Chapter 1025 – A Strange Pocket World
Back in the past, Tang Xiu’s attainments in arrays were close to the peak. He could even completely cover up a certain starfield in the Immortal World with an array with formidable might. His current spiritual sense was only one-tenth that of in his heyday, but cracking an array was just a breeze for him.
“Let’s head inside.”
Tang Xiu floated and his finger made a slashing move forward. The air rippled like a net being split and then shattered in the blink of an eye. The newly revealed fine steel door was easily cut open like tofu before crashing to the ground.
Eyes full of excitement, Chen Zhizhong’s admiration for Tang Xiu reached the peak. Back when he and his men first came to this place, they literally exhausted all the means they could think of and spent great effort to break inside only for naught. But his Master achieved it so easily, it was far beyond his imagination.
“Strange. There’s no spiritual qi here at all,” muttered Tang 28 with a look of disbelief behind Tang Xiu after they walked along the cave for dozens of meters.
It must be noted that spiritual qi could be found everywhere on Earth, although its concentration was already thin enough in some places that it could be disregarded. But the concentration of spiritual qi in this place was even thinner, completely negligible and couldn’t be sensed the deeper they walked.
Tang Xiu pondered for a moment and said, “Tang 28, you wait outside the cave with the rest and don’t come inside without my order. Keep guarding outside and block anyone who comes here.”
Tang 28’s team halted their pace and turned around to the outside of the cave.
Afterward, Tang Xiu took Chen Zhizhong deeper into the cave for more than a dozen meters before he faintly heard a roaring voice from deeper inside. The voice was unlike a beast’s roar and more like from a human roaring in anger. After going deeper for a hundred meters, a bright ray greeted them.
“God! How is this possible?”
Chen Zhizhong suddenly exclaimed upon seeing the scene in front; he couldn’t believe his eyes. Never in his wildest dreams would he ever imagine that such a different world existed inside the massif belly. Although there were no sun and moon, the pocket world had its own blue sky, white clouds, and undulating mountain range. Countless birds and beasts could literally be seen everywhere along with towering ancient trees and various colorful flowers. It simply looked like a fairyland.
“Don’t fuss over nothing. This is just a pocket world constructed within an array,” said Tang Xiu indifferently. “But I must admit the array here is more interesting than the one at the entrance.”
For Chen Zhizhong, who knew nothing about arrays, he naturally couldn’t see the abstruseness of this place. He pulled out his dagger and vigilantly glanced at the surroundings and any slightest disturbance would alert him.
“This place is so big. So, what are we gonna do here, Master? Shall we search around and hunt for treasures?”
“This small world is constructed by an array, and it’s way too big for its sake. Pity that the oxygen here is too thin and the spiritual qi is negligible. With such a thin spiritual qi, not even the Golden Core Stage expert can absorb the world energy here,” said Tang Xiu, looking a bit regretful. “I don’t think we can find any precious herbs here even though there are so many flowers and trees.”
“Why, though?” asked Chen Zhizhong, looking confused. “Plants can grow here, but why can’t medicinal herbs? Aren’t they also plants?”
“Medicinal herbs are indeed plants, but for it to be called a medicinal herb is because it needs to absorb the essence of the Earth and grow under the nourishment of Heaven and Earth’s spiritual energy. Only after years of accumulation can it have a strong medicinal efficacy. Using an analogy in this case, even if we grow wild ginseng here, it won’t have a medicinal property at all. Do you think it can be regarded as a medicinal herb?”
Chen Zhizhong instantly understood Tang Xiu’s explanation. He then shook his head and forced a smile. “Ah, it can be called as such then. The reason why ginseng is treated like a treasure is because of the medicinal efficacy it contains. It’s no different from a weed without it.”
“That’s why I inferred that there may be no medicinal herbs in this small world,” said Tang Xiu. “If there is any good thing here, it’s very likely to be ores.”
“I think that’s the case here, Master.” Chen Zhizhong chimed in hurriedly. “Besides, we found some Bloodsoul Stones outside the grotto entrance, so I think there must be something better than that ore. How about looking around? Maybe we can find some unexpected surprises here.”
“We’ll naturally look around since we’re already here,” replied Tang Xiu with a smile.
The small world itself had a picturesque environment with mountains, rivers, birds, and beasts around. However, with such vibrant lifeforms in this fairyland, it was bound to have immense danger and horrible fierce beasts around. The roar they just heard was a sign that even Tang Xiu must be cautious despite the negligible spiritual qi of this world.
Bluntly speaking, it was the energy consumption that was the deadliest problem for cultivators in this kind of environment, unless they brought with them a massive number of pills. Once they over-consumed their True Essence energy and fell into crises, surviving would be very difficult for them. Fortunately, Tang Xiu had a lot of pills in his interspatial rings. Even if the pills didn’t have much effect on him, he’d be able to support Chen Zhizhong should he need to take them in an emergency.
It seems like I must go to Bangkok again to get some Demon Stones from the Dark Shaman Clan. The number I have to absorb and refine is only enough for a few years. But if I were to be trapped in a small world like this one in the future, it’s very likely that I’ll fall into great danger then.
Walking on the cultivation path is indeed like sailing against the current. Those who can’t move forward will only be left behind. The Primal Chaos Force I’ve accumulated in my body is but only one aspect. I still need to advance in cultivation, which needs me to absorb the stars’ energy. But just like the rivers that flow into the ocean, all kinds of energy can still be used. I can use spiritual qi as an auxiliary energy, though I still need a massive amount of Demonic force to fill it once in a while.
After a long while, Tang Xiu and Chen Zhizhong had traversed into the depths of the small world, but they were still unable to figure out how big this small world really was. Further, what made them downright disappointed was that they couldn’t find any treasure; though they also didn’t encounter any dangers.
“We can’t keep searching like this, Zhizhong. Even spending months to search anything here, I don’t think we can search the whole area of this small world given its size. As of now, I’m afraid I must focus on the array of this small world,” said Tang Xiu as he stopped with a pensive look on his face.
For a moment, Chen Zhizhong looked hesitant, then he said, “I don’t know anything about arrays, Master, so you can research it slowly. I’ll just keep searching around.”
At his words, Tang Xiu took out two jade bottles from his interspatial ring and handed it over to him. Nodding, he said, “Remember, the more beautiful the environment, the more deadly the dangers it hides. Don’t be fooled by the scenery of this place and always keep your guard up. Return here immediately if you’re in danger. Also, there are 20 pills in these two jade bottles that will be helpful to you.”
Suddenly, he seemed to have recalled something and took out the Tang Sect’s Token he just refined from the interspatial ring and handed it to Chen Zhizhong. “The Everlasting Feast Hall is nothing but a normal restaurant now. All its core members have now become Tang Sect members. I’m the one who established this Tang Sect—a sect for cultivators. So, take this Tang Sect’s Token as a proof that you’re also a disciple of the Tang Sect.”
A look of surprise flashed on Chen Zhizhong’s face. He knew what the monastic sect meant. The sect as a whole was like a big family in ancient times. For his master, Tang Xiu to establish the Tang Sect meant that he himself was also a cultivator with origin and foundation now.
After receiving the Tang Sect’s Token with a solemn face, Chen Zhizhong saw Tang Xiu shake his head.
“Ehh? What is it, Master?”
“Drop your blood on the token. It will then be fused into your body and the token pattern will appear on your finger. The Tang Sect’s Token is strictly a magic tool with two functions. One of which is to prove your identity and the other mainly for protection. It can protect you from a fatal blow once you encounter a hopeless situation. Remember, it won’t activate unless you face a desperate situation at the most critical moment of life and death and you don’t have enough time to activate it.”
With his expression turning serious, Chen Zhizhong firmly nodded. He made a little cut on his finger with his dagger and dropped the blood drop on the Tang Sect’s Token. Suddenly, he noticed a strange connection between his spiritual power with the token in his hand.
The token suddenly disappeared and a token pattern appeared on Chen Zhizhong’s thumb immediately after. It looked like a tattoo and looked identical to the Tang Sect’s Token.
“You only need a thought to control the token,” continued Tang Xiu. “Go now! Don’t go too far and lose your way here. As long as I fully comprehend the array of this small world, I can easily detect any treasures inside this world by using this array.”
Chen Zhizhong nodded and tried to release the token first, before taking it back. After repeating it a few times, only then did he go into the distance excitedly.
Tang Xiu took a fast glance around randomly before heading to a flat, large bluestone nearby. After sitting cross-legged on it, he constantly released his perception and quickly touched the invisible array.
‘It’s interesting indeed.’
After perceiving and having a brief comprehension, Tang Xiu realized that this array was very abstruse. Although he could grasp most of the arrays in existence, the small part of this array felt very novel even to him. Something that he had never felt and thought of back in the past. Such a discovery piqued his interest and made him more eager to find out more. He genuinely realized that the more he knew about this array, the more he felt how infinitely wide and profound the array was.
In the deep valley was spring water with rising white mist above it. A flock of exotic and peculiar animals resembling sheep and dogs with a horn just like of the rhinos on their heads were drinking around the spring.
Some of them, looking like owls as big as lions, were seen squatting on the rocks, glancing around. They didn’t open their mouths but kept chirping out “cluck, cluck” sounds.
“Ehh? What is that?”
Chen Zhizhong, who just came here, suddenly staggered. Luckily, he responded fast and reached out to clutch onto a few meters high boulder before falling to the ground. His face was full of shock as though he saw ghosts in broad daylight.