His control over his body instantly returned to him.
Astounded like never before, he looked up high at the immensely radiant mysterious figure.
Although the changes which occurred a moment ago made him aware of how horrifying it was, they also told him that the figure probably bore no malice toward him, or he would already be a dead man otherwise.
The strength of this figure was too incredible.
Ye Qingyu would certainly not be able to escape even if he chose to at this moment.
He thus decided to stay put.
Of course, the most shocking thing to him was the figure's utterance of "You're finally here". If I'm not mistaken, those words were meant for me... What's going on, how does this strange person know me?
A beam of divine light suddenly flashed through his mind.
Could this strange figure actually be... the million-year-old spirit from the old snow dragon den?
The last time we met, he said he was going to find a few things and regain his strength.
Could he have regained his strength and thereby became so terribly powerful?
Countless ideas flashed through his mind in an instant.
"Elder... you're..." he probed.
However, the mysterious figure did not answer directly.
A long sigh sounded in Ye Qingyu's ears.
It was an incomparably bizarre sigh which seemed to encompass the emotions of countless eras and spacetimes. The complexity of the sentiments within caused anyone who heard it to feel dizzy.
Ye Qingyu had no choice but to utilize the nameless breathing technique to withstand the influence of these emotions on himself.
The strength and stage of the mysterious figure were indeed terrifying to the extreme. Though the sigh might not have been deliberately aimed at him, the will and sentiment it contained nearly caused him to collapse. It was thus evident that the strength disparity between him and the figure was exceedingly large.
A period of long silence.
Ye Qingyu did not know what to do.
He was a little uncertain.
The mysterious figure seemed to be related to the million-year-old spirit but was not quite the same, such as with regard to its aura.
Its strength had exceeded the range of what Ye Qingyu could measure.
"Elder, were you talking to me?" Ye Qingyu once again tried asking.
"Yes," a warm voice rang out.
The figure finally replied.
Shocked, Ye Qingyu asked further, "Elder... were you waiting for me? You know me?"
"No, I don't know you." The figure sat high up in the chilly water, wreathed in light and illuminating its surroundings while its long green hair undulated with the currents, giving it the look of a saint. Its warm and gentle voice sounded like that of a kindly elder.
Ye Qingyu choked.
He felt unsure whether to laugh or cry.
If you don't know me, then why would you be waiting for me?
As though it had read Ye's thoughts, the figure voiced once more, "I recognized your body's aura... you've come a little later than planned."
Ye Qingyu re-entered into a confused state.
Why do these great figures always talk so ambiguously?
But before he asked anything else, a beam of green flowing light shot out from the figure's palm and zapped in between his eyebrows without him being able to respond.
He subconsciously raised a hand to feel in between his eyebrows but felt nothing.
The next moment, a faint cooling sensation emanated from his sea of consciousness.
Subconsciously introspecting, he discovered that a green, gentle breeze had been added to his sea of consciousness.
It was gradually wafting like a strand of hair and was not subject to his control. Upon feeling it carefully, he discovered that it contained an unbelievably terrifying strength which he had no doubt would turn him into a cloud of green smoke if it broke out.
"Rhythm of wind, infinite paths of enlightenment, Ninth Heaven in time, Ninth Hell in time... I've given you the Dao foundation according to the agreement back then. The road ahead is under your own feet. Don't... disappoint us!"
The figure's voice once again sounded.
Ye Qingyu abruptly felt an invisible force pouring upon him despite him having more to say. His vision blurred as the incomparably radiant figure rapidly shrank in front of his eyes…
He lost consciousness the next moment.
When he woke up, he discovered that the scene had completely changed. He was back inside the water cell, while the secret hole at the bottom of the chilly water, as well as the surrounding groove marks, had disappeared. Everything had become very strange. He would have thought it all was just an overly unrealistic dream if it was not for the fact that the hair-like green wind still remained within his sea of consciousness.
He gradually surfaced out of the water.
Opposite the water cell.
Luo Yi, whose nerves had remained on edge throughout, rejoiced wildly when Ye Qingyu appeared, "My lord, you're back... are you alright?"
Behind him, Wen Wan and Ximen Yeshui were soundly asleep.
"I'm fine." Ye Qingyu smiled and nodded. "How long has passed?"
Luo Yi was well prepared for this one, and thus quickly replied, "Six hours have gone by since you dove into the water. Based on the time we arrived, it'll be day outside shortly. We won't make it for the test if we don't get out soon."
Such a long time has passed?
Ye Qingyu was surprised.
He had felt that it took him no more than an hour to reach the underground lake and encounter that mysterious figure. Now that such a long time actually elapsed, the plan had to be tweaked some. They could not remain here for much longer, or otherwise, the all-important grading of the Heaven Wasteland Domain would be held up.
"Have the Violet Gold divine guards come by since I left?" Ye asked.
Luo Yi replied, "No, that Captain Huang hasn't returned... Based on my careful observation, there's a large gate outside guarded by aces among the Violet Gold divine guards. We'll have to get past at least eighteen checkpoints to escape..."
Ye Qingyu nodded.
Taking a step forward, he directly emerged from the water cell in a flash.
Neither the stone walls of the cell nor the formations within the bars could stop him in any way.
"Still sleeping, wake up." Ye Qingyu struck Wen Wan and Ximen Yeshui with a burst of qi each, and only then did the two bums get up most reluctantly.
"Are we going just like that?" Ximen Yeshui yawned. "This isn’t your style. Before we go, shouldn't we wait for that scumbag captain to return so that we can teach him a proper lesson and take our revenge and anger out on him?"
"Indeed," Wen Wan added. "I loathe that little man and haven't beat him up yet. It'll feel terrible if we just go."
"This matter surely won't end here. We'll get our chance sooner or later ." Ye Qingyu was also somewhat unappeased and had not found out who the mastermind was, but time was short. It would not be too late to settle this after the domain ratng was over.
He took the jade formation stone from Wen Wan and activated the formations on it.
A bright light flashed and shrouded the quartet, who vanished on the spot.
The first rays of dawn were spreading from the horizon which had turned a fish-belly white.
The camp was found in a hectic state when the quartet returned. Yu Xiaoxing and The rest finally felt relieved when they saw the returning men, having waited and been worried the whole night.
After some preparations, the Heaven Wasteland diplomatic corps proceeded to the Violet Gold divine residence, save for a small section which stayed back to guard the camp.
They arrived in front of the residence while the sunrise was still at its initial stage.
They were earlier than scheduled by roughly the time for an incense stick to burn out.
Someone went forth to report their arrival.
A moment later, the person who received him the day before, Shangguan Wu, came out of the residence and invited the contingent in.
The Violet Gold divine residence was the Sunrise City's main mansion where successive generations of city lords had resided. It occupied a large land area and was separated into the front court, the middle court, the inner residence, and the back garden. The courts were official zones and were patrolled and guarded by Violet Gold divine guards. The inner residence was the private grounds of the mansion master. Lastly, the back garden was rarely entered, and was rumored to be where the Storm Martial Emperor had self-isolated and cultivated. It was thus a forbidden area in Sunrise City.
"Everyone, the Wall of Storm is deep in the middle court, please follow me," Shangguan Wu said, laughing.
Ye Qingyu only now discovered that this youthful-looking martial expert had extremely high-status within the Violet Gold divine residence. He was one of the three elders of the middle court and was concurrently the deputy commander of the Violet Gold divine guards. His name was also very well-known throughout Sunrise City.
Most significantly, he was one of the chief examiners of this test.
"Lord Shangguan, thanks for your hard work," said Ye Qingyu.
Shangguan Wu very politely replied, "You flatter me. As fellow humans, these are things I should do. I was delighted when I heard some time back that a new domain led by humans had been found, and have since been looking forward to this day. I've also heard several of your stories, including the battle of the Clear River Domain and the turnaround in the Flowing Light City. Many elders within the Domain Alliance have high expectations of you."
The contingent became excited when they heard these words.
Ye Qingyu was the pillar of this envoy mission. For him to receive the recognition and praise of someone of Shangguan Wu's status was ennobling to every Heaven Wasteland being.
"Flattery, Lord Shangguan."
Ye Qingyu was also a little surprised that Shangguan Wu knew him fairly well.
However, he had an alternative thought. Being the deputy commander of the Violet Gold divine guards, and paying this much attention to him, it was possible that Shangguan Wu was the mastermind directing the young cavalry leader. But, then again, Shangguan Wu was not acquainted with him previously.
Ye Qingyu could not confirm this.
After passing through various long corridors and four fairly large martial arts arenas, they came to a yellow stone wall of a dozen or so meters. In the upper part of an arched gate in the middle of the stone wall, there was a rock plaque engraved with the words [Gate of Storm] in Fiendgod script. The words contained a supreme qi which made one afraid to look at the plaque for too long.
Four fully-equipped experts from the Violet Gold divine guards stood at the gate. They had each reached the Immortal step realm, and their posture was firm and stern.
"We're here." Shangguan Wu looked back and smiled. "Behind the gate is the test site of the Wall of Storm. Another examiner and other staff are already inside. Let's head in."
There's a second examiner?
Ye Qingyu was slightly surprised.
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