Ling Ximo regained her wits and gave chase. She didn’t have high expectations for Bewildering Palace. First, before even thinking about her own abilities or luck, she didn’t have the most crucial requirement - true coins.
At the top of the steps was the first hall. All were met with an archaic breath as if they have entered a place battered by time.
In fact, Bewildering Palace was old indeed, existing alongside Moneyfall during the latter's inception.
It could accommodate several thousand people. The walls were unadorned with needless decoration outside of stone pillars and a few unknown statues. There were carved portraits and paintings around - some of beasts and birds, people from the past, and the celestials…
This wasn’t a treasure hall at all, more like a museum of sorts. These statues and paintings were work of art, seemingly left behind by the great masters.
In fact, a few travelers came specifically to look at the arts in this place. Li Qiye seemed to be one of them. He wasn’t in a rush to test his luck, only scanning through the statues and paintings.
Ximo also did the same but didn’t gain anything from it outside of astonishment. There were many creatures that she had never seen before. She even wondered if they came from someone’s imagination. Li Qiye, on the other hand, took his time appreciating certain ones.
They actually contained hidden history due to their age, old beyond imagination. Alas, only a pitiful number of viewers could understand them. Li Qiye was one of them, so he had a better appreciation for these arts compared to the rest.
Bewildering Palace wasn’t only a place to test one’s luck like a gambling hall. It served a different purpose in the past.
Other people and Ximo simply didn’t understand them so they only gave it a quick glance. Of course, some ancestors spent more time trying to understand them.
Meanwhile, the majority had begun to test their luck after entry. The process was very simple - they just needed to pick a statue or a painting.
One ancestor stood before a statue and began scattering true coins on the ground. They quickly disappeared.
“Creak.” The chest of the statue actually came apart from the middle like a treasure chest. It exuded strands of light, revealing a line of golden keys. Each key had plenty of ancient runes stacked on top of each other like an old language.
This ancestor hesitated for a moment before spreading his palm. Dao laws gathered and gently poured down onto the 128 keys. The glow on the keys also resonated with varying intensity.
He was trying to understand the golden keys’ profundity in order to figure out the real one.
“This one!” He eventually picked one and took it out.
“Buzz.” Contact with his hand made the key turn into powders, scattering into the ground then dispersing into nothingness.
“Damn, wrong one.” The ancestor cursed.
“Forget it, Brother Lin, you have tried three times already today and got something from the fourth hall, that’s good enough, what more do you want?” His peer suggested: “The price will increase ten-fold each so if you keep playing, you might lose everything.”
“Fine, fine.” The ancestor smiled wryly and left while shaking his head.
In this palace, losing wasn’t the end as long as there was still money left. For example, after coming out of the 3rd hall, one could still start again at the first hall. However, the price would be ten times greater than the previous, than another ten times if they were to try again.
Thus, some ancestors brought a monstrous sum here only to lose everything in the end.
“Pick the immortal sage painting, I heard the probability is better.” A senior brought his fellow disciples here to widen their horizon.
They came before a portrait of a gray-haired old man, looking just like an immortal.
The senior threw plenty of true coins at the painting and the painting also opened up, revealing 128 keys inside.
The seniors didn’t pick a key right away. He first bowed towards the painting and murmured: “Immortal sage, please give me your blessing.”
Having said that, he offered more coins to the painting. After a buzzing noise, half of the 128 keys turned into powders, leaving 64 behind.
“You can do that?” The first-timers here were astounded.
“If you pay double, it will help you eliminate half of the keys.” An older cultivator smiled.
“Damn, you can really do anything with money in this place, even something like that.” The first-timers replied.
After careful musing, the senior picked out a key. It didn’t turn into dust and imprinted into his palm instead, leaving a key mark behind.
“He picked the right one.” The crowd nearby came closer right away.
“Alright, hold my hand, we’ll go to the second hall.” The senior said.
Once his disciples grab his hand, the key mark exuded a golden light encompassing the entire group. They disappeared from sight and have gone to the second hall.
Though there was only one chance to grab a treasure, one could still bring along their companions after picking the right key.
“That guy is quite lucky, picking correctly the first time.” An envious spectator said.
“So strange, I’ve done it three times and still got it wrong. I’m done, spending all of this money for nothing!” Another youth furiously shouted before leaving.
This was a common occurrence in this place. People would come and waste money, never even getting the chance to see the second hall and needing to leave empty-handed.
Luck actually played a very small role in this place. One just needed to be powerful enough to comprehend the secrets behind each key then pick the right one to go to the next hall. This would become increasingly powerful, so it was amazing for someone to reach just the tenth hall.
Despite being aware of the difficulty, the treasures here were too tempting so people couldn’t help spending their gold.
“Right here.” Li Qiye picked the painting of a sun rising from the ocean and spent his coins.
“Buzz.” The picture opened to reveal 128 golden keys.
“We’re going in.” Li Qiye said before climbing up.