Chapter 153: The Frost Cave
Qin Wen looked up toward the mountain’s obscured summit and said, “It’s often said that dragons reside within the clouds! This mountain should be the tallest one in the Dragon Metamorphosis Mystic Realm; perhaps the dragon vein is on this very mountain!”
Qin Wu offered a conflicting opinion, “The stories about dragons residing within clouds are merely legends. The dragon vein is embedded in the earth, so logically speaking, there’s a very small chance that it would be found on a tall mountain.”
“Who told you that? Let me get this straight…”
The two of them began to argue.
“Stop! How about we save the chit-chat, and have a look for ourselves?” Qin Mu pursed his lips as he pulled on his reins and yelled, “Giddy-up, horsie!”
Qin Wen and Qin Wu immediately followed along, and Qi Shun and Qi Ying also did the same after sharing a brief glance.
Fire Cloud Horses were Yellow Tier beasts, but they didn’t have any offensive prowess. However, they were extremely fast, and had astonishing stamina. Thus, all of them soon arrived at the foot of the mountain.
Most of the mountains in the Dragon Metamorphosis Mystic Realm had rarely been explored. There were obviously no paths cleared out, and the particular mountain they were facing was very steep and jagged. After arriving at a sheer cliff face, everyone disembarked from their horses and began to set off for the summit on foot.
“Haha! Let’s have a competition to see who can reach the summit first! No flying allowed!”
Qin Mu immediately sprang forward to secure a head start, and he had opened up a significant distance between himself and everyone else in the blink of an eye.
A confident smile appeared on Qi Shun’s face. “Heh, I’m no match for you in a contest of strength, but there’s no way you can outspeed me!”
Qi Shun also stepped onto the cliff face, leaving a deep indentation on its surface with each and every step.
“Slow down, young master!”
Qin Wen urged.
Qin Wu turned to look back at Qi Ying. “Are you going to be alright?”
Qi Ying replied with a smile, “I’ll be fine. I’m just going to have to take it at my own pace.”
“Then we’ll be waiting for you at the summit!”
Qin Wu accelerated up the cliff face, leaving Qi Ying behind.
Qi Ying shrugged and sighed, “I’ll just take it easy and look at the scenery along the way.”
He circulated his True Energy to the soles of his feet, and ran vertically up the cliff face.
At the same time, he took the opportunity to look into the distance around him, and from his vantage point, he could see almost the entire Dragon Metamorphosis Mystic Realm.
The mystic realm was far more vast than he had imagined. It was at least several hundred kilometers in radius, and boundless lethal winds blew on its borders. Anyone who came into contact with those gusts of wind would instantly be shredded into mincemeat…
Qi Ying thought to himself as he moved.
‘Where could the dragon vein be?’
Qi Ying knew that luck was imperative if one were to find the dragon vein, but it had to be somewhere.
Regardless of whether it was hidden on a mountain, or beneath a river, or buried under a desert… They had passed by all of those places, but Qin Mu and Qi Shun didn’t show any sign of interest, thereby indicating that they knew that the dragon vein wasn’t situated in those locations.
The two of them had to have some way of determining whether the dragon vein was nearby, but they simply didn’t want to disclose it.
Qin Mu and Qi Shun had both quickly disappeared out of his line of sight, which meant that…
A flash of realization appeared in Qi Ying’s eyes.
It was very likely that the dragon vein was located in that mountain!
Qin Mu and Qi Shun were only using a competition of speed as an excuse. They were actually only trying to ditch a certain someone, and search for the dragon vein on the mountain by themselves.
Even though they were friends, they were also competitors!
‘Damn, Qin Mu looks like a really honest straightforward guy, but who would have thought that he would pull something like this on me? Looks like he’s certainly not just an unintelligent ruffian.’
Qi Ying soon gave up on heading to the mountain summit.
If the dragon vein was indeed on the mountain, then it definitely wouldn’t be at the summit, where it would be too far away from the earth.
‘I don’t have any way of knowing whether the dragon vein is nearby, so it looks like I can only try my luck! The dragon vein isn’t in any obvious location, so it must be inside the mountain.’
Qi Ying changed directions, and climbed onto the mountain away from the sheer cliff face.
The forestry on the mountain wasn’t very dense, but there were some dark caves that led to indeterminate places. Qi Ying used his experience to guide him, and he finally discovered a cave that looked as if it would lead deep into the mountain.
“That seems to be the Lava Armored Beasts’ nest!”
Lava Armored Beasts were ordinary beasts that he had once seen on the Nameless Mountain. Their armor scales were very resistant to heat, and were sought after as materials by many of the Nameless City’s blacksmiths.
Those types of beasts had a habit of making their nests in the deepest and darkest parts of mountains.
Furthermore, the environment that they inhabited was very special.
Back on the Nameless Mountain, that Heaven Tier beast had been discovered in a cave that wasn’t far away from the Lava Armored Beasts’ nest.
Perhaps the dragon vein was also nearby?
With that in mind, Qi Ying immediately entered the nest.
He unleashed his Purple Sun Eye, thereby giving him a night vision ability.
The cave was quite dark, but also very spacious. Lava Armored Beasts were about the same size as wolves, and generally, several dozens of them inhabited a single nest, so it was a lot easier to traverse than an Ice Fire Ants’ nest.
Furthermore, it was also a lot less dangerous.
Qi Ying soon encountered three Lava Armored Beasts, and they tried to attack Qi Ying like idiots. They were soon knocked out, and thrown into the secluded part of the nest.
The deeper Qi Ying progressed into the cave, the more he was struck by the feeling that something was amiss.
‘Lava Armored Beasts normally live in a hot environment, so why is this place so cold? Something’s definitely off here…’
At that moment, a crossroads appeared before Qi Ying.
Warmer air flowed from one of the passageways, which he speculated was where the Lava Armored Beasts had actually set up their nest.
However, gusts of cold wind were sweeping toward him from the other passageway, and the source of the cold air seemed to lay deeper within.
Qi Ying put on a warm set of clothes and drew the sword that he had taken from Chu Zidian, before entering the cooler passageway.
As he continued onward, icy stalagmites began to appear overhead, and the temperature had dropped to below the freezing point.
After advancing for several hundred more feet, the chill exacerbated even further, and it was no longer an environment that a normal person could live in. Even Qi Ying had to circulate his True Energy in his meridians to warm himself up.
All of a sudden, a shadow suddenly flashed past in front of him.
“What was that?”
Qi Ying’s instincts told him that it was a living creature.
‘To think that it can live in such a cold place… It must be no ordinary creature! Even if the dragon vein isn’t here, there should be some valuable treasures!’
Qi Ying quickened his pace as he continued onward. To his surprise, the cave was a lot deeper than he had expected. He estimated that he had been walking for several thousand feet, and was already underground.
At that moment, a cavernous area suddenly appeared before him.
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