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It could accommodate several thousand people. The walls were unadorned with needless decoration outside of stone pillars and a few unknown statues. There were carved portraits and paintings around – some of beasts and birds, people from the past, and the celestials…

This wasn’t a treasure hall at all, more like a museum of sorts. These statues and paintings were work of art, seemingly left behind by the great masters.

In fact, a few travelers came specifically to look at the arts in this place. Li Qiye seemed to be one of them. He wasn’t in a rush to test his luck, only scanning through the statues and paintings.

Ximo also did the same but didn’t gain anything from it outside of astonishment. There were many creatures that she had never seen before. She even wondered if they came from someone’s imagination. Li Qiye, on the other hand, took his time appreciating certain ones.

They actually contained hidden history due to their age, old beyond imagination. Alas, only a pitiful number of viewers could understand them. Li Qiye was one of them, so he had a better appreciation for these arts compared to the rest.

Bewildering Palace wasn’t only a place to test one’s luck like a gambling hall. It served a different purpose in the past.

Other people and Ximo simply didn’t understand them so they only gave it a quick glance. Of course, some ancestors spent more time trying to understand them.

Meanwhile, the majority had begun to test their luck after entry. The process was very simple – they just needed to pick a statue or a painting.

One ancestor stood before a statue and began scattering true coins on the ground. They quickly disappeared.

“Creak.” The chest of the statue actually came apart from the middle like a treasure chest. It exuded strands of light, revealing a line of golden keys. Each key had plenty of ancient runes stacked on top of each other like an old language.

This ancestor hesitated for a moment before spreading his palm. Dao laws gathered and gently poured down onto the 128 keys. The glow on the keys also resonated with varying intensity.

He was trying to understand the golden keys’ profundity in order to figure out the real one.

“This one!” He eventually picked one and took it out.

“Buzz.” Contact with his hand made the key turn into powders, scattering into the ground then dispersing into nothingness.

“Damn, wrong one.” The ancestor cursed.

“Forget it, Brother Lin, you have tried three times already today and got something from the fourth hall, that’s good enough, what more do you want?” His peer suggested: “The price will increase ten-fold each so if you keep playing, you might lose everything.”

“Fine, fine.” The ancestor smiled wryly and left while shaking his head.

In this palace, losing wasn’t the end as long as there was still money left. For example, after coming out of the 3rd hall, one could still start again at the first hall. However, the price would be ten times greater than the previous, than another ten times if they were to try again.

Thus, some ancestors brought a monstrous sum here only to lose everything in the end.

“Pick the immortal sage painting, I heard the probability is better.” A senior brought his fellow disciples here to widen their horizon.

They came before a portrait of a gray-haired old man, looking just like an immortal.

The senior threw plenty of true coins at the painting and the painting also opened up, revealing 128 keys inside.

The seniors didn’t pick a key right away. He first bowed towards the painting and murmured: “Immortal sage, please give me your blessing.”

Having said that, he offered more coins to the painting. After a buzzing noise, half of the 128 keys turned into powders, leaving 64 behind.


“You can do that?” The first-timers here were astounded.

“If you pay double, it will help you eliminate half of the keys.” An older cultivator smiled.

“Damn, you can really do anything with money in this place, even something like that.” The first-timers replied.

After careful musing, the senior picked out a key. It didn’t turn into dust and imprinted into his palm instead, leaving a key mark behind.

“He picked the right one.” The crowd nearby came closer right away.

“Alright, hold my hand, we’ll go to the second hall.” The senior said.

Once his disciples grab his hand, the key mark exuded a golden light encompassing the entire group. They disappeared from sight and have gone to the second hall.

Though there was only one chance to grab a treasure, one could still bring along their companions after picking the right key.

“That guy is quite lucky, picking correctly the first time.” An envious spectator said.

“So strange, I’ve done it three times and still got it wrong. I’m done, spending all of this money for nothing!” Another youth furiously shouted before leaving.

This was a common occurrence in this place. People would come and waste money, never even getting the chance to see the second hall and needing to leave empty-handed.

Luck actually played a very small role in this place. One just needed to be powerful enough to comprehend the secrets behind each key then pick the right one to go to the next hall. This would become increasingly powerful, so it was amazing for someone to reach just the tenth hall.

Despite being aware of the difficulty, the treasures here were too tempting so people couldn’t help spending their gold.

“Right here.” Li Qiye picked the painting of a sun rising from the ocean and spent his coins.


“Buzz.” The picture opened to reveal 128 golden keys. Ling Ximo looked at the keys and held her breath. She knew that it wouldn’t be easy picking the right one from the bunch.


“Brat, be careful.” An old cultivator kindly reminded Li Qiye: “This isn’t about luck, look carefully since each key is different. Look at the runes and symbols on them, these are text. If you can understand these texts, you will be able to read the keys. Doing so would let you find the right one to the next hall.”

This experienced old man didn’t want Li Qiye to waste money for nothing.

“Elder He, that’s easier said than done. Not to mention little characters like us, even progenitors might not be able to understand these keys’ mysteries. They are too profound and bottomless.” His friend shook his head and smiled.

Li Qiye chuckled at the goodwill and answered: “Thank you for reminding me, unfortunately, I have no knowledge about these ancient texts and will only be testing my luck.” Having said that, he picked a key without even looking.

After taking it, the key actually imprinted itself onto his palm.

“Shit, what kind of luck is this?!” The old cultivator was in disbelief.

“Whoa, looks like luck can work too.” His friend’s eyes widened: “Old men like us have been thinking about what makes each key unique and deriving the meanings of the text. Of course, we only saw the bare surface, but now, you picked it right away. This thing is still luck dependent to an extent.”

“Well yeah, otherwise, Xuan Xiao wouldn’t have been able to do it. Everyone knows about his heaven-defying luck and legendary tales.” A different expert laughed.

“Let’s go.” Li Qiye grabbed Ximo’s hand.

A buzz came with a golden glow from the seal. The two of them immediately entered the second hall.

“I’ll do it too!” Many cultivators here saw his success and tried to replicate it.

They didn’t bother looking at the set of keys at all and just picked one at random. Unfortunately, these keys turned to gold powders.

“Why can’t I be that lucky?” Others felt that the heaven was being too unfair.

“Luck is not something everyone possesses, otherwise, Xuan Xiao wouldn’t be the only one truly recorded in history. If everyone was lucky, they would be wealthy already, no need to come here.” An ancestor said disapprovingly.

***

The sceneries changed before Li Qiye and Ximo. Once everything became clear, they were in the second hall.

She immediately looked around and saw the similarities between the first and second hall. The main difference was that these works of art were changed.

Moreover, the first hall was filled with people. Some locations were densely packed. This number decreased in the second hall, only a few hundred people.

This crowd wasn’t in a hurry to live. Some were thinking about how to get to the next one; others thought about picking their treasure here.

It wasn’t easy for them to come here so some took their time to enjoy the arts – something they have been looking forward to.

“Master, do we want to go to the third?” Li Qiye saw the group of cultivators that went here before them.

“No, don’t be too greedy, I can only handle this much with my cultivation so the second hall is the limit. Only True Gods can see more at the third hall and above. At the higher levels, such as the fortieth hall and up, even True Emperors would have problems.” This senior knew his own capabilities.

“Then what treasures should we pick?” The disciples became excited since they were going to stop here.

“Here.” This senior clearly had experiences with this place. After a moment of contemplation, he picked a portrait and placed his palm with the key seal on it.

“Creak.” The painting opened, revealing a stone chest inside. It was sealed so no one knew of its content.

“I wonder what it is?” The disciples became rowdy, stretching out their neck for a better look.

However, their master was much more cautious. He took the chest and stored it in his fate palace before telling the kids: “Let’s go, we’ll look after returning home.”

A portal existed in the center of the second hall. This was absent in the first, allowing people to teleport back to the entrance of the palace.

Of course, many didn’t want to leave like this. Though the treasures were before them, they still wanted to gamble to make it to the next.

“Are we taking it?” Someone asked his friend.

“No, let’s keep going, maybe we’ll get lucky and get to the 30th hall. I heard someone got a painting there comparable to an Ancestral Weapon. The moment this painting is unwrapped, it could take in the heaven and earth and anyone else in the way. This eventually became the defining treasure of a system, so damn magical. If we can get there, we’ll be so rich. Becoming an emperor after coming back is a sure thing.” His friend spoke with such conviction.

He then chose a statue and placed his marked palm on it. His golden key mark moved on to the statue.

“Creak.” The statue opened, revealing the 128 keys inside.

The youth hesitated for a while before picking one: “This one will make us rich.”

Unfortunately, it turned into powder and disappeared without a trace.

“Shit!” The youth blurted out, full of regrets: “I wasted this goddamn treasure.”

He didn’t need to gamble again and could have left with an item. Now, he lost coins for no reason.

“Haha, I got it!” Someone else in the corner heartily laughed. He picked the right key to get to the next hall. His hand started glowing and he was taken to the third hall.

It didn’t take long before the place was filled with waves of laughter and curse. The former naturally found the right key while the latter lost completely.

Some also knew their limit and decided to cash out on their treasures instead by exchanging the key, not wanting to reach the third hall.

Meanwhile, Li Qiye repeated his observation from the first hall, enjoying all the statues and paintings. After getting his fill of arts, he raised his hand.

“Are we exchanging the key or moving on to the third hall?” Ximo quietly asked.

“We’re moving on.” Li Qiye smiled and moved his key mark to a painting. It opened to show off its keys and he instantly took one without thinking.

This key naturally imprinted itself onto his palm.

“Alright, to the third.” He held her hand and the duo disappeared inside a golden glow.

There were even fewer people in this place but Li Qiye didn’t care. He continued to do his own thing – meticulously going through each item. “Did you guys hear? That ant-feeding brat made it to the sixth hall.” People still didn’t know Li Qiye’s name by now, only his nickname.

Some weren’t surprised to hear this: “So? The guy has enough money to feed ants so he could probably get into the tenth hall without any problem. He should last for a while.”

Sure enough, another news came about – Li Qiye had entered the tenth hall.

“Just how rich is he?” The youths started to salivate with envy.

For many cultivators, just reaching the fifth or the sixth hall was amazing enough.

“How many re-do has he done already to reach the tenth hall?” This question came up.

In fact, everyone guessed wrong. They assumed that he had failed many times because it took him a while to get from the fifth to the tenth hall.

They didn’t know that he took his time appreciating the works of art on each level.

Ximo shared the same confusion, wondering if he was here for the arts instead of treasure.

Anyone else would only care for the latter but Li Qiye showed no sign of this. She copied him and also carefully judged these paintings and statues. Alas, she didn’t understand the symbolism behind most of them.

“Young Noble, what’s so magical about these items?” She couldn’t help but ask.

“They are records.” He calmly explained: “Existing in all eras and epochs, such as ceremonies, battle deeds, or just fantastic anecdotes. However, writings would disappear with time, so statues and paintings are the best preservation method.”

“Do you mind elaborating?” She remained curious.

“They are pieces of history that can solve mysteries, far more precious than merit law or treasure. Of course, the prerequisite is being able to understand them.” He chuckled.

She didn’t quite agree with this statement since merit laws and treasures held a great position in her mind. History wasn’t worth a single coin in the eyes of many; no one cared enough to waste time and effort recalling the past.

He didn’t bother explaining why since the gap between the two was too high. They didn’t have the same starting perspective.


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