971 Gathering of Nascent Soul CultivatorsOnce through the gaping maw that was the entrance to the Ancient Demons Loch, Chen Fan reached its first level. The world was drastically different there. Other than the strange looking standing stones that were scattered across the land, the world was bleak and barren. Only very occasionally did he see one or two plants.
However, even those plants looked bizarre. They were covered with dark scales, only keeping a vague resemblance to the shape of a tree.
Whenever a cultivator got near those plants they would extend their gnarly branches, trying to strangle the unsuspecting victims. Once they killed the cultivators, they would suck the blood out of them.
The further they went, the more frequent they encountered those Fiend Trees.
After a while, Chen Fan started to spot Fiend beasts lurking behind the shadows.
Heavenly General Hu shouted, “Be careful everyone. We have entered the Ancient Demons Loch. Stay away from any living things, even if it’s a blade of grass.”
The sizable expedition consisted of over a hundred renowned cultivators and even more cannon fodder.
They were hard to miss, especially when they flew over the sky of the demonic world.
They annihilated any fiend soldiers that dared to come out of their hiding places. The loot from these demons was shared among the team members. After a few battles, Heavenly General Hu was elected as the leader of the expedition.
Meanwhile, Chen Fan trailed behind the team.
“Brother, I don’t like it here. The movement of my energy is greatly hampered,” Xiao Mang said under her breath.
“This place is corrupted by the Fiend Qi. You need to conserve your energy, Spirit Qi is very scarce here.”
Nonetheless, Chen Fan nodded.
Chen Fan had stored a large batch of Elixirs in the Blade Strengthening Gourd, but that wouldn’t last long either.
However, Chen Fan didn’t need any supplements there. He felt at home as soon as he entered the Ancient Demons Loch. The six black holes appeared behind him and started absorbing Fiend Qi. Chen Fan could sense the increasing potency of the Six Sacred Ancestor Fiend Art by the second.
Many cultivators also sensed the energy flowing into Chen Fan. They all glanced at Chen Fan fearfully from time to time.
First level, second level, third…
The group passed twenty levels with incredible speed. However, they started to slow down as they encountered golden core Fiend Generals more frequently.
The cultivator’s mood darkened with each level they have passed in the Ancient Demons Loch. After losing a few Connate Cultivators in the twentieth level, everyone grew silent to avoid drawing attention. They flew closer to the surface, trying to sneak to the next level.
A cultivator heaved a sigh and said, “It’s only going to be more dangerous from here on. There will be plenty of Golden Core Fiend Generals. We better stay low.”
He then turned around to Chen Fan and cupped his hands.
“I am Sima Tai. I’m impressed by your Fiend Art, did you learn it from the Primordial Demon?”
Chen Fan shook his head. “I stumbled upon it by accident. ”
“I see. Well, we are in for a tough ride. You, me and these folks here should stick together, what do you say?” Sima Tai said with a smile.
Chen Fan turned around and saw five other cultivators standing beside Sima Tai.
Three were men and two were girls: one young and the other older. They looked like sisters and both looked very attractive in their flowy Taoist robes.
The most powerful cultivators among them were only at the early-stage Golden Core, while the rest were only at the Core Formation level. Even their Dharma Treasures looked crude and powerless. It was apparent that they were nondescript cultivators hired to be cannon fodder.
Nonetheless, Chen Fan nodded.
The higher level of attainment Chen Fan achieved, the more sympathy he felt for ordinary men and women. His humble beginning had taught him a valuable lesson: never judge others. He could not only explore the secrets of the universe with Supreme Heavenly Venerate, but also hold a conversation with low level cultivators without condescension.
After some introductions, Chen Fan learned that the sisters were called Xu Rou and Xu Na. They circled around Xiao Mang, asking many questions.
“Cultivator Chen, I wonder… What kind of art does your sister practice? I noticed that many Ancient Demons were afraid of her.”
The old man watched as Xiao Mang slaughtered Fiend Soldiers and marveled.
“My sister has a touch of Dragon Kin’s Bloodline,” Chen Fan said with a smile.
Xiao Mang had held back most of her power to reserve energy, otherwise, her brilliance would have scared the Fiend Generals to drop to their knees.
“Dragon Kin. No wonder.” Everyone thought.
The Dragon Kin was one of the strongest races in the universe. Even a wyrm’s bloodline was powerful, much less that of a True Dragon.
“What a shame. My family’s Fire Sparrow Bloodline was from a Golden Core Fey Beast. I have cultivated diligently, but I’m still at the early-stage of the Golden Core, ” another young cultivator said with unveiled jealousy.
“Just so. Most ordinary cultivators like us lacked proper training and had to figure everything out by ourselves. We would be as lucky if we could form an inferior-grade Golden Core,” said a senior cultivator as he nimbly pocketed some loot into his bag before anyone else could.
Sima Tai also heaved a sigh of resignation.
Cultivation was hard, but for ordinary cultivators, it was much harder compared to heirs of the Heavenly Lord Families. Most of them would hit a ceiling when they reached the Golden Core, and only a fraction of them could gain superior-grade Golden Core. Attaining the Nascent Soul realm was far beyond their reach.
Chen Fan listened wistfully.
The conversation reminded him of his early years as a cultivator. He had to risk his life only to get his hands on some useless elixirs. It was a miracle that he had reached the Connate Spirit level.
Even after he reached it, he didn’t feel safe until he met Fang Qiong and they watched each other’s backs. However, that sense of safety and contentment were stolen from him after Fang Qiong was killed.
“It has been five hundred years, why would I think of this ancient history again? Maybe because I miss Xiao Qiong…”
Chen Fan grimaced.
He looked up into the starry sky toward Earth as if he were gazing at the purpose of his life. Protecting Xiao Qiong was more important than his life. He would never make the same mistake again.
“I have been away for too long. I should return to earth once I’m done with the Ancient Demons Loch.”
Chen Fan finally made up his mind.
Suddenly, a loud commotion began.
Everyone looked into the distance.
Meanwhile, outside the Ancient Demons Loch, a Golden Core Cultivator was startled by a fiery glow that plummeted into the Ancient Demons Loch.
“That’s a… Heavenly Lord!” the cultivator murmured to himself in shock.
There were only a handful of Nascent Soul Heavenly Lords in Tianhuang. They usually lived in seclusion, away from the public eye. Why would one of them show up at the Ancient Demons Loch?
Before he could come up with an answer, more powerful energy flew into the Ancient Demons Loch. Some were bright golden glows and others were dark and forbidding mists.
“One, two… three… So many Nascent Soul Cultivators!”
Everyone was shocked.
“What is going on? Is there a Fiend Plague that needs to be taken care of? Why would so many heavenly lords show up all the sudden?” a senior cultivator said, hands shaking in fear.
“I don’t think they are after the fiend.”
Another Perfected Cultivator shook his head.
Most experienced cultivators could identify Heavenly Lords just by their energy. Those energies that went into the loch belonged to Ancestral Patriarchs from the Ghost Underworld Sect, the Heavenly Jade Institute and the Red Flame Heavenly Region.
“They all have a common enemy…” Many people pondered.
News of the strange happenings quickly spread across Tianhuang. Those who knew Chen Fan had been overtaken by concern and worry for Chen Fan’s safety.
It was apparent that all of Chen Fan’s enemies had banded together.
Was Chen Fan going to face multiple Nascent Soul Heavenly Lords at once?
City of Demon Warding…
Three elders sat in a giant temple, eyes closed. Their energy, albeit powerful, flowed slowly inside of them.
Suddenly, one of them opened his eyes and exclaimed in shock.
“Black Fiend, Xuhuang, Mad Sword, Heavenly Lord Red Dragon and… and… Oh… the last one is tricky. His power is ten thousand times stronger than that of a Golden Core. Is that Ancestral Patriarch Fudu from the Medicine God Sect? Yes! That is him! I have never seen a gathering of so many Golden Core Cultivators. Chen Beixuan is in trouble!”
A female elder sitting at the rightmost seat said, “Sect Brother, should we stop them? After all, they are trespassing our territory.”
The elder sitting at the center said, “No. They’re not going to remain here for long since they are heading to the Ancient Demons Loch. We will sit tight and watch.”
After the brief exchange, the three closed their eyes and fell into slumber again.