Chapter 103: Void Nightmare
Su Chen was immediately entangled by countless vines as soon as he jumped into the mouth, which wrapped around him and sent him deeper and deeper into the tree. Even with his strength, he felt quite disoriented being pulled around so violently - the secret realm wasn’t being particularly gentle with him.
But after passing through the long entrance and reaching the heart of the tree, Su Chen opened his eyes and found a wide-open expanse in front of his eyes.
Before him stood an entire forest of Nest Trees.
Nest Trees were a special kind of tree belonging to the Harpies in particular. Their surface was incredibly hard to the touch, and they were very flexible during their growth process, making them very responsive to their environment. The environment would direct the growth of the trees, beautifully blending these two attributes of flexibility and sturdiness. This was why the Harpies used these trees to build rooms. As long as they adjusted the branches of the Nest Tree in a certain direction, the branches would grow according to the predetermined path, eventually forming a natural house. They wouldn’t even need to use axes to sculpt it.
The Harpies had a preference for naturally-occurring things, which was why they also particularly liked to use these Nest Trees to sculpt their homes.
The rooms in the clouds might have been prepared for the Harpy nobles to use, but these Nest Trees were where the Harpy commoners lived.
Each one of these Nest Trees in the vast forest before him had been carefully sculpted into a livable environment.
“Heavens! What a large forest of Nest Trees! This is basically a naturally-occurring city!” Youthful Abundance, who had followed him in, yelled.
To the Harpies, this was indeed something to be very excited about.
“So that’s how it is. I understand now!” Flaming Femme muttered to herself.
“What do you understand?” Su Chen asked.
Flaming Femme answered, “I understand what happened to this secret realm now.”
“What is it?” everyone asked.
Flaming Femme said, “This should be a battle fortress left behind for us by the legendary Jade Clearmist.”
“Battle fortress!” everyone yelled in shock.
The Floating Point battle fortresses were all castles that the Harpies took great pride in. Those battle fortresses were what they had relied on to stake a claim for themselves on this continent.
It could be said that each battle fortress was the pride of the Harpies.
And now, Flaming Femme was telling them that here was yet another battle fortress?
Su Chen’s eyes lit up. “Yes, this is a battle fortress, but it wasn’t exactly successful.”
Jade Clearmist was a legendary Arcana Master, so he naturally had some legendary pursuits. Otherwise, that would have been a shame to his title as a legendary Arcana Master. This legendary Arcana Master had therefore fittingly decided to construct a battle fortress all on his own.
Su Chen, on the other hand, could only chuckled at that idea.
Without even looking at what Jade Clearmist had left behind, Su Chen knew that he had failed. Otherwise, this battle fortress wouldn’t have remained hidden for all this time.
Based on the tree’s layout, it appeared that Jade Clearmist’s plan was to create a battle fortress by using a kind of plant that could morph and change shape. He had even fostered a large number of Nest Trees within the tree in order to meet everyone’s living needs.
Apart from the small city of Nest Trees, large numbers of utility facilities lined the walls of the tree. However, it was immediately apparent from first glance that these facilities had not been completed.
Since the main idea was a failure, there was no point in trying to finish up the interior.
It was obvious that Jade Clearmist had spent a lot of time building the tree, perhaps spending his blood, sweat, and tears all on this tree.
Perhaps this was also why the tree hadn’t fully manifested itself the last time the small clan had come.
Because they had brought the damaged soul of an Astral with them.
Since this battle fortress was specifically meant for the Harpies to use, it was only natural that it wouldn’t emerge if the aura of a foreign race was nearby.
Since Su Chen had his real wings, no one could tell that he was not a Harpy.
This was probably the greatest treasure that Jade Clearmist had ever left behind for the Harpies. On the other hand, the Wind-Gathering Clan felt incredibly regretful as well - what would they do with this tree, which they had no way of bringing with them?
They were after treasures that could be taken with them.
But perhaps there were still treasures stored within the Nest Tree city, right?
“Let’s go and see. We won’t know if there are any treasures unless we check it out for ourselves,” Su Chen said as he waved his sleeves, taking the lead to walk into the town.
The Nest Tree city was completely silent. No motion could be seen anywhere.
But as they got closer and closer, they began to hear the faint sound of skittering.
“Hm? What noise is that?” Everyone glanced at each other.
“Everyone, be careful. There might be something bad coming our way,” Su Chen said in a low voice.
“Since Jade Clearmist left behind this castle for us, there shouldn’t be any traps, right?” one of the Wind-Gathering Clan’s Harpies said.
Su Chen chuckled coldly. “If that was the case, how was the earlier Astral killed? And why would this fortress need to be hidden in the first place?”
“This……” Everyone was rendered speechless.
“That’s why I’m telling you to be careful. Just because Jade Clearmist left behind this secret realm for the Harpies doesn’t mean that there is no danger here,” Su Chen said.
As he spoke, a black fog suddenly began to build up in the Nest Tree city, as if under Su Chen’s command.
No one believed for a second that this black fog wasn’t dangerous.
A moment later, the fog began to roil out of the city in their direction, immediately enveloping them and restricting their eyesight. It was impossible for them to even make out their fingers in front of their face. Even those with exceptional perception wouldn’t be able to figure out exactly what was happening.
Most shockingly, once the black fog enveloped them, they immediately found that it was impossible for them to hear anyone around them anymore.
Su Chen knew that they hadn’t died - this black fog was able to strongly suppress an individual’s senses, bringing them to their lowest state.
This also meant that anyone wrapped up in the fog was truly blind and deaf.
Su Chen didn’t seem to mind. He stood there motionless, able to perceive that some malicious entity was closing in on him.
This was only possible because of his strong consciousness power. The others were probably completely unaware of what was going on around them.
Su Chen suddenly opened his eyes wide as a strange light began to flicker across his eyes, activating his microscopic eyes.
Su Chen’s microscopic eyes were able to perceive even the smallest details, down to the very principles governing the inner workings of nature. They were not so useful at seeing through fabricated realities, but if he used them to cultivate investigative techniques, the effects would be enhanced significantly. After all, the Arcanists had relied on such eyes to power their investigations.
Once Su Chen activated his detection skill, he found white shadows floating back and forth through the white fog.
“Oh? These are Nihility Shadows?” Su Chen said with some shock.
Nihility Shadows were a rare kind of demonic creature. Su Chen could recognize them because of how many books he had read.
These kinds of creatures were incredibly strange. They had no physical bodies, so they could only exist in this kind of strange fog. Despite that, they were still able to absorb lifeforce.
These Nihility Shadows floated forwards, obviously intending on turning Su Chen into their food. They began to suck away intensely at Su Chen’s lifeforce.
They were exactly like spectres in the darkness. Because they were formless, it was difficult to detect them, and their attacks caused no pain. Many people would eventually have all of their lifeforce drained and never even realize what had happened to them.
But once their presence was revealed, the threats these shadows posed became much more limited.
When Su Chen saw that a bunch of Nihility Shadows wanted to swallow him up, he coldly chuckled, “You damn ghosts. Die!”
A powerful aura began to surge from his body.
At this point, the benefit of the human cultivation system was beginning to manifest itself.
When dealing with ghost-like apparitions, the strength innately coming from the human body was far superior to relying on Origin Energy absorbed from the environment via cultivation techniques.
The Nihility Shadows retreated as if they had been exposed to brilliant sunlight when Su Chen unleashed the full power of his human body in all directions, shrieking and hissing with fear. Even their shrieks and hisses were silent; however, Su Chen’s consciousness power was strong enough to allow him to sense them.
This also helped him realize that there seemed to be layers even to sounds. Perhaps there were some kinds of sound that could only be discovered under certain circumstances?
Perhaps this was worth a shot.
Even though he appeared lost in thought, his movements weren’t slow in the slightest. Since the black fog was dulling everyone’s senses anyways, no one would know what kind of skill he had used. As he revolved the Immaculate Cultivation Technique to its greatest extent, spreading its influence as far as he could, he was able to slaughter all of the Nihility Shadows trying to get close to him very quickly.
His attack radius was so great that the other Harpies also came under his protection. Otherwise, these Nihility Shadows probably would have killed off most of the Wind-Gathering Clan’s disciples.
At that point, however, a strange hiss suddenly became audible.
Within the dark fog, a black shadow shot forwards right at Su Chen.
This time, the shadow was not so formless. It was both incredibly quick and viciously powerful.
Su Chen only had time to raise his arm and block the attack, which actually sent him flying as it slammed into his arm.
Thankfully, since his physical body was stronger than most, he was not particularly wounded by this sudden attack. The speed of that dark shadow, however, left him speechless.
Su Chen had only just regained his balance when three more streaks suddenly shot at the dark shadow.
Su Chen knew that these shadows had targeted him. He unsheathed the Flowing Gold Blade, at the same time activating his four-faced Primordial Blood Incarnation. The Flowing Gold Blade, which was originally at the Eighth-Ring level, was suddenly elevated to the Ninth-Ring level with the added power of the Primordial Blood Incarnation. This was Su Chen’s strongest killing blow. He had no opportunity to use it in the past, but by borrowing the concealment of the dark fog, he was finally able to go all-out just once.
This single attack wiped out the three attacking shadows.
“Hiss!” the shadows shrieked tragically.
Three spurts of black blood shot through the air as three large chunks of meat fell to the ground.
Su Chen was able to clearly see that he had just cut off three tentacles.
“So it is the Void Nightmare Seal.” Su Chen wasn’t surprised at all.
The Void Nightmare Seal was a void organism, and it naturally existed in symbiosis with the Nihility Shadows. Even though the Void Nightmare Seal was very powerful, its main body could not move. The Nihility Shadows served as carriers, moving the Void Nightmare Seal around. Occasionally, they would even hunt for it. In return, they received the protection of this powerful void lifeform. When they ran into an opponent that they couldn’t defeat, the Void Nightmare Seal would attack.
As such, Su Chen immediately attacked with his strongest killing blow, because he was extremely clear what he was facing.
Indeed, following that shrill cry, countless tentacles began to surge forwards, coiling in Su Chen’s direction.
A huge battle began to take place under the cover of the dark fog.