Chapter 1420: Withered Glory
The four Junior Progenitor Planets were firmly atop a single branch, but the branch was so large that even its cross-section was larger than the four planets combined. Lu Yin estimated that this branch had a larger diameter than even Zenyu Star.
The moment they left the Junior Progenitor Planet, Lu Yin looked over at the other three Junior Progenitor Planets. He could sense there were people leaving each of them as well, but the branches of the Mother Tree were all forked, so it was possible that the people on the other teams would not travel the same path as Long Tian’s team.
They touched down, and Lu Yin’s feet stepped onto the branch, officially entering the Mother Tree’s canopy. Lu Yin struck the branch, but was unable to damage it in the slightest. It was so hard.
“This is the Dominion Realm’s Withered Glory region. This region is the entire goal of our excursion, as it’s never been carefully explored. Only Progenitors themselves have taken a rough look at this region. This is a place that is dangerous even to powerhouses above the Envoy realm, so be careful and don’t drag anyone else down with you,” Long Tian said, glancing at Lu Yin.
Lu Yin immediately took out the ring-shaped power vessel, which was essentially telling Long Tian that Lu Yin did not need additional protection.
Long Tian just glanced at his brother-in-law before continuing to lead the way deeper into the Dominion Realm.
“This place has never been explored? I thought that it was said that there are inheritances from Progenitors here? None of the powerhouses from the four ruling powers ever found anything?” Lu Yin asked Long Xi in a low voice.
Long Xi indifferently explained, “It’s precisely because it holds inheritances from Progenitors that we can’t fully explore this Dominion Realm. Only powerhouses who have surpassed Semi-Progenitors can enter this place.”
“So there’s an inheritance, but not one that’s been explored.” Lu Yin felt this seemed odd.
Long Xi frowned. “There are rules from ancient times that no one can break. All you need to do is take care of yourself. You don’t have to worry about anything else.”
After half an hour, the environment they were surrounded by had changed greatly. Lu Yin turned around, only to see that the starry sky had become blocked by the Mother Tree’s branches and leaves. They had not fully entered the Mother Tree’s canopy. They were truly in the Dominion Realm.
There were several forks in the branches up ahead. Long Tian raised his communication crystal, and a map-like image appeared. He looked at it, and then continued forward.
Lu Yin was surprised to see that there was a map, but felt it was rather normal after thinking about it. How could the four ruling powers have been willing to allow their Junior Progenitors to enter a completely unknown danger zone? Some powerhouse must have mapped out the region long ago and left a map for future generations. The map should be guiding them towards Origin Matter.
There was a click, as though someone had stepped on something. It was a perfectly normal sound that no one would typically even notice, but in this place, everyone froze.
They were in the Dominion Realm, and the branches they were walking along were extremely hard, and it was not easy to damage them, so how could there be a crack from a simple footstep?
There were several more cracking sounds as the topmost layer of the branch cracked in front of the group. Suddenly, a cold wind swept by them as a silver-white light shot towards Long Tian. It passed over his shoulders, and then paused in the air, revealing it to everyone’s sight.
It was a creature that looked similar to a praying mantis with a body the exact same color as the Mother Tree’s branches.
The bug swept out a blade, and Long Tian avoided the attack. The creature turned about in the air and slashed a blade at Wen Diyi , who was closest to the bug.
Wen Diyi raised a hand, and a strange symbol appeared at his fingertips. He pointed at the mantis-like creature and sent it flying.
This bug was only about as strong as a Cruiser, and Wen Diyi was more than strong enough to utterly crush the creature. However the bug was not crushed by the attack, but instead actually seemed to be transformed by it, as its body swelled up and it became larger.
Everyone was surprised, as this was quite the strange reaction.
The dry body of the mantis-like creature quickly recovered, and it quickly grew larger and larger. Finally, it was as long as a human arm, which was four or five times its original size, and its blade was nearly a meter long.
“Don’t kill it,” Long Tian quietly ordered.
A number of characters appeared a Wen Diyi’s fingers. “Literary Prison.”
After the voice fell, the mantis-like creature was trapped by chains that were formed by characters. It could no longer move.
Behind several other people, Lu Yin was left completely stunned; Literary Prison? This place also had Literary Prison? Also, judging by Wen Diyi’s posture, it was the exact same technique as the Wen family possessed in the Fifth Mainland. What the hell was going on?
Lu Yin suddenly remembered the Zijin family’s Undying Bird, which was the same as the Phoenix Clan in the Fifth Mainland, though clearly much stronger. It seemed that many of the Fifth Mainland’s cultivation systems actually originated from the Perennial World.
If that was the case, did it mean that the Virtue Archives where Wen Diyi came from possessed knowledge of more of the ancient characters than the Fifth Mainland’s Wen family?
The mantis-like creature had been trapped within the Literary Prison, and was unable to move anything except its eyes. Those were overflowing with ferocity and cruelty.
Long Tian raised his hand. Star energy gathered at his fingertips before smashing into the bug’s body. The creature then grew a bit bigger once more.
The people watching felt this thing was becoming more and more strange.
“Can these things absorb star energy?” Long Xi guessed.
Long Tian’s eyes flickered, and then waved his hand. A surge of pure energy swept through the air before smashing into the mantis-like creature, causing it to yet again become bigger and fiercer.
“Not just star energy, then. Looks like this thing is able to absorb any form of energy to strengthen itself,” Long Xi observed in shock.
Long Tian looked away with a frown. “It’s possible that only the Celestial Frost Sect has a good understanding of this Withered Glory region.”
Wen Diyi twirled his fan and folded it up. “I have heard from my elders that the Withered Glory region holds the secrets of human aging and immortality. We are in the Withered Glory region, which is where the Progenitor Ku resided. The creatures found in this region might possess the Progenitor Ku’s power.”
Lu Yin’s eyes flashed; withered…1 Ku family… Ku Secret Art… There’s another connection here.
Suddenly, he turned to look at something in the distance. “Something’s coming.”
Long Tian glanced over at Liu Tianmu. “Deal with it.”
Liu Tianmu’s sword flashed, and the mantis-like creature’s head tumbled off, sliced by the blade.
Even if these creatures were able to absorb all types of energy, there was still a limit to their abilities.
Liu Tianmu killed the mantis with one swing of her sword, and the movement caused Wen Diyi and Long Xi’s eyes to light up; what a beautiful sword!
There was a large group of the mantis-like creatures swarming over from the distance. Each of them was the size of a palm, and all of them had dry bodies. They were also approaching very quickly.
Liu Tianmu moved forward, step by step. Her long sword slashed out sideways, the Thirteen Swords’ Tenth Sword: Star Slayer.
With one move of her sword, all of the mantis-like creatures were cut. The power of this strike exceeded the bugs’ limit to absorb.
Wen Diyi spoke his admiration, “Well, with sword skills like that, there aren’t many in our generation who can go up against you.”
Long Tian felt quite satisfied. “As expected of someone from the Liu family.”
Liu Tianmu remained indifferent.
Long Xi was warily appraising Liu Tianmu. She then whispered to Lu Yin, “Stay away from her.”
Lu Yin pursed his lips; were these people really surprised by Liu Tianmu’s Star Slayer? That should be impossible given the fact that Wu Taibai and Wang Yi had both been able to take on the Thirteenth Sword. Long Xi and Wen Diyi both must also have a similar level of strength. These two had to be putting on an act.
Withered Glory region had far more than just one species living there. As the team moved further into the region, they encountered more and more strange creatures. Most of the creatures were about as strong as mantises, and Liu Tianmu was easily able to deal with them. However, they also encountered some creatures that were able to survive her sword attacks.
At one point, the team ran into a flock of dried up creatures that resembled bats. However, they each had two heads, and the second head was at the tip of their tail.
“Go!” Long Tian shouted fiercely.
The flock of desiccated bats flew towards the youths. There was an endless number of the bats, though each was as weak as the mantises. Still, the sheer number of these creatures was enough to make a person’s scalp go numb, and not even Long Tian was willing to recklessly fight these creatures.
As the team pushed further into the Dominion Realm, they came across more and more rubble on the branches. This rubble seemed to be the dried bark that had been shed by the Mother Tree, but since there was no wind or rain in the entire canopy, the detritus had accumulated on the branches. Piles of debris appeared that were not as durable as the branches themselves.
Some of the piles formed hills.
In order to avoid the bat swarm, Lu Yin and the rest rushed towards a pile of debris, only to run into a massive slitted eye.
Both parties were startled, and the vertical pupil instantly shrank as a terrifying aura was released. Everyone was horrified. They had not expected to find such a terrifying creature along the branch. This was a giant desiccated python, and its aura showed that it absolutely surpassed the Enlighter realm.
It was at this moment that Long Tian’s expression changed. He pulled out a strange power vessel, wanting to quickly retreat.
However, oddly enough, the snake fled even faster. While Long Tian’s team had been frightened by the snake, they had also startled the python.
Everyone was completely stunned.
“That should have been because of the Ancestor Python’s traces. Princess Long Xi recently went to visit the Ancestor Python,” Wen Diyi observed.
Only after he spoke did everyone remember that Long Xi and Lu Yin had recently gone to pay their respects to the Ancestor Python, and so they still had traces of the ancient snake on themselves. No wonder that snake had been so terrified it had fled.
Lu Yin silently removed his ring-shaped power vessel and looked outside the pile of debris, all without making any sound.
The swarm of bats still hovered outside, as they seemed reluctant to enter the debris.
Long Tian said, “These bats seem to be afraid of the giant pythons, so they won’t dare enter this place. The giant python fled because of the Ancestor Python’s aura. This is a good enough place for us to rest.”
Everyone let out a sigh of relief. The Dominion Realm truly was very dangerous. They had only just arrived, and already they had run into a giant python with the strength of an Envoy. If not for a healthy bit of luck, none of them might have escaped this encounter.
The bats did not leave the area outside the pile of debris for two days. They constantly circled the youths’ hiding place.
Lu Yin took a guess, “This couldn’t be their nest, right? They are constantly be in this area, which means they’ll never leave.”
“What a killjoy,” Long Xi complained.
Wen Diyi helplessly spoke up, “Brother Long Qi just spoke what I’ve been thinking. It looks like we’ll need to fight through these bats if we want to leave this place.”
Long Tian suddenly spoke up, “Long Qi, use your domain to scout the nearby area.”
Wen Diyi lit up. “That’s right! That giant python didn’t dare stick around after sensing the Ancestor Python’s aura, and it never came back. Clearly, it’s able to travel through this debris, and we can do the same, so long as we don’t run into anything too powerful.”
Long Xi also looked at Lu Yin.
Lu Yin nodded. “Okay.”
With that, he unleashed his domain and slowly spread it out.
After receiving some training from Guo Shan, Lu Yin had become quite proficient at using his domain, and it spread into the distance like mercury spilled on the ground.
Sensing Lu Yin’s domain, Wen Diyi was quite impressed. “Brother Long Qi, you really hid your strength! This domain has almost reached the realm of spiritual manifestation. Once you reach the void realm, you’ll be famous throughout the entire Perennial World.”
Lu Yin shot an odd look at Wen Diyi. This guy complimented everyone. “I’m still a long ways from reaching the spiritual manifestation stage, so I don’t dare to even consider the realm of empty gods.”
Wen Diyi smiled. “One of my seniors at the Virtue Archives has cultivated his domain to the realm of emptiness. If Brother Long Qi is willing, you can come visit my Virtue Archives and study.”
Both Long Tian and Long Xi shot Wen Diyi looks of surprise. They had not expected this person to seize the initiative to invite Long Qi to the academy.
 Important note: Ku = withered, so all of the “withered” in this section and this part of the Dominion Realm, are “Ku.” It worked to leave it as a surname, but not as a description. ☜