However, within the mountains existed a huge diversity of prominent yet peaceful scenery.
Chu Feng walked along the small mountain path, enjoying the various sweet fragrances originating from a diverse mixture of unknown flowers and grass.
His steps were light and relaxed; he looked forward to meeting the two oxen soon.
The small path took him farther and farther into a gigantic valley. From afar, he noticed the beautiful scenery. The grass and leaves were comparable to jade sculptures, pure and spiritual.
The whole valley was extremely silent as if it was isolated from the world.
Chu Feng continued forward, enjoying the scenic valley.
The purple woodpecker appeared just outside the valley, observing his image disappear into the valley. A cold smile appeared on his face as if he were looking at a dead man.
"Bird King, he is a king level entity and has extremely powerful divine instinct. Will he not detect the trap you have laid for him?" the peacock asked; apparently, he was a bit worried.
"It is precisely because his divine instinct is very powerful that he will meet a miserable end," the golden woodpecker coldly replied, "Kunlun, called the home of myriad gods during ancient times; divine instinct is useless here."
The view within the valley was extremely beautiful. Many ancient trees grew within; their leaves glowed with a prismatic hue while their beautiful flowers were translucent and radiant. With the sweep of a gentle breeze, they fell in a multi-colored rain of flowers and leaves.
Chu Feng stood there enjoying everything. He was in great spirits, and his mind and soul were completely at peace.
However, the place was simply too quiet. There were only flowers and trees without the slightest trace of animals or beasts. It was odd that such an otherworldly location had not be claimed by a beast king.
As Chu Feng continued forward, his expression turned into that of astonishment. He saw some corpses on the mountainous ground. They had all died a miserable death, many of them were not even whole.
How could there be so many corpses in this otherworldly paradise? This ruined the mood of the whole place.
He became rather cautious and released his divine instinct to its maximum range. However, he did not discover any danger—this caused him to be greatly astonished.
As he walked on, the number of corpses only grew; some skin and fur remains of wolves, bones of bears and even human skeletons.
The land beyond was littered with burial mounds, with some of them even opened; buried within were beasts such as black foxes and Tibetan mastiffs.
Chu Feng was on high alert. Just what kind of place had he come to? How come this heavenly valley was littered with burial mounds, corpses and remains?
He pressed on past the green grass and vibrant trees, resplendent and peaceful. However, the number of corpses only kept on growing; with the passage of time, some of the remains were already covered under the growing flora.
At one point, he saw the remains of a military squad, most probably not of the post-civilization era. They probably fell long ago, their firearms, now rusted, lay beside them on the ground.
"This is odd!" Chu Feng was suspicious.
Some of these were remains of those who had died ages ago, badly eroded by the wind and rain—they must have been there for hundreds if not thousands of years. However, some others were killed recently.
"This is the so-called ‘outsiders’ test of Mount Kunlun?" Chu Feng went on and discovered that the vegetation had become sparse; soon, there were no longer any trees in sight, only green grass.
Finally, even the grass became scarce, revealing the red earth underneath.
"Ha, this so called ‘Demon King Chu’ is a joke. Killing him is all too easy!" Outside of the valley, the purple woodpecker laughed coldly, carrying a hint of disdain.
The golden falcon said, "This human is easily defeated with your highness’s plans, but for us, he is a nightmare; fierce and powerful!"
With a swoosh, the golden woodpecker flew to the base of the cliff, an area just adjacent to where Chu Feng was. The land was brimming with vitality but was surprisingly lacking vegetation, largely consisting of rocky terrain.
Some beast race experts were standing guard in that area.
"We pay our respects to the King!" Several beast race experts including yaks, snow panthers, etc. paid their obeisances, all of them were able to speak in human language.
"You may withdraw," the golden woodpecker instructed, his expression cold.
At the base of that mountain, there was a bronze pillar over 60 centimeters in diameter. It was hung by thick iron chains over a pitch-black dry well.
The purple woodpecker approached and loosened the iron chains, letting the bronze pillar drop into the dry well with a bang, followed by the rattling iron chains.
At this moment, the adjacent valley underwent rapid changes, and a terrifying aura suffused the air.
Chu Feng felt his hair stand on end, and he immediately leapt forward several meters. The place where he previously stood exploded with a flash.
He fell to the ground, arcs of crackling electricity jumping about. Chains of sparks appeared mid air, comparable to a winding silver snake.
Then he hastily made his way forward, narrowly avoiding yet another strike.
Another bolt of lightning struck where he stood. Were he just a step slower, he would have been hit—the might of the heavens could not be withstood.
Behind him, the earth and rocks had been split opened, causing the beast remains scattered on the ground to be shattered.
Chu Feng moved with extreme speed; he was greatly shocked. Why would such lightning strikes suddenly descend without warning?
He raised his head to observe the skies; the formerly sparse clouds had become extremely dense as more lightning struck towards the valley.
Chu Feng immediately discarded the Thunderous and the black dagger while he himself ran towards a low lying area with the utmost speed.
Now, he realized why there were so many corpses within the valley, even soldiers’ remains. They were all struck to death by lightning.
This was a heavenly land, comparable to an immortal peach garden. Why had it suddenly changed to become a zone of lightning?
Chu Feng pondered and he was suddenly shocked; he had remembered what this place was!
"The Gates of Hell!"
He felt his blood run cold as he understood everything.
So this wasn’t a myth after all; the place actually existed within Mount Kunlun, its name, "The Gates of Hell".
It had existed even before the great change took place, and there were several legends about this place.
This was a location well known to the Tibetan locals; this valley was incomparably lush, and the grass grew abundantly. However, the local shepherds never dared to set foot here, even if it meant that their livestock would starve.
Because this place was extremely dangerous! One wrong step could lead to a "shocking" death.
Almost every living being that entered this valley would be struck by lightning and die, and only a lucky few have ever survived.
Later on, some scientists came here to perform surveys and uncovered the truth behind this place. Below the ground here was an extremely strong electromagnetic anomaly.
Under the electromagnetic effect, the magnetic field on the ground and the electric charges in the clouds would interact, causing lightning to descend. There were many lightning fields in this area, and any running animal would have easily become a target for the lightning.
Although he had a clear idea of what was happening, he had no solution to the situation he was in.
This place existed well before the great changes—it was named, by the humans, as "The Gates of Hell".
Who knows what kind of changes had triggered the lightning field today? Chu Feng could only stay prone within a low-lying area, circulating his special breathing technique to withstand the lightning.
The descending lightning strikes came in close succession, landing in the valley. It was a dreadful scene.
Chu Feng did not run since that would increase his chances of being struck.
He lay low in the ground. He knew that this wasn’t a story from a myth, but a true natural disaster. The lightning easily exceeded 100 million volts; how could normal flesh and blood withstand it?
Outside the valley, the golden falcon and the peacock felt chills ran down their back. This kind of heavenly might caused them to be apprehensive. Just how were these lightning strikes formed?
This was, undeniably, a fatal situation!
They firmly believed that a physical body would have no way to withstand these attacks. Even a king level entity would not be able to hold out for long under the torrential lightning—death was inevitable.
"Sire, what’s going on? This is even more terrifying than in the legends. How did you summon all this lightning?" the golden falcon asked, trembling.
"This is the power of a ‘formation’, it is empty and hard to explain, but perhaps it really does exist," the purple woodpecker blandly explained.
When they first discovered this area, the kings of Mount Kunlun were all greatly astonished. A beast king had died inside, and even its charred corpse was not left whole, a horrible spectacle.
They studied this land in detail and even invited human scientists to run tests before finally coming to the conclusion that the phenomenon was due to a magnetic field anomaly.
Human science was able to explain the mystery of this valley. However, during excavation attempts, they had also discovered clues that the ancient races had modified this valley in a particular way.
These beast kings were astonished; the ancients were able to alter the land to amplify the magnetic field anomaly.
According to their deductions, this was likely a "formation".
Something as illusory as that was explained by the humans as the interaction between the magnetic field anomaly and the electric charges within the clouds, forming lightning.
The purple-gold woodpecker simply explained, but the peacock and the falcon were dumbfounded as if they had seen a ghost. Specifically altering the lay of the land could induce lightning?
"Especially after we discovered that dried-up well. Through lowering or raising that bronze pilling, we are able to manipulate the magnetic field of the area, thereby activating the lightning field." The purple woodpecker indifferently laughed.
At this moment, the other beast race experts looked anxious as they approached the previous entrance.
"Milord, this might not be appropriate. We fear the other beast kings might complain."
Unless it was to punish an evil beast, it was agreed among the beast kings that no one was to lower the bronze pillar into the ground.
"I have my reasons for doing this, all of you do not need to dissuade me. Withdraw to the side," the purple gold woodpecker commanded indifferently.
Within the valley, Chu Feng was in a dangerous situation. He never thought that as soon as he had arrived at Mount Kunlun to meet up with the great black yak, he would be exposed to such a critical situation. Wasn’t this the home ground of the two oxen? There was actually someone who dared to harm him!
Additionally, before this, he wasn’t very cautious—he didn’t know that his divine instinct was ineffective here.
At this moment, he was in a miserable state; his clothes were torn, his skin charred. He had been struck several times by lightning strong enough to easily penetrate a normal person.
"Even normal people may survive a lightning strike with some luck. With my physical body at this level, I should be able to resist for yet a while. But, death is inevitable if this drags on."
There were traces of blood at the corner of his mouth. He had suffered severe injuries. This kind of lightning brought about extreme temperatures that could burn any normal person until only their bones were left.
He did not dare to run—that would only hasten his doom. All the lightning would focus on him once he did so. He suffered relatively less damage lying close to the ground without movement.
Chu Feng was resolutely fighting against the lightning field. With the passage of time, the king level entities of Mount Kunlun would, no doubt, be alerted. At that time, Yellow Ox and the great black yak would surely rush here to his rescue.
The condition was that he would have to hold on until there.
Another bluish bolt landed on his body, sending him flying, his whole body was trembling as he coughed up a large mouthful of blood.
If he did not have a shroud of mysterious energy protecting him, the attack would have, no doubt, penetrated his body.
He fell to the ground with a thump, feeling unbearable pain all over his body. This was probably the greatest crisis he had ever been subjected to.
There was a possibility that he would fall here; the assailant was no ordinary enemy since it was the wrath of nature itself.
The dense lightning was hundreds of millions of volts, and even king level entities would not be able to bear such an onslaught.
This was no fairy tale; things like resisting the heavenly calamity were nonsense.
When lightning truly descends in great numbers, how could the flesh and blood withstand it?
Chu Feng was struck yet again. He was unable to dodge and could only receive the strike passively. He felt terrible, knowing that he had completely fallen into the enemy’s scheme.
Outside of the valley, the peacock was greatly delighted, saying, "Sire, it seems that he can no longer hold on. See? His whole body is now charred black like a dead fish, he can’t even move."
The purple gold woodpecker squinted as he said, "This man is indeed extraordinary, he still hasn't crumbled. Any other beast king would have fallen much faster."
Soon afterward, his expression changed, saying, "Not good, this has dragged on for too long. The other beast kings have been alerted; I have to take care of him quickly or else I’ll be in trouble!"
The purple woodpecker flew up as he said, "You two wait here, I’ll go and cripple him first. Then we can interrogate him about the Imperial Sword Technique!"
He flew straight into the valley.
"Sire, be careful!" the peacock was shaken, shouting from behind.
"Don't worry, there are blind spots. We have already investigated the whole place thoroughly," the woodpecker replied; he did not dare to drag this on any further, lest the other beast kings come over to stop him.
The purple woodpecker's body was about two meters long. Like a purple flash of lightning, it flew through the blind areas within the lightning field.
It was extremely fast, arriving within the blink of an eye.
Chu Feng was gravely wounded, he felt as if all his bones were broken. Even though he had been circulating the special breathing technique and a layer of energy had been protecting him, strands of electricity had still made their way into his body.
At this rate, he would definitely die in here. He was struck four times in quick succession just now.
Many times, he wanted to dig a huge hole in the ground and hide himself within. But whenever he made the slightest movement, lightning would focus on him, as if it was specifically targeting living beings.
Afterwards, he tried using the Thunderous Breathing Technique in a desperate attempt, and to his surprise, he discovered that that it was able to somewhat refine the electricity and use it to tamper the physique.
Even so, it was insufficient. After all, the technique itself was not complete, moreover, his body was in no condition to be tampered. In the end, he switched back to the complete breathing technique and proceeded to defend himself.
Suddenly, Chu Feng discovered the woodpecker hovering in the air not far from where he was. To his surprise, the bird was unharmed by the lightning.
"So you’re the one scheming against me?" His eyes were cold.
"The so-called Demon King Chu only amounts to this much. I could eradicate you ten times over while laughing!" the purple gold woodpecker disdainfully exclaimed.
Chu Feng knew that he had been too careless. Mount Kunlun had blocked his divine instinct, moreover, he had believed that there would be no danger to him within the two oxen’s area of influence. He paid a dear price to discover that this was not the case.
He came to realize that no matter where he was, he should not relax his cautiousness. This was a terrifying lesson for which he had to pay dearly.
In the depths of Mount Kunlun, the two oxen had finally emerged from the underground palace. They were not very happy because their excursion to the underground palace had not yielded anything valuable. Apparently, the palace was empty.
"We pay our respects to the Ox King!"
Some of the beasts paid their respects and reported that a man called Chu Feng had entered Mount Kunlun.
"He came that fast?" The Yellow Ox was pleasantly surprised. He called over the black yak and said, "Let’s go and meet up with him."
"The Bird King has gone to escort him," a yak reported.
"That’s considerate of him, this woodpecker really knows how to conduct himself. I intend to take him along with us to the Vatican this time," The Great Black Yak said.
Recently, the two oxen had a fairly good relationship with the purple gold woodpecker. The "helper" that the black yak mentioned last time was, indeed, this bird.
Because he felt that his powers of flight could be useful on the battlefield.
Actually, the purple woodpecker had been deliberately acting submissive and respectful in order to gain their trust.
"Ha, ha, this woodpecker has gone in our stead to escort Chu Feng here. That’s not bad, let us go too," said the Great Black Yak.
"Sire, we had just gotten news that the Bird King had led Chu Feng into the Gates of Hell. Moreover, that area is now filled with flashes of lightning; something is terribly wrong!" another mutant yak reported in a hushed tone.
He had rushed over here immediately to report to the two oxen after realizing what had happened.
"What?!" the Great Black Yak was stunned, his expression changed quickly. He realized that something was definitely wrong—he loudly roared, shaking the whole mountain range.
"Dammit, this woodpecker had been concealing his malicious intentions when he approached us recently."
The Yellow Ox was also furious, he urged, "Let’s go, we need to save Chu Feng!"
After the two oxen left the underground palace, they were able to see faint flashes of lightning in the distant sky.
They had never thought that Chu Feng would cover 8000 km in such a short time, else they would never have let the purple woodpecker’s malicious plans succeed.
"Kill! I’ll definitely skin him alive!" The Great Black Yak loudly roared as he ran at astonishing speeds. He felt greatly embarrassed being deceived by the woodpecker.
Within the valley, the purple gold woodpecker was loftily hovering mid air and mocking Chu Feng. "How is it? I didn’t even need to make a move to kill you. This is not challenging at all; killing you is simply too easy."
Chu Feng stared at him coldly, saying, "Nothing but a despicable feathered beast who can only use some underhanded methods. But, don’t worry, I won’t die anytime soon. I can still hang on until the day ends!"
Today’s downfall was mainly because he was overconfident in his divine instinct, not knowing that Mount Kunlun was special in that it could mislead his divine perception.
"Ha, aren’t you very powerful? The so called Demon King Chu who killed the king of Mount Pan. How come you look so weak right now? Why don’t you use your flying knife? Ha ha…"
The purple woodpecker loudly laughed, taunting him.
In actuality, he was running out of time and he didn’t dare to approach Chu Feng for the kill. As such, he wanted to provoke Chu Feng into using his flying knife.
Once one used a metallic weapon within this lightning field, the result would be catastrophic.
"Come on, kill me with that flying knife of yours. Ha, ha… Look at you! You’re almost stiff like a dead dog; I don’t feel much accomplishment at all."
He repeatedly called out, trying to provoke Chu Feng into going berserk, hoping he would take out his flying knife to attack him.
"Sure, I’ll satisfy your desires," Chu Feng replied.
Actually, he had long since wanted to use the flying knife to thunderously kill this woodpecker in mid air!
However, Chu Feng was cautious, afraid that the bird would completely run away if he failed to kill him at once.
Now that this bird was feeling carelessly secure, it suited Chu Feng’s intentions. One had to know that this extremely agile scarlet knife was not made of metal and was not affected by the lightning field.
"Demon King Chu, you truly disappoint me. Come on, let loose your flying knife and try to kill me. I’m too lazy to even evade; I’ll defend against it head on, how’s that?"
The purple woodpecker disdainfully cried, he was half acting, but he was also half confident that Chu Feng was already a dead man who had lost his combat strength.
At this moment, a beam of resplendent red flashed through the air as the scarlet blade shot towards its target like a bolt of lightning.
The purple gold woodpecker was thoroughly astonished. His blood ran cold when he noticed that the dense lightning strikes were not attracted towards the flying knife.
"How could it be?!" He was deeply puzzled as he immediately withdrew sideways in an attempt to evade this terrifying blow.
However, it was too late. With a "pfft", the blade went through him, severing one of his wings in a splash of fresh blood. He miserably cried as he fell towards the ground, unable to support himself with a single wing.
Apparently, the Gates of Hell, in every sense of the word, do exist within Mount Kunlun.