Beneath the cover of wind and sand, soil balls infused with purple lightning struck the group of reptiles, advancing step by step against the harsh elements. The soil balls suddenly burst, about half a meter away from them.
The whip in Qian Wanyu’s hand consistently caught one of the reptiles off-guard, and clusters of thick black spiritual power invaded their foreheads. All that remained were white skeletons and two colorless eyeballs.
In this back-and-forth fight, the number of skeletons around Qian Wanyu grew, her steps becoming lighter and her whip easier to swing.
“The spatial law should be disappearing soon,” Qian Wanyu said with emotion.
“These reptiles were almost wiped out by you. Their numbers are gradually decreasing, and the pressure on our side will be relieved,” Qing Mo remarked. Most people would try to capture and study a creature that had the power of space, but Qian Wanyu was a force to be reckoned with.
Perhaps it was the thrill of battle, but Qian Wanyu grew more excited as she defeated more creatures. On the other hand, the group of green Kun beasts recognized they had met a formidable foe and began to retreat, especially the final reptile that turned and fled before even trying.
Qian Wanyu did not appear distressed, her spiritual power was still abundant, and seemingly ready to fight for three hundred more rounds.
“There must be an entrance in this space to continue downward; you can look for it.”
“No—I need to find Ninth Sister first.”
She was curious about what lay at the bottom of the abyss but Qian Wanyu decided it was more important to locate Ninth Sister first.
Qian Wanyu chose a random spot to sit down, unfazed by the pile of bones beside her. She quickly took out more than 60 topographic maps from her storage space, examining each one and even practicing on the windy, sandy ground.
Completing this task took half a day.
“Based on this topographic map, Sleepy Dragon Valley appears to be a vast labyrinth,” Qing Mo observed, his eyes shining like gold stars. Thanks to Qian Wanyu, he had been able to study and memorize over sixty topographic maps as well.
“Perhaps,” Qian Wanyu responded nonchalantly. She already understood that these sixty-plus images had evolved from a single point—the map originally drawn by Ninth Sister. “Mother said that the Sleepy Dragon Seal is the key to Sleepy Dragon Valley.”
Where there is a key, there must be a lock.
“If you were a key, what would you most want to do?” Qian Wanyu mused, seemingly talking to herself.
Qing Mo nearly choked at her question, but seeing her seriousness, it appeared she was genuinely pondering the issue. “The key and lock are always inseparable, but the Sleepy Dragon Seal has always been left outside… I think what it would most want to do is open Sleepy Dragon Valley or—”
“Close Sleepy Dragon Valley!” Qian Wanyu abruptly stood up, her face darkening. She suddenly raised her head, “Damn it, it dared to use Ninth Sister’s hands to trap us here.”
“Yes, we must hurry, we need to find your Ninth Sister quickly, and stop her!”
Qian Wanyu reorganized the topographic map of the Sleepy Dragon Seal, concentrating on finding the center point. “Where is the center?”
If the abyss is Sleepy Dragon Valley, and each layer represents a turning point, it doesn’t seem right.
“I hope your Ninth Sister can be more clever and at least not be easily manipulated by the Sleepy Dragon Seal,” Qing Mo suddenly exclaimed. “It can definitely be stopped; the Sleepy Dragon Seal can only operate when night falls.”
Qian Wanyu practiced with the topographic map in the sand again, and at the end of the exercise, she marked several suspicious locations. “If my understanding of the Sleepy Dragon Seal is accurate, there are three places most likely to be the central location of Sleepy Dragon Valley.”
“Then what are you waiting for? Go find it.”
In that room, after a night had passed, Dongfang Minghui lay on the ground. She rubbed her head, and upon opening her eyes, she saw green vines intertwined in all directions. The vine branches were still moving, encircling a deep green pool. The pool’s water appeared somewhat dark, and it was unsettling to look at. In addition, she spotted several iron faucets with a steady stream of clear water flowing down from the dragon’s mouth positions.
It’s great that she didn’t see anything out of the ordinary this time.
Dongfang Minghui breathed a sigh of relief. Little Color’s vines extended through her feet, and she rubbed her throbbing head, having woken up like this for the past few days. “Little Color, what are you doing?”
“Of course, I’m trying to leave this eerie place. Let me tell you, the Sleepy Dragon Seal is definitely not a good thing. It must have brought back for an unknown purpose to Sleepy Dragon Valley. We can’t follow it blindly.”
Little Color took advantage of the Sleepy Dragon Seal’s departure from her body and then whispered that it was a cunning creature.
Dongfang Minghui took a moment to grasp what Little Color was saying. “Yes, yes, Sleepy Dragon Valley is too dangerous. We must leave as soon as possible. But how can I find Seventh Sister? What if I’m the only one to leave, and Seventh Sister and Mo Ce are still inside?”
Little Color was about to pull out the constantly shaking vines on top of her head. “What time is it now? If you don’t search for her, how will you know where she is? Moreover, she is much smarter than you and will surely find you first.”
Little Color wished it could slap itself.
“That’s right, Seventh Sister must know that I’m going to find the Dragon Seal. If I run around alone, I may get lost in Dragon Valley.” Dongfang Minghui hesitated for a moment, unsure whether to stay or go.
Little Color slammed into the wall hard, and suddenly, like a lightning bolt, remembered how it entered before the Dragon Seal. “Come here, put your hands here and try.”
Dongfang Minghui was bewildered, clueless about what Little Color was attempting with the expectant look on its face. Nevertheless, she placed the Sleepy Dragon Seal in the center of the stone wall.
There was no response at all from the center of the stone wall.
Little Color’s initial look of anticipation gradually disappeared, replaced by fury. “How can it be useless? You came in like this before!”
Dongfang Minghui glanced at her hand, then at the stone gate, and bit her lips lightly. “What makes the Dragon Seal so powerful is that it is the key to the entire Dragon Valley. Some people want it, while others want to destroy it.”
“Then do we just wait for it to push you into the fire pit?”
Dongfang Minghui also realized that she was too pessimistic. What happened to Qian Mama and Uncle Wood 20 years ago might not necessarily happen to her and Seventh Sister, because she had the Sleepy Dragon Seal in her hand. If the Sleepy Dragon Seal could use her, why couldn’t she use the Dragon Seal?
“We have to find a way to find Seventh Sister first. With Seventh Sister, I can suppress the Sleepy Dragon Seal. Otherwise, wherever we go, at night, we will still be carried away by the Sleepy Dragon Seal.”
“Stubborn girl, you can’t live without your Seventh Sister.”
Dongfang Minghui shrugged; it didn’t matter. She really didn’t want to leave Seventh Sister at all. “You might as well help me think about the most likely place for Seventh Sister to appear. There’s strength in numbers.”
“How could I know—wait, I know where your Seventh Sister is.”
Little Color nodded fiercely, and it said a little excitedly, “Last night, you—or rather, that Sleepy Dragon Seal bastard—did something to this deep pool. The water in the deep pool became very clear, like a mirror. Your Seventh Sister was walking forward in this mirror…”
Dongfang Minghui finally understood Little Color’s words after listening for a while. She was surprised to learn that this deep pool could be used as a mysterious mirror reflecting Seventh Sister’s current situation. “What else did you see?”
Little Color: “I’ve seen a lot…” For example, Mo Ce was already half-dead. If he isn’t found soon, it’s very likely that he won’t be able to leave Dragon Valley in this lifetime.
Of course, in order not to intensify her little friend’s worries, it wisely didn’t mention this.
Dongfang Minghui subconsciously licked the corners of her dry lips. “Is there a way to restore this mirror? I want to see how Seventh Sister is doing now.”
Little Color: “…” Do you think I’m omnipotent?
Dongfang Minghui stubbornly wanted to see Seventh Sister with her own eyes, so she and Little Color began to fiddle with the water in the deep pool again.
She scooped up a handful of water and found that the water in the deep pool was very clear, completely different from the color of normal water. She held her hands together, gathering a little water under the dragon’s open mouth. The two types of water had the same color.
She tried touching every faucet, but she couldn’t find any mechanisms or tricks.
“Little Color, think about what I did yesterday, especially the details.” Dongfang Minghui refused to give up. Although she was afraid of water, ever since she got the mermaid pearl, she felt more secure and less worried.
“It didn’t seem to do anything. The water suddenly boiled up, then fell heavily, and finally, the surface of the water turned into a mirror.” Little Color recalled carefully, and that was all it could remember. It hadn’t paid much attention at the time, but the sudden boiling of the water had startled it.
Saying that was as good as not saying anything.
Dongfang Minghui looked around and asked, “Little Color, is the color of the deep pool clear or dark?”
“Of course it’s dark.”
Dongfang Minghui nodded thoughtfully after listening. “I think there must be something hidden under this deep pool. Do you know the principle of light refraction?”
“I’m sure you don’t. I’m going to dive into the water to have a look. Maybe the exit is under the deep pool.”
“I’ll come too.”
Little Color returned to her soul sea with a whoosh, and Dongfang Minghui carefully dived into the deep pool with the mermaid pearl in her mouth. As soon as she entered the deep pool, the water above the deep pool boiled. At the same time, Dongfang Minghui felt a long-lost pain in the palm of her hand, and a fiery red light flickered underwater.
The Sleepy Dragon Seal went crazy again.
“That’s right, the Sleepy Dragon Seal is issuing a warning, which means it doesn’t want us to do this.” Little Color analyzed enthusiastically in the soul sea.
Dongfang Minghui rolled her eyes in pain. It wasn’t her who dared to feel the pain, so she didn’t feel pain in her back when she stood and talked. She shook her hands fiercely, gritted her teeth, and threatened, “Don’t think I don’t dare to chop off my hands. If you make trouble for no reason, I’ll chop off my hand and kill you.”
“I can’t kill you now but it doesn’t mean I can’t kill you when Seventh Sister comes.”
The pain gradually subsided, and it wasn’t as intense as before. Dongfang Minghui frowned slightly. What she said just now were angry words but she didn’t expect it to actually have an effect.
However, what Little Color said wasn’t unreasonable. Sleepy Dragon Valley was the place she was least willing to visit. Now that she had been fooled by the Sleepy Dragon Seal into coming here, if Mo Ce and Seventh Sister encountered any problems, she would be at a complete loss. If she said she’d chop off her hands to kill it then she would.
The Sleepy Dragon Seal compromised for the time being, and before Dongfang Minghui had time to laugh, she saw the entire deep pool convulse. The water in the deep pool boiled once, subsided, and then started to boil again. Her water barrier was turned upside down three hundred and sixty times. She couldn’t tell her own position at all.
“What’s going on?!”
“I don’t know—ahh.”
Dongfang Minghui felt an inexplicable squeeze. The water barrier was originally round, but it was completely deformed after being squeezed by the water flow. One side was depressed, and the other side was also concave. It took a long time to return to its original shape.
The water barrier floated in the deep pool, and Dongfang Minghui was trapped inside it, unable to move. Her entire body was motionless, like a statue, with only her eyes able to move up and down, left and right.
“Little Color, what’s going on? What should we do now?” Little Color’s vines tried to emerge from the water barrier, but the seemingly soft barrier had turned into steel, not allowing any space for the vines to pass through.
“Wait and see.”
Dongfang Minghui could still feel a faint residual warmth in her palm. She believed that the reason she hadn’t been crushed was because of the existence of the Sleepy Dragon Seal. Otherwise, she might have been crushed into an unrecognizable shape.
The surrounding water gradually calmed down, becoming much clearer, just like the clean water she had scooped up before.
Dongfang Minghui looked excited, her eyes darting back and forth, “Little Color, is what you’re seeing the same as before?”
Little Color, in the sea of souls, didn’t make a sound. It saw the surrounding water condensing into shiny mirror fragments. It was indeed somewhat similar to the situation it had seen before, but… the mirror in the deep pool had been a single, continuous surface, not like the patchwork fragments it was seeing now.
Could their meddling have caused the mirror of the abyss to shatter? Little Color didn’t want to continue thinking about it, and it didn’t even dare to look at the disappointed eyes of its companion.
Dongfang Minghui felt herself spinning, spinning, tossing and turning in the deep pool. Except for a series of screams, she had no time to peek at the fragments of the mirror reflecting the surroundings.
Little Color also felt dizzy, so it simply closed its eyes.
After a long time, Dongfang Minghui opened her eyes, only to find that there were pieces of memory fragments surrounding her. The past and present were all presented in front of her in the form of mirror fragments.
“God, hundreds of years of past events have been recorded in this deep pool.” Little Color was dumbfounded, not knowing whether the current situation was good or bad, “Can you still see the current situation of your Seventh sister?”
Dongfang Minghui frowned, somewhat uncertain, “It should be fine.”
“Hurry up and choose the fragments with Qian Wanyu first, time is running out.”
“Let me try.”
The balance in Dongfang Minghui’s heart was swinging back and forth. On one hand, she wanted to find out the truth of the events twenty years ago, and on the other hand, she wanted to find out the safety of Seventh sister and Mo Ce. Of course, she had no right to choose in any case, because she couldn’t even move a finger.
“Little Color, do you think the Sleepy Dragon Seal can break our deadlock?” Dongfang Minghui thought about it, and suddenly came up with a potentially bad idea. Before there was another way, the best method to trap the Sleepy Dragon Seal was to trap herself.
“Try to move your hand with the Sleepy Dragon Seal.”
“Doesn’t work.” She had tried a long time ago, and all she could move were two fingers, “I think the Dragon Seal is also trapped in this deep pool.”
“Don’t jump to conclusions; if the time comes and the Sleepy Dragon Seal wakes up and destroys the deep pool from the inside, we still can’t trap it.” Little Color said pessimistically. It knew all too well the power of the Sleepy Dragon Seal…
Dongfang Minghui sighed heavily, “Forget it, there should be a few hours before nightfall. How can we see what’s on the fragments?”
Little Color tried, but its vines couldn’t stick out through the water barrier at all.
“We have at most one hour.”
They can do a lot of things in one hour.
Dongfang Minghui’s eyes darted around, and there was a broken fragment one centimeter away from the tip of her nose. She couldn’t see the contents of the fragment clearly. With the attitude of trying it out, she attempted to hook the fragment towards her. After trying for a long time, her neck became stiff, but she still failed to hook it.
The first attempt at hooking the fragment failed.
The second time, she tried to release her spiritual power. The spiritual power overflowed and bounced back into her body when it hit the water barrier. She almost suffered a backlash, but fortunately, the water barrier moved slightly forward due to the fluctuation of spiritual power. She was still half a centimeter away from the broken fragment.
“Not too far now.”
After finding the trick, Dongfang Minghui became more motivated, and she released her spiritual power to move the water cover forward little by little.
The cold fragment touched her nose lightly, and scenes of fighting appeared in Dongfang Minghui’s mind, just like playing a movie. She saw many familiar people, and those youthful faces reminded her of the years long ago and the events that had happened before which would cause the current situation of Qian Mama and Uncle Wood.
Friendship, betrayal, conspiracy, calculation, and so on.
More than twenty years had passed, but she was looking back on all the terrible things they encountered in the Dragon Valley twenty years ago.
“Qian Mama, be careful!”
Woo more MIWW! Thank you for any readers, donators and supporters still following this series 🙂