Once in the Teleportation Hall, s.h.i.+ Feng made his way to one of the high-cla.s.s bars on the third floor.
Blackie and the others had been waiting for some time now. When they noticed s.h.i.+ Feng enter the establishment, they stood, surprised. Yan Tianxing and Yi Luofei were particularly shocked as their Guild Leader pulled their attention away from their 10-Gold bottles of Five-colored Fruit Wine.
"So, this is a Tier 3 cla.s.s?"
Blackie had already informed the group that s.h.i.+ Feng had left to challenge his Tier 3 Promotion Quest, and none of them had been particularly surprised. s.h.i.+ Feng had already reached Level 100, so it was expected that he'd challenge his Promotion Quest.
Although s.h.i.+ Feng's Nightwalker's Cape concealed his aura, it couldn't hide the fact that the ambient Mana actively flowed toward him.
G.o.d's Domain did have weapons and equipment that would attract Mana to their user, but those items generally only increased the Mana density around the player.
However, despite so much Mana flowing toward s.h.i.+ Feng, Yan Tianxing, whose senses were quite sharp, and Yi Luofei, who was a magical cla.s.s player and only a step away from reaching the Domain Realm, recognized that the Mana density around s.h.i.+ Feng hadn't actually increased. It felt as if the Swordsman were a black hole, steadily devouring the ambient Mana.
Mana was the root of all in G.o.d's Domain.
A players' physical and mental condition, Skills, and Spells were all closely tied to Mana.
As players at the peak of G.o.d's Domain, Yan Tianxing and Yi Luofei had spent a considerable amount of time researching the game's mechanics, especially the relations.h.i.+p between Mana and a player's virtual body.
Players constantly absorbed Mana from their environments, and as players' physiques grew stronger, they'd absorb more Mana. This was why areas with thin or no Mana were considered forbidden lands.
As a Tier 3 player, s.h.i.+ Feng's Mana absorption was astounding.
If the Mana that flowed into Tier 2 players was like a small creek, the Mana flowing into s.h.i.+ Feng was a raging river...
"Everyone's here, Guild Leader. We can set off when you're ready," Blackie excitedly reported.
Thanks to the Northern Fortress, Zero Wing's overall strength had increased considerably. Not only did the Northern Fortress provide the huge Ancient Gold profits, but it also gave players a place where they could rapidly grow stronger. By this point, Zero Wing had explored multiple ancient ruins in the Gravity Mountain Range's northern region, securing plenty of precious treasure. The Guild's main force members had also reached Level 97 and 98 and had upgraded most of their equipment with Level 95 Dark-Gold Equipment.
However, their combat standards had improved far faster than their levels and equipment. As many as 26 main force members had now reached the Truth Realm. Yan Tianxing and Yi Luofei had even reached the Ascension Realm.
In addition, Alluring Summer, Silent Blade, Shadow Sword, Stubborn Bone, and Zhao Yueru had entered the Flowing Water Realm thanks to Unyielding Soul's legacy training slots.
Seeing how much his comrades had improved, s.h.i.+ Feng was a little surprised. He hadn't expected them to grow so strong so quickly. Now, Zero Wing's main force was likely only a little weaker than superpowers' main forces.
If Fire Dance and the others could make some progress in the Tower of Four G.o.ds, Zero Wing's main force might even be able to stand toe-to-toe with the various superpowers' main forces.
"Alright, let's go."
s.h.i.+ Feng nodded as he joined the team. He led everyone to a teleportation array and traveled to the border town closest to the Cold Spring Forest. He then used the Seven Luminaries Ring's Spatial Gate to transport the team the rest of the way.
Cold Spring Forest was a Level 100 neutral map, as well as a junction to other Level 100-plus neutral maps. Thus, it was quite far from civilization. Players would have to cross over a dozen large maps to reach the Cold Spring Forest from Star-Moon Kingdom. Getting there was especially troublesome without a Flying Mount. Of course, s.h.i.+ Feng had the Thunder Eagle and the Seven Luminaries Ring.
After teleporting multiple times, s.h.i.+ Feng and his team finally arrived before the cave that led to the Cold Spring Forest.
The Cold Spring Forest was meant to help players transition from Tier 2 to Tier 3, unlike other Level 100 neutral maps with harsh environments. Not only was this a comfortable area for players to grind, but it was also home to a large number of ancient races. The forest was also under an ancient seal's protection, so players would have to defeat the map's Guardian Boss and remove the seal before they could explore the map. Even with a Flying Mount, entering the map was impossible without completing those tasks.
"Guild Leader, I see people!" Minor Wind, who had long since reached both the Refinement Realm and Truth Realm, quickly discovered players' tracks as they arrived before the cave. "It looks like there's a lot of them. I'm guessing these tracks are from a 200-man team."
Others have already found this place? s.h.i.+ Feng was stunned.
Although this cave wasn't as dangerous as a Level 100 neutral map, the monsters within were still Level 97-plus Lords and Great Lords. Quite a few Grand Lords wandered within the cave, as well. Surviving here was no easy task. In addition, the cave was particularly dark, suppressing players' five senses to a certain degree. A 100-man team of current experts wouldn't last more than ten minutes inside the cave. Even a superpowers' main force would struggle to get through. There were simply too many monsters, especially since the cave should still be largely unexplored.
"Guild Leader, should we head inside?" Blackie asked.
They were trying to maintain a level of secrecy. If they encountered other players, news of their operation would spread. Although they were only heading out to explore a Level 100 neutral map, which shouldn't be much of a problem, they couldn't guarantee that other powers wouldn't try to take advantage of their operation.
"No need to worry. Let's just go," s.h.i.+ Feng said, shaking his head.
Even if other powers learned that they were exploring the Cold Spring Forest, they couldn't cause any problems for Zero Wing's team. Other players weren't even guaranteed to get through the cave and into the forest, much less take advantage of the operation.
Following which, with Cola, Ye Wumian, and Turtledove led the way into the cave.
Visibility was poor in the dimly lit cave. Even Tier 2 players could only see up to 200 yards away, and dodging ranged attacks from multiple directions would be particularly challenging in the cave's narrow, maze-like structure.
Fortunately, Zero Wing's main force members had trained in the Extraordinary Tower, so they coped with the cave monsters' ambushes relatively well. With an MT like Cola leading the way, the team had little issue pus.h.i.+ng through the cave quickly. They didn't have to come to a halt to deal with the monsters.
The cave had two floors, and after three hours, s.h.i.+ Feng and his comrades finally reached the second floor. This was also where they'd find the Guardian Boss.
Unlike the first floor, the second floor was an open canyon. It was so large that a large team wouldn't have to worry about needing room for their usual formations in battle. Moreover, the second floor was much brighter than the first. However, the suppression on players' senses had increased in exchange.
Less than 30 minutes after reaching the second floor, s.h.i.+ Feng and his team heard explosions and noticed dazzling lights at the end of the tunnel.
The tunnel led to a cavern, which contained a town. Zero Wing's main force found a 200-man team clearing out the Demonkin Soldiers and Guards that guarded the town, while gradually approaching an ancient giant in the town's center. Every player on the 200-man team was Level 96 or above, and they all ore a dark mark on their foreheads. They also radiated a faint, black glow. Even as they fought the High Lord ranked Demonkin Soldiers one-on-one, these players had an overwhelming advantage. Not even the Great Lord ranked Demonkin Guards could halt these players' advance for more than a moment.
As for the ancient giant in the town's center, it stood at over a dozen-meters-tall and had six arms. Each of the giant's hands held a pitch-black spear, and it loomed like the ancient G.o.d of Destruction.
[Demonkin Soldier] (Dark Creature, High Lord) Level 98
[Demonkin Guard] (Dark Creature, Great Lord)
HP 88,000,000/88,000,000 [Purgatory Giant] (Dark Giant, Mythic)
"Guild Leader, they look like Shadowless Empire's members. It's an adventurer team from the Shadow World," Blackie said, quickly discerning the players' ident.i.ties once he saw them.
Shadowless Empire? It's no wonder why those two are here. s.h.i.+ Feng thought, spotting a familiar man and woman at the lead of the small army. Blackie's comment reminded him of exactly who those two were.
Shadowless Empire had been a very famous superpower during his previous life. It had taken over the Shadow World even before the Planar Pa.s.sages had opened. With the excellent leveling resources and special Legacies the Shadow World contained, Shadowless Empire had flourished wonderfully after arriving on the main continent.
Two of Shadowless Empire's members, in particular, had forced the Dragon-Phoenix Pavilion into a disadvantageous position during a contest for territory in Level 100-plus neutral maps.
Those two were the same man and woman that led Shadowless Empire's 200-man team. They were the Dark a.s.sa.s.sin, Vast Lock and the Shadowless Ranger, Night Reader.
These two players hadn't reached the Domain Realm empire before moving to G.o.d's Domain's main continent, yet even Domain Realm experts had been terrified of their a.s.sa.s.sination capabilities. Once they had reached the Domain Realm, they had been akin to Demon Kings in the dark. Those two had been responsible for plenty of the Dragon-Phoenix Pavilion's losses, even going as far as stealing one of the Pavilion's territories.
Meanwhile, shortly after Zero Wing's members discovered Shadowless Empire's team, Shadowless Empire's members noticed them, as well.
"Commander, those are Zero Wing's members. Should we get rid of them?" a Level 96 Dark Berserker asked, making a throat-cutting gesture as he glanced at Zero Wing's main force.
"I hadn't thought Zero Wing would reach this place. It's no wonder why everyone's insisted that Starlink and the various superpowers can't seem to deal with the Guild," Night Reader said, chuckling. Night Reader was a slender woman with vibrant red hair. She wore Epic chainmail and wielded an ancient, crimson bow, as well. "It's a pity that their era in G.o.d's Domain has come to an end. Zero Wing is simply wasting its time by coming here."
Because the Shadow World lacked top-tier weapons and equipment, Shadowless Empire's equipment standards had been lacking when they had first arrived on the main continent. However, their equipment standards had undergone a qualitative transformation rather quickly, and Shadowless Empire's members had caught up with the main continent's players. With their advantage in terms of Legacies, levels, and combat standards, not even the various superpowers with vast foundations were a match for Shadowless Empire now. As for the main continent's non-superpowers, they were utterly helpless before Shadowless Empire's strength.
When he heard Night Reader's comment, the bald youth leading the team, Vast Lock, nodded his agreement.
"Ignore them and prioritize killing the Purgatory Giant. They'll know what to do once they realize the difference between our strengths," Vast Lock said. He returned to commanding his team as they advanced on the Purgatory Giant.