On the Xuan Island of the illusionary dimension, the majestic architecture was destroyed by countless battles, leaving behind nothing but rubbles.
The fragmented buildings and the innumerable bloodied bodies of cultivators were an unbearable sight.
Hovering above all that mess was the critical point of the Twelve Divine Gods and Demons Array.
It appeared to be a fascinating, unidentified ball of light, emitting a mellow platinum glow like a big sun hundreds of feet across.
Under the endless golden giant array, three figures stood below the ball of light, silently watching the masterpiece of the Great Ancient immortals.
“Hephaestus, are you sure this will work?” Hera turned around to look at the old monk beside her.
The benevolent man dressed in a kasaya(buddhist monk robe) was Master Yanyun and also Hephaestus, the God of Fire.
In his hand was a striking golden ridged wheel artifact inscribed with a large number of complex runes.
If Meng Xiaoyao and Yu Xuening were present, they might be able to recognize them as the inscription from the Great Ancient times.
Hephaestus gazed at Hera gently as he explained, “I’ve been on this island for over three hundred years, and I’ve researched for ways to crack this array for days. The wisdom and power it contains are way more complex than we first thought. It’s very difficult for us to break the array by force. Even if we can temporarily open a slit, the overbearing pressure within the array will close the slit immediately. In fact, it will generate turbulence, preventing the evacuation. But then I realize that the critical point of the array with the highest pressure is our only option. This is because it contains the most significant runes. Thus, I used over a century to collect and research ancient books about the Great Ancient inscriptions and arrays. Then, I spent another thirty years collecting materials to forge this Reverse Dharmachakra. This cannot open the array immediately, but it can slow down the operation of the array at the critical spot. In the end, the pressure inside will weaken to allow Zeus to come out.”
“Hehe, Hephaestus, is it so magical? Then why are you still standing here?” Hermes urged.
Hephaestus replied, “We can’t rush it. I’ve observed this. The critical point is the weakest at noon due to the overwhelming Yang energy. It’ll be the easiest when I insert the Reverse Dharmachakra at that time. Otherwise, we’ll likely get hurt.”
“I don’t care about anything that you said as long as Zeus can come out soon. Humph. I don’t want that b*tch to be so arrogant,” Hera said in disdain.
Hermes snickered. “Say, Hera… At this point, everything has been set in stone. Even when your old lover Zeus comes out, he won’t place you before Athena. Power reigns supreme. It’s pointless even if you’re jealous of her. Everything is within her grasp. You’ve already lost.”
Hera glared at her coldly and was about to say something when she suddenly frowned and sneered. “I was bored, and coincidentally, some foolish humans are here to court death.”
“I’ll leave them to you since it’s not convenient for me to fight,” Hephaestus remarked flatly. His attention was still on the critical point, so he did not think much of the said humans.
“Hehehe… You won’t have a chance anyway. Such weak people aren’t even enough for the both of us!”
The wings on his shoes had spread open, and he conjured caduceus in his hand.
It was Luo Qianqiu leading the group of cultivators. They came over in an instant, the hundred-odd Ming Water cultivators surrounding the trio.
“I’d never think you humans only know how to court death instead of running,” Hermes mocked.
The Chinese cultivators were furious, and they all summoned their True Yuan, ready to fight to the death.
Luo Qianqiu’s gaze fell on Master Yanyun’s staff, and his face turned especially grim. He then told Xu Shaogong and the rest, “The dharmachakra in his hand seems to be inscribed with many array inscriptions. I’m afraid it’s an artifact used to destroy the array. We can’t let that happen.”
“Understood! So we have to take down this bald monk first.”
“Yanyun! You damned bastard! I can’t believe you’re so wicked when we’ve been friends for hundreds of years. I’ll end your life today!”
Those from Hongmeng abhorred Master Yanyun the most. Roaring, they took out their artifacts and charged at him.
Before Liu Shiyuan and his group could launch an attack, Hermes had appeared before them in a flash. The ruby eyes of the snakes on his caduceus glowed brightly.
In an instant, the Hongmeng elites fell into a daze and froze mid-air. They then began looking at their surroundings as though there was weird stuff around them.
Soon, they acted as if they had seen their enemies and started attacking their own people.
“Sh*t! They’ve been bewitched by their own hallucinations!”
Luo Qianqiu frowned. True Yuan raged within him, and he tossed out dozens of purple lightning. The Golden Crow True Fire blazed brightly, and he summoned his Internal Demon Divine Soldier while dashing toward Hermes.
“Heh, why are you so agitated? I haven’t begun playing.” Hermes rotated his caduceus and cast another hallucination dream at Luo Qianqiu.
Having prepared himself for it, Luo Qianqiu let the Internal Demon Divine Soldier explode before him.
Accompanied by the deafening sound, the Internal Demon Divine Soldier shot up the air in a cloud of blood mist, vibrant like fireworks.
Following that, the blood mist condensed together and reformed into the Internal Demon Divine Soldier.
However, it was the explosion that caused Liu Shiyuan and the others to regain consciousness. With a look of fear and anger, they glared at Hermes. By then, they realized they had been bewitched.
Hermes' hallucination spell could not have fooled them in the past, but with the help of the Gaia's Heart, his spiritual force outmatched everyone's True Yuan and cultivation. Naturally, he could easily deceive them.
“Tsk, tsk. I don’t like it when someone disrupts my plan.”
Out of nowhere, Hermes appeared behind Luo Qianqiu with a grim expression. One of the golden snakes on his caduceus came “alive,” flicking its forked tongue as it aimed for Luo Qianqiu’s head.
Only then did the other realize that the Hermes they saw earlier was merely an apparition.
It showed that his capabilities alone surpassed all the cultivators present.
Luo Qianqiu was ashen-faced. It was too late to dodge as the other party’s speed and moves were superior to his.
However, instead of fear, he could not reconcile himself to such an ending, being defeated by a wicked trick.
At that moment, a pure blue sword aura appeared out of nowhere. Like a sonic wave, it gathered all its power to one point and shattered the snake.
“The 27th level of Sword Soul—Breaking Shadow Spike!”
Fortunately, Xu Shaogong had been vigilant, so he observed what was going on behind Luo Qianqiu and stopped Hermes' attack in time.
Seeing that his snake was shattered into specks of golden powder, he was displeased. Even though the snake quickly reappeared on his caduceus, he was still infuriated.
“You have a quick reaction.”
Hermes’ figure flashed a few times continuously, and a dozen of his apparitions appeared in the air. It was hard to tell which was his actual self.
Xu Shaogong’s sword flew in a big circle. Everywhere that it went, it emitted a blue sword aura over a large area, breaking all the apparitions at the fastest speed.
The other cultivators, too, used all their best skills to get rid of the apparitions one by one.
Hermes' real form finally appeared. "Do you honestly believe you can beat me by outnumbering me?" he smirked from high above the air.
“32nd level—Rainbow Piercing Aura!”
Without hesitation, Xu Shaogong threw out his sword. It glowed brightly in red. He had rubbed the sword's aura and spiritual energy together vigorously, causing it to emit scorching heat.
That sword pierced through Hermes’ body in a split second.
A mouthful of blood spat out of his mouth as though he could not believe he had failed to dodge the attack.
The morale of the cultivators was substantially improved. Some even clapped loudly, relieved that their journey had not been in vain.
Yet, what they saw next disheartened them.
Hermes lifted his head abruptly and smirked, the blood by his mouth disappeared magically. “I’m sorry, but the blood is also fake…”