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Joanna waved her hand at Su Ping while he mumbled to himself.
The hazy mist surrounded him and was about to drown Joanna again; her face was rather blurry in the mist, but her eyes were extra brilliant.
Su Ping was stunned for a moment upon looking at her eyes.
He felt that he had been through a similar scene before.
Was it in his store?
Su Ping suddenly remembered something and looked away. That was merely an illusion; he would only sink further if he started believing them. Instead of moving forward, he moved in the opposite direction.
Joanna stood quietly, watching him leave.
Joanna was soon buried in the heavy fog. Su Ping continued to move forward, spreading out his senses. He was currently able to sense everything within a ten meter radius, all thanks to him absorbing the Owl Spirit. Three meters was his maximum perception earlier on.
All of a sudden, Su Ping heard the crying wind above him. He looked up, only to see a cluster of hair flying by. The noise seemed to be produced by the hair.
Is it a spirit? Or another illusion?
Su Ping narrowed his eyes and observed. After thinking for a moment, he condensed a stone with his thought and threw it.
The stone passed right through the hair, unimpeded. Su Ping was relieved. Then, he saw that the black hair seemed to have noticed him; it then swerved towards him.
Su Ping considered it an illusion. However, he felt a chill when the black hair approached. His pupils became pinpoints as he slashed with his sword.
A miserable scream burst out. The black hair was cut apart, exposing the wriggling flesh and blood underneath. Meanwhile, Su Ping saw a wound where the black hair had been previously hit. His stone had indeed struck the spirit, yet somehow the latter had misled him into thinking that the stone had passed through.
“How unpredictable.” Su Ping had a grave expression; he was no stranger to such feelings. He had encountered a lot of strange creatures in dangerous cultivation sites.
It was thanks to the vigilance developed in those environments that Su Ping had managed to survive thus far.
Su Ping quickly attacked and chopped the spirit to pieces. He then attracted the spirit’s body and absorbed it.
The spirit’s remains turned into misty energy that quickly flowed into his body. Soon, Su Ping felt that his senses could reach an extra meter.
This spirit isn’t as scary as the owl, but it’s just as good when it comes to charming. Su Ping moved even more cautiously. He knew that Manager Tan was right next to him and would offer help if he was in danger, but he preferred to survive on his own, without relying on others.
He pressed forward through heavy fog, then heard alluring songs every now and then. He didn’t see anything in the end when he tried to track the source of those sounds.
He would occasionally feel something brushing against his arm, even though he didn’t see anything pass by. He would examine his body and find that it was just an illusion.
Everything is so real. It’s hard to tell spirits from illusions. The only solution is to treat all illusions as spirits. It’s an exhausting approach, but it’s also the safest.
He walked for a good while, and then a beautiful person appeared in the heavy fog again. She was none other than Joanna, whom he had seen earlier.
She stood in the mist. Her face was somewhat blurry, but her eyes were bright and clear; she stared and waved at him.
This illusion is hardly convincing.
Su Ping shook his head. He knew that Joanna couldn’t leave the store; it would be impossible for her to show up in that place.
He would have been confused for a moment if he would have seen his parents, or his naughty sister who kept roaming around. However, Joanna, Tang Ruyan and his other friends were currently locked in his store by the system; they simply couldn’t come out.
Su Ping turned around and left, completely ignoring her.
The illusion waved at him every time, as if she wanted him to follow her somewhere. No matter the reason why Joanna’s illusion was there, it would be better to stay clear from it.
This time, Su Ping didn’t go in the opposite direction; he took a turn to the left.
He ran into a couple of spirits on the way and executed them, increasing his perception range to a sixteen meter radius.
He then saw a gargantuan shadow looming in front of him. Once the mist had finally dispersed, he saw that it was a huge tree with an old man seated at its base.
Su Ping frowned a bit when he recognized the old man who played chess with a toad back in Luofu. The guy seemed to be playing alone at the moment.
He’s very likely a Deity Emperor back in Luofu; it would be impossible for him to be here, or his very presence would have shocked the entire Federation. He’s in a realm beyond the Celestial State. Su Ping’s eyes flashed. He then gave a slight head shake as he was ready to leave.
The old man stopped playing exactly at that moment. He said to Su Ping, “She’s the closest person to you. You should trust her.”
This message left him in a daze; he then looked at the elder with suspicious eyes.
“You must be the chosen one. We’ve been waiting for you for a long time…” The old man slowly rose and looked at Su Ping with a friendly smile.
“What do you mean by the chosen one? By ‘she’, were you referring to Joanna?” Su Ping raised his eyebrows.
“It has been looking for a successor in every universe while going under the name of ‘system’. You’re one of the successors found; the most outstanding at that,” the old man stared at Su Ping and said, “Your friend is helping you; she’s your employee. You should know that she won’t hurt you. You’re in a very dangerous position right now…”
Su Ping was lost for words.
That old man even knew the system, which meant that the illusion came from his heart.
After all, the Deity Emperor on Luofu couldn’t have gone there, nor Joanna. It was impossible for him to be aware of the system either, which was his greatest secret.
It wasn’t Su Ping being overly confident, but he didn’t think the Deity Emperor was capable of detecting the system. After all, the Deity Emperor was beyond the Celestial State, but there were also Celestial Emperors and Ancestral Gods in the Archean Divinity!
The system didn’t even consider Ancestral Gods a big deal. It was unlikely for the system to be perceived by any of them.
Su Ping glanced at the old man, who helped him condense two deity vortexes and transform into a deity; he owed that man a big one. He knew the man was just an illusion, but he didn’t act rudely. He shook his head and thought, Manager Tan is right by my side, yet I cannot perceive her. It means that this place is likely to be a place in my heart, or my subconsciousness, built by the special environment of the Sea of Illusions. So, all the illusions and their words are the manifestations of my subconsciousness…
“This is the Heavens…” said the old man, seeing that Su Ping was about to leave, but then his body trembled and became much vaguer when he said ‘Heavens’. Still, he gazed at Su Ping and asked, “Why don’t you try trusting your friends?”
“My friends are outside. They’re not here,” Su Ping replied and left.
“Outside…” the old man mumbled. He was gradually enshrouded by the fog and becoming part of it, disappearing along with the tree.
Su Ping shook his head again as he saw this happen. It was indeed an illusion, very likely concocted by a spirit to lure him over.
If this place is the world of my subconsciousness and the spirits invaded through the Sea of Illusions, I should still be the master of my own subconscious mind, Su Ping thought and imagined a vast plain.
Soon after, a vast plain appeared before his eyes, which was a replica of what he had envisioned.
“Just as I expected…”
Su Ping’s eyes glittered. He walked towards the plain, but he quickly retreated since he had a bad feeling right when he was about to set foot there. Meanwhile, he saw a human being rushing to the wide terrain. Then, a heavy fog arose and a roar burst out.
The fog surged. Soon, a roar came from the fog. “I’ve even slain the Heavens before. These lingering thoughts are nothing. Break!”
The fog roiled intensely; then, a mountain was flung back while a bloody moon appeared in the sky. A blood-colored eyeball that grew on a hideous, gargantuan head was revealed as the fog dispersed; it was akin to a mountain, thousands of meters tall.
Bloody eye, pig torso and lion claws… Su Ping narrowed his eyes as he looked at the gigantic and intimidating spirit. It’s a Black Swallower, the S-rated spirit documented in the Loulan family’s files! It never appears, except in the Dark Tide period. Why is it here? I just came in… This should still be considered the outer rim!”
Su Ping felt like his head was about to explode. According to the Loulans, even Ascendants had to flee from S-rated spirits!
He wanted to believe that the monster he saw was an illusion!
An illusion created by his fear, or another spirit!
However, the spirit’s intimidating aura was so substantial that Su Ping’s body stiffened, as if restrained by an invisible rope. He could hardly move!
In the meantime, a scream also resounded inside his head. Following that, Su Ping saw the slim shadow of Manager Tan appearing next to him!
Her shadow immediately charged at the Black Swallower, with zero hesitation.
“Damn it. It’s real!”
Su Ping couldn’t have looked more awful. Manager Tam’s inserted thought wouldn’t have been invoked if his life wasn’t at risk.
He made use of the time window bought by Manager Tan, turning around to flee.
A scream was heard the moment he turned around. Hardly had Manager Tan’s thought reached the Black Swallower when it was quickly torn apart by the black vortices on its skin.
They were too far apart in levels. Even if an Ascendant were to take action, they would still be crushed. Su Ping’s face was pale, as he hadn’t felt the pressure of death in a long time. He had already died a million times in cultivation sites, but he relied on resurrections to a point that he no longer feared death. But that was reality. He would truly die permanently this time if he couldn’t avoid it!
Did a member of the Loulan family set a trap to get me? Or, did something happen in the Sea of Illusions? The ones who entered before me would have died by now if they ran into the same creature, and the Loulans should have noticed… Su Ping was so befuddled that his only thought was to run.
The Black Swallower roared and charged at Su Ping, making the surrounding space shake.
It was exactly at that moment when the person who had been pushed into the fog flew out to face the Black Swallower again.
“Run! I’ll stop him!” said the person as he flew past Su Ping.
“You’re nothing but a lingering thought. On your knees!”
Su Ping saw a pair of sharp and bright eyes as they passed each other; they were ablaze with passion and determination. The man charged forth without an ounce of hesitation.
All the situation left Su Ping in a momentary daze. Battle noises were heard behind him just a moment later. Both the young man and the Black Swallower were roaring.
Su Ping ran crazily, not daring to look back until he was a long distance away.
He saw that the fog was surging; the noises were vaguely heard by then.
“Is he… not an illusion?” Su Ping’s head was a mess. He felt that he had seen those eyes before, but he was completely certain that he had never met the man, not even when he visited cultivation sites. After all, the man’s eyes were too special to be forgotten!
If this is a world of my subconscious mind, only those weird spirits should be able to invade it. Is that man an illusion I created?
Even so, can illusions fight spirits? Unless, everything I’ve been through is an illusion. This would mean that I’ve only met one spirit, and I’m still trapped in an illusion created by that thing…
However, the illusion was all too real. The improvement of my perception after absorbing the Owl Spirit feels authentic. Can it also block my senses?
The more Su Ping thought about it, the more horrified he was. But he had another question. For all this time, Su Ping believed that his willpower was a cut above that of his peers. If everything before his eyes was an illusion and he had been fooled, then… Wouldn’t everybody else, including Star Lords, fall for it too?
All this is unusually dangerous. So, not everything is an illusion; I won’t be fooled. Those things exist for free. But who was that guy?
Su Ping’s confusion grew. The Sea of Illusions was a special space that the Federation had yet to fully control, or even understand.
However, some rules and information about the Sea of Illusions had been ascertained thanks to explorations conducted by countless people. Su Ping’s experience seemed to be one of the exceptions to the rules.
It was highly unusual for monsters such as the Owl Spirit and the Black Swallower to appear at the edge.
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