Chapter 1132: The same location


Long Feiye wanted Tang Li to shout?

Everyone was puzzled, Tang Li included. He asked, “Big bro, what are you planning?”

This method wouldn’t lure Bai Yanqing to them, but send him running even farther away!

“Stop wasting time and shout!” Long Feiye pressed.

Tang Li loudly went “ahhhhh,” even dragging out the sound. Han Yunxi and the rest all covered their ears, but Long Feiye listened carefully. At the end, Tang Li looked at Long Feiye and seemed to recall something. He immediately turned to run for the stone room. Long Feiye and the rest hurried after him, but Tang Li was already shouting out loud inside the room!

His voice was even louder than before, but it didn’t travel beyond the nearby surroundings. Both Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue were no fools and soon understood Long Feiye’s reasoning. They were in a hurry to rescue the hostages but didn’t notice this abnormality! Even if Ning Jing had a loud voice, her shouts inside the stone room shouldn’t have reached so far. Han Yunxi remembered running here took plenty of time, so she was very far away from the “imprisoned Ning Jing.” 

“Could it be that Ning Jing’s not here at all? But it sounded like the screams came from this stone room?” Gu Beiyue wondered.

Tang Li knitted his brows before he exclaimed, “I got it!”

As he unsheathed his sword to probe for switches in the ceiling, he explained. “Ning Jing should be above the stone room. I remember reading about a secret switch technique in one of my books. Some mazes will use special structural designs and materials to amplify sound across distances. In certain locations, a normal sound will be magnified. In fact, it’d even affect people’s perception of its location.”

Han Yunxi was taken aback by the news. Amplification and reduction of noise was commonplace in modern settings, but she never thought Cloud Realm Continent could grasp the principles without using any electricity. As expected, the past is full of strange things. Sometimes the ancients are even smarter than modern men,

“Big bro, we might have been tricked. Ning Jing and Su Xiaoyu might have been together all this time! Maybe at the topmost layer of the maze.” Tang Li was very excited. Every time he found a clue that could lead to Ning Jing, hope filled him. Even though all those hopes had led to nothing so far, he had never given up.

Long Feiye raised his sword to help Tang Li probe for hidden switches in the ceiling. Gu Qishao looked at Tang Li and suddenly realized that he was a complex fellow to know so much about secret switches! Truly speaking, Tang Li was no simpleton. His interest in secret switches and tunnels far surpassed his interest in assassination weapons. Because the two fields overlapped frequently, he could study the former quickly and understand even the most ancient, complicated texts. 

In his life, Tang Li had never met a switch he couldn’t crack. Very soon, he found what he was looking for.

“Big bro, all of you, get out of the way. Move to the left--there’s probably hidden weapons on the right,” he told them sternly.

Han Yunxi was filled with hope at the sight of such a Tang Li. She was certain he’d be able to track down Ning Jing. As Tang Li activated the switch, multiple daggers flew down from the ceiling’s right side at impossible speeds to dodge. Without his help, they would’ve been in deep trouble.

“Heheh, impressive!” Gu Qishao gave a rare speech of praise.

Tang Li chuckled at him. “Of course!”

After activating the first switch, the two slabs of rock above them slowly split apart. Looking up, they saw an endless passage above them. Tang Li was about to fly up when Long Feiye grabbed him. Then he wanted to go, but Gu Qishao beat him to the punch. When it came to things like traps, it was best he faced them first. Without Tang Li having to explain, Gu Qishao perched on the slab and gave a soft shout down. Unexpectedly, his voice was amplified as a result.

“Gu Qishao, quick, see if there’s a red rock anywhere near you?” Tang Li urged.

Gu Qishao lit a match and searched around him before he laughed. “It’s not just one, but a whole bunch! I’ll take them all with me afterwards.” The red rocks around him felt strange to the touch, but these were the Amplifying Rocks that Tang Li had been describing before. When Gu Qishao tried whispering to them directly, his voice turned even louder than before.

“I guessed right! Ning Jing has to be above us!” Tang Li rejoiced.

If this was any other day, he’d be digging up the rocks instead because they were considered treasures. But no treasure could compare to the one in his heart: Ning Jing!

“Big bro, I’ve seen this setup before. The secret passage here should be at least as tall as a ten-storey building. Let’s hurry up there, Bai Yanqing might still be walking below it!” Tang LI said tensely.

“Gu Qishao, head up!” Long Feiye urged.

Gu Qishao didn’t dawdle as he flew straight up. Gu Beiyue followed closely behind, with Tang LI in the center and Long Feiye and Han Yunxi bringing up the rear. It was possible Bai Yanqing was still moving about in the maze below them. He wouldn’t have expected them to discover this direct passage up. As long as they made it to Ning Jing before him, it’d be a cinch to rescue her.

The group of five headed up posthaste, their hearts filled with hope. Tang Li was grinning so hard he even forgot to feel nervous. It’ll be okay as long as we find Ning Jing. As long as I see her!

There wasn’t much talk as Gu Qishao flew ever upwards, hoping to get there just a little faster. After all, his speed determined the speed of the group. Tang LI was actually the slowest of the bunch, so Gu Beiyue waited for him to catch up before hauling him after him. Han Yunxi allowed Long Feiye to hold her as they soon reached another stone room. They came out from its right wall and saw that the inside was empty. However, there was another hole on its left side which also led to a straight, vertical shaft. Without a doubt, more Amplifying Rocks were buried in the shaft. Their guesses had been right: Ning Jing and little Yu’er had been together the entire time. They hadn’t heard their real screams, but the sound of their screams amplified and released in different directions.

Once again, Tang Li was disappointed. Still, he didn’t need Long Feiye or Han Yunxi to console him. Seeing the door to the stone room still open, he rushed out and saw a single tunnel before him. Before Han Yunxi could shout at him to hold on, he backtracked into the room. Without a peep, he began to inspect the entire stone room again. 

His final conclusion was, “This stone room only has three exits. Two of them are ordinary tunnels and one is a door. They could have ran out through the door or used the other amplifying shaft to escape.”

“Which one do you pick?” Long Feiye asked.

Tang LI looked at the group seriously, his expression hesitantly. After a while, he said, “The amplifying shaft.”

Long Feiye rapped his knuckles against Tang Li’s head and said, “Impossible! We’ll search for them outside the door, quick!”

Tang Li seemed calm, but he was actually panicking inside. In truth, the amplifying shafts were the least secure means of travel. If their captors couldn’t keep 100 percent control over little Yu’er or Ning Jing, any shouts by them inside would be spread throughout the maze. Tang Li hadn’t realized this, nor was he inclined to puzzle further. Anything his big brother decided wouldn’t be wrong, after all!

Without hesitation, the group headed out of the room and into the sole tunnel outside. 

--

Han Yunxi’s group had chosen the right path. Currently, Ning Jing and little Yu’er were being marched towards an exit. The tunnel they were walking through wasn’t part of the maze, but still had its share of twists and turns. Many smaller paths broke off into different directions. Although a wrong turn wouldn’t get them far beyond a dead end, it still wasted time to double back. What bewildered one most was the lack of rhyme or reason in the tunnels. Even the most experienced maze traveler would end up making a few mistakes here or there. If they wanted to choose the right path, there were only two possibilities: 1) they knew the path beforehand or 2) they were extremely lucky.

Han Yunxi’s group had to rely on luck, while Ning Jing and Su Xiaoyu’s captors were black-robed men who knew the route well. They had just received orders from their master to get the hostages out as soon as possible. They had no idea what had happened, but knew their master wanted to flee far away with his prey. 

Ning Jing and little Yu’er’s hands were both tied up. They walked in between the two captors on their sides. Su Xiaoyu had already bumped into Ning Jing multiple times on purpose during the trip. Ning Jing knew what she was trying to imply. Although neither of them had any clue what Bai Yanqing was up to, they could guess that their rescuers had arrived. Otherwise, Bai Yanqing wouldn’t force them to shout and scream like that. With no sign of the mastermind and only two guards watching them, this was the perfect time to escape. 

Ning Jing didn’t have much strength left and her martial arts were weak. She had no choice but to pin all her hopes on Su Xiaoyu. As Su Xiaoyu walked, she suddenly stopped and cried, “Ah, my…”

“You? Your stomach hurts? Heheh, stop pretending! Walk!” one of the guards snapped.

“It’s not stomach, it’s my gut!” Su Xiaoyu simply fell on her knees and refused to budge.

The guards couldn’t care less where she hurt as long as she wasn’t dead. One hauled her to her feet and pressed a hand against her shoulder, while the other pushed Ning Jing forward. “Hurry up and walk!”

Su Xiaoyu fell back against the guard as her eyes flashed slyly. Unnoticed, a small needle emerged from between her lips. If Bai Yanqing was here, she’d never try something so stupid, but two guards were worth the gamble!

She suddenly spat out the needle. It didn’t hit her guard, but the neck of the guard holding Ning Jing.

“What was that?!” the guard cried in alarm as he groped for the object. At this moment, Ning Jing suddenly turned around and knocked the guard aside before running for her life. The guard was left heaving for breath--not because of Ning Jing’s attack, but the poison effects of Su Xiaoyu’s needle. Without an antidote, he’d die soon. Of course, he was a poisons expert too, but Su Xiaoyu had gotten this needle from Han Yunxi herself and hidden it all this time. Even Bai Yanqing would be hard-pressed to cure the poison.

The guard holding Su Xiaoyu was no fool. Afraid that she’d attack again, he threw her ahead and ran after Ning Jing, shooting out a dozen or so poison needles of his own!

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Ruyi's Thoughts

Chapter 1133 will be coming out soon, so don't worry about the cliffhanger, hehehe~