Chapter 48: Dungeoneering
"Do you have a flying treasure you can use?" Xi Son asked once I arrived next to him.
"Yes, but I'd rather not pull any unwanted attention, the laws against flight and such…" I trailed off hinting at how this city forbade flight within it.
"Not currently no. That treasure as you have mentioned needed the power of a Nascent Soul cultivator, though I am such a cultivator, I dare not risk unlocking the content of the box in a city filled with experts lest one of them senses it and scry upon us using their Devine Sense." Xi Son explained.
"I agree, then, where do you wish we open the box?" I asked.
"I have a location in mind, please follow me," Xi Son stated and we both left headed to the city's gate.
Once away from the gate and off preying eyes, Xi Son pulled out a flying sword from his pouch and hopped on it.
I did the same, thankfully I had the decency of mind to actually think beforehand and place the flying sword in a pouch that belonged to one of those cultivators from the Poison G.o.d's cave.
Once I pulled the sword I stepped on it, while noticing the ogling gaze of Xi Son.
Now, here, that was dangerous, mainly because, if what he said was true, and I doubt it would be a lie, he is a Nascent Soul Cultivator, which means he is at least two great realms stronger than me, and even a small layer is a difference between heaven and earth among cultivators, not to mention a realm that has nine layers.
So, any sane man should now be shaking in fright, thinking that this Nascent Cultivator had been interested in their treasure. For anyone besides me, they would have offered the sword in peace just to preserve their lives. But I, I was rather immune to such threats, even if they were probably unfounded. And I had two strong reasons that would keep me safe, the first, without me, Xi Son would never be able to unlock the box. And the second is simple enough, I just finished making a puppet that kicks a.s.s. Though I don't know if it could fare well against a Nascent Cultivator. One punch at ten percent is strong enough to break a reinforced wall. No matter how strong that man's body, a punch from my puppet will hurt.
"Let's go," Xi Son said after what he deemed enough time spent ogling my treasure while I didn't adhere to his gaze.
The two of us flew south, and we continued the pace. But after a few hours of constant flight, I had to start popping 'pills' before I became too suspicious. Simply put, I'm a Foundation Establishment cultivator, while he was a Nascent Soul cultivator, he would have greater Spiritual Qi reserves and would be able to support his flight, while my Qi reserves should diminish. If I were to showcase that I was still fully capable of matching and keeping up with his speed, then roots of greed would sprout in his spirit. And the last thing I want is to give a stronger person more reasons to want my things.
"Junior Shen Bao," Xi Son said, "Should we slow down? I don't wish to see you exhausted before our trip reaches its end."
"No worries, I have enough pills to keep this pace for a few days." It was a blatant lie, even if my flying Sword was eating up my Poison Qi like mad, I still had enough energy to keep this pace for weeks. Apparently, the time I spent cooped up inscribing wasn't for naught, as a side effect, a positive one, I'm able to make full use of my Qi using my Mind's Eye, an insight that I pa.s.sively gained after days upon days of constant concentration on inscription. Now it came in handy, micromanaging the energy that I'm expending, and using the minimum of it to its maximum potential in powering the sword.
As for the pills, I was eating, they were just some weak poison Pills that I found in one of the cultivator pockets, it doesn't do me any harm to have a snack while flying.
Yet even while popping those pills like tic-tacs, I have yet to Breakthrough the next layer. I'm surprised to have spent so much time in the first layer of Foundation Establishment, but I can't be too rash about it, at least for my earlier progress I had the Sect Master of the Purple Cloud sect as a poison source to power me up, as for now, I'll have to settle for lesser poisons.
Hours after hours of flight, the first light of dawn breaks before Xi Son mentioned that we arrived.
Though I don't know why we had to get so far from the capital, I won't be judging him, at least right now I don't know the range of a Nascent Soul cultivator's Divine Sense. But at this distance, I doubt anyone from the capital would have range enough to spy on us.
There was a small cottage built in the middle of nowhere, right under a large oak tree in what seemed to be a thinly packed forest.
We entered the cottage and Xi Son invited me to a dusty seat.
I wiped it as much as I could before sitting, and once I was on the chair I took a moment to survey my surrounding. The cottage was old, perhaps it belonged to Xi Son or some person that didn't come here in a long time. Also seeing that it still had its wears and wasn't infringed upon by some random animal or someone seeking shelter, it comes to mind that this place had been abandoned for a long time.
Xi Son waved his hand and the dust on the table, chair, and all the wears in this small hut was swooped out the door. Neat trick, I could learn this, at least this would help clean up the house that Zei Fen had gifted me. Back to our topic, I'm getting distracted.
Xi Son placed the cube in front of me and said, "Can you unlock it?"
"Yes, but I'll require your aid, the bit about a Nascent Soul cultivator I said was true. Without thicker Spiritual Qi, I can't put enough energy to power this thing up." I answered.
"Right then, what am I supposed to do." Xi Son politely asked.
"You see this symbol here?" I pointed at the centermost symbol in the box, "You need to pour in your spiritual Qi in it and at the same time supply all other five faces of the cube the same amount of energy. Once the cube is sated, it will release its locking mechanism and display what's inside it." I replied.
The man nodded and began pouring his energy into the cube.
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After a few seconds of no visible change, Xi Son frowned, thinking that I lied to him and was probably trying to drain his energy to kill him, or so his expressions portrayed.
Xi Son then pulled a pill and popped it in his mouth, it didn't take more than a second before he was full of energy. Thankfully I didn't try anything stupid, now that I know even after he had exhausted himself fully, he still had a pill that can invigorate him, if I were to stupidly attack him while he was weak, nothing less than a killing blow would be enough to save me from his retaliation.
Xi Son pulled his sword and flew in the direction of the Luo-Luo mountain. And after days of constant exhausting travel, we arrived at the said location. It was an open plane with nothing impressive about it, and following the traces on the map, there was supposed to be an entry to a cave somewhere around this region.
A wave of pervasive energy shot through me, it lingered for a fraction of a second before shooting off in the distance, and in that fraction of a second, I felt myself naked against the gaze of such a powerful ent.i.ty.
'So that's Devine Sense.' I construed.
Frowning the man looked at me and said, "I can't seem to find anything here. My divine sense isn't detecting any cave entrances…" the man said. "We'll have to manually look for it, and seeing this large swath of plains, it's going to take a while."
"Though I'm unable to use Devine Sense, I wouldn't be surprised that you couldn't find it, otherwise others would have," I said.
"Then what do you suggest?" he asked.
"Well, could you use your Divine Sense once again, and instead of focusing on detecting areas to access, try and find areas that you Divine Sense can't protrude through," I replied.
"Smart, by locating areas where I'm unable to see with my Divine Sense we can heavily reduce the areas we need to search, luckily there was only one area, there," Xi Son pointed.
It was a large boulder among many others, that had a lot of gra.s.s growing around it, it did look like a part of this scene but so would anything be if one wanted to hide it in plain sight.
"The rocks shouldn't bounce off my Divine Sense, I should be able to see through them, but if you hadn't voiced your opinion I would have disregarded them as regular rocks. Now that I think about it, I should have at least been able to 'see' at least a few meters within the rocks.
'd.a.m.n, if Divine Sense can 'see' through rocks that would be the most unfair advantage in a hide and seek game, where you hide from death and the man seeks to kill you, I should really mind not p.i.s.sing off someone with a divine sense, because not even hiding underground can save me. Or at least finding a way to hide from the Divine Sense."
I added a mental note on studying Divine Sense and finding ways to avoid detection, such methods would help greatly in keeping me alive. For now, I'll have to rely on X and hope that his bada.s.s power punch is enough to make Xi Son regret turning his back on me if it ever happens.
Well now, what am I waiting for, let's go explore a cave that was probably created by an Ascendant? How hard can it be?
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