Chapter 192: Passageway
Outside the Rock Desert City, the hot sun was shining from high above while the members of the Desert Metal Mercenary Company continued their detailed search.
"Big Brother, have you realized that there doesn't seem to be even a single Sand Mercenary Company member around here?" Standing on the top of one of the sand dunes, Xiao Li's gaze swept across his surroundings. A long while later, he frowned, tilted his head and told Xiao Ding beside him.
"Hehe, not only are they absent here, even in the Rock Desert City, the number of the Sand Mercenary Company members roaming around has strangely decreased by a lot. And according to my latest news... Last night, Mo Xing seemed to have died. But Luo Bu did not become furious because of this. Instead, he was so quiet that it was as if he did not know about it." A hint of ridicule appeared in Xiao Ding's eyes as he smiled and said, "Xiao-Yan-Zi is becoming harder and harder to see through. He gave such a treatment to the Sand Mercenary Company but was able to frighten Luo Bu until he dare not even fart. Tsk tsk, what kind of strength is needed to do this? I really don't know how he managed to do it."
"It really leaves one speechless. Ugh, in the few years we have not met, this guy has grown increasingly mysterious." Xiao Li nodded his head and laughed bitterly.
Xiao Ding laughed softly. He tilted his head and his gaze swept toward a sand dune that was allocated for resting. There, Xiao Yan did not enter the tent to hide from the hot sun. Instead, he resisted the exposure to the hot sun, sat crossed legged on the searing hot sand and slowly absorbed the surrounding rich fire energy. He allowed his perspiration to fall from his forehead like flowing water, wetting his clothes.
"Back when he was young, his training talent may have been amazing but he ended up lacking toughness and perseverance because of it. I think that although the three years that he was deemed useless may have caused him to receive disdainful looks and ridicule, it may have restored the last missing requirement needed for him to take a step into becoming a truly strong person... at the very least, the Xiao-Yan-Zi of the past would never come to the Tager Desert by himself or have the perseverance to endure such tough training." Watching Xiao Yan who appeared unwilling to waste even a second, Xiao Ding let out praise before sighing emotionally.
"Yes." Hearing this, Xiao Li nodded his head feeling the same. Talent was important in order to become a truly strong person but if it was not supported by untiring tenacity, the final achievement would only be average. The Dou Qi continent was very large. Naturally there were many talented people, but there were only the very few people who eventually managed to become the strong at the peak.
Thus, the time Xiao Yan spent as a useless person back then, would have the most prominent effect on Xiao Yan's future path in becoming strong. When the time came, he might suddenly come to realize that the three years as trash was not a setback, but was a type of trial that would affect the rest of his life.
"Company Leader! Group three seemed to have found some traces of a passageway!"
Just as Xiao Ding and Xiao Li were sighing emotionally, a human figure suddenly ran over quickly from a distance while yelling excitedly.
"You found it?" Hearing the voice, Xiao Ding and Xiao Li stilled momentarily. An unrestrained joy immediately surfaced on their faces. After exchanging a glance with one another, their gazes turned to another sand dune and saw that Xiao Yan had already opened his eyes. There was both shock and surprise on his face.
Hearing the voice, Xiao Yan was briefly at a loss. He then hurriedly left his training mode, patted the yellow sand off his body and hurried over to the human figure who was still running over. He quickly asked, "Have you discovered a passageway?"
"Hee hee, it seems like a little trace was discovered. Based on our experience, there is a big possibility that it is a passageway that leads into the ground." The mercenary Company opened his mouth and grinned as he said.
"Good!" Clapping his palms together with great force, Xiao Yan anxiously urged, "Go. Hurry, bring me over to take a look!"
"Alright." The mercenary's gaze swept toward Xiao Ding and Xiao Li who were hurrying over, nodded his head with a smile and hurriedly turned around to lead the way.
Following the mercenary, they broke into a short run toward the north for a few minutes. There was a huge crowd there that was surrounding a slightly depressed sand ground while they whispered among themselves.
"Move aside! Move aside!" The mercenary leading the way shouted, forcing open a route. Xiao Yan followed him in and was surprised to find that the concave ground here had half a meter wide hole that was dug out by the mercenaries at the center. His eyes glanced into the hole and found that it was pitch-black. There was also a faint hot air that was rising from within.
"Is this it?" Xiao Yan pointed toward the dark hole, asking everyone around him.
"Haha. Yes. This hole was originally blocked by yellow sand. If Qing Lin had not sensed that there was a strange Qi remaining here, I'm afraid that it would have otherwise been difficult for us to discover." One of the mercenary's laughed as he replied.
Hearing this, Xiao Yan gazed toward Qing Lin opposite him. He realized that the little girl had yellow sand stuck to her hair. However, her exquisite small face contained happiness.
Sensing that Xiao Yan's gaze had looked over, Qing Lin's eyes met him. Her small face was shy as she blinked at Xiao Yan.
"Haha, little girl, beautifully done!" Xiao Yan raised his thumb at Qing Lin. Seeing that a brilliant smile surfaced on the little girl's face as a result, Xiao Yan gave a gentle smile. He slowly came to the pitch-black entrance and flipped his hand. A Moonlight Rock appeared in his hand, which he threw into the hole.
The faint light emitted from the Moonlight Rock rolled about in the pitch-black cave a couple of times before it gradually and completely disappeared.
Seeing the swiftly disappearance of the Moonlight Rock, Xiao Yan frowned and said softly "Looks like this tunnel isn't a straight line."
"Yes. We did an initial survey earlier. There are at least more than ten tunnels and each of them bend and turn all over, much like a huge serpent climbed through." The mercenary who had led the way smiled bitterly and replied.
"Hmm..." Xiao Yan frowned, feeling a little vexed.
"Why don't I send people to search the tunnels one at a time?" Xiao Ding's laughing voice suddenly came from behind.
Turning around, Xiao Yan eyed both Xiao Ding and Xiao Li before shaking his head as he said, "There may be some unknown danger below. The Desert Metal Mercenary Company has already mobilized so many people to help me locate the tunnel. I am already very satisfied. If I still let them enter, they may end up meeting something that injures or kills them. It would be a situation that I do not wish to see."
"Ke ke, Brother Xiao Yan, you need not worry. Our Desert Metal Mercenary Company does not have anyone who is afraid of death." The surrounding members of the Desert Metal Mercenary Company laughed out loud.
"Why don't we do it this way. I will pick over ten members who are quite strong and accompany you down to take a look. After all, I would be worried if I let you go down alone. If any accident were to happen, I'm afraid that our furious Father would directly hurry over from Wu Tan City and slaughter us." Xiao Ding mused for a while before laughing softly.
Hearing this, Xiao Yan hesitated for a moment. He could only helplessly nod his head. After thinking silently for a moment, he said gravely, "But if we meet any sudden situation below, I hope that Big Brother can lead everyone and retreat first. As for my safety, you don't need to worry..."
Seeing Xiao Yan's serious expression, Xiao Ding and Xiao Li exchanged a glance and nodded. After Xiao Yan had solved the problem with the Sand Mercenary Company last night, they no longer doubted the strength that he hid.
"That... Young Master... in the tunnel below, there is still the Qi from half a year ago still remaining. I think that I should be able to lead you to find the right tunnel." Just as Xiao Yan was prepared to move, Qing Lin's timid voice suddenly caused his eyebrows to lift in surprise.
"Really?" Swiftly tilting his head, Xiao Yan gazed at Qing Lin who was as cute as a porcelain doll and said happily.
"Yes." Seeing Xiao Yan's happiness, Qing Lin covered her mouth and laughed as she nodded.
What a useful little girl. Ha ha." Leaping over the hole, Xiao Yan patted Qing Lin's small head. He faced Xiao Ding and Xiao Li and asked with a smile "Since it's like that, shall we start?"
"Haha, alright." Xiao Ding smiled and nodded. His gaze swept around him before he swiftly said a few names. After which, he faced the rest and gravely ordered, "Once we enter the tunnel, increase the defense around it. You must definitely not allow anyone to come and create trouble. This kind of sand structure isn't very stable. If one isn't careful, a cave-in might occur and bury the people inside it alive..."
"Company Leader, you can be reassured that if anyone dares to enter this region during this period of time, we will be ruthless regardless of who they are!" Hearing Xiao Ding's order, the surrounding members of the Desert Metal Mercenary Company had their faces covered with fierceness as they cried in unison.
"As for you Second Brother. you will need to direct the situation up here once we go down. If we don't put someone to take control of the situation above, I would feel a little uncertain." After issuing his orders, Xiao Ding still felt a little insecure, thus he once again tilted his head to Xiao Li and spoke.
Hearing this, Xiao Li, who had originally intended to follow, could only helplessly nod his head.
Once he had everything arranged appropriately, Xiao Ding took out a large bundle of rope from one side. He tested the degree of toughness and then tied it to a wooden pillar that had been already fixed properly. At the same time, he threw the rope into the hole.
"The tunnel is not too precipitous. This rope is meant as an insurance. If the people below were to shout, the people above can use the rope to quickly pull us up." Xiao Ding said as he patted his hand.
Seeing that Xiao Ding had even carefully thought of this, Xiao Yan smiled bitterly. He took the lead to arrive at the entrance of the tunnel, tilted his head and waved to Qing Lin by his side.
Noticing Xiao Yan's action, Qing Lin hurriedly ran over. A pair of strange dark green eyes stared intelligently at Xiao Yan.
Xiao Yan swept his gaze roughly at the dark green eyes and sighed emotionally in his heart. He then extended his hand and pulled Qing Lin into his chest under her stunned face. With a smile, he said, "Later on, you will point out the way."
Being hugged by Xiao Yan, Qing Lin's face gradually became crimson. She lowered her small face and gently nodded her head.
"Everyone, let us move!" With a soft laugh, Xiao Yan nodded toward Xiao Ding, grabbed the rope and jumped into the pitch-black hole.
"'Heavenly Flame'... does it really exist below? I hope it won't disappoint me..." Xiao Yan muttered softly as his body quickly glided over the tunnel while tightly hugging Qing Lin to his chest.