The sword swung out and the sound of a restrictive barrier breaking rang out from up front. Knowing that they were in a hurry, Chen Feng had channelled his strongest power to spur the Overwhelming Astral Sword to unleash attack after attack.
The Overwhelming Astral Sword was a Prized artefact. Every time Chen Feng utilized his power to unleash attacks with the sword, he could feel the power within his body rapidly diminishing. As his power was about to diminish, the restrictive barrier standing before their way abruptly shattered. A cave, with a radius of 10 zhang, appeared and thick spiritual energy flowed out from it (1 zhang = 3.333 m).
“What a powerful spiritual energy. There is definitely a Magic crystal mine inside,” exclaimed a pleasantly surprised Chen Feng.
“Who goes there? Who dares to plunder the burning house?! You are courting death!” The two parties who were in the midst of fighting grew enraged. They did not expect someone to take advantage of their fight to move forward.
Shua! Shua! Shua!
Three flying swords and a colourful ribbon transformed into streams of light to attack Chen Feng’s group. That was especially true of the colourful ribbon. Like a swirling galaxy from the Nine Heavens, it emanated powerful fluctuations, seemingly wanting to capture everyone in Chen Feng’s group all at once.
“What a powerful magic treasure. It is at least a grade 6 Magic artefact.”
Chen Feng and the others exchanged glances before hastily dashing into the cave. All the incoming attacks ended up missing.
“Someone beat us to it! Hurry, rush in!”
“Block them! Second Elder is protecting the inner area. There is no need for us to worry. Just deal with the enemies outside first.”
The four Purplecloud Sky Grotto cultivators did not go after Chen Feng’s group. Instead, they worked together to stop the other cultivators.
“With your abilities, the four of you want to block us? If your Sect Master is here, then you might actually succeed!” shouted a cultivator whose body was shrouded with black energy. He had a sinister voice and the black energy roaming his body made it impossible for anyone to make out his facial features.
It was not just that one cultivator. The other invading cultivators were also deploying various techniques to conceal their facial features. Some had even changed their auras. Apparently, even though these people were here to snatch Magic crystals, they had no desire to make an enemy of Purplecloud Sky Grotto. At any rate, the one backing Purplecloud Sky Grotto was Nine Firmaments Palace. It was a colossal existence that no one could afford to provoke.
“This property belongs to Nine Firmaments Palace. If you all choose to leave now, we can forget about what happened today,” shouted one of the cultivators from Purplecloud Sky Grotto.
“Ha ha ha ha! Enough with the jokes! Don’t even think about using Nine Firmaments Palace’s name to suppress us. Our trip here will not be in vain. To think that your Purplecloud Sky Grotto could be so lucky as to discover a Magic crystal mine. Of course, it is not impossible to let us go back. Give us 1 million Magic crystals each and we will immediately go back!” shouted a cultivator whose body shone with dazzling golden light.
“1 million Magic crystals? You guys must be crazy! It doesn’t matter who you are. Now that you have made an enemy of Nine Firmaments Palace, you will be hunted to the ends of the earth! You souls will be collected and refined! You fellows are probably unaware but cultivators from Nine Firmaments Palace are about to arrive. When they do arrive, you fellows can forget about leaving!”
“If that is the case, don’t blame us for going all out! Fellow cultivators! Why do you continue hiding? Hurry up and attack! Charge forward and divide the Magic crystals!”
“That is right! This Magic crystal mine is not something that a little Purplecloud Sky Grotto can swallow. Better to divide it between everyone.”
The first to attack was a hidden cultivator. Who knows what magic treasure he was using, but a blazing red smoke flowed towards the four cultivators from Purplecloud Sky Grotto. The smoke came together to form something resembling a silk ribbon, hovering in the air without showing any signs of spreading out.
“Careful! That is the Thousand Evil Purplesmoke! You are from Seventy-two Grotto-mansions! Are you not afraid of Nine Firmaments Palace flattening your grotto-mansions?” shouted the cultivator from Purplecloud Sky Grotto.
“Heh heh! Nine Firmaments Palace will not be taking action over such a minor matter. Besides, by killing you fellows, all of our troubles will end. There are so many of us here anyways. When the time comes, we can just scatter around, find a place to hide and stay low. Even Nine Firmaments Palace cannot do anything against us.” A short cultivator with thick limbs appeared before the other cultivators. The short cultivator held in his hand a blazing red-coloured gourd. Clumps of Thousand Evil Purplesmoke were flowing out from the gourd.
Additionally, this person was not covering up his face like the others. Instead, he had revealed his true face.
“As expected, it is Grotto Master Thousand Evil from one of the Seventy-two Grotto-mansions. Could it be your Seventy-two Grotto-mansions want to openly make an enemy of our Purplecloud Sky Grotto?”
The expression on the Purplecloud Sky Grotto cultivator’s face sank before he shouted.
“Ha ha ha ha! Your Six Great Sky Grottoes can only show off your might in front of ordinary humans. Our Seventy-two Grotto-mansions do not consider you fellows as anything. If it were not for Nine Firmaments Palace backing you, several of our grotto-mansions are enough to wipe out your Six Great Sky Grottoes!” The Grotto Master laughed loudly, an arrogant expression on his face. He was utterly looking down on the cultivators from Purplecloud Sky Grotto.
“That is right! Your Six Great Sky Grottoes mean nothing to us. If you know what’s good for you, hurry up and scram! If we have to take action, your souls will be scattered into the wind!” An old man suddenly descended from the sky. Sharp air currents flowed around him, blocking off all the lightning powers from reaching him.
“That is Isle Master Five Poisons from the Thirty-six Isles. To think that the Seventy-two Grotto-mansions and the Thirty-six Isles will participate in this. It seems we will not be able to get much from this endeavour.”
“What is there to fear? There is a Magic crystal mine here! Even if the forces here manage to snatch away the head, we loose cultivators can still drink some soup!”
“Right! That is right! We are all loose cultivators! We must work together to gain some benefits.”
Seeing more people step forward, some of the cultivators who were hiding their identities began discussing in secrecy.
“Your Thirty-six Isles have chosen to participate in this? Fine, fine! Once this is over, our Purplecloud Sky Grotto will report this matter to Nine Firmaments Palace and request them to dispatch out experts to utterly wipe you all out!” Seeing the increasing number of invaders, the Purplecloud Sky Grotto cultivators began panicking.
“Enough with your crap! Fellow cultivators, we are short on time. Hurry up and attack!” Isle Master Five Poisons was the first to attack. With a wave of his hand, he sent a swarm of poisonous bees towards the Purplecloud Sky Grotto cultivators.
Each of those poisonous bees were as big as a fist and their bodies were blood-red in colour. The poisonous stinger on each of their backs was so sharp, it could pierce through a steel plate. The shocking flaps of their wings created burst after burst of rumbling sounds.
“Those are Bloodthirsty Poison Bees. If its stinger strikes, even a Concealed stage cultivator will die from its poison. Although Isle Master Five Poisons is not the strongest amongst the Thirty-six Isle Masters, his ability to deal damage is amongst the highest. We should put some distance between us and him so that we don’t get caught up in his attacks.”
Grotto Master Thousand Evil mobilized his Thousand Evil Purplesmoke to attack. The intensity of the smoke was even more violent compared to that of the Bloodthirsty Poison Bees. Seeing his actions, the surrounding cultivators held their breaths and closed up all their pores.
“We will hold them first! You two, hurry up and ask the sect for reinforcements!” Two Purplecloud Sky Grotto cultivators quickly moved forward to block the invaders while the other two rushed into the sky. One of them retrieved a jade talisman and crushed it. It was a type of communication jade. The moment it was crushed, Purplecloud Sky Grotto will receive their request for reinforcements.
“Where are you going?!”
A silk net, flashing intensely with golden light, descended from the sky to envelop the two cultivators. The moment the two cultivators were enveloped by the net, they felt their bodies going numb, becoming powerless. The end of the net was connected to the sky, where a cultivator’s palm could be seen. The five fingers on the palm were constantly sending out strands of potent energy, which condensed into the net below.
The silk net was actually not forged from any materials. Rather, all of it was condensed out using the cultivator’s internal energy. The cultivator’s ability to condense out the net immediately stunned all the cultivators there. The same was true for Grotto Master Thousand Evil and Isle Master Five Poisons. There was a serious expression on each of their faces.
“An expert has come!”
“Chance! Charge in!”
Although the cultivators there were shocked by the spectacle, some quickly took advantage of what was happening to charge towards the cave entrance leading into the Magic crystal mine.
“Who are you?” The two remaining Purplecloud Sky Grotto cultivators bellowed. At the same time, two flying swords drew lines across the sky at they shot towards the cultivator with the net.
“Humph! A trifling skill.” With a wave of the cultivator’s hand, another silk net appeared from thin air to wrap the two flying swords up.
By then, Isle Master Five Poisons’ Bloodthirsty Poison Bees had swarmed forward to quickly surround the two Purplecloud Sky Grotto cultivators. A miserable scream rang out as the bodies of the two Concealed stage cultivators rapidly withered. It did not take long for them to become two dried up corpses, not a trace of life remaining on them. In but moments, the Bloodthirsty Poison Bees had sucked up all of their blood essence.
“Hurry! Charge into the cave!”
Seeing all of Purplecloud Sky Grotto’s cultivators dealt with, the rest of the invading cultivators displayed their techniques to dash into the Magic crystal mine.
To the surprise of Chen Feng and his group, after entering the cave, they did not encounter any attacks or restrictive barriers. They continued to move underground.
The ground within the cave was spacious and there was a total of three dark passageways leading underground. As Chen Feng’s group all consisted of Concealed stage cultivators, the darkness of the cave was no different from day time to them.
“Hurry! I can feel the aura of the Magic crystals. It’s getting closer and closer.” Tower was hastily shouting within Chen Feng’s mind. In fact, Chen Feng felt as though the Longevity Tower was eager to fly out from him.
“Be quiet! When we get there, you won’t suffer any losses,” Chen Feng could not stop himself from chiding.
As their group continued their descent, the surrounding spiritual energy grew increasingly thick. Finally, they felt as though the surrounding spiritual energy had become like smoke, seeping out from the ground beneath them.
This was not the ordinary worldly spiritual energy that cultivators usually absorb during their cultivation practice. This was a wondrous energy emanating from spirit stones.
Ding! Ding! Dang! Dang!
Soon enough, they could hear sounds of stones getting struck coming from deep underground. There was no need for them to ask anything. The sounds were from the captured miners who were mining the Magic crystals.
“I didn’t think there would be so much space down here. The way I see it, this place is much bigger compared to the Purplebolt Mountain above ground,” said Lu Ta as he observed the widening space.
“These are all the places that Purplecloud Sky Grotto had mined before.” After saying that, Ye Ziming stretched out his hand to grab at the rocky wall beside them. A small piece of Magic crystal rested on his palm.
“This is a remnant Magic crystal. They sure are thorough with their mining operation,” said Ye Ziming with a sneer.
“Careful!” The expression on Chen Feng’s face changed. With a thought, energy streams flowed through his palm to form a Longevity Blade.