1493 Are You Sure You Want Me to Remove My Mask?
At eight o'clock sharp in the morning, Buried Heaven arrived promptly.
In the presence of the members of Death Sickle's inner circle, he revealed himself using his original appearance—a white-haired young man, less than 1.6 meters tall.
As soon as he entered the room, he saw Lin Huang sitting in the first row, seemingly not getting along with everyone else.
At the sight of Lin Huang, he was taken aback for a moment. Although he was not a sword cultivator, he was a well-known figure who was among the top-tier Heavenly Gods, and he could clearly sense that Lin Huang's Sword Dao had broken through to heavenly rule-level.
Looking away from Lin Huang discreetly, he glanced at the other people sitting at the back. When he saw the expressions on their faces, he immediately understood what was happening.
He said to Lin Huang, "Newcomer, why don't you briefly introduce yourself?"
Lin Huang nodded. He stood up, turned to look at the people behind him, and took off his hood. "I'm Xiu Mu, and I've just recently joined Death Sickle. I'll be in your care."
Huang Mu was the real name of this identity, while Xiu Mu was the code name that he had applied for in Death Sickle.
After this simple introduction, Lin Huang turned around and sat back down again.
Buried Heaven raised his brows at Lin Huang's brevity; he guessed that Lin Huang was probably putting on an act.
The others in the conference room were rather dissatisfied with this, however.
"This fellow is saying that he'll be in our care, but there's nothing in his expression or his attitude that makes it seem like he needs our care, is there?"
"What a terrible personality this fellow has!"
"He sure has some balls, acting so arrogant even in front of Senior Buried Heaven!"
Naturally, Lin Huang heard these grumblings, but he could not be bothered to respond to them.
The corners of Buried Heaven's lips quirked up slightly. Conversely, he found Lin Huang's role-playing very amusing.
"Alright, since everyone else already knows each other, there's no need for further introductions.
"Everyone's already here, so we'll head out now."
As soon as he said that, Buried Heaven shook the cuff of his sleeve, and a green-colored snake as thick as a pinky finger shot out, landing on the conference table.
The little snake merely opened its mouth slightly, and Lin Huang, along with the other six people, rapidly shrank in size, turning into tiny particles that were swallowed up by the tiny snake.
After swallowing the seven of them, the little black snake transformed into a python, and in a flash, Buried Heaven stepped up on top of its head.
The next instant, a black whirlpool appeared out of nowhere, and the black python slid into it, bringing Buried Heaven along.
A moment of dizziness and darkness later, when Lin Huang and the others were spat out by the python, they found themselves already in an expanse of void.
Lin Huang looked around. Buried Heaven—who was standing to one side—had long since changed his appearance into that of a muscular man who was more than two meters tall.
The six people who had been in the conference room previously were all present as well.
In addition to the few participants from Death Sickle, more than a dozen organizations had also arrived, each forming a small group. The number of people was quite small.
Lin Huang even saw two grade-7 organizations that had sent only ten people—five Virtual Gods and five True Gods, no less.
Just when Lin Huang was wondering if this secret territory had a limit for the number of participants, Destiny could not help speaking up from where he was standing to one side.
"Master Buried Heaven, even the grade-7 organizations have sent so few people. Is this because the secret territory has a limit on the number of participants?"
"That's not the reason." Before Buried Heaven could even open his mouth, a True God beside them spoke up, "It's because the hunts in this secret territory hunting are solo battles, and each person's hunting points count only toward themselves. That's why the major organizations have selected only the strongest powerhouses within their own organizations. This is also to prevent weaklings from joining, so as not to disgrace the entire organization through earning hunting points that are far too low."
He deliberately glanced at Lin Huang as he delivered this last sentence.
This True God was Wild Fiend, the current number three on Death Sickle's White Sickle Leaderboard. His main reason for being upset with Lin Huang was that previously, Buried Heaven had announced that only three True Gods from Death Sickle would be entering the secret territory this time. This year, he had only managed to secure third place on the White Sickle Leaderboard after much difficulty and had very nearly lost the position to other people. However, this limited spot that he had managed to obtain only after a year of hard work had been easily secured by a newcomer, in a complete departure from the rules. Naturally, he was extremely displeased.
Lin Huang had no idea how precious his spot was. He had only asked Buried Heaven for it because he needed it, and Buried Heaven had immediately agreed. Buried Heaven had not mentioned how scarce these spots were either.
Of course, he could pick up the indirect barb in Wild Fiend's words, but he did not know why the other showed such animosity toward him. He assumed that his previous attitude had upset Wild Fiend, so he just ignored the other's provocation.
In Lin Huang's opinion, such low-level provocation was meaningless. If the other party were genuinely capable, he should be thinking about how to crush Lin Huang in terms of hunting points, instead of verbally making oblique accusations at him before the hunt had even begun.
Seeing that Lin Huang did not rise to the bait, Wild Fiend did not continue being aggressive.
On the one hand, Senior Buried Heaven was right there, so Wild Fiend could not simply antagonize Lin Huang. On the other hand, there were also many other organizations in the vicinity, and it would not reflect well if others were to witness internal conflict within Death Sickle.
The truth was, if it were not for his apprehension at Buried Heaven's presence, he might have directly started a fight with Lin Huang when they were still in the conference room.
What Wild Fiend did not know, however, was that he was lucky.
If he had chosen to make a move against Lin Huang at that time, there was a high chance that he might have immediately lost this opportunity to enter the secret territory.
Ignoring the murmurs of the people beside him, Lin Huang directed his gaze toward the other organizations' sites.
The participants from the two grade-7 organizations—the Combat God Temple and Xeno—had all arrived. He even saw a few familiar faces, such as Unrivaled God from the Combat God Temple, and Frontier from Xeno...
More than a year had passed, yet these old acquaintances, just like Fallen Star and the others, were still at virtual god-level rank-9. However, their auras had obviously become much stronger than before.
Just when Lin Huang felt regretful that he had left this group of individuals far behind him in terms of advancement, a figure suddenly leaned over from beside him.
"Haven't I seen you somewhere before?"
Surprisingly enough, the speaker was the black-robed Virtuoso. Their voice was very neutral, and it was impossible to make out whether they were male or female.
Lin Huang turned around to look at Virtuoso and smiled as he answered a touch mockingly, "You'll have to take your mask off for me to have a look, then I'll know if we've met before or not."
As the few Death Sickle members were wondering why Virtuoso had taken an interest in this newcomer, they heard what Lin Huang said, and their expressions immediately became rather odd.
"Are you sure you want me to remove my mask?" Under Virtuoso's white mask, red lips quirked up slightly.
However, their mask was actually concealing their lips. Logically speaking, Lin Huang should not have been able to make out any expression on the other's face, but he definitely saw the corners of their lips curl up.
Right at this point, Buried Heaven could no longer keep silent. "The secret territory is opening soon—both of you better not cause any trouble!"
Lin Huang noticed something unusual in Buried Heaven's tone as he said that, and guessed that something might happen if the other party were to remove their mask. Judging from the expressions on the others' faces, it was not likely to be anything good.
This made Lin Huang a little curious as to the abilities of this fellow who was ranked first on the White Sickle Leaderboard.