After a short silence, Xiao Chen nodded. "Two months ago, Daofeng caught two friends of mine."
Huangfu Xin'er's eyes looked shocked. "You mean Elder Daofeng? They went back to Violet Manor a month ago."
Xiao Chen frowned. "Xian'er and Senior Sister Luo, have they been taken to Violet Manor?" He asked, "Had you heard that they had brought some people back?"
Huangfu Xin'er shook her head. "Disciples have always been afraid to ask about the elders' matters. Did Elder Daofeng really catch your friends? How is that possible?"
Xiao Chen clenched his fist. "I saw it with my own eyes. It can't be wrong!"
A moment later, Huangfu Xin'er sighed. "Maybe it was not just me who found you last night. Don't go there today, okay? My master set the formations. He will know when his formations are broken. He is about to end his seclusion, so I don't want you to take risks again."
"I'm sorry, Xin'er. Can I take you away from here?"
After last night's incident, he felt more like it that there were something wrong going on in the Skygale Sect. It was not good for Huangfu Xin'er to stay here.
"I..." Huangfu Xin'er stopped her words and lowered her head. "Where can you take me to? Our engagement had been..."
At night, the cold wind blew through people's skin, and a crescent moon hung above the vague sea. Xiao Chen stood on the top of the cliff, facing the sea. It seemed that the tide was rising tonight. When it ebbed tomorrow, the ship that sent goods to the island would come. In half a month, they had search through the entire Skygale Sect, and the only place that they hadn't checked was that cave.
Just as he was lost in thought, two figures came quietly behind him. Shangguan Yan patted on his shoulder, trying to scare him. But unexpectedly, he turned and said calmly, "Are you ready?"
Shangguan Yan pursed her lips, saying, "Humph! Why haven't I scared you!" Xiao Han said, "Time won't wait. Let's go."
They came to the cave last night, and the eight huge swords were still hanging there, switching positions constantly. The talismans on them were shining dimly. Xiao Chen had already prepared everything. He took out eight yellow seals and threw them into the air. They then immediately stuck to the swords.
He then kept chanting and casting out prints, while the talismans on the yellow seals burst out lights. The switching speed of the eight swords gradually slowed down. Xiao Han saw this and immediately put his hand at Xiao Chen's back, sending True Qi to Xiao Chen. So did Shangguan Yan. A few moments later, the eight huge swords stopped moving as the talismans on the swords disappeared.
"I can only temporarily stop the operation of this formation. We have to be fast." They entered the cave and immediately smelled a pungent air of blood.
The further they proceeded, the heavier the smell. Xiao Chen held up a light curtain to shine the path. "Ah!" Shangguan Yan shouted. There were numerous blood ponds around, and each of them was connected by a ditch.
Xiao Chen was startled. This was not a sword grave, and he did not know what these blood pools were used for. But he was sure that it was human blood. The Skygale Sect did such things against reason and nature. It did not deserve to be a cultivators' sect. He asked, "Do you know what these blood pools are used for?"
Xiao Han pondered for a while and said, "Last time in a night, I heard something like sending blood souls to the Skygale Sect in Violet Manor."
Blood soul? Xiao Chen squinted. "Are these people going to open the blood soul formation to resurrect someone?" "Through hundreds of millions of human beings and the power of the ancient fierce formation, bring the dead to life... The Blood Soul Formation!" In the memories of his last life, it seemed that there was indeed such an evil formation.
The Skygale Sect built an Outer Gate in the Human World and recruit countless disciples. However, only a few disciples were able to enter Violet Manor. Where did the other disciples go? They might have become the blood souls in these ponds and were sent to the Skygale Sect in Violet Manor, turning into the spirit medium for opening the Blood Soul Formation.
Xiao Chen's back started to chill. This Skygale Sect was really evil. Didn't Huangfu Xin'er know about this? Senior Sister Luo and Xian'er...
While meditating, Xiao Han suddenly pulled him and pointed to the northwest, saying, "There seems to be a hidden path."
Xiao Chen looked over and found the trace of being chiseled on the stone wall. They then walked over and found a hidden mechanism that opened the stone door. A rancid smell suddenly came to their faces. In front of the three was an artificially dug tunnel. It was dark inside, and there seemed to be many unknown creatures crawling and rustling.
Xiao Chen and Xiao Han looked at each other and asked Shangguan Yan in unison, "Are you waiting here or are you coming with us?" Shangguan Yan shivered, pinched her nose and said, "Of-of course I'll go with you! I am not afraid!"
The tunnel was dark and damp. When the three men entered it, the rancid smell became heavier, making them want to puke. Shangguan Yan took out a handkerchief and covered her nose and mouth, while the two men held their breath. The further they went, the softer the soil became. They could even hear some creaking sound after they trod on the soil.
"Be careful, we may be stepping on countless corrupted corpses." Xiao Chen warned. Shangguan Yan was behind them and instantly scared, her face turning pale. She stood on tiptoe, tightly holding his arm.
After proceeding for a few moments, the tunnel gradually became spacious, and the smell of corpses also became heavier. There was even some ghost fire dancing on the walls. Suddenly, Shangguan Yan screamed as she paused and closed her eyes tightly.
Xiao Chen turned around and asked, "What's the matter?" Shangguan Yan slowly opened her eyes, shivering. "I... I seem to have stepped on something..." She then slowly looked at her feet. "Ah!" She then jumped to Xiao Chen.
It was a heavily corrupted head. The skin and flesh on the face were basically eaten, and countless maggots crawled out of the eye sockets. There was a hair bun above the head, and a green pearl flower was stuck into the bun. It should have been a woman's head.
Xiao Chen's face became blank. He put Shangguan Yan down, squatted down slowly, and pulled out the pearl flower. The jade on the flower was a small butterfly.
"This is... the hairpin of Senior Sister Luo?"
"Ah-" A long roar resounded in the tunnel. Xiao Chen's eyes turned red instantly. After a long time, he only uttered three words, "Senior Sister Luo..."
At this moment, he wanted to kill every one of the Skygale Sect!
"No, don't get too excited." Xiao Han saw some clues and pulled him up from the ground. "Stop watching. There are so many hairpins in the market. Besides, it's cold in the past two months, so the body can't corrupt so fast..." After saying so, he used internal strength to shatter the head on the ground.
Suddenly, there came a scratching sound from the other end of the tunnel. The sound became denser and denser as many unknown creatures in the darkness rushed toward the three people. Xiao Han's face froze. "Watch out! It's the corpse-eating mole cricket!" He sent out some internal strength from his hand and shattered some crickets as their blood splashed.
Those corpse-eating mole crickets were about a half a palm's size. Looking over, it was a black mass. There were about more than 10,000 of them. Shangguan Yan was scared and stepped back. Suddenly, countless crickets emerged from the ground. Xiao Chen smiled coldly as True Energy ran through his body. A fierce roar instantly shattered the crickets around into dust.
The crickets afar dared not to proceed and went underground one after another. Shangguan Yan's heart beat very fast. She said, "What are they..." Xiao Han calmed himself and said, "It's all right. Let's go." He looked at Xiao Chen again and saw him staring blankly. He asked, "Are you all right?"
Xiao Chen didn't speak and went forward. They went to the end of the tunnel and saw stone steps were going upward at an angle. Xiao Han led the way and stepped forth. In front of him was a circular stone temple.
"What's on that stage?" Shangguan Yan shouted.
Xiao Chen looked over and saw a palm-sized black small cauldron hanging on the stone stage. It was surrounded by some secret magic, and there was gas emitting outward as if the cauldron was refining something.
The three people went close. Xiao Han looked at Xiao Chen and asked, "There are formations around the stage. Can you break them?"
"Why can't I?" Xiao Chen said coldly. He then punched at the stone stage. The palm power was vigorous and instantly shattered the entire stage. Xiao Han leaped and caught the black cauldron.
Shangguan Yan rushed forth and snatched the cauldron from Xiao Han. She held it as if holding the most precious treasure, saying, "Didn't expect that there really is a treasure..."
"This should be the cauldron for refining souls." Xiao Han said and looked around. He then looked at Xiao Chen, saying, "Don't worry, Senior Sister Luo and Xian'er may be sent to Violet Manor. I don't know what they are after, but I'm sure that the Skygale Sect won't just refine them into blood souls. They should be safe at the least."
"Forget it. Let's go back."
The three people went back to the blood ponds when Xiao Chen suddenly stopped and gave Xiao Han a look, saying, "Don't you think there's something wrong?" Xiao Han turned and asked, "What?"
"From the very beginning, have things been going a little too smoothly?"
Xiao Han looked frozen and thought for a moment before saying, "Sh*t!" He then rushed to the entrance of the cave. When he was about to get out, he seemed to hit on a formless wall and was bounced back to the cave.
"It's the barrier of the Universal Mystic-Yin Formation. The formation started operating after the eight swords stopped moving. We can't go out now. It seemed like someone set us up." Xiao Chen walked over and said slowly.