Book 16, Starmist Sea – Chapter 27, Secret Area
“Left Miluo Island?” Linley was suspicious as soon as he heard this.
Only a few days had passed since that last great battle, and Cecily had married Sequeira not too long ago. How could she suddenly leave Miluo Island? Even if she had truly left, others should have seen it. But in the past few days, he had asked many people. None of them knew anything about Cecily, nor had they seen her.
“He is lying!” Linley decided.
Why was he lying? Instantly, Linley had a terrible premonition in his mind.
“Everyone, follow me. We’re heading out.” Sequeira’s face was extremely sinister looking right now. After speaking, he led the group of people deep towards Suncutter Peak. Although Linley felt suspicious in his heart, he still followed.
Suncutter Peak. Linley’s group of nine floated into it.
Moments later, Linley’s group arrived at a deep cavernous tunnel, without a hint of sunlight within it. Sequeira was the first to enter the deep tunnel, while Linley’s group of eight hesitated slightly, then entered as well.
“Young master Sequeira.” A Highgod said through divine sense. “Where exactly is this secret area? This tunnel seems to be bottomlessly deep.”
“Just follow me.” Sequeira said calmly.
Linley and Lomio followed quite calmly. What was there to fear? This Sequeira was right in front of them, and either of them could easily kill Sequeira. They didn’t need to fear Sequeira playing any tricks at all. In addition, Linley had learned from Tarosse that the hidden area contained scryer recordings.
“Linley.” A voice rang out in Linley’s mind.
Linley turned to glance at the nearby Lomio. Just now, the one who had sent him the mental message was Lomio. Lomio’s lips curved upwards, and he continued to chat through divine sense. “When I saw you fight, I became certain that the Four Divine Beasts clan really lives up to its fame. Might I ask how strong the other three branches of the Four Divine Beasts clan are?”
“Why so many questions?” Linley responded.
In truth, Linley himself knew very little regarding the Four Divine Beasts clan.
“Right. There’s no need to ask. I’ll know once I’ve truly fought with them. After we exit this secret area, let’s first have a little spar. Afterwards, I’ll head to the Indigo Prefecture of the Bloodridge Continent to seek out the experts of the other three branches of your Four Divine Beasts clan and compete with them.” Although Lomio’s face was calm, his eyes were shining.
Lomio was very eager to battle against other experts.
Linley couldn’t help but feel a headache coming.
As soon as he left the secret room, he would have to compete against this madman? It wasn’t that Linley didn’t like to compete, it was that Linley knew his own strength and weakness. It wasn’t so bad if he ran into an expert who specialized in material attacks, but if he encountered an expert in soul attacks, it would be terrible.
Linley cursed inwardly, “This guy, ugh. He’s even crazier than that Learmonth was. As soon as he encounters an expert, he wants to challenge them.”
While chatting with Lomio through divine sense, given the speed at which Linley was advancing, they had gone multiple kilometers. The strange thing was, however, that despite having gone down many kilometers into the cavern, there was still no end in sight.
“Given this depth, we should be deep within Miluo Island.” Linley guessed to himself.
Suddenly, Linley discovered that the corridor beneath them was completely filled with water.
“It’s all water down there. Are we still going down?” Someone couldn’t help but ask.
“Just follow me and cut out the chitchat.” Sequeira was feeling very unhappy right now. Linley’s words at Suncutter Peak had made his mood turn terrible Those words which Cecily had said before dying made him feel even more insulted than when he had discovered that Cecily had another person’s son in her womb!
Linley’s group followed Sequeira into the water, and the eight of them all formed protective coverings around their bodies, easily blocking the water.
“Back then, I should’ve asked Tarosse in detail as to what place this secret area actually is.” Linley felt puzzled. This water-logged passage had cave walls covered with green vegetation. Clearly, this passage had been filled with water for a long, long time.
The tunnel beneath them became smooth, and at the end of this smooth tunnel, a faint glow could be seen.
“We finally reached the end.” Linley couldn’t help but feel a sense of celebration. As soon as they exited the tunnel, however, they saw a world of endless, boundless water.
“Eh? The secret area is actually in the middle of the ocean?” Linley couldn’t help but speak out in astonishment.
Sequeira sneered. “Are you puzzled?”
Linley discovered that ever since he asked that question, Sequeira’s face had continuously been ugly to behold, and his temper had turned irritable as well. Linley couldn’t be bothered to reply. Arguing with Sequeira was something that simply wasn’t worth it.
After flying at the bottom of the sea for some time, Linley was stunned.
Off the distance, an enormous black castle that was dozens of kilometers in circumference had been erected at the bottom of the ocean, like a massive monster lying in wait. The amazing thing was, countless, densely clustered figures could be seen around the castle on patrol. The number of people here was extremely high.
“This is the secret area of our western part of the island.” Sequeira said proudly. “The secret area of my Bagshaw clan! You are very lucky to have the chance to come here.”
As he spoke, from the distance, a squad of black armored warriors dressed with black cloaks flew over. Seeing this squad, Linley and the others all felt a sense of shock in their hearts. These ten guards all naturally emanated a baleful aura, and their faces were all expressionless and cold.
“Each of them is an expert.” Linley was incomparably shocked.
Compared to the warriors of Miluo Island, these black armored and black cloaked guards gave off a far more powerful, valiant, remorseless aura. Even Lomio narrowed his eyes, looking carefully at the distant black castle.
“A single clan actually has so many forces!” Linley felt stunned.
He could see, with the naked eye, thousands of people, each of them Highgods, and excellent Highgods at that. They weren’t on the same level as the island guards, who were made up of just any Highgods who wanted to join.
“Young master Sequeira.” The leader of the squad bowed.
“They all came. Let’s go.” Sequeira said calmly. The ten black armored guards immediately guided Linley’s group towards the black castle. The gates to the black castle were open.
This black castle had existed for unknowable amounts of time, deep at the bottom of the sea.
The strange thing was…
The black castle seemed to have a sort of strange energy. It actually was able to keep the waters of the sea at a distance, making all the sea water unable to get within a kilometer of the black castle. It was as though a translucent barrier was protecting the castle, keeping all the seawater at a distance.
And thus Linley’s group suddenly entered a water-less area.
“Hey?” Everyone was astonished, while Lomio’s eyes lit up in excitement as well.
Linley turned to carefully look, but he wasn’t able to find any special ‘barrier’. “There really are all sorts of marvels in the world.” As he entered the black castle and saw the many guards within the black castle, Linley was stunned.
“This…is most likely the true power of the Bagshaw clan.” Linley said to himself.
Within the black castle. An empty plaza. Linley’s group of eight was waiting here.
“Wait here a while. Later, people will come.” Sequeira said emotionlessly. “You’ll have to be tested to see if you will have the chance to enter the secret area.” After speaking, Sequeira himself turned and left.
His assignment was complete.
“Tested?” Some people were instantly puzzled.
“Wasn’t it said that as long as we can win a hundred victories, we’ll be able to go to the secret area for a viewing? Why is there a test?”
Hearing this discourse, Lomio and Linley both maintained their silence. Linley knew all along that there would be a test, and he stared at the area around him. The buildings around this plaza also had roving patrols of black armored guards, and the entire castle was like a military fort, under extremely tight guard.
Just moments later, the ancient, dark blue gates in front of the plaza that were ten meters tall up rumbled opened.
“Creaaaaaaak.” The opening of the dark blue gates caused a very unpleasant, scraping sound.
Six people walked out from inside the gates, the leader a man with white hair, a white beard, red armor, and a red cloak. The five behind him were all black armored warriors, but they too wore red cloaks.
“Welcome!” The white-haired elder immediately strode forward and laughed clearly, “Welcome to Castle Hendsey [Han’di’sai]! Let me introduce myself. My name is Uriah [You’lai]!”
A hint of suspicion arose in Linley’s heart.
“Although all victors of a hundred battles in the Arena can come to this secret area,” Uriah laughed, “The scryer recordings within the secret area aren’t just shown to everyone. If you want to view them, you must undergo testing.”
“Scryer recordings? Of what?” Lomio said.
“Battles of Seven Star Fiends. Battles of Asuras. Interplanar wars. Even scryer recordings of a Sovereign showing his might!” Uriah smiled. “This has been accumulated by my Bagshaw clan over countless years!”
As soon as these words came out, everyone’s eyes lit up. Even Lomio’s eyes were shining. Linley sighed to himself; these scryer recordings of experts doing battle was indeed a very alluring prospect.
“Now, all of you come, one at a time, to compete against our people. Based on your performance, I will judge if you are qualified to go in for a viewing.” Uriah glanced at a person next to him, and immediately, a callous bald man wearing black armor and a red cloak strode forward.
Uriah stretched out with his hand, pointing towards one of the Highgod victors. “You first.”
“Fine.” That Highgod who had won a hundred Arena victories chuckled twice, then stepped forward. “If I kill him, don’t blame me.” This Highgod was dressed in a blue robe and had thick eyebrows.
“If you can kill him, feel free to.” Uriah laughed calmly.
Immediately, this blue-robed Highgod and the bald man moved to the center of the plaza. The two faced each other.
“You can start now.” Uriah gave the order.
“Boom!” The blue-robed Highgod instantly transformed into a flash of fiery light that didn’t emit flames, with the scorching heat causing even the air to crackle. And then, the flameless fire-light immediately formed into a fiery arrowhead, which hovered there in mid-air in the plaza, emanating a heart-shaking power.
The arrow of flame suddenly shot out like a meteor.
“Hmph!” The bald man gave a low snort, his entire body immediately becoming covered by an earthen yellow armor. His enormous fist began to be covered with rippling light, and he astonishingly landed a direct punch towards that fiery missile.
“Bang!” A low, rumbling sound. Even the arena itself trembled.
The rippling light on the fist of that bald man had been shattered, and even his fist had been blown apart. Even the layer of earthen yellow armor on his body was cracked, and he couldn’t help but take several steps back, cracking the ground as he did.
The fiery red missile collapsed as well. That blue-robed Highgod’s face was ashen, but he was still standing there.
“Not bad.” The white-haired Uriah nodded. “You are qualified to enter the second secret room.”
“The second secret room?” The blue-robed Highgod was puzzled.
“Right. The secret area is divided into two rooms; the first room and the second room. The first room has more scryer recordings, and the experts in those recordings are more powerful.” Uriah said calmly.
“Then what must I do to be qualified to enter the first room?” The blue-robed Highgod was rather unwilling to accept this.
“Kill him in one blow.” Uriah pointed towards the bald man.
The blue-robed Highgod instantly gave up.
Hearing this, Linley was stunned. “Can it be that the leader of this castle doesn’t treat life as having any value? He can so casually sacrifice even his own people?”
“You are next.” Uriah pointed to a God.
“Enough of this.” A cold voice rang out. Lomio directly strode forward, looking calmly at Uriah. “Let me go first. Didn’t you say that if I could kill him with one blow, I can enter the first room, right?”
Uriah glanced at Lomio in surprise, then laughed. “You are Lomio, right?”
Lomio nodded calmly.
“You don’t need to be tested.” Uriah shook his head and laughed. “Of the eight of you, you and red-robed elder, Linley, don’t need to be tested. You can go directly to the first room for viewing.”
Linley couldn’t help but laugh.
“However, opening the secret room is a very important matter. We have to make a request to the master of the castle, and then find a good time. You can go rest for now. We will soon notify you.” As he spoke, Uriah arranged for people to guide Linley and Lomio away.
As Linley was led away by the black-armored, red-cloaked guard, he now understood.
“It isn’t that the leader of the castle doesn’t care about the lives of his men. It is that when a real expert comes, there’s no need for a test.” Linley was quite eagerly anticipating that moment of viewing those scryer images coming as soon as possible.
The black castle was very large. It had thick, sturdy walls, and a very complicated layout of many corridors.
“Captain Mob [Mo’bu], I’ve been here for nearly a month. Why isn’t his lordship willing to meet me yet?”
“Don’t be in such a hurry. If his lordship wishes to meet you, he will. Otherwise, just wait here.”
Hearing this voice from a corridor up ahead, Linley couldn’t help but frown. “This voice is so familiar!”
In front of Linley were four corridors. Two people headed out from one of the corridors, and one of them was a man who wore a long green robe and had fish scales on his face. He was currently with another man, one dressed in black armor and a red cloak, who the first man was constantly speaking to. And then, the two of them entered another one of the corridors.
“Ganmontin?” Linley’s face was filled with disbelief. “Why is he here?”
This person was the exact same person who had waylaid and attacked Linley’s group in the Starmist Sea, the person who had wanted to offer Olivier to his ‘Lord Commander’. Ganmontin!