Chapter 890: Chaotic Astral Wind
"There's a dense primordial forest past this grassland. According to what He Hongshu wrote, the Requiem Wood should be in that forest." Jiang Chen analyzed the map as he spoke to Huang'er, "Let's go."
He vaguely sensed that something was strange. With He Hongshu's level of cultivation, how had he managed to cross the Thousand Corpse Valley? Could it be that the demon race within the valley had not fully awakened at that time? Despite his skepticism, he currently wasn't in the mood to question how the information had been obtained. As their gazes roamed over the vast grassland before him, Jiang Chen and Huang'er didn't step onto the grass. Instead, they activated their Golden Cicada Wings and flew at a low altitude. To a normal cultivator who had never refined their wings of flight, this much flying would consume large amounts of energy.
Through the Golden Cicada Wings, the energy that Jiang Chen and Huang'er were expending didn't even reach a tenth of what they would have used had they relied on their own energy. As long as they occasionally took some pills to replenish themselves, they wouldn't suffer any side effects at all. However, the air currents within the area were extremely strange. Even as they flew close to the ground, they found it difficult to gain speed. It was as though there was some form of resistance in the air that barred their attempt at passing through the area quickly.
Initially, He Hongshu and his group had alternated between travelling on foot and flying to cross this grassland. They had spent a grand total of two days trekking though this passage and more than a third of their comrades had died. The grassland might appear tranquil, but within the endless, rampant growth of wild grass that had surpassed human height, who knew what was concealed within and below the terrain? What kind of terrifying existences were lying in wait for them?
First and foremost the marshlands that dotted this grassland were filled with countless traps. From time to time, quagmire whirlpools would mysteriously appear, dragging people down into their depths. As the two of them hovered above the ground, they could see plenty of what was happening below them. Occasionally, they could spy a couple of wind-worn bones lying amidst the grass. There were also the corpses of numerous animals with various astonishing appearances. This place truly brimmed with desolation and isolation.
It wasn't that the two didn't want to soar higher into the sky, but the higher they went, the stronger the air resistance became. It was as though this patch of grassland had been naturally created to contain a special kind of magic power. The two were more or less stuck to gliding three to four meters above the ground. Of course, even this speed was much faster than travelling on foot.
If they could fly unobstructed for the entire trip, Jiang Chen felt that it would take them less than a day to pass through this large grassland. They glided without obstacles for two hours. Their trip so far had been very quiet—so quiet that he found it rather unfathomable. He was even quite uneasy about the entire situation. Throughout the trip, he had felt that there was something oddly suspicious about this unsettling quietness. By now, the defensive power granted by the Imperial Advent Defense Talisman had already disappeared entirely. Hence, Jiang Chen had no choice but proceed with the utmost caution.
"When Brother Ji gave me the Imperial Advent Defense Talisman, he said that I could use it twice. I've already activated it once so there should be one more use. I can't use it so freely now. If I use it, I'll be left with almost no defensive resources." When Jiang Chen thought of this, he felt a flash of intense hatred towards the Prince of Shangping. If it hadn't been for that man's attack, he wouldn't have wasted the Imperial Advent Talisman's first use like this! Nevertheless, this was all in the past. By now, that fellow had probably already passed on. No matter how much Jiang Chen might hate him, it wouldn't amount to anything. The two people continued their flight with rapt attention, their five senses carefully attuned to their surroundings.
Eh? Suddenly, a rustling noise floated past Jiang Chen's ears. At first, he even thought he had misheard. But this noise grew louder and louder. However, when he glanced around, he didn't see anything unusual. Ever since Jiang Chen had refined his Ear of the Zephyr, his sense of hearing had never failed him under any circumstance. This sound reminded him of a silkworm gnawing on a leaf, distinct and easily distinguishable. He listened carefully and sensed that the sound was emitted from all directions. Although it didn't sound like anything too serious, it still filled Jiang Chen with a kind of uneasiness.
Screech! Suddenly, an ear-piercing noise split the air. From high above the clouds, an enormous black shadow careened downwards. It was an enormous eagle! It flapped its wings in alarm as it circled the sky above the grassland, its eyes filled with panic.
Indeed, panic! Jiang Chen could see extreme anxiety in this enormous eagle's eyes. One, two, then numerous ones...
Amidst the clouds, numerous birds appeared out of nowhere in the sky above them, screeching sharply in alarm and fear, as if the end of the world was imminent. The first huge eagle seemed to have made up its mind. With a violent dive, it abruptly plummeted towards the grassland below.
Suddenly, a lightning fast green shadow flashed within the grass before a gaping, fanged maw opened wide and swallowed the eagle whole. Upon closer inspection, Jiang Chen realized that it was actually an enormous green python. What the… it had concealed itself so masterfully! He had came so close to it, but he hadn't detected the hidden presence of the python at all.
"What in the world is this?" Jiang Chen was dumbfounded at the scene before his eyes. The spirit birds in the air seemed to have thrown all caution to the wind as they shot towards the grass like dumplings.
Every kind of creature born in the wild had its own natural territory. Birds like these usually only hunted for food in the grasslands. They didn't actually make the grasslands their homes. But at this moment, they had completely ignored this fact. They hadn't even consider that they might be barging into the territory of some other creature. They dived towards the ground in a flurry. When the predators on the ground saw this phenomenon, they hunted the birds continuously, devouring them one after another. But even so, tens of thousands of birds continued to shoot towards the grass. It was as if they didn't want to spend a second longer in the air.
Jiang Chen and Huang'er watched all this happen with wide eyes and gaping mouths. And at this moment, the noise by Jiang Chen's ear grew even louder, crescendoing almost instantly into a tidal-like roar. As he gazed into the horizon with his God's Eye, he discovered that a charcoal-colored air current was flowing all around them, heading towards them at a lightning-like pace. The momentum behind that air current was actually ten times fiercer than the surging ocean tides! In the distance, there were some birds who had not dodged in time. Their feathers scattered wildly into the air, their flesh exploding into bloody fragments as they were ground into fine powder by the vicious currents.
"This is bad!" Something seemed to have occured to Jiang Chen as he grabbed Huang'er and buried into the ground without a second thought. At the same time, he used his Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice to open a path before them, escorting Huang'er deeper into the ground. In his current situation, even if some emperor realm beast were lying below ground, Jiang Chen still wouldn't retreat.
Uwuwuwuwu! The terrifying air currents swallowed the surrounding clouds as they moved in all directions, gathering together. With a ghastly howl, the currents sucked away at the space around them like an unrestrained wave. Jiang Chen had already pierced more than three hundred meters into the ground by that time. Even so, he could still feel the fearsome tremors that wracked the ground around them, as if the earth itself would split apart at any moment and the sky would collapse from above.
Huang'er had seen and experienced many things in her life but she had also gone deathly pale. She whispered in a low voice to Jiang Chen, "Brother Chen, what is going on?"
Jiang Chen's expression was grave. "This is chaotic astral wind. It tears apart even the tallest of mountains in its way into tiny pieces. If our flesh and blood were to touch it, we'd be instantly ground into fine dust."
"Chaotic astral wind?" It was the first time Huang'er had heard this name. She was temporarily shocked. As someone from Myriad Abyss Island, everything she had seen and experienced throughout her lifetime was of the highest tier within the Divine Abyss Continent. But she had never ever seen this chaotic astral wind. Conversely, it was Jiang Chen, a boy born in the backwater Eastern Kingdom, who knew what this terrifying thing was. A wisp of gratification floated within Huang'er's heart. "It seems that Brother Chen has indeed awakened many memories that don't belong to you. Could it be that you're really the reincarnation of a celestial from your previous life?"
The wind ravaged the area around for a few hours before it showed any signs of dissipating. However, Jiang Chen was in no hurry to leave. Even if the gale was weakening, it still wasn't something that a human body could defend against. Nonetheless, he felt something was strange about this. They were in the desolate wildlands. Where in the world could this chaotic astral wind have come from?
Normally speaking, chaotic astral wind was created by a spatial crack. When a plane shattered or if a crack appeared in the space between two planes, a powerful chaotic astral wind would be generated. But in the desolate wildlands, how could there be such a powerful shattering of a realm?
The world above them might be in the process of being demolished by the astral wind, but that didn't mean that the area below ground was safe either. When Jiang Chen activated his God's Eye and surveyed his surroundings, he sensed the approach of at least four to five enemies from all around them. "Such powerful spirit creatures live even in such a deep underground crevice. No wonder so many people lost their lives in this grassland. This is hell on earth."
Fortunately, these powerful creatures which eyed them hungrily didn't seem overwhelmingly strong individually. Hence, Jiang Chen didn't fear them. Most importantly, these sources of power that eyed them so covetously were also naturally cautious. He didn't provoke them. He only wanted to wait for the astral wind to disappear before leaving this underground place. If it was anywhere else, he might have considered travelling underground. But this underground area was different from all others. Here, the quagmire around them was extraordinarily sticky, making it difficult to travel quickly. Moreover, there were countless spirit creatures in the ravine below ground. If Jiang Chen wished to travel underground, just dealing with these creatures alone would be enough to give him a headache.
At this time, one of the underground creatures could no longer restrain itself. With a menacing bellow, it shot towards Jiang Chen like a drill. It was incredibly fast, as though the stickiness of the quagmire in this abyss had no effect on it at all. However, just because Jiang Chen's movements were impeded didn't mean that he had no means to deal with the situation. With a flash of the Featherflight Mirror, a beam of light shot towards the creature. It instantly slowed down, but it had already been engulfed by the countless vines of the Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice.
Fortunately for it, Jiang Chen had no wish to offend these underground dwellers. With a careless swish of his lotus, he tossed the spirit creature aside. Simultaneously, he grabbed Huang'er, straightened his body and flew up towards the surface. The astral wind had dissipated and their surroundings regained their usual tranquility. Only, when they emerged from the ground, the scene that greeted their eyes was vastly different. Those tufts of tall grass had been completely shredded. Numerous spirit beasts had been wrangled into tiny bits of bloody flesh that littered the entire area. Truly, this was the widespread aftermath of a catastrophe.
Jiang Chen sighed lightly. A trace of fear lingered in his heart. If he had been even one step slower just now, he could have been wiped out as well. "As expected, you run into trouble every ten steps you take here in the desolate wildlands. We can't let our guard down at all." Jiang Chen calmed himself. He exchanged a glance with Huang'er before they proceeded forward.