The Ancient Sky Dragon Domain was barren and isolated.
Dilapidated villages were submerged in yellow sand, while the barren desert had swallowed the wasteland that used to be the city.
Thousands of kilometers of yellow sand and desert covered the domain, while hurricanes raged. Decaying white bones could be seen everywhere. One took in dirt with every breath, while the temperature changed suddenly. Sometimes, it was scorching hot, while sometimes, it was as cold as an ice cave.
The first batch of living beings that stepped foot on the Ancient Sky Dragon Domain was stunned by such bad conditions.
This was a small team of about one thousand people consisting of human warriors from various big domains. They were not acquainted with each other and were teamed up temporarily. They were made up of humans of different races, and they entered the Ancient Sky Dragon Domain through the Domain Gate provided by the Heaven Wasteland Empire.
However, reality was evidently much more cruel than they previously imagined.
It took just half a day's time for a few of them to complain that it was unbearable.
"This... this is completely like hell; it's not a place for living beings to survive in."
A short, fat, middle-aged man, who looked more like a merchant, observed the rows of white bones along the path with a shocked expression. Fear was in his eyes as he turned to look at the gloomy, scarlet sky. He had heard about the Ancient Sky Dragon Domain's decline but it shocked him greatly upon seeing it for himself.
A few warriors that had been following by his side also displayed doubtful looks.
Could one really train in martial arts in this world's environment?
They were unable to sense any shred of nature's spiritual qi at all.
Since entering this world, they had been unable to absorb any qi from nature. Instead, they could only rely on the fountain of yuan qi in their bodies to supply them with qi. With time, their reserves of yuan qi would be depleted as they were expended without any replenishment.
This was obviously a dimension completely unconducive for cultivation.
Why did the Immortal God Emperor choose to set up his dojo here?
A huge sound, like that of thunder rumbling, came from in front of them.
They could see numerous tornados and hurricanes, each about a hundred meters in diameter, sweeping toward them, as if they were connected to the sky and ground. The wind gave off terrifying whistling sounds, as if they were vicious demons snaking from Heaven to Earth.
Stones fell down from the mountains.
A few kilometers away, a few tornados were gently circling around a mountain peak that was thousands of meters tall and could be seen with the naked eye, as if they were pythons entangled around sand sculptures. The peak exploded into a shower of loose rocks and grit as it began to collapse...
The legs of the humans turned to jelly as they witnessed the spectacle.
This was simply too terrifying.
Luckily, the tornados swept far away into the distance, away from them. If they had been caught up in such windstorms, they would have been mashed into a pulp.
They continued to advance.
They encountered fossils of gigantic beasts and shards of white bones on their way.
The desert had taken many lives.
The cold invaded everyone's nervous system.
The insane heat died away, as fear began to grip the hearts of the team.
"I heard that the Great Emperor's Immortal Dojo is created in the Sky Dragon Mountain Range, situated at the exact center of the Sky Dragon Domain. It's at least a million kilometers away from here. We... Can we manage to survive the walk there?" a middle-aged warrior asked as he sat beside the bonfire, a look of hesitation already on his face.
The others had also begun to ponder.
Under normal circumstances, they could definitely complete the million-kilometer journey, even though it would take them a few months. After all, they were warriors, and much stronger than ordinary humans.
In an environment like the Ancient Sky Dragon Domain, however, warriors would be no different from ordinary people after some time if they could not replenish their yuan qi. They were afraid that they would die from thirst, hunger, or exhaustion before they even reached their destination.
Originally, there were about a few thousand human warriors who entered the Ancient Sky Dragon Domain. They were considered to possess slightly weaker abilities and had agreed to accompany each other. They were paired up, and only slightly more than five hundred of them were left before the end of the day; the others had already given up.
"We can cultivate our martial skills even if we remain in the Heaven Wasteland Domain. It's in its prime now and has an abundance of spiritual qi. We can enter the Bitter Sea realm after a century of hard training. When that time comes, we'll be able to enjoy life, so why take such a risk now?" someone said loudly.
It was a disciple of some sect dressed in brightly colored clothes.
His white skin was covered with dirt and he looked to be in a somewhat sorry state. It was obvious that he had never suffered much and had wanted to give up long ago but could not bring himself to do it. He was trying to convince others to give up along with him, so that he could have a reason to do so himself.
"That's right, we could possibly die halfway there. The conditions here are far too horrible," said another youth loudly, dressed in similar bright and luxurious looking clothes.
Humans are frequently strange creatures.
They had already given up thousands of times secretly, but they felt displeased when they saw the others hanging on. They wanted to destroy the willpower of those who persisted; to them, it would be perfect if everyone failed.
Their words earned the reaction of some people in the crowd.
"That's right. Even though the Martial Emperor's techniques are great, we need to be alive to learn them. If we're dead, everything will be finished."
"I heard that there are all sorts of evil beasts deep in the great desert, and that even practitioners of the Saint realm can't withstand them."
"This is too scary."
"Even if we reach the Sky Dragon Mountain Range, we might not be accepted into the Immortal God Emperor's sect. I'm afraid that our aptitudes will not be noticed by him."
"The worst thing is that our food and water are going to run out soon. I'm afraid that if we keep advancing we'll die of thirst or starvation before we even reach the empire's rendezvous outpost."
Many people who were also on the verge of giving up spoke out.
They spoke like this to give themselves a final reason to give up.
A group of them stopped.
An aura of surrender began to spread throughout the group.
"That's right, we're done. We quit, we're done... This is putting our lives in danger."
"I'm also not heading there anymore, most likely I won't be fated anyway."
Such talk began spreading like the plague. Many people began to clearly signal their intention to give up and announced their decision loudly. In this way, not many people out of the team of about five hundred continued to persist on the journey. A few who had originally intended to persevere were also affected when they saw this scene unfolding. They hesitated for a while before deciding to give up as well. There was not much meaning to their persistence if most of the others had decided to give up; there was no way they could walk across the desert on their own.
Only a barbarian youth, who was less than ten years old, remained silent.
His looks were not astounding; in fact, they were very ordinary. He had the usual burly, hairy figure and high forehead usually associated with barbarians. He wore a tattered hide robe, and torn leather boots covered his feet. Evidently, he was from a lower class of the barbarians, and he was only at the Body Refinement realm in terms of cultivation. As such, no one noticed him in the camp.
However, there was a steely resolve in the eyes of this ordinary barbarian youth.
He wore a look of disdain on his face when he looked at everyone around him.
Bunch of cowards.
To him, the Immortal God Emperor was the supreme being, and if his teachings and mentorship were so easily attainable, there would be Martial Emperors everywhere in this world. One had to make some sacrifices in order to obtain something; one had to be tested before achieving one's goals.
There was no such thing as a free lunch in this world.
The more valuable the item of desire was, the higher the price one had to pay.
Only truly outstanding and resolute warriors were fit to become the Immortal God Emperor's disciples.
The people standing right in front of him were simply foolish and a joke to him.
It should have been an honor for them to be the clansmen of the Immortal God Emperor. They should have treasured the fact that they would be the first batch recognized by the Emperor as his disciples, but unfortunately, they did not have any willpower. Such people were bound to fail all their lives, and they would definitely be unable to achieve much.
The barbarians have long lost their honor, and the Witch God's Temple has been broken. I want to change the fate of our people and help us regain our honor, whatever the cost. I don't even care if I have to give up my life.
A wild and blazing flame flickered in the eyes of the barbarian youth.
"Hmph, what a useless bunch of people. I'm ashamed to be in the same team as you people," he said with a loud laugh before getting up and striding out of the camp.
The camp, which had been filled with loud sounds of discussion, suddenly turned completely silent.
Many people began to look ashamed.
The two sect members who were dressed in luxurious clothes and had spoken up first turned angry after their initial guilt.
The words of the barbarian youth hit them like a hard slap that stung their faces; it made them lose face.
"Hmph, he's just a useless practitioner of the Body Refinement realm. If he wants to court his own death, leave him be. He'll eventually be fated to end up as just another dried up corpse in this desert of death; he'll not last more than a few days."
"Hehe, that's right. That barbarian is just a mindless brute. He won't be able to reach the Sky Dragon Mountain Range. Even if he's so lucky to reach it, what then? The barbarians betrayed the Heaven Wasteland Empire once, how could the Immortal God Emperor take him in?"
"Haha, what makes you think that you can become a disciple of the Immortal God Emperor?"
Under the damaged castle walls of an ancient city in a district about a few thousand kilometers from the Sky Dragon Mountain Range, a few hundred Tianshui Court disciples, who had come from the Water Moon Domain, were grabbing some rest while they could. There was a commotion within the camp. Someone suddenly began laughing loudly and was taunting another person openly.
The object of ridicule was an elderly, skinny human, whose hair had turned white.
Natural spiritual qi was extremely sparse in the Ancient Sky Dragon Domain. As such, many magical flying artifacts and warships could not be used here. Even those visitors who had serious backup behind them could only ride war beasts or flying creatures, and some of them even traveled by foot. The wizened old man was a native of the Ancient Sky Dragon Domain and had been rearing war beasts for some time now. He was somewhat capable.
He had immigrated to the Heaven Wasteland Domain a few years ago. He had been hired by these sect members as their guide because of his familiarity with the geography and terrain of the Ancient Sky Dragon Domain. It was for this reason that he had arrived back in this domain, even though he did not have much skill in martial arts.
As the group got closer to the Sky Dragon Mountain Range, the Tianshui Court disciples could not help beginning to dream of the impending entrance examination and their bright future. No one knew when the old man, who was usually taciturn and fearful, began to harbor such an insane thought, but somehow, he plucked up the courage to make a request to the elders of the sect after listening to the discussions going around him. He hoped to become a disciple of the Immortal God Emperor after leading the group to the Sky Dragon Mountain Range.
This incited the others to ridicule him.
"You? Old fellow, are you joking?"
"Haha, I won't hold back then. Your life force is about to be spent, and you have five years left at most. You already have one foot in the grave and don't have much longer to live. Also, you don't have any foundation in martial arts, yet you still want to be accepted in the Immortal Dojo? Haha, are you joking?"
"You're about to be dead soon, yet you wish to pick up martial arts now? You're such a joke."
"The Immortal God Emperor will never take you in."
A few other Tianshui Court disciples also began to ridicule him loudly.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter