Chapter 204: The Stone Temple and the Underground Passageway
The place that Han Li intended to go to was located within some basin on the ring-shaped mountain; it was surrounded by large, strangely-shaped rocks that shielded it from the elements. Square in the middle of this basin was an ancient, huge azure stone temple. Although the stone temple was huge, the door to the temple was pitifully small; it could only allow two people to enter in side by side. This gave Han Li, who was standing on top of the rocks and gazing at it, an extremely strange feeling of discordance.
Han Li knitted his eyebrows and jumped off the rocks; then, he leisurely walked near the temple door, raising his head to look at this stone temple.
As he looked at it, the suspicion on his face became even more evident.
He didn’t know if it was an illusion, but he always felt that on this stone temple’s surface, pale, azure light would occasionally flow; however, when he wanted to take a careful, close look at it, he was unable to see any difference. After doing this a few time, he began to quietly whisper to himself. Could people really have set some kind of magic technique here?
Han Li lowered his head, scanning the ground around him; he was unable to find any traces of people arriving before him, causing him to squint his eyes.
“There’s definitely something odd! Although this basin is somewhat remote, with this huge temple here, there’s no way that other people haven’t discovered it. Even more so, my own information was given to me by that guy Feng Yue; how could he not have arrived at this place before!” In a moment, Han Li’s heart had already run through numerous different ideas; he subconsciously felt that something was wrong.
But he was also somewhat unwilling to leave this place just like that.
Thus, he retreated a few steps, feeling around inside his storage pouch; a golden blade appeared in his hand, and he flung it into the air. It became a streak of golden light, fiercely striking a random azure stone on top of the temple door. With a “Puchi”, the azure stone flooded with azure light, safe and sound, while the golden blade flipped a few times in the air, having been reflected tens of meters away.
Han Li shook his head and turned around, about to leave this place.
“The main goal is to avoid pointless dangers and walk out of the forbidden area alive; this stone temple is so strange, it’s best if I don’t go in there,” Han Li thought, his expression unchanging.
But Han Li had just taken two steps when the color of his face dramatically changed; his figure flashed, and he disappeared into the air. Then, Han Li’s figure appeared again inside of the temple door, but it immediately disappeared again into the stone temple.
At this time, a huge flock of Masked Moon Sect disciples suddenly appeared on some of the rocks of the basin to the side; the leader was the seemingly young fairy woman, who was actually a Martial Ancestor of the Masked Moon Sect.
At this moment, the young woman gazed at the temple door where Han Li had disappeared with a trace of suspicion. She had felt that there was someone in this place, but now she saw that there was not a single person in sight. Could her instincts have been wrong?
The young woman stood still, unwilling to believe any falsehoods. She gently closed her eyes and released her tremendous divine sense all at once. In the end, other than their group of people, she did not sense that there were any other cultivators nearby the basin area. However, when her divine sense swept over the stone temple, it was repelled outside by some kind of strength, causing the young woman to be shocked. However, she immediately began to rejoice, a trace of laughter hanging on her face.
Upon first glance, she had already discovered that this stone temple had already had a restrictive technique cast on it by someone; this did not surprise her. Because the ten or so demonic beasts they had swept aside all had a restrictive technique cast on their secret acupuncture points, this could not amount to much! However, the restrictive technique here could not be penetrated even by her divine sense. This was the first time she had encountered such a situation; the superficial restrictive techniques from before simply could not compare!
In a moment of excitement, the young fairy woman did not want to pursue the matter from before anymore. She trusted that even if there really were one or two disciples from other sects nearby peeping, they would definitely not be willing to create a disturbance with so many people from the Masked Moon Sect! Thus, she took the lead to walk towards the stone temple.
Han Li, at this time, was standing in the large lobby of the stone temple, so anxious that he was spinning around frantically in circles!
He had just been about to leave! Thus, he had first let out his divine sense to assess the situations in his surroundings and prepare to leave.
However, he had never expected that just as he had released his divine sense, he would immediately sensed a huge group of cultivators so close to him. He was so surprised that all of the blood in his body almost congealed, and so he flashed into the stone temple without thinking. Regardless of which of the other six sects these people outside were from, if they saw him here, one would not need to think too much to know what his fate would be.
In reality, if it weren’t for his energy expenditures being too high in these past two days, he completely could have used his extremely speedy movement techniques and unabashedly shake off these cultivators from his sleeve and leave. Unfortunately, based on his current condition, this kind of movement technique could not be used many more times; even if he wanted to run, he wouldn’t be able to run very far.
Currently, he was safe, hiding inside the stone temple! However, he also had been blocked in by that group of cultivators, with no way of leaving anymore.
Actually, this stone temple’s construction was too simple! After entering the temple door and walking through a serpentine, winding hallway, an empty, large lobby appeared in front of his eyes. The entire hollow, large lobby actually did not have even a single place for him to hide. Upon looking at the attitude of the flock of people outside, they definitely came for this stone temple. Wishing for those people not to come inside was purely a vain attempt!
In actuality, to say that there definitely was no place for him to go was not entirely true.
In front of Han Li’s eyes, in the center of the large lobby, was a black tunnel surrounded by jade railings. The tunnel entrance had a row of stairs, directly slanting into the ground from the entrance. It was also incessantly blowing out warm, humid air; it was truly difficult to imagine where this tunnel would lead one to.
However, Han Li could also guess without thinking that the place this tunnel led to would definitely not be a nice place; it would definitely be extremely ruthless, which was why he had been hesitant to enter. However, there truly were no other places for him to hide in this large temple! This caused the cold sweat on Han Li’s forehead to gush out all at once with a “shua”.
And a this time, the sound of chaotic footsteps came floating over from the temple entrance; it seemed that group of cultivators had already entered the stone temple and would enter this lobby in the time it takes to roll one’s eye.
Seeing this, Han Li seeing this, bitterly sighed in his heart; then, gritting his teeth, he lightly jumped over the railings and slipped into the tunnel.
After entering the tunnel, Han Li’s surroundings were pitch black. He used his hand to reach into his storage pouch and retrieve the Moonlight Stone, and only then did his surroundings light up.
The entire tunnel could not be considered to be large. It was entirely built out of azure stone and could allow one person to barely pass through it. Han Li touched the stone wall in passing; it was somewhat damp and slippery.
He did not dare to tarry at all, fearful that the people behind him would catch up to him. Thus, he walked downwards carefully.
After following the stone steps underneath his feet one by one for a few hundred steps, the originally narrow tunnel slowly began to widen, and it could already fit two people side-by-side with no issues. However, the humid wind blowing from in front of him became increasingly hot, causing Han Li to sweat profusely; he had long been drenched with sweat from head to toe.
After walking down close to another hundred steps, Han Li estimated he was already roughly a hundred or more steps below the earth’s surface. The azure tunnel finally disappeared. When he walked out of the tunnel’s entrance, what appeared before his eyes was actually a strange swampy world.
This underground world was only three hundred meters or so high, but its circumference reached the length of a few kilometers; with a glance, sludge emitting black water bubbles was everywhere. That hot, humid wind was being generated in the air above the swamp, speedily flowing through the tunnel behind Han Li; then, it would bring back in more clean air from outside the tunnel, thus actually forming an equilibrium of flow rate.
All around the swamp were these tall, large mounds of black dirt; at the other end of the swamp grew a few tens of differently colored strange spiritual herbs. The few kinds of spiritual medicines that Han Li required were also in this group, and their quantities were truly not low either.
However, all of this was not as attractive of Han Li’s attention as a small white jade pavilion in the middle of the swamp. This was because a golden, huge chest, roughly ten to twenty meters long and five meters wide, was floating in midair in the pavilion. Its lid was tightly shut, and its body had faint golden light flowing around it; one glance and one could tell it was definitely not a common object.
Han Li only glanced at it a few times before immediately shifting his gaze; this wasn’t because Han Li was not moved by the treasures inside of this golden chest, but rather because a huge group of malicious people were about to arrive. It would be best to quickly find a hiding place, since this was the truly pressing matter! Otherwise, his small life would be lost; what use would the treasures be to him!
Han Li’s figure swayed a bit, and he slipped over to a random dirt mound far away from the tunnel entrance; then, he restrained his Qi in one breath utilizing a full-strength concealing technique. Next, he lay on top of the dirt mound unmoving; after hiding his appearance, Han Li was already beginning to blend into one entity with the black dirt. Gazing at it from afar, one would not be able to easily discover his traces.
Han Li had not prepared all of this for too long before the young fairy woman’s figure appeared on the stairs at the tunnel entrance.
As soon as she appeared, she indifferently assessed the circumstances in this area; when she saw the huge golden chest in the white jade pavilion, her previously expressionless face finally began to be emotionally moved, and her eyes gradually revealed a fiery passion. Although she had heard disciples from her sect describing the golden chest here, she was much more astonished upon seeing it up close and in person.
The young woman walked down the steps, neatly standing in front of the swamp; the male and female disciples of the Masked Moon Sect following closely behind her all clambered and surged forth in an instant, forming a straight line behind the young woman.
In a place not too far away from where he had clearly seen all of this, he could not help but quietly grow apprehensive. At the same time, his curiosity was greatly aroused regarding that leading young woman’s identity.
“Is this where the Black Scaly Python is hidden?” The young woman’s voice delicately sounded out, yet it was filled with an unspeakable dignity.
“Reporting to Martial Ancestor, that huge python is hidden inside of the swamp; it has previously swallowed ten or so disciples from various sects who had wanted to obtain the treasure chest. Its vicious reputation is widespread, and it has caused this place to become a forbidden area where disciples from the various sects no longer dare to come. However, this demonic beast truly is much stronger than regular top level demonic beasts; this one still hopes that Martial Ancestor takes special care!” a young woman replied respectfully, lowering her head.
“Heng! Did you think that I would be unable to even deal with a grade one demonic beast?” The young woman’s delicate small face fell, and she adopted a ridiculous elderly air. However, this caused the expression of the white-clothed woman who had replied to drastically change, repeatedly saying “I do not dare!”
“You can withdraw! Everyone, follow the original plan to act; no matter how powerful this Black Scaly Python is, it definitely isn’t the ‘Yin Yang Pulling Magic’s’ opponent! No matter how strong it is, it is still a grade one demonic beast!” the young woman said with an unquestionable tone, lifting the spirits of all the disciples behind her.