For Wang Lu's rebuttal, Aya was immediately left speechless. Liu Li's table manners was not ugly. Obviously, her master had carefully corrected her since she was a child. Each of her action was gentle and elegant—as long as the speed was slowed down one hundred times.
Moreover, although Liu Li has a pretty good appreciation for food, she was actually not a picky eater. In addition to the food that was extremely difficult to swallow (Aya's cooked food was automatically excluded), no matter what it was, she would eat it with relish. And her eating speed has always been stunningly fast. Though the two problems referred to by Wang Lu were indeed somewhat far-fetched, they were indeed questionable.
"Liu Li, what happened back then?"
Liu Li was very calm. Although at that time the kind magician told her not to talk to her Senior Brother about it, since her Senior Brother had asked it, of course she would not hide anything. Therefore, word for word, she retold the dialogue between her and the magician at that time. She could even vividly mimic the magician's tone of voice.
And after listening to this dialogue, anyone could detect that there was a problem there.
"... Is this a psychological attack?"
Wang Lu laughed. "Isn't that obvious? If they want to target me, the best way is through Liu Li. But if they want to target Liu Li, common attack would not be effective."
Although Liu Li seemed gullible, she was not an idiot. After years of training by her Master Zhou Ming, as well as Wang Lu's long-term tuning, her mind had already developed a strong resistance to common attacks. If someone wanted to trigger her negative emotions, making her feel guilty, shaken, confused… it was almost impossible. She has no negative emotions at all.
"However, what if it's a 'positive' attack? By inducing her to think about sacrifice, giving, and appealing to others; she is not invulnerable to those. Once there's something that happened to Liu Li, it would constitute a very lethal blow to me."
"A very lethal blow?" Aya looked at Wang Lu somewhat in surprise. Does he mean that towards Liu Li, he...
Wang Lu said, "For me, I can accept anyone on my team to get hurt, except Liu Li… There is absolutely nothing that can happen to her. If other people get into trouble, I will be responsible as the leader. At worst, I will just say it's a personnel's oversight. Because you guys are not children, you guys know how to take care of yourself. However, Liu Li is different. In this extremely unfamiliar continent, she has no way to survive alone. This is very different than the regular experiential learning down the mountain. According to the original intention of Uncle Zhou Ming, he did not want Liu Li to travel to Western Continent before reaching Jindan Stage. It was only because I strongly advocated for her that I was able to persuade Uncle Zhou Ming. Uncle Zhou Ming exhorted Liu Li to trust me in anything during this period, without reservation. He told her to not violate any of my orders, for fear that there would be a problem. Therefore, by the same token, it is my responsibility to fully take care of her."
Upon hearing Wang Lu's explanation, Aya was quite touched. Responsibility was one of the virtues that were most important to Aya. More than one hundred years ago, when her country was torn apart and she was battered into a hopeless situation, it was the sense of responsibility towards Brettonia that drove her to continue living as the spirit of the brave departed until today. So what she appreciated the most was someone who has a strong sense of responsibility.
After giving his explanation, Wang Lu said to Liu Li, "Liu Li, forget every word said by that person."
Liu Li gawked for a moment, and then, still without asking anything, nodded. "I understand, I will forget it!"
"Mm, good girl." Wang Lu touched the girl's head. "I have enough rest, let's continue our walk."
Before long, the few of them arrived at the end of the ladder.
The situation was very similar to the previous pass. After the ladder, there was an average grey stone gate that blocked their way. However, unlike the first few stone gates, this time, there were a lot of murals carved on the surface of the stone gate and on the stone walls around it. When Wang Lu and the others approached it, a wave-like ripple rippled on the stone gate, forming a vague face.
Then, with a very blunt and rigid voice, that face said, "Welcome brave challengers. This time, you will not face the Golden King's guardian, but the same challenger as you. They have the same powerful strength as you, as well as the same cunning wisdom. It's tough, but to be the champion of Golden King, you have to prove your strength to your competitor."
Wang Lu asked, "How to prove?"
"To prove your qualification, you have to reach the Beautiful Unique Pool Peak and take the Sun God Stone."
"Beautiful Unique Pool Peak? Sun God Stone?" Listening to these two completely unfamiliar names, Wang Lu could not help but find them strange. He then looked back towards Aya. As the scholar of Western Continent, if there was something strange in this land, it would not be wrong to ask her.
Aya recalled, "Golden King's era happened too long ago. During which, there are many changes in the continent, there are many changes in the terrain, and also, the name of many places has become completely different. There are four or five places that have the name Beautiful Unique Pool Peak, but if I remember it correctly, the most famous one is located in the wild land far farther compared to the highland of thorny ice. It's a place of countless wonders and mysteries, but, even I know very little about its specific details.
The stone gate said, "If you want to know about the Beautiful Unique Pool Peak, then take a careful look at the murals here. They recorded everything about it."
With that, a ray of light bloomed out, which lit up the entire murals on the stone gate and the stone walls. Thousands of murals, as if alive, rotated in front of Wang Lu to form a moving image. At the same time, the stone gate issued a dull sound as the narrator.
"Tsk, so this is actually the original version of film documentary?"
The murals told the story that happened more than tens of thousands years ago, when Golden King had not fully ruled the continent, and the Golden Kingdom had countless enemies in every direction. At that time, the Golden King raised an army for expeditions. His legions were invincible, yet there were quite many struggles here and there.
One of the battles could be described as the one that decided the fate of Golden King. After thirteen consecutive wins, Golden King was about to withdraw his weary army. However, in the Golden Kingdom, his ally suddenly turned against him and, taking advantage while Golden King and his army were still on the expedition, launched a surprise attack towards the capital. Suddenly, the Golden Kingdom was in imminent danger.
At a time of distress, Golden King resolutely decided to leave his army and return to the capital alone. Returning alone would be much faster, but also more dangerous.
At that time, many people thought that Golden King was insane and suicidal. However, it turned out, it was his most courageous and wise decision. By acting alone, he arrived on the Capital faster than the enemy. By virtue of his prestige laid for many years, he quickly set up an army and waged a desperate struggle against the enemy. During this battle, he personally went to the front line and killed the enemy commander and laid the victory. Then, his legion marched in and wiped out the ally who betrayed him and burned his kingdom in flames. However, Golden King was not satisfied, for the man who personally ordered the attack on his kingdom did not die but fled to the wild land along with his personal guardians.
The wild land was a dead end, but he would rather die than fall into the hands of Golden King. However, Golden King was unwilling to let him off. He would rather risk the same risk, by going into the wild land, to catch his enemy. It was a battle against death. The two sides rushed into the land of death. The more they went into the wild land, the more sinister the environment was, for it was the absolute unknown that no one had ever explored.
The enemy of Golden King was one of the most adept at escaping in the Continent. Golden King did not know how long the chase was before he finally caught him and punished him with the most brutal means.
The murals described the brutal means of Golden King in details. Obviously, this was one of Golden King's deeds that he was most proud of, which showed how he reversed the tide, leading the army in the city to defeat the enemy in the wars, which merely used two or three pictures. However, the story did not end there. When the enemy was tortured, on the verge of death, he made a bold move.
The gray stone gate tried to imitate the enemy's tone in a dull and rigid voice.
"Gil, do you think you've conquered everything? Do you think your power covers the whole continent? Open your eyes and see! Look around us, look at those endless distance, and the mountains that pierced the sky! Before, we never even knew that there was a vast piece of land on the continent! This is a mysterious and strange land, and you, as a small, humble mortal, can never conquer everything! This continent is far more vast than you think, and you are far from being so supreme as you think!"
For this provocation from the enemy, Golden King gave his highest sounding tone response.
"Ridiculous bastard, you actually dare to question my authority? This land, no matter how vast it is, is just my backyard. And if there's a strange corner in my back garden, I will conquer it."
"Gil, you are always so radiant, always so confident, as if everything in the world is in your control. Unfortunately, that is just an illusion. You are just a mortal. Compared to this world, your life, your everything, is insignificant, you can't conquer everything… Gil, how about this, if you can conquer that mountain, I'll tell you why I betrayed you."
"I don't care about the excuse of the bastard."
With that, Golden King crushed his head, and then turned his gaze towards the mountain that was hidden behind the cloud.
"But, nothing in this world can be separated from my rule… the mountain that hides behind the sea of clouds, you will be mine."
At the end of the story, the murals described how Golden King weathered the sea of clouds and climbed to the peak of the mountain. Golden King then picked up a magical gem at the top of the mountain. The power of that gem then granted him the immortality, which thoroughly laid out his future achievements. That mountain was then regarded by the Golden King as the symbol of the omnipotence of his royal power, named after the ancient paramount of Beautiful Unique Pool Peak.
"Challenger, follow the king's footsteps, climb the mount Beautiful Unique Pool Peak, and pick up the Sun God Stone. Of course, you must do all of this before your challenger."
With that, the image of the murals disappeared completely, and the stone gate also went silent.