Li Yao suddenly felt that he was lucky.
He had been cautious enough to not leave any trace behind after he landed.
Otherwise, even if the army of the court overlooked him, the ‘observer’ that had been prying in the darkness certainly would have grown suspicious. He would have been mired in endless trouble.
The fact that the stranger could attach a feeble telepathic thought to a mosquito and remotely control it from several mountains away suggested that his Cultivation was at least as good as that of the female sword Cultivator at the peak of the Core Formation Stage.
Thankfully, the mosquito was made of flesh and blood, so not too many techniques could be stored inside the tiny body. It was already its limits to observe the battle.
Neltharion, on the other hand, was a piece of cutting-edge magical equipment from the Star Ocean Imperium that had been constantly improved by Li Yao. When it was hidden in the air, a tiny mosquito could certainly not detect it.
Therefore, it was Li Yao who discovered a second observer, not the other way around.
The discovery gave Li Yao a great advantage in the secret battle.
The mosquito slightly shivered. As if attracted by a spiritual thread, it flew toward the depths of the forest.
Pondering for a moment, Li Yao ordered Neltharion to follow the mosquito, planning to meet the mysterious observer.
The army of the court commanded by the ‘Appeasing Ambassador of the Fifth Prefecture of the Southland of Sorcerers’ was large with many soldiers. It was impossible that the army would vanish into thin air from the forest.
A lot of traces would be left behind by the wagons and horses after the army passed.
Neltharion had recorded the terrain nearby. Even if the army was lost right now, it was easy for Li Yao to keep track of the army by following their traces.
The mysterious observer, on the other hand, might not be found again once lost.
Li Yao had a vague feeling that the level of the stranger should be far higher than the female sword Cultivator. Chances were that he was even in the Nascent Soul Stage.
I wonder, what methods does the ‘ancient Nascent Soul Stage Cultivator’ of this Sector boast?
Li Yao smiled and began to take off his clothes.
Shirts, pants, and underwear. He was completely naked in the end.
He tossed all the objects that did not belong to the world back into his Cosmos Rings before he activated the instant self-destruction alert rune arrays on the Cosmos Rings.
Should he be captured by a terrifying expert far stronger than himself in the worst case-scenario, he would still be able to destroy all traces related to his home instantly.
But as for the fact that nudity was certainly not any type of decorum…
Li Yao scratched his hair and found a piece of soft humus. He picked up a handful of mud and soon smeared himself in it.
Then, he managed to knit two covers with the broad leaves that resembled those of a palm and protected his private parts with them. Finally, he rushed after the mosquito under the guidance of Neltharion.
The master of the mosquito must not have dreamt that somebody could perceive his enchanted insect inside the forest that was brimming with venomous fog. The mosquito was swaggering forward without the slightest concealment. After passing two mountains, it almost turned into a streak of bright gold at a speed higher than that of a bird.
However, it was true that the area was a desolate and harsh land. The giant trees dozens of meters tall blocked all the sunshine. Swamps and caves whose depth nobody could tell were everywhere. Many lethal snakes, rats, and ants were also lurking in the branches and grass, too.
Li Yao estimated that, not just the troops from the central dynasty, even the local barbarians of the area might not have the courage to approach.
The land in the front suddenly sank. A deep, narrow canyon appeared, as if the ground had been slashed upon brutally.
On the cliffs of the canyon grew bizarre-shaped trees whose dense crowns blocked Li Yao’s vision. Like the duckweed that floated on the top of a pond, they stopped everybody from examining how deep the canyon was.
Very soon, however, the sound of water echoed from the bottom of the canyon, as if a river was surging from the depths.
There was not the slightest track created by animals when they walked by near the canyon. Not just the ordinary people, even the toughest fighters would not dare to explore the area by themselves.
Li Yao noticed a weird phenomenon.
After surpassing quite a few high mountains in a row, he heard the shrieks of animals everywhere from the primitive forest. He had also sensed the auras of some rather intimidating demon beasts, which suggested that this place was a paradise for wildlife.
But after he reached the canyon, he could not hear the sound of any living creatures, not even the slithering noises of the snakes and rats, although the forest there was even more dense and even had a clear water source.
The seemingly vigorous forest was like a silent graveyard. Although the sun was burning in the sky, there was nothing but chilly air in the forest.
The mosquito dived down into the canyon.
Neltharion still tailed it, neither too distant nor too close, in the stealth state.
Li Yao activated the Great Dream Tortoise Hibernation Art that Gui Suishou had taught him silently and reduced his physiological signs such as breath and heartbeat to the minimum in the high-speed movement.
Not only was the Great Dream Tortoise Hibernation Art a device for hibernation, it also had another great advantage, which was that the physiological signs on the surface of the body could be reduced during short-time strenuous movements. So, a body might appear cold although it was burning hot inside.
Right now, if somebody observed Li Yao’s skin with a microscope, they would discover that Li Yao’s pores had been fully sealed, and his skin was as smooth as a mirror. He looked like a person born without pores.
The spiritual energy, bodily fluid, and smell, which escaped through the pores, were naturally kept inside the body.
Before, Li Yao had studied similar stealth techniques, but the general techniques only allowed him to hide himself in the still state. The Great Dream Tortoise Hibernation Art was much more incredible in that it allowed Li Yao to not leak any smell or wave while he was rushing forward.
The canyon was extremely deep. It was narrow at the top but got broader as he descended. After passing through the upper layer that was occupied by the overwhelming crowns of the trees, he discovered that dark fog was rolling up and down in front of him.
At the bottom of the canyon was a large river in pale white. Like an angry dragon, it was crashing and tearing apart the rocks on the two sides of the canyon. Occasionally, some of the rocks were ripped off and minced into pieces into pieces, disappearing into the river.
Even a feather could float on such a river!
Everything about the place was creepy and hideous. It seemed like a terrain where a few zombies could jump out at any time.
The mosquito flew toward into the rushing river at the bottom of the canyon. It was about to be smashed into pieces by the wave when it suddenly vanished into thin air after a flash.
Blinking his eyes, Li Yao discovered, after maneuvering Neltharion to take quite a few circles, that right behind a horizontal, half-dead tree on one side of the canyon close to the surface of the river was a crack that was well hidden and only allowed one person to pass through at a time.
Although the tree was not huge, its roots were rather dense and almost blocked the crack entirely like a natural barrier.
If Li Yao had not seen the mosquito crawling into it, it would have been difficult for him to notice the crack even if he searched with his full attention.
Neltharion passed through the gaps among the roots carefully and groped for a long time in the darkness along the zigzagging gap until there were suddenly no more obstacles ahead.
It turned out to be a very broad underground cave!
The underground cave was more than a hundred meters long and wide. Traces of manual work were obvious. There were quite a few cracks on the top leading to nobody knew where. Occasionally, pale white brilliance was leaking down, illuminating the entire cave.
When Li Yao calmed himself and observed again, he noticed that the cave was not just illuminated by the brilliance showered from the gaps on the dome but also by the bones that had occupied the entire cave!
Most of the bones were bright gold, deep red, bronze, and various other colors. They were countless times larger than the bones of human beings. However, the hands, feet, and skulls resembling those of human beings could still vaguely be distinguished.
They were well-preserved remains of the members of the Pangu Clan or the Nuwa Clan!
Li Yao’s eyes suddenly shined. The remains of the Pangu civilization was another piece of evidence that the mysterious world of ancient Cultivators was deeply related to the Pangu civilization.
However, other than the primeval bones with intimidating auras, some of the skeletons belonged to human beings.
Judging from the dry residue on the skeletons, they had only recently been killed. Also, the dead bodies were rather young and small. They seemed to be little kids, if not newborn babies.
Is there an evil Cultivator torturing living people here?
Li Yao’s eyebrow was immediately furrowed.
He knew that evil arts to baptize the magical equipment with living people existed in many worlds of ancient Cultivators.
It was also a tradition of the desolate Cultivators to magnify the power of their magical equipment by sacrificing the living people and melting the victims’ souls into the magical equipment.
As for the victims to be sacrificed, infants, whose souls were still unpolluted, were the best choices.
If explained with modern theories, it was probably because the structure of the force fields of the infants were relatively stable because their souls had not been contaminated by cosmic radiation yet.
Li Yao found almost twenty skeletons of kids that were relatively intact. As for the scattered bones, there were simply too many of them to count.
Such a gory view stirred his mind and raised his killing intent despite his calmness.
In the deepest part of the cave was an altar made of black rocks. Ancient, mysterious spiritual stripes and embossments were carved everywhere on the altar, depicting the creepy scenes of fiends swallowing human beings.
Behind the altar were a vintage furnace and many devices for the refinement of magical equipment. They were of a reasonably good quality even in the eyes of a professional such as Li Yao.
As for the thing placed next to the furnace, it was even more interesting.
It seemed to be a part of some enormous armor.
More exactly speaking, it was half of the shoulder armor that should have belonged to the armor worn by a member of the Pangu Clan or the Nuwa Clan who was about twenty meters tall.
The half shoulder armor was almost five meters long, but it was riddled with holes and only had the framework left.
In front of the shoulder armor was a middle-aged man whose skin was pale and whose face was gloomy.
The man’s eyes were deep, with a blue birthmark that looked like a giant bird opening its wings at the center of his brow, covering most of his upper face.
Hidden below the ‘wings’, his eyes were even deeper. His hawk nose boasted a large curve, and the tip of his nose was almost piercing into his lip. His lips were thin and protruded forward, which made them look like the beak of a bird.
Despite his ugliness and the shabby environment, the man had an intimidating aura around him, as if he were the invincible dominator of the forest!