Shi Jingzhi's fingers were icy cold, and his palms were slightly damp.
This wasn't just acting, he was genuinely afraid. Yin Ci couldn't be bothered with formalities and held onto his hand tightly.
He couldn't let go of this rare opportunity for some top-notch entertainment.
Seeing that Yin Ci didn't let go of his hand, Shi Jingzhi breathed a sigh of relief and muttered a quiet "thank you" that was barely audible.
Suddenly, Yin Ci had an absurd thought - could it be that when Shi Jingzhi was so happy to hear that he was willing to explore the tomb, it was because he was afraid of ghosts and didn't want to explore alone?
Fear can easily affect performance, so Yin Ci had to reassure him.
"There are no ghosts in this world."
Shi Jingzhi thought that the young man was just talking nonsense, so he turned to the side and patted Yin Ci's head with his other hand.
Yin Ci continued to coax him, "Someone once said that I have a very strong destiny and can ward off evil spirits. Even if a ghost appears, I can protect you."
Shi Jingzhi turned his face, his gaze slightly complicated. "Warding off evil spirits, that's great."
After saying this, Shi Jingzhi strangely calmed down, and even his pulse became more stable. Yin Ci was quite satisfied.
There were spells set up inside the door, and walking felt more like moving forward in a dark tunnel than descending. The Red Hook Sect walked at the forefront, exploring as they went.
In the midst of darkness, the team moved very slowly.
"Ah Ci," Shi Jingzhi suddenly exerted a little force on his hand, "let's slow down."
After speaking, Shi Jingzhi quietly turned around and put something around Yin Ci's neck, then straightened his collar.
The whole action was surprisingly fast, and others would only think he was tidying up his disciple's clothes.
Yin Ci lowered his head and saw a round shadow inside his collar - Shi Jingzhi had threaded the Buddha bead onto a strong silk string and hidden it on himself.
Yin Ci was almost confused by this person's inconsistent caution. What was he thinking, daring to bring something like this out?
"Wear it well," Shi Jingzhi pulled his hand back, leaving a warmth behind.
"Aren't you afraid I'll run away?" Yin Ci asked.
Without hesitation, Shi Jingzhi replied, "If you really run away, no matter where you go, I can always catch you and bring you back."
Yin Ci sighed and thought, forget it, let him dream for now.
At the end of the tunnel, a faint blue light shone, and when they reached their destination, everyone stopped in their tracks. The scene before them was like a dreamland.
However, as soon as Yin Ci saw the scene, he pushed Shi Jingzhi and they both fell to the ground. Before Shi Jingzhi could even ask what happened, he was splattered with blood from the person next to him.
As the group reached the end of the tunnel and were stunned by the second floor's scenery, several steel wires came slicing through from behind like a gust of wind.
The members of the major sect were experienced in battle and managed to avoid most of the wires, but many were not so lucky. Several people were sliced into pieces, their blood and organs spilling onto the ground.
Originally a group of nearly three hundred people, now only less than a hundred remained after excluding the injured who stayed on the first layer.
"Wow, that was really vicious. Brother Yin, you reacted so quickly," Jin Lan reacted a bit slowly and ended up with a lot of hair sliced off from the back of his head.
"It was just intuition. It felt like being stalked by a wild animal in the mountains, similar to what we just experienced," Yin Ci explained mysteriously.
As he had expected, Shi Jingzhi's external skills were mediocre, and his muscle reflexes were not well-trained, almost turning him into a dead soul.
His cheap master sat on the ground, still in a daze.
Yin Ci squatted down and poked his master's face, saying, "Shizun, look at me. I told you I was lucky."
Shi Jingzhi slowly reached out his hands and held Yin Ci's hand tightly, saying, "Good disciple, there is nothing I can do to repay you, except to use my body... no, in the next life, I will be a cow or a horse."
Yin Ci hinted, "You can raise my monthly allowance."
Shi Jingzhi immediately became serious, saying, "This matter, we will settle it separately."
Most people have experienced the ups and downs of the jianghu and will not panic because of corpses. Only the Changle Sect was almost completely wiped out, and the skinny headmaster was still crying.
The others quickly regrouped and observed the scene inside the "Hall of Ascending Immortals."
Yan Budu chose the perfect timing. The scene inside the hall was truly breathtaking, making people forget to move.
Unlike the Paperman Street, the Hall of Ascending Immortals was filled with cold light and stood on the lake. There was no land on the ground, only an orderly patterned ice surface. Underneath the ice, a liquid shimmered with a faint blue fluorescence, crystal clear to the bottom.
So they could see clearly - the various corals and landscapes at the bottom of the lake were all made of translucent white bones, including human bones. Bone fish driven by magic swam leisurely.
The surroundings were brightly lit, like daylight. Beautiful green light enveloped all kinds of bones, and all life was sealed within the ice.
Compared to the hall, this place was more like a bone courtyard.
The view at the center of the lake was particularly spectacular.
A giant fish skeleton was located in the middle of the space, massive and unparalleled. The fish head was tilted, with half of the body frozen in ice, and the snake bone naturally connected to the fish tail. The snake bone covered the entire second floor, with the rib ends embedded in the ice surface, creating countless passages.
This fake carp leaping over the dragon gate symbolized good luck, but the atmosphere was incredibly eerie.
"...Did Yan Budu misunderstand the phrase 'ascending to immortality'?" Shi Jingzhi asked. "This carp only transformed halfway, did it get stuck on the dragon gate?"
Yin Ci wiped his face, it seemed that this guy wasn't scared out of his wits and recovered quickly.
The group's attention was not on the carp that had only transformed halfway - in front of them was a dazzling maze of bones, with no hints or information to guide them, not even a way to divide into teams.
If they wanted to explore together, who knows how long it would take.
"Don't bother looking, there won't be any clues. Yan Budu made this to prevent thieves, not for people to play with," said the Dark Blood Witch calmly. "Now that things have come to this, we can only go our separate ways."
She tapped her cane on the ice and led the way into the maze, with Red Hook Sect following closely behind.
A lone ranger seemed eager to follow in Red Hook Sect's footsteps, but as soon as he stepped onto the ice, it suddenly gave way and he fell into the lake.
He was enveloped in pearl-like bubbles. After the bubbles dissipated, his clothes, weapons, and flesh all dissolved, leaving only a pristine white skeleton and an intricate network of blood vessels that made one uneasy.
The dark red blood network was exquisitely unparalleled. After detaching from the skeleton, it floated for a while before sinking to the bottom of the lake, gradually losing its color and breaking into fine sand.
The leader of the Changle Sect was on the verge of collapse. He tried to turn back, but found only a solid wall behind him. The tunnel had disappeared.
"The Red Hook Sect used internal force on their steps," Shi Zhongyu recalled, raising her voice. "Everyone, concentrate your true energy on your feet and don't let your guard down."
Leading by example, she stepped onto the ice surface from earlier, which held up under her weight.
Shi Jingzhi pondered for a moment before squatting down. "Ah Ci, come up. I'll carry you."
Yin Ci politely declined, "Shizun, this is really not necessary..."
"It's fine. I can't just leave you here," Shi Jingzhi didn't hesitate. "We're following the Taiheng Sect, it's not that dangerous."
Shi Jingzhi was slightly better than Yin Ci in terms of skill, and with his abundant internal energy, he didn't find it too difficult to memorize the moves.
Yin Ci wrapped his arms around Shi Jingzhi's neck and rested quietly. Although this person was scared out of his wits, his body temperature was not low, and he felt quite comfortable.
Yin Ci's emotions relaxed slightly, and he began to look around.
He hadn't paid much attention to the Paperman Street before, as it was filled with fireworks. But now he saw that the people from the Prince Rong's Manor had brought in a small sedan chair, and he wondered how they managed to avoid the steel wires with it.
The sedan chair was adorned with expensive talismans to ward off evil, and it was carried by several skilled individuals, moving steadily forward.
At every major intersection, some members of the Taiheng Sect and the Prince Rong's Manor would split off. After two or three hours of walking, only less than ten people remained in Shi Zhongyu's group, including disciples from the Changle Sect and the Ku Mountain Sect, as well as Shen Zhu from the Yueshui Bureau.
The sedan chair of the Prince Rong's Manor swayed slowly behind them.
Shi Zhongyu's eyes flashed with disgust. She breathed steadily and asked Yan Qing in a low voice, "Is that sound still there?"
"Mm, it's a regular clicking sound. We're getting closer," Yan Qing replied honestly.
Yin Ci was unaware of the danger, and with the warmth of Shi Jingzhi's back, he almost fell asleep from the swaying. Suddenly, a heavy gloom swept over them, and Yin Ci's consciousness became clear.
Not long after, Shi Jingzhi also stopped in his tracks.
The snake bone maze revealed an "end." There was no exit at the end, only a transparent ice well.
The well was built on the surface of the ice, and dangerous green liquid was rippling inside. Directly below the well, in the depths of the lake, sat a skeleton. The skeleton was entangled by a red thread, and its bones remained intact together.
It sat cross-legged, counting Buddhist beads with a clackety-clack sound, its empty eye sockets gazing upwards.
The beads were also made of white bones, with a total of fourteen, among which only one was dark in color - a wooden bead that was perfectly preserved.
However, the entire skeleton was submerged in the lake, a distance away from the surface of the ice.
Shi Zhongyu attempted to cover a tool with Yin fire, but as soon as the tool touched the water, it dissolved completely. Even the people from the Prince Rong's manor tried for a long time, but they couldn't find any tool that could be used underwater.
Yin Ci watched coldly from the sidelines, already knowing how to obtain the bead - the Buddhist bead in the Hall of Ascending Immortals was probably not meant for them. This mechanism was completely different from the one in Paperman Street, filled with pure malice.
After thinking for a while, Shi Jingzhi turned his head and said, "Let's not take this bead. Let's find a place to rest."
At the same time, Shi Zhongyu furrowed her brow and shook her head slowly. "Hmm, let's find the exit first."
The skilled men of the Prince Wang's Manor lifted the curtain of the sedan chair and reported to the person inside.
Soon, one of them walked towards the Taiheng Sect. Shi Zhongyu thought the person was coming to talk to him, but as he took a step forward...
The person grabbed the leader of the Changle Sect and snapped his neck. He left the skinny body that died so unjustly at the well and sliced open the neck with a sharp blade.
Instantly, fresh blood dripped into the lake and formed a twisted blood rope in the water.
The length was still not enough, so the person reached out to grab Yan Qing. Shi Zhongyu drew her sword and her Yin Fire lit up the blade. "How dare you!"
While Shi Zhongyu was distracted, the other person followed suit and killed the only remaining disciple of the Changle Sect.
Another body was added, and more blood dripped down the rope.
Shi Zhongyu's face turned terrifyingly ugly.
"Don't even think about doing this again!"
Nobody expected for one of them to check the length of the rope and swiftly cut his own throat at the mouth of the well. Finally, the blood-soaked rope hung onto the Buddhist beads, congealing together. At the same time, the first-formed blood rope began to crumble.
The other person grabbed the blood rope and started to pull it back. The rope was soaked in lake water, and his hand quickly became corroded and bloody. But he didn't utter a word and continued to tug on the rope.
The Buddhist beads were quickly retrieved and the man picked it up with his almost skeletal hand and placed it into the sedan.
As soon as the blood rope was exposed to the air, it quickly turned into a sticky blood clot, scattered all over the ground in black and red. Yin Ci squinted his eyes and suddenly had a bad feeling.
"The Prince Rong's Manor is really something else. Senior Shi seems very angry. Shizun, let's move away a bit..."
As he was speaking, the ice beneath them began to shake. The red lines on the skeleton changed their binding method, tying the bones into a structure resembling that of an insect.
Suddenly, it began to move, crawling out of the well and lunging towards Jin Lan, who was closest to it.
Although Shi Zhongyu had drawn his sword, he was still too far away. Jin Lan had his back turned to the skeleton and was momentarily caught off guard, and it seemed that tragedy was about to strike...
The hard bone collided with the long sword.
Yan Qing accurately drew Jin Lan's sword and blocked the attack. He gritted his teeth and unleashed a storm of sword strikes, flinging the skeleton away.
Yin Ci couldn't help but raise an eyebrow.
This guy's skills weren't that great, but his movements were quite delicate. It was obvious that he had put in a lot of hard work and was a promising talent.
The only problem was that this was the Taiheng Sect's orthodox swordsmanship, which couldn't be passed down to outsiders. In particular, a blind person couldn't learn this kind of precise technique through theft.
"Yan Qing, explain!" Shi Zhongyu shouted as the Green Maiden Sword technique sliced through the skeleton.
Without receiving an answer, she casually waved her sword and picked off Yan Qing's black eye mask. Yan Qing sighed and opened his eyes.
His eyes were intact and clear, but the color of his pupils was not like that of an ordinary person. They were a deep red like blood.
Shi Zhongyu's face quickly turned pale.
"...You are a descendant of Yan Budu?"
The blind man is not really blind. √
Shi Jingzhi: Xiao Yin, thank you for your contribution to the company.
Yin Ci: Give me a raise.
Shi Jingzhi: I will hang your photo on the wall of honor.
Yin Ci: Give me a raise.
Shi Jingzhi: (eyes wandering)
...How black-hearted, Boss Shi!
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