The deeper they went, the more rugged the tunnel became. Most of the tunnel had been blocked by rubble. Team Tiger Deity had dug out holes that allowed one person to pass through with all fours at a time.
In the endless darkness, the feeble brightness leaked out from the tiny gaps near the tunnel now and then, as if thousands of narrow and long eyes were observing the intruders without blinking.
Li Yao and his teammates rapidly proceeded through the tunnel. Half an hour later, they arrived at the end of the tunnel 9,500 meters below the ground.
Although they'd been prepared for unusual things to happen, the splendid scene they were welcomed by still shocked them. At the end of the narrow tunnel was a boundless underground world that was at least a hundred times larger than the previous one they had been in. They could not see the end of it. Everything was enveloped in darkness.
The fact that there was such a large hollow almost ten thousand meters underground had surpassed the limits of their imaginations.
They even doubted that they might've arrived at a new world fragment without them knowing anything.
What was most startling was that the bottom of the underground hollow was filled with silver liquid which had gathered to form an enormous ocean.
Yes. An ocean!
It was a lake about one hundred meters in diameter in the first underground world, and it was a boundless silver ocean in front of them right now.
Raging wind was blowing from the darkness nearby, raising surging waves on the surface of the 'ocean'. It even led to unique microclimates above the ocean where clusters of silver mist resembling clouds had formed.
But there was no hint of any living creatures at all. No Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures, no spiritual beasts, and no fungi. Nothing interesting at all.
A surging ocean ten thousand meters below the ground!
The scene was already mind-blowing just thinking of it.
Team Tiger Deity's distress call had come from the depths of the silver ocean.
Everyone looked at one another. They could feel their companions' uneasiness despite the thick helmets covering their faces.
"The spiritual waves here are hundreds of times more intense what we sensed on the ground. This should be one of the places where spiritual energy is the most abundant on this planet!
"If there is a residence of Skeleton Dragon here, it is very likely to be in the depths of the silver ocean.
"But look, the silver lake from earlier is much smaller, yet Flowing Brightness Grasses, Heart Locking Flowers, and spiritual beasts have been living around it.
"The silver ocean we are seeing right now is hundreds of times larger. But we can't feel the existence of any Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures at all.
"There are only two possibilities. Either someone arrived earlier and took all the Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures away, or some formidable being in the depths of the ocean consumed all the Heavenly Materials and Earthly Treasures and spiritual beasts nearby."
Yan Yangtian's analysis made everyone put on a grave expression.
Captain Hong Tong said calmly, "There are no other choices. We have to go down and find out what is hiding inside the ocean, not to mention that we need to rescue Team Tiger Deity.
"Otherwise, if the exploration squads of the Blood Demon Sector get access to the residence of Skeleton Dragon and receive the ancient demon heritage, the capability of the Blood Demon Sector will definitely soar. The Heaven's Origin Sector will be doomed forever!
"With valiance comes victory. The federation spent all the resources available to send us here not to let us go back empty-handed as losers!
"Even if strong spiritual beasts are lurking in the silver ocean, we will just slay 'em all!
"Vulture, it's your time!"
Li Yao nodded his head. He took out hundreds of components from his Cosmos Ring and started modifying his teammates' crystal suits.
Soon, the arms, legs and backs of the six crystal suits had undersea combat accessories that looked like fins affixed to them.
In the meantime, Yan Yangtian had collected sample liquid from the silver ocean and run a preliminary analysis, concluding that the ocean water was not just harmless but also beneficial for human bodies.
Data regarding the silver liquid was transmitted to everyone's crystal processor.
"Let's move out!"
Under the command of Captain Hong Tong, all the six Orb Patrollers dived into the underground silver ocean!
The density of the silver liquid was higher than that of common sea water. Swimming inside it was like swimming in sticky glue.
Crystal cameras almost lost all functionality in the silver liquid. They could only send out telepathic thoughts and sound waves and picture the territories with the feedback in their minds.
"Beep Beep Beep Beep"
The telepathic thought and sound wave probe system was letting out dull sounds while they were inspecting the undersea terrain.
The six of them dived deeper and deeper. Very soon, they had descended to more than ten thousand meters below the ground.
Yet, the bottom of the ocean was still thousands of meters away. The undersea terrain that their crystal processors drew dazed everyone.
In the middle of the continuous mountains, there were quite a few vast undersea basins. Countless vintage houses and pavilions were standing in some of the basins. There were even several splendid buildings that looked like ancient castles.
The tallest one of all looked like a cone-shaped tower that looked to be more than a thousand meters tall.
An ocean ten thousand meters below the ground!
A city thousands of meters below the ocean!
But had the city been originally built in the underground ocean, or was the city drowned by the ocean due to crustal movements?
"The architecture style of the underground town has distinctive features of the Ancient Cultivation Civilization forty thousand years ago, if not with additional barbarianism and bloodthirst. There are also several giant buildings whose purposes are unknown to us. This doesn't seem like a place the ancient Cultivators dwelled.
"The only explanation is that these are the remnants of the city where Skeleton Dragon and his tribe once lived."
The demon civilization was a man-made civilization. In the early years of the Great Dark Age, it did not have its own culture and history at all. Therefore, the cities that the demon race built in the beginning were all duplicates of the counterparts in the human world. Sometimes they simply pulled the headquarters and buildings of Cultivation sects apart and transported them to their own dens.
After thirty thousand years of development, demon culture with idiosyncratic characteristics had thrived. The style of the demons' buildings, weapons, and magical equipment was entirely different from that of the Cultivators'.
Therefore, by studying the architecture design of the demon households, it was not hard to infer the period when the ancient town had been established.
"The cone tower in the center is more than 1,700 meters tall, with a pedestal more than 500 meters in diameter. It must be the core of the city, if not the residence of Skeleton Dragon!
"Wait The spiritual waves above the undersea city are quite chaotic. A fierce battle seems to be taking place It's Team Tiger Deity!"
Yan Yangtian had located the position of Team Tiger Deity.
However, the other team seemed to be in a bad condition. Their crystal suits were seriously damaged. Together with the interference of the mysterious silver liquid, Team Blue Bronze failed to connect to their communication channel after multiple tries.
"Let's go there!"
The metal fins on their hands and feet waved gently while they marched close to the undersea city like six swift sharks.
Beep Beep Beep Beep Beep beep beep beep!
The feedback that their probe magical equipment received was getting more and more intense, indicating that there was one or even more beings in front of them that contained enormous spiritual energy.
Their spiritual threads depicted the outlines of the objects quickly.
There were three beasts in total. They looked very similar to the strange beast inside the lake that Team Blue Bronze had met previously, because every one of them had hundreds of tentacles that resembled serpents. But they were at least five times larger than the previous one. Their tentacles were more than half a meter in diameter, even thicker than Li Yao's thigh!
The undersea beasts were more than a hundred meters long. Their tentacles were connected to a giant cone-shaped shell that looked like freshwater snail. The shell was riddled with holes, from which they could absorb or squirt water to move themselves.
Although their bodies were quite slow, their tentacles were extremely deft, which were waving and whacking like hundreds of sea snakes, stirring the undersea world into utter chaos.
Li Yao searched for a long time, before he finally sensed the five Orb Patrollers of Team Tiger Deity through the gaps of the hundreds of tentacles.
They seemed to have been seriously wounded. Their spiritual waves were quite weak while they were struggling.
Faced with the net of tentacles constituted by three unknown undersea beasts, Team Blue Bronze sprang forward without any hesitation.
Li Yao was charging at the beast on the left. The Boiled Blood Wind Slashing Saber had an aura of more than ten meters, while Li Yao slashed it down and hit one of the tentacles.
The tentacle of this beast was apparently much more tensile than that of the beast in the lake. It was extremely slippery, with nowhere that one could exert strength on.
Li Yao clutched the handle of his saber. With all his might, and the assistance of the crystal suit, he dragged the saber brutally and chopped off the tentacle. A large cluster of acid spurted out and spread into a green mist in the seawater.
In the meantime, he was hit by another tentacle. Almost a hundred tiny holes the size of the tips of needles appeared on the surface of the Mystic Skeleton Battlesuit.
The tentacle that had been chopped off didn't die immediately. Instead, it wriggled forward and lunged at him like an earthworm.
Li Yao raised his eyebrow and was greatly surprised.
"The tentacles of the beast can still attack when they are disconnected to the body?
"It appears that this is the ultimate form of the beast. The one living inside the silver lake must've been undernourished due to the limited growing environment!
"Then let's see if you can still attack after I mince you into pieces!"
Gritting his teeth, Li Yao waved his saber and raised an unstoppable swirl against the hindrance of the silver liquid, which tore the squirming tentacle apart momentarily.
Then, he rushed forward, passing through the gaps of four tentacles at a close distance, before he charged at the body of the undersea beast.
Five brilliant talon auras were formed by the Purple Electric Blue Fire Claw Art, which hit the shell of the undersea beast precisely together with unstoppable, primordial strength.
Dozens of miniature cracks appeared on the shell of the undersea beast.
But very soon, ivory gel leaked out of the cracks and cured the shell like glue!
"What a remarkable self-recovery ability. These beasts are indeed impressive."
Li Yao frowned, having no idea how to deal with them.
His five teammates were also engaged in fierce fights.
The attack ability and defense ability of the three undersea beasts were both incredibly high. Their tentacles were still aggressive even if they were chopped off. It was going to take forever to clean up the mess.
But in the meantime, countless pairs of bloodthirsty eyes were focused on the battle in the depths of the silver ocean.
"Idiotic Cultivators, how dare you trespass onto Boneyard when you don't know the first thing about it?
"For three years, the Blood Demon Sector has studied the heritage of an ancient demon who once travelled to Boneyard before we made up our mind to explore and excavate in this place!
"Fine then. Boneyard will be your tomb where the so-called strongest Building Foundation Stage Cultivators will be buried ten thousand lightyears away from your home!"