Chapter 791. Arriving at the Second Floor.
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On the exit from the second trial to the third floor, a woman wearing black robes that hid almost her entire body looked around coldly. 'We've arrived quite soon. The next floor is where everyone gets mixed in.'

"Hoh? Look at who we have here."

The woman wearing black robes turned her head, looking coldly at the person who spoke to her. She saw a blue-feathered Harpy pushing her large naked chest upward with a smirk. 

The woman in black asked, her voice indifferent. "Do you want anything?"

The harpy lifted an eyebrow. "Not at all. At least not me." The Harpy paused, thinking about how to speak without sounding too confrontational. After all, she didn't have any wish to fight her.  

The woman in black asked. "Can I go?"

The harpy finally spoke. "Well, listen to me. You know the Astral Sky Clan dragon woman? Our leader is quite fond of her. So, how about you forget about it and stop targeting her? If you make trouble for her, we would need to fight, and neither side wants that, right? Being disqualified before reaching the tournament would be quite a shame."

The woman wearing black squinted. "Are you saying that we would lose?"

The harpy rolled her eyes. "Hey. If we fight, you and we will end up very injured. Then, any other decently strong group will be able to take us down if they want. Do you really want to go through that?"

The female assassin turned around. "To squash a bug, our sect doesn't need to act personally. There are many who want to gain a favor from us."

The harpy paused, looking at how the five black robbed people melded with the shadows and disappeared. Another harpy in the group spoke. "Do we wait here for them?"

A gentle one sighed. "We should, right? That beautiful darling will go through a lot of troubles; having us with them should alleviate their burden." 

They all looked at the blue-feathered harpy, asking with their eyes about what they should do. After a while, she commented. "We can wait for a while. However, we should leave once more than 20 other groups to pass through here. Remember that we can't lose our position just to help her."

The other four nodded in agreement. 

Meanwhile, on the second floor, Yasenia's group just walked through the gates. Our dragoness had changed back to her humanoid form.

Looking around, they were quick to realize that the landscape had massively changed. From a swamp, they entered a desert-like landscape.  However, while the floor was completely covered with reddish sand, vegetation could also be spotted around the large dunes. 

A strong wind half blew her way, making their long hair dance with it. Yasenia blinked a few times as a few sand grains almost entered her eyes. Andrea asked. "Are you okay? I've heard a few grains of sand hitting my helmet."

 Yasenia smiled. "No problem. It's normal sand, so there are no problems."

The other two also nodded. 

Andrea took the lead and asked. "So, where do we need to go this time?" 

Looking upward, they realized that the ceiling was double the previous one, at around 10,000 meters in height. Cecile pondered and suggested. "I'll fly upward and see if I can see anything."

Yasenia nodded. "Sure. Be careful."

Cecile flexed her knees and extended her large silver wings. Energy gathered toward her legs, and then, she pushed and flapped her wings. 


With a loud sound, the phoenix shot into the sky at tremendous speed. The wind blew on her indifferent face as her body shot vertically upward in an impressive feat of strength.

She extended her spiritual sense at the maximum range, checking out for threats. However, nothing came her way. 

After reaching an altitude of nearly 8000 meters, Cecile stopped and looked toward the horizon. With the help of her spatial skills, her vision pierced through the desert, allowing her to see extremely far away.

Cecile didn't take long to spot a giant pillar connecting the ceiling and the desert. 'Hm. If we rush in that direction without any stops, we should arrive in around a day.' 

Unlike other groups that made small stops to search for treasures, our girls were interested only in those they came across by chance.

In the first level, Yasenia and the rest had stored a few treasures but nothing too extravagant. If there was a treasure worth stopping for, they believed that Yasenia would sniff it out before they could even spot it. 

After memorizing the nearby area, Cecile returned to Yasenia's side. However, to her surprise, a few people were surrounding them, making her frown. 'What happened?' 

Meanwhile, a few moments before Cecile returned, Yasenia was approached by nine mid-level Epoch Cores. "Hey, you!" 

Yasenia turned to look and saw a large, half-bull, half-human man approaching. Yasenia asked, confused. "What's wrong?"

The man, who was about 3 meters tall, snorted. "Don't act stupid. Have you killed the person tailing you?"

Yasenia maintained her expression, but internally, she was making a strange expression. 'What the hell is this kind of question? Aren't you admitting to a little too much with those words? Now, not only do I know that the person I accidentally killed is probably one of yours, but also that you were trying to harm me.' 

Yasenia asked indifferently. "I don't like to bear the crimes of others. First, who are you talking about?"

The minotaur snorted. "There is no need to act stupid. There was a man following you, and he was my sworn brother! However, we lost contact with him after he entered the trial right after you!"

Yasenia looked up with a sneering expression. "So, what if I did, what if I didn't? I want to ask you about something else. You just told me something about tailing me? Who are you, and why are you doing that? I don't remember having any deals with your two races."

The group of nine was composed of five half-men, half-bulls, and four reptile people. Clearly, the group lacking one person was probably the one that Yasenia killed by accident. 

The almost three-meter-tall leader said angrily. "I'm the one doing questions, little girl!"

Yasenia laughed and was about to answer when Cecile returned. "My love, I've found it."

Yasenia ignored those nine people and asked. "Which direction?"

Cecile answered to her in her mind. 'Southwest from here.' 

The dragoness nodded and ordered. "Let's go."

Eira commented calmly directly into Yasenia's head. 'Young Miss, remember that I won't usually act until you are in lethal danger. Provoking those nine is not wise.'

Yasenia smiled. 'I know what I'm doing. Arguing with them is actually counterproductive. If I treat them as crazy, they will probably think I didn't do it. That minotaur leader doesn't seem too bright. Moreover, do you remember how many people there were below? Probably some of those followed after us.'

Eira blinked. 'But it feels as if he is about to attack.' 

Yasenia said to her. 'Just watch.'

After Yasenia turned and was about to leave, the minotaur leader moved extremely quickly, reappearing before Yasenia. "Hey, little girl, are you ignoring me?"

Yasenia sighed. "Say, do we really have to do this? While it is true that your overall strength is higher than ours, is it worth it? We didn't kill anybody and we didn't even know that someone was tailing us at all. I don't know who asked you to do this, but is it worth to continue after losing that important person of yours?"

The minotaur blinked and frowned. One person from the reptile group finally spoke. "Holgar, I really don't smell his scent on her."

Holgar, the large minotaur, frowned. "Then, if it wasn't her, who did it? They are the only group that could've possibly caused it!"

Yasenia commented. "What if he died on the trial?" 

Holgar shouted. "Don't humiliate my brother! He is not that weak!" 

Yasenia sighed. "But it wasn't us, and nobody else has appeared in the last few minutes or hours, right?"

Holgar, with his face still frowning, nodded.

Yasenia shrugged. "Then, it is either the trial or there is another group currently facing the trial that met your brother and attacked him." 

Holgar was about to speak when five people with rather worn expressions appeared from the trial doors.

Yasenia thought. 'Ho? So, the trial is still functional. Was there more than one area?' 

After seeing the new group much more drained than Yasenia's group, Holgar frowned deeply. "Hey, you!" 

Yasenia shook her head and turned around leisurely. Instead of leaving with haste, leaving as if nothing was wrong was best. 

The reason was that the reptile people were sneakily observing her. 

If she turned around and ran away, it would seem that she felt guilty and used the short time frame to flee. 

Cecile commented as they left. 'Love, we are going in the northwest direction.' 

Yasenia chuckled. 'We'll use this to lose them. Covering tracks in the desert can be relatively hard, but it's not impossible. You should know how to, right, sweetheart?' 

Cecile nodded confidently. 

After moving for a few hundred meters, Yasenia said aloud. "We are speeding up. We need to arrive as soon as possible."

Then, they all used their movement techniques and disappeared. However, as they moved, instead of running on the ground, they ran on top of an icy surface created by Cecile.

As the ice evaporated by the heat, it left behind no trails. These ice steps lasted nothing but a few seconds. 

With that, they ran for several kilometers. Yasenia then commented. "Let's change directions toward the actual place where we need to go." 

Cecile pointed where to rush to, and they all did a precise turn. However, to their surprise, Cecile didn't create any more ice sheets.

Andrea asked. "Why are you not covering our steps?"

Cecile commented. "We are hiding in plain sight. I'm leaving behind a scent-erasing power, but for the rest, I'm not covering anything. We've covered our tracks so perfectly that these tracks will appear as purposely done to redirect people's attention. By the time they realize that these tracks are the real ones, we'll be so far away that it won't matter."

Cecile added, "Moreover, this is not a several-day chase; it's a one-day chase. Our speed is high enough to extend a few minutes or hours, depending on how fast they discover it and arrive safely at the second-floor trial pillar."

Kali chuckled. "That's actually genius." 

Andrea nodded. "I'm convinced."

Yasenia, however, spoke. "Sweetheart, I think you are overestimating their intelligence."

Cecile blinked. "Am I?"

Yasenia pondered as she rushed through the place. "Let's create some actual decoy tracks." 

Meanwhile, the minotaur and reptile people spoke with each other. "Should we follow them and attack them regardless?"

The minotaur leader screamed angrily. "We need to find whoever killed my sworn brother!" 

One of the reptile people sighed. "But won't our leaders be upset if we don't manage to at least hurt the dragon woman's group? Also, didn't your brother want to capture that dragon woman?"

The minotaur paused and snorted. "Okay, let's go. They shouldn't have gone too far away." 

They all followed the direction they left, but they saw no tracks. The reptile people frowned. "This is complicated. Did they really come this way?"

The minotaur leader said. "Hey, there are tracks here!"

The reptile person looked at the obvious tracks, and his lips twitched. "These are decoys."

The minotaur was still feeling angry, so he said. "Whatever!" And he shot in that direction. 

The reptile people's lips twitched. "I don't know how senior brother could become friends with them."

"They are just too stupid."

"Should we follow?"

"I mean, we can't really fight that group with just four people, can we?"

The reptile leader sighed. "Let's go. If we find nothing, we'll blame them."