White Orchid City had thirty thousand inhabitants or so. Of course, this could only be considered a tiny location for many systems. Even a village could have this many people.
Unfortunately, only one or two cities could match White Orchid in Stone Harmony.
The night was quiet here as well. It looked serene like a blossoming orchid. Many residents were already deep in sleep, enjoying their sweet dreams.
“Boom!” A loud explosion woke everyone up.
“What’s going on?!” Someone shouted while more explosions ensued.
“No, the city is sinking!” People found that it wasn’t only themselves nor their houses that were sinking, the entire area was collapsing.
A large pit came out of nowhere and all of White Orchid started descending down the bottomless depth.
It was too late to react for those who have just woken up. All they could do was panic and shout.
“Clank!” The strongest cultivator in White Orchid unsheathed his sword and rushed to the sky, wanting to escape.
“Boom!” An invisible hand immediately snapped his sword in half. Large tentacles drilled out of the ground and coil around the man, pulling him into the pit.
“No…” His scream of horror gradually tapered off.
A bang eventually resounded as if the city has finally made it to the bottom of the depth. The ground shook for a bit.
Only a bottomless pit was left behind where the city used to be, resembling the bloody jaw of a primordial beast.
No one knew what happened to White Orchid. Its inhabitants disappeared just like that.
An aura suddenly emerged with the city’s disappearance. Few in the system could sense it, let alone outsiders.
However, Li Qiye who was cultivating in his palace immediately opened his eyes.
In this split second, they exuded a frightening ray crossing through the realms and illuminated Stone Harmony.
Southpeak Woodcutter became alarmed a bit later after Li Qiye. He looked over and murmured: “This aura… hmm, very familiar, I wonder what happened?”
Meanwhile, Li Qiye came out of his palace and continued his peering search towards the depth of the world.
“Young Noble.” Ill Lord who was guarding the area became surprised.
Li Qiye told Liu Chuqing’s group: “I’m going to Stone Harmony Dao System and leaving this place to you, I’ll come back when I’m finished.”
“What happened?” Chuqing became worried because of his sudden departure.
He gently stroke her hair while staring at the night sky: “I don’t know right now, but I’ll find out soon. It’s not a good thing, that’s for sure. But just stay here, no need to worry.”
Chuqing obediently nodded.
“Young Noble, we will make sure Her Highness is safe.” Ill Lord’s group bowed towards Li Qiye.
He nodded. Few in Imperial were actually strong enough to invade Nine Secrets with them around.
He took one step and crossed through space, disappearing into the starry sky.
The woodcutter was also interested in this aura but after noticing that Li Qiye had left his palace, he simply gave up.
“Hmm, if His Majesty is going himself, he can definitely figure out what’s going on.” The woodcutter smiled and shook his head before blowing out a ring of smoke.
Li Qiye traveled through one system after another with peerless speed and finally made it to Stone Harmony System.
He took a deep breath to sense the aura of this place.
At this moment, he could tell that this vast land has been abandoned. The mountains and rivers were tattered. Both the great peaks and mighty oceans have lost their spirit energy - a world on the verge of death.
It wouldn’t take long before this place turns into a desert. The entire system would collapse.
However, he also noticed a vigorous life force within the withered aura. This strand of life force was powerful and rich, seemingly wrapping around a robust lifeform…
“Something’s wrong…” His eyes became serious after noticing this power; his expression soured.
He landed on the system and buried his hand into the mud. He closed his eyes to feel the land and the beat of the system.
The same outcome happened - a sensation of withering and desolation. The grand dao of this place resembled feeble spiderwebs, virtually undetectable.
However, he penetrated all the way deep to the core - the dao source of the land. He sensed a majestic power - one as vast as an ocean.
It meant that the system still had grand dao deep underground. However, something seemed to be enveloping and hiding this power. As a result, the dao source couldn’t provide for the dao land and the inhabitants.
This dao source was still the same as before. This was the reason why the one progenitor said Stone Harmony couldn’t fall to Myriad Lineage.
“A bit interesting.” Li Qiye’s gaze pierced through the ground again.
After a while, he started walking towards the horizon. One step took him an incomparably far distance. It didn’t take long before he appeared above White Orchid City.
Of course, only a bottomless abyss remained. Only darkness existed as far as the eye can see.
He squatted down by the edge and touched the ground for a bit before grimacing.
This wasn’t a natural phenomenon. Something powerful akin to a devil had taken the entire city down underground.
He smiled and jumped down the abyss. Anyone else would be scared out of their mind at the disappearance of an entire city, let alone looking at this terrifying pit.
This wasn’t the case for Li Qiye. He was at nonchalant as ever.
After reaching a certain depth, he landed on a section of rock sticking out of the side. He grabbed a handful of mud before letting it scatter downward. He managed to sense the rare and weak aura within this mud.
It was unique yet all-too-familiar with Li Qiye. The same aura existed on the Three Immortals Tree and the black soil.
“No wonder why that woodcutter said this aura was familiar. Such a lucky coincidence.” Li Qiye smiled with a serious gaze: “The old man is really treating me as an errand boy. Does he want me to run across Three Immortals? Hiring me is not cheap, will you be able to pay?”
He was referring to someone else, not the woodcutter.
The night in Stone Harmony was peaceful due to a lack of cultivators present because of its decline.