Chapter 247: Reunion of Old Friends
Translator: YH Editor: X
"It's right in front, Ai Hui."
Right after Lou Lan spoke, the wall in front of them suddenly melted and collapsed, revealing a dark cavern.
Behind the three of them was a large passage about seven meters high and six meters wide. The entire passage was an astonishing 400 meters in length and was created by Lou Lan alone.
Lou Lan's exceptional abilities often left Ai Hui feeling like a tourist.
Seeing Lou Lan's entire process first hand, Shi Xueman could not resist offering incessant praise. "Lou Lan is amazing! Wow, truly amazing! Lou Lan is definitely the world's most amazing sand puppet!"
Creating a 400-meter passage this deep underground was no mean feat. The ground was lined with huge, solid rocks and building a tunnel of this scale would probably require at least 10 earth elementalists working for an entire night. Lou Lan, however, was able to do it with ease, leaving Shi Xueman in awe.
Besides following the wrong person, Lou Lan did not seem to have any flaws.
Shi Xueman stared at Ai Hui angrily. She felt that Ai Hui was unworthy of such an amazing sand puppet, it was like casting pearls before swine! She imagined what it would be like if Lou Lan followed her home. Oh, what a fine time they'd have!
"Why are you glaring at me like that?"
The Iron Lady continued to glare angrily at Ai Hui. Ai Hui felt that she was being ridiculous, especially since he had not even done anything to provoke her.
"Hmph!" Shi Xueman snorted as she turned her gaze away.
Ai Hui entered the cavern and began to examine his surroundings. This cavern was much smaller than the one with the lava spider, but the golden needle was still able to fit in it.
Lou Lan had found the right place!
Ai Hui could sense that the elemental energy here was much more vigorous than that of other places.
He had seen his master's plan and recognized that the nodes involved were something that they had discussed before. His master believed that the world's elemental energies were not stationary, but ever flowing. Its slow movement was the reason why it appeared to be stationary.
According to his master's theory, the force driving these movements was the constant cycling of the five elements.
This was the secret of the nodes. Here, the five elements cycled into a whirlpool of energy. The elemental energy around these nodes were influenced by its activity, making it flow.
Current studies involving the five elements rarely touched upon this aspect, so there were not many full-fledged theories regarding the nodes. Many of his master's preliminary ideas were proven as a result of the current plan's execution.
His master had discussed his deepened understanding of the subject matter when they last met.
Ai Hui snapped out of his daze and began to inspect the cavern. It appeared to have been formed by flowing water, something evident from the stalactites hanging above. The floor was largely uneven and was marked by many slippery gulches. There were two natural crevices situated at the corners of the cavern. A stream could be seen through only one of them, but the other was most likely formed as a result of water erosion as well. Ai Hui could hear the sound of flowing water through both of them.
Small streams were probably responsible for shaping this interesting underground environment, while lava acted as its main source of light.
Ai Hui felt extremely relieved that there were no blazing corals around.
Subterranean dire beasts were dangerous creatures to begin with and were even more deadly after turning into subterranean blood fiends. If the Iron Lady had not gone on a rampage against the lava spider, Ai Hui would not have had much confidence in defeating it.
Ai Hui could feel how different he had become.
Without the sword embryo's state, Ai Hui's senses were not as keen as before. His perceptive range had reduced greatly, an immense disadvantage in this dark, complex, underground environment. On the bright side, his understanding of swordplay had deepened tremendously, and he was now more conscious of his sword movements. At the moment of contact between his blade and his target, Ai Hui could now react faster and more rationally than before.
The unique sword pills of elemental energy in his body, coupled with his achievement of elemental internalization, had increased his strength by a large amount. The electricity that remained in his flesh had been channeled into his hand palaces as well as his earth palace, imparting a distinct lightning flavor to his elemental energy.
All things considered, he was much more formidable than he used to be.
Although he was more powerful, the enemies he had to face were similarly also becoming more powerful. He often experienced situations where his improvements were practically cancelled out.
Shi Xueman stuck closely to Ai Hui, ready to provide assistance when required. Having had experience in leading a team, she had become much more accustomed to cooperating with others. While it was difficult to persuade her to do certain things, Shi Xueman often quickly adopted practices that she deemed useful.
Ai Hui decided to further examine the crevice for signs of activity. He would ask Lou Lan to seal it up if no such signs were found.
The same would apply for the other crevice.
Ai Hui felt a cold, biting wind blowing out from the crevice as he neared it. Instead of hastily entering it, Ai Hui stopped a short distance away, listening intently for any anomalies. Shi Xueman stood nearby, holding her breath. She knew that Ai Hui was much more experienced in such situations than her. Although she often looked at him with disdain, Shi Xueman had absolute faith in Ai Hui's decisions regarding combat related matters.
Nothing out of the ordinary was heard.
Ai Hui walked closer toward the crevice. Just as he was about to enter the crevice, a premonition arose in his heart.
His body reacted immediately. The limp Dragonspine in Ai Hui's hand immediately shot up and straightened like a cobra that had sensed danger as he swiftly stepped backward.
Just as the Dragonspine's tip made contact, the seven sword pills of elemental energy within his body simultaneously exploded.
Ai Hui flew backward as if he had been hit by a heavy blow.
A gentle gasp of surprise could be heard from the crevice.
Right after, a red flash shot out of the crevice directly at Ai Hui.
Shi Xueman stepped forward with her spear raised and accurately stabbed the red flash.
The immense force of Cirrus managed to scatter the red flash, but the impact forced Shi Xueman several steps back.
Both Ai Hui and Shi Xueman were slightly surprised that their combined effort was so easily deflected. The two of them stood on opposite sides facing the cave while assuming an offensive stance.
A reddish figure slowly walked out of the crevice.
Ai Hui took a good look at the person walking out, and blurted, "It's you!"
The lady in red was surprised to see Ai Hui. "So it's you."
Shi Xueman was amazed by the lady in red's beauty.
She had a refined, flawless face and a beauty that was suffocating. Her smoky eyes were reminiscent of mist floating gently above a body of water. The red robe that she wore was like a coil of crimson smoke that wrapped elegantly around her splendid figure. She looked like she had just walked out of a dense fog and was shrouded temptingly in mystery.
Her fine, delicate, red lips lit up the dense fog and highlighted the fair skin on her exquisite collarbone. The small movements her lips made when she breathed were incredibly seductive.
Shi Xueman would describe her as unimaginably coy.
Since her looks and behavior were always in the spotlight, Shi Xueman never thought much about appearances.
This lady in red standing before Shi Xueman had somehow triggered a sort of awareness in her.
The two of them had met before...
This sudden realization hit Shi Xueman, and she inadvertently turned her gaze toward Ai Hui. She had no idea why she was looking at him, but the movement was instinctive.
Shi Xueman felt the pressure enveloping her evaporate when she saw Ai Hui's body tense up in anticipation of a formidable opponent.
She regained her focus and gripped her spear tightly. She was secretly rejoicing in Ai Hui's misfortune.
Looks like this scoundrel had suffered in her hands before!
This was the first time she had seen Ai Hui so tense in front of an enemy. Furthermore, the strength the red lady had just demonstrated was quite amazing.
Shi Xueman, however, was not scared one bit. In fact, she was eager to engage.
The lady in red glanced at Shi Xueman, a look of adoration glistening in her eyes. Shi Xueman's outwardly cold demeanor went well with her beautiful features. Combined with her resolute brows and the suave armor on her body, Shi Xueman was indeed a lovely sight to behold.
"I see you've found a new flame so soon. What a heartless scoundrel."
The lady in red spoke faintly, with grief and heartbreak written all over her face.
Ai Hui stared at her with unblinking eyes. He lowered his body ever so slightly as he adjusted his breathing. His five fingers drummed slowly against his sword hilt, relaxing and tensing each digit at different intervals. He gradually relaxed his stiffened body.
He knew just how dangerous this enigmatic lady was, just how much power she really possessed.
She was definitely high on Ai Hui's list of opponents he would not want to meet.
It seemed however, that there was nowhere to run.
"Be careful, she's a blood elementalist," stated Ai Hui.
Shi Xueman was slightly taken aback upon hearing that. Blood elementalist!
She had never heard of this term before, but she quickly understood who they were facing. Countless questions flooded her mind, but the most pertinent one slipped out of her mouth in a grave tone. "They are the ones behind this blood disaster?"
"That's right," Ai Hui replied matter-of-factly.
The lady in red noticed the pair's unease and smiled slightly. Her gaze brightened as it landed on Ai Hui. "Your improvement is quite astonishing, and you're indeed someone worthy of catching my eye. You broke my heart when you left without saying goodbye. I never thought we'd reunite again. Looks like it's heaven's will."
Compared to that troublesome Yu Mingqiu, the young man in front of her was slightly weaker, but had way more potential.
The lava spider's presence helped her to deduce that the crevice provided a clear path. Her sudden actions had enabled her to momentarily slow Yu Mingqiu's reactions, allowing her to utilize the complex geography of the caves to throw him off.
She had planned to tame the lava spider before killing or capturing Yu Mingqiu.
She was not expecting to meet Ai Hui, much less see him improve this much.
Ai Hui's ability to withstand the blood poison had surprised her greatly. Since then, she had not stopped wondering how Ai Hui managed to escape. She was shocked to see that he did not become a blood elementalist, but even more surprised so to see him improve by leaps and bounds.
This fellow must be hiding something!
A sinister glint flashed in her eyes. Let's see if you manage to escape this time.
Standing there largely unnoticed by the lady in red, Shi Xueman seethed with rage. She had always thought that the blood disaster was a natural disaster. Turns out it wasn't.
How many had died in this disaster?
I don't know!
How many people were currently experiencing fear and despair at the hands of an imminent death?
This was unforgivable!
Shi Xueman's anger boiled over, and all she could see were flames of rage. Her heart was filled with pure, unadulterated hatred. Destroy her!
She thrust her trusty spear forward without uttering a single word!