When the stone gate finished the murals presentation, the group fell into a long silence.
It was indeed a really interesting story, however, the point was obviously not that story. Among those more than one thousand murals, ninety-nine percent of it described how Golden King turned the tide against all odds and established his world-shaking achievements, which demonstrated his penchant for luxury and flaunting temperament. However, the murals that were truly related to the champions trial were only the last few. Moreover, most of them were also used to highlight the wisdom and bravery of Golden King. But as to how Golden King broke through the sea of clouds that blocked the peak, the information was nearly zero.
"Looks like it will have to be self-reliance." After thinking about it, Wang Lu concluded, "This is a very interesting mural, and although it seems like Golden King took this opportunity to show off, I think it's more like he deliberately concealed his own experience. There seems to be something in the sea of clouds, but then again, this climbing the Beautiful Unique Pool Peak and picking up the Sun God Stone thing… is this really the real Beautiful Unique Pool Peak? Or it is just a replica made by Golden King, similar to the stones and potted plants in the backyards? And why would he design such a thing? This is really intriguing."
Aya worriedly said, "Rather than Golden King's intention, I'm more worried about our challenger that was mentioned by the stone gate. If I'm not mistaken, it should refer to the administrator of this place from Holy Light Religion, right? In this trial, he will personally compete with us. However, this kind of competition is very unfavorable to us, because the information between the two sides is completely asymmetrical. He had completed his trail a long time ago, so he should be very familiar with it. However now, we have to start from scratch, completely unaware of the difficulties that we might encounter during the trial."
Wang Lu said, "That's very normal. The opposite party is the defending champion, so unavoidably he would be given favorable treatment. But, isn't such a thing very common? Both of us know that we are actually doing cross-level challenges. So far, all the enemies that we encountered have higher levels than us and had a more complete equipment. No matter from which aspect to look for, they are unfair fights, yet, we still won all the way till now. So, what's the so-called fair and unfair here?"
"You're right, it's just that…" Aya laughed in spite trying not to. "I can't believe you're actually the one who is encouraging me."
Wang Lu laughed. "That's my duty as your gigolo!"
At the same time, in front of another stone gate, several people in holy light robe had just finished watching the murals.
"Darn it, obviously, we've already seen it, yet it forced us to watch it again. Golden King's love for showing off really didn't die even after he died."
Paul, standing at the head of the team, sighed with his mouth slightly curled upward, showing a relaxed look. Behind him, in addition to Faceless One and Supreme Inquisitor Ferdinand, there were five other archbishop-level priests. They were pope's personal guards who, at the behest of the pope, joined in as assistants to the operation to make sure that it was foolproof. The addition of these people made Paul emboldened. After all, the opponents' strength was barely comparable to the advance middle-order professions. As for the spirit of the brave departed Knight King, if she had her peak strength, it might be very difficult for them, but now she was not a threat. Thus, in terms of strength, Holy Light Religion team occupied the absolute superiority. The reason why Wang Lu's team could go through the previous three passes smoothly was not because of their own strength but because of the use of clever tricks. However, at the fourth level, the opponents were living people. Therefore, the competition mainly relied on strength, without any possibility of using clever tricks.
Moreover, the advantage in strength was only one component in completing the trial. In fact, in the fourth pass, strength was not really the key to victory. What made Paul feel that the victory was already within his grasp was his advantage in experience.
"Later, you all must follow my footsteps. Before we reach the Beautiful Unique Pool Peak, there is a chaotic sea of clouds where we would often encounter a unique law of repression. For example, some area prohibits the existence of fire element; nobody can cast out any kind of fire. Some forbid the challengers to speak, and those who violate will surely die. And these laws could not be broken by brute force, it can only be carefully observed. In the time of Golden King, where he was still powerful, he had to do this step by step, progressing in accordance with the rules. Several times he even lost direction and fell into an extremely difficult situation. Therefore, that experience wasn't recorded in the murals. The last time we were able to pass through it because there was an element of luck in it."
Paul did not say anything about the role of Faceless One but just encouraged other people's morale.
"However, this time, we are already familiar with it. Even after more than eighty years, I still remember every step of the way, from the bottom through the chaotic sea of clouds, all the way to Beautiful Unique Pool Peak. I am confident that I will not take a wrong step. So, you can follow me with confidence and follow my orders. Although we are not seeking for the authentic Sun God Stone, just to imitate the Golden King in honor of his exploits, the value of which is not below that artifact. Therefore, perhaps we should thank these desecrators, if not them, I will not have the means to restart this path."
Paul said, laughed, and then was about to lead his teammates through the stone gate.
However, at this point, Faceless One, who listened from the end of the line, sarcastically said, "It sounds like you already have the victory in your hand? What a joke. The funny thing about idiots is that they have the habit of habitual brainless optimism. I'm really looking forward to your hysterical shouting 'this is impossible'."
Paul turned his head and angrily said, "Faceless, if you're afraid, you can shut up and stay outside the door!"
"Afraid?" Upon hearing this, Faceless One said with a frivolous smile, "I'm indeed afraid. I'm afraid that when the time comes, you will cry again and again, beg for my help on your knees, and rub your snot on my shoes."
Paul felt both angry and shameful at the same time. "Enough! Don't think that since you have had some performance in the champions trial that you can demean anyone you want. The last trial clearance was indeed thanks to your help, but all the steps necessary in that clearance have already been in my mind, so now it doesn't matter if we have you or not! You don't have any qualification to demean me in this trial!"
"Ooh, what an unyielding, messy statement, almost makes me touched," Faceless One sarcastically said. He then pointed forward and said, "Then let's wait and see."
"That's right, let's go and see. You'll definitely pay for your arrogance and rudeness!"
Filled with resentment, Paul led the team into the stone gate. Immediately, the landscape before them changed. A vast sea of clouds, pierced by a towering mountain, appeared before them.
This was the mountain that symbolized the Golden King's authority, the Beautiful Unique Pool Peak.
They stood on a floating island, surrounded by a boundless sea of clouds. Once they set foot outside the island, it meant that they have officially embarked on their journey to brave the dangers of the chaotic sea of clouds. And, according to Paul's memory, the best way to start was to take the first step in the crevice of a rock, and that rock… huh?
With a hint of surprise, Paul began to carefully observe their surrounding. However, a moment later, his mind was scared and he subconsciously stepped back a few steps. "Where, where…"
"Where is this?"
Although he was familiar with that small floating island where they stood at, everything else was almost completely different, even the color of the ground. Moreover, after looking intently at it, the angle of the distant Beautiful Unique Pool Peak was completely different than that of from his memory, in other words...
"This is not the same starting point."
"This, this…" Paul stared with eyes wide open, sweating like rain, and his dry lips continued to move yet he could not spit out another word.
"'This' what? This is impossible? An idiot is indeed an idiot!" Faceless One's words seemed so harsh at that moment. "I always wondered, where did you get the confidence that everything would be exactly the same as the last time? Even animals as stupid as pigs and dogs also know that two trials can't have the same process. Even if we don't consider the vagaries of the chaotic sea of clouds, the last time we only have one group that took the trial, but now we have two groups! So the focus of the whole trial has already shifted. Yet, you think everything will be exactly the same as the last time!"
Listening to the mockery of Faceless One, Paul felt that blood welled up on his face, but he could not say a word.
"Faceless, continuing to mock Paul will not help our action either." The Supreme Inquisitor Ferdinand interrupted Faceless One with a sinking voice. "This time, we'll follow you. Do what you want to do."
Paul exclaimed, "Ferdinand, you…"
"That's enough, stupid! Stop embarrassing yourself! I didn't come here to see you humiliate yourself! Quickly finish this pass and purify those desecrators!"
Faceless One laughed. "Hahaha, no wonder those eastern continent people would often say, fresh flower needs green leaf to be contrasted with. Compared to that idiot Paul, you, this idiot, are indeed more pleasing to the eyes."
With that, Faceless One took the lead as his body went into the clouds. However, without even taking two steps, his exclaim suddenly came out from the mist, "You guys, quickly come here!"
Upon hearing Faceless One's call from the other side, the other people were surprised—what was the situation that made that arrogant, lawless guy exclaim? Did he meet with Wang Lu and his team? Unable to think through it, they immediately flew into the sea of clouds. However, as soon as their bodies were wrapped by the clouds, they all felt their whole body sank, and the flood of strong holy light inside them dried up, as if it was suppressed by an unknown force; they lost more than 90 percent of their original strength!
"This, this is…" Not just Paul and Ferdinand, even the five Archbishops who were strictly trained personally by the pope were terrified, because most of the strength that they depended upon have inexplicably vanished.
"Faceless, what's going on?" Ferdinand's voice sounded a bit weak. At this time, this legendary level Holy One has his power weakened to that of intermediate high order profession. Moreover, even after he exhausted all his means, he couldn't recover it. He had experienced many storms, but this was the first time this strange situation happened to him!
Faceless One laughed, spread his arms, and said, "Paul should've explained to you about this before. In this chaotic sea of clouds, there would often exist a unique law of repression. Once entered, the maximum strength that can be retained is that of intermediate high order profession."
"F*cking sh*thole!" Ferdinand cursed, and then his sharp eyes pierced Faceless One. "You knew this would happen!"
Faceless One said, "I only knew it once I took the first step into the sea of clouds, otherwise, why else would I yell to hurry you up? If you had not been deceived by surprise, once you knew the situation here, you guys would've hesitated outside, and we don't have so much time to waste."
"What did you say?"
"I mean, if we don't move faster, we won't have a chance… the chaotic principle of this sea of clouds seems to be tailored for him." Although Faceless One was elaborating an urgent fact, his expression was calm. However, halfway through, he suddenly turned his head. "Oh, the nail that I buried in that girl should've been found by now."