Chapter 139: Parallel Mountain Range
”We are over here!” Zhou Long called out with a great smile on his face as Hui Yue and his friends were walking past the final row of house, officially exiting the mercenary city in which they had resided for a short amount of time.
Zhou Long had not shown up alone, behind him were five men all of them fairly familiar as Hui Yue instantly recognized them as the ones who won the tournament. In spite of winning, none of the present five men seemed to be happy about the fact that they won, in fact, they all looked rather uncomfortable about the whole ordeal.
Hui Yue was not only coming with his three friends, but he also brought Xu Piao and Xie Lan with him, making his group somewhat bigger than it had been before. Hui Yue felt a lot safer having those two King ranked experts by his side.
The smile on Zhou Long’s face was genuine as he saw how the white-haired boy was walking his way. Looking at the white hair, he was under the impression that this boy was related to the Frozen General, and as such he was a young master far more important than any in the underground world.
Hui Yue was completely unaware of what Zhou Long was thinking instead he was filled with vigilance as he observed him, yet on the outside he seemed casual and comfortable. Behind him Sha Yun, Deng Wu, and Wang Ju Long all three looked around them greatly astonished by the vast landscape which spread out in front of them.
There was a forest to the side and even small mountains were visible within this cave. Looking into the horizon it was impossible for them to see where the cave ended. It was quite similar to be above ground once more.
Birds were singing and flying through the air, and Hui Yue chuckled slightly as he saw how especially Sha Yun was gaping at the sights in front of her.
“We will have to travel for a few days before we reach the location of the Dwelling Demon Beast,” Zhou Long said with a serious voice his eyes no longer smiling.
“The Dwelling Demon Beast started moving a few years back, but it has so far taken three years to awake. I was personally sent to this cave for the sake of annihilating the beast, but even me alone will not be enough. With me is a team I am sure you all recognize. They are all Grandmaster ranked, and they are specialized in formations, a spiritual art which can only be accomplished by certain groups.”
“Within the Dragon Corps, formation specialists are very sought after as they are capable of combining their elements and releasing an attack which is far more powerful than that of their cultivation base, however, there are also very strict ruling with where and when those formations are allowed to be used.”
Zhou Long ensured that he explained everything as well as he could not leaving any details out, which once more made Hui Yue uncomfortable. Why was it that this man had the need to explain everything to Hui Yue? He was a young boy born into a poor family and he had never had any ties with the Dungeons of the Divine before. As to why he was treated the way he was, Hui Yue simply had no idea.
“The beast we are going to be hunting is very large,” Zhou Long continued, not noticing the odd expression within Hui Yue’s eyes, “If you look at the mountain range over there,” pointing towards a mountain range which could be seen in the distance. Hui Yue squinted his eyes and used Qi to increase his sight only to see two mountain ranges running parallel for sometime which seemed like fifty kilometres.
“The beast is living within this dense mountain range. Although it is not as long as the entire mountain range, it is still very large. It is a Horned Snake, but it has been living within this cave ever since the creation of these caves, and in all these years it has sucked in the essence of the heavens and the earth refining it within his beast core.”
“This beast is at the very least an Emperor ranked beast and it might even be a Saint, however it has been sleeping for millennia, even now while waking up is it impossible for the beast to move its body. We will take full advantage of this.”
“Although it cannot move its body, it is still capable of using the energy it has refined throughout the many years, and it has certain attacks which are very dangerous. We have never truly seen it display its full might as we have never truly attacked it before. When that happens be aware that you are responsible for your own safety.”
“The beast’s affinity is towards the Wood element, and it is a master of healing itself along with giving life to plants who can be even more dangerous than that little flower that is following you,” He continued while sending a glance at Little Poppy.
“All in all, as soon as we arrive we will work in groups. I will work alone, the formation team will work alone, and the six of you will work alone. Make sure that you survive the battle and you will definitely reap great rewards.”
Having said that, Zhou Long spoke no more and instead spent the time running ahead showing everyone the way towards the distant mountain range.
The large party of twelve rushed through the landscape and during the trip they came past many fields and farms which were sustained by agriculture. Unlike on the surface, these farms were not placed in small family villages, but instead placed individually.
Rushing through the constantly changed landscape of fields, roads, open plains, and forests, Zhou Long managed to lead the party a great distance the first day, and he stopped as the sun was about to disappear in the far end of the cave.
Looking at the sun, Hui Yue flashed a wry smile as he was reminiscing about Sun. Although her physical body was still in the forest, she was everywhere within the world build by the four divine beasts, even here within the Demon Dwelling Cave.
They ended up setting camp within the outskirts of a small forest and Hui Yue started a fire and collected wood. Sha Yun set up the tents, while Deng Wu and Wang Ju Long cooked food.
The group had been together for such a long time that everyone had their jobs to carter to every time they made camp and they performed like a well-oiled machine..
Their smooth teamwork left everyone close by astonished and before they really noticed they were doing, Wang Ju Long and Deng Wu called them over as the food was done, simmering looking amazing.
The food consisted of a warm broth with some vegetables and meat, all of which they had purchased before the trip. Smelling the delicious food the group of formation specialists almost drooled, as the scent was enticing after rushing through the cave without breaks for a whole day, and Wang Ju Long even laughed as the rumbling stomachs betrayed the hesitant cultivators.
“Come and eat,” She said with her gentle voice and poured the broth into bowls for the guests, “There is plenty for everyone,” she continued. Within moments all twelve experts were seated on the ground happily eating the food that was prepared for them.
While Wang Ju Long and Deng Wu ensured that there was enough food for everyone. After finishing the delicious meal, the majority went to sleep leaving Hui Yue and Sha Yun alone, looking around with vigilance in their eyes as they had first watch.
“How long do you think we’ll be stuck underground?” Sha Yun asked curiously, as she looked up at the starry sky. The moon was hanging just beneath the stone ceiling, a sight which no matter how many times they saw kept looking foreign and different for the four friends.
“I don’t know,” Hui Yue answered honestly. “I am not even certain how long we have been here,” He continued with a sigh. “The time within the tunnels has made it impossible for me to keep track, but I do not think we should expect to leave within a year.”
Sha Yun nodded her head, as she had not expected it to be anything less than that either. “This beast we are going to fight,” She continued, looking around her to ensure that everyone was asleep, “There is something else on your mind is there not?” She asked, her voice worried for her friend.
Hui Yue showed her a wry smile before he nodded his head and with a low voice told her about all the worries he had. Having Sha Yun by his side was one of the things which truly made life easier for Hui Yue. She was always there to support him, and even if he tried to hide things from her she would always notice it from his behavior.
As the night grew darker and the moon rose higher into the sky, Sha Yun was completely aware of what was on Hui Yue’s mind, but even so she had no way of alleveing him of his worries. Hearing what Hui Yue said she too could see that it was odd that someone as prestigious as Zhou Long felt obligated to treat Hui Yue so well, but like her white-haired friend, Sha Yun was completely unaware of why that might be.
She also noted that although Zhou Long was extremely friendly towards Hui Yue, he was not paying any attention whatsoever to her, nor the other friends. It was as though they were complete nonexistant to him which was one of the reasons that she had not thought about it before. She never had much interaction with him and before they had gone on this trip, the two times he had spoken to Hui Yue it had been during the time where they were training. It was obvious that no one else noticed Zhou Long entering their courtyard.
As the moon rose to the sky Deng Wu and Wang Ju Long woke up. Both of them ready to take over the second watch of the night and with tired nods, Hui Yue and Sha Yun each climbed into their separate tents and within moments fell asleep.
Nothing happened the rest of the night, and the following morning Sha Yun managed to wrap up all tents in the time it took Deng Wu to whip up some congee with meat for breakfast. Seeing that there was yet another hearty meal, everyone was joyful and ate to their hearts content especially since they knew there would be no breaks today as well. They were racing against time as they rushed towards the Demon Dwelling Beast rushing to make it before it truly woke up.
Wrapping up the final things, the entourage of twelve once more sat out rushing towards the mountain range which did not seem to be coming any closer, and although the mountain range was not getting closer the surrounding landscape was changing drastically.
There were no longer open plains, nor was there farms around, instead the terrain started to contain a lot of boulders and stones, the ground starting to slope upwards slightly, and the smaller trees and lighter forests turned into pine forests as they headed further and further in the direction of the mountains.
The previous roads they had travelled completely disappeared and instead they now made their way through animal trails, or they made trails themselves.
The entourage travelled days on end like this before they finally managed to arrive at the parallel mountain range, and excitement was growing within them as they got ready to climb the mountains.