At the bottom of a steep three-kilometer tall cliff, there was a small cave that the party had just emerged from not long ago. After glancing at everything in front of him, Han Li couldn't help but wear a peculiar expression and mutter, "This is the valley depths?"
Marquis Nanlong and Lu Weiying stood side by side as they gazed at the scene before them, both wearing odd expressions. There was a huge mountain range before them with countless mountains of varying sizes that stretched as far as the eye could see. Additionally, the world that surrounded them had areas glowing with rainbow light, both in the sky and on the earth.
The areas of rainbow light varied in size, with some reaching several kilometers in size and covering the sky, while others were only about a meter wide and shined weakly, but in any case, all of them were extremely beautiful. What caused Han Li and his party members to be astonished were not the clouds of light, but the chaotic nature of the spiritual Qi around them. Regardless of the attribute, the Qi mingled together and gave people a feeling of immense unease as if the very world would lash out at them with a single wrong move.
Marquis Nanlong sighed after collecting his thoughts and said, "This is definitely where the ancient cultivators fought. The worldly spiritual Qi is thoroughly destroyed here and as a result, it will have an influence on all of our techniques."
Han Li wryly smiled and pointed to the sky, saying, "That is only a secondary concern. That's what is going to be most troublesome."
About a kilometer above them in the sky, there was a group of over ten foot-long arcs of white light floating there. Marquis Nanlong and Lu Weiying were greatly startled when they clearly saw what they were.
Lu Weiying shouted in astonishment, "How can there be so many spatial tears? And how can they wander?"
Marquis Nanlong's expression also grew unsightly.
After noticing Marquis Nanlong's change in expression, Han Li chuckled and said, "This should be expected. Since this was the battleground of ancient cultivators, there should be more spatial tears here compared to the outside. Why else would so many Nascent Soul cultivators have entered only to never return? We can only rely on Master Cang Kun's map regarding the path forward or else..."
"Brother Han's words do make sense. We definitely can't take any risks and tread off the recorded path. Else, we may encounter some invisible spatial tears there. However, there is still much to fear from the wandering spatial tears, but so long as we pay attention to them, they shouldn't pose much danger." After saying this, Marquis Nanlong regained his composure.
Lu Weiying tensely frowned as he stared at another area filled with spatial tears. He pensively mentioned, "However, the number of these spatial tears is over ten times greater than that on the outside. Your words only apply if the invisible spatial tears don't wander as well. If the invisible spatial tears roam and scatter like the visible ones, then Master Cang Kun's map might not be safe."
When Han Li heard this, he was stunned and turned his head. Blue light brightly shined from his eyes as he glanced at an area over three hundred meters away, watching a vague arc of light motionlessly floating there. He only calmed down after watching it for a while.
But then, just as he pondered about whether or not he should leak this information to his party members, Marquis Nanlong hesitantly spoke as if misunderstanding Han Li's pondering for worry, "There is no need for you Fellow Daoists to be worried. Master Cang Kun mentioned that the invisible spatial tears don't move in his records."
Lu Weiying's spirits roused and he suspiciously asked, "Is Brother Nanlong certain? How did Master Cang Kun learn about it?"
Marquis Nanlong looked at the two and calmly said, "Brother Lu should realize that in the past, Master Cang Kun had suffered from grave injuries. What should come into question was how he was able to safely leave Devilfall Valley. By relying on a technique that he had cultivated, he was able to sense the locations of spatial tears before leaving the valley. How else could he have left with such grave injuries?"
Having heard this, Lu Weiying felt a wave of relief, "There are such techniques in this world? In that case, it wasn't due to luck that Master Cang Kun was able to escape from Devilfall Valley."
Han Li's expression stirred as well and he sighed with relief. Marquis Nanlong's worries faded away upon seeing this as he had feared that his party members would be intent on retreating. He was particularly worried about Han Li who he found immensely difficult to read. Since Han Li would be the main force in the fight against the Ancient Flame Toad, he needed to convince him to move forward.
With a stern expression, Marquis Nanlong then said, "Let's go. According to what the records said, we cannot fly too quickly so it will be about a day of travel until we arrive at the Ancient Flame Toad's nest. Be careful on the way there."
Han Li faintly smiled and said, "Fellow Daoist Nanlong should be worried about taking care of himself, Fellow Daoist Lu and I will look after ourselves."
Lu Weiying nodded in agreement.
Satisfied, Marquis Nanlong said, "Then let us set off. We've wasted enough time as it is." He then got his bearings and wrapped himself in a ball of light before slowly flying off.
Han Li and Lu Weiying glanced at each other and also took to the air. They closely followed after Marquis Nanlong without taking even a step off his track as any deviation could lead them into a spatial tear or an ancient restriction. As such, the party was painstakingly careful.
The path taken along the way was incredibly strange. There were times it would go straight and others where it would move in a complete circle. But regardless of the path, they would stop every two hours and make sure of their location before continuing forward. Additionally, Marquis Nanlong didn't look at any jade slips on the way. It was clear he had already memorized the path.
Han Li maintained a neutral appearance, but on the way, he was memorizing every step of the path back. As such, if there were any unexpected developments, he would have a path to flee for his life. He reckoned that Lu Weiying was most likely doing the same. After all, cultivators who had mastered the basic elemental cultivation arts gained a perfect memory. This made remembering some directions an effortless task.
Their flight continued for almost an entire day and hadn't encountered any danger. Han Li felt at ease, believing that the Marquis had acquired the genuine route Master Cang Kun had used when travelling through the valley depths.
As Han Li continued memorizing the path while following Marquis Nanlong, he diligently scanned his surroundings with his spiritual sense. He reckoned they had passed by at least four areas that were guarded with formidable restrictions along the way. There were also a few areas that seemed amiss but he wasn't able to determine whether they were spell formations or abnormalities produced from spiritual Qi fluctuations.
Han Li was quite curious about these areas as he knew that they were likely to contain treasures left behind by ancient cultivators. Although he felt eager to explore these areas, he restrained himself.
Han Li possessed some understanding of certain ancient cultivator restrictions, but he also knew that they were incredibly formidable, and only the spatial tears posed a greater danger than the restrictions. Even with his Brightsight Spirit Eyes being able to see through, there was still a significant chance of him provoking a profound restriction.
Currently, common ancient treasures no longer tempted him. Having entered the valley, so long as he acquired the core of the Ancient Flame Toad, the remnant treasures of the ancient cultivator, the Spirit Kindle Fruit, and the Tailstar Silver, he would reap massive gains.
With the potentials benefits and drawbacks considered, Han Li abandoned any intention of doing anything dangerous. Then, his gaze was drawn over to Lu Weiying since he currently wore a sullen expression and occasionally glanced into the distance.
Han Li inwardly sighed. It seemed that if the old man couldn't acquire the items he wanted from the ancient cultivator remains, he would most likely search the valley depths. It wasn't a matter of greed, but rather desperation. Han Li knew that if his lifespan had also reached its end, he would take the risk. After all, if he succeeded, his life would be prolonged and his cultivation would advance.
As Han Li considered this, he couldn't help but show a trace of sorrow.
At that moment, Marquis Nanlong ceased flying and looked to the area in front of him, his expression wavering. Han Li frowned at the sight of this and faintly felt a sense of dread. He glanced around him and immediately stared at Marquis Nanlong's back in silence.
Below them was a small mountain over three hundred meters tall and entirely unremarkable. Ahead of them was an extremely tall mountain range.
Marquis Nanlong had clearly said that it would take a day of travel to reach the nest of the Ancient Flame Toad, but they hadn't flown that long so it was clear this wasn't their objective.
Lu Weiying was puzzled by this sudden stop and asked with a surprised expression, "Brother Nanlong, what happened? Why aren't we moving forward?"
When Marquis Nanlong heard this, he slowly turned around to look at his party members. He bitterly smiled and said, "It seems we've encountered a problem. We might need to brave a bit of danger."
Lu Weiying's expression blanked and he bewilderedly said, "Brother Nanlong, what do you mean?"
Han Li stroked his nose but remained silent. However, he wore a curious expression.
"Fellow Daoists, do you see the two mountains in the distance?" Marquis Nanlong pointed to two mountains that were surprisingly alike.
"Of course we do. Does this problem have something to do with them?" Lu Weiying astonishedly asked.
"Precisely." Marquis Nanlong spoke with complete certainty.
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