Void Hand didn't return to the encampment of the Shandal Empire for many days, the other three heroic cultivators of his faction began to worry about his safety until they ultimately chose to look for him.
They knew in which direction he had gone after all, it was normal to be equipped with tracking devices when exploring an unknown and dangerous land.
Three figures flew in the air above the wasteland in the direction of the barren mountain in the distance, they were aware that Void Hand was somewhere near the lake that they could see past that area.
They found him sitting cross-legged on the ground in front of a tall stele which had signs orderly written on its surface, an ancient aura was radiated by the monument but they couldn't sense anything else.
However, when they saw Void Hand's face, they realized that something was wrong.
Void Hand was utterly pale, his hair and eyebrows, which had once been black, had become of a gray shade, it seemed as if his lifespan was being consumed as he stared at the stele.
Also, lines of blood fell from his bloodshot eyes, it was as if he was crying red tears.
It was clear that whatever he was experiencing had gone out of his control.
The others of his faction didn't hesitate, they used their joint consciousnesses to restrain Void Hand's mental energy to a small area and used their restrictive spells to immobilize him.
A whip made of flames coiled around his body, six small snakes rose from the terrain and blocked his limbs, a large sphere made of compressed air surrounded his body and lifted him in the air, Void Hand found himself bound and transported away from the stele.
However, he only realized what was happening after his eyes could no longer see the signs on the stele.
Void Hand entered a frenzied state when he couldn't see the signs anymore, he tried to break free from his bindings with his physical strength but his body couldn't oppose the power of those spells.
Then, he redirected his anger toward the three cultivators that were carrying him away, he tried to cast spells but his consciousness had been limited to a small area around him, he couldn't make his attack reach them.
"Void Hand, it's us, wake up!"
One of the heroic cultivators spoke, hoping that his companion would recover his mental state without the need for stronger measures.
Void Hand gave the cultivator an angry look until, eventually, he seemed to recognize his companion and he slowly calmed down.
Confusion was clearly shown in his gaze as he inspected his surroundings, it was as if he had no memories of the moments spent in front of the stele.
The same cultivator spoke when he saw that his companion had returned to reality.
He was the man who had created the sphere around Void Hand, his name was Spirit Stride due to his signature movement spell and he was also the leader of the group of heroic cultivators that the Empire had sent.
"Water… water can be anything but it can't be void. Haha! I was wrong! So wrong! The path of the void hand leads to a dead-end, water must be something to grow stronger!"
Void Hand exclaimed after recognizing Spirit Stride, he looked ecstatic as he moved his gaze to his palms.
The other three heroic cultivators remained silent as they watched the scene, they weren't sure if their companion had had some kind of breakthrough or if he had just gone mad.
His next words only increased their confusion.
"Spirit Stride, please, attack me with your wind blades, I must test something."
Void Hand tried to perform a bow as he spoke but he was still bound by the spells so he could only make a goofy gesture.
Another moment of silence followed his request, Spirit Stride didn't know what to do.
Yet, he trusted his companion and he was a citizen of the Empire, he would never reject the request of a fellow cultivator, especially if it concerned his power.
Also, attacking Void Hand was the perfect way to test his mental state.
Spirit Stride nodded to his companions who dispersed their spells after he did the same, Void Hand was freed and he straightened his posture in the air as he waited for the leader to attack.
Spirit Stride stretched his index and middle finger and swung his hand many times as if he was wielding a blade.
Dozens of sharp blades were created in the air and shot at a high speed toward Void Hand who still had an ecstatic expression.
The latter raised his hand which shone with a blue light before a dark glow sparkled at the center of his palm.
That move was his Void hand, the martial art from which his name had come from.
The wind blades crashed on his hand but their forms dissipated when they came in contact with the dark glow, Void Hand's defensive technique was indeed amazing.
However, after all the wind blades had been absorbed by the palm, a series of identical blue slashes shot out of it, aiming for the amazed Spirit Stride.
That attack was basically identical to his, the only difference was the "Breath" of the water element that had been used to create the blades.
Spirit Stride easily dodged the attack, he had used only a fraction of his power to attack his companion after all, and shot a confused gaze toward Void Hand before turning to look at the stele.
"Did you gain enlightenment from those signs? I can feel that they radiate an ancient aura but I don't sense anything else."
Spirit Stride asked and looked at the other two heroic cultivators to be sure that he wasn't the only one that could only sense that.
Void Hand kept on smiling as he answered according to what he had understood about the monument.
"I think a powerful being of the water element has taken notes there a long time in the past. I felt part of his understanding of that element being passed down to me, I fear that the price to pay for such gains is your lifespan though."
It was after those words that the four cultivators from the Empire silently understood that they had finally found traces of divine beings.