GOR Chapter 57: Caverns
Chen Xiaolian has always been an open-minded person. That was why he was able to accept Qiu Yun’s explanation.
However, he still had one question:
“If it is as you said, that acts of murder and pillaging occurs between Awakened ones, then how are we to safely enter the instance dungeon?”
Facing this question, Qiu Yun gave a strange answer. “Have you ever seen how wild beasts demarcate their territories?”
Qiu Yun suddenly smiled. “How much more time is left?”
“Less than 1 hour.”
“It is about time,” The corners of Qiu Yun’s mouth were turned upwards. He then swaggered out from the cluster of trees with both his hands placed inside his trousers’ pockets and waded into the centre position of the stream.
Chen Xiaolian was stunned only to see Qiu Yun turning his head to face him and laughed out.
It was presently before dawn. A faint moonlight fell down from the skies and landed upon Qiu Yun’s face. His gaunt face carried with it a trace of an indifferent smile. For some unknown reason, Chen Xiaolian felt that Qiu Yun’s smile contained a peculiar charm: confidence, profundity, calmness and… an indescribable aura of dominance!
“Are you still not coming over?”
Hearing those words, Chen Xiaolian could not stop himself and took a step forward. Then, he recollected himself and quickly pulled Soo Soo along as he moved forward.
Qiu Yun brazenly walked to the centre position of the stream and even chose to stand upon a piece of rock beneath the waterfall. He stood just like that upon the bare piece of rock.
Within the darkness, it was unknown how many pair of eyes were directed towards him. From the radar, Chen Xiaolian could see that there were at least 7 to 8 green dots existing within the vicinity of the stream.
Qiu Yun stood upon the piece of rock and produced a cigarette, which he lit up. After taking a puff, he turned to glance at the surroundings of the stream with his star-like pair of clear eyes. After that, this Guild Leader opened his mouth.
“Meteor Rock Guild’s Qiu Yun is here. Those who do not wish to die, scram!”
The final word issued from his mouth, “scram” was akin to an explosive thunder rumbling through spring!
When it reached Chen Xiaolian’s ears, he felt his entire body being shaken and his mind was sent spiralling for an instant!
At that moment, the sight of Qiu Yun standing at the central position with a cold face and sharp eyes gave birth to an aura of majesty.
It was as though the night had, at that moment frozen in silence and stillness…
After over 10 minutes…
Although none of those beside the stream said anything earlier, Chen Xiaolian was visited by an illusory feeling: The current stillness was a deterrence created by Qiu Yun!
The green dots on the radar retreated one by one!
Rustling sounds of “sha sha” was emitted from the forests as the green dots retreated one by one. They left the stream and moved far away…
When wild beasts occupy a place, a natural demarcation of territory will occur!
Chen Xiaolian instantly understood the meaning of Qiu Yun’s words from back then!
It seems, I may have hugged onto an extraordinary thigh… 
1 hours’ time. It cannot be described as long and yet it can also not be described as short. After Qiu Yun stood in the middle of the stream, all the Awakened ones who had originally been hiding in the forests by the riverbank retreated. The distance between the other Awakened ones and the stream had finally made the situation safe enough. Even the nearest one to them had a distance of around 200 to 300 metres between them.
Chen Xiaolian stood beside Qiu Yun. He was standing on another piece of rock that had been rendered smooth by the stream and waterfall curtain. He held Soo Soo with one hand and tightened his fist on the other while staring at Qiu Yun. He simply looked at Qiu Yun as Qiu Yun took one puff after another of his cigarette.
Qiu Yun did not look at him. Instead, he raised his head to look at the night sky, the moon and the stars.
One minute after another ticked by. Then, when the countdown timer of the system finally reached zero…
Qiu Yun then bent down his head as he stopped looking at the skies. “It is time, are you ready?”
“… ready,” Chen Xiaolian’s heart was suddenly filled with a glimmer of excitement.
Indeed, it was not fear or apprehension, but excitement!
The atmosphere of dominance and confidence displayed by Qiu Yun had seemingly infected Chen Xiaolian.
After probing into the waterfall curtain, a scene that Chen Xiaolian was familiar with played out upon the stonewall that was originally behind the curtain of water…
The surface of the stonewall seemingly melted and transformed into a passage. At the entrance of the passage was a green screen of light.
Qiu Yun headed in first. The green screen of light swept over his body. Next, Chen Xiaolian pulled Soo Soo with him as he followed Qiu Yun.
Within the passage, water vapour spread out through every surface, turning the air damp and depressive.
The ground was also muddy and slippery. But the discovery that surprised Chen Xiaolian most was that the farther in he went, the bigger the space became. The sounds of rushing water could faintly be heard coming from below the mountain cave.
The walls and the area inside the caves were filled with a faint light emitted from dancing fireflies. Soo Soo appeared to be a little fearful and she tightly gripped onto Chen Xiaolian’s hand. Chen Xiaolian smiled; he extended his hand to pull the hood attached to her clothes over her head.
The cave came to an end and a wide underground river appeared before their eyes.
The mountain walls were smooth and stalactites hung down from the ceiling. The underground river was seemingly lifeless, depressive and somewhat scary.
Gazing forward, they saw that the river flowed in a winding manner and that there was no end in sight. Occasionally, the rustling sounds of wind could be heard.
At the location where the river began, several small boats were laid beside the underground riverbank!
This brought a huge amount of surprise to Chen Xiaolian.
The reason for that was that he had extended his hands to examine it and found that the small boats were not made from wood… reflecting on his discovery, he realized that it was only natural. If they were made from wood, then they would have long since rotted away within this underground cave.
When he extended his hand out to feel it, he felt a cold firmness, just like those from iron ores!
“It is ironwood,” Qiu Yun gave a faint smile. “Come help, push the boat to the river.”
The ironwood boat was shaped like a leaf; both its ends were sharp points while its middle area was stacked. In each of the boats were several oars.
Chen Xiaolian and Qiu Yun worked together to push an ironwood boat into the river. Qiu Yun then stepped first into the ironwood boat, seating himself upon the front bow area. Chen Xiaolian held Soo Soo and jumped on board. He then let Soo Soo sit in the middle while he sat upon the back stern area.
“Paddle forward,” Qiu Yun handed an oar to Chen Xiaolian. “No matter what you see or what happens, do not panic.”
The underground cavern was clearly a standard landscape seen in Karst topography. Chen Xiaolian had once seen this landscape within a ‘National Geographic Magazine’ that was discussing that topic.
The underground river twisted and turned and the cavern itself has many passageways connected to it. It was unknown just how many entrances and exits there were inside, making it resemble a maze.
Both of them paddled and moved the boat forward through the underground river at a slow pace. Truth be told, it did not take much effort – the underground river has its own flow of water. The surging undercurrents propelled the ironwood boat forward in a predetermined direction. The oars were only used to move the boat away from any incoming rocks and reposition the boat if it were to be forced off its angle due to surging water currents.
The ironwood boat moved forward for roughly one quarter of an hour and Chen Xaolian could feel the water currents becoming increasingly stronger. In addition, it had become apparent that they were moving downwards and the difference in height between the top and bottom also gradually became obvious.
Within the cavern, faint fluorescent illumination would still flash out occasionally. However, the light had become too weak. For the most part, their surroundings have now become pitch black to where they would not be able to even see the fingers on their outstretched hands.
Qiu Yun produced a torch from nowhere and tied it up upon the bow with a rope. This Guild Leader had not spoken a single word since entering the boat, entering a heavy state of silence…
Suddenly… the ironwood boat moved through the river and entered a wide-open cavern area. Qiu Yun abruptly raised one hand and said in a low tone. “Careful! Something is not right at the front!”
He swiftly thrust down the oar into the water forcefully. The oar that has roughly the same height as an average person was directly pierced into the underground riverbed. The ironwood boat immediately came to a stop. Under the rushing surge of water currents, the body of the boat floated horizontally upon the centre position of the underground river.
Chen Xiaolian felt a little nervous. Just as he was about to speak up, he saw Qiu Yun pointing at something at the front, whispering. “Look!”
At the moment, they had reached a point on the underground river where the surrounding terrain had opened up significantly. On both sides of the river, there were flat rocky banks below the mountain walls. One could occasionally catch a glimpse of something that was black in colour that resembled withered vines sliding down from the rocky ceiling.
It appeared as though a black curtain has been hung over the mountain walls.
Qiu Yun’s finger was pointed at the rocky banks.
In the beginning, Chen Xiaolian was unable to see it clearly. After squinting his eyes to carefully examine the place, his entire body hairs stood on end!
Upon the pitch black bank by the river were something resembling pieces of bulging rocks. It appeared to be a black coloured disc. However, a careful look revealed that those pieces of bulging rocks were slowly squirming! The squirming rate was extremely low and anything less than a careful examination would cause one to miss it!
After watching it carefully, he was able to discern that those were shockingly… some kind of animal with flexible bodies resembling snakes. They coiled their bodies to form the shape of a circle, like those of a mosquito coil!
Turning around, he saw that both sides of the river’s rocky banks were densely packed with those creatures and their numbers were simply uncountable!
1 ‘Hugging someone’s thigh’ means to rely on someone with a superior position to gain benefits. Raw: ‘抱大腿’, pinyin: ‘bào dà tuǐ’.↩