351, 352, 353, 354

351, 352, 353, 354

[Host: justreads.net]
[November 11, 2021]
...

351: The Born-Again Male Meets the Transmigrated Female

Those in VIP boxes had their own private exits, so they didn’t have to squeeze out with the rest of the auction attendees. Ming Xi and the others didn’t talk much after the auction; they just walked out happily after getting more snacks.

However, as they were walking out, they found there were several people cautiously staring at them. A few directly came up with invitation letters to be guests at their master’s mansion.

Their masters wanted to find out the identity of those sitting in the mysterious ZERO box, so they were trying to woo Ming Xi. Naturally they wouldn’t appear themselves. They were too arrogant for that, instead they sent their butlers or servants.

Ming Xi accepted the invitations with a smile, but did not say whether he would go or not. He and his group were not interested in these kinds of entertainment.

Feng Wu walked beside Ming Xi. She held the ancient rui egg in her hand and from time to time would telepathically talk to it.

One girl and one baby rui talked to each other happily. Feng Wu had always been a child with an affinity for animals. And although the rui beast wouldn’t say it, he also liked Feng Wu very much.

Not far from their group, Zi Cheng, Yifu, and Jasmine watched the scene.

Yifu had never liked Feng Wu, so she was incredibly upset when she saw Feng Wu holding the egg that Zi Cheng wanted. Her first impulse was to run over and demand Feng Wu hand the egg obediently over to Zi Cheng.

Yifu’s way of thinking was thusly: if Zi Cheng wanted it, then Zi Cheng should get it. It didn’t matter who had it first. Anyone who refused was a sinful and vicious person.

If Zi Cheng hadn’t been holding her hand, she really would have rushed over.

On the other side were Ai Lin and Eliza. Ai Lin had not expected to run into Ming Xi and the rest of the group. She had known his group was somewhere in the maritime world, but she hadn’t been sure about the exact location. Most of her energy had been spent keeping tabs on Zi Cheng.

“It turned out, they’re the ones with the ore. Since you like it, approach them and try to buy it.” Eliza came up with the suggestion when she saw her friend deep in thought.

A bunch of things ran through Zo’s mind at the unexpected sight of Eliza. In the future timeline, she would be killed by his brother, her fiancé. He had to protect her somehow and not let her fall victim to the same tragic fate again. “Eliza!” he called out.

Eliza turned her head at the voice. She was so surprised to see Zo that her mouth opened in an O. “Zo!”

Zo rarely ever left his home, let alone travel as far as the Biluo islands. How could she not be surprised?

“Eliza, how are you doing? I haven’t seen you in so long.” Zo suppressed his excitement and tried hard not to let himself behave strangely.

Eliza blinked playfully. “What haven’t seen you in a long time? We just saw each other not more than two months ago. How could you forget?” She pursed her lips in pretend dissatisfaction.

“Who is this?” Zo avoided her question and asked one of his own as he looked at Ai Lin.

He hadn’t noticed her before, but now that he looked closer, he realized there was a problem. First, he was certain there had never been any such girl beside Eliza in the previous life. Second, her energy fluctuations were similar to his own!

That was to say, the energy she emitted was that of a soul that had passed through the time tunnel. Could this girl have also come from the future?

So many different speculations flashed through Zo’s mind, but he didn’t show them on his face. His expression was peaceful and his eyes were gentle.

“This is my new friend, Ai Lin. Ai Lin, this is my childhood friend, Zo.” Eliza introduced them.

“Hello Zo.” Ai Lin greeted Zo.

In response, Zo greeted her back. “Hello Miss Ai Lin.”

Ai Lin had to think hard to remember that Zo was the male lead’s younger brother, who also happened to be Eliza’s fiancé.

The hero’s brother... Ah! She remembered now. The male lead had a waste brother who could not cultivate either magic or martial qi. He had been that way since childhood.

In the story, Zi Cheng had run into Caesar where the heart of water was located. Caesar knew the heart could warm the body and would be useful for a water magician, which was what his brother, Zo, was. Zo was a natural born water magician; it was just that he had such an incredibly low affinity for water. Caesar was certain Zo’s body would get better if he got the heart of water.

Zi Cheng had a good impression of Caesar, but the heart of water was an invaluable treasure. How could she bear to see it go to someone she had never met before? She told him it would be useful to her and that he should not give it to his brother. Try as she might, she could not convince Caesar to give it up.

But all that changed after she saved his life. From that moment on, Zi Cheng became his entire world and he never mentioned giving the heart of water to Zo after that.

The only time Zo came up in the story again was when Eliza died. It was Zo’s saddest moment. He made an ardent wish to be a man worthy of her in the next life as he placed flowers on her grave.

He was just a side character with limited appearance. It was the last time Zo appeared in the story until after Zi Cheng and Caesar ascended.

Considering the entire plot, it would have been better for Eliza to accept Zo’s affection instead of falling into the black pit of love between the hero and heroin.

Eliza had no idea what her two friends were thinking. She was happy to see Zo, so later on they all went to dinner together and she forgot all about the ancient rui egg.

They chose a private box at a restaurant, then ordered delicious food and two bottles of wine, chatting all the while as they ate.

“I wonder where Brother Caesar is. I definitely heard his voice at the auction. I wanted to meet him after the auction and I even had people wait for him. They waited so long only to find out he had already left.” Eliza pouted. “He came to the auction house but didn’t even call me up. He knew I’d be on Biluo island. It’s like we’re not even engaged. He’s not taking me seriously at all.”

352: Let’s Work Together

“That Caesar! He knew I’d be looking for him, but refusing to show himself. Does he even think of me as his fiancée?”

Eliza didn’t handle her liquor well, but she had wanted to drink, so now she was rambling like a drunk. Everything she said was related to Caesar.

Zo and Ai Lin both sighed at the same time because they knew her future. Eliza was adorable and also infatuated, but the god of her novel gave her such a tragic ending, to be killed by the very man she loved.

Eliza’s head fell to the table and she began snoring.

“Eliza?” Ai Lin patted her friend’s shoulder helplessly. But the little drunk swatted her hand away and turned her head to the other side to keep on sleeping.

“Who are you and why did you approach Eliza?” Zo asked what he had wanted to know for some time. His voice was cold and lacked any gentleness.

Ai Lin was taken aback by the question.

“I’m a student at Xingguang Holy Academy. I didn’t approach Eliza for any specific reason. She’s a simple and lovely girl. I truly do think of her as a friend.” Although Ai Lin felt that the teenager in front of her had become a mystery, she answered truthfully. He was probably just worried she had an ulterior motive for being around Eliza.

It was no skin off her back to explain it clearly. Whether he believed it or not was his business.

“You have the energy of someone who’s gone through the time tunnel. I’m pretty sure Eliza has never had a friend named Ai Lin. What’s your purpose in approaching her?”

Zo didn’t dare take any chances when it came to Eliza. He would immediately kill Ai Lin if she showed any hint of malice. He wasn’t going to give her the chance to do anything to Eliza.

Just because he was, for all intents and purposes, an ordinary person, didn’t mean he didn’t have resources. As soon as he summoned his servants, they would rush in to kill Ai Lin.

Ai Lin was shocked and her eyes widened in surprise. This was the first time anyone had seen through her. Was this guy really the same young master from the story? But based on her understanding of the world, even if the plot changed, the characters would not.

So why was the Zo in front of her so different from the Zo in the story? Was someone else in Zo’s body? Was he also a transmigrator?!

Ai Lin got a headache just thinking about it. If the person in front of her was also a transmigrator, then things would be difficult. Everyone knew, transmigrators did not get along with other fellow transmigrators.

If two fellow transmigrators met, then they had to fight. Ai Lin hadn’t finished her counterattack against Zi Cheng so she didn’t want to engage the man in front of her yet.

“The Heavenly King covers the Earthly Tiger!” You won’t know if the other party is a transmigrator unless you ask, was what Ai Lin decided on doing.

“What did you say?” Zo was confused by her random sentence.

He didn’t know it... then he couldn’t be a fellow transmigrator. Could it be...?

“You are a reborn person!” Ai Lin was shocked! Shocked! She never dreamed that there were two transmigrators in the world, and now there was even reborn person! World consciousness, what is going on with you! Come out and let’s talk!

“What is a reborn person?” Zo wasn’t too clear. What was the matter with this woman? Why did she keep saying things he couldn’t understand? Was she trying to make him lose his balance before striking?

“A person who returns to the past from the future. Did you die in the future? Did you come back to take revenge?” This was Ai Lin’s first encounter with a reborn man, so she was curious.

Confrontations between fellow transmigrators generally ended with one not being able to walk away, but it wasn’t necessarily the case with a reborn person.

Those protagonists in reborn novels always had an agenda. They either wanted to get revenge or they wanted to raise their families up.

The latter didn’t apply in Zo’s case, so therefore it had to be the former. He had to be here for revenge! Nine out of ten it was for revenge anyways!

But it didn’t make sense. Ai Lin knew Zo and his family were alive and well after Zi Cheng and her man ascended. So how could Zo be reborn?

In the end, the Blackstrom family was yanked out of the top tier position because of Caesar. But they didn’t try to latch onto him even after his fame rose, so Ai Lin had a good impression of Zo and his family.

But if Zo came back to the past, then wasn’t that the exact description for a reborn person?

“Answer my question first. Who are you and why do you have the energy fluctuations of someone who’s gone through the time tunnel?” Zo didn’t intend to ask her a third time.

“I’m kind of like you, but not the same. But tell me first, did you come back for your brother and Zi Cheng?”

If they shared the same purpose, then they could work together.

“You know this too?!” Zo did not expect this woman to know so much, to even know so clearly that he was back because of his brother and Zi Cheng.

Ai Lin went straight to the point. “It looks like we have a common enemy. Let’s work together.”

“Work together? What qualifications do you have to work with me? And why should I trust you?” Zo came from a high tiered family, so obviously he wasn’t going to trust some random stranger.

He didn’t think he needed to make an alliance with Ai Lin. Although the girl was a mystery, when it came to strength, she really wasn’t that strong. It didn’t look like she was from a high tiered or even powerful family. For an alliance to be beneficial, both parties needed to be on equal footing.

It was true, his affinity for the elements were so low, may as well be considered an ordinary person, but he had the backing of his family and the incredible amount of resources from that.

It was no wonder he didn’t think an alliance with her was worth it.

“I’ll show you my sincerity by revealing something about Zi Cheng and myself...”

Ai Lin proceeded to tell him about the things in her original world and the fact that Zi Cheng was also a transmigrator.

“You mean neither you are from this world?! You came from another world?! Zi Cheng is this world’s beloved person so she will always be protected by the world’s consciousness?!” Zo was astounded.

None of Zi Cheng’s friends or suitors had told him about this. Perhaps they had had no inkling of it either.

353: The Opening of the God’s Tomb

[Lord LeWuji’s[notes] residence.]

“Father I’m back.” LeXue walked in gracefully.

LeWuji was sitting in the hall talking to his eldest daughter, LeXuan, when he saw LeXue walk in. He couldn’t help but smile.

“Sister, you’re back. How did it feel to be an auctioneer for a day?” LeFei considered being an auctioneer herself when she saw how her sister had looked on stage.

“What was there to feel? It wasn’t much.” LeXue laughed in a light and indifferent manner.

“Xue-er, if you’re tired, go and rest first.” LeWuji cared about his daughters. The auction was done, but it had taken several hours, so it was understandable if his daughter was tired.

“I’m OK. I’m not tired. By the way, where is Eldest Brother? I didn’t see him on the way back.” LeXue looked around but she only saw a few servants.

“Your Eldest Brother is preparing to enter the tomb, so you won’t see him until later.”

That made LeXue worried. “Father, when are you going to open the tomb? Didn’t you say there was still an unaccounted key? Can you open the tomb without that key?”

LeWuji picked up his tea cup and took a slow sip of the fragrant tea. “The third key has already appeared. I can feel the owner of the key nearby. The person will definitely appear on the opening day.”

The person was already here?! The two sisters were stunned. They didn’t expect the long sought after third key would appear on Biluo island.

“Then, when will we be opening the tomb?” LeFei immediately asked. She was very curious about the tomb.

“In three days. Master Caesar and I will go there together. The owner of the third key will definitely appear. At that time, I expect you sisters to stay here at home. I don’t want you secretly following us.” LeWuji knew his daughters. LeXue was sensible and obedient but LeFei was headstrong. If she wasn’t kept under control, who knew what kind of troubles she would get into.

LeFei pouted, upset at her father’s decision. She made up her mind she would definitely secretly follow him on opening day. Who would be able to stop her?

LeXue sighed. She could tell her sister was already plotting. She couldn’t let LeFei break into the tomb and make trouble for her father and brother. She was going to have to keep a close eye on her sister for the next few days.

Later that day, the island learned LeWuji would lead people to the tomb of the Sea emperor in three days.

People excitedly discussed it everywhere. The hotel where Ming Xi and his group were staying was no exception.

“Have you heard? The tomb of the Sea emperor is going to open in three days.”

“Yea, I heard. Wasn’t it that the restrictions around the tomb were too strong before? Did the lord of the island find a powerful magician to break the array?”

“No, I heard they found all the keys they needed to open it.” The man who spoke said so smugly.

“What keys?” The others weren’t as informed.

“You don’t know? A friend of a sister of my brother’s friend’s works at the Moon auction house. The last item auctioned was the key to the Sea emperor’s tomb.”

“Someone willingly auctioned the Sea emperor’s key?! That is crazy! I would have hidden the key and gone to the tomb and got all the treasures for myself!”

“I say my brother, you’re thinking is way too simple. You need three keys to open the tomb. Now all three keys have been collected.”

“Turns out there are three keys. The lord of this island said the tomb would be opening in three days, so then. . .  that must mean all three keys have been collected!”

Ming Xi and his group heard the excited conversation when they came down for their meal.

The waiter brought their food over and they began eating and drinking as they discussed the tomb being opened soon.

“Senior Ming Xi, do you think the island lord knows where the keys are? Otherwise why would he say the tomb would open in three days?” Ink was openly suspicious.

“I think so. I’ve had this feeling we’re being watched. It’s definitely not just in my head. They’ve been watching us since we got off the boat.” Jier spoke up after swallowing a slice of barbeque.

“Those watching us must know Senior Ming Xi has the key. Those who know it would be the same ones who were with us on Death island.” Leo said.

“Those people have been watching us for so many days, are they trying to steal the key?!” Margaret asked.

Matheson didn’t think so. “If they had wanted to grab it, they would have tried days ago. They wouldn’t have waited until now.”

Feng Wu looked around at everyone talking. She didn’t interrupt but kept eating her food: one bite of chicken on the left, one bite of beef skewer on the right, and one bite of bread on the side. It was a joy to eat such tasty food.

Little White was feeding Little Bun beside her. Occasionally Little Bun would stretch out his tiny arm to grab a plate as drool slid down his chin. Like mother like son. . . 

Ming Xi and the group talked for a long time. In the end, they decided to go and see for themselves. Sooner or later, the tomb would have to be opened. It wasn’t like they’d be able to hide anyway.

Besides that, Ming Xi had discovered an aspect of the key. As long as the distance wasn’t too great, it could sense the approximate direction of the other keys. He could feel the other keys on the island, so it stood to reason the other two key holders could also sense the same.

It was a reasonable assumption that the other two key holders would use the keys’ ability to find him if he didn’t show up at the tomb’s opening in three days.

He wasn’t afraid of anyone, but he didn’t want to cause trouble, so in three days he would go.

The next three days were the liveliest days in all of Biluo history. The tomb was on everyone’s lips and many more people poured onto the island.

354: Leaving

All the hotels were full; it didn’t matter if it was a big one or dinky small one. Some of the locals with a head for business even rented the rooms in their homes out at a comparable rate to the hotels.

The locals were smiling from ear to ear at the hefty profit they made.

Three days passed by in a flash, and soon enough opening day arrived.

The area by the tomb was crowded by early morning. Everyone was there for the treasure, and everyone wanted to be the first to rush in and grab some for themselves as soon as it opened.

LeWuji had come early, but despite that, there was still a large crowd already gathered. He didn’t bring a lot of people, but they were all good hands.

The twelve island lords did not go all out. They knew the tomb had incredible treasures, but they also knew it was extremely dangerous. If they sent all their manpower inside, what would happen to Biluo?

The twelve lords had already discussed it amongst themselves. They would have four brothers go in while the other eight would remain behind to guard Biluo to prevent anyone from using the opportunity to harm the islands.

In addition to the four island lords, there was also LeChen, who was LeWuji’s son. The other three lords also brought their more reliable children with them as well. In addition to these family members, there were also fifty experts with them.

Their party was smaller than most, but it was a solid and reliable one with quality talent.

Casear arrived shortly after LeWuji. With him were Yifu, Zi Cheng, and Jasmine.

Originally, Jasmine had not wanted to take the risk, but the temptation was too great. She was a water magician after all, so she followed Zi Cheng with a smile on her face. Her relationship with the girls in the dorm had chilled. Even Annika,[notes] who had been with her from the start, had become more distant. The only ones willing to be friends with her were Zi Cheng and Yifu. So that was how she ended tagging along with Zi Cheng.

Even though Zi Cheng wasn’t high born, she was still a concubine child, and in school she was treated like a goddess. Who knew how many boys in the department worshipped her?

Jasmine liked Zi Cheng, but she wasn’t crazy for her like Yifu was. Yifu was just insane. Even if the relationship between Yifu and Zi Cheng was good, it wasn’t good enough to die for. It wasn’t just Yifu either, some of the boys were like that too. The more they adored her, the more irrational and single-minded they became.

The boys who liked Zi Cheng were merciless to the girls who spoke badly about Zi Cheng. They always had this crazy look in their eyes whenever it was anything about her.

The closer Jasmine got to Zi Cheng and the others, the more issues she found. Although Zi Cheng was really good to her, even getting her a high-level induction stone, she just wasn’t completely happy with Zi Cheng. This was why Zi Cheng had such a hard time raising her favorability.

Someone who can’t trust the other wholeheartedly, how can the favorability be raised to one hundred?

Too bad Zi Cheng couldn’t read minds. If she knew Jasmine was suspicious, she would have killed her.

The favorability system was her biggest secret and anyone who knew about it had to die.

It was because the two didn’t know each other’s thoughts, that they were able to coexist peacefully. They were even going to explore the Sea emperor’s tomb together.

Of the three of them, Zi Cheng was the only one who had planned on exploring the tomb. The other two knew their limitations and hadn’t wanted to go to such a dangerous place.

Caesar had a good impression of Zi Cheng, so he knew she would want to explore the tomb. He invited her to join his party even though he felt the other two were cumbersome to have around.

LeWuji and Caesar’s arrival made everyone around the tomb excited. They had been waiting for the tomb to open. Now they just needed to wait for the last key. The tomb could be opened as soon as the third key arrived. There would be so many wonderful treasures to find!

Just thinking about all the sacred-level items inside made them quake with excitement. They wanted to go in now!

If it weren’t for the restriction, they would have already rushed in.

It took a while for Ming Xi and his group to arrive. By the time they did, the sea was crowded with ships.

The large number of ships blocking the way made Jier unhappy. “So many people!” He knew there would be a lot of people, but this was more than expected.

He remembered when he was at the god’s tomb in the realm battlegrounds, it was really crowded then too, but back then the tomb opening was a surprise, so there wasn’t a lot of time for people to prepare.

If a tomb was advertised and a lot of people knew about it, then it stood to reason there would be thousands more people.

“The rumor about the Sea emperor’s tomb opening has been spreading for a while. The communications network on the continent is pretty good, so the news quickly. There was more than enough time for the nobles and royals to send representatives.” Matheson commented.

“Even the royals came over?!” Ink was surprised. He thought the adventurers were all from major families.

“Of course. Why are the four major royal families so strong? It isn’t just because they’re descendants of the gods, it’s also because they are guarded by god artifacts. The royals of other countries aren’t descendants of gods, but they also have artifacts. The more they have, the better their odds of being able to stand with the four major royal houses.” Margaret was disdainful of their attempts. Instead of trying to vie for so much power, how about thinking of ways to make your own country better?

“You guys are overthinking it.” Jier wasn’t interested.

“Let’s just try to find a way through the crowd. There are so many ships, will we be able to make it through?”

Everyone was positioned at sea near Biluo. The tomb was somewhere below them, so if they wanted to get inside, they would have to use the vortex that led to the entrance.

355, 356, 357, 358

355, 356, 357, 35

[Host: justreads.net]
[November 20, 2021]
...

355: Entrance

Everyone wanted to jump into the vortex and be in the best position to get the treasures inside the tomb.

“Just jump over.” Feng Wu actually made a face as she said it.

What was so hard about it? Just jumping over would be easy. Jier and the others were really dumb today.

Jier, who didn’t know he was being looked down upon by Feng Wu, nodded his head in agreement.

Although it was a good idea, would it be so easy to execute? The people on the other boats would surely try to do something. In fact, just a moment ago, someone got knocked out with a stick on another boat for doing the exact thing Feng Wu suggested.

The ships around the tomb were staffed with hired hand and adventurers from big families. Those who wanted to get to the tomb were already in the central area. The ships on the outer perimeter were there for one reason: to keep competition away. They were there to keep those coming up behind from approaching.

So although jumping over was certainly an option, it would be an option that required a good amount of strength. Weak jumpers would be beaten and pushed out into the water.

“Look at all those other people trying to do that. They get knocked over by the people on the boat. Are you sure you want to try jumping over?” Margaret asked cautiously.

Jier was confident. “What do they matter? If you’re beaten, then it just proves you’re weak. I and Xiao Wu will be fine.”

Margaret was speechless. What he said was true.

“Enough talk, don’t worry about it. Let’s just go over together.” Jier didn’t want to spend any more time talking about it.

“Hold on.” Ming Xi reached over and grabbed Jier before he could jump. “Jier, Leo, Ink, the three of you stay behind.”

“What?! No way. Senior Ming Xi, I want to go. You know how difficult it was to even get here? This may be the only time I'll get to go into a god’s tomb! How can you bear to not let me go?!” After all the ups and downs, now he was being told he couldn’t go? Ink was heartbroken.

“Senior Ming Xi, why won’t you let us go?” Leo was disappointed as well.

“I protest! I can understand why you wouldn’t want those two to go, they suck, but why can’t I go?” Jier felt he was pretty strong. Why did he have to stay behind like a kid?

“Jier, that’s too much! Senior Leo and I aren’t that weak. Why would you make it sound like we’d be a hindrance?!” Ink stopped talking. If he could beat Jier up, he would, but he knew he couldn’t.

Even Leo, who was normally well-mannered, glared at Jier.

Margaret and Matheson: Jier, you’re so hateful.

“Jier, you’re a fire magician and we don’t know how strong the suppression for fire magic will be inside the tomb. It’s too risky for you to go down. Ink and Leo, currently your abilities are not suitable. If you want to enter the tomb, you’ll have to improve your strength.”

Ming Xi valued their safety over all else. The tomb would be full of dangers and unsafe for them. Jier’s abilities would surely be suppressed while Leo and Ink, though geniuses in their own right, were still too weak to take on the tomb. Ming Xi wasn’t sure he could bring them out if he brought them in. These were the factors he based his decision on.

Ming Xi was the captain, so even if they didn’t want to listen, they had to obey.

“Wait. Senior Ming Xi. What about those two? How come they get to go?” Jier was still dissatisfied as he pointed to Margaret and Matheson. Why were those two weak chickens allowed to go when he couldn’t? He was big shot you know...

Margaret was pleased she and Matheson weren’t forced to stay behind.

Ming Xi gave Jier a queer look. Jier suddenly felt like he had asked... a very stupid question.

“They are not a part of our team. It’s not up to me to decide whether they should go or not.”

Margaret made triumphant face at Jier. It was true! Ming Xi couldn’t tell them what to do.

Jier ground his teeth. Don’t think that just because you’re a woman I won’t fight you. Just wait till we’re alone!

Of course, Margaret didn’t pay any attention to the murderous light in Jier’s eyes. She was in too good a mood. Instead she simply waved bye to the three guys forced to stay behind before jumping away after Ming Xi and the others.

Jier, Leo, and Ink were left behind with Little Bun. Feng Wu had originally put Little Bun in her ring, but since the guys were staying behind, they would be able to babysit. Little Bun resented being inside the ring, so this worked out well.

The three guys became reluctant dads, but fortunately Little Bun wasn’t the crying kind of child, so their job was easy.

In the meantime, the others followed Ming Xi from boat to boat. The jumped easily toward the vortex. It wasn’t that no one tried to stop them; it was just that they were too strong. By the time anyone thought to swat at them, they were gone and on their way to another boat. Their speed was daunting!

After finally jumping into the vortex, they emerged in front of a magnificent palace made entirely of crystals. It sparkled and glittered in a tempting way that made people just want to dive right in.

The gate to the entrance was incredibly high, so high it made people feel like it was built for giants. Carved into the gates were two identical sea horses. Legend had it that these two sea monsters were used to pull the Sea emperor’s chariot. They returned to the spirit world after the god died, but their spirits remained in the engraving.

No one could enter without the key.

“Island Lord, Master Caesar, please open the door soon!” An elder standing to the side encouraged them.

The others were also impatient to enter.

Suddenly Caesar shouted out. “My friend, if that you are here, please reveal yourself.” He spoke in the direction Ming Xi’s direction.

Of course this made everyone turn in that direction. People in that direction began to unconsciously move away as people stared at them. Slowly Ming X’s group was revealed.

356: Opening the Sea God’s Tomb

“Friends, please join us in opening this tomb.” Caesar looked at Ming Xi and the others as he cupped his hand in greeting.

“Please.” Ming Xi softly said.

The three men, Ming Xi, LeWuji, and Caesar, each pressed their respective keys into the grooves beside the gate.

The originally immovable gate shook violently before creaking horrendously. A full torturous five minutes later a deep corridor finally appeared beyond the gates. Dazzling white light shown from luminescent pearls hanging from the walls. They illuminated the palace and made it feel like the middle of the day.

“It’s finally all the way open! It’s open! Everyone inside!”

That one eager shout of excitement was like a switch. A bunch of adventurers and smaller families rushed in to be the first. This was good for the major families; the more that rushed in, the better as cannon fodder.

“Xiao Cheng, let’s go in. Look how many have already rushed out in front of us.” Yifu looked anxiously at the gates that people were flooding through.

Jasmine was anxious too, but she kept it under control when she saw how many major families were there.

“Don’t worry. Let’s wait for a bit.” Zi Cheng spoke gently and smiled benignly. It was like the tomb held no allure for her whatsoever.

Yifu stopped urging her and waited obediently.

The major families didn’t move until those in front had nearly all cleared out. Once the major families entered, Zi Cheng and Caesar’s group slowly and leisurely walked through the gates.

They were followed by LeWuji’s group.

Feng Wu and Ming Xi walked slowly down the corridor. The length felt never ending. Even those who had walked ahead had not reached the end.

Ai Lin, Zo, and Eliza were walking together as a group. Both Zo and Eliza had extraordinary identities so they had bodyguards around them for protection. Neither Ai Lin nor Zo could convince Eliza not to go exploring the tomb.

The expedition inside the Sea emperor’s tomb would be incredibly dangerous as the Sea emperor was an unfriendly god. Ai Lin knew there were endless hidden dangers, so unless she wanted to die, she had to be careful.

She knew, from having read the book, that Zi Cheng overcame many dangerous situations, with the Sea emperor’s tomb being one of the most dangerous.

Ai Lin and Zo had formed an alliance against Zi Cheng three days ago. She told Zo about all the dangers inside the tomb, and in exchange Zo told her how Zi Cheng’s selfishness shattered the world one hundred years later.

Ai Lin didn’t know Zi Cheng’s possession of the five elemental hearts would destroy the world. Didn’t Zi Cheng know what she was doing? It was impossible for not to know. Her favorability system would have surely told her. But despite knowing, she still took all the hearts didn’t she?

The heroine was indeed a truly selfish and heartless person. She had already become a god by then, so things like the five elemental hearts were useless to her. She only took them so she could sell them to her system for more points.

Zo knew about the favorability system from Ai Lin. He understood why all of Zi Cheng’s friends, no matter what scumbags they were, were all willing to live and die for her, never hesitating to betray anyone and anything for her.

He had wondered if his brother had been controlled by her ability; now he was certain of it.

Ai Lin was happy to share everything she knew about Zi Cheng, but despite the alliance, she was unwilling to share the details of her own personal advantages with Zo.

Zo wasn’t the kind of person to ask a person’s secrets. As long as both parties had the same purpose and the other party didn’t become hostile, he wouldn’t pry.

Ai Lin wondered if Zo also had any unnatural advantages, but she didn’t ask. She hadn’t told him hers, so she wasn’t going to ask him his.

They had agreed Zo would use the heart of water after they found it. Zo wanted the heart but he only wanted to use it to change his body. He would return it immediately afterwards, unlike Zi Cheng, who didn’t care if she destroyed the world by keeping it.

Zi Cheng had no clue the two of them had teamed up against her, however these things had nothing to do with Feng Wu. She held her short sword in one hand and Ming Xi’s hand in the other. Ming Xi, Feng Wu, Margaret, and Matheson continued following the crowd in front of them.

They didn’t encounter any danger.

The only trouble was the overly long corridor. Half an hour later and it still showed no signs of terminating. How much longer would it go on for?

“How long is the hall going to go on for?!” complained a man up ahead.

“How is anyone going to know? Just keep walking.” The man next to him tried to ease his companion’s anxiety.

“Where does this even lead to? It doesn’t feel like there’s an ending.”

Others were also complaining, but no matter what they said, the corridor ahead kept continuing.

They walked on for another two hours. None of the thousands of people up ahead had yet made it out. The longer they walked, the more anxious people became.

357: Yabo’s Vengeance

What is going on? Why can't I get out?

Is this an illusion?

Questions, of one type of another, appeared in their minds. But no one had an answer. . . 

Feng Wu obediently followed Ming Xi as she turned a deaf ear to the complaints around her. She had been following him without a word the entire time.

Margaret and Matheson’s feelings were completely different. They’d been feeling suffocated for a long time. It was so boring; they wanted to vent!

Ming Xi knew something was wrong. He wasn’t an irritable person and yet he was feeling irritable. He had been able to forcefully adjust his mental state, but those around him didn’t have the same concentration abilities.

They could only feel the continued futility mount in their hearts.

“Can’t you go any faster?!”

“Huh?! Where the hell do you want me to hurry to?!”

“What?! How dare you talk to me that way?! I guess you don’t want to live!”

“Huh! I think you’re the one who doesn’t want to live!”

“Oh hoho! You are looking for death! Draw your sword!”

“I’m not afraid of you! Eat my blade!”

Such a trivial matter was worth fighting to the death over?

Ridiculous scenes like this began multiplying. It didn’t matter who, whether it was an adventurer traveling solo, or the children of families, every one of them were wearing hostility on their faces.

It was such a small matter, but it somehow turned into a life and death situation.

Zi Cheng covertly took an emotion balancing pill that she recently exchanged from her system into her mouth, while not too far away, Yifu and Jasmine were engaged in an argument with another adventurer.

Magic spells flashed and sword blades clashed everywhere down the length of the corridor.

“Everyone, be careful. There’s something not right with this place!” Ming Xi bit his tongue to stay alert. He looked over to see how Feng Wu was doing. Her eyes were clear and she had her normal blank expression. It didn’t look like the place had any effect on her.

Margaret and Matheson, on the other hand, did not look well. They were clearly angry over something, but unlike the others in the corridor, they didn’t look like they were going to act violent.

It didn’t look like they could hold on for long though. Ming Xi wanted to withdraw and take everyone away from the crowd, but he was too slow to act.

Those to the side of them were already attacking.

“Go to hell!”

Someone yelled just before lunging forward to stab Feng Wu in the heart.

Feng Wu had been calm and unaffected the entire time, so it was easy for her to feel the murderous intention from behind her. She easily sidestepped and halted the sword between two fingers.

Doubt flashed in her eyes when she saw that the person looked familiar.

“Who are you? And why do you want to kill me?”

“What a dumb question! Because of your interference, we lost the key to the god’s tomb in the battlegrounds. It was your fault my Yiduo clan suffered. I have to kill you to avenge those that died!”

The furious man was Yabo of the Yiduo clan.[notes] He had been one of the first people to learn about the god’s tomb in the battlegrounds, but he was caught by the Inferno mercenary group[notes] and loss the key before he could pass it on to the clan. They lost a significant advantage because of it!

He didn’t think about how dangerous the tomb was, that even if Feng Wu’s group hadn’t interfered, it was unlikely he and his group would have gotten anything good from it.

Yabo stared hatefully at Feng Wu but didn’t engage Ming Xi. The reason of course was simple. Ming Xi had a mysterious aura so it would be difficult to provoke him, On the other hand, Feng Wu looked easy to bully. Yabo was weak, so Feng Wu made for a better first target. He intended to work his way up, kill the weak first, then target the strong.

Even Zi Cheng and Ai Lin were on his hit list. The girls didn’t know both the Lianye and Yiduo clan had spotted them the moment they approached the tomb. The two families had worked it out already. They would separate the kids one by one, break them up. If they couldn’t kill the blond-haired boy, then they would kill his friends, and hurt his feelings. Who knows? If they were lucky, one of the girls could even be his sweetheart.

It’s a shame they would be disappointed.

Ming Xi sent Yabo flying with a hard kick to the stomach.

“You only dare target girls. Despicable!” Ming Xi had a smile on his face, but his voice was cold enough to freeze bone.

“Everyone! Don't be complacent. Come out! Let’s all work together!” Yabo yelled. Yabo gave up on a sneak attack and switched to a full frontal one.

Margaret and Matheson: What does this have to do with us?

They were unlucky and were guilty by association. Now they were also targeted by Yabo’s group.

Yabo’s yell brought out thirty sword masters in sword master uniform. They were all thugs Yabo had recruited. He had had to hire them out of his own pocket because the person leading the expedition for the Yiduo clan was the second elder. And the second elder was not one to use family resources for personnel vendettas.

Yabo had to get revenge on his own. He had spent a lot of money, but it would be worth it to kill Ming Xi and his group. The crushing defeat in his heart would finally be erased. If he could vent his anger, then the money spent was worth it.

His original plan didn’t involve killing all of them immediately, but since things had devolved the way they had, he didn’t mind accelerating things. He would just kill all of them in one swoop!

“Kill them!” A group of bloodthirsty men rushed at Ming Xi’s group.

Feng Wu drew her sword and easily blocked an attack to her chest. She kicked the man so hard he flew into the person behind him and made that guy puke up his dinner from the night before.

358: Feng Wu and Zo

Ming Xi had his own sword as well. It was a silvery sword with mysterious engravings on the blade. He used it to quickly dispatch the two men who rushed at him.

He was no holy savior. He had no qualms killing those intent on harming him, nor did he give them any mercy.

Margaret and Matheson weren’t doing too bad themselves. One was a magician and the other a sword master, with one responsible for defense and the other for offense. They quickly killed three of the thugs.

Feng Wu was just as merciless, stabbing to death anyone who attacked her. If she didn’t kill them, they would keep attacking, so it was easiest to just finish them in one blow. They would be annoying otherwise.

Margaret and Matheson walked over to Yabo after killing the last of the thugs.

“I’ll fight you to the death!” He raised his sword; the thought of running away never crossed his mind. Of course he rushed toward Margaret and not Matheson. Was he just sexist? Did you he think women were easier?

Margaret tossed a seed at him. It grew quickly into a sturdy vine that bound him up until he suffocated to death.

“All done!” Margaret clapped her hands.

“That’s strange. Where did Ming Xi and Feng Wu go?” Matheson looked around but couldn’t find them. They had just been fighting side by side, but now it was like they had disappeared into thin air. When did they leave? How did neither he nor Margaret notice?!

Neither Ming Xi nor Feng Wu would abandon their companions, so where could they have gone?

“What about everyone else?! They’re all gone too!”

They didn’t wonder for too long. Soon enough red light surrounded them and they also disappeared.

Whoosh... whoosh... whoosh...

Feng Wu could hear the sounds of the waves crashing. When she opened her eyes, what she saw wasn’t the corridor but a wide expansive ocean. How odd. The last she remembered, she was killing a bunch of people who were attacking her, when a light suddenly surrounded her body and brought her here. It was an isolated island.

There were many other people not too far from her who had arrived before she did. It was a mystery how they ended up on the island. They had their guards up, after all anyone in the tomb was an enemy who couldn’t be trusted.

Suddenly a voice like a spring breeze asked Feng Wu, “Miss, can I go with you?”

Feng Wu turned around to find a thin guy standing beside her. Going by standards on the continent, he wouldn’t be considered handsome, but he wasn’t ugly either. You could say he was worth a second look with his delicate and pretty appearance. He had a smooth voice and his eyes were clear. Those were two bonus points in his favor. Overall, he wasn’t bad looking.

Feng Wu stared at him for three seconds before concluding that he wasn’t annoying.

Feng Wu’s intuition was exceptionally good. She could tell when someone was good or bad. In his case, he didn’t feel either good or bad.

“OK.” Feng Wu nodded easily.

This threw the young guy for a loop. He never expected her to agree so readily, so he had come prepared with all sorts of reasons for her to take him along. Now he felt silly for overthinking things.

It wasn’t just him, the others hanging around not too far from them were also surprised. Everyone expected her to disagree. The guy didn’t look strong, so there was no advantage to teaming up and spending the energy to protect him. He was obviously weak. Besides, there was no telling when you could get stabbed in the back. Who would form an alliance with a stranger and increase their odds of that?

But this girl agreed, and she agreed super easily. Was she naïve or just stupid? They were confused.

“Thank you.” Zo sincerely thanked her after being slightly dazed.

Zo had originally been protected by people from his house, but they disappeared one by one during the melee.

Zo had been observing the entire time. He found that once a person killed nine people, a red light would surround them and they would get teleported away. He was able to kill nine people with Ai Lin’s help, so that was how he ended up on the island.

But because he was teleported out, he didn’t know what happened to Eliza and Ai Lin. Zo was worried about Eliza, but he knew if she was with Ai Lin, she would be fine. Ai Lin was a world traveler, so she had to have some means. Eliza was a rich princess, so she had plenty of good items on her body, including things like destruction scrolls. She would have no problem killing nine people.

Among them, the only problematic person was him. It was depressing to think about, but the feeling faded away after a few seconds. He had lived over a hundred years so this was nothing to languish over.

Feng Wu smiled crookedly. “You’re not annoying, so you don’t have to thank me.”

Zo chuckled. He had originally wanted to team up with her because she was friends with the young moon emperor. Anyone who could become his friend, would not be a treacherous person.

He somewhat admired her. There was no way, given her strength, that she couldn’t see through him. It would have been obvious that he was an ordinary person without magic or martial qi. Yet she agreed so easily, and all because she didn’t find him annoying.

She was very transparent. He was a simple person himself, so he liked dealing with people like her.

359, 360, 361, 362

359, 360, 361, 362

[Host: justreads.net]
[November 27, 2021]
...

359: An Alternate Version

Perhaps it was because she was so pure and simple that she was able to judge others based on their aura.

Take Zi Cheng for example. Many people saw her as a kind and gentle person, but Feng Wu felt she was very complicated. The aura surrounding her was just too messy and gave Feng Wu a strange feeling, so Feng Wu didn’t like her.

It wasn’t that Feng Wu would ignore someone like that, it was just that she wouldn’t be friends with that kind of person.

The same went for Ai Lin. Her eyes were always wandering and looking at everything, gathering information. It was confusing and strange. Feng Wu didn’t understand and she wasn’t interested in being friends with her either.

They had spent time together and survived many adventures, but their relationship was not as good as the relationship Feng Wu had with Elena.[notes] For her, they were just classmates.

Feng Wu trusted her feelings, so since Zo didn’t give her a bad feeling, she was fine with being allies.

But does she even understand what allies were? Probably not.

Right now she only regarded the boy as a potential friend, so she didn’t mind protecting him from danger.

“My name is Zo,” said Zo with a slight smile.

Feng Wu replied with her deadpan expression. “My name is Feng Wu.”

And thus was their alliance formalized. Others on the island also struck up alliances with acquaintances as well. Most didn’t know anyone so they remained solo, better solo than take a risky alliance and be stabbed in the back.

In no time at all, more than a hundred people appeared on the island. Zo did a visual count and saw that there were over two hundred. The number of new arrivals petered after a half an hour, until eventually no more showed up.

People guessed no one else was going to arrive. There were so many people who entered the tomb. Even if hundreds of them died in the corridor, there should still be more than the two hundred or so on the island now. So where was everyone else?

Could there be several places like the island they were on? Were they separated on purpose? To be tested?

Zo remembered Ai Lin telling him how strange the tomb was. Even Zi Cheng, who was loved by the world, had nearly died. The danger to normal people entering would be ten times worse.

Ai Lin had tried to dissuade him from going into the tomb, but he really wanted to use the heart of water.

As for Ai Lin, she was on another island together with Eliza, and both of them were worried about Zo.

Ai Lin kept cursing the author out in her heart. She’d read the novel before, so although she knew how dangerous the tomb was, she wasn’t too concerned because she knew what would happen. But what was going on? Suddenly things were different from the story.

Even the way of clearing the tomb was different. What she was experiencing didn’t resemble the original plot anymore, even the entry into the tomb was different. There had been only two keys in the original text as no one had been able to find the third key.

LeWuji and Caesar, along with several powerful figures from bigger families, pooled their resources to gather hundreds of powerful master magicians to break the formation forcefully.

It took a month to gather enough, but they finally succeeded in opening the door.

Just when everyone thought they could enter the tomb, the giant beasts carved into the gates acted, massacring everyone who dared move forward to try to enter the tomb. The only ones spared were those holding the keys.

Those who hadn’t died from the initial run fought a fierce battle with the beasts; the sword masters and magicians barely stood a chance. Though the people eventually managed to wipe out the beasts’ consciousness, it was at the cost of many lives. In fact, very few survived at all.

Those few who survived entered the tomb either as a part of LeWuji’s group or Caesar’s group.

That was the way the story originally went, but it wasn’t the case now. Was it because all three keys had been gathered that things were so different?

Ai Lin had made up her mind to join Caesar’s team after the masters’ broke the formation, then retreat with Zo and Eliza until the beasts were taken down. After that she was going to join Zi Cheng’s team and enter the tomb.

She had not expected the tomb to open so easily with all three keys present. No one died and everyone entered the tomb successfully, unlike what was originally written in the story. Because their entry was done properly with the keys, and because the two impassable mythological beasts were not present at the entry, the tomb itself was much less dangerous to enter.

Ai Lin got a headache just thinking about it. Seemed like her recollection of the story wouldn’t help much here; she would have to rely on herself in the future.

What she didn’t know was that the trials in the tomb were all controlled by the beasts.

If the original protagonist’s entry was difficult, then the difficulty level now, with all three keys present, would mean both easy and nightmare modes were open.

Who would encounter which, was all dependent on luck.

So, after losing her sense of foresight from having read the novel, except for a few dangerous situations, everything went well for Ai Lin.

Zi Cheng’s road to getting the heart of water was also much easier.

...

Dark clouds covered the sky while savage winds roiled the sea and bit into the flesh. Everyone felt incredibly cold.

People were getting restless. They were all thinking the same thing: should they stay and wait to see what would happen or should they forge their way off the island and explore?

It was difficult to choose. The right choice would be great, but the wrong choice would be catastrophic and lead them to untold dangers. They were all waiting to see what other people would do, but because everyone had the same plan, no one ended up moving.

360: Crossing the Sea

The clouds above suddenly moved to form words in the sky.

"Use whatever methods to get to the other island. Succeed and survive, fail and die."

The words only flashed for a few seconds, but it was long enough for everyone to read.

“Cross to the other island? But the winds are so strong! How are we supposed to get there?!” Someone cried out in a high-pitched voice.

“If you don’t want to go, you can just die here.” Someone with a gloomy expression spat out.

“Well fortunately for me, I brought an air resistance scroll. I’ll pass this for sure.” He took out the scroll from his space ring, opened it, then activated the formation. The scroll immediately surrounded him and flew him to the sky.

He walked against the wind easily and made half the distance in no time at all. However, as he got closer to the other island, a small black funnel cloud rushed at him.

“Ah!”

His body was crushed and smooshed into a pile of blood and bones protruding from mangled flesh. He splashed into the sea, his body disappearing forever.

“Ha!” the crowd took a deep breath. The tiny whirlwind was only the size of a person’s head. Who would have thought a tiny thing like that could kill so efficiently?

“It doesn’t look like we can pass by flying.”

“It’s not safe to take the water either.”

“I’ll try it!” a man with martial qi supporting his feet spoke out. He stepped off the island and onto the water. Looked like he intended to use this method to walk over.

Unfortunately, he sank into the water the moment the stepped over.

He had an ugly expression on his face as he pulled himself up. A few people snorted, thinking he didn’t even know how to do something as simple as using qi to walk on water.

There were plenty in the group who had good sight. They could tell from a glance the man was strong, so doing something like falling into the water wasn’t a mistake he’d make.

There was only one explanation for what happened. The water must have somehow leeched the qi from his body as he touched it.

Another water-based magician tried water magic with the same result. Those who had mocked the first man couldn’t do so anymore after that demonstration. It was obvious to anyone with eyes that there was something wrong.

There were so many tiny whirlwinds in the sky now. Hitting any would result in death. Travel through water seemed impossible, well that was unless they physically swam across. But who knew if there were water equivalents to the sky whirlwinds if they tried?

The situation made everyone frown.

But it wasn’t like there weren’t smart people in the crowd. After a while someone went into the woods and began chopping down the trees to make a raft. It was a great idea and many people joined in.

Even if they couldn’t use magic or martial qi, they could still build boats and sail or row across the water!

Things were looking up. They had a plan!

Feng Wu and Zo[notes] decided to build a canoe. Since it was just the two of them, they didn’t need much space, just something to support their combined weight.

Feng Wu had no experience building a boat, but luckily there was Zo, who had been a homebody for over a hundred years. He had learned many things from all the books he read in that time. When conditions were appropriate, he would find even experts for private lessons.

He had invited a professional ship builder to teach him the craft back when he was interested in shipbuilding.

Zo found a blueprint of a ship from his ring. He scribbled on the paper a bit and came up with a doable redesign that would suit their needs, but he was just an ordinary person, so asking him to do such heavy manual labor was impossible. Feng Wu would have to do all the labor herself.

She walked into the silent woods. Perhaps it was the environment of this specific tomb, but the trees here did not develop a consciousness. Feng Wu couldn’t feel anything from them.

With Zo’s oversight, she cut down a big tree then proceeded to shape it with her short sword.

The people around them were also building their own boats and rafts. They noticed the tiny girl moving and hauling wood around busily while the guy with her just sat and waved his arms around every now and then. They shot him looks full of disdain.

In their eyes, Zo as a pretty boy with no abilities who was leeching off a poor and kind-hearted girl in order to survive. The girl was a bit stupid though, to work so hard for a man she didn’t know. It would be better to kick him out instead of letting him fart around doing nothing.

They saw Feng Wu and Zo as two ordinary people. One was hardworking, while the other was a lazy-good-for-nothing.

How strong could a girl her age be? Surely not even at the intermediate level.

Odds were low they’d make it out of the tomb alive.

Zo noticed their looks, but he was worthless and used to being despised, so their reactions weren’t anything new to him. He’d gotten used to it, so he didn’t feel sad. He’d been laughed at for a hundred years already, so his heart wasn’t fragile and delicate anymore.

Feng Wu’s view was different though. In her eyes, Zo was amazing. He was like a master shipbuilder who could draw and design in outstanding detail as he explained how everything worked. He answered all her questions and kept explaining things until she got it. He talked in a way she could understand.

The adoration in her eyes embarrassed Zo. It was the first time anyone looked at him that way, and it was over such a small thing. Everyone else would have just said it didn’t matter what he knew, a waste was a waste. It didn’t change the fact that he could never be a sword master or magician. Even if he entered university, he would still be destined to a life or ordinary citizenship with a short life span. But here was Feng Wu admiring him for knowing something ordinary. She really was unusual.

Time passed by and the sounds of construction sounded all around. Eventually people began moving their completed vessels into the water. Some were hollowed out of big trees while others were logs tied and wrapped in vines.

361: Must Not Die

There were many boats. Some were well made while others were questionable. Feng Wu’s boat was the best one there. It was designed well by Zo and crafted meticulously by Feng Wu. They even had a sail for extra power. Amongst a sea of hodgepodge, mangled vessels, theirs was the most impressive looking. It was like theirs was a name brand product while everyone else's were imitation rip-offs.

“Hey boy, hand over your boat. This gracious master here will trade my boat for yours. No need to thank me.”

A burly and robust looking guy stood in front of Zo holding a knife. Zo did not like the look of the guy. Feng Wu frowned. She walked over without an ounce of fear.

“No swap. Your’s is ugly.” Feng Wu bluntly refused the offer.

The boat made by the big man really was poorly made. The hole for the seat was misshapen and clearly uncomfortable looking. You couldn’t tell if the canoe would sink or not, but it certainly didn’t inspire confidence.

The big guy’s style of swapping boats was a reminder to everyone that it didn’t matter if your boat was good or not, as long as someone else’s boat was good, that was all that mattered. In fact, a round of forced swaps was already underway. Even if most of the boats weren’t quality looking, they were still better than some others.

But swapping wasn’t as easy as that. Aside from a few cannon fodder, most who entered the tomb were masters of one type or another. They easily started fighting the moment they came to a disagreement.

So before the ships could sail, they had to survive the fight on land.

Feng Wu’s situation would definitely end in a fight. How could it not when she just said the guy’s boat was ugly? He immediately slashed at her with his sword.

The man wasn’t an ordinary person, but a pirate and a robber who had killed countless people. He had a habit of not leaving witnesses whenever he stole. If it was a woman, he would have some fun with her first before sending her to her death. If it was a guy, he would just kill the other party with a single blow.

He thought Feng Wu and Zo would be easy targets. Honestly, had this happened outside the tomb, he would have just killed them and taken their boat without bothering to trade at all.

Feng Wu kicked out when she saw him move with the blade. The force of her kick sent the bear-like man flying five meters. He spat out a mouthful of blood as soon as he landed.

There were others who had had the same plan as the big guy, but after seeing her fight, they decided to move on to other prey. She would be too much trouble.

It took Zo a full thirty seconds to recover from the scene. Her kick was amazing! She had to be a legendary genius!

While some were busy stealing boats, others were busy setting sail. Many odd shaped vessels floated out to sea. There were even a few daring masters who chose to fly despite the tiny whirlwinds. As long as they could avoid being hit by any, they would be fine.

Feng Wu and Zo pushed their vessel into the water and got in it one at a time. Each used a paddle to row toward the island.

The wind grew fiercer and the water became more turbulent. Those more sloppily built vessels, when hit by the waves, either capsized or broke apart with their wood bits scattering all about in the water.

Two guys faced this exact situation. They were ready to swim to the opposite shore after grabbing onto a piece of debris as a float.

“See? I was right, building a raft was a good idea. Now even with it broken up, we can use the bits to swim ashore.”

“You are so right Boss. My admiration for you is boundless.”

These guys were too funny. Some rolled their eyes at them, while others regretted not also building a raft.

“The wind is too strong!” Zo was uneasy. Their boat was built well and he knew it would survive the wind, but he didn’t think making it to the other shore was as simple as traversing the water. There had to be more involved.

Feng Wu looked at Zo seriously as she said, “Don’t be afraid. I’ll protect you.”

She saw him as a fellow comrade after having built the ship together and knowing he was a weak fighter; she had decided to protect him.

Zo was touched. It was the first time a companion had wanted to protect him instead of just looking down on him with disdain. It was a good feeling!

“OK.” Zo smiled.

Feng Wu and several other ships sped ahead because of their sails, however the increasing wind made them unstable and more likely to capsize. Zo decided it was wiser to row the rest of the way over so he asked Feng Wu to pull down the sail.

They weren’t far from the opposite island. They’d definitely be able to reach it if they rowed hard.

Most of the other boats behind them had already capsized. While some were fortunate enough to find drift wood to float on, others had to rely on their own arms and legs to swim forward.

They were struggling like ants in the fierce waves created by the strong winds.

Everyone was left struggling to swim after the next big wave succeeded in capsizing all the boats. They weren’t too far from shore, so as long as they persisted, they would be able to reach land.

It was easy to say but much harder to achieve. Every time people tried to swim forward, another wave would wash over and push them all back. The distance between them and the island became longer instead of shorter.

Just maintaining position and pushing against such strong winds and waves was exhausting. Zo was a weak person to begin with so he didn’t have any strength to swim forward. He couldn’t come to terms with it and couldn’t die yet, not until he stopped Zi Cheng. He had to keep preserving in order to bear the hopes of all those in the future. He couldn’t die. . . 

362: Level Two

Though his heart was unwilling to give up, his body could not endure any further. His hands became still and he slowly sank.

Just as he thought it was over, a hand reached down and yanked him up.

“Cough!” This. . .  this was a piece of wood drift.

Zo was saved. He opened his eyes to see a worried Feng Wu staring at him.

“Cough! I’m fine. Don’t worry.” He didn’t know if she heard him above the sound of the wind and waves, but he didn’t have the strength to speak any louder. He was an ordinary person so it had been hard for him to last as long as he had in the water.

Feng Wu nodded. She kept swimming forward, pushing against the violent waves, paddling with one arm and pushing Zo with the other. Though the resistance was strong, they were able to keep going forward. Others behind them, who were not as capable, slowly sank into the water. Only a few strong people, like Feng Wu, kept swimming desperately as they tried to reach the shore of the opposite island.

Luckily, the wind stopped after twenty minutes, and with it the giant waves that rocked the waters. Those still alive swam to shore.

“Ha. . .  Ha. . . ” Zo was panting as Feng Wu dragged him onto the shore. The sky was still dark but the sea returned to its original calmness.

It was still so cold though. . . 

Zo was shivering from head to toe. His body was in shock after such a long and hard swim, plus now his clothes were all soggy and clung to him, so he felt even worse.

Suddenly from somewhere near his side, a fire flared to life.

Feng Wu had opened her space ring and found a flint to make fire. She realized she could use her abilities again after reaching shore; so she had pulled out the flint, which could make fire and create warmth, with just a bit of qi or magic.

Zo could feel his body finally warming up again. A bit recovered, he walked behind a bush and changed into a fresh, dry set of clothes.

Feng Wu had already changed and was now looking around as she sat by the fire stone grilling a chicken.[notes]

It was a small, picturesque island with abundant wild fruit trees never seen before. They looked so delicious it was tempting to try one, but the people knew better than to try any. It wasn’t smart to eat unknown fruit. What if it was poisonous?

They started with more than two hundred people, but were left with less than fifty after the sea crossing. Most died in the water.

Zo sat down beside Feng Wu and ate the chicken thigh and bread she offered. He felt better now that he was warm and not hungry anymore.

“Feng Wu, thank you. I would have died like the everyone else if it weren’t for you.” Zo was grateful she saved him. He didn’t know why he didn’t see her with the Moon emperor in the previous life, so he could only assume she had encountered something and died early on.

Since she had saved him, he decided he would not let her die so easily this time around. He secretly made up his mind to do what he could to ensure she lived a good life and not die prematurely.

“You don’t have to thank me; we’re comrades.” Feng Wu looked at him seriously. She had considered him a comrade in arms when she agreed to team up with him. It was only natural to help your comrades when they were in trouble, so his effusive gratitude made her feel uncomfortable.

“Yes, we are comrades.” Zo smiled. There was a fragility to his smile but it was as pure and sincere as spring rain.

Those who survived and made it to the island were adjusting to the new environment and preparing for the trials ahead. But after waiting for two hours, nothing happened. They didn’t get a prompt for the second level.

The arduous trip to the island had tired everyone, but no one felt secure enough to let their guard down and rest. The island was an unknown and the people around them were strangers who they needed to guard against. There was no conversation. The group either meditated or cultivated in preparation for the second level.

Those still alive were mostly powerhouses.

A few magicians had chosen to fly over. They had poor physical strength so it made sense to gamble with the sky path. They would not have had the endurance to survive in the water if they lost their magic abilities. Flying was the best way for them to survive.

Feng Wu had no interest in the other people. She closed her eyes and went to sleep.

Who knew how much time passed, but some time later, the earth shook violently and split apart right down the middle. A ladder appeared, digging straight into the ground. It was dark and it was impossible to tell what was below.

Words, in big letters appeared. “Enter below to proceed to the next level.” That was it, nothing else was said about the requirements.

The people there looked at one another. Soon a big sword master walked down the stairs. Other people walked down after him, one at a time.

Zo ignored propriety between genders and pulled at Feng Wu’s sleeve to go down with the flow of people. The first level had been different from the way Ai Lin described it. He was certain she hadn’t lied to him, so for whatever reason, the sequence of events changed. Now he wasn’t sure what to expect. All he could do was to take one careful step at a time.

There was something creepy about the stairs. Zo felt like it didn’t matter if he moved forward or backwards, both directions would be dangerous. Thinking it would be safer to walk in the middle of the crowd, he cut in line and took Feng Wu to the middle.

The expression on his face was a little reluctant as he released her sleeve once they got there.

Feng Wu had grown serious when the stairs appeared so she didn’t notice.

[ Patreon draft @ c363 ] If wondering about any lateness or why quality dropped, please check the news section.






News
(Fri) November 12, 2021
250-254 corrected.
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ATP: hiatus, want to finish OASNG first
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