The crowd watched in stunned silence as John and Adam walked off further into the city. No one said a word for quite some time, as they were still processing what they had just witnessed.
John, as a Late Qi Condensation cultivator, had beaten four Late Qi Condensation and one Half-Step Core Formation cultivator in two moves. Such battle prowess was unheard of, and none of the disciples of the other sects had expected to see such a thing.
The few Heavenly Lightning Sect disciples that were present knew of John's incredible battle prowess, but didn't know it was this great. Even they were stunned by his overwhelming display, as well as his demeanor and sinister aura during that fight.
"Who was that?" one Divine Soul Sect disciple could help but ask. They had addressed one of the nearby Heavenly Lightning Sect disciples.
The disciple snapped out of their stupor, and looked towards the one who had just asked the question.
"He's John Fenix. Our number one first year Core Disciple," the youth responded absentmindedly.
Heated discussions immediately broke out upon hearing this news, and the group of disciples quickly scattered in different directions. News of John's actions spread like wildfire throughout the ancient city, reaching the ears of most disciples before long.
John and Adam continued to walk deeper into the ancient city. It's roads were incredibly wide, and every inch of them was lined by an ancient building. Many of the buildings towered high into the sky, although most had been worn down by the ravages of time.
Streets winded every which way, making the city similar to a maze. It was incredibly easy to get lost inside this city.
Eerily, all the roads in the city were completely devoid of any left over items, and even the nearby buildings were completely cleared out. Since John had spent quite a bit of time extracting information from the Bloodfiend Sect youth, he knew Damon was most likely far ahead in the city.
With how the roads weaved about, finding him was going to depend on luck. However, John was sure that if he continued to venture deeper into the city's center, he would eventually run into Damon.
After John had calmed down slightly, he and Adam explored several of the buildings lining the roads. However, every building was completely empty, with only dusty and ruined furniture remaining.
There wasn't a single item of value in any of the buildings, disappointing John and Adam.
"I wonder what happened to this city. There are no signs of battle within this city, but it's completely devoid of life, treasures, or anything of note. It's quite eerie," Adam suddenly spoke up, looking to lighten the tension.
"I'm not sure, but I'm sure it has something to do with that ancient battlefield we saw outside the city walls. Maybe those living in this city were forced to flee, and left nothing behind. Or maybe it was completely pillaged of anything of value," John replied.
Ancient plazas continuously popped up, sporting majestic water fountains, grand statues, and other marvels. However, the wear and tear of time had reduced these wonders to near scrap.
"This city must have been amazing back in the day," Adam stated in wonder as he looked around.
Although the city was mostly destroyed, there were still hints of its former glory, stunning him. As a formations and weapons forging master, Adam appreciated any crafting art, building and status included. He could tell that the work and skill that went into creating this city must have been incredible, and was far beyond anything he had seen in his life so far.
"I'm sure it was," John replied.
He didn't care much for the city, as his mind was focused elsewhere at the moment.
While walking through the city, John and Adam occasionally saw disciples from the Heavenly Lightning Sect, Divine Soul Sect, and Supreme Battle Sect. They had taken quite a few detours in getting to this city, and so they were hardly the first to arrive. Quite a few had been inside the city for days already, and were exploring it as thoroughly as they could.
However, with the size of the ancient city, even all the disciples in the mysterious wastelands combined still wouldn't be able to explore everything in less than a year. The city spanned over a hundred miles in each direction, and contained countless buildings.
"Hmm? What's that?" Adam suddenly commented as his eyes stared into the distance.
John looked over to where Adam was pointing, and quickly spotted what he was talking about. An ancient building white and gold building appeared before them, and unlike the others, this one was in perfect condition. Its exterior designs and craftsmanship was exquisite, making the building appear even more impressive than the Heavenly Lightning Palace.
It was smooth and circular, appearing as if it was a large pole stuck into the ground. Windows lined the building every dozen yards, revealing that the building had hundreds and hundreds of floors within. The building narrowed as it rose upwards, and it pierced high into the clouds above.
A small crowd had gathered at the base of the building in front of the main entrance, also seemingly interested in it....
"Let's check it out," Adam said as he began to stride towards the crowd.
John didn't much care about the building, but any crowd had the potential to contain Bloodfiend Sect members. If he found any, John was going to kill them on the spot. As far as he was concerned, the entire sect had been marked for death.
It had first targeted his clan, and his clan would have been annihilated had it not been for him obtaining the support of the Heavenly Lightning Sect. After he thought everything was resolved, one of the disciples had killed Russell. John would never forgive them.
John and Adam quickly reached the crowd of youths, and disappointment appeared on John's face as he noticed no Bloodfiend Sect members.
"What's going on?" Adam asked a nearby youth, wondering why they were not entering the building.
The youth, a boy from the Divine Soul Sect, turned to Adam and inspected him briefly before responding.
"This building seems to be much more impressive than the others, so we came to see what potentially lies inside. However, there's an incredibly strong formation surrounding the building, and none of us can get in," the boy responded.
"A formation?" the word instantly piqued Adams interest, and the stepped forward to inspect the formation.
As soon as he came within a few feet of it, Adam could feel the power of the formation. It was not an offensive formation, but a pure defensive one. He studied it for some time, and even sent out some probing attacks, but was unable to shake it at all.
He returned to John, with both disappointment and wonder on his face.
"This ancient formation is incredible. Despite existing for who knows how long, its still incredibly strong. I estimate that it would take at least a Heaven Tribulation expert to pierce its defenses, if not someone stronger," Adam explained to John.
John frowned as he stared at the formation, before he quickly turned around and began to walk deeper into the city.
"Hey, we're leaving just like that?" Adam cried out from behind as he quickly caught up to John.
John continued to look forward, as if he was slightly distracted, while replying to Adam.
"You said it was impenetrable, so there's no point in wasting any time here," John replied.
Adam wanted to argue against that, but decided against it. What John had said made sense, and despite the fact that he could potentially draw insights from studying the formation, doing so was much less intriguing than continuing to explore the city.
The two of them continued to walk for some time, and Adam became more and more confused by John's choice of direction. He would weave down random streets, seemingly taking them to more and more isolated places. The two eventually arrived in a large abandoned courtyard.
Ancient statues, mostly crumbled, dotted the courtyard, and a large but dried out water fountain existed at its very center. John suddenly stopped, surprising Adam slightly. He was about to ask what was going on, when he noticed John's face had become cold and ruthless, quite similar to the day before.
"Stop playing these games and come out of the shadows, or I'll drag you out myself," John suddenly said out loud, surprising Adam once more.
"Oh? You actually managed to detect me?" a voice sounded out from a distance. A shadowed figure stepped out from behind a building, soon revealing his features to John and Adam.
John's eyes narrowed as he stared at the figure, but his emotionless face revealed his lack of surprise at who it was.
"Hunter?" Adam asked in confusion. He couldn't understand why Hunter was stalking them from the shadows.
"Oh? You're not going to run this time?" Hunter asked in an amused smile as he slowly walked towards John.
John stood there without a hint of retreat, surprising Hunter greatly. He thought he was going to have to chase him down once more, and was waiting for an opportunity to strike with a sure chance of success.
John's face remained expressionless as he stared back at Hunter. However, his anger was building up once more, and he was ready to explode at a moment's notice.
"You don't have to worry about me running this time," John replied in a cold tone. "I'm not sure why you're targeting me, but I'll make sure it's a choice you'll regret for the remainder of your short life."