“Shh, stand behind me.”
After saying this, Qian Wanyu threw a stone down again, and a lot of bubbles appeared in the middle of the pool. What was initially a small area expanded until one-third of the entire pool was filled with bubbles.
“A vortex has appeared in the pool,” Qing Mo, floating in the air, announced. He had the clearest view from his vantage point.
Qian Wanyu threw another stone, which rolled into the raised vortex in the center, making no sound as it entered the water. She then stood up and said, “Ninth Sister, I want to go down and take a look.”
Dongfang Minghui frowned at her in disapproval. “Seventh sister, the water in this pool contains black mist. Unless one is a death Spiritual Master, ordinary people will likely die if they go down.”
“Ninth Sister, please repeat that.” Qian Wanyu’s eyes lit up, and she looked at Dongfang Minghui with a smile.
“Seventh sister, this is not the time for jokes. I’m serious. Ordinary people could die if they go down. You are well aware of the power of the black mist.”
Qian Wanyu reached out her fingers and gently pinched Dongfang Minghui’s worry-lined face. “Thank you, Ninth Sister, for the warning. It’s precisely because of this misunderstanding that they dare to act so brazenly.”
“I’ll explain later. For now, retrieve the Shark Bead.”
“Seventh sister, why can’t you—”
“Wanyu, think this through. If what’s down there isn’t what you expect, we might end up trapped in the pool,” Qing Mo wasn’t entirely certain so he cautioned her.
Qian Wanyu nodded lightly. “Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing. You all stay here; I’ll go down alone.”
“Seventh sister,” Dongfang Minghui tightened her grip on the Shark Bead in her hand. “Master Qing Mo can stay above. I’ll go down with you. No matter what, you must take me with you. We share in our fortunes and misfortunes together.”
Dongfang Minghui, fearing her Seventh sister might renege on her promise, quickly placed the Shark Bead in her mouth, as if to suggest she wouldn’t hand it over unless she was taken along.
Upon seeing Ninth Sister’s bulging cheeks, Qian Wanyu chuckled at the sight of her looking like a little hamster stuffing its cheeks with food. She gave her a light pinch and, hand in hand, they walked towards the pool. Together, they jumped into the vortex, and soon, the black water engulfed them.
The water shield, originally transparent with a hint of blue, began to turn black as they entered the murky pool.
“Seventh sister, the water shield doesn’t seem to be able to last long.”
“Hmm.” Qian Wanyu responded lightly to this. The reason she had initially discouraged Ninth Sister from accompanying her was due to this concern. Now, they were in it together, with the endurance of the water shield still unknown. Finding the path down as quickly as possible seemed the best solution. “Let’s investigate what lies beneath this pool first.”
They were surrounded by pitch-black darkness. Even Qian Wanyu, who usually adapted quickly to the dark, found herself in uncharted territory, unable to see beyond. Their only option was to use moonstones. Each of them held several of these stones, their faint light barely illuminating a meter around them, making the dark world seem even more eerie.
Dongfang Minghui swallowed subconsciously and opened the silk umbrella in her hand, and hung it close to her neck, ready for any potential ambush. “Seventh sister, the pool was so bloody before. Why has its color changed in just over a decade?”
“Do you remember Qian Ziyan?”
Qian Wanyu replayed in her mind the events after they had last entered the abyss. When they descended, Meng Ruoyu was sitting facing the pool, and at that moment, Qian Ziyan had just emerged from the blood pool. “Do you recall the direction Meng Ruoyu bolted towards?”
“No, a person with a strong will to survive wouldn’t rush towards me but towards somewhere they could be saved.”
That’s why she was certain there was something unusual about the pool. With Ninth Sister’s earlier clue, she realized that the Sleepy Dragon Valley was a layered maze. If a lock alone could secure the Sleepy Dragon Valley, it would have been impossible for Qian Ziyan to escape. Yet, he managed to… meaning there must be another exit from Sleepy Dragon Valley.
The only exit she could think of was likely at the bottom of this untouchable pool.
“Did they choose the bottom of the abyss as their base because there’s a passage beneath the pool?”
Next, the two meticulously searched the passage beneath the dark pool. During their search, they found numerous shattered human bones and massive monster skeletons. These remnants, likely left undisturbed for a long time, had turned pitch black and almost blended with the dark pool if not examined closely.
This observation was mainly due to Dongfang Minghui’s accidental discovery of a white bone, prompting them to be extra vigilant.
Upon seeing the bones, Qian Wanyu became even more convinced there was something suspicious about the pool.
“Seventh sister, there’s something I don’t quite understand,” Dongfang Minghui admitted, feeling the question was nagging at her. If she didn’t ask for clarification, she would likely continue to speculate. “If Meng Ruoyu survived, why didn’t he seek revenge on Qian Mama after escaping from this place with Uncle Wood?”
“Or maybe they couldn’t find Qian Mama…?”
She felt that Meng Ruoyu had a strange obsession with Qian Mama. Before his death, he had constantly sought forgiveness from her, even stating that he was in a “difficult situation.” Would he just let Qian Mama go?
“It’s so puzzling…”
Qian Wanyu listened silently, not uttering a word. She swept the same area with the moonstone repeatedly. “I see a faint light, Ninth Sister. We need to find a way to move these two corpses.”
This was a tricky issue. Little Color hadn’t said a word since jumping into the black pool. It was probably quite upset with her at the moment. Additionally, its vines were highly susceptible to the black mist, so she didn’t dare ask Little Color for assistance.
Qian Wanyu brandished her lightning whip, which was charged with purple lightning. “Huh?”
“What’s wrong, Seventh Sister?” Hearing Qian Wanyu’s soft grunt, Dongfang Minghui quickly moved the moonstone closer, witnessing the two skeletons stirring just as she’d predicted. Seeing a white skeleton struggling to its feet, one of them grabbed the tip of the lightning whip with its clawed hand. Thus began a tug-of-war between one living and one dead. “This… Is this the true technique of corpse control?”
This technique controlled corpses, not only fresh living bodies but seemingly even skeletal corpses.
What were these people trying to accomplish?
She could imagine the chaos if Death Spiritual Masters ended up fighting humans. Wouldn’t it be utterly unfair if all the corpses rose and joined the battlefield?
“No, it’s too risky. We must nip this threat in the bud,” Dongfang Minghui stated, feeling as though she had gotten a grip on the mastermind’s plot. As dark as their intentions were, a breath of death seemed to pervade the entire Seven Colors Continent…
With Qian Wanyu’s force, the lightning blast shattered the corpse’s hand and most of its skeleton. A light source, hundreds of times brighter than their moonstones, refracted in from the hole. The radiance was so intense that they had to squint, allowing their eyes time to adjust to the glaring light.
“As I suspected, there is a path here.”
The pair pushed their water shields and entered the hole. The stark contrast of illumination forced them to quickly stow their moonstones. To prevent blinding themselves, they had to use their spiritual power to shield their eyes, alleviating the sudden discomfort.
“Ninth Sister, what were you murmuring just now?”
“No—I was just thinking, the Death Spiritual Masters keeps establishing bases among different races and capturing individuals alive. Are they planning to one day unite the Seven-Color Continent?”
Qian Wanyu furrowed her brows, pondering for a moment. “Why did Ninth Sister suddenly come up with this?”
Dongfang Minghui scratched her head. She couldn’t admit that her past experience reading novels made such scenarios easy to guess. But she couldn’t tell Seventh Sister this, so she half-lied, “I noticed the group of corpses outside. Even in death, they’re still controlled by the Death Spiritual Master. It’s quite unsettling.”
In this world, so many people died. If they all rose from the ground, wouldn’t the Seven Colors Continent be on the brink of annihilation?
“Don’t let your imagination run wild. Death Spiritual Masters have very high standards for corpse control. Typically, a Death Spiritual Master aspiring to become an advanced corpse control master has to take numerous risks. Many die in the process of cultivation, and many suffer a backlash.” Qian Wanyu spoke lightly, her knowledge stemming from the letter owner in Death Valley.
After listening, Dongfang Minghui sighed, only six words remaining in her mind—high risk, high reward.
“Ugh, high risk, high reward indeed. Death Spiritual Masters shouldn’t exist, especially those aiming to control corpses. They have no place in this world,” she proclaimed. She felt this group of individuals was extremely dangerous.
Qian Wanyu had been vigilantly observing the path ahead. The black water had reached the cave entrance but dared not proceed further. Even so, the color of the water cover had changed slightly, the transparent hue mixing with a shade of dark blue.
“Observe the walls on both sides closely.”
At first glance, she saw nothing but blank expansiveness. However, after being alerted by Seventh Sister, she split her attention and took a closer look. Startled, she moved closer to Qian Wanyu. Flesh and blood humans were stacked on the white walls, their eyes closed in quiet repose, as though sleeping.
From the incident involving people frozen in the ice cellar, Dongfang Minghui discerned some patterns in their work. They chose samples from different races and then selected the ones with potential, like Uncle Wood, subjecting them to inhumane training to turn them into obedient executioners.
“Seventh Sister, they seem to be people from the Qian Family,” she observed. She noticed they all had the word ‘Qian’ on their chests, even their clothes were relatively well preserved.
Qian Wanyu frowned, the whip in her hand deforming. “The mastermind behind this might have exploited the news about the Spiritual Saint to wipe out all the clans’ powerhouses. They started implementing this as early as twenty years ago.”
Dongfang Minghui was trying to identify the group of people. Apart from the Qian Family members, she saw individuals from the Mo and Nangong families as well. “Seventh Sister, are they still alive?”
Qian Wanyu put away her whip, spotting numerous steps ahead, leading to a higher place, resembling a miniature Sleepy Dragon Valley. “Be careful. Don’t touch what you shouldn’t. Understand?”
“I understand, Seventh Sister. You still have those two potions with you, right?”
Qian Wanyu understood her meaning in seconds, taking a special look in her storage space. “Let’s proceed.”
As soon as Dongfang Minghui stepped out of the water cover, she shivered violently. The world covered in ice was freezing cold. Qian Wanyu held her hand firmly, channeling her spiritual power into Dongfang Minghui through their interlaced fingers.
Instantly, Dongfang Minghui’s body warmed up, significantly more comfortable than before. She gently hooked her little finger around Seventh Sister’s palm, then took a serious look around.
Qian Wanyu tightened her grip, refraining from any additional movements.
They had to ascend one floor every ten steps. After half an hour, they’d only covered about fifty floors. Eventually, Dongfang Minghui lost count. “Seventh Sister, could the mastermind behind all this be a dual-type Spiritual Master, one of dark and ice?”
She had identified the only commonality between Xian and Meng Yixiao—the dual attributes.
Qian Wanyu didn’t comment, aware that Ninth Sister was on the verge of losing patience. She smiled, “Do you see that hole? Just a little longer, and we’ll be there.”
Dongfang Minghui scanned her surroundings before she was quickly pulled by Qian Wanyu to take cover in the ice wall next to the stairs. As she leaned her body against the wall, a figure encased suddenly opened its eyes. “Hush, Seventh Sister, someone’s here.”
An icy gust brushed past them from behind. Qian Wanyu attempted to move but found herself stuck. She exerted her spiritual power, and the ice clinging to her back seemed to melt, releasing not only cold air but also damp vapor.
“Ninth Sister, something’s sticking to my back.”
“Huh?” Dongfang Minghui hurriedly descended the steps. To her horror, the person sealed within the ice wall opened his blood-red eyes and was raising his hand.
“Little Colour, help me!”
“Seventh Sister, quickly remove your clothes! The living corpse behind us is awakening.”
Qian Wanyu’s eyebrows twitched suddenly. With a swift move, she tore off her clothes along with a piece of skin from her back, blood spraying everywhere. The blood spattering the ice cellar melted instantly, leaving no trace behind.
“Seventh Sister, there are still clusters of that black fog in this ice wall. Your wound has been infected; let me take a look.”
Qian Wanyu didn’t hesitate; she hadn’t anticipated the traps within the ice wall. Had they touched the wall earlier, they might have discovered them sooner. “Quick, get behind me.”
Her gaze locked onto the figure embedded in the wall. The fiery red eyes reminded her of Qian Ziyan—another undead.
All along their journey, those undead sealed in the wall…had been altered long ago. They had assumed the people frozen in the wall still had a chance to live.
What a pity.
Did their enemy painstakingly preserve the undead corpses, planning to unleash them one day?
Dongfang Minghui quickly rummaged through her storage, applying a bit of medicinal liquid to Qian Wanyu’s back. Seeing the black fog dissipate completely, she bit her finger, smearing her blood mixed with the medicine on Seventh Sister’s back. She finally found a piece of clothing, wrapping it around her waist. “Seventh Sister, I think we’ve been discovered.”
“If something goes wrong, just run. You should remember the way.”
“I can’t remember.”
Dongfang Minghui told a white lie. As she finished speaking, she felt an ominous chill from behind. Looking back, she saw a gap in the opposite wall, the figure hidden within opening their eyes, a flash of red light passing by.
“Seventh Sister, even if we want to leave this time, I don’t think we can.”
Wooo curious how these undead were going to be used
Thank you for the support as usual friends <3