When Mo Chen heard Lan Chaofeng’s words, she blushed slightly and said, “What nonsense are you speaking?”
Elder Qin smiled and said, “Old Lan, don’t be envious. You are so old already, and you are still so juvenile.”
Xiao Chen felt somewhat embarrassed. The certain person that Lan Chaofeng referred to was, of course, Xiao Chen himself. However, at this moment, he could only act dumb. Otherwise, things would be even more awkward.
Speaking of which, this information that Mo Chen collected was indeed rather useful. Soon, Xiao Chen forgot about the earlier matter and became deeply engrossed in his thoughts.
Without exception, the people who underwent their tribulations in the past two years all suffered attacks. On the path of cultivation, it was hard to avoid forming grudges and enemies. Or perhaps, a faction was not willing to see an opposing faction become stronger, so they sent people over to interfere.
Being attacked was rather normal. The difference was just a matter of severity.
“To think that so many quasi-Emperors succeeded in clearing their tribulations! It looks like the law of the world has been undergoing some changes over the past two years. Historically, this is the mark of great chaos descending!” Lan Chaofeng sighed as he shook his head, putting down his stack of papers.
In times of peace, with nothing major happening, there would not be so many quasi-Emperors clearing their Great Tribulation of wind and fire. Only when there was chaos would one be motivated to take the tribulation, gaining an opportunity.
“This is the information of those who failed,” Mo Chen said softly after taking out another stack of papers.
The information on failures was clearly many times more than that on successes. When Elder Qin looked through them, his expression turned serious and heavy. While there were many successes, there were far more failures.
Xiao Chen looked very carefully. Soon, he discovered something wrong. He frowned and said, “Why does it seem that no matter how hidden the person undergoing the Great Tribulation of wind and fire was, he would always be discovered within one hour and be attacked?”
The three’s expressions changed. They had not noticed this detail at first. Now that they looked at it, regardless whether the quasi-Emperor overcame their tribulation or not, those quasi-Emperors were all discovered within one hour.
Xiao Chen spoke very little. However, when he did, he immediately put his finger on the crucial point.
Lan Chaofeng said sullenly, “If this is not a coincidence, then there must be a horrifying faction behind this, a faction with the best intelligence gathering in the world.”
The location of a tribulation was very secretive. For example, with Elder Qin’s tribulation, only the four people here would know where it would be. However, that mysterious faction could find it within one hour. Just thinking about this made one tremble in fear.
Mo Chen said, “In that case, there is no need to choose a location for the tribulation. We will just use one of the islands near Heavenly Star Island.”
Lan Chaofeng said, “Since there is no avoiding it, there is no need to worry about it. When is Elder Qin preparing to undergo his tribulation?”
Elder Qin muttered for a long time and then said, “I’ll do it today. Even if I fail, I’ll be resigned to it. As a cultivator, I will have to take this step anyhow.”
Mo Chen quickly took out a sea chart and circled a spot. “We’ll do it here.”
That was a desolate island off Heavenly Star Island. It was very small and did not have any resources on it. Normally, it would not attract any attention.
After selecting the location, the group started discussing who would likely come to attack them.
Firstly, there would definitely be the Western Sea Divine Dragon Palace. Although it had remained quiet for the past two years, it remained a close threat to the Dragon’s Gate. As long as it was not removed, the Dragon’s Gate’s safety would forever be a problem.
Following that were the Holy Lands that came to cause trouble during the Dragon’s Gate’s reestablishment ceremony—the Five Poison Sect, the Cyclic Astral Palace, the Heavenly Province Academy—as well as the ancient Noble Clans and the Divine Dragon Palaces of the other three seas.
Lan Chaofeng smiled and said, “These Holy Lands are too far away; there is no need to fear them too much. The truly worrying one is still the Western Sea Divine Dragon Palace. Those fellows have been mysteriously low-profile in the past two years. Furthermore, they are very close to the Dragon’s Gate. We need to keep our guard up against them.”
During the discussion, Xiao Chen spoke very little, offering even fewer opinions, nearly none. His reticence caught Mo Chen’s attention. “Big Brother Xiao Chen, what’s wrong? Do you have a different opinion?”
Xiao Chen put down his teacup and said, “I’m just lamenting how difficult it is to advance to Martial Emperor. I feel like I’ve somehow let Elder Qin down. Elder Qin followed me to Heavenly Star Island and helped me a lot along the way. In the end, I ended up causing more trouble for him.”
Elder Qin said quickly, “How can that be? Little Friend Xiao Chen, you are too polite. If not for the resources of your Heavenly Star Island, I would not be able to reach this stage so quickly, either.”
Xiao Chen swished the tea in his teacup. He did not reply to this or say anything.
He only thought to himself, No matter who it is, as long as they come to cause trouble, I will definitely retaliate ruthlessly, even if I have to go to the corners of the world.
That was right. This was an oath. Even during the Dragon’s Gate’s reestablishment ceremony, he had not made such an oath.
The reason was that those attacks had been directed at Xiao Chen himself. He did not care about those. However, this time, it affected the people around him, crossing his bottom line.
Anyone who touched the reverse scale of a dragon had to die!
Although Xiao Chen did not say anything, the other three could feel Xiao Chen’s silent rage, which turned the atmosphere somewhat sullen.
Lan Chaofeng finally opened his mouth. “Old Qin, let’s go. Oh, right, Little Girl Mo Chen, you don’t need to go. Just stay at Heavenly Dragon City. I’m afraid that without me around, some people might take the opportunity to cause trouble.”
Mo Chen understood the gravity of the situation. “You can go without worrying. Nothing will happen to Heavenly Dragon City. Take care!”
Xiao Chen left with the other two. After a while, they arrived at the designated island.
Lan Chaofeng pulled Xiao Chen along, bringing him one kilometer away from Elder Qin. He explained, “Everything within one kilometer will get swept up into it. We should just stand guard outside.”
Elder Qin took in a deep breath of air and looked towards the sky. There was an Emperor’s Door up there. The fog around it scattered, replete with a boundless enticement. Once one advanced to Martial Emperor, one’s lifespan would increase to two thousand years on top of other things.
Suddenly, a strong wind surged from Elder Qin. Sand and stones flew. The wind was as sharp as sabers, while the dust was like swords.
“It is beginning.” Lan Chaoyun muttered, “Rushing over within one hour? Let me see whether that mysterious faction is that horrifying or not.”
Xiao Chen squinted at the storm. He saw Elder Qin’s aura soar infinitely like a long-suppressed mountain flood busting loose. It vaguely felt like it would break through the sky.
Mysterious phenomena appeared high in the sky. Lightning flashed, thunder roared, and dark clouds covered the sky.
The surrounding seawater sloshed and trembled, even shaking the tiny island.
Xiao Chen entered deep thought. This was the first step of the tribulation, unleashing all of one’s strength and triggering the mysterious phenomena, making the Emperor’s Door descend from the sky.
Amid the strong wind and lightning, Elder Qin thought about the hundreds of years of experiences he had on the path of cultivation. He roared angrily and unleashed what he kept suppressed for centuries, releasing it all.
There was no need to fear or worry. All one had to do was vent one’s anger thoroughly, letting heaven hear one’s rage.
With that explosive shout, Elder Qin’s might temporarily overwhelmed the might of the world. The world suddenly fell quiet. Everything seemed to come to a halt, a fantastic sight.
Xiao Chen looked carefully. He noticed that even the specks of dust floating in the air froze.
However, after this moment of silence, a furious roar came from the sky as if it was expressing its dissatisfaction with Elder Qin. The ancient door descended from the sky and hovered in the air.
The sky and ground shook. When the Emperor’s Door descended, it brought along a Heavenly Might.
This Heavenly Might felt irresistible to Xiao Chen and Lan Chaofeng. They felt horrified at the thought of receiving such a heavy strike.
“Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!” Many jade-white steps radiating Heavenly Might spread down together with the Emperor’s Door.
The jade-white steps extended until there were one thousand steps before coming to a stop.
Xiao Chen felt entranced, but he did not understand what was going on or what it meant. So, he sought clarification. “Senior Lan, what do the color and number of the steps of the Emperor’s Road mean?”
Lan Chaofeng explained, “There are many secrets to this. The Emperor’s Road comes in many colors: white, blue, purple, golden…the deeper the color, the stronger the Great Tribulation of wind and fire. Legends say that during the most glorious period of the Martial Epoch, there were seven-colored steps and even nine-colored steps. When the Emperor’s Road descended, rainbow clouds would fly about, and Auspicious Signs filled the sky. It was a magnificent spectacle.
“However, these have not appeared for a very long time. The highest one I have seen was golden. That was the Heaven Abandoning Deity Sovereign’s Great Tribulation of wind and fire. It was so dazzling with golden light that we could not look at it directly. After that, that fellow did not disappoint. He surpassed Ninth Heaven and arrived at Prime.
“There is also a kind of black Emperor’s Road. That is what appears for Demons and those who cultivate an evil Dao.”
Xiao Chen understood. The color represented a person’s accumulations and preparations. The deeper the color, the stronger the Great Tribulation of wind and fire. In the future, one’s accomplishments would be greater as well. Of course, this was provided one could finish walking the Emperor’s Road.
The rainbow Emperor’s Road only appeared in legends. Now, a golden Emperor’s Road was already something shocking. Most people had white or blue Emperor’s Roads; purple was rather rare.
As for the number of steps, it was also a representation of accumulations. The stronger a person, the more steps there would be.
Xiao Chen wondered what color his Emperor’s Road would be when he took his Great Tribulation of wind and fire, as well as how many steps it would have.
“One thousand steps and jade-white. Old Qin’s accumulations are somewhat poor. I believe that the outstanding talents of your generation will have at least purple Emperor’s Roads with at least three thousand steps when you take the Great Tribulation of wind and fire. However, this is good for Old Qin as well. At the very least, his Great Tribulation of wind and fire will not be too strong; he will have an easier time clearing it.”
As the two spoke, great determination flashed in Elder Qin’s eyes. He leaped into the air, wanting to climb onto the Emperor’s Road.
However, just as Elder Qin was about to land on the steps, a huge fireball descended from the sky. The blazing fireball shone with an intense light, so piercing that it hurt the eyes.
The sudden turn of events caught Xiao Chen somewhat off guard. He squinted and felt a piercing pain.
Lan Chaofeng was long prepared for this. He circulated his Primordial Energy and protected his eyes. Nothing happened to him.
“This is a Rank 3 Solar True Flame. It is not especially strong, about as strong as a strike from a First Heaven Martial Emperor. Old Qin should be able to break it.”
Xiao Chen understood. No wonder he found it somewhat familiar. It was the Solar True Flame. However, his Solar True Flame was still far from the standard of a Martial Emperor’s casual strike.
Wherever the fireball passed, it left a long, flaming tail in the air. That flame tail was like a snake, filled with spirituality and swaying about continuously.
Elder Qin did not dare to be careless with this fireball formed of Solar True Flame. He executed his own Martial Technique, Meteor Palm.
Elder Qin tore across the sky like a meteor. When he threw the palm strike, it was like a meteor exploding, striking the fireball.
“Boom!” The fireball shattered as the sound rang out. It turned into golden motes of light and scattered into the surroundings.
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