After deciding to fly through the land, the speed at which Wei Wuyin and the others traversed the desolate lands was extremely swift, covering more ground in an hour than an entire week on foot. This lessened the time needed to travel to Grandquake City considerably.
At times, Wei Wuyin and the others would spot the silhouette of distance figures, both alone and in a group, as they trekked by foot. They were often shrouded by various lights emitted from strange tools that repelled the ambient desolate power. When they saw Wei Wuyin wildly use his astral force to fly through the skies, their expressions would always change.
Some would reveal mocking smiles while others were surprised at the aura of the astral force. The lack of refined spatial energies, light energies, and gravitational forces within it indicated that Wei Wuyin was at the Soul Idol Phase, the Third Stage of the Astral Core Realm. The audacity and insanity a Soul Idol Phase cultivator must possess to consume their astral force this wildly, how interesting!
Some even wanted to follow along, waiting for Wei Wuyin to consume his astral force before acting with malicious intentions, but they couldn ’t keep up with his speed on foot. With pouts of anger and curses, they could only hope that Wei Wuyin suffered along the way. This was a little about envy and their own anger.
As two hours passed, Wei Wuyin truly understood why no one flew using astral force. It simply wasn ’t as fast as mana flight nor as easy, and while one could temporarily exceed the speed of mana flight using movement arts and such, the consumption was extremely vast.
Furthermore, without the supplement of mana flight, even movement arts were weaker during this Season of Regression. If it wasn ’t for his powerful fleshy body, he couldn ’t have reached his level of speed against Ai Shanyuan. In two hours, he had used roughly two percent of his astral force within his Divine Element Astral Core.
This might seem small, but 2% of astral force was equivalent to the exhaustion of a two millimeter-sized Astral Core, or a two-fifths of an ordinary Gravity Emission Phase expert ’s reserves. To add, he was carrying three people along, excluding Ai Juling who stayed within his arms.
When Chu Leitao noticed Wei Wuyin ’s continuous exertion of astral force, he even suggested they rest. He and the others had some refined astral diamonds for Wei Wuyin to use to recover his energies, but he only received a polite smile of decline as a response.
Wei Wuyin could last for weeks flying in this manner, so he didn ’t need to rest. And with his Desolate Intent, he could nullify the desolate power that came into contact with his astral force. They continued for twenty-two hours more, meeting numerous Seekers along the way. Just like the others, some tried to follow them but soon helplessly gave up after noticing that Wei Wuyin was traveling too fast for too long.
It wasn ’t long before they saw a wall in the distance.
Huang Yu cried with excitement, ”Grandquake City! ” He was startled by the speed at which they arrived. Usually it would take over three months to travel from where they were to here, but in a day, they had arrived at the city. He felt that traveling with an elite expert was truly the greatest thing in this world.
Wei Wuyin ’s eyes brightened as the horizon revealed the outline of the city. Grandquake City was very minimalistic from the outside, simply having extremely tall walls that were jet-black with faint cracks and signs of age on its surface. Despite that, the walls didn ’t seem brittle as they stood imposingly for roughly two hundred meters.
The cracks that littered the wall ’s surface were quite thick, being roughly the size of thick arms of a grown man. They traversed the walls in a seemingly random fashion, but Wei Wuyin could see faint desolate power travel through the cracks in a downwards flow.
It seems those cracks absorbed the surrounding desolate power and sent it into the ground, dispersing it away from the city. When Wei Wuyin saw the wall, he noticed the traffic of people had all but ceased. At times, there would.be those who appeared from thin air after a brief fluctuation of space.
Wei Wuyin landed roughly a kilometer away from the wall. The other three landed, feeling that flying was better than being on their feet. Wei Wuyin ignored their bitter expressions, asking: ”Where ’s the entrance? ” He only saw a crack-littered wall, no gate or hole within the wall.
Huang Yu answered, ”Grandquake City doesn ’t have an entrance. One has to pay a fee at a nearby Void Gate to gain entry. ”
”Or scale the wall, ” Li Wang added with a faint mocking tone. He had adopted a relatively silent manner since deciding to travel with Wei Wuyin. Of course, his mocking tone wasn ’t directed at Wei Wuyin or Huang Yu, but at the absurdity of the entrance process.
Wei Wuyin could sense that and looked at the tall wall, a faint light of nostalgia flashed through his gaze. He and Su Mei had once come across a wall with a majestic gate; they were chased by the citizens as they stole their way through the world. When he was met with a wall and gate, he smashed it with matchless ferocity.
The sight of the citizens stomping in retreat, screaming and shouting in panic after their cursing and anger was quite humorous. He chuckled to himself, realizing that he missed those days a little. While mentally he was at his lowest, his Heart of Cultivation in shambles, he was unrestrained and free then, living life one day at a time.
Now, he represented the Myriad Monarch Sect and his organization, his reputation being relatively important. Such childish antics couldn ’t be enacted without harming that prestigious image. The thought caused him to pout his lips a little.
Chu Leitao explained, ”The wall is the first line of defense of the Grandquake City; furthermore, it absorbs and disperses the desolate power into the ground, allowing the insides to be free of such dangerous forces. This means one can comfortably rest without expanding their energies, astral force, or spiritual strength for tools. It is a luxury. ”
Wei Wuyin slightly nodded, understanding the importance of a place of respite in this dangerous world.
”You still have to pay hourly to stay, ” Li Wang scoffed. He was someone who originated from the Central Regions, so he didn ’t hide his contempt or distaste for the Grandquake City ’s extortionist means.
Huang Yu wanted to say something, but Li Wang interrupted as he spoke to Wei Wuyin: ”If you ’re unable to pay the fee, this wall will be your cage as escape is impossible. You ’ll be sold as an Energy Converter or taken as an Alchemic Proxy if you ’re too weak or without any backing. That ’s if you ’re a man, if you ’re a woman, I hope they enjoy being on their knees and back all day. ”
Wei Wuyin was startled for a moment while Huang Yu ’s expression became slightly unsightly. Li Wang didn ’t hold back by throwing the city ’s reputation in the garbage, quickly bringing out their dark practices.
”Can ’t that be exploited? ” Wei Wuyin wasn ’t shocked by the implication, but he was shocked by the abusive manner this could be used for. For example, an arbiter of these rules could send innocent men and women to their enslavement with a whim. They would even have the backing of the city ’s forces on their side.
”… ” The three went silent, especially Huang Yu who knew more about the truth.
The little elf in his embrace trembled slightly. Wei Wuyin glanced at this beautiful elf that remained ’asleep ’ for an entire week in his embrace. At some point, you ’d think she would throw away her feigning act of sleeping, but nope. At times, she would legitimately sleep in his arms and used his shoulder and a portion of his chest as a comfortable pillow.
He didn ’t know how to respond to that, only finding her quite cute.
Chu Leitao finally broke the silence, ”All foreign Seekers are well-prepared and understand who not to offend and who to avoid. And they are all at least in the Astral Core Realm, some even in groups, so there aren ’t many that are useless. Few stay in the city longer than necessary, only using it as a temporary rest area and transport station. ”
Wei Wuyin slowly nodded, but that still didn ’t eliminate the possibilities of corruption and abuse. As for turning members of their own race into slaves, they seemed to not really care. They were the ones who bought the captured Seekers from the Grey Sands Elves. The only reason they didn ’t openly act in snatching foreign Seekers was to prevent offending some righteous experts in the Central Regions with too much time on their hands.
Also, he learned from them that the slaves would only be bought and transferred over after the Season of Regression ended, not before. So the Central Region ’s focus shifted to their blessed land of cultivation, forgetting the four extreme lands and their native forces until it returned.
”Where ’s the Void Gate? ” Wei Wuyin swept his gaze to the left and right, curious how this Void Gate looked.
Huang Yu breathed in deeply before regaining his youthful enthusiasm, ”I ’ll bring you there! ” He took lead as they traveled along the wall for quite a while until they located a three-meter tall silver prism that floated off the ground. There was an old man nearby, dressed in heavy armor. He held a grey spear in his hand, and was lazily leaning against the city wall.
Wei Wuyin saw the silver prism floating a few inches off the ground. They were lucky as there was someone who walked towards it, looked at the old man and gave him a diamond-like crystal that shined with a faint light. The old man pocketed it with practiced ease.
The person then touched the prism and was enshrouded by multicolored light for a moment before vanishing in a flash. Wei Wuyin ’s eyes widened with interest at the spatial fluctuations emanated by the prism. He had never seen something like that before.
Was this a Void Gate?
The others weren ’t as shocked. Li Wang looked at the old man, his lips twisted in a contemptuous smile exuding schadenfreude. When they walked forward near the prism, Huang Yu and Chu Leitao similarly looked at the old man, their spiritual senses entering their spatial rings, but they paused unnaturally.
They simultaneously looked at Wei Wuyin, unsure how they should proceed. This confused Wei Wuyin, ”What ’s wrong? ”
Just as his words sounded, the old man snorted. His eyes looked at the five of them with indifference, holding out his hand, but when he swept his gaze towards Ai Juling, his eyes brightened with strong emotion. ”A Grey Sands Elf! ”
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