.
After 100 years, everyone had managed to cultivate enough Profound Yin Bamboo in their respective Small Universe to provide a sturdy defence against the corrosion of the Black Ink Strength.
Some people got corroded by the Black Ink Strength from time to time and promptly cut off parts of their Small Universes. They would rather have their strength permanently decline than bother Yang Kai at this moment; after all, the Purifying Light in his hands was the best weapon against the Black Ink Master.
Things were looking increasingly grim for the Royal Lord! Everyone could see that she was at the end of her rope.
Yang Kai, however, was puzzled, because the Black Ink Master showed no intention of escaping from beginning to end. It was true that she was a Royal Lord, and at her peak, she possessed strength comparable to a Ninth-Order Open Heaven Realm Master, but after having been imprisoned for countless millennia, she was just a shadow of her former self. She might have killed many Masters from the Cave Heavens and Paradises here, but she was still just a cornered beast.
So why didn’t she flee?
Not only was she not fleeing in fact, she’s not even moving around.
The Super Array had already been destroyed, so nothing was restraining her freedom anymore. If she wanted to escape, no one here could have stopped her, no matter how many Masters there were from the Cave Heavens and Paradises. What’s more, even though Black Territory had been sealed, she knew about that. More importantly, it probably wouldn’t be difficult for her to break through any kind of seal with her strength.
But for some reason, she wasn’t fleeing or even changing her position. This was definitely not due to arrogance.
Just as he was feeling puzzled, the weakened Black Ink Master suddenly took a deep breath.
The next moment, a long whistle came from the forefront, echoing throughout the void. It was a signal sent by an Eighth-Order Open Heaven Realm Master who had caught sight of her actions.
But the next moment, a cruel and savage look blanketed the Black Ink Master’s face as she opened her mouth and let out a deafening scream, drowning out that whistle. At the same time, a sound wave visible to the eye spread out from her position.
Everyone was like a ship sailing on a stormy sea. They instantly lost their footing and were pushed back by the sound wave. Not only that, but everyone also jolted as their Small Universe’s strength suddenly became unstable.
This roar seemed to be a type of Secret Technique which targeted Small Universes directly. The Masters were still affected even with the protection of the Profound Yin Bamboo.
Only Yang Kai’s Small Universe remained completely stable. Be that as it may, the fact that he was just in the Sixth-Order Open Heaven Realm Master put him at a disadvantage. Though his World Force could still flow steadily, the sheer magnitude of the scream sent him tumbling like a leaf in the autumn wind.
Fortunately, an Eighth-Order guard near him grabbed him at the critical moment and pulled him over.
“Many thanks, Senior!” Yang Kai quickly thanked him.
But the next moment, he realized that he was in grave danger. It might have looked as if the Eighth-Order Open Heaven Realm Master had grabbed him out of goodwill, but after holding him, a burst of fearsome force came from that Master’s giant hand as he gripped him tighter.
Yang Kai looked up at the Master and noticed an expression of struggle on his face as an eerie black soon replaced his healthy complexion.
“Black Ink corruption!” Yang Kai was beside himself with shock, unable to understand how this Eighth-Order Master had been turned into a Black Ink Disciple.
Yang Kai might not know the name of this Eighth-Order Ancestor, but he still recognized him. He was an Ancestor of Luo Sheng Cave Heaven and had an unfathomable cultivation.
Just a little while ago, this man along with a dozen other Eighth-Order Masters had jumped in and protected him with Liu Mu as they pressed towards the Black Ink Master.
When they were caught inside the black net released by the Black Ink Master, this man was trapped inside as well. Furthermore, he had always been protecting Yang Kai, even when that put him in a dangerous predicament.
Yang Kai hadn’t sensed any Black Ink Strength from this Ancestor, nor did the man show any signs of being seriously injured, which was why Yang Kai had not expected this Eighth-Order Master beside him to turn into a Black Ink Disciple all of a sudden.
A dark gleam flashed across his eyes. The Eighth-Order Ancestor seemed to have transformed into a completely different person, exuding an extremely dangerous aura.
Yang Kai instinctually raised his hand and summoned his Azure Dragon Spear, pouring in all of his strength as he thrust it out.
But the gap between the two was simply too big. The Eighth-Order Black Ink Disciple swept aside the Azure Dragon Spear with a casual wave of his hand. Yang Kai almost had his arm torn off as a result, his all-out attack seemingly posing no threat to the enemy. A giant hand was lightly swinging towards Yang Kai’s head in the next instant, but this seemingly gentle palm strike contained a terrifying power and momentum.
In this life-or-death crisis, Yang Kai’s hand suddenly ballooned and transformed into a Dragon Claw which he pushed out with all his might.
Cracking sounds echoed as Yang Kai’s wrist bones shattered from the violent clash. Nonetheless, he managed to escape from the other party’s grasp.
Still, the palm strike was not entirely deflected and lightly landed on Yang Kai’s now much-enlarged shoulder.
Light as that attack may have looked, Yang Kai felt as if he had been struck by lightning. His face turned pale as his shoulder caved in.
Seeing that his attack had failed, no obvious change in expression on the Luo Sheng Cave Heaven Eighth-Order Ancestor’s face was noticed. He just pointed his finger towards Yang Kai’s head at lightning speed.
[I can’t dodge it!] With his Sixth-Order Open Heaven Realm cultivation, it was already Yang Kai’s limit to parry the first strike, leaving him no strength to avoid this follow-up attack.
Be that as it may, Yang Kai’s momentary struggle had given the other Ancestors the time needed to react. One of them pulled Yang Kai behind him and raised his hand to meet the oncoming blow, while the others unleashed their Divine Abilities.
Luo Sheng Heaven’s Eighth-Order Master hurriedly exchanged a few blows before his figure jolted as blood trickled down the corner of his mouth.
Yang Kai turned around, hearing the sounds of fighting around him. A solemn look took over his face.
It wasn’t just Luo Sheng Heaven’s Eighth-Order Ancestor who had been corrupted. Four other Ancestors were currently fighting with the others.
No one knew how they had been turned as not a single Eighth-Order Ancestor had been corrupted from the beginning of the siege of the Black Ink Master until now. Only Seventh-Order Masters had degenerated into Black Ink Disciples.
Eighth-Order Open Heaven Realm Masters were extremely powerful and possessed a certain level of resistance against the Black Ink Strength. Coupled with the Profound Yin Bamboo, there was basically no risk of them being corrupted by the Black Ink Strength.
It was precisely because they were so confident that so many Eighth-Order Ancestors could confront the Black Ink Master head-on. But by the looks of it, they had been too careless.
It wasn’t that the Black Ink Master was unable to corrupt the Eighth-Order Masters, but that she had been hiding this ability all along. She had only used it at the last moment, corrupting five Eighth-Order Masters at once.
“Royal Lord Secret Technique!” The Eighth-Order Ancestor, who had pulled Yang Kai behind him just now, didn’t participate in the battle and coldly muttered instead, a profound look of sadness filling his face.
Yang Kai’s heart skipped a beat upon hearing this. Obviously, the Eighth-Order Ancestors had a certain understanding of the Black Ink Master’s abilities. When he had asked Six Wood Divine Monarch about the Black Ink Clan Royal Lords, he had said that they were comparable to Ninth-Order Open Heaven Realm Masters.
Now, when Yang Kai heard this Ancestors mutter the words ‘Royal Lord Secret Technique’, it was apparent that the Black Ink Royal Lord could not use this Secret Technique easily; otherwise, she wouldn’t have waited until now to cast it.
“Everything is within our expectations, don’t panic,” assured the Eighth-Order Ancestor without even turning his head, though Yang Kai knew he was talking to him.
Yang Kai nodded silently but he did not let his guard down.
Yang Kai had no idea whether the Eighth-Order Ancestor protecting him was also corroded by the Black Ink Strength or not; as such, he secretly circulated the power of his Small Universe to guard against any unexpected situations.
This sudden change threw the entire battlefield into chaos and it became difficult to distinguish friend from foe. Everyone, whether it was those who were fighting with Black Ink Disciples, or those who were watching, all became vigilant.
Seemingly sensing Yang Kai’s vigilance towards him, the Eighth-Order Ancestor explained, “Although we old fogies have never fought with the Black Ink Clan before, we’re not completely lacking information about them. The Masters of the Cave Heavens and Paradises have been resisting the Black Ink Clan’s invasion for many millennia in another place. It is thanks to their protection that the 3,000 Worlds has been able to flourish until now.”
This revelation shook Yang Kai to the core, but he didn’t ask any questions. He felt that he was slowly coming into contact with the core secrets of this world.
“Aren’t you curious why the Cave Heavens and Paradises have no Ninth-Order Open Heaven Realm Masters even after so many years of accumulation? Why we aren’t as powerful as you think we should be?”
Yang Kai didn’t refute this Senior’s questions as he did have such doubts.
Not to mention the existence of a Ninth-Order Open Heaven Realm Master, even the Cave Heavens and Paradises’ heritage was not as strong as he had imagined it to be.
Logically speaking, each Cave Heaven and Paradise was a top force that no one in the 3,000 Worlds dared to challenge. Year after year, millennia and millennia they had cultivated countless elite disciples. Open Heaven Realm Masters had extremely long lifespans, so after countless aeons of accumulation, each Cave Heaven and Paradise should have at least 10,000 or perhaps even more High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters.
However, Yang Kai had been to Lang Ya Paradise and Yin-Yang Cave Heaven and seen their heritage up close. He might not know everything about these two forces, but he knew that they certainly did not possess so many High-Rank Open Heaven Realm Masters.
Now, he finally understood why!
Pondering for a moment, he asked, “The Ninth-Order Open Heaven Realm Masters of the Cave Heavens and Paradises are all on that battlefield, and most of the elite disciples you have gained have been dispatched there over the years?”
The Eighth-Order Ancestor smiled, “You’re a smart one. I didn’t need to explain too much for you to understand. That’s right, the Ninth-Order Old Ancestors of the Cave Heavens and Paradises are all stationed on that battlefield. Furthermore, the Cave Heavens and Paradises must send reinforcements there every few years to replenish the ranks.”
Yang Kai was filled with respect, “So, this is the reason why the Cave Heavens and Paradises have all remained allies since ancient times!”
A long time ago, he had found the close relationship between the Cave Heavens and Paradises strange. As the saying went, a mountain cannot accommodate two tigers. Even ordinary tigers fought with each other, let alone behemoths like the Cave Heavens and Paradises. But even after so many years, these top forces had always lived in harmony and never had any intense conflicts. At most, there were some harmless disagreements.
Now, Yang Kai understood that it was the existence of an even greater danger that kept the Cave Heavens and Paradises so united.
If it weren’t for this external threat, the greed of humanity would have run amok. At that time, the 3,000 Worlds would likely have descended into a state of constant war.
It was already difficult to fight a single Black Ink Royal Lord even with so many High-Rank Masters on their side, so Yang Kai was having a very hard time imagining what kind of battlefield it would be for the various Cave Heavens and Paradises to have to constantly send the vast majority of their elites just to maintain the line.
“Once you step through the No-Return Pass, you can never return! That is the boundary between chaos and peace, the final line of defence of the 3,000 Worlds. Once you cross over, only one of two fates awaits you.”
He seemed to be answering his own question, “Die at the hands of the Black Ink Clan, or die at the hands of your fellow comrades!”