The bone that Chen Feng had broken with his foot was clearly the thigh bone of a human. An additional glance from Chen Feng revealed that there was an intact human skeleton on the ground. The skull, limb bones, ribs, all of them were there. However, the surface of the bones was packed with little holes, the effect of erosion. Judging from that, it would not take long before the skeleton was reduced to dust. The spot that Chen Feng had stepped on earlier had already been eroded to the point of breaking by itself.
At that moment, Chen Feng felt cold sweat oozing out from his body. He took a few deep breaths to calm himself down.
“What is there to fear from the dead? Seriously! I don’t even remember how many people I have killed.” Chen Feng secretly drummed up his courage. Next, he emboldened himself to move forward and investigate.
The circular hole at the chest area of the skeleton aroused Chen Feng’s attention. There were no other wounds other than that.
“It seems this fellow died due to having his heart pierced. There is really a yao beast inside this pool of water.” Chen Feng’s heart felt somewhat terrified. He was fearful that a beast would suddenly appear and devour him.
After that, Chen Feng searched around for a moment and found some more skeletons. It was unknown how long the skeletons had been there. All the flesh on the skeletons had been utterly eroded, leaving only the badly eroded skeletons. Naturally, there were also some skeletons that had been utterly eroded down there as well.
However, Chen Feng did notice something peculiar. All the skeletons bore two types of wound marks. The first was the chest while the second was the centre of the skull. It was unknown what kind of power had pierced through them.
“Could there be a monster here that loves to devour human hearts and brains?” Thinking about that, Chen Feng felt another cold shiver going down his body.
“The kid has gone down for quite some time now. Why isn’t anything happening?” By then, the three who were in the pavilion had gotten impatient.
“Could he have died down there? What should we do now? Should we go grab a few more cultivators to scout the path ahead? A pity though, that Water Prevention Pearl.”
“This place is deep within the mountain range, would cultivators come here? Let’s wait a while longer.”
A light ringing sound rang out and Chen Feng reached out with his hand to pick up a short sword. The short sword had been eroded to the point where hollowed areas filled the surface of its blade, now appearing like a piece of scrap iron. Flicking the surface with his finger however, he found that it could release a ringing sound. Despite its horribly eroded state, it was still something that no common steel sword could compete against.
Chen Feng exerted strength with both his palms as he tried to break the short sword only to fail in the end. It felt incomparably tough. He had failed to even bend it.
“I can crush even steel with a pinch. To think that this flying sword, that is already about to be utterly eroded could be so durable. It seems this short sword belonged to the cultivator who died here.”
After taking that into consideration, Chen Feng’s interest was roused and he began searching the vicinity. As expected, it did not take long before he found another two flying swords, a blade that was still gleaming with chilling light and three black arrows. The three arrows were as black as ink and were seemingly even blacker compared to the surrounding black waters. If Chen Feng were not holding both the Water Prevention Pearl and Night Clarity Pearl, he would have missed the three arrows. Stranger yet, the three arrows were in good condition, with no traces of erosion on their surface.
“Strange, strange. These three black arrows are actually undamaged. They must be treasures,” whispered Chen Feng.
As Chen Feng was inspecting one of the black arrows, he suddenly felt dizzy. The black arrow that he was holding before him radiated out a black light, peerless in profundity and seemingly harbouring the desire to absorb the human soul.
Chen Feng hastily tossed the black arrow in his hand away. Only then did he slowly return to his normal state.
“What happened? Why do I get the feeling that my soul was nearly absorbed? Could it be? These three black arrows can absorb the souls of cultivators?
“Phew! No matter! These three black arrows are definitely no ordinary items. Just the fact that they could remain undamaged beneath this pool proves that.” Having reached that conclusion, Chen Feng kept the three black arrows. He no longer dared to look at them.
Next, Chen Feng seemingly forgot all about time. He began exploring the bottom part of the pool with a leisurely pace. As his area of search grew, he found some strange weapons, such as ropes, nets, copper hammers, shields, jade rulers, cudgels, even steel needles and broken flags. There were also those that were so eroded that Chen Feng simply could not recognize them.
Amongst them was a body armour made from unknown materials. The surface of the body armour was dim and there was a fist-sized hole upon it. There were also plenty of cracks on it. However, when Chen Feng pulled out a partially undamaged flying sword to hack down on it a few times, he found the he could not leave a single mark on the body armour. Only then did he realize that this was a treasure. The flying sword that he used earlier could easily cut steel, after all.
Without giving it much thought, Chen Feng wore the body armour before covering it up with another layer of outer clothing.
“This is a body-protecting treasure. Although it is already damaged, the flying sword from Mo Yuan and the others will definitely be incapable of piercing through it,” said Chen Feng with a smile.
“What a pity! I hear that some experts have cosmos pouch or some other storage treasures on them. I have searched around for so long, yet I have not found even one. All I found are some damaged weapons. There aren’t even any bottles of medicinal pills. Why is that? Did they all get eroded?” Chen Feng thought to himself.
“Probably not. Perhaps?” Chen Feng’s eyes suddenly shone as he thought to something.
“There must be other items on these cultivators’ bodies. However, the good stuff had all been taken away. It must be the yao beast that had killed them. Likely, it is the Greenjade-eyed Gold Toad mentioned by the three from Purplecloud Sky Grotto. When you look at it that way, danger could descend upon me at any time.”
“Still, this is strange. I have been searching around underwater for several hundred metres. Yet, I have not encountered any yao beast. And then there is the Greenjade Magic Soulfruit that they mentioned. Although this place is somewhat bizarre, is there a need to urgently rush forward?”
At that moment, Chen Feng was not worried that the Poison Prevention Pill would lose its efficacy after two hours as the Water Prevention Pearl he was using could protect him from the surrounding poisonous waters.
“Humph! Those three people messed up by sending me down to scout the place for them.” Chen Feng sneered. Next, he sat down cross-legged to carefully consider his situation.
Chen Feng reached out with his hand to pick up a white bone and thought to himself. “The people who died here must all be matchlessly powerful. Although the weapons here have become damaged, their bones have yet to be utterly eroded. Such durable bones are shocking. Right now, if I am to toss away these Water Prevention Pearls and not use astral energy to protect my body, I will likely be utterly eroded by the poison waters here in less than an instant.”
Chen Feng hacked down with his hand. As expected, the white bone remained undamaged. Chen Feng’s move earlier could have broken a sword made of high-quality steel.
“If I take these bones out, could they be considered as good items as well?” Chen Feng thought to himself.
Finally, the two-hour period had passed and the medicinal sphere of light enveloping Chen Feng slowly dissipated. However, as Chen Feng had several Water Prevention Pearls, he was not afraid of the surrounding poison waters.
“Two hours have passed. The kid must have died underwater,” said the charming woman.
“Not necessarily. He still has that Water Prevention Pearl in his hand,” said Fifth Senior Brother.
“Still, we cannot wait anymore. You two, protect me. I will attach my divine sense into my flying sword and use it to investigate the bottom of the pool.” After saying that, Fifth Senior Brother sat down cross-legged. A well-crafted flying sword the colour of the ocean flew out from between his brows. It was unknown what it was made of, but strands of lightning flowed constantly on the surface of the sword. Sword energy undulated across the surface of its blade. It was sharp enough to cut open space itself. This was Fifth Senior Brother’s lifebound flying sword, one that he had carefully refined, even melding many rare materials into it. He had even found a way to meld a Thunder Pearl into it, imbuing it with the speed and destructive power of lightning.
“Fifth Senior Brother, you need to be careful. I feel something strange about the situation below,” said the charming woman.
“I am just scouting the road ahead. You two, be vigilant of our surroundings. We are not the only ones to have obtained information about this. Other cultivators will surely come as well.” After saying that, Fifth Senior Brother made several hand seals. Then, the ocean-coloured flying sword transformed into a blue beam of light and entered the pool. As for Fifth Senior Brother, both his eyes were closed while his hands ceaselessly formed hand seals.
“Sigh! Sitting here like this is not the solution. If any problem arises, I will not be able to even run away. I should try to look around. The size of the ground beneath this pool is quite large. I wonder just how big is it? I think it is even bigger than most lakes,” said Chen Feng as he slowly got up.
“Greenjade-eyed Gold Toad, Greenjade Magic Soulfruit, just the name alone makes them sound like incredibly powerful yao beast and Heavenly fruit. The reason they came here is for the Greenjade Magic Soulfruit. According to their conversation, after eating the fruit, they can practice something called insight acupoints and increase their cultivation base. That is definitely a good treasure, far superior compared to the Imperial Blood Grass. I suppose I should try looking for it.” Chen Feng thought to himself.
This time, Chen Feng stopped looking all around. Instead, he walked forward in a straight line. All was dark and silent around him and he continued walking forward. It felt as though he was walking though Hell. Despite the fear he felt, it was quite a new sensation for Chen Feng.
After walking for over 100 metres, Chen Feng stopped walking. The scene that had unfolded itself before him left him dumbfounded.
Before him was a total of nine strange-looking plants, shimmering with bizarre radiance.
The nine plants were all identical and were arranged in the Nine Palaces feng shui position. All of them were only one-chi tall (1 chi = 0.333 m). The stalk of each plant was as thick as a human arm. Some fine branches and leaves grew on the top part of the stalk. There at the highest point was an apple-sized green-coloured fruit. Crystalline, translucent and glossy, it sparkled with light.
Additionally, every part of the nine plants was emitting a dazzling radiance. The radiance was much brighter compared to the Night Clarity Pearls that Chen Feng had on him. It was such that the surrounding 10 or so metres became as clear as day. Additionally, Chen Feng could clearly sense vast amounts of worldly spiritual energy converging upon the nine plants.
“Could these be the Greenjade Magic Soulfruits? These plants are really wondrous to be capable of growing here. Additionally, they can absorb so much of the surrounding spiritual energy, giving itself a vigorous level of vitality,” praised Chen Feng.
“No, it is due to their growing positioning. They are growing according to the Nine Palaces direction. Could they have been planted by humans?” After walking several steps forward, Chen Feng saw that there was something special about the way they were growing.