Chapter 1000 1000. Skeleton
Noah stopped asking questions after Ana's reply. The truth was that he still thought like a lone cultivator. He had a few people that he cared about, some even deeply, but he was still unable to see his organization's well-being over his.
Instead, the cultivators of the hidden world were different. The new generations were slaves since birth, and they had lived through a pain shared by all their peers.
Moreover, escaping the summoning and obtaining the power to travel through the sea of magma wasn't easy, especially in their condition. The natives pa.s.sed down their techniques orally, which strengthened their connection with those in a similar situation.
If cultivators were to leave in ma.s.s, that world would soon be devoid of cultivators. There would only be commoners with no chances to cultivate, and those who had benefited from that system didn't want to leave them in that state.
Reaching the surface to look for help wasn't an option either. No would be willing to face a G.o.d, and the inhabitants of the secret world didn't have anything valuable to offer.
The magma and sea were dangerous too. The inhabitants of the hidden world couldn't be sure that they would reach the surface at all. Also, the seabed changed continuously. They might never find their way back even if they succeeded in finding reinforcement.
"Are you telling me that no one has ever left this place?" Noah asked. He knew that he was different, but it wasn't easy to silence the cultivators' innate ambition.
"Some did," Ana explained, "But we aren't sure that they made it to the surface. It's not easy to cross the sea of magma with our shortage of techniques. We have been trying to build an inventory for a while, but our leader gets more tired every day, and she is the only one who can use inscriptions."
The trails of magma on the ground soon became ma.s.sive lava lakes that fused. Noah felt that he was staring at a red sea filled with crimson waterfalls connected to the black sky.
That scenery was something that only heroic cultivators could witness. No human expert could survive in that scorching environment, and even those in the fourth rank struggled due to the high temperatures.
The tribes that Noah had saved didn't advance further, and only the three cultivators that were helping them along the way followed him and Ana across the red sea.
A black structure soon appeared on the horizon. It was a palace with two tall towers placed on its short sides. Its edges and corners seemed to have gone through years of corrosion since none was even remotely sharp.
It wasn't corrosion though. The structure seemed to be incomplete in some spots as if the maker couldn't bother to finish it.
"This metal is hard to mold even when the Ape G.o.d's mental waves leave it," Ana explained when she saw Noah looking at the imperfections in the structure.
The structure stood on a rocky platform made of rocks and black metal, which floated on the red sea without a set destination. There were rank 5 cultivators on the edges of the ground controlling its direction and making sure that it remained away from the sh.o.r.e.
Noah and the four experts descended on the platform and crossed the half-finished doors of the structure. There wasn't even the slightest trace of inscriptions in the palace. It was a simple bulk of metal molded in the form of corridors and rooms.
The five of them walked past rooms full of sheets and incomplete diagrams with cultivators studying them. The sheer number of experts in the fifth rank surprised Noah, but his instincts barely reacted when he met them.
'They must be below average in terms of battle prowess,' Noah thought after they arrived in a throne room. Ana had hinted that before, but he didn't know that the situation was so bad.
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Noah didn't feel anything when he looked at the tall black throne built at the hall's center. A skeleton sat there, but countless holes filled those bones and clear signs of corrosion covered them entirely.
The war against the Ape G.o.d was only a pointless dream. The citizens of the hidden world had no chance to win.
"Why don't you tell your people to leave?" Noah asked. "I respect your unity. I find it idiotic, but I respect it. Still, you can't free everyone. Most of them would die anyway once the sea of magma fills this world."
"I see!" The skeleton said. "You people on the surface are different from us! But you seem strong, so I order you to help us!"
The skeleton's aura became thicker, and a deadly sensation began to fill the hall. Noah's instincts felt the danger too, but that wasn't his first battle against a powerhouse.
Black smoke came out of his body. Part of it took the form of a tall snake, while the rest became a scaled armor that kept on releasing corrosive gas.
His Demonic Sword roared as it split. Noah wielded the two parts and summoned four additional arms to prepare one of his most potent attacks.
Snore spread its wings and opened its mouth. The sharp feathers began to tremble, and fire acc.u.mulated at the bottom of its throat. A rocky armor appeared above its skin too, and black sparks spread on its horns.
The Blood Companion's breathe released a chilling air, and a trail of black ice appeared on the metallic floor of the hall.
"Come!" Noah shouted. "I'm dying to see where my power stands!"
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