At the same time, at the other end of the chaotic sea of clouds, another team of challengers was quietly walking within the sea of clouds. Their footsteps on the stony floor issued a crisp sound, which continued to reverberate in this gloomy haze, as if they were walking in a sealed and suppressed hall.
"Wang Lu, don't you feel the atmosphere here is a bit repressing?"
Amidst the silence, Aya suddenly opened her mouth.
"The air is a bit repressed?" Wang Lu wrinkled his nose. "Are you trying to say that in the house of a dictator like Golden King, there's a lack of democracy and freedom?"
"I don't know what you're talking about…" Aya sighed. "I mean, in this place, it seems that the power of a profession is suppressed, moreover, it comes from the root principle, absolutely impossible to resist."
Wang Lu was surprised. "There's actually such a thing? I actually didn't notice it!"
Non-Phase Method was not known for its perception, but his Void Spirit Root made him the world's most sensitive. Although in the Western Continent he experienced the transformation law, he would not be ignorant of the suppression law!
"Is the suppression really serious?" Wang Lu asked.
"It's okay. In here, it seems like our power level is suppressed into the intermediate high order profession, or more or less Yuanying Stage." Aya said, "Fortunately, I am in a weak condition, so the impact is not big. How about you?"
"... Don't you already know the answer to that?" Wang Lu was silent for a moment, and then sighed. "Although I haven't reached Jindan yet, for you to say that, I feel like I'm being given a child's pass."
"In short, this place does not seem to allow us to have a personal strength that is too strong, only intermediate high order at max. With this restriction in place, even Golden King would find it hard to explore this place." Aya frowned, somewhat puzzled. "Also, what is the significance of this limit?"
Wang Lu said, "At present, the biggest significance is it's a form of novice protection rule. Because this restriction is very advantageous to our small and weak team but absolutely disadvantageous to Holy Light Religion team—in order to deal with us, they must have assembled their most formidable team. I'm afraid they would even bring more than one legendary level characters. What a pity, now, it's all gone."
Aya asked, "Do you think someone intentionally did this? For example…"
Wang Lu hesitated. "From the result, it really looks like Golden King is deliberately looking after us. After all, it is more advantageous to him if we win. However, I don't think Golden King would do this kind of method. With his character, I'm afraid he simply won't bother to do such a small method of suppressing one side like this. We want to be the champion so that we can take the administrator position, but we must do it within the framework of the established rules, proving our qualification through our own strength. Moreover, the impression that I have about Golden King is that, although he is brutal and inhumane, he has never appointed someone through favoritism—he basically didn't recognize even his own family."
Aya sighed. "Indeed, I also don't think someone as prideful as Golden King would use such a cheap mean."
"Forget it, if you can't think about it, just let it go. We still have a long way to go, so we will know the truth sooner or later."
While they were softly talking, Bai Shixuan's voice suddenly came from the front. "Senior Brother, Aya, I think you should come and see this."
Wang Lu and Aya looked at each other and quickly trotted to the front. There they saw Bai Shixuan standing with a puzzled face, and by her side, Quan Zouhua, who acted as the explorer, uneasily shook his fur, eyes looked straight ahead, and throat letting out a growling sound.
And in the front, a vague huge shadow of a castle appeared within the thick haze.
"Is that… a castle?" Aya was surprised. "How could there be a castle here? Beautiful Unique Pool Peak is located on the edge of the wild land, a place in the westernmost of Western Continent that no human settlement has ever survived in thousands of years. How could there be a mark of human civilization here? Is this the legacy of Golden King? Is this the castle that he built during his journey through the sea of clouds as a resting place?"
Aya's speculation was very much in line with Golden King's penchant for luxury, but this speculation was quickly refuted by herself.
"No. Although this castle is huge, it's style is so simple. If it's Golden King, he would not build it so rough like this. If he did it, he would've made it so gloriously dazzling. Moreover, this castle… gives me an unfathomable feeling, as if it has a long story, longer than anything that we ever know."
Aya's attention was gradually attracted to that old castle, which seemed, after millions of years of vicissitudes as an observer, developed an indifferent gaze to everything. Its cold figure was chilling, but it also contained an irresistible mysterious charm.
Bai Shixuan said, "Senior Brother, do you want to go to take a look?"
"Of course. This is something that we can't ignore. After walking for so long, this castle is the only clue that we have."
Previously, after passing through the stone gate of the fourth pass, they were immediately swallowed by thick clouds and instantly lost all of their vision. Not to mention the once discernible Beautiful Unique Pool Peak that stood at the other end of the sea of clouds… Wang Lu couldn't even see his own feet.
This sense of isolation not only came from the physical level—the chaotic sea of clouds contained a very special power that limited the challenger's perception. Without this perception, in the sea of clouds, the challengers were without a frame of reference, which coupled with the space confusion, it was impossible to determine their location. In Wang Lu's view, this was like an invisible barrier that bound them, making them unable to travel to the place other than the predetermined one.
Therefore, when the castle appeared, Wang Lu immediately made a decision that they definitely should enter the castle. If they ignored such an obvious clue, it was likely that they would be lost forever in the sea of clouds.
Wang Lu led his team to approach the castle. When they were near the castle, the castle door slowly opened itself for them, revealing a faint light, as if the castle coldly welcomed them.
The team then gingerly went inside the castle along with the direction of the light. When Aya, who walked at the rear, went past the door, with a loud crash, the heavy and huge castle door shut itself. Then, the clouds which previously disappeared suddenly appeared again.
Aya vigilantly swung her sword back, sweeping three feet semicircle arc behind her. However, the sword just cut an empty spot, the sharp sword qi tore the clouds, tumbling them hundreds of meters away. Yet, there was no trace of that castle gate.
"The gate is gone!"
Wang Lu was not surprised by this. "It means we have to move forward and don't look back… okay, let's see what's inside the castle."
Two hours later.
"Senior Brother, the second floor has also been explored. It has a similar structure with the first floor, a U-shaped long hallway. Each of the sides has ten rooms, and each room leads to a very different location, which contains very rich resources.
Bai Shixuan reported in a soft voice while handing over a few pieces of image and sound recorders.
"This is the images recorded when I and Liu Li separately explored, please check them out."
Wang Lu waved his hand. "No need. Since the structure is similar to the first floor, then I'm afraid the content is also similar. In total, the entire rooms on the first and second floor are eighty rooms, each leads to a different place, and each individual place is rich with one or two resources. This castle is like a storehouse, a relay station, so that we can adequately prepare before embarking on the real journey."
Wang Lu then looked towards the not too far away locked door, then his brows gradually wrinkled and eyes turned sharp.
"Get ready, let's break through the clouds blockade outside the door."
After that door, there was an absolute cloud blockade. Opening the door was not difficult. Although it was thick and solid and can't be damaged through brute force, as long as a little bit of force was applied at the right position, it could be pushed away. But after pushing open the door came the invisible fingers of the thick clouds. Entering it seemed like entering a different dimensional space, no matter what, it was very hard to move forward. They couldn't be more than three feet away from the door. Wang Lu told his team to give it a try, but no matter how hard they struggled, the law of space tightly imprisoned them all.
In addition to this door, there were eighty doors inside the castle. Although each of them led to a different area, each one of them was a dead end, so the only way forward was through that door.
Therefore, temporarily, the situation has reached an impasse.
"Think of a way, Wang Lu."
After the end of the exploration of a certain room, Aya wearily returned back to the hall.
"Now we seem to be trapped."
The castle doors that lead to the outside were only two. One was the entrance that disappeared in the sea of clouds after Wang Lu and the others entered the castle, and the other one was the one in front of them, which they couldn't seem to break through. Both appeared to be dead ends.
Wang Lu said, "According to the current situation, this means that we should find something in these eighty rooms in order to continue to move forward. I've just found something similar to the sesame seeds in the crop room, but it seems to be completely useless."
Aya completely didn't understand about Wang Lu's fixation of the sesame seed, so she said, "Should we take each resource in each room and try them one by one?"
"That's the most inefficient and stupidest way. But, since there's no other clue, we can only try it first."
As a professional adventurer, Wang Lu always hated inefficient strategy. However, in the absence of any other alternative, he would not stubbornly refuse it. After all, even the stupidest method was better than doing nothing.
However, just as Wang Lu was ready to mobilize his team to collect resources, the cheerful laughter of Liu Li came from above them. "Hahaha, Senior Brother, I found two paintings here!"
Two paintings? Wang Lu was immediately curious. He flew up, flying upward in the direction of Liu Li's voice.
The clouds were everywhere, even inside the castle. Although there were only two floors inside the castle, the space on each floor was very broad. Wang Lu had to directly fly several hundred meters upward before he saw the first-floor ceiling as well as the jubilant Liu Li.
"Senior Brother, Senior Brother, look, there are two paintings here! They're really pretty paintings!"
Wang Lu shifted his gaze towards the direction where Liu Li pointed her finger at and his eyes immediately turned sharp.
"Liu Li, great job."