Chapter 353: Place of extreme metal
The caverns of the mines were dark and humid. Yet Han Shuo, someone who should’ve been unfamiliar with the mine, was rushing forward as if very familiar with the area.
At first, Delia had even expected him to take the rearmost position. Who would’ve thought that Han Shuo would just advance without even taking one step backward from beginning to end? What was even more surprising that Han Shuo led the way like he was the guide. There was no mistakes made as he went straight into the depths of the mine.
After a while, Delia couldn’t hold in her curiosity, as the miners began to doubt their guide. She quickly walked up to Han Shuo, bright eyes staring at him as she inquired, “My Lord, you’ve been to Mount Silk before, haven’t you?”
Shaking his head, Han Shuo replied, “No, I haven’t. This is the my first time at Mount Silk. Why?”
“Really? Then how come you are so familiar with the terrain inside the mine? You haven’t stopped to consider any path but one and yet you haven’t taken a single incorrect turn. If you haven’t been to Mount Silk before, how are you so familiar with the twists and turns here?” Delia was becoming more and more doubtful and chased after the leisurely striding Han Shuo with a bunch of questions.
In Han Shuo’s eyes, this group of people, including Delia, wasn’t very strong at all. Since the stone men deep inside the cave had no fear of magic and possessed rock solid bodies, Han Shuo had released the yin demon to scout ahead so that they wouldn’t be suddenly slaughtered. This, coupled with some of the miners’ description, let him proceed with naturally no hesitation at all. But who knew that it would rouse Delia’s doubts?
Han Shuo laughed softly and said, “Didn’t I already hear you guys describe the situation before we entered? My intuition towards cave terrain is highly sensitive. From your description, I can instantly and accurately determine the terrain of this area. Do you believe me or not?”
Hearing Han Shuo’s explanation, Delia was stunned before asking with a half doubtful expression, “Really?”
“Of course!” Han Shuo laughed out loud, “I’ve never been to Mount Silk before, let alone have the chance to explore this mine. How would I be this familiar with the way if I don’t have a keen sense for cave terrain?”
Delia thought carefully about it. With Han Shuo’s identity as the Brettel city lord and also a count, he really wouldn’t have the free time to come explore the mine. Faced with this logic, she was mostly convinced upon hearing Han Shuo’s explanation. Subconsciously, her gaze towards him held a bit more admiration as she told herself that the city lord was really as incredible as the legends said. He was a true man indeed!
Seeing that Delia didn’t ask any other questions, Han Shuo continued to hurry onward. He had turned from guest to the guide thanks to the yin demon. The miners and Delia had become his attendants.
The only remaining yin demon slowly went deep into the belly of Mount Silk. It soon reached a narrow and dry area based on the miners and Delia’s description. This area connected the entrances of three deep tunnels to the passage they were coming in through. Rocks pressed down on the tunnel’s’ ceiling. If they wanted to continue ahead, they would need to be crawling on their bellies.
According to the miners, this was the place they’d encountered some stone men last time they’d been here mining. There were even some traces left behind from last time’s mining. However, the yin demon was invisible. They wouldn’t be able to discover its existence even if the stone men were hiding in the surroundings.
Han Shuo instantly sped up when he found the right place. Delia and the miners behind was greatly surprised as they watched his body shuffle quickly through the caves with extreme sensitivity. At this point, Delia truly believed that Han Shuo had a natural intuition for caves like he’d just said. He could still determine the accurate direction from the complex crossroads.
“Be careful, My Lord! Up ahead is the area where the stone men appeared last time!” The miners were panting heavily as they tried to keep up with Han Shuo, who was almost flying as he hurtled forward. He slowly decreased his speed so as to allow them to catch up when he heard their raised voices. At this moment, Delia finally caught up. She walked up, taking a few deep breaths to calm her heaving breasts. Her voice was filled with worry as she said, “My Lord, please be careful. These stone men aren’t easy to deal with. We should just advance calmly and cautiously.”
It turned out Delia wasn’t as casual and careless as she appeared to be. She was very careful and meticulous when it came to critical moments. Han Shuo couldn’t help but glance at her in surprise. Right now, Delia was trying her best to regain her breath and calm her racing heart. Her twin peaks rose and fell in rhythm, attracting his attention. Han Shuo’s heart skipped a beat, and he couldn’t help but sneak a few more glances at her chest.
People said any woman could tell from the men’s eyes which part of her body was the focal point of attention. No matter what kind of concealing method a man did use, the woman being observed could still sense if that man had snuck a peek at her breasts or not.
These words indeed had some truth to them. Although they were currently in the middle of a dark cave, Delia might just have discovered Han Shuo’s eyes on her chest. She was somewhat shy under his lingering gaze on her towering peaks. Instinctively, Delia slightly bent down, as if wanting to cover some parts of her full chest through the bending of her waist.
“Alright, I think we’ve reached the place. You guys stay close so I can take care of you in case there’s any danger.” Han Shuo slowed to a stop and turned to tell the people behind him.
The miners quickly caught up, but still lagged behind Han Shuo and Delia. Fortunately, the light in the tunnel was dim, and they didn’t have Han Shuo’s eyesight. Being a distance behind, they didn’t see the flush on Delia’s face.
The three tunnels converged midway. As the group walked a few hundred meters more, the ceiling above their heads gradually became lower. The path also narrowed, allowing only two people walk side by side. Everyone had to bend down at this point to prevent their heads from hitting the rocks.
After passing through the narrow path, the group reached the area where the yin demon had stopped at. This place was actually very wide, however, the rocks above their head extended quite a ways down. There were three flattened tunnels around, ones where one had to crawl on their belly if they wanted to pass.
This place was precisely where the stone men had suddenly appeared and attacked last time, resulting in many casualties for the miners.
Han Shuo was 190 centimeters tall. He couldn’t walked upright even if he bent down, so he had to squat down to inspect the situation. The miners who’d been here before all revealed nervous expressions as they looked around carefully. They raised the crude mining tools in their hand, as if getting ready to deal with any stone men that emerged.
Even Delia looked a little nervous. She pulled out the dagger tied to her left leg, looking around with vigilance. Han Shuo and Delia were now leaning close to each other. In this area where they could face attacks at any moment, her bashfulness had long since been thrown far out of mind.
It was due to Han Shuo’s notoriety outside that Delia and the miners now felt a reassuring feeling of being able to rely on someone. If it’d just been them, they would’ve been on the verge of panic, not just nervous.
Han Shuo squatted down to take a look around once before asking the miners, “How tall are these stone men and what do they look like?”
“They’re only 150 centimeters tall, but are wide horizontally so they can move very flexibly without being restrained by the low ceiling.” One of the miners replied.
Hearing his words, Han Shuo looked at the three tunnels and took an estimation. The tunnels were only around a meter tall, so a human had to crawl on their belly to enter. According to the miners, the stone men were 150 centimeters tall and very wide horizontally. They couldn’t have come out from those three tunnels.
Except for the three tunnels in this area, there was only the passage that they had just come through. If the stone men didn’t come from the three tunnels, could it be that they came from the passage as well?
Han Shuo’s heart was full of doubts. He didn’t continue observing the surrounding anymore, and sat still to think instead. He suddenly whistled in a low tone. The whistle started out faint and low, gradually became louder and high pitched, then ending in an echo like a dragon roar.
“Alright, if the stone men are close by, they will definitely hear it and come over. We only have to wait and see.” Han Shuo turned to tell the nervous looking miners.
End of part one of the chapter.
To Han Shuo’s left, Delia was bending down to survey the surroundings, revealing her breathtaking curves of her waist. She only wore a soft leather miniskirt on her lower body, accentuating the curve of her hips and her tantalizing bare legs. When Han Shuo caught sight of her when he turned to give orders to the miners, he couldn’t help but spend a little time savoring her round buttocks.
Most of the nervous miners didn’t notice, except for the three who accidentally saw this beautiful scene as well. The three young men all swallowed hard, and suddenly developed a slight hunch to their posture, trying to conceal a newly rising bulge..
Looking around, Delia abruptly turned around quickly, her bright eyes looking straight at Han Shuo, whose stare was fixed on her hips. Caught red handed, Han Shuo awkwardly coughed dryly and conscientiously turned his head away.
Delia was flushing red. She glared ferociously at the awkward Han Shuo and snorted lightly. She then angrily turned to the three miners and shouted, “What are you rascals looking at? Could it be you guys already want to seek death after I leave Mount SIlk for a few days?”
Finishing speaking, Delia lowered her voice to mutter, “Men really are no good!” It was unknown whether or not this sentence was deliberately said only for Han Shuo’s ears, but he’d heard it indeed. He secretly thought, ‘Aren’t women meant to be looked at by men? How did you know we were peeping at you? You bent over to expose that wonderfully beautiful curved butt. Wasn’t that intentional?’
As Han Shuo mused, several almost intangible wisps floated in from the three narrow tunnels. Han Shuo looked around but didn’t find anything that would’ve provoked them. However, as a necromancer and a demonic cultivator, he could immediately sense that these breaths was similar to the existence of the wraiths.
He quietly cast a soul exploration magic, observing the eight murky mists, which were hidden from human eyes, slowly moving to a few dark corners. They slowly spread out, each coiling on top of a large block of rock. They then imbued each rock with a strange power.
The originally solid rocks slowly became malleable after being suffused with these pulses of power. Afterwards, it was like someone was molding these rocks, as they split into eight stone men that the miners had faced before. Han Shuo, who was adept at both demonic magic and necromancy magic, saw this stone shaping process clearly.
After the eight stone men slowly emerged from the corners, Han Shuo finally understood how they’d suddenly appeared in this place last time. So it’s actually like this, hmm! Evidently, only the souls came out of those three narrow passages, which then used the rocks here to reform their bodies.
“Eight of them, with fully formed bodies. Are they getting ready to attack?” Han Shuo took out the skeletal staff to summon dozens of skeletal warriors as well as zombie warriors. Some of them surrounded Delia and the miners as Han Shuo looked at the eight stone men slowly coming out of the dark corners.
The rock ceiling of this area was too low, higher rank undead creatures like the hate warriors and evil knights would be hard pressed to display their full power. Only the short and small skeletal and zombie warriors could easily move about in this place.
Delia was scared out of her wits at suddenly being surrounded by a crowd of skeletal and zombie warriors. These undead creatures naturally didn’t look very pleasing to the eye, and the morass of deathly aura that enveloped them sent a shiver of fear through her.
However, upon hearing Han Shuo’s words and seeing that they only surrounded her without any intention to attack, Delia knew that these were the guards that Han Shuo had summoned for her. She then immediately felt reassured in her heart.
“My Lord, have the stone men appeared?” Delia calmed down and finally reacted to Han Shuo’s words, raising her dagger.
The light here was too dim. The eight stone men were also forming in the shadows, so Delia’s group simply couldn’t see their movement. Nodding his head, Han Shuo smiled and said, “That’s right, eight stone men.”
The eight scattered stone men suddenly began to attack Han Shuo as they spoke, charging in from the eight dark corners. Their bodies were formed from the iron ore of this mine, and thus ordinary magic attacks wouldn’t be very effective. Even standard weapons weren’t much of a threat to these stone men. No wonder so many miners had died here last time.
However, Han Shuo’s current body was much more solid than iron and rocks. He didn’t even need to take out the Demonslayer Edge to deal with these stone men; he just crouched and smashed directly into them.
“Interesting, just what kind of creature are you guys?” Han Shuo still had the leisure to ask questions even when wrestling with eight stone men.
Surrounded by the undead creatures, Delia watched Han Shuo face the attacks from the stone men without fear. Even though some fists and kicks connected, he didn’t respond at all. It was as if Han Shuo’s body was even more solid than the stone men made of iron ore.
Han Shuo slammed his bare fists on the eight stone men’s bodies. This time, it was them who was forced to retreat. Sounds of metal rang out as Han Shuo’s fists connected with their iron bodies, rendering Delia’s group speechless as they watched with eyes and mouths wide open.
In the Profound Continent, the only ones who counted as experts at close combat were swordsmen and knights. But they too had to use fighting aura to enhance the defensive abilities of their physical bodies. No one had ever heard of a physical body strong enough to not require the supplementation of fighting aura.
And indeed, Han Shuo wasn’t using the defensive power of magical yuan. He was simply using the durability of his body to forcefully block the stone men’s attacks. When his magical cultivation reached the separate demon realm, Han Shuo’s body was far sturdier than iron. Ordinary swords wouldn’t even leave a mark on him anymore
After fighting for a while and discovering that these eight stone men didn’t show any signs of communicating amongst themselves, Han Shuo became impatient. He began to gather a bit of magical yuan on his hands as he attacked. The stone men were already reeling from the physical blows, they couldn’t withstand these newly reinforced blows. Han Shuo grabbed their necks in his hand, ignoring the blows they were raining on his chests and beheading them with one crush.
The speed of Han Shuo’s movements suddenly increased. His fists, now packed with magical yuan, smashed the stone men’s bodies into fragments. In the blink of an eye, the eight stone men were completely pulverized into stone chips. Not a single whole block of stone remained.
“His Lordship is truly so strong!” A miner couldn’t stop mumbling, a look of worship on his face.
Delia’s pretty eyes glinted with a strange light as she stared at Han Shuo. She’d just watched him smash the stone men to shards using nothing but his bare hands. In the eyes of a woman who worshipped wild and strong men, this was far too irresistible. Delia couldn’t stop her heart from pounding.
“Want to run? Heh heh, won’t be that easy!” After Han Shuo destroyed the bodies of the eight stone men, the eight murky wisps from the three tunnels seemed to know that Han Shuo wasn’t someone they could deal with. They began to slowly gather, planning to return the way they’d come.
Be it his identity as a demonic cultivator or a necromancer, Han Shuo had methods aplenty to deal with this kind of weird soul. His left hand stretching out, a surge of murderous intent flooded out from his palm like a miniature vortex. This murderous intent was harmless to physical bodies, but those eight wisps were unable to resist its suction.
Not only were the eight souls unable to take a single step away from Han Shuo, they were slowly absorbed by the force of the small vortex on his palm. When the eight of them fell into his palm, they were tightly held down by the murderous intent, unable to break free.
“Speak! What kind of thing are you?” This time, Han Shuo didn’t speak audibly, but used his consciousness to transmit the message.
The murkiness of the eight souls whirling in the high speed of the vortex on his palm slowly dispersed, and they became eight sparkling green light dots. Just like eight beautiful shining stars, the tiny tornado in Han Shuo’s hand had become a facsimile of the deep and profound Milky Way.
What should have been a dark and scary scene had turned into an intoxicatingly beautiful picture in Delia’s eyes. It was as if Han Shuo’s hand was an endless starry sky, sparkling with the twinkling of the night stars. If, at this moment, someone asked her which man could pluck the stars from the night sky for her, she’d instantly answer without hesitation: it was definitely the man right in front of her. There was a sky full of stars in his grasp.
After using his consciousness to transmit the message, Han Shuo felt a weak response. The consciousness of these eight souls was too small compared to his powerful consciousness. Therefore, the message they transmitted was also very faint, “Mercy please. We are the miners who died to the mine collapse before. Our souls didn’t disperse, but drifted to a strange place and absorbed a strange energy, becoming what you see here.”
Han Shuo stilled his mind to listen carefully. When he gradually understood the message, he was stunned, “What was that strange place?”
“We don’t know either. Strange energy filled that area. We don’t know why our souls slowly became powerful when we absorbed some of that energy. We can even have the power to manipulate stone and form bodies of stone for ourselves. We couldn’t let the miners harvest that area and destroy that place of miraculous energy, so we attacked the miners. We beg you, please let us go. We won’t dare to do that from now on.” The eight souls on Han Shuo’s palm had joined together, clearing up the message they transmitted.
Han Shuo first frowned in doubt when he started listening, before inspiration struck. He suddenly yelled out in delight, “Haha, I know now. So that’s how it is!”
This joyous loud scream wasn’t a silent communication, but a loud cheer that broke through the air. This made Delia’s group jump in shock. They stared inexplicably at him, not knowing why he’d suddenly became so high spirited.
“My Lord, what is it?” When she looked at Han Shuo this time, Delia didn’t know why she suddenly felt that he was the most tempting of men. Her voice had unknowingly turned soft and tender.
“Nothing much.” Han Shuo took out the skeletal staff to send all of the undead creatures around Delia’s group back to the strange dimension. He then thought for a bit before responding, “You guys should stop mining from this area from now, or you’ll meet with danger. You can just come pick up harvested ore once a month. Mm, rest assured the stone men won’t attack you anymore. Alright, you guys leave first, leave this matter for me to handle.”
Delia’s crew was full of doubt at Han Shuo’s words. They only saw him easily annihilate the stone men, but didn’t know why he would say what he had.
“My Lord, can you tell us what’s going on here?” Delia thought for a moment before asking Han Shuo.
“Oh, the stone men have submitted to me. From now on, they will have to mine a portion of ore every month, at rates surely more productive than you. You only need to come here once a month to collect it. I have agreed to let them have the area around these three tunnels as their living place in return for helping you with the mining.” Han Shuo smiled and explained to Delia.
“But, didn’t the stone men die already?” Delia asked, puzzled.
“They didn’t. Their souls are still in my hand. You guys can be at ease and leave. From now on, you only have to come here once a month to collect the ore. This is the best of both worlds.” Han Shuo explained to Delia.
Delia had originally come looking for the stone men to settle their debt. Now that Han Shuo had destroyed their bodies, captured their souls, and offered such favorable conditions, she readily agreed to Han Shuo’s words without asking too much about it.
“Alright. I’ll leave with them first. I’ll wait for you at the entrance.” Delia didn’t ask why Han Shuo wanted to remain here. She spoke a few words to the miners before leading them back the way they’d come.
After Delia’s group left, Han Shuo followed the guidance of the stone men’s souls to crawl into a narrow tunnel on his belly. Proceeding forward for seven, eight hundred meters, he suddenly emerged into a vast area.
Every part of this area was covered by stones of various colors. The rock wall over his head was a light silver color, sparkling with a silvery sheen. A variety red, purple and white ores were present, some of which Han Shuo knew and some he’d never heard of before. They were scattered everywhere in this wondrous area.
A dense sense of metal element filled the area. There was an enormous rock pillar in the center exuding a concentrated force of metal.
The place of extreme metal – the last of the five places of extreme elements, had finally revealed itself in front of Han Shuo!