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Chapter 704: Grass Hall

 Chapter 704: Grass Hall

Translator: Irene_ Editor: Lucas, TYZ

Chi Tong had revived and Ai Hui had died.

A number of major events had occurred over the year: The front line battle became unpredictable, the respective commanders suffered great losses, and so on, but no repercussions could compare with the fact that Chi Tong had seized Ai Hui's body to resurrect himself.

The mutual killings, the endless vying for authority and power, and the desire to exploit and claim merits had turned this world into a bustling yet brutal arena. The appearance of the ancient demonic god made everything seem like child's play. The humans were acting like fish in a pond, avariciously fighting for food, while the demonic god was sitting leisurely by the pond and casting his fishing rod.

Whether the demonic god was a demon or a god, he was inevitably the ruler above all humans.

However, no one wished to be a slave.

Chi Tong's revival struck unimaginable fear into people. Ai Hui's death, in comparison, became insignificant. He could be the Central Pine Faction's leader and a mighty commander on the front line of war, but before destiny, he wasn't worth a mention.

For example, God Nation's army had chosen not to seize this opportunity to attack. Instead, with no zeal left to battle, they retreated.

Be it in God Nation, Skyheart City, or Jadeite Forest, everyone was talking about Chi Tong's revival. They were sick with worry. The words "demonic god" seemed to carry a sort of mysterious and formidable power that could easily evoke dread.

And of course there was the Assembly of Patriarchs.

An organization that used to operate in the dark, underground world was now laid bare under the sun. It was said that this mysterious organization was responsible for leading Chi Tong's revival project. Brimming with ambition, its people had plans to let him run the world.

Skyheart City had publicly denounced the assembly for conspiring with the tyrant.

On that same afternoon, God Nation had also declared that its people would never be enslaved by Chi Tong and would fight until the very end.

Jadeite Forest, on the other hand, had made a much more conservative statement by simply uniting its humans to resist against Chi Tong and the assembly.

It was the first time in history that the three powerful influencers had simultaneously expressed their stand. Everyone knew that the assembly was an extremely wicked organization-it existed to wipe mankind out.

Within a short period of time, the assembly became a public enemy, no different from the street rats people chased after.

The turbulent protest took over the world, but the higher-ups in the assembly vanished. No one stepped forward to say anything. Like an avalanche, members within the organization started a large-scale rebellion.

Details about the fusion elemental energy and so on gradually surfaced, but what caught people's attention was the Grass Hall.

Not long after, the secret method to enter the hall spread like wildfire. The majority of the masses dared not to test it out. Bold fellows, unable to overcome their curiosity, entered the hall and were instantly attracted to the amazing world within. More and more people surged in and discovered that they were not limited by distance and communication.

This drove people wild.

The message tree that was once able to relay news between people miles apart had become obsolete due to the blood catastrophe that broke the balance of the elemental energies, causing them to wither. People had no choice but to adapt to a more primitive and unhurried life. Nevertheless, the old way of living had never been forgotten. They remembered how lively and fast-paced life used to be.

It was no wonder, then, that the appearance of the Grass Hall had thrown people into a frenzy.

The strange thing was that the assembly reacted indifferently to the surge in the number of visitors. It had no intention of shutting down the hall.

Luo Hao entered the familiar door and path into the Grass Hall.

The moment he entered, he was hit by a wave of clamor. While it wasn't his first time experiencing this, he had trouble getting used to it and was subconsciously thinking back to the old hall. There weren't as many people and as much noise in the past.

The visitors were looking all around and gasping. Like tourists, they were filled with curiosity.

Luo Hao retracted his gaze, looked down, waddled through the crowd, and reached an empty corner.

He extended his hand and circles of light traces lit up from the outline of his palm. Out of nowhere, a light door appeared before him, and he walked in. The crowd behind let out a loud gasp and a few even walked to where Luo Hao had been. They mimicked him by extending their palms out, but nothing happened. They mumbled a little before turning to leave.

The scene before Luo Hao's eyes switched into yet another familiar one.

Limitless Tavern. It was a rather reputable place among former members of the assembly. The tavern hadn't been established for long, but had risen to fame due to its soul-lifting wine. Soul-lifting wine provided a great boost of energy and customers flooded to the tavern because of that.

Soul-lifting wine wasn't expensive, so people gradually formed the habit of patronizing the shop, just sitting around to chat and relax. As time went by, Limitless Tavern became a place where news was shared, so all kinds of information could be probed from here.

As compared to the clamor outside, the tavern was much quieter. People sat in groups of two or three at tables separated by soundproofed light curtains, so there was no need to worry about eavesdroppers. Some light curtains even had ripples like those found on water curtains so that outsiders had an unclear view of the situation inside. This was to prevent others from lip reading.

Luo Hao was a regular customer. He plopped down on a stool before the bar counter.

The boss, who wore a white apron, nodded at Luo Hai while wiping a glass. "Care for one?"

With a bitter expression Luo Hao answered, "Three souls will do."

Luo Hao was familiar with the boss's temper. Knowing that he wouldn't be able to sound this stingy fellow out without ordering any alcohol, Luo Han went against his economic struggle and got a glass for himself. Soul-lifting wine was available in levels of three, six, nine, and so on. The resulting difference in level was jarring. Three soul wine was the cheapest version.

With a sigh, the boss commented, "Everyone's having it tough huh."

He poured a glass of three soul wine and pushed it before Luo Hao.

The wine inside the glass emitted a faint glow. There were three moon-like balls floating and sinking within.

Luo Hao raised his glass and took a sip out of it. His throat was immediately greeted by a cool sensation. Despite the wine's apparent lack of taste, Luo Hao couldn't help but to indulge. Beyond refreshing, he felt as though his body had been thoroughly cleansed.

After a short while, he spoke up, "Isn't business going well? There's quite a lot of people."

The boss shook his head. "Not as good as before. Haven't sold a glass of six soul in two days."

"Can't be helped. It's tough earning money now," Luo Hao added before swallowing the last night ball. He shut his eyes and emptied his mind. All his worries faded, and he felt an indescribable peace.

He enjoyed this feeling and wasn't alone. The majority of the customers in the tavern savored this experience.

A long time later, Luo Hao opened his eyes. "I need to know something, Boss."

The Boss let out a questionable smile. "Not where the members of the assembly are. Everyone's been asking."

Skyheart City, Blood of God, and Jadeite Forest had all started offering bountiful rewards in exchange for the assembly's whereabouts. Information regarding any single member was worth a heavenly sum, but of course, Chi Tong's location was worth the most.

Money brought out the courage in men. Many set their eyes on these rewards.

Former assembly members like Luo Hao had a natural advantage since they possessed more inside information. This time, however, all of the higher-ups vanished suddenly without a trace, so even the members were left blindsided and clueless.

Luo Hao smiled, "You would've gone to collect your rewards if you had any idea."

Keeping the innocent smile on his face, he continued in an almost whisper while pointing at the glass, "I'm more curious about the origin of these souls."

The boss stopped wiping his glass and gave a forced look. "The warehouse of course. I'm going to have to shut the shop down very soon."

Smiling without faltering, Luo Hao simply looked at the boss without saying a word.

######

Ai Hui had a dream. A very fuzzy dream. He could vaguely hear many voices, all of them blurry. They sounded so close by, but he just couldn't make out the words. No matter how hard he concentrated, it was as if there was a whole world separating him from the voices.

He dreamed of blood. A lot of blood and a lot of faces.

Pale faces, like white masks floating in the air, were singing a folk song he couldn't understand.

It was a frightening scene, but Ai Hui wasn't afraid. He just did not like it at all.

His dream then became more chaotic, and he felt as though he was a chunk of wood, drifting at sea.

When Ai Hui woke up from his dream, he let out a sigh of relief. Nothing was scarier than the uncertainty he felt in the dream.

He preferred a more straightforward life.

Even death wasn't as scary to him. Although he did not want to die, this was not out of fear. He had long since accepted the inevitability of death. Was there anyone who would escape death?

As long as there were no regrets.

Muddleheadly, Ai Hui opened his eyes. After such a long period of fuzziness, his brain was slow to react, and it took some time to restore his mental clarity. It was similar to the process of restringing a loosened bow. As the string became taut, the bow became dangerous again.

Ai Hui was like this bow as his gaze turned sharp.

As usual, his field of view was filled with darkness.

He was lying on a cold, solid rock. As he struggled to get up, he checked around for wounds. He faintly recalled getting injured before losing consciousness.

Ai Hui suppressed his doubts. His priority was to figure out his location.

He was all alone in this vast, pitch-black land. The wind was strong and bone-chilling, and he couldn't see anything apart from the black rock.

Where was he?

Ai Hui scanned the surroundings with rising suspicion.