Chapter 1377 1377. Divine Demon
'So that's their plan,' Noah thought after Boss Van's words reached his ears.
Using Noah as bait wasn't a bad strategy in theory. Chief Ash and Boss Van were unaware of the actual nature of his relations.h.i.+p with Divine Demon. They didn't mind testing him in that mission.
Even if Noah were to betray them in the middle of the mission, they would gain an idea of Divine Demon's position. That was already good for their plan. The entire guild could encircle him at that point.
The guild wouldn't lose anything even if Noah were to run away without searching for Divine Demon. Boss Van would only change tactics at that point.
Still, they didn't suspect the worst-case scenario. Noah wasn't a simple cultivator who had learnt legends about Divine Demon during his stay in the lower plane. He was his heir, and leaving him alone with the expert could lead to unexpected outcomes.
Noah didn't answer. He didn't need to reply to Boss Van to express his decision to play the bait. The situation benefitted him, and he couldn't escape those orders anyway.
"Will you handle the rest?" Noah asked.
"Focus on baiting him out," Boss Van said after snorting. "He can't defeat my entire guild if he fights in the open."
Noah thought about the Copying Technique and wondered if Divine Demon had managed to improve it during his stay in the Immortal Lands. Yet, he quickly focused on his mission and turned to fly in the next region.
The gazes of Boss Van and the rest of the guild landed on Noah's back as he set off from the azure terrain and flew toward the next region. His departure signaled the beginning of the mission, and a tense aura filled the environment as those experts began to feel the pressure of the imminent battle.
It was unusual for weaker cultivators to fight stronger ones. The guild's opponent was a solid stage expert, and only Boss Van matched that power.
Chief Ash and the others could join the battle head-on. Boss Van's underlings used cloaking devices to hide among the tall magical plants that filled those regions and prepared for their opponent to arrive.
Instead, Boss Van remained in the open. He stood in the middle of the sky with his consciousness unfolded. Nothing escaped his mental waves. He could sense every creature in the forest that filled those regions.
Noah studied the environment as he flew above those lands. An immense forest expanded in his vision, and a few mountains disrupted that green scenery. Those trees also hid a few deep cracks that connected the surface to an unknown underground world.
'Divine Demon doesn't seem the type to hide underground,' Noah thought as his instincts guided his movements, 'But I can't sense anything from up here.'
Noah studied the forest, flew around the mountains, and inspected the lairs that radiated a powerful aura, but he didn't find Divine Demon. That left him with the underground world, which he didn't hesitate to explore.
Noah dived inside one of the largest cracks and found something strange as soon as he reached a certain depth. He didn't sense anything at all from that point onward. The ground didn't even radiate its usual aura.
Something was covering the area. It resembled a barrier meant to hide any aura or prevent it from spreading in the environment. Noah couldn't identify its true nature, but his instincts confirmed that it was harmless, so he continued his descent.
His feet eventually reached an invisible membrane. That slight touch created waves across the barrier that showed Noah how far that protection stretched. It covered the entirety of the crack and most of its walls, but it didn't prevent anyone from crossing it.
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Noah could directly enter if he desired it, but he preferred to test something else first. His consciousness spread to make sure that Boss Van's mental waves could reach that place, and a soft voice came out of his mouth after he confirmed that detail.
He needed to enter the tunnels and explore that underground world to find his target, and his superior awareness helped him in the task. Noah only needed to walk in front of every entrance and list in his mind those that made his instincts scream louder.
If Divine Demon occupied the area, he would be the strongest being in the entire underground world. That expert was only a human, so it was unlikely that he had learnt to live in peace with those magical beasts. It was more probable that he had submitted them.
Noah activated his robe and entered the tunnel that hid the greatest dangers. His dark matter also spread under his tissues to prepare a first defensive layer in case some fast trap activated.
The exploration went smoothly until the tunnel opened into a large underground hall that split into even more caves. Noah could count more than sixteen paths from his position, but his attention soon went on a figure laid on one of the entrances above him.
The figure belonged to a middle-aged man with long white hair and no bear. A dense aura surrounded his body, and his red eyes illuminated the bottle that he brought to his mouth.
Noah had seen a similar figure in the past. He was at the bottom of an inheritance hidden under the Great Whirlpool near the Coral Archipelago. He could instantly recognize Divine Demon when he saw him.
"We finally meet," Noah said as he performed a bow.
He felt pure grat.i.tude toward Divine Demon. His gesture expressed how deeply the expert's inheritance and his disciples had improved Noah's life.
"I'm thinking," Divine Demon said without turning his dead. "I don't talk when I'm thinking. Talk with the dragons."
"Dragons?" Noah asked before a series of draconic heads came out of the various tunnels connected to that large hall.
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