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GOR Chapter 682 Wooden Puppets
Adam's voice rang out from beyond the screen. At the same time, an image appeared over the indistinct screen.
A small and solitary door stood amid a pure white expanse of Heaven and Earth.
Shen smiled and nodded with satisfaction before moving forward.
The moment his body made contact with the screen, a ripple appeared on the surface of the screen. This time, however, the result was completely different from earlier with Adam.
After stepping past the screen, his body did not disappear. Instead, it appeared as though he had simply stepped past a curtain of water to appear on the other side of the screen.
"How is it? Am I not powerful?!"
After Shen made his way across the screen, Adam took the initiative to reach out to grab Shen's hand. The look on his face was that of one waiting to be praised.
"Indeed. You were faster than I had expected. Those guys from Zero City did well," said Shen as he patted Adam's head. "However, they would never have expected that the first thing you did, you, a product that had taken them so much effort, will be to break Zero City's core protection for me."
"It is the second!" Adam pouted with a dissatisfied expression. "I had helped Gibbs calculate out the timing and positions of the exit portals before this!"
"So, that was you?" Shen was slightly shocked. However, he was quick to recollect himself. "Fine, it's fine even if this is your second completed task. Let's head in."
"Mm!" Adam jumped forward with excitement and reached out with his hand to pull open the door. Then, he turned to Shen and beckoned to him. "Hurry up, let's enter!"
Shen followed Adam through the door.
Darkness surrounded them. Before Shen could get a clear view of his surroundings, a chilling claw had descended upon his face.
At the same time, countless mournful wails reverberated forward from all around him.
Just as the claw was about to make contact with Shen's face, it suddenly came to a halt, stopping in the middle of the air.
One of Shen's fingers was extended before him and it blocked the wrist of the claw.
A savage-looking evil spirit howled out and swung its limbs about. However, no matter how hard it tried, it could not make contact with Shen's body.
"What a terrible taste. This stage… … was set by Gabriel, right?" Shen frowned as he looked around.
Their surroundings appeared very gloomy. However, it was not utterly devoid of light.
There before the two of them was a tall and jagged mountain. A red light was dimly but continuously flas.h.i.+ng from the top of the mountain.
Countless shadows could be seen flitting about, from the bottom of the mountain all the way to the top of the mountain.
They were evil spirits, rotting zombies, incorporeal-looking h.e.l.lish phantasms that drifted through the air.
There were also ghastly flames floating about amid the other shadows.
"A very direct one." Looking at the red light flas.h.i.+ng from the top of the mountain, Shen smiled and said, "Never one to beat around the bush, eh? As long as I can reach the top of the mountain, I can get the key. It seems this stage was really set by Gabriel."
After saying that, he tapped lightly with his finger and the evil spirit before him was shattered apart by the resulting golden light. Only ashes remained of the evil spirit.
Next, Shen held Adam's hand and walked toward the mountain, one step at a time.
The surrounding evil spirits and other dead apparitions became like sharks that had gotten a whiff of blood. They pounced upon Shen with a maddening fervour. However, the golden light enveloping Shen's body rapidly expanded to form a sphere of pale golden s.h.i.+eld around him.
When they were but five metres away from Shen, the evil spirits and other deathly apparitions made contact with the golden-coloured s.h.i.+eld. Upon contact, they immediately screamed out in pain before dissipating into thin air.
Shen did not stop moving forward at all throughout the whole process. He led Adam along as they made their way to the foot of the mountain and began moving upward to the top.
There were no paths on the mountain at all. Only jagged and strange-looking rocks could be seen. However, whenever Shen stepped on them, it appeared as though he was simply walking on flat terrain.
"Are you afraid?" Shen turned around to look at Adam.
"Of course not," replied Adam with a smile. "I know they cannot harm me. Why would I be afraid? Shen… … didn't you know?"
"I had a.s.sumed that you would be like other little kids," said Shen with a smile.
"I am not an ordinary little kid!" Adam pursed his lips to the side.
"Of course." Shen nodded.
Before long, they were already halfway up the mountain. There was not much distance left between them and the mountaintop.
A shocking roar suddenly rang out and rocks were scattered about. A large hole burst into existence upon the mountain. A terrifying face and sharp fangs appeared before them as a gigantic beast, tens of metres in height, suddenly rose up from the mountainside. It clasped both palms together, crouched down, and sent a heavy strike down at Shen and Adam.
"Is this the final one? Interesting." Shen revealed a faint smile. He ignored the incoming blow. Instead, he drew an arc before him with his right hand.
An arc of light cut the gigantic beast's body, causing black-coloured blood to spill all over. The gigantic beast was not even capable of one final wail before falling heavily down on the mountainside. Its two separated bodies tumbled down onto the foot of the mountain.
"Let's go get the keys." With the final threat dealt with, Shen pulled Adam along with him and they made their way up to the mountaintop.
The red flas.h.i.+ng light on top of the mountain came from a skull-sized crystal. It was perfectly round and translucent. There beneath the flas.h.i.+ng red light, at the core of the crystal, was an ancient-looking key.
Shen extended a finger and lightly tapped the crystal, causing it to split from the middle down. The two halves fell down and the key slowly floated its way into Shen's palm.
The moment Shen obtained the key, the evil spirits, h.e.l.lish apparitions, all of them disappeared without a trace. The mountaintop beneath their feet, as well, transformed into an endless expanse of whiteness.
Once again, a door appeared before them.
"Easy peasy." Shen held up the key and gave a light whistle.
"All right! Let's continue! Just two more doors and we can leave!" Adam cheered as he grabbed the doork.n.o.b.
Shen revealed a faint smile as he inserted the key into the door.
"Finally… have we reached the end?"
Nicole looked toward the endpoint of the pa.s.sageway before them. There on the ground was a heavy-looking treasure chest.
The labyrinth was truly humongous. Additionally, it was not simply on a flat terrain. Following Zero, the two of them had made their up and down through tens of stairs, all of varying lengths, and curving corridors before finally reaching their final destination.
Beside the treasure chest stood an umbrella.
It was an ancient looking umbrella made with tarp material with a bamboo handle.
"It's… … that old guy?" Tian Lie's face revealed a slight frown.
"Who?" Nicole turned to face him.
"A legendary figure. Only a very small number of Awakened would know of his legend. It is normal for you to not know of him." Tian Lie snickered. "How unexpected. He is actually connected to Zero City. All right, then. Enough nonsense. Zero, what should we do next? Open this chest?"
"Yes." Zero nodded. "I can guide you here. However, I do not have the authority to touch anything here. That is something that you must do."
Nicole nodded before stepping forward to open the chest. However, Tian Lie knocked it with his shoulder, causing it to pop open.
"What are you doing?" Nicole sent a glare toward Tian Lie.
Tian Lie placed himself before Nicole and said with an indifferent expression, "I like opening chests, what about it?"
Nicole rolled her eyes. Then, she turned her attention to the chest.
Despite its large size, the chest only contained one small key.
"This is it?" Tian Lie played with the key disdainfully with his hand.
The moment he picked up the key, the labyrinth around them disappeared, leaving a door before them.
"Open it. We do not have much time left." Zero extended his hand out toward the door while make a beckoning gesture.
Tian Lie inserted the key into the keyhole. After twisting it, a clicking sound could be heard and the door opened up.
A white ray of light shone out from beyond the door.
Without hesitating, Tian Lie stepped through the door.
Beyond the door was a square and the ground beneath them was laid with tiles. An infinite amount of clouds could be seen around the square, blocking their sight.
Tens of people stood on either side of the door, forming two rows.
More accurately, they were not real 'people'.
Every one of them wore coa.r.s.e-looking short robes. The exposed parts of their faces and hands appeared to the product of chiselling. Wooden lines could be seen on them.
They were a group of wooden puppets.
A sword hung from the waist of each wooden puppet. There were no decorative articles on the sheaths. Even the hilts of the swords were made of the same coa.r.s.e wood used to make its body.
There in between the two rows of wooden puppets was a circle, drawn out using a red line. The circle had a radius of around ten plus metres.
The moment Tian Lie stepped through the door, the group of puppets turned their heads to look at Tian Lie. However, their bodies made no overt movements.
"This stage… we finally have to fight, right?"
Tian Lie cracked his knuckles and turned to look at Zero as he entered. "Is it a one-on-one or one against many?"
"It's more than that." Zero shook his head. "Look at the wooden puppets here. When you enter the red circle, they will enter the circle accordingly and fight you. One puppet for the first match, two puppets for the second match, four puppets for the third match, and so on. There is a total of 31 wooden puppets here. Thus, you have to win five matches in order to obtain victory and the key needed to open the second door."
"So troublesome." Tian Lie chuckled. "Why don't they just come forward together?"
"Do not make light of them," said Zero calmly. "This is a defensive blockade meant to stop others from entering my core. Do you think it will be easy to break through?"
"Whether it is easy or not, we'll have to try in order to find out, no?" Tian Lie strode forward. As he did, he turned to look at Nicole. "You, just stand there and don't do anything."
"Why should I?" Nicole sneered.
"Because I am worried that you will die." Tian Lie stopped moving and shrugged his shoulders. "In our previous bet, you lost to me. According to the bet, you must join Chen Xiaolian's guild. Before doing that, you cannot die."
"Lost? To you?" Nicole raised her brows and said, "When did I lose to you? That War Tiger and Phoenix, they didn't even fight!"
"It is true that they two of them did not fight each other. However… … didn't they fight Chen Xiaolian?" Tian Lie wiggled a finger left and right before Nicole. "If I am not mistaken, that War Tiger fell down in the end, right?"
"How can that be counted?" Nicole's face turned red. "You are being unreasonable!"
"If I say it counts, it counts," said Tian Lie, who raised his head up as he looked at Nicole. His stature was already much taller than Nicole. After lifting his head in such a manner, his eyes appeared to be filled with disdain. "Naturally, if the Floating Angel of Zero City wants to renege on her promise, there is nothing I can do about it."
"Even if I do join Chen Xiaolian's guild, it will not be due to your nonsense! I will never accept such a thing," Nicole shot back with a sneer. "More importantly, what makes you think I will die if I step up?"
"You…" Tian Lie had only just uttered out that word when Nicole kicked the ground, propelling herself forward. At the same time, her Floater transformed into its mech armour form and attached itself onto her.
"Idiot!" Seeing Nicole put on her Floater mech armour, Tian Lie knew what she was about to do. He reached out with his hand to grab her.
However, just as his right hand was stretched out, a green-coloured beam extended out from Nicole's arm and it slashed down.
"Ion Pulse Sword!"
Tian Lie exclaimed. His right hand had to turn to block the slash from the Ion Pulse Sword.
A slicing sound rang out as Tian Lie's arm fell to the ground. Nicole had cut it.
Then, the thrusters behind Nicole abruptly discharged flames, immediately pus.h.i.+ng her forward, forward into the red circle.
"Enough screaming, I know that cannot hurt you at all."
Landing within the red circle, Nicole turned back and smiled arrogantly at Tian Lie. "Just stand right there and watch as I finish off these wooden puppets."