Chapter 483: Rune of Heavenly Water, Prison of Water
In the end, Jiang Chen had his own principles. He wouldn’t have antagonized these people if they hadn’t laid hands on him. After all, they had put quite some effort into their schemes, but unfortunately, those plans couldn’t entrap one of Jiang Chen’s strength. Sadly, this group was sly, slippery, and deeply selfish. They’d actually banded together to act against him! There was no way he would show them mercy.
He waved his hand and the petals of the ice lotus opened up, swallowing the struggling fellows whole.
Jiang Chen didn’t feel the slightest ripple of emotion as he watched this scene expressionlessly. The world of martial dao was just as cruel as this. If he was soft hearted and let them off, they would undoubtedly raise even more trouble when they left and returned to the sect.
He’d never liked to create trouble for and hobble himself with restraints of his own making. Mu Gaoqi was still speechless, trying to make sense of the near unbelievable turn of events.
Jiang Chen’s strength and presence gave him a formless pressure. He knew that it would be beneficial to himself when he invited Jiang Chen, but he hadn’t thought that everyone else would end up dead at this point.
“Gaoqi, do you think I should’ve let them go?” Jiang Chen suddenly smiled and asked.
Mu Gaoqi stammered, not knowing how to respond. He was weak by nature, and had made it to this step in his cultivation purely by using pills. He’d never experienced any tempering from cruel bloodshed. Therefore, he didn’t have a strong grasp of the law of the jungle.
“Gaoqi, if you don’t have this kind of mental preparation, you should refrain from adventuring outside that often in the future. This kind of experience isn’t suitable for you.” Jiang Chen sighed lightly and looked ahead. “Let’s go.” He’d already arrived at the rock curtain by the time his words had rung in Mu Gaoqi’s ears. He stood above the herb, only plucking it after careful consideration and coming to the conclusion that nothing was untoward.
Meanwhile, Jiang Chen’s words rang like the morning bell, causing great waves of emotion in Mu Gaoqi’s heart. When he thought back to everything that had happened on this expedition, he had to admit that he was still too naive. He’d thought that everyone would treat him fairly after he’d offered up the pills and would work together with him in exploring the spring. Reality had proven otherwise, and nothing had proceeded as he’d thought. If he hadn't invited Jiang Chen, then at best, he would’ve been blocked outside the cavern, or even worse, slaughtered if he’d insisted in coming in.
Feng Wanjian had blocked him from entering, and those from the Great Cathedral had agreed. The Walkabout Sect had long since laid in wait after entering and attacked them all from the shadows. If it hadn’t been for Jiang Chen pulling him back, Mu Gaoqi surely would’ve been the first to fall given his cultivation level. When they arrived at the lava region, Yue Pan of the Great Cathedral had schemed against them. If it wasn’t for Jiang Chen, Mu Gaoqi wouldn’t have made it past the lava region at all. If he’d lacked even the slightest iota of luck, he would’ve fallen into the lava and fed to the lava monsters. And now in the karst cave, would he have had a better fate than Lin Feng or Feng Wanjian if not for Jiang Chen? Obviously not!
Mu Gaoqi had a moment of profound insight when he ruminated up to this point.
“The jianghu  is vicious, the jianghu is savage! The senior executives of the sect always tried to make us understand this in the sect, but I was too naive. I always felt that because my pill potential was extraordinary, others would always kiss up to and fawn over me. Who would’ve thought that the ugliness of humanity would be revealed in its entirety during the search for the spring? I likely would’ve died four times over had it not been for Brother Jiang Chen.”
No words were as convincing as reality. Mu Gaoqi thoroughly let go of the burdens in his heart after this moment of realization and called out, “Brother Jiang Chen, wait for me!”
There was only the two of them left now that all the others were dead. Mu Gaoqi hadn’t been this far before either, so they could only slowly explore. It was a good thing that he had a wood constitution, so he could more or less sense the spring’s location. The two of them made slow progress forward based on these clues.
This ancient cavern was like one of those bottomless pits from the legends. The further in they went, the more Jiang Chen could feel that this cavern must have had a remarkable purpose in ancient times. The further down they went, the more sensitive Jiang Chen and Mu Gaoqi’s perception became.
“We should be almost there!!” Mu Gaoqi spoke enthusiastically, his voice a bit shrill from excitement.
Jiang Chen reached out a hand and made a gesture to be quiet. “Gaoqi, speak with your consciousness. If a strong entity lives within this heavenly land, you’ll wake it with your yelling.”
Mu Gaoqi blushed deeply, feeling that he’d completely lost face for himself. He was still too untested after all, and wasn’t able to keep his cool in the face of such a tiny matter.
“Brother Jiang Chen, do you sense any danger?” Mu Gaoqi asked with his consciousness.
Jiang Chen himself didn't know either if he was being paranoid. The ones who'd entered the cave were all dead, but his intuition was still warning him that danger was still present.
“Caution is the parent of safety. Gaoqi, the closer we get to our destination, the more dangerous things will become.” Jiang Chen slowed down and extended his consciousness to scan all the flora and fauna around him. The two of them passed through an endless black corridor to be suddenly greeted with a patch of green light.
“We should be here.” The scene opened up to them after they rounded the bend. There was a naturally formed lake in this underground world that seemed like an emerald embedded in this boundless night. The surface was as calm and smooth like a mirror, the waters a pure jade-green and emitting a dense mist of abundant spirit qi, lulling onlookers.
“Brother Jiang Chen, we’re rich, we’re really rich!” Mu Gaoqi couldn’t hold back his excitement and shouted with glee.
Jiang Chen’s heart stirred as he suddenly felt his intuition spike, but a glance around revealed no overt signs of danger. However, his ears twitched as he heard water dripping down, coming to a halt at their feet.
He raised his head for a look, and suddenly saw two drops start to descend. Jiang Chen’s God’s Eye suddenly contracted and magnified this falling water drop, revealing the dense runes that were appearing within it.
“This is bad!” Jiang Chen immediately reacted—this was an attack that had transmuted the attacker’s consciousness into liquid! That seemingly minuscule droplet contained immense and devastating destructive power. This attack was absolutely beyond the scope of the origin realm!
Before Jiang Chen had time to respond, the two water drops had already expanded. Like a waterfall crashing down from the nine heavens, the droplet instantly engulfed the two in a gigantic burst of water.
After the water washed over them, two enormous bubbles remained, imprisoning Jiang Chen and Mu Gaoqi within. The water curtain seemed thin, but it seemed to be composed of the strongest power beneath the heavens. No matter how much force Jiang Chen and Mu Gaoqi exerted, they were unable to pierce the bubble.
Jiang Chen had yet to run into anything like this since he’d set foot in the world. When he saw that the bubble was unaffected by his normal attacks, he decided to pursue another path. He called upon his fire attribute arts and sent the Skyblaze Supernova Point sizzling towards the water curtain.
The result was unchanged. As if he’d tossed a pebble into the ocean, the bubble remained completely intact and nonresponsive.
The Supernova Point was currently Jiang Chen’s strongest single target attack. But even that only caused the runes in the water to flare when it hit the water curtain, but failed to harm the curtain in any way.
Mu Gaoqi was punching and kicking over on his side, but that too proved futile. The most frightening thing was that Jiang Chen kept sending messages to Mu Gaoqi, but the latter didn't respond at all. It seemed that the water curtain could also block all communication into and out of it, making it so that Jiang Chen was rendered incapable of contacting the outside world.
“Hmph! Two mere origin realm rats want to break through my Rune of Heavenly Water?” A figure suddenly flashed out of the shadows in the walls.
This person was stooped and a little hunchbacked, but even so, he was very tall and bulky. He held a wooden cane in his hand, his vicious eyes gleaming like a hungry wolf’s. He took several leisurely circles around Jiang Chen and Mu Gaoqi, inspecting them.
Jiang Chen was surprised to see that this man wore the same clothes as the two Walkabout Sect disciples.
“This person is an expert from the Walkabout Sect?” Jiang Chen was astonished. Those two had invited such an expert? But if this was the case, why did the two disciples choose to ally with Xu Gang and Yue Pan? Something wasn’t quite making sense here.
The hunchbacked expert murmured to himself. “Only these two rats have come squirreling over, so this means that the others are dead? These two look to be from the Regal Pill Palace? This isn’t right, according to my predictions, it should’ve either been the two from the Great Cathedral making it this far, or the two useless disciples from my Walkabout Sect. Why is it the two from the Regal Pill Palace?”
However, he didn’t seem to care very much about this question after thinking over it. “Hmph, it’s easy enough to kill the rats from the Regal Pill Palace. If I wasn’t worried for the scent of blood disturbing that being, I would’ve killed both of you a long time ago.”
The hunchback walked to Mu Gaoqi and stomped on the water curtain, cursing loudly, “Particularly you, idiot! Screaming and yelling as if you were afraid the entity here wouldn’t detect you? What an absolute f*cking idiot!”
The two of them couldn’t communicate with the outside world, but the hunchback’s words were as clear as crystal. Mu Gaoqi was beside himself with regret, feeling that he’d dragged down Jiang Chen again.
It was rather Jiang Chen who sat down cross-legged, oblivious to the outside world when he realized he had no way of breaking through the curtain of water.
The hunchback expert was indeed an elder in the Walkabout Sect and had happened to hear some of the two disciples’ conversation before they’d set out. He’d surreptitiously followed them after learning of the spring with the wood energy, and used his strength to bypass the two to reach the spring first. However, when he arrived, he discovered a warning line drawn around the spring, a line left behind by a strong entity.
The strength of this entity was such that even a second level sage realm as he felt a bit stressed. Therefore, he’d been brainstorming on how to quietly bypass this entity, or at the very least not awaken it.
This was when Jiang Chen and Mu Gaoqi had arrived. The latter’s excited shout had completely irritated the hunchback, so he’d used his arts to imprison the new arrivals.
It wasn’t that he didn’t kill people, but more that he was worried that the killing intent and scent of blood would disturb the entity if he did so. Even so, Mu Gaoqi’s previous shout still set him a bit on edge. He became lost in thought as he gazed at that line.