The room before them was incredibly large, several miles long and wide, with a ceiling a hundred yards tall. However, almost none of the floor of this room was visible, and was instead almost completely covered in skeletons. Countless skeletons, both intact and shattered littered the floor.
"Just what happened here? There must be at least one hundred thousand corpses here?" Miko mumbled in a stunned tone.
The skeletons ranged in size, from full grown adults to infants. Most of the bones were shattered, indicating that they had taken incredible damage while they were alive.
"I'm not sure," John replied in an equally stunned tone. "But I'm guessing this is why we didn't find any bodies or signs of life in the ancient city. They're all here."
It finally made sense to John, why a city as massive as the one they had walked through had no signs of life whatsoever. Not even a single corpse. John scanned the room before him, looking for clues as to what happened.
In the very center of the room, there were two things of note. The first was a massive arch, almost identical to the one that John used to enter the pocket realm. It emanated the same ancient aura, but the top portion was shattered, rendering it broken.
"I guess we know now why the age restriction formation went crazy," John mumbled.
Behind the arch, there was a raised platform, several feet off the ground. Incredibly intricate formation runes lined the sides and the top of the platform, making it look quite impressive.
"That's a transportation formation, and an incredibly large one. Much larger than I've ever seen before. This thing must be able to teleport someone tens of thousands of miles, or even more!" Miko exclaimed as his eyes fell on the formation.
All the corpses seemed to be facing the formation, as if they were attempting to flee through it. On the sides of the formation, there was a ring of armored skeletons. Each had their armor and bones shattered, but the power emanating off them indicated that they had incredible power while alive.
Finally, on top of the formation platform, two skeletons stood tall. The first was the skeleton of a man clad in incredible black and gold armor. His dead corpse still emanated an incredible power, and he held a sword in his hand that was pierced forward.
The sword was pierced into the skeleton of another who stood before him. Unlike the man, this skeleton was clearly not human. The skeleton had four arms, and stood quite a bit taller than the man. There were two sharp horns on the head of the creature. One of its arms was outstretched, and had pierced directly through the armor of the man before him and out the back.
Clearly, their battle had ended in mutual destruction.
"They were all attempting to flee," a soft voice suddenly sounded out behind John and Miko. Both jumped in fright, as they had not detected anyone else in the area, and they quickly turned around to the source of the voice.
John's eyes went slightly wide as he recognized who it was. Her face was hooded and veiled, but the lavender hair that fell out of the hood gave her identity away.
"You! What are you doing here?" John asked with his guard raised.
The girl before him laughed slightly, as if she was amused by John's guarded reaction. "I passed the trials, the same as you and your friend, and ventured down here afterwards," the girl replied.
Miko also stared warily at the girl. His instincts were incredibly sharp, and despite that, he had not been able to detect the girl until she had spoken. Clearly, her power was far above his and Johns.
The girl laughed once again, amused by the reactions of the two before her. It was much different than she was used to, and was quite refreshing to be treated in such a way.
"Relax, I'm not here to fight you. I'm just here to explore these lands the same as you," the girl replied with a gentle voice.
"Is that so?" John replied with a suspicious voice. However, he took no moves against her, as he was not confident in being able to fight against her.
"As I was saying, all these corpses were trying to flee through the transportation formation. However, it seems as if the battle between the two who stand on top of the formation was too much for the others to bear, and they all perished," the girl elaborated.
John looked back towards the carnage before him, and nodded his head in agreement. It truly did appear as if such a thing happened.
"We'll, the final reward was supposed to be the arch before us, allowing us to enter another land, but that's no longer possible," John grumbled out loud.
His eyes locked onto the two participants on the platform, as well as the other powerful corpses lined around it. They all held incredible weapons and armor, which were quite valuable. Each emanated a power greater than the ancient sword he had obtained, indicating how powerful they were.
John looked towards a nearby corpse, and spotted a spatial ring still on its finger. He took a step forward and picked it up, and sent his divine sense into the ring. A frown appeared on his face....
"The spatial dimension within this ring has already collapsed, destroying everything within. Just how long have these corpses been here for?" John mused out loud.
"Most likely several hundred thousand years," the girl replied.
John turned to look at her, as it seemed as if she had some information regarding what happened here.
"How do you know that?" John asked curiously.
The girl looked back over the large room, inspecting it for a brief moment more before looking back at John. Her crystal blue eyes locked onto his, causing his breath to catch for a moment before he snapped out of it. He frowned once more, displeased at himself.
'It's the same damn thing as last time. This witch is far too dangerous.'
The girl's eyes brightened slightly. Although John could not see her mouth due to her veil, he could tell that she was smiling, either at him or for some other reason.
"I can't be one hundred percent sure, but I'm guessing this event is related to the calamity that nearly destroyed this world in the past," the girl elaborated.
"The calamity?" John and Miko asked in unison. "Is the calamity related to why this world has regressed in power so much?" John asked further.
"While the world did regress quite a bit in the past, it's not so weak anymore. However, in regards to the calamity, I unfortunately don't know much about it, only that it happened."
"Is that so?" John mumbled in response.
He began to walk forward cautiously, and sent his divine sense out to inspect for any danger. Miko and the girl followed behind him, as the three of them ventured towards the platform in the far distance.
The sounds of ancient bones breaking beneath their feet continuously rang out. The mysterious energy surrounding the temple still restricted their flight, making it so that they could not fly to the platform.
The three slowly but surely approached the platform. They passed by the massive ancient arch, and John momentarily inspected it before continuing on. When they were a dozen yards away from the platform, the three of them stopped once more.
A power energy, emanating off the long dead corpses on top of the pedestal, radiated outwards.
"Even after all this time, their corpses still contain this much power! I wonder how strong they were while they were alive," Miko couldn't help but exclaim in astonishment. Just standing before the corpses was a burden for him and John.
John nodded his head in agreement, equally impressed by the power they were still emitting. Every step they took increased the pressure on them further, causing them to raise their own power to resist it.
John stood before one of the armored cultivators that circled the base of the platform. He inspected it briefly, but his eyes suddenly darted upwards towards the platform above him.
His eyes widened greatly as he saw the skull of the bizarre four armed creature staring right at him. A deep chill crept up his spine, as the creature had been looking at the man in front of it before.
John instinctively took a step backwards, which caused Miko and the girl to look at him with curiosity. They trailed his eyes, and looked up towards the platform once more.
The creature's skeleton now fully faced John, its eyeless skull staring straight at him.
A loud echo rang out as the skeleton took a step towards John, sending a chill up the spines of all three youths.
The skeleton of the bizarre creature, which had been dead for countless millennia, had somehow come back to life. Its power pressed down on John, as it suddenly lunged forward towards him.