Book 3 Chapter 62 Monopolize
The glaring white lake of lava bubbled.
Teng Qingshan emerged from the dark tunnel. Seeing him emerge, Du Hong quickly asked, “Lieutenant, did you manage to catch the guy?”
“There were too many forks in these maze-like tunnels. Furthermore, it‘s pitch black inside……” Teng Qingshan shook his head and instructed, “Alright, let’s forget about the chap for now. We’ve found the Black Fire Spirit Fruit, but it obviously needs more time before it matures. Let’s head back first.”
“Mmm, we need to report this to the commander.” Du Hong also nodded.
“When we obtain this Black Fire Spirit Fruit, who do you think the sect will give it to?” Teng Qingshan asked.
Du Hong spoke out, “It was lieutenant who thought that something was amiss in this valley and rushed over! Not only did we find it because of the lieutenant, lieutenant’s martial prowess is also at the top amongst the younger generation in the Gui Yuan Sect. Regardless of whether potential or achievements is being considered, it would most likely be awarded to the lieutenant.”
“Yes, you are right.” Teng Qinghu nodded.
“The Black Fire Spirit Fruit has yet to enter our hands, so there’s no point in thinking about this right now.” Teng Qingshan smiled as he headed back the way they came from. “Let’s go back.”
“I feel thirsty after staying in this place for just a short while.” Teng Qinghu wiped his forehead, which was covered in sweat.
Even if it was a quite a distance from the entrance, it was generally about sixty degrees in the underground area. Under such temperatures, of course they would sweat profusely. Thankfully, they were all strong warriors. Ordinary people would probably faint from the intense heat.
As they followed the dark path in the deep crevice, Teng Qingshan and company grabbed onto the vines and quickly climbed upwards. They ascended a height of a hundred Zhang in one breath and, with a single leap, jumped onto the flat platform of the cave’s path.
The three of them leapt out of the crevice and headed for the entrance of the cave.
“Wait for a bit, don’t be in a rush to head out. Look through the gaps to check if there are other people outside. We’ll head out once we confirm that there’s no one else in the vicinity.” Teng Qingshan said. Both Du Hong and Teng Qinghu nodded. They both understood……the path in this cave was an absolute secret that they had to protect.
The three of them walked up to the entrance before Teng Qingshan peeked outside through the gaps between the vines.
Other than the men from the Black Armored Army in the valley, there were two other ordinary warriors.
“Hold up.” Teng Qingshan said.
Teng Qinghu and Du Hong quietly waited. Teng Qingshan realised that……the two ordinary warriors seemed to be fearful of the Black Armored Army, and they quickly left the valley.
“Go, go down.” Teng Qingshan took the lead, pushed back the vines and leapt downward.
Only powerful First Rated Warriors would dare to jump down from a height of over ten Zhang. This would not expose Teng Qingshan’s capabilities, but would instead increase the level of admiration from the soldiers of the Black Armored Army.
He landed directly on the ground from a height of over ten Zhang.
With his exceptional control over his body, Teng Qingshan easily negated the impact.
Teng Qinghu followed suit and leapt down while holding onto the vines. After he slid down a couple of Zhang, he clutched the vines tightly to stop himself before he leaped and landed easily on the ground after stepping against the cliff wall.
“Hu!” Du Hong imitated Teng Qinghsan and leapt straight down from the entrance of the cave.
“Old Du.” Teng Qingshan was astonished.
But before he landed, Du Hong shrunk his body and made a tumble to deflect the impact.
“Lieutenant is truly great. At such a height, I was also not able to negate all the impact and thus had to resort to a tumble.” Du Hong laughed out loud. Teng Qinghu jested as he came over, “Old Du, even I relied on the vines. You are not showing me face by directly jumping down. What do you think should be done now?”
“I’ll give you a jug of my wine tonight.” Du Hong laughed and said.
“One jug?” Teng Qinghu shook his head. “No, you won’t be drinking tonight. All your wine will be mine!”
Ji Hong was strict in regulating the amount of alcohol they could drink. Since they had to search for their targets in the afternoon, they couldn’t drink much during this time. While they could drink more at night, it was limited to only three jugs per centurion.
“All three jugs to you?”
“What? If you find it too little, you can give me your wine tomorrow as well.”
Teng Qingshan ignored the two and gave out instructions to the rest of the Black Armored Army. “The first small team will stay in this valley for now. It would be best if you can remain hidden amongst the underbrush. Keep an eye on the entrance to the cave! If you find the lean man whom I brought in earlier, capture him.”
“Yes!” The first team of troops received their orders.
“Lord Lieutenant, what if that person tries to escape?” The first team spoke out.
Teng Qingshan said calmly, “Then break his legs! If he tries to fight to the death, then there’s no need to go easy on him!”
“Yes.” The men heaved a sigh of relief. With Teng Qingshan’s words, they would have less things to worry about.
At noon, Guan Lu led her team back to the campsite, followed by Ji Hong. When both teams arrived, Teng Qingshan, who had rushed back earlier, invited Guan Lu and Ji Hong into a tent to hold a secret discussion.
“What did you say?!” Ji Hong was astonished.
Guan Lu also looked at Teng Qingshan in surprise. Since the start of the search, there had been no news relating to the discovery of the Black Fire Spirit Fruit’s location.
Teng Qingshan nodded. “Yes, I just managed to discover where the Black Fire Spirit Fruit is growing this morning. The location is incredibly hot.” It was, of course, scorching because of the flowing lava.
“Quickly share the details.” Ji Hong was elated by this news.
Teng Qingshan immediately started to share the details. Beside him, Ji Hong and Guan Lu were excited and also slightly shocked to hear that the Black Fire Spirit Fruit was in such proximity to a lake of lava.
“But the fellow who led the way escaped into the tunnels, and I haven’t been able to find him since. It was pitch black inside, a complete maze.” Teng Qingshan said. “I ordered a team of men to remain concealed within the valley and wait for us. Once the man leaves the cave, he will definitely not be able to escape.”
Ji Hong nodded after listening to this.
“Haha, Qingshan, you did a good job this time!” The happy Ji Hong gave Qingshan a pat on his shoulders. “Once we get rid of the man who escaped, only our Gui Yuan Sect will be aware of this news! The Black Fire Spirit Fruit and Black Fire Spirit Root will then be within our grasp!”
Guan Lu also looked towards Teng Qingshan.
She could not understand why Teng Qingshan was always able to render meritorious services.
“For now, we need to keep this a secret!” Ji Hong said. “We can’t let the others find out……Let’s do it this way. We’ll go about as usual for our midday meal. When we go out to search in the afternoon, Qingshan and Guan Lu, the two of you will follow me as I enter the cave quietly to take a good look.”
Ji Hong and Guan Lu had not seen the Black Fire Spirit Fruit and would not be able to have peace of mind if they did not see it with their own eyes.
That afternoon, Teng Qingshan, Ji Hong, and Guan Lu brought their men into the Blazing Mountain. Very soon, the three quietly entered the valley.
“Commander, lieutenant.” The small team of men immediately came out from the underbrush.
“Has the chap exited the tunnels yet?” Teng Qingshan asked.
“No.” The leader of the team shook his head.
Teng Qingshan was unaware……that the lean man would never be able to come out again.
“Hmm, I reckon that he must have gotten lost in the maze and has not been able to find his way out.” Teng Qingshan then instructed, “Mmm, you guys can take a break first. Second team, bring out the food and let them eat.” The members from the second team brought out warm food from their bags and passed it to the men from the first team.
On the other hand, Teng Qingshan, Ji Hong, and Guan Lu headed for the short cliff.
Teng Qingshan scanned the surroundings, and upon seeing that there was no one around, he pointed at the cave, “It’s there!”
“It truly is well hidden on the cliff and covered by vines!” Ji Hong smiled. “The Blazing Mountain is so big and contains countless small mountain peaks. No one would climb the cliffs as they were searching. Even if they pay heed to the cliffs, it would still be hard to find this hidden cave. Alright, Qingshan, take the lead.”
Teng Qingshan carried the Reincarnation Spear on his back and ascended about ten Zhang with a single leap. With a tap of his feet, he reached the entrance of the cave and quickly entered it.
“Qingshan’s Qing Gong is not bad.” Ji Hong praised.
With an uncaring ‘humph’, Guan Lu also leapt up a height of about eight to nine Zhang, tapped on a protruding rock on the cliff wall, and flew into the entrance. Ji Hong took a look at his surroundings and quickly entered as well!
The deep crevice, the heavy fog, and the scorching lava astonished Ji Hong and Guan Lu. The high temperature of the flowing lava, especially, made Ji Hong and Guan Lu wary, so they kept their distance from it. It was not that they didn’t have the courage to go near, but rather that they didn’t wish to waste their inner strength!
To get close, they would need to exert a lot of their inner strength in order to resist the ferocious heat.
They were not able to move like Teng Qingshan. who could walk closely besides the flowing river of lava without taking precautions. Of course, Teng Qingshan followed Ji Hong and Guan Lu’s example, keeping a safe distance between him and the flowing lava.
“Haha……It really is the Black Fire Spirit Fruit!” From the side of the lake of lava, the three of them could make out the the Black Fire Spirit Fruit, which was in the middle of the lake.
“Qingshan, you did a fantastic job.” Ji Hong smiled happily.
“From today onwards, we will come here once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Once it matures, we will harvest it immediately. Do not let that Red Scaled Beast get it first!” Ji Hong solemnly said, “Since the Black Fire Spirit Fruit is growing here, the Red Scaled Beast definitely will come by often. Furthermore, the Red Scaled Beast will reach maturity soon, with a height of two Zhang……A lone warrior of the Postliminary Realm would not be much of a threat to it. Only an innate master or a group of warriors of the Postliminary Realm will be able to handle it.”
As planned, Teng Qingshan and company seemed to go on about their usual routine, except when Ji Hong, Guan Lu, and Qingshan would secretly sneak into the cave twice a day. Once in the morning, and once in the afternoon. Afterall, Teng Qingshan and the company were not sure when the Black Fire Spirit Fruit would mature.
Three days passed in this manner.
Wu Dai was a warrior who liked to roam the world. On such a grand occasion where countless warriors were gathering at the Blazing Mountain, he would of course join the party. But to him, it was exciting to see the various challenges or revenges that were occurring every night; his task of looking for the Black Fire Spirit Fruit during the day was quite boring in comparison.
“With my abilities, even if I get my hands on the Black Fire Spirit Fruit, I won’t be able to keep it for myself.” Wu Dai searched for a while before he looked for a mountain peak and cozily laid below a big tree in order to enjoy an afternoon nap in the cool mountain breeze.
Wu Dai opened his years, and with a flip, he climbed up the side of the cliff and looked down the valley. There were actually three people here.
“Aren’t they…Gui Yuan Sect’s Commander Ji Hong…that person is Teng Qingshan……and the female……” Wu Dai’s eyes lit up as he retracted his head and quietly looked down from the grass. He saw Teng Qingshan, Ji Hong, and the lady quickly enter a cave in another cliff one after another.
These three people made sure to scan the surroundings in order to check whether there were any other people around each time they entered.
“Hmm? They are being so careful, and that cave is so well hidden! Don’t tell me that place is……” Wu Dai’s eyes lit up, and the smile on his face grew brighter and brighter. “After roaming for so many years, it appears that I, Wu Dai, am finally changing my luck for the better!”