Chapter 146: Unending Forest
”Okay. Since we have this many people, I will not be able to carry everyone very far, however, we should be able to get out soon this way.” Hui Yue said as he created six similar looking Qi fans, all lined up.
“Let’s go,” Hui Yue said as he stood on top of the one in the middle, the rest standing on their own Qi fan. All had solemn expressions on their faces as they hoped that this, their best solution, actually manage to get them out of the forest.
Hui Yue did not wait long before he rotated his Qi swirl and with but a thought took to the air, followed by his friends.
The Qi fans were all reliable and Hui Yue knew that he could hold out for around an hour, maybe two, with this amount of fans he needed constantly replenish his Qi.
Flying into the air Hui Yue held two Qi swords in his hands as he forcefully chopped down vegetation in their way, and after few minutes they managed to break through the trees, flying above the unending forest.
As soon as they flew above the forest cheers could be heard as they saw the edges of the forest in front of them, and Hui Yue instantly pointed the Qi Fans in that direction rushing as fast as he could.
Having flown for an hour the edge was closer to them than ever before, but at the same time Hui Yue’s Qi swirl was growing increasingly smaller having almost no qi left, forcing the six cultivators down to the ground.
Descending to the ground was done in the utmost silence as everyone feared that they would end up within the same clearing that they had left, but as soon as they managed to get through the thick vegetation they were at a different clearing. This caused Deng Wu to grip his fist and exclaimed out loud, “YES!”
Although Deng Wu was the only one who spoke out, everyone shared his emotions and relieved expressions were visible on all their faces.
“Let’s camp here for the night,” Hui Yue said with a tired voice as he entered meditation, his Qi swirl completely depleted of Qi, which rendered him somewhat useless right now.
Seeing the exhausted expression on Hui Yue’s face everyone quickly agreed as they watched his pale looking face with closed eyes deep in meditation.
This evening the mood is much better than it has been the last couple of days as they finally saw a way to exit this weird forest.
“It’s so weird,” Deng Wu suddenly said as he was seated at the bonfire chewing through a slice of dried food, “We’ve seen the houses that are in ruin, not to mention we were following one of the most trafficked roads in the entire cave, yet somehow we have not seen the shadow of any life.”
Looking at the tall trees in front of him, an eerie silence filled the atmosphere and the only sounds which could be heard came from the bonfire. Not even singing birds nor other forest animals could be heard. Thinking back, they had not been able to hear anything at all from the very start. It was as if the only ones alive within this odd forest were them.
The eerie silence was like a heavy blanket which kept the atmosphere anything but cheerful, and they were all on constant alert ready to step up to fight should something arrive.
Today was the first day they had even the slightest bit of hope of getting out of this horrible forest and this was making them all excited and cheerful. Despite this their eyes were still vigilantly watching their surroundings, no one daring to lower their guard even a little.
The night passed swiftly as everyone was busy doing their thing, all of them seated around Hui Yue to give him the most protection. Everyone relied on Hui Yue’s Qi Fan to bring them out of the forest after a few days, which made Hui Yue’s cultivation the priority.
After cultivating for half a day, Hui Yue once more managed to replenish his Qi swirl making it possible for them to leave.
Although it was possible to leave, the sun was currently setting in the evening sky and the moon had risen. Thus Hui Yue decide to sleep the rest of the night and give himself a break before they took off.
The morning broke with the sun rising from the east of the cave, and just as expected no birds were heard singing in the sky, and no slithering snakes were seen on the ground. No matter how much one strained their ears, nothing could be heard; nothing apart from the sounds made by Hui Yue and his friends.
Quickly creating six Qi Fans, Hui Yue and his friends rushed onto the fans. Their things were neatly packed in the memory stones and with a beckoning from Hui Yue, all of them flew into the sky cutting their way through the treetops.
Their excited expressions quickly turned sour as they managed to get above the trees and they could see that they were in the exact same place as they had been when they set off the day before. They had not moved locations even the slightest and despair surrounded the group as they wondered which other options they had,
“We can always try and see if we end up in another location after flying,” Hui Yue said with a sigh, feeling exhausted already as he saw how they had gone backwards during the night.
“Yes,” Xu Piao nodded, but his face was showing doubt which Hui Yue quickly noticed. Since Xu Piao was not ready to speak up, Hui Yue did not press him, instead, he started to move towards the edge of the forest which was visible in the distance.
Travelling today no one said a word as everyone felt listless after seeing that their trip had backfired on them; their strategy failed and they could not leave the forest once again.
The only thing that could be heard was the wind against his clothes as Hui Yue pushed himself to the limits, travelling as quickly as he could above the dense forest. He was rushing towards the edge of the forest, hoping it was possible for him to leave.
Pushing his limits, Hui Yue’s face became more and more pale, his skin started getting a gray shine and his breathing became erratic as his eyes blurred. After flying for almost three hours, Hui Yue was completely incapable of going further although the edge was just in front of them.
Hui Yue gritted his teeth in disappointment and slowly guided the six Qi Fans down to the ground. Annoyance was evident in his eyes as he saw that the clearing they landed in was the same one they had been in earlier that day. The exact same location.
As they landed on the ground, Hui Yue stumbled on his feet sweat pouring from his body as he leaned against a large sturdy tree. This damnable forest was making it hard for him to stay positive.
As the others once again started setting up camp, nobody dared go talk to Hui Yue as they had nothing they could say to cheer him up. Gasping for air, Hui Yue banged his head hard against the wooden tree only to wince slightly from the pain in the back of his head. The forest seemed as though it was against any action he took.
Sighing deeply, Hui Yue stood up and went towards the small stream. Although he did not dare drink the water, he still felt as though he needed to wash up, and the running water was perfect for that.
Seeing Hui Yue move, Xu Piao was hesitated for a moment before he followed suit. “I think I know what this is,” He said with a quiet voice, so quiet that even Hui Yue had trouble hearing it.
“This is an illusion.” Xu Piao said with his low voice, “There is one group of mercenaries who usually take on tasks like assassination. They haven’t been around for quite some time so I assumed that they had died on their last mission.”
Hearing this, Hui Yue furrowed his brows as he kept washing himself feeling refreshed by the cold water which kept running over his body.
“Mercenaries huh?” Hui Yue mumbled as he looked around. The forest he was in was almost too real to be an illusion, but every time he thought about how they were trapped within the forest he could not help but feel that Xu Piao was probably right. At the very least this was not a normal forest.
“So if it is them,” Hui Yue said with furrowed brows, “Do you know how we will be able to get out of this illusion?”
Hearing the question a wry smile appeared on Xu Piao’s face as he shook his head. “So far, I have not heard of anyone capable of escaping. As soon as we take a break we will be forced to start all over. Unless we can get to the outside in one go, then I am afraid we’ll be stuck in here for a long time.”
“With my current cultivation, I am not capable of getting us out,” Hui Yue said with a sigh. Being quiet for a short while to contemplating his options. Suddenly, Hui Yue opened his eyes and a smile spread on his face as he picked up a memory stone, the stone he had previously had used to store the Divine Flower in that he obtained from the tunnels between Demon Dwelling Cave and Cave’s End.
Looking at the flower, Hui Yue whistled and everyone gathered by his side.
“We need to exit the forest in one go,” Hui Yue said with a sigh, “But my current cultivation is not enough to deal with this flight,”
“There is, however, still a chance for us to get through, but it requires me to absorb this divine flower, and even after consuming it I cannot guarantee that I will be strong enough for us to exit the forest.”
Hearing that, the others looked at each other, all of them showing hope in their eyes again, none having any greed towards the flower. Quickly all of them nodded their heads, smiles on their faces.
Hui Yue remembered last time he consumed a divine flower, it allowed for his cultivation to rise by leaps and bounds, but this divine flower was different.
The previous flower had been much older, which meant that what it refined was Wu Wei. It had mainly used spiritual energy to refine the golden energy which Hui Yue was incapable of using, yet this flower in his hand was refining spiritual energy. So much energy that drops of spiritual energy was overflowing onto the stem of the flower every other moment, allowing for a beautiful silvery light to be seen around the flower.
Looking at the flower, Hui Yue felt as if he was in a trance and he swallowed a few times before he finally placed the flower within his mouth, noticing how the flower slowly turned into liquid that gently dripped down his throat.
As soon as the liquid touched his throat it slowly dissipated and started to rush through his body, through every vein and vessel, every meridian and dantian.
As the silvery energy started rolling through Hui Yue’s body a silvery light started gushing out from the young man who was seated in meditation, his eyes closed and his brows furrowed as he focused on the new energy.
As soon as he had located some specs of energy he rotated his cultivation base using his own spiritual energy to round up the wayward energies which had entered through the mouth, originating from the divine flower.