Chen Mo followed down the Azure Dragon Footpath as fast as lightning, unwittingly walking for a very long time. He looked at this distinct green path behind him. He knew that Qing Wan’s group would most likely rush over, so he needed to reach the end as soon as possible, to see just what kind of secret was hidden in this Azure Dragon Footpath.
It was bitterly cold, with unrelenting wind and snow. The Azure Dragon Footpath was nearing its end, at which was an enormous granite slab. Chen Mo cried foul in depression. What the hell was this, that the Azure Dragon Footpath’s terminus was like this?
Chen Mo saw that this granite slab was unremarkable. Snow was piled on top of it. He used his hand to wipe it when the green jade in his hands abruptly shot a ray of green light into the stone. Thick greenery sprouted to life from the granite slab with entangling vines. The jade in his hand cried, endlessly shuddering, wanting to break free of Chen Mo’s control. Before he could react, his body was sucked into the stone by an immense force.
The scene instantly changed. The blizzard blanketing the sky instantly vanished from sight, and what replaced it was a place as vast as a mountain and valley. The inside was very messy, with jagged mountain stones, as if he had entered into a dark and damp cave.
Chen Mo doubted whether his eyes had been blinded.
“Don’t tell me this is a Star Zone?”1 A Star Zone was a miniature paradise hidden inside space. Most were magically concealed by arrays, and some were remnants that broke off from ancient Star Fields. A Star Zone had a distinguishing characteristic, which was “like grit on the outside, like the blue sky inside.”
Chen Mo looked at the decorations of the surrounding corridors. There were obvious traces of manmade activity, but he wondered why things were constructed so simply and crudely.
This was unlike a normal cave, more like an ancient palace.
That jade in his hand was shaking with increasing intensity, as if something deep inside this place was calling out to it. The deep, quiet passageways made Chen Mo hesitate a moment. If this truly was the Azure Dragon Footpath, there were perhaps some problems within, but he had already come this far. To think of backing out now was too regrettable. This Azure Dragon Footpath lay hidden for a thousand years, undiscovered by people. Perhaps it was related to this jade and the once in a century Ice Knife’s weather.
Gritting his teeth, Chen Mo felt that opportunity was right before his eyes. No matter what, he could not ignore it like this. He circulated his Qi And Blood Seven Turns, his power tempered into his bones. Chen Mo carefully took out the Torrential Downpour Pear Blossom Needles, slowly making his way forward.
Outside the cave.
The Wuyang Princess Ting Nanyuan and Li Xiaxi drove their horses to the end of the Azure Dragon Footpath. They glanced at each other upon seeing that strange granite slab. Behind them, Qing Yu caught up spurring his horse.
“This is the end?” Qing Yu said.
Seeing Qing Wan did not follow, a ruminating smile appeared at the corner of Li Xiaxi’s lips.
“That man has gone inside. We need to hurry in there.” The Wuyang Princess said. She urged her horse onward, but the Divine Fire Colt she straddled felt a certain element of fear. It was adamantly against moving forwards. Its hooves frenetically stomped the snow-covered ground. No matter how Ting Nanyuan coaxed it, it was completely motionless.
“Looks like things won’t be simple inside.”
For even the Divine Fire Colt, a Spirit Beast that was practically on par with a Star Beast, to be terrified, everyone felt this place perhaps truly was related to that legendary Azure Dragon. They dismounted, warping into the green stone.
Chen Mo ventured forth following the passageway. This passage was very wide, able to fit two chariots side by side. The floor had been molded with steel. It was very rigid, unlike an ordinary cave.
All along the way, it was absolutely silent.
“Something isn’t right with the structure of this cave.” Chen Mo outlined the general appearance of the environment as he walked, discovering some problems.
All of a sudden, a singing voice raised from the silence. Listening carefully, this song had the characteristics of ancient intonation. The notes were simple, but the song was continuous, swift, and constantly changing.
“My strength shall uproot the mountains, my might shall conquer the world…”
“A great wind blows, the clouds fly high…”
Hearing this, Chen Mo surprisingly experienced from this song the majesty and solemnity of Xiang Yu’s “Song of Gaixia,” and the boldness and comfort of Liu Bang’s “Great Wind Song,” both too wonderful for words.
“The Song of Chu.” Chen Mo halted his footsteps. He followed the source of the voice, but that song was very clearly becoming faster and faster. Who knew where this song came from, for it was surprisingly up, down, left, and right, coming from no particular place.
This Song of Chu was at first pleasant to listen to, seemingly coming from antiquity, carrying both a moving and a heroic mood, making one unable to help but be immersed in the song. The lingering sounds were endless, drifting near the ear. At the beginning, this Song of Chu was contemplative, but as its duration dragged, Chen Mo felt his consciousness weaken and that surging qi and blood within his body slowly ebb under this song. It distracted a person’s mind. This song was like an apparition, close at hand. Even though Chen Mo had never encountered such an odd phenomena before, it left him in a cold sweat.
Some time later, this song was immediately like a swarm of bugs around him, buzzing incessantly.
Chen Mo’s focus was disturbed. He lowered his head and concentrated solely on moving forwards, knowing full well he absolutely could not be enraptured by this song. But no matter how Chen Mo covered his ears or locked his five senses, the song dug into his mind like a demonic voice. In the end, he honestly could not bear this Song of Chu that came from nowhere. Chen Mo shouted in fury, brandishing an iron fist, throwing a punch at the closest wall where the sound was coming from.
The heavy punch carried several thousand catties of force as it boomed against the wall, jolting the entire corridor. Bits of rock flew, and the cast iron wall crumbled in seconds, a great, dark, black hole smashed into it.
The song suddenly paused. A large, glossy black beetle crawled out from that hole. This beetle was larger than a fist. Its back was a soft-shelled carapace, and it had several dozen thin legs. Whenever it walked, the ground whooshed. Chen Mo realized this surprisingly achieved the same result as the Song of Chu.
At this time, more and more black beetles crawled out from holes in the floor. These black beetles immediately chewed their way towards Chen Mo.
Chen Mo crushed them with wind from his punches, and his legs were like iron pillars.
The floor beneath him buckled into a pit with his stomp. Several dozen of the black beetles were stamped to a pulpy mess, but even more black beetles emerged like an endless tide, and that Song of Chu became increasingly grating.
As if a specter had been singing this.
The song clearly came from these beetles.
“Don’t tell me this is a Gu Array?!”
Chen Mo was astonished. Chang’an mansion had a “Langhuan Pavilion,”2 a repository of millions of books. When he first came to Star World, he was full of interest towards this world. In his previous life, he was very obsessed with history and martial arts. Although at that time he was unable to circulate qi and blood, he did not learn anything from his martial arts. However, as for Star World’s myriad rumors, conditions, and geography, he was actually quite knowledgeable.
The so-called Gu Array was a type of defense mechanism that raised gu at its center.
If the array was restricted or attacked, the array’s gu would act as a sort of attack method, making enemies unable to defend in time. Gu were raised down south, and their usage was very prevalent there.
Chen Mo did not recognize these gu, so he did not dare be careless. His fists were like cannons, the air crackling and thundering. Under his formidable qi and blood, his power was like a powder keg explosion. Great swathes of the gu bugs were blasted to pieces by the wind from his punches.
The entire passageway rumbled.
The black beetles gushed forth like a fountain. There was no end to them no matter how many he killed. Chen Mo saw that there were honestly too many beetles. At this rate, he would run out of power before killing them all. He stamped his foot, his steps like a dragonfly skimming water as he immediately flew towards the passage’s exit.
The black beetle gu along the way were multiplying more and more, bursting out from the ground, the walls, and even the ceiling. They were like a black tidal wave. They were so numerous that they enveloped the entire cave. Chen Mo bluntly took out the Northern Dipper. The Northern Dipper was outrageously powerful. With a light swing, it crushed a wave of beetles. Luckily, these black gu beetles were very week. If they were a bit stronger, Chen Mo feared this would have been troublesome.
After spending a long time killing them, a loud rumbling sound like a tidal wave came from the front, echoing the Song of Chu.
Clearly, someone else had fallen into a swarm of black beetles.
Chen Mo slowed down. The passageway opened up into a wide palace. The sight that entered his eyes made Chen Mo take a deep breath. He saw that this hundred ren wide palace was just crawling with black beetles. These beetles covered everything inside the hall like a coat of black lacquer.
On the center platform in the hall, a young girl in the midst of the gu was particularly eye-catching. Her red hunting skirt was like a flame. She was none other than Wuyang Princess Ting Nanyuan. Ting Nanyuan was currently dripping with cold sweat, her fingers completely red like branding irons, pointing through the air.
Finger-shadows immediately blossomed in the air, just like whirling and dying flowers of fire, slaughtering the black gu beetles in large numbers.
As expected, the Wuyang Princess’ martial art was first-rate. If she was a bit more practiced, stepping into super first-rate was only a matter of time. But it was very clear that the black gu beetles were too numerous. Attacking one after another, no matter how powerfully Ting Nanyuan wielded her fingers, killing whatever she pointed at, she would not last. Chen Mo could sense her qi and blood was very nearly depleted.
He debated whether or not to rescue her.
Chen Mo held no ill feelings toward the Wuyang Princess at all, but the present situation was that of two passersby each rushing towards the so-called treasure chest of the Azure Dragon Footpath. For them, there was safety in numbers. If they actually banded together, Chen Mo admitted he could not take advantage of them. Otherwise, he could watch Ting Nanyuan get devoured by the gu here. One dead opponent was still one dead opponent, right?
The Wuyang Princess was somewhat depressed.
Li Xiaxi, Qing Yu, and she had entered this cave. No long after, they bumped into the Songs of Chu on all sides. Everyone realized this was an ancient array, believing they could break it by attacking the array eye, but they never imagined that gu beetles would be concealed inside. In the end, they were separated by the rushing gu.
Ting Nanyuan had Qi And Blood Eight Turns, but against these gu that overflowed the heavens, she was very powerless.
As they say, when it rains, it pours. At this moment, Ting Nanyuan then bumped into that bare chested man.
Chen Mo’s coldly watching gaze made Ting Nanyuan’s heart shiver. She thought to herself, Shit, this man was perhaps aware of the Azure Dragon Footpath’s legend and is treating me as an enemy. Ting Nanyuan bit her lip, bitterly persevering while remaining vigilant of Chen Mo’s sneak attack.
This man was honestly loathsome, completely staying out of her predicament. Seeing the black tide bubble forth, Ting Nanyuan could endure no longer. She could only plead for rescue. “Fellow, This Princess holds absolutely no malice towards you. Should Fellow aid This Princess, you will necessarily be rewarded generously.”
Chen Mo thought to himself, I was waiting for you to speak of your own accord. This way, I can ask for a sky-high price. “Ha, ha, rewarded generously. Those companions of yours nearly killed Your Servant. This place is the Azure Dragon Footpath. Presumably, you knew that as well. Why should I believe you!
“That I did not seize the chance to kill you is already benevolence enough.”
Ting Nanyuan’s face was pale. She used the Dark Yang Finger again and again, releasing brightly colored yet weakening wind. “Nanyuan knows that Fellow is kind. What happened before was merely a misunderstanding. Nanyuan pleads for Fellow’s help and is willing to help Fellow.”
The black bugs fluttered endlessly, too many to kill.
Chen Mo saw that she was finally on the verge of being overwhelmed.