Liang Zhuangmin went along with Xiang Shaoyun's suggestion as he was also aware that the cannibals were way too close for comfort. Xiang Shaoyun's original plan was to just bring Liang Zhuangmin to a random place they could rest. But Liang Zhuangmin offered to lead the way as he apparently knew a good hiding place.
That got Xiang Shaoyun curious, so he followed along without asking much. Soon, Liang Zhuangmin arrived with Xiang Shaoyun at an inconspicuous place. After pushing a boulder to the side, a small cave was revealed.
"I will be recuperating in this cave. If you don't have anything to do for now, you are welcome to hide here for a bit as well. Nobody will find us here," said Liang Zhuangmin.
Xiang Shaoyun did not hesitate and stepped right into the cave. Liang Zhuangmin also entered before blocking the entrance with the boulder again. The cave sank into darkness, but Xiang Shaoyun was still able to see everything clearly with his unique pair of eyes.
As for Liang Zhuangmin, he sat down and took out a lustrous pearl that caused the darkness to retreat. It was only then that Xiang Shaoyun noticed that Liang Zhuangmin was awfully pale. Evidently, the short rest earlier was far from enough for him to recover.
"Focus on recovery," said Xiang Shaoyun.
"Ok. We'll chat later," said Liang Zhuangmin. He then started focusing on recovery.
Inwardly, Xiang Shaoyun thought, This guy sure is trusting of me.
But when he thought about it, he was after all the person who had saved Liang Zhuangmin earlier. Thus, it was understandable that Liang Zhuangmin believed Xiang Shaoyun wouldn't hurt him. Since that was the case, there was no point in needlessly staying on guard against his savior.
Xiang Shaoyun started thinking about his next steps. At the same time, he also started wondering the reason for Liang Zhuangmin to appear here. After all, most of the humans were here for the soul springs. Very few people would actually come to the territory of the cannibals.
He guessed that Liang Zhuangmin was most likely here for the same reason as him—to search for the earthstone heart. After all, Liang Zhuangmin cultivated the power of earth. The earthstone heart would be very helpful to him and could even help him enter the Skysoar Realm. Half a day later, Liang Zhuangmin finally woke up from his meditation. He was in a much better condition now.
"Xiang Shaoyun, are you here for the earthstone heart as well?" asked Liang Zhuangmin.
Xiang Shaoyun blanked out from the sudden question before admitting, "Yes, I'm here for the earthstone heart. You are here for the same reason, right?"
"Looks like we have the same goal. Why don't we work together?" Liang Zhuangmin suggested.
"Work together? Are you not afraid that I will be the one to get the earthstone heart?" Xiang Shaoyun asked in astonishment.
"Haha, since I dare to propose a partnership, I am naturally not afraid of that. We can fight between us after obtaining the earthstone heart. It will just go to the victor," said Liang Zhuangmin boldly.
Liang Zhuangmin's heroic bearing gave Xiang Shaoyun a very favorable impression. Xiang Shaoyun nodded and said, "Ok. Since Brother Liang has such confidence, let's partner up. However, there are a lot of Kings among the cannibals. What are our odds of succeeding since there are only the two of us?"
"Yes, that is quite tricky. But it's not like we are completely helpless. We just have to take some risks," said Liang Zhuangmin.
"What plan do you have in mind?" Xiang Shaoyun asked.
Liang Zhuangmin sighed and said, "I came once 10 years ago, so I am aware of a secret tunnel leading to the cannibals' nearby ancestral temple, which is where they keep the earthstone heart."
"What? You were here 10 years ago?" Xiang Shaoyun cried out in astonishment.
"That's nothing surprising. I was about your age back then, and that was my first time here. I was proud and arrogant, coming to retrieve the earthstone heart with a bunch of apprentice brothers. However...almost all of us died. I only survived because I found the secret tunnel by fluke," said Liang Zhuangmin with a look of melancholy. "Earlier, I was trying to get to the tunnel again when I noticed that the tunnel was already sealed by the cannibals. Otherwise, they wouldn't have detected me at all."
"Huh? Since it is already sealed, how will it help us?" Xiang Shaoyun asked.
"It's sealed, but we can open it again. That's why I need your help," said Liang Zhuangmin frankly.
"You mean we can open the tunnel again and use it to approach the ancestral temple and snatch the earthstone heart from the cannibals? But there are most likely powerful cannibal kings guarding that place as well. Are the two of us even enough to get the earthstone heart?" questioned Xiang Shaoyun.
With a helpless smile, Liang Zhuangmin replied, "I know this will be a difficult task, but I have no other choice. If you don't want to go, I will still go alone."
Xiang Shaoyun could sense Liang Zhuangmin's resoluteness. The man had resolved to try even at the cost of his own life.
Xiang Shaoyun smiled and said, "Since Brother Liang has already decided to give it your all, I shall play along as well."
"Are you sure?" Liang Zhuangmin asked. He was astonished that Xiang Shaoyun would still agree even after knowing the dangers involved.
"Of course. I was here for the earthstone heart in the first place. How can I give up so easily?" Xiang Shaoyun gave a firm answer.
"Good. Let's not wait, and go right now," said Liang Zhuangmin impatiently.
"No, we can't rush something like this. You are still badly injured. You need to first recover to your peak. Going in your current state is the same as suicide," said Xiang Shaoyun.
"But I'm afraid I will need two or three days to recover to my peak," said Liang Zhuangmin with a sigh.
"That doesn't matter. We have a month here, remember? What's two or three days?" Xiang Shaoyun placated him. "If Brother Liang trusts me, tell me where the tunnel is. I will reopen it. When you are back to your peak, we can then go straight to the cannibals' lair."
Liang Zhuangmin narrowed his eyes and studied Xiang Shaoyun for a bit before saying, "Fine! I'll tell you!"
The two then left the cave. Liang Zhuangmin pointed in a certain direction, telling Xiang Shaoyun where the tunnel was. Looking over, Xiang Shaoyun realized that the tunnel was located close to where he had rescued Liang Zhuangmin earlier. Evidently, Liang Zhuangmin had been trying to get into the tunnel before he was found by the cannibals.
"Alright. Focus on recovery. I will reopen the tunnel as soon as possible," said Xiang Shaoyun before dashing away.
Looking at the departing Xiang Shaoyun, Liang Zhuangmin thought to himself, Hopefully you won't disappoint me.
He then entered the cave and resumed recovering. This time, he entered an even deeper meditation fully focused on healing himself. The energy revolving around him this time was much more powerful than earlier, increasing the speed at which he was recovering. It would seem like although he looked simple and honest, he still knew to keep some of his actual strength hidden.Previous Chapter Next Chapter