Hao Ren snapped out it. The interruption had made him quickly lose his train of thought earlier. He grabbed his hair and said, "Nothing, just finding it a little familiar, like I have seen it before. Could it be the architectural style of a certain place in Holletta?"
Vivian squinted and said, "Architecture of the Magic Empire? It is possible, after all, even the Inferno was moved." She then glanced at Lily again. "While I can understand why Mr. Landlord was doing it, you, putting up a serious face as if you were deep in thought too is just beyond me," she said.
Before Lily could say anything, Hao Ren cut in. "You are talking crap! Are they any huskies that don't look stoned when they are in a daze?"
Suddenly, a bright light burst out in the distance, followed by a loud, deafening noise. Everyone looked. About a kilometer away, fire rose as magic bullets rained down on the stone platform like a firestorm. Some faint figures were flashing in the flames and lightning, which illuminated the surroundings. In the center of the stone platform was a semi-collapsed temple, and its top was emitting light like a torch. A protective shield was shielding the platform from the attack.
Demon-hunter warriors rushed out of the temple to meet their enemy. Due to the distance and explosion, Hao Ren could not see the situation clearly, but he knew it was a brutal battle. This battle among the demon hunters saw the use of firepower that was as powerful as modern weapons of the humans.
"The attack on Darsu Temple is happening again," said a demon hunter, gritting his teeth. "The frequency of their attacks has doubled since yesterday. There is now a wave of attacks every hour. The temple's crystal is not going to last."
Nangong Sanba clenched his weapon instinctively. "Should we help?" he asked.
"This platform is more important. We must first secure the control center of the Stellar Spire," White Flame said, trying to keep a level head. "They will attack at any time. Due to a shortage of fighters, we should fight our own battles. Come with me, I'll take you to the temporary command post."
Following a guard and leaving the platform, they came to a series of floating broken stairs and ramps. The experience of the discontinuous gravity and inverted walk was terrific, at least for Hao Ren and Lily. Eventually, they came to a small floating temple. Compared to other temple ruins, this one, which was used as a temporary command post was mostly intact. Only a part of the wall was cracked, while the upper structure was missing. There were a large number of demon hunters guarding the temple. At the same time, there were many floating runes and weapons, which looked like ballistae across the open space near the building. They were obviously large weapons belonging to the demon hunters.
He had seen many small, handheld equipment that individual demon hunters used, but this was the first time he had ever seen the heavy weapons used by the demon hunters during the Mythological War.
The temple, which used to be a place of worship, was empty. The remaining open space had been turned into a busy command center. A group of small and exquisite objects was floating in the center of the main hall. They were models of spires, arranged according to their respective locations in Coldpath's dimension. They looked lifelike. Some demon hunters walked around a special sand table, compiling reports of frontline battles and issuing instructions. An exceptionally tall, black man was standing next to the suspended sand table; it was Teuton, who had recently returned from the frontline.
"White Flame, glad to see that you are safe and sound." Teuton nodded at her. Then, his eyes fell on Hao Ren and his team. "I have understood the situation. Thank you for your help," he said.
"I am neither siding nor against anyone in the first place, but that is not important," Hao Ren said, waving his hand. "Who can tell me what these models are all about?" he asked.
"These are the models of the ruins floating across Coldpath's dimension," White Flame said, pointing at the ingenious models. "Temples are the main military bases and battlefields. They can form a strong line of defense and block enemy advances. At the same time, they are also the control centers of energy flow. White spires like these over here are usually the energy nodes, which are attached to large buildings. They're the main targets in the fight for control. The Council of Elders would probably target the nearest temples before they wrest control of the nodes. We are now in this position."
Pointing at the model of the Stellar Spire at the bottom of the sand table, White Flame said, "This is the 'bottom' of the Coldpath dimension. The Council of Elders is in this position: the Netherrealm Clock Tower, the most heavily guarded place in Coldpath."
Looking in the direction where White Flame was pointing at, there was a weird spire of complex structure and asymmetrical shape on top of each building. The spires were suspended in an empty zone between the floating buildings. Hao Ren observed it carefully; this one particular spire was the only stationary one among all the ruins in Coldpath.
Between the Netherrealm Clock Tower and the Stellar Spire was a vast void where the ruins of temples and citadels floated around. Shreds of electric light were jumping between these models, showing the stalemate in the frontline.
"Can't we cross these temples and attack the Netherrealm Clock Tower?" Hao Ren pointed at the large space between the suspended temples. "What do you say if we send some elite commanders to take out their leaders?" he asked.
All the demon hunters shook their heads. Teuton sighed and said, "You probably haven't understood this system. The space between the temples may look empty, but they are actually heavily guarded; invisible spatial eddies are everywhere. The only way to turn off these eddies is to take control of the nodes and strategic points. Meanwhile, the energy nodes of Coldpath are powering a layer of enchantment, which is almost invincible outside the Netherrealm Clock Tower."
While he spoke, Teuton pointed at the spires that resembled torches, floating between the temples. Those were the energy nodes.
There were dozens of such nodes in the entire Coldpath dimension supplying energy to the Netherrealm Clock Tower to keep the so-called 'Unbreakable Shield' up. If all of these nodes were to fall into the hands of the Council of Elders, their boosted power could activate some ancient weapon at the top of the Netherrealm Clock Tower. This ancient weapon would instantly destroy their enemies and even any city on Earth should they wish it.
"Are there any vulnerabilities in this system?" Hao Ren scratched his chin, looking for a solution like it was a conditioned response. "For example, will it cause system errors if we close some of the temples?"
White Flame shook her head. "We have not found any vulnerabilities so far."
"You have not found?" Y'zaks seemed to have sensed something. "You mean you did not make these defense mechanisms?" he asked.
"These defense systems already existed before the demon hunters used Coldpath as a base," Teuton slowly said. "They have long been in existence in this dimension, and are very potent and far from our control. The elders have spent thousands of years exploring the secrets of this dimension, but in the end, they could only harness their power based on the rules that exist in these relics."
Although White Flame had mentioned earlier that the demon hunters did not build the Coldpath dimension, Hao Ren did not expect that even the defense system inside was also left behind by the Ancients. He looked at the high hall, a sense of déjàvu overcoming him again "How strong is the Unbreakable Shield?" he asked.
"It is meaningless to ask this question because the most powerful forces on the planet have not been able to leave a single scratch on the Netherrealm Clock Tower so far," Teuton said, shrugging and tapping the ground with his feet. "Neither Zeus' thunder nor modern human cannons could shake the temple under our feet."
Hao Ren was stunned. Then, White Flame chimed in, "Do you know why we have not repaired these ruins? Because we have been unable to remove any of the melted tiles and twisted frames."
Suddenly, a noise was heard coming from the outside.