The eighteen gates of life and death were eerily floating indistinctly in the air. Nine of them were the death gates while the other nine were the life gates. If one mistakenly enters a death gate, they would not be able to come back alive even if they are at the Void Refinement Realm.
Fortunately, Wei Xuan had already distinguished the nine life gates for Ning Fan and he had even entered six of them.
One of the three remaining life gates would be the gate leading to the place where Lu Wu was trapped.
Rubble and debris floated across the hollow space.
On the ruins, Ning Fan and all the women stood on a star compass with their eyes fixed on the gates of life and death.
Ning Fan consumed several Fifth Revolution pills to suppress his injuries for the meantime. His left eye flashed with purple light, activating his Fu Li eye in order to differentiate which of the three life gates would lead to Lu Wu.
As for the women, some were feeling dejected, some were feeling relieved while some were sighing with emotion. But ultimately, most of them found it difficult to believe that they were still alive after what had happened earlier.
Beside the women, the black dragon and the black puppet were still guarding them even though there were wounds everywhere on them. Apart from them, there were now three more spiritual puppets which were draped in cloaks and had eyes which glowed in faint green.
“Brother Lu Bei! Is it really true?! These three puppets were refined from Realm Beasts at the True Immortal Realm?! Sister Bei Yao is so amazing!” Xi Ran’s eyes twinkled with stars as she held a long sword striking the three new spiritual puppets.
It can’t be wrong! These three puppets were indeed refined from the corpses of True Immortal Realm experts! Although they are just half-completed products, the three of them have power equivalent to Early Void Refinement Realm cultivators!
“Yes…” Ning Fan sighed with feelings.
If it was not for Yuan Yao who acted to save me this time, perhaps I would have really died just now.
Yuan Yao had yet to fully recover her cultivation base. After eliminating the Realm Beasts, her cultivation base was once again sealed and regressed to the Divine Transformation Realm.
However, the seal this time was just temporary. As long as Yuan Yao wills it, she could tear off the seal again anytime and unleash her Shedding Void Realm power.
Sealing her cultivation base would reduce the burden on her immortal veins and thus accelerate the recovery of her injuries. It was the reason why she chose to do so.
As for Luo You, her injured primordial spirit was on the verge of collapsing as she had lent Ning Fan the power of her primordial spirit. In order to protect herself, she had confined herself and gone into deep slumber inside the Yin Yang Locket.
Ning Fan did not tell Yuan Yao anything about Luo You. He just secretly made up his mind to search for some items that could nourish the primordial spirit to help Luo You restore her primordial spirit’s power after returning to the Endless Sea.
“No matter what, it’s all thanks to Bei Yao who acted right on time. It was because of her that we are all still alive. However, I really didn’t expect that Bei Yao is a Shedding Void Realm expert…”
Wu Yan shifted her gaze to Yuan Yao and her eyes were filled with gratitude. However, Ning Fan’s words made the latter feel ashamed of herself.
“If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t have been hunted by the Realm Beasts… It’s all my fault.”
“Enough! No more saying thanks and sorry! Let’s talk about the main issue first. Little Cucumber, which life gate shall we enter? We can’t drag this on any longer! There will be another big trouble if there are any other Realm Beasts coming for us.”
“Indeed. We really should act as fast as possible.”
Ning Fan nodded and pushed his Fu Li eye to the maximum level.
Of all the nine life gates, six of them could be skipped and they just need to select from the remaining three gates.
Among the three snow-white giant gates, only one of them was glowing with a gleam of golden light.
When his Fu Li eye captured this golden gleam, Ning Fan immediately flicked his sleeve without hesitation to store all the women and puppets and turned into a ray of light, dashing into that gate.
Right at the moment they entered the giant gate, all the eighteen giant gates collapsed simultaneously!
The most eerie thing was that the whole Star Palace also vanished into nothingness all of a sudden!
A few days later, in the ruins of the hollow space, three Realm Gates opened once again. From the gates, three experts walked out one after another. All of them were Realm Beasts of the True Immortal Realm!
The Realm Beast leading the group held a tracking disk in his hand. Apparently, they came for Yuan Yao.
The disk in his hand had a trace of Yuan Yao’s qi. As long as she is within the vicinity of ten billion li* (500m per li), the disk would be able to display Yuan Yao’s location.
However, while they were on their way to the Star Palace, the light spot representing Yuan Yao’s location on the disk disappeared in a flash!
The old man who was the leader of the group looked curiously at the ruins of the place. At where the Star Palace used to be. His eyes turned grim right after.
“The Star Palace has disappeared! That lowly woman is gone too! What had happened?! Could it be that the lowly woman has hidden herself in a dichiliocosm?!”
“Humph! This lowly slave is really lucky enough to slip away from us! How should we explain this to the Great Elder when we return to the tribe?”
“Explain? Just tell whatever we have to tell! The life plates of Hei Wu, Hei Mu, Ye Lu and Ye Gu broke already. In other words, they have already died. The four True Immortal Realm experts who were sent to pursue a lowly slave woman who had sealed her own cultivation base all died! The Great Elder is very furious now!”
“On our way just now, I’ve caught some juniors and searched their souls and memories. From their memories, there was a Divine Transformation Realm young man named Lu Bei who managed to fight on par with Hei Wu… After that, the lowly woman showed up from the storage pouch of that young man. Is it possible that the reason why the four of them failed to hunt down that lowly slave was because of that young man?”
“Impossible… No matter how serious Hei Mu’s condition was, he was still a True Immortal, how could he end up with a tie against a Divine Transformation Realm cultivator? There’s no need to worry about that Lu Bei. We have already lost track of that lowly slave. We should immediately return to the tribe and report it to the Great Elder!”
After having a discussion, the three newly-arrived Realm Beasts stepped back to their Realm Gates respectively and left.
Ning Fan had no idea that choosing the right gate caused the Star Palace to disappear.
He also did not know that a few days after he entered the Star Palace, there would be some more people coming after them.
Within the life gate, it was a sea of clouds that was paved and formed by pieces of mist and fog.
Amidst the sea of clouds, Ning Fan and his group walked non-stop for several days before they reached a huge palace which was built from mist and fog.
None of them knew how tall the palace of mist was as its top could not be seen. What was more unusual about that place was that this palace had stairs, beams and pillars but no entrance.
However, even though there was not a single door to enter the palace, a vague and ferocious aura faintly spread out from within. It seemed to belong to Lu Wu who was in the state of confinement.
The killing formation around the place was even more terrifying. If a member of the demon race attempts to intrude this palace, they might be killed instantly!
Although there were no stars in this place, it seemed to be the hub of all starlight which could decide the master of all the star power of the Star Palace.
Even Yuan Yao who saw this palace for the first time was a little surprised.
“What a magnificent Cloud Palace! If I'm not wrong, there’s an Immortal Emperor Realm Killing Formation above the Cloud Palace. Other than the owner of the Star Palace Key or someone who possesses Immortal Emperor Realm cultivation base, no one would be able to enter this palace! I guess this place is probably the centre of the Star Palace. I really didn’t expect such an impressive place like this would exist within the Star Palace that has been abandoned for hundreds of millions of years…”
Yuan Yao just felt surprised but the other women found it even more unbelievable.
Only Ning Fan’s eyes remained calm and tranquil. He had seen gigantic palaces like this multiple times in the Ancient Heavenly Court within the illusory dreams of samsara.
“This is an Immortal Palace, a palace where an Immortal Emperor resides… It was probably one of the resting places for the Celestial Emperor in the past.”
“Is Lu Wu in there? Lu Daochen once said that the reason why he asked me to save Lu Wu is because I’m a human. Therefore, I am able to enter this palace. On the other hand, I have the royal bloodline that can clear the evil mark off of Lu Wu… The evil mark is a punishment given by the great True Spirit Races to their traitors. It is also known as the Sinful Seal. Whoever has the evil mark would have their souls trapped forever even if they die, causing them to be unable to go through the cycle of samsara and have to endure eternal damnation… As for the formation light of this palace, it seems like it was specifically set up to keep watch on the demon race. So this is the reason why Lu Daochen set his eyes upon my identity as a human?”
“But there’s no door on all sides of this giant palace. How do I get in there? Or maybe I should call out to Lu Wu so that he would open the door from inside?”
An idea suddenly struck Ning Fan. He instantly took out an ancient scroll painting and opened it with a shake.
It was a painting of a demon marshal wearing golden armor and a tiger head riding on a golden flame chariot which was being pulled by nine demon beasts.
The land where the golden flame chariot passed by was a medicinal garden with overflowing spiritual qi.
At the background of the medicinal garden, one could faintly see a large and magnificent palace of clouds which almost looked like the giant palace in front of them.
This painting was given to Ning Fan by Lu Daochen. According to hearsay, it was painted by an immortal painter of the Ancient Heavenly Court.
When he took out the painting, Wu Yan, Xi Ran and Yue Lingkong’s eyes all lit up with surprise.
“This is… an immortal painting! Mortal paintings could at most mislead the truth with a false appearance. On the contrary, immortal paintings could give life to the objects inside the painting. Although this is just a painting, it certainly was drawn with the hands of a True Immortal. In fact, this is not a painting but a scroll painting magical treasure!” Yue Lingkong was the first one to commend.
“Precisely. If this painting falls into the hands of a Void Refinement Realm cultivator, they would be able to summon the Void Refinement Realm expert in the painting to help him kill his enemies. The immortal who drew this painting is either a Shedding Void Realm expert or a Peak Crossing Truth Realm expert…” Yuan Yao’s viewpoint was at a much higher level and thus, she was more accurate with regards to the information of the painting.
Ning Fan did not explain the origin of this painting. Instead, he was seeking a way to enter the giant palace.
Lu Daochen handed me this painting. In some way, it is like a token of trust too.
Ning Fan took a light breath. He went forth to the giant palace with his fists cupped and said:
“This junior, Lu Bei, came from the Luo Yun Tribe at the request of the Cloud General to help Demon Marshal Lu Wu lift the evil mark and obtain the emperor’s star. I hereby request Marshal Lu to open the palace gates!”
Ning Fan’s voice was clear and bright and it echoed throughout the Cloud Palace three times.
When it subsided, the noise of a moving giant body was heard from within the palace. It seemed to have been awakened by Ning Fan as it gave out strong and vigorous sounds of breathing.
After a while, a hoarse and heavy voice finally bellowed out from within the palace like thunderclap.
“Cloud General? Mm… You’re the person who Lu Daochen invited. It can’t be wrong. This painting was the gift given to me by the ‘Golden Tomb Immortal’. Lu Daochen had passed this thing to you. That is enough to show that you’re a credible person. However, just now you said that you came here with two objectives. Firstly, to help me clear my evil mark and release my soul and secondly, to take the emperor’s star away… Am I right?!”
The voice abruptly became even more imposing and stern and was filled with a powerful forceful aura.
This aura was not any weaker than that of a Peak Void Refinement Realm expert!
Translated by Tommy, edited by Roel
“Grasping Evil” is being translated on Veratales (Click here) but Liberspark (Click here) is hosting the chapters as well. You are encouraged to read on veratales.com for project updates. :)
Some phrases or expressions of the original are changed for ease of reading.
If a mistake or mistakes were found in this chapter, feel free to comment below.
Some terms are subject to change when better suggestions are selected.
All the internal monologues will be in italic form.