The Heavenly South Continent's State of Dongyu is one of the few rare countries that didn't belong to any of the Continent's four superpowers. This wasn't because the country was too small or that it was lacking in resources. Rather, the country's size and wealth of cultivation resources placed it among the top ten countries in the Heavenly South.
The reason why the State of Dongyu was unaffiliated with any of the four superpowers was due to its location.
Apart from the Nine Nations Union who was too far away, the country shared a close border at the center of the three other superpowers.
As for the country's cultivator sects, their histories and affiliations were varied as well. There were Righteous and Devil Dao sects as well as a few small leisurely sects. But most important of all were the native sects that couldn't be suppressed by any other power. They became the deciding factor that prevented the State of Dongyu from being influenced by the other superpowers.
None of the three neighbouring superpowers wished to relinquish control of the country and they continuously conducted their own maneuvers, both covert and open, but to little effect. In the end, there was only a vague agreement between the three superpowers that they would not interfere with the country and had the State of Dongyu become a neutral territory.
Of course, the various native sects of the country had secretly received backing from the three superpowers, forcibly maintaining a balance of power. This led to various cultivators gathering in this neutral country, causing it to flourish for some time.
In the State of Dongyu's northern Chang Province, there was a depression that took up two-thirds of its land. The majority of the depression was covered in dense forest, and there was an unbroken mountain range that spanned tens of thousands of kilometers at its center, known as the Myriad Link Mountain Range by the locals.
No one truly knew if the mountain range consisted of ten thousand mountains, but it still had an abundance of demon beasts and rare medicines. However, no cultivators dare to rashly enter the mountains.
The Myriad Link Mountain Range was known by a far more sinister name in the Heavenly South cultivation world, the Devilfall Domain. And somewhere hidden in the mountain range lay the most dangerous area in the Heavenly South — Devilfall Valley.
Ever since Devilfall Valley came into existence, countless vastly powerful cultivators entered the valley in search of treasure, but the veil of mystery and death that surrounded it over the years prevented anyone from treading too closely.
Of course, its fearsome reputation alone hadn't stopped cultivators from extracting the mountain's resources. That was due to the miasma that would occasionally sweep across the mountains and seal it off for years at the time, perhaps as a result of Devilfall Valley's influence.
Not only was the miasma incredibly toxic, but it was also as thick as something produced by a spell formation and would cover the mountains in complete darkness. It was impossible to tell direction once inside.
Even if one could make it past the miasma, it was impossible to catch any demon beasts or pick any herbs. All one could do was stare at the mountains with envy or go to the few areas where the miasma was most thin.
But every fifty years or so, the miasma around the mountains would disappear and the spatial tears surrounding Devilfall Valley became more stable and sparse. During this time period, treasure hunters from all over the Heavenly South would gather for this year-long opening to seek riches. With such a large mountain range, only a small portion of cultivators were able to reap the treasures despite how abundant the demon beasts and spirit medicines may be. Despite this, there would be thousands of cultivators that came during each opening.
Furthermore, there were a few merchants being backed by various clan powers nearby the mountain. They would create several temporary market cities in the area, prospering from the medicines and spirit beasts acquired within the mountains.
Recently, the miasma around the Devilfall Domain had already begun to grow thin and would soon disappear. It would be at least several more months before the miasma disappears, but there were several times more cultivators there than during the previous opening. Furthermore, a large number of high-grade cultivators had appeared amongst them, startling the local cultivator sects and clans.
The local powers hastily restricted their disciples from rashly going out and sent men to investigate the cause of it. As a result, they were stunned by what they found.
On the top of some nameless hill on the border of the Chang Province, there was a Core Formation male-female pair that were standing side by side. The man was wearing dark blue robes and appeared to be thirty years of age with a scholarly appearance. The woman wore palace robes and her body was ample, but her face appeared unremarkable.
The couple appeared to be calm, but a trace of anxiousness was betrayed by their flickering eyes, exposing their true emotions.
After a moment, a silver light flickered from a distance, followed by the appearance of a silver streak shooting towards them. When the pair saw the streak of light, they appeared overjoyed.
The silver streak arrived above the small mountain and flew a circle around them before revealing an embroidered-robed scholarly man around the age of forty.
When the woman saw the scholarly man, she smiled and said, "Big Brother, you've finally arrived. How did it go? Did you manage to receive the command medallion to enter the valley?"
"Hehe. I've managed to acquire it right on time." The scholarly man smiled and raised his hand as two streaks of azure light shot towards them.
The man and the woman quickly reached out their hands to receive the two bronze command medallions. They were both carved with the word "Devilfall" in red on one side, and with the same word written in gold on the other. There were traces of spiritual Qi emitted from the talisman. The woman immediately revealed a face of excitement, but the man frowned and appeared pensive.
The woman excitedly said, "This is great! With the Devilfall Medallion, we'll be able to enter the valley in search of treasure. If we are able to find even a few spiritual medicines from the age of antiquity, we may find the opportunity to condense a Nascent Soul."
Standing at the woman's side, the blue-clothed man sighed and said, "Such a small pendant is actually worth over thirty thousand spirit stones. They actually dare to sell it at that price?" The three command medallions had cost them over a hundred thousand spirit stones. It took the entirety of the wealth they had gathered over several hundred years to obtain them. It was only natural for him to feel a bit of heartache over the matter.
The scholarly man helplessly said, "Second Brother, don't feel too bad about it. If it weren't for the friendship we forged with them and the lacking manpower of their sect, we definitely wouldn't have had the opportunity to acquire these medallions from them. Being able to purchase even a single command medallion for a hundred thousand spirit stones is something that many would fight over. Furthermore, the Ghost Spirit Sect originally planned on pursuing the treasures of Devilfall Valley by themselves. Now that the other sects are pressuring them, they have no other option but to allow outsiders to join them on the treasure expedition. Otherwise, the Ghost Spirit Sect wouldn't have agreed to allow us to enter the valley even if we gave them a hundred thousand spirit stones."
When the blue-clothed cultivator heard this, he wasn't able to say anything back. But when he looked at the command medallion in his hand, he worriedly asked, "However, can we trust the Ghost Spirit Sect's method of entering the valley? I heard that the valley's opening has many spatial tears. If one isn't careful, they wouldn't even leave any remains behind. There's also the news of the Ghost Spirit Sect Elder coming back from the valley alive. Does Elder Brother believe this to be true?"
The scholarly man promptly responded, "Apart from the fact that the Ghost Spirit Sect treats the entire Heavenly South cultivation world as an enemy, there should be no question over the matter. Furthermore, didn't we also hear that only the Ghost Spirit Sect elder's Nascent Soul made it out of Devilfall Valley? It sounds reasonable since his body met its end in the valley itself."
After listening to the scholarly man's explanation, he hesitantly said, "However, even if we can enter the valley, it's still extremely dangerous. Could it have been a mistake to buy these medallions to enter the valley?"
The woman snorted and carelessly said, "With our talents, we've already reached the peak of our realm. If we don't have any chance encounters, we will definitely perish in two hundred years. It is natural to take this opportunity when it presents itself to us. Also, I heard the spatial tears on the outer areas of Devilfall Valley are far less dangerous than those inside the depths. So long as we are careful, it shouldn't pose too much danger."
The scholarly man calmly said, "I heard that the Ghost Spirit Sect had issued several hundred Devilfall Medallions. Furthermore, most of them were dropped into the hands of various sects. It is even said that a few Moulan spell warriors are participating and that the Ghost Spirit Sect are sending several hundred cultivators into the valley. With so many people inside, what do we have to fear?
"Besides, if worst comes to worst, we can simply leave. But if we miss this opportunity, we will live the rest of our lives with regret." The woman at his side nodded at his words as if having deeply thought of the matter.
"Since Big Brother has said as such, this little brother will follow him into the valley." The blue-clothed man bitterly smiled and said nothing else.
As this was happening, various other movements occurred throughout the Chang Province.
Half a year ago, rumors began to spread that the Ghost Spirit Sect had acquired a method to enter Devilfall Valley and that they wished to conceal this information from other sects so they could monopolize the treasures of the valley. These rumors had caused a massive uproar throughout the continent.
The various Righteous Dao Sects and Heavenly Dao Sects wishing to recuperate from their war with the Moulan could no longer sit still so they each sent men to the Ghost Spirit Sect to ask over the matter. As for their fellow Devil Dao Sects, they also sent men to verify the truth of the matter.
The higher echelon of the Ghost Spirit Sect was enraged by this, but after being held under such scrutiny and pressure, they were forced to admit the truth. After all, so long as someone carefully investigated the matter, traces of the truth would eventually be revealed. As a result, the other sects bluntly requested that they share the method to enter the valley, but the Ghost Spirit Sect had refused to agree for as long as they could. In the end, they could only compromise and issue a few command medallions to enter the valley to various sects.
So long as one possessed the medallion, the various sects would be able to send men together with the Ghost Spirit Sect cultivators into the valley when the spatial tears of Devilfall Valley stabilized. And naturally, each medallion came at a cost of spirit stones.
Of course, in order to prevent any resentment from vagrant cultivators, they set aside over a hundred medallions specifically for them and a fewer small sects.
Now that the time was drawing near, the Chang Province became incredibly lively. The vicinity of the Myriad Link Mountains became filled with cultivators from other countries, all hoping to enter Devilfall Valley in search of treasure. Needless to mention, they were all the cautious sort as well.