The excursion continued. Outside of ruins and metallic corpses, the rest was all yellow sand.
There were no rocky elevations in this world, let alone a scene of verdant hills and green water. Not to mention finding life in such a world, there were no traces of little blades of grass!
It was only silence and nothingness. The only thing that acted as a reminder of their existence was the occasional breeze slowly blowing by accompanied with hot sand. If it wasn’t for this, they would be wondering if they were dead already.
This world was oppressive to a suffocating level. The girls had experienced harsh training before; they had been to even more dangerous locations than this.
For cultivators, crossing a desert was truly too ordinary. But today, they felt quite oppressed. Despite their firm dao hearts, walking through this world of golden sand left them in a weaker state.
In the past, no matter how dangerous their training locations were, there was hope that after leaving, they would come to see the wonderful nine worlds.
However, walking in this golden world left them the feeling that there was no end, only ruins and sand! The initial shock from seeing fallen iron men and ruins was gone after they continued onward since they had grown numb to it.
They traveled quite far and eventually reached a place where there were only shattered ruins in sight.
This particular citadel was the largest that they had seen so far. It spanned boundlessly as far as the eye could see. The sunlight always hit either the scattered parts on the ground or the collapsed walls due to their proliferation.
This metal citadel’s sheer size exceeded everyone’s imaginations. Perhaps even the largest city they had been to was not as big as this citadel.
Li Qiye glanced over this site with no end and murmured: “It should be this place.”
Li Shuangyan asked: “Did we come here to look for something?”
He slowly answered with a focused look: “We are searching for an item in the legends, something that has never been seen before.”
With that, he entered the ruins to search with the girls right behind him.
In fact, Li Qiye didn’t really know what he was looking for because the records about this era had sunken into the river of time. He spent countless moons and flipped over all the ancient sites in the nine heavens to finally understand a little bit about this world.
Traveling in this ruins gave the feeling of walking in a world of metal. Outside of the sand, there were little metallic parts everywhere.
After walking for a long time, they finally came to a place that slightly resembled a palace. Despite its broken state, one could still see how sacred and extravagant it used to be.
“It’s just ahead.” Li Qiye’s heart skipped a beat after seeing a high platform in front of him. This was exactly the same as what the ancient carving he had seen long ago depicted. He rushed forward with haste while the girls kept up.
After rushing up the platform, the first thing he saw was three green leaves.
Having been in this world for so long, this was their first time seeing the greenness of vegetation. This made them feel jubilated, as if they had come across an oasis in the dried desert. It was something that couldn’t be described with words.
The three leaves were growing on top of a withered tree. This tree was supposed to be quite large, but it was destroyed by something and only a three-foot tall body remained. It was not overly thick and its cracked bark looked just like dragon scales. It was an extraordinary sight to behold.
However, such an incredible ancient tree was on the verge of death. The broken tree had withered. Even the three leaves hanging on its body were quite languish, as if they could fade away from existence at any moment.
What was even more shocking to the girls was that there was a person lying under the old tree. It was a tiny old man with a body only around the size of an adolescent boy.
His arms were quite long and seemed out of place compared to the rest of his body. His head was large as well, making people question whether his body could support it. His eyes were big even though they were closed.
His body had dried up with only his skin covering his bones. One couldn’t see any signs of life coming from this old man. Who knows how long he had been dead for?
Li Shuangyan and the others were surprised to see this kind of corpse and exchanged glances with each other.
They wouldn’t pay any mind if they saw this corpse in the outside world because it would be a very common occurrence — nothing shocking at all.
However, in a destroyed world that consisted of metal beings, it was astonishing to see a corpse so similar to a human.
Li Qiye pointed his finger at the old man’s forehead. A very small universal law traveled inside.
At this second, the old man suddenly opened his big eyes in a feeble manner. Even though it was only a small squint, one still felt that powerful glare within. Such a scene startled the girls.
“Someone has finally come.” The tiny old man spoke, but he was not speaking with his mouth. He was using his divine intent; this was a method of communication everyone could understand.
The dying old man didn’t even have the strength to breathe. His eyes glanced over Li Qiye real fast as his divine intent spoke feebly: “I was wrong, I was wrong… I was the one who destroyed the entire Machine World…”
With that, the old man almost couldn’t speak any further. He was definitely dead and only had one final breath. It was Li Qiye who prolonged this moment.
“Careful… careful… counterattack…” Eventually, the tiny man took spent his last breath to say this. His eyes closed afterward as he parted from this world.
At this time, his right hand slowly loosened to reveal an item that he had been gripping the entire time. He finally revealed it for Li Qiye to see.
“Can we save him?” Mei Suyao asked. This old man definitely knew many things.
Li Qiye gently shook his head: “Even if there were immortals in this world, they still wouldn’t be able to save him. He only persisted until now to say that one phrase.”
“Right, and by completely relying on this tree as well.” His eyes fell on the tree that the old man was leaning on.
He shifted his eyes to the item in the old man’s hand and reached out to take it.
It was not big and seemed to be made from ancient bronze. It looked a bit like a pocket watch that was assembled with many exquisite pieces in an indescribable manner. No one in this world could create such an item.
“What is that?” Bai Jianzhen asked. The old man was gripping this item the entire time. This made it apparent of its unfathomable value.
Li Qiye carefully looked at it, but there was suddenly an impact in his fate palace.
“Buzz!” Li Qiye opened his palace and something flew out from inside. It was the Myriad Star Egg that had always been in his thirteenth palace. It immediately went for the item in his hand, seemingly wanting to take it from Li Qiye. 1
He immediately grabbed the egg and slowly said: “Want this treasure? Not so fast…”
The girls found this scene quite strange as well. They didn’t know the origin of the egg and why it wanted this item.
The egg was not happy with being held by Li Qiye. It shook quite violently as if it wanted to fly out from his suppression.
Li Qiye slowly said: “Don’t play with me, my temper is much worse than yours. I’m allowing you to be arrogant in my fate palace because you have some value to me. However, if you anger me, I’ll cook you!”
Eventually, the stone egg began to calm down. An existence like it knew that Li Qiye’s words were more than just a threat!
He glanced at the egg. Until now, the egg didn’t want anything, but it seemed to have a great desire for this item.
Li Qiye looked back at the treasure in his hand and asked: “You want this thing?” He had a general knowledge of this item. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have spent so much time in the Machine World.
The stone egg quaked once to convey its intent clearly.
1. The egg/stone from the Heavenly Corpse Burial Ground.