Chapter 73: Hehe, Ancient Secret Technique
“Little brother, have you seen these diagrams before?” Zi Dan asked.
Zhu Yao shook her head. These engravings were everywhere, it would be strange if she did.
“There seems to be one lacking over here.” Xiao Yi walked over to the right of the nine plates of pictures, and as he had said, there was a concave spot, as though it had been dug by someone. Xiao Yi reached out his hand to touch it, suddenly, that empty slot actually emitted out a silver light. “It’s actually able to light up here!”
The three of them were stunned.
Zhu Yao looked at that glowing squarish empty slot, and she then strongly turned her head back to look at those other nine plates at the side. There seemed to be something broken up in her mind, and then suddenly, with a ‘ting!’, the two broken ends instantly connected.
The hell, this was actually a picture puzzle. It was no wonder she felt the diagrams were everywhere, they were actually messed up.
“Move aside!” Zhu Yao pushed away Xiao Yi who activated the empty slot. “This should be a ga…… a mechanism.”
Zhu Yao had almost said it was a game. Squatting down, she pressed on the plate next to the empty slot, and pulled it. Without even using any strength, that diagram plate automatically moved to the empty slot, and the slot which the picture plate was initially at, began to glow a silver-white light as well.
Zhu Yao looked at the other eight stone plates, and began to concentrate on solving the picture puzzle.
Less than ten minutes later, a complete picture had been formed. Zhu Yao moved the final picture plate to its intended position, and the empty slot finally no longer lighted up.
The ground suddenly began to shake, the complete picture suddenly emitted out a red glow, just like that of a formation’s, and there were even unrecognizable words floating above it.
“It’s done!” Zi Dan, with an excited expression, looked towards Zhu Yao. “Little brother, I did not expect that you were actually proficient in the mechanisms and formations of the Ancient Era as well.”
A low IQ game like this, ancient?
Zhu Yao replied him with a smile. “Hehe, just a little, just a little!”
Could she tell him that she began playing this sort of thing when she was three years old?
“This is a teleportation formation!” Shocked, Xiao Yi took a step forward. “Master must definitely be at the other side of the formation.”
After saying that, he was the first one to enter it. Rui Yu curled her lips, a hint of dissatisfaction appeared on her face, yet, she still followed after him.
Zi Dan nodded towards Zhu Yao, and they walked towards the center of the formation.
The red glow suddenly brightened up greatly, and the scenery in front of her was covered entirely by the red light. However, a moment later, it slowly dimmed down.
Looking around her vicinity, they had already arrived at an unfamiliar place. The surroundings were dark and grey, broken rocks and shattered walls could be faintly seen at the front. The surroundings were lonely and not a single sound could be heard. It was so quiet, it was a little strange.
Zhu Yao cast out an ember, and the surroundings instantly became clearer.
There was actually a city in front of them, however, it was actually a barren and dead city. Looking at the style of those houses, they should be very ancient and old. And there were even some strange inscriptions engraved on the walls, which seemed to look a little like those words that could be found on the walls of Yucang City.
“Could this be the underground city?” Rui Yu muttered. “So there really is an underground city under Yucang City.”
When they heard of this, the other three were all stunned. The underground city was actually a legend. It’s been rumored that Yucang City was the residence of a huge Deity Sect in the Ancient Era. Disciples in that Sect were proficient in Ancient Secret Techniques, especially research regarding formations. And then, the Sect fell. Right at the final moments before the Sect’s fall, the disciples who were fortunate to survive, pooled in their strength to sink a part of the Sect underground, so as to hide from their enemies’ pursuit.
However, after so many years had passed, many people had dug several meters into the grounds of Yucang City, yet, not a single person have discovered this city. After such a long time, everyone began to think that the legend was just a lie.
Zi Dan had spoke of this legend to Zhu Yao when they were still in the cell as well. It was understandable, though. How could a city which had been hidden by a Deity Sect that was famed for its secret techniques and formations, be found just by casual digging?
However, the entrance to such an underground city, was actually a picture puzzle. Was it not too easy!?
Zhu Yao gave a face.
“Little brother, are you able to sense the direction of the wood spiritual energy?” Zi Dan asked.
Zhu Yao closed her eyes. A moment later, she opened them, and shook her head. Little Wood Spirit had waited for too long, and actually went to sleep. It was really too unreliable.
“There’s that black fog here as well.” Xiao Yi’s expression suddenly turned cold, and pointed to the wisps of black fog not far from here.
“Seems like that villainous thief is indeed hiding here.” Zi Dan shook the fats on his body. “Let’s look for them by heading towards the source of that black fog.”
Zhu Yao increased her pace, following after the rest, they went deeper into the fog at high speeds, and the black fog became denser as well. She could even faintly smell an unbearable stench, as though something was decomposing.
The few of them went deeper and deeper, gradually leaving the underground city, and arriving at a pathway.
The road became narrower as they went deeper as well, and a few minutes later, the black fog in front of them was so dense, they could no longer clearly see the direction they were heading.
Yet, that stench became dense to the point where it could pierce their noses. The senses of practitioners were strong in the first place. Zhu Yao could not help but feel nauseous, and hurriedly sealed a part of her sense of smell, before she could feel a little better.
“Little brother, be careful!” As Zhu Yao was numbly heading forward, suddenly, Zi Dan pulled her, and she retreated two steps back.
After a closer look, in front of them was actually a gigantic and deep crater. The size of the crater was basically more than four to five football fields, and within the depths of the crater, black fog was currently being emitted out endlessly. While at the bottom of the dense fog, was a pool of black water. Like a volcano, the pool was emitting out air bubbles, and there was even big and small flesh of blood floating on the surface of the water. On a closer look, they were actually all decomposed, or half-decomposed corpses of demonic beasts.
Zhu Yao was so shocked, she took a couple more steps back. Fortunately, Zi Dan had pulled her earlier.
Patting on her chest, she calmed down her shock, yet, she incidentally received Rui Yu’s cold smile.
The depths of Zhu Yao’s heart turned cold for a moment. Incidentally, the one who were walking ahead of her earlier was Rui Yu, yet, Zi Dan was the one who pulled her in the end. She clearly knew there was a crater there, yet, she did not remind her. She was doing it on purpose!
This queen did not harbor any good intentions at all!
This must be a place to refine demonic beast puppets.” Zi Dan analyzed, turned, and brought everyone into a small passage. “Chen Zi is not here, so it seems like we can only split up and find him.”
After the four had discussed, they decided to split into two groups, and find their target separately. Xiao Yi and Rui Yu would return to the underground city to take a look, while Zhu Yao and Zi Dan would continue to enter deep into the cave.
Zhu Yao could only follow along this narrow passage and walked over. The passage was still densely filled with black fog, so Zhu Yao could only release her divine sense, and carefully inspected the passage. The strange thing was, this passage was unexpectedly long, even with her Nascent Soul-stage divine sense, she was unable to inspect its depth, and the further they went, the darker it became.
Zhu Yao held up a ball of flames, and after walking in the passage for two hours, yet they were still unable to see the end, she finally realized something was wrong, as she pulled the person in front of her.
“Senior martial brother, don’t you think… we have been walking in circles?”
Zi Dan was startled. “But earlier, in the places we walked past earlier, I intentionally left behind a few strands of spiritual energy. However, I did not sense any similar ripples of spiritual energy.”
Although Zi Dan was fat, he had never been muddle-headed when it came to actual work.
However, Zhu Yao was confused. It had already been the third time she stepped on a slippery stone, and had almost slipped because of it. And every single time, the slipping sensation felt exactly the same. Using her morals as guarantee, she was definite that it was exactly the same stone.
“Senior martial brother, try releasing a little spiritual power again.”
It would not do them any good even if they were to keep on walking. Zi Dan nodded, and released a strand of spiritual energy as per requested. The two of them did not continue to move, and simply stood at the same spot.
A few minutes later, Zi Dan’s eyes were suddenly opened wide, revealing an expression of disbelief. “The spiritual energy disappeared?”
That strand of spiritual energy actually dissipated without a trace. A spiritual energy marker released by an actual Nascent Soul-stage practitioner, actually disappeared so strangely.
As she thought, they had indeed been walking in circles.
Zhu Yao enlarged the ball of flames in her hand, and lighted up the surroundings even more. The first thing she did, was to kick away the stone under her feet. Then, she carefully inspected this strange passage.
“There’s inscriptions engraved here!” Zi Dan pointed to the stone walls at the right of the passage. Zhu Yao took a closer look, and they were those strange words that could be found on the city walls again. She completely could not understand them at all.
Zhu Yao reached out her hand as thought of rubbing off a bit of the dust, to get a clearer look. The inscriptions suddenly released a ray of light, and she suddenly felt numbness in her hand, as though she was electrocuted, while the ball of flames on her other hand which was used to light up the surroundings, instantly extinguished as well.
“This wall can absorb spiritual energy!” Zhu Yao immediately retracted her hand.
Zi Dan cast a Clearwind Art, and sent it passing through the entire passage. The gusts of wind which had filled up the entire passage just earlier, were instantly absorbed completely. On the stone walls on both sides, they were actually densely engraved with the same type of inscriptions.
“It seems like, as long as a Mystic Art is cast, and makes contact with the inscriptions, its spiritual power will be absorbed.” Zi Dan pointed to the front. “Let’s go for another walk around, and search for any peculiarities.”
Zhu Yao nodded, it would not be good for them to stay trapped here anyway. They had to find an exit.
As expected, after walking for a while, they discovered a peculiarity. The passageway was made of pieces of rectangular yellow stone materials which were exactly the same. However, on the wall in front of them, was a piece which was shaped in a square, and was even blue-colored. It was especially eye-catching.
Was this not clearly telling people, that this was the exit? Zhu Yao suddenly felt a little worried of the IQ of the person who made this passage in that person’s place. That person could not have been color-blind, right?
Zi Dan pressed on that blue stone plate, and circulated his spiritual energy. As expected, it did not get absorbed. The blue stone plate suddenly shook for a few moments, and the surrounding yellow stones suddenly began to move, as though they were given life. They formed a picture of a formation on the entire wall, and emitted out a red light.
“So there’s another passage here.” Zi Dan looked at Zhu Yao. “Little brother, you’re more familiar with formations. Why don’t you take the lead?”
Zhu Yao gave a face. How did he determine that she was familiar with them? But, it was fine if she walked ahead as well, after all, with such a huge blob walking in front of her, he was really blocking her line of sight.
Hence, without rejecting it, she directly entered the formation on the wall.
Behind the formation, was another passage, and it was even the same shape and type as the earlier passage. Zhu Yao instantly felt a little tired in her heart. Why did she have a feeling as though they had entered a dungeon?
Casting out a ball of flames to light up the area, Zhu Yao released her divine sense completely, as she resigned herself to her fate and continued to explore. She was especially attentive in inspecting the differences in the surrounding walls.
However, there were no such square-shaped stone plates anymore. The only change was that the passage became narrower the further they went in. And at the end, even she needed to walk with her head lowered, let alone Zi Dan, whose body shape was developing in the horizontal direction. He was quickly about to squeeze himself into a ball.
After an hour, they finally arrived at the end. There was a wall, and three diagrams were engraved on it. One, was phoenix-shaped, the other was dragon-shaped, while the last was turtle-shaped. The positions of the three diagrams were really scattered, as though they had been casually engraved on the wall.
“Little brother, what mechanism is this?” Zi Dan curiously asked.
“I don’t know either.” It was just three diagrams, so how would she know what game it was?
“Eh, there’s a stone chest here!”
Zhu Yao turned to look, and as expected, there was a rectangular stone chest. Sweeping it through her divine sense, she did not discover any trace of formations.
Opening it to take a look, there were many similar small tiles with engravings on them, and the sizes were exactly the same as the ones on the stone wall. Yet, there was an additional tiger-shaped plate.
The two broken ends in Zhu Yao’s mind, once again connected with a ‘Ting!’ sound.
I challenge you to a game of Gomoku, do you dare to accept?