It had been nearly half a month since the operation of the Twelve Divine Gods and Demons Array was disrupted by the Reverse Dharmachakra, and it had been working at a speed twofold slower than before.
Its golden glow was not as bright as before. Initially, there would be some faint black aura seeping out of it. As of then, the rich, black Yin energy had gathered at the critical point of the array.
At that moment, the nine main Gods were staring at the critical point as though waiting for something.
"It's a little lacking, but the array can't maintain the seal for long," Hephaestus declared confidently.
"You seem rather proud? Don't you think this is taking too much time?" Ares said in annoyance.
Frowning, Hephaestus glanced at the God of War. "It's pointless to explain things to you since a brute like you who only knows how to fight will never be able to comprehend the power of the Twelve Divine Gods and Demons Array."
Ares' eyes widened, and he was able to lash out at him when Athena shot him a cold look.
Then, she looked at Hephaestus, indicating them not to cause unnecessary trouble. Extending an arm, she grabbed something from midair.
A black figure flickered in the air. Black Robe struggled but was seized by Athena with an invisible hand.
"Spare me! Please… I didn't mean to hide…"
The other main Gods did not have senses as sharp as her, so they were puzzled to see her catch someone.
Athena snorted. "Do you honestly think I won't notice if you hide in the distance?"
Black Robe pleaded, "I didn't mean to intrude. I just didn't dare to bother you, so I watched from afar."
Aphrodite asked in puzzlement, "Athena, what is this? It doesn't look like a human."
Athena let go of Black Robe and said faintly, "You can show yourself. There's no need to hide anymore."
Upon hearing that, Black Robe dared not delay. A ball of dark fire conjured like the ghost fire, burning up his black robe and mask.
Soon, a black eerie apparition appeared before the main Gods.
Black mist surrounded the apparition, making it hard to see its face. Though they could see a human form through its outline, the place where the head should be was an illusionary skull.
The terrifying appearance startled the Gods while the females frowned in disgust.
"In recent years, it has served as a liaison between Zeus and myself. Shadow Demon refers to itself as a Great Ancient demon. Although it only has the potential of a Ruo Water stage cultivator, it is exceptionally excellent in disguise and concealment "Athena elaborated.
"It's a Great Ancient demon? How is that possible? It can get out of the array?!" Hera questioned in disbelief.
Shadow Demon let out eerie chuckles. "Hehe, the truth is that I can't get out of the away, but I am a little special compared to the other demons…"
Under its prideful introduction, the other Gods learned that Shadow Demon could be outside the array because it had two "bodies."
When Shadow Demon was born, it would have the main body and a shadow. Both forms would be under his control and would share the same capabilities.
Moreover, as long as the main body remained alive, the shadow would have a chance to be slowly reborn.
Back when the Great Ancient immortals trapped the demons and devils into the array, Shadow Demon knew it was not a match for them, so it separated its shadow, which was good at concealing itself, and pretended to die in the battle. Then, it sought a chance to revive slowly while its main body was sealed in the array.
The Great Ancient immortals were bound to miss out on some of them, and it was not like they could comb through the whole world. Hence, Shadow Demon let its shadow stay active outside after a long period of revival.
With its bodies inside and outside the array, Shadow Demon became the link between Athena and Zeus. Sometimes, it would help her deal with matters that she did not have to attend to herself.
"You have hidden it very well, huh? So it turns out you have been in contact with Zeus the whole time?" Hera sneered, evidently bitter.
Athena shot her a glance. "We only got back in contact in the past two years. Because the shadow was away from the main body and was worried about bumping into cultivators that could kill him, it took tens of thousands of years for it to revive from a state of false death. Before that, I'm not aware of Zeus' condition in the array."
"Are you saying that Zeus had subdued all the Great Ancient demons and devils inside the array? Does it mean we have a large group of servants now?" Hermes smirked.
"Hmph, from what I know, the Great Ancient demons and devils are mostly formed from vengeful ghosts. They do not have a physical form and progress slowly in their cultivation. Hence, they are not powerful. For this Shadow Demon to have a cultivation base equivalent to the Ruo Water stage, it must be an extremely rare elite among its kind. Besides, they are all a bunch of grim-looking, ugly creatures. If you want them as your servants, use them yourself," Hera said in disdain.
Shadow Demon listened to them timidly. It was unfortunate that it could not display any human expressions. Otherwise, it would have been flushing with embarrassment.
Indeed, it was considered an elite among the demons and devils. Some of the powerful Great Ancient demons and devils were slaughtered by the Great Ancient immortals tens of thousands of years ago.
Although plenty of its kind was sealed inside the array, only a few of them were powerful. Still, compared to being trapped in the array, they would rather be set free even if they would be humiliated by the Gods.
"With Zeus' capabilities, it is only natural that he subdues all the demons and devils in the array and becomes their king. However, I'm worried about his physical body. How did he maintain it for the past 20,000 years since he can't come out of the array for reincarnation." Apollo seemed concerned.
Athena's eyes gleamed. "He has his means. You all will know when he comes out…"
At the same time, cold gales were howling above the Mediterranean Sea. Grey clouds hovered in the air. No wind was able to blow them away.
Luo Qianqiu and the remaining ten or so cultivators returned to the island with news of Lin Ruoxi's actual identity being Athena. Naturally, it came as a bombshell to everyone.
The women finally understood why Lin Ruoxi would leave Lanlan on the island and disappear.
As for Yang Chen, the support of their family, he went missing after that battle and was nowhere to be found. It distressed them greatly.
Having lost both her parents at the same time, Lanlan made a fuss for a few days. In the end, Tang Wan, Rose, and a few other women had no choice but to head to Hainan and bring the Yang family onto the island.
Life on the island was slightly better, and they could take care of them when Yang Chen was not around at present.
Guo Xuehua was enraged when he discovered Lin Ruoxi was Athena, believing his son had been duped. Aside from her own concerns, she continued to criticize Lin Ruoxi, calling her an ingrate, a vixen, and so on.
The women did not feel good to hear those insults, but they kept quiet. After all, they were not sure if Lin Ruoxi did those things on her own accord. No one knew the truth.
Most of the time, they felt sorrow on behalf of Yang Chen and thus harbored some resentment towards Lin Ruoxi.
To Guo Xuehua, a daughter-in-law was not as important as her son. Not only was her only son missing, but he was also deeply hurt.
However, she eventually could not be bothered to scold Lin Ruoxi any longer, as all she wanted was to receive news about Yang Chen. Every day, she would urge those on the island to search for Yang Chen all over the world.
Unfortunately, they couldn't look for him when Yang Chen intended to hide. Not even Sauron, Ron, or the cultivators could find him. Nonetheless, they had to bite the bullet and keep looking when the order came from Yang Chen's mother.
Yang Gongming was not really bothered about it as if he did not care what happened to Yang Chen. Every day, he would think of ways to cheer Lanlan up.
While the chubby girl found warmth from her great-grandfather, she was still despondent and did not even have the mood to eat.
It was a difficult time for everyone.
Two days later, a sudden, drastic change was seen!
Black and grey shadows were seen flowing about the sky like dark shooting stars. They were all dispersing in different directions.
When Luo Qianqiu, Liu Shiyuan, and the other cultivators saw that scene, a grim expression appeared on their faces as they realized the situation had worsened.
Demons and devils had gone on a rampage in the mundane world. The array was broken!