His hands swiftly formed a mysterious seal as he opened his eyes. Two brilliant rays of light suddenly shot forth from his pupils.
“Your motive behind this journey is to head for the Nether Realm and obtain the protection of Nether Realm’s master? True, at my level, I could never compare to him. But, don’t think you’ll be safe with just his protection.” Peculiar pinpricks of light gathered within the demon beast’s eyes. They’re the revolving manifestations of his power of law.
In the beginning, his power of law started off as streaks of light, then slowly bloomed into mysterious flowers that formed at his side. The first flower, then the second, third…until the sixth one. Now, only one bud remained. It was swelling as though it would burst into bloom at any moment.
“For many millenia I have concealed myself here, awaiting the moment of the seventh lotus’s birth. Yu Yan, unless you present your Divine Spark to me, you will die!” The corner of his mouth twitched into a dark smile.
Nether Realm, edge of the Nine-Layered Deathlands
In the endless wasteland, there was a countless number of tents being pitched. Experts have gathered here from several hundreds of families from within the fifteen cities of the Nether realm. Each family occupied a plot, their family banners fluttering in the air.
Although the Jade Seal Family was one three most powerful families in Blackrock City, when viewed in the scope of the entire Nether Realm’s fifteen cities, they weren’t very significant. The strongest families have been gathered at the center of Nether Realm. Any family randomly chosen from this group is capable of completely annihilating a family from one of the other fourteen cities.
Becoming the disciple of the Master of the Nether Realm would mean that, aside from increasing one’s chances of stepping into the realm of the Spiritual Gods, one could become an authority within the Nether Realm and receive offerings from the realm’s families. It was unmistakably a very attractive position.
Even though everyone knew that the Nine-Layered Deathlands was a perilous place, they still bravely advanced in the face of danger.
A group of people arrived outside the Jade Seal Family’s tent. It was Nie Li and his companions, all travel-worn and covered in dust from the road. They had initially visited the Jade Seal Family’s main house back in Blackrock City, but had been informed that Luo Xiao and the others had left for the Nine-Layered Deathlands. Thus, Nie Li and co. rushed here with directions from the Jade Seal Family’s experts.
“Uncle Luo, we meet again.” Nie Li smiled as he greeted Luo Xiao.
“So, nephew Nie Li has also come.” Luo Xiao gave a light smile as his gaze swept across the group that had arrived with Nie Li. His brows slightly twitched as he asked, “Who are these people?”
Luo Xiao could sense an astonishingly powerful aura emanating from them. There was a high possibility that these people have already reached Black Gold rank or even Legendary rank. The well-built youth with a pair of black wings aside, the rest all had astonishingly powerful cultivation for their age.
If they’re given a bit more time, just how strong could they grow up to be?
Nie Li introduced Ye Ziyun, Xiao Ning’er and the rest. As for Yu Yan, she has hidden herself in Nie Li’s sleeve and refused to show herself.
When he heard that Ye Ziyun was Nie Li’s fiancée, Luo Xiao couldn’t help throwing her another glance as he signaled his approval with a nod of his head. Ye Ziyun’s blushed red as she tried to figure out what sort of response she should give. Eventually, she gave up and just glared at Nie Li in embarrassment.
Nie Li chuckled as he ran a hand through his hair.
Du Ze, Lu Piao, and the rest were looking around. They had never been here before, so, they were curious about everything, despite the highly unpleasant smell of sulfur. Compared to this, Glory City is simply heaven.
Luo Xiao lowered his voice as he said to Nie Li, “With nephew’s current identity, there’s no need for you to risk your life in the Nine-Layered Deathlands!”
Right now, Nie Li’s identity was that of a Senior Inscriptionist. If anything were to happen to him in the Nine-Layered Deathlands, Luo Xiao might cry himself to death.
Upon entering the Deathlands, the warriors from every family will be competing against one another; therefore, conflicts between the families will be unavoidable. There are also many Demigod ranked warriors from the various families. Those were beings even Nie Li couldn’t handle.
Nie Li naturally understood Luo Xiao’s worries and smiled. “Rest assured, Uncle Luo, I only came here to join the observing crowd, not to risk my life.” There was no way that Nie Li was just here as part of the crowd, but to dispel Luo Xiao’s worries, he could only explain it like that.
Luo Xiao immediately felt more at ease with Nie Li’s words.
“Why aren’t you guys entering the Deathlands?” Nie Li asked.
“Usually, one can only enter the Nine-Layered Deathlands through the first floor and slowly work his way up. It would be a challenging trudge through the floors, and reaching the sixth floor alone would take months. However, we’ve been informed that in three days, at the twelfth hour, the seventh layer of the Nine-Layered Deathlands will open. When it does, it will be possible to enter directly through the seventh floor,” said Luo Xiao.
Ye Ziyun, Xiao Ning’er and the rest were all listening attentively. The Nine-Layered Deathlands was indeed a mysterious place.
“So that’s the case!” Nie Li nodded his head and asked, “Then do you guys know what the seventh floor of the Deathlands looks like?”
“The Nine-Layered Deathlands were originally an ancient battlefield where untold numbers of warriors perished, becoming a pool of tens of thousands of years’ worth of accumulated death energy. Furthermore, unlike the previous floors, from the seventh floor onwards is the Master of the Nether Realm’s private domain. Within his dominion, all rules are dictated by him. Each time he recruits a disciple, the situation differs. No one knows how he’s going to choose his disciples this time around either. However, each time we enter a new floor, the master’s servants should appear to announce the rules.” Luo Xiao
Every time he recruits a disciple, the situation changes. No one knows what this round of recruiting will be like. However, whenever we enter a layer, the Nether Realm Master’s servant will appear and announce the rules.” Luo Xiao explained. The previous round of recruitment occurred almost ten years ago. “Of the Master’s disciples, there are many, perhaps hundreds of thousands. But from among them, only one may become his successor.”
Nie Li nodded. His heart was filled with curiosity towards this Master of the Nether Realm and secretly wondered just what kind of person the master was.
“This is a VIP token of the Divine Seal Auction House. As long as you have this, ordinary people won’t dare to mess with you. If you encounter any problems, nephew Nie Li can just show this badge and any ordinary matters will be quickly settled.” Luo Xiao said as he passed a gold token to Nie Li.
Nie Li accepted the token from Luo Xiao and studied it. The token appeared to be just an ordinary plate, though there was special inscriptions carved on its surface.
“The Divine Seal Auction House is ranked third among the fifteen cities’ auction houses. In the Nether Realm, they hold an extraordinary position, so no ordinary family will be bold enough to cross them,” Luo Xiao said. Previously, Luo Xiao had depended on Nie Li’s skills as a Senior Inscriptionist to make and sell valuable weaponry. Only by selling high tiered goods made by Nie Li, Luo Xiao was able to join the Divine Seal Auction House and gain a reliable backer.
“Okay,” Nie Li nodded his head as he stored the token. Having a powerful patronage, naturally, the more the better.
“For the next few days, you ought to remain here and refrain from venturing outside. Now that all the other families have been gathered and are waiting for the seventh floor to open up, the political situation out there has become very complicated. Tensions are high and everyone is on guard. It’s best for you to be cautious,” reminded Luo Xiao.
“Thanks for the reminder, Uncle Luo. I’ll keep it in mind.” Nie Li nodded.
After their conversation, Luo Xiao arranged a residence for Nie Li and his group in preparation for the seventh floor to open up.
Nie Li could sense powerful auras everywhere: indications of Demigod ranked warriors. One could only imagine how intense the competition for the successor’s title will become, with Demigod ranked warriors competing.
Everyone retired to his or her own tent. Inside his tent, Nie Li decided to concentrate on cultivating his soul force.
He brought out the mysterious egg and continuously injected his powers of law into it. Since the start of this trip, he has been pouring vast amounts of law into it. He had already lost count of how much he poured into it. However, the small cracks on the egg’s surface remained and gave no signs of hatching.
For the egg, the more powers of law is provided to it, the better. It greedily accepted the energy without any sign of resistance.
The egg appeared to be the same, but Nie Li could feel the heartbeat inside was growing stronger and stronger, and his connection with the egg was drawing closer. Knowing this, Nie Li was unceasingly pouring his powers of law into it. He was certain that this egg will hatch before long.
After pouring some powers of law into the unidentified egg, Nie Li continued his cultivation. While he was cultivating, the two pages from the Temporal Demon Spirit Book, concealed in a pocket near his chest, began emitting a faint glow that shrouded Nie Li’s entire body.
The minutes passed one after another as Nie Li’s soul force grew stronger under cultivation. Having undergone this much cultivation, he has already entered 3-star Black Gold rank. Through his soul realm, he could sense the catalyzing effects of Duan Jian. The cultivation of his friends has also increased by leaps and bounds. The majority of them have already stepped into 4-star Black Gold rank.
Their cultivation speeds have always been faster than Nie Li’s. He who practiced the [Heavenly God] technique possesses the slowest growth compared to everyone else. Yet despite the fact that he rose through the ranks at a slower pace, his raw power has actually long exceeded his peers’.
After a period of time, Lu Piao rushed into his tent and cried, “Nie Li, I’ve got news from one of the Jade Seal Family’s members! I heard that several of their younger members ran off into the first level of the Nine-Layered Deathlands on an adventure. They seem to be searching for something called the ‘Spiritual Origin Fruit’. Rumors say that it can quickly raise your strength.”
“Spiritual Origin Fruit?” Hearing Lu Piao’s words, Yu Yan appeared on Nie Li’s shoulder and turned to him. “The Spiritual Origin Fruit is a very rare item. Rumor has it that the fruit can only grow in places where there are mountains of warriors’ corpses. However, the fruit appears as pure as fresh snow and contains an extremely well-refined energy. If you can find few of them, it could greatly benefit your cultivation. Who knows, maybe you can even reach the Legendary rank in one go.”
Nie Li pondered this for a moment. It would be a great benefit for them if they could somehow manage to get their hands on a few Spiritual Origin Fruits and eat them before the seventh layer opened.
“Go tell Du Ze and the others that we are going to head for the first level of the Nine-Layered Deathlands and have a look for ourselves!” Nie Li said after making his decision.
“Alright! I’ll be on my way now.” Hearing Nie Li’s words, Lu Piao instantly became excited.