Five days later. At the entrance to the most mysterious place on the Abyss realm: the Void.
Han Shuo and the fifteen Demons that followed closely behind Demon King Manticole, finally arrived at their destination.
It was a peculiar region filled with enormous, menacing plants. Each one of those strange towering trees would ferociously assault at Han Shuo and the party. There were marshes and swamps all over, with colorful miasma that constantly lingered in the air. Roaming about were also some huge and oddly-shaped abyssal creatures.
Manticole must have been totally familiar with this region. He led Han Shuo and the party flying crisscrossed, and only stopped when they arrived before a magnificent scene of colourful, glaze-like stardust current that ascended to the sky.
Han Shuo briefly surveyed his surroundings. He discovered that after Manticole had unfolded his Domain of Divinity, not a single plant or living thing was so unintelligent to dare approach them. The intense element of darkness gathered towards Manticole from all directions. After just a short time, the element of darkness within Manticole’s Domain of Divinity grew ten times more concentrated. All other elemental energies that were usually present between heaven and earth were nowhere to be found within the space it covered. Even the four edictal forces became twisted.
The fifteen Black Jade Guards that chaperoned Manticole immediately gained a great sense of discomfort. Without any elemental energies available that they could rely on, and having yet to truly become gods, a burst of dejection out of powerlessness and unease filled their hearts.
Fortunately for them, Manticole did not keep his Domain of Divinity deployed for too long. It didn’t take long after he unfolded his Domain of Divinity for Han Shuo to sense that in another region not far away, the element of lightning suddenly began to rapidly congeal. A long rumble reverberated through the sky. A party of men was rapidly approaching Manticole.
Manticole withdrew his Domain of Divinity right after the rumble. He said to Han Shuo in a warm voice, “Leviathan is here.”
Leviathan, one of the five Great Demon Kings of the Abyss realm, cultivated in the elemental energy of lightning and maintained a rather deep-rooted friendship with Manticole. Soon after Manticole withdrew his Domain of Divinity, an overbearing silhouette of interwoven lightning bolts landed before Manticole in the blink of an eye.
Leviathan was three meters tall. Two huge horns curled out from his head. Luscious body hair coated his skin. His powerful body radiated with electrical sparks. At first glance, Han Shuo thought Leviathan rather resembled a wild bull, if not for his human face.
Upon arriving, Leviathan chuckled and said, “Manticole, I have already been here for a few days. What took you so long?”
“Better to come on time than prematurely,” Manticole said in a mild manner. He raised his head to look at the gorgeous, colourful space, and continued, “The stardust current has yet to completely vanish, hasn’t it?”
Whoosh Whoosh Whoosh… A dozen or so shadows arrived and landed still behind Manticole. Each and every one of them was of Demon strength; they were the Thunder Guards, direct subordinates of Leviathan.
A pair of silvery pupils spewing lighting bolts suddenly turned to Han Shuo. With an interested tone, Leviathan asked, “This unfamiliar-looking friend must be the one who exterminated three Shadow Warriors in an instant, Mister Han Shuo?”
Han Shuo faintly smiled and nodded. In a neither overbearing, nor servile manner, he greeted, “Hehe, hello.” Just like Manticole, Leviathan was a lowgod. Even without activating his consciousness, Han Shuo could sense the terrifying energy on Leviathan’s body. He reckoned that the other three Demon Kings had to possess lowgod strength as well.
Han Shuo couldn’t help but compare. With his three souls, Han Shuo currently possessed enough strength to contend against any single Demon King. Given that Little Skeleton had become a lowgod of death, in addition to the Penta-elemental Undead Formation formed by five magical elite zombies, Han Shuo was confident that he had sufficient strength for self-preservation. Therefore, he inwardly began scheming some things that would be advantageous to him.
Leviathan looked deeply into Han Shuo’s eyes, with bolts of lightning brightly flashing throughout his silver pupils. After a long while, he chuckled, nodded and said, “Not bad, qualified enough!”
Han Shuo understood that Leviathan must have sensed the strength of the destruction lowgod from his body. Such was the Abyss realm. Without sufficient strength, one would not receive the proper respect. It was because Leviathan sensed the destruction energy of Han Shuo’s lowgod avatar that he truly took Han Shuo as a friend of equal status.
“Since you have been here for so long, have you discovered the trails of the other three?” Manticole smilingly asked after waiting for Leviathan to approve of Han Shuo’s strength.
“Those three arrived long ago. They are taking three positions at the moment, and are all waiting for the moment that the stardust current around the void disappears,” Leviathan turned to a serious look and replied with a deep voice.
Han Shuo raised his head and looked up at the sky. The colourful stardust current resembled the vast ocean of galaxies, mysterious and enigmatic. Streak after streak of brilliant light beams appeared and faded like shooting stars. Emerald green, sapphire blue, amethyst purple, and halos of everything in between waft gently past them.
Han Shuo knew that behind the stardust current was the entrance to the Void. He opened up his consciousness very slightly, and secretly sent a strand of it drifting towards that stardust current. He attempted to explore the stardust current very subtly and carefully.
Stardust currents had an intense corrosive and destructive effect on the soul. Any lifeform with a soul, upon entering the stardust current, would immediately receive its effects. Their souls would be corroded and broken down in a quick instant, with their consciousness shattered and all traces of their souls vanished between heaven and earth.
Even experts like Manticole and Leviathan, who were true gods, were powerless against this stardust current. All they could do was to patiently wait for the time when the stardust current naturally disappeared, and only then would they dare enter the Void. It was thus clear just how threatening this stardust current was!
When a strand of Han Shuo’s consciousness sank into it, those bizarre sand-like energies suddenly reacted. The splendid sky of the Void blossomed with dazzling colours and rapidly gathered towards the region where that strand of Han Shuo’s consciousness probed. The soul-corroding energy within that exotic stardust current immediately entered the strand of consciousness, trying to dissolve and shatter the sample of Han Shuo’s soul.
The consciousness formed using demonic arts was incredible. Han Shuo knew that the stardust current had the terrifying power to corrode souls, but nevertheless, he remained fearless in sending a fraction of his consciousness to venture inside. This was precisely because, during the period that he carefully researched the abilities of his consciousness, he learned that the consciousness could split into a myriad of parts and still recombine into one again. That was the reason behind his seemingly reckless attempt.
That strand of his consciousness was being rapidly corroded away. However, it could regrow itself at an even greater speed. With that, strange light shimmered on that region. Although the energy of the stardust current was eating away that strand of consciousness, it was not at all being shattered.
“Haha, some idiot recklessly charged in without waiting for the stardust current to fade away. From the looks of it, some smaller forces who know nothing of the dangers are participating as well,” Leviathan said with a face of rejoice in others’ misfortune as he looked up at the region that was suddenly blossoming with its own fireworks.
“Yep, it’s only those newcomers who know nothing about the treacherousness of the Void who would act so recklessly,” Manticole seconded as he raised his head and looked to the sky.
Listening in on the conversation of these two Demon Kings, Han Shuo, as the culprit behind the firework of lights, unhurriedly withdrew that strand of consciousness which was still pristine and sound. He thought to himself, Although the stardust current is indeed terrifying, my consciousness seems to be invulnerable to it. From this aspect, the consciousness formed using demonic arts is definitely much more magnificent and powerful than the Soul of Element or Soul of Edict formed using the twelve fundamental forces.
Manticole and Leviathan were standing right beside Han Shuo. These two lowgod Demon Kings, however, couldn’t detect that little maneuver of Han Shuo’s wonderful consciousness. This gave Han Shuo the feeling that demonic arts were superior to other cultivation techniques, while also further solidifying his staunch conviction to cultivate in demonic arts.
After Han Shuo withdrew his consciousness, that piece of sky no longer dazzled with brilliant lights. Leviathan turned around and solemnly explained to the group of Thunder Guards behind him, “Each and every one of you, especially those who came here for the first time, remember this by all means: do not charge ahead before the stardust current completely disappears. You all have seen the sight just now, when the stardust current stopped glowing with light, it meant that the soul of the trespasser had perished and annihilated.
After Leviathan completed his speech, Manticole too turned to his fifteen Black Jade Guards, put on a solemn face, cleared his throat, and said, “You all better listen carefully. Inside the Void, without my command, none of you must act out of your own initiative. If you act on any delinquency and cause me trouble, I will let you taste what is worse than death. Understood?” It was obvious that in Manticole’s mind, the lives of these minions that he brought up himself were of little value to him.
“Yes my Lord!” the altogether fifteen Black Jade Guards, including Bord and Zinia, answered in trepidation. Each one of them revealed dread on their faces, as though recalling the terrible methods of this usually mild-looking Demon King.
Han Shuo was somewhat astonished and thought to himself, A Demon King is indeed a Demon King. No matter how gentle and harmless he appears in usual times, that was nothing more than a mask for his bloody and cruel ways.
“So what should we do now?” After all, it was Han Shuo's first time here. Although he had learned certain things about the Void from Bord and Zinia, there were still many things that he didn’t understand.
Towards Han Shuo, this existence of the same class, whether it was Manticole or Leviathan, both behaved rather friendly. The two simultaneously answered, “We wait!” After a short pause, Manticole explained, “We wait for the moment that the stardust disappears!”
Han Shuo nodded and said no more. He patiently joined others in waiting for the moment that the stardust current vanished.