Noah studied the old woman with interest, but his eyes widened when he recognized her.
The crowned woman had white hair, but there were a few red strands combed around the golden crown on her head. That particular hairstyle and the red shades reminded him of the girl that the citizens of the Odrea nation called "Lord".
"Lisa?" Noah asked, and the woman's smile widened when she heard her name. Her gesture also confirmed Noah's suggestion, and he couldn't help but a.n.a.lyze her more at that realization.
Lisa was just a rank 3 cultivator in the gaseous stage. Her mind was even in the third rank, so nothing about her could escape the inspection of Noah's consciousness.
Noah knew that Lisa wasn't even a decade younger than him. Still, she had aged too quickly. Her current appearance was too old for a rank 3 cultivator that hadn't lived for more than one hundred and fifty years.
He found the reason behind that quite quickly. Lisa's dantian had a long scar that leaked "Breath" always.
The injury appeared old, and it seemed that it had never completely healed. Noah guessed that her cultivation had suffered many setbacks, which ultimately led her to age as if she was a commoner.
"You haven't aged a day," Lisa said as she stood from the throne and gazed at his companions. "But this doesn't mean that you didn't change."
Noah could only gaze at the heroic cultivators behind him at those words. When he first arrived in the Odrea nation, he was still a lone cultivator that didn't have any ally. He didn't have any organization behind him either, and his power was too low to make him relevant in the political environment of the world.
However, he wasn't alone anymore now. His journey had eventually led him to find a lover, a couple of friends, and trustworthy companions. He even had one of the strongest organizations in the entirety of those Mortal Lands backing him.
His power put him among the elites of the world too, with only a few old monsters still surpa.s.sing his level.
She had met a ruthless warrior more than a hundred years ago, but she only saw a monster that had seized anything that the world had tried to keep away from him now.
"Did you come to free us?" Lisa asked with a bit of helplessness in her tone. She had always believed that someone would eventually repay her kindness, but she wasn't completely delusional.
Noah was clearly above the human ranks, and beings on that level usually didn't care for a bunch of human cultivators. Also, the defensive formation had managed to notice his group only after they crossed the borders of the country, which meant that he had to be exceptional even among the heroic a.s.sets.
She was sure that someone with such a high status had other reasons to return in her wasted nation, and the only thing that she could think of was the Mausoleum.
"We'll explore the Mausoleum first," Noah quickly confirmed her suspicions. "You'll join the Hive if we find nothing wrong inside it."
Noah didn't mind if the soldiers of the Odrea nation were to join his organization. They were only human cultivators, but they were experienced warriors that had been forced to fight for their lives since their birth.
Even the best organizations couldn't train warriors so suitable for the cultivation journey. Each one of those soldiers could become a match for the best talents of the world with the right resources, especially the youngest ones.
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Yet, he wasn't exaggerating when he said that they had to explore the Mausoleum first.
Noah listened to those words but didn't stop his advance. Lisa was scared that he would leave the citizens of the Odrea nation behind after obtaining what he wanted from the Mausoleum. Hers were just words meant to increase the chances to secure a future for her country.
No one in Noah's group spoke as they followed him in the corridor, and even Faith refrained herself from making comments about his ex-girlfriend. The reason for that was the tense aura that had started to leak from June's figure.
Noah took her hand when he noticed her reaction, and she lowered her head to hide her expression.
"I can't help but hating her since she has beaten me in getting you first," June said after heaving a sigh. The truth was that she wasn't jealous of Nina, but her battle intent triggered an instinctive reaction to what she thought to be as a defeat.
"I wouldn't be with you if it weren't for her," Noah said in a warm tone before pointing at the hall ahead. "Be careful. There are rank 1 cultivators here."
June did her best to suppress her consciousness at that point. After all, even the slightest whiff of her mental energy would be enough to kill all the kids cultivating in the first layer.
Curious gazes went for the six strangers that were walking through the Mausoleum. The rank 1 cultivators tried to inspect them with their weak minds, but they could only make out their facial features, without understanding anything about their power.
Noah and the others didn't stop. They walked directly toward the third layer when they found a hundred or so soldiers who kowtowed when they realized that they were in the presence of heroic cultivators.
The group didn't stop there either and strived for the corridor that led toward the fourth layer. Still, they only found a wall that had a teleportation matrix drawn on its surface when they reached its end.
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