He didn’t go all out because she wouldn’t be able to keep up. Alas, his slow speed remained a struggle for her to keep up.
Nevertheless, she didn’t groan at all as beads of sweat dripped all over nor asked to stop for a break.
He was aware of her physical limit and would discretely slow down or stop for her sake.
Just like that, they made it to his destination, a place of verdant hills and rolling mountains. Plenty of ancient temples were around - 128 of them for the 128 peaks upon careful examination.
Furthermore, these peaks were arranged in an orderly manner, from small to big then back again, resulting in the shape of a fan.
The one in the front or the shortest had a palace at the base with a stone pathway leading down.
Cultivators sat around waiting in this spot. Some were walking down the path, looking quite unhappy. Others sat on the stairs and bemoaned their lack of success.
“What is this place?” Ximo asked.
“Bewildering Palace.” Li Qiye said flatly.
“Bewildering Palace?” She was startled: “The legendary palace that is impossible to get through because everyone will be lost?”
Li Qiye shook his head: “Not quite, the chance is just low to the point of being negligible. Only progenitors can get through, normal people can’t comprehend its mysteries.”
More and more people gathered in front of this palace. The group hanging their head dispiritedly far outnumbered those with hope and excitement.
“Brother Baile, how did it go?” An old cultivator waiting outside saw a friend leaving and asked with concern.
“Sigh, let’s not talk about it, greed made me lose everything. It was hard enough to enter the third hall, but I got too greedy and wanted to get to the fourth, it’s over right then. I should have just left with the item from the third.”
“That’s not too bad, I entered three times and spent so much money to make it to the fifth hall, aiming for the sixth then stop, but I got chased out anyway.” The friend answered.
“C’mon now, stop talking about this.” A gray-haired old man shook his head while walking down: “At least you both still have some money left, I’m done for. I brought 80,000,000 true coins, outside of betting once at a wildland, the rest got thrown away here, so now I have to borrow some money to get back.”
“Sigh, Brother Mao.” The old cultivator earlier shook his head: “If you don’t change this habit of yours, you’ll be done for. It kicked you out four times yet you still didn’t give up. Each entry costs ten times more than the previous, that’s just insane.”
“And Brother Ye, heed my warning, Bewildering Palace is not bad, but don’t be too greedy. In my opinion, stop at the third hall.” He went on: “With our power, we can see through a few things from the first three halls, but that’s tough enough. But for the rest? Let’s stop daydreaming. I think even a progenitor can’t reach the 128th hall.”
“Senior, please don’t say that. Back then, one youth made it to the 100th hall in one go and became an amazing character.” A youth interjected.
“Xuan Xiao, who else can be as lucky as him?” More cultivators joined in.
“I heard that at the 100th hall, he found a coffin with an immortal woman inside, right?” This topic drew the interest of the crowd and a group formed to talk about it without any hesitation.
“An immortal woman? Do they actually exist? I don’t buy it.” A youth remained skeptical.
“It’s true, at least the part where Xuan Xiao made it that far. As for the immortal woman, that’s tough to say. He indeed found a coffin though.” One older man mused.
“No, that part is true too, well, there was an incredible girl inside, but who knows if she is an immortal or not. All I know is Xuan Xiao ascended to Immortal Lineage in just a short time because of her. Just imagine, the guy was a nobody beforehand, and he soared so quickly. That’s abnormal.” One ancestor added.
“His luck is truly heaven-defying, probably the record holder for this place, at least on paper. Some even believed that he had made it to the 128th hall. If It were me, I would be so content with just the 50th hall and would ask for nothing more in life.” A young one started daydreaming.
“Stop.” His senior slapped his head and playfully scolded: “50th? Just the 10th is enough for an amazing treasure.”
The conversation eventually waned down. Some left while others started coming to the palace for the first time.
Meanwhile, Li Qiye stood on a stone step and looked up above, immobile like a statue.
“Is this place truly that difficult to enter?” Ximo had a good time listening to all the tales just a while ago.
Li Qiye withdrew his gaze and chuckled: “It’s one thing to test your luck, but in order to understand the mysteries within, the more capable will have a better chance. Of course, some actually got lucky, but this number is so few in history, maybe just one or two people.”
“They said that Xuan Xiao made it past the 100th hall in one go.” Ximo quietly spoke.
Li Qiye only smiled and looked at the first hall then the last.
Bewildering Palace consisted of 128 halls. Anyone could enter the first. In there, they could pay up and have a chance to pick the key.
There were a total of 128 keys, and only one is correct. In other words, the person needed to pick the right one before entering the second hall.
At the second hall, two choices were available. The first was to take an item and leave. The second choice was to repeat the key-picking process again. This would be the same for the third and proceeding halls…
Naturally, the treasures deeper in the palace were more precious. After reaching a certain level, they were heaven-defying artifacts.
Ordinary experts, including True Gods, would find it hard to get past the 10th hall. Reaching the 30th or 50th hall meant that they were immensely powerful or got really lucky.
Across the ages, the most renowned case was a youth named Xuan Xiao. Rumor has it that he was a nobody back then upon coming here. He was lucky enough to go past the 100th hall but the exact number remains unknown. Some records stated that he had made it to the very last one.
He found a coffin with an immortal woman inside and she took him to Immortal Lineage.
Thus, his name became analogous with luck later on. Just imagine, many True Gods would never be able to reach Immortal Lineage after trying for a lifetime yet he was brought along up there.
Of course, there were other known lucky cases of humble background, managing to reach the mid-level halls. From then on, they became wealthy and successful.
The truth was that these cases were far and few in between. Those who could reach the higher halls were quite powerful, using their abilities to analyze the changes in the palace. That’s how they managed to pick the right key.
Most youths disagreed with this, believing in fortune as the main decider instead. They came here with true coins to try only to lose everything, lacking money to even return home.
Li Qiye marched forward with Ling Ximo right behind him. She followed quietly without sparking a conversation.