351, 352, 353, 354

351, 352, 353, 354

[Host: justreads.net]
[November 11, 2021]
...

351: The Born-Again Male Meets the Transmigrated Female

Those in VIP boxes had their own private exits, so they didn’t have to squeeze out with the rest of the auction attendees. Ming Xi and the others didn’t talk much after the auction; they just walked out happily after getting more snacks.

However, as they were walking out, they found there were several people cautiously staring at them. A few directly came up with invitation letters to be guests at their master’s mansion.

Their masters wanted to find out the identity of those sitting in the mysterious ZERO box, so they were trying to woo Ming Xi. Naturally they wouldn’t appear themselves. They were too arrogant for that, instead they sent their butlers or servants.

Ming Xi accepted the invitations with a smile, but did not say whether he would go or not. He and his group were not interested in these kinds of entertainment.

Feng Wu walked beside Ming Xi. She held the ancient rui egg in her hand and from time to time would telepathically talk to it.

One girl and one baby rui talked to each other happily. Feng Wu had always been a child with an affinity for animals. And although the rui beast wouldn’t say it, he also liked Feng Wu very much.

Not far from their group, Zi Cheng, Yifu, and Jasmine watched the scene.

Yifu had never liked Feng Wu, so she was incredibly upset when she saw Feng Wu holding the egg that Zi Cheng wanted. Her first impulse was to run over and demand Feng Wu hand the egg obediently over to Zi Cheng.

Yifu’s way of thinking was thusly: if Zi Cheng wanted it, then Zi Cheng should get it. It didn’t matter who had it first. Anyone who refused was a sinful and vicious person.

If Zi Cheng hadn’t been holding her hand, she really would have rushed over.

On the other side were Ai Lin and Eliza. Ai Lin had not expected to run into Ming Xi and the rest of the group. She had known his group was somewhere in the maritime world, but she hadn’t been sure about the exact location. Most of her energy had been spent keeping tabs on Zi Cheng.

“It turned out, they’re the ones with the ore. Since you like it, approach them and try to buy it.” Eliza came up with the suggestion when she saw her friend deep in thought.

A bunch of things ran through Zo’s mind at the unexpected sight of Eliza. In the future timeline, she would be killed by his brother, her fiancé. He had to protect her somehow and not let her fall victim to the same tragic fate again. “Eliza!” he called out.

Eliza turned her head at the voice. She was so surprised to see Zo that her mouth opened in an O. “Zo!”

Zo rarely ever left his home, let alone travel as far as the Biluo islands. How could she not be surprised?

“Eliza, how are you doing? I haven’t seen you in so long.” Zo suppressed his excitement and tried hard not to let himself behave strangely.

Eliza blinked playfully. “What haven’t seen you in a long time? We just saw each other not more than two months ago. How could you forget?” She pursed her lips in pretend dissatisfaction.

“Who is this?” Zo avoided her question and asked one of his own as he looked at Ai Lin.

He hadn’t noticed her before, but now that he looked closer, he realized there was a problem. First, he was certain there had never been any such girl beside Eliza in the previous life. Second, her energy fluctuations were similar to his own!

That was to say, the energy she emitted was that of a soul that had passed through the time tunnel. Could this girl have also come from the future?

So many different speculations flashed through Zo’s mind, but he didn’t show them on his face. His expression was peaceful and his eyes were gentle.

“This is my new friend, Ai Lin. Ai Lin, this is my childhood friend, Zo.” Eliza introduced them.

“Hello Zo.” Ai Lin greeted Zo.

In response, Zo greeted her back. “Hello Miss Ai Lin.”

Ai Lin had to think hard to remember that Zo was the male lead’s younger brother, who also happened to be Eliza’s fiancé.

The hero’s brother... Ah! She remembered now. The male lead had a waste brother who could not cultivate either magic or martial qi. He had been that way since childhood.

In the story, Zi Cheng had run into Caesar where the heart of water was located. Caesar knew the heart could warm the body and would be useful for a water magician, which was what his brother, Zo, was. Zo was a natural born water magician; it was just that he had such an incredibly low affinity for water. Caesar was certain Zo’s body would get better if he got the heart of water.

Zi Cheng had a good impression of Caesar, but the heart of water was an invaluable treasure. How could she bear to see it go to someone she had never met before? She told him it would be useful to her and that he should not give it to his brother. Try as she might, she could not convince Caesar to give it up.

But all that changed after she saved his life. From that moment on, Zi Cheng became his entire world and he never mentioned giving the heart of water to Zo after that.

The only time Zo came up in the story again was when Eliza died. It was Zo’s saddest moment. He made an ardent wish to be a man worthy of her in the next life as he placed flowers on her grave.

He was just a side character with limited appearance. It was the last time Zo appeared in the story until after Zi Cheng and Caesar ascended.

Considering the entire plot, it would have been better for Eliza to accept Zo’s affection instead of falling into the black pit of love between the hero and heroin.

Eliza had no idea what her two friends were thinking. She was happy to see Zo, so later on they all went to dinner together and she forgot all about the ancient rui egg.

They chose a private box at a restaurant, then ordered delicious food and two bottles of wine, chatting all the while as they ate.

“I wonder where Brother Caesar is. I definitely heard his voice at the auction. I wanted to meet him after the auction and I even had people wait for him. They waited so long only to find out he had already left.” Eliza pouted. “He came to the auction house but didn’t even call me up. He knew I’d be on Biluo island. It’s like we’re not even engaged. He’s not taking me seriously at all.”

352: Let’s Work Together

“That Caesar! He knew I’d be looking for him, but refusing to show himself. Does he even think of me as his fiancée?”

Eliza didn’t handle her liquor well, but she had wanted to drink, so now she was rambling like a drunk. Everything she said was related to Caesar.

Zo and Ai Lin both sighed at the same time because they knew her future. Eliza was adorable and also infatuated, but the god of her novel gave her such a tragic ending, to be killed by the very man she loved.

Eliza’s head fell to the table and she began snoring.

“Eliza?” Ai Lin patted her friend’s shoulder helplessly. But the little drunk swatted her hand away and turned her head to the other side to keep on sleeping.

“Who are you and why did you approach Eliza?” Zo asked what he had wanted to know for some time. His voice was cold and lacked any gentleness.

Ai Lin was taken aback by the question.

“I’m a student at Xingguang Holy Academy. I didn’t approach Eliza for any specific reason. She’s a simple and lovely girl. I truly do think of her as a friend.” Although Ai Lin felt that the teenager in front of her had become a mystery, she answered truthfully. He was probably just worried she had an ulterior motive for being around Eliza.

It was no skin off her back to explain it clearly. Whether he believed it or not was his business.

“You have the energy of someone who’s gone through the time tunnel. I’m pretty sure Eliza has never had a friend named Ai Lin. What’s your purpose in approaching her?”

Zo didn’t dare take any chances when it came to Eliza. He would immediately kill Ai Lin if she showed any hint of malice. He wasn’t going to give her the chance to do anything to Eliza.

Just because he was, for all intents and purposes, an ordinary person, didn’t mean he didn’t have resources. As soon as he summoned his servants, they would rush in to kill Ai Lin.

Ai Lin was shocked and her eyes widened in surprise. This was the first time anyone had seen through her. Was this guy really the same young master from the story? But based on her understanding of the world, even if the plot changed, the characters would not.

So why was the Zo in front of her so different from the Zo in the story? Was someone else in Zo’s body? Was he also a transmigrator?!

Ai Lin got a headache just thinking about it. If the person in front of her was also a transmigrator, then things would be difficult. Everyone knew, transmigrators did not get along with other fellow transmigrators.

If two fellow transmigrators met, then they had to fight. Ai Lin hadn’t finished her counterattack against Zi Cheng so she didn’t want to engage the man in front of her yet.

“The Heavenly King covers the Earthly Tiger!” You won’t know if the other party is a transmigrator unless you ask, was what Ai Lin decided on doing.

“What did you say?” Zo was confused by her random sentence.

He didn’t know it... then he couldn’t be a fellow transmigrator. Could it be...?

“You are a reborn person!” Ai Lin was shocked! Shocked! She never dreamed that there were two transmigrators in the world, and now there was even reborn person! World consciousness, what is going on with you! Come out and let’s talk!

“What is a reborn person?” Zo wasn’t too clear. What was the matter with this woman? Why did she keep saying things he couldn’t understand? Was she trying to make him lose his balance before striking?

“A person who returns to the past from the future. Did you die in the future? Did you come back to take revenge?” This was Ai Lin’s first encounter with a reborn man, so she was curious.

Confrontations between fellow transmigrators generally ended with one not being able to walk away, but it wasn’t necessarily the case with a reborn person.

Those protagonists in reborn novels always had an agenda. They either wanted to get revenge or they wanted to raise their families up.

The latter didn’t apply in Zo’s case, so therefore it had to be the former. He had to be here for revenge! Nine out of ten it was for revenge anyways!

But it didn’t make sense. Ai Lin knew Zo and his family were alive and well after Zi Cheng and her man ascended. So how could Zo be reborn?

In the end, the Blackstrom family was yanked out of the top tier position because of Caesar. But they didn’t try to latch onto him even after his fame rose, so Ai Lin had a good impression of Zo and his family.

But if Zo came back to the past, then wasn’t that the exact description for a reborn person?

“Answer my question first. Who are you and why do you have the energy fluctuations of someone who’s gone through the time tunnel?” Zo didn’t intend to ask her a third time.

“I’m kind of like you, but not the same. But tell me first, did you come back for your brother and Zi Cheng?”

If they shared the same purpose, then they could work together.

“You know this too?!” Zo did not expect this woman to know so much, to even know so clearly that he was back because of his brother and Zi Cheng.

Ai Lin went straight to the point. “It looks like we have a common enemy. Let’s work together.”

“Work together? What qualifications do you have to work with me? And why should I trust you?” Zo came from a high tiered family, so obviously he wasn’t going to trust some random stranger.

He didn’t think he needed to make an alliance with Ai Lin. Although the girl was a mystery, when it came to strength, she really wasn’t that strong. It didn’t look like she was from a high tiered or even powerful family. For an alliance to be beneficial, both parties needed to be on equal footing.

It was true, his affinity for the elements were so low, may as well be considered an ordinary person, but he had the backing of his family and the incredible amount of resources from that.

It was no wonder he didn’t think an alliance with her was worth it.

“I’ll show you my sincerity by revealing something about Zi Cheng and myself...”

Ai Lin proceeded to tell him about the things in her original world and the fact that Zi Cheng was also a transmigrator.

“You mean neither you are from this world?! You came from another world?! Zi Cheng is this world’s beloved person so she will always be protected by the world’s consciousness?!” Zo was astounded.

None of Zi Cheng’s friends or suitors had told him about this. Perhaps they had had no inkling of it either.

353: The Opening of the God’s Tomb

[Lord LeWuji’s[notes] residence.]

“Father I’m back.” LeXue walked in gracefully.

LeWuji was sitting in the hall talking to his eldest daughter, LeXuan, when he saw LeXue walk in. He couldn’t help but smile.

“Sister, you’re back. How did it feel to be an auctioneer for a day?” LeFei considered being an auctioneer herself when she saw how her sister had looked on stage.

“What was there to feel? It wasn’t much.” LeXue laughed in a light and indifferent manner.

“Xue-er, if you’re tired, go and rest first.” LeWuji cared about his daughters. The auction was done, but it had taken several hours, so it was understandable if his daughter was tired.

“I’m OK. I’m not tired. By the way, where is Eldest Brother? I didn’t see him on the way back.” LeXue looked around but she only saw a few servants.

“Your Eldest Brother is preparing to enter the tomb, so you won’t see him until later.”

That made LeXue worried. “Father, when are you going to open the tomb? Didn’t you say there was still an unaccounted key? Can you open the tomb without that key?”

LeWuji picked up his tea cup and took a slow sip of the fragrant tea. “The third key has already appeared. I can feel the owner of the key nearby. The person will definitely appear on the opening day.”

The person was already here?! The two sisters were stunned. They didn’t expect the long sought after third key would appear on Biluo island.

“Then, when will we be opening the tomb?” LeFei immediately asked. She was very curious about the tomb.

“In three days. Master Caesar and I will go there together. The owner of the third key will definitely appear. At that time, I expect you sisters to stay here at home. I don’t want you secretly following us.” LeWuji knew his daughters. LeXue was sensible and obedient but LeFei was headstrong. If she wasn’t kept under control, who knew what kind of troubles she would get into.

LeFei pouted, upset at her father’s decision. She made up her mind she would definitely secretly follow him on opening day. Who would be able to stop her?

LeXue sighed. She could tell her sister was already plotting. She couldn’t let LeFei break into the tomb and make trouble for her father and brother. She was going to have to keep a close eye on her sister for the next few days.

Later that day, the island learned LeWuji would lead people to the tomb of the Sea emperor in three days.

People excitedly discussed it everywhere. The hotel where Ming Xi and his group were staying was no exception.

“Have you heard? The tomb of the Sea emperor is going to open in three days.”

“Yea, I heard. Wasn’t it that the restrictions around the tomb were too strong before? Did the lord of the island find a powerful magician to break the array?”

“No, I heard they found all the keys they needed to open it.” The man who spoke said so smugly.

“What keys?” The others weren’t as informed.

“You don’t know? A friend of a sister of my brother’s friend’s works at the Moon auction house. The last item auctioned was the key to the Sea emperor’s tomb.”

“Someone willingly auctioned the Sea emperor’s key?! That is crazy! I would have hidden the key and gone to the tomb and got all the treasures for myself!”

“I say my brother, you’re thinking is way too simple. You need three keys to open the tomb. Now all three keys have been collected.”

“Turns out there are three keys. The lord of this island said the tomb would be opening in three days, so then. . .  that must mean all three keys have been collected!”

Ming Xi and his group heard the excited conversation when they came down for their meal.

The waiter brought their food over and they began eating and drinking as they discussed the tomb being opened soon.

“Senior Ming Xi, do you think the island lord knows where the keys are? Otherwise why would he say the tomb would open in three days?” Ink was openly suspicious.

“I think so. I’ve had this feeling we’re being watched. It’s definitely not just in my head. They’ve been watching us since we got off the boat.” Jier spoke up after swallowing a slice of barbeque.

“Those watching us must know Senior Ming Xi has the key. Those who know it would be the same ones who were with us on Death island.” Leo said.

“Those people have been watching us for so many days, are they trying to steal the key?!” Margaret asked.

Matheson didn’t think so. “If they had wanted to grab it, they would have tried days ago. They wouldn’t have waited until now.”

Feng Wu looked around at everyone talking. She didn’t interrupt but kept eating her food: one bite of chicken on the left, one bite of beef skewer on the right, and one bite of bread on the side. It was a joy to eat such tasty food.

Little White was feeding Little Bun beside her. Occasionally Little Bun would stretch out his tiny arm to grab a plate as drool slid down his chin. Like mother like son. . . 

Ming Xi and the group talked for a long time. In the end, they decided to go and see for themselves. Sooner or later, the tomb would have to be opened. It wasn’t like they’d be able to hide anyway.

Besides that, Ming Xi had discovered an aspect of the key. As long as the distance wasn’t too great, it could sense the approximate direction of the other keys. He could feel the other keys on the island, so it stood to reason the other two key holders could also sense the same.

It was a reasonable assumption that the other two key holders would use the keys’ ability to find him if he didn’t show up at the tomb’s opening in three days.

He wasn’t afraid of anyone, but he didn’t want to cause trouble, so in three days he would go.

The next three days were the liveliest days in all of Biluo history. The tomb was on everyone’s lips and many more people poured onto the island.

354: Leaving

All the hotels were full; it didn’t matter if it was a big one or dinky small one. Some of the locals with a head for business even rented the rooms in their homes out at a comparable rate to the hotels.

The locals were smiling from ear to ear at the hefty profit they made.

Three days passed by in a flash, and soon enough opening day arrived.

The area by the tomb was crowded by early morning. Everyone was there for the treasure, and everyone wanted to be the first to rush in and grab some for themselves as soon as it opened.

LeWuji had come early, but despite that, there was still a large crowd already gathered. He didn’t bring a lot of people, but they were all good hands.

The twelve island lords did not go all out. They knew the tomb had incredible treasures, but they also knew it was extremely dangerous. If they sent all their manpower inside, what would happen to Biluo?

The twelve lords had already discussed it amongst themselves. They would have four brothers go in while the other eight would remain behind to guard Biluo to prevent anyone from using the opportunity to harm the islands.

In addition to the four island lords, there was also LeChen, who was LeWuji’s son. The other three lords also brought their more reliable children with them as well. In addition to these family members, there were also fifty experts with them.

Their party was smaller than most, but it was a solid and reliable one with quality talent.

Casear arrived shortly after LeWuji. With him were Yifu, Zi Cheng, and Jasmine.

Originally, Jasmine had not wanted to take the risk, but the temptation was too great. She was a water magician after all, so she followed Zi Cheng with a smile on her face. Her relationship with the girls in the dorm had chilled. Even Annika,[notes] who had been with her from the start, had become more distant. The only ones willing to be friends with her were Zi Cheng and Yifu. So that was how she ended tagging along with Zi Cheng.

Even though Zi Cheng wasn’t high born, she was still a concubine child, and in school she was treated like a goddess. Who knew how many boys in the department worshipped her?

Jasmine liked Zi Cheng, but she wasn’t crazy for her like Yifu was. Yifu was just insane. Even if the relationship between Yifu and Zi Cheng was good, it wasn’t good enough to die for. It wasn’t just Yifu either, some of the boys were like that too. The more they adored her, the more irrational and single-minded they became.

The boys who liked Zi Cheng were merciless to the girls who spoke badly about Zi Cheng. They always had this crazy look in their eyes whenever it was anything about her.

The closer Jasmine got to Zi Cheng and the others, the more issues she found. Although Zi Cheng was really good to her, even getting her a high-level induction stone, she just wasn’t completely happy with Zi Cheng. This was why Zi Cheng had such a hard time raising her favorability.

Someone who can’t trust the other wholeheartedly, how can the favorability be raised to one hundred?

Too bad Zi Cheng couldn’t read minds. If she knew Jasmine was suspicious, she would have killed her.

The favorability system was her biggest secret and anyone who knew about it had to die.

It was because the two didn’t know each other’s thoughts, that they were able to coexist peacefully. They were even going to explore the Sea emperor’s tomb together.

Of the three of them, Zi Cheng was the only one who had planned on exploring the tomb. The other two knew their limitations and hadn’t wanted to go to such a dangerous place.

Caesar had a good impression of Zi Cheng, so he knew she would want to explore the tomb. He invited her to join his party even though he felt the other two were cumbersome to have around.

LeWuji and Caesar’s arrival made everyone around the tomb excited. They had been waiting for the tomb to open. Now they just needed to wait for the last key. The tomb could be opened as soon as the third key arrived. There would be so many wonderful treasures to find!

Just thinking about all the sacred-level items inside made them quake with excitement. They wanted to go in now!

If it weren’t for the restriction, they would have already rushed in.

It took a while for Ming Xi and his group to arrive. By the time they did, the sea was crowded with ships.

The large number of ships blocking the way made Jier unhappy. “So many people!” He knew there would be a lot of people, but this was more than expected.

He remembered when he was at the god’s tomb in the realm battlegrounds, it was really crowded then too, but back then the tomb opening was a surprise, so there wasn’t a lot of time for people to prepare.

If a tomb was advertised and a lot of people knew about it, then it stood to reason there would be thousands more people.

“The rumor about the Sea emperor’s tomb opening has been spreading for a while. The communications network on the continent is pretty good, so the news quickly. There was more than enough time for the nobles and royals to send representatives.” Matheson commented.

“Even the royals came over?!” Ink was surprised. He thought the adventurers were all from major families.

“Of course. Why are the four major royal families so strong? It isn’t just because they’re descendants of the gods, it’s also because they are guarded by god artifacts. The royals of other countries aren’t descendants of gods, but they also have artifacts. The more they have, the better their odds of being able to stand with the four major royal houses.” Margaret was disdainful of their attempts. Instead of trying to vie for so much power, how about thinking of ways to make your own country better?

“You guys are overthinking it.” Jier wasn’t interested.

“Let’s just try to find a way through the crowd. There are so many ships, will we be able to make it through?”

Everyone was positioned at sea near Biluo. The tomb was somewhere below them, so if they wanted to get inside, they would have to use the vortex that led to the entrance.

Sea God's Arc
355, 356, 357, 358

355, 356, 357, 35

[Host: justreads.net]
[November 20, 2021]
...

355: Entrance

Everyone wanted to jump into the vortex and be in the best position to get the treasures inside the tomb.

“Just jump over.” Feng Wu actually made a face as she said it.

What was so hard about it? Just jumping over would be easy. Jier and the others were really dumb today.

Jier, who didn’t know he was being looked down upon by Feng Wu, nodded his head in agreement.

Although it was a good idea, would it be so easy to execute? The people on the other boats would surely try to do something. In fact, just a moment ago, someone got knocked out with a stick on another boat for doing the exact thing Feng Wu suggested.

The ships around the tomb were staffed with hired hand and adventurers from big families. Those who wanted to get to the tomb were already in the central area. The ships on the outer perimeter were there for one reason: to keep competition away. They were there to keep those coming up behind from approaching.

So although jumping over was certainly an option, it would be an option that required a good amount of strength. Weak jumpers would be beaten and pushed out into the water.

“Look at all those other people trying to do that. They get knocked over by the people on the boat. Are you sure you want to try jumping over?” Margaret asked cautiously.

Jier was confident. “What do they matter? If you’re beaten, then it just proves you’re weak. I and Xiao Wu will be fine.”

Margaret was speechless. What he said was true.

“Enough talk, don’t worry about it. Let’s just go over together.” Jier didn’t want to spend any more time talking about it.

“Hold on.” Ming Xi reached over and grabbed Jier before he could jump. “Jier, Leo, Ink, the three of you stay behind.”

“What?! No way. Senior Ming Xi, I want to go. You know how difficult it was to even get here? This may be the only time I'll get to go into a god’s tomb! How can you bear to not let me go?!” After all the ups and downs, now he was being told he couldn’t go? Ink was heartbroken.

“Senior Ming Xi, why won’t you let us go?” Leo was disappointed as well.

“I protest! I can understand why you wouldn’t want those two to go, they suck, but why can’t I go?” Jier felt he was pretty strong. Why did he have to stay behind like a kid?

“Jier, that’s too much! Senior Leo and I aren’t that weak. Why would you make it sound like we’d be a hindrance?!” Ink stopped talking. If he could beat Jier up, he would, but he knew he couldn’t.

Even Leo, who was normally well-mannered, glared at Jier.

Margaret and Matheson: Jier, you’re so hateful.

“Jier, you’re a fire magician and we don’t know how strong the suppression for fire magic will be inside the tomb. It’s too risky for you to go down. Ink and Leo, currently your abilities are not suitable. If you want to enter the tomb, you’ll have to improve your strength.”

Ming Xi valued their safety over all else. The tomb would be full of dangers and unsafe for them. Jier’s abilities would surely be suppressed while Leo and Ink, though geniuses in their own right, were still too weak to take on the tomb. Ming Xi wasn’t sure he could bring them out if he brought them in. These were the factors he based his decision on.

Ming Xi was the captain, so even if they didn’t want to listen, they had to obey.

“Wait. Senior Ming Xi. What about those two? How come they get to go?” Jier was still dissatisfied as he pointed to Margaret and Matheson. Why were those two weak chickens allowed to go when he couldn’t? He was big shot you know...

Margaret was pleased she and Matheson weren’t forced to stay behind.

Ming Xi gave Jier a queer look. Jier suddenly felt like he had asked... a very stupid question.

“They are not a part of our team. It’s not up to me to decide whether they should go or not.”

Margaret made a triumphant face at Jier. It was true! Ming Xi couldn’t tell them what to do.

Jier ground his teeth. Don’t think that just because you’re a woman I won’t fight you. Just wait till we’re alone!

Of course, Margaret didn’t pay any attention to the murderous light in Jier’s eyes. She was in too good a mood. Instead she simply waved bye to the three guys forced to stay behind before jumping away after Ming Xi and the others.

Jier, Leo, and Ink were left behind with Little Bun. Feng Wu had originally put Little Bun in her ring, but since the guys were staying behind, they would be able to babysit. Little Bun resented being inside the ring, so this worked out well.

The three guys became reluctant dads, but fortunately Little Bun wasn’t the crying kind of child, so their job was easy.

In the meantime, the others followed Ming Xi from boat to boat. The jumped easily toward the vortex. It wasn’t that no one tried to stop them; it was just that they were too strong. By the time anyone thought to swat at them, they were gone and on their way to another boat. Their speed was daunting!

After finally jumping into the vortex, they emerged in front of a magnificent palace made entirely of crystals. It sparkled and glittered in a tempting way that made people just want to dive right in.

The gate to the entrance was incredibly high, so high it made people feel like it was built for giants. Carved into the gates were two identical sea horses. Legend had it that these two sea monsters were used to pull the Sea emperor’s chariot. They returned to the spirit world after the god died, but their spirits remained in the engraving.

No one could enter without the key.

“Island Lord, Master Caesar, please open the door soon!” An elder standing to the side encouraged them.

The others were also impatient to enter.

Suddenly Caesar shouted out. “My friend, if that you are here, please reveal yourself.” He spoke in the direction Ming Xi’s direction.

Of course this made everyone turn in that direction. People in that direction began to unconsciously move away as people stared at them. Slowly Ming X’s group was revealed.

356: Opening the Sea God’s Tomb

“Friends, please join us in opening this tomb.” Caesar looked at Ming Xi and the others as he cupped his hand in greeting.

“Please.” Ming Xi softly said.

The three men, Ming Xi, LeWuji, and Caesar, each pressed their respective keys into the grooves beside the gate.

The originally immovable gate shook violently before creaking horrendously. A full torturous five minutes later a deep corridor finally appeared beyond the gates. Dazzling white light shown from luminescent pearls hanging from the walls. They illuminated the palace and made it feel like the middle of the day.

“It’s finally all the way open! It’s open! Everyone inside!”

That one eager shout of excitement was like a switch. A bunch of adventurers and smaller families rushed in to be the first. This was good for the major families; the more that rushed in, the better as cannon fodder.

“Xiao Cheng, let’s go in. Look how many have already rushed out in front of us.” Yifu looked anxiously at the gates that people were flooding through.

Jasmine was anxious too, but she kept it under control when she saw how many major families were there.

“Don’t worry. Let’s wait for a bit.” Zi Cheng spoke gently and smiled benignly. It was like the tomb held no allure for her whatsoever.

Yifu stopped urging her and waited obediently.

The major families didn’t move until those in front had nearly all cleared out. Once the major families entered, Zi Cheng and Caesar’s group slowly and leisurely walked through the gates.

They were followed by LeWuji’s group.

Feng Wu and Ming Xi walked slowly down the corridor. The length felt never ending. Even those who had walked ahead had not reached the end.

Ai Lin, Zo, and Eliza were walking together as a group. Both Zo and Eliza had extraordinary identities so they had bodyguards around them for protection. Neither Ai Lin nor Zo could convince Eliza not to go exploring the tomb.

The expedition inside the Sea emperor’s tomb would be incredibly dangerous as the Sea emperor was an unfriendly god. Ai Lin knew there were endless hidden dangers, so unless she wanted to die, she had to be careful.

She knew, from having read the book, that Zi Cheng overcame many dangerous situations, with the Sea emperor’s tomb being one of the most dangerous.

Ai Lin and Zo had formed an alliance against Zi Cheng three days ago. She told Zo about all the dangers inside the tomb, and in exchange Zo told her how Zi Cheng’s selfishness shattered the world one hundred years later.

Ai Lin didn’t know Zi Cheng’s possession of the five elemental hearts would destroy the world. Didn’t Zi Cheng know what she was doing? It was impossible for not to know. Her favorability system would have surely told her. But despite knowing, she still took all the hearts didn’t she?

The heroine was indeed a truly selfish and heartless person. She had already become a god by then, so things like the five elemental hearts were useless to her. She only took them so she could sell them to her system for more points.

Zo knew about the favorability system from Ai Lin. He understood why all of Zi Cheng’s friends, no matter what scumbags they were, were all willing to live and die for her, never hesitating to betray anyone and anything for her.

He had wondered if his brother had been controlled by her ability; now he was certain of it.

Ai Lin was happy to share everything she knew about Zi Cheng, but despite the alliance, she was unwilling to share the details of her own personal advantages with Zo.

Zo wasn’t the kind of person to ask a person’s secrets. As long as both parties had the same purpose and the other party didn’t become hostile, he wouldn’t pry.

Ai Lin wondered if Zo also had any unnatural advantages, but she didn’t ask. She hadn’t told him hers, so she wasn’t going to ask him his.

They had agreed Zo would use the heart of water after they found it. Zo wanted the heart but he only wanted to use it to change his body. He would return it immediately afterwards, unlike Zi Cheng, who didn’t care if she destroyed the world by keeping it.

Zi Cheng had no clue the two of them had teamed up against her, however these things had nothing to do with Feng Wu. She held her short sword in one hand and Ming Xi’s hand in the other. Ming Xi, Feng Wu, Margaret, and Matheson continued following the crowd in front of them.

They didn’t encounter any danger.

The only trouble was the overly long corridor. Half an hour later and it still showed no signs of terminating. How much longer would it go on for?

“How long is the hall going to go on for?!” complained a man up ahead.

“How is anyone going to know? Just keep walking.” The man next to him tried to ease his companion’s anxiety.

“Where does this even lead to? It doesn’t feel like there’s an ending.”

Others were also complaining, but no matter what they said, the corridor ahead kept continuing.

They walked on for another two hours. None of the thousands of people up ahead had yet made it out. The longer they walked, the more anxious people became.

357: Yabo’s Vengeance

What is going on? Why can't I get out?

Is this an illusion?

Questions, of one type of another, appeared in their minds. But no one had an answer. . . 

Feng Wu obediently followed Ming Xi as she turned a deaf ear to the complaints around her. She had been following him without a word the entire time.

Margaret and Matheson’s feelings were completely different. They’d been feeling suffocated for a long time. It was so boring; they wanted to vent!

Ming Xi knew something was wrong. He wasn’t an irritable person and yet he was feeling irritable. He had been able to forcefully adjust his mental state, but those around him didn’t have the same concentration abilities.

They could only feel the continued futility mount in their hearts.

“Can’t you go any faster?!”

“Huh?! Where the hell do you want me to hurry to?!”

“What?! How dare you talk to me that way?! I guess you don’t want to live!”

“Huh! I think you’re the one who doesn’t want to live!”

“Oh hoho! You are looking for death! Draw your sword!”

“I’m not afraid of you! Eat my blade!”

Such a trivial matter was worth fighting to the death over?

Ridiculous scenes like this began multiplying. It didn’t matter who, whether it was an adventurer traveling solo, or the children of families, every one of them were wearing hostility on their faces.

It was such a small matter, but it somehow turned into a life and death situation.

Zi Cheng covertly took an emotion balancing pill that she recently exchanged from her system into her mouth, while not too far away, Yifu and Jasmine were engaged in an argument with another adventurer.

Magic spells flashed and sword blades clashed everywhere down the length of the corridor.

“Everyone, be careful. There’s something not right with this place!” Ming Xi bit his tongue to stay alert. He looked over to see how Feng Wu was doing. Her eyes were clear and she had her normal blank expression. It didn’t look like the place had any effect on her.

Margaret and Matheson, on the other hand, did not look well. They were clearly angry over something, but unlike the others in the corridor, they didn’t look like they were going to act violent.

It didn’t look like they could hold on for long though. Ming Xi wanted to withdraw and take everyone away from the crowd, but he was too slow to act.

Those to the side of them were already attacking.

“Go to hell!”

Someone yelled just before lunging forward to stab Feng Wu in the heart.

Feng Wu had been calm and unaffected the entire time, so it was easy for her to feel the murderous intention from behind her. She easily sidestepped and halted the sword between two fingers.

Doubt flashed in her eyes when she saw that the person looked familiar.

“Who are you? And why do you want to kill me?”

“What a dumb question! Because of your interference, we lost the key to the god’s tomb in the battlegrounds. It was your fault my Yiduo clan suffered. I have to kill you to avenge those that died!”

The furious man was Yabo of the Yiduo clan.[notes] He had been one of the first people to learn about the god’s tomb in the battlegrounds, but he was caught by the Inferno mercenary group[notes] and loss the key before he could pass it on to the clan. They lost a significant advantage because of it!

He didn’t think about how dangerous the tomb was, that even if Feng Wu’s group hadn’t interfered, it was unlikely he and his group would have gotten anything good from it.

Yabo stared hatefully at Feng Wu but didn’t engage Ming Xi. The reason of course was simple. Ming Xi had a mysterious aura so it would be difficult to provoke him, On the other hand, Feng Wu looked easy to bully. Yabo was weak, so Feng Wu made for a better first target. He intended to work his way up, kill the weak first, then target the strong.

Even Zi Cheng and Ai Lin were on his hit list. The girls didn’t know both the Lianye and Yiduo clan had spotted them the moment they approached the tomb. The two families had worked it out already. They would separate the kids one by one, break them up. If they couldn’t kill the blond-haired boy, then they would kill his friends, and hurt his feelings. Who knows? If they were lucky, one of the girls could even be his sweetheart.

It’s a shame they would be disappointed.

Ming Xi sent Yabo flying with a hard kick to the stomach.

“You only dare target girls. Despicable!” Ming Xi had a smile on his face, but his voice was cold enough to freeze bone.

“Everyone! Don't be complacent. Come out! Let’s all work together!” Yabo yelled. Yabo gave up on a sneak attack and switched to a full frontal one.

Margaret and Matheson: What does this have to do with us?

They were unlucky and were guilty by association. Now they were also targeted by Yabo’s group.

Yabo’s yell brought out thirty sword masters in sword master uniform. They were all thugs Yabo had recruited. He had had to hire them out of his own pocket because the person leading the expedition for the Yiduo clan was the second elder. And the second elder was not one to use family resources for personnel vendettas.

Yabo had to get revenge on his own. He had spent a lot of money, but it would be worth it to kill Ming Xi and his group. The crushing defeat in his heart would finally be erased. If he could vent his anger, then the money spent was worth it.

His original plan didn’t involve killing all of them immediately, but since things had devolved the way they had, he didn’t mind accelerating things. He would just kill all of them in one swoop!

“Kill them!” A group of bloodthirsty men rushed at Ming Xi’s group.

Feng Wu drew her sword and easily blocked an attack to her chest. She kicked the man so hard he flew into the person behind him and made that guy puke up his dinner from the night before.

358: Feng Wu and Zo

Ming Xi had his own sword as well. It was a silvery sword with mysterious engravings on the blade. He used it to quickly dispatch the two men who rushed at him.

He was no holy savior. He had no qualms killing those intent on harming him, nor did he give them any mercy.

Margaret and Matheson weren’t doing too bad themselves. One was a magician and the other a sword master, with one responsible for defense and the other for offense. They quickly killed three of the thugs.

Feng Wu was just as merciless, stabbing to death anyone who attacked her. If she didn’t kill them, they would keep attacking, so it was easiest to just finish them in one blow. They would be annoying otherwise.

Margaret and Matheson walked over to Yabo after killing the last of the thugs.

“I’ll fight you to the death!” He raised his sword; the thought of running away never crossed his mind. Of course he rushed toward Margaret and not Matheson. Was he just sexist? Did you he think women were easier?

Margaret tossed a seed at him. It grew quickly into a sturdy vine that bound him up until he suffocated to death.

“All done!” Margaret clapped her hands.

“That’s strange. Where did Ming Xi and Feng Wu go?” Matheson looked around but couldn’t find them. They had just been fighting side by side, but now it was like they had disappeared into thin air. When did they leave? How did neither he nor Margaret notice?!

Neither Ming Xi nor Feng Wu would abandon their companions, so where could they have gone?

“What about everyone else?! They’re all gone too!”

They didn’t wonder for too long. Soon enough red light surrounded them and they also disappeared.

Whoosh... whoosh... whoosh...

Feng Wu could hear the sounds of the waves crashing. When she opened her eyes, what she saw wasn’t the corridor but a wide expansive ocean. How odd. The last she remembered, she was killing a bunch of people who were attacking her, when a light suddenly surrounded her body and brought her here. It was an isolated island.

There were many other people not too far from her who had arrived before she did. It was a mystery how they ended up on the island. They had their guards up, after all anyone in the tomb was an enemy who couldn’t be trusted.

Suddenly a voice like a spring breeze asked Feng Wu, “Miss, can I go with you?”

Feng Wu turned around to find a thin guy standing beside her. Going by standards on the continent, he wouldn’t be considered handsome, but he wasn’t ugly either. You could say he was worth a second look with his delicate and pretty appearance. He had a smooth voice and his eyes were clear. Those were two bonus points in his favor. Overall, he wasn’t bad looking.

Feng Wu stared at him for three seconds before concluding that he wasn’t annoying.

Feng Wu’s intuition was exceptionally good. She could tell when someone was good or bad. In his case, he didn’t feel either good or bad.

“OK.” Feng Wu nodded easily.

This threw the young guy for a loop. He never expected her to agree so readily, so he had come prepared with all sorts of reasons for her to take him along. Now he felt silly for overthinking things.

It wasn’t just him, the others hanging around not too far from them were also surprised. Everyone expected her to disagree. The guy didn’t look strong, so there was no advantage to teaming up and spending the energy to protect him. He was obviously weak. Besides, there was no telling when you could get stabbed in the back. Who would form an alliance with a stranger and increase their odds of that?

But this girl agreed, and she agreed super easily. Was she naïve or just stupid? They were confused.

“Thank you.” Zo sincerely thanked her after being slightly dazed.

Zo had originally been protected by people from his house, but they disappeared one by one during the melee.

Zo had been observing the entire time. He found that once a person killed nine people, a red light would surround them and they would get teleported away. He was able to kill nine people with Ai Lin’s help, so that was how he ended up on the island.

But because he was teleported out, he didn’t know what happened to Eliza and Ai Lin. Zo was worried about Eliza, but he knew if she was with Ai Lin, she would be fine. Ai Lin was a world traveler, so she had to have some means. Eliza was a rich princess, so she had plenty of good items on her body, including things like destruction scrolls. She would have no problem killing nine people.

Among them, the only problematic person was him. It was depressing to think about, but the feeling faded away after a few seconds. He had lived over a hundred years so this was nothing to languish over.

Feng Wu smiled crookedly. “You’re not annoying, so you don’t have to thank me.”

Zo chuckled. He had originally wanted to team up with her because she was friends with the young moon emperor. Anyone who could become his friend, would not be a treacherous person.

He somewhat admired her. There was no way, given her strength, that she couldn’t see through him. It would have been obvious that he was an ordinary person without magic or martial qi. Yet she agreed so easily, and all because she didn’t find him annoying.

She was very transparent. He was a simple person himself, so he liked dealing with people like her.

359, 360, 361, 362

359, 360, 361, 362

[Host: justreads.net]
[November 27, 2021]
...

359: An Alternate Version

Perhaps it was because she was so pure and simple that she was able to judge others based on their aura.

Take Zi Cheng for example. Many people saw her as a kind and gentle person, but Feng Wu felt she was very complicated. The aura surrounding her was just too messy and gave Feng Wu a strange feeling, so Feng Wu didn’t like her.

It wasn’t that Feng Wu would ignore someone like that, it was just that she wouldn’t be friends with that kind of person.

The same went for Ai Lin. Her eyes were always wandering and looking at everything, gathering information. It was confusing and strange. Feng Wu didn’t understand and she wasn’t interested in being friends with her either.

They had spent time together and survived many adventures, but their relationship was not as good as the relationship Feng Wu had with Elena.[notes] For her, they were just classmates.

Feng Wu trusted her feelings, so since Zo didn’t give her a bad feeling, she was fine with being allies.

But does she even understand what allies were? Probably not.

Right now she only regarded the boy as a potential friend, so she didn’t mind protecting him from danger.

“My name is Zo,” said Zo with a slight smile.

Feng Wu replied with her deadpan expression. “My name is Feng Wu.”

And thus was their alliance formalized. Others on the island also struck up alliances with acquaintances as well. Most didn’t know anyone so they remained solo, better solo than take a risky alliance and be stabbed in the back.

In no time at all, more than a hundred people appeared on the island. Zo did a visual count and saw that there were over two hundred. The number of new arrivals petered after a half an hour, until eventually no more showed up.

People guessed no one else was going to arrive. There were so many people who entered the tomb. Even if hundreds of them died in the corridor, there should still be more than the two hundred or so on the island now. So where was everyone else?

Could there be several places like the island they were on? Were they separated on purpose? To be tested?

Zo remembered Ai Lin telling him how strange the tomb was. Even Zi Cheng, who was loved by the world, had nearly died. The danger to normal people entering would be ten times worse.

Ai Lin had tried to dissuade him from going into the tomb, but he really wanted to use the heart of water.

As for Ai Lin, she was on another island together with Eliza, and both of them were worried about Zo.

Ai Lin kept cursing the author out in her heart. She’d read the novel before, so although she knew how dangerous the tomb was, she wasn’t too concerned because she knew what would happen. But what was going on? Suddenly things were different from the story.

Even the way of clearing the tomb was different. What she was experiencing didn’t resemble the original plot anymore, even the entry into the tomb was different. There had been only two keys in the original text as no one had been able to find the third key.

LeWuji and Caesar, along with several powerful figures from bigger families, pooled their resources to gather hundreds of powerful master magicians to break the formation forcefully.

It took a month to gather enough, but they finally succeeded in opening the door.

Just when everyone thought they could enter the tomb, the giant beasts carved into the gates acted, massacring everyone who dared move forward to try to enter the tomb. The only ones spared were those holding the keys.

Those who hadn’t died from the initial run fought a fierce battle with the beasts; the sword masters and magicians barely stood a chance. Though the people eventually managed to wipe out the beasts’ consciousness, it was at the cost of many lives. In fact, very few survived at all.

Those few who survived entered the tomb either as a part of LeWuji’s group or Caesar’s group.

That was the way the story originally went, but it wasn’t the case now. Was it because all three keys had been gathered that things were so different?

Ai Lin had made up her mind to join Caesar’s team after the masters’ broke the formation, then retreat with Zo and Eliza until the beasts were taken down. After that she was going to join Zi Cheng’s team and enter the tomb.

She had not expected the tomb to open so easily with all three keys present. No one died and everyone entered the tomb successfully, unlike what was originally written in the story. Because their entry was done properly with the keys, and because the two impassable mythological beasts were not present at the entry, the tomb itself was much less dangerous to enter.

Ai Lin got a headache just thinking about it. Seemed like her recollection of the story wouldn’t help much here; she would have to rely on herself in the future.

What she didn’t know was that the trials in the tomb were all controlled by the beasts.

If the original protagonist’s entry was difficult, then the difficulty level now, with all three keys present, would mean both easy and nightmare modes were open.

Who would encounter which, was all dependent on luck.

So, after losing her sense of foresight from having read the novel, except for a few dangerous situations, everything went well for Ai Lin.

Zi Cheng’s road to getting the heart of water was also much easier.

...

Dark clouds covered the sky while savage winds roiled the sea and bit into the flesh. Everyone felt incredibly cold.

People were getting restless. They were all thinking the same thing: should they stay and wait to see what would happen or should they forge their way off the island and explore?

It was difficult to choose. The right choice would be great, but the wrong choice would be catastrophic and lead them to untold dangers. They were all waiting to see what other people would do, but because everyone had the same plan, no one ended up moving.

360: Crossing the Sea

The clouds above suddenly moved to form words in the sky.

"Use whatever methods to get to the other island. Succeed and survive, fail and die."

The words only flashed for a few seconds, but it was long enough for everyone to read.

“Cross to the other island? But the winds are so strong! How are we supposed to get there?!” Someone cried out in a high-pitched voice.

“If you don’t want to go, you can just die here.” Someone with a gloomy expression spat out.

“Well fortunately for me, I brought an air resistance scroll. I’ll pass this for sure.” He took out the scroll from his space ring, opened it, then activated the formation. The scroll immediately surrounded him and flew him to the sky.

He walked against the wind easily and made half the distance in no time at all. However, as he got closer to the other island, a small black funnel cloud rushed at him.

“Ah!”

His body was crushed and smooshed into a pile of blood and bones protruding from mangled flesh. He splashed into the sea, his body disappearing forever.

“Ha!” the crowd took a deep breath. The tiny whirlwind was only the size of a person’s head. Who would have thought a tiny thing like that could kill so efficiently?

“It doesn’t look like we can pass by flying.”

“It’s not safe to take the water either.”

“I’ll try it!” a man with martial qi supporting his feet spoke out. He stepped off the island and onto the water. Looked like he intended to use this method to walk over.

Unfortunately, he sank into the water the moment the stepped over.

He had an ugly expression on his face as he pulled himself up. A few people snorted, thinking he didn’t even know how to do something as simple as using qi to walk on water.

There were plenty in the group who had good sight. They could tell from a glance the man was strong, so doing something like falling into the water wasn’t a mistake he’d make.

There was only one explanation for what happened. The water must have somehow leeched the qi from his body as he touched it.

Another water-based magician tried water magic with the same result. Those who had mocked the first man couldn’t do so anymore after that demonstration. It was obvious to anyone with eyes that there was something wrong.

There were so many tiny whirlwinds in the sky now. Hitting any would result in death. Travel through water seemed impossible, well that was unless they physically swam across. But who knew if there were water equivalents to the sky whirlwinds if they tried?

The situation made everyone frown.

But it wasn’t like there weren’t smart people in the crowd. After a while someone went into the woods and began chopping down the trees to make a raft. It was a great idea and many people joined in.

Even if they couldn’t use magic or martial qi, they could still build boats and sail or row across the water!

Things were looking up. They had a plan!

Feng Wu and Zo[notes] decided to build a canoe. Since it was just the two of them, they didn’t need much space, just something to support their combined weight.

Feng Wu had no experience building a boat, but luckily there was Zo, who had been a homebody for over a hundred years. He had learned many things from all the books he read in that time. When conditions were appropriate, he would find even experts for private lessons.

He had invited a professional ship builder to teach him the craft back when he was interested in shipbuilding.

Zo found a blueprint of a ship from his ring. He scribbled on the paper a bit and came up with a doable redesign that would suit their needs, but he was just an ordinary person, so asking him to do such heavy manual labor was impossible. Feng Wu would have to do all the labor herself.

She walked into the silent woods. Perhaps it was the environment of this specific tomb, but the trees here did not develop a consciousness. Feng Wu couldn’t feel anything from them.

With Zo’s oversight, she cut down a big tree then proceeded to shape it with her short sword.

The people around them were also building their own boats and rafts. They noticed the tiny girl moving and hauling wood around busily while the guy with her just sat and waved his arms around every now and then. They shot him looks full of disdain.

In their eyes, Zo as a pretty boy with no abilities who was leeching off a poor and kind-hearted girl in order to survive. The girl was a bit stupid though, to work so hard for a man she didn’t know. It would be better to kick him out instead of letting him fart around doing nothing.

They saw Feng Wu and Zo as two ordinary people. One was hardworking, while the other was a lazy-good-for-nothing.

How strong could a girl her age be? Surely not even at the intermediate level.

Odds were low they’d make it out of the tomb alive.

Zo noticed their looks, but he was worthless and used to being despised, so their reactions weren’t anything new to him. He’d gotten used to it, so he didn’t feel sad. He’d been laughed at for a hundred years already, so his heart wasn’t fragile and delicate anymore.

Feng Wu’s view was different though. In her eyes, Zo was amazing. He was like a master shipbuilder who could draw and design in outstanding detail as he explained how everything worked. He answered all her questions and kept explaining things until she got it. He talked in a way she could understand.

The adoration in her eyes embarrassed Zo. It was the first time anyone looked at him that way, and it was over such a small thing. Everyone else would have just said it didn’t matter what he knew, a waste was a waste. It didn’t change the fact that he could never be a sword master or magician. Even if he entered university, he would still be destined to a life or ordinary citizenship with a short life span. But here was Feng Wu admiring him for knowing something ordinary. She really was unusual.

Time passed by and the sounds of construction sounded all around. Eventually people began moving their completed vessels into the water. Some were hollowed out of big trees while others were logs tied and wrapped in vines.

361: Must Not Die

There were many boats. Some were well made while others were questionable. Feng Wu’s boat was the best one there. It was designed well by Zo and crafted meticulously by Feng Wu. They even had a sail for extra power. Amongst a sea of hodgepodge, mangled vessels, theirs was the most impressive looking. It was like theirs was a name brand product while everyone else's were imitation rip-offs.

“Hey boy, hand over your boat. This gracious master here will trade my boat for yours. No need to thank me.”

A burly and robust looking guy stood in front of Zo holding a knife. Zo did not like the look of the guy. Feng Wu frowned. She walked over without an ounce of fear.

“No swap. Your’s is ugly.” Feng Wu bluntly refused the offer.

The boat made by the big man really was poorly made. The hole for the seat was misshapen and clearly uncomfortable looking. You couldn’t tell if the canoe would sink or not, but it certainly didn’t inspire confidence.

The big guy’s style of swapping boats was a reminder to everyone that it didn’t matter if your boat was good or not, as long as someone else’s boat was good, that was all that mattered. In fact, a round of forced swaps was already underway. Even if most of the boats weren’t quality looking, they were still better than some others.

But swapping wasn’t as easy as that. Aside from a few cannon fodder, most who entered the tomb were masters of one type or another. They easily started fighting the moment they came to a disagreement.

So before the ships could sail, they had to survive the fight on land.

Feng Wu’s situation would definitely end in a fight. How could it not when she just said the guy’s boat was ugly? He immediately slashed at her with his sword.

The man wasn’t an ordinary person, but a pirate and a robber who had killed countless people. He had a habit of not leaving witnesses whenever he stole. If it was a woman, he would have some fun with her first before sending her to her death. If it was a guy, he would just kill the other party with a single blow.

He thought Feng Wu and Zo would be easy targets. Honestly, had this happened outside the tomb, he would have just killed them and taken their boat without bothering to trade at all.

Feng Wu kicked out when she saw him move with the blade. The force of her kick sent the bear-like man flying five meters. He spat out a mouthful of blood as soon as he landed.

There were others who had had the same plan as the big guy, but after seeing her fight, they decided to move on to other prey. She would be too much trouble.

It took Zo a full thirty seconds to recover from the scene. Her kick was amazing! She had to be a legendary genius!

While some were busy stealing boats, others were busy setting sail. Many odd shaped vessels floated out to sea. There were even a few daring masters who chose to fly despite the tiny whirlwinds. As long as they could avoid being hit by any, they would be fine.

Feng Wu and Zo pushed their vessel into the water and got in it one at a time. Each used a paddle to row toward the island.

The wind grew fiercer and the water became more turbulent. Those more sloppily built vessels, when hit by the waves, either capsized or broke apart with their wood bits scattering all about in the water.

Two guys faced this exact situation. They were ready to swim to the opposite shore after grabbing onto a piece of debris as a float.

“See? I was right, building a raft was a good idea. Now even with it broken up, we can use the bits to swim ashore.”

“You are so right Boss. My admiration for you is boundless.”

These guys were too funny. Some rolled their eyes at them, while others regretted not also building a raft.

“The wind is too strong!” Zo was uneasy. Their boat was built well and he knew it would survive the wind, but he didn’t think making it to the other shore was as simple as traversing the water. There had to be more involved.

Feng Wu looked at Zo seriously as she said, “Don’t be afraid. I’ll protect you.”

She saw him as a fellow comrade after having built the ship together and knowing he was a weak fighter; she had decided to protect him.

Zo was touched. It was the first time a companion had wanted to protect him instead of just looking down on him with disdain. It was a good feeling!

“OK.” Zo smiled.

Feng Wu and several other ships sped ahead because of their sails, however the increasing wind made them unstable and more likely to capsize. Zo decided it was wiser to row the rest of the way over so he asked Feng Wu to pull down the sail.

They weren’t far from the opposite island. They’d definitely be able to reach it if they rowed hard.

Most of the other boats behind them had already capsized. While some were fortunate enough to find drift wood to float on, others had to rely on their own arms and legs to swim forward.

They were struggling like ants in the fierce waves created by the strong winds.

Everyone was left struggling to swim after the next big wave succeeded in capsizing all the boats. They weren’t too far from shore, so as long as they persisted, they would be able to reach land.

It was easy to say but much harder to achieve. Every time people tried to swim forward, another wave would wash over and push them all back. The distance between them and the island became longer instead of shorter.

Just maintaining position and pushing against such strong winds and waves was exhausting. Zo was a weak person to begin with so he didn’t have any strength to swim forward. He couldn’t come to terms with it and couldn’t die yet, not until he stopped Zi Cheng. He had to keep preserving in order to bear the hopes of all those in the future. He couldn’t die. . . 

362: Level Two

Though his heart was unwilling to give up, his body could not endure any further. His hands became still and he slowly sank.

Just as he thought it was over, a hand reached down and yanked him up.

“Cough!” This. . .  this was a piece of wood drift.

Zo was saved. He opened his eyes to see a worried Feng Wu staring at him.

“Cough! I’m fine. Don’t worry.” He didn’t know if she heard him above the sound of the wind and waves, but he didn’t have the strength to speak any louder. He was an ordinary person so it had been hard for him to last as long as he had in the water.

Feng Wu nodded. She kept swimming forward, pushing against the violent waves, paddling with one arm and pushing Zo with the other. Though the resistance was strong, they were able to keep going forward. Others behind them, who were not as capable, slowly sank into the water. Only a few strong people, like Feng Wu, kept swimming desperately as they tried to reach the shore of the opposite island.

Luckily, the wind stopped after twenty minutes, and with it the giant waves that rocked the waters. Those still alive swam to shore.

“Ha. . .  Ha. . . ” Zo was panting as Feng Wu dragged him onto the shore. The sky was still dark but the sea returned to its original calmness.

It was still so cold though. . . 

Zo was shivering from head to toe. His body was in shock after such a long and hard swim, plus now his clothes were all soggy and clung to him, so he felt even worse.

Suddenly from somewhere near his side, a fire flared to life.

Feng Wu had opened her space ring and found a flint to make fire. She realized she could use her abilities again after reaching shore; so she had pulled out the flint, which could make fire and create warmth, with just a bit of qi or magic.

Zo could feel his body finally warming up again. A bit recovered, he walked behind a bush and changed into a fresh, dry set of clothes.

Feng Wu had already changed and was now looking around as she sat by the fire stone grilling a chicken.[notes]

It was a small, picturesque island with abundant wild fruit trees never seen before. They looked so delicious it was tempting to try one, but the people knew better than to try any. It wasn’t smart to eat unknown fruit. What if it was poisonous?

They started with more than two hundred people, but were left with less than fifty after the sea crossing. Most died in the water.

Zo sat down beside Feng Wu and ate the chicken thigh and bread she offered. He felt better now that he was warm and not hungry anymore.

“Feng Wu, thank you. I would have died like the everyone else if it weren’t for you.” Zo was grateful she saved him. He didn’t know why he didn’t see her with the Moon emperor in the previous life, so he could only assume she had encountered something and died early on.

Since she had saved him, he decided he would not let her die so easily this time around. He secretly made up his mind to do what he could to ensure she lived a good life and not die prematurely.

“You don’t have to thank me; we’re comrades.” Feng Wu looked at him seriously. She had considered him a comrade in arms when she agreed to team up with him. It was only natural to help your comrades when they were in trouble, so his effusive gratitude made her feel uncomfortable.

“Yes, we are comrades.” Zo smiled. There was a fragility to his smile but it was as pure and sincere as spring rain.

Those who survived and made it to the island were adjusting to the new environment and preparing for the trials ahead. But after waiting for two hours, nothing happened. They didn’t get a prompt for the second level.

The arduous trip to the island had tired everyone, but no one felt secure enough to let their guard down and rest. The island was an unknown and the people around them were strangers who they needed to guard against. There was no conversation. The group either meditated or cultivated in preparation for the second level.

Those still alive were mostly powerhouses.

A few magicians had chosen to fly over. They had poor physical strength so it made sense to gamble with the sky path. They would not have had the endurance to survive in the water if they lost their magic abilities. Flying was the best way for them to survive.

Feng Wu had no interest in the other people. She closed her eyes and went to sleep.

Who knew how much time passed, but some time later, the earth shook violently and split apart right down the middle. A ladder appeared, digging straight into the ground. It was dark and it was impossible to tell what was below.

Words, in big letters appeared. “Enter below to proceed to the next level.” That was it, nothing else was said about the requirements.

The people there looked at one another. Soon a big sword master walked down the stairs. Other people walked down after him, one at a time.

Zo ignored propriety between genders and pulled at Feng Wu’s sleeve to go down with the flow of people. The first level had been different from the way Ai Lin described it. He was certain she hadn’t lied to him, so for whatever reason, the sequence of events changed. Now he wasn’t sure what to expect. All he could do was to take one careful step at a time.

There was something creepy about the stairs. Zo felt like it didn’t matter if he moved forward or backwards, both directions would be dangerous. Thinking it would be safer to walk in the middle of the crowd, he cut in line and took Feng Wu to the middle.

The expression on his face was a little reluctant as he released her sleeve once they got there.

Feng Wu had grown serious when the stairs appeared so she didn’t notice.

363, 364, 365, 366

363, 364, 365, 366

[Host: justreads.net]
[January 2, 2022]
...

363: Forward

While the scene everyone saw was black, Feng Wu saw red. She knew these were evil spirits. They formed in places were a massive amount of people died miserably.

The only other place she had seen so many evil spirits was in the little town near the realm battlegrounds. [notes] The danger level of the place shocked Feng Wu.

She blinked and grab Zo’s retreating hand. “Don’t let go. It’s dangerous here.”

He was too weak, so she needed to protect him.

Zo replied with a small, “Oh,” a bit embarrassed. He’d never held hands with a girl before, despite living two lifetimes. He had remained a bachelor and dedicated his life to academics in the previous life, having never gotten over Eliza’s death.

A girl’s hand was very soft, he realized, much different from a boy’s hand.

Zo wasn’t conceited enough to think Feng Wu reached out to him because she was interested in him. He knew who he was. He respected the strong and he knew Feng Wu was strong.

Someone took out a magic orb to light the way as it got darker the farther they moved forward. There were many kinds of magic items that could provide light. A few people had taken several out, so the once dark stairway was lit with light.

There was a thick layer of dust on the steps and occasionally they had to clear cobwebs out of the way before they could continue forward. They couldn’t see the end but they could see walls enclosing both sides of the staircase. It was just wide enough to allow the forty of them to walk down in pairs.

They walked for half an hour before reaching the last steps.

“Why are there so many dead bodies?!”

“Isn’t this the tomb of the Sea god? Who are these guys?!”

“Everyone, be careful. There’s something wrong with this place.”

Their guards went up. There were no records of the Sea god’s tomb ever being opened before, so it was impossible for human remains to be inside. There had to be something unusual about the skeletons.

The bones themselves were sparkling clean and pure white. Such clean bones were rare to find. In fact you could say they were impossible to find. It gave everyone the chills and left them feeling uneasy.

“It’s gone! The stairs are gone!” yelled someone in panic.

As expected, when everyone turned to look, the staircase behind them had disappeared. Only the stone wall remained.

“How. . .  how can this be?” someone questioned. The person touched the wall with his hands, as if to confirm it was real and not an illusion.

Someone else took a deep breath and said, “There’s no way back. We have to keep moving forward.”

They began moving forward again after coming to terms with their situation. The passageway now was much wider than the stairway and they were able to walk three abreast without a problem, but just like the stairs, it was covered in a thick layer of dust. Every step they took left a clear footprint.

They broke through the spiderwebs in front of them and moved forward slowly. The unknown dangers ahead put everyone on high alert.

“Drip. . .  drip. . .  drip. . . .” The clear sounds of water dripping in the silent passageway made them even more uncomfortable. The unease spread in their hearts. After swallowing their saliva, they continued moving forward carefully.

“There’s water up ahead. We must be nearing the end of the passage.” Someone whispered to his companion.

In such a quiet environment, there wasn’t a difference between talking normally or whispering quietly. The sound entered everyone’s hearing, no matter if they wanted to hear or not.

“Don’t let your guard down. I have a feeling the real danger is coming soon,” replied the companion with a serious look.

The other man made a sound of assent. He wouldn’t drop his guard in such a place, not unless he wanted to never make it out alive.

No one else said anything, but everyone felt the same sense of impending danger. The farther they went, the stronger their anxieties became. No one dared stop though. It was like there was a voice telling them they mustn’t stop, mustn’t stop, otherwise they would die. So the group continued forward with heavy steps. They were cautious. Even when a ray of light appeared ahead of them, no one dared run toward it alone.

They kept walking onward, getting closer and closer to the opening where the light shone through, until they finally reached it.

Zo’s heart jumped out of his throat so he took Feng Wu’s hand in his own sweating one. It was the bane of the weak, being unable to protect one’s self.

Feng Wu seemed to feel something. She stretched out her hand and patted Zo’s head. “Don’t be afraid, I’ll protect you.” Back when she was a child, when she was afraid or uneasy, Master would comfort her by patting her on the head.

Zo stared dazedly at Feng Wu. Was she soothing him?

After standing in front of the opening for several minutes, someone finally threw caution to the wind and bit the bullet. “Let’s go. Go and take a look.”

“Yes, there’s nothing for it. We have to go in.” Someone sighed. There was no other way.

They readied their weapons in preparation for their last stand. But just as they were ready to go forward, a voice sounded from behind.

“What is this? How can I be in such an inauspicious place?”

They turned their heads to the sound of the voice. What they saw was a beast, a tiny teacup sized puppy looking around himself with wide eyes.

He was a skinny thing with barely any meat on him. His body was uniformly brown but for the tiny piece of egg shell stuck on his head. All in all, he was certainly a unique looking. . . 

364: Baby’s Debut

“Cute Baby!” Feng Wu was surprised to see him because he managed to get out of her space ring on his own. This kind of thing had never happened before. The poopy colored guy was the ancient rui beast Feng Wu got at auction.

She’d been calling him Cute Baby from the start, but come to find out, his name really was Cute Baby. He had regained his normal appearance after she used Xiao Chun to purify the demonic energy surrounding him.

“Is that your pet?” Zo asked. The little guy did not look cute to him.

But wait. Puppy-like appearance with eggshell cap. . .  wasn’t this the rui beast Zi Cheng was supposed to get? And it already hatched. How fast!

He remembered Zi Cheng’s friend saying the rui beast needed an entire year of incubation to hatch. How did it end up hatching so fast when Feng Wu got it?

Did she have special hatching techniques?!

The Feng Wu who is suspected of having special hatching skills: . . . 

In fact, Zi Cheng knew the egg wasn’t an egg that needed to be hatched, but a rui beast that had returned to its nascent form because of a severe injury.

Ruis were born covered with a thick layer of energy miasma that acted like a protective eggshell against the outside world. They would leave the protected stage once they got older, but returned to it whenever they were in mortal danger.

In the previous iteration, Zi Cheng had used her points to buy a bottle of Advanced Purification liquid. The medicine not only purified the demonic miasma, it also wiped out the rui’s memory. So in a sense Zi Cheng killed the original rui. She then formed a contract with the newly born rui without much effort.

The newly born rui was loyal to her because it had been born from a pill inside her system.[notes] The idea of resisting or revolting never entered its mind.

Zi Cheng didn’t share this with anyone, not even those she’d reached 100% favorability with. It was her biggest secret; even the male protagonist didn’t know. He never suspected and just assumed she had some kind of powerful specialization.

Rui Baby had been sleeping in Feng Wu’s ring since he’d been healed. He slept for three days only to awake in such a rotten and inauspicious place.

He was upset! How could she bring him to such a place without his permission?!

“You’re a pet! Your whole family’s a pet!” Rui Baby blew up when he heard that. He would have stood up if the eggshell hadn’t been covering his head.

“Don’t make trouble.” Feng Wu touched the eggshell on his head. The little guy immediately rubbed up against her hand, comforted.

Zo stared in amazement at the scene. He was certain the rui beast from his world wasn’t close to anyone other than Zi Cheng. That rui was also pretty stupid; this one was a tsundere. Were they really the same beast?

Well of course they weren’t the same.

“Hey now. I only slept for three days. Why did you came to this kind of place, so much miasma, even the path is cloudy. How many are going to die? Did you enter a demon grave?!” Rui Baby looked at Feng Wu in disappointment for not living up to expectations.

“This is a god’s tomb.” Feng Wu corrected him.

“How does this look like the tomb of any god?! I’ve seen plenty of god tombs!”

“This is a god’s tomb. It’s the innate god the Sea emperor,” said Zo.

“That guy?! Why’d you come into his tomb for? That guy’s notorious for being petty. Any other god’s tomb, and you can probably make it to the second or third level alive. But that guy? He won’t leave any opportunities for anyone to grab his treasures. No wonder this place is so thick with miasma. It’s totally that guy’s style.” Rui Baby nodded upon realizing the truth.

“What is that?”

“A pug?”

“A pug? Is there such a beast?”

“If we’re talking about pugs, then they’re common enough for people to raise at home as pets to look after the house.”

“Wow, your pug can fly. And he even has an eggshell on his head!”

“I don’t think that’s a pug. I think it’s an egg pug.”

“What’s an egg pug?”

“Could it be a hybrid between a pug and an egg?!”

“Shoot, no way! This is the first time I’ve seen this kind of crossbreed!”

The crowd pointed excitedly at the puppy-like creature with the eggshell on its head.

“This little guy can talk, so his level can’t be low.”

“Nah, that’s no big deal. Just use a little bit of spiritual potion and any pet can talk, never mind a beast.”

“That’s true.”

Zo: Have you all forgotten something?

“You fish lip mortals.” Rui Baby had a proud look as he snorted disdainfully at the group of humans, the display meant to show he was a bigshot who knew a bunch of god-level beasts. He was far more knowledgeable than any human.

“Never mind all that. We still have to get inside.”

They were there to find treasure, not gossip about some baby-bird-dog-egg thing. Priorities! The group remembered they were trying to get into the cave up ahead.

“Right! We were about to enter that cave.”

“Almost forgot, we’re here for business. Good thing you reminded me! Thanks!”

Others also thanked the guy for his reminder. This didn’t necessarily make the guy happy though. Reminder? He just didn’t think he could beat the big boss inside on his own. Otherwise why would he bother reminding them?!

After getting their act together, everyone moved forward into the cave to scout out the situation.

Feng Wu held Zo’s hand while on her head a pug-egg used her hair as a nest. . . 

365: Two Roads

Baby Rui was quite satisfied with the nest he’d made out of Feng Wu’s hair. Her hair was very soft and comfortable. He wouldn’t rule out the possibility of living there in the future.

How would Feng Wu react if she knew his thoughts?

Rui Baby stayed on Feng Wu’s head and expressed interest in the brightly lit cave up ahead. He kept staring cutely at the entrance.

Feng Wu pulled Zo behind the large group and entered the cave cautiously after everyone else.

Those tense and on alert thought a big boss would ambush them right away. They didn’t expect to only find a large luminous, white crystal. It was beautiful and had been what was giving off all the light.

They were relived to not find any dangerous creatures hidden anywhere after inspecting the cave. Two walls made of crystals created divergent pathways inside the cave. It wasn’t clear what was inside.

They looked at each other, not sure which one to take. It could be a life or death decision. It was possible the paths simply held different dangers. If so, then the wrong choice meant remaining in the tomb for life.

The others weren’t sure which path to take, but for Feng Wu, both paths were filled with evil spirits and red haze. The evil spirits in the tomb were several levels higher than those found outside. It wasn’t that she had become more versed in the undead. Most of what she knew came from Lydia.[notes] Lydia would be perfect in a place like the tomb. But Feng Wu wasn’t able to summon Lydia no matter how hard she tried.

Though both tunnel paths were full of blood, one was also filled with death. It was clearly a dead end and anyone who entered wasn’t going to survive.

“This one.” Feng Wu pointed to the tunnel path that had no death aura with a serious expression.

“Little girl, why that one? You have to give a reason first.” A male sword user touched his nose and asked. Choosing would be difficult.

“Yes! Why should we listen to you?” asked a female magician with a sneer. She, another female magician, and Feng Wu were the only females to survive. Both female magicians had chosen to fly over.

Among the three, Feng Wu was the only sword user. There were few female sword users to begin with and the others had died earlier on. This left Feng Wu as the only sword user left in their group.

Though there were only three of women in the group, they were not close. It was the first time the other magicians had even spoken.

“You will die if you walk the other way.” Feng Wu saw strong malice emanating from the woman who had spoken up. It made Feng Wu tilt her head and wonder why the other woman was so strange. Why did she look like that?

The magician couldn’t answer the questions in Feng Wu’s mind; she just kept on sneering. The other female magician watched the interaction between them, but she didn’t interfere.

“There are so many of us, and no one knows which way to take, but you, a little girl can tell?” The first woman’s voice was full of sarcasm and disdain.

“Whether you believe it or not is your business. Feng Wu only shared for everyone’s benefit. If you think she’s wrong, you can take the other path. No one’s going to stop you.” Zo’s eyes turned cold at the woman and he spoke fearlessly to her.

“You. . . ” the woman was extremely angry. “Even a waste dare speak nonsense in front me! You must be looking for death!”

She chanted a spell and quickly formed two white balls that flashed lightning in her hands. Mercilessly, she threw them at Zo.

The crowd didn’t expect her to try to really do that. Ice magic, a mutation of water magic, was stronger than water magic. There were few ice magicians on the mainland. Compared to the other five elements, gold, wood, water, fire, and earth, the number of ice magicians barely registered. Though they were few and far in between, they were, without exception, always geniuses from powerful families. Naturally they were highly valued.

Zo didn’t expect the woman to be so unreasonable as to kill directly. He was just an ordinary person so it was impossible for him to dodge. Luckily though, since his family was forever worried about his safety, they loaded him with defensive items. Even his clothes had layers of protective arrays. So as long as he didn’t encounter a master who was too powerful, odds were high he would be fine.

Just as Zo was about to withstand the blow, Feng Wu’s sword flashed out, and in the blink of an eye, sliced the powerful balls straight in half. Bits of icicles and crushed ice fell to the ground.

A hint of resentment flashed in the woman’s eyes when she saw how quickly and easily Feng Wu dealt with her attack. She raised her staff and chanted another spell, each word coming faster than the one before it. A line of icicles successfully formed in the air and cut a path toward Feng Wu and Zo with murderous intent.

Feng Wu pulled Zo to the side and avoided the first wave of attack. The small sword in her hand moved gracefully, sounding like water flowing through the air. Green energy condensed at the tip of her sword. The Spring Wind sword technique wasn’t just graceful and elegant, it was also astonishingly powerful.

The light continued to flicker on the tip of her sword. Using Spring Wind, Feng Wu easily kept the icicles from getting close. Feng Wu brought her internal qi out and shattered all the ice.

Upon seeing this, the woman wanted to launch another even more powerful attack, but Feng Wu did not give her the chance. . . 

366: I’ll Help You So Let’s Find It Together

Using an elegant air step no one had seen before, Feng Wu was in front of the woman in an instant. The woman barely registered Feng Wu’s movement before she was knocked back by the sword’s hilt.

“Ah!” The blow to her stomach made her feel as though her organs were shattering painfully. It made her spit out a thick blob of blood. A trace of fear showed in her eyes afterwards.

“Feng Wu! Are you all right?!” Zo looked worriedly at Feng Wu after she finished her fight.

Why are you asking her? Isn’t the one injured the other. . .  The people enjoying the show thought.

Feng Wu shook her head, letting him know she was OK. The little baby sitting atop her head hadn’t been disturbed at all, having laid in her hair since the start of the fight.

Rui Baby looked at the woman on the ground in disdain. Geeze. The woman was really ugly. Rui Baby was going to have to wash his eyes out later. The sight of her was polluting his vision.

Rui beasts were different from other beasts. Beauty and ugliness weren’t based on outward physical appearance – it was what was on the inside that made a person’s appearance. Those with ugly hearts but beautiful bodies appeared as ugly monsters to them.

The opposite was also true. A person with a beautiful heart but an ugly physical appearance could look average in their eyes.

Those who were beautiful, both inside and outside, were elevated to gods in seconds.

So in the eyes of this rui, Feng Wu was an incredibly beautiful person. Rui Baby had never met anyone so beautiful in all his years.

“I’m OK.” Feng Wu said.

“Let’s go then.” Zo noticed the others were looking at them strangely. He took Feng Wu’s hand and led her toward the tunnel path she’d chosen earlier.

The people left behind watched as Feng Wu and Zo walked into the tunnel. It made them pause. Should they follow?

Indecision was a bad disease to have. One brother hesitated for a moment, but finally walked down the path after Feng Wu and Zo.

Since the same path was picked by three people, the rest of the group decided to follow along as well. They could end up picking the wrong path if they chose themselves, so going with the majority was a safer option.

Feng Wu had said they would die if they picked the other path. They had no idea if what she said was true or not, but the most credible thing to do was to put your money were your mouth was, and she had already taken the first steps herself. She picked the path she said wasn’t deadly.

What she said had some effect on the group, and so they followed behind Feng Wu and Zo.

There was a herd mentality and few wanted to go the other way. Even the woman beaten by Feng Wu didn’t pick the other tunnel pathway. Everyone had picked this path. If she chose the other one, she would be going it alone.

Walking alone would be too dangerous. Even if she wanted to kill Feng Wu right away, she wouldn’t gamble and take the path no one took.

Feng Wu and Zo didn’t know this. They kept walking carefully through the crystal-walled tunnel.

There was a lot of light in the tunnel because of all the crystals so Feng Wu put her light away. It was a winding passage filled with silence so it was hard to tell how long it was or where it led to. They just kept walking and didn’t see any of the people following behind them.

“Feng Wu, I’m sorry I dragged you down this path.” He felt uncomfortable as he remembered how the woman had attacked him earlier. The strong will want to kill the weak. They didn’t need a reason either. It was a sorrow the weak had to live with. If Feng Wu hadn’t stopped the woman, he doubted anyone would have stood up for him.

“Why did you come here?” Senior Ming Xi said it was a dangerous place. He hadn’t even let Jier come, so why did Zo come?

Feng Wu looked closely at Zo but she couldn’t figure it out.

“I want to find something, something that will change my destiny.” It would change the world’s destiny as well.

“What is it?” If it was anyone else, she wouldn’t have asked further, but she didn’t understand, and her habit was to ask for clarification if she didn’t understand. She didn’t think about the question causing the other person embarrassment or anything like that.

As for Zo, he wouldn’t have answered had it been anyone else who asked, but this was Feng Wu, so he couldn’t help but answer.

“The Heart of Water. It’s also called the Heart of Water Elemental. It’s a treasure that takes tens of thousands of years, maybe even longer, to form from condensed water element. My body’s been poor since I was little. I have innate ability for water magic, but my ability is too low for me to become a water magician. I have no ability to be a sword user either.

I heard the Heart of Water might be hidden inside the tomb, so that’s why I came. Only when I find it will my water talent improve and I can become a water magician.”

The Heart of Water? Feng Wu thought for a while. She remembered reading about the five elemental hearts. They were rare treasures, not seen in a thousand years. They were on par with divine treasures.

“I’ll help you find it.” Feng Wu understood Zo wasn’t healthy and he needed the Heart of Water to get better, that it would make him stronger.

Master said the world belonged to the strong. If you weren’t strong enough, then you could become cannon fodder at any time. But what was cannon fodder? Her master hadn’t made it clear.

Although she didn’t know what a cannon fodder was, she knew she didn’t want Zo to be one. It had to be pitiful to be one. This was the conclusion she came to based on her master’s expression whenever he mentioned it.

“Thank you Feng Wu.” Zo was sincerely thankful. They hadn’t known each other long, but she had been very kind to him. He was really worried about scumbags taking advantage of her.

They talked as they walked and thirty minutes later they came upon a stone gate three meters high by three meters wide with ten identical murals on either side. The paintings were of the same person in different settings. It was a man of obvious high standing. . . 

367, 368, 369, 370

367-370

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[January 9, 2022]
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367: Emperor’s Tomb: Spirit Guardian

The man sat above five others and was wearing a beautiful and elaborate costume from olden times. Several men and women knelt at his feet with eyes filled with worship and humility.

In another, he was on horseback commanding a thousand troops. Another picture had him marrying a beautiful woman. Another depicted people in fear and desperation as countless terrifying meteorites fell from the sky. It was like you could hear their cries for help through the painting.

“Ah! This is. . .  this is. . . That nasty sea god! He’s such a selfish lunatic! No wonder none of the other gods wanted to be around him; he really is a lunatic!” Rui Baby had been dozing on Feng Fu’s head in her hair. He started yelling after seeing the murals.

“Baby?” Feng Wu touched his eggshell, soothing the little guy.

“Is there something wrong with this place?” Zo knew ancient rui beasts were powerful. They didn’t have strong attack, but their wisdom was much higher than humans. They wouldn’t be rui beasts if they weren’t smart.

The little guy slowly quieted after being soothed. His voice was still agitated though.

“Of course there’s a problem. Poseidon, that lunatic, actually created such a tomb! No wonder there’s so much evil miasma here. It’s no wonder; he’s so self-serving!” Rui Baby yelled and cursed more incomprehensible things.

The little guy explained before Zo had to ask. “Poseidon’s been tampering with this place! No wonder it didn’t look like a god’s tomb!” Rui Baby said angrily.

“Tampered with?” It was his tomb to begin with, so what did it matter what he did to it? Zo didn’t understand why Rui Baby was so angry.

“I knew this place didn’t feel like a god’s tomb. It turned out that sea god really did tamper with this place!” Baby said, still very much angry.

“But isn’t this the sea god’s tomb? Isn’t it fine for him to do what he pleases with it?”

“Huh! That guy mixed the tombs of kings from the human world inside his own tomb. He made them his gatekeepers. Their souls are going to be sealed in this place forever. They’ll never be able to find peace or rest.

The greater their pain, the stronger their anger will be and the more dangerous it for those who enter the tomb. And if I’m not mistaken, there’s more than one human king in this tomb. I’m afraid Poseidon brought many of them in here. After so many years, their tombs will be fearsome indeed. Anyone who enters will be lucky to survive.

Poseidon’s tomb is hidden amongst the tomb of these human kings. It’ll be impossible to find it, and even if you did find it, you’ll probably die inside.

The Sea Emperor, as you all call him, is known for his selfishness and ruthlessness amongst the gods. There’s no way he’d let his precious treasures fall into human hands.”

Rui Baby talked badly about Poseidon, obviously looking down on the so-called sea god.

Zo finally believed Ai Lin about Zi Cheng being the world’s daughter of luck and destiny. Zi Cheng’s friends and followers said that although she had met with some dangers in the tomb, she had for the most part escaped unscathed.

There was no mention of her encountering any of the tombs of the human king guardians; so she had to have entered the sea god’s tomb directly. She didn’t just take away various paraphernalia and treasures in the tomb, she also took the Heart of Water.

This time around, the tomb was much easier to open and there were many more people journeying inside, but the difficulty was much greater. These human kings had never been mentioned before.

“Why would the sea god want to do this? Does it make sense to use all these human kings to guard his tomb? He’s a sea god, why consider using humans at all?”

Zo couldn’t figure it out. Why would a god use humans for guardians? And to even imprison their souls for it; it was completely unnecessary.

“Haha, do you think gods are all powerful? I’ll tell you, no matter how powerful a god is, in time, all powers fade. The reason Poseidon used these kinds of methods and brought all these human kings here is to keep his tomb protected after his powers have waned. So that they’ll stop intruders, their tombs have been enveloped in malevolence.

There are a lot of imprisoned souls within each human king’s tomb as well. None of them know or understand that they have been imprisoned inside Poseidon’s tomb either. They will continue to guard the tomb of their king as long as their king remains.

“How can a god do something so evil! How is he any different from a demon?!” Imprisoning another’s soul for eternity just so they become angry spirits. How inhumane!”

It was unbelievable that a god, never mind an innate god, would do something so heinous. It turned Zo’s world view upside down.

“What about gods? Who told you gods are supposed to be kind? That’s a myth. Gods are like people; there are goods ones and there are bad ones.

If all gods are good, then how do you explain what happened with the demon realm? Before the lord of the demon realm became the lord of the demon realm, he was a master of gods in the god realm. And amongst the master gods, he was a strong one too! But he still fell to the demon realm didn’t he?” Rui Baby rolled his eyes before giving Zo a disdainful look.

Was a beast looking down on him? Zo recognized Rui Baby was a god level magical beast, but it still made him uncomfortable and he suddenly felt the urge to beat the puppy!

“Then this entrance is to a king’s tomb?” Zo decisively changed the topic, having no wish to be despised by an eggshell wearing puppy.

“Ah forget it, you’re too stupid.”

“Haha. . . ” was Zo’s awkward reply back.

“How do we get in?” Feng Wu pushed at the gate but it refused to budge despite only being three meters high.

“There’s a mechanism that unlocks it. You should be able to enter if you find it. But are you sure about going in with only two people? It will be dangerous. The king’s corpse is probably a monster corpse by now!”

A captive corpse would already be brimming with malevolent fury, but when combined with years of evil miasma immersion, odds were high a new evil consciousness bent on killing would have formed.

368: The Door Opened

It would have no free will and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say it was a killing machine.

“D, this passage is so long. It’s taking forever to exit out of it.” An approaching voice complained.

Feng Wu and Zo looked back to see a man with a sword approaching.

He was the brother who made the decision to follow them. Based on the voices coming up behind him, those who followed him were nearing as well.

Zo breathed a sigh of relief. There were so many more people coming, the more the better really. He thought he and Feng Wu would probably die immediately upon entering the tomb after hearing everything Rui Baby said about the place.

“I finally caught up to you guys! I didn’t see you all along the way; I thought something had happened.” The brother smiled when he saw Feng Wu and Zo.

“Thank you for your concern, but we are fine.”

“Where is this place? Could the sea god’s burial room be behind that gate?!” The brother looked at the gate with excitement in his eyes. He would have rushed in already if the gate wasn’t there.

“What?! The burial room is here?!”

“We got here so soon! I thought it would take several more levels.”

“Is it really the burial room though? It doesn’t feel like it.”

“Man, forget you! Isn’t this the sea god’s tomb? What’s so strange about finding it here?”

The group discussed as they looked at the gate. The only one not looking at it was the woman who was beaten by Feng Wu. She was glaring at Feng Wu hatefully. If looks could kill, Feng Wu would have died countless times already.

Zo felt the animosity from a certain direction. Upon looking over, he found a malicious person.

Wasn’t she the one Feng Wu schooled? Zo could see the woman hated both of them, but she especially hated Feng Wu. She would doubtless kill them the first chance she got.

Zo shifted his body to block Feng Wu from her gaze. This made the woman snort and turn away.

“Strange! Why can’t we get the gate open?!”

Some people attempted to open it with brute force, but to no avail. They tried magic, but that didn’t work either.

The inconspicuous gate didn’t budge.

They stood staring at it unsure what to do. They wouldn’t be able to progress if they couldn’t open it.

“Everyone, take a look at these murals. Does it seem like something’s wrong with them?” A magician raised his wand and cried out.

At his cry, the group surrounded him. The murals were strange. Could they be the key to opening the gate? They gathered round and touched the murals, trying to find a way to open the gate.

Zo and Feng Wu knew it was a just a king’s grave room, and not the sea god’s room, but they had to try. There was no other exit.

To get to the sea god’s room, they would have to pass through the tomb of many other kings.

“Feng Wu, come here. Look at this wall.” Zo had been knocking along the wall when he came upon a section that sounded hollow.

The area was small so everyone heard him. Those who heard immediately gave up on the mural they were studying and ran over to where Zo was. A few with bad attitudes even pushed Zo out of the way, making him lose his balance.

Feng Wu instantly stepped up and supported him so he wouldn’t fall over. A flash of anger appeared in her eyes at the guy bullying Zo. She lifted her foot, intending to teach the guy a lesson for nearly making Zo fall to the ground, but Zo stopped her.

He shook his head. “Don’t, I’m fine.”

Feng Wu bit her lip but ultimately nodded. She wouldn’t give the guy trouble.

“This stone wall is empty!”

“Knock on it! Maybe the switch is behind it!”

The person standing at the front spat on his hands and rubbed them together before grabbing his sword and slashing at the stone wall.

After a few cuts, the wall broke to reveal a hole. A disc shaped thing was embedded into the wall inside the hole. Maybe it was the switch they were looking for.

Someone tried to turn it. And it did turn! The creaking, squealing sound was deafening in the silent passage, but amidst the ear-piercing noise, the gate did open.

Meanwhile adventurers in other parts of the tomb were also encountering their own challenges.

Zi Cheng and Ceasar were one step ahead of Feng Wu and were already inside the sea god’s burial room and were currently engaged in a desperate fight against a horde of animated corpses.

Ming Xi burned many of the corpses with the fire from Little Seven[notes]The people who came with him were left in awe at the sheer force of his attack. It was like he was a god of war.

Ai Lin had gotten much stronger since getting the god’s inheritance in the realm battlegrounds.[notes] Knowing the plot allowed her to take advantage of other people’s opportunities, so few could beat her. Obviously, it wasn’t a problem for her to protect herself.

Eliza was a young miss with many good items on her body. She was also a strong magician.

Though many of the people who entered with them had died, things had been going well for the two girls. At worse, they suffered some minor injuries.

369: Greed

Margaret and Matheson[notes] weren’t as lucky and didn’t end up in the same area.

Margaret had to kick a man who tried to sexually harass her against a wall. She clapped her hands and looked at the burial chamber she had just entered.

She would write her name upside down if it was the chamber for the sea god.

Speaking of which, where were the others?

...

The door had been closed for many years, so when it did open a huge amount of dust flew out.

Feng Wu waved her hand and use a qi shield to protect her and Zo from all the dust.

“The door is open!”

“All the good stuff in there is Z’s! No one better compete with me for them!”

“Artifact! There must be an artifact in there!”

The light that shone out was like a switch serving to pull out all their human greed.

“The Heart of Water! It must be inside. I’m going to find it! It’s all mine. No one better steal it from me!” Madness sparked in Zo’s eyes. Feng Wu was in his way, so he shoved her aside.

Feng Wu frowned at this and she sent a spark of Xiao Chun’s power into Zo’s forehead.

Zo was confused. What just happened?

“Are you OK?” Feng Wu patted his face in concern.

“What’s going on?” There was a hint of horror in Zo’s eyes when he noticed the crazed crowd around them.

“You were controlled by the greed in your heart. You are indeed a human with fish lips. Except for Feng Wu, the silly girl has no greed in her heart, everyone else here was affected. It’s no wonder, you’ve all got greed in your hearts,” Rui Baby said, disdainful of the crazed crowd. He bit Feng Wu’s hair as he remained seated atop her head.

“Greed! There was a problem with the light just now!”

There had been a light that shone on everyone after the door was opened. Zo remembered it felt like he’d fallen into a trance and lost his mind for a moment.

“Of course. That light can magnify the greed in people’s hearts. That is to say, the light would have magnified your greed a hundredfold. With you, there was greed, but there wasn’t any malice, so the impact wasn’t as bad.

But those other people, you see them? It’s not just the greed in their hearts that’s been magnified, their malice is magnified as well. Their thoughts are violent. They’re already thinking about killing other people to get the treasure.”

A bunch of people were in a scuffle at the entrance trying to block each other from entering. Each one of them felt the treasure belonged to them alone. Therefore anyone who entered it was trying to steal their treasure so they had to die.

A fierce battle was underway by the gate. People were injured and bleeding, yet no one cried out in pain.

“Xiao Chun!” The pure white, ancient sword appeared in Feng Wu’s hand.

Xiao Chun was already drooling, having felt the suffocation air in the place. If it weren’t for Feng Wu, he would have already rushed out.

“Go and wake them.” Feng Wu said to Xiao Chun.

Zo looked curiously at the spirit sword. It had such a strong intelligent, spiritual aura. Was it a holy level weapon?

Zo’s family wasn’t without holy artifacts, so he wasn’t a stranger to them, but this was the first time he saw one so full of spiritual energy and intelligence.

Obviously swords didn’t possess emotions, but despite this Zo felt the disappointment coming from the sword, as though it wanted to enjoy a big meal but was only told it could have a light snack.

Did a sword need to eat? Zo shook his head, thinking he must surely be hallucinating.

In fact Xiao Chun did want to eat a big meal, but he didn’t dare disobey Feng Wu, so he could only go about releasing his energy in bits and pieces, just enough so the people could awaken from their dream of greed and malice.

Xiao Chun deserved his reputation as the most pure and flawless artifact. With just a tiny bit of effort, he was able to release the group from their insanity.

“What was wrong with me?!”

“Wha?! Who attacked me?!”

“Whoever injured me better fess up! I promise not to kill you!”

“Ouch! What asshole dared stab me in the butt?!”

Of the ten people there, eight were injured. They didn’t remember how they got injured, but they were horrified. Any later and they would have been halfway to death!

“There has to be something wrong with the light from earlier!”

Not being stupid, they quickly figured out the connection.

“I think so too. I don’t know what it is, but I got dizzy after I saw it. I don’t remember what happened afterwards.”

“Me too! That light is really is insidious!”

“That’s strange. Why are you two uninjured?”

In a group of bloodied and injured people, it was hard not to notice the only two people unaffected. They didn’t have a spot of blood on them. Heck, their clothes weren’t even wrinkled. It was obvious something was up with them.

Zo and Feng Wu caught everyone’s attention.

“Did you do this? The two of you were fine while the rest of us lost consciousness. Is it because you want the treasures for yourselves so you deliberately harmed us?!” The female magician who confronted Feng Wu earlier yelled out.

She had wanted to kill Feng Wu since the incident earlier, so of course she wasn’t going to let the current opportunity go to waste. This girl had embarrassed her in front of so many people.

“Huh. You actually dare.” Zo wanted to laugh in her face. The woman was so annoying. He didn’t want to live in hatred, so he rarely hated anyone, but this woman tested his limits. He would wholeheartedly agree with Feng Wu if she wanted to kill the woman.

“I did not. . . ” Feng Wu replied back seriously.

370: Bisi

Why did this person say she and Zo did it? Clearly she and Zo hadn’t done anything. Feng Wu bit her lip, aggrieved. The people she asked Xiao Chun to save where wronging her. She suddenly wanted to beat them up.

“Don’t think just because you deny it, it’s OK. You said you didn’t do it, but why are you the only two who weren’t affected? How does that make any sense?”

“If Feng Wu hadn’t saved you, you would have killed each other ages ago. The moment after you’re saved, you start attacking your savior. Really shameless.” Zo was angry. It was a waste of Feng Wu’s time to save them. Especially this woman; it would have been better to let her go crazy and get killed so she wouldn’t bother them again.

The others were shocked by Zo’s words. It was hard to imagine it was the black-haired girl who saved them. Doubt clouded their eyes.

This made Zo angry. These people were white eyed wolves, it would have been better to not save them.

“Do you know what that light just now was?” Zo asked with a cold smile.

“What was it?” Someone couldn’t help but ask.

“It was a light that magnified the negative aspects of a person’s heart, such as greed and malice. All of these things inside us were magnified because of the light. Just now, everyone lost their senses and began fighting to keep the treasure for themselves.

I had also been controlled by the greed in my heart, but Feng Wu was next to me and she rescued me in time. Otherwise I’d be like everyone else, trying to fight and kill anyone in my way. Considering my strength, had I rushed in, I would have surely died.”

“You say she saved you; how did she do it? What did she use to?” The woman spoke proudly with a face full of suspicion.

“Why should I tell you?” Zo looked at her disdainfully.

“You. . . .” She was so angry. An ordinary person dared give her such a look? She needed to kill him.

“Everyone, let’s hurry and heal our injuries. Now that the burial gate is open, we should proceed forward, not argue about someone’s guess,” spoke up a guy holding a long sword.

They came for treasure. Who had the time to listen to people argue?

The others nodded their heads in agreement. They took out healing potions for their injuries.

The woman glared and screamed in disbelief. “You want to let these two despicable people off the hook just like that?!”

Everyone else ignored her and focused on healing their wounds instead. But the man who had spoken up wasn’t patient.

“Please settle your personal agendas on your own, and don’t treat others like they’re fools to be used.”

The people watching the scene sneered as they watched the woman’s face turn from red to white. This woman, did she really think they couldn’t see through her charade? She couldn’t deal with the little girl on her own, so she wanted everyone to side with her and crush the girl.

It wasn’t a bad idea, but it relied on everyone willing to cooperate with her. However there were few idiots who made it as far who were willing to make enemies of strangers for another stranger’s benefit.

Zo was delighted to see her defeated. He found a place to sit with Feng Wu and together they enjoyed a meat bun. It tasted more delicious than usual.

The woman lowered her eyes, which were now filled with hate, once she saw no one was paying her any attention.

Go ahead, be proud of yourselves. But just you wait. Once I find my chance, you’ll all die, she thought to herself. She had been a member of the Lianye clan and Shaya,[notes] the elder Tianya killed, was her father.

In her mind, no one was allowed to kill a member of the clan and get away with it.

She was Bisi and she never had to walk behind anyone. The only ones she had to give face to were the clan’s direct descendants and the children of some of the elders.

However, all that came to an end with Shaya’s death. Without his presence, those who she’d bullied were finally given the opportunity to get revenge. They got together with the daughter of the ninth elder and surrounded her, but she was fortunate to have resources on her person.

Her father loved her a great deal and had left her with a variety of items to keep her safe. Using these, she managed to kill the ninth elder’s daughter along with the girl’s sidekick. Bisi was classified as a traitor ever since.

Bisi had no regrets though. What was the point of staying with a clan that couldn’t protect her? They wouldn’t have allowed the ninth’s daughter to give her so much trouble if they had taken any of her father’s achievements to heart. Her position had plummeted since her father died.

In reality, the Lianye clan did give her consideration. Even if her father was dead, she herself, was a rare ice magician. Not to mention she was a genius. They were willing to keep training her.

Her classes continued without disruption and her monthly allotment of potions remained the same, but she no longer received the potions and funds from her father’s personal inventory.

The whole thing about her being bullied by those seeking revenge was nonsense though. The only exception was the daughter of the ninth elder, who had wanted to take the opportunity to teach her a lesson because of a past grievance. The others, at worst, just had a bad attitude towards her. Those who used to suck up to her were gone, having no reason to do so anymore.

The main reason for her leaving was her inability to accept the gap in her position. She had never suffered slights before; it was always other people who changed their attitude to suit her. Though some talked, no one dared offend her.

They knew her potential as an ice magician was high. As long as she didn’t do anything stupid and offend anyone high up too terribly, it was possible the elders would have a position for her in the future.

But her feelings were too delicate; she couldn’t bear even a tiny bit of grievance. This led her to killing the ninth elder’s daughter, which in turn caused her to be branded a traitor and was forced to flee.

After her escape from the clan, Bisi traveled alone trying to find her father’s killer, but unfortunately she couldn’t find Tianya, instead she found Feng Wu and Ming Xi.

The Lianye clan had thoroughly investigated the people with Tianya and had created portraits of every one, so Bisi recognized Feng Wu without difficulty.

371, 372, 373, 374

371, 372, 373, 374

[Host: justreads.net]
[January 18, 2021]
...

371: Sarcophagus

The clan’s investigation revealed the kids were from Xingguang Holy academy and though they were able to find out some of the kid’s identities, some remained unknown.

Ming Xi and Tianya’s identities were particularly mysterious. They were unable to find out who the two were despite spending a great deal of money. Because of this, the Lianye clan didn’t dare move too quickly. However the identities of everyone else, like Feng Wu, was easy enough to find out.

They even found out the vesture for Feng house. Though Feng Wu was the first daughter of the direct family line for, the family had disowned her. It didn’t matter how prestigious her identity was, an unmarried and pregnant daughter who brought shame to the family, who would take such a woman into their house? The Lianye clan weren't going to take her seriously.

Bisi had already made up her mind to kill Feng Wu. She would have killed Feng Wu and avenged her father already were it not for the fact she didn’t want to do it in front of so many people.

Ming Xi was on her hit list too, but based on the clan’s investigation, Bisi felt Ming Xi’s identity couldn’t be simple. She wasn’t sure if she would get into unnecessary trouble for killing him. She couldn’t get him yet, so by default, Feng Wu became her prime target.

Everyone was healed after an hour of rest. It was time to enter the burial room.

Beyond the gate was pitch black, much different from the room they currently occupied, which was illuminated by crystals on the walls. Everyone took out their individual light sources and walked in carefully.

Light flared up suddenly upon the first person’s step inside.

Beyond the gate was a spacious stone hall with four columns. There were two sarcophagi in the center.

The rough-hewing process didn’t take away from the elegance of the ancient sarcophagi. Whoever were inside weren’t ordinary people. A seven-star lamp shown from above the columns. Though it wasn’t as bright as the light from the crystals outside, it was nonetheless, sufficient to light the room.

All around the room were huge murals similar to the ones outside. A stone statue of a man stood above them. He had rough features and eyes filled with contempt. In his hand was a scepter.

“Look, is the person in the pictures the sea god?” Someone said in surprise as he pointed to the murals.

“It’s possible. The sea god was worshipped by all the oceanic countries at the time, so the pictures are probably of him.”

A man holding a double-sided ax walked up to one sarcophagus and tried pushing the lid off.

“What are you doing?!”

The group was shocked at his casual attitude.

“Does it need to be said? Open the sarcophagus of course. I want to see what treasures there are. This is the tomb of the sea god, even if these are just the coffins of minor servants, they’re still going to be good stuff in here.” The guy looked disdainfully at the crowd glaring at him.

“If I were you, I wouldn’t touch the contents of the coffins.” Zo spoke up suddenly.

Everyone turned to look at Zo and Feng Wu standing by the gate entrance. Other than Bisi, who was always looking for ways to deal with them, no one else paid them any attention. Zo had been ignored by everyone, probably because he was the weakest. He didn’t usually take the initiative to speak up, so it was surprising that he suddenly opened his mouth.

“Little pansy, you don’t have any right to speak.” The ax guy’s disdain toward Zo was obvious. A little pansy who only survived by hiding behind a skirt, of course he looked down on Zo. He couldn’t stand everyone else’s arrogance either. They were all there for the coffin, so why fuss over opening it? Once the treasure was revealed, they’d be even more excited than him.

“This place was set up to turn the dead into evil puppet spirits, so the corpses in the sarcophagi have turned evil. It will be disastrous if you open that sarcophagus.” Zo said with a serious face.

Unfortunately no one believed him.

What raise the dead to be evil spirits? If there were some, why hadn't they found any already? Yet this ordinary person could? So they couldn’t even compare to an ordinary person now? Yeah right, that’ll be the day.

No one believed Zo – they thought he was just grandstanding – besides they were all confident in their strength.

Bisi’s sneer was on obvious display.

An ordinary person showing off knowledge in front of them, it was too much.

Feng Wu looked at the group silently. She could tell they didn’t believe Zo. It was obvious he wasn’t lying so she didn’t understand why they didn’t believe him.

“Stop joking! Evil puppet corpses? What do you think you are, that you can see puppet corpses when we can’t.” The guy didn’t stop his efforts to open the sarcophagus. His heart was bursting with excitement at the prospect of all the treasures sure to be inside. He didn’t have time to pay attention to a waste.

Zo sighed. He knew it would be useless, so he stopped trying to convince them. He hadn’t been hopeful of it anyway, so he wasn’t disappointed when no one listened.

“The sarcophagus is going to be opened. What should we do?” Zo asked Feng Wu. As the only one in their group who had any attack potential, he had to confer with her before making any decisions.

Feng Wu blinked as if asking: Why are you asking me?

No matter who she was with, she was never the one who came up with the ideas. She was used to obeying orders, so to have someone ask her what to do was disconcerting.

“Wait and run to be back of the hall.” The little Rui Baby interjected before Feng Wu could speak.

Zo glanced at the baby and nodded, showing that he knew. . . 

372: Corpse

Feng Wu watched the man open the sarcophagus. He didn’t listen to Zo, so something would definitely happen. Feng Wu bit her lip. She could already see the baleful aura seeping through.

The others gripped their weapons tightly as they watched the guy’s movements. If treasure was revealed, odds were high a battle would erupt.

Even Bisi pointed her staff at the guy. As soon as the treasure was revealed, she would attack him.

Finally the lid was pushed aside. The others rushed in as soon as the sarcophagus was opened. They wanted to see what good things were inside.

Upon stepping forward what greeted them was a beautifully dressed girl in Chinese attire. Her clothes were white and looked like sacrificial attire. A silver bracelet adorned her wrist and a string of copper bells wrapped around her waist. She had no other accessories other than those two things.

She was a natural beauty of seventeen or eighteen with red stained lips. Although she must have died many, many years ago, she looked frozen at her most beautiful, untouched by time.

If it weren’t for a her lack of breathing, it would have looked like she was just sleeping. Who would have thought they were looking at a corpse centuries old.

“This. . . this how is this possible? The sea god’s tomb was created in ancient times. It’s been thousands of years since then. How can this corpse not rot after so long?” cried out someone in alarm.

“That’s right. How can the body remain the same after tens of thousands of years. Even if the sarcophagus is good, it’s no treasure. It’s possible for it to keep the corpse from decaying for so long.”

“Could the girl have something on her body that prevents decay?”

The eyes of the man who opened the sarcophagus lit up. The more he thought about that possibility, the more feasible it seemed.

Wasn’t it true? If there was no treasure, how could the body remain unchanged even after so many years?

He immediately reached out to touch the girl’s body in order to grope for whatever treasures possibly hidden on her.

“What are you doing? Even a female corpse isn’t respected?! Are you that starved?!” A brother behind the guy spoke up.

The buddy next to him answered. “You can’t tell? He’s looking for treasure, a treasure that keeps a corpse from rotting.”

The two guys who spoke were very young, probably not more than thirty. They should have been from strong families, so they had no interest treasures that kept a corpse from rotting.

“Don’t let him take all the good stuff for himself. There’s another sarcophagus.” Someone jealous of the man spoke up.

That reminded everyone of the other sarcophagus. They were emboldened after seeing no harm come to the guy who opened the first one.

They got the second one opened in no time with everyone working together.

This one had a very handsome, young man also dressed in similar attire. His skin was alabaster smooth and just as delicate as the girl’s. Like her, he also a string of copper bells around his waist with no other accessories on his body.

They were overjoyed at the sight.

Great! He was also preserved, so there had to be treasure inside. Time to find the treasure!

A group of men began groping the boy’s body trying to find the treasure they imagined had to be on him somewhere. The other group was doing the same to the girl, as if they hadn’t seen a girl in years, their hands groped all over.

“Ah!” A sudden scream rang out.

Those picking at the young boy’s clothes turned around to find the people around the girl’s coffin had dispersed.

Standing was a guy with a hole where his heart used to be, scratched out by a hand as pale as alabaster.

The hand belonged to the female corpse. Her eyes, now open, were crimson red. Looking into her eyes was like looking at a scene with boundless mountains covered in dead bodies. It was as if you could hear the whine of dead souls coming from a sea of blood.

They saw the scene through the hole in the guy's chest.

“The corpse is different!”

From the guy being killed to the yell and everyone’s retreat from the female corpse, all of it happened in an instant. Though it was fast, those who were experienced felt it in slow motion.

“Be careful not to touch the string with the bells!”

But the warning came too late. Among the people trying to loot the boy’s corpse, one person had already planned on grabbing the copper bells. He hadn’t felt any magic coming from them, but the bell appeared on both bodies, so come to think of it, it would be a good idea to take it for later to study.

The other fellow was killed just as this guy was about to grab for the bell. The scream surprised him and he involuntarily tore the string and bells off the corpse. Instantly, the male corpse opened his eyes and the man who ripped the bells off followed in the footsteps of the other dead fellow: a hole in his chest, his heart torn out.

“Let’s work together!”

The sudden outburst from the two corpses surprised everyone, but they were all from hardened backgrounds, so they weren’t surprised for long. They quickly raised their weapons to meet the enemy head on.

The sword users slashed at the two corpses but it was no use. Their attacks were swept to the side with just a slight wave of the hand.

“They’re too powerful!”

“What the hell was that?! I know I hit the girl just now, but it felt like I was hitting stone!”

The people who were swept to the ground cried out. They couldn’t believe corpses so strong existed.

They had been thrown to the ground with just a single wave of their hand.

373: The Cliff

Since the sword users were useless, the magician stepped up to battle. Spells hit the corpses and forced them back a few steps, but it didn’t look like any damage was delivered.

The attack only served to increase the killing intent of the two corpses.

Everyone was on guard and fear filled their hearts. Their opponents were very strong.

“Let’s all leave, get out of this hall. We’ll talk about what to do afterwards.”

No one wanted to engage the corpses. They still weren’t sure what the corpses were exactly.

If you can’t beat it, then you have to run. Why stay and fight in a losing battle?

“Let’s go!” Zo grabbed Feng Wu’s hand and rushed to the back of the hall. So while the group attracted the corpses attention, the two escaped without trouble.

“Damn it! That little pansy ran away for fast!”

The people behind Zo cursed him out. While so many of them were dying, he was pulling the dark-haired girl and running away!

Damn beast! Shameful to run away so fast!

Zo didn’t know his reputation in their hearts had dropped another level, but even if he knew, he wouldn’t have cared.

Feng Wu and Zo rushed away. The two corpses were so strong, even Feng Wu didn’t want to face them. Xiao Chun’s[notes] ability could have purified evil spirits but there was something strange about the ones in the tomb, so Rui Baby had not recommended she use Xiao Chun.

Even if Feng Wu purified the evil spirits in front of them, more would just stream in to fill the void. They had to find the source if they wanted to resolve the situation.

Rui Baby didn’t want Feng Wu to waste her time doing something useless, so he had telepathically explained that she shouldn’t use Xiao Chun.

Speaking of Xiao Chun, Baby Rui had lots of questions. He knew Xiao Chun was the weapon of the goddess of purity and innocence. Legend had it, the goddess fell in love with someone she shouldn’t have. His identity was actually very unusual; some even said he was a demon.

While her heart was still pure and uncorrupted, she went to the divine realm and gathered materials to create a pure sword using the power of her still innocent heart. This sword was Xiao Chun.

From its knowledge inheritance, Rui Baby remembered some of the gods at the time said it was a demon realm conspiracy, meant to rob the goddess of purity and innocence of her powers. The demon realm would become even more emboldened once the goddess lost her ability to purify.

To make it work, someone in the demon realm had to disguise himself as a god to make the goddess of purity and innocence fall in love with him.

The goddess found out about the conspiracy and so she created Xiao Chun, a sword that could never be corrupted and would always have the power to purify all sins.

The goddess then took the sword to find the man she loved. They fought for three days and three nights across the god and demon realms. The outcome was a mystery.

Some say the two perished. Others say she died in his arms, leaving the whereabouts of the pure sword unknown.

Rui Baby never expected something like the pure sword, only ever seen in legends, to appear in the possession of a girl like Feng Wu. It was incredible.

To top it off, the pure sword loved Feng Wu a great deal. Rui Baby knew the sword couldn’t be used by anyone impure. Only someone pure could wield it. Since Feng Wu was its master, then she had to have a pure heart and mind.

Even Rui Baby liked being with her. There was a secret inside her, but he didn’t know what it was. Rui Baby’s ability was foresight, but because his strength wasn’t fully matured, he couldn’t accurately predict the future of the things he wanted to see.

Feng Wu, Zo and Rui Baby quickly made it to the end of the path. Who could have imagined the end of the path was a cliff?

It looked like the road continued on the other side of the cliff and the only way to get over to it was to jump.

“I’ll take you over.” Feng Wu took Zo’s hand, intending to carry him over.

Though the distance between the two cliffs was great, there were several stone pillars in between that they could use to hopscotch over. Zo was about to nod his head when Rui Baby spoke up.

“No! You think that Poseidon guy will let you cross over that easily? If I’m reading this correctly, there’s a formation between the cliffs. It will block anyone who tries to use their powers to fly over. With your abilities sealed midflight, what do you think will happen?”

Baby Rui was a rui beast so he was both smart and clever. Combine that with his inherited knowledge passed on from one generation to the next, and he was just better than a girl who transmigrated and a homebody boy time traveler.

Feng Wu and Zo imagined falling down pass the stone pillars halfway through their flight. They gulped. The picture was just too terrifying!

“Baby is so smart.” Feng Wu touched the eggshell on Rui Baby’s head. Her eyes were bright with admiration.

“Of course. You know who I am? I am the wisest in the world. Nothing can slip pass me.” If he wasn’t scrupulous and if Zo wasn’t there, Rui Baby would have totally shown off his wisdom abilities.

Unfortunately, no matter how smart Rui Baby was, it was impossible for him to know his cover had already been blown. Zo wouldn’t take the initiative to reveal this though, after all it related to the secret of his time travel.

“What should I do? There’s no bridge so it’s not like I can cross!” He could only rely on his own physical strength since he didn’t have magic or qi. But no matter how strong he was, it was impossible for him to cross the gulf. There was no bridge and he couldn’t fly.

374: Fighting

“Come on!” came a shout from nearby.

“Damn! It’s a dead end ahead.”

“Move! Two monsters are coming this way!”

“I hope the binding scroll lasts for a bit more! Please let us get out of here before they break free!”

A long line of figures ran out, talking as they ran, the panic clear in their speed and voice.

“Damn! There’s no way out!”

The cliff successfully blocked the people who were running away from the two corpses.

“Fortunately I still have a flying scroll!”

Many took out their own scrolls, obviously intending to fly over.

“Stop! You shouldn’t do that unless you want to die!” Zo warned them.

“What are you doing kid! Blocking our escape! Those monsters are about to catch up!”

They shouted out their dissatisfaction at Zo’s figure blocking the way.

“There is a formation below the cliff. If anyone tries to fly over using magic or qi, their powers will immediately be sealed and they’ll fall to their deaths!”

Zo wasn’t the kind of person who wouldn’t warn people of imminent danger. Though the group hadn’t been friendly towards him, he had no interest in seeing them all die either.

“For real?!”

This was incredible information. Though the group looked down on Zo for his almost non-existing strength, they didn’t dare take his warning lightly.

If he was lying, then it would be fine, but if he was telling the truth, then wouldn’t they be flying to their deaths?

Some were doubtful while some weren’t. The believers immediately put down their scroll.

“You’re talking nonsense! I think the two of you can’t cross so you want the rest of us to die here with you.” Bisi came out to cause trouble again. She wasn’t going to let a chance to provoke Feng Wu go to waste.

She looked down on Zo, any man who relied on a girl to protect him, of course she would. She didn’t believe Zo. The biggest reason was just that she didn’t believe anyone associated with Feng Wu.

“If you don’t believe me, then try launching a flight scroll.” Zo didn’t want to watch them die, but he wasn’t going stop anyone who wanted to rush to their deaths either. Not to mention this woman was still trying to give them trouble.

Bisi shifted her eyes away. She wanted to take her scroll out and hit him in the face with its success, but Zo looked so confident. Could he be telling the truth? she wondered.

Activating a scroll and testing it out, she wasn’t going to take a risk like that herself.

The group looked at one another in dismay, uncertain about what to do. A bold guy, who looked down on Zo, said, “I don’t believe. I’m gonna try it.”

He took out a long rope and tied it to his waist just as everyone thought he would activate a scroll. Then he walked to a large rock and tied the other end to it.

The safety measures made them blink. Here they thought he was just a big, dumb guy. Huh, apparently you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

So there was the guy, heroically activating his scroll. Majestically launching himself off the cliff. . .  only to drop straight down into the precipice.

“Don’t just stare down, help me up!” came the man’s voice from below.

“Hurry! Pull him up!”

After being pulled up, the guy unfastened the rope from around his waist then patted his bottom dust free. With confidence he declared, “According to the results of my test, this kid did not lie!”

We saw you drop; you don’t have to say it. The crowd groaned in their hearts.

“What do we do now? How do we cross over?”

The same question was on everyone’s mind. If they didn’t cross, then they were sitting ducks waiting to get killed. The two corpses were definitely going to kill them!

Fortunately it wasn’t a problem for too long; some smart person came up with a solution.

The other female magician, who had been quiet the entire time, never speaking up, was the one who had the solution.

She had an eagle monster. Her plan was to have the eagle fly over and tie a rope to the cliff on the other side. Though they couldn’t use magic or qi, they could tight walk across the rope.

Everyone praised the plan. They found an especially thick rope for its strength. It could hold two people at a time, any more than that and the balance would be compromised. It was quickly secured thanks to the magician’s eagle.

She was the first to go, easily crossing over with her good balance.

Her success proved it was possible, so everyone else lined up for their turn.

Zo and Feng Wu didn’t fight to be in front, so as a result the were at the end of the line.

It didn’t take long before nearly everyone had crossed; they were walking as fast as they could. The second to last couple were in the process of crossing over when a burst of noise sounded.

The two corpses had arrived. The people standing on the other side of the cliff looked terrified. Though the people in the midst of crossing hadn’t gotten far, Feng Wu was the only one on the ground who could fight.

“Stand back and hide.” Feng Wu stepped back and put the short dagger away. A different sword, an ancient looking one, appeared in her hand.

It was Xiao Chun of course. She slowly pulled him out his sheath as she faced the two corpses.

“Be careful.” Zo said worriedly as he nodded.

Feng Wu responded with a, “Yes,” as she raised her sword, taking the initiative to attack.

The qi that surrounded the sword was like a rainbow. The sword intent Feng Wu projected was a sword intent of the natural world.[notes] The intent she used was full of life, but there was also a tint of death in it.

It was natural for death to follow life. Some would say this was reincarnation. In fact Feng Wu’s sword intent was exactly like reincarnation.

Feng Wu rarely used Xiao Chun to attack directly; the gap between her strength and Xiao Chun’s strength was too great.

Her strength was still too low. If she used him to attack now, his purification powers would be affected by her attack. . . 

375., 376, 377, 378

375., 376, 377, 378

[Host: justreads.net]
[January 26, 2022]
...

375: Feng Wu Fights the Two Corpses

Xiao Chun was a weapon first and foremost. She had to learn how to use his powers instead of letting him go out and play freely. Continuing to do so wasn’t good for their development.

Before leaving Xingguang Holy academy, her master had told her she needed to learn to wield Xiao Chun’s power. Xiao Chun was a weapon, and a weapon needed its wielder in order to reach its maximum potential.

Even though Xiao Chun looked extremely powerful, he couldn’t exert his full powers. He needed a master to activate his abilities.

Feng Wu hadn’t had the chance to practice with Xiao Chun, but here was a chance to use him in a fight.

The popcorn munchers across the way were shocked at Feng Wu engaging the two corpses. None of them expected her to survive the fight fighting alone.

It was a pity such a beautiful cutie would be cut down by two corpses.

Just a while ago, the forty of them had tried attacking the corpses. Six of them died just to buy everyone else enough time to escape. Now Feng Wu was fighting the corpses alone; it was a foregone conclusion.

Though Zo was the only one worried about Feng Wu, he believed she would survive. He didn’t think a master of a rui beast would die that easily.

White energy flew out of Xiao Chun at the two corpses, and although they felt the frightening power of the energy being emitted, they were unphased, and remained solely interested in killing. They simply didn’t feel fear.

They roared at the skies, hurting everyone’s ears and stressing their minds.

“Oh my god! Their voices are unbearable!”

“It’s just awful!”

The two people in the middle of crossing the chasm nearly fell off from the shock. They regained their balance and sped up, all the while wishing in their hearts their parents had given them four legs instead of two.

But did Xiao Chun’s energy beam actually hit the two corpses? Of course not! It only hit their afterimages. They had already avoided the attack, but they were so fast, they left an afterimage.

Feng Wu listened to the sounds of their movements and was able to turn around just in time to block a blow from behind, however it forced her to take several steps back.

The two corpses were powerful and had bodies that were strong enough to crack rocks with one blow.

She switched to the Nine Profound sword art style after stabilizing her footing. It was a sword art her master taught her and was one of the strongest she could use. It was comparable to a holy sword art in strength.

In her current world, holy sword arts were trapped inside a person’s cultivation base. And without that base, it was generally difficult to use holy sword arts. Even if someone did manage to use a holy sword art, they would damage their bodies from the force of it.

In essence, it was like dealing one thousand damage to the enemy only to suffer eight hundred damage yourself, so unless it was a life or death situation, no one would voluntarily use a holy sword art if their own level was too far below a holy level.[notes]

“She’s going to suffer so much damage from that. I would never have imagined a little girl would have a holy sword art.”

“If you go and save that girl now, maybe she’ll thank you by sharing the art with you.”

“Go to hell. A holy level sword art is awesome, but I want to live for more years still!”

Most of the people already across were sword users, so the holy sword art was hugely tempting to them. The highest level swordmasters on the continent were heavenly swordmasters who used holy level sword arts. There weren’t many holy level arts, but the greater families did have a small collection of them.

Thinking about a little girl like Feng Wu having one set their hearts on fire. But that flame dimmed somewhat when they thought about the odds of her dying. Could they pick it up from her storage ring after she died?

They looked at the two corpses staring at them from across the cliff.

No. . .  better not think about it. Life was more precious.

Feng Wu and the corpses executed hundreds of moves, all within the blink of an eye.

Feng Wu held Xiao Chun in one hand. Xiao Chun was surrounded by his powerful purification aura, so although he wasn’t allowed to eat the miasma, he was allowed to purify the evil spirits released by the corpses. His purification was extremely powerful and left cuts on their bodies wherever they made contact.

Zo, watching from a distance, was surprised by Feng Wu’s strength. He knew she was strong, but he never expected her to be so strong.

On top of that, she also had a powerful sword art and an extraordinary sword in her hand. It was too easy for others to covet. He looked over across the tightrope, and sure enough several sword users were staring at Feng Wu’s sword.

It was obvious from a glance the sword was extraordinary, capable as it was of injuring the two corpses. It was probably a holy level sword, and a holy level sword was strong temptation for some.

Even the greater families would be interested and would most likely send people to try to retrieve it.

Zo’s deductions weren’t that surprising. His eyes lit up when he saw that the last two people had finally finished crossing. He immediately shouted, “Feng Wu! Get over! You can cross now!”

Zo could see Feng Wu was strong, but her strength was still a ways away from the two corpses. She couldn’t hope to be their opponents at her current level, so whether she would be injured or killed was still up for debate. The best Zo could do was find an opportunity for her to escape.

Feng Wu bit her lip and spoke without looking over, “You go first!” She couldn’t leave yet, she had to buy more time for Zo.

Rui Baby riding on her head turned to look anxiously over at Zo. Hopefully this kid wouldn’t say something stupid like “Let’s stay together!”

Zo wasn’t a pig teammate. He was a good friend, so of course he wasn’t going to say something as stupid as that. He immediately ran to the rope and tried testing his balance on it before walking to the opposite cliff slowly.

The bottomless swirling white fog made it impossible to tell what was below. . . 

376: Conspiracy

Zo resisted the urge to look down and instead kept walking one foot in front of the other. He was fortunate in that, though he was a waste in the arts, he had always taken the time to train his body, so his balance was good. As long as nothing happened in the middle, he would make it across.

On the other side, Feng Wu was still fighting with the two corpses. All their attacks were being blocked by Xiao Chun.

Even though their bodies had visible deep cuts from Xiao Chun, they didn’t show any pain. They were unaffected because the air was saturated with evil miasma. It was easy for them to use the miasma to heal, so although their wounds looked scary, they were in actuality not very serious at all.

Their attacks didn’t slow.

On the other hand, though Feng Wu had Xiao Chun to protect her, she was still in danger from their attacks. The scratches on her arm had spirit leaches.

The two ancient corpses were full of evil miasma, so the wounds they inflicted were laced with miasma as well. The miasma would seep deep into the body and cut off a person’s life force if the wound wasn’t healed in time.

This wasn’t a problem for Feng Wu because she had Xiao Chun. Any kind of pollution would be purified instantly the moment it tried to enter her body.

Even if she was using a powerful art and a powerful weapon, the people on the other side had to admit, it was a testament to her strength that she managed to survive for so long.

For young geniuses like her, if they didn’t die, then they didn’t live well. There were plenty of perverts in the world who enjoyed killing geniuses before they had the chance to fully blossom into their powers and abilities.

Feng Wu nodded to herself when she saw that Zo had made it halfway across. She released a powerful sword move to distract the corpses before leaping up and jumping onto the tightrope.

She walked fast. Because her body was light and she knew how to light step, she was able to walk on the rope without jiggling it at all.

If it weren’t for the shouts from people across the cliff, Zo would never have known Feng Wu was coming up behind him.

They were afraid the corpses would chase Feng Wu across the tightrope. If the corpses did chase, then they would have to cut the rope to protect themselves.

Fortunately the two corpses did not give chase. Just as everyone was feeling relieved, the rope snapped and broke.

“Ah!” Zo had not expected Bisi to grab the opportunity and move against them. He only managed to make one scream before both he and Feng Wu fell through the swirling fog.

“What did you do?!”

None of them had expected someone would take the opportunity to attack either.

Bisi had frozen part of the rope to weaken it as Feng Wu and Zo were crossing. Unable to bear their weight, the part that was frozen collapsed and broke into icicles.

Bisi had finally gotten her revenge! Her excitement didn’t dim even in the face of the glares of the group.

“I didn’t do anything. What if those two monsters chased after us?” Bisi said arrogantly.

“Please. Don’t think we can’t see through you. You just took the opportunity to retaliate against those two.”

Their eyes were hostile. Bisi had just stabbed Feng Wu in the back. There was no telling when she would do the same to them. A despicable villain like her, it was better to kill her sooner than later.

Bisi was quick to speak when she saw their intentions. “Don’t worry. I acted against those two because I have a grudge against them. That girl, along with her teammates, killed my father. I have no grudge against the rest of you, so be assured, as long as no one treats me unfairly, I can guarantee that this will probably be the first and only time I’ll move my hand against someone.”

The group looked at each other. So that was why Bisi was so hostile toward Feng Wu and Zo. It turned out there was such a reason behind it. Surprisingly, no one questioned her or suspected her of lying. After all, who would use their father to lie?

The group’s reason for wanting to murder her dropped a lot after hearing that. They wouldn’t kill her, but they wouldn’t trust her and lower their guard around her either.

Bisi was relieved to have dispelled their murderous intentions. She wasn’t sure if she would have been able to escape from so many people. Plus, it would have been too dangerous to move through the tomb alone.

If they had insisted on trying to kill her, she would have had escape and travel alone. But fortunately the group changed their mind about killing her.

Feng Wu and Zo’s death didn’t disturb the group. None of them had extra pity to spare on strangers. It was acknowledged that adventurers faced dangers every day, with death constantly around the corner.

...

Unknown poisonous small things crawled through the white hill made of bones. There was no grass, only a few poisonous flowers leaning against the wind in the blood colored ground.

Shrill screams whipped through the air while the wind cut like a knife through skin. The whole thing made you feel cold despair.

Living creatures wouldn’t survive in the white shrouded land.

Zo felt someone patting his cheek so he struggled to open his eyes. Once he did, he saw a vague figure in front of him.

“Feng Wu?” Zo called out uncertainly.

“You’re awake. Do you feel better?” Feng Wu wrinkled her button nose. The worry was clear in her black-crystalline eyes.

“Are we at the bottom of the cliff?” Zo shivered as he looked at their surroundings. “We’re still alive! I thought we were dead.” At that time, his unwillingness had been so palpable, he nearly drowned in it. He carried the life and death of all those in the future on his back.

Dying before accomplishing anything, how could he face everyone who had sent him back?

But fortunately he was still alive, and as long as he stayed alive there was always hope. He would complete his mission to save the world from destruction. Zo reaffirmed the oath in his heart.

377: Bottom of the Cliff

Shrill screams came in bursts, and being at the bottom of a cliff like this, it sounded like ghosts wailing.

“Thank me. If it weren’t for me, you’d be dead.” Rui Baby gave Zo a proud look. It seemed to say: I’m amazing! Amazing! Amazing! Great things must be repeated three times.

“You saved me?” Zo was surprised. He thought Feng Wu had used some special ability. He never expected it was Rui Baby that saved him.

It wasn’t that Zo looked down on the little guy, but he was so small, you could practically fit him in your pocket. It was hard to believe such a little guy could save anyone.

Besides, he knew rui beasts had no offensive abilities. Aside from its own innate skills, it really had no powers at all. So Zo had a difficult time associating Rui Baby with his savior.

“Of course, it was this baby! If you don’t believe, you can ask Feng Wu!” Rui Baby said angrily.

Feng Wu nodded. It was indeed Rui Baby that saved them.

As the two of them fell off the cliff, Rui Baby had jumped out and sent Feng Wu to the bottom safely. Zo wasn’t as fortunate.

“You can do that?!” Zo was shocked. He had never heard of a rui having such an ability before.

“What’s so weird about that? I have the power to protect myself, even if I am weak. This kind of enchantment is just a form of self-protection. There’s no offensive capabilities to it.”

The wise little guy was so sad; he didn’t have any attack abilities at all. If he couldn’t do something as simple as create a barrier, then any ordinary beasts would be able to bully him.

“When did rui beasts have this kind of power?!” Most importantly, Zi Cheng’s friend never said anything about it. What was going on?

Zo was confused. He wasn’t sure if his world’s Zi Cheng had kept the ability secret or if the rui beast she controlled never had it.

“You know I’m a rui beast?!” Rui Baby froze before immediately retreating into Feng Wu’s arms. The expression on his face clearly said he did not want to be kidnapped. He was on high alert as he looked at Zo.

Zo rubbed his nose, embarrassed. He accidentally revealed something he shouldn’t have. How to handle the situation?

Even Feng Wu was looking at him suspiciously now. She was simple, but she wasn’t stupid. She knew the rui could make people behave badly. Plus, she never told Zo about Rui Baby, so how did he know?

Feng Wu blinked her big, confused eyes at Zo, her questions clearly there to see.

“Well -cough-. . .  Actually my family has written records of rui beasts so I was able to guess the baby’s identity a few days ago.” Zo had no choice but to lie shamefully.

“You could tell the rock was a rui egg? Others thought it was only an ore. How did you know it was me inside?”

Unlike Feng Wu, who was sweet and easy to deceive, Rui Baby was a wise beast with an IQ higher than the stratosphere.

Such a simple lie, how could it fool Rui Baby?

The question had been so sharp, it left Zo speechless.

The shrill screams around them increased and were now coming almost one after the another in succession. It was horrifying to hear.

“Let’s look around and try to find something to eat.” Zo bluntly changed the topic. He didn’t dare let Rui Baby ask any more questions. Any more and his reborn disguise would be torn off.

No one could know. He only shared his identity with Ai Lin because both of them had secret identities and they shared a common enemy, thus it was good for them to cooperate. He wasn’t worried about Ai Lin revealing his secret because she had a secret of her own.

Besides, someone reborn like him wasn’t as conspicuous as an alien soul like Ai Lin. She had a lot more to lose if her secret was revealed than he did if his was revealed. So he knew Ai Lin would stay quiet about his secret.

With Feng Wu, well, he just didn’t want to involve her. There were a lot of things he had to do, most of which were dangerous. He didn’t want to involve Feng Wu in any of it. He just hoped she could live a long and happy life.

Of course he wanted to protect himself as well. The intense look Rui Baby gave him made him sick to his stomach.

“There is a lot of grievance and miasma here. We may have reached a forbidden place.” Rui Baby rose up and flew back to Feng Wu’s hair to continue making his nest.

Feng Wu nodded in agreement. The entire place was colored red and black to her, very strange.

Feng Wu raised her head to look around. The screams felt even closer, which was confusing. Who was calling out? Whoever it was, had to be in a lot of pain. She remembered when she was on Yuehua mountain and one of her bear friends stepped into a bear trap. It had been incredibly painful for him.

How pitiful. Whoever it was, had to be injured like the big bear.

“The sound is really hard on the ears.”

The heartfelt cries of pain was really difficult to listen to.

Zo followed behind Feng Wu as she walked all around the base of the cliff. There were a lot of white bones and poisonous bugs and flowers. They also found the entrance to a cave, which was where the screaming cries originated from.

“Do you want to go in?” Zo looked into the opening, wondering if they should go in or not. It didn’t look like anything good. It was probably a dead end, but there was a possibility it was the exit out of the haunting place.

“Do we have a choice? Do you want to stay and retire here with a bunch of bones?” Rui Baby rolled his eyes.

He had some something stupid Zo realized.

“Let’s go!” Master said if there were difficulties, then you had to overcome them. If you couldn’t overcome them, then you had to work hard to improve your strength and then over come them. Feng Wu always listened to Master’s words. She wasn’t afraid at all. What she was more concerned about was whether or not she was strong enough to overcome the danger inside.

If it was too dangerous, then she would bring Zo back out and go back inside again later after improving her strength.

That was an easy decision.

Zo would definitely have complained if he knew Feng Wu’s thinking process.

Zo: Didn’t you think about what to do if we can’t get out?

Feng Wu: I didn’t think about it.

378: Pain of the Soul

The cave looked dark from the outside, but now that they were walking into it, it wasn’t completely dark. A few green flames gave off light as they fluttered through the air, but their presence was frightening.

Dark caves, floating ghost flames, this was standard fare for horror movies!

Zo swallowed and followed closely behind Feng Wu.

There was only one passage through the cave. “Ah!” The cries felt closer and clearer now that they were inside.

“Let’s go!” Feng Wu walked directly through the green ghost flames.

“Wait!” Zo grabbed Feng Wu before taking out a light item from his space ring.

The cave immediately became brighter, but their backs would be chilled every time a cold breeze blew in from behind them into the cave.

Unexpectedly, there were no bones inside, only a bunch of green flames. The number of green flames increased as they walked farther in. It was scalp tingling. Those faint of heart would have fainted already.

Feng Wu considered the ones screaming to be like her friend Big Bear, so she kept walking forward even though both Zo and Rui Baby both felt they were heading toward danger. It was like the voices were telling her they were in a great deal of pain and they needed someone to save them.

Feng Wu felt she could save them, so she kept walking without hesitating.

At the end of the passage they came upon a stone gate two meters high. The sounds were coming from behind the gate. The closer they got, the clearer it became and they more painful it was to listen to.

Zo felt like scum. Such a painful cry made his heart hurt and brain feel like it was going to explode.

Feng Wu saw the blood vessels in his eyes pulsing red so she immediately closed off his five senses and put him to sleep. She found a place and laid him down before proceeding.

She knew the person she wanted to find was behind the gate, so she reached out to open it.

Rui Baby knew he couldn’t stop Feng Wu. He had already decided to go with the flow; if worse came to worse, he’d just run away.

That was the only way he could comfort himself.

Feng Wu opened the door and the scene she saw imprinted itself in her mind. Thousands of nimble souls were chained together as a wicked white flame burned them, causing them unspeakable pain without harming their spirit form.

Many had already turned into resentful spirits that only harbored hatred inside. Only a few still clung to human reason. Perhaps, this was its own kind of pain for them.

The cries she and the others heard were from these spirits. They roared and screamed in agony at a pain that seemed never ending.

“Is this the place that creates the evil spirits? Good if so. We can solve the problem right here.” Rui Baby didn’t expect they would be so lucky. The spirits that would turn into evil spirits were right here.

“Strangers, little girl, you are lucky to make it to this place alive.”

Feng Wu looked to the source of the voice that had floated to her ears. She found a man dressed in gorgeous Chinese clothes, even more beautifully made than the ones on the corpses from earlier. He wore a crown, symbolizing his right to rule, on his head. He was different from the souls around him who had lost their ego.

Although his soul had evil spirit and resentment, he was still cognizant of himself.

“You are the owner of this tomb?” Though it was a question, Rui Baby spoke in the affirmative.

“Oh? Even a rui beast has come. I never thought I’d see a rui beast after dying.” The man looked in surprise at Rui Baby.

“You’ve seen other rui beasts?” Rui Baby asked curiously.

“I have. I have seen one. That rui had powerful healing abilities. Any injury, he would be able to heal it. He was a kind thing. He helped our nation a lot.”

The man had been speaking while being burned by the fire, however he didn’t make a single sound of pain. Even Rui Baby was impressed. This was the first guy he ever met who could endure that kind of spiritual pain and still retain his ego.

“You’re talking about my aunt!” Rui beasts clan members were a small bunch. They had gone into hiding deep in the spiritual world ever since humans got the idea of using rui beasts in contracts. Only a few magical beasts could even locate them.

“Millie is your aunt?” The king was surprised to meet a descendent of his friend.

“That was my aunt. I never expected the friend my aunt never forgot was you. She still thought of you even upon her death.” Thinking about his aunt made Rui Baby a little sad.

His aunt Millie was kind and sweet. Amongst all the rui beasts, she was not the smartest, but she was the kindest. She wouldn’t have died at the hands of the Shura[notes] in order to save a bunch of weak humans otherwise.

According to their people’s age, she had been very young, just barely an adult. Everyone in the rui clan felt her death was a great pity, probably because it was such an unworthy death.

Because ruis were smarter than others, they saw things very clearly. But even then you didn’t have to think that hard to realize there was only one life. She could have returned to the spirit world but chose to die with the humans. As smart and wise as she was, it was hard to understand why she did it.

“Is Millie dead? I didn’t expect her to be. That fool, I told her to return to the spiritual world, but she never listens. . . ” Upon hearing his friend was dead, the young king grew sad.

379, 380, 381, 382

379, 380, 381, 382

[Host: justreads.net]
[February 6, 2022]
...

379: It Doesn’t Hurt Anymore Right?

The young king must have had a close relationship with Rui Baby’s aunt. The sadness in his eyes was genuine and reflected the sadness in his heart.

“That is indeed something my aunt would do. The elders all wondered why our beast clan, which is so clever, produced such a foolish idiot like Millie.

Feng Wu quietly listened to the conversation between beast and spirit. She didn’t know who Millie was and she didn’t ask questions. Instead, she contacted Xiao Chun and asked about a way to save the poor souls.

Of course Xiao Chun agreed. It would have been strange for him to let go of an opportunity to eat. But the fire was a problem. He thought about it for a moment, then contacted his friend Pure Flame.

It was the first time Xiao Chun asked his friend for help. Pure Flame, this girl was super lazy and usually hid in his dimensional space and slept. Xiao Chun first met her when she was living on Yuehua mountain. Xiao Chun was an emotionally intelligent guy and soon enough Pure Flame agreed to live inside his dimensional space. Things went smoothly and Pure Flames contributions couldn’t be denied. But this time, in order to help Feng Wu, he had to let his friend out and let her shine.

Pure Flame was the first of the Heavenly Flames. She could devour any fire she wanted to eat and then use its powers herself, but she was too lazy to seek out other regular flames, never mind the labor-intensive act of eating other Heavenly Flames.

But because she and Xiao Chun were good friends, she agreed to help. Her form shifted and she appeared as a human-shaped white flame in front of Feng Wu.

Feng Wu stared curiously at her. Although Pure Flame technically lived inside Feng Wu’s dantian, Feng Wu had never communicated with Pure Flame. They didn’t have a contractual relationship, so if Feng Wu wanted to speak with Pure Flame, she had to do it through Xiao Chun.

The white flames were collected by the sea god so they weren’t ordinary flames. After 10,000 years, they had developed a consciousness, so Pure Flame’s appearance immediately attracted their attention. Even the lowest flame was on the Heaven and Earth flame list. However, when confronted with the sudden appearance of Pure Flame, the white flames felt a deep and profound sense of terror.

They wanted to run away, but in front of such a fierce flame, they wilted and lost all their strength to resist. There was no escape. They could only stare at the human-shaped flame before it swallowed them almost instantly.

Pure Flame wasn’t fooled though. The tiny flames were just offshoots from a main body. She ate and drank her way through the thousands of flames until she reached the main body. The main wanted to run and hide away from the disaster, but Pure Flame wasn’t allowing it.

Just as it was looking for an avenue of escape, Pure Flame came at it and munched it down in one big gulp.

The remaining tiny white flames quickly sputtered out after losing their main power supply.

“This. . .  how is this possible?!” An incredulous look appeared on the king’s face. It was the first time he had lost control of himself and displayed such emotion.

The flames had been burning for thousands of years, forcing all of them to endure a hellish existence they could never hope to end. Maintaining his self-identity and not letting resentment turn him into an evil spirit himself was the extent of his abilities.

If someone had told him the white flames could be swallowed by another flame, he would not have believed it. But today, he witnessed a scene he never dared imagine was possible. It felt unreal. If he could move with a physical body, he would have pinched himself to see if he was dreaming.

After Pure Flame ate up the other flames, she immediately flew back into Xiao Chun’s dimensional space to digest.

Now it was Xiao Chun’s turn to take center stage. He came out and surrounded all the evil spirits and resentment with his terrifying pressure and purified them in one fell swoop. This, in turn, destroyed the chains on the souls.

The cave filled with screams as the chained souls roared in agony from the painful process. A few minutes later they were all purified.

“We. . . are we saved?”

“We’re free! Woohoo, finally!”

“Ah. . .  finally.”

Their ecstatic voices filled the cave. The poor things had been tortured for so long, they never expected to ever be free again, so what was happening now felt like a dream. They worried that any moment they would again be chained to the flames and be tortured.

“Thank you, little girl. Thank you for saving my people. Thank you sincerely.” The king who had never shed a tear in all his existence, had tears in his eyes.

He had not acted as a king should when he first took power. He was out of touch with his people and had looked down on everyone, after all he was a king and they were just mere citizens, but as he aged, he grew to understand his responsibilities as king. Unfortunately, he wasn’t given the chance to do much, because he died shortly after during the upheaval from the war between the gods and demons.

His people built a burial tomb and buried all his dead subjects with him so that they could continue to follow him and serve him even in death.

They never expected the sea god would die from his injuries from the war. Nor did they expect him to move human tombs into his own tomb to create a more thief-proof tomb.

The king’s people had been living a hellish existence ever since.

“No need to thank me. It doesn’t hurt anymore right?” Feng Wu asked seriously.

The king’s heart was warmed by her pure, gentle heart. She truly did deserve to be loved by a rui beast.

“It does not hurt anymore.” The king smiled gently.

“Your Highness! Your Highness!”

“Your Highness, are you alright?”

“Damn it! I failed to protect Your Highness and made Your Highness suffer!”

A thousand souls knelt down fiercely in front of the king.

380: The King’s Request

The king sighed as both guilt and relief flashed in his eyes. His heart saddened at the thought of how his loyal soldiers and servants had suffered because of him.

“Everyone get up. I am at fault for making all of you suffer.”

“No, no, no! How can Your Highness take the blame for this? It was that despicable and shameless sea god!” A general in armor stepped forward and spoke out loudly.

Their noses had soured and their eyes reddened upon hearing the king blame himself for their plight.

“Let us not talk any more of this. Come, we must thank our benefactors. If this young lady had not rescued us, I’m afraid we would never have gained our freedom.” The king looked at Feng Wu gratefully.

“Thank you, benefactor!”

“Turns out you are the benefactor. Thank you so much!”

“If there is an afterlife, I will strive to repay benefactor’s kindness.”

“Yes, thank you benefactor!”

“Thank you!”

A chorus of gratitude rose from the souls.

Feng Wu blinked and titled her head to one side as she looked at them thanking her so wholeheartedly.

“Stop, stop! You guys are too loud! Can you stop talking all at once?! So noisy!” Rui Baby yelled out in annoyance.

Such comment from a pet. Well it was the benefactor’s pet so of course they were willing to show deference to it. They immediately quieted.

“Do you want to leave here?” Feng Wu asked after they quieted down.

Everyone turned their eyes to the king. What they wanted didn’t matter; it was up to him.

“Naturally, leave. This place carries too many painful memories.” Despite thousands of years of torture, the king was still regal. He carried himself with the temperament of one who was noble.

“Are you going to reincarnate?” Feng Wu asked. She thought of the spirits she encountered before. Most had been reincarnated as human beings. Only a few were actually annihilated because they were unsalvageable or too problematic.

“Perhaps we have over stayed in the human world. None can leave the natural law that is the cycle of life and death until they’ve reached the divine plane.”

“You should wait if you want to reincarnate. Your souls have weakened considerably after so many years of torture. If you don’t address this first, when you are reincarnated, you’ll definitely be weak and sick. And if it’s serious, you’ll end up back reincarnated again.” Rui Baby said.

The king nodded. He didn’t doubt Rui Baby’s words. There was no question that all their souls were considerably weakened from so many years of torment. There would be issues if they didn’t take care of it.

“By the way, I have to ask, is that sea god really dead?” One of the generals asked Feng Wu nervously.

Feng Wu thought for a moment before answering. “He has been dead for a long time.”

“The sea god is really dead!”

“That’s good. If he wasn’t, I would have killed himself!”

“Wow me too! I didn’t expect the sea god to die early. I would have risked my life to take out that viciously evil sea god!”

“Yeah! He got off too easy!”

“Small-minded and as evil as a demon! That guy did not deserve to be worshipped by so many! Didn’t deserve to be a god at all! If all the gods are like him, I’ll never worship a god again!”

Three big generals talked about the sea god like they were old ladies gossiping at market.

“Everyone, quiet.”

The king was a lofty person and held a high position in the hearts of his servants and soldiers. Even if his voice wasn’t loud, they obeyed.

“Since benefactor was able to come here, then that must mean the sea god’s tomb has opened?” Though it was posed as a question, it was clear from the king’s tone he was already certain.

“That’s right.” Feng Wu answered.

“Can you tell us about the opening of the tomb?” The king said with a smile. It must be noted, his smile, though not as enchanting as Ming Xi’s, was nonetheless unique and beautiful in a noble way.

Feng Wu nodded. She didn’t hide anything and proceeded to tell him all about the opening of the tomb, the sea crossing, and how they entered his tomb.

“Benefactor, I wonder if I may ask you one thing?” The king’s face became serious suddenly.

“You want Xiao Wu to help you save the other kings? You’re giving her too much credit. Her being able to save you, that was just pure luck. The tombs for these other rulers, they will be much more difficult to break into.” Rui Baby was unhappy. He felt that the king was being pushy.

“I know it will be difficult for benefactor to do this, but I cannot bear to see the other rulers suffer under the sea god’s hands. For the sake of the benefactor’s safety, I would not ask benefactor save them directly, but only that benefactor bring us out with you to the next tomb.

We will protect the benefactor during this time, save the benefactor’s life and allow her to escape smoothly should we encounter any danger.” The king pled with his eyes. He would not feel at ease if he did nothing to try to stop the suffering of the other kings in the tomb.

“Are you sure you will protect Xiao Wu?” Rui Baby asked for confirmation.

“Yes, even if we perish, the benefactor will not come to harm,” promised the king.

The soldiers and servants standing to the side had no opinion on the matter. They didn’t feel there was anything wrong with their king decided for them. In their hearts, any decision he made would be the correct one. They were all happy to save the other rulers being tormented and incidentally help destroy that nasty god’s tomb and help these juniors steal his treasures; it was good punishment.

381: The Forgotten Zo

Rui Baby was impressed by the king’s promise to protect Feng Wu.

“Xiao Wu, are you going to save the other spirits? If you want to go, you can bring them with you. These guys were really strong before they died; they’ll be great as on-call thugs.”

The king smiled bitterly. He was a dignified king of the world, but in the eyes of the rui, he was relegated to being a thug. He wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.

“Save them.” Feng Wu made her decision after three seconds of thought. She was acting heroically right?

Master said, for those who practiced martial arts, they needed to eliminate the bad and support the weak when necessary, in other words, be chivalrous.

Who would have the audacity to call themselves chivalrous if they didn’t go out every now and again to save people?

Anyone like that should be embarrassed to mix with in jiānghú[notes]

She was doing what Master said, so when she returned, she had to be sure to tell him. That way he could praise her properly!

Unfortunately, Feng Wu didn’t realize this advice was for survival in the martial world.

The world Feng Wu originated from was one with many long-lived masters and were martial arts prospered. It was a world where reputation and strength ranked high in importance. And in fact, the fastest way for a rookie to earn a reputation was through chivalrous deeds. Save a girl from being molested one day and destroy a notorious mountain thief lair the next. To earn fame, these were all must-do routines.

White had intended for Feng Wu to go out into the jiānghú and follow this same routine in order to improve her strength through battling. Unfortunately his little Tian Lan crossed over to another world and became Feng Wu, thus ruining his plan.

In her current world, it wasn’t possible to be chivalrous and use the same routine, but poor Feng Wu didn’t know this.

In the current world, you couldn’t just beg someone for help. No. What you had to do was post the request in one of the guilds. A bunch of people will rush to your aid then. But if you’re broke, and you want someone to help you, then you’ll have to rely on luck, and if you’re lucky, you might find a fool who thinks nothing of money.

Feng Wu didn’t go out and be chivalrous before because she forgot, plus she never had any encounters that warranted it.

She had completely overlooked this when she came to rescue the spirits. She’d only come in the first place because the cry had reminded her of her friend Big Bear. The king’s request for help reminded her she needed to start acting chivalrous!

Her master would definitely praise her!

White: This world doesn’t even know what chivalry is. Remember be righteous, do good deeds, and get paid!

Feng Wu: . . . 

“Wait, it’s OK to save people, but don’t you know good deeds require payment?” Rui Baby wasn’t as dull as Feng Wu. Since he’d already got on Feng Wu’s boat, he might as well try to get her as many benefits as he could.

All these guys were dead for tens of thousands of years. Treasures were all over the place in ancient times, so they had to have some really good items on them.

“Of course, we wouldn’t let the benefactor doing anything in vain.” The king didn’t see anything wrong with what Rui Baby said. It was customary to pay the person helping you. “It’s just that we don’t have any items on us right now. There are a few good things in my tomb however. Benefactor may retrieve those items.”

Baby Rui’s greedy antennae flared up. Indeed, there had to be some really good things there! He nodded his head in satisfaction.

With an agreement reached, the most important thing now was to find a way out.

It was difficult before, but now with the tomb owner’s help, it would be easy.

Feng Wu walked out of the stone room together with the spirits. She’d only taken a few steps when her foot hit a human-shaped object. Her eyes lit up widely with a stupefied expression. No wonder she’d been feeling like she’d forgotten something! It was Zo!

Zo opened his eyes only to find himself back in the middle of a pile of bones under the cliff.

“Feng Wu?” He clearly remembered walking into the cave with her, so how’d he end up here? Had he been dreaming about them entering the cave?

Zo didn't think this was the case, but he wasn’t sure.

“Are you awake? We can leave now.” Feng Wu said. She peeked at him timidly. Was he angry she’d left him alone? She twisted her fingers in her hand worriedly.

Zo had no such thoughts. His attention was focused on the four words she had just said. Leave here? He wasn’t dreaming then? But it felt like he’d just slept and yet so much time had passed. Now they’d found a way out. It seemed like all he did was sleep! He scratched his head in embarrassment as he felt quite useless.

Zo suppressed the emotions in his heart and asked, “Where do we go from here?”

The place was full of bones, and aside from the poisonous insects and flowers, there were only screams filling the air. It was a gloomy place with nothing else.

“This pansy, Xiao Wu, just ditch him!”

The spirits and Feng Wu had chatted quite a bit before Zo woke up. As a result, they stopped calling her benefactor and started calling her Xiao Wu.

“Yeah, Xiao Wu, if you’re looking for a man, you need to find someone stronger!”

“That’s right Xiao Wu! This brat doesn’t deserve you!”

Not far from Feng Wu, many of the spirits were looking at Zo disdainfully.

Unaware he was being observed by scornful eyes, Zo felt a chill run down his spine. He pulled his clothes tighter then rubbed his hands together.

“You, close your eyes.” Feng Wu said.

“Close my eyes?” Zo was confused, but did as told. He knew Feng Wu wouldn’t harm him.

“Wait one minute, and no matter what you feel, don’t open your eyes.” Feng Wu warned anxiously.

“OK.” Zo nodded and promised.

Rui Baby had said Zo wouldn’t be able to see the spirits, so if Zo knew he was suddenly surrounded by a thousand spirits, he would definitely be scared. Feng Wu didn’t want to frighten him by saying anything about them.

In Feng Wu’s heart, Zo was indeed a weak person, so it would have been bad to frighten him.

Zo:. . . 

382: The Self-cleaning Tomb

The wind blew into his ears and the stung his cheeks. It felt like his body was being pulled up by something, as though he was flying higher and higher. He wanted to open his eyes and see what was going on, but he had made a promise, so though he was curious, he kept his eyes shut tight.

Everyone had their secrets and if Feng Wu didn’t want him to open his eyes, then the secret had to have something to do with them leaving. Zo wasn’t one to pry.

Zo’s discreet tact gave the spirits sending him up the cliff change their opinion of him for the better. They had thought he was a clueless little leech, but it didn’t seem to the case. His character wasn’t bad after all.

Who knew how long it took? Maybe a few minutes, maybe a few hours, but Zo finally made it back up the cliff onto solid ground.

“You can open your eyes now.” Feng Wu’s voice came out sweet and adorable. Even if her face was as stiff as a brick, it didn’t affect her cuteness. Unfortunately, Zo wasn’t in the frame of mind to appreciate such cuteness. His head was spinning and his body was heavy.

“Are you OK?” Feng Wu had also been sent up by the spirits. They had used their powers to block the yin wind[notes] for her, so she hadn’t felt any discomfort coming up.

Zo didn’t get the same treatment. The spirits listened to Feng Wu and sent him up the cliff, but they weren’t inclined to block the wind for him and since he was an ordinary person, the impact was quite rough on him.

Zo coughed twice as he shook his head to indicate he was fine; she didn’t have to worry.

They were standing on the opposite cliff, the one the others had crossed over to. The group were nowhere in sight.

After Zo settled down, he asked about exploring the area some more. He had caught Feng Wu up in his troubles, so he wanted them to find a way out as soon as possible.

They walked through the tomb with all the spirits trailing around.

“Never expected to walk around my own tomb in this lifetime.” The king sighed as he lamented the vicissitudes of life and the changes wrought by time.

“It’s my first time here! It turns out Your Highness’s tomb is like this.”

“There is dust everywhere! Let’s clean up quickly!” The maids went to work like little worker bees using their spiritual powers to clean the tomb.

These were the maids responsible for taking care of the king’s daily needs. How could they, after seeing such a thick layer of dust everywhere, not immediately set to work? This was where the king lived. The conditions were unacceptable!

The spirit who took the lead was the owner of the corpse body from the sarcophagus. She was the highest ranked maid, and based on her clothes, it was obvious she was a person some standing.

Zo wondered if he somehow opened his eyes wrong. Why did it feel like the entire tomb got cleaner all of a sudden? The thick layer of dust, that could have easily left imprints, seemed to disappear. Was this a self-cleaning tomb?!

Unlike Zo, Feng Wu was able to see the spirits. She watched as they busily moved about, cleaning diligently, and working hard to make the tomb a suitable place for their king.

Rui Baby looked at the scene speechlessly. They were all going to be reincarnated! Even if they turned it into a palace, it wouldn’t matter because they wouldn’t live there that long.

Feng Wu: So clean!

The tomb became cleaned as they walked. The air even became delightfully fragrant, which made the time fly by. Why did the feel this way? Well that’s because there was a dainty garden at the end of the passage.

Butterflies fluttered in the air while plentiful plants sprouted from the ground. So many plants and butterflies were attracted to the garden because the orb acted like the Sun. The people outside would have gone crazy if they saw what was growing in the garden.

Well in fact there were already crazy people in the garden.

“That’s mine! I found it first! Give it here!”

“Fuck off! Says who?!”

“You better drop that ten-thousand-year-old medicine or you won’t leave this tomb alive!”

“Shit! I’d rather throw it down the toilet than give it to you!”

“You bitch! If I knew you were like this, I would have killed earlier! I knew you were plotting something!”

“Humph! Losers always talk big. You think you’re so amazing? Don’t act like you didn’t steal this from someone else!”

“I stole this fair and square! Unlike you, you bitch! I didn’t use any dirty tricks!”

The people fighting were Bisi and the others from their group earlier. When Feng Wu and Zo fell, they had felt she was vicious, but after she explained why, they let it be.

If her motive for doing it had been unreasonable, they would have found a way to ditch her, but since it was for revenge, the group decided not to pursue the matter.

Aside from her actions against Feng Wu, Bisi kept to herself. Her behavior was acceptable so the group didn’t try to kill her or drive her away.

That was until the garden came into view, then everyone’s friendly attitude ended. They had moved forward together amicable when encountering danger, but now there were valuable items to be had. Their cooperation shattered in the face of their conflict of interests.

They were fighting in order to grab ten-thousand-year-old medicinal herbs and other such spiritual fruits. Some had already perished in the melee.

383, 384, 385, 386

383, 384, 385, 386

[Host: justreads.net]
[February 12, 2022]
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383: Bisi’s Death (Drafted 2/6)

Zo didn’t expect to meet the group again so soon.

Feng Wu raised a brow when she saw Bisi. Suddenly, she leapt forward, and all anyone could see was an after image moving toward Bisi. By the time Bisi realized anything was wrong, a sword had pierced through her chest.

She’d been cut before she could even register the pain.

Master said not to give anyone who tried to kill you a second chance. Once the other party has tried to kill you, there was no going back. You should not stay your hand, otherwise a single act of kindness will bring you infinite regret.

Feng Wu was obedient if nothing else. Bisi had tried to kill her, and even Zo had been endangered. Angry, Feng Wu readily followed through with her master’s teachings. Bad guys had to die.

Feng Wu had always felt this bad guy in particular hadn’t liked her, hated her even. She’d felt Bisi’s killing intent on her more than once. And after the tightrope incident, Feng Wu was determined to kill Bisi first chance she got. Kill the bad guy and don’t give them another chance to attack.

Feng Wu’s sudden action stunned Zo. The group was also stunned; they thought Feng Wu and Zo had died at the cliff. They were alive after falling from such a high place? Wow!

Everyone stopped in their tracks. They stared at the girl they all thought had died.

“You. . .  you’re not dead!” Bisi’s eyes went wide with disbelief. Maybe the sight of Feng Wu shocked her so hard she couldn't feel pain. She could feel her strength waning though, and she knew if she didn’t get aid soon, she would be in trouble.

“Bad person!” Feng Wu yanked out her small sword.

Bisi fell to the ground from the now intense pain. “No. . .  impossible. . .  you can’t be alive. . . ” After saying her last words, Bisi finally stopped breathing.

“The two of you are still alive. We thought for sure you were buried at the bottom of the cliff!”

None of them felt sad for Bisi. They were all strangers who had come together for the same purpose inside the tomb. Which of them had the spare time to care about some stranger’s death?

Besides, she was the one who did the plotting first. Since those she plotted against survived, it was only natural they would act against her.

The world was like that. If you are strong, you kill others. If you are weak, others will kill you.

“We were lucky. There was a pool at the bottom of the cliff.” Zo stepped up to answer before Feng Wu could speak.

All the curious people surrounded Zo and began peppering him with questions. He tried his best to answer what he could. What he couldn’t answer, he either lied or gave a vague reply.

Their enthusiasm waned after half an hour and they remembered where they were and what they were doing.

Everyone got busy digging herbs and picking fruits. The people who were quarreling before being interrupted went back to quarreling again. The scene turned chaotic.

Zo shook his head. These guys were kind of slow when it came to brains.

Feng Wu, do you see anything you’re interested in? The herbs here are really expensive. Pick a few, so even if you don’t use them yourself, you can sell them for money later.”

The garden herbs were precious, but Zo had no interest in them. He was born into a major family; these kinds of good things, he was used to them. But that didn’t stop him from sneaking a few herbs into his storage ring though.

There was so many, why fight over one specific one? Instead of fighting, why not just pick more?

“Valuable?!” Feng Wu’s eyes brightened. Money equaled food, so more money meant more food! Thinking about the fragrant meat buns, chicken legs and other roasted meats, Feng Wu joined in the fray.

Zo was busy digging hard.

The spirits were confused.

“Why are they so excited about these herbs?”

“Even if they’re ten thousand years old, they’re still not that amazing.”

The ancient times was the golden age of pharmacy in part because of the strong relationship between magical elements. Herbs grew quickly; so it didn’t matter how precious something was, because it was so quick to grow.

The spirits just didn’t understand the current commotion.

Ten thousand years was the lifespan limit for herbs. They would rot and decompose into the soil if they weren’t harvested by then. Few herbs survived that long, so those that did were precious varieties.

The spirits watched in confusion as the adventurers “picked” flowers and herbs in their king’s garden, and fighting for something that, in their eyes, wasn’t worth it. They had to have woken up wrong; otherwise how could they witness such a scene?

Two hours later after the commotion finally died down, there wasn’t a single blade of grass left. Everything had been divvied up by the adventurers.

The spirits were angry. The benefactor was one thing, but who the hell were these guys?! Why take away the plants and fruits in the imperial garden?

That’s right. The valuable items everyone was fighting over were only ornamental things in the eyes of the spirits. It was understandable; none of it were considered precious in ancient times.

The spirits were angry at the destruction of their king’s garden. They wanted to teach the humans a lesson. Fortunately, the king was generous and persuaded them otherwise.

They were all dead so none of it was useful to them anymore. It was just some flowers and plants anyway. The king really didn’t care.

The spirits looked at him with admiration and reverence. The king was so open minded, forgiving even these rude humans, the benefactor excepting of course.

Spirits: Our king is so impressive!

384: Which Way Out? (Drafted 2/6)

The group moved forward after dividing everything up.

“How strange! Do you guys think the place is cleaner?” A somewhat short guy commented. He looked left and right suspiciously as he spoke. He was trying to see if he was hallucinating. The place was definitely full of dust and cobwebs when they entered. Where did all of it go? Wasn’t the place cleaner?

“Yeah, I feel the same way.” The speaker reached out and swiped his hand across the ground, and sure enough, it came away clean. There wasn’t a speck of dust! Was it really a sealed tomb, untrodden for ten thousand years?

“No. There’s definitely something wrong with this place. We’re in danger. Everyone be careful!”

“Yeah, that makes sense. Everyone, take care with your surroundings!” nodded someone seriously.

Feng Wu bit her lip and remained silent as she watched the maids diligently clean the tomb.

The spirits rolled their eyes. These guys thought too much!

The maids kept working, making everything spotless.

The continually clean tomb frightened the adventurers. The passage was just unbelievably clean! They had to be on guard!

Ten minutes later and still nothing happened, but no one dared relax, fearing they would die the moment they did. They came upon a stone room twenty minutes later. Try as they might, they couldn’t budge the door.

“This is Dragon Breaking stone. Once sealed, it can’t be unsealed. Maybe the sea god’s body is inside?”

“No way the main tomb would be that easy to find.”

“I agree. Think about it, aside from the two corpses we encountered, there was just the cliff. There weren’t any other dangers. Do you think the main burial room for someone like the sea god would be that easy to get to?”

The calm analysis made sense. No matter how you looked at it, it was too easy.

“I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but there were a lot of people who entered the sea god’s tomb. Why are we the only ones here? Where did everyone else go?” This time it was the female magician who spoke up. It was the third time she voluntarily voiced an opinion. She gave off the impression of a strong quiet beauty, but because she rarely spoke, it was easy to forget she was there. When she did speak, it was insightful and straight to the heart of the matter.

Of course she wasn’t the only one who noticed. It was just that everyone had been so anxious to get to the treasure room, they hadn’t thought much of it. In fact, the less people there were around them, the better their odds of getting more treasures for themselves.

“I think it’s weird too. We’ve been here for so long, but we haven’t seen anyone else. Aren’t we in the same place?”

Most people thought along the same lines. They had originally assumed everyone was in the same place, just different positions on the map. Perhaps they would meet if they kept moving, but from the first to the second level, they hadn’t met anyone else outside their relatively small group.

“Maybe this place is really big. I suspect where ever we are, it’s not the real sea god’s tomb. This is probably another trial space. The sea god probably wants us to pass more of the trials he left behind, and only those who pass will get the inheritance, while the losers will likely die. Until all the trials are passed, we’re trapped here.”

Zo looked at the woman in surprise. He had to admit, she was smart. She didn’t know about the tombs of human kings inside, but she was able to deduce something was wrong.

Her reasoning was all wrong, but despite not knowing the circumstances, she was still able to guess that the secret to the tomb was that it was a multidimensional space.

Except for Feng Wu and Zo, everyone was dismayed upon hearing her words. Most of them felt what she said was true.

Of course there were those who stubbornly refused to believe it. They believed their current location was the area of the sea god’s burial room. As for all those others who weren’t there, well 80% died in the corridor they first met.

These guys were brainless, but being able to survive as long as they had, they certainly weren’t weak.

“This place is inaccessible. Don’t tell me we have to find some other path forward!”

“Look for what? There is no other path to take. Even if this place isn’t the sea god’s burial room, the key for progressing to the next level has to be inside.” The man who spoke had a gloomy expression as he banged the door vigorously.

They finally found the chamber they thought was the sea god’s burial room only to realize it probably wasn’t it. But the biggest issue was the sealing material used for the chamber. Being broken dragon stone meant they wouldn’t be able to enter it using the usual means.

“Let’s look around. Maybe there’s a switch or something.”

It was a good idea. Unwilling to give up, they banged all over the walls hoping to find some kind of mechanism that would open the stone doorway.

“Is there really a mechanism?” Feng Wu whispered to the king.

“No.” The king replied back with certainty.

To keep thieving tomb raiders out, the king’s trusted aides had put down the Dragon Breaking stone from the inside. Once laid out, the door wasn’t likely to be opened again.

The two materials, the door and the Dragon Breaking stone, were very difficult to break. The door was hefty, weighing over a thousand catties, while the Dragon Breaking stone was made out of very unusual extraterrestrial sand and ten-thousand-year-old cold stone. Unless a holy-level artifact was used, the door was unlikely to break.

“Don’t worry Xiao Wu, the way out is definitely not through His Highness’s room. If there is an exit, there’s only one place it can be.”

385: Two-Winged Fire and Ice Serpent (Drafted 2/12)

A soldier in armor loudly proclaimed after stepping forward. His voice had been as loud as thunder, but luckily no one else could hear, otherwise they would have been forced to cover their ears.

“Where is it?” Feng Wu blinked cutely with eyes full of curiosity.

“Over there?” The soldier pointed to a bare wall.

Feng Wu looked in the direction he pointed, but all she saw was a stone wall. “There? But there’s nothing there”

“There is. There’s a secret door. I should know; I was in charge of building it. A secret door was made when the tomb was originally designed. There is a two-winged serpent behind it. The serpent can attack with both fire and ice – the perfect candidate for protecting a tomb! Haha!

We especially brought in an extra powerful demon serpent too! Just see how those tomb raiders will suffer, just when they think they’ve found a way out. Dare even rob our king’s tomb, it’ll be a pitiful death for them!”

The more the soldier spoke, the more excited he became. It was obvious he really hated tomb raiders.

The other spirits: Are you sure you know what you’re talking about?

Feng Wu, who had involuntarily been robbing the tomb: . . . 

The group of adventurers found the secret door just as the soldier finished talking. It really was there, and it really did open.

“Finally! Found the way out!” shouted somebody.

Everyone was excited except for Feng Wu and the group of spirits.

“There’s a fire and ice serpent in there. Are you sure the way out is through there?”

“Even if there is a way out that way, I don’t think they can get out. It’s been so long. Don’t you think the serpent would have evolved into a god serpent by now?” One spirit said.

“What? Be a god? How can it be that simple? With the restrictions in the tomb, it’s absolutely impossible.” The soldier patted his chest with confidence.

They wouldn’t have put the serpent there to guard if it was going to run off part way through.

“Xiao Wu, listen to me, you have to run behind the serpent. There’s a path to the underground somewhere in there. You can probably escape if you get to it.” The general told Feng Wu loudly.

Feng Wu nodded, indicating she’d heard.

“What’s wrong?” Zo was concerned. Feng Wu had been talking quietly to herself the entire time. He’d never seen her like this, so he was rather worried.

“I’m OK.”

“Why are you even asking? I told you to just follow Xiao Wu once you’re inside. It’s even more dangerous than the encounter with the two corpses.” Rui Baby saw Zo was still uncertain, so he said it like that to end the matter.

“More dangerous than the corpses?” What level of danger was this? He knew how powerful the two corpses were, so if it was even more dangerous inside, why were they going in? Zo was shameless; he asked anyway. “Then we are still going in?”

Rui Baby’s eyes practically had the words ‘stupid fish’ written in them as he looked at Zo. “Yes!”

Excellent. The single word reply was neat and tidy.

Feng Wu and Zo followed the group into the stone room. Instead of a sarcophagus, what they saw was confusing.

A chubby, black serpent was coiled up asleep on top of a rock in the middle of a pool of water. It made purring sounds as it slept while bubbles were pop popping out of its nose.

Flanking the serpent on either side were two rare fruit trees, one blue, the other red. It was obvious the trees were extraordinarily strong red and water elementals.

The fruits were tempting, but the adventurers were hesitant because of the serpent. The black one looked powerful, so they didn’t want to rush into a battle with it.

There were already some in the group who recognized the serpent for what it was – a precious holy beast from ancient times, a two-winged fire and ice serpent. These types of serpents had had a reputation for being powerful attackers in the past. The reputation made them highly coveted as fighters by the demon race.

Many demons were even sent to subjugate the serpents at one point. The battle was horrible for the serpents, only ten survived. The ten serpents that survived went into hiding inside the spiritual realm, never to be seen by human eyes again. Needless to say, they were incredibly rare.

The people who recognized that the serpent was a, two-winged fire and ice serpent, were very nervous. According to legend, they were one of the strongest holy beasts. Would they survive the battle if they fought against it?

Given a choice between life or fruit, they chose life.

“Fuck! That’s the guardian you chose for the tomb?! You must be kidding. He’s probably still drinking from his mother’s teats!”

“You put in an egg, and it finally hatched after ten thousand years!”[notes]

“No, no, no! I don’t think general would be that unreliable.”

“Well I mean think about it, maybe the snake gave birth to a baby snake out of boredom?”

“OK then where did the mother go?”

The spirits got into heated debate after they saw the serpent. Because they were used to people not being able to see them, they didn’t bother watching their volume. They spoke as loudly as they wanted without fear of being heard.

A pity they forgot, just because humans couldn’t see them, didn’t mean beasts couldn’t either.

Awakened by the loud talking, the serpent was very unhappy and so let out a jet stream of fire. The fire was extraordinary in that it was difficult to extinguish and was as hot as erupting volcanic magma.

Such a terrifying attack right out the gate. At least open your eyes first! This is not the way of a normal routine!

The people quickly separated into two groups, with each moving to one side, even as they complained in their hearts about the serpent’s unreasonable behavior. At the same time, Feng Wu pulled Zo to the side and dodged out of the flame’s way.

“Fuck! Spit out fire just because you’re annoyed?!”

“Everyone, be careful! This guy is very powerful!”

After dodging, everyone raised their swords and staffs in preparation for battle.

386: I Want to Be Your Friend

The rare tiny, two-winged fire and ice serpent in front of them was familiar with his own lineage. His mother was a famous beauty in the two-winged fire and ice serpent clan and had run to the human realm after getting into an argument with his grandmother. His mother had left intending to vent her frustration and relax, but was instead captured by humans and sealed away inside a tomb, never to see the light of day again.

Though life in the tomb was quiet, it was also incredibly boring, and for a lively and vivacious beast, this was unbearable. His mother simply could not take it. So after using her essence to self-fertilize and give birth to him, she passed away from exhaustion.

He lived an easy, boring life without any pressure after being born. He ate and slept all day long because no one ever came into the tomb.

The little serpent saw nothing wrong with this. It was good to eat and sleep without interruption.

But at the same time, he did hope someone would venture in. If someone good came in, then he could form an equal contract with them, and through that contract he would be able to leave.

Today, when he opened his eyes, he actually saw humans. The humans looked just like the ones he saw in his inherited memory. These were weak though!

The memory he got from his mother clearly showed powerful humans.

The group of adventurers had no idea they were being looked down on by the serpent.

“Hey humans! What are you doing here?” An unexpectedly small voice came from the serpent. It sounded like a young child of five or six.

The sound of movement had made him open his eyes. When he did, he saw the group of humans standing on high alert not too far away. Near them he actually saw one of the people who captured his mother. But the person didn’t look like he had a physical body. From his inherited memory, he knew humans without physical bodies were dead. They were souls of the dead basically.

The person was already dead, so he wasn’t inclined to rush up and avenge his mother, instead he lazily looked at them out of curiosity.

“I’m sorry, we didn’t mean to come in and disturb you. We were trying to find a way out.”

Seeing that a holy-level serpent was not attacking, the group tried not to provoke it further. They weren’t interested in dying!

A swordmaster took the initiative and stepped forward to speak on everyone’s behalf. The serpent seemed reasonable.

“Out? You guys think you can get out of here? If there was a way out, I’d have left ages ago!” His voice was cute but his words made people want to beat him up.

“You mean there’s no way out of here?!”

“No. . .  no. There must be a way out.”

“No, I don’t believe it. This is such a big tomb; there has to be a way out!”

Some who were already emotionally unstable yelled out.

“Haha. Don’t even think about it. If there was a way out, I’d have left already. Otherwise, who’d want to stay in this inauspicious place?”

With a flick of its tail, two fruits, one red and one blue, fell onto the serpent’s coiled body.

“Ka. . .  ka.” It only took a few mouthfuls for the fruits to be completely devoured.

The people stared at the serpent with envy and jealousy. Was a beast doing better than humans nowadays? Had the serpent been eating spirit fruits all day? Look at how practied that was.

They too wanted to eat the fruits three meals a day. But unfortunately, it could only be a dream.

“May we take a look inside here?” Zo stepped forward politely, being neither humble or arrogant.

“There’s nothing in here. Are you sure you want to come in?” The fire and ice serpent felt that maybe these humans had nothing better to do. There was clearly nothing to be had, but they still wanted to rush in anyway.

“Would that be alright?” A swordsman agreed when he heard Zo speak. Anyways, they still hadn’t searched the entire room; it was too soon to give up.

“Go ahead if you want.” The serpent said nonchalantly.

Everyone was happy to resolve things without fighting. Heavens knew, they didn’t want to make extra trouble.

No one noticed Feng Wu’s eyes shining bright when the serpent began talking. Since entering the tomb, she hadn’t encountered a single blade of grass or a single tree with a sense of consciousness. She wasn’t able to sense their emotions, but now, in here, she finally met a talking beast.

Feng Wu made a decision. She went straight to the pool after everyone said goodbye to the fairly friendly serpent. Her eyes were bright with joy as she stared at him.

“Feng Wu!” Zo was anxious, but he didn’t dare move closer. The serpent wasn’t attacking yet, but if he moved forward, it might construe the movement as hostile and attack Feng Wu. In which case, not only would he not bring her back, but he’d be putting her in even greater danger.

“Fuck! That girl is amazing!”

“What is she trying to do? Don’t get us involved here!”

“Even the two-winged fire and ice serpent, she dare approach. She must be looking for death.”

“I can’t tell. Does the girl want to go head to head with the serpent?”

“Everyone, let’s just go. Let her be stupid by herself. Don’t let her drag us to death along with her.” The man speaking was angry and it was obvious from a glance he had a bad temper.

“How can she be so bold?! Don’t get us involved.”

They were talking a lot because they were afraid they would have to fight against the two-winged fire and ice dragon because of Feng Wu. It was unacceptable they’d have to fight such an awesome creature if they could avoid it.

“Hello, my name is Feng Wu. My friends call me Xiao Wu. If possible, can we be friends?” She looked at the two-winged fire and ice serpent nervously because she was worried she would be rejected.

Her eyes showed persistence, and she had been serious when she spoke.

387, 388, 389, 390

387, 388, 389, 390

[Host: justreads.net]
[February 21,2022]
...

387: My Name is White Lotus (Drafted 2/19)

Two-Winged Fire and Ice Serpent: This human feels strange and she smells good, maybe being her friend will be a good choice.

Crowd: Girl, you want to be friends with the two-winged fire and ice serpent? Are you sure you weren’t sent here to mess with us?

“Be your friend? Well I like your aura, so OK, we can be friends.” The snake nodded this way and that, before agreeing easily.

“Fuck! Really?!”

“Something’s got to be wrong with my eyes. I’m just going to close them for a second.”

“I can’t believe she succeeded!”

“If I’d known it was that easy, I’d have gone up, then I’d be friends with a super powerful holy-level beast!”

“Listen to this. I have to wonder if the girl is the legit darling of the world’s consciousness. How else can she be so lucky?!”

Had Ai Lin[notes] been there and seen it, she would have snorted. Darling of the world’s consciousness? I’ll tell you who that is. It’s Zi Cheng!”

“Then, we’re friends. What’s your name?” Feng Wu, who’d made a new friend, was quite happy. She tossed out several pieces of fried chicken legs and steamed meat buns to the serpent as she talked.

The serpent looked at the bits and pieces she tossed his way. He tilted his head to the side as he sniffed the fragrance. It was something he had never smelled before. It was so enticing. A voice in his head sounded saying things like, “Eat it quickly, eat it quickly!” They looped continuously in his head.

With an, “Ah woo. . . ,” he took a big bite of the chicken leg. He was instantly won over by the taste. How could there be such delicious food? Its magical content was very low, but it was incredibly delicious!

Since she shared such deliciousness with him, he was willing to share his name with her.

“My name is White Lotus.” White Lotus proudly proclaimed.

The name was indeed powerful. A black serpent calling itself white. Can you even find a single white spot on its body? Can you? Why not call itself Black Lotus? The crowd silently mumbled to themselves.

Even Zo, who was relieved Feng Wu was not in danger, had the same thoughts as everyone else.

“Are you a girl?”

With a name like that, Feng Wu thought her new friend was a she.

“Your mama’s a girl! Your whole family’s girls.” White Lotus, who had always considered himself to be 100% pure, grade A male stock shot back.

“I am a girl!” Feng Wu agreed innocently.

Very good. White Lotus silently swallowed a mouthful of dried blood. What you said makes sense. I am speechless.

“I’m a guy, and don’t you forget it!” Whatever, as the superior person, I will just forgive her.

“But your name is White Lotus.” Feng Wu said seriously.

“What’s wrong with my name? Lotus is my favorite flower. There were two here originally, but I ate them, so now there are none.” White Lotus felt a little regretful as he thought about the two lotuses he ate. Now his friend would never get to see their beauty.

“Then why aren’t you called Black Lotus?” The magician next to them couldn’t help but ask out loud.

The question made White Lotus slap the ground with his tail.

It made everyone think he was going to do something big, but. . .  that was all he did.

“How can Black Lotus be as beautiful as White Lotus?” White Lotus rolled his eyes and cast a contemptuous look at the magician. Clearly human aesthetics weren’t as good as beast aesthetics.

“But you’re definitely black!” Feng Wu stated.

Just like the dogs in the village; the white ones were Little White Doggies, and the black ones were called Little Black Doggies. The yellow ones were called Little Yellow Doggies or maybe Rhubarb. If something was a flower, then it would be Small Flower or Big Flower.

No one would have been so bored to call a black dog White Doggie and a white dog Black Doggie.

“I like the name White Lotus, so it's my name! You guys dare have a problem with it?!” His eyes were big and fierce; it was obviously a threat.

“No, no problem. White Lotus is a such good name. You’re a perfect match.”

“Yes, you have really good taste. Only such a tasteful name would suit you.”

“Yes, the name is simple yet ruthless. It’s a perfect match.”

Zo: . . . 

Feng Wu: . . . 

White Lotus was pleased. There were some discerning humans after all.

“Since you are a friend, this superior will accompany you to take a look.” White Lotus proudly stated.

“You’re so good White Lotus!” Feng Wu complimented him.

No way! Not good! Why did this guy want to come with? If he got angry, there was no way they’d be able to resist! The others did not agree with Feng Wu!

But what White Lotus decided could not be stopped. He grabbed the two trees and put them inside his holy beast dimensional space along with his mother’s dead body, which he stored away some time ago. He used to think leaving was impossible, but he changed his mind after seeing Feng Wu and the rui beast.

He might really be able to leave if he tagged along with them. His mother had been stuck for ten thousand years, but here he was only twenty, and he was about to accomplish what his mother could not. It was exciting!

Yes, it had only been twenty years since White Lotus was born. But don’t let his size fool you. Because he was born from the blood and strength of his mother, his starting point was higher than many naturally conceived holy beasts.

White Lotus’s mother had transferred all her strength to White Lotus before she died. Otherwise who knew how long it would actually take for White Lotus to be born. So even if White Lotus was only a toddler when compare to other beasts, he was still more than powerful enough to crush everyone in the group.

388: Falling Through the Ground (Drafted 2/19)

A long path became visible once they moved beyond the pool. White Lotus had run through it before back when he was trying to find a way out. He didn’t want to stay and protect the tomb, but even after exploring so many times, he still came up empty.

White Lotus turned himself into a small snake and wrapped himself around Feng Wu’s wrist. If you didn’t look too closely, it looked like Feng Wu was wearing a beautifully crafted black snake bracelet.

“Do you think the little guy can see us?” One of the spirits was curious and asked.

“Maybe it can. Didn’t it just breathe fire at us?!”

“True, maybe it can see us.”

“Have you ever heard of holy beasts being able to see spirits before? Explain it; how can this little guy see us?”

“I think it might have been a coincidence. These juniors were standing in front of us back then. Maybe it was aiming at them?”

“That makes sense. I think so too.”

The spirits were divided into two groups: one felt White Lotus could see them, the other felt he couldn’t.

Upon hearing their conversation, White Lotus glanced at them in amusement.

Except for Feng Wu and White Lotus, no one knew a group of loud spirits were following behind. The group rushed forward with a sense of urgency in order to pass to the next level.

“Dead end!” The person in front beat at the wall in frustration, the disappointment clear in his eyes.

Someone else wasn’t ready to give up hope spoke up. “Let’s see if there’s a switch. Didn’t we have to use a switch to enter before?”

They thought about it. Maybe there was a switch.

“Is there a switch?” asked one of the spirits who wasn’t clear about the situation.

“Yes, but the path it leads to isn’t easy.” The general shook his head.

It was possible to get out, but the way was extremely dangerous, and it was likely everyone would die.

They didn’t build the tomb with the intention of letting any robbers out alive. The way out wasn’t one they had wanted dug. It was one created by the laborers who didn’t want to die in the tomb after building it. They had dug a secret tunnel as their lifeline for escaping to be used after the tomb was sealed.

It was a tradition since ancient times that all the laborers, because they had seen the layout of the tomb, would be buried inside along with the king.

Because of this, laborers were often chosen from prisoners destined for execution. These people were given priority, but if there wasn’t enough labor to do the job, they would ask for volunteers willing to bury themselves once the tomb was completed.

Those who voluntarily entered the tomb were fine, but the ones facing execution took it as an opportunity to escape. They had secretly dug this tunnel just for that purpose.

The supervisor at the time had all of them executed after discovering their plan. Though they’d been killed, the tunnel they dug remained.

It had been a challenge to repair, so instead they opted to put protective measures in place. You must know what they used was. . . 

Feng Wu and the others didn’t know this; they were busy looking for a switch to open the door.

The mechanism was hard to find. They knocked on all the walls but still couldn’t find anything.

“Quick! Tell Xiao Wu were the switch is. Why are you so distracted?!” shouted a maid to the general.

“Xiao Wu, the switch is actually under your foot. You have to step here and break the ground. The switch is underground.” Though the general was worried the things below would have grown too terrifying and that his benefactor would be in danger, since she wanted to leave, he would give up his life to protect her.

Feng Wu listened then nodded. She ran qi through her feet then stomped hard on the ground. A small part broke to reveal a trap.

“Everyone, look! She’s found something!” Someone shouted in excitement when the empty space appeared under Feng Wu. Finally, a way out of this inauspicious place!

The group surrounded Feng Wu and looked below at the exposed dark opening. Who would have thought the switch was on the ground. They had walked and stepped on it so many times and never knew. Good thing Feng Wu discovered it, otherwise they would have remained trapped.

Feng Wu moved her feet away to reveal some kind of revolving mechanism. It had to be the switch for opening the way out.

A male sword user stepped up and turned it right away. Immediately, the ground began to rumble.

The more the ground rumbled, the worse it shook. Everyone searched for something to grab onto for balance, but before they found anything, the ground caved in and broke apart completely.

Feng Wu wanted to take Zo out of the passage but was too slow. The ground collapsed and everyone fell down.

Screams rang out.

“What!”

“Whoa!”

“Ahhhhh!”

They were all seasoned veterans with blood on their hands so they quickly reacted by creating a shield to cushion the fall and minimize any damage.

“Floop!”

“Plop!”

The sound of splashes could be heard one after another. They had fallen, not on hard ground, but into a deep pool of icy cold water.

“Swim ashore! There’s something in the water!”

People swam to shore one by one in panic. Even Zo tried his best, otherwise with his abilities, it was questionable he could stay alive.

389: Changing Swords (Drafted 2/20)

“What kind of strange fish are these?!” Someone cursed.

What attacked them wasn’t some big, giant monster, but palm-sized fish with razor sharp teeth. Their attacks were strong when combined with their ability to absorb qi and magic.

“Get ashore! Everyone! Hurry up!”

People were swimming ashore like their butts were on fire. There were several unlucky few who were too slow and had already become fish food without so much as bones left over. Too brutal!

Zo gasped for breath. His face was pale and there was a sharp pain in his leg.

He had three silver fish latched onto his thigh. They refused to let go and their bites were incredibly painful.

Like Zo, several other people also came ashore with fish attached. They had nearly ended up dinner for the fish because their protective shields had been worthless, as easily absorbed as they were by the fish's ability to absorb qi and magic.

“Ah!” It was so painful. They’d bitten into his flesh, but the pain was akin to them biting into his bones.

“Let go!” Feng Wu had been lucky. She made it to shore before the qi for her shield was absorbed by the fish. She immediately walked over to help Zo when she saw him get ashore.

The fish refused to let go. Someone tried to use fire magic to burn them away but it didn’t work. Attacks using magic and qi had no effect. These fish were as difficult as the two corpses that had chased them earlier.

Feng Wu took out Xiao Chun when her qi didn’t work. The moment Xiao Chun appeared, all the little fish opened their mouths and speedily released their victims before hastily jumping back into the water. They sank to the foamy bottom and disappeared from sight. Not a single one stayed behind.

Crowd: That was an escape!

Seriously! The sword was a magic sword though. Why were the fish so afraid of it?

People already knew Feng Wu’s sword was extraordinary. When they were fighting against the two corpses, her sword was the only one that did any damage. Their own attacks had had no damage whatsoever.

Many coveted Feng Wu’s sword; some even had ideas of killing and stealing.

The continent had never been one where people worked and lived in peace and contentment; the strong survived and the weak were eliminated.

A powerful weapon in the hands of someone not strong enough to hold onto it, well that was just temptation in the making.

“Little girl, your sword is quite powerful. Could it be a holy sword?” A middle-aged man, relying on his age, approached Feng Wu amiably to ask about Xiao Chun.

“No.” Feng Wu easily replied. Xiao Chun had said he was a heavenly sword.

No? What? Who do you think you’re lying to? Sure enough, when I was young, I too thought I could deceive people. The middle-aged man thought disdainfully.

“Well since it’s not a holy sword, then little girl, why don’t you sell the sword to me? The price is up to you.” He had a look like money wouldn’t be an issue.

Zo was livid faced as he looked at the scene. This man was shameless!

“No.” Feng Wu shook her head.

“Why don’t I exchange it for this sword instead then?” He pointed to a long sword chock full of magical beast ores and stones.

“No.” Xiao Chun was a friend. She would not exchange him.

For Feng Wu, Xiao Chun wasn’t just a sword, he was also her friend. And like Master, he was from the other world, so his existence was extra special. What could she do? Replace Xiao Chun with a stranger?

“This sword is worth ten million gold pieces. Are you sure you don’t want to think about it?” The man grew annoyed at Feng Wu’s silence. Tens of millions of gold coins for your one small lousy sword and you still don’t want it. You’re too shameless little girl!

“No.” Feng Wu shook her head firmly.

Zo was relieved Feng Wu didn’t do the trade. He was afraid she didn’t know and would be deceived by the man.

“That guy is shameless! Trying to exchange a regular magic sword for a holy sword!”

“How shameless! With that attitude, you might as well just steal it.”

“Yeah, just too embarrassing!”

The swordsmen on the other side discussing amongst themselves were ashamed of the man trying to do the trade.

The man sighed, but he didn’t say anything more. He stepped aside and didn’t try to bamboozle the sword from her.

No one was fooled by his retreat though; it was clear he hadn’t given up. If an opportunity arose, he would definitely go after the sword, and it would probably be with violence. He wouldn’t approach her and talk to her again.

After the show, the injured sat down to heal and clean their wounds. As long as there were healing potions to be had, the flesh would heal easily. Even Zo, who had the worst physique, was healed after drinking a healing potion from his space ring. The only thing left behind was a pink scar.

Those uninjured looked around their surroundings and found they were inside a huge, underground cavern. Of course the humungous cavern wasn’t dug by the prisoners turned laborers. No, they had discovered the cave and dug a tunnel to it.

It really was an incredibly big space. The cold pool they fell into was surrounded by cold air, and close to that pool was a clear, transparent flowing stream with a bed filled with large gravel stones. The stream led into a deep, dark passage.

“Let’s go. Hopefully we can get out of here.”

They continued after their wounds healed, and as usual, Feng Wu followed behind with Zo.

The sound of flowing water was crystal clear in the cave. The humidity was also very high, so people felt cold and clammy. Even with qi and magic, they were still uncomfortable.

They quickly reached the stream and stood facing the dark tunnel.

“It’s so dark!”

“Let’s go.”

“Everyone, follow closely. Don’t know if there are any dangers lurking.”

390: Rui Baby’s Divination (2/20)

It was so dark; they really couldn’t walk without light. The person leading took his light item out and lit it. Unexpectedly, the moment it was lit, a bunch of monsters flew at them.

Feng Wu reacted instantly and pulled Zo to the side. They hadn’t entered the tunnel yet so their position wasn’t bad.

“What is this?”

“First it was all the fish, now it’s a bunch of who-knows-what kind of monsters. There’s just no end to this!”

“Stop yelling. If I’m not mistaken, I think these are just bats. The sudden light probably just surprised them, so they flew out at us.” Among so many men, the female magician was the calmest. She was the first to figure out the identity of the monsters that flew out at them.

Feng Wu and Zo also saw; indeed, they were just ordinary bats.

“Be careful.” Feng Wu warned Zo.

“Yeah.” Zo nodded firmly. Although it was embarrassing to be protected by a girl, he really didn’t care at the moment.

“Follow behind. Everyone, be careful.” The person in the lead warned.

The place was so dangerous, who would act alone? Anyone who did had to be courting death.

They walked forward in single file. From time to time sounds resembling a woman’s cry would ring out in conjunction with the sounds of flowing water. It was eerie and frightening.

They could make out that the walls were made of smooth, wet stone and that the only other thing in the tunnel was the stream. They stepped into the stream and waded their way forward.

Someone couldn’t help but whisper, “The sounds are too weird! I hope there aren’t any ghosts!”

“Don’t say that! What kind of ghosts would be here? It’s just the wind.”

“Yeah, it’s got to be the wind.”

The group, not sure if they were trying to reassure the original speaker or reassure themselves.

Spirits: Actually, we’re behind you juniors. Look behind you.

The farther they went the worse Zo felt, and the stronger the sensation that something bad was going to happen. He tugged at Feng Wu’s sleeve and whispered, “I have a bad feeling.”

“There’s a powerful guy up ahead.” Feng Wu already knew from the spirits there was a powerful entity ahead of them.

Rui Baby, who had been dozing the entire time on top of Feng Wu’s head, sudden jerked awake at a vision.

Underwater, fish tails, blood, corpses, a shouting Zo, humans fleeing everywhere.

Oh, this was bad, such a dramatic drop in numbers. Rui Baby couldn’t see the complete picture nor could he see it on demand. He had to wait for the visions to hit him.

No one noticed three gold coins reflected on his eggshell. That’s right, three gold coins. The coins represented divination for upcoming fortune, both the possible good and the possible bad. It was a good match when combined with his ability to foresee the future.

The original rui beast under Zi Cheng’s control, because she had obliterated its consciousness, did not have this ability. She created a new consciousness for the physical body, but because the soul was replaced, the ability to divine was submerged deep in the depths of its soul.

The phantom reflections jumped and danced on the eggshell without anyone noticing, not even Zo who knew the future.

When the coins finally stilled after a while, Baby Rui looked at the hexagram left behind. His brow knitted. Narrow escape! What an ill omen.

“You two, wait. Be careful. The things ahead are very dangerous. You will die here if you’re not careful,” whispered Rui Baby to Zo and Feng Wu. Although he liked Feng Wu more, he didn’t dislike Zo. This was going to be a situation where their lives could hang by a thread. If he didn’t remind the kid, he was afraid the kid was going to die.

“We know.” Zo responded and Feng Wu nodded.

Telepathically Rui Baby said to Feng Wu, “Xiao Wu, you must be careful. I just made a divination. I received the image of close encounters with death and a narrow escape. You must be careful. Don’t be careless!”

Feng Wu was Baby Rui’s chosen, so of course he wasn’t going let her come to harm. Unlike other beasts that paid attention to blood lines and power, rui beasts paid attention to the spirit and heart. If something happened to Feng Wu, where would Rui Baby find another whose heart would be as compatible?!

“OK.” Feng Wu replied telepathically.

Their shoes were all wet from walking through the water. The farther the went, the deeper the water became. At this point, the water was up to their waists, but in order to find an exit, it didn’t matter how far up the water rose, they kept wading forward.

Zo wasn’t strong, but he had a lot of scrolls, so he was able to keep up.

Once the water reached their necks, the person up ahead said, “Everyone dive below! I suspect the way out is underwater.”

“All right. Let’s have a look. There may be a way out of here.”

After exchanging glances, people began activating their shields and dove under.

Zo activated a scroll with waterproof abilities and dipped his head under as well.

Feng Wu didn’t know if it was the way out; it was deep and the tunnel was long, but she used her qi to protect herself and followed the rest of the crowd anyway.

They swam forward along the bank. They couldn’t see the end, but they weren’t going to turn back.

Farther upstream, a coffin slowly opened to reveal a woman in red: hair red, eyes red, dress red. She looked up and gave a long loud hiss.

“Hssss.”

Her voice spread far and wide, penetrating the entire passage, but it didn’t reach Feng Wu and the others because they were underwater.

Her hair floated all about her but her eyes were focused in the direction Feng Wu and the others had gone. After another long hiss, she elevated her body and flew in their direction.

At the same time, another woman sleeping in a blue shell with a finned lower body also opened her eyes. She gave a long hiss as well.

The woman grinned, revealing terrifying fangs. “Ha. . . ”

She sat up from her shell bed and looked upwards. With eyes filled with murderous intent, she licked her lips and gave a bloodthirsty smile.

391, 392, 393, 394

391, 392, 393, 394

[Host: justreads.net]
[February 24, 2022]
...

391: Mershark (Drafted 2/21)

The path under the water was dark because the light was weak, but it was navigable thanks to light items people in front were using. They couldn't see the end of the path or their hoped for exit.

Feng Wu and Zo were in the back of the group.

“Look ahead!”

“What is it?”

They looked forward only to see a huge shell at the bottom of the stream bed. On it, was a beautiful woman with a fin on her lower body. She looked at them from a partially reclined position with a crooked mouth full of fangs. She did not look kind.

There was a hint of eagerness in her eyes, as though she was staring at delicious food. From time to time, she would flick her fangs with her tongue. No matter how you looked at it, the image was just too strange.

“This. . .  is this a mershark?” Someone asked uncertainly.

Mersharks were one type of merpeople.

Merpeople had a powerful sound attack, but luckily they were docile and timid with a tendency to hide from humans. They were peace loving creatures that didn’t take the initiative to attack. Others couldn't easily attack them either.

Mershark belonged to one of the stronger sea people groups. They were closer to humans, with a body of half fish/half human, and a mouth filled with serrated teeth. They were hostile, war-like creatures who loved to kill and because of their ability to control water, were nearly unbeatable in water battles.

But mersharks and merpeople didn’t like to appear in front of humans. The two groups hid away so well, people had never been able to find them.

So for a mershark to appear in front of them now was really shocking.

This was a mershark’s natural battle ground. The odds of winning against one in an underwater fight was so abysmally small it may as well be zero.

“Hiss. . . ” The female mershark made a hissing sound through her jagged teeth. Bloodthirst flashed in her eyes.

“Everyone! Perpare for battle! This is a mershark!”

The woman sneered. She flipped her palm and suddenly two whirlpools appeared in the water. Its fast rotation sucked in those closest to it without giving them the chance to resist.

“Ah! Help!”

“Save me!”

“What’s going on?! I can’t get out!”

No matter how hard they tried, those sucked in couldn’t escape the tug of the whirlpool; they kept spinning in circles.

The woman raised her hand gently and created several large water columns. The columns moved as though they were sentient and attacked the people not engaged with the whirlpool.

People avoided the water columns as best they could. The columns, if they were to be hit by one, would certainly be very damaging, if not lethal.

Who were the lucky ones? The ones caught in the whirlpool or the ones avoiding the water columns?

The answer came soon enough.

The two vortexes moved to the side of the mershark. Then she reached out and grabbed a random person from inside. Before the guy could even resist, she’d already dug into his chest with her long nails and yanked out his heart with her hand. He only had time to let out a scream before dying.

Bright red blood flowed out of his chest and dyed the water near him a hazy red.

The mershark ate the heart in two bites. The joyful expression on her face made you think she was eating some kind of tasty world delicacy.

People watching swallowed nervously at the scene. Legends spoke of how brutal and fierce mersharks were; but they had thought legends were just legends. They knew the reality now.

They may as well be food. She didn’t view them as a threat whatsoever.

Impressive! Feng Wu’s eyes lit up but then dimmed. What to do if she couldn’t beat it though? She could see the mershark with a fishtail was very powerful. It wasn’t something she could beat. What to do? Feng Wu thought with some annoyance.

“Don’t be afraid Xiao Wu. See the shell bed there? You can use it like a boat to escape. Just find a way to lure her away from it.” A soldier, who was part of the labor involved in sealing the cave, came out and let his existence be known.

Yeah, easy to say. Both White Lotus and Rui Baby rolled their eyes.

Baby Rui was at ease resting on Feng Wu’s small wrist and had no interest in the fierce battle. But if Feng Wu were in danger, of course he would take action. Other people though, he didn’t care about at all.

“What were you thinking putting something so powerful in there? How is Xiao Wu going to get out?!” A cute, beautiful maid yelled as she angrily pointed at the man in charge of the construction.

The general smiled bitterly. “Really, you can’t blame me for that. How would I know things would be like this now?”

The spirits all thought about it. It was true, you really couldn’t blame anyone for it. It wasn’t like any one of them could have predicted the future.

But what should they do now? The mershark was too powerful for Feng Wu to beat. With her small arms and legs, it would be too difficult for her to get out.

“Did you do anything else?” Someone remembered the general liked to get insurance.

The general said in embarrassment, “Haha. I also asked my soldiers to put a corpse demon upstream.”

Even if you had beaten him to death, had he known then what he knew now, he would never have done such a troublesome thing.

“A corpse demon?! It’s not the one that massacred all those villages is it?”

All those who knew the possible origins of the corpse demon covered their mouths in shock.

Dangerous demons ran rampant and had shared the same living space with humans at that time. Back then, humans were much weaker and so had gathered together on the continent, but despite having the highest density in population on the continent, they did not have the advantage over other races.

392: The Exit (Drafted 2/22)

No one would have thought humans, the race all other powerful creatures looked down on, would one day rule the continent.

In fact, humans played a pivotal role in the creation of corpse demons, one of the powerful creatures that had run rampant in that era. Back then, sacrifices to gods and powerful demons were common. Most sacrifices were often in the form of beautiful, sixteen-year-old virgins.

Small spirit monsters would come and fuse into their dead bodies. Not every fusion was successful, but those that were successful resulted in a new entity called a corpse demon. They were extremely powerful with bodies as hard as the toughest ore. And by taking in human blood, they could evolve even further. The stronger a magician or warrior was, the more delicious it was to a corpse demon.

The corpse demon they sealed inside the tomb was a powerful one that had managed to eat several tribes in its quest to evolve. A different general had been responsible for getting rid of it. He had wanted to destroy it completely, but the general in charge of the tomb’s construction had something else in mind.

He wanted to use it to guard the exit tunnel created by the prisoners. Thus, did the corpse demon escape death and stay alive for tens of thousands of years all the way to today.

The slaughter of the tribes hadn’t been a secret at the time, so when the spirits heard mention of a corpse demon, they were able to figure out which corpse demon it was that was sealed inside.

Feng Wu successfully avoided a water column. Her small brow furrowed at the thought another could appear at any time.

“Feng Wu, what are you thinking about? Be careful not to get hit.” Zo was worried when he saw Feng Wu not paying attention.

Feng Wu turned to look at Zo and said in all seriousness, “I’m thinking about how to leave here.”

“Leave? But we don’t know where the exit is. How do we leave?” Zo wanted to leave as well. Even if it was an infinite dungeon, being someplace else in it was better than staying where they were and dying.

“I know where the exit is. It’s under the shell.”

The way out was under the shell bed? Zo was surprised. He wanted to ask how she knew, but thinking about it a little made him realize it must have been Rui Baby who told her.

It was a good thing he didn’t ask. With Feng Wu’s personality, she would have told him the truth and that would have been chilling.

“Everyone, listen! The exit is under the shell bed. We can leave if we get the bed out!” The only way to leave was to get everyone to work together. He and Feng Wu alone wouldn’t be able to move the shell.

Those close to him heard. The were quite surprised and had wanted to get closer to clarify the matter, but the mershark’s attack intensified, preventing them from doing so.

They didn’t know how Zo knew this, but they didn’t think there was any reason for him to lie. So the people who heard spread it to the others farther away, and soon enough every one was aware where the exit was.

“Find a way to lure her from the bed!”

Everyone shared the same thought. They had to get her off the shell and away from it if they wanted to leave.

The thought that there was a way out buoyed everyone’s spirits. No one wanted the exit to be a lie, so they chose to firmly believe in it.

They all worked hard to leave. This, of course, included Feng Wu. She successfully helped Zo avoid water columns and whirl pools. There were several times he nearly got sucked in, but Feng Wu pulled him out and away each time.

Everyone ran from the water column so they could coordinate an attack on the mershark. They attacked one by one with magic and qi, but unfortunately the mershark was so powerful that their attacks didn’t have an effect.

It wasn’t that their attacks were useless, no, it was that the water in front of the mershark acted as a shield. The water really was the mershark’s home. It was just too difficult to deal damage.

“Hit the bed!” The only female magician in the group shouted.

Everyone changed targets to hit the shell. Fortunately the shell was much easier to damage. A few attacks with magic and qi was all it took to shatter it to smithereens.

With it gone, they could see a black vortex hidden underneath. It was clearly a teleportation channel.

They were overjoyed at being able to use it to leave the place. Though no one had doubted it was there, seeing a physical representation of their hope was heartening.

“Ha!” The mershark’s irritation got worse upon seeing its beloved bed blown up by its food. The water columns accelerated and the number of whirlpools increased from two to four.

Now the adventurers had to avoid the water columns while paying attention to the whirlpools at all times.

The man standing at Zo’s left couldn’t dodge a whirlpool in time and his body involuntarily moved toward the vortex. He panicked, and without even thinking, pulled at Zo. They ended up switching positions, allowing him to escape the whirlpool’s gravity.

“Ah!” Zo only had time to let out a scream before he was tugged hard into the whirlpool on his way to the vortex center. Just when he thought he was dead, a slender hand reached in and yanked him out, effectively swapping places.

“Feng Wu!” Zo had escaped the catastrophe, but he wasn’t overjoyed in the least. His heart filled with guilt and despair as he watched Feng Wu get sucked toward the vortex in his place.

393: Finally Getting Out (Drafted 2/23)

There were only twenty of the original thirty or so people left since the battle started. Most had either been hit by the water columns and died, or had been sucked by the whirlpools and become food for the mershark.

The panic rose in the survivors as they watched more and more people die. It didn’t make them want to retreat; on the contrary it motivated them to escape even more. They fought desperately because they knew they had two choices: survive and leave, or fail and become food for the mershark.

The mershark recalled the whirlpool that held Feng Wu to her immediately. There was excitement in her eyes as she hissed. Out of all the food morsels there, Feng Wu was the most delicious. Feng Wu’s innate chemistry and unusual life essence were both very attractive to the mershark.

The mershark had originally wanted to save Feng Wu for last, but since it had caught her early, might as well enjoy the delicious treat now. The mersherk licked its lips and swallowed a pool of saliva in anticipation.

“No!” Zo shouted loudly. He knew wasn’t good enough to be the mershark’s opponent, but he wanted to rush to Feng Wu’s side as fast as possible.

The mershark reached out its hand and grabbed Feng Wu out of the vortex. Just as she was about to dig Feng Wu’s heart out with her fingernails, a long sword cut straight into her chest.

“Hu. . . ” The tragic cry made the water shake with hard currents.

The unexpected development shocked everyone. They couldn’t believe such a powerful mershark was actually stabbed. Turns out this was how one went about killing it!

The female magician was the first to recover. She screamed, “Let’s go!” as she headed straight for the exit. She wasn’t about to linger to see what would happen next.

“Ahhh!” A murderous and bloodthirsty cry sounded from behind.

Turning to look back, the group watched as a woman with red hair and eyes, bore down on them. The overwhelming aura let them know how powerful she was.

“Let’s go!”

Just killed one and another shows up? What the heck?!

They turned forward and increased their pace through magic and martial qi. They wanted to leave before another big boss could get to them so they rushed as fast as they could to the exit.

It didn’t matter if the mershark was dead or alive, Feng Wu pulled Xiao Chun out of the mershark’s body immediately after stabbing it. She grabbed Zo, who was close by, and hurried to the exit.

Zo felt a force propelling him forward at great speed.

There was indeed something behind them pushing them forward: the group of spirits following Feng Wu. They hadn’t engaged in the battle with the mershark, but they had been carefully protecting Feng Wu.

It was the king who suggested using the whirlpool as a cover for a sneak attack. Rui Baby and White Lotus supported the idea. They didn't expect it to work, but it did!

Feng Wu didn’t know if the mershark would die, but Rui Baby said that even if it didn’t die, it would need a long time to heal from the injury from Xiao Chun.

Everyone made it into the teleportation vortex just as the red figure arrived.

Spirits: Hello corpse demon! Goodbye corpse demon!

...

After entering the teleportation vortex, Feng Wu found herself in a desert.

What was this place? Feng Wu was confused. What happened? Where was everyone else?

At the same time in another location. . . 

Zo frowned as he looked around him. He was in an ice field with three other people from the escape.

“Hey, little pansy, hand over your space ring.” The man speaking had a wicked smile.

Other than him, there was the female magician and another sword user of moderate strength. The two looked around their new environment without any interest in meddling.

Zo immediately recognized the man speaking as the same one who had yanked him into the whirlpool. If it hadn’t been for him, Feng Wu wouldn’t have been sucked into the whirlpool. If Feng Wu hadn’t been competent, she would have surely died. Anyone else would definitely have died.

Zo had always been good-natured, but with this guy, he actually felt like killing him.

Zo wasn’t strong, but his father had given him many self-defense items. He hadn’t useed any because Feng Wu had protected him the entire time.

“What? Boy, you going to wait for that girl to come and save you? Someone as useless as you shouldn’t have come to a place like this. You overestimate your abilities!” The man sneered with disdain in his eyes as he looked at Zo.

“If you want my space ring, then come and get it.” Zo looked at the guy without a trace of panic or fear.

The guy was vigilant. Was it possible the kid had some other means of protection himself?

“Stop messing around!” He yelled, but didn’t move any closer to Zo. Though he looked down Zo, he was careful and kept his guard up. Stupid people didn’t stay alive for long.

“Master!” A surprised voice rang out and a plump girl rushed to Zo excitedly.

“Plum!” Zo’s heartrate sped up when he heard the voice. When he turned to look, it was his little maid, Plum!

“Woo! Young Master are you alright? I was worried to death! Young Master, are you injured anywhere? Did you get bullied? Woo. If I had known this place was so dangerous, I wouldn’t have let Young Master come!” Plum hugged Zo’s arm tightly, leaning heavily on his shoulder.

Zo affectionately touched her head. Plum was an orphan his family adopted for her outstanding talent. She was a simple person who didn’t know how to please the other staff members, so she had been reassigned to him because he was so unskilled himself.

Plum was a loyal girl. Zo would have died from one of the cracks in space[notes] if Plum hadn’t saved him with her chubby body.

394: The Land of Sand (Drafted 2/23)

Zo loved Plum like a little sister. He vowed not to let her die for him again. “Never mind about me, where’s the butler? He’s not with you?” Zo asked when he didn’t see his butler.

Plum shook her head. “I didn’t see the butler. We were together originally, but then we got separated during teleportation.”

Plum and the butler had also survived a king’s tomb and been transported to a new location. Unfortunately they did not meet in the new location.

It had made Plum uneasy, but she felt much better now that she was with Zo.

“Master –," Plum was about to say something, but was interrupted.

“Boy hand over your space ring, and the girl too! I don’t have all day to wait for you!” The guy had been keeping tabs on Zo and eyeing the things in Zo’s space ring for a while. He did not want to miss the current opportunity.

“Who are you?” Plum turned to look at the man who had spoken. It was like she’d only just then realized there was someone else in front of Zo.

“It doesn’t matter who I am. Just hand the space ring over quickly!” He was getting impatient.

“You want to rob Young Master?” Plum’s eyes turned cold. Her originally innocent expression turned abstruse.

“Little girl, if you don’t want to die, hurry up –” He was about to say something cruel to force them to hand the ring over, but he was interrupted by the girl. He never expected her to directly pull out a sword and aim for his heart.

Though he was startled, he immediately raised his sword to defend. He managed to block but was forced to take several steps back. He felt the blood pumping in his chest. Horrified, he wondered who the girl was. She had addressed the kid as Young Master.

Could someone this skilled in swordsmanship only be a maid or attendant?

It didn’t matter how terrified he was, Plum’s sword style kept changing and his own sword felt heavier and heavier with each block. After a dozen moves, his hands could barely hold onto his sword. Plum knocked it out of his grasp and sent it flying several meters away.

His face was pale as a long sword jammed into his heart.

“You. . . you. . . ” was all he could get out before coughing out a mouthful of blood. His eyes dimmed as his life faded away.

Plum pulled her sword out and flicked it at random. The blade was spotless, as clean as a mirror, after the blood flew off. If people hadn’t witnessed the fight just then, it would have been hard to believe the immaculate sword was just used in a deadly fight.

The female magician and swordsman watching never expected the ordinary girl to be so strong. They wondered who the young man was. An ordinary nobleman could never afford an attendant of that caliber. So who was he?

The two regretted not interfering. Maybe if they had, they could have formed a worthwhile connection for the future. These kinds of connection couldn’t be purchased even with a thousand gold. A pity they didn’t know.

After Plum dealt with man who had disrespected Zo, she turned her gaze to the other two. She ignored them after ascertaining they had no intentions toward Zo.

...

Feng Wu was unaware of any of this; she was in a desert alone. An angry sun shone from above, roasting everything beneath it. Feng Wu’s face was red and a thin layer of sweat glistened on her forehead. She drank some water from the waterskin in her hand.

“Baby, where is this place?” There was no one else around. Feng Wu had a question so she asked Rui Baby, who seemed to know a lot of things.

“If I’m not mistaken, this place is the tomb of the Czar.” Rui Baby told her.

“Czar?” Feng Wu cocked her head to one side as she thought about whether or not she had read about this character in a book before.

She finally remembered after thinking for a while. “I know him. The book said the Czar was a powerful man in ancient times who ruled the Kingdom of Sand. He and his country perished after the war between the two realms. The kingdom has been gone for a long time.”

Feng Wu liked this. She had learned a lot from all her reading, so she was able to connect what Rui Baby said with what she learned.

“That’s right. The Kingdom of Sand did perish long ago. The survivors built the tomb for the czar. I’m not surprised the sea god moved his tomb, but I don’t understand why he had to move the entire kingdom as well. So unreasonable.” Rui Baby couldn’t figure out why the sea god would want to move the entire kingdom. Even the spirit king here only had his tomb moved.

“I think I know why.” The king spoke. Thousands of spirits stood behind him as comfortable as can be, completely unaffected by the heat.

“What’s the reason?” Feng Wu asked with wide eyes.

The king smiled slightly and said, “The reason is very simple. The Czars’ tomb has always been linked to the Kingdom of Sand. When the kingdom fell, the last survivors sealed the entire country as a tomb for him. So if the sea god wanted to remove the Czar’s tomb, he would have had to remove the entire kingdom along with it.”

It was a simple reason.

Feng Wu nodded in understanding. It turned out they were in the Kingdom of Sand! She thought back to the description written in the book. The kingdom was supposed to be the most beautiful city in the desert, an oasis. But she didn’t see an oasis anywhere. What was going on?

395, 396, 397, 398

395, 396, 397, 398

[Host: justreads.net]
[March 5, 2022]
...

395: Someone There (Drafted 2/26)

The Kingdom of Sand only had one city, but the city was immense and spanned tens of thousands of kilometers. It should be known that the territory of surrounding the nations were only half the size, but the conditions of a city surrounded by sand was hard, so no one had an interest in invading.

The kingdom’s enormous size made it unique amongst the other desert nations.

“Can we leave only if we find the Czar’s tomb?” Feng Wu figured out a lot of things because she had so many little helpers.

“Yes, this is the only way to leave.” Rui Baby nodded in confirmation.

Feng Wu understood, but even so, how were they to find the destroyed legendary kingdom when all they could see was endless desert?

She couldn’t be afraid. Master said not to give up when facing difficulties. Feng Wu clenched her hands and firmed her resolve.

The scorching sun above got hotter and hotter, and even Feng Wu, who had qi, was getting tired and a little dizzy. Following Rui Baby’s suggestion, she found a pile of rocks and sheltered under a particularly big one.

Feng Wu’s space ring was full of all the food she had collected. Her friends knew how much she loved to eat and collect food, so they always saved her some whenever they encountered anything especially delicious. As a result, even Feng Wu wasn’t sure how much food was stored in her ring.

She didn’t remember who had given it to her, but there was bowl of porridge in her space. Ring. She used her mind to pull it out. The faint, sweet aroma of Osmanthus floated through the air. There was a lot of food to choose from, but being in the desert made her want to have something soupy. She added a plate of pickled vegetables and grilled meat to the bowl and it instantly became even tastier.

The heat would have affected most people’s appetites, but not Feng Wu. Girl never had any such problems. She quickly went through the bowl, slurping in big gulps.

Rui Baby nibbled on a piece of chicken leg as he sat next to her, while White Lotus happily had a whole chicken leg to himself.

White Lotus had spent his entire life in a fishless pond locked inside the tomb. Never mind delicious foods, he never even had meat. The only way for him to have meat was in his dreams using what he knew from his inherited memory.

Since following Feng Wu, White Lotus, the twenty-year vegetarian, was nearly moved to tears as he finally got to taste the deliciousness of meat. It was the beginning of his obsession with meat dishes.

The spirits did not need to eat.

Feng Wu and Rui Baby were chatting when a burst of voices cut through.

“Olifuman, Xier, Zhaki let’s rest up ahead. It’s too hot for me and Ailuna!” The feeble voice sounded young.

“Mayleen is right. I can’t take it anymore!” This came from Ailuna. She had a sweet and pleasant voice that was very endearing.

“OK, then let’s rest up ahead.”

The three men immediately agreed after Ailuna spoke.

“What? There’re already someone there.” Olifuman was surprised someone had beat them to the rock shade.

“It’s just a single girl. Just chase her away.” Mayleen said angrily as she couldn’t bear the heat anymore.

“That’s not nice. . . ” Ailuna hesitated.

“What’s wrong? She’s been resting there for a while already. And it’s such a big place, she’s taking it all to herself. How selfish can she be? Once Ming Xi comes over, there won’t be any where to rest.” Mayleen knew Ailuna was interested in Ming Xi, so she used his name to strengthen her point.

“But. . . ” Ailuna still hesitated. She didn’t want to make things difficult for the single girl, but their group needed to rest and there was only the one rock outcrop.

She wanted her beloved Ming Xi to rest without outsiders disturbing him since he had done so much to take care of her along the journey.

The three men exchanged glances, upset Ailuna gave Ming Xi so much consideration. Despite being strangers when they entered the tomb, her cuteness had attracted them, and all three were vying for her affections. Ming Xi was their common rival. If they could beat him, they would have already dragged him out and killed him secretly.

“I think the space under the rocks is big enough to fit more than one. Why do you want to drive the girl away? Mayleen, you’re too mean.”

A beautiful couple walked in together. The voice belonged to the woman, who was about seventeen or eighteen, while the man next to her was the son of the island lord, LeChen.[notes]

“Fang Li! LeChen! You two are back already?” Zhaki wasn’t surprised they were together, but he was surprised they came back so soon.

“We agreed we’d explore separately. You guys must be doing really well, to go looking for a place to sit and relax already.” Fang Li looked disdainfully at Mayleen.

“We’re tired from exploring so we’re taking a break!” Mayleen replied angrily.

Fang Li smiled meaningfully. “What you call “taking a break” is actually robbing someone of their position and chasing them away.”

“What are you talking about? The place doesn’t belong to her. Besides, in this world, the strong are respected. If she’s not strong enough to keep her place, then it’s her own fault!”

“Excuses.”

The two ladies fought with their words while the topic of their conversation held up another bowl of porridge to her lips. Watching them argue didn’t slow her pace down at all.

Ming Xi? Was Senior Ming Xi here? Feng Wu was happy and looking forward to seeing him again. She made up her mind to wait there for him.

“You guys, stop arguing!” Ailuna stomped her feet.

396: A Small Outburst (Drafted 2/27)

“What are you all doing?” A silvery white figure with blond hair and blue eyes approached. The young man’s face was exquisite perfection sculpted by the gods. He himself was as noble and untouchable as the moon above.

“Ming Xi!”

All three woman straightened their appearances. They looked a little shy and nervous, completely different from just seconds earlier.

Ailuna looked shyly at the young man walking up to them. Mayleen knew she couldn’t compete with Ailuna, but that didn’t mean she wanted Ming Xi to see her bad side.

As for Fang Li, she had some affection for Ming Xi, but she was also aware of her background. She was the daughter of a hunter. If not for her magic talent, she would still be in that village hunting with her father now.

Ming Xi wasn’t ordinary, and Fang Li knew this, so she was careful not to show any interest. But that didn’t mean she wanted him to see her arguing with other people.

“We. . . ” Ailuna was about to answer when a shadow streaked past and flew to Ming Xi’s side.

“Senior Ming Xi!” Feng Wu rubbed her head happily against Ming Xi’s arm. She was in such a great mood; she could have eaten two more drumsticks!

“Xiao Wu!” Ming Xi hadn’t expected to see her so he was surprised. He’d been worried, ever since they got separated, wondering if she was in danger or injured. He smiled, relieved to see her.

Ailuna watched with a sour heart. How could he let a strange girl hold his arm? Despite his gentle appearance, she knew how reserved he was. He had pushed her away every time she tried to get close, always leaving without a trace whenever she tried to express her feelings. There was so much distance between them. She was a girl who’d always been favored by men, so his attitude was disconcerting and frustrating.

Originally, she thought it was the way he was. It didn’t matter the girl; he was just naturally aloof. It had given her the confidence to try and be the one girl who was different, be the one in his heart.

They had to be destined for each other, after all their meeting was arranged by fate. How could they have stayed together through two teleportations otherwise?

But now as she watched him hug and comfort another girl, a sudden, deep crisis hit her. Was this girl special to him?

No, no! Ming Xi was hers! From the first time she saw him, she knew they belonged together. No one would take him away from her.

Mayleen was no less shocked by the scene. She knew she was no match for Ailuna’s appearance and family background, but this new girl. . .  who was she?

Mayleen looked, and kept looking. She couldn’t see where she lost to the new girl. A bit of hate formed in her heart. How did a girl, who wasn’t even as good as she was, get Ming Xi’s attention?

Fang Li had the best attitude. She knew someone like Ming Xi wouldn’t like an ordinary girl like herself, so though she was a little jealous of the girl clinging to Ming Xi, she didn’t feel any particular hate for her. It was what it was.

“Ming Xi, who is this?” Ailuna squeezed out a smile on her pale face, clearly exuding an attitude of staunch gentleness.

Ming Xi ignored it and instead replied with a polite smile. “This is my schoolmate, Feng Wu. We entered the sea tomb together to explore it.”

Feng Wu pulled her head out of Ming Xi’s arm and looked at the pale Ailuna.

“Wow. Look at those three women. They all like the same guy!”

“Yeah, he is really good looking. I’ve never seen someone so fine!”

“Is he the benefactor’s boyfriend?”

“I think so. Didn’t you see the benefactor jump into his arms as soon as she saw him?”

“But this guy is not bad. His aura is rich and natural. He really is top quality! Really worthy of our benefactor!”

“Look, those two women are really shameless. Especially the one that talked. Holding such a wronged expression on her face. She clearly wants Xiao Wu to die.”

“Yeah! What a cheap person! Who does she think she is? Dare compete with our benefactor!”

The group of spirits pointed as they surrounded Ailuna and Mayleen. They ignored Fang Li because she didn’t have malicious intentions.

Spirits were sensitive to changes in the body, especially qi. A person’s intentions, they didn’t need to look to know, they could just feel them.

“I can’t give you Senior Ming Xi! He’s going to be the father of my baby!” Feng Wu was happy to know Ming Xi had thought of her, but she had been listening to the spirits talk, and from what they were saying, it sounded like the women wanted to take Little Bun’s father away! Feng Wu couldn’t contain her outburst.

Ailuna barely had time to catch her breath after Ming Xi’s explanation when she was punched in the gut by Feng Wu’s words. Her face nearly twisted into an ugly expression. This woman was too shameless! Only a schoolmate and she dare say things like having Ming Xi be the father of her child!? thought Ailuna.

How old was she? Fifteen? Sixteen? And she yet she was shameless enough to talk about having a child at her age.

Ailuna looked hopefully at Ming Xi. Surely he would refute the girl and let her know it was inappropriate to speak such nonsense, that she should avoid such daydreams!

She never expected Ming Xi to smile helplessly as he touched the girl’s hair, clearly indulging her! “Xiao Wu, don’t make trouble,” was all he said.

397: Food That Costs One Hundred Gold (Drafted 3/2)

The lack of any disapproval in Ming Xi’s voice left Ailuna gutted. Could Ming Xi really be interested in the shameless girl hanging on his arm?

“Haha. Feng Wu is a really interesting girl.” Anyone with a functioning ear could tell the words were insincere.

“Never expected to meet Ming Xi’s schoolmate here. Let’s all go sit down and talk in the shade. The sun is too fierce.” LeChen pointed to the sun beating down on his head.

“That’s right! Let’s get out of the sun first!” The other three guys agreed heartily as they discreetly wiped the sweat off their brow. The atmosphere was too depressing! Plus, they were overheating.

Ming Xi nodded in agreement. The place really was unbearable hot.

LeChen led the way and the group sheltered under the rocks where Feng Wu had been resting to avoid the sun.

It was a small space, but they were all able to squeeze in together.

“Feng Wu, we saw you eating earlier. I don’t know if you have any extra you’d be interested in selling.”

The guys had resorted to drinking potions to stave off their hunger because they had run out of food some time ago. They were big men, so they had to use a lot of expensive potions just to feel some satiation. Even if they were well off, they really couldn’t keep being so wasteful.

They had packed plenty of potions, first aid items, scrolls, and weapons, but they hadn’t packed much food or water.

How could they have known they would fall into a desert? Why was there a desert in the tomb of a sea god? It didn’t make sense!

“I can sell you some.” Feng Wu was interested in making money. The more money she made, the more delicious foods she could buy.

“So what do you have there? Give us some of whatever you’re having. Don’t worry, we won’t try to cheat you.” Olifuman felt like he was dreaming. In a place without food or water, he didn’t expect to be able to buy what he needed from another person. He was more than willing to pay for some, even if it was ten times more expensive than the outside world, even if it was more expensive than potions.

But alas, it wasn’t as simple as they thought.

“One hundred gold coins?!” Zhaki exclaimed as he pointed at the packets of food Feng Wu had parceled out per person.

Each packet was one hundred gold and comprised of miscellaneous things from Feng Wu’s ring. They were just wrapped in plan brown wax paper. Who knew when she found paper to put in her ring, but it certainly came in handy now.

“Are they made of gold?! Why are they so expensive?!”

The people on the continent were heavily into martial arts, so any food to do with martial qi were generally expensive. On the other hand, regular food items didn’t sell for much. Even the most luxurious hotels only charged, at most, a few gold coins for meals, but never more than that.

Feng Wu used snacks that could be purchased from any street vendor on the continent and she was selling them for a hundred gold – it was outrageous.

“You don’t have to buy them if you think they’re too expensive.” Feng Wu spoke indifferently as she glanced at the high sun in the sky.

“Buy! Buy!” Zhaki was surprised at the high price, but he never said he wouldn’t buy. If he didn’t buy some now, next time she sold, she might charge five hundred gold! Or she might not even sell any!

“How can we not buy? Come now no one’s making a fuss. Feng Wu, here take my money.”

“Here’s mine.”

“I’ll take a packet too.”

Soon the three guys each had a large packet of food and Feng Wu had a bag full of coins.

Feng Wu’s lips twitched slightly as she looked at the bag of coins. Ming Xi could tell she was in a good mood. He patted her on the head and didn’t ask about the puppy dog egg on top of her hair. He assumed it was something she gained from her exploration of the tomb.

Even though Feng Wu’s food packet was expensive, everyone still bought one. Even Mayleen and Ailuna purchased some and stored them away in their storage rings.

Of course everyone was hungry. They took out some food and ate them in big gulps, talking as they ate.

Though everyone there had gone through at least one king’s tomb, none of them understood the situation and assumed it was just normal level divisions in the sea god’s tomb.

LeChen suddenly yelled out. “Look over there! Isn’t that writing on that rock there?!” He had been casually looking around when he noticed the writing.

Continental Common script appeared out of thin air on the rock.

“Let’s have look.”

They stopped eating and quickly went over to see. Those in front were able to make out the words: First level – cross the desert and find the ancient desert city.

“Interesting. It’s a notice, just like when we were teleported the first time.” LeChen smiled.

“But what is this ancient desert city?” Mayleen wondered out loud.

“You’ll know if you go.” Zhaki said indifferently.

Xier fanned himself. “Let’s go back under the shade and talk. I feel like I’m being cooked; I’m so hot.”

Everyone walked back to sit under the shade of the big rocks.

Where was this city? They weren’t given a map. If they wanted to find it, they needed to at least determine which direction to head.

Ming Xi and the others didn’t know it, but their group wasn’t the only one sent to the Land of Sand. There were others; they had just landed in different areas.

The same notice appeared in several places throughout the desert. Upon seeing it, some lowered their heads in thought, while others sat away from the sun and paid it no attention whatsoever.

Most people were like Ming Xi and his group; they clustered together under a shade and discussed where the ancient city could be.

398: An Explanation of the Facts

Feng Wu’s little hand had been tugging on the corner of Ming Xi’s clothes as she sat close by listening to what everyone was saying.

Ming Xi noticed she wanted to say something, so he asked her after everyone was done speaking. “What’s the matter? Is there something you want to say?” He smiled gently, but it was more sincere than when he was facing Ailuna and the others.

Even though he spoke softly, and no one meant to eavesdrop, the space was so small everyone else couldn’t help overhearing. They were curious about Feng Wu. Ming Xi was so reserved, but yet he treated her so differently. They were very curious!

“Senior Ming Xi, do you know where we are?” Feng Wu asked seriously as she blinked her eyes and bit her lip.

“I don’t know.” Ming Xi shook his head. All he knew was that they were in the sea god’s tomb.

“Isn’t this the sea god’s tomb? What a stupid question!” Mayleen gave Feng Wu a disdainful look.

“Mayleen, don’t be that way.” Ailuna cast an apologetic smile at Feng Wu. But when she looked over, she saw that neither Feng Wu or Ming Xi had paid any attention.

Ailuna lowered her head out of embarrassment and to hide the resentment in her eyes.

“This is the Kingdom of Sand and the tomb of the Czar.” Feng Wu’s voice was soft, but everyone heard it and it thoroughly confused them.

What did she mean, this was the Land of Sand, tomb of the Czar?

Ming Xi remembered there was a record of the kingdom in one of the books he had read as a child. “The Kingdom of Sand? As far as I know, such a place did exist in ancient times. It was recorded in the books in my family that the kingdom disappeared after the Czar’s death. No one has been able to find the remains of the kingdom.”

But Feng Wu was saying this was the Kingdom of Sand, the same kingdom that disappeared thousands of years ago. It was too farfetched to believe. If it weren’t for the fact he knew how Feng Wu was, that she didn’t lie, he wouldn’t have believed it. Had it come out of anyone else’s mouth he wouldn’t have believed such an incredible thing.

It was hard enough for Mayleen to hold herself back from attacking Feng Wu, so of course she wasn’t going to be merciful.

Feng Wu glared at her angrily before replying with, “Your brain’s broken,” in a serious tone.

“You. . . ” Mayleen was furious. She wanted to rush at Feng Wu but Ailuna stopped her.

Ailuna shook her head. It wasn’t the right time; they couldn’t take the initiative and attack Feng Wu in front of Ming Xi.

Mayleen was unwilling, but she sat back down.

“What makes you say this is the Kingdom of Sand?” Ming Xi ignored everyone else and focused on Feng Wu. He was sure she knew something.

“The two places we have been teleported to are both tombs’ of ancient kings. The sea god knew his time was short and he was afraid humans would steal his treasures as his powers weakened after death, so he used his divine powers to move royal human tombs into his own.

The sea god’s tomb is surrounded by these tombs. His own tomb is very difficult to find, possible only with luck. The most troublesome thing is that the sea god, in order to ensure the treasures inside his tomb would never be stolen, sealed the souls of all the kings inside, along with the souls of all those buried alongside them.

The imprisoned souls were tortured daily. As their spiritual bodies suffered, new evil spirits were created. These spirits provided the tomb with the strongest possible protection. . . ”

Feng Wu repeated what she had heard from Rui Baby; she didn’t bother paying attention to the other people who were listening; she just wanted Senior Ming Xi to know the facts.

“It’s unbelievable that a natural-born god like the sea god could be so cruel – to imprison a human’s soul for thousands of years, just to ensure the security of this tomb!” Fang Li exclaimed in disbelief.

“Yeah it is hard to believe.” LeChen sighed.

“Wait, how do you know this?” Mayleen discovered the obvious question and directed at Feng Wu.

“The last tomb I was in, there were some records. I read them and that’s how I know.” Rui Baby had coached her on what to say. His identity had to remain an absolute secret so he and the spirits had prepared what Feng Wu would say well in advance.

“So that’s why.”

Everyone nodded. Though Mayleen had wanted to make trouble, Feng Wu’s statement was so practical, it was hard to dispute, so Mayleen had to sit down and stew.

“I see. We thought we were breaking through to the next level but we were actually just breaking into the various royal tombs from different dynasties.” Olifuman touched his chin. He didn’t doubt Feng Wu’s story. Her account of things, like the corpses, were similar to his own experiences.

“So if we want to get out of here, we’ll need to find the Czar’s tomb, then fight our way out of it.” Ailuna was a bright girl so it didn’t take her long to figure it out.

“Yes.” Feng Wu nodded.

“How are we supposed to find where this Czar’s tomb is?” Xie was angry.

“We don’t have to know; there’ll be hints for us.” Ming Xi said.

Yes, it was true. There would be hints. All their eyes lit up when they realized this.

“Good thing there are hints. Without them, we’d have a miserable time finding the tomb. The desert is so big, it would be next to impossible.”

Everyone complained. The sun was hot and bright and the day showed no sign of cooling down. They sheltered under the rocks and continued to wait for things to get better in the evening.

But the desert at night wasn’t any more tolerable. The sun had set, but the moon had risen, and if the sun brought endless heat, then the moon brought endless cold. It was cold as cold the far north – there was even sleet!

Even though it was so cold, everyone agreed to walk through the wet, cold night.

One person shielded their body with an umbrella purchased from Feng Wu at several times the retail cost.

399, 400

399, 400

[Host: justreads.net]
[March 9, 2021]
...

399: Meeting Zi Cheng Again (DRAFTED 3/6)

The desert at night was just as extreme as the desert in the day. Temperatures were as high as 40C[notes] in the day, but dropped as low as -10C[notes] at night.

They were wearing thin summer clothes. A few had extra thermal properties to their clothes, but it didn’t stop their teeth from chattering.

Feng Wu had been using her martial qi to create a barrier against the cold; her clothes alone would not have been enough to keep her warm.

Ming Xi seemed unaffected and he appeared in good physical condition. It was as though he wasn’t even feeling the cold. That the cold wasn’t bothering him made Ailuna and the others wonder just how powerful he was.

They didn’t know it was the moon that was giving Ming Xi so much strength. The sun and moon here weren’t artificially created by the sea god – they were real. The sea god had used his divine powers to borrow a trace of the sun yang from the hot lands and a sliver of moon yin from the cold, bitter northern lands. That was why there were two orbs in the sky that were just like the sun and moon in the outside world.

Ming Xi would be the next emperor of the Ancient Silver Moon kingdom, so he would be protected wherever there was a moon. The cold air didn’t hurt him in the slightest.

Ailuna didn’t know this so she assumed he was a hidden master.

The group walked through the unrelenting wind and sleet. They didn’t know how long they had walked, and although the wind and sleet didn’t increase, it didn’t let up either.

After much difficult walking, a small rocky mountain came into view. The glow of a fire could be seen from the cave under it.

Ming Xi knew the group wouldn’t be able to keep going. It was so cold, even if all of them had various forms of protection with magic and martial qi, it was still impossible to go too far. Both things were consumables and could only be replenished one of two ways: by resting or by taking medicine.

It would have been foolhardy to try to rest and replenish their magic and martial qi in the bitter, windy cold. They would turn into ice sculptures before they regained enough.

Medicine was expensive, and besides that, they didn’t have that much to use.

The group was exhausted and at their limit after such a long walk. The had to find a place to rest.

After some consideration, everyone agreed to head toward the mountain cave to get out of the wind and cold. Any distance lost could be made up the next day.

They could feel the faint warmth reflected from the fire as they entered the cave.

Who was inside? They could only guess.

It didn’t matter if there were others already inside the cave or not, they were all unbearably cold. It wouldn’t be an issue to squeeze a few more people into the cave.

After making up his mind, Ming Xi took the lead, followed by Feng Wu, Ailuna and the rest of the group.

They entered the cave cautiously.

There were people inside, and the people were familiar too – it was Zi Cheng and Yifu[notes] The two girls had been lucky, managing to remain together since entering the tomb.

Aside from the girls, there were two other guys in the cave as well. One had a long sword by his side, while the other had nothing. It was clear, based on the robe he had on, that the one with nothing was a magician.

Ze Ye, the one with the sword, was a direct descendent of the ruling royal family in the ancient east. The other was Caesar. Of course Caesar would be with Zi Cheng. As her leading man, how could he possibly be separated from her?

They remained together even after two messy teleportations. Along the way, their feelings had developed more and Caesar, though not at a full one hundred percent, was at a good ninety percent favorability rating toward Zi Cheng.

Zi Cheng knew the more self-possession and self-control a person had the more difficult it was to gain favorability points. She wasn’t concerned though. She was certain she would be able to get Caesar.

The four people in the cave were shocked at the appearance of the new arrivals, Zi Cheng especially. She didn’t expect to meet the people she least wanted to see so soon.

Back on Demon Wind island, she had released an ancient demon general in an effort to get the sword sealing him away. The whole thing had nearly created a catastrophe of epic proportions.[notes] And Ming Xi, who had witnessed the entire thing, would report it to the academy, which would then mete out her punishment.

Zi Cheng’s face lost some color when she saw Ming Xi. Neither Yifu nor Caesar noticed, as all their attention was focused on Ming Xi and the group of new arrivals who had just entered the cave.

“We’re sorry to inconvenience you, but it’s too windy outside. Is it alright if we rest here for the night?” LeChen asked.

“Of course.” Ze Ye nodded. Though he looked reserved and aloof, it was obvious from the way he spoke that he was not an indifferent person.

“Thank you.” LeChen sincerely thanked him on behalf of everyone.

Ze Ye nodded his head indifferently and stopped paying attention to them.

Ming Xi and his group walked to a side of the cave and started building fire. It was fortunate that everyone carried fire building items.

They were all tired and hungry, so after building the fire they all sat down and took out the parcels they purchased from Feng Wu earlier. They took big bites of their food, not caring that there were outsiders nearby.

“Senior Ming Xi! I didn’t expect to see you here!” Yifu looked at Ming Xi with surprise.

Yifu had learned to be smarter. Instead of rushing at Feng Wu and screaming wildly at the other girl, she now ignored her.

“Hm.” Ming Xi gave her a shallow smile. Anyone familiar with him would have recognized it was a habitual smile that never reached his eyes.

Yifu didn’t know this and the smile encouraged her enough to give Feng Wu a defiant look. She knew Feng Wu was interested in Ming Xi, so if she could snag Ming Xi’s heart, Feng Wu would be heartbroken.

The more Yifu thought about it, the more feasible it became. Her eyes turned soft as she gazed at Ming Xi, herself becoming a little shy.

Yifu wanted to get Ming Xi’s attention to get revenge against Feng Wu, seeing her nemesis in pain would be delicious, but the most important thing was Ming Xi was extremely attractive husband material.

She didn’t know his pedigree, but just based on his temperament, he had to, in the least, be nobility. Weren’t their identities quite compatible? This way, not only would she get one over Feng Wu, but she would also get herself a beautiful man in the process. How could Yifu not be interested?

She could already see how jealous all of Ming Xi’s admirers would be when she snagged him.

400:

Who knew where this girl got her confidence from, thinking that as soon as she hooked up with Ming Xi, he would be a slave to her skirt, as if he’d never seen another woman before.

Zi Cheng had been anxious Ming Xi would say something and let the others know what she’d done. Her reputation would suffer a blow if anyone knew and that was something she couldn’t stand.

Unexpectedly, what she dreaded didn’t happen. Neither Ming Xi nor Feng Wu said a word about what had happened on Demon Wind island nor did they take the initiative to talk to her. It made her both relieved and displeased at the same time. She wondered if they were looking down on her.

If she had known Ming Xi would discover her, she wouldn’t have touched the sword. Compared to her reputation, which brought about an increase in her favorability with people, the sword was not worth it.

“Senior this is a delicious sandwich Zi Cheng made. Please take it.” Yifu brought out the sandwich in an attempt to get closer to Ming Xi and develop a stronger bond.

Unfortunately for her, Ming Xi refused her goodwill. “No need Junior Sister Yifu. Food in the desert is precious, Junior Sister should take care to conserve them for yourself.”

Ming Xi had rejected her offer in such a beautifully spoken way that Yifu had no idea of his dislike for her. She really believed Ming Xi was genuinely worried about her and afraid she wouldn’t have sufficient food.

Yifu was overjoyed Ming Xi was treating her so favorably. She became bashful and replied back shyly that she still had a lot of food so if Ming Xi didn’t have enough, she would be happy to share some with him.

Ming Xi still refused of course, but his rejection was a diplomatic and pretty one, so no one suspected he simply disliked Yifu.

“Senior Ming Xi, I still have a lot of food. I can share some with you if you don’t have enough.” When Zi Cheng saw that Ming Xi wasn’t going to criticize her in front of everyone, it emboldened her to speak our confidently instead of trying to hide.

But the fact that she didn’t greet Ming Xi earlier left some wondering if they were on bad terms. Of course, no one voiced anything out loud.

“There is no need. I have enough food on me.” Ming Xi’s expression was light and his polite smile didn’t waver, so it was hard for anyone to guess his thoughts.

Zi Cheng was disappointed Ming Xi didn’t accept her generosity but she wasn’t the kind to keep badgering people. She wasn’t going to keep offering to him since he had already rejected her offer.

“Xiao Cheng, is this your senior?” Caesar had noticed Ming Xi as soon as Ming Xi entered the cave. His appearance was absolutely impossible to ignore. Although their world paid more attention to strength, no one would say that beauty was unimportant.

A man with such exceptional appearance, Caesar was trying to guess which young master he was, or which royal family he belonged to, but he never guessed the newcomer was Zi Cheng and Yifu’s senior.

“This is our Xingguang Holy academy’s fifth-year representative, Senior Ming Xi.” Zi Cheng made introductions.

“Senior Ming Xi, this is my friend Caesar.” She didn’t say much about Caesar’s identity.

Ming Xi gave Zi Cheng face and greeted Caesar in a friendly way. They sat back down in their respective places without saying much after that.

In contrast, Ailuna and her group chatted with Zi Cheng’s group. They learned a lot about Ming Xi, while Zi Cheng learned a lot about their group and how they had met up with Ming Xi.

They even talked about the tomb’s secret that they learned from Feng Wu.

Ailuna and the others had their motives for sharing; they weren’t being foolishly kind. The more people they could bring along, the better it would be. They could already guess how dangerous the road ahead would be, so there was nothing wrong with recruiting more people to join their group.

Caesar and his group never expected there to be such a secret so they were shocked. They didn’t think Ming Xi’s group was lying to them; what reason was there to do such a thing?

Upon learning the tomb’s secret, Caesar and his group became gloomy. It was a development beyond their imagination. They never the sea god was such a vicious and merciless god.

The two groups formed a tentative alliance.

The wind and sleet outside were still very strong, but it was warm inside the cave. Feng Wu took a quilt out of her space ring then sat in front of the fire as she leaned against Ming Xi, the quilt covering both of them.

He had wanted to say no, but seeing her small aggrieved and serious expression, he really couldn’t say it.

They leaned against each other and the warmth from her body softened his heart just a little bit.

Ailuna, Mayleen, and Yifu were uncomfortable witnessing the scene. Their hearts constricted, but there wasn’t anything they could do other than watch sullenly. They mentally scolded and cursed Feng Wu for having no shame or honor, to seduce a man in public, and so on and so on. They had hundreds of curses.

The night passed slowly for the group as their circumstances weighed on their minds.

The next morning was so hot, Feng Wu and Ming Xi were awakened by the heat. Ming Xi was surprised he slept so well – he’d actually fallen asleep despite the dangerous situation!

Ming Xi couldn’t imagine what would have happened if someone had wanted to kill him for his valuables. You couldn’t really be sure in a place like this, he could have really died. Luckily nothing happened.

He was relieved and determined to not have it happen again in the future.

The morning sun was relatively mild and the temperature was only 30C.[notes] They ate breakfast at their own pace. Once done, they immediately set out to look for clues about the ancient desert city.

Fortunately, their group was filled with smart people so finding the city wasn’t going to be a problem for long. They walked in the correct general direction.

After ten days walking, they still hadn’t found a single structure that resembled a city. They did find an oasis they had to steer clear of because Feng Wu said it was surrounded by evil spirits.

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