Chapter 106: The Tunnels
Hui Yue spent the following days examining the City Lord’s mansion thoroughly, yet no matter how much he looked around, nothing seemed to appear in front of him.
Being treated like a guest of the elders allowed access to everything for Hui Yue, but although he looked in every crook and cranny, he saw nothing relating to Sun.
There was no place too secret for Hui Yue to enter, and after a few days the entire City Lord’s mansion had been searched from the highest pagoda to the lowest cellar.
While Hui Yue was searching the mansion, Deng Wu was making friends with the female population of the town. Although Hui Yue had a good standing within the city, Deng Wu was nothing but a mere retainer, a servant to the white-haired boy. Although Lord Liu Wei and his elders felt that Deng Wu was strong, he was nothing compared to his master and thus spending time befriending him was a waste.
The first day when Wang Ju Long and Deng Wu left the mansion, their followers quickly had to give up, but a few days later they managed to keep tracking him as he made his way to the farmhouses.
Arriving in this area, Deng Wu was much more popular than Hui Yue, even more popular than the City Lord, as he was flirting with all the girls and sharing meat generously to all who were interested.
It had to be said that Deng Wu possessed more than one storage ring filled with dried foods for long trips, and his heart truly felt no regret in sharing these with the commoners. Although somehow the pretty girls ended up getting more than the rest.
Spending his days with the younger generation of the city, Deng Wu picked up a lot of information which he shared with Hui Yue and the rest.
“The Dragon Corps will arrive in a few weeks. That ought to be the reason that they feared that you were apart of them,” Deng Wu said as he leaned against the courtyard, resting his body after having spent the whole day in town once more.
Hearing this, Hui Yue’s previously depressed face turned into a smile. Having searched the premises multiple times with no clues he felt like ripping out his hair, yet the causal information given to him by Deng Wu gave him an idea.
“Since I cannot find Sun I suggest that we leave soon. The only entrance and exit to Cave’s End is through the so called tunnels. Although we cannot find Sun, she will probably be traded to the Dragon Corps. What we can do is to simply get rid of the corps and bring Sun back to her friends.”
“You mean that we should fight against these men who are clearly stronger than us?” Wang Ju Long asked with a straight face, but upon seeing the gleeful smile on Hui Yue’s face she sighed deeply and nodded her head. Of course Hui Yue wished to fight the Dragon Corps to see just how strong they were.
“We will stay here for a few more days,” Hui Yue said with a voice filled with childish excitement. “Although I haven’t found Sun yet, I could find her and if I do, then we stick to the earlier plan of getting her out during the night. If I don’t find her then we go for the second plan of ambushing the Dragon Corps to free her.” Hui Yue said, but anyone who looked at Hui Yue could obviously see that he already decided upon the second option.
Although the killing aura within him was usually suppressed by the tranquil cloud, the excitement of finally battling again shone through and a slight killing intent ignited within his blue eyes, leaving behind a small red hue.
Watching Hui Yue very intent on fighting caused his friends to laugh, even Wang Ju Long was smiling which was quite rare.
Shooing his friends away, Hui Yue once more left the courtyard to examine the mansion only to once again find that he truly was incapable of finding even the slightest sign of Sun.
Going back to the courtyard Hui Yue shrugged as he did not mind. Fighting against the Dragon Corps was much more interesting after all.
Gathering up all their belongings, Hui Yue went to thank Liu Wei for his hospitality, before the group once more set out on their journey. Deng Wu was the one leading the entourage as he had gotten directions from his female friends within the city.
Exiting the city, they noticed that the land was filled with fields and farm houses, much like the opposite end had been, the place where they had entered the city.
No woods were visible on this side, instead one was capable of seeing the cave wall in the distance. Walking straight towards it would take days, yet everyone in the group was in a good mood as they chatted and joked on the way to the cave wall where they needed to find the tunnels.
While walking, Deng Wu was looking through a very important storage stone, the one which contained all his inscriptions.
Deng Wu had taken the road of a necromancer and this road was greatly frowned upon, due to the immense amount of death that followed such a cultivator. Death was certain to follow anywhere a necromancer arrived and currently Deng Wu was working with a new inscription which would allow him to transfer longevity from one person to another.
Deng Wu was a genius when it came to creating inscriptions. Had he not been such a genius then he would have had a hard time injuring a King ranked cultivator, let alone killing one.
It was true that the power which he used then did not belonged to him, instead it belonged to little dragon. However, without Deng Wu little dragon would never have had the ability to release the energy, had Deng Wu not made the synchronization inscription.
Within Deng Wu’s body flowed Dragon Qi from the time when little dragon gave him strength from his cultivation base, and this Qi only grew in strength because Hui Yue gave him the Dragon Zodiac cultivation technique. This increase in Dragon Qi allowed for Deng Wu to make an inscription which would allow little dragon to send a rush of strength into Deng Wu. This inscription is what enabled the black-haired man to be able to release the energy of an Emperor ranked divine beast in a beautiful beam.
Little dragon was much like Lan Feng when he had been sealed within the hairpin. The only thing left which they had was their cultivation base, as they had no means of increasing their strength due to their lack of bodies with which to refine energy.
Having gifted some of his cultivation base to Deng Wu, along with using a burst of power against his father caused little dragon to plummet down into the Emperor rank.
Sacrificing one’s cultivation base was something which cultivators only did when they had no other means of winning a battle. Although it was possible to restore it, it required painstaking efforts to once more go through the refining process.
This was also another reason why so few wished to become necromancers. Although the control over life and the ability to command undead was appealing, one had to constantly sacrifice their cultivation base for the sake of it.
Looking at Deng Wu from behind, Hui Yue could not help but give a sad smile. He knew that Deng Wu had chosen this road because it allowed for him to be strong. Deng Wu was perfectly well aware of the strength he currently had, versus the strength he would need to survive in the future.
As a Metal affinity user, the ones who used necromancy were by far the strongest, yet the gemstone masters were not people to look down upon because they were not ranked number one.
As a Metal affinity cultivator, Hui Yue himself knew about the various paths he could take with his affinity, but, sadly, he had still not spent enough time to truly understand them all.
Smiling Hui Yue looked at Wang Ju Long. She and Deng Wu had taken completely different paths, as Wang Ju Long specialized in healing. Her combat ability was slightly below the rest, but Hui Yue truly valued her on this trip. A healer was something which would always be needed.
While Hui Yue thought about the strength of his team, satisfaction appeared within him. He alone was not weak, yet when he was together with his friends he was definitely a force to be reckoned with, even without relying on Lan Feng.
Travelling through the fields took the entire day, and their actions once more attracted the attention of the farmers, yet unlike last time everyone knew exactly who Hui Yue was and none of them dared to follow him; they all assumed he was on his way back home.
Arriving at the cave wall, Hui Yue whistled in astonishment as the wall was beautifully carved, made smooth through years upon years of wear.
Hui Yue expected that the tunnels would be hard to find, or at least similar to the tunnels they had travelled through earlier, but he was shocked to see a tall gate in front of him, guarded by two Practitioner ranked guards.
The gate was massive and made from heavywood making it impossible to open unless the cultivator had a significant amount of strength.
Around the gate was nothing more than fields, and although Hui Yue had intended to camp outside, waiting for the Dragon Corps he quickly realised that it was not a possibility. The hostile actions would be noticed immediately and the villagers who noticed would in turn report it to the Cty Lord.
Gnashing his teeth while contemplating Hui Yue quickly made a new decision. The four of them would enter the tunnels and see what they was like.
“Let’s enter,” He said as he saw three grins appear on the faces next to him and they all simultaneously nodded.
Turning towards the guards, a pale expression was evident on their faces. They were both aware that this was the group which claimed to have appeared from the tunnels, yet they knew better. No one had exited the tunnels since the last time the Dragon Corps had been here, but they dared not discuss such things with these mysterious cultivators present in front of them. Their strength was simply too overwhelming.
Nodding to one another, the two men both started opening the heavy wooden gate; as it opened, creaking sounds could be heard, dust fell from the top, and even the ground, itself, within the entire cave seemed to be shaking as a result of opening the massive gate.
At the fields the farmers stopped in their tracks and stared at the gate opening up in the distance. Hui Yue could feel the stares that were aimed their way, yet he quickly forgot all about them, as an immense amount of heavens and earth essence poured forth from the opening gate,. It was so thick that it almost felt as though Hui Yue was walking in water and a smile appeared on his face.
This place was definitely the perfect place for him to cultivate and with a polite nod to the two guards, he slipped into the tunnels together with his friends.
Closing the gate behind the youngsters a sigh of relief could be heard from the guards, as the massive amount of essence which was floating out was something they could not hold up against. But strangely these young cultivators behaved as though they had found a treasure trove, seemingly unaffected by the dense energy .
As the gate closed behind Hui Yue and his friends, the tunnel which they were standing in grew increasingly dark. No sun was present within this world of darkness, and Hui Yue felt adrenaline rushing through his veins, as he heard the sound of a howling magical beast in the distance.