As evening set in, the Second Heaven in the Demon Realm appeared no different from the Three Thousand Worlds. Below the dimming sky and dusk-tainted clouds lay a vast lake, its crystal-clear water dotted with scattered islands. It was at the center of it all, on the largest island, where the entrance to the Starfallen Sea stood silently.
This entrance was guarded by three thousand demon soldiers. Standing in human forms, they looked no different from the cultivators of Three Thousand Worlds. They were divided into teams of one hundred, each led by a celestial demon. Among these demon soldiers, even the weakest have a cultivation level of the third rank of demon cultivation, equivalent to the Golden Core cultivators of the Three Thousand Worlds. All the captains of these hundred-man teams were at the Spirit Severing stage, with around ten of them just one step away from entering the Void Comprehending stage.
Hovering above them was a massive black claw with five razor-sharp scaled talons that shimmered with dark light, even in the daylight. Its radiance was so blinding, effectively blocking the entrance.
The soldiers’ positions appeared disorganized at first, with one hundred here and one hundred there, almost spreading throughout the island. But on a second look, it was evident that they followed a specific order. All the teams were positioned under the gleam of the giant black claw, and their icy blade armor seemed to be coated by a layer of black — a clear indicator that they treated whoever emerged from this entrance as a target to kill on sight.
And now, the highly-trained elite soldiers who had laid their trap and were now standing guard in formation all appeared somewhat bewildered as they looked in the same direction. In confusion, some even turned their heads back at the entrance to the Starfallen Sea, still blocked by the black radiance of the giant claw. A great number of them had the same question in their minds: Did this white-robed man emerge from the Starfallen Sea?
Here on this island, apart from the entrance to the Starfallen Sea, there were no other places where people could come and go.
But if this person really emerged from there, why didn’t the dragon claw artifact show a response?
The demon soldiers exchanged uncertain looks, and the expressions of the captains became grave. With loud stomping noises of the boots, the teams that had appeared disarrayed just moments prior fell into neat formation almost instantly.
The captains quickly walked to the front of their teams. Three thousand soldiers, split into hundred-man teams, a total of thirty captains. They were all uniformly dressed in black, made neat by the belt on their waists. On the shoulder of their robes was a star pattern embroidered in red thread.
Then, a man dressed in a crimson robe strode through the ranks and took his place at the head. With a sweeping gesture from him, the soldiers immediately brandished their weapons while the captains called forth their primordial spirits in unison.
Standing leisurely with his hands behind his back, the white-robed man surveyed the primordial spirits before him. Something seemed to amuse him, as a glint of a smile crossed across his eyes.
“Excuse me, Your Excellency, did you come out from the Starfallen Sea?” With a cold tone, the troop’s highest commander — the man in the crimson robe — raised his head slightly and called the white-robed man.
“You are questioning me?” The white-robed man replied coldly. The smile in his eyes had since faded away, and he exuded only an aura of indifference. “The first realm of the sixth rank.” He glanced at the crimson-robed man’s collar and swept his gaze over the red star embroidered there, “Red Star Army?”
“May I ask who Your Excellency is?” The commander’s eyes turned icy, and a long halberd suddenly appeared in his hand.
“Sikong Zhan, huh?” Showing no signs of concern, the white-robed man gave the imposing-looking halberd a slight glance. The blade, clad in the black radiance, shone coldly, giving an eerie yet dangerous impression. “He actually gave you guys the black frost claw…” The corners of the man’s lips raised slightly, but his tone remained indifferent.
Sikong Zhan snorted. He raised the halberd in his hand and took a step forward: “Since Your Excellency refuses to explain your identity, then you must stay!”
Sikong Zhan was the most talented among the current younger generation of the red fox clan. A prodigy in cultivation, he made himself a name and quickly caught the eye of a prominent member of the royal clan who took the youth under his wing and trained him for three centuries. Later, Sikong Zhan joined the Red Star Army, and his unparalleled combat abilities propelled him through the ranks until he eventually rose to become the army’s highest-ranking commander.
And that Sikong Zhan was now giving the white-robed man a slight squint. From the way this person appeared suddenly without making a sound, his ability must be extraordinary. But Sikong Zhan was not one to be easily intimidated – fear was simply not in his vocabulary.
What’s more, this man seemed to be struggling to control his own aura, whether due to injury or cultivation issues, allowing Sikong Zhan to notice the fluctuations in his aura that varied like the tides. In short, no matter how strong, he was in a state of vulnerability.
“Heh…” The white-robed man raised his lips and chuckled coldly, “Are you picking a fight with me?” He slowly took one step back.
“Correct!” Sikong Zhan raised his halberd and declared boldly, “I am ordered to protect this place, and anyone who comes out of the Starfallen Sea must be killed without mercy!”
“Oh?” The white-robed man’s eyes turned cold, and he murmured slowly, “Kill without mercy… good… very good!”
He hadn’t even made a single move yet, but a sense of dread suddenly permeated the island, chilling the demon soldiers to their bones. Those with the lowest cultivation base, Golden Core cultivators supposed to be impervious to the change in temperature, found themselves wracked with a bone-deep coldness that seemed to ache their very marrows.
“Wha-… it’s snowing?!” Someone gasped in shock as they witnessed the impossible phenomenon. The sky, which until a moment ago was still clear and bright, was now filled with falling snowflakes. This small island was situated in the Second Heaven, renowned for its perpetual summer-like climate. Winter, let alone snow, was usually unheard of.
The rank-and-file soldiers were merely surprised, but their captains and Sikong Zhan were all frozen with dread as they stared at the white-robed man. The man continued to stand nonchalantly with his hands behind his back, as if taking a casual stroll. Apart from the slightly chilled demeanor, there was no change in his person.
He seemed to be doing nothing, but all it needed was some anger from him to make the clear sky start snowing…
This… this person must be…
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