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A single line was like a thunderclap in the darkness. From shock, everyone regained their wits. A cultivator operating a giant tortoise didn’t utter a second word and squeezed in another two spirit stones. The light within the giant tortoise’s eyes became golden, and he turned his head and said, “Fellow Daoist! It’s already at the fastest speed! Five minutes! The fastest we can get to the storage site is five minutes!”
Gurgle gurgle gurgle… A strong bloody smell wafted in the air. Very soon… the sound of over a dozen paddling movements broke the water’s surface. In the darkness, below the water, and all around, the creatures swam towards the creep of giant tortoises!
“Five Thunders Law… Spiritsevering Storm!” Yang Xueqing growled, and an endless amount of blue qi converged in her two hands. Following this sudden brightness, everyone gained full clarity in an instant.
This place… even now it was mystery as to how high and wide it was. At the minimum, it was 300 meters in radius! The water’s surface was suffused with an abnormal, wretched green. In such a large space, this location was already a small lake. It absolutely wasn’t some entry stream!
Over a dozen meters above them was the cave roof, yet in the water… ten-odd fins cut out several-meter-long triangular waves. These fins just happened to be swimming towards them at a flying speed!
As for each fin, they were all over five meters! In other words, these things below the water were at least seven to eight meters long! That was a length enough to swallow two to three people!
Woosh woosh woosh! Infinite thunder gathered in Yang Xueqing’s hand. In the next second, two thunder orbs suddenly flashed. She lightly waved, and the two orbs immediately flew to the lake center. Roughly two meters away from the lakewater, the endless thunderbolts struck the surface in the wake of her command spell!
Boom boom boom! The lakewater boiled in a flash! However… the following occurrence completely stunned everyone!
Just as the thunder orbs were about to devastate the small lake, an immense silhouette suddenly leaped out high from the lake. Beneath bluish-white thunder, everyone clearly saw this monster’s figure.
It… was a full seven to eight meters, a strange fish! However, it was different from other fishes. Its mouth was broad and long, and looking from the profile, it resembled a swordfish! As for the head of this seemingly duck-billed fish, its mouth occupied ninety percent of its head. The inside of this mouth was all frightening, densely packed, finger-sized teeth! Under its mouth, there was even a sack-like fixture. The fish had no defensive scales and gave off a kind of bizarre color of interweaved black and pink.
Time seemed to halt in this instant. In the darkness, merely the brightness allowed this monstrous fish to seemingly recognize that it had leaped an entire two meters out of the water. The giant mouth opened, almost extending a meter wide! The fish exhausted all of its strength and chomped!
Swoosh… Light faded away again. In a twinkling, the two thunder orbs had surprisingly been swallowed by the fish!
Yang Xueqing watched all of this in disbelief. Prompt, she threw out another thunder orb without the slightest hesitation. This time, it cautiously ascended to the cave top.
“Nothing?!” Jun Man gasped coldly and bolted up to his feet. He looked at the water, not daring to believe.
That monstrous fish which had swallowed the thunder orb… Not the slightest thing had actually happened. On the contrary, over a dozen fins were revolving around the thunder orb in the air, eager to try out Yang Xueqing’s spell.
“W-What in the world is this monster?!” Zhao Wuye’s eyes were fairly reddened. Zhao Mingfeng… Old Seven and him were rather familiar with each other, but how could he have expected that in this darkness, Zhao Mingfeng would be carelessly seized of his life in such a way by this giant fish!
“I’m not sure.” Xu Yangyi’s face was extremely grave. These fishes… were too strange! The Vajra Formation hadn’t reacted, demonstrating that they didn’t carry any qi! Nonetheless, the fish had eaten Yang Xueqing’s divine ability moments ago! Yet nothing had really happened?
How could a body without the support of qi possibly swallow a divine ability? The inside of the fish’s stomach hadn’t been blown to smithereens?
“I-I probably know…” Zhou Tingting’s stupefied voice rang out from behind. When she’d heard that Danxia Temple’s secret realm could be entered, she likewise hadn’t been scared but rather followed in company.
“T-That was an alligator gar…” It went without saying that she loved to read all kinds of news and information. Presently, she was looking below the water, her eyes wide and mouth ajar. “This creature… has already existed for over 100 million years… It’s n-never been born within China but in America. And on top of that, it absolutely doesn’t grow THIS big! Its mouth isn’t able to open either, and it never attacks people! N-Now, how…”
“This isn’t a pure alligator gar.” Xu Yangyi narrowed his eyes and looked at the fins. “I don’t what it is, but there wasn’t any reaction from the Vajra Formation. That means this thing is a purely natural organism.”
“A natural organism?!” Zhao Fenglai said hatefully, “A natural organism can swallow a cultivator’s arcane effort?!”
Xu Yangyi brushed an eye over him. “Don’t forget where this is.” He used his foot to stomp on the tortoise’s back and said lowly, “Here… everything is possible.” He had another word, but he didn’t speak.
If… down below truly was the lotus sea… If… that unfathomable creature, simply impossible for it to be on Earth, truly existed… In that case… these fish were quite possibly its disciples!
The inside… has long since been reformed into another world by that tremendous demon! An abnormal ecosphere completely different from regions familiar to humanity! Not to mention alligator gars, it wouldn’t even be odd if gar-demons appeared!
He laughed wryly. If this was truly the situation, him being able to return alive back then was basically an enormous miracle!
“Jun Man, you bring up the rear,” he finished speaking, and all his spiritual force revolved to the peak. His voice low, he said, “Everyone, advance at full speed! Regardless of who’s left behind, it doesn’t matter!”
A battle in such a place with these kinds of monsters didn’t hold a chance at victory whatsoever!
“Alright!” Jun Man didn’t hesitate in the slightest and hopped over, arriving on the last giant tortoise. Soon afterwards, his body began to swell up like a balloon!
In the next instant, countless plant roots burst out from his veins. He appeared to instantly transform into a plant man! As for these plants, each root was growing with barbs that were over a dozen centimeters long! Under the lightning’s glow, one could even see the aqua-blue edges of these tips that obviously carried a severe poison!
More importantly… these plants carried a stench so vile that they induced a desire to vomit upon smelling them. A veritable jungle of plants frantically swung out behind the group and transformed into a giant net! It was distantly opposed to the alligator gars at the rear!
Crash… All of a sudden, two alligator gars leaped out from the water and fiercely battered Jun Man’s large net! Two enormous maws, enough to swallow an adult male, spread open to their greatest limit! Inside, rows of horrific teeth glinted with a cold, shimmering light!
“Close!” A roar that exhausted his strength came from Jun Man’s mouth. Now, the plant roots changed again! All of them suddenly contracted! They formed a giant plant net, wrapping up the two alligators gars high in up air!
Legions of aqua-blue barbs immediately entered the alligator gars’ bodies. At the same time, Jun Man gritted his teeth and severed the plants all over him. Countless bloody arrows violently jetted out from his body! Nonetheless, his expression was unconcerned.
“I can hold this for twenty minutes.” He wiped the bloodstain at the side of his mouth and asked gruffly, “Can we get there?!”
“We definitely can!” Zhao Wuye eyed the water fixedly, but without any pause he deeply gritted his teeth. He forced himself to turn his head back and commanded the giant tortoise ahead with maximum power.
Before they came, they’d all written wills. Now… there wasn’t anything easy to say, merely life and death were ruled by fate, riches and honor in heaven’s ear. Furthermore… the present situation still hadn’t surpassed the cultivators’ imaginations. Not a single person knew… what secrets were hiding below.
In several decades, Zhao Wuye would advance to Foundation Establishment and become China’s most famous explorer, scouting countless secret realms throughout his life. However, only when someone asked him about his first secret realm did he turn tight-lipped, not answering a single word.
Giant tortoises cut traces across the water’s surface. Each minute dragged past like a year. No one knew whether or not even more mutant gars were below!
Behind, the crashing sound of splashing water and the knowledge of a heavy object falling into the water constantly beat each person’s frame of mind. No one looked back. All of them unwaveringly stared ahead.
Ten minutes passed. Everyone’s frontal view was already getting brighter and brighter. There was a dimly visible, giant cave that was over a thousand meters in size. Rays of sunlight directly shot down from above it.
In the darkness, light reappeared. Everyone took a collective sigh and suddenly discovered that the alligator gars that could oddly bite, circle them, and leap in and out of the water had disappeared.
Zhao Wuye wiped the cold sweat on his head. He knew that in this tremendous space, there existed a path… A path that led directly to the honeycomb wall! And there, the Zhao Clan had placed an ancestor’s magik treasure! It was enough to ensure their security!
“Fellow Daoists! These are the final three minutes! Keep holding on!” His voice was somewhat hoarse. He waved powerfully, and the giant tortoise blazed ahead.
Xu Yangyi kept quiet, his expression like a lake. It was unknown what he was thinking of. He merely looked at the jade slip in his hand, pensive in his thoughts.
The cave was getting close and closer. Everyone could see it clear and even the cultivators brought by the Zhao Clan had already fallen flat on their giant tortoises’ backs. They clutched at their chests and exhaled heavily.
Not a single one of those alligator gars came chasing. It was as if it was merely this much, and the creatures had lost their interest towards them. Or perhaps they really couldn’t give chase. To be short, behind them was a quiet expanse. There was only Jun Man’s deathly pale face as he took pill elixir to stabilize his breathing.
Three minutes later, Zhao Wuye bore the brunt and charged into the cave. Shortly, everyone else’s giant tortoises sailed in. The giant cavern was no less than 1,100 to 1,200 meters in size.
Above, a mystery as to where they led and at the cave top of unknown height, there were countless holes spilling rays of sunshine. Beneath the sunlight, the dim-green water seemed to transform into pieces of jade. Yet in this cave, at the deepest part, there was a vacant isle-like space. It was connected to a clearly man-made excavated tunnel.
“This is the place… This is the place!” At last, Zhao Fenglai fully set his heart at ease and noiselessly sighed. He looked at the last tortoise.
There, besides Jun Man, was a corpse.
Zhao Mingfeng, by the alligator gar’s bite just now, had a full half of his body torn off. At this moment, no one moved. The mangled corpse was reclining there as before.
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