Chapter 96: The Cliff
The cold wind was sweeping in from the ocean as four figures could be seen standing on top of a cliff leading straight down to raging waves and dangerous rocks.
‘Are you really sure we need to go down there?’ Hui Yue asked questioningly, as he looked down at what looked like certain death yet the stubborn phoenix just hummed in reply to the question.
It had been four months since Hui Yue set out from the Magical Forest with Deng Wu, Wang Ju Long, and Sha Yun. Since then the group of four had wandered to the southwestern part of the kingdom, a place where there was nothing but water as far as the eye could see.
Hui Yue and his friends were standing at the very end of the peninsula, the most western part of the Taiyang Kingdom. Hui Yue never allowed for his eyes to become complacent, an alertness always present within his ice-blue eyes.
Standing at the end of the kingdom, Hui Yue was at the very edge of the small world in which he currently resided. The peninsula was one large cliff, thousands of metres above the raging seas.
Looking down even the usually excited Sha Yun showed signs of worry, as the violent waves crashed against the cliff’s stone wall.
‘It used to be around here,’ Lan Feng said while frowning slightly. Not even the firm ground looked as it had four thousand years ago, instead some places the raging waters had corroded, eaten up tiny bits of rock year by year. Four thousand years later those small bits of rock turned into large chunks of land, changing the landscape thoroughly.
Four months back, Hui Yue and Sha Yun had lead Wang Ju Long and Deng Wu through the Magical Forest and past the countryside. All the way to this southwestern point of the kingdom, the place where the entrance to the Dungeons of the Divine allegedly should be.
During this trip, Hui Yue had done his very best to coerce some information from Lan Feng about these dungeons which they were about to encounter, yet nothing was gained from the damned bird leaving Hui Yue expecting a humid and dark maze of underground tunnels where no sunshine reached.
The most excitement which they encountered during their trip was when they would discuss what might have transpired back in Riluo City, along with their expectations of their destination.
The group had intentionally stayed away from every kind of village, even the smallest and poorest, as Hui Yue wished to leave behind not even the slightest trace.
Hui Yue had brought forth everything at his disposal. Earlier he had used technology which he had brought with him from his old world. Although they were in their most primal versions they were still foreign to this world. Should the royal family of the Taiyang Kingdom get a hold of them, they would know for sure that Hui Yue had some knowledge which they could not afford to have fall into the hands of their neighbouring kingdoms, not even high ranked nobles who might revolt.
Although the kingdoms had a positive relationship with one another, one never knew. In the past more than one war had broken out in the hopes of uniting everyone under one flag. Hui Yue’s knowledge might not be limited to interesting inventions. The Royal family would definitely want him for that knowledge alone.
Another reason why there would definitely be someone after him was the fact that he had revealed his power as a Saint ranked expert. The reason some came after him was, obviously, for the sake of testing whether or not his strength truly was that of the Saint rank.
If it turned out that he was a Saint ranked expert, they would do their best to persuade him to join them. Hui Yue was not dumb, a Saint ranked expert was not something that could be dealt with easily, yet the Taiyang Kingdom was bound to have at least a few experts of such caliber. If Hui Yue did not follow their polite invitation, it was quite likely that he would be forced to join. In worst case he would truly be erased.
Shaking his head, Hui Yue stopped thinking about the eventless last four months where he had reached the third star of the Master rank, as absolutely nothing had interrupted his cultivation on the trip. He instead focused his entire attention on the cliff wall, and a sigh escaped his lips.
‘Just fly to the middle of this cliff.’ Lan Feng’s voice was incredibly carefree as it explained what they needed to do. ‘Although the land has changed, it is impossible to remove the dungeons so fly and search the cliffside until you find a cave with a size of at least two metres wide and four metres tall. I guess its gate would have long vanished with the land.’
Hearing those words, Hui Yue could not help but snort slightly. Although Lan Feng made it sound simple it was anything but.
Hui Yue would have to rely on the Qi Fan to allow him to personally inspect an area which could be hundreds of kilometres long, since the phoenix was unable to pinpoint the exact location.
Although Hui Yue had opened his middle dantian, his Qi spiral was not growing in size because his cultivation technique was greedily absorbing strand after strand of Qi, only to refine it into spiritual essence.
To inspect such a vast area as needed, Hui Yue would need at least a few days of constant searching mixed in with meditation to replenish his Qi pool.
It was possible for him to produce multiple Qi Fans and have his friends search with him, but if he did that he would use more of his Qi up faster. Not to mention his friends would be unable to control the Qi Fans as they only reacted to Hui Yue’s commands and had a maximum range of a kilometre away from him, before they would dissipate.
Seeing the different possibilities, a sigh escaped Hui Yue as he activated the Qi from his lower dantian and stepped onto a pearl white Fan, which slowly brought him down the cliffside.
Searching the cliffs took the better of a week. Hui Yue would spend half a day thoroughly inspecting every nook and cranny of the rough stone walls and the rest of the day resting and cultivating while at the same time replenish his Qi spiral.
While Hui Yue was inspecting the walls, Sha Yun would stay with him and constantly observe him quietly always alert, ready to help as soon as needed.
A benefit for Hui Yue while he was observing the cliffside was that he came across some rare herbs. He knew nothing of these particular ones, but Lan Feng ordered him to pick them up and promised that when they entered the dungeons, then he would be taught a little about herbs. Because they would be incredibly important throughout their journey through the underground.
While Hui Yue and Sha Yun were busy at the cliff, Wang Ju Long and Deng Wu would travel towards the closest forests or grassy fields on their hunt for their dinner meal.
They would bring back anything from fresh wild berries to magical beasts ready to be grilled. During the entire trip Deng Wu and Wang Ju Long had taken on the job of finding food. Usually the two would bicker about what they wished to eat, but considering that they were camping outside and that they would have to gather the food from the wild, none of those two spoiled youngsters got the food they wished for.
At first, Deng Wu and Wang Ju Long found the camping lifestyle rather fun, yet after a month neither of them enjoyed it any longer, as they had both been used to the luxury of having servants wait on their every need, granting them anything they wished for. In nature they had to get everything they wanted on their own.
After three months the two finally came to terms with their new lifestyle and the previous young masters ended up fighting to prove that they were the better suited for the rough life. Hui Yue could not help but laugh at them both, and he never once regretted bringing them as they provided him with a lot of fun.
Lan Feng was also very pleased with the two joining them. Both Wang Ju Long and Deng Wu were experts of the Master rank, and both of them trained with cultivation methods provided to them by Lan Feng.
They were far stronger than the average Master, or even Grandmaster, ranked cultivators, and they owed it to Lan Feng and his cultivation methods which in turn had caused them to be greatly thankful, willing to do anything which he might ask for.
Although Deng Wu and Wang Ju Long both saw Hui Yue as their friend, they almost worshipped Lan Feng. The phoenix had granted them all their wishes. He had given them the strength to stand on their own two feet.
Although little dragon had previously granted Deng Wu a boost in his cultivation that was just that, a boost. Lan Feng had given him a method which he could use to cultivate from now until he reached the rank he wished to reach. Also he had gifted Deng Wu a few high ranked martial attack skills, and finally he had even been willing to reveal himself for the sake of giving the Deng and Wang families a small possibility of survival.
Wang Ju Long shared this adoration as she had been gifted the same things as Deng Wu, not to mention a new lease on life as the woman she was. Although it was hard for her to get used to the new lifestyle, it was still a place where she could be free and where she was accepted for who she was.
Every time Lan Feng heard the two praise him his feathers would flutter, puff up, and make the phoenix seem self-righteous as though he had saved the world from a great disaster.
Hui Yue would usually laugh whenever it happened, yet he could understand why his friends thought this way and for him it was also a great help to not be alone on the trip. There was some safety in numbers, but it also made the trip much less depressing as there was someone to spend time with.
On the fourteenth day of searching the cliffside, Hui Yue finally found the remnants of what had been a cave opening. He had searched the entire area multiple times, before Lan Feng finally mentioned that the entrance was likely to be hidden beneath vegetation or a boulder to protect itself from unwanted visitors.
It turned out that this was exactly what had happened as a large boulder was blocking the entrance, yet this boulder was easily smashed by Hui Yue as he infused his Black Blood with Spiritual Energy. As soon as the dagger touched the boulder it shattered into thousands of pieces.
Looking inside the cave, Hui Yue frowned slightly as it was completely black. Within seconds he had created another three Qi Fans which he used to gather his friends and fly them to his location.
Together they all stepped into the black world of the cave, yet as soon as their feet touched the ground it seemed as though the entire world started spinning around them.
Grabbing a random hand, Hui Yue felt a suction force appear, and the four of them were thrashed around within the complete darkness before suddenly Hui Yue found himself on solid ground once more.
Hui Yue instantly calmed down and flicked his hand, summoning a memory stone from his storage stone. Within the memory stone in his hand was a seed of sunshine, and as the rays of light lit up the cave Hui Yue had ended up in, he could not help but widen his eyes as he saw Deng Wu by his side, yet neither Wang Ju Long nor Sha Yun was together with them.
‘Well that was very bad luck,’ Lan Feng commented upon the discovery. ‘They arrived at another room. I guess we should go out and find them.’