Book 1 (Spoiler alert, there’s only 1 book)
Chapter 779: Central Hub
“Previously, I encountered quite a number of illusions that were created by this realm…they were all people whom I am acquainted with. After which…” Lin Dong was a little embarrassed as he looked at the beautiful lady before him. He spread his hands outwards and explained himself.
Ling Qingzhu glanced at Lin Dong. After which, she gently inclined her head. She did not have any intention of making a fuss over this matter.
“You didn’t meet any?” Lin Dong was a little puzzled by her reaction. He immediately knitted his brows slightly and inquired. Those illusions earlier caused him to feel extremely irritated. Although they did not cause him any actual harm, the feeling of being attacked by people he knew with was not pleasant at all.
“You’re overthinking.” Ling Qingzhu’s eyes were a little strange as she stared at Lin Dong. After which, she answered calmly.
“What?” Lin Dong was momentarily stunned. He was unable to make sense of Ling Qingzhu’s words.
Ling Qingzhu involuntarily lifted her eyebrows when she saw Lin Dong’s somewhat lost expression. She spoke indifferently, “After so many years, you seem to have lost your intelligence from before?”
“There is clearly a formation within this Burning Sky Ancient Stash and we are all trapped within it. Although I do not know what formation it is… there are many things here that are not created by it, rather, they are created from one’s heart… illusion and reality have been mixed together. It is rather mysterious.”
Lin Dong slowly frowned. He was not stupid. He began to come to a realization after hearing Ling Qingzhu’s words.
“You are saying that those illusions appeared only because I let my imagination run wild…”
Ling Qingzhu nodded and said, “Calm your heart and focus your mind. These illusions will naturally fall apart without any need to attack. The reason you met those illusions is because you did not control your thoughts.”
Lin Dong was speechless. He did not expect that those troublesome things actually originated from himself. Now that he thought about it, that first illusion seemed to have appeared when he was worried about Qingtan and the rest…
“It is quite a strange formation. I never expected that it was actually capable of such feats…” Lin Dong voiced his thoughts. Although Ling Qingzhu made it sound simple, just how many people could truly calm one’s heart until it became as quiet as still water? Even with Lin Dong’s character, he had fallen into the trap after entering this place, much less others. After all, not everyone possessed Ling Qingzhu’s icy cold character.
“This formation’s illusions are only a form of hindrance. There is a mysterious and scorching energy permeating this realm. Once that energy invades one’s body, it would affect one’s mind and result in one losing control and turning crazy.” Ling Qingzhu glanced at Lin Dong in a strange manner after she mentioned this point. This was because the latter seemed to be unaffected by the scorching energy.
Lin Dong spread his hands. Since he had the Devouring Ancestral Symbol to guard his body, that so-called scorching energy would be devoured once it entered his body. Hence, he did not face any troubles in this aspect.
“In that case, is the place we are currently at an illusion or reality?” Lin Dong’s feet lightly prodded the bright red ground, causing some dust to float upwards as he spoke.
“This is the most peculiar aspect of this formation. It causes one to be unable to distinguish between reality and illusion…” Ling Qingzhu gently shook her head. She had also roamed around this place for some time. However, she had yet to find a way to escape.
“No matter what kind of formation it is, there must be a central hub. If we can reach it, we should be able to find a way to break this formation.” Lin Dong lifted his head. His eyes narrowed as he looked to the front and said.
“The space here is distorted. Can you locate the central hub?” Ling Qingzhu knitted her brows. She was similarly aware of this fact. However, this realm had been distorted by the formation. If they randomly roamed around, they would only end up being stuck in this formation forever.
“I should be able to. If you trust me, you can follow me. After all, it must be fate for us to meet here.”
Lin Dong smiled. After which, he lifted his foot and walked into the distance. Although the bearings of this space had been shielded by this formation, Lin Dong was still able to rely on the Mysterious Stone Talisman within him to sense an extremely obscure ripple from a certain direction.
Ling Qingzhu gazed at Lin Dong’s back. She hesitated for a moment before finally following him. This place was quite strange. Hence, she naturally did not wish to give up if there was a way to escape. However, following Lin Dong in this manner felt a little unnatural for her.
The two of them journeyed across the bright red land. However, they did not talk much. From a certain point of view, the relationship between the two was a little complicated. This complication clearly caused the two of them to be unable to treat the other party as an ordinary friend.
This somewhat silent atmosphere lasted for nearly half an hour. Lin Dong led the way at the front. He relied on the stone talisman in his body to continuously sense the obscure ripple that was being emitted from this strange space.
Ling Qingzhu quietly followed behind Lin Dong. Occasionally, her eyes would drift towards the back of the skinny figure in front of her. These five years had caused the latter to undergo quite a dramatic change…
“How is Lin Langtian currently doing?” Ling Qingzhu suddenly spoke after a long silence.
Lin Dong’s footsteps paused. He turned his head and asked with a faint smile, “Why do you suddenly ask about him?”
Ling Qingzhu did not reply. She merely stared at Lin Dong with her clear eyes. She had remembered the high, mighty and indifferent attitude that Lin Langtian had when facing Lin Dong in the ancient tomb at Great Yan Empire five years ago. At that time, it was likely that Lin Langtian would have never imagined that the weak young man whom he looked down on, would have reached this level five years later.
“He joined the Hundred Empire War together with me. However, he was killed by me atop the Hundred Empire Mountain.” Lin Dong said with a flat voice.
“I guess you can say that he was someone that you wanted to surpass in the past, right… you are truly persistent. Once you have set a target, you will definitely surpass him. Perhaps I have also become your target after our separation at the mountain top back then? I truly do not know if I should feel honoured or uneasy.” Ling Qingzhu spoke in a soft and slow voice.
“Lin Langtian seriously wounded my father back then and there was a deep enmity between us. You and him are different.” Lin Dong frowned and said.
“Those words that I said to you back then had hurt your pride. Don’t you hate me for it?” Ling Qingzhu smiled faintly and said.
“It was the truth… without sufficient strength, emphasising too much on one’s pride will only cause others to mock you. Moreover, at that time, I must have seemed like a toad[1.Reference to the phrase ‘癞蛤蟆想吃天鹅肉’, translates as ‘a toad lusting after a swan’s meat’, usually a reference to a guy who dreams of making a girl who is way out of his league his woman
] in your eyes…” Lin Dong shrugged and replied.
“You do not truly mean what you say. There is quite a great deal of resentment in your words…”
Ling Qingzhu laughed for a moment. After which, she said, “I do not care whether you hate me or not. I will still repeat those words even if I was given another chance. However, I do admire you for reaching this stage within a short five years…”
The lips under Ling Qingzhu’s veil were lifted when she spoke these words. This was because she was clearly aware of the starting point of this young man in front of her. This was the reason why she felt surprised at the latter’s current achievements. Otherwise, in her eyes, Lin Dong’s rather formidable strength would still be insufficient to command her sincere respect. Of course, even if he really reached such a stage, she would merely smile at him. A woman with her character was just like an impregnable city. Regardless of how much one coveted her and tried, they would only end up defeated.
Such a woman was perhaps the most difficult creature in the world to conquer.
“How rare. You actually know how to admire others.”
Lin Dong lifted his brows slightly. He watched Ling Qingzhu’s pretty face, which was covered by a veil. His mouth teased while a rare joy surged within his heart. Even someone like him was moved by the fact that he was able to make the cool Ling Qingzhu utter such words.
Ling Qingzhu laughed faintly. It was likely that someone with her intelligence was naturally aware that the young man in front of her would likely possess some alpha male feelings within his heart when he heard her words. Therefore, she did not give Lin Dong the chance to continue as she faced him with indifference.
Lin Dong smiled and withdrew his gaze when he saw this. After which, he narrowed both of his eyes and looked at the distorted space in front. He focused his eyes slightly and said, “It seems like we are about to arrive at our destination.”
A shocked expression flashed across Ling Qingzhu’s face when she heard these words. She lifted her eyes and looked over. She appeared to see some vague figures standing in the distant distorted space.
The two increased their pace. After a couple of minutes, those black standing figures finally appeared in front of them. It was a rather large stone altar. The altar gave off an ancient feeling. It was likely that it had existed for quite a long time.
“This place is the central hub of the entire realm…” Lin Dong stared at the huge stone altar and softly said.
Ling Qingzhu’s eyes also looked towards the large stone altar in front of her. Her eyes suddenly shrunk as she said, “There’s someone there.”
Her eyes immediately looked towards the other side of the huge stone altar after her voice sounded. Some faint sounds of footsteps were transmitted over from that spot. Soon after, three figures slowly appeared. Finally, they appeared in both her and Lin Dong’s sight.
“It seems like enemies frequently cross paths…”
Lin Dong’s eyes gradually turned gloomy when he saw the three familiar figures. That was because those three figures were the three little kings of Yuan Gate.
The Yuan Cang trio had clearly seen Lin Dong when the latter discovered them. Immediately, a stunned expression flashed across their faces. Soon after, a sinisterly cold expression and mockery slowly surfaced.
In their eyes, Lin Dong had undoubtedly delivered himself to their doorstep…