'The battle was quite fierce,' Lin Yun thought as he looked over. There were at least three hundred corpses of magic beasts, and they were all level 10 or higher. The strongest ones were as high as level 27 or 28. Just based on the levels, they weren't any worse than the joint exploration team.
Fortunately, Suyass was with them. The crushing power of a newly advanced Archmage thoroughly changed the course of the fight. Hundreds of magic beasts were turned into corpses, yet the joint exploration team loss less than twenty people.
The battlefield had already been cleared, and a large number of magic beast corpses were carted back to the camp after some simple treatment. The excavation was carried out with great energy, and through the cooperation of hundreds of people, a tunnel leading underground had already been opened. Suyass, Lys, and the others were waiting at the entrance, discussing something nervously.
"Merlin, Solomon, you two came right on time..." Lys hurriedly welcomed them when he saw them. After a few polite words, he led the two of them to the entrance while explaining the current situation. "We already sent scouts to investigate, and from the style of the building, it should be some ruins of the 3rd Dynasty. But the tunnel is too long, almost two kilometers, and if we keep expanding it, it might collapse. So we are discussing whether we should give up on the previous plan and change it to sending a small squad made up of a one or two people from each force..."
"Well, that works for me." Lin Yun nodded in approval. A tunnel over two kilometers long was very dangerous. If they kept widening it too much, one small vibration could lead to a cave-in. At that time, the forces of Thousand Sails City and the two from the Mercury Tower might end up buried in the Four Seasons Canyon.
Everyone understood that reasoning.
Thus, after Lin Yun and Solomon arrived, they all sat together to talk about it and quickly drew up a new plan. Each of the major forces sent a few of their most powerful members, such as Solomon and Thorpe for the Sage Tower, Lys, Bassoro, and Granger for the Alchemist Guild, Sauss and Bell for the Viper Nest, and Lin Yun, William, and Xiuban for the Gilded Rose.
In contrast, Monchi's power wasn't worth mentioning, and although Ryan had a good future ahead of him, he was only a 2nd Rank Great Mage at the moment. Thus, the Monchi Family only sent a 9th Rank Great Mage Elder.
This was a bit awkward, as it wasn't just a matter of reputation; it meant that the Monchi Family would completely lose the right to speak after departing. In this exploration team made up of High Mages, Expert Swordsmen, and Spirit Archers, a 9th Rank Great Mage wouldn't have the right to speak unless that person was named Mafa Merlin.
When night fell, the twenty-man group entered the tunnel and quickly made their way to the end.
The tunnel opened up to a slightly wider area with a few dozen meters of open space, just enough for the exploration team of about twenty people to make some shelter. Here, they could clearly see the stone walls covered in decorative designs. This was indeed the style of the 3rd Dynasty. Only such an excessive extravagant era would spend so much on just decorating a wall. There had already been a gap created by the excavation team, and two people could enter side by side. The black paint inside had some faint traces of mana fluctuations.
"Let's go." As an Archmage, Suyass didn't feel any danger from that. Even after learning that this was a ruin from the 3rd Dynasty, he only looked over it composedly before going in.
After going through that decorated stone wall, a long hallway appeared before everyone's eyes. The candles on both sides of the hallways had already burnt down, only leaving two rows of empty candle holders. The floor was paved with moonstone, which emitted a faint glimmer in this darkness. Everything in the surroundings was tinted with a deathly pale color.
"Careful, behind!" Suyass quietly warned with a heavy tone.
"Fuck..." Just as Suyass' voice fell, a rumbling sound could be heard behind them. They all turned and were shocked by a pair of window-sized lights flickering in the darkness. Relying on the deathly pale glow of the moonstone, everyone could clearly see a python with a body that was ten meters thick. Those lights were the eyes of the python. Its head was the size of the hallway, and they couldn't tell how long its body was.
The only saving grace was that the python was still fast asleep.
Otherwise, even if they had Suyass, they would be in for a very difficult battle in this narrow hallway.
"Quick, let's go the other way." Suyass made a prompt decision and led them in the other direction.
They all agreed to hold their breaths, afraid of waking the sleeping python.
The group of twenty followed the hallway and walked for nearly ten minutes before the lights disappeared. Most of them sighed in relief.
"That thing was at least level 30..."
"Fortunately, it was asleep..."
"Yeah, this place is too narrow, we wouldn't have any room to evade the attacks of such a big monster..."
They were all secretly rejoicing, to the point that no one noticed that Lin Yun was looking closely at the rows of candle holders.
After avoiding the sleeping python, the group pressed onwards. After they had walked for an hour...
"Wait." Lin Yun suddenly stopped.
"What's the matter?" Suyass frowned. During the week spent clearing out the Four Seasons Canyon, this Archmage had always been the core of the team, and he was used to everyone following his lead. Suddenly hearing someone stopping them put Suyass in a bit of a bad mood.
By the time he discovered that the one who stopped him was Mafa Merlin, it was already too late...
In any case, Suyass was an Archmage. Even if he had talked with Karon for a whole night and now understood that this Great Mage wasn't someone he could offend, what he'd said before couldn't be taken back. He couldn't suddenly change the way he talked to him and fawn over him, could he?
Thus, Suyass could only squeeze out a stiff smile as he tactfully asked, "Merlin... Great Mage Merlin, did you figure something out?"
"I didn't find anything in particular..." Fortunately, Lin Yun didn't plan on causing trouble for Suyass and only smiled. "However, Sir Suyass, don't you feel that this hallway is too long?"
"Too long?" Suyass thought for a bit before frowning.
Suyass came from the Mercury Tower, after all. He couldn't be compared to others after going through countless fights in the Golden Forest Plane. He hadn't found any abnormalities at first because he hadn't thought about it. But after hearing Lin Yun's words, Suyass suddenly reacted.
'Indeed, isn't it too long?'
After discovering that python, they had all walked for an hour. How could they still not be able to see the end of the hallway by then?
"And those candle holders..." Seeing Suyass' puzzled expression, Lin Yun pointed at the candle holders on both sides of the hallway.
"What about the candle holders?"
"These candle holders are exactly the same. The distance between each of them, the traces of rust, everything is perfectly the same. It's like... like they're perfect duplicates..."
"..." Suyass suddenly held his breath and subconsciously glanced at both walls, carefully comparing. It was just like that young Great Mage said, the candle holders on both sides were identical. Even if Suyass was far slower to reach this conclusion, he knew that there was an issue with this hallway.
"Gr... Great Mage Merlin, you mean that we sank into an illusion?"
"It's not as simple as an illusion..." Lin Yun shook his head. "Since that python appeared, I've used Spirit Defense three times and True Sight twice, but I haven't found any signs of illusions."
"Right, Sir Suyass, don't you feel that the mana fluctuations are very strange..."
"Indeed..." Suyass had a pensive expression on his face, his brows faintly creasing, as if he had thought of something but wasn't sure about it. "It gives me the feeling... of a heartbeat..."
"Indeed, a heartbeat."
"..." Suyass was originally pensive, but as a possibility came to his mind, he felt lost for words. His eyes stared at Lin Yun as his voice was already shivering. "Is... Is it really a heartbeat?"
"It is said that a huge disaster happened at the Angel Coast at the end of the 3rd Dynasty. A kilometer-long Void Python charged in and countless lives were lost in one night. The Emperor had been furious and sent the 3rd fleet to fight the Void Python in the East Sea. After paying a heavy price, they seriously wounded the Void Python and the latter disappeared without a trace..."
Lin Yun didn't answer Suyass' question and only narrated a story.
But everyone paled as that story was told.
"We... We are in the body of the Void Python?"