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The surrounding area was filled with red soil, so red that it looked like blood. The ancient altar had already collapsed, it couldn’t withstand the wear and tear of time.
The little fatty had already finished his preparations, Xiao Chen held the rainbow-colored sacred tree up with both hands and prayed sincerely. He prayed for that long gone soul to appear in front of him.
Although he didn’t know what kind of race Keke was categorized as, there was no doubt about its strength. It had unlimited potential, that was enough to show that its soul should be incomparably powerful. According to logic, this kind of existence should have come to the Cypreus Furnace after death.
Although the beastmen’s soul summoning technique required a lot of fine details, Xiao Chen was barely able to grasp them and finished his prayers with the help of Oxman.
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The eerie voice came from the vicinity of the blood-colored altar. The shadows of souls danced in the breeze as they assembled from all around.
“Gosh! Something’s not right. How did so many souls get summoned?” The little fatty cried out in alarm, “Did something go wrong with the summoning ritual? These feral ghosts wouldn’t be under the impression that we are sacrifices and thought of us as a feast, right?”
The souls in the vicinity gathered at lightning speed. Among them was a five to six meter tall humanoid soul. It was making a threatening gesture and directly threw itself at the altar.
Before Xiao Chen and Oxman made any moves, the Black Dragon King had already taken action.
The sound of the unique sword being unsheathed clearly resounded on the bloody altar.
A streak of divine light pierce through the sky and ruthlessly struck that fiendish soul. Following the explosion, a cloud of flame spread out as the huge humanoid soul was disintegrated.
The sheathing sound of the sacred sword was produced as it melded back into the Black Dragon King’s back.
Not only the souls, even Xiao Chen and Oxman were very shocked by this attack. The Black Dragon King’s sacred sword was too sharp. Perhaps even demigods wouldn’t be able to block that sword slash.
A chill wind blew over from a distant place. Waves after waves of fiendish aura threw itself over as a huge soul appeared. All the other souls in the vicinity were startled and ran away.
“My god, what is that thing?”
Oxman was dumbstruck. A huge monster that was around fifty meters was flying towards them from the distant sky while dispersing red clouds. It was actually not fearful of the overflowing lights in the sky and rode on the clouds.
From the other directions, there were also a few huge monsters flying over while riding on dark clouds. A few huge claws were poking out from those dark clouds, each around the size of a few houses.
It was very obvious that the strongest saintly souls in the vicinity had arrived. And Xiao Chen’s party was besieged.
“Did the summoning ritual fail? How come it didn’t summon the soul of the snow-white little critter and attracted these great souls instead?” The little fatty had the urge to cry.
Xiao Chen also frowned. Those elders in the Pure Land were right, this place really was too dangerous. It’s true that there was only one out of ten odds to get out of here alive.
However, just at this time, the bloody altar suddenly glowed with a streak of bloody light. Space distorted as a black tunnel appeared.
“The summoning ritual is working.” The little fatty shouted in astonishment, “Could this be a space time tunnel?”
And right at this moment, the black clouds rumbled. The huge monsters had already arrived in front of them with a burst of bloody light. Those huge claws were already falling down from all directions.
If they were hit by those claws, their souls would definitely fly away and scatter. These were the most vicious souls among the vicious souls.
“There’s no way out, don’t tell me we have to jump into the dark tunnel?!” Oxman yelled anxiously.
But just at this instant, without having them do anything, the ancient altar abruptly began to sink. It instantly sank into the ground. Even that dark tunnel was following suit.
As if the sky and the earth was turning upside down, the rumbling noise resounded unceasingly. The ancient altar sank into the ground at high speed, and the cracked surface actually began to heal slowly. The place where the altar was originally located became level ground filled with blood red earth.
The huge monsters who rushed over looked around in bewilderment before they retreated while taking precautions against each other.
Underground, the little fatty cried out in alarm, “Where are we?”
Xiao Chen remained silent for a while before he said, “If I haven’t guess wrongly, we should have entered the real Cypreus Furnace.”
“Are you saying this is the interior of the Cypreus Furnace?”
Xiao Chen nodded, and said, “That seems highly likely. We have entered the Cypreus Furnace from the outside.”
“This…” The little fatty had the urge to cry as he said with a trembling voice, “None of the clan members had ever dared to set foot in the interior of the Cypreus Furnace. Even the legends related to the interior part are very few. The outside is already so scary, the inside… we actually got inside of the Cypreus Furnace, this…”
“Who… dares to open the gate of hell?” An eerie voice transmitted from within the dark tunnel.
“My @#%￥, a ghost!” The fatty was so frightened that he nearly jumped into the air. While on the dragon island, that demon was a nightmare their clan could never get rid of. The eerie atmosphere at the moment made him recall those unpleasant memories of the past.
“Why did you guys open the netherworld gate?” The eerie voice transmitted over again.
Xiao Chen responded, “We are trying to summon a lost soul in accordance to the written method.”
“Only by using the altar in the vicinity of the Cypreus Furnace can the netherworld gate be opened in the shortest possible time. Countless years had already passed, and there’s already very few people who would use these altars.”
Oxman had finally calmed down at this moment, he opened his mouth and said, “The beastmen were always using it, but not for opening the netherworld gate.”
“I know what are they using it for, to summon the beast souls…”
Xiao Chen asked calmly, “Who are you?”
“I am a departed soul that had been drifting aimlessly for countless years.”
“Doesn’t that mean you are a ghost then? What are the differences between you and those powerful souls outside the Cypreus Furnace?”
After a moment of silent, a lonesome sigh transmitted from that space time tunnel, “Once one has fallen into darkness, it’s hard to escape……”
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“What do you mean?” Oxman asked.
After a long silence later, the departed soul asked, “Do you guys really believe there’s an underworld, and in reincarnation?”
“Don’t tell me, they don’t exist?” Oxman asked in reply.
“If it existed, you guys would already be in the underworld.” The departed soul replied coldly.
“Isn’t this the interior of the Cypreus Furnace, how could it be the underworld?” The little fatty Oxman retorted.
Xiao Chen was shivering as he asked in shock, “Don’t tell me, the reason ancestor god Suirenshi wanted to refine the Cypreus Furnace was to create the netherworld?”
The old spirit heaved a sigh and said, “The dark domains are extremely chaotic. Once fallen, it’s hard to return to the world of the living for a lifetime. The ancestor god wanted to create a rule, he wanted to set up an order. That’s why he was smelting the Cypreus Furnace and the dark domains together. That event had shaken the entire world for all eternity. But in the end… alas!”
“We have fallen to hell, we have entered the netherworld, we… does that mean we are already dead?” Oxman shouted in fright.
“That is a fake netherworld. Its connection to the other dark domains had already been sealed off a long time ago,” The old spirit’s words were chilly to the bone, “You guys have merely opened a small crack between the fake netherworld and the dark domain. It will be closed very quickly.”
“What kind of space is it over at your side?”
“It is a dark domain only suitable for souls to live in. It is hard to retain Yang Energy. All of them will be drained without exception, leaving only Yin Energy behind. If we go over to your side, the end result will most likely be death. That’s what I meant by once fallen into darkness, it’s difficult to return. Unless, of course, we train until we reach an especially powerful realm.”
“But… there are legends of the ten underworld emperors!” Xiao Chen was very puzzled.
“That is only ancestor god Suirenshi’s ideal netherworld, the later generations have misunderstood and spread it out…”
This was a very shocking news. Xiao Chen found it hard to believe. If that was the case, then didn’t that mean the so-called Genesis of the Golden Lion King was actually connected to those dark domains?
If that was true, then the little thing was really too powerful! It was actually capable of staying in those dark domain filled with Yin Energy for so long and returning in one piece. No wonder the little thing flipped out as soon as it returned, it must have suffered to a great extent.
It seems like the old spirit hadn’t had a conversation with people for a long time already, so he was very talkative, “Once you reach the Immortalis realm, you will naturally understand these, because you will need to make contact with these domains.”
Oxman suddenly realized something as he spoke to himself, “No wonder so many powerful souls gathered at the sacred mountain. So this is actually a fake netherworld. It’s only natural that they would be attracted.”
The rumbling noise abruptly reverberated as the tunnel that connected the two sides starting to close.
“We opened the tunnel in order to summon a little critter called Keke. How come it is you who showed up instead…”
“I just happened to be next to the tunnel… If you guys use the altar frequently to open the tunnel at this coordinate and chat with me, I can help you guys ask around…”
The dark tunnel was completely shut.
Xiao Chen and Oxman were lost in thought for a little while; how to get out? It seemed like there’s only empty space above them. There was no layer of soil at all. This Cypreus Furnace was like a world of its own. It seemed boundless and dusky. The cloudy fog was adrift, making it very eerie.
Upward, there was no way out. They had no choice but to slowly advance in this gloomy land, hoping that they could find an exit.
However, how could they find the exit so easily? After treading past endless skeletal remains for several days, they still couldn’t find any exit. They couldn’t even reach the boundary of the furnace, it seemed like this place was really an independent world.
They had encountered many evil spirits wandering about. If not because of the sacred tree’s protection, Xiao Chen’s party might’ve already joined the sea of bones.
On the seventh day, Xiao Chen’s party found a ruin. When they walked into that area and entered the already shattered ancient palace hall, the two men and one dragon felt very alarmed.
In the center of the main hall, a skeletal chair was afloat and a snow-white human skeleton was sitting on the chair. Seeing the party entering the hall, the spiritual light in the skeleton’s eye sockets throbbed. It was actually fixing its eyes on them.
“Who… are you?” Oxman fell back a few steps.
“One of the Ten Kings of Hell, Emperor Jiang.”
The spiritual message was directly transmitted into the hearts of Xiao Chen and company. It made them involuntarily suck in a mouthful of cold air. And what made them the most shocked had yet to happen. That Emperor Jiang shook his hand and threw a piece of wooden writ down, then he said, “There’s a mail addressed to Xiao Chen — an SOS letter.”
Xiao Chen picked up the wooden writ in puzzlement. When he looked at the writ, he suddenly felt as if he had been struck by lightning. There was a crooked paw print on the writ, it looked exactly like the paw print Keke casually pressed at that time. ⌈1⌋
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- Silva: At which time exactly? When it won at the warbeast tournament? ↩