Chapter 363: Don’t Be Abstract, Be Realistic
The Hillriver City the man spoke of was not that far away. In just a short while, they arrived at an enormous formation. The formation was floating in the air, and occasionally there were golden mystic symbols circling around it. It seemed like a teleportation formation, but it was evidently much more advanced.
The moment they crossed the formation, the surrounding scenery changed. They were now standing on a large street, and the place was filled with people even though they could not see even a single person just earlier. Zhu Yao raised her head, and all she saw was a sea of yellow names and red HP bars. Every single one of them had a string of words above their heads: Unknown Deity. Next to those words were levels, and most of them were Level 1s while a small bulk of them were Level 2s and even Level 3s.
The hell, net game mode can’t possibly have been activated for real, right? Then are these people NPCs or monsters? She anxiously turned around and looked at her own master, only to realize he didn’t have any. Yue Ying on the side did not have anything above his head either. Just what as going on?
The moment they entered the city, the man waved his hand and and separated from them. Zhu Yao wanted to inquire about the present situation, but she realized that the people in the city were mostly in a hurry and did not have any intentions to tend to others. The street was pretty clean as well, without a single stall set up.
Five shining formations of different colours could be seen floating in the sky above the place they entered from earlier. Occasionally, there were Deities going in and out of them. After discussing with her master, they decided to look around the city. In the end, they discovered an extremely large formation at the very center of the city. At the very center of the formation were layers after layers of stairs. The staircase did not have any support around it, rather, they looked like layers of floating white jade stones. Furthermore, they were even constantly moving about. Sometimes they float high up into the air, entering the clouds, and sometimes, they would sink so low, to merely a few inches off the ground.
Next to this mystical staircase was a huge boulder, and a few golden words were slowly circling around it. There was even a flashing arrow right in front of the words labelled: This way to the lower second floor!
“Lower second floor, what does this mean?” This seemed like a passageway.
“It should be the second floor of the lower ten floors.” Yu Yan next to her said with a low voice. “I once heard from teacher that Lightning Divine Tower is separated into the upper ten floors and lower ten floors. This place must be the first floor of the lower ten floors, and this should be the passageway to the second.”
As expected of a tower, it really was separated by floors. According to the international guidelines of clearing towers, as long as the boss at the very top floor was defeated, then the challenge would be cleared. Reaching the peak of the tower was a necessity. She never expected that they would find the escalator so quickly. “Then what are we waiting for? Let’s head up!”
Zhu Yao immediately took a big step and stepped on the lowest tile. She however ended up stepping on empty air and fell. Fortunately, her master caught her at the very bottom.
What happened? She actually couldn’t step on it.
“Hahahaha…” Laughter suddenly rang from the side, as a green robed man walked towards them. “Girly, you guys have only entered the tower recently, right?”
The person that came forward had a slim but tall figure, giving the impression that he was a walking bamboo pole. He possessed a rich amount of divine energy, yet he carried a hint of demonic energy. It was actually a Demonic Immortal.
“Without the clearance key, you can’t step on this Ascending Stairway.”
“Clearance key?” They finally managed to find someone who was willing to care about others. Zhu Yao immediately went forward and said with a smile. “This big brother, we’ve indeed just entered the tower, and we are still unsure of many things about this place. Big brother, I wonder if you can give us a pointer or two?”
This Demonic Immortal seemed to be in a very good mood. He sized her up with a glance, then looked at Yu Yan beside her, as well as Yue Ying at the back. “I don’t mind giving you pointers, but first, you have to tell me something. Have you guys… entered a group?”
“Ah?” Enter a group? What’s that? The Communist Youth League? Does the Young Pioneers count? I’m once a fresh and bright red scarf!
“You guys haven’t entered a group yet!” The eyes of Demonic Immortal shone, and he instantly became enthusiastic. “Great! You guys are in luck. Coincidentally, my group is currently looking for members.”
Why did Zhu Yao feel as though she was being dragged into a cult?
“Hoho, do all Deities who enter the tower have to enter a group?” Zhu Yao asked.
“Of course!” He nodded heavily as he pointed to the few formations in the sky. “Do you see the five formations over there? Connected to them are dangerous secret realms, and a Nascent Divided Pearl is placed in each of these secret realms. Only by gathering all five Nascent Divided Pearl can the clearance key for the second floor be constructed. Furthermore, the five Nascent Divided Pearls must leave the secret realms at the same time, otherwise, they would be teleported back to its original spot by the formations. How can this possibly be done with the strength of a single person? That’s why we have to form various groups.”
Ou, so it’s a dragon ball collection quest. “Then, big brother, which group are you in?”
The slim and tall Demonic Immortal chuckled. Then, he stepped forward and spoke in a mysterious tone. “Girly, have you heard of Amway?”
“…” Zhu Yao was stunned for a moment. Then, she turned around and prepared to leave. “We’re not going to buy them, thank you.”
“Wait a minute, girly!” The slim and tall person pulled her and zealously recommended. “We Amway Group is the second biggest group in Hillriver City. The first group Blue Bird Group is already full. The reason why we’re taking in new members today is because our group coincidentally lacks of people right now. If you miss this opportunity, you might not be able to enter again, you know?”
There’s actually people who name themselves Amway! She doesn’t want to be recruited into Amway, what to do?
After going through the slim and tall man’s constant recommendations, Zhu Yao in the end relented and got successfully recruited into Amway. Along with her master and Yue Ying, they had supposed become a part of the fifty-fifth squad. Only then did Zhu Yao understand the scale of these so-called groups. According to the slim and tall man, a small squad consists of five people at least. If there were fifty five squads, then there were at least two hundred Deities in the group.
“Then that’s it.” The slim and tall man was really happy that he managed to recruit some fresh meat. He pointed in a direction not far away and said. “You guys first register in the Amway Hall. We still have a member in the squad, I will call him over.”
Just as he was about to leave, he seemed to have recalled something. With an apologetic look, he said. “Oh right, I forgot to ask. I’m Nangong Cheng (Southpalace Orange), a Demonic Immortal. How do I address the three of you?”
“Uh…” Recalling that the Lightning Divine Palace did not have a good name here, Zhu Yao exchanged glances with her master and then activated her name changing mode. “Hoho, hi Nangong Cheng, I’m Dongfang Hong (Eastway Red)!”
“…” Eh, something feels off? He turned to look at Yu Yan.
“Beichen… Lan (Northday Blue)!” A certain master said without a change in his expression.
He then turned to look at Yue Ying who was silent the entire time.
“Ximen… Zi! (Westgate Purple)” He went with the flow.
Zhu Yao immediately gave a thumbs up to her team’s quick wits. What a neat naming style.
“So it’s Dongfang girly, Daoist Beichen, and Daoist Ximen…” Eh, these people have strange surnames? But… why do they feel so intimate? “Then, let’s meet up in a while.”
Nangong Cheng happily went to look for his little companion, while Zhu Yao and the rest entered the Amway Hall. According to rumours, this was where the headquarters of Amway Group was located, though the interior did not look the part, instead, it looked more like an inn. The counter was right in front, and there were resting tables and chairs in the surroundings. However, the place was empty and hence a little calm and quiet.
There was a Deity tending to the counter, and he was spinning a tablet in his hand. Zhu Yao stepped forward and explained their intentions, and then the Deity glanced at them. He took out three tablets and cast an art on all three of them. Then, he gave each one of them a piece. “This is your squad’s communication tablets, they have all the necessary information inside. Once the Nascent Divided Pearl is found, you can use it to directly communicate with with the people that found the other Nascent Divided Pearls.”
Zhu Yao received it and had a look at it. An unique formation was engraved on the jade tablet, and at the very center, the words ‘Fifty Five’ were written on it. Nangong Cheng said that the Nascent Divided Pearls had to be brought out of the five secret realms together in order to combine them into the clearance key. Otherwise, they would automatically return to their original positions. Most likely, this jade tablet was used to communicate with the other squads, making it convenient to discuss the time to exit the secret realms.
After a short wait in the Amway Hall, Nangong Cheng brought his little companion over. Compared to Nangong Cheng’s skinny and malnourished look, his little companion clearly was the type who was overnourished. That strong build and firm muscles made it look as though a mountain was moving. Yet, he was wearing a white robe that was a size smaller than his build, making his robe so tight it looked as though it was about to burst.
“Dongfang girly, Daoist Beichen, Daoist Ximen.” Nangong Cheng waved them over from afar. “Are you guys done with the registration?” He contently looked at the tablets in their hands, and then pointed at the mountain behind him. “Let me introduce him to you. This is my comrade, Zhonggu Lu (Centerancient Green).”
Great! North, south, east, west, and center! We can finally form a mahjong table.
Nangong Cheng then introduced each of them to Zhonggu Lu, but evidently, this Zhonggu Lu did not buy into our names. He looked at the three of them with narrowed eyes, and then turned his head around with a scornful look. “Enough, enough. Since we’re all here, then let’s go! If we don’t hurry up, the sky will turn dark.” He rubbed his firm arms, and then he suddenly pulled out a mirror out of nowhere. He looked left of himself, and then to the right. “I don’t want to rush in the middle of the night. It would be bad if my flowery and beautiful appearance is hidden in the darkness, after all.”
“…” The corner of Zhu Yao’s lips twitched. With those muscles of yours, just how are you beautiful? I can only see ‘flowery’ all over.
Clearly, Nangong Cheng was already used to his good friend’s personality. He pointed at the yellow formation at the very center in the sky, and said. “Then let us head over to Carnetian Jade Secret Realm then! I’m more familiar with the terrain there, and I’ve already inquired about the location of the Nascent Divided Pearl.”
Zhu Yao nodded. They were all newcomers, so naturally they did not have any opinions about his decision. Thus, they followed Nangong Cheng into the secret realm.
However, in an instant, large stone walls and canyons appeared in front of them. There were no longer any greens on the land, looking a little like a wasteland. In order to have newcomers familiarize with this lower first floor quickly, the information in the jade tablets they received earlier had detail introductions to the five secret realms. This Carnetian Jade Secret Realm was the smallest out of the five. Though it did have a huge land area, the place was filled with such canyons. The terrain was thus extremely steep, and finding the Nascent Dividing Pearl was not easy.
Though Nangong Cheng was a rather experienced guide. After entering the secret realm, they did not hurry with their search. Instead, he gathered everyone around for a meeting and shared his experiences.
“The Nascent Divided Pearl is in the deepest area of the secret realm. I heard that it’s about a kilometer away from the Purifying Pool. But, that place is guarded by demonic beasts.”
“Demonic beasts!?” Zhu Yao was stunned for a moment. This tower actually still had demonic beasts.
Nangong Cheng nodded as he picked up a twig and drew on the ground. “I’ve already clarified with the others. The demonic beast is extremely powerful. It does not have any spiritual intelligence, does not speak the human language, and does not even have a soul of its own. It cannot be considered as a living being. However, it has an incredibly powerful poison all around its body, and death would follow after being stained by it. Also, the breath that it spits out is even more venomous. Even divine bodies can be harmed by its venomous breath. And, the Nascent Divided Pearl is inside its belly.”
“Then how do we retrieve it?” From what he said, even approaching it would be impossible.
“We do not have to rush with that. Everything has its own strength and weaknesses. Though it’s a highly venomous being, the water of the Purifying Pool can coincidentally treat the poison on the demonic beasts’ body. We have to think of a way to lure it to the side of the pool and kill it there.”
“Didn’t you say that it doesn’t have a spiritual consciousness?” Zhonggu Lu raised his hand and asked. “Then will it follow us to the poolside like that?”
“That is something I’m worried about as well.” Nangong Cheng sighed and said. “Actually, many other squads tried this tactic before, but for some reason, that demonic beast was just unwilling to approach the Purifying Pool. I don’t have the confidence to lure it over either.”
“Then why don’t we bring the pool water over?” Zhu Yao suggested. When fighting monsters, it was natural to bring in HP and MP potions. “If the pool water can treat the poison, we can keep the water on our bodies. That way, even if we’re struck with the poison, the treatment wouldn’t be too late.”
“No!” Nangong Cheng shook his head and said. “The water of Purifying Pool only has the poison-curing effects if ingested next to the pool. If the water were to be brought out of the poolside, it would turn into regular water.”
It’s effect range was actually limited.
“If both doesn’t work, what should we do?” Zhonggu Lu glared at him a little irritatedly. The veins on his arms protruded out.
“So I decided that we should first observe that demonic beast.” Nangong Cheng said. “Let’s not make a move in a hurry. We should find out about its weaknesses before attacking. Oh right, there’s a large number of demonic beasts around here. In order to prevent you all from looking at the wrong target, I shall first draw its looks for you people. Remember, do not make a move on your own.”
The little companions all came crowding over, watching him closely.
He hurriedly drew on the ground, and a moment later, he retracted his wooden baton. “This is how it looks.”
“…” A long silent pause.
“If you accidentally offend that demonic beast, remember to hurry into the Purifying Pool to treat the poison. Everyone, are you all clear?”
“Alright everyone, use this as a reference when you’re looking for it. For now, let’s rest a little before we depart!” As he said that, he stepped away from the squad and began to meditate.
“…” The corner of Zhu Yao’s lips twitched. She silently looked towards her master. “Master… Can you figure out what is being drawn here?”
Yu Yan was silent for a long while. Then, he said. “… Dog?”
“No, I think it’s a pig!” Zhonggu Lu refuted.
“… Why do I see a sheep?”