The five traveled through the desert. The unending sand dunes that stretched out before them only sunk their spirits, and they trekked forward slowly, dragging their feet. The scenery around them never changed: yellow sand, huge cacti, and bones half buried in the sand.
“Hey! An oasis!” Xi Shaoqi suddenly yelled excitedly. After baking under the searing sun for so long, there was no surprise he was excited.. He immediately thought of getting a good drink and taking a cool shower. “That’s Ring Town,” Xi Shaosi added, “there’s a little pond in the middle, and there’s a spring at the bottom of the pond. This town was built around the pond, forming a circular shape, thus the name ‘Ring Town’.”
“Miss, let’s stop and rest. My back aches from all this riding.” Xi Shaoqi squirmed in his saddle. Their many days on camels hadn’t been comfortable.
“Okay, let’s rest and refill our supplies. We leave tomorrow morning.” Qi Aushuang nodded, leading the people towards the small town.
Just like other small towns, a man-high stone wall surrounded Ring Town. The town gates were made out of stone, and the words “Ring Town” were carved on a large stone nearby.
A few people were walking on the streets, but none paid attention. The town was a common rest stop for distant travelers, so the inhabitants obviously didn’t think anything out of the ordinary.
“Shaosi and Shaoqi, go to the inn first, we’ll look around.” Qi Aushuang handed her reins to Xi Shaoqi while looking around.
“Yes…… ” Xi Shaoqi accepted. In the Temple of Darkness, these two brothers were always the ones ordering others, but after following behind Qi Aushaung, they had become like servants to her. They didn’t dare not obey, because the Divine Princess was way too cunning. Since that incident, Xi Shaoqi never dared disobey Qi Aushuang again. He had lost a bet, and the loser had to do one thing the other person told them to. He had agreed easily, thinking, how hard could one thing be? But after he heard what Qi Aushaung told him to do, he wanted to die. Qi Aushuang told him, to tell everyone in the mansion, “I’m a pig, I’m really a pig, I’m a stupid fat pig.” After finishing, he must go find the next person and say the same thing. It got to the point where Phillips thought he had gone insane. After that, Xi Shaoqi obeyed Qi Aushaugn’s every order. He didn’t dare refuse anymore.
Qi Aushuang, Feng Yixuan, and Leng Lingyun strolled on the streets, observing the passersby. Suddenly, Qi Aushuang frowned, and Feng Yixuan and Leng Lingyun also noticed something off.
Although these people were walking, they didn’t seem to have a destination. Rather, they were blindly walking here and there. They would get to the end of the street, then turn around and walk back, then turn around and walk down the street again! Qi Aushuang frowned at a person walking past them, her heart quickening. This person’s eyes weren’t focused and he wore no expression, but just walked forward.
“Hey, may I ask…… ” Naturally, Feng Yixuan also noticed something off, so he grabbed a person walking past and wanted to ask him. But a surprising scene happened. The person Feng Yixuan grabbed walked forward as if he didn’t hear what Feng Yixuan said. But he only moved one step before falling down straight. He didn’t move anymore, and wasn’t breathing!
Feng Yixuan looked at his hand, then at the person lying on the ground, twitching his lip. What was this? He killed a person by grabbing their arm?
But the even stranger thing was that the other passersby seemed not to see, continuing to walk forward.
“This person is dead.” Leng Lingyun said indifferently, frowning at the person lying on the ground.
Feng Yixuan also frowned and looked at their surroundings. Suddenly, he shouted, “Damn it! We stepped into a trap!” Qi Aushuang immediately realized, but the sky above their heads already changed.
A bright light flashed across their heads, and the sky darkened a little. Above them, a half-transparent barrier appeared! Sunlight could come in, but they could see their reflections on the barrier! The barrier was like a half-mirror, able to see the blurred scenery outside, but more so a reflection of their surroundings. The whole town was covered by this strange barrier.
“These people have been dead for a long time!” Feng Yixuan’s expression was serious as he spoke, watching another person walk past him.
“How generous, murdering the whole town to trap us.” Leng Lingyun’s expression also darkened. Although he wasn’t so kind as to worry about the world, he was still angry at seeing so many innocent people being killed without reason.
“What barrier is this?” Qi Aushuang regarded the barrier above them coldly. This was the first time she had seen a barrier like this.
“Miss! What’s going onnnnnnnnnnn?”Xi Shaoqi rushed over, “Why does this town seem like a ghost town? And what is that barrier above us?”
Xi Shaosi followed, his expression serious.
“Miss, everyone is already dead.” Xi Shaosi walked over and said, “But, they’re still doing what they did before they died, repeating that action over and over.”
“Creepy, too creepy! What the heck!” Xi Shaoqi shivered and moved closer to the others. He had never seen such a creepy scene. The most he saw was people mind-controlling others, but that was controlling live people. He had never seen dead people being controlled.
“My obedient little lambs, enjoy yourselves here.” Suddenly, a weird voice sounded above their heads. The voice was filled with delight and arrogance.
Who was there?!
Everyone looked up, and saw a person standing on the highest part of the barrier. He was dressed weirdly, his hair messy as a chicken’s nest, and he was dancing and waving his arms around. His clothes seemed to be patched together from a wide array of colored cloths, and his hair was sticking up in the middle.
“Who are you?” Xi Shaosi demanded.
The weird person lifted up both hands, swung them in a circle in front of chest, then pointed them at the sky. Everyone felt disgusted, but the weird person said, “People about to die don’t need to know my name. All you need to know is that your lives are very valuable. Especially that little girl in the middle; she’s worth a city. Hehe~~”
Before anyone could answer, that weird person shrieked, jumped up, and flew towards the barrier, vanishing from the group’s view.
“Is it the Temple of Light?” Feng Yixuan stared at the direction the weird person disappeared.
“It’s not anyone from the Temple of Light.” Leng Lingyun shook his head.
“You mean…… ” Xi Shaosi frowned.
“We can’t rule out the Temple hiring assassins.” Leng Lingyun’s expression changed a little. “Let’s get out of here.” Feng Yixuan looked around, “This whole town seems to be surrounded by this barrier.”
“Let’s see if we can read the wavelength of this barrier.” Qi Aushaung walked towards the edge, reaching out lightly to touch it. But before her fingers touched it, the barrier suddenly formed a tiny repulsion force, bouncing Qi Aushuang’s hand away.
Huh? Qi Aushuang reached out again in confusion, but the same thing happened. A soft force pushed her hand away. “What’s going on?” Feng Yixuan walked up and saw what happened.
“I can’t get close to it.” Qi Aushuang explained.
“Just break it open,” Xi Shaoqi humphed. He took out his scepter and started chanting.
But Qi Aushuang was deep in thought. That repulsion force from the barrier seemed a little strange. But what was strange about it?
Xi Shaoqi had already finished chanting in this time. He waved his scepter, and a strong, black beam of light shot out towards the barrier.
“Wait!” Qi Aushuang suddenly shouted. She finally realized what that repulsion force was similar to.
“What?” Xi Shaoqi blinked at Qi Aushuang, not understanding why she would tell him to wait.
The next moment, Xi Shaoqi understood. When the black beam of light he sent out got close to the barrier, it suddenly turned around and sped back towards him! Xi Shaoqi hastily constructed a magic shield to block the attack. The black light slammed onto his shield, resulting in a loud boom. Xi Shaoqi’s ears were ringing from the impact, his heart beating fast. He was almost killed by his own magic!
“Why, why didn’t you say so earlier?” Xi Shaoqi patted his chest in fright, trying to calm his racing heart.
Everyone’s expressions turned serious as they understood how this barrier worked.
“Just like what everyone saw, this barrier can reflect all forces.” Qi Aushuang frowned at the perfectly fine barrier, her heart dropping. She had been thinking about that force that repelled her, why it was a bit strange. Now she realized that was the tiny bit of pressure she let out while getting close to the barrier. The repulsion force matched her pressure perfectly. And Xi Shaoqi attacked so quickly she wasn’t able to stop him, so of course his magic was reflected back.
“What freaking barrier is this?!” Xi Shaoqi cursed, still nervous. He bent down, picked up a pebble, and threw it at the barrier. As expected, the pebble immediately bounced back. Xi Shaoqi didn’t use much force, so he caught it easily.
Everyone saw this. They were unable to go out, unable to break this barrier. No matter how much strength they used, it would all be reflected back.
“Let me try.” Feng Yixuan waved his hand, and a huge, almost transparent wind blade appeared in his hand.
“Don’t.” Qi Aushuang shook her head slightly.
“If I attack with a force larger than this barrier can bear, maybe it won’t reflect back, but break the barrier.” Feng Yixuan frowned and analyzed, about to give it his all.
“And if not?” Qi Aushuang asked.