Hermes vanished into the darkness after saying those words in a sinister tone.

Yang Chen's eyes flashed with pain, but it quickly faded, and he appeared despondent instead.

Artemis and Apollo exchanged glances and sighed before leaving. 

Poseidon stared at Yang Chen for a moment before saying flatly, "Don't think too highly of yourself, young man. Having a good temper is beneficial, but it is also dependent on the other party. Sometimes, complacency is foolishness ..."

With that said, he, too, disappeared into the darkness. 

Clenching his fists, Yang Chen stood in a daze for a moment before letting out a long sigh. 

He became physically and mentally exhausted all of a sudden. Is what I'm doing the same as what the aloof woman said? Is my future predetermined by what she has predicted? Is it possible to change the future? If that's the case, doesn't it follow that I'm dancing to her tune? But, if the future can't be changed, how could she have predicted that I'd make an unexpected choice? No one can, and no one would tell me what is right or wrong. This is due to the fact that her abilities outstrip those of all other beings, and she cannot be thwarted. What is she attempting to accomplish? What will happen if Gaia's Heart keeps absorbing solar energy?

Despite the barrage of questions in his mind, Yang Chen still could not think of a solution. 

It was as if a hand was controlling him like he was a puppet, yet there was nothing he could do. The helplessness was driving him crazy. 

The people whom he had thought to be his allies and friends felt like strangers all of a sudden. 

Or have they been deceiving me? After all, compared to those who have lived for tens of thousands of years, I'm just a child.

Refusing to ponder over the situation anymore, Yang Chen shook his head. The matter concerning the hidden clans was more pressing compared to the Gaia's Heart and Athena. If he did not take action soon, he would have to be prepared to start over. 

Then, his figure disappeared in the air, and he flew toward the east.  

Moments before that, something was brewing in the central region of the illusionary dimension.  

The Gods' Island where Hongmeng resided was located there. 

From afar, one would be able to take in the startling architecture left behind by the Great Ancient immortals. 

The floating islands were supported by arrays that sparkled with gold inscriptions, allowing them to hover in the air steadily. 

The spiritual energy inside the illusionary dimension facilitated such a motion. 

On the islands, nature existed in its usual forms, such as flowers, trees, mountains, and rivers. Water began to flow from a water gathering array located in one of Sky Island's corners, where it merged into the rivers beneath.

Like white and blue ribbons, waterfalls of different sizes linked islands of the Earth, Xuan, and Huang ranks. 

The number of islands in the Huang rank was the highest, decreasing as the rank increased. 

Sky Island, located on the highest level, only had one floating island. 

Above it was a seemingly endless massive golden array. 

That array was what the Hongmeng had been guarding as their mission in life. Great Ancient demonic beasts and demons were detained within the array, including Zeus, the leader of the Gods. The name of the array was the "Twelve Divine Gods and Demons Array!"

However, there was no way to tell if that was the array's original name. The immoral must have spent all kinds of time and efforts to build such a gigantic array. As such, the intricacy of it was unimaginable. 

The cultivators who participated in the battle against the Gods only managed to win thanks to the array. Thus, they revered the array. 

If not for the array, they would have been slaughtered by Zeus and Athena. 

However, not a single sound was heard from the array since Zeus was detained within it 20,000 years ago. 

No one knew how the array worked, nor did their forefathers record how to activate it.

Even Hongmeng's Heaven-ranked elders on Sky Island had no idea how to use the array.

It was a well-kept secret that only a few high-ranking officials were privy to because it was not one of glory. In reality, the so-called mission to protect the array was a fabrication. They were only guarding it because they lived directly beneath it.

Otherwise, they would not have been on the same side as the hidden clans. After all, the cultivators of the hidden clan would not be a match against an array that even Zeus could not escape from. 

The array was independent, silent, and dignified. It was like an eye left behind by the Great Ancient immortals to watch over their descendants. 

The array reminded them constantly of how weak they were, relying on their ancestors to survive. 

On the center of Sky Island was a pagoda surrounded by a forest. Enshrouded by clouds and mists, the place looked like the heavens. 

In the center of the pagoda was a tall and wide platform made of green stones. 

Around the platform were twelve giant three-foot-wide stone pillars. Though they look inconspicuous, they were made from black Xuan stone, one that ordinary artifacts could not budge. 

That place was the meeting place for the elders of Sky Island. 

Among the dozens of Heaven-ranked elders, only the twelve most powerful ones could stand on the pillars. 

It represented the highest authority of Hongmeng. 

At that moment, innumerable Hongmeng cultivators stood on the platform and the spaces around it. 

The hundreds of cultivators consisted mostly of Earth-ranked cultivators and Xuan ranked administrators. These people had the right to listen to the meetings in person. Other than that, they were forbidden from entering Sky Island. 

Many cultivators had shown up because of the VIPs on the platform. 

Although they were gossiping and pointing at them, the cultivators dared not be too loud. They were fearful of the guests. 

Naturally, some of the "nobles" in Hongmeng disdained to be with the normal cultivators, so they stood on one side with their heads held high. 

Amongst them were Yan Feiyun, Yan Feiyu, and Yan Feiling. 

The Yan siblings had ugly expressions on their faces. The women, especially, were glaring at someone on the platform. 

"With your identity, Feiyun, you should be familiar with the few of them on stage. I only recently joined the Earth rank, so I'm not sure which one is Luo Qianqiu, the legendary Luo clan patriarch who endured the Tai Qing Heavenly Lightning Tribulation "As he approached Yan Feiyun, a middle-aged man inquired cautiously. The glee on his face could not be hidden.

This man was the new Earth-ranked elder, a Kui Water cultivator. His name was Zhou Yi, and he liked to poke around and flatter people. He allegedly sucked up to a Heaven-ranked elder, which resulted in his promotion.

After entering the Earth rank and finding out Yan Feiyun was the eldest son of one of the four Heaven-ranked elders, he kept lingering around him. 

Initially, Yan Feiyun would not pay attention to him, but Zhou Yi kept flattering him, so he let him stay. At most, it would feel like he hired a servant. 

Nonetheless, his attitude would not be any better. Casting him an indifferent look, he sneered and said, "Can't you perceive their True Yuan? Must you ask?"

As he spoke, his gaze landed on a middle-aged man on the platform. That man was none other than Luo Qianqiu. 

"Hehe, it's embarrassing to admit, but I lack the courage to perceive with my divine sense," Zhou Yi said. Then, with a servile smile, he asked, "Feiyun, could you tell me who the others are? I wouldn't believe other people's words as you're the most knowledgeable one."

Yan Feiyun harrumphed. "The other three are the top ten elites in the illusionary dimension. The one in the blue shirt is Xiao Mengyu, the patriarch of the Xiao clan. The one in the white shirt is Ning Zhengfeng, the patriarch of the Ning clan. As for the sinister-looking man with a hunched back, he's the elder of the Ning clan, Yin Shouzhi."

"Yin Shouzhi, the top ten elite in the illusionary dimension is a beggar-like old man?" Zhou Yi was startled as he was completely oblivious to that.