In a white haze, the team reappeared within the tower's first floor. If a floor it could be called…
Wherever the eyes went, only darkness lied. Neither Konrad nor the ladies at his side could see anything. Worse, they felt a crushing pressure drop on their shoulders!
Konrad's feet sank into the ground while some of the ladies directly dropped on their knees, struggling to get back up.
Only Zamira, Lena and Diyana managed to avoid dropping on their knees. Following a breath of time, the others returned to their feet, albeit struggling under the pressure.
"Twenty times the gravity. This is twenty times the gravity."
Konrad assessed while the pressure of his own weight seemed to drive him toward the floor. If they didn't quickly adapt, how could they fight?!
"The same person can only enter the tower once in a lifetime. At the same time, the traps and challenges one face often change. Therefore, using the predecessors' experiences is almost useless."
Diyana explained while shivering on her feet. Unlike the others, she only faced ten times the gravity. Courtesy of her faith.
"However, there is one thing that never changes:
Each floor is defended by Armored Guards whose strength increase with higher floors. The Armored Guards are led by a Floor Guardian tasked with preventing us from reaching higher levels.
We don't have to defeat the Floor Guardian to carry on, but if we do, we'll have access to the Floor's Principal Loot.
The Guardians are immortal, and always reconstruct for new entrants."
Konrad had already obtained all this intel from Yvonne. Therefore, his face showed no ripple. According to Yvonne, on the first floor, they would face the Iron Guard.
At first, all believed they'd fallen into a cave where no light passed. However, when Konrad attempted to light the place with a fireball, reality struck them hard.
They could feel the heat but couldn't see the flames! Clearly, they'd all turned blind!
"Activate your spiritual senses."
Konrad calmly ordered and instantly, all activated their spiritual senses. However, Diyana aside, none could push it more than three meters ahead! As for Diyana, she was stuck to six meters.
Konrad inwardly cursed and activated his Origin Sight. Finally, light returned to his eyes, and he could see they now laid in a narrow passageway walled by dark-gray stones. There only was one road, ahead!
"All of you activate your Origin Sights. You'll then regain your vision."
During their secluded cultivation, Konrad didn't just improve their bloodlines and physiques. He also granted them abilities to enhance their battle power. Either through the system or the contracts.
Instantaneously, all regained their senses, and Diyana was now the only one unable to freely grasp the perimeter.
Following Konrad's lead, all advanced; taking carefully measured steps to avoid falling into a trap. This went on for one hour, after which the group stopped to readjust to the gravity.
"There is only one road…but no exit in sight! It feels like we're not making any progress whatsoever."
Iliana sighed, speaking the words that echoed in the mind of all others. Even with their Origin Sight, they couldn't see the end of the road. However, the path at their back clearly showed they'd been making progress.
How long could this road possibly be?
And with the gravity crushing them, how long would it take to see the exit? But as all were lost in thoughts, a creaking sound echoed from the nearby walls.
All swept them with their gazes, and their eyes widened in fright.
Without delay, Konrad waved his hands, forming a force field around the team. The others then supplemented the force field with their own energy.
At that time, dozens of earth pikes sprouted from the walls above, at the left and at the right to impale them where they stood!
The earth pikes slammed against the force field, the collision sending tremors throughout the ground. Fortunately, they failed to breakthrough.
With the force field protecting them, the group resumed its advance. But soon realized that every time they stopped to readjust to the crushing gravity, the earth pikes would assail them!
"Hateful! What kind of sick individual built this nonsense?!"
Jasmine cursed. They'd been going on for several hours with the exit still nowhere to be seen. Under the weight of twenty times the gravity, asking them to carry nonstop through several miles was no different from demanding their demise!
Still, since the relentless pike hammering prevented them from getting the rest they needed, they could only carry onward.
But at that time, as if triggered by Jasmine's words, the walls trembled, and from them, hundreds of identical shapes appeared! As a knowledgeable earthling, Konrad felt those shapes oddly akin to the terracotta army.
The shapes emerged from the walls, turning into iron terracotta soldiers that blocked the group front and back, sandwiching them without leaving any room for escape.
Seeing the hundreds of iron soldiers that appeared following her curses and now blocked them on all angles, Jasmine blinked in disbelief, her mouth forming an "O" shape.
All eyes turned toward her, and within them, rage clearly burned!
"Why are you looking at me like that? This has clearly nothing to do with me!"
She protested against the silent, raging, and inquisitive eyes.
Like a flawlessly trained battalion, the iron guards aimed their swords and spears at the group.
"Two-hundred-fifty at the front, two-hundred-fifty at the back. Now, now, this is what I call a dead end."
Konrad sighed and summoned six red circles.
"Sixth Circle Sp-"
But as he began the spellcasting, and gathered a destructive power of the Saint-level, the walls trembled, overtaken by violent tremors, and threatening to collapse from all sides!
"You gotta be kidding me! If I use a sixth circle spell, you'll collapse on us?!"
Konrad realized in outrage and aborted the incantation.
At that time, the Iron Guard attacked! The vanguard charging with spear thrusts while the sword wielders leaped into the air to tackle the group from above.
From the intensity of their aura, Konrad judged their strength at the peak of the Transcendent Rank.
"To arms! You girls protect the rear, I will carve out an escape road!"
Konrad summoned his holy broadsword, Miraculous Transcendence erupted from his meridians, and in a dazzling sword slash, ten Iron Guards were slashed in two!