Chapter 479: Danger Emerges
There seemed to be no end to the inky depths of this cavern. Their footsteps gradually slowed down as the chilly air continued to grow heavier. Apart from the sounds of their scattered footsteps, the cavern was eerily quiet with no sound at all.
This feeling was as if they’d been suddenly thrown into an independent world, completely cut off from the outside world with no end to the darkness of this cavern.
Jiang Chen suddenly shoved something at Mu Gaoqi, “Gaoqi, take this.” It was the spirit pearl of fire and ice that the tenth rank inspector Feng Beidou from the Sky Sect had given to Sunchaser, before Jiang Chen and Sunchaser had fought during the Precious Tree Sect alliance. When Sunchaser had been crushed by the Lotus, it had swallowed the pearl as well, coming into Jiang Chen’s hands. Although Feng Beidou was pained at the loss of this treasure, he wasn’t so thick-faced as to demand it back. After all, his sect had lost in that match. Now that Jiang Chen was sensing the eeriness of this cavern, he gave the pearl to Mu Gaoqi in case he was unable to save his fellow sect disciple in the event of an emergency.
Being Feng Beidou’s treasure, the pearl was a sage realm level item. Mu Gaoqi immediately felt a wondrous sensation suffuse his body when he laid hands on it. His senses instantly returned to an equilibrium that was neither felt too cold nor hot, as if he was immersed in the most gentle of spring.
The feeling of extreme cold also affected the speed of the others to certain degrees, slowing down their circulation and numbing their limbs. It was a good thing that Mu Gaoqi had prepared many Yang Coalescence Pills beforehand, they now proved quite useful in dispelling cold. Everyone took one, driving out much of the chill in their bodies.
A feeble light suddenly appeared in front of the group at this point.
“That’s it!” Gao Yi grew excited. “Look! That light marks where the lava area begins.”
The group had been unable to resist the scorching heat from the lava last time, which was why they’d stopped. Now that they’d reached the place they’d left off last time, everyone began to agitate.
Jiang Chen’s footsteps suddenly paused at this point. He turned his body ever so slightly, as if he was going to turn around. Behind him, Yue Pan suddenly laughed heartily, “Are we there? Fantastic!” He walked quickly towards the front after speaking, seeming to want to be the first to enter the next area.
Jiang Chen’s heart hardened slightly, killing intent flashing through him when Yue Pan had passed by them. This was because when he’d paused, he’d captured that Yue Pan was surreptitiously brewing the momentum to ambush him!
Jiang Chen’s Psychic’s Head imparted on him immense mental strength, allowing his senses to be far in excess of the others. No matter how well Yue Pan had hidden his intentions, that had still been insufficient to escape Jiang Chen’s observation. It was only Jiang Chen’s sudden pause that had disrupted Yue Pan’s rhythm, startling him into not taking risky action.
However, Yue Pan’s reaction had been exceedingly fast. He’d immediately changed his attitude and spoken those words, attempting to hide his ulterior motives. But, how could those moves possibly hoodwink Jiang Chen?
Jiang Chen sent a silent message to Mu Gaoqi, “The two from the Great Cathedral bear us ill will, you need to be careful.”
Mu Gaoqi nodded lightly. He’d finally seen through these people after all that had happened and no longer possessed the same illusions as before.
The faint light was as if a bright lamp that led them the way forward. Earth origin realm Yue Pan in particular kept charging at the fore, with the others fighting for places as well, dashing ahead.
“Don’t rush.” Jiang Chen’s tremendous observation skills caused him to pull Mu Gaoqi back, preventing him from charging ahead with the others.
Mu Gaoqi responded, “We walked this path before, and there’s no danger between here and the lava area.”
Jiang Chen said faintly, “No danger before doesn’t mean there’s no danger now.” A ghastly scream suddenly rang out from the front as they conversed.
“Ah! Ambush!” Several terrible shouts rang out in quick succession, indicating that chaos had engulfed the front. When Jiang Chen looked over, he could see that four people were already down—the two from the Dark North Sect, one from the Tristar Sect and one from the Sacred Sword Palace.
Ten had entered the cavern from the five sects. Apart from Jiang Chen and Mu Gaoqi walking in the back, eight had charged to the front. But now, four were suddenly on the ground. This scene made everyone openmouthed with astonishment and horror.
Yue Pan suddenly roared, “Someone’s there. Over there! Halt!”
A crisp collision sounded in the air as he spoke.
Sparks flew everywhere as his weapon blocked the ambush of a crossbow bolt. His counter attack also slowed because of this. He shot a cold glare to the front, but didn’t have the courage to follow up. It was then that Jiang Chen and Mu Gaoqi finally slowly caught up, still trailing at the back and not approaching too closely.
Feng Wanjian roared angrily, “Mu Gaoqi, you’re a pill master! What the hell are you doing dragging your feet at this time? Get over here and attend to their wounds!”
Mu Gaoqi was indeed a bit nervous after Feng Wanjian yelled at him, but he immediately recalled that Jiang Chen was standing next to him, so even though his mouth twitched, his feet remained firmly planted in the ground.
Jiang Chen flicked a dismissive glance at the people on the ground, “What are you yelling about? A strong poison already took effect, they’re dead. Even the gods won’t be able to save them, what are you looking at now?”
Feng Wanjian was immensely startled. Someone from his sect was one of those attacked! If something happened to him, then he’d be fighting a lone fight from here on. The one down from the Tristar Sect was Gao Yi. His peer had been the lucky one to escape disaster.
“Mu Gaoqi, come take a look first regardless of whether or not they’re dead.”
Mu Gaoqi shook his head. “I’m not doing that, this poison is very evil and will possibly spread if I come any closer. Whichever one of you unafraid of death can go take a look yourselves.”
The expressions of those remaining all changed drastically when they heard this. They unconsciously moved away, taking another seven, eight steps further away from the four down. Mu Gaoqi was utterly disappointed in them. If it hadn’t been for Jiang Chen earlier, he wouldn’t even have had the right to enter earlier. He sure as heck wouldn’t risk his life for them now.
Feng Wanjian howled, “Poison? Is it the Walkabout Sect?”
The Walkabout Sect was the one most skilled at using poison out of the six premier sects in the Myriad Domain. Therefore, when Mu Gaoqi mentioned poison, everyone’s first thought was that they were the ones behind this.
Xu Gang of the Tristar Sect still had a pounding heart. “No wonder they didn’t show up! It looks like we were too naive. They showed up a long time ago and have laid a trap here, waiting for us to jump in!”
The Tristar Sect disciple suddenly glared viciously at Xu Gang. “Xu Gang, you despicable person! The concealed weapon was heading for you earlier, but you used my junior brother as your shield! I will be sure to report this to my sect head when I return. We will want an explanation from your Sacred Lion family!”
Xu Gang smiled casually, “Lin Feng, don’t you slander others now, hmm?”
Lin Feng retorted angrily, “Xu Gang, confess to what you’ve done!”
Xu Gang laughed lightly, “Vision here is so poor, did you see me use Gao Yi as a shield? Besides, since we’ve come here, everyone has an awareness of how dangerous things will be. We hold our life and death in our own holds. I will die without complaint if you have the ability to use me as a shield.” His tone was as shameless as a bandit’s.
Lin Feng was tongue tied, actually at a loss for words by such shameless words. Feng Wanjian had a darkened face as he first looked at Xu Gang, then at Jiang Chen. It was apparent that subtle changes had occurred in the situation after this disaster.
The pair from the Dark North Sect was gone, there was only one left from both the Tristar Sect and his Sacred Sword Palace. Only the Great Cathedral and Regal Pill Palace still had a full team with no injuries.
“Daoist Lin Feng, you and I are alone now. It seems that we would be wise in forming a team.” Feng Wanjian spoke silently, “This Xu Gang and Yue Pan are all the domineering sort. Mu Gaoqi has no opinions, and the fellow he brought is really weird. It’s best if we can make the dogs fight amongst each other.”
Lin Feng had also calmed down. He knew that erupting in open hostility with the Great Cathedral at this time meant only certain death. Ignoring Xu Gang, that earth realm cultivator Yue Pan had yet to say anything. If Yue Pan was willing to, he could absolutely wipe the ground with Lin Feng’s face. When his thoughts traveled here, Lin Feng sorted softly and locked gazes with Feng Wanjian. The two of them surreptitiously moved a bit closer.
Yue Pan suddenly smiled, “Alright, the true killer is still loose even as we keep arguing here. It looks like all of our plans combined haven’t been as devious as those laid by the Walkabout Sect.”
Feng Wanjian also nodded. “The most important issue is that the Walkabout Sect has a head start on us. The more we stand here blathering, the more time they’ve had to make it to the spring.”
Even though this was the case, no one wanted to walk in the front after being ambushed. It was Yue Pan who laughed loudly, “Looks like I’ll have to be the vanguard since none of you want to walk in the front. However, I’ll say this first, if everyone arrives at the same time, I have first priority to anything good.”
“Hmph! Based on what?” Lin Feng was unwilling to accept this.
Yue Pan chuckled, “Then you walk ahead. I’ll give you first priority that way then.”
Lin Feng’s heart quailed as he looked down at the dead Gao Yi. He wouldn’t take the lead even if they beat him to death!
Xu Gang smiled easily, “Since no one wants to walk in the front, then no one has the right to dispute senior brother Yue Pan’s suggestion.” Thanks to the changes in numbers, Xue Gang’s domineering style was beginning to slowly reveal itself as well.
“Does the Regal Pill Palace have any opinions?” Feng Wanjian looked nonchalantly over, obviously wishes to start up conflict between the two sects.
Jiang Chen smiled noncommittally, “Daoist Yue Pan runs the highest risk in walking at the front, so he naturally should have first priority. This is also only just and fair.”
Yue Pan laughed heartily, “This daoist makes quite some sense. Ah yes, I haven’t asked your name yet.”
“My surname is Chen.” Jiang Chen remembered Mu Gaoqi’s reminder and offered up a fake name.
“Haha, Daoist Chen is deeply conscious of what is right and wrong. Yue Pan has great admiration!” Yue Pan took the lead and started walking forward again after these words, whereas Xu Gang kept abreast with the others in an unhurried fashion. It could be seen that the two from the Great Cathedral had great cooperation between the two of them. If one walked in the front, the other would always trail at the back. Both were able to support each other and prevent ambushes.
Things were quiet this time, with no more surreptitious attacks. The group quickly arrived at the lava area. It was as if they’d instantly gone from a winter wonderland to the mouth of an active volcano, immediately shifting from the dead of winter to a harsh summer.