Separations were always emotional, but one had to continue their path.
Shi Hao departed into the distance, continuing on his journey!
Every province was vast and boundless, measuring in the hundreds of millions of li. The populations of creatures from different clans added together forming an unimaginable number.
Three thousand provinces, if added up all together, then it was just too difficult to count how many creatures there were.
For example, Sin Province stretched two hundred and thirty million li from east to west, eighty million li from north to south. Compared to the other provinces, it wasn't all that large, considered a lower mid sized province.
This time, just Sin province alone, the number of supreme experts who met the qualifications and signed up numbered eight million. This was the result after several selections had been conducted, or else there would be even more!
How could all of these people be allowed inside 'Immortal Ancient'? One has to understand that there were another two thousand nine hundred and ninety nine provinces.
Many people knew that there were great natural opportunities in Immortal Ancient, and that was why they all flocked over to sign up. The supreme experts of all sects, the creatures of all clans, for the sake of obtaining a chance of entering, used all types of methods.
Shi Hao was a bit dumbstruck. When he came out, he naturally understood the situation. There were eight million participating from Sin Province alone, a number that left him feeling a bit dizzy. It was just too large.
"How bitter and desperate will it become? Many people will end up dying…" He had a feeling that corpses would pile up like mountains, heroes withering away. Too many will die.
An elder chuckled and said, "Youngster, you are thinking too much. Could it be that your clan's elders didn't tell you that entering 'Immortal Ancient' isn't easy, that only a fixed number can enter? Before one enters, there won't be a bloodbath. Are you from a sect?"
"I know about these things." Shi Hao nodded, and then he said, "However, later on, won't it similarly become intense?"
Qi Daolin was like an arm-flinging shopkeeper, asking others to work but doing nothing himself. Fortunately, Shi Hao had long done his own research, asking around to understand quite a few things.
"Senior, I have to take my leave first. I still haven't obtained the qualifications to compete yet." Shi Hao turned around to leave. Otherwise, he might not have enough time.
"Hurry up then. It will begin in two days. You really are taking things slowly." The elder said with a laugh.
Shi Hao hadn't gone through the preliminary selections yet. If he wanted to participate, he had to have a 'token' from a sect that identified him as one of their core disciples.
Based on what Qi Daolin said, this wasn't much of a problem, easily obtainable.
Sin Province had many clans, and inheritances towered about. Now, quite a few of them had fallen, so it was difficult for them to produce especially powerful supreme experts to join. As such, these sects became the targets of a few individuals.
Shi Hao travelled into the distance, paid over ten declining inheritances a visit, in the end discovering that they had long been 'visited' before.
Only after most of the day had already passed did he finally see a sect that was rather desolate. It was situated on a large mountain.
In front of the mountain gate, there was an enormous stone that had these two characters written on it. This gate was quite old, the bluestone staircase leading up to the mountain long caved in front being stepped on.
At the same time, it had declined quite a bit as well, being not much better off than Supreme Being Dao Rite.
Several cracked ancient palaces were here, the only structures in this place. They looked like they would fall at any time, truly unknown just how long they had existed.
In this place, there was only an old man and a youth. Aside from these two, there were no others. When Shi Hao came, that youth was about to run off.
Using his words, this blasted place couldn't be stayed at. There wasn't a bit of hope for it. He originally wanted to find a few ancient texts from the ruins here, to recreate Kun Gate's former glory, but this quick-witted youth ultimately fell into despair.
That elder carried a glistening yellow wine gourd, drinking from it each day until his eyes were hazy from intoxication, angering the youth who came looking for a master until his eyes widened. He didn't have any choice.
When Shi Hao stated his reason for coming, this slovenly old man's eyes immediately lit up. He said noisily that he can reach a compromise and lend out the sect's token.
This made Kun Gate's youth even more angry. This was just too irresponsible! Was he not thinking about their inheritors? He was now even more set on leaving.
If it was a normal great sect, they could directly send their core disciples into the competition. If they were a small sect, they needed these types of tokens.
The so-called 'tokens' were bone symbols that disciples had brought back after participating in the competition and bringing back a decent placing. If one had it, when they participated again, this sect could directly send one person through.
"Youngster, what can you use for exchange?" The elder asked with a smile.
"Ten stalks of spiritual medicines." Shi Hao said.
"My token is not normal, its origins not small. This type of exchange makes it value seem too low." The elder said.
"What kind of background?" Shi Hao asked.
"This token was brought back by a disciple who ranked one millionth something place, ranked quite close to the front. Unfortunately, was just a few ten thousand places short. If it was within a million, then you wouldn't even have to worry about this trial and directly enter Immortal Ancient." The elder laughed.
Shi Hao was speechless. Ranked over a million, yet he still had the nerve to say that he was ranked close to the front? If he didn't truly need it, he would have immediately turned around and left.
"Youngster, you shouldn't look down on this placing. Do you know how many people enter from the higher realms' three thousand provinces each time? Do you know how many can enter Immortal Ancient? This ranking is definitely quite high already!" The elder said.
"This… from what era did this person leave this behind from?" Shi Hao wiped at his sweat.
"Should be more than a hundred thousand years now. Back then, we were a sect that ranked about a thousandth in Sin Province." The elder spoke. He took a huge gulp from the wine gourd he carried on him.
It really was a declined ancient sect!
"A single price, four divine magical artifacts!" The elder said.
Shi Hao was given a fright. He really dared to speak like a lion, daring to ask for four magical artifacts at this level. He thought for a bit and said, "One."
"Three, I won't go lower." The elder said.
The young man on the side felt ashamed, feeling that this truly was the sect master being lacking. The old man lost all face for the sect, unexpectedly haggling with others.
"Master, can you not be like this? Leave that token for us to use." The youth said.
"What for? You are so young, will you be able to even use it? Are we supposed to keep it for eighteen generations of descendents?" The elder rubbed his drunk nose and glared at him.
"But…" The youngster wanted to say something.
"What does this count as? Like floating smoke and passing clouds, just a bit pretty, better off exchanging it for some alcohol." The elder said.
The youth was furious!
"Forget it. Little bro, how about this, one divine magical artifact and a precious technique, and this thing is yours. Otherwise, you can forget about it." The elder said.
Shi Hao didn't say anything else. After arriving in the higher realms and wandering between life and death, fighting endlessly, he naturally didn't lack divine magical artifacts. As for precious technique, he directly handed over the Golden Peng Technique he obtained from Heavenly Mending Pavilion. Of course, it had some flaws.
"Great Peng's enlightenment, not bad, some relationship with our Kun Gate, quite a good technique. What a pity it's not the Kun Peng Technique." The elder felt quite happy.
Shi Hao shot him a look of disdain. What Kun Peng Technique? He only had a token to exchange with. He was thinking way too much.
That youth's eyes immediately straightened. That sect didn't leave behind much techniques to begin with, always leaving him quite upset. Now, he finally saw a powerful precious technique.
When Shi Hao produced a divine magical artifact, not only did the old man's eyes light up, even the youth who was going to run away widened his eyes, no longer planned on leaving.
"Master, why are your eyes lightning up like that? Didn't you say that our Kun Gate used to have piles of divine magical artifacts, that we might be able to dig one up at any time." The youth said.
"Cough, I can exchange for alcohol to drink again." The elder was all smiles.
"Ah, old man, you dare do this, I am abandoning the sect!" The youth cried out.
With the transaction complete, Shi Hao stayed here a bit longer. He discovered that this place's mountains and rivers were quite unordinary. If it was cleaned up, it wouldn't be a bad precious land.
"Should renovate a bit." Shi Hao said.
"What is here to renovate? Bright moon in the sky, beautiful scenery in the mountains, wind, flower, snow, and moon, in your eyes are beauty, but in my eyes, are just pretentious and showy, smoke and dust, far less useful than firewood and rice, and even more inferior to wine."
The elder absent-mindedly said. He turned around, walking into an ancient palace, bringing the wine gourd with him to drink.
Shi Hao's mind was shaken. This elder was a bit strange.
"Don't stare anymore. He only knows how to scam others, and that's how I ended up here. He keeps saying how he's lived for so many years, can't die even if he wants to, known as undying, my ass!" The youth was furious.
"Undying, Kun Gate." Shi Hao's mind was stirred.
However, there was no time. He couldn't delay here. He turned around and left.
Shi Hao moved through the air, heading towards his destination. He completed his preparations.
A day later, wuwu sounds rose, shaking Sin Province!
The bugle horn already sounded. The great competition had started.
This was an enormous dao field, vast and boundless. It was established ahead of time, and there were many symbols flickering about.
Everyone entered, respectively sitting down. Eight million individuals were here, but they all sat down here, even having quite some space between them. One could see how unordinary this dao field was.
"There is a region in the Spirit Realm that belongs to Sin Province. You all can only stay there for a day, because there is no time to waste. Fight out ten thousand people, and then directly enter the vast uninhabited region."
Spirit Realm, this was a vast and glorious world constructed by the spirits of ancient deities. It was similar to the Void God Realm, only larger and having a different name.
In just a day, the entrants were going to be decided. Only ten thousand would remain from this eight million, so one could see just how bitter and desperate it was going to be.
Fortunately, this was being carried out in the Spirit Realm. Generally speaking, one wouldn't die. Even if they were defeated, they would revive in the real world.
However, there really wasn't much time given.
Using the worlds of the higher levels, there was no time to waste here. The true experts had to hurry and enter the vast uninhabited region!
The dao field was extremely complex with all types of symbols. No one in the outside world could disturb them, and the final ten thousand would be directly sent out from the dao field. Everything would automatically be carried out by the great formations.
This was the same for every province to prevent others from disobeying the rules and trying to tamper with the system.
A hong sounded. This dao field began to surge with chaotic energy. The void distorted, becoming blurry. In the end, enormous doors appeared one after another, directly opening wide.
This made Shi Hao's mind jump. This method of opening up the Spirit Realm was even more realistic than the lower realm's Void God Realm, more like a singular world.
After arriving in the higher realms, this was the first time he was entering this place.
It was extremely real, as if there really was a great world opening up. This made Shi Hao's mind operate quickly, but he didn't have time to figure these things out.
"Spirit Realm, Void God Realm… Bird Grandpa and Coin Elder still owe me a precious technique." Shi Hao said to himself.
With a hu sound, eight million lights rose into the air, entering those enormous gates, disappearing into Spirit Realm. This type of scene was too spectacular, leaving one stupefied.
The great battle finally began!
At the same time, the other provinces also carried out their competitions.
"Hahaha… How many years has it been? I, Jun Dao, has been revived again!" Unknown how many hundreds of millions of li away, under a continuous expanse of snowy mountains, inside of a frozen cave, someone revived.
This person had a head of purple hair, his eyes sinister, aura terrifying and sky shocking. This was quite difficult for one to imagine. He was a supreme expert, but even deities would feel reverence!
There were some who didn't need to participate in the competition at all, not needing to experience a trial. It was because they had already proved everything many, many eras ago. They could directly enter Immortal Ancient.
At the same time, within another great ancient province where fiery volcanoes were everywhere, one of them was different, surging with auspicious energy. A scarlet red ancient coffin surfaced from within the magma, erupting with heaven shocking aura.
The coffin's lid opened with a kacha sound. A women with unmatched style appeared. She looked like she could overlook the nine heavens and tenth earth. Her fiery red long hair danced about, her tall and slender body releasing holy radiance.
"I have walked out from the life coffin once again. This should be the final time, I reckon. Everything will conclude with this final opportunity." She was a supreme expert as well. Her voice was clear and cold, shaking the nine heavens.
This was a female. She had dragon horns on her head, surging up from the ocean floor.
At this moment, a few ancient areas all over the three thousand provinces separately surged with brilliant light, connecting the heavens above and earth below.
The great battle was about to begin. The most dazzling creatures frozen since the ancient eras all revived!