Library of Heaven is Path
1586 Yellow Water of the Netherworld
The trio slowly advanced ahead.
As they were following the trail of the group of four before them, they did not meet much danger along the way.
Those four young men did not leave the slightest trail behind when they kidnapped Zhao Ya and the others, which went to show that they had intentionally destroyed all marks of themselves.
In this ancient domain, however, perhaps because danger was all around, they could not bother about it anymore, or maybe they felt that no one would be able to follow them there—regardless, they had lowered their guard. That being said, their trail was still very faint, to the point of nearly being indiscernible, but fortunately, it was still barely visible through the Eye of Insight.
Those four are indeed powerful… Zhang Xuan thought grimly.
If not for his Eye of Insight improving along with his cultivation, even he would have had trouble making out their nearly indiscernible trail!
To be able to do so without intentional concealment, just how powerful would they really be?
Most likely, even if they were not on Yang shi's level yet, they were not too far from it. If the four of them collaborated with one another, even Yang shi would be no match for them!
With their cultivation and the element of surprise on their side, it was no wonder Zhao Ya and Wei Ruyan had fallen to them.
They are likely notable figures even within the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe! Zhang Xuan thought with narrowed eyes.
While those of the Otherworldly Demon Tribe were born with greater innate strength and longer lifespans than humans, there was no doubt that only a small handful would be able to reach such a level, which meant that the group of four consisted of the elite of the elites. Otherwise, there was no way mankind would have been able to keep the Otherworldly Demonic Tribe away from the Master Teacher Continent for so many years.
Even if Zhang Xuan's group was able to subdue the four of them, chances were that they would sustain severe damage in the process.
"There are signs of battle ahead…"
After proceeding ahead for a moment, the adolescent boy Wu Chen suddenly raised his hand to warn the group before walking over alone.
Zhang Xuan quickly followed behind him, and he swiftly noticed pits of varying sizes and depths all around the area, a sign that an intense battle had just occurred.
"No, something is wrong…" Doubts surfaced in Zhang Xuan's eyes as he analyzed the surroundings. "While these marks appear to originate from a battle, the fact is that they originate from a single source. In other words, it's the doing of an individual—there are no marks around that suggests that he was facing an opponent!"
Through the discerning Eye of Insight, Zhang Xuan could tell that despite the chaotic marks all around, they were all inflicted by the zhenqi of a single person. There was no other person to fight with if a battle had truly happened here!
"Could it be…" Luo Ruoxin's eyebrows shot up. "… a hallucination?"
There could only be one reason for a person to desperately launch attacks one after another in the presence of no opponent at all—he was in a disorientated state, thus compelling him to make such irrational actions.
Such was the case when they entered the Qiu Wu Palace back then. They had immediately been exposed to a demonic tune, which placed them in a poor state of mind. If not for Zhang Xuan finding the core of the formation and destroying it, the group would have marched on till they finally died of exhaustion.
"That does seem to be the case!" Wu Chen nodded. "Illusory Formations blur the distinction between reality and hallucinations, and that could be extremely dangerous in here. Milady, Zhang shi, please wait here for a moment while I find a way to destroy the formation!"
"Be careful. The fact that this formation was able to trap one of those four shows that it's of formidable prowess," Luo Ruoxin warned.
"I understand!" Wu Chen nodded.
Gritting his teeth, he began advancing slowly. However, barely after taking two steps, he suddenly found Zhang Xuan walking right past him before halting at a certain point and stomping his foot forcefully on the ground.
The surroundings seemed to waver for a moment, as if something had come undone.
Clapping his hands together, Zhang Xuan turned around and said, "Job's done. The Illusory Formation has been dispelled!"
Wu Chen felt goosebumps rising all over his body. He hurriedly walked forward and extended his Spiritual Perception to the surroundings before he was able to convince himself that the formation had indeed been deciphered!
"You…" Wu Chen stared at the young man not too far away in frenzy.
It was one thing for the young man to be more formidable than him when it came to spatial manipulation and eye of discernment… but to think that the young man would wield such amazing prowess in formations as well! He had not even located where the formation was when the young man was already done deciphering it… How could that be?
Was there anything that the young man was incapable of?
It was almost as if they had been given the wrong scripts!
He was supposed to be the knowledgeable expert whereas the young man was the countryside bumpkin!
"Milady…" Wu Chen quickly turned to the young lady behind him, wanting to see her reaction to this matter, only to see a faint smile on her face.
It was as if she had known that the young man wielded such capabilities from the very start, and she was not surprised in the least.
Seeing that Luo Ruoxin was not saying anything, he did not feel that it would be appropriate for him to comment on the matter. Thus, despite the strange feeling in his heart, he decided to keep his silence and trudge on ahead.
This time, the group did not walk too long before a river came into sight.
The river water was slightly yellowish and translucent, making it hard to see through it. Looking at it from afar, it did not seem to be flowing either, almost as if it was a still painting.
Wu Chen observed it for a while before flicking his wrist to take out a Saint high-tier artifact to toss into the river.
A trail of smoke rose from the tip of the weapon, and it did not take long for the Saint high-tier artifact to be completely corroded by the river water, leaving nary a trace at all.
Following which, Wu Chen took out a Saint pinnacle artifact and placed it in the river water. In less than ten breaths, a scorched mark had already appeared on the surface.
"This is the Yellow Water of the Netherworld. It's highly corrosive, capable of devouring a Saint high-tier artifact within moments. Even Saint pinnacle artifacts won't last too long in it. It's also extremely harmful to cultivators and their zhenqi. If one falls into the water, their Primordial Spirit will swiftly become corrupted, inflicting irrecoverable damage!" Wu Chen said grimly.
"Yellow Water of the Netherworld?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
He had read many books, but he had never heard of such a liquid before.
"Un. It's a natural product of the world, and it's also commonly known as Yellow Springwater. Even Great Sage realm cultivators would not dare come into contact with it easily. From the looks of it, we'll have to cross this river in order to advance further in the ancient domain. However, the river corrodes the air directly above it as well, so even flying past the river will be extremely dangerous. Unless…" Wu Chen paused for a moment before continuing. "Unless we build a Netherworld's Bridge!"
"Netherworld's Bridge?" Zhang Xuan was even more confused.
Was it not a little troublesome to construct a bridge on the spot? How did the group of four ahead of them manage to get past the river then?
"To cross the netherworld without falling into it, the Netherworld's Bridge is of paramount importance. Most likely, the four of them were able to cross because they were aware of the situation in the ancient domain and made preparations in advance, such as bringing along the Netherworld's Boat or artifacts of a similar nature," Wu Chen explained.
"Similar to the Netherworld's Bridge, the Netherworld's Boat allows one to traverse through the Yellow Water of the Netherworld freely without falling into it. However, its construction method has long disappeared from the world!"
"Considering how the Yellow Springwater is able to corrode even Saint pinnacle weapons, does that mean that the Netherworld's Boat is a Great Sage artifact?" Zhang Xuan asked out of curiosity.
In the three days that he had spent traveling to the Luo Clan, he had conversed at length with Sword Saint Xing and Yang shi, and he had learned much about the higher realms.
Saint artifacts were divided into low-tier, middle-tier, high-tier, and pinnacle, and beyond that were Great Sage artifacts!
There was no finer distinction to Great Sage artifacts as most of them had unique properties that would be difficult to classify properly. Nevertheless, depending on how they were forged, there could still be vast differences in their quality.
To date, Zhang Xuan had yet to see any Great Sage artifacts, so he was not in a good position to comment either.
Since the Netherworld's Boat that Wu Chen had mentioned was able to travel through the Yellow Water of the Netherworld safely, could it possibly be a Great Sage artifact?
Otherwise, how could it withstand the corrosion of the Yellow Water?
"You might not believe it when I say this, but it isn't a Great Sage artifact but simply…" Wu Chen shook his head bitterly. "Paper! The Netherworld's Boat is a type of paper boat!"