Chapter 1603 - Entering the Dungeons

They didn’t have much time to waste.


The closer they got to the end of the era, the more would happen around him. Even if Ye Zichen was constantly scurrying about taking care of things, he still felt as if one of him just wasn’t enough.


He was suddenly rather jealous of the Great Sage, who could produce thousands of hair clones in a single breath, and the Ocean Emperor, who could split his divine core and have an avatar capable of independent thought assuage his concerns and resolve his problems on his behalf. 


Ye Zichen couldn’t do either, so he could only rely on himself. 


The Queen Mother’s message increased his concerns about the Lower Three Realms. He needed to resolve the situation with the former Demon Emperor as soon as possible, then head down to the Lower Realms without pause and investigate the source of the unusual fluctuations. 


They stepped into the dungeons. 


They immediately sensed the dense, solemn spiritual pressure permeating the air. That explosive presence made them feel as if a primordial vicious beast were staring them down. They instinctively went on high alert; their every hair suddenly seemed more sensitive than before. 


The diviners of the first floor of the dungeons all looked miserable and terrified. They were all huddling in the corners of their light barrier cells. When they saw Ye Zichen’s group enter, some of them even crawled as close as they could get and begged for release from the dungeons. 


They’d had enough!  

In the past, life in the Xue Family dungeons had been rather pleasant. Although they were bound, no one had sealed their divine cores.


They could focus on their cultivation and break through their bottlenecks without distraction. They could discuss among themselves, too, and many of them had improved more than they’d ever imagined.


And yet, over the past half year, the divine power in the dungeons had become turbulent and chaotic.


They often felt a surging, powerful aura from below. Given their cultivation, as well as the aura’s temperamental explosiveness, they couldn’t manage even the slightest urge to resist. They now lived trapped in endless, formless terror. 


Their bodies weren’t being tortured, but their spiritual torment was an even greater form of torture.


When he saw the practically frenzied prisoners, Venerate Spirit Treasure seemed to pity them - a rare sight for him. He couldn’t help but shake his head. He’d once been the most direct recipient of the former Demon Emperor’s overbearing aura, and it naturally had little effect on him.


The Great Sage, Pu Jingwan, Yang Jian, and Ye Zichen could all disregard the spiritual pressure that made it up to the first floor.


But to these prisoners who’d yet to even become rulers, that same pressure was like an insect boring into their spiritual words and corroding their minds. 


“What a pitiful bunch.” Venerate Spirit Treasure sighed, then walked up to the front of the pack. Then, they watched as he stretched out a finger.


The prisoner at the front of the group, who’d been quivering and kneeling on the ground, saliva dripping from his jaws, fell to the ground. He no longer showed any signs of life. 


“You killed him.” Ye Zichen stared in a daze.


Venerate Spirit Treasure didn’t deny it. “There was already no saving him. For him, death was a form of release.”


“But this is the Sea of Innocence. His clan might come looking for answers.”


“What does that have to do with me?” Venerate Spirit Treasure snorted in disregard. But the prisoners’ response stunned Ye Zichen. They’d always treasured their lives, but when they saw Venerate Spirit Treasure give their companion a quick death, they started screaming and shouting for release, too.


Ye Zichen and his companions could no longer maintain their composure. The prisoners were begging for death!


“Do you see now? Spiritual torture is often even more unbearable than torment of the flesh. Most of these people are already on the verge of collapse, but they don’t have the courage to face death, or rather, they need help.” Venerate Spirit Treasure looked over them with pity and shook his head. “Let’s go downstairs. I hope that you can make contact with the old man downstairs. If you do, you’ll be saving their lives too.” 


They then went to the second layer, but before they’ve even finished their first step, a pressure at least ten times as intense hit them right in the face. Yang Jian, the Great Sage, and Pu Jingwan formed a triangle and used divine power to forge a space to protect Ye Zichen. In it, the spirit pressure couldn’t corrode him.


Venerate Spirit Treasure merely waved his sleeves, and a ripple visible even to the naked eye shot forth.


Wherever it passed, the spiritual pressure was forced away.


When they looked at the prisoners of the second layer, regardless of whether they were human, yao, or demon, they’d all united in the face of a common enemy. Their auras interlocked as they gnashed their teeth and resisted the former Demon Emperor’s pressure together. 


This was in stark contrast with the chaos of the first floor, where everyone wholeheartedly longed for death.


The people here only clung to life even harder, and they knew how important the sea of consciousness was to cultivators. 


The group approached the entrance to the third layer, but before they could step onto the staircase, a streak of explosive energy shot up. It was so powerful that even though Yang Jian, the Great Sage, and Pu Jingwan were working together, they had no choice but to retreat several steps back. When they steadied themselves, they looked down the steps in obvious horror.


The entryway was now the color of blood.


Everything, as far as the eye could see, was shrouded in bloody mist, and it seemed as if a pair of deep, eerie blue eyes were flashing amidst the fog, or as if a primordial beast were staring up at them from the depths of an endless abyss.


Even the Great Sage, who was never afraid of anything, gulped instinctively, and his lips started quivering.


“A yao? Scram!” Suddenly, there was a deafening shout from the third layer, so loud, it shook the entire dungeons. Dust and stone fragments rained from the ceilings.


Even more shockingly, the Great Sage tried and failed to ward off the pressure. Blood spurted from his nose, and he reacted as if he’d been slammed with a giant hammer, crashing into the walls a hundred meters away. 


“Monkey!” Ye Zichen and Yang Jian rushed over. However, the Great Sage’s injuries wrecked their triangular formation, and Ye Zichen couldn’t take the former Demon Emperor’s aura on his own. It soon forced him to his knees. 


“Ye-zi!” Yang Jian stood between Ye Zichen and the Great Sage, unsure of who to help first. But then, a gentle breeze swept by, and warm spiritual power wrapped around Ye Zichen. 


A moment later, Venerate Spirit Treasure landed beside him. “I almost forgot, but that old man hates nothing more than yao. You two, stay out here and look after my bro. I’ll lead Ye Zichen downstairs to meet with the old guy.” 


“Can I trust you?” 


Venerate Spirit Treasure hadn’t been in the group for long. Yang Jian was worried that he was up to something.


“How cold! How disappointing! Even now, you don’t trust me?” Venerate Spirit Treasure shook his head. “Then how about you take him downstairs? Do you think you can resist that old man’s fury? Just stick around and look after your friend. You’d best take him out of the dungeons as soon as possible and treat his wounds. I’m still looking forward to the day he and I can rob the whole universe blind!”


“Yang Jian, Pu Jingwan, stay behind to look after the Great Sage.” Ye Zichen chimed in. If Venerate Spirit Treasure wanted to hurt him, he could have made his move already. Given his strength, he had no need to fear their group, especially not now, with the Great Sage so severely injured.


“If you dare hurt Ye-zi, I’ll never let you off.” Yang Jian shot Venerate Spirit Treasure a vicious glare, then carried the Great Sage outside. Pu Jingwan looked at Ye Zichen intently, bit her lip, then turned and left without a word. 


“That’s more like it!” When Venerate Spirit Treasure laughed gleefully, took Ye Zichen by the shoulder, and led him downstairs. However, he’d forgotten that he, too… was a yao!

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