Something heavy fell into the water.
Lu Sheng plunged into the dark blue pond like a cannonball, creating a splash that was more than 10 meters tall. The gravitational force increased the speed of his fall, and he stabbed into the depths of the pond like a fish.
At the bottom of the dark blue and dark pond were black granite walls that had holes in them like a beehive.
When Lu Sheng descended, he caught a glimpse of robes disappearing into one of the beehive openings.
Without hesitation, he went after the person.
The water was cold, extremely cold. There were practically no schools of fish or any algae growth. The most peculiar thing about this pond was that its waters were dense.
Lu Sheng thought for a moment that this was not water. However, upon closer inspection, he could not distinguish this liquid from water. Besides its density, this liquid was exactly the same as water.
It even tasted the same.
“Glug, glug, glug…”
He blew a stream of bubbles and shot into the beehive opening. He intended to catch up with the wearer of the robes he saw.
However, when he got into the little cave, he could not see any trace of another person within the pitch-black and winding tunnel.
His surroundings were dark and quiet. Lu Sheng proceeded at speed and passed another bend. He moved with incredible agility; even though this body of his had no special abilities related to water, his main body had gained insight on water-related rules and nature.
As he applied it in his current situation, he moved with a speed on par with the swiftest of fishes.
After chasing for more than 10 minutes, there was a suddenly faint glow at the end of the darkness. There seemed to be someone talking at the other end of the light.
“Cliss, Chris, Arridarras!”
“Cliss, Chris, Arridarras!”
The muffled chants sounded like cheers or shouts of prayers. They were coming from that light.
Lu Sheng moved closer. The light source was right above his head. It glowed with a faint blue hue and illuminated the water column from above.
Lu Sheng’s body was cast in a blue light.
He paused slightly and listened intently. However, the voices which he was able to hear just moments ago seemed to fade away as he concentrated on them.
Lu Sheng waited for a little while longer. He no longer heard any new sounds from the other end.
He narrowed his eyes and silently floated up so that his eyes were above water.
He was greeted with a ghastly pale sight. It was bright, almost too bright.
The sun hung in the ghastly pale sky like a silver oyster. However, when Lu Sheng cast his gaze at it, he could feel a heavy sense of death and withering.
To him, the sun appeared like a withering flower.
He shifted his gaze to his surroundings.
Everywhere he looked, there were endless piles of bones.
The wind disturbed the bone powder that had settled on the landscape, forming a white, misty sandstorm which traveled slowly across the land. The bones on the other side could be vaguely seen.
Lu Sheng cast his senses about. He did not pick up any living creature. Then, he slowly pulled himself out of the pond.
“This place…” He looked in the faraway direction. As far as his eyes could see, the land was covered in piles of bones.
Some of these piles formed lofty mountains that touched the skies. Some formed a vast plain where a horse could gallop quickly across. Everywhere he looked, he could only see bones and more bones.
Lu Sheng walked away from the pond. Then, he turned back to look at the place where he emerged from.
The pond was covered by a giant bony palm. He had just walked through the opening between the bone and the pond.
What surprised Lu Sheng was that although he had seen his fair share of bones, the bones before him struck him as odd. They were all bones from humanoid creatures.
He picked up a random thigh bone from the ground and studied it.
‘It is a human’s thigh bone. Judging from this, the time of death should be more than 10,000,000 years ago…’ With his grandmaster-level medical skills, he had absolute confidence in himself for estimating these matters.
He had amazing medical skills and cultivated in many power systems. All he needed was to use some of his Soil Qi to inspect the bone, and he would be able to quickly calculate the age of this bone with various equations.
‘However, I clearly heard the voices of men just now…’ Lu Sheng looked up at his surroundings. There was no other sound besides the wind.
He narrowed his eyes, and his nostrils moved as he took a whiff of the air. Then, with a slight preparatory movement, he shot out with lightning speed.
In the span of a few breaths, he covered several hundred meters. He stood atop a huge pile of bones.
He looked down from his high vantage point. There was a badly damaged bone temple in the distance. It seemed deserted. It quickly caught Lu Sheng’s attention.
‘Let’s check that out first. I might be able to get some clues from there.’
He shifted his feet and shot out with lightning speed again. With a few light taps on the bones along the way, he reached the doors of the bone temple in a dozen breaths.
Only two of the bone temple’s four bones walls were left standing. The missing faces were eroded by time and fell.
Lu Sheng walked over the crumbled wall and went inside.
Inside, he found a scene that resembled a classical Chinese garden, with its winding paths, archways, and zones cordoned off by gardens and manors.
Lu Sheng shattered the bone wall before him and walked in a straight line toward the center.
The center of this temple was a spacious hall more than 10 meters tall. On the sides of the hall stood ghastly pale totem poles.
The totem poles were inscribed with carvings of strange-looking men with birds’ wings for ears. They were bare-chested and seemed to be engaged in some kind of ritual.
Beyond the center, there were many more smaller-sized people kneeling and worshipping them from all directions. They were offering up generous amounts of food and fruit of their hunts.
Lu Sheng wiped some bone powder off a totem pole. With a touch of his Soil Qi, he made some simple calculations, and his expression turned grim very quickly.
“There’s at least billions of years of history here…”
It should be known that the weaker planets might not even have a history of billions of years. It was incredible for this totem to have survived such a long time.
After his initial shock, Lu Sheng remembered why he was here in the first place. He was here to bring Pang Yuanjun back to enjoy a wonderful time as a family.
When he thought of this, he quickly made a lap around the temple’s hall. He quickly noticed a badly damaged deity statue that was more than 10 meters tall.
The upper half of the statue had broken off and was nowhere to be seen. Only the lower half, covered in a long skirt, remained. An assortment of bones of varying sizes was laid out before the statue. They seemed to be mostly human skull bones.
Lu Sheng inspected them briefly. These skull bones also had several thousand years of history.
Also, he noticed a spear lying against the wall to the statue’s right.
On the wall which the spear leaned against, he could see rows and rows of unique runes that seemed to form some sort of script.
Lu Sheng studied it briefly, but could not decipher the language.
He was not omnipotent, after all. Although he was knowledgeable, there were too many independent and original languages throughout the various universes. It was impossible for him to grasp them all.
After giving up on deciphering the runes, Lu Sheng walked around the statue again and discovered an exit behind it.
He walked through the exit and saw neat rows of burial mounds.
‘This must be the graveyard of this temple,’ he guessed.
There was an unexplainable and faint aura of rot in the air.
Lu Sheng walked up to the graveyard’s entrance and did not go further. This rotten aura even made his skin uncomfortable.
“Hmm?” He suddenly looked down. His palm was on the frame of the door. Part of his hand had passed the threshold into the graveyard. He could now see faint liver spots appearing on the back of his hand.
‘I didn’t even sense the power of this place…’ A chill ran down Lu Sheng’s spine. He took a step back. He quickly directed his Soil Qi to the back of his hand to heal his skin. The liver spots faded away swiftly.
However, he clearly felt that the longevity of this body of his had been reduced by at least 10 years.
There were no power or energy waves. He merely extended his hand absent-mindedly into the area of the graveyard and had lost 10 years of his life…
Lu Sheng’s expression was grim. With the nourishment from his Soil Qi, it would not have been a problem for this body to survive for thousands of years, but he would not accept having his lifespan reduced by 10 years without explanation.
He took several steps back. He caught a glimpse of a broken totem pole at the side. He walked over and gave it a kick.
With a muffled sound, the totem pole was spun and crashed heavily into the graveyard. Then, with a loud boom, it stabbed into the top of a burial mound and stayed there.
Save for it creating clouds of ashes, there were no other movements.
Lu Sheng narrowed his eyes slightly and looked at the graveyard before himself. He directed his Soil Qi into the five fingers of his extended arm and slowly moved closer toward the graveyard.
Pang Yuanjun pulled the screaming Sand King back. He quickly pulled him back from the edges of the Bone Abyss.
Elders Jing Han behind them also broke out in a cold sweat from the fright. They quickly ran over.
A few moments ago, a sudden gust of gray wind had inexplicably hit them. The Sand King had been hurrying along his way silently when the wind blew. He immediately fell into kind of trance and walked straight toward the nearby Bone Abyss without a word.
If Pang Yuanjun had not noticed something wrong about him and pulled him back in time, the Sand King would have fallen into the abyss just like that. His fate would have been unknown.
“Huh… Huh… Huh…”
The Sand King’s chest rose and fell, and color drained from his face. Huge beads of sweat kept dripping from his sideburns.
“…You saved my life! I owe you one,” he said earnestly to Pang Yuanjun.
“Be careful. There’s something fishy and strange about this ruin. Anything can happen,” Pang Yuanjun instructed them in a low voice.
This was not their first time here.
A treasured medicine that could improve their cultivation bases was somewhere in this ruin. However, there were also countless peculiar threats and dangers lurking around here.
The gray air flow was one of them.
“We’ve been too hurried this time. Our timing’s not right. As we have entered earlier than we’ve planned, the coordinates we’ve calculated before this are off as well. We can only count on ourselves now. I hope there won’t be any accidents,” said Su Han in a low voice.
Xu Sunjing leaned on her staff. She took the water gourd bottle hanging from her waste and took a gulp.
“I’m sure we’re not the only ones who’ve gotten wind of the Gray World’s opening. The three great sects have always kept an eye on sources pertaining to this matter. They might be in here as well. If we run into them, we must be careful.”
“A rift into the Gray World will open every 10 years. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, the three great sects will certainly not let it slip. Although this is a dangerous place, the two great Martial Monarchs have achieved their breakthroughs here. In any case, we must exercise as much caution as we can,” said the Sand King with a nod.