Xiang Shaoyun was able to find the entrance to the tunnel. A pile of rocks had blocked the entrance. If Liang Zhuangmin hadn't left a mark nearby, he wouldn't have been able to locate the place again so easily. After all, the entire area had the same topography with stones everywhere.
Perhaps it was because some cannibals had already patrolled here not long ago, but there were currently no cannibals here even though it was very close to the lair of the cannibals. If he made too much noise, he might be discovered.
Left with no choice, Xiang Shaoyun transmitted a command to Xiong Bao to stop any cannibals from coming this way. No matter what, Xiong Bao was the son of the patriarch. Thus, he had a rather high status among the cannibals.
Xiang Shaoyun started moving the rocks away. Fortunately, the rocks only covered the entrance instead of the entire tunnel. Otherwise, he couldn't even begin to imagine the amount of time it would take to clear the tunnel. After clearing the entrance, the tunnel was revealed before his eyes. It was large enough for three or four adults to walk side by side.
After clearing the entrance, Xiang Shaoyun did not go back and inform Liang Zhuangmin immediately. It wasn't that he wanted to enter the lair of the cannibals alone, but he was planning to see if the other end of the tunnel was blocked as well. If it was also blocked, he had to think of a plan on how to deal with it.
Not long after, Xiang Shaoyun arrived at the other end of the tunnel. Sure enough, it was blocked as well. He released his Nether Soul Domain and started sensing the situation outside the entrance. A crude stone building was located beside the entrance. It was being guarded by a cannibal so old his fur was falling.
Xiang Shaoyun was about to extend his senses into the building when the old cannibal suddenly opened his eyes, seemingly having sensed something. It forced Xiang Shaoyun to cut short what he was doing and retreat. He could feel that the old cannibal was terrifyingly powerful and was at least a late-stage King Realm cannibal.
His strength was more than enough to mess up any humans stepping into the Land of Soul Springs. Xiang Shaoyun was not so conceited that he would believe himself a match for this old cannibal king. He traveled along the tunnel and exited at the other end before heading to where Liang Zhuangmin was at. But when he arrived, he found that Liang Zhuangmin was outside the cave.
"Brother Liang, you are recovering so fast!" Xiang Shaoyun exclaimed in shock.
Liang Zhuangmin revealed a simple smile and said, "After using some spirit medicines that I wasn't willing to use previously, it is only natural that I have recovered this fast."
It was a reasonable explanation, but Xiang Shaoyun wasn't naive enough to actually believe it. He did not expose the lie, though. After all, they had only just met each other. It was completely understandable that Liang Zhuangmin would be on guard against him.
An honest person may not necessarily be honest all the time, lamented Xiang Shaoyun inwardly. Instead of thinking too much into it, he told Liang Zhuangmin about the tunnel.
Liang Zhuangmin wanted to go right away, but Xiang Shaoyun stopped him, saying, "Now is not the best time to go."
"When do you think we should go, then?" Liang Zhuangmin asked.
"Wait until their lair is empty," said Xiang Shaoyun.
"Looks like you have a plan in mind, Brother Xiang?" Liang Zhuangmin said.
"Haha, just wait, Brother Liang. I promise we will get the earthstone heart smoothly," said Xiang Shaoyun with a hearty laugh.
If he hadn't saved Liang Zhuangmin, he wouldn't have known about the tunnel. With the tunnel, he had 70 percent confidence he would be able to obtain the earthstone heart successfully. Liang Zhuangmin couldn't understand why Xiang Shaoyun was so confident, but he was willing to believe in him.
Xiang Shaoyun then transmitted a command to Xiong Bao to start moving the experts of the cannibals away from the lair. The cannibals were simple-minded, and with Xiang Shaoyun controlling Xiong Bao remotely, Xiong Bao became one of the smartest cannibals around.
Xiang Shaoyun then got Xiong Bao to tell the cannibal kings that the spirit crystal mine had been plundered by the ghostrunes. The cannibals would always repay any grudge they had. Thus, they immediately gathered their army and headed toward the territory of the ghostrunes.
Just like that, a large number of cannibals were baited to the ghostrune territory. The lair of the cannibals became much emptier than before. It was now much easier to sneak inside, but it was still not enough for Xiang Shaoyun. He needed more chaos to reduce the risk. Thus, Xiang Shaoyun ordered Xiong Bao to start setting the surroundings of the lair on fire, causing the cannibals to panic.
One ought to know that the cannibals were akin to savages. With the long fur all over their body, they were extremely terrified of fire. The moment their fur caught on fire, it would be very hard to extinguish. That was also why they all resided in stone buildings instead of wooden buildings.
Of course, their lair was still surrounded by numerous plants. Thus, it wasn't a problem to create a fire. But of course, the timing of the fire needed to be right.
"Let's go, time for us to enter the tunnel," said Xiang Shaoyun.
Liang Zhuangmin was confused, but he did not ask anything and went along with Xiang Shaoyun. When they were about to reach the other end of the tunnel, Xiang Shaoyun ordered Xiong Bao to start the fire.
The cannibals had never expected that there would be a traitor among them. Thus, none of them suspected Xiong Bao. They merely roared and started putting out the fire. Fire sprung up everywhere around the lair, filling the lair with smoke and causing a great chaos among the cannibals. It was still not enough for Xiang Shaoyun. He gave Xiong Bao the final order to bait the old cannibal king away from the ancestral temple.
Thus, Xiong Bao appeared before the ancestral temple and greeted deferentially, "Ancestor, a great catastrophe is upon our clan. First, the ghostrunes plundered the spirit crystal mine we discovered. Next, they set our lair on fire. Ancestor, I beseech you to leave your seclusion and eliminate our enemies."
The old cannibal king opened his eyes and bellowed, "We and the ghostrunes have always stayed out of each other’s business. Why are they suddenly attacking us?"
"I don't know either," answered Xiong Bao. "But they are setting fire around our lair, and a large number of them have arrived. Ancestor, I beg for your help."
"Why can't I sense their aura at all?" asked the old cannibal king. He had lived a long life; thus, it was natural that he was much smarter than the average cannibal.
"They have hidden themselves very well. If the ancestor does not lend a hand, our defeat is imminent," said Xiong Bao seriously.
Ultimately, the old cannibal king decided to follow Xiong Bao to check if the ghostrunes had really arrived outside their lair.
In the tunnel, Xiang Shaoyun suddenly said, "Move right now. This is our only chance."
Liang Zhuangmin did not know how Xiang Shaoyun had decided when to act, but since he could not give up on the earthstone heart, he played along. Xiang Shaoyun and Liang Zhuangmin charged toward the end of the tunnel before quickly removing the rocks blocking the exit.
Liang Zhuangmin was growing anxious, and he said, "Hopefully nobody notices us."
"Don't worry, no one will notice us," said Xiang Shaoyun confidently.
They then left the tunnel and emerged above ground.Previous Chapter Next Chapter