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The Xingtian Legion had dozens of people in the cave. Like speedy hamsters, they rushed inside at a feverish pace. Their speed was fast, the fully unleashed speed of a cultivator. While they were much slower than automobiles, they had now shed themselves of the restriction of supply tools, leaving them even greater freedom.
Xu Yangyi took the lead. Behind him was several people from the Xingtian Legion, and then behind them was the Hidden Dragon Legion. The Zhao Clan followed up at the rear. While apprehension was still present on their faces, it had lessened by a lot.
“This is practically unimaginable…” Zhao Wuye was with the old man from the Zhao Clan, his eyes filled with astonishment as he looked around. “Someone actually dug out such a huge cave below Longsu… This is too unbelievable, how much manpower and resources were spent on this?”
The old man, Lord Zhao, was silent, instead gazing deeply at the nearly unseen back of Xu Yangyi ahead. After ages, he whispered, “Fenglai.”
Zhao Fenglai, who had originally entered Danxia Temple with Xu Yangyi but didn’t explore its depths, was at Zhao Wuye’s left. He immediately replied, “Please speak, Clan Elder.”
“If the Zhao Clan can make it out of this war…” Lord Zhao narrowed his eyes, and said clearly, enunciating each word, “be sure to befriend the Xingtian Legion with all of your strength.”
“Understood.” Zhao Fenglai nodded. “But if we can find our footing, there’ll be many clans worthy of us befriending…”
“You…” Lord Zhao sighed and said meaningfully, “You are too short-sighted…”
“Yes, even if the Xingtian Legion wins this territory, it’ll still take thirty to forty years for them to rise. Perhaps even fifty to sixty years from now. You all saw how unbelievably dense Longsu Province’s qi is. A foundation can be built here, but don’t forget… Xu Yangyi and that anonymous pill master have an extremely great relationship. Wealth, scripture, companions, and land… By the mere word of scripture, he stands besides Daomaster Ancientpine. If this war is won, Daomaster Ancientpine will surely view him on a whole new level of respect. I even suspect that this is Daomaster Ancientpine’s test for him.”
“Of cultivation’s four treasures, the Xingtian Legion controls three. What reason is there for him not to be strong?” Lord Zhao mumbled, “Especially… medicinal pills… medicinal pills! This secret technique, lost for a century, has been recreated! Once the advent of pills erupts, the Xingtian Legion will basically be unstoppable! The sudden rise of a new magnate is merely a question of time.”
Zhao Fenglai mused to himself, somewhat puzzled. “Speaking of medicinal pills, why haven’t we seen that pill master take over the market?”
“Stupid!” Lord Zhao coldly snorted. “Take over the market? You say it so easily! Do you know the share amount that pill elixirs have on the market? How many cultivators are waiting in anticipation? If the pill master pushes for medicinal pills now, how many pill elixir companies would be provoked? Behind these corporations lies the shadow of those apex clans! Some are even the subsidiary companies of Dao Masters!”
“As long as ten years is left to those peak corporations to gradually transform, no one will be able to complain too much when the times comes in the presence of a buffer. But what’s going to happen to these companies’ stockpiled merchandise if the market is seized now? And the spirit plants? Such a terrible lost is enough to make the pill elixir market band together and kill him!”
Upon taking note of the sudden realization on Zhao Fenglai’s face, Lord Zhao said, “This is a smart man, Branchmaster Xu even more so. Listen to me, befriending the Xingtian Legion is absolutely the right thing… Right here, I, Zhao Mingshan, bet that Branchmaster Xu will soar to greatness in the next couple decades!”
Ahead, Xu Yangyi’s gaze was like a torch. Tens of soldiers stormed the cave, yet not the slightest sound was made. The demon slayer’s spiritual sense had already expanded to the max, monitoring every single trace of surrounding movement.
Over several dozen meters above the cave, Mao Ba’er was quickly scurrying on the ground. Under the curtain of night, a dog’s silhouette didn’t draw attention. Through spiritual sense, the husky was able to directly transmit the advancing path into Xu Yangyi’s mind. Their current direction was aimed straight at Nanzhou.
Half an hour later, Xu Yangyi’s gaze suddenly twinkled, and he raised his hand. The people behind wordlessly stopped. Before the previous battle, there had originally been no distribution of command, but everyone now tacitly approved of Xu Yangyi’s commanding authority.
“What’s up?” Chu Zhaonan walked over and doubtfully scanned the area. “There’s nothing wrong?”
Lord Zhao also came over, his spiritual sense quietly stretching outwards. A few seconds later, a faint crease formed between his brows. “Branchmaster Xu, have you found something?”
“Haven’t you guys discovered… that all forks in the road disappear here?” Xu Yangyi looked around and said, “This is the only path in the cave.”
Lord Zhao and Chu Zhaonan ran their eyes over the surrounding cave walls. Sure enough, they had just rounded a corner, but before making a turn there had still been five or six other diverging paths. As they reached their present location, though, all other roads had vanished.
It was like… a den where the warrior was looking for the demon king, after having walked through labyrinths and finally arriving at the demon’s king grand palace.
“This is a good thing.” Lord Zhao laughed. “This place is too odd. If you’re not careful, you’ll take another path. Now that there’s only this path. Moreover, there’s no sign that Fellow Daoist Mao hasn’t deviated from the path. That’s good for us, not bad.”
Xu Yangyi was silent, because apart from this point he still felt a few things…
He and Lord Zhao were the same, late-stage Qi Condensation. Chu Zhaonan was the middle-stage, but their spiritual senses absolutely weren’t as strong his. Through the Eternal Alchemy Canon’s transformations, if he dared say his spiritual sense was second within the Qi Condensation realm, there were very, very few who would dare proclaim themselves as first. But now… at the extremes of his spiritual sense, roughly 300 meters ahead, he clearly detected something…
Furthermore… it was a living creature!
Its realm was not high, only the initial stage of Qi Condensation. Plus, it still hadn’t stabilized, and yet… the qi accumulated within its body was incomparably abundant!
“300 meters ahead, initial-stage Qi Condensation. This place can block spiritual sense. What I can sense is already limit; I can’t make out what it is.” He mumbled, and Lord Zhao sighed. This underground cave was in no way simple. Even in a group, they still held trepidation in their hearts as they hurried forward inside. Initial-stage Qi Condensation was completely within the control of their forces, however.
But Xu Yangyi’s next words almost caused Lord Zhao to jump.
“I’m afraid… the qi is equal to the vigor of thirty initial-stage cultivators.”
“What?” Chu Zhaonan looked at Xu Yangyi in shock. “Did you make a mistake? The amount of qi that can be stored is related to the meridians. One person’s meridians is as thick as thirty people’s? Is this thing even human? Can this cave fake it?”
Xu Yangyi remained silent, but he stared long and hard ahead.
A field of orchids within a cave, yet with each corner there would inevitably be shadow, stillness, and silence. No one knew what lay beyond the turn. In a place like this, it wasn’t too strange for anything to appear.
No one spoke, yet Chu Zhaonan’s gaze abruptly shrunk back. He said deeply, “You mean… it’s not human?”
Lord Zhao sucked in deeply. In such a place, something that wasn’t human had emerged… Then what was it? A demon?
He lifted his head and studied the runes that densely covered their surroundings, and then looked at the paths that lead all around of the subterranean palace-like cave. If it was a demon… could it be that this great formation… was sealing something below?
“No… not a seal.” Xu Yangyi furrowed his brows, his spiritual sense not daring to approach too close, as well. “It’s moving, but only where it is. Moreover… its spiritual force is very strange, a kind of very pure water-element spiritual force…”
“Pure water-element spiritual force?” Lord Zhao was puzzled. Such a classification of spiritual source had been done away with long ago in the age of Cultivation Civilization. Xu Yangyi was not old, but how could he say… such an ancient word?
Xu Yangyi didn’t explain. The Spirit Ascending Bamboo laid within his storage ring. To be collected by Xiaoqing, and moreover used to suppress Bai Suzhen’s bones, the treasure was an absolutely rare item. When he was in Xiaoqing’s treasury, he had touched the purest wood-element spiritual force. Now, this water-element spiritual force felt very similar to him.
After a short period of mumbling to himself, he called out to the rear, and a woman came forward.
“Branch Master.” Qin Xueluan smiled. “Is there something the matter?”
“Have your ‘little friends’ got take a look. The best your spiritual sense can link with.” Xu Yangyi gazed deeply at the corner. “If there’s something unexpected, withdraw immediately.”
“No problem.” Qin Xueluan waved both her hands, and a black little serpent flew out like lightning. After several flickers, it disappeared around the bend. A minute passed, two minutes passed. After three minutes passed, a wisp of doubt revealed itself on her face. “This…”
“Did you get a clean look?” Lord Zhao quickly asked.
Qin Xueluan shook her head and formed a seal with her hands. All of a sudden, though, she coldly gasped in surprise and stopped making seals. A trace of green light was in between her hands. At nearly the same time, her entire body seemed to struck by an invisible hammer, and she violently shivered a few good times. In the end, a line of blood spilled out from the corner of her mouth.
Nothing was said, the surrounding people looking at her seriously. She wiped at her lips and whispered, “It’s nothing.”
“What’s inside?” Chu Zhaonan asked.
The poison mistress took a deep breath. “A lake.”
“A large lake… approximately several hundred meters in size. There’s a cavern around a thousand meters. And…” She looked all around. “talismans that are much more complicated than the ones here. Moreover, it looks like the surrounding talismans converge there. The tendency is obviously different.”
Xu Yangyi, Lord Zhao, and Chu Zhaonan shared a glance, understanding the meaning in each other’s eyes.
A focus! One of this huge formation’s focuses!
Perhaps once they made it there, they would finally know what this formation was.
Qin Xueluan evidently thought the same, and shook her head. “There’s something odd about that lake. I couldn’t see clearly, but when my familiar slithered to the lakeside… something killed it.”
“Its realm isn’t high, roughly initial-stage Qi Condensation. However, there wasn’t a single indicator of cycling qi, otherwise it’s impossible that my snake didn’t react one bit. Besides… that thing followed my spiritual sense linked to my familiar, and attacked me!”
Silent, the duo looked at Xu Yangyi. Arranged before them were only two paths. The first: charge ahead. The second: cut open a path from here.
A short moment later, Xu Yangyi waved his hand, and said firmly, his voice slicing iron and nail, “Let’s go.”
“We… no longer have time.” He looked at them and said, “Where we are is already extremely close to Nanzhou. If we head back to the surface from here, we’ll be discovered immediately. Once we’re obstructed…”
His hand flickered, and the command plate emerged in his palm. Two-thirds of the golden light on its surface had already receded!
“We’ll trample over anyone’s body who dares to stop us. That’s how it was for the Screaming Wind Legion, and that’s how it’ll be for other enemies!”
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