Published at 18th of October 2020 07:00:38 AM

Chapter 996
Noah didn't answer the expert in the fourth rank at all. He had been surprised to realize that cultivators inhabited those lands, but the words of the elderly man gave the final blow to his mind.

His consciousness went in the depths of the hole to explore its insides. Noah saw beds, chambers, and large halls built underground to create a structure that could contain at least one hundred cultivators.

A red light came out of the hole. It seemed that the structure reached the layer of magma under the hidden world.

Also, he noticed how there were more rooms than cultivators. Noah didn't know if there was a deeper reason behind that detail, but he felt confident that he had misunderstood a lot about that world.

"What do you mean by reigning over the Apes?" Noah asked after long moments of silence.

The elderly man raised his head at his words. There was a bit of confusion in his eyes, but he didn't dare to show any disrespect toward Noah. Moreover, the idea that he was an outsider didn't even cross his mind.

"Oh, mighty expert," The elderly man started to explain as his head went down again. "You probably come from regions that have managed to free themselves from the Apes. Ours was still in their control before you came and killed the king. It's thanks to you if my tribe can breathe clean air again."

Noah understood nothing from that, except the fact that there were more humans there. Yet, he couldn't believe that magical beasts had managed to overwhelm cultivators.

There was an expert in the fourth rank right in front of him, which meant that those tribes didn't lack techniques. Generally speaking, that was enough for humans to defeat any magical species, no matter the number of its specimens.

However, it appeared that the cultivators had lost that battle there since they lived underground. That location alone could be deadly to those in the human ranks, but they had dared to come out only after he killed the rank 5 Kesier Ape.

'How is this even possible?' Noah questioned himself.

He had tested the battle prowess of the Kesier species on his skin. Those Apes were strong due to the variety of attacks that they could deploy with their mental waves. Still, that could only match part of a cultivator's strength.

"How did you lose the surface?" Noah asked, uncaring that he was losing the chance to disguise himself as a native of those regions.

There wasn't anything to gain from lying about his identity, and the humans there couldn't possibly have valuable items due to their poor situation. It was better to give them hope by revealing that he came from a better place.

"Don't you know?" The elderly man asked in disbelief. "Has your tribe forgotten about our past?"

The leader of that tribe didn't seem able even to consider that Noah came from the surface. He preferred to justify his ignorance by blaming his tribe or the environment where he grew.

Nevertheless, Noah had enough of that exchange and decided to show his cards with his next words. "I come from the surface. Tell me everything that you know about this place."

"Surface?" The elderly man asked, showing his confused expression again. Even after Noah's direct phrase, he still couldn't consider that possibility.

"Surface," Noah said as he pointed toward the metallic sky.

Realization slowly descended upon the elderly man who started to stutter as he tried to give voice to a line. Noah couldn't even begin to imagine how fragile his mental state was since that simple revelation made him lose any dignity as a heroic cultivator.

The elderly man eventually managed to calm down, but his excitement still filled his next words. "D-did you find us? Are we finally going to leave this place?"

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Noah's expression remained cold and aloof even when that expert pointed out one of that place's issues. The layer of metallic material and the sea of magma blocked any mental message, which meant that no one could come in his aid.

The Hive didn't know his exact location since he had moved a lot once reaching the red sea. The lizard had even made a mess with the tunnel, so his last known place was useless too.

There was no way to organize an extraction team, and Noah didn't know how to set the separate dimension. Moreover, he wasn't sure if the magma would hinder its correct functioning.

Noah was alone. His best option was to resurface on his own and send the Hive's forces there later on. Yet, he wanted to have a complete understanding of the world before leaving it.

"Explain," Noah said as he released a whiff of his aura. The man's excitement froze when he understood how dangerous his savior was, but his fear didn't stop him from completing his task.

"Everything happened after humans managed to turn the white fur of those creatures into a training method," The expert spoke, and Noah didn't miss the regret in his tone. "The entire species was on the brink of extinction, but we didn't want to stop anyway."

The man was still kowtowing, but Noah wasn't going to permit him to raise until he solved all his doubts.

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"We thought to know the Kesier species so much that it couldn't reveal other surprises," The man continued. "We were wrong. Those Apes have an innate survival instinct that only appears when the species' entirety is at risk. It allows them to sacrifice their runes to another being to make it stronger."

"Like a sort of fusion?" Noah interrupted the speech only to see the man raising his head and nodding at his question. Then, he lowered it again to speak. "The old leader of my tribe told me that we chased the Kesier species to this place only to discover that a god had arisen among the Apes."

Noah sensed the helplessness in the man's tone, but his mind was elsewhere. If that man was speaking the truth, there was a magical beast in the seventh rank in that place!

Of course, Noah didn't believe him immediately. Who knew how much time had passed since the birth of the Ape God and if it had existed. After all, the events with the Kesier species had happened in a distant past.

Moreover, there was a high chance that the Ape God had ascended in that period. Noah believed that the current situation was mostly the result of years spent in fear of that memory.

"How do you know that the Ape God is still here?" Noah asked. Even as a scared cultivator that had grown hearing legends, that expert was a cultivator in the fourth rank. He was bound to have some common sense.

The elderly man pointed at his head without raising it before speaking. "The Ape God summons all the humans in these regions every fifty years to leave a mental brand. I saw that creature a bit more than forty-five years ago."

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