The Prime Devil Sect.
Liu Shanzi checked his luggage and inspected the parcels he was carrying on himself.
"Little Sheng's in solitary confinement and nobody knows where he's gone to or when he'll be back. When he's back out of solitary confinement, have him come straight to the alliance meeting and see if he can make it in time to participate in it."
He Xiangzi and two other disciples quickly acknowledged.
Presently, He Xiangzi enjoyed great respect in the sect. This was in spite of the fact that she was not the strongest; umbrella girl Yingying and a few new disciples who had joined subsequently were stronger than her.
But He Xiangzi was kind and patient. Regardless of the issue, as long as one approached her, she would do her best and spare no resources to help.
As time passed, she gained credibility as everyone's de facto Senior Apprentice Sister.
Compared to the mysterious first seat Lu Sheng, whose appearance was a rare event, He Xiangzi enjoyed much higher popularity and respect.
"Additionally, our sect has been growing in numbers, but the Devil Qi in Devil Pools seem to be receding. I've already asked Yin Face, your Senior Apprentice Brother and Sister, to attempt opening up new Devil's Pools. So don't get anxious" Liu Shanzi began instructing He Xiangzi on some sect administration matters. In terms of management, Lu Sheng was unreliable and he had to count on He Xiangzi.
But none among them noticed that cracks had covered the entire base of the stone pillar under the surface of the ground beside them. Thick grayish white fog drifted in the cracks.
A bizarre, mysterious cry echoed in the fog, extending those cracks.
A crack on the stone pillar just got larger.
The Cave of Ten Thousand Caverns.
The large cavern was dyed a plain yellow hue by the flickering light.
Faint yellow stalactites hung from the top of the cavern like an inverted forest of stone spikes.
Coarse uneven rock formed the walls all around. They looked like clay pressed casually into shape, applied on the walls with stone chunks mixed in them.
Blood Infant Huang Fu walked slowly on the suspended bridge in the cavern. Under the bridge was a bottomless abyss of pitch darkness, from which gusts of cold chilly air gushed upwards constantly.
The bridge had been constructed of metal chains a long time ago. Not having been maintained for a long time, they continually groaned as they scratched against each other. The creaks and groans of the bridge reverberated in the cavern, accompanied by the howling wind.
Huang Fu proceeded forward expressionlessly. His eyes scanned the surroundings with vigilance, on guard against any possible danger that might pop up at anytime.
After crossing the bridge, he walked across a tidy platform and found three pitch black holes gaping at him like giant mouths.
Without hesitation, Huang Fu chose the third one from the left.
He entered the cave. A shell about the height of two men was placed in the cave. The shell was opened, revealing the fair white flesh within.
A metal lantern the size of a wheel lay silently on the flesh. A ball of ghastly blue flame was lit in the lantern, drawing all attention towards it.
Huang Fu approached the lantern and began inspecting the marks around it.
'Nothing amiss with the Silver Soul Lamp. This means that all is normal with the seal below.' Huang Fu frowned. With his right hand, he reached towards the lantern.
About half a meter away from the lamp, his palm seemed to hit an invisible barrier.
'The seal formation looks normal too this shouldn't be the place.' He shook his head, pulled back his hand, turned around and started heading back where he had come from.
Suddenly, a crisp sound rang out from under the shell.
Huang Fu paused in his steps.
'What sound was that?' He looked down at his feet. The spot where the sound has come from happened to be in the blind spot unlit by the lantern. In the darkness, he was unable to make out what there was.
Huang Fu paused, then put the torch in his hand closer to the spot and drew closer to take a look.
All he could see was a fine crack on the surface of the ground. Wind was gushing into the crack, howling and creaking.
'Nothing at all.' He frowned, and was about to turn around again.
A black strand of silk flew out of the crack and seeped into the back of Huang Fu's neck. He remained oblivious.
The stone pieces at Lu Sheng's feet fell to the bottom of the valley by the chunks. The tunnel had finally reached its end.
He was standing in the tunnel, shielding his eyes with his hand. The blinding light was causing him discomfort due to his ill-adapted eyes.
At the end of the tunnel lay a gigantic golden square.
The square stretched on forever past the limits of sight. Everywhere within view was the color of gold and a blurry fog.
In the distant, a massive object that looked like a Ferris wheel spun slowly, emanating a golden glow.
The entire square was built in an a extremely spacious cavern. Lu Sheng's sight could not even stretch to the edges of the cavern. Above him, gray rock walls extended past the horizon.
Lu Sheng stepped out of the tunnel and on to the golden square slowly.
A wisp of black smoke rose into the air. That was the smoke produced by the impurities on the soles of his feet being burnt at high temperature.
'What intense heat.' Lu Sheng's heart skipped a beat. He tore his gaze away from the giant Ferris wheel and surveyed his surroundings.
Very quickly, a completely golden giant entered his view.
It was a seven to eight meters tall giant who had been obstructed from view by a gigantic triangular building earlier. It looked as if it had been cast entirely in gold.
Presently, he was encircling the triangular building carrying a large golden chest on his back.
"Boom, boom, boom, boom"
His footsteps were not light, but neither were they ear-piercing. But they made one feel peculiarly drowsy.
Lu Sheng frowned, then shot towards the golden giant with a tap of his foot.
Several dozen li's distance passed quickly. He came to the side of the golden giant and watched as he trudged heavily in a circle with the large chest on his back.
The weighty steps resounded especially clearly and loud when Lu Sheng got near.
"Hi there," Lu Sheng greeted loudly.
The golden giant's face was emotionless as it continued going in circles rigidly. No reaction was registered on him.
"Hello?" Lu Sheng greeted again.
But there was no response. The golden giant seemed almost like a statue which could only move along a fixed route.
Lu Sheng's brows tightened. He could not sense any trace of life in the golden giant at all. He had come here to find the source of the River of Poisoned Fog, but now it seemed like he had chanced upon an entirely different place.
The golden square stretched on beyond his field of sight, like an entire massive world of its own deep underground.
The surface of the square was covered in neat smooth golden stone tiles, with coarse veins on them. Apart from the gigantic Ferris wheel, only the golden giant and that triangular building could be seen. A golden glow was emanating off these huge structures, blinding the eyes.
The air was alarmingly hot. It was scorching to the point of suffocating, without a hint of moisture at all. It was at least two or three hundred degrees Celsius.
"Is this place really the source of the River of Poisoned Fog?" Lu Sheng returned to the tunnel and scrutinized the water of the River of Poisoned Fog flowing on the ground slowly.
The river water was flowing from an empty patch on the golden square to the left of the tunnel.
Massive amount of black water was seeping out through gaps between the golden stone tiles. Like black ink on a large golden canvas, it was extremely obvious.
With a light tap of his foot, Lu Sheng floated down on to the stone tile gently. Blood web shook and immediately lifted up a stone tile along the gaps.
The stone tile, which was about as wide as a person, was lifted up slowly, revealing a pitch black underground tunnel filled with gray fog.
Without a second thought, Lu Sheng stepped into the fog.
Blood web shook automatically, dispersing the fog to reveal a dark and cold underground passageway.
Lu Sheng suddenly reached out to touch the walls of the passageway. Countless human faces in pain were carved on the rough walls. Thousands and tens of thousands of human faces stared at him in the tunnel.
'These human faces... could it be?' He recalled a type of mythical being he had come across in a book he had read.
A trace of interest and anticipation flashed across his face. Lu Sheng hastened his steps, ignoring the distortion fields emanating around him in the tunnel.
All such fields had no effect on his extremely powerful physical body.
The tunnel was long. Even after Lu Sheng raced ahead at full speed, it took him an hour to reach its end.
At its end was a large door covered in countless black tree roots, which crawled across the surface of the entire door. A large lone eye was carved on the door, and the roots were connected to its eyeball.
The door had been left ajar. The endless stream of water from the River of Poisoned Fog was flowing out through the gap.
"This is the place..." Lu Sheng released a Yin Devil with a wave of his sleeve. It was the most disobedient Lion of Rage.
"Go. Push the door open!" He pointed at the door not far away.
The Lion of Rage was about to roar in anger. But at the sight of Lu Sheng's expression, it chose to give up the fight instead. Obediently, it walked up to the door and used its head to widen the gap in the door.
The door budged slightly, but refused to move any further.
No matter how hard the Lion of Rage tried, it remained unmoving.
Lu Sheng's eyes narrowed. He felt that this place was rather bizarre. From the very beginning till now, he had not encountered any living being apart from himself. The golden giant was like an automaton. Even the tree roots before him were dead and shriveled.
'Legend has it that Prime Devil Sect merely discovered this place and set its headquarters here. But the things here had already existed since even before that.' Lu Sheng recalled the information he had read. 'Judging based on the passageway I've just come through, not even the founder of Prime Devil Sect could have endured such long Devil Qi corrosion to find his or her way here. Which means to say that this place existed before Prime Devil Sect was founded.'
He raised his hand and the Lion of Rage immediately turned into a wisp of black smoke which flew towards and disappeared into his shadow.
Lu Sheng approached the door and peered through the gap.
The gap was only as wide as a palm, giving him sufficient view of what was inside.
It was a dark hall, with a transparent glass bottle more than ten meters tall standing in it. In the bottle, an innumerable number of bone-white worm-like objects were soaked in a gray liquid.
Lu Sheng's eyes narrowed. In order to get a better view, he shifted his position, trying to get as close to the bottle as he could.
Suddenly, an eye blocked his line of sight.
A tragically white, savage eyeball filled with bloodshot veins stared into Lu Sheng's eyes through the gap.