The grand imperial momentum from the citadel gave an incomparable feeling of stateliness, the home of an emperor.
The citadel was closed and no one could enter. There were no signs of patrolling soldiers on the city walls either. The entire citadel was quiet, giving off the feeling that it was a city of the dead.
“Each kingdom will have a citadel, the gathering place of all their imperial soldiers.” Li Qiye glanced at the huge citadel from the distance and explained: “When imperial soldiers aren’t excavating or deployed, they will basically all be asleep.”
“Can an outsider enter such a citadel?” Li Shuangyan asked.
Li Qiye gently shook his head: “In theory, outsiders can’t enter, but of course there are always exceptions. And there is only one method of entry — a direct assault.”
“Fighting against the entire kingdom!” Li Shuangyan understood the implications of fighting against an entire kingdom by attacking their city.
“It seems like the Space Trample Mountain is strong enough. Jikong Wudi actually barged into a royal palace and took a cauldron from there.” Chen Baojiao mentioned an exciting event that recently happened.
“They only dared to pick a minor kingdom. They wouldn’t dare to do so against a real empire with just Venerable Ninesword. It is simply impossible.” Li Qiye gently shook his head.
“How many kingdoms are there in the Imperial Border?” Li Shuangyan asked.
Li Qiye stared towards the horizon and replied: “Quite a few lesser kingdoms. However, in the older ages, there were more imperial soldiers compared to dark cultivators, even more than the monks at the plateau.”
He paused for a moment: “After millions of years, many kingdoms have embarked on the Expedition Path. Even though there are still many lesser kingdoms, there are not more than three or four empires left.”
With that, Li Qiye didn’t say anything else and continued forward. The girls followed him to a new location, an ordinary looking valley.
He took out the map drawn by Blazing Devil and did some calculations before confirming: “This is the place.”
Mei Suyao asked: “Isn’t Blazing Devil a dark cultivator? Why was he born at the Imperial Border?”
Li Qiye responded: “I am not looking for his location of birth but a vein similar to that place.”
With that, he smiled at the girls and said: “Ladies, is everyone ready? What you will face is an unbelievable world, a lost civilization.”
“A lost civilization!” Mei Suyao was shocked after hearing this since she knew more than the others. When Li Qiye said the words “lost civilization”, she vaguely thought about a few things because she had read records of an extremely ancient era before.
Li Qiye took out the Insect Pipe and inserted it on top of a special location. With his motion, the countless little pieces on the pipe began to rotate.
“Let’s move a little further away.” He pulled the group back to a certain distance before stopping.
“Buzz!” The unbelievable happened. Earlier, the pipe was only a tiny item, but its little parts were continuously changing and building upon itself at this moment with extreme speed.
After a short amount of time, a fortress was erected in the sky from countless intricate parts. From the placing of the pipe to the creation of the city, this was truly a shocking and mysterious spectacle.
This fortress was supported by the tiny pipe on the ground so it seemed like a flying fortress.
“We need to go now or we’ll miss the chance.” Li Qiye took out the Mechanical World Vessel from Vedas Vajra. With its activation came a rumbling noise.
This small item also assembled itself into a huge ship with many different metals coming together in a very strange manner.
The group entered this vessel and, under Li Qiye’s control, it instantly flew into the fortress in the sky. There was a field hovering on top of the fortress where Li Qiye parked the vessel.
“Hum—” In the blink of an eye, the fortress instantly became tiny again and took the bronze vessel with it. It turned back into a small pipe and drilled deep into the ground.
At this moment, Li Qiye flew the vessel along. They were traveling inside an incredible world.
Here were countless huge parts with spinning gears and gigantic pendulum clocks swinging back and forth.
They had entered a metallic world as if they were inside a machine with countless wheels, gossamers, and moving iron teeth. The girls were instantly stunned. Despite their knowledge, all of them were still astounded. They didn’t know what world they were entering.
After a while, Li Qiye finally flew the vessel out of this area towards a blue sky.
The ship eventually landed on the ground. Li Qiye jumped out first and took a deep breath: “It really is here.”
The girls disembarked one after another. They were still quite shaken since this was an entirely new experience. A bit later, they calmed down and looked up at the blue sky. Strangely, it was different from the sky of the nine worlds.
From a glance from afar, one would see the moon hanging in the sky. However, this moon was split in half. The sun was there as well, but something had penetrated it, leaving a huge hole in the middle.
The girls withdrew their gazes and noticed that they were standing in a desert. They had been through deserts before, so they felt that this desert was different somehow. There was a scorching feeling as if this place used to be a rich and verdant land, but later on, a terrifying power had incinerated it, leaving behind a desert.
“Just what is this place?” The quiet Bai Jianzhen stated her bewilderment.
Li Qiye flatly replied: “An ancient lost civilization with no records in the modern age.” His eyes swept through a faraway place and became quite profound.
“Before the Legendary Era.” Mei Suyao murmured. This was an era that existed only in myths without any real records.
“This is unbelievable, the legend is real.” Mei Suyao was shaken. She was now standing on the ground of an actual lost civilization.
“Perhaps even older.” Li Qiye softly spoke: “Who knows how many eras have gone by amidst the river of time? Legendary Era, Desolate Era, Desolate Expansion Era, Ancient Ming Era, Emperors Era…”
“Right.” Mei Suyao added: “Some ancient people speculated that there are eras much older than the Legendary Era.”
The other girls were surprised too. In the present times, the oldest traceable era was the Desolate Era. Moreover, there weren’t that many records of it. The Legendary Era only existed in speculations.
If there were even more eras before the Legendary Era, then it would be quite unimaginable.
“There are too many things purposely hidden from the world across the long eons.” Li Qiye lightly commented: “If we were to divide the river of time, then in fact, from the Desolate Era till now, it can only be counted as one era.”
“Why?” Bai Jianzhen was quite inquisitive at this moment.
“Development.” Li Qiye looked at her and answered: “Why did the Legendary Era disappear? Why were cultivators during the Desolate Era so weak? From the barren Desolate Era to the rising Desolate Expansion Era to the prosperous Emperors Era, this is a process of development!”
“What happens after the development process?” Mei Suyao’s heart skipped a beat. She knew a little about this, especially after Li Qiye let her see some of his past.
“War!” Li Qiye’s expression sank. He didn’t say anything else and continued forward with the girls.
“This is…” They didn’t get too far before Chen Baojiao felt that she stepped on something. She dug it up but she found that this item buried in the sand was much bigger than expected. The other girls came to help her.
After a while, Mei Suyao finally excavated the item underground. It was a huge iron man that looked just like a god of war.
Li Shuangyan and Chen Baojiao both exclaimed after seeing this iron man: “The Mortal Monarch!”