Chapter 267: Into The Gorge
I got the second flag and took note that I was about only an hour or so from the last person who left.
Before I took off to the next city, however, I got out of the pod, and made a quick check on the state of the pod. Deeming it still in good shape, I only tweaked a few formations to decrease wind resistance then hopped back on.
This looked strange to the person who handed me the flag since I was probably the only one who checked on the state of my vehicle. The rest took their flags and sped out.
Though I lost a few precious minutes, I felt better when I realized that I could still further push this pod.
I then moved forward blasting towards the next city, White Peaks.
It seems that these are the first three cities we'll need to cross, and they will be the first phase of the race. Three White Cities, Three Red Cities, and one Black city, as the final destination.
Continuing on from White Reeds, we'll be entering a glacial area. This was slightly a problem. From the look of things, and how cold the weather was getting, this area was in a snowstorm. Snow sucks, it makes the engine cold, it makes the cultivator cold and it makes Qi expenditure a nightmare.
Welp, not for me, I'm not using a bit of my own Qi, unlike most cultivators who'll need to moderate the Qi they're supplementing to their pods, and the bit they leave for themselves I only need to put in more Top Grade Spirit stones into the furnace.
My pod moved fast through the colder region of the area until the rain, soon to be hail, then the snow began falling.
The hail was the biggest problem, it came down at very annoying speeds and was like throwing a lot of annoying little pebbles at my pod. And I could hear every single one of them snapping against the hard metallic frame of the pod.
The situation began turning for the worst when snow began to fall mixed in with hail, vision became zero and I had to rely on divine sense to navigate.
Thankfully I'm able to see a pretty good distance using divine sense, though the advantage of this will be far greater for people with a higher cultivation stage, for whatever reason, my soul power is pretty OP, I can already check a dozen kilometer worth of distance in front of me. Though I cross more than a kilometer in distance every couple of seconds, I'm still able to track and trace the general area I'm in and keep in mind the now protruding rocks that came out of nowhere.
With this I'm able to take advantage of divine sense and decide on the best course I should take.
And within my divine sense, I spotted several pods, that crashed into hills and small rocks that looked like they came out of nowhere. I could already guess what happened.
Most cultivators who crashed had probably a very low cultivation level. They forced themselves to accelerate, but since the cold was too much for them, they split their focus between keeping themselves warm and fast, only to end up not giving their divine sense a lot of love, making them crash into rocks that they could have avoided if they focused more of their energy on divine sense.
Gotta do everything in moderation guys, better feel a bit cold than dead.
I continued blasting my way through the cold areas and met with several other crashed pods, and even spotted a few who were far too off the track, apparently lost or maybe they decided to take a path that wasn't on the map, not that I'll blame them, the area ahead of me began feeling far colder than I could take normally.
I snapped my finger and the Veridian Heart Flame lit up from my finger melting away all the coldness.
An alchemist is pretty advantageous in cold and hot areas.
I didn't stop nor waver and continued going and ended up meeting another person on my path forward, he too was dodging nicely but he seemed to be preferring safety over. Speed.
Suddenly a divine sense message went into my head as I bypa.s.sed that man.
"Fellow cultivator, you should slow down, it'll only get worse from here onwards."
Though I don't know how 'genuine' his warning was… I still replied.
"Thank you for your advice, but if I were you, I'd steer to the left," I said.
It took a few seconds before another divine sense message came to my head.
"T-thank you!" he said, "I didn't even notice that a boulder was there," he said.
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"Good, pay attention and good luck, I'll head out first!" I said and flashed forward since I didn't 'see' any more obstructions in front of me.
Since there were obviously a lot of other 'Witnesses'.
Attacking a compet.i.tor is not against the rules, but with my speed, being attacked means my death, and killing cultivators in this planet is a very serious crime. They can sabotage me, but doing so here is a ticket straight to the executioner's stage.
I continued moving through the cave making sharp turns and twists. Thanks to the upgraded inscriptions I took six hours to input, I was masterfully maneuvering this thing even in such tight corridors.
The cave was by no means easy to drive into, but it was thankfully wide enough to allow for quick and fast-witted adjustments to my course.
There were other cultivators that crashed up ahead, but the further I went the less I would see. And at some point, there were no more pods crashed up.
I spread my divine sense forward and sensed that there was a person up ahead of me, with a perfectly hale and healthy body, but a destroyed pod never the less.
"Dare and do something, and I'll end you!" I spoke through divine sense. It wasn't much of a threat especially since I realized that he was a Soul Formation cultivator. But the fact that I noticed him first, contacted him first, and the fact that he couldn't even sense my cultivation base made him speak the words.
"Worry not fellow cultivator I'm just resting and I'll be giving up the race soon," he spoke.
I snorted in contempt at his words, but it was more than enough to abate any hostile thoughts he had about me.
I blasted my pod next to him and moved with incredible speed that he was left stunned at how could a person even dare and move at such speeds inside the tunnel.
But I could see that in front of me was a straight line without any sharp turns all the way to the exit of the mountain.
I moved up ahead and soon was out into the open air, blasting my way forward from the suffocating mountain and into the open snowfields.
I should arrive to the next city in a bit. A few hours at most, and by using this tunnel I should have already saved some time and caught up to the stragglers of the race.
Though I might not have had the best start, after only three cities, I'm feeling that I'm already back in the race. And after three more, who knows I might even be vying for the top positions.
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