Book 11, Necropolis of the Gods – Chapter 12: The Ba-Serpent Awakens?
On the third floor of the Necropolis of the Gods, all the Saints were moving with the utmost of caution, not daring to make a single sound for fear of startling awake this slumbering, terrifying creature…the Ba-Serpent. In the entire third floor, the only sound was the soft, quiet snores of the slumbering Ba-Serpent.
“Whoosh. Hiss. Whoosh. Hiss.”
With each breath the Ba-Serpent took, scattered pieces of ice nearby were drawn into its mouth. Whenever it exhaled, black gas came flowing out.
“Fortunately, there are no other creatures on this third floor aside from the Ba-Serpent.” Linley cast a glance at the distant Ba-Serpent.
The ten-kilometer long scale-covered body of the Ba-Serpent, wrapped around that massive iceberg, had a massive head that was the height of a building with six or seven floors. From its closed eyelids came flashes of metallic, steel-like light. The feeling those dim flashes of light gave off alone made many Saints feel terror in their hearts.
After searching for a long time.
“Where is the passageway to the fourth floor?” Linley was growing somewhat impatient.
Not just Linley. The other experts on the third floor were growing frantic as well. If they were forced to stay on the first or second floor for ten days or a month, they wouldn’t be too afraid, but this was the third floor. Even a few hours were difficult to bear.
If anyone made any loud sounds, this Ba-Serpent would definitely wake up.
Even if it didn’t wake up from noise, the Ba-Serpent might wake up on its own. If they just so happened to be here while the Ba-Serpent was awake, then the Saints wouldn’t even have the chance to cry before dying.
“There are more and more people arriving on the third floor now. There’s over thirty, I wager.” Linley turned back and glanced. Those experts that had been on the first or second floor were all all making their way to the third floor now. Nobody in the third floor had found the fourth floor entrance yet.
Naturally, the population in the third floor was continuing to increase.
Although the Ba-Serpent’s breathing wasn’t very loud, it still struck at each person’s heart like a hammer.
“Desri, Tulily, and Fain came in first, but I haven’t seen them yet.” Linley carefully moved past a flow of black gas, which brushed against a nearby iceberg. The iceberg immediately transformed into powder.
The black gas which the Ba-Serpent exhaled was not to be touched.
“Desri and the others are experienced. Most likely, they have already found the entrance and have gone to the fourth floor already.” Linley understood that while he had been searching for the gateway in the first floor, Desri and Fain probably had already begun moving up into the higher floors.
There was nothing for it. They had the benefit of experience.
A person drew near. It was Eddins. Linley looked questioningly at Eddins.
Eddins used a finger to point towards another direction, then a second direction, indicating that several of them would search in the first direction, while Linley and Barker were to search in the other direction.
Eddins smiled, and then flew in the first direction with the other two Saints. Linley and Barker exchanged a glance, knowing what the other was thinking. They flew in the second direction. What mattered right now was finding that gateway!
Time passed, one minute at a time, one second at a time.
The experts in the third floor became more and more in number. From what Linley understood, by now, there were around forty of them. After all, there were only sixty or so human Saints, while the magical beasts numbered nearly twenty. Desri and Fain had already entered the fourth floor.
But if they continued to waste time like this, then the number of people here would naturally grow larger and larger.
“Eddins.” Linley looked to the distant Eddins.
Eddins and the other two shook their heads. Clearly, they hadn’t found the gateway. Linley also shook his head. Him and Barker had yet to find it either.
Quite a few of the Saints who knew each other were exchanging messages through meaningful looks. Clearly, none of them had found the gateway. As time went on…Linley, Eddins, and the others grew more and more nervous. But this large group of people still couldn’t find the gateway.
“Impossible.” Linley frowned. “This third floor is rather large, but with so many experts flying around searching for it, it’s impossible that we can’t find it.”
“The only possible explanation is…”
Linley looked towards the Ba-Serpent. “The passageway is next to the Ba-Serpent’s body!”
Ever since arriving at the third floor, every single Saint, upon seeing the Ba-Serpent, immediately moved away from it in terror. None of them dared to go near it. First, the Ba-Serpent was too terrifying. And second…the Ba-Serpent was surrounded by a large amount of black gas.
The power of that black gas was simply too great. Even those extremely tough icebergs crumbled into dust upon touching it.
Nobody dared to go near the Ba-Serpent!
“But precisely because no one dares to go near it, that’s why there’s a chance the gateway is there.” Linley nudged the nearby Barker, who looked questioningly at Linley.
Linley pointed towards the Ba-Serpent, then gave Barker a meaningful look before flying directly towards the Ba-Serpent. Barker didn’t hesitate either, immediately following behind Linley. Soon, the two arrived close to the Ba-Serpent’s body.
Many Saints saw Linley and Barker do this, and they frantically tried to signal them with their eyes, telling them to stay farther away.
It wasn’t because these Saints felt worried about them. It was because they feared that Linley and Barker would awaken the Ba-Serpent, and cause the deaths of all the Saints present!
“Now that we are fairly close to the Ba-Serpent, let’s begin flying alongside its body and try our best to search for the gateway.” Linley pulled Barker, not letting him go any closer to the Ba-Serpent, and then the two of them began to fly around the Ba-Serpent’s massive body, trying to search for that opening.
They started from the safest area, near the tail of the serpent.
Saints were very intelligent. Seeing Linley and Barker do this, many Saints suddenly understood. They, too, now guessed…that perhaps the opening was next to the Ba-Serpent’s body. Immediately, many other Saints drew near and began to carefully search as well.
The Ba-Serpent moved. Its enormous body actually moved.
“The Ba-Serpent woke up!” Linley’s face instantly turned ugly to behold. Barker’s face, as well, immediately turned pale, without a hint of color. The Saints that had been in the process of searching close to the Ba-Serpent’s massive body, in virtually the same instant, disappeared like locusts, flashing away from the Ba-Serpent’s vicinity.
Without hesitating at all…
Linley and Barker flew back at high speed to the entrance to the second floor. After all, right now, there was only two ways to escape. One was to return to the second floor through the gateway to the second floor. The other method was to immediately go to the fourth floor.
Nobody knew where the fourth floor’s gateway was. Without any other options, they had to return to the second floor as fast as possible!
“Quick, quick!” Linley was frantic. “We’re out of time!”
At this moment, Linley’s mind suddenly flashed back to Delia, who was still waiting for him back at the Yulan continent, as well as his two children, Taylor and Sasha. Linley wasn’t the only one frightened; the other Saints were frightened as well.
“Wait a second.” Linley suddenly halted.
He had once more heard that sound of snoring, the sound of the Ba-Serpent’s snoring. After Linley halted, Barker flew a short while, realized Linley wasn’t flying, and turned back.
“The Ba-Serpent didn’t wake up.” Linley was surprised.
Linley wasn’t the only one to discover this. Many of the other fleeing Saints had discovered this as well. All of them began to fly back. If the Ba-Serpent really had woken up, how could it possibly have let them cross that long distance from its body to the opening as easily as that?
Seeing that the Ba-Serpent was still slumbering, many Saints didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
Linley and Barker exchanged a glance, both grinning.
“So it just rolled over in its sleep.” Linley could tell that the position of the Ba-Serpent’s body had moved slightly.
Many Saints hesitated only a short while before once more drawing near the Ba-Serpent and once more searching carefully around it. In just a short period of time, a Saint discovered the location of the gateway. Linley and Barker could both clearly see seven Saints standing there in mid-air, staring at a location next to the Ba-Serpent’s head.
“Could it be there?” Linley and Barker both flew over.
The Ba-Serpent’s head was facing the cliff of that giant iceberg. The black breath of the Ba-Serpent was rapidly crumbling the cliff of the giant iceberg, revealing a passageway within it. The stairs were easy to spot.
“So it is here. How terrible.” Linley and Barker shared a glance. They both had a terrible feeling.
Just then, before the Ba-Serpent had turned over, the head of the Ba-Serpent had been resting against the other side. If they had found the tunnel then, they’d have to go close to the Ba-Serpent’s head, true, but it would be towards the back of the head. Linley and the others still would have been able to soundlessly sneak past.
The Ba-Serpent’s head was directly facing that passageway, and with each breath, that black gas blew towards the stairs. In addition, a large amount of black gas was still circulating around in that area.
It would be very hard to reach the passageway to the fourth floor!
“Right now, there’s only two ways we can enter the fourth floor.” Linley frowned. “The first is to rely on speed to dodge past the black gas and charge straight through to the stairs and enter the fourth floor quickly. The second method is…” Linley raised his head.
This iceberg was enormous.
Clearly, the stairs were continuing to the top.
Linley expected that stairs ended somewhere in the middle of the iceberg mountain. They could drill a hole down through the iceberg mountain and directly reach the insides of the iceberg mountain, then look for the entrance to the fourth floor.
“But drilling through the mountain would definitely create noise.” Linley was rather worried.
Just as Linley was hesitating, two black shadows suddenly charged towards the black-energy shrouded entrance. Those two black shadows were very fast and agile. Despite the density of the black gas…one of the shadows was touched by the black gas, but the other made it onto the stairs.
“Shadowshape Doppelganger Technique!” Linley said to himself.
Just then, that person had relied on the Shadowshape Doppelganger Technique to risk his life and pass through the black gas blocking the stairs.
“Can’t keep wasting time like this. If we keep wasting time, the Ba-Serpent will have breathed even more times and the black gas surrounding the tunnel will become even denser. Once it totally blocks off the entrance, then there won’t be any chance to go in at all.” Linley ground his teeth.
He glanced at the nearby Barker, who nodded back at Linley.
All of the forty-plus experts present understood that they couldn’t waste any more time. The more time they wasted, the less of a chance they would have.
“Whoosh!” A flash of light suddenly sped towards the entrance at high speed. With but a flash, the person entered the tunnel. Yet another Saint had passed through and entered the fourth floor.
Although the black gas was very dense and seemingly dangerous, all of the Saints present had their own consummate techniques, and thus still had a high chance of making it past.
After two had made it past, the forty-plus remaining Saints all felt their confidence increase. Yet another Saints transformed into a blur and streaked towards the tunnel entrance. Linley recognized this Saint; it was the War God’s disciple, Eddins.
Eddins was extremely fast, but suddenly, with a ‘puff’, Eddins was suddenly caught in a pincer by two flows of black gas. There was no way for him to dodge at all.
The terrified Eddins opened his mouth, as though he wanted to let out a scream of pain, but he didn’t even have the chance to make a sound. The black gas surrounded him, and then he crumbled into tiny pieces. Not even his soul was left.
“Eddins, he…” Linley’s heart contracted violently. This black gas was too terrifying.
The faces of the forty-plus other Saints instantly turned pale. This black gas was too terrifying. Although they had guessed at how strong it was, they hadn’t imagined that just by touching it, even someone with Eddins’ power wouldn’t be able to withstand it for half a second. Even his soul had been destroyed.
The mood was gloomier than ever before. On the third floor, only the Ba-Serpent’s slumbering snores could be heard.