Half an hour later, the first batch of scouting insect-type demon beasts were thrown into the shaft. The batch of insect-type demon beasts had been specially refined and all boasted advanced optical and sensory organs. Their complex eyes were glittering in the darkness.
One hundred meters, two hundred meters, three hundred meters…
Manipulated by the experts through their secret arts, the insect-type demon beasts dived deeper and deeper.
However, when they were below five thousand meters, all the insect-type demon beasts lost connection with their masters, who could not sense their existence at all anymore.
The same happened to the second batch of insect-type demon beasts. The demon beasts could have been projected to at least a hundred kilometers away while maintaining a feeble connection with their masters. However, in the weird shaft, the connection was always cut off when they reached no deeper than seven thousand meters. No secret arts that enhanced the connection helped.
The third batch to be tossed in were the beast puppets from the Heaven's Origin Sector.
But the magical equipment made purely of mechanics, crystals, and rune arrays was the same. All the devices lost connection with their controllers when they were five to six thousand meters below the ground.
"It appears that the last shelter of Chaos was built with special radiation-proof and wave-proof materials. Together with the special rune arrays, all telepathic thoughts and mental connections are blocked, thereby jamming all communication!"
A few traps and architecture specialists studied for a long time after they sent a few pieces of probe magical equipment into the shaft. Finally, they reached such a conclusion.
"You mean that we cannot learn anything that is happening inside the shaft in the ground?" Elder Nether Spring observed calmly. "Then we will have to send someone down for exploration in person."
Despot, the Hercules beetle, was the first to stand up and requested in a deep voice, "Elder, let me!"
"Your body is too huge. You alone will take up almost half of the room of the shaft. Should there be anything wrong, it will be difficult for you to run away."
Swirl, the butterfly demon, said casually, "Let me go instead."
Elder Nether Spring pondered for a moment and said, "Swirl, you will go. There is no telling what kind of dangers are lurking inside the tomb of Chaos. Other traps can be resolved slowly, but mental attacks will be extremely hard to deal with.
"Swirl is an expert in mental warfare. Your flying ability is better than Despot's, too, and it will be more convenient for you to move inside the narrow shaft.
"Swirl, remember this—"
Elder Nether Spring concentrated his voice into a twisted channel of soundwaves and pushed it to Swirl's ears. "When you're down there, other relics and treasures can be excavated slowly. But you will have to find 'the thing' as soon as possible."
"Understood!" Swirl replied respectfully. "But please give me a description of the asset, Elder."
Elder Nether Spring pondered for a moment and said, "It should be large, complicated information in some form. Perhaps, it will also have an activation switch like a 'key'. In any case, the date is too enormous to have been loaded onto the ancient jade chips forty thousand years ago.
"Before the mission, I have asked you to study the multiple kinds of magical equipment that the ancient Cultivators utilized to store information. By my estimation, what you should be looking for is a 'Hidden Star Box', a 'Sky Storage Bottle', or any other ancient magical equipment that has a capacity hundreds of times larger than the jade chip!"
Swirl and Elder Nether Spring discussed for a while longer and settled the details. They selected thirty soldiers of the Nether World Watch who were slender and adept at flying, and they asked ten captives to walk at the front.
"Aren't you the most loyal believers of Chaos? At the bottom of the shaft is the tomb of your God Chaos. Chances are that you will see the body of Chaos with your own eyes. What a glory it must be for you!"
Swirl grinned hideously. "If your god is really watching over you and we finish the exploration smoothly, you and your companions will all be spared.
"But if anybody hesitates or defects, hehe, not only will they be executed, we will also pick ten random captives from the remaining prisoners and kill them as sacrifices!
"If you don't want to get yourself and your companions killed, just prey to your God Chaos quietly and wish that he doesn't jump out or stir any trouble!"
The shackles of ten captives of the Blade of Chaos were all unlocked. They were offered some strengthening drugs to recover their strength, and they were even given a protective suit of the same standard as the soldiers of the Nether World Watch.
It was not because the Nether World Watch cared about their lives. They actually would not mind at all if the captives were killed by poison. However, if the captives became insane monsters with infinite physical strength like the fluorescent fireflies did just now, it would be a major nuisance for them.
The ten captives of the Blade of Chaos looked at each other in bewilderment. Although they had regained their freedom for now, there was no much they could do under the suppression of the Nether World Watch. Besides, a lot of their companions were still locked in the upper level, including their leader, the Fire Ant King. They were not able to resist at all.
God Chaos, please watch over us!
The ten captives of the Blade of Chaos prayed silently. Threatened by the Nether World Watch, they jumped into the shaft one after the other.
The bottomless shaft seemed to lead to the core of the planet. The entire pathway was wreathed in vague black fog, and clusters of black cotton were drifting among them.
A feeble air current was blowing from below, holding them like a pair of invisible giant hands.
Both the captives from the Blade of Chaos and the elites of the Nether World Watch were adept at the swiftness skills. Besides, footholds that they could climb on had been embedded on the smooth wall. Therefore, it was not difficult for them to descend.
Every soldier of the Nether World Watch was surrounded by a lot of communication bugs. However, after they were more than six thousand meters below the ground, the communication bugs lost connection to the surface and could only be used for internal communication.
The deeper they went, the denser the black fog became. In the end, they could barely see their own fingers.
Although they carried a lot of searchlights and fluorescent fireflies with them, the best they could only vaguely see each other's outlines.
The exploration team went down for more than half an hour inside the shaft before they finally reached the bottom.
Humming sounds were echoing nearby nonstop. The brightness of the searchlights turned dim. When they aimed the searchlights at the source of sound, they found that the scouting insect-type demon beasts that were projected into the shaft earlier were all flying aimlessly like headless chickens.
Seeing the brightness of the search lights, a lot of the insects crashed toward the source of the light crazily, leaving a lot of scattered shadows behind them.
"The electromagnetic field here is extremely chaotic. It is impossible to tell the direction. No wonder all the demon beasts went out of control."
One of the soldier of the Nether World Watch was carrying a multipurpose compass produced by the Star Glory Federation. The pointer on the gadget was spinning fast like a fan.
"The air quality is acceptable. Although the percentage of oxygen is merely 2.5%, no constituents of fatal poisons have been detected."
Another soldier of the Nether World Watch was operating a crystal processor skillfully.
Wars were always the best means of communication between two civilizations. After years of battles against the Heaven's Origin Sector, a lot of magical equipment and technology of the Cultivators had been introduced into the Blood Demon Sector and become quite popular.
"Survey the terrain with the soundwave detectors first and then explore the area anticlockwise. It's extremely hazy here. Everybody, stick close to each other. Including the captives, have a headcount every five minutes so that nobody drops behind," Swirl commanded quickly.
There was nothing but darkness around them. The searchlights could only reach ten meters away before their brightness was consumed by the black fog. The fluorescent fireflies went out of control, too, and hovered around their heads without listening to commands.
Their glow fluctuated. Not only was it unhelpful in illuminating the place, it was also adding to the anxious vibe.
Bo! Bo! Bo!
Dull soundwaves echoed more than twenty thousand meters below the surface of the planet. Very soon, the environment nearby was outlined and fed back to the biochemical chips that the explorers wore on their eyeballs.
Judging from the result of the echolocation, they were now in a space about five hundred meters both in length and in width.
Compared with the magnificent and boundless underground temple above, it was simply not large at all.
The space was purely empty. There were no pillars. The only thing that could be seen was a high bump at the center, which looked like an enormous rock, a throne, or a huge coffin.
The entire space was drowned in water that almost reached their knees. There was no telling whether it was the underground water that flowed in through the cracks on the wall or it had remained in this place for forty thousand years.
After forty thousand years of vaporization and brewing, the water had already become liquid that was almost as thick as oil. After every step they made forward, they would drag a few more tiny, greasy threads with them.
However, except for the excessive bacteria inside, the water was not poisonous or corrosive.
"Five captives at the front, and five at the back. Start exploring!"
The exploration team gradually reached the edge of the space and moved anticlockwise. The wall of the area turned out to be enormous black stones that were piled up on which lines of dense characters the size of the head of a fly were engraved.
Almost ten searchlights were aimed at the wall at the same time. They found that the wall of black rocks, which was almost fifty meters tall, had been occupied by characters, numbers, and runes the size of millet seeds.
Some of the words were written neatly, but some others were extremely casual and illegible. There were even some words that appeared to be random graffiti. Everybody felt that their head was dizzy after just a quick look.
However, judging from the font and the depth of the words on the rocks, it was doubtless that they had been written by the same individual.
"The content appears to be a certain technique, no, a method to make an unknown poison, no, a flowchart of the production of a certain piece of magical equipment?"
"I got it. It is a combination of many random marvelous skills and arts that are intermittent and messy, with a lot of traces of smearing and editing. It should be… a draft!"
"It seems that the secret chamber was indeed the training room and research room for Chaos, who regarded the wall as his scrap paper when he considered new techniques. Whenever he thought of something new, he would carve his thoughts on the wall!"
"Hurry up and scan on the markings on the wall. Let's move them back and ask the specialists to analyze them carefully. Hopefully, we will get a few useful techniques!"
A lot of ideas and thoughts were left on the walls all around them. But other than those, there were also a great number of animalistic claw marks that wiped out many words and formulas.
Some of the claw marks were several meters deep into the wall, as if they had been left by an extremely ferocious animal that was on a rampage.