Chapter 172: Laying Down the Cards (2)


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Chapter 172: Laying Down the Cards (2)

The young lord’s gaze was like a lake as he stared at the screen. Inside the room, there were two elderly men. They appeared to already be over seventy years old, yet they lacked the slightest sliver of an old man’s muddled gaze. On the contrary, their eyes were brimming with spirited light!

“Magik treasure… This is definitely a magik treasure!” In the twinkling that the little monkey appeared, an old man involuntarily cried out in surprise, “These two men are undoubtedly immortal masters!”

“Have a look again.” The young lord’s expression was grave. No one could see, but his fist was so clenched that his veins were displayed!

“Great-Uncle, as soon as I adjust the volume, we’ll clearly hear what they’re talking about.” The young lord said heavily, “Ever since that incident, we have the best monitoring equipment in each room. We’ll be waiting on the immortal masters to arrive at all times!”

Xu Yangyi leisurely picked up a cup of tea and took a sip. “How unimaginable?”

“Fellow Daoist, don’t be worried. Listen to my careful account.” Zhao Wuye laughed dryly, “In any case, no one knows that the Zhao Clan was unable to take another inch of a step forty years ago.”

“The Zhao Clan’s earth masters are the finest experts in all of China…” Zhao Wuye sighed. “Paired with specialized magik artifacts and talismans, we reached 300 meters underground. Forty years ago… the Zhao Clan’s suicide squad excavated a passage that finally connected to a gigantic cavern. The cavern is approximately the size of a few football fields. Fellow Daoist…” He mysteriously leaned over a little closer. “Can you guess what was inside?”

Xu Yangyi laughed, “Please tell, Fellow Daoist.”

Zhao Wuye sucked in deeply. “A honeycomb landform.”

“It’s full of passages that allow a few people to walk shoulder-to-shoulder. Packed together like a honeycomb.”

“A several-thousand-meter wall… All of it honeycomb! No less than a few hundred passages! So deep the bottom can’t be seen!”

“But this isn’t even the important part…” Zhao Wuye moved close and whispered, “Inside those honeycombs… there are things!”

Xu Yangyi’s gaze slightly flickered. There was another living organism 300 meters below? His biology was awfully rotten, but even if it was worse he knew that in such a deep place, there were almost no pure large-scale life forms!

“There…” Zhao Wuye didn’t know what to think, his complexion incomparably grave. “Is a lot… a lot of—because the Zhao Clan’s suicide squad recorded the sound there—buzzing, similar to a beehive!”

No one spoke any further. In the honeycomb landform 300 meters underground, if these strange noises came from colony creatures… for example ants, then there was bound to be ant queen!

Xu Yangyi’s gaze was heavy. This ant queen… would she be as graceful as the tremendous fish he had caught a glance of? If it was truly like so… the Danxia Temple underground could’ve already quite possibly become a unique ecosphere through the giant demon’s countless years of alterations!

Perhaps… a demonsphere!

“The Zhao Clan is unable to nibble further here.” After ages, Zhao Wuye said deeply, “I have a premonition… There’s quite the chance that Danxia Temple’s true gates are approached from there on. Plus…” he deliberately paused, “when Danxia Temple’s hundred rivulets formed a diagram, the suicide squad went on another trip…” He extended a finger and shook it. “Not a single one… returned.”

Zhao Wuye was cold-faced as he sat on the sofa. “However, according to the feedback from the jade slips, those strange noises all vanished. The entire couple thousand meters of giant honeycomb is like an abandoned beehive. A stretch of deathly silence.”

Silence. After several seconds passed, Xu Yangyi said serenely, “On just this, all of you confirmed that a strange treasure or secret realm came into the world?” He looked straight into Zhao Wuye’s eyes. “I hope… our conversation is good enough of leaving everything in air. And not saying half and leaving half.”

“The Zhao Clan certainly holds our own judgement…” Zhao Wuye finished saying this and didn’t open his mouth again. His slender finger softly tapping an armrest, he said solemnly, “If Fellow Daoist makes a heart-devil oath, I won’t not be able to tell you…”

“You seem to have misunderstood something.” Xu Yangyi laughed coldly. “It’s you who’s making a request of me. And the drawing of the hundred streams forming a diagram is on me. Besides…” He leaned close to Zhao Wuye and looked into the other’s eyes. “China certainly doesn’t have you alone as a Dragon-Vein seeking lineage.”

“I’ll take my leave.” He raised his collar, pushing open the door and leaving without the slightest hesitation. A collaboration was doable, but he wouldn’t consider someone who wanted a foot when they gained an inch.

Zhao Wuye didn’t block his path, only glaring daggers into the other’s back. He didn’t expect that his partner’s nature would be so strong. With a single ill-fitting phrase, the other had immediately chosen to leave. However, the other had complete justification to depart!

The box… Although its use was unknown, the image formed by Danxia Temple’s hundred rivulets formed the image on the box! Years of earth-master experience allowed him to promptly realize that this unassuming little box was quite possibly masking Danxia Temple’s great concealed secret!

He was unable to take action… the other’s strength was even further above his. The emotions of heaven and man waged war for a few seconds. Just as Xu Yangyi’s hand had already connected to the door handle, Zhao Wuye’s ice-cold voice rang out, “Fellow Daoist, wait a moment.”

In a position he couldn’t see, Xu Yangyi revealed a shred of a smile. The item was in his hand; who was to discuss condition margin to him? Zhao Wuye was bound to agree! He knew that since he set foot in this place.

Zhao Wuye was ashen-faced and waved his hand. In the air, a light screen suddenly emerged. He looked into Xu Yangyi’s eyes and said coldly, “This is the Zhao Clan’s top secret. If Fellow Daoist leaks it…”

In the surveillance room, the young lord gasped coldly, which was followed by two elderly men’s gasps as well. They also saw this screen.

“This is?!” An elderly man gasped coldly. Simply unlike an old man, he rushed over by a large stride and tightly clung onto the security monitor in front of him, his voice trembling. “This is a divine ability… This is definitely a divine ability spoken of in legend!”

The young lord also saw everything. In this wink of time, his eyes suddenly glinted!

Xu Yangyi calmly studied the light screen. On the surface, there was a geography of red mingled with black and white stripes, demonstrating its position. The Danxia Landform… The regions several kilometers apart from Danxia Temple were all like this! From the outside, it was beautiful like an exquisite oil painting. How could mortals imagine that great danger was secretly buried within?

A cultivator was locking his eyes fixedly on a place flowing with a stream. However, in less than ten minutes, a golden light suddenly spilled forth from the stream! On the screen, the cultivator was dazed for a few seconds. Soon after, he quickly plunged into the creek water and dredged something out like he’d gone insane.

After a few minutes, the image pulled close. Xu Yangyi only caught a glimpse, but his hand suddenly gripped tight an armrest!

It was a small golden dragon, yet it was entirely crafted from bamboo. The surface was carved with an untold number of profound talismans, and two ruby-like eyes sparkled with a bewitching red brilliance. The entire little dragon was no more than an arm’s length, yet it was like a living creature, sparing no effort to struggle in the cultivator’s hand! That Qi Condensation cultivator was simply hard-pressed to grab on to it!

“A magik artifact!” Xu Yangyi’s heart finally began to throb. He, in comparison to whatever Zhao Wuye imagined, understood much, much more! He knew… below Danxia Temple, there was quite possibly a boundless lotus sea. He also knew that the lotus sea was concealing a giant prehistoric demon! And he knew… that Daomaster Ancientpine had already mobilized all of the Featherwood Guard’s A-rank legions in secret! Furthermore, six of Master-Ancestor Ancientpine’s great disciples had already died today at Danxia Temple! 

Presently, the river water spouting out from Danxia Temple… was already beginning to flush out magik artifacts!

“It’s not a magik artifact…” Zhao Wuye gritted his teeth. “It’s a magik treasure!”

Before his voice even fell, the small dragon fiercely swung its tail. In a flash, the cultivator on the screen had half of his head flattened. Afterwards, like the little dragon possessed its own intelligence, it made a long hiss and soared away!

“This is a magik treasure…” Although it was unknown how many times he’d watched this scene, Zhao Wuye’s heart still madly pounded without stop. “This dragonoid magik treasure…Danxia Temple’s interior… A strange change has certainly happened… The clan elders speculate that the inside is quite possibly concealing a massive treasury. In the wake of the terrain transformations, the treasury was finally broken of seal by the power of nature. The hundred rivulets forming a diagram… is possibly the signal that the hidden treasury has opened… As for this dragonoid magik treasure…”

He breathed in deeply. “According to the clan’s information… this… is the second magik treasure this month. In this month, twenty-one magik artifacts have been flushed out… and two magik treasures!”

At last, Xu Yangyi had grown completely solemn. Daomaster Ancientpine mobilized the Featherwood Guard… because of this business, right...

No matter what was seen… the duo’s gaze swiftly converged together. A wisp of absolute certainty in their eyes, it went without saying, self-evident. Two words. The two of them read the message in the other’s eyes.

Secret realm!

All of this… was in accordance to the omen of any secret realm’s opening! A secret realm of the Eight Great Deadlands! A secret realm where Daochild Chang Shengzi, Greenwall Mountain’s top mountain-protector array, and Shaolin masters had met their demise!

“To laugh and ask the world’s heroes…” Zhao Wuye forced down the excitement in his heart, licking his lips because they were chapped from over-excitement. “Who dares to go?!” [1]

Xu Yangyi’s gaze was likewise staunch, and he pointed at Zhao Wuye and laughed. “Cao.” Afterwards, he pointed towards himself. “Liu.” [2]

“Hahaha!” Zhao Wuye reared his head back and laughed heartily. After several seconds, he finished laughing and looked into Xu Yangyi’s eyes. “Three months from now, Longsu Province’s Nanzhou Provincial Capital. Be there or be square.”

Xu Yangyi raised a strong brow. “Alright.”

The Zhao Clan had laid down all their cards. Their aces originated from the mysterious little monkey, in addition to Danxia Temple’s current situation. Finally, they concluded it was a kind of extraordinarily precious thing… A tunnel map!

Xu Yangyi understood very well what was in the lotus sea. In particular, the ancient sheepskin scroll even had a few strange characters and symbols carved on it. Although he didn’t understand their significance for the time being, once he was able to enter he would naturally have the opportunity to find out.

What was important, though, was how to enter! This was reason he had to contact Zhao Wuye. The Zhao Clan’s foundation satisfied him very much.

“Since everything is done being said, then let’s not go over this.” 

Just as Xu Yangyi was about to leave, Zhao Wuye coughed gently. “Fellow Daoist, hold on for a moment…”

In front of a surveillance monitor, everyone stared in rapt attention. They seemed calm, but their rising and falling chests betrayed them all.

“Chaofeng…” An old man said crowingly, his complexion an abnormal red. “The ancestor’s inherited records… I originally believed them to be an exaggeration… I didn’t expect… didn’t expect it truly existed!”

“What are we still waiting for… We’ll receive the immortal masters now!”

“This is immortal fate…” the other old man said warblingly, “In the world… there’s actually such a true immortal technique… You all saw the light screen that just appeared with the wave of a hand… If we don’t go right now, how long will we wait?!”

“Don’t worry, Great-Uncles.” On the contrary, the adolescent young lord was the most unperturbed, but even his heart was beating violently. He never thought… that the ancestor’s few vague pennings and written accounts, things that had caused him to scoff and turn his nose up, would actually be capable of being seen with his own eyes!

This meeting place of over a dozen years… had finally gained a meeting of immortal masters! This opportunity left him unable to restrain his rushed, urgent breathing!

“Before we’re certain that the immortal masters have finished talking, we must not disturb them as much as possible.” The young lord said heavily, “I’ve already ordered a few capable helpers to go wait at the door… As soon as the immortal masters finish speaking, we’ll go straightaway!”

1. To my best knowledge, this line is from Jin Yong’s The Smiling Proud Wanderer.

2. ”Cao-Liu.” This is a combo of last names of Cao Cao and Liu Bei, both noted figures in the Three Kingdoms Era. It is used as a reference to describe the warring/allying nature of the duo’s relationship.

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