Immortal - Book 2: Chapter 4
A Terrifying Old Man
Book 2: The Golden Lock of the Eight Gates
Chapter 4: A Terrifying Old Man
Another half day had passed, the after effects of the Demonic Body Toning Method had finally dissipated.
Zhong Shan could feel the difference of being at the fourth level of Xiantian; his body seemed to have an overabundance of energy.
Just one Blood Puti could achieve this?
Zhong Shan carefully picked off the last two Blood Puti.
“Ling-er, one for each of us.” Zhong Shan said.
“I don’t need it. I have no use for it. I’ll need ten, no, not even ten is enough for me now. You better keep them. Blood Puti is also a medicine for healing wounds. You keep them.” Tianling-er replied.
“En.” Zhong Shan nodded and didn’t bother to argue to the contrary.
“Can I keep them in my storage bracelet?” Zhong Shan asked.
“Yeah, sure. My dad said that the Blood Puti will not spoil. You can keep it in the storage bracelet for a whole year without spoiling.” Tianling-er tried to recall what she had heard.
“En. That’s good.” Zhong Shan nodded and put the two Blood Puti away.
“Zhong Shan, are you ready? Let’s go explore the inside of this cave. There’s Blood Puti right at the opening of the cave, maybe there’s some other good stuff inside.” Tianling-er called out in expectation.
“En.” Zhong Shan nodded.
He still kept his big machete in hand. During the half day when he was recovering, he was surprised to find that the cave was created unnaturally. Though it had been there for a long time, long enough to have Blood Puti grow, Zhong Shan could tell that something was strange about the cave. A man-made cave?
“Be careful, get behind me.” Zhong Shan cautioned.
Without knowing why, Tianling-er seemed to enjoy the tone of Zhong Shan’s voice now; she wasn’t as stubborn as she had been in the beginning and only lightly said, “En.”
With machete in hand, Zhong Shan led Tianling-er towards the deep end of the cave.
After a turn, Zhong Shan was astonished to notice that they were going downwards. The further they went, the deeper they were going underground.
The red glow was coming from the deep end.
Zhong Shan also observed that the structure of the cave wasn’t very safe, it looked like it could collapse at any moment.
He frowned and slowly walked down. The deeper they went, the hotter the temperature got. The faint red glow grew brighter and brighter. Zhong Shan, for no apparent reason, suddenly felt ill at ease. What was going on?
He truly wanted to find out what was down below, after all it could be a lucky break for him. What could be waiting down there?
They had walked down close to a depth of a thousand meters. This cave was giant, a thousand meters straight down?
At this point, Zhong Shan could feel the surrounding temperature had reached the boiling point, no, it probably already surpassed that. The clothes he wore were steaming hot. He took out a bowl of water from his storage bracelet and in just the blink of an eye, the water boiled away into steam.
He put away the bowl and heard a constant sound of ‘pupu’ coming from down under. Lava? He was sure that it was lava.
Along with the sound of bubbling lava, he had noticed an even stranger phenomena. On the way down, there was one place which was particularly foggy, filled with steam.
Steam shot out from the wall of the cave, but it was instantly sucked down below.
“Zhong Shan, what’s going on?” Tianling-er pointed at the steam which kept coming out the wall in amazement.
How could steam shoot out from the rocks? How could it be? Tianling-er widened her eyes and couldn’t believe it.
“It’s underground water. It passes through here and turns into steam when it leaks out.” Zhong Shan immediately discerned.
“Underground water?” Tianlian-er was amazed. She had heard her dad speak about it before but had never seen it herself.
“But……” Zhong Shan squinted his eyes.
“But what?” Tianling-er interrupted him. Why had they stopped here?
“But why is direction of the wind going downwards? All the steam is being sucked into the bottom of the cave.” Zhong Shan was pondering with knitted brows.
Based on his understanding, if there was wind inside a deep cave then it usually meant that there was another opening. Yet this cave was stretching downwards, it would be quite strange if there was another opening down there.
“Let’s go down to see. Won’t we know by then?” Tianling-er spoke in excitement and swiftly ran down.
“Ai, wait.” Zhong Shan followed after her.
They ran down about 20 more meters and reached the end of the passageway.
There was lava, boiling lava, at the end of the cave. It was a peculiar sight; a huge pool of lava circled by a terrace. Above it, there was a large hole which seemed to lead to the distant volcanic crater.
It was the underground lava here.
A large amount of steam flowed down here and exited the hole above.
The pool of lava was about one hundred meters in diameter. Lava churned, bubbles rose to the surface and then burst with a splash.
The terrace around the pool was also man made. It was very smooth and seemed quite out of place at the bottom end of the cave.
Tianling-er rushed in only to quickly back out.
It wasn’t the heat; if even Zhong Shan could withstand the heat, it was certainly not a problem for Tianling-er. It was because there was a figure inside.
“Ghost~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~” Tianling-er backed right into Zhong Shan’s arms.
“You’ve finally arrived?” A very soft voice could be heard.
Zhong Shan looked over and what he saw made his hair stand on end.
What kind of man was this?
It had the shape of a human yet his bottom half, up till his waist, was sealed solid inside a block of ice. The bottom half of the body was frozen. Furthermore, the ice block was black and despite the lava nearby, the air nearby was still frigid. Through the black ice, Zhong Shan could see the man’s legs, yet they couldn’t be called legs anymore.
Both legs were frozen into pieces, like chunks of broken crystals. It was a horrifying scene. On the right leg, some of his bones were even sticking out of the flesh.
Above the waist, it was the other extreme, heat, extreme heat. His body was bright red all over. The most terrifying part was his hair.
Every single strand of his hair was shining red and connected to the lava. His hair was like a big net spreading into the rolling lava. They couldn’t help getting goose bumps from the sight.
Zhong Shan then noticed his face. This was an old man, an ugly old man. Anyone who took a look at him would feel unease.
“Do I look like a ghost?” The terrifying old man faintly smiled.
Zhong Shan frowned and pointed his machete at this strange creature, on guard.
“When did you find out about us?” Zhong Shan calmly asked.
“When you were eating the Blood Puti.” There was a scary smile on the old man’s ugly face.
Tianling-er knew by now that this wasn’t a ghost, she turned around to look at the man.
“We’re sorry to interrupt you. We’ll be on our way right now.” Zhong Shan hurriedly said and slightly backed away with Tianling-er in his arms.
“I haven’t seen a living person for over a hundred years. Couldn’t you just talk a bit with this old man?” The ugly old man suddenly said sadly.
Tianling-er’s horror turned into sympathy after hearing the old man. How lonely would it be to not see a living person for a hundred years? Maybe they could just chat with him for a while!
“Sorry, qianbei. We have things to take care out there. We will visit you next time when we have time.” Zhong Shan continued to back away. He wasn’t moved by the pitiful state of the old man.
Seeing that Zhong Shan continued to insist on leaving, the old man turned grim and glared at him. All of a sudden, Zhong Shan was frozen.
Zhong Shan was horrified. He couldn’t move? What was going on? Did the old man do something? At the same time, Tianling-er also widened her eyes in disbelief, since Tianling-er also couldn’t move any more.
“I just want to have someone to talk with.” The old man spoke again.
Then, Zhong Shan and Tianling-er began to flow up into the air and flew towards the old man.
“Ah~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~what are you doing?” Tianling-er yelled in fright.
“Qianbei, we will stay. Let us down.” Zhong Shan called out.
The two fell down near the old man.
Such a tough old man. With just one look, he could paralyze both of them. He was strong.
Zhong Shan began to take great care in how he acted in front of the old man. He put his machete back into the storage bracelet to appear less threatening.
Sure enough, the old man was pleased by Zhong Shan’s action. Yet Zhong Shan was still on guard, he was actually more cautious than usual.
“You, you stopped our movement just by the divine sense? Not even my dad can do that. You’re even stronger than my dad?” Tianling-er immediately got up from the ground and looked at the old man.
“Perhaps.” There was a very sad smile on the shriveled face of the old man.