Published at 23rd of February 2021 07:40:04 AM

Chapter 1342: 1342
That knowledge had a price . Every cultivator could purchase it before entering the Pyramid, and Noah didn't hesitate to use his Soul Stones . The Balrow family even gave him a discount after they investigated the reason behind his green card .

The Pyramid had six layers connected in a messy array of corridors and secret passages . They had different difficulties, and Noah's cultivation level allowed him to be safe only on the lowest one .

The first layer was at the base of the Pyramid and featured defenses meant for rank 7 cultivators in the gaseous stage . The sixth was at its summits, and it could contain protections that even experts near the peak of the eighth rank couldn't cross .

The knowledge about the layers featuring rank 8 defenses was expensive . The Balrow family had opened the Pyramid to the public, so it couldn't stop any powerful existence from attempting to retrieve the most valuable items .

However, it set an astronomical price that scared away even most rank 8 cultivators from other families . Those experts could still enter the Pyramid without purchasing the knowledge accumulated through the years, but no one advised that . Moreover, they had to pay a basic fee to enter the structure anyway .

Noah had only paid for the knowledge of the first three layers . Even with the discount, he had to use one thousand Soul Stones for it . He would need far more money to obtain the reports about the upper parts of the pyramid .

"You will use the entrance to the first layer," Chief Etta said while Noah studied a map filled with details . "There are secret paths on the higher layers of the Pyramid, but we assign the entrance according to the challenger's cultivation level . It saves us a lot of trouble and keeps the weaker resources away from greedy powerful existences . "

Noah nodded as he heard that explanation . The Balrow family had instated a rewarding but straightforward system around the Pyramid, and he felt glad that he didn't have to compete with anyone on the higher ranks .

Rank 8 cultivators could only enter the Pyramid from the fourth layer or above . They could still reach the lower parts of the structure through secret passages, but only the Balrow family was aware of them .

"As you can see on the map," Chief Etta continued, "We have already defeated the easiest defenses . Only the difficult ones are left, so be careful when you approach them . "

When they reached the base of the Pyramid, Chief Etta unfolded her aura and created a separate domain that fended off the senses of the other guards . Noah felt immediately alerted, but his instincts told him that she didn't have bad intentions .

Noah understood why Chief Etta had unfolded her domain at that point . She didn't want him to enter the Pyramid because it was too dangerous . The Balrow family would lose a possible promising member if he were to die there .

'Nothing ordinary could have remained undefeated for so long,' Noah thought while he stared at the concerned expression of the old-looking cultivator . 'The higher layers must have even more resources and undefeated defenses . I wonder who build it . Was it a rank 9 cultivator? Do they even exist? Where are they in the higher plane?'

Noah's mind started to wander at the thought of such powerful existences . He was a god . His mind could bend the laws of the world to his will, and entire continents would open due to his physical might . Yet, there were beings that he couldn't even look from afar .

"Don't worry about me," Noah said after he snapped back to reality . "I will remain in the first layer and only approach the defenses that suit my abilities . Besides, I want to see the insides before you close it to the world . "

Chief Etta couldn't argue . She couldn't suppress the curiosity of a cultivator, especially when it came to an inscription master . She could understand his need to see what powerful experts were capable of .

"We will know if you overcome one of the defenses," Chief Etta added while winking at him, "But we won't be able to see the nature of the reward if you store it . "

Her aura then condensed back inside her figure . The other guards around the Pyramid glanced in her direction to express their confusion about her gesture, but they put the matter in the back of their heads when they learnt who Noah was .

Chief Etta was giving him special treatment . She had basically told him that the world would gain a vague idea of his prowess if he overcame one of the defenses .

"I'll be going," Noah said while performing a polite bow .

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Chief Etta nodded and placed a hand on one of the dark-yellow bricks of the structure . The wall moved, and a narrow path opened in a few seconds .

Noah glanced at the summit of the Pyramid before crossing the entrance . Darkness filled his vision, but that didn't affect his senses . He could hear the wall closing behind him and severing his connection with the outside world .

'I don't want to expose my strength,' Noah thought as he walked through the polished narrow corridor, 'But I can't give up on divine items either . '

Noah could only sigh at his helplessness in the matter . The Immortal Lands had organizations that were far stronger than him, so he couldn't avoid playing by their rules .

If he succeeded in seizing some items, the Balrow family would become aware of his strength . The new would then reach other organizations if he refused its invitation, triggering a chain reaction that would force him to rely on a powerful backer .

Noah could predict it . He was an expert in exploiting disadvantages, and he couldn't help but see how powerless he was about the whole situation .

He had only one way to escape that system and maintain his freedom . He had to be one step ahead of them and grow far faster than they could imagine .

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'Seize something valuable here, run toward the Land of the Fallen, explore forgotten battlefields in the magical beasts' domain, grow,' Noah thought as he stopped and closed his eyes to steel his determination . 'I've done it once already . This is no different from the lower plane . The stakes are only higher . '

Noah knew how he had to move, and he had even prepared a few back-up plans already . His decision to reveal his title, his friendly relationship with the Balrow family, and his spy would become useful if he failed in preserving his freedom .

He only had to see if his growth could keep up with his ambition . That was the only variable that didn't depend on any external factors .

Darkness flowed inside the robe to change its shape . A hood grew over his head and concealed his aura before Noah resumed his exploration of the first layer .

Noah was ready, and he had already decided how to surprise the Balrow family .


Author's notes: Give me a few hours for the next one .