Right after entering the crack, Chen Feng’s body involuntarily shuddered as the chilling aura kept seeping into his soul, attempting to freeze his divine sense. Even his internal blood circulation became slower. With a thought, Chen Feng secretly stoked his Soulflame. Immediately, the chilling aura was utterly burned away and his whole body grew warm once more.
I can even refine and absorb demonic energy. Unexpectedly, I am incapable of blocking off this chilling, soul-piercing aura. Chen Feng’s heart thumped and he knew that this aura must surely be from the Yao King beneath.
“Brother Chen is truly extraordinary. At merely level 2 of the Concealed stage, you have already condensed out your Soulflame. Meeting a genius of this level is a first for me,” said Xiao Yin with a smile as he regarded Chen Feng, a look of shock crossing his eyes.
“Oh? He he, I was only able to successfully cultivate it thanks to a certain opportunity. However, I am no match for Young Sect Master. Even though you are younger than me, your cultivation base is already far higher than mine.” Chen Feng smiled back. At the same time, he was also secretly feeling shocked. He did not think that Xiao Yin could see through his cultivation state. That can only mean that Xiao Yin’s cultivation base was far, far higher than his.
“Brother Chen, are you interested in joining my Demon Sound Sect?” Xiao Yin suddenly said.
“Join Demon Sound Sect?” Chen Feng was somewhat surprised.
“This is a sincere invitation from me,” said Xiao Yin solemnly.
“He he, now is not the time for this. We should deal with our current situation first. I can already sense an intense feeling of danger,” replied a smiling Chen Feng.
After the two of them entered the crack, they found that the layout beneath looked like an underground palace, with countless passageways of differing sizes, piles of rocks and thick stone pillars of varying lengths. The two of them checked their surroundings, but failed to find any clues about the place.
“Strange, this place appears man-made?” Chen Feng uttered, a slight tone of doubt in his voice.
“It is indeed man-made. However, I am unable to sense the aura of Mo Ji’s group,” said Xiao Yin.
“Tower, how is it?” Chen Feng secretly asked.
“Can you feel it? There is a powerful aura coming from 10,000 metres below. It must be the Yao King. I can sense a formidable fire-type aura,” said Tower.
“Fire-type Yao King?” Chen Feng uttered in shock.
“No mistake about it. A pity, my current level of strength is insufficient and I still cannot sense just what type of yao the other party is,” Tower said slowly.
“What about the aura of Mo Ji and her group?” Chen Feng asked once again.
“Heh heh heh!” Tower suddenly laughed.
“You are really lucky this time. Aren’t you lacking two more Prized artefacts? Your wish might just come true.”
“You are saying there is a Prized artefact here?” Chen Feng uttered in shock.
“Not just one. In addition to Prized artefacts, there is a tightly sealed Sacred artefact. How curious. Just what kind of place is this for it to have a Sacred artefact? Kid, you will have to be careful,” said Tower as he clicked his tongue.
“There is really a Sacred artefact?” Chen Feng was even more surprised.
“With Prized artefacts, I can help you collect and suppress them. Even if it is a grade 7 Prized artefact, or even a grade 8 Prized artefact, my power will be enough to suppress it. However, I have no confidence in dealing with a Sacred artefact. If we are not careful, I will end up getting sucked in myself,” said Tower.
“Get sucked in, what do you mean?” Chen Feng became slightly curious.
“Meaning, I will be swallowed and refined by the other fellow. It will shatter my remnant spirit essence. You need to understand that high-tier magic treasures can devour one another,” Tower said slowly.
“That is somewhat problematic. In that case, lead me to Mo Ji’s group first,” said Chen Feng after a moment’s consideration.
“Fine. Coincidentally, Mo Ji’s group is heading towards a place with a Prized artefact.” Tower laughed.
“Follow me,” Chen Feng said to Xiao Yin.
“Brother Chen, did you find something?” Xiao Yin was shocked. Xiao Yin believed that there were very few who could surpass him in terms of spiritual senses. Unexpectedly, this fellow, whose cultivation base was inferior to him, had found Mo Ji’s whereabouts before him.
“There is an indistinct feeling.” After saying that, Chen Feng stepped forward and sent a furious punch forward. His action created a large fist silhouette, which hammered one of the stone pillars.
A series of snapping sounds rang out and the stone pillar in front disappeared. Next, the scene before their eyes changed and a passageway appeared.
“Eh? An illusion array! I had actually failed to notice that.” Xiao Yin was somewhat shocked.
When Chen Feng and Xiao Yin were stepping into the passageway, Mo Ji’s group arrived before a huge cavern. It was an unusually beautiful, man-made cavern.
Gold and jade shone in a competition to outdo each other, creating a dazzling splendour of beauty. The walls were decorated with various striking gemstones. It was actually giving off a mundane aura.
It was not the style of a cultivator.
However, when Mo Ji and the others saw the cavern, they all grew dumbfounded. Every one of them regarded the various decorative items within the cavern.
“Those are Sky Mirage Stones!” a young cultivator suddenly pointed at one of the gemstones on the wall, which appeared no different from any other gemstones.
“These are Scarlet Bloodstones. And the ones beside them are Arhat Corestones. These are Seven-coloured Stones. Tsk, tsk. There are so many good items here.”
“At least we did not come here for nothing.” The escorting cultivators swiftly rushed forward to seize the gemstones. After a brief moment of chaos, the large cavern grew dim as all the gemstones embedded into the walls had been pulled out.
Mo Ji and her four bodyguards were the only ones who did not move to seize the gemstones. Instead, she kept moving forward and the four bodyguards followed her closely. She continued onwards until she was deep within the cavern.
“It’s here, right?” Mo Ji whispered.
“Yes, it is right here. A grade 2 Prized artefact,” replied the mysterious elder.
Pa! Pa! Pa! Pa!
Pulling out her blood-coloured lance, she then thrust forward furiously to break the seal before her to reveal a small stone axe lying there. It was an ordinary-looking axe covered in a thick layer of dust.
Seeing the stone axe, Mo Ji’s eyes lit up and she rapidly stepped forward to pick up the stone axe.
An aura, both heavy and sharp, surged out. Immediately, Mo Ji felt as though there was a mountain within her hand. Her entire figure lurched down, nearly falling to the ground as she did. Thankfully, she was able to channel her magic power in time to steady herself.
That was her first impression about the axe.
“Eh? Prized artefact!” The energy fluctuations emanating from the stone axe attracted the attention of all present. When they saw Mo Ji wielding the stone axe, all of them revealed looks of envy.
“That is a demonic artefact,” said Mo Xigui coolly.
“Only Prized artefacts can remain intact in a place like this,” said another young cultivator. He held a terribly ruined sword and sighed.
“Ha ha ha! That is a high-grade Magic artefact. You are so lucky!” those beside him laughed loudly.
“A pity, the spiritual attributes of this thing have utterly disappeared. Even its body is corroded to the point of becoming malformed. It cannot even match up against scrap iron at this point.” The cultivator then tossed the sword on the ground.
Wielding the stone axe, Mo Ji made a light swing with it. A wave of heavy, potent energy swept out and a crack, several metres in length, appeared upon the hard, stone wall before her.
“Everyone, see? I was not lying to you all. These ruins contain plenty of Prized artefacts. Next up, all of you will have to look around carefully. If not, all the treasures will be taken by me in the end,” said Mo Ji with a faint smile. The way she treated them was clearly opposite to the way she treated Chen Feng and the other hired cultivators.
“Where do we go to next?” someone asked.
“Don’t worry. Everyone, just follow me. You will not end up on the losing end. I guarantee that everyone of you will have some gains,” said Mo Ji with a smile. After keeping the stone axe, she used her blood-coloured lance to stab up into the air.
Following the sound of a seal being broken, the landscape around them changed to reveal a dark hole before their eyes.
By the time Chen Feng and Xiao Yin arrived at the cavern, Mo Ji and the others had already disappeared. The only thing left was the large cavern itself. Even the dark hole she opened had disappeared.
“We are too late.” Chen Feng shook his head.
Xiao Yin swiftly moved to stand before the crack left on the wall. Waving his hand, he pulled a thick aura out from the crack.
“The aura of a Prized artefact. It is at least a grade 2 Prized artefact. We are indeed too late.” Xiao Yin revealed a slightly sad look.
“There is nothing to be sad about. Even if we did chase up to them, our strength is insufficient to defeat them,” said Chen Feng with a smile.
“A Prized artefact is enough to risk it,” replied Xiao Yin, who smiled back.
Chen Feng did not reply. Instead, he brought out his Overwhelming Astral Sword to stab at the air. Once again, the dark hole re-appeared.
“Thankfully, it hasn’t disappeared. Hurry, let’s go chase after them.” As he spoke, Chen Feng began retracting the aura emanating from his body while suppressing his vital fluctuations.
“Strange, where are we now?” said one of the escorting cultivators as he regarded the extremely desolate terrain before his eyes.
“Even a cultivator at the Sky Human stage can comprehend the power of space, let alone the sealed Yao King beneath,” said Mo Ji.
“You mean this space is created by the Yao King below?” asked another cultivator.
“Not necessarily. It may be some spatial barrier created by the ones who sealed up the Yao King,” said Mo Ji coolly.
Demonic energy raged about and pieces of gravel flew all around. The endless, desolate area was almost like a great desert, completely devoid of life. The only thing there were the roaring waves of demonic and chaotic energies.
“Could a place like this contain a Prized artefact?”
“According to the information I obtained, there should also be a Prized artefact here. Everyone, go search. The Prized artefact will belong to whomever finds it first.” After saying that, Mo Ji closed her eyes as she displayed a secret magic to sense her surroundings.
Suddenly, one of the young cultivators who had walked off on his own, screamed out wretchedly. It was as though he had encountered the most dreadful thing ever.
“What happened?” Everyone there grew shocked. Only then did they realize that the cultivator had fallen prey to a sneak attack.
A black and shining spike had pierced right through the cultivator’s chest. The cultivator, one who was close to condensing his Soulflame, kept twitching uncontrollably. It was as though an invisible force was shackling him. No matter how hard he tried, he was incapable of extricating himself. Meanwhile stream after stream of black energy kept appearing on his face.
“What kind of poison is that?” The nearest cultivator rapidly leapt forward and his sword swung with a scouring force at the wounded cultivator.
A black line pierced through the attacking cultivator’s sword energy before piercing into his arm. Instantly, he could no longer feel his arm. Lowering his head, he saw that a major portion of his arm had turned black in colour. The concealed poison energy was like a viper, moving swiftly through his arm into his internal organs.
The cultivator was decisive and quick to make up his mind. A beam of sword energy instantly slashed forward and his arm was cut down. When it fell, the blood oozing out from the cut arm had already turned black.
“What a big scorpion!”
By then, everyone could already make out the identity of the attacker. A three-chi long scorpion was hiding behind the first cultivator, its poisonous, sharp and finely shaped stinger pierced right through the cultivator’s chest. The potency of its poison made it so the cultivator was incapable of escaping (1 chi = 0.333 m).
Its whole body was black and shiny, as though it was forged with black steel. A bloodthirsty light shone from its blood-red eyes and its large pincers were gripping the ground. Drops of poison kept dropping down from its mouth to instantly corrode holes upon the hard ground.
“That is a Demon Scorpion, a poisonous yao beast from the Demon Plane. Its entire body is incomparably tough and capable of blocking attacks from flying swords. The poison from its stinger can kill Concealed stage cultivators. However, it is afraid of fire,” Mo Ji was quick to say. At the same time, the blood-coloured lance in her hand began releasing flames containing a bloodthirsty atmosphere.