The furious wind blowing through the entire canyon was carrying countless impurities and invisible spiritual energy turbulences. It used to be known as 'destructive wind' to the ancient Cultivators.
Savaged by the destructive winds for hundreds of years, many rocks on the walls of the canyon had fallen down and floated in midair, before crashing into one another and forming a scattering stone belt that was as thick as several kilometers.
The six crystal suits passed through the scattering stone belt carefully, taking care of both the rampant wind and the flying stones.
Some stones, boosted by the spiritual energy turbulences, were almost at the speed of sound. With the exotic crystals inside the rocks, they could break through the spiritual shields easily. It wouldn't be fun if anyone was smashed by them.
Thankfully, Captain Hong Tong was an expert in gravity manipulation. Controlled by his surging spiritual energy, an invisible defense shell seemed to have formed around the six of them. The stones rushing close to them all took a turn and brushed past them regardless of how short the distance was.
Looking from the ground, the six crystal suits of Team Blue Bronze were glimmering like six light spots, gradually disappearing in the depths of the scattering stone belt.
Ten minutes later, they were finally out of the stone belt.
Other than 'Dummy' Ba Weiqi who was burdened by the clumsy crystal suit and had a few scratches on it, everyone was totally safe.
The wind was still blowing hard. They glided downwards on a slant toward the endless, bottomless abyss.
When they looked up, they noticed that the long and narrow sky was entirely blocked by the scattering stones. The last ray of light had already disappeared. They seemed to be in the stomach of a behemoth.
As Building Foundation Stage Cultivators, they were all able to scan the environment with their spiritual threads. Loss of light did not influence them very much. But they did feel a little nervous about what was to come.
The rocks in some places were as smooth as a mirror, whereas some other places were full of crevices. The crags were covered with bumps and hollows that had clearly been made on purpose.
It was almost like some splendid buildings or even towns that once prospered on Ultimacy had been buried thousands of meters underground before being torn apart by crustal movements. That was why the faults was multi-layered.
Li Yao even discovered the faults that contained several giant bone fossils
However, since the wind was too ferocious in this place, they didn't have the opportunity to stop and survey it thoroughly. They could only take photos of the weird faults with special feedback crystal cameras for future research.
After gliding downward for almost twenty minutes, they still failed to see the bottom of the crevasse. They were now in the middle of a queer black smoke which swallowed the telepathic thoughts silently.
The telepathic thought that the other Star Team sent out was from one side of the wall.
After flying close and checking it out carefully, they discovered that the wall was full of crevices long and short leading deep underground.
Beside the longest crevice, there was a man-made platform several thousand meters both in length and width, emitting a vague metallic aura. The platform was apparently supported by extremely solid metal structures. Judging from the scale, it could allow several small-scale crystal warships or dozens of crystal tanks to land at the same time.
They had descended to more than 6,600 meters underground. To build a platform as enormous as a flying crystal arena was obviously too large a task for any of the other Star Teams to accomplish.
Even the exploration squads from the Blood Demon Sector wouldn't be able to make such a miracle.
The only possible explanation was that it was the masterpiece of the previous adventurers.
They landed on the platform. Li Yao took off the plate armor on his hand and touched the ground with his fingers. It was smooth like silk with barely any friction. The technology employed in the platform was far more advanced than he had imagined.
The crevice in front of them was more than ten meters wide at the narrowest part, with traces of human modification. It had been reconstructed into an irregular cylinder with certain arcs, making it look like a tunnel leading to the center of the planet.
Very soon, Li Yao found a telepathic thought ball that had been disguised as a stone and left on the edge of the platform by another Star Team.
A telepathic thought ball was a piece of round magical equipment the size of an apple. Similar to jade chips, it could read and output a huge amount of telepathic thoughts and information very quickly, ten times faster than the jade chips did. It could be deemed as an upgraded version of jade chips.
Li Yao activated the ball with his spiritual energy. Hundreds of intersecting lines appeared on the surface of the telepathic thought ball and constituted a complicated pattern.
It was a barrier which would destroy the information that it stored and send a warning to its master who set it up if it was not decrypted within five seconds.
Li Yao's hands moved up and down. Like a tangram, the pattern on the telepathic thought ball was adjusted to a different one that all the Star Teams had agreed on before.
After a 'Bo' sound, the telepathic thought split into two halves from the middle. A sector of greenness scanned over the platform and connected to the crystal processors of the six of them.
In a moment, a lot of information flooded into their crystal processors.
The telepathic thought ball had been left by Team Tiger Deity, who was very fortunate to be teleported into the atmosphere of Ultimacy with abundant spiritual energy left. Therefore, they were able to condense a thick spiritual shield to protect their star shuttle, allowing them to land in the rugged land of mountains and valleys.
Team Tiger Deity was the first of the five Star Teams to start the exploration. But their attention had been attracted by the crags on the two sides of the valley, and they had spent a lot of time studying the different faults on the crags. Therefore, they didn't discover the black pillars and the bones of the strange beast. Instead, they found the platform and the tunnel leading deep underground where intense spiritual energy was popping up.
Probing with spiritual waves, they had come to the conclusion that there was a spacious hollow concealed under Ultimacy's surface. Towns and relics were hiding in the boundless dark world.
The discovery corresponded to the environment on the surface of Ultimacy.
81% of the surface of Ultimacy was ocean, where tsunamis thousands of meters high could form out of nowhere at any time. It was hardly possible to survive on land. Even the strong sea beasts must be not particularly fond of the raging tides.
Compared to the surface, the underground world was apparently much safer and more stable.
Therefore, Team Tiger Deity had entered the underground area for exploration in advance.
A lot of maps and new information were added to their crystal processors, which were the preliminary findings of Team Tiger Deity. There was also a sophisticated map of the cave resembling the root of a tree.
They were currently at the top of the cave, like six ants which were faced with a giant banyan covering dozens of square kilometers.
Yet, it was still only the tip of the iceberg. More unknown areas were still waiting to be explored.
Other than that, Team Tiger Deity brought a piece of bad news.
When they were still exploring the ground, they had received an intermittent telepathic thought from another Star Team named Shadow Moon.
According to the incomplete telepathic thought, Team Shadow Moon was quite unlucky.
They had been teleported to the middle of a space battlefield beyond the atmosphere of Ultimacy, too. But the soul of one of their teammates was seriously shocked during the teleportation, resulting in his derangement.
To make matters worse, the space battlefield that they were in was hundreds of times more tempestuous than the one Team Blue Bronze had arrived at.
The star shuttle was blown to smithereens by the scraps very soon. The crystal suits of several Orb Patrollers were seriously damaged when they were trying to protect their wounded companion.
After breaking into the atmosphere in their crystal suits, they saw a vast ocean.
Because of the serious injuries of their companion, they landed on the ocean directly instead of looking for a land and prepared to treat their companion and repair their crystal suits first.
Then, they encountered a tsunami.
The interference of the furious spiritual energy outbreak jammed the transmission of the telepathic thought. Therefore, Team Tiger Deity were not aware of the final outcome of Team Shadow Moon, nor were they able to locate the ill-fated Orb Patrollers precisely. They could only grit their teeth and carry on with their own exploration.
"This is why five Star Teams have been dispatched in separate ways.
"Let's double check our crystal suits and have one minute of silence for our comrades.
"After that one minute, we will start the journey to the underground world!
"Only by excavating more Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures from the underground world and building the Star Glory Federation into a stronger nation can we honor the souls of the warriors who have sacrificed themselves ten thousand lightyears away from their home!"
6,600 meters under the ground, six members of Team Blue Bronze fell quiet. They unmasked their helmets. Roaring wind was freezing their faces, but there was not the slightest hint of discomfort.
The flames in the depths of their eyes seemed to be illuminating the entire underground.
A minute later, Li Yao inputted Team Blue Bronze's discoveries into the telepathic thought ball and reset the barrier, before disguising it as a stone and tossing it into a corner again.
Team Blue Bronze marched toward the depths of the underground!
The crevice gradually turned into wide pathway. There was a circle of lackluster blueish crystals on the wall of the cave every thousand meters.
The crystals were also left by the previous adventurers. Judging from their brightness, they must've been established more than five thousand years ago.
The pathway had been built based on a natural cave with additional manual tunnels. Therefore, straight lines occurred every once in a while. It was quite convenient for their journey.
After walking more than seventy kilometers, they finally reached the end of the pathway. In front of them was an enormous cave!
No. It was inappropriate to call a space the size of several flying crystal arenas a 'cave'. The place itself was a world!
Thousands of meters above their heads, countless bright silver crystal stalagmites were growing and emitting endless light and heat. Looking from afar, they looked like blurry stars.
On the wall and the ground of the underground world, all kinds of creatures were thriving.
Li Yao noticed a lot of giant, bright grey fungi and ferns which looked like an odd primitive forest.
Many vines were wriggling slowly on the walls. Hearing the noise of the newcomers, they were moving faster than before. Almost a hundred lumps protruded from the messy vines and blossomed like a flower, revealing sharp teeth that looked like the fangs of a brutalist serpent.
The underground world had its own unique biological system.
The weirdest thing was the lake in the center of the underground world, which was bright silver and perfectly round.