Cursed Immortality
Chapter 650: Timeless City

In the treacherous southeast quadrant of the Star Ocean, there is a No-Return Zone called the Riddle Archipelago, one of the three most dangerous no-return zones in the Star Ocean.

This Riddle Archipelago was proclaimed as such for two reasons. The first one was that in this place, any magic equipment starts to decay, and this strange decay also affects the beings with magic. Their magic power slowly dissipates before their magic orbits rot, and they eventually meet the fate of death.

The second reason no one wanted to tread anywhere near this place was that if someone were to enter this no-return zone unknowingly, they would find that no matter how much they came closer to one of these islands, they would never be able to reach it.

Not only that, but they will also not be able to return, and they will fall into this strange conundrum until they run out of resources and die helplessly.

Even to this day, the Riddle Archipelago holds its secrets close. In a sense, it was even more dangerous than the Vicious Calamity Fog Zone!

Yet, within the heart of Riddle Archipelago, on this seemingly unremarkable island, nestled beneath this strange illusion, shielded by an extremely rare, anti-magic obsidian, lay a Hidden City!

Unlike the bleached archipelago, this city pulsed with an otherworldly vibrancy. Buildings, sleek and metallic, shimmered with an internal glow powered by harnessed geothermal vents and captured magical anomalies. Razor-sharp wind turbines, defying the still air, siphoned residual energy from the warped magic field. A network of glowing pathways snaked between structures, humming with a low, rhythmic pulse.

Here, within the archipelago's suffocating embrace, a secret society thrived, a testament to the ingenuity and a flicker of defiance against this ghastly environment.

The people of this hidden city all wore white cloaks with the symbol of a black hourglass, and despite its dense population, an eerie silence loomed in its streets.

In the center of this Hidden City, a cathedral of anti-magic obsidian rose amidst the tech. Towering arches pulsed with arcane light, leading to a vast hall lined with aged, light-devouring bookshelves.

In the heart of this cathedral was a colossal hourglass, its obsidian frame holding an impossible flow of black sand–defying gravity, ever-flowing upwards. This enigmatic timepiece, a stark contrast to the library's comforting familiarity, pulsed with the city's strange magic.

Suddenly, within this empty hall, a static voice rang.

"Immunity Period (20 years) of Iron Streak Breaker Faceless Ancient has been ended!

"Gathering new information on Faceless Ancient from Star Network…

"Task Completed!

"Faceless Ancient is now presumably a Unique Rank and personal member of Dark City. Gathering date from the Dark City's server…

"Dark Battle Arena records are found, gathering fighting data and reevaluating Faceless Ancient prowess…

"Task Completed!

"Final evaluation, Faceless Ancient true battle prowess analysis: 100% Beyond Unique, 70% Inception Legend, & 20% Quasi Legend

"The target prowess is beyond the range of the system's initial analysis!

"The initial Bronze Class Streak Breaker Bounty has been terminated!"

"The Silver Class Kill Order is also insufficient for the target; hence, the auto bounty has been permanently terminated!"

The static voice went dormant after this, but all of a sudden, it rang again.

"Beep… found data in Star Hackers server on Faceless Ancient!

"Gathering data…

"Task Completed!

"A Golden Constant Rank information is found within the data.

"Sending information to Golden Constant-51,117!"

Within a few minutes of this notification, below the hourglass, a white phantom of a hominoid figure appeared.

"Connect me to all the Golden Constants active within the Taurus Lesser Galaxy!" His voice was overlapping between a male and a female and completely emotionless.

"Establishing Contact!" The static voice sounded in affirmation.

Soon, around the black hourglass, tiny golden light particles started to appear one by one like stars in the dark sky, and soon, the number reached thousands.

"All the Golden Constants are present!" The static voice rang again.

"My fellow Timeless Wanderers, today, as the Lord of Timeless City of the Taurus Lesser Galaxy, I contacted you all because the clues about the Legendary Key have been found!

"Those among you who qualify to become Constant Nobles can stay while the others are free to leave and get back to your refinement of time!

"Please note that according to the Timeless Credo, only those at the pinnacle of golden constant rank are allowed to cross the Unique Plains!"

After this white phantom's announcement, many golden particles around the hourglass started to vanish one after another, and after a few minutes, only around two thousand of them remained.

The white phantom spoke again after no more golden particles were vanishing: "Since you are here, this means that you have reached the pinnacle of Golden Constant Rank. My fellow Timeless Wanderers, I must congratulate you on taking another step towards true immortality!

"Now, I'm going to send you the information we have on the legendary key, and you are free to use your accumulated Timeless Sand to search for the Taurus Legendary Key.

"Like in the past, those who find the Legendary Key will be rewarded with 1 Gram of Timeless Sand and automatically become the leader of our Taurus Lesser Galaxy group.

"Furthermore, after the winner of the Legendary Key is decided, those who bring the Star Ocean Medallion will also be rewarded with 10 Milligrams of Timeless Sand for each Star Ocean Medallion.

"This event occurs only whenever the path of legend opens in all twelve galaxies, and it is a chance to increase your Timeless Sand for your journey beyond the Golden Constant Rank.

"I will also not tell you to kill each other since it isn't prohibited, and the path of immortality is riddled with all kinds of dangers. Still, you must work together once the legendary key is found since there are many heretics who stand in your path of immortality.

"Still, for those who meet their end in the pursuit of True Immortality, fear not, for you can start your journey again if you hold firm to your beliefs; death is but a dream for us Timeless Wanderers.

"Last but not least, like always, I will again emphasize our only goal; if any of you ever come across any clue about the lost scripture of Immortality, you will be heavily rewarded, and the person who finds it will be the true lord of ATLAS!"

Chapter 650: Timeless City
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