Chapter 1717: Encountering the Altar Again
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Of the twenty cultivators controlled by the Otherworldly Demons, there was a young lady who boasted a seductive figure. Even though she was in a slightly unkempt state, she still commanded a charm that made it difficult for one to tear away one’s eyes from her. She was a student that Zhang Xuan had taken in back at the Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, the head of the Bewitching Devil Faction, Hu Yaoyao!
Back then, Hu Yaoyao had been taken to the headquarters of the Terpsichore Guild and inherited the highest heritage of the predecessors. Within a short span of a few months, she had astonishingly managed to raise her cultivation up to Saint 9-dan pinnacle, just a step away from reaching the Introspective Convalescence realm.
Of course, part of it could be credited to Zhang Xuan’s guidance back then, but more than that, her diligence and talent had definitely played a huge role as well. At the same time, it seemed like the Terpsichore Guild headquarters had held back no resources at all in grooming her.
Her current strength was already more than enough to make her an authoritative figure within a major power, but in this ancient domain, which was filled with the top-notch experts, her strength was rather lacking. As the cold wind blew from the horizon, she trembled under the frost. Her face had turned rather flushed under the effects of the coldness, but it seemed like she was still coping for the time being.
There were no visible injuries on her, but her spirit seemed to be a little withered.
The cultivation of those around her was not too high either. Over ten of them were only at Saint 9-dan, and the rest were at the Introspective Convalescence realm. Given so, it was no wonder that they were helpless before the prowess of three Sempiternal realm Otherworldly Demons.
Even though Zhang Xuan had seen a familiar face, he did not rush into making a move. Instead, he sealed the space around him and discreetly followed behind the group.
Three Sempiternal realm primary stage Otherworldly Demons did not pose a threat to him at all. He could easily kill them whenever he wanted to. However, he felt that it was more important for him to uncover the intentions of the Otherworldly Demons.
After traveling for around ten minutes, a glistening frosted layer of ice came into sight.
Following which, he saw several other groups of humans being led over as well. All in all, there were around a hundred humans gathered in the area, and they were all from different occupations.
At the very center of the icefield was a circular altar with all sorts of formation flags erected around it.
An Otherworldly Demon dressed in black armor stood by the altar as he ordered three Otherworldly Demons to inscribe formation marks on the ground.
“Bring the hostages here!” he commanded with a grand wave of his hand.
The Otherworldly Demons hurriedly positioned the human hostages in a circle around the altar. At the same time, Zhang Xuan noticed a thin thread wrapped around the wrists of the human hostages, completely sealing their cultivation.
Are they intending to tribute these human hostages to that god of theirs? Zhang Xuan thought as his face darkened.
He had seen this altar many times in the past. The Kings of the Qingtian Lineage had used it several times to offer tribute to the Spirit God in exchange for power. However, treasures had been used as tributes back then. For them to kidnap these humans… were they planning to use these live humans as sacrifices?
However, what did they hope to obtain by sacrificing these humans to that god of theirs?
Were they intending to use these tributes to find the exit in this snow dimension?
But if it’s just to find the exit, there’s no need for them to go to such lengths! Zhang Xuan swiftly refuted that hypothesis with a deep frown.
Having cleared the forest dimension and desert dimension, he already had some experience with looking for the exits. As long as one traveled to the crux of the dimension, it was not too difficult to find the exit.
There was no reason for them to tribute the lives of so many people in order to find the exit!
The main purpose of the Otherworldly Demons entering the ancient domain was to acquire the Great Codex of Spring and Autumn. Considering how they had not even confirmed the location of the Temple of Confucius yet, it did not seem wise for them to conduct such slaughter at this point in time. It could very well draw the hostility of all parties within the ancient domain onto them prematurely.
No matter what the purpose of the Otherworldly Demons is, saving that group should be my first move…
Since Zhang Xuan had witnessed such a sight, he could not possibly allow them to die before his eyes. Furthermore, his student, Hu Yaoyao, was among the crowd.
Scanning the fighting prowess of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe gathered in the area swiftly, there were thirteen of them in the Sempiternal realm, twenty at the Intuitive Impulse realm, and the rest were in the Aureate Body and Introspective Convalescence realms. All in all, they numbered less than fifty people.
Such a force posed no threat to Zhang Xuan at all. He could easily slaughter all of them with ease. Even the strongest individual among them, the black-armored Otherworldly Demon, was only at Sempiternal realm advanced stage, a long way off from matching him.
The thin thread that is used to seal the crowd’s cultivation is likely a Great Sage artifact. If I launch an attack recklessly, the Otherworldly Demons might trigger the Great Sage artifact out of rage and kill Hu Yaoyao and the others on the spot! Zhang Xuan thought, furrowing his brows.
Even without relying on the prowess of the Five Monarchs, he would still be able to defeat them with ease given his current fighting prowess. However, if he pushed the Otherworldly Demons too far, there was a chance that the Otherworldly Demons might choose to kill all of the hostages out of desperation.
In order to prevent such a tragedy from happening, he had to first devise a flawless plan.
“Breaking the spatial barrier demands a heavy price, so we can’t afford to make the slightest mistake. Ensure that every artifact is placed in their exact location!” The black-armored Otherworldly Demon continued to issue commands.
The Otherworldly Demons swiftly moved artifacts one after another onto the altar.
Taking a swift look, there were rare spirit stones, the blood essence of Great Sage beasts, unique formation scripts, all sorts of miraculous medicine… In any case, the sheer number of treasures that were being heaped onto the altar was so great that it could nearly match a tenth of his entire wealth!
Breaking the spatial barrier? Could it be that they are intending to teleport straight into the Temple of Confucius?
The black-armored Otherworldly Demon had spoken in the native tongue of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, but Zhang Xuan was able to understand it.
Even for the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe, this pile of resources was not something that they could afford to squander away. Instead of finding the exit, they were setting up an altar. It was apparent that their motive was not as simple as just moving onto the next world!
Regardless of what they are trying to do, I should focus on saving the hostages first!
If he wanted to stop the Otherworldly Demons, a battle was inevitable. However, in order to do so, he had to ensure the safety of the hostages.
After a moment of hesitation, he altered his appearance and headed behind a block of ice before undoing the spatial seal concealing his figure. With a flick of his wrist, he equipped himself with a Saint pinnacle sword.
If he dashed right in, there was no way that he would be able to save anyone. At the same time, he would not be able to uncover the secrets behind the altar and deduce the motives of the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe.
As such, the best move that he could make at the moment was actually to be captured like Hu Yaoyao and the others. He could make use of this opportunity to undo the seal placed upon the crowd. Once the safety of the hostages was confirmed, he would finally be able to let loose.
“Let’s do it then!”
The black-armored Otherworldly Demon was facing away from Zhang Xuan as he supervised the setting up of the altar. Knowing that this was an ideal moment for him to strike, he dashed forward furiously.
Warping into a streak of lightning, he formed a straight line together with his sword as he pierced straight for the heart of the black-armored Otherworldly Demon.
At the same time, he drove his prowess as an Aureate Body realm cultivator, invoking a golden sheen to envelop his body. At this moment, it felt as if he was the incarnation of a Buddha.
This assault might have seemed flawless, but the truth was that Zhang Xuan had suppressed his strength to the level of an ordinary Aureate Body realm cultivator. At the same time, he did not utilize his Spatial Quintessence and Time Quintessence. As a result, despite the swift speed that he was moving at, it was hardly enough to faze a Sempiternal realm expert!
“It seems like a fish has escaped from our net! Aureate Body realm consummation? No wonder…”
Sensing the assault of an enemy, the black-armored Otherworldly Demon harrumphed coldly. Without turning around, he bent his finger backward and flicked it powerfully.
A formidable aura collided with the tip of Zhang Xuan’s sword. Despite being enveloped in a thick layer of sword qi, his sword still produced a metallic clang upon contact with the aura. It was as if it had struck a thick metal wall; no matter how he pushed his sword forward, it simply would not move at all.
With a desperate look on his face, Zhang Xuan released a deafening roar as he brought his sword upward and hacked it down.
Dozens of surges of sword qi converged together, forming a single line as it descended upon the aura barrier impeding his advancement.
The aura was swiftly sliced into two, and Zhang Xuan continued his furious charge.
“Hmm? It seems like you do have some ability!” The black-armored Otherworldly Demon was slightly startled to see that the young man was actually able to overcome his casual finger flick.
He turned around to face the young man, and with a swift maneuver, he grabbed the sword pointed right at him between his fingers.
“To be able to avoid our lines of sight and make a decent assassination attempt on me, I must admit that you are quite an outstanding individual. You would have grown into a formidable expert with sufficient time if you had chosen to escape. However, since you have chosen to make me your enemy, I’m afraid that you won’t have a future!” With a derisive chuckle, the black-armored Otherworldly Demon crushed his palm down upon Zhang Xuan.
That palm felt as if it had come from the heavens themselves. Even the surrounding space trembled a little in the face of its might.