Chapter 501: Kuanglan [V6C31 – Sorrow of a Silent Parting]
On the other side of the Giant’s Repose, the experts from the empire were climbing down one after the other. At one of the furthest corners, Xu Lang, clad in a full set of armor, was performing a final equipment check. This was his second time going down, so he was much calmer than the others. He then produced a sheet of paper from his pocket and opened it up slowly.
That was a name list. First on it was Zhao Jundu, and second was Qianye. There were also numerous young experts from the empire listed below them—they were all elites who had already entered “Giant’s Repose”. Xu Lang scanned the names from bottom to the top with battle intent slowly igniting in his eyes.
He crushed the paper into fine powder, walked over to the cliff, and leapt into the cloudy mists.
Qin Continent, Imperial Capital, just as the evening lanterns were being lit around the bedchamber of the Pepper Palace.
Numerous palace maids were walking in a line and lighting up the infant-arm-sized candles. The magnificent hall was flowing with light and shadows amidst the flickering candle flames—almost like a dream realm.
There was a brocade couch behind the glass bead curtains, upon which lay a lady. Her untied raven hair wound over her left shoulder like flowing clouds and fell all the way to the floor.
Her sitting figure alone constituted a beautiful scenery, her brilliance undimmed by the luxurious ornaments all around her. But there was a faint expression of worry upon that countenance of otherworldly beauty.
There was a large white cat on her knees, its pair of rolling golden eyes following the palace maids as they moved about.
The feline’s fur was as white as snow, but the lady’s hands were even fairer. Her fingers—seemingly capable of touching the soul—was stroking the cat lightly. The spectator could almost feel her hands tickling the heart and would want nothing more than to dig it out to scratch.
Her eyes were lowered as she gazed at the large cat on her knees. It was as though nothing in the world could catch her attention.
The cat stretched lazily and rubbed its head against her hand, whereafter it closed its eyes in comfort.
There were candleholders of varying designs in every corner of the bedchamber. The palace maids spent quite some time to finish lighting up all of them. The entire process was completely silent. It was so calm that even the cat’s purr was fairly resounding.
That was because everyone knew that this painting-like figure loved silence and feared clamor. There was only one reason why no one had any objections to the magnificence and complicated rules of the Pepper Palace—she was Empress Li, mistress of the imperial harem.
The sky was gradually turning dark, but the bedchamber was flooded with brilliance and as light as day. Being able to illuminate the room with such an ancient tool to the point where one couldn’t find a single shadow went to show just how elaborately the lamps were designed.
This was also one of her anxieties. She couldn’t stand the darkness.
At this moment, some delicate footsteps were heard from outside of the hall. An elderly inner attendant walked straight over to the curtain with delicate footsteps—it was as though he were treading upon water. At this point, he said with a squeaky mosquito-like voice, “Empress, Teacher Yan seeks an audience.”
Empress Li finally raised her head and glanced at the attendant. “Only Teacher Yan?”
That inner attendant’s forehead became drenched in cold sweat. He fell kneeling onto the floor and replied with a trembling voice, “A-Also… Young Noble Kuanglan has come. This old servant wasn’t trying to hide this matter intentionally. The truth is, Young Noble Kuanglan said he would have my head if I dared speak half a word!”
Empress Li chuckled. “Does that mean you’re not afraid of me taking your head?”
The inner attendant kowtowed immediately. “This servant has always been loyal and devoted. As kindhearted as you are, I’m sure you won’t take my head.”
Empress Li broke into laughter. “You? Loyal and devoted? Scram and remember to summon all of them.”
Moments later, Teacher Yan and a young man walked into the palace halls. It was just that Teacher Yan, who had always been calm and unflustered, appeared rather helpless and awkward today. He had his head lowered and didn’t dare meet the empress’ gaze.
Empress Li didn’t look at the young man beside him and only asked Teacher Yan in a gentle voice, “Teacher Yan, it’s already night time. What is so important that you have come to call upon me in such a rush?”
This question caused Teacher Yan to hem and haw, unable to find his words for the moment.
The young man beside him laughed at this moment. “I forced him to bring me here. It’s not his fault. How would he dare to not listen to me?”
All the light in the hall was seemingly attracted to him the moment he spoke. He was half a head taller than Teacher Yan with long limbs and slender digits.
He possessed a beautiful and almost seductive countenance, especially his pair of soul-seizing eyes. They were almost identical to Empress Li’s. However, Empress Li’s eyes were filled with many layers of bewildering mist, while his pupils were suffused with cold, sharp sword intent.
Speaking in terms of appearance, this youth could contend with Zhao Jundu. It was just that Zhao Jundu’s appearance was an elegant and solemn beauty akin to the great mountains and rivers. Meanwhile, this person was like a demon capable of moving a ten-thousand-year-old entity.
Empress Li frowned slightly and said with great displeasure, “Lan, are you threatening other people’s families again? Teacher Yan is an extremely important person. Haven’t I told you before not to cause trouble? Are you not going to listen to my words anymore?”
These words caused Teacher Yan to feel both thankful and ashamed.
Li Kuanglan, on the other hand, didn’t seem to mind at all and only revealed a radiant smile that shamed the candles in the hall. “What’s so serious about this? I only frightened him a bit. It’s not like I actually did anything. Sister, I know my limits. But if he’s not tactful, I can’t be blamed for whatever happens.”
Empress Li sighed somewhat helplessly. “Since you’re here to see me now, then speak. What do you want again? Let me tell you beforehand, though. You can forget about anything related to the Evernight Continent.”
The young man, however, said with a laugh, “Sister, you’re so great. I’m preparing to take a trip to Giant’s Repose.”
Empress Li felt a headache. She rubbed her temples and sighed. “What are you going to do there? That’s a dangerous war zone. Even Marshal Lin was bedridden from the backlash after scrying about that place. His Majesty has even opened up the emperor’s medicine store to treat him. You think you can rampage through it with your meager abilities?”
“Heh, heh, divination abilities are just cheap tricks. Good and bad luck can also be reversed by strength. Marshal Zhang Boqian has said that one need only march straight ahead on the great dao. I, Li Kuanglan, like these words better. Moreover, with opportunities arising amidst the unrest, our Jingtang Li Clan should also take action. Otherwise, the people of the world will think the only heroes in our vast empire are people like Zhao Jundu and Song Zining.”
Empress Li remained silent for a long time. “What does Teacher Yan think?”
Teacher Yan smiled wryly. “I think Young Noble Kuanglan will surely go even without your consent. Why don’t you give Kuanglan that sword to increase his chances?”
Empress Li sighed. “This empress will surely get a share of this ancient essence. Lan, why must you do this.”
Kuanglan’s eyes were as sharp as a blade’s edge. “That’s only one share. I’ll get more by fighting for it in person, and it’s also more meaningful.”
Evernight Continent, the depths of Giant’s Repose.
Under Qianye’s extraordinary vision, the distant stone forest and grand peak revealed their true nature. The spine of that unknown beast was excessively large with each joint extending into the skies. They were even taller than the stone forest and easily gave one the impression that they were grand peaks.
Qianye drew a breath of cold air. If even the joints were so large, how enormous would this giant beast have been when it was alive?
Those with such a gigantic frame could only roam the void because a single step might crumble the continents and the firmament, causing void origin power to leak onto the continents and incite large-scale disasters.
Glancing at the stone forest from afar, Qianye suddenly noticed a light flicker for a short moment. That was the ancient essence fragment he had seen before!
At this moment, Qianye could already feel some of the ancient essence’s aura because of the close distance. Just the mere aura of it was already able to set Qianye’s origin power adrift. It was as though he had reached a certain realization, and a corner of the veil covering the world had been lifted to reveal small bits of profundity related to the grand origins.
Qianye took a deep breath and suppressed the astonishment in his heart. Just an aura already possessed such miraculous effects. How wondrous would it be if he were to really obtain a fragment? It was no wonder that even Sky Demon was taking action to seize it.
At this moment, a blaze flickered in the distance as a comet fell from the skies and a tyrannical aura erupted the moment it landed on the ground. It then weakened immediately afterward and vanished from Qianye’s perception. He only saw a pillar of flames rise in the distance and was then extinguished.
This was likely an expert from the Evernight side entering this realm. It was just that his luck and strength weren’t very good. He had failed to resist the impact and pressure of the colossus’ will and had thus fallen after igniting his final origin power.
Judging from the auric flame blood that had erupted at the very end, it was likely a marquis level expert at the very least, a noble capable of ruling over a dominion in the vast Dark Nation. He had fallen here at this moment without the chance to even approach the ancient essence.
This gave Qianye a renewed awareness regarding the perils of this land.
He was surprised once again after thinking about this realm. He glanced up and actually saw a deep starry sky with giant shadows moving about slowly at the extremes of his vision.
Surprisingly, this place wasn’t an independent space and was, instead, a complete land mass floating in the void like the twenty-seven continents. Could it be that his leap had actually taken him through the Giant’s Repose and directly to the land behind it!?
Qianye thought about his journey through the mist but gained nothing from it. As such, he collected his astonished thoughts and started observing his surroundings. From here on out, the intelligence gained from the two factions was no longer of use; he had to gradually explore on his own.
Qianye thus activated the Eye of Truth. He spent some time scanning the environs and confirmed that the scenery in the sky wasn’t just a distorted illusion. This place was indeed a landmass in the void, and judging from the shape of the small asteroid belts in his vision, he speculated that the size of this place was far smaller than that of a continent. It could only be called a large island.
There were countless such places in the void between continents. However, most of them couldn’t support life because of their small size.
Meanwhile, perhaps due to the presence of the void colossus’ will, there was both flora and fauna on this landmass, at least as far as Qianye could see. It was just that the void colossus’ omnipresent will would indiscriminately attack all intelligent lifeforms on this landmass. It would take more than just an ordinary genius to survive here.
The marquis who had just passed away before Qianye’s eyes had used his own life to prove this point. Before this void colossus, the so-called genius experts of the two factions were simply a joke.
Since even a dark marquis had arrived, there was bound to be others who had entered. There might even be people already investigating the stone forest. Qianye thus hastened his steps and hurried forth without further delay.
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