Chapter 182 - Bone-Corroding Miasma
Looking around, Ye Chen couldn't see anything but the vast and golden desert. The surface of the desert was as smooth as silk, with perfectly fair-shaped undulations that formed into different sizes of sandhills. From time to time, some low-level demonic snakes would occasionally dash out of the sand, wriggle their bodies, then widely opening their jaws and launching a deadly strike on their prey.
When Ye Chen walked across a medium-sized sandhill, he suddenly felt his scalp tingle and he instantly jumped into the air, leaving an afterimage from where he formerly stood. In the following second, the sandhill sank down to the ground and instead, an enormous black hole emerged from underneath, having a thick line of sharp teeth on its edge.
That was a gigantic demonic beast and the black hole was its mouth. If Ye Chen didn't react quickly in time, he would've been swallowed by this beast and chewed into meat paste already.
"Walking in the desert is too dangerous! This demonic beast had been hiding so deep that it didn't even let out any trace of power!" Ye Chen was indeed completely startled.
Back on the ground.
The demonic beast didn't seem to care too much about missing its target. It only sunk back into the ground and soon disappeared, leaving a huge pit in the sand ground.
This desert was not as vast as the Ancient Scorching Desert. Ye Chen crossed it in only three days' time, after which he soon arrived at the sprawling and massive Hundred Thousand Mountain Range area.
"This Hundred Thousand Mountain Range is the largest and also the most dangerous region of the entire South Zhuo Region. I can barely survive in it with my current strength. Fortunately, I've finally reached the ninth level of the Great Mystery Art the day before yesterday. By now, both the quality and quantity of my Zhen Qi have already improved dramatically, allowing me to deal with medium level six demonic beasts."
As stated by its name, people had said that the Hundred Thousand Mountain Range had one hundred thousand huge mountains in total, but in fact, there were also countless, relatively smaller mountains in this place. In total, the number of mountains in this place might be millions or even tens of millions. This region was extensive, nearly boundless, and covered four-fifths of the Grey Mystery Nation's territory. In history, not a single person had ever managed to entirely travel across the region. Even the number of people who had travelled across one-tenths of this region was very few, because the region was literally vast and had countless mountains. Even if a martial school sent all of their people into this region, that would only be equal to a drop of water into the ocean; not a single ripple would be stirred.
Taking a deep breath, Ye Chen walked right into the outskirts of the Hundred Thousand Mountain Range.
While Ye Chen was treading across the mountains, two human silhouettes showed up at the Ancient Trail Mountain Range near the border of the Grey Mystery Nation. One was wearing a black outfit while the other, a cyan outfit. Those two were the young men from the Huang Family in Black Rock City.
Standing on a gigantic tree, the young man in a black outfit said, "After we go through the Ancient Trial Mountain Range, Triangle Mountain Range, and the desert, we'll enter the Hundred Thousand Mountain Range. Qin Hao, are we really going into the Hundred Thousand Mountain Range? It's said that this Hundred Thousand Mountain Range area is the most mysterious and also the most dangerous region of the entire South Zhuo Region. Countless level 7 and level 8 demonic beasts are living in it. You can even find level 9 demonic beasts there, and even Astral Reaching Realm martial artists dare not to just tread there rashly. However, demonic beasts still aren't the most terrifying thing within the Hundred Thousand Mountain Range. According to legend, some magical, mysterious and ancient terrifying entities were left in that region, those which are far more dreadful and deadlier than demonic beasts."
"Well, risks are always proportional to profits. If we stop only because of those possible dangers, how could we possibly obtain what we desire? Besides, the location of the red spot isn't in the middle of that mountain area, but only near the edge. We might not even encounter with that many terrifying things." Responded the young man in a cyan outfit with a bland look.
The young man in black slightly loosened his tightened face, then continued, "The edge area of this Hundred Thousand Mountain Range is so broad, where exactly is the location of that red spot?"
"It's on a goat-head shaped mountain, surrounded by a thriving jungle."
"Ah, it should be easy to find since we already know the shape of the mountain, let's go!"
Both of them then swiftly darted into the Ancient Trail Mountain Range.
"Qin Hao and Tiao Chong had come as well, so unexpected." On another mountaintop which wasn't too far away from where the two young men formerly stayed, a man and a woman showed up. The one who was talking with a warm smile, was Qi Shaofeng, while the beautiful girl standing beside him wearing a purple dress, was Murong Qingcheng.
Murong Qingcheng said, "They shouldn't be after the same thing as we are."
"You're right, Sky Devil Blooms can do no help to them, therefore, they have no reason to take such a huge risk and pursue it."
Murong Qingcheng and Qi Shaofeng began their journey three days after Ye Chen left the Three River City, during which, they accidentally saw Qin Hao and Tian Chong, who were both powerful martial artists ranked higher than 45th in the last season Hidden Dragon Rank. Between them, Qin Hao was no less powerful than Qi Shaofeng, ranked 35th in the last season Hidden Dragon Rank.
Inside the Hundred Thousand mountain area, no one under the Astral Reaching Realm dared to fly in the sky, not even peak-level late Clasping Yuan Realm martial artists; as for Astral Reaching Realm martial artists, they could only fly in the edge area and had to move on feet in the inner areas of the Hundred Thousand Mountain Range region just like the others. After all, flying in the air could draw a martial artist too much attention that the other creatures could easily find him or her by simply raising their heads. A short flight might be safe; yet, after a slightly longer period of time, flying could become one hundred percent dangerous and chances of dying would go beyond eighty percent.
You could even say that flying in the Hundred Thousand Mountain Range area was an effective method of committing suicide.
Across the rugged trail, the silhouette of a person flashed swiftly.
In the past five whole days, Ye Chen had been searching for the location of the red spot in every single minute and only rested at night because searching during night time could be too dangerous.
The red spot was located on the goat-head shaped mountain and was surrounded by dense jungle. Seeing from the map, it was quite obvious; yet, once after he came into this vast mountainous area in person, Ye Chen had gotten the feeling of searching for a needle in an ocean. Sometimes he even felt a bit powerless and frustrated. Each day, he could search through one hundred mountains, which meant he had already searched through five-hundred mountains during the past five days. However, mountains were the most abundant thing in this Hundred Thousand Mountain Range, that the total number of mountains in the area could be tens of billions, equaling to the population of a large-scale city.
Considering how it wasn't absolutely safe in the Hundred Thousand Mountain Range, Ye Chen couldn't possibly search through thousands of mountains in one day even though he was capable of it. This was, after all, the legendary and most dangerous region of the entire South Zhuo Area; it wasn't a place where he would be allowed to do as he pleased.
In a valley far away from him, an over ten-meter long and three-meter tall, wolf-shaped demonic beast raised its head and gave a long, resonant howl. Centered at the valley, this piercing and frosty howl spread out for hundreds of miles, sending a dense sense of beast power throughout. Hearing this howl, all the other lower-level demonic beasts deeply bowed their heads over and let out trembling purrs, submitting themselves to the rule of this powerful wolf-shaped beast.
"It's a peak level 6 demonic beast, Lunar Wind Wolf!"
Ye Chen immediately hid behind a pile of rocks.
Judging from the level, Lunar Wind Wolves were equally powerful to late Clasping Yuan Realm martial artists. However, ordinary late Clasping Yuan Realm martial artists could never defeat them, even survive their attacks. Only genius late Clasping Yuan Realm martial artists might be powerful enough to fight evenly against Lunar Wind Wolves. Ye Chen would be able to defeat this Lunar Wind Wolf if he reached the late Clasping Yuan Realm. He could even kill this wolf if he reached the peak level late Clasping Yuan Realm. Nevertheless, he was still far from the late Clasping Yuan Realm at present.
A fierce gust of wind blew across the surrounding area, along with which, the Lunar Wind Wolf began its monthly patrol. None of the other demonic beasts dared to run; instead, they all lied on the ground and deeply lowered their heads, not daring to even move a little bit.
Floating in the air, the Lunar Wind Wolf glanced around, abruptly opened its mouth and sucked a muscular demonic cattle over and bit it into two, squeezing fresh blood out of its sharp teeth in huge streams.
A short while later, this Lunar Wind Wolf that had just finished its desert, gave a satisfying howl then swiftly dashed out, starting the inspection tour of its own territory.
Ye Chen walked out from behind the pile of rocks after the wolf had gone far.
"This wolf is definitely the king of all level 6 demonic beasts. Those level 6 beasts I met back in the Ancient Trail Mountain Range and Triangle Mountain Range were all far weaker than this one."
Normally, the levels dividing amongst demonic beasts were rough. Take level 6 demonic beasts as an example. From the weakest to the strongest, all level 6 demonic beasts were further divided into three small grades, which were ordinary level 6 demonic beasts, elite level 6 demonic beasts, peak level 6 demonic beasts. Nevertheless, the difference between peak level 6 demonic beasts and other peak level 6 demonic beasts could still be huge. Both the two peak level 6 demonic beasts Ye Chen met at the Ancient Trail Mountain Range and Triangle Mountain Range had ordinary bloodlines, while this Lunar Wind Wolf possessed an ancient legendary demonic beast's bloodline that was incredibly domineering. That ancient bloodline even gifted the wolf a chance to break through the level 7 that peak level 6 demonic beasts with ordinary bloodline couldn't do.
"Despite this Lunar Wind Wolf's enormous shape, it can't be invincible. Hm, I think I won't see it anymore." While murmuring to himself, Ye Chen continued his search for the red spot.
Two more days had passed.
In this afternoon.
"That area is being shrouded by a dense, purple smoke. I'm afraid that is a highly poisonous miasma, but its covered area is way too huge." Standing on a hill, Ye Chen's blue outfit looked similar to surrounding plants that one could hardly see him at first glance. There's a big chance that even demonic beasts and other people wouldn't even notice him standing there.
"I'll just go and take a quick look in there!"
Ye Chen had already been searching for the location of the red spot in this Hundred Thousand Mountain Range for a week. Right now, he didn't want to miss any chance of finding it.
Tens of miles would only take Ye Chen as long as the time taken for a meal, and that was only because he had to say extra cautious; otherwise, he could easily make it in the span of ten breaths.
Leaping onto a three and squatting on a thick branch, Ye Chen carefully observed the miasma-filled area from hundreds of meters away.
Abruptly, he frowned his brows. That area was a dense jungle, guarded by a group of martial artists who were all wearing the same yellow outfit and each held a long blade. The sleeves of their outfits were all embossed with a cyan and long blade, indicating that these people might've come from a martial school that particularly mastered blade arts.
Most of these people were Condensing Reality Realm martial artists while around twenty of them were in the Clasping Yuan Realm. In total, that specific area was being guarded by three hundred martial artists.
"Elder Teng, what is that purple smoke above the woods? Seems quite dangerous." Standing beside a boulder near the jungle, a young man asked an elderly man who had a shining black hair.
The elderly man took a quick glance at the purple miasma and said, "That's the Bone-Corroding Miasma. It can immediately kill any martial artist who haven't yet extracted their Zhen Qi into Zhen Yuan with only a single touch. This miasma can corrode your defensive Zhen Qi in a very short time."
"That bad? Why haven't I heard about this Bone-Corroding Miasma before?"
"There're lots of things that you haven't yet heard about. This Bone-corroding Miasma is uncommon now as it only exists in the remains of some ancient sites. Our Long Blade Martial School had been very lucky to find this Bone-corroding Miasma this time; perhaps, we can also find some treasures in this jungle."
"Ah, no wonder our patriarch came all the way here in person, took hundreds of people searching in the woods and told us to guard out here; then kill any martial artist who shows up within our sights. Oh, is there any Bone-corroding Miasma inside the woods? Our patriarch and the others will be safe in there, won't they?"
"Don't worry, the Bone-corroding Miasma is lingering only above the jungle, not inside."
The elderly man with a black hair was the outer Head Elder of the Long Blade Martial School, while the Long Blade Martial School was an ordinary rank 9 institution located in thousands of miles away from here. Not long ago, one of their elders found the Bone-corroding Miasma in this place and immediately reported to the school, after which, the patriarch of this martial school instantly decided to come over with more than half of their people. Fortunately, the path from their institution towards here wasn't too dangerous. They had managed to arrive after losing only around ten martial artists.
Grasping their conversation with his soul power, Ye Chen then fell into deep thought. The Bone-corroding Miasma was an ancient being. In accordance to its appearance, the jungle might truly be a hiding spot of some ancient treasures. 'Ah! The location of the red spot that is marked on the map seems a bit similar to here!' Ye Chen popped out his eyes and thought.
As Ye Chen took out the map from the storage ring and gave a quick look, his pupils then suddenly shrunk. He found some faint purple colour on the circle-shaped woods around the red spot; It was most likely, the Bone-corroding Miasma. Even if the purple colour on the map and the colour of the miasma was only coincidentally similar, Ye Chen still wanted to go into the jungle and find out the truth; otherwise, he felt that he wouldn't be able to find the red spot's location if he didn't do so.
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