With the teleportation tower, Zhang Nu arrived at Gloom City. Considering the upcoming area would be quite challenging, Zhang Nu brought a small assistant along.
"Wow! Is this the underworld? The air is so murky!" Nancilia exclaimed, looking around in surprise. "So this is the Succubus Queen's main city? It might not be as lively as Giantree City, but it's still quite large!"
Although Han Kexin could not quite compare to Zhang Nu, she was still a remarkable figure among the Demon Kings. Just this underground city alone had at least several hundred thousand residents. If one added the various tribes she controlled, Zhang Nu estimated that the Succubus Queen's population had already reached over a million. And her forces were still continuously expanding.
Within Gloom City, there were numerous Demon King structures. With just a single glance, Zhang Nu could count over a dozen of them:
[Teleportation Tower] Level 5 building.
[Detection Tower] Level 4 building.
[Earthen Flame Tower] Level 4 building.
[Barrier Tower] Level 4 building.bender
[Altar of Berserk] Level 4 building.
[Specter Sanctuary] Level 4 building.
[Gray Dwarf Castle] Level 5 building.
[Dark Elves Camp] Level 5 building.
[Rift Tower: Land of Nothingness] Level 5 special building.
Zhang Nu was somewhat surprised and commented, "Impressive, truly befitting of a big shot Demon King. Just the Gloom City alone has so many buildings, there must be even more near the Demon King's Castle!"
If it were someone else giving such compliments, Han Kexin might have felt a sense of pride. But facing Zhang Nu, she felt utterly powerless.
"Hmph, spare me the flattery. Regardless of quality or quantity, it's far inferior compared to your Darkness City. They're not even in the same league," she retorted.
Zhang Nu did not deny this. After looking at the buildings in the Gloom City, his gaze settled on a tower emanating a powerful energy fluctuation.
[Rift Tower: Land of Nothingness] Level 5 special building.
"This one's quite special. I've never seen anything like it."
"Hehe! You have keen eyes," Han Kexin said. "In any case, I'm still a Level 5 Demon King. I have some hidden treasures of my own. This is a Level 5 special building, the Rift Tower."
Although Zhang Nu had already discerned the function of the Rift Tower, he still asked, pretending not to know, "What's the use of this tower?"
Han Kexin replied, "The Rift Tower acts as a dungeon instance. Every so often, you can enter to challenge it. Each successful challenge yields resources. I obtained the blueprints for my Teleportation Tower from here."
"So that's how it works. What's a dungeon instance, though?"
A dungeon instance, she explained, was a continually repeating map that players could revisit. Instances were repeatable. The regions Zhang Nu had explored so far, like the Sealed Land, the Tomb of the Malevolent King, and the Citadel of Eternity, were only available for a single run. Strictly speaking, they were not dungeon instances; they were more like monster-filled areas. Han Kexin's Rift Tower was a genuine instance generator, allowing infinite monster spawns and providing rewards upon completion.
Zhang Nu was puzzled before as to why did Han Kexin have three copies of the Teleportation Tower blueprint? Normally, the probability of getting the same blueprint from different reward chests was extremely low, let alone Teleportation Tower blueprints. These were not ordinary blueprints. Now, this confusion finally had an answer. Han Kexin's blueprints came from the dungeon instances. Instances were different from areas occupied by monsters. They were challenges that could be faced repeatedly.
"So, theoretically, with this building, you can keep producing Teleportation Tower blueprints endlessly?" Zhang Nu asked.
Han Kexin nodded, "Theoretically, yes. But even in this instance, it's challenging to endlessly produce such rare items because the drop rate of rare items decreases rapidly with each drop."
It truly was an excellent building. Making money by challenging monsters without leaving home, and even having a chance to obtain top-tier blueprints.
Zhang Nu was a bit envious of the Rift Tower. However, he realized there was no need for such envy. At their level, each of them had a few impressive buildings of their own to boast about. While he admired the Succubus Queen's Rift Tower, the Succubus Queen had the same envy for Zhang Nu's Spirit Sanctum. Moreover, she did not fully understand the functionalities of most of the buildings in the Darkness City -- buildings like the Soul Altar, Altar of the Sacred King, Evil God Cultivator, Tower of Lost Trials, Training Tower, and Citadel of Eternity. Many of these had values that were no less impressive than the Rift Tower.
After a brief tour of Gloom City with Zhang Nu and Nancilia, Han Kexin said, "I'm ready. Let's head out. This time, we're going to the Mountains of Madness."
As she spoke, the Queen's army assembled. It was an elite force of ten thousand, consisting mostly of succubi troops. High-level succubi and super succubi made up at least a third, showcasing it as one of the Queen's most elite units. Han Kexin had many barracks-type buildings. Under her command were various races like dark elves, gray dwarves, flame damons, wind demons, and more, totaling over a dozen different subterranean races. However, the most trusted troops were her own kind. Considering the long journey, this highly mobile force could save them a lot of time.
Zhang Nu said to Nancilia, "Let's go!"
The Elven Queen, Nancilia, nodded. "Certainly. I'm curious to see what kind of opponent could challenge the Queen to the extent that she requested aid from His Majesty."
Although they had yet to face each other in combat, Nancilia could sense the immense strength of the Succubus Queen. It was entirely possible that she might not be a match for her. Such a powerful Demon King, coupled with such a mighty army. Yet, even so, the Queen was not confident in dealing with the opponent herself, indicating that the enemy was truly formidable. However, the more challenging the opponent, the more motivated the young Elven King felt. She believed it was a great opportunity to contribute significantly and earn merits.
Soon after, they set off for the Mountains of Madness.
Zhang Nu's current understanding of this world was still limited. He knew that the underworld was a part of this world and that its scale might not be smaller than the surface world. It could even be larger because of the layered and creviced nature of the underground spaces. This was a three-dimensional distributed world, potentially larger than the surface world.
However, in the underworld, ancient giants, terrifying monsters, brutal demons, and various magical creatures were abundant. Compared to the civilization-rich surface world, civilizations and nations were scarce in the underworld. Due to the unique environment of the underworld, large countries like the Thunder Empire were much rarer; their number was far less than three percent of that on the surface world.
Nancilia asked while maintaining the flight spell, "My Queen, what special features do the Mountains of Madness have? Why are we going there?"
Han Kexin explained, "The Mountains of Madness are the most infamous forbidden zone within a few thousand miles nearby. To be honest, I don't know much about this place either."
"But from the depths of the Mountains of Madness," she continued, "emanates an incredibly powerful and profoundly evil spiritual force. This force can affect everything within a radius of a hundred miles, driving dozens of nearby tribes and clans into incomprehensible madness, causing unbelievable mutations in both their souls and bodies."
"For thousands of years, other forces have found it difficult to approach the Mountains of Madness... We are going there this time to attempt to understand what exactly is happening within these mountains."
"If that proves too difficult," she added, "we can still reap rewards by exterminating a few tribes."
After hearing the explanation, Zhang Nu understood the situation better. No wonder Han Kexin had such confidence in this place's ability to produce spirit gems and soul gems. They had initially agreed on a fifty-fifty split for the harvest, and Zhang Nu did not have any objections. After all, the intelligence was provided by Han Kexin, and the army was under her command. She was the one taking on the most significant risk. The underworld was never Zhang Nu's territory to begin with, so he felt like he was benefitting from resources that did not originally belong to him.
After approximately half a day's journey, the three of them and their troops were almost at the Mountains of Madness.
[You are being corroded by psychic erosion. HP -1!]
Upon arriving near the Mountains of Madness, Zhang Nu felt a subtle psychic attack. Nancilia and the Succubus Queen, as well as her succubi troops, also clearly sensed the psychic assault. Their faces all turned grave.
"What kind of existence is this? Being capable of causing a collective psychic shock from such a distance?" the Succubus Queen frowned.
"Elven Blessing!" Nancylia raised her staff, casting a protective aura over Zhang Nu and Han Kexin. She then extended the spell to shield the succubi troops from the psychic damage. While this spell effectively countered the immediate psychic damage, as they approached closer, the erosion grew stronger.
"It's indeed a challenging area," Nancilia remarked, her brow furrowing deeper. "Your Majesty, I sense that despite the vast distance, there's an aura of evil and insidiousness emanating from the source of this psychic power"
Additionally, she sensed that the aura felt oddly familiar, reminiscent of a similar presence she had detected in both the Sealed Land and the Tomb of the Malevolent King. In comparison to the Elven King's perception, Zhang Nu distinctly felt his Eye of Death stirring, as if it recognized a kindred force. It was akin to the magnetic pull between two magnets, an immediate generation of a magnetic field, a compelling urge to unite.
Zhang Nu then turned his attention to the nearby Mountains of Madness, a vast yet seemingly nondescript mountain range devoid of any vegetation.
[Mountains of Madness] Level 5 monarch area.
Description: Six thousand years ago, native inhabitants stumbled upon a mysterious temple here, housing a fragment of an ancient Evil God. It radiated an exceptionally powerful psychic energy, captivating all nearby and driving them into fanatical worship. Over millennia, almost a million natives succumbed to its influence, transforming the Mountains of Madness into a haven for frenzied and mutated devotees.
After absorbing this information, Zhang Nu grasped the origin of the psychic power within the Mountains of Madness. It indeed stemmed from the fragment of the Evil God! Such immense energy could only be derived from the power of an Evil God. What astonished and thrilled Zhang Nu was his ability to sense his Eye of Death resonating within him. This indicated that the Evil God's fragment in the Mountains of Madness was most likely the other eye of the Eight-Eyed Evil God. Without conducting an investigation, Zhang Nu instinctively understood the outcome!
His excitement swelled. If he could acquire and assimilate the second eye of the Evil God, his Eye of Death would undoubtedly undergo a profound evolution! Considering it from this perspective, his fortune was unparalleled. Who could have anticipated that fragments of the same Evil God would be sealed in two vastly different locations? As for the area's difficulty? A Level 5 monarch area might pose a challenge, but it would not deter a Demon King. The true challenge lay in dealing with the nearby million crazed natives, completely ensnared by brainwashing."
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